Smith, Mrs James

Collection date: Sept 1922

Area: Northamptonshire


Mrs James Smith at Sulgrave: age 79, 1 morris tune ‘Soap sugar and pins’ (FT4899) on 12 Sept 1922: Sulgrave is 8 miles E of Banbury. Mrs Smith was the wife of an old morris dancer. Sharp got only a little information about the morris side in Sulgrave, which ceased dancing c1880. See Folk Dance Notes vol4 p93.

Mary Mathews was baptised at Wappenham church on 11/9/1845, only surviving child of George Mathews, agricultural labourer and his wife Isabella. Isabella died on 1/7/1847 aged 33 and George died 6/11/1851 aged 35, so poor Mary was orphaned at an early age. She was looked after by her uncle John Mathews at Wappenham and was married on 18/10/1867 at Sulgrave church to James Smith, a labourer. They had 2 children – Thomas (b1870) and Maria (b1878). One of these children died young, as James and Maria were left bringing up a grandson Wallace (b1898) in both 1901 and 1911 censuses.

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