Roberts, Mary Ann

Collection date: Apr 1909

Area: Gloucestershire


Mary Anne Roberts at Winchcombe workhouse, Glos (1832-?): age 81, 3 songs on 8 Apr 1909: Sharp got in first this time, noting 3 songs (FT2146, 2150, 2151) from Mrs Roberts before Grainger interviewed her later on 31 July 1909. She told Sharp that her version of ’The Cherry Tree Carol’ (FT2151) was learned from her mother.

Mary Anne Haines was born c1832 at Moor, nr Pershore, Worcs. She was the daughter of John Haines, agricultural labourer and his wife Mary. The family had moved 10 miles south to Alderton, Glos for the 1841 and 1851 censuses. On 20/7/1861 at Ashchurch Mary Ann married William Roberts, labourer of Aston on Carrant nr Tewkesbury. He was 21 and she was 29. Neither could sign their names.

They lived initially at Aston and had 4 children there before moving to Great Washbourne (1871 census). In the late 1870s Mary Ann could not cope at home and was admitted to the Winchcombe workhouse in Gloucester Street, where in 1881 census she was described as an ‘imbecile’ (Winchcombe District 9 p12). She recovered enough to rejoin her husband and 2 children in the 1891 census at Beckford. She was readmitted to the workhouse in January 1908, however, and would not have been in a good state when Sharp met her in April 1909. She was removed to the asylum in 1910 and it is not known when she died.

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