John Hatton born abt 1750,  location unknown, died 1811

For related information see List, Place Index and Wills Index


Little known about his early years but probably raise in Widford,Oxon., where he continued in his father's paper making business. Married once, 5 sons and 8 daughters.

Parents and family

Thomas HATTON of Widford, Oxon., and Elizabeth JORDAN. John is mentioned in the Will of Thomas HATTON of Widford as his son and is buried in the same tomb as his father. Elizabeth is reckoned to be his mother by virtue of her dates of marriage and death.


From his age at death John was born about 1750, but as yet I have been unable to trace a record of his christening. 

Childhood and Education

His family lived in Widford, near Swinbrook, a small island of Gloucestershire that was, until it was finally engulfed in the 1840s, entirely surrounded by Oxfordshire. There his father, Thomas Hatton, had a paper making business so John may have been raised locally.

Employment as a Papermaker

You can discover more about paper making at the time on the site of the  British Association of Paper Historians.

John appears to have inherited a papermill at Widford from his father. He also owned (or leased) property at Upton on the River Windrush (just upstream from Burford) and in Sheep Street, the road that runs westward out of  Burford and up the valley side to Upton. Other sources indicate that prior to 1800 there were three paper mills on the stretch of the Windrush near Burford. Their recorded locations were Little Barrington, Widford and Upton. The mill at Little Barrington has been the subject of much study and more information can be found at the website of the British Association of Paper Historians


On 30 August 1777, John married Sarah Killmaster at Buscot, Berks., in Berkshire. Buscot, Berks. was later to become the home of Edward Loveden Townsend, the driving force behind the Thames and Severn Canal.

On 11 Oct 1779, barely two years into his married life, John's father died. Under the terms of his father's Will (signed 2 Jan 1778) John was to receive 300, to be paid at age 30 (i.e. abt 1780), out of stock in his father's paper trade or in cash if that was insufficient, together with half his father's wearing apparel (of which he got first choice). He also received half the residue of his father's estate, the other half being shared amongst three of his siblings.

On 19 April 1780 he Christened his first son, Thomas HATTON, at Widford

In 1802 John was robbed of rags (the raw material for his paper). The culprit, whilst apprehended, subsequently fled from custody, prompting the following in the classified adverts section of Jackson's Oxford Journal for Saturday, June 12, 1802.


Whereas, Richard Freeman, of Asthal, in the County of Oxford, Labourer, stands charged on Oath, before one of his Majesty’s justices of the Peace of the county of Gloucester, with feloniously stealing, taking, and carrying away a Quantity of LINEN RAGS, from the Warehouse of John Hatton, of Widford, in the said County of Gloucester, Paper Maker, and hath lately absconded. The said Richard Freeman is about sixty-seven Years of Age, grey haired, dark Complexion, uncommonly hairy on the Hands, about five feet five inches high, stoops in Walking, and goes forward at Knee; has been seen in London a few Days since.

Whoever will apprehend the said Richard Freeman, and deliver him to the Constable of Widford aforesaid, or lodge him in one of his Majesty’s Gaols, and give Notice thereof to the said John Hatton, or to John Jordan Ansell, of Burford, in the County of Oxford aforesaid, Solicitor, shall receive TEN GUINEAS Reward; and whoever will give Information of the Accomplice or Accomplices of the said Richard Freeman, shall, upon Conviction, receive the like Reward.

4th June, 1802.


By 1806 John had become a churchwarden for amongst the personal papers of the SECKER family held by Oxfordshire Records Office we find that on 23 May 1806, William Wright ARNATT & John LEECH were bound to John HATTON, Churchwarden of Widford & John SECKER, Overseer of the Poor, Widford, to support the bastard child of Elizabeth WINDUS, Widford, Singlewoman. The consideration of the bond was 80. [Secker, Bateman, Lunn and Lovett Families (Oxfordshire Records Office), ref.  Pickford/I/ii/1.]

On 11 Feb 1808, John buried his eldest son Thomas HATTON in the family tomb at Swinbrook, Oxon. The church records at swinbrook record that he was aged 28, and the son of John HATTON of Widford.

