Welcome to The British Literary Ballads Archive, a site dedicated to a unique genre of literary imitations of traditional ballads. The site contains a growing archive of over 700 poems, as well as short biographical sketches of the poets who wrote them.

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Robert Surtees (1779-1834)


A poet, historian and antiquary born in Durham, February 1779. He devoted himself to the study of local history and other antiquarian matters, and his intellectual passion culminated in the publication of The History of Durham (1816-40). After his death, the Surtees Society was founded in 1834 to carry out his mission as a topographer of his local region. He also had a gift for ballad writing, and some of his ballads such as “The Raid of Featherstonehaugh” and “Barthram’s Dirge”, were published in Scott’s Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border (3 vols, 1802-3). (Y. Y.)

1.Barthram’s Dirge
2.The Raid of Featherstonehaugh
3.Lord Ewrie