The ballad begins: 'M'Intosh is a Soldier brave, / and of his friends he took his leave, / Unto Northumberland he drew.' The text preceding this ballad reads: 'To an excellent new TUNE'.
William Mackintosh was born in 1658 the son of William Mackintosh and Mary Baillie of Dunain. The family home was based in the estates at Borlum, Inverness-shire - 'of Borlum' eventually becoming the family suffix. William married Mary Reade of whom little is known and they had two sons, Benjamin and Lachlan. The Mackintoshes were declared Jacobite supporters. William and his cousin Lachlan led 800 of their clansmen at the battle of Preston (1715), where they were routed. Many men were taken and transported to America, but William managed to escape to France in 1716. Although he died there in 1743, his children remained in Scotland.
Early ballads were dramatic or humorous narrative songs derived from folk culture that predated printing. Originally perpetuated by word of mouth, many ballads survive because they were recorded on broadsides. Musical notation was rarely printed, as tunes were usually established favourites. The term 'ballad' eventually applied more broadly to any kind of topical or popular verse.
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Probable date published:
1716 shelfmark: S.302.b.2(027)
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