“Katharine Jaffray”

Alternate titles: “Lochingar”; “Lochnagar”; “Katherine Jeffreys”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1802
Keywords: wedding nobility trick elopement disguise clothes
Found in: Britain(England,Scotland(Aber)) Canada(Mar,Newf) Ireland US(SE)


Squire courts farmer's daughter; father forbids her to see him. She is to be wed to another. He invades the wedding. The bride's brother challenges him; he says he comes in friendship and asks to kiss the bride. He takes her away from the hall

Supplemental text

Katharine Jaffray [Child 221]
  Complete text(s)

          *** A ***

Child's A text, collated from the text of Herd and a text known to Burns.
 1 There livd a lass in yonder dale,
     And doun in yonder glen, O
   And Katherine Jaffray was her name,
     Well known by many men. O
 2 Out came the Laird of Lauderdale,
     Out frae the South Countrie,
   All for to court this pretty maid,
     Her bridegroom for to be.

 3 He has teld her father and mither baith,
     And a' the rest o her kin,
   And has teld the lass hersell,
     And her consent has win.

 4 Then came the Laird of Lochinton,
     Out frae the English border,
   All for to court this pretty maid,
     Well mounted in good order.

 5 He's teld her father and mither baith,
     As I hear sindry say,
   But he has nae teld the lass her sell,
     Till on her wedding day.

 6 When day was set, and friends were met,
     And married to be,
   Lord Lauderdale came to the place,
     The bridal for to see.

 7 'O are you ecame for sport, young man?
     Or are you come for play ?
   Or are you come for a sight o our bride,
     Just on her wedding day?'

 8 'I'm nouther come for sport,' he says,
     'Nor am I come for play;
   But if I had one sight o your bride,
     I'll mount and ride away.'

 9 There was a glass of the red wine
     Filld up them atween,
   And ay she drank to Lauderdale,
     Wha her true-love had been.

10 Then he took her by the milk-white hand,
     And by the grass-green sleeve,
   And he mounted her high behind him there,
     At the bridegroom he askt nae leive.

11 Then the blude run down by the Cowden Banks
     And down by Cowden Braes,
   And ay she gard the trumpet sound,
     'O this is foul, foul play!'

12 Now a' ye that in England are,
     Or are in England born,
   Come nere to Scotland to court a lass,
     Or else ye'l get the seorn.

13 They haik ye up and settle ye by,
     Till on your wedding day,
   And gie ye frogs instead o fish,
     And play ye foul, foul play

          *** B ***


Sir Walter Scott's adaption of the above.

He staid not for brake, and he stopp'd not for stone,
He swam the Esk river where ford there was none;
But ere he alighted at Netherby gate,
The bride had consented, the gallant came late:
For a laggard in love, and a dastard in war,
Was to wed the fair Ellen of brave Lochinvar.

So boldly he entered the Netherby Hall,
Among bride's-men, and kinsmen, and brothers, and all:
Then spoke the bride's father, his hand on his sword,
(For the poor craven bridegroom said never a word)
'O come ye in peace here, or come ye in war,
Or to dance at our bridal, young Lord Lochinvar?'

'I long woo'd your daughter, my suit you denied; --
Love swells like the Solway, but ebbs like its tide
And now I am come, with this lost love of mine,
To lead but one measure, drink one cup of wine.
There are maidens in Scotland more lovely by far,
That would gladly be bride to the young Lochinvar.'

The bride kissed the goblet: the knight took it up,
He quaffed off the wine, and he threw down the cup.
She looked down to blush, and she looked up to sigh,
With a smile on her lips, and a tear in her eye.
He took her soft hand, ere her mother could bar, --
'Now tread we a measure !' said young Lochinvar.

So stately his form, and so lovely her face,
That never a hall such a galliard did grace;
While her mother did fret, and her father did fume,
And the bridegroom stood dangling his bonnet and plume;
And the bride-maidens whispered, ' 'Twere better by far,
To have matched our fair cousin with young Lochinvar.'

One touch to her hand, and one word in her ear,
When they reached the hall-door, and the charger stood near;
So light to the croupe the fair lady he swung,
So light to the saddle before her he sprung!
'She is won! we are gone, over bank, bush, and scaur:
They'll have fleet steeds that follow,' quoth young Lochinvar.

There was mounting 'mong Graemes of the Netherby clan;
Forsters, Fenwicks, and Musgraves, they rode and they ran:
There was racing and chasing on Cannobie Lee,
But the lost bride of Netherby ne'er did they see.
So daring in love, and so dauntless in war,
Have ye e'er heard of gallant like young Lochinvar?


This is the inspiration for Walter Scott's poem "Young Lochinvar." - PJS, RBW

For the latter poem widely-reprinted poem (24 citations in _Granger's Index to Poetry_ -- though most of the anthologies are the type which never contain anything else with folklowing roots), see e.g. Iona & Peter Opie, The Oxford Book of Narrative Verse, pp. 160-161. The poem, according to the Opies, was rewritten to fit into the book _Marmion: A Tale of Flodden Field_, where he needed the hero to carry his bride north.

Barry, Eckstorm, and Smyth place "The Squire of Edinburgh Town" among the secondary ballads -- those derived from but not identical to the Child Ballads. Child himself seems to have thought that "Squire" was a rewrite of "Katherine Jaffray." But Bronson (and Roud) lump them, and given the amount of common material and the lack of individual identity in "Squire," it seems to me proper to do the same. - RBW




  1. Child 221, "Katharine Jaffray" (12 texts)
  2. Bronson 221, "Katharine Jaffray" (11 versions)
  3. BarryEckstormSmyth pp. 400-406, "The Squire of Edinburgh Town" (2 texts, 1 tune) {Bronson's #8}
  4. Flanders-Ancient3, pp. 261-268, "The Squire of Eninboroughtown" (3 texts, 1 tune) {Bronson's #9}
  5. BrownII 39, "Katharine Jaffray" (1 text)
  6. Creighton/Senior, pp. 79-83, "Katharine Jaffray" (2 texts plus 1 fragment, 1 tune) {Bronson's #4}
  7. Creighton-NovaScotia 11, "Katharine Jaffray" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #3}
  8. Peacock, pp. 200-201, "Hembrick Town" (1 text, 1 tune)
  9. Karpeles-Newfoundland 20, "The Green Wedding" (1 text, 1 tune)
  10. Leach, pp. 578-579, "Katherine Jaffray" (1 text)
  11. Friedman, p. 271, "Katharine Jaffray" (2 texts)
  12. OBB 88, "Katharine Johnstone" (1 text)
  13. Sharp-100E 16, "The Green Wedding" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #6}
  14. Gummere, pp. 263-264+357-358, "Katharine Jaffray" (1 text)
  15. DT 221, LOCHNGAR* LOCHNGR2* (the latter listed in some versions as Child 211)
  16. ST C221 (Full)
  17. Roud #93
  18. BI, C221