Last Will and Testament

On 31 May 1810, John left a will that was subsequently proved in London and remains on record. The following is a summary:
John Hatton of Widford, paper maker
To Wife Sarah
Residue entrusted to Wife Sarah & Son John to carry out the following Wife Sarah & Son John appointed as Guardians for the children and Executors for the Will.
Signed: 31 May 1810
Witnessed by J J Ansell, William Hallett his Clerk, John Patrick
Proved: 11 Jul 1811 
A full transcription has been produced for the probate record for this will, see the Probate Records Index.

It appears that John's second son, John HATTON, did not follow his father into the papermaking business as by 1823 he was in the building trade. John's third son, William HATTON, and fourth son, Richard HATTON, both followed their father's trade, but from John's subsequent last will and testament it appears that he was, even then, unconvinced of Richard's business ability.

The first 10 years of the 1800s saw dramatic changes emerging in the paper making industry with experiments in mechanisation and then the first mechanical paper making devices being patented around 1809. The scene was set for steam power to replace water power, perhaps prompting John's decision that after his death his Widford business should be sold.

Elsewhere in the country water and wind powered mills of many types were also threatened by the encroachment of steam. By around 1760 it appears that many were going out of business.

Death and Burial

John died on 6 Mar 1811, Widford, Gloucester, England and was buried on 11 Mar 1811, in the Hatton Chest Tomb at Swinbrook, Oxon. The inscription on the southern side reads:

Inscrpition to John Hatton at Swinbrook
Inscription on south face
In memory of John Hatton
(late of Widford)
who died March 6th 1811
Aged 61 Years
Also the wife of the above
Who died ** **** 183* [possibly 1830]
Aged 7* [possibly 70, 76 or 79] Years
Thomas Hatton Son of
Sarah and John Hatton
Hatton Chest Tomb at Swinbrook
Hatton family tomb

Descendants and notable relations

Son, John Hatton of Cheltenham, builder

On 27 Apr 1820, John HATTON married Sophia JACKSON in St Marylebone, London.

John did not follow his father into the paper making business but appears to have become a builder and then a druggist.

In 1823 one Jn. HATTON, builder, of Cheltenham agreed to building a house [Priory Lodge], having stable, coach house and harness room. This was adjoining the London Road and opposite the Priory. (Gloucestershire Archives: Thomas and Robert Hughes, solicitors, of Cheltenham, D245/I/107.)

In 1825 an advertisement appeared in Jacksons Oxford Journal for the sale by auction of Upton Mill. For a view of the same, prospective buyers were instructed to 'apply to Mrs. Hatton, Widford near Burford; and for further particulars, to Mr. Hatton, Builder, Cheltenham'. The Mrs HATTON referred to was John's Mother.

The  the papers of solicitors Prince & Kell contain an abstract of John HATTON's title to property in the Promenade, Cheltenham covering the period 1794-?1827. (Index to Gloucestershire Archives, D6128/3/1).

A bundle of deeds relating to 8 and 9 Promenade Villas, Cheltenham covers the period 1827-1847 and starts with John HATTON of Cheltenham. (index for Gloucestershire Archives: D5678/1).

In 1828, John HATTON was defendant in a case for non-payment of rates on 17 & 18 The Promenade and 7 Promenade Villas, Cheltenham. (Gloucestershire Archives: Cheltenham Borough Records, CBR/A2/3/4/2.)

In 1830, Pigot's Directory lists a builder called John HATTON at 8 Promenade Villas, Cheltenham.

John appears to have changed career for the 1841 Census he appears at Burgage Street, Prestbury, Gloucestershire, listed as John HATTON, Age 55, Independent, born in county. Listed with him is Sophia, who appears to be his wife. Next door was one Mary JACKSON, ind, age 80, not born in county.

The 1851 Census lists a  John HATTON, born Widford, Gloucestershire, age 67, residing at 41 All Saints, Hastings, East Sussex and occupied as a Druggist. He is married to Sophia (nee JACKSON) , born in 'Morleborn', Middlesex

