The Bellets and Shattocks of Sampford Arundel

Sampford Arundel is a small village a couple of miles southwest of Wellington. The Easterlands estate is between Wellington and Sampford Arundel.

The marriage of William Shattock (1757-1839) to Sarah Bellett in 1788 in Wellington, Somerset united two prominent families. William Shattock was the son of the James Shattock (1726-1795), Gent, who I feature on the Wellington Shattock page. Sarah Bellet belonged to a prominent Anglo-Irish family. They were a very religious, non-conformist family and lived in Sampford Arundel. William's son John Bellett Shattock would retire to the Easterlands estate.

On their marriage license, William signed his name in clean, legible writing right over that of Sarah Bellett, who also signed her own name, neatly.

By 1788, the year of the marriage, Wellington was humming with industry, particularly the woolen industry as Tone Mills was established in 1754 and the Fox family that owned it incorporated the modern manufacture of cloth in the production of famed Taunton serge.

There is a William Shattock, probably the same, who was taxed for land he owned in the UK Land Tax Redemption of 1798 for Wellington.

Book by John Gifford Bellett. It was reprinted twice.

In fact it might be speculated that the high efficiency mill put the local Shattockes, who were still running cottage industry cloth making, out of business. That might explain why the generations of Shattocks might have had to go to other trades in other places to make a living. One of those Shattocks was William and Sarah's son John Bellett Shattock (1792-1860).

It is very likely that John Gifford Bellett was a relative of Sarah Bellett as John Gifford Bellett spent his boyhood in Sampford Arundel. The Believer's magazine (April, 2004) describes him this way: "John Gifford Bellett was born in Dublin on 19th July, 1795 but spent a considerable part of his boyhood in England, something not unusual in contemporary well-to-do Anglo-Irish families. It was an affectionate and happy family, but there was a specially close and life-long bond between John and his brother George only one year his junior. The boys benefited, in a formative period of life, from the spiritual influence of an older cousin Richard Bellett whom they frequently met while enjoying holidays at the home of their grandmother at Sampford-Arundel, Somerset. Richard not only imbued their young minds with his own reverence for sacred things, but with his refined and cultivated tastes, led them to appreciate all that was good and pure. "

There must have been lively discussions in the Bellett house and local social events. Is it possible John Bellett Shattock and Sarah Bellett met at one of these.

The John Bellett Shattock family were devout non-conformists as well. John Bellet Shattock Jr. (1827-1915) would sell the family estate and devout his life to serving as far north as Lancashire.

John Bellett Shattock in Jamaica

From parish records and other documents in Jamaica we know that John Bellet Shattock was a merchant in Kingston, Jamaica until he left the colony circa 1832. Local records also show he owned a property in St. Andrew's parish that was a stock raising farm called Good Air and there were slaves associated with the property that John Bellet Shattock "owned." This section of the page on his family looks at the facts.

We do not know when he arrived in Jamaica, but the records indicate he was a merchant. He was not involved in the slave trade itself because he would only have been fifteen when The Slave Trade Act 1807 was passed in the United Kingdom prohibiting the slave trade in the British Empire.

He was married twice. His first wife was Eliza Serogie Gyles, widow of William Gyles. She had three children by William Gyles, the first one in 1807. John Bellett Shattock married her in 1817 in St. Andrew when he was 25. His social status is described as "gentleman." She would have been around 28 and since her first child by William Gyles was born the year of the parish record began, in 1807 when she would be about 19. We can assume she was older than John B. Perhaps three years older. Was her maiden name "Serogie?"

John B. and Eliza Serogie Gyles had one child, Sarah Bellett Shattock born in 1820. John B. does not marry Elizabeth Calvert until 1826, so we have to assume his first wife died. She may have died either at childbirth or sometime between 1820 and 1826 because in the second marriage to Elizabeth Calvert another Sarah Bellett Shattock is born in 1828...her full name was Sarah Bellett Calvert Shattock, the first female child of the marriage. I would assume that the first Sarah Bellett Shattock died and that is why John B. named his second child with the same name. It was his mother's name.

