“The Murder of John Dugar”


John Dugar and Charles Robisher quarrel. Dugar murders Captain Charles. Dugar reaches Liverpool and tries to take ship, but is overtaken by a detective. He is tried and condemned.

Supplemental text

Murder of John Dugar, The
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

From Helen Hartness Flanders and Marguerite Olney, Ballads
Migrant in New England, pp. 172-173. From W. B. Morton,
originally of Shelburne, Nova Scotia. Collected 1937.

Come now, my friends, both old and young;
Give your attention, ev'ry one.
This murderous deed rings everywhere
This happened in the County Claire.

The first broke out was John Dugar.
In his own hands he took the law.
He throwed off coat and hat withmight
And dared the other out to fight.

(Stanzas 1, 3 of 11)


Helen Flanders's informant, W. B. Morton, believed that this murder took place in Digby, Nova Scotia, although his text (which is complete on the face of it but badly confused) seems to point to County Clare in Ireland - RBW


  1. Flanders/Olney, pp. 172-173, "The Murder of John Dugar" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. ST FO172 (Partial)
  3. Roud #4681
  4. BI, FO172


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1937 (Flanders/Olney)
Found in: US(NE)