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Transcribed by Raymond Johnson

Link to Benjamin Cottrell

RE: Benjamin Cottrell deceased

Report of Mr. M. J. Riley

In accordance with the Instructions of the various Petitioners in the Matter of Louisa Flinn's Trusts, I have during the past month of March taken a journey to Birmingham, and have thence visited the localities of Moseley, King's Norton, and Barnt Green in Worcestershire, for the purpose of making such inquiries as would enable me to judge of what might be the possible interests of the descendants of Benjamin Cottrell or any of them by virtue of the devise in his Will of "Mously Hall Worcestershire." And I now present a Report of my inquiries, and their result.

In the Appendix will be found a full copy of the Papers from which I derived the information supplying the groundwork of my investigation.

Benjamin Cottrell, the Testator, by his Will dated 7th November 1788 made at Serampoor in the East Indies, after giving a quantity of pecuniary legacies (none of which is alleged in Paper No. 1 in the Appendix were ever paid,) bequeathed as follows: --

"I bequeath the house and lands commonly called Mously Hall in Worcestershire and now in possession of my Mother, to my afore mentioned son Joseph Cottrell." The Will was proved at Fort William in Bengal on the 23rd August 1792 by William Hill the Executor, and a duly certified copy of it under the hand of the Under Secretary of State for India can be obtained from the India Office in London. Such a copy has been obtained and is now in the possession of my Firm.

There seems therefore no doubt that Benjamin Cottrell believed himself to be the absolute owner of the property designated by him as "Mously Hall," and if such ownership could now have been established, then it would have been matter for consideration as to what steps should be taken to prove the title of any persons claiming through him by descent or otherwise.

The preliminary points then to which it was necessary to confine my inquiries were, Firstly as to the identity of Mously Hall mentioned in the Will with any property that would still answer to that description; and Secondly, as to the ownership by Benjamin Cottrell of such an estate prior to the year 1788.

Assuming that "Mously Hall" was a mere mis-spelling of "Moseley Hall" the name of a Mansion with a considerable Estate in the Village of that name about 3 miles from Birmingham, and a locality well known to me personally, I began by inquiring at Moseley in whose custody were the Rate Books of the Parish, my object being to ascertain whether Benjamin Cottrell or any person of the same name ever paid rates in respect of the Moseley Hall Estate. The Books I was informed were in the custody of the Rate Collector of Kingís Norton about 4 or 5 miles distant, that being the Parish within which Moseley Village is situated.

I saw the Rate Collector, (Mr. Prichett) and he informed me that the whole of the Books had been destroyed some 30 years ago, as useless, with the exception of one for the year 1780 which he ad preserved.

This Book he produced, and from it, and from him I learned that the Parish of Kingís Norton is divided into four divisions, called "Yields," viz Moundsey Yield, Lea Yield, Moseley Yield, and Headley Yield; that the Moseley Hall Estate was so called and known in 1780 and was in Moseley Yield; that there was an Estate called Moundsley Hall situate in Moundsley Yield, and that there was in the Parish (though I donít remember in what Yield) another Estate called Manuel or Emmanuel Hall. I found from the Rate Book that many members of the Cottrell family (some of whose names will be found in the Pedigree No. 7 in the Appendix) were in 1780 proprietors and occupiers of property in the Parish, and I thought it worth while to take a full Extract from the Rate Book showing precisely what lands were so owned or occupied by them. A copy of such Extract will be found No. 5 in the Appendix. No person however named Cottrell was at that time proprietor or occupier of either of the three Estates of Moseley Hall, Moundsley Hall, or Emmanuel Hall. It will be seen from the Extract alluded to, that in 1780 John Taylor was then proprietor and occupier of Moseley Hall (spelt as it is to this day) that one Folton was the occupier, and Gregory Hicks proprietor of Manuel Hall, and that Thomas Wakeman was occupier, and John Finch proprietor of Moundsley Hall.

The Land owned or occupied by the Cottrell (or Cotterill) family was considerable. Mary Cottrell being rated as occupier of land of a total rateable value per annum of £32.4.8, William Cottrell of land similarly rated at £93.19.5, and Robert of land similarly rated at £98.3.7, while Clement Cottrell was rated as owner of lands of a total Rateable value per annum of £5.17.3, and Thomas Cottrell as owner of land similarly rated at £32.14.8; And having regard to the vast increase upon the value of Land since the date of referred to, there is no doubt that these properties must have been very extensive.

