Self-employed: English teacher (online), Valencia (Spain)
ORCID ID 0000-0001-5782-958X
Keywords: King and Commoner literary tradition, Late Middle Ages, Early Modern Period, fifteenth-century radicalism, medieval England, Conservative shift within English ballads.
This paper explores the King and Commoner tradition within English ballads written during the Late Middle Ages through to the Early Modern Period. The tradition is defined by monarchs being either deliberately or mistakenly unrecognised by a member of the labouring class.
The author chronologically examines the way in which the fifteenthcentury radicalism was gradually erased and how later examples of the motif became more conservative in nature, reinforcing rather than challenging the social hierarchy of medieval England. In particular, it highlights how the rare voice afforded to the commoner in the earlier ballads is absent during those of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It is replaced by declarations of loyalty to the king.
Alongside this research, the author draws on similar examples from a great variety of sources, including religious writings, folktales, historical accounts and many more. The inclusion of these is not intended to suggest a causal relationship between the two but only to ground claims made about the ballads in a broader literary context.
The paper touches on the dissolution of the monasteries and state regulation of texts after the introduction of the printing press as causal factors. The information contained in this paper may be used for further research into these developments.
George Lovell, English teacher (online), Trinity College London, University College London, University of East Anglia, Valencia (Spain).
Achebe, C. (1987). The trouble with Nigeria. Heinemann.
Afanasyev, A. N. (1916). The soldier and the tsar in the forest. In L. A. Magnus (Ed., Trans.), Russian folk-tales (pp. 154– 159). E. P. Dutton.
Baidu. (2022). 汉语成语: 微服出巡. Retrieved from https://baike.baidu.com/item/%E5%BE%AE%E6%9C%8D%E5%87%BA%E5%B7%A1/5615009
Barber, R. (2003). Henry Plantagenet. The Boydell Press.
Barton, A. (1975). The king disguised: Shakespeare’s Henry V and the comical history. In J. G. Price (Ed.), The triple bond: Plays, mainly Shakespearean, in performance. Pennsylvania State University Press.
Beneker, J. (2017). Little things mean a lot: Odysseus’ scar and Eurycleia’s memory. In A. Park (Ed.), Resemblance and reality in Greek thought: Essays in honor of Peter M. Smith (pp. 31–45). Routledge.
Bíró, L. & Malleson, M. (Writers). (1940). The thief of Bagdad [DVD]. MGM.
Bloks, M. (2021, February 9). Pseudonym prince — the day a future king took part in an ice skating competition under a fake name. Royal Central. Retrieved from https://royalcentral.co.uk/features/pseudonym-prince-the-day-a-future-king-took-part-in-an-ice-skating-competition-under-a-fake-name-155609/
Brown, C. C. (1952). The Malay Annals. Journal of the Malayan Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 25. No. 2/3 (159). 5–276.
Bruce, C. W. (1999). The Arthurian name dictionary. Garland Publishing, Inc
Bruckner, M. T. (1993). Shaping romance: Interpretation, truth, and closure in twelfth-century French fictions. University of Pennsylvania Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.9783/9781512801057
Cambrensis, G. (1873). Opera. In J. S. Brewer (Ed.), The chronicles and memorials of Great Britain and Ireland during the Middle Ages. (Vol. 4). Longman.
Carroll, L. (1889). Silvie and Bruno. MacMillan & Co.
Cartwright, M. (2018, January 11). Theophilos. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://www.worldhistory.org/Theophilos/
Cavendish, R. (2016, June 6). Louis XVI’s flight from Paris. History Today. Retrieved from https://www.historytoday.com/archive/months-past/louis-xvis-flight-paris
Chappell, W. (1855). The ballad literature and popular music of the olden time. (Vol. 1). Chappell & Co.
Chesterton, G. K. (1937). The paradoxes of Mr. Pond. Cassell & Co.
Child, F. J. (Ed.). (1882–1889). The English and Scottish popular ballads. (Vol. 1). Houghton, Miffin & Co.
Child, F. J. (Ed.). (1888). The English and Scottish popular ballads. (Vol. 3). The Folklore Press.
Child, F. J. (Ed.). (1956). The English and Scottish popular ballads. (Vol. 5). The Folklore Press.
Child, F. J. (Ed.). (2020). The English and Scottish popular ballads. (Vol. 3). Retrieved from https://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/62474/pg62474-images.html#c156
Collier, J. P. (Ed.). (1847). A book of Roxburghe ballads. Longman, Brown, Green & Longmans.
Collé, C. (1766). La partie de chasse de Henri IV. (n. p.).
