The Lamentation of Mr. Pages Wife of Plimouth,


The Lamentation of Mr. Pages Wife of Plimouth,


Who being forced to Wed against her will, did consent to his Murder, for the love of George Strangwidge. for which Fact they suffered Death at Barnstable in Devonshire.

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Image / Audio Credit

Magdalene College - Pepys Library, Pepys Ballads 2.170-171, (cf. Roxburghe 3.742-743, EBBA 31453; Roxburghe 3.744-745, EBBA 31455); EBBA 20787

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U Nhappy she whom Fortune hath forlorn,
Despis'd of grace, that proffer'd grace did scorn,
My lawless love hath luckless wrought my woe,
My discontent, content did overthrow.
My loathed life too late I do lament,
My woful deeds in heart I do repent:
A Wife I was that wilful went awry,
And for that fault am here prepar'd to dye:
In blooming years my Fathers greedy mind,
Against my will a match for me did find,
Great wealth there was, yes, gold and silver store,
But yet my heard had chosen one before.
Mine eyes dislik't my Fathers likeing quite,
My heart did loath my Parents fond delight:
My greedy mind and fancy told to me,
That with his Age my Youth could not agree.
On knees I pray'd they would not me constrain,
With tears I cry'd, their purpose to refrain:
With sighs and sobs I did them often move:
I might not Wed whereas I could not Love.
But all in vain my speeches still I spent,
My Mothers will my wishes did prevent,
Though wealthy page possest the outward part,
George Strangwidge still was lodged in my heart.
I Wedded was and wraped all in woe,
Great discontent within my heart did grow:
I loath'd to live, yet liv'd in deadly strife,
Because perforce I was made pages Wife.
My chosen eyes could not his sight abide,
My tender Youth did loath his aged side,
Scant could I tast the meat whereon I fed,
My Legs did loath to lodge within his bed.
Cause knew I none, I should despise him so,
That such disdain within my heart did grow:
Save onely this, that fancy did me move,
And told me still George Strangwidge was my love.
Lo here began my downfal and decay,
In mind I mus'd to make him straight away:
I that became his Discontented Wife,
Contented was he should be rid of Life.
Methinks the Heavens cry vengeance for my fact,
Methinks the World condemns my monstrous act,
Methinks within my conscience tells me true,
That for that Deed Hell fire is my due.
My pensive Soul doth sorrow for my Sin,
For which offence my soul doth Bleed within,
But mercy Lord, for mercy still I cry,
Save thou my soul, and let my body dye.
Well could I with that page enjoy'd his life,
So that he had some other to his Wife:
But never could I wish of low or high,
A longer life than see sweet Strangwidge Dye.
O woe is me that had no greater grace,
To stay till he had run out natures race:
My Deeds I rue, but more I do Repent,
That to the same my Strangwidge gave consent.
You Parents fond that greedy minded be,
And seek to graft upon the Golden tree:
Consider well, and rightful judges be,
And give your Doom, 'twixt parents love & me.
I was their Child, and bound for to obey,
Yet not to love where I no love could lay,
I married was in muck and endless strife,
But faith before had made me Strangwidge Wife.
O wretched world whom canker'd rust doth blind
And cursed men who bear a greedy mind:
And hapless I whom Parents did force so,
To end my Days in sorrow, shame, and woe.
You Devonshire dames, & courteous Cornwal Knights,
That here are come to visit woful wights,
Regard my grief, and mark my woful end,
But to your Children be a better friend.
And thou my Dear which for my fault must Dye,
Be not afraid the sting of Death to try:
Like as we liv'd and lov'd together true,
So both at once let's bid the World adieu.
Ulalia thy friend doth take her last farewel
Whose soul with thee in Heaven shall ever dwell,
Sweet Saviour Christ do thou my soul receive,
The World I do with all my heart forgive.
And Parents now whose greedy mind doth show,
Your hearts desire, and inward heavy woe:
Mourn you no more, for now my heart doth tell,
E're Day be done, my Soul shall be full well.
And Plimouth proud I bid thee now farewel,
Take heed you Wives, let not your hands Rebel,
And farewel life wherein such sorrow shows,
And welcome Death that doth my Corps inclose.
And now sweet Lord forgive me my misdeeds,
Repentance crys for Soul that inward bleeds,
My Soul and Body I commend to thee,
That with thy Blood from Death redeemed me.
Lord bless our King with long and happy life,
And send true Peace betwixt each Man and Wife:
And give all Parents Wisdom to foresee,
The match is marr'd where minds do not agree.

