Collection date: Sept 1906
Area: Somerset - West
William Crockford of Bratton (1842-1921): age 60, 2 songs incl ‘Apple Wassail’ (FT1146) on 12 Sept 1906: Crockford’s Apple Wassail song is much sung today at revival events and Sharp published it in Folk Songs from Somerset vol 5 in 1909 (click on vwnl link):
William Crockford was baptised at Porlock church on 11/9/1842, son of Thomas Crockford, thatcher and his wife Harriet. He just had a younger sister Betsy for company, as he grew up in the village of Luccombe. In the 1861 census William was 18, a shepherd at home with his parents but on 2/12/1865 at Selworthy church he married (Sarah) Ann Floyd, 22, daughter of Abraham Floyd, a modest farmer of 28 acres. William could not sign his name.
Ann had 4 older brothers, all of whom worked on their father’s farm, but at least Ann had a training in agricultural work and could help William in his lifelong role as a shepherd. Initially they lived at Luccombe but had moved to Bratton by 1881. William & Ann had just 2 children – Abraham and Mary, both of whom had left home by 1901 census (RG13/2261 f9 p10).
Ann Crockford died in Feb 1902, so William was already a widower when Sharp met him in 1906. In 1911 William was on his own, 68 a shepherd. He probably died Mar 1921 Williton ref 5c 317.