Catherine DOBITO (1811-1881)

by Geoffrey Woollard - 17th March 2000.
Note: Many various surnames are mentioned here!!!

Catherine DOBITO

born about 1811 at Church Hall, Woodditton, Cambridgeshire
 died (unmarried) 21st April 1881 at Church Hall, Woodditton, Cambridgeshire
Farmer.

Those bald facts about my wife's second cousin five times removed appear a bit boring, but I believe that a most interesting personality is hidden behind them. My information is mostly derived from the usual sources - Wills, Censuses, Parish Records, Directories, etc. - and I have been able to build up something of a word-picture of this lady, though I would dearly love to see a photograph and/or to hear more from other people who might have her - or any of the once numerous, and, now, seemingly, extinct DOBITO family - up their 'trees'.

Catherine - Her Story

Catherine, baptised on the 9th of June 1811, was the last of five children of Jeffry DOBITO (1779 - 1832) and Anne GOODISSON (1778 - 1865) who were married at All Saints' Church (then in the County of Cambridgeshire), Newmarket, on the 10th of April 1802. Jeffry had followed his father, another Jeffry (1747 - 1800), as a farmer at Church Hall, Woodditton. Her elder brother, Charles (1803 - 1860), although an unmarried invalid, also farmed at Church Hall, and I believe that another elder brother, William (1806 - 1865), who married Elizabeth Charlotte CHAMBERS of Ashley cum Silverley, also farmed. Catherine's other two siblings, Kate Catherine (1807 - 1808) and yet another Jeffry (1804 - 1809) died as young children, and the whole family are entombed together just outside the South door of St. Mary's Church, Woodditton.

WoodDittonChurch.jpg - 4394 Bytes

Catherine DOBITO was both baptised and buried at St. Mary's Church, Woodditton, Cambridgeshire.

Catherine's mother, Anne (nee GOODISSON), farmed as a widow at Church Hall, Woodditton, Cambridgeshire, and employed 32 labourers on 550 acres, according to the 1851 Census, and whilst we know that Church Hall was rented from the Duke of Rutland, the land tax records of 1829 at Cambridge show that a Mrs Dobito was a small landowner in her own right, having paid tax of 5 shillings and fivepence for property at Woodditton of which the rental value was 3-10s-0d and of which she was the owner. Mrs Anne Dobito (nee Goodisson) was listed as a farmer at Woodditton, Cambridgeshire, in Kelly's Directory of 1865. Catherine herself was listed as 'gentry' at Brinkley, Cambridgeshire, in Kelly's Directory of 1846 (I'm not sure why she was then at Brinkley) and was described as an unmarried independent lady, aged 20 (by this time she had begun to tell fibs about her age!) in the 1851 Census. And then, in 1873, she had obviously taken over the lease of the old home place, for Miss Catherine Dobito was listed as a farmer at Church Hall, Woodditton, Cambridgeshire, in Harrod's Directory of that year. I think that she must have added to her own fortune by this time, either by bequest or acquisition, as, according to the Return of Owners of Land 1873, Catherine Dobito of Woodditton, Cambridgeshire, owned 221 acres, 2 roods and 32 perches of land with an estimated rental of 483 - 19 - 0. Indeed, by 1879, she was doing sufficiently well in business to employ Henry Freestone as a farm bailiff (Kelly's Directory of 1879). When the Census enumerator came round to see her in 1881, Catherine Dobito, unmarried, farmed at Church Hall (550 acres), Woodditton, Cambridgeshire, employing 12 men and 2 boys. She also had a housekeeper, Maryann Westley, unmarried, aged 24 born at Snailwell, Cambridgeshire, and a servant (cowkeeper), Peter Collin, married aged 49 born at Kirtling, Cambridgeshire. A visitor was Annie H. Pratt, an assistant to a surgical machinist, aged 60 born in Tottenham, Middlesex.

It is Catherine DOBITO's very long and detailed Will, made in 1881, the Census year, that tells us more about this comparatively wealthy, but obviously generous and thoughtful woman. Numerous names crop up and some are commented upon after the text. The Will reads as follows:

