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Drink, song and politics in early modern England

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 April 2016

Angela McShane*
Affiliation:
Victoria and Albert Museum, South Kensington, London SW7 2RL, UK E-mail: a.mcshane@vam.ac.uk

Abstract

Between about 1580 and 1690, early modern England experienced three interrelated developments: first, the growth of a successful commercial popular music industry, centred on London, which served a socially broad national market; secondly, the development of political parties, emerging from the political and religious turmoil of the period, which impinged significantly upon the newly burgeoning popular music industry and its markets; thirdly, a substantial increase in the per capita consumption of alcoholic drinks across all social classes, for reasons of sociability rather than health or nutrition. This article explores the unexpected effects of these changes on cultures of politics, drink and song across the whole period. In particular, it explores the way in which the Cavaliers of the 1650s and the new ‘Tory’ party of the 1680s used the medium of song to encourage excessive drinking and the political and social denigration of sobriety in order to promote loyal obedience.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2016 

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References

References

All ballads are Anon. unless otherwise stated. PBB denotes an entry in McShane (2011a).Google Scholar
1624–80. A lamentable Ballad of a Combat lately performed neere London, betwixt Sir Iames Steward, and Sir George Wharton KnightsGoogle Scholar
1627. Heres to thee Kind HarryGoogle Scholar
1646. The Mercenary Soldier (PBB 132)Google Scholar
1647. The good fellowes complaint (PBB 135)Google Scholar
1658. Sack for my money (PBB 256)Google Scholar
1660–74. Hey for our town, but a fig for Zommerset-shireGoogle Scholar
1660. A Jovial Company of Joviall Blades (PBB 317)Google Scholar
1660. A New Ballade: To an Old Tune (PBB 325)Google Scholar
1660. Englands Joy for the Coming in of our Gracious Sovereign King Charls the Second (PBB 285X)Google Scholar
1660. Englands Joy in a Lawful Triumph (PBB 309)Google Scholar
1660. Englands Rejoicing at that happy Day (PBB 277)Google Scholar
1660. The Countreymans Vive Le Roy (PBB 369)Google Scholar
1660. The Traytors downfall (PBB 312X)Google Scholar
1661. A Country Song Intituled the Restoration (PBB 391)Google Scholar
1663. The Loyal Subject (as it is reason) Drinks good sack and is free from Treason (PBB 400)Google Scholar
1670–1701. Cupids Delight; Or, The Two young Lovers broyl'd in loveGoogle Scholar
1674–79. The Young Gallants TutorGoogle Scholar
1679. A New Ballad on the Present Conspiracy of the Papists (PBB 521)Google Scholar
1680–96. Taylor's LamentationGoogle Scholar
1680. The Loyal Subjects Littany (PBB 556)Google Scholar
1680. The Loyal Tories Delight (PBB 557)Google Scholar
1681. A New Ballad of Jockey's Journey (PBB 609)Google Scholar
1681. State Cases put to Jack Presbyter (PBB 607)Google Scholar
1681. The Leacherous Anabaptist (PBB 580)Google Scholar
1681. The Loyal London Apprentice (PBB 594)Google Scholar
1681. The Newgate Salutation (PBB 592)Google Scholar
1681. The Protestant Cuckold (PBB 579)Google Scholar
1681. The Saint Turn'd Curtezan (PBB 581)Google Scholar
1681. The Wine Cooper's Delight (PBB 568X)Google Scholar
1682. A Litany from Geneva (PBB 656)Google Scholar
1682. A Message from Tory-Land to the Whig-Makers in Albian (PBB 660)Google Scholar
