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.