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Some Collier Forgeries

    I was appalled a few years ago when casually listening to
some music on a radio station, to hear what was announced as new
recording of "The Hunt is up." This song, in Wm. Chappell's
Popular Music of the Olden Time, (PMOT) p. 60, and
that on p. 61, are forgeries by John Payne Collier. 
Hyder E. Rollins must be given credit for deducing that many
of Collier's songs were forgeries in an article in JEGP 18, 53
(1919). He specifically pointed out the two "Hunts up" in
Collier's Extracts which were reprinted by Wm.
Chappell in Popular Music of the Olden Time in his
Analytical Index to the Ballad Entries, #1175, 1924. 

J. P. Collier in the preface to Extracts from the Registers
of the Stationers' Company, II, 1849 corrected his earlier
statement, Extracts, I, 1848, about his manuscript
as 'in a handwriting of the time of James I' and said although
such was the case for the greater part of it, some were more
remote, and some of later date, and there were two, if not three,
handwritings in it. The subsequent list of eighty three songs
given by Collier include only his own forgeries, or his own
'improved' versions of known songs, with which he filled blank
pages in the original manuscript. His description in the
paragraph preceeding the list is worth quoting in part:

".. and many more, are in the same handwriting; but no fewer
than between eighty and ninety ballads are copied into various
parts of the manuscript by a different, but still by an early
scribe, which, we presume, were derived from broadsides, at that
period becoming scarce, and most of them since entirely lost: a
few are, however, still in existence, and serve, in some degree,
to establish the origin of the rest.'

Thus did Collier set the stage for his 'variant' texts of
old songs and ballads, and his forgeries to fit titles of lost
ballads, and other ballads, of course, previously unknown.
Collier's manuscript is now in the Folger Shakespeare Library, MS
V.a. 339. One must give Collier credit for developing a hideous
brown ink that has stood up for over a century now.

One of Collier's forgeries, "Full Merrily sings the Cuckoo,"
may be found listed in Margaret Dean Smith's Guide to
English Folk Song Collections, Univ. Pr. of Liverpool and
EFDSS, 1954. Giles Dawson, late curator of mnauscripts at the
Folger Shakespeare Library, wrote a very technical article on
Collier's forgeries in this manuscript and in his additions to a
play, showing the handwriting and ink were the same, but not
identifying the songs, which were after all, listed by Collier in
his Extracts. It is, however, time to point out a
few specifically, which show up in other works, often without
citation of source.

I've lost track of a reprint of one of Collier's songs where it
was noted to be sung to "Fortune my foe" (but was in the wrong

Child ESPB, V, p. 399, makes mention of a MS of J. P. Collier in
BL with 30 ballads of the 17th century in a forged hand of the
19th century, some of the ballads being spurious. I have no other
account of this MS. Child 8C, 137 and 168 (this is an error) are
from this MS.

There is a biographical sketch of J. P. Collier in Sam
Shoenbaum's popular Shakespeare's Lives.]
Collier's forgeries in Wm. Chappell's PMOT, 1855-8, are those
designated in Collier's list below by PMOT, and page number.

Some of Collier's variant 'old' copies are:

"The Cobbler of Colchester", f. 173v. See genuine text and
commentary at the end here. 

"Kitt hath lost her key," f. 108, is another of Collier's
forgeries, and it has been set to music and sung by Ed. McCurdy
on phono record Elektra M 987, side two, #6. The original 16th
century song was subsequently discovered in BL MS Royal Appendix
58 and printed by Flugel, Anglia, II, p. 261, 1889. 

Collier did not prove very astute. In his A Book of
Roxburghe Ballads, p. xix, 1847, he quoted titles of old
songs mentioned in Samuel Rowlands in A Crew of Kind
Gossips, 1613. Among these were "The Pinnnace rigg'd with
silken Saile" and "Bess for abuses." Collier subsequently forged
"A Pinnace rigg'd with silken sailes," f. 105v, which J. W.
Ebsworth reprinted in Bagford Ballads, I. p. *515,
1876. Collier failed to recognize "Doll for abuses" in his
manuscript, f. 274v as "Bess for abuses" (Text here among Scarce
Songs 1). The manuscript contains both "The challenge" and "The
Response" as does "Bess for abuses" in a Bodleian MS. The first
part only appears as "Mrs. for abuses" in Folger Shakespeare
Library MS. V.a. 103.

