yeovil people

edmund batten

Attorney and Banker


Edmund Batten, born in 1756, 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 (both of whom were witnesses to Edmund Batten's will), 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 on 6 January 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 [sic]. Buried in Parish Church.” The memorial dedicated to the memory of Edmund Batten is shown in the Gallery below.

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).


See Batten Family Tree

See Yeovil Solicitors




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

Edmund Batten's signature on a deed dated 1793, for the Sun Inn in Grope Lane


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.


Courtesy of Chrisp Brothers Curios

The memorial dedicated to the memory of Edmund Batten, originally in the Unitarian Chapel in Vicarage Street.


The Will of Edmund Batten


This is the Last Will and Testament of me Edmund Batten of Yeovil in the County of Somerset Gentleman First I direct that all sum and sums of money due from me to my beloved wife or which I have received for her either before or since our marriage be repaid or properly assured to my said wife by my Executor hereinafter named I give and devise unto my said wife my dwelling house in Yeovil aforesaid with the appurtenances now in the occupation of my Nephew John Batten for and during the term of her natural life in case she do not continue in the Occupation of Kingston House with the lands I hold therewith which it is my wish she should and in that case I direct that the rent thereof be paid during during [sic] such occupation by my said nephew in lieu of the premises in his own occupation Also in case my said wife should happen to survive my Brother in Law the Revd Samuel Fawcett and my dear Sister Susanna his wife and my wife should leave Hollands Cottage to Kingston House for her residence then and in such case I give and devise my dwelling house called Hollands Cottage with the Offices and garden and also the two closes or fields immediately adjoining and belonging unto my said wife for and during the term of her natural life I give and bequeath all and singular my household goods and household furniture except my plate / linen horses Cows and other Cattle wine and other liquors wood coals casks bottels [sic] and all such books in my library as my wife may choose to take absolutely for her own proper use and benefit I give and bequeath my [word illegible] unto my said wife and my said Executor equally to be divided between them I give and forgive unto my Brother Robert Batten all sum and sums of money due from my said Brother to me at the time of my death I give and devise [inserted = my two Cows above mentioned - word illegible - Hollands] unto my said Sister Susanna Fawcett for and during the term of her natural life I give and devise my moiety of the Manor of Thorn Falcon in the County of Somerset with the Advowson of the Rectory thereof and of all farms messuages lands rights members heredit[ament]s and appurtenances thereto belonging unto my Nephew John Batten his heirs and assigns forever also I give and devise the entirety of the farm and lands which I purchased of the late Edward Berkeley Portman Esquire in the parishes of Thorn Falcon and West Hatch in the said County and now considered part of the Manor of Thorn Falcon and also my messuages and lands situate lying and being in the several parishes of Yeovil aforesaid North Petherton Lyng Somerton Baltonsborough South Petherton Odcombe West Coker Hardington Mandeville North Perrott Queen Camel and West Camel or one of them [word illegible] Ashington Montacute or elsewhere in the said County of Somerset together also with my farm rent or rents payable out of the Royalty and Manor of Easton [?] in the said County of Somerset unto my said Nephew John Batten whom I appoint Executor of this my Will In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the sixteenth day of September one thousand eight hundred and twenty four
Edmd Batten

Signed sealed published and declared by the Testator as and for his last Will and Testament in the presence of us who at his request have subscribed our names as witnesses in the presence of the said Testator and of each other
Saml Sparks Jr   Lazs Baker   Fred Geare


Whereas since the date and execution of this my Will written on the foregoing half sheet of paper I am become entitled under the Will of my late Brother Robert batten of the Inner Temple London Gentleman deceased bearing date the first day of April last to considerable real Estate I do therefore this twenty first day of May one thousand eight hundred and twenty five republish and declare this to be my last Will and Testament to the end that such newly acquired property may pass by my last Will to the General  devisee therein named to whom I also devise and bequaeth my Customary Estates of Inheritance and Effects whatsoever

Edmd Batten

Signed republished and declared by the Testator as and for his last Will and Testament in the presence of us who at his request have subscribed our names as witnesses in the presence of the said Testator and of each other
Saml Sparks Jr   Lazs Baker   Fred Geare


Proved at London with a Codicil 6th July 1836 before the Worshipful John Danbury Doctor of Laws and Surrogate by the oath of John Batten Esq the Nephew the sole Ex[ecut]or to whom Adm[inistrati]on was granted having been first sworn duly to adm[iniste]r


Transcribed by Bob Osborn