The Wandering Jew's Chronicle

About this archive

This archive contains images and transcriptions of an English historical ballad, The Wandering Jew's Chronicle, printed between roughly 1630 and 1830 in various formats, versions and editions. It includes images and transcripts of at least one member of each of the fourteen surviving editions of the ballad; a tool for comparing the ballad's distinctive woodblock illustrations, some of which descended through several printings; a bibliography; and a publishing history. Future versions of this site may add more copies of the ballad and further notes and commentaries.

How to Use this archive

The archive has three sections: 'About', 'Text', and 'Illustrations'. This page is in the About section.


The Text section has two modes: Single, in which an image and transcription of one ballad may be viewed, and Multiple, in which transcriptions of several ballads may be viewed at once. Ballad images may also be viewed in Multiple mode by selecting the image icon in the top-right of each column. You can select part or whole of a line to see all renderings of that part of the text in all witnesses (the current witness is in bold in this view).

Ballads may be selected in either mode through the navigation on the left-hand side, rendered either as a text List, listing the names and shelfmarks of the original items, ar as Thumb images. The 'Bibliographic info' button displays more information about each ballad's provenance, along with its full title, tune, licence and imprint. A more detailed Bibliography listing all known copies of the ballad is given in the About section.


Most copies of the ballad include woodblock-printed illustrations. Select a ballad and monarch to display its illustration, if given on the original.

You can adjust the opacity of the image with the slider above the ilustration: more than one image can then be overlaid. This can assist in determining whether multiple illustrations were printed from the same block or from a copy of the block. Damage to a block (such as a crack or a wormhole) may appear on the illustration and may help to identify the use of the same block.