Back to all Events

George Alfred Ellis – Weymouth’s first Historian

Monday, February 19, 2024

Ellis was a fascinating early 19th century Weymouth character.  A surgeon/ apothecary – something like a modern G.P., he followed an active professional life treating what today might be called the middle-class patients who could afford to pay for his services.  However, his interests were much broader; as well as following his father in his local practice, Ellis was a revered Poor Law surgeon and corresponded with the London health authorities on the best way to prevent the spread of cholera in South Dorset, before its connection to contaminated water was recognised. He also found time, before his early death in 1841 at the age of 42, to take an active part in the in the wider affairs of both the town, and the reform movements of the first part of the nineteenth century.  He published The History and Antiquities of the Borough of Weymouth and Melcombe Regis in 1829 when he was 30 years old, perhaps as part of his successful attempt to become involved in the governance of the town as a member of the Corporation.  Probably his interest in the town’s history explains his early, crucial but interrupted efforts to preserve the town’s sorely neglected archives, a task echoed today by the work of the supporters of Weymouth Museum!

Jim and Pauline Crump moved to Weymouth from Yorkshire nearly 30 years ago when Jim’s retirement coincided with Pauline’s appointment to the History department of Weymouth College. Before retirement, Jim had published a book on Education Management, (adopted as a course text by the Open University) and articles on Yorkshire Local History.  He published Medieval Weymouth in 2015, saying he thought the town’s early history was unfairly neglected by the focus on the influence of George III.   He published this short account of Ellis’s life, on which the talk is based, in 2019. These, and other unpublished articles, are the result of extensive research in the local archives and the British Library in London.

After her own retirement, Pauline developed her interest in local history through a series adult evening classes at the College, some of which have also been developed into individual talks for local organisations. These talks are mainly based on making research work on the local area by Jim and others more widely known.  Her own original research focuses on a large archive, at the National Archive at Kew, of the work (relevant to her own family) of a British organisation which enabled political opponents of Nazism to escape from central Europe after the 1938 Munich Agreement.


The talk will be held in Hope United Reformed Church at 8 Trinity Street.  Tea & biscuits will be served from 2pm and the talk will begin at 2.30pm.

Tickets will be available on the door and are £2.00 for members of the Friends and £3.00 for visitors. (Exact change would be appreciated, if possible).

  • Organizer Name: Friends of Weymouth Museum
  • Email:
  • Website:
  • Type: Museum Talk
  • Time: February 19, 2024 - 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
  • Venue:Hope Church, Trinity Street, Weymouth DT4 8TW
  • Duration:90 minutes

The new entrance facilities were only made possible through an emergency fund from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

We have also benefitted from the active support of The Friends of Weymouth Museum.