Henry Martyn [Child 250]

DESCRIPTION: Henry Martin (Martyn), the youngest of three brothers, is chosen by lot to turn pirate "to maintain his brothers and he." Martin overhauls a merchant ship; he either sinks her or is himself mortally wounded
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: before 1825 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 28(181))
KEYWORDS: brother pirate
FOUND IN: Britain(England(All),Scotland(Aber),Wales) US(Ap,MW,NE,Ro,SE,So,SW) Canada(Mar,Newf)
REFERENCES (36 citations):
Child 250, "Henry Martyn" (5 texts, 1 tune) {Bronson's #42}
Bronson 250, Henry Martyn" (50 versions+2 in addenda)
Bronson-SingingTraditionOfChildsPopularBallads 250, "Henry Martyn" (5 versions: #8, #12, #31, #33, #36)
Broadwood-EnglishTraditionalSongsAndCarols, pp. 30-31, "Henry Martin or Salt Seas (1 text, 1 tune)
Williams-FolkSongsOfTheUpperThames, pp. 78-79, "Henry Martin" (1 text) (also Williams-Wiltshire-WSRO Gl 117)
Kidson-TraditionalTunes, pp. 29-32, "Henry Martin" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
OShaughnessy-YellowbellyBalladsPart1 22, "Henry Martin" (1 text, 1 tune)
Belden-BalladsSongsCollectedByMissourFolkloreSociety, pp. 87-89, "Henry Martin" (1 text, called by the singer "Andy Bardan")
Randolph 31, "Andrew Bardeen" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #50}
Moore/Moore-BalladsAndFolkSongsOfTheSouthwest 48, "Andrew Bardeen" (1 text, 1 tune)
Eddy-BalladsAndSongsFromOhio 24, "Henry Martyn" (2 texts, 2 tunes) {Bronson's #16, #47}
Grimes-StoriesFromTheAnneGrimesCollection, pp. 70-71, "The Jolly Scotch Robbers" (1 text, with "Andrew Brattan" as the hero)
Peters-FolkSongsOutOfWisconsin, pp. 107-108, "There Were Once Three Brothers" (1 text, 1 tune)
Gardner/Chickering-BalladsAndSongsOfSouthernMichigan 81, "The Three Scotch Robbers" (1 text plus a fragment, 2 tunes) {Bronson's #6, #10}
Gray-SongsAndBalladsOfTheMaineLumberjacks, pp. 80-81, "Andrew Martine" (1 text, which seems rather defective although no gaps are shown)
Flanders/Olney-BalladsMigrantInNewEngland, pp. 72-74, "Andrew Marteen"; pp. 201-203, "Andrew Batan" (2 texts, 2 tunes) {Bronson's #31, #46}
Flanders-AncientBalladsTraditionallySungInNewEngland4, 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}
Cox-FolkSongsSouth 150, "Henry Martin" (1 text)
Gainer-FolkSongsFromTheWestVirginiaHills, pp. 82-83, "Henry Martin" (1 text, 1 tune)
Davis-MoreTraditionalBalladsOfVirginia 37, pp. 290-299, "Henry Martyn" (1 text)
Smith-SouthCarolinaBallads, #XIII, pp. 156-158, "Andrew Bartin" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #42}
Joyner-FolkSongInSouthCarolina, pp.38-39 "Andrew Bartin" (1 text)
Hubbard-BalladsAndSongsFromUtah, #14, "Andrew Bardean" (1 text, 1 tune)
Thompson-BodyBootsAndBritches-NewYorkStateFolktales, pp. 37-38, "(Elder Bardee)" (1 text)
Creighton/Senior-TraditionalSongsOfNovaScotia, pp. 86-87, "Henry Martyn" (1 text, 2 tunes) {Bronson's #3, #4}
Karpeles-FolkSongsFromNewfoundland 22, "Henry Martin" (3 texts, 3 tunes)
Mackenzie-BalladsAndSeaSongsFromNovaScotia 13, "Bolender Martin" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #17}
Frank-NewBookOfPirateSongs 3, "Henry Martin" (2 texts, 1 tune; the text is composite and neither tune direct associated with it; #2 in the first edition); also 4, "Andrew Bardeen" (1 text, 1 tune, from Moore; #4 in the first edition)
Leach-TheBalladBook, pp. 615-616, "Henry Martyn" (1 text)
Friedman-Viking/PenguinBookOfFolkBallads, p. 358, "Henry Martyn" (2 texts, 1 tune) {Bronson's #36}
Sharp-OneHundredEnglishFolksongs 1, "Henry Martin" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #36}
Karpeles-TheCrystalSpring 26, "Henry Martin" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #40}
Stone-SeaSongsAndBallads XLIII, pp. 71-72, "Henry Martin" (1 text)
Silber/Silber-FolksingersWordbook, p. 215, "Henry Martin" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: Maud Karpeles, _Folk Songs of Europe_, Oak, 1956, 1964, pp. 36-37, "Henry Martin" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #104
Warde Ford, "Andrew Batan" (AFS 4194 B1, 1938; on LC58, in AMMEM/COWELL) {Bronson's #8 under "Sir Andrew Barton"}
A. L. Lloyd, "Henry Martin" (on ESFB1, ESFB2)
Sam Larner, "The Lofty Tall Ship" (on SLarner01, Voice12);"Henry Martin" (on SLarner02) [I do not know that the two Larner recordings are in fact different -- these two compilations drew from the same collection of field tapes -- but as the titles are given as different I thought it prudent to separate them. - PJS]
Lawrence Older, "Elder Bordee" (on LOlder01)
Pete Seeger, "Elder Bordee" (on PeteSeeger29)
Phillip Tanner, "Henry Martin" (on FSB5); "Young Henry Martin" (on Voice02) {one of these recordings, which may be the same, is Bronson's #33}
Tony Wales, "Henry Martin" (on TWales1)

