Henry Uthwatt (1728-1757)
Henry Uthwatt was the son of Richard Uthwatt and Elizabeth Andrewes. Richard's father was a brother to the previous lord of the manor, Thomas Uthwatt and his mother the only daughter of Henry Andrewes of Lathbury. Henry Uthwatt inherited Great Linford Manor in 1754, upon the death of his uncle. George Lipscomb in volume 4 of his, A History and Antiquities of the County of Buckingham, asserts that it was Henry who on occupying Great Linford Manor, “immediately cut off the entail by which that estate had been settled upon St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in London.”
Born in Rickmansworth, London, Henry was baptised July 20th, 1728, and was educated at St. Mary Hall in Oxford, matriculating (taking up his studies) on November 3rd, 1746, then aged 18. He was created a Doctor of Civil Law on July 8th, 1756, though we do not know if he ever worked in any capacity, or if he was supported in a grand lifestyle by family money.
Prior to his inheritance of Great Linford Manor, he had married at Maids Morton on June 12th, 1750, Frances Chester, the daughter of John Chester and Frances Baget. The couple then probably divided their time between London and Great Linford, though it is clear that Henry (and perhaps Frances) were strongly committed to their new manor.
Henry was a great benefactor of St. Andrew’s church at Great Linford, having paid in 1756 for the bells to removed, recast and rehung, along with a new 6th bell; it is undoubtedly for this reason that we find the village pub now known as The Nag’s Head, renamed in this period to The Six Bells.
It seems that like his uncle Thomas, he had a penchant for reading, as like his predecessor we find him subscribing towards the cost of publishing a number of books. Henry must have also been interested in gardening, as there is a record of expenses incurred with a London garden nursery of £25 (about £3000 in today’s money), so it is highly likely that the manor gardens were continuing their development and evolution during his tenure.
The couple appear to have been childless as there are no records of baptisms at either London or Great Linford, but then in 1757 tragedy struck, when on December 22nd, Henry succumbed in London to consumption (pulmonary tuberculosis) at just 29 years of age. He was buried not at Great Linford, but at Lathbury (ancestral home of his mother’s family), being laid there to rest on December 31st, 1757.
This was just a short time after Henry had purchased the manor of Tickford at Newport Pagnell, but it was immediately sold off to pay the mortgages he held at Great Linford. The terms of his will specified that the manor house at Great Linford remain the home of his wife until her passing, which was not to occur until 1800.