December 2002 – Bulletin 144
The Evidence of Place-names (2) – E N Montague
The Pishiobury Ha-ha – W J Rudd
Town and City Wards (1) – D Fleming
Henry III and Merton Priory 1216-72 (1) – L E Green
and much more
PRESIDENT: J Scott McCracken BA FSA MIFA PRESIDENT: J Scott McCracken BA FSA MIFA
VICE PRESIDENTS: Viscountess Hanworth, Lionel Green and William Rudd
BULLETIN NO. 144CHAIRMAN: Peter Hopkins DECEMBER 2002
Saturday 7 December 2.30pm The Canons, Madeira Road, Mitcham
.The Upper or Fair Green, Mitcham.
In this illustrated lecture, another in his series of Mitcham studies, member Eric Montague
turns his attention to the Upper Green. Once a meeting-point of roads from surrounding Saxon
settlements, it has had a long and picturesque history.
Saturday 25 January 2.30pm Snuff Mill Environmental Centre
.Art of the Shaman? New views on Stone Age cave art.
Our president, distinguished archaeologist Scott McCracken, last spoke to us about military
cemeteries and monuments from the first World War. This illustrated lecture promises to reveal
another aspect of his wide-ranging interests, and to be something quite different in our
Saturday 15 February 2.30pm Snuff Mill Environmental Centre
.Reigate Stone, underground quarries and standing buildings.
Paul Sowan is a well-known lecturer, and is the expert on the historically important Reigate
stone, its mining and its uses. An illustrated talk.
Friday 28 February 7.00 for 7.30pm Morden Hall
Annual Dinner for members and guests
We shall be offered the set price menu, which will include several choices for each course.
Drinks will be extra. Numbers are needed ahead of time
Saturday 15 March 2.30pm Snuff Mill Environmental Centre
.Worcester Park, Cuddington and Nonsuch.
Historian David Rymill is a native of Worcester Park and is fascinated by its history. He
published Worcester Park & Cuddington: a walk through the centuries in 2000. An illustrated
(The Snuff Mill Centre, in Morden Hall Park, is on bus routes 93,118,157 and 164. Drivers use
the garden centre car-park. Take the path across the bridge; go through the gateway and turn
right. The Snuff Mill is straight ahead.)
The Society’s events are open to the general public, unless otherwise stated.
Non-members are invited to make a small donation to help with the Society’s running costs.
ERIC MONTAGUE concludes his essay, of which the first part appeared in Bulletin 143, on Mitcham
THE EVIDENCE OF PLACE-NAMES
Inspired perhaps by the example of men like de Wickford, or else moved by the spirit of the
age, .the whole
parish. made a .grant and gift. of land to the priory at Southwark some time before 1170.14
named by Henry de Blois, the bishop of Winchester, in his charter of that year, listing the
priory’s property, we
can identify the land given by the parishioners as common land lying between Lower Mitcham (ie
Green and the main expanse of Mitcham Common. No mention is made of the consent of a superior
been sought or obtained, which suggests either that the grant took place during the anarchy of
Stephen, or that
the land was regarded as .folkland. and outside the jurisdiction of any manor. We learn that by
1170 the canons
had erected .houses. on the site, and when, 400 years later the land (known as .Cannons. for
passed into private hands, there were still standing various buildings, including a .parsonage
house., a barn,
dovehouse and brewhouse.
Adjoining The Canons today is Park Place, a mid-18th century house occupying land known in the
.Almonds.. It was referred to in an inquisition post mortem of 1392 as .Allmannesland.,15 a
indicates that, like the land next door, this was at one time part of the common land – .all
man’s land. – of
Mitcham. Unlike the land occupied by The Canons, however, Allmannesland was copyhold of the
Vauxhall by the late 14th century, and the enclosure would therefore appear to have taken place
in the Middle Ages, by which time either the fief had been extended, or administration of the
become more efficient.
When in 1680 it was found necessary to investigate title to a large house at Colliers Wood,
then a copyhold
property within the manor of Ravensbury, tenure was traced back to 1487 through the medium of
rolls.16 These disclosed that in the reign of Henry VII the property had been known by the name
-the .grange belonging to little John.. The presence of what seem from the 18th-century map to
artificial water-channels in the grounds suggests that the site may have been moated during the
and that the owners were people of some importance. There are various references to a .capital
owned by the de Mara or de la Mare family, lords of the manor of Ravensbury, in the 13th and
centuries, but the location of the house, which might well have had as an adjunct a grange, or
has never been established. The de la Mares remained amongst the most important families in the
the end of the 14th century, by which time lordship of Ravensbury had passed to Sir John
Burghersh. It was held
subsequently by Sir John Grenevylle and John Arundel, and in 1424 the reversionary interest was
being held for his three-year-old son John. We thus have a plethora of Johns, but might not
Arundel have been the .Jenkin. we seek?17
It can be seen from the foregoing three examples that examination of place-names can often
throw light on
obscure events in the Middle Ages on which other records are silent. More often than not,
however, they raise
questions which call for answers, and thus lead the historian to further research.
The great period of expansion ushered in by the Tudors seems to have been marked in Mitcham by
under cultivation of what hitherto had probably been secondary woodland and scrub covering the
drained clay lands lying beyond the Common and extending towards the slopes of Pollards Hill
and Norbury. A
property known as .Newbarnes. and as .New Barns Farm. appears in the records for the first time
in the 17th
century,18 and the regular pattern of rectangular enclosures belonging to the farm in later
years has little in
common with strip holdings in the nearby East Field.
The isolated .Lonesome Farm., a medieval farmstead located on an area of brickearth between the
and the outcropping London Clay, may have been enlarged at about the same time. The land worked
enclosures and orchards on the periphery of the East Field like .Meopham., mentioned in deeds
of the 17th
century,19 and .Longthornton., but the tithe map shows that by the 1840s the farm had been
extended by intakes
of former woodland. The new enclosures had been given prosaic names like .The Five Acres., .The
Acres. and .Fourteen Acres., and, as at New Barns, their regular pattern betrays the hand of
the land surveyor
rather than some medieval farmer. There seems to be no documentary record of when this
expansion took place,
but the field-names take us a little closer to understanding when they occurred.
This study has demonstrated that even in an urban area such as Mitcham field-names can be a
useful aid and
stimulus to the local historian. Mitcham, of course, is not an isolated example, and, given the
wealth of information
available, the exercise could be repeated almost anywhere in the United Kingdom.
