John Boodle ?1774 – 1859 was a British Solicitor in the legal firm of Partington and Boodle (the firm still operates today as Boodle Hatfield and Company), the First Clerk of the Grosvenor Place Trustees, involved in a massive house building programme which transformed London’s Pimlico and Belgravia districts,
John Boodle’s clients included Richard Grosvenor Earl Grosvenor 2nd Marquess of Westminster, Robert Grosvenor 1st Baron Ebury,
Their professional advisers were nevertheless influential. The most important of these were the successive partners in the legal firm of Partington and Boodle.
After the death of Thomas Walley Partington in 1791 these were Edward Boodle (d. 1828), and his nephew John Boodle, who from 1806 had a house in Davies Street before removing first, in 1829, to his uncle’s house at No. 55 Brook Street until 1836, and then to No. 53 Davies Street (now the Grosvenor Office).
The latter appears to have been used principally, or solely, as an office, John Boodle’s residence from this time being in Connaught Square; and he also had a property called Heath Farm, near Watford.
After his death in 1859 his effects were valued at ‘under £14,000’. Since at least 1838 he had been in partnership with his younger son, William Chilver Boodle, his son in law, Edward Partington, and his first cousin (Edward Boodle’s son), Henry Mitford Boodle.
In 1858 they were joined by Henry Mitford’s son, Henry Trelawny Boodle, both then living in Leinster Gardens, Bayswater. Henry Mitford died at his house in Tunbridge Wells in 1878, leaving a personal estate of ‘under £8,000’; Edward Partington, who lived at Gloucester Place, Hyde Park, died in 1883 leaving a personal estate of ‘under £24,206’, and William Chilver Boodle, who had lived first in Connaught Square but latterly in Dover, died in 1887, leaving personal estate of ‘under £11,694’.
The surviving partner, Henry Trelawny Boodle, was joined in 1897 by his two sons, Trelawny Frederick and Walter Trelawny Boodle, and died at his house on Wimbledon Common in 1900 leaving effects valued at £48,892.
With the admission of G. F. Hatfield to a partnership in 1899 the name of the firm became Boodle Hatfield and Company. Trelawny Frederick died in 1930 and his brother Walter Trelawny —the last of the Boodles to be connected with the firm— in 1931.
Until the death of Edward Partington in 1883 the firm entered itself in the directories as ‘Boodle and Partington, conveyancers’. Thereafter only the names of the individual partners appear, but in 1898 the entry becomes ‘Boodle and Co., solicitors’ and in 1899 ‘Boodle Hatfield and Co., solicitors’.
It was in fact a firm of lawyers with many other clients besides the Grosvenors, and with one exception its members were paid by the Grosvenors by fee, not by regular salary. The one exception was Edward Boodle, whose financial difficulties led in 1807 to his borrowing several thousand pounds from the 2nd Earl Grosvenor, and in return the latter agreed to pay him partly by fee and partly by a regular salary of some £250 per annum.
It follows, therefore, that none of the partners—not even Edward Boodle, who in 1808 was ‘in high spirits’ upon being offered the receivership of the estates of the late Lady Bath —ever devoted the whole of his attention to the affairs of the Grosvenor estate.
Henry Trelawny Boodle, for instance, as solicitor to the Marquess of Northampton, had at least one other client with property problems even more complex and probably time consuming than those of the Grosvenors in Mayfair and Belgravia.
From the novel The Sheep and the Goats by New Eve Publishing :
“John Boodle, Mr Edward’s nephew, but recently articled, ma’am. At your service,” declared the clerk with an extravagant flourish designed to confound his trembling shins…. continue reading: