Outlaws and Highwaymen

‘The Female Frollick’
The Female Frollick, facsimile reprint in The Pepys Ballads, ed. W. G. Day, (Cambridge, D. S. Brewer, 1987), III, 246.

c. 1690

The Female Frollick:
An Account of a young Gentlewoman, who went upon the Road to rob in Man’s Cloaths, well mounted on a Mare, &c.

To an excellent new Tune called The Rant.

You Gallants of every Station,
give ear to a Frollicksome Song;
The like was ne’er seen in the Nation,
’twas done by a Female so young.

She bought her a Mare and a Bridle,
a Saddle, and Pistols also,
She resolved she would not be idle,
for upon the Pad she did go.1

She Cloathed her self in great Splendor,
for Breeches and Sword she had on,
Her Body appear’d very slender;
she show’d like a pretty Young-man.

And then like a Padder so witty,2
she mounted with speed on her Mare;
She left all her Friends in the City,
and steered her Course towards Ware.3

The first that she met was a Grocer
was walking with Cane in his Hand,
She soon to the Spark came up closer,
and boldly she bid him to stand.

She took from him but a Guinea,
and then met a Taylor with Shears,
And because the poor Rogue had no Money,
she genteely clipt off his Ears.

The next that she met was a Tanner.
for loss of his money he cry’d,
And because he bauld in this manner,
she handsomely tanned his Hide.

She rode about seven-miles farther,
and then a Stage-Coach she did Rob;
The Passengers all cry’d out Murther:
but this was a Fifty-pound Jobb.

And then she robb’d a Welsh Miller,
she fac’d him and gave him the Word:
Hur splutter’d, and swore hur would kill hur,
if that hur had got but hur Sword.

And then she came up with a Quaker,
she told him, she must have his Coin:
Quoth he, Thou silly Wise-acre
thou shalt have no Money of mine.

She show’d him a Pistol to prove him;
he told her by Yea and by Nay,
That since the good Spirit did move him,
she might take his Money away.

An Excise-man, she then next accoasted,
and bid him Deliver with speed;
He often of Valour had boasted,
but he was a Coward indeed.

She Rifled him then of his Money;
oh! this was a very rich Prize,
She took from him Four-score Guinneys,
which he had receiv’d for Excise.

The next that she met was a Padder,
well mounted upon a bay Nag;
Oh this made her so much the gladder,
she told him she wanted a bag.

He thought she would certainly fight him,
prepared himself out of hand:
And she was resolved to fright him,
she damn’d him, and bid him to stand.

He presently drew out his Rapier
and bid her to stand on her guard;
But quickly away she did Caper,
the High-way-man, follow’d her hard.

He follow’d and soon overtook her,
and searched her Breeches with speed;
And as he did well overlook her,
he found her a Woman indeed!

The High-way man stood all amazed;
but she had no cause to complain.
Tho’ with her he did what he pleased,
he gave her the Money again.

Textual Note

In the original, stanza 6 has ‘of’ for ‘off’; stanza 8 has ‘Iobb’ for ‘Jobb’


Notes and page design © Gillian Spraggs 2001, 2007
Text added to site on 31 December 2001 | Page last modified on 28 August 2007

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