Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 7 of 8 from 1860 edition - online book

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56                     SIB ANDREW BARTON.
he had amassed great wealth, and his ships were very richly laden. Henry, notwithstanding his situation, could not refuse the generous offer made by the Earl of Surrey. Two ships were immediately fitted out, and put to sea with letters of marque, under his two sons, Sir Thomas and Sir Edward Howard. After encountering a great deal of foul weather, Sir Thomas came up with the Lion, which was commanded by Sir Andrew Barton in person; and Sir Edward came up with the Union, Barton's other ship [called by Hall, the Bark of Scotland]. The engagement which ensued was extremely obstinate on both sides; but at last the fortune of the Howards prevailed. Sir Andrew was killed, fighting bravely, and encouraging his men with his whistle, to hold out to the last; and the two Scotch ships, with their crews, were carried into the River Thames [Aug. 2, 1511]." (Guthrie's Peerage, as quoted by Percy.)
An old copy in the precious Manuscript furnished the foundation for Percy's edition of this noble ballad. The editor states that the text of the original was so incorrect as to require emendations from black-letter copies and from conjecture.. These emendations, where they are noted, we have for the most part disregarded. We would fain believe that nothing except a defect in the manuscript could have recon­ciled the Bishop to adopting the four lines with which the ballad now begins.
The common, or black-letter copies, are somewhat abridged as well as modernized. One of these is given in the Appendix.

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