Beautiful Lady of Kent, The

DESCRIPTION: Beautiful Ruth falls in love with a handsome Henry from Dover. Her parents confine her. He sails to Spain and marries a rich woman. She escapes her parents, dresses as a sailor, and finds him. His wife dies. Henry and Ruth are married and live happily
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: before 1813 (broadside, Harding B 4(94); 1846 (Dixon-Peasantry)
LONG DESCRIPTION: Ruth's parents would rather have her dead than married to Henry, a poor sailor. She retreats to her chamber. Henry sails to Spain and reluctantly marries a rich woman, believing he can never have Ruth. Ruth, released by her parents after a twelve-month confinement, goes to Spain, dressed as a seaman for disguise. Her parents believe she is lost. Ruth reveals herself to Henry when his wife dies. They return to Dover to marry. Henry, now rich but in poor seaman's dress, invites Ruth's parents to his wedding without telling them that Ruth is to be his bride. They, believing Ruth lost, admit that they should have let Ruth marry him. At the lavish wedding they recognize Ruth. Everyone is happy.
KEYWORDS: courting love marriage wedding return reunion separation cross-dressing death money England Spain father mother sailor wife
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Thompson-Pioneer 11, "Henry and Ruth" (1 text)
Dixon-Peasantry, Ballad #18, pp. 130-138, "The Beautiful Lady of Kent" (1 text)
Bell-Combined, pp. 304-310, "The Beautiful Lady of Kent; or, The Seaman of Dover" (1 text)

ST BeCo304 (Partial)
Roud #2812
Bodleian, Harding B 4(94) "The Seaman of Dover," J. Evans (London), before 1813; also Harding B 4(92); Harding B 4(91); Harding B 4(93); Harding B 4(95)=Johnson Ballads 992, "The Seaman of Dover," J. Pitts (London), before 1820
File: BeCo304

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