Thomas Phillpotts

26th Mar 1785 - 2nd Nov 1862

Claimant or beneficiary

Biography

Partner with Samuel Baker (q.v.). Active in Jamaica until c. 1828, returned to London c. 1829.

  1. Born Gloucester in 1785 and baptised 19/04/1785 at St Mary de Crypt Church, Gloucester, son of John and Sibylla Philpots [sic]. Moved to Jamaica by 1805 when he was Secretary to the Close Harbour Company in Montego Bay. Mentioned in a Jamaican Act of Parliament: An Act for Making a Carriage-Road from Marlborough Mount to Alligator Pond, by a Toll on Coffee in Jamaica, 11/12/1810. Married Mary Field Hodgson, eldest daughter of Hon. Abraham Hodgson of Huddersfield, Jamaica, 06/09/1815. They had nine children baptised in Jamaica between 1816 and 1827 and a further five children in London between 1829 and 1837. Thomas Phillpotts was Assistant Judge and magistrate in Vere, magistrate of Manchester, St Elizabeth and St James. As such, he often witnessed entries in the Slave Registers.

  2. Thomas Phillpotts was made a Freeman of the City of Gloucester during a visit to England 31/01/1821. He returned to England permanently in 1829.

  3. Partner with Samuel Baker (father of Sir Samuel White Baker, who ‘discovered’ Albert Lake and Murchison Falls) in their West India merchant firm in London 1829-1845. Together they played a major role in the development of Gloucester, particularly the area around the docks. Later he was in partnership with his son Abraham. He was also a director of several companies, for example the London and Gravesend Railway; Gravesend and Dover Railway; London Joint Stock Bank; West Cork Mining Company; and Chairman of Directors of the Anti Dry-Rot Company. In 1832 he gave evidence to the ‘Committee of the House of Commons appointed to inquire into the causes and remedy of West India distress beginning 24th of January 1832’. Also that year, Baker, Phillpotts & Co. joined a group of 47 West India merchants in a protest against the government.

  4. The couple's son Henry was baptised at St Pancras 08/08/1829, and daughter Jane Sarah 01/05/1833, when the Phillpotts were living at Tavistock Square, and their son Charles 04/07/1837, when the family were at Park Street, Westminster. At Queen Square, Walcot, Bath, in 1841. At 3 Mount Pleasant, Chepstow, Monmouthshire, in 1851 with his wife Mary and daughters Mary, Elizabeth and Susanna. In 1861, Thomas Phillpott [sic] was living at Tickton Lodge, Clevedon, Somerset aged 76 retired West India merchant born Gloucester with wife Mary Field Phillpotts (born Jamaica) aged 64, children Mary 33 (born Jamaica), Elizabeth Marshall 29 and Susannah 25 (both born Middlesex), and grandson Thomas Charles Phillpotts aged 12 born Jamaica (this is probably Thomas Charles, son of Thomas Phillpotts’s son John Phillpotts, who was born in St Mary on 22/11/1848 and died at Spanish Town on 21/02/1893. The death of a Thomas Phillpotts was registered at Bedminster Somerset [now Bristol] Q4 1862, and the burial of a Thomas Phillpotts, age 77 at Clevedon Somerset 23/12/1862.  

  5. In 1871 his widow Mary was living at a lodging house at 53 Manchester Street, Marylebone, with her daughters Mary and Susanna. The will of Mary Field Phillpotts formerly of 53 Manchester Street Manchester Square but late of 4 Montagu Street Portman Square widow who died 07/03/1874 was proved 26/03/1874 by Abraham Hodgson Phillpotts of Bramble Haw Carshalton son the sole executor, effects under £450.


Sources

  1. Ancestry.com, Gloucestershire, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1813 [database online]; Francis Hanson et al., The Laws of Jamaica, Vol. 6 p. 41; for details of children see below.

  2. The Bristol and Gloucester Archaeological Society (1991), A Calendar of the Registers of the Freemen of the City of Gloucester, 1641-1838, transcribed by Peter Ripley and revised and edited by John Jurica.

  3. Email from Peter Wingfield-Digby 23/10/2019. See www.gloucesterdocks.me.uk/studies/slavery.htm for the development of Gloucester docks; The Times 09/04/1832 p. 3, 'West Indies'.

  4. Ancestry.com, London, England, Births and Baptisms, 1813-1906 [database online]; 1841, 1851, 1861 censuses online; Ancestry.com, England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1837-1915 [database online]; Findmypast.co.uk, Somerset Burial Index [database online].

  5. 1871 census online; National Probate Calendar 1874.

