WATTS, Richard (c.1529-79), of 'Satis', Boley Hill, Rochester, Kent.
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Family and Education
b. c.1529, at Peckham. m. Marian, s.p.
Surveyor of victuals under Edward Bashe 1551; paymaster, surveyor and clerk of the works at Upnor 1560; treasurer of Rochester bridge estates.
Watts was a government contractor, who took up residence at Rochester early in Elizabeth’s reign. The Queen visited him there in September 1573, after which he named his house, still to be seen in the High Street, ‘Satis’, presumably because she had found it so. Watts died 10 Sept. 1579 and was buried in the cathedral. In his will, made 21 or 22 Aug. 1579, and proved at Rochester a month later, he left the house to his wife for life: afterwards it was to be sold to build and maintain almshouses. Watts failed, however, to make it clear whether the widow and sole executrix was to keep ‘Satis’ if she remarried. In 1586 the corporation claimed the property from her and her second husband, but agreed to a settlement by which they retained possession. By 1854 the receipts were over £3,250, and the total remaining in Chancery after disbursements was nearly £10,000. In 1736, when another Richard Watts was mayor of Rochester, a tablet was placed in the cathedral to the memory of the earlier man.
DNB; F. F. Smith, Hist. Rochester, 85, 145, 495; Rochester in Parlt. 98-100; Arch. Cant. vi. 51-3; xvii. 212 seq.; APC, iii. 263, 266, 287; CSP Dom. 1547-80, p. 204; CPR, 1548-9, p. 297; HMC Hatfield, i. 293; Hasted, Kent, iv. 185-7; J. Phippen, Desc. Rochester, 39 seq.; Charity Commission, 30th Rep. 380; C142/215/267.