Waddington father and son

Anthony Lee

Waddington father and son.

The middle years of the nineteenth century were a time of great political change, both nationally and locally. In Margate, 1837 saw the formation of the ‘The Margate Municipal Reform Association’, an association whose aim was to increase the influence of the local rate-payers in the management of Margate.1 Margate at the time was a ‘limb’ of the Town of Dover, administered by the Mayor and Town Council of Dover. The Mayor of Dover appointed a Deputy in Margate to carry out his wishes, and for three generations this Deputy had been a Cobb, Francis Cobb the first, Francis Cobb the second, and finally Francis William Cobb. To oversee local matters such as managing the Pier at Margate, maintaining the roads, and cleaning and lighting the town there was a local Board of Improvement Commissioners, established under the 1787 Margate Improvement Act.2 The Chairman of this Board was the Deputy and so was always a Cobb. Election of new Commissioners to fill any vacancies on the Board was by the existing Commissioners, leading to inevitable complaints of cronyism and nepotism;  such complaints were well placed since, for example, six of the Commissioners in 1850 were Cobbs.

The 1830s also saw widespread unrest at the national level engendered by the lack of Parliamentary representation of much of the population, unrest leading to the passing of the Great Reform Bill in 1832.3 The combination of these local and national pressures ensured that the Margate Municipal Reform Association received strong support in the town. What was surprising, however, was that one of the most influential and active supporters of the Association was a prominent local doctor, Joshua Waddington. The stated purpose of the Association was to ‘enquire into the expenditure and application of all rates, tolls, and duties’ levied on the inhabitants of Margate,1 and the Association attracted a membership of the ‘middling sort’, such as shop keepers and small businessmen. Waddington, however, was a ‘gentleman’, a member of a family that could trace its routes back to Richard de Wadyngton in 1388.4 Nevertheless, Joshua Waddington and Edward Mottley, the Secretary of the Association, had many political views in common. Joshua Waddington came from a London family with a strong political background. His father, Samuel Ferrand Waddington, had been very active in the radical politics of the turn of the eighteenth century and the political lives of the father and son had many features in common; understanding the political life of the father helps us understand one of the major figures in the development of the town of Margate.

The Waddington Family

Joshua Waddington was born in 1793 in Clapham, London, the son of Samuel Ferrand Waddington.4 His grandfather, the Rev. Joshua Waddington of Harworth, near Doncaster, had, in 1740, married Ann, daughter of the Rev. Thomas Ferrand, Vicar of Bingley, Yorkshire; the couple had eight sons. The eldest, Thomas, went into the church, and the second, John, died at the age of twenty six in Calcutta. The third, Benjamin, born in 1749, moved after his marriage to Llanover, an estate he had purchased in South Wales.5 He was described as being ‘exceedingly phlegmatic . . . without the slightest particle of imagination.’ It was said that ‘if the weather was fine and he could take his accustomed long walks and rides, he was much out of doors, but if the weather prevented this, he would seat himself in his great chair in his own room and read from breakfast-time - 8 or 8.30 till 1 o'clock, and again from 2 or 3 till 5 o'clock, which was his regular dinner-hour.’ Initially ‘he troubled and worried himself with farm­ing, but finding that it did not increase his happiness and very much interfered with his comfort to see every­thing going wrong, he gradually put his agricultural affairs into the hands of his wife’.5

The remaining five sons were very different from the phlegmatic Benjamin. The fourth, William, born in 1751, became a merchant. He developed extensive business interests in France, establishing Cotton Mills at St. Remy-sur-Avre in 1791; in 1816 he obtained ‘lettres de grande naturalisation pour services rendus a l’industrie’ from King Louis XVIII of France.  The fifth, the Rev. George Waddington, born in 1753, became tutor to Prince William, afterwards Duke of Clarence and subsequently King.  The final three sons, like William, became successful merchants. Joshua, born in 1755, moved to New York and became a trader there, founding the township of Waddington on the banks of the St. Lawrence River in New York State. Samuel Ferrand Waddington, born in 1759, and Henry Waddington, born in 1761, became London merchants. Samuel Ferrand Waddington was educated at university in Germany and then, with his younger brother, established the company of Henry and Samuel Waddington. A legal case in 1826 suggests that the company traded with the elder brother, Joshua Waddington, in New York, importing cotton and other goods from America, and, in return, exporting a range of goods to America.6 In 1791 the company was listed at 21 New Bridge Street in London.7 Round the corner, in Chatham Place, a street linking New Bridge Street to Blackfriars Bridge, lived their elder brother, William Waddington. In 1788 Samuel Ferrand Waddington married Sarah Jarvis, sister of Daniel Jarvis, in Margate;8 they were to have seven sons and one daughter [Daniel Jarvis the third]


New Bridge Street London
Figure 1. View of New Bridge Street, Blackfriars, with the Albion Fire Office &c. Laurie & Whittle, 1810. A view looking south, with the Albion Fire Insurance Association premises on the left. (Guildhall Library, London)


Samuel Ferrand Waddington was described, rather unflatteringly, as being rather short, thin, and insignificant, ‘with the air and address of a foreigner,’ but an intelligent man who had seen a great deal of the world.9,10 As well as travelling extensively in Europe, Waddington had visited his brother Joshua Waddington in New York and, while in New York, had served in a volunteer corps under the British military governor of New York, General Robertson, defending New York against the rebels in the American War of Independence.11 On returning to London he found that that city too was in a state of ferment. The passing of the Catholic Relief Act in 1778 had led to protests from anti-Catholics. On 2 June 1780 the Protestant Association marched to the House of Commons with Lord George Gordon, a half-mad fanatical anti-Papist, to demand the repeal of the Act. They were joined by a large mob of rioters and, in the week of riots that followed, the mob burnt the houses of Roman Catholic gentry in the City and, on 7 June, broke into Newgate prison, releasing the prisoners and setting the prison alight. The mob then attacked the other London prisons, set fire to the toll-gates on Blackfriars Bridge and attacked the Bank of England. Eventually the military regained control, but by then nearly 300 had been killed and 450 taken prisoner. 

Waddington joined a volunteer force, the London Military Association, which helped to suppress the riots and helped to protect the catholic population of London. Waddington described how the force was called out to quell the rioters who ‘were firing London in no less than 32 places’.11 The volunteer force consisted of nearly 500 men but only 85 answered the call to arms, even though ‘there were the usual attractions of orderly sergeants, martial music, and good cheer’.11 Waddington continued:

The night of the 7th June was most awful, and much carnage ensued. I happened to be one of this number 85 – and I must confess that I was considerably alarmed, particularly from the defection of the corps. The day after the suppression of the riots, at least 40 joined us, tolerably recovered from their indisposition. It was a hot season; bowel complaints were the order of the day. After a debate, for we had our spoutings and our committees, the rest of the corp were eventually allowed to rejoin their brethren in arms. The 85 were publicly thanked by the City.

