Records of the Family of Sclater

Claude Sclater


Other Sclaters

Sclater of Yorkshire, Lancashire and Cambridgeshire

SHORT pedigrees of Sclater appear in the Herald’s Visitations of Lancashire in 16641, London in 1664 and Cambridgeshire in 16832. These are three branches of the same family which descended from Richard Sclater, a farmer of Keighley in the West Riding of Yorkshire, whose will, dated April 26, 1545, is preserved in the Borthwick Institute at York. There are numerous entries relating to this family in the Keighley Parish registers, where, however, the name is mis-spelled “Slater”. Several members of the family seem to have been lawyers.

The most prominent of the family was Sir Thomas Sclater3, Bt., second son of William Sclater, attorney, of Halifax. Thomas was born at Halifax on July 9, 1615, and was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he became a Fellow in 1637. He was ejected from his fellowship during the Civil War and took the degree of M.D. at Oxford on June 13, 1649. He then returned to Cambridge, where he incorporated M.D., and practised as a physician. On February 25, 1654, he married Susan, the wealthy widow of Dr. Thomas Comber, the ejected Master of Trinity College. She was a Miss Freston of Norwich and her first husband’s name was Cotton. They continued to live in Cambridge and in 1659 Thomas Sclater was elected M.P. for the University. Soon after the Restoration he was created a Baronet, and in 1670 became a Freeman of Cambridge. He was J.P. for Cambridgeshire and Sheriff in 1680. He bought the estate of Catley Park at Linton, and rebuilt part of Nevile’s Court, Trinity College, in which his old rooms still exist with the coat of arms which he adopted moulded in plaster on the ceiling. His portrait is at Trinity College, where he was buried on December 10, 1684, and his notebooks survive in the Bodleian Library at Oxford.

He left no children and under his will the bulk of his large property passed to his great-nephew, Thomas (1665-1736), son of Edward and Mary Sclater of Hull. This Thomas Sclater, who later assumed the additional name of Bacon, was educated at St. Paul’s, Trinity College, Cambridge, and Gray’s Inn. He was M.P. for Bodmin from 1713 to 1715 and for Cambridge from 1722 to 1736. He married Catherine Woodward, a widow, in 1698, but died childless in 1736. He left his property to Thomas Sclater King who sold Catley Park in 17684 and died in 1777, a ruined gamester, by drowning in the canal in Hyde Park.

Sir Thomas’s elder nephew, Henry Sclater, was a Merchant at Hull who moved to London after the Restoration. He married Lariza, heiress of Sir Francis Gordon of Scotland, and adopted the same arms, argent a saltire azure, which were already being used by William Sclater (4). At the London Visitation of 1664 the Heralds registered his pedigree and these arms.

He lived at Putney between 1672 and 1678, when the baptism and burial of several of his children and the burial of his mother-in-law, Lady Gordon, were recorded in the parish register. He seems to have gravely displeased his uncle who left nothing to him in his final will, although he had made him his heir in a previous one. No further details have come to light about him.

Another prominent member of the same family was Sir Henry Sclater of Lightoaks, Leigh, and Denham, Brindle, both in Lancashire. He was the elder son of John Sclater (1574-1623) of Keighley, and was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was a contemporary of his first cousin, Sir Thomas Sclater, and at the Inner Temple. He was a Lieutenant-Colonel in the Royalist army, was taken prisoner at Naseby and fined £130 for being in arms against the Parliament5, but was pardoned after taking the Covenant. He was knighted after the Restoration. He married by licence at Manchester Cathedral on July 29, 1637, Rachel, daughter of Thomas Brooke of Norton Priory, Cheshire. He died in 1675 and in his will dated July 11, 1672, preserved in the Lancashire Record Office, mentions five children, Henry, Agnes, Thomas, Peter and Frances, wife of William Lyndale. One of his executors was his cousin, Sir Thomas Sclater, Bart.

The Denham estate, which was leased from the Duke of Devonshire passed to his son, Thomas (1649-1719), and then to Thomas’s only son, Henry Sclater of Bermondsey (1692-1770). Henry of Bermondsey married Elizabeth, daughter of John Stuart of the parish of St. Anne, Westminster. Their only son, Thomas Sclater, was baptised at Bermondsey on April 1, 1729, and was a Scholar at Eton and King’s College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. in 1752, becoming M.A. in 1755. He was elected a Fellow of King’s in 1750, and became Rector of Boxworth, near Cambridge, in 1754. He died unmarried in 1760 and administration of his estate was granted to his father, Henry Sclater, on August 8, 1760. He seems to have been the last of his line.

Edward Sclater of Putney and his descendants

THIS Edward Sclater is described in Wood’s Athenae Oxonienses as “the son of Edward Sclater, a Merchant Taylor of London, and descended from those of his name living at Sclater or Slaughter in Gloucestershire”. He was educated at Merchant Taylors’ School and St. John’s College, Oxford, graduating B.A. in 1644 and M.A. in 1648. He was a Royalist and High Churchman, and was ejected from St. John’s by the Parliamentary Visitors in 1648.

In 1663 he was appointed perpetual curate of St. Mary’s, Putney, and Vicar of Esher, Surrey. In 1685, on the accession of James II, he became a Roman Catholic, vindicating himself in two books, Nubes Testium and Consensus Veterum, but recanted publicly in 1688. An Account of Mr. Edward Sclater’s Return to the Communion of the Church of England was published by Anthony Horneck, D.D., in 1689.

