Monday, December 10, 2012

Gamel's Hall, Rush Green, Little Amwell

Mike asked if I could locate Gemmells Hall Farm and provide a picture. It turns out that Gamel's Hall - also known as Amwellbury - was rather more a gentleman's residence than a simple farm. It was at Little Amwell, also known as Hertford Heath. William Willson was there in 1841 but he had moved out and was the master of a workhouse in 1851, which would have been a definite fall in social status. I decided to look in the British Newspaper Archive to see if I could fill in any details but nothing definite turned up.  [More information]
The query highlights the need to look at census information for social status information, the problems of places that change their name, and the potential value of the British Newspaper Archive.


  1. What about the Ads in Hertford Mercury 13 and 27 Feb. 1847 for 20 acres of land occupied by Mr. W. Willson? Amwell Bury Farm was advertized in the 31 July edition and was the property of William Webb. The livestock also the property of William Webb was advertised on 4 September. Additionally Amwell Bury Mansion was advertised to let unfurnished on 15 August 1840 so the Willsons had not been there long in 1841. In the same issue the Hosehold Furniture was advertised, the property of Rt Hon Lord Strafford "who is leaving Amwell Bury." Anthony

  2. If William Plumer Willson father of Walter de Lancey Willson went bankrupt he certainly made a full recovery leaving £3671 to the said Walter at his death in 1903. According to the BMD he was born 1828 so only 13 in 1841. William Plumer Willson of Hertford married Maria Feetham at Fulham on 20 November 1856 and was then 29, which tallies. His father was also William Willson. Perhaps you need to sort these generations out? Anthony

  3. I have googled my way to Gentleman's Magazine for 1825 showing that the William Plumer Willson who had been Governor of Hertford Gaol for 30 years died on March 25. It seems the name was passed on through a number of generations. Anthony

  4. Although the Fulham marriage register is on Ancestry the newspaper announcements add further information. Thus the bride of William Plumer Willson in 1856 was, "Maria Feetham, youngest daughter of W. J. De Lancy Arnold, Esq." This at first seemed to explain whence Walter's middle name came, but he was born about 1846! So was the 1856 marriage between cousins? The 1856 couple can be found at Hertford in 1861 together with Emma Willson, mother. William L. Willson, 16, is then elsewhere as "servant" to a grocer, probably an apprentice. HALS has an obituary of the William Plumer Willson who died 15 January 1903 and had been mayor three times. Where?
    Just to add to the mix, there was a William Plumer Willson who died at Calcutta aged 28 in 1834. Good luck in sorting all this out! Anthony


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