Bodleian, Harding B 28(181), "Henry Martin," W. Armstrong (Liverpool) , 1820-1824; also Firth c.12(87), Harding B 11(1367), Harding B 11(4096), 2806 c.16(273), Harding B 17(295a), Harding B 11(4207), Firth b.26(253), Firth c.26(210), "Henry Martin"
cf. "Sir Andrew Barton" [Child 167] (plot, lyrics)
Elder Bordee
NOTES [271 words]: This ballad cannot always be distinguished in practice from "Sir Andrew Barton" [Child 167]; see also the discussion under that song. - RBW
Having looked at the lyrics to "Elder Bordee," I'd place it somewhat closer to "Henry Martyn" than to "Sir Andrew Barton" [even though the Lawrence Older recording lists it as Child #167]; it's shorter, and it doesn't include the theme of the complaining merchants. Frankly, I think Child goofed when he split these ballads. - PJS
Child had the "advantage," if such it can be called, of seeing only British versions. Those are distinct enough. I've yet to see such clear distinctions in American versions.
Checking through the sources available to me, here are the "votes" of the various scholars:
Barry: One ballad (but with some rather farfetched conjectures about its evolution)
Belden: Apparently two (but based on the close similarities of the "Henry Martin" texts, which really proves only that this is a distinct family)
Bronson: One ballad (apparently, but based mostly on others' comments)
Child: Two ballads (probably), with "Andrew Barton" the elder and the source
Coffin: One ballad, following the arguments from Barry.
Davis: Two ballads
Frank: Two ballads, but with "Henry Martin" descended from "Andrew Barton" (and he prints a version which he seems to think is an intermediate)
Gray: Apparently one ballad, since he connects his single short text to both songs
Sharp: Two ballads
Joyner: One ballad (by implication, since he prints his version under both numbers)
Editors who print texts from their collections but state no clear opinion: Cox, Eddy, Flanders, Randolph
Last updated in version 6.2
File: C250

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2022 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.