47  THE/ Lord RUSSELS/ Last Farewel to the World [Huntington HEH 18016]

Author: Anonymous

Recording: The Lord RUSSELS Last Farewel

Crime - treason Death - execution Emotions - guilt Morality - political Politics - Popish Plot/Exclusion Crisis Politics - Royalist Politics - Tories/Whigs Politics - domestic Politics - parliament Politics - plots Politics - treason Royalty - praise Violence - punitive

Song History

The Lord RUSSEL’s last Farewel to the World was written and published in 1683 by the unlicensed Tory bookseller, James Dean.

Historical Context

Lord William Russell, a leading Whig and highly respected politician, was tried and executed for treason in July 1683 after becoming implicated in the alleged ‘Rye House’ plot. The plotters, it was said, planned to kill the king and his brother, James, as they returned from the races at Newmarket and to place the king’s illegitimate but Protestant and hugely popular son, James Scot, the duke of Monmouth, on the throne.

The discovery of the plot handed the government the opportunity to kill off Exclusion (the movement to bar the king's brother James from the succession on the grounds of his Catholicism): in first place literally, by executing all the Whig leaders that had promoted it; and in second place literarily, by unleashing a torrent of pro-Tory songs and pamphlets to drown out Whig voices and complaints.

Authorship and Content

The song’s author, James Dean, emerged as a Westminster bookseller during the 1680s. He specialized in selling and writing pro-Court and Tory political songs and often collaborated with the Catholic printer, Nathaniel Thompson.

Dean’s song purports to be the last dying words of Lord William Russell, but it was really a virulent attack on the Whig promoters of the Popish Plot and Exclusion. It begins by defaming the reputations of those Rye House Plotters who had so far escaped justice, notably the duke of Monmouth and Lord Ford Grey, named ‘Horned Grey’, in reference to the well-known scandal of his being cuckolded by Monmouth. The song claims that Russell’s death was providential revenge for the innocent blood spilt after the Popish Plot trials, God's disapproval of which was signalled by a ‘blazing star’ that appeared at the execution of the Catholic lord and alleged 'popish plotter', Viscount Stafford.

In the song, Russell admits he had no just cause for his rebellion and expresses shame for his support of the campaign to pressure the king to exclude the duke of York from the throne. He regrets that ‘Tonny and Tom’ (the Earl of Shaftesbury and Sir Thomas Armstrong) were not hung ‘when first the Plot began’, because then he would not have been drawn in. He acknowledges he cannot deny the Rye House plot was real, because other plotters have admitted being involved. While one of his fellow plotters, the Earl of Essex, had effectively admitted the truth of the allegations against him by committing suicide in the Tower rather than face trial and execution. (All these claims were challenged in Whig songs published after the Revolution of 1688/9). The final verse denigrates Russell’s widely distributed final speech, full of ‘Whiggish Cant’, claiming it was really written by ‘the Groaning Board’s Divine’, a reference to the notorious Whig pamphleteer, Robert Ferguson.


Dean’s song was not, as far as we can tell, hugely ‘popular’ in the sense that it was a demonstrably best-selling song, since just two editions and only three copies survive. Nor was it exactly 'popular' in the sense of being accessible to anyone, as it required a good knowledge of political events and journalism. Nonetheless, the tune to which the song was set did prove very successful, and it is this aspect that earned the song its place in the 100 Ballads database (see Featured tune history). A 'popular' black-letter ballad on the execution that required much less ‘insider knowledge’ to understand was also published, but it was set to a different tune.

Angela McShane


Peter Hinds, ‘Roger L'Estrange, the Rye House Plot, and the regulation of political discourse in late-seventeenth-century London’, The Library, 3.1 (2002) 3-31.

Newton Key, ‘Constructing Conspiracy: Reporting the Rye House Plot Trials’, in The state trials and the politics of justice in later Stuart England, ed. by Brian William Cowan and Scott Sowerby, Studies in early modern cultural, political and social history, 40 (Martlesham, 2021), pp. 135-160.

Zook, Melinda. "Ferguson, Robert (d. 1714), pamphleteer and conspirator." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.


