“The Royal Oak”


While sailing on the "Royal Oak", the singer and his fellows spy ten Turkish men-of-war. They sink three, burn three, drive three off, and capture the last, which they drag into Portsmouth harbor. The singer praises their skipper, Capt. Wellfounder.


[Lloyd repeats's Firth's suggestion that] the song is based on "Kempthorne's repulse of the seven Algerine ships, December 29, 1669." - PJS

Just for the record: I know of no instance of Turkish warships getting close enough to England to be hauled to Portsmouth. - RBW

While Leach-Labrador calls this "The Marigold," its ship's name is the Martha Jane, with "Captain White from fair Bristow" - BS


  1. Vaughan Williams/Lloyd, p. 91, "The Royal Oak" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Greenleaf/Mansfield 42, "Turkish Men-o'-War" (1 text)
  3. Leach-Labrador 56, "The Marigold" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. Roud #951
  6. BI, VWL091


Alternate titles: “Turkish Men of War”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1912
Found in: Britain(England(South)) Canada(Newf)