This ballad begins: 'M'Intosh is a Soldier brave, / and of his Friends he took his leave'. The text preceding this ballad reads: 'To an excellent new Tune.' A poor quality woodcut of a charging highlander has been included at the top of the page.
Brigadier William Mackintosh was a Jacobite rebel who, together with his cousin Lachlan, led 800 clansmen at the disastrous Battle of Preston in November 1715. Many of those captured were transported to America, but William managed to escape to France in 1716. There are other copies of this poem held in the National Library of Scotland's collection, suggesting that this pro-Jacobite song was popular.
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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