A proper newe Ballad, declaring the substaunce of all the late pretended Treasons against the Queenes Maiestie, and Estates of this Realme, by sundry Traytors:


A proper newe Ballad, declaring the substaunce of all the late pretended Treasons against the Queenes Maiestie, and Estates of this Realme, by sundry Traytors:


who were executed in Lincolnes-Inne fielde on the 20. and 21. daies of September. 1586.

Digital Object

Image / Audio Credit

Society of Antiquaries of London - Broadsides, Shelfmark: Cab Lib g; EBBA 36317

Set to tune of...

Wilsons new tune


A proper newe Ballad, declaring the substaunce of all the late pretended Treasons against the Queenes Maiestie, and Estates of this Realme, by sundry Traytors: who were executed in Lincolnes-Inne fielde on the 20. and 21. daies of September. 1586.
To Wilsons new tune.

WHen first the gracious God of heauen, by meanes did bring to light:
the Treasons lately practised, by many a wicked wight.
Against their Prince whose life they sought, & many a noble Peere:
the substance of whose treasons strange, you shal most truly heare.

O Lord preserue our noble Queene, her Counsaile long maintaine:
Confound her foes and graunt her grace in health to rule and raigne.

Their Treasons once discouered, then were the Traytors sought:
some of them fled into a Wood, where after they were caught.
And being broughte vnto the Tower, for ioye the Belles did ring:
and throughout London Bonefiers made, where people Psalmes did sing

O Lord preserue our noble Queene, &c.

And set their Tables in the streetes, with meates of euery kinde:
where was preparde all signes of ioye, that could be had in minde.
And praysde the Lord most hartely, that with his mightie hand:
he had preserued our gracious Queene, and people of this Land.

O Lord preserue our noble Queene, &c.

Which thing was taken in good parte, by our renowned Queene:
who by her Letters gaue them thankes, as playnly may be seene.
Assuring them that all her care, was for their safetie still:
and that thereby she would deserue, their loue and great good will.

O Lord preserue our noble Queene, &c.

The Traytors well examined, (whom God himselfe bewrayed:)
their Treasons knowne, then were they straight to Westminster conuaied.
Whereas they all indited were, of many a vile pretence:
seauen pleaded guiltie at the Barre, before they went from thence.

The maner how they did begin, herein will playne appeare:
their purposes in each respect, you shall most truely heare.
Herein vnto you will be seene, if they had not bene foylde:
our Queene, our Realme, yea rich and, poore together had bene spoilde.

One Sauidge lurking long in Fraunce, at Rheames did there remaine:
whom Doctor Gifford did perswade, great honor hee should gaine.
If that he would goe take in hand, (these matters very straunge:)
first to depriue our gracious Queene, Religion for to chaunge.

And then for to inuade the Realme, by troupes of foraine power:
to ouerthrowe the gouernment, and kill her in her Bower.
Or forceably to dispossesse, the Queene of Englands Grace:
and to proclaime the Scottish Queene, and set her in her place.

Which matter Sauidge promised, his full performance too:
so that he might see warrant with, safe Conscience so to doo.
The Doctor vowed by his Soule, and bad him vnderstand:
it was an honourable thing, to take the same in hand.

When Sauidge heard that merites were, to him therby so rife:
he vowed for to doe the same, or else to lose his life.
And shortly into England hyed, and did imparte the same:
to Babington of Darby shire, a man sure voyd of shame.

And tolde him how that he had vowed, to doe it or to dye:
desiring him of helpe and ayde, and that immeadiatly.
A Iesuit Priest whom Ballard hight, came ouer to that end:
he came also to Babington, and dayly did attend.

Still to perswade him that he would, attempt and take in hand:
this vilde and wicked enterprise, and stoutly to it stand.
And tolde him that he should haue ayde, of sixtie thousand men:
that secretly should landed be, and tolde him how and when.

And in respect of all his paines, he truely might depende:
that it was lawefull so to doe, Renowne should be the end.
But let all Traytors nowe perceiue, what honor he hath wonne:
whose trayterous head and wicked heart, hath many a one vndone.

This proude and hautie Babington, in hope to gaine renowne:
did stirre vp many wilfull men, in many a Shire and Towne.
To ayde him in this deuilish act, and for to take in hand:
the spoyle of our renowned Prince, and people of this Land.

