The Sale of Oatlands - 30 June 1829
If the contemporary press reports of this sale were correct then it would be a simple matter to detail this sale, sadly they are very, very wrong, though they are have regularly been quoted as a source of 'historical fact' within various publications over many years.
These reports appeared in newspapers covering the length and breath of the country and also in one or two overseas titles and often bore a 'by-line' reading "From an evening newspaper".
We have not yet traced this original report with any certainty but it was most probably a reference to the late edition of one of the local daily newspapers.
According to these press articles, the entire Oatlands Estate was successfully sold by Messrs Driver at the Auction Mart on the 30th of June - in reality only nine of the twenty-nine lots on offer met with a buyer. Of the others, two were withdrawn prior to the sale and the remaining eighteen failed to meet their reserve price and were 'Bought-In'.
Edward Hughes Ball Hughes was hoping that the sale would realise at least £124,790 based upon the reserve prices, sadly for him (and unfortunately for his creditors) the actual figure was a rather lowly £40,730, less than a third of the amount expected.
It is not clear exactly which lot numbers relate to which portions of the estate as the only sale catalogue we have so far encountered is a 'printer's proof' which shows the 3,283 acres estate and the manors divided into 21 lots, rather than the 29 that were actually offered for sale by Messrs Driver. the auctioneers.
Driver's account for the sale, as submitted to Hughes' solicitors, Messrs Freere & Forster confirms the number of lots, the names of the purchasers and the amounts paid.
|Lot No.||Reserve Price||Purchase Price||Purchaser|
|20||10,000||0||0||10,050||0||0||Lord king, 58 Dover Street|
|21||11,500||0||0||12,000||0||0||Lord king, 58 Dover Street|
|26||5,600||0||0||5,650||0||0||Mr.J.S.Hulbert, High Street, Portsmouth|
|27||4,600||0||0||4,800||0||0||Mr.J.S.Hulbert, High Street, Portsmouth|
We are confident that lot 1 was the Mansion and its 708 acres including the Grotto, Lot 2 was likely to have been St George's Hill and lots 20 and 21 almost certainly included Brooklands Farm but anything more than that, until we can locate an actual sale catalogue, the plan or some other clear evidence, would be little more than speculation on our part as checking against lots offered at the later sales fails to produce a clear result.
Prior to this auction there was at least one advertisement for something which, if it had sailed to find a buyer, may have been included in the final list of lots offered by Messrs Driver and there is a letter, dated 28th April 1829, within the collections at Surrey History Centre from a Mr Thomas Hatch, in which he suggests exchanging 65 acres of land "apportioned to their Vicarage" (though it is currently unclear who "they" were) which is situated "adjoining to Mr Hughes' property at St George's Hill" for "a few acres of meadow land adjoining the River Thames".
The mansion was offered for lease subsequent to the auction and was rented for a period of seven years from 1830 by Lord Francis Leverson Gower (he bacame known as Lord Francis Egerton by royal licence from 1833) and this was renewed for a further seven years when it expired. In 1846 he was elevated to the peerage as Viscount Brackley, and Earl of Ellesmere.