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Stories of Charles James Coates

Charles James Coates
b. 6 Jan 1820
d. 9 Oct 1889

Charles Coates
b. c 1800

Sarah Anderson

Stories from the Coates family.

A person of consequence. Barton House large and storied. 'RuaRua'. Rose fancier, arts patron. State gallery holds one of his portraits in oils. Brought 30,000 pounds from England. Family settled near Keith, Emu Springs. (Note from George Richards)

Charles James COATES Obituary (don't know which newspaper)

The late MR. C. J. COATES. By the death, at his residence, North Adelaide, on Wednesday, October 9, Mr Charles James Coates, the Secretary of the Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society of South Australia, the citizens and colonists generally will miss a figure long familiar to them. Though for many years incapacitated owing to affliction from taking a very active part in public movements, the deceased gentleman was always at his post in connection with the chief Agricultural Society of the colony, and at election times he was ever to be found engaged in counting the voting papers for the District of North Adelaide in his capacity of Returning-Officer. Mr. Coates was born on January 6, 1820, at Stanton Court, Stanton Drew, Somersetshire, England, and was therefore in his seventieth year at the time of his death.

His birthplace, situated about seven miles from Bath and Bristol, is an old moated residence, which has been for many generations, and still is, the home of the head of the family; and is noteworthy for its park, called Stony Cross, having three circles of Druidical stones, with the usual rocking stone. Mr. Coates was educated in Helstone's Academy, in Alveston, Gloucestershire, and subsequently in a College in Oldesloe Holsetn, Germany. In this connection it is worthy of notice that he was well known in the colony as an excellent German scholar. After his collegiate studies Mr. Coates travelled for a considerable time on the Continent collecting art treasures, of which he was all his life a connoisseur. Of the works of the old masters particularly he was considered an eminent judge. Before he left England for Australia he had a famous art collection, which he, however, was compelled to part with owing to reverses in business.

About the time he reached his majority, Mr. Coates was elected a member of the London Stock Exchange, where he transacted a very extensive business institutions north of London, particularly the Leeds and West Riding Bank and leading railway speculators, among others for Hudson, the great railway king, and Waddington, of Leeds. Four years later - 1845 - Mr. Coates was a prominent stockbroker himself and a wealthy man. When however the memorable railway financial disaster came he had to unfortunately share in the losses, and was left a comparatively poor man.

With his wife - a granddaughter of Mr. J. R. Wilson, of Newcastle-on-Tyne - and family Mr. Coates left England in 1850 and came to Adelaide. Entering business as an agriculturalist he was tolerably successful, and then he went into squatting pursuits, leasing, in 1854, 400 square miles of country in the Ninety Mile Desert which has so recently come so prominently before public notice. Mr. Coates was the first to settle in this part of the colony on what has since become known as Emu Flat. About Emu Flat and Mount Monster he occupied a large area of good territory, and formed stations and sunk wells. But his ventures here also proved unsuccessful, and selling out he returned to Adelaide, where he went into business as a broker and agent. He was one of those who originated the first expedition to the Northern Territory in search of gold. He was appointed Secretary of the Agricultural society in March, 1868, and held that office in a most creditable manner up to the time of his decease, working up the Society from an almost insolvent state to its present satisfactory position. Though pretty fully employed in this capacity his energetic disposition enabled him to devote considerable time to the management of numerous Companies. Many years ago he had the reputation of being the Secretary of more Mining Companies in Adelaide than any other person. So thoroughly conversant with the details of the practical management of such an important organisation as the Agricultural Society, and endowed with considerable administrative ability, no person could have more ably performed the onerous duties devolving upon him. But of recent years he was unable to undertake all the clerical work himself, and was assisted by one of his daughters (Miss Phillis Coates). During the whole of the time he occupied the Secretaryship Mr Coates enjoyed the full confidence of the members of the Society, and they will one and all regret the loss of so estimable and honourable a servant, whose word was his bond, and whose help was invaluable. Even up to Saturday last he was at his office in Register Chambers, but being seized with an attack of rigidity of the muscles, which affected his throat, he was afterwards obliged to remain home, and he was also suffering from a serious attack of bronchitis. He grew worse, and died on Wednesday morning. The deceased had for many years been a victim of rheumatic gout, and the wonder was how one so advanced in years could accomplish the work he managed to get through. Some years ago Mr. Coates was Secretary of the South Australian Jockey Club, and for several years up to the time of his death he was Returning Officer for the electoral district of North Adelaide, official liquidator of Companies, and Secretary of the Adelaide and Hindmarsh Tramway Company.

The late Mr. Coates was highly respected, genial in disposition, and possessed of many qualities which induced people to regard him as a worthy citizen. The removal of so valuable a man will be greatly regretted. It is worthy of notice, too, that Mr. Coates took a special pride in the cultivation of ferns, and as a result he had one of the finest ferneries in the colony.

The deceased in his last illness was attended by Dr. Jay. He leaves a widow and three sons and three daughters, some of whom are married.

Information from Judy Vowles nee Steer, written in 1914.


