This page is devoted to those Otters whose fame or notoriety has extended (sometimes only briefly) across the world's stage.
Charles Otter RN Esq.
Captain of His Majesty's ship Prosephine whose naval career in the Napoleonic War was cut short in 1802 when in a fit of extreme bravery (foolishness) he decided to take on two French 74 gun and four 44 gun men o' war with his single 44 gun frigate. Needless to say the battle was somewhat one sided and he spent the rest of the war as a POW, facing a court martial on his release. Charles Otter was probably from another family of the same name who were minor gentry in Middlesex and gave rise to the later Bishop Otter who has the public school named after him.
Tom Otter murderer and ghost
There has to be one in every family. In the mid 1800s, Tom Otter itinerant labourer, dallied with a local girl and was forced to make an honest woman of her. Unfortunately due to previous circumstances, ie his existing wife Tom Otter was unable to maintain a commitment to the union. In fact the marriage didn't even last 24 hours as Tom Otter murdered her the very same evening. Unfortunately the murder was witnessed and soon Tom Otter soon found himself on the gibbet. Initially he didn't stay up long as the rope broke and one of the workman was flattened. This of course was Tom's curse. Not only that but the blood from his new wife's body stained the floor of the local inn to which she had been taken, and the marks are still visible to this day. The cries of her unborn child can still be heard in that room. The murder weapon, a hedge stake, kept reappearing at the scene of the murder and eventually had to be destroyed by the Bishop of Lincoln. To this day the site of the murder is still known as Tom Otter's Lane. All good stuff, but sad (or relieved) to say that he is probably no relation.
One of the family at last. Wrote her memoirs which were published as 'A Southwell Maid's Diary', recently transcribed by Mark Godden. The period covers the late 1800s and the early twentieth century and is a very quaint personal view of everyday life and local customs. Old Hiram is mentioned as you'd expect.
General William Dillon Otter
Colonel Alfred Emanuel Otter