Poems by Joseph Ritson (1752 - 1803)

Joseph Ritson was born in Stockton-On-Tees but spent most of his life working as a lawyer in London. He was known as an eccentric with a foul temper and he had his own way with spelling - his real name was Richardson, which he shortened to Ritson. He is most famous for his work on old ballads and songs, collected in his book "Ancient Songs". He went mad in 1803, burning all his papers in his rooms at Grays Inn. He died shortly afterwards.