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The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
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Ye men that will of adventurous men
‘The Felon Sew’ or ‘Felon Sowe and the Freeres of Richmonde’ — a mock-heroic poem, possibly parodying The Awnturs of Arthur (2628) — forty-one 6-line tail-rhyme stanza.
Title(s): The Felon Sew; Felon Sowe and the Freeres of Richmonde
Subjects: parodies
Versification: — six-line — aabccb



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Untraced, Present whereabouts unknown 1654 transcript by Sir Thomas Rokeby
First Lines:
Ye men that will of Aunters mene
That lately in this Land hath bene
Of one I will you tell
Of a Sew at was Sea Strang
Alas at ever She lived Sea Lang
For Fell folke did She wheell…
Last Lines:
…Ralph Rokeby with full good will
The Fryers of Richmond gave her till
This Sew to mend their fare
Fryer Middleton by name
Needs would bring the fat Sew haime
That rewed him Since full Sare
Note: Transcripts: (a) 1654 transcript by Sir Thomas Rokeby, present location unknown; (b) 1712 transcript made for Richard Boylston, present location unknown; (c) 1815 transcript made by Langham Rokeby, present location unknown; (d) eighteenth-century transcript is olim Leeds Public Library, Hopkinson MS, present location unknown; (e) nineteenth-century transcript of d by Hunter is London, British Library Addit. 24470, ff. 294-333.
Editions:
Whitaker, Thomas Dunham. An History of Richmondshire, in the North Riding of the County of York. 2 vols. London: Longman, 1823: (a).
Whitaker, Thomas Dunham. The History and Antiquities of the Deanery of Craven. London: Nicholas, 1805: (b); repr. Evans (1810), 3.270.
Hallen, Arthur Washington Cornelius, ed. Oeconomic Rokebeiorum: an account of the family of Rokeby. Edinburgh: Douglas, 1807: (b), collating c and d.
Scott, Sir Walter. Rokeby: a poem. Charlestown: Etheridge, 1813; rev. ed. 1830: (c or poss. 1); note iii; rev. ed., note lii.
Bell, Robert. Early Ballads Illustrative of History, Traditions, and Customs. London: G. Bell, 1877; orig. ed. 1856: 349.
Robertson, James Logie, ed. The Poetical Works of Sir Walter Scott. London, NY: Frowde, 1909: 402.
Cowling, G. H., ed. “The Felon Sew: A Mock-Heroic Poem of the Fifteenth Century.” Essays and Studies by Members of the English Association (1922): 70-89: 79-89 (critical ed.).