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY . BULLETIN 144 . DECEMBER 2002 . PAGE 2
14. British Library MS Add. 6040 No.16 (Transcribed by John Blair)
15. Surrey History Centre. Collection of Deeds Relating to Mitcham: Copy of Court Rolls
(Exchequer Court of Augmentations) Portfolio 12 No.22
16. Surrey History Centre. 320/1/13
There was also a John de la Mare, who died in 1314.
Lysons, D Environs of London I, 1792 p353 and Manning, O and Bray, W History of Surrey II, 1809
p499, quoting Cart.11 Edw.I No.24
18. Surrey History Centre. 30 June 1679. Grant of annuity by John Cranmer to Thomas Cranmer out
of property called Newbarnes. 599/19.
Surrey History Centre 145/25 and Mitcham tithe map and register respectively
(We have received some comments from one of our members on the first instalment of Eric
discussion, which will appear next time, and we would be delighted to receive views from other
As Mr Montague suggested in the last Bulletin, place-names and their elements are a
MERTON AND MORDEN THEN AND NOW
It was standing room only for the Merton and Morden Then and Now meeting on 12th October, so
by David Roe and Judith Goodman. This meeting was the annual Evelyn Jowett Memorial Lecture,
and I am
sure she would have been delighted to know that some of her slides were being shown.
David Roe introduced the talk by thanking various Societies, friends and members of the Society
Bill Rudd . for loaning slides. He said he was taking us on a tour of old and present views of
Morden Hall Park, Merton High Street, Morden and St Helier. It was nice to see some buildings
still intact, but
the transformation of the Merton Priory remains, now covered by the Savacentre car park, was
sad to see.
The slide showing a garden party at Dorset hall in 1912
(right) was celebrating the release of three suffragettes,
and the building is now council owned.
Long Lodge in Kingston Road (below) was the site of
Merton Park Film Studios, one of the first in the
country, and the house used by the admin. staff is now
a listed building.
(Rectangle comment XPMUser
With the coming of the Underground Morden centre
had changed from a country lane to a modern
Memories were also revived by a slide of the original
Royal Arsenal Co-operative Society store in Grand
Drive in 1939 (right) . and the modern store which
has replaced it. It was disappointing to see the way
houses on the St Helier estate were being changed from
their original design by structural alterations.
I mention just a few of the comparisons we were shown,
but it was good to see that some of Old Merton has
(Rectangle comment XPMUser
On the horticulture side the John Innes original testing
grounds were shown, which are now the Rutlish School
playing-fields. John Innes Park is still in being and his
house is now used by the school. The Carter’s Tested
Seeds headquarters in Raynes Park has been replaced
by Carter House, sheltered homes. The brickfield at
Mostyn gardens was filled in by spoil when the
Underground railway was being built in the 1920s, but
fortunately still remains an open space.
(Rectangle comment XPMUser
Sincere thanks to David and Judith for an enjoyable afternoon.
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY . BULLETIN 144 . DECEMBER 2002 . PAGE 3
LOCAL HISTORY WORKSHOP
Friday 4 October 2002 . 8 present. Peter Hopkins in the chair.
Vanessa Bunton from English Heritage was welcomed and was shown the Society’s 2002
There was then some discussion about the Society’s excavations in the past. Were they on
record? We don’t
always get reports/results back from the archaeologists. Although we are aware that with
.rescue. digs there are
likely to be commercial sensitivities on the part of developers, we (and other societies) would
communications with archaeologists, including MoLAS (Museum of London Archaeological Service).
!!!!!Peter Hopkins had been spending all his time on the Society’s publications. It had been
good to have colour
illustrations in the new Morden Park booklet, thanks to collaboration with the library service.
It had been
selling very well.
!!!!!Sheila Harris had received a letter from a collateral descendant of the Smiths of Merton
Abbey who is
preparing a book about Elizabeth Cook, widow of Captain James Cook and a cousin of the Smiths.
By coincidence Judith Goodman, who is interested in artists of various kinds associated with
been thinking about the sculptor R J Wyatt. He was a member of the complicated Wyatt family of
sculptors/carvers etc, and was himself the sculptor of the monument in St Mary’s Merton to the
family, which was commissioned by Elizabeth Cook. His sister married the Smith heir. Judith had
along the Wyatt family tree (males only, of course!) published in Colvin’s Biographical
Dictionary of British
Architects 1600-1840 (3rd Edition). She agreed to reply to the letter to Sheila.
!!!!!Lionel Green had been pursuing the numerous associations of Merton priory with Henry III
(see page 11).
One of our members had told Don Fleming that she came from a lavender-growing family in Mitcham
could write something for the Bulletin. He would follow this up.
Much of Bill Rudd’s time had been taken up by the demands of Channel 4’s Time Team (see In
he is bound to secrecy until the transmission early next year. It was obviously quite an
you to Rosemary Turner for the photograph.)
!!!!!Vanessa Bunton then spoke about training volunteers from local societies to write up
means of special classes. There was a discussion about storage of finds. The London Repository
Dates of next workshops: Friday 17 January and Friday 7 March at 7.30pm at Wandle Industrial
Everyone is welcome
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY . BULLETIN 144 . DECEMBER 2002 . PAGE 4
A VISIT TO REIGATE PRIORY
Members will recall that last December Mrs Audrey
Ward gave us a talk on Reigate Priory, which our
Chairman Lionel Green reviewed in the March Bulletin.
This September a group of us enjoyed a visit, and there
was much to see.
Our guide took us through 800 years of its history as
we sat in front of the .Holbein. chimneypiece, which
is too large for the hall it is in!
The priory was founded c.1200 by William de Warenne.
There is a fine painting on the staircase wall, painted
in 1705, possibly by Antonio Verrio, but damaged in
places by cracks in the wall.
Well worth seeing was an exhibition (in the museum) on the Home Front during World War II, with
of 1940s rooms. In the kitchen sink was a washboard. I remembered that in our house Mondays
and my mother was a dab hand with her washboard.
For Derek Kennett the washboard reminded him of the Lonnie Donegan skiffle group with the
integral part of the skiffle sound.
The priory is also a school for 6-12 year olds, with 580 pupils, with classrooms bright and
countless photos of pupils and teachers at work and play, and all looking cheerful.
We all enjoyed our visit. So our thanks to Sheila Harris for arranging not only this trip but
also the others she
has worked hard on this year. It is appreciated.
THE PISHIOBURY HA-HA
Those who have read the new Morden Park booklet will have seen the paragraph on p26 about the
the brief mention of the one at Pishiobury House, Herts, but may not have seen one.
So I have found a photo of the Pishiobury ha-ha for your edification. So, how did I come by it?
Much of my local history research requires a train-assisted cycle ride, to help cover a
distance in a day.
