Posts Tagged ‘William Otter’

Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Edward Strutt 1st Baron Belper
26 October 1801 – 30 June 1880

Edward Strutt 1st Baron Belper was born at St Helen’s House Derby, Strutt was the only son of William Strutt, of St Helen’s House, Derbyshire, and the grandson of Jedediah Strutt. His mother was Barbara, daughter of Thomas Evans. He was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was President of the Cambridge Union in 1821. Strutt graduated as a Bachelor of Arts in 1823, promoted to Master of Arts three years later.

Strutt entered the British House of Commons in 1830, sitting as Member of Parliament for Derby until 1848, when he was unseated on petition. He represented Arundel from 1851 to 1852 and Nottingham from 1852 to 1856.He was Chief Commissioner of Railways between 1846 and 1848 and served as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster from 1853 to 1854 in Lord Aberdeen’s coalition government. He was sworn of the Privy Council in 1846 and in 1856 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Belper, of Belper, in the County of Derby.

Strutt also held the honorary posts of High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire in 1850 and Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire between 1864 and 1880, having been previously a Deputy Lieutenant. In 1860 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society and between 1871 and 1879, he was President of University College, London.

Lord Belper married Amelia Harriet Otter, daughter of the Right Reverend William Otter, Bishop of Chichester, on 28 March 1837. They had several children. They were the parents of Henry Strutt, 2nd Baron Belper.

Children from the marriage were:

  • Hon. Caroline Strutt (d. 23 Jul 1926) married Sir Kenelm Edward Digby, son of Rev. Hon. Kenelm Henry Digby and Caroline Sheppard, on 30 August 1870.
  • Hon. Ellen Strutt (d. 31 Dec 1940) married George Murray Smith the Younger on 22 October 1885.
  • Hon. Sophia Strutt (d. 2 Dec 1928) married Sir Henry Denis Le Marchant, 2nd Baronet., son of Sir Denis Le Marchant, 1st Baronet, on 7 September 1869.
  • William Strutt (7 May 1838 – 19 Jan 1856) died in Bonn, Germany.
  • Henry Strutt, 2nd Baron Belper (20 May 1840 – 26 Jul 1914)
  • Hon. Arthur Strutt (3 Mar 1842 – 6 Feb 1877) married Alice Mary Elizabeth March Phillipps de Lisle, daughter of Ambrose Lisle March Phillipps De Lisle and Laura Maria Clifford, on 22 April 1873.

He built his family seat, Kingston Hall, Nottinghamshire and moved in 1846.

Lord Belper died at Eaton Square, Belgravia, London, in June 1880, aged 78, and was succeeded in the barony by his second but eldest surviving son, Henry. A stained glass window was erected in the north side of the chancel in St. Mary’s Church, Nottingham in his memory. Lady Belper died in December 1890.

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Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

King’s College London


King’s College London

King’s College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom, and a founding constituent college of the federal University of London. King’s was founded in 1829 by King George IV and the Duke of Wellington and received its royal charter in the same year. In 1836, King’s became one of the two founding colleges of the University of London. King’s is regarded as one of the world’s leading multidisciplinary research universities, ranked 21st in the world by the 2016/17 QS World University Rankings.

King’s College London, so named to indicate the patronage of King George IV, was founded in 1829 in response to the theological controversy surrounding the founding of “London University” (which later became University College London) in 1826. London University was founded, with the backing of Utilitarians, Jews and non-Anglican Christians, as a secular institution, intended to educate “the youth of our middling rich people between the ages of 15 or 16 and 20 or later” giving its nickname, “the godless college in Gower Street”.

The need for such an institution was a result of the religious and social nature of the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, which then educated solely the sons of wealthy Anglicans. The secular nature of London University was disapproved by The Establishment, indeed, “the storms of opposition which raged around it threatened to crush every spark of vital energy which remained”. Thus, the creation of a rival institution represented a Tory response to reassert the educational values of The Establishment. More widely, King’s was one of the first of a series of institutions which came about in the early nineteenth century as a result of the Industrial Revolution and great social changes in England following the Napoleonic Wars. By virtue of its foundation King’s has enjoyed the patronage of the monarch, the Archbishop of Canterbury as its visitor and during the nineteenth century counted among its official governors the Lord Chancellor, Speaker of the House of Commons and the Lord Mayor of London.

The simultaneous support of the Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington (who was also UK’s Prime Minister then), for an Anglican King’s College London and the Roman Catholic Relief Act, which was to lead to the granting of almost full civil rights to Catholics, was challenged by George Finch-Hatton, 10th Earl of Winchilsea, in early 1829. Winchilsea and his supporters wished for King’s to be subject to the Test Acts, like the universities of Oxford, where only members of the Church of England could matriculate, and Cambridge, where non-Anglicans could matriculate but not graduate, but this was not Wellington’s intent.

