The Ingoldsby Legends
AuthorThomas Ingoldsby
CountryUnited Kingdom
GenreHumorous verse and prose short stories
PublisherR. Bentley & Son
Publication date
1840, 1842, 1847
Media typePrint (Hardback)
Pages3 vols.

The Ingoldsby Legends (full title: The Ingoldsby Legends, or Mirth and Marvels) is a collection of myths, legends, ghost stories and poems written supposedly by Thomas Ingoldsby of Tappington Manor, actually a pen-name of an English clergyman named Richard Harris Barham.


The legends were first printed during 1837 as a regular series in the magazine Bentley's Miscellany and later in New Monthly Magazine.[1] They proved immensely popular and were compiled into books published by Richard Bentley in 1840, 1842 and 1847. They remained popular during the 19th century, when they ran through many editions. They were illustrated by artists including John Leech, George Cruikshank, John Tenniel, and Arthur Rackham (1898 edition).[2]

As a priest of the Chapel Royal, with a private income,[3] Barham was not troubled with strenuous duties, and he had ample time to read, and to compose his stories and poems. Although the "legends" are based on folklore or other pre-existing sources, chiefly Kentish,[4] such as the "hand of glory", they are mostly humorous parodies or pastiches.


Barham introduces the collection with the statement that "The World, according to the best geographers, is divided into Europe, Asia, Africa, America and Romney Marsh".[5]

The best-known poem in the collection is "The Jackdaw of Rheims", which is about a jackdaw that steals a cardinal's ring and is made a saint under the name Jem Crow.[6][7] The village pub in Denton, Kent, was renamed The Jackdaw Inn in 1963.

The collection also contains one of the earliest transcriptions of the song "A Franklyn's Dogge", an early version of the song "Bingo".

List of chapters

A Saint, from the "Jackdaw of Rheims", by Briton Rivière, 1868

The chapters comprise:[8]

Allusions and references in other works

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See also


  1. ^ Ian Ousby ed., The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English (London 1995) p. 472
  2. ^ Raphael Samuel, Theatres of Memory Vol 1 (London 1994) p. 447
  3. ^ Ian Ousby ed., The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English (London 1995) p. 57
  4. ^ Raphael Samuel, Theatres of Memory Vol. 1 (London 1994) p. 44
  5. ^ Quoted in Raphael Samuel, Theatres of Memory Vol. 1 (London 1994) p. 443
  6. ^ Dickens, C.; Ainsworth, W.H.; Smith, A. (1837). Bentley's Miscellany. Richard Bentley. pp. 529–532. Retrieved 1 August 2022. they canoniz'd him by the name of Jem Crow!, text online with "Jim Crow".
  7. ^ "The Jackdaw of Rheims by Richard Harris Barham. Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. 1895. A Victorian Anthology, 1837-1895".
  8. ^ Ingloldsby contents
  9. ^ McGivering, John (2008). ""The Dog Hervey" Notes on the text". Readers' Guide. The Kipling Society. Retrieved 6 August 2019.