The Trotters of Horton Place and Manor
1768 - 1892

The Trotter of Horton Coat of Arms
Trotter of Horton.
Argent a crescent gules and a chief indented azure with three pierced molets argent therein.

The sale of of Horton Manor by Frederick Calvert, 6th, and last, Baron Baltimore, of Woodcote Park to John Trotter, an upholsterer in Frith Street, Soho, was negotiated in 1768 for completion in the following year, 9 Geo, III (1769) [SHCOL_186/2/18].

John [1] Trotter (1713 - 1790)

This John Trotter was a cabinet maker and 'upholder' [archaic term for 'upholsterer'] of Frith Street, a Liveryman in the Joiners company, City of London, although sometimes confused with his nephew John (1756/7-1833) Military contractor and founder of the Soho Bazaar) [LINK to ]

He had been born in Catlesheil, and baptised at Eccles, Berwick, on 6 Apr 1713, a son of Alexander and Jean, nee Stuart, Trotter. Reportedly, he married Ann Locke (Loch) during 1752 but his wife died in 1759.

John Trotter is reported to have run a comprehensive furniture-making firm: he was mentioned as 'Citizen and Joiner' in the Inland Revenue apprenticeship records but he gave his occupation as cabinet-maker when he subscribed to Chippendale's Director in 1754, the year in which he was appointed as royal upholsterer.

PROB 11/1194/170. Will of John Trotter of [5] Soho Square proved 24 July 1790. The main beneficiaries were his eldest son James (to whom he left his estate at Horton in Surrey), his son John (in the armed forces rather than the military contractor, who was his nephew), and his daughter Ann (still Trotter as her husband is named as Robert Trotter).

James Trotter (1754 - 1833)

James was admitted to the Middle Temple, 12 July 1770.

His marriage to Elizabeth Meyrick is said to have been celebrated during 1778 following a settlement dated 13 August in that year.

On 22 June 1791 James Trotter, Esq., may be found insuring 59 Berners Street, London, and other property in Epsom Surrey: Horton Place Farm; Horton Street Farm (John Master farmer); West Farm (Abel); Horton (Thomas Wiltshire)

Mrs Elizabeth Trotter of Horton Place, aged 70, was buried in St Martin's , Epsom, on 22 January 1820.

James Trotter followed on 16 August 1833. Will of James Trotter of Horton Place, Surrey, proved 10 October 1833 [ PROB 11/1823/134]

Inscription on Wall of Parish Church:

In Memory of JAMES TROTTER, Esq., of Horton in this Parish and Cattleshiel in the county of Berwick who died August 9th 1833, Aged 79 years.

Also of his wife ELIZABETH eldest daughter of JAMES MEYRICK, Esq., who died January 13th, 1820, Aged 69 years.

Also of JOHN TROTTER of Horton, Esq., born February 1st 1780, died August 31st, 1856, and of his Widow, MARIA, fifth daughter of JOHN PERKINS, Esq., died December 27th, 1861.

Also of ELIZABETH daughter of the above JAMES TROTTER, born 9th May, 1786, died 25th October, 1868.

The dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God and they that hear shall live.

St. John 5th C. 25th V.

John [2]Trotter (1780 - 1856)

This John, the eldest son of James, had a paternal aunt, Anne [LINK to ] , who married, in London about 1787, Robert Trotter (1749 - 1807) of the Bush and Castlelaw, in the county of Edinburgh. The latter was a brother of John Trotter (1756/7 - 1833) of Dyrham Park - the Military Contractor. Presumably as a result of these family connections John [2] became involved with Messrs John Trotter & Co of Soho Square. The firm had developed a virtual monopoly of supplying equipment to the War Office but these arrangements came under pressure from other potential contractors during 1805 leading to an open supply system. By 1807, however, John [2]Trotter had obtained appointment in the Army as an Acting Deputy Commissary General to serve in Spain. On 8 March 1808, he was appointed to a newly-created post: the Commissioners of Military Enquiry reported that the satisfaction which the Lords of His Majesty's Treasury had received from an examination into the conduct and management of the House of Messrs. Trotter, in the supply of Army Stores, had influenced their Lordships to recommend to His Majesty one of the persons concerned in the management of their business to be Storekeeper General under the new Arrangement. Over the next 11 years, under his direction, costs grew enormously until, in Hansard on 1 July 1819, it was remarked: - 'The establishment of the storekeeper general has been, from its institution, exorbitant, and is at present wasteful and extravagant, altogether disproportionate to a time of peace, and to the duties to be performed by it; and that therefore it ought to be reduced to an economical and efficient establishment, proportionate in expense to what the storekeeper general's department was before 1808."

