Manuscripts and Special Collections

Biography of Robert Thoroton (1692-1751)


Robert Thoroton was the eldest surviving son of Thomas Thoroton , Recorder of Lincoln. In 1723 Robert married Mary Blackborne (1689-1764), widow of Abraham Blackborne , who already had two sons and two daughters. Mary was the daughter of Sir Richard Levett , a Lord Mayor of London and a merchant who mostly dealt in tobacco. Abraham Blackborne was his business partner. Mary inherited the 'Dutch House' (now Kew Palace) in Kew, Surrey, which had been bought by her father in 1697 along with other premises in Kew. The four children of Abraham and Mary's marriage were close to the three surviving children of her second. Robert Thoroton's son Thomas inherited money from his half-brother Levett Blackborne, and the residue of the estate of his brother-in-law Charles Newton, as well as the Thoroton family properties.

Robert Thoroton inherited a half-share of an estate at Alfreton and Swanwick, Derbyshire, on the death of his cousin Mrs Elizabeth Turner (1654-1744). Elizabeth was the younger daughter of Dr Robert Thoroton of Car Colston and married John Turner, a coal and lead mine owner from Swanwick near Alfreton, Derby. Her son Charles Turner (1677-1736) was a lawyer in London, and left the estate to Robert Thoroton subject to his mother's life interest. The Thorotons and Turners were involved in various coal and lead-mining pursuits in Derbyshire. 


Robert Thoroton married Mary Blackborne, née Levett (1689-1764) in 1723, and had:

  • Thomas Thoroton (1723-1794)
  • Mary (1725-), married Edward Gould of Much Hadham and Mansfield Woodhouse in 1745, and had: 
    • Mary Gould, married Urban Hall of Mansfield Woodhouse 
    • Edward Thoroton Gould, married firstly Barbara Yelverton, daughter of the Earl of Sussex, married secondly Anne, daughter of the 8th Lord Dormer. One son by each marriage
    • Thomas 
    • Jane (-1827), married Bache Thornhill (1747-1830), and had children 
    • Elizabeth, m John Balguy
  • Robert (1727-), died in infancy 
  • Elizabeth (1730-before 1793), married Charles Chaplin of Tathwell, Lincolnshire, in 1755, and had: 
    • Charlotte Chaplin 
    • George Chaplin 
    • Thomas Chaplin 
    • Charles Chaplin 
    • Rev. Robert Chaplin, married Anne Georgiana Sutton, sister of Sir Richard Sutton, 1st Baronet 
    • Francis Chaplin 
    • Rev. William Chaplin, married Isabella Frances Sutton, sister of Sir Richard Sutton, 1st Baronet 
    • Edward Chaplin 
    • Sophia Chaplin, married firstly John Sutton and secondly, in 1804, Thomas Wright 
      • Sir Richard Sutton, 2nd Baronet

Archive Collections

  • Title deeds, estate papers, family wills and settlements, and legal papers, in the Thoroton Hildyard Collection (THF) held by Manuscripts and Special Collections, The University of Nottingham.  

Published Sources

  • Myles Thoroton Hildyard. 'Some letters of Robert and Mary Thoroton and others, 1745-6', in Transactions of the Thoroton Society , vol. 57 (1953), 16-32
  • Myles Thoroton Hildyard. The Thorotons (privately printed, 1991) [King’s Meadow Campus East Midlands Special Collection Oversize Not 150.V30 THO]  

Manuscripts and Special Collections

Kings Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

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