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LORD BATEMAN query

DigiTrad:
LORD BATEMAN
LORD BEICHAN (2)
LORD BEICHAN AND SUSIE PYE
LORD BEICHAN AND SUSIE PYE (2)
LORD THOMAS AND FAIR ELLENDER (3)
THE TURKISH LADY


Related threads:
Lord Bateman - new version (19)
Nimrod Workman Video - Lord Bateman (15)
Lyr Req: Lord Bateman (23)
Tune Req: joseph taylor's lord bateman (Child #53) (5)
(origins) Lyr Add: Lord Beichan and Susie Pye (12)
Lyr Req: Roby Monroe Hicks' Young Beeham (#53) (1)
Lyr Add: Lord Beichan (2) Child No. 53 (13)


Ian HP 31 Jan 99 - 07:25 AM
Ian HP 01 Feb 99 - 01:40 PM
Alan of Australia 01 Feb 99 - 10:43 PM
02 Feb 99 - 01:34 PM
Ian HP 03 Feb 99 - 04:25 PM
Bruce O. 03 Feb 99 - 04:46 PM
Alan of Australia 04 Feb 99 - 06:56 AM
Ian HP 04 Feb 99 - 01:19 PM
Bruce O. 04 Feb 99 - 05:40 PM
Lesley N. 04 Feb 99 - 07:00 PM
Alan of Australia 05 Feb 99 - 11:43 PM
Ian HP 06 Feb 99 - 12:35 PM
pavane 27 Jun 01 - 09:57 AM
Malcolm Douglas 27 Jun 01 - 11:53 AM
pavane 27 Jun 01 - 12:08 PM
pavane 27 Jun 01 - 12:19 PM
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Subject: LORD BATEMAN query
From: Ian HP
Date: 31 Jan 99 - 07:25 AM

The song Lord Bateman is apparently based on the true story of Gilbert Bekett and Shusha Pye who, after the song ends, went on to have a son called Thomas. The song Young Bekie, closer to the name Bekett (which appears in 'The Oxford Book of Ballads') has a virtually identical story, the difference being that young Bekie was a knight rather than a lord, who went to France to serve in the king's court rather than Turkey for the sake of travel, and he fell in love with the king's daughter Burd (ie. maid or lady) Isbel. Similarly, in Young Bicham (a name halfway between Bekie and Bateman, it seems to me), which follows in 'Oxford', Bicham is a prince from London rather than Northumberland, goes to to "strange countries", is "ta'en by a savage Moor", and is rescued by "Shusy Pye" (virtually Shusha Pye) who bribes her father's men. In all versions she crosses the sea to be with him again and interrupts his wedding to become his bride. I find this song fascinating and wonder if anyone knows the history. Who exactly were Gilbert Bekett and Shusha Pye? In which century did they live? Were they English and Turkish respectively, as the song says? How closely does the song follow the history (as far as we can tell?) Is there an account of their story anywhere?

Cheers Ian HP


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Subject: RE: LORD BATEMAN query
From: Ian HP
Date: 01 Feb 99 - 01:40 PM

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 ftp://beta.ulib.org/webRoot/Books/_Gutenberg_Etext_Books/etext97/cblad10.txt) 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?


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Subject: RE: LORD BATEMAN query
From: Alan of Australia
Date: 01 Feb 99 - 10:43 PM

G'day,
These songs are versions of Child ballad #53, which tells a fairly commonplace legend from the middle ages based on stories by/about pilgims/crusaders who had returned from the holy land. Independantly of the early versions of the song there was also a legend about Gilbert Beket (Child's spelling) which told a fairly similar tale.

Child says "That our ballad has been affected by the legend of Gilbert Beket is altogether likely."

So the song is a melding of similar tales and I suppose it's usually associated with Becket. A version of the legend that I read has the Saracen's daughter being baptised on reaching England and having her "outlandish" name being replaced by a Christian name. If we like to think that name was Matilda fine, but I think we shouldn't expect this song to be completely true to the real Becket story.

