Craig Fees, “Christmas Mumming in a North Cotswold Town: With Special Reference to Tourism, Urbanisation and Immigration-Related Social Change“, PhD., Institute of Dialect and Folklife Studies, School of English, University of Leeds, England (1988).
1. Christopher Whitfield, A History of Chipping Campden, op cit., p.242; he doesn’t give a source for this statement either in the original book or in the annotated version held in the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Record Office, D212/1. Roy Dommett, “The Cotswold Morris in the Twentieth Century”, Traditional Dance, 1 (1981),60: “The Guild of Handicraft moved out of London and settled in Chipping Campden in 1902. The basic idea did not work out too well but they were instrumental in starting up a local morris and mummers.” Peter Harrop, The Performance of English Folk Plays, op cit„ quotes Whitfield on p. 179 and says: “It seems safe to suggest that there was an established mumming tradition in Campden before the First World War but it is impossible to determine how vigorous this was and at what date it was established. The question of outside influence on the tradition must be faced, although it is possible that the Guild merely encouraged local men to put more energy into a flagging local activity – a pattern which we have seen elsewhere.”
2. Alan Crawford, in a letter of 29.2.1988, says: “I think this is strictly true and there is certainly a good deal of editing in their pages, but I don’t know myself of grounds for being as definite as your phrase [“by no means cognate” in the earlier version which Alan Crawford kindly read] is. The present journals, so far as the bulk of the Ashbees entries are concerned, may be very close to what was written on the dates each entry carries; thus, I have never come across any large quantity of material that has been edited out of the journals, or thrown away, put on one side, and I don’t think he physically put it all together in later life; I suspect it was done towards the end of each year. I would say, “It is unlikely that the Journals are identical with the personal journals…”.”
I take Alan Crawford’s point, although one would not necessarily expect Ashbee to have saved the material he edited out of the Journals. In volume V of the Memoirs, p. 210, Ashbee quotes a Journal reference of June 14,1921 to “my office papers of which I destroyed the other day many thousands”, for example, indicating that at least as far as the record of the Guild as a business was concerned, he was prepared to discard material.
I view the Journals as the version of events which Ashbee wished to leave to posterity, and although I do not question his integrity, and there are materials in the Journals which do not show Ashbee in his most flattering light, there was clearly available a great deal of contemporary material which he did not use, and which give a very different picture of Ashbee and the Guild enterprise. Although a closer analysis of the structure of the Journals is obviously called for, I feel that the Campden years at least have a definite narrative structure, and that the shaping of this required the benefit of hindsight. It is possible and perhaps even probable that Ashbee worked with materials which had been saved day by day and at the end of each year – his annual correspondence must have been considerable – but I also think that it would have been uncharacteristic for the aesthetic educationalist in Ashbee to have accepted these materials as he found them, without crafting them into a moral and polemical narrative. The Journals were, from his point of view, a public document. I do not feel that he would have left so important a thing as their interpretation entirely to the future reader.
3. With the support and encouragement of Dr. Michael Halls, the Modern Archivist of King’s College Library, Cambridge, I have been able over a period of years to read through the entire set of Journals at least once, and the period from 1901 at least twice. The idea that the Journals have been crafted into a narrative will not, I think, be controversial. Dr. Halls has pointed out at least one entry in the early Journals which is clearly written in Ashbee’s later hand.
4. There has not yet been a concerted comparison of the Journals and Memoirs. The differences noted below came to my attention when I was checking my transcription of a word against Ashbee’s, or when I came across a phrase or anecdote in the Memoirs which, for some reason, had stuck in my mind while reading the Journals. Given the serendipitous nature of the finds, and the mass of material in both the Journals and Memoirs, it is probable that a rigorous comparison would yield more and probably more interesting types of differences. These below are only sufficient to show that Ashbee did not consider the Journals an inviolate document.
Journals 1924/72: “I counted some 60 names of those I had known as boys before the war.” Memoirs VII, 115: “I counted some 60 names of those who were boys before the war.”
Journals 20.2.1930: “They all miss Alec.” Memoirs VII, 389: “They all miss Alec (who is in USA).”
Journals 26.6.1939, William Cameron to C.R. Ashbee: “It was, in your own words, nearer to Utopia than any of you realised at the time.” Memoirs IV, 281: “as one of my architectural clients put it: – nearer to Utopia than any of us realised at the time.”
Journals 16.10.1914/236: “After doing my best to smash the Kaiser – was I going to trim my throat with one of his eagles!” Memoirs IV.1, “After doin’ me best to smash the Kaiser – was I goin’ to trim me throat with one of his eagles.”
Journals 1916/58 (825): ” ‘Because my mother wrote to the war office and had me fetched out’…’What are you going to do now?’ ‘Munitions somewhere.’ ‘Not work on the land?’ ‘No fear!”‘ Memoirs IV, 388-389: ‘”Because me muvver wrote to the war office and had me fetched out!’…’What are you going to do now?’ ‘Munitions somewhere.’ ‘Not work on the land?’ ‘What – me work for a farmer – no fear!'”
A dialogue about comparative costs of artillery shells and Ashbee’s little houses in Journals 15.12.1914/473 has been changed in the Memoirs.
See also III.3.2 footnote 64.
Alan Crawford has also noted discrepancies between the two works: for example, in a pencilled note in the Memoirs at King’s College, Cambridge, he points out that a quote attributed by Ashbee to American Frank Taylor (Memoirs, p.33), and which Ashbee uses as a chapter heading, is attributed in Journals vol.10, p.175, to a Mrs. Worthington.
5. H.T. Osborn in a letter to Keith Chandler 22.4.1982; in C. Fees, ed„ A Child in Arcadia: The Chipping Campden Boyhood of H.T. Osborn, 1902-1907. Campden and District Historical and Archaeological Society, Chipping Campden, 1986, p.29.
6. A letter to Barnard from Ernest Sutton of Condicote, dated 8 August 1908, and pasted into the frontispiece of vol. 6 of Barnard’s Notes and Queries (for description of Notes and Queries, see fn 7 below), tells Barnard of the popularity of the column: ” A labouring man from Aston Somerville was here in the winter, and told me he read them, and I was surprised how he remembered some of its contents.”
7. Barnard initiated the “Notes and Queries” column In the Evesham Journal on 21.7.1906, having earlier published two series of articles – “Old Times Revealed” and “Later Times Recalled” – also in the Evesham Journal. His “Notes and Queries” columns are pasted chronologically into a set of volumes now housed in the Evesham Public Library, along with notes and correspondence relevant to the columns; these volumes I will call Notes and Queries; the columns “Notes and Queries”. Other relevant material is stored separately as part of the Barnard Bequest in the Library. A selection of material from the columns was published in three volumes in 1911 and 1914; I have not cited these in this dissertation.
According to his obituary in the EvJ 21.2.1953,12, he was made a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 1912, and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 1919. He edited the Transactions of the Worcestershire Archaeological Society for twenty-five years, until 1949. He was secretary and editor of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society from 1930-1935, was a vice-president of the Royal Archaeological Institute, and was a vice-president of the Cambridge and County Folk Museum with which he was associated from its founding.
8. E.A.B. Barnard’s diary, Hereford and Worcester Record Office 5828-1. See, for example, 3.2.1902 and following.
9. See ibid., 6.3.1902: “At hotel met a Mr. Godson, the representative of Ashbee of the Arts and Crafts Guild.” 8.3.1902, “Went with Mr. Godman over the old Silk Mill etc. and saw a number of the old Campden houses”. Barnard met Ashbee at the Silk Mill, calling him “a very interesting man with whom I had much conversation re Rome.” Then he “Went to some of the houses with G.”, 23.4.1902.
10. Ibid., 19.8.1902.
11. See, for example, letters from N. Izod, Westlngton, 1.9.1936; and from Gladys Fisher, Charingworth Farm, 22.11.1948 in the Barnard Collection, Hereford and Worcester Record Office 8913/899:251; and in Notes and Queries, from Muriel Horne, Broad Campden, 24.8.1948 (opposite no. 108l), and 29.9.1952 (opposite no. 1126), and from Josephine Griffiths, Campden, 13.5.1937 (opposite no. 753) (see also fn 24, below).
12. In Barnard’s Notes and Queries vol VI, p.76, there is a long cutting, an interview with Cecil Sharp from the Morning Post for 18.1.1909: at vol. VII, p.45, a Christmas card to Barnard from Sharp with a photograph of an old woman singer and a copy of the Buckland, Gloucestershire, carol.
13. In 1920 “…I happened to be passing through familiar Offenham, where I had rather unsuccessfully been trying to collect local versions of folk songs for the late Cecil Sharp…”, EvJ 21.9.1940,5.
14. EvJ 26.10.1907,6; and later, 23.1.1909. “Notes and Queries” no. 132: “One is glad to chronicle, too, the re-appearance, after a long period of years, of “Christmas Mummers” in the streets of Evesham during the last days of the year which has recently ended.”
15. EvJ 3-5.1913.4: “Notes and Queries” no. 348.
16. EvJ 10.5.1913.5: “Notes and Queries” no. 349; EvJ 24.5.1913,4: “Notes and Queries” no. 351; EvJ 14.6.1913,4: “Notes and Queries” no. 354.
17. This is a considerable body of material, both printed and manuscript, and includes correspondence from Campden residents (see fn 11 above and fn 24 below), and an unpublished manuscript of the Bengeworth, Worcestershire, mummers play text.
18. See Rushen, The History and Antiquities of Chipping Campden, the Author, London, 1911. p.49: “Morris dancers attended”, and p.178: “the performances of the Morris dancers and musicians are worth attention, as of recent years some of the townsmen have endeavoured to give to the occasion that touch of quaintness and simplicity which makes for harmony, peace, and beauty in these rapid days.”
19. See J.R. Neve’s obituary, EvJ 1.4.1922, 11, where it says he came to Campden from Kingston-on-Thames “forty years ago”, “acquiring an old-established drapery business.” He became postmaster in 1886.
20. In the possession of his grandson, Lewis Horne, of Chipping Campden, and kindly shown to me by Mr. and Mrs. Horne.
21. For J.R. Neve’s notes on Club Day and Scuttlebrook Wake, see EvJ 22.12.1906,6; for Football, see EvJ 28.12.1907,6.
22. For the two Campden carols, see: GLLHC RQ66.7, with a letter to Mr. Hockaday dated 30.May.1923, accompanied with the carols “of which, no one now, knows anything about”. “The verses were gleaned from 3. or 4. old folks, whom I used to visit, when they were ill, – as a young girl; and the tune was sung to me, by another old friend at the Almshouses,- who died shortly afterwards, at 102.” The words are in a manuscript made from Miss Griffiths’ notes by Russell Alexander (see IV.l), with minor differences in the first two lines of the carol for St. Stephen (GRO 2909/8). They are included in Vol. II of her manuscript collection of notes on Campden for incumbents (St. James Church Muniment Room, 1K), p.135. On page 136 she notes “When we were children, in the early eighteen-seventies, Jack Howell, – Mrs. Ellen Newman’s father,- used to sing these carols. He had evidently been instructed by William Weston, the sexton of his young days; who was commonly spoken of, as “Billle Wessie”.” For other folklore-related material in this volume see p.67, p.134.