1682. A New Ballad with the Definition of the Word Tory (PBB 654)Google Scholar
1682. Ignoramus Justice (PBB 652)Google Scholar
1682. The Bare-faced Tories (PBB 666)Google Scholar
1682. The Coat of Arms of N.T. J.F. & R.L. (PBB 647)Google Scholar
1682. The Loyal Feast (PBB 642)Google Scholar
1682. The Popish Tories Confession (PBB 621)Google Scholar
1682. Thompson Tell-Lyes (PBB 640)Google Scholar
1682. Tom-son his repetition to his wife (PBB 659)Google Scholar
1683. The Whigs drown'd in an honest Tory's Health (PBB 729)Google Scholar
1685. THE / Happy Return:/OR,/The PARLIAMENTS Wellcome to London (PBB 828)Google Scholar
1685. An Excellent new SONG; OR, A true Touch of the TIMES. Giving you a full and true Account of the Transactions, from King James the First, to the present Reign of our Soveraign Lord King James the Second.Google Scholar
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1690. THE/ Royal Favours of K. WILLIAMGoogle Scholar
1690. The Royal FrolickGoogle Scholar
1690s. An Answer to the Royal FrolickGoogle Scholar
1690s. The Broken Vintner of LondonGoogle Scholar
1690s. The Country Lasses Good FortuneGoogle Scholar
1690s. The Royal RecreationGoogle Scholar
1694. [no title] 1st line: ‘When Brewers and Bakers’Google Scholar
c.1610–26. John Spenser a Cheshire GallantGoogle Scholar
c.1630s. Fowre wittie gossips disposed to be merryGoogle Scholar
c.1640s. A Looking Glass for DrunkardsGoogle Scholar
c.1661. The Joviall Crew, or, Beggars-Bush (PBB 382)Google Scholar
c.1672 The Jovial Crew (PBB 455)Google Scholar
c.1649. A Royall Health to the Rising Sun (PBB 182)Google Scholar
c.1656–78. Joan's Ale is New (3 Editions between 1656 and c.1678) (PBB 217)Google Scholar
c.1672. Englands Triumph (PBB 456)Google Scholar
Jordan, T. (attrib.) 1643 and 1650. The Discontented Lover (2 edns) (PBB 114)Google Scholar
Jordan, T. (attrib.) 1660. The Noble Prodigal (PBB 284)Google Scholar
Jordan, T. (attrib.) 1660. The Royal Entertainment (PBB 304)Google Scholar
Price, L. c.1640s. Good Ale for my moneyGoogle Scholar
R[obins], T. 1660. The Royall Subjects warning-piece to all Traytors (PBB 289)Google Scholar
Rigby, R. (attrib.) 1680. The Coblers New Prophesie (PBB 546)Google Scholar
Shadwell, T. (attrib.) and Anon. c.1675. The Delights of the Bottle (PBB 489)Google Scholar
Taubman, M. (attrib.) 1682. The Well-Wishers To The Royal Family (PBB 633)Google Scholar
Taubman, M. (attrib.) 1682. The Courtier's Health (PBB 619X)Google Scholar
Wade, J. (fl.1660–80). A Song in Praise of the Leather BottelGoogle Scholar
White, R. 1643. The Prentices Resolution (PBB 103)Google Scholar
White, R., 1643. Englands doubtfull hopes (PBB 111)Google Scholar
Jordan, T. 1663. Musick and Poetry mixed in a variety of songs and poemsGoogle Scholar
Brome, A. and Brome, H. (eds) 1662. Rump: or an Exact Collection of the choycest Poems and Songs relating to the late TimesGoogle Scholar
Ravenscroft, T. 1609. Deuteromelia: or the seconde part of Musicks melodieGoogle Scholar
Thompson, N. 1684. Choice Collection of 180 Loyal SongsGoogle Scholar
Bodleian Libraries Broadside Ballads Online: http://ballads.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/collectionsGoogle Scholar
University of California, Santa Barbara's online English Broadside Ballad Archive: http://ebba.english.ucsb.edu/Google Scholar
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Blagden, C. 1954. ‘Notes on the ballad market in the second half of the seventeenth century’, Studies in Bibliography, VI, pp. 161–80Google Scholar