The reason on this occasion was to see where William Gardiner lived. He was the second husband
Gawden, widow, formerly Elizabeth Garth, daughter of George Garth II and his second wife, Jane
Elizabeth had previously married Samuel Gawden or Gauden, 31 July 1691, who died two years
later, 1 September
1693! He had previously been married.
I took a train out to Harlow, which brought me within a
short distance of Pishiobury Park, a mile south of
Sawbridgeworth. The drive up to the house is long and
straight. Suddenly, just before I reached the house, I stopped.
There it was, on the left, the ha-ha. And yes, it does come as
a surprise when you see one. It really is only a deep ditch
with a retaining wall on the house side.
A description of the house appears in Pevsner’s
Hertfordshire: a late-Tudor mansion which was rebuilt by
James Wyatt* in 1782. The site apparently goes back to
medieval times (vide Victoria County History). The lake and
planting are due to .Capability Brown.. The house is now a
Regretably I have little or no information on William Gardiner, except that he had previously
married. I have no
date of his marriage to Elizabeth Gawden or of his death leaving, as it appears on her monument
in St Lawrence
Church, .a disconsolate widdow.. She was, as we all know, a generous benefactor to Morden
* Another Wyatt (see previous page)! It was the same family. JG
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY . BULLETIN 144 . DECEMBER 2002 . PAGE 5
A DATE FOR YOUR 2003 DIARIES
Pat and Ray Kilsby are again kindly offering a coach trip as one of our summer visits. On
Saturday 5 July they
propose an outing first to the excellent William Morris Gallery at Walthamstow, followed by a
carvery lunch on
the edge of Epping Forest, and then on to Audley End, one of the grandest of great houses,
before returning by
early evening. Make a note of the date now; further details and booking form will come with a
A WEBSITE FOR THE SOCIETY?
Is there, among our members, someone with the experience and enthusiasm to set up, and
maintain, a website
for Merton Historical Society? Vanessa Bunton, Community Archaeologist for Greater London, has
help and advice. The Chairman and Committee would be very grateful to hear from a volunteer.
From the postbag:
Bill Rudd has responded to Jim Creasy’s letter in Bulletin 143 about (Borough of) Merton’s VCs,
three names . Coulson (born in Wimbledon), Lysons (born in Morden) and White (born in Mitcham).
McCracken, our president, has a special interest in military history, and promises an article
on the subject for
(he hopes) the next Bulletin.
ARCHAEOLOGICAL INVESTIGATIONS BY MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Lionel Green and Bill Rudd have provided additional information (see Bulletin 143), and Bill
points out that
work at Hall Place was interrupted by an urgent call to investigate at Gutteridge’s. So here is
a revised and
Grid ref. Date Location Finds
TQ 2645 6975 1956 Banks of River Wandle Early 13th cent. Worked stone
TQ 250 676 1958-60 Stane Street, Morden Park Nothing significant
TQ 264 698 1961/3 Allotments by Liberty’s 14th cent. Cobble roadway
TQ 2673 6918 1966-8 Short Batsworth, Church Road, Mitcham Romano-British
TQ 2732 6859 1968, 1970 Hall Place, Mitcham Saxo-Norman
TQ 2780 6898 1969 Gutteridge’s, Upper Green East Med./18th cent.
TQ 250 675 1970 St Lawrence church, Morden Churchyard clearance
TQ 2650 6970 1971 Banks of River Wandle Building stone/floor tiles c.1300
TQ 2772 6895 1971 Durham House, Upper Green West 18th cent.
TQ 2618 6815 1972 The Grange, Central Road, Morden
TQ 2748 6851 1972 346/8 London Road, Mitcham Mainly 18th cent.
TQ 2665 6804 1973 Ravensbury Manor House, Ravensbury Park Med./18th cent.
TQ 256 671 1976 Green Lane, Morden Romano-British
TQ 265 696 1976/8 Priory chapter house Graves of 35 priors; tiles etc
TQ 250 675 1988 St Lawrence’s churchyard
TQ 257 688 1994 Morden Hall Farm Dairy site 19th/20th cent.
Most of the excavations have been mentioned in the Bulletin, or in Surrey Archaeological
Society’s Bulletin or
Collections. None has been formally written up. The finds are in our Store at The Canons,
Mitcham, and have been indexed in part. The Borough’s Heritage Officer regularly uses items
from our collections
in exhibitions at the Heritage Centre, which is also at The Canons.
However, members are concerned that these excavations may not appear on national databases, and
whereabouts of finds is not generally known.
Excavations elsewhere in the Borough have been undertaken by Surrey Archaeological Society, the
London Archaeological Service and the John Innes Society. Many of the finds from the excavation
Church Path, Merton Park, carried out by the John Innes Society, are also held in our Store.
Bill Rudd also points out that in the 1960s and early 1970s Society members participated in a
number of digs elsewhere.
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY . BULLETIN 144 . DECEMBER 2002 . PAGE 6
Don Fleming, who has for some time been fascinated by the subject, has written
A BRIEF HISTORY OF TOWN AND CITY WARDS FROM 1066 TO 2001
Every city and town has wards which are now only used for election purposes. Wards in places
such as Merton,
Croydon and Sutton came into being in the latter half of the 19th or early 20th century. Wards
referred to as divisions or precincts.
But what of the history of wards? How long have they existed? What brought them into existence
in the first
place and how did they develop?
John Stow in A Survey of London written in the year 1598, records that .Portsoken Ward was
sometime a guild
and had beginning in the days of King Edgar, more than 600 years since..1 This is interesting
but should be
treated with caution. King Edgar was born in 944, ascended the throne in 959 and died in 975
after a reign of 16
years. During this time he preserved a superficial peace.2 (When Stow, who was born in 1525,
his Survey, he walked round every ward and looked into every church to record what the
Reformation had left.
He recalled speaking with old men who remembered Richard III as a comely prince.3)
John Schofield in The Building of London is both more cautious and more informative. .The
origins of the ward
and the parish units of organisation at the local level of secular and religious life
respectively, are probably to be
found before the Norman Conquest. There were twenty-four wards until Farringdon was divided
into its present
two parts in 1394. The wards of the outer areas lapped over the wall and gates for which they
had to provide
The grid system used by the Romans in the early development of London would have made the
of the ward system in the 11th century that much easier and logical. No evidence exists to
assertion that the wards originated during the reign of King Edgar, though historians such as
looked into this.
Part of London Wall near the Museum of London
When William the Conqueror invaded in 1066, he merely asked his new subjects to continue
abiding by the
laws of Edward the Confessor (1002/7 to 1066) with the additions he had made to them.5 The
working of the wards would not at once have been affected by the invasion.
