Skip to main content


The Papers of Solicitors J. M. Shugar and A. W. Vaisey, 1850 (1875-1900) - 1914

Identifier: MSS-88-1

Scope and Contents

This collection contains papers from the legal practice of J.M. Shugar and A.W. Vaisey, solicitors. Their firm was located in Tring, Hertfordshire, in south central England. The collection documents work from 1850 to 1914, although these papers relate mostly to the period 1875-1900.

The Shugar and Vaisey practice was mainly property and probate law. The bulk of the material in this collection consists of conveyances, enfranchisements, indentures, title abstracts, wills, and related correspondence. The papers relate to Tring, Tring Manor (of which Vaisey was steward), Pendley Manor (of which Shugar was steward), and area towns such as Berkhamsted and Hemel Hempstead.

The papers (approximately 6 linear feet in 11 boxes) are arranged alphabetically by the names of the principals involved in a particular matter. The collection was acquired in bundles with little or no descriptive information, so the titles on folders were assigned after perusal of the documents in each bundle. A glance at the alphabetical listing below reveals the major idiosyncrasy of this collection: the bulk of the material relates to persons or institutions whose names begin with the letters A through D. Thus it appears that a considerable amount of other material has either been lost or exists elsewhere.

It is worth mentioning that the folder in Box 2, titled: "Bedford v. Berkhampstead Rural District Council: Records and Leases" includes a draft claim on behalf of Rebecca Bedford. This was drawn on the back of an unrelated but useful document, the voters list for western Hertfordshire in 1893, which provides addresses for voters, many of whom appear elsewhere in the records. Vaisey himself is among those listed. Researchers will notice the various spellings of Berkhamsted given in the documents; apparently, its spelling was not yet standardized.


  • Creation: 1832-1914


Biographical / Historical

Arthur William Vaisey (1851-1939 V) was the son of Thomas & Emma Vaisey and was born at Stratton, Gloucestershire. He studied law and married 22 year old Esther Bevir (1850-1925 V), daughter of William Laurence Bevir (a solicitor), at Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire, in 1876. As a recently qualified solicitor, he was looking for a suitable practice and moved to Tring, where the town's respected lawyer, John Shugar, had recently died. They had 2 sons and seven daughters, all born in Tring. The 1878 Hertfordshire directory records "Shugar, Vaisey and Vorse, solicitors, High Street, Tring" with Arthur living at 4 Park Street. By 1882, he had built a house, Holly Field, in the fashionable Grove area of Tring. He had an office in the High Street, and the 1890 directory describes him as "solicitor & commissioner for taking oaths & clerk to the local board & vestry clerk."

By 1912, he had taken his son Roland on as a partner and the directory entry reads "Vaisey Arthur William, solicitor & commissioner for taking oaths (firm A W Vaisey & Son), clerk to the Urban District Council, vestry clerk & clerk to the Guardians of Berkhamsted Union, to Berkhamsted District Council & to the Tring Urban Local Education Sub-committee, Western Road & 207 High Street, Great Berkhamsted." By 1922, he had another partner, and the entry read "Vaisey Arthur William, solicitor & commissioner for taking oaths (firm A W Vaisey & Turner), clerk to the Tring Urban District Council, vestry clerk & clerk to the Berkhamsted Guardians & Rural District Council District Council & to the Tring Urban Local Education Sub-committee, Western Road & 213 High Street, Berkhamsted."

His wife Ester died in 1925, and he died in 1939 and was buried in Tring Cemetery.


6 Cubic Feet (11 archival boxes)

Language of Materials



Legal papers (1832-1914) from the probate and property law practice of English solicitors John Merritt Shugar and Arthur William Vaisey, 1850-1914. Includes conveyances, enfranchisements, indentures, title abstracts, wills and related correspondence. The papers concern client transactions in the village of Tring and the towns of Berkhamstead and Hemel Hempstead in western Hertfordshire.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Marsha Trimble writes on September 10, 1999: "The director of the library bought [the collection] in 1988 from an antiquarian book dealer, but unfortunately [she] has no record of the purchase."

Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Arthur J. Morris Law Library Special Collections Repository

Arthur J. Morris Law Library
580 Massie Road
University of Virginia
Charlottesville Virginia 22903 United States