Sir Walter Scott married Charlotte Charpentier in 1797. By the time of his death in 1832 he had four surviving children:
On his death, Abbotsford passed to Walter but he was serving in the army in India and died before he returned home with no children. On his death in 1847 Abbotsford passed to Scott’s granddaughter, Charlotte, the daughter of Sophia and Scott’s biographer, John Gibson Lockhart. Charlotte had married James Hope but on inheriting Abbotsford she and James adopted the surname Hope Scott.
James Hope Scott was an important figure in the Oxford Movement and a close friend of John Henry Newman (later Cardinal Newman). He and his wife converted to Catholicism in 1851 and they built both the chapel and the private wing for the family, known as the Hope Scott Wing. James and Charlotte had only one child that survived to adulthood, Mary Monica Hope Scott. Charlotte died in childbirth in 1858 and James died in 1873 having married for a second time in 1861 Lady Victoria Fitzalan-Howard.
Mary Monica Hope Scott was born in 1852 and married the Hon Joseph Constable-Maxwell in 1874. Following this marriage they adopted the surname Maxwell Scott. Mary Monica followed her great grandfather and became a writer of historical books. She had eight children, five of whom were still living on her death in 1920. Her eldest son, Walter, then inherited.
Major General Sir Walter Maxwell Scott was born in 1875. He married Mairi Richmond Macdougall in 1918 and they had two children. Mairi died in 1924 and in 1928 the Major General married again, this time to Marie Louise St. Paul de Sincay Logan. The Major General died in 1954 and Abbotsford passed to his eldest daughter, Patricia.
Patricia Maxwell Scott was born in 1921 and she married Sir Harold Hugh Christian Boulton in 1944. However, the marriage was annulled and Patricia reverted to the Maxwell Scott surname in 1951. Patricia dedicated much of her life to Abbotsford, assisted for much of her life by her sister, Jean. During her lifetime visitor numbers rose to their peak of 80,000 a year and both she and her sister are still fondly remembered in the area around Abbotsford. Patricia died in 1998.
Dame Jean Maxwell Scott inherited Abbotsford in 1998. Prior to this she had been lady-in-waiting to Princess Alice of Gloucester. Dame Jean kept Abbotsford going as a visitor attraction during the difficult period following the outbreak of foot and mouth disease and the drop in American visitors following the terrorist attacks in 2000. Dame Jean died in 2004.
Upon the death of Dame Jean there were a number of descendants of the other children of Mary Monica Maxwell Scott. The family were not in the financial position to be able to take on the challenge of Abbotsford and it was agreed that a trust should be set up to safeguard the future of the estate.
The remaining members of the Maxwell Scott family continue to play a part in the Abbotsford story, with two members of the family acting as Trustees, Dominic Maxwell Scott and Lucy Maxwell Scott.