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The Chatterton Family

(A Montage in the Round)
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Thomas Snr.   -   Sarah  -    Mary  -   Giles
Chatterton's Correspondence

A work in progress - along with portraits of Chatterton - February 2024

This page will, obviously, be much larger by the time it's finished.

But it will be hit & miss in the meantime and until this notice goes away.

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Sarah Chatterton, née Young

Chatterton's Mother

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Mary Newton, née Chatterton

Chatterton's Sister

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Thomas Chatterton, Snr.

Chatterton's Father


Thomas Chatterton, Jnr.

The Poet

Let me be clear here: there are no portraits of any of the Chatterton family (that we know of).  So, poetic licence kicks in and insists that I use the above images to represent the family and put faces to the names. 

  • Sarah is snipped from Henrietta Ward's painting of Chatterton in his lumber room. 

  • Thomas Chatterton senior, is snipped from Montaigne's painting of Chatterton asking for a cup to be painted with an angel and a trumpet to blow his name about. The image is of a man (a family member) offering the cup to Chatterton. 

  • Mary is more of a problem as she has not been included in any of the paintings relating to Chatterton. So I have used a portrait of the famous actress Ruth Chatterton (1892-1961).  After all, she pops up incessantly whenever I search online for anything related to Chatterton. I think it is fair to say that she is a 'True Chatterton', for who is to say that she is not distantly related to our Tom.  I wonder, did she ever imagine that she would be playing her final acting role 63 years after her death.

Chatterton also had a brother, Giles Malpas, who died very soon after birth, and a grandmother, who lived with the family. It is not known if the grandma was a paternal or maternal grandma, however, allowing for the fact that Sarah came from Chipping Sodbury, and estimating that her mother was born in 1711, she would be around 41 years of age in 1752, whereas her mother-in-law would already be living in Bristol and would be about 60, for these reasons I think it more likely that the grandma living in the Chatterton household would be from the paternal side.  Edward Bell in his Memoir of Chatterton for Skeat's The Works of Chatterton, 1871, p.xvii, states that grandma is Sarah's mother-in-law (how does he know?).

Thomas Chatterton Senior

Note gathering:

DOB:   1713 (acc to ingram,p.2)

DOD:   august 3rd 1752 (acc to ingram, p.2)

Date of burial : 

Entered Colston's Hospital school, jan 21. 1722 (ingram, p.2)

Apprentice to Captain Edmund Saunders

‘Thomas Chatterton and Sarah Young were married at Sodbury Church  in Gloucestershire by Mr Jno. Coats on Monday the 25th day of April in the year 1748.’

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A Catch for Three Voices.  European Magazine, March 1792.

Sarah Chatterton, née Young

Note gathering:

Air Ballooning  :  View

DOB:   1731?

DOD:  Died Dec 25th 1791  Date of burial :


Dec 28, 1791 (meyerstein p.489)

Married: ‘Thomas Chatterton and Sarah Young were married at Sodbury Church  in Gloucestershire by Mr Jno. Coats on Monday the 25th day of April in the year 1748.’

Mary Newton, née Chatterton
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Note gathering:

Mary Newton was Chatterton's sister

Do note another delicious coincidence :  Mary's Godmother's surname is 'Arden' the same as Shakespeare's mother's maiden name.

DOB: Tuesday, 14/02/1748/9   (1749)

Baptised :  March 13, 1748/9 (Redcliffe register (M, p.9)

DOD:  1804 

Date of burial : ?

The Public Advertiser 8th June 1772,  Has the earliest printing of Mary’s anecdote re the cup and angel with a trumpet.

Mary Newton had one child :  Daughter of Mary Newton, nee Chatterton

DOB: ?

DOD:  September 1807 (According to her intimate/husband? in an interview with George Pryce, Fact v Fiction, published 1858)

Date of burial : ?

Giles Malpas Chatterton
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Giles Malpas Chatterton, first child & son of Thomas and Sarah Chatterton.  Giles Malpas was named after the man who donated the funds to build the house for the school master and his family.

Born on Wednesday 12 December 1750,  baptised 1 January 1751, died Tuesday 16 April 1751, aged 4 months 4 days.

It is safe to say that the above entry in the family bible was written by Thomas Chatterton's father.

Chatterton's Correspondence
With Family & Friends

The list below contains all of Chatterton's known correspondence with family and friends. It excludes the 'letters' and poems, which he wrote for publication in the  monthly magazines; such as the poems to Eleanor Hoyland and the other girls of his acquaintance; these are treated in Authentic Works in the menu above, or  :  View

From:  John Baker ;  January,  February, 1769.

To: John Baker :  March, 1769.

 John Baker Letters Page  :  View

To:  Mr Stephens, 20 July 1769 :   View

To:  Esther Saunders, 3 April 1770  :  View

To:  Sarah Chatterton and others, May 6 1770    :   View

     Includes messages to the following:

  • Thomas Cary ; Henry Kator ; Baker,  Mrs Mason

  • Mat Mease ; Thaire ; Rudhall ; Ward ; Gaster

  • Thomas ; Kator ; A. Broughton ; Carty;

  • Smith, &c, &c, &c.

  • J Broughton ; Hanmer ; Williams ; Vaughan

To:  Sarah Chatterton, 14 May 1770    :    View

To:  Mary Chatterton, 30 May 1770    :    View

To:  Sarah Chatterton, 26th April 1770 :   View

To:  Mary Chatterton, 19, 29 June 1770  :  No View

To:  Thomas Cary, 1 July 1770     :     View

To:  Sarah Chatterton, 8 July 1770   :   View

To:  Mary Chatterton, 11 July 1770    :   View

To:  Mary Chatterton  20 July 1770  :  View

To: John Rudhall and Baster, no date  :   View

To: William Smith, no date

contains the signature : Hasmot Tnchaorett   :   View


Links to Chatterton's Works & Correspondence

   Call it what you will, authentic, doubtful, lost, or plainly wrong - if it was linked with Chatterton it will be included in Chatterton's Works & Correspondence.  This will be the base point from which we can examine every piece of work, and add notes and links accordingly.  


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