Geen, Mr

Collection date: Aug 1907

Area: Devon


Mr (Edmund) Geen at Rose Ash, North Devon (1845-1913): age 62, 2 songs on 26 Aug 1907: Sharp noted that ‘Mr Geen' was 68 (he was probably only 62). Geen sang 2 classic songs – ‘Henry Martin’ (FT1446) and ‘Wraggle Taggle Gypsies’ (FT1447). When Sharp wrote ‘Mr’, he usually meant a man of standing in the community. This applied to Edmund Geen, who began life modestly, took on responsibilities but faded a little later in life.

He was baptized at Exford church in Somerset on 17/6/1845, 3rd child and eldest son of John Geen, agricultural labourer and wife Mary. In Jly qr 1876 he married Elizabeth Marley (also of Exford). In 1881 he had become farm bailiff at Chibbott farm in Exford. By 1891 he was a farmer himself at Henford farm in West Anstey, 12 miles to the south. He had 6 children and a domestic servant in the household. But by 1901 he was listed as an ‘agricultural labourer’ in Rose Ash (RG13/2140 f39 p2) and by 1911 he was living with his son Walter in Rose Ash. A slight fall from grace perhaps. Edmund died Oct qr 1913 aged 68.

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