The Gordon riots, as they came to be called, were short-lived and did not spread outside London but the great questions remained unanswered; should Catholics be allowed to vote in parliamentary elections and should there be a general reform of parliament? For most of the 18th century parliament had consisted of a continually changing network of loyalties rather than of a number of clearly defined political parties. The idea of government and opposition parties had not yet emerged; in fact, a party that opposed the King would, in theory, be committing treason. The two most important factions in parliament came to be called the Whigs and the Tories. The Whigs, a name originally used as an insult and derived from the word whiggamore meaning a cattle driver, was first used as a name for those politicians who opposed the succession of the catholic James, Duke of York, to the thrones of England, Scotland and Ireland. The Whigs were opposed by the Tories, a name also used as an insult, derived from the Irish word tóraidhe, meaning an outlaw or robber; the Tories were in favour of the Duke of York’s succession to the throne. In broad terms the Tories were the more conservative group and supported the power of the monarchy, whereas the Whigs were opposed to absolute rule by the monarchy and supported the power of parliament. In the early 1780s, following the American Revolution, a series of short lived coalitions eventually led to the beginnings of a recognizable two party system, with a Tory government led by William Pitt the younger and a Whig opposition led by Lord North and the charismatic Charles James Fox, son of Henry Fox, Baron Holland. The Tories were supported by the landed gentry and the Whigs by wealthy merchants and by the newly emerging industrial interests.

The Whigs strongly opposed Pitt during the early years of his prime ministership and particularly during the crisis created by the King’s temporary insanity in 1788-1789. Initially Waddington was happy with the way that Pitt was running things. In 1789, with other London merchants, he signed a motion thanking Pitt ‘for his able, spirited and manly defence of the constitutional rights of this Empire’ during the illness of George III.12 But his support for Pitt did not survive for long. Reform was in the air, helped on by its being the centenary of the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and by the French Revolution which had shown that increased levels of democracy were possible.13 The British radical movement, however, was not predominantly republican. Rather, it looked for constitutional reform and the recapture of lost freedoms; it saw itself as part of the long tradition of citizens fighting for their freedoms. Of course, support for the revolution in France fell away with the flight of the French Royal Family to Varennes in June 1791 and the war between France and Austria and Prussia in the summer of 1792. On 1 February 1793 France declared war on Britain; reformers in Britain argued that the war could have been prevented if Pitt had adopted a less hostile attitude to the French. The war followed an economic downturn in 1792, made worse by a series of bad harvests. Runs on a number of county banks led to nervousness in the financial markets and the number of bankruptcies in 1793, 2000, was double the number in 1792.13 The poor harvests resulted in high prices for wheat and other grains, leading to unrest and a widespread fear of a popular uprising. The radicals complained of ‘meat seven-pence a pound; bread nine-pence the quarter loaf; coals two-shillings, half-a-crown, and three-shillings a bushel; all in consequence of this war’ and offered a solution: ‘My advice to you therefore is . . . turn out all your present ministers, make peace with the French, insist upon an universal suffrage of the people and annual parliaments, abolish all sinecure places and unmerited  pensions, cultivate your commerce, cherish your manufactories, love all men as your brothers, and never go to war but when you are obliged to do it in self-defence’.14

The merchants of London were only too well aware that the war was bad for business. Although some felt that the war was necessary to prevent massacre and mayhem in Britain, others, including Waddington, argued that the anarchy experienced in France was a specifically French problem; Waddington suggested that the atrocities seen in France ‘were the natural consequence of the bigotry, the oppression and depravity, which had been experienced under the old Regime. Had religion not been so debased in that country, the people would never have fallen into such an abyss of depravity’.15 The Church of England would see that things did not get out of hand in England and members of the London Corresponding Society and similar radical organizations continued to argue for reform of Parliament and remained sympathetic to the French. The principal text of the reformers was ‘The Rights of Man,’ written by Thomas Paine, a revolutionary and radical.  By one of those odd twists of history, Thomas Paine had lived briefly in Margate some thirty years earlier.16 He was born in Thetford, in Norfolk, in 1737 and was trained as a stay maker. After time in London and Dover, he moved in 1759 to Sandwich, where he married.  His stay-making business there was not successful and he moved to Margate in 1760, where his wife died. He then moved to London, and then back to Thetford. He remained in Britain until the age of 37, when he emigrated to the British American colonies, later to participate in the American Revolution and to influence the French Revolution.

Two large open air meetings organized by the London Corresponding Society in 1795 were highly critical of Pitt.13 Three days after the second of these meetings, George III, riding in his carriage to open Parliament, was mobbed by crowds demanding bread and an end to the war with France. A small stone, thought by some at the time to have been a bullet, broke the window of the King’s carriage; later, on his return from Parliament, the King was pursued by a large crowd. Loyalists believed that an attempt had been made on the King’s life and Pitt’s government responded by rapidly introducing two bills into Parliament, ‘An Act for the Safety and Preservation of his Majesty’s Person and Government, against Treasonable and Seditious Practices and Attempts,’ and ‘An Act for preventing Seditious Meetings and Assemblies.’ The radicals, of course, bitterly opposed these bills and campaigned actively against them; one of the radicals was Waddington.

In November 1795 Waddington was chairman of two large meetings of ‘merchants, bankers, manufacturers, traders, and others,’ held at the Paul’s Head Tavern in Cateaton Street, London to petition the crown and parliament to make peace with the French and to  prevent Parliament passing the two bills.17 The meetings resolved that ‘the critical and calamitous state of these kingdoms demands an immediate peace; and it is the opinion of this meeting that his majesty’s ministers have lost the confidence of the people’ and agreed to present a petition to the King ‘praying that he would be graciously pleased to adopt measures for immediately procuring to his distressed subjects the blessings of peace.’ Whilst stressing their ‘firm and inviolable attachment to the constitution of these kingdoms, and to your Majesty’s person and house,’ and feeling ‘the most heartfelt gratitude on the wisdom of our forefathers in establishing and cherishing that constitution’ they could not ‘contemplate without horror and indignation the conduct  of your Majesty’s ministers, who, instead of proving themselves the defenders of that unrivalled system, have suggested and pursued measures, which, if persisted in, must, in our humble apprehension, inevitably effect the total annihilation of that constitution, and the invaluable rights and liberties of your faithful people.’ The petitions went on to say that ‘your Majesty’s ministers have forfeited our confidence’ and suggested that the ministers be dismissed and that the two proposed Bills not be passed. It was also suggested that ‘inhabitants throughout the kingdom [should] assemble in their respective districts, to express their disapprobation of the said bills, and to petition against them.’ Copies of these petitions were published in the London newspapers.

Many were unconvinced by the radical’s protestations of loyalty to the King. One of those unconvinced was a Captain Collett of the Southwark  Troop of the Surrey Yeomanry Cavalry, part of the volunteer movement established for the defense of the country against invasion by France, and which Waddington had joined. In November 1795, Collett wrote to Waddington:18,19

Dear Sir
I have seen with very great concern your name affixed to certain advertisements in the public papers, in direct opposition to the steps which government think necessary to be adopted, to preserve the peace of the metropolis, and of the country at large, against the machinations of designing, artful, and disaffected men, who seem to have in view the total overthrow of our glorious constitution. And, as it appears to me, that your being the champion of these people is totally incompatible with your continuing any longer a member of a corps of volunteer cavalry, who have avowedly stood forward in the defence of their king and constitution, I must beg the favour of you to have the goodness to return to me the arms and accoutrements which you received from me as your commanding officer. I am much hurt in being obliged to take this step; but you will, I trust, readily perceive, that the honour of the Southwark Troop demands it. – I am, Sir,
                       Your most obedient humble Servant
                                   E. J. COLLETT, Capt. S. T. S. Y. C.

