Collection date: Feb 1909
John Allen at Adelaide Rd, Hampstead: age 67, 5 songs incl ‘Mary of the Wild Moor’ and 3 sea shanties. (FT2072-6) on 13 Feb 1909. Two of the shanties 'Shanadar' (Shenandoah) and 'O Who's been here' were published in the Journal of the Folk-Song Society 5 (1914):
It's a fair assumption that this singer had been a sailor earlier in his life and that Sharp encountered him, perhaps even employed him in some capacity, at his house. The only (approximate) age match that pops up is a John Allen, widower, born in Poplar c1844, listed in the 1891 census as a seaman in West India Dock Rd, Limehouse in a boarding house with dockers and other seafarers. No follow up information is possible at this stage.