Thomas Percy, Reliques of Ancient English Poetry

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Popularly called “Percy’s Reliques”, after its editor, Thomas Percy [see separate entry], Reliques of Ancient English Poetry (1765) is a three-volume collection of traditional English ballads, popular songs and poetry, and historical verse, dating from the Middle Ages to the mid-eighteenth century. There are traditional ballads included such as “Chevy-Chase”, “Sir Patrick Spence”, and “The Not-browne Mayd”, songs from Shakespeare, translations from the Moorish, Scottish songs, as well as recent political verses such as “Admiral Hosier’s Ghost” and “Lilli-burlero” (as whistled persistently by uncle Toby in Tristram Shandy).

Percy’s Reliques is a pivotal text, marking the …

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Citation: Groom, Nick. "Reliques of Ancient English Poetry". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 15 March 2003 [, accessed 23 September 2023.]

2420 Reliques of Ancient English Poetry 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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