"Once I found out what to expect,
I expected what I found."
Eddie Foote/Foot in 2004, paraphrasing a famous quote by kinsman Shelby Foote/Foot
Home > Windsor Castle News > Chotankers -- The Book > Horton Foote/Foot FAX Plus
SIGNIFICANCE OF WAVERLEY FOR
DISNEY AND THE CROWN as
Dividing the Estate
Completes BROADWAY Run
ROAR RADIO FLASH: The Lincoln Center in New York has limited run of Horton Foote's "Dividing the Estate" at Booth Theater. Reviews and Blogs for play improve
study of his family.
Please read the following FAX for more details on Horton's family and his kinship to Shelby Foote/Foot. The foote/foot notes on this page tie the Foote / Foot family to Windsor, Berkshire in England. Additional links at bottom of page carry you forward to more information about Horton's and Shelby's family roots.
The University of Texas Press published book on Horton Foote/Foot and his Texas family's influence on his literary works in 2003.
Click this dust cover image to get publication details, that include Table of Contents, and Chapter One. The UT book by Charles S. Watson, University of Alabama professor emeritus, is expected to generate more scholars' interest in Disney's theme park plans of the mid-90s that would have developed Waverley, the Foote/Foot family's mansion house and farm in Prince William County, Virginia.
FAX with FOOTE/FOOT NOTES
Dear Cousin Horton :
Thanks for letting me update you about the situation with Waverley,
the former Foote home in Prince William County, Virginia. My
attempts to have Disney recognize the history of the plot
where they plan to build Disney's America seems to be getting
some attention around Manassas. Two area papers called
yesterday to find out how the family wanted Disney to
incorporate the recognition into the exhibits. Since the
park focuses on American history, requesting some form of
acknowledgment of the Foote connection to Waverley and the
contribution the family has made to the history of America is
appropriate, I believe. In my previous conversations with
you I learned that your commitment to your Foote heritage is
just as strong, or stronger than mine, and I personally thank
you for helping out.
Frederick Foote built Waverley in 1836 on land his father had
first purchased in 1810. Accounts including one by the WPA
say that his uncle offered to help him build the mansion
house but because of a disagreement the uncle withdrew his
financial support. Almost bankrupt Frederick held on to the
property by using his wife's inheritance. The property sold
after the Civil War to a Janning who invented the coupling
device for train cars. Later, a brother of the founder of
Depauw University owned the 900 acre+ property.
I first became aware of the significance of Waverley in 1973
when Eleanor Lee Templeman, author of Northern Virginia
Heritage, wrote me. [2003 note to readers: Author Templeman's correspondence and papers are in the Alexandria, Virginia library.] I had inquired about her book and she
responded by expressing "distress" that Waverley
had been abandoned. Sometime in the 70's Waverley burned
and, according to my sources, has been recently bull-dozed.
It is pictured on page 185 of her book.
To clarify your kinship with Frederick, your ancestor
Alexander Foote who married Julia Ann Daniels was Frederick's
Since it was William Foote, Frederick and
Alexander's father, who first purchased the 900 plus acres
that Frederick named Waverley (or spelled Waverly), you have
a definite ancestral link to this land. Shelby [pictured] and I are
descended from George Foote, Frederick's uncle.
Since the Disney Company will be pouring millions into the
development of Disney's America, it seems to me that asking
them to rebuild Waverley and incorporate the structure into
the historical theme of the park is not unreasonable.
The reconstruction would also allow some recognition of the
Foote role in the Brenttown grant. As you may already know,
Brenttown was 30,000 acre tract of land, mostly in Prince
William County, first envisioned as a haven for the French
Protestants; later English Catholics were encouraged to
settle there. Richard Foote, our common ancestor and the
first of our line to settle in Virginia, came to America to
coordinate this project for this father. The father, also
named Richard, was a partner with Brent, Bristow, and
Hayward. Brent was a Catholic who resided in Virginia.
Foote, Bristow, and Hayward were Londoners. Hayward was
Foote's brother-in-law. Documents, including the letters of
William Fitzhugh, seem to prove that the experiment on which
the partners embarked was not entirely successful. In one
letter Fitzhugh writes Samuel Foote of Windsor in London area (see 2002 footnote about Samuel that follows President's remarks) and makes
reference to "your poor brother here in the
country". However, the significance of Brenttown should
not be measured by the extent to which it succeeded as an
entrepreneurial scheme. Rather, that it was an early
attempt to provide an American haven for religiously
persecuted of England and Europe establishes its significance
to this country.