Collier's forgeries:

1. Ballad of his mistresse/ f. 37
2. Wise Man's Warning/ f. 38
3. The Pinnace riggg'd with silken Saile/ f. 105v/ see note above
4. To his Lady/ f. 106 / imitates meter of Elderton's King 
5. Give Place, you Ladies/ f. 107
6. Kitt hath lost her Key/ f. 108/ see note above
7. Youth and age/ f. 108v
8. Women best when at rest/ f. 109v
9. Praise of Milkemayds/ f. 110
10. All in a Garden greene/ f. 111/ PMOT p. 110;  See A. Clark's  
   'Shirburn Ballads' for original.
11. Dames of London/ f. 112
12. Ladie Jane's Lament/ f. 113/ 'Ballads from MSS', I, 429
13. Cuckoe's Song/ f. 113v/ Bell's 'Early Ballads', 1857
14. Kinge's Hunt is up/ f. 114v/ PMOT p. 60; 
15. Batchelour/ f. 115v
16. Agaynst Idelnes/ f. 116v
17. Beauties Forte/ f. 117
18. Maryed Mans' Lament/ f. 117
19. Newe Hunt is up/ f. 119/ PMOT p. 61
20. Maides and Widowes/ f. 119/ PMOT p. 96-7
21. Truth hath a quiet Breast/ f. 119v
22. Lover Scoffed/ f. 120/ comm: Atend thee, go play thee. 
23. Damned Soul in hell/ f. 121/ Welladay burden 
24. Christian's A. B. C./ f. 121v
25. Citie-Maide and Countrey Maidens/ f. 122
26. Awake and Arise/ f. 123/ Undoubtably suggested by Stationers'
  Register entry "A Ryse and wake." 
27. Clowne turnde Gentleman/ f. 124
28. Home is still Home/ f. 125v 
29. When raging Love/ f. 125v/ --in extreeme pain. Improved on 
30. Praise of May/ f. 126
31. Against Covetousnes/ f. 127
32. Cittie-Maide and Countrey Maide/ f. 127v
33. Daintie come thou to me/ f. 129v/ Original reprinted in 
  'Roxburghe Ballads,' I, p. 629. Somewhere Wm. Chappell printed
  'variants' from Collier's copy, but I've misplaced reference.
34. Burning of Powls: f. 129v/ PMOT p. 117; commences "Lament 
    each one the fatall fire."  [already 'improved' in PMOT]
35. Try ere thou trust/ f. 130
36. Wine, Women and Dyce/ f. 130v
37. Praise of the Gilliflower/ f. 131v
38. Maid, will you marrie/ f. 132
39. Tinker and the Countreyman/ f. 132v
40. Wickednesse of Cruel Women/ f. 134 
41. Love me little, love me long/ f. 135v/ PMOT p. 512. 
42. My prettie little One/ f. 136/ Collier had printed the 
  broadside version in A Book of Roxburghe Ballads,
  p. 116, 1847, with the comment that it was very old, although 
  the copy he printed was of the 1670's. An earlier broadside 
  copy in Harvard, formerly Huth collection, was printed by 
  Charles Tyus before 1664. Collier had missed the Stationers' 
  Register entry of this on Mar. 12, 1656, to Robert Ibbitson, as
  "Come turne to me my pretty little one, and I will turn to 
  thee." The ballad is also printed in Roxburghe 
  Ballads, VI, p. 277. Robert Ibbitson entered another 
  ballad at the same time, "No ring, no wedding," commencing 
  "Sweetheart I come unto thee." H. E. Rollins reprinted the 
  latter from a copy in the Manchester collection in 
  Cavalier and Puritan, p. 399, 1923, without 
  noting that the second part of eight verses is identical to the
  second part of "My pretty little one." 
43. To his Ladie/ f. 137v
44. Women's Tongues/ f. 138v
45. What is my Ladie like/ f. 140
46. Caveat for Beauty/ f. 141v
47. Tinker's Truths/ f. 142v
48. Send me thy Sonne (& go thy way)/ f. 143v
49. Tarlton's Toye/ f. 144v
50. Love song/ f. 145v
51. What is my Servaunt like/ f. 146
52. Defence of a bald Head/ f. 147
53. Praise of good Ale/ f. 148v
54. O, yes! list to the Cryer/ f. 149v
55. Vertuous Wife/ f. 150
56. Dialogue between Venus and Diana/ f. 150v
57. When Knaves will be honest Men/ f. 151v
58. Of his Lady/ f. 153, What flower is my ladie like
59. Toy of Elderton/ f. 154/ PMOT p. 107/ Will 
  Elderton's red nose is famous everie where. 
60. Olde Man's Song/ f. 155
61. Choice of Friends/ f. 155v
62. Jest of Scoggin/ f. 157
63. Corsbie's Confession/ f. 157v
64. Fatall Fall at Paris Garden/ f. 159
65. Death of Devoreux/ f. 160/ Lament lament for he is dead
66. Life and Death of Lo. Graye/ 160v
67. Jest of Peele and Singer/ f. 161
68. Two Spanish Lovers/ f. 162
69. Madge Howlet's Song/ f. 164v
70. Disobedient Prophet/ f. 165v
71. God's Judgement on a Sorcerer/ f. 167
72. Praise of a Whore/ f. 168
73. Life and Death/ f. 168v/ PMOT p. 165. 
74. Song of a Lover/ f. 170
75. Against the newe Playhouses/ f. 170v
76. Great Earthquake/ f. 171v
77. Spurina and the Roman Ladies/ f. 172v
78. Cobler of Colchester/ f. 173v see note above 
79. Lover, his Lullabie/ f. 176/ Sing lullaby as women do
80. Churchyard's Farewell/ [after 180]
81. The English Rose/ f. 236/ PMOT p. 117, footnote. This is not  
    The Rose of England, Child #166. 
82. Husband and Wife/ f. 236v
83. Murther of John Bruin/ f. 238

