Home   News   Article

Subscribe Now

Mickleton farm labourer became a mouth artist after being injured around 1871

THE Mickleton Community Archive holds some fascinating stories from the past. When Linda Phelpstead stumbled across a photo of mouth painter Sam Margetts from the turn of the 20th century, it made her want to explore his story.

She said: “While adding the WI collection of slides to the archive catalogue, my attention was caught by a photograph. The original index to the collection only gave the man’s name as Sam Margetts, so I tried to find out more about him.”

Here is what Linda found out.

Sam Margetts (62771917)
Sam Margetts (62771917)

Sampson Margetts was born in Mickleton in 1852 and baptised in the parish church of St Lawrence on 16th August. He was the youngest child of labourer, Sampson Margetts, originally from Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire, and his wife, Fanny, who had been born in Honeybourne. The census that had been taken the previous year recorded the family living at Mickleton Wood. Their address was given as Wood Cottages, Clopton Grounds, Mickleton, when the next census was taken in 1861. Sampson was then eight-years-old and along with his older sister, Mary Ann, was listed as a scholar. Only two of his brothers remained at home – John, aged 14, who was an agricultural labourer, and 18-year-old Edwin, who worked as a carter.

His 55-year-old father was then working as a groom. The next census, taken in 1871, listed Sampson working, like his father and brother, John, as an agricultural labourer. They all probably worked for their neighbour, Lucy Careless of Wood Farm, who was described as a farmer of 330 acres, employing seven men and two boys.

Later that year, when he was just 19-years-old, Sam was injured in an accident whilst at work. An article published in the Worcester Journal on 26th November, 1887, some 15 years later, reported that he had fallen from a loft and injured his spine so severely that two years later he was unable to walk and was reduced to lying flat, unable to move his hands or feet.

Strangely the census taken in 1881 recorded Sam, who was then 28-years-old, as working as an agricultural labourer.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More