Digital Tradition Mirror

Murder of F.C.Benwell (Berwill)

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Murder of F.C.Benwell (Berwill)

Come all you tender Christians, wherever you may be
And kindly pay attention to these few word from me
On the 14th of November I am condemned to die
For the murder of F.C. Berwill, upon the gallow high

cho: My name is J.R. Birchell, that name I'll never deny
     I leave my aged parents in sorrow for to die
     Oh little did they think, all in my youthfl bloom
     That on the gallows high, I would meet my fatal doom

Berwill was an Englishman and had not yet a wife
He came into this country for to seek an honest life
They say that I betrayed him into a certain spot
And there with a revolver, poor Berwill I than shot

I tried to play off innocent, but found it would not do
The evidence being against me, I really had no show
They took me to a prison and locked me in a cell
And till my execution, alone there I must dwell

My wife she came to see me to bid her fond adieu
She said it was heartbreaking, but this she had to do
She sadi, "My dearest husband, you know that you must die
For the murder of F.C. Berwill, upon the gallows high."

At nine o'clock in the morning, I knew my doom was near
I gathered up my courage and braved it to the rear
The last farewells were spoken; the words "Thy will be done"
Then the trapdoor it flew open, and Birchell he was hung.

DT #732
Laws E26
From Burt, American Murder Ballads
tune: Charles Guiteau
Birchell killed Benwell in Ontario in 1861
collected in Utah

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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