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Significant Scots
Thomas Trotter


TROTTER, THOMAS, M.D., who held at one time the important office of physician to the Channel fleet, was born in Roxburghshire, educated at the university of Edinburgh, and while still young, was appointed surgeon in the Royal Navy in 1782. Finding occupation in his own particular department too scanty, or rival aspirants too numerous, he turned his attention to the African trade, and was, as he has informed us, the first of his professional corps who was obliged to betake himself to that humble and somewhat perilous vocation. Returning from Africa in 1785, he settled as a medical practitioner at a small town in Northumberland, and obtained the degree of M.D. at Edinburgh, in 1788. Better days now began to dawn upon him; for on the following year he was appointed, through the patronage of Admiral Roddam, surgeon to that commander’s flag-ship; in 1793, he was made physician to the Royal Hospital at Portsmouth, and in 1794, physician to the fleet.

This was high as well as rapid promotion for one who had been fain in commence his pursuit of fortune in a merchant ship, and under the baneful sun of Africa; but the first step in his ascent once secured, Dr. Trotter soon showed his fitness for the eminence to which he was raised, for in 1790, only a year after his first appointment, he published a "Review of the Medical Department of the British Navy." Such also was his care for the health of the naval service, the important improvements he introduced into its regulations, and his attention to the due promotion of merit among the navy surgeons, that all classes combined in acknowledging his worth. After having occupied the important charge of physician to the fleet for several years, he retired upon a pension of 200 pounds per annum, and settled at Newcastle, where he practised with reputation till his death, which occurred in that town on the 5th September, 1832.

As an author, Dr. Trotter was known to the medical world at large by the excellent works he published, as well as the reforms he effected in the British navy. A list of these productions we here give in their order:--

  1. "Treatise on the Scurvy."

  2. "Thesis ‘De Ebrietate.’" 1788.

  3. "Review of the Medical Department of the British Navy." 1790. A work to which we have already adverted.

  4. "Medical and Chemical Essays." 1796.

  5. "Medica Nautica, or an Essay on the Diseases of Seamen." 3 vols., 8 vo. 1799.

  6. "Essay on Drunkenness." 1804. This was a translation with additions of his Thesis which he had written in 1788, and which had been highly commended by Dr. Cullen.

  7. "An Address to the Proprietors and Managers of Coal Mines, on the Means of Destroying Damp." 1806.

  8. "A View of the Nervous Temperament; being a Practical Treatise on Nervous, Bilious, Stomach, and Liver Complaints." 8 vo. 1812

Dr Trotter was a poet as well as physician, and his productions in this department, forgotten though they now are, excited during their own day such an amount of respectful attention, as mere common rhymes could scarcely have obtained. First in the list of these was his "Suspiria Oceani," being a monody on the death of Earl Howe; the next, published in 1813, was a tragedy, entitled, "The Noble Foundling, or the Hermit of the Tweed." He also published a volume of his miscellaneous poetry, and was a frequent contributor at his leisure hours, not only to the "Medical Journal," but also to the "European Magazine," and other literary periodicals.


Thanks to Brenda Elaine McPherson Trotter Compton bmcomppton@juno.com for sending this into us....

Durham University Library Archives has graciously given Permission to put the Dr. Thomas Trotter Estate. The original will of Thomas Trotter is included in the Durham Probate Records in the care of Durham University Library. DPRI/1/1832/T21/1-12

Mrs Ann Robinson
Archives Assistant
Durham University Library
Palace Green
Durham DH1 3RN
Phone: 0191 374 3202
Fax: 0191 374 3002
e-mail: Ann.Robinson@durham.ac.uk 

Dr. Thomas Trotter’s Will

[This Trust is spelled with the same spelling that Wm. Rutherford wrote it for Doctor Thomas Trotter in Scotland]

Page One^^^

At Jedburgh the Seventeenth day of October Eightteen Hundred and thirty two heard in presence of William Oliver Esq. Sheriff of Roxburghshire, compeared Samuel Stranton

Writer in Jednburgh as Proceautor for Thomas Trotter here after desginated and give in the trust and Disposition and Deed of settlement under written deserning the same night be registered into the said Sheriff Court Books comform to the clause of Arbitration after inserted Which request the said Sheriff finding reasonable ordained accordingly, and of which has Proposition and Deed Settlement the Principal of being written on stamped paper, the items follow in last words. "I Thomas Trotter of Roxburgh, Iower Doctor of Medicine, sometime Physican of His Majasty Fleet and Hontable Proprietor of the Lands with Houses and others thereafter " disposed in order to prevent dispute after my death have given granted convayed disproved asigned and made over as I have these presented with.