Bolton, R. 1625–41. Walking with God (6 edns)Google Scholar
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Brome, A., and Brome, H. (eds). 1662. Rump: or an Exact Collection of the choycest Poems and Songs relating to the late TimesGoogle Scholar
Brown, J.R. 2008. ‘The landscape of drink: inns, taverns, and alehouses in early modern Southampton’, Unpublished PhD thesis (Coventry, University of Warwick)Google Scholar
Burnet, G. (ed. Stackhouse, T.). 1979. History of His Own Time (London, Dent)Google Scholar
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Hailwood, M. 2014. Alehouses and Good Fellowship in Early Modern England (Woodbridge, Boydell Press)Google Scholar
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1627. Heres to thee Kind HarryGoogle Scholar
1646. The Mercenary Soldier (PBB 132)Google Scholar
1647. The good fellowes complaint (PBB 135)Google Scholar
1658. Sack for my money (PBB 256)Google Scholar
1660–74. Hey for our town, but a fig for Zommerset-shireGoogle Scholar
1660. A Jovial Company of Joviall Blades (PBB 317)Google Scholar
1660. A New Ballade: To an Old Tune (PBB 325)Google Scholar
1660. Englands Joy for the Coming in of our Gracious Sovereign King Charls the Second (PBB 285X)Google Scholar
1660. Englands Joy in a Lawful Triumph (PBB 309)Google Scholar
1660. Englands Rejoicing at that happy Day (PBB 277)Google Scholar
1660. The Countreymans Vive Le Roy (PBB 369)Google Scholar
1660. The Traytors downfall (PBB 312X)Google Scholar
1661. A Country Song Intituled the Restoration (PBB 391)Google Scholar
1663. The Loyal Subject (as it is reason) Drinks good sack and is free from Treason (PBB 400)Google Scholar
1670–1701. Cupids Delight; Or, The Two young Lovers broyl'd in loveGoogle Scholar
1674–79. The Young Gallants TutorGoogle Scholar
1679. A New Ballad on the Present Conspiracy of the Papists (PBB 521)Google Scholar
1680–96. Taylor's LamentationGoogle Scholar
1680. The Loyal Subjects Littany (PBB 556)Google Scholar
1680. The Loyal Tories Delight (PBB 557)Google Scholar
1681. A New Ballad of Jockey's Journey (PBB 609)Google Scholar
1681. State Cases put to Jack Presbyter (PBB 607)Google Scholar
1681. The Leacherous Anabaptist (PBB 580)Google Scholar
1681. The Loyal London Apprentice (PBB 594)Google Scholar
1681. The Newgate Salutation (PBB 592)Google Scholar
1681. The Protestant Cuckold (PBB 579)Google Scholar
1681. The Saint Turn'd Curtezan (PBB 581)Google Scholar
1681. The Wine Cooper's Delight (PBB 568X)Google Scholar
1682. A Litany from Geneva (PBB 656)Google Scholar
1682. A Message from Tory-Land to the Whig-Makers in Albian (PBB 660)Google Scholar
1682. A New Ballad with the Definition of the Word Tory (PBB 654)Google Scholar
1682. Ignoramus Justice (PBB 652)Google Scholar
1682. The Bare-faced Tories (PBB 666)Google Scholar
1682. The Coat of Arms of N.T. J.F. & R.L. (PBB 647)Google Scholar
1682. The Loyal Feast (PBB 642)Google Scholar
1682. The Popish Tories Confession (PBB 621)Google Scholar
1682. Thompson Tell-Lyes (PBB 640)Google Scholar
1682. Tom-son his repetition to his wife (PBB 659)Google Scholar
1683. The Whigs drown'd in an honest Tory's Health (PBB 729)Google Scholar
1685. THE / Happy Return:/OR,/The PARLIAMENTS Wellcome to London (PBB 828)Google Scholar
1685. An Excellent new SONG; OR, A true Touch of the TIMES. Giving you a full and true Account of the Transactions, from King James the First, to the present Reign of our Soveraign Lord King James the Second.Google Scholar