Collier printed several of these in the two volumes of
Extracts and published more in 1870 in A few
odd and ends for faithful friends. I have not tried to
find all his books and try to find out what parts of the old
songs and ballads given are forgeries.

At the end of Vol. II of Hales and Furnival's edition of
Bishop Percy's Folio Manuscript, p. 595 is a ballad
on Agincourt taken from Collier's 'Shakespeare', 1858. It was
said to be a ballad printed by Henry Harper in Smithfield, and
sung to a 'pleasant new tune'. The only Harper know to have
printed broadside ballads was Richard Harper, c 1633-60. The song
looks like a Collier Forgery to me. There are several places
where the lines don't seem to me to be 17th century usage. e.g.,
'Ask any English wench'. 'Wench' had a slightly derogatory
connotation, and we would expect to see 'maid' here. Simmilarly
'Huzza' doesn't seem to me to fit that period. 

The Cobler of Colchester

[From Robert Lemon's Catalogue of a Collection of Printed Broadsides, 1866. There from a copy at the Society of Antiquaries, London.

A mery new Song.

Wherein is shewed the sorrowful Cudgelling of the Cobbler of
Colchester, and the great fault he committed against his wife,
for which he suffered hard penance.
To a pleasant new tune called Trill lill.

Walking abroad not long agoe,
it was my chance to spye
A Cobbler's wife, with crabbed looke,
how she her strength did trie.
A cudgell great she had in hand,
both round and tough withall,
The which about her husband's pate
she broke in pieces small;
So that the man to crye began,
with voice both sharpe and shrill.
But banging him round about
With courage strong and stout,
Have with you, my harts trill lill.

His sides she made both black and blew,
his head and nose did bleede,
And round about his cobling stoole
she made him trot with speede.
Upon his knees full oft he fell
her pardon for to praye;
But thwack and thwack, without remorce,
* * * * * *

Good people, quoth the Cobler then,
I pray you take some paine
To save me from my angry wife,
or els I shal be slaine.
The proudest scab in place, quoth she,
can do it if he dare;
And he shal beare a broken pate
from hence by Jisse I sweare.
With that againe she goes amain
to work on him her will,
And ever she cryeth as on him she fleyth,
Have with you, my harts trill lill.