Domesday Book, published in 1086, makes no mention of the City of London, possibly because the
takers would have found the task too complicated even in the 11th century. A city such as
London was a living
fabric with constant growth and the coming and going of too many people. If we reckon that the
began to be formed in the 11th century and achieved their full pattern in the 12th century, we
may reckon that the
ward boundaries were fixed at some period roughly in the middle of this process or perhaps a
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY . BULLETIN 144 . DECEMBER 2002 . PAGE 7
A survey of 1127 specifically names 20 wards (most of which cannot now be certainly identified)
three or four other passages which describe areas which may already have been wards.7 In or
about 1127, the
canons of St Paul’s took stock of their city properties, defined them by wards and measured
them, so that we
know the precise areas of some of their houses and messuages.8
Henry I (reigned 1100-1135), successor to William Rufus, married Matilda (1080-1118) of
Scotland, and joined
with her in the foundation of many religious houses. Matilda (formerly called Edith) was the
of Malcolm III, King of Scots (surnamed Canmore) and Margaret (sometimes called St Margaret).
was a sister of Edgar Aetheling and so, through her mother, Matilda was in direct descent from
Alfred. She had
been educated and had taken the veil in Wilton nunnery. After her marriage she devoted herself
again to religion.9
She was grandmother to Henry II10 and great-granddaughter of Edmund Ironsides11.
In London Matilda made herself popular with the people, due to the fact that she was appalled
by the poverty
she saw there and enlisted her husband’s help. However, Henry had a reputation for mood swings
from piety to
brutality. We have no way of knowing how their combined efforts alleviated the suffering of the
poor, if at all.
But Etheredeshithe became Queenhithe in her honour.12
The Queen’s Soke in the early 12th century included both Queenhithe and the Soke of Aldgate,
Matilda founded Holy Trinity Priory.13 (A soke was a private jurisdiction, involving exemption
customary legal and financial obligations. Sometimes the ward was used for the area covered by
Henry I granted London the right to collect its own tax and to choose its own sheriffs. An
since the sheriff was the local representative of royal authority.15
The wards as in 1246 are mostly named from their aldermen, and this gives us the earliest list
of aldermen and
a most interesting cross-section of the City patriciate.16 The ward was (at least by the 13th
century) a military,
judicial and administrative unit. In theory there is no reason why its boundaries should march
with the boundaries
of ecclesiastical parishes.17
The naming of wards for their aldermen in the earlier years of their existence makes it well
nigh impossible to
trace the history of any particular ward. On the death of an alderman or his passing on to
other things, the ward
would be renamed. With over 20 wards in London there would have been a constant changing of
As Christopher Brooke notes, before 1550 there were 25 wards and before 1394 there were 24.
From the end of
the 13th century, the wards were beginning to acquire their modern names, and a few names go
further than that. The normal practice in the 12th and 13th centuries had been to label each
ward with a man’s
name . the name of its headman . its alderman for the time being. When the alderman changed so
ward’s name. It makes identification of wards and of their history extremely difficult.18
The wards still flourish and define the temporal divisions of the City as they did in the 12th
and 13th centuries.
Like the parishes, they represent order imposing itself on chaos, the conflict of city
government with local
rights and self-help.19
The enclosures or hagas or even burghs, have impinged
in a most interesting way on the place names of the City.
Thus Bassishaw Ward and Basinghall Street recall the
haga of the men of Basingstoke, a name of very high
antiquity.20 Basingahaga, first documented in 1160-80, is
now represented by both ward and parish of Bassishaw,
which uniquely occupy exactly the same area.21
The wards were arranged around principal streets, as some
of their names show. The Walbrook stream, cutting the
City into two almost equal halves, was used to divide
them into two administrative groups from at least the 13th
century. Its smaller contributory channels defined parts
of the boundaries of seven wards as it flowed to the Thames.22
Four men of each ward were appointed as ‘scavengers., whose responsibilities were to keep the
streets of their
ward clean and the pavements in good repair, using men called .rakers.. The expenses were
levied on the
citizens of each ward (approximately 1337-8). Tolls were also periodically imposed on carts
the gates in aid of local repairs to the highway.23 The scavengers and especially the .rakers.
must have had very
unpleasant duties to perform, but, as John Schofield goes on to explain, things were about to
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY . BULLETIN 144 . DECEMBER 2002 . PAGE 8
Although many houses had indoor privies, a major problem was the disposal of everyday waste,
discarded by butchers, tanners and other tradesmen. The habit of keeping pigs in the street was
tolerated as a
natural remedy. In 1297, however, the City ordered that pigsties in the street should be
speedily removed and no
swine should be found in the streets on pain of forfeiture of the beasts. Any fines would go
towards the upkeep
of the walls and gates.24
In the confined spaces of the City the parish church was often the centre of neighbourhood
life. It would be used
as a meeting place by the ward authorities, debating policing or military matters and
occasionally the mayor
and alderman would meet in a church to discuss a local case of .assize of nuisance.. When All-
Wall had fallen into ruin and decay, the church applied for a licence to hold a stage play to
help with the
In 1244 an alderman’s ward was called his ‘soke.. Thirty years later the Prior of Merton’s
described as his .alderman.. Nine other wards beside Portsoken (the only extramural ward) and
were coterminous with ancient sokes, fixed by property limits. Other wards were formed around
thoroughfares, gates and street markets.26
In 1327 the good men of the ward were still the basis of the police system but with wider
responsibilities and greater reliance on registration. A staff of enforcement officers came
into being, from
searchers in the wards to guildhall clerks seconded to peace duties.27 The title .alderman.
survived in its more
general sense of a headman of a ward, first recorded in 1111, or of a guild and so to the
leading men of any city
. the usage that has survived to the present day.28
The formal division of Farringdon .Within. and .Without. came in 1394 but was already in use in
The parishes would have been too small to support the functions of a hundred court, too small
to supply .watch
and ward. to police a gate or a main thoroughfare. The parishes respected the wall; the wards,
on the whole, did
not. The reason for this is plain; the prime function of many wards was to protect a gate into
the City. Thus
Bishopsgate, Aldersgate and Cripplegate wards each lapped around their gates and included a
within, and the whole faubourg without.30
The ward of Castle Baynard took its name from the castle built by Baynard, a Norman who came
over with the
Conqueror. Rebuilt in 1275, it was destroyed by fire, and again rebuilt, in 1428, by Humphrey,
Duke of Gloucester,
brother of Henry V.31 Members of Merton Historical Society were part of the archaeological
.rescue. team who
worked on the site in the early 1970s.
