“Sir Aldingar”

Alternate titles: “Sir Hugh le Blond”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1765 (Percy)
Keywords: royalty knight adultery trick disease reprieve

Description

Aldingar, spurned by the Queen, puts a (blind/drunk) leper in her bed and shows the king. She will be burned and the leper hanged. She finds a (child) champion who defeats Aldingar. He confesses. (The leper is made whole, becomes steward.)

Notes

Child connects this ballad with the story of Gunhild, wife of the Holy Roman Emperor Henry III (reigned 1039-1056); Entwhistle even rings in a statement by William of Malmsbury that a poem about this event circulated in England in his time (twelfth century).

The number of Scandinavian analogs cited by Child, however, shows that there is no necessary dependence. If there is a connection, it has been distorted, because the king and queen are Henry and Eleanor (either Henry II or England and Eleanor of Acquitaine, or Henry III and Eleanor of Provence). - RBW

References

  1. Child 59, "Sir Aldingar" (3 texts)
  2. Percy/Wheatley II, pp. 54-67, "Sir Aldingar" (2 texts, one the original from the Percy folio and the other the retouched version in the _Reliques_)
  3. Leach, pp. 185-196, "Sir Aldingar" (2 texts)
  4. OBB 4, "Sir Aldingar" (1 text)
  5. DT 59, SIRALDGR
  6. Roud #3969
  7. BI, C059