Walter Lesly [Child 296]
DESCRIPTION: Walter Lesly invites the girl to drink. He then makes off with her; he intends to marry her (for her money). But he falls asleep before she does, and she escapes. She outruns his men and makes her way home.
EARLIEST DATE: 1828 (Buchan)
KEYWORDS: courting abduction escape money
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland)
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Child 296, "Walter Lesly" (1 text)
Leach, pp. 680-682, "Walter Lesly" (1 text)
cf. "Eppie Morrie" [Child 223] (plot)
NOTES [149 words]: There was a Walter Leslie who married the heiress of the Earldom of Ross in the reign of David II of Scotland; he was involved in many political quarrels in the reign of the next king, Robert II, and died in 1382. Another Walter Lesley was a crusader in this period. There is no reason to connect either with the villain of this piece except similarity of names (and, of course, the fact that there was a lot of this sort of thing in the anarchic Scotland of Robert II)
For a song with similar plot, and notes on actual historical instances of this sort of abduction-for-money, see the notes to "Eppie Morrie" [Child 223].
R. M. Wilson: The Lost Literature of Medieval England, Philosophical Library, 1952, p. 131, notes that the Complaynt of Scotlande mentions what sounds like a ballad or romance, "the tail of Syr valtir, the bald Leslye," but we know nothing of this except the name. - RBW
Last updated in version 2.8
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 2018 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.