This article is a contribution to Bucks Archaeological Society's Bucks Local History Network on 24th October 2020.

See Bucks Archaeological Society for details.


Weller Ledger Book


About 1874 somebody started a payments book listing names of servants and amounts paid. The book continued for eighty-three years to December 1957. The entries and the handwriting changed over time. It is possible to discover who the anonymous writers are, by looking at the servants and other records.

From the servants we discover they were living at Plantation, Amersham Common or one of the neighbouring buildings.

The 1881 census shows George Weller living at Plantation. He was aged 36 a brewer & maltster employing 50 men. Also there was his wife Blanch Heath, née Masterman who he married in Jun 1871. There were three children: Gladys Heath, Gerard Masterman & Carlan Lacy all baptised in Amersham.

As you can see below, the handwriting is a flowing script and this continued until there was a major change in 1929. This coincides with the death of George Weller in October 1929. There was no change when Blanch died in 1921. Can we say the first part of the book was written by George Weller?

Weller 2


Weller 57

Can we assume that the new hand is that of Gladys Weller? In Apr 1890 Gladys had married Edmund A S Fawcett. After the marriage they were living at Coleshill House with his father Edmund A Fawcett and four sisters. The writing could be by Edmund A S Fawcett, but I doubt it. The handwriting before and after his death in 1938 is very similar. Buckinghamshire Advertiser reports mentioning the Fawcetts at local events say they were at Plantation. While the website (1) says he worked for the Amersham & Beaconsfield Water Co. This goes to helping to answer an oddity in the 1939 Register where Gladys was still living as a widow with four servants.

There are also a couple listed in the house, Gordon L Frank and his wife Madeline. Frank is listed in the 1939 Kellys Directory as Engineer for Amersham and & Beaconsfield Water Co. In the 1939 Madeline's entry had her occupation as unpaid domestic duties, although there could not be many of those with four servants in the house.

Weller 70




Here are a few more notes about other contents of the ledger

In the first few years the book is not comprehensive although it shows Jarvis the coachman who appears in both the book and the census until he was pensioned in 1908. The book goes on to tell us about the other stable staff as shown in the illustration.

Weller 10


The household's wealth can also seen with four gardeners, usually one or more of the Chidwick family who lived in a cottage nearby. In 1883 terms and conditions for outdoor staff were noted, all the gardeners were paid without beer. A practice of including beer was common in the brewing industry.

  The coming of the motor car bought great change in 1902 as some stable staff became gardeners and chauffeurs were employed. But there were problems as some were lazy or careless, with H Foot being a poor driver. Eventually the car was laid by for six months in 1918.

Weller 33


The main thing to draw from the pages is the amount of staff that join and leave. This can be seen in the more menial low paid roles. As young people move on to other positions.

 Weller 5

In the above image Mary Fairweather appears not to have left a record of her time in Amersham. there is certainly no death or marriage appearing in the county. There appears to be a few candidates in the usual family history resources, but there is nothing linking them to Amersham.  Kate Sutton is easier to track as she appears in the census as nurse maid in 1881.


Romance can be found in the pages with the Lady's maid Clarissa Richardson being employed in April 1889 on £22 p.a. a month later Richard Smart joined as a footman on £40 p.a. They both left to get married in May 1893. He received £3 as a gift. In December 1899 Richard Smart was back in the employ of George Weller as butler. In 1901 Clarissa was living next to Plantation with three children. Not much is known about Clarissa after the death of her husband. She next appears in the 1911 census as visitor in Birchington, Kent with her youngest daughter Alice. Eva the eldest child was an assistant draper by that time. The two middle children, Charles and Maud, were inmates of Stockwell Orphanage for Fatherless Boys and Girls. Stockwell.

 Weller 34

I have only given you a glimpse of this book, which at first glance appears to be just a list of payments. It is another story of the well-known Weller family in Amersham normally only seen through brewery records. There is much more to be discovered from this book which has been deposited at Buckinghamshire Archives (Ref D-X 2147 Ledger containing payments to domestic staff of the Weller family)



Kellys Directories for Buckinghamshire 1895, 1903, 1907, 1915, 1924. 1929, 1931 & 1939.

A History of Coleshill, Julian Hunt, Coleshill Histroy Project 2009

Buckinghamshire Census for Amersham 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901, 1991 via

1939 Register for Amersham via