Porter, William


Collection date: Sept 1911

Area: Cambridgeshire

William Porter at Ely: age 78?, 4 songs on 8 Sept 1911 (FT2648ff) + 2 songs on 20 Oct 1911 (FT2721/2): Porter’s version of ‘The Carter’ was reproduced in the Journal of the Folk-Song Society 5 (1916): Although Sharp listed William as aged 78 in 1911 (i.e. birth date c1833), he also noted William’s birthplace as Little Thetford, 3 miles S of Ely, and the only William Porter in the Thetford censuses was born c1837. If this is correct, then William Porter was the 2nd of 7 children of William Porter Snr, blacksmith and his wife Sarah.

It’s likely that William married Ann Wilson in July qr 1864 but that she died soon afterwards, leaving him as a widower, agricultural labourer, lodging with friends (Ely census 1871). He was married again by the 1881 Ely census – he was 44, wife Elizabeth 40. They had no children. William was a widower on his own in the 1911 Ely census, age given as 71. His date of death is to be confirmed.

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