The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #8950   Message #56667
Posted By: Ian HP
01-Feb-99 - 01:40 PM
Thread Name: LORD BATEMAN query
Subject: RE: LORD BATEMAN query
I've done some investigating and there is a conflict of information. The Wood.Wilson.Carthy CD which includes Lord Bateman (the version where he goes to Turkey rather than France) names him historically as Gilbert Beket and his lover as Shusha Pye (a Turkish name? almost identical to that in a different version of the ballad where he also goes to Turkey). The Project Gutenberg Etext of A Collection of Ballads, by Andrew Lang (it's excellent - find it at says "The earliest known trace [of the Lord Bateman story] is in the familiar legend of the Saracen lady, who sought and found her lover, Gilbert Becket, father of Thomas e Becket, in London (Robert of Gloucester's Life and Martyrdom of Thomas Becket, Percy Society, 1845)." So far so good. However, a Thomas à Becket website says "Thomas à Becket was born on December 21, 1118, the son of Gilbert à Becket, an English merchant and at one time Sheriff of London, AND A FRENCH MOTHER, MATILDA OF CAEN IN NORMANDY." Either someone is getting it wrong or there are two conflicting histories here. Any clues, anyone?