Bonnie John Seton [Child 198]

DESCRIPTION: Forces from north and south prepare for battle at the Brig o' Dee. John Seton, with great foresight, makes his will. He is killed in the battle, and the highlanders routed by cannon. The leaders of the enemy forces despoil Seton's body
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: c, 1818 (GlenbuchatBallads)
KEYWORDS: battle death nobility
HISTORICAL REFERENCES:
Junw 18, 1639 - Montrose's attack on the Bridge of Dee
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (5 citations):
Child 198, "Bonnie John Seton" (2 texts)
GlenbuchatBallads pp. 171-172, "Major Middleton" (1 text)
Leach, pp. 535-536, "Bonnie John Seton" (1 text)
DBuchan 36, "Bonny John Seton" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: Michael Brander, _Scottish and Border Battles and Ballads_, 1975 (page references to the 1993 Barnes & Noble edition), pp. 126-127, "Bonny John Seton" (1 text)

Roud #3908
NOTES: Were it not for the mention of Montrose in the final stanzas of Child's "B" version, it would be almost impossible to connect this with historical events. As it is, the ballad focuses entirely on Seton; the setting of the battle is entirely ignored. It relates to a minor incident of the English Civil Wars, but this is rather trivial in context. Child provides such additional background as is available. The notes on pp. 243-244 of GlenbuchatBallads are also very full and quite useful. - RBW
Last updated in version 3.0
File: C198

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