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Nineteenth-century English broadside ballads

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Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Nineteenth-century London ballad printing was centered on and around Monmouth Street in the parish of St. Giles. In the early part of the century it was dominated by rivals James Catnach and John Pitts: "Together the two men established the Seven Dials [in St. Giles's parish] as the center of the broadside trade in the nineteenth century" (Hepburn, p. 34). The following generation saw Henry Parker Such take a leading role in the industry. These printers supplied their wares to "hawkers and the trade," as many ballad sheets advertise, as well as selling to customers in their own shops. Their stock comprised both traditional ballads and original compositions, including contemporary popular song -- according to Hepburn, a "large ... proportion of broadside ballads began life in concert room or book or on stage" (p. 75-76) -- parody, and occasional verse on events and subjects of topical interest (e.g. the royal family; crimes and executions; law and politics). Most of these compositions are anonymous, but some authors are named on the sheets or identifiable from other sources. They enjoyed a wide audience; as Hindley notes of Catnach, "His stock of songs was very like his customers, diversified. There were all kinds, to suit all classes" (p. 222). Broadside ballad sheets were cheap enough to be purchased by the poor, but sufficiently varied in subject and genre to act as an instrument of mass culture.

This collection consists of 49 broadside ballad sheets printed in London in the nineteenth century. The collection is arranged alphabetically by printer: Thomas Birt (and family), Henry Disley, John Marks, Neesom's (or Taylor's) Song Mart, Henry Paul, John Pitts (and Elizabeth Hodges), and Henry Parker Such. (A few items on which the printer's name is not given are listed under "Printer Unnamed.")

The British Book Trade Index. Ed. Maureen Bell. University of Birmingham. 9 February 2012 (http://www.bbti.bham.ac.uk/).

Curiosities of Street Literature. London: Reeves and Turner, 1871.

Hepburn, James. A Book of Scattered Leaves. Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 2000.

Hindley, Charles D. The History of the Catnach Press at Berwick-upon-Tweed, Alnick and Newcastle-upon-Tyne, in Northumberland, and Seven Dials, London. London: C. Hindley, 1886.

Hodson's Booksellers, Publishers and Stationers Directory 1855: A Facsimile of the Copy in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. Oxford: Oxford Bibliographical Society, 1972.

Neuburg, Victor E. "The Literature of the Streets." In The Victorian City: Images and Realities. Ed. H.J. Dyos and Michael Wolff. London: Routledge, 1999. 191-210.

Publisher's Introduction: Madden Ballads From Cambridge University Library. Gale Cengage Learning. 9 February 2012 (http://microformguides.gale.com/Data/Introductions/30330FM.htm)

Shepard, Leslie. John Pitts, Ballad Printer of Seven Dials, London, 1764-1844: With a Short Account of His Predecessors in the Ballad and Chapbook Trade. London: Private Libraries Association, 1969.

Todd, William B., comp. A Directory of Printers and Others in Allied Trades, London and Vicinity, 1800-1840. London: Printing Historical Society, 1972.

Yates, Mike. "Henry Parker Such: A Short Biographical Note." English Dance & Song 60.3 (1998): 17-18.

Publisher
University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Sponsor
The processing of this collection was made possible through generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, administered through the Council on Library and Information Resources' "Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives" Project.

Collection Inventory

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7 items

1. FAREWELL TO THE MOUNTAINS, after 1833.
Item 1
Imprint:

BIRT, Printer, 39, Great St. Andrew Street, Seven Dials, London.

Dimensions:

163 x 75 mm.

Decoration:

Tail-piece (vignette: landscape with trees and factory?); typographical ornaments.

2. The Loss of One Hero, between 1833 and 1841. 1 leaf.
Item 2
Imprint:

Printed by T. BIRT, 39, Great St. Andrew Street, Seven Dials.

Dimensions:

200 x 80 mm.

1 leaf

3. Richard Scrafton Sharpe.The Minute Gun at Sea, between 1828 and 1829. 1 leaf.
Item 3
Imprint:

Printed by T. BIRT (wholesale and retail,) 10, Great St. Andrew-Street, Seven Dials, London. Country Orders punctually attended to. Every description of Printing on the most reasonable terms Children's Books, Battledores, Pictures. &c.

