Article MT332.  This article was first published in The Ryukoku Journal of Humanities and Sciences Vol. 40 No. 2 (Ryukoku Kiyo) (March 2019)
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Captain Ward on the Barbary Coast

This article will describe the background to two English folk songs, Captain Ward and the Rainbow, and High Barbary  Both songs are concerned with piracy off the Barbary Coast of North Africa.

Barbary Piracy

Piracy was widespread in the Mediterranean and the north Atlantic for a long period, and was conducted in the name of Muslim, Catholic and Protestant powers.  This could often take the form of privateering, meaning that there would be official sponsorship of a pirate ship in return for a share of the plunder.  Thus Francis Drake in the time of Elizabeth I was a pirate, but since he attacked Spanish shipping he was regarded as a national hero.  This did mean, however, that piracy was a career.

In the later sixteenth and in the seventeenth centuries the western part of the north coast of Africa, apart from Morocco, was officially under Ottoman (Turkish) control.  In reality such ports as Algiers, Tunis and Tripoli were often autonomous.  Ports on the Atlantic coast of the kingdom of Morocco, such as Salé, were also autonomous at times, such as during the succession disputes of 1603-1625.  This whole area, though principally the Mediterranean section, was known to Europeans as the Barbary Coast.

Muslim piracy against Christian shipping was partly religious (jihad), conducted by Moriscos, descendants of Muslims expelled from Spain after the fall of the last Muslim kingdom, Granada, in 1492.  Mostly, though, it was economic warfare, conducted very efficiently by oared galleys.  The pirate ports welcomed European sailors and their naval skills, and the ruler, or pasha, would sponsor them to conduct piracy on his behalf, this being little different from Elizabeth I and Drake.  A considerable number of Europeans, mainly from Protestant countries, operated as pirates from these ports, particularly Algiers.  One example is (Sir) Henry Mainwaring (1587-1653) who based himself at Mamora in Morocco, from where he attacked Spanish shipping, despite there being peace between England and Spain.  Since he never attacked English ships, he was pardoned, knighted and became a friend of the king, James VI and I (Rogozinski 1997: 210 ).  On the other hand, there were many pirates who would attack any vulnerable shipping, and a considerable number 'turned Turk', or converted, at least nominally, to Islam, thus leaving themselves no way back to their home country.  It seems that during the early seventeenth century as many as half the Barbary pirate captains were actually Europeans.

Captain Ward

John Ward was born in Faversham, Kent, probably in 1553, and for much of his life seems to have been a poor fisherman, later joining the navy and working his way through the ranks.  He was convicted of piracy (privateering) in 1602 (under judge Sir Julius Caesar), and that seems to have been his trade (Bak 2006: 25-26 ).  In 1603, however a change of monarch meant a change in policy, and privateering was stopped, leaving Ward, like many others, with no means to earn a living.

Ward deserted from the navy and stole a ship.  By 1605 he was in Salé, moving to Tunis in 1606.  For the next few years he made a handsome living as a corsair, mainly raiding Venetian shipping.  He may have been based in Munster in Ireland for part of 1608.  In 1610 he converted to Islam, as Yusuf Reis, perhaps recognizing that he could never return to England (Bak: 175 & 185).  He lived in a large house in Tunis, surrounded by English servants, until his death, probably of plague, in about 1622, when he was around 70 (Lloyd 1981: 53 ).

A pirate closely associated with Ward in the popular mind was Simon Simonsen, of Dordrecht, Holland, known, under various spellings, as Danziker (The Dancer).  He based himself in Algiers from 1606 to 1609, making a large fortune before buying himself a pardon and settling in Marseille.  Under orders from the king he returned to Algiers, where he was promptly beheaded and his body thrown in a ditch (Lloyd 1981: 54-56), perhaps in 1610 (Bak: 2006: 168) or in 1616 (Rogozinski 1997: 318).  Ward and Danziker knew each other and were active at the same time; they were both colleagues and rivals.