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Featured Tune History

No tune specified but notation provided (standard name: Russell’s farewell)

The purpose of this section is to provide brief notes on the melody followed by detailed evidence relating to  its career, paying particular attention to the ‘echoes’ (inter-song associations and connections) that may have been set up if it was nominated for the singing of more than one ballad. In the list presented in the ‘Songs and Summaries’ section below, we have endeavoured to include as many of the black-letter ballads that used the tune as possible, under any of its variant names. Titles from our chart of best-sellers are presented in bold type (these are also in colour when there is a link to the relevant ballad page on the website). It should be noted that it is extremely difficult to date many ballads precisely and the chronological order in which the songs are listed is therefore very approximate (we have drawn on previous attempts to date the ballads, making adjustments when additional evidence can be brought into play).  In most cases, we list the earliest surviving edition of a ballad, though in many instances there may have been earlier versions, now lost.

Versions and variations

Despite the immense popularity of this tune in the late seventeenth century, it was only very rarely written down. Our recording therefore uses the notation that appears on the hit ballad itself, as published by James Dean in 1683. Unfortunately, the notation is inaccurate in several respects: the barring makes no rhythmic sense; crotchets and quavers are not consistently recorded; and some of the notes are obviously printed in the wrong place on the stave. Claude Simpson attempted to correct the errors and produced the workable tune that we have used for our recording. It should be noted, however, that Simpson’s interventions were necessarily quite extensive and the tune could also be rendered in different ways. Regrettably, it has proved impossible to compare the notation against other contemporary versions because we have been unable to find any.

It is also worth noting that Simpson was not impressed by the tune he presented, commenting that its success was surprising because it lacked the ‘memorable quality’ of other hit melodies. The tune, though not named on the sheet, swiftly became known as ‘Russell's farewell’. It was also known as ‘Johnson’s farewell’, a title derived from one of the ballads listed below.

Echoes (an overview)

The hit ballad that brought this tune to the world, THE Lord RUSSELS Last Farewel (1683), was issued in white-letter format but has been included in our list because of the high number of black-letter ballads that subsequently used the melody.

A total of nineteen songs are listed below, most of which follow the original in representing a convicted criminal preparing for execution and addressing the public with words of explanation and repentance. The featured miscreants include rebels, Jesuits, highwaymen, pirates and one murdering midwife (the widows of a group of executed rebels are also given a song set to the tune). If the many white-letter ballads that used the melody for similar ‘last dying speeches’ are taken into consideration, then it is clear that this was the ‘hanging tune’ par excellence of the late seventeenth century, toppling the much older ‘Fortune my foe’ from its place at the top of the pile.

The frequently recycled tune must also have served to connect a wide array of criminals together so that each reminded listeners of those whom they had encountered in ballad form before. Thus Lord Russel, executed for high treason in 1683, had something in common with Mistress Compton who, ten years later, met the same fate for neglecting the infants in her care so recklessly that several of them died.

The melody was also used, however, for a number of romantic ballads, most of which mixed misery with love. Some ended well after a dismal opening (Damons Triumph; Or, Celia’s Joy, for example) while others were tragic from start to finish. The Westminster Lovers both die because their mutual love is simply too powerful for them to bear, and The Maidens Tragedy tells the story of a Wolverhamptom woman who commits suicide because the man she loves has rejected her. In such songs, the tune’s powerful associations with death work to reinforce the tragedy of the text and to forewarn the listener (also, perhaps, to suggest that falling in love is a little like placing one’s head on the block).

Where there are happy endings, these feel incongruous and unexpected. More surprising still is the choice of this melody for The Maidstone Miracle: OR, THE Strange Kentish Wonder, a ballad about an exceptionally charitable farmer who is rewarded miraculously by God. This is an obvious outlier within the list, and the choice of tune was probably careless, motivated by a desire to tap into its impressive popularity. This seems even more likely in the case of the only other outlier, The Brave Boys of BRISTOL. This resolutely upbeat number was clearly designed primarily for the much more buoyant tune ‘Hey Boys up go we’ – one of four alternatives that were recommended on the sheet - and ‘Russels Farewel’, though metrically suitable, feels very curious by comparison on account of its dismal associations.

The songs are linked not only by the melody but also by a number of textual cross-references (though there are not as many of these as have been found among songs sung to contemporaneous tunes such as ‘Ladies of London’). Rebellion Rewarded with Justice followed THE Lord RUSSELS Last Farewel  in opening with the words, ‘Farewel, farewel...’ The Midwife of Poplar’s Sorrowful Confession was connected with other songs in several ways. Her admission that ‘The Laws cannot be too severe,/ for such a Wretch as I’ recalled the lines, ‘And said it can’t be too severe; for my false Perjury’ in The Just Reward of Perjury. The verse ending ‘for which I now must dye’ echoed ‘who now at last must die’ at the same point in Capt. WHITNEY’s Confession (The Westminster Lovers also included a verse with a comparable conclusion). And the midwife’s declaration, ‘But I alas! was Seiz’d at last,/ and unto Justice brought’ is reminiscent of the lines, ‘But we at last, as you may see,/ are unto Justice brought’ in Villany Rewarded.

