Ballads & Poems

In Sir Cloudesley Shovell’s time, honour and gallantry among men of the armed forces was prized and praised, especially in the navy. For his courageous deeds at sea, Shovell was knighted in 1689 by King William III. Ballads (a narrative story set to music) about the life of sailors and their heroic actions were common and very popular. These verses romanticized a sailor’s time in the navy, which was actually incredibly dangerous. Many men died at sea, including Shovell. These ballads celebrate English naval victories during Shovell’s lifetime. In October of 1707, after Shovell’s death, a poem of condolence was written to the entire navy, regretting the loss of such an admiral.