Wm. Rutherford

Page Second

" With and under the burdon conditions, decelerations, reservations, powers and facalties, after written live Grant deposed, convay, asign and make over from me my Laird and ____to my beloved________Isabella Agnes Dixon Trotter and Thomas Dixon Marr Trotter, two of my three sons. Alica Allison Trotter, my daughter while she is unmarried and to the ______ _______, accepted of them______where as my trustees failing to the nearest Heir, as the trustees for the uses intent. Lands and purpose after mentioned all and turn lands ceizable, Hertitable bonds and ______, depts and sum of money, goods, books, silver plate, and gernrally the whole Heritable and personal Estates and effects means and depts whenever due and indepted to me or that share belong to me and oweing to me at this time.

Wm. Rutherford

Page Third

At the time of my Death and particularly without prejudices to the above, general canvanceses, all and naill these my Lands of the Estate Housebryer, part of the Lands of Easter Housebryer, part of which is now desginated " Housebryre Iower, which is with the naill houses bringing Lairds and progenator belonging together with the lands Sheves and other, as well as pasanage( church) as acrage there of lying in the Parish and Cate regality of Monrose and Sherifdom of Roxburgshire, ( Scotland) and all mine particularty Described in a Charter of Resignations and Sale in favor of Richard Brown Esquire, time of Main Side, my Author dated. December Eighteen Hundred and Eight Item all and whole these my houses

Lords and others in the East and of the Town of Melrose with the perternints as sometime belong to the late John Trotter my Father and on parts of which a new dwelling House was lately erected by me, the said property being posessed by Thomas Scott Francis Dobson and others my tenants-Item part and whole.

Wm. Rutherford

Page Fourth

Whole that part or Cavid in the Marsh of Melrose and half of another part in Caril in the whole with the tenants and partistants of the same whole all and whole these other two parts or Carvil of Land in said wards, Melrose fromanly and divided and Lett of to this deseased William Cook Weaver are partners in Melrose by Decreet decrestion of the Sheriff of Roxburgshire in the same year of Seventeen Hundred and Fifty One as same are more fully divided in the Tithe Deeds there fore: which cavils of Land Laid together and now bounded by Trees on the East by Landsw of John Butler Representatives on the South by those of Alexander Herderson on the West side Partly by those James Wilson and partly by a service road and on the North side by Roxburgh Turn Pike All lying with in the Town and Territory of Melrose Roxburgh Parish and County of Roxburgh together with all right title and interest claim of right property and posessions which my predessors and Authors as heirs

Wm. Rutherford

Page Fifth

Or Heirs and succefors had have or can claim right chanels, than to or to any part of portion of the same in Line coming and I do hereby mandated and appoint my said Tentants above named take sole and only executors or executor with power to give give up involuntary and confirm the same as accords but declairing always as it is hereby presently and declared that of the trustees above mentioned my dear wife the said Isabella Agnes Dixon shall have the sole power during her lifetime to mannage my property and excuite this trust without the concent of the other trustees in the same manner as if she had been named the said sole trustee and in case of her death upon acceptance then the said other trustees and in case of her death upon acceptors or accepted of this and said surving accepted of them shall in the next place have full power to excute the same Declaring futher that any two of such accepting Trustees when that number are alive or the survivor of them shall be appointed, and I do give full power to.

