Robert Baxter – Last of the Eastleach Morris Men

Born in 1839 (17th June) in Eastleach , Robert Baxter was one of the last Eastleach Morris Men. He was an Agricultural labourer, and was said not to be literate.

morris men - eastleach village

 

Williams, Alfred: WGS, who was collecting and recording folk songs met Rober Baxter around 1916 and recorded the following : “This charming little song ( Good Company ) I discovered at Eastleach I am not certain as to its age, though it appears to have been known to several of the old villagers for many years. It is a superior piece, and was used by the Morris dancers in times past. I obtained the words of Robert Baxter, one of the last Eastleach morris dancers”.

Eastleach folk song – Good Company

When I sit by myself at the close of the day,
And watch the blue twilight turn amber and grey,
With fancies as twinkling and vague as the stars,
And distant as they from this life’s petty jars –
I know not, I think not, where fortune may be,
But I feel I am in very good company.

When I sit with a friend, at the glow of a hearth,
And fight some great battle of wisdom or mirth,
And strike from our armour the sparkle of wit,
That follows the shafts of our thoughts when they hit –
I know not, I think not, where fortune may be,
But I feel I am in very good company.

When I sit with my darling, who loves me so well,
And read in her eyes what no language can tell,
Or trace, on her lips, free as cherubs’ from guile,
The meaning and mysteries hid in a smile –
I know not, I think not, where fortune may be,
But I feel I am in very good company.

Robert was married in 1865 to Harriet Woodwards.

Robert Baxter died at the ripe old age of 85 and was buried in Northleach in 1923.

Here follows details of Roberts, from the various Census taken during his long life:

Census Information Census 1911
Place of birth, Eastleach, Gloucestershire, c. 1839, age, 79, address, Eastleach Turville, Lechlade, Gloucestershire; occupation, agricultural labourer; living with wive, Harriet, age, 40; place of birth, Eastleach; daughter, Emily Slater, age, 30; place of birth, Eastleach; son in law, William Slater; age, 26; place of birth Milton under Wychwood, Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire; occupation, agricultural labourer; granddaughter, Kate, age, 11; grandson, Robert, age, 11 months; place of birth both siblings, Eastleach.

Census 1901
Place of birth, Eastleach, Gloucestershire, c 1839; age, 62; address, in village, Eastleach; occupation, farm labourer; living with, wife, Harriet; age, 59; place of birth, Eastleach; son, Henry Thomas; age, 33; occupation, stockman on farm; daughter, Elsie Ellen; age, 21; occupation, cook / domestic; place of birth all siblings Eastleach; also, lodger,Arthur White; age, 21; place of birth, Tetbury; occupation, cattleman on farm.

Census 1891
Place of birth, Eastleach, Gloucestershire, c. 1837, age, 54; address, In village; occupation, agricultural labourer; living with, wife, Harriet; age, 49; place of birth, Eastleach; son, Henry Thomas; age, 23; occupation, agricultural labourer; son, Alfred Edward; age, 17; occupation, agricultual labourer; daughter, Esther Amelia; age, 15; daughter, Elsie Ellen; age, 12, scholar, daughter, Emily Jane; age, 10 scholar; place of birth all siblings, Eastleach.

Census 1881
Place of birth, Eastleach Turville, Gloucestershire, c. 1839; age, 42; occupation, agricultural labourer; address, Maccaroni Downs Cottage; living with, wife, Harriet; age, 40; place of birth, Eastleach Turville; son, William; age, 15; occupation, farm labourer; son, Henry T.; age, 13; occupation, agricultural labourer; son Albert E.; age 7; daughter, Esther A.; age, 5; daughter, Kate; age 3; daughter, Ellsa; age, 1; daughter, Emily; age, 2 months; place of birth all sibings, Eastleach Turville.

Census 1871
Place of birth, Eastleach Turville, Gloucestershire, c. 1839; age, 32; occupation, agricultural labourer; address, cottage in village, Southrop, Gloucestershire; living with, wife, Harriet; age, 30; place of birth, Eastleach Turville; son, William G.; age, 5; son, Henry T.; age, 3; place of birth all siblings, Eastleach Turville.

Census 1861
Place of birth, Eastleach Turville, Gloucestershire, c. 1839; age, 22; address, in village, Eastleach Turville; living with, father, George; age, 59; place of birth, Eastleach Turville; occupation, agricultural labourer; mother, Esther; age, 60; place of birth, North Cerney, Gloucestershire; brother, James; age, 20; occupation, agricultural labourer; brother, Richard; age, 15, occupation, agricultural labourer; also, cousin, Louisa, place of birth, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, age, 6, scholar; place of birth all siblings, Eastleach Truville.

Census 1851
Place of birth, Eastleach Turville, Gloucestershire, c. 1839; age, 12; occupation, agricultural labourer; address, in village, Eastleach Turville; living with father, George; age, 49; place of birth, Eastleach Turville; occupation, road labourer; mother Esther; age, 51; place of birth, North Cerney, Gloucestershire; sister, Elizabeth; age, 17; occupation, agricultural labourer; sister, Lucy; age, 15; brother, James; age, 10, occupation, agricultural labourer; brother, John; age, 7; occupation, agricultural labourer; brother, Richarda age 5; place of birth all siblings, Eastleach Turville.

Census 1841
Place of birth, Gloucestershire, c. 1838, age, 3; address, in village, Eatsleach Turville; living with father, George; age 35; occupation, agricultural labourer; mother, Esther; age, 40; brother, William; age, 15; sister, Rachel; age, 9; sister, Elizabeth; age, 7; sister, Lucy; age, 5; brother, James; age 6 months.

 

 

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