Staplegrove Shattockes

This graphic of the Shattocke tree shows the Staplegrove Shattocks in relation to other Shattockes. I have written extensively about the Shattockes in west Somerset on the English Heritage page. There is also a page devoted to the West Monkton Shattocks, who are a branch of the Staplegrove Shattocks.

"STAPLEGROVE, a parish in the hundred of Taunton, county Somerset, 1¾ mile N.W. of Taunton, its post town. The village is situated on the Great Western railway and the river Tone, and comprises a portion of the vale of Taunton-Dean. It formed a part of Taunton parish until 1554, from which period it has been a distinct parish. There are flax mills, a tannery, and a private lunatic asylum. The Great Western canal from Bridgwater to Tiverton passes along the southern boundary of the parish. The living is a rectory* in the diocese of Bath and Wells, value £200. The church is an ancient structure, with a tower containing five bells. Since its construction in the 15th century it has had two new aisles added, and in 1857 was thoroughly restored. The register dates from 1558. The parochial charities produce about £4 per annum. There is a National school, also a Sunday-school." From The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) Transcribed by Colin Hinson © 2003

Staplegrove encompasses the reddish area within the red boundaries. The villages where Shattocks are found are highlighted. Conquest Farm is where the earliest Shattocks in the Bishop's Lydeard parish are found (ca. 1600). These were probably Shatticks from West Bagborough. Bishop's Hull is where the earliest record of a Shattock in west Somerset is found, Thomas Shattocke on the Taunton Deane's tenant's list in 1450.

Staplegrove is a parish in the Taunton district, but it was an independent village up to the first half of the 16th century.

In the map above you can see the relationship between the town of Taunton and the parish of Staplegrove. Most of the area within the red outline is farmland, with modern residences at the bottom of the area, next door to Norton Fitzwarren.

Bishop's Hull

St Peter and St Paul in Bishop's Hull. The octagonal upper part of the tower is seen on the right.

Bishop's Hull is about a mile south of Staplegrove. It is where the first record of a Shattock in west Somerset, indeed in England, is found. It is Thomas Shattocke on the 1450 tenant's list for the administrative area of Taunton Deane.

Gordon Shattock, a resident of west Somerset tells me that Bishop's Hull has long been absorbed into Taunton and is not viewed today as a separate parish.

What is interesting to note is that St Peter and St Paul, the church in the area of old Bishop's Hull, has a very distinctive feature. Here is how the website devoted to the church describes the tower you see on the right side of the church in the picture: "The octagonal upper part of the tower dates from the 13th century and is believed to be in the shape of a weaver's shuttle, reflecting the importance of the weaving industry at the time and possibly that it was a gift of the local weavers." So it appears that Thomas Shattocke was living in an area where cloth weaving made weavers rich enough to support the local church. This is important because the other earliest record of a Shattock in England is that of Roger Shattock of Stogumber, who was a cloth merchant. It adds evidence to the theory that the founder of worldwide Shattocks in England (born circa 1350 AD) was a weaver or a cloth merchant.

The earliest record of a Shattock in the Taunton area is Thomas Shattocke. He appears on the Taunton Deane tenant's list in 1450 in Bishop's Hull. I estimate he was born about 1425. Since the founder of Shattockes and Shaddocks is estimated to be born about 1350, Thomas Shattocke of Bishop's Hull was probably the grandson of the founder of all worldwide Shattockes. We do not know the founder's name so I name him after the mutation he passed on to his male descendants: Y16884 / Y16895.

See a transcription of the tenant's list here. You will see that there is a long line of succession of Shattocks as tenants in the Taunton Deane.

We next find another early record of the Shattock presence in Taunton Deane in the form of a John Shattock of Staplegrove's will of 1533. In the will he provides money for the Staplegrove church. This suggests that he was living in Staplegrove, although Bishop's Hull is only walking distance away. And it is less than a mile (just over 1 km) south of Norton Fitzwarren, which had a fulling mill for finishing cloth as early or earlier than 1504. The earliest Shattocks lived in areas where cloth making was an important economic activity.

Here is the will:(from Wells Will p. 163)

The reference "chyd. of Peter in Paul in Taunton" refers to the church in Bishop's Hull. This gives us a direct connection between Thomas Shattocke on the tenant's list in 1450 and John Shattocke, whose will was probated in 1533. It may be that John was buried next to family members in Peter and Paul, although he actually gives money to the Church of St. John the Evangelist in Staplegrove. In any event, the will ties the Bishops Hull and Staplegrove Shattocks together.

I do think it is odd that he gives "Sir John Hykelege" money.

Apparently John preferred as a place of worship Staplegrove, perhaps because he lived in Staplegrove. He bequeaths money to the Staplegrove church. His wife Alice appears to be buried in Staplegrove in 1559. The majority of Shattocks in subsequent generations show baptisms and marriages at the Staplegrove church with some in Norton Fitzwarren.

Given that there was a fulling mill for finishing cloth in the Langford area of Norton Fitzwarren, which is right on the boundary with Staplegrove, it is probably the case that Shattocks worked on one side of the Back Stream in Langford, Norton Fitzwarren, and lived on the other side in the Burlands area of Staplegrove. In fact their "Hope House" residence is found there.

The most important point about the will is that John gives the money to one son and the land to another. The word "tenement" is an old English word for land, it does not specifically refer to a dwelling, although a dwelling is almost always located within the boundaries of the land. Under the property laws at the time, the land could only be willed to the oldest surviving son, so that makes Thomas his oldest son. This also suggests he is a descendant of Thomas Shattocke tenant in 1450. You have to consider that his father was alive at the time, but I will present evidence that his father died young and his widowed mother may have had title to the land in 1533. I am guessing he died about age 50.