23. T. Hannam-Clark, Drama in Gloucestershire, Simpkin Marshall, London, 1928, p.144. See IV.l. below, for further details.
24. Josephine Griffiths: in Barnard’s Notes and Queries: 28.3.1929 (opposite “Old Days” no. 365); 6.7.1931 (opposite “Old Days” no. 215); 13-5.1937 (opposite “Old Days” no. 722). In Barnard’s Old Days in and Around Evesham volumes also held in the Evesham Public Library, he has “Extracts from Registers at the Parish Church of Campden, Gloucestershire,” by Miss Griffiths (vol: numbers 777-813, p.54); and a letter from Miss Griffiths written 22.7.1941 (vol: numbers 914-985, pp. 96, 98). Correspondence from Miss Griffiths is cited in his “Old Days” column, EvJ 29.5-1937,11.
Percy Rushen: See Barnard Collection, Hereford and Worcester Record Office 8913-32 899:251, in context with interwar material, where Barnard apparently has Rushen’s letters on Campden wills in his possession.
25. EvJ 23.12.1939,2: EvJ 30.12.1939,8.
26. See below, III.3.2, III.3.3.
27. See V.1; BBC Record 1946 10029f, available for listening at Vaughan Williams Memorial Library, English Folk Dance and Song Society.
28. See, for example. H.T. Osborn in a letter to Keith Chandler quoted in the text above.
29. Mrs. Norah Howell, recorded interview 15.5.1985, cas. 109-110.
30. Norah Taplin. recorded interview 10.5.1984, cas 65.
31. Although he is certain his father was never in the mummers, Fred Coldicott (b. 1910) can remember his father reciting the mumming straight through a number of times and singing the mummers’ song in the family’s evening entertainments. This would have been before Mr. Coldicott was ten, or 1920; recorded interview 20.1.1988 cas 220a.
32. Peter Harrop, The Performance of English Folk Plays, op cit., p.202.
33. Ibid, p.202-203.
The Revival and Reinvigoration of Campden
1. Christopher Whitfield, A History of Chipping Campden. op cit.. p. 242.
2. Whitfield, ibid., p. 268 quotes the 1901 census figure for Campden parish as 1542.
3. F.E. Green, “Craftsmen on the Land: A New Small Holding Settlement,” The Dally News 13.2.1911,4.
4. Jane Wilgress, in Alec Miller, Guildsman and Sculptor in Chipping Campden, Campden and District Historical and Archaeological Society, Campden, 1987, p. 28, notes “Among my father’s papers is a copy of an article by F.E. Green, “The Workshop and the Land,” from The Millgate Monthly, circa 1910. Its illustrations include a fine wintertime picture of the studio, showing the numerous fruit trees which were then in the garden.” Wilgress cites another article by Green, called “Village Handicrafts” in T.P.’s Weekly. Another article about Campden by Green entitled “A Medieval Village” appeared in The Country House Sept/Nov (1912), 282-286. Green clearly got a lot of mileage out of his visit(s) to Campden and clearly had a strong contact with Guildsmen. He was invited to speak to the first public meeting of the National Home and Land League branch in Campden, of which Alec Miller was the hon. sec, and (with Miller in the chair), Green lectured on “The Revival of Country Life”, EvJ 2.11.1912,8.
5. C.R. Ashbee, Craftsmanship in Competitive Industry, Essex House Press, Campden and London, 1908, p.42.
6. Ibid., p. 238.
7. E.g., Christopher Whitfield, A History of Chipping Campden. op cit., pp. 240-242; Fiona MacCarthy, The Simple Life, Lund Humphries, London, 1981, pp. 42ff; Geoffrey Powell, The Book of Campden, Barracuda Books, Buckingham, 1982, pp. 81-82.
8. H.T. Osborn to Fiona MacCarthy, 1.5.1981, in C. Fees, ed., A Child In Arcadia, op cit., p.15.
9. “The Second Address of the Lord Redesdale, October 7, 1905”, Essex House Press, Campden, 1905.
10. Green, “Craftsmen on the Land”, op. cit.
11. Whitfield, A History of Chipping Campden. op cit., p. 242.
12. MacCarthy, The Simple Life, op cit., p. 43.
13. Fiona MacCarthy, for example, relies almost entirely on the Ashbee Journals for her picture of Campden in The Simple Life, but even Christopher Whitfield, in his History of Chipping Campden does not appear to have used the Evesham Journal, for example, in any concerted way. His conclusion at the end of his chapter “The Nineteenth Century”, p. 237, “Such was Campden towards the close of the nineteenth century, a place of grave antiquity and rare peace, a place with a long if passive history, and a quiet, gentle self-sufficiency” is belied by the events described in II.2, above, or which emerge from the picture in the Petty Sessions record. See also Whitfield, p. 250, “In Campden itself the effects of the war of 1914-18, apart from the strain of waiting, the shortage of food, and the anxiety of those whose relations or friends were in the armed forces, produced little effect. It remained the same idyllically peaceful little town that it had been for years, a lovely survival of a former age,” and compare with IV.2, IV.3.
14. ‘Unus ex Multis’, correspondence in EvJ 10.2.1883,4.
15. ‘A Native’, “In Re Campden and Others”, EvJ 23.11.1889,6.
16. EvJ 30.5.1896, 6.
17. Dr. Dewhurst, correspondence, in EvJ 14.4.1906,5.
18. Rushen, The History and Antiquities of Chipping Campden, op cit., 1911, p. 166.
19. Ibid. p. 167.
20. For extensive reporting of Guild activities, see: EvJ 12.4.1902,6; 26.7.1902,6; 18.10.1902,6; 8.11.1902,5; 28.2.1903.5; 4.4.1903,6; 8.8.1903,6; 26.9.1903,6; 23.1.1904,8; 5.3.1904,8; 2.4.1904,5: 30.4.1904,6; 28.5.1904,5: 25.6.1904,6; 16.7.1904,6; 30.7,1904,8; 3.9.1904,8; 22.10.1904,5: 12.11.1904,5: 12.11.1904,6; 26.11.1904,6; 17.12.1904,6; 24.12.1904,5; 28.1.1905,5; 11.2.1905,5. etc. For balanced correspondence see EvJ 29.10.1904,5; 5.11.1904,5; 12.11.1904,5; 11.3.1905,3; 3.6.1905,5; 9.12.1905,8; 16.12.1905,8; 23.12.1905,5.
21. EvJ 26.9.1908,8.
22. EvJ 18.2.1911.7.
23. During the golden wedding celebrations of grocer Herbert Wixey, reported in the EvJ 9.8.1913,12. “Mr. Wixey mentioned the fact that the spread of allotments had a great effect upon the country grocer’s bacon business. Forty years ago very few people kept a pig. Now the bulk of allotment holders feed their own pigs and cure them, and sometimes feed pigs for sale as well. With the produce of their allotments they can now feed their own pigs at a small cost, and they consequently have more money to spend in other ways.” I interpret this as a positive reflection, given Wixey’s support for allotments (see II.2) and the fact that Wixey chaired a public meeting in 1904 which agreed the proposition “that in the opinion of this meeting it is desirable to establish a Pig Insurance Club for the benefit of the working men of Campden and district, and that a committee be appointed to draft rules and submit them for approval to a general meeting of members”, EvJ 23.7.1904,7. In a letter from Alec Miller to C.R. Ashbee it appears to have a negative connotation: “By the bye I heard that at Mr. Wixey’s golden wedding celebration in the natural sentimental excitement of the hour – he referred in his speech to the fact that the ham and bacon part of his grocery business was not worth anything because of the number of small holders and allotment holders who kept their own pigs!” (Ashbee Memoirs vol. 3, p.280). Quoted with the kind permission of his daughter, Jane Wilgress, and family.
24. On opposition to the School of Arts and Crafts, see Fiona MacCarthy, The Simple Life, op cit., pp. 112-113; Alan Crawford, C.R. Ashbee. op cit., pp. 126-128. For bathing lake as innovation, see H.T. Osborn, in C.T. Fees, ed., A Child in Arcadia, op cit., pp. 41-42. For opposition to the bathing lake, see Ashbee’s obituary in EvJ 30.5.1942,7: “…in the days when it was deemed indelicate for the two sexes to bathe together, he flouted public opinion by building and equipping an open air pool in the meadows above Campden, where swimming trophies were competed for by both sexes.”
25. For this episode in the history of the School of Handicraft, see Alan Crawford, C.R.Ashbee. op cit., pp.46-49.
26. The significance of the school in Ashbee’s thinking is indicated by the way he chose to record its closing in his Journals, January 11, 1916/92, temporarily disregarding the Campden men who had been killed: “We have now to pay for the war locally the heaviest price of all so far.” For local support against the closure, see Journals 21 October 1915/1235.
27. The Campden School of Arts and Crafts, Report of 1904-1905, Essex House Press, Campden, 1905, p. 29; section entitled “The Decay of the Rural Population”, p. 32-34. On Ashbee’s brand of imperialism, see Alan Crawford, C.R. Ashbee op cit., p. 119; Fiona MacCarthy, The Simple Life, op cit., pp. 75-76.
28. Geoffrey Powell, The Book of Campden, op cit., p. 82.
29. C.R. Ashbee, Memoirs, vol. 2, “Introduction 1938”, Part II, Sept. 1903-Dec. 1906, p. 215.
30. MacCarthy, The Simple Life, op cit., p.112.
31. Quoted ibid., p. 113.
33. Journals, Christmas 1903.
34. See Stanley’s obituary, EvJ 22.6.1918,7. See EvJ 28.1.1882.5.
35. See Stanley’s obituary, ibid.; EvJ 27.4.1889,6; discussion in II.2, above.
36. EvJ 27.4.1889.6.
37. EvJ 1.2.1890,6.
39. EvJ 11.4.1891,6.
40. EvJ 26.9.1891,6; EvJ 10.10.1891,7.
41. EvJ 23.1.1892,7.
42. See, in the EvJ 17.10.1891,7; 24.10.1891,6; 12.3.1892,6; 30.7.1892,6; 14.1.1893,6; 2.9.1893,6; 16.9.1893,6.
43. EvJ 30.9.1893,6; 23.12.1893,6.
44. EvJ 31.10.1896,7.
45. EvJ 24.4.1897,6; 23.1.1897,7. The Moreton Free Press 25.1.1896, back page, speaking, however, of dressmaking classes noted “A large number are taking advantage of it, but the women among the poor classes, for whom technical instruction was intended, still hold aloof.”
