We are very grateful to Mr JJ Heath-Caldwell who kindly gave us permission to use the information and images on his website http://www.jjhc.info/cuthbertarthur1787.htm for this summary of Arthur Cuthbert's life.

Arthur Cuthbert (c.1734 - 21 Jan 1788)


Arthur Cuthbert
Arthur Cuthbert
Image courtesy of JJ Heath-Caldwell.

Arthur Cuthbert was born around 1734. His mother, who out lived him, was called Anna but who his father was is uncertain. From Arthur's will we know that his mother Anna was married to Alexander Littlejohn at the time that Arthur had his will drawn up. It is thought that Arthur may have been related to John Cuthbert. Arthur had three siblings Alexander, Peter and Mary (Gray).

Arthur married Sarah Hopkins, daughter of Colonel and Phillis Hopkins, probably on 02 February 1765 and they had four children:
  • Amelia (1766-1793) who married William Marsh.
  • Charles Harland, (born in India and baptised 20 Nov 1771 Fort St George, Madras, Tamil Nadu, India - buried 20 Nov 1777 in Epsom, Surrey).
  • Sarah (baptised 25 Dec 1772 died 4 Jan 1838) who was first married to Thomas Brooke, but after he died in 1809, Sarah then married a second time to Otto Vilhelm Klinkowström.
  • James Ramsay (Baptised 1 May 1776, St Mary, St Marylebone, London. Died 1821) who married Sophia (1777-1857).

Arthur Cuthber's Book Plate
Arthur Cuthbert's Book Plate
Image courtesy of JJ Heath-Caldwell.

Arthur went to sea and was the Secretary who kept the logbook on the ship "Elizabeth", commanded by Captain Richard Tiddeman, from June 1761-1762. In 1763 Arthur was in charge of some His Majesty's Naval stores in India. While living in Madras India his son Charles was born in 1771. After Arthur returned to England he bought the Manor of Horton, and Woodcote Park from George Nelson in 1777.

Wookcote Park c.1816
Wookcote Park c.1816 by Hassell
Image courtesy of Surrey Libraries and is held in the
Epsom & Ewell Local And Family History Centre Collection

Apart from Woodcote Park Arthur also owned a property in Berners St, London. We know, from "A Handbook of London Bankers" by F G Hilton Price 1876, that Arthur's son in law, William Marsh, was a partner in a banking firm which, in 1824, was called Marsh Sibbald & Co and was based at 6 Berners Street, Oxford Street, London. Earlier in 1804 it was called Marsh & Creed. Earlier still it was recorded in the London Directory of 1797 as "De Vismes, Cuthbert, Marsh, Creed and Co." Presumably the earlier name indicates an involvement with Arthur Cuthbert or his son James Ramsey Cuthbert.

Arthur's son Charles died in November 1777 shortly followed by Arthur's wife Sarah in December 1777. The following year after his wife and son's deaths, Arthur was back working in India for Admiral Sir Edward Hughes, probably as secretary and business partner, and is believed to have been the 'Naval Store Keeper' and 'Agent Victualler of the Fleet' in India. It is not clear how Arthur came by all his wealth but clearly he was well connected, otherwise he would not have been appointed to such a good job with plenty of opportunities to make money on the side. When Arthur and Sir Edward returned from India on the "Sultan", arriving May 1785, both had made a lot of money while working overseas. However, Arthur did not live long enough to enjoy his wealth as he died on 21 Jan 1788 aged 54.

Arthur was buried on 28 January 1788 in the family vault, alongside his wife and son, in St Martin of Tours with St Stephens on the Downs, Epsom and he is also mentioned on a memorial in the Gillingham Parish Church of St Mary Magdalene (Kent)

Wording on Arthur Cuthbert's Memorial in St Martin of Tours with St Stephens on the Downs, Epsom
Wording on Arthur Cuthbert's Memorial in St Martin of Tours with St Stephens on the Downs, Epsom
Image courtesy of JJ Heath-Caldwell.