Why is this important? Because it looks like his son John was the family entrepreneur and founded the wealth of the Shattocks in Staplegrove while his brother Thomas chose farming. The tenants list for Taunton Deane shows a proliferation of Thomas Shattocks, while the names attached to property ownership and business dealings are largely Johns. In fact the wealthiest Shattock, Sir Henry Shattock (ca. 1550-1610) was a grandson of John.

The descendants of Thomas Shattocke of Bishop's Hull do not begin showing up in parish records until after 1559, although we can use the Taunton Deane tenant's list, tax records, wills and other records to come up with a plausible line of succession. In fact that is what I have done, and created a tree of descendants from Thomas Shattocke down to James William Shattock (1860-1948) and the two Staplegrove Shattocks who have DNA tested, Simon Shattock and Ken Shattock. Click on the graphic to download it or enlarge it on a separate page. If you follow the line of descent from Thomas (ca. 1420) in Bishop's Hull down to James William Shattock (1860-1948) you will see what I mean by the Staplegrove Shattocks. I have added to the tree the other family lineages that spring from Thomas Shattocke, the founder of Bishop's Hull - Staplegrove Shattocks. The vertical lines tell you how the land is passed down through the generations under the entail laws. It is a graphic depicting the rise and fall of family, ending with the loss of their wealth in land with the "End of Entail." Click on the graphic to enlarge it or download it.

At the top of the family tree is the founder of all the main branches of the Shattock family, Y16884. His grandson, Thomas Shattocke was born about 1420. He is the one who shows up in the Taunton Deane tenant's list in 1450. He has a son Thomas (ca. 1450) who marries Johanna, probably in Bishop's Hull. He probably dies young because Johanna inherits his land before John (ca. 1485) comes of age. John (ca. 1485) marries Alice. He is the one with the will in 1533.

There are a number of ways that I have worked out this chronology, but a key finding was the fact there are three John Shattocks in a row, encapsulated in the Staplegrove parish record that sets down the birth of John Shattock Oct. 3, 1624. His father is said to be John Shattock "the younger." John Shattock the younger was born in 1602. Apparently John Shattock the elder was born in 1577 and was still alive. He died in 1637. And his father in turn, the great grandfather of the baby in 1624, another John, was John Shattock born about 1540. He was a constable and vintner. He in turn was the grandson of John Shattock of the will of 1533. A lot of "Johns," but the family had accumulated a lot of land and business in the 16th century and under the entail laws the oldest son would inherit the land and his father would pass his Christian name to his son, along with the land. After the John Shattock born in 1624, the paper trail is much easier to derive from legal documents and parish records.

Now let's go back to the will of John Shattock in 1533, because I think it helps explain something about the Shattocks in this area. The fact John gives his son John son his "gear" means he passed the family business to his second born son, John. I believe this is a shop where weaving was taking place, and it may have had more than one loom. In fact "Sir Henry Shattock" (seen on the far left of the graphic) may have built his wealth on the cloth trade, as he appears to be active in Norton Fitwarren where the cloth fulling mill was located. He is probably the wealthiest of Staplegrove Shattocks based on land records I have examined (which included part ownership in mills). I have a page devoted to him.

While the sons of Thomas appear to have been farmers, the direct line of Johns appear to have invested their profits in farms in the Burlands area of Staplegrove, not far from their workshop in Norton Fitzwarren, while continuing to participate in the cloth trade.

Shattocks Become Merchants

Sattocks appear in London documents in the middle of the 16th century, at first mostly in the Southwark area. The cloth trade probably drew them into business in London, and their new wealth would have made it possible to escape their provincial life in Staplegrove and enjoy the more cosmopolitan pleasures and sophisticated social life in London. There are several examples of marriages in London, beginning with the marriage of Mary Shattock to William Pickering in 1566 in London.

There is the record of "John Shattock," listed as a vintner in Taunton in 1569.

Reference: E 176/2/181. Description: Vintner: John Shattock, Leonard Penington als. Tocker Vintner: William Bennett, Stephen Keye Place: Taunton, Som. Date: July 3, 12 Eliz. Held by: The National Archives, - Exchequer, Office of First Fruits and Tenths, and the Court of Augmentations. Date: 17 November 1569 – 16 November 1570

He was born sometime around 1540. He married Joan in Staplegrove. (Find him on the tree graphic, where he is annotated as a vintner and constable.) Wine was traded with English cloth in the export markets. It would make sense John Shattock, vintner, would travel on business to London if he was trading highly valued Taunton cloth for wine. His position as "constable" means he had high social status. While constables today are salaried policemen, in the early 16th century they were part of the power structure in the town keeping the place in order. They could call out the militia to bring law and order to the town.

In the West Bagborough article I discuss a Henry Shattock who was a merchant. However it is possible the Henry I found in London was Henry Shattock (1656-1717), who was in the John direct line. He apparently had a small cloth factory in Norton Fitzwarren. As a clothier he might travel to London on business, especially since the export market had moved there in the late 17th century.

That the Staplegrove Shattocks were cosmopolitan and enterpreneurs is not surprising. This fits with the early history of Taunton, since it was one of the first towns in England to engage in making cloth and exporting it for profit rather than merely exporting wool. In a paper on the development of the Atlantic economy of the 17th century (The British Presence in Madeira Island), John Shattocke is described as being part of a group of twelve merchants playing a key role in establishing trade with North America and South America. He was conducting business in the Portuguese island of Madeira. When he ran into trouble with the governor on the island his complaint reached the highest levels of the British government. Wine was a major trade item on the island. (I feature John Shattock, the merchant on this page: John Shattuck visits Samuel Pepys, the Diarist.) Perhaps the John Shattock in 1569, who was a vintner in Taunton, is the direct ancestor of John Shattock the merchant out of Madeira. The first three families in the London parish records are headed by men with the name "John Shattock."

