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Glimpses into the nineteenth century broadside ballad trade

No.42: Hurd of Shaftesbury1

In an attempt to put together a comprehensive account of Ring Hurd's career as a printer of ballads, this enquiry involves assembly of detail from various online resources such as census records and, indeed, online oddments, so as to give us some knowledge of Hurd as a human being; and then presents a survey of all his known printings and comparisons with printings of the same ballads from others so as to establish, as far as possible, a time-scale for his activities and a sense of both his use of conventional commercial practice - through imitation (and, perhaps, 'borrowing') - and of the occasions when he offers a view of his independence in choice and presentation of material.  This follows the practice used in surveying the Porter corpus in the previous article in this series (and in other articles where it was possible).  It is by no means a foolproof enterprise as the case of Porter proved and there are still various paths and side-issues to be explored but it is possible to move a long way from the one clear reference to Hurd as it is found in the British Book Trades Index (the given date is 1830), towards the delineation of a period of ballad-printing that would appear to encompass at least the second decade of the nineteenth century.  This then allows us a view of Hurd as one of a number of ballad printers whose lives and careers were prominent before the upsurge of the 1830s and 1840s, the accepted hey-day of ballad-printing. 

Again, as in the case of Porter, then, discussion here involves a to-ing and a fro-ing amongst separate printer histories and, quite often, with the one sometimes reinforcing the other.  Time and again the same names crop up along with that of Hurd - Evans, Jennings, Pitts (predictably) from both his addresses before and after 1819 and Catnach with a starting date that coincides with the appearance of Hurd's known first ballad (as will be seen), although the careers of both the major printers extended well beyond that of Hurd.  Then there are printers such as Sarah Taylor and Mate in Dover who also feature, if through fewer examples.  Gradually, it becomes possible to abstract enough details of copy from printers, Hurd included, that help to determine a period of popularity for particular ballads and, therefore, a likely time for wholesale issue.  At the same time, short of producing detailed histories of each and every printer, the course followed here does, at times, involve a leap of faith.  Readers with better access to material may be able to refine the suggestions made here.  In fact, it has to be said at the outset that often it is still not usually possible to get very close to times of issue for any one ballad, such a prospect being probably lost to us - there is a lack of any detail of commercial transactions, for instance.  Many of the better clues lie in internal hints and historical reference although qualifications emerge at once, as discussion will show.  There is, though, sufficient evidence to be able to gain an over-view of Hurd's career as a ballad-printer.

Whilst travelling amongst the details of this and that ballad and the lives and careers of this and that printer it is tempting to pursue routes along some of the byways.  It is hoped that where this happens, the resultant assemblage is not too remote or irrelevant - tune histories provide an example and there are at least three that are pursued to a degree in discussion below.  Likewise, there are some potted histories of printers.  The inclusion or otherwise of material relating to what may appear to be subjects of indirect importance is inevitably uneven and certain aspects probably deserve a separate and more detailed exploration.  Sometimes this has been acknowledged: and there are, indeed, one or two such explorations in the offing.

In many cases, therefore, apart from finding out more about printers who were contemporaries with Hurd and trying to see when particular ballads were popular amongst these same printers, there is some indication of subject-matter and kind - how the then current broadside balladry repertoire was, so to speak, constructed and can, perhaps, be distinguished from the collective assembly and the form and language of many ballads that emerged at other times.  This kind of currency change has not been pursued to any comprehensive degree, being a matter that would need detailed consideration mainly through the work of printers whose careers reach out to the mid-century mark and beyond: Walker in Norwich, Russell in Birmingham, Fordyce and Harkness.  In this series, notice has been given of an apparent drift amongst such printers towards a softer, even playful line even when time-honoured themes have been present - most often when ballads have been made about the subjects of love and lost love: not always and not wholesale, of course.

To bring us back on course, though: there are three major concerns.  The first is to try to establish when Hurd began and when he ceased to issue ballads.  The second is to see if there was, in actuality, a distinction between the two locations found on his ballads as 'Shaston' and 'Shaftesbury'.  The third is to try to discover the extent if not the full details of association between Hurd and other contemporary printers, notably Evans and Pitts in London, that may reinforce any suggestions made as to the time of issue for Hurd ballads.

There is a fourth consideration and that is to explore some of the connections between different aspects of what is often referred to as 'popular culture', in this case mainly between the printing of ballads and their appearance in the theatre.

It should be borne in mind that various sub-sections have been put together for convenience and that there could well have been other ways of ordering material.


That said, biography takes priority.

Ring Hurd, son of Philip Hurd, was born in Wincanton, Somerset on 21 October 1781.  Philip and Dorothy Ring had married on 8 September 1771.  There were other children from the union - Dorothy 22 August 1773, dying in 1780; Ann 19 April 1775 - who married a Richard Locke (of St Botolph) in 1797; Philip 3 May 1776; James 7 December in 1777 (there is more discussion of both Philip and James below in text); Laetitia 3 March 1779 - who married a John Hall in 1835; and Charles 27 August 1780 - who married a Mary Ann King in 1830.  After Ring Hurd's birth, there were, apparently, two other children - Martha, born 27 November 1783 and buried 1 May 1785 and Thomas, born 24 May 1786 and buried 28 May 1786.  It would seem that the first Dorothy's maiden accounts for the 'Ring' in Hurd's name.2

Whilst there are records to show something of the life-histories of all of the Hurd family, it was thought that the more useful course would to be to account for those of Philip Hurd senior, Philip Hurd junior and James Hurd, all of whom, sometimes obviously, played important parts in the trajectory of Ring Hurd's career.

It is known that in 1771 Philip Hurd senior, established in Wincanton, had been a Trustee of the Wincanton Non-conformist Meeting House in which capacity two other members of the Hurd family, John and William, were involved (by 1800 only William continued as a Trustee).  In 1771 Philip was an Overseer of the Parish in Wincanton.  It looks as if he had a close friendship with Richard Ring whose sister was Dorothy, Philip Hurd's future wife.  Ring was a prominent citizen in Wincanton during the eighteenth century.  There are references to his work as attorney in 1739 and 1749 and he acted in this capacity for the Association for Protection against Felony, set up in 1749.  He had also been the been town clerk during the period 1764-1768.  In 1775 he is noted as a solicitor in Wincanton.  He died in 1794 and was buried in Odcombe, Somerset (twenty miles to the west of Wincanton and four miles from Yeovil).  At this time he was described as an attorney.3

The senior Hurd's social status in Wincanton during the eighteenth century is indicated in a reference that gives the information that Philip Hurd ('Gent.') made a will that left £5,000 to his widow, this being 'Proved' on 5th April 1799; and he was buried in the same year in Wincanton.

The Hurd and Ring family connections can be traced further through Philip Hurd junior, Ring Hurd's brother, who seems to have maintained contacts, personal and professional, with Richard Ring junior, who got his Articles of Clerkship in 1796 and whose career continued to impinge on that of the Hurd family.  In 1798 an Act of Parliament for municipal improvements in paving, cleansing, lighting and regulation came into force in Wincanton and both Philip Hurd junior and the younger Richard Ring were appointed as 'Commissioners for putting this act into execution'.  This second Richard Ring then found his way to London where he set up as an attorney.  He had been a witness at Philip Hurd junior's wedding in 1817, along with a Moulton Messiter, member of yet another well-established Wincanton family.  Philip Hurd, in turn, had been a witness, along with Richard Ring, at the wedding of Letitia (sic) Ring to Reverend John Everett in 'Shaston' in 1784 - the particular form of geographical reference is further explored below.

This brief look at family background and connections indicates the general social milieu and status of the Hurd family but there is still the matter of Ring Hurd's removal from Wincanton to Shaftesbury.4

It could have been that Ring Hurd had moved from Wincanton through the agency of his brother, James, a surgeon.  There is nothing yet to determine whether or not James Hurd moved to Wincanton before his father's death (1799) but he was certainly a principal with regard to an apprentice's indenture in Shaftesbury in 1803; and he married his wife, Mary Hayward, in Shaftesbury, in 1811 when he was already working as a surgeon.

This marriage came after the arrival of a James Hurd, 'base born' to Mary Hayward and who was baptised on 5th April 1807; of Charles Hurd, also 'base born' to Mary, and baptised on 18th December 1808; and of a third child, Letitia, also 'base-born' to Mary in 1810 - before the births of four children to James Hurd and Mary Hayward: John, baptised on 3rd August 1812, Caroline, baptised 29th October 1813, William, buried, aged one year on 26th June 1816 and then Martha, baptised 25th December 1817 (and buried 26th November 1818).  There would seem to have been a long-term relationship between James and Mary considering the seemingly unconscionable time for Mary to have been producing children without any clear attachment and then the naming of children as 'Hurd'.  Nothing has yet emerged that would give a clue as to whether either James or Mary had been married before.

The relationship, later marriage, between the two, together with that 1803 date of the involvement of James in an apprenticeship, provides confirmation of James Hurd's residence in Shaftesbury during the first decade of the new century.

In 1807 James is listed as a Freeholder of property occupied by a Charles Roberts.  Pertinently, he features on Land Tax returns in Shaftesbury from 1810 right up until 1833 and he appeared on the electoral register in Shaftesbury in 1831.  He was also recorded as a resident in 1841 in 'Shaston', as already hinted an alternative name for Shaftesbury that gives us a headache in deciding if and when Ring Hurd printed out of both 'locations' (below).  James was still resident in 'Shaston' in 1845.  That he had a long career can first be established by a relatively late reference in a Pigot directory of 1830 where he is listed as a surgeon and as an agent for both Protector and Eagle 'Fire and Office Agents'.  He died in 1850.  His wife, Mary, had died the year before.5

Meanwhile, Ring Hurd was apprenticed as a bookseller to James Easton (1722-1799) in Salisbury.  The Eastons had more or less established a hierarchy in Salisbury beginning with Edward Easton (the first) who had set up as bookseller by 1720 and traded up until c.1763 and was followed by Edward Easton (the second) who worked between 1742 and 1799 after which he stood aside in favour of his nephew James, the mentor of Ring Hurd.  The first Edward Easton was prominent during a fair part of the eighteenth century and there are records of sermons and tracts published by him.  In partnership with a W Collins he operated as a bookseller in Silver Street, Salisbury in 1730 (interestingly the street where Fowler, very much an eighteenth century printer, had also operated and whose ballads form an extensive list found in the English Short Title Catalogue); and these two, together with a Charles Hooten, started a newspaper, the Salisbury Journal, at around that time (probably in 1729) though it failed after a year.  There are specific dates when Edward Easton took on apprentices: in 1757, 1763, 1767 and 1771; and James Easton did so from 1759 on. 

Eastons as booksellers feature in Pendrew's 1785 directory of Salisbury and in the 1792-1798 Universal British Directory ; and James Easton, almost certainly a brother of Edward, is listed as bookseller still in Holden's 1811 Directory.  It was James Easton, again in a family line of James Eastons, who is found as 'Printers, Booksellers and Stationers' between 1791 and 1810 in the High Street, Salisbury; but then he suffered a bankruptcy (no details have emerged so far), a not uncommon development amongst printers and others associated with the book trades, before re-establishing himself in Endless Street, Salisbury.  There are earlier references to James Easton that indicate a working life as far back as the 1770s and one online piece describes his activities as bookseller and publisher with operative dates between 1795 and 1799.  At the other end of the time-scale, he is found as printer and publisher ofThe Salisbury Guide in 1830 and successive editions of this volume were probably his lasting legacy.  He it was who took on Ring Hurd as an apprentice.6

Apprenticeships normally lasted seven years so the first date of Ring Hurd's working life would have been in 1804.  In that year he paid Land Tax 'for his house' in the parish of St.  Peter, Shaftesbury - which looks, then, as if this was immediately after his apprenticeship - and there are more recorded returns for 1810 in the parish of St.  Peter, Shaftesbury.  Ring Hurd continued to pay Land Tax returns but is also recorded as a tenant in St.  Peter's parish, Shaftesbury in both 1815 and 1816 where the proprietor was a Richard Messiter, a member of the Messiter family first encountered in Wincanton.  Thereafter, there are Land Tax records involving Hurd right through until at least 1832.7

Ring Hurd's emergence in Shaftesbury after 1804 and his brother's position already established in 1803 (at least) are rather too coincidental to be ignored.  And however this worked out in Ring Hurd's case the fact that he was associated with transactions and responsibilities at an early date does indicate a quick and, it seems, easy transition into a position as a house-owner and with an established occupation.  As details assembled so far show, both Ring Hurd and James Hurd would have appeared in the middling order of financial comfort, neither very poor nor very rich, and a reasonable appreciation of their social status can be gleaned.  Ring Hurd, when it came to the time that he issued ballads, would not necessarily have operated on any kind of breadline even if he did adopt various means to augment his income, printing being but one as can be seen in the attributions on ballad copy as discussed below.

Ring Hurd married Patience Rogers on 20th February 1813 or 1814 in Shaftesbury, Dorset - 'by consent'.  This most probably meant that the marriage had been solemnized in an Anglican church at a time when this was a legal requirement for all marriages but when, perhaps, one or the other or both partners were not members of the church.  Anglican churches were enabled to perform such marriages for those who practised their religion elsewhere and, given Ring Hurd's family past and the strong connections with nonconformity of his father, Philip, it could be supposed that Ring Hurd, too, was a nonconformist.

It looks as if Patience Rogers was the daughter of Charles and Patience and was born in October 1784 in Sherborne, Dorset.  Her death is recorded in Shaftesbury in 1844.

There was a son to Patience and Ring, Philip, baptised on 27th July during the same year as the marriage - and whose burial is recorded as having taken place on 4th August 1835 at Shaston St Peter, Shaftesbury.  Patience would have been around 50 years of age when Philip was born.  He was given a middle name of 'Ring'.8

Ring Hurd married again, on 2 March 1846, with Mary Short; but she died in 1849.  An unusual death entry gives us a coroner's verdict of 'Death by visitation of God'.

Undeterred, it seems, Hurd - described this time as being of 'full age, widower, bookseller, of Shaftesbury' with 'father Philip Hurd deceased' - married once more.  The marriage took place on 4 July in 1849 in the parish of St Dunstan's, city of London and the bride was Martha Miller, of 'full age, spinster of Fetter Lane' whose father had been 'James Miller deceased'.  She had been born in Kelvedon, Essex.  This location is spelled differently on different entries in records - Haldersin; Kelveden Common; Keldeven ... but is likely to have been Kelvedon, on the present-day A12, near to the town of Witham.

How Hurd came to marry in London is not quite clear but his brother, Philip (b.1776, as already noted), had enjoyed connections in London through his career.  This involved his being articled in 1793 and his emergence as an attorney in London and in this actually paralleled the advance of Richard Ring's son, Richard - already introduced into the equation.  Holden's Triennial Directory for 1808 indicates that Philip had become a 'Commissioner taking Affidavits for the county palatine of Lancaster' and had premises at 7 King's Bench Walk, Temple.  He was located at Furnival's Inn, London, in 1810.  A house number at the same address is given as 'No.7' in 1813 where he is described as acting as a solicitor.  There is a record of his involvement in articles of clerkship for a John Combes in 1816.  Admission Papers pertaining to the Freedom of the City of London were issued to him by the Company of Scriveners in May 1819.  He bought property in Kentish Town in the same year.  The firm of Hurd and Johnson, solicitors, are noted online in The Monthly Magazine for February 1827 as working out of Temple and another online reference gives the same information for 1829.  A May issue in the same year of the Salisbury and Winchester Journal indicates that Philip Hurd, 'Esq.', was treasurer of the society of 'Noblemen and Gentry of the County of Wilts.', residing in King's Bench Walk.  He died on 28th June 1831 in St Pancras, London (and his wife, Ann, whom he married in 1817, died on 26th March 1847).9

It would not be surprising, then, if Ring Hurd had made use of his brother Philip's London connections with regard to his third marriage or, at least, was given introductions.

And at this point it is useful to follow a degree of back-tracking that illuminates Hurd's working life.  Records for Ring Hurd, taking account of the BBTI reference to 1830, turn back onto an earlier period - fortunately underlining detail already given above.  In the 1841 census, for example, he is not only described as living in High Street, Shaftesbury (aged 55), but his birth - in this record - is listed as having taken place around 1786 'outside of Dorset'; and his occupation at the time of the census (1841) is given as 'printer'.  In census records for 1851 he was still in High Street, Shaftesbury together with Martha, his wife.  The 1861 census recorded him, aged 78, as being domiciled at 38 High Street, Shaftesbury and working as 'Printer, Bookseller, Stationer'.  And in this entry there is not only a birth-date of 1783 (sic) but we find the crucial information that gives his birthplace as Wincanton, Somerset.  Further in this run of references, the 1871 Shaftesbury census indicated that Hurd had removed to 74 Salisbury Street, aged 89, still working - as a 'Bookseller'.  This would place his birth-date in 1782 (often birth-dates as given in records could vary within a few years and it could have been that Hurd was, as fist indicated above, born in 1781 but then christened in 1782).  Martha was also named and her age given as 63 (her birthplace was now named as 'Haldersin, Essex').

These details subsume the dates of Land Tax returns that have already been referred to and, altogether, Hurd can be seen to have been an established resident of Shaftesbury for the whole of his working life.

Hurd's death is recorded as having taken place in September 1873 at Salisbury Street, Shaftesbury, when he was 91 (Hurd's birth-date thus reverts to 1782).  Notice of his death is found in the National Probate Calendar records for 18thOctober, 1873.  He left a Will - the 'Effects' amounted to less than £100.  This might seem to represent a decline in fortune - if so, as a slight surprise when set against Land Tax returns; but the fate of Martha might underline such a fall from grace since she is recorded in the 1891 census as living at 57 Alms House, in Salisbury Street, Shaftesbury as an inmate and a widow aged 82 (and her birthplace is noted, again clumsily, as 'Kelvendon, Essex').  She died in September 1898, aged 89.  There were no children from the marriage, not at all surprising given the respective ages of Ring and Martha Hurd.

The various small contradictions in records, common enough all round, can be resolved in favour of a visible time-line for Hurd.

A more exact description of his working life can also be put together.  There is a note in the Salisbury and Winchester Journal for 14 May 1804 that records Hurd as a commissioner for Dorset and several surrounding counties at the court of the Kings Bench, and in which Hurd was described as a printer, bookseller and stationer - this was just as his apprenticeship in Salisbury ended and 'bookseller' was his nominated profession; and, given the success of Philip Hurd the younger in his own chosen profession, it might well have been that Philip had exerted some influence on behalf of his brother.  The Sherborne Mercury of the same date confirms the appointment.  It could well have been that the reports were syndicated as they have found to have been in respect of some murder enquiries.  This was normal practice where news spread out, most often from London.  The newspaper notes that Hurd was operating as a printer in High Street, Shaftesbury (the date, of course, coincides with the end of his apprenticeship).  Yet the Salisbury and Winchester Journal for 29th February 1808 only records him as a bookseller in Shaftesbury.  Holden's 1811 Director, on the other hand, indicates that Hurd was established in 1811 as a bookseller and stationer in Shaftesbury town.

It looks as if the professions as described can not necessarily be separated in actuality - something of an unexplored area in the association of the terms 'printer', 'stationer' and 'publisher' as was found in the case of Porter and, indeed, here in the case of the Eastons,  Similarly, the terms 'printer' and 'publisher' might be interchangeable.  Frequently, too, material was printed or published 'for' as well as 'by' one particular person (this will be seen to have been the case with Oxlade in Portsea as a forthcoming article will demonstrate).

A British Book Trade Index notice gives a single date of 1830 for Hurd that would appear to have used Pigot's 1830 street directory as source - and in that reference Hurd was listed as 'Booksellers, stationers, printers and binders' with an address given as High Street, Shaftesbury - the use of the plural may even indicate a joint venture, perhaps with his wife.  However, the apparently straightforward - and comprehensive - nature of the BBTI reference is modified somewhat as far as balladry is concerned since when his stock is examined it becomes clear that all the known Hurd ballads that can be found in Madden, were issued before the 1830s.

Thus there is no surety as to the exact nature of his activities when Hurd is listed again in Pigot's 1842 directory in the same terms as those found in the 1830 entry; and the mixing of occupations as referred to briefly here adds to the apparent need for caution.  In 1849, another Pigot entry lists Hurd only as bookseller and stationer and this confirms the description given of him at his third wedding in that year.  Yet, in 1851, Hunt's Trade Directory had him as 'bookseller, stationer and printer' (my italics) and still working out of High Street.  The 1855 Post Office directory had him still in High Street and listed under 'booksellers' and 'stationers', another suggestion that he was not working absolutely on his own: though, at present, there is no way of either confirming or disputing this possibility.  Kelly's 1859 directory listed him in exactly the same way as can be found in the Post Office directory.  An entry in 'J G Harrod & Co., Postal and Commercial Directory Dorset and Wiltshire' of 1865 had Ring Hurd as 'bookseller, stationer and newspaper agent'; and the Post Office Directory for 1867 had him under 'Booksellers and stationers', High Street, Shaftesbury.  Together, these references do establish parameters for Hurd's entire working life but they need to be refined for immediate purposes.10


There is, then, still some filling-out to do.  Luckily, in one way, Hurd's output as it is located in the Madden collection, is small.  There are but fifty-three separate titles and one more title that appears twice, all listed in Steve Roud's index (but there is a slight initial doubt about some of them, as described further below).  Two of these titles,The Waterloo Hero and The dumb wife's tongue let loose, can also be found in the Bodleian archives and there are four ballads in the St Bride collection in London.  These are Broken-hearted Peggy; or, The Forlorn Stranger...,The Dawning of the Day; or, a Warning to Young Women...,Lamentation and parting of the true-hearted couple and Copy of Verses on the lamented death of Caroline, Queen of England, ballads that will all turn out to have been issued at various stages in Hurd's ballad-printing career.11

In the Hurd oeuvres, attributions on copy vary from the briefest of statements such as 'Hurd, Printer, Shaston', 'Ring Hurd, printer, Shaftesbury' and 'Printed and Sold by Hurd, Shaftesbury'; and then, on other copy, involve more fulsome detail - 'Hurd, Printer, Bookseller & Binder, Music-Seller, Perfumer, Druggist, Toy-Dealer, Shaftesbury' or 'Printed and Sold by R. Hurd, Bookseller, Stationer, Music Seller, Bookbinder, Druggist, Perfumer, and Toy Dealer, Shaftesbury'.  There are eight ballads with these extensive attributions on them, all referring to 'Shaftesbury', and one other ballad with an extended reference that was printed in 'Shaston' and thus inconveniently posing questions about location.  The attributions noted above are in themselves sufficient evidence to show that Hurd shared in a common practice amongst printers of taking on various jobs in addition to printing.12

Seven ballads that carry no attribution but are filed in Madden with the rest of his output would seem to have been issued at various stages during Hurd's career.  Three have woodcuts as headers that are used on other Hurd ballads where there is an an address or where their style and presentation can be related: Banks of Inverary, The Squire's Change and Casting away of the Dragon .  Two have printer's patterns or devices: The Blacksmith and Young Hodge.  Two are blank: Dolly Duggins and Gilderoy's Farewell .  In addition, there is a poor print of The Waterloo Hero available and it is not possible to see if there is an attribution and neither is there a woodcut or device as header.

A survey of the rest of the Hurd cache shows that Hurd tended to favour woodcuts and that these can not be pinned down to a particular time in terms of usage.  There are some ballads too, such as The Death of Parker and The Death of the Princess Charlotte, clearly marked as having been issued from 'Shaftesbury', seen below to have embraced a measureable period in time, that have printers' patterns as headers.  Conversely, The Banks of Inverary, without any attribution, carries a woodcut as header.  The presence or absence of a woodcut does not, then, confer any important distinction on Hurd's ballad-sheets and does not help distinguish any potential difference in time for work at the two possible locations named here.  Quite simply, Hurd may have varied the look of ballads in respect of header-blocks.  There is no reason to dispute Madden's placing of all these pieces as copy from Hurd.

There is one further point.  As noted above, Hurd's woodcuts are used and re-used (and not always with much relevance to the subject-matter).  Such usage can be found as exercised by other printers.  Pitts, for instance, used blocks for some of his ballads that had been used in the seventeenth century.  Hurd's woodcuts, too, have representations on them that seemingly date from an earlier period in time than his own.  There is a further gloss on this phenomenon from Leslie Shepard who, in his book on Pitts and when discussing broadsheets of Christmas carols, referred to the presence on them of 'elaborate illustrations with strange grotesque little vignettes'.  He went on to give an anecdote involving William Hone when Hone had asked the printer Batchelar if he would sell the original blocks used for his carol sheets:

Judged by the appearance of many ballads with 'old'-looking header-blocks on them, this must have been a widespread opinion amongst printers and not at all a surprising feature of Hurd ballads.

However, the adoption of two different names as location elevates one over-riding historical point that has a strong bearing on the delineation of Hurd's working life.  It is known that 'Shaston' and 'Shaftesbury' were interchangeable as historical and geographical references.  There are numbers of references to 'Shaston' that can be dated to the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and 'Shaston' remained as a common enough referral too during the period of Hurd's career as ballad-printer and after.  Misfortunately, there has grown up recently an inaccurate idea that 'Shaston' was an invention of Thomas Hardy where his 'works' and his 'novels' are cited in a rather cavalier fashion with Jude the Obscure as principal source, whereas Hardy merely used the name as a convenience.  The more reliable references lie in official records such as censuses and, say, church or parish records where, in one case, in Motcombe, just north-east of Shaftesbury, registers of marriages and deaths, in whichever historical time, always cite 'Shaston' and not 'Shaftesbury'.14

This question of name-change for the location of Hurd's printing of ballads remains vexed ...  The odds are that there is no difference in location.  It is worth noting that there is not a single mention of 'Shaston' in any of the Hurd life details as adduced above.  Thus, it is tempting to think of 'Shaston' as having been used as a local name only.


Still, where Hurd's ballads are concerned, it is relatively easy to establish some working parameters to Hurd's activities by examining the seventeen ballads that were issued from 'Shaftesbury' and within that compass to focus first on those ballads that have a historical event as subject and which place his ballad-printing endeavours firmly within the second decade and the beginning of the third decade of the nineteenth century, well before the Pigot and BBTI general reference to 1830.  This gives us firm ground from which to survey the rest of his ballad output - albeit one that works, as it were, backwards.

The earliest ballad that can be fairly dated, 'Printed & Sold by Hurd, Shaftesbury', was entitled A Copy of Verses On the Inhuman Murder Lately committed by Ruddock and Carpenter; Likewise on their Trial and execution.

