Heir of Linne (I), The [Child 267]

DESCRIPTION: The Heir wastes his money in gambling and wild living, (sells his lands,) and falls into poverty. He remembers a (letter/key) to be used only when he is in need. It tells him where to find a treasure; the Heir is once again rich -- and now wiser
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: before 1750 (Percy Folio)
LONG DESCRIPTION: "The Lord of Linn wastes his substance in riotous living. John of the Scales persuades him to sell his estate. He wastes the purchase money too, and is soon in great distress. He goes to Edinburgh and begs, and is abused. Bethinks him of a bill his father had left him, only to be looked at in dire necessity. Looks at it now, and is informed of a fresh store of money. Fills his wallet from it. Goes to John of the Scales' house, is rudely treated by John's wife, but spoken for by one of the guests. John mockingly offers to resell the estate for 20 shillings less than he gave for it. The heir takes him at his word, and pays down the money. John's wife is much crestfallen. The kind guest is rewarded. The heir vows to be more careful."
KEYWORDS: money gambling drink poverty begging
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (17 citations):
Child 267, "The Heir of Linne" (3 texts)
Bronson 267, "The Heir of Linne" (4 versions)
Bronson-SingingTraditionOfChildsPopularBallads 267, "The Heir of Linne" (2 versions: #1, #3)
Hales/Furnival-BishopPercysFolioManuscript, volume I, pp. 174-179, "The Heir of Lin" (1 text)
Percy/Wheatley-ReliquesOfAncientEnglishPoetry II, pp. 147-150, "The Heir of Linne" (1 text)
Ritson-AncientSongsBalladsFromHenrySecondToTheRevolution, pp. 217-225, "The Heir of Linne" (1 text)
Chambers-ScottishBallads, pp. 275-284, "The Heir of Linne" (1 text)
Greig-FolkSongInBuchan-FolkSongOfTheNorthEast #72, p. 1, "The Heir o' Linne" (1 text)
Greig/Duncan2 273, "The Heir o' Linne" (3 texts, 2 tunes) {A=Bronson's #2, B=#3}
Dixon-ScottishTraditionalVersionsOfAncientBallads IV, pp. 30-36, "The Heir of Linne" (1 text)
Leach-TheBalladBook, pp. 637-641, "The Heir of Linne" (1 text)
Whitelaw-BookOfScottishBallads, p. 81, "The Heir of Linne" (1 text fragment)
Quiller-Couch-OxfordBookOfBallads 80, "The Heir of Linne" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: Katherine Briggs, _A Dictionary of British Folk-Tales in the English Language_, Part A: Folk Narratives, 1970 (I use the 1971 Routledge paperback that combines volumes A.1 and A.2), volume A.2, p. 406, "The Heir of Linne" (a prose summary)
John W Hales and Frederick J Furnivall, Bishop Percy's Folio Manuscript (London: N Trubner & Co, 1867 ("Digitized by Google")), Vol. I,, pp. 174-179, "The Heir of Lin" ("Off all the lords in faire Scotland a song I will begin") (1 text)
MANUSCRIPT: {MSPercyFolio}, The Percy Folio, London, British Library MS. Additional 27879, page 267

Roud #111
cf. "The Heir of Linne" (II) (derived from this song)
NOTES [168 words]: Child lists many foreign analogues to this ballad. It should not be assumed, however, that they are actually related; the theme is commonplace. Indeed, it could easily be suggested by the Biblical story of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32); the only real difference is that, in the New Testament story, the father is still alive.
Still, Bronson links the tune loosely with "The Boom o' Cowdenknowes" -- which would make sense if someone were translating a text and fitting it to a British tune. - RBW
Hales and Furnivall is the source for Percy/Wheatley-ReliquesOfAncientEnglishPoetry and Child 267B. It is included here because it is referenced in the notes to Percy's ballad, "The Heir of Linne (II)." The Long Description is a quote of Percy's marginal notes to the Hales and Furnivall text, included here to provide a base, from Percy's point of view, to his new song. - BS
(As Hales and Furnivall commented tartly, volume I, p. 174, Percy "polished [his text] till he could see his own face in it." - RBW
Last updated in version 5.3
File: C267

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 2021 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.