The location of the Brenttown tract [also spelled Brent Town and Brenton] is just a few miles from
You should also know that I got the media's attention by
charging that Disney had been unresponsive to my contacts
about their plans for the property. This is true. In a
conversation last night with Mike Fuchs of the Potomac News,
he said that Disney told him yesterday they were not "
stone-walling" and that they were looking for a way to
reach an accommodation. But the next two or three days will
probably be critical, since they are facing a March 15
deadline on getting commitments from the state of Virginia on
its part in the project. While we may have to settle for
less, I believe that reconstruction of the mansion house and
its incorporation into the park's historical exhibits should
be our bottom-line right now. I hope you agree.
I told Fuchs you had agreed to talk with him after you get
this fax. He will probably call sometime after 11 am.
My home address is still 222 Shirley Drive, Florence,
Alabama 35633. Home phone is . . . which is connected to an
answering machine. Office phone at the University of North
Alabama is . . . .
Do you still have your copy of Chotankers: A Family History on the bookshelf?
My very best regards,
A.[Avon] Edward Foote
FAX SENT: 9 March 1994
PRESIDENT CLINTON speaking on December 20, 2000 to
National Arts and Humanities Awards audience: Believe it or not, the great writer, Horton Foote, got his education at Wharton -- (laughter) -- but not at the business school. He grew up in the small town of Wharton, Texas. His work is rooted in the tales, the troubles, the heartbreak and the hopes of all he heard and saw there.
As a young man, he left Wharton to become an actor, and soon discovered the easiest way to get good parts: write the plays yourself. (Laughter.) And he hasn't stopped since.
Among other things, he did a magnificent job of adapting Harper Lee's classic, "To Kill A Mockingbird" for the silver screen, and writing his wonderful, "A Trip To Bountiful" and so many other tales of family, community, and the triumph of the human spirit.
Along the way, he's won Academy Awards, the Pulitzer Prize and countless other honors. Today, we add this honor for his lifetime of artistic achievement and excellence. Mr. Horton Foote.
Foote/Foot Note -- added 1 July 2002: Samuel Foote is an important 17th century English relative of both Horton Foote and Shelby Foote. He should not be confused with a famous, but different, "Samuel Foote" from Cornwall who built the Haymarket Theatre in 1767 in the next century. Named in the 1994 FAX to Horton, our Samuel Foote, who died c1697/98, is buried at Windsor. He appears with wife Arabella and son Topham on London's 1695 census. Samuel's father Richard with second wife Hester and youngest living son Francis are on the same London census. Windsor burial information of Samuel Foote is taken from old family records by Mississippi Governor Henry Stuart Foote. This writer believes that Governor Foote drafted the family genealogy tree at his Nashville home, which is the oldest building on the Vanderbilt University campus. He prepared the short genealogy before May 20, 1880, and it was republished in Chotankers: A Family History (Florence, Alabama: Thornwood Publishers, 1982), page 281. Chotankers has been used for Northern Virginia history of Horton and Shelby Foote's family in Shelby Foote: A Writer's Life by C. Stuart Chapman from University Press of Mississippi, 2003. Chapman received a PhD from Boston University for his doctoral research on Shelby and in 2005 serves as press assistant to a Congresswoman from California. Chapman refers to this writer as "family historian" in Chapter I, Roots.
