Sturch, Charles W

Collection date: Apr 1910

Area: Warwickshire


Charles William Sturch at Honington (1860-1941): age 49, ‘Double Figure Eight’ country dance (FT2466) on 26 Apr 1910: Sharp just wrote ‘Mr Sturch Jr’ but was referring to Charles William Sturch, son of fiddler Henry Sturch (see sep profile). Honington is 2 miles N of Shipston-on-Stour, which was where Charles Sturch actually lived.

Charles Sturch was born on 4/5/1860 at Shipston-on-Stour, 3rd child of Henry and Mary Ann Sturch. His older brother Henry William also learned the violin from his father and for a time they seem to have performed occasionally as a string band in the 1880s. But Henry moved away to Birmingham and sadly died there in 1900 at the age of just 46. Charles obviously played for social dances and gave Sharp this country dance tune in April 1910, just a few months after the death of his father. In the 1891 census Charles was actually listed as a 'musician'.

In that same census Charles appears to have been living with a common-law wife Mary. There is no record of this marriage but banns were later read at Shipston in June 1897 for a proposed marriage between Charles Sturch and Mary Brain. This never happened and instead Charles married a Welsh girl Gertrude Sarah Cumbley on 15/11/1897 at Shipston. In the register he was 33, a ‘bachelor’, and she was 23, a ‘spinster’, although she already had a daughter Elizabeth (b1896). Gertrude was born in Monmouth in 1874, daughter of James Cumbley, tailor and his wife Rosa, who had recently moved to Evesham (1891 census).

Charles and Gertrude had 2 children that lived to adulthood, one of whom Henry William (1909-80) became a musician for the Ilmington Morris Men (www.Ilmingtonmorrismen.org.uk). Ilmington is 4 miles W of Shipston.

In 1901 census Charles Sturch was 39, a bricklayer’s labourer (ref RG13/2946 f121 p25). In 1911 he was a rural postman at Water Lane, Shipston. He died January qr 1941 aged 80 (ref Shipston 6d 1893).

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