Hortensia Swinhoe Searle 1808

From Kensington

Hortensia Swinhoe was born in Brompton in 1731 and died in Kensington, London; she was buried 21 November 1808 at St Mary Abbots Church, Kensington. Her parents were wealthy Brompton Park Nursery Owner, John Swinhoe and Hester Carpenter Searle. Hortensia married Charles Searle of Farnham in Surrey and they had 2 children ~ Charles Searle Junior, and Olivia Searle.

Note: John Swinhoe of Brompton Park Nursery was paid £8112s 9d in August 1736 for trees, shrubs, climbers, herbaceous plants and bulbs by Frederick, Prince of Wales for the gardens of Kensington Palace.

Opening paragraph of Hortensia’s Will


  • Referred to marriage settlement made in 1756 between her and Charles Searle which gave him the use of her property for life only
  • Charles pre-deceased her and left no will
  • All her property to her son Charles Searle and then to his heirs ~ should he have children
  • Should son Charles die with no heirs, then the property goes to her daughter Olivia Searle
  • In any event, Olivia to receive contents of her house and the annual interest and dividends derived from stock purchased by Charles from Hortense’s personal wealth
  • Mary Searle ~ the wife of Charles ~ to have 10 guineas for a mourning ring
  • Residue after all expenses and debts paid, and the purchase of stock for Olivia, to son Charles
  • Charles and Olivia to be joint executors
  • Sole Administration granted to Olivia Searle on 22 December 1808, Charles Searle now deceased


  1. Charles Searle (Senior) died 29 April 1774 in the Isle of Man “leaving more debts than assets”. He had moved to the Isle of Man around 1765 “possibly to avoid creditors” but he had influence in London and was appointed Attorney General of the Isle of Man in 1768. When his creditors pursued him to the Isle of Man, he claimed immunity due to his position. Buried at Onchan, Isle of Man.
  2. Charles Searle (Junior) died in Bath, just two weeks after Hortensia, on 7 December 1808 and he has a memorial in St Swithin Church, Bath.
  3. Olivia Searle was now a wealthy woman and she lived in Kensington Square until her death in 1844; she never married.

Select Sources

  • The National Archives; Kew, Surrey, England; Records of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, Series PROB 11; Class: PROB 11; Piece: 1490
  • London Metropolitan Archives; London, England; London Church of England Parish Registers; Reference Number: Dl/T/047/012
  • http://www.isle-of-man.com/manxnotebook/history/ap/ap33b211.htm
  • Information on John Swinhoe ~ various publications available on Google Books