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NOTES ON THE "SHIRBURN BALLADS."
BY HYDER E. ROLLINS.
The volume of "Shirburn Ballads, 1585-1616," which Mr. Andrew Clark published at Oxford in 1907, contains eighty ballads from a manuscript in the library of the Earl of Macclesfield at Shirburn Castle, Oxfordshire, and nine from MS. Rawlinson poet. 185 in the Bodleian Library. The collection is remarkable for its highly sensational journalistic ballads, but also includes a number of "pious chansons," several "good-nights," a few ballad-romances, and poems by Sir Edward Dyer and Campion. Evidently the MSS. were, as their editor believes, compiled chiefly from broadsides printed during 1585-1616; but many of the ballads had been issued earlier than 1585, while nearly all of them were re-entered at Stationers' Hall after 1616.' Confining his attention almost entirely to the formation of a reliable text, Mr. Clark attempted to date only two or three of the ballads, but referred his readers to J. W. Ebsworth's "Roxburghe Ballads" for details about such of the "Shirburn Ballads" as are there reprinted.
It is the purpose of the following notes to show that a large number of the "Shirburn Ballads" were at one time or another entered in the Stationers' "Registers," and to supply other pertinent facts, some of which may be of interest to students of Elizabethan literature; but no account is taken of the ballads commented on by Ebsworth, or of such well-known ballads as "The Widow of Watling Street," "Titus Andronicus," or "King Henry II and the Miller," even when these have not been adequately discussed in the "Roxburghe Ballads." My notes follow the numbering of the ballads in Mr. Clark's edition.
2. "The lamentation of Jhon Musgrave, who was executed at Kendall for robbinge the king's Receiuer of great store of treasure." On Aug. 19, '598, John Musgrave was granted "the long serjeantship of Gillesland, co. Cumberland, with the castle and manor of Askerton; also of the office of bailiff of Askerton" (Co/. State Papers, Domestic, 1580-1625, p. 390); on June 3, 1.606, the Commissioners of the Border transferred Sir Henry Leigh's troop of horse to "John Musgrave, of Plumpton, nominated by the Earl of Cumberland" (Ibid., 1603-10, p. 319); and on Jan. 10, 1608, the goods, lands, etc., of John Musgrave, of Catterlen County, Cumberland,
1 It is surprising to find how many of these ballads were re-entered for publication on Dec. 14, 1624. In addition to those commented on in my notes, Clark's Nos. i. 15.
23. 26, 28, 30, 41, 46, 50, 51, 55, and 59 were registered on that day. Many of his numbers were also licensed for publication on March I, 1675; for example, Nos. 3, n, 15, 23,
24, 27. 30. 33. 55. 79
who had been executed for felony, were attainted and forfeited to John
Downe Plumton Parke as I did passe,
is referred to in Fletcher's "Captain" (3 : Hi), where Jacomo says, "Thou know'st I can sing nothing But Plumpton-Park." Buzzard, in Richard Brome's "English Moor" (3 : ii), sings " Down Plumpton-park, &c."
3. This ballad begins "Good people all, repent with speede," under which title it was registered on Dec. 14, 1624 (Arber's Transcript of the Stationers' Registers, 4: 131). On March i, 1675, it was licensed as "A warning for all worldlings to dye" (Eyre's Transcript, 2 : 498).
4. "The lover's replye to the maiden's fye fye," beginning "In the mery month of Maye," is very probably "a newe northeren songe, shewinge the discourse of Twoo Louers, beginninge, of late in the moneth of May &c," which was registered by Stafford on April 9, 1611 (Arber, 3 : 457).
5. "A warning or Lanthorne to London. A dolefull destruction of faire Jerusalem, whose miserye and vnspeakable plague doth most iustlye deserve God's heavye wrath," was perhaps "A newe ballad of the destruccon of Jerusalem," registered on Aug. 15, 1586; it was certainly "A warninge or Lamentacon to London of the Dolefull Destruccon of fayre Jerusalem," registered on June 8, 1603, and re-entered on Dec. 14, 1624 (Arber, 2 : 454; 3:236; 4:131).
