Collection date: Aug 1907
William Hitchman at Faringdon (1840-1930): age 67, 4 songs (FT1367-71) on 1 August 1907: William sang one of only 4 versions collected by Sharp of ‘Lady Maisry’ (Child Ballad 65, Roud 45). Sharp had already published a version by Jack Barnard (of Bridgwater) in Folk Songs from Somerset vol3 (FT912 Apr 1906). Jack Barnard’s version was recorded by Sharp on a wax cylinder and can be heard on the vwml website. William Hitchman’s tune (FT1369) was obviously of interest to Sharp. Click vwml link below. Another song by Hitchman was an appreciative ‘A Woman’s Work is never done’ (FT1370, Roud 2340):
William Hitchman was born January qr 1840 (Faringdon 6-189), 5th of 10 children of John Hitchman, agricultural labourer and his wife Hannah in Hatford, a village 3 miles E of Faringdon. William was an agricultural labourer all his life, marrying Sarah Brown in April qr 1865 (Wantage 2c 511). They had 8 children and were at Hatford in 1881 and 1891 censuses. In 1901 they were at nearby Stanford-in-the-Vale village (RG13/1129 f42 p5). When his wife Sarah died, William went into Faringdon workhouse but did not die until April qr 1930 (Faringdon 2c 338 aged 90).