DELONEY, THOMAS, (or DELONE, THOMAS) English ballad-writer and pamphleteer, produced his earliest indisputable work in 1586, and died about 1600. In 1596 Thomas Nashe, in his Have with you to Saffron Walden, wrote: " Thomas Deloney, the ballating silk-weaver, hath rime enough for all myracles, and wit to make a Garland of Good Will more than the premisses . . . and this deare yeare, together with the silencing of his looms, scarce that, he being constrained to betake himself to carded ale; whence it proceedeth that since Candlemas, or his jigge, John for the king, not one merrie dittie will come from him, but, the Thunderbolt against Swearers, Repent, England, Repent and, the strange Judgements of God." In 1588 the coming of the Armada inspired him for three broadsides, which were reprinted (1860) by J. O. Halliwell-Phillipps. They are entitled " The Queenes visiting of the Campe at Tilsburie with her entertainment there," " A Joyful new Ballad, declaring the happie obtaining of the great Galleazzo . . . ," and " A new Ballet of the straunge and Most cruell Whippes which the Spaniards had prepared." A collection of Strange Histories (1607) consists of historical ballads by Deloney, with some poems from other hands. This collection, known in later and enlarged editions as The Royal Garland of Love and Delight and The Garland of Delight, contains the ballad of Fair Rosamond. J. H. Dixon in his preface to The Garland of Good Witt (Percy Society, 1851) ascribes to Deloney The Blind Beggar of Bednall Green, and The Pleasant and sweet History of Patient Grissel, in prose, with the whole of the Garland of Good Will, including some poems such as " The Spanish Lady's Love " generally supposed to be by other hands. His other works include The Gentle Craft (1597) in praise of shoemakers, The Pleasant Historic of John Winchecombe (8th ed., 1619), and Thomas of Reading or the Sixe Worlhie Yeomen of the West (earliest extant edition, 1612). Kempe, the actor, jeers at these histories in his Nine Dales Wonder, but they were very popular, being reprinted as pennychap-books.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)