He had four children: Edward (1655-1710); George (1661-1706); Mary (1633- ), who married in 1683 Charles Ireland, Cheese-monger of Cambridge; Elizabeth (1664- ), who married on December 16, 1685, Edward Collins, Clerk, of Wimbledon.

He died in 1699 and administration of his estate was granted to his younger daughter, Elizabeth Collins.

His elder son, Edward, matriculated from Magdalen Hall, Oxford, in 1671, aged 16, and graduated B.A. in 1675, becoming M.A. in 1679. He was elected a Fellow of Merton College, Oxford, in 1676 and became Rector of Gamlingay, Cambridgeshire, in 1684. He had several children who are all believed to have died in infancy. He died at Gamlingay in 1710.

George, the younger son of Edward of Putney matriculated from Magdalen Hall, Oxford, in 1676, aged 15, and graduated B.A. from Merton College, Oxford, in 1684. He became M.A. of Clare College, Cambridge, in 1696. After a curacy at Wandsworth he was appointed Rector of Hayes, Kent, in 1688 and Westerham, Kent, in 1696.

He married by licence in May 1686 Margaret Sandys of Wrotham, Kent, and had six children: Hester (1687- ), Catherine (1689- ), Edward (1691- ), George (1692-1745), John (1693- ), Ralph (1695- ). He died at Westerham in February 1705/6.

George, the second son of George of Westerham was baptised at Hayes, Kent, on July 19, 1692, and served in the Royal Navy. In The Gentleman’s Magazine there are two references to him:

1732 “Captain Sclater of the Hound, Sloop, was presented with a gold snuff box worth £70 for bringing the Spanish Ambassador from Calais to Dover.”

1742 “Captain Sclater commands H.M.S. Somerset, 80 guns.”

He was one of the officers tried by court martial after the indecisive battle of Toulon in February 1743/4 but was acquitted.

He married but apparently left no children, unless the Catherine Sclater of Fareham who married John Warriner at St. Lawrence Jewry on March 28, 1747, was his daughter. His wife, Lydia, died on March 20, 1736/7, aged 35, and he died on February 3, 1745/6. They were both buried at Fareham, Hants. In his will6 dated March 10, 173 5/6, he mentions only his brother, Ralph Sclater, sisters, Hester Nisbet and Catherine Bennett, and nephew, George Sclater, appointing his wife, Lydia, sole executrix. Since she had predeceased him, administration was granted to his brother, Ralph Sclater, who had married on July 26, 1716, at St. Mary Magdalen, Old Fish Street, London, Elizabeth Harmstrong.

After this the descendants of Edward Sclater of Putney either died out or sank into obscurity.

Sclater of Newick, Sussex

DETAILS of this family are given in Burke’s Landed Gentry. It is descended from Gilbert Sclater, of an Orkney family, who moved to England about 1690 and died in 1735.

His son, also Gilbert (1712-1785), was captain of an East India Company’s ship, Deputy Master of Trinity House, and founder of the family fortune.

The family have resided at Newick, Sussex, since 1815, when the property was acquired by James Henry Slater, J.P., D.L. (1793-1864), whose son, James Henry Sclater, J.P., D.L. (1819-1897), restored the spelling of the family name to Sclater.

A distinguished member of this family was General Sir Henry Sclater, G.C.B. (1855-1923), who was Adjutant-General from 1914 to 1916, and G.O.C. Southern Command from 1916 to 1919.

Sclater of Virginia, U.S.A.

THE following information has been supplied by Mr. Hoskins Mallory Sclater of Roanoke, Virginia:

  1. John Slater of Oxford, was buried at St. Peter’s-in-the-East, Oxford, on June 5, 1680, near his father’s grave. In his will (now in the Bodleian Library) he names four sons, James, Thomas, Gilbert and John, and two daughters.
  2. His son the Reverend James Sclater (1659-1723) was educated at St. Edmund Hall, B.A. 1677, M.A. 1680. He matriculated as Slater but graduated as Sclater. He was Vicar of Charles Parish, York County, Virginia, from 1686 until his death. He married Mary Scasbrooke of York County and had:
  3. James Sclater, Jr. (1697-1727), who married his cousin, Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Sclater of York County, and had:
  4. Richard Sclater (1721-1777) of York County, who married Martha-, and had:
  5. John Sclater (1747-1797) of York County, who married Mary Sheild Kerby of York County, and had:
  6. William Sheldon Sclater (1785-1815), who married Mary Hollier Lowry of Elizabeth City, Virginia, and had:
  7. James Sclater (1814-1902), who married three times, his second wife being Jane Hoskins of Chowan County, North Carolina, and had:
  8. John Mallory Sclater (1848-1915) who married firstly Mary Elizabeth Simkins of Northampton County, Virginia, and had:
  9. Robertson Hoskins Sclater, born 1884, B.S. and LL.B., who married Anne Lavinia Richardson of Farmville, Prince Edward County, Virginia, and had:
  10. Hoskins Mallory Sclater, born 1918, B.A., B.S. and LL.B.


  1. Cheetham Soc., Vol. 88, p.256
  2. Genealogist, Vol. 3, p.309
  3. See Cambridge Antiquarian Soc. Proceedings, Vol. 17, p.124
  4. Burke’s Extinct Baronetcies
  5. H.C.J., December 57, 1647
  6. P.C.C. Edmunds, Folio 6

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