The execution took place in 1813.  Various newspapers up and down the country (Leeds Mercury, Ipswich Journal, Trewman's Exeter Flying Post ... for instance) all carried reports of the murder and The Salisbury and Winchester Journal provides a summary of the initial processes of the law:

The qualification in that report is not mirrored in the ballad which deals more straightforwardly with the matter - The interjection ''Tis said' may well have been produced merely for the sake of rhyme but we also find more of the kind (my italics) - 'Ruddock shot th' Farmer as they said ' and 'These cruel Wretches, I heard tell'', a device familiar from much murder balladry and, maybe, saving the printer the possible embarrassment of getting details wrong.  The piece goes on to describe how the two perpetrators first shot Webb (Ruddock) and then beat him with a flail (Carpenter).  According to the ballad Mary Gibbons had her throat cut and she was thrown down a well ... The two were apprehended, imprisoned, went to trial and, as The Bury and Norwich Post put it: As the ballad had it, after prayer in 'Warminster Church': The ballad certainly accords in style to other murder balladry, inclusive of familiar phraseology if not in exact terms.  The second-hand claims, as noted, are prominent enough.  There is also what is a conventionally feeble-sounding description - 'wicked Crime' - and how in prison the two men were 'left in sorrow to lament' and then that they were: There are, though, no appeals to God's mercy nor any prolonged self-criticism, nor any warnings to the young as there are in many other such ballads.  But Hurd's ballad does at least cover the full story instead of stopping short, as many ballads do, before trial and execution.

All told, Hurd looks to have been aware of both how to appeal to a public through treatment of a current event and, more specifically, of the traditions of murder balladry; but he never issued another ballad of this sort as far as can be ascertained.  The two major points that bear are that, firstly, there is overwhelming evidence, discussed previously on this site, that murder ballads were not normally issued retrospectively so that the date of Hurd's issue can almost certainly be taken as being contemporary with the murder; and, secondly, that the particular ballad appears to be unique to Hurd and there are no other ballads about the event either.  A more minor point may be that James Easton, Hurd's 'master', actually published a book on the murder in 1813.17

The next port of call would be at the three ballads Hurd printed that were associated with the battle of Waterloo, thus demonstrating more interest in current events and his appreciation of what was popular as balladry at the time.  These Waterloo ballads, ipso facto, preclude any date earlier than 1815 for printing.

The first to be considered is Elvina of Waterloo - with Hurd's unique spelling of the name both in title and text: all other copy has 'Elwina'.18  It looks, too, as if the ballad as broadside text circulated in only one form.  The ballad begins by introducing Waterloo in a manner that might suggest that it will survey the events of the day:

Then the protagonist is wounded and 'A female charming appear'd to my view'...' the lovely ELVINA'... Thus the narrative concentrates on the possibilities for the protagonist and the 'sweet maiden' to wed; 'And a blushing consent from the fair one I drew'.  Further, this union would 'grace the first circles of Happy Old England'.  It is, in the end, a very modest ballad and says little about the battle itself.

Evans in Long-lane would seem to have been one of the earliest printers of Elwina...  The Evans history has been partly explored in the course of the previous article in this series and it is sufficient here to indicate that all bar one of the Evans ballads that can be found shared with Hurd were printed, it seems, by John Evans (who died in 1820) in 'Long-lane'.  The exception is The Happy Stranger, that came from T.  Evans (1790-1813) - but from the same address.  So that it might well be possible to shorten the odds for the printing of the Evans Elwina... to a time during the five years after Waterloo and before 1820.19

This is the period, too, when Pitts issued the piece from his first address between 1802 and 1819 - logically, between 1815 and 1819; and there is copy from Catnach after 1813, similarly closed down by the date of the battle of Waterloo if contemporary reference was an important factor.  Pitts, it should be said, reissued the piece after 1819.  Catnach, with open-ended production dates, had the title in his 1832 list.

There are but slight textual variations.  All copy of the ballad, including that from Hurd, had the same narrative line, beginning with 'The trumpet has sounded...' as set out above.  Evans has lines mentioning the 'lilly' and the 'vi'let' and a further reference to 'happy Old England'.  Pitts has 'lilly' and 'violet' and 'happy old England'.  Otherwise, there is nothing of note in terms of change in this or in other copy.20

In the case of 'Elvina...' Evans and Pitts can be seen to have been the important associative printers in Hurd's progress and this association is further explored below.

The next printer in historical line was Armstrong (who had copy printed for him) and he issued the piece between 1820 and 1824 in Liverpool; and there is a version from Booth in Selby - according to the BBTI, a William Booth printed from 1818 to 1822 although a William Boothe printed between 1822-1828 and the index even suggests that these two might have been one and the same man.  In whatever way this family hierarchy is viewed, the earliest possible 'Booth' date of copy of Elwina... would have been in 1818, a date which might - just - have coincided with Hurd output.  Armstrong, on the other hand, was almost wholly outside this compass.21

There are only two extant copies of the ballad from other printers of the piece - Plant in Derby and Such in London.  James Plant printed between 1818 and 1824; another, then, who just may have printed the ballad at the same time as Hurd but whose working dates, like those of Armstrong, extend the period of time during which the ballad could have appeared.  Such may be entirely discounted in terms of pinpointing any early date for issue because copy of Elwina... was printed from 123 Union Street, his given address from around 1849-1850.22  Such, indeed, has such a cornucopia of works that it is difficult to find a pattern except that he issued and re-issued ballads, seemingly, to the extent that he might seem to have disregarded the current popularity of any one piece and himself set a tone.

Luckily, the employment of a particular tune does help to delineate the period for issue of Elvina... .  On copy from Evans, Pitts and Armstrong (but not, it should be said, on Hurd copy), Jessy the Flower o' Dumblain is recommended as a suitable tune (there is alternative spelling on Armstrong copy: 'Jessie' and 'Dumblane') and the first fortunes of Jessy... (or Jessie...) might edge us near to a date for issue.  Text, first published in 1808, was actually from Robert Tannahill who, it seems, spelled his title as Jessie the Flower o' Dunblane.  Even more relevantly, the tune is claimed by Robert Archibald Smith, a friend of Tannahill's, and Smith did not set the text until 1816.  It looks, then, as if printings of Elwina... could not have had reference to the Jessie... tune in 1815 and that copy appeared at a slightly later date.23

Hurd could even be seen as a precursor in printing Elvina...  Whether or not this was so, the odds on his printing his Elvina... at or around the the years 1815-1820 and in association with the flourish of printed copy as discussed here above, look to be solid enough; and his 'Shaftesbury' location is thereby partly delineated.

The second ballad in this brief sequence isThe Waterloo Hero, also known as The Loss of one hero (sometimes 'our' hero).  The narrative, like that of Elvina... concerns two lovers who were separated through the exigencies of wars, in this specific case because of the battle of Waterloo.

The piece opens as follows:

William had fought through Portugal, France and Spain 'Till the last destructive battle' that took place 'On the plains of Waterloo'.  Nevertheless, he had time to write a letter of farewell and to admit previous inconstancy ... the emphasis is all on the faithfulness of Nancy.  Text in Hurd copy is from then on hard to read but there seem to be very little difference amongst the various issues so that lines from elsewhere may be taken to complete the textual narrative.  Thus, it turns out that Nancy was left broken-hearted; and whilst Hurd copy at this point is not very legible, the direction of the narrative is likely to have been commensurate with that on Pitts copy as follows: Pitts copy, however, was not issued until after 1819.

Nevertheless, Catnach, Pitts and Birt all had the same text bar the one or two words such as 'This news...' as opposed to 'The news...'.  Catnach copy has the title as The loss of our hero, or, The Plains of Waterloo, the only copy displaying this second phrase.  It is quite possible that Catnach issued the piece before Pitts - that is between 1815 and 1819, after which time Pitts took it up.24

Armstrong, whose title included 'our' rather than 'one', also printed the ballad but, as has already been noted, he is only just on the verge of Hurd's printing life.  After Armstrong, the printing trail meanders and is unlikely to provide any clues to Hurd's contribution.  Walker in Norwich issued the piece from his Duke's Palace address which dates it between 1820 and 1827 (and he leaves out the final stanza as Hurd had it and did change a word or two, one of a myriad of examples that show how printers adapted text as years passed).  Birt copy would not have been issued until 1824 at the earliest (his trading dates extended to 1841) and this puts him outside any equation involving Hurd.  Jackson, like Birt, must have followed precedent and his printing period between 1842 and 1855 leaves Hurd far behind.  Harkness copy with the title The loss of a hero is very 'late' (1840-1866) in comparison to Hurd as is Nugent, printing in Dublin between 1850 and 1899.  There is one copy without imprint that has the title The Loss of our hero or, Sweet William - the only copy with the 'Sweet William' reference yet on which, otherwise, the text is the same as in other copy.25

All text was, obviously, printed retrospectively but, whatever the exact date of Hurd issue and as the list of copy stretches out, Hurd can still just be named as an early printer of the ballad; and the 'Shaftesbury' location is underlined. 

The third ballad to be considered has the title Battle of Waterloo and this title heads several variants on a theme in general ballad repertoire.  There is a welter of 'formal' text available including that from Byron, for example, but also from those with no reputations as poets; and there are lines in various broadside texts that both echo each other and offer contrast.26  Thus, printings from Pitts and from Batchelar (printing between 1828 and 1829) begin 'You sons of Britain list awhile...'.  Pitts issued another version of Battle..   as 'written by Samuel Wheeler, Trumpeter' that begins 'On the sixteenth day of June my boys that was the very day...'; and there is copy without attribution but with the same opening line and a claim that text had been 'Written by two soldiers of the Highland Brigade'.27 Catnach produced copy on the battle beginning 'At ten o'clock on Sunday...' (and, indeed, he also issued copy of both The Drummer Boy of Waterloo and Waterloo Soldier Again Defeated).  There is text beginning 'Loud roar'd the dreadful battle' issued by Mate of Dover with fairly obvious echoes of Andrew Cherry's text of The Bay of Biscay, that began with 'Loud roared the dreadful thunder' and was published in 1805.28  There is also text from John Marshall in Newcastle (printing between 1810 and 1831) that begins with 'On the sixteenth day...'  All these texts follow the course of the battle to some small extent, ending their narrative on the eighteenth of June.  Another copy of the battle ballad from Ross began with ''Twas on the 10th of June...', possibly with a simple printing mistake in the date; for another, issued by Ross in conjunction with Stewart and Dalton, began with ''Twas on the 18th day of June...' and this copy might well be one that exposes the mistake.  Oliver in Darlington, had the same opening but with 'eighteenth'...  Fordyce preferred this appellation too.29 Collard and, later, Harkness (1840-1866) had 'The Ancient sons of glory were all great men they say...' and this opening line also features in one version of the piece entitled Plains of Waterloo (found in the Bodleian archive) under which title several other ballads paraded despite the narrative being the same as that found in Battle of Waterloo.  It has already been noted that one copy of Loss of our hero also adopted this sub-title.30

The whole history, with several versions unrecorded here, is varied even if the central themes and their treatments are familiar ones.  It would seem that printers might have been inspired as much by individual patriotic feeling - and an eye on individual commercial enterprise - as they were by precedent; and, what is more, the resultant balladry did not necessarily focus on the battle itself, especially in manifestation as The Plains of Waterloo.31

In all this, Hurd printed copy beginning with 'Come all you loyal Britons...', an opening that is not replicated elsewhere.32  Moreover, the narrative, unlike those of the previous two Hurd ballads linked to Waterloo, does focus on the battle itself:

- not, perhaps, exactly how the battle went and with that surprisingly casual observation that it took place only 'the other day'.  Like other texts, that from Hurd begins the narrative on the sixteenth of June and follows through to the eighteenth, his text mentioning 'The Cuiriassers' and 'our Dragoons', 'our noble Gen'ral Paget, Marquess of Anglesey' and his command of the British cavalry, 'The noble Prince of Orange' on the right wing and 'noble General Ponsonby', who, 'I am sorry for to say', fell when leading a charge; but the victory was gained and, of Bonaparte, the ballad tells us that: Finally, the return of the British soldiery was made to England and a health drunk 'to George our King' and to Wellington 'and his Army too' - 'And if Boney lives a hundred years he'll remember Waterloo'.

Hurd's text of The Battle of Waterloo, from which the extracts given above are drawn, is clearly retrospective: Napoleon's dismissal to Elba and the return of the British soldiery give clues although the latter reference could be an imaginary gesture just as 'the other day' is a somewhat airy reference.

It would have to be concluded from all this that Hurd was but one of many ballad-printers seizing an opportunity to issue versions of ballads on the battle and that, whilst these ballads must have been post-event, there seems to be no strictly immediate time when they flooded the market.  It is true that Marshall copy ('Composed by a HERO of the 22nd Regiment of Foot...') actually has an annotation dating it to 12th June 1817 but later printers can not be associated directly with the battle: Paul, say, and Pratt, Keys, Harkness ...33

And there, as far as Hurd is concerned, the matter can be left, with the printer taking a place amongst peers who issued the ballad at much the same time.  Certainly, as regards the focus of this investigation, in considering these three Waterloo ballads and the Hurd attributions, in each case, to 'Shaftesbury', a strong case begins to emerge for the extent of his activity there during the latter part of the second decade of the new century.

To confirm this, there are other Hurd ballads from 'Shaftesbury' with historical overtones: one dating from 1817, the year in which Princess Charlotte, daughter of King George IV and Queen Caroline of Brunswick, died.  Extant Charlotte balladry is not extensive and there is no evidence that printers persisted in their attention to such a matter any more than they did with cases of murder.  Hurd's piece is, therefore, likely to have been printed close to the event.34

The Hurd ballad begins as follows:

The piece goes on to offer a slightly exaggerated if understandable claim that 'All the needy shall bewail thee...' and then, more modestly and with good Christian conviction, that 'seraphims shall hail thee...'; and further: Finally, This piece presents a conventional ballad acknowledgement of death where a notable figure is involved and with a touch of slight sentimentality in such circumstances.  Here, for example, this tone is set in words such as 'Nymph', 'sympathizing angel fair' (even the word order here) and 'delighteth': an order of deference that, as it becomes more prominent in balladry, perhaps loses impact through its apparent airiness.  We are not discussing High Art, though, and Hurd's ballad can be mirrored in style outside the run of broadside balladry - for instance, in a piece written by one John Mayne entitled ALL THE PEOPLE MOURNING! A LAMENT FOR THE DEATH OF THE PRINCESS CHARLOTTE... Mayne, as it happens, made other contributions to the newspaper in which this particular piece can be found.

Another piece, anonymous this time, follows a similar course (less the exclamation marks):

A third should convince us of the kinds of outpouring and the closeness in style and intention of Hurd's ballad - this one entitled On the Death of an Illustrious Princess from an 'R. DALLY, Esq.': The modes of expression here, that may be held to have been popular outside balladry, does not obtain in other Hurd ballads - those, discussed below, that examine the foibles of country folk or, indeed, other ballads with a historical basis.  One might say that balladry in general has its own peculiar aura and effect and that, often, there is a divorce from everyday language - hardly a startling proposition.

There is another aspect to the Princess Charlotte ballad, one that concerns the tune, as was found in the separate case of Jessie of Dumblain (sic).  The tune suggested in respect of the Princess Charlotte ballads was Crazy Jane whose title actually belies its musical movement (and whose text, incidentally, begins as slightly as the Princess Charlotte ballad and with something of the same sentimental effect - 'Why, fair maid, in every feature...' - although the 'crazy' outcome is vastly different. 

A published study of Jane Austen revealed that she knew of the song Crazy Jane; and that the Austen family - specifically Lady Elizabeth Bridges, wife of Jane Austen's older brother Edward Austen Knight - possessed a bound copy of music inclusive of Crazy Jane and dating from 1799.  There is a mixed history to the tune itself but it came to notice at around 1800 and the most popular version was written by Harriet Abrams (1760-1825), a professional singer and pioneer woman song-writer, who set text by Matthew 'Monk' Lewis (1775-1818).  The piece was certainly available to the public in this form at around from 1800 and was issued at that time and in successive editions by Lavenu and Mitchell, Music Sellers to his Royal Highness, the prince of Wales at their New Musical Circulating Library, 26, New Bond Street, London.36

Crazy Jane may have gone through the full height of glory when Hurd issued his Charlotte ballad but the tune had sunk into general consciousness by then.

The Charlotte ballad, at any rate, can be placed on or close to the occasion of her death in 1817 and it confirms Hurd's working life in 'Shaftesbury' at a point distant from his first ingress as bookseller (and, possibly, printer) in 1804.

Next, in date order, there is one outstanding ballad entitled GLEE...TO INDEPENDENCE that was seemingly issued as publicity for one John Bennet, candidate in the 1818 and 1819 Wiltshire elections.  It, like the murder ballad discussed here, is a unique piece in the Hurd output, the only one directly concerned with a political occasion, possibly the result of a commission by interested parties.  This is a reminder of Porter's The Triumph of Freedom that was such an isolated example of direct political balladry in Porter's small body of printings; and Porter and Hurd, in their respective ventures, seem to offer support the idea that printers did sometimes step outside their usual ballad preoccupations, presumably for financial reasons.37

Bennett, we learn, was unsuccessful in his candidature in 1818 but then re-emerged and was elected in 1819 ... and, at a later date, there are notices in newspapers of his contributions to parliamentary debate.

The Hurd ballad has:

and Neither extract gives much of a clue as to the character of the candidate nor, indeed, of proceedings.

GLEE... was printed in 1818-1819 but from 'Shaston', again, then, underlining the simple fact that Hurd changed the name of his location, not any physical removal.  There is nothing in Hurd's life-history that suggests otherwise.

Meanwhile, in matters Royal, a second, crucial, date emerges that extends the period during which Hurd was printing historically-based ballads, when Queen Caroline of Brunswick, wife of George IV, died in 1821 after a prolonged and squalid dismissal from the Royal presence and the startling matter of her being refused entry to the coronation of the King and her eventual removal from the country altogether.  The full title of Hurd's piece was A Copy of Verses on the Lamented Death of Caroline Queen of England...1821.  There are many similar ballads including one from Collard entitled ELEGY on the Death of Queen Caroline ('AH! What now could ease our sadness...'); and another which is simply entitled 'Queen Caroline' - to the tune of 'Wallace Bled'...38

As in the case of murder ballads, despite a substantial showing of Caroline ballads there is no evidence that printers pursued the matter beyond the more or less immediate time.  Evans, printing from 'Long-lane' (and taking into account the convolutions of the Evans imprint), issued Remember your Queen, God save the Queen and Caroline's return, thus encapsulating the red-hot events surrounding Caroline's banishment and re-appearance - but not, interestingly, her dismissal from the Royal presence and her death in 1821 as far as extant balladry allows such a view.  Concentration on these moments in time was left to other printers: like Hurd.  It is easy enough, in fact, to follow a sequence that mirrors the Queen's literal progress to London on first arriving in England and, similarly, the course of events surrounding the distasteful period of her rejection from royal circles.  A compendium, printed by William Hone as The Queen's Matrimonial Ladder, published in 1820, has the full story in ballad form.39

Nor is there a return to the subject in later years by any of the printers mentioned.  Caroline pieces were of the moment.

Hurd, it should be noted, only printed the one Caroline ballad but, more importantly for this enquiry, the 1821 date associated with Queen Caroline looks, so far, to have marked the latest time when Hurd was printing ballads.

In sum, the evidence, where Hurd's historically-based ballads are concerned, provides a song claim for ballad production during the 1810s and a further claim on the early 1820s.  All but one of these ballads, moreover, were issued from 'Shaftesbury'.  Otherwise, the rest - like Hurd's change of 'address' from 'Shaston' to 'Shaftesbury' - as so often the case with ballad production, is a matter of some speculation either in bringing likely elements together or introducing surmise.


Such surmise, in addition to the problem posed by GLEE..., is demonstrated in the life of the ballad entitled The Death of Parker, another piece printed by Hurd from 'Shaftesbury'.40  It will be remembered that Richard Parker was executed in 1797 for his part in the English naval mutiny; and the ballad concerns his widow's attempts to recover his body for burial and there is no opinion in the ballad about the events and the ramifications of Parker's case.  At the particular historical time of Parker's execution, it should be added, Hurd was apprenticed in Salisbury.

This ought to postulate retrospective issue but it is, nevertheless, quite hard to pin down the emergence of the ballad to a definite point in time.  Any attempt involves a series of 'mights' and 'maybes'.

Hurd copy begins:

The ballad in all copy holds a remarkably tight form.

One record of the piece (in the Roud index) is in favour of John Sinclair and C M'Lachlan who printed Four excellent new songs, including Death of Parker, from Dumfries at some time between 1793 and 1817 (four years may obviously be subtracted at the beginning of this period).  This still posits a twenty-year span of time - during which other printers can be seen to have issued the piece - and it is necessary to try to narrow that period down in order to see where Hurd takes his place.40

The name of Angus underlines the complexity of the question - where on copy there is usually a rather unhelpful legend of 'Angus, Newcastle'.  Just to rehearse, briefly, information given in the Porter article in this series: the first Angus of the line, Thomas, may be disbarred from consideration because he died in 1788 but his widow, Margaret, is likely to have been the printer most associated with ballad output since she is listed (in the British Book Trade Index ) as printing between 1788 and 1812, sometimes in conjunction with one son, Thomas - involved between 1800 and 1808 - until her other son, George, took over the family business and continued ballad-printing between 1813 and 1825.  He, however, in the few examples in the Bodleian archive, marked his ballad-copy with a specific address, 'Side, Newcastle', which is not on the Death of Parker ballad.  There is, in fact, one ballad with the imprimatur of 'George Angus', entitled Bonparte's (sic) disasters in Russia, presumably referring to the retreat from Moscow in 1812 and, therefore, appearing in the period just after this date and when George Angus is known to have been working.  It seems, therefore, that there is a time-span for the Angus issue of Death of Parker under the auspices of Margaret Angus.41

There are also various historical dates associated with other Angus copy that further refine the parameters of ballad-printing activity and that may have a bearing on Hurd's ventures.  For instance, there is one 'historical' ballad carrying the Angus name on the battle of Boulogne, which took place in 1801 (and was briefly surveyed in an Enthusiasms note) - very much a retrospective piece; and another entitled Trafalgar's battle which the Bodleian dates to 1806.  Whether or not each ballad was issued exactly contemporaneously with events, the date of each event still comes within the compass of the involvement of Margaret Angus.  There is even one Angus ballad, Bob Cranky's 'size Sunday, that has a date on copy of 1804 (with its authorship credited to John Selkirk, who lived between 1782 and 1843), and where Margaret's name appears in the following manner: 'M. Angus and Son, Printers'.  The son would have been Thomas Angus.  This is as far as we can go for the moment.  It is Margaret Angus, who looks to be the family member responsible for The Death of Parker.42

But it is still not known if the Angus Death of Parker appeared near to the date of Parker's execution or right at the end of Margaret's reign: around 1797 or 1812 - and for this it is necessary to adopt the reverse procedure as used in the Porter piece in this series and to see when other printers took up the piece, with the suggestion that this offers a sense of its popularity and exposes a commercial motive for issue and a possible time when printers put out the piece, as it were, collectively and, perhaps, in rivalry.

Copy of Death of Parker from Grundy in Worcester - most probably James, printing between 1780 and 1810 - looks to have been one of the earliest and could well have been issued at the same time as the Lachlan and Sinclair and, perhaps, the Angus copies.  Then there is copy from Charles Mate the elder in Dover, printing Death of Parker between 1807 and 1825 - the first date given here is not altogether certain and the one piece of known evidence for the emergence of Mate as printer dates from 1811 (a forthcoming article considers this matter in more detail).  This, however, does not materially affect the establishment of combined printing dates amongst the printers cited here; from J Walker in Hull, who printed from 1808 on; and from a collection that includes the name of James Kendrew, printing between 1803 and 1838 even if the latter dates involve an unhelpful swathe for present purposes.  And there is reference to John Marshall, printing in Newcastle between 1810 and 1831, who issued Death of Parker in a chapbook.  Catnach sets a date of 1813 before any of his ballads could have been printed; but he did issue copy of Death of Parker and then re-issued it through a nexus of agents - Sharman in Cambridge, Harris in Salisbury and Boyes and Bennett in Brighton.43  Pitts printed the piece but, it seems, not until after 1819.  There are other copies - working dates are given in brackets - from Russell (1814-1839) and Bloomer (1817-1827) in Birmingham and Hoggett in Durham (1816-1843) although there is obviously scope for these printers to have issued copy during the 1820s.  Bloomer printed several ballads that can be dated to 1818-1819.  Hoggett is relatively peripheral in any association but did print two ballads also found in Hurd stock.  In sum, these connections may help cement a time of issue for the ballad but any immediate link with Catnach, Mate, J Walker, Kendrew and Marshall is less certain.  There is also copy of the piece from John Crome, that can be associated in time during the period when, as listed above, other copies of Death of Parker were issued.  Crome's trading dates are listed in BBT1 as lying between 1792 and 1830 although this hardly aids precision in dating individual copy.  Then there is Watson in Gateshead through a reference in Thompson's Newcastle chapbooks - Watson printed between 1818 and 1858.44

Intriguingly, a printing of Death of Parker in the National Library of Scotland from Pollock in North Shields has on it a pencilled date of 1810.  Even if the 1810 date is discarded as being unreliable, Pollock's copy (the firm operated between 1815 and 1844 according to BBTI) is still likely to have appeared within the time-scale proposed for general issue of Death of Parker in the first instance, after 1797 and, on balance, before 1820; and, therefore, including a possibly contemporary period of issue for Angus and Hurd copy also.45

Altogether, despite ragged edges, this is a fairly substantial collection with which Hurd may be aligned, and the essential point is that all of it came from printers whose work began in or embraced the 1810s and where the associative evidence with other printing issue suggests that copy was retrospective to the event.

Otherwise, one moves on - Pitts copy was issued after 1819; Fordyce also issued the piece but since he only commenced printing ballads in the latter part of the 1820s he can be dismissed from any association with the emergence of Hurd as ballad-printer.  Russell, Bloomer and Hoggett have already been noted as possibly having printed the ballad at the same time as Hurd even though their careers were further prolonged.46

Death of Parker remained a favourite amongst printers although this continued popularity of the piece does draw attention right away from Hurd ...  Apart from Russell, Bloomer, Hoggett, Watson and then Fordyce, Thomas Birt had a reference in a catalogue dating from 1832-1833 and George Walker (Durham) had the piece listed in 1839 as a slip song.  Thomas Ford, printing in Chesterfield and Harkness in Preston both printed the piece but Ford worked between 1832 and 1838 and John Harkness between 1844 and 1866.  These latter printers and their working dates can obviously be discounted from any association with Hurd.  Likewise, given that his printings indicate a prolonged interest in the ballad, Such may be set aside.  This hugely retrospective interest does demonstrate how printers took up and perpetuated the life of ballads, in this case indicating how historical events were recycled.  Perhaps more particularly, they also offer evidence of how, it seems, the lyrical content of the Parker ballad, not the actual event, continued to appeal.47

Taking into account those printers who first issued Death of Parker and then those whose activities embraced Hurd's career as it has been delineated so far, it is clear that issue of Death of Parker was wholly retrospective; but one point of note concerns the dates when the earliest printers cited here ceased to issue ballads, to whit: Grundy (1810), Randall and Angus (1812) and then Lachlan and Sinclair (1817).  This offers a period when the earliest versions of the particular ballad could have appeared and, if this was the case, then Hurd may just have scraped into this early showing - perhaps even before his 1813 murder ballad was issued, a point worth bearing in mind.


There are, though, still more Hurd ballads with something of a historical basis that invite consideration - and a degree of speculation.