I Catherine Dobito of Church Hall Woodditton in the County of Cambridge Spinster hereby revoke all Wills and testamentary dispositions heretofore made by me and declare this to be my last Will I give and devise all my freehold farmhouse called Ditton Hall situate in the Parish of Woodditton in the County of Cambridge with the Gardeners house and double tenement and other buildings and land belonging thereto comprising in all seventy acres thereabouts the gardens and glass houses being in my occupation the land and farm buildings in the occupation of Henry Nunn and the double tenement in the occupation of Messieurs Symons and Fordham with the appurtenances and all other my real estate in the Parish of Woodditton aforesaid whether freehold or copyhold To the use of Frederick Hammond of Newmarket in the County of Cambridge Banker during his life without impeachment of waste and after his decease to the use of each successively according to seniority of the sons of the said Frederick Hammond born during my lifetime for the life of such son without impeachment of waste And immediately after his decease To the use of his first and other sons successively according to seniority in tail male And after the failure or determination of the uses and estates hereinbefore limited To the use of the son and sons of the said Frederick Hammond born after my death successively according to seniority in tail male and in default or failure of such issue To the use of the right heirs of the said Frederick Hammond I give and devise my freehold messuage or dwellinghouse with the garden and appurtenances situate in Woodditton aforesaid adjoining the premises hereinbefore devised and now in the occupation of the said Henry Nunn To the use of my Steward Henry Freestone and Hannah his wife during their joint lives without impeachment of waste and in the case the said Hannah Freestone shall be the survivor then for her sole and separate use And after the decease of the said Henry Freestone and Hannah his wife To the use of the said Frederick Hammond during his life without impeachment of waste and after his decease To the use of successively according to seniority of the sons of the said Frederick Hammond born during my lifetime for the life of such son without impeachment of waste And immediately after his decease To the use of his first and other sons successively according to seniority in tail male and after the failure or determination of the uses and estates hereinbefore limited with respect to the last mentioned hereditaments To the use of the son and sons of the said Frederick Hammond born after my death successively according to seniority in tail male And in default or failure of such issue To the use of the right heirs of the said Frederick Hammond I give and devise my piece of land containing thirty acres or thereabouts partly freehold and partly copyhold situate in the Parish of Kirtling in the County of Cambridge and now in the occupation of Edward Bacon To the use of the said Henry Freestone and Hannah his wife during their joint lives without impeachment of waste And on the death of either of them To the use of the survivor during his or her life without impeachment of waste and in case the said Hannah Freestone shall be the survivor then for her sole and separate use and after the decease of the said Henry Freestone and Hannah his wife To the use of Charles Hart of Brinkley in the County of Cambridge Machinist his heirs and assigns I give and devise my fifteen messuages cottages or tenements with the appurtenances thereto belonging and the yard adjoining formerly occupied by Richard Jeffery situate in Grosvenor Yard in the Parish of Newmarket Saint Mary in the County of Suffolk To the use of Richard Hart of Brinkley aforesaid during his life without impeachment of waste And after his decease To the use of each successively according to priority of the sons of the said Richard Hart born during my lifetime for the life of each son without impeachment of waste and immediately after his decease To the use of his first and other sons successively according to seniority in tail male And after the failure or determination of the uses and estates hereinbefore limited with the respect to the last mentioned hereditaments To the use of the son and sons of the said Richard Hart born after my death successively according to seniority in tail male And in default or failure of such issue To the use of the right heirs of the said Richard Hart I give and devise my messuage or dwelling house and training stables with the appurtenances known as Bloomsbury Lodge situate in Fitzroy Street Newmarket St. Mary aforesaid now in the occupation of William Harvey Scott Training Groom To the use of Elizabeth Stallibrass Widow of the late Charles Stallibrass of Shearing in the County of Essex Farmer and her daughter Emily Stallibrass during their joint lives for their sole and separate use in equal shares without impeachment of waste And on the death of either of them To the use of the survivor during her life for her sole and separate use without impeachment of waste and from and after the death of the survivor To the use of Herbert Wellsman one of the sons of John Wellsman of Moulton in the County of Suffolk Farmer his heirs and assigns I give and devise my piece of freehold land situate in the Parish of Burwell in the County of Cambridge containing twenty acres or thereabouts now in the occupation of Thomas Mason with the appurtenances To the use of Caroline Newman Widow of Charles Newman late of Bottisham in the County of Cambridge Farmer during her life for her sole and separate use without impeachment of waste And from and after her decease To the use of Mary wife of William Penny of Springfield in the County of Lancaster during her life for her sole and separate use without impeachment of waste and from and after her decease To the use of all and every her children living at her decease their heirs and assigns as tenants in common and not as joint tenants I give and devise my piece of freehold land situate at Soham in the County of Cambridge containing six acres or thereabouts now in the occupation of Samuel Davey with the appurtenances To the use of Henry Howard of Newmarket aforesaid Bank Clerk during his life without impeachment of waste And after his decease to the use of each successively according to seniority of the sons of the said Henry Howard born during my lifetime for the life of such son without impeachment of waste And immediately after his decease To the use of his first and other sons successively according to seniority in tail male And after the failure or determination of the uses and estates hereinbefore limited with respect to the last mentioned hereditaments To the use of the son and sons of the said Henry Howard born after my death successively according to seniority in tail male And in default or failure of such issue To the use of the right heirs of the said Henry Howard I give and devise my piece of freehold land situate in the Fen in the Parish of Swaffham Prior in the County of Cambridge containing eight acres or thereabouts now in the occupation of George Crisp to Rosa Newman a daughter of Edward Newman of Bottisham aforesaid Farmer her heirs and assigns I give and devise my piece of freehold land situate in the Fen in the Parish of Swaffham Prior aforesaid containing eleven acres or thereabouts now in the occupation of Peter Webb to Florence Newman another daughter of the said Edward Newman her heirs and assigns I give and bequeath my lease of and my term and interest in the messuage and farm belonging to His Grace the Duke of Rutland called Church Hall Farm situate in the Parish of Woodditton aforesaid and now occupied by me with the tenants fixtures thereon and all the household furniture plate linen china pictures consumable stores and other household effects and all the horses carriages and live and dead farming stock which shall at my death be in or upon or about the said messuage and farm together with my watches jewels ornaments of the person and wearing apparel to my cousin Edward Claydon of Linton in the County of Cambridge Farmer for his own absolute use but subject to the payment of the rent and performance of the covenants under which the same messuage and farm may be held And I request the said Edward Claydon to carry on the said farm until the lease which shall be subsisting therein at my death shall expire by the effluxion of time and not to sell the said household furniture and effects hereinbefore bequeathed to him during that period but this request shall not be construed as an attempt to abridge his absolute ownership over the said lease household furniture and other effects I give and bequeath all the East India stock of every description of which I shall be possessed at the time of my decease to the said Edward Claydon and Frederick Hammond Upon trust that they or the survivor of them or the executors or administrators of such survivor or other the trustees or trustee for the time being of this my Will shall either retain the said stock or with the consent in writing of the said Edward Claydon and Eliza Ann his wife during their joint lives and of the survivor of them during his or her life and after the death of the survivor at the discretion of the trustees or trustee for the time being of this my Will sell the same and invest the proceeds of the sale thereof in their or his names or name in or upon any of the public stocks or funds or Government securities of the United Kingdom or upon real securities in England