Jump to: navigation, search

Washington Singer

Washington Merritt Grant Singer (1866-1934) was an English philanthropist and prominent racehorse owner.

Born in Yonkers, New York he was the third child of Isabella Eugenie Boyer and sewing machine magnate, Isaac Singer. The family moved to England when Washington Singer was still a child. He was raised at Oldway Mansion at Paignton on the Devon coast.

He married Daphne Helen Travers and they adopted a son, Grant Allen Singer (1915-1942). He and his wife lived at Steartfield House and built a stable at the junction of Manor Road and old Torquay Road. A Thoroughbred horse racing enthusiast, Singer won the 1905 St. Leger Stakes with the colt Challacombe, trained by Alec Taylor, Jr. and the 1932 2,000 Guineas with Orwell. The Washington Singer Stakes race at Newbury Racecourse is named in his honour.

In 1906, Singer purchased Norman Court, a 20,000-acre (81 km2) estate in Wiltshire that included the villages of West Dean in Wiltshire and West Tytherley in Hampshire and the parishes of Buckholt and Frenchmoor and parts of Farley and Pitton. The estate was bequeathed to his son Grant Singer but he was killed in action during World War II at the 1942 Second Battle of El Alamein while serving with the Royal Armoured Corps, 10th Royal Hussars. Sold by his widow, in 1952 it became the private Norman Court Preparatory School.

Washington Singer became a benefactor of a number of different causes and was a substantial donor to the University College of the southwest of England, which later became the University of Exeter. One of the university's buildings, which is home to the Department of Psychology, is named in his honour.



Premier Equine Classifieds


Subscribe to our newsletter and keep abreast of the latest news, articles and information delivered directly to your inbox.

Did You Know?

Modern horse breeds developed in response to a need for "form to function", the necessity to develop certain physical characteristics in order to perform a certain type of work... More...

The Gypsy Cob was originally bred to be a wagon horse and pulled wagons or caravans known as Vardos; a type of covered wagon that people lived in... More...

Archaeological evidence indicates that the Arabian horse bloodline dates back 4,500 years. Throughout history, Arabian horses spread around the world by both war and trade.... More...

That the term "Sporthorse" is a term used to describe a type of horse rather than any particular breed... More...