Knight and the Shepherd's Daughter, The [Child 110]

DESCRIPTION: A knight, drunk, lies with a shepherd's daughter. She goes to the king's castle and calls for justice. With the king's help, she finds the culprit. The king orders the knight to marry her; he laments his fate. (She reveals that she is richer than he.)
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1769 (Percy); title mentioned 1656 (stationer's register; tune from "The Dancing Master," 1652)
KEYWORDS: marriage betrayal trial royalty seduction rape knight
FOUND IN: Britain(England(All),Scotland(Aber)) US(NE,SE) Canada(Mar,Newf) Ireland
REFERENCES (28 citations):
Child 110, "The Knight and the Shepherd's Daughter" (16 texts)
Bronson 110, "The Knight and the Shepherd's Daughter" (24 versions+5 in addenda, though the last three are variants on each other and of dubious authenticity)
Bronson-SingingTraditionOfChildsPopularBallads 110, "The Knight and the Shepherd's Daughter" (7 versions: #2, #4, #8, #11, #14, #16, #17.1)
Percy/Wheatley-ReliquesOfAncientEnglishPoetry III, pp. 76-80, "The Knight, and Shepherd's Daughter" (1 text)
Rimbault-Musical IllustrationsOfBishopPercysReliques, XLVIII, p. 94, ""The Knight and Shepherd's Daughter" (1 partial text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #22c}
Buchan/Moreira-TheGlenbuchatBallads, pp. 193-198, "Earl Richard" (1 text)
Greig/Duncan7 1465, Greig/Duncan8 Addenda, "Earl Richard" (7 texts, 3 tunes) {A=Bronson's #20, B=#15, C=#16}
Williams-FolkSongsOfTheUpperThames, pp. 102-103, "The Shepherd's Daughter" (also Williams-Wiltshire-WSRO Gl 126) (1 text)
Kidson-TraditionalTunes, pp. 19-21, "The Knight and Shepherd's Daughter" (2 fragments, 1 tune)
OShaughnessy/Grainger-TwentyOneLincolnshireFolkSongs 19, "Shepherd's Daughter" (1 text, 1 tune)
Roud/Bishop-NewPenguinBookOfEnglishFolkSongs #31, "The Knight and the Shepherd's Daughter" (1 text, 1 tune)
Brown/Belden/Hudson-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore2 31, "The Knight and Shepherd's Daughter" (1 text)
Creighton-MaritimeFolkSongs, pp. 17-18, "The Knight and the Shepherd's Daughter" (1 text, 1 tune)
Greenleaf/Mansfield-BalladsAndSeaSongsOfNewfoundland 15, "The Knight and the Shepherd's Daughter" (1 text)
Peacock, pp. 230-232, "Sir William" (1 text, 1 tune)
Leach-TheBalladBook, pp. 315-320, "The Knight and the Shepherd's Daughter" (2 texts)
Friedman-Viking/PenguinBookOfFolkBallads, p. 150, "The Knight and the Shepherd's Daughter" (1 text)
Sharp-OneHundredEnglishFolksongs 3, "The Knight and the Shepherd's Daughter" (1 text, 1 tune)
Karpeles-TheCrystalSpring 17, "The Knight and the Shepherd's Daughter" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #2}
Niles-BalladBookOfJohnJacobNiles 40, "The Knight and the Shepherd's Daughter" (1 text, 1 tune)
Buchan-ABookOfScottishBallads 32, "The Knight and Shepherd's Daughter" (1 text)
Huntington-SongsTheWhalemenSang, pp. 185-186, "The Shepherd's Daughter" (1 text, 1 tune)
Chappell-PopularMusicOfTheOldenTime, pp. 126-127, "The Shepher's Daughter" (1 excerpt, 1 tune) {Bronson's #22c}
Chappell/Wooldridge-OldEnglishPopularMusic I, p. 289, "The Shepherd's Daughter" (1 tune, called "Parson Upon Dorothy" in Chappell's sources) {Bronson's #22c}
Whitelaw-BookOfScottishBallads, pp. 280-283, "Earl Richard" (1 text)
Morgan-MedievalBallads-ChivalryRomanceAndEverydayLife, pp. 59-62, "The Knight and Shepherd's Daughter" (1 text)
Olson-BroadsideBalladIndex, ZN2533, "There was a Shepherd's daughter"

Roud #67
James Decker, "Sir William" (on PeacockCDROM) [one verse only]
Lizzie Higgins, "The Forester" (on Voice06) (on LHiggins01)
John Strachan, "The Royal Forester (The Knight and the Shepherd's Daughter" (on FSB5, FSBBAL2) {Bronson's #17.1 in addenda}

cf. "Haselbury Girl, The (The Maid of Tottenham, The Aylesbury Girl)"
Knight William and the Shepherd's Daughter
The Shepherd's Daughter and the King
The Marigool
The Earl o' Stafford's Daughter
NOTES [417 words]: Regarding the date, Rollins, #173, p. 23, has this entry: "beautiful shepherdesse of Arcadia &c. (May 15, 1656, ii. 58, Wm. Gilbertson [Beg. 'There was a Shepherd's daughter,' R[oxburghe] B[allads] III, 449; Child, No. 110.....]"
What might be a fragment of this ballad is found in (John Fletcher and) Francis Beaumont's 1611 play "The Knight of the Burning Pestle", Act II. It's Act II, scene viii, lines 57-60 in Wine (p. 335); KnightOfBurningPestle/Zitner, which does not mark scenes, makes it Act II, lines 492-495 (p. 101, with possible music on pp. 178-179); in KnightOfBurningPestle/Hattaway, p. 55, makes it Act II, lines 484-487:
He set her on a milk-white steed,
And himself upon a gray;
He never turned his face again
But he bore her quite away.
(For more on "The Knight of the Burning Pestle," see the notes to "Three Merry Men.")
Of course, it might be a fragment of "Lady Isabel" or "The Baffled Knight" or several other ballads as well. KnightOfBurningPestle/Zitner, pp.178-179, mentions Child 110 and "The Douglas Tragedy" (but falsely calls "The Douglas Tragedy" Child 10 rather than Child 7).
Morgan-MedievalBallads-ChivalryRomanceAndEverydayLife also thinks Fletcher quoted the song in "The Pilgrim" from 1621 (a statement also supported by David Atkinson in his essay "Was There Really a 'Mass Extinction of Old Ballads'?") -- though it should be noted that the "Knight of the Burning Pestle" is thought by many to be by Beaumont alone, not Beaumont and Fletcher, so we have no reason to think Fletcher knew or cared for the song.
Lynn M. Wollstadt, "Repainting the Lion: 'The Wife of Bath's Tale' and A Traditional British Ballad," article on pp. 199-212 of Passmore/Carter, notes the similarities of this song to the Loathly Lady tales (e.g. "The Marriage of Sir Gawain," "Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnall," Gower's "Tale of Florent," and Chaucer's "Wife of Bath's Tale"). She notes particularly a connection to the Wife of Bath's Tale in that both that story and this ballad begin with a rape which results in a quest for redress and ends with the rapist getting a happier ending that he deserves. But I would argue that the result is different; in the Wife's tale, the knight gets *a different wife than the woman he raped*. In this ballad, it is the raped woman who seeks out her rapist and ends up marrying him. The motifs are largely the same; the actual plot is very different. - RBW
For a discussion of the cursing verses in Child 110E see " Lady Margaret and Sweet Willie." - BS
Bibliography Last updated in version 6.2
File: C110

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