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Broadsheet ballad titled 'Rodney's Glory'.

Date: 1802 - 1844
Overall: 263 x 92 mm, 0.024 kg
Medium: Woodcut and printed text on paper mounted on card
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Broadsheet
Object No: 00031088
Place Manufactured:London

User Terms

    A ballad titled 'Rodney's Glory'. The ballad refers to the victory of the British fleet, under Admiral Rodney, over the French fleet, commanded by Comte de Grasse in April 1782 known as the Battle of the Saintes. The battle was off Dominica in West Indies and was part of the American War Independence.
    SignificanceBroadsheets were designed as printed ephemera to be published and distributed rapidly. This also meant they were quickly disposed of with many of them not surviving the test of time. The museum's broadsheet collection is therefore a rare and valuable example of how maritime history was communicated to a wide audience, particularly in the 18th and 19th centuries. They vibrantly illustrate many of the themes and myths surrounding life at sea. Some of them also detail stories about transportation, migration.
    HistoryRODNEY'S GLORY.

    Give ear you British Hearts of gold
    I ha(?) do disdain to be controul'd
    Good news to you I will unfold
    This of Brave Rodney's Glory
    Whom always born with noble hearts
    And from his colours never did start
    But boldly takes our Country's part
    Against all foes that dare oppose
    To blast the bloom of our English Rose,
    But now observe my story---

    It was in the year of Eighty two
    The Frenchman knows full well it is true
    They thought our fleet for to subdue,
    Not far from Old Port Royal,
    Full early by the morning light.
    The prouds of grass appear'd in sight
    And thought brave Rodney to affright
    With colours spread at each mast head
    Long pennants flying black white and Red
    As a signal for engaging.

    Our Admiral then gave command
    Every man to his quarters stand
    All for the sake of old England,
    We will shew them British valour
    Then our British Flag display
    No tortures could our heart dismay
    Both sides began to cannonade
    Their weighty shot we valued not
    We play'd our English pills so hot
    We set them in confusion

    Its then the French they did combine
    To draw their shipping in a line
    To sink our fleet was their design
    But they were far mistaken

    Cannons roar and smoke did rise
    Clouds of sulphur filled (?) the skies
    That set the grassing great surprise
    Brave Rodney's guns and Paddy's sons
    Make Echo shock where e'er they come
    They fear no French nor Spaniards

    They Formidable acted well
    Commanded by our brave Admiral
    The Old Belfire none could excell,
    Our shipping all including,
    Broadside for broadside we let fly
    Where thousands of our men did die
    (?) were of a crimson die
    Full deep we stood in human blood
    Surrounded by a scarlet flood
    We kept such constant (?)
    Loud loud cannons they did roar
    Which echoed round the Indian shore
    Both ship and rigging suffered sore
    Not far from Old Port Royal

    Here is a health unto our officers
    Seamen bold and jolly tars
    That takes delight for to fight
    They would sooner for to sink or fight
    All for the cause of Old England tight (?)
    Or to die for Rodney's glory.

    Broadsides were issued by a number of London publishers for selling by hawkers on the street and were a popular form of entertainment in 18th and 19th century England. By their very nature they are extremely fragile and ephemeral ;as a result they are notably scarce in good condition .
    They were also known as 'roadsheet’, 'broadsheet', ‘stall’, ‘vulgar’ or ‘come all ye’ ballads'. In the 19th century many ballads were written about people emigrating. A large number to escape the difficult economic conditions they faced or to try and make their fortunes to bring home.The ballads reflect a deep love of their home place and in many cases the hero - usually male – is pining for a loved one he had to leave behind.

    Related People
    Printer: John Pitts

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