A newe balade made by Nicholas Balthorp which suffered in Calys the .xv. daie of marche. MDL.


A newe balade made by Nicholas Balthorp which suffered in Calys the .xv. daie of marche. MDL.


Nicholas Balthorp prepares himself for his execution in Calais in 1550. Although his crime is not made explicit, this conforms to a tradition of martyr ballads, written in the voice of those executed for heresy.

Digital Object

Image notice

Full size images of all ballad sheets available at the bottom of this page.

Image / Audio Credit

Society of Antiquaries Library, Early English Book, 1475-1640 (STC), reel position 2429:09. EEBO record (institutional login required).


When raging death with extreme paine
Most cruelly assaultes my herte,
And when my fleshe, although in vaine,
Doth feare the felinge of that smarte;
For when the swerde wil stop mi brethe,
Then am I at the poynt of death.

I call to minde the goodnes greate
The father promised to us al,
Howe that his sonne for us should sweat
Water and bloud, and drinke the gal,
And should lose the life he hathe
To pacifie his father's wrathe.

And how we shuld by his sonnes death
Knowe the father's mind and wil,
And to preserve us stil in faith
His commaundementes to fulfil;
So that, before where we were slaine,
By his bloud we might live againe.

And where in thousand yeres ther were,
Before the comming of this childe,
Mani a man that came farre
For lacke of knowledge was begild;
As Pharaoe's people, whiche did rebel
Againste Moses, deserving hel.

But when the child had shed his bloud,
He made us free wher we were bande;
He after was to us so good
To put is in the promised lande,
And brought us from the lake so depe,
Wher he him selfe of us take kepe.

Then saide I streight unto my fleshe,
The vile carkas, why doest thou fret
That of this earthe art made so neshe,
And naught thou art but wormes meat?
In the have I no delyght,
For al is vexed in sprite.

Thou haste me caused to offende
In folowing muche thi fleshely wil;
But, God willing, now I shal amend,
In token where of I do the kil,
Because thou woldest not have him forgeve
Thi shameful fauts while thou might live.
Thou didest thi selfe so muche esteme
Thou madest thi sprite the to obeye;
But thi rewarde is, as I deme,
Streight from the spirit now to decaie;
And from the world thou shalt now turne,
And be a subjecte to the worme.

As for my spirite, I trust, he shal
Amonge the auncient fathers slepe,
Readie when the Lord doth cal
His heavenlie deitie for to kepe:
This is the chiefe grounde of my faithe,
And ther upon I take my death.

What availeth anie princely power,
Yf God agreeth not them tyl?
For if the Lorde doth apointe the houre,
Thei can not worke against his wil;
So that for me he doth prevente,
For to agre I do consente.

Beare record now, ye Christian al,
That seethe the ende of this mi life,
For helpe to none of you I cal,
But unto God for mercie rife;
But this to you I calle and crye,
Witnes a christian do I die.

Forgeve me al in this worlde wide,
And praie for me whiles I do live:
For do [no] mans sake tarieth the tide,
Therfore I do you al forgeve.
In the Lordes handes I do commend
My spirite, and here I make an ende.

Finis. Qd. Nicholas Balthorpe.
Imprinted at london in Foster lane by Jhon Waley.

Method of Punishment






Execution Location


Printing Location

London: John Waley, 1550


A newe balade made by Nicholas Balthorp which suffered in Calys.jpg


“A newe balade made by Nicholas Balthorp which suffered in Calys the .xv. daie of marche. MDL.,” Execution Ballads, accessed June 16, 2024, https://omeka.cloud.unimelb.edu.au/execution-ballads/items/show/1297.

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