DESCRIPTION: Soldiers take a pedlar through Kinghorn Ferry streets. He says he would be forced to be a soldier in Flanders. The women plead unsuccessfully for his release. They disarm, beat and drive the soldiers to sea and save the pedlar. Sailors laugh.
EARLIEST DATE: 1908 (GreigDuncan2); there is a broadside dated 1701
KEYWORDS: army soldier battle rescue humorous
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Greig #169, p. 1, "Kinghorn Ferry" (1 text)
GreigDuncan2 238, "Kinghorn Ferry" (1 text)
NLScotland, Ry.III.a.10(009), "The Lasses of Kinghorn" ("All Gentlemen and Cavaliers that doth delight in sport"), unknown, 1701
cf. "Clavers and his Highland Men" (tune, per broadside NLScotland Ry.III.a.10(009))
NOTES: There is a passing reference to King William: the leader of the women, "General" Paterson, says "Had it not been for King William's sake, we'd drowned them [the soldiers] in the Sea." Greig: "'King William' may be William IV. [1830-1837], in which case the ballad would take us back to the Thirties of last [19th] century. But the style of the piece seems older than this, and though it carries us back to the end of the 17th century, I am inclined to think that the Monarch referred to must be William III [1688-1702]. This view gains confirmation from the reference which the packman makes to the wars on the Continent. Further, the heroism of the women and their readiness to handle weapons is in keeping with the spirit of those days as illustrated by many another contemporary ballad."
Eoin Shalloo, Curator, Rare Book Collections, National Library of Scotland, explains the 1701 probable date of publication as follows (quoted with permission): "I think the date 1701 has been assigned to this broadside from a number of reference sources. The Wing Short Title Catalogue (no.466c) gives the date as [1700?] and our working copy of H.G. Aldis, A list of books printed in Scotland before 1700 (ref. 3978.5) also uses the same date. Whoever compiled the entry for the broadside website probably used the date from our online catalogue which came from Wing. Where Wing got the date from I don't know. It is possible from looking at the item that is could have been printed retrospectively 20 or 30 years later, but it would have had more relevance if printed closer to the time of the action." - BS
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