Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: August 16, 2018
Webpage updated: February 16, 2019




Mr Amos Shillibeer was the Water Bailiff for Plymouth Corporation for 45 years, first at Head Weir Cottage, in the days of the Plymouth Leat, and then at Burrator Lodge, following the construction of Burrator Reservoir, having taken the role over from his father, Mr William Shillibeer (1788-1869).  After serving for 48 years, Amos retired from that position in 1914, upon the amalgamation of Borough of Devonport and Urban District of East Stonehouse with the Borough of Plymouth.

At the age of 22 years, Amos Shillibeer married Miss Emma Maria Andrew, the daughter of Mr William Andrew, farmer and neighbour, at Sheepstor Parish Church on March 1st 1871.  She had been born in Hellington Cottage, Sheepstor, and was for several years housemaid to the late Sir James Brooke, former Rajah of Sarawak, at Burrator House, Sheepstor.  In due course the couple had three children: the eldest was Miss Frances Ellen Shillibeer (1872), next came George Shillibeer (1874) and finally came William Harold Shillibeer (1882).

As Leatman, Mr Shillbeer was in charge of the Plymouth Leat during the Great Blizzard of March 1891, when soldiers were called out to help clear the snow and ice from the Leat, and during which he had the unpleasant experience of being snowed up in a watch box at Yelverton.

His eldest son, Mr George Shillibeer, took over the post of Water Bailiff in 1914.

Although the couple celebrated their Diamond Anniversary in Hellington Cottage, where Emma had been born, on March 1st 1930 they had, in fact, only been married for 59 years (1871), not 60 years (1870): a very slight miscalculation after 59 years!

Mr Amos Shillibeer died on Friday June 23rd 1939 and was buried in the church yard of Sheepstor Parish Church on Tuesday June 27th 1939.  The service was conducted by the Rector of Sheepstor, the Reverend H T Green and Captain the Honourable E A Nicholson, partially representing Lord Roborough, read the lesson.  The coffin bearers were Messrs W Manning, H Watkins, A Brown, E Northmore, J Dart, and W Legassick.  Messrs P N Buchan and F Jordan represented Mr A Atkinson, the Water Engineer and his staff.