William Edwards Davies

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William Edwards Davies (1832-1917) was Parish Clerk at Winchcombe. He was born in Laugharne in Carmarthenshire and by 1861 was living in the picturesque Vineyard Street in Winchcome, Gloucestershire, having married Mary Ballenger from Dumbleton four years previously. Working as a painter he lived in Winchcombe for the rest of his life, the bulk of it in Gloucester Street, becoming Parish Clerk and Sexton. He was buried on 31 March 1917, aged 86 and his wife died four years later. Thety had several children: Gwenthlion (1858), John (1860), Lydia (1864), George and William (1868)and Frederick (1870).

William Edwards was visited by Cecil Sharp during his collecting in the county during April 1909, and was possibly introduced to him by Eliza Wedgwood. Although he appears to have played for the Wincomb morris dancers, Sharp only recorded two tunes from him, only one of which had Morris connections.

April 8 1909
2144 Greensleeves
2145 The Butterfly

Sharp noted the words "Some say the devil's dead/And buried in Cold Harbour", on which he commented "Sung to 'Green Sleeves' music which was played to 'bacca pipes' or the Cushion dance by Mr. Davies at Winchcombe, April 8th 1909.

Paul Burgess