This ballad begins: 'YE Coblers, and Taylors draw near, / Your Speecher is now turn'd Poet.' There are further handwritten marks and notes made on the sheet. There is no date, author or publisher given with this sheet.
Details such as date and place of publication and printer were not always given on broadsides. They were produced quickly and cheaply to satisfy a mass audiences' entertainment needs. They have only survived today because they interested later collectors, perhaps because of their variety and impermanence. The marks on this sheet were probably made by the collector or even collectors, but, as with the sheet itself, further information about these people is equally elusive.
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:
1706- shelfmark: S.302.b.2(067)
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