Collection date: Oct 1908
Walter Willcock at Marylebone workhouse (1848-1923): age 64, 14 songs over several visits commencing 1 Oct 1908: Sharp spelled Walter’s name with one ‘l’ but most records show 2 ‘l’s. He was obviously a good singer. Sharp published his song 'The Emigrant' (FT1935) in the Journal of the Folk-Song Society 5 (1914).
Walter appears in the 1911 Marylebone workhouse records (RG14/557 p54) as aged 68, a farrier, born Kensington. In fact Walter spent most of his adult life in Marylebone parish.
He was born in January qr 1848 (Kensington reg 3-337), 2nd of 6 children of Samuel Willcock, farrier and his wife Elizabeth. Both parents were Cornish – Samuel was from St Winnow and Elizabeth from Lostwithiel. In both 1851 and 1861 censuses the family were living in Hardington Street, Marylebone. By 1871 Walter had enlisted with the Royal Artillery and was in barracks at Winchester. In 1881 he was a farrier at Richmond St, Marylebone with wife Mary Ann and 2 daughters Rose and Ellen. In 1891 he was in Nightingale St, Marylebone with one more daughter Lucy. His wife Mary Ann died in 1904 and Walter struggled for many years. He was in and out of the Marylebone workhouse. Admission records in 1916, 1917 and 1920 described him as ‘farrier, destitute’. He died 24/12/1923.