Staplegrove Shattocks Became Land Owners

During the late 15th century and for most of the 16th century Somerset's weavers were becoming wealthy in the burgeoning cloth export market. At the time a natural way to store wealth and increase it was investing in land. The Staplegrove Shattocks appear to have established themselves in North Petheron, just north of Taunton on the road to Bridgwater, an export center for cloth. (See how they branch from the Staplegrove Shattocks in the family tree above.) This village apparently had a substantial cloth cottage industry. (See the sub-page on North Petherton.) It seems almost certain that the grandchildren of the common ancestor of all the Shattock branches was in the cloth business. Thomas Shattocke, born about 1640 in North Petherton, died in Staplegrove. His grandson Christopher Shattocke Sr. (ca. 1604-1675), who was born in North Petherton, also moved to Staplegrove. His son Christopher, born in 1630 in North Petherton, also died in Staplegrove. See the genealogy at the bottom of the North Petherton Shattockes page.

The villages east of Staplegrove, Creech St. Michael, Kingston St. Mary and West Monkton, appear to have places where Shattocke families moved back and forth. Squire Henry Shattock owned all or part of the Creech customary mill in Creech St. Michael in 1584. Christopher Shattocke was involved in a legal dispute over a messuage (a dwelling house with outbuildings and land assigned to its use) in West Monkton sometime between 1603 and 1625. Henry Shattocke of West Monkton had a 99 year lease on 2 1/2 acres of "meadow" in West Monkton in 1610. Henry and Christopher are two names that act as markers for Shattocks in Staplegrove, Taunton and the surrounding villages.

A John Shattock, senior, has a will in 1630. There is a Henry Shattocke will in 1637. His widow appears to be assessed for lands in 1638. This means that Shattockes were land owners in Staplegrove at this time. She was also a church warden:

"Churchwarden Accounts From the Fourteenth Centure to the Close of the Seventeenth Century” by J. Charles Cox, LL.D., F.S.A. A pair of widows once officiated for a Somersetshire parish. The Account of the Widdow Farthinge and the Widdow Shattocke Church Wardens of Stapplegrove, Anno Do. 1645. Under their jurisdiction the parish paid for shrouds on six occasions, at prices varying from 55. To /s. 6d. Such payments do not occur elsewhere in the Staplegrove accounts.

Another example of the prominent role Shattocks played in Taunton is this news item in the local Taunton paper in 1924: Taunton Courier and Western Advertiser, Dec. 17, 1924. The author of the news item, Sidney E. Dodderidge, writes: "Thomas Shattocke witnessed Staplegrove admissions at the exchequer, Taunton Castle, in 1568, 1572, 1573; John Shattock jun. in 1620, Thomas Shattocke in 1633." Apparently these Shattocks were involved in the financial affairs of the Taunton Deane manor, in this case witnessing the official recording of the tenants of the manor in the manorial roll.

The Genetics of the Staplegroves

At this point there appears to be no known surviving direct male descendants of the West Bagborough, North Petherton or West Monkton Shattocks. So DNA testing is not going to help us. It is possible the North Molton Shatticks are descended from Thomas Shattocke born about 1420 and appearing on the 1450 Taunton Deane tenant's list.

There is a genetic marker (FTY=9) that is shared by descendants of Staplegrove Shattocks and Bishop's Lydeard Shattocks. The Shatticks of North Molton do not share this marker. We don't know when the Staplegrove Shattocks acquired this mutation. And the ancestor of the Bishops Lydeard descendants that have been tested, Richard Shattock (abt. 1650) is missing a birth record. All we know is that sometime after 1420 and before 1650 a Staplegrove Shattock lost an STR and became FTY=9.

The marker does help us verify the Shattock tree I worked out because the FTY=9 marker was inherited by Ken Shattock and Simon Shattock. And it had to come from a shared ancestor with the Bishops Lydeard Shattocks. And the paper trail for the Bishops Lydeard Shattocks pushes the date back to sometime before 1650.

End of the Entail

The Staplegrove Shattocks can be described as landed proprietors who owned a large section of the area called "Burlands" in Staplegrove. As the 18th century drew to a close, members of the family sold off most of farms in the "square mile" of rich farmland in the Burlands area of Staplegrove. Samuel Kebby Shattock (1802-1854) is probably the last direct male Staplegrove Shattock to inherit a portion of the landed wealth of the family. He appears to have sold the last holding during his lifetime. That makes him the end of the line since he had two daughters and no sons.

In 1827 there is a record of the sale of an Othery dwelling and its land by Samuel Kebby Shattock.

  • A 4 page vellum indenture for the sale of lands in Ottery, Devon, between James Burnell of Yeovil, Somerset, linen draper, Susanna Aplin of Norton Fitzwarren, Samuel Kebby Shattock of Norton Fitzwarren, yeoman, and William Temlett of Bridgewater, gent. Dated the 2nd day of October in the 8th year of the reign of George IV [1827] Property: A messuage and 6 acres of land in Eastfield, land in King Sedgmoor, Ottery, and others in Ottery. Also lands in Pennyshride and Earlake. Medium: Handwritten in English on vellum. Condition: Good. Characteristics: Signatures and seals. Document size (approx.): 70 by 65 cm.

Samuel's brother John Shattock (1809-1877) would have inherited the land if it was still held by Samuel. John had financial difficulties and appeared to move often, one step ahead of the law until it finally caught up to him in Liverpool. There he was declared a bankrupt and imprisoned for his insolvency. He later emigrated to Chicago with his family. There is a direct male ancestor of the Staplegrove Shattocks who died in 2013 in California, probably unaware that if his direct male ancestors were quite wealthy and socially prominent.

