The Moulton-Barratt Casket

A burr oak box with silver oak leaves and garlands, surrounding the sides having bands of oak leaves and other foliage. The front having a plaque inscribed, ďTo S.M. Moulton-Barratt Esq. MP with the freedom of the Borough of Richmond. Presented by his bretheren of the Company of Merchant Taylorís as a sincere testimony of their regardsĒ. Inside the lid is tortoiseshell boulle aplaique, the box contains the original Freedom Scroll and also a copy.

No date or manufacture or makers name is known.

Samuel Moulton-Barratt (1787-1837) was granted the Freedom of the Borough in April 1820, just a month after his election to Parliament. He was a planter in the West Indies, but his main claim to fame was that he was the uncle of Elizabeth Barratt Browning. At this time Richmond had two MPís, the other being Hon Thomas Dundas, who was also made a Freeman on the same day. On the 7th November 1822 Samuel Moulton-Barratt was made a Freeman of the Company of Mercers, Grocers and Haberdashers of Richmond paying to the Company 3 shillings and 4 pence for the privilege. It would seem that he already had some connections with Merchant Taylorís of York in view of their presenting him with this casket. He was re-elected to Parliament in 1826, but resigned his seat in 1828 by taking the Chiltern Hundreds, probably to allow his successor, another member of the powerful Dundas family to have his safe Whig seat. He returned to the West Indies where he died in 1837. The casket was returned to the town by his great nephew during the Mayoralty of Councillor R.V.Cross.

© Copyright of Alan M. Wilcox Town Clerk 1985-1997