Wyatt-Edgell, Miss Priscilla

Collection date:

Area: Devon


Miss (Lucy) Priscilla Wyatt-Edgell (1871-1934) of Cowley Place, nr Exeter: Priscilla was not a singer but an intermediary. She met Rev Baring-Gould at some point and sent him altogether 21 songs that she had learned from local singers. She then met Sharp in 1907 and sent a few songs to him. One song (among many) that she sent to Lucy Broadwood over the coming years was ‘’Twas on one April morning’ (Roud 1546), sung by Richard Bryant (search LEB/5/424/2). This is much sung today and appeared in the Journal of the Folk Song Society 4 (1910) p94.

Priscilla Wyatt-Edgell was born Apr qr 1871 in London, eldest child of Lt Col Arthur Wyatt-Edgell, a wealthy military man who purchased Cowley Place in 1875. While her two younger brothers went to Eton, Oxbridge and the military, Priscilla had a Swiss governess at home for her education and learned to play the violin among other attributes. She was instrumental in persuading the concertina player William Ford to go down to Baring-Gould at Lewtrenchard to teach some country dances in April 1907. Sharp was staying at Lew House at the time and seized the opportunity to note down tunes and figures.

Sharp was staying at Cowley Place when he visited singer Mrs Eliza Beer at Killerton in 1908 and again in 1909 when Priscilla had organised a morris dance display. Priscilla died in Exeter on 4 December 1934.

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