Pester, Matthew

Collection date: Jan 1904

Area: Devon


Matthew Pester at Rose Ash, Devon (1831-1917): age 73, 2 songs 8 Jan 1904: While staying with Rev Alex de Gex at Meshaw rectory, Sharp went 4 miles north to visit Rose Ash village, where he heard Matthew sing ‘The Cuckold’ (aka ‘Our Goodman’ FT80, Roud 114, Child 274). Click vwml link above. This was the first time he had heard the song and he later collected 2 versions in Somerset as well as 7 versions in USA. It is much sung today, of course.

Matthew Pester was baptised at Rose Ash church on 23/1/1831, second child of William Pester, wheelwright and his wife Ann. Matthew took over from his father as the village wheelwright. He married Sally Crispin in Jan qr 1855 (Tiverton 5b 679) and they had 4 children, two sons William and Frederick both becoming wheelwrights in their turn. In 1901 the family were living in Rose Ash (RG13/2140 f46 p1) but Matthew’s wife Sally died in the summer of 1905, 18 months after Sharp’s contact. Matthew himself died on 4/2/1917 (registered at South Molton 5b 735), aged 86.

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