Sacred Texts  Legends & Sagas  England  Index  Previous  Next 

207A: Lord Delamere

207A.1	 GOOD people, give attention, a story you shall hear,
	 It is of the king and my lord Delamere;
	 The quarrel it arose in the Parliament House,
	 Concdrning some taxations going to be put in force.
	 Ri toora loora la.
207A.2	 Says my lord Delamere to his Majesty soon,
	 ‘If it please you, my liege, of you I’ll soon beg a boon.’
	 ‘Then what is your boon? let me it understand:’
	 ‘It’s to have all the poor men you have in your land.
207A.3	 ‘And I’ll take them to Cheshire, and there I will sow
	 Both hempseed and flaxseed, and [hang] them all in a row.
	 Why, they’d better be hanged, and stopped soon their breath,
	 If it please you, my liege, than to starve them to death.’
207A.4	 Then up starts a French lord, as we do hear,
	 Saying, ‘Thou art a proud Jack,’ to my lord Delamere;
	 ‘Thou oughtest to be stabbed’-+--+-then he turnd him about-+--+-
	 ‘For affronting the king in the Parliament House.’
207A.5	 Then up starts his grace, the Duke of Devonshire,
	 Saying, I’ll fight in defence of my lord Delamere.
	 Then a stage was erected, to battle they went,
	 To kill or to be killed was our noble duke’s intent.
207A.6	 The very first push, as we do understand,
	 The duke’s sword he bended it back into his hand.
	 He waited a while, but nothing he spoke,
	 Till on the king’s armour his rapier he broke.
207A.7	 An English lord, who by that stage did stand,
	 Threw Devonshire another, and he got it in his hand:
	 ‘Play low for your life, brave Devonshire,’ said he,
	 ‘Play low for your life, or a dead man you will be.’
207A.8	 Devonshire dropped on his knee, and gave him his death-wound;
	 O then that French lord fell dead upon the ground.
	 The king called his guards, and he unto them did say,
	 ‘Bring Devonshire down, and take the dead man away.’
207A.9	 ‘No, if it please you, my liege, no! I’ve slain him like a man;
	 I’m resolved to see what clothing he’s got on.
	 Oh, fie upon your treachery, your treachery!’ said he,
	 ‘Oh, king, ’twas your intention to have took my life away.
207A.10	 ‘For he fought in your armour, whilst I have fought in bare;
	 The same thou shalt win, king, before thou does it wear.’
	 Then they all turned back to the Parliament House,
	 And the nobles made obesiance with their hands to their mouths.
207A.11	 ‘God bless all the nobles we have in our land,
	 And send the Church of England may flourish still and stand;
	 For I’ve injured no king, no kingdom, nor no crown,
	 But I wish that every honest man might enjoy his own.’

207B: Lord Delamere

207B.1	 GOOD people give attention to a story you shall hear:
	 Between the king and my lord Delamere,
	 A quarrel arose in the Parliament House,
	 Concerning the taxes to be put in force.
	 With my fal de ral de ra.
207B.2	 I wonder, I wonder that James, our good king,
	 So many hard taxes upon the poor should bring;
	 So many hard taxes, as I have heard them say,
	 Makes many a good farmer to break and run away.
207B.3	 Such a rout has been in the parliament, as I hear,
	 Betwixt a Dutch lord and my lord Delamere.
	 He said to the king, as he sat on the throne,
	 ‘If it please you, my liege, to grant me a boon.’
207B.4	 ‘O what is thy boon? Come. let me understand.’
	 ‘’Tis to give me all the poor you have in the land;
	 I’ll take them down to Cheshire, and there I will sow
	 Both hemp-seed and flax-seed, and hang them in a row.
207B.5	 ‘It’s better, my liege, they should die a shorter death
	 Than for your Majesty to starve them on earth.’
	 With that up starts a Dutch lord, as we hear,
	 And he says, ‘Thou proud Jack,’ to my lord Delamere,
207B.6	 ‘Thou ought to be stabbed,’ and he turned him about,
	 ‘For affronting the king in the Parliament House.’
	 Then up got a brave duke, the Duke of Devonshire,
	 Who said, I will fight for my lord Delamere.
207B.7	 ‘He is under age, as I’ll make it appear,
	 So I’ll stand in defence of my lord Delamere.’
	 A stage then was built, and to battle they went,
	 To kill or be killed it was their intent.
207B.8	 The very first blow, as we understand,
	 Devonshire’s rapier went back to his hand;
	 Then he mused awhile, but not a word spoke,
	 When against the king’s armour his rapier he broke.
207B.9	 O then he stept backward, and backward stept he,
	 And then stept forward my lord Willoughby;
	 He gave him a rapier, and thus he did say;
	 Play low, Devonshire, there’s treachery, I see.
207B.10	 He knelt on his knee, and he gave him the wound,
	 With that the Dutch lord fell dead on the ground:
	 The king calld his soldiers, and thus he did say:
	 Call Devonshire down, take the dead man away.
207B.11	 He answered, My liege, I’ve killed him like a man,
	 And it is my intent to see what clothing he’s got on.
	 O treachery! O treachery! as I well may say,
	 It was your intent, O king, to take my life away.
207B.12	 ‘He fought in your armour, while I fought him bare,
	 And thou, king, shalt win it before thou dost it wear;
	 I neither do curse king, parliament, or throne,
	 But I wish every honest man may enjoy his own.
207B.13	 ‘The rich men do flourish with silver and gold,
	 While poor men are starving with hunger and cold;
	 And if they hold on as they have begun,
	 They’ll make little England pay dear for a king.’