Winchilsea and about 150 other contributors withdrew their support of King’s College London in response to Wellington’s support of Catholic emancipation. In a letter to Wellington he accused the Duke to have in mind “insidious designs for the infringement of our liberty and the introduction of Popery into every department of the State”. The letter provoked a furious exchange of correspondence and Wellington accused Winchilsea of imputing him with “disgraceful and criminal motives” in setting up King’s College London. When Winchilsea refused to retract the remarks, Wellington – by his own admission, “no advocate of duelling” and a virgin duellist – demanded satisfaction in a contest of arms: “I now call upon your lordship to give me that satisfaction for your conduct which a gentleman has a right to require, and which a gentleman never refuses to give.”

The result was a duel in Battersea Fields on 21 March 1829. Winchilsea did not fire, a plan he and his second almost certainly decided upon before the duel; Wellington took aim and fired wide to the right. Accounts differ as to whether Wellington missed on purpose. Wellington, noted for his poor aim, claimed he did, other reports more sympathetic to Winchilsea claimed he had aimed to kill. Honour was saved and Winchilsea wrote Wellington an apology. “Duel Day” is still celebrated on the first Thursday after 21 March every year, marked by various events throughout King’s, including reenactments.

King’s opened in October 1831 with the cleric William Otter appointed as first principal and lecturer in divinity. The Archbishop of Canterbury presided over the opening ceremony, in which a sermon was given in the chapel by Charles Blomfield, the Bishop of London, on the subject of combining religious instruction with intellectual culture. Despite the attempts to make King’s Anglican-only, the initial prospectus permitted, “nonconformists of all sorts to enter the college freely”. William Howley: the governors and the professors, except the linguists, had to be members of the Church of England but the students did not, though attendance at chapel was compulsory.

King’s was divided into a senior department and a junior department, also known as King’s College School, which was originally situated in the basement of the Strand Campus. The Junior department started with 85 pupils and only three teachers, but quickly grew to 500 by 1841.

Within the Senior department teaching was divided into three courses: a general course comprised divinity, classical languages, mathematics, English literature and history; a medical course; and miscellaneous subjects, such as law, political economy and modern languages, which were not related to any systematic course of study at the time and depended for their continuance on the supply of occasional students. In 1833 the general course was reorganised leading to the award of the Associate of King’s College (AKC), the first qualification issued by King’s. The course, which concerns questions of ethics and theology, is still awarded today to students and staff who take an optional three-year course alongside their studies.

The river frontage was completed in April 1835 at a cost of £7,100, its completion a condition of King’s College London securing the site from the Crown. Unlike those in the school, student numbers in the Senior department remained almost stationary during King’s first five years of existence. During this time the medical school was blighted by inefficiency and the divided loyalties of the staff leading to a steady decline in attendance. One of the most important appointments was that of Charles Wheatstone as professor of Experimental Philosophy.

At this time neither King’s, “London University”, nor the medical schools at the London hospitals could confer degrees. In 1835 the government announced that it would establish an examining board to grant degrees, with “London University” and King’s both becoming affiliated colleges. This became the University of London in 1836, the former “London University” becoming University College, London (UCL).

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Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

William Otter
23 October 1768 – 20 August 1840


William Otter

William Otter was the first Principal of King’s College, London, who later served as Bishop of Chichester. He was educated at Jesus College, Cambridge where he was later made a fellow. He was appointed Principal of the newly established King’s College, London, in 1831, and held the post until 1836 when he was appointed Bishop of Chichester.

William Otter was born at Cuckney, Nottinghamshire, the son of Dorothy née Wright and Rev. Edward Otter.

On 3 July 1804 in Leatherhead, Surrey he married Nancy Sadleir Bruère, granddaughter of George Bruere, British Governor of Bermuda. They had three sons and five daughters:

  • The Venerable William Bruère Otter, Archdeacon of Lewes (1805-1876), who married Elizabeth Melvil (1814-1892). They had four sons and six daughters, including Lt. William Otter RN (1840-1870). Hugh Otter-Barry was their grand-son.
  • Sophia Otter (1807-1889), married the Reverend Henry Malthus (1805-1882), son of Thomas Robert Malthus, FRS
  • Caroline Charlotte Otter (1809-1855) married John Romilly, 1st Baron Romilly
  • Jacqueline Elizabeth Otter (1811-1849) married Alexander Trotter a banker and stockbroker working at Coutts bank. Among their children were:
  • Coutts Trotter (1837-1887), Vice Master of Trinity College, Cambridge
  • Edward Bush Trotter (1842-1920) Archdeacon of Western Downs, Australia
  • Colonel Sir Henry Trotter KCMG CB
  • Maria Otter (1814- ) who married Sir William Milbourne James (1807-1881), Lord Justice of Appeal, Their son Maj. William Christopher James married Effie Gray Millais, the daughter of Effie Gray and John Everett Millais.
  • Alfred William Otter (1815-1866) who married Anna Louisa de la Hooke (1824-1907). One of their sons was Gen. William Dillon Otter KCB CVO VD
  • Amelia Harriet Otter (1817-1890) who married Edward Strutt, 1st Baron Belper (1801-1880)
  • Reginald William Ongley Otter (1826-1862)

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