Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Sad Death of Edward Pluck

The inquest into the death of Edward Pluck took place in the Brown Bear Public House in Deptford High Street on Monday 29th May 1893. Pluck had committed suicide after being sacked from his job as a bricklayer in the Royal Victoria Victualling Yard, supposedly because he had reached the age of 65. Subsequent to the inquest, questions were asked in Parliament, but the government, as governments do, absolved itself of all responsibility.

Edward Pluck was born on the Isle of Sheppy, Kent in early 1828, the son of bricklayer William Pluck and Sarah Ann Wilmott who had married in 1815. Edward followed his father into bricklaying and married a Welsh girl Sarah Pearce in late 1848. Edward and Sarah lived in Sheppey and had at least 10 children that Edward was always able to provide for.

In 1885 the family moved to Deptford when Edward got a job working for a contractor in the victualling yard. Edward and his colleagues were paid less than those working directly for the Admiralty and were not paid for public holidays. In early 1893 Edward was persuaded to sign a petition to the Admiralty seeking better pay and conditions. Edward and at least two other workers were subsequently sacked on the pretext of their age.

On the evening of Saturday 27th May Edward left his home at 48 Gosterwood Street telling his wife that he was going to see their daughter in Deptford High Street. Charles Ashby, a police pensioner, who shared the house in Gosterwood Street saw Edward near the Mansion House Public House (on the corner of Evelyn Street and Rolt Street) walking towards the High Street.

At 4.00am the following morning Police Constable Sidney Stanniforth was patrolling the Surrey Canal when he saw a body a few yards from Knacker's Bridge. He pulled the body from the water but it was cold and dead.

At the inquest Sarah identified her husband's body and their son Robert gave evidence that his father had been depressed since losing his job and had seemed rather strange before going out on the Saturday evening. Charles Ashby and PC Stanniforth gave their evidence and then the inquest heard from Edward's foreman at the yard.

George Alfred Harvey told the inquest that he had known Edward for 'some years' and had been his foreman for seven. He explained that he was employed in the Victualling Yard by Mr Holloway. He told of the petition that had been sent to the Admirality asking for more money and payment for public holidays. He then claimed that their was a clause in Holloway's contract with the Admiralty that precluded the employment of anyone over 65 years old. He went on to say that an assistant civil engineer had come round and inspected the men and considered the deceased and several others too old and they had been discharged. He (Harvey) would have liked to have kept Edward Pluck on for another two years, but he had no alternative.

The jurors were outraged one calling the sacking cruel, a second commenting "There is no chance for a man with gray hair." and a third sarcastically adding "We'll have to dye it."

Coroner Edward Carttar said "I cannot understand such a regulation being made. If there was to be such a rule, it should apply to the top as well as the bottom of the tree. It did not apply to Cabinet Ministers and Bishops, who were considered competent to continue their engagements until they were over eighty or ninety years of age, and received their salaries. Some men at fifty-five years of age were not so competent as others at seventy-five. In this case the contractor appears to have had no option in the matter under the terms of the contract."

The jury returned a verdict that the deceased committed suicide by drowning in the Grand Surrey Canal, at the time labouring under mental derangement through being turned out of his employment, as over sixty-five years of age, under the terms of a Government contract.

The inquest was reported in the local papers and there the matter might have rested if it had not come to the attention of Kier Hardie MP. Hardie had been elected the previous year and was already adept at using parliamentary procedures to highlight matters of social concern. On Tuesday 13th June he raised the matter in the House of Commons first asking an Admiralty minister about the sacking of men who had signed the petition and Pluck's subsequent suicide. The minister confirmed that three of the men had been sacked, but that he had " official information as to any other dealings of the contractor with his workmen, and the Admiralty has no power over them and no responsibility for them." Hardie then asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what provision the Government intended for their workmen, like Pluck, who were dismissed on grounds of age. The Chancellor replied that Pluck was employed by a contractor, but that the Government knew of no such condition. Hardie then asked the Admiralty minister again, and by this time the minister had ascertained that there was no such clause in Holloway's contract with the Admiralty. Not content with having asked three questions on the matter Hardie then sought an adjournment debate on the issue, which after some procedural discussion , was declined.