Son, Richard Hatton, the bankrupt businessman

It appears that John's son Richard Hatton took up the lease mentioned in John's Will, but that he failed to make a success of the business. There are, amongst the records of the Thames & Severn Canal company letters of attorney in the bankruptcy of one "Richard Hatton of Upton, Oxon., in Burford, papermaker, dealer and chapman" (chapman in this context probably means a merchant, trader or agent, and 'dealer and chapman' was apparently often used by the bankrupt as a deliberately vague description of their trade).
According to the Gloucestershire Records Office catalogue entry the same bundle that holds the bankruptcy papers also holds documents relating to leases (and drafts) of land and buildings at Brimscombe Port (nr Stroud), Cirencester, Lechlade, Minchinhampton (a couple of miles south of Brinscombe), Bisley (a couple of miles NE of Brinscombe), Abingdon in Berkshire, and Latton in Wiltshire.  It remains unclear whether these are related to the bankruptcy or to Richard. I have yet to identify a date for these papers as their catalogue has a date range of 1795 - 1839. Of the places mentioned Brinscombe Port, Cirencester, Lechlade, and Latton are all on the route of the Thames & Severn Canal. More details & maps can be found on the site of the Cotswold Canals Trust. The canal itself only opened in 1789. 

Daughter Esther HATTON, married a Mayor's descendant?

Esther HATTON married one Edward Skeate WHITE the younger of Reading. In 1777, one Edward Skeate WHITE was Mayor of Reading. On 20 Apr 1832 she wrote to John SECKER from London Street, Reading, Berkshire. In 1830 Pigot's Directory listed on Edward Skeate White of 118 London Street, Reading as 'Post Master and Fire and Life Insce Agent (County and Provident)'.

Daughter Elizabeth HATTON, married into the landed gentry

Elizabeth HATTON married John SECKER of Manor Farm, Widford, Oxon. The SECKER family were major local landowners.

Granddaughter, Dinah SECKER, wife of a New Zealand Statesman

The daughter of John SECKER and his wife Elizabeth (nee HATTON), Dinah SECKER married David MONRO (1813-1877, later Sir David MONRO), son of the Alexander MONRO (tertius), the third of that dynasty to hold the chair of Professor of Anatomy at Edinburgh. In 1841 he bought land as part of the New Zealand Company's proposed second settlement. David landed at Nelson in 1842 and decided to stay, settling at Waimea West.  In 1845 he married Dinah SECKER, whose brother Lorenzo SECKER appears to have worked as a manager for MONRO (the SECKERs of Widford appear to have been livestock farmers). MONRO corresponded with the eminent botanist Sir William HOOKER and contributed extensively to the botanical exploration of New Zealand, having several species named after him (e.g. Ranunculus monroi, Senecio monroi, and Myosotis monroi).
His political career led him into the position of Speaker of the House of Representatives and his obituary in Illustrated London News read:
'SIR DAVID MONRO. Sir David Monro, formerly Speaker of the House of Representatives, New Zealand, died on Feb. 15 last, at Newstead, Nelson, in that island. He was the fourth son of Dr. Alexander Monro, Professor of Anatomy in Edinburgh University, where he was educated and where he graduated M.D. in 1836. Having studied medicine in Paris, Berlin, and Vienna, Sir David proceeded to New Zealand, and in 1849 became member of the Legislative Council of the province of New Munster. He afterwards sat in the first Parliament of the colony, and was for some years Speaker. He was created a Knight Bachelor in 1866. He married, in 1845, Dinah, daughter of John Seeker [sic], Esq., of Widford, Oxfordshire. '.

Descendants of John HATTON

My understanding of John's closest descendants (with my ancestors in bold)  is as follows (last updated 30/Sep/2007)

1-John HATTON b. Abt 1750, d. 6 Mar 1811, Widford, Gloucester, England, bur. 
11 Mar 1811, Swinbrook, Oxfordshire