Conan Doyle, A. (1902). The original illustrated Sherlock Holmes. Castle Books.
Cope, R. (2021, October 26). Who is Princess Mako, the Japanese royal who has given up her title for love? Tatler. Retrieved from https://www.tatler.com/article/who-is-princess-mako-the-japanese-royal-who-has-given-up-her-title-for-love
Crane, S. (1997). Knights in disguise: Identity and incognito in fourteenth-century chivalry. In F. R. P. Akehurst & S. C. Van D’Elden (Eds.), The stranger in medieval society (pp. 63–79). University of Minnesota Press.
Cultural festival: Themes & components. (n. d.). Cambodian Community Day. (No date). Retrieved from https://www.cambodiancommunityday.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=130&Itemid=711
Dabney, V. (1990). Richmond: The story of a city. University Press of Virginia.
Dale, J. (2021). Incognitos: Shakespeare’s uses of disguise in the light of new historicism and its legacy [Doctoral dissertation, University of Warsaw]. Retrieved from https://depotuw.ceon.pl/handle/item/4003?show=full
Davis, W. S. (1922). A short history of the Near East: From the founding of Constantinople (330 A.D. to 1922). MacMillan.
De Kungliga Slotten. (2022). King Gustav IV Adolf 1792–1809. Retrieved from https://www.kungligaslotten.se/english/archives/swedish-regents/2018-03-05-king-gustav-iv-adolf-1792-1809.html
Dickens, C. (1885). A child’s history of England. John B. Alden.
Dobson, R. B. & Taylor, J. (1976). Rymes of Robyn Hood: An introduction to the English outlaw. University of Pittsburgh Press.
Dunderdagar. (2022). Intellectual properties: King Graycoat. Retrieved from https://www.dunderdagar.se/ips/
Engle, D. G. & Waltz, R. B. (2022) King Edward the Fourth and a tanner of Tamworth [Child 273]. The Traditional Ballad Index. Retrieved from http://www.fresnostate.edu/folklore/ballads/C273.html
Feintuch, Y. (2011). External appearance versus internal truth: The Aggadah of Herod in Bavli Bava Batra. AJS Review, 35(1), 85–104. Retrieved from https://www.jstor.org/stable/41310650 Feintuch, Y. (2011). External appearance versus internal truth: The Aggadah of Herod in Bavli Bava Batra. AJS Review, 35(1), 85–104. Retrieved from https://www.jstor.org/stable/41310650 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0364009411000043
Flower, A. C. (1975). Disguise and identity in Pericles, Prince of Tyre. Shakespeare Quarterly, 26(1), 30–41. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/2869264
Ford, D. H. (2007). King James and the tinker. Retrieved from http://www.berkshirehistory.com/legends/jastinker_bal.html
Fowler, E. (2014). The romance hypothetical: Lordship and the Saracens in Sir Isumbras. In A. Putter & J. Gilbert (Eds.), The spirit of Medieval English popular romance. Routledge
Fuller, N. (2020). 177. Le calife de Bagdad (Boieldieu). Retrieved from https://operascribe.com/2020/03/08/177-le-calife-de-bagdad-boieldieu/
Furrow, M. M. (Ed.). (2013). Ten bourdes. Medieval Institute Publications.
Gathof, T. L. (2014). Concealment and construction of knightly identity in Chretien’s romances and Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur. College of Arts & Sciences Senior Honors Theses. Paper 88. Retrieved from http://doi.org/10.18297/honors/88
Gemeinhardt, D. (2016, November 25). Frederick II pays an incognito visit to Strasbourg. Retrieved from http://versaillescentury.com/2016/11/25/frederick-ii-strasbourg/
Getty Images. (2021). A disguised King Richard I: 1157–1199. Retrieved from https://fineartamerica.com/featured/a-disguised-king-richard-i-1157-1199-print-collector.html
Gibbon, E. (1836). The history of the decline and fall of the Roman Empire. (Vol. 5). Harper & Brothers.
Gilbert, W. S. & Sullivan, A. (2020). The complete plays of Gilbert and Sullivan. Retrieved from https://www.gutenberg.org/files/808/808-h/808-h.htm#link2H_4_0013
Green, C. R. (2009). The other early Arthurian cycle: The tale of Tristan and Isolt. Arthuriana. Retrieved from http://www.arthuriana.co.uk/n&q/tristan.htm#:~:text=The%20tale%20in%20general%20tells,Arthur%2C%20was%20a%20great%20warrior
Greene, R. (1594). The honourable history of Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay. Retrieved from http://elizabethandrama.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Friar-Bacon-Annotated.pdf
Gregory, K. (1999). Cleopatra VII, daughter of the Nile. Scholastic.