Further details may be read in The Black Book Or Corruption Unmasked!, John Wade,1820, pp 463-4-

Nevertheless Mr Trotter was allowed to retire on half-pay, after debate in the House of Commons - '... though the hon. gentleman denied his [Trotter's] claim to consideration for long services, it ought to be remembered, that his peculiar fitness for the situation which he had filled, had raised him to it. Having received £2,000 per annum during the war, he thought he had not been improperly allowed to retire on an income of little more than £1,000... though he had not served the country more than eleven years, the House could not be ignorant of the great exertions which that gentleman had made in various places abroad, and especially in the Netherlands.'

John had married Maria Perkins, daughter of John Perkins from Pendell Court, Bletchingley, Surrey, and 38 Gerrard Street Westminster, on 24 April 1809 at St Anne Soho in London.

His death was reported in 1856: -
'MR. J. TROTTER. August 31st, at Horton-place, Epsom, aged 77, John Trotter, Esq., formerly M.P. For West Surrey.-He was born in 1780, and early in life served in Spain as Commissary-General, under the late Duke of Wellington; and as Storekeeper-General in the short and glorious campaign which terminated the Peninsular war. He was returned for West Surrey in July, 1840, on the accession of Colonel Perceval to the peerage, and was re-elected in 1841, but retired at the dissolution of 1847.'
A memorial in St Martin's church has been noted above. His will dated 8 April 1854, with two codicils was proved 28 October 1856. Having died without issue, the bulk of his estate was left to his widow Maria and after her decease to his niece Mary Elizabeth Brown daughter of his sister Ann.

Mrs Maria Trotter nee Perkins (c1785 - 1861)

The widowed Maria Trotter remained chatelaine of Horton Place until her death , 27 December 1861. She was interred at St Martin's, Epsom, on 3 January 1862, aged 75.

Miss Elizabeth Trotter (1786 - 1868)

Elizabeth, born 9 May 1786, daughter of James, remained a spinster. In the 1861 Census she may be found living with her sister in law, Maria Trotter, at Horton Place. She died on 25 October 1868 and left £8,000 in her will, dated 15 May 1867 with three codicils, to provide a new church in Epsom (with a stipulation that there was to be no 'Ritualistic nonsense') - Christchurch, not built until 1876-9, eventually cost £15,000. The east window in the chancel was dedicated to Elizabeth 'by the Grace of God founder of this church and parish'.

Proved 'under £60,000', there were numerous specific and pecuniary legacies to her friends, and to her servants, all free of duty. She appointed her niece Mary Elizabeth Brown residuary legatee.

William Brown/Trotter, J P, (1800 - 1887)

Born 1 Oct 1800, Tonbridge Wells, Kent, son of George Brown and Mary, nee Balfour.

Ann Trotter (John [2]'s sister] married George Welbank of Great Winchester Street, at St Martin's parish church on 26 May 1808 [Witnesses: James Trotter & George Brown]. She bore a daughter Mary Elizabeth Welbank on 26 March 1812 but subsequently died aged only 28 and was buried at Epsom on 28 September 1812. Mary Elizabeth was christened at St James Piccadilly, 1 April 1813. The latter's wedding to William Brown took place on 21 August 1834 at St Mary, Bryanston Square, Westminster.