The first of these, printed in 'Shaftesbury', is Justices and old Baileys ,concerning transportation and sometimes found as Transport's Farewell.  It looks as if the piece arrived in repertoire at a relatively early date and printings, in varied form, accumulated up until at least the middle years of the nineteenth century.  Evans is once again a prime operative name, printing out of 'Long-lane'.  As usual, it is not possible to be exactly sure when nor if it was John or another member of the clan who printed the piece.  Nonetheless, where ballad-printing is concerned, the degree of commonality between the Evans and Hurd imprints begins to firm up.48

The familiar lines roll off and familiar epithets emerge at the end of the ballad: Pitts printed copy of the ballad and the title also appears in his 1836 list.  Catnach printed the piece so, in his case, a first possible date of 1813 is invoked.  In London only Thomas Birt (the piece is dated by the Bodleian to 1828-1829), G A Birt (c.1850) and Hodges (c.1844-1854) of other named printers took the piece up under the first title given here.

And so it went on ... Sefton, working out of Worcester between 1834 and 1856, offers a mid-century example, printing the piece as Farewell to your judges and juries with a first line of 'Adieu to you judges and juries' as compared to 'Here's adieu to your judges and juries' in Hurd copy.  Crome in Sheffield printed the piece as Transports and Old Baileys, the text, though, being the same as that of Justices....49

It was Swindells, George Innes (1816-1833), Bloomer (1817-1827) and Harkness (1840-1866) who had the alternative title, Transport's Farewell, even though the text was the same as that noted above in Justices... give or take a word here and there.  The Swindells imprint could well have been fairly early in appearance through Alice Swindells who, as discussed in the Porter piece in this series, looks to have been responsible for the ballads that we have, printing between 1790 and 1828.  The printing dates of Innes and Bloomer reveal how interest was spread - one notes that slight overlap with Hurd's activities.  Harkness brings up the rear after 1840.50

This later narrative manifestation as The Transport's Farewell inevitably begins with the line 'Farewell' or 'Adieu'...' to you justices and juries...'

But it is the first set of names given here in respect of Justices... - Evans, Pitts and Catnach- that might suggest a time when Hurd also issued copy from 'Shaftesbury'; this, according to the evidence accumulated so far, during the 1810s.  To this list it might be possible to add the names of Swindells, Innes and Bloomer if we collate the point at which each is thought to have started printing ballads but their continued operation moves well on into the 1820s and (apart from his Caroline ballad) there is nothing to suggest that Hurd followed suit and so any association as regards an extended time period for issue is doubtful.

The second ballad surrounded by a degree of speculation is Riley and Colinband.51  This is most likely to have been a second version of the Riley (or Reilly) story amongst English printers and the immediate progenitor looks as if it was Joshua Davenport, working between 1790 and 1808.  After Davenport copy there is copy from Alice Swindells that may just offer a degree of overlap in time with Hurd; from Thomas Batchelar, printing in Long Alley between 1817 and 1828; Pitts printing from his post-1819 address; and then there is a clutch of later copies from a variety of sources - such as Edward Taylor printing ballads in Birmingham between 1833 and 1840; or 'T. Batchelar' and Phair in London - all demonstrably 'late' and without any link to a time when Hurd printed copy.  Riley and Colinband, be it said, continued to have a rich history at the mid-century and after this time.

Hurd's opening stanza is, perhaps, slightly confusing with three possible 'voices' at work but the usual story does emerge:

There is a pursuit of his daughter by her father and then the taking of Riley.  She is 'confin'd, and bound without fail' whilst Riley is 'put ino Sligo gaol'.  At Riley's trial she takes the blame: 'I forc'd him to leave this place and go along with me' because 'I lov'd him out of measure'.  When Riley is accused of stealing her jewels she again comes to his defence and 'Out spoke the noble Fox' (an interestingly verifiable detail amongst abduction ballads)insisting that the prisoner be let go because the girl's evidence cleared him: It is suggested that the rather abrupt last line is the result of using older versions.

The earliest printings, as outlined here, are generally consistent in their narrative aspect and text follows the outline as encountered in what seems to be a precursor, The Trial of Willie Reilly.  All this has been discussed at length in a previous article in this series.

As far as Hurd is concerned the opportunity is taken here to revise the notion, expressed in the earlier article mentioned above, of his printing at a time when Riley and Colinband was at the height of its popularity, after 1830.  As one delves into the work of the printer (previous enquiry was based on the BBTI and Pigot date of 1830 noted above), the printing of ballads is seen not to be the case.  There is, as yet, no evidence that Hurd issued ballads at any time after 1821, so it is appropriate to focus largely on the 1810s and to include his Caroline ballad of 1821.

At this time, as noted above, 'Shaftesbury' is clearly seen as a prominent location.52

There is yet more speculation surrounding another Hurd issue - The Deserter, a ballad that has terms of reference that do not relate to any exact historical period or process but would seem to have been a feature of an earlier period in time to that of Hurd.  He printed this, too, out of 'Shaftesbury' - which gives us a window, not quite framed.53

His copy begins with a constant in printings of the piece: 'Once I thought I ne'er should be in this distracted state...'  The narrative involves a soldier who enlisted under the influence of alcohol after which he suffered a life of woe and even though 'My brother he came riding by' and:

Some clues to origin lie in the final stanza: 'My sword, sash, and blue great coat...' were left behind and 'To the light horse I'll bid adieu' - so that he must continue to pursue his 'journey', his flight; and even to 'travel in the night'.  It is a miserable enough end to the ballad (and to the deserter).

The items of uniform mentioned came into combination during the eighteenth century and the appellation 'light horse' was first attached in 1745 when the second Jacobite rising took place.  Subsequently, 'Light horse' who were, essentially, mounted skirmishers, were added to most cavalry regiments by 1755.  There followed the introduction in 1759 of five complete regiments (the 15th to 19th) of Light Dragoons and a distinction was made between the light and the heavy cavalry (Light Dragoon regiments; and Dragoon and Dragoon Guard regiments).  The epithet 'Dragoons' was supplanting that of 'Light Horse' during this latter part of the eighteenth century which further proclaims the earlier period to which the ballad seems to have made reference.  By 1800 the change of title to 'Dragoons' had been effected.  In view of this history, it is tempting to think that Hurd was looking back in time for the details of his ballad.54

Printers of the piece under review other than Hurd included Grundy in Worcester (issuing ballads, as noted above, between 1780 and 1810), Catnach, Pitts and Hoggett (1816-1843) in Durham (a Roud reference to a Carnell collection) and Russell in Birmingham (1814-1839), all just overlapping Hurd's printing dates.  After these come printers demonstrating the popularity of the piece right up to and through the mid-century mark - Dickinson in York (1823-1834) and Thomas Birt (1828-1829), Fortey (1825-1885: a generous dating) and then Williams in Portsea and Willey in Cheltenham who do not impinge on Hurd's progress.55

Thus, when the collective dates are surveyed, within the whole compass Hurd has to be accounted an early printer of the piece; and, further, the salient early period for issue amongst the group of printers that includes Hurd rests in the second and third decades of the new century.  The ins and outs of the matter do not - yet again - push Hurd's printing dates further on in time than that associated with his Queen Caroline ballad of 1821.

Not quite as an aside - given that Hurd seems frequently, as here, to be looking back in time for inspiration, it is worth mentioning the header block of a man in surcoat and pantaloons and stockings with a shepherd's crook in his hand, hardly illustrative of the ballad.  As in so many cases Hurd has no trouble in using such older blocks (noted above) and it could be argued that this does not matter at all except that it might compound his seeming backward glances.56

There is another 'military' ballad in Hurd's output, almost a companion piece to The Deserter, and that is The Belfast Shoemaker.57  In the discussion of it that now follows there is some repetition of detail that was included in the previous piece in this series when considering the Porter printing of the ballad.

In the ballad, rather like the protagonist in The Deserter, the shoemaker 'listed in the train' under the influence and, perhaps not surprisingly he found the ensuing experience not to his liking.  His sweetheart, Jane Wilson, is introduced who was, indeed, 'griev'd ... to see me in the train'.  At length, marching from Tipperary and given the order to mount night guard:

He travelled into the north, fetching up 'in the Forth', an interesting term found in references associated with the '98, specifically in Wexford, where the train caught up with the deserter and where he fought, but was taken. If the story of his taking via Captain Cary is a little obscure, then his subsequent adventure is, likewise, a little suspicious!  He 'jump'd out of the window' and then, fortuitously, 'a friend' aided him to gain his liberty.

There is hardly anything to pinpoint the shoemaker's military circumstances - only the 'train' and the setting in Ireland.  There is little else in other printings either.  Pigott and Jennings, whose printing dates are close in time to those of Hurd, have practically the same text as Hurd except that in the stanza recounting a time when he met up with some of his comrades, Hurd has 'cruel combat' whereas Pigott and Jennings have 'in the cruel account book my hammer they did steal', going on, as in all copy, to extend the narrative in the following manner:

Much later in printing time, Harkness has the train 'encamped' in Tipperary and he includes more details of the shoemakers' complaints: But this has to be post-justification.  Its significance may lie in the emphasis on Chapel, a feature of the Protestant north of Ireland (one wonders if it could have been that the piece originated there).

Such both expands the story and fills in detail to make a coherent narrative.  His title is unique amongst printings: The Bold Belfast Shoemaker - although the epithet 'bold' does appear during the course of the narrative in other printings.  Such also gives the name of the shoemaker as Irwin; indicates how Jane Wilson encouraged him to desert; notes that the train marched to 'Chapel Lixted'; offers a more clear account of the quarrel between the shoemaker and his comrades and singles out one George Clark of Carrick for special disapprobation.  It was Clark who took forty shillings in return for betrayal of the shoemaker.  Such also mentions the 'light horse' - at once echoing detail in The Deserter and possibly throwing the origin of the piece back into the eighteenth century.  Further still, he has the shoemaker fighting for Father Murphy at New Ross during the rising of 1798; and he ends the piece with the shoemaker's boast that he could fight and subdue any Orangeman.  This has turned a modest piece into a true boast.  Hurd included none of this; and such detail really only allows a look at how ballads attracted accretions.60

There are other printings - one from Porter in Wotton under Edge during 1818-1819 (as discussed already in a previous article in this series) and one note's the description of the shoemaker as 'rambling'.  There is another from Thomas Birt printing between 1833 and 1841.  In Birt's (late) case, the piece begins: 'I am a rambling shoemaker, from Bristol I came' (my italics): almost certainly an imaginative local grounding - though not, obviously, local to Birt.  There is copy from Pitts in the Madden collection (the title leaves out 'The') and the title appears in his 1836 list.  Of all printings those from Pigott and Jennings looks as if they were the earliest in England.  One should also note copy found at the Norfolk Heritage Centre - a Roud reference - with a first line that reads 'Come all you true-born Irishmen...'61

Apart from these scattered references to printers, the piece apparently disappeared from English printing.  Intriguingly as ever, though, there had been three issues in Scotland - from Buchan in Peterhead whose first printing activities date from 1816 (SBTI), from Randall in Stirling and from Robertson in Glasgow.  The last-mentioned is dated 1807 and underlines the growing evidence that Scottish printers were sometimes the first to issue printings.62

If this Scottish contribution is taken along with Pigott, Jennings and Porter copies a definite period of popularity for the piece emerges and provides a context when, it is likely, Hurd joined in: not surprisingly during the early part of the nineteenth century.  This does take the story up to 1818-1819.

Finally, in this section that is loosely attached to historical events or procedures, there is still one strange exception in the Hurd oeuvres, a ballad entitled The Casting-away of the Dragon ... about a shipwreck in which, according to the ballad, some three hundred and twenty-two souls lost their lives.  'Brave Captain Webb was their Commander'; and the disaster during a storm took place off the coast of America.  The brief narrative concerns a young woman lamenting her 'Love' - hardly a novel situation - and the details seem to be convincing but, so far, there is not a shred of evidence in history and it might be that Hurd fabricated the piece: a 'one-off'.  One remains to be convinced as to probity.63

It should be noted that, as in several cases discussed here, The Casting-away... has no attribution on it, even though the physical look of the piece is similar to that of several other known Hurd ballads - for instance, it includes a familiar kind of Hurd woodcut as header.  It has to be assumed that this is not a Madden interpolation but that the ballad is a genuine example from Hurd.

There can be no doubt that Hurd was active as ballad-printer during the 1810s.  There are clearly established parameters.  It remains to see how the rest of his output can also be seen to have emerged at that time or whether there is any material that might extend the period.


In this next section, then, consideration is given to four Hurd ballads that offer glimpses of social conditions and that consolidate the parameters of issue already discussed.  The ballads in question are The Tradesman's Lamentation, General Distress (both, it should be said, also issued by Evans), The TIMES and Rogues of all Sorts found out.  In all four ballads it could be argued that the content is generic in character and that the same sorts of complaints in each text could be found elsewhere and in different periods.  The ballads cannot be properly accounted as being 'historical' except in general terms.

In the first to be considered,The TIMES, issued from 'Shaston', the focus is on taxation, introduced as follows:

There follows a rather crude depiction of 'Welshmen' who are 'really best off' because they 'ride their Billy Goats' and pay little or no tax.  Then, further: With horses still in mind, the 'Farmer' then abjures his daughter to leave aside her hunting nags and instead ride 'Jack-Asses'.  Daughter, in turn, tells her father that she will 'rise my Butter and my Eggs' ...  She will sell her butter 'At Twenty-Pence a pound' ... and will continue to ride 'old Dobbin'.64

A notion of dating may be had.  Taxes on horses was the brainchild of William Pitt as Chancellor in 1784.  Two phases of Pitt's policies can be distinguished.  The wars against France erupted, firstly, after the French revolution and continued until 1802 and the peace of Amiens.  The second phase began with England's declaration of war against France in 1803 and the ending of the conflict in 1815.  If we are looking for contemporary relevance that coincided with the emergence of Hurd as printer of ballads it is the second period that is the more obvious one as far as the evidence already compiled indicates.  It seems very unlikely that his ballad referred to the first period during which time Hurd was, in any case, still apprenticed.  From 1805, though, the imposition of taxes could have offered a clear target for Hurd and others.  In this respect, it is worth citing two Gillray cartoons from 1806, A Great Stream from a Petty-Fountain; or John Bull swamped in the Flood of new-Taxes ... and The FRIEND of the PEOPLE, and his Petty-New Tax-Gatherer, paying John Bull a visit, whose targets were precisely the financial upsets brought about by taxes as noted here.65  Pitt's intention was to stabilise England's financial situation and to avoid increasing the National Debt.  Even as Britain, at the time, considered itself to be a country that was already heavily taxed Pitts' reasoning was manifested in the much wider package of measures prompted by the continuing need to finance the wars against France and so there was a flurry of taxes - on small beer, on servants and maids, on iron, on malt, on windows, on stamps, hats, shoes, shirts, stools, hops, sugar, candles, soap, tobacco - hair powder tax in 1801! There was a kind of culmination in 1789-9 when Pitt introduced income tax (abandoned after 1815 but re-introduced by Peel in 1842).  In amongst all this activity in 1805 the tax on horses was increased.

Taxes on salt may be taken as an even more prominent example, especially in the way that they might fall on the less well-off.  A tax had been levied as far back as 1693 and was not fully repealed until in 1825, but between 1760 and 1817 some thirty salt acts were passed and between 1798 and 1808 the effects were particularly severe.  The general opinion was - as the ballad suggests - that the taxes affected the poor disproportionately since the better-off were able to eat more fresh food and thus avoid buying salt for preservation of mutton, beef and fish.  Still, in 1805 the salt tax was increased.

The dates when these two taxes were introduced and Pitts' general urgency might even suggest that Hurd issued The TIMES at some stage after 1804 when he finished his apprenticeship and before the appearance of his one known murder ballad in1813 - so far an unconfirmed factor.

There is one other point.  The piece is unique to Hurd.

The second ballad in this group, Rogues of all sorts, also printed in 'Shaston', presents a catalogue, beginning as follows:

And so the first to be castigated are farmers who, if they can not get their price for corn, then: The next targets are the 'Thief in the Mill' who steals from the bags of other folk; the baker who adulterates his bread with 'Alum, Bean-Meal, and Bad Barm'; and the Maltster who claims that his crop of barley is small but sells his 'Malt' so dear 'That soon, I'm afraid, we shall have no strong beer'.  Then there are the Shopkeepers who 'pinch the poor e'en in Bacon and Snuff' by giving shortness of measure and shortness of weight.

Butchers rig their scales.  Gardeners up the price of their 'Potatoes and Turnips and Carrots'.

The piece, it is clear, is somewhat scattergun in comment, with no specific reference to a particular time and, even as elements emerge - bacon and snuff, for instance - it probably reflects a more general dis-satisfaction with economic hardships that continued to impinge during the course of the Napoleonic wars.66

But its known printing history is limited to Hurd, Evans, Oxlade and Walker in Norwich (one stanza is omitted from Norwich copy).

Evans looks to be the earliest printer of Rogues ...  That is to credit the appearance of the piece to John Evans, whose career has already been outlined if not made watertight in details - between 1780 and at least 1812 (and on to 1820).  As for the Oxlade contribution, it looks very much as if it was made well on in the 1810s.  There is some useful evidence of Oxlade printings that have as subject the Napoleonic wars and some of these post-date Napoleon's retreat from Moscow in 1812.  But Oxlade life-history is proving to be particularly difficult to assemble and merits a separate consideration (this is in preparation).

Walker's printing can be located to the years between 1820-1 and 1827 when he had moved to a location at St Lawrence's Steps in time for the birth of one of his children in 1827.  This counts him out as a contemporary of Hurd's in his issue of the particular ballad and perhaps underlines its generic nature.

Further, as it happens, there is no extant Pitts copy of the particular piece nor any sign in his 1836 list but he did issue varied copy on the same theme from his first address, 1802-1819, which suggests that complaint was 'in the air'.  It seems likely that Hurd picked up on this though it is not possible to say if this was between 1804, the year his apprenticeship ended and 1813 when his murder ballad appeared, or after this time.  The Hurd, Evans and Oxlade issues would seem to have been linked in terms of the general time of their appearance.67

The same sort of possibility emerges again in relation to the third ballad in this brief sequence, General Distress, that has a similar form of presentation, with long varieties of complaints evident in Rogues...  and that will be found in The Tradesman's Lamentation (discussed below).

The Hurd text begins:

Then there is a chorus: There is also copy from Evans and Pitts and, whilst the layout is very slightly different, the narrative content is the same.  There are no other extant copies.  Pitts issued his copy of the ballad from his first address between 18O2 and 1819 and the Evans copy would seem to have been printed at much the same time.  The coincidence of issue by the three printers, as elsewhere, is marked.69

Hurd ends his ballad in Draconian fashion as follows:

The tune indicated on copy by Hurd is Gee Ho Dobbin as it was so indicated on both Evans and Pitts copy (these two printers actually had the phrase as 'Ge, ho, Dobbin').  Of Gee Ho Dobbin, Chappell wrote that this piece appeared as a song that had been introduced into the stage production, Love in a Village, in 1762; and that it was found also in country dance collections - which themselves are likely to imply a previous history.  Love in a village has its own intriguing history, being the immediate brainchild of Isaac Bickerstaffe (1733-1808/12?) based on a 1729 piece from Charles Johnson (1679-1748) entitled The Village Opera and consisting of some sixteen songs by known composers that were assembled by Thomas Arne (1710-1778) who wrote five of them (one of the better-known was The Miller of Dee).  Hurd's use of existing theatre exposure for the tune underlines a kind of association that emerges in several instances in his ballad-printing career.

There are on-line references to a dance phenomenon named with the tune title and to the use of the tune for other text.  There is another online reference to Boswell singing Gee Ho Dobbin to his fellow-passengers during a coach journey from Scotland to London in 1776:

Further, the tune was used for one of several texts that appeared in connection with a borough election in Newcastle-under-Lyme in 1790.

The tune continued to surface in several compilations up into the 1840s including a book of songs of that year set out in Newcastle dialect.  It would surely be worth emphasising its use by Evans, Pitts and Hurd as discussed here to be confirmation of a quite narrow period of time for its first link with General Distress.70

The attribution on Hurd copy - it must be re-iterated that this is the only ballad printed in 'Shaston' in such an extended form - gives the information that the piece was 'Printed & Sold by Hurd, Bookseller, Stationer, Music-Seller, Perfumer, Bookbinder, Druggist, Shaston'- characteristically fulsome as found otherwise only during Hurd's 'Shaftesbury' period.  Does this perhaps signify expanding horizons?  And when was this - before 1813 and Hurd's murder ballad?

There is a Wright ballad-derivative of General Distress entitled GENERAL DISTRESS OF THE NATION: OR THE Downfall of the Banks, with a final stanza as follows (Wright missed off some capital letters):

This has echoes of the Hurd, Evans and Pitts ballad in the use of the chorus and in its final lines: A fourth ballad in this mini-collection, entitled The Tradesman's Lamentation, was 'Printed & Sold by Hurd, Shaftesbury' (my italics).  It begins: This might seem initially to have used a familiar farewell theme and turned the circumstances to a particular advantage.  However, as the ballad proceeds, it embraces an amalgam of various complaints, rather like those in Rogues of all sorts: Many tradesmen 'have nothing for to do'.  The weavers 'still lie idle'.  Yet - and here old targets emerge: Then, The hope is that such hardships will end but, still, 'Dear Molly' (previously called 'Polly') 'I must leave you' in the same manner that the swain in many a farewell ballad does: James Hepburn, in Scattered Leaves ,gives the information that 1811 was the worst year for the English economy.  But it might be that the reference to wet harvests invokes the dreadful summers of 1816-1817 as a consequence of a volcanic eruption at the other side of the world that created exceptional deterioration in world-wide weather.  Otherwise, it could be argued, as suggested above, that the gist of the ballad, if apt, is generic.  One could find ballads from several epochs that voice similar complaints; indeed, one from a J Brokeman - The tradesman's lamentation; or the mechanick's complaint - printed in London in 1663.

Apart from Hurd's version of the lamentation, only Pitts and then Batchelar issued the same text, beginning 'Farewell dear wife and children for now I'm bound to sea...'  Pitts printed his copy between 1802 and 1819 and this helps to underline the possible link between himself and Hurd ... BBTI has Batchelar's working dates as 1807 to 1828 and these dates do coincide with those of Hurd.  The Bodleian almost follows suite, giving dates of 1817 to 1828.  Both are referring to Thomas Batchelar, printing out of Long Alley - though the firm continued to operate at a different address.  There is, then, a period when Batchelar dates coincide with those of Hurd but any link is tenuous.

There is text from by Burbage and Stretton, issuing ballads in Nottingham between 1797 and 1807, entitled The Tradesman's Lamentation FOR THE LOSS of TRADE, beginning with 'Come all you pretty maidens that have a mind to go ...' and the content of which is similar to the ballad noted here and thus suggesting a thematic precedent.

Hoggett, whose working life with ballads did not begin until 1817, did print text as:


In this case the text begins: 'YE tradesmen of the nation, I am sorry for to say...' and detail changes.  A notion of 'A new song' is promoted but the theme, clearly, is pre-existent.

That this was so is evidenced by another Pitts printing, Times are Altered, beginning with 'Come all you swaggering farmers...'73

As usual, it is difficult to pin down a period for any first issue of the particular piece.  There are, demonstrably, several cross-currents, as with General Distress.  And there is one feature of the Hurd text unknown elsewhere and that is his citing of a tune - William and Nancy's parting - that introduces even more complication: a whole range of association amongst various texts where, whilst there are different titles and some different content, the essential theme is consistent.

Printers of text of William and Nancy's parting range from Pigott, Jennings and Evans, through Pitts from both his addresses, to Angus and Swindells, Batchelar and then George Walker in Durham, together with two otherwise obscure printers, Coates of Alfreton and Orange of North Shields.  How close in time Hurd's issue of THE TRADESMAN'S LAMENTATION was to the earliest texts of William and Nancy's Parting (Pigott, Jennings,Evans and Pitts) is a matter of conjecture still but evidence about Hurd's printing activity when set with the activities of these other printers suggests that there was no great distance involved.  At the same time, ballads involving tradesmen and their lamentations appear frequently enough amongst a number of printers named here to indicate the ongoing theme.74

Within this complex, though, no tune with the specific title William and Nancy's Parting has been discovered.  It seems that Hurd nominated the title, understanding that his text would be associated with a pre-existent tune that had been attached to those early nineteenth century texts from Pigottet al.

It can at least be said that Hurd's look at social conditions begins to underline the work of a printer who cast an eye on a variety of subject-matter.  All in all, from the elements of discussion here above, there is no reason to change the view proposed that Hurd's output rested almost exclusively in the 1810s.


Bearing this in mind and moving on - perhaps a little sideways - a part of of what now follows is as much concerned with 'kind' and with more apparently contemporary preoccupations as it is an attempt to continue to date at least a period for printings.

The Tea-Drinking fashion cut down, printed in 'Shaston', might even be considered in a similar light to the more obvious lamentations discussed above.75  It begins:

'Oh! what will 'become of Old Granny' who can no longer 'soften her hard crust of bread' nor any more sit down to her 'Green and her Congou bohea'?

We can quantify the popularity of the tea!  'Bohea' tea (sometimes 'Bohu') was the commonest, a black, rather coarse tea, sometimes mixed with others.  There are scattered references to transactions in histories and a newspaper report proclaims the sale of 'Congou' (Congo - black tea), 'Souchan' and 'Hysons'.76  'Green' tea was as its name implies.  There were others - but the most prominent feature is that tea was not for everybody.  The product was expensive and filtered down from the upper ranks of society into the middle classes relatively late after its introduction into England during the seventeenth century.  When, in 1784, Pitt slashed the tea tax from a staggering one hundred and nineteen per cent to twelve and a half this must have exposed what may seem to have been previously absurd price rises and certainly suggests that tea had been an option only for those with deep pockets.  At least, one of the important consequences of Pitt's action was that the illegal smuggling of tea that had been indulged in dwindled into oblivion.  The relief was naturally felt across the nation even though taxes were raised again, if never to the same levels, in 1785 and 1786 (together with a package of other impositions).

The commodity had, nevertheless, found a niche and tea-drinking did become a prominent ceremonial feature of social life with 'Low' tea and 'High' tea setting fashions and with a height of such tea-drinking that can be placed in the early 1800s (it should be noted that 'Afternoon tea' did not become prominent as a daily ritual until the 1840s).  The fashionable life, one would expect, passed Granny by.

The Hurd ballad certainly does not deal in such niceties and, aside from the focus on tea itself, there are also complaints that ask what will become of the men who used to 'smoke a short Pipe' - for now 'tobacco is got so dear'.  It is difficult to place short-pipe-smoking in context: mostly a preoccupation that came into fashion during the sixteen hundreds with output concentrated in England and Holland.  Short clay pipes were particularly favoured and, although long stem pipes that allowed a cooler smoke appear in prints, these pipes broke easily and were simply discarded.  The bulk of output was in short form and, in fact, there was something of an increase in production at around 1790 before snuff-taking became more popular.  Design throughout pipe-making history was centred on surprisingly small bowls and during the Napoleonic period a spur at the bottom of the bowl was favoured.  Again, such details - as one would expect - escape the ballad but a general period of elevation for the short pipe is visible.

