Broadsheet ballads titled 'Farewell, My Trim Built Wherry' and 'The Hardy Sailor'.
The term 'wherry' refers to a type of rowing boat that was once used for carrying cargo or passengers on rivers or canals in England.
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.
HistoryFAREWELL MY TRIM BUILT WHERRY.
Then farewell, my trim built wherry
Oars, coat, and badge farewell!
Never more at Chelsea Ferry,
Shall your Thomas take a spell.
But, to hope and peace a stranger,
To battle's heat I'll go;
Where, exposed to ev'ry danger,
Some friendly ball shall lay me low.
Then mayhap, when homward sterring,
With the news my messmates come,
Even you, the story hearing,
With a sigh, my cry, "Poor Tom".
THE HARDY SAILOR.
The hardy sailor braves the ocean,
Fearless of the roaring wind;
Yet his heart, in soft emotion,
Throbs to leave his love behind.
The hardy sailor, &c.
To dread the foe-a foreign stranger,
Yet his heart will dauntless roam;
Alaring fears paint every danger
In a rival left at home.
The hardy sailor, &c.
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.