Cesar Picton

Member of The Hundred

Cesar Picton
Other names
Originally known as Caesar
Birth and death
1754/5 - 1836
Related place
Alistair Grant

Cesar Picton [Caesar] (1754/5-1836), coal merchant, was a native of Senegal who was brought to England in 1761, aged six. Captain Parr, an army officer serving in Senegambia, gave him as a gift, along with a parakeet and a duck, to Sir John Philipps of Kingston. Cesar's original name is unknown. Following his baptism in December 1761), he was named Caesar, or Cesar. Although probably purchased from slavers, Sir John and his family always treated Cesar as a servant, and in 1788, following the death of Lady Elizabeth Phillips, he was given a bequest of £100 her will. Cesar took the surname Picton and set himself up as a coal merchant. His business prospered. In 1801, Sir John's daughter Mary bequeathed him another £100. In 1816, he moved to Thames Ditton, where he bought a property for the large sum of £4000. Known as Picton House or Cottage, he lived there for twenty years. His will records ownership of a horse and chaise, two watches with gold chains and seals, brooches, gold rings and shirt pins, a tortoiseshell tea chest, and silver spoons and tongs, together with portraits of friends and one of himself. Its whereabouts is now unknown. In 1820, Picton received further bequests of £100, and £50 plus £30 a year for life from Sir John's two remaining daughters. He died at Picton House, which was later renamed Sunnyside House.

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