“Packington's Pound”

Alternate titles: “Digby's Farewell”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1596 (Barley's "New Book of Tablature")
Keywords: nonballad dancetune
Found in: Britain(England)


Dance tune, with no real lyrics of its own, but used as a platform for a great variety of broadsides.


Folklore has it that a fellow named Packington, in the reign of Elizabeth I, bet that he could swim the length of the Thames. But Elizabeth forbade the attempt, and Packington forfeited his pound. I have no way to verify this; I heard it on a classical music station.

This *tune* is almost certainly traditional, though the words have not endured. Included in the Index for the many broadsides set to its melody (see the Same Tune list). - RBW

Same tune


  1. Chappell/Wooldridge I, pp. 259-260, "Packington's Pound" (1 tune)
  2. BI, ChWI259