Two points need to be made about Ward, Danziker and other renegades.  First, they brought superior European shipbuilding and sailing skills, enabling corsairs to extend their operations to the Atlantic, by the use of round ships (as opposed to galleys) (Clissold 1992: 98-99 ).  Second, in capturing ships' crews and passengers, they were willy-nilly involved in slaving.


Slavery was an intrinsic part of Mediterranean life in the early modern period.  Muslims kept Christian and black African slaves, Christians kept Muslim slaves (see, for example, Leo Africanus 1896 ), and Catholics enslaved Protestants and Greeks (Davis 2003: xxviii ; Greene 2010 ) as well as Jews.  On the Muslim side, slavery was carried out on a grand scale: Davis (2003, chapter 1) estimates that in the three centuries to 1830, when the French annexation of Algeria finally ended the practice, over one million Christians were captured.  It should be noted that the great majority of the slaves were male, perhaps 95% (ibid.: 36).

Thanks to Ward and others, the Muslim corsairs, or renegades acting for them, were able to sail the Atlantic, raiding fishing fleets off Newfoundland in 1612 (Rogozinski 1997: 111), taking perhaps 800 people in two raids on Iceland in 1627 (see Karl Smári Hreinsson 2016 ), and the entire 237 person population of the village of Baltimore, County Cork, in 1631, of whom at most three returned (see Ekin 2008 ).  Between 1606 and 1609, 466 English and Scottish ships were lost to Algerian corsairs, often in the English Channel (Davis 2003: 6).  Lundy Island in the Bristol Channel was occupied by Barbary corsairs (Davies 1997: 561; Lloyd 1981: 71).  The first American ships were taken in 1625 (Baepler 1999: 6 ) (and much later, in 1796, the American government paid one million dollars, or one sixth of the federal budget, to free 88 sailors from Algiers (ibid.: 8)).  So Barbary corsairs and slavery were very much in people's minds in the British Isles (and in North America). 

The Contemporary Ward

Ward was certainly well known in England in his lifetime (as was Danziker).  He is mentioned in Ben Jonson's The Alchemist and in John Donne's 15th Elegy (Masefield 1906: 126 ).  In 1609 Andrew Barker published his Trve and Certaine Report of the doings of Ward and Danseker, based on personal experience of being a captive in Tunis.  He describes Ward as a 'knaue', a 'theefe', a 'villaine', an 'apostata' and a 'reprobate', and his company as given to 'swearing, dicing, drinking', and also 'Sodomie' (with children prostituted by their Jewish fathers).  This lurid tale would presumably be what readers would want to read.  Yet he also describes Ward as 'absolute', 'resolute', 'most vndauntedst', and says he lives 'in a most princely and magnificent state'.  Danseker is mentioned briefly at the end (there is no pagination).  Nixon (attrib. 1609), in his Newes from sea, of two notorious pyrats Ward the Englishman, and Danseker the Dutchman, follows a similar tone, adding that Ward sent little or no money to his English wife, and also giving a list of English ships that Ward seized.

In 1612 Robert Daborne published his equally lurid A Christian turned Turk (in Vitkus 2000 ).  Once Ward decides to abjure Christianity, he is not so much circumcised as castrated, left unable as a eunuch to perform his marital duties.  There are strong hints that he is anally raped.  He then loses his position and his wealth, commits suicide, and ends by being ripped into pieces and thrown into the sea (Bak 2006: 177-182).  The play was probably written between 1609 and 1612 (Vitkus 2000: 32), so Daborne may have known of the death of Danziker, but Ward lived for another decade, and very comfortably, too.

Ward in Song

Ward appears in song at the same time.  Two ballads, published together, registered in 1609 (The Roxburghe Ballads VI : 422; Shepard 1969: 44 ), are The Seamans Song of Captain Ward the famous pyrate of the world, and an Englishman born, (Roud V30770 ) and The Seamans Song of Dansekar the Duchman, his robberies done at sea (Roud V30470) (Euing Collection: 540-541 ).  In the first seven stanzas (of 15) of the former, Ward, a man 'of courage and might', plunders Maltese, Venetian, Spanish, Portuguese, French and Italian shipping – all Catholic.  But then: After this he is roundly condemned, though his wealth is acknowledged, and the song ends with the hope his honours are 'written in the sand'.

The latter song, ostensibly concerning Danziker, but actually concerning both him and Ward, mentions the blood they shed, as well as six English ships that they captured.  Early in the song we read (or hear): And later: So both songs take an ambivalent attitude to Ward.

One of the two songs we are most concerned with, Captain Ward and the Rainbow (Roud 224, Child 287 ) dates from slightly later, but still during Ward's lifetime, 1620 (The Roxburghe Ballads, VI: 422).  In this song Ward asks the king, James VI and I, for a pardon, which is refused.  The king says: ...  and sends the Rainbow (a real ship that fought the Armada, though there is no record of subsequent action) against Ward, but the ship's brass guns fail: During the battle Ward claims: which is true for Spain, but otherwise false, regarding the real Ward.  When the Rainbow gives up, Ward says: Again, then, we have an ambivalent attitude, though Ward clearly has the upper hand.  James neglected the navy, and by the later years of his reign he 'was no longer inconvenienced by the love of his subjects' as Firth puts it (1903: xii), so a defiant pirate could be seen as expressing people's discontent.

A slightly earlier song, before Ward's exploits, but concerning the Barbary coast, is The George Aloe and the Sweepstake (Roud 6739, Child 285 ), which Ebsworth dates to 1595 (The Roxburghe Ballads VI: 408).  The song begins: The song concerns a fight with a French man of war, which has nothing to do with Barbary corsairs, but the refrain in the second and fourth lines is repeated throughout the song's 23 stanzas (with two final line variations that keep the word Barbary).  It seems the coast of Barbary evokes great danger.  This song was rewritten later as High Barbary (see below).

To Ward's contemporaries, then, he was clearly associated with the Barbary coast and all the attendant risk of attack, material loss, death and slavery.  This association has subsequently been lost.  The paired 'Seamans Songs' of Ward and Dansekar have not survived until the present.  The Bodleian Library has three copies, all printed in London, dating to no later than 1674. 

On the other hand, Captain Ward and the Rainbow (or The Famous Sea-fight Between Captain Ward and the Rainbow) has 206 entries in the Roud Folksong Index, showing that the song was regularly printed on broadsides and in chapbooks until perhaps 1880, which suggests that it was thought to be commercially viable throughout those 250 years.  It was collected in the USA in the mid-nineteenth century (Thompson 2009 ), and in the twentieth century in England (Thomson 1974: 344-346), Scotland (The Greig-Duncan Collection, Ed. Shuldham-Shaw et al. 1981-2002: I: 88-89), the USA (Barry et al. 1929 : 347-363, Flanders 1965: IV : 264-270 and Flanders & Brown 1931: 242-244 ) and Canada (Peacock 1965: III: 840-841 ).  Yet Bronson vol IV (1972: 363 ) says 'the melodic tradition is scattered and thin, hardly convincing one that there is any real core', casting doubt on its popularity.  As for recent times, van Dijk's Child Ballad Database lists 52 recordings, mostly commercial (and including quite a few duplicates, to be sure).

The versions of the song vary considerably, but the lines referring to the Rainbow's brass guns and Ward's steel seem to be universal.  The same applies to Ward's command of the sea, though these lines may come before the fight or after it, including sometimes at the end of the song.  This boast may be directed at the king, but it may also be directed at the queen (Elizabeth I) (Bronson vol IV, 1972: 363- 368).  The version sung by George Wray to Percy Grainger in 1906 does not include the boast (Thomson 1974: 345), yet in general it seems to be the key part of the song – defiance of authority.  The sea offers a degree of freedom not found on land.

