“Watty Grimes”


Watty Grimes blames Billy McKeever for blackmailing him into leaving his family to join a raid to aid Antrim. They "spent that whole night with a bottle and glass." Watty is deserted in the field, flees, is taken, jailed in Coleraine, tried and executed.

Historical references

  • Jun 7, 1798 - "A party of insurgents led by William M'Keiver assembled at Crew Hill, near Maghera, Co. Derry, in order to assist the United Irishmen of Antrim" (source: Moylan)


  • Bodleian, Harding B 26(666), "Watty Grimes" ("In the year '98, as you may understand"), The Poet's Box (Belfast), 1846-1852


  1. Moylan 81, "Watty Grimes" (2 texts)
  2. BI, Moyl081


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1845 (Shield's _Songs and Ballads in use in the Province of Ulster...1845_, according to Moylan)