William Henry Augustus Dalton

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William Henry Augustus Dalton

Death: 1902 (66-67)
Thurnham Hall, Lancashire, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Son of William Hoghton Dalton and Louisa Dalton
Husband of Mary Emma Dalton
Father of Alzira Eloise Dalton

Managed by: Arthur Rexford Whittaker
Last Updated:

About William Henry Augustus Dalton

William Henry Dalton, Lord of the Manors of Thurnham, Bulk and Cockersand Abbey.


Befoir Queene Bess hir holde obteyned On Englande's Crowne and Ball, Ye Englishe DALTONS ruled and reigned As Squires of THUBNHAM HALL.

May 12, 1902, the fine old Lancashire estates of Thurnham, Bulk, Glasson and Cockshades passed into the hands of John Henry Dalton, Esq., by the death of his father on that day. The young Squire had been summoned from his legal studies at Princeton University and arrived at Thurnham Hall a few hours after Mr. William Henry Dalton had passed away. It was the conclusion of a particularly interesting chapter in the history of the old place, and the beginning of a new era for the famous Dalton family.

Mr. William Henry Dalton died at the age of Sixty-seven after a strenuous and successful career, tinged also with some romance. He was a Dalton of the Dalton's, but in his youth no less than eleven lives stood between him and succession to the ancestral acres. Instead of sitting around waiting for something to happen Mr. Dalton struck out on his own account. His early life was spent in Jersey, and while yet a young man he had visited Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and Brazil, ultimately settling in Mexico, where for twenty years he was the proprietor of a profitable cattle-ranch.

In 1876 he married Miss Mary Emma Cook, the eldest daughter of Mr. J. T. Cook, an American gentleman. In 1894 Mr. Dalton succeeded to the Dalton Estates, after making good his claims in the highest courts of the land. By this time, however, his health had given way, and he did not enjoy his new possessions long enough to make much impress on them, although he regularly spent a large portion of his income improving his property.

The Dalton's have been connected with Thurnham Hall since 1556. Always prominent as a family they

were fated invariably to espouse the losing side of all national controversies. As a consequence they had their lands taken from them and suffered imprisonment more than once. But their resources, influence and connections were always powerful enough to enable them to buy back their confiscated estates, and consequently Thurnham Hall has been identified with Dalton's of blood or family connection for almost four centuries. They have left their mark in Lancashire with no uncertain impression. In Lancaster town "Dalton Square" is named after an early ancestor, and members of the Dalton family are specifically commemorated in the streets named John, Mary, Gage, Lucy, Bridget,

Charlotte, Robert and Sulyard. Thurnham street and Bulk street of course take their names from the two estates of the family.

Many interesting incidents are on record about the Dalton's who have also been connected by marriage with many other powerful families, notably with the Derbys (who gave England a Prime Minister), with the Earls of Sefton (family name Molyneux) ; with the Gages (of Hengrave Hall, Suffolk) ; with the Flemings, the Rid- dells, the Houghtons and the Middletons ; with the noble family of Lathom, and with the Fitzgeralds of Ireland. The present Mr. Dalton is a direct lineal descendant of Sir Thomas More (1478-1535), the illustrious statesman and author, who was beatified by Pope Leo XIII., December 9, 1886. More succeeded Wolsey as Chancellor of England in 1529, and held office until

he resigned in 1532. His execution is one of the blackest crimes to the credit of the royal monster Henry VIII. More's "Utopia" is the greatest political romance ever written, and was first published in Latin in 1516.

The Dalton's of old were good Catholics and always loyal supporters of "the rightful heirs" to the crown. During the Civil Wars of England they took the field and raised their own regiments, more than one member of the family laying down his life for King and country. Even as late as the Jacobite uprising of 1715 John Dalton of Thurnham stood out for the unfortunate Stuarts. A pretty legend is connected with Aldcliffe Hall, which was at one time a Dalton residence.

Seven Dalton sisters were known as "The Catholic Virgins" and in confirmation of the fact a stone tablet is yet to be seen with a Latin inscription which has been deciphered to read "Catholic Virgins are we, who scorn to change with the time: Ano. Dni: 1674." Mr. Wm. H. Dalton did not die a Catholic, and the living Dalton's are all devoted to the Protestant faith.

Thousand acres would probably include all the estates already mentioned. The Bulk estate from its proximity to the town of Lancaster is of great value as it can be almost immediately laid off in building lots. The "Glasson Docks" are located on the Glasson estate, and it has a fringe of seashore (along Morecambe Bay) that seems destined for fine Villa sites at no distant date. On other parts of the Dalton lands are deposits of sand, gravel and slate, with a fair promise of more valuable minerals.

The present Mr. Dalton has many important plans under consideration for the development of his

properties, and, if spared to carry them out, his advanced ideas will restore the home of his ancestors tcr a position worthy of its renowned pedigree. Old Thurnham Hall has long been in a state of decay, and only temporary alterations have been attempted in recent times, but enough remains to give more than a suggestion of its ancient glory. Almost opposite its gates are the ruins of Cockersand Abbey, founded in the days of Henry II., as the scholarly Mr. Roper tells us, ' ' by one Hugh Garth. The Chapter House of the Abbey is now used as a burial place for the Dalton family. The old oak-chest, or "Ark," that formerly belonged to the Abbot of Cockersand is now at Thurnham Hall.

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William Henry Augustus Dalton's Timeline

Age 67
Thurnham Hall, Lancashire, United Kingdom