+Sarah KILLMASTER b. Abt 1760, d. 1830, Swallowfield, Berkshire, bur. 9 Jul
1830, Swinbrook, Oxfordshire
|--2-Thomas HATTON c. 19 Apr 1780, Widford, Gloucester, England, bur. 11 Feb
| 1808, Swinbrook, Oxfordshire
|--2-Elizabeth HATTON c. 22 Jun 1781, Widford, Gloucester, England, d. 6 Sep
| 1825, bur. Widford, Gloucester, England
| +John SECKER b. Abt 1775, d. 11 Sep 1833, bur. Widford, Gloucester, England
| |--3-Alfred SECKER b. Abt 1812, d. 23 Jul 1834, bur. Widford, Gloucester,
| | England
| |--3-Charles SECKER Yoeman of Widford
|--2-John HATTON b. Abt 1783, Widford, Gloucester, England, c. 2 Jul 1783,
| Widford, Gloucester, England
| +Sophia JACKSON b. Jun 1795, Marylebone, Middlesex, c. 15 Nov 1795, Saint
| Mary-St Marylebone Road, Saint Marylebone, London, England
| |--3-Thomas HATTON b. Abt 1826, Gloucestershire
| |--3-Caroline HATTON b. Abt 1827, Gloucestershire
|--2-William HATTON c. 26 Dec 1785, Widford, Gloucester, England
| +Ann
| |--3-John HATTON d. Abt 1811, bur. 6 Feb 1811, Swinbrook, Oxfordshire
| |--3-Mary Ann HATTON c. 15 Mar 1815, Burford, Oxfordshire
| |--3-Mary Ann HATTON b. 1823 ?, c. 7 Sep 1823, Widford, Gloucester, England
| |--3-Frances HATTON b. Abt 1817, c. 7 Sep 1823, Widford, Gloucester, England
|--2-Sarah HATTON c. 13 Feb 1787, Widford, Gloucester, England
|--2-Richard HATTON c. 13 Jan 1789, Widford, Gloucester, England
| +Anne JAMES b. Abt 1790, St. Briavels, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire,
| England
| |--3-Elizabeth HATTON b. Bream, c. 15 Sep 1816, Blakeney, Newland, West
| | Dean, Gloucstershire, England, d. 1890, West Dean
|--2-Ann HATTON c. 24 Jan 1791, Widford, Gloucester, England
|--2-Mary HATTON b. Abt 1791, Widford, near SwinBrook, Gloucestershire, c. 9
| Jan 1791, Widford, Gloucester, England

| +Henry William BULL b. Abt 1790, Rodborough, Gloucestershire, d. Abt 1854
| |--3-Louisa Mary BULL b. Abt 1817, Berkshire?, c. 28 Dec 1817, Binfield,
| | Berkshire
| |--3-Sarah BULL b. Abt 1819, Berkshire?, c. 12 Nov 1819, Binfield, Berkshire
| |--3-Sarah Hatton Lewis BULL b. Abt 1820, Berkshire?, c. 28 May 1820,
| | Binfield, Berkshire, d. 1842 ?
| |--3-Frederick Henry William BULL b. Abt 1821, Binfield, Berkshire, c. 1
| | Mar 1821, Binfield, Berkshire, d. Abt 1867, London

| |--3-Mary Louisa BULL b. Abt 1822, Berkshire?, c. 14 Sep 1822, Binfield,
| | Berkshire, d. 1837 ?
| |--3-Henry W(illiam?) BULL b. Abt 1826, Binfield, Berkshire
| |--3-Amelia Maria BULL b. Abt 1828, Berkshire?, c. Sep 1828, Binfield,
| | Berkshire, d. 25 May 1876, Victoria, Australia
| |--3-Eliza Caroline BULL c. 7 Mar 1831, Binfield, Berkshire, d. After 1853
|--2-Rachel HATTON c. 3 Aug 1794, Widford, Gloucester, England
| +Thomas SPLATT
| |--3-Thomas Hatton SPLATT b. 22 Feb 1826, Burford, Oxford, England, c. 8 Oct
| | 1826, Saint Leonards, Shoreditch, London, England, d. 1891 ?
|--2-George HATTON b. Abt 1796, c. 17 Jan 1797, Widford, Gloucester, England,
| bur. 31 Jul 1813, Widford, Gloucester, England
|--2-Helen HATTON c. 26 Dec 1798, Widford, Gloucester, England
|--2-Esther HATTON c. 7 Jan 1801, Widford, Gloucester, England
| +Edward Skeate WHITE the Younger
|--2-Martha HATTON c. 2 Oct 1804, Widford, Gloucester, England


Anonymous, 28 June 2004, Bankrupts and Insolvent Debtors: 1710-1869, The National Archives,, (accessed 17 Mar 2006)

GODLEY, E. J., "Biographical Notes (51), David Monro (1813-1877)" New Zealand Botanical Society Newsletter 73 (September 2003), 24-28.

"Resident Magistrates Court," Marlborough Express, 28 July 1875, Volume X, Issue 731, p. 5; digital images, PapersPast ( : accessed 13 Feb 2009). 

Any transcripts and images on this page are Copyright R I Kirby 2005 unless stated otherwise.