Child also says in a footnote that not all historians agree that Gilbert Beket's wife was named Matilda.

Child has 14 versions of this ballad, Bronson has over 100. Child also relates the Gilbert Beket legend. If you don't mind a long post I might put it in here sometime soon.

Cheers,
Alan


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Subject: RE: LORD BATEMAN query
From:
Date: 02 Feb 99 - 01:34 PM

Thanks, Alan. No, I don't mind a long post at all. I've been investigating again. Historian Arthur B. Allan in his 'The Middle Ages' says that Gilbert Becket was from Rouen and his wife, ROHESIA, from Caen. No Turks here then, just a French couple. I don't expect 'history' in traditional songs, of course, but if there is a trace of a real incident behind a song-legend then it fascinates me to find the nature of the link. If any. I am becoming more doubtful about finding any concrete link here, but I would like to hear of more ideas and theories. Thanks a million.


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Subject: RE: LORD BATEMAN query
From: Ian HP
Date: 03 Feb 99 - 04:25 PM

Alan, by the way, do you actually have the Child 'English and Scottish Popular Ballads' volumes? Are they available anywhere at an affordable price? Cheers


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Subject: RE: LORD BATEMAN query
From: Bruce O.
Date: 03 Feb 99 - 04:46 PM

Francis James Child's 'The English and Scottish Popular Ballads', 5 vols., is not currently in print. At www.bookfinder.com, you can find a used set of the Dover paperback reprint for the outrageous price of $750.00. My set is the slightly earlier hardbound (in 3 vols) Cooper Square reprint of 1962.


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Subject: RE: LORD BATEMAN query
From: Alan of Australia
Date: 04 Feb 99 - 06:56 AM

G'day,
Yep, my copies are the Dover edition Bruce refers to. The price printed on the front cover is $6 per volume!!! I bought them new about 20 years ago, I seem to remember them costing about $20 each.

Vol 1 has an appointment with a scanner tomorrow, I'll probably post the legend on the weekend.

Cheers,
Alan


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Subject: RE: LORD BATEMAN query
From: Ian HP
Date: 04 Feb 99 - 01:19 PM

Thanks a million, Alan, I am very much looking forward to it.


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Subject: RE: LORD BATEMAN query
From: Bruce O.
Date: 04 Feb 99 - 05:40 PM

www.bibliofind.com lists the original edition of F. J. Child's 'The English and Scottish Popular Ballads' at $400.


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Subject: RE: LORD BATEMAN query
From: Lesley N.
Date: 04 Feb 99 - 07:00 PM

Keep checking at bibiliofind because I got all of the Dover volumes for $200 a couple of months ago. I sent at least eight queries through biblio and was always told they were sold.

Another source is the Advanced Book Exchange at:
http://www.abebooks.com/


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Subject: RE: LORD BATEMAN query
From: Alan of Australia
Date: 05 Feb 99 - 11:43 PM

G'day,
Here's how Child recounts the legend, with one small addition by me, American spelling corrected by my spell checker :). I'd suggest a copy&paste, print & read offline:-

This story of Beichan, or Bekie, agrees in the general outline and also in some details, with a well known legend about Gilbert Beket, father of St Thomas. The earlier and more authentic biographies lack this particular bit of romance, but the legend nevertheless goes back to a date not much later than a century after the death of the saint, being found in a poetical narrative preserved in a manuscript of about 1300.

