Tag Archives: Morden Hall

1906 Surrey Tobacconist’s Huge Estate

Surrey Mirror – Friday 09 March 1906

Surrey Tobacconist’s Estate.

Mr. Gilliat Hatfeild, of Morden Hall, Morden, and of the firm of Messrs. James Taddy and Co., tobacco and snuff manufacturers, who died on the 10th of February last, aged seventy-nine, left estate of the gross value of £1,321,821, of which the net personalty has been sworn at £1,020,560. Probate of his will, dated the 18th of November, 1897, has been granted to his son Mr. Gilliat Edward Hatfeild, of 45, Minories, and 5, Albemarle-street. The testator bequeathed £1,000 each his said son, Gilliat Edward Hatfeild, his cousin, Mr. Charles Taddy Hatfeild, his son-in-law, Mr. Robert Sydney Bacchus, and Mr. Charles Robert Rivington. All his estate at Burghfield and elsewhere in Berkshire he left to his daughter, Mrs. Jesse Norah Bacchus, free of all duties. He left the following sums to be settled upon his daughters in addition to sums already secured to them by marriage settlement, viz.: £75,000 for his daughter Ethel Florence, £67,000 for his said daughter Mrs. Jesse Norah Bacchus, £65,000 for his daughter Mrs. Jesse Norah Bacchus, £65,000 for his daughter. Beatrice Alice, and £30,000 for his daughter Ellen Gertrude. in each case upon trust for their benefit for life, with remainder to their issue. He left £30,000 upon trust for his grandson, only child his late daughter, Ida Blanche, on attaining majority. All other his estate, amounting ever £1,000,000, left his son, Mr. Gilliat Edward Hatfeild absolutely. The late Mr. Hatfeild’s estate will pay the Exchequer death duties (in addition to possible succession duty settled estate) over £119,000.

Gilliat Hatfeild – Obituary 12th February 1941

Daily Express
12th February, 1941

Man refused £500,000 to live on 5 pounds a week and three texts

Gilliat Edward Hatfeild refused half a million and lived on five pounds a week in a cottage. He didn’t need a half million. He was rich; and he was giving away practically all his income. Gilliat Edward Hatfeild has just died in his cottage. He was 77 years old, and had never married. He spent his life fulfilling three passages from the Scriptures:-

1. It is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts XX, 35)

He received much. His father was head of 180-year-old tobacco and snuff firm James Taddy and Co. in the Minories whose Myrtle Grove Brand used to be a popular smoke before the firm shut down in 1920. From his father, Gilliatt Hatfeild inherited a fortune and Morden Hall at Morden Surrey along with 700 acres.

He set to work to give much.

In 1920 he turned the 60-room hall into a convalescent home for the London Hospital. He lived in his cottage on the estate, and patients from London’s East End lived in the hall, recovering health and strength.
He paid for everything. It must have cost him at least £150 a week

2. Take heed that you do not do your arms before men (Matthew six, one)

That figure of £150 a week is an estimate. Even the secretary of the hospital does not know the real amount. He said yesterday: “Officials at the hospital visited Mr Hatfeild about once a week but he never discussed money with them.”

Gilliat Hatfeild hated anyone knowing about his generosity. He wore inexpensive clothes till they were threadbare, ate simply, drank no alcohol, did not smoke.

When he gave the estate staff Christmas gifts each year he made a little speech to thank them for their loyalty.

3. Whoso shall receive one such a little child in my name receiveth me (Matthew XVIII 5)

Always there with children when the patients at the hall. Every day he played with them – they went to his cottage to fetch him into the sunshine, and hung on arms, laughing and chattering.

His estate was a sanctuary for sick children and a sanctuary the songbirds – both his friends. That was why, when offers totalling half a million came along in the Morden land boom of the 1920s he simply said “No”