Rev. George Merriman (1837-1905)

Rev. George Merriman was born on 27th December 1837 in Marlborough, Wiltshire to George  & Elizabeth Merriman, nee Hill. He was baptised at St. Peter’s, Marlborough.

George matriculated at Marlborough, Wiltshire in 1856 and earned his BA and MA at Exeter College, Oxford. Having been ordained in 1861 he held various curacies between 1861–1875 at Banbury; St Giles, Reading and at St Nicholas, Great Yarmouth. He was employed as a vicar of St Mary the Virgin, Martham and Rural Dean of Flegg between 1876 and 1905 where he was also listed in the 1881, 1891 and 1901 census returns as living at The Vicarage, Black Street.

George married Ellen Susanna Steward on 31st March 1880 at East Harling, Norfolk. She was born in Caister and was the daughter of George Steward who was also a vicar.

George & Ellen had three children: George born in 1881, Ellen born 1882 and Ernest born in 1886.

George is remembered as a long serving and influential vicar of Martham for almost 30 years from 1876 until his death in 1905. The first burial he officiated at St Mary’s was for Frederick Hodds on 1st May 1876. His first baptism was of George Henry Martin Dove on 11th June 1876 and the first marriage he officiated at was between William Nichols & Elizabeth Harriss on 25th December 1876.

The signature of Rev. Merriman taken from a baptism record at Martham.

In 1881 he purchased the redundant former Methodist Hall in Black Street at his own expense after the Methodists moved to their new Church on Repps Road. He made the hall available for community use and as a reading room which was needed because St Mary’s Church Hall was in use at that time as the Vicar’s School. Long after his death the hall was sold to the Independent Order of Oddfellows and is now a private home.   

George died on 1st November 1905 at The Firs in Catton, Norwich aged 67 and he is buried at St Mary’s graveyard section H, plot G10. There is also a brass memorial plaque to him in St Mary’s Church which is shown at the top of this page.  His wife Ellen died in 1940 and is buried in the same grave.

Presentation to Ellen Merriman when she left Martham in 1906.

Sources: Appointment information courtesy of the: Clergy of the Church of England Database at https://theclergydatabase.org.uk

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