As a result of Hardie's interventions the matter was subsequently reported in the national press.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Days of Wine and Roses

This afternoon there was a short ceremony at Brockley and Ladywell Cemetery to mark the restoration of Ernest Christopher Dowson's grave on the 143rd anniversary of his birth. The original memorial has been restored as fully as possible and a new stone at the foot of the grave quotes two verses of his poetry. The restoration was paid for by public subscription after a facebook page was set up in his memory. Attendees were an ecletic mix of local authors, poets and local historians.

Dowson was an industrious translator, novelist and poet; mainly remembered for his poetry that has given us such phrases as "days of wine and roses" and "gone with the wind".

He was born in Lee, where his mother's family came from, and his father had a ship repair yard in Limehouse. The family fortunes declined in the 1890s. Ernest's father Alfred died from an overdose in 1894, the same year that Ernest contracted tuberculosis. Ernest's mother committed suicide early the following year. Ernest's only sibling Rowland Corbet Dowson emigrated to Canada a few weeks after their mother's death.

By the beginning of 1900 Ernest was in a bad way when a friend, Robert Sherard, found him wandering apparently penniless in the Euston Road and took him home to 26 Sandhurst Gardens, Catford where he died of tuberculosis and general neglect about six weeks later on 23 February 1900.

Despite his apparent poverty, in May the following year his estate was valued at £1,119 18s 7d, he did not leave a will and Rowland inherited. Rowland had moved to the United States in 1898 and married in about 1906. In 1910 he was working as a tiler and living with his wife Florence in a boarding house in Seattle, Washington. He died on 20 September 1913 and is buried in Mount Hope Cemetery, San Diego, California.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Twinkle Park Event

As part of Greenwich Council's Parksfest 2010 Twinkle Park presents Musical Notes this Saturday 17th July, 1 - 5pm.

Music from jazz quartet Paul Zec & Friends, Deptford Divas and Venavi Drummers and a drumming workshop from the latter.

Petanque, pond dipping and also creative fun with Artyparty Arts.

At 5.00pm it will only be a short stroll to the Dog and Bell in Prince Street.

Twinkle Park is in Borthwick Street on the corner of Watergate Street:

View this map on
Bird's Eye view on
Get directions on

Friday, June 11, 2010

McMillan Herb Garden

As part of the St Nicholas Community Festival on Saturday 12 June, the McMillan Herb Garden present three hours of postry and music featuring Paul the Poet, Leanne, Provoceteers, Bloco Maluco, Goy, Sons of Phycho Yogi and Ruthi Tooti.

The garden is here opposite St Nicholas Church.

View map of SE8 3HA on
Bird's Eye view of SE8 3HA
Get directions to or from SE8 3HA

Marie Lloyd

On Wednesday 9 June I attended a Lewisham Council consultation at the 2000 Community Action Centre in Grove Street regarding proposed works in Fordham and Pepys Parks. A local artist Richard somebody or other who carves totem poles is apparently to produce works celebrating Peter The Great, Margaret McMillan and Marie Lloyd. What, I asked has Marie Lloyd got to do with Deptford? I was told that she lived here.

A quick google showed several results claiming that she lived in Lewisham Way from 1887 to 1894, but no references to back the story up.

Marie Lloyd was the stage name of Matilda Alice Victoria Wood who married Peter Charles Courtenay (a bookies runner) in Shoreditch in 1887. Their daughter Marie Matilda Victoria Courtenay was born 19 May 1888. Marie junior was cristened at St Leonards Church, Shoreditch on 1 July 1888 and the family's address is given in the baptism register as 25 Arlington Street. The 1891 census records the family as boarding at 32 Powerscroft Road in Hackney and gives Marie junior's birthplace as Dalston.