William Gyles, Eliza Scogie's first husband, was a slave owner. The Gyles had apparently been in Jamaica for at least two generations by the early 19th century. In 1763, John, William and N. Gyles owned farms called Wallens, Recess and Mango Grove (post office location Linstead). The Recess and Mango Grove properties appear to be involved in raising stock, meaning farm animals. The UCL website provides additional information about Nicholas Gyles. Notice that that he is shown as a onetime owner of Recess and Mango Grove and the UCL author believes he was the brother to John Gyles who owned the Wallens plantation, which was apparently a sugar cane plantation.

  • Slave-owner in Jamaica, reportedly unreconciled to Apprenticeship. Possibly the brother of John Gyles (d. 1827), pioneer of the Australian sugar industry who had lived on his [unnamed] brother's sugar plantation in Jamaica on leaving school and later acted as an overseer (by inference between c. 1795-1815).

This ties Nicholas Gyles to the generation before him. Nicholas Gyles will show up as the owner of Pembroke estate that John Bellett Shattock was "assigned" compensation for when the UK government awarded compensation for freed slaves. Nicholas might have been a first cousin of Eliza Scrogie Gyles' husband William Gyles. On the UCL site in his biography he is cited for being especially cruel to his slaves and for being racist.

Eliza Scogie Gyles was heir to her husband William Gyles. There is a William Gyles on a list of attorneys practicing at "His Majesty's Supreme Court of Judicature" in an 1808 list of lawyers. William Gyles is shown as owning the estate of Good Airs in the parish of St. Andrew with 12 slaves and 6 stock in 1817. This is the year John B. marries Eliza, wife of a William Gyles. William Gyles does not appear to appear in subsequent lists. Good Airs in St. Andrew is the property that John Bellett Shattock is shown owning from 1821 until 1832. This this is proof that his wife inherited the property when her husband William Gyles died in 1817.

Here is the documentation on the UCL site. John Shattock was: "awarded the compensation for two small awards in Kingston, for a group of ten enslaved people on Good Air in St Andrew, and as assignee for the enslaved people on Pembroke in St Mary Jamaica." Parliamentary Papers p. 287: (Pembroke Estate)

  • T71/856: John Bellett Shattock counterclaimed as assignee of the whole compensation. Owner was Nicholas Giles [sp Gyles?] St Mary, owner-in-fee.

Owner in fee simple in common law countries is the highest possible ownership interest that can be held in real property. It is unclear at this point what exactly John Bellett Shattock's relationship with Nicholas Gyles and the Pembroke estate was as the "counterclaim" might suggest a legal dispute.

The parliamentary papers includes a reference to the compensation for the Good Air property in 1832 and a "small" award for John Bellett Shattock. This suggests John Bellett Shattock had slaves looking after his household.

The Good Air farm had 12 slaves when John B. acquired it through marriage, and 10 when he claimed compensation for it. Here is the list of slaves and stock animals for the years of his ownership:

  • William Gyles is shown as owning the estate of Good Airs in the parish of St. Andrew with 12 slaves and 6 stock in 1817.

When John Bellett owned the farm these are the reports of slaves and stocks beginning in 1821.

  • 1821 with 14 slaves and 1 stock
  • 1822 with 11 slaves 5 stock
  • 1823 with 14 and 6
  • 1825 with 16 and 6
  • 1826, with 19 and 7 stock
  • 1827 with 20 and 4
  • 1828 with 20 and 6.
  • 1829 with 18 and 7
  • 1831 15 slaves no stock.
  • 1832 15 slaves

We have his "slave return" for 1832. It lists twenty slaves and indicates that some of the slaves were sold.

There may have been another Shaddock in the Jamaica colony at this time. Mary Shaddock was born Apr. 22, 1807 to parents Shaddock with no first name recorded (Jamaica, Church of England Parish Register Transcripts, 1664-1880.) This can not be associated with John B. because he would have only been fifteen in 1807, so it raises the question about the presence of another "Shaddock" in Jamaica at this time.

Homes typically found in Jamaica.

This appears to confirm that he engaged in the practice of selling human beings.