Waddington replied from New Bridge Street two days later:

The same principle which induced me to enrol myself in the Honourable Surrey Corps, to defend my country against a threatened foreign invasion, has equally impelled me to stand forward in its defence, against a domestic invasion of the constitution itself. – As the “honour of the Southwark Troops,” and the existence of the British Constitution are incompatible (as from your letter it should seem they were) it is with mortification I comply with your requisition, in returning the cloak and cartouch box (and a halter, which I had almost forgotten) being the only “arms and accoutrements,” which I received from you as the “Commanding Officer!”
           The insinuations in your letter against the respectable inhabitants of the first commercial city in the world, I cannot descend to reply to; I shall only observe that such epithets so applied, are as unworthy to be further noticed, as they are unmerited.
 – I am, &c.
                                               S. F. WADDINGTON


Waddington decided to further his political views by standing for parliament in the 1796 elections, held between 25 May and 29 June.20 Unlike today, elections were then held over a period of several weeks, so that a candidate, if unsuccessful in one constituency, could stand for election at another where the election was held at a later date. This is what Waddington did, standing first at St. Albans in the county of Hereford and then at Hertfordshire.20 At St. Albans he was standing against two candidates, Richard Bingham (Lord Bingham) and Thomas Bucknall, both Tories. Bingham was one of the two sitting members, and Thomas Bucknall was brought into the election to keep one of the two seats in the constituency safe for the heir of Viscount Grimston; Bucknall was said to be a surprising choice of candidate as ‘his main preoccupation was with fruit trees’.20 

In June 1796 Waddington took the oath required of all potential candidates, swearing that he possessed an estate with an annual value of more than £600, quoting properties in the counties of Monmouth and Lincoln, and in  Margate, the latter probably being property brought to him by his marriage.21 He then did what was expected of any serious candidate, which was to bribe the constituents. He was said to have spent £5000: ‘His method, after the custom of the time, was to meet the mayor [of St. Albans, Alderman Kingston] and about a hundred and fifty of the electors at dinner at the Bell and Red Lions Inns, where it is said he had a very good reception. Every three weeks afterwards for some time supper was provided at these inns for all the electors who cared to regale themselves at his expense’.22 The election seems to have been an ill-tempered affair. Bucknall was reported to be determined to keep out ‘a disciple of Tom Paine’ [Waddington] and Bucknall was informed by a local correspondent that ‘a great deal of rancour was displayed by the leaders of this faction against both our present Members and those who supported them, but particularly against your family’. 20 The correspondent added: ‘I am convinced that no stone will be left unturned to poison the minds of the lowest class of voters and to secure their votes, and that they are secretly aided in this business by our worthy Doctor P[reedy] and some other gentry of r[adical] principles’.20 He reported of Waddington that ‘in his address the “Frenchified” radical advocated peace, tax relief and commercial growth. He denounced the influence of the crown and aristocracy and posed as champion of the electors’ independence.’ Apparently, on the second day of the poll, Waddington ‘burst into tears and retired to the tune of 6,000 guineas’. Finally, the correspondent reported ‘I am extremely happy that Waddington is driven away, and Kingston and all his rabble have found that they cannot carry things in the manner they flattered themselves they could. I hope this will secure us a little peace in the place for some time to come’.20 Waddington achieved 208 votes, compared to 378 and 308 for Bingham and Bucknall, respectively.20,23

Apparently undeterred Waddington then stood for election for one of the two Herefordshire seats, this time standing against two Whig candidates, William Plumer and William Baker.20 An observer of the election reported ‘Waddington has not a foot of land in the county, nor I believe anywhere, though he talked of his qualification in Wales, and had the impudence to brag upon the hustings of having £70,000 to invest in the county. He had more votes than I should have expected (though only 400) but half of them seem to have been got by surprise, and the other half were a league of dissenters’.20 In fact, Waddington received 408 votes, but still far fewer than Plumer and Baker, who received 1244 and 873, respectively. In their joint address of thanks following the election Plumer and Baker claimed, ‘we have the advantage of any itinerant candidate’.20 Still apparently undeterred, in June 1797 Waddington stood as one of the Sheriff’s of London, but again was not elected.24 In December he stood for election as an Alderman in the Ward of Farringdon Without. The  poster he issued during the election suggested that he thought he had a good chance of success:78

To the WORTHY FREEMAN, HOUSEHOLDERS, of the WARD of Farringdon Without
The very decided Majority which appeared in my Favor at the Wardmote this Day, demands my most grateful Acknowledgements. I earnestly intreat a Continuance of your Exortions in my Behalf, by which I have no Doubt of your Efforts being crowned with Success.
I remain
Your obliged and devoted humble servant
Friday, Dec 29 1797  S. F. Waddington
Waddington  -   - 179
Price -  - 188
Your early Poll To-morrow in my Behalf is humbly requested, which begins at ST. SEPULCHRE's CHURCH, precisely at Twelve o'Clock and closes at Three for that Day. 

Unfortunately here again he failed, Charles Price being elected with 606 votes compared to his 399 votes.79 To become an Alderman of the City of London it was usually necessary to be a member of one of the City Livery Companies, and Waddington was a member of the Company of Joiners and Ceilers.79 It sees that the Joiners and Ceilers were active supporters of the London radicals as they had admitted the campaigner John Wilkes to membership in 1768.79 [see Mr Wilkes comes to Margate

Waddington continued to address meetings of the merchants of London, remaining critical of Pitt. In March 1797 he addressed a large meeting of London Liverymen in the Guildhall in the presence of the Lord Mayor, proposing another petition, lamenting ‘that by the evil instigations of your Majesty’s Advisers, these Nations have been plunged into a War unparalleled in misery and destruction, which has nearly ruined our commerce, impoverished our manufacturers, depopulated our country, sapped the public credit, and widely extended the most flagitious corruption’.25 In March 1798, he became a member of the Whig Club, a club which his elder brother Benjamin had joined in 1796.26 The Whig club, a private organization where eminent politicians met with young men just entering the political world, was under the control of Charles Fox and served as ‘party’ headquarters for him.27 But Waddington quickly became disillusioned with the opportunism of organized politics and fell out with Fox and the other Whigs; later, he was to write that a ‘great national evil is the hypocrisy of the patriots denominated the Whigs’. 28 Like many of the London merchants, what really excited Waddington was playing the role of defender of liberties; in 1801, Hunt was  to describe him as ‘a decided opposition man, or rather a democrat’.9

Despite his many political setbacks, Waddington was now a ‘person of great opulence and credit’ and a man of significant influence in London.29 The war with France had, however, made foreign trade difficult. Looking for an alternative business, Waddington was attracted by the hop trade. Southwark, close to his home in New Bridge Street, was the centre of the hop trade, housing the warehouses and offices of the wealthiest hop merchants.  Hearing from planters around Maidstone of the ‘peculiar hardships of the British hop planters’ he decided, in 1798, to become a hop trader.30 As he himself describes it: ‘It was in a relaxation from London and from foreign commerce, which I had urged for upwards of twenty-six years, at home and abroad, and in which I had obtained an independent competency, that I first heard of the peculiar hardships of the British Hop planters’.30 He was convinced that the hop planters were getting a much lower price for their hops than they should have done. Waddington believed that he could improve the lot of the hop growers by opening up the markets. At the same time, as he admitted: ‘I should be an hypocrite were I to say, that I embarked with a sole disinterested motive. No, it could not be expected that the fruits of my foreign assiduity should be sacrificed’.30,31

Although investing in hops was generally considered a hazardous business, Waddington thought that he could make the investment more ‘a game of certainty than of hazard’9 by paying attention to the state of the crops. In the spring and summer of 1799, he inspected the hops throughout Kent and Sussex and predicted that the yield would be low that year. He therefore arranged with the growers to purchase from them large quantities of hops, to be delivered at an agreed price when the hops were picked. In 1800, he visited the hop gardens in Worcestershire, the other main area of production, and, having concluded that the crop would also be poor there, he again made large purchases of hops, on similar terms to those he had made in Kent.