It is not until 19 January 1892 that there is any mention of Lewisham High Road. Both The Times and the Daily Graphic report that Marie had summonsed Peter after he had assaulted her. In the event he was bound over to keep the peace towards her. Their address was given as 196, Wickham Terace, Lewisham High Road. Lewisham High Road is now Lewisham Way and Wickham Terrace was the name for the villas behind what are now the Deptford Memorial Gardens.

Then in June 1894 a further court case was reported and it emerged that Marie had formally seperated from Peter in January that year having previously left him. Therefore Marie Lloyd lived in Lewisham Way for, at the most, two and a half years. Given that she toured extensively, both in the UK and abroad, it is unlikely she spent much time here at all. Marie Lloyd was a Hackney woman, quite rightly celebrated in that Borough.

Why not celebrate the pragmatic trade unionist, socialist, and first woman Mayor Beatrice Drapper, or the fiery radical communist Kath Duncan, both women who had a real impact on Deptford.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Fox paranoia and Deptford

Doing a routine Google News search for 'Deptford' I was surprised to read an article by somebody called Philippe Naughton from The Times dated 7th June 2010 containing the line:

"A 14-week-old baby boy in Deptford, southeast London, was bitten in 2002 when a fox crept into his house while his mother slept. "

Firstly I do not remember such a thing happening and secondly searching Google's News archive, The Newsshopper's archive and The Times own archive fails to shed any light on the story.

My searches do however reveal a review in The Independent of Blake Morrison's 2007 novel South of the River, which contains the following passage:

Harry the reporter, too, has foxes on the brain. Covering the disappearance and possible murder of a child on a Deptford estate, he wonders if a fox, rather than the boy's estranged father, is to blame.

This leaves me with the intriguing question: Is Philippe Naughton a real journalist or merely a product of Mr Morrison's imagination?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Some thoughts on the Common Toad

Yesterday Bob from Brockley quoted George Orwell from 16 May 1939. A few years later Orwell observed in his essay Some Thoughts on the Common Toad that:

Even in the most sordid street the coming of spring will register itself by some sign or other, if it is only a brighter blue between the chimney pots or the vivid green of an elder sprouting on a blitzed site. Indeed it is remarkable how Nature goes on existing unofficially, as it were, in the very heart of London. I have seen a kestrel flying over the Deptford gasworks, and I have heard a first-rate performance by a blackbird in the Euston Road. There must be some hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of birds living inside the four-mile radius, and it is rather a pleasing thought that none of them pays a halfpenny of rent.

There were a number of gasworks in and around Deptford so it is difficult to be certain which site Orwell was referring to.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Wally Crouch was born Walter Thomas Crouch in Portsmouth in 1877, the son of a shipwright. After his father died his mother remarried and he took the name of Armstrong. By the time of his Peckham marriage on 10th June 1899 to Blanche Phillips he had reverted to the name Crouch and gave his occupation as a Public House Manager. Wally and Blanche moved to Deptford firstly at 6 Lucas Street, then 29 Charles Street, but subsequently settling at 66 Speedwell Street. Various jobs as a labourer and painter (for the London County Council) came and went, interspersed with periods of unemployment.

By 1911 Blanche had given birth to eight children, but two had since died. More children were born and in 1915 a son John Lionel Crouch was born. After John’s death The Times carried a story that Wally had been a greengrocer and that John had looked after his father’s ponies. Perhaps Wally’s fortunes improved after the 1st World War, perhaps the story was made up, but John had a talent with horses.

As a teenager John was apprenticed to Australian trainer Stanley Wootton at Epsom. In 1933 his name started to appear in the lists of runners and riders in the newspapers. In 1936 he rode 31 winners and in October it was announced that, at the age of 21, John was to be the King’s jockey. He was to receive a retainer so that he would always be available to ride the King's horses in preference to other owners. That winter John went to India to race in Madras.

