Special Collections and Archives

Street Ballads of Victorian England

Special Collections and Archives

Street Ballads of Victorian England

Street Ballads of Victorian England

Finding Aid

Prepared by Cara Gilgenbach, May 13, 2002

Inclusive Dates: circa 1850-1870
Extent: 2 oversize document cases + 1 oversize folder, 1 cubic foot
Physical Location: 11th floor

Historical Note

Broadside ballads were part of the rich mix of popular street literature produced in England from the 16th through 19th centuries. These ballads, printed cheaply on thin sheets of paper, were sold on the streets of England by peddlers and hawkers for a penny or half-penny, in most cases. The ballads centered on popular subject matter such as love, sex, marriage, politics, religion, fantastic tales, humorous anecdotes, social reform, and crime. Most included an illustration of some kind, though in many cases the image had little or nothing to do with the subject of the text. In London, many broadside ballads were printed by publishers located in the Seven Dials district including the well-known print shops of John Marshall, John Pitts, and James Catnatch.

For further reading on broadside ballads and the history of street literature, see the following works:

-- Ashton, John. Modern Street Ballads. New Introduction by Leslie Shepard. London: Chatto & Windus, 1888. Reissued by Singing Tree Press, 1968.

-- Bratton, J. S. The Victorian Popular Ballad. Totowa, New Jersey: Rowman and Littlefield, 1975.

-- Shepard, Leslie. The Broadside Ballad: A Study in Origins and Meaning. London: Herbert Jenkins, 1962.

-- Shepard, Leslie. The History of Street Literature: The Story of Broadside Ballads, Chapbooks, Proclamations, News-Sheets, Election Bills, Tracts, Pamphlets, Cocks, Catchpennies, and other Ephemera. Detroit, Michigan: Singing Tree Press, 1973.

Scope and Content

This collection contains 175 English street ballads, printed on portions of broadside sheets, dating from around 1850-1870. They are arranged in alphabetical order by title. Some sheets contain two ballads printed side by side or at top and bottom. The author and printer information are included when available, however most of these ballads do not include authors' names. Please note that a handful of the ballads listed below are related to crime. Other examples of criminal broadsides are found in the Borowitz Crime sub-collections Criminal Broadsides of 19th-Century England and Criminal Broadsides of America. Some of these ballads have been digitized. Click on >>VIEW IMAGE to link to the scanned image.

This collection was donated to Kent State University in 1999 by Albert I. and Helen O. Borowitz.


