The Ballad of Chevy Chase
Through the centuries the daring deeds of the Percy family have been immortalised in minstrel songs and folk tales. One of these, the Ballad of Chevy Chase was a fictional tale of an encounter between Harry Hotspur and the Scottish Earl Douglas. The Englishman had provoked the Scots by hunting deer over the border. The ballad relates that a chase ensued and resulted in a fierce and bloody Battle of Otterburn where both men were killed. The historical fact is that in 1388 they did have an encounter and fought a desperate battle through the night at Otterburn. However, only Douglas was killed, and although he was captured, Hotspur lived to fight another day. This card depicts one of four Chevy Chase scenes painted by Swiss artist Francis Gotzenberg in the 1860s. These paintings were commissioned by the Fourth Duke of Northumberland. Below the artist’s picture there is descriptive verse taken from a version of the ancient Ballad of Chevy Chase.
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