Dimensions:

153 x 82 mm.

Authorship/Attribution:

Text attributed to Richard Scrafton Sharpe. Cf. C. Dibdin, Sea Songs and Ballads (London: Bell and Daldy, 1863), p. 313.

1 leaf

4. Mr. WALKER, The Two-penny Postman, between 1828 and 1829. 1 leaf.
Item 4
Imprint:

Printed by T. BIRT, wholesale and retail, 10, Great St. Andrew-Stree[t,] Seven Dials, London[.] Country Orders punctually attended to. Every description of Printing on reasonable terms.

Dimensions:

242 x 83 mm.

1 leaf

5. Ri-fum ti-fum, between 1828 and 1829. 1 leaf.
Item 5
Imprint:

Printed by T. BIRT, wholesale and retail, 10, Great St. Andrew-Street, Seven Dials, London. Country Orders punctually attended to. Every description of Printing on reasonable terms. Children's Books, Battledores, Pictures, &c.

Dimensions:

249 x 90 mm.

1 leaf

6. Sheffield Park, between 1828 and 1829. 1 leaf.
Item 6
Imprint:

Printed by T. BIRT, wholesale and retail, 10, Great St. Andrew-Street Seven Dials, London. Country Orders punctually attended to. Every description of Printing on reasonable terms. Children's Books, Battledores, Pictures, &c.

Dimensions:

250 x 90 mm.

1 leaf

7. WILLIAM of The WAGGON TRAIN, after 1833. 1 leaf.
Item 7
Imprint:

BIRT, Printer, 39, Great St. Andrew St., Seven Dials, London.

Dimensions:

245 x 87 mm.

Decoration:

Head-piece (vignette: grouping of 2 shields and 3 banners surmounted by a crown).

1 leaf

9 items

8. COME TO THE OLD OAK TREE, between 1869 and 1878. 1 leaf.
Item 8
Imprint:

H. DISLEY, Printer, 57, High Street, St. Giles. W.C.

Dimensions:

153 x 84 mm.

Decoration:

Vignette (woman and child walking beside a gate).

1 leaf

9. JOHN BARLEYCORN, between 1860 and 1878. 1 leaf.
Item 9
Imprint:

H. DISLEY, Printer, 57, High Street, St. Giles.

Dimensions:

241 x 88 mm.

Decoration:

Head-pieces.

1 leaf

10. JOHN BULL'S Nothing More, between 1860 and 1878. 1 leaf.
Item 10
Imprint:

H. Disley, Printer, 57, High-street, St. Giles.

Dimensions:

249 x 89 mm.

Authorship/Attribution:

"Air--Nothing More. Written by F.C. Perry."

1 leaf

11. Wait for the Waggon, between 1860 and 1878. 1 leaf.
Item 11
Imprint:

H. Disley, Printer, 57, High-street, St. Giles.

Dimensions:

245 x 93 mm.

1 leaf

12. Henry Clay Work.WE ARE COMING SISTER MARY, between 1860 and 1878. 1 leaf.
Item 12
Imprint:

Disley, Printer, 57, High-street, St. Giles.

Dimensions:

253 x 99 mm.

Authorship/Attribution:

Attributed to Henry Clay Work. Cf. The Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 1996), p. 996.

1 leaf

13. WEDDING DAY!, between 1860 and 1878. 1 leaf.
Item 13
Imprint:

Disley, Printer, 57, High Street, St. Giles, London.

Dimensions:

252 x 96 mm.

Authorship/Attribution:

"Tune--Nelly Gray."

1 leaf

14. The Wife's Dream, between 1860 and 1878. 1 leaf.
Item 14
Imprint:

H. DSLEY [sic], Printer, 57, High Street, St. Giles, London.--W.C.

Dimensions:

253 x 98 mm.

1 leaf

15. William and Harriet, between 1860 and 1878. 1 leaf.
Item 15
Imprint:

H. Disley, Printer, 57, High-street, St. Giles.

Dimensions:

256 x 98 mm.