By the reign of Edward II (1284-1327) the ward had become a flexible instrument of government A
presided over by the alderman, directed by his clerk, registered freemen, examined victuallers
and hotel keepers,
appointed scavengers, ale-conners and other officers, and sealed measures. All proceedings were
The alderman and men of the ward were responsible for reporting deaths to the Chamberlain.33
Staff of the
ward were headed by the beadle, his serjeants, constables and temporary officials. It would
appear that the titles
of ‘serjeant. and .constable. were interchangeable, dependent upon the ward.
.Bridge Ward Without., in Southwark, only came into the City’s hands in the 16th century.34
(There was already
a .Bridge Ward. to the north of London Bridge.) It was an extra-mural ward well known for its
baiting, cockfighting, brothels, pickpockets and taverns, mainly on land and property owned by
the Bishop of
Winchester. Prostitutes in Southwark were known as .Winchester geese.! Administering this area
on a ward
basis would have been well nigh impossible. In 1550 the ward of Bridge Without was created as a
the senior alderman past the chair (that is to say those who had served the office of Lord
Mayor). This was
abolished in 1978, so there are now 25 wards.35
There was a great increase in building from the 1570s in response to the influx of migrants
from the countryside
and abroad. Suburbs sprang up and rural hamlets sprouted houses, especially in Radcliffe,
Whitechapel and around St Katherine’s Hospital . the east end of London was born.36 The ward of
reported that .aliens. now occupied 150 houses within the ward, 30 in the small parish of St
An .alien. was someone not from England, Ireland, Scotland or Wales. A .foreigner. was anyone
who did not
originate from the City of London. These two words would be used more and more from the latter
half of the
16th century onwards. There appears to have been no especial discrimination against people of
other creeds or
The population of the City of London in 1550 was 50,000. This rose to 200,000 by 1630.37
Of the 24 wards of the City, the Great Fire of 1666 utterly destroyed 15 and left eight others
shattered and half
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY . BULLETIN 144 . DECEMBER 2002 . PAGE 9
A form of census taking, or head-counting, was carried out from time to time but found to be
Some City-dwellers were often away on business and others had reasons for not wanting to be
only accurate head counting was in prison. Separate inquisitions (head counting) were held in
each ward. A
panel of 12 men had to swear to the accuracy of their list. Jurors were citizens of middling
economic status but
of local importance in the ward. They would have had the help of guild officers. knowledge of
in their trades if they needed it.39 London juries were summoned by the ward beadles –
sometimes as many as 50
jurors from five or six wards.40
(to be continued)
A Survey of London by John Stow, written in the year 1598, revised 1603. Alan Sutton Inc, USA,
1994. Introduced by Antonia Fraser, p.145.
2. Kings and Queens of England and Great Britain devised and edited by Eric R Delderfield.
David and Charles. P/b 1971, pp.16 and 28.
3. Stow, p.157.
The Building of London from the Conquest to the Great Fire by John Schofield, 1984. A Colonnade
Book published by British Museum Publications
Ltd in association with the Museum of London, p.30.
Jeremy Paxman, The English. Penguin Books 1999, p/b. First published by Michael Joseph 1998,
6. The History of London . London 800-1216 the shaping of a city. Christopher Brooke assisted
by Gillian Keir. Secker and Warburg, 1975, p.169.
7. Ibid, p.164.
8. Ibid, p.166.
9. The Feudal Kingdom of England 1042-1216. Frank Barlow, Longman. First published 1955, p.173.
10. Ibid, p.237.
11. The Normans and their Myth, R H C Davis. Thames and Hudson, pb 1976, p.124.
12. Schofield, p.46.
13. Brooke, p.156. (Cart. Aldgate No 11 Bateson, pp.483-4.)
14. Brooke, p.xxi.
15. A History of London . Robert Gray, Hutchinson of London, 1978, P.77.
16. Brooke, p.166.
17. Brooke, p.167.
18. Brooke, p.163.
19. Brooke, p.149.
20. Brooke, p.154.
21. Schofield, p.29.
22. Schofield, p.31.
23. Schofield, p.79.
24. Schofield, p.79.
25. Schofield, p.115.
26. Medieval London . from commune to capital . Gwyn A Williams, University of London (the
Athlone Press), 1963, p.33. Note There is a good
topographical analysis of the wards in H A Harben A Dictionary of London (London 1918), pp.610
-11. See also W Page op.cit. 173-6.
27. Williams, p.80.
28. Brooke, p.155.
29. Brooke, p.164.
30. Brooke, p.168.
31. Schofield, p.132.
32. Williams, p.80.
33. Studies in London History, presented to Philip Edmund Jones. Edited by A E J Hollander and
William Kellaway. Hodder and Stoughton, 1969,
34. Brooke, p.162.
35. The London Encyclopaedia, edited by Ben Weinsreb and Christopher Hibbert. Published by
MacMillan, London, (revised) edition 1993,
36. Schofield, pp.143/144.
37. Schofield, p.157.
38. Schofield, p.174.
39. Hollander and Kellaway, p.253.
40. Hollander and Kellaway, p.80.
POLLARDS HILL, COMMONSIDE EAST AND LONESOME
This, the third volume in Eric Montague’s series of Mitcham Histories is now available. We are
grateful to the
Commonside Community Development Trust for commissioning the Society to produce this book, and
buying 200 copies in advance. This perhaps lesser known part of Mitcham has a history of
unusual industries, a variety of houses and many local .characters.. 160pp. Many illustrations.
Price £5.95, it is
available to members of Merton Historical Society at £4.80. It will be on sale at meetings, or
is available by
post from our Publications Secretary at an additional charge of 70p.
The first two titles are still available at the same price: The Cricket Green and North
Mitcham. A further twelve
volumes are planned, to cover the whole of Mitcham, as finance (and time!) become available.
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY . BULLETIN 144 . DECEMBER 2002 . PAGE 10
LIONEL GREEN looks at another episode in the history of Merton Priory:
HENRY III AND MERTON PRIORY 1216-72
Merton was a favourite abode for Henry III from an early age. When only ten, soon after he
became king, he was involved in a peace conference in September 1217, settling his father’s
war with France. It was from Merton that the dauphin was despatched home on 22 September
(see Bulletin No 127, September 1998 p.9).
Henry certainly had faults. He was self-indulgent and fickle, never firm or reliable, seemingly
incapable of inspiring the respect of his friends or fear in his foes. He was fond of religion
art, and appreciated the handy location of Merton priory, and its ways. Wherever he was,
Henry attended mass each day. It was his custom to spend Christmas at Westminster for the
crown-wearing ceremony and sojourn at Merton for a week or two in January. His inclination
was also to spend Easter at either Windsor or Merton.1
Trouble at the top 1227-32
Until 1227 England was virtually governed by Stephen Langton the archbishop, and Hubert
de Burgh the justiciar. The king declared himself of age to rule in that year, and on Langton’s
death in 1228 de Burgh was at the helm almost alone.
