CAMBRIA COTTAGE 1877.'
After Richard Jefferies, Alfred Williams is probably the most well known Wiltshire writer. Cambria Cottage was built for Alfred's parents, Elias and Elizabeth (née Hughes), although they shared it with George Ockwell's family. Elias had taken out a second mortgage to finance a business in Swindon in which he was described as a 'joiner, carpenter and builder'. But the business folded in 1882, bailiffs threatened, and Elias fled, leaving Elizabeth to support her children.
'POET AND WRITER
1881 – 1903'
The Williams family, then, moved next door to Rose Cottage, which was built by Elizabeth's father Joshua Hughes, and this is where Elizabeth had met Elias when he and his father David lodged here as travelling carpenters. Alfred stayed here until he married Mary Peck in 1903.
Dryden Cottage in South Marston, where Alfred Williams and his wife Mary lived for fifteen years.
I was unable to find Alfred's grave in the church cemetery, although I discovered the grave of his mother and his brother Henry. Elizabeth Williams died in October 1917 at the age of 68. Her epitaph is from Matthew 11:28: 'Come unto me all ye who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest'. Her son Henry Oliver Williams died less than two years later, in May 1919, at the age of 43.
In the parlour of the Richard Jefferies Museum at Coate there is a small bust of Alfred Williams, although I know nothing of its history.
Much of the above material was culled from the Alfred Williams Heritage Society website, which is very informative and linked below:
Alfred Williams Heritage Society