Harrey Champion

Why Henery?


I have called them “Henery” after the music Hall artiste Harry Champion who was most famously known for his song “I’m Henery the Eighth I am”. Henery is totally turned on a lathe, making him very rounded!


About Harry Champion 1865 - 1942


Harry Champion (real name William Crump) was born in Shoreditch in 1865 and first appeared in Music Hall at the age of 15. In 1888 he changed his stage name from Will Conray to Harry Champion and with a wide repertoire of songs, many of them sung at breakneck speed, he became one of the Music Hall's most successful artists.


Many of Harry Champion's songs are still well known today and include "Any Old Iron", "Boiled Beef and Carrots" and "I'm Henery the Eighth I am". and " A Little Bit of Cucumber" which was a favourite during the First World War. Champion delighted in songs about food--about pickled onions, hot meat pies, saveloys, trotters, tripe, onions, and even baked sheep's heart. But he had many other songs-- "Everybody Knows Me in Me Old Brown Hat," "What a Mouth," "Beaver," "Ginger You're Barmy"




I'm Henery the Eighth I am,
'Enery the Eighth I am, I am.
I got married to the widow next door –
She's been married seven times before.
Ev'ry one was a 'Enery
She wouldn't 'ave a Willie or a Sam.
I'm her eighth old man named 'Enery –
'Enery the Eighth I am!






According to one source, Champion "used to fire off [the chorus] at tremendous speed with almost desperate gusto, his face bathed in sweat and his arms and legs flying in all directions, so he would obviously make a good jig doll!


Harry Champion spent most of his life in Tottenham and also seems to have run a cab/taxi business for most of his life. Even at the height of his fame he is reported as saying 'I have not made a fortune out of it. That story got about in the old days when I used to let broughams out on hire to my brother pros! I never went into the business for profit. I started it because I like to see a bit of the country myself and I went on with it to keep off the drink'.


Many sources, not least of all Champion himself, confirm his long standing connection with the cab/taxi business, which seems to have continued well into the 1930's and possibly involved his relations. His son William Henry Crump, who acted as executor of his will in 1942, was described then as a 'Motor Engineer'. We now know that they established 'North London Coaches' in the 1930's but their fleet of vehicles was commandeered by the government at the outbreak of war in 1939.


Harry Champion continued working into his seventies. In January 1942 he died at Tottenham, aged 76, where he had lived for more than thirty years. He is buried in East Finchley Cemetery.