Although Britain was preparing for war in the summer of 1939, things were looking good for John Crouch. He had bought and furnished a house in Epsom and was due to marry 19-year-old Barbara Hives (the daughter of the head stable lad to trainer Walter Nightingall) on 1st July.

On Monday 19th June John and Barbara posted the wedding invitations and the next morning John made his way to Heston Aerodrome to fly to Newcastle to ride that afternoon. The British American Air Services DH.89A Dragon Rapide John was flying in reported its position by radio when passing York at midday, but it never arrived in Newcastle. The weather in the northeast of England was poor that morning and the rain kept many race goers at home, but there was surprise when John Crouch failed to arrive.

That Tuesday evening the BBC broadcast appeals for news of the missing aeroplane. The following day the Royal Air Force searched for the plane but it was not until 5.00pm that Robert Redfearn, a postman, and his friend Richardson, a newsagent spotted the burned out wreckage near the summit of Dora’s Seat, Ettersgill Fell, County Durham, miles from the nearest habitation. The bodies of John Crouch, Glaswegian pilot F.S. Appi and wireless operator J. Elmslie were found close to the wreckage.

John Crouch’s funeral took place on Monday 26 June 1939 at Epsom Parish Church and he is buried in Epsom cemetery.

Barbara eventually married in the spring of 1945.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Jacob Brothers - Mayors of Deptford

Benjamin Joseph Jacob became the first Mayor of Deptford on Friday 9th November 1900. He served two consecutive terms (until November 1902). His younger brother Jesse Jacob was Mayor for the municipal year 1906-7.

Benjamin was born on 10 March 1836 and christened at St Pauls Church, Deptford on 13 April. Jesse was born 27 July 1840 and christened at St Pauls on 24 August . Their parents were Benjamin and Sarah Jacob nee Cooper). Benjamin and Sarah had married at St Botolphs, Bishopsgate on 1st July 1833 and Benjamin was their second child and first son, Jesse the fourth child and second son. Benjamin senior was a lighterman. The family lived at various addresses around Creek Road and Deptford Green, but by 1861 had moved to 2 Deptford Bridge. By then there was another boy and two girls.

For many years Sarah's younger brother Will Cooper lived with the family. Will was clerk to the Queen's Proctor. (The Queen's Proctor was a lawyer appointed by the government to intervene in various cases most notably where there was suspicion of collusion between parties in divorce actions.) Another uncle was the Revd Dr Robert Halley (married to Benjamin senior's sister Rebekah) a prominent Congregationalist minister and academic.

Both sons served their apprenticeships as Lightermen and at some point went into partnership with their father as B. Jacob & Sons (later incorporated as B. Jacob & Sons Ltd). Various tugs and lighters were built or bought including a Thames Barge named Jesse in 1865. As well as moving goods on the Thames itself the firm unloaded goods from ships in the river into lighters and delivered to wharves on Deptford Creek.

Benjamin Joseph married Mary Elizabeth Wade in 1861 and Jesse married Ellen Bavin in 1865. Benjamin and Elizabeth had at least six children: Louis, Helen, Walter, Benjamin, Annie May and Reginald. They lived in Warwick Street (near to where Warwickshire Path is now), 64 Lewisham High Road (now Lewisham Way) and finally 29 Pepys Road. Jesse and Ellen had two children Maria Annie and Harry. They lived at 33 Douglas Street (now Douglas Way) and then 52 Florence Road, where Ellen died on 4 October 1888. Jesse and the children then moved to 60 Wickham Road.

Jesse stood for election, apparently unsuccessfully, as a Thames Conservator in 1897. (The Conservators were the forerunners of the Port of London Authority.) During his first term as Mayor Benjamin gave evidence on behalf of the Company of Watermen and Lightermen to the Royal Commission whose findings led to the formation of the Port of London Authority. During he second term he was a guest at the King's Levee in the St James's Palace Garden Party.