Wm. Rutherford

Page Sixth

to my said trustee in the order of priority above mentioned and the surviving accepted of acceptor of them immediately on my death, enter a form request of my Heritable and Personal Estates above convayed and to do every other thing request for making the same informuch to grant teste of my said heritable subjects on such terms and conditions and for such number of Mears as she or they see prefer and also to compound submit referr trasnsact and agree in reguard to any matter dispute ot difference connected with my affairs and Generally to do everything in relations to which might haave been done by my self in my own lofetime which In not canvayence top my said Trustees before named which is not convayed by me and shall be accepted by said Trustees before said named according to their respective priortities . [Whom failing by their nearest Male Heir as my trustees or trustee for the uses ends intents and propossed after written, vigt. Thirds for you.]

Wm. Rutherford

Page Seventh

For delivering over to the said Isabella Agnes Dixon my wife immediately after my death the ahole housewhold furniture, flat bed and table linens printed books and other household effects that they happen to belong to me when that wait takes place all belongs which appoint to be liferented by her during her natural death Take equally divided among my said sons; John Everitt Howe Trotter William Curtis Trotter Thomas Dixon Marr Trotter and to my said daughter Alecia Alison Trotter equally share and share alike. Secondly, For the purpose delivering my Gold Watch which I bequeith and beg her to wear for my sake. Third, For paying my deathbed and funeral expenses, these expenses after the excution of this. In muxh and such of my just and Lawful Depts as my said Trustees of

Wm. Rutherford

Page Eighth

or trustee acting for the time may find herself or them selves unable to pay for my said property property. Fourthly; For paying to the said Isabella Agnes Dixon my wife during all the day of her lifetime the free annual income rents or profit of the remainer of said Estate after deducting Intent of such of my depts as may remain unpaid for duties tax bural public and parochial burdens and reports and all other proper deductions the liferent and management and directions being hereby expressly disproved and approved. To my said Dear wife Isabella Agnes Dixon for the purpose of being used and enjoyed by herself and for my children including my said eldest son while they are inable to provide for themselves.

Wm. Rutherford

Page Ninth

Fifthly; that after the death of the said Isabella Agnes Dixon my wife, the said other trustees acting for the time shall dispose and make over the said Lands and other Heirtable inobjects generally and particullary above disproved and the remainer of my personal property to and inform of the said John Enveill, Howe Roddam Trotter and William Curtis Trotter and Alecia Alison Trotter equally share and share a like as to the Heirs or his or her bodies and lawfully begotten and failing any one or these more of my three children by death before attending majority only preceeds with out leaving such heirs to the survivors or last survivors and their Heirs his or her bodyies respectivately and failing all of these their children by death as for said without any of them leaving ligitimate off spring then to the said Thomas Dixon Marr Trotter my youngest son and his heirs and asigned declaring that the said Thomas Dixon Marr Trotter being amply takes care of by the will.

Wm. Rutherford

Page Tenth

Will of the late George Mitcherson of Bedington is the reason I have not appointed him to share my Heritable property along with my said other Children ; Which provisions in favor of my said wife and children shall be all other claims shall be in full satifaction to them after relation; Ligitation and all other claims to all and any of them in and through my death nand manner of the way. Sixthly; In the event of my said eldest sons and daughter of their respective heirs wishing after they suceed to their shares of my said First Estate. To sell his or her or their shares of the said estate lands and houses and others He or She or they shall bebound to the offer his her or their share or shared of the said lands or shared to his her or their other brothers and sisters or the heir of such other brother and sister or sister at such price or prices and tobe payable at such time or tinmes as ones ormore arbitriters named by the parties themselves

Wm. Rutherford

Page Eleventh

At failing their agreeing in the moniniation of the arbritators named by the Sheriff or Sheriffs in the insitute of the County of Roxburgh for the time being shall fix and adcertain as it is my wish that these subjects should remain in my family and failing such after being accepted by all or any one or more of my said three children or their foresaid To whom the after is made and the arbitrators appointed for the above purpose with in two months after the time at making it then it shall be in the power of the persons or some dessissions of telling his or her shares to dispose of the same as he or she shall see fit Seventhly That any of my said three children above appointed to succeed to my said Estate, succeed any sum or sums of money in consequence of the death of.

