Ralph Fretwell

1631 - 1701


Quaker sugar merchant and slave-owner on Barbados, returning to England and building Hellaby Hall near Rotherham c. 1690.

  1. Will of Ralph Fretwell of the Island of Barbados proved 17/02/1702. In the will he left £5000 each to his daughters Dorothy and Mabell [sic]. After monetary legacies including £1000 to his aunt Eliza, he left his residuary estate to the two daughters. Hellaby Hall later passed by marriage into the Eden family, whose descendant was Anthony Eden, the Prime Minister.


  1. PROB 11/463/257; David Hey, A History of the South Yorkshire Countryside (2015) pp. 188-190.

We are grateful to Audrey Dewjee for her help with this entry.

Further Information

Merchant and plantation owner

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
- 1701 [EY] → Owner

Legacies Summary

Physical (1)

Country house
Hellaby Hall [Built] 
description →
Late 17thC mansion house near Rotherham, built by Ralph Fretwell, now an hotel....

Addresses (1)

Hellaby Hall, Rotherham, Yorkshire, Yorkshire, England