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Our History
William CluttonThe exact starting date of the Firm is unknown but, we do know that William Clutton was taken on as an apprentice to one Robert Chatfield of Cuckfield in West Sussex (b. 1698). Robert practised as a Surveyor for many years and although no records survive prior to 1744 it is reasonable to suppose that he was in business many years before that time.

William Clutton (b. 1740), was the third son of the Rev. Ralph Clutton, vicar of Horsted Keynes. The Rev. Ralph had moved to Sussex from the family home in Cheshire.

Robert Chatfield had a son who died young, and a daughter, Sarah, who married William Clutton. William clearly worked hard and took over the business from his father in law, who retired in 1765. At this point the firm changed its name from Robert Chatfield to William Clutton.

William Clutton developed a prosperous country and land agents business which he conducted from his house, Ockenden Hall, at Cuckfield, held from the Burrell family. It is known that one of his main clients were the Trustees of Smiths Charity, for whom Robert Chatfield was acting at least as early as 1762. William continued in business until his death in 1826 at the age of 86. His son, also called William, had been trained in the surveying profession by his father, and was made a partner of the firm in 1790. To reflect this addition the name of the family firm changed to William Clutton and Sons that year. William Junior moved to Hartswood near Reigate in Surrey, a house that his father bought from Lord Gwydir, a client of the firm. The land agency business then transferred from Cuckfield to Hartswood and William Junior took over the running of the firm.

Hartswood Manor circa 1911William Junior had five sons; Robert, Ralph, John, Henry and William. Robert, John and Henry followed into their father’s firm; Robert in 1825 at the age of 24, John in 1827 at the age of 18 and Henry, was made a partner in 1838 at the age of 24. William Junior died in 1839 and the three brothers continued in business for another 12 years until 1851 when John retired from the partnership, having by then set up his own business in London managing among others, the Smiths Charities Kensington Estate.

On John’s retirement the firm underwent its fourth name change to R & H Clutton and under Robert and Henry’s direction continued to practise from the Surrey base.

The final name change to RH & RW Clutton, took place in 1875 when Robert and Henry’s nephew, Ralph William joined the firm and was made a partner. Henry had already stepped down from the partnership in 1856 and Robert continued until 1877 when he retired. Ralph William continued as the sole principal until 1916 when he brought in Cyril Stone. The direct involvement with the Clutton family ended in 1923 on Ralph William’s death. 

Cyril Stone continued for twenty years under his own steam bringing in to the partnership George Raikes (1936 – 1989), Henry Eeles (1945 – 1961), Anthony Duveen (1952 – 1987) and Guy Courage (1955 – 1972).

In the early 1950s the firm moved from Reigate to a new office at Stone House in Judges Terrace East Grinstead and then in 1955 to its present base at 92 High Street, East Grinstead. Interestingly the premises was formerly a Doctors home and surgery and the Partners had to apply to the Lands Tribunal to have the restriction against office use lifted.

Following the retirement of Cyril Stone (1956) and Henry Eeles (1961), the triumvirate of George Raikes, Tony Duveen and Guy Courage took the firm forward over a 25 year post war period when many rural estates were undergoing major changes. Between 1971 and 2012 the Partnership was run by Christopher Schooling (1971 - 2007), Timothy Hutchings (1971 - 2009) and Timothy Raikes (1974 - 2012), and their management has brought the Firm to what it is today. The Firm is now being run by Senior Partner George Back and the Managing Partner Victoria Back.

Accounting records date back to 1743As a company RH & RW Clutton can boast a number of unique attributes but two, in particular, stand out; firstly, we managed the Henry Smith Charity agricultural portfolio for over 250 years, and secondly since the founding of the business there have been only 17 partners, clocking up an outstanding total of 545 years service for the company.  This demonstrates that tradition and continuity along with a willingness to embrace modern technique and increasing technology, have created the successful surveying business that is RH & RW Clutton.

January 2017 - We are delighted to announce that Peter Hughes Country Property in Petworth joined RH & RW Clutton LLP on 1 May 2016, with Peter Hughes becoming a partner of the firm heading its residential agency department.

RH & RW Clutton will take its expertise in all aspects of property services to the Petworth Office, whilst Peter will bring his knowledge and experience in residential sales and lettings to RH & RW Clutton. The combined expertise of the two firms will enhance and expand the services available from all of our offices, providing the Southeast with a complete professional property service.

 

 

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