Wm. Rutherford

Page Twelveth

Any of their relations sharely recommend to them ans such each of them to apply such sum or sums of money towards extinction of sum or sums of money toward extintion of  The Heritable Depts affecting any said Heritable Estate. Eighthly I futher recommend and express it as my particular wish Dixon my sister in Law after my death continue to live in family with my said wife and children as her home and above and earnestly recommend the same to be done. Ninthly on around the said John Everett Howe Roddam Trotter my oldest son being incapable from mental derarangement to manage his affairs.  I earnestly entered my said wife and other children to guard and prptect him with sympathy and affection considering that when in landomn in February Eighteen Hundred and Twenty Six and while in as some state of mind be bequeathed whole property to them

Wm. Rutherford

Page Thirteenth

at his deceased and I do hereby nominate and appoint the said Mrs Isabella Agnes Dixon my spouse and the said William Curtis Trotter Thomas Dixon Marr Trotter and Alicia Alison Trotter and the surviving acceptors or acceptors or accepters of them and heirs of  such Last surviving acceptable any two of them that number are alive and acceptable any of two when that number are alive and accepting being around as arburators and for my said son John Evertt Howe Roddam Trotter with power to them to enter upon the possession of the share of my said means and Estates to which be may succeed in conquesences of the possession of the share or the said means and Estates to which be may succeed of the first deed and to do everything requisit for making the same affective and to up receive assign transfer and to discharge the same subjects to let the same Lease or Leases as such time shall see fit and in general to do every thing requisite and

Wm. Rutherford

Page Fourteenth

of the first deed the said John Everett Howe Roddam Trotter might have done him and He been in sound mind and that he during this time he remails affected with this above melancholy desease and surely empower my said trustees or trustor forsaid and as curators and guardians forsaid oldest son to appoint one or more agents or executors to assist them in the management and of this deed and to allow them a reasonable said gratafication for their trouble and Surely declare that the Land Mrs Isabella Agnes Dixon and the said the said William Curtis Trotter Thomas, Thomas Dixon Marr Trotter and Alicia Alison Trotter and to the surviving acceptors as Excutors or Excurtrix to as arburators and guardian for the said John Evertte Howe Roddam Trotter the said my son shall not be able liable for insolvencenes of them

Wm. Rutherford

Page Fifteenth

of his Debtors agents factors or others now for oinifions neglect of duty or accidental mis-management nor for one another but each only for his own actual intransgression and of do here by give full power and liberty to my said Trustees at my time or times during the contunience of this Trust and according to their respective __________ to borrow what said sum of money may be required for paying of any of the Heritable or Personal Debts that may be oweing by me at my Death and to grant Real Securities for the same or ever my said heritable properties binding my Heirs general in absolute warranties or else to grant such for personal or else see fit but always at the influence of my Trust Estate: In which several Saros Tenos Marses Maros and other with their pretended above diafrones. In the said Doctor Thomas Trotter buried and

Wm. Rutherford

Page Sixteenth

Oblige me my heirs and successors to infefto and seize my said Trustees and their for said Upon the charges and expenses of my said Estate but under the declarations conditions reservations and others and for the ends set intents and purposes before and after written And that by two several Investsments different manners of holding the one there of to be holden of me and foresaids in free blench for pay marl of a penny Scots money upon the ground of the said several subjects as whits miday Yealy in name of blench farm if asked only and the other of the said Infefsments to be holden from us of and under our immediate lawful Superior of the said subjects in the same manner and as freely in all respects as hold a might have holden the same myself and that either by resigmation as conformation as both the one without pregudice of the other and for

Wm. Rutherford

Page Seventeenth

for accomplishing the said Infeftment by resignation I bind me my heirs and aneecfson?? To grant all peoples Proeventerral and other writings necceisary which Disposition and apgnation aforesaid Infefsment and others to follow hereon I the said Dr. Thomas Trotter bind and oblige me my heirs ans successors to warrant at all hands and I do hereby make consitute my said Trustees according to the order of priority before expressed and their foresaids my lawful asiner and assigned in and to the rents malls and duties of the said subjects falling due subsequent to the period of the death and also in and to the writs and widows rights titles and securities of the same whole claused tenor and contents of the same with all that has followed as it Competent to follow thereon Sureafating hereby and substituting my said Trustees according

