I was pleased to find Alfred
your record. He was a Trustee of the Piggott Trust, was described
as 'Of Woodroyde, Halifax' and had received his knighthood on 18
Another Trustee was Sir
John Francis ROTTON QC.
He received his knighthood on 30 June 1899 for having been legal officer
to the Local Government Board. I haven't yet worked out where he fitted
in to the family. Jane
only one brother as far as the High Wycombe baptismal records go. John
Rotton, born 19 November 1772, baptized 1 January 73. Sir John F Rotton
could be a son or a grandson of his. All the other children of Samuel
ROTTON and Sarah SWAIN were
girls: Sarah baptized 31 December 1771, Jane born 21 July 1778 - who
eventually married Solomon
Mary born 1 March 1780 and Elizabeth born 14 September 1775. In a letter
of 6 January 1917 to my grandmother Agnes Helen (Royston Pigott) Tulloch,
Henry Edgeworth Bicknell Arnold relates some amusing anecdotes. " I
hope that the information which has come to me from an unknown source
does not malign too severely the conduct of Mr Soloman Piggott: and I
trust that you will not be vexed at my sending it on. If I have been
misinformed, you will correct me."
He attaches a sheet with the following text:
"Rotton Family Jane Rotton was one of four daughters. The
family lived a secluded life at High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire UK, and
were rather exclusive in their relations with their neighbours.
Consequently all four daughters made, at different times, runaway marriages.
The worst girl of the lot was Jane! She was the eldest and the ringleader
of all the mischief.
Her mother locked her up for a week in her room, because she would visit
at the Vicarage and attend daily service at the Church. It was in the
days of the early Tractarian movement and and the Vicar was rather High.
One day Jane got up early in the morning as if
going to early service. On her quiet and demure return, her mother
casually remarked that she heard the church bells ringing as if for
a wedding. 'For my marriage',
said her daughter, by this time Mrs Samuel Pigott. 'Then you may
leave my house at once', retorted her mother, 'I completely
wash my hands of so ungrateful and deceitful a daughter.' Ultimately
mother and daughter were reconciled. Old Mrs Rotton became great friends
with her grandson-inlaw, Frederick Arnold, whom she invited to share
her grave with her. 'I like you, Mr Arnold',
she said 'and you shall
be buried in my grave.' Another of the daughters ran away and married
a wealthy brewer.
She felt the degradation of 'trade' very keenly:
and, on a friend endeavouring to console her by saying that there were 'brewers
and brewers' she
replied with long-drawn emphasis, 'I do not understand the g-r-a-d-e-s
Her portrait is extant."
Unfortunately, this last story seems inherently unlikely as the parish
register seems to show there was only one family of Rottons in the parish
and The Universal British Directory for High Wycombe (1794) shows Jane's
father Samuel as a 'Laceman and Wedgemaker to Government'. A laceman
was an entrepreneur who employed home workers to make lace from materials
the laceman provided. What a wedgemaker did - and how it fitted in with
lace manufacture - is a mystery to me. The only wedges I can think of
that the government might have needed are those used to control the elevation
of naval (and presumably other) guns.
Jane ROTTON's parents were Samuel ROTTON and Sarah SWAIN. There is a
marriage at St Paul's, Covent Garden on 18 April 1770 between a Samuel
ROTTON and Sarah SWAIN. It's the only possibility I've found so far.
A Samuel ROTTON, son of John and Joan ROTTON was baptized at Bushbury
Staffs on 26 June 1737. A possibility?
The entry in the High Wycombe parish register for Jane ROTTON's marriage
to Solomon PIGGOTT shows them as both of the parish.
The Minister was W P? Williams BA and the witnesses are Jane's sister
Mary, Elizabeth Williams (presumably the Minister's wife) and Henry Alnutt
(according to the Directory one of the local landowning gentry). Perhaps
Williams was a curate or a relation of one of the parties as the vicar
at the time was James Price. It doesn't look particularly like a clandestine
marriage. It was by licence instead of banns - but that was quite common.
On the other hand old Mrs Rotton (who was called Sarah) didn't sign as
By the way, there's a family tree, mainly of Arnolds, with the letter.
It shows Charles
Comber ARNOLD as
dying in 1913 and having three children: Ruth ARNOLD born 1891, Alfred
Huntriss ARNOLD born 1892 and Catherine Comber ARNOLD born 1896. Perhaps
you do want to know that the parents of Frederick
Rector of Brimington, who died 1873, were Charles
ARNOLD (died 1812)
and Mary BICKNELL.
I haven't yet worked out who were the Rev T PIGGOTT AM minister of St
Helen's, Lancashire UK, Richard ROTTON of Hammersmith, London UK and
Mr ROTTON of Dorrington Street, Clerkenwell, London UK. These three are
among the subscribers listed in The Reflector, or Christian Advocate
published in 1824 by the Rev Solomon PIGGOTT. I presume they were family.
The descendants of Violet
HAUGHTON JAMES (nee ROYSTON-PIGOTT) and Monty
HAUGHTON JAMES [are not yet researched.]
Roddy Tulloch email@example.com 12 April 2001.