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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Hector MacNeill (1746-1818)


Scottish poet, born near Roslin, Midlothian, Scotland. Son of a poor army captain, MacNeill went to work as a counting-house clerk in 1760 at the age of fourteen. Soon, he was sent to the West Indies, and served as an assistant secretary on board a navy flagship (1780-86). After he returned to Scotland, he wrote various political pamphlets, two novels, and several poems, but is best known for his songs, such as “My Luve’s in Germanie”, “My Boy Tammy”, and “Come under my Plaidie”. He died in Edinburgh in 1818. (M. Y.)

1.Come under my Plaidie
2.Donald and Flora
3.Dornock Ha’
4.The Wee Thing; or, Mary of Castle-Cary
5.My Boy Tammy
6.O Tell Me How for to Woo