Sale of Dalton House 1883

Sale of the ‘Dalton House’ estate, Saddington, Leics in 1883

A sales catalogue came into my possession some time ago relating to freehold landed property for sale by auction in Leicestershire, 139 years ago.

The principal residence listed was ‘Dalton House’, which is now known as The Grange, Saddington (a residential home for the elderly). The estate was divided into six lots, comprising of:

  Lot 1 – Fleckney lodge

  Lot 2 – Pasture Grazing Land

  Lot 3 – Rich Grazing or Accommodation Land

  Lot 4 – Residential Estate, including Dalton House. Rich Pasture Grazing Land, which includes the right of Fishing in Saddington Reservoir by angling or using a cast net.

  Lot 5 – Old Pasture Land

  Lot 6 – A close of valuable old grass land.

In total the area covered was 469 acres 3 roods and 7 perches. A map of the estate was also incorporated in the catalogue and the area for sale is highlighted in various colours.

The sale was conducted by Messrs Flick & Sons and was carried out at the Bell Hotel, which once stood on Humberstone Gate, Leicester on 4 July 1883 at 2 for 3 o’clock precisely. The instructions for the sale were submitted by the trustees of John Croft Esq. who had resided at Dalton House with his second wife Sarah and family.

John Croft was born on 16 July 1807 and died on 5 January 1883. He married initially, Mary Stead and had two children – Henry, who died after 1883 and Mary Anne. The latter was born in 1844 in Sydney Australia where they were living at the time.

After the death of her mother, Mary Anne and her father moved to Dalton House in Saddington. Her marriage is recorded on 5th December 1866 at St. Helen’s Church, Saddington and conducted by the Rev. Alfred Stead (uncle of the bride) who was the Rector of Ovington, Sussex, assisted by the Rev. W. P. Wood Rector of Saddington. Mary Anne married Frank Garrett Esq. of Leiston, Suffolk and she died in Aldringham Suffolk in 1897.

John Croft’s second marriage took place on 5 April 1866 at St. Peter’s Church, in Carlton Park, Carlton, Suffolk. In the church there is a memorial to John’s second wife and it reads as follows:

            In loving memory of Sarah Louisa, second daughter of Richard Garrett of Carlton Hall and the lamented wife of John Croft of Dalton House, Saddington, Leics. formerly of Mount Adelaide, Sydney, New South Wales, who died on 27 January 1874, aged 36.

John croft, son of Nicholas and Mary Croft, lived at three residences throughout his life:

  1. Mount Adelaide, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  2. Dalton House, Saddington, Leics.
  3. Belmont House, Hoddesdon, Herts.

And according to the 1871 census the Croft family and their domestic staff were all comfortably ensconced in Dalton House and I have listed those who were resident on the day.

Name              Position         Status                        Age     Occupation                                       Born

John Croft     Head               Married          63        Landowner occupying 487 acres     London

Sarah Croft    Wife               Married          33                                                     Leiston, Suffolk

Margaret Croft Daughter    Single             4                                  “              Saddington, Leics

John Croft Son                     Single             3                                  “              Saddington, Leics

Eleanor Croft Daughter       Single             2                                  “              Saddington, Leics

Nicholas Croft          Son     Twin   Single                         10mths                                  “              Saddington, Leics

Richard Croft            Son     Twin   Single                         10mths                                  “                 Saddington, Leics

George Turner                      Single             25        Domestic Servant             Laleham, Middx

Elizabeth Watts                    Single             29        Domestic Servant            Birstall, Leicester

Sarah Whitling                     Single             30        Domestic Servant               Gt. Claybrooke

Kate Morris                           Single              21        Domestic Servant                         Leicester

Jane Taylor                           Single             22        Domestic Servant                     Croft, Leics

It was interesting to note that when referring to the map, incorporated in the sales catalogue I noticed some of the land near to Fleckney was owned by a Lady Anne Isobella Blount. On further investigation, I believe her to be the daughter of Ada Lovelace of Kirkby Mallory Hall, Leics and the granddaughter of the infamous poet Lord Byron. I wonder if I am correct.

Glyn Hatfield