6. "A proper new ballad intituled: — A Bell-man for England," beginning "Awake! Awake! Oh Englande!" This was licensed on Dec. 6, 1586 (Arber, 2 : 461), as "a ballad intituled. A belman for England &c certified by master Hartwell to be alowed leavinge out the ij staues yat are crossed." It had been printed before Nov. 21, 1580, however, for its first line is the tune of No. 43, below.
7. "A right excellent and godly new Ballad, shewinge the vncertainetye of this present lyfe, the vanitye of the alluring world, and the vnspeakable ioyes of heaven prepared for those that vnfainedly beleeve in the Lord Jesus," beginning "All carefull Christians, marke my Song," was registered by Henry Carr on May 3, 1591 (Arber, 2 : 581), as "a godly new ballad Describinge the vncertenty of this present Lyfe the vanities of this aluring world, and the Joyes of heaven &c." As "All carefull Christians" it was re-entered on Dec. 14, 1624 (Arber, 4: 132).
8. "A right Godly and Christiane a.b.c.," beginning "Arise, and walke [i.e., wake] from wickednesse," and ending with a prayer for King James. Chappell (Roxburghe Ballads, 3: 159) and Collier (Extracts from the Registers, i : i) believed that this was the ballad of "a Ryse and wake" which Collier printed as his very first entry (1557). They were wrong, however, for that ballad is preserved in Bodleian MS. Ashmole 48 (Songs and Ballads, ed. Thomas Wright, 1860, pp. 168-169). The present ballad was licensed by John Aide in 1564-65 as "an a b c with a prayer;" perhaps it is "a godly A. B.C.," licensed by Edward White on Aug. 19, 1579; and it is certainly the "Christians ABC" which was licensed on Dec. 14, 1624 (Arber, i: 269; 2:358; 4: 132).
9. This ballad bears the date 1614 in its title, and as "who veiwes the lif of mortall" (its first line) it was registered on Dec. 14, 1624 (Arber, 4 : 132).
10. "Of a maide nowe dwelling at the towne of meurs in dutchland, that hath not taken any foode this 16 yeares, and is not yet neither hungry nor thirsty; the which maide hath lately beene presented to the lady elizabeth, the king's daughter of england." "The true and lyvely picture of Eve ffliegen of Meaces who hathe liued 14 yeares without meate or drincke. translated out of Dutche by Thomas Wood," was licensed as part of a book on Aug. 24, 1611 (Arber, 3:464). It is extant. An eight-page quarto — called "The Protestants and lesuites together by the eares in Gulickeland. Also, A true and wonderfull relation of a Dutch maiden (called Eue Fliegen of Meurs in the County of Meurs) who being now (this present yeare) 36 yeares of age, hath fasted for the space of 14 yeares,1 confirmed by the testimony of persons, both Honourable and worshipfull, as well English, as Dutch. Truely translated according to the Dutch Coppy.... Imprinted for Nicholas Bourne, 1611 "— was recently sold in the Huth Library sales (see Sotheby's "Catalogue of the Huth Collection, Sixth Portion." 1917, p. 1697). The wonderful Miss Fliegen is referred to as " the Dutch Virgin, that could live By th' scent of flowers," in Jasper Mayne's " City-Match " (Dodsley-Hazlitt's Old Plays, 13 : 236-237), and as "The Maid of Brabant, that lived by her smell, That din'd on a rose, and supt on a tulip," in Davenant's "News from Plymouth" (Works, 1873, 4:114). Compare also Fletcher's "miraculous maid in Flanders. . . . She that lived three year without any other sustenance than the smell of a rose" (" Love's Cure," in Works, ed. Dyce, 9 :126). George Hakewill too, as Hazlitt and the editors of Davenant point out, accepted Miss Fliegen's story as true. "This we have confirmed," he wrote in his "Apologie of the Power and Providence of God," 1635 (quoted by Hazlitt, Old Plays, 13 : 236 »».), "by the testimony of the magistrate of the towne of Meurs, as also by the minister, who made tryall of her in his house thirteene days together, by all the meanes he could devise, but could detect no imposture."
