Adams, Richard


Collection date: Aug 1906

Area: Somerset - Mendips (Harptree & Priddy)

Richard Adams at East Harptree (1830-1908): age 77, 10 songs 24 Aug 1906: Richard Dallimore Adams was baptised at Litton church on 4/7/1830, son of William Adams, labourer and his wife Hannah. He went, aged 11, to work as a farm boy at Farrington Gurney, a few miles north of Litton village (1851 census).

On 11/9/1854 at Chewton Mendip church he married Emily Maggs, daughter of Thomas Maggs, labourer. Neither bride nor groom could sign their names. They had 9 children and Richard did various jobs. According to a letter from a relative (David Bland Box 1 folder 5), he ran the Kings Arms at Litton for a time and was a teetotaller. He left there to run the Stirrup Cup at Mendip and bought 2 horses to haul lead and iron from the Mendip mines to Bristol, returning with loads of coal. In both 1861 and 1871 censuses he was indeed described as a ‘coal haulier’. This is when he started drinking. On his way home he would call at the Wellsway Inn at West Harptree, leaving his load and horses outside the pub. His wife knew where he was and would walk from her home to the pub and take the horses back, leaving him to get home the best way he could.

Richard was listed as a small farmer (1881 16 acres). His wife Emily sadly died on 14/7/1881 (Ubley) aged just 45, leaving him with 6 children between ages of 3-15. Richard did not remarry but the children must have fended for themselves, because he was certainly on his own in 1891. Finally he was working as a ‘stone-breaker aged 72’ in the 1901 census (RG13/2329 f38 p10). He did this work in the quarry at Gibbet’s Brow, Chewton Mendip. In his final years he lived with his daughter at Smitham Hill, East Harptree, which is where he met Sharp. He was buried at Chewton Mendip church on 8/2/1908.

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