Following on: in the Hurd ballad, 'Snuff is sev'n halfpence per ounce' and 'The Gin is also very dear'.  In any case, the maid has no money to pay for it: interesting that, despite the apparent cost, the partakers still employ a maid, notice of an intensely hierarchical domestic set-up.  It should be added that, in respect of dating, Hurd's piece would have come out long before the height of the Regency period and the death of the Prince Regent, a ritual snuff-taker, in June 1830, that marked the end of the golden age of snuff-taking and allowing for any imitation of the bon ton by lower social classes that would most probably have involved a time-lapse.

And the reference to gin is almost misleading.  Hogarth's Gin Lane appeared as far back as 1751 at the time that the current government imposed a gin tax (that was not repealed until 1862).  The intended effect of the act was two-fold.  It prohibited gin distillers from selling to unlicensed merchants and it increased fees on legitimate merchants.  This was a way of eliminating numbers of small gin shops and it restricted distribution to the bigger distillers and retailers.  There was also a succession of bad grain harvests at this time.  Altogether, by 1757, the horrors depicted by Hogarth had declined.


It is not quite clear who the principals are: poor people like Granny or the middling sort who grew in influence during the century, albeit not displacing any prevalent oligarchy.

Hurd's ballad, then, would seem to be essentially looking back in time on gin-drinking and then on contemporary snuff-taking as general objects for notice.  This would nevertheless offer scope for raising the subject in ballads when particular government attention or when a local - even widespread - dis-satisfaction emerged.  The ballad is imprecise in its range of references and the sole urgency might lie in the word 'fashion', as applied to tea-drinking.

There would not appear to be any other printing of this piece.  The Bodleian does have a ballad from Crome entitled Tea Drinking Wives ... that has the same substance - references to 'Congue, Green and Bohea' and the assertion that 'the new duty's taken place' which may, then, have been one of those imposed in 1785 or 1786.  Like Hurd's ballad this one asks of granny:

It should be added that there is no mention of gin in Crome's ballad.

It does look as if, by virtue of common exchange, fashion - even 'copying' - that the Crome and Hurd ballads are related.  There is also an Angus ballad entitled Tea Drinking Wives that appears to be a variant.

Again, there are also ballads without attribution which have much the same content and this supports the notion that all the ballads could have appeared at much the same time as these commentaries on an existing phenomenon and it looks as if the period was not hugely extensive and an early century one.77

However, these 'tea' pieces through their details, invoke a world that would appear to be centred somewhere each side of the turn of the century and, as the new century wore on up to its middle years, no more pieces of the kind that Hurd issued appeared.

As another example of this kind of focus there is a Hurd ballad entitled A Parody on the Habit-Shirt, a 'Shaston' printing that should, perhaps, presuppose a ballad entitled The Habit-Shirt; and, whilst there is no sign of the latter piece in the Hurd output, John Jennings printed both The habit-shirts (sic) and, indeed, A Parody ..., when he was working out of '15 Water-lane, Whitefriars' between 1802 and 1809.  These printings might have acted as a precedent for Hurd.78

The habit-shirt itself was an undergarment for ladies that emerged in the early eighteenth century and consisted of a short front with longer back and a high-standing collar that was meant to be worn under a riding habit, often with a waistcoat and so acting as a filler from neck almost to waist.  Sometimes it has been described as a chemisette.  Essentially it followed the design of male attire - as did the full riding habit - and the height of its glory was at around 1780 with details of appearance that changed as the new century came on.  By 1824 the garment was simply described as a sleeveless undershirt and had no more prominent a profile.

Hurd copy of the Parody... opens as follows:

Bonnets of various kinds were one of the more fashionable items in the early years of the nineteenth century - straw bonnets were evidently the rage during the 1810s.  They were once made in Milan (hence the term 'Milan-ers' or 'Milliners') from Leghorn, a type of straw ... which became more or less unavailable in England during the Napoleonic wars.  Eventually, trade with Italy was re-instated and the 'Leghorn' bonnet itself became prominent: a rather large accessory.  Obviously, the city of Leghorn lent its name.  One suspects that the Hurd ballad was centred on a relatively small affair - stiff back part to the bonnet and a circular, forward-looking brim that gave shade from the sun - that developed into a 'poke'.  Inevitably, Jane Austen is canvassed for descriptions and her letters reveal her interest and home-made variations.

If we consider the heydays of the habit-shirt itself and the straw bonnet, Hurd might appear to be casting a backward-glance.

As for breeches: there are lines in the Hurd ballad encapsulating the idea that ladies now 'their shapes they wish to show ...'

Mention of 'trowsers' should not be passed over.  They were by no means a new item of clothing, with examples from the Romans onwards.  When Hurd was working, breeches had developed style from above the knee to below it; and were gradually replaced by pantaloons that, first off, were buttoned all down the leg - some had loops to go under the foot - and became looser.  By the 1810s male 'trousers' were replacing breeches for day wear although in society one still wore breeches during the evenings - and at court.  Trousers had a 'fall front', buttoned at the top.  The history of the garment received a particular addition during the French revolution when women took to wearing a variety.  Sailors' wide-bottomed 'slops' were already in extended commission.  It is also worth noting that Wellington ordered trousers to be worn as part of uniform in 1814 and it has been suggested that the Prince of Wales adopted them during 1816.  According to the OED breeches were disappearing as an everyday male fashion accoutrement during the 1820s.

Additional to all this, there is an intriguing idea in the ballad, that of ladies becoming more dominant in certain circumstances.  This is not so vague a suggestion since there are other ballads with the same import.  The various approaches amongst printers to the subject of wife and breeches can be found in all complexity through the nineteenth century.  Oxlade in Portsea, for instance, as well as his habit-shirt ballad, has another entitled Deadly, Lively, OR THE LADIES NAG that begins:

Catnach, with lines indicating a more vociferous demonstration, put out The Breeches: where, in the end, Pitts issued My wife did wear the breeches.  Copy without imprint appeared as The Lamentation FOR THE loss of the Breeches, that Pollock took up as The Breeches ..  Thus, the familiar topic of domestic strife takes an interesting turn where the idea of the woman wearing the breeches - dominating relationships - became more common.79

This is perhaps something of a digression ...

For the Parody..., both Jennings and Hurd recommended the tune Tally O the Hounds, discussed further below.  As far as can be ascertained from available extant copy the only other named printers to have issued A Parody ... were Pitts from his first address and Oxlade in Portsea, the latter whose text was exactly commensurate with that of Hurd and, moreover, with the same recommended tune.80  The Oxlade ballad looks to have emerged in Portsea during the 1810s and before 1820.  In addition to these copies, Mate of Dover, printing between c.1807 (probably not ballads until 1811-1812) and c.1825, issued an Answer to the Habit-Shirt where text is the same as it is in Hurd's Parody and, whilst details of Mate's career are still being assembled, he can be brought into relationship with Hurd on more than one occasion.  Mate, as it happens, also printed The Habit-Shirt.81

There is a strong indication, then, that, collectively, ballads with the title Parody ... from Jennings, Pitts, Oxlade and Hurd - together with Mate's Answer ... were issued at an early date with Jennings, printing up until 1809, the likely first in line.  Since most evidence given above places Hurd's ballad-production in the 1810s it would be reasonable to suggest that his Parody ... emerged after that of Jennings.

In respect of the relationship between The habit-shirt and the Parody ..., it will be seen that some texts with the same title as the first ballad begin with ''Tis through the village blythe and gay ...' as Jennings had it; or, in further copy of the same piece from Mate, with 'As through the village ...'  Otherwise there is Bloomer ('Tis through ...'), working between 1817 and 1827.  There is also copy without imprint ('Through the village...') with the legend 'A New Song' on it and the title The Habit Shirts (sic) - does this mean that there was an even earlier version or that this one was conjured later?82

And then, in Jennings copy of The habit-shirts (not his Parody ... and note the 's' in this title), the following lines are prominent:

The habit-shirts are 'now the plan' and later in text they 'are in vogue'.

There follows an almost inconsequential tale of how Tom, Kit, Doll, Bet and Nance (in the copy without imprint mentioned above) or Poll, Sue and Nan (in Jennings copy) and, presumably, the rest of the collection of neighbours and friends, are all eager to own a habit-shirt.  Social aspiration is clear.

Text in this case uses the long 's' but it is perhaps time to dispel any thought that the long 's' is an infallible sign of antiquity since the long 's' and the 's' are sometimes used together and at various dates during the early part of the nineteenth century.  One example of usage - in Dolly Duggins - was discussed in the previous piece in his series.  It is also interesting to recall that Leslie Shepard, in considering the fortunes of John Pitts, wrote that printers used the long 's' 'at a date subsequent to Pitts sheets in modern style'.  He continued:

There are various examples of the long 's' noted in discussion in this article and the evidence of usage mounts up as other printers are studied - some examples emerging in forthcoming articles.

Hurd's Parody ... and the others cited here, take on a different character to all versions of The habit-shirt and also expose another possible assumption that needs to be dispelled.  The word 'Parody', just like the boast that such and such a piece is a 'new' song, should not be taken as a sign of particular accuracy, as the alternative title of 'Answer' demonstrates (Mate - and one copy without imprint).  The phenomenon is noted in Derek Scotts' survey, The Singing Bourgeoisie ...  He is discussing Bayley's I'd Be A Butterfly and suggests that both parodies and answers were becoming fashionable - this, then, at around 1828-9 when Bayley's piece appeared in print.  'Answers ...', Scott says, 'usually employ a fresh tune and take issue with the original song'.  One might take slight issue since in general balladry an 'Answer' might turn out not to be so much a rebuttal as a wandering extension of text; and appeared well before the Bayly era (a clear example from Hurd is Answer to the Blue-Ey'd Stranger, discussed below).84

But, on top of all this, reference to Tally O ... adds even more complications.  A quick survey of text with this title reveals that either Tally O the Hounds or Tally Ho... was printed by both Catnach and by Pitts (but only after 1819); and it begins as follows:

This association of text and tune stands separate from variations.  It has something of an extended history, re-surfacing in broadside form through Batchelar.

All the same, Baring-Gould, as so often in his collections (and this aspect of his work, most obvious in his English Minstrelsy, has been somewhat neglected), does offers a line to pursue, by printing a version of Parson Hogg.  This is not exactly related except for the hunting theme but, importantly for this article, in a note, he also refers to the Doctor Mack version of Tally O ...  Baring-Gould gives a date of 1810 and, further, the information that Burbage and Stretton printed a text of Doctor Mack between 1797 and 1807 - copy of which may, indeed, be found in the Bodleian archive.  Doctor Mack - or Tally O - like several ballads and themes discussed here, was 'in the air' when Hurd was active.85

But there is also another version of text that uses the tune Tally-Ho! (or Tally-O ) and beginning with 'Ye Sportsmen draw near, and ye sportswomen too ...', found extensively in songsters such as the Edinburgh Musical Miscellany of 1792 and in which the burden of this hunting song is clearly enough a commentary on place and fortune-seeking: a political hunting song, as it were.  There is a suggestion that this piece was attached to the Westminster election of 1784 and to Charles James Fox, who died in 1806.  The combined references place the text and its associated tune back in the eighteenth century.  Copy in the National Library of Ireland provides a fascinating gloss with a piece entitled Tally ho a favourite hunting song 'sung by Miss Wrighten at Vauxhall and at the theatres'.  Evidently the music was composed by a Thomas Carter (c.1740-1804).  There is further information that Miss Wrighten's song was brought into being - the actual terms of reference are 'published/created' - by an Anne Lee at around 1790 (and Anne Lee's is a name that emerges more than once in ballad study as does that of Mary Anne Wrighten).86

Then there is yet another form of ballad-text with the title of Tally ho the hounds that begins with:

This is a generic hunting ballad, found in a printing in the collection that includes the name of Kendrew and in Songsters: Busy Bee (1790) and Songs of the Chace (1811) and others.87

Finally, there is a version of Tally Ho ... beginning with 'It was on the first of March in the year of thirty-three' (but which 'thirty-three?), with a range of Irish references and elsewhere entitled The Fox Chase, printed by Pitts and then by Elizabeth Hodges ('from Pitts') but very late - c.1844-1854; and as copy without imprint.  Not quite incidentally with regard to possible Irish connections, the Doctor Mack text has at least a phrase that refers to 'mass' that may well locate it in Ireland as well.88

Out of all this comes a notion that Tally Ho ... (Tally O...), in whatever guise, was a popular text during the eighteenth century.  Whether tune and text came out together or if the tune was attached to text is not at all certain but the 1792 date of issue of the text in Musical Miscellany is noteworthy since it more or less coincides with issue of the text by Burbage and Stretton as described above, thus reinforcing the notion that that both text and tune appeared at the latter end of the eighteenth century.89  In broadside form, the more significant copy for the purposes of this article was that in which the text of theParody of the habit-shirt and the tune, Tally O the hounds were put together.  All else would seem to have been a development or an existing variant.

This by no means pins down Hurd's contribution but does go to demonstrate the nature of the convoluted context from which he extracted his material and how this material followed different paths.  It may well be that The habit-shirt appeared first during the later eighteenth century, using an eighteenth century tune.  The significant point is that, where any 'parody' is concerned, text as we have it from Jennings, Hurd, Pitts, Oxlade and Mate all appeared quite close together in time during the early part of the new century.  And by dint of this association amongst printers and despite the fact that texts of The Habit-shirt and A Parody ... may have overlapped in time of issue, there is no reason to discard the 1810s as the period when Hurd printed his copy of the Parody ...

Then there is yet one more aspect.  Can 'Shaston' be dated to this time?  If so, how does GLEE... (1818) figure in the pantheon?  These issues, already having raised their respective heads, still remain ...


What to make, then, of The Rage of Fashion, issued by Hurd from 'Shaston', and with echoes of his Parody ...?90  In The Rage of Fashion 'Ye buxom Maids', aiming to look their best, are urged to:

Indeed, Examples are given including that of of 'shoe-black Bess' who, wearing an old muslin dress bought at a rag fair, will put on her Habit-Shirt, 'her scrawny neck to hide'.  Then there is Peg the Cobler's daughter (sic), with 'her white rags hanging' also putting on her Habit Shirt although, in this case: Ephemeral though the rage may have been, it made a mark that Hurd exploited, poking fun at the less sophisticated sections of society.  But the printing history of this particular piece is ephemeral too.  Jennings in London had it.  There is also copy from Robert Lane, printing out of Bridewell Alley, in Norwich, and some of whose history is known.  The appearance of the Lane ballad would have been before 1820 and before Robert Walker, Lane's one-time partner, printed copy from near to the Duke's Palace in Norwich at a time that can be located somewhere between 1820-1 and 1827.  Walker inherited text from Lane especially and, in this case, their texts are commensurate although the header blocks differ, indicating how Walker became independent of his mentor.

There are, in addition, two copies without imprint.  Otherwise, there is no extended life for the ballad.91

The conjunction especially of copy from both Hurd and Jennings once again appears to offer particular confirmation of early exposure of the ballad.  If Hurd printed The Rage of Fashion at the same time as Jennings (before 1809) 'Shaston', as a seat for Hurd's activities, is nudged into view as if it may have emerged between 1809 and 1813 and Hurd's murder ballad.  This supports suggestions already made in connection with Rogues...  and with the Parody on the Habit-shirt .  How far in time 'Shaston' may in its suggested state then have extended is still not clear especially since GLEE... still looms as a product of 'Shaston' in amongst an overwhelming collection from 'Shaftesbury'.

At this point it is worth mentioning that The Rage of Fashion not only shares its woodcut with A Parody ... (which might be thought appropriate enough) but also with ballads discussed further below, namely I'm often drunk, but seldom sober - a lyrical love-ballad - and with Mrs. FLINN and the BOLD DRAGOON, a lively piece of nonsense.  This kind of usage surfaces on several occasions.

One other point is worth a note too.  The very scarcity of copy issued at the same time from Jennings and Hurd gives us a perspective on Hurd's individuality that is mirrored elsewhere in his output.

Much the same sort of hanging questions discussed above emerge in in connection with The New Straw Bonnet, printed in 'Shaston', bearing in mind that date of 1810 as being when such an item was at the height of its fashion.  In this ballad, the female protagonist, who is 'just fifteen', protests:

And the girl insists that Again, in the ballad, examples are paraded of those with such bonnets who have 'got a Swain'.  In fact, 'Tomorrow is the market-day' and the girl will go in her bonnet, decking it out with 'ribbons fair' that are 'The colour of my flaxen hair'.  Her mother threatens her though her father has little to say: The piece is lighthearted enough but there is also a glimpse of the perennial need for a girl to find favour somehow, marriage probably being the one option to help give her status and security.  This is no less a state of mind and actuality that women in all ranks of society endured.  The social convolutions in Jane Austen's novels are a prime example of how the problem manifested itself.  More pertinently, various abduction ballads reflect urgency and, sometimes, violence as men sought to make their fortunes through a liaison with an heiress, a widespread phenomenon during the late eighteenth century and extending beyond.  Ballads on the subject, discussed elsewhere on this site, illustrate this.93

As in the case of Hurd's Parody ... and of his Rage of Fashion, printing history of The New Straw Bonnet piece is extremely limited.  Pitts carried a piece entitled THE Straw Bonnet (issued between 1802 and 1819) and, if anything, this is a robust example of copy on the same theme, very like Hurd's piece and where the mother does not approve of the girl's wish for a bonnet and tells her that:

and mother will smack the girl round the head!

This does not, however, put the girl off of her ambition.

Hurd copy is less extreme and takes the form of extended chatter on the part of the young girl with a final stanza that softens the rather more forthright ground Pitts covered:

Hurd copy declares that it is a 'New' song and its opening line in Hurd is 'I am a girl that's just fifteen' instead of 'I am a lass of seventeen' which is what the only other known copies of the piece have: those from Evans and a precursor from Aldermary Churchyard, dated in Madden 'c.1775?', each of which, along with Pitts copy, has the title as The Straw Bonnet.  It looks as if Hurd took the other ballads as a pattern.  In fact he may just have been pushing his luck with the epithet 'New' in an attempt to gain attention and so altering one or two details, a common enough tactic illustrated elsewhere in this discussion.  Whatever the case, his piece was printed from 'Shaston', and, so far, this might limit issue to the early 1800s, after Hurd's apprenticeship that ended in 1804 but perhaps inclusive of the time when his Parody ... and The Rage of Fashion appeared - a scenario that the presence of the Pitts ballad might underline.

But that stark 'Shaston' location on copy of GLEE... printed in 1818, threatens any conclusions with regard to 'Shaston'.94

It is still worth noting that The New Straw Bonnet, like Parody on the Habit-shirt and Rage of Fashion is another example of Hurd's relative independence in choice of subject.

And Hurd's consistent look at earlier times as exemplified in these three ballads emerges at large.  It can be seen, for instance, that none of the ballads just discussed portray characters such as the oft but loosely designated Regency dandy.  Hurd's figures are more down-to-earth and look to have an outward manifestation of a pre-existent rural rather than an urban society: figures ape-ing their social 'betters' within a strong social hierarchy.

Finally, in respect of header-blocks, THE New Straw Bonnet has a woodcut of a dame in a pointed hat, wide-brimmed, over a kerchief that encloses the face; a long gown; and with a basket on her arm.  She appears to be feeding a small, begging dog.  In the background is a church with a steeple.  This is the same woodcut that appears on the completely unrelated ballad, THE Casting-Away of the Dragon, on JEMMY is slain in the wars I'm afraid, also unrelated in theme ... and again on the bucolic Young Lassey.  The woodcut consists of a portrait of a couple, dressed, it would seem, in costume from an earlier period, she in what appears to be a head and shoulders kerchief and a full trailing gown and carrying a fan and he, be-wigged, in knee-breeches and three-quarter cut-away coat.  There are trees in the background.  One would imagine a nominal Stuart origin.

The ramifications of this use of woodcuts is discussed later...

For the moment it is useful to hold in mind two things.  Firstly, there is the fact that all four ballads - The Tea-Drinking fashion ..., Parody of the habit-shirt, The Rage of Fashion and The New Straw Bonnet - seem to present details of a society that had its roots in the eighteenth century.  Secondly, it still looks as if Hurd's copy of each ballad appeared most probably during the second decade of the nineteenth century in line with all his other ballads discussed so far but with a certain intrigue surrounding the idea that 'Shaston' as a period for issue arrived between 1804 and 1813.  This is, admittedly, to labour the point a little; and (to repeat) GLEE ... yet again throws any calculation to the winds.


Taking the foregoing remarks into consideration, it is possible to go over the ground again so as to firm up or dispel any possibilities that have emerged.  The greater proportion of extant Hurd ballads are centred on courtship and marriage - there are over a score of these - and even though the parameters of Hurd's ballad-printing career are not yet quite established, these ballads come from throughout that career as far as we know it up until the 1820s but not beyond.  Equally, the first ballads considered here immediately below were issued from 'Shaston' but there is no separation of subject-matter and, in some instances, of style from other ballads issued in 'Shaftesbury'.  Indeed, one ballad, as will be shown, was issued in copy from both Hurd locations.  There are also some ballads that have no attribution but that share substance and style that contrasts vividly with that in the ballads discussed immediately above and this certainly indicates that Hurd must have followed precedent at times rather than necessarily introducing a recognisable piece of his own.

Thus, THE Happy Stranger provides us with a first example of a group of lyrical, rural idylls that were themselves in general circulation, quite different in character to the four 'Shaston' ballads discussed immediately above.95  This one was, nevertheless, also printed in 'Shaston', further putting a stopper on any speculation other than that surrounding a name-change:

Naturally, in the ballad way, the protagonist steps up to her and bends his knee; and 'Her cheeks blush'd like roses and she shed a tear' asking that she be not ill-used.  Far from it.  He would see her home to her parents and, 'if we can agree' he would marry her: fortuitously, they are alike: She asks where he comes from and what misfortune had befallen him and he declares that he came from Newry.  She is at once sceptical. He protests that this is not so.  He 'never was marry'd'...

There is a final change of perspective:

Newry is almost certainly meant as an exotic reference for a primarily English audience.

Apart from Hurd's copy of THE Happy Stranger, there is also one copy with clear attribution to 'T. Evans, 79 Long Lane, Smithfield' and dates given for Thomas Evans him in BBTI are 1803-1815 (the Bodleian has 1790-1813) on its stock of ballads).  Copy is set out in the elaborate style of Laurie and Whittle as it was discussed in the previous piece in this series although this Evans copy lacks two stanzas found in the copy printed by Hurd.  Its appearance, with a fine engraving, marks it as an early copy of the particular text but, at the same time, this style of presentation looks to have disappeared at exactly this time.  Laurie and Whittle dates can be set between 1797 and 1818 and so overlap the period during which the Evans copy was issued.96

Other T Evans ballad copy can also be found to have been issued at an early date: The Wounded Hussar (written by Thomas Campbell and first published in his Pleasures of Hope, 1799); a ballad on La Loire frigate dated 1805; John Grouse and Mother Goose - there is an an aquatint dated to 1807; all three, ever if printed retrospectively, pre-dating anything that, so far, can be attached to the Hurd name.  This throws into relief the career of John Evans, so far noted as being the most likely member of the Evans family to have produced ballads at the same time as Hurd.  The appearance of 'T. Evans', all the same, does not alter the general markers to be used in trying to establish the extent of Hurd's output.97

There are also several examples of Pitts copy in Madden.  And as set out so far Hurd's ballad-printing and copy from Pitts' first address suggests that the two printers did issue text at much the same time, a feature that, potentially, draws Pitts and Hurd into a close union - and, what is more, with Evans.98

Angus copy has the title that was actually plural in nature - The Happy Strangers.  The text is commensurate with that of other copy.99

Then there is reference to a collection that involves Kendrew, who was printing between 1803 and 1838 (BBTI) and also William Storry, operating in York, Kendrew's home ground.  Storry's involvement in ballad-printing evidently began immediately after his apprenticeship (1776) and Storry stopped printing in 1823 so that a period emerges when he could have issued copy at much the same time as Evans, Pitts, Margaret Angus and - it seems - Hurd.  Kendrew's name, like those of Pitts and Evans, crops up more than once as a printer issuing copy that Hurd also printed and, despite the fact that no direct tie-up between the two printers can be made, it does suggest that there was a degree of popularity about each piece that, in the case of Kendrew and Hurd, may have prompted contemporaneous issue from rather far-flung operatives.100

A Cecil Sharp collection of broadsides in VWML - via the Roud index - has a reference to copy from 'Liptrot's'; and Liptrot was a printer active in St.  Helen's (Lancashire) between 1810 and 1828.  The familiar strictures should apply.  If Liptrot copy appeared after 1821 it is unlikely that Hurd can be brought into any kind of perspective. 

The piece itself remained popular and there is a printing from Fordyce with the name 'J.  Whinham' of Carlisle cited on copy as distributor.  All Bodleian archive ballads produced by the pair are dated to 1840 so that this copy could have no bearing on the emergence of Hurd as printer.101

There are also copies from a J.  Thompson in London in the Madden collection, each with a slightly different header block; and there are copies without an attribution although they have the same text that appear also in the Bodleian collection as known Thompson printings.  The number '6' is found on all copies - thus of probable significance in confirming the name of the printer although J.  Thompson's dates of working can not yet be pinned down.102

A further copy of THE Happy Stranger in the Bodleian is one with no imprint and the title includes the words 'A new song' by which we would expect it to have followed precedent or, in familiar fashion, to have simply sought to excite commercial attention.  Its place in the historical hierarchy is unknown.  Other such copies without imprint may be found in Madden.103

There is also copy as printed by Harkness.  His printing dates, to remind ourselves, extended from 1840 to 1866.  After this time text seems to have lost its appeal.104

Distribution of the ballad can be seen to be reasonably wide and relatively long-lasting but not overwhelming.  There is no surfeit, for instance, of London printers nor any wide spectrum in the north of England.  To re-emphasise a point, the juxtaposition of Hurd copy with those of T Evans, Angus and Pitts offers the prospect of a small corpus issued early on in the nineteenth century.

But the work of Scottish printers is interesting.  The Ratcliffe Bibliotheck is the source via Steve Roud and in it there is a reference to Robertson in Glasgow, not for the first time, credited with copy dating from 1807.  Morren in Edinburgh is also credited with the piece - the Roud reference is to the Lane catalogue in Harvard university.  And again in the same source, there is reference to other copy, this time from Miller in Haddington - either George Miller, operating in Haddington from 1804 on and as 'George Miller & Son' between 1812 and 1816 (and who can be thought of as an early printer) or the son, James, who continued to print out of Haddington until c.1833.  Finally, Johnston in Falkirk printed the piece, his dates being given in the Scottish Book Trade Index as 1797-1831.  The latter two take the story well into the nineteenth century but could well have issued the particular ballad at an early date.  As in several other instances Scottish printers may well have predated their English counterparts and have worked - so to speak - alongside too.  Hurd, it would seem in this case, printed bang in the middle of the period of Scottish contributions.105

Intrigue deepens, though, with the printing of 'Answers' to The Happy Stranger ('As I was a walking one morning in spring ...')  In their 1805 British Neptune songster already mentioned above, Howard and Evans printed an Answer to the Happy Stranger that actually appeared along with THE Happy Stranger.  Pitts also printed an 'Answer' - 'I once was a stranger in far country did roam ...'  So did Alice Swindells, Angus, Mate in Dover and - most probably towards the mid-century - so did Besley in Exeter.  A collection including the name of Kendrew is referenced in the Roud index.106

'Answers' ought to presuppose a ballad that had been issued at an earlier time and so should give a perspective on the original.  The Swindells 'Answer' does indeed take up the story of young Jemmy of Newry and so does that from Besley and the outcome is favourable to the couple.  Pitts printed this piece too.