13. "An excellent newe dyttye, wherein fayre Dulcina complayneth for the absence of her dearest Condon," with the refrain "Forgoe me now, come to me soone." This is undoubtedly "The ballet of' Dulcina,' to the tune of 'fforgoe me nowe come to me sone,' " which John White and Thomas Langley registered on"May 22, 1615 (Arber, 3 : 567). The tune of "fforgoe me nowe" comes from the widely popular ballad beginning "As at noon Dulcina rested," and preserved, among other places, in the "Percy Folio Loose Songs" (ed. Furnivall, 1868, pp. 32 el seq.).
16. "Miraculous Newes from the cittie of Holdt in Germany, where there were three dead bodyes scene to rise out of their Graues vpon the twentieth day of September last 1616." On Oct. 20, 1616, John Barnes registered a pamphlet called "miraculous signes of the Lord in Holdt in the province of Menster of 3 dead bodies that did arise out of their graues, and spake of the Lordes Judgmentes," and also "a ballett of the same matter" (Arber, 3 = 596).
18. "The sinner, dispisinge the world and all earthly vanities, reposeth his whole confidence in his beloved Saviour, Jesus Christ." In 1570-71 William Griffith registered this as "a ballett how yat men shulde put thayre hole trust in Jhesus &c" (Arber, I : 437).
24. "A most excellent and worthy dytty, shewing the wonderfull miracles
1 In Hazlitt's Hand-book (1867, p. 277) the time is given by mistake as " 24 yeares." of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, which he did while he remained on the earth, to the great comfort of all the godlye." This was registered on Sept. II, 1578, as "A ballat of many miracles donne by our saviour Jhesus Christ while he remained on the earthe perfect man sume only excepted;" on Aug. 8, 1586, as "A Dittie of ye Miracles of Jhesus Christ &c;" and on Dec. 14, 1624, under the title of its first line, "When Jesus Christ was 12" (Arber, 2 : 337, 452; 4 : 132). On March i, 1675, it was re-entered as "A new ditty shewing the wonderfull miracles of our Lord Jesus Christ " (Eyre, 2 :497).
25. "The lamentation of Henrye Adlington, a fencer, one of the cuttinge crewe of London, who, for murther, was executed without Algate, and yet hangeth in chaines." In Stow's "Annales" (1631, p. 789) occurs this passage: "The n. of January [1599/1600], Henry Adlington, a Fencer was hanged without the bars of Aldgate for killing of a man there, and after hanged in chaines on the Miles end."
29. "A pleasant ballad of the mery miller's wooing of the Baker's daughter of Manchester." Perhaps this is the "ballett of a mylner" which Wally and Mrs. Toy registered in 1557-58. It is certainly "A Ballad Intituled, The Millers daughter of Mannchester," which Henry Carr licensed on March 2, 1581 (Arber, i : 76; 2 : 390).
32. "A new ballade, shewinge the cruell robberies and lewde lyfe of Phillip Collins alias Osburne, commenlye called Phillip of the West, who was prest to death at newgate in London the third of December last past I597-" I can find out nothing about Philip, but, as he is called " the Devill of the west" and is said to have lived in Devonshire, this account of his "lewd life" is evidently connected with the ballad of "the Devill of Devonshire and Wilkin of the West his sonne" which Edward White registered on Oct. 16, 1594 (Arber, 2: 662). The ballad was licensed on June 13,1631, as " Philipp surnamed 'the Deuill in the West' " (Arber, 4 : 254).
33. "Pride's fall: or a warning to all English women, by the example of a strang monster, borne of late in Germany by a proude marchant's wife in the city of Geneua, 1609." Clark calls attention to the pamphlet (registered on Aug. 15, 1608) from which this ballad is obviously derived; but both pamphlet and ballad were probably descendants of "a little booke intitled an admonition to all women to see the iust Judgement of God for the punishement of pride purtraied in a wonderfull child," to which the clerk added the note, "Concerninge a child borne with great Ruffes" (cf. stanza 15). This "little booke" was registered on May 17, 1587 (Arber, 2: 470). The ballad was also licensed on March 13, 1656, and on March I, 1675 (Eyre, 2 : 37, 498).