Now cobler, quoth this cruel queene
tell me, and do not lye,
How thou dost like the eating of
my * * * * * apple pye.
Oh wife, saide he, the woorst to me
that ever I did taste
I will beware while I doo live
how I doo make such waste.
* * * * *

To save his life some then
for feare she would him kill,
Where banging him round about
With courage strong and stout,
She cryed my hartes trill lill.

Now, fie for shame, what doo you meane,
your husband thus to bang?
'Tis better beare some blowes, she saide,
then hensfort he should hang.
A jewell he did breake and spoyle,
which I esteemed deere;
That I will not forgive the same,
no, not this twenty yeere,
You need not blame, though I should lame
the olde knave for his ill.
Then banging him round about,
With courage strong and stout,
She cried my harts trill lill.

Beleeve me, quoth the Cobbler then,
this thing is nothing so;
For eating of an apple Pye
she hath wrought me this woe,
And tasting of a custard small
which she in store did keepe:
She hath misusde me as you see,
and made me thus to weepe,
And in despight she takes delight
to plague me at her will,
And ever she crieth when on me she flieth,
Have with you my harts trill lill.

Gwyp with a murrain, sir, she saide,
Must your old choppes be fed
With custards and with apple pyes;
A rope come stretch your head.
I'le teach you take the Rye bread loafe
and know the Essex cheese
Is fitter for your rotten teeth
than any one of these.
* * * *
to course him * *
And ever she cried as on him she flyeth,
Have with you, my harts trill lill.

And though, quothe she, indifferent well
thy carkasse I did bumme,
Yet from thy cranion greedy guts
I'll fetch from every crumme.
With that she did a feather take,
and in his throate it thruste,
Then up he cast the apple Pye
and laid it in the dust.
The Dog, quoth she, shall eat it free
ere that thy guts shall fill,
And ever she cried as on him she flyed
Have with you my hartes trill lill.

Loe, heere the spitefull nature plaine
wherewith she was possest;
For never was there any man
like to the cobler drest,
Who made an oath while he did live
such wisdome to apply,
He would take heed how he did eate,
or touch an apple pye.
Least with his wife he fell at strife
And felt her froward will:
Who evermore cryeth, when on him she flieth,
Have with you my harts trill lill.

At London, Printed for Andrew White,
and are to be sold at his shop at the Royal exchange,
over against the Conduit in Cornhill.

Andrew White entered two ballads only, both in 1591, and neither is this one. Perhaps this poor production drove him out of the business. This ballad was probably suggested by a ballad beginning "By west of late as I did walk" in BL MS Cotton Vesp. A.25 (ZN3301). H. E. Rollins, Analytical Index, #1740, suggests an entry of Aug. 15, 1590, 'A mery newe ieste of a wife that threst her husband with a ffleale,' as that for the latter ballad. If we changed flail to cudgel this would be "our ballad here, "The Cobler of Colchester", and closer to the correct date than "By west of late".

Strange: A version of the ballad above is among most of the other of Collier's forgeries in Folger Shakespeare Library MS. V.a. 339. He there added in his faked old hand, 'incomplete, in my other book'. What other book? This was to be taken as a hand of c 1620. His Blackletter Broadside Ballads, with "Cobler of Colchester" wasn't issued until 1868. He noted the song among the others in his MS in Extracts, II, 1849, with no mention of incompleteness there. I can only guess that Collier had earlier copied the text from the broadside above in some notebook of his, but why would he then show that his note in MS V.a. 339 wasn't of c 1620? If he hadn't faked the old handwriting, his note would have raised no questions. Collier's version is 'complete', but it isn't all from the original song.

Note: "Tobacco is an Indian Weed". Wm. Chappell in PMOT, I, p. 563, said the earliest copy he had seen of the song was attributed to G[eorge]. W[ither]. in a manuscript of the time of James I lent to him by Mr. Payne Collier. However, despite the description of the MS it is not the one noted above. Collier had another MS of about the same date, but I do not know where that is now.