Dictionary of Family Biography – John Cutler
John Cutler (27 Nov 1794 – 16 Mar 1843) was born in Sherborne, Dorset, the son of the Reverend John Cutler and his wife Sarah Elizabeth Guise. He was their fifth child, of 10, 8 sons and two daughters. His father was headmaster of Sherborne Grammar School, and it is assumed that he received his education there. Two of his brothers Richard and George appear in the school registers as students, but it can be assumed that the other boys also received a similar education, one of the perks of being the son of the headmaster.
By 1811 John appears on the list of clerks under the Clerk of the Ordnance – as an assistant clerk. A note in the document which lists him states that he is not paid as a clerk, being an officer in Tower Hamlets Militia, with leave. John’s job was at the Tower of London, and the Clerk of the Ordnance was responsible for the purchasing of supplies for the military. It is not clear whether or not this was an apprenticed position, but it seems likely. By 1824, at the time of his marriage he was a clerk in the Ordnance Office (although not THE Clerk of the Ordnance), and was styling himself as a gentleman.
A number of records state that John Cutler was from Eton, which was somewhat confusing while researching his life. At first when it was confirmed that he was the son of the Reverend John Cutler, it was that that this was a mere affectation, connecting him to a rather posh town, where his father was born. But save for a short spell in the early 1840s he did not actually appear to live there. It seems though that he came to own a fair amount of property there as heir to his uncle William Henry Cutler, who himself had inherited the Windsor Waterworks from his father Roger Cutler. This inherited wealth no doubt contributed to his advancement as a ‘gentleman’, although he appears to have continued to work for the Ordnance office. He first appears on Eton’s electoral rolls in 1831.
In 1824 he married Louisa Freak, the daughter of Thomas Freak, Esq. and Elizabeth Walters. Freak was a very successful shipbreaker in Greenwich. In it unclear as to how the couple met, as their homes and social circles seem vastly disparate.
They moved to Camberwell, south of London. The area, at the time, was considered an up and coming neighbourhood with the construction of some new town homes on the New Road. The area otherwise seems to have been slightly rural, but connected by road and bridge to London. The couple had five children: Elizabeth (1828-1915), Fanny (1834), Louisa (1831), William Henry (1835-1895) and Mary (1836-1921).
It is not clear why, but the marriage appears to have broken down in about 1839. John appears to have moved to Eton, but without his wife or his younger daughter Mary, and is listed there in the 1841 census. Louisa has not been located at all for the 1841 census.
John had returned to Camberwell by 1843, where he died after a long illness in 1843. From his last will and testament it is clear that he and Louise no longer lived together, and that he was quite angry with her. In the will he leaves his daughters Louisa and Elizabeth a fair amount of money and household goods, and his son William Henry the control of the Windsor Waterworks on the condition that they don’t live with or near their mother. He also gives guardianship of these children to his sister Elizabeth Bennison. To his wife he leaves the house in Notting Hill, the household goods, control of the money she inherited from her parents, and guardianship of Mary. He leaves Mary some money, but not nearly the same as her sisters.
JC Sainty, “Ordnance Clerk 1544-1855: A Provisional List Compiled by JC Sainty, May 2002” http://www.history.ac.uk/publications/office/ordnance
Reports from Commissioners, Session 1 November – 24 July 1810-1811, Vol IV.
Hampshire Advertiser, 25 March 1843
Salisbury and Winchester Journal, 25 March 1843
London Standard, 17 March 1843 & 8 Feb 1837.
UK Census 1841
UK Poll Books & Registers, 1831
The Gentleman’s Magazine & Historical Chronicle from Jan to June 1825, Vol xcv
Royal Kalendar & Court and City Register for England, Scotland, Ireland and the Colonies – the Present Peerage of the UK London, William Stockdale, Picadilly, 1825
Norwood Cemetery Transcript of Burials, 1843.
Dorset England Baptisms
Faculty Office Marriage Licence Allegations, 1701-1850
Will of John Cutler of Eton, Buckinghamshire, Prerogative Court of Canterbury & related Probate Jurisdictions, British National Archives, I/13/03057953D
Lease of workshop, orchard and buildings in Eton by John Cutler (Kennington) Property left to Cutler by his uncle William Henry Cutler (Eton) died 1829 – dated 1831.