You can find a digital reproduction of the St. Andrew, Jamaica parish records here. What appears to be the case is the local vicar baptized all local people, including English settlers, English military men and their families, slaves and freed slaves. If the slaves were found on a plantation, the plantation was named.

Return to Sampford Arundel

In 1831 or early in 1832 John Bellett Shattock returned to Sampford Arundel in Somerset and took up the life of a gentleman farmer.

Elizabeth McDowell, a local resident described the area he farmed in: "the land here is very hilly and because we have a lot of rain it has traditionally been a grazing area because it has not been easy to plough. We are also on the edge of Exmoor National Park which is full of gorse and tough plants. But in the 18th century land reform meant the wool trade was important and sheep, of course, cope well on rough and difficult terrain which allowed, until the weaving mills and the industrial revolution, people to work at home and take their textiles to central markets."

Indeed if you look at the pictures of the Easterlands estate below you will see sheep grazing near the grand house. It is likely the food crops on the estate were for the family's consumption and not for the market. In the 1851 census there are no agricultural workers listed as part of the household.

When John B. retired to his estate in Somerset, it was land originally purchased by his father-in-law, William Bellet of Sampford Arundel. The following document shows his father-in-law purchasing the property in 1816. It came into John Bellett Shattock's possession in 1840, after her returned to Somerset.

  • Sampford Arundel, 1816-1904 Somerset Heritage Centre DD\CH/112/8 Moiety of Rectory, glebe lands and tithes, culminating in possession of Isabel Lucy Marshall of Norton Manor, Taunton, widow of Wilfred George Marshall, Esq., 1904. The moiety was purchased in 1816 by William Bellett of Sampford Arundel from Richard Yendle of Uplowman, yeoman and Jeremiah Woodbury of Exeter, innkeeper. By 1840 it was in the possession of John Bellett Shattock of Wellington. His son, the Rev. John Bellett Shattock of Stalbridge, Dorset, sold it to Charles Moore of Liverpool, merchant, in 1864.

John Bellett Shattock made enough money in Jamaica to live very comfortably. In the 1851 census he is living in the village of Sampford Arundell, just 2.5 miles or 4 km south west of Wellington. His rank is "landed proprietor." There is a ladies maid, house maid, cook, kitchen maid and general servant living on his estate "Easterlands." How far up the social scale had John Bellet Shattocke risen? The Fox family, who owned the dye and woolen factory that probably put John Bellett Shattock's ancestors out of business, in subsequent years bought the estate and lived in it.

John B.'s wife, Elizabeth Calvert (1800-1870), was from Liverpool, England. She and John Bellett had five children, including John Bellet Shattock, jr. (1827-1861) who became a vicar. He in turn had a son, John Bellett Shattock (1864-1932) that was a pharmacist in Lancaster, Lancashire, England. And John Bellet Shattock III had two children, including George Bellett Shattock (1901-1957) who emigrated to Canada, and worked in Vancouver where I live, moved to Victoria, B.C. and became a Canadian army captain. George Bellet Shattock's aunt Marie St. Maurice Shattock (1864-1936) was also an emigrant to Canada, living in Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba.

This is probably the document that lists the sale of the Shattock estate at Sampford Arundel:

Somerset Heritage Centre, Reference number, DD\CH/112/8

  • Description: Moiety of Rectory, glebe lands and tithes, culminating in possession of Isabel Lucy Marshall of Norton Manor, Taunton, widow of Wilfred George Marshall, Esq., 1904. The moiety was purchased in 1816 by William Bellett of Sampford Arundel from Richard Yendle of Uplowman, yeoman and Jeremiah Woodbury of Exeter, innkeeper. By 1840 it was in the possession of John Bellett Shattock of Wellington. His son, the Rev. John Bellett Shattock of Stalbridge, Dorset, sold it to Charles Moore of Liverpool, merchant, in 1864. In 1878 Mary Louisa Moore of Clontarf, Dublin, sold it to Robert Arundel Were of Wellington, gent., along with the capital messuage called Easterlands in Sampford Arundel and Wellington (schedule of lands and plan, endorsed with memorandum of purchase of Easterlands by Frederick George Slessor, 1897). Were mortgaged all the property to Wilfred George Marshall of Belmont, Taunton, 1879 and bundle includes pre-marriage settlement of Marshall and Isabel Lucy Byne of Bath, 1881.
  • Date 1816-1904, Extent: 13 documents

