Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 1 of 8 from 1860 edition

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The Famous Historie of the Seven Champions of Christendom, is the work of Richard Johnson, a bal­lad maker of some note at the end of the 16th and beginning of the 17th century. All that is known of him may be seen in Chappel's Introduction to the Crown Garland of Golden Roses, of which Johnson was the compiler or the author. (Percy Society, vol. vi.) " The Story of St. George and the Fair Sabra," says Percy, " is taken almost verbatim from the old poetical legend of Sir Bevis of Hampton."
The Seven Champions is twice entered on the Sta­tioners' Registers in the year 1596. It is here re­printed from A Collection of Old Ballads, 1723, vol. i. 28. The same copy is in Evans's collection, i. 372.
Now of the Seven Champions here
My purpose is to write, To show how they with sword and spear
Put many foes to flight; Distressed ladies to release,
And captives bound in chains, That Christian glory to increase
Which evermore remains.