Who did conclude with bloodie blade, a slaughter to commit:
vpon her Counsell as they should, within Star Chamber sit.
Which is a place wheras the Lordes, and those of that degree:
yeeldes Iustice vnto euery man, that craues it on their knee.

Yea famous London they did meane, for to haue sackt beside:
both Maior and Magistrates therin, haue murdered at that tide.
Eache riche mans goodes had beene their owne, no fauour then had serued:
nought but our wealth was their desire, though wee and ours had starued.

Besides these wicked practises, they had concluded more:
the burning of the Nauie and, the cheefest Shippes in store:
With fire and sworde they vowed, to kill and to displace:
eache Lord Knight and Magistrate, true subiects to her Grace.

They had determinde to haue cloyde, and poysoned out of hand:
the cheefe and greatest Ordinaunce, that is within this Land.
And did entend by violence, on rich men for to fall:
to haue their money and their Place, and to haue spoild them al.

The Common wealth of England soone, should therby haue bene spoylde:
our goodes for which our Parents and, our selues long time haue toylde.
Had all bene taken from vs, besides what had ensued:
the substaunce proueth playnely, to soone wee all had rewed.

Those were the Treasons they conspyrde, our good Queene to displace:
to spoyle the states of all this Land, such was their want of grace:
But God that doth protect her still, offended at the same:
Euen in their young and tender yeares, did cut them of with shame.

These Traytors executed were, on Stage full strongly wrought:
euen in the place where wickedly, they had their Treasons sought.
There were they hangde and quattred, there they acknowledged why:
who like as Traytors they had liued, euen so they seemde to dye.

O wicked Impes, O Traytors vilde, that could these deedes deuise:
why did the feare of God and Prince, departe so from your eyes.
No Rebelles power can her displace, God will defend her still:
true subectes all will lose their liues, ere Traytors haue their will.

How many mischiefes are deuisde? how many wayes are wrought:
how many vilde Conspyracies against her Grace is sought.
Yet God that doth protect her still, her Grace doth well preserue:
and workes a shame vnto her foes, as they doe best deserue.

O heauenly God preserue our Queene, in plentie health and peace:
confounde her foes, maintaine her right, her ioyes O Lord increase.
Lord blesse her Counsaile euermore, and Nobles of this Land:
preserue her Subiects, and this Realme, with thy most mightie hand.


Composer of Ballad

Thomas Nelson

Method of Punishment

hanging, drawing and quartering


high treason



Execution Location

Lincoln's Inn Field

Printing Location

London, Thomas Purfoote for Edward White

Tune Data

Wilsons new tune (Simpson 1966, p. 792)


Wikipedia: John Ballard was arrested on 4 August 1586, and presumably under torture he confessed and implicated Babington. Although Babington was able to receive the forged letter with the postcript, he was not able to reply with the names of the conspirators, as he was arrested while seeking a licence to travel in order to see King Philip II of Spain, with the purpose of organising a foreign expedition as well as ensuring his own safety. The identities of the six conspirators were nevertheless discovered, and they were taken prisoner by 15 August 1586. Mary's two secretaries, Claude de la Boisseliere Nau (d. 1605) and Gilbert Curle (d. 1609), were likewise taken into custody and interrogated.

The conspirators were sentenced to death for treason and conspiracy against the crown, and were sentenced to be hanged, drawn, and quartered. This first group included Babington, Ballard, Chidiock Tichborne, Sir Thomas Salisbury, Robert Barnewell, John Savage and Henry Donn. A further group of seven men, Edward Habington, Charles Tilney, Edward Jones, John Charnock, John Travers, Jerome Bellamy, and Robert Gage, were tried and convicted shortly afterward. Ballard and Babington were executed on September 20 along with the other men who had been tried with them. Such was the horror of their execution that Queen Elizabeth ordered the second group to be allowed to hang until dead before being disembowelled.

Queen Mary herself went to trial at Fotheringhay Castle in Northamptonshire and denied her part in the plot, but her correspondence was the evidence; therefore, Mary was sentenced to death. Elizabeth signed her cousin's death warrant, and on 8 February 1587, in front of 300 witnesses, Mary, Queen of Scots, was executed by beheading.




“A proper newe Ballad, declaring the substaunce of all the late pretended Treasons against the Queenes Maiestie, and Estates of this Realme, by sundry Traytors:,” Execution Ballads, accessed April 13, 2024, https://omeka.cloud.unimelb.edu.au/execution-ballads/items/show/856.

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