Box 1
Folder -- Contents

  1. "Allen's Farewell to his Love" -- T. Pearson, Printer, 6, Chadderton-st., Oldham-rd., Manchester
  2. "Arab Steed" [top section] -- "Light Bark" [bottom section] -- Swindells, Printer
  3. "Aw Connut Dry My Heen, Robin, A Poem" by John Scholes -- Published by Abel Hywood, 58, Oldham Street, Manchester
  4. "Away to the Mountain's Brow" [top section] -- "The Bloom is on the Rye" [bottom section]
  5. "Awve Hard Work to Howd Up Mi Head" by S. Laycock -- [Reprinted from the "North Chesire Herald"] -- Hyde: G. Booth, Printer, Hamnet-Street
  6. "The Banished Defender" -- Pearson, Printer, 6, Chadderton-st., off Oldham Road, Manchester
  7. "Banks of Sweet Dundee"
  8. "Barney Brallaghan"
  9. "Battle of the Alma" -- [Bebbington], Printer, [2]6, [Goul]den-street, Oldham Road, Manchester, and sold by [remainder is unreadable]
  10. "Be Careful in Choosing a Wife"
  11. "The Beautiful Muff"
  12. "The Belfast Lovers" -- T. Pearson, Printer & Stationer, 6, Chadderton St., Oldham Road, Manchester
  13. "Bessy, The Sailor's, Bride"
  14. "Betting Tailor of Regent St." -- Air: "Rat Catcher's Daughter"
  15. "Black Flag"
  16. "Blow the Candle In" by J. Morgan -- Printed by Hill, 14, Waterloo Rd. London; also, sold by J. Martin, Little Prescott Street
  17. "Blow the Winds I. O."
  18. "Blue-ey'd Stranger" -- Swindells, Printer
  19. "Bob & Bet." -- Printed by John Bebbington, 31, Oldham Road, Manchester, Sold by J. Beaumont, Leeds
  20. "Bonny Black Hare" [left side] -- "Lubin & Mary" [right side] [two copies, one copy cut in half]
  21. "The Bonny Blue Jacket" -- Catnach, Printer, 2, Monmouth-ct. >>VIEW IMAGE
  22. "Brave Nelson" -- Harkness, Printer, Park-road, Preston
  23. "The Brave Old Oak" -- Wheeler, Printer, No. 9 Whittle-st., Manchester
  24. "Brennan on the Moor" [left side] -- "Limerick Races!" As Sung by Sam Collins [right side] -- Printed by H. Such, 123, Union Street, Borough
  25. "A Bull in a China Shop" -- Printed by George Walker, Jun., Sadler-street, Durham; and sold by John Livsey, Shudehill, Manchester
  26. "Burns and Highland Mary"
  27. "Burns's Farewell" -- Swindells, Printer
  28. "Charity Boy"
  29. "Cheap Food Laws" -- Swindells, Printer
  30. "Chelsea Ladies" [header] -- "Confessing Their Sins" [first section] -- "Tapping at the Window" [second section]
  31. "Christmas" by R. R. Bealey -- John Heywood, 143, Deansgate, Manchester
  32. "Cigars & Cognac" -- Bebbington, Printer, 26 Goulden-street, Oldham Road, Manchester; sold by J. Beaumont, 176, York-street, Leeds
  33. "Clementina Clemmins" -- London: H. Such, Printer & Publisher, 177, Union Street, Boro'---S. E.
  34. "Come Back to Erin" -- Pearson, Printer, Chadderton-St. Oldham-Rd., Manchester
  35. "Confession of Thos. Drory" -- Disley, Printer, 16, Arthur-street, St. Giles's
  36. "The Constant Pair or, the Pretty Prentice Boy"
  37. "Contented Wife"
  38. "Copy of Verses on the Late Dreadful Fire in James Street, Lisson Grove" -- London: Printed and Published by H. Such, 123, Union Street, Borough. Where all new Songs may be had as soon as Published >>VIEW IMAGE