During his time as Mayor Jesse was at the Broadway Theatre in New Cross on 16 December 1906 when the Dickens Fellowship Dramatic Society gave a performance of a play based on Dombey and Son in aid of the Lord Mayor's Cripples Fund. Jesse promised a donation of £5 but subsequently donated 5 guineas. A few weeks later Jesse's son Harry died at 60 Wickham Road on New Years Day 1907. The Duchess of Albany visited Deptford on 14 May 1907 and Jesse welcomed her to the Deptford Fund Refuge at St Peter's Hall, Brockley. On 12 July 1907 Jesse attended the centenary festival dinner of the City of London Truss Society. Jesse died at 60 Wickham Road on 27 January 1908, less than three months after his term as Mayor ended.

Mary Elizabeth died on 29 June 1911 and Benjamin Joseph on 24 January 1918.

Benjamin Joseph's son Reginald followed his father onto the river and was Master of The Company of Watermen and Lightermen in 1922.

B. Jacob & Sons Ltd carried on, until going into voluntary liquidation in 1967 and being wound up in 1968, presumably as a result of containerisation.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Conservative Election Poster

According to the site this somewhat irreverent alteration to a Tory billboard is near to New Cross Gate station.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mayors of Deptford

The Metropolitan Borough of Deptford was created by The London Government Act 1899, and abolished by the London Government Act 1963. The first election of councillors to the new Borough took place on 1st November 1900. Over the next 65 years 43 men and 5 women held the office of Mayor up until the Borough's abolition in 1965.

The list of Mayors in the council chamber of Deptford Town Hall on New Cross Road.

Some of those listed have blocks of council flats named after them, some are only remembered by their families and some are forgotten. One (Scott) appears under a different name to his name (Schultz) when he was Mayor. I will post about those I have further information on and add links to other sites where appropriate. Any information from relatives of those listed would be much appreciated.

Mayors of Deptford
1900 - 1902 Benjamin Joseph Jacob
1902 - 1903 Alexander Dickson
1903 - 1904 W A Scott
1904 - 1905 Joseph Arthur Pyne
1905 - 1906 John Peppercorn JP
1906 - 1907 Jesse Jacob
1907 - 1908 Ernest G Simmonds
1908 - 1909 E Mumford Preston
1909 - 1911 Edward G H Berryman
1911 - 1912 E Mumford Preston
1912 - 1913 W A Scott JP
1913 - 1914 W F Marchant
1914 - 1920 Lt Col Sir W A Wayland
1920 - 1922 Walter Henry Green JP
1922 - 1923 Joseph Tiffen
1923 - 1924 George Tams
1924 - 1925 Frederick J Bryer
1925 - 1926 Frank Trew
1926 - 1927 Robert L W Hall
1927 - 1928 Beatrice M Drapper JP
1928 - 1929 Frederick D W Ross
1929 - 1930 Walter Taylor
1930 - 1931 Arthur Aplin
1931 - 1932 George William Strong
1932 - 1933 John Speakman JP
1933 - 1934 William T Cleobury
1934 - 1935 John Edward Pearson
1935 - 1936 John Harrington
1936 - 1937 Horatio Albert Waldegrave
1937 - 1938 Frederick Bright
1938 - 1939 Ernest C Sherwood
1939 - 1945 Colin G Blanchard OBE
1946 - 1947 William James Coombs
1946 - 1947 Richard Anderson
1947 - 1949 Eugene Murphy
1949 - 1950 Edward Arthur Robinson
1950 - 1951 Frederick Rolf
1951 - 1952 George J Umpleby
1952 - 1953 Frederick John Morris
1953 - 1954 Doris Burley
1954 - 1955 Robert S Marriott
1955 - 1956 Alice Margaret Ott
1956 - 1957 Alfred Seabrook Simons
1957 - 1958 Mary J Chrisp
1958 - 1959 Albert John Blackman
May - Oct 1959 Lt Col Colin G Blanchard OBE (died 23 Oct)
Nov 1959- 1960 Albert John Blackman
1960 - 1961 William Hall
1961 - 1962 Robert James Lowe
1962 - 1963 Florence K Dolby
1963 - 1964 Frederick W Bullion
1964 - 1965 Charles F Fordham