A memorial with the Horton and Shelby Foote/Foot family coat-of-arms and the bust of Samuel's son, Topham Foote/Foot, greets all who enter St. John the Baptist, the Windsor Parish Church by the High Street entrance, about 300 feet from Windsor Castle's main gate. The Church can be seen in the lower right portion of the Castle photo. The Windsor Church monument for Topham is by Peter Scheemakers who sculpted the Shakespeare Memorial and other memorials in Westminster Abbey that made Scheemakers internationally famous. Windsor Parish Church was the site of a May 25 to June 30, 2002, Golden Jubilee exhibition that included an informational display board on Topham with new information on his short life by Pamela Marson, editor of Windlesora -- the Windsor, England, local history publication. A Celebration of Jubilees display board described Topham's kinship to the American Foote family of Chotank in King George County, Virginia and described Avon Edward Foote's research on the family. After the exhibit, a copy of Chotankers: A Family History was placed in the Windsor Library's local reference collections for London area readers. By using a Windsor Library link from MSN, YAHOO, or GOOGLE, you may check the availability of all books in the Berkshire UK reference collections for the Royal Borough where Windsor is located. In America, many local libraries make Chotankers available to local readers through interlibrary loan from one of about 40 libraries that have copies. Other information on Samuel Foote, his wife Arabella Topham Foote, and their son Topham appears in Windlesora, the 1997 local history publication in Windsor, and in a rare 1929 book, Windsor Old and New by Thomas Eustace Harwood located in the Windsor Library, London Guildhall Library, Public Record Office, National Art Library at Victoria & Albert Museum, University of Leicester and Oxford University. Several US libraries -- including Stanford, Yale, Harvard, Duke, New York Public Library Research Division and the Library of Congress -- have copies of Windsor Old and New. The photo of the book's title page shown here features the Yale University copy. The image, captured in Florence, Alabama, was made especially for this page by Eddie Foote using the rare historic book that the Yale University Library, responding to the interlibrary-loan request, sent the University of North Alabama Library. Dr. Foote/Foot proudly tucked the Yale book under his arm as he crossed the UNA campus to his office in the Communications Building. He then went home to capture the picture to document Yale's personal favor of sending the "real" book rather than a microfilmed copy.
More Foote/Foot Note about Shelby's and Horton's Foote/Foot family ties to Windsor Castle: Samuel Foote's Tyle Place Farm (or spelled Tyleplace) at Old Windsor was inherited by his son's cousin after the deaths of: (1) Samuel; (2) Samuel's son Topham; Samuel's brothers-in-law: (3) Edward Topham and (4) Richard Topham; (5) Samuel's wife Arabella; and (6) Arabella's second husband Thomas Reeve. It was Topham Foote's cousin on his mother's side of the family -- famous physician Dr. Richard Mead who inherited the property. Mead, best known for an early book on poisons published in 1702 and 1708, was honored by having his London home selected as the location for Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children (GOSH) many years after his natural death. And, nearly 140 years after the founding of the hospital, Princess Diana became president of GOSH in 1991. The Sunday Telegraph (November 23, 2003) reported Disney dropped support of a new Peter Pan movie, due out by Christmas 2003, that would have benefited the Hospital in millions of UK pounds because GOSH owns the Peter Pan copyright.
Dr. Mead is credited with commissioning the Peter Scheemakers' monument for Topham Foote in St. John the Baptist, the Windsor Parish Church near the Castle. Mead was following Richard Topham's directions, stated in his Will, that a monument be built in his nephew's memory. But, the inscription declares incorrectly in Latin, "He is the last member of his family." Thanks for the photo of the monument and the Latin translation goes to Pamela Marson, the Windsor historian/editor/photographer.
Did Sidney Beauclerk, often referred to by the famous Duchess of Marlborough and modern historians as Sid the beggar, use deception and influence to gain title to Clay Hall Farm? Harwood in Windsor Old and New has accounts of Beauclerk's activities that were directed at Richard Topham, intending to enhance Beauclerk's Windsor estate when Topham died. Note: Electronic maps from BBC, Berkshire, show in 2005 "Tyleplace Farm" and "Clayhall Farm" locations south of Frogmore (the burial place of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert) near Shaw Farm in the Windsor Castle Home Park. To see Victorian era map of "Clay Hall and Shaw Farms" from 1863 -- PLEASE CLICK. Clay Hall is the other, near-by former Samuel Foote/Foot property that is situated near Windsor Castle's The Long Walk, leading from the Castle to George III's statue in the Windsor Great Park. (Often appears as Clayhall Farm on maps of the day.) The Long Walk appears in the above photograph of Windsor Castle and St. John the Baptist. The Long Walk leads off the edge of the photograph about midway up right side of aerial photograph.
Sidney's son Topham Beauclerk married Diana Spencer, great granddaughter of the Duchess of Marlborough (but this Diana must not be confused with Lady Diana Spencer who married the Duke of Bedford). The stories of Tyle Place Farm, inherited by Dr. Mead, and Clay Hall Farm, that became Beauclerk property,
belong in Shelby Foote/Foot's family history, because they are of great historical significance and now owned by the Crown. The British Museum displayed a desk decorated by Diana Beauclerk in a special Horace Walpole -- Strawberry Hill exhibition in May to September 2010. Yale University had loaned the desk to the British Museum for this most significant of Windsor family events. A magnificent book about the entire Walpole collection in the exhibition is available for £40 from the Museum store.