Confirmation of the period during which Hurd printed THE Happy Stranger is the more important aspect here and there is a possibility, as there has been with other ballads discussed in this section, that his copy may just have predated the appearance of his murder ballad in 1813.  The presence at the same time of early copy from other printers - T Evans and Pitts, for instance - adds a modicum of support for this notion but it is still a matter of surmise.

There is one other aspect to the particular ballad.  Hurd's THE Happy Stranger is the kind that, for its elevation of scenes of rural bliss, uses a degree of politely-controlled language: not, then, like those Hurd ballads that exhibit a more basic linguistic style that is found in, say, The Rage of Fashion ... as discussed above and will be again seen to feature in courtship and marriage ballads such as The Pleasures of Matrimony, where the fortunes of the less well-off are exposed in relatively simple language.  The conclusion to be drawn as far as Hurd's printing habits are concerned is that he does not confine himself to one particular style of presentation and this in itself would indicate a printer taking his cue from others - it could be said in imitation or even more direct 'copying'.

The textual style of THE Happy Stranger, as will be seen, is mirrored quite closely in two other Hurd ballads, Bonnet so Blue and The Banks of Inverary.

In Bonnet so Blue, issued like THE Happy Stranger from 'Shaston', Hurd offers a military setting that, as it happens, is like that found in The Deserter and The Belfast Shoemaker though this is unlikely to have held any determining significance in matters of choice of material if the dodging to and from by Hurd amongst various subjects is anything to go by.107  As just noted above, substance and style in Hurd varied.

Hurd copy begins, unpropitiously - 'Down in a valley in the town of Yorkshire' - but we find in other copy that 'Yorkshire' is frequently transmogrified.  The essential narrative remains and it concerns a girl who declares, of a regiment of soldiers, that:

The final phrase is found in all of the eleven stanzas.

The girl's description of her man is familiar enough:

One morning the girl calls upon Sally, her waiting-maid (so she is not the poorest of persons) to help her dress and go see her love.  We learn that the man's name is Charles Stewart ('Once a prince of that name wore a bonnet so blue').

She tries to buy his discharge but there turns out to be a complication; again, a familiar one in such balladry...

However, In the final stanza the girl, notwithstanding her rejection, sends for 'a limner' 'from London to Hull' in order to draw the soldier's picture ... which she will keep in her chamber, 'close in my view'.  She will then be able to 'think on the laddie and his bonnet so blue'.  Ultimately, in terms of storyline, the soldier is seen to be rejecting a rather well-bred young lady for the sake of a true love.

When the fuller output is considered there are almost inevitable differences in textual phrasing and, in particular, geographical setting.  A Catnach version begins in 'Manchester town, in fair Lancashire' and the regiment travels from Scotland to England.  There is no Charles Stewart (of any denomination) but:

Disley (1860-1863) copy echoes this printing though Disley's output is not relevant as confirmation of the emergence of Hurd.109

George Wood in Liverpool (1808-1835) begins his piece in Manchester 'in fair Lancashire' but, in this case, the regiment travels from Scotland to Manchester itself and the name of the soldier is given as 'Charles Stuart'.  Wood can be seen to have overlapped in production with Hurd.  Another Liverpool printer, Armstrong, issued ballads between 1820 and 1824.  His version opens with:

This piece, too, emphasises the state of high living of the girl.  The Charles Stewart reference remains.

Alice Swindells, on the other hand, has 'At Kingston upon Woolwich, a town near Yorkshire' and the regiment moves from Scotland to Woolwich.  Otherwise the text is the same as that of Armstrong.  Angus copy has the same locational reference.  Harkness with 'The' in the title, has the location as 'Kingston-upon-Hull, in Yorkshire.110

Pitts, post-1819, sets his piece 'Down in the valley in the town of Yorkshire' where 'I liv'd at my ease and was free from all care'.  He refers to a 'bonny Scotch laddie', to 'Nelly' the waiting maid (not 'Sally' as in Hurd copy); and the soldier's name is given as 'Charles Thompson'.  Copy from Pitts and T Goodwin, issued after 1819, also begins with 'Down in a valley in the town of Yorkshire'.  Copies without imprint have ''Twas down into Woolwich I came from Yorkshire' and 'At Kingston-upon-Hull, a town in Yorkshire'.111

Birt copy, with an echo of Pitts, nevertheless begins with 'It was down in the green vallies (sic), in a town in Yorkshire', a unique opening.112

Such, though, has 'in Manchester Town in fair Lancashire' and there is no Charles Stewart.  Hodges copy opens with the same line.113

Apart from all this copy there is a version of text entitled The Bonny Scotch Laddie and his Bonnet So Blue; or Scotch Laddie and Bonnet So Blue.  It is, though, the same ballad.

Evans of 'Long-lane' may again prove to be an early - if not the earliest - printer of the piece.  His copy begins with 'Down in a green valley, in a town in Yorkshire', the same line that is found on Hurd copy, yet again suggesting a connection between the two although Evans has the title The Bonny Scotch Lad and his Bonnet So Blue and with a location at 'Kingston on Hull'.114

The locations in general, if inconsistent, do initially reflect a northern setting but this does not represent exoticism so much as the conventions of precedent.

As with other ballads there is a Scottish printer input - for instance, an 1812 reference to Neilson in Paisley; and the Ratcliffe Bibliotheck mentions both Fraser in Stirling and Duncan in Glasgow - all these via the Roud index.  The Scottish Book Trade Index lists but one Fraser in Stirling - John, whose overall operative dates run from 1816 to 1825.  There is a choice of Duncans referenced in the the same source, prime candidates being Thomas, printing between 1801 and c.1827 and Andrew and John M Duncan, printing between 1815 and 1820 ... both these alternatives reinforcing the general time when the first flush of issue is evident elsewhere.115

It does seem that Hurd was one of the earlier English printers.  Disley, as noted, may be discounted and Such, too, is late.  So is Harkness.  Evans ought to be name that is relevant to that of Hurd.  Catnach could have been a companion printer after 1813.  Wood overlaps with Hurd in small measure.

Pitts, though, printed his copy after 1819 and there is always a slight puzzle surrounding the name of Swindells (there is also a Swindells 'Answer' to the piece).  Obviously, the ballad was immensely popular and there was continuous issue with something of a peak during the mid-century and a little after.  None of this is precise information for dating.  It is more that the general popularity of any particular piece amongst printers, as in this case, gives us an idea of parameters.  Where Hurd is concerned, there is no reason to look beyond the 1810s for his copy of the particular ballad.

On another Hurd ballad, JEMMY is slain in the wars I'm afraid, he lists it as 'A NEW SONG' - which might elevate an older version or, as usual, indicate how the printer tried to drum up business - and he printed it in 'Shaston'.116  The textual style of the Hurd piece is more in line with that of THE Happy Stranger and of Bonnets so Blue and not like the style discussed in Parody on the Habit-Shirt or The Rage of Fashion.  The character of the piece is, nevertheless, full of familiar detail.

JEMMY ... concerns an encounter 'down the green pastures' where 'I heard a fair Maiden making sad lamentation', repeating the phrase, 'Jemmy is slain in the wars I'm afraid'.  During the maid's lament we learn that:

and she insists that others were feeling the same distress as herself.

The observer (the 'writer') says 'My heart did bleed for her to see death upon her ...' and, in the narrative, when Jemmy actually return from the wars, he finds that his love Nancy 'was laid in her grave'; and, following this discovery:

There is a conventional plea for peace and success to all, an addition that has no real bearing on the movement of the narrative.

The classic song of this sort would have been Died for Love and there are numerous other examples of the same genre, several of them incorporating the name 'Jemmy', or, indeed, 'Nancy' - such as Adieu sweet lovely Nancy.  Hurd was tapping a well-worn seam but one whose final lines may not have always yielded up hopes for the future.

There is one note of piquancy in an uneven attempt to introduce internal rhyming in lines.  This may just have been intended to imitate the more widespread use of the art in Irish songs.  It is, though, hardly wholesale in Hurd ballads, not, indeed, in general issue.  A piece from Nugent, in Dublin, late though it may be, gives the idea with the line 'You brilliant muses, who ne'er refuses ...'  Earlier in time, Birt's The lovely Sailor contains a degree of internal rhyming:

That aside, printing history of JEMMY ... began, it seems, with Evans.  The Angus imprint, most probably under the auspices of Margaret Angus, underlines a fairly early appearance for the ballad.  Otherwise, Pitts had it in his 1836 list - at this stage in discussion a rather remote point but one that implies that there was an earlier issue in time.  This also applies to Catnach and his 1832 list.  Garland, in Battle who appears to have operated around the 1817-1820 mark and Williams in Portsea both carried the piece in stock although Williams is a printer straddling the 1840s.  There is also a reference in the Roud index to a chapbook copy from W Scott in Greenock, who printed between 1810 and 1829: another Scottish incursion that underlines a considerable output from that quarter at this time.  Enough has been said in this and the previous article in this series to raise the profile of Scottish printers of ballads generally to a point where a serious study is demanded.118

In sum, the piece can be seen to have had currency during the 1810s and the 1820s.  Drawing on what has been set out concerning Hurd ballad issue so far, the probable dates of issue for his ballad (in 'Shaston') would seem to parallel the earlier years of Scott in Greenock and this would place both printers in a position along with Evans and Angus; and, yet again, there is no obvious reason to change the emphasis from the 1810s for any Hurd issue.

The Dawning of the Day.  Or, A WARNING to Young Women is the one Hurd ballad that we know of as having been printed separately under both the names 'Shaston' and 'Shaftesbury'.119  The format is similar in each of the two extant printings - with woodcuts as header-blocks although each is different in character.  The 'Shaston' header is of a winged cupid with bow and arrow, up in the sky, and this header is shared with Hurd's The Squire's Change (below).  The 'Shaftesbury' copy has a figure of a rotund man with curly hair and - perhaps: it is not clear - a breastplate, together with a girdle that looks to be composed mainly of leaves and then boots.  In one hand he carries a bottle and in the other a cup.  One might hazard that this is a representation of Bacchus.  This header also appears on GLEE (already discussed) and on The Chapter of Donkies, both totally different kinds of ballad.  Obviously in themselves the headers are, so to speak, meaningless but the fact that some are found on ballads under two possible auspices indicates how a printer might be economical with his resources; and, importantly, the separate header blocks on the two Hurd copies of the same ballad indicate successive printings, a feature otherwise not found in the Hurd oeuvres.

The narrative, in the mode of THE Happy Stranger and Bonnet(s) so Blue, begins as follows:

- no surprises as yet.

Of the 'Maid',

The formalities ensue: where was she going ... a-milking ...  'You've time enough ...' to rest a little while: during which 'my arms entwin'd around her pretty waist' and he set her on a primrose bank. Things are not quite so straightforward, for She protests further, much further, and tries to urge the young man to make amends but: And the young maid could offer nothing but her misery as a warning to others.

Meanwhile, the printing history of the piece can be surveyed.  Narrative content in all copy is consistent although some copy varies in its stanza order and certain details change.  Grundy in Worcester (1780-1810) looks to offer one of the earliest of named issues.  Pitts printed the the ballad but not until after 1819 (oddly, perhaps, there is no Catnach copy; nor is it found in his 1832 list).  There is also copy from Ryle and Paul in London, issued between 1838 and 1859, and from Moore in Belfast (1846-1852) - beyond these dates, there is a heavy northern concentration - also 'late' - through Wheeler, Livsey, Bebbington, Swindells and Pearson (1850-1899) in Manchester.  The Wheeler printing, as far as can be determined, was from James Wheeler who printed ballad copy, from Whittle Street, Manchester and this gives us a span between 1827 and 1847.  Livsey does not, as a printer, have any bearing on the dates of Hurd's career.  There are records of him operating from '12 Whittle Street' with a date of 1841 attached.  Bebbington printed between 1855 and 1861.  Pearson clearly printed late on.  In fact, where the Manchester group is concerned, it looks very much as if only Alice Swindells might have issued copy at similar time to Hurd when a precedent had been set.120

There are several extant copies without imprint that, in the main, have the same narrative course with similar small changes to those found in named copies.  One or two unattributed copies also employ the long 's' ...  They would seem to be early copy and have text in one long block and with detail absent from Hurd copy:

Hurd, in turn, leaves out two stanzas that are found elsewhere.  For instance, there is a stanza in the narrative (in copy from Grundy, Pitts and Pearson and in unattributed copy - and so so spread over the whole lifetime of the ballad) that is absent from Hurd text:

Another stanza, effectively a 'naming' stanza and found in copy from, say, Pitts and from Such, is also absent from Hurd and the naming sometimes differs.  Pitts has 'Helen'; Such 'Hellen'.  The full stanza reads:

One unattributed copy, claiming the ballad as a new song, has the name 'Ellin' rather than 'Ellen' or 'Helen'.

There is also unattributed copy that leaves out the final lines - in effect, the moral of the story - that are found in Hurd copy (and in other copy) as follows:

Finally, whilst there is a consensus in the narrative where the man, after seducing the girl, declares that he has another love - as shown in the extract from Hurd copy above - the location differs from Hurd's place 'far away'.  The overwhelming consensus in copy, including that which appears to be early, is reference to 'Bantry Bay'.  Such, on the other hand, refers to 'Botany Bay' and Moore in Belfast to 'Dunmanway', reflections, it is to be assumed, of historical perspectives and geographical rooting.122

In all this, the prolongation of the life of the ballad is clear enough and the regular conclusion may be drawn as to the following of precedent.  There seems little doubt that the ballad, like THE Happy Stranger and Bonnet so Blue, was first created at an earlier period in time.  Importantly, Hurd copy maintains the formal, almost stately textual pattern, found also in both THE Happy Stranger and Bonnet so Blue.  This confirms the idea expressed here that content and style persisted in Hurd copy under the names of both 'Shaston' and 'Shaftesbury' and it does - again - throw doubt on any separation between the locations.

All told, especially in view of the considerable degree of 'late' output from Manchester as noted above and apart from possibilities attached to copy without imprint (which are certainly not to be ignored even despite the fact that Hurd does not really 'follow' their example) only Grundy and Alice Swindells as named printers share Hurd's known printing dates - with Pitts hovering after 1819.  Unless Hurd printed his copy after 1821, he is cast by default as an early printer of The Dawning of the Day and his copy by dint of association to the rest of his output looks to have been issued during the 1810s.

Another Hurd ballad, The Banks of Inverary, on which there is no printing address, shares the texual style of THE Happy Stranger and Bonnet so Blue and in it an Arcadian idyll emerges once more.123  The scene is set 'Early one summer's morning ...' and there is an encounter with 'a handsome lass' whose 'hair hung o'er her shoulders broad and her eyes like stars did shine'.

The protagonist embraces the girl; and, whilst protesting ('young Man leave off'), she nevertheless continues to walk along with him, albeit with an admonition:

He answers - a little surprisingly, perhaps - that on the banks he had already beguiled 'twelve Maids' but that this time he would not follow such a course because 'I'm glad to meet with thee'.  And he calls up 'thirty-six well armed men' who then bear witness that 'On the banks of Inverary I found my Wife, said he'. At least in this ballad the outcome is favourable for both parties.  Speculatively, one wonders if there was some sort of earlier tale with a Priest in place of the more modern Parson.  Several of the images remind us of much earlier broadside ballads, especially with the inclusion of an armed escort - one thinks of songs such as Johnny Scot and The Green Wedding - and, again, the basic theme of Banks of Inverary is familiar enough and the use of 'Inverary' is presumably to appeal to the imagination, a device we find in several other ballads - we recall 'Newry' in the ballad, THE Happy Stranger, discussed above and the various locations for the protagonists in Bonnet so Blue .  With a Scottish setting one might have expected a contribution from Scotland but there do not appear to be any copies from that quarter - only notice in the National Library of Scotland - to Batchelar.124

Printing history of the piece is still extensive.  In date order, as far as can be gauged, extant copy includes a printing from Evans ('Early one summer's morning...') and one from Jennings (with the same opening line); and then, after 1813, Catnach both on his own and, again, along with W Marshall in Bristol and Batchelar in London, the last-named from an address in Hackney Road Crescent where the printer was not ensconced until 1828.  The piece also appeared in Pitts' 1836 list.  The roll-call spanned the 1820s through Armstrong, who issued the ballad between 1820 and 1824, Stephenson in Gateshead between 1821 and 1828 and Birt during 1828 and 1829.  There was copy from Such, whose dates embrace a considerable period of time though late in comparison to Hurd as has been noted several times above; and then from McCall in Liverpool - printing between 1857 and 1877.  There are also printings from Wheeler in Manchester, Williams in Portsea and Fordyce in Newcastle and the Roud index gives a reference to the titles in a collection from Kendrew.  There is nobody in this extended list who can be firmly associated in time with Hurd.125

Although McCall leaves out the protagonist's admission of previous encounters the text is practically the same in all copy - Stephenson, mind, has only thirty armed men; Birt, even more economically, but six.

In Hurd's case, whenever and wherever the piece was printed, its header block, a woodcut, is typical of the printer and can be found also on copy of The Dumb Wife's Tongue Let Loose (below).  In the woodcut, there is a couple facing each other, he dressed in a large hat, breeches and (possibly) gaiters and playing a pipe and she in what appears to be a gown (her figure is partially obscured).  Both carry shepherd's crooks and there is a horned sheep in attendance.  The background is sylvan.  As it happens, a similar scene but with the figures set apart can be seen on other Hurd copy (below).  One would think that such woodcuts were almost related in theme.

However, it is the evidence of early issue resting in copy from from Evans and Jennings and with Pitts and Catnach well-placed - all in regard to Hurd - that is the key for the direction of this article.

LOVER'S MEETING, somewhat like the preceding ballads in style, was printed out of 'Shaftesbury' and has the simplest, not the lengthiest, of attributions and a device as header, all this suggesting that Hurd employed them throughout his career, notwithstanding the name-change from 'Shaston' to 'Shaftesbury'.126  The ballad has often been known as Down in Cupid's Garden and this, in fact, places it in a line of 'Garden' songs - Vauxhall and Ranelagh being the most famous venues as a constituent element of the life of the capital in the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries but, it should be emphasised, often dealing in 'composed' material and featuring well-known artistes.  'Cupid's' is a variant of 'Cuper's which was the name of gardens situated on the south side of the Thames in Lambeth, established by the Earl of Arundel in the 1680s and leased to the gardener, Abraham Cuper.  The Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Sancroft, expanded the gardens in 1686 and the gardens featured an orchestra (1736) and firework displays.  It was, however, a place like other gardens where certain dubious assignations were suspected and, in fact, was closed in 1753, allegedly because of the loose morals of its clientele but, more mundanely, perhaps because Vauxhall simply took over.

Whilst eventually the ballad itself springs a slight surprise it begins - in Hurd copy - with the protagonist spying 'two virgins' seated in a 'pleasant bower'.

He steps up to her and, enquiring whether she was attached to any young man, is given the answer that she intends to stay a virgin.  However, they do proceed 'hand-in-hand' and we learn that he is, in fact, a sailor - and, more, that she would not slight him were he to go to sea.  Thus: Then - and we might not expect true logic or consistency - he bids farewell not to the virgin who wears the laurel but to 'my dearest Nancy'.  When he returns he will marry her and 'go no more to sea'.

The history of the piece under the title Lover's Meeting involves Evans and Pitts, the latter printing at least once out of his first address.  After his first printing between 1802 and 1819 Pitts printed the piece again after 1819 (and yet again, this time alongside a piece with the eye-opening title of Crummy the newsman).  Catnach had the piece and so did Birt and Fortey but, as oft expressed here, neither of these two latter printers are relevant to the establishment any period of Hurd issue.  There is, too, copy without imprint that cannot be accurately measured.127

Alternative titles add complexity to the life of the ballad.  As The Lady Who Fell in Love With a Prentice Boy it can be found in copy from Jennings, Evans, Pitts (after 1819), Batchelar and then in a collection involving Kendrew.  Latterly it re-appeared with this title in America.  There is also one reference to appearance with this title in 1770 - albeit not clearly confirmed.  This would suggest that Hurd might have used The Lady...  as precedent.

Elizabeth Hodges, printing between 1844 and 1861, issued it as Cupid's Garden.128

Russell, Bebbington and Harkness refer to 'Covent' Garden.  All, though, were later printers than was Hurd.129

Another well-used variation in the title - Lovers' Meeting - can be found on Birt copy.  Fortey also used this title and there are copies without imprint that do the same.  However, it is as Lover's Meeting - with the particular placement of the apostrophe - that sets Hurd alongside Evans and Pitts and underlines a possible connection as do other associations through ballads discussed here.  Catnach also used this title.  Later, so did Birt who, in this eclecticism with titles, is no guide to Hurd's progress any more than are his working dates.130

Clearly, the piece stayed popular.  Nevertheless, that link amongst Evans, Hurd and Pitts is a salient one and puts Hurd into an early frame for printing.

I'm often Drunk, but seldom sober, printed from 'Shaston', is a love song of a different kind again to those so far discussed although lyrical in its gestures.131  Considering the somewhat startling title, it begins (on Hurd copy) in somewhat nostalgic fashion in direct contrast to any anticipated narrative:

There is a chorus - Just as with the previous ballad discussed, it could well be that nowadays acquaintance with I'm often drunk ... would be through song that emerged as a version of The Wild Rover, a good example of how a piece lasts and is re-invented.  In the case of the Hurd ballad, 'pretty' girls in London are mentioned and the ballad stresses how 'my love' is as clever a woman as any to be found in England.  Yet: So all is not quite well; and, indeed, as love grows older so it grows colder.  There is really no comfort and, ultimately, starkly: Comprehensive antecedents are mixed in nature but there is a link between the theme in copy as described here and that of Waly, waly up the bank, written by Allan Ramsay (1686-1758).  Ramsay, it appears, cobbled his version from others already in existence.  The Scottish 'serious' singer William Thomson printed a version of text in his Orpheus Caledonia of 1726 and there are examples of text in several chapbooks of the eighteenth century.  John Gay used a pre-existent 'Waly Waly' tune in Polly (1729) and 'Jas. Worsdale' used the same in A Cure for a Scold (1735).  Variants such as The Unfortunate Swain appeared.  Printing in collections as Waly, waly up the bank continued from the eighteenth well into the nineteenth centuries with a raft of issue in songsters - in Napier's A selection of the most favourite Scots songs... (William Napier, London, issued in 1790 and again in 1792 and 1794); in Smith's Scotish (sic) Minstrel (ed. 1 1820-1824); in Museum Casket 1842, Davidson's Universal Melodist, London 1848, Cameron's Selection of Scottish Songs (1862) and Gilchrist's Scottish Songs Ancient and Modern (1865).  All these may be found in the Roud index.  It was not, then (to say the least), an unknown piece in one form or another and in this sits alongside other examples of ballad material found first in sources other than single ballad copies that have featured in this discussion.

In broadside terms, though, it does not seem to have emerged until the nineteenth century when it was issued as Waly, waly up the bank in two copies from Catnach, both in compendiums of 'Scottish' songs.  It was also issued, with the title I'm often Drunk but Seldom Sober, in a printing from Liptrot's in St Helens where it begins with 'The sea is wide...'.  Armstrong copy was issued in this form (printed, strictly speaking, for Armstrong).  Both Liptrot and Armstrong, as noted previously, worked out of Liverpool during the 1820s.  There is also one unattributed copy beginning like copy from Armstrong: 'The sea is wide ...'  In general terms, Hurd has been left behind - as an early printer of the piece.132

There are copies issued with an opening line as 'Many cold winter's nights I've travell'd'.  It is in the following chorus that the lines including 'I'm often drunk ...' appear.133

None of this affects the emerging view of Hurd and, yet again, there is no obvious reason why the 1810s should not remain as the favourite decade for placing Hurd copy.

Young Lassey, A NEW SONG, printed from 'Shaston' (the word 'New' is noteworthy in the usual manner), has a pseudo-Scottish air about it - and a tantalising heroine ...134  The setting is midsummer and the protagonist, presumably male, 'was a keeping of sheep' when the young 'Lassey' is spied who was 'wadding the water so deep'.  The maid cries out to him to 'Gang over the water with me'; but he declares that he can see her shift!  He addresses her as 'Moggy', a reference that can be traced back at least to 1726 and John Gay's ballad of Molly Mog.135

The debate between the 'Lassey' and the 'keeper of sheep' continues and, even though he finds out that she's bound for 'fair London city' in order to 'seek for the man I love', she continues to invite him to 'Gang over the water with me'.

There the ballad ends.  There are precedents as far as the theme is concerned but nothing quite like this piece.  As well as the use of the name 'Moggy', which is a variant of 'Maggy' and certainly well-known throughout the eighteenth century, there are references to her dress - shoes of the 'best leather', 'stockings the finest of silk', and a 'smock of the finest of holland'.  Such apparel is characteristic of descriptions in balladry of country scenes of squires, milkmaids, shepherds and other figures in the mode of dress and the aspirations of the less well-off population but it should be borne in mind that Hurd does not try to evoke any particularly older event - something that might have taken place in the eighteenth century - and this is typical of his output and the ballad way of offering image and archetype.  In the case of Hurd, the character of his output is, as has been seen, varied throughout his career but there is this strong element of a backward glance in this ballad.

He is the only printer of this piece recorded in Steve Roud's broadside index - another instance, it seems, of a certain independence.  Nevertheless, the one or two words such as 'gang' that can be highlighted do suggest that the piece came from elsewhere with a fair tinge of Scotland about it.  This is not so surprising.  During the course of the eighteenth century when MacPherson's Ossian (as example) and Ramsay's Tea-Table Miscellany appeared - in fact, quite early in the century - and then when the effects of the 1715 and 1745 conflicts had been mitigated to a small extent (though not in all quarters), an interest amongst the English in things Scottish began to grow and there came about a growth of 'improvements' on Scottish airs and of a budding Romantic pursuit in poetry especially, principally by the English middle-classes.  This offered a false enough picture of a Scotland of mists and mountains but it was upon these grounds, during the last two decades of the eighteenth century, that John Johnson introduced his Scots Musical Museum (the first volume appeared in 1787) and upon which Burns operated, quite happy to alter sources and contributing wholesale to the pages of theMuseum.  The appearance of collections of airs such as George Thomson's volumes of music (from 1793 on) encouraged something of a fashion and by the earliest years of the nineteenth century, Scottish music and some literature achieved a high profile with the music, in particular, attracting the attention of such as Haydn and Beethoven.

Something of the same sort may be said about Ireland; but, clearly, this was not a phenomenon that would be expected to have spread through the rural context of England even if it was grist to certain mills, including those set in motion by ballad-printers.  There is so much here to explore...

But - to return to Young Lassey - the piece is clearly attributed to Hurd in 'Shaston'.  Its header-block has already been mentioned as connecting it in one way with other issue from the same source.  Nothing about the ballad suggests anything other than inclusion in the list that terminates with Hurd's Caroline ballad; but the time of change from the designation 'Shaston' to that of and 'Shaftesbury' remains unclear.