There is however nothing whatever to show that any member of the Cottrell family was ever rated in respect of either Moseley Hall, Moundsley Hall, or Emmanuel Hall, and I can only come to the conclusion that Benjamin Cottrell must have confused some other property in the parish which he believed he had the power to dispose of with either Moseley Hall or Moundsley Hall. It appears from the Letter of John Cottrell written to Joseph Cottrell in 1814, that Benjamin Cottrell was mistaken in the statement that any place called "Monsly Hall" was ever occupied by his Mother. John Cottrell says that the Mother of Benjamin Cottrell never lived at Moseley Hall, but at Emmanuel Hall, some distance off. It appears to me probable that Benjamin Cottrell knowing that his Mother did live at some Hall in or near the Village of Moseley, where he seems himself to have been brought up as a Child, jumped at the conclusion that it must be Moseley Hall, and it is very possible that having some remembrance of "Moundsley Hall" in the same locality, he spelt what he intended to designate as "Moseley" Hall in something like the same fashion.

I pursued my inquiries in several other directions seeking to ascertain from the Agent of Lord Windsor, (Mr. Partridge of Barnt Green Worcestershire) the present holder of the Tithes under the Dean and Chapter of Worcester, whether any person named Cottrell had ever paid Tithes for any of the properties above mentioned; but his Books only went back to 1811, at which time Tithe was paid in respect of Moseley Hall by Mr. Taylor. I was referred by Mr. Partridge to the Dean and Chapter of Worcester and I applied to them for information as to payment of Tithes between 1750 and 1780, but without success, they not having in their Books any Memoranda as to the persons paying Tithes, except the entry of gross sums received from the persons to whom they were leased for the time being. I then applied to the Land Tax Office in London to see if any person named Cottrell had been assessed for Land Tax in respect of Moseley Hall, prior to 1780, and on being referred to the present Clerk (Mr. Partridge of Alvechurch) I am informed by him that he has no earlier Assessment Books than those of 1838.

Having been referred to Mr. Horton of Birmingham, a Solicitor, I called on him, and after stating the object of my enquiries he informed me that his Firm (Best & Horton) had until recent years acted as Solicitors for the Taylor family and that their title to the Moseley Hall Estate had frequently been disputed but that such disputes raised by members of a family named Griffiths, from whom the Taylors had acquired the Estate prior to 1750. It has continued in the possession of the same family ever since.

I therefore feel assured that Moseley Hall, properly so called, never was the property of Benjamin Cottrell or within his control, and though there may have been property of some magnitude in Moseley in the possession of his Mother, (and which may possibly have been Manuel Hall or Emmanuel Hall as it is called in John Cottrellís Letter) over which he had a disposing power, yet that as he has mis-described it in his Will, and that Will is the only document in the power of the Cottrells as a root of Title, it is impossible by reason of that mis-description (and irrespective of all the legal difficulties that would lie in the way if the identity of the property could be established) to take any advantage by virtue of the bequest.

For the satisfaction of the family I have filled up the Pedigree as far as I could from an inspection of the Registers in Moseley Church, and of the Tombtones in Kingís Norton Churchyard, in which Parish, as well as in Birmingham, the family seems to have held a good position during the whole of the 17th and 18th Centuries.

Moreton John Riley

3rd April 1878

7 Lancaster Place



No. 1

Will of Benjamin Cottrell

In the Name of God Amen, I Benjamin Cottrell now at Serampoor being in bodily health and of sound and disposing Memory and considering the Evil Dangers and other uncertainties of this transitory Life do (for avoiding Controversies after my decease) make publish and declare that this my last Will and Testament in manner following that is to say First I recommend my Soul to God that gave it and my Body I commit to the Earth or Sea as it shall please God to order and for concerning All my worldly estate, I give bequeath and dispose thereof as followeth that is to say First I will that all my just debts and funeral charges be paid and discharged by my Executors herinafter named.

