A Century Of Ballads 1810-1910, Their Composers & Singers

With Some Introductory Chapters On Old Ballads And Ballad Makers - online book.

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THE EVOLUTION OF THE BALLAD 15
in the English tongue." Four years later a man of the name of John Hogon was arrested for singing in public a political ballad to the tune of "The Hunt is up"; and in 1543 an Act was passed " for the advancement of true religion, and for the abolishment of the contrary," in which it was stated that "froward and malicious minds, intending to subvert the true exposition of Scrip­ture, have taken upon them, by printed ballads, rhymes, etc., subtilly and craftily to instruct his highness' people, and specially the youth of this his realm, untruly. For reformation whereof, his majesty considereth it most requisite to purge his realm of all such books, ballads, rhymes, and songs, as be pestiferous and noisome. There­fore, if any printer shall print, give, or deliver any such, he shall suffer for the first time im­prisonment for three months, and forfeit for every copy 10l., and for the second time, forfeit all his goods, and his body be committed to perpetual prison."
However, during the reign of Edward VI ballads began to multiply again, and no new proclamation was passed. But with the acces­sion of Mary there was published a fresh edict against "books, ballads, rhymes, and treatises," which, she complained, had been "set out by printers and stationers, of an evil zeal for lucre, and covetous of vile gain."
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