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Lord Thomas and Fair Eleanor

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Performer: Field, Mrs. Lily
Place Collected: Bibury
Date collected: Between 1913 and 1916
Collector: Williams, Alfred
Roud Number: 4
Other Numbers: Child 73

Although there are several copies printed in the seventeenth century none of them can definitely be dated prior to the 1670s. This ballad is quite likely the original and it continued in cheap print throughout the following 2 centuries. A seventeenth century rewrite followed hot on the heels of the original and some time in the eighteenth century it was rewritten and extended in Scotland, probably by a broadside hack. The ballad has been popular and widespread in oral tradition throughout the last 3 centuries and more.


Notes by Steve Gardham