The Sale of Oatlands - 4 August 1846

We have to hold up our metaphorical hand and admit that we are currently rather confused by this sale as we have not yet discovered enough information to be able to say exactly what happened.

What we have to work with at the moment consists of the entries in the auctioneer's day book for the auction and a single photocopied sheet showing the location of two of the lots on offer. From those and what know of the other auctions, it is possible to infer certain things and draw certain conclusions - but we would much rather have supportable facts.

There were fifteen lots on offer and these were sold as follows:

Lot Purchaser Lot Price Timber Total Paid
1 Thomas Collier £2,500 £35 £2,852
2 James Watts Peppercorne See Lot 14    
3 William Chapman Hewitson £1,350 £131 £1,511
4 James Watts Peppercorne See Lot 14    
5 James Watts Peppercorne See Lot 14    
8 James Watts Peppercorne See Lot 14    
10 John Cox      
11 Richard Mathews      
12 William G Lyle      
13 John Cox      
14 James Watts Peppercorne £6,660 £1,562 £8,222
15 Joseph Ball £260 £57 £317

1846 Sale 2 - Partial PlanJames Watts Peppercorne's total for his purchases was far too low to have included the Oatlands Mansion and, almost certainly, that would have been the first and 'prime' lot of any sale. Therefore it is reaonable to conclude that he had acquired the mansion between the first sale in May 1846 and this one, by means of a private deal.

We know that William Chapman Hewitson lived at "Oatlands", one of the 'big three' houses along the banks of the Broadwater, from about 1848 so that means that Lot 3 (the lot shown on the left of the plan) of this sale equates to the bought-in Lot 37 of the first sale. The land was conveyed on the 17th of April 1847 and comprised "11a  2r, including 1a 3r and 2p covered with water and being part of a lake known as the Broadwater Lake.". As the land included part of the Broadwater Lake, it actually comprised  Lot 37 plus part of the original Lot 1 from the May sale - meaning that when James Watts Peppercorne purchased the mansion, he did not buy all of the original land area being offered.

The more astute reader will have spotted that the total for Hewitson's purchase does not equal the "Lot Price" plus the "Timber Price". According to the auctioneer's day book, he paid an extra £30 for the "Inigo Jones Gate" - this was the oramental gateway after which the Flint Gate pub (now The Alexander) and the old Flint Gate Cottages in Vale Road were named.

Joseph Ball's purchase, Lot 15, was close to the Walton end of Oatlands Drive as shown on the partial plan and that was . This appears to be Lot 47 in the May Sale although that is shown as having been purchased by Thomas Wontner - so that has us confused. The land was later transferred to Charles Anderson. and, some time later, the house built upon the site was named "Springfield".

Until we can locate the 'missing' parts of the plan to work out what each of the lots actually was - and discover what was happening with those that are shown as having been sold but have no value entered against them - we cannot add much more to this.

But we will eventually...
divider-genericWilliam Chapman Hewitson was an eminent British Naturalist. The house was later renamed "Oatlands Mere" when purchased by Mrs Alice Stephenson, following Hewitson's death in May 1878.