PARKER, MARTIN (c. i6oo-f. 1656), English ballad writer, was probably a London tavern-keeper. About 1625 he seems to have begun publishing ballads, a large number of which bearing his signature or his initials, "M. P.," are preserved in the British Museum. Dryden considered him the best ballad writer of his time. His sympathies were with the Royalist cause during the Civil War, and it was in support of the declining fortunes of Charles I. that he wrote the best known of his ballads, " When the King enjoys his own again," which he first pubhshed in 1643, and which, after enjoying great popularity at the Restoration, became a favourite Jacobite song in the 18th century. Parker also wrote a nautical ballad, " Sailors for my Money," which in a revised version survives as " When the stormy winds do blow." It is not known when he died, but the appearance in 1656 of a " funeral elegy," in which the ballad writer was satirically celebrated is perhaps a correct indication of the date of his death.
See The Roxburghe Ballads, vol. iii. (Ballad Soc, 9 vols., 1871-1899) ; Joseph Ritson, Bibliographia Poelica (London, 1802); Ancient Songs and Ballads from Henry II. to the Revolution, ed. by W. C. Hazlitt (London, 1877); Sir S. E. Br>'dges and J. Haslewood, The British Bibliographer, vol. ii. (London, 1810); Thomas Corser, Collectanea Anglo-poetica (London, 1860-1883).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)