Waddington’s view was that a high price for hops would be good both for the growers and for himself. It is likely that he thought that the prices were too low in Worcester, and were in danger of lowering the prices obtainable in London. He tried to persuade the hop growers of Worcestershire not to sell at these low prices; he argued that the present supply of hops would soon run out, and that by keeping back their hops, the growers would force up the prices. But if they had to sell now, because they were short of money, he would buy the hops from them, at a better price than that currently being offered in the Worcester market, and this he did.32 At a dinner he held for close to a hundred of the Worcester hop growers he gave the toast ‘Hops at £20 a hundredweight!’ almost double the going rate of £12 a hundredweight.33 As one of the growers at the dinner reported ‘you will not wonder to hear that this toast was drunk by all the company with rapture. It was a most acceptable and popular toast.’ One of the hop growers then proposed a toast: ‘The health of Mr Waddington, as the Saviour of the County of Worcester’.33

Three weeks after this initial visit, Waddington was back in Worcester. ‘He arrived to the great joy of the Hop-planters, hailing him with shouts of applause. He comes into the market; he is instantly surrounded with a great number of Planters. He goes into a warehouse belonging to Messrs Yarranton and Phillips, Hop-merchants in Worcester, and who are his agents. The Planters all follow him. He places himself on a sack of clover-feed, to give him the command and situation of a public orator . . . he makes a second address to his friends the Hop-planters. — he again advices them not to sell’.32 He admitted that ‘he was not made of money’ and so could not buy all the hops that he would like, but if they had to sell he would that day ‘purchase 200 pockets of hops at £12 10s per hundredweight [the price of that day]; in 2 weeks, he would purchase 200 pockets at £14; in a month, 200 pockets at £14 and in 6 weeks 200 pockets at £15 per hundredweight. He then made agreements with the sellers, and put these in his book’.33 [A pocket of hops weighed about 168 lbs or 80 kilos, and a hundredweight was 112 lbs.]

How successful Waddington would have been in pushing up the price of hops is uncertain since he never controlled more than about a quarter of the market,34  but events anyway were taking a decisive turn against him. One of the many questions that separated radicals from conservatives in Britain at the time concerned the legitimacy of a free market in essential goods such as food. The radicals believed that any interference in the free market was both morally and economically wrong and would inevitably prove counterproductive, praising 'the laws of commerce, which are the laws of nature, and consequently the laws of God'.35 Others, however, looked back fondly to the old days when farmers sold their produce in the local markets and there was no role for powerful middlemen shipping goods all over the country. As part of the drive to a free market economy, the old statutes controlling food supply had been abolished in 1772.35  Practices such as forestalling, the buying up of a commodity before it reached market, regrating, the buying up of a commodity in one market with the intention to sell it later at a second market but at higher prices, and engrossing, the buying up of a large quantity of a commodity with the intent to monopolize the market, all used to be illegal. Some, including the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Kenyon, thought they should still be so. Even though the old statutes making these practices illegal had been abolished, Kenyon thought these actions remained punishable under the common law. Kenyon was looking for an opportunity to prove that he was right and two cases appeared to suit his needs very well; one involved a London corn factor, John Rusby, and the other involved Waddington.  

Waddington had made himself very unpopular with the other dealers in hops by his move into a market that previously had been under their control. A prosecution was brought against Waddington by a group of London hop-factors allied with the London brewers for the offence of forestalling, by purchasing the greater part of the hop crops in the county of Kent, in order to raise the market. The prosecution was brought as a criminal information before the King’s Bench in London, a procedure that was reserved for serious misdemeanours such as riot or sedition, and one that avoided having to first argue before a grand jury that an offence had actually been committed.36 This must have delighted Kenyon and the other three judges of the King’s Bench as it gave them an ideal opportunity to test their view of the law.  In January and February 1800, Kenyon and the other judges supervised the taking of affidavits at the Guildhall, in their chambers, and even at Kenyon's home.34 Witnesses from Kent swore that Waddington had bought large quantities of hops and that he had announced his intention of creating a scarcity in the market by investing some £80,000. Erskine, presenting the case against Waddington, described Waddington and his agents as 'locusts' who had in their 'talons' the entire crop.37 The judges decided that there was a case to be argued against Waddington, and set a date of 5 May for the arguments to start in King’s Bench.34  >

Waddington meanwhile made things worse for himself. As already described, he went to Worcester to persuade the hop growers there to hold out against the London factors for higher prices. Erskine, the barrister leading the prosecution, obtained a second criminal information against Waddington for his dealings in Worcester, a case that would be heard at the Worcester assizes. As if this were not serious enough, Waddington now published a long and rambling pamphlet addressed to the hop-planters in which he attacked the Kent criminal information and defended his actions as an attack on monopoly.30 He argued that although ‘it is I who am prosecuted, yet you are the real defendants, and I must unwillingly become your incompetent special pleader.’ Continuing in the same vein:

When Venality and Hypocrisy shall have exhausted their lures – When the fashion of these times shall have passed away, Truth, in its plainest attire, will become a thrice welcome guest. I thank you for the favours you have conferred upon me — I was a stranger among you — yet, I trust that such favours were mutual — I trust that honour and probity were mine. — On your part, never was exemplified such plain, such undisguised conduct, and such gratitude! . . . But, alas! Are not our fondest hopes likely to be blasted, by the mandate of the Court of King’s Bench?

On 29 July Waddington was convicted in Worcester of forestalling and the London jury also found him guilty on 8 December for his activities in Kent.38,39 Sentence was passed on Waddington on 28 January 1801 for the Worcester offence, sending Waddington to the King’s Bench prison for a month, where he had already been for many weeks, and fining him £500.40 Again, Waddington had not helped his case; it was reported that ‘he addressed the Court in a speech of considerable length, and attempted to prove that he had been guilty of no offence,’ and that ‘the defendant conducted himself somewhat indecorously; he frequently attempted to interrupt the judge in the course of his address, and when the judgement was pronounced, tore the Act of Parliament he held in his hand, said the Court had disgraced itself with its sentence, and that he did not care a jot for it’.41 Two weeks later, Waddington was sentenced for the Kent offence, with another £500 fine and another three months imprison­ment, to commence at the expiration of his first sentence.42 


Kings Bench prison Principal Entrance London
Figure 2. King’s Bench Prison: Principal Entrance, 1828. Engraved by J. Garner after a picture by Thomas Shepherd. 


The King’s Bench prison in London where Waddington served his sentence was not that unpleasant a place for a man, like Waddington, who had money. He occupied an apartment above the entrance to the prison, on the floor above the apartment occupied by Henry Hunt, an influential radical speaker and agitator, and an advocate of parliamentary reform.9,10 These apartments were on the outside of the prison, and Waddington’s apartment cost him 200 guineas for his stay; he also had to give a security of £40,000 that he would not escape.11 A later occupant of one of these apartments, Sir Francis Burdett, describes how he was allowed to walk up and down the court yard in front of the main entrance to the prison, if he wanted to take exercise, rather than having to use the exercise yard of the prison itself, which was largely occupied by debtors.43 Hunt described in his autobiography how, on his own arrival, Mrs Filewood, the principal turnkey’s wife, who kept the apartments, prepared his bed and got everything ready for him.9 Hunt’s apartment was a spacious room, clean and comfortable, well furnished, with a good fire, and a neat bureau bedstead in the corner. Mrs Filewood, a modest, pretty woman, ‘was very attentive, and so communicative, that he really felt quite as comfortable as if he had been at an inn.’