Update on John Cutler:
I was googling topics related to members of my family tree when I came upon a website for the Ordnance at the Tower of London. I am unsure as to why I hadn’t stumbled upon this site before, but that is the nature of research. Serendipity is an important component.
The website [https://www.royalarmouries.org/tower-of-london/things-to-see/power-house/institutions-of-the-tower/ordnance-office] deals with the Ordnance office’s role, and includes a lot of historical content. A goldmine really. The best part was a list of the clerks of the Ordnance from 1815-1855. And of course, there listed was John Cutler, who worked there according to the site, from 1815 to 1826. So the question of when he left is answered.
Also interesting to note from this source is the presence of addresses for the clerks. Now some clerks lived in the Tower of London, and their entries indicate what number house they were assigned. Others, like John, lived offsite. John’s address is not listed, but I know he lived in Kennington/Camberwell. Surprisingly a number of his co-workers also lived in that area. Looking at a map of London, the Tower is a fair distance away from Camberwell, and though there appears to be a main road leading to the bridge, Camberwell does not look to be all that convenient. So why did a number of the clerks live there?
More research is definitely required.
Last Will and Testament of Louisa Cutler, 1874
This is the last will and testament of Louisa Cutler, nee Freak. She was born the 12th of March 1806, in Eltham, Kent. She was the daughter of Thomas Freak (or Freake) Esq., and his wife Elizabeth Waters. He worked as a ship broker in Lee and Greenwich. She married John Cutler of Eton, at St Mary Rotherhithe, Surrey on the 24th of December 1824. They had four children that I know of, William Henry, born 4 May 1835, Mary born the 29 December 1836 at Kew, Elizabeth, and Edward Travis M Cutler, who was born about 1843. John Cutler was Ordnance Officer at the Tower. He died the 17th of March 1843.
Louisa Cutler lived her last years with her daughter Mary Paulin, and her large family. They lived first in Remenham, which is across the river from Henley-on-Thames, then in Henley itself. Then when her son-in-law sold off his brewery in Henley, they all moved to Camberwell, in London. Louisa had a lot of family already in the area, and she had lived there at the time of her husband’s death. She died in April 1874.
The will was very, very difficult to read so there are a few gaps.
Note: George Paulin was her son-in-law’s father.
Last Will and Testament of Louisa Cutler, dated 1868.
This is the last will and testament of me Louisa Cutler, of Bridge Cottage, Remenham near Henley upon Thames in the county of Oxford, widow whereof I appoint [George] Paulin of Henley on Thames, aforesaid, gentleman and my daughter Mary, the wife of Frederick Paulin of Henley on Thames aforesaid, brewer, the son of the said Paulin, my Executor Executrix and trustees.
I give and bequeath to my daughter Elizabeth Lougman the portrait of myself now at my residence at Remenham aforesaid.