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

East London Line Farce

This morning I attempted to travel between Deptford and Whitechapel. Being aware that the re-opening of the East London Line had been postponed I made the (perhaps naive)presumption that the ELW replacement bus service would be running the same service as in recent months.

Coming out of Shadwell DLR station there was a "Buses on diversion sign" at the south end of Watney Street pointing west (along Cable Street). I walked to the usual bus stop in Candle Street to find notices saying that the ELW would stop running on Friday 16th April.

I telephoned Transport for London's Travel Information line. The clearly uninterested 'travel advisor' was less than helpful, trying to tell me that the replacement bus service had stopped running several months ago. I explained that the ELC (south of the river) had stopped last year and repeated what the notices said. Eventually, after much umming and arring he transferred me to London Overground (or rather yet another menu). When I eventually spoke to someone their response was basically 'Dunno mate I'll have to transfer you to the East London Line". After brief ringing tone there was a recorded message "The dialled number cannot be reached" and the call ended.

I explained the result of my call to four other passengers at the stop and then a Wapping bound ELW came round the corner. I asked the driver if Whitechapel bound ELW buses were stopping there. He said yes, but he did not know if there were any other buses on the route today apart from him. Not knowing how long it would take to get to Whitechapel, or how long it would take to get home, I gave up and caught the DLR back to south London.

On my return I telephoned Transport for London's Customer Relations department to complain. I explained the above and the person suggested 47 to Liverpool Street and another bus from there. I explained that I was perfectly capable of working out alternative routes, but in addition to my complaint about how my earlier call had been handled I also wanted to know how often the ELW is actually running. I was told that I would get a response within 10 working days. I suggested that 10 days to find out how often a bus is running was a bit excessive, but to no avail.

I then searched on the TfL website for contact details for the East London Line and found 0800 587 2441, called it only to get the same recorded message as above. I then called the TfL main switchboard and was given the number 020 7826 4863. I dialled it and yet again received the same recorded message. I called the main switchboard again and was put through to a supervisor at the Travel Information office. He managed to be even less helpful than the travel advisor I had spoken to earlier. After telling him several times I wished to know how often the ELW was running he insisted on trying to suggest other routes. He then claimed that he could not tell me how often the bus runs unless I told him exactly which 'points' I was travelling to and from. (In that the ELW runs between Wapping and Whitechapel and only stops at Shadwell this was nonsense.) I reminded him that I had already told where I was trying to catch the ELW to and from. He than started telling me that buses stop at 'points' and that if I did not tell him what 'points' he would be unable to find out the information. He then suddenly said he would have to transfer me - to the same recorded message.

I rang the main switchboard yet again and they said that they had tried to find out what was wrong with the East London Line's telephones but to no avail and suggested I leave it an hour or two before trying again.

I took some time to look at TfL's Journeyplanner site and it suggested Deptford to Whitechapel via Cannon Street and Deptford Bridge to Whitechapel via Bank or Bow Road. Entering Shadwell to Whitechapel suggested DLR to Bank and District to Whitechapel - no mention of the ELW bus. Put together with the supervisor's waffle about points, the suspicion must be that Travel Information these days is merely people looking up journeyplanner without much idea about what to do if information is wrong or missing.

At 5.15pm the main switchboard eventually managed to connect me with the East London Line office. I was told that the ELW should be operating a 15 minute service until the line re-opens and that the signs on the bus stop should have been removed this morning. I explained all the problems that I had experienced today and was told that Journeyplanner would be updated, and that the incorrect signage would be removed.