Hunt and Waddington agreed to eat together while Hunt was in the prison, using Hunt’s room as a dinning room and Waddington’s room as a drawing room; meals were provided by the prison’s own coffee-room. Whilst there, they tried to improve the lot of the other prisoners, providing a ton of potatoes a week for the poor prisoners.9 They were free to have friends to visit and dine with them, and Waddington was visited on many occasions by his radical friends and by his wife and family; the prison was located on the road leading from Southwark Bridge, only a short distance from New Bridge Street, where Waddington’s family lived.

In all, Waddington spent twenty seven weeks in King’s Bench prison.34 On his release, he was given a hero’s welcome in Kent. After a celebratory feast at Tunbridge Wells, hop planters took the horses from his carriage 'covered with wreaths of hopbine', and drew him the twelve miles to Maidstone where he made a triumphal speech to cries of 'Waddington and the freedom of commerce'.34 But reality soon struck. Many hop growers had signed contracts with Waddington in 1799 to deliver hops to him at the end of 1800 at the 1799 price of about £5 per hundredweight. If they had honoured these contracts Waddington would have made a healthy profit on the deals, prices having risen to about £16 per hundredweight in 1800. Unfortunately many refused to honour their contracts and Waddington was unsuccessful in trying to enforce the contracts in law.34 One case, that of a hop grower called Upton, finally came to trial in December 1801, with Waddington claiming damages of £5,000.44 Upton was defended by Mr Serjeant Best [Serjeant or Sergeant ‘a lawyer of high rank.’] In a withering attack on Waddington Best said that ‘it was manifest that the intention of the Plaintiff [Waddington] was to defraud the Defendant [Upton], and to exact an exorbitant price from the Public – to pursue a kind of speculation which was not consistent with morality or fair commercial practice. He trusted [the jury] would examine cautiously the claims of a man who appeared before the Court as a convicted criminal, to seek the performance of a contract entered into for illegal purposes.’ The jury were persuaded by these arguments and rejected Waddington’s claim against Upton.44  

Waddington was incensed by Best’s comments and by the financial losses that arose from his inability to enforce his contracts, leading to a bizarre incident following the Spring Assizes in Maidstone in 1802:45

On the evening the Assizes at Maidstone terminated, several of the King's Counsel and Serjeants retired to dinner at the Star Inn, and indulged themselves in the pleasures of the table till towards twelve o'clock at night. At this time Mr Serjeant Best quitted the company in order to call upon his relation Mr Knapp, to arrange their return to town in the morn­ing. As he was walking down the street leading from the Star to Mr Knapp's lodgings, he was passed by two men who appeared to regard him with particular circumspection — they returned and passed him a second time, and kept their eyes fixed on him till he reached Mr Knapp's door. Mr Serjeant Best on returning to the Inn, perceived the same two men standing opposite Mr Knapp's door. He had not gone far, when they passed him a third time, and one of them accosting him, asked “if he was Mr Serjeant Best?" Upon his replying in the affirmative, the man who had accosted him, said, "then, Sir, you are a d—d impertinent scoundrel." Mr Best immediately did that which every Gentleman would have done, he knocked him down, and not knowing what sort of characters he might have to deal with, he endeavoured to reach his lodgings. They pursued him and came up with him just as he had got to the door, when the same man who had used such illiberal language assaulted and struck him several violent blows; a scuffle then ensued, and the Serjeant's Clerk having opened the door, the aggressor and his compa­nion were forced into the house, when they turned out to be Mr Samuel Ferrand Waddington and his Clerk. The latter addressing the Serjeant said, Sir, you will recollect I neither spoke to or struck you. Immediately the Serjeant's Clerk observed, that the same person had in the course of the evening left a letter for him. The letter was brought and open­ed; it appeared to contain a printed address from Mr. Waddington to the Hop Planters of Kent, setting forth the services he had endeavoured to render them; the sacrifices he had made of his fortune; the injury he had sustained by the breach of their contracts with him, and the persecutions he had undergone. On the back was written a note to Serjeant Best, intimating "that he was a scoundrel, for hav­ing (in the exercise of his professional  duty) applied the term fraudulent to those contracts, and inferring that every man, who either publicly or privately stated them as such, was a scoundrel; and adding, that he was to be found at a certain inn in the town till the next morning, when he should set off for Dover, where he was also to be met with till a particular day." — Mr Best observed that Mr Waddington’s conduct ren­dered it impossible to meet him as a man of honour. The parties then separated, and the Serjeant has submitted the whole of the affair to the consideration of Mr Erskine and another legal Friend.

The incident led to a poem in The Sporting Magazine for April 1802 which could not have made happy reading for Waddington:46

Stern Judge, in Spring, to all counties are sent,
And amongst other counties, the county of Kent;
When at Maidstone, while feasting and villainy thrives,
The pilfering paupers are tried for their lives.
                                   Derry down.

Most lawyers meet mischief, and here with the rest
As an advocate, was fam’d SERJEANT BEST;
The Serjeant inveigh’d against thieves in the shops;
And well work’d one Waddington, dealer in hops
                                    Derry down.

A fraudulent factor, a r---- he had call’d him,
And ‘fore JUDGE and JURY had terribly maul’d him;
The Factor vow’d vengeance — at night thro’ the town,
He follow’d the Serjeant  highlow up and down.
                                    Derry down.

At length to his lodgings he ventur’d and swore,
The SERJEANT “a Liar,” —  “the son of a whore,”
“A rascal — a scoundrel; but these words to meet,
The SERJEANT kick’d Waddington into the street.
                                  Derry down

When Waddington rose up, “he hoped he’d accord,
To meet him to-morrow with pistol and sword.”
“No, no,” says the Serjeant, “your distance still keep,
I’ll no more fight with you than a stealer of sheep.”
                                    Derry down

“I’ll draw you next term into Westminster Hall,
Your dealings, your bargains, hop-contracts, and all;
Where subpaena’d, indicted, arraign’d, you’ll be tried,
And will scarcely hop off without holes in your hide.”
                                    Derry Down

Whatever the justice or injustice of the prosecution, Waddington now found himself in serious financial difficulties. His attempts to control the hop trade had cost a great deal of money. It was reported that he had spent ‘his own surplus cash, consisting of £80,000, and all he could borrow, in order to get possession of as large a quantity of hops as possible’.47 One of the ways in which he had raised money was by establishing several small, local banks. Local banks at the time were much less impressive affairs than they are now; provincial private bankers were described as a ‘multitude of miserable shop-keepers . . . [who] started up like mushrooms and turned banker, issuing their own notes, and inundating the country with their miserable rags of paper’.48 Waddington had established his main bank in Rochester by 1800, in partnership with Edward Fox and William Whitnall.49 He also had banks in Maidstone and Cranbrook in the early 1800s, but these could well have been branches of the Rochester bank. The Cranbrook bank was probably only a single room, containing little more than a desk or counter and a safe.50 A letter from Waddington, probably a handwritten prospectus sent to local businessmen, farmers and gentry, describes the aims of the Cranbrook bank: ‘I think it proper to explain to my neighbours who are in business the grounds upon which I have determined to establish if possible, a bank at Cranbrook; and it also enables me to assure those Neighbours, that they may, at any future period, conjointly participate with me in a measure, which will so much contribute to the general prosperity of the Town, and the Weald of Kent likewise’.51 By promising that holders of the bank's notes would receive interest at 2.5% every January and July, he would ensure that ‘the Profits of Banking will be thus equitably divided with my Neighbours: An advantage, which no other Bank has ever offered.’ Finally, he pointed out how useful this and other local banks would be for subscribers to the new canal project across the Weald; Waddington himself was a subscriber towards the cost of the initial survey for the canal.50 Bank notes are known for the Hop Planters Bank and for the Chatham Bank, issued by Samuel Ferrand Waddington, but their relationship to the Rochester Bank is unknown. [Figures 3 and 4]


Waddington Hop planters bank
Figure 3. Cheque from the Hop Planters Bank, Maidstone. Signed by Samuel Ferrand Waddington, October 1799. 
Waddington Chatham Bank note
Figure 4. Cheque from the Chatham Bank. Signed by Samuel Ferrand Waddington, October 1804. The reverse of the cheque is inscribed showing that it was an exhibit at Waddington’s bankruptcy hearing. (British Museum). 


