Catherine Jane Shaw

(22 February 1813 - 1832)
     Catherine Jane Shaw was christened on 22 February 1813 in Sitton Bonington, Nottinghamshire, England. She was the daughter of Lt William Shaw and Frances Catherine Steer.
     Catherine died in 1832. She died a spinster.

Robert Popplewell Steer-Johnson

(before April 1808 - 21 October 1871)
     Robert Popplewell Steer-Johnson was born before April 1808 in Epworth, Lincolnshire. He was the son of Lt Robert Popplewell Steer and Elizabeth Denny.
     W P B Johnson left debts so large that his trustees, Thomas Lightfoot and John Collinson, sought and obtained in Chancery powers to raise £70,000 to pay them. This sum proved insufficient and a further £9,000 was borrowed from another of the Lightfoot family. His devise of the estate for the benefit of R P Steer could not prevent the entry of his own uncle the Rev. Richard Popplewell Johnson, rector of Ashton upon Mersey from I787 to 1835, into a life interest in the estate under the terms of the Temple Belwood settlement made in 1809 (1/34/3/4/3). Although advanced in years his life interest had to be purchased by R P Steer, now Johnson, for £7,500 and the heir had also to honour the appointment of £10,000 from the estate as the portion of the Rev. R P Johnson's daughter, Mrs Katherine Ridley. In any case the deceased father and grandfather of the heir, Richard Ryther Popplewell Steer (d. 1795), and Robert Popplewell Steer (d. 1826), had heavily burdened their own estate of £1,400 p.a. The problems of a gentleman debtor are graphically illustrated in the letters relating to R P Steer's affairs, addressed to the Epworth firm of Capes and Son, solicitors, who were the receivers for his estate from 1820 to 1824, letters which they and
their successors were very careful to preserve. Steer lived in Doncaster, and besides running up large bills with the trades-men of the neighbourhood, was heavily indebted to his former solicitor, Gilbert Hill, of Bawtry, who had loaned him £2,400 in 1818, when his mortgage credit was becoming exhausted. By 1820 he could raise a sum of £4,800 only by granting an annuity on his own life, secured by life assurance, for which he paid an effective interest rate of 13%. By 1823, several large tradesmen's bills and
Hill's mortgage and bills for professional services in attempting to obtain loans for Steer, had been liquidated, but he could still raise no further sums by mortgage, and his attempt to take out a new policy of life insurance as the basis of a further loan was also frustrated. During his visit to London in June 1823, Capes' London agents report in almost daily letters their peregrinations from the office of one life insurance company to the next with a Mr. Steer who grew increasingly despondent as every proposal was refused or deferred. Waiting until the directors conferred he was inevitably refused a policy, most probably on the grounds that he had been subject to seizures of an epileptic nature. Steer returned to Doncaster, but by November tradesmen were becoming restive and the prospect of arrest and imprisonment was alarming. His return to London en route for Calais to escape his debtors, is marked by the more vehement tone of his monetary requests to George Capes. £30 would see him across the Channel: Capes sent £20 and Steer found himself confined in No 5 Colman Buildings awaiting transfer to the King Bench Prison (January 1824). His requests for money continue for in prison he had to pay for everything cash down, a novel and unpleasant experience. His debts were £3,000, the disposable income from the estate £600 p.a. but the attempt of Capes in March 1824 to make a composition with the creditors whereby Steer would have an annuity of £200, was strongly criticised by Steer and also by Thomas Lightfoot.
     JP & Deputy Lieut for Lincolnshire. "Succeeded to the estates of Temple Belwood, etc under the will of W P B Johnson Esq. dec. & pursuant to directions therein contained assumed the name Johnson only by RSM dated 26 March 1832". He was unmarried and succeeded by his nephew JWD Hilton who assumed the name Johnson by RSM 1871. He renovated Temple Belwood in c1865 for 30,000 pounds (over 3000 acres).
     Robert Popplewell Steer-Johnson and Rev Richard Popplewell Johnson were mentioned in a deed dated 5 May 1832 in 'Temple Belwood', Belton, Lincolnshire. Release by Rev. Richard Popplewell Johnson of Ashton upon Mersey, Cheshire, to R P Johnson formerly R P Steer of life interest in Temple Belwood for £7500.. Robert Popplewell Steer-Johnson was listed in a directory dated 1842 as Johnson Robert Popplewell , Esq at 'Temple Belwood', Belton. He was listed in a directory dated 1856 as Robt Steer Johnson, Esq at Belton, Lincolnshire. It mentions that R S Johnson owns 1/3 of the parish. He was probably also the R S Johnson, esq. who owned lands at Althorpe. It also states Robt S Johnson, Temple Belwood, now at Weedon Beck, Norths.
     On the 5 October 1866 there was a sale of implements, sheds & granary for Mr Bletcher on the Mellwood Grange estate, the property of R P Johnson, esq.
     Robert Popplewell Steer-Johnson made a will dated 23 February 1870 in Belton, Lincolnshire.
     Robert Popplewell Steer-Johnson appeared on the 1871 census in Bedford Hotel, Covent Garden, London. Robert P Johnson, unmarried, lodger, aged 63, landowner, born Epworth, Lincolnshire.
     Robert died on 21 October 1871 in Covent Garden, London . Late of Temple Belwood, Lincs.
     His will was proved on 19 March 1872 at the Principal Probate Registry, London. The will of Robert Popplewell Johnson late of Temple Belwood, Lincs, Esquire hwo died 21 Oct 1871 a the Bedford Hotel, Covent Garden, Mdx, was proved by John William Denne Hilton of Sarre Court, Kent, Esquire, a Lieutenant in the HM 3rd Regt of Hussars, the nephew and Henry Wellesley Lightfoot of 12 Sy John St, Adelphi, Mdx, Esquire, the executors.

Jane Penelope Steer

(10 January 1814 - 17 March 1826)
     Jane Penelope Steer was christened on 10 January 1814 in St George, Doncaster, Yorkshire. She was the daughter of Lt Robert Popplewell Steer and Elizabeth Denny.
     Jane died on 17 March 1826 in Belton, Lincolnshire, aged 12. Memorial in Belton church: Sacred to the memory of Jane Penelope, eldest daughter of Robert Popplewell, and Elizabeth Steer, who died on the 17th day of March 1826, aged twelve years and two months. "Her course was gentle as the new born babe, her mind more noble than the towering wave; her heart was wrap't within a charming frame, it burst; she died!!! but spotless was her name"..