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Broadsheet featuring the ballads 'The Return of the Admiral' and 'Green Linnet'.

Date: c 1850
Overall: 240 x 190 mm, 0.015 kg
Medium: Woodcut engraving and printed text on paper mounted on card.
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Broadsheet
Object No: 00017434
Related Place:Preston,

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    Broadsheet featuring the ballads 'The Return of the Admiral' and 'Green Linnet'.
    The'Green Linnet' is of Irish origin and reflects the relationship between Irish nationalism and the French Revolution.
    In the wake of 1798 many Irish patriots saw Napoleon as a potential liberator and often referred to him as the 'Greenn Linnet'.

    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.
    History'The Green Linnet' had survived in oral tradition in Ireland but it was also issued as a broadsheet by the most important London ballad printer of the first half of the nineteenth century, James Catnach of Seven Dials, although this particualr version is that of Harkness Printers. In the ballad Napoleon is referred to as 'The Green Linnet' and it laments Napoleon's demise.


    Curiosity bore a young native of Erin,
    To view the gay banks of the Rhine,
    When an empress he saw and the robes she was wearing,
    All over with diamonds did shine,
    A goddess in splendor was never yet seen,

    To equal this fair one so fair and serene,
    In soft murmur she says my sweet linnet so green,
    Are you gone, I'll never see you more.

    The cold lofty Alps you freely went over,
    Which nature plac'd in your way,
    that Marengo, Saloney, around you did hover,
    And Paris rejoic'd the next day,
    It grieves me the hardship you did undergo,
    Over mountains you travell'd all covered with snow,
    the balance of power your courage laid low,
    Are you gone. will I never see you more.

    the crown'd heads of Europe when you were in splendor,
    Fain they would have you to submit,
    But the Goddess of freedom soon bid you surrender,
    And lowered your standard of wit,
    Old Frederick's colors in France you did bring,
    Yet his offspring found shelter under your wing;
    that year in Virginia you sweetly did sing,
    Are you gone, will I never see him more.

    that numbers of men are eager to slay you,
    their malice you view'd with a smile,
    their gold thro' all Europe they sow'd to betray you,
    And they join'd the Mamelukes on the Nile,
    Like ravens for blood, their vile passions did burn,
    the orphans they slew, and caus'd widows to mourn,
    they say my linnes's is gone and ne'er will return,
    Is he gone, shall I never see him more.

    At great Waterloo, where numbers lay sprawling,
    In every field high or low,
    Fame on her trumpet thro' Frenchmen were calling,
    Fresh laurels to place on her brow,
    Usurpers did tremble to hear the loud call,
    the third old babe's building did fall,
    the Spaniards their fleet in the harbor did haul,
    Are you gone, shall I never see you more.

    I'll roam thro' the wild deserts of wild Abyssinia,
    And yet find no cure for my pain,
    Will I go and enquire on the Isle of St, Helena,
    No, I will wisper in vain,

    tell me, ye critics, now tell me in time,
    the nation I will range my sweet linnet to find,
    Was he slain at watterloo, Elba, or the Rhine?
    If he was, I shall never see him more,

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