Collection date: Apr 1906
Area: Somerset - West
Henry Cridland at Old Cleeve: age 81, 5 songs on 5 Apr 1906: Sharp’s handwriting in the fair copy notebooks looks like ‘Cudland’ but Marson’s handwriting in the field notebooks is clearly ‘Cridland’ and this is the correct spelling.
Unfortunately there were two Henry Cridlands of the right sort of age living in Old Cleeve village in the 1901 census (RG13/2263 f109 pp14&15). Sharp was usually pretty accurate with the ages of his singers and he wrote ‘81’ which would give a birth date of 1825. The best candidate is therefore Henry Cridland, baptised at Old Cleeve church on 17/4/1825, illegitimate son of Elizabeth Cridland. He married Elizabeth Redwood at Old Cleeve church on 28/3/1850 and they had 3 sons. Elizabeth died in 1880 and Henry continued as an agricultural labourer, living with his bachelor son William in 1901 census in Old Cleeve.
The other possibility, however, is another Henry Cridland, also baptised at Old Cleeve church but a year later on 18/6/1826, son of William Cridland, labourer and his wife Susanna. He married three times - 28/11/1849 to Jane Gardiner, 18/2/1854 to Ann Hake and 22/11/1877 to Elizabeth Simons, all at Old Cleeve church. He had 4 children in all and his third wife was 27 years younger than him. This Henry was also an agricultural labourer. The two Henrys lived next door to each other at times and were possibly cousins.
There is really no clue as to which Henry was Sharp’s singer and there is no obvious date of death known for either man.