“Henry Green (The Murdered Wife)”


Henry Green threatens suicide if Mary Wyatt will not marry him (she is unsure about the idea because he is rich and she is poor). Soon after the marriage, he poisons her. She forgives him before she dies, but he is sentenced to death


The Digital Tradition editors speculate that this was adapted from the music hall song "Billy Vite and Molly Green." This is conceivable, but a significant stretch -- this song is serious, "Billy" comic; "Billy" involves a supernatural element, and in "Billy" it is the boy who is poor and the girl rich. - RBW

Leach-Labrador notes that "the murder took place in Rensselaer County, New York" - BS

Historical references

  • 1845 - Murder of Mary Ann Wyatt Green (February) and execution of Henry Green (September)

Cross references


  1. Laws F14, "Henry Green (The Murdered Wife)"
  2. Belden, p. 321, "Henry Green" (1 text)
  3. Randolph 157, "Henry Green" (3 texts, 1 tune)
  4. Flanders/Brown, pp. 65-68, "Henry Green" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. Leach, pp. 792-793, "Henry Green" (1 text)
  6. FSCatskills 66, "The Arsenic Tragedy" (1 text, 1 tune)\
  7. Gardner/Chickering 142, "Young Henry Green" (1 text plus an excerpt, 1 tune)
  8. Peacock, pp. 624-627, "The Murder of Miss Wyatt" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
  9. Leach-Labrador 100, "Henry Green" (1 text, 1 tune)
  10. Burt, pp. 11-13, (no title) (1 partial text, 1 tune, plus an excerpt from this or a related ballad)
  11. DT 666, ARSENICT*
  12. Roud #693
  13. BI, LF14


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1922 (Belden)
Found in: US(MA,NE,SE,So) Canada(Newf)