Gray, Mrs Frances

Also known as: Francis Gray

Collection date: Jan 1906

Area: Somerset - Bridgwater Surrounds


Mrs Frances Gray of Enmore (1850-1937): age 55, 1 song ‘True Lover’s Farewell’ (FT820) 22 Jan 1906 + 3 songs 17 Apr 1906: Miss Kitty Sorby sent in ‘True Lover’s Farewell’ to Sharp by letter and correctly spelled the singer’s name as Frances. Sharp was interested enough to visit Mrs Gray personally to record 3 more songs at Easter but spelled her name wrongly as Francis.

To be accurate, she was baptised on 8/9/1850 in Ash Priors church as Frances Mantle, youngest child of James Mantle, labourer and his wife Charlotte. In fact Frances was the youngest sister of William Mantle, who would give 3 songs to Sharp in Bridgwater workhouse later in August 1906. Frances married James Gray, son of William Gray at Ash Priors church on 12/6/1883. They moved to Enmore, where James found work ‘on a gentleman’s estate.’ They had 11 children but 5 died young. In 1901 James was 48, a carter on the estate, Frances was 50 with 4 children still at home (RG13/2281 f7 p6). Frances died Sept qr 1937 (Bridgwater 5c 296) aged 86.

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