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Broadsheet featuring the ballads 'The Battle of Algiers' and "My Village Fair'.

Date: 1816
Overall: 223 x 185 mm, 0.022 kg
Medium: Woodcut engraving and printed text on paper mounted on card.
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Broadsheet
Object No: 00017426
Place Manufactured:Strood

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    Two ballads titled 'The Battle of Algiers' and 'My Village Fair'. The ballad 'The Battle of Algiers' gives an account of the bombardment of Algiers in 1816 by a British and Dutch naval force under the command of Edward Pellew (Lord Exmouth). It was an attempt to stop the piracy of the Bay of Algiers and the enslavement of Europeans
    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.

    To my village fair no lass can compare,
    For innocence and native grace,
    She boasts not of wealth, though the pure bloom of health,
    Shews forth in her beautiful face;
    Such a form ne'er was seen, as she trips o'er the green,
    And her heart free from guile and from scheme,
    She lives near the mill at the top of the hill,
    But I dont mean to tell you her name,
    Oh no I don't mean to tell you her name.

    Her luxuriant hair so bewitchingly fair,
    As it sportively plays in the wind,
    Her bright beaming eye, like the pale blue sky,
    As an emblem so pure of the mind,
    The sound of her voice makes my fond heart rejoice,
    My love oh what mortal can blame,
    She lives near the mill at the top of the hill,
    But I dont mean to tell you her name,
    Oh no I don't mean to tell you her name.

    The lord and the squire, altho' they rank higher,
    Endeavour her favor to gain;
    Let them try how they may, they still with have nay,
    And they'll find all their labor in vain.
    It was only last night, as we walk'd by the moonlight,
    She owned she for me felt love's flame;
    Yet she lives near the mill at the top of the hill,
    But I dont mean to tell you her name,
    Oh no I don't mean to tell you her name.

    How happy I'll be when united I see,
    Myself with this beautiful fair,
    When to me she'll impart her hand & her heart,
    No bliss to my joys can compare;
    When in wedlock we're join'd, then our hearts will combine,
    And cupid our love will inflame,
    While we sport round the hill, where she lives near the mill,
    And that day I shall tell you her name,
    O yes that day I shall tell you her name.


    COME all you Britons stout and bold, that love your native land,
    Rejoicing in our victory, Lord Exmouth gave command,
    Lord Exmouth will your rights maintain, as you shall plainly see,
    How we all fought like any lions bold to set the Christians free.


    You British tars be steady and maintain your glorious name,
    You will ever find Lord Exmouth to lead you into fame.

    On the twenty seventh of July in Plymouth sounds we lay,
    Lord Exmouth made a signal our anchors for to weigh,
    We exercised our great guns, believe me what I say,
    That we might do the best we could on that glorious day.

    When we came to Gibralter for three days there we lay,
    Our cabins there we all knock'd down, our decks we clear'd away,
    That nothing in our way might be, for we their batteries saw,
    Prepared to send the burning shots upon our decks below.

    On the twenty-seventh of August just by the break of day,
    We espied the city of Algiers, to windward of us lay,
    All hands, all hands to quarter, it was the general cry,
    Come load your guns with round & grape before we draw too nigh.

    The first was the Queen Charlotte so nobly led the van,
    She was followed by the Superb, Captain Atkins gave command,
    The next was the Leander, with all her warlike crew,
    She was follow'd by the Impregnable, Rear Admiral of the Blue.

    Now next it was the Albion, what I relate is true,
    The Minden & the Sovereign they fought with courage true,
    The Hebrew, Gravin, & Glasgow, so well their parts did play,
    The Algerines from their batteries they strove to run away.

    Now it was six Dutch frigates that did our fleet combine,
    Their admiral a signal made for them to form a line,
    They anchor'd by our batteries, their Admiral to them did say,
    Take pattern by those British lads, they show you gallant play.

    Now there's one thing more that I relate, which is to be admired,
    At five o'clock that afternoon, we set the ships on fire,
    Our rocket ships and bimb ships so well their parts did play,
    The Algerines from their batteries were forced to run away.

    Now the glorious action's over, the Christians are set free,
    The Algerines they're bound down no more for slavery,
    But if they break those bonds of peace, Lord Exmouth doth declare,
    If he should visit them again, not one of them he'll spare.

    Now with a verse I'll finish, and completely end my song,
    Here's a health to Lord Exmouth, and may his days be long,
    We will honour Captain Atkins and his officers so true,
    The jolly tars and royal marines that fought under the True Blue.

    The Bombardment of Algiers on 27 August 1816 was an attempt by Britain to end the slavery practices of the Bay of Algiers. An Anglo-Dutch fleet under the command of Admiral Lord Exmouth bombarded ships and the harbour defences of Algiers.

    Although there was a continuing campaign by various European and the American navies to suppress the piracy against Europeans by the North African Barbary states, the specific aim of this expedition was to free Christian slaves and to stop the practice of enslaving Europeans. To this end, it was partially successful as the Dey of Algiers freed around 3,000 slaves following the bombardment and signed a treaty against the slavery of Europeans. However, the cessation of slavery did not last long.

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