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Henry William Williamson  

 

 

Henry William Williamson was born on 1 December 1895 at 66 Braxfield Road, Brockley, London.

 

His parents were Gertrude Eliza Leaver and William Leopold Williamson.

 

 

Henry Williamson is well known as being the author of the book “ Tarka The Otter ”.

 

 

However he wrote many other books.

 

 

In one of his works  “A Clear Water Stream”

he talks of his family connections with  the Shapcote family :

 

“ The blacksmith made me three trivets with different lengths of pod or leg; and also a grill, upon which steaks, chops and kippers grizzled, before being picked out on a long iron fork, for supper in front of the fire.  At times I repined that a mason’s hammer had cracked up the slate slab, as he said, it was old.  Possibly, I thought, two or three hundred year, it had been a lovely thing, deep blue and gentle, worn hollow in places with many feet resting on it, and mellowed with fat speckles jumping out of how many cast iron frying pans of the past.  Feeling for such old things was strong in me, also a sense of place; later I discovered a possible reason, in that my mother’s family of Shapcote had lived only a few miles away on the edge of the moor at Knowstone, at least ten generations before the heraldic visitations of 1610.  A century after that date the place was sold, the family moved to Exeter and Sarah Shapcote married an Irish Sea Captain in the Navy at Plymouth called Thomas William Leaver, my great-great grandfather.  It was a good feeling that one had roots in Devon.  Perhaps that was the basis of an instinctive feeling for the elements, and life created from those elements of Exmoor? ”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Henry Williamson died in 31 August 1977 in Ealing, Middlesex.

 

 

More information about the life and works of  Henry Williamson

 

 

A rare BBC Archive Film 1965 - Interview with Henry Williamson

 

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