1 leaf

16. YOUNG NAPOLEON or, The Bunch of Roses, between 1860 and 1878. 1 leaf.
Item 16
Imprint:

H. Disley, Printer, 57, High-street, St. Giles.

Dimensions:

197 x 80 mm.

Imperfect:

First words of last line of text wanting.

1 leaf

1 items

17. The Widows' LAST PRAYER. Answer to "Mother is the Battle over.["] (Copyright), between 1836 and 1857. 1 leaf.
Item 17
Imprint:

Marks, Printers, 206 Brick Lane, Spi[t]a[lf]ie[lds.] Wholesale Dealers and the Trade Supplied.

Dimensions:

169 x 77 mm.

Authorship/Attribution:

Text signed at end: W. GARBUTT.

1 leaf

5 items

18. THE BRAVE MUSKETEER, probably before 1858. 1 leaf.
Item 18
Imprint:

Printed and Published at NEESOM'S Song Mart, 93, Brick Lane, Bethnal Green, near the Railway Arch. Hawkers and the Trade Supplied.

Dimensions:

153 x 73 mm.

Decoration:

Type ornaments.

1 leaf

19. THE VILLAGE BORN BEAUTY, probably after 1858. 1 leaf.
Item 19-21
Imprint:

London:--Printed and Published at TAYLOR'S Song Mart, 93, Brick Lane, Bethnal Green. (near the Railway Arch.) Hawkers' and the Trade Supplied.

Dimensions:

Item 19: 219 x 78 mm.

Item 20: 210 x 79 mm.

Item 21: 216 x 79 mm.

Imperfect:

Item 20: First line of title ("THE") wanting.

Item 21: First line of title ("THE") wanting.

1 leaf

20. WARRIER'S RETURN, probably after 1858. 1 leaf.
Item 22
Imprint:

Published at Taylor's Song Mart, (Late Neesom), 93, Brick Lane, Spitalfields, near the Railway. Hawkers and the Trade Supplied.

Dimensions:

158 x 79 mm.

Decoration:

Type ornaments.

Authorship/Attribution:

"[Copyright.] Tune.--'Nightingale.'"

Text signed at end: W. GARBUIT.

1 leaf

1 items

21. The Seaman's Life, between 1840 and 1845. 1 leaf.
Item 23
Imprint:

H. Paul, Printer, 22, Brick Lane, Spitalfields, London. Country Shops and Hawkers supplied.

Dimensions:

248 x 85 mm.

Decoration:

Floriate head-piece.

1 leaf

10 items

22. THE MECHANIC'S BOY, between 1820 and 1844. 1 leaf.
Item 24
Imprint:

Pitts, Printer, wholesale Toy and Marble warehouse, 5 Gt. St. Andrew Street, Seven Dials.

Dimensions:

128 x 86 mm.

1 leaf

23. Charles Dibdin.THE WOODMAN, between 1820 and 1844. 1 leaf.
Item 25-26
Imprint:

Pitts, Printer, Wholesale Toy and Marble Warehouse, 6, Great St. Andrew-street, Seven Dials.

Dimensions:

Item 25: 197 x 77 mm.

Item 26: 198 x 81 mm.

Authorship/Attribution:

Text attributed to Charles Dibdin. Cf. The Songs of Charles Dibdin (London: How and Parsons, 1842), p. 107.

1 leaf

24. Edward Fitzball.THE COTTAGE NEAR ROCHELL, between 1845 and 1855. 1 leaf.
Item 27
Imprint:

E. Hodges, from Pitts Wholesale Toy and Marble Warehouse [blank] Street, (late Monmouth St.) Dials.

Dimensions:

124 x 82 mm.

Authorship/Attribution:

Text attributed to Edward Fitzball.

1 leaf

25. I DON'T MEAN TO TELL YOU HER NAME or, my VILLAGE FAIR, between 1844 and 1845. 1 leaf.
Item 28-29
Imprint:

E. Hodges from PITT'S Toy and Marble Warehouse, 31, Monmouth Street, 7 Dials.

Dimensions:

Item 28: 203 x 85 mm.