Arthur's considerable estate was split between his children, nieces and nephews. He also mentioned in his will, his mother Anna Littlejohn and his mother in law Phillis Hopkins. £40,000 went to his unmarried daughter Sarah, with smaller sums for everyone else. He then states that all the rest, including the proceeds from the sale of Woodcote Park, are to go to his son James. Records show that a few years earlier, in 1785, Arthur had also given £40,000 to his eldest daughter Amelia on her marriage to William Marsh. Soon after Arthur Cuthbert's death in 1788, Mr. Lewis de Teissier purchased the Woodcote Park estate. The Manor of Horton was not included in this sale.


This page is based on the research of Mr JJ Heath-Caldwell © 2009



A sample of the surviving correspondence


Letter from Arthur Cuthbert to George Marsh Commissioner of the Navy.



Tunchal on Madeira the 23rd April 1779

My Dear Sir

We arrived here with the Squadron & Convoy the 5th instant after a very tedious passage of a Month occasioned chiefly by the bad Sailing of some of the Indian Ships & Transports of whom not one separated from us owing to the great Attention paid to them.

At this place we have completed our Water and taken on board Wine in the doing of which we have met great delays partly from many days blowing Weather on which the Boats could not pass backwards or forwards, & partly from the contract on Agents here for Madeira Wine who shipped on board the Squadron a Stuff they called Wine, but what was in reality scarce equal to good vinegar, this has been condemned and after a thousand difficulties made and delays occasioned to the Public Service, good Wine has been supplied, but not until the Admiral [Edward Hughes] has made Publication for purchasing from the Merchants here, on which the Contractors Agent rather than forfeit the Contract furnished Us with tolerable good Wine, but in truth the last year's Vintage at this Island was very bad, & the Contract Price so very low being only £9.12 per pipe of 110 Gallons, that I firmly believe the Contractors have lost very considerably & our demand of nearly 800 Pipes much exceeded any thing of the kind for many years.

The Admiral to facilitate this business was under the necessity of giving Mr More his appointment of Agent Victualler, & He was obliging enough to offer me mine as Naval Officer at the same time but I declined to accept it so near Home, but the Navy Board should take amiss such an Appointment, I hope the Victualling Board will agree to Mr More's for the Admiral's sake.

During the whole of the time we have been here the Admiral has kept me in constant employment about Shipping Wine Water & Tea to which I have readily submitted as it serves to keep my Mind in some degree employed, & diverts those Heart rending Sorrows that still bear me down, and indeed the Admiral's very great & friendly attention to me on every occasion ought to command every return of Service & Gratitude in my power, although my partner is by no means the agreeable one I could wish.

By some News papers as far as the 25th . . . which we have seen here, I find Pondicherry is taken and much work in India done to our hands, so much the better to crush the Snake in the Egg. Now if the Dons winch we shall have Manila & the Phillipines Islands. Sir Edward Vernon has also fought a battle & some of the Company's Ships are arrived, & I have I hope bought with the some part of my Pagodas, if not I fear it will go hard at Woodcott [Manor in Surrey] before I get to India to make remittances after so many delays on our passage.

I am in hopes we shall get to Sea again about the 25th Instant & our next halt will be at False Bay at Cape Good Hope a 12 week passage I fear. The crews of the Ships are in general healthy, but the Small pox has broken out on board several of them which has had some little effect on me who never had that disease.

I trust when the summer comes in you & my Worthy Friend Mrs Marsh will honour Woodcott, & my poor Remnant there with frequent Visits as often as it may be convenient to you. I shall have the honour to address you again from the Cape & with best wishes, & grateful & earnest Prayers for your & Mrs Marsh's Health & Happiness I remain

your much Obliged &

most Humble Servant

Arthur Cuthbert.


[note added later]

10th May 1779 Mr Cuthbert received 23 June answer by Land & by Mrs Crisp Nov 1779.


Letter from Arthur Cuthbert to George Marsh Commissioner of the Navy.



Superb in Goree Bay the 10th May 1779


My Dear Sir

I had the pleasure to write you a few lines at Madira which I intended to forward by the Phasant Cutter, but the Admiral [Edward Hughes] having detained that vessel to carry home his Dispatches from this place gives me a farther opportunity of paying my Respects to you.

