Emery Down

Moses was born a twin in 1825 to Edward & Sarah Blake of Minstead in the New Forest. His twin brother was Aaron. He had eight older siblings and a younger brother George who was also a singer.

Moses was a brickmaker when he married Elizabeth Groves and they had eight children. Moses and his family lived in Merton Cottage in Silver Street, Emery Down.

Moses became a pillar of the community and for 52 years he was Sexton and Church clerk of Christ Church, Emery Down. His responsibilities included keeping the churchyard tidy, cleaning the church and taking charge of the vestments. He also dug the graves, opened vaults for burials and assisted with the burying of the dead. There is a memorial tablet to Moses in the church.

His daughter, Jane, who stayed on to live with Moses and look after him in later life, took over the role of Sexton. She was the only female sexton in the country and she too held the job for over fifty years.

Moses died in 1917 and is buried in the churchyard at Christ Church, Emery Down.

Moses Blake.

Thanks to the Christ Church, Emery Down for photo and How We Used To Live group for information

Moses sang George Gardiner 17 songs in May, June and July 1906.

Pretty Polly
The Ploughboy's Courtship
The Sailor's Bride
The New Irish Girl
Young Johnny the Ploughboy
The Sprig of Thyme
Caroline and Her Brisk Young Sailor Boy
In Sheffield Park
The New York Trader
Rejoice Mankind and Sing
The Bold Dragoon
The Sheffield Apprentice
The Three Butchers
The Maid in Bedlam
As the Dragoon was Riding from the North
The Golden Vanity.

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