“The Knight and the Shepherd's Daughter”

Alternate titles: “Knight William and the Shepherd's Daughter”; “The Shepherd's Daughter and the King”; “Eywillian”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1769 (Percy); title mentioned 1656 (stationer's register; tune from "The Dancing Master," 1652)
Keywords: marriage betrayal trial royalty seduction rape knight
Found in: Britain(England(All),Scotland(Aber)) US(NE,SE) Canada(Mar,Newf) Ireland

Description

A knight, drunk, lies with a shepherd's daughter. She goes to the king's castle and calls for justice. With the king's help, she finds the culprit. The king orders the knight to marry her; he laments his fate. (She reveals that she is richer than he.)

Notes

What might be a fragment of this ballad is found in John Fletcher and Francis Beaumont's 1611 play "The Knight of the Burning Pestle", Act II, scene viii:

He set her on a milk-white steed,

And himself upon a gray;

He never turned his face again

But he bore her quite away.

Of course, it might be a fragment of "Lady Isabel" or "The Baffled Knight" or several other ballads as well. - RBW

Cross references

Recordings

References

  1. Child 110, "The Knight and the Shepherd's Daughter" (16 texts)
  2. Bronson 110, "The Knight and the Shepherd's Daughter" (24 versions+5 in addenda, though the last three are variants on each other and of dubious authenticity)
  3. Percy/Wheatley III, pp. 76-80, "The Knight, and Shepherd's Daughter" (1 text)
  4. BrownII 31, "The Knight and Shepherd's Daughter" (1 text)
  5. Creighton-Maritime, pp. 17-18, "The Knight and the Shepherd's Daughter" (1 text, 1 tune)
  6. Greenleaf/Mansfield 15, "The Knight and the Shepherd's Daughter" (1 text)
  7. Peacock, pp. 230-232, "Sir William" (1 text, 1 tune)
  8. Leach, pp. 315-320, "The Knight and the Shepherd's Daughter" (2 texts)
  9. Friedman, p. 150, "The Knight and the Shepherd's Daughter" (1 text)
  10. Sharp-100E 3, "The Knight and the Shepherd's Daughter" (1 text, 1 tune)
  11. Niles 40, "The Knight and the Shepherd's Daughter" (1 text, 1 tune)
  12. DBuchan 32, "The Knight and Shepherd's Daughter" (1 text)
  13. Huntington-Whalemen, pp. 185-186, "The Shepherd's Daughter" (1 text, 1 tune)
  14. Chappell/Wooldridge I, p. 289, "The Shepherd's Daughter" (1 tune, called "Parson Upon Dorothy" in Chappell's sources) {Bronson's #22c}
  15. BBI, ZN2533, "There was a Shepherd's daughter"
  16. DT 110, SHEPDAU * SHEPDAU2 SHEPDAU3* SHEPDAU4* SHEPDAU5*
  17. Roud #67
  18. BI, C110