or Wales but now (not?) in any other investments with power for the said trustees or trustee with such consent or at such discretion as aforesaid to vary the said stocks or securities as they or he shall think proper And shall retain or pay the income to arise from the said East India stock or from the investments for the time being representing the same to the said Edward Claydon and Eliza Ann his wife during their joint lives And after the death of either of them to the survivor during his or her life and in case the said Eliza Ann Claydon shall be the survivor the said income shall be for her sole and separate use And after the death of the survivor of them the said Edward Claydon and Eliza Ann his wife shall stand possessed of the said East India stock or the investments representing the same and the income thereof or such part of the same respectively as may not have been applied under any power herein contained Upon trust for such of the children of the said Edward Claydon living at the decease of the survivor of him and his said wife or at my own decease whichever event shall last happen and such of the issue then living of any child or children of the said Edward Claydon then dead as either before or after such event being males or a male attain the age of twenty one years or being females or a female attain that age or marry as tenants in common in a course of distribution according to the stocks the issue of deceased children of the said Edward Claydon taking by substitution as tenants in common the respective shares only which their respective parents would if living at the decease of the survivor of the said Edward Claydon and Eliza Ann his wife or at my own decease whichever event shall last happen have taken I give devise and bequeath unto the said Edward Claydon and Frederick Hammond their heirs executors administrators and assigns the sum of four thousand five hundred pounds owing to me by the Burwell Fen Drainage and Navigation Commissioners with the security for the same which said sum is secured by a mortgage of the taxes and tolls which the said Commissioners are authorize to collect To hold the said sum and securities unto the said Edward Claydon and Frederick Hammond their heirs executors administrators and assigns Upon trust that they the said Edward Claydon and Frederick Hammond or the survivor of them or the executors or administrators of such survivor or other the trustees or trustee for the time being of this my Will shall either retain the sum of four thousand pounds part of the said sum of four thousand five hundred pounds upon the said instrument or shall with the consent in writing of Sarah Ann Wheatley Pratt and Anne Wheatley Pratt on No. 10 Lupus Street St. Georges Square London and of their brother Charles James Pratt or of the survivors or survivor of them and after the death of the survivor at the discretion of the said trustees or trustee call in the same sum and invest the same in or upon any of the public stocks or funds or Government securities of the United Kingdom or upon real securities in England or Wales but not in any other investments with power for the said trustees or trustee with such consent or at such discretion as aforesaid to vary the said stocks or securities as they or he shall think proper and shall stand possessed of the said sum of four thousand pounds and the securities for the same or of the investments for the time being representing the said sum Upon trust to pay the income thereof to the said Sarah Ann Wheatley Pratt and Ann Wheatley Pratt during their joint lives in equal shares for their sole and separate use respectively And on the death of either to pay the whole to the survivor during her life for her sole and separate use and from and after the death of the survivor of them the said Sarah Ann Wheatley Pratt and Ann Wheatley Pratt shall pay the said income to their brother the said Charles James Pratt during his life And after the death of the said Sarah Ann Wheatley Pratt Ann Wheatley Pratt and Charles James Pratt stand possessed of the said sum of four thousand pounds and the securities for the same or of the investments for the time being representing the said sum and the income thereof or such part of the same respectively as may have been applied under any power herein contained Upon trust for such of the children of the said Charles James Pratt living at his decease or at my own decease whichever event shall last happen and such of the issue then living of any child or children of the said Charles James Pratt then dead as either before or after such event being males or a male attain the age of twenty one years or being females or a female attain that age or marry as tenants in common in a course of distribution according to the stocks the issue of deceased children of the said Charles James Pratt taking by substitution as tenants in common the respective shares only which their respective parents would if living at the decease of the said Charles James Pratt or at my decease whichever event shall last happen have taken And I declare that the sum of five hundred pounds being the residue of the said sum of four thousand five hundred pounds shall sink into and form part of my residuary personal estate I give devise and bequeath to the said Edward Claydon and Frederick Hammond their heirs executors and assigns the sum of three hundred and forty pounds now owing to me by John Woollard the payment wherof is secured by a mortgage in fee of certain hereditaments situate in Little Ditton in the County of Cambridge together with the securities for the same To hold the same unto the said Edward Claydon and Frederick Hammond their heirs executors administrators and assigns respectively Upon trust that they the said Edward Claydon and Frederick Hammond or the survivor of them or the executors or administrators of such survivor or other the trustees or trustee for the time being of this my Will shall either continue the same in its present investment or shall with the consent in writing of Charles Woollard of Little Ditton aforesaid and Lucretia his wife during their joint lives and of the survivor of them during his or her life and after the death of the survivor at the discretion of the said trustees or trustee call in the same and with such consent or at such discretion as aforesaid shall invest the same sum in the names or name of them or him the said Edward Claydon and Frederick Hammond or the survivor of them or the executors or administrators of such survivor or other the trustees or trustee of this my Will in or upon any of the public stocks or funds or Government securities of the United Kingdom or upon real securities in England or Wales but not in any other investments with power for the said trustees or trustee with such consent or at such discretion as aforesaid to vary the said stocks and securities at their or his discretion and shall pay the income of the said sum and of the investments for the time being representing the same to the said Charles Woollard and Lucretia his wife during their lives and after the death of either of them to the survivor of them during his or her life and in case the said Lucretia Woollard shall be the survivor the said income shall be for her sole and separate use and after the death of the survivor of them the said Charles Woollard and Lucretia Woollard shall stand possessed of the said sum of three hundred and forty pounds and the securities for the same or of the investments representing the same sum and of the income thereof respectively Upon trust for James Woollard son of the said Charles Woollard and Lucretia his wife But if the said James Woollard shall die in the lifetime of his said parents or in the lifetime of the survivor of them without leaving issue living at the death of such survivor then upon trust for Jacob Woollard grandson of the said John Woollard I give and bequeath the sum of five hundred pounds to the said Edward Newman and I direct the same to be paid to him at the end of six calendar months from my decease I also give and bequeath to Mary Westley now living with and attending on me the legacy of one hundred pounds to be paid to her free of legacy duty at the same time I give and bequeath to the before mentioned Henry Freestone and Hannah his wife during their joint lives and the life of the survivor of them the interest on a mortgage for one hundred pounds held by me on a house and premises called the Boot at Kirtling aforesaid and on the death of the survivor I direct that the principal shall form part of my residuary personal estate disposed of as hereinafter mentioned I give and bequeath the sum of five hundred pounds free of legacy duty to the Vicar and Churchwardens for the time being of the Trinity Church Saxton Street Woodditton aforesaid Upon trust to invest the same in their names in any of the public stocks or funds or Government securities of the United Kingdom but not in any other investment and to retain or pay the income thereof to or for the use of the Vicar for the time being of the said Church in augmentation of his stipend as Vicar And I declare that the said sum of five hundred pounds and also the legacy duty payable in respect of the same shall be paid exclusively out of such part of my residuary personal estate as may lawfully be appropriated to the purpose aforesaid and preferably to any other payment thereout And I further declare that the receipt of the Vicar and Churchwardens for the time being of the said Church for the said legacy shall be a sufficient discharge for