Bailey, William

Also known as: Bill Bailey


Collection date: Apr 1906

Area: Somerset - Bridgwater Surrounds

William 'Bill' Bailey of Cannington (1845-1915): age 60, 28 songs commencing 20 Apr 1906: William Bailey was a prolific singer and Sharp visited him six times over 18 months. His song ‘Bridgwater Fair’ (FT974) was selected for Folk Songs from Somerset vol 3. It’s about St Matthew’s Fair, still held annually in September in the town.

William was baptised at Cannington church on 26/1/1845, eldest of 5 children of Esau Bailey and his wife Elisabeth. Esau was a shoemaker according to the baptismal register but in the censuses of 1851 & 1861 he was recorded as an agricultural labourer. At Cannington church on 1/1/1867 William Bailey married Ann Thomas, daughter of Abraham Thomas. The couple lived for the rest of their lives in Frog Street (otherwise East St) in Cannington and they raised 4 children (1901 ref RG13/2280 f42 p10). For much of this period their neighbour was singer Edwin Davey. William died Dec qr 1915 age 72 ref 5c 399.

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