Nat Gould

His life and books

John Bateman 1839-1910

John Bateman
Born: 1839 Biddulph, Staffordshire
Died: 1910 Brightlingsea, Essex
James Bateman 1812-1897
Maria Sybilla Egerton-Warburton
Rowland Bateman 1840-
Robert Bateman
Charlotte Bateman
Katharine Bateman
Jessy Caroline Bootle Wilbraham
Agnes Mary Bateman 1867-

John Bateman was born at Biddulph Grange in Staffordshire on 19 March 1839, the son of James Bateman 1812-1897 of Knypersley Hall and Biddulph Grange in Staffordshire and his wife nee Maria Sybilla Egerton-Warburton, daughter of Rowland Egerton-Warburton of Norbury in Cheshire.

He was educated at Brighton College in Sussex, and then at Trinity College in Cambridge which he entered on 1 December 1856.

On 4 October 1865 he married Jessie Caroline Bootle Wilbraham 1836-1925, daughter of the Hon. Richard Bootle Wilbraham MP, and sister of the Earl of Lathom.

They had a daughter Agnes Mary Bateman, born at Biddulph in 1867.

In 1871 he bought the Brightlingsea Hall estate near Colchester in Essex. There he became an agricultural improver, experimenting in forestry and in maize and tobacco growing. He was a keen sportsman, and in 1875 purchased a hunting property in County Mayo, Ireland. In 1882 he led a shooting expedition in Argentina. He was head of the local Conservative Party, and a member of Essex County Council and Brightlingsea Urban District Council from their formation.

He was a local benefactor. He provided the building materials for the National School, and the land for two almshouses, supplying the new tenants with wood, coal and bacon. He donated the land for an extension to the churchyard and for a new sewage works. When the Cinque Port Liberty was revived, he became Brightlingsea’s first Deputy and held the office for seven years. In 1893 he presented the town with the Deputy’s badge and chain of office. He became a Deputy Lieutenant for Essex and a Justice of the Peace (2).

John Bateman compiled a book of statistics on British landowners (3). It originated in controversy about land distribution in England arising from the 1861 Census Returns showing that there were only thirty thousand landowners in a population of over thirty million. A parliamentary report published between 1874 and 1876, listed all owners of land outside London, giving their acreage and income. But as that information was by county, the total acreage or income of any particular landowner was difficult to ascertain. So Bateman arranged the data nationally, and corrected errors. His book also provided details of each large landowner's education, clubs, and military and political service, and -tables showing land distribution among classes of owner. He had intended to disprove an aristocratic monopoly of land ownership in Britain, but in fact his work proved the opposite (4).

John Bateman died on 12 October 1910 (5).
His wife Jessie Bateman died in October 1925 aged 89.


(1) Alumni Cantabrigienses Part II 1752-1900 (1940) page 182.
(2) T. Moulton Cinque Port Liberty Brightlingsea (2008)
(3) The Great Landowners of Great Britain and Ireland. The first edition, published in 1876, was actually entitled The Acre-ocracy of England, but coverage was expanded to the whole of the British Isles in later editions of 1878, 1879 and 1883.
(4) The Oxford Dictionary of Biography: article by D. Spring.
(5) The Times dated 13 October 1910.