Abel Walter

???? - 1767


Son and heir of John Walter MP (q.v.). He was the beneficiary of a mortgage for £7500 currency owed by Alexander Walker and secured on the Mount Wilton estate, which had belonged to his [Abel Walter's] father: the mortgage presumably represented unpaid purchase money.

  1. Eldest son of John Walter of Barbados, MP (d. 1736) and his wife Lucy nee Alleyne (d. 1738). Buried in Bath Abbey, 15/10/1767.

  2. Will of Abel Walter of Baddesley Hampshire proved 24/10/1767. He confirmed a settlement under which his wife Jane was to received £800 p.a., and left his real estate to his son John Walter with a share of his personalty to younger children.

  3. Abel Walter provides a good example of the way the influence of absentee slave-owners permeated British society through networks of patronage, in this case through the control of rural churches. The following extract refers to Abel Walter, his father John Walter and his brother Alleyne Walter:

"Belonging to or having the favour of a powerful kinship network could prove advantageous as the appointment of clerics in neighbouring parishes shows. In 1730 slave owning John Walter of Godalming, MP for Surrey, became proprietor of the adjoining manors of Chobham, Bagshot, Bisley and Woking and in so doing demonstrated the impact of nepotism, pluralism and neglect in the parishes. Walter appointed Thomas Warton, also a Godalming man, as vicar of Chobham, having previously presented him to the livings of Basingstoke and Woking … Both Schueller and Stevens suggest that Oades resignation may have been linked to the ascendency of Walter and the desired promotion of his man Warton.

"The Walter influence in the neighbouring parishes continued in the appointment of Thomas Warton’s son, Joseph in 1746 and compounded when Abel Walter, John’s heir presented his brother Alleyne in 1748 as vicar of Chobham and rector of Bisley. Abel also selected the next generation of incumbents in these parishes and probably Horsell and Woking more Walter possessions. That Windlesham rectors escaped this family’s monopoly lies in the fact that although Bagshot manor was within the parish of Windlesham, the advowson was always linked to the manor of Freemantles and subsequently appropriated by the crown in 1598." (p70 - 71)

"… the Walter family who controlled several local churches owed their wealth to ventures and land holdings in South Carolina and Barbados. John Walter, MP for Surrey 1719 - 1727 and son of Richard Walter merchant of Barbados, left the bulk of his Caribbean and English estates to his eldest son Abel and the American interests to his younger sons. His bequests of 1736 included land, ‘cattle and negroes’ with one direct beneficiary being the future vicar of Chobham. Essentially the purchase of several Surrey manors and church livings was funded by profits of slavery." (p80 - 81)


  1. Vere Langford Oliver, Caribbeana being miscellaneous papers relating to the history, genealogy, topography, and antiquities of the British West Indies (6 vols., London, Mitchell, Hughes and Clarke, 1910-1919) vol. 5 p. 186.

  2. PROB 11/933/129.

  3. See L. Partridge, ‘Rural Networks: A Micro history of Family and Kinship in North West Surrey 1660 – 1800’ (University of Oxford MSc dissertation, 2019) sourced to, among others: P. Stevens, Surrey Heath in the Eighteenth Century (SHLHC, Stevens, Yateley, 2007) p 43; B. Schueller, A history of Chobham (Phillimore, Chichester, 1989) pp 56 – 58; A History of the County of Surrey: Vol 3 (London 1911) pp 376-378 at https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch; deeds at Surrey History Centre.

We are grateful to Lee Patridge for his assistance with compiling this entry.

Further Information


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
1739 [EA] - 1739 [LA] → Mortgage Holder

Relationships (3)

Son → Father
Father → Son
Father-in-law → Daughter-in-law

Addresses (1)

South Baddesley, Hampshire, Wessex, England