Grimm, J. & Grimm, W. (2016). The complete folk & fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm. (M. Hunt, Trans.). Wisehouse Classics.
Gwilliams, F. L. (1981). The disguise theme in the Middle English metrical romances: Its use, origins and influences [Unpublished M. Phil. Thesis]. Bedford College.
Hansley, K. (2018, March 9). Emperor Nero’s night-time brawl that allegedly ended in the death of a Roman senator. The Historian’s Hut. Retrieved from https://thehistorianshut.com/2018/03/09/emperor-neros-night-time-brawl-that-ended-in-the-death-of-a-roman-senator/
Harris, F. (2018). The identity-defining role of forgetting in transformative disguise in two Middle English romances: Havelok the Dane and Sir Isumbras [Unpublished M.A. thesis]. Carleton University. DOI: https://doi.org/10.22215/etd/2018-12885
Hazlitt, W. C. (Ed.). (1864). Remains of the early popular poetry of England. (Vol. 1). John Russell Smith.
Hearst, W. T. (1898, November 20). How the crown prince of Roumania, the most indifferent royal spouse in Europe, fell in love with his wife, the prettiest, most audacious and most flirtatious princess in Europe. New York journal and advertiser. Retrieved from https://www.loc.gov/resource/sn83030180/1898-11-20/ed-1/?sp=29&st=text &r=0.353,-0.009,0.484,0.58,0
Herzman, R. B., Drake, G., & Salisbury, E. (1997). Four romances of England: King Horn, Havelok the Dane, Bevis of Hampton, Athelston. Medieval Institute Publications.
Heywood, T. (1842). The first and second parts of King Edward IV. Printed for the Shakespeare Society.
Hoccleve, T. (1999). The regiment of princes. Medieval Institute Publications.
Hollenbach, R. (2013, December 20). The commoner king. Students of Jesus. Retrieved from http://studentsofjesus.com/imported-20111230192554/2013/12/20/the-commoner-king.html
Holt, J. C. (1982). Robin Hood. Thames and Hudson.
Hudson, H. (Ed.). (2006). Four Middle English romances: Sir Isumbras, Octavian, Sir Eglamour of Artois, Sir Tryamour. Medieval Institute Publications. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctv2j6xqj0
Iskandarnamah. (1978). (M. S. Southgate, Trans.). Columbia University Press.
Keen, M. H. (1961). The outlaws of medieval legend. Routledge and Kegan Paul.
King James Bible. (1814). Retrieved from https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/
Knight, S. & Ohlgren, T. H. (1997). Robin Hood and other outlaw tales. Kalamazoo.
Kulcsár, K. (2014). The travels of Joseph II in Hungary, Transylvania, Slavonia and the Banat of Temesvar, 1768–1773. In T. V. Artemyeva & M. I. Mikeshin (Eds.), Intellectual and political elites of the Enlightenment. (Vol. 16). Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies.
Lang, A. (2021). The story of the two sisters who were jealous of their younger sister. Saga.
Laskaya, A. & Salisbury, E. (Eds.). (1995). The Middle English Breton Lays. Medieval Institute Publications. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctv14gpjmw
Liudprand, of Cremona. (2007). The complete works of Liudprand of Cremona. (P. Squatriti, Trans.). The Catholic University of America Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctt284v6d
Loades, D. M. (1974). The theory and practice of censorship in sixteenth-century England. Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 24, 141–157. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.2307/3678936
Lucas, G. (1999). Star Wars: Episode I — The phantom menace [DVD]. Lucasfilm Ltd.
Lukacs, P. (Ed.) (2021). George-a-Greene, the pinner of Wakefield. Retrieved from http://elizabethandrama.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/George-a-Green-Script.pdf
Lundeberg, O. K. (1924). The true sources of Robert Dodsley’s The king and the miller of Mansfield. Modern Language Notes, 39 (7), pp. 394–397. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/2914762
Lupack, A. (Ed.). (1990). Three Middle English Charlemagne romances. Medieval Institute Publications.
Lycurgus. (2019). Against Leocrates. Oxford University Press.
Macdougall, N. (1989). James IV. Bell & Bain.
Mahābhārata. (1883–1896). (K. M. Ganguli, Trans.). Retrieved from https://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m03/m03313.htm
Matthias fountain in Buda Castle district. (n.d.). (No date). Buda Castle Budapest. Retrieved from https://budacastlebudapest.com/matthias-fountain-buda-castle-district/
McKirdy-Walker, E. (1994). James V: “King of the commons”. Journal of the Sydney Society for Scottish History, 2 (1), 44–51.
