Notable Kent Families

This section has more information on some of the wealthy local families who lived in/around Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge and at least one, and sometimes more, of the family is either buried in the graveyard or commemorated within Holy Trinity.

We have started researching them and are gradually adding them to the website.

The first ones are below:

The Woodgate family

Robert William DALLAS

Robert William Dallas

Robert DALLAS entered the army in 1808. 

He was severely wounded in the Peninsular War at St Jean de Luz in 1814. 1817  became a major in the 1st West India Regiment.

His father’s family inherited money from an estate in Grenada, WI

Married Lucy DAVIDSON, daughter of Henry, in 1818 in London

Robert's Grave

The grave is located in the cemetery in plot B8. The inscription on the gravestone is quite worn.

The inscription is “Sacred/to the memory of/Robert William DALLAS Esq/who departed this life/the 11th September 1849/in the 60th year/of his age/and—his wife/Lucy DALLAS/died 16th Sept 1870/aged 71 years.”

He married Lucy DAVIDSON, daughter of Henry, in 1818 in London

Mural Tablet in Trinity Church

Tablet inscription is “Robert William DALLAS, only son of the late Right Honourable Lord Chief Justice DALLAS, Major in the 9th Regiment of Foot, served Walcheren and Peninsular, died 11th September 1849, in his 60th year, at Tunbridge Wells, erected by his widow.”

Location of tablet within the church is currently unknown and would only be visible by special arrangement as this area is not normally open to visitors.

Walter Sprott

Walter Sprott

Walter Sprott was a solicitor based in Tunbridge Wells.


By 1862 the practice and Lower House had been acquired by Walter Sprott, who had been born at Tunbridge Wells in about 1825, probably the son of a solicitor of the same name. Walter Sprott, his wife, five children and three servants were enumerated in Mayfield High Street in 1881. The family included his eldest son Frank Walter Sprott (born c1863), articled to his father, who was to qualify as a solicitor in 1884. By 1940 Frank Sprott was in partnership with Walter Ralph Clement Sprott, probably his son, who left the firm between 1962 and 1970 (Law List). In 1929 and 1933 the firm also had offices in Crowborough and at Oxted in Surrey.

Sprotts of Mayfield had merged with Cripps, Harries Hall (now Cripps Pemberton Greenish) of Tunbridge Wells before 1981 and the Mayfield offices closed between 1986 and 1988. The history of the firm can be traced from the eighteenth century, most conveniently through the stewardships of the manor of Bivelham in Mayfield and Hammerden in Ticehurst, which its partners held from 1777 to 1858.”

2002: Mayfield School: Sprott Prize, awarded annually after a vote among peers to the most popular boy and girl in Year 6.


Death and Burial

 Walter died in 1844.


Walter Sprott is buried in Trinity Cemetery with his daughter Sophia and second wife Mary.

Walter SPROTT (Number 1213) Buried 10th May 1844.   61 years Tunbridge Wells.  Mary SPROTT (Number 2044) Buried 2nd July 1881.  87 years Trinity (Tunbridge Wells). E. Sophia SPROTT (Number 2058) Buried 24th February 1899. 81 years Christ Church (Tunbridge Wells).

North Face      Sacred/to the memory of/Walter SPROTT/of Tunbridge Wells/who died 3. May 1844/aged 61 years

South Face   Also of/Mary/widow of Walter SPROTT/of Tunbridge Wells/who died 29 June 1881/aged 87 years

East Face  Also/of/Sophia SPROTT/—-/—-


Grave Location

 The grave is located at A18.



Walter Sprott’s will is available at the National Archives.


Some of Walter Sprott’s letters are held at The Keep in Brighton

Isabella Louisa Parry 1801-1839

Wife of Rear Admiral William Edward Parry

Isabella Louisa Parry (nee Stanley) was born in 1801, fourth daughter of Sir John Stanley, first Baron Stanley of Alderley, a Whig politician and member of the Royal Society. 

She met naval officer and explorer William Edward Parry (1790–1855) in 1824, shortly before Parry departed on his third outing as commander of an expedition tasked with locating the North West Passage. 

They married following his return from this voyage, in October 1826, at which time Parry was working in the comparatively lowly capacity of hydrographer to the Admiralty. He ventured to the Arctic again in April 1827 in an attempt to reach the North Pole. Though ultimately unsuccessful, in the course of this journey he attained the latitude of 83° 45’ N, setting a record that wasn’t bettered for 50 years. 

He was knighted, along with his friend John Franklin, in 1829 and the same year accepted the position of commissioner for the Australian Agricultural Company, which had been formed in 1824 to develop wool and other commodities for export to Britain. 

He and Isabella arrived in Sydney in December in 1829; Isabella remained a guest of Ralph and Eliza Darling at Government House until March 1830, when she and her newborn twins travelled to Parry’s base, Tahlee, on the northern shore of Port Stephens. 

There, in addition to attending to a growing family (two more children were born in the colony, in 1831 and 1833), Isabella concerned herself with the education and morality of the Company’s employees and the local community. 

She established a school for children, and one for adult convicts who wished to read and write; started a lending library; took an interest in the welfare of the local Aboriginal people; and designed the chapel (St. John’s) that the Australian Agricultural Company built at Stroud in 1833. She and her husband had earlier instituted the observation of regular Sunday church services at Tahlee and nearby settlements. 

Like her friend Eliza Darling, Isabella took a keen interest in her surroundings and was an accomplished amateur artist. She collected botanical and natural history specimens (including a substantial collection of insects and butterflies that was later eaten by mice) as well as Aboriginal artefacts; and made sketches of and around her home, in Sydney, and of other scenes of interest. 

The Scott Polar Research Institute at Cambridge University holds sixteen examples of her work, including her plan for St. John’s, several views of Tahlee, and a sketch of the coal works at Newcastle. 

Isabella returned to England with Parry following the expiration of his commission in March 1834. They settled initially in Norfolk, where Parry worked as assistant poor law commissioner, and then in London on his appointment to another position with the Admiralty. 

‘Deeply impressed with the sense of the benefits which she conferred on the community’, the Australian Agricultural Company erected a monument to her outside St. John’s at Stroud. 

An island in Nunavut, Canada, is named after her. 

Tahlee remained the residence of the Company’s commissioner until 1849. The original house was destroyed by fire in 1860; later rebuilt, the property is now a bible college and religious retreat.

They had four surviving children – twins Edward and Isabella born in 1830, Lucy born in 1831 and Charles born in 1833. 

The family went down in whooping cough in 1839 and came to Tunbridge Wells for better air and her husband rented Mount Edgecumbe House. There is a brown plaque on the house commemorating the visit.

Isabella died in May 1839 at Tunbridge Wells two days after giving birth prematurely to twin boys who did not survive. 


Isabella's Grave

The grave is located in the cemetery in plot C8. The inscription on the gravestone is very worn.

The inscription is “Sacred/to the memory of/the (Hon.) Isabella Louisa PARRY/wife of/SIR William Edward PARRY/REMAINDER illegible”—moss in most of the letters.

There is a watercolour painting in the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge showing Isabella’s grave in the cemetery. More can be found out about Isabella at the SPRI here.  

Mural Tablet in Trinity Church

There is a tablet within Trinity Church, alongside the stage, which mentions her and her twins. This is only visible by special arrangement as this area is not normally open to visitors. There is more information about Isabella on this page.