1689. An Excellent new SONG; OR, A true Touch of the TIMES. Giving you a full and true Account of the Transactions, from King James the First, to the present Reign of our Soveraign Lord King William the Third.Google Scholar
1690. THE/ Royal Favours of K. WILLIAMGoogle Scholar
1690. The Royal FrolickGoogle Scholar
1690s. An Answer to the Royal FrolickGoogle Scholar
1690s. The Broken Vintner of LondonGoogle Scholar
1690s. The Country Lasses Good FortuneGoogle Scholar
1690s. The Royal RecreationGoogle Scholar
1694. [no title] 1st line: ‘When Brewers and Bakers’Google Scholar
c.1610–26. John Spenser a Cheshire GallantGoogle Scholar
c.1630s. Fowre wittie gossips disposed to be merryGoogle Scholar
c.1640s. A Looking Glass for DrunkardsGoogle Scholar
c.1661. The Joviall Crew, or, Beggars-Bush (PBB 382)Google Scholar
c.1672 The Jovial Crew (PBB 455)Google Scholar
c.1649. A Royall Health to the Rising Sun (PBB 182)Google Scholar
c.1656–78. Joan's Ale is New (3 Editions between 1656 and c.1678) (PBB 217)Google Scholar
c.1672. Englands Triumph (PBB 456)Google Scholar
Jordan, T. (attrib.) 1643 and 1650. The Discontented Lover (2 edns) (PBB 114)Google Scholar
Jordan, T. (attrib.) 1660. The Noble Prodigal (PBB 284)Google Scholar
Jordan, T. (attrib.) 1660. The Royal Entertainment (PBB 304)Google Scholar
Price, L. c.1640s. Good Ale for my moneyGoogle Scholar
R[obins], T. 1660. The Royall Subjects warning-piece to all Traytors (PBB 289)Google Scholar
Rigby, R. (attrib.) 1680. The Coblers New Prophesie (PBB 546)Google Scholar
Shadwell, T. (attrib.) and Anon. c.1675. The Delights of the Bottle (PBB 489)Google Scholar
Taubman, M. (attrib.) 1682. The Well-Wishers To The Royal Family (PBB 633)Google Scholar
Taubman, M. (attrib.) 1682. The Courtier's Health (PBB 619X)Google Scholar
Wade, J. (fl.1660–80). A Song in Praise of the Leather BottelGoogle Scholar
White, R. 1643. The Prentices Resolution (PBB 103)Google Scholar
White, R., 1643. Englands doubtfull hopes (PBB 111)Google Scholar
Jordan, T. 1663. Musick and Poetry mixed in a variety of songs and poemsGoogle Scholar
Brome, A. and Brome, H. (eds) 1662. Rump: or an Exact Collection of the choycest Poems and Songs relating to the late TimesGoogle Scholar
Ravenscroft, T. 1609. Deuteromelia: or the seconde part of Musicks melodieGoogle Scholar
Thompson, N. 1684. Choice Collection of 180 Loyal SongsGoogle Scholar
Bodleian Libraries Broadside Ballads Online: http://ballads.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/collectionsGoogle Scholar
University of California, Santa Barbara's online English Broadside Ballad Archive: http://ebba.english.ucsb.edu/Google Scholar
Achilleos, S. 2004. ‘The Anacreontea and a tradition of refined male sociability’, in A Pleasing Sinne, ed. Smyth, A. (Cambridge, D.S. Brewer), pp. 2135Google Scholar
Bellany, A. 2006. ‘Singing libel in early Stuart England: the case of the Staines Fiddlers, 1627’, Huntington Library Quarterly, 69/1, pp. 177–93CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Blagden, C. 1954. ‘Notes on the ballad market in the second half of the seventeenth century’, Studies in Bibliography, VI, pp. 161–80Google Scholar
Bolton, R. 1625–41. Walking with God (6 edns)Google Scholar
Braddick, M.J. 2008. God's Fury, England's Fire: A New History of the English Civil Wars (London and New York, Allen Lane)Google Scholar
Braithwaite, R. 1631. Whimzies or a new cast of charactersGoogle Scholar
Brome, A., and Brome, H. (eds). 1662. Rump: or an Exact Collection of the choycest Poems and Songs relating to the late TimesGoogle Scholar
