FIR HILL

1765 – 1850

Hamilton family from 1825

Mrs Lucretia Hamilton

 

Mrs Lucretia Hamilton decided to move out of Fir Hill after her husband’s death, and by April 1826 was living in Bath. She transferred the copyhold of Fir Hill to two of her children, her elder son Charles Hamilton and her daughter Charlotte Powell-Hamilton on 2 May 1826 (HRO:45M69/87b – document much damaged), having previously leased them two meadows in Droxford (HRO: 45/M69/86 and 45M69/87a).

 

In December 1826, Mrs Lucretia Hamilton also transferred the mortgage over Fir Hill to the same two children. They increased the mortgage to £1,200 (£82,000/£1,580,000/4,360,000) – presumably the then value of Fir Hill – since they had purchased an annuity for £400 (£27,000/£528,000/£1,450,000) to give their mother £130 per annum (£8,960/£172,000/£472,000) (HRO: 45M69/88). Bearing in mind that the average life expectancy even for a well-to-do woman in 1826 was only 45 and she was already 80, the insurers must have thought they were getting a good deal. In fact, Mrs Lucretia Hamilton lived another 11 years.

 

Presumably the two siblings took care of the claims of their brother, Augustus Powell-Hamilton, in some separate transaction.

 

Mrs Lucretia Hamilton was living in Dorset Square, Marylebone, London at the time of her death on 29 January 1837 and was buried next to her husband in the Hamilton tomb in the churchyard of St Mary and All Saints, Droxford.

 

She seems to have left her affairs in some disarray. She was thought to have died intestate and therefore Letters of Administration were granted to her daughter, Charlotte Powell-Hamilton, in July 1837. Subsequently a will was found and the Letters of Administration were revoked. Unfortunately the will which Mrs Lucretia Hamilton had made at Fir Hill on 25 December 1826 was invalid since she had failed to appoint executors, had not dealt with her residuary estate and her signature had not been witnessed. However, after various affidavits were signed, her will, suitably amended, was accepted into probate on 11 October 1838.

 

After Mrs Lucretia Hamilton’s death, her children Charles Hamilton and Charlotte Powell-Hamilton finally paid off the mortgage over Fir Hill on 10 July 1839 (HRO: 45M69/88).

Cruchley's New Plan Of London Improved To 1827. Including The East And West India Docks.

Source: Mapco.net

Hamilton Charles Hamilton

 

Charles Hamilton joined the British Foreign Service and had been ‘ambassador at Rio Janeiro’ [sic] before his marriage to Maria-Susanna Robinson in 1836, at which date he was Secretary to the British Legation at Paris. His will  of 1841 gives his occupation as ‘Her Majesty’s Envoy at the Court of Brasil’.

 

His father-in-law was a distinguished soldier, General Sir Frederick-Philipse Robinson GCB, who had been born in New York in 1763 to a family loyal to the English crown. General Robinson fought in a local loyal militia against the so-called ‘rebels’ before joining the English army and then, after US independence, had to leave the US, moving to England and continuing to fight for the English in France, Spain, the US, Canada and the West Indies, where he was Governor of Tobago. He retired to Brighton.

 

Charles Hamilton died in 1856 in Brighton and he had been living there for at least five years since 1851, perhaps with his wife’s family. He was not buried in Droxford and nothing so far found records where he was buried.

The will of Hamilton Charles Hamilton as accepted into Probate. Source: National Archive

Augustus Powell-Hamilton

 

The younger son of Admiral Hamilton, Augustus Powell-Hamilton, was educated at St John’s College, Cambridge and then became a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy but does not seem to have had a noteworthy career. On 2 April 1805, he married Maria Catherine Hyde of Droxford at St George’s, Hanover Square, London, a fashionable and popular church for weddings – just in 1816, over a thousand weddings were held here, including nine on Christmas Day.

 

They had many children – either 10 or 11 depending on which record you read. Maria Catherine Hyde had been born in 1783 in Calcutta, where her father, John, was a Supreme Court judge before retiring to Droxford. His widow, Mary, married a Droxford man, John Payne, after her first husband’s death.

 

Augustus executed his will on 5 June 1823 when he was living in Lymington and, in it, he leaves everything to his ‘dear wife’ Maria Catherine Hamilton and appoints her as one of his two executors.

 

However, when he died on 27 August 1849, he was living in Deal, Kent according to the Record of Burials. When his will was proved in London on 26 November 1849, probate was granted to his widow Maria in respect of his estate but with the exception of certain named items he had left to a Louise Eaton by a second will or codicil dated 15 February 1845. These items were the remainder of the term of the lease of his lodgings, the furniture and contents of his lodgings, his brown leather writing case and contents, his collection of issues of the Illustrated London News and the portrait of him by Sanino or Sornino (the writing is unclear). It seems there may have been a scandal in which he abandoned his wife.

 

Augustus Hamilton was buried in the Hamilton tomb in the churchyard of St Mary and All Saints, Droxford on 3 September 1849.

Also buried in the Hamilton tomb in Droxford were his wife, Maria Catherine, who died in 1865, as well as his seventh-born son, Alfred Douglas-Hamilton, who died in 1895. A plaque commemorating all three along with Admiral Hamilton, and other later Hamiltons, is on the north wall inside the church. Alfred Douglas Douglas-Hamilton (1862-1940), the son of Augustus's second-born son, Charles, inherited the Dukedom of Hamilton in 1895 when the 12th Duke died without issue.

 

Maria Catherine left £3,000 (£265,000/£2,430,000/£5,110,000) on her death.

The codicil of Augustus Hamilton as accepted into Probate. Source: National Archive

Plaque inside St Mary and All Saints, Droxford following the Douglas-Hamilton line back to Lord Anne Hamilton

Charlotte Powell-Hamilton

 

Charlotte Powell-Hamilton died in Shrewsbury in 1848, having married Captain Stephen Briggs in 1828, aged 45, after her father’s death. She had one child, Helen Eliza, in 1830. The 1841 Census names her as Charlotte Briggs. She was survived by her husband, who died 18 months later in Shrewsbury, where presumably they are both buried.

 

This ended the Hamilton ownership of Fir Hill. However, the family connection with Droxford continued as members of the family appear in a plaque of 1895 in St Mary and All Saints, Droxford and family members were buried in the churchyard up until 1957.

Research, words and web design by Matthew & Georgy.

 

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