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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William Nicholson (1782-1849)



Born in August 1782 in Borgue, a village of Kirkcudbrightshire, a part of today’s Dumfries and Galloway. He was widely known and loved as “Wandering Wull” when he was a travelling packman in the rural areas of south-west Scotland, where he would sing songs of his own composition. He loved ballads, songs, and local antiquities, which brought him the nickname, the “Bard of Galloway”. His ballad “The Brownie of Blednoch”, an anthology piece popularly known as “Aiken Drum”, is the product of his sensibility towards local culture and language. (Y. Y.)

1.The Brownie of Blednoch