Wm. Rutherford

Page Eighteenth

According to said priority and their foresaid in my full right and place of the premises for ever Which designation above written I said and oblige myself and my foresaid to warrant is so far as concerns the written and evident at all hands and as to the rents from fact and deed as thy the said Dr Thomas Trotter under the convections and declarations hereafter written hereby revoke all former Deeds of Settlement executed by be and restore my own different right over the whole subjects heritable and moveable before disproved and conveyed also full power during my life to gift dispose of aliemate at dispose away the same of any portions thereof and to cancel after a innovate these presents in whole of in part as I may see proper declaring that in so far as not altered these presents shall

Wm. Rutherford

Page Nineteenth

Shall have the full effect of a delivered deed wherever and in whose hands so ever the same maybe formed at my death as with the not delivery I have dispensed and for ever dispense any law a practice to the contrary notwithstanding declaring also that in the event of these presents becoming reducible as ineffectnal through my death an the plea of deathbed as otherwise it shall not have the effect of a revocation of a disposeition and Deed of Settlement executed by me bearing date the eleventh day of August Eighteen Hundred and twenty four but the same shall in that event remain infull force as it had previous to this first Disposetion and Deed of Settlement being executed by me and I consent to the registration hereof in the Books of Council and refrain on other competent therein to remain for reservation and in needful that all

Wm. Rutherford

Page Twentieth

All execution of the law neccesarry pass hereon as effeirs and to that purpose I constitute My Procaratons  Yea futher and to the effect my said Trustees and their foresaids may be infeft and seized in the several laws ends those marks and others before disposed the said Dr Thomas Trotter hereby desire and require man And each of Man jointly And severally my Barlies in that part to the effect after specifed that an right hereof the pass to the ground of the said Laws Housed and others before dispoved respectively and succsively after others and there give and deliver heritable State and Asine actual real and conponal possesion to the said Mrs. Isabella Agnes Diacon a Trotter my House, William Curtis Trotter, Thomas Dicon marr Trotter and Alica Alison Trotter and surving accepters as accepted

Wm. Rutherford

Page Twentyfirst

Accepted of them whom all falling to their nearest heirs as Trustees of Trustee aforesaid of all and whole the several Laws Housed Mans cavils and others with the Laws and pertinent before disposed bying and described in manner foresaid and here held as repeated brevities cause and that by delivery to my said Trustees and their foresaid as to his her or their certain attorney a antimonies in his her a their names bearers hereof of earth and stone of and upon the ground of the said several subjects grass and corn for the said Heirs and all other symbols usual and necessary but in most always for the ends used intents and purposed before written and under the declarations conditions and others foresaid and this in mo way be leave undone the which to do I commit to man and each of and full power by this my right as is directed

Wm. Rutherford

Page Twentysecond

To you for that effect in writings where of these presents consisting of this and the seven preceding pages with the two marginal notes on page first all written upon stamped paper by William Gibon Clark to Ian Carle writes in Melrose are subscribed by me the said Doctor Thomas Trotter at Pilrig Street Leith walk Edinburgh thirtieth day of January Eighteen hundred and thirty two years before these witness John Patt and Peter Hay both merchants Pilrig Street Leith Walk Edinburgh The place and date of signing with the manes and desinationed of the witnesses being inserted by James Brokine writer in Melrose presently residing in Edinburgh signed Thomas Trotter T Trotter

John Scott witness Peter Hay witness

John Scott Witness Peter Hay Witness

Extracted on this and the Twenty one preceding pages of stamped paper by me Henry Clark of said here

Wm. Rutherford

This Will was proved at Durham on the 24th day of October 1832 by Isabella Agnes Trotter of the Town and County of Newcastle upon her widow the Relict of the Testator and the sole executrix for life in the said Will named to whom admen was granted she having been first duly sworn before the Rev Henry Deer rigith Clerk Master of Arts a commissioner in this behalf lawfully appointed well and faithfully to execute and perform the same as usual

Effects sworn under L 300

R Burrell

The Testator was Tate of the Town of Bounty of Newcastle upon Tyne

Joseph Davison

Depy Reg s


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