Woodberry, Mrs Eliza

Collection date: Aug 1907

Area: Somerset - Taunton District


Eliza Woodberry at Ash Priors (1829-1909): age 78, 9 songs over 5 visits commencing 17 Aug 1907: Her surname has been mistakenly read or written as ‘Woodbury’ (e.g. 1871,1881 censuses) but her husband Isaac was clearly baptised ‘Woodberry’ (13/5/1825 Bishop’s Lydeard) and at their wedding and most censuses it is ‘Woodberry’.

She was born Eliza Blackmore on 16/10/1829 and baptised 15/11/1829 at Ash Priors church, daughter of William Blackmore, farmer and his wife Mary. Perhaps her parents had that little bit of money to give Eliza a basic education, because she could sign her name at her wedding to Isaac Woodberry on 16/1/1851 at Ash Priors. In fact she wrote Sharp a letter in October 1907 to confirm 3 extra verses to the song ‘The Cruel Mother’ (FT1454) which she had sung to him on 31 August in an incomplete form (compare FW1333 and 1355). He published the song in Folk Songs from Somerset vol4 p54 in 1908 along with her song ‘Come all you worthy Christian men’ p26.

Eliza and Isaac had 9 children and remained in Ash Priors all their married life. He worked as an agricultural labourer. They were at Ash common in the 1901 census (RG13/2279 f57 p13). Eliza was buried at Ash Priors on 6/1/1909 aged 80.