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GUEST,John Moulden Songs about Women Impersonating Men at Sea (33) RE: Women Impersonating Men at Sea 12 Mar 17


My article about a real female sailor from 1835 whose life generated two songs is: "Anne Jane Thornton" (Irish Folk Music Studies, Eigse Ceol         Tire vols. 5-6 (1985-2001) (Folk Music Society of Ireland, Dublin). She was repatriated to Ballyshannon in Donegal and there is more to the story. The newspapers report that she was granted a pension of 10 pa by the King, William IV, and was granted the lease of a farm in the vicinity of Donegal Town, some miles to the north of Ballyshannon. Early in 1836 a young man from Ballyshannon whom she had been courting went to visit her in Donegal and found a group of young men dragging her off to church to be married to one of their number who would then control her fortune. The Ballyshannon lad rescued her, they were married the following day and the following year she bore a son, whom she named after the king, William. I searched but, not knowing her married name, have been unable to trace any descendants.


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