The Daniell Family


Two portraits in oils hang in the Community Heritage Access Centre: they represent John Daniell the younger and his wife Susan, the daughter of Peter Clarke, they lived in Hendford House (now the Manor Hotel) until his death in 1819 when his widow moved to West Cowes, Isle of Wight, where she died two years later. Their memorial tablet is on the north of the tower in St. John's Church, Yeovil.


The Daniell family appear in East Coker during the reign of Elizabeth I, Giles Daniell dying there in 1613. His grandson William settled in Yeovil, becoming a well-to-do glover and serving as warden of Woborn's Almshouses 1645-7 and as custos 1654-5.  His son Samuel was also a glover and a custos of the Almshouses, marrying Mary Saunders in 1677.Mary told one of her grandchildren that she remembered seeing William of Orange riding through Yeovil in a red coat on a white horse on his way to take the throne from James II in 1688.


Samuel's son (also named Samuel) became a mercer and linen draper in Yeovil, as did his eldest son John, who married Elizabeth Goodford, daughter of a wealthy glover in the town.  This John Daniell (the elder) later became a merchant banker and was the builder of Hendford House (1776); he conducted his business in premises near his home, later to become Yeovil Old Bank.


His eldest son (Samuel) became a banker, his youngest (George) a surgeon in Exeter, while the third (John the younger) took over his brother's banking business in Yeovil and the family home in Hendford House in 1797. On his death in 1819,his daughter Elizabeth Clarke Daniell inherited the property: she married the Rev. Arthur Johnson, living at Rampisham Manor in Dorset which her father had purchased in 1812.The mansion in Yeovil was let, and finally acquired by John Greenham, who served as portreeve in 1797.


Hendford House is fine example of mid-18th century building, with a redbrick stable-block behind.  Penn House is of the same period, and also has connections with the Daniell family, for it is shown that on the 1806 map as the property of Peter Daniell esquire. Peter's great-grandfather was also the great-grandfather of John Daniell the younger-namely the glover Samuel Daniell II.  The latter's son and grandson both followed Samuel as glovers in Yeovil, marrying well and achieving the status of gentleman. Peter, however, became a draper and mercer, owning a large house off Middle Street (built by his father William) where W.H.Smith's premises now stands.


He owned considerable land in the centre of the town and may be called its first developer: he planned Bond Street in 1825 to link Middle Street with South Street, Union Street to link Middle Street with Wine Street and Peter Street, named after himself. A date-stone inscribed P.D. could once be seen on a building in that street. He also sold for £500 a plot of land adjoining North Lane in order to extend the graveyard of St. John's Church. During the Napoleonic Wars he was a major in the Yeovil subdivision of the Volunteer Infantry, commanding the 2nd Company.


Peter Daniell was a subscriber to the Charity School and to the Yeovil Book Society, a private lending library.  Like his distant cousin John, he played little part in Yeovil's public life, and though nominated as a Town Commissioner in 1830,he never attended meetings. A memorial tablet in St. John's Church records that he was buried in the family vault in August 1834 aged 73.


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