Skip to main content

Ballad-pamphlets were produced on a mass scale by the new printing presses in Wales during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Hawkers often sang ballads aloud in the market-place or at the fairground. With regards to content; some were of religious and moral tone and others discussed historic and current affairs; such as local and national crimes, riots and industrial accidents and incidences. The ballad played an important role in the social and cultural life of Wales during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. By the nineteenth century ballads were being printed at 96 towns and villages across Wales and were bought in their thousands, often by individuals of the lower classes. Their populist nature attracted and recruited many new Welsh readers. Lewis Llanrwst Davies bids farewell to his fellow-countrymen as he begins his journey to America.