Frank Sotheron

Admiral Frank Sotheron (1765 – 1839)  Admiral Frank Sotheron

Frank was a major owner of land in Hook, Goole and the Marshland area. He was born at Darrington Hall and through marriage and relatives inherited lands in different parts of the country. Frank served with Admiral Horatio Nelson and was also a personal friend, he also became MP for Nottinghamshire. He owned Hook Hall and used it as a residence for periods during his life when not at sea or visiting other homes – the family home at Darrington in Yorkshire, his relatives’ homes at Howden, Scarborough and Goole Hall or visiting friends in the area.

In 1807 a consignment of wine, delivered from Chatham to Hook docks (and on to Hook Hall) is of interest – it includes over 500 bottles of wine and befits his statement that:

‘There is nothing like a well stocked cellar for a man who enjoys dining’

In his diary he writes of attending to the affairs of his estates, visiting friends where he attends balls, shoots and hunts. References are also made of staying at Harewood House and in a great house in Doncaster. On one occasion he lunches in Howden and then goes to Doncaster for the evening, he may not have had a car but he could around easily. On 21st August 1830 his only daughter Lucy Sarah Sotheron marries Thomas Henry Bucknall Escourt Whose name later becomes Sotheron Escourt.

It was Lucy and Thomas (who later becomes MP for Marlborough and Devizes and for a short time Home Secretary) who paid for much of the restoration of St. Mary’s Church in 1844 and also paid for the erection of the new school also in 1844. Both Frank and Thomas were major players in the initial development of Goole, much of which was built on their land.

What’s in a name?

During this period only males were entitled to inherit, so in order to inherit the estates of female heirs it was common to add the female family name. For example Frank Sotheron changed his name to Frank Frank in order to inherit his grandmother’s estate in Nottinghamshire. He also had no male heirs only one daughter, Lucy, so on her marriage to Thomas Bucknall Escourt they took the name of Sotheron Escourt. Emanuel Jefferson (d. 1770) who came from a landowning family of Hook and Howden married Eleanor Dunnington from a land owning family in the East Riding and as a consequence the family name became Dunnington-Jefferson. In 1760 he also bought the manor of West Cottingwith. Their son Robert Jefferson established charities to educate the families of his tenants.

Rev. William Godfrey married Elizabeth Egremont from a landowning family in Lincolnshire and their names became Godfrey Egremont. Although William Godfrey Egremont was the vicar of Crowle both William and his wife Elizabeth are buried at Hook and there are memorial plaques to both in Hook church.