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Hallot, William (1762-73)

Hallot, William, Long Acre, London, cm, u, dealer and chapman (1762–73). It might well be thought that ‘William Hallot’ is a mistake for ‘William Hallett’. However a letter written by Hallot, the question of the dates of his activity, comparison of the handwriting and signatures of William Hallett, his son, and William Hallot do seem to point to a separate personality, albeit one who went bankrupt in 1769. This discreditable act was levelled at William Hallett snr (Furn. Hist., XI, 1975, p. 114) on the assumption that unconventional orthography in writing ‘William Hallot’ — [Gents Mag., April 1769, vol. 39, p. 216; repeated as Hallot in The Universal Magazine, April 1769, vol. 44, p. 223] — was a mistake for Hallett.

Hallot's only known bill and letter relate to furniture supplied in July 1762 to James Leigh of Stoneleigh, Warks., (Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Leigh MS, DR 18/8/5, Household Accounts, Box 2, Bundle 2). His letter sent to Leigh from London on 2 August 1763 has many differences to the hand of either William Hallett snr, or his son. I have published the three relevant signatures [Furn. Hist., XXI, 1985] and have been able to look at some twenty examples of the Hallett hand which stays consistent throughout, and consistent in its differences to that of Hallot.

In the case of the bankruptcy we would, by its date (1769), have in any case to exclude confusion with William Hallett jnr (who died in 1767). His father William Hallett snr's bank account [Drummonds Branch, Royal Bank of Scotland] shows a good balance for 1768 — the A–H ledger for 1769 is not extant. Also Hallett's daughter married in 1779 with a dowry of £70,000 [Gents Mag., 1779, p. 566] Hardly the background of a bankrupt father and impecunious daughter. I believe therefore we must accept William Hallot. He is recorded in that name as taking an app. William Wightwize(?) in 1765, noted as ‘William Hallot Upholder, St Martin's, Westminster’, for a premium of £50. To confuse us however the name is not in the rate bks covering Long Acre. The London Gazette, 22–25 April 1769, noted ‘Commission of Bankruptcy is awarded against William Hallot of Long Acre …Upholder, Cabinet-Maker, Dealer and Chapman’. Only the bankruptcy certificates survive for 1769 [PRO, B/6–A.11, 1769–71, p. 55] and not a fuller record, but a ‘Hallot’ bankruptcy is further noted in Bailey's List of Bankruptcies, 1773, p. 35 [GL] The quest continues for his will, and for more commissions, as enough evidence seems to be available to sketch in an identity separate from the ‘squire’ of Cannons.


The original entry from Dictionary of English Furniture Makers, 1660-1840 can be found at British History Online.