Attorney and Banker
Edmund Batten was the youngest of the three sons of lawyer Nathaniel Butler Batten (1712-1784) of Yeovil and Thornfalcon, near Taunton, by his second wife Ann Adams. Certainly by 1745 his father had begun his law practice in Yeovil and in 1772 Edmund was articled to him.
Edmund Batten was, like his father and brothers Robert and Nathaniel, a solicitor and a member of the Inner Temple, London. The Universal British Directory of 1791 listed Edmund Batten as one of the four Yeovil solicitors, the others being Samuel Watts the elder, George Proctor Upton and William Lambert White. He was listed as a subscriber to the Rev. John Collinson’s “The History and Antiquities in the County of Somerset” of 1791 and was listed as a subscriber to William Hull’s “History of the Glove Trade” of 1834. He eventually became a banker in partnership with Sparkes and Baker, solicitors of Crewkerne and Chard. It is most likely that Hollands House was built for him as his residence. Batten owned several properties in Yeovil, including the Sun Inn in Grope Lane (today's Wine Street).
In 1819 Edmund Batten, in conjunction with Samuel Sparkes and Lazarus Baker, took over Charles Hutchins and George Tilley Gollup’s bank, formerly Daniell and Hoskins' bank.
In January 1829 Lazarus Baker died and Samuel Sparkes retired, consequently the partnership was dissolve by mutual consent on 11 May. From this time Edmund Batten’s nephew, John Batten Snr, joined the bank which now became known as Yeovil Old Bank with premises in Hendford next to John Daniell's house, Hendford House, now the Manor Hotel. They issued £1 and £5 notes bearing an engraving of Britannia.
Edmund Batten, like his brothers Nathaniel (who lived in Higher Kingston) and Robert, he practised as a solicitor. He was Clerk to Yeovil Turnpike Trust and became a Town Commissioner in 1830. He was living at Hollands House by 1830 although the 1829 Land Tax Returns noted Peter Daniell as owning Hollands House.
By the time of his death in 1836 Edmund Batten lived at Kingston House. On page 33 of the "Registry of Deaths of Persons Connected with the Unitarian Congregation, Yeovil" was noted in 1836 “Edmund Batten of Kingston House, Yeovil died, January 4th. Buried in Parish Church.”
That Edmund had extensive land holdings was demonstrated by his will in which he left to his nephew, John Batten the Elder, lands that included the manor and advowson of Thornfalcon, as well as vast land holdings in Yeovil, North Petherton, South Petherton, Somerton, Odcombe, Baltonsborough, West Coker, Hardington Mandeville, North Perrott, Queen Camel, West Camel, Ashington and Montacute.
Despite the extensive Batten land holdings, the Batten's didn't actually own the Old Bank. This was situated immediately next door (northeast) of Hendford House (the site is now occupied by a pair of large semi-detached houses) and in the 1846 Tithe Apportionment it was noted that the owner was Rev. Arthur Daniell Johnson (the son-in-law and heir of John Daniell the Younger) and John Batten was simply the occupier. The Apportionment referred to the entry as 'House, Garden & Bank' (Parcel 333) and noted that it measured 0a 1r 16p (for details on historic land measurement - ie acres, roods and perches - click here).
Edmund Batten's entry of 23 September 1772 in the "UK Articles of Clerkship, 1756-1874". The top image is the left-hand page (entry number, name of Clerk, name of Attorney) the second is the right-hand page (articles proved by, date of articles, term, when sworn, when filed and when read in court).
From a document in my collection
From a document in my collection
Edmund Batten's signature and seal on a deed, dated 1807, again for the Sun Inn.
The notice dissolving the partnership of Edmund Batten and Samuel Sparks, published in the Dorset County Chronicle's edition of 14 May 1829.