TROTMAN, Samuel (1650-1720), of Siston Court, Glos.
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Family and Education
b. 23 Feb. 1650, 1st s. of Samuel Trotman, barrister-at-law, of Siston Court and Bucknall, Oxon. by his 2nd w. Mary, da. of Samuel Warcop of English, Oxon. educ. Exeter, Oxf. 1663; I. Temple 1663, called 1671, bencher 1692. m. (1) indenture 5/6 Dec. 1677, Dorothea, da. and coh. of Robert Dring of Isleworth, Mdx., 1da.; (2) lic. 15 Dec. 1691, Elizabeth, da. of Hon. William Montagu*, wid. of Sir William Drake*, 1da. d.v.p. suc. fa. 1685.1
Freeman, Bath 1690; gov. St. Bartholomew’s Hosp. 1719.2
Cttee., Mine Adventurers’ Co. 1699–1702, dir. 1704–6.3
Trotman was descended from an old Gloucestershire family. His father had bought Siston Court near Bath in 1651, settling it on him, along with two Oxfordshire manors, at the time of his first marriage in 1677. Although destined to enjoy the security of a sizable estate, Trotman was none the less made to follow his father’s footsteps into the law. It was not until he had been established in his profession for many years that he began to participate in the political affairs of Bath. He contested unsuccessfully for the city at a by-election in October 1690, and declared his intention to stand at a second by-election in November 1693, only to withdraw on finding that the favoured candidate was the secretary at war, William Blathwayt*. His attempts to gain a footing with the corporation electorate at subsequent elections in the 1690s continued to fail ignominiously, despite his promotion within the county hierarchy to a deputy-lieutenancy in 1694. It was chiefly through the offices of the wealthy London financier Sir Richard Hoare* that Trotman was finally returned at a by-election in February 1707. Trotman, himself something of a businessman with London-based interests in the Company of Mine Adventurers, had been warmly commended to Bath’s corporation by Hoare in July 1705 as ‘a very honest man and my good friend’. From then on, it was merely a question of courting ‘the mechanic electors of that city’. His Tory outlook chimed well with that of the corporation, and when the by-election finally materialized, later than expected, he secured support from almost all of its members.4
Trotman was duly classed as a Tory in parliamentary lists drawn up before and after the 1708 election. On 20 Nov. 1707 he seconded a motion by his fellow Member, Blathwayt, for a bill ensuring the repair and maintenance of the streets and highways in and around Bath. Early in 1710 he voted against the impeachment of Dr Sacheverell. Trotman’s involvement in the Mine Adventurers’ Company surfaced briefly in proceedings on 13 Mar. 1710, following an investigation by the House into the company’s debts. As far as Trotman was concerned, however, the only irregularity which could be imputed to him was in not having fully paid his subscription of £2,000. Re-elected in 1710, he was classed as a Tory in the ‘Hanover list’ of the new Parliament. On 5 Feb. 1711, following the investigations of the previous session, he supported the initiation of a bill for the relief of creditors and proprietors of the Mines Company. He subsequently featured as one of the ‘worthy patriots’ who, during the 1710–11 session, helped to expose the mismanagements of the previous administration, and as a ‘Tory patriot’ who opposed the continuance of the war. Early in 1712 he assisted the Duke of Beaufort, who was actively seeking to extend his influence over the corporation, in obtaining legislation for making the Avon navigable between Bath and Bristol. Trotman moved for the bill on 23 Jan. and presented it on 18 Feb., leaving its remaining stages to be handled by his co-Member John Codrington. Retaining his seat in 1713, Trotman’s eagerness to acknowledge the corporation’s goodwill was seen in the lavish and costly round of entertainments he provided for them in late November, with the promise of further invitations to his seat at nearby Siston Court. He was consistently classed as a Tory in the Worsley list and in two subsequent lists comparing the 1713 and 1715 Parliaments, and retained his seat until his death on 6 Feb. 1720.5
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Authors: Paula Watson / Andrew A. Hanham
- 1. Vis. Glos. ed. Fenwick and Metcalfe, 186–8; Fosbrook, Glos. ii. 55–56.
- 2. Bath AO, Bath council bk. 3, p. 111.
- 3. Bodl. Rawl. C.449, pp. 285–6.
- 4. PCC 12 Cann; Glos. N. and Q. v. 334; CSP Dom. 1694–5, p. 234; Hoare’s Bank, Hoare mss, Sir Rd. Hoare’s letterbk. 1701–6, pp. 374, 376.
- 5. Bodl. Ballard 18, ff. 53–54.