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The exact starting date of the Company 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

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 1911 

William 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 1974 and 2012 the Partnership was run by Christopher Schooling (1974 - 2007), Timothy Hutchings (1974 - 2009) and Timothy Raikes (1974 - 2012), and their management has brought the Company to what it is today. The Company is now being run by husband and wife team, Senior Director George Back and Managing Director Victoria Back with the support of James Tillard, Peter Hughes and Richard Grassly.  Since the founding of the business there have been only 17 partners, clocking up an outstanding total of 545 years service for the Company. Accounting records date back to 1743

Peter Hughes Country Property in Petworth joined RH & RW Clutton on 1 May 2016, with Peter Hughes heading our residential estate agency department.   The opening of a new office in Petworth has given RH & RW Clutton a perfect opportunity to bring our expertise in all aspects of property services to the Petworth area, whilst Peter has brought his knowledge and experience in residential sales and lettings to RH & RW Clutton.

Philip Baker of Park and Bailey Commercial in East Grinstead joined RH & RW Clutton on 1 April 2017 bringing his commercial property expertise and a number of loyal, long term clients to the company.

The combined expertise of these three companies has enhanced and expanded the services available from all of our offices, providing the South East with a complete professional property service.  And to show that RH & RW Clutton never sits still RH & RW Clutton LLP incorporated to become RH & RW Clutton Property Limited in April 2020. 

RH & RW Clutton remains resolutely independent and we pride ourselves on the personal and perceptive service we provide to our many and varied clients, some of whom we have been working with for many decades.  We are a friendly company with a dedicated team of professionals and support staff and we are proud of our successful and long history.  We are excited about the future for RH & RW Clutton and we look forward to continuing to provide all our clients with excellent service for many more years to come.