A New Ballad of Three Merry Butchers AND Ten High-Way Men,

Title

A New Ballad of Three Merry Butchers AND Ten High-Way Men,

Subtitle

How three Butchers went to pay Five Hundred Pounds away, and hearing a Woman crying in a Wood, went to relieve her, and was there set upon by these Ten High-Way Men, and how only stout Johnson fought with them all, who kill'd Eight of the Ten, and last was kill'd by the Woman whom he went to save out of the Wood. To an Excellent New Tune.

Digital Object

Image / Audio Credit

Magdalene College - Pepys Lobrary, Pepys Ballads 2.176 (cf. Roxburghe 3.496-497, EBBA 31196; Euing 1.235, EBBA 31733); EBBA 20793

Transcription

I'll tell you of a story of lovly Butchers three,
There's Wilson, Gibson, Johnson, mark well what I shall say,
For they took Five Hundred Pounds Sir for to pay it all away,
For they took Five Hundred sir for to pay it all away.

As they rid on the Road sir, and as fast as they could trig,
Strike up your hearts sayes Johnson for weel have a merry jgg
With a high ding ding, with a hoe ding ding,
with a high ding ding dee, and God bless all good people from evil company.

As they rid on the Road sir, as fast as they could hie,
Strike up your hearts says Johnson, for I hear a woman cry,
With that he steps into the Wood, and looks himself all round,
& there he spy'd a woman with her hair bound unto the ground.

O woman, O woman, quoth Johnson, hast thou no evil company
O no, O no, says the woman, and alack how can that be,
For there came ten swaggering blades by, and thus abused me,
For there came ten swaggering blades by, and thus abused me.

Johnson being of a valient heart, and he bore a valient mind;
He wrapt his Cloak about her, for to keep her from the wind.
with a high ding ding, with a hoe ding ding, with a high ding
ding dee, and God bless all good people from evil company.

Strike up your hearts sayes Johnson for its dark all in the sky
She put her finger in her Ear, and she gave a shreeking cry;
With that there came Ten swaggering Blades with their weapons ready drawn?
And they boldly came to Johnson, and bolder bid him stand;

I will not fight says Wilson, for I had rather dye,
Or I to fight sayes Gibson, for I had rather [fl]ie:
Come on, come on sayes Johnson, and fight a man so free,
Or stand you still behind my back, and I'le win the Victorie;

Then Johnsons Pistols they flew off, till five of them were slain,
And then he drew his Hanger with all his might and main,
And play'd it about so manfully, till Three more he had slain,
And play'd it about so manfully, till Three more he had slain.

Come on, come on, says the other two, and let us make away,
For if that we do hold him too't, our lives he takes away:
O no, O no, quoth the woman, and alack how can that be,
For if you do not hold him to't then hanged you shall be,

Johnson fighting these two thieves before, the woman he did not mind,
And a sighing these two thieves before, she knockt him down behind,
O woman, O woman, quoth Johnson, alack what have you done
You have kill'd the bravest Butcher that ever England won.

Just as she had killed him, there came one riding by
And saw the deed which she had done, and seiz'd her presently,
She was condemn'd for to be hang'd in Iron Chains so strong
At the place where she did Johnson that great & mighty wrong.

Method of Punishment

hanging in chains

Crime(s)

murder

Gender

Printing Location

Printed for J. Bissel at the Bible and Harp in West-/ smith-field.

Tune Data

EBBA recording  to The Spanish Gypsies (Simpson 1966, pp. 675-77).

Files

PepysC_2_176_2448x2448.jpg

Citation

“A New Ballad of Three Merry Butchers AND Ten High-Way Men, ,” Execution Ballads, accessed October 29, 2021, https://omeka.cloud.unimelb.edu.au/execution-ballads/items/show/929.