Publish'd Apl: 22d. 1788 as the Act directs, by Pearson & Rollason Birmingham.
Stipple, sheet 140 x 105mm. 5½ x 4¼". Trimmed to plate and glued to album page.
A rare portrait of John Freeth (1731 - 1808), political ballad writer and innkeeper. By 1768 Freeth had become landlord of the Leicester Arms, Birmingham, where he remained until his death in 1808. Freeth’s Coffee House, as the Leicester Arms was known, became one of the most celebrated taverns in England. It was Freeth’s custom to write songs setting his words to popular tunes about remarkable events in local and national news, and to sing them nightly to the company assembled at his Coffee House. The habit was profitable: it crowded the place with patrons, attracted eminent visitors, and, since Freeth wrote as a determined radical and Nonconformist, it created a political meeting-place. The interest aroused by his songs encouraged Freeth to publish them, and the words of nearly 400 songs appeared in more than a dozen collections between 1766 and 1805.
[Ref: 10489] £75.00