Hutchings, Eliza

Collection date: Aug 1904

Area: Somerset - Langport & Huish Episcopi


Mrs Eliza Hutchings (1833-1919): age 71, 13 songs on 7 occasions commencing 2/8/1904: Eliza's version of 'Dicky of Taunton Deane' (FT637) was published in Folk Songs from Somerset vol2 and Sharp described how the song was sung and danced by Eliza (with Mrs Overd) 'with great spirit in a way that I shall not easily forget'. Click vwml link above:

Eliza was baptised Eliza Palmer at Drayton church 13 Oct 1833, daughter of Joel Palmer, agricultural labourer and wife Mary Ann (née Every). In 1851 census Eliza Palmer was still in Drayton, aged 17, a glover, and was living with her aunt Hester Every, unmarried schoolmistress age 61. On 11 August 1853 at Drayton church Eliza married George Hutchings, originally of East Lydford on Mendips but now ‘sojourner of this parish’. He was 11 years older than her. In 1861 Eliza was ‘a silk glovemaker’ in Drayton with 4 young children. In 1871 in Drayton she was still gloving along with her eldest daughter; she had had 8 children. George was still an agricultural labourer. By 1881 she had had 2 more children (in total 3 boys and 7 girls).

By 1891 son Joel had started his own grocery business in Langport and two of the daughters were in domestic service in London. George died 1890 and Eliza moved to Langport (Beard’s Yard). She cannot be found in 1901 census but Cecil Sharp located her in Knapps Lane in 1904 next door to her daughter Ellen Trott. In 1911 census Eliza had gone into the Langport workhouse (age 77 widow) RG14/14323 schedule 70 and she died in June qr 1919 age 85.