The search is on for the lost poems of the Baker Bard
IN researching the archives of the Wells Journal, I have come across a Wells poet called William Catcott. He was born in 1808 in West Horrington the son of a wool comber who combed the local wool, knitted it into stockings and then travelled the local area to sell them. William Catcott wrote poetry about local events, characters and scenes but his literary work did not sustain him financially, so with his brother: "both old bachelors, kept a bakers shop mid way down Tor Street. It was a quaint little shop with a door in two parts like a stable or a stall door."
Due to his trade William became known locally as the "Baker Bard" or the "Baker Poet".
In 1854 William wrote a poem dedicated to the recently formed Wells Journal:
"Go forth thou herald of a brighter day,
Speed on with all the force and charm of youth,
And scatter o'er the land the seeds of truth."
William published a book of poems titled Morning Musings. I have tried and failed to find a copy as I am fascinated by the title of one of the poems: Lines on a beautiful swan barbarously beaten to death in the palace moat.
But having scoured the internet, Wells Museum and Wells Cathedral libraries I can find no reference to either the book, Morning Musings or to the poem.
It is not listed in the catalogue of the British Library.
William Catcott died in 1870 and is buried at Binegar.
On his grave is the epitaph:
"The simple poet and faithful friend,
Whose efforts tended and taught by him above,
To usher in that endless reign of love,
Beloved of nature, gladdened by her store,
Who sang of life and labours of the poor."
Can any reader of the Wells Journal help me to find out more about this remarkable Wellsonian and in particular to find the lost poems in Morning Musings.