William Otter

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William Otter

Bishop of Chichester
Portrait of Potter, by John Linnell, 1841
Church Church of England
Diocese Diocese of Chichester
Term ended1840 (death)
Predecessor Edward Maltby
Successor Philip Nicholas Shuttleworth
Personal details
Born(1768-10-23)23 October 1768
Died20 August 1840(1840-08-20) (aged 71)
ParentsDorothy Wright Otter
Rev. Edward Otter
Nancy Sadleir Bruère
(m. 1804)
Children8, including William
Alma mater Jesus College, Cambridge

William Otter (23 October 1768 20 August 1840) was the first Principal of King's College, London, who later served as Bishop of Chichester. [1]


Early life

William Otter was born at Cuckney, Nottinghamshire on 23 October 1768, the son of Dorothy (née Wright) Otter (d. 1772) and the Rev. Edward Otter. [2] He was educated at Jesus College, Cambridge, where he was later made a fellow. [3]


Bust of William Otter in Chichester Cathedral Bust of a noble Bishop within Chichester Cathedral - geograph.org.uk - 1140402.jpg
Bust of William Otter in Chichester Cathedral

He was appointed Principal of the newly established King's College, London, in 1831, and held the post until 1836 when he was appointed Bishop of Chichester. [4] Otter established a small college to train schoolmasters in 1840, which was rebuilt in his memory in 1849 as Bishop Otter College, now the main Bishop Otter Campus of the University of Chichester. [5]

Personal life

On 3 July 1804, he married Nancy Sadleir Bruère in Leatherhead, Surrey. Nancy was a granddaughter of George Bruere, British Governor of Bermuda. Together, they had three sons and five daughters: [2]

Otter died on 20 August 1840. [8]


His eldest son William had four sons and six daughters, including Lt. William Otter RN (1840–1870), and was the grandfather of Hugh Otter-Barry, Bishop of Mauritius. [9] Through his son Alfred, he was a grandfather of Gen. William Dillon Otter. [10]

Through his daughter Jacqueline, he was a grandfather of Coutts Trotter (1837–1887), Vice Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, Edward Bush Trotter (1842–1920), Archdeacon of Western Downs, Australia, Col. Sir Henry Trotter. [11] Through his daughter Maria, he was a grandfather of Maj. William Christopher James, who married Effie Gray Millais (the daughter of Effie Gray and John Everett Millais).

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  1. The children of Alexander Trotter and his second wife, Isabella Strange (1816–1878), had several additional children including: Isabella Lilias Trotter (1853–1928), Alexander Pelham Trotter (1857–1947) an electrical engineer who married Alys Fane Keatinge, and Margaret Trotter (1850–1942) who married the historian Hugh Edward Egerton (1855–1927).
  1. "The first Principals of King's College London". Archived from the original on 1 April 2012. Retrieved 30 November 2008.
  2. 1 2 Courthope, William (1839). Debrett's Complete Peerage of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland: With Additions to the Present Time and a New Set of Coats of Arms from Drawings by Harvey. J. G. & F. Rivington. pp. 381–382, 676, 700. Retrieved 20 April 2021.
  3. Henry, Cooper Charles (1852). Annals of Cambridge: Vol. V, 1850-1856, with Additions and Corrections to Volumes I-IV and Index to the Complete Work. The University Press. Retrieved 20 April 2021.
  4. Gentleman's and Citizen's Almanack. 1837. p. 330. Retrieved 20 April 2021.
  5. "Otter, William (1768–1840), bishop of Chichester". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/20935.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  6. Burke, Bernard (1871). A genealogical and heraldic history of the colonial gentry. Vol. 1. London: Harrison. p. 35.
  7. "Romilly, Baron (UK, 1866 – 1983)". www.cracroftspeerage.co.uk. Heraldic Media Limited. Retrieved 20 April 2021.
  8. "Otter, William (OTR785W)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  9. Letter of Midshipman William Otter
  10. Morton, Desmond (1974). The Canadian General Sir William Otter. Hakkert. ISBN   978-0-88866-535-5 . Retrieved 20 April 2021.
  11. Trotter, Coutts (1899). "Trotter, Coutts (DNB00)"  . In Lee, Sidney (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography . Vol. 57. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
Academic offices
Preceded by
New position
Principal of King's College London
Succeeded by
Church of England titles
Preceded by Bishop of Chichester
Succeeded by