Lord Delamere

No: 207; variant: 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.
  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.
  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.’
  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.’
  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.
  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.
  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.’
  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.’
  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.
  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.
  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.’