Finally, several songs make conspicuous and comparable use of the term ‘overthrow’: ‘Whose beauty works my overthrow’ (Damons Triumph); ‘Ambition was my overthrow’ and ‘who sought my overthrow’ (King JAMESES Royal VICTORY); and ‘which proves my overthrow’ (Rebellion Rewarded with Justice).

[See 'Postscript', below, for additional notes on the melody].

Songs and Summaries

THE Lord RUSSELS Last Farewel to the World (J. Dean, 1683). Huntington Library Misc. 180176; EBBA 32393. Crime – treason; Death – execution; Politics – plots, domestic, treason, Royalist, Tories/Whigs; Royalty – praise; Violence – punitive; Emotions – guilt. Dying words of confession are here placed in the mouth of Lord William Russell, executed in 1683 because of his association with those involved in the Rye House Plot against Charles II.

Damons Triumph; Or, Celia’s Joy... Tune is; Russels Farewel: or, Jenny Gin (J. Wright, J. Clark, W. Thackeray, and T. Passenger, 1683-84). Pepys 3.66; EBBA 21065. Gender – courtship, masculinity; Death – heartbreak; Emotions – love, despair, joy. Damon wishes for death, believing that Celia does not love him, but then she turns up to reassure him and all is well by the end of the song.

The Maidstone Miracle: OR, THE Strange Kentish Wonder... To the Tune of, Russel’s Farewel, &c. (P. Brooksby, 1683-98). Pepys 2.78; EBBA 20702. Environment – crops, wonders; Religion – charity, divine intervention, Christ/God; Economy – hardship/prosperity, prices/wages; Emotions – joy, wonder; Employment – agrarian; Morality – social/economic; Society – rich/poor, rural life, criticism; News – sensational, domestic; Places – English. The exemplary and exceptional charity of a yeoman in Kent is rewarded by God with a miraculous and abundant crop of corn in a field that had not been sown with seed for several years.

The Brave Boys of BRISTOL... Tune is, Hey Boys up go we; Jenny Gin; Busie Fame; Or, Russels Farewel (J. Deacon, 1684-85). Bodleian, Douce Ballads 1(19a). Places – English; Politics – Royalist, obedience, celebration, domestic; Royalty – praise; Society – urban life, rural life; Recreation – alcohol, good fellowship Bodies – looks/physique; Emotions – pride, joy, patriotism; Gender – masculinity, femininity. A song expressing pride in the loyal bravery of Bristol’s men and the many charms of its women.

Fair LUCINA Conquered By prevailing Cupid… To the Tune of Jenny Gin, Or Russels Farwel (J. Conyers, 1683-92).  Pepys 3.229; EBBA 21242.  Gender – courtship, femininity, singles; Emotions – disdain, love, joy; Nature – birds.  Lucina, assaulted by Cupid, regrets the disdain with which she has treated the lovely Coridon and quickly makes it up to him.

The Maidens Tragedy: OR, A brief Account of a Young Damsel near Wolverhampton, who Cut her Throat in Despair... To the Tune of Russel’s Farewell (P. Brooksby, J. Deacon, J. Blare, and J. Back, 1688-96). Crawford 864; EBBA 33553. Death – suicide, heartbreak; Emotions – love, despair; Gender – courtship, femininity, masculinity; Bodies – injury; Violence – self-inflicted; Morality – romantic/sexual; Places – English. A maiden, abandoned by the man who made vows to her, commits suicide in despair.

An Answer to the Maiden’s Tragedy... To the Tune of, Russel’s Farewell (P. Brooksby, J. Deacon, J. Blare, and J. Back, 1688-96). Roxburghe 2.3; EBBA 30087. Emotions – guilt, shame, despair; Gender – courtship, masculinity; Morality – romantic/sexual; Death – suicide, heartbreak; Religion – ghosts; Places – English. A follow-up to the previous ballad, in which the man experiences deep guilt for having abandoned his sweetheart while being haunted by her ghost.

