The Great Boobee

To a pleaſant new Tune: Or, Salengers round.
Woodcut of a traveller with black hat, satchel, and walking stick being approached by man in black clothes and cape, with ruffled white cuffs and prominent white collar. Both men are bearded with moustaches. The pair appear on a white background, with shaded ground beneath their feet.
MY Friends if you will underſtand
my fortunes what they are
I once had Cattel, Houſe and Land,
but now I am never the near,
My Father left a good eſtate,
as I may tell to thee,
I cozened was of all I had,
like a great Boobee.

I went to School with a good intent,
and for to learn my book,
And all the day I went to play,
in it I never did look:
Full ſeven years, or very nigh,
as I may tell to thee,
I could hardly ſay my Chriſt Croſs Row1
like a great Boobee.

My Father then in all the haſte,
did ſet me to the Plow,
And for to laſh the horſe about,
indeed I knew not how;
My Father took his Whip in his hand,
and ſoundly laſhed me,
He call’d me Fool and Country Clown,
and great Boobee.

But I did from my Father run,
for I will plow no more,
Becauſe he hath ſo ſlaſhed me,
and made my ſide ſo ſore:
But I will go to London Town,
ſome Vaſhions for to ſee
When I came there they call’d me Clown
and great Boobee.

But as I went along the ſtreet,
I carried my hat in my hand,
And to every one that I did meet,
I bravely buſt my hand;
Some did laugh, and ſome did ſcoff,
and ſome did mock at me,
And ſome did ſay I was a Woodcock,
and a great Boobee.

Then did I walk in haſte to Pauls,
the Steeple for to view
Becauſe I heard ſome people ſay,
it ſhould be builded new,
Then I got up unto the top,
the City for to ſee,
It was ſo high it made me cry,
like a great Boobee.

From thence I went to Weſminſter,
and for to ſee the Tombs,
Oh, ſaid I, what a houſe is here,
with an infinite ſight of Rooms?
Sweetly the Abby Bells did ring
it was a fine ſight to ſee,
Me thoughts I was going to heaven
(in a ſtring,
like a great Boobee.

The ſecond part, to the ſame Tune.
But as I went along the ſtreet,
the moſt part of the day
Many Gallants did I meet
me thoughts they were very gay,
I blew my noſe, and piſt my hoſe
ſome people did me ſee,
They ſaid I was a beastly fool,
and a great Boobee.

Next day I through Pie-corner paſt,
the Roast-meat on the stall
Invited me to take a taſte
my money was but ſmall,
The meat I pickt, the Cook me kickt,
as I may tell to thee,
He beat me ſore, and made me rore,
like a great Boobee.

As I through Smithfield lately walkt,
a gallant Laſs I met,
Familiarly with me ſhe talkt
Which I cannot forget,
She proffered me a pint of wine,
me thought ſhe was wondrous free,
To the Tavern then I went with her
like a great Boobee.

She told me we were near of Kin,
and call’d for Wine good ſtore,
Before the reckoning was brought in,
my Couſin prov’d a Whore
My purſe ſhe pickt, and went away
my Couſin cozened me
The Vinter kickt me out of door
like a great Boobee.

At the Exchange when I came there,
I ſaw moſt gallant things
I thought the Pictures living were
of all our English Kings,
I doft my Hat, and made a leg
and kneeled on my Knee,
The people laught, and call’d me fool,
and great Boobee.

To Paris Garden then I went,
where there is great reſort,
My pleaſure was my puniſhment,
I did not like the ſport.
The Garden bull with his ſtout horns,
on high then toſſed me;
I did bewray my ſelf with fear
like a great Boobee.

The Bear-heard went to ſave me then,
the people flockt about,
I told the Bear-garden men,
my Guts were almoſt out:
They ſaid I ſtunk moſt grievouſly
no man would pitty me,
They call’d me witleſs Fool and Aſs,
and great Boobee.

Then o’re the Water did I paſs
as you ſhall underſtand,
I dropt into the Thames alasse,
before I came to Land,
The Water-man did help me out,
And thus thus did ſay to me,
’Tis not thy fortune to be drown’d,
thou great Boobee.

But I have learned ſo much wit
ſhall ſhorten all my cares,
If I can but a liſcence get,
To play before the Bears:
’Twill be a gallant place indeed,
As I may tell to thee,
Then who dares call me Fool or Aſs,
or great Boobee.

Printed for F. Coles, in VVine- ſtreet, on Saffron-hill, near Hatton-Garden.


  1. Refers to first line of a hornbook.

Cite this page

MLA citation

Anonymous. The Great Boobee. The Map of Early Modern London, edited by Janelle Jenstad, U of Victoria, 26 Jun. 2020,

Chicago citation

Anonymous. The Great Boobee. The Map of Early Modern London. Ed. Janelle Jenstad. Victoria: University of Victoria. Accessed June 26, 2020.

APA citation

Anonymous. 2020. The Great Boobee. In J. Jenstad (Ed), The Map of Early Modern London. Victoria: University of Victoria. Retrieved from

RIS file (for RefMan, EndNote etc.)

Provider: University of Victoria
Database: The Map of Early Modern London
Content: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

A1  - , 
ED  - Jenstad, Janelle
T1  - The Great Boobee
T2  - The Map of Early Modern London
PY  - 2020
DA  - 2020/06/26
CY  - Victoria
PB  - University of Victoria
LA  - English
UR  -
UR  -
ER  - 


RT Web Page
SR Electronic(1)
A1 , 
A6 Jenstad, Janelle
T1 The Great Boobee
T2 The Map of Early Modern London
WP 2020
FD 2020/06/26
RD 2020/06/26
PP Victoria
PB University of Victoria
LA English
OL English

TEI citation

<bibl type="mla"><author><name ref="#ANON2"><name ref="#ANON2">Anonymous</name></name></author>. <title level="a">The Great Boobee</title>. <title level="m">The Map of Early Modern London</title>, edited by <editor><name ref="#JENS1"><forename>Janelle</forename> <surname>Jenstad</surname></name></editor>, <publisher>U of Victoria</publisher>, <date when="2020-06-26">26 Jun. 2020</date>, <ref target=""></ref>.</bibl>

Documents discussing Bearbaiting

MoEML has a number of pages on bearbaiting. See the Bear Garden, a topics page on Bearbaiting, the poem The Great Boobee, in which a tourist visits the Bear Garden, and dramatic extracts from Bartholomew Fair, a play performed at the Hope, which doubled as a bear garden.