“Balbriggen Landlord”


"Low-bred landlords" raise rents and drive starving tenants. "Viva la for Hampton landlords" who voted against Union and stood with Flood, Burke, Grattan and Parnell. "Viva la" for Parnell "driving foes and Landlord Reptiles from his native land"


Broadside Bodleian Harding B 26(659) is the basis for the description.

Zimmermann pp. 61-62: "From a moderate and somewhat ineffective party, the Home Rule movement became a decisive force when Charles Stewart Parnell rose to leadership. In forming a temporary alliance with the revolutionaries and playing an important part in the Land League agitation, he vastly increased his prestige. Old song-themes were revived in his honour." This broadside is one of the examples Zimmermann cites.

Balbriggan is in County Dublin, Ireland.

Henry Grattan (1746-1820) and Henry Flood (1732-1791) were eighteenth century Protestants who formed a Patriot Party calling for Irish independence (source: "1700 - 1800" in _Ireland Information_ at the World Infozone site). Burke may be one of the Fenians General Thomas H Burke or Colonel Richard O'Sullivan Burke [one of whom is assumed to be the Burke of "Burke's Dream"]; Edmund Burke, though a supporter of Irish Catholic liberation, seems unlikely [to me]. [Me too. Extremely. He was too conservative. - RBW] For some information on Parnell (1846-1891) and the Land League see RBW's note to "The Bold Tenant Farmer." - BS

In addition, there is information on Grattan and Flood in the entry on "Ireland's Glory" and "Harry Flood's Election Song."

Since Saint Patrick was credited (falsely) with driving the snakes from Ireland, the reference to "driving... Landlord reptiles" is surely a way of calling then snakes. Which, in context, is largely true; while British policy toward Ireland was usually benighted, it was the landlords -- many of them Irish, we note -- who truly ruined the lot of the Irish peasants. - RBW

Cross references


  • Bodleian, Harding B 26(659), "A New Song Dedicated to an Upstart Balbriggan Landlord" ("Viva la our landlords' mounted"), unknown, n.d.


Author: unknown