Cruel Gamekeeper, The

DESCRIPTION: A farmer's daughter, pregnant, asks the gamekeeper, her lover, to marry. He refuses, kills her and, after ripping her open, kills the baby. He is caught and condemned to be hanged.
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: before 1886 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 11(3637))
KEYWORDS: sex promise rejection execution homicide pregnancy gallows-confession lover
FOUND IN: Britain(England(South))
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Williams-Thames, pp. 259-260, "The Gamekeeper" (1 text) (also Wiltshire-WSRO Wt 317)
Roud #1313
BROADSIDES:
Bodleian, Harding B 11(3637), "The Cruel Gamekeeper" ("In Buxton town in Staffordshire"), H. Such (London), 1863-1885; also Firth c.17(204), "The Cruel Gamekeeper"; Harding B 22(273) [some words illegible], "The Staffordshire Tragedy"
NOTES: This is one of the few Williams-Thames texts that varies significantly from an earlier broadside. In the Bodleian broadside Harding B 11(3637), the girl tells the gamekeeper "I am big with child by you" (Williams-Thames: "I've lost my liberty by you"), "He ripp'd her up and there was by, A baby in her womb did cry" (Williams-Thames: "He picked her up, and there lay by A fair young babe that moaned and cried") and "I promised her but did not wed, So the gallows proved my marriage bed" (Williams-Thames: "And never do as I have done, For I might have been a farmer's son"). - BS
Last updated in version 2.6
File: WT259

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 2016 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.