46. ‘A Subscriber’, letter to the EvJ 21.11.1896,5.
47. EvJ 5.1.1895,7.
48. On Stanley as Conservative, see text and footnote 50 below. He was present at the inaugural meeting of the Primrose League, which was to form a “common bond of union between Conservatives, so that they might meet together for the expression of their opinions, and act as well as talk,” EvJ 23.11.1886,7.
49. Muriel Neve, private journal, July 13,1892. I am grateful to Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Horne for permission to read and quote from his mother’s private journal.
50. It would appear that Stanley had taken the lead early on in the attempt to undermine the Progressive candidate’s credibility with his constituents. He said that Mr. Winterbotham (Liberal candidate for Parliament) did not trust working men, accusing him of overriding working men on a committee overseeing local Campden allotments (set up by Winterbotham on land he personally bought for the purpose; see Daily News 23.2.1891,3; EvJ 28.2.1891,6. The rules for the allotments, which are liberal and reasonable, are quoted EvJ 1.8.1891,5.). Edwin Tombs responded “Decidedly not, Mr. Stanley. I am on the committee…Mr. Winterbotham never interferes. He is not there”, EvJ 19.12.1891,6. In another speech Stanley accused Winterbotham of charging more for allotments than Stanley himself had to pay for adjoining fields, to which J.C. Reynolds responded by citing twelve acres “separated from the allotments by an iron fence only, and until within a few years forming part of the same field. This field is let to a neighbouring farmer, as a separate holding, at a rent some twenty per cent higher than that charged by Mr. Winterbotham to his allotment tenants”, EvJ 13.8.1892,5. The latter was the first of the series of letters referred to in the text. Winterbotham died a month later, lending another layer to the correspondence: see EvJ 1.10.1892,3; EvJ 8.10.1892,7.
51. A view perhaps supported by the election of the Catholic priest, Father Lloyd, as the chairman in 1896, EvJ 18.4.1896,6, though Lloyd was also an elected councillor. A parallel to Stanley’s selection occurred in the same election in Painswick, Glos., where six of the seven parish council seats were won by Liberals, but where “the Liberal majority invited Mr. F.A. Hyett of Painswick House to be chairman. He was the leader of the local Conservatives, but they were willing to re-elect him as long as he was willing to serve”; John R. Howe, “A Village Politician in the 1890s”, The Local Historian 17:4 (1986), 216. Stanley himself was a staunch supporter of the Church of England, and perhaps the election of the Catholic Father Lloyd encouraged him to stand (unopposed) for the parish council elections in 1897: See a letter from Ulric Stanley to Rev. O.F. Jacson, Vicar, 29.9.1913, in the Parish Church Records, Muniment Room, St. James’ Church, upon giving papers of his father’s concerning “work done – since the middle of the last century – to provide a place of worship for the hamlet of Bd Campden. Knowing as we do the influence that will be brought to bear and the efforts that will sure to be made in that hamlet in the near future, by the members of another faith. I think the history of Bd C and that it is a “tribute of respect and affection” to the last Church of England Earl of Gainsborough might very well be brought to mind at this time…”. He was subsequently elected chairman of the parish council regularly until his death.
52. In a meeting of the North Cotswold Farmers Association in 1906 in which a number of farmers allowed their emotions to run away with them, Stanley showed himself an extremely fair and reasonable man, and responded “We don’t as a rule talk about ‘making’ people do things”, EvJ 3.3.1906,6. Given Ashbee’s statements about Stanley’s sincerity on reforms and education, it is interesting to note in St. James Boys School logbook, 28.9.1908, “Mr. U.C. Stanley visited the school and spoke to the boys about the need etc. of keeping up their knowledge after leaving school, and urged them to attend the Evening Continuation Classes” – something Ashbee himself never did. When the North Cotswold Farmers Association proposed that boys of 9 and over be allowed out of school to help with agricultural work during World War One, Stanley, the chairman, said he hoped it wouldn’t pass – “It was absolutely in favour of ignorance. (No. No.).” For other views by Stanley on bureaucracy and militarism during the war, see IV.2.
53. EvJ 22.10.1904,5.
54. EvJ 29.10.1904,5.
55. Records of the Grammar School, Minutes and Accounts, 6.10.1903, GRO D253/17.
56. Ibid. 1.2.1904.
57. Ibid. 6.4.1904.
58. Ibid. 26.7.1904; 20.8.1904.
59. EvJ 29.10.1904,5.
60. EvJ 2.12.1905,5.
61. EvJ 16.12.1905,8.
62. EvJ 17.2.1906,5.
63. EvJ 16.12.1905,8; 10.2.1906,8; 17.2.1906,6; 14.4.1906,5; 28.4.1906,8.
64. EvJ 17.2.1906,5.
65. EvJ 14.4.1906,6.
66. EvJ 14.4.1906,6; 12.5.1906,6. It is perhaps a further indication of Stanley’s character that he proposed Ashbee for the position of honorary correspondent for the Local Higher Education Committee, which ran the school, EvJ 7.7.1906,6. At a meeting in August of the Committee the two County Council members failed to attend. In their public report, the Committee regretted this: “If either of those gentlemen had been present they could have seen that the new members of the Committee did not wish to retard technical education in Campden, but that their simple desire was that it should be carried out in a more businesslike way.” The same report noted that an elementary engineering class had been added, and that £5 each had been appointed for shepherd and ploughing competitions, EvJ 18.8.1906,6.
67. EvJ 14.4.1906,6.
68. Campden School of Arts and Crafts Reports 1906-1907, Essex House Press, Campden, 1907, p.18.
69. Ibid. 1904-1905, 1905. p. 19, pp. 30-31.
70. Ibid. 1908-1909, 1909. p.10.
71. Ibid., p.17.
72. Ibid. 1909-1910, 1910, p.3.
73. Ibid. 1910-1911, 1911, p.15.
74. Ibid. 1911-1912, 1912, p.8.
75. Ibid. 1905-1906, 1906, p.22.
76. Ibid. 1912-1913, 1913, p.8.
77. For Example, letter from H.T. Osborn to Fiona MacCarthy 17.6.1982, in Fees, ed.. A Child In Arcadia, op cit., p.39: “His three chief projects, I would say, were first the Guild and its move to Campden, then the Campden School of Arts and Crafts, and next to that the bathing lake.”
78. EvJ 26.3.1898,6; 18.6.1898,6.
79. EvJ 5.11.1898,6; 22.6.1901,6.
80. EvJ 17.8.1901,8.
81. In his initial interview with C.R. Ashbee, Guildsman Alec Miller recalled of Ashbee, “He was plainly disappointed that I could not sing! and somewhat placated by the fact that I could swim…”; Alec Miller, Ashbee and the Guild of Handicraft, op cit., p. 2.
82. EvJ 8.8.1903,6; 26.9.1903,6.
83. EvJ 9.5.1914,11; Ashbee and “another gentleman” were owed £67-l8s/5d.
84. See Jan Brunvand, The Study of American Folklore, 2nd ed., W.W. Norton and Co., New York, 1978: Legends “are either sacred or secular…[set] in the historical past…[and] generally have humans in the major roles”, p.99. “Legends…are prose narratives regarded by their tellers as true…and are set in the less-remote past in a conventional earthly locale. Legends are sometimes referred to as folk history, although history is soon distorted by oral history”, p.106. “Sometimes stories that seem to be reliable accounts of local incidents, even being carried by newspapers, have legendary plots with a long history in tradition” , p.117.
1900-1914: The Guild of Handicraft as Folk Community
1. Quoted in C.R. Ashbee. Craftsmanship in Competitive Industry, Essex House Press, Campden, 1908, pp. 226-227.
2. Memoirs vol. 3, p.175. Letter, Alf Pilkington to C.R. Ashbee, 17.4.1911: “Now about that Colony scheme…”; Ashbee’s footnote: “Suggestions for linking the Campden land venture later with colonial enterprises by older members of the Guild:- anticipating ‘Fairbridge’ in dream.”
Early in the Campden period, Ashbee played with the idea of extending the Guild to South Africa: see A. Crawford, C.R. Ashbee, op cit.. pp.112-120; Fiona MacCarthy, The Simple Life, op cit., pp.75-76.
3. Journals 24.6.1901/167.
4. Memoirs vol III, part IV May 1913- August 1914, “Introduction 1938”, p. 285: “…the woman,- the wife of the craftsman – determines his life and shapes his character in ways you never imagined and that however well your plans may be laid she may upset them. That is what “woman’s suffrage” really means. In other words evolution and culture among men can only get to a certain point. Unless you develop the woman too, he can get no further.”
5. For example, personal friends, such as Gwendolen Bishop and May Dickinson; townswoman Kate Haines (sister of close Campden friend Martha Dunn); Maude Royden came as an Oxford University extension lecturer (see Philip Mairet, Autobiographical and Other Papers, C.H. Sisson, Carcanet, Manchester, 1981, pp. 58-59).
6. Ashbee’s secretary wrote to him in December, 1908, Journals 9.12.1908: “Have you heard that Gabriel Stevenson is married. He was married to Dolly Warner last June, but has kept it a secret until this month, when he suddenly thought fit to spring it on us all. Also Vickery has suddenly taken it into his head to marry, and Mary Makepeace has now become Mrs. Vickery and they are honeymooning at Evesham. Will [Hart] and Dora should marry next summer, and George Hart and Edith Haines have decided to take the same step at the same time, so if you don’t hurry back [from a trip to the United States] you’ll find none of your boys left, but simply poor old married men, wearing the proper husband’s worried look.”
Alec Miller also married in 1909: see Mairet, Autobiographical and Other Papers, op cit., p.38, and Wilgress, Alec Miller, op cit., p. 25. Charlie Downer’s last set of banns were read on 26.6.1910; Arthur Bunten’s on 25.9.1910. It is as if the breakup of the Guild, and the removal of Ashbee’s direct oversight, let a huge pressure off the ‘boys’, and allowed them the rite of passage into ‘men’.
7. Letter from H.T. Osborn to C. Fees 25.10.1983: “You ask if we knew any of the other Guild children before going to Campden. No. We all came from London but the families were scattered and we were all strangers. There were not many of us and some were girls. Many of the guildsmen were single or widowers with a grown up daughter or son.”
8. I have derived these figures from “The Guild Roll from 1887 to 1908 Inclusive” and the similar list for apprentices included as appendices to C.R. Ashbee’s Craftsmanship in Competitive Industry, op cit„ pp. 256-258.
