Broadside ballads and occupational identity in early modern England

Mark Hailwood*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
616 Downloads (Pure)


The relationship between occupations and identity remains under - explored for the early modern period. This essay makes a case for the utility of seventeenth-century ballads to the study of that relationship. First, it outlines how ballad discourses assigned stock characteristics to various trades in ways that would have influenced external processes of identity formation. Second, it questions what these sources can tell us about internal occupational identity by examining issues of authorship and consumption. The essay concludes that ballads can be a valuable source for historians seeking to more fully appreciate the operation of early modern occupational identities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-200
Number of pages14
JournalHuntington Library Quarterly
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016


  • Early modern guild rituals
  • Expressions of occupational identity
  • Joseph bufton
  • Richard rigby
  • Thomas lanfire


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