  39. "Copy of Verses on the Trial, and Confession of Frederick Prentice for the Murder of Emma Coppins, at Queenborough, Kent, on January 11th, 1859" -- Taylor, Printer, 93, Brick Lane, Whitechapel [SEE ALSO item number 30]
  40. "Country Chap's Adventures Down a Coal Pit" -- Written and sung by I. Wrigley -- Livsey, Printer
  41. "Country John"
  42. "Th' Courtin' Neet" by Samuel Laycock -- J. Higham & Co., Printers, Hamnet-street, Market Place, Hyde
  43. "Crafty Maid's Policy" -- Pitts, Printer, Toy and Marble Warehouse, 6 Great St. Andrew Street, Seven Dials
  44. "The Cruel Ship Carpenter" -- J. O. Bebbington, Printer, 25, Goulden Street, Oldham Road, Manchester, and sold by John Beaumont, 176, York Street, Leeds
  45. "Cupid's Garden" -- John Bebbington, Printer, 31 Oldham Road, Manchester
  46. "Curly Headed Ploughboy"
  47. "Darbee & his Dizzy" -- Tune: Vilikins and his Dinah -- [Rial?] & Co., Printers, Monmouth Court, 7 Dials
  48. "The Dear Irish Boy" [left side] -- "The Bold Boatswain of Dover" [right side] -- J. Harkness, Printer, 121 & 122, Church Street, Office--North Road, Preston
  49. "The Doctors they all are naughty" [left side] -- "Brandy and Godfrey's Cordial" [right side]
  50. "Downfall of the Exhibition" -- Disley, Printer, 16, Arthur Street, Oxford Street
  51. "The Dreadful Murder of Emma Coppins, aged 16, at Queenborough, Kent" -- London: Printed and Published by H. Such, 123, Union Street, Borough [SEE ALSO item number 21]
  52. "England Demands Reform: and Reform She'll Have" -- Air: "White Cockade," "Paddington Omnibus" -- Taylor, Printer, 93, Brick Lane >>VIEW IMAGE
  53. "The Englishman, Irishman, and Scotchman; or, Dearly you must pay for your mutton" [two copies]
  54. "Exile of Erin" -- Swindell, Printer, Manchester
  55. "Fair Maria" -- J. Swindells, Printer, Manchester
  56. "Farewell Fanny Frail"
  57. "Female Rambling Sailor" >>VIEW IMAGE
  58. "Fight between Donally & Cooper"
  59. "Five Cripples"
  60. "A Flare up amongst the Lambeth Guardians" -- Paul Printer Great Saint Andrew Street, Bloomsbury
  61. "Foot Passengers Keep to the Right" by Samuel Laycock
  62. "Fourpence H'apenny Cap" -- J. Harkness, Printer, 121, Church Street, Preston
  63. "Freemasons" -- Printed by J. Swindells >>VIEW IMAGE
  64. "Freemason's Song"
  65. "Godfrey's Cordial"
  66. "Great Plum Pudding"
  67. "Have You Seen My Missus?"
  68. "Haymakers" [top section] -- "Pretty Jane" [bottom section] -- T. Pearson, 6, Chadderton-street, off Oldham-road, Manchester
  69. "Henpecked Club" -- Pearson, Printer, 6, Chadderton-street, off Oldham-road, Manchester
  70. "The Hole in Her Stocking"
  71. "I am an Irish Boy from Dublin Town I Came"
  72. "The Illuminated Dials" -- Dever, Printer, Great St. Andew St., 7 Dials
  73. "I'm Going to See the Exhibition for a Shilling"
  74. "I'm Like to Be There" [two copies]
