Orsam Books

The Ballard of the Clanger

In his obsessive/compulsive attempt to blame Hallie Rubenhold for being the person who first claimed that Conway wrote or co-wrote ballads, the Clanger seems to have lost the ability to read English.   In #36 of his 'creation of a myth' thread on JTR Forums he said:

'When you read this, 'one of the only publications believed to be linked to the pens of Thomas Conway and Kate Eddowes...' you might be forgiven for thinking that someone other than HR has put forward Kate as author/co-author of the Robinson ballad.  The Bugle doesn't even mention the ballad...'

On one such trip to Stafford in January 1866 she experienced the trauma of seeing her own cousin, Christopher Robinson, hanged for the murder of his sweetheart at Wolverhampton - and then helping to sell copies of a scaffold ballad about him to the assembled crowd, estimated to number around 4000 persons on the fatal morning. Little did she known that some 20 years on her own name would echo and send a shudder throughout the land in connection with an even gorier murder!
They returned from Stafford in style, booking inside seats on Wards coach with proceeds from ballad sheet sales. It had been a profitable trip and after leaving the coach at Wolverhampton, the jubilant poet hired a donkey cart and set off with Catharine for Bilston where he ordered another 400 copies from Sam Sellman, the Church Street printer. Her quick wit and repartee had played a major part in selling so many copies of her poetical companion's ballad at Stafford and he rewarded her with the price of a flowered hat from Woolley's in Bilston High Street whilst he waited in the Market Tavern for Sam Sellman to run off the extra order which would be on sale at their regular pitch on the following Monday.

Oh really?  The Bugle doesn't mention the ballad?

What about the bit in the Bugle article where it says:

'On one such trip to Stafford in January 1866 she experienced the trauma of seeing her own cousin, Christopher Robinson, hanged for the murder of his sweetheart at Wolverhampton - and then helping to sell copies of a scaffold ballad about him to the assembled crowd, estimated to number around 4000 persons on the fatal morning.' 

and this bit: 

'They returned from Stafford in style, booking inside seats on Wards coach with proceeds from ballad sheet sales. It had been a profitable trip and after leaving the coach at Wolverhampton, the jubilant poet hired a donkey cart and set off with Catharine for Bilston where he ordered another 400 copies from Sam Sellman, the Church Street printer.'

and this bit:

'Her quick wit and repartee had played a major part in selling so many copies of her poetical companion's ballad at Stafford.'

They returned from Stafford in style, booking inside seats on Wards coach with proceeds from ballad sheet sales. It had been a profitable trip and after leaving the coach at Wolverhampton, the jubilant poet hired a donkey cart and set off with Catharine for Bilston where he ordered another 400 copies from Sam Sellman, the Church Street printer. Her quick wit and repartee had played a major part in selling so many copies of her poetical companion's ballad at Stafford and he rewarded her with the price of a flowered hat from Woolley's in Bilston High Street whilst he waited in the Market Tavern for Sam Sellman to run off the extra order which would be on sale at their regular pitch on the following Monday.
On one such trip to Stafford in January 1866 she experienced the trauma of seeing her own cousin, Christopher Robinson, hanged for the murder of his sweetheart at Wolverhampton - and then helping to sell copies of a scaffold ballad about him to the assembled crowd, estimated to number around 4000 persons on the fatal morning. Little did she known that some 20 years on her own name would echo and send a shudder throughout the land in connection with an even gorier murder!
They returned from Stafford in style, booking inside seats on Wards coach with proceeds from ballad sheet sales. It had been a profitable trip and after leaving the coach at Wolverhampton, the jubilant poet hired a donkey cart and set off with Catharine for Bilston where he ordered another 400 copies from Sam Sellman, the Church Street printer. Her quick wit and repartee had played a major part in selling so many copies of her poetical companion's ballad at Stafford and he rewarded her with the price of a flowered hat from Woolley's in Bilston High Street whilst he waited in the Market Tavern for Sam Sellman to run off the extra order which would be on sale at their regular pitch on the following Monday.

That's THREE mentions of the Robinson ballad right there. So what is the Clanger talking about?  I can only assume he got himself confused.

Incidentally, someone other than HR had put forward Kate as a co-author of the Robinson ballad, as the Clanger himself admits: David Bishop in a fictional account in 2006 in which, as the Clanger says, 'he suggests Kate and Conway co-wrote the Robinson ballad'.  But HR wasn't allowed to have this in her mind, apparently, because Bishop 'doesn't get a mention in the bibliography of The Five'.  It's a well known fact that an author isn't allowed to refer to the existence of any information which isn't included in a book or article in their bibliography.

As it happens, Hallie literally explains in a footnote what she meant when she said that the ballad was linked to the pens of Thomas Conway and Kate Eddowes.  The footnote states:

'Jared Kobek, the author of 'May My End a Warning Be: Catherine Eddowes and Gallowes literature in the Black County' (https://www.casebook.org/dissertations/dst-kobek.html) builds a case for attributing the ballad to Kate Eddowes and Thomas Conway'.

Now, I think Hallie was wrong here and misunderstood Kobek's article. What Kobek actually said in his Casebook article was that 'Eddowes was involved'.  By this he meant 'involved, however modestly, with the manufacture and distribution of literature'.  Now, I think Hallie has understood the word 'manufacture' to have meant writing the literature but it's pretty obvious that Kobek was referring to Eddowes being potentially involved in the more mundane aspect of the printing of the ballad rather than its poetical creation.

Nevertheless, it's an ambiguous word.  To say that Eddowes was involved in the manufacture of the ballad could be taken to mean that she co-wrote it and I think that's what Hallie believed, especially because Kobek then went on to say that this told of 'a richness, and patience, in her character that we otherwise would not know'.

Okay, she was wrong but mis-reading or mis-understanding a text isn't something unique to Hallie Rubenhold.  The Clanger has done it on many occasions!

LORD ORSAM
First published in 
Lord Orsam Says...Part 23 on 21 January 2022 
Republished 14 May 2022