William Merryweather appears briefly at Norton Court when he was in residence, as a tenant, at the time of the Census in 1841.  William was living ‘off independent means’ with his wife Mary and two daughters and they employed five household servants at that time.

His name varies over the years so we find William Merryweather, Marcus William Merryweather, Marcus William Turner, and Marcus William Merryweather Turner.  A man of mystery ?

A notice to the ‘independent electors of the borough of Stroud’ appeared in the Cheltenham Examiner newspaper of 16 June 1841 in which Merryweather pledges himself to become their candidate ‘for the honour of a seat in Parliament’.  He goes on to say he is “… an advocate for the Ballet, Triennial Parliaments, an extension of the Franchise to 10l, Householders paying Rates and Taxes, a Free Importation of Corn, at all times, at a fixed moderate duty, a material amendment in the unwarrantable and cruel administration of the Poor-Law, and the universal enjoyment of civil and religious liberty”.  He signs himself Marcus W Merryweather of Norton Court.  He did stand as a Whig, and was unsuccessful in the 1847 election for Stroud.

He was baptised Marcus William, son of William Stephens Merryweather and Mary Anne nee Turner, at Brighton in 1819.  It is not known when he first came to Norton but 1841 is the first record of him here. 

In July 1842, under the name Marcus William Merryweather Turner, he was held to bail to keep the peace at Marylebone police office for £500 himself and two other sureties of £250 each as a result of sending a letter to Mr W C Brooks, of Manchester, provoking him to fight a duel.

In 1847, 1849, 1852 he was still giving Norton Court as his place of residence when he registered to vote at Teddington in the Bedfont Polling District, London.  Whilst he may still have been the registered tenant at Norton Court he does not appear to have been living here as he was employed as a barrister at law, in practice in Westminster, London.  In 1851 he was actually residing in a lodging house in King Street, Westminster.

In October 1851 there was a hearing at the London Court of Bankruptcies.  Here we learn that father William Stephens Merryweather had previously been a brickmaker having an Estate at West Ham, London, but had ceased to trade and had been in prison for the previous 2½ years.  Whilst in prison he had been living off his wife’s property, however, since 1845 he had been advanced £14,690 (approaching £1.5 million today) by his sons.  Son Marcus had actually been responsible for causing his father to become a bankrupt.  In 1849 William Snr had furnished his house at great expense and his house at Woodcote was ‘fit for a gentleman of large property’.  It appears that the money had come through his wife’s father who had died in 1829 and other Turner relatives were contesting the Will.  The wife’s father, William Turner, had been a refiner with a business in Little Britain, London, and had ‘realised an enormous fortune’.  William Stephens Merryweather states that before his father in law’s death there had been ‘differences of an irreconcilable nature’ between him and his wife.  It is this Will that also explains Marcus’ change of name.  His grandfather had stated he wished no-one of the name Merryweather to inherit his fortune and that he wanted Marcus and his siblings to inherit his properties but on the condition that they use the surname Turner only and this is what was recorded under the Royal License when they changed.  Marcus still appears to have used the name ‘Merryweather’ as well though and Merryweather Turner was written on the door of his barristers’ office.  It was alleged at the bankruptcy hearing that Marcus had used the name Turner on the documentation to deceive the court as to his relationship to his father.

In 1852, under the name of Marcus Merryweather Turner, he was brought forward by the Radical Party to represent them in Newark, Notts, elections and the Lincolnshire Chronicle newspaper of 18 June 1852 was not very complimentary towards him; “this gentleman has a labelled bundle of opinions for any constituency in want of a member; what his real opinions are it would be difficult to find out”.  The following year Marcus, who had been unsuccessful at the election, and his father were in court again in connection with election hustings funding fraud at the Newark election referred to above.  Marcus’ father was now giving his occupation as ‘election agent in Lincoln’.

In April 1854 Marcus was appointed as 2nd Lieutenant, Artillery Battalion, Royal Sussex Militia.

In 1861 Marcus was visiting his married sister and her family at Ardleigh, Essex, and in 1871 he was calling himself Marcus Merryweather Turner, landowner and barrister at law in practice, living at Westminster, London, with his wife Caroline Merryweather Turner.  The 1871 census was taken on 2 April of that year, however, at which time he does not appear to have been married.  Marcus married Caroline Cook, a widow, at St Swithins, London, on 13 September 1871, giving his father as William Turner, gentleman.

In 1881 he was living with his wife at Streatham, London, and, as Marcus William Merryweather Turner, he died whilst living at 52 Sydney Street, Chelsea, and was buried at Westminster Cemetery in January 1891.