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Throughout Glynde and Firle sincere sympathy will be extended to the relatives of Mrs Charles Weller in the loss they have sustained by the death of that lady, which occurred at her residence, Pear Tree Cottage, Glynde, on Sunday. The passing of Mrs Weller, who was born at Iford in 1827, breaks a link with the past which will doubtless regretfully recall to many of the old inhabitants of the district memories of the comparative peacefulness of Early and Mid-Victorian days in contrast to the strenuous and suffering years that have overtaken us in the present century. Mrs Weller will be greatly missed, not alone by her family, but by a large circle of friends, for although in her ninety-first year, her bright and genial disposition manifested itself to the end, and her marvellous memory, more especially of events of bygone years, was always a source of interesting and enthralling conversation with all who knew her.
Mrs Weller was a daughter of the late Mr James Simmons of Southover, and a granddaughter of the late Mr Thomas Tester of West Hill Farm, Balcombe, a member of a very old Sussex family. She married Mr Charles Weller, fifth son of the late Mr William Weller of Glynde. They were married at Southover church in 1856. On their marriage they came to settle in Glynde, and took up their residence at Pear Tree Cottage, which was in long-past days the old posting house known as the 'Fox and Hounds'. This was done away with and the premises converted into a private house about 1841, subsequent to the construction of the railway. Prior to that date the house was kept by the late Mr William Weller, who died in 1868, aged 78. In this connection the family possess a silver tankard bearing the following inscription: A constant and indefatigable attention to the interests of the Lewes Amiable Society by Mr W Weller of Glynde, Sussex, during a period of nearly 20 years, induces his brother members by subscription to present him with a piece of plate as a token of their respect and esteem, 5th June 1828.
It is assumed that a branch of the Amiable Society was afterwards formed at the Fox and Hounds, Glynde, of which Mr W Weller was chairman, as the table at which he sat to preside over their meetings is still at Pear Tree Cottage, and bears emphatic marks of the chairman's mallet.
It may be mentioned that Pear Tree Cottage obtains the name by reason of a pear tree trained to the walls of the house, the tree itself being 250 years old and still bearing plentifully its luscious fruit every year.
It is worthy of record that Pear Tree Cottage has been in the occupancy of the Weller family for just one hundred years last rent day, a few months ago. It is especially noteworthy that ever since the ancestors of the present Viscount Gage came over at the Norman Conquest a member of the Weller family has always been connected in some capacity or other with the Gage estates. Of a family of five daughters and two sons born to the late Mr and Mrs Weller, four daughters and one son survive.
[Editors footnote: On the subject of the Weller family having served the Gage family since the Norman Conquest it might be worth pointing out here that William Weller, in the article above, had been baptised in Firle 14 February 1790, the son of William and Philadelphia. However, nobody named Weller appears in the Firle parish registers of baptisms (which survive from 1606 onwards) until 24 June 1684 when John, son of Thomas and Frances Weller, was baptised. Thomas Weller had married Frances Hide in Firle church 23 April 1684. The next Weller baptism in the parish register was for Elizabeth, daughter of Henry and Mary on 16 December 1688. Henry Weller of Horsted Keynes had married Mary Rootes of Fletching 8 June 1674 at Fletching. However, a Richard Weller was buried in Firle churchyard 13 Dec 1611 but there was no subsequent Weller burial until that of Edward Weller, husbandman, 29 April 1682. So, if the Wellers had been linked to the Gages since the conquest it wasn't in the Firle part of their estates].
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