A Collection of Songs and Ballads Relative to the London Prentices and Trades; And to the Affairs of London Generally

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In offering this collection to the members of the Percy Society, the Editor thinks it necessary to say a few words in explanation of his departure from his original intention of confining it solely to Songs and Ballads relating to the London Prentices and Trades during the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries. The London Prentices were, during this period, and especially towards the latter part of it, a very important body; and it was thought that it would be a matter of comparatively small difficulty to collect a number of ballads relating to them sufficient to form of themselves a volume of moderate size. Upon further investigation, however, it was found that the number extant was not so great as was anticipated, and, of this number, some were unworthy, and many more unfit on the score of decency, for republication in the present day. It was therefore deemed advisable to extend the design of the collection, and to include, not only ballads relating to the Prentices and Trad but to the public events and politics of L in general.

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