June 2005 – Bulletin 154
Measure for Measure – L Green
200 Years Ago (Nelson): June-Sept 1805 – J A Goodman
Times Winged Chariot: Evans’ cart – W J Rudd
A Road ‘very farr out of repair’ – J A Goodman
The Lovells of Merton Abbey – J A Goodman
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. 154 CHAIRMAN: Peter Hopkins JUNE 2005
Monday 13 June 11.00 am Apsley House and Wellington Arch
This visit to two sites connected with the first Duke of Wellington includes tea/coffee/
biscuits and slide show at the Wellington Arch.
Please book your place with Sheila.
Costs £12 (adult), £10 (concession), £7 (English heritage members); pay on the day.
Meet outside Apsley House, which is signposted from Hyde Park Corner Underground station.
Saturday 9 July Coach outing to Shaw’s Corner and Hatfield House
Details were enclosed in Bulletin No. 153.
Telephone Ray with any enquiries.
Monday 15 August 11.15 am Visit to City Hall, home of the GLA
Meet outside City Hall. Nearest station London Bridge.
Admission free, but please book your place with Sheila.
Thursday 15 September 1.30 pm .Pubs of Merton (past and present).
A walk led by member Clive Whichelow, author of the book on the same subject.
Maximum 25. Please book with Sheila.
Meet outside the Leather Bottle, Kingston Road, opposite the Nelson Hospital.
Bus routes 152, 163, 164, K5;
short walk from Merton Park Tramlink stop or Wimbledon Chase station.
ADVANCE NOTICE OF OUR OCTOBER EVENT
Wednesday 5 October 7.30 pm St Mary’s church, Merton
The Evelyn Jowett memorial lecture for 2005
.An appreciation of Vice Admiral Horatio Viscount Nelson, Duke of Bronte.
Pat and Ray Kilsby will present their illustrated tribute to a national hero . his public
and his private life.
The church is in Church Path, Merton Park, a short walk from bus routes 152, 163, and 164
or from the Merton Park Tramlink stop.
SEE PAGE 13 FOR DETAILS OF ANOTHER EVENT TO MARK
THE BICENTENARY OF THE DEATH OF LORD NELSON.
Included with this Bulletin is a leaflet describing Nelson’s connection with Merton, which
we hope will interest our readers. As our contribution to the Nelson Bicentenary the Society
is printing 1000 copies of the leaflet for free distribution through the libraries, etc.
The Society’s events are open to the general public, but visits must be booked.
You are invited to make a donation to help with the Society’s running costs.
.THE EVOLUTION OF THE ENGLISH MANORIAL SYSTEM’
When Lt Col J W Molyneux-Child asked Lord Onslow, lord of his two local manors, about the
history of those
manors, he discovered that his lordship held so many manors that he didn’t realise that these
two were among
them. So Lt Col Molyneux-Child offered to buy them!
That was in 1983, and over the next few years he continued his researches, with the help of
members of the local
historical society. The manorial documents were in Guildford Muniment Room, but the earliest
court rolls were in
Latin, so he employed a researcher to translate them. The local society then analysed the
documents for him,
enabling them to discover the principles of manorial administration.
It wasn’t long before he decided to reinstate many of the
activities that had been dormant for decades. As Surrey
President of Macmillan Cancer Relief, he saw the potential for
raising funds for the charity. He appointed new manorial officers
. stewards, chaplains, beadles, ale-tasters, haywards, pindars,
remembrancers and bellmen. Having made these appointments,
it was a short step to recreating a manorial court, held in his
dining room with liveried footmen for good measure, though
it was necessary to follow a script, as the proceedings were no
longer the natural outworkings of village life.
It was not difficult to find volunteers for each of these roles,
(Rectangle comment XPMUser
though ale-tasting was the most popular! These normally take
Stewards. Table at the Court Baron of 1 October 1986.
The Steward of Dedswell Manor is on the right, the
place three times a year, though one ale-taster was inclined to
Steward of Papworth Manor is in the centre, and their
try to exercise his authority rather more frequently! The next
deputy to the left.
ale-tasting will be held on 3 November atThe Talbot in Ripley. The steward presided over the
court on behalf of the
Some 200 people usually attend, in 19th-century costume, and lord of the manor. Even when
resident, the lord seldom
tickets are now available. presided, as he was often involved in the litigation.
