John Steptoe c1623 – 1673

Seal of Southampton (17th Century)
Heraldry-wiki Commons

In 1651 John Stepto(e) bought ’30 acres and 2 messuages in Elverton’ having already bought land there in the previous 2 years.

This land became the Everton House (later Grange) estate.
Steptoe was a wealthy Southampton ironmonger, having been apprenticed to his father, also John Steptoe, for 7 years. He became Alderman, and then Mayor of Southampton in 1664 when he lived at Bull or Bugle Hall in the town. He owned the Everton estate until his death in 1673, unmarried and dying childless, leaving land to relations Amy and Olive Barnard for their lives and afterwards to Southampton Corporation as Steptoe’s Charity. In 1673 some of Steptoe’s money was used to establish a ‘hospital for poor and impotent people’ called the Hospital of St John Baptist in French Street, founded by the Mayor, Bailiffs and Burgesses of the town.

Steptoe’s will stated that one third of the rents from his land at Milford and Fawley should be given to the poor, and the rest lent to ‘young beginners’ for 10 year periods, free of interest. He also left money for sermons at All Saints, Southampton where he was buried.

Further reading

John Speed ‘The history and antiquity of Southampton: with some conjectures concerning the Roman Clausentum’ ed Elinor R Aubrey Cox and Sharland, Southampton, 1909


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