Harvey, Charles

Collection date: Aug 1906

Area: Somerset - Mendips (Harptree & Priddy)


Charles Harvey at Cannard's Grave* nr Shepton Mallet (1818-1915): age 89, 2 songs on 23rd Aug 1906: Charles Harvey was baptised on 17/5/1818 at Dinder, a village 2 miles west of Shepton Mallet. His father (also Charles) was a carpenter. On 28/11/1841 Charles Jr married Harriet Webb at Croscombe church, a mile nearer to Shepton Mallet. They had 9 children and Charles took up as a chimney sweep in 1871 and 1881 censuses in Croscombe. Charles was on ‘parish pay’ in 1901 census (RG13/2312 f58 p8), still with Harriet and still at Croscombe. When Harriet died in Nov 1904, Charles went to live with his daughter Sarah and son-in-law Frank Duckett at Cannard’s Grave, a hamlet one mile south of Shepton Mallet. Charles prob died Mar qr 1915 aged 96 (Shepton Mallet 5c 727).

*Note: Giles Cannard was reputedly the landlord of a hostelry outside Shepton Mallet. By day he was a respectable host, running a popular staging post for travellers between Bristol and the south. According to one account dated 1662, the rector of Shepton Rev H. Allen reported that rumours were circulating about Cannard's involvement with smuggling, gambling, illegal drinking and profanities. Further tales were told about him intoxicating his guests with the specific aim of robbing them whilst they slept, and even in some cases murdering them, later claiming that they departed his care in good health. Overcome by greed, Cannard eventually resorted to forgery, which was readily discovered. Finding no escape and fearing public humiliation, he retreated to his loft where he took his own life. After being cut down, he was interred at the crossroads next to where his pub stands.

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