There is a surprisingly accurate account of the downfall of the Staplegrove Shattocks encapsulated in a handwritten letter by James William Shattock (1860-1948) to his son. It is this letter that weaves all the scattered evidence of the family into a coherent tale.

James William Shattock's Letter

James William Shattock (1860-1948) with sons Victor Tom (seated) and Nelson James (standing). About 1888.

One of the descendants of the Staplegrove Shattocks, Kenneth Shattock, preserved a remarkable heritage from his ancestors and sent me pictures and documents from his Staplegrove Shattocks document archive. One of the letters he sent me jumped out at me as soon as read it. It was a letter his grandfather, Victor Tom Shattock, received from his father, James William Shattock (1860-1948). Victor's father wrote to him in 1943, when his father was 83 years old. We have to thank good fortune that James William recorded one of the most important paragraphs of Staplegrove Shattock history five years before he passed away. Note that he was born in 1860, and was telling a family story about his own father and grandfather. Here is a portion from the letter that I have transcribed:

  • Our family was at one time a family of importance in the history of Staplegrove, residing at Hope House [now called Bishop's Mead] on the Kingston Road for the Shaddock names are inscribed on the Arch of the dining room mantelpiece, owning nearly a square mile of the best land in Taunton dene. To show the importance of the family there were two vaults in the Staplegrove Church, north aisle, with names tracing the family back to the 14th century, and the importance of the family held is far as the 17 century. During the latter part the family apparently deteriorated, wild living and gambling caused them to lose their possessions and to raise mortgages in order to live and to the extent that two brothers, Lemuel and another, under pressure, went so far as the cut off their own entail to their property. Upon realizing the foolishness of their action they went off to Detroit, USA. Their action rendered your grandfather's father to be left in poor circumstances; he was able to farm some part of the land by paying a rent to those who held the mortgage. He resided at Kibbys Farm, Staplegrove, and on returning one day from the field and riding on the shaft of the cart, got killed, through the horse shying and turning the cart over on him, thus leaving a widow and a son, your grandfather, and three daughters to battle with the world. Your grandfather, Thomas Shaddock, born February 9, 1818, was the eldest, nine years old, had to go back to work to help keep his mother and three sisters and to make matters worse those who arranged the mortgage made the widow and her family leave the farm, Kibby's, because they could not pay the rent.

Staplegrove church, in a suburb of Taunton. This is the place where the original Shattock families of Staplegrove were married, were buried, and celebrated life. According to the website for the church: "the collective view of most authorities, who have studied the architecture of the building, suggests that the lower parts of the tower and main aisle are of 13th and 14th century origins, the remainder being later additions as the centuries go by, principally from the restoration of 1857."

Did you notice what he said about inscriptions found in the Staplegrove church? There are inscriptions in two vaults in the north aisle with names tracing the family back to the 14th century.

In the spring of 2017 I visited the church with my distant relatives and examined the inscriptions. Unfortunately the oldest inscriptions were destroyed when electricity was laid down in the floor last century.

When I checked the facts in James William's letter, I have found them to be corroborated by documentary evidence. Some of the details have become muddied, like a faded old photograph, but the picture he paints of the family and the general truth and chronology of the events have been verified.

Backing up James William's account is the story of Samuel Kebby Shattock I have designated as the end of the Staplegrove line. He is described as a "yeoman," signifying his status as a landowner. In another document, Samuel Kebby is described as from "Ford's farm," which was located in Norton Fitzwarren. As a land owning resident of Norton Fitzwarren, he is found in Electoral registers in 1832 through to 1846. This information corroborates James William's statements about family lands and status.

Did Samuel Kebby Shattock sell the land knowing that it could not be passed on to his daughters? Did he have the right to do it? A very important fact in unraveling the story is that his brother John Shattock (1809-1877) was an attorney. To become an attorney you had to be apprenticed to a practicing attorney, usually at a significant cost to the parents of the student. So we know that John Shattock's parents were wealthy enough to place John with an attorney. James William writes about the auction of the family's lands that was halted when a legal challenge arose from an individual in America. I think this must have come from John Shattock, who was working first as a clerk and then as a lawyer in Chicago. John Shattock would have had a claim to the land if it was supposed to be entailed to him.

In fact there was an auction of a property called "Yard Farm," with land in Staplegrove and Kingston, plus Norton Fitzwarren, after John Shattock's move to Chicago. The advertising bill described the property as "97a. 1r. 38p. of highly fertile land, in a ring fence, with a commodious and substantially built dwelling house pleasantly situate thereon, also about 30 acres of leasehold lands in the adjoining parish of Norton Fitzwarren, late the property of Thomas Pratt, Esq., deceased, and now in the occupation of Mrs. Agnes Hawkins, and Mr. William Shattock, as tennants thereof."

When I discovered the aforementioned land transaction record in the South West Heritage Trust, I did a search on the name of the property and came up with a very surprising piece to the puzzle of the Staplegrove Shattock history. It is in the form of some historical sleuthing done by Don Shelton, who calls himself an historical detective. In establishing the value and provenance of an old painting, the historical detective uses classic genealogical research to figure out who the people were in a portrait: the sitter, the artist and the identity of people noted on the back of the painting. Don Shelton describes how he figured out who sat for the portrait (John Williams) and where he likely was from. (See his blog for a detailed account of his detective work on the Shattock family.)

The portrait was painted by the Bristol artist Robert Hancock. He was an engraver and painter who did portraits of many famous English people like Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Charles Lamb and William Wordsworth. On the back is written the comment that John Williams was the uncle of Alice Shattuck Tonk. Shelton was able to trace her identity back to Alice Maud Mary Shattock (1854–1898) who married Julius Herrmann "Max" Tonk (1851–1914) in Chicago. Alice Shattock was John Shattock's daughter. The transcription of the name from Shattock to Shattuck was typical. That is how the name Shattock is often spelled in America. Max Tonk, who was born in Prussia, was a piano stool manufacturer. They had a servant, so the family was reasonably well off.