The Later Ward

Interest in Ward the man has been limited.  The poet John Masefield, author of Sea Fever, which extols the sea and its 'vagrant gypsy life', published a detailed article about him in 1906 (The Gentleman's Magazine CCC: 113-126), but there seems little else. 

What remains of Ward in the song, then, is his piracy, and he may as well be a fictional character.  The main real pirate found in folk song is Captain Kidd (c1654-1701); Roud has 78 entries for Captain Kidd (Roud 1900, Laws K35 ).  Otherwise pirates are largely fictional, and there is awareness of the violence and likely early death.  The Irishman driven to piracy by poverty in The Flying Cloud (Roud 1802, Laws K28) ends up involved in the Atlantic slave trade.  In the very well-known Australian song Jim Jones at Botany Bay (Roud 5478), from around 1830, Jim Jones is being transported to Australia after being convicted of poaching, when pirates turn up.  Martin Carthy (quoted from the Mainly Norfolk website; available on the CD Signs of Life) sings this: This is an ambiguous endorsement of the attractions of piracy - not quite as bad as forced labour on the other side of the world, but offering freedom. 

Attitudes to Pirates Today

The 1724 book A General History of the Pyrates, purportedly by one Captain Charles Johnson, was popular at the time and has had continuing influence up to our own time, including on Robert Louis Stevenson (Treasure Island) and J M Barrie (Peter Pan).  It includes the first mention of the Jolly Roger and the skull-and-crossbones.

Today Long John Silver, Captain Hook, Captain Pugwash, and Jack Sparrow are part of the culture, in books and movies.  There remains ambivalence: Long John Silver is appealing but dangerous, Captain Hook is a villain, Captain Pugwash is incompetent and Jack Sparrow is morally ambiguous.

In folk song pirates represent freedom, with possibly dire consequences, as do Gypsies (Rosati 2008 ), a connection Masefield made, as we have seen.  They also represent defiance of an authority seen as oppressive or downright illegitimate (see Rediker 2004 ), as do poachers and highwaymen (Rosati 2011 and 2015 ).

High Barbary

An offshoot of The George Aloe and the Sweepstake, High Barbary (Roud 134, Laws K33), was mentioned earlier.  This song is a rewriting attributed to Charles Dibdin the Elder (1745-1814) (Laws 1957: 157, disputed by Bronson vol IV, 1972: 306).  Child does not include it, and Roud regards it as a separate song, though Bronson, discussing ballad tunes, does include it as part of Child 285 (ibid.: 306-311).  Roud has only 29 entries, but it was collected in England (Sharp 1959:32-34), Canada (Family Herald & Weekly Star, Montreal, 11th March 1914), and in the USA from Maine to Florida (Flanders 1965: 176-187, Brown, Ed. White,1952: 352-353, Morris 1950: 53-54 ), as well as Bermuda (Lomax & Lomax 2000: 212-213 ).

High Barbary retains the refrain of 'sailing down all on the coast of High Barbary' (Bronson vol IV, 1972; Karpeles 1974: I: 209-210 ), or similar.  In this form the song concerns a fight between two English ships, variously, though generally royally, named (Prince of Wales, King of Prussia), and a 'saucy' or 'jolly' or 'salt-sea' pirate, a 'daring dog', of no particular origin.  The fight is ruthless and the end brutal (Bronson vol IV, 1972: 310-311): As we have seen, the Barbary corsairs remained dangerous until 1830, so the mention of Barbary evokes risk, including the risk of death or slavery.  This was not a form of piracy appealing to notions of freedom.

