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Broadsheet ballad titled 'Thurot's Defeat'.

Date: 1803 - 1830
Overall: 250 x 111 mm, 0.024 kg
Medium: Woodcut engraving and printed text on paper mounted on card.
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Broadsheet
Object No: 00017424
Place Manufactured:London

User Terms

    A ballad from a broadsheet titled 'Thurot's Defeat'. The subject of the ballad is defeat the fleet of the French privateer Francois Thurot by a British Fleet under Captain Elliot in 1760, part of the Seven Years' War. The ballad begins at Carrickfergus in Northern Ireland, which he had captured, it then proceeds to the naval battle near the Isle of Man
    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.

    Printed and sold, at 60, Old-street.

    ON the 21st of April as I have heard many say.
    There came a fleet of French ships to anchor in our bay;
    To anchor in our bay there to take a cruize,
    So we bore down to Carrickfergus without any more dispute.
    My heart is so lamenting for Carrickfergus town,
    It is so situated the country all round,
    There's nothing to defend them for the want of powder and ball,
    So loud the French dogs for quarter they did call ;
    As Thurot in his cabin lay he dreamt a strange dream,
    A voice that came to him called him by his name,
    Saying Thurot you're to blame for lying so long here,
    For the English will be here to night if the wind it does blow clear.
    Thurot from his cabin call'd all his men,
    Saying weigh your anchors, my brave boys, and let us all be gone,
    For we'll get up all in the night make all the haste we can,
    And steer in so th-west all for the Isle of Man,
    It was early the next morning as day-light did appear,
    Elliot hove in sight, my boys, and gave them three cheers,
    Elliot hove in sight, my boys, and then to his men did say,
    Yonder is Monsieur Thurot, and we'll show them British play.
    The first ship that engag'd us the Union was her name,
    She gave us a broadside and bore away again,
    Then up came the other two and gave us fire round,
    That's bravely done says Thurot, that is Carrickfergus town.
    Before that they struck great slaughter there was made,
    And many a gallam Frenchman on the deck lay dead,
    For they came tumbling down so fast, and wounded as they lay,
    While the British heroes shot the mast away.
    Then Thurot came upon, deck, he look'd both pale and wan,
    Saying strike your colour, my brave boys, or they'll sink us every one,
    For the weight of shot came in so hot by weather and by lee,
    Strike strike my colours or they sink us in the sea,
    So Thurot he was wounded as I have heard many say,
    He was kill'd by one of Elliot's men, and buried in Ramsay bay,
    So here's a hea th to Elliot's men, and all such warlike souls,
    To them we'll drink and never flinch, out of a flowing bowl.

    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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