36. "A new Ballad intituled A myrrour or lookinge glasse for all sinners," beginning "O mortall man, bedrencht in synne," and ending with a prayer for Queen Anne. The ballad contains such lines as "Thy youth is [as] the growinge grasse; /thine age resembleth withered hay," from which it seems probable that this is the ballad called "the vnconstant state and tyme of mans lyfe," registered in 1561-62 (Arber, i : 175). Possibly it was "a lokynge glasse," 1568-69; it was probably "a ballad entituled a lookinge glasse for eche Degree," May 18, 1595; it was certainly registered on Dec. 14, 1624, as "O mortall man bedrencht" (Arber, 1:381; 2:297; 4 = 132).
37. "An excellent merye songe of the freier and the boye." This was registered by Edward White on Aug. 16, 1586 (Arber, 2 :455). "Books" about the friar and the boy were registered in 1557-58 and 1568-69 (Arber,
l : 75. 389)
38. "A most miraculous, strange, and trewe Ballad, of a younge man of the age of 19 yeares, who was wrongfully hangd at a towne called Bon in the lowe Countreyes since Christmas last past 1612; and how god presented him aliue." This was summarized from a book, "A true descripcon of a yongman of Dort whiche hanged at Bon ffyue dayes longe, beinge faultlesse and howe God miraculously preserued him that he dyed not, it happened in this yeare 1611," which Edward Aide registered on Feb. 13, 1612 (Arber,
3 = 477)
40. A well-known hymn, beginning "Jerusalem, my happy home," under which title it was registered on Dec. 14, 1624 (Arber, 4 : 131).
42. "A pleasant newe Ballad, of the most blessed and prosperous Raigne of her Maiestye for the space of two and fortye yeeres, and now entring into the three and fortith to the great ioy and comfort of all her Ma. faythfull subiects." The date of this ballad is, as Clark points out, 1600, but appareritly the ballad was sung on each anniversary of the queen's accession. Thus on Nov. 3, 1602, Edward Aide licensed "A Comfortable songe or thanks gyving to be songe the xvijth Day of Nouember for the most gratious and happie Reigne of our souereigne lady quene Elizabethe," perhaps a reissue of No. 42; a similar ballad had been registered by Edward White on Nov. 15, 1594, two days before the anniversary, and on the same day White entered another ballad closely corresponding in title to No. 42 (cf. Arber, 2 : 664, 665; 3: 220).
43. "The belman's good morrow, . . . To the tune of A-wake, a-wake, O England," beginning " From sluggish sleep and slumber." Edward White registered "the bell mannes good morrowe" on Nov. 21, 1580, and the ballad of "From sluggish sleepe" was re-entered on Dec. 14, 1624 (Arber, 2 : 382;
4 : 131). Another copy of the ballad is found in Brit. Mus. Add. MS. 15,225, from which (but not in connection with the entries given above) two stanzas of it are reprinted in Collier's "Extracts," I : 229.
49. "A lamentable ballad called The Ladye's fall," which, as Ebsworth notes, was registered by William White on June u, 1603, was re-entered on Dec. 14, 1624 (Arber, 3 : 237; 4 : 131). "Did you make the Ladies Downefattl " asks a lady of Mr. Courtwell in the comedy of "Captain Underwit," c. 1640 (Bullen's Collection of Old English Plays, 1883, 2 : 350). The last two lines of the ballad are quoted (from the "Old Ballad of the Lady's Fall ") on the title-page of George Lillo's "London Merchant,'.' 1731.
57. "The Lover, being sorrowfull for the death of his Lady E. C. writteth this Epitaph followinge." Perhaps this is the ballad of "an lamentable complaynte of a gent for the Death of his moste ffaythfull mistres," registered by Thomas Purfoote in 1569-70 (Arber, I : 401).
61. "Mr. Attowel's Jigge: betweene Francis, a Gentleman; Richard, a farmer; and their wives: " a jig, or farce, of 240 lines in four acts, or scenes, each sung to its own tune. This was registered by Thomas Gosson on Oct. X4» '595 (Arber, 3: 49), as "A pretie newe J[i]gge betwene ffrancis the gentleman Richard the farmer and theire wyves." Clark identifies Mr. Attowel with Hugh Atwell, "who died in 1621. He had been one of the 'children of her Majesty's revels,' and in Elizabeth's reign a member of