Soon after the Conquest a considerable part of the parish Stanton was in possession of a family who are said to have taken their name from the place. The first recorded member of this family to reside there, was Roger de Stanton followed by William who was succeeded by Hugh de Stanton. In the reign of Henry II Robert de Stanton held two Knights fees in the Parish. Next mentioned Geofrey de Stanton who held large possessions in the neighbourhood. The member of the family bore appellation of Drew or Drew de Stanton and gave the place the second half of its name. In 1339 Walter Drew held half the Knights fee in Stanton. The Manor of Stanton Drew subsequently passed to the Choke family. In the middle of the 15th century Robert Choke granted to Richard Choke and his wife Joan, a small holding in Stanton. Another deed dated 1415 records that the same Richard Choke [sic] of Bristol granted to Richard Choke another property in the Parish including a fulling mill. A dispute between Richard Choke and John Botoler relating to the right and title of Choke to the Manor, ended in a lawsuit which terminated in favour of Chove (a lawyer). Choke afterwards became Chief Justice of Common Pleas.

He died in the reign of Richard IInd. He was buried in Long Ashton Church, where there is a monument to his memory. His Grandson succeeded to the Manor of Stanton Drew and in 1507 conveyed it to Giles, Lord Daubany. From the Daubanys it passed to Sir John Cooper Bart, who was also Lord of Stanton Wick. He died in 1631 and was succeeded by his son Antony Ashley Cooper. From the Coopers , the Manor passed into the hands of Peter Coates, in whose family it has remained to the present time (1914), J. Eaton Coates being the present owner and occupier of Stanton Court.

The present Manor House of Stanton Drew known as Stanton Court, gives the impression of being erected early in the Georgian period. It is unknown who built it, neither are there any records except the usual indecipherable deeds, but there is no doubt that a house of much larger dimensions existed in early times on the same site. Collinson in his history mentions the Manor House of Stanton Drew as being an old and venerable building which was formerly embattled and regularly fortified. The window of the boudoir over the main entrance on the West side of the house, probably dates from the 15th century.

The Coates family resided for many generations in the Manor House. A. Samuel Baker great great Grand father of J. Eaton Coates was the high Sheriff in 1777.

Document written 1968, unknown author.


Stanton Court was mentioned as a Manor at the time of the Norman Conquest (1066) when Roger de Stanton owned it. In 1339 Walter Drew possessed it and he gave the name to Standtone (Stone-Town) - Today we know it as Stanton Drew.

In the middle of the 15th century the Choke family lived at the Manor, and one of them, Richard Choke, became Lord Chief Justice of England in 1507. His grandson, Lord Daubery, lived there. He sold the Manor to Sir John Cooper (Bart) of Chew Magna. It was his grandson, Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper, who sold Stanton Court to Peter Coates in 1703.

The present court is not the original. The old Manor was battlemented and was fortified but Peter Coates pulled it down and built the present house on the old foundations. The Coates family lived in the Court until 1937 (nearly 200 years). There is a very old bread oven in the thickness of the kitchen wall and a small one for 'raising the dough'. The ovens were occasionally used by the monks. In the present newer buildings, the Georgian period (1758) there is a genuine Adam fireplace (Adam fireplaces are hand carved and very valuable). The Adam brothers worked in great detail. There is also a wine cellar and wine storage room.

Court Farm was part of the Court Buildings. On the door the date 1753 is shown in studs. Thus relating the Georgian rebuilding to the Court. (Bath and Clifton were also built at this time).


The last of the great families with 200 years of continued association with Stanton Drew Court have memorials in Stanton Drew Church. Peter Coates' memorial is on the north wall of the Coates' chapel. Died March 9th 1791 aged 64 years. Mary Coates September 25th aged 78 years. Miss Martha Coates donated money to be used as a charity for the poor of the village, which now is worth about 4 Pounds a year and buys toys and coal for old people.

Original written 20 years ago. 10th October, 1988.

LORDS OF THE MANOR OF STANTON (DREW) (Document - unknown source )

1. TOVI - Who was sheriff of Somerset during Edward the Confessor's reign.

2. ROGER - Was given the Manor by William the Conqueror. Roger family took the name of de Stanton and one of his sons named Drogg or Dru (1225) was the reason why Drew was added to the Stanton to distinguish it from the other Stantons in the County. The de Stantons held it until 1408 when it passed to:-


4. RICHARD CHOKE - In 1446. Richard, who was probably born in the village and who later became Kings Justice of the Common, obtained the Lordship after a lawsuit with John Boteker who held the Manor of Belluton. (Richard Choke's tomb is in Long Ashton Church)

5. JOHN CHOKE - Who conveyed his share in 1506 to:-

6. LORD DAUBNEY and his family who passed it into the possession of:-

7. SIR JOHN COOPER - who left it to his son in 1631.

8. ANTHONY ASHLEY COOPER - Anthony was minor aged 9 and his estate got into great trouble as he was a Ward of Court and, because of this, the Manor was sold to the Coates at about this time - 1630s.

9. THE COATES FAMILY - who sold the Court in 1926. It is not known who is the present Lord of the Manor.


Slide show of Stanton Drew on Flickr

BIOSA Vol 1, page 289:- COATES Charles Jas par: Charles and Sarah nee ANDERSON b: 6.1.1820 Stanton Drew SOM ENG d: 9.10.1889 Nth Adelaide SA bd: Nth Rd SA arr: 1851 HARPLEY occ: Stockbroker, Grazier, Accountant res: Mt Monster, Tintinara, Keith and others rel: C/E m: 27.12.1841 LND ENG Issabella Jane nee WILSON par: John Rawling and Mary Ann b: 5.3.1819 Stratho Castle d: 8.5.1893 Stepney SA ch: Chas Elwood 1843-84.

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