There has been much speculation about when the East London Line will re-open, and why dates have been announced and then withdrawn. My farcial experiences today suggest that we should brace ourselves for a repeat of the shambles when the Jubilee Line Extension opened some ten years ago, and no doubt a re-run of the present day engineering works on the Jubilee to correct the construction foul-ups. After all if this multi-milion pound project cannot arrange the removal of signs from three bus stops and the entry of simple timetable information on a database can we seriously believe that they are capable of building a functioning railway?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Master Shipwright's House for Sale

Leafing through the Times this morning my eye was caught by this photograph of the Master Shipwright's House in the Bricks and Mortar property supplement. (link to article) The house is for sale with an asking price of £5,000,000. Marcus Binney refers to the house appearing in John Cleverly's 1747 painting of the St Albans being floated out of dry dock. The painting is here.

This 300 year old building is hidden away at the north end of Watergate Street adjacent to the Upper Watergate. It is the only private house in Deptford, and one of only a handful downstream of central London, that has a garden right on the waterfront.

For nearly 300 years ownership of the house lay with the owners of what was the Royal Dockyard (the Crown), the Foreign Cattle Market (the City Corporation), Reserve Supply Depot (the Crown again) and eventually Convoys Wharf (News International). Back in the mid 1990s when News were still investing in Convoys Wharf the house was regarded as a nuisance and was eventually sold off to William and Chris in 1998.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Fair Betsy of Deptford

Fellow local blogger Transpontine has, over the years, been collecting and posting South London Songs. Fair Betsy of Deptford, alternatively Pretty Betsy of Deptford, appears in his lists as in several others. The text of the song is difficult to find, but back in 2004 I downloaded an image file of the song. I cannot remember from where I downloaded it, so many apologies to the owner of the image file.

Come all you pretty fair maids of every degree,
I pray give attention awhile unto me
The story of a fair maid to you I will unfold
Pretty Betsy of Deptford and her young sailor bold

Pretty Betsy was handsome and fair to be seen,
Her cheeks were like roses her age scarce sixteen,
Beloved and respected by all we are told,
And admired by William a young sailor bold

She was courted by William her faithful true-love,
And their vows to each other they offered above,
Their secrets of love they did often unfold
Fair Betsy of Deptford and her young sailor bold

It was early one morning before it was day,
Young Betsy, cried William, I must now away,
To cross the salt ocean for honor and gold
Then be constant & true to your young sailor bold

The anchor is weigh'd they are spreading the sails
The wind it blows fresh I must weather the gales
Take this ring dearest Betsy of emerald gold
As a token of love from your young sailor bold

They kiss'd & they parted tears fell from their eyes
Oh, William don't leave me fair Betsy she cries,
Don't venture your life on the ocean for gold
Stay at home with your Betsy my young sailor bold

Then to sea went young William thro storms & rain
And left pretty Betsy a weeping in vain
Eight years in a valley she wandered we are told
While round the world sail'd the young sailor bold

She wept and she mourn'd & her bosom did burn
And she cried my dear William when will you return
You have left me bewailing your affections are sold
Then the ocean she watched for her young sailor bold

Eight years in the valley fair Betsy did roam
At length her young sailor to England came home.
And when that young William did Betsy behold
She cried I lament for my young sailor bold

Dearest Betsy cried William love don't you know me
Eight years from Betsy I have ploughed the salt sea
I have brought you fine presents some rubies & gold
Pray don't you know William your young sailor bold

She shrieked and wept in transports she cried
When she saw her dear William to stand by her side
Crying I value no presents no rubies or gold
I rejoice at the sight of my young sailor bold

To the church they repaired & and in wedlock was tied
Young William to Betsy his beautiful bride
In a neat little cottage resides we are told
Pretty Betsy of Deptford & her young sailor bold