the same And I further declare that the Vicar and Churchwardens for the time being of the said Church shall be the trustees of the said legacy for the purposes aforesaid And I give devise and bequeath the residue of my estate and effects whether real or personal subject to and after the payment of my just debts and funeral and testamentary expenses unto Florence Susan Bocock Olivia Kate Bocock and Mary Dobito Bocock the three daughters of David Bocock of Ashley in the County of Cambridge Butcher and Farmer or such of them as shall be living at my death to be equally divided between them if more than one for their or her sole and separate use And I hereby declare that if any person or persons who would and if this present declaration had not been inserted be entitled as tenant or tenants for life or in tail male by purchase to the possession or the receipt of the rents and profits if any of my real estates hereby devised to uses for life with remainder to uses in tail male (hereinafter called my strictly settled estates) shall be under the age of twenty one years then and so often the said Edward Claydon and Frederick Hammond or the survivor of them or the executors or administrators of such survivor or other the trustees or trustee of this my Will shall during such minority or minorities receive the rents and profits of and manage the said strictly settled estate or estates respectively the tenant or tenants for life or in tail male of which may be under the age of twenty one years and may make allowances to and arrangements with tenants and others and do all other things which to the said trustees or trustee may seem expedient for the due management of such estates respectively and after deducting the expenses of management repairs insurance and other outgoings shall pay such sum as the said trustees or trustee shall think proper for or towards the maintenance or education of such minor or minors (either directly or to his or their Guardians or Guardian to be applied by such Guardians or Guardian without accounting to the said trustees or trustee) and shall accumulate the residue of the said rents and profits in the way of compound interest by investing the same and all the resulting income thereof in the names or name of the said trustees or trustee in any of the public stocks or funds of the United Kingdom or upon Government or real securities in England or Wales but not in any other investments and may vary the same at their or his discretion and shall hold all the said residue of the said rents and profits and the investments for the time being representing the same and the annual income thereof and the accumulation of such income upon the trusts following that is to say if the person during whose minority the said rents and profits shall have been accumulated as aforesaid shall attain the age of twenty one years then n trust for such person his executors administrators and assigns as his personal estate but if such person shall die under the age of twenty one years then upon the trusts and subject to the powers and provisions applicable to the monies which would arise from the sale under the power hereinafter contained of the strictly settled estate from which such accumulations may have arisen And I hereby further declare that every person hereby made tenant for life of any part of the strictly settled estates when he shall be in the actual possession or entitled to the receipt of the rents and profits of such part and also the said trustees or trustee during the minority of any person who if of full age would be entitled to the possession or to the receipt of the rents and profits of any part of the said strictly settled estates may by deed appoint by way of demise or demise the same part or any portion thereof at rack rent for any term of years absolute or determinable not exceeding twenty one years to take effect in possession or within six calendar months from the date of the demise thereof And I further declare that the said trustees or trustee may during the life of any person hereby made tenant for life and for the time being entitled to the possession or to the receipt of the rents and profits of any part of the said strictly settled estates with his consent in writing and also during the minority of any person who if of full age would be entitled to the possession or to the receipt of the rents and profits of any part of the said strictly settled estates at the discretion of the said trustees or trustee (but subject to any lease which may have been granted under the power in that behalf hereinafter contained) dispose of either by way of sale or in exchange for other hereditaments in England or Wales all or any of the said part and premises upon such terms and under such conditions as the said trustees or trustee shall think fit with power to buy in or rescind any contract for sale or exchange of any of the same premises and to resell or exchange the same without being responsible for any loss occasioned thereby and with power for the purpose of effectuating any such sale or exchange to revoke all or any of the uses trusts or powers hereinbefore limited of the hereditaments sold or given in exchange and to appoint the same in any manner they or he shall think fit And I declare that the said trustees or trustee shall with such consent or at such discretion as aforesaid lay out the money received upon such sale or for equality of exchange in the purchase of freehold or copyhold hereditaments of inheritance in England or Wales or in proving the enfranchisement of copyhold hereditaments purchased and shall settle or cause the same to be settled to the uses and subject to the powers hereby limited with respect to the part of the said strictly settled estates from the sale of which the money so laid out shall have been received as far as the deaths of parties and other intervening circumstances will permit And I further declare that until the money to be received upon any sale or for equality of exchange shall be laid out or disposed of as aforesaid the said trustees or trustee may with such consent or at such discretion as aforesaid invest the same in their or his names or name in any of the public stocks or funds of the United Kingdom or upon Government or real securities in England or Wales but not in any other investments and may vary the same if and as they or he shall think fit and that the annual income from such investments shall be paid and applied in the manner in which the rents and profits of the hereditaments to be purchased therewith as aforesaid would be payable or applicable in case such purchase or settlement as aforesaid were then actually made And I hereby further declare that the said trustees or trustee may raise any part or parts not exceeding one half part of the then expectant presumptive share of any infant beneficiary under the trusts hereinbefore contained in any part of my said settled personal estate and apply the same for his or her advancement or benefit but so long as there shall be any persons or person entitled to prior life interests or a prior life interest in such part no such advance shall be made without their his or her consent in writing And I hereby further declare that the said trustees or trustee shall after the deaths of the persons respectively entitled to life interests in the said settled parts of my personal estate apply the whole or such part as they or he shall think fit of the annual income of the share to which any infant beneficiary shall for the time being be entitled in expectancy under the trusts aforesaid in the said parts respectively for or towards the maintenance or education of such beneficiary either directly or by paying the same to his or her guardians or guardian without seeing to the application thereof or requiring any account of the same and shall during such suspense of absolute vesting accumulate the residue (if any) thereof in the way of compound interest by investing the same and the resulting income thereof in or upon any of the public stocks or funds or Government securities of the United Kingdom for the benefit of the person or persons who under the trust herein contained shall become entitled to the principal fund from which the same respectively shall have proceeded with power for the said trustees or trustee to resort to the accumulation of any preceeding year or years and apply the same for or towards the maintenance or education of the beneficiary for the time being presumptively entitled to the same respectively And I hereby declare that the powers of appointing a new trustee or new trustees of this my Will shall be exerciseable by the surviving or continuing trustees or trustee for the time being or the acting executors or executor administrators or administrator of the last surviving or continuing trustee or by the last retiring trustees or trustee and upon any such appointment the number of trustees may be augmented I give and devise all the estates vested in me as a trustee or mortgagee (other than the estate or estates vested in me as mortgagee and hereinbefore disposed of) unto the said Edward Claydon and Frederick Hammond their heirs and assigns but upon the trusts and subject to the equities affecting the same And I appoint the said Edward Claydon and Frederick Hammond Executors of this my Will In Witness whereof I the said Catherine Dobito the Testatrix have to this my last Will and Testament contained in this and the ten preceding sheets of paper set my hand this second day of April one thousand eight hundred and eighty one -

