Sir Peter Vandeput
Descended from a Flemish Huguenot family
c1690 - 1748
Peter Vandeput came of a Huguenot family from Antwerp who had settled in England towards the end of the 16th century. The family prospered in the City of London where his father, also Peter (d1707), a Draper and Alderman for Lime Street was joint Sheriff in 1684, being knighted that year. Peter senior married Margaret Buckworth, daughter of Sir John Buckworth of West Sheen in Richmond. There were said to be 22 children of this marriage, many born in Richmond. Born in about 1650 he died in 1707 and his widow remained at Richmond where, understandably perhaps, she is recorded as a generous benefactor to Christ's School founded in 1713.
She inherited a number of properties of which one, in St James's Street London had been leased to Sir Richard Steele. There was trouble about the rent. Writing to his wife at Camarthen in August 1717 he noted: "I have had much struggle by reason of ill-payments, and unreasonable, hasty, severe people; among the rest, that hagg Lady Vandeput. I have paid her to the end of last quarter, and have given her warning, and can remove any time between this and quarter-day without paying more than this quarter". In September he wrote again, from Hampton Court: "Madam Vandeput has thoroughly nettled me; but, as she is of the fair sex, I shall not make answer to her usage in word or deed but…move from her house that week…"
Marries and comes to Twickenham
Vandeput married, in 1712, Frances Mathew daughter of Sir George Mathew of Southwark and Twickenham. Although this may have brought him to Twickenham, he does not appear to have been assessed for rates until 1718 ("Esq Vantiportt, £1-0-0"). However, he pledged £20 to the rebuilding of St Mary's Church in 1713 and in 1712 he had also, with a number of other local residents, subscribed to John James's translation of The Theory and Practice of Gardening by Dezailler d'Argenville, dedicated to James Johnston. His residence in Twickenham has not yet been identified; in 1721 his property was noted to be "by Fitzwater".*
A friend of Alexander Pope
He was sufficiently friendly with Alexander Pope to invite him to dinner. A letter probably written in 1724 bound into the Homer MSS (BL Add 4808) reads:
Least there should be any mistake by Massages, this is to desire, that you, and Mrs Pope, would dine with us tomorrow, there will be only be Sir Clement & Dr Burscough. From / [Sir] Your most affectionate & / humble Servant /Peter Vandeput
Sir Clement was Sir Clement Cottrell (Dormer), Master of Ceremonies, who later inherited Rousham in Oxfordshire. Dr Burscough was appointed chaplain to Lord Carteret. Lord Lieutenant of Ireland on 4 April 1724. The curious story that Pope drove Lady Vandeput to her death by forcing her to read repeatedly his translation of the Iliad appears to have no foundation.
Builds a house in Wiltshire
In 1723 Vandeput was created a baronet. In 1731, having probably decided to move away from Twickenham he commissioned John James to design him a country house, Standlynch in Wiltshire, now known as Trafalgar House. Earlier this house had been wrongly attributed to Roger Morris who married Mary Jackson so becoming son-in-law of his daughter Jane who had married Sir Philip Jackson of Richmond. Standlynch is on the north side of Barford Manor, built in 1695 by Charles Duncombe, on the banks of the Avon about six miles south of Salisbury.
* London Metropolitan Records hold the Courtbooks for the Manor of Isleworth Syon, Accession 1379. Volume 38, p104, 1 April 1719 records an admission for Peter Vandeput. Volume 39, pp220-232 records a surrender by Sir Peter Vandeput to Mitchell Philips of some land and to Thomas Freeman of a cottage and ˝ an acre also 3 acres 3 roods in the North Field Longcroft Shott; all this later surrendered to Sylvester Freeman on 25 April 1764
Oswald Barron,The Huguenot Families in England, III The Vandeputs, The Ancestor, 1903 (Guildhall Library ref ST1198)
Daniel A Fineman, The Case of the Lady "Killed" by Alexander Pope, Modern Language Quarterly Vol XII, pp137-147, 1951