Henry Charles Albino

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Henry Charles Albino (1859-1925) was the father of the collector Harry Hurlbutt Albino and the source of two of his songs.

Henry's father, Vittorio (Victor), had, like several of his brothers, immigrated to England from Garzeno in the Lombardy region and several of them started businesses as jewellers and watchmakers – his older brothers Donato and Daminico set up in the trade in nearby Cheltenham High Street and one of Vittorio’s sons, Joseph, went to live with Donato as his assistant. Vittorio arrived in England probably in the second half of 1841 and had, by early 1842 married Eliza Wilson and settled down as a jeweller in the Cotswold village of Bourton-on-the-Water.

Vittorio's youngest child, of 3 sons and 2 daughters, Henry Charles was born at Bourton in 1859 and following the untimely death of his father in 1864 (at the early age of 51), was sent to Cheltenham College where he boarded at Birdlip House, under the care of its master Jason Cox. His widow, Eliza, became landlady of the Cricket Players Inn (now known at the Longstop) in Church Gate, Leicester and following his schooling Henry Charles (as well as his older sister Elizabeth) moved to Leicester to help their mother in her business as a licensed victualler. Whilst he was there he met and married Mary Jane Ann "Jeannie" Hurlbutt, before becoming a Shipbroker's Clerk and moving to 1 Compton Terrace, Winchmore Hill, where their first son, Henry Hurlbutt Albino was born in 1889 and baptized at the church of St Mary, Edmonton on 8 February 1890. They stayed in London, although their youngest son (Harold Wilson Albino) was born in Brighton, a place they had been noted as visiting during the 1901 census. Life obviously prospered for the Albinos. They moved to ‘Hazeldean’ in Rutford Road, Streatham where they employed two servants. After returning to Gloucestershire, where they lived in the Manor House at Bourton-on-the-Water with their son Harry Hurlbutt Albino, Henry Charles died in 1925, but his widow lived until the middle of 1954. There is an impressive stained-glass memorial window to Henry Charles in the church of St. Lawrence at Bourton.

Harry Hurlbutt Albino made arrangements of two songs, both of which he described as being “sung to me by my father who learned it as a boy in Gloucestershire”.


Title Roud number Full English Comments
Oh Soldier Soldier Will You Marry Me? 498 Oh Soldier, Soldier
Sam, Sam The Hacking Man 19087 Sam The Hacking Man

Paul Burgess