Francis, Job

Collection date: Apr 1908

Area: Sussex


Job Francis at Shipley (1836-1912): age 71, 5 songs 21/22 April 1908: Job Francis sang 5 interesting songs to Sharp including ‘The Painful Plough’ FT1664, of which he only collected one other version (Thomas Mitchell of Merriott, Somerset 1905) as well as ‘Robin Hood and the Pedlar’ FT1669. The latter song (Roud 333) was printed on broadsides and a version had already been published by Lucy Broadwood but Sharp presented Job Francis’ version to the Journal of the Folk-Song Society 5 (1914).

Job Francis was baptised 17/12/1836 at Rudgwick, 6 miles W of Horsham, son of Job Francis Snr, agricultural labourer and his wife Elisabeth. By the 1841 census Job Snr had been widowed and never remarried, so Job Jr was brought up by his father. In the 1851 census at Rudgwick Job Jr was working as an agricultural labourer himself, aged 14. He was supporting his older sister Ellen who had married and had two 2 infants to look after on her own, as her husband had just died – early responsibilities for Job. Ellen remarried soon after and Job struck out on his own, appearing in the Horsham census of 1861.

On 28/5/1864 Job married Hannah Attwater at Lower Beeding (3 miles SE of Horsham). They had 15 children, 5 of whom died young. By 1881 they had moved across to Shipley and remained there for the rest of their lives. Job was a stockman on a farm in 1901 (ref RG13/948 f19 p5). Job died January qr 1912 aged 75 (Horsham 2b 404).

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