Mudcat Café message #3991945 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #166098   Message #3991945
Posted By: Steve Gardham
12-May-19 - 11:24 AM
Thread Name: If you don't like ballads......
Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
Whilst there is minimal evidence for the assertion that minstrels made some of the ballads, they were still around when the earliest ballads were being made, say 16th century. They were indeed patronised (old meaning) by the nobility in earlier centuries and provided family entertainment of all kinds. It seems reasonable to suppose they made up pieces in the current style that flattered their patrons and insulted the patrons' enemies. However, by the 15th century the nobility were turning to other newer forms of entertainment, and the minstrel was forced to find new audiences and employment. Some will have taken their talents into London and large cities where the rising middle classes were becoming a lucrative market. People like Wm Elderton took to writing ballads for the presses, still flattering the nobility but also the newer markets.

All of this is pure conjecture, based on reading about the history of the period, and what survives. Please feel free to pick it apart.