“The Sir Robert Peel”


"In the pleasant month of May, 'twas the year of thirty-eight... It was down in the narrows where they watched for the eel Lay her majesty's steamer called the Sir Robert Peel." Forced to land in America, the ship is burnt to avenge the Caroline


For the history of the Canadian rebellion, which led to the events in this song, see the notes on "An Anti-Rebel Song" and "Farewell to Mackenzie."

This song is item dA33 in Laws's Appendix II. - RBW

Historical references

  • Dec 29, 1837 - The American vessel the Caroline, which had been transporting supplies to the Canadian rebels, is set afire and run over Niagara Falls by Canadians led by Captain Andrew Drew
  • May 30, 1838 - The Sir Robert Peel halts at Wells Island to take on wood. Raiders led by Bill Johnston attack her, take off her crew, and set her afire to avenge the Caroline


  1. Fowke/Mills/Blume, pp. 76-78, "The 'Sir Robert Peel'" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Roud #4031
  3. BI, FMB076


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1960
Found in: US(MA)