Sarah Willett Hooker (née Ottley)

???? - 14th Dec 1812

Claimant or beneficiary


The beneficiaries of Sarah Willett Hooker (nee Ottley) claimed compensation for Marble Hill in Antigua based on an indenture between Sarah Willett Ottley and James Nibbs of Antigua secured on Marble Hill in 1787. Sister of Martha Fleming Ottley (q.v.), daughter of William Ottley of Hengrave, Suffolk and grand-daughter of Drewry Ottley of St Kitts. The Sarah Willett Ottley who married Charles Hyde Wollaston (q.v.) in 1795 was almost certainly the niece of the Sarah Willett Hooker of this entry: Sarah Willett Wollaston was the daughter of William Ottley 'of St Kitts', who was almost certainly the William Ottley identified in the will of William Ottley of Hengrave as his son and heir to his St Kitts properties.

  1. Sarah Willet Ottley married Thomas Hooker, a widower, in Eling, Hampshire, 22/05/1790. He died 14/12/1812. Her will (as Sarah Hooker widow now residing at Testwood) was dated 13/04/1809 and proved 30/11/1814. Under the will, which is very short, she left the interest on all her money to her sisters Elizabeth and Martha Ottley (the latter q.v. under Martha Fleming Ottley) for their lives, then to John Hooker, youngest son of Thomas and Mary Hooker (possibly her step grand-son), to be used in forwarding him in whatever line he chose under the direction of his uncle Brook Bridges, whom she appointed as executor; if John Hooker died before he reached the age of 18 the money was to go to his [unnamed] brothers and sisters. In a supplement dated 12/09/1812 she left £200 to J.B. Harrison of St Mary Southampton for the use of her god-daughter Fanny Harrison: this was probably John Butler Harrison of St Mary Southampton (d. c. 1850) and his daughter Frances.

  2. Her death was announced in the Kentish Weekly Post: 'A few days ago, near Southampton, Mrs. Hooker, relict of the late Thomas Hooker of Tunbridge Castle, Kent.' Thomas Hooker, son of John Hooker, built a new mansion adjoining Tonbridge Castle gatehouse in 1791 (his father 'sold most of [the original castle's] stone for building locks on the River Medway and more stone was used in 1793 to build a mansion alongside the Gatehouse'.)

  3. The John Hooker in the will of Sarah Hooker was the Rev. John Bridges Hooker, who changed his name to Ottley, 02/09/1820, to reflect his inheritance (although this was not a condition in Sarah Hooker's will). John Bridges Hooker was baptised 31/03/1797 at Rottingdean, Sussex, the son of Thomas Hooker and Mary.

  4. In 1851, John Bridges Ottley, aged 54 was living at Thorpe Acre & Dishley, Loughborough, with his wife Caroline age 57 and unmarried daughter Amelia Mary age 25 (they also had a son, Francis John Ottley, baptised in Eling in 1826 who died unmarried at Loughborough in 1897). In 1861 John Bridges Ottley aged 64, perpetual curate of Thorpe Acre, was living at Dishley in Leicestershire with his wife Caroline nee Travers, whom he had married at St Mary's Walthamstow in 1824 when he was described as 'Fellow of Oriel College'. Rev. John Bridges Ottley, 'for 23 years Vicar of the parish, late Rural Dean of East Akeley, & formerly Fellow of Oriel College, Oxford' died 12/03/1879 age 82 leaving £5000 in personalty. Caroline Travers was the daughter of Benajmin Travers senior and his wife Mary nee Spilsbury, born 23/11/1793 and baptised at Cripplegate, London.


T71/887 Antigua claim no. 38 (Marble Hill); will of William Ottley of Hengrave proved 16/03/1775, PROB 11/1006/104.

  1. Email from William Norton 07/11/2016 sourced to Hampshire Genealogical Society Marriages Transcription. Vere Langford Oliver, The history of the island of Antigua, one of the Leeward Caribbees in the West Indies, from the first settlement in 1635 to the present time (London, Mitchell and Hughes, 1894) Vol. 2 pp. 370-379, 'Pedigree of Ottley'. For details of the indenture, ibid. pp. 295-296. In 1841 John Harrison was living with his family including Frances aged 35 at St Mary Street Southampton, 1841 census online. Will of John Butler Harrison of Southampton proved 13/04/1850, PROB 11/2111/334.

  2. Kentish Weekly Post or Canterbury Journal 01/01/1813. [accessed 23/11/2016].

  3., Oxford University Alumni, 1500-1886 [database online]; London Gazette 17631 05/09/1820 p. 1704.

  4. 1851 census online; batch no. I01648-0; Findmypast, England & Wales deaths 1837-2007 [database online]; 1861 census online;, England, Select Marriages, 1538-1973 [database online]; Oxford Journal 09/10/1824; Gloucester Journal 22/03/1879; National Probate Calendar 1879; Non-Conformist Record Indexes RG4-8.

We are grateful to William Norton for his assistance with compiling this entry.

Further Information

Maiden Name
Thomas Hooker

Associated Claims (1)

£2,482 16s 2d
Beneficiary deceased

Associated Estates (1)

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
1787 [SY] - → Mortgage Holder

Relationships (3)

Sister → Brother
Sister → Brother

Addresses (2)

Testwood, Southampton, Hampshire, Wessex, England
Tonbridge Castle, Castle Street, Tonbridge, Kent, South-east England, England
Notes →

It's not clear whether Hooper actually lived in the mansion built by her husband in 1793.