Item 29: 212 x 86 mm.

Decoration:

Typographical ornaments (left margin).

1 leaf

26. miss WHITEY BROWN Niggar Parody on "Molly Bawn", between 1845 and 1855. 1 leaf.
Item 30
Imprint:

E. Hodges, from PITTS' Wholesale Toy and Marble Warehouse, 31, Dudley Street, 7 Dials.

Dimensions:

154 x 84 mm.

Decoration:

Head-piece; imprint between two rows of typographical ornaments.

1 leaf

27. the VILLAGE ROSE, between 1845 and 1855. 1 leaf.
Item 31-33
Imprint:

E. HODGES, Printer fr[o]m PITT'S, Wholesale Toy Warehouse, 31 [blank] Street, Seven Dials.

Dimensions:

Item 31: 140 x 84 mm.

Item 32: 140 x 84 mm.

Item 33: 142 x 83 mm.

Imperfect:

Items 31 and 32 cropped at head margin with loss of first word of title.

1 leaf

28. WILD BOAR HUNT, after 1855. 1 leaf.
Item 34
Imprint:

Below title: HODGES, Printer from PITT S) wholesale Toy Warehous 3I, [blank] Street 7 Dials.

At foot of sheet: 26, Grafton Stre [sic].

Dimensions:

244 x 88 mm.

Decoration:

Typographical ornaments (left margin, partially cropped).

1 leaf

10 items

29. Fair Shines THE MOON To Night, between 1849 and 1862. 1 leaf.
Item 35
Imprint:

H. Such, Printer, &c. 123, Union Street, Borough, London. Hawkers & The Trade Supplied.

Dimensions:

156 x 70 mm.

1 leaf

30. Sylvia's request AND WILLIAM'S DENIAL, between 1862 and 1875. 1 leaf.
Item 36
Imprint:

London:--H. SUCH, Printer & Publisher, 177, (late 123), Union Street, Boro'.

Dimensions:

230 x 92 mm.

Decoration:

Type ornaments.

1 leaf

31. UNDAUNTED FEMALE, between 1849 and 1862. 1 leaf.
Item 37
Imprint:

Printed and Sold by H. Such, Newsveder, &c. 123, Union Street, borough, London. HAWKERS SUPPLIED.

Dimensions:

225 x 83 mm.

1 leaf

32. What Man Would BE WITHOUT A WOMAN. No. 56, between 1849 and 1875. 1 leaf.
Item 38
Imprint:

LONDON:--H. SUCH, PRINTER.

Dimensions:

234 x 82 mm.

1 leaf

33. WILLIE Safe at home, ANSWER TO WILLIE WE HAVE Miss'd you. 139, between 1849 and 1862. 1 leaf.
Item 39
Imprint:

London:--H. Such, Printer, 123, Union St., Boro', and at 83, White Cross, Street, St. Luke's.

Dimensions:

245 x 95 mm.

Decoration:

Coat of arms of Great Britain with supporters above title. Two lines of type ornaments (1 each above and below imprint). One column of type ornaments (right margin).

General note

Appears to have been cut from a larger sheet with headline: "Oh dear! what ca[...]".

1 leaf

34. M.W. Balfe and Alfred Bunn.THE HEART BOWED DOWN. 281, between 1862 and 1875. 1 leaf.
Item 40
Imprint:

London:--H. P. Such, Machine Printer and Publisher, 177, Union-street, Boro', S.E.

Dimensions:

260 x 182 mm.

Decoration:

Vignette (woman and soldier embracing). Two rows of type ornaments (1 each above and below imprint). One column of type ornaments in center of sheet.

Contents:

John Barleycorn -- I've Journeyed Over Many Lands -- The Heart Bowed Down.

Authorship/Attribution:

"The Heart Bowed Down" is from act 2, scene 4 of The Bohemian Girl (libretto by Alfred Bunn; music by M.W. Balfe), first produced in London in 1843.