9. Journals 24 June 1901/167. “how rapidly we are growing – too rapidly some of us think -…”
10. Janet Ashbee wrote of the Guild annual river trip in 1902, Journals 11.8.1902/298, “To have nobody under 20 is against all precedent, and not, I think, quite what we want. After all, the camping parties are more as an educational week for the young lads than as a holiday for ourselves…”
11. Memoirs vol.3, part II, p.172; Letter from Alec Miller to C.R. Ashbee dated February 1911.
12. Letter from H.T. Osborn to Alan Crawford, 4 March 1982; in C. Fees, ed. A Child in Arcadia, op cit.. p.38.
13. See Letter from H.T. Osborn to Alan Crawford, 4 March 1982, in ibid., p. 38: “He had his own inner circle, it is true…Everybody of course paid him some lip service…”
14. Mairet, Autobiographical and Other Papers, op cit., p.37: The Guild “proved practicable only so long as a few fairly wealthy enthusiasts and friends were prepared to go on losing money in support of it.” Fiona MacCarthy points out, The Simple Life, op cit., p. 163, that in his last-ditch letter to shareholders in 1907 asking for more support, Ashbee argued that “the Guild could not be looked at as a business pure and simple”. He recognised that “You must necessarily first look upon the question as a business one”, but hopes “you will allow that it has other sides that are not unimportant in modern life”, C.R. Ashbee, Craftsmanship in Competitive Industry, op cit., p. 238.
15. As the history of the School of Arts and Crafts shows. Responding to a letter from Rev. Nason, Vicar of nearby Saintbury and a friend of the Ashbees, in which he said that three farmers and four governors of the Grammar School had been asked to be on the Education Committee of the School of Arts and Crafts and declined, EvJ 9.12.1905,8, Stanley responded that he had gone to Ashbee twelve-months before at which point “My views were received with absolute contempt”, EvJ 16.12.1905,8.
Ultimately, Ashbee appears to have been his own best critic. Visiting Campden in 1924 he wrote “And the people here? I observe in them all – what is it – a greater kindliness, humility perhaps. Is it because one feels it oneself as the result of the war. Forces are acting outside us that we cannot control, and do not understand. Whether we are dons, or craftsmen, parsons or politicians, the nerve of our certainty has been severed”; Journals 1924/73. In 1938, Ashbee looked back in his Memoirs, vol.V, p. 387: “Also, as the years pass, one learns to sympathize more with old-fashioned country-folk,- Lord Bledisloe’s ‘bucolics’, who rightly resent what seemed to them our attempt to take the Kingdom of Heaven by storm. We were all on edge; we were all suffering.” Ashbee’s intolerance was apparently of long standing. In a letter to Nathaniel Wedd, 2.8.1889, Roger Fry wrote “However I get on with Ashbee better than I expected and that’s chiefly because he really is getting more tolerant”; King’s College Library, Cambridge, Modern Archives, Wedd Box 3.
16. Janet Ashbee, Journals 23.2.1902/45: “According to Gerald [Hodson] we are doing a most unpractical and uneconomical thing in going down to Campden, merely 200 of us, to make our own little “garden city”.”
17. Fiona MacCarthy, The Simple Life, op cit., p.45.
18. Ibid., pp. 45, 127. 153. Philip Mairet, Autobiographical and Other Papers, op cit., p.32. Alec Miller, Ashbee and the Guild of Handicraft, op cit., pp. 105-108.
19. Philip Mairet, Autobiographical and Other Papers, op cit., p.38.
20. Alec Miller, Ashbee and the Guild of Handicraft, op cit.. p. 10. Quoted with the kind permission of his daughter, Jane Wilgress, and family.
21. E.g„ Walter Edwards, who went to Cadbury’s Chocolate factory in Birmingham, and named his house there “Campden”. See IV.2 for some of his interwar correspondence about Campden. Mrs. Edwards wrote to Janet Ashbee in 1940, Journals 1940/23, “…we often talk about you Both and off the things we use to do while at Campden I loved the country very much but the people were awkward to get on with I know, but they really did not know when they were well off and I am sure you both did so much for them and I think they could see it when it was too late.” William Cameron wrote to C.R. Ashbee of his father, Journals 26.6.1939, “You must have wondered often at my father’s silence. Well, you must not think the worse of him for it. I can tell you that the collapse of the Guild was his collapse too. He was never the same again, and he was unable to discuss his trade without flavouring his words with bitterness regarding conditions in the trade shops. It was, in your own words, nearer to Utopia than any of you realised at the time.”
22. Fiona MacCarthy, The Simple Life, op cit., p. 153, described “the friendly gatherings at Woolstaplers, when Ashbee himself would read out loud to them or lead them in madrigals and glees and catches. ” Alec Miller, Ashbee and the Guild of Handicraft, op cit., p. 16, speaks of the “usual weekly Friday night ‘sing-song'”…at which “CRA would sometimes vary the songs by readings of poetry”. At these evenings the boys met “many of the most interesting figures in contemporary literature, art, drama, and even politics…even if it were only half consciously,- we absorbed views of life, standards of social culture, ideas about art and literature, even perhaps, though too little!- manners, which together gradually shaped and transformed many minds.” They met people of position and wealth, “yet somehow we met and mixed with these people on terms of social – not equality, but equity. We recognized wealth, position, in some cases fame, artistic or literary eminence, even occasional titles, yet this recognition carried with it a sense that in our own humble way we too were craftsmen, and in that had a certain dignity. For these people were here to see us at our work, and in some cases to buy it”, p.17. I have not studied in any detail the history of these communal/educational evenings – something a full study of the Guild as a folk community will require – but Ashbee noted in his Journals of 17 June 1906/73. “We had a sing-song last night. We haven’t had any for a long while – it was very spontaneous and very delightful…”
The annual Guild Beanfeast (see Fiona MacCarthy, The Simple Life, op cit., p.55) was held in 1902 – see EvJ 26.7.1902,6. I have found no reference to a Beanfeast in 1903, but in 1904 the Evesham Journal 16.7.1904,6, reported on the Guild’s “annual outing” to Overbury, an event in which the Town Band was included. I have found no reference to subsequent outings. Likewise, 1902 is the last year in which I have found reference to the annual river outing – see Janet Ashbee, Journals 11.8.1902/298. This lack of notices corresponds to the reduction in public events organised largely through the efforts of the Guild, such as Guy Fawkes and May Day (see below, III.3.3 and III.3.4).
23. See, in particular, Janet Ashbee’s Springtime celebrations discussed below (III.3.3), the tableau organised by Mrs. Pyment, and the fetes organised by her husband, Jim Pyment (III.3.4).
24. The Guild of Handicraft Minute Book.,Victoria and Albert Museum, 86 RR18, vol. Ill carries on until 1919. It records Ashbee saying, 26.10.1907, “…the limited company was but an episode in the history of the Guild, and that the quality of idealism in the Guild would not make it easily destructible.” The Rules for the Guidance of Guildsmen were redrawn in 1908. Arthur Bunten was elected a Guildsman as late as 24.5.1912. When Bunten died in 1937, “the remaining local members of the old Guild of Handicraft, Messrs. George H. Hart sen., W.H. Wall, C. Downer and W. Thornton joined the procession, as also did Messrs. Harry Warmington and J. Davies…” and sent a wreath from “His fellow Guildsmen,” EvJ 6.2.1937,16. Frank Combes, Liberal agent for the district, said of the Home and Land League after a parish election, “When Mr. Ashbee announces himself as the head of this branch [in fact he was no such thing and had said no such thing; see Philip Lewis’ reply to this letter In EvJ 26.4.1913,7], and we note who is chairman, who is secretary, and that four of the six league candidates are Mr. Ashbee’s importations. Well! Those who run may read and it makes some of us fearful that this branch may share the fate of other associations which have been honoured with this gentleman’s patronage,” EvJ 19.5.1913,7.
1. Cecil Rhodes was among Ashbee’s heroes and, as Alan Crawford notes, among his inspirations: C.R. Ashbee, op cit., p. 147, “Ashbee was not, as far as one can tell, cast down by the failure of the Guild. Within six months he had written a substantial book, Craftsmanship in Competitive Industry, with the defiant epigraph from Cecil Rhodes, “If you have an Idea, and it is a good Idea, and you will only stick to it, you will come out all right in the end.”
2. Journals September 1886/303 (near Compiegne).
3. Journals September 1901 (France).
4. Journals June 1906.
5. Frank Taylor to Janet Ashbee, 27.8.1906; in Memoirs vol. 2, part iii, p. 330.
6. EvJ 12.4.1913,7.
7. Frank Combes, the Liberal Agent and a fellow member of the Land and Home League. EvJ 19.5.1913,7. Neither Liberal nor Conservative, Ashbee defined himself as an Educationalist in Craftsmanship in Competitive Industry, op cit., pp. 58/60.
8. Guildsman Will Hart wrote to Janet Ashbee, Journals 5.2.1911: “…there’ll come a time when we shall want to revive even the old stuffiness and for one I don’t like revivals, for such are never successful when the spirit of the question you wish revived is lost, revivals are mere conventions, once you’ve lost the spirit.”
9. In the introduction to volume 1 of his Memoirs, p.8, Ashbee wrote: “The English ideal is the community of free men:- they are not necessarily equal. In a free community as the Englishman understands it, each man knows his place, but he is not necessarily bound to it. This English attitude knocks the bottom out of the Marxian-Communist hypothesis that the lower middle classes must gradually sink into the proletariat.” He attacks the alienated gentry and their impact on the State, culture and craftsmanship, in Craftsmanship in Competitive Industry, op cit., pp. 52-3, 56. In Memoirs IV: Epilogue, p. 382, he says, “As for the “Crisis in British Industry”, there was none, there was merely a rather sordid and stupid fight between the Unions and some of the great Industrialists in which both sides were wrong, while those of us whose work necessitated a qualitative standard, and who were trying to construct newer and sounder conditions of life had bricks thrown at us by both sides.”
10. Alan Crawford, C.R. Ashbee. op cit., p. 273.
12. C.R. Ashbee, A Book of Cottages and Little Houses for Landlords, Architects, Builders and Others, Essex House Press, Campden and London, 1906, p. 6.
13. Alan Crawford, C.R. Ashbee, op cit., pp. 297-304. “It was biographical, a gathering of the endeavours of which he spoke so enthusiastically, and those of his friends…”, p. 304.
14. Ashbee, A Book of Cottages and Little Houses, op cit., p. 48-50.
15. If I am interpreting a map of 1818 (“Map of the Estate of the Honourable Charles Noel Noel at Chipping Campden” etc., “surveyed by J. Eagle 1818.” GLLHC Box X38) correctly, there are few buildings on Watery Lane, and these are clustered near Sheep Street – none as far as the building in question.
16. Ashbee, A Book of Cottages and Little Houses, op cit., p. 52.
17. Ibid., p. 42.
18. Journals. Christmas 1903.
19. Ashbee, A Book of Cottages and Little Houses, op cit., p. 54.
20. Thus Ashbee’s Three Tests of Craftsmanship, as set out in his A Book of Cottages and Little Houses, op cit., p. 118: “Has its making injured human life, has it brought happiness in the making, has it built up national character?”