Alice Shattock (1854-1898), daughter of John Shattock and Emily Williams.

Don's research showed that Alice's father John had followed a downward trajectory, just as James William Shattock suggested about the family. "From the various census records below, it is seen John Shattock, was a solicitor in 1841 and 1851, a cotton broker's clerk in 1861, and a clerk in store in 1870. Thus one gains the impression he gradually slid down the employment tree. There is support for this view at The Jurist - Google Books Result where in the "Jurist" for 1855 there is a reference under the heading Insolvent Debtors, which records "the following prisoners are ordered to be brought up before a Judge of the County Court to be examined and dealt with according to the Statute...At the County Court of Lancashire, Lancaster on Jan 19 at 11.00am....John Shattock, Tranmere, near Liverpool, attorney-at-law...."

The Spectator, Vol. 13, p. 1049, confirms this was the right John Shattock and records his bankruptcy in 1854:

  • Shaddock, John, Bishop's Lydeard, scrivener, Dec. 11, Jan. 5: solicitors, Messrs. Clark and Metcalf, Lincoln's Inn Fields, and Mr. Hancock, Taunton.

Don suggests John moved his family to America, like so many people before him, to avoid the stigma attached to bankruptcy and its cruel punishment under the laws of the time. I would like to add that attorneys often were engaged in land speculation at this time, which may be the reason he got into financial difficulty. Perhaps he speculated to try to lift up his family's wealth.

Don discovered that John Shattock's wife Emily Williams was the daughter of John Williams, a coach builder, who lived on Wellington St. in Bedminster, Somerset (Bristol area). In the 1841 census, John and Emily Shattock are found living in Bishop's Lydeard, just a few miles from Norton Fitzwarren, where John Shattock was born. He was working as a solicitor. Don suggests that Emily Williams may have married down in the world. She did come from what must have been a very wealthy family perhaps elevated from recent more modest circumstances. But I think the Shattock name still had cachet at the time. And John Shattock may have been hoping his investments would restore his family fortunes. I think he was still trying to recoup his family status late in life when he tried to stop land from being sold that was once owned by Shattocks. I have to assume he was unsuccessful.

It appears to me that a lot Shattock property transferred out of the family's control in and around 1840, like this land transaction:

    • Miscellaneous unrelated draft deeds of covenant. 1840-1861 Somerset Heritage Centre DD\DP/75/5 on release re mortgage of copyhold lands in East Curry manor, John Shattock, formerly of Wellington and Taunton St James, then Creech St Michael, to Samuel Woodward and Thomas Chapman of Taunton St James (1842); 1 bundle

Let's go back to the letter and see if we can find more parallels between the family legend and historic events.

The letter talks of the mortgaging of the Shattock farm lands as a result of financial mismanagement and "wild living." In fact Geoffrey Smart (1898-1977), a London Shattock family historian and son of a Shattock mother, found the reference to the mortgages.

It looks like the mortgages occurred in 1691 and 1692. James William said the Shattocks ran into difficulty in the 17th century and that appears to be exactly right. The term in extremis means to be "in a very difficult situation," which is what James William refers to in his letter. In fact these mortgages are probably on property in the Burlands area of Staplegrove where James William describes farms owned by the Shattocks, which he describes as the finest farmland of Taunton Deane. These hearth tax returns for Staplegrove in 1664 contain the same names as are found in the mortgage documents. A hearth tax singles out residents in an area who live in houses large enough to have multiple chimneys. The properties are located in the Burland area of Staplegrover, where James William Shattock says the Shattock farms were located.

  • Thomas Shattocke is in the 1664 Hearth Tax in an area of Staplegrove called Burland. He paid 5 10.
  • Joanne Shattocke is in the 1664 Hearth Tax in an area of Staplegrove called Burland. She paid 4 8.
  • Christopher Shattock is in the 1664 Hearth Tax in an area of Staplegrove called Burland. He paid 2 4.

There is another significant fact that emerges from the dusty records. There is a Thomas Shattocke who dies in 1692, leaving a will. My guess is that he dies with a huge amount of debt hanging over his estate and his heirs are forced to take out mortgages on his land to satisfy those debts. Why he should be so deeply in debt when the town is buzzing with an active and prosperous cloth industry perhaps is answered in James William Shattock's letter. Thomas Shattocke may have lost a family fortune to "gambling and wild living."

Another story James William tells is of an ancestor who died when a cart turned over on him, leaving a widow, a son and three daughters, finds substantiation in the parish records. Thomas Shattock (1784-1826) married Ann Chickory (1798-1831) in 1815 in the Staplegrove church. He is recorded as being a labourer, which means he was working in the fields. He and Ann could not sign their own names, but rather with an "X," which means they were not educated, and therefore we can assume their parents could not afford to send them to school. He died at the young age of 42 in 1826, the same year his third daughter, Mary Shattock, was born. The other two daughters were Elizabeth Shattock (1820-) and Sarah Shattock (1823-). His father was John Shattock (1759-1852), who married Honor Lapthorn (1755-1827). And his son was Thomas Shattock (1818-), who married Harriet Hartnell (1817-1862) in 1840.

John Shattock and Honor (nee Lapthorn) Shattock signed their daughter Mary's marriage record Oct 8, 1819. So did Mary and her new husband William Lock. The signatures of the family members is an indication they went to school, not possible if they were poor agricultural workers. James Slape Shattock born in 1820 was the son of John Shattock, who married Hannah Bryer in Taunton. James Slape Shattock was the grandson of John and Honor. His father is described was a yeoman on his birth record, meaning he as an owner of property. This is additional evidence supporting James William Shattock's story of the Staplegrove Shattocks. This the point where the family fell into relative poverty.

