Doggerel Verse and Unrequited Love in Ettington

Unfulfilled 1800s emotions

This Valentine’s note, written some time in the early 1800s and treasured in the Warwickshire County Record Office collection, is visually stunning: its papercut artwork is beautiful and delicate. Unfortunately the poetry is not quite so splendid!

A transcription of the doggerel is below and the valentine itself seems to have been met with rejection; it is endorsed “Refused Turner”. It’s difficult to read the address, which is somewhat obscured and damaged.  As far as we can see, it is addressed to William Jefferson, Brick? Lane, Red Lion, Eugel? St.

It comes from a collection of records deposited by the Shirley family of Ettington. I can’t find an address or street that would match up, either in Warwickshire or further afield. Can anyone hazard a guess? I want to find out who this William Jefferson was and whether he finally ended up with poor rejected ‘Turner’!

Transcription of Valentine in Doggerel Verse

My Lovely fair of all your sex I choose
you out from All the Rest becaus
you took My fancy Best if you
Love Me as I do you No Knife would
Cute our Love in too My Love to you
it is seincire So I Love Non but you
My Dear the Ring is Round & as No
End so is My Love to you My friend
thane is hearts with in & hearts with
out & hearts you see all Round about
aMoungst all thees hearts thane is
None So true as My [pure?] hearts it is
to you the prim Rose is Red the voilat is
Blue Corenation Sw[…] So
if you take it in g[oo]d hart […]
[Guard?] it well with al[l] your heart
but if you take it with disdain
[…] send it Back from wence it
Came My time is short & ink the
Same So I forgot to write My
Name & So Good Morrow My Sweet
Valentine

Warwickshire County Record Office, reference CR464/153

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