I bequeath to my beloved Wife Margaret Cottrell the sum of Two Thousand Pounds Sterling to be paid her directly after my Decease, I bequeath to my beloved Son Joseph Cottrell the sum of Two thousand four hundred pounds Sterling which is to be loged in safe hands until he arrives to the age of Twenty one years the yearly Interest thereof to be expended on his Education. I bequeath to my eldest beloved Daughter Anna Cottrell the sum of Two thousand Pounds Sterling to be payed her on the Day of her Marriage or when she arrives to the age of Twenty one years the yearly Interest thereof to be expended on her Education I bequeath to my youngest beloved Daughter Fanny Cottrell likewise the sum of Two thousand Pounds sterling to be paid by her on her Marriage Day or at the age of Twenty one years the interest thereof to be expended on her Education. I bequeath to my beloved Brother Thomas Cottrell the sum of Six hundred pounds Sterling to be payed him directly after my Decease.

I bequeath to my beloved Brother William Cottrell the sum of Six hundred pounds Sterling to be payed him directly after my Decease I bequeath to my trusty and faithful Servant John Hall the sum of One hundred and fifty pounds Sterling to be payed him directly after my Decease. I bequeath likewise to my Old Servant Maid Elinor Taylor the sum of One hundred and fifty pounds Sterling to be payed her directly after my Decease. I bequeath to my Cousin Anna Peak at Birmingham the sum of Five hundred pounds sterling to be paid her in ten months after my Decease. I bequeath to my Nephew Joseph Roe at Halsowen in Worcestershire, the sum of Five hundred pounds Sterling half of which is to be payed him directly and the other half with the Interest thereof in three years after my decease. I bequeath to my Cousin John Baylies at Broomsgrove in Worcestershire the sum of Four hundred and ninety nine pounds nineteen shillings Sterling to be payed him with the Interest thereof in one year after my decease I bequeath to my Cousin John Roach of Chester the sum of One shilling and a penny likewise to my Cousin John Mitchel at Dover one shilling and a penny to be payed him on demand.

I bequeath the House and Lands commonly called Mously Hall in Worcestershire and now in possession of my Mother to my aforementioned Son Joseph Cottrell, my Plate, Jewels trinkets etc are to be equally divided amongst my Wife and Children in my House in Paradise Street London together with the furniture thereof and every other thing belonging to me is to be sold for the benefit of my Wife and Children if my Executor finds it for good And I do hereby nominate and appoint William Hill Esqre. Of the Town of Calcutta Physician as Executor of this my Last Will and Testament hereby revoking all former and other Wills and Testaments and Deeds of Gifts by me at any time heretofor made and I do ordain and ratify these Presents to stand and be for and as my only Last Will and Testament. In witness whereof to this my said Will, I have set my hand and Seal the 7th day of November in the year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and eighty eight.

(signed) Benjm Cottrell
Signed, Sealed, Published
And declared where no stamps are in use in the presence of
(signed) Richd. Mathews
A true copy carefully collated by me with the Original remaining in the Registry of the Supreme Court of Judicature at Fort William in Bengal
(signed) Wm. Jackson
Registr & Not. Pub.
I attest the above to be a true copy
(signed) William Hill
This Will was received by the Widow of Benjamin Cottrell the 10th January 1794)
(A copy of the same was received the 10th January 1793 and directed to Mr. Mackie
(Post Paid)
Butt Lane
(By Feversham)
10 Jany 1793)

No. 2

(left margin): The whole of which appears to be in the handwriting of George Louis Cottrell
Fort Royal, Martinique
25th September 1813

My Dear Uncle,

After a lapse of so many years without addressing the Brothers of my dear Father, you will no doubt be much surprised at the receipt of a letter from a Nephew who you have just reason to doubt existed. The very early time of Life however at which I left my native Land, the various Scenes I have been witness to and above all the Ignorance I was in of the part of England where you resided (not having until very lately in my Possession a single paper of my poor Father) will I trust plead my excuse and as I pray God it may prove that you are still alive and well. I hope from this expose of facts, you will see just cause to pardon my silence and that in future I may have the pleasure of hearing from you occasionally as well as from other dear Relatives of my poor Father.

It was only some months ago that my only remaining Sister lately married to Captain Groombridge of H. M. 63rd Regt. of Foot, handing me over Sundry Papers of my Father and amongst others a Copy of his Will. I was then enabled to trace tolerably near your Place of Residence.

My situation in Life, I am proud to say is most respectable. I hold 3 Public Situations here and am preparing to quit the West Indies in a year or two at furthest. I have 2 Dear Boys already in England at School at Plumstead near Shooters Hill in Kent, I have already had the misfortune to lose more than one dear Infant, but my dear Mary will I trust very shortly give me a third. Is my poor dear Grand mother yet living? If so pray present my most dutiful and affectionate regard, as well as for my dear Wife, and accept the same I pray yourself, your Family (if any) as well as to every oen of our relations. Their several addresses, but particularly my Grandmotherís, will most essentially oblige me.

