Wyatt, Mrs Lydia


Collection date: Aug 1904

Area: Somerset - Mendips (Harptree & Priddy)

Lydia Wyatt of East Harptree (1829-1916): age 75, 4 songs over two visits 24 Aug 1904 and 30 Aug 1906: Lydia was husband of singer George Wyatt: She was baptised Lydia Veale at Stowey Sutton church on 3/5/1829, daughter of John & Mary Veale ‘of Chew Magna, labourer’. She married George Wyatt at Chew Magna church on 26/6/1849.

David Bland interview (Box 9 folder 6) with Walter Bishop 5/3/1974 states: ‘(their) house was very low, always had a good fire. Lydia was reckoned to be a witch but was really a lovely old lady, always friendly, would welcome you into her cottage any time and give you a cup of tea - dark black strong tea. The bungalow was one room, divided by a thin board partition – in Sharp’s photo the sleeping quarters were on the left.’

When George died in 1907, Lydia lived on 2/6d per week and a loaf of bread – parish relief. She died 5 miles away at Clutton Workhouse (built 1836, 300 inmates, later Cambrook House, now flats). She was buried 3/5/1916 East Harptree - a sad ending for a spirited lady after raising 9 children (7 boys, 2 girls) in such a tiny house.

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