We anchored off Goree with every ship of our own Fleet Indiaman Transports & each not one lost, the 8th instant in a perfect Condition to have taken the place if it had been garrisoned by the French and only about 500 of the Native Inhabitants on it who received us with great joy, having before experienced the Sweets of living quietly under the English Government.

The French in February last possessed themselves of our Factories at Gambia & Senegal, & soon after withdrew from Goree, Gambia & have posted themselves with what Force they had, about 200 Men, at Senegal, which is now in their possession, and as neither the time of the Year, or the Admirals Orders will permit us to turn back to take it, the reduction of that place will be left to Capt Maitland of the Vengeance, & the other Ships of War now here with the Aclaon, Thyana & Malanta with the 2 Bomb Vessels & the Garrison of Goree which consists of 400 Men of the 75th Regiment, fully sufficient for the work if they do but set about it. The Coast of Guinea Trade Fleet which sailed in Company with the West India Fleet from England in the end of last March are all arrived here yesterday in safety, and we with our own Six Ships of the Line, Nymph Sloop & 13 India Ships proceed to Sea on our Voyage tomorrow without any farther deviations I hope, for it will be near the end of September before we can reach the Coast of Coromandel, much of our time has been lost in our Attention to our Convoy, many of which are very poor Vessels & bad Sailors.

Among the many other obligations I owe to your kind Friendship I am now to thank you for your Obliging recommendation to Captain Simonton, who is a most Worthy Man & very Obliging to me on all occasions, & the Admiral is truly a Father to me.

I have not any thing to trouble you with on the score of my own little concerns at present. I shall think myself much honoured by every visit you and my Worthy Friend Mrs Marsh with make to Woodcott in the Summer, & I am sure Mrs Hopkins & my poor babes will be happy to see you both there often.

It is possible my brother may have sent some of my property in his Hands home by the Cormorant Sloop, if not, then by the expressed India, but they will arrive very late in England, for I find the Warwick a 50 Gun Ship that was sent to Convey them from St Helena, & left England at the same time we did, is still fooling away her time at the Canary Islands.

I have taken the liberty to put all my Letters by this Conveyance under cover to you, not with a design to save Postage I assure you, but because I think they will go with more safety, but if it be the least disagreeable to you that I do so, be so kind as to tell my Friend Billy that you would not have it so, & he will inform me, & it shall not be done again.

The Admiral, knowing I am now writing to you, begs to be kindly remembered to you & Mrs Marsh, to whom I beg you will my best Respects & Good Wishes acceptable, and believe me ever

My Dear Sir

Your much Obliged &

Grateful Humble Servant

Arthur Cuthbert


Letter from Arthur Cuthbert to his daughter Ameila



Madras the 22nd August 1783


My Dear Amelia

I am extremely pleased with the obliging and affectionate Letters you have so kindly written me these two years past, many of them have come to my hands, but the opportunities I have had to answer have been few, and most of the Ships I wrote to you by, have either been taken by the Enemy, or lost. In truth my hurry of business has been so great ever since the War commenced in this part of the World, that I have been obliged to give up writing to many Friends.

The disappointment of Admiral Sir Hyde Parkers not arriving to relieve the Admiral has detained me much longer in India than I wished or intended, but it was impossible for me to leave my Worthy Admiral without a breach both of Honor and Gratitude, and I am sure my Dear Amelia would be very sorry Her Father should be guilty of either.

Now the War is at an end for the present, I trust in God the Admiral will in a short time be permitted to return to England when I shall accompany Him, and that I shall for the rest of my Life enjoy a little rest from business, and be made happy in the affections and goodness of my Dear Children.

I had written to your Dear Grandmother two years ago for your's, Sally's and Jamie's Pictures drawn by Mr Smart, and I dare say she sent them, but they never came to hand, and from what Captain Mears of the Brilliant told me, I suspected they were lost in that Ship which he Commanded.