Attitudes to Barbary Slavery

Cervantes was a slave in Algiers from 1575 to 1580.  In 1661 Samuel Pepys met a Captain Mootham, who had also been a slave in Algiers.  The fictional Robinson Crusoe (1719), in a book many of us imagine we have read, was a slave in Morocco for two years (see Owens 2013 ).  Rossini's L'Italiana in Algeri (1813) also concerns this slavery.  So there is a thin thread of Barbary coast tales down the years.  Yet Barbary coast slavery has largely been forgotten, and the old bagnios that housed Christian slaves in North Africa are long gone (Davis 2003: 26).

What has remained is a certain sexual fascination.  As quoted above, at the time of Ward, there was considerable condemnation of 'Sodomie', and it is true that male homosexual activity was tolerated in Algiers in a way it was not in London.  This could extend to boys, a tendency we find in ibn Hazm (1994) among others, and also in the Orton Diaries (1986).  Indeed, Clissold (1992: 43, see also Davis 2003: 126) points out that boys could be in more sexual danger than women.

'White slavery', against the evidence that the vast majority of slaves were male, has for some time meant the kidnapping of women for the harem, again reflecting Western views of Oriental (Muslim) sexuality.  There is fear in this, a certain male wish for dirty foreigners to keep their filthy hands off our pure women, and also titillation.  There is no shortage of pornographic literature about kidnapped white women, such as the anonymous The Lustful Turk (c.1828/1997), set in Algiers, and A Night in a Moorish Harem (1896/1995) (and one thinks also of Rudolph Valentino's sheikh).

In this century we find serious works on the Barbary coast, North African slavery and piracy (apart from works mentioned, see also Milton 2005 , Tinniswood 2011 and Vitkus 2001, for example).  The newspapers occasionally carry interesting articles, too, such as English Pirates Turning Turk, by Christopher House (The Daily Telegraph, 12th May 2012).  Yet there is also sensationalism: Milton's book White Gold (2005) concerns the story of one Thomas Pellow, yet the cover shows three swarthy men standing over a miserable looking white woman who is naked to the waist.  Most entertainingly, The Daily Express of 12th June 2015 carries the (exclusive) headline 'Is Lundy Island the next ISIS target?' (to which the answer is of course 'no').  One presumes someone told them about Lundy in the early seventeenth century.  This, though, is confirmation of fear.

Barbary Songs Today

In music, High Barbary is quite widely performed.  The Child Ballad Database, maintained by the inclusively minded Roel van Dijk, includes it as Child 285, and list 124 recordings (many are different performances by the same people, to be sure), of which only one is The George Aloe and the Sweepstake.  Clearly the song has a strong appeal: danger, violence and a happy ending, with villains getting what they deserve.

Three other songs concerning Barbary slavery can be mentioned here.  Lily of Barbary (by Pete Scrowther) concerns a man kidnapped from a ship and sold in Algiers, who after being freed is able to free Lily, a Cornish woman kidnapped onshore.  The song is sentimental, but the historical background is accurate.  (It is available on Hedge of Sound by P J Wright, and Tournament of Shadows by Little Johnny England.)  Another song is Heart in Hand (by John Doyle) concerning the true story of Richard Joyce (c.1660-c.1737) who was taken from a ship and enslaved in Algiers from 1676 to 1690.  His skill as a goldsmith ensured his good treatment.  (This is available on Ushers Island's eponymous CD.)

Much more dubious than these two songs from the folk revival is Roaring Waters by The Darkness.  Drawing on the 1631 raid on Baltimore, it describes Moorish marauders who overcome and kill those who resist, and then 'drag away our daughters to the Sultan's harems', helpfully adding 'for sex', just for clarity.  This plays to all the Orientalist stereotypes one can imagine, as well as being historically inaccurate: villagers did not resist, and everyone was taken, not just women.  (This is available on Last Of Our Kind.)

The Barbary pirates and Barbary slavery, then, are not known to most British, or American, people today.  What lives on is a certain fear evoked by the word Barbary (barbarian).  Captain Ward is remembered only as a defiant pirate in a song, not as the real man he was.  Yet the background to Captain Ward and the Rainbow and High Barbary is a fascinating one.  I would suggest that the experience of listening to the songs is enriched by knowledge of this slice of history.

