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The Rich Bristol Squire

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Alternative title: The Blackberry Fold

Place Collected: Winchcombe
Date collected: 1908 (24 Apr)
Collector: Grainger, Percy
Roud Number: 559

This is one of those tales which seem strange by today’s standards when you examine the story, i.e. a woman marrying her attempted rapist. In fact, it is one of those narrative folksongs that hardly hold water these days. Despite this, it was very popular amongst country singers in the south and east of England, hardly at all beyond that. It was printed as a broadside ballad in the 19th century, apparently as a re-write of an 18th century ballad entitled “The Virtuous Milk-Maid’s Garland” and is known to some singers as “The Sheepfold”. Mrs Roberts’ tune is the ubiquitous “Villikins and his Dinah”.

Notes by Gwilym Davies 25 March 2015