This week sees the conclusion of the four weeks of the story of the Colleton family which I hope you have enjoyed. I am sometimes asked how I go about my stories and articles.

Well, this one came about as a result of an e-mail I had from a Hugh Meller who lives in Witheridge, near Tiverton and close to Colleton Manor which is on the edge of Rackenford village. He has been researching that house and wanted to know where the remains of Sir John Colleton, 3rd Baronet were now buried and asked me if I knew. This got my interest aroused and I began researching myself. From this, it developed into the story you have now read over the last four weeks and that is often how such articles come to me and get written.

Sir James Roupell Colleton. 7th Baronet:

He was born on 22 December 1783 in Hertforshire. He married Septima Sexta Graves, born in 1796, the daughter of Rear Admiral Richard Graves, on 12 December 1819 at St James, Westminster. He joined the army and rose to become a Lieutenant Colonel, before retiring from the army in 1830 when he sold his commission. In February 1833 he acquired Hilltown or Hilltown House as it was sometimes referred to, for £2600. This was an imposing Elizabeth house built over three storeys standing in 450 acres of countryside about a mile south of the village of Rackenford, near Tiverton in Devon. He changed the name of the house to Colleton Hall and set about extensively altering the house. He raised ceilings, added rooms and fitted new windows, amongst many other works.

He had three sons and two daughters and died on 28 July 1848, aged 64 and the hall passed to his son, with provision for his daughters, Gertrude Harvist Ela Colleton and Alswitha Plantaganet Alicia de Montfort Colleton.

Sir Robert Augustus Fulford Graves Colleton, 8th Baronet:

Born on 18 September 1824 in Eltham, Kent. He married Mary Comins, daughter of William Comins of Witheridge. Sir Robert lived at Colleton Hall.

Very little information relating to him exists but he must have been in South Africa at some point with his family as his eldest son was born there. It is believed he served in the army as he died on 28 October 1866 at Fermoy, County Cork, Ireland and is buried in the military cemetery there. His tomb is of stone with a large stone cross on the top and is inscribed

“To The Memory of Sir Robert AFG Colleton, Bart.

 Died 28 October 1866 aged 42 Years.”

Sir Robert Augustus William Colleton, 9th Baronet:

Born in King William’s Town, Eastern Cape, South Africa and baptised on 15 November 1854 at Cape of Good Hope, South Africa. He married Edith Abraham, born 6 December 1853, in Witheridge, the daughter of Thomas Robert Abraham of Godalming, Surrey, at Holy Saviour Church, Croydon in 1880.

He joined the army in the 1st Battalion, The Royal Welsh Fusiliers and rose to become a Brigadier General. He was Mentioned in Despatches for services with the Hazara Field Force in 1891. He was a member of the Army and Navy Club in St James, London.

It is not known if he ever lived for long at Colleton Hall that he inherited from his father, as in 1897 the hall was sold to Thomas William Charlton.

He died in September 1938 in Portsmouth, Hampshire. His wife had died on 10 January 1936.

There is a plaque to them both in St Judes Church, Southsea, Portsmouth.

He had no sons, only a daughter, Gwynnedd Colleton.

As such, the baronetcy died out after 277 years, with his passing, in 1938.

Colleton Hall still stands today and is now Grade 2 Listed.

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