George Stillman

Date published: 15/02/2015
© Newbury Weekly News




From the Local Chit-Chat column of the Newbury Weekly News, 3rd March, 1927


This month and year marks the centenary of the Stillman family's official association with theParishChurch.  Four generations have successively held the position of parish clerk, which in later years appears to have lapsed in actual appointment, and is now designated as vestry clerk and verger.  In former times it was an important office, carrying a freehold vote, and involving responsible duties.  The occupants of the office have been:-


            1827-1864:      George Stillman

            1864-1881:      John Redford Stillman

            1881-1910:      John Edgar Stillman

            1911- .....  :      William George Stillman           


George Stillman, who was a typical old parish clerk of the venerable order, was born in 1795, being the grandson of Shute Stillman, who was married inNewburyParishChurchin 1762.  George was apparitor to Dr. Samuel Wilberforce, Bishop of Oxford, and travelled the diocese with him, the wand which he carried being still in the possession of the family. George was factotum to Dr. Binney during his Rectorate, and his sonorous responses were quite impressive.




John Stillman, who succeeded in 1864, was well-known in local life, and particularly in connection with Christ's Hospital in the days when the scholars were elected by the Vestry.  John was well informed as to the pedigree of West Kindred, and supplied them with particulars necessary to qualify for election to the school or for pensions.  


John was a Freemason and Hearts of Oak member.


One of his recreations was to fatten crayfish in the mill-tail, and despatch to Sweeting'sLondonrestaurant, where they were regarded as great delicacies.


At his death in 1881 he was succeeded bu his son Edgar, and on his retirement, the appointment went to William George, a grandson of George and an oldChristHospitalboy.  He is still in possession, carrying on the traditions of the family which for a hundred years has been so closely linked with the parish church.




George Stillman's brother Thomas emigrated to theUnited States, and there founded an American family, which has made much money and some amount of fame.  The Newbury representatives have never yet been successful in establishing the connection sufficiently to share in the millions, and have had to earn their own livings.


Newbury has always been the home of the family, although the name is to be seen here and there in various parts of the country, where the family have carried it in search of fortune.




Our thanks to local historian, David Peacock, for drawing this to our attention.

Sources:Newbury Weekly News - Local Chit Chat - 3 March 1927

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