Ella Mary Leather’s The Folk-lore of Herefordshire includes a biographical portrait of Mrs Leather written by John Simons, who lives in Castle House in Weobley, which used to be the Leather family home. Portraits of Ella were found in the house, along with an album of her photographs – some of which are reproduced here for the first time – and other pieces of information which have helped inform the biography.
Living in Weobley, Mrs Leather gathered much of her material from people in the community she loved and supported, including cottage dwellers, workhouse residents and gypsy families living in the vicinity. She wrote down the songs and carols they sang for her, sometimes in the company of Ralph Vaughan Williams, who would note down the tunes and used some of them in his compositions.
Her collection of folklore, which is special to Herefordshire but recognized as being of national importance, includes cures for remedies, local sayings, morris dance tunes and dances, love divinations, and tales of ghosts and fairies.
(Description courtesy of Logaston Press)