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FROM THE REIGN OF JOHN TO THAT OF EDWARD II.
EDITED AND TRANSLATED
BY THOMAS WRIGHT, Esq., M.A., F.S.A., &c.
THE CAMDEN SOCIETY,
ELECTED MAY 2, 1839.
President, THE RIGHT HON. LORD FRANCIS EGERTON, M.P.
THOMAS AMYOT, ESQ. F.R.S. Treas. S.A. Director. THE REV. PHILIP BLISS, D.C.L., F.S.A., Registrar of
the University of Oxford. JOHN BRUCE, ESQ. F.S.A. Treasurer. JOHN PAYNE COLLIER, ESQ. F.S.A. C. PURTON COOPER, ESQ. Q.C., D.C.L., F.R.S., F.S.A. RT. HON. THOMAS PEREGRINE COURTENAY. T. CROFTON CROKER, ESQ. F.S.A., M.R.I.A. THE REV. ALEXANDER DYCE, B.A. SIR HENRY ELLIS, K.H., F.R.S., Sec. S.A. THE REV. JOSEPH HUNTER, F.S.A. JOHN HERMAN MERIVALE, ESQ. F.S.A. JOHN GAGE ROKEWODE, ESQ. F.R.S., Director S.A. THOMAS STAPLETON, ESQ. F.S.A. WILLIAM J. THOMS, ESQ. F.S.A. Secretary. THOMAS WRIGHT, ESQ. M.A., F.S.A.
Few historical documents are more interesting or important than the contemporary songs in which the political partizan satirised his opponents and stirred up the courage of his friends, or in which the people exulted over victories gained abroad against their enemies or at home against their oppressors, or lamented over evil counsels and national calamities. Yet, though a few specimens have been published from time to time in collections of miscellaneous poetry, such as those of Percy and Ritson, and have never failed to attract attention, no book specially devoted to ancient Political Songs has yet appeared.
The quantity of such productions has generally varied with the character of the age. They were frequent from a very early period in other countries of Europe, as well as England. It would be easy to produce proofs that in our island they were very numerous in Saxon times,-a few specimens, indeed, have escaped that destruction which visits the monuments of popular and temporary feeling before all