Hurd's Answer to the Blue-Ey'd Stranger is a product from 'Shaftesbury' about which location it is now possible to be reasonably clear in terms of timing; and it implies the existence of a known previous ballad, the Blue-Ey'd Stranger, although there is no Hurd copy of the latter available.  The example of THE Happy Stranger and its 'Answers' can be born in mind.136  Hurd's Answer ..., in its textual style, can be seen to be less measured than that of The Happy Stranger and Bonnet so blue but, at the same time, not quite so spikey in language as other Hurd ballads that surveyed the less sophisticated rural scene.

The piece begins in conventional fashion:

and, almost predictably, she was 'a beauty bright' and 'with her that moment I was struck' ... so much so that: He falls on his 'bended knees' and asks if she is the 'blue-ey'd stranger' and to counter her amazement he continues: 'Have you forgot the stormy night' when she came to his father's house: and to church they went and he 'bless'd the stormy night' when first 'He saw the blue-ey'd stranger'.

Hurd's 'Answer' can be seen to have followed on from a previous ballad but, as has been the case with various other sequential ballads discussed here, it is not really an 'Answer' but more a development of the narrative.

Apart from Hurd copy, there is individual copy from Sarah Taylor printed during the first decade of the nineteenth century; another copy from Catnach giving a date of 1813 at the earliest; one from Batchelar (1828-1829); one from Collard; one from Fordyce; and one copy without imprint. Sarah Taylor it is who would seem to have been the first printer of an 'independent' Answer ... and if hers was a response - or, so to speak, an extension - to Blue-Ey'd Stranger, then copy of the latter ought, one would think, have appeared earlier still, perhaps at the end of the eighteenth century.137

There is also a Swindells Answer ..., but, whilst it should be possible to go along with the proposal already made that Alice Swindells was responsible for the family interest in ballads, this would place the parent ballad from the same printer and any 'Answer' at much the same time.  Indeed, Pitts printed Blue-Ey'd Stranger and an 'Answer' together, from his second address, but after 1819.  and, therefore, not in the running for determining any 'early' appearance of the two ballads.

It is as well, then, to give some small time to consideration of The Blue-Ey'd Stranger.  Printing history of this ballad seems to have begun with Evans; and Evans is close to Sarah Taylor in respect of timing.  There is also 'late' copy too from Fordyce, working between 1828 and 1837 according to the Bodleian archive.  Intriguingly, whilst the Fordyce copy is set out in a conventional manner, his Answer ..., on the same sheet, employs the long 's' (Pitts, in contrast is straightforward in his printings of both ballads).  If nothing else, this may be another way of determining that the long 's' was not a device that just slid away as conventions of language changed but that it was deliberately resurrected at various times by various printers.  There is plenty of evidence to show that the long 's' was not necessarily a sign of age but rather a printer's 'trick'.

The list of copy of The Blue-Ey'd Stranger propels interest well into the nineteenth century: for example, through Ford in Chesterfield and Willey in Cheltenham; Ford printing during the 1830s and Willey after 1841.  This continued interest is augmented with copy in a compendium issued by Henry Wardman in Bradford (an otherwise obscure printer) at some stage between 1830 and 1850.  There are references in Roud to one or two songsters that compound the life of the ballad.

There is no evidence that Hurd printed during the 1820s other than through the appearance of his Caroline ballad.  Much in line with ballads already discussed, it would seem likely that he issued his own 'Answer' during the 1810s and this underlines Sarah Taylor's entry into the printing stakes at what appears to have been a slightly earlier time, along with Evans.  Was Hurd, so to say, a second-wave printer following precedent?

It is also worth mentioning that there is no header block on Hurd copy such as those noted previously in discussion - in connection with, say, The Rage of Fashion - but, instead, a printer's 'device'.  Again, it begins to seem clear that the presence or absence of either a woodcut or a device has no bearing on the date of issue of any one ballad.138

Hurd printed another piece, Billy and Sally, that is sometimes found as The Sailor from Dover.139  This is one of the eight Hurd pieces that carry a lengthy attribution marked as having been printed in 'Shaftesbury' - and one from 'Shaston', General Distress, that could have been issued just at the point where circumstances were changing, perhaps as a reflection of Hurd's growing confidence and an expanding business and so when a name-change occurred.  But as has been seen, there is no alteration in the kinds of ballad produced in 'Shaftesbury' even if all of Hurd's historically-based ballads can be traced to this location.

In the narrative of The Sailor from Dover there is a manifestation of revenge.  The first stanza sums up the dilemma:

He fears that her rejection 'will my ruin prove' and she tells him that it was not a case of rejecting him but of all men - 'I ne'er intend to marry' you unless I am forc'd'.

The situation that Sally found herself in revolves round her 'portion', so often the key to marriage when rich heiresses, in particular, were notoriously objects of desire, negotiation and of abduction during the eighteenth century (and, less so, in the nineteenth century).  A girl's own will was not a fit consideration for marrying, a subject referred to more than once in discussion above.

In this case, after 'seven long weeks', Sally fell ill and, in the Hurd version, we find that:

He appears - but, as it were, not as himself: He, however, is not so easily satisfied and asks if she remembered how she had rejected him.  She (we would expect it) says: but he is not mollified: She then takes rings off her fingers and gives them to 'my dearest Billy, in remembrance of me'.

She insists that he will be sorry for what he has done.

In a final stanza she bids farewell to her 'daddy' and her 'mammy' and her friends, to 'all pleasure', and to this 'young sailor', and she is left only with a reminder of her folly.

As usual, the printing history of the piece is laced with variations and repeat copy.  Pitts looks only to have printed copy after 1819 and under a different title to that of Hurd - Sally and her true love Billy; and there is a reference to Catnach copy with the same title in the Crampton collection via Steve Roud's index.  Catnach and Pitts had the ballad in their lists of 1832 and 1836 respectively.  The title as used by them seems to have been the favourite one and there is copy from Mate in Dover, working between 1807 and 1825 under the same title.  Elizabeth Hodges, too, unsurpringly in view of her inheritance from Pitts, used this title and it is found on Disley copy although these copies and that from Such push the dates of printing way out into the nineteenth century, ending up, as far as Such is to be considered, in the period between 1860 and 1883.  There is a Roud reference to copy in a British Library collection of printers who included Kendrew - and it is known that Kendrew himself printed up until 1838.  The title in this case includes a claim for the piece as 'a New Song'.  There is also one unattributed copy under the title The Inconstant Couple and two extant unattributed copies, one with very minor adjustments and the title Sally and her true love Billy.

As Sally and Billy a piece was printed by Pitts (et al) but this is not the same ballad.  The title, in fact, is extended to include 'Or, The Fatal Repulse', beginning 'Young Bill went a courting' and of a different hue all round.  In contrast, the ballad as found under the same title in Ashton's Real Sailor Songs (1891) is the relevant one.  Hodges printed The Rover - and this, too, is a version of Billy and Sally (as Hurd has it).

Nonetheless, the piece was not scattered all over the country: no copy from the north apart from a sight in a collection including copy from Kendrew; nothing from the midlands of England; and only a limited output from London, at least half of which did not appear until well on into the century.140

Finally, Hurd's title is unique: Billy and Sally, plain and simple.

At this stage it looks as if Hurd cast a bright eye on the piece quite early on, possibly along with Mate or Catnach.  There is no other copy that can be easily associated with that period of time and Hurd's title stands out.

THE lamentation and Parting of the true-hearted Couple from Hurd might possibly be a re-working from other, related ballads using the same theme and some details.141 Whitford in Bath, for instance, put out The Maiden's Lament for the Loss of Her sweetheart.  A new song that had the same but not exact make-up as the Hurd printing (where dating is concerned, as it happens, Whitford also printed at least one ballad centred on the Napoleonic wars, post-Waterloo and the date of this Whitford Napoleonic interest is immediately commensurate ballads on the same subject that came from Hurd).  A contribution from Pitts issued as The Gallant Sailor that appeared after 1819 is, likewise, the same ballad; and there were a number of other issues of the text under this title in general circulation.  These include copy from Thomas Batchelar, issued from Long Alley between 1817 and 1828, Armstrong in Liverpool (issuing ballads 1820-1824), from Whiting in Birmingham (1833-1835) and from 'Innes and Co.' in Hull.  The life and connections of the ballad are thus laid out.  Form and kind can be seen, in this case, to have extended after Hurd's career but with qualifications: to-ing and fro-ing amongst printers helping to illuminate individual practice.  In this connection, a piece may be found in the collection of ballads that included the name of Kendrew and that is making a regular appearance in discussion - copy entitled The Gallant Sailor.  This piece, however, is but a brief encomium and, in the particular version, to a sailor who returns to his Nancy.  It is not, then, Hurd's ballad, as will be seen.142

The Hurd piece takes the form of a dialogue, beginning with 'FAREWELL, my gallant Sailor' and urging the sailor to 'Be thou constant and true hearted'.  The sailor, in turn, asks:

The girl on shore wakes from 'Frightful dreams' that have her sailor cast away ... and then she recounts how, when she first saw her gallant sailor, Cupid wounded her deeply ...  She begs (as lines at the end of the first stanza had done) that: The sailor expresses hope that the war would soon be over 'That we may be blest with Peace' and that 'In Hymen's bands we'll quickly join'; and he promises that: This turns out to be a fairly brief but slow-moving and elevated ballad, in tone more like The Dawning of the Day and Bonnet so blue than it is those ballads that have a slightly rougher quality of language that can be represented by, say, ballads about fashion such as The New Straw Bonnet.

The underlying theme can be seen to have involved pledges of undying love.  This will also be found appearing in ballads that extend the subject-matter such as Nancy's Lament for the Loss of Her Sailor and Answer to The Maid's Lamentation for Young Jemmy the Sailor (the name 'Jemmy' - as it has been found in Hurd's own ballad discussed above - is seen to have been a generic one and, often, can be found instead as 'William').143

One early example of the kindred set to Hurd's ballad - entitled The Gallant Sailor - appeared in Scotland: from Robertson in Glasgow in 1799.  Scottish interest was extended by Randall in Stirling printing between 1813 and 1820 by which time Catnach and Pitts had taken up the idea.  This provides a combined set of dates that take us through the 1810s and into the 1820s and covering the period of time when Hurd was printing ballads that gave 'Shaftesbury' as the place of origin and when he issued his own piece, The lamentation and parting ...144

Of kind - in the form of a lament - Broken-hearted Peggy, OR THE Forlorn SAILOR, is another Hurd piece from 'Shaftesbury'145, this time with a muted outcome, that takes the particular narrative progress in which:

Things are not as simple as that, however, as a 'CHORUS' informs us: The sailor had been away for six weeks ('or more') when he received a letter 'her fate to deplore'.  She had lived in 'the fam'd town of Deal' and 'all other damsels this Maid did excel'.  He had been 'forc'd for to go' in the cause of his country but where the father comes in is not clear ...  The only connection is given as follows: We can only assume a scenario, familiar from other ballads like the much earlier crop such as The Leicestershire Garland and The Yarmouth Tragedy, discussed alongside examples contemporary with Hurd in the Porter piece on this site, where the father opposes any kind of relationship, let alone marriage (he might have to fork out) and so, through nefarious means, despatches the boy somewhere dreadful or even has him put away altogether.

In this case, the sailor bids farewell 'to the groves, and those sweet shady bowers' ...  He can find no comfort and the loss of Peggy 'still tortures my mind'.  Clearly enough, the piece is conventional in tone and imagery and just a little inconsequential.

Apart from Hurd, Jennings is the only other printer who provides extant copy, albeit with very slight changes in one or two details.  Thus, the scarcity of the particular piece once again renders a view of the relative independence of Hurd.  It can be added that Hurd's header-block, featuring a man in tri-corn hat, ruff, a kind of surcoat and with a shepherd's crook, was shared with copies of his Answer to the Pleasure of Matrimony, The Deserter, Justices and Old Baileys and The Middlesex Farmer, all issued from 'Shaftesbury' and all varied in character.

Hurd also cited two tunes for use: that for The Happy Stranger or that for Chatham Lass and this gives an idea of the possible history of the tune with The Happy Stranger, as shown above, seeming to have emerged very early on in the new century.  Since Jennings also cited the Chatham Lass tune a connection between the two printers may gain a little substance in a similar way to the apparent links amongst Hurd, Pitts and Evans.  The tunes are difficult to track down ...146

One might pause to indicate that the group of ballads just discussed, even if their textual characteristics differ a little, offers an imaginative view of courtship that, amongst the principals, induces both anxiety and aspiration.  The presence of cruel fathers and unfaithful lovers increases the piquancy and, mostly, the women come off worst.  There is always the hope of rapture and security and so, directly and indirectly, the hierarchical nature of society is exposed.

Turning to Hurd's printing of The wounded FARMER'S SON, another 'Shaftesbury' piece,we find another hope for and exposition of a rural idyll.  It begins as follows:

One might argue a role reversal as: And when he awakes and expresses surprise at her presence - she clearly having lost her way from home and her parents - she says: And, happily, they marry: the essential outcome.147

The Hurd piece has a substantial attribution on it - to 'Hurd, Printer, Bookseller, Stationer, Bookbinder, Music-Seller, Druggist, &c.  Shaftesbury' (my italics).  This, as pointed out above, looks as if it offers increasing confidence in business although there is the concomitant possibility of a financial need to advertise a number of occupations that could stand alongside ballad-printing.  It has already been noted that, at the end of his life, Hurd bequeathed very little material benefits to his family - but that date is a distant one.  It is probably more to the point that there are troughs and heights in the lives of many printers, in some cases involving bankruptcy.

The date of issue of Hurd's The Wounded FARMER'S SON would appear to follow on from those of the earliest printers such as Joshua Davenport who, according to BBTI, was working between 1790 and 1808.

Evans, printing from 'Long-lane', also issued copy and this gives a probable dating between 1780 and 1820, a general period for issue that, as in other cases discussed already, embraces Hurd's output.  In this respect, too, the name of Pitts emerges, printing from his first address between 1802 and 1819 though he also printed the piece again after 1819 and the same header device was used in both cases whilst 'The' was left off the later copy.  Pitts and Mantz copy came from the same span of years.  Mate of Dover may also be cited with copy issued within quite a lengthy period between 1807 and 1825 but where the known evidence (so far) for any Mate ballads does not surface until 1811 - as will be shown in a forthcoming article.  During this general period of issue the triumvirate of Evans, Pitts and Hurd looks to have been prominent.

There is a hint of a certain lasting popularity in further copy, from William Ford, in Chesterfield, printing the piece between 1832 and 1838.  There are also copies without imprint where the text remains the same; and there are various references to the piece, some invoking Sabine Baring-Gould; interesting because he offered the text as a true folk-song and compared it with a clearly despised 'Billy Nuts' to show just how disgracefully far broadside balladry had fallen.

A few lines from the 'Billy Nuts' ballad give a flavour:

It does not take much imagination to see who might be the 'subject' of this piece (see end-notes) and the contrast in language with The wounded FARMER'S SON is obvious.148

A less serious side of courtship than is found in the idyllic Wounded Farmer's Son appears in A NEW SONG, CALLED YOUNG HARRY THE TAILOR, printed out of 'Shaftesbury'.149  In the ballad, when Harry was twenty years old and had gained a sort of courage he told 'his old mother' - not in jest - that he would look for a wife.  And he encounters 'the maid Dolly a making of cheese'.  At once he tries to kiss her and to 'tickle her knees' and up flies the bowl of buttermilk, making Harry 'look wonderful blue'.  She then 'up with her foot he tumbled and fell' down from the door of the dairy into a well.  It took Roger the ploughman to get him out and he admits that it's Dolly who 'bundled me here'.

The treatment of the subject-matter is thoroughly commensurate with that in other ballads from Hurd that survey the 'lower orders' and it contrasts vividly with that almost self-conscious style found in The Happy Stranger and its related ballads.  The Hurd output can be seen to have dodged from one style to another and so might show that Hurd tended to be a follower of sorts, hardly an innovator - despite his independent choices of subject at times - and that he adopted any current style of presentation that would have yielded dividends.

At any rate, as regards the particular ballad, copy from Pitts, issued from his first address (1802-1819) is more extensive than that from Hurd.  There are three other stanzas that illustrate Harry's attempt to tickle Dolly's knees:

The same denouement that is found in Hurd copy follows.

Jennings had the ballad in Pitts form as The Taylor's Courtship (sic).  Angus copy had a reduced form with a final stanza slightly different to that from Hurd.  Wright, in Birmingham, with the spelling 'Tailor', like Hurd, also had the shorter form and, again, with slight variants, but Wright was printing between 1820 and 1831.  These are the only other extant copies.  There is, too, a Roud reference to a copy from J and M Robertson in Glasgow in 1801 and this date should not be ignored.150

As for Young Hodge, a ballad-printing using a device as header but without attribution on it - so we depend on Madden's allotment of it to Hurd - offers a narrative element like that in the ballad just discussed but in a more blatant fashion.151 The piece begins in 'the pleasant month of May' when a 'simple maid' lay down to sleep and was espied by Hodge.  A breeze lifts her clothes above her knees and 'And Cupid's nest he there espy'd'.  Hodge 'bolder grew' and the inevitable seduction took place, guided by:

She, being tickled, threw one leg here and the other there.  After the encounter: There is a chorus, changed slightly as the piece progresses: This becomes 'With her one leg, etc.', after the fly has alighted and then 'With his one leg, etc., as the moment of fulfilment approached...and, finally, The piece, one might say, is unencumbered by either grace or modesty.  It does, however, demonstrate as do one or two other Hurd ballads, that the printer's choice of material is sometimes quite surprising, a world away from the lyrical tones of THE Happy Stranger and Bonnet so Blue. ...

The header block merely has a pattern rather than a woodcut.

Pitts had the piece in his stock, printed after 1819, with a slightly different text where the fly 'dropped upon her eye' and

There are no signs of any other copy.  Does this, one wonders, add strength to the implication as introduced in discussion already, that Pitts and Hurd worked the same material at times?  More uncertainly, does this mean that Hurd issued his copy at much the same time as Pitts - after 1819?  Otherwise, it can be seen that the kind of ballad with its amused look at country matters can be found throughout the period of the 1810s established as the most prolific in Hurd's career.152

In sum, the ballads discussed above are pretty much the same in terms of material; varied somewhat in style; and none of them provide evidence (as opposed to faint hints) that they appeared earlier in the nineteenth century than 1813 and Hurd's one murder ballad and nor do they overstep the mark of 1821 when Hurd printed his Caroline ballad.  Further, if it becomes reasonable to believe that they were all issued during the second decade of the century there is less and less likelihood that 'Shaston' and 'Shaftesbury' can be separated except through name-change.


After these mixed accounts of courtship in all its glories and farces, the views of marriage as expressed in Hurd ballads are also found to follow something of the same course.  Again, the pieces come from both 'Shaston' and 'Shaftesbury'.

To come, then, to THE Dumb Wife's Tongue let loose (also encountered in Porter's stock; and see further A BIT OF THE BROWN, discussed below), printed in 'Shaston'.153  It begins simply enough:

who was 'blithe and gay' but then it is revealed that whilst she could brew, bake, sew and make, card, spin and display all the rest of wifely accomplishments she was also 'dumb, dumb, dumb'.  So our man asks the doctor for help: So, with his heart 'full of woe', Tom complains to the doctor that 'I'd give all the world is she was 'dumb, dumb, dumb'.  Sadly: Printing history includes Hurd, Jennings, Armstrong and Theophilus Bloomer.  Jennings copy appeared in A Collection of English Ballads, mostly published by Jennings, Water Lane and this puts the date of first issue before 1809 (the BBTI gives numbers 13 and 15 Water Lane as premises).  Madden has two Bloomer copies that may have also have been issued towards the tail-end of Hurd's ballad-printing career.  Bloomer printed between 1817 and 1827 and one copy of The Dumb Wife's Tongue..., in the second in Roy Palmer's Birmingham listings available on this site, appeared along with A New Song on the famous battle ... between Bullock and Graves, dated 1818; and fight ballads, like execution ballads, do not normally appear at any distance from the event - except that, in this case,no trace of the fight has yet been found (any advance in that line of enquiry would be useful).

The emergence of the ballad as broadside copy - The Dumb Wife's Tongue ... - can be linked only to a short period of time firstly, it seems, with Jennings during the first decade of the new century.  If Jennings copy acted as a precedent or perhaps even a 'companion' for Hurd, then once more the suspicion arises that Hurd was printing before 1813.  The piece itself is much older, probably dating from the 17th century and found on a black-letter broadside dating from 1678.154

The Unlucky Wife, printed in 'Shaston'155, begins with a complaint:

and: 'My gown' was of the finest cotton, stockings of silk, shoes of the best Spanish leather, buckles of silver - all the inherited, conventional trappings of good living as found elsewhere in pieces in the Hurd output and in other balladry.  The figures in the ballad and the accoutrements clearly echo those of rural characters with ambitions; a portrait whose images come from a settled, hierarchical society.

In the ballad 'a Man' had come to her bedside and stolen her maidenhead - the term itself may indicate a looking-back in time:

The contrast is pointed up through her cap ... and gown of the coarsest linsey, no stays, shift of the coarsest harding and ragged 'all round about' ... stockings of the coarsest wool, no garters, shoes of old 'boot legs' with the bottoms falling 'out': a pretty pass, indeed - but the piece has no further development.  The images give us an idea of the opposite extreme in garb and appearance to the handsome figure first outlined and, by implication, how the poor dressed.

Interestingly, there do not appear to have been any other extant printings, yet another earnest of Hurd's streak of independence (always accepting, as in every case, that there may be ballads from him and from other printers waiting to be discovered).  Positioning the ballad in any hierarchy depends on association with other ballads as issued by Hurd and the evidence accumulated so far does not allow any large span of time for Hurd's career with room for manouevre.  The 1810s remain as favourite.

THE PLEASURES OF MATRIMONY, printed in 'Shaftesbury', was one of Porter's ballads too.156  Suffice to say that a certain stasis in marital relationships is proclaimed.  The ballad offers virtue, courage and loyalty ... when a woman declares how blessed she was when she got married and how, seven years after, she has no regrets:

It is she who first gets up in the morning to 'rouse up the fire' and makes the breakfast - 'chocolate or tea'. If money is short on a Saturday then put up with it on the Sunday ... So: Printing history, taking Porter (between 1816 and 1818) into account, also includes copy from Catnach (with slight differences in wording).  Collard looks to have been another possibly early printer.  Otherwise, Walker in Norwich, Williams in Portsea, essentially a printer of the 1840s and Thomas Jackson in Birmingham, son of William and printing in 1852-1853, issued the piece.  None of these latter printers would have had any connection with Hurd's progress.  From the evidence given here, based on what appears to have been a time for the ballad's popularity, dates of issue look to circle in on the end of the 1810s or possibly just after, commensurate with the issue of other Hurd ballads.

There are some differences in text.  In one stanza, Hurd referred to 'chocolate' whilst Catnach preferred 'coffee'.  This may say very little except to indicate that both beverages were available.  The day of the coffee-house with political overtones was well past ...  In his final stanza, Hurd has but six lines, in contrast to Catnach copy that features eight.  Catnach has the 'missing' lines - five and six: 'And her neighbour know nought of the matter' and a repeat of 'Let every woman her husband adore'.  Collard copy is the same as that of Hurd.  Walker copy follows the Catnach pattern.  The overall narrative content is the same in all copy.157

Hurd also printed an ANSWER ... from 'Shaftesbury'158 in which the husband declares that his wife is a 'sweet girl', even seven years after marrying:

The piece goes to say that she is not like those wives who will 'drink and take tea' (a fashionable fault, perhaps?); nor does she gossip; nor does she go 'abroad' without him.  He praises her kindness and good nature - and has now left off 'drinking and revelling quite'.  He values his wife, his children, his health 'and my heart it is light'... Hurd's copy would appear to be the only one printed.  This adds to a growing proportion of independently-chosen ballads in Hurd's career; and, since there is no evidence that Hurd printed after 1821, the 1810s would remain as the favourite period for issue of his 'Answer'.  Also, because attribution on copy is to Hurd's 'Shaftesbury' days it seems likely that both The Pleasures of Matrimony and the Answer ... were issued close together.  Logically, there would be every reason to do this for maximum effect and for commercial gain.  Given that the Answer ... would have come after The Pleasures ... and taking the dates implied in Catnach's and Porter's printings of The Pleasures ... there is just a possibility that the Answer ... could have issued after 1820.

Wife well Managed, another piece printed by Porter, and by Hurd from 'Shaftesbury', reveals an element of jaundice159...

She wanted fine clothes - waisted gowns, a hunting cap, muffs and tippets; a barber to dress her curls ...  She must, indeed, 'the fashion keep'.  The farmer, predictably, denies her all this and quite soon: He addresses her thus: She must look after the cows herself and help him mind the pigs.

She complains:

But he is adamant and insists that she minds his business, 'both late and early' or This piece echoes those that Hurd put out on fashion and, to an extent, The Unlucky Wife.  Another clue to a time of issue might lie in the references to tippets and muffs - this is to repeat information gathered for the Porter piece on this site in which illustration was gathered from Jane Austen: ideas in a detailed list produced by Jane Austen's mother of clothes necessary for a trousseau - that for Elizabeth Bridges who married Jane Austen's brother, Edward in 1791 - where a muff and tippet were regarded as essential.  There are references in Northanger Abbey, written during 1798-9, revised in 1803 (but not published until 1817), when muffs were still a prominent fashion accessory - although they declined in popularity as the Regency progressed.

Tippets lasted longer - if fact, until late in the nineteenth century.160

Printed copy of the ballad is not extensive.  Apart from Hurd the only other printers on record are Porter, Pitts, Swindells and Collard.  There is one issue without imprint in the Bodleian archives.  Pitts issued his copy from his first address - between 1802 and 1819.  Porter copy is unlikely to have been printed after 1818-1819.  Copy from Collard would have appeared after 1818 - but maybe near to that date.  Swindells copy could have appeared at any time around these combined dates.  Roughly speaking, then, if popularity for the piece was centred on this time, then Hurd copy looks to have come in familiar fashion from the second decade of the nineteenth century although there is a possibility, as with the previous ballad discussed, that he just edged into the 1820s.161

The style of each ballad about married life as discussed above is very much in the line of other pieces that survey the lives of 'common' folk, including those revealing the progress of courtships.  There is a jokey quality with simple language to match - contrasting with the more smooth and slightly elevated effects of ballads such as The Happy Stranger and Bonnet so Blue.

There are also more marriage pieces inclined to outright comedy such as one printed from 'Shaftesbury' entitled THE COBLER162, the name of whom is 'Dicky Awl' and who lives lives 'in a stall':

A chorus is intimated - 'Fal lal'.  The bulk of the piece is raucous enough - another comment on the state of matrimony.

An argument ensues when Dicky says that he is going to 'Greenwick' and, when his wife insists on going too, 'Says I Mrs. Awl, I'll be d—d if you do'.  The argument builds, one harsh word leading to another, a 'shocking mishap' and 'She gave me the lie and I gave here the strap'.  He bolts out after bolting her in!  And off to Greenwick 'I merrily sped' where he sees things that he will not reveal; and when he returns, he finds that 'Billy Button the tailor was off with my wife'.  He is not, though, discommoded, for 'She has but one tooth and that tooth is a colts'.  Thus:

But The header block is of a couple, she in bodice and puffed sleeves, a long gown, and with what looks like coiffured hair and carrying a fan; and he with long hair (or is it a queue ?), a coat that widens out below the belt and on the thighs, breeches and shoes.  This is not a portrait of the very poor - quite the opposite - and is quite unrelated to the substance of the text.  This header is also found on a totally unrelated ballad, The Belfast Shoemaker .

Evans printed The Cobler as did Pitts (Dick Awl the Cobler - after 1819) and Crome in Sheffield (The Cobler ).  Batchelar printed copy as Dick Awl and the Bodleian gives dates in this case of 1828 to 1832.  The Bodleian has an unattributed printing and so does the Madden collection.  This presents a period of time in which Hurd, as in the case of Wife Well Managed, might be poised at the edge of the 1820s.  Batchelar copy indicates how the life of the ballad was prolonged.163

Balladry in general offers a succession of pieces about 'coblers' that frequently recount domestic conflict that is both sad and amusing.  Examples are Bowls and rubbers! Or The holiday cobler from Jennings, The blink-ey'd cobler from Evans and The Cobler's END A New SONG, a piece without imprint.  Further, Pigott printed copy of THE BOLD COBLER; and Alice Swindells printed A bit of the brown which is, in essence, has very similar content and is discussed below as it appears in the Hurd oeuvres.  Pitts also printed THE BOLD COBLER and a ballad with the title The Cobler and wife separately and also along with Collard - an interesting combination of printers.  Most of these pieces are scurrilous in nature.

The Roud index refers to a James Rolph and The fashionable lady of 1730 and to an Edward Phillips and a production of The Black Lawyer, a ballad opera with a tune entry entitled The cobler, dating from 1733.  Some sort of pedigree is evident in these references and there are others to eighteenth century examples where at least the subject-matter, the text and the tune shared popularity.  The last eighteenth century reference to this pedigree in Roud is to a tune entry in John Finlayson's The Marches Day of 1771 - a ballad opera that, incidentally, includes tunes such as Children in the Wood, Peggy Bawn and Hosier's Ghost that crop up in association with ballad production.  This period of genesis thus exposed would seem to reinforce the suggestion made here apropos Hurd's productive ballad-printing life that he appears to look back in time for subject-matter and inspiration.

Later, at the tail-end of Hurd's career, there is a reference to The cobler in Little Warbler 4: Comic Songs, issued by Oliver and Boyd in Edinburgh c.1820 and to copy printed 'For the Booksellers' in Edinburgh in 1822 (A Collection of chapbooks ).  Roud also cites Cyclopaedia of Popular Songs 2 (c.1835).  Again, then, a reasonably extensive life for the ballad beyond Hurd is proclaimed between his own issue and those of Batchelar and in the songsters.164

Kind and quality are emphasised through issue of the Hurd copy of A Bit of the BROWN, printed from 'Shaftesbury' and, like The Cobler, setting out a tempestuous relationship between man and wife165:

The 'cobler' complains that he sees 'no life', not even on a 'Saint Monday' - she thumps him every Sunday; and when he's finished work and tries to kiss her she calls him a 'heathen Turk' and she says that 'I smell of wax, sir'.

He determines to be her master.

He will go off to skittles and if she follows her, he'll 'drub her'.  However, Printings are fairly sparse and all the conjunctions so far discussed emerge once again, focussing in on the 1810s for the appearance of Hurd's ballad and then opening out to include other printings as the century progressed.  Evans and Pitts both printed the piece as did Alice Swindells; and John Marshall in Newcastle, for whom there are three references in Steve Roud's index, all to collections.  Similarly, there is reference to a collection that includes the name of Kendrew.  The piece appeared in two songsters - namely Cyclopaedia of Popular Song, c.1835 and Universal Songster 2 .  Both songsters imply previous issue of the ballad.  Indeed, the Roud index has a reference to The Masque, a collection printed c.1785.  Once again, Hurd is seen drawing on an earlier time for subject-matter, even if not straightforwardly.166

Hurd copy of A BIT of the BROWN has a printer's device as header.  The ballad is another that brings the names of Evans, Pitts and Hurd together and thus appears to confirm issue of the ballad early in the century, in Hurd's case during the 1810s.  It is also worth mentioning the presence of 'Saint Monday' in the ballad - for Hurd, as will be seen, also issued a version of Fuddling Day that treats of the same subject (below).


Finally, there are odds and ends.  THE CHAPTER OF DONKIES, printed from 'Shaftesbury', could, at a stretch, be seen as continuing Hurd's glimpses of fashion and is clearly enough made for simple fun, the ambience of the piece has changed to include a different degree of social behaviour.167

There is a chorus: Ladies of fashion do not mind being associated with Dick 'While Johnny the footman keeps whipping behind' and he, in turn, with his Poll by his side, does not envy 'my Lord and his bride'. 

The picture, then, is of a group of characters attendant on their 'betters' and with a touch of the grand ambitions.  The narrative continues:

And the story is told of the time that Dick took his donkey to be shod and encountered 'A queer Bond-street lounger': Then, The song is then brought to an end.  What, one is asked, do you think of Neddy and me? Other copy of the piece, making up but a sparse collection, was printed by Jennings; by Pitts at his first address, between 1802 and 1819; and by Collard in Bristol.  There is one copy without imprint; and there is reference in the Roud index to copy from Carrall in York (Carnell collection of Firth ballads).168

The piece also appeared in Universal Songster 1 (first issued, it seems between 1825 and 1828), Cyclopaedia of Popular Song, 1 (c.1835) and The New Skylark (c.1840).  The Scottish element does resurface in printings as well.  The Ratcliffe Bibliotheck includes the name of Scott in Greenock, working between 1810 and 1829.

The ballad seems to have bounced around through the 1810s and 1820s but the joke is, as it were, fractionally strained and the 'Bond-street lounger' and the 'kiddies' are rather strange figures and with mention of an eye-glass, have no equivalent in Hurd copy as surveyed so far.  The central figure appears to be, in a phrase, a man about town.  This is reinforced by what turns out to have been a popular perception of 'Dashing Dick' as any character who made a show of himself.  The reference is certainly not flattering: the man about town being seen as an ass.

The plainest reference is to Tuthill fields.  This was an area of Westminster, once marshland and, through the years, a site of the fight game and of a bridewell mentioned by Cobbet in his Political Register of November 20th 1802 (and, as example, already the place of confinement for John Hackman, who, in 1779 murdered Martha Ray, long-time mistress of the Earl of Sandwich - before Hackman was taken off to Newgate, his trial and his execution by hanging).  An open court sat there until 1819 when the practice was abolished by Act of Parliament.  There seems not to have been any particular significance for Hurd in this choice of location but we are much distanced from any social interplay and references and it may have been that the area had been popular with 'dashers'.169

At any rate, the tentative suggestion is that the appearance of the single form of the ballad posits a time for a first appearance during the earliest decades of the nineteenth century - through Jennings, Pitts and Hurd.  Collard copy may come just a little later.  Books or collections featuring the piece came later still this time and whilst they bespeak perhaps surprisingly prolonged interest in the ballad they are not closely connected to Hurd's progress.

FUDDLING DAY, according to Hurd A NEW SONG, was issued from 'Shaftesbury'.170  It was a popular piece with printers (discussed in brief during the course of MT article 155 on the printer, Besley, in Exeter) and offers a a glimpse of a peculiar social phenomenon, the growth (and decline) of a blank working day brought about by the everyday working habits of men engaged in certain trades.  Basically, the workload increased towards the end of the usual week to a climax; and men compensated by taking the Monday as a holiday: one must bear in mind that Saturdays were part of the working week.  It was a phenomenon of the period of industrialisation beginning with the first wholesale changes brought about during the eighteenth century and stretching into the nineteenth - but as well as being a practice somewhat confined to particular trades it also had its own rise and fall in different parts of the country.  The phenomenon persisted in some areas until quite late in the century when working practices generally were slightly altered and a half-day and even a full day free of commitments was allowed by owners and manufacturers and such holidays were officially sanctioned by government.  Not much of these developments can be gleaned from ballads but the attention given to 'Fuddling Day' by printers is indicative of the general importance of the phenomenon to them - and perhaps in working lives.

The 'holiday' was not necessarily popular within the home ...  Hurd's piece begins with the wife uttering a prayer that might keep her man from 'tippling' and smoking, when there is 'no pleasure in the house'.

The man staggers home at night ...  Normally he is a civil, hard-working man: on Fuddling Day 'a devil'.  Such is the quarrelling that 'The claret's sure to fly'.

Even when a friend comes in for 'A drop of max together', the husband arrives and - no bad behaviour on the part of the husband is actually delineated - the outcome is that 'she'll not come again', I'm sure' on Fuddling Day.

A chorus is implied in the regular phrase, 'For it's drink, &c.'

In Hurd's subtitle, 'A NEW SONG', we either have a drumming up of business or the implication that there was earlier issue than the period when Hurd printed out of 'Shaftesbury' and printing history does include copy from Evans in London who, yet again, would appear to have been one of the earliest printer of all.  Almost inevitably, Pitts had it and there are Pitts examples extant printed between 1802 and 1819.  Sarah Taylor in Birmingham printed the piece between 1807 and 1818.  Next in historical time are Croshaw, whose printing dates are given in the Bodleian archive as 1815-1850 and Hogget, operating between 1816 and 1843 - the latter with an explanation that 'up the spout' as found in the lines quoted above copy means that there was a visit to the pawnbroker.  Armstrong issued copy between 1820 and 1824.  Evans in Chester, Innes in Manchester and Bloomer in Birmingham (1817- 1827) - one wonders if he took a local cue from Sarah Taylor or vice versa - and Cotton in Tamworth (1810-1830) all issued the piece.  So did Besley, certainly printing during the 1820s and up until 1834 (latterly with his son Henry).  These printers can be seen to have sometimes operated during part of the crucial period identified as Hurd's hey-day, the 1810s and - just - the first year of the 1820s; but their careers mostly extend far beyond that of Hurd.  In this company, he can be seen as an early printer; and even if it is not possible to pinpoint a date of issue, the trilogy of Hurd, Evans and Pitts surfaces yet again.171

The story is not quite complete. Fuddling Day can be found issued as an 'Answer' to Washing Day which would indicate previous issue of the latter - Pitts copies, for instance, claim that the ballad was 'In answer to The Washing Day'; and Robert Walker actually printed copy as Fuddling Day as An Answer to Washing Day - from near the Duke's Palace, Norwich, which places issue between 1818 and 1827.  Hoggett printerd Washing Day and Fuddling Day together and classed them each as 'A NEW SONG'.  His Washing Day begins:

This turns out to be the usual pattern of Washing Day copy and Fuddling Day has the same structural pattern.

Hoggett also provides support for a chorus as indicated in Hurd's issue of Fuddling Day .  It is plainly set out:

Pitts copies have the same chorus.

And Hogget's Washing Day has an equally clear demonstration of a chorus that parallels the form of the chorus in Fuddling Day :

On balance Fuddling Day looks to have entered repertoire at a relatively early date and a roughly chronological history for the piece can be established beginning with the printing from Evans - who may even have printed copy before Sarah Taylor and before Pitts at his first address.  But, as can be seen, the bulk of copy of Fuddling Day came from printers who did not issue the ballad until the 1810s and later.  The 1810s would seem to be a safe bet in terms of Hurd's printing (and this may, in turn, help to date Washing Day to a time earlier in the century or even to the end of the eighteenth century).

As a further gloss - pursuant to the sometimes strange convolutions of broadside issue - Pitts had The Fighting Day using the same tune as that for Fuddling Day.  One notes the following lines:

This is the text also put out by Evans where there are references to both 'Fuddling Day' and 'Washing Day' as here.  One Pitts copy of Fighting Day was placed by Madden alongside a Pitts printing of Fuddling Day but it also appeared on its own.  There is in copy a suggestion of a chorus through lines incorporated in the narrative - 'Then they scratch and fight, etc.' (twice) and, at the end, 'Yet in fire and smoke, &c.'173

The form of commentary found in all three ballads discussed here, then, was of a popular sort, turned to particular use; and Hurd joined in the general usage.

The Blacksmith has lasted well in song repertoire, known often as Twankydillo.174  Hurd copy of text begins:

and familiar lines appear: followed by a chorus of: Collard appears to have printed this version although he printed 'Cole ...'175

At any rate, in Hurd text, when a gentleman comes' his horse for to shoe', pots of ale are called for.  Further, a health is proposed to 'all pretty girls' that the blacksmith 'do love best'.  Finally there is a health to 'our gracious King' and, 'likewise the Queen' and, indeed:

The one slight note of caution is the absence of any attribution - so that we rely on Madden who placed the piece with other Hurd printings.

The only other thing of note, perhaps, is the use of the word 'twang'.  There are two rather vague references online to 'twang' as being a euphemism for the sex act (17th-18th centuries) or 'Twangy' to gin during the nineteenth century.

One more reference, in Roud, is to The Country Blacksmith ('The blacksmith blows his bellows ...') in the Pocket Songster or Caledonian Warbler dating from 1823 but this is not the same song.176

Alfred Williams thought that the piece might date from the 17th century.  Otherwise commentary and references are sparse.  The updated Penguin guide to English folk song sums up and has no conclusions about the origins or even later manifestations of the song although, over the last two centuries, there has evidently been a certain hardening of association with the patron saint of blacksmiths, St Clement.  This would seem to be the best clue as to origin.  The Penguin survey is somewhat sceptical about this matter; but commentary is suggestive in other ways, citing variant titles and offering the idea that any twanging is a reference to the playing of a musical instrument: logical enough and in contrast to the 'meanings' given above.

Origins and history aside, Hurd copy is almost a rare specimen.177

Another piece without attribution but filed by Madden in the Hurd collection is Dolly Duggins (another Porter piece too), a lighthearted skit in the manner of several Hurd pieces - and this is to repeat some of the information given in the previous piece (on Porter) in this series.178  Dolly Duggins begins:

The subject is love which both young and old are sure to catch.  Indeed, 'I caught it myself' and Dolly Duggins was 'took to wife'.  Alas: Even at Christmas, when Davy, a friend, was invited, she 'gave us to pick' whilst she herself 'eat meat and gravy'.
One time, when she got the 'cholic' and he thought that he could at last enjoy 'a frolic': In fact, A date of sorts for printing is implied through the Bonaparte reference.

Of early printers, Porter in Wotton-under-Edge (after he moved from Cirencester in 1818) is joined by Thomas Storer, printing in Gloucester in 1809 and in Bristol in 1819 and by Sarah Taylor, printing in Birmingham between 1807 and 1818.  We may add the Angus name - probably Margaret Angus as has been the case with other ballads surveyed here - her input, according to BBTI, finishing around 1812.  Armstrong had it (1820-1824).  Pitts printed the piece after 1819 but it is not carried in his 1836 list - which may indicate that its popularity had run its course.

Other than this Collard included the title in his 1837 list although there is no extant copy available in Madden.

There is one unattributed printing too.179

The group of printers' names as set out above and the dates of their operations makes quite clear the early entry of the piece into repertoire with Bonaparte as a key figure.  The phrase 'should Bonaparte come' might well suggest appearance early in the new century, before 1815 and probably before 1821 and Hurd's Caroline ballad - to all intents and purposes, his last.

THE SQUIRE'S CHANGE like several other pieces as noted above, has no attribution but in tone and in the look of the piece, shares characteristics.  The header-block is also shared with one of the two Hurd printings of Dawning of the Day (as discussed above) and this ought to help confirm issue by Hurd.180

The piece relates the story of a 'brisk young servant-maid' who lived in Staffordshire and of a 'brisk young squire' who cast his eye on her, offering a guinea for lying with her one night.  The morning after, he approaches her mistress asking where the maid was - for she had not brought him any change.  The mistress reassures him and insists that he take back his guinea for 'I could not get it chang'd'.

A warning then is given:

And so they bring the 'change' to the squire, threatening him with the justice if he did not accept it.

The squire tries to hush the matter up and ends up two hundred pounds the richer 'got all by here sister's child'.

Other printers of the piece include Evans, Pitts, Collard and Bloomer; and there are copies without imprint.181  Overall this suggests that the piece had lost its allure before the new century was very old and that Hurd can be associated with early entry into repertoire for the piece.  The nexus of Evans, Pitts and Hurd surfaces again.  Otherwise the haul is rather meagre.

GILDEROY'S FAREWELL, likeBonnet so Blue and The Banks of Inverary, has a Scottish flavour in its expressions; and in this case with more than a smack of older ballads.182  But it has no address on copy.

Hurd has Gilderoy as 'a bonny boy' who 'had roses on his shoes' and who did not wear 'a highland plaid' but, rather, 'costly silken clothes'.  For seven years the female protagonist and young Gilderoy courted and:

Then he laid her down among the leaves and when 'he had done what he did do' he got up and rode away.

The maid proceeds to lament Gilderoy's absence - but, in a surprising twist to the story, wonders why men like him should be hanged ...  For he had:

We get a hint of Gilderoy's crime which is present in earlier copy of the narrative: Nonetheless Gilderoy was taken and hanged.  She, the female protagonist, fixes a marble stone at his grave and 'I am left to weep alone'.

The history of Gilderoy... takes us back into the sixteen hundreds and can be pursued via Percy's Reliques ...; and then one can return in time nearer to the nineteenth century and Hurd, taking in D'Urfey's Pills to Purge Melancholy (1719-1720) and as The Scotch Lover's Lass; Or, Gilderoy's Last Farewell in A Collection of Old Ballads of 1723 and under the same title in Ebsworth's Bagford Ballads - a printing, it seems, from Bates in London.  ESTC has various copies listed, dating from the sixteen hundreds and through the early seventeen hundreds up until the last two decades of the century.  Richard Brome has music for it in The Jovial Crew of 1731 and Archibald Maclaren has the tune name in The Coup de Main of 1784.  Even after Hurd's own contribution, the piece can be found in the Pocket Songster or Caledonian Warbler of 1823; and in Smith's Scottish Minstrel (1st edn. of 1820-1824 and then in a 4th edn.).  Its history, then, is well accounted for.183

Broadside printings, though, are few in number.  There is copy from Bow churchyard listed in ESTC for c.1760; from Eyres in Warrington, c.1775 - a name cropping up in association with Porter as described previously on this site; and from Jennings, Smeeton (London), Pitts, Catnach and then Such.  The path of issue is familiar though it is worth noting that Smeeton printed his copy from 74 Tooley Street and the BBTI has a reference to him at this location of 1810.  Also, the name of Randall in Stirling surfaces - an 'early' name becoming familiar although, in this case, no actual text or tune is found ... merely a reference with a date of 1805.  Pitts listed the piece in 1836 (implying earlier issue) and it appeared in Crampton, Lane and Birt catalogues.  On Catnach and Such copies the title is given, simply, as Gilderoy .184

Hurd copy has most in common with a printing from Catnach rather than that of Jennings who might even have been seen as a precursor in broadside times and the narrative line in Catnach and Hurd copy is in altered state compared with that of Jennings.

Thus, in Jennings, the opening stanza is as follows:

In Hurd and Catnach the form is changed: This form is clearly one that has begun to soften the outline and where Gilderoy is made into a more striking, even florid, figure.  This development was again perpetuated by Such ...

In all copy there is a fund of Scots expression - in Hurd and Catnach such as 'wedding sark', 'Goodday it was, so blithe a day as e'er I saw before' and 'mickle', enough to characterise the piece as having been composed at an early date - the time is clearly visible through successive printings - and not a matter of fashionable imposition.

The final sections of, first, Jennings copy and then that from Catnach, underline the changes in style:

In Hurd and Catnach the stanza is broken into two and is more elaborate in its portraiture: The bracketted words come from Hurd copy where that from Catnach is illegible.

If Jennings assumes the mantle of an early printer (as reminder: he issued ballads from Water Lane between 1805 and 1809) then it can be seen that, as time moved on, perhaps even only slightly, it was not always a tightening of form that took place.  Indeed, the Jennings narrative is at a basic level considerably shorter than that of Hurd.  On the other hand, Henry Burstow's song version given to Lucy Broadwood carries echoes of the Jennings text185.

Overall, in this brief broadside ballad history, Hurd's contribution looks to have come after one or two others (Bow churchyard ... Randall) but in advance, inevitably, of Such.  The associated texts in Hurd's and Catnach's version do seem to point to a definite period for issue after 1813.  It is perhaps surprising that only a few printers appear to have issued the piece.

THE Middlesex Farmer, printed at 'Shaftesbury', is a paeon to contented living.186 The farmer goes to bed when the 'Woodlark' does and rises each day with the same':

There are no riches in his life though his table is well found.  He labours 'but leave when I please'.  His life is at ease and he avoids all matters at court.  He sleeps well, his man Dick whistles at his work whilst he goes 'to my herd with fresh jays'.  He is at peace, without pride, without envy and hatred, smiles at his country's increase 'In commerce, religion, and arms'.

His heart is for 'True Britons whom Liberty warms'.

In view of the references in the piece an early date for issue might be posited, the balance tipped towards the reign of George III rather than that of his errant son unless we take the reference to court and the continuous jostling not least amongst the followers of Pitt and Fox to be something of a reason for germination of the piece.

Roud references include one to a ballad printing issued from 42 Long Lane that should confirm that it was printed by the Evans family.  Otherwise, there is a Pitts printing to be found in a Baring-Gould collection entitled The Lover's Harmony; but also half a dozen sitings in songsters dating from the late eighteenth century, the first appearance being in a chapbook c.1770s.  This pretty much establishes a Hurd looking back in time or at least to precedent for material in this case.187

The Hurd ballad is, therefore, noteworthy as a relatively uncommon piece - and the names of Evans and Pitts surface yet again, albeit not in precise reference.

YOUNG C_______, Or, A WARNING to Young Men, a piece from 'Shaston' is unique in the Hurd oeuvres .  It concerns forgery:

Unfortunately, a young man with 'ready Wit and Learning' falls into bad ways and: Despite the fact that some ladies' would give five hundred pounds to see him reprieved.  One of the Grand Jury even declares that not even ten thousand pounds would be enough.  So the young man 'went up the Scaffold' and asked the world's forgiveness... The crime itself was certainly seen as being particularly heinous, the period of its greatest public exposure being during the eighteenth century - the case of Dr. Dodd in 1777 is a good example - and in the nineteenth century when Henry Fauntleroy was hanged in 1824.  Subsequently, there were more hangings for the crime but not long after 1824 the sentence for forgery was changed and offenders were imprisoned or transported.  'Young C's' genteel acknowledgement of his fate is reminiscent of the glory days of the hanged who were given a ceremonial send-off - one recalls the maids with white ribbons who were present at the execution of the song about a Newry highwayman.  This is not at all far-fetched.  There are descriptions of hangings where the principal was dressed in finery and sometimes maids appeared dressed in white and bearing wands.

There is an interesting history surrounding the piece.  Pitts printed a ballad entitled YOUNG JOHNSON THE HANDSOME MAN OF MAIDSTONE which is, effectively, the same ballad, beginning with:

The difference between these lines and those from Hurd are minimal.  But Pitts has a specific reference to 'Young Johnson' as he 'rode over Yanky Hill'.  Further, a ballad under the imprimatur of Oxlade in Portsea, recounts the same story although in this case the locational reference is to 'Lincoln Hill'.  Oxlade ballads would appear to have been issued at much the same time as those from Hurd - which might offer a window for dating up until 1820-1821.  Pitts did not issue his piece until after 1819.

There was a James Johnson, forger, who was hanged at Dover prison on 27thNovember 1817 but it is by no means sure that the Pitts figure and this Johnson for 'uttering' were one and the same.  If it was, then it appears that both Hurd and Oxlade put out their versions at much the same time.  The various conjunctions are suggestive.  Even with a short pedigree with obscured references, there is enough substance in the ballad to suggest that it was based on an actual incident.189

There is one more thing to add.  If 'Shaston' was the location for printing in 1817 or, perhaps, 1818, then there is even more doubt about its significance other than as its name changed - and this, in turn, alters previous perspective on GLEE... ( clearly put out in 1818 (or thereabouts) as something of a brake on any latent idea that 'Shaston' and 'Shaftesbury' were different locations.


The survey can be concluded with a glance at three jolly romps...  The first, Tailors Goose can never fly, 'Printed and Sold by Hurd, Shaftesbury'190, is a lovely piece of nonsense with an amazing hotch-potch of references and quips:

There is a chorus: The juxtapositioning is inexorable: At its end, the secret is out: Again Hurd reveals a surprising eye for material.

There is copy from Evans and from Henry Hurton in Louth, working between 1820 and 1849, in the earliest of these years contemporaneously with Hurd (Hurton was noted on this site, briefly, in Enthusiasms 76).  There is, further, copy without imprint.

Otherwise, there is no sign of the piece as a single ballad under the title given by Hurd; but it does appear elsewhere as All truth and no lies; or A Tailor's Goofe ... (without imprint) in copy that differs from that of Hurd only in very minor orthographic differences including that use of the long 's'; and as A Bundle of Truths, this being printed by Jennings at 15 Water Lane - which places its appearance before or in 1809; and then by Pitts at his first address (1802-1819); by Laurie and Whittle in London on 2 September 1811; and by Alfred Henderson in Carlisle whose only dates (BBTI) are given as 1810-1811.  Quite clearly, this was an early piece in nineteenth century repertoire; and this seems likely to support the idea that it was the first John Evans who printed the piece under the family name.

Two references in text help to cement the time of issue, one to Napoleon - 'Boney a fat lie can tell' and the other to 'Mrs. Clarke'.  This was Mary Anne Clarke, adventuress, who, as a discarded mistress of Frederick, Duke of York (1763-1827), sought financial gain.  The convolutions in which she freely admitted using the liasion for her owns ends resulted in a Parliamentary enquiry that culminated in 1809 when the Duke of York was accused of complicity in her financial frolics.  Mrs Clarke was paid off by the government.  The Duke of York's name was saved.  One MP, Wardle, who had taken up Mrs Clarke's case, was discredited; and more effort was made by Parliament to curb such corruption.  The date of the scandal gives a time when the ballad was likely to have appeared.

Subsequently, the piece is noted in the Roud index as appearing in John Marshall's A Garland of New Songs - Marshall printing in Newcastle between 1810 and 1831; in a Fordyce catalogue; and in songsters.191

It would by now be expected that Hurd's printing, from 'Shaftesbury', had been a product of the 1810s (if not in 1809) which date can be linked with the issue of copy from other printers.

Paddy Carey's Fortune, yet another ballad printed from 'Shaftesbury'192, was actually 'written by Mr. Cherry' - Andrew Cherry (1762-1812) and 'composed by J. Whitaker' (1776-1846).  The piece is quite clearly outside the mainstream character of Hurd ballads as discussed during the course of this survey:

And so on.  The fun is poked at everything: by default, in a way, most insulting to the Irish nation but, at the same time, outrageously exaggerated. Paddy, trying to coax 'duck-legg'd Mary', was slyly enlisted by Sergeant Snap who slipped a shilling - presumably into Paddy's drink.  However, there arrives 'waddling' widow Leary and 'Tho' she was crippled in her gait', she nevertheless grasped Paddy in her 'brawny arms' and asked him to buy a ring - with her own money.  Pat agreed ... Somehow, Paddy is immediately raised to the rank of Captain and the crowd follows the event in the uproarious manner already described.  There is no other outcome: logic is defied and fun prescribed.

The piece was claimed as 'a favourite comic song' - and, indeed, references abound that take us through the nineteenth century.  There are reminders of Hurd's possible sources in various online references to performances of the piece in theatres such as in London at The Adelphi and at the Royalty theatres during 1813.  The piece was 'Sung with the most unbounded applause by Mr. Webb, at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden' and there was a published version issued from St Paul's Churchyard in 1816 (as instance of public exposure).  There is even an online reference to the piece being played on a barrel organ supplied by the American admiral Perry to his crew in 1810 and a Cruikshank coloured engraving appeared in 1817.  All this underlines the then current popularity of the piece and there is also another piece, probably connected in terms of how the Irish were perceived, entitled Paddy Carey's Ball - 'Paddy Carey is the name of the boy I'm going to sing'.193

A possible clue to its first appearance is suggested by a note in a history of the Dublin theatre telling us that Cherry based his character, Paddy Carey, on one Garvey - a notorious rake and actor during the latter part of the eighteenth century.194

Hurd's single ballad issue is paralleled by copy from Evans and then Pitts (after 1819).  Mate printed it - his title, like that of Hurd's, was Paddy Carey's Fortune.  The Bodleian has a copy without imprint and the title in this case was also Paddy Carey's Fortune.  Collard had it as Paddy Carey, an interchangeable title with Paddy Carey's Fortune (in the Roud index there is no clear Collard attribution and the name is consequently bracketted in a possible degree of caution but the piece is found alongside all other Collard ballads in the Madden collection).  Catnach printed it as Paddy Carey and so did Batchelar.  Bennett in Bristol (1817-1830), encountered once before in discussion, issued it.  It was printed for Armstrong (1820-1924) and, in an echo of the Armstrong corpus, it was printed for B W Dickinson in York (1823-1834).  Harkness, printing from 1840 on, picked it up - his text is changed somewhat; and so did Nugent in Dublin (1850-1889).  These two printers are, clearly, 'late' and so outside any consideration of to the progress of Hurd as we know it.195

Other printing history of the piece includes copy from Randall in Stirling that is mentioned in The Ratcliffe Bibliotheck; and more copy in The Roving Batchelor, 'Printed for the booksellers' in Kilmarnock c.1800 - with the title Paddy Carey's Fortune: this seemingly an early appearance.  John Marshall in Newcastle (1810-1828) printed the piece in his ongoing series, Garland of New Songs .  There are a score of references to catalogues and songsters in the Roud index - to Fordyce, for example, printing during and after the late 1820s and to George Walker in Durham in his 1839 catalogue.  Appearance in songsters and collections included those in the Little Warbler 4: Comic Songs, issued c.1820 by Oliver and Boyd in Edinburgh; and, again, in Oliver's Comic Songs, c.1820s in each of which the title is given as Paddy Carey's Fortune.  There were printings in Apollo (1820), Vocal Library (Sir Walter Scott, 1824), The Shamrock (1830) and Universal Songster, Volume 1 (1834).

As the nineteenth century progressed, there is a discernible concentration in America, usually in terms of Irish comic songs - thus building something of a mythology - but having no bearing on the emergence and progress of Hurd.  There are, too, numbers of tune references especially extending throughout the nineteeth century and on into the twentieth.196

The piece seems to have achieved what, in later times, could have been called 'hit' status.  Its adoption be Hurd tends to confirm how he followed precedent.

More soberly, it is worth remarking, too, the conjunction of Evans, Pitts and Hurd once again.

Mrs.  FLINN and the BOLD DRAGOON is another rollicking piece, 'Printed & Sold by Hurd, Shaston'197, and featuring 'an ancient Fair' who 'loved a nate young man':

This person becomes a full figure of fun for: He was tall and slim but she was squat and short.  Nevertheless he 'led her to church the beauteous Mrs Flinn': Alas.  After twelve months 'he laid her under the ground' - but not without acceding to 'ten thousand pound'.  Nor did he let the cash lay idle, 'So long life to this dragoon...'

The chorus, beginning with 'winks' and blinks', is found at the end of each comment.

Clearly, the piece has a mock-Irish dimension, not unknown in broadside balladry with many skits such as Barney Bralligan's Courtship and The Kerry Recruit (this latter already discussed at length on this site) peppering output.  In one way, this feature need not be taken seriously - Scots suffer in a similar way; Hurd's own small dig at the Welsh is found in his piece, The TIMES; and fun is poked at all levels of society, especially - in Hurd - at the 'lower orders'.  In a time of some stress, the greatest concentration, fashioned for particular effect, was reserved for the French or, more particularly Napoleon - and rarely in quite so sunny a manner as in Mrs. Flinn ...

The ballad has a textual style that contrasts vigorously with that of ballads such as THE Happy Stranger and Bonnet so Blue but also stands out from that of the score or so of ballads that Hurd issued that concentrate on the hierarchical nature of a society that appears to be older than Hurd's own.  This ballad, like Paddy Carey's Fortune, are 'one-off' pieces and bespeak origins outside Hurd's own 'domestic' compass, a feature that is otherwise regular in appearance in Hurd's stock.

As Mrs Flinn ... the piece was issued by Pitts from his first address (1802-1819); by Garland (Battle); by John Marshall (1810-1831) in Newcastle; by Swindells; in a collection that includes the name of Kendrew; and by Croshaw in York (1814-1850).  In Roud, there are references to a Fordyce catalogue (c.1828-1837) and to Thomson's Newcastle chapbooks (this usually points to Marshall input).

There is one copy without imprint.  It re-appeared in the modern Cox volume of ballads and the importance here is that copy was from Evans, which might indicate an early issue.198

The whole list of names and dates indicates that the piece had a solid history through several decades and the placing of any Hurd contribution would seem to depend on the weight of corroborative evidence provided by his other ballad issues.

There are a number of printings of the same piece under the plainer title of The Bold Dragoon, and the relevant names of printers are familiar.  Thus, there is copy from Catnach and Pitts and then from a range of printers whose operative dates sometimes overlap with those of Hurd but which take issue of the piece well on into the nineteenth century.199

Unsurprisingly, there are records of the piece from 'outside' balladry: one to a performance in Dublin in 1808, another to a Cruickshank aquatint.200  There is also a siting of the piece in Ashburner's New Vocal and Poetic Repository, printed in Ulverston in 1807.  These collective references would surely suggest either precedence or contemporary exposure alongside, and the time of issue coincides with the appearance of the piece in Jennings stock and, perhaps, alongside Pitts copies; and - a speculative glance - perhaps, even before that 1813 date for Hurd's 'Shaftesbury' murder ballad.201

Mrs Flinn ... did appear as copy from Oliver and Boyd in Comic Songs, c.1820s, once more underlining the presence of Scottish printers.

As further indicators of the popularity of the piece there is a flurry of references online that include one in Byron's journals, another using it as a squib against Napoleon and another in the form of a print (online) in the National Army Museum, 'a coloured etching by an unknown artist' that is dated c.1800.  In one way these instances are peripheral to the main line of enquiry but in another do indicate how the piece was being received and disseminated, additional to its life in the theatre and as a broadside ballad.

Whether or not Hurd took his cue from the theatre or from copy, the detail assembled above a clear enough demonstration of what can be meant by suggesting here that certain pieces were 'in the air'.  Further still, Jennings used the tune of Mrs. Flinn ... for a piece entitled Miss Patty Puff and Jennings operated between 1802 and 1809.  This must confirm a growing suspicion (such as those theatre performances already cited) that Mrs. Flinn... as text or song, was already in circulation during this time.  There is support for this in copy printed by Pitts from his first address although choice of years is a little loose and no tune is named.202

The combined result is to suggest that Mrs. Flinn ... appeared somewhere around the turn of the century and that there is a possibility that Hurd picked it up and issued it during the first decade of the new century but that, more likely, it came out along with other ballads in the second decade.  This, in view of discussion throughout this article, would hardly be a novel conclusion.


In trying to bring together the various strands of the three major concerns in this article it is a fact to be faced that it is simply not possible to date the issue of many ballads with any strict accuracy.  So the method used here, which is to assemble a coming together of ballad issue by several printers at approximately the same time, has to do duty as a means of focussing on Hurd's particular adventures.  That said, a picture does emerge of a fairly compact period of issue for Hurd ballads.  The earliest specific date is that of 1813 - his one and only murder ballad - and the latest is 1821 - his Queen Caroline ballad.  Both 'ends' may be susceptible to adjustments.  In respect of anything pre-1813, methodology does suggest that there may have been some ballads before then - those issued in common with Jennings are most relevant ...

The bulk of Hurd copy does seem most likely to have been printed throughout the 1810s.  Quite certainly, the 1830 general reference in Pigot with which this survey began can be revised.  Hurd's working dates as a ballad-printer can be seen to have been outlined.

As for the second consideration, the possibility that there were two distinct phases in Hurd's printing, located in 'Shaston' and 'Shaftesbury', is doubtful.  We do have one intriguing matter when Hurd's issue of the ballad issued General Distress is marked out by its adoption of an extended attribution that refers to 'Shaston' but which kind of attribution is more characteristic of of the more easily historically-datable 'Shaftesbury' (eight examples).  At the same time, in this respect, there is an almost throwaway legend on the 1817 ballad The Death of Princess Charlotte - as 'Ring Hurd, Printer, &c. Shaftesbury', an attribution more characteristic of 'Shaston'.  And the appearance of GLEE ... in 1818 upsets any calculation as to when a possible change of location occurred.  The sum is inconsistent and in the matter of distinguishing 'Shaston' from 'Shaftesbury' the odds favour a simple name-change.  There is no clearly defined time involved and no change in the kinds of ballad found at each location.

As regards the third object of enquiry, Hurd's association with other ballad-printers, over seventy printers are found issuing ballads that Hurd issued although a number of these printers are too late in appearance to have any bearing on Hurd's own progress.  The obvious examples of these later printers would be Batchelar, Harkness, Wright in Birmingham, Fordyce, Walker in Norwich, Such, Ford in Chesterfield, Ryle, Paul and Hodges...  This narrows the list of sharers considerably.

There are some three dozen printers sharing but the one ballad.  Their appearances certainly mark the passing years - Burbage and Stretton, say, or Davenport, or Storry and Sefton, or Willey - but such is the spread of dates that - again - these printers, including Pollock, Phair, Livsey and Fortey and so on, do not exactly impinge on Hurd's progress and we return to those who had a more extensive connection, that which emphasises the popularity of certain ballads amongst them.

It is then impressive that of the fifty-three Hurd single ballads available to us, thirty-one were also printed by Pitts, verifiable in extant copy that survives.  Then there are two Hurd ballads that appear in Pitts' 1836 list but not in extant Pitts copy - Banks of Inverary and Jemmy is slain ...

Of those thirty-one shared ballads eleven came from Pitts' first address between 1802 and 1819, a period that covers Hurd's emergence and the better part of his ballad-printing life.  This might suggest that the remaining twenty ballads were crowded into a short period between 1819 and Hurd's final issue in 1821 unless Hurd had printed his copies first which, judging by his independent contribution as discussed below and his association with one or two other printers who printed at an early date, he was perfectly capable of doing (with Pitts as an unlikely 'follower').

The ballads are very mixed in nature.  It seems clear that mixing is characteristic of Hurd's approach and that, like many if not most printers, he simply seized the day both in 'borrowing' and in adding his own ballads.

There are certain superimpositions in respect of Pitts.  These do not mark a dateable advance in solidifying time and prominence so much as define kind.  The mixture of shared ballads that can be found invovles a number rural characters as subject-matter - perhaps even eighteenth century character - each treated with a distinct air of amusement.  These are The Cobler, Young Harry the Tailor, Young Hodge, A Bit of the Brown, Wife well managed and The Straw Bonnet (which is, effectively Hurd's The New Straw Bonnet).  One might just add The Squire's Change.

That said, there are examples of Hurd ballads without any connection to Pitts and that appear to look back in the same way: Broken-hearted Peggy, A Parody on the Habit-shirt, and The Rage of FashionThe Tea-drinking fashion cut down and Young Lassey are Hurd's own.  In this panoply, the Parody... ,The Rage of Fashion and Broken-hearted Peggy give the impression that they may have been printed by Hurd before 1813.  There are no Pitts copies of any of these five ballads.

But Pitts did also share some of the ballads that are quite refined in language: Bonnet so Blue, The Dawning of the Day, Gilderoy's Farewell, The Happy Stranger and Jemmy is slain...  (Banks of Inverary appears only in Pitts' 1836 list); and, of the slightly 'lesser' pieces in terms of refinement: Lovers Meeting, Answer to the Blue-Ey'd Stranger, Billy and Sally (under the title Sally and her truelove Billy ) and THE Lamentation and Parting....  Likewise, Pitts printed copies of Elwina of Waterloo and The Waterloo Hero, Death of Parker, Justices and Old Baileys and The Deserter, thereby cementing some shared interest in historical events; and, again, in current preoccupations with General Distress, and The Tradesman's Lamentation and Fuddling Day.

Each of these categories has its own flavour but the more salient point is that these flavours are spread throughout Hurd's career - and that of Pitts.

Four other ballads stand out for individual reasons: Tailor's Goose, Paddy Carey's Fortune, Mrs.  Flinn ... - and, finally but very much out of the ordinary, Young C___ that Pitts had under a different title.

Without his being an overwhelming presence, Pitts, then, proffered much that bears on the various kinds of ballads that Hurd also produced and it would be reasonable to suspect that Hurd had a close eye on what Pitts was printing.

And all this has to be set against how printers took what they wanted from where and when they wanted - the nuts and bolts of issue.  The buying-in of ballads could have been a factor and agents may have perpetuated distribution and even printing on their own account.  However, there is no record of any Pitts commerce nor of any networking in the form, say, that Catnach - with the names of regular agents on a deal of copy operated: Batchelar in London, W Marshall and Bennett in Bristol, Pierce in Southborough, Boyes in Brighton and Sharman in Cambridge in one combination or another.  It is known that Pitts did share the printing of ballads in London with Mantz and with Jennings, both combinations listed in the Bodleian archive as operating between 1802 and 1819; and there was a possible association with Lane and Walker in Norwich to do, on a personal level, with Pitts' sister, Hannah, who was resident in Norwich - and in respect of the look of the blue and green paper used by Pitts also turning up in Lane and Walker stock.  Leslie Shepard opines that Pitts shared copy with the Evans family.203 That is all.  There is, no doubt, the somewhat coincidental issue of pieces that portrayed events and trends that were 'in the air' and the whole tenor of discussion in this article has, it is hoped, revealed the way in which various printers at approximately the same time put out material that reflects social trends and preoccupations.  But this does not take us much further forward in understanding if this was because of an individual incursion or, much more likely, involving precedent and 'borrowing', old and constant friends in ballad study.  The obvious closeness in textual matters in several ballads issued by both Hurd and Pitts would appear to underline this.  Hurd, after all, worked in a location relatively distant from London and where news might well be second-hand and trends in social behaviour slow to emerge.  Country newspapers, certainly, had no compunction in appropriating 'news' that appeared first in the London press.  This is not a revolutionary concept for ballad study although not capable of full proof.

Given the prospect of seeing the hand of Pitts in the scope and number of shared ballads, there are clear signs that Hurd may also have looked elsewhere and that, in any case, his individual contributions to the corpus (discussed further below) are a marked feature .  The latter, though, does not make Hurd into an author: it is undiscoverable as to whether he employed writers or not.

As the net of printing might widen Hurd's association, deliberate or not, includes ballads shared with the Evans family.  As a reminder, the Evans responsible seems to have been John, in which case the association with Hurd, if it may be so called, ended in 1820 with John's death, oddly close to Hurd's final issue, his Caroline ballad, and at a time when Pitts changed addresses.204.  There were sixteen ballads also printed by Hurd that have the Evans imprint.  All of these bar one were also printed by Pitts: the exception being Rogues of all sorts.

Ballads shared amongst the three printers are A Bit of the Brown (Evans and Pitts both had the title I am a cobler bold), Bonnet So Blue, The Cobler (Evans put it out as The blink-ey'd cobler ), The Squire's Change, Elwina of Waterloo, Fuddling Day, General Distress, Justices and Old Baileys, Lovers Meeting, Mrs. Flinn ...  (Evans copy is in the modern collection from Cox), Paddy Carey, Tailor's Goose and The Wounded Farmer's Son.  The Happy Stranger was printed by T Evans.  The Banks of Inverary appeared only in Pitts' 1836 list.  Altogether, this represents a substantial collective association amongst the three printers.

Eight Evans ballads were printed when Pitts was at his first address: Bonnet so Blue, Elwina..., Fuddling Day, General Distress, Lovers Meeting, Mrs. Flinn..., Tailor's Goose and The Wounded Farmer's Son (although Pitts issued some of these again after 1819).  This helps in establishing the emergence of certain ballads during the first decade of the nineteenth century.  But it is also noticeable that there are very few Evans ballads that look to have sprung out of the rural hierachical structure of eighteenth century society that has been advanced in discussion as a breeding ground for Hurd ballads and as a feature of some of those ballads Hurd shared with Pitts: perhaps A Bit of the Brown and The Cobler, both with the same subject-matter.  Otherwise, as in most present summation, the result is a mixed bag, from the plaintive Bonnet So Blue to the cheerfulness of Mrs. Flinn ...

Jennings, as already noted, is worth close consideration.  He printed a dozen ballads in common with Hurd: Banks of Inverary, The Belfast Shoemaker, Bonnet so Blue, Broken-hearted Peggy, Chapter of Donkies, Dumb Wife's Tongue, Gilderoy's Farewell, Lover's Meeting, Parody of The Habit-Shirt.  The rarest of these is the Parody ... and this ballad marks a close link between Jennings and Hurd.  Strong similarity in text can not be dismissed even if, as has been suggested, certain subjects were 'in the air'.  Overall, though, the character of the ballads is very mixed with but The Rage of Fashion (to go alongside the Parody ...)and The Taylor's Courtship exemplifying a full 'country' element.

The net tightens, however, through the five ballads shared by Hurd, Jennings, Evans and Pitts: Bonnet so Blue, Banks of Inverary, Lover's MeetingTailor's Goose, and Young Harry ... (The Taylor's Courtship ).  However, in this small group only The Taylor's Courtship has that characteristic 'country' content found in so many of Hurd's ballads.  Otherwise, the shared ballads are yet again varied in nature and this variation does seem to feature strongly in all shared ballads.

Catnach produced eleven ballads in common with Hurd and he commenced his ballad career in 1813 which is exactly commensurate with Hurd's first dateable ballad.  These ballads were Answer to the Blue-Ey'd Stranger, Bonnet so Blue, Death of Parker, The Deserter, Elvina of Waterloo, Fuddling Day, Gilderoy's Farewell, I'm often drunk..., Pleasures of Matrimony, Paddy Carey's Fortune and The Waterloo Hero (printed by Catnach as The Loss of One Hero).  There is a twelfth shared ballad found in Catnach's 1832 list (Billy and Sally ) - presumably he issued a single copy at an earlier date.  Ten of these Catnach ballads were also printed by Pitts (I'm often drunk... and Pleasures of Matrimony are the exceptions).  This gives us a fair assembly of ballads common to all three printers, Catnach himself, Pitts and Hurd.  Of these Catnach ballads five were also printed by Evans: Bonnet So Blue, Elwina of Waterloo, Fuddling Day, Lovers Meeting and Paddy Carey's Fortune.  None of them, in the stock of all three printers, has any 'country' nature.  Nor has Justices and Old Baileys, printed by Catnach as Adieu to Old England; Or, The Transport's Farewell (this ballad also appeared in Catnach's 1832 list).

It should be added that there are only two Jenning ballads shared with Catnach (Bonnet so Blue and Lovers Meeting) and because of the respective working dates of each printer (Jennings finishing in 1809; Catnach starting out in 1813) this is unsurprising.  Both ballads are set out in relatively refined language.

The printing dates of Alice Swindells, 1790-1828, offer another perspective.  Ballads in common with those from Hurd are mixed.  A Bit of the Brown, The Cobler and The Wife Well Managed can be thought of as examples of the 'country' element.  Otherwise, the Swindells imprint is on five shared ballads of the nature of a rural idyll in which there is a love interest: Answer to The Blue-Ey'd Stranger, Bonnet so Blue, Dawning of the Day, The Happy Stranger and Jemmy ...  Moreover, the two historical ballads with the Swindells name on them come relatively late: Riley and Colinband and Transport's Farewell .  This leaves Mrs. Flinn ..., itself probably quite early in appearance but with a long history.

In sum, the five printers discussed above - Pitts, Evans, Jennings, Catnach and Alice Swindells - would appear to be closest in varying degrees to Hurd in terms of dating.  Kind is generally disparate.

Collard, though, is always something of an unknown quantity.  He shared three ballads with Hurd that take a 'country' element as subject-matter: The Cobler, The Chapter of Donkies and Dolly Duggins .  On the other hand, he also shared some more lyrically-inclined ballads: Answer to the Blue-Ey'd Stranger, The Pleasures of Matrimony, The Squire's Change and Wife Well ManagedThe Blacksmith, also shared, is something of a one-off in character.  It is true that Collard printed a ballad on Waterloo and another on Queen Caroline but, as emphasised throughout this article, these were the products of historical opportunity.  Collard, too, not only printed during the time that Hurd did but also well beyond.  This makes it difficult to pin Collard down but by averaging out the ballads that keep cropping up amongst the principal printers there is a strong implication that Collard printed those same ballads (listed above) at much the same time as Hurd.

There is much less sharing between Hurd and printers other then those discussed above.

In between the five major players and one-off printers, there is a second order in which, as instance, the name of Sarah Taylor emerges.  She finished printing ballads in 1818 and, in common with Hurd, issued An Answer to the Blue-Ey'd Stranger, The Cobler, Dolly Duggins, Fuddling Day (as The Fuddlin' Day), and Tailor's Goose.  Three of these Taylor ballads issued in common with Pitts and Evans: An Answer ..., The Cobler and The Fuddlin' Day and and, in addition, Dolly Duggins with Pitts.

Then there is Grundy who has three ballads in common: Death of Parker, The Deserter and Dawning of the Day.  Grundy's working dates are significant - 1792-1810.  It is also worth noting that these three ballads, as do quite a number of shared ballads, do not display any 'country' element.

Bloomer, emerging at the end of Hurd's career, in 1817, nonetheless printed three ballads that are found in the Hurd repertoire Dumb Wife's Tongue ..., Justices and Old Baileys and The Squire's Change: wholly mixed in nature.

We then move further down the scale and Porter with Pleasures of Matrimony and Dolly Duggins both early entrants into repertoire and Porter himself poised just after the mid-point of Hurd's career at around the 1817-1818 mark.

Charles Mate printed Parody ... and The Wounded Farmer's Son and his dates coincide with and extend beyond those of Hurd - Mate's first entry, it seems, occurring at around the 1811 mark and ending between 1822 and 1825.

Oxlade ballads were almost certainly issued between 1813 and 1820.  There are two shared with Hurd: Parody of the habit-shirt and Young C--- (the rarity of this ballad must indicate a close connection).

Innes shared two ballads with Hurd, The Lamentation and Parting ...  and Fuddling Day.  The first could well be associated with the blossoming of Hurd but the second, as has been shown, is a widespread piece and had an extensive life outside the Hurd parameters, time of issue included.  Innes also issued Transport's Farewell which, again as as been shown, was a late addition to the corpus.

Hoggett shared two ballads with Hurd, The Deserter and Trademan's Lamentation, neither of which are specific to a time period and can, therefore, be said to be somewhat random in association.

Other than this crop there are only single ballads in common to account for (not to be dismissed but not, it seems, influential either).  Pigott, for instance, as most definitely an early printer, shares one ballad with Hurd, The Belfast Shoemaker, but the particular ballad is easily allotted a place of origin to an earlier period in time and, as seen in discussion above, is something of an anomaly in historical terms even though it was widely printed.

The presence of the more major printers, as listed, is emphatic and their profiles help to illuminate Hurd's progress, whether through imitation or not.  Whilst the contemporaneous appearance of ballads from different printers must be considered an elastic affair - the variety of ballads is marked - the concentration of names and dates discussed here is enough to offer a fairly strong vignette of 'early' printers - with Hurd among them.


In tandem, there are Hurd's apparently eleven independent contributions They are:

All aspects of Hurd's base material are perceptible here and the ballads were issued throughout his printing career.

The 'country' element is served by The tea-drinking fashion cut down.

However, in terms of kind, there is only one of those ballads that employs rather high-flown language: I'm Often Drunk ... but this ballad does contribute to something of an entity with ballads of the same kind shared amongst printers: Answer to the Blue-ey'd Stranger, Banks of Inverary, Bonnet So Blue, The Dawning of the Day, Gilderoy's Farewell, The Happy Stranger and Young Lassey.

Another group - another kind - that does not entirely poke 'country' fun nor offer idylls also contains only one independent Hurd contribution - his Answer to the Pleasures of Matrimony - and this, in style, joins Billy and Sally, Lover's Meeting, The Middlesex Farmer, The Pleasures of Matrimony, The Wife Well Managed and The wounded farmer's son.

One independent ballad, GLEE ..., is concerned with politics and that is obviously partisan, offering no comment on the current national political situation.  Nor are there any ballads that are local in character.  This was found to be the case elsewhere - in the Besley and Porter stocks, for instance where, in each case, there is but the one.  More of this local matter could be revealed as other printers are studied in depth.  Robert Walker's is a stand-out name in this respect with ballads that encapsulate pointedly local political squabbles.205

Historically-based ballads are more clearly delineated - though not always.  The Casting-away ... like GLEE ..., is a one-off printing and of dubious provenance anyway.  Young C____, without an address, also leaves a question mark over its origin.  But, as independent products, The Battle of Waterloo and Copy of Verses ... (Hurd's one murder ballad) are truly Hurd's own.

When all is said and done, Hurd can be seen to have been a printer of eclectic tastes and one happy to secure copy from a variety of sources; and also a printer with the facility to adopt various styles for his own contributions.  The temptation might then be to pay too much attention to the idea of a logical sequence in printing matters, one printer following another, and there seems little doubt that precedent does affect the Hurd output; but the over-riding picture, well-enough known amongst printers, is of dodging from one subject to another, one ballad to another.  Hurd's use of header-blocks of a varied sort underlines the apparently opportunist choice of material and a printer with no set pattern of production.  It should not be overlooked that in whatever way Hurd's ballads came into being it can be seen that the printer was thoroughly familiar with ballad conventions.  Again, his own contributions underline this.

Finally, as a sort of closure on that period of time and the crop of ballads that can be found, nothing underlines the ephemeral nature of ballad-printing more than the fact that Hurd seems to have spent only around ten verifiable years producing ballads and yet continued to print for decades afterwards.

Roly Brown - 8.10.16
Oradour sur Vayres, France


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