Patch, William


Collection date: Dec 1908

Area: Somerset - Mendips (Harptree & Priddy)

William Patch at Winford: 1 song on 28 Dec 1908: ‘The Cheerful Arn’ is a hunting song. In FT2019 Sharp states that William Patch was ‘a young man’ and that it was ‘his grandfather’s song’. Sharp met William as he was stone-breaking in Chew Lane. In the field notebook (CJS1/9/2/1908/15 p10) Sharp wrote that William was ‘about 30’.

There were two young men called William Patch in Winford in 1901. The first was born in c.1881, son of John Patch (publican at the Felton Inn, who died 1893). In 1901 William’s widowed mother Louisa, aged 59, was listed as a ‘farmer’ still at Felton, keeping the place going with the help of 3 sons. William was then 19. That would make him 27 perhaps at Sharp’s arrival at Winford. In 1911 William was single, aged 30, an iron ore miner. Sharp said William was stone-breaking, so that might just fit. The only snag is that Sharp’s William said that his song was ‘his grandfather’s song’ but both grandfathers of ‘this’ William were dead before he was born. It could have been passed on in memory but looks a problem. This William died in France or Belgium during WW1 in 1917.

The second possibility is William (Henry) Patch, who was born in 1886, son of a different John Patch, a farmer and haulier in Winford. In 1911 William was 25, a carter on the family farm. He would have been only 22 on Sharp’s arrival. His grandfather William J Patch was, on the other hand, very much alive in 1911, aged 72 at the Crown Inn, Winford. Wrong age but possible song transmission. Awaiting further research.

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