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Info on Sister Emma, singer to C Sharp

GUEST,Ian cookieless 25 Apr 09 - 11:20 AM
Shalini 25 Apr 09 - 11:34 AM
MartinRyan 25 Apr 09 - 11:39 AM
MartinRyan 25 Apr 09 - 11:58 AM
Matthew Edwards 25 Apr 09 - 12:18 PM
GUEST,ploppo 26 Apr 09 - 07:56 AM
GUEST,Ian cookieless 29 Apr 09 - 05:52 PM
Matthew Edwards 29 Apr 09 - 06:13 PM
GUEST,ploppo 30 Apr 09 - 04:19 AM
Matthew Edwards 30 Apr 09 - 07:56 AM
IanC 30 Apr 09 - 10:25 AM
Matthew Edwards 21 Nov 12 - 04:40 AM
MartinRyan 21 Nov 12 - 10:12 AM
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Subject: Info on Sister Emma, singer to C Sharp
From: GUEST,Ian cookieless
Date: 25 Apr 09 - 11:20 AM

While looking up a song I wanted to sing, I discovered that it was noted in 1909 by Cecil Sharp from a 71 year old nun, Sister Emma, in Clewer, Berkshire. She sang him 26 songs in all, including Wraggle Taggle Gipsies O, Robin A Thrush, Long Lankin, The Mermaid, The Carrion Crow, Derby Ram, As I Was Going To Banbury, and Gang O'er The Burn, My Canny Hinny. More than this I don't know. I am intrigued by this folk-singing sister and hope that someone on Mudcat may have been more successful than I in trying to find information about her or could point me in the right direction.


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Subject: RE: Info on Sister Emma, singer to C Sharp
From: Shalini
Date: 25 Apr 09 - 11:34 AM

Long Lankin - what a gruesome song for a nun to sing!


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Subject: RE: Info on Sister Emma, singer to C Sharp
From: MartinRyan
Date: 25 Apr 09 - 11:39 AM

There appears to be some detail about her in THIS academic paper - but you'll need access. I don't see anything directly online, as yet. Sounds interesting alright.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Info on Sister Emma, singer to C Sharp
From: MartinRyan
Date: 25 Apr 09 - 11:58 AM

The order, BTW, was Anglican.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Info on Sister Emma, singer to C Sharp
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 25 Apr 09 - 12:18 PM

Sister Emma was born Eleanor Emma Waring in 1838 in Lyme Regis, Dorset; the daughter of Henry Franks Waring, solicitor and town clerk, and his wife Catherine Mary nee Rankin. Sharp met Sister Emma at the Anglican convent of the Community of St John Baptist, Clewer, Berkshire in February 1909 shortly before she died in March of the same year.

Sister Emma told Sharp that she had learned her songs from her mother and her nursemaid over 60 years earlier. Her nursemaid was Pricilla Tucker of Shute, Devon while Sister Emma's mother was descended from the Rankin family of Newcastle which explains the strong Northumbrian element among her songs.

There is a lot of fascinating information about Emma Waring and her family, some of which appears in another thread Lyr Req: Long Lankin/Lord Lankin. Malcolm Douglas encouraged me to do some more research into her, but I rather came up against a brick wall and put it aside for a while. I'll try to see if I can get going again.

Matthew Edwards


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Subject: RE: Info on Sister Emma, singer to C Sharp
From: GUEST,ploppo
Date: 26 Apr 09 - 07:56 AM

Any news of cousin David Flatt?


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Subject: RE: Info on Sister Emma, singer to C Sharp
From: GUEST,Ian cookieless
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 05:52 PM

Thanks for your responses, folks, especially Matthew. Anyone for any more?


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Subject: RE: Info on Sister Emma, singer to C Sharp
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 06:13 PM

Hi Ian - if you find your cookie again I can send you a PM with some more information about Sister Emma and her family background, but there are a lot of loose ends that I need to follow up before I can add anything definitive. Similarly if anyone else is interested I can send them the same information if they send me a PM, though I don't think I can help GUEST,ploppo!

Matthew Edwards


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Subject: RE: Info on Sister Emma, singer to C Sharp
From: GUEST,ploppo
Date: 30 Apr 09 - 04:19 AM

Matthew rumbled me!! - c sharp, d flat..... cheers Matt :)


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Subject: RE: Info on Sister Emma, singer to C Sharp
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 30 Apr 09 - 07:56 AM

Hello ploppo, you're welcome. Wouldn't c sharp and d flat be twins rather than cousins, though?

Valerie Bonham has done a lot of research into the Sisters of the Community of St John Baptist which she has published in a series of three books; 'A Joyous Service', 'A Place In Life' and 'Sisters of the Raj'. She also wrote an article for the Windsor Local History Publications 'Windlesora' No.12 "Scamps Reclaimed" about Sister Emma's role in founding and running St Augustine's Home for Boys in Clewer. This article was formerly published on the Clewer History website without acknowledging the author, and the site now seems to have vanished. Back numbers of the magazine may still be obtained from the Windsor Local History Group.

Anyone with access to the UK Census and the Times Digital Archive online should be able to discover some more background about Sister Emma: her death was reported in the Times on Wednesday 24 March 1909.

By the way I spelled her nursemaid's name wrongly above; it should have read Priscilla Tucker.

Matthew Edwards


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Subject: RE: Info on Sister Emma, singer to C Sharp
From: IanC
Date: 30 Apr 09 - 10:25 AM

According to The Mormons' site she was born in 1839, the 4th of 10 children, all born in Lyme Regis.

:-)


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Subject: RE: Info on Sister Emma, singer to C Sharp
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 21 Nov 12 - 04:40 AM

To bring this up to date: Valerie Bonham has just published a new edition of the story of the Clewer Sisters A Joyous Service, which incorporates an appendix devoted to Sister Emma and her folk songs. This is based on researches by me and by Martin Graebe, and also on Valerie Bonham's own research at the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library.

It is a very interesting book about the achievements of a remarkable group of women in the Anglican church, and can be bought for £12.99 from the Church House Bookshop

Martin Graebe gave a talk at Whitby Folk Week last August which covered the songs of Sister Emma and her real life sister, Edith Seymour Waring. Edith gave more songs from their family repertoire to Sabine Baring-Gould in 1905, but as this was under her married name of Lady Lethbridge it has taken over a century to discover the family relationship!

Matthew Edwards


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Subject: RE: Info on Sister Emma, singer to C Sharp
From: MartinRyan
Date: 21 Nov 12 - 10:12 AM

Nice one, Matthew!


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