What happened to Ann Whittaker after the death of her employer Charles Morris in 1879 was an unanswered question of mine until recently. Now we know thanks to the in depth research into the George family done by H & W.
Charles Morris lived at my house in Chitterne from about 1815 till his death in 1879. The house is now known as The Round House, but in Charles’ time it was called Laura Cottage. In the 1841 census Ann Whittaker is listed as a servant to Charles and Charlotte Morris and their daughter Hannah Anne.
Ann Whittaker was born in 1819 at Nunney, near Frome, Somerset and remained with the Morris family for at least 40 years, most of her adult life. She saw the family through good times and bad. Through the marriage in 1841 of their daughter Hannah to surgeon Henry Hayward Richardson and Hannah’s return home after Henry’s early death in 1851. Through the deaths of Charlotte Morris in 1862, Hannah in 1868, and grandson Charles Richardson in 1871. Charles Morris survived them all with Ann looking after him for another 8 years until his death at age 94 years in 1879.
Charles Morris provided for an annuity in his will for his faithful servant Ann, but she had no home of her own. So in 1881 we find her lodging just a few doors away from Laura Cottage at 101 Oak Terrace (part of St Mary’s Lodge) with Joseph and Sarah Williams.
On 27 September 1882, when she was 63 years old, Ann married 66 year old Thomas George, becoming his third wife. This was the exciting find for me. I had come across Mrs Ann George in my researches but I didn’t know she was Ann Whittaker. I hadn’t connected the dots, so I thought Ann had disappeared and I was unaware how her life had panned out. But now all is clear, she married Thomas, a freeholder of Chitterne, a beer retailer and carrier at the White Hart, and a landlord of cottages. A man of some means who left Ann well provided for when he died in 1889.
In 1891 Ann was living on her own means and renting Flora Villa (Gate House) for herself and her companion, niece Martha Whittaker. Martha married James Grant in 1894 and moved to Amesbury; Ann moved with her and died there in 1899, but she was buried back here in Chitterne where she had spent most of her life.