Catherine Dobito - Signed and declared by the said Catherine Dobito the Testatrix as and for her last Will and Testament in the presence of us present at the same time who in her presence at her request and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as Witnesses - James Button Solicitor Newmarket - Robt. Lurgeon Newmarket

Proved at London 4th. July 1881 by the Oaths of Edward Claydon and Frederick Hammond the Executors to whom Admon was granted.

On the fourth day of July 1881 the Will of Catherine Dobito late of Church Hall Woodditton in the County of Cambridge Spinster deceased, who died on the 21st day of April 1881 at Church Hall Aforesaid was proved in the Principal Registry of the Probate Division of the High Court of Justice, by the Oaths of Edward Claydon of Barham Hall Linton in the County of Cambridge Farmer and Frederick Hammond of Newmarket in the same County Banker the Executors named in the said Will they having been first sworn duly to administer.

Gross value Personal Estate
Nett value

18646 - 4 - 6
18451 - 10 - 9

I now include some comments on the names and families of some of the people mentioned in the Will of Catherine DOBITO:

DobitoVault.jpg - 8980 Bytes

The DOBITO family tomb or 'vault, near the south door of the parish Church'

Henry NUNN, who was in occupation of the land and farm buildings of 'my freehold farmhouse called Ditton Hall situate in the Parish of Woodditton in the County of Cambridge with the Gardeners house and double tenement and other buildings and land belonging thereto comprising in all seventy acres thereabouts' appears to have been the Henry NUNN who was a widower aged 47 with a daughter, Elizabeth, two sons, Frederic and George, and a niece, Martha WOOLLARD, living with him, and who was a butcher and farmer at Ditton Park Farm, Woodditton, employing 5 men and 3 boys on 116 acres of land (1881 Census).