On 3 December 1868, at Whitehall, it was announced: -
'The Queen has been pleased to grant unto William Brown,of Horton-place in the parish of Epsom in the county of Surrey, formerly of Penshurst, in the county of Kent, Esquire, and to Mary Elizabeth, his wife, only child of George Welbank, late of St. James's-place, in the parish of St. James, Westminster, in the county of Middlesex, Esquire, by Ann, his wife, eldest daughter of James Trotter, late of Horton-place aforesaid, both deceased, and sister of John Trotter, late also of Horton-place, Esquire, some time Knight of the Shire for the Western Division of the said county of Surrey, also deceased, Her Royal licence and authority that they may, in compliance with a direction contained in a certain deed of indenture, bearing date the 26th day of April, 1851, take and henceforth use the surname of Trotter, in lieu and instead of that of Brown, that he the said William Brown may bear the arms of Trotter quarterly with his own family arms, and that such surname and arms may in like manner be taken, borne, and used by their issue; such arms being first duly exemplified according to the laws of arms and recorded in the College of Arms, otherwise Her Majesty's said licence and permission to be void and of none effect:
And to command that the said Royal concession and declaration be recorded in Her Majesty's said College of Arms.'
In the 1871 census, he was living at Horton Manor, Epsom, aged 70, a magistrate and landowner, with his wife, five daughters and seventeen servants.

The demise of Mrs Mary Elizabeth Trotter (nee Welbank, later Brown) took place at Horton Manor on 15 February 1885. Buried, aged 72, 18 February 1885 in Epsom Cemetery. Will proved 19 May 1885, personal estate £20.

The widower William died on the 26th March 1887 at Horton Manor, Epsom, Surrey at the age of 86. Kelly's Directory for 1887 shows him at Horton Manor but also records a bailiff for William Sampson Trotter, Horton. Buried 31 March 1887 at Epsom Cemetery.

In Epsom, its history and surroundings, 1901, Gordon Home remarked on the decoration of the Chancel in Christ Church:- 'Two shining brasses in the north transept proclaim that the very elaborate and many-coloured mosaic work around the east window was completed in 1887, and that it was placed there to the memory of William Trotter of Horton Manor, also that the marble reredos was erected in 1886, in memory of Mrs Mary Elizabeth Trotter who died in 1885'.

William Sampson Trotter, born Brown (1839 - 1907)

WILLIAM SAMPSON TROTTER, born March 13, 1839 at Wimbledon, being the second but eldest surviving son of the late William Trotter, Esq., J. P. (who assumed by Royal Licence, Dec. 3, 1868,the surname of Trotter in lieu of that of Brown, and was permitted to bear the arms of Trotter quarterly with those of his own family, such surname and arms to be used by his issue), by his wife Mary Elizabeth, only daughter and heir of George Welbank of St. James's Place, Middlesex, by Anne his wife, eldest daughter of James Trotter of Horton.

'According to Old radleians serving in india during the sepoy rebellion, 1857 : - He entered Radley in 1850 and left in 1852. He attended Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, in 1854, being awarded the Sword of Honour in 1856 (the first Radleian to achieve this honour). He served in the Royal Artillery from 1857-67. He was present at the relief, siege and capture of Lucknow, was wounded three times and mentioned in despatches*. He retired from the army when he succeeded to his family's estates in 1885. In 1886 he married Constance Feeney. He died at Batheaston, Somerset on 21st July 1907'

*[Lieut. W S Brown served in India 1857-59, and was present at the attack on Bunterah, relief of Lucknow by Lord Clyde, affair of Gaillee, in the Alumbagh from January to March, siege and capture of Lucknow, capture of the fort of Birmah, in command of breaching batteries (wounded), and relief of Sundeala (three times mentioned in despatches, Medal and Clasps).]

The Gazette records that he was promoted from Gentleman Cadet to Lieutenant, RA, on 15 May 1857, and resigned his commission, 13 March 1866.

In July 1885, he became engaged to Miss Mabel Graves, youngest daughter of the late Hon. Henry Graves, but it was announced in The Morning Post of 11 September 1885 that the proposed wedding would not take place. Instead he married, 6 March 1886, Constance Selina, youngest daughter of the late John Frederick Feeney of Edgbaston.

