The Guardian in verse | State Library of New South Wales

The Guardian in verse

Broadside ballads were a popular and cheap way of broadcasting news, gossip and stories in verse and song. They were very popular between the 16th and the mid-19th centuries, an era where newspapers were expensive due to heavy taxes. Broadside ballads were usually printed on one side of cheap paper and sold at roadside stalls. They were performed at taverns and other public places where people gathered to talk about the events of the day. Disasters were a popular topic for ballad writers, and the two below are based on the story of Captain Riou and the Guardian.

The Unfortunate voyage of the Guardian man of war, London : s.n., 1790
Printed broadside  Drawer item 339


Forecastle sailor, or the Guardian frigate, c. 1860s? Printed and sold by W. Collard, Bridewell-lane, Bristol, and Hotwell-road, where travellers and shopkeepers may be supplied.
Printed broadside  Drawer item 304