Modern Street Ballads


Oh listen unto William Palmer,
Who does in anguish sore bewail,
Now guilty they at last have found me,
And sent me back to Stafford Jail.
Every one appears against me,
Every person does me hate,
What excitement is impending,
On guilty William Palmer’s fate.

My trial causes great excitement,
In town and country everywhere,
Now guilty found is William Palmer,
Of Rugeley town in Stafford Shire.

Many years I was a sportsman,
Many wondrous deeds I’ve done,
Many a race I have attended,
Many a thousand, lost and won.
They say I poisoned my wife’s mother,
And took away her precious life,
And slew poor Cook and my own brother,
And poisoned my own lawful wife.

Everything looks black against me,
That I really must confess,
The very thoughts that do oppress me,
Causes me pain and distress,
Now the jury did convict me,
And prove I did commit the deed,
And, sentence passed on William Palmer,
To Stafford I was sent with speed.

In Rugeley I was once respected,
A gentleman, lived at my ease,
With noblemen I was connected,
And sporting men of all degrees.
Although a Doctor no one knew me
To do anything amiss,
Now each one strives to undo me,
I never thought I’d come to this.

My poor old mother now at Rugeley,
My awful end must now bewail,
To know her son must die with scorn,
A felon’s death in Stafford Jail.
Every charge alleged against me,
I have strongly it denied,
Twelve long days my trial lasteed,
And now I am condemned to die.

Dreadful is my situation,
Before the awful bar I stand,
I might have filled a noble station,
Unfortunate, unhappy man.
Infants yet unborn will mention,
When to manhood they appear,
The name of Doctor William Palmer,
Of Rugeley town, in Staffordshire.

Will no one sympathize with Palmer,
Who every charge did strong deny,
You are all aware I am found guilty,
For by a Jury I’ve been tried.
My situation makes me tremble,
I am borne down with grief and care,
All conversation is of Palmer,
Of Rugeley town, in Staffordshire.

* Executed June 14, 1856.

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