Waiting for the pleasure of hearing from you which I trust may be by an early opportunity.

I am most affectionally
My Dear Uncle
Your devoted and very dutiful Nephew
(signed) Jos Cottrell
N. B. Pray direct for me as comptroller of H. M. Customs, Fort Royal and trinité Martinique
(signed) J. C.
P. S. I have wrote several letters both to yourself, as well as to my Uncle Thomas before, without a syllable until this. Is it possible that so it is?

7th March 1814
(signed) J. Cottrell
(N.B.) This letter was directed to (1d) date 25th May
William Cottrell Esqre. (2nd) 1813
Kings Health (near)
Pr Packet
And was returned by the Secretary of the General Post Office, by his letter the 29th of June 1814 address to Jos Cottrell Esqre.
(as follows)
Genearl Post Office
29 June 1814


The enclosed letter not having been delivered for the reason assigned thereon was opened here by the Officer appointed by His Majestyís Postmaster General for that purpose, and is now returned to you as the Writer on payment of the Postage –

I am, Sir
Your obedient Servant
(signed) Francis Freeling Sec 7
(N.B.) On the back is written
Returned Letter
Jos. Cottrell Esqre.
Comptroller fo H. M. Customs
Fort Royal & trinité
Returned Letter Office


My dear Cousin

Your letter of the 9th of August came safe to hand. It afforded me great pleasure to hear of your welfare and the welfare of your family as it is your wish to be made acquainted with a few particulars relating to your family and connections. I have endeavoured to collect the most accurate informations and have followed your example in arranging my matter under distinct particulars; I wish it had been in my power to send you more extensive details of interesting circumstances not doubting but while at such a distance from your native Country and relations every little circumstance must be pleasing. I hope this letter will find you and yours in good health and should you live to return to England I hope to be favoured with a personal interview with you. In replying to your particular inquiries, I remark, 1st My Fatherís name was Thomas Cottrell and was the eldest son of the Family. 2nd I have no Uncle living now; my Uncle Robert Cottrell did live at a place called Row Health near Kingsheath has been dead about 2 years since. 3rd Kingshealth is about 4 miles from Birmingham I have a sister married and lives on the same place where some of our Uncles were born if our Fathers were not. 4th Our dear Grandmother died at our Uncle Roberts about 12 years since and my poor dear Father died many years before her. 5th Our Grandmother did not live at Mosley Hall it was at Emmanuel Hall which at that time belonged to one Mr. Harding a Roman Catholic and now belongs to one Mr. Hicks, Justice of Peace, who lives at the sadi place about 2 miles from Mosely Hall where one John Taylor Esq lives or at least the Family that is left the said John Taylor Esq. died within this last year; 6th I donít know that we have any relations of the name in London or thereabouts. Lastly you wished to be informed if I know one Mr. Obadiah Wishwood. I do not know him, I have been informed that there was such a person a factor lived in Birmingham a few years since which I have been informed that he lives towards Sheffield.

My dear Friend you wished to be informed where you and your dear Parents were at some years ago, it was at a Mr. Clemment Cottrell Kingís Health our Fatherís Uncle, him and his Wife and Daughter are dead, only one Son now living in Birmingham, one John Cottrell. We should be glad to hear from your dear Children as you mentioned that there is little chance of us seeing them. I wrote 3 letters to Bromley in Kent before I received this last letter from you. I received an answer from the Master of the School to say that he had not received the young gents for there was a change of plan.

I hope these particular will prove satisfactory they tend to show us what was a changing World – this is the place which knows us now will soon know us no more for ever. Others may enquire after us as we now do them. Accept our very best wishes and regard to you and your dear Wife and Son. What was not stated to your satisfaction be kind enough to send an answer. I will do all in my power to make it so. I often think of my Friends all being dead, not to have one Uncle, only two first Cousins of my Fathers name, till I happily receive your letter and the John Cottrell, Mr. Clemments Son a second Cousin which is not inclined to marry, but we the small number which is left being blessed with some young branches will be enabled to support the name of the Original. If the Lord give them leave, so to do, which I hope he will and his spirit to lead and guide them and us all. I hope we shall hear from you as soon as possible as you have seen and accepted the indifferent writing therefore I need not make any apology about it so we conclude with being your ever loving and well wishers I hope till death

(signed) John & Elizabeth Cottrell
(N. B. This letter was directed to
Joseph Cottrell Esqre.