The pope demanded a tenth of all income from the whole realm of England. Objection was
silenced by threats of excommunication, but such was everyone’s annoyance that tithes gathered
for the pope and foreign clergy were seized and given to the poor. The pope accused de Burgh
of connivance in this. In 1231 the king also blamed de Burgh for failing to provide transport
Effigy of Henry III in
for his army to sail to Gascony, and also for misappropriation of funds. Hubert de Burgh came
to Merton to prepare his defence in August 1232, but had to seek sanctuary when 20,000
armed Londoners marched on Merton to attack him (see Bulletin No 134 June 2000 pp.9/10).
Financial problems 1233-55
An invasion of Poitou in 1233 bankrupted Henry and he demanded special grants and taxes.
collected amercements (fines, manorial dues etc.) from tenants, and accounted for them at the
formality when they produced the relevant royal charter. In 1234 the right was made dependent
mention. of such a procedure in the charter. This meant that fresh charters had to be obtained
from the king, at
a cost, containing express words clarifying their rights. Merton priory was obliged to seek six
new charters.2 In
1242 the monasteries were asked to contribute aid to the king .for his passage abroad., and
Merton paid £10.3
In happier times Henry spent a week at Merton priory following his marriage to Eleanor of
Provence on 14
January 1236. He held a parliament, but did not entirely get his own way with the barons over
the Statute of
Merton (see Bulletin No 138 June 2001 pp.14-16).
Henry began promoting continental relations and friends, inviting them to occupy royal castles
administrative posts in England, so that the saintly Edmund Rich, now archbishop, realised that
the country was
in a sorry state and misgoverned (see Bulletin No 137 March 2001 p.13). In 1244 a new pope sent
named Martin to England to extract further revenues from the English clergy. He suspended the
patrons to appoint priests to benefices and sought vacant churches to sell in the papal
market.4 He demanded
gifts from prelates, especially the heads of rich monasteries, and made it clear that gifts of
horses must be .fit
for a special clerk of the pope to ride upon.. Those who refused, and gave .even reasonable
excuses such as the
abbot of Malmesbury and the prior of Merton., were to be punished severely by suspension until
they had made
full satisfaction.5 The suspensions were invalidated the following year at the council of
Lyons. The prior of
Merton was Robert de Hexham, and he did resign, but not until 12 October 1249.6
The king passed much of the year 1254 in France and Gascony. He was with the king of France for
negotiating a peace settlement and spending over £1000.7 Gascony was the only land which
England still held
on the continent. On returning to spend Christmas at Westminster he was delayed at Boulogne
waiting for a
favourable wind. Peter Chacepore, keeper of the king’s wardrobe, died there, and bequeathed 600
to buy land so that a chantry could be built at Merton priory church.8
The king called for a council meeting at Merton in January 1255 to discuss how to meet the
abroad, and it was agreed that the king should tallage his demesne land throughout England.
that royal charters excluded then from paying tallage (a tax on towns and demesne lands of the
mayor and other Londoners were summoned to Merton, and the king demanded 3000 marks (£2000).
went away and returned saying that they were willing to grant 2000 marks (£1330) as an aid, but
would not pay
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY . BULLETIN 144 . DECEMBER 2002 . PAGE 11
The Sicilian adventure 1252-58
By 1252 Henry had negotiated an arrangement with the pope (Innocent IV) whereby the king would
an annual grant of a tenth of the property values of all religious premises in England for
three years. This
was in order to assist in a projected crusade. In March 1254 the pope converted Henry’s
crusading vow into
an engagement to conquer the Kingdom of Naples and Sicily from Henry’s nephew Conrad IV,
that Henry’s second son Edmund would rule there. By the end of 1254 the collection of the tenth
the clergy of England were outraged, as there had been no consultation. The pope engaged
fight Conrad (who died on 21 May 1254), but they were soundly beaten by Conrad’s half-brother
Pope Innocent IV died from shock at the news, and his successor Alexander IV then asked Henry
to pay for
the costly failure, which amounted to 135,541 marks (£90,400). This was three times Henry’s
revenue as king of England.10
The pope sent his legate Rustand, a Gascon, to England to collect the tenth. He arrived on 29
and immediately called a council of the clergy for 13 October. He demanded such exorbitant
compliance would have meant ruination for the church and kingdom, but Rustand and the king were
alliance, being involved in the claim to the crown of Sicily. The clergy postponed their
decision until a further
council met after Easter 1256. Here the bishops, backed up by the barons present, refused to
listen to Rustand’s
demands. They also appealed to the pope, complaining that the legate had misused his powers. To
the joy of
England, the pope recalled him to Rome in 1257, but in January 1258 despatched him once again,
diminished powers, accompanied by an envoy, Herlotus. They arrived in England in Lent, and
probably received at Merton priory, where Henry spent the whole of April.11 Although Herlotus
was only an
envoy, Henry received him with all the pomp due to a pope’s legate.12
The account for the Sicilian fiasco had still not been paid and Herlotus presented an
ultimatum. All must be
paid within the year, and Henry had to lead an army from England to conquer Sicily. The barons
complained, and the king summoned the magnates to Westminster, imploring them to help. All met
at the great
hall of Westminster on 30 April at 3pm. The barons were wearing armour to frighten the king,
but left their
swords and shields at the doorway. They accepted the situation, realising that excommunication
of the king
would mean ruin for the country. They were conscious of their duty to rescue him from his own
folly, so Roger
Bigod, earl of Norfolk, presented terms for assistance by the barons. Walter de Merton, a
member of the royal
household, was sent to negotiate with the pope to alleviate the threat.13
On 2 May 1258 the king and prince Edward agreed to a royal commission of 24, jointly chosen by
the king and
magnates, which was to determine what reforms were necessary to govern England. The commission
report to parliament on 10 June.
Convocation at Merton 1258
On 19 April 1258 archbishop Boniface, at Harlotus’s pleading, summoned a convocation to meet at
Tuesday 6 June. The envoy probably underestimated Boniface’s concern for the church in England
confident he could influence the clergy to support the pope and the king. Clerical assemblies
were not encouraged
by Henry, as they usually only met when there were taxes to be resisted. He opposed this
meeting on the
grounds that he needed the bishops on his Welsh campaign scheduled to commence on 17 June.14
Summoned to the meeting were the heads of the great monasteries, and archdeacons were to
clergy as well as attend in their own right. All received letters of proxy.15 The preamble
stated that it was to
consider papal demands, including the tallage of three marks levied on every monastery in
England, but also to
devise measures for opposing the claims and exactions of the pope and king and to provide for
of ecclesiastical liberty.