207C: Lord Delamere

207C.1	 O THE Duchess of Devonshire was standing hard by;
	 Upon her dear husband she cast her lovely eye:
	 ‘Oh, fie upon treachery! there’s been treachery I say,
	 It was your full intent to have taen my duke’s life away.’
207C.2	 Then away to the parliament these votes all went again,
	 And there they acted like just and honest men.
	 I neither curse my king, nor kingdom, crown or throne,
	 But I wish every honest man to enjoy but what is his own.

207D: Lord Delamere

207D.1	 IN the Parliament House a great rout has been there,
	 Betwixt our good king and the lord Delaware:
	 Says Lord Delaware to his Majesty full soon,
	 ‘Will it please you, my liege, to grant me a boon?’
207D.2	 ‘What’s your boon?’ says the king, ’Now let me understand.’
	 ‘It’s, give me all the poor men we’ve starving in this land,
	 And without delay I’ll hie me to Lincolnshire,
	 To sow hemp-seed and flax-seed, and hang them all there.
207D.3	 ‘For with hempen cord it’s better to stop each poor man’s breath
	 Than with famine you should see your subjects starve to death.’
	 Up starts a Dutch lord, who to Delaware did say,
	 Thou deservest to be stabbd! then he turnd himself away.
207D.4	 ‘Thou deservest to be stabbd, and the dogs have thine ears,
	 For insulting our king, in this parliament of peers.’
	 Up sprang a Welsh lord, the brave Duke of Devonshire:
	 ‘In young Delaware’s defence, I’ll fight this Dutch lord, my sire.
207D.5	 ‘For he is in the right, and I’ll make it so appear;
	 Him I dare to single combat, for insulting Delaware.’
	 A stage was soon erected, and to combat they went;
	 For to kill or to be killd, it was either’s full intent.
207D.6	 But the very first flourish, when the heralds gave command,
	 The sword of brave Devonshire bent backward on his hand.
	 In suspense he paused a while, scannd his foe before he strake,
	 Then against the king’s armour his bent sword he brake.
207D.7	 Then he sprang from the stage to a soldier in the ring,
	 Saying, Lend your sword, that to an end this tragedy we bring.
	 Though he’s fighting me in armour, while I am fighting bare,
	 Even more than this I’d venture for young Lord Delaware.
207D.8	 Leaping back on the stage, sword to buckler now resounds,
	 Till he left the Dutch lord a bleeding in his wounds.
	 This seeing, cries the king to his guards without delay,
	 Call Devonshire down! take the dead man away!
207D.9	 ‘No,’ says brave Devonshire, ‘I’ve fought him as a man;
	 Since he’s dead, I will keep the trophies I have won.
	 For he fought me in your armour, while I fought him bare,
	 And the same you must win back, my liege, if ever you them wear.
207D.10	 ‘God bless the Church of England! may it prosper on each hand,
	 And also every poor man now starving in this land.
	 And while I pray success may crown our king upon his throne,
	 I’ll wish every poor man may long enjoy his own.’

Next: 208. Lord Dernwentwater