1 leaf

36. OLD KING COLE ; LITTLE MARY, THE SAILOR'S BRIDE. 357, between 1862 and 1875. 1 leaf.
Item 42
Imprint:

London:--H. SUCH, Printer & Publisher, 177, Union Street, Borough.--S.E.

Dimensions:

249 x 181 mm.

Decoration:

Vignette (man walking toward steps). Two rows of type ornaments (1 each above and below imprint). One column of type ornaments in center of sheet.

1 leaf

35. the MARSEILLAISE HYMN ; the HARVEST HOME. No. 386, between 1862 and 1875. 1 leaf.
Item 41
Imprint:

London:--H. P. SUCH, Machine Printer and Publisher, 177, Union Street, Boro'.

Dimensions:

252 x 180 mm.

Decoration:

Vignettes (head of left column: bust of king with axe; head of right column: woman milking a cow). Two rows of type ornaments (1 each above and below imprint). One column of type ornaments in center of sheet.

1 leaf

37. The Pretty PLOUGH BOY ; YOUNG EDWIN IN the LOW LANDS LOW. 228, between 1849 and 1862. 1 leaf.
Item 43
Imprint:

London:--H. Such, Printer and Publisher, 123, Union-street, Boro'--S.E., and at 83, White Cross-st., St. Luke's.

Dimensions:

248 x 182 mm.

Decoration:

Vignette (shepherd and shepherdess in landscape with sheep). Two rows of type ornaments (1 each above and below imprint).

1 leaf

38. SAMBO. 75, between 1862 and 1875. 1 leaf.
Item 44
Imprint:

London:--H. P. SUCH, Machine Printer and Publisher, 177, Union-street, Borough.

Dimensions:

250 x 183 mm.

Decorations:

Illustration (5 Black musicians). Two rows of type ornaments (1 each above and below imprint). One column of type ornaments in center of sheet.

Contents:

Sambo -- Bonny Light Horesman Slain in the Wars!

1 leaf

39. THE SKIPPER and HIS BOY, or, FATHER AND I ; MY Lov'ly, Lowland CAROLINE. No. 351, between 1862 and 1875. 1 leaf.
Item 45
Imprint:

London:--H. P. SUCH, Machine Printer and Publisher, 177, Union-street, Borough.

Dimensions:

250 x 181 mm.

Decoration:

Vignette (sailboat with sailors). Two rows of type ornaments (1 each above and below imprint). One column of type ornaments in center of sheet.

1 leaf

4 items

40. Samuel Lover.THE FAIRY BOY, probably between 1841 and 1859. 1 leaf.
Item 46
Imprint:

[Blank space] & Co., Printers, 2 & 3, Monmouth Court, 7 Dials.

Dimensions:

141 x 74 mm.

Authorship/Attribution:

Text attributed to Samuel Lover. Cf. The Poetical Works of Samuel Lover (New York: Sadlier and Co., 1872), p. 275.

1 leaf

41. Samuel Lover.THE FAIRY TEMPTER, probably between 1841 and 1859. 1 leaf.
Item 47
Imprint:

[Blank space] and Co. Printers, 2 & 3, Monmouth Court, Seven Dials. and at 35, Hanover Street, Portsea, where upwards of four thousand different sorts of ballads are continually on sale. Together with 40 new penny song books.

Dimensions:

138 x 71 mm.

Authorship/Attribution:

Text attributed to Samuel Lover. Cf. The Poetical Works of Samuel Lover (New York: Sadlier and Co., 1872), p. 267.

1 leaf

42. MINNIE (Sung by Madame Anna Thillon, at Drury Lane Theatre, with immense applause), probably between 1841 and 1859. 1 leaf.
Item 48
Imprint:

[Blank space] and Co., Printers, Monmouth Court, Bloomsbury.

Dimensions:

149 x 73 mm.

Decoration:

Two rows of type ornaments (1 each above and below imprint).

1 leaf

43. THE STAG, circa 1800s. 1 leaf.
Item 49
Dimensions:

237 x 87 mm.

Decoration:

Vignette (sailing ship).

1 leaf

Print, Suggest