'Messieurs Symons and Fordham' who were in occupation of the 'double tenement' were probably George SYMONDS, an agricultural labourer, aged 32, and his wife Ann, aged 28, and George FORDHAM, a bricklayer's labourer, aged 31, and his wife, Esther, also aged 31. Both families were recorded as living, separately, but next door to one another, at Ditton Green (1881 Census).

Frederick HAMMOND, the banker, who was both an Executor of the Will and a major beneficiary, presents an interesting conundrum to an amateur historian in that, whilst being well-known in his own right as one of the HAMMONDs of the old Hammonds' Bank of Newmarket, and who may have been born, in 1837, the son of Charles and Ellen Wilson HAMMOND, at Cleveland House, Old Station Road (On-line IGI), it also appears that his sister, Ellen HAMMOND (baptised at St. Mary's Church, Newmarket, Suffolk, 17th of April 1822), married John DOBEDE on the 30th of September 1843, also at St. Mary's at Newmarket. John DOBEDE owned more than 5,000 acres of land at Exning, and was clearly a local 'big-wig'. We cannot find a connection - yet! - between the DOBITO and DOBEDE families, but the similar spelling of the names seems to be much more than just coincidence. Frederick HAMMOND was 42 and unmarried at the time of the 1881 Census. He lived with his widowed mother in a large household at 1, The Terrace, Newmarket. One of my wife's CARSBOULT cousins, Julia, unmarried aged 30 born at Lidgate, Suffolk, was the 'second housemaid': I wonder if she ever made it to 'first housemaid'!

'My Steward Henry Freestone and Hannah his wife' were undoubtedly the Henry and Hannah FREESTONE, aged 50 and 48 respectively, who lived at 'Derisley's Wood', Woodditton. Henry was described on the 1881 Census as 'Bailiff (Farm Stewart)' which seems to be near enough! Hannah's maiden name may have been MOLE, as James MOLE, unmarried aged 42 born at Cheveley and described as 'Brother in Law Ag. Lab.' was living with the FREESTONEs. It is evident that Catherine DOBITO thought a great deal of Henry and Hannah who, as well as getting the lifetime use of the house, garden, land, etc., received from the Will a life interest in a mortgage for 100 held by her 'on a house and premises called the Boot at Kirtling aforesaid': perhaps the latter was a pub? Derisley Wood is now a stud farm.

Edward BACON who occupied 'my piece of land containing thirty acres or thereabouts partly freehold and partly copyhold situate in the Parish of Kirtling in the County of Cambridge' seems to have been Edward D. BACON, aged 61, who lived at Chapel Farm, Kirtling Green, Kirtling, and farmed 86 acres employing 4 men and 2 boys. His wife was Lettice, aged 62 born at Wickhambrook, Suffolk, and they had two unmarried 'children' living with them - Solomon, aged 26, and Sarah, aged 25.

Charles HART 'of Brinkley in the County of Cambridge Machinist his heirs and assigns', who ultimately had the 30 acres of land at Kirtling, would have been the unmarried son, aged 31 and born at Brinkley, Cambridgeshire, of Thomas HART, another 'machinist', and his wife, Catherine. They all lived at The Street, Brinkley, and, it is surmised that they ran a threshing machine as a family business. They employed 4 men and 1 boy, which would have been necessary for such an enterprise. Maybe they did some of Catherine DOBITO's threshing work, in which case she served them well in return. She must have been extremely fond of and/or indebted to the HART family for she left no less than 'fifteen messuages cottages or tenements'- 'situate in Grosvenor Yard in the Parish of Newmarket Saint Mary in the County of Suffolk' to Richard Hart of Brinkley and then to 'the sons of the said Richard Hart'. It seems probable that Richard HART, who was an agricultural engineer and implement maker aged 30 and born at Brinkley, was another son of Thomas and Catherine. At the time of the 1881 Census, there were 44 numbered 'messuages' in Grosvenor Yard, Newmarket, in addition to the Grosvenor Arms public house. Grosvenor Yard at Newmarket is now a public car park.

Bloomsbury Lodge, 'my messuage or dwelling house and training stables ... situate in Fitzroy Street Newmarket St. Mary aforesaid now in the occupation of William Harvey Scott Training Groom' is likely even in 1881 to have been an extensive property. William Harvey SCOTT, a racehorse trainer, was from Thirsk in Yorkshire and was aged 56 at the time of the Census. His wife, Emma, came from Weston in Norfolk and was aged 42. The property was bequeathed initially to 'Elizabeth Stallibrass Widow of the late Charles Stallibrass of Shearing in the County of Essex Farmer and her daughter Emily Stallibrass' and then to 'Herbert Wellsman one of the sons of John Wellsman of Moulton in the County of Suffolk Farmer his heirs and assigns'. I suspect that the STALLIBRASS ladies, who had a 150-acre farm at Sheering in Essex, were relatives of Catherine DOBITO as her aunt Sarah (Sally) had married a John STALLIBRASS in 1799. The WELLSMANs certainly lived at Moulton: John, a widower aged 65 was a corn merchant there.

Thomas MASON who occupied the 20 acres of land at Burwell, Cambridgeshire, was listed as a farmer, of 86 acres in total, at High Town, Burwell. He employed 3 men and was probably a member of the numerous MASON family of farmers in that village. Caroline NEWMAN (nee ELLIS), to whom Catherine DOBITO gave the land for her lifetime, also lived at Burwell in 1881 but was the widow of Charles NEWMAN (1808 - 1874) who lived and farmed at Chalk Farm, Bottisham, and was reputed to have been farming at one time 1,000 acres and employing 66 men and 12 boys. Charles NEWMAN was the elder brother of Edward NEWMAN (see below).

