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depository in which we should have expected to find them. The pieces referring to the Regent's death, contained in the Roxburghe Collection, are—“ The Complaint of Scotland,” “ The Admonitioun to the Lordis,” “Maddeis Lamentation,” “Maddeis Proclamation,” “The Poysonit Shot,” “ The Regentis Tragedie,” and “The Kingis Complaint.” They were most probably written in anticipation of the proposed convention of the whole nobility of the kingdom (appointed to be held on the 4th of March 1569-70, for the purpose of considering the offers of Elizabeth), and with the object of exciting the populace, and intimidating Mary's party. Our first extract is from “The Admonitioun to the Lordis."
“ For lois thow Lythquo may miserably lament
Thy fait Infortunat and duilfull destanie;
And seik thair blude that hes his body borde.
“ Gif wicked vice first sen the warld began,
Had age be age but punishment increst,
Quhat vice rais up revolve into zour minds ;
For mortall malice and curst covetice,
pure and riche thy vennoume hes gart feill,
In place of peace now murther weir uprasis,
The ane for wrak, the tother for defence.” We give one verse from “ Maddeis Proclamation,” which appears to point to the object for which it was written.
6. Thairfoir my Lords, as best accords,
Sen ze ar hapnit hidder,
Zour hartis mak to swidder.” The name of Sir Andrew Barton is celebrated in Scottish history as that of the ablest sea officer of James IV., and in Eng
lish ballads as belonging to a most redoubtable pirate. Acting under letters of marque, granted against the Portuguese, it was asserted that he abused his license, and made free with the goods and chattels of English merchants. Sir Thomas and Sir Edward Howard, the sons of the Earl of Surrey, sailed against him, and after an obstinate engagement succeeded in capturing his two ships. Barton himself perished in the action. This event is said to have been the main cause of the war between Henry and James, which terminated in the fatal battle of Flodden Field. It is certain that it formed a very prominent feature in the letter of remonstrance addressed by James to Henry, while the latter was engaged with his troops before Terouen. The ballad founded upon the battle between Barton and the Howards has been reprinted by several collectors : we give the first verse, however, as Percy's version (that best known) bears evident marks of being an“ improved edition.”
“When Flora with her fragrant flowers
bedeckt the earth so trim and gay, And Neptune with his dainty showers
came to present the month of May ; King Henry would a hunting ride,
over the river of Thames past he, Unto a mountain top also
did walk some pleasure for to see, Where forty merchants he espyed
with fifty sail come towards him, Who then no sooner were arriv'd
but on their knees did thus complain :
to France, no voyage to be sure,
and robs us of our merchant ware. Of a very different character from the preceding is the "pleasant ballad, showing how two valiant knights, Sir J. Armstrong and Sir M. Musgrave, fell in love with the beautiful daughter of the Lady Dacres.
“ The Lady Dacres took her way
A bright and bonny lass.
To church repaired then,
With all his merry men.
Two greater friends there could not be,
Fit for a bonny lass.” The two friends fall desperately in love with the “bright and bonny lass,” and, as a matter of course, quarrel in most jealous sort. In order to put an end to the feud, the lady declares her preference for Sir J. Armstrong.
“ And Armstrong married was next day
With Isabel, his lady gay.
Like to a Scotchman dight,
The bridegroom for to fight.
For his fair, bonny lass.
Unto the lovely bride,
Did after Musgrave ride ;
About this bonny lass.
An hundred men that hapless day
Is deadly hate still biding." The execution of Lord Sanquhar for having assassinated a fencing-master, who, by an unlucky thrust, had put out one of his
eyes, is well known. The firmness with which James resisted all applications for his pardon is attributed, in some degree, to the prevalence of duelling at that period, but particularly to the melancholy event celebrated in the “ Lamentable ballad of a combate lately fought near London between Sir James Steward and Sir George Wharton, knights, who were both slain.”
“ It grieves my heart to tell the woe
That did near London late befal
I grieve the chance, and ever shall.
Who very rashly fell at words,
Till they fell both by their keen swords.
They met accordingly, and both fell. The place of meeting, however, was not Waltham, but Canonbury Fields, near Islington. The bodies of the unfortunate combatants were both interred in one grave at Islington, by order of King James.*
Poor Queen Elinor, the wife of Edward I. of England, appears from some unaccountable circumstance to have been no great favourite with the ballad writers of the age of the Roundheads. Miss Strickland insists that it was all a mistake on the part of the minstrels as to the person, and that they had confounded Eleanor of Provence, the Queen of Henry III., who had squabbled with the city of London about Queenhithe, with Elinor, the wife of Edward I., whose name was connected with Charing Cross. We are inclined to go a little farther, and to conclude that the “ mistake” was not confined to the person. However, as we are prepared to admit that historical ballads are not obliged to have more of history in them than historical novels, we shall proceed to put our readers in a situation to judge for themselves by a short extract from one of these most veracious histories—« The lamentable fall of Queene Elnor, who, for her pride and wickednesse, by God's judgment, sunke into the grounde at Charing Crosse, and rose up at Queen hive.”
“ When Edward was in England king,
The first of all that name,
A stately Spanish dame,
Through England did excel :
This queene was known full well.
* The entry in the parish register of St. Mary, Islington, is as follows :—“Sr. George Wharton, sonne of Ld. Wharton, was buried the 10th of November 1609. James Steward, Esq., godsonne to King James, was buried the 10th of November 1609."-Nelson's Hist. of Islington, p. 357.