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Broadsheet featuring the ballads 'Battle of the SHANNON and CHESAPEAK ' and 'Effects of Love'.

Date: 1813 - 1838
Overall: 252 x 192 mm, 0.015 kg
Medium: Woodcut engraving and printed text on paper mounted on card.
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Broadsheet
Object No: 00017428
Place Manufactured:London

User Terms

    A broadsheet printed by James Catnach. It features two ballads, "Battle of the SHANNON and CHESAPEAK" and "Effects of Love". The first ballad celebrates the victory of the British ship HMS SHANNON in single ship combat over the American ship USS CHESAPEAKE in 1813 during the War of 1812. The second ballad tells the story of a young girl deceived by a man who deserts her once she discovers she is pregnant and she resolves to drown herself.
    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 and migration. Here is not a world of high-art but the rowdy life of the streets of Georgian and Victorian London. Being ephemera, the survival rate is poor.

    Young lovers all I pray draw near
    Sad shocking news you soon shall hear
    And when that you the same are told,
    It will make your very blood run cold.

    Miss B.W. is my name
    I have brought myself to grief and shame,
    By loving one that ne'er loved me
    With sorrows that I plainly see

    Mark well these words that will be said,
    By W-----E------ I was betrayed
    By his false heart I was beguiled,
    At length by him I proved with child

    At rest with him I ne'er could be
    Until he had his will of me
    To his fond tales I did give way
    And did from paths of virtue stray.

    My grief is more than I can bear,
    I'm disregarded every where,
    Like a blooming flower I am cut down
    And on me now my love does frown.

    O the false vows he has sworn to me,
    That I his lawful bride should be,
    May I never prosper night nor day,
    If I decieve you he would say.

    But now the day is past and gone,
    That he fixed to be married on, '
    He scarcely speaks when he does meet,
    And strives to shun me in the street.

    I did propose on Sunday night
    To walk once more with my hearts delight,
    On the Humber banks where billows roar,
    We parted there to meet no more.

    Since he is false, a watery grave,
    I have resolved this night to have,
    I'll plunge myself into the deep,
    And leave my friends behind to weep.

    His word was pledged to me,
    He never will prosper or happy be,
    My ghost and my infant dear,
    Both shall haunt him every where.

    Dear William when this you see
    Remember how you slighted me,
    Farewell vain world false man adieu,
    drown myself for love of you.

    As a token that I die for love,
    There will be seen a milk white dove,
    Over my watery tomb shall fly,
    There you will see my body lie.

    These cheeks of mine once blooming red
    Must now be mingled with the dead,
    From the deep waves to a bed of clay
    Where I must sleep till the judgement day.

    A joyful rising then I hope to have
    When angels call me from the grave
    Receive my soul from the Lord on high
    or broken hearted I must die.

    Grant me one more favour, that's all I crave,
    Eight pretty maidens let me have
    Drest all in white in comly show
    To take me to the grave below.

    Now all young girls I hope on earth,
    Will be warned by my untimely death,
    Take care sweet maids when you are young
    ? , flattering tongue.

    Broadsheet rhymes and verses were the cheapest prints available during the 18th and 19th century. They were sold by street sellers known as Flying Stationers, who charged a minimal fee of a penny or half-penny. They featured popular songs that were often sung in homes, inns and taverns and covered a range of themes relating to contemporary events or stories. Printed alongside the songs were woodcut illustrations. Most of the broadsheet publishers did not date or mark their works, making it difficult to pinpoint when they were produced.

    The publication of ballads was part of the commemoration and production of material about shipwrecks. Ships were part of the everyday life in the 19th century and stories about their voyages, wrecks, record breaking voyages and commissions often featured in newspapers and commemorative souvenirs.

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