“Thomas MORTON, alderman, of towne of Barwick [Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland]; also spelt Mortone
Date of probate: 14 June 1583
See DPRI/2/6 ff.22v-23: probate, June 1583. Also see Surtees Society vol.38, p70-72: [additional information drawn from this source]. [Proved, 14 June 1583.]copy will, 16 January 1582 (DPR/I/1/1583/M5/1-2)inventory, actual total £27 4s 10d, 1561 (DPR/I/1/1583/M5/3-4)inventory of the goods etc. in William Morton's house bequeathed to him and his brother [?George Morton] by the last will of Thomas Morton their father, dated 1561 [?recte 1581]”
Alderman, Berwick, mayor 1574, 1581, 1588, 1592
“The Mortons appear as merchants at Berwick in the mid-fifteenth century. Morton himself, as mayor, led a campaign for the extension of the civil authorities’ power, at the expense of the military officials, under the governor of Berwick, Lord Hunsdon. During his last term as mayor, when he was also MP for Berwick, he presented a list of complaints to the Queen, charging Hunsdon and his subordinates with infringements of his authority and the town’s ancient privileges. Though he claimed to be in terror of the governor’s ‘indignation’, this did not cause him to moderate his criticisms either of Lord Hunsdon, whom he condemned as an absentee official, or his subordinates, whom he accused of corruption, inefficiency and nepotism.
Morton continued, as alderman, to support the next mayor in the struggle with the governor, but he is less in evidence after his final term of office in 1593. He last appears in the records four years later, when his aunt, Phyllis Clavering, appointed him executor of her will.
The Berwick guild book shows payments to Morton as MP in 1584, when he and his colleague had 7s. 6d. a day between them ‘from the time of their setting forth from the town to their returning again’, and in 1593 when he was paid, but his colleague, an official, was not. He is not mentioned by name in the journals of the House of Commons, but he may have attended two committees concerning salted fish and the town of Berwick, to which the Members for Berwick were appointed on 11 Mar. and 14 Mar. 1589”.
Surtees Soc. xxxviii. 70, 71; J. Scott, Hist. Berwick, 286-7, 456-61, 479; Bronnen tot de Geschiedenis van den Handel met Engeland, Schotland en Ierland, ed. Smit, ii (R.G.P.91), p. 1317, n. 2; Raine, North Durham, 254; D’Ewes, 445, 446; Border Pprs. i. 433-9 et passim.
Tennis and a Teapot
“My body be cremated in the Crematorium in Golders Green in the County of London and my ashes scattered in the Garden of Remembrance and that no tablet or other memorial be erected and I also desire that neither of my sisters attend the cremation and that in the event that I shall die in Ireland I desire that I shall be buried there under a plain grass mound if there is no Crematorium in the vicinity…and that the certificate of an experienced doctor shall be obtained that I am dead”.
Agnes leaves bequests to, amongst others, an unmarried sister Lillian Morton, her sister in law Mrs Violet Morton, her niece Mrs June Nott, wife of Donald Nott, Miss Angelina Nott Harden and her other unmarried sister Nora Morton of Perth. Her brothers had all predeceased her, the eldest Gerard Sinclair Morton in 1941, Reginald Charles Morton had died unmarried in Newcastle in 1934 and Bertram the youngest, a Bimbashi, (Major) in the Egyptian Army, formerly an inspector of mines in the Far East was killed during WW1 in 1917.
Robert Rutherford Morton
Robert Rutherford son of John Morton, Butcher,
Berwick & Hannah Hoffman his wife. Born 26 August
- James Hoffman Morton born 5.11.1826 in Berwick upon Tweed, Northumberland, England
- Thomas Morton born 15.7.1829 in Berwick upon Tweed, Northumberland, England
- Agnes Hoffman Morton born 4.11.1832 in Berwick upon Tweed
- John Morton born 14.6.1835 in Berwick upon Tweed
- Andrew Holmes Morton born 22.9.1837 in Berwick upon Tweed
“I give and bequeath the service of Plate consisting of Four Silver Articles presented to me in or about the year One thousand eight hundred and sixty eight to my said wife for her life. And from and after her decease I give and bequeath the same articles to my said son Robert Rutherford Morton absolutely. But I request (without meaning to constitute a Trust in this behalf) that my said son will in the case of his death without leaving issue so in his lifetime dispose of the said articles that the same may remain in the possession of some one of my lineal descendants resident in England or Scotland.”
Robert Rutherford Morton died at Star Stile, Halstead in 1917, and remain true to his father’s wishes regarding the same. In clause 5 of his Will written the previous year he conveys the guardianship of the tea service to his eldest son, also a solicitor Gerard Sinclair Morton.
“I give to Gerard Sinclair Morton the portrait of Samuel Francis his great-great-grandfather and the silver teapot and its stand, the sugar basin, tongs and cream pot, all of which belonged to my Father and were presented to him when he was Alderman of the Borough of Berwick-upon-Tweed.”
John Morton 1801 - 1885,
Butcher and Alderman of Berwick upon Tweed
But who was he?
John aged 9 Born Berwick
Robert aged 12 Born Berwick
Ellen Born Howden Yorkshire, aged 3
A search for baptisms of the two children born in Berwick returned the following results. Robert, baptised 1828, the son of John Morton, Hatter and his wife Mary, and John Gibson Morton baptised 1831 to the same couple.
Switching the focus to Charles, who I do believe is one and the same as named in his brother Alexander’s probate and whose Mother’s name was Helen. Helen died in 1852 and her death certificate was signed by her son Charles, of Western Lane. She was recorded as the widow of Robert Morton, a shoemaker.
To compound the problem even further, George Morton, the Furrier of Berwick upon Tweed married in 1834, Eleanor Rutherford. Could this hold the key to the ‘Rutherford’ in Agatha’s father’s name?