21. The Architect “has to gather up in himself all those traditions which, before their destruction by the age of machinery, made for good building in this country. And not only that, he is, more than another, called upon to weigh and measure the value of the new conditions introduced by machinery…after his business of interpretation, two secondary duties devolve upon him. That of selection and that – perhaps it is a duty he can but dimly discern as yet – of setting what is right from what is wrong in the productions of machinery,” A Book of Cottages and Little Houses, op cit., p. 104.
22. C.R. Ashbee, Craftsmanship in Competitive Industry, op cit., pp. 62, 64, 66.
23. Thinking of the mumming as it is now, a working-men’s activity heavily involved with drinking, compare Ashbee, A Book of Cottages and Little Houses, op cit., p. 42: “With the machine era traditional building ends, but there are damp, unsanitary, ill-built cottages of the pre-machine era; as such let us destroy them, but before we decide to destroy them let us see what they express of traditional craftsmanship, and let us see whether we can bring them up to date.”
24. For the Guild plays, see Alec Miller, Ashbee and the Guild of Handicraft, op cit., pp.19-20; Fiona MacCarthy, The Simple Life, op cit., p.63.
25. C.R. Ashbee, Craftsmanship in Competitive Industry, op cit., pp. 62-64.
26. Ibid., p. 64.
27. Ibid., p. 66.
28. H.T. Osborn has already pointed out how mistaken and uncharitable Ashbee was in this statement, in a letter to Fiona MacCarthy. 5.9.1981; in C. Fees, ed„ A Child in Arcadia, op cit., pp.31-32.
29. Police Superintendent William Evans’ diary, GRO Q/Y 2/3/2, 5.11.1840; 5.11.1841; 5.11.1842. See discussion in II.2 above.
30. See St. James (Church of England) Boys’ School logbook: 5.11.1877; 5.11.1879: 5.11.1880; 5.11.1901. Infants’ School logbook, 5.11.1880; 6.11.1903. Girls’ School logbook, 5.11.1901.
31. EvJ 7.11.1891,8; also 9.11.1895,8, where it says: “5th of November at Campden Grammar School was celebrated, as has been customary for some years, by a large bonfire surmounted by a “guy”, and a display of fireworks in the school playground. The fire was larger than usual, the collection of material having busied the boys for some two or three weeks previously, and the fire work display was fully up to the standard of previous years.”
An article entitled “Remember, Remember, the Fifth of November” by “Our Special Reporter” in The Campdonian. or The Grammar School Gazette 1:5 Christmas (1881), 8, describes a Guy Fawkes night celebration at the school: “At seven o’clock all was ready. Enter visitors. Bang, bang, bang, bang, BANG went the opening salute. Fizz, crack, crack – fizz, bang went the little crackers and squibs under the people’s feet, producing scuffling and squeals amongst the ladies present. Roman candles threw up their tinted balls; rockets ploughed their way up into the clear night sky, leaving a fiery track behind them; coloured lights illuminated with a lucid glare the dusky figures: and bang, bang, bang, bang, BANG pealed forth again. Wheels revolved, with their ever-colour changing scintillations; more rockets ascended, a balloon burnt instead of going up, and bang, bang, bang, bang, BANG, BANG, BANG echoed the parting volley, and all was over. But being too early to separate, hands were joined, and a dance round the fire improvised. “Oh! for the pencil of a Dore to have transmitted to posterity those figures, a seeming compound of scarves, legs, arms, tail coats, and dresses, which in their rapid circling, advanced into full view, lighted up by a fiery background, and in continued career merged once more into the obscurity of shade; until all being well tired, parting good nights were said.”
32. EvJ 8.11.1902,5.
35. EvJ 26.9.1903,6.
38. Don Ellis, recorded interview 6.9.1985 cas 118b: “The only time that we saw him [Ashbee] was up at the bathing lake. Otherwise we never knew him.” See also Don Ellis, recorded interviews 3.4.1984 cas 64a; and 20.11.1984 cas 97. Lionel Ellis, recorded interviews, Ellis family tape “Dad – Bathing Pool, fires. Uncle Mike”; also 18.3.1985 cas 104.
39. See discussion above, III.2, and III.2 fn 77-80. The Grammar School continued to press for a bath, see footnote 50 below.
40. A history of the swimming lake would have to examine, for example, the institution of a sports meeting organised by farmers and others in the August Bank Holiday which could be interpreted as a rival to the swimming sports – EvJ 29.8.1908,4; 7.8.1909,11; 6.8.1910,11. This must be a tentative suggestion.
41. EvJ 30.7.1904,8.
42. EvJ 2.9.1905,8.
43. EvJ 14.7.1906,8.
44. EvJ 31.8.1907,6.
45. EvJ 5.9.1908,8; 4.9.1909,8. Alan Crawford, C.R. Ashbee, op cit., p. 153: “For twenty years the Guild had claimed the best of his time and his idealism, and other things – architecture, conservation, lecturing – had come second. Now there was a change in his career. His extraordinary energies, instead of being focused on the Guild and Chipping Campden, were dispersed among many different schemes and projects…”
46. EvJ 3.9.1910,10.
47. EvJ 2.9.1911,10.
48. EvJ 7.9.1912,11.
49. EvJ 2.8.1913,10.
50. EvJ 4.12.1920,9. Lionel Ellis, recorded interview 18.3.1985 cas 104, said that a gang of them went up to clear out the mud; it had silted up; then they used it for a time. Letter from Janet Ashbee to C.R. Ashbee Journals 13.5.1917/309, “which brings me to that stupid, tiresome borne little Mr. Cox [headmaster of the Grammar School] and his duplicate swimming bath – of course I shan’t dream of letting him have the trophies if he goes and wastes money and energies in War Time by building a second lake when Mr. Walsh has just got the other ready!-”
51. Memoirs vol 1, part II, p.63. Compare Journals February 1915/108: “The Gloucestershire peasant does not think, he has not got wits enough to think in.”
In The Trivialities of Tom, being Reflections on a Victorian Boyhood.,1940-1941, Victoria and Albert Museum, National Art Library, Mss. 86.DD.4, p. 4,. Ashbee repeats this anecdote: “It is, as the Gloucestershire labourer once said to me: ‘Mr. Ashbee, I like educated people; – the trouble is they’re so ignorant.'” This pithy anecdote by now has acquired a considerable history:
In a letter to his friend Russell Alexander on 28.4.1924, F.L. Griggs wrote: “Ashbee was here once more on Saturday, and dined with us last night. We had some interesting talks. Here’s a plum for the Campden Book. An old man (“a old ancient man”) at Broad Campden said to him “I like eddicated people, only the worst ont is they’re so ignorant.”
In “Extracts from Mss. by Miss Josephine Griffiths, with notes by Russell Alexander”, GRO 2909/8, Shepherd Hedges is quoted on his 19th century boyhood: “We knowed our readin’. writing and summing, and that was enough for we. I don’t hold with all this yere learning, for the lads now don’t know half as much about the land as we did when I was young.” To this is added in pencil (presumably by Alexander), “This reminds – ‘The worst of these educated people is that they be so damned ignorant.'”
Russell Alexander then used this quote in his Introduction to F.L. Griggs, Campden, op cit., p. 9: “There was the old labourer at Broad Campden who, in converse (on the advantages of modern education) with a very highly educated gentleman, said: ‘Well, I like eddicated people, but the wust on’t is they be so dommed ignorant.'”
The Times Literary Supplement of 15.2.1941 then took this up in its review of the book: “A worthy is quoted – “Well, I like eddicated people, but the wust on’t is they be so dommed ignorant.””
In By Chance I Did Rove, Earle and Ludlow, Cirencester, n.d., p. 127, Norman Jewson recalled Griggs: “Fred and I, it is needless to say, entirely appreciated the Campden point of view, enjoying the comments of some of the older inhabitants about these gentry. There was Philip Merriman, an old farm labourer, who, as a young man, was one of six Campden men who made an annual trip to London, to mow the lawns of Campden House at Kensington. He was a whimsical old fellow, full of country lore, who was such a favourite of Fred’s that he dedicated one of his early plates to him. One of his remarks was, “Well, I likes eddicated people, but the wust on’t is they be so domned ignorant” – a remark containing more intrinsic insight than may appear at first sight!”
In The Simple Life, op cit., p.112, Fiona MacCarthy discusses Ashbee’s plans for the School of Arts and Crafts. In her text, she writes “For a labourer trying to support his family on twelve shillings a week, classes in Freehand Drawing and Instrumental Music may have seemed beside the point.” Then, in a note she remarks: “As one of them once said: ‘The wurst of eddicated people is that they be so demmed ignorant’.”
This brief exploration was set off some time after reading the remark, not ascribed and as a filler at the bottom of a page, either in Cotswold Life or Gloucestershire Countryside, quite possibly in an issue from the 1970s. By the time I had come across the quote several times in different forms and different contexts, I had lost the mental reference and have not been able to find the filler again.
The sentiments expressed by Shepherd Hedges have numerous echoes, one by Campden farmer William Stokes as reported in the EvJ 17.3.1917,8: “To farmers the ‘damning evidence’, using your correspondent’s phrase advisedly, of our past system of education, is when we look around and fail to see the potential carters, cowmen, shepherds, thatchers and drainers of the future.”
J. Morton Chalmers, in a paper entitled “Lifetime on the Cotswolds”, quoted a letter from John Smith of Chipping Norton, written about 1780: “I never knew a learned man who was a good farmer, and, therefore, I never lamented the want of an education. The time of life to make men scholars is the time for observation in the farming line and it rarely happens that a man can be a proficient in that business unless he is trained to it from his youth. I would take a man that can neither read nor write to make a farmer sooner than I would the most learned man. The farmer has no knowledge but what comes from Nature and of good natural parts – the latter prides himself upon his reading and education, by which he thinks of putting Nature out of its course, and so out-doing everybody.”
There is a parallel from the Ashbee Journals as well, filed under July 1914, but on a form dated March 1912, which appears to be a kind of census. The man’s name is James W. Fisher, he is over 70, “past work”, born in Broad Campden but apparently resident in Paxford at the time of the report. The report says: “This is a very charming and wonderful old man, full of sound wisdom…His father was a well-to-do farmer, and as he says there was more unity in them days – none o’ this pride. Farmers and labourers worked together and it was frequent that one farmer who had ‘got behind’ with ploughing or harvesting would be helped gratis by a team or a band of labourers from another farm…No, folks has more wages but theym not so well off. They’s too ignorant now – the only things they’s taught is what’s in school!-…Oh yes we was all much better off then when things was on a lower scale, wages and provisions and all, and there was more unity and not so much ignorance-“
It would appear to me that a sentiment general among farmers and labourers of the generation before compulsory education, based on the observation that boys kept in schools did not learn the craft of agriculture, has been crafted by Ashbee into a statement about educated people as such – and placed back into the mouth of an anonymous, wise old member of the folk, and taken up by other educated persons as a pithy statement…
52. Fiona MacCarthy, The Simple Life, op cit., p. 117.
53. Ashbee, Craftsmanship in Competitive Industry, op cit., p.66.
54. Alan Crawford, C.R. Ashbee. op cit., p. 439 fn8: “for Ashbee dictating, information from Sir Basil Blackwell, 10 Aug 1970.”
