Transept Vaults

18th & 19th century brick domed family vaults lie concealed beneath the north & south transepts. Excavations during 2018/19 revealed new insights into their history.


Before excavations in 2019, the brick domed vaults in the North Transept were thought to belong to two influential Leatherhead families (Gore & Spicer).

They lived at the Mansion House (now the Leatherhead Registry Office) in the 18th and 19th centuries respectively.


Exploratory work indeed revealed the Spicer Vault containing three beautifully crafted caskets of members of the Spicer family, who owned The Mansion from 1820 to 1845:

William Henry Spicer (d. 1841)

According to the wall monument in the church, William Henry Spicer was born on 23rd March 1778 at Wear Park in Devonshire, although some historians state 1777. He joined the 27th Light Dragoons as a Cornet in 1795, transferring to the 5th Dragoon Guards with the rank of Lieutenant in 1796. He served in Ireland and the island of Walcheren in 1809, after which he retired. He married Maria Charlotte Prescott at St Marylebone Church in London on 29th January 1810. They had four children, but only Charlotte is interred in the family vault here.

Maria Charlotte Spicer (d. 1855) his wife

Maria’s memorial shows she was born on 11th June 1780, the daughter of Sir George B. Prescott, Bart of Theobalds Park, Herts.  She married William at St Marylebone Church in London on 29th January 1810. Together they had four children.

Charlotte Harriet Amelia Carvick (d. 1886)

Charlotte married Thomas Mayer Carvick, previously an officer in the 78th Highlanders in 1843.

WADE VAULT (formally GORE)

We were, however, surprised by the findings within the second vault, which had been badly fire damaged following an electrical fire in 1987. We expected the single fragile casket to belong to Henry Gore (d. 1777) or perhaps his father Lieutenant-Colonel Humphrey Gore (d. 1739). Both men have memorials within the church. But on closer inspection the casket was in fact inscribed with a name plate to William Wade (d. 1809). He was the husband of Catherine Wade (Henry Gore’s daughter, d. 1787).

Catherine’s exposed and damaged casket, was also unexpectedly found nearby in the floor, along with the ledger stone of her mother, Hannah Gore (d. 1752), which you can still see inlaid in the floor today.

Captain William Wade

A former soldier, Captain William Wade was Master of Ceremonies at The Assembly Rooms in Brighton from around 1767 to 1807, and The Assembly Rooms in Bath from 1769 to 1777. His career was cut short there by his improper conduct.

Assembly rooms were the social hubs of the Georgian era and it was the role of the Master of Ceremonies to make formal introductions, so William Wade would have been well acquainted with high society. In 1771 William was painted in oil on canvas by Gainsborough. The portrait was hung in the Octagon Room at the Bath Assembly Rooms, where it can be seen today.


The large vault concealed below the floor in the South Transept completely fills this space. It contains seven caskets, all members of the Boulton family.

The Boulton family owned Thorncroft Manor in Leatherhead between 1763 and 1859. From 1781 they also held the title of Lordship of the Manor.


The first Henry (Crabb) Bolton d. 1773 was Chairman of the East India Company and in 1754 became MP for Worcester. He remained an MP until his death on 8 October 1773. Being unmarried, he left his estate to his brother Captain Richard Crabb, who took the Boulton name.

His son Henry inherited four years later and it is he who is buried here. According to a newly obtained family tree Henry and his wife Julianna Boulton, had 10 children rather than the 7 previously documented. Frances, Richard, Sophia, Juliana, Maria, Harriet, Emma, Henry, Charles and Louisa were all born at Thorncroft Manor in Leatherhead and christened here.

“The King has been pleased to grant unto Richard Crabb of London Esq and Henry Crabb his only son and their issue the Royal Licence and authority to assume the name of Boulton in compliance with the will of Richard Boulton late of the Parish of St Olave Hart Street in the City of London Esq deceased and also to order that His Majesty’s concession and declaration be registered in the College of Arms”

(London Gazette 30th October 1773)


Juliana Boulton d. 1813 (Presumed)

Juliana, was the second daughter and co-heir of Sir Charles Raymond of Valentine House, Barking, co. Essex, Baronet. She married Henry Boulton at St Helen’s, Bishopsgate, London on 3rd November 1774. They were married 40 years until she died on 12 December 1813, aged 60. Although the inscription on the casket could not be read, a memorial to her is on the west wall of the South Transept, which includes the words ‘Beneath are deposited the remains of JULIANA BOULTON’ suggests that she was the first Boulton to be buried in the vault.

