The Maunder’s Wooing

The Maunder’s Wooing
By SAMUEL ROWLANDS in Martin Mark-all, Beadle of Bridewell: His Defence and Answere to the Belman of London:—“I will shew you  what I heard at Knock-vergos, drinking there a pot of English  Ale, two Maunders borne and bred vp rogues wooing in their natiue  language”.


  O Ben mort wilt thou pad with me,1 good woman, tramp
One ben slate shall serue both thee and me,2 sheet
  My Caster and Commission shall serue vs both to maund,3 cloak; shirt; beg
My bong, my lowre & fambling cheates4 purse; money; rings
  Shall be at thy command.


  O Ben Coue that may not be, 5 good man
For thou hast an Autem mort who euer that is she,6 wife
  If that she were dead & bingd to his long tibb,7 gone to her longhome
Then would I pad and maund with thee,8 tramp and beg
  And wap and fon the fibb.9 Notes


 O ben mort Castle out & Towre,10 find out
Where all the Roome coues slopne that we may tip the lowre,11 thieves; congregate; get money
  When we haue tipt the lowre & fenc’t away the duds12 sold the swag
Then binge we to the bowzing ken,13 go to the alehouse
  Thats cut the Robin Hood.14 called the "Robin Hood."


  But O ben Coue what if we be clyd, 15 arrested?
Long we cannot foist & nip at last we shall be spyed, 16 cheat and steal
  If that we be spied, O then begins our woe,
With the Harman beake out and alas, 17 magistrate
  To Wittington we goe. 18 Newgate


  Stow your whids & plant, and whid no more of that 19 Hold your jaw! hide, and say no more
Budg a beak the crackmas & tip lowr with thy prat 20 Notes
  If treyning thou dost feare, thou ner wilt foist a Ian, 21 hanging; pick a purse
Then mill, and wap and treine for me, 22 rob; whore; hang
  A gere peck in thy gan. 23 Notes

As they were thus after a strange maner a wooing, in comes by chance a
clapper-dudgeon 24 Notes for a pinte of Ale, who as soone as he was spied,
they left off their roguish poetry, and fell to mocke of the poor
maunder thus.


The clapper dugeon lies in the skipper, 25 beggar; barn
He dares not come out for shame,
But when he binges out he dus budg to the gigger, 26 comes out; goes to people’s doors—"Put something in my wallet."
Tip in my skew good dame.


See previous Note.

Stanza II, line 2. Autem mort = a wife; thus Harman, Caveat (1575):—“These Autem Mortes be maried wemen, as there be but a fewe. For Autem in their Language is a Churche; so she is a wyfe maried at the Church, and they be as chaste as a Cowe I have, that goeth to Bull every moone, with what Bull she careth not.” Line 5. wap = to lie carnally with.

Stanza IV, line 5. Whittington = Newgate, from the famous Lord Mayor of London who left a bequest to rebuild the gaol. After standing for 230 years Whittington’s building was demolished in 1666.

Stanza V, line 2. Crackmans = hedges or bushes. Tip lowr with thy prat = (literally) get money with thy buttocks, i.e. by prostitution.

Stanza VI, line 2. Clapperdogen = (B. E. Dict. Cant. Crew, 1690) “a beggar born and bred”; also Harman, Caveat, etc. p. 44:—“ these go with patched clokes, and have their morts with them, which they call wives.”

Taken from Musa Pedestris, Three Centuries of Canting Songs and Slang Rhymes [1536―1896], collected and annotated by John S. Farmer.

previous * next


Rhymes Of The Canting Crew.
The Beggar’s Curse
Towre Out Ben Morts
The Maunder’s Wooing
A Gage Of Ben Rom-Bouse
Bing Out, Bien Morts
The Song Of The Beggar
The Maunder’s Initiation
The High Pad’s Boast
The Merry Beggars
A Mort’s Drinking Song
A Beggar I’ll Be
A Budg And Snudg Song
The Maunder’s Praise Of His Strowling Mort
. . .