His secretary, Phoebe Haydon, wrote to Ashbee Journals April 10, 1913, “you taught me speed in everything, I wish [I] could teach a little here. The slowness of it all is dreadful, every body crawls along, head and shoulders down with everything they do.” In Ashbee’s Craftsmanship in Competitive Industry, op cit., p. 47, first named among the “difficulties and handicaps that have so far made the carrying on of the Guild’s business in the country impossible” is “the slowness of everything…”
55. Letter from Janet Ashbee to C.R. Ashbee, Journals 22 July 1912/138-146.
57. Letter from Janet Ashbee to C.R. Ashbee, Journals May 1913/122.
58. Journals September 1914/166.
59. Ashbee, A Book of Cottages and Little Houses, op cit., p.54.
60. There are three versions of the paean: Journals Nov. 15 1914/359ff; Memoirs 100-101; “The Morris at Campden or Dennis’ Fiddle” in Songs, etc., envelope “C.R. Ashbee mss. of poems and plays number 2”, in Box 1, C.R. Ashbee Supplementary gifts, 1958-1959, King’s College, Cambridge.
61. Journals 1888/185, 186.
62. Memoirs vol 1, part 4, Epilogue 1938, p. 383.
63. Memoirs vol. 1, “Epilogue 1938″, p. 383. The actual Journals entry tells us that a group of mummers – the context indicates that they were young adults (the only one named is a young shepherd” who “had always seen it done just the same since he was a child”; “It was mumbled tonelessly as children repeat twice two are four”, and the play was followed by “music hall horrors…sickening sentimentality and a comic war song”), who performed in a square of light outside the kitchen door after the leader swept the threshhold clean – there is no indication that it was dawn (and a dawn mumming would be a rare case); Journals 28.12.1901/389-390. In the text that Janet collected there is no phrase “Enter Prologue with a broom”; Journals 1901/387. The only mention (apart from the Holman Hunt’s Christmas party; Journals 1888/185-186) in the Journals of children doing the mummers act comes from February 18,1902 Journals 1902/28, in Janet’s hand, described while the Ashbees were visiting the same village: “They were keen to do the “mummers’ act”, but were in such a hurry over it that we could hardly hear the words.”
64. Memoirs vol 1, Christmas Day 1901; Ashbee remembers “Wheatley the antiquary and editor, Laurence Gomme, as quite a young man…”
65. Memoirs vol. 1, part 1, p.58: “Sir Laurence Gomme and I worked in close touch.” For Austin Gomme see A. Crawford, C.R. Ashbee, op cit., p. 217.
Steve Roud, honorary librarian of the Folklore Society, has drawn my attention to several letters from Ashbee to Austin Gomme and his mother, folklorist Alice B. Gomme, in the Gomme Collection, Folklore Society Archives. One, dated 26.4.1916 and addressed to Austin, followed the death of Laurence Gomme: “Your father always meant a great deal to me, and was associated with many intimate ties to my home llfe…and we have done many things – carried many hopes to fulfillment – together.” For letters to Mrs. Gomme, see 25.5.1892; 30.5.1892.
66. Letter from C.R. Ashbee to F.A. Hyett, 25.3.1907, pasted in front cover of Hyett’e copy of Ashbee’s The Last Records of a Cotswold Community, Essex House Press, Campden, 1904, GRO RolF2.
67. Lecture reported EvJ 30.4.1904,6; paper published in C.R. Ashbee, The Last Records of a Cotswold Community, op cit., pp. iii-xx.
68. “Notes on Mr. Ashbee’s Cotswold Community by P.C. Rushen”, ms. in possession of Felicity Ashbee, filed with her copy of C. R. Ashbee, The Last Records of a Cotswold Community, note xxix.
1. Memoirs vol. 1 part 2, p. 58.
2. Alan Crawford, C.R.Ashbee, op cit., p.84.
3. Journals 1901/175.
4. See Journals July 1904/24; 1904/129; John Masefield to Janet Ashbee Journals July 1905.
5. See Campden School of Arts and Crafts Reports, 1904-1905, op cit., p.12; also 1905-1906. p. 31; 1907-1908. p. 19; 1908-1909. p-9.
6. EvJ 25.2.1905,6.
7. School of Arts and Crafts Report 1906-1907, op cit., p.8.
8. School of Arts and Crafts Report 1909-1910, op cit., pp.8,13. EvJ 9.10.1909,8.
9. See Alan Crawford’s discussion of the Essex House Song Book in his C.R. Ashbee. op cit., p.121-124. In his Folk Tunes notebook, FT 2250 (see Appendix C) Cecil Sharp collected “A Derbyshire tune collected by Edward Carpenter – taken down by me from Mrs. Ashbee at Campden August 10. 1909.”
According to Felicity Ashbee (personal communication) a reference in a letter from Janet Ashbee to C.R. Ashbee (Journals 28.6.1905/69) to “a find, in a ballad book, an old Welsh song, which seems to me to have points” is in fact a warning that she was falling in love with Gerald Bishop. See also fn 15.
10. Journals 28.12.1901/390.
11. Journals 18.2.1902/28.
12. In his letter of 29.2.1988 quoted III.3.1 fn 2 above, Alan Crawford also queried my original statement about Janet’s journal entries, which ran as follows: “It is difficult to know how much she collected and might have collected from children, because her journals were heavily edited in making up the Ashbee Journals.”
Many of Janet’s entries which remain are long, descriptive narratives of life around her, and I find it difficult to believe, for example, that she didn’t chronicle the early days in Campden better than the Journal entries would indicate, or the Rural District Council election which she lost, or, indeed, that she would not have described her first pregnancy and the birth of her first child at some length. If one accepts the argument that the Journals are a crafted work, it follows that Janet’s personal journals were used when Ashbee felt they served a particular purpose. I am not aware of any journal-like material which remains outside the Journals, which leads to the conclusion that such material may have been destroyed. This is clearly an argument built on impressions and not on the strict source-criticism which the Ashbee Journals merit but have not yet received.
13. Journals 3.6.1902/133.
14. Journals 28.12.1901/387-389.
15. For references to Shepherd Hedges in the Journals see 29-8.1914/39: December 1915/1644. Alan Crawford, C.R. Ashbee. op cit., p. 440 fn 76 refers to the Hedges manuscript in his text. Crawford says, p. 122. that “in 1910 [Cecil] Sharp came down to lecture in Campden, and the Ashbees did some recording of their own, noting the songs sung by Old Shepherd Hedges in the Campden almshouses.” I have not seen the Hedges manuscript; but inasmuch as Sharp had collected eleven songs from Hedges during several visits the year before, and given that the Ashbees nowhere else appear to have intentionally gone out to seek material from living informants, with the labour involved in transcribing words and music, I would query whether the Hedges manuscript is not a copy of the songs Sharp collected.
16. Alan Crawford, C.R. Ashbee, op cit., p.121.
17. “A Note from Mr. C.R. Ashbee to the Subscribers of the Essex House Press or all interested in the Work of the Guild of Handicraft”, C.R. Ashbee, Essex House, Midsummer 1901, Harry Ransom Research Center, University of Texas at Austin, reference Z 232 E838 E838 2 HRC non-circl.
18. Alan Crawford, C.R. Ashbee, op cit., p. 124.
19. “The Clerics and the Schools”, Journals June 1902.
20. St. James Boys’ School logbook 14.5.1902; 21.5.1902; 30.5.1902; 12.6.1902; 14.7.1902; 28.10.1902; 4.11.1902. St. James Girls’ School logbook 13.5.1902; 26.5.1902; 9.6.1902; 13.6.1902; 21.10.1902; 20.11.1902; 12.8.1902. St. James Mixed/Infants’ School logbook 13.5.1902; 16.5.1902; 30.5.1902: 13.6.1902; 20.6.1902; 4.7.1902; 27.10.1902; 3.11.1902; 20.11.1902; 9.12.1902; 24.1.1903; 29.5.1903: 27.8.1903; 23.10.1903.
21. St. Catharine’s School (Infants) logbook 1881-1949. I am grateful to Mr. John Doran, headmaster of the school, for letting me study the logbooks.
22. St. James Mixed/Infants’ School logbook, 16.5.1902; 27.10.1902.
23. EvJ 30.5.1942,7.
24. See C. Fees, “Maypole Dance in the Twentieth Century: Further Studies of a North Cotswold Town”, Traditional Dance (forthcoming). See EvJ 11.4.1903,8; 9.5.1903,5.
25. EvJ 9.5.1903,5.
26. EvJ 7.5.1904,6.
27. See discussion in C. Fees, “Maypole Dance in the Twentieth Century”, op. cit. In A Guide to Chipping Campden and Blockley published in 1904 by Edward J. Burrow, Cheltenham, there is an advertisement for the Town Band which describes their “Military uniforms of Dark Blue with white facings.” The Evesham Journal of 29.4.1905,8, quite definitely says, “The Town Band came out in their new uniforms for the first time on Saturday evening” in what appears to be a submitted notice. The two are not in conflict: there is no evidence of which I am aware that the Town Band in the period just before 1905 had uniforms – to the contrary, photographs such as that after the Madresfleld competition victory in 1904 show the band in civilian clothes.
The guide would have been meant to be current for several years after its publication; the Town Band was organised enough to advertise the uniforms it had planned for.
28. Photograph: National Monuments Record negative number CC57/114. Title: Gloucestershire, Chipping Campden, Floral Parade, procession, mobile Maypole dance. Date: 1.6.1903.
29. Alan Crawford, C.R. Ashbee. op cit., p. 124.
30. EvJ 28.5.1904,6.
31. C. Fees, “Maypole Dance in the Twentieth Century”, op cit.
32. Gerald Bishop, A May Day Interlude, Essex House Press, Chipping Campden/London 1904.
33. Alan Crawford, C.R. Ashbee. op cit., p. 125, says that after A May Day Interlude , “the people of Campden went on with their usual Whit Monday procession, followed by the fete in the afternoon, with teas, coconut shies and other rituals unknown to the author of The Golden Bough.” Inasmuch as the first such processions were in 1895-1897, and that the procession was revived in 1903 with the influence of the Guild, it wouldn’t be quite correct to use the word ‘usual’ for that part of the festivities. The afternoon programme was also far from usual: The play in the morning was followed in the afternoon by a procession of decorated carts and carriages led by the town band, followed by people in fancy dress and a toy band. After judging of costumes, carts and carriages, the procession moved to the Coneygree, where a “grand dramatic and equestrian spectacle” called “Gold the Devil, or the Flower of the Settlement” was performed. Horse sports formed a part of the play, which also involved a staged Indian raid on a mining camp, much gun fire, the torching of the camp, and a victory parade by the miners. Over fifty performers, Guild and townsmen, were involved. This was followed by an organised tug-of-war contest between three local teams, a “torchlight musical march” in the evening, a fireworks display, and the town band playing the music with which it had recently taken a prize in the Madresfield Music Festival. With, of course, the usual sideshows, augmented by a firing range lent and managed by Guild supporter R. Martin Holland.