McLynn, F. (2007). Lionheart and Lackland: King Richard, King John and the wars of conquest. Vintage.
McShane, A. (2016). Drink, song and politics in early modern England. Popular Music, 35 (2), 166–190. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/s0261143016000027
Medieval Histories. (2016, August 27). Charles IV — Boisterous youth and crippled king. Retrieved from https://www.medieval.eu/charles-iv-boisterous-youth-and-crippled-king/
Montgomery, J. (2008). The stranger and his friend. In R. W. Griswold (Ed.), The poets and poetry of England (pp. 77–78). Carey & Hart.
Moschus. (1836). Europa. In M. J. Chapman (Trans.), The Greek pastoral poets, Theocritus, Bion, and Moschus. James Fraser.
Murnaghan, S. (2011). Disguise and recognition in the Odyssey (2nd ed.). Lexington Books.
Ovid. (1727). Metamorphoses. (S. Garth, J. Dryden, A. Pope, J. Addison, W. Congreve et al., Trans.). Sir Samuel Garth.
Painter, W. (2011). The palace of pleasure. (Vol. 3). The Project Gutenberg. Retrieved from https://www.gutenberg.org/files/34840/34840-h/34840-h.htm
Peele, G. (1593). The famous chronicle of king Edward the first, sirnamed Edward Longshankes, with his returne from the holy land. Also the life of Llevellen rebell in Wales. Lastly, the sinking of Queene Elinor, who sunck at Charingcrosse, and rose againe at Pottershith, now named Queenehith. Abell Ieffes.
Powdyel, T. S. (2021, May 29). Bhutan at her best, and for good reasons…. Kuensel. Retrieved from https://kuenselonline.com/bhutan-at-her-best-and-for-good-reasons/
Percy, T. (1858). Reliques of ancient English poetry. (Vol. 2). J. Nichol.
Percy, T. (1839). Reliques of ancient English poetry (6th ed.). (Vol. 4). L. A Lewis.
Peter the Great trashed here. (2022). Shady old lady. Retrieved from http://www.shadyoldlady.com/location.php?loc=1249
Philips, A. (1723). A collection of old ballads. (Vol. 1). Printed for J. Roberts; and sold by J. Brotherton, A. Bettesworth.
Prestwich, M. (2018). A short history of the Hundred Years War. I.B. Tauris.
Ravenscroft, J. (2018, March). Charles II’s great escape. History Today. Retrieved from https://www.historytoday.com/reviews/charles-iis-great-escape
Redondo, D. (2016, February 12). El mito motero del rey Juan Carlos, en ‘Cuéntame’. Cadena SER. Retrieved from https://cadenaser.com/ser/2016/02/12/television/1455281571_692161.html
Ritson, J. (Ed.). (1833). Pieces of ancient popular poetry: From authentic manuscripts and old printed copies (2nd ed., Vol. 8, pp. 57–67). William Pickering.
Roscoe, T. (1825). The Italian novelists. (Vol. 3). Septimus Prowett.
Ross, C. (1997). Edward IV. Yale University Press.
Sands, D. B. (1966). Middle English verse romances. Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.
Scott, W. (1821). Ivanhoe: A romance. (Vols. 1–3). James Ballantyne & Co.
Scott, W. (1828). Tales of a grandfather; Being stories taken from Scottish history. (Vol 3.) Ballantyne and Co.
Shakespeare, W. [Apocrypha]. (2013). Fair Em: A pleasant commodie Of Faire Em the millers daughter of Manchester with the love of William the Conquerour. Retrieved from https://www.gutenberg.org/files/5137/5137-h/5137-h.htm
Shakespeare, W. (1890). The life of King Henry the Fifth. MacMillan & Co.
Shakespeare, W. (1898). Measure for measure. Bliss, Sands & Co.
Shuffelton, G. (Ed.). (2008). Codex Ashmole 61: A compilation of popular Middle English verse. Medieval Institute Publications. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctv2j6xqgz
Snell, R. (2000). The Undiscovered King. In J. E. Weiss, J. Fellows & M. Dickson (Eds.), Medieval insular romance: Translation and Innovation (pp. 135–155). D. S. Brewer.
Stampler, A. R. (2012). The wooden sword: A Jewish folktale from Afghanistan. Albert Whitman.