Simon Rosati - 4.12.20


Printed Materials

Baepler, P (Ed.) (1999) White Slaves, African Masters: An Anthology of American Barbary Captivity Narratives.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Bak, G (2006) Barbary Pirate: The Life and Crimes of John Ward the Most Infamous Privateer of his Time.  Stroud, Glos.: Sutton.
Barker, A (1609) A true and certaine report of the beginning, proceedings, ouerthrowes, and now present estate of Captaine Ward and Danseker, the two late famous pirates from their first setting foorth to this present time.  As also the firing of 25.  saile of the Tunis, men of warre: together with the death of diuers of Wards chiefe captaines.  Published by Andrew Barker master of a ship, who was taken by the confederates of Ward, and by them some time detained prisoner.  London: W.  Hall.  Available at
Barry, P F H Eckstrom & M W Smyth (Eds.) (1929) British Ballads from Maine.  New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press.
Bronson, B (1959-1972) The Traditional Tunes of the Child Ballads.  Four Volumes.  Reprinted 2009.  Windsor, Conn.: Loomis House Press.
Child, F J (1882-1898) The English and Scottish Popular Ballads.  Five Volumes.  Reprinted 2003.  Mineola, N.Y.: Dover.
Clissold, S (1992) The Barbary Slaves.  New York: Barnes & Noble.
Davies, N (1997) Europe: A History.  London: Pimlico.
Davis, R C (2003) Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediterranean, The Barbary Coast, and Italy, 1500-1800. Basingstoke, Hants.: Palgrave Macmillan.
Ekin, D (2008) The Stolen Village: Baltimore and the Barbary Pirates.  Dublin: O'Brien.
The Euing Collection of English Broadside Ballads (1971).  Glasgow: University Press.
Firth, C H (Ed.) (1903) Stuart Tracts 1603-1693.  Edinburgh: Archibald Constable.
Flanders, H H (Ed.) (1960-1965) Ancient Ballads Traditionally Sung in New England. Four Volumes.  Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Flanders, H H & G Brown (Eds.) (1931) Vermont Folk-Songs & Ballads.  Brattleboro, Vt.: Stephen Daye.
Greene, M (2010) Catholic Pirates and Greek Merchants.  Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
ibn Hazm (1994) The Ring of the Dove.  London: Luzac.
Johnson, C (Capt.) (1724) A General History of the Pyrates from their First Rise and Settlement in the Island of Providence, to the Present Time.  With the Remarkable Actions and Adventures of Two Female Pyrates Mary Read and Anne Bonny.  London: T Warner.
Karl Smári Hreinsson (2016) The Travels of Reverend Ólafur Égilsson (Reisubók Séra Ólafs Egilssonar): The Story of the Barbary Corsair Raid on Iceland in 1627.  Washington, D C: Catholic University of America Press.
Karpeles, M (Ed.) (1974) Cecil Sharp's Collection of English Folk Songs.  London: Oxford University Press.
Laws, G M (1957) American Balladry from British Broadsides.  Philadelphia: American Folklore Society.
Leo Africanus (al-Hassan ibn-Mohammed al-Wezaz al-Fasi) (1896) The History and Description of Africa and of the Notable Things Therein Contained.  London: Hakluyt Society.
Lloyd, C (1981) English Corsairs on the Barbary Coast.  London: Collins.
Lomax, J A & A Lomax (Eds.) (2000) Our Singing Country.  Mineola, N.Y.: Dover.
The Lustful Turk (1997) Ware, Herts.: Wordsworth.
Masefield, J (1906) 'Captain John Ward' in The Gentleman's Magazine, CCC Feb.-June 1906, pp 113-126.
Milton, G (2005) White Gold: The Extraordinary Story of Thomas Pellow and North Africa's One Million European Slaves.  London: Hodder & Stoughton.
