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Lyr Req: A Sailor Sorely Used & Abused

SeaCanary 05 Mar 14 - 02:00 AM
Dave Hanson 05 Mar 14 - 02:23 AM
Jim Carroll 05 Mar 14 - 02:34 AM
SeaCanary 05 Mar 14 - 02:44 AM
Jim Carroll 05 Mar 14 - 02:49 AM
Jim Carroll 05 Mar 14 - 03:09 AM
Dave Sutherland 05 Mar 14 - 03:36 AM
Jim Carroll 05 Mar 14 - 07:05 AM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Mar 14 - 05:29 PM
Jim Dixon 05 Mar 14 - 08:50 PM
Jim Carroll 06 Mar 14 - 03:38 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: A Sailor Sorely Used & Abused
From: SeaCanary
Date: 05 Mar 14 - 02:00 AM

There's a song that tells a story about the punishment of a sailor by a particularly diabolic captain and I'm damned if I can remember the title. I'll know it when it's posted, but the name is just not coming to me. Suggestions and WAGS are most welcome.

Thanks in advance.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Sailor Sorely Used & Abused
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 05 Mar 14 - 02:23 AM

The traditional song ' Andrew Rose ' the true story of a young seaman so badly abused that he died, the captain and mate were tried, found guilty and executed for it.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Sailor Sorely Used & Abused
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Mar 14 - 02:34 AM

Andrew Rose is the one that springs to mind with me as well
There's also The Captain's Apprentice - Harry Cox sang four verses of a much longer song
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Sailor Sorely Used & Abused
From: SeaCanary
Date: 05 Mar 14 - 02:44 AM

YAHTZE!! Andrew Rose is the one I'm thinking of!

But as long as I'm on the subject, Mr. Carroll, might you know where I could find the lyrics for The Captain's Apprentice ?


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Subject: Lyr Add: ANDREW ROSE (from Roy Palmer)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Mar 14 - 02:49 AM

Here's Andrew Rose to be going on with, along with Roy Palmer's excellent note - From The Oxford Book of Sea songs.
Will look out The Captain's Apprentice when (and if ) I wake up
Jim'll do by the way, Mr Carroll was my father.
Jim Carroll

Andrew Rose

Andrew Rose, the British sailor,
Now to you his woes I'll name.
'Twas on the passage from Barbados
Whilst on board of the Martha Jane.

Wasn't that most cruel usage,
Without a friend to interpose?
How they whipped and mangled, gagged and strangled
The British sailor, Andrew Rose.

'Twas on the quarterdeck they laid him,
Gagged him with an iron bar.
Wasn't that most cruel usage
To put upon a British tar?

'Twas up aloft the captain sent him,
Naked beneath the burning sun,
Whilst the mate did follow after,
Lashing till the blood did run.

The captain gave him stuff to swallow,
Stuff to you I will not name,
Whilst the crew got sick with horror,
While on board the Martha Jane.

'Twas in a water-cask they put him;
Seven long days they kept him there.
When loud for mercy Rose did venture
The captain swore no man should go there.

For twenty days they did ill-use him.
When into Liverpool they arrived
The judge he heard young Andrew's story:
'Captain Rogers, you must die.'

Come all ye friends and near relations
And all ye friends to interpose,
Never treat a British sailor
Like they did young Andrew Rose.