We are at this time anxiously expecting a Frigate from England with Orders to the Admiral how to dispose of the very large Squadron now under his Command, and I think a great part of the Ships will be ordered to return to England, if this Frigate arrives soon, we may sail from hence for England in October, if not soon, we must go to Bombay, and shall not be able to sail for England before March next; however that will not make much difference, as at all events I trust in God. I shall have the happiness to embrace my Dear Children before the time Twelvemonths.

I consider you my Dear Amelia as a Young Grown up Woman, and therefore write to as such. I am fully satisfied your Gratitude to Your Worthy Grandmother, and your own great good sense will induce you at all times and on every occasion to hearken willingly to her Advice, which you may now often have occasion for, was I with you, mine also should be at your Service, not as a Tyrant but as an Affectionate Father, as it is I shall only make you a few requests and doubt not you will readily grant them, the first is, that you continue to behave with the greatest Respect and Attention to your Worthy Grandmother, with kind Love and affection to your Sister and Brother, and all due Regards to Miss Dove, who I am sure has a sincere Regard and Affection for you, the next is fully of as much consequence both to yourself and me, and it is, that you will cautiously guard your Heart against the least impression in favour of any Man, till I either return, which must now I think be soon, or am no more. I know too much the ways of the World not to think your present situation dangerous, and it would break my Heart, if on my return I find my Dearest Amelia married to a Man I despised or disliked, consider the unhappy fate of your Aunt who married without her Father's consent, and indeed when you look around you, you may see a thousand instances of the unhappy consequences of such marriage, but as I have already said I trust to your Good Sense, and Goodness of Heart to avoid this Danger to yourself and mortification to me.

I shall write my Dear Sally also by this conveyance, but for fear of accidents to her Letter beg your present my Affectionate Love to Her with a Kiss, my best Compliments to Miss Dove, and also Compliments to all our enquiring Friends.

Lest I should forget to write it to your Grandmother pray tell Her I have made the most particular enquiries on board His Majesty's Ship Europe Captain Phillip one of the Ships of our Squadron but could hear nothing of Young Mr Stark, I am ever with the truest Regard and sincerest wishes for your Happiness and Welfare.

My Dear Amelia

Your Affectionate Father

Arthur Cuthbert



PS. My Old & Trusty Clerk Mr Mendez wrote the fair copy of this Letter, & presents his best Respects to you and all the family.


Letter from Arthur Cuthbert to his daughter Ameila



Bombay the 10th January 1784

My Dear Amelia

It would make me very unhappy indeed, if You should imagine the unfrequency of my Letters proceeded from the want of Paternal Affection toward You, far from it my Dear Child, but the real cause I have not, & cannot write You often arises from the very great load of business I have had ever since my arrival in this Country, which although now something less than before by the departure of Twenty Ships of War for England, still occupies every hour of my time. You will therefore my Dear Amelia pardon Your poor Old Father for any appearance of want of Attention and Affection for You on the score of frequent Letters.

The only information I can give You from this place worth Your Notice is that I am well, thanks to God. It would give you no pleasure to know what I have suffered from frequent Engagements with the Enemy, Gales of Wind, and Shipwreck, & the heavy load of business I have constantly been obliged to go through with. I will look forward with Hope that in October of this year I shall be permitted with the Admiral to leave this Country on my return to You & the other Dear Remains of my once happy Family, the unforeseen misfortunes of which have so long deprived You of a Father & a Friend.

I am fully sensible my Dear Amelia of the difficult situation You are now placed in at Your time of Life, & that Your own Worth, & the supposed Wealth of your Father may tempt many to sue for Your Love & Hand. I do not mean to preach to You, but request, as Your Father & Friend, You will cautiously guard Your Heart against every advance of that kind that may be made to You until my arrival in England when I will to the best of my power forward Your happiness in the manner most agreeable to You, in the meantime I entreat You, on all occasions of that kind, consult Your Dear & Worthy Grandmother, & open to Her all You feel, & all You wish, & be guided by Her advice, a failure in this point may make You the Wife of a Man with whom I could neither converse nor associate however Titled or Adorned, for after my long knowledge of Mankind it is not every Man, even if a Lord, I would take by the hand as a Son in Law.

