Joseph Woodfall Ebsworth

Ebsworth provides tantalizing information in a footnote to his text in the Roxburghe Ballads of "Ephelia's Lamentation,": "One of Mulgrave's mistress was 'humble Joan'" (IV 1883: 568). In view of the four-way intersection, consisting of Behn's "Poet Joan," Ebsworth's 'humble Joan' (a mistress of Mulgrave), Gould's "poor Ephelia, ragged Jilt," and Newcombe's "passionate" female poet "Phillips," we may reasonably deduce that "Joan Phillips" was a living, corporeal presence, albeit a minor one, in the Restoration literary scene, and that Ebsworth's misleading annotation had merely confused the author of the "Lamentation" ("Joan Phillips") with the persona she adopts and ventrilloquizes in these lines, that of Mulgrave's cast off mistress, Lady Mary ('Mall') Kirke. When Ebsworth refers to Mulgrave's mistress as "humble" Joan, I imagine he was drawing upon some information on Joan Phillips (Mary Villiers's urban alter-ego) as a quiet spectator of the literary scene. And would this not align with such a subterfuge?