Carter, Mrs Ellen

Collection date: Aug 1906

Area: Somerset - Mendips (Harptree & Priddy)


Mrs Ellen Carter at Cheddar (1836-1911): age 70, 2 songs on 2 occasions commencing 28 Aug 1906: On Sharp's second visit to Ellen Carter on 13 Aug 1908 he collected her version of 'Twas on one April morning' (FT1787 Roud 1546). The song was popularised by the late Tony Rose, who sang William Bryant's tune from Cowley nr Exeter (LEB/5/424/2). The 2 tunes are quite similar. Click on vwml link:

Ellen Harris was baptised on 24/4/1836 at Cheddar church. She was the 'base born daughter' of Anne Harris, who died in the 1840s. Ellen was raised by her grandmother Hannah Harris, listed as a widow and pauper (age 70) in the 1851 census in Cheddar. Ellen was then 15, working as a paper factory girl. There were two paper mills in Cheddar at that time at either end of Cliff Street, where Ellen lived. She married Thomas Carter in the December qr 1856 (5c 1145). Thomas was an agricultural labourer and they lived in Cheddar Cliffs for the rest of their lives, raising 8 children. Ellen was a washerwoman in the 1891 census; in the 1901 census (RG13/2327 f40 p8) their daughter Eliza, age 21, was still with them, working as a shirt-machinist in a factory. Ellen died in Cheddar 17/10/1911 aged 74.

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