Weeke local History - Burnett Family


Burnett Family

William Burnett had arrived in Winchester in the early 1800s and is described as a ‘carter’. William had married Martha (unknown maiden name) probably just before he arrived in Winchester. It is unclear where they had come from, it maybe from London and maybe had a small amount of capital and William started a business in Winchester.

He leased a building in Upper Brook Street in 1809 to house a ‘waggoner’. He started a transport business probably initially transporting goods but moved into passengers and developed a number of stage coach routes to other towns in Hampshire and later provided a service to London.

His lease for the building in Upper Brook Street came up for renewal in 1819 and he leased it again and was referred to as a ‘gentleman’. He had obviously been very successful and was well established in Winchester. He and his wife Martha had to daughters, Mary and Martha Eliza. Mary, who was christened in 08/05/1814 at St Maurice church, Winchester and Martha Eliza was christened in St Mary Kalendar.

By 1820 William and his family were living in the mansion in Weeke. Sometime later in the 1820s or early 1830s William the very astute business man sold his business. It was not many years after the sale that the railway line came to Winchester and turned the stagecoach business into a dwindling business and reduced the business to transport to and from the nearest station.

With his fortune William acted as a financial resource for other businesses and he funded many mortgages in Winchester and Southampton as well as many outright purchases of buildings in the two towns.

He also took over many of the leases that were part of Elizabeth Long Hollis (formerly Godwin), in Weeke.

William and Martha had two daughters Mary, who was christened 08/05/1814 at St Maurice church, Winchester and Martha Eliza who was also christened at St Maurice on 27/06/1815. Both girls were married in St Matthews church, Martha Eliza married Reverend Thomas Fielder Woodham on 8/12/1832 (he became Rector of Farley Chamberlain in 1850 until his death 1902) and Mary married Thomas Hitchcock on 10/09/1833. Thomas was training to be a doctor in London.

William’s wife Martha died in September 1836 at an age of 50 and is buried in St Mathews Church in Weeke, opposite Weeke Manor.

William’s mother must have come to Winchester, presumably after William’s father had died, she lived in Upper Brook Street. She died at an age of 86 and she was buried in St Mathews Church in June 1837.

William continued to live at Weeke Manor after his daughters had left and his wife and mother died. He continued to lend money and invest in properties. Suddenly, in 1842 William died with no will and complex investments.

As there was no will application had to be made to Chancery to resolve the allocation of his assets. This took many months to resolve and the assets were divided between the two daughters. Amongst other assets Mary was allocated Weeke Manor. Mary and her husband Thomas and their son, Thomas Burnett Hitchcock born 1845 in Stoke Newington, London were still living in London and her husband was at a hospital in London.

Release 1.0 last update 03/04/19

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