I have sent regularly by all the homeward bound Ships Shawls, Muslins etc, except the present, & have never had any information from Mr William Marsh to whose care they were directed that any of them were arrived, if they have come safe You will have plenty of these things, if not, I have put myself to a great Expense to little purpose for these things all cost dear here, & the same Money would buy many prettier things in England, however that You may not think My Dear Amelia that I scruple the Expense I have enclosed with this an Order on my Agents to pay You £50 to buy Shawls or anything else, of if You do not want it, to give away to the poor & needy who do.

I cannot recollect anything further to write You at present My Dear Amelia, except to recommend Your Brother & Sister to Your Love & kind Care, Your Grand Mother to every dutiful Attention from You & Miss Dove to Your best Regard & Esteem for the obliging attention & care She has given to Your Heath & Education.

Be pleased to give my best Complements to Mr & Mrs Pringle & all Old Friends, & be assured of the Love of Your Affectionate Father

Arthur Cuthbert.




Letter from Catherine Stratton to Miss Amelia Cuthbert.



Addressed to: Miss A Cuthbert, Berners Street, London.


Susat [India?], 17 March 1785


I was made very happy my dear Miss Cuthbert by the receipt of your letter, and sincerely hope that you will continue to write to me, for be assured you cannot do so more frequently than pleasing. Your father left Bombay in December, and I hope by this time he is safely arrived, upon which I heartily congratulate you, as no doubt your Anxiety on his account must be all over. I did myself the pleasure of writing to Mrs Hopkins, by the European Captain Applegath, and have taken the liberty of sending her by the same opportunity, one jar of Mango Pickle, and some Curry Stuff, which I hope she has received. If my poor offer of services can be any way of use to her, and yourself, believe me I shall always esteem myself, happy in doing anything in my power to serve you.

I like this place very much we are as sociable as can be expected with a few agreeable Ladies, we live in the Country in a very pleasant House, and Garden. I have taken to riding out on Horseback, and have got a very pretty Horse, given me by a friend of my Mother's. You complain in your letter that Sally will be taller than you. I have a little sister here that will be at least half a head taller than either Betsey of myself. We have heard from my Uncle since his residence in France and I hope that the change of Air may be of service to my little Cousins. Jack is appointed a writer at Susat, which you may suppose does not a little please us, he grows very lusty and will look like a Counsellor long before he is one, he unites with me in duty to Mrs Hopkins, and love to yourself and Brother Sister and I believe me as ever you affectionate Friend

Catherine Stratton




Letter from Arthur Cuthbert to his daughter Amelia



Berners Street, the 8th August 1785

My Dear Amelia

I am made very happy to know of your Letter of the 16th, this moment come to hand that your Dear Self & sister, & all Friends of the Party are safe arrived at Weymouth & in good Health, & that you like the Place & are accommodated to your satisfaction. When ever I can clearly see through the most material parts of my Business, be assured I will not delay a moment to join you, till then you must make yourselves of the Party as easy & happy as you can.

On the subject of Mr M's [William Marsh]conversation, or rather Declaration to you, I find it very difficult for me to speak positively to the Point, unless I had myself been of your Sex, but I will give you my opinion in the best manner I can, as you desire it, depending on your Prudence for the application of it. Knowing Mr M as I do, I really cannot find the most distant objection on my part to Him as my Son in Law, on the contrary I value Him as far as relates to me, & as far as I know of his Temper, Manners, & Conduct, as a Worthy Young Man & my Friend, but my Dear Amelia, the question you ought to put you yourself, is wither you will give a preference to Mr M not only as your Father's Friend, but as a Husband whom you Love, Honor, & are happy to Obey. You will not I am sure think I mean these very very serious Words in Joke, far otherwise, for although every Road to Happiness in the married State is open to You, & Your Mental & Personal Qualifications, Your Family, & Fortune, entitle you to such a Choice of a Husband as bids fairest to obtain that End. Your Father with all is little knowledge ought not to point the Man, that Choice I therefore leave to Your Dear Self, earnestly praying to God it may answer the End. If then Mr M be the Man You prefer as a Husband, to all others, with a sincere & honest Resolution to Love Honor & Obey Him as such, I can see no good end it would answer either in Prudence or Delicacy to say otherwise to Him when next he has an opportunity of speaking to you alone, for Deceipt in Word or Deed will ever I hope be far from You, but Prudence & Delicacy much ever attend your Declaration on this occasion, as well as on every future, & You ought to be guarded neither to say nor do too much. This is a very serious business, & I wish I had more time to write You, but as you will expect my present Scrawl on Wednesday, & I would be sorry to disappoint you, it may not be improper, if you think well of it, to consult Miss Dove, & between you alter or amend with her Advise where you find me wrong. Your Uncle Alexander [Cuthbert] too has I am sure Good Advice every much at, Your Service.