BBC Story

You will find the Shattock name in Jamaica. It was the practice of slaves to be baptized with the surname of their plantation owners. In this case there is a more direct connection between John Bellet Shattock and African Jamaicans. He is said to have fathered a child with an African woman. The child was named "Joseph," who in turn named his son John Bellet Shattock.

In 2018 on the British news service, BBC, there was a story that featured Amanda Kitron who discovers she is a direct descendant of John Bellett Shattock, son of Joseph:

The Strange Story of Mary Bellett and Her Count

Eight years after John Bellett Shattock died in 1860, his daughter Mary Bellett Shattock (1834-1899) married Count Donizio Marc De Salomes in the St. Marylebone church in Westminster, London. They were married by license because the Count claimed they had previously married in Paris. He explained that he wanted to remove any doubt about their legal married status, and because he had moved to the St. Marylebone parish, he sought a license to be married at the Anglican church in St. Marylebone. They married Nov. 18, 1868. In fact previously, on Oct. 20,1868, they had published banns in France, so it is possible they were married in France some weeks previously. Her name when she married in London was Mary Bellett de Salomes. Why would they have married just weeks earlier in France when they intended to marry in London?

What is odd is that I found his father's Freemason Membership registration places him in England in 1839. So what was Mary Bellett Shattock's future husband doing in Paris?

His father was Count Giovanni de Salomes. He had married the daughter of an Irish peer, Sir George Tuite, 9th Baronet, of Sonagh, Westmeath Ireland, descendant of an ancient lineage beginning with Sir Richard de Tuite, knt., who had accompanied Strongbow into Ireland in 1172. The family had become Protestants to preserve ownership of their lands. This makes me wonder if the Mary Bellett Shattock, who had a Protestant Anglo-Irish background through her grandmother Sarah Bellett, had met the young Count through family connections.

Statue of Dionysios Solomos, national poet of Greece. Statue is in Zakynthos.

What is important is that the source (A genealogical and heraldic dictionary of the peerage and baronetage of the British Empire by Burke, Bernard, Sir, 1814-1892), published in 1869, identifies Count Giovanni de Salomes' place of origin as Zante. The precise location of his place of birth was Zakynthos, Zante, Zakinthos, Ionian Islands, Greece. The Ionian Islands were once under Venetian control, hence the Italian given name Giovanni. Count Giovanni de Salomes had married Eliza Dorothea Tuite (1805-1861) in the same church as his son and Mary Bellett Shattock were married in.

At this point the story runs into a hitch, if you pardon the pun. On Giovanni's marriage record to Eliza Dorothea Tuite, he gives his father's name as Count Nicolo Salomos. Indeed we do find a Count Nikolaos Solomos, born in the same town as Giovanni, described as a wealthy Venetian aristocrat, and descendant of refugees from Crete in 1669 when the island was overrun by the Ottoman Empire. He had been given the tobacco monopoly of the island by Venice. He has a place in history because he was the father of Dionysios Solomos, who is considered the national poet of Greece. The national anthem is based on his poem "Hymn to Liberty."

Here is the where the hitch occurs in the story. Apparently Count Nikolaos did not have a son Giovanni, either from his wife (Marnetta Kakni, who died in 1805) or his mistress and house maid (who he married on his death bed in 1807) Angeliki Nikly 1782–1859. In fact it appears Roberto, the legal son from the marriage to Marnetta Kakni and Dionysois Solomos, the illegitmate son from Angeliki Nikly, shared the inheritance from their father. I believe that Giovanni's birth date is the same as the death date for his father Count Nikolaos.

I suppose it is possible that "Giovanni" and "Roberto" are the same person. Aristocrats often had multiple middle names.

Read about Dionysios at Wikipedia.