The Shop-keeper’s Complaint: Containing the loud Lamentation of many worthy Citizens for the Downfall of Trading. To the Tune of, Russels Farewel (P. Brooksby, J. Deacon, J. Blare, and J. Back,1688-96). Pepys 4.328; EBBA 21991. Employment – crafts/trades; Economy – hardship/prosperity, prices/wages, household, credit/debt, shopping, trade; Emotions – anxiety, patriotism; Politics – foreign affairs, Royalist; Royalty – praise; Violence – between states; Gender – marriage. The nation’s shopkeepers lament the collapse of trade and the woes that attend it, and they therefore resolve to join the army and fight with King William to defeat the French.

[The] Perjur’d Steward’s Cruelty: OR, THE Forsaken Maiden’s Lamentation... To the Tune of, Russel’s Farewel (J. Blare, 1683-1706). Pepys 3.377; EBBA 21393. Gender – courtship, masculinity; Emotions – love, anger, despair; Employment – sailors/soldiers; Morality – romantic/sexual; Environment – see; Places – English, European, travel/transport; Bodies – looks/physique. A seaman becomes engaged to his sweetheart but later breaks his vow, leading her to express her anger and crave death.

King JAMESES Royal VICTORY... To the Tune of, Russels Farewel ([J.] Clarke, W. Thackeray, and T. Passinger, 1685). Pepys 2.237; EBBA 20851. Politics – plots, domestic, Royalist, treason, obedience; Crime – treason; Death – execution; Emotions sorrow; Royalty – praise; Violence – punitive. This imagines the regretful words of the Duke of Monmouth as he awaited execution for leading a misguided rebellion against King James II.

Rebellion Rewarded with Justice. OR, The Last farewell of the late Duke of Monmouth... To the Tune of, Russels Farewell, Or, Busie Fame (J. Deacon, 1685). Pepys 2.243; EBBA 20857. Politics – plots, domestic, Royalist, treason, obedience; Crime – treason; Death – execution, punishment; Emotions sorrow; Royalty – praise; Violence – punitive; Society - friendship. This purports to present the last words of Duke of Monmouth, awaiting execution and regretting his disloyalty after being drawn into a rebellion against James II by ‘false friends’.

The Westminster Lovers… To the Tune of Russels farewell (Printed for P. Brooksby, at the Golden-Ball, in Pye-Corner, 1685). Crawford.EB.370; EBBA 33092. Gender – courtship, mascuilinity, femininity; Bodies - health/sickness; Death – immoderate love, grief, burial/funeral; Emotions – longing, love, sorrow; Family – children/parents. A warning about the dangers of passionate love, drawn from the sad deaths of a shepheard and his sweetheart whose bodies simply could not take the strain of their mutual devotion.

The Sorrowful Lamentation of the Widdows of the West, For the Death of their Deceased Husbands... To the Tune of, Russels Farewel (J. Deacon, 1685-88). Pepys 2.245; EBBA 20859. Politics – domestic, treason, plots, Royalist; Emotions – despair; Gender – marriage, masculinity, femininity; Death – execution; Violence – punitive, civil war; Places – English. The widows of the men executed for supporting Monmouth’s rebellion lament the misguided decisions of their husbands and urge loyalty on all.

The Just Reward of Perjury. OR, The Mournful Lamentation of Thomas Saxton... To the Tune of, Russels Farewell (J. Deacon, 1685-88). Houghton EBB65; EBBA 34971.  Crime – false witness, punishment, prison; Bodies – injury; Emotions – guilt; Employment – crafts/trades; Places – English, travel/transport; Morality – general; Recreation – public festivity; Violence – punitive. A tanner, having given false witness against a nobleman, regrets his crime and accepts his punishment – a spell in the pillory followed by two public, processional whippings.

The Jesuits Exaltation, OR, A Preparation for a turn at Tyburn. Tune is, Hey Boys up go we. Or, Russel’s Farewell (J. Back, 1688). Pepys 2.277; EBBA 20891. Religion – Catholic/Protestant, church, purgatory, saints; Politics – domestic; History – recent, medieval; Crime – punishment, prison; Death – execution; Emotions – despair; Places – English, travel/transport; Violence – punitive. A group of imprisoned Jesuits are heard lamenting their sudden loss of power and their imminent execution.

Capt. WHITNEY’s Confession: OR, HIS Penitent Lamentation... To the Tune of, Johnson’s Farewel (P. Brooksby, J. Deacon, J. Blare, and J. Back, 1693). Pepys 2.186; EBBA 20801. Crime – robbery/theft, punishment; Death – execution; Emotions – sorrow; Gender – masculinity; Morality – general; Religion – Christ/God; Environment – roads; Places – English. A notorious highwayman expresses sorrow for his wayward life and asks everyone to pity him.

