john batten the younger
Solicitor and Banker of Aldon House
John Batten the younger was born in Yeovil on 17 February 1815, the son of solicitor John Batten the elder. In 1832 he became an articled clerk to his father for a term of five years (see Gallery below). After he qualified as a solicitor he worked with his father in the firm of Batten & Son. In 1829 Edmund Batten's nephew John Batten Snr joined the Batten, Sparks & Co. bank which by this time was known as Yeovil Old Bank. After Edmund Batten's death in 1836, partnership in the bank was John Batten Snr, John Batten Jnr and Henry Butler Batten. By 1846 however, after the death of John Batten Snr, the partners were John Batten Jnr and Henry Butler Batten. In 1849, when it was known as J & HB Batten, the bank was acquired by Stuckey's Banking Co of Langport.
In 1837 John Batten Jnr, Gentleman, was listed in a House of Commons Private Bill concerning Railway Subscription Projects, as an investor in the 'South Western, or Kingsworthy & West Monkton Railway', subscribing £500 (about £54,000 at 2017's value using the 'historic opportunity cost' of an investment project).
In Yeovil on 21 June 1841 John, now qualified as a solicitor, married Grace Eleanor White, some thirteen years his junior. She was the only daughter of the late John White, Esq. of Up Cerne, Dorset, and Fairlee, Isle of Wight (to whose estates she succeeded in 1865). They were to have five children; John Mount (1844-1916), Eleanor Harriet (b1845), Henry Butler (1845-1912), Cicely Alice (b1848) and Herbert Cary George (1849-1926).
The 1846 Tithe Apportionment (see the 1842 Tithe Map below) noted that John Batten (presumably Jnr, since Snr had just died) was the tenant of Parcel 333 (Yeovil Old Bank) and the owner of the buildings was Rev. Arthur Daniell Johnson.
The 1846 poll book shows that John Batten Jnr was living at Kingston House as the owner occupier and also owned freehold houses and land at Belmont. Kingston House had been the home of John's great-uncle Edmund Batten.
By the time of the 1851 census John and Grace were living at Aldon House with their five children, two housemaids and a footman. The situation was all but identical in 1861 but the 1871 census shows John living with his family in Up Cerne House, Dorset. The 1881 census however shows that John had returned to Aldon house where he was living with his son Henry and three servants; a butler, footman and kitchen maid. John listed his occupation as 'Justice of the Peace Somerset & Dorset, Solicitor'. In the 1891 census John, by now aged 76 and a widower, listed his occupation as 'Magistrate & Deputy Lieutenant of Somerset'. He was still living at Aldon with his solicitor son Henry, aged 46 and still unmarried, with a butler, housekeeper, housemaid and a domestic helper.
John Batten Jnr died on 8 November 1900, aged 85. His estate was valued at £40,012 (around £25 million at 2017's value). The bequests in his will are shown in the Gallery.
This is a portion of the 1842 Tithe Map showing West Hendford running across the map from top left to join Hendford which runs up from bottom left. Hendford House is today's Manor Hotel and the Yeovil Old Bank, here marked as Parcel 333, is at centre. Parcel 369 at bottom centre was the Yeovil Old Brewery.
John Batten's Articles of Clerkship to his father of 1832.
An envelope, posted from Dorset in 1846 with a Penny Red stamp, addressed to John Batten Junr. Esq, Solicitor, Yeovil, Somerset,
The report of John Batten's bequests from the 16 April 1901 edition of the Western Daily Press.