DESCRIPTION: The robber Nevison is found at an alehouse and taken by a constable. At trial he says "I've neither done murder nor kill'd But guilty I've been all my life." He always gave to the poor. "Peace I have made with my Maker... I'm ready to suffer the law."
EARLIEST DATE: 1860 (Ingledew); before 1859 (broadside, Bodleian Firth c.17(8)))
KEYWORDS: crime execution robbery trial outlaw
FOUND IN: Britain(England(Lond))
REFERENCES (2 citations):
OShaughnessy-Yellowbelly1 5, "Bold Nevison" (1 text, 1 tune)
ADDITIONAL: C.J. Davison Ingledew, The Ballads and Songs of Yorkshire (London: Bell and Daldy, 1860 ("Digitized by Internet Archive")), pp. 125-128, "Bold Nevison, the Highwayman" ("Did you ever hear tell of that hero") (1 text)
Bodleian, Firth c.17(8), "Bold Nevison the Highwayman" ("Did you ever hear tell of that hero "), J.O. Bebbington (Manchester), 1855-1858; also Firth c.26(172) [last three lines illegible], Firth c.17(9), "Bold Nevison the Highwayman"
NOTES [160 words]: Ingledew's text, like the broadsides, has 13 stanzas; OShaughnessy-Yellowbelly1 has nine.
For another ballad about Nevison, see EngBdsdBA 20777, Pepys 2.157, "The Highwayman's Advice to His Brethren or Nevison's Last Legacy to the Knights of the High-Pass" ("Follow bonny lad by the high-way side"), I. Wright (London),1684, accessed 08 Dec 2013. There are no lines shared with "Bold Nevison" and there is nothing about giving to the poor. It is about highway robbery, sharing a pint with his "brothers," spending their gains together on "our lasses and our wine," and, at the end, "we both will swing together."
OShaughnessy-Yellowbelly1: "William Nevison was born in Yorkshire, in 1639. His colourful career as highwayman and protection-racketeer ended on the gallows at York in 1685.... The famous ride to York, attributed to Dick Turpin, was one of Nevison's exploits...." For more on this story see the notes to "My Bonny Black Bess (II)" [Laws L9]. - BS
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