The Midwife of Poplar’s Sorrowful Confession and Lamentation in Newgate... Tune of, Russels last Farewel (J. Bissel, 1693). Pepys 2.192; EBBA 20807. Crime – infanticide; Death – unlawful killing, execution, godly end; Gender – femininity; Morality – familial; Employment – female; Bodies – clothing, health/sickness, nourishment, injury; Emotions – guilt, sorrow; Family – children/parents; Religion – Christ/God, sin/repentance; Places – English. A midwife and child-minder expresses her sorrow over the deaths of numerous infants under her care, and she prepares to face execution and meet her maker.

Summers his Frolick... To the Tune of, Russels Farewel (J. Deacon, c. 1694). Pepys 2.198; EBBA 20812. Bodies – sale; Crime – robbery/theft, prison, punishment, murder; Death – execution; Emotions – horror; Gender – masculinity; Morality – social/economic, general; Religion – angels/devils, sin/repentance; Violence – interpersonal, punitive; Employment – crafts/trades; Places – English; Recreation – alcohol, games/sports. The shocking tale of an irredeemable highwayman who, following the arrest of his Buckinghamshire gang, sold his body to a surgeon for eight shillings while in gaol and promptly drank the proceeds in wine.

Villany Rewarded; OR, THE PIRATES Last Farewel To the World... To the Tune of, Russels Farewel (Charles Barnet, 1696). Crawford 1258; EBBA 33879. Crime – piracy, murder; Death – execution, punishment; Gender – masculinity; Environment – sea; Violence – at sea, punitive. A gang of pirates prepare for execution, describing their many crimes and warning other miscreants to take heed.


This tune was a great success within black-letter balladry but it was even more fashionable among the consumers of white-letter ballads, which tended as a genre to be more sophisticated and more political. Some songs were issued in both formats (The Sorrowful Lamentation of the Widdows of the West, for example), suggesting the power of the tune to appeal to all sections of the ballad market. Most of the white-letter ballads were comparable in theme to the songs listed above, with ‘last dying speeches’ once again particularly prominent (see, for example, Capt. Johnsons last Farewel, 1690, and The Penitent Robber, OR, The Woeful Lamentation of Capt. James Whitney, 1693).

Other ballads bring the tune’s associations into play for texts that do not actually feature executions.The Mournful Monarch (1691), for example, imagines the ousted James II lamenting the loss of all three of his kingdoms and preparing to ‘go Mourning to the Grave’. The tune confirms his dismal assessment of his present prospects. And James Dean’s intention in setting his Oates’s Bug---Bug---Boarding-School  (1684) to the tune was surely humorous. The singer imagines the residents of the school cavorting without restraint – ‘All naked round the Room we’l Dance,/ Fine Limbs and Shapes to show’ - and the use of a notorious ‘hanging tune’ creates a strange, satirical and potentially menacing effect.

Christopher Marsh


Claude Simpson, The British broadside ballad and its music (New Brunswick, 1966), pp. 621-24.

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Featured Woodcut History

Standard woodcut name: Russell's farewell notation

The purpose of this section is to provide evidence relating to  the career of the image under discussion, paying particular attention to the ‘reflections’ (inter-song associations and connections) that may have been set up if it was chosen to illustrate more than one ballad. The list given below includes all ballads from the Pepys and Roxburghe collections that feature this woodcut or a close variant (these are the two largest collections, including approximately 3300 sheets, in total). References to ballads from other collections occur only when the featured edition of the song under consideration here (or the featured edition of another song from our list) comes from such a source. Ballads from our chart of best-sellers are presented in bold type, and they also appear in colour where there is a link to another song in the database. Please note, however, that the editions of hit songs listed below are not necessarily those for which digital images are presented on this website. Cross-references to other examples of our featured woodcuts are also presented in bold. It is extremely difficult to date many ballads precisely and the chronological order in which the songs are listed is therefore very approximate (we have drawn on previous attempts to date the ballads, making adjustments when additional evidence can be brought into play).