I am truly glad your Dear Sister is in so fair a way to gain Health & Strength, pray present my Love to Her, & best Compliments to all of your Party, & tell the two Gentlemen I will write them tomorrow or as soon s I can. Believe me my Dearest Amelia ever

Your Affectionate Father

Arthur Cuthbert.

PS. All of the Family here are in perfect Health, thanks to God. AC.




Letter from Arthur Cuthbert to his daughter Amelia.



Navy Office the 17th August 1785


My Dear Amelia

I thank you very much for your long & obliging Letter of the 13th, & give you my entire approbation of all you have done respecting Your Man [William Marsh]. I not only hope, but expect, you will be happy in your choice, it was perfectly consistent with your usual prudence not to promise to answer His Letters, however there is no harm in now & then acknowledging the receipt of them, anything more, if said, must be guarded, & have no Rapsody in it, as Love Letters too often have.

My business does not abate in the least, nor have I any hopes of getting through it before next Spring, if therefore I do get to Weymouth, it can only be for a day or two at most. My complaints in my thighs have been less troublesome these two days past, but they are still with me, & the cold & wet weather always increases them.

Your grandmother & all the Family are in Town this week, some of the Rooms at Woodcott are painting, & your Brother & Cousins came from School for the Vacation on Monday, so that the Berners Street House is full. I have from time to time mentioned to your Grandmother & Col Hopkins the progress of the affair with Mr M. As they know they could not prevent your wishes, they wisely gave into them, but not gracefully, for I find nor you, nor Mr M, would have found favour in their sight, but that is not of much consequence. I saw a letter from your Grand Mother to You, not over civil I must confess, however I expect to see a very civil Answer on your part to it, & that soon. It will add to my present happiness to know Your Dear Sister continues to mend in Health & Strength.

All the family here are well, & the same in the North, enclosed with this you will receive a Letter from that quarter.

Be pleased to give my Love to your Uncle & Sister, & best Compliments to Miss Dove, & be assured I am ever

Your Affectionate Father

Arthur Cuthbert

Mr M is well.




An entry in George Marsh's diary records the wedding of his son
William Marsh to Amelia Cuthbert.



27th October 1785. My dear son William was married this day Thursday to Miss Amelia Cuthbert at St. Mary L'bone Chapel.

Present. Her father, sister, her uncles Alexander Cuthbert at Colonel Hopkins, Miss Dove [The Governess] and myself. Her father gave her £40,000 of which £10,000 he desired might be settled upon her, but my son desired to make it £15,000 which he settled upon her accordingly. At this time his fortune and income were equal to hers, so that if riches will produce happiness they have a very large share to begin the world with, and the greatest prospect of it.

We returned to Mr Cuthbert's house in Berner Street where we met Mrs Hopkins Mr Cuthbert's mother-in-law, my son George, Mr John Marsh and his wife, and proceeded from thence to Mr Cuthbert's house called Woodcott Park near Epsom and spent several day together.




We hope that you have enjoyed reading this page. To find out more about Arthur Cuthbert's life and family we strongly recommend that you visit Mr JJ Heath-Caldwell detailed account at http://www.jjhc.info/cuthbertarthur1787.htm

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