Titmuss - Simons

by Win Deans nee Titmuss

Updated January 2001

James Titmuss | George Titmuss | James William Titmuss 
George Simons | George Simons jnr | January 2001 | Early Photographs 
Titmuss business page | Wheathampstead village page | Early Whstd families

James Titmuss 1815 - 1876

James Titmuss came from Stevenage where the family had lived since 1704.  He married Sara Amelia Garratt (1818 - 1878) of Codicote Mills and they lived at Cross Farm, Langley.  In 1848 they moved to Divers End and then to Nup End Farm, Codicote.  Their son George was born in 1847 at Cross Farm.

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George Titmuss 1847 - 1927

George Titmuss 1847 - 1927George probably decided that he would rather become a miller than a farmer.  In the 1861 Census we find him at Lemsford Mill with his uncle George Garratt as ‘an apprentice’.

In 1866 he was able to rent the Mill at Wheathampstead (which incidentally is mentioned in the Doomsday Book).  The Mill was owned at that time by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners.

In 1870 the Codicote Road was immediately in front of Wheathampstead House.  The owner Lord Kilcoursie (later he was the Earl of Cavan) wished for more privacy; so he approached the Ecclesiastical Commissioners to purchase some land enabling him to re-route the road, at his expense.  Later a high wall and gates were erected.  The sale was agreed on condition that he also bought the Wheathampstead Mill; not wanting the latter George Titmuss purchased it.

1871 Cesus, Mill House

George Titmuss



Walter Titmuss



Alfred Welch



In 1874 George married Mary Ann Webb who was born at Park Gate House, Knebworth, a near neighbour of the Titmuss family at Nup End Farm.  Her father was Land Steward for the Knebworth Estate.

About 1887 the old Wheathampstead Mill House was demolished and the present one erected

When the first Wheathampstead Parish Council was elected in 1895 George was a member, still serving in 1904 and probably even later.  He served on the committee of the Annual Flower Show and Sports Day for many years.  In 1901 he purchased Batford Flour Mills and sold it in 1928.

George and Mary Ann had three children:





1876 – 1920


James William

1879 – 1951

Georgiana Simons

Ada Mary

1880 – 1950

George Seabrook

(The Seabrooks lived at Lamer Farm and Rose Lane)

George died in 1927 and was buried in Codicote Churchyard within sight of Nup End.

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James William Titmuss 1879 - 1951

James William titmuss 1879 - 1951James Titmuss (my father) carried on the business.  Always involved in village life he was Treasurer of the first Working Men’s Club, a founder member of the Debating society (which George Bernard Shaw sometimes joined) as well as the Flower Show and Sports Day.  He was an elected member of both the Parish Council and Rural District Council for many years.

James Titmuss married Georgiana Simons in 1914 at St Helen’s, Wheathampstead.  Both were buried in the Churchyard at Wheathampstead.

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George Simons 1820 - 1887

My maternal great-grandfather George Simons came to Wheathampstead from Abbots Langley in 1844.  He was a butcher living at the corner of Luton Road and Lamer Lane.  Five children were born there – Mary, Emma, twins William and Harriet and the youngest George being my grandfather.

Their children were

Mary 1846 - 1870 Lattimore
Emma 1849 - 1918 Bush
Harriet 1850 - 1911  
William 1850   
George 1856 - 1938 Dunham

All buried at St Helens, Wheathampstead,
except William at Abbots Langley

Whilst a boarder at Highgate School George caught smallpox; instead of isolating and nursing him there he was brought home.  The tragedy was his eldest sister Mary volunteered to nurse him; catching this sickness herself and dying in December 1870.

Once again Lord Kilcourse was involved, he wished to purchase this property to build a house (subsequently known as Garden House) for his mother-in-law.

In December 1871 a sale of land and property by the executors of J. I. House was held at the Swan Hotel:

            Lot 5 a shop & dwelling house
            Lot 6 Meadow land (near the Mill).

George Simons purchased these.  During 1872 the property on Lot 5 was demolished and a new shop and house were erected and known as ‘Leabank’.  My mother (Georgiana Simons) was born there in 1886.  The shop is now known as ‘T.Potts’.

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George Simons 1856 - 1938

George Simons, my grandfather, and Mary Ann Sophia Dunham (1860 - 1949) married at St Helen’s Church in 1885.

They had five children:




James Titmuss


Harold Clark


Honour Blowey


Olga Foot


Charles R Garrett

Robert and later his son, another Robert, continued trading until the latter died in 1984

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January 2001

Although Bridge Mills in Wheathampstead has ceased to function as such, George’s grandson, great grandsons and great great grandson continue the name and business at the New Mill in Lamer Lane, making five generations.

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Early Photographs

Wheathamapstead Mill c1896
The Mill circa 1896


Wheathampstead High St (historic)
The High St showing Mill House in the distance


Station Rd, Wheathampstead
Station Rd showing Simon's Butchers on the left

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