Morris, M C (1950) Folksongs of Florida.  Gainesville, Fla.: University of Florida Press.
A Night in a Moorish Harem (1995) Ware, Herts.: Wordsworth.
Nixon, A (1609) Newes from sea, of two notorious pyrats Ward the Englishman, and Danseker the Dutchman With a true relation of all or the most piraces by them committed vnto the sixt of Aprill.  1609.  London: N.  Butter.  Available at
Orton, J (1986) Diaries.  London: Methuen.
Owens, W.R.  (2013) 'Defoe, Robinson Crusoe, and the Barbary Pirates', in English: Journal of the English Association, 62/136, pp 51-66.
Peacock, K (Ed.) (1965) Songs of the Newfoundland Outports.  Three volumes. Ottawa: National Museum of Canada.
Pepys, S (2003) The Diary of Samuel Pepys: A Selection. London: Penguin.
Rediker, M (2004) Villains of All Nations: Atlantic Pirates in the Golden Age.  Boston, Mass.: Beacon.
Rogozinski, J (1997) The Wordsworth Dictionary of Pirates.  Ware, Herts.: Wordsworth.
Rosati, S (2008) 'She Chucked Up Everything and Just Cleared Off: The Appeal of The Gypsy Laddie', in The Ryukoku Journal of Humanities and Sciences, 30/1 pp.  37-51.
Rosati, S (2011) 'Tis My Delight', in The Ryukoku Journal of Humanities and Sciences 32/2 pp.13-24.
Rosati, S (2015) 'Fielding's Gang', in The Ryukoku Journal of Humanities and Sciences, 37/1 pp.  81-92.
The Roxburghe Ballads (1871-1899) Ed.  W Chappell (Vols.  I-III) and J W Ebsworth (Vols.  IV-IX).  Hertford: S Austin for the Ballad Society.
Shepard, L (1969) John Pitts Ballad Printer of Seven Dials, London 1765-1844.  London: Private Libraries Association.
Sharp, C J (1959) English Folk Songs. Selected Edition.  London: Novello.
Shuldham-Shaw, P & E Lyle (Eds.) (1981-2002) The Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collection. Eight Volumes.  Volumes I-IV Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press; volumes V-VIII Edinburgh: Mercat.
Thomson, R S (1974) 'Songs from the Grainger Collection', in Folk Music Journal, 2/5 pp.  335-351.
Thompson, H W (Ed.) (2009) A Pioneer Songster: Texts from the Stevens- Douglass Manuscript of Western New York, 1841-1856.  Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press.
Tinniswood, A (2011) Pirates of Barbary: Corsairs, Conquests and Captivity in the 17th Century Mediterranean.  London: Vintage.
Vitkus, D J (2000) Three Turk Plays from Early Modern England.  New York: Columbia University Press.
Vitkus, D J (2001) Piracy, Slavery and Redemption: Barbary Captivity Narratives from Early Modern England. New York: Columbia University Press.
Whyte, N I (ed.) (1952-1964) The Frank C Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore.  Seven Volumes.  Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press.

Audio Recordings

Martin Carthy (1998) Signs of Life.  Topic TSCD503.
The Darkness (2015) Last of Our Kind.  Canary Dwarf CND001CD.
Little Johnny England (2009) Tournament of Shadows.  Talking Elephant TECD150.
Ushers Island (2017) Ushers Island.  Vertical VERTICD109.
PJ Wright (2005) Hedge of Sound.  Hedge of Sound HOSCD022.

Online Resources

Broadside Ballads Online (Bodleian Library)
The Child Ballad Database
Mainly Norfolk
The Roud Folk Song Index at The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library

1 Roud numbers are taken from the online Roud Folk Song Index.
2 Child numbers are taken from Child (1882-1898).
3 Laws numbers are taken from Laws (1957).

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