Naval Songs & Ballads - online book

3 Centuries Of Naval History In Shanties & Sea Songs With Lyrics & Notes

Home Main Menu Singing & Playing Order & Order Info Support Search Easter Hymns

Share page  Visit Us On FB

Previous Contents Next
INTRODUCTION                   xxv
History of England, vii. 358, 384 ; viii. 154.) Lindsey's fleet consisted of nineteen ships of the royal navy and twenty-six merchant vessels. Northumberland's contained twenty-seven king's ships. This display of naval force inspired the poems printed on p. 36, the first a panegyric On His Majesties Fleet, the second an address from Neptune to England, which was probably derived from some masque played at Court during these years. The ballad Upon the Great Ship clearly belongs to 1637 (p. i>7)- In that year Thomas Hey wood published a prose pamphlet entitled A true Description of his Majesties Royal Ship built this year at Woolwich in Kent, upon which these verses seem to be partly based. Heywood also wrote a long poem called An Epigram upon his Majesties Great Ship the Sovereign of the Seas, which is reprinted in Mr. Masefield's collection (A Sailors Garland, p. 94).
A few of the sea songs written during the reign can be traced from the entries in the Stationers' registers. Ballads were entered On the Kings Navye on June 19, 1625 ; A narrative of a sea-fight by the Lyon of London against 6 Turkish ships on January 2, 1635 ; A new relation of 4 Englishmen that brought into Saint Lucars Turkish Pirates and their Ship on December 10, 1638 ; a Ballad of the Seafight with three Turkish piratts on July 13, 1640; A noble and notable Seafight on July 17, 1640. All these have perished. Half a dozen ballads on the sea-fights between the Spaniards and Dutch in the Channel in September 1639, and on the destruction of the Spanish fleet in the Downs by Tromp on October 10, 1639, were published. Of these one survives, in Wood's collection in the Bodleian, entitled A New Spanish Tragedy or More Strange News from the Seas.