'Mary wife of William Penny of Springfield in the County of Lancaster', who next received the Burwell land, lived at Colton, Lancashire, with her doctor husband, William L. PENNY, who was in general practice, but she was born at Moulton, Suffolk (1881 Census) - perhaps indicating an earlier close friendship or even a relationship to Catherine DOBITO.

Catherine DOBITO's 6 acres of freehold land at Soham, Cambridgeshire, were in the occupation of Samuel DAVEY, who was a corn merchant in Hall Street, Soham. The land was given to Henry HOWARD of Newmarket, who was a bank clerk, and then to his sons and heirs. We can't find Henry on the 1881 Census. He must have had a very good relationship with Catherine 'over the counter' at, maybe, Hammonds' Bank!

The 'piece of freehold land situate in the Fen in the Parish of Swaffham Prior in the County of Cambridge containing eight acres or thereabouts now in the occupation of George Crisp' has not yet been identified but George CRISP and his wife Mary, both aged 61, lived at River Bank, Swaffham Prior, which is an area of Swaffham Prior Fen by the River Cam. George farmed 80 acres in all and employed 1 man and 1 boy.

'Rosa Newman a daughter of Edward Newman of Bottisham' was one of three daughters of Edward NEWMAN, who lived at Parsonage Farm, Bottisham, most of which is still owned by his direct descendants, and farmed 480 acres with 15 men and 7 boys. It is believed that Edward NEWMAN was Catherine DOBITO's second cousin (through the WISEMANs of Cowlinge, Suffolk) and Rosa NEWMAN was clearly a favourite of Catherine's. She received the 8 acres of land in Swaffham Prior Fen. Perhaps a greater favourite was Rosa's sister, Florence NEWMAN, who was bequeathed 'my piece of freehold land situate in the Fen in the Parish of Swaffham Prior aforesaid containing eleven acres or thereabouts now in the occupation of Peter Webb'. Again, this land has not been specifically identified, but Peter WEBB, a widower aged 76 born at Lode, Cambridgeshire, farmed a total of 12 acres and lived at Rand Drove, Swaffham Prior. Edward NEWMAN, father of both Rosa and Florence, received 500 from the Will.

The next person to get a mention in Catherine DOBITO's Will was her landlord at Church Hall, His Grace The Duke of Rutland, Knight of the Garter. Charles C.J. Manners, the Duke, lived at Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire, but had very extensive property interests in Cambridgeshire, including Cheveley Park and much land in the neighbourhood, amounting to more than 6,500 acres, in addition to his Leicestershire land holdings of over 30,000 acres. It is interesting to examine the 1881 Census return for Belvoir Castle: in addition to the family and various guests, there were listed 43 servants of one sort or another! The Manners family rebuilt All Saints' Church, Newmarket, in 1876/77, and are further commemorated in Newmarket by The Rutland Arms Hotel in the High Street.

Catherine DOBITO bequeathed the lease of Church Hall Farm 'situate in the Parish of Woodditton aforesaid and now occupied by me with the tenants fixtures thereon and all the household furniture plate linen china pictures consumable stores and other household effects and all the horses carriages and live and dead farming stock which shall at my death be in or upon or about the said messuage and farm together with my watches jewels ornaments of the person and wearing apparel to my cousin Edward Claydon of Linton in the County of Cambridge Farmer for his own absolute use but subject to the payment of the rent', etc. Edward John CLAYDON was a fortunate man and, maybe, one of the less deserving of those mentioned in Catherine DOBITO's Will, for, though he was a relative (through the JONAS and GARDNER families of Great Thurlow, Suffolk), he could scarcely be said (rather like Frederick HAMMOND) to have been in need. He lived at Barham Hall, Linton, Cambridgeshire, and farmed 965 acres employing 40 men and 15 boys, along with several household servants (1881 Census). Edward CLAYDON was an Executor of the Will (along with Frederick HAMMOND) and he and his family did very well out of it (as did Frederick HAMMOND and his family). I can't help but believe that they were both Catherine DOBITO's relatives.

I do not know what relation, if any, were the sisters 'Sarah Ann Wheatley Pratt and Anne Wheatley Pratt of No. 10 Lupus Street St. Georges Square London' or 'their brother Charles James Pratt', but the guess is that they were somehow connected to Annie PRATT, unmarried aged 60, who was a visitor at Church Hall when the 1881 Census was taken. In any event, Sarah, Anne and Charles had the income from 4,000, which was no mean sum in the late 1800s, and, eventually, Charles and/or his children would have received the capital.

The family of John WOOLLARD, a master wheelwright of Little Ditton, who owed Catherine DOBITO 340 'secured by a mortgage in fee of certain hereditaments situate in Little Ditton in the County of Cambridge together with the securities for the same' also benefited from Catherine's Will in that Charles WOOLLARD (an agricultural labourer and most probably John's son) and 'Lucretia (or Lucy) his wife' were to have the income from the 340 and after they were both no more, the income was to go to James WOOLLARD, Charles's son, and Jacob WOOLLARD, John's grandson by his son, another John WOOLLARD, who was a journeyman carpenter at Little Ditton. All of those WOOLLARDs appeared on the 1881 Census.

