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Charles Waterton's Life and Family
The Grave of Charles Waterton (The Squire's Grandfather).

Place of Burial - Sandal or Walton Hall?

There is some uncertainty concerning the burial place of the Squire's grandfather, Charles Waterton (20 Mar 1704 - 1767).
◪  John W. Walker

According to John W. Walker, Grandfather Charles was buried on 12th September 1767 at Sandal, Wakefield, West Riding of Yorkshire. (1)

◪ The Sandal Magna Parish Register has this entry: 1767.09.02 Charles WATERTON bd Esq. (2)

◪ Richard Hobson
On the south side of the rookery, and close to, or within a little circular clump of trees, where stone for building purposes has been, at some former period, excavated, and about fifty or sixty yards from the lake, was interred the great grandfather of the "South American Wanderer". This was stated to me as a fact by the Squire himself, but whether it has been recorded in writing, or it has simply passed, by oral tradition, from father to son, I know not.
  View a map showing the possible location of Grandfather Charle's grave (no. 16) and other points of interest mentioned in Hobson's Tour. (PDF). (3)

◪ Norman Moore (1870 edition of Waterton's Essays) also seems to be referring to the same location as Hobson (see above).. Moore's account is a good description, apart from getting his points of the compass wrong (he refers to 'south' and 'east' (see below), but it seems to me that he had got the points of the compass confused and should have been referring to 'north' and 'west'. His description then matches the lie of the land.

"An iron bridge foot-bridge, which faced the south (north?) and principal front of the house, alone connectts the island with the park. If we cross over to the mainland, and proceeed northwards (southwards?) along the east (west?) bank of the lake, we have, between our right hand and the plantation which skirts the park, a broad, grassy slope, only broken by a row of elms, the remains of a former avenue. Beneath the roots of the southern-most (northen-most?) tree lie the bones of the wanderer's grandfather, a brave old Jacobite squire, who suffered imprisonment and fine in the Stuart cause, and was further impoverished on Doncaster race-course. In the days of their prosperity, the Watertons were buried at Methley, where several of their monuments are still to be seen, in a chapel built and endowed by one of their family. After the reverses entailed on them by the Reformation, they were interred in another chapel of their own in the chancel of Sandal church. But this hardy cavalier preferred that his boy should rest beneath the fresh turf and spreading trees of his own demesne." (4)

◪ Mrs William Pitt Byrne*, in Social Hours With Celebrities, Vol. 2, 1898, edited by Miss R.H. Busk (her sister, Rachel Harriette).. (*Julia Clara Pitt Byrne, née Busk)

"His grandfather was buried within the grounds, on account of the strong prejudice which was still at that time subsisting in England against Catholics, the Waterton family being traditionally imbued with rigid Catholic feeling." (5)

◪ Rev. J.G. Wood in the edition of the Wanderings edited by him, includes a section concerning the Squire's birthday and intended place of rest, followed by a reference to his grandfather's resting place..

The actual day of his birth was not known until June 3, 1864, when he asked the Misses Edmonstone to come and see a new cross which he had put up between two magnificent oaks near the head of the lake, There are many crosses in different parts of the park. The most conspicuous one is on top of the Ivy Tower, and another is on the wall of the Grotto. Another is upon a favourite resting place nearly opposite the Gateway, but there was a peculiar significance about this last cross.

"He [the Squire] rowed his sisters-in-law," writes Mr. Moore, "in his boat to the far end of the lake which surrounds Walton Hall, and when they arrived at the spot, he told them he intended to be buried there, and put his arms round the cross. 'Squire,' said Miss Edmonstone in Italian, for there was a man at work within hearing, 'it is your birthday.' He smiled and bowed assent." And on the 3rd of June in the following year he was laid to rest in the spot which he had indicated.
The remains of his grandfather lie beneath an elm-tree in another part of the park.(6)

1. The Burghs of Cambridgshire and Yorkshire and the Watertons of Lincolnshire and Yorkshire, J.W. Walker, O.B.E., F.S.A., reprinted from the Journal of the Yorkshire Archaeological Society, 1931., p. 104 and Pedigree Chart, Sheet 2 - Waterton Pedigree.
St. Helen's Church, Sandal Magna, Waterton of Walton chart. John W. Walker, F.S.A.. Reprinted from the Journal of the Yorkshire Archaelogical Society, 1916.

2. Yorkshire Parish Register Section Transcripts: 8 SANDAL MAGNA, christenings, marriages, burials 1598-1812 (Marriages to 1832). YPRS, Yorkshire Archaeological Society,23 Clarendon Road, Leeds LS2 9NZ.

3. Charles Waterton, His Home, Habits and Handiwork. Richard Hobson, M.D. Cantab., Second Ediion, 1867. H.W. Walker and John Smith, Leeds. Whittaker & Co.; Simpkin, Marshall & Co., London. [51-73]. "Hobson's Tour" is based upon Hobson's observations made on several pages.

4. Natural History Essays. By Charles Waterton, edited, with a Life of the Author, by Norman Moore, B.A.. Published by Frederick Warne and Co., London, 1870.

5. Social Hours With Celebrities, Vol. 2, 1898. Edited by Miss R.H. Busk (her sister), Ward & Downey, London. Chapter XIII, p. 69. Distinguished Private Friends - Charles Waterton, The Wanderer. Visit to Walton Hall, 1861.

6. Wanderings in South America. The North-West of the United States, and the Antilles, in the Years 1812, 1816, 1820, & 1824. By Charles Waterton. Edited with Biographical Introduction and Explanatory Index, by the Rev. J.G. Wood. Published by Macmillan and Co., London, 1880.

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