I direct my said trustees as soon as may be convenient after my ~~ decease to sell by public auction or private contract all my ~~~ pictures furniture plate linen china and ~~~~~~ effects and the proceeds arising from such sale after payment of the expenses thereof in payment of my trustees funeral and testamentary expenses and to divide and pay the residue of such proceeds (if any) equally between Edward Travis May~ll Cutler now residing with me and my said daughter Mary Paulin in equal shares I devise and bequeath to my said trustees and the survivor of them and the executors administrators and ~~~ions of such survivor my polity of assurance in the Eloriai Medical and General Life Assurance Society No 5777A, or ~~~~ever otherwise the same may be numbered for one thousand pounds payable at my decease and all unpaid bou~sts thereon and all my riout t~~ and in trust therein and ~~~~~~~ and all present and future advantages ~~~~ia ~~~~o to aols the said sum and all other the monies payable under or by virtue of the same or any other polity of insurance into offered by int Ribon trust to apply thereout a sum not exceeding the sum of two hundred pounds sterling for or towards the ~an amount in the life of my said son Edward Travis Maymill Cutler if my said trustees or the survivor of them in their his or their own absolute ~motion shall think proper but not otherwise and rubiott [?] thereto upon trust to invest the monies payable or removable by virtue of the said policy or insurance or so ~~th thereof as shall not be applied for or towards the advancement in life of my last mentioned son under the trust in that ~ half aorian before ~taints upon government or real securities or upon n~ ast of ~~ ophols or leasehold securities or in or upon tr~ian Government securities in or upon any colonial government securities as to apply the dividend interest or income arising from such investment in making half yearly monthly or weekly payments as n said trustees or the survivor of them may think proper. Thorough to my last mentioned son for his own absolute use and benefit burring the sum of his natural life but ~ub~ never holds to the following proviso, that is to say proviso always if m with last mentioned son Edward Travis Maymill Cutler shall become bankrupt or insolvent or shall make any assignment for the benefit of his creditors or shall ~ any art or an~~~ ~~ be said ~~ to invest or in~~~ or any part thereof might but for his provision boro~~ payable to or be in trust for any other person or persons whereby or so that may or might but for his provision ~ast to part the bouthirial able to ~ enjoy out the said divisions i~ ~ or without or any part thereof then I direct my said trustees and the survivor of them thenceforth a~ or the a~~g of sub bankruptcy insolvency or the g~ of ot the last mentioned art or this by my last mentioned son to say the dividends interest or income thereafter amu~~ to or for the benefit of the lawful child or children of my last mentioned son and if more than out in canal shares and from and after the death of my last mentioned son I direct my said trustees or the survivor of them or the executors administrators or assigns of such survivor to pay and apply the said survivors interest or income thereof of arising to or for such person or persons and for such purpose or purposes and in such shares and proportions and in such manner and at such trust or ~ as my last mentioned son shall by his last will and testament appoint and in fast my last mentioned son shall be intestate or shall fail to exercise the power of appointment here by given to him the I direct the trustee or trustees for the time being of my will to ~lize the property from which the last mentioned dividends or interest or income may ~art arisen and divide the proceeds ~lly between the lawful children of my last mentioned son if he shall ~ leaving more than out child to pay with proceeds to his child if there be only out such child living at the time of ~ ~ and in trust my last mentioned son shall die intestate or shall fail to exercise the power of appointment thereby given to him and shall die without leaving any child or children who shall live to attain the age of twenty one years then I direct the trustee or trustees for the time being of my will to pay the said dividends interest or income that shall thenceforth arrive or to transfer the property from which such dividends interest or income may arise unto and for the absolute use and benefit of my said daughter Mary Paulin if she be then living or into and for the absolute use and benefit or her children in equal parts if she be then dead and I authorize the trustees or trustee for the time being of my will to vary and thence ~ ~ies as often as they he or she shall think proper without being liable or responsible for any loss occasioned thereby
And lastly I direct all former wills and codicils by me at any time heretofore made and declare this alone to be my last will and testament. In witness whereof I the said Louisa Cutler the testatrix ~ thereunto of my hand this twenty sixth day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-eight.
Signed and declared by the above named Louisa Cutler the testatrix as and for the last will and testament in the presence of us both present at the same time who at the request in her presence in the presence of each other thereunto subscribe our names as witnesses.
Alfred P Charrington, Henley on Thames, gentleman
James Frewin, Henley on Thames, gardner
Proved at London 9th October 1874 by the oath of George Paulin one of the executors to whom ~ was granted ~ reserved of making the life grant to Mary Paulin, wife of Frederick Paulin, the daughter and the other executor.
On the 9th day of October 1874 the will of Louisa Cutler late of Bridge Cottage Remenham near Henley on Thames in the County of Oxford, Widow deceased, who died on the seventeenth day of June 1874 at no 13 Camden Grove Peckham in the County of Surrey was proved in the Principal Registry of Her Majesty’s Court of Probate, by the Oath of George Paulin of New Street Henley on Thames aforesaid gentleman one of the executors named in the said will he having been first sworn duly to administer, power being reserved of granting Probate of the said will to Mary Paulin wife of Frederick Paulin the daughter of the said deceased the other executornamed in the said will.
Double Probate Issued, July 1894.
Resworn December 1874 under £1500.