The Egertons of Tatton Park
The fortunes of the Egertons of Tatton Park, like those of other families, varied over the centuries.
Tatton Park had been in the ownership of the Egerton family from 1598 when it was bought by Sir Thomas Egerton of Ashridge estate in Hertfordshire from his half sister Dorothy Brereton. Sir Thomas (c.1540–1617) had served in senior office at the court of Queen Elizabeth I and in 1603 became Lord Chancellor of England in the reign of King James I. Tatton became the home of a junior branch of the Egerton family, at the head of which were the Earls and Dukes of Bridgewater.
During the time of Sir Thomas’s ownership of the estate the principal house was the medieval Old Hall which was let to tenants. It was not until the end of the 17th century that John Egerton (1679-1724), great-great grandson of Sir Thomas, came to inhabit the estate. It was John who built the first house on the site of the present Mansion around 1716.
The Egertons continued in their ownership, despite serious financial difficulties in the early 18th century when Elizabeth Egerton (née Barbour), her husband having died at 45 and her oldest son dying prematurely at the age of only 28, was forced to contemplate the sale of the estate.
In 1758 Elizabeth’s son, Samuel, was to inherit a legacy so large, that it was to secure the future of Tatton Park for the next 200 years. During the 19th century Tatton flourished, reaching the height of its status during the ownership of Wilbraham Egerton in the late Victorian period.