Starbuck, L. (2021, February 3). King Philippe’s favourite pseudonym revealed. Royal Central. Retrieved from https://royalcentral.co.uk/europe/belgium/kings-philippes-favourite-pseudonym-revealed-on-documents-at-centre-of-row-155347/
StarMediaEN. (2022). The Romanovs. The history of the Russian dynasty — Episode 3. Documentary film. English subtitles. [Video]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xbZm3OATMs
Steinsaltz, A. (2016). Koren Talmud Bavi: Bava Batra. Koren Publishers.
Stem, T. (Ed.). (2013). King Leir. Routledge.
Stickings, T. (2019, June 20). Thai King is spotted cycling in a crop top during incognito bike ride with his wife in Switzerland weeks after his coronation. MailOnline. Retrieved from https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7162915/Thai-King-spotted-cycling-crop-incognito-bike-ride-Switzerland.html#comments
Sturluson, S. (2015). Heimskringla. (Vol. 3). (A. Finlay & A. Faulkes, Trans.). University College London.
Sutton, A. F., & Visser-Fuchs, L. (1986). Richard III’s books: II. A collection of romance and Old Testament stories. I. Ipomedon. The Ricardian, 7 (95), 327–332.
Tacitus, C. (1872). The annals of Tacitus. Whittaker & Co.
Tchaikovsky, P. I. (1891). Iolanta. Retrieved from http://www.murashev.com/opera/Iolanta_libretto_Russian
The Cafe de la Paix, a Paris landmark, is closed till spring. (1974, November 4). The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/1974/11/04/archives/the-cafe-de-la-paix-a-paris-landmark-is-closed-till-spring.html
The comical history of the king and the cobbler; containing the entertaining and merry tricks, and droll frolics, played by the cobbler. – How he got acquainted with the King, became a great man, and lived at court ever after. (1769). Printed for the booksellers. Retrieved from https://archive.org/details/fisherchapbook97/page/3/mode/2up
The happy return: Or, the parliaments welcome to London. Which was adjourned till the ninth day of November, 1685. But now sitting again at Westminster. (1685). Printed for C. Deunisson. Retrieved from https://ebba.english.ucsb.edu/ballad/20847/xml
The loyal forrister, Or, royal pastime; Being a pleasant discourse between the king and a loyal keeper, who not knowing His Majesty, would not suffer him to hunt in the forrest for any reward whatsoever, which faithfulness the king highly commended as you shall find by this following ditty. (1683–1716). Printed for C. Bates. Retrieved from http://ebba.english.ucsb.edu/ballad/31870/citation
The pleasant and delightful history of King Henry the VIII. and the abbot of Reading. (1680). Printed by J. M. for C. Dennisson. Retrieved from https://www.prisms.digital/workbench/A55120
The royal frolick: Or, King William and his nobles entertainment at the farmers house, in his return from the Irish Wars. (1692). Printed for J. Millet. Retrieved from http://ebba.english.ucsb.edu/ballad/20930/xml
Traditional Chinese tea etiquette. (2022). Teavivre. Retrieved from https://www.teavivre.com/info/traditional-chinese-tea-etiquette.html
Truesdale, M. (2018). The king and commoner tradition: Carnivalesque politics in medieval and early modern literature (1st ed.). Routledge. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781351106696
Twain, M. (1882). The prince and the pauper. James R. Osgood and Co.
Valmiki. (1998). Ramayana. (S. D. H. Rao, Trans.). Retrieved from https://www.valmikiramayan.net/
Valmiki. (2008). Ramayana. (R. T. H. Griffith, Trans.). Trübner & Co. Retrieved from https://www.gutenberg.org/files/24869/24869-pdf.pdf
Vidal, E. M. (2009, August 13). La Comtesse du nord. Tea at Trianon. Retrieved from https://teaattrianon.blogspot.com/2009/08/la-comtesse-du-nord.html
Vivian, H. (1904). The Servian tragedy, with some impressions of Macedonia. G. Richards.
Walsh, W. T. (1987). Philip II. TAN Books.
Wenzig, J. (1857). Westslawischer Märchenschatz. C. B. Lorck.
Wilke, J. (2018, February 12). Censorship and freedom of the press in the Early Modern Period. Brewminate. Retrieved from https://brewminate.com/censorship-and-freedom-of-the-press-in-the-early-modern-period/
Wrigley, E. A. (1985). Urban growth and agricultural change: England and the Continent in the Early Modern Period. The Journal of Interdisciplinary History, 15(4), 683–728. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.2307/204276
Zhangyu, D. (2014, August 19). Emperor in disguise. China Daily. Retrieved from http://global.chinadaily.com.cn/a/201408/19/WS5a2fbeb4a3108bc8c67294ec.html
Section: WORLD CULTURE AND ІNTERNATIONAL RELATIONS.