To the horror of both Harlotus and Rustand who were present at Merton, Boniface made a vigorous
of lay encroachments on clerical rights by both pope and king. The meeting resolved that the
dire oppression of
the church must be remedied.
At the conclusion of the convocation, the bishops made their way from Merton to Oxford for the
not with the bishop of Rome but incompetent secular leaders. (See Appendix for a list of
articles of complaint
and their remedy.)
The Provisions of Oxford 1258
The Barons availed themselves of the summons to the Welsh war as a pretext to appear at Oxford
and with each noble accompanied by a large body of retainers. Not only did they distrust the
king, but they
wished to show the alien followers their intentions. Parliament met at St Frideswide
at Oxford16 on 11 June 1258, and the occasion led to a new constitution for England.
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY . BULLETIN 144 . DECEMBER 2002 . PAGE 12
A committee of 24, jointly selected by the king and barons, nominated a permanent council of 15
to advise the
king. The magnates were to share the responsibility of framing policy and reform, and of
native-born men, and that aliens depart and not return save those whose presence the faithful
men of the
kingdom shall jointly accept..17
Ultimate responsibility for ruling remained with the king, but the barons had the power to act
if the king could
not discharge his duty.
Parliament was to meet three times a year .whether summoned by the king or not. and the
to elect 12 honest men to attend. Sheriffs were to be appointed from the chief tenants of the
Strict oaths were required from the justiciar, chancellor and treasurer to act only under the
joint Council of king
and barons. The Great Seal which authenticated public documents was included in the
supervision, and the
chancellor was sworn to seal nothing contrary to the provisions of the council. A royal
in English,18 ordered the observance of the provisions.
Henry was munificent to his relations and friends, and Merton priory received many gifts. He
previous royal charters granted to the priory. This included the ville of Merton given by Henry
I, five gifts of
Henry II and those of Richard I. This important charter of April 1252 was confirmed in turn by
including Henry VI and Henry VIII.19
The king was at the priory on 22 May 1252 and granted free warren throughout all the priory’s
except in the royal forests.20 Further gifts for use in the priory itself were bestowed by
Henry in 1253 and
1255.21 Gifts for use in the priory itself were bestowed on Merton. These included cloths of
gold in 1245, 1246
(two gifts) and 1253; copes of red samite (the silk was interwoven with gold thread) in 1245,
1246, 1253 (two
gifts) and 1255; a gold cup in 1247; silver statues in 1253 and 1257. The king gave wine .for
the prior’s use. in
1253, 1255 and 1257, a tun each time (which held 250 gallons), but in 1259 four tuns were
APPENDIX . Convocation at Merton
Article of complaint Remedy
Prelates summoned before secular tribunals Excommunication of sheriffs and bailiffs
regarding purely ecclesiastical affairs
Patrons appointing clergy into their benefices Clerks to be anathematised and if they persist,
without ecclesiastical authority
Release of imprisoned excommunicated Clergy to be excommunicated afresh, with any who were
clergy by secular authorities party to the release. King to be warned to cease issuing such
Clergy unjustly imprisoned by secular authorities Authority to be publicly denounced and
Lay persons procuring royal prohibition to escape Excommunication of lay person
ecclesiastical judgement involving contract with clergy
Magnates forbid lay persons to obey summons of Excommunication of secular magnates
prelate in matters of morals, sins and excesses
Violation of the privilege of sanctuary Excommunication of offenders
Wasting of church property in vacant benefices Excommunication .even if it be the king himself
that does it.
Royal officials enforcing litigants to use royal court Excommunication
10. Writs of prohibition used outside proper sphere To be refuted by bishop
11. Archbishops and bishops summoned by justices King to be requested to order that they may be
represented by deputies
to appear in person
The meeting put on record the grievances expressed by Grosseteste, bishop of Lincoln (d.1253),
who had been
so firm against the encroachments of the pope and the abuse of issuing writs of prohibition in
order to evade
obligations to be dealt with in church courts.
Subsequently Henry III asked the pope to abrogate the resolutions, which he did.
1 J E A Jollife ‘some factors in the beginnings of Parliament. Transactions of the Royal
Historical Society 4th series Vol.XXII(1940) p.134
2 C Ch.R.1226-57 pp.381-2,431; Close R 1254/6 p.83; C/60/51 m9; E/368/29 m3; E/368/26 m9d
3 A Heales The Records of Merton Priory London 1898 p.110
4 In 1246 Nicolaus Lupacii, canon of St Peter’s Rome, became the absent rector of Morden church
5 Matthew Paris Chron. Majori Vol.IV p.284
6 Pat. Roll 33 Hen III m3
7 Matt. of Westminster Flores Historiarum 1853 ii 203
8 Matt. Paris op. cit. Vol.III p.343; The office of the king’s wardrobe operated from Merton
priory, and Peter signed the foundation charter of
Bilsington priory, a daughter house of Merton, in 1253.
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY . BULLETIN 144 . DECEMBER 2002 . PAGE 13
9 F M Powicke King Henry III and Lord Edward 1947 Vol.I p.308
10 R F Treharne The Battle of Lewes 1264 1964 p.26; Annals of
11 Liberate Rolls 1251-60 Vol.IV pp.431-2; Close Rolls 1256-9 Vol.X
12 Matt. Paris op. cit. Vol.V p.673
13 Dictionary of National Biography Vol.XIII p.298
14 Matt. Paris op. cit. Vol.V p.677. The king termed the gathering an
illegitimate convocatio (calling), and subsequent church councils
were known as convocations. The term did not become official
usage until the 15th century.
15 F M Powicke The Thirteenth Century 2nd edition 1961 p.457
16 Which became Christ Church College, Oxford
17 Liber de Antiquis Legibus Camden Soc. 1846 p.59
18 The first state paper in the English language. The Provisions were
also proclaimed in Norman French and Latin for all to understand.
19 Heales pp.123-4
20 Heales p.124
21 Heales pp.125,130
22 Liberate and Close Rolls (writs delivered up and writs folded or
(to be continued)
Lionel Green’s contribution to the Christmas
holiday spirit is a vintage Punch cartoon.
.Would you kindly settle an argument . is this, or is it not, the longest
nave in Britain?.
CHAIRMAN’s REPORT 2001.2002
LIONEL GREEN presented his last CHAIRMAN’s REPORT at the AGM on 2 November.
(His text has been slightly shortened.)