The fall in the price of hops from £16 per hundredweight in 1800 to about £3 10s per hundredweight at the end of 180152 probably cost Waddington very dear. It did, though, delight Lord Kenyon who wrote to his son from Maidstone in July 1801: ‘The hops and corn promise most extremely well indeed. They say hops will be very cheap, and that the speculators will suffer much. It is said a dealer in this town will lose by his monopolising scheme from twenty thousand to forty thousand pounds. Waddington, I understand, is very unpopular now, and likely to feel very reduced circumstances’.53 But it was probably his legal costs that ruined him; Waddington’s defence team was headed by Edward Law, later to become Lord Ellenborough, Kenyon’s successor as Lord Chief Justice, backed up by seven other counsel.34 At the end of 1802, Waddington ended his partnership with his brothers Joshua in New York, and Henry in London, the company in New Bridge Street in future being run just by Henry, Samuel continuing to trade as a merchant, banker and hop dealer on his own as Samuel Ferrand Waddington and Company, based in York Street in Southwark.54,55 In 1804, Waddington’s partnership with Fox and Whitnall in the Rochester Bank was ended and the Maidstone and Cranbrook branches seem also to have closed in 1804.49 Finally, in May 1805 Waddington was declared bankrupt.55 In a speech in 1851, his son Joshua Waddington commented that ‘had he not speculated in hops fifty years ago, it would have been better for the family’.56

Waddington came to believe that Pitt and his ‘devoted instrument,’ Lord Kenyon, had been out to ruin him, as punishment for his calling the meetings in London in favour of peace with France.9 In an 1822 pamphlet Waddington reported of the wars with France: ‘from the great meeting [at the] Paul's Head Tavern, London, 1795, to the end, did I oppose them, and brought on myself persecutions and ruin, and a world of woe!’ but, he added, ‘the sweet remembrance of such opposition consoles me in this my autumn and evening of life.’57 Despite having been found guilt in two very high profile cases, it was never clear that he had actually done anything illegal. In the hop trade, buyers had always bought hops ahead of time, which is all that Waddington had done, and, after Kenyon died in 1802,  the ‘crimes’ of forestalling, regrating and engrossing were quietly forgotten.34 There were certainly many at the time who thought that Waddington had been badly done by. In Memoirs of the life of Thomas Paine published by W. T. Sherwin in 1819, Lord Kenyon was described as ‘one of the most cruel, vindictive, and merciless characters that ever disgraced the bench’ and Sherwin continued  ‘the wicked and malignant judge sentenced this worthy and respectable man [Waddington] to be imprisoned as well as fined, which, considering that it dissolved all his contracts, produced a forfeiture of his deposits, and caused a run upon his house and his bank, was, in fact, sentencing him to ruin, and almost to actual beggary’.16

Now, bankrupt at the age of 46, Waddington was faced with the problem of earning his living. In 1788 he had married Sarah Jarvis, the sister of Daniel Jarvis, in Margate.8 They had seven sons; their only daughter died in 1802.58 Joshua Waddington, who had such an influence on the history of Margate, was the third son; at the time of his father’s bankruptcy, Joshua Waddington was 12. From a state of affluence, Waddington, as he put it, was now in a state of ‘poignant distress which I shared with my numerous progeny’.59 After their marriage, and before the bankruptcy, Samuel and Sarah lived at 21 New Bridge Street, near Blackfriar’s Bridge in London.7 After 1805, they had a number of homes in and around Southwark, a very mixed area on the south bank of the Thames which had undergone some relatively up-market development following the building of Blackfriars’s Bridge. Between 1803 and 1806 the Waddington’s lived in York Street, Southwark11,60 and at 30, Northumberland Street,61 but in 1811 they were living at 35 Nelson Square.28 Nelson Square was being built at this time and was not fully tenanted until 1814.62 No. 35 was a three story brick house with a dormer window in the mansard roof, as shown in Figure 5; despite his state of ‘poignant distress’ the family was clearly not destitute. When Joshua Waddington started his medical training in 1815, it was as a pupil at Guy’s Hospital, a short walk away from Nelson Square, on St. Thomas Street. About this time Waddington was also spending time in Kent, giving his address as Tonbridge Wells in 1811 and 1814,63,64 but whether or not this reflected a move of the family home to the country is unclear; by 1820 he was living in Lewisham.65 


Nelson Square London
Figure 5. Nos 31-35 Nelson Square, Southwark. Waddington was living in No. 35 in 1811.  From H. Roberts and W. H. Godfrey, W. H., eds., Survey of London, Vol. 22, 1950. 


With more time on his hands, Waddington was able to indulge his taste for political polemic. In 1806 he published a pamphlet Three Letters to that Greatest of Political Apostates the Right Honorable George Tierney.11 A review of the pamphlet in The Monthly Review suggested that ‘Mr Waddington is evidently not pleased with the world, and inveighs against it most bitterly; but whether the world or Mr Waddington be principally in fault, it has never occurred to him to examine, since he has always taken it for granted that he has been right’.66 In another rambling pamphlet of 1806, A letter to the directors of the East India Company, in consequence of that most extraordinary event the recall of the Governor General Sir George Hilaro Barlow Waddington displays his frustration with politicians of all hues and argues for his view that ‘freedom is the very soul of commerce’.67 The pamphlets emphasise the backward-looking nature of Waddington’s radicalism, with its evident interest in the history of English liberty and its longing for a lost golden age.

The strangest of his publications from 1806, was a book, The metaphysics of man; or, the pure part of the physiology of man, a translation of a book written by Johann Christian Goldbeck, a man he had met in his youth in Germany.61 Waddington suggested that the book would have an impact on medicine equivalent to the introduction of vaccination or with the discovery of the circulation of blood. The reviewers disagreed; that for The Eclectic Review found it a ‘cobweb of subtle obscurity . . . doubtless destined to repose in congenial darkness’ and that for The Monthly Review admitted that ‘we were absolutely unable to comprehend either its general scope and design, or the meaning of its individual parts’.68 Even Waddington himself in his preface to the book, recognized that it was not an easy read: ‘If it should prove too abstruse for useful practice, I may probably in the place of some abler personage, offer [lectures] upon it in the ensuing autumn.’ What is really strange, however, is that on the title page, Waddington describes himself as ’S. F. Waddington, M.D.’ and adds ‘It must be obvious, that from a public duty, which supersedes every other consideration, Dr. Waddington must unavoidably give medical advice, founded upon the principles of the following work. The hours of nine to two o’clock, each day, will be devoted, and at his own house exclusively. An avocation so different from the translator’s former habits of life, is not adopted without great reluctance’.61 What right Waddington had to claim to be an M. D. are unclear, but the plan seems not to have been a success, since we hear no more of it.