Another popular event is the Beating of the Bounds, normally held every ten years on Rogation
Sunday, but now
spread over two Sundays. With bands, choirs and Morris dancers, this always attracts good
numbers, though they
have given up .bumping. the younger attendees to impress upon their memories the location of
Instead the cubs and scouts are given willow rods to beat the boundary markers.
In other years they have held a manorial procession in Send Church, again in 19th-century
costume, and Send
Church has also been the starting point for the Blessing of the Fields, again with bands,
choirs and Morris dancers
performing at the various stopping points.
Apart from such ceremonial events, the lord of the manor has little real power today, though Lt
Child did manage to persuade Surrey County Council to remove excess road signs from the verges,
claimed formed part of the manorial waste and therefore came under his jurisdiction.
At his talk to our Society in March Lt Col Molyneux-Child traced the origins of the Manorial
System to Saxon
times, and attempted to identify his two manors with estates mentioned in Domesday Book. Having
looked at the
range of topics recorded in Domesday Book, he went on to talk about the later manorial records,
court rolls, and the information they contain. Of particular interest is the recording of
property transfers, especially
the copyhold properties, whereby the tenant received a copy of the entry in the court roll
relating to his admission
to the property.
Although focussing mainly on his own manors of Dedswell and Papworth, in Send and Ripley, he
to find parallels with the situation in Merton.
However, one link with Merton was not discovered until later. From 1680, until his death in
1701, the office of
Steward of the manor of Dedswell was held by John Childe of Guildford, three times mayor of
himself a lord of various manors by purchase. Those who attended our trip to Guildford last
year will recall
visiting Guildford House, now used by Guildford Borough Council as a picture gallery. In the
17th century this was
Child House, home of John Childe. His younger son Leonard was Steward of Dedswell until his
death in 1730.
John was also a copyholder in Merton, holding the property that became Spring House in Kingston
sold it in 1714. Another Merton copyhold . Greenfields, on the site of the later Blakesley
House adjoining the
Nelson Hospital site between Blakesley Walk and Cannon Hill Lane . was held by members of the
1639 but it disappeared from the records after 1737. In 1689 a Leonard Child, probably John’s
appointed one of the first trustees of the Rutlish Charity.
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY . BULLETIN 154 . JUNE 2005 . PAGE 2
LOCAL HISTORY WORKSHOP
Friday 18 March 2005. Seven present. Peter Hopkins in the chair.
Judith Goodman had been trying to pursue the 16th-century recusant Sir Thomas Tresham in
Bulletin No.153 p.7 and page 10 in this issue]. She remarked that it was the first time she had
mistake in the Victoria County History (hollow laughter from others present . LG and PJH!). She
found brief mentions of other recusants with Mitcham connections [see pages 11-12], and a
mention of the wife of Sir Gregory Lovell of Merton Abbey [see page 16].
Sue Mansell had visited an exhibition of paintings by William Tatton Winter (1855-1928) at
Sutton’s Heritage Centre, including many Wandle scenes. She had been interested to see an early
to Green Wrythe Lane as a .good road. between Carshalton and Merton, though not in good repair.
Madeline Healey reported that the National Trust at Morden Hall Park, in conjunction with Help
had held a session to record memories of Mr Hatfeild and of the garden parties with film stars
that were held
in the late 1940s. Some members of the Hatfeild family had been present.
Merton .Abbey. continues to fascinate Cyril Maidment. He told us that David Saxby of MoLAS
that though there was a well in what became Abbey Road it was not where Heales placed it, in
Merton Priory. Cyril had photographed the maps in the various 19th-century deeds of Merton
Abbey held at
Surrey History Centre, so that he could make useful comparisons.
He had also provided Lionel Green with a selection of photographs of the priory site.
Lionel Green has been asked to revise the guide-book for St Mary, Merton, which is a reprint of
edition, written by a former vicar, plus three brief headnotes. The feeling of those present
was that this was
a good opportunity for a complete re-write. Lionel would find out if this would be acceptable.
