Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 7 of 8 from 1860 edition - online book

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Percy's Retiques, ill. 297.
" The subject of this ballad is sufficiently popular from the modern play which is founded upon it. This was written by George Lillo, a jeweller of London, and first acted about 1730.—As for the ballad, it was printed at least as early as the middle of the last cen­tury.
"It is here given from three old printed copies, which exhibit a strange intermixture of Roman and black-letter. It is also collated with another copy in the Ashmole Collection at Oxford, which is thus en­titled : " An excellent ballad of George Barnwell, an apprentice of London, who . . . thrice robbed his mas­ter, and murdered his uncle in Ludlow. The tune is The Merchant"
There is another copy in Ritson's Ancient Songs, ii. 156. Throughout the Second Part, the first line of each stanza has, in the old editions, two superfluous syllables, which Percy ejected; and Ritson has adopted the emendation.
All youths of fair England
That dwell both far and near, Regard my story that I tell,
And to my song give ear.