In this gruesome ballad, Orkney sailor Andrew Rose is tortured horribly by Captain Rogers onboard the 'Martha Jane': he is savaged by dogs, dragged in the water, beaten, whipped, stabbed with an iron bar, and finally suspended in the air with ropes. When the ship docks at Liverpool, the captain is found guilty of murder and is executed.
16 verses of 4 lines. Seaman Andrew Rose was tortured to death by Captain Henry Rogers between April and June of 1857, as their ship returned from Barbados. When the ship reached Liverpool, Rogers was tried and sentenced to death; his execution on 12th September the same year drew a crowd of tens of thousands.
See: Greig-Duncan vol. 1, p. 7 'A Ballad History of England from 1588 to the Present Day' (R. Palmer, 1979) pp. 138-139