  75. "I'm Off to Charlestown Early in de Morning" [left side] -- "Green Brooms" [right side] -- London: Printed at Such's Song Mart, 123, Union Street, Borough. Hawkers Supplied
  76. "Irish Emigrant" -- T. Pearson, Printer, 6 Chadderton-st., Off Oldham Road, Manchester
  77. "Ivy Green" [two copies] >>VIEW IMAGE
  78. "Jenny The Maid of the Moor" -- J. Catnach, Printer, 2 & 3, Monmouth-court, 7 Dials
  79. "John the Miller"
  80. "The Jolly Driver"
  81. "Jonathan Brown"
  82. "Ladies Bustle"
  83. "The Ladies Reform Bill!" -- Taylor, Printer, 93, Brick Lane >>VIEW IMAGE
  84. "Land of the Brave and Free" -- Swindells, Printer
  85. "Lannigan's Ball"
  86. "Last Rose of Summer" -- Swindells, Printer
  87. "The Lazy Club, A popular Comic Song" -- written by J. R. Perry -- Tune: Regent Street
  88. "Leather Breeches" -- Printed by George Walker, Jun., Sadler-Street, Durham. Sold by John Livsey, 43, Hanover-street, Shudehill, Manchester
  89. "Let Me Like a Soldier Fall" -- J. Cadman, Printer, 152, Great Ancoats St., Manchester, & Sold by H. Andrews, 27, St. Peter's St., Leeds
  90. "The Light of Other Days" -- Swindells, Printer
  91. "Lines on the Terrible Colliery Explosion Near Barnsley, Loss of 120 Lives" >>VIEW IMAGE
  92. "Lord Bateman" -- Printed and Sold by J. Catnach, 2, Monmouth-Court, 7 Dials
  93. "Love and Liver or Flare up Neddy" -- J. Wheeler, Printer, Whittle-street, Manchester
  94. "Love-Sick Luby" -- J. Swindells, Printer
  95. "Lovely Nancy" -- Swindells, Printer
  96. "Lowland Queen" -- Swindells, Printer
  97. "The Maid of Erin's Isle" -- Swindells, Printer
  98. "Maid of Llangollen" -- Swindells, Printer, Manchester
  99. "Mally" by R. R. Bealey -- R. Hobson and Son, Printers, "Reporter" Office, Ashton-Under-Lyne and Stalybridge
  100. "The Man that is Married" -- Wheeler, Printer
  101. "March of Intellect In the Butchering Line"
  102. "Maria" -- Swindells, Printer
  103. "Maurice & his Father" -- Swindells, Printer, Manchester
  104. "The Men of Sixty-Nine"
  105. "Merry Bells of England" -- Bebbington, Printer, 22, Goulden-Street Oldham-Road, Manchester; and Sold by H. Andrews St. Peter-Street, Leeds [two copies]
  106. "Monaghan Discussion"
  107. "Mother Teasel's Pudding" [left side] -- "Black Eyed Susan" [right side]
  108. "The Murder at Sibsey, in Lincolnshire" -- London: Printed and Published at Taylor's Song Mart, 93, Brick Lane, Bethnal Green, (near the Railway Arch). Hawkers and the Trade Supplied
  109. "My Erin, Oh!" [top sections] -- "Jemmy o'er the Lee" [bottom section] -- Swindells, Printer
  110. "My Gallopping's all at an End" -- Printed for W. Armstrong, Banastre-st.
  111. "My Native Highland Home"
  112. "Nell Flaherty's Drake"
  113. "New Mown Hay"
  114. "A New Song & Dialogue on Bloomerism; The Men wrong, and the Women right" -- H. Disley, Printer, 16, Arthur Street, Oxford Street >>VIEW IMAGE
  115. "A New Speech for the Fifth of November" -- Printed and Published by E. Billing, Bermondsey Street
  116. "The Nice Young Gal"
  117. "9 Times a Night"
  118. "Nobody's Child" -- Pearson, Printer, Chadderton Street, Oldham Road