Children born in Jamaica: Abraham Hodgson b. 20 Dec 1816. Sabella, b. 1818, bapt. 20 Feb 1819, bur. 21 Feb 1819. Jane, b. 1819, d. 1825 (?) Thomas, b. 1820, d. 1820 (twin?) Susan, bapt. 12 Oct 1820 Thomas, b. 4 Dec 1823, bapt. 8 Apr 1824, m. Mary Upperton 1 Nov 1870, d. 14 May 1906. No issue. Jane, bapt. 1825, d. 1825 John, b. 29 May 1826, m. Anne Catherine Smith 29 Oct 1847, 13 children all born in Jamaica, d. 7 Jan 1875. Mary, b. 31 Dec 1827, d. London 24 Sep 1905, b. at Kensal Green.

Children born in London: Henry b. 8 Aug 1829, bapt. 8 Aug 1829. Elizabeth Marshall, b. 1831, d. 1875. Jane Sarah, b. 1833. Susanna, b. 26 Aug 1835, bapt. 24 Dec 1835 Old Church, St Pancras. Charles, b. 22 April 1837 (Morning Post, 24 Apr 1837), d. 24 Aug 1838

Most notable children were:

Abraham Hodgson Phillpotts – born 20 Dec 1816 in Jamaica. He became a very successful merchant in Gloucester, England. One of the warehouses on the quay is named Phillpotts and was built by him.

Henry Phillpotts – born 8 Aug 1829, bapt 8 Aug 1829 at Old St Pancras Church, Camden, London. In 1849 he joined the Bengal Infantry, and in 1860 he joined the Bengal Staff Corps, working as political agent for the Governor of Rajputana. On 7 Jan 1862 he married Adelaide Matilda Sophia Waters at Walcot Church, Bath. They had three children: Eden, Cecil, and Macdonald. Henry died in Deoli in 1865. His widow returned to England with the boys, and they settled in Devon. The eldest son became the famous author Eden Phillpotts (he published about 250 novels, works of poetry, and plays).

We are grateful to Peter Wingfield-Digby for his extensive assistance with compiling this entry.


Further Information

Absentee?
British/Irish
Name in compensation records
Thomas Philpotts
Spouse
Mary Field
Children
Henry, Elizabeth Marshall, Jane Sarah, Susannah, Charles; Abraham Hodgson
Occupation
West India merchant

Associated Claims (12)

£142 4s 11d
Awardee
£611 15s 10d
Awardee
£17 10s 10d
Awardee
£2,929 7s 11d
Awardee (Executor or executrix)
£1,716 2s 6d
Awardee (Mortgagee)
£4,282 15s 2d
Awardee
£92 4s 8d
Awardee
£3,708 4s 4d
Awardee
£222 11s 2d
Awardee
£109 8s 7d
Awardee (Executor or executrix)
£1,168 19s 3d
Awardee
£367 19s 3d
Awardee

Associated Estates (10)

The dates listed below have different categories as denoted by the letters in the brackets following each date. Here is a key to explain those letter codes:

  • SD - Association Start Date
  • SY - Association Start Year
  • EA - Earliest Known Association
  • ED - Association End Date
  • EY - Association End Year
  • LA - Latest Known Association
1834 [EA] - → Judgement creditor
1823 [EA] - → Attorney
1823 [EA] - 1826 [LA] → Trustee and Executor
1817 [EA] - → Trustee
1808 [EA] - 1839 [LA] → Mortgage Holder
1823 [EA] - 1826 [LA] → Trustee and Executor
1829 [EA] - → Other

Purchased enslaved people from this estate.

1817 [EA] - → Receiver
1823 [EA] - → Trustee and Executor
1820 [EA] - 1829 [LA] → Owner

Legacies Summary

Commercial (4)

Railway Investment
Cheltenham, Oxford, and London and Birmingham Union; or Charlton Kings and Marsworth [183732]  
£2000 
Railway Investment
Kent; or Deptford and Dover [183725]  
£20000 
Name partner
Baker Phillpotts
West India merchant  
 
Railway Investment
Grand Connection; or Worcester and Wolverhampton [183730]  
£2000 

Relationships (2)

Son-in-law → Father-in-law
Brothers

Addresses (5)

Gloucester, Gloucestershire, South-west England, England
3 Mount Pleasant, Chepstow, Monmouthshire, South Wales, Wales
3 Park Street, Westminster, London, Middlesex, London, England
Fulstone Lodge, Clevedon, Somerset, South-west England, England
Tavistock Square, Bloomsbury, London, Middlesex, London, England