Brown, J.R. 2008. ‘The landscape of drink: inns, taverns, and alehouses in early modern Southampton’, Unpublished PhD thesis (Coventry, University of Warwick)Google Scholar
Burnet, G. (ed. Stackhouse, T.). 1979. History of His Own Time (London, Dent)Google Scholar
Camden, W. 1605. Remaines of a greater worke, concerning BritaineGoogle Scholar
Capp, B. 2012. England's Culture Wars: Puritan Reformation and its Enemies in the Interregnum, 1649–1660 (Oxford, Oxford University Press)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Chillingworth, W. 1644. A Sermon preached at the publike Fast before his Majesty at Christchurch Oxford (Oxford)Google Scholar
Clark, P. 1983. The English Alehouse: A Social History, 1200–1830 (London, Longman)Google Scholar
Curth, L.H., and Cassidy, T.M. 2004. ‘“Health, strength and happiness”: medical constructions of wine and beer in early modern England’, in A Pleasing Sinne, ed. Smyth, A. (Cambridge, D.S. Brewer), pp. 143–60Google Scholar
Defoe, D. 1722. ‘The ballad masters plea’, Applebee's Journal, 13 OctoberGoogle Scholar
de Groot, J. 2004. Royalist Identities (Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ebsworth, J.W.E., and Chappel, W. (eds). 1966. Roxburghe Ballads, 8 vols, reprint (New York)Google Scholar
Florilegus, J. 1649. The Odious Despicable and Dreadful Condition of the Drunkard AnatomizedGoogle Scholar
Fox, A. 1994. ‘Ballads, libels and popular ridicule in Jacobean England’, Past and Present, 145, pp. 4783CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Frith, S. 1981. ‘“The magic that can set you free”: the ideology of folk and the myth of the rock community’, Popular Music, 1, pp. 159–68CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fumerton, P. 2002. ‘Not home: alehouses, ballads and the vagrant husband in early modern England’, Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, 32, pp. 493518CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gammon, V. 2008. Desire, Drink and Death in English Folk and Vernacular Song, 1600–1900 (Farnham, Ashgate)Google Scholar
Hailwood, M. 2014. Alehouses and Good Fellowship in Early Modern England (Woodbridge, Boydell Press)Google Scholar
Hardcastle, K.A., Hughes, K., Sharples, O., and Bellis, M.A. 2015. ‘Trends in alcohol portrayal in popular music: a longitudinal analysis of the UK charts’, Psychology of Music, 43/3, pp. 321–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Harris, R. (8 edns between 1619 and 1630) The Drvnkards CvpGoogle Scholar
Harris, T. 1987. London Crowds in the Reign of Charles II: Politics and Propaganda from the Restoration until the Exclusion Crisis (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press)Google Scholar
Harris, T. 2005. Restoration: Charles II and his Kingdoms, 1660–1685 (London and New York, Allen Lane)Google Scholar
Harris, T. 2006. Revolution: The Great Crisis of the British Monarchy, 1685–1720 (London, Allen Lane)Google Scholar
Hart, J.The Dreadful Character of a Drunkard (3 edns: 1663, 1679 and 1686)Google Scholar
Keblusek, M. 2004. ‘Wine for comfort’, in A Pleasing Sinne, ed. Smyth, A. (Cambridge, D.S. Brewer), pp. 6988Google Scholar
Knights, M. 1994. Politics and Opinion in Crisis 1678–1681 (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press)Google Scholar
Knoppers, L. 2000. Constructing Cromwell (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press)Google Scholar
Marcus, L. 1986. The Politics of Mirth. Jonson, Herrick, Milton, Marvell, and the Defense of Old Holiday Pastimes (Chicago, IL, University of Chicago Press)Google Scholar
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