With no apparent trace of irony, Waddington, who had supported the radical’s demands for the end of state sinecures, now petitioned the Prince of Wales for a position in the Customs, on the grounds that he had been ‘reduced from great opulence’ and, to support his family, had to rely on ‘the benefactions of intelligent and philanthropic individuals.’ His petition was refused.63 In 1812 he again appealed for a position in the Customs, this time to Lord Liverpool, president of the Board of Trade.59 In his appeal he reminded Lord Liverpool of the help that he had provided to the country in Portugal where he had ‘occasioned an additional squadron to arrive in the Tagus and thus enabled us to bring away the Treasure,’ a reference to the escape of the Portuguese fleet with the gold and silver of the national treasury, accompanied by an British squadron, before the French took Lisbon in November 1807. Whatever it was that Waddington had been doing in Portugal, it did not greatly impress Lord Liverpool who rejected the petition: Lord Liverpool’s secretary wrote to Waddington ‘Sir, I am desired by Lord Liverpool to acknowledge receipt of your letter, and to inform you that as his Lordship is wholly unacquainted with the circumstances of your case, he has referred that letter to the Home Department’.69 He petitioned the Prince of Wales again in 1814, reminding him of his wrongful conviction for diverting money from ‘the harpy fangs of intermediate agents . . . into the hands of the industrious cultivators of the soil,’ but the petition was simply forwarded to Lord Liverpool.64 Finally, to compound his problems, his brother Henry Waddington was declared bankrupt in 1815,70 probably as a result of trading problems following the outbreak of the Anglo-American war in 1812.

Waddington’s friendship with the political agitator Henry Hunt continued. In November 1816, Hunt addressed a meeting in Spa Fields, Islington, attended by about 10,000 people.71 The intention of the meeting was to petition the Prince Regent for reform of parliament, with universal (male) suffrage, annual general elections, and a secret ballot; Hunt’s speech was seconded by Waddington.72,73 However, Hunt was refused permission to present the petition to the Regent, and a second Spa Fields meeting was held on 2 December with Waddington again seconding the proposed petition. Hunt introduced Waddington as ‘a gentleman who was well known to the public – a man who had devoted a great part of his life in opposing the [French] war, and those other ruinous measures, from whence the present distresses had arisen’.74 Waddington described how ‘he had been present at public assemblies of the people in the revolution of America, of France, of Portugal, but so numerous, so orderly, so well conducted an assembly, he never before witnessed.’ He suggested that ‘all lovers of order and the Constitution’ should ‘flock round the standard of reason and . . . take her for their guide in their proceedings.’ He stressed the importance of commerce and proposed that a Royal Commercial Company should be established by Act of Parliament to support foreign trade.74 In 1840, Joshua Waddington reported how he had heard his father ‘address upwards of twenty thousand men in Spa Fields’.73 The following day he had asked his father ‘if he felt nervous upon that occasion?’ and his father had replied ‘Not a bit, I spoke the truth, and had nothing to conceal.’ Joshua Waddington continued: ‘My father lived, and died, a staunch blue — they were his principles — he would not be bought.’ The reference to ‘staunch blue’ here is potentially confusing, as it doe not refer to the Tory party; Joshua Waddington appears to be using the phrase to refer to the so-called ultra-Tories, also referred to as ‘free and independent blues’,75 a group who saw themselves as the true upholders of the Whig Revolution of 1688 (the overthrow of King James II of England) and the precursors of the Liberal party.

In March 1817 Waddington was present at a meeting at Maidstone, convened by the High Sheriff of Kent, held to petition the House of Commons for reform. The main speakers were the two members for Kent, Sir Edward Knatchbull and Sir William Geary.76 Waddington gave what was described by the Maidstone Journal as ‘a long incoherent speech’, and ‘proposed an amendment noticing the Habeas Corpus Act, the dismission of Ministers, and other topics; Reform, Retrenchment, &c.’  The amendment was put to the meeting, and negatived ‘by a large majority’ Later, Waddington again addressed the meeting ‘but wandering from the subject, he was called to order by the High Sheriff’ and his proposal for an adjournment ‘was immediately negatived, there being only one hand (that of the mover) held up for it.’ 

On 16 August 1819 Henry Hunt was due to speak at another reform meeting, this time in St Peter’s Field in Manchester. At this meeting the crowd was attacked by the yeomanry and eleven were killed, an event referred to as the Peterloo Massacre. Hunt had been arrested before he could address the meeting and another speaker, Richard Carlile, a prominent agitator for universal suffrage and freedom of the press, managed to escape to London and was able to publish an account of the massacre. He was subsequently prosecuted for blasphemy, blasphemous libel and sedition for publishing this material and for publishing Thomas Paine’s ‘The Rights of Man’ and other books. Carlile was found guilty and sentenced to three years in jail with a large fine; failing to pay the fine he was sentenced to a further period in prison. In 1820 a meeting was convened at the Crown and Anchor Tavern in the Strand, at which Waddington presided, to show support for Carlile.65 In 1825 Waddington referred again to these events, in a letter published in Carlile’s newspaper, ‘The Republican’.77 The letter was addressed to Lord Chief Justice Charles Abbott, who had replaced Lord Ellenborough as chief justice of the King’s Bench in 1818. The letter shows that confusing combination of personal concerns and high principle that was typical of Waddington’s pronouncements, and which was also to be demonstrated later by his son Joshua Waddington. The letter starts: ‘I introduce myself to your lordship . . . your humble correspondent (not the little Radical W. of similar name; I never saw him).’  Little Radical W. was the Samuel Waddington known as “Little Waddington” because of his short stature, a radical publisher of dubious reputation living in London, and not the sort of person with whom a former wealthy London merchant would have wished to be confused. Waddington went on to remind Abbott about his prosecution for ‘buying and selling’ hops, a prosecution mounted ‘chiefly on account of my opposition to the late destructive and immoral wars’ and he pointed out the financial problems caused to him by the ‘eighteen planters [who] took advantage of the court’s decision against me, and resold their productions for an advance of 60 to 80 per cent, on the terms of our written obligation, signed, sealed, and delivered.’ Then comes the point of the letter:

Amongst these most honourable * * * *, was your Lordship's brother, Farmer John Abbott of Canterbury. He actually de­camped, and took a small place in the vicinity of Hampstead; and it cost me an additional ten guineas to serve him with a legal process, which was done at the silent hour of midnight, as, in his robe de chamber, he was feeding the hogs. After a verdict at Nisi Prius, in my favour, for the difference in the sale prices, his plea of poverty induced me to receive at his brother's chambers in the Temple, a proportion only of that difference.

Previous to your Lordships elevation, this man kept a livery stable in Goswell Street, and, at present, thanks to your Lord­ship's benevolence, he lives like an independent gentleman, and his son, or sons, are amply provided for in the courts of law; This is as it should be.

Now, my Lord, this transaction will enable us to display further sentiments of philanthropy — and such equity and Justice, as ought to distinguish the bench. The remainder due to me, of that difference of sale, amounting to £600, lawful, or £1000, com­pound interest, I do hereby solemnly request, may be given to, or appropriated towards, the discharge of those enormous Fines, contrary to the Bill of Rights, which are suspended over the head of Mr Richard Carlile, now drooping under six years of close im­prisonment, for the alleged crime of blasphemy! as a token and record of my detestation of persecution for conscience sake, in this enlightened age.

Abbott’s response is not recorded, but one cannot help but suspect that it was not favourable.

Samuel Ferrand Waddington died in Brixton, in 1829, aged 70.