The Martha and Jane was a Sunderland-owned barque which sailed from Hartlepool to Calcutta in 1856, and thence to Demerara. Homeward bound, she put into Barbados for repairs, and there Henry Rogers, a thirty-seven-year-old Swansea man, went on board to take command. There were also changes in the crew, and among those joining was an able seaman, Andrew Rose. While the ship was still in harbour the second mate, Charles Seymour, found fault with Rose's work, and gave him a beating. Rose jumped ship, but was brought back by the police. After the vessel had sailed he was beaten again by Seymour and also by the captain and by the first mate, William Miles. This treatment became almost a daily occurrence, but there were further cruelties. For singing a hymn Rose was gagged with an iron bolt for an hour and a half. The captain taught his dog to bite him, and even to tear out pieces of his flesh. The first mate sent him aloft naked to furl a sail, and whipped him up and down the rigging till the blood ran. On another occasion Rose was forced to get into a water cask, which was then headed up, with only the bunghole left open. It was then rolled round the deck, then lashed to the bulwarks for twelve hours. Finally, Rose was suspended from the mainmast by a rope round the neck until he almost suffocated. Two or three days later, Rose lost his reason, and then died. His body was dragged to the ship's side at the end of a rope and thrown overboard without ceremony. When the vessel reached Liverpool, on 9 June 1857, Rose's shipmates went to the police. The captain and his two mates were arrested, and stood trial at the assizes. The evidence of the seamen called by the prosecution was damning, and it was found that the ship's log was silent about most of the incidents, and put Rose's death down to his 'going rotten inside'. The three defendants were all found guilty, and, despite a recommendation to mercy from the jury, sentenced to death. The sentences of the two mates were later commuted to imprisonment, but not that of Captain Rogers. While waiting for death he vehemently proclaimed his innocence, maintaining that the account of his treatment of Rose had been 'much overdrawn'. On 12 September, the day of execution, a crowd of between twenty and thirty thousand people assembled to watch outside Kirkdale (now Walton) Gaol included many sailors. One said: 'My word, he'll be a different man on that quarterdeck than he was on the quarterdeck of the Martha and Jane.' Another shouted to Rogers: 'Luff, luff, and weather hell.' Rogers was unlucky only to the extent that he was far from being the only captain to cause the death of a sailor by brutality. Joanna Colcord says that American sailors would sing the song to taunt the British, but it was also sung by the British themselves.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE CAPTAIN'S APPRENTICE
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Mar 14 - 03:09 AM

Captain s Apprentice from Folk Songs Collected by Ralph Vaughan Williams - notes also by Roy Palmer
The language is a bit stilted; I'll try to see if there's a better version later
Harry Cox's version was far smoother, but three verses shorter
Jim Carroll

The Captain's Apprentice

The plight of pauper children farmed out as apprentices by the poor law guardians caused widespread concern in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. One thinks of the famous Memoirs of Robert Blincoe, which describes the fourteen-year apprenticeship to a Nottinghamshire mill-owner of a boy sent out from St Pancras Workhouse in London at the age of seven, in 1799. At about the same time the death of another pauper apprentice was being chronicled in a fine but bitter song which was sung for another hundred years and more, and still lingers in oral tradition. Vaughan Williams collected it from a septuagenarian fisherman, Mr James Carter, at King's Lynn, and assumed that it was a local production, mainly because of the mention of St James's Work¬house in the town, so called because St James's Chapel had been converted to the use of the poor as early as 1682. However, two verses (5 and 6 here) in Vaughan Williams's scrapbook additional to those sung by Mr Carter (perhaps remembered later by him, and sent on) move the scene to Bristol. This squares with a broadside recently turned up by Mike Yates in the St Bride Institute. It is without imprint, though probably dating from about 1800, and entitled 'A New Copy of Verses, Made on Captain MILLS, now under Confinement in Newgate, at Bristol, for the murder of THOMAS BROWN, his Apprentice Boy'. The account may have been fictional, though there is a record that in 1798 the captain of the Loyal Briton, off Minorca, 'killed his Cabin-boy by striking him on the head with a handspike' and 'was ordered back to England for trial' ('The Adventures of Serjeant Benjamin Miller', in Journal of Army Historical Research, vol. VII, p.16). A discrepancy in the broadside is its mention of St James's Workhouse, though Bristol Workhouse was called St Peter's Hospital. (However, there is a St James district in Bristol.) Whatever the doubts as to its precise origin, the song held the imagination of singers. It travelled to America, was jotted down in the backs of the logbooks of several whaling ships (see Gale Huntington, Songs the Whalemen Sang, New York, 1970), and continued to circulate in England until this century, mainly in Norfolk, but also in Dorset. Vaughan Williams was deeply impressed by Mr Carter's version (though he collected others), and he used the melody or reminiscences of it in several of his orchestral works, including the Norfolk Rhapsody, Sea Symphony and Pastoral Symphony.