Portrait of a prominent family. Harriet Hartnell (1817-1862), wife of Thomas Shattock (1818-). I think she is communicating that she comes from a "prominent" background, signified by the writing desk and the large room she is in. Picture provided by Deanna Wallis. On the back is written "my mother," in the hand of James William Shattock.

The marriage was recorded at Taunton. The picture we have of her does communicate social status. James William is telling the story of his grandfather. This fact check substantially supports his claim to be descended from the prominent Shattock family founded by Henry Shattocke (1666-1717) and probably tracking back to John Shattocke whose will in 1533 is evidence the family had a long history of social prominence in Taunton and Staplegrove.

James William writes about Shattock brothers who emigrated to Detroit when they lost the entail to the family property in Somerset. There is indeed a Thomas Shattock (1862-1936) who moved to Detroit. The common ancestor he had with James William was Thomas Shattock (1734-1788) and Hannah Gadd (1735-1802). Thomas was his great-grandfather. There was actually three brothers who moved to Detroit (including William 1849-1919, Walter E. 1859-1931) and one to Massachusetts (Edward John 1853-1929). Once again we find that James William's letter is corroborated by documentary evidence.

But I think James William is confounding two stories, one of the Shattock brothers who emigrated to Detroit and the other of John Shattock's emigration to Chicago. I have a similar family story in my own background, which told of the arrival of two Shaddock brothers from England. It turns out my ancestor arrived in Canada about 1850, leaving three brothers behind in England. There were two Shaddock brothers who emigrated to Canada in the late 1890s. But they were cousins of the first Shaddock to emigrate.

There is a second letter that has come down to us from James William Shattock. ( 1 2 3 4 ) In the letter dated Sept. 22, 1934, James William responds to a letter written by a "Miss Shattock" congratulating him and his wife on their golden wedding and asking about the family history. He says that the Shattocks in Staplegrove once owned the Smokey Farm (the farmhouse still exists today in 2017), which you can visit via Google here. It is lovely and looks like it might still be a working farm.

This map shows the relationship between Norton Fitzwarren and Staplegrove (highlighted in pink). The Back Stream (aka Back Brook), whose name is highlighted in blue, runs along the boundary between Norton Fitzwarren and Staplegrove. Hope House in bold black is where the Shattock estate was located (now called Bishops Mead at 192 Kingston Rd.). Highlighted in yellow are the farms James William says were once owned by Staplegrove Shattocks. James William calls the area "a square mile of the best land in Taunton dene." Also highlighted in pink is Landford, where a fulling mill existed from at least 1504, where cloth was prepared for market. The area shown in the map was heavilty populated by Shattocks up to the 19th century.

The area encompassed by the farms is quite large and Hope House appears to sitting on the edge of the area where the farms existed.

James William says the Shattocks also owned Burlands Higher farm. Burlands Farm is situated approximately two miles from the centre of Taunton, on the northern fringes of Staplegrove between the town centre and The Quantock Hills. You can visit the area in which the farm is located. It is a very lovely rural scene. The Shattocks owned Tanyard farm. This is a very beautiful aerial shot of the farm. They owned Middle and Lower Burlands farm. Here is an aerial view of that farm. James William tells his young correspondent that the Shattocks owned "other places" as well. This was obviously a very wealthy and successful family in the past. The properties it owned were both in and around the parish of Staplegrove.

Thomas Shattock (1818-), James William Shattock's father. He worked as a coachman. Picture courtesy Dea Wallis.

The assertion that the Staplegrove Shattocks were a prominent family is supported by a lot of evidence. There were three Shattocks who appeared as either litigants or defendants in the Westminster, London Star Chamber, a special court established to ensure fair treatment to people involved in legal disputes with socially or politically prominent people (see the references in the Origins discussion of early Shattock references in records). Only a prominent family would have been treated with this level of respect. In the early part of the 17th century there are a number of deeds that show Shattocks as landowners in the Taunton area.

But the strongest evidence that James William Shattock's family legend has a basis in fact is the 1533 will of John Shattock of Staplegrove quoted earlier. This will gives the family legend a solid basis. Is the "mansion" he talks about Hope House? And what was the gear in his shop? Merchants in medieval times, especially rich merchants, more or less ran the towns. The will provides strong evidence that the family legend recounted by James William Shattock was based on fact. Together with that evidence, and the fact that Shattockes owned farms, interests in mills, and messuages in the area, certainly makes James statement that they were a "prominent" family accurate.

John Shattock of Leicester, descendant of the Norton Fitzwarren / Staplegrove Shattocks, provides us with a very comprehensive analysis of the will. I have included it as a sub-page of this one.

Read John Shattock's analysis of the will.

Charles Shattock family. Charles Shattock (1857-1928) is John Shattock's great grandfather. He owned a string of shoe stores on the Somerset coast.

But alas, the legend goes, the Shattocks gave birth to a generation or generations that drank and caroused the family fortune away. They made the mistake of removing the entail from their properties. In English common law, an entail is a form of trust established by deed or settlement which restricts the sale or inheritance of an estate in real property and prevents the property from being sold, devised by will, or otherwise alienated by the tenant-in-possession, and instead causes it to pass automatically ...

