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Broadside ballad entitled 'A Pil to Tonny Ashton or the Play-house Puld down'


This ballad begins: 'O MY Blood boiles, my Spirit's all in fire; / Passion's in pomp, nor can the Flames flly higher: / To sie my Native Countrey gone, / And English dreg lay on the fun'ral stone'. No publication details have been included on this sheet.
Tony, or Tonny, Aston or Ashton, was an English strolling player who came to Edinburgh in the 1720s. He was promoted by the poet Allan Ramsay who wrote prologues for Aston?s performances as well as selling tickets for his plays. In 1726 Aston was denied a licence to perform by the Master of the Revels as he had failed to pay to the Revels office, the dues he owed them. Nevertheless he continued to perform until Skinner?s Hall (where he performed) was shut down. After a spell of litigation, Aston cut his losses and left Edinburgh in 1728.

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: 1728   shelfmark: RB.I.106(101)
Broadside ballad entitled 'A Pil to Tonny Ashton or the Play-house Puld down'
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