Collection date: Apr 1909
John Arnold at Frome Union Workhouse (1842-1910): age 74, 2 songs ‘Jolly Waggoner’ & ‘Green Besoms’ (FT2174/5) on 14 Apr 1909: John Arnold had a very difficult start in life. He was baptised on 6/11/1842 at Stourton, Wiltshire, son of John Arnold Snr, a soldier and his wife Jane. In the 1851 census the Arnold family were in Stourton (ref HO107/1850 f135 p36). First John’s mother Jane dies in Nov 1852 aged just 33, then his father dies in March 1857, aged just 45. John was thus orphaned at the age of 14 and can be found working as a servant, aged 18, for innkeeper Thomas Carry at nearby Mere village in the 1861 census.
John returned to Stourton for the 1871 census as an agricultural labourer. In January qr 1876 he married widow Emma Stickler (née Hutchings) probably at Witham Friary, where she was living in 1861 and 1871 censuses. She had already had 9 children, 4 of whom became John Arnold’s responsibility when the couple moved to Yeovil (1881 census). At that point John was 42, a labourer and Emma 52, a glover. By 1891 the couple were on their own and had moved to Wanstrow, a village 6 miles SW of Frome (see also 1901 census ref RG13/2307 f19 p1). When Emma died in Apr qr 1903 (ref 5c 271), John Arnold must have been eligible to enter the Frome Union workhouse, where Sharp found him. John was buried at Wanstrow church on 10/4/1910.