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Broadside ballads entitled 'William Burke's Murders in the Westport' and 'Late Murders. A New Song'




Ye people of Scotland give ear to this sad tale,
It will make your hearts burn, and your faces turn pale,
Concerning a deed which has lately been done,
The like was ne'er heard of since the world begun.

In Edinburgh there lived a man and his wife,
In horrid transactions they passed their life,
Its deed after deed they did quickly pursue,
No terror had they, nor a thought for to rue.

The first charge against them was of a dark hue,
But be it true or be it false hereafter will shew,
Mary Paterson from Glasgow, her life it was ta'en,
Without any cause but for real greed of gain.

The next it this black list of crime, we hear,
Was a man of weak parts to humanity dear,
His name was James Wilson?how awful the thought,

It is said they did murder, though he sore with them fought.

A third now appears in this blood stained scroll,
To wound every feeling and harrow the soul,
A poor widow woman in search of her son,
Is waylaid, invited, and then quite undone.

To the bouse of this blood-hound, she's asked for to rest,
Then they did treat her with drink not the best,
And while in this state a sham scuffle began,
Between Burke the murderer, and one of his clan.

In this unmanly fight the womin she rose,
As well as she could, to stop the blow-.
And while in this act she was knock'd to the floor,
And the women, to screen, then ran to the door.

The base hearted coward, whose name is called Hare,
As soon as he did it, Burke managed the snare,
He fell on her body, and stiffled her so,
That death it did follow, and forc'd blood it did flow.

This scene being over, she quiety is laid,
And wrapped in straw is thrown under the bed,
And while is this state, the liquor goes round,
And nothing but mirth and full glasses abound.

Sometime after this her body is sent,
In charge of a porter by the parties consent,
To the house of a Doctor who they knew would be found,
And for this horrid action received ten pound.

But lo ! while dividing their blood gotten gear,
What a sight does appal them I the Policemen appear,
Each countenance changes, when them they behold,
The hearts that were glad are now cheerless andcold.

To the bar o justice they quickly are led,
To answer for innocent blood they had shed,
The man was convicted, the woman got clear,
But a troubled conscience she surely must bear.

A crime, such as this, was ne'er heard in our land,
It makes the heart shudder, the hair straight to stand,
To think that such murders for sake of a fee,
By a GANG of MONSTErS committed should be.

Late Murders.


A story, a story I'm going for to tell,
Concerning William Burke that now lies in Jail.
A few verses of his cruelty 1 mean for to sing,
You know he committed the worst of all crimes.

For a twelve month and more he carried on this way,
And many a poor victim his bloody hands did destroy.
In the midst of all horrors there was none did him forget,
But you know he'll be rewarded on the twenty-eight.

The poor girl Paterson, the first that we do hear,
He murdered this creature in the midst of his career,
He mangled her body, but yet she found no grave,
But we hope that still her poor soul has been saved.

Daft Jamie was the next, or James Wilson by name,
That they did decoy into their bloody den;
While in search of his mother, Burke did him betray,
Like a lamb to the slaughter he led him away.

Mrs Docherty, or Campbell, from Glasgow did come,
It was her intention to look for her son,
The bloody hound he spied her and did her deceive,
He pretended great friendship which she did behave.

Home to his house this woman he did take,
And ordered his mistress her breakfast to make;
They said that she was his friend, but mark now, I pray,
With what cruelty and bloodshed he this victim did

All you that doth read these few lines that I make,
When I think upon Burke it doth make my heart ache.
James Wilson for his mother looked, and Campbell for
her son,

And you see by his flattery they both were undone.

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Probable date published: 1829   shelfmark: Ry.III.a.6(027)
Broadside ballads entitled 'William Burke's Murders in the Westport' and 'Late Murders. A New Song'
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