Price, Samson


Collection date: Aug 1923

Area: Shropshire

Samson Price (Gipsy) at Little Stretton: age 58, 3 songs ‘Van Dieman’s Land’, ‘Leaves of Life’ and ‘God rest you merry gentlemen’ (FT4959-61) 30 Aug 1923: Samson Price was born on 17/12/1870, 2nd of 6 children of Samson Price Snr, a travelling cutler, and his wife Jane. He stated that he was born at Knighton, Radnorshire and he was probably baptised on 15/2/1871 at Blakeney, Glos.

In censuses Samson Snr said he was born at Amber Hill, Shropshire, while his wife Jane was from St Just, Cornwall. The family roamed across the West Midlands through mid-Wales and one child was born at Manorbier in Pembrokeshire. In the 1871 census they were at Weobley and in the 1881 census at Leominster, both in Herefordshire; in 1891 they were at Mathry in Pembrokeshire. 

It's not known exactly how and why Sharp met up with Samson Price at Little Stretton - halfway between Shrewsbury and Ludlow. He had just finished lecturing at the Summer School held in Aldeburgh, Suffolk and probably was staying at nearby Church Stretton, which was a health spa known in Edwardian times as 'Little Switzerland'. Samson Price was one of the last singers that Sharp collected from, as his health deteriorated in October and he went to Montreux in Switzerland for 2 months to try to recuperate.

In the 1939 Register of England & Wales, Samson Price was a horse-dealer in a caravan at Martley, Worcs. He appears to have a wife Matilda, a licensed hawker, and 3 children living with him. His date of death has yet to be confirmed.

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