Stokes, William

Collection date: Aug 1906

Area: Somerset - Mendips (Harptree & Priddy)


William Stokes at Chew Stoke (1842-1915): age 64, 34 songs over 8 occasions commencing 27 Aug 1906: Although he was a major singer for Sharp, William had only 2 songs published in Folk Songs from Somerset, namely 'Jack Hall' (FT1160) in vol4 and 'Lark in the Morn' (FT1521) in vol5. William Stokes was born at Littleton Farm between Chew Magna and Winford, the youngest of 3 children. He was baptised on 18/12/1842 at Winford church and his father George was shown as a labourer with wife Jane. At Winford in 1851 and 1861 William’s father was listed as a licensed victualler or beerhouse keeper.

On 8/9/1862 William married Caroline Stallard at Bedminster church and they settled in Chew Stoke, having 6 children, 3 of whom died young. William began as an agricultural labourer but was shown as an Iron Miner in 1881 and 1891. He became sexton of St Andrews church in Chew Stoke and also worked as a stone mason (Chew Valley Gazette Oct 1998, Bob Patten notes). His wife Caroline died in 1900, so in 1901 he was a widower, aged 58 on his own (ref RG13/2330 f61 p20). He was buried at Chew Stoke 30/12/1915.