The Word on the Street
home | background | illustrations | distribution | highlights | search & browse | resources | contact us

Broadside ballad entitled 'Ye Mariners of England'


This ballad begins: 'Ye mariners of England! / Who guard our native seas / Whose flag had braved, a thousand years, / The battle and the breeze!' The sheet was published by J. Bowie, printer, of 49 Causeyside, Paisley. A woodblock showing a sailing ship has been used twice to decorate the top of the page.

This famous ballad was written by Thomas Campbell (1777-1844), a poem who wrote 'Gertrude of Wyoming' and 'Theodoric'. The idea for this song seems to have been borrowed from an old song entitled, ?Ye Gentlemen of England,? written by Martyn Parker (d.1630).
It sings the praises of the English Navy which played a very important role in securing the whole of Great Britain's safety from invasion for a very long time. Great heroes such as Nelson (1758-1805) are praised. The song ends on a positive note, and looks to quieter times ahead, 'when the storm has ceased to blow'.

Broadsides are often crudely illustrated with woodcuts - the earliest form of printed illustration, first used in the mid-fifteenth century. Inclusion of an illustration on a broadside increased its perceived value, especially among the illiterate. To keep costs down, publishers would normally reuse their limited stock of generic woodcuts.

previous pageprevious          
Probable period of publication: 1830-1860   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.178.A.2(003)
Broadside ballad entitled 'Ye Mariners of England'
View larger image

NLS home page   |   Digital gallery   |   Credits

National Library of Scotland © 2004

National Library of Scotland