34. EvJ 13.5.1905,5.
35. EvJ 17.6.1905,6.
36. Journals Christmas 1902/328 (quoted later in text).
In Janet Ashbee’s commonplace book Sammelsurium in the possession of her daughter Felicity Ashbee, there is a three sheet manuscript, the cover of which is entitled “Campden Children’s Carol – Christmas 1907 – To Mother, from JEA”. On the second page Janet Ashbee has painted a group of five singing children, two boys and three girls, in red hoods and carrying lanterns.
In Journals 1909/34, there is a hand-painted Christmas card sent to the Ashbees by Mihaly Biro (a Hungarian who was then visiting Campden). It is titled “Happy Christmas – Jolly Waslers”, and depicts children in red hoods, with strings from them, and two large hands at the left as if the children were in harness. Janet has added the note “caricature of my carols by the Hungarian.”
In a letter to her husband in Journals 1913/194, Janet told him. “I don’t want anyone 23rd or 24th, it is too near Xmas and a plague. I can’t come to Chipping Campden [from Broad Campden] for that Sunday I shall be in the thick of my carols, and very likely shall have to dedicate my own altar rails.”
37. The extant St. James Girls’ School logbook unfortunately begins only with 1900. The Infants were regularly taught Christmas carols: e.g., logbook 21.12.1868; 29.11.1869; 7.12.1870; 10.12.1875; 21.12.1881. Teaching carols in the Boys’ School is recorded in the logbook only for 1.12.1882.
In July 1893 the Infants’ School got a new mistress, and on 21.12.1893 she notes “A Holiday for children to go carol singing”, the only such occasion in the logbooks. She was replaced in May 1895.
The Boys’ School logbook notes several occasions when the boys were away (with or without official sanction) begging Christmas boxes on St. Thomas’ Day: e.g., 21.12.1877; 22.12.1881. This may or may not have been a singing custom. See IV.3.
By its nature informal carolling would not have lent itself to leaving a record, and one must argue from analogy that it would be unlikely that a mixed group of carollers would go out at night, as in Janet Ashbee’s carolling. The only other record of which I am aware is due to a frightened “Traveller from Blockley”, who wrote a letter published in EvJ 4.1.1890,6, just after Christmas to warn of “Danger on the Highway”: “I think it is well that the travelling public should be made aware that there is danger in going about in this neighbourhood at night owing to gangs of pestiferous men going about in threes and fours, commonly called poachers.” He had run into a group on December 23rd, “about a quarter to nine p.m., between Paul’s Pike cottages and Chipping Campden, a little beyond Kinkham Lane. Three men appeared, two on the left hand side of the road and one on the right, but I happened to notice their little game in time, they did not find me asleep.” Wielding his whip and running his horse, he made it safely past them.
“Three Campden Boys” replied in EvJ 11.1.1890,7: “On the night in question we had been out carol singing, and were returning home about the time mentioned, and near the spot so carefully described by your correspondent, when a man in charge of a pony and trap overtook us. He was gesticulating wildly and slashing his whip from side to side. We gave him no provocation whatever, and it being the festive season, when eccentricities of character are perhaps not so uncommon as they ought to be, we merely laughed at the ludicrous sight presented by him, and thought no more about it.”
These carollers, at least, were articulate young men.
38. Journals. Christmas 1902/328.
39. Letter from H.T. Osborn to Fiona MacCarthy 5.9.1981, in C. Fees, ed., A Child in Arcadia, op cit., p.43.
40. It might be better, perhaps, to refer to it as wassailing rather than carolling. Wassailing is the term used by Lawrence Ladbrook and Don Ellis in a conversation of 9.2.1984 cas 60b. Mr. Ladbrook went carolling, but didn’t/wouldn’t have anything to do with the wassailing. Mr. Ellis remarked: “This wassailing was too organised for him.” Mr. Ellis also described Janet’s carolling in a recorded interview of 6.2.1984 cas 59b.
41. See footnote 36 above.
42. Letter from Bill Payne to Janet Ashbee 18.1.1957 (in Sammelsurium, in possession of Felicity Ashbee): “Yes I can still remember sitting on your knee and singing, and then going out in the evening with our little red cloaks and lanterns.” Writing to C.R. Ashbee about Dorcas Payne, Janet Ashbee, Journals, November 1913/185, said “I can still see her at 6 years sitting on my knee singing carols with those (too) wonderful eyes.”
43. Speaking of Bill Payne’s brother in 1914, C.R. Ashbee said: “Jack Payne comes of a clever family – the agricultural labourer with brains, whose father took to railway work,” Journals 16.10.1914/236. A railway labourer, the father – also named William – was elected to the parish council from the Upper Ward in 1896, EvJ 14.3.1896,6; he was re-elected in 1898, but chose not to serve, EvJ 19.3.1898,3.
44. See her reports of Mrs. White’s residence in Island House, Journals 13 May 1913, and 21.1.1914/7 where she says: “The White’s glory in shocking Campden, and with their frequent dubious guests, sleeping in great crowds in that minute house, are a stumbling block to many – In fact the early history of Woolstaplers Hall is played over again by a younger generation.”
45. Journals 7.11.1900/251.
46. A typical example would be her reaction to apparent lack of support for public swimming on the part of the school managers and the Gainsboroughs. See Journals 22.6.1904; 23.6.1904: an exchange of letters from Lady Gainsborough to Janet Ashbee and vice versa. Lady Gainsborough urged patience, and said that twenty-five years’ experience had taught her that rushing defeats its own goals. This strikes me as direct, well-intended advice, not very different from the Ashbee’s own retrospective analysis. Fiona MacCarthy mentions this exchange in The Simple Life, op cit., p.96.
47. For Janet as adviser and confidante, see Journals 31.8.1910/56; 16.11.1913/188; sitting with Mrs. Williams, dying of cancer: Journals July 1914; baby clinic: Journals 21.10.1915/1235: 16.2.1917/51: 9.3.1917/97; March 1917/102; knitting, Memoirs vol.4, p.115 (5.12.1914). H.T. Osborn recalled: “She often came to our house, which is something Mr. Ashbee never did”, letter to Fiona MacCarthy 5.9.1981 in C. Fees ed., A Child in Arcadia, op cit., p.42.
48. Journals 12.1.1913/16. For social intercourse with local gentry see, e.g., Gainsborough garden party. Memoirs vol.2 p.61 (1902); lunching at Bruce’s, Journals April 1906; “Lunching with Spencer Churchill at Northwick today…” Journals 31.10.1914/294; Ashbee children playing with Noel children (the Earl of Gainsborough’s grandchildren). Journals 23.5.1915/343; letter from Maye Bruce to Janet Ashbee Journals January 1918/98. See also Ashbee, with daughter: we “paid our Xmas visit to the villagers with boxes of tea” Journals December 1915/1644; Janet refers to a children’s tea at their Broad Campden home as “a sort of tenants’ ball” Journals 24.2.1917/85.
Guildsman Jim Pyment
1. See his obituary, EvJ 12.2.1927,9.
2. Alee Miller, Ashbee and the Guild of Handicraft, op cit., p.13.
3. Letter from Robert Martin-Holland (financial advisor to the Guild) to C. R Ashbee, Journals 3.3.1906/3: “You sometimes tell me that you wish you could suffer fools gladly, as you say I do, well I wish it too, for then instead of having so many enemies in Campden and the neighbourhood, you would have friendly sympathy with the Guild and its objects and a great deal of local work which now goes elsewhere.”
4. Journals 1919/197.
5. Journals January 1914/1.
6. Memoirs vol. 2 part iv. Epilogue 1938, p. 439.
7. Journals 1919/197.
8. Ibid. Will Hart and Alec Miller in the Guild shop; W. Wall and A. Bunten in the post-Guild company.
9. EvJ 8.11. 1902,5; 9.5.1903,6; 2.4.1904,6.
10. EvJ 31.8.1929,5.
11. EvJ 12.2.1927,9.
12. For example, in 1901-1902 the Campden Band, Campden Brass Band, or Campden Orchestral Band are noted as playing at the Stroud Benefit Society meeting (EvJ 8.6.1901,6), Sunday School treat (EvJ 10.8.1901,6), Baptist Sunday School treat (EvJ 25.1.1902,7), for the Parish Magazine Fund (EvJ 5.4.1902,8), for the Wesleyan Mission Hall Fund (EvJ 14.6.1902,8), at the Coronation celebration (EvJ 21.6.1902,7), Sunday School treat (EvJ 23.8.1902,5), the Baptist Church’s Harvest Thanksgiving (EvJ 4.10.1902,7), and, of course, the Guy Fawkes’ celebration (EvJ 8.11.1902,5).
13. Campden School of Arts and Crafts Report 1903-1904, op cit., p.9(h).
14. EvJ 7.5.1904,6: “a band of only eight month’s standing,” which was “under the able conductorship of Mr. J.W. Pyment.” They were already looking forward to buying uniforms and instruments.
15. Campden School of Arts and Crafts Report 1904-1905, op cit., p. 12.
16. Ibid., 1904-1905, p.20.
17. Ibid., 1906-1907. p. 25.
18. Ibid., 1907-1908. pp. 4,19.
19. Ibid., 1911-1912, p. 18, 20. Guildsman Charlie Downer, hon. sec. of the Town Band, wrote a letter which the Evesham Journal published 28.4.1906,5: “It was the Campden Town Band that played at Stow Liberal meeting on Easter Monday, April 16th, and not the band of the Campden School of Arts and Crafts, as stated in your report.” This response might be taken to imply that there were two distinct bands; perhaps this was the case, although there would have been considerable overlap in membership and leadership, including both the conductor, Pyment, and the instructor, J.A. Matthews (see Campden Town Band advertisement In A Guide to Chipping Campden and Blockley, Edward J. Burrow, Cheltenham, 1904). It seems more reasonable to conclude that the School of Arts and Crafts as such did not have a band: the band which practised and was instructed in the School of Arts and Crafts remained the Town Band.
21. EvJ 13.4.1901,6. This was an orchestral band, the members of which, apart from Mrs. J. Taylor on the piano (her daughter, Dorothy Greening, later taught piano in Campden), were members of the Town Band before Pyment and/or after. I would argue that the floating make-up of the Campden bands at this period was part of their informal, or “hap-hazard” organisation, just as was the “hap-hazard” use of different names (and their lack) for the band(s) in news reports.