Box 2
Folder -- Contents

  1. "O Good Ale thou art my Darling" [top section] -- "The Calico Printer's Clerk" [bottom section]
  2. "The Old Miser" -- George Walker, Printer, Sadler-Street, Durham
  3. "The Old Parson" -- John Whiting, Printer, 134, Moor St., Birmingham
  4. "Old Weaver's Daughter"
  5. "Owd David-At-Major's" by R. R. Bealey -- A. Ireland and Co., Printers, Manchester
  6. "Oxford City" -- Sold at Livsey's Song Mart, 43, Hanover-st., Shudehill, Manchester. Shops supplied
  7. "The Oxford Scholar" -- J. Catnach, Printer, 2, Monmouth-court, 7 Dials
  8. "Paddy Bregan's Marriage" -- Tune: Jenny Jones -- Written by James Singleton Mc. Connel -- G. Jacques, Printer, Oldham Road Library, Manchester
  9. "Paddy's Wedding"
  10. "Pat of Mullingar" -- J. Bebbington, Printer, 31, Oldham Road, Manchester
  11. "Peep at Coronation" -- Cadman, Printer, 152, Gt. Ancoats St., Manchester
  12. "The Pensioner's Complaint Against His Wife"
  13. "Polly Oliver's Rambles" -- Pearson, Printer, 6, Chadderton-st.
  14. "Pop Him Into Limbo" -- J. O. Bebbington, Printer, 31, Oldham Road, Manchester, sold by J. Beaumont, 176, York-street, Leeds
  15. "Pop Him Into Limbo" -- Ryle & Co., Printers, 2 & 3, Monmouth-court, 7 Dials, London
  16. "Prayin' Jemmy" by Samuel Laycock -- John Macleod, Printer, Market Street, Stalybridge
  17. "The Pretty Chambermaid" [two copies]
  18. "Pretty Susan, the Pride of Kildare" -- Wheeler, Printer, 9, Whittle-st. Oldham-st. -- Sold at the Cheap Song Mart, 43 Hoover [?]-st.
  19. "Rambling Boys of Pleasure" -- Printed and Sold by J. Bebbington, Printer by Steam Power, 31, Oldham Road, Manchester >>VIEW IMAGE
  20. "The Rhubarb" [left side] -- "Irish Transport" [right side] -- E. Hodges (from Pitt's), Wholesale Toy and Marble Warehouse, 31, Dudley Street, Seven Dials
  21. "The Rogue Who Insulted the Queen"
  22. "Royal Agricultural Show" -- Disley, Printer, Arthur-street, Oxford-street
  23. "Sarah Chesham's Lamentation, for the Murder of Richard Chesham, her Husband, by Poison" -- Hodges, Printer, Wholesale Toy Warehouse, 31, Dudley Street, 7 Dials.
  24. "Shakespeare's House (Thou Art Gone from My Gaze)" -- E. M. Hodges, Printer (from Pitt's), Wholesale Toy and Marble Warehouse, 31, Dudley Street, Seven Dials
  25. "Song and Dialogue on the Grinolines!" -- Air: "Dash Along," "Nut Girl," "Helmet on his Brow," &c., &c. -- London: Printed and Published by H. Such, 123, Union Street, Borough. Hawkers, Country Dealers, and the Trade, Supplied on the lowest terms
  26. "Susannah Don't You Cry" [left side] -- "Carry Me Back to Ole Virginny" [right side] -- Birt, Printer, 39, Great St. Andres Street, Seven Dials
  27. "Sweet Home, With the Additional Verses" -- Swindells, Printer
  28. "Tara's Old Hall" -- Pearon, Printer, 6, Chadderton-street, off Oldham Road, Manchester
  29. "Teddy Regan" -- Swindells, Printer
  30. "Thee an' Me" by Samuel Laycock -- John Macleod, Printer, Market Street, Stalybridge
  31. "Three Butchers" -- Bebbington, Printer, 31, Oldham Road, Manchester, sold by H. Andrews, 27, St. Peter's Street, and J. Beaumont, 176, York Street, Leeds
  32. "Turpin Hero" -- J. Cadman, Printer, 152, Gt Ancoats, Manchester, & Sold by Andrews, 27, St. Peter's St., Leed[s] >>VIEW IMAGE
  33. "The Twig of Shillaleh" -- [printer information unreadable]
  34. "Under the British Flag" [left side] -- "The Tramp" [right side]
  35. "Unlucky Fellow" -- Tune: Man that is Married
  36. "The Virgin, Only 19 Years Old"
  37. "Wait for the Turn of the Tide"
  38. "The Wandering Girl, or the Bud of a Rose" -- Walker, Printer, Durham
  39. "We Shall Never See His Like Again" -- Swindells, Printer
  40. "The Wealthy Farmer's Son"
  41. "The Weaver's Daughter" -- Swindells, Printer
  42. "Wedlock's Joys" -- Printed and sold wholesale and retail, by G. Jacques, Oldham Road Library, Manchester
  43. "We'll Hae a Drap Mair"
  44. "What Will Old England Come To"-- [printer information unreadable]
  45. "What's Old England Come To?" -- Tune: "Irish Stranger" -- Swindells, Printer
  46. "When Fair Susan I Left" -- Wheeler, Printer, Whittle-st., Manchester
  47. "When We Went Out a Gypsying" -- Swindells, Printer
  48. "When Ye Gang Awa' Jamie!" [left side] -- "Please, Give Me a Penny, Sir" [right side] -- "There's a Smile Waiting for Me at Home" [header]
  49. "Who Prigged the Mutton" [left side] -- "Mary, Mary, List, Awake" [right side]
  50. "The Willow Tree" -- Wheeler, Printer, Manchester [two copies] >>VIEW IMAGE
  51. "A Woman, Dear Woman for Me"
  52. "A Woman, is the Comfort of Man" -- J. Wheeler, Printer, No.9 Whittle-street, Oldham-st., [Manchester]
  53. "The Women Floggers Lament or Marylebone Workhouse!" -- Tune: Oh dear what can the matter be -- Skinner, Printer, Westminster
  54. "Wonderful Times!" [left side] -- "Nine Cheers for the Girls We Love" -- John Harkness, Printer, Church Street, Preston

Oversize Folder:

  1. "The Birth of Christ" [header] -- "The Saviour's Will" [left side] -- "God Rest You" [center] -- "Christ in the Manger" [right side] [illustrations are hand-colored]
  2. "Fifty Carols and Anthems for Christmas" -- Hayle: Printed by J. O. Harris, Publisher of the "Hayle Miscellany"
  3. "A Lamentable Ballad of the Tragical End of a Gallant Lord and Virtuous Lady; Together with the Untimely Death of their two Children" -- [Printed by?] John Evans, 41, Long Lane, West Smithfield, London