One day this poor boy was to me bound apprentice,
Because of his parents being fatherless
I took him out of St James' Workhouse
His mother being in deep distress

One day this poor boy unto me offended,
But nothing to him I did say;
Up to the main-mast shroud I sent him,
And there I kept him all that long day.

All with my garling-spikk I misused him,
So shamefully 1 can't deny;
All with my marling-spike I gagged him
Because I could not bear his cry.

His face and his hands to me expanded,
His legs and his thighs to me likewise;
And by my barbarous cruel entreatment
This very next day this poor boy died.

1 asked my men if they'd release (?) me
If I'd give them golden store.
Out of my cabin straightway they hauled me,
A prisoner brought me on Bristol shore.

And now in Newdigate I am confined,
The writ of death I do deserve;
If I had been ruled by my servants
This poor boy's life might have been preserved.

You captains all throughout this nation,
Hear a voice and a warning take by me.
Take special care of your apprentice
While you are on the raging sea.

With my garling spikk I misused him – With my gasket I did misuse him.
A gasket was a piece of rope to secure a sail.
Newdigate - Newgate


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Sailor Sorely Used & Abused
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 05 Mar 14 - 03:36 AM

Thanks for that Jim, this is what Mudcat is all about. This is the first time that I have heard that Andrew Rose actually died of his ill treatment as the first time I heard the song the last verse started "He has his friends and kind relations, to comfort him after his woes"
Also the Sunderland connection is interesting as many years ago, in a Sunderland folk club, someone told me that Andrew Rose, a devout Methodist, actually came from Sunderland and antagonised the captain by constantly singing hymns while at sea. Where he was born or hailed from has been hotly disputed but clearly the Sunderland connection is still there.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE CAPTAIN'S APPRENTICE
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Mar 14 - 07:05 AM

This is a more manageable text IMO; it's the same as Harry Cox's plus some verses (From Frank Purslow's Marrowbones)
Jim Carroll

THE CAPTAIN'S APPRENTICE
Hammond D. 593 . Mrs. Sartin, Carscombe , Dorset. July, 1906.
With additional text from D.547. George House, Beaminster, Dorset. June, 1906.

A boy to me was bound apprentice,
Because his parents they were poor,
I took him from St. James's workhouse,
All for to sail on the Spanish shore.

This boy one day he did offend me,
Nothing to him then did I say,
But straightway to my yard-arm I dragged him,
And I kept him there till the very next day.

His hands and feet they hung towards me ,
His arms and legs hung down likewise,
And with my tarry, tarry rope I killed him,
Because I would not hear his cries.

And then my men they did reject me ,
Because that I had done such wrong,
And in my cabin they close confined me,
And bound me down in irons strong.

To London town they then did bring me,
And here lay I condemned to die,
If I had by my men been ruled,
I might have saved the poor boy's life and mine.

You captains bold that sail down the ocean ,
That have got servants to wait on thee ,
I pray you never, never ill-use them,
For you plainly see 'twas the death of me.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Sailor Sorely Used & Abused
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Mar 14 - 05:29 PM

How I remember the chorus of Andrew Rose

And wasn't that most cruel usage
Not a soul to interpose
How they whipped and stripped and mangled
The British sailor, Andrew Rose,


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Sailor Sorely Used & Abused
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 05 Mar 14 - 08:50 PM

The tune for THE CAPTAIN'S APPRENTICE, noted by R. Vaughan Williams, can be seen in Journal of the Folk-Song Society, Vol. 2, Issues 6-9, 1905, page 161.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Sailor Sorely Used & Abused
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 06 Mar 14 - 03:38 AM

"The tune for THE CAPTAIN'S APPRENTICE"
It was also used beautifully in one of Vaughan Williams compositions, Sea Symphony No 4 I think (not folk music, I hasten to add!!)
Jim Carroll


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