A photo of a miniature of “Mrs Boulton” bearing the following inscription: ‘Juliana Boulton daughter of Sir Charles Raymond Bart Died 12 December 1813, Aged 60’ was kindly shared with us by a direct descendant of Charles Boulton. The frame holds locks of Juliana’s hair, displayed behind glass on the reverse.

A handwritten note in the case reads ‘London. March 1914. Painted by Henry Bone RA. Enamel painter in Ordinary to His Majesty & enamel painter to HRH the Prince Regent, after a miniature by George Engleheart’, which is in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Henry Boulton d. 1828

Son of Richard and Frances Boulton, and nephew of Right Honourable Henry (Crabb) Boulton. ‘Our’ Henry Boulton was born on 20 August 1752 and christened at St Helen’s Bishopsgate on 26 August of the same year. He joined the board of the Sun Fire Insurance Company in 1780 and was one of the founders of the Sun Life Association, where he was trustee and auditor from 15 August 1810 to 7 April 1826. He resigned due to indisposition on 7 July 1826. He was also Governor of the Corporation for Working of Mines, Minerals and Metals in Scotland between 1819 and 1825.

In 1783 Henry was High Sheriff of Surrey. Around that time he commissioned George Gwilt, the surveyor, to produce a large scale map of Leatherhead. A charity board in the ringing chamber of the Tower records that he gave land in 1807 for the House of Industry to be built and offer relief to the destitute.

Hunters of Henry Boulton, with dogs were painted by John Nost Sartorius in 1788. The other painting by Sartorius is of Henry with the Surrey Hounds, and is dated 1792. These pictures were sold at Sotheby’s on 8th March 1989.


Caroline Boulton d. 1849

Caroline Shubrick married Richard Boulton at St George’s Bloomsbury on 1 March 1804, although on the marriage licence her name was written as Carolina.  She was born in Enfield Middlesex in 1773 and died on 22 January 1849. She is buried in this vault.

A portrait of Caroline, wife of Richard Boulton of Givons Grove, Leatherhead, painted by Hoppner, was sold at Christie’s for 2,400 guineas (year unknown). In the painting she was dressed in white muslin, with blue sash, and her auburn hair is bound with a blue ribbon.

Richard Boulton d. 1859

The son of Henry and Juliana, Richard was christened on 25 June 1777 at Leatherhead. He is mentioned in his father’s will dated 1822. He died on 19 January 1859 in his 82nd year.

A Richard Boulton was commissioned in the Coldstream Guards in 1794, and retired with the rank of Captain in 1802.  Although there is no firm evidence that this was him, the dates appear to fit.

The holdup of a mail wagon by two men just opposite Givons Grove, as it travelled from Dorking to Kingston. The sound of gunfire brought Captain Boulton and his gamekeeper to the rescue. The mail got through, but the assailants escaped.
The Times, July 1827

Charles Boulton d. 1850 (Presumed to be buried here)

A memorial on the wall to Charles (son of Henry and Juliana Boulton), and the fact that his younger sister subsequently requested to be buried beside her brother, would suggest that the 5th casket belongs to him. Charles succeeded his father as Governor of Sun Fire in 1825.

This watercolour of Charles was painted by his sister Sophia.

Caroline Boulton d. 1862 (Presumed to be buried here)

Having concluded that Caroline’s husband Charles is buried here, we have assumed that Caroline, who survived him by twelve years and also mentioned on a memorial on the transept wall, is buried in the 6th casket.

Sophia Boulton d 1870

The daughter of Henry and Juliana, who was born at Thorncroft Manor on 12 July 1778. She was christened on 4 August 1778 at Leatherhead and mentioned in her father’s will of 1822. She died, unmarried, at Westcott near Dorking, Surrey, on 4 February 1870, aged 91. However, she was buried at her request, beside her brother Charles in this church.

Sophia’s bookplate shows the Armorial Bearings assigned to Henry Crabb Boulton in 1746.


Augustus Boulton d. 1834 (Remains in India)

Augustus was listed as killed at Cawnpore in the Bombay Times on 18th September.  He is remembered on a wall memorial here in the South Transept of Leatherhead Parish Church and named on the Mutiny Memorial in All Souls Church, Cawnpore.

Born on 11th April 1834, Augustus Joseph Boulton was the fifth son of Charles and Caroline Boulton, In May 1857 he was a lieutenant in the 7th Bengal Light Cavalry, stationed at Lucknow. He died the following month during the Cawnpore massacre, aged only 23 years old.

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