Davies, Mr William
Also known as: Mr Davis
Collection date: Apr 1909
(Mr) William (Edwards) Davies at Winchcombe, Glos (1831-1917): age 78, 2 fiddle tunes on 8 Apr 1909: The tunes were 'The Butterfly Dance' (FT2145) and 'Greensleeves' (FT2144), which accompanied a rhyme 'Some says the devil's dead' (FW2014): Sharp called him ‘Mr’ Davis (usually a sign of status) but spelled his name wrongly – it was consistently ‘Davies’ in records.
William Edwards Davies was born c1831 in Laugharne, Carmarthenshire, South Wales. He was the son of Isaac Lewis Davies, a painter and glazier. A William Davies, aged 19 and not living with parents, was an apprentice wheelwright in the Laugharne census of 1851. We can’t be sure of this identification but we do know that William Davies left Wales and moved to Gloucestershire, where on 21/11/1857, aged 26, he married a blacksmith’s daughter Mary Ballinger. Her father Thomas Ballinger lived in Dumbleton, 4 miles north of Winchcombe. William is described as a ‘painter and glazier’ by this time. William and Mary had 6 children and two sons William and George joined their father’s painting business.
William lived initially in Vineyard St in Winchcombe but progressed to Three Gables cottage in Gloucester Street. By 1891 he had become parish clerk and sexton, and would remain so for 20 years. In the 1901 census (RG13/2456 f88 p5) he was listed as a ‘painter, glazier, employer’. William was buried in Winchcombe 31/3/1917 aged 86.