22. EvJ 9.7.1904,7.
23. EvJ 29.4.1905,8: “The Town Band came out in their new uniform for the first time on Saturday evening…It is hoped by means of monthly subscriptions and the generous support of the townspeople generally to soon clear off the debt on the uniforms and the new Instruments which have recently been purchased.”
24. EvJ 19.5.1906,6.
25. EvJ 25.8.1906,8.
27. EvJ 31.8.1907,8.
28. EvJ 13.6.1908,8.
29. See C. Fees, “Maypole Dance in the Twentieth Century”, op cit., footnote 56: “In the Evesham Journal’s report of the event, it is stated that the Maypole dance was “under the direction of Mrs. Haines”. Miss Norah Taplin, a native of Campden who danced in the Maypole that year, did not remember Mrs. Haines being involved. She was taught the Maypole by Mrs. Ashbee, and the rehearsals were held behind Elm Tree House, where the Guild-initiated School of Arts and Crafts premises were; Miss Taplin, recorded interview, 4 March 1986, cas 143-144″.
30. EvJ 13.6.1908,8.
31. By Empire Day in May, the “recently formed” Boys’ Brigade had forty members and two officers, and were already uniformed and performing public drill; on the Sunday they held their first church parade, to inspection by Maj. H.M. Spencer of the Volunteers, see EvJ 29.5.1909,7. This rapid organisation, formalisation, and association with higher levels of organisation is a Guild characteristic, and a particular characteristic of Pyment.
32. EvJ 5.6.1909,7.
33. EvJ 11.9.1909,8.
34. EvJ 25.6.1910,10.
35. EvJ 10.9.1910,10.
36. The death of Fred Bennett seems to have spelled the end of the band, EvJ 30.1.1954,4. There was a final attempt to revive it in 1957, EvJ 26.4.1957,4.
37. See fn 12 above.
38. EvJ 28.7.1888,8.
39. EvJ 31.8.1867,4; 2.6.1888,8.
40. EvJ 31.8.1867,4. A ‘pic-nic’ had been held three years earlier, apparently organised by Mr. Griffin of the Volunteer Inn, who also engaged “a good quadrille band”, EvJ 30.7.1864,4.
41. EvJ 11.7.1868,6.
42. EvJ 2.6.1888,8.
43. EvJ 22.6.1889,6.
44. The meeting to form a Cottagers’ Horticultural Show and Society for the Campden area in 1874, chaired by Earl Harrowby, “was rather thinly, though influentially attended”, EvJ 30.5.1874,8. The Committee: Patrons: The Earl of Gainsborough, Lord Northwick, Lord Redesdale. Sir H.M. Beach, Bart, M.P.; J.R. Yorke esq., M.P. and “local clergy willing to subscribe”. Vice-presidents: Lord Sandon, M.P.; E. Bartlett, Esq; Vicar of Campden: Vicar of Ebrington; Vicar of Weston Subedge; Vicar of Mickleton; Rector of Aston Subedge; James Fenton, Esq.; Rev. J. Foster. Committee: C.W. Morris, Esq.; W.H. Griffiths, Esq.; Wm. Rimell, Esq.; Capt. Freeman; Capt. Blick; Wm. Stanley; Smith of Aston; John Smith; Samuel Trinder; Joseph Restall; C.R. Ashbarry. Rev. R.F. Watson, hon. treas. and sec. The aims of the Society, as stated in 1876, were “The improvement of cottage gardening in the district, and, indirectly, the well-being of the cottagers themselves, as well as the enjoyment of the general public, by means of the annual show”, EvJ 16.9-1876,8.
45. This being one of the aims of the Guild, this needs no illustration; but it is a recurrent theme for the Guild’s work in Campden. Thus, with the Guild’s Craftsmen’s Club as a base. a Campden Labour Union was formed in 1904; with Pyment in the chair, Guildsmen and friends delivered lectures such as “Subject vs. Citizen” (by Thomas Binning, EvJ 26.11.1904,6); “Rural Problems: A Point of View” and “Robert Burns and Democracy” (by Gerald Bishop and Alec Miller, respectively; EvJ 24.12.1904.6). With the Baptist Rev. Philip Lewis in the chair, and Guildsman Alec Miller as the hon. sec. pro tem (later hon. sec), a Campden Branch of the National Land and Home League was formed in a meeting at the School of Arts and Crafts in 1912 (EvJ 11.5-1912,12), the aims of which were the revival of country life and prosperity, land for men on just terms, and homes on just terms. The League as such contested the parish council elections in 1913: two (Alec Miller and a non-Guildsman) won seats on the nine-man council. Describing a League supper in a letter to C.R. Ashbee, Alec Miller concluded, “It would all help to educate – wouldn’t it?” (Journals 1913/168); and Ashbee described Guildsman Charley Plunkett’s boot club: “He tramps around every Saturday night, talks radicalism to the labourers and collects his twopences. Cash down! It is a great process of education in politics that!” (Journals 1914/23). Of Teddy Horwood. Ashbee said: “And there’s a fine chivalry in him too for the man that’s of the country and trodden down in the clay of it. He loves the labourer, has given hours, days of his time fighting for him…” (Memoirs vol. 3., part iv., p. 299).
“What is the idea behind the Guild?” wrote Ashbee (Memoirs vol. 3, part iv, p.285). “That it is possible, under the accursed conditions of Industrial machinery in which we live, to build up a Community having some control over their own livelihood, some delight in the work of their hands and some enthusiasm for the finer things of life which broadly we may call ‘education’.”
46. Letter from H.T. Osborn to Keith Chandler 22.4.1982/10.7.1982, in C. Fees ed., A Child in Arcadia, op cit., p.29-30.
47. Journals 15.11.19l4/359ff; Memoirs vol. 4, pp.97-101.
48. EvJ 5.5.1906,3.
49. EvJ 9-6.1906,6.
50. EvJ 13.6.1908, 8.
51. Henry Taunt Photograph CC72/10464, “Band and Maypole Dancers”, in Unsorted Box, Taunt Collection, Local History Collection, Oxford City Library, shows a Morris dancer in white with bells on his legs among the Toy Band in 1896. For Morris dancing and the jazzband, see fn 58,62 below.
52. EvJ 16.1.1909,8. The Campden Nursing Association was one of the Countess of Gainsborough’s pet charities; she directed the evening; her son, the Hon. Robert Noel assisted Cecil Sharp with singing recently-collected and specially-arranged folk songs, along with “Mr. W.H. Wing, who is a music master at Cambridge, and whose family is closely connected with Exton [the main family seat of the Gainsboroughs]…”
53. Cecil Sharp, Folk Tunes 2047-2051 (see Appendix C).
54. EvJ 9.10.1909,6; Campden School of Arts and Crafts Reports. op cit., 1909-1910, p. 13.
55. Cecil Sharp, Folk Dance Notes vol. 1, p. 137 (see Appendix C).
56. EvJ 12.2.1910,8.
57. Don Ellis, recorded interview 3.4.1984 cas 64a, named Harry Hathaway, Bill Figgett, Jack Howell, Romell Veal, Don Ellis, and Gibble Smith as the boys who danced for Cecil Sharp.
Bert Hathaway has identified Mr. Ellis’ “Gibble” as George Smith, Keith Chandler Collection 12.9.1981.
58. The first ‘revival’, immediately after the war, was in the aid of the war memorial fund and was associated with the jazz band. The second revival, from 1929, included Henry Hart, son of Guildsman George Hart. Henry Hart was one of the men named as part of the side which danced for the BBC in 1934 (EvJ 20.10.1934,16); none of the others were Guilds people.
59. The health inspector for the Rural District Council in 1902 wrote (Annual Report of the Medical Officer of Health for the Chipping Campden Rural District Council 1902. p.23): “I believe it would be more beneficial to Campden to bring water into the town in mains from some distance, than merely to relay existing drains and sewers in the hope of keeping the wells pure. The nature of the subsoil is such that a well may at any time become accidentally polluted even although the sewers are well laid.” A meeting of ratepayers in February 1903 – at which Ashbee and other Guildsmen were present (EvJ 28.2.1903,6) requested the District Council to lay such a water system on. It was in hand by 1904 and the waterworks were finished by March 1905. The process of connecting up the town was a long and drawn out one. The Chairman of the District Council was the first householder connected in 1905, but by 1910 only about half of the inhabited houses were on the mains. See Annual Report of the Medical Officer of Health for the Chipping Campden Rural District Council – 1902, p. 23; 1904, p. 19; 1905, p. 20; 1910, p. 27.
60. Thus Janet Ashbee, visiting Oxford, in Journals August 1904: “Charley told me to go and see Mr. Roper, head of the Appointments Board, at Trinity, about a man to guide Pyment and his village band to a Board of Education grant.”
61. Journals 15.11.19l4/359ff.
62. In 1932 the Campden Morris dancers danced in the Whit Monday fete and parade for the funds of St. Catharine’s Catholic Church, EvJ 21.5.1932,14; for a Women’s Institute entertainment for “elderly Campden friends”: “The Town Band played selections and the Campden Morris Dancers gave an exhibition…” EvJ 13.8.1932,2; and for the Campden Nursing Association fete, EvJ 3.9.1932,13. “The Campden Morris dances as usual proved a great attraction” when they were danced for the latter cause in 1934, EvJ 18.8.1934,13. They also performed for the annual Parish Church fete of 1934, and were paired with the Town Band in the statement of thanks, EvJ 4.8.1934,13. They danced in a TocH fete put together as a benefit for a football player whose broken leg was not mending well, EvJ 19.9.1936,3. Their sustained fund-raising, however, was for the various day schools’ annual summer outing funds: EvJ 30.6.1934,13; 20.7.1935,4; 4.7.1936,3; 24.7.1937,15. The latter report notes the existence of a Morris Dancers’ Fund: “On Saturday evening the Town Band played and the Morris Dancers gave an exhibition in several parts of the town to help the funds of the Elementary School Childrens’ outing. Collecting boxes were taken amongst the onlookers and the satisfactory sum of £9 3s 4 l/2d collected. This sum, a record, has been divided as follows, the Church of England Senior School £3 10s, the Catholic School £3 10s and the Church of England Infant School £1 l0s. The balance of 13s 10 l/2d was divided between the Band Fund and the Morris Dancers’ Fund.”
For reports in which the Campden Morris dancers as a group were invited to festivals or to give displays, or were otherwise included in special exhibitions, see EvJ 12.11.1932,14; 1.7.1933,14; 30.6.1934,13; 11.7.1936,15: 18.7.1936,15: 3.7.1937,3.
For reports of other performances, see EvJ 23.7.1932,3; 8.7.1933,9; 27.4.1935,5; 4.5.1935,5; 11.5.1935,6; 24.4.1937,16; 15.5.1937,3: 26.6.1937,4.
Clearly, once revived the Morris dancers were public and publicised; charitable in a civic sense; and institutional in the sense that the Town Band was. It had become very much a Guild-style custom.