We learn from this legend that Gilbert Beket, in his youth, assumed the cross and went to the Holy Land, accompanied only by one Richard, his servant They "did their pilgrimage" in holy places, and at last, with other Christians were made captive by the Saracens and put in strong prison. They suffered great hardship and ignominy in the service of the Saracen prince Admiraud. But Gilbert found more grace than the rest; he was promoted to serve the prince at meat (in his chains), and the prince often would ask him about England and the English faith. Admiraud's only daughter fell in love with Gilbert and when she saw her time, in turn asked him the like questions. Gilbert told her that he was born in London; told her of the belief of Christians, and of the endless bliss that should be their meed. The maid asked him if he was ready to die for his Lord's love, and Gilbert declared that he would, joyfully. When the maid saw that he was so steadfast, she stood long in thought, and then said, I will quit all for love of thee, and become Christian, if thou wilt marry me. Gilbert feared that this might be a wile; he replied that he was at her disposition, but he must bethink himself. She went on loving him, the longer the more. After this Gilbert and the rest broke prison (with the daughter's help according to another account I read - A of A) and made their way to the Christians. The prince's daughter, reduced to desperation by love and grief left her heritage and her kin, sparing for no sorrow, peril, or contempt that might come to her not knowing whither to go or whether he would marry her when found, and went in quest of Gilbert. She asked the way to England, and when she had come there had no word but London to assist her further. She roamed through the streets, followed by a noisy and jeering crowd of wild boys and what not, until one day by chance she stopped by the house in which Gilbert lived. The man Richard, hearing a tumult came out to see what was the matter recognised the princess and ran to tell his master. Gilbert bade Richard take the lady to the house of a respectable woman nearby, and presently went to see her. She swooned when she saw him. Gilbert was nothing if not discreet: he "held him still," as if he had nothing in mind. But there was a conference of six bishops just then at St. Paul's, and he went and told them his story and asked advice. One of the six prophetically saw a divine indication that the two were meant to be married, and all finally recommended this if the lady would become Christian. Brought before the bishops, she said, Most gladly, if he will espouse me; else I had not left my kin. She was baptised with great ceremony, and the marriage followed.

The very day after the wedding Gilbert was seized with such an overmastering desire to go back to the Holy Land that he wist not what to do. But his wife was thoroughly converted, and after a struggle with herself she consented, on condition that Beket should leave with her the man Richard, who knew her language. Gilbert was gone three years and a half, and when he came back Thomas was a fine boy.

That our ballad has been affected by the legend of Gilbert Beket is altogether likely. The name Bekie is very close to Beket and several versions A, D, H, I, N, Set out rather formally with the announcement that Bekie was London born. Our ballad, also, in some versions, has the Moor's daughter baptised, a point which of course could not fail in the legend. More important still is it that the hero of the English ballad goes home and forgets the woman he has left in a foreign land, instead of going away from home and forgetting the love he has left there. But the ballad, for all that, is not derived from the legend. Stories and ballads of the general cast of 'Young Beichan' are extremely frequent.

Cheers,
Alan


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Subject: RE: LORD BATEMAN query
From: Ian HP
Date: 06 Feb 99 - 12:35 PM

Alan, I am SOOOOO vey grateful. Thank you. Thank you. Cheers Ian HP
Messages from multiple threads combined. Messages below are from a new thread.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: Lord Bateman
From: pavane
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 09:57 AM

I was browsing the net and I came across this - apparently a work of fiction, but I can't be sure! THE MYSTERY OF LORD BATEMAN. Is this the same Andrew Lang who published A collection of Ballads in 1910?


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Subject: RE: Lord Bateman
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 11:53 AM

Yes; and it's no fiction.  I have an 1883 copy of Cruikshank's Loving Ballad of Lord Bateman (the subject of much of the article) myself; it turns up in secondhand shops from time to time.


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Subject: RE: Lord Bateman
From: pavane
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 12:08 PM

I presume then that the Old Woman's text concerning Lord Bedmin is a real document, now lost except for the fragments quoted? Or does no-one know?


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Subject: RE: Lord Bateman
From: pavane
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 12:19 PM

The version I know best is that by Nic Jones, and it seems very close to the words quoted in the article. It is one of the songs I sing to keep myself awake on long late-night drives (others include Musgrave, Sir Patrick Spens). I am sure you needed to know that!


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