1.  Canterbury Journal, April 29 1837.

2.  An act for rebuilding the Pier of Margate in the Isle of Thanet, in the County of Kent; for ascertaining, establishing, and recovering certain Duties in lieu of the ancient and customary Droits, for the support and maintenance of the said pier; for widening , paving, repairing, cleaning, lighting, and watching the streets, lanes, highways, and publick passages in the town of  Margate, and parish of Saint John the Baptist, in the said Isle of Thanet; for settling the rates of porters, chairmen, carters, and Carmen within the said town; and for preventing encroachments, nuisances, and annoyances therein, 27 George III  c XLV 1787.

3. Antonia Fraser, Perilous Question. The Drama of the Great Reform Bill 1832, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 2013.

4. John Waddington, Who’s Who in the family of Waddington, Wada Limited, London, 1934. Despite the undoubted value of this work it confuses Samuel Ferrand Waddington with another Samuel Waddington, known as “Little Waddington”, a radical publisher living in London.

5. Augustus J. C. Hare, The life and letters of Frances Baroness Bunsen, George Routledge and Sons, London, 1879.

6. Thomas Sergeant and John C. Lowber, eds.  Reports of cases argued and determined in the English Courts of Common Law,  Vol 16, T. & J. W. Johnson and Co., Philadelphia, USA, 1869; see also The London Gazette, September 21, 1802.

7. Universal British Directory, 1791.

8. Kentish Gazette, April 25 1788.

9. Henry Hunt,  Memoirs of Henry Hunt, Esq. Volume 1, T. Dolby, London, 1820. 

10. Robert Huish, The history of the private and political life of the late Henry Hunt, Esq., MP for Preston, John Saunders, London, 1836.

11. S. F. Waddington, Three letters to that greatest of political apostates the Right Honorable George Tierney, London, 1806.

12. The Times, January 19 1789.

13. Clive Emsley, British Society and the French wars 1793-1815, Macmillan, 1979.

14. A Picture of the times, in a letter addressed to  the People of England by a lover of peace, 2nd ed., London,  1795.

15. S. F. Waddington, Remarks on Mr Burke’s two letters, London, 1796.

16. W. T. Sherwin, Memoirs of the life of Thomas Paine, London, 1819.

17. The New Annual Register, pp. 101, 107, London, 1796. 

18. Cobbett’s Political Register, January 24 1807.

19. Morning Chronicle, November 24 1795.

20. R. Thorne, The history of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, Boydell and Brewer, 1986.

21. National Archives C202/184/24. Oath of Parliamentary Candidate.

22. William Page, Story of the English Towns. St. Albans, London, 1920.

23. Henry Stooks Smith, The parliaments of England: from 1st George to the present time, Volume 1, Simpkin, Marshall & Co., London, 1844.

24. Whitehall Evening Post, June 24 1797.

25. Whitehall Evening Post, March 23 1797.

26. John Bellamy, The Whig Club,  London, 1799.

27. E. C. Black, The Association: British extraparliamentary political organization, 1769-1793, Harvard University Press, 1963.

28. S. F. Waddington,  The Oriental Exposition, presenting to the United Kingdom an open trade to India and China, London, 1811.

29. Kentish Chronicle, January 30 1801.

30. S. F. Waddington, An appeal to the British Hop-Planters, London, 1800.

31.  A summary of the Trial: The King v S. F. Waddington, for purchasing hops at Worcester, also the proceedings of the Court of King’s Bench, when the rule was granted, with notes by the Defendant, London, 1800.

32. Trial of an information filed by order of the Court of King’s Bench, against Samuel Ferrand Waddington before the Honourable Sir Simon Le Blanc . . . at the Assizes for the City of Worcester on the 29th of July,1800 for engrossing hops and other misdemeanours relating to the Hop-trade, London, 1800.

33. The Derby Mercury, May 22 1800.

34. Douglas Hay, The state of the Market in 1800: Lord Kenyon and Mr Waddington, in Past and Present, pp. 101-162, 1999.

35. Adrian Randall, Riotous assemblies: popular protest in Hanovarian England,  Oxford University Press, 2006.

36. J. H. Baker, Criminal courts and procedures at common law 1550-1800, in Crime in England 1550-1800,  Ed. J. S. Cockburn, Methuen and Co., London, 1977.

37. The Times, February 10 1800.

38. The Times, August 4 1800.

39. The Times, December 9 1800.

40. Kentish Chronicle, January 30 1801.

41. E. Johnson’s  British Gazette and Sunday Monitor, February 1 1801.

42. Kentish Chronicle, February 11 1801.

43. The Edinburgh Magazine, Vol. 8, p. 280, March 1821.

44. The Times, December 21 1801.

45. The Times, March 22 1802.

46. The Sporting Magazine, April 1802. 

47. Lloyd's Evening Post, February 10 1800.

48. Henry Dunning MacLeod, The Theory and Practice of Banking, Longman, London, 1855.

49. Margaret Dawes and C. N. Ward-Perkins, Country Banks of England and Wales, Private provincial banks and bankers, 1688-1953, 2 vols, London, 2000.

50. Tony Singleton, Early Banking in Cranbrook, Kent, in The Cranbrook Journal, No. 18, 2007.

51. Kent Archives, U1583/B1, Documents of the Beeman family of Cranbrook.

52.  Charles Frederic Hardy, ed. Benenden  Letters. London, Country, and Abroad, 1753-1821, J. M. Dent and Co., London, 1901.

53. George T. Kenyon, The life of Lloyd, first Lord Kenyon, Lord Chief Justice of England, Longmans, Green and Co., London, 1873.   

54. The London Gazette, September 21 1802.

55. The London Gazette, May 7 1805.

56. Canterbury Journal, April 19 1851.

57. S. Ferrand Waddington, A letter to the Rev. T.G. Ferrand, Rector of Tunstall, in Suffolk, on the injustice of the tithe and poor laws, and on the crime of simony; with a plan for the effectual relief of the agriculturalist, London, 1822.

58. The Gentleman’s Magazine, March 1802.

59. British Library MSS 38,248 fol 20: Petition from S. F. Waddington to Lord Liverpool, 11 June 1812.

60. The London Gazette, October 6, 1803.

61. J. C. Goldbeck, The metaphysics of man; or, the pure part of the physiology of man,  translated from the German by S. F. Waddington, London, 1806.

62. H. Roberts and W. H. Godfrey, eds., Survey of London, Vol. 22, pp 129-132, 1950.

63. National Archives, HO42/116 fos 144-5.  Petition to Prince Regent 4 July 1811.

64. British Library MSS 38,258  fos 196 and 198. Petition from S.F. Waddington to Prince Regent 14 July 1814 and letter from Mr Beckett to Lord Liverpool, 21 July 1814.

65. The Republican, Vol. 6, p. 18, May 31 1822.

66. The Monthly Review, p. 329, 1806.

67. Samuel Ferrand Waddington, A letter to the directors of the East India Company, in consequence of that most extraordinary  event the recall of the Governor General Sir George Hilaro Barlow, London, 1806.

68. The Eclectic Review, Vol. 2, p. 474, June, 1806; The Monthly Review, October 1806.

69  British Library MSS 38,248 fo 126, Copy of letter from R. Willmott to S. F. Waddington, 20 June 1812.

70. The London Gazette, April 131816.

71. http://www.victorianweb.org/history/riots/spafield.html

72. The New Annual Register, December 1816.

73. Canterbury Journal, June 15 1840.

74. Morning Chronicle, December 3 1816.

75. Kent Herald, February 12 1852.

76. Maidstone Journal, March 11 1817.

77. The Republican, Vol. 11, p. 83, January 21 1825.

78. Guildhall Library, Election address of Samuel Ferrand Waddington, 1797.

79. http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=67208.