Reflections (an overview)

Musical notation appeared on a minority of ballads in the late seventeenth century but it was often innacurate. In many cases, the tune notated was not actually the tune required, and some of the notation was nonsensical, designed to call up the idea of music rather than to provide musicians with something from which they could actually sing and play. In this case, the notation is more useful, in that it does present a version of the tune to which this ballad was sung (it subsequently became known as ‘Russell’s Farewell’). The musical barring is illogical, however, and there are several inaccuracies. We have searched the two largest ballad collections for other examples of this notation but there are none to be found. The only ballad listed below is therefore our featured edition, held by the Huntington Library (all surviving copies belong to this edition).

Christopher Marsh

Songs and summaries

THE Lord RUSSELS Last Farewel to the World (J. Dean, 1683). Huntington Library Misc. 180176; EBBA 32393. Crime – treason; Death – execution; Politics – plots, domestic, treason, Royalist, Tories/Whigs; Royalty – praise; Violence – punitive; Emotions – guilt. Dying words of confession are here placed in the mouth of Lord William Russell, executed in 1683 because of his association with those involved in the Rye House Plot against Charles II (picture placement: the notation appears beneath the title).

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Related Texts

At his execution on 21 July 1683, Lord Russell gave a short speech and delivered a paper to the sheriffs Dudley North and Peter Rich. Both the speech and paper were published together in a pamphlet The Speech of the Late Lord Russel, to the Sheriffs: together with the Paper deliver 'd by him to them, at the Place of Execution (London, 1683). Within two months, a report was sent to the Secretary of State telling him that twenty thousand copies had been printed.

Angela McShane

Peter Hinds, ‘Roger L'Estrange, the Rye House Plot, and the regulation of political discourse in late-seventeenth-century London’, The Library, 3.1 (2002) 3-31 (p. 6)


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THE/ Lord RUSSELS/ Last Farewel to the World./ A SONG.

[Play each verse by clicking anywhere within its text]


FArewel, farewel to Mortal Powers,

and fond Ambitious Fools;

Now guiltless Blood requireth ours,

from Providence that Rules,

Farewel to Monmouth, Horned Grey,

who are from Justice fled;

And left me to this fatal Day,

to loose my Plotting Head.



Of all the Lords of our Cabals,

I am the first that Dyes

Byth’ hand of Justice, which foretells

a Counter-Sacrifice;

That Blazing-Star at Stafford’s Death,

fore told a fatal Change:

Now I declare, with my last breath,

it is but just Revenge.



Farewel to our late Parliaments

which made Three Kingdoms shake;

Our Lawless Votes (my Soul torments)

was for Rebellions sake:

The Exclusive Bill I did promote

with vigour, spleen, and power;

Thereby to cut a Monarch’s Throat,

that caus’d this Bleeding Hour.



The best of Kings I sought to Kill,

and draw’d in Thousands more:

Who neither wanted Wealth nor Will,

and Traytors long before:

Besides the Peasants and the poor,

for Insurrection bent;

To lay the Kingdom all in gore,

to please a Parliament.



We neither feared Law nor Right,

Prerogative nor Fate;

Impeached Queen and Duke for spight,

to make the King afraid:

We thought he durst not call to ‘count

our great Conspiring Heads;

But now like me they all must mount,

and fall into the Shades.



If we had Hang’d Tony and Tom,

when first the Plot begun;

Then I to this had never come,

nor James from Justice run:

Denying of the Plot’s in vain,

since Essex cut’s own Throat;

Both Rouse and Walcot owns the same,

and all the rest must do’t.



For my Confession I commit

to th’ Groaning-Boards Divine;

‘Tis his desire to Word it fit,

I hope for no Design;

If Whiggish Cant, he puts upon’t,

with ‘quivocating Shamms;

The score him up, on our account,

his Libel to the Flames.



Printed for J. Dean, Book-seller in Cranborn-Street, in Leicester-Fields,/ near Newport-House, 1683.

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This ballad is included according to the criteria for List C (see Methodology). The evidence presented here is accurate, to the best of our knowledge, as of 1st January 2024

New tune titles deriving from the ballad: 'Russel's farewell' (28 ballads).

Appearances on publishers' lists: none.

Other registrations with Stationers' Company: none.

No. of known editions c.1560-1711: 2

No. of extant copies: 3

Specially-commissioned woodcuts: no known pictures but our featured edition includes musical notation (inaccurate but recognisable as the relevant tune).

Vaughan Williams Memorial Library databases: 2 references, with no evidence of later collection as a folk-song (Roud no. V29637).

Pre-1640 bonus: no.

POINTS: 56 + 0 + 0 + 4 + 3 + 5 + 0 + 0 = 68

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This box will be used to highlight any new information on this song that might come to light after the launch of the website.

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