Perkin, Richard

Singer

Collection date: Jul 1914

Area: Cornwall


Richard Perkin at St Ives, Cornwall (1842-1923): age 72, 8 sea shanties on 7 July 1914: Sharp noted (FT2989) that Richard Perkin was known as ‘Shilo’. He published 2 of Richard’s shanties (‘O The Times are hard’ aka 'Leave her Johnny’ FT2996 and ‘Lowlands Low’ FT2990 in his book English Folk-Chanteys 1914).

One has to be careful because there were 2 men called Richard Perkin, both born in 1842. One was a fisherman, who married Emma Richards in 1873 but he died in Madron workhouse in 1902. The other Richard Perkin was son of John Perkin, fisherman, and this Richard was Sharp's singer.

Richard's father John was a fisherman (b1806) but he was widowed by 1861 and he and bachelor son Richard lived together in St Ives in 1861, 1871 and 1881 censuses. Richard was listed as a ‘fisherman’ in all these censuses but, significantly, in the 1891 census he was a ‘sailor’. This is perhaps the time when he picked up the sea shanties that he sang for Sharp. Richard died in April qr 1923 (5c 261).

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