Henry Winn (1816 - 1914)

Writer, historian, and poet, Winn wrote about everyday life in the Lincolnshire Wolds in the 19th and early 20th centuries.  He lived throughout his long life in the Lincolnshire village of Fulletby.  In addition to his poems he wrote essays and articles on a diverse range of subjects including religion, hymns, historical figures and events, place names, rent charges, temperance and philosophy.  His work was regularly published in the county's newspapers. 

His father’s death meant Winn had to leave school aged 10 as he was required to assist in the family business. Besides running the grocery and drapery store, at the age of 14 he became the unofficial Parish Clerk, a position to which he was formally elected in 1845.  He remained in this role until 1910 (the Guinness Book of Records recognises him as the longest serving Parish Clerk).  During his life he held various other positions in the village including Parish Constable, Church Warden, Sunday School Teacher, and committee member for both a Sick and Savings club.  Winn helped to establish a village school and founded a free village library.  His various roles in Fulletby, meant he was well placed to record differing social attitudes and the impact on society of the various changes which occurred during the Victorian era to working families. 

At the age of 90 he produced a history of his beloved Fulletby.  He continued writing and publishing to the end of his life, aged 98.  He was a perceptive and independent thinker and  prepared to take on the establishment if his views did not coincide.  Many of his poems of everyday life, his outlook and his commentary on the beauty of the Lincollnshire Wolds, and human nature and attitudes, remain as pertinent and relevant now as they were more than a century ago.   During Winn’s life he was renowned across the country for his knowledge of Lincolnshire, and was something of a county celebrity  His impact on Fulletby remains obvious to this day.  

Essentially the words of his poems to which the music has been set on the CD are as he wrote them, with the exception of some added refrains. 

Jan and Paul are involved with an initiative with the Jean Shaftoe the founder of the ‘Winn Legacy Project’. (This project continues to research his life and put on events and exhibitions to share their findings).  The three of them are available for a concert where Jan and Paul sing a series of songs using Winn's words set to music together with traditional folk songs from the Victorian and Edwardian eras.  Jean reads from Winn's manuscripts and from her best selling book ‘Life in a Victorian Village'.  

Please use the contact form if you would like further information about the performances which are suitable for a wide range of audiences and functions including WI meetings, U3A groups, after dinner events, etc.