John Frederick Arthur, son of William Sampson and Constance Trotter, Sarnesfield Court, Gent., was baptised at Sarnesfield, Herefordshire, 26 June 1887

For 1890, Horton Manor is found described as the seat of William Sampson Trotter, Esq. It appears, however, that having come into possession of Horton, following the death of his father, William S. Trotter commissioned a refurbishment of the main house. A preliminary notice of sale by auction appeared in The Times of 10 May 1890, and other newspapers, describing the 1,060 estate of Horton Manor: -
"The mansion is the perfection of a gentleman's residence in point of comfort generally, size height and aspect of principal rooms, airiness, and lovely outlook of the best bedrooms, completeness of domestic offices and the extensive stabling. The entire premises recently enlarged, almost to the extent of re-building, to the designs of the late Sir Gilbert Scott, RA, carried out by an eminent building firm. Well positioned in a park of 90 acres, with its fine timber and ornamental water; pleasure grounds and gardens are about 6 acres in extent, with greenhouses, storehouses, camellia-house, vinery, and peach-house. Entrance lodge, laundry, and cottage, gardener's and gamekeeper's cottages, with kennels. Home-park Farm and excellent buildings. Four other farms, varying from 100 to 300 acres, all well let on leases...18 cottages each having a large garden...

Freehold estate...mansion comprising 10 best bed and dressing rooms, two bath rooms, nine secondary bed rooms, servants apartments, large and elegant drawing room with bow window, dining room, library and boudoir, billiard room, large and imposing entrance hall and principal staircase, full domestic offices, three servants' sitting rooms. Detached dairy...The stabling comprises eight stalls, two loose boxes, two large coach-houses, four living rooms over, yard, harness room and cleaning room...There is good partridge and pheasant shooting...[Possibility of speculative development]."
Apparently the property did not find a buyer at auction on 11 July 1890 but was again on offer through Messrs Edwin Smith & Co. during 1892, 'By private contract'. The furniture was auctioned off by that firm on a number of days from 21 June in the latter year -
"...bird's-eye maple, satin and rosewood suites for drawing and dining room, ...chairs...rep curtains, brilliant plate chimney and console glasses and marble top tables, full compass grand pianoforte by Collard & Collard...bookcases, small library...handsome buhl bracket clock,... full sized billiard table [etc, etc..]"
It may be inferred that this indicates when W S Trotter disposed of the Horton estate: the premises came back on the market a year later with different agents, advertised 'By order of mortgagees'.

William Sampson Trotter had been enumerated for the 1891 Census, 'Living on own means', at The Court, Hay, Leominster, Herefordshire. In the 1901 census he was living with his wife and daughter at Fern Hill, West Malvern, Worcestershire, as a retired Army officer aged 62, born in Wimbledon, Surrey. He died on 21 Jul 1907 at The Hill, Batheaston, Somerset, but was brought for burial in Epsom Cemetery, on 24 July 1907, aged 68.

The Christchurch Parish magazine for August 1909 described a new screen : -
"The screen is of wrought iron and bronze, with richly ornamented traceried panels. Immediately over the central gate rises a cross, twelve feet in height, carrying the figure of the Saviour, and supported on either side by figures of the Blessed Virgin and St. John. There are also on either side of the cross angels carrying emblems of the Passion. The whole meaning of the rood, and a very beautiful one, is that only by passing under the sufferings of the Cross can we reach the holy of holies. Beneath the cross and in a large plaque are the words:"By Thy Cross and Passion; good Lord deliver us", and running along the whole length of the screen are the following words from the Book of Revelation:"Alleluia! Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. Alleluia!" On one side of the screen is the following memorial tablet: "To the honour and glory of Almighty God, and in memory of William Sampson Trotter, late of Horton Manor, this screen is erected by his wife, son and daughter". The work had been carried out by Messrs Martyn of Cheltenham."
Mrs Constance Selina Trotter died, aged 88, on 24 July1949 at The Ninnage, Westbury-on-Severn, Glos. - reg. Gloucester R. 9/1949.

Brian Bouchard ©2014