Collection date: Jan 1906
Area: Somerset - West
Robert Pope at Alcombe (1838-1921): age 70, 10 songs 12 Jan 1906: Robert's version of 'John Barleycorn' (FT764) was published in Folk Songs from Somerset vol3 (click vwml link above):
Robert Pope was baptised on 28/1/1838 at Wootton Courtenay church, 5 miles SW of Minehead. He was the youngest of 3 sons of George Pope, an agricultural labourer and his wife Betty. Although both parents lived long lives, Robert left home early to work on a nearby farm at age 14. He would be an agricultural labourer all his life. He married his first wife Mary Jane on 17/4/1858 at Wootton Courtenay and they had 8 children. He could not sign his name in the wedding register.
When his wife died in February 1881, Robert remarried Jane Bailey, a widow age 39 at Wootton Courtenay church on 25/12/1882. They moved to Dunster town for 1891 census but in 1901 had settled at Alcombe village on the Minehead road (ref RG13/2262 f29 p26). They were still in Alcombe in 1911 and Robert died on 2/8/1921.
Note: The village of Alcombe has today merged with the town of Minehead but in 1901 census it was a separate community that came under the nearby parish of Dunster (St George’s church). The new church of St Michael Archangel, Alcombe was not built until 1903.