Miller's Will, The (The Miller's Three Sons) [Laws Q21]

DESCRIPTION: The dying miller, to decide which of his three sons will inherit, asks each boy how much he would charge. The first son would take an honest toll; the second, half; the last, all and swear to the sack. The miller joyfully gives the mill to the last son
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: before 1764 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 5(7))
KEYWORDS: death father children robbery crime bequest lastwill
FOUND IN: US(Ap,MW,NE,Ro,SE,So) Canada(Mar) Britain(England(All),Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (42 citations):
Laws Q21, "The Miller's Will (The Miller's Three Sons)"
Flanders-NewGreen, pp. 11-13, "The Miller's Three Sons" (1 text, 1 tune)
Belden, pp. 244-246, "The Miller and his Three Sons" (3 texts)
Randolph 359, "There Was an Old Miller" (4 texts plus an excerpt, 3 tunes)
Randolph/Cohen, pp. 126-129, "There Was an Old Miller" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 91D)
Eddy 61, "The Dishonest Miller" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Grimes, p. 137, "The Miller's Will" (1 text)
Gardner/Chickering 98, "The Dying Miller" (1 text, 1 tune)
BrownII 177, "The Miller and His Three Sons" (2 text plus 5 excerpts and mention of 3 more)
BrownSchinhanIV 177, "The Miller and His Three Sons" (4 excerpts, 4 tunes)
Chappell-FSRA 106, "The Miller" (1 fragment)
Lunsford31, pp. 12-13, "The Old Man and His Mill" (1 text, 1 tune)
JonesLunsford, pp. 207-208, "The Dishonest Miller" (1 text, 1 tune)
Morris, #205, "The Miller's Will" (1 text plus a fragment, 1 tune)
Browne 145, "The Old Miller" (1 text plus mention of 1 more, 1 tune)
Moore-Southwest 107, "The Miller That Made His Will" (1 text, 1 tune)
Scarborough-SongCatcher, pp. 240-242, "The Miller's Advice to His Three Sons, on Taking of Toll" (2 texts, both called "The Old Miller"; 2 tunes on p. 419)
Hubbard, #188, "The Dying Miller" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Creighton/Senior, pp.234-236 , "The Miller of Derbyshire" (1 text, 1 tune)
Creighton-NovaScotia 94, "The Miller" (1 text, 1 tune)
SharpAp 161, "The Miller's Will" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Sharp/Karpeles-80E 56, "The Miller's Will" (1 text, 1 tune)
Williams-Thames, pp. 192-193, "The Miller and His Three Sons" (1 text) (also Wiltshire-WSRO Wt 381)
Kennedy 232, "The Miller's Last Will" (1 text, 1 tune)
Palmer-ECS, #32, "The Miller and His Three Sons" (1 text, 1 tune)
Greig 41, p. 1, "The Miller's Three Sons" (1 text)
RoudBishop #100, "The Miller's Three Sons" (1 text, 1 tune)
GreigDuncan3 703, "The Miller's Will" (3 texts, 1 tune)
Stokoe/Reay, pp. 58-59, "The Miller and His Sons" (1 text, 1 tune)
Dixon-Peasantry, Song #21, pp. 204-206, "The Miller and his Sons" (1 text)
Bell-Combined, pp. 414-415, "The Miller and His Sons" (1 text)
Cohen/Seeger/Wood, pp. 80-81, "The Miller's Will" (1 text, 1 tune)
Chase, pp. 144-145, "The Miller's Will" (1 text, 1 tune)
Newell, #41, "The Miller of Gosport" (1 text)
Botkin-NEFolklr, pp. 546-547, "The Miller's Three Sons" (1 text, 1 tune)
JHCox 155, "The Dishonest Miller" (3 texts plus mention of six more, 1 tune)
JHCoxIIB, #18A-B, pp. 163-165, "The Miller and His Sons," "The Miller" (1 text plus a fragment, 1 tune)
Boette, pp. 38-39, "Once There Was an Old Man" (1 text, 1 tune)
Darling-NAS, pp. 149-151, "The Miller's Will" (1 text)
Silber-FSWB, p. 120, "The Miller" (1 text)
BBI, ZN2524, "There was a miller who had three sons"

Roud #138
Horton Barker, "The Miller's Will" (on Barker01)
Jumbo Brightwell, "The Derby Miller" (on Voice14)
Carson Brothers & Sprinkle, "The Old Miller's Will" (OKeh 45398, 1929; on TimesAint01)
Eunice Yeatts MacAlexander, "The Miller's Will" (on FarMtns1)
Margaret MacArthur, "New Hampshire Miller" (on MMacArthur01)
New Lost City Ramblers, "The Miller's Will" (on NLCR04)

Bodleian, Harding B 5(7), "The Miller's Advice to His Three Sons, in Taking of Toll," W. and C. Dicey (London) , 1736-1763; also Douce Ballads 4(44), "The Miller's Advice to His Three Sons, in Taking of Toll"
The Old Miller Rake
NOTES [23 words]: Williams-Thames is very close to Dixon-Peasantry, even when the words seem to me to be clumsy, as in "He called for his middlemost son." - BS
Last updated in version 4.4
File: LQ21

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.