John James Coulton ( 1818-1908)
John James Coulton ( 1818-1908) relaxing in his Libary in 1904 aged 86
The 1880 Directory for Charmouth showing John James Coulton as the Lord of the Manor
1898 Auction Catalogue Map of part of Charmouth Manor 1904 Auction Catalogue Map of part of Charmouth Manor

1898 Auction Catalogue Cover of part of Charmouth Manor
1904 Auction Catalogue Cover of part of Charmouth Manor
1898 Auction Catalogue Map of part of Charmouth Manor
In 1898 John James Coulton who was the Lord of the Manor tried to auction part of his Estate in Higher Sea Lane. The plans show that he had split the field into 55 lots. unfortunatley very few were sold. He tried again in 1904 to sell the remainder, but this time no one turned up to bid. It was not until 1910 after he had died that the wealthy owner of the neighbouring Wootton Fitzpaine, Alfred Pass bought the balance
1896 1898
October 1896
June 1898

The Offices of J.J. Coulton in Historic King Street, Kings Lynn in Norfolk. A number of Solicitors practise here today

Charmouth Foreshore

Acts of Ownership by John James Coulton

1871June1st Locense to W E Duncan for 6 yeRs from 24th June 1871

1873 Aug 18 Lease to dame for 10 years from 24June 1873

Both the above stake the boundaries

1875 July 17 Agreement for purchase with William Long Wrey

1880 Feb 22 License to Robert Hunter to use bathing machines

1885 May 15 Lease to Robert Hunter

1891 Sept 2 License to H.E.Wild to erect and use a bathing Tent

1896 Nov Poor Rate receipts Buoldings Nd Foreshore

1895-6 Property Tax receipts as owner and occupiers of building and foreshore.

1883 Nov 9 Land tax Redemption, Map, Porters Letters, Map of Beach

John James Coulton was to be Lord of the Manor of Charmouth for almost 40 years and yet there are few records concerning him or reasons for him owning the Estate. He was the son of a father of the same name who ran an established firm of Solicitors in King's Lynn. He lived in Pentney and was a elected 3 times for the position of County Councillor of Norfolk. He also succeeded his father as Clerk of the Guardians of the King`s Lynn Union in 1840. 1896 The Parish records show him bringing an action for taking stones from his beach. This seemed a common occurrence and various Lords of the Manor are shown prosecuting culprits. His decision in 1898 to sell off a large area of fields bordering Higher Sea Lane as planned building site with a large number of houses was to have a profound effect on the layout of the village. Unfortunately only a few lots were sold. Undeterred he tried again in 1904, but this time no one turned up for the Auction . Some of the plots were sold on afterwards and Higher Sea Lane slowly was built on over the century. In 1902 he is shown as selling a piece of land to Bessie Lessiter and on this she was to build the unusual “Red Bungalow” at the bottom of Higher Sea Lane. One of his sons was George Gordon Coulton, the famous British historian, known for numerous works on medieval history.
coulton 1 coulton 2

"One of my nephews discovered your website, and we learnt that my great-grandfather (and namesake) had been Lord of the Manor of Charmouth from 1871 until his death, something we never knew as children (perhaps that is not surprising, since my father died when I was seven, and his father died long before I was born). I presume he bought the property at Charmouth in the hope was that it would develop into a seaside resort like Hunstanton in Norfolk, but this never happened. As we learnt from your website, only a few plots were sold in 1898 and none at all in 1904. But I thought you might be interested in the photos above, which must have been taken when my great-grandfather visited Charmouth in preparation for the 1904 auction. One shows him holding his sun hat and a bunch of seaweed, and has the details of F.W. Shephard of Lyme Regis. The details were trimmed off the other photo after scanning, but it must have been taken on the same occasion, because the ‘lord of the manor’ is wearing the same clothes and sitting on the chair which is just visible in the first photo. In this case the back was also scanned because there was a label (a strip of stamp-paper!) in my great-grandfather’s writing, which proudly announced that he had walked from Charmouth to Lyme, and gives the date (11 July 1904); he was then 86!" - Jim Coulton