James William Shattock describes the downfall of the Staplegrove Shattocks as due to gambling and "wild living." But the downfall may have been due to a wider social context. I found an echo in this moral condemnation of the family in a history of neighboring Taunton, called The History of Taunton, by Joshua Toulmin, D.D., published in 1791. See the complete ebook here. The year 1754 was a particularly violent one in Taunton as the Whigs and Tories battled for control of the town. When the Whigs won through a rigged election, there was violent rioting and several lives were lost. The woolen industry was dominated by the Dissenters supporting the Whigs. The Dissenters were composed of Baptists, Puritans and Low-Church Anglicans. In other words, in turbulent political, economic and social times they sought a biblical source for what ailed the body politic. The Shattocks were members of the political elite who probably were on the side of the Whigs and Dissenters. Here is Toulmin:

  • The mischief of their influence in this respect was particularly felt in the continued and violent opposition of the year 1754. The demand for its goods was then great ; but through the idleness and debauchery of the season it could not be answered. The orders, being returned to the merchants, were sent for execution to other towns, with which, the intercourse being thus opened, was continued.'

Did the Staplegrove and Taunton Shattocks lose their wealth and property during these social upheavals?

At the British Archives deeds to the Shattock properties can be found. Indeed Henry Shattocke, Kenneth's direct ancestor, shows up in legal documents in the records, indicating how important he was in the local area.

Ida Lavinia Shattock (1891-1972) was a daughter of James William Shattock

The house that James William Shaddock talks about, Hope House, is now known as Bishop's Mead and is found at 192 Kingston Rd. in Taunton. It is still standing, although it appears to be a somewhat run down shadow of its former self. Imagine the carriages arriving at his door in its heyday, spilling out the town and county elite, the house sitting on a square mile of land. (You can see the house and explore the area around it through Google maps:

Bishop's Mead (formerly Hope House)

If you see the house and its other buildings from the air in Google maps, you will see how large it was!

James William Shattock (1860-1948) was the subject of a custody battle in a very literal sense. His father Thomas put him in the care of his sister Sarah after he lost his wife Harriet in 1862. He was working as a coachman, and his wife must have been too sick to look after him as a six month old child, which I am guessing was the reason why he fell into the care of Thomas's sister Sarah. Apparently Sarah, who was living with her mother Ann (maiden name Chickory) Shattock, grew very attached to the little boy and James William to his aunt. When the father tried to claim his boy on his seventh birthday, a major scuffle ensued. Thomas later became bankrupt. It was a rough start in life for James William.

The East Anglia Shattocks

I have devoted a page to Shattocks found in the early parish records of East Anglia churches. While I suspect these Shattocks are Staplegrove Shattock migrants, there might be a case for flipping the point of origin around. Were west Somerset Shattocks in fact migrants from East Anglia? Read about the East Anglia Shattocks.

The Railroad Shattocks

On a separate page I have documented one of the lineages that stem from Thomas Shattock (1818-1894). I like to call them the Railroad Shattocks.

Staplegrove Genealogy

The Shattocks that have been DNA tested so far descend from Thomas Shattock (1818-1894). This genealogy goes back as far as Henry Shattock born in 1656. Consult the diagram of the Bishops Hull - Staplegrove tree to see how Shattocks branched before that.

Henry Shattocke 1656-? (Mary ? 1667–1716, first wife and mother of his children; Anne Cornish, second wife)

1. Mary Shattock 1688– (John Guddridge)

2. Elizabeth Shattock 1691–

3. Thomas Shattock 1695–

4. Joan Shattock 1699– (Samuel Warren)

5. John Shattock 1704–1775 (Mary Gale 1705–)

5.1 Thomas Shattock 1721–1734

5.2 Mary Shattock 1728–

5.3 John Shattock 1732–1795 (Elizabeth Gall or Gale 1731 or 1732)

5.3.1 John Shattock 1757–1829 (Elizabeth Kebby) John Shattock c. 1780-1820 (Hannah Sheppard 1783–1837) Samuel Kebby Shattock 1802–1854 (Harriet Whensley 1804–1862)

Jane Shattock 1841–

Hannah Shattock 1845–1849 Mary Ann "Marianna" Shattock 1803– Elizabeth Shattock 1806–1868 John Shattock 1809–1877 (Emily Williams 1817–1890)

Ann Haurshen Shattock 1841–1847

John Walter Shattock 1844–1911

Ada Helen Shattock 1844–1916 (Jasper Clark 1844-)

Clara Anne Shattock 1848–1917

Annett Rebecca Shattock 1850–1902 (Richard Andrew Milligan)

Alice Maud Mary Shattock 1854–1898 (Julius Herrmann "Max" Tonk 1851–1914)

Henry Edward Shattock 1855–1917 (Minnie Platte Tyler 1857–1931)

Walter Arthur Shattock 1881–1954 (Josephine T. Stahl 1890–1961)

Henry Edward Shattock II 1910–1986

Walter Arthur Shattock Jr. 1914– (Eileen Frances Jewell 1917–1997)

Dennis Alan Shattock 1947–2013 (Cynthia A Wood 1948–)

Michael A Shattock 1975–

Carrie L. Shattock 1977– (Jason)

Ellen C Shattock 1950–

James Arthur Shattock 1954– (Laury J Jennie 1960–)

Mary Ann Gertrude "Gertie" Shattock 1858– Harriet Shattock 1814–1862

5.4 Thomas Shattock 1734–1778 (Hannah Gadd 1735–1802)

5.4.1 John Shattock 1759–1838 (Honor Lapthorn 1755–1827) George Shattock 1782–1870 (Sarah Scott 1789–1879) James Shattock 1808– William Shattock 1810–1814 Thomas Shattock 1814– Martha Shattock 1816– Robert Shattock 1822– John Shattock 1823–1898 Walter Shattock 1826–1891 (Sarah Hawkins 1827–)

Ellen Shattock 1849–1917 (John Giddings 1850–1920)

Samuel Walter Shattock 1851–1923 (Jessie Edith Jennings 1868–1958)

