Francis, Mrs Elizabeth

Collection date: Aug 1908

Area: Somerset - Yeovil & Crewkerne


Mrs Elizabeth Francis of Rimpton (c1844-1925): age 65 1 song 'Dilly song' (FT1782) on 11 Aug 1908: Sharp had already published a version of the ‘Dilly Song’ (‘I will sing you one-o’) in Folk Songs from Somerset vol4 (Mrs Chapman) but took down Mrs Francis’ tune and text anyway.

Elizabeth Francis was born c1844 in Rimpton - her maiden was probably Fell. In Rimpton in 1901 (RG13/2300 f55 p12) Elizabeth was a Laundress, 54, married to William Francis, 55 agricultural labourer; their son Albert, 30 a stone mason was with them. In 1911 Elizabeth was a widow, aged 68, looking after 2 grandsons. She said she had been married for 48 yrs and had 11 children, only 7 of whom were still living. That would mean a marriage date of 1863 and a marriage between a William Francis and Elizabeth Fell was indeed registered Jan qr 5c 831. A death was registered Jan qr 1925 (5c 481) for Elizabeth Francis aged 82. Both these registrations are likely to be our singer.

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