Death of George Stoole, The
DESCRIPTION: George, loved by the ladies, and a scamp, is not helped at trial by fickle friends. Though "guiltlesse," he is condemned to be hanged for receiving stolen horses from a merchant. He would have preferred to have died fighting but dies well.
EARLIEST DATE: c. 1610-1612: "date guessed" by Ebsworth
LONG DESCRIPTION: "When Georgie to his triall came ... A thousand Lasses wept." "Some did say he would escape, some at his fall did glory" but no friends came to his defense. He calmly went to his death, "tooke his leave of his Lards wife whom he lov'd best of any." He writes a letter to "his beloved Lady ... Wherein he did at large bewail the occasion of his folly"; he would not have her mourn for him. He curses those that turned him in for sheep stealing. He wished he were on the hill ... "my sword and buckler by my side, to fight till I be weary." He gives "his dearest love" gold for her babies. He says, "I never stole no Oxe nor Cow, nor never murdered any; but fifty horse I did receive of a Merchants man of Gory... For which I am condemn'd to dye, though guiltlesse I stand dying." "God! comfort" those that "died so well as Georgie!"
KEYWORDS: captivity love crime execution punishment theft trial horse thief
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Child 209 Appendix, "A lamentable new Ditty, made upon the death of a worthy Gentlemen, George Stoole, dwelling sometime on Gate-side Moore, and sometime at New-Castle, in Northumberland: with his penitent end" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: Charles Hindley, editor, The Roxburghe Ballads (London, 1874 ("Digitized by Google")), Vol II, pp. 212-218, "A lamentable new Ditty, made upon the death of a worthy Gentlemen, George Stoole, dwelling sometime on Gate-side Moore, and sometime at New-Castle, in Northumberland: with his penitent end" (1 text)
cf. "Geordie" [Child 209] (theme)
cf. "George of Oxford" (theme and some lines) and source/stemmatic discussion there
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