“The Lamentation of Hugh Reynolds”


Hugh Reynolds loves Catherine McCabe who, by perjury, has him condemned to be hanged. "With irons I'm surrounded, in grief I lie confounded, by perjury unbounded; she's the dear maid to me"


Sparling: "Both families were County Cavan people and Catholics, but there was a feud between them, begun over 'a bit of land.' ... Catharine was very reluctant, and her evidence had to be forced from her. Her uncle was universally credited with being the instigator of the prosecution, and the vindictive inventor of the plot by which Reynolds was captured and convicted. The girl died soon after--of a broken heart, say the gossips; who also report that 'Divine vengeance' followed the M'Cabes."

Duffy: "'She's a dear maid to me.' Perhaps the English reader will require to be told that this is not to be taken in its literal meaning; it is a proverbial expression, implying that he would pay dearly for his acquaintance with her."

"Another popular ballad on the same subject is 'The Abduction of the Quaker's Daughter' by John M'Goldrick." (source: Chapters of Dublin History site: John Edward Walsh, _Ireland Sixty Years Ago_ (1911), "Chapter III. Abduction - Abduction Clubs - The Misses Kennedy - Miss Knox") - BS

Historical references

  • March 28, 1826 - Hugh Reynolds executed for the abduction of Catherine M'Cabe (source: Sparling [see notes])

Cross references


  1. OLochlainn 66, "The Lamentation of Hugh Reynolds" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. ADDITIONAL: H. Halliday Sparling, Irish Minstrelsy (London, 1888), pp. 380-381, 513, "The Lamentation of Hugh Reynolds"
  3. Charles Gavan Duffy, editor, The Ballad Poetry of Ireland (1845), pp. 152-153, "The Lamentation of Hugh Reynolds"
  4. Roud #2395
  5. BI, OLoc066


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1845 (Duffy)
Found in: Ireland