27 Oct

Fort Royal,
West India

(Left Margin):The original of which this appears to be a copy was in the hands of Messrs. Crosse Sons & Riley, and was returned by them to from who they received it.

The late Benjamin Cottrell formerly Purser of the Lord Campden, East Indiaman previous to the year 1788 quitted the service and settled as a free Merchant, it is supposed, at Calcutta in the East Indies.

He married contrary to the wishes of his Family a Miss Lucas of Feversham in Kent by whom he had three children. Joseph, now proprietor of an Estate in Martinique and his two Daughters Ann married the late Lieut: John Flinn of the Royal Navy and Frances Elizabeth married Captn Groombridge of the 63rd Regt. now residing at Dodbrook or Kingsbridge near Plymouth.

Joseph Cottrell quitted England in the 1793 and settled in Martinique.

He never received any accounts of his Family or of their concerns until the year 1813 when his Sister Frances came to Martinique and brought with her a copy of their Fathers Will dated at Serampoor in the East Indies on the 7th day of November 1788.

It is supposed that Benjamin Cottrell died in the year 1793 as there is a Memorandum in the handwriting of the Widow who remained in England in these words "Received the 10th January 1794."

By that Will, copy of which is annexed, it is supposed that Benjamin Cottrell must have died rich for he left near £10,000 S.S. in Legacies – But what became of the Fortune is not known none of the Children received any part of their Legacies; it is not known whether his Widow received any part as all the Family Papers have never been seen by the Children. Mrs. Cottrell it is supposed died in the year.

Mr. Mackay formerly of the Navy married a Sister of Mrs. Cottrell and he lived at Butt Lane, Deptford. Mrs. Cottrill died it is said at his house. He now lives, it is said, at Guersney but this can be ascertained in application to the Brother Mr. Lucas who lives at Feversham in Kent formerly a Taylor and Draper, but who has left off business after having amassed riches.

Independent of the considerable Legacies left by the Will it will be seen that Benjamin Cottrell bequeathed the House and Lands commonly called Mousley Hall in Worcestershire then in the possession of his Mother to his Son Joseph Cottrell. Joseph who it is stated quitted England very young and has never returned there, has a recollection of being on the Estate and of his seeing his Fathers Brothers Thomas and William as mentioned in the Will.

Joseph Cottrell on receiving the copy of his Fathers Will wrote to both his Uncles for information in the year 1813 and not hearing from them he sent a duplicate in the year 1814 addressed to his Uncle William at Kingshealth but it will appear by the letter from the Post Office that he received the letter but refused taking it. Copy of the letter is annexed.

Mr. Joseph Cottrell being now totally ignorant of what has become of the Property left by his Father in India and into whose hands the Estate fo Mousley Hall is now committed.

This is an important object of investigation for the interest of the Family.

By the copy of the Will annexed it will be seen that it is recorded in the Registry of the Supreme Court at Fort William in Bengal. It will be seen that one William Hill of the Town of Calcutta, a Physician was left the Sole Executor and he transmitted to the Widow a copy of the Will certified in the following manner "I attest the above to be a true copy" (signed) "William Hill"

It is most important to ascertain where this William Hill is at present in order that he may be called upon to account for his Executorship, as none of the children have received any part of the Legacies.

It is not known whether Thomas and William Cottrell the Brothers of the deceased received their Legacies.

An application to the India House or to one of the Old established India Houses, will probably give some information relative to this William Hill so as to enable some information to be obtained. If no information can be obtained in England, letters should be written to Calcutta on the subject and particularly to obtain a certified Copy of the Will.

But it is most important immediately to ascertain the situation of the property of Mousley Hall in Worcestershire left to Joseph Cottrell.

On reference to Patersonís Roads Book printed in the year 18ll Page 330 it will be seen that Mousley Hall is the place in question is situated between Bonn Bridge and Birmingham and is stated to be in the possession of I. Taylor Esq.

How it came into his possession is the question? Enquiries should be made after the Brothers Thomas and William Cottrell of the late Benjamin.

