Collection date: Aug 1904
James Down at Lewtrenchard, West Devon (c1836-?): age 68, 3 songs on 12 Aug 1904: There are 2 Harvest songs (FT282, 284) and the 'Ashwater Ringing' song (FT286). Ashwater village is 10 miles NW of Lewtrenchard (see Graebe, Martin, Folk Music Journal 2008 p325 for song info):
James Down was born c1836 in Bratton Clovelly, Devon, eldest son of Henry Down, agricultural labourer and his wife Maria. In Jly qr 1860 he married Susan Worth (5b 609). James was an agricultural labourer all his life in Lew Down (1861-91 censuses). The couple had 4 children, the eldest of whom William began as a quarryman and ended as a successful farmer. Wife Susan died in 1893 and in the 1901 census James Down was a widower, aged 65, living with son William at Lower Mosshill farm in Thrushelton. It’s not clear when James died.