Mignon Dorothy Emily Shattock 1890–1950

James Walter Shattock 1856–1880

Mary Ann Shattock 1860– (William Day Jones 1858–) Ann Shattock 1830– Thomas Shattock 1794–1826 (Ann Chickory 1798–1831) (Were there were 2 Thomases born, 1784 and 1794?) Thomas Shattock 1818–1894 (Read the sub-page about this family lineage)

First wife: Harriett Hartnell 1817–1862 Mary Ann Shattock 1842–1908 Martha Ann Shattock 1844–1921 (William Jarman 1844-) Thomas Shattock 1845–1912 (Eliza Jane Staddon 1840–1903)

Thomas Parry Shattock 1867–1884

Henry James Shattock 1869–1948 (Ruth Gunningham 1870–1952)

Thomas Henry Shattock 1891–1914

Cecil Miles Shattock 1896–1980 (Elizabeth A. Gray)

Herbert Gunningham Shattock 1898–1962 (Edith M. Laws)

Kathleen Elizabeth Shattock 1901–1989

Henry Totterdale Shattock 1907–1985 (Annie Edith Attewell)

Annie Shattock 1872–1949 (John Milson Prime 1870-)

Edith Harriett Shattock 1874– (Henry John Smith 1878-)

Mabel Blanche Shattock 1876–1887

Ethel Marie Shattock 1881–1964 (Archibald Maurice Hill 1880–)

Alice Maude Mary Shattock 1885–1967 (Herbert Richard Merrick 1882–1956) Harriett Shattock 1848–1916 (James Sanders 1843–1922) Hannah Shattock 1850–1885 (James Scriven 1846–1902) Henry John Shattock 1852–1903 (Elizabeth Jane Scoble 1850–1919)

Florence Ellen Shattock 1875–

Ernest Henry Shattock 1877–1948 (Alice Maud Tiley 1883–0

Henry Ernest Shattock 1907–1987

Charles Edward Shattock 1908–

Hilda Mary Shattock 1882–

William Scoble Shattock 1884–1909

Archibald Thomas Shattock 1887–1919

Nelson James Shattock 1890–1910 Emma Shattock 1855–1920 (James Bailey 1857–1929) James William Shattock 1860–1948 (Lavinia Emily Smith 1858–1947)

Nelson James Shattock 1885–1904

Victor Tom Shattock 1886–1974 (Maude Alice Drake 1887–1961)

Ronald John Shattock 1908–1982

1st wife: Carmel Lundgren 1913–1965)

Susan Melinda Shattock 1945- (Emil John Luque 1935-)

2nd wife: Phyllis D. Nickerson 1913–2008)

Mabel Kathleen Shattock 1909–2002 (Morton Deene Stowell 1907–2001)

James Victor Shattock 1911–1980 (Muriel Celestia Thomas 1913–1998)

Patricia Ann Shattock 1934–2008 (Dr. John P Derdivanis 1932–)

James William Shattock 1938–2016

Kenneth Victor Shattock 1946- (Susan Marguerite Herzog 1950-)

Irene Muriel Shattock 1912–1985 (Roy Gogna 1924–2001)

Evelyn Mary Shattock 1914–1991 (Leon Eugene Walker 1911–1967)

Elsie Maude Shattock 1916–1991 (George Osborne Thomas 1916–2006)

Mabel Ellen Shattock 1888–1956 (Nathanial Sydney Tom Coate 1893-1974)

Ida Lavinia Shattock 1891–1972 (Stanley Reginald Hillman 1892–1970)

Sylvia Ida Hillman 1926–2011

Mary Jean Hillman 1929–2014 (Merlin Henry Broom 1925–2003)

Arthur William Shattock 1893–1915

Second wife: Eliza Cook 1842–1903 Frederick John Thomas Shattock 1868–1902 (Jane King Prout 1866-)

Frederick Thomas Shattock 1891–1972 (Rose May Irene James 1900–1988)

Dennis Frederick James Shattock 1926–2001

ir Gordon Shattock 1928–2010 Sarah Shattock 1787– Jane Shattock 1789– Martha Shattock 1791– John Shattock 1793– Thomas Shattock 1794– (Sarah Burnett 1793–1861) Elizabeth Shattock 1832– Joseph Thomas Shattock 1838–1903 (Sarah Lucy Trussell 1836–1905) Joseph Thomas Shattock 1860– (Louisa Martha Price 1860–)

Sarah Eliza Shattock 1881– (John Fores 1877–1969)

Thomas Samuel Joseph Shattock 1883–1940 (Emily Gertrude Field 1886–1957)

Thomas Joseph Shattock 1909–1988 (Emily Allen 1908–)

George Albert Shattock 1911–1944 (Louisa Davis 1912–1989)

George Arthur Shattock 1933–2006

Alonzo George Shattock 1886–1921(Alice Catherine Bennett 1885–1917)

Alice C Shattock 1910– Mary Emily Shattock 1862– (William Carter 1862-) Rose Shattock 1865– Helena Shattock 1868–1934 (Alonzo Harper 1863–1914) Albert Victor Shattuck 1871–1922 (Rose Susannah Dodman 1871–)

Albert Victor Shattuck 1895–1962 Elizabeth Amalia Shattuck 1879– (William Herbert Reeves 1876–1951)

5.4.2 Eleanor Shattock 1761–

5.4.3 Mary Shattock 1762– (Thomas Fudge 1757)

5.4.4 Thomas Shattock 1764–

5.4.5 William Shattock 1766–1848 (Anne ?)

Francis Shattock 1781–1853 (Mary Hawkins 1784-)

James Shattock 1783–

Mary Shattock 1786– (Thomas Penny 1781-)

William Shattock 1787–

5.4.6 Robert Shattock 1767–

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