Joseph Cottrell recollects that one Sir Obadiah Westwood of Birmingham was a friend of the late Benjamin Cottrell as was also N. Smith Esq. one of the India Directors, M. P. for Rochester.

Captain Groombridge Brother in Law of Mr. Cottrell at Dodbrook or Kingsbridge near Plymouth, may give some information about the family papers and the property, application should also be made to the Lucas family at Feversham in Kent. If Mr. Mackay can be found he also may give information.

As the Brothers of the late Benjamin Cottrell refused receiving Mr. Joseph Cottrells letters, they me be costive in giving information and perhaps they may have got possession of the Property of Mousley Hall.

But considerable information may be obtained from the Lucas family at Feversham in Kent.

It is supposed that Benjamin Cottrell was nearly allied to the family of the late Sir Stephe Cottrell but owning to his marriage into the Lucas family they became dissatisfied with his conduct.

Mr. Joseph Cottrellís Mother it is supposed died in the year 1799.

It will be seen by the Will that a House in Paradise Street London was to be sold and divided amongst his Wife and Children.

The Lucas family can perhaps state where this house was and what became of it.

(N.B. By this document (4th) It will be seen that Mr. Jos. Cottrell was occupying himself about the Business, but what resulted from this is not known by his Widow nor do we his children know who furnished him with these Notes.

The following queries and remarks are made by me the undersigned and one of the Children of Joseph Cottrell.

N.B. Since Benjamin Cottrell was Purser of an East Indiaman, the Lord Campden previous to the year 1788 some tracks ought to be found concerning him his Birth his age place of birth his fortune whether he was the oldest or youngest Son in short something concerning him upon his entering H. M. Service on the East India Companys and upon his leaving it. Since he quitted the Service and settled as a free Merchant what became of him? Where did he die? In what year? And did he leave any debts, and were they paid? By whom and how?

It appears that my Grandfatherís marriage with a Miss Lucas was not agreeable to his family – perhaps it was in consequence of this that my Fathers Relations would never put him upon the track of his Fortune.

Should the children be responsible for their Parents faults?

The Widow of Captn Groombridge who put the Copy of the Will into my Fatherís hands might and could tell if she would from whom she had it. She resides at present at St. Heliers Jersey.

With the Legacies amounting to more than £11.400 S.S. that ought to have been paid at my Grandfathers decease not counting his funeral expenses and his debts. Is it possible that a man who possessed nothing could imagine to leave legacies payable in Cash? And is it possible that no one has ever received the whole or a part thereof? What has become of the Jewels plate etc etc left by Benjamin Cottrell and the house and furniture in Paradise Street?

It is to be asked who took possession of Mousley Hall after the death of Mrs. Cottrell? and what became of the fortune? and if she did make a Will and in whose favor? The Lucas family ought assuredly to know something about this.

It is to be enquired about what has become of William Hill (or his family) to whom was left the sole Executorship of the Will he or they ought in his or their quality to have given an account of his or their administration to some one. If he is dead he ought to have left an heir or a successor of some kind.

In Patersons Roads Book of 1811 page 330 I see I. Taylor Esq. proprietor of Mousley Hall, from whom bought he the Estate? when and by what right and where are his Titles? if he was realy Proprietor of the Estate.

St. Pierre Myque 26th July 1848
Geo. L. Cottrell

No. 3

(note in left margin): The original of this was in possession of Messrs. Crosse Sons & Riley, and returned by them to from whom they received it.

Lincolns Inn, London
1st May 1852

Dear George Cottrell,

A few days ago I received your letter of the 16th of March. What the date of the last you received from me may be I cannot pretend to remember but I think it cannot be much less than 20 years since and sure am I that I have heard nothing of you directly or indirectly from that time to this which is the more astonishing as I believe that at any time within the last 20 years a letter addressed to me simply "London" with or without the quaint designation of "Attorney at Law" which you bestow upon me would have found me to a certainty. However there are fatalities and miscarriages in correspondence as well as in other things.

Althoí I presume I cannot congratulate you upon exchanging the tropical luxury of Martinique for the fields of Kentucky I must be allowed to congratulate you on your patriarchal honors. Nous Autres we English with our notions of Independence and the stern struggle for it are obliged to be more patient. I have been married not quite 6 years and thoí I have four children already I am still far as you from the dignity of Grandfather.

