Mary Neal [Laws M17]

DESCRIPTION: The singer is on trial for kidnapping Mary Neal. She pleads for him and he is released. She steals some of her father's wealth; they marry and set off overseas. After a near-disaster on the ship, they reject her father's offer of land if they return
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: before 1867 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 11(3843)); "from an Athlone ballad slip of about 1840," according to Sparling)
KEYWORDS: trial emigration love abduction
FOUND IN: Canada(Mar,Newf) Britain(England(South)) Ireland
REFERENCES (8 citations):
Laws M17, "Mary Neal"
Greenleaf/Mansfield-BalladsAndSeaSongsOfNewfoundland 92, "Mary Neal" (1 text)
Peacock, pp. 216-217, "Mary Neal" (1 text, 1 tune)
Creighton-SongsAndBalladsFromNovaScotia 80, "Mary Nail" (1 text, 1 tune)
Henry/Huntingdon/Herrmann-SamHenrysSongsOfThePeople H55, pp. 479-480, "Charming Mary O'Neill" (1 text, 1 tune)
OLochlainn-IrishStreetBallads 38, "Charming Mary Neill" (1 text, 1 tune)
ADDITIONAL: H. Halliday Sparling, Irish Minstrelsy (London, 1888), pp. 321-323, 511, "Charming Mary Neal"

Roud #142
Bodleian, Harding B 11(3843), "Mary Neal and John M'Cann," J. Harkness (Preston), 1840-1866; also 2806 b.11(66), "Mary Neil" ("I am a bold undaunted youth my name is John M'Cann"); 2806 b.11(259), Harding B 15(41b), "Charming Mary Neal"
Murray, Mu23-y1:044, "Mary Neal," James Lindsay Junr (Glasgow), 19C
NLScotland, L.C.Fol.178.A.2(063), "Mary Neil," James Lindsay Jr. (Glasgow), c.1875

cf. "William (Willie) Riley (Riley's Trial) [Laws M10]" (tune)
NOTES [82 words]: A correspondent of Sam Henry's claimed that this was a true story, with the girl being kidnapped to prevent a fight between two rival suitors. Yet another case where we can't prove it false but can hardly credit it, either.
Michael Harron of County Tyrone offers more substantial details. He reports that the ship involved was the Charlotte Douglas, which sank June 9, 1836. Harron has seen newspaper accounts of the ship's voyage, and reports that only three were killed in the wreck. - RBW
File: LM17

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