Collection date: Jan 1907
Albert Dowden of East Huntspill (1834-1914): age 73, 4 songs (FT1206-9) on 19 Jan 1907: Strangely Sharp attributes one of these songs (FT1209 ‘The Waggoner’) to ‘Edward’ Dowden, also of Huntspill with the same age of 73 on the same day. There is, however, no mention of ‘Edward’ in the relevant field notebook (CJS1/9/2/1907/2 p15). There is no Edward Dowden at all in the censuses either, so probably there is a transcribing error here. Unless and until evidence arrives to the contrary, it may be best to ascribe all songs to Albert.
He was baptised at Huntspill church on 3/8/1834, son of James Dowden, mason and his wife Fanny. On 4/1/1859 at Huntspill church he married Elizabeth Hooper, daughter of John Hooper, farmer. They had at least 3 children and lived at Huntspill, Albert working as a stone mason. Elizabeth died in the 1870s and Albert never remarried. In the 1901 census for Huntspill (RG13/2286 f74 p6) he was on his own, widower aged 66, stone mason. He was taken into the Bridgwater Workhouse by the time of the 1911 census and was buried at St Mary’s Bridgwater on 5/6/1914.