And now as you say to the principal object of your letter. I have received no one of the documents you mention to have sent to me concerning Mosely Hall. I remember you speaking of that property in connection with your family and I remember a little experienced as I then was pointing out the improbability of your having any substantial claim and the difficulty if you ever had any rights of your following that up effectually after so great a delay.

My present greater experience does not lead me to alter my notion of that improbability and of that difficulty, nevertheless if you will state your case and let me have copies of any documents you rely upon I will consider the matter attentively and tell you what I think of it and help you if I can.

It is nothing to the purpose that your Grandfather should have had a large property – he had power to dispose of it by Will and I collect by your mentioning his Will that he did so – let me see a copy of the Will and explain to me as clearly as you can how it is that you suppose your father to have had any interest in Mousley Hall either under your Grandfathers Will or otherwise.

Your Grandfather Lord Cadogan (whether as more probable you mean the late Lord or the present) will be little able to assist you in the matters of Law. Our tribunals are inaccessible to private influences of any kind. If you have rights and they are properly prosecuted you will succeed otherwise not.

I cannot help smiling at your injunction that I should find out where Saul & Hy Pindar are living – within a radius of 10 miles from the London Post Office we are not nearly 3 millions of Souls and no man knows or cares who his next door neighbor may be. Before I close this letter I will refer to all the Guides & Directories within my reach and what information if any they give me I will give you. I have neither seen nor heard anything of these persons for more than 20 years.

With every good wish
I remain
Dear George Cottrell
Very truly Yours
Fredk. Gwatkin

A century ago men in my profession used to be styled "Attorney at Law." We are now addressed by the style commonly used for educated persons in the rank of Gentleman following liberal pursuits. I find nothing in the Guides or Directories about Mr. Saul or Mr. Pinder.

Geo. L. Cottrell Esq.

No. 4

The Original of this was in possession of Messrs Crosse Sons & Riley who returned it to from whom they received it.

Henrietta Street
Covt. Garden
April 16th 1852


In reference to the letter from Mr. Cottrell I have to inform your excellency that the enclosures alluded to for the Earl of Cadogan & Mr. Gwatkin have been delivered by my Clerk at their respective residences viz that for Lord Cadogan at 39 Chesham Place and that for Mr. Gwatkin at 9 New Square Lincolns Inn.

I am Sir
Your Excellancys
Obedient Servant
John Miller
His Excellency
Abbot Lawrence
Etc etc etc

No. 5

Extract from Assessment of Parish of Kings Norton for 1780
Produced by Mr. Pritchett, Rate Collector
Moundsley Yield
No.OccupierProprietorsSituationNames of EstatesRateable Value
106Cotterill, MaryTaylor, SamuelHighters HealthBuilding Malthouse and land.2528
   dittoAn Allotment2126
 dittoLord of Manordittoditto-10-
135Cotterill, WilliamLady Betty ArcherKing Stich FarmBuilding & Land931411
  dittoFowl LakeAllotment-46
207Cotterill, MaryLord of ManorHighter HealthAllotment3196
32PoltonHicks, GregoryManuel HallBuilding & Land13316
33Wakeman, ThosFinch, JohnMoundsley HallBuilding & Land106610
Moseley Yield
174Allen, ThomasCotterill Thos.CornerBuilding & land1188
 Avery, JosephTaylor, JohnKings HealthAllotment25--
69Cotterill, RobtJonesKings HealthBuilding & land82116
  Lord of Manordittoditto115-
193  dittoBuilding & land9153
95Cotterill, Clemensand ProprietordittoBuilding & Allotment310-
  Moseley ChapeldittoAllotment273
191Cotterill, Thosand ProprietordittoBuilding and land28133
82Cotterill, Thosand ProprietordittoAllotment229
4JohnTaylor John Esq.Moseley Swan FarmBuilding & land11152
80Taylor, John Esq.and ProprietorMoseley HallBuilding & land171136

No. 6

Table produced by William Pritchett Rate Collector of Overseers of Poor of Parish of Kingís Norton –beginning 1765
1782Moundsley yield (the Parish being in 4 yields, this being the adjoining yield to Moseley)William Cottrill
1766Lea yield (now merged in Moseley yield)Thomas Cottrill
1767Moseley yieldRobert Cottrill
1777Moseley yieldRobert Cottrill
1788Moseley yieldClement Cottrill
1814Headley yieldJohn Cotterill

Link to Benjamin Cottrell

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