We can, perhaps, visualise Catherine DOBITO as having been both 'Church' and 'Tory'. Her brother William voted for Charles Philip Yorke, Conservative, in the General Election of 1832 and she, herself, left 'the sum of five hundred pounds free of legacy duty to the Vicar and Churchwardens for the time being of the Trinity Church Saxton Street Woodditton' and the income from this sum was to augment the stipend of the Vicar. It is thought that the Church referred to was the 'Memorial Chapel' erected at Saxon Street in 1877 by Lady Adeliza Manners, in memory of her late husband, Lord George John Manners, and 'in which the Church of England service is held by the chaplain (the vicar of Kirtling) every Sunday evening.' (Kelly's Directory of 1879). The building is now a private house.

Catherine DOBITO didn't forget her housekeeper, Mary Ann WESTLEY, who was unmarried and aged 24 in 1881. Mary Ann received a legacy of 100 'to be paid to her free of legacy duty' (I am not sure how much the duty would have been at that period). However, Peter COLLIN, Catherine's cowkeeper, who also lived at the farm, didn't get anything.

It seems likely that the principal beneficiaries of Catherine DOBITO's Will, because they received the residue of her estate and effects, were Florence Susan BOCOCK, Olivia Kate BOCOCK, and Mary Dobito BOCOCK, the three daughters of David BOCOCK of Ashley cum Silverley, Cambridgeshire, Master Butcher and Farmer. David, aged 52, who had married Mary Dobito NORMAN, aged 54, Catherine's second cousin once removed, lived at Mill Road, Ashley, and employed 4 men, an apprentice, a son (James William BOCOCK) and a boy. David and Mary BOCOCK were my wife's Great Great Grandparents.

James BUTTON, who witnessed Catherine DOBITO's Will - and very likely drew it up as well - was a solicitor at 2 Kingston Place, Newmarket (1881 Census).

In addition to the Will, another document has come to light: it is dated 14th July 1877 and refers to the Manor of Tiptofts at Burwell, Cambridgeshire. It is an 'Acknowledgement of Satisfaction on Conditional Surrenders dated 5th November 1870 & 24th June 1876 passed by Mr J.E. Faircliff to Miss Catherine Dobito'. It reads as follows:

'Manor of Burwell Tiptofts in the County of Cambridge To the Steward of the said Manor or his lawful Deputy I Catherine Dobito of Woodditton in the County of Cambridge Spinster do hereby authorize and require you or one of you to enter in the Court Books or on the Court Rolls of the said Manor satisfaction and discharge on and for two certain Conditional Surrenders passed on or about the fifth day of November One thousand eight hundred and seventy and the twenty fourth day of June One thousand eight hundred and seventy six respectively by John Everett Faircliff of Burwell in the County of Cambridge Carpenter of certain hereditaments and premises copyhold of the said Manor to the use of me the said Catherine Dobito my heirs and assigns for securing to me my executors administrators and assigns the sums of Two hundred pounds and Four hundred pounds respectively and interest at the time and in the manner in the said Surrenders mentioned And for your so doing this shall be to you and each of you a sufficient warrant and authority

CathDobitoSign.gif - 866 Bytes

As witness my hand this fourteenth day of July One thousand eight hundred and seventy seven

Witness
James Neal York
Solicitor Newmarket

John Everett FAIRCLIFF, aged 63, also lived at High Town, Burwell, Cambridgeshire, and was, as stated above, a carpenter. His wife, Rhoda, was aged 53 and born at Cheveley, and a grandson, Henry John FAIRCLIFF, aged 14, was living with them. There are FAIRCLIFFs in Burwell to this day. James Neal YORK was another Newmarket solicitor, unmarried aged 49 (1881 Census) at Kingston House, Newmarket (Kelly's Directory of 1879).

This prosperous - and popular - lady farmer died soon after the 1881 Census was taken and, in May 1881, the Bury and Norwich Post published the following:

WOODDITTON. Miss Dobito. - The remains of the late Miss Catherine Dobito, of the Church Hall Farm, were interred in the family vault, near the south door of the parish Church, on Wednesday last, in the presence of a large number of spectators, who had gathered together to pay the last token of respect to the departed. In conformity with the wishes of the deceased, the coffin, which was of oak, covered with black cloth, and bearing upon the plate the words 'Catherine Dobito, died April 21st 1881, aged 70 years', was borne upon the shoulders of eight labourers on the farm, down the carriage drive, past the porter's lodge and into the churchyard by the south entrance. The chief mourners, the deceased having no very near relatives, were Messrs. Clayton, Dobito, and Hammond; and those present included a number of tenants of his Grace the Duke of Rutland, and others, among whom we noticed Messrs. R. King, J. Garrod, S.W. Slater, S. Gardner, I Gent, H.Nunn, S. Lowman, &c. Mr J. Garrod was the bearer of a very beautiful wreath from the Duke of Rutland, and several other handsome wreaths were either placed upon the coffin or suspended upon the palisades of the vault. As the body was borne into the church the 'Dead march in Saul', was played on the organ by Mr Hodgkinson, and as it was carried out a short selection in E minor by Rink. The service was read by the Vicar, the Rev. I.W. Kyte, and the funeral arrangements were under the management of Mr Martin, of Newmarket.'

A later occupier of Church Hall, Woodditton, Cambridgeshire, was Henry Gardner, JP (Kelly's Directories of 1888, 1892, 1900, 1908, 1912, 1929 and 1937). Church Hall is also a stud farm now.

I would like to have known Miss Catherine DOBITO: she is the favourite of all of the 'rellies' found thus far.


Footnote

This Ancestor description was written by Geoffrey Woollard. If you have any information about Catherine, or would like to add or ask about any other person quoted here then please contact Geoffrey Woollard email: GW5438@aol.com

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