The Committee has met on eight occasions, dealing with wide-ranging topics. Events included
talks on the
vestments of Westminster Abbey, the Great Exhibition of 1851, Wandsworth Mills and a
presentation of views
Then and Now. The summer visits took us to the Surrey History Centre, Croydon Airport, Morden
church, Dr Johnson’s house, Reigate Priory and around Cricket Green, We also had our coach
outing to Parham
House and Goring-by-Sea, organised by Ray Kilsby, for which many thanks.
The Society was invited to hold its own exhibition at the Heritage Centre at The Canons
throughout May. This
was most professionally done, complete with video of historical sites in the Borough. Displays
activities, digs, outings, artifacts, maps and even a model of the priory. William Rudd chaired
which undertook the arrangements.
The Village Study Group, part of the Surrey Archaeological Society, met at The Canons on two
input from members of this Society. Another meeting is planned for March.
Time Team came to the Abbey Mills at the end of September, and one of your vice-presidents
played a prominent
part. This will be on Channel 4 in March.
English Heritage has created a post of Community Archaeologist to support the work of local
London. Vanessa Bunton was appointed in September, and in October we invited her to one of our
meetings. It proved a worthwhile meeting for all.
A committee is useless if it does not have a secretary with good sense. On your behalf I thank
Sheila Harris for
the efficient way she runs the affairs of the Society. We have always been blessed with
Sheila organises our programme and solves inevitable problems. She pre-visits sites to foresee
transport, comfort amenities, costs etc. She provides refreshments at all our meetings . not
only at public
gatherings but at committees and workshops.
I regard our publications as a very important part of the Society’s activities, and we are
indeed fortunate in having
our own .in house. publisher in Peter Hopkins who not only prints our Bulletin but publishes
booklets on Merton’s
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY . BULLETIN 144 . DECEMBER 2002 . PAGE 14
history. Now we are producing books and colour illustrations in the booklets. The second volume
in the Mitcham
Histories . North Mitcham . has been published. Booklets in our normal format published during
include Daughter Houses of Merton Priory, Trouble at Mill, Randolph’s Notebook, Mitcham in
1838: A Survey
., Mitcham in 1846: Tithe Apportionment Map and A Mitcham Childhood. And now a new history of
Park with coloured pictures. Peter steers the publishing of these through an editorial
committee. I wish to place
on record our thanks to him, in particular for added negotiations require for the Morden Park
was obtained through the Merton Library Service, plans and drawings from the private surveyors
Guildhall Library and Surrey History Centre for colour photographs. Bill Rudd provided
The success of the Society Bulletins is known far and wide as other organisations note the high
standard of our
quarterly issues. Praise for this must go to Judith Goodman. You could make her life a little
easier if from time
to time someone would ring her to say, .I will write up an account of the next talk or outing..
But make the offer
before the event. This is the vehicle for all members to publicise their interests and
knowledge. Don’t be put off
with thoughts that others know more than you. We are all amateurs and we are all learning how
there is to know.
Workshops have continued throughout the year. These are informal gatherings for members to
float ideas and
interests. I find these meetings stimulating. They give a spur to original research and provide
a place to share
problems and gain encouragement. We also learn a lot, which is no bad thing.
I must not steal our Treasurer’s thunder, but I would like to say a few words about
subscriptions. If the number
of members increases so will our income and conversely if numbers don’t increase the annual
have to increase. In a Borough the size of Merton there should be at least 500 members. Speak
to your neighbours!
If you agree that the subscription is good value for money, don’t keep the good news to
And now I want to say something pleasing. I would like to congratulate you, the members, on
doing what I
asked you to do last year at this meeting . to pay your subscriptions promptly . and you have.
By the 3rd
October, only three days into this current year, 82 members had paid their subscriptions. Few
boast a paid-up membership of 63% within three days! This immediately improves our cash flow,
with £500 in
the kitty. Thanks must also go to Don Fleming for his efficient handling of this.
Being successful brings with it unsought problems. The fire regulations for this building
[Snuff Mill Centre]
restrict numbers to 50. Where it would appear that this number will be exceeded we may have to
notice debarring further entrance. To ensure a seat, please come early . at least ten minutes
time. If you come even earlier you can help set out the chairs, assist Peter to set out the
book display, set up the
screen, black-out the windows, fill the tea urn, welcome your fellow visitors at the door. The
more you put into
the afternoon, the more you will take home.
Nobody is too young, or too old, too unimportant, too stupid to fully enjoy their membership of
From 3 December to 23 February the exhibition space atMerton Heritage Centre (tel: 020 8640
be devoted to all kinds of music in the Borough’s heritage.
Channel 4’s Time Team were at Merton Abbey Mills in late September. The programme is due to be
in February or March 2003. They found the foundations of the building just behind the
in Ancell’s Merton Abbey works (1825), shown on page 15 of the Historical guide to Merton Abbey
The latest archaeology report from London Archaeological Forum (May-August 2002) included an
by PCA Ltd at Tooting and Mitcham Football Club, Sandy Lane, Mitcham. Nine trenches were
but revealed only topsoil overlying sub-soil and natural brickearth.
The current exhibition at the Imperial War Museum, Anthem for Doomed Youth, looks at the life
works of 12 soldier poets of the Great War, including Edward Thomas, who died at Arras in 1917.
knew and wrote about Wimbledon, Merton, Mitcham and Morden (see Bulletin 127, September 1998).
exhibition is on until 27 April.
Congratulations to Richard Milward for being awarded one of the London Borough of Merton Golden
Jubilee Medals 2002. It is good to hear that Fielder’s of Wimbledon Hill, who were the original
with Windrush, have reprinted Richard’s Historic Wimbledon: Caesar’s Camp to Centre Court. This
readable book, which has long been unobtainable, is well illustrated, mainly with pictures from
Society’s collection, and with excellent maps and small drawings by John Wallace. Obtainable at
(signed copies) and, no doubt, elsewhere. An excellent Christmas present! Price £20.
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY . BULLETIN 144 . DECEMBER 2002 . PAGE 15
COMMITTEE MEMBERS 2002-2003471
The minutes of the AGM are enclosed with this Bulletin.
Subscriptions became due on 1 October. If you do not pay by banker’s order and have not already
direct, your subscription is now overdue. Please use the form which was enclosed with the
Bulletin. Membership is £7 for one person, £3 for any additional member of the household.
payable to Merton Historical Society and should be sent to our Membership Secretary
Letters and contributions for the Bulletin should be sent to the Hon. Editor. The views
expressed in this
Bulletin are those of the contributors concerned and not necessarily those of the Society or
Printed by Peter Hopkins
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY . BULLETIN 144 . DECEMBER 2002 . PAGE 16