House of Lords Journal
Volume 17, 27 January 1703
Horton's family background and heritage are important to reviewers of his awarding-winning films and theatrical productions that depend on his family's fireside conversations and family history tales for plot elements. Shelby's death on 27 June 2005 will probably generate more interest in study and academic discussion of his English family.
Sidney Beauclerk has become notorious for taking advantage of Topham Foote's uncle to gain title to the property that had been once owned by Shelby and Horton Foote's English family.
Clay Hall Farm passed to Topham Foote/Foot's mother when Topham died in his youth and she sold it to her brother Richard, friend of Sidney Beauclerk. Beauclerk was the grandson of King Charles II and his mistress Nell Gwyn (often appearing as famous actress Nell Gwynn or Nell Gwynne in London theatre). Beauclerk wrangled title to Clay Hall Farm by influencing Topham Foote/Foot's Uncle Richard to make provisions for transfering the property to Beauclerk when Richard died. While Clay Hall (or Clayhall) will be found on recent maps of New Windsor and Old Windsor, much of the original farm (especially that part between Frogmore, burial site of Queen Victoria, and The Long Walk) has been added to Shaw Farm; Clayhall's "clouded" history before 1750 is compounded by the Crown's 1840s acquisition of the farm that had been part of Samuel Foote/Foot's Windsor holdings and destruction of the Clay Hall residence, seen at left. The Crown Commissioners razed the house associated with Clay Hall Farm in 1960s or 1970s, according to online information from The Science Museum, London. Lori Hemingway, The Crown Estate in London, wrote Avon Edward Foote/Foot, 30 November 2005: " . . . I can confirm that The Crown Estate owns both Tyle Place Farm and Clay Hall Farm. We have little historic information at The Crown Estate, but would suggest that any further enquiries should be addressed to the Librarian at Windsor Castle."
"Johnson was some time with [Topham] Beauclerk at his house at Windsor, where he was entertained with experiments in natural philosophy. One Sunday, when the weather was very fine, Beauclerk enticed him, insensibly, to saunter about all the morning. They went into a church-yard, in the time of divine service, and Johnson laid himself down at his ease upon one of the tomb-stones. 'Now, Sir, (said Beauclerk) you are like Hogarth's Idle Apprentice.' When Johnson got his pension, Beauclerk said to him, in the humorous phrase of Falstaff, 'I hope you'll now purge and live cleanly like a gentleman.' " From Life of Johnson by James Boswell, published 1791.
"Although Mead receipts were so considerable, and two large fortunes were bequeathed to him, his benevolence, public spirit, and splendid mode of living, prevented him from leaving great wealth to his family. He whose mansion was a sort of open house for men of genius and talent, who kept a second table for his humbler dependents, and who was driven to his country house, near Windsor, by six horses, was not likely to amass wealth. . . ." From The Book of Days by Robert Chambers, published 1864.
Buttons above in THORNWOOD logo are Clickable
Foote/Foot Family History page. While you will find new information of great significance at this link, please expect that much of it is a restatement of info you read already. At this link you will find actions on the same 1703-04 Bill that uses "Foot" spelling in House of Commons and "Foote" spelling in House of Lords.
New Foote/Foot Family Bible information that seems to show Tishomingo County, Mississippi kinship to the Sam Phillips, who first recorded Elvis Presley in Memphis. Get birth/death entries in the Nancy Crowder Foote/Foots Bible from 1848.
Jump to Vanderbilt University: Click to read Vandy's account of Henry Stuart Foote/Foot in Nashville and how his home is the oldest building on campus.
WorldCat Identities, www.WorldCat.org -- a project in Beta tests from OCLC, 6565 Kilgour Drive, Dublin, Ohio 43017 -- WorldCat has a family identity page for Foote/Foots with lists of family history books, library papers and document depositories in OCLC-affiliated libraries. Other related 2011 Library News: Shelby Foote's Personal Library, Correspondence and Papers have been recently acquired by Rhodes College, Memphis. Among the Shelby Foote Collection of 2500 books is an autographed copy of Chotankers: A Family History.
More from Rhodes College on The Shelby Foote Collection
Hallie Foote/Foot talks about her father Horton for
New York Times Multimedia Show using photos & sound
Reviewed . Revised . Refreshed 12 May 2014 Our 19th Year
Copyright 1995-2012, All Rights Reserved, Avon Edward [Eddie] Foote/Foot,
professor emeritus of media & communications