The lamentation of George Strang-
widge, who for consenting to the Death of Mr.
Page of Plimouth, suffered Death at
Barnstable .
T He Man that sighs end sorrows for his sin,
The Corps which care & woe hath wraped in:
In doleful sort records her Swan-like Song,
That waits for death, and loaths to live so long.
O Glansfield cause of my commited Crime,
So wed in Wealth as Birds in Bush of Lime:
What cause had'st thou to hear such wicked spight
Against my Love and eke my hearts delight.
I would to God thy wisdom had been more,
Or that I had not entred in thy door:
Or that thou hadst a kinder Father been
Unto thy child, whose Years are yet but green.
The match unmet which thou for me didst make,
When aged page thy Daughter home did take;
Well may'st thou cue with tears that cannot dry,
Which is the cause that four of us must die.
Ulalia more brighter than the Summers Sun,
Whose beauty has for ever my Love won:
My soul more sobs to think of thy disgrace,
Then to behold my own untimely race.
The deed late done in heart I do repent,
But that I lov'd I cannot yet relent:
Thy seemly sight was ever sweet to me,
Would God my Death could thy excuser be.
It was for me alas thou didst the same,
On me by right they ought to lay the blame:
My worthless love hath brought my life in scorn,
And woe is me that ever I was born.
Farewel my love, whose Royal heart was seen,
I would thou hadst not half so constant been:
Farewel my Love, the pride of plimouth Town,
Farewel the Flower whose beauty is cut down.
For twenty Years great was the cost I know,
Thy unkind Father did on thee bestow:
Yet afterwards so sowre did Fortune lowre,
He lost his joy and Child within an hour.
By wrong and woe to God I do commit,
Who was the cause of matching them unfit:
And yet I cannot so my guilt excuse,
We gave consent his life for to abuse.
Wretch that I am, that my consent did give,
Had I deny'd, Ulalia still should live:
Blind fancy said, this suit do not deny:
Live thou in bliss, or else in sorrow dye.
O Lord forgive this cruel deed of mine,
Upon my soul let beams of mercy shine:
I n justice Lord do thou no vengeance take,
F orgive us both, for Jesus Christ his sake.

The Complaint of Mrs. Page for
causing her Husband to be Murthered, for the love
of George Strangwidge , who were execu-
ted together.
I F ever woe did touch a womans heart,
Or grief did gall for sin the outward part:
My conscience then and heavy heart within,
Can witness well the sorrow for my sin.
When Years were Young, my father forc'd me wed
Against my will, where fancy was not fed:
I was content their pleasure to obey,
Although my heart was linkt another way.
Great were the gifts they proffered in my sight,
With wealth they thought to win me to delight,
But Gold nor gifts my mind could not remove
For I was linkt whereas I could not love.
Methought his sight was loathsome to my Eye,
My heart did grudge against him inwardly :
This discontent did cause my deadly strife,
And with his wealth did cause a grievous life.
My constant love was on Young Strangwidge set,
And woe to him that did our welfare let:
His love so deep a root in me did take,
I would have gone a beging for his sake.
Wronged he was through fond desire of gain,
Wronged he was even through my Parents plain:
If faith and troth a perfect pledge might be,
I had been Wife unto no man but he.
Eternal God forgive my Fathers Deed,
And grant all Parents may take better heed.
If I had been but constant to my friend,
I had not matcht to make so bad an end.
But wanting Grace I sought my own decay,
And was the cause to make my Friend away;
And he on whom my earthly joys did lye,
Through my amiss a shameful Death must die.
Farewel sweet George, always my loving friend
Needs must I laud and love thee to the end:
And albeit that Page possest thy due,
In sight of God thou wast my Husbandtrue.
My watry eyes into the Heavens I bend,
Craving of Christ his mercy to extend
My bloody deed do me O Lord forgive,
And let my Soul within thy Kingdom live.
Farewel false world, and friends that fickle be,
All Wives farewel, example take by me.
Let not the Devil to murder you entice,
Seek to escape such foul and sinful vice.
And now, O Christ to thee I yield my breath,
Strengthen my faith in bitter pangs of Death:
Pardon my faults and follies I thee pray,
And with thy blood wash thou my sins away.

Composer of Ballad

Thomas Deloney

Method of Punishment

burning, hanging




Execution Location

Barnstaple, Devonshire

Printing Location

Printed for J. Clarke, W. Thackery, and T. Passinger.




“The Lamentation of Mr. Pages Wife of Plimouth,,” Execution Ballads, accessed May 30, 2024,

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