Peter Hopkins had been clarifying with Julian Pooley at Surrey History Centre just which
versions of the
1805 map/survey of Merton Abbey are held there. He was getting from them a CD of the 1866
He had brought along this copy of a
watercolour picture of Manor Farm,
Watery Lane, Merton, dated 1865 and
painted by H G Quartermain. It is
thought the original is held by Finch’s
estate agents. The John Innes Society
and the Wimbledon Society both have
a colour photograph of the picture. It
was possible to relate the buildings
shown to those on the 1:2500 Ordnance
Survey map of 1865 (below).
(Rectangle comment XPMUser
(This farmhouse was rebuilt for John Innes’s Manor House,
which is now part of Rutlish School.)
There was then some discussion about possible origins of the
kinks in Kingston Road (and the one in Cannon Hill Lane).
Early settlements and poor drainage are possibilities. There is
also the two parallel roads theory.
Dates of next workshops: Fridays 1 July and 19 August
at 7.30pm at Wandle Industrial Museum.
All welcome to attend.
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY . BULLETIN 154 . JUNE 2005 . PAGE 3
‘sIR JOSEPH WILLIAM BAZALGETTE, ENGINEER TO THE
METROPOLITAN BOARD OF WORKS’
(Rectangle comment XPMUser
.A Drop of London Water. as depicted by
John Leech in Punch in 1850, shortly after
Charles Dickens had described the
condition of the Grand Junction Waterworks
at Kew in his journal Household Words.
A large audience at Mitcham Library hall on 9 April heard an absorbing account of the life and
work of one of
the great 19th-century engineers, by Dr Denis Smith, a civil engineer who has a further degree
in the history of
technology. He deplored the fact that, compared with, say, the Stephensons and the Brunels,
until quite recently
Bazalgette’s name had been largely overlooked. In his own lifetime he was famous enough to be
The Bazalgettes (the .g. is soft), like the Brunels, came from France, their roots being in
Bazalgette settled in England in the 1770s and prospered, as a merchant and tailor, enough to
be able to lend
large sums of money to the Prince of Wales. One of his sons became a commander in the Royal
Navy, and was
the father of an only son, Joseph William, born in Enfield in 1819. It was his story which was
unfolded to us.
At the age of only 17, articled to John MacNeill, who had been Telford’s star pupil, Joseph
William was in post
as resident engineer for drainage and land reclamation work in Northern Ireland. In 1842, still
very young, he
set up as a consulting engineer in a Great George Street office. This district, handy for
lobbying in the Palace of
Westminster, was much favoured by engineers, many of whose projects required parliamentary
By the middle of the century London’s old drains had become
quite inadequate to cope with the sewage of its enormously
increased population, and the Thames, source of the city’s
drinking water, was also unpleasantly and dangerously
contaminated. There had been several outbreaks of cholera, and
it was beginning to be understood that this was a waterborne
disease. Bazalgette was appointed Engineer (what we would
call .Chief Engineer.) to the Metropolitan Commission of Sewers,
and then to the new Metropolitan Board of Works in 1856. There
was indecision and delay in agreeing the best solution to the
drains problem, but the famous .Great Stink. of 1858, which
even caused Parliament to be suspended, resulted in a Bill being
rushed through, which at last gave the Board the powers it needed.
The Thames had proved to be the most effective lobbyist of all.
So Bazalgette had the immense job of cleaning up the river, and
making London a healthier place. Under him he had three
assistant engineers . two for the north side of the Thames, and
one for the south. Our speaker pointed out that in the MBW the
engineer was the top earner, with the solicitor, the architect and
the accountant successively below him, and he suggested that
today the rankings would probably be reversed!
Bazalgette decided to lay huge west-to-east .intercepting. sewers
on each side of the river, which would take the waste well
downstream, where it could be safely released and taken out to
sea on the ebb-tide. Beckton on the north side and Crossness on
the south, both in marshy unpopulated spots, were the destinations.
He also had to build pumping stations at strategic points further
up the system, such as those, still to be seen, at Abbey Mills,
Pimlico and Deptford.
Every month he had to report progress to the Board. Bazalgette
was a brick sewer man, not a pipe sewer man. He insisted on top
quality materials and methods, and though the contractors thought
his specifications too good, he stood firm. He boldly insisted on
the use of Portland cement, not yet employed on such a large scale,
and he insisted that each batch should be tested before use. His
methods have been vindicated. Today his sewers are in good
condition still. His pumping stations are fine buildings, in a variety
The engine house, Crossness, 1865 (The Builder)
(Rectangle comment XPMUser
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY . BULLETIN 154 . JUNE 2005 . PAGE 4
of styles . Romanesque at Crossness, 18th-century French at Pimlico, Moorish/Byzantine at Abbey
Mills . built
of brick, terra cotta, and wrought- and cast-iron, and equipped with magnificent beam engines
painted in brilliant
Beside the Thames the sewers were laid under and behind new embankments, named after the
her consort. This undertaking reclaimed useful land on both sides of the river, but deprived
the Inns of Court of
access to the river. .Oh, Public Good, what private wrongs are committed in their name!.
mourned one of their
Bazalgette completed the sewers in 1865, all
83 miles (133km) of them, and 100 square
miles (260 sq km) of land had been drained.
He finished the embankments in 1874, when
he was knighted. His last big project was to
modernise the 12 Thames bridges, building
new ones at Putney and, with his son Edward,
Battersea. He even submitted a design for the
Tower crossing, but his curved ramp at the
northern end was unacceptable.
As well as being a brilliant engineer
Bazalgette was patient, diplomatic and
persistent. He was very short and, when
young, slight, and he is difficult to spot in
photographs of crowds on grand
occasions, though his distinctive
mutton-chop whiskers aid identification.
His wife Maria seems to have remained in
the background of his life. The couple had
ten children and they lived many years in
Morden before moving .up the hill. to
Wimbledon and a large house called St
Mary’s, close to the church, with 20 acres
(8ha) of land. Bazalgette died in 1891. Neither
house survives, but there are Bazalgette
graves at Morden and a stately monument in
Wimbledon churchyard. The office he used
when carrying out his major work was at No.1
Greek Street, Soho, which is still there.
Dr Smith had some excellent illustrations,
including contemporary photographs,
cartoons, and pictures from the Illustrated
London News, as wells as maps and tables.
He also showed a photograph he took a few
years ago of a sludge vessel operating in
Ireland (when such things were still allowed)
that was calledSir Joseph William Bazalgette.
This was a most enjoyable and interesting
lecture, appreciated by its audience. Judith Goodman
A postscript to John Pile’s account of working at Young & Co (Westminster) Ltd
I have received a telephone call from one of the daughters of the late Joshua Brown, director
of Young’s, who
was very pleased to see John Pile’s article in the last issue of the Bulletin, which was passed
to her by a friend.
She still lives, in her 90s, in the Merton Park house where the 16-year-old John was
interviewed, and she told
me that her father made the iron gates at the front and the side of the house. She also told me
that Young’s had
built stables at both Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, and also for the Lascelles .
present Earl of Harewood. Joshua Brown died in 1964, of leukaemia. JG
(Rectangle comment XPMUser
Bazalgette c.1865 (Thames Water plc)
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY . BULLETIN 154 . JUNE 2005 . PAGE 5
LIONEL GREEN has been considering the layout of the early work at Merton priory.
MEASURE FOR MEASURE
Question. Where is a foot only 1111/16 inches? Answer. At Merton priory.
Early 12th-century buildings in England were often set out in Norman feet, which were smaller
feet. This is the same size as this A4 paper you are now reading, that is 297mm.
It would appear that Merton priory was measured in Norman feet, with a layout consisting of
squares of 40
Norman feet, or roughly 12 metres. The master-mason must have set out on the ground a simple
grid of lines
which determined where the walls were to be built.
I outlined this proposition in an article written 30 years ago
and published in volume 71 of Surrey Archaeological
1 ? an earlier
Society’s Collections. Since that time extensive
archaeological excavations by the Museum of London
Archaeological Services and others have confirmed the
building foundations of the church, and the use of Norman
The plan suggests a square-ended chancel or presbytery
with short aisles on either side. There were transepts north PRESBYTERY
and south, and the choir was probably at the crossing. The
nave had no aisles. This follows the layout of many
Augustinian priory churches of the period.
North Choir South
Measurements were from one wall face to another face on Transept Transