A PEPYSIAN GARLAND - online book

Black-letter Broadside Ballads Of The years 1595-1639

Home Main Menu Singing & Playing Order & Order Info Support Search Voucher Codes



Share page  Visit Us On FB

Previous Contents Next
17
Murther unmasked
Pepys, i, 108, B.L., three woodcuts, four columns.
Barnevile (Johan Van Oldenbarneveldt, 15471619) was arrested by order of Prince Maurice of Nassau on August 18, 1618, arraigned for treason on February 20 following, sentenced to death, and executed at the Hague on May 13, 1619. The accusations brought against him were, it is now agreed, without foundation, while a packed jury made his trial a travesty of justice. "There was," said John Lothrop Motley {The Life and Death of John of Barneveld, 1879, 11, 315), "no bill of indictment, no arraignment, no counsel. There were no witnesses and no arguments. The court-room contained, as it were, only a prejudiced and partial jury to pronounce both on law and fact without a judge to direct them." Perhaps the chief blot on the fame of Prince Maurice is his base desertion of Barnevile, when a word could have saved him. The Tragedy of Sir John Van Olden Barnavelt (A. H. Bullen's Old Plays, vol. 11) was acted with considerable success in London in the autumn of 1619. The authors (Massinger and Fletcher?), according to Mr Bullen, "saw partially through the mists of popular error and prejudice; they refused to accept a caricature portrait, and proclaimed in unmistakeable accents the nobility of the fallen Advocate" (cf. also Sir A. W. Ward's English Dramatic Literature, 11, 716). The balladist, on the other hand, had a very prejudiced view, and distorted Barnevile's fall into a warning against Arminians and Popery. The printer W.I. was probably William Jones, Sr, who is known to have printed during the years 1601-1626. For the tune see Chappell's Popular Music, 1, 176.
To the tune of Welladay.
IO4
Previous Contents Next