“Derwentwater's Farewell”


"Farewell to pleasant Dilston Hall, my father's ancient seat, A stranger now must call thee his." The singer bids farewell to his friends, to Tyne, to his steed. He must die in London, but asks to be buried in Northumberland


Stokoe reports that "there is more than a suspicion that it was the offspring of the facile pen of the late Robert Surtees of Mainsforth, although he presented it to his friend and correspondent, Sir Walter Scott, as a poem of the period to which it refers; and it was inserted, on Scott's recomendation, in James Hogg's _Jacobite Relics of Scotland_ in 1819."

For all that it is a false folksong, it's fairly effective as a lament for one slain far from home.

There is a certain tendency, which is quite understandable, to confuse this with "Lord Derwentwater," but the forms of the two pieces are clearly distinct. For historical background on Derwentwater, see the Child ballad. - RBW

Historical references

  • 1715 - the 1715 Jacobite rebellion
  • Sept. 1715 - Warrant issued for Derwentwater's arrest. He responds by openly going into revolt
  • Nov. 14, 1715 - Derwentwater and his comrades forced to surrender
  • Feb 24, 1716 - Execution of Derwentwater at the age of (probably) 26

Cross references


  1. Stokoe/Reay, pp. 4-5, "Derwentwater's Farewell" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. DT 208, DRWNTFRW*
  3. Roud #2616
  4. BI, Sto004


Author: Robert Surtees
Earliest date: 1819 (Hogg)
Found in: Britain(England(North))