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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night—and this dear year, together with the silencing of his looms, scarce that—he is con­strained to betake himself to carded ale, whence it proceedeth that since Candlemas, or his jig of John for the King, not one merry ditty will come from him ; nothing but The Thunderbolt against Swearers, Repent, England, Repent, and the Strange Judgments of God.' Such, then, were the men who were to replace the ministrels."
Once more, in the thirty-ninth year of Eliza­beth's reign, repressive measures were passed, in an Act by which all " minstrels wandering abroad" were held to be "rogues, vagabonds, and sturdy beggars," and were to be punished as such. Again, in 1648, the Provost-Marshal was empowered to seize upon all ballad-singers and to send them to the several militias. But the Act had little effect on the ballad-singers of the day. "They were found in every corner of the big cities, and in every market town throughout the country, singing and selling ballads."
"The England of the Tudors and Stuarts," says a recent writer, "was certainly a musical England ; and Erasmus in 1604 said it had the most handsome women, kept the best tables, and was the most cultivated in music of all the peoples of the world. The Commonwealth gave a check to music, but with the Restoration came
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