Sir Andrew Barton [Child 167]

DESCRIPTION: Merchants complain to the King that their trade is being disrupted. The King sends a crew to deal with Barton, the pirate. After a difficult battle marked by great courage and skill on both sides, Barton is defeated and killed
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1723
KEYWORDS: sailor sea battle nobility pirate
HISTORICAL REFERENCES:
1509-1547 - Reign of Henry VII (mentioned as king in some texts of the ballad)
FOUND IN: US(MA,NE,NW,SE)
REFERENCES (13 citations):
Child 167, "Sir Andrew Barton" (2 texts)
Bronson 167, "Sir Andrew Barton" (10 versions)
BronsonSinging 167, "Sir Andrew Barton" (3 versions: #2, #5b, #8)
Percy/Wheatley II, pp. 188-207, "Sir Andrew Barton" (3 texts, one from the folio manuscript and the other the completely rewritten version in the _Reliques_)
BarryEckstormSmyth pp. 248-258, "Andrew Barton" (3 texts); p. 483 (1 tune) {Bronson's #9}
Flanders-Ancient4, pp. 15-44, "Sir Andrew Barton" "but including Henry Martyn" (11 texts plus a fragment, 10 tunes; in every text but "L," the robber is Andrew Bardeen or something like that, but many of the texts appear more Henry Martin-like) {K=Bronson's #2 tune for Child #167; B=#46, C=#31 for Child #250}
Leach, pp. 467-475, "Sir Andrew Barton" (1 text)
Friedman, p. 348, "Sir Andrew Barton" (1 text)
OBB 130, "Sir Andrew Barton" (1 text)
Gummere, pp. 130-141+329-331, "Sir Andrew Barton" (1 text)
BBI, ZN2850, "When Flora with her fragrant flowere"
DT 167, ANDBART* HENRMRT4*
ADDITIONAL: Walter de la Mare, _Come Hither_, revised edition, 1928; notes to #418, ("But when hee saw his sisters sonne slaine") (1 long but incomplete text)

Roud #192
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Henry Martyn" [Child 250] (plot, lyrics)
cf. "Captain Ward and the Rainbow" [Child 287] (theme)
SAME TUNE:
My bleeding heart, with grief and care/A Warning to all Lewd Livers (BBI ZN1789)
As I lay musing all alone, Great store of things I thought upon/[Title trimmed. A comparison made upon the Life of Man? Stat. Register, July 16, 1634] (BBI ZN229)
NOTES: In the present state of our knowledge, it is almost impossible to distinguish "Sir Andrew Barton" from "Henry Martyn"; the pirates' names exchange freely, and the basic plot is similar. What is more, the ballads have clearly exchanged elements, especially in America, where mixed versions are the rule. Child did not have to contend with this.
In Child, the basic distinction might almost appear to be length; the versions of "Andrew Barton" are 82 and 64 stanzas, while the texts of "Henry Martyn" do not exceed 13 stanzas. Thus the former looks more literary and the latter more popular. In addition, there are hints of historical background, though much distorted. Still, it is best to check both ballads for a particular version.
See the notes to "Henry Martin" for a summary of opinions on the issue.
The original Andrew Barton is probably historical. James A. Williamson, The Tudor Age, 1953, 1957, 1964 (I use the slightly revised 1979 Longman paperback edition) says on p. 77, "The Earl of Oxford had long been lord Admiral, but the office was legal and administrative and not combatant, and Oxford did not go to sea. Henry, with a view to finding a successor with sea experience, picked out the two young Howards, Thomas and Edward, sons of the Earl of Surrey, and sent them to sea in 1511 to bring to account Sir Andrew Barton, a Scottish officer whose piracies were the complaint of English merchants. Barton was a servant of James IV and a commander of the new Scottish navy. The Howards fought and killed him and added his two privateers as prizes to Henry's fleet."
N. A. M. Rodger, The Safeguard of the Seas: A Naval History of Britain 660-1649, 1997 (I use the 1998 Norton edition), p. 169, gives a different account of how the battle came about; "There had been several incidents of hostility [between Scotland and England], notably in June 1511 when the Lord Admiral of England, Sir Edward Howard, escorting a convoy to Zealand, accidentally encountered and killed the Scottish pirate Andrew Barton."
Additional information about Barton can be found in Child. As for Edward Howard, note that his father Surrey would was the man who, two years later, fought and won the Battle of Flodden (and was given back his Dukedom of Norfolk as a reward). The Lord Howard who led the English fleet against the Spanish Armada was also a member of this family.
Many American texts refer to Barton fighting a Captain Charles Stuart (replacing the Lord Howard of earlier versions -- a reasonable name, even apart from the Barton battle cited above, since Earl Howard of Norfolk was Admiral of England at the time of the battle with the Armada). Gordon thinks this was Bonnie Prince Charlie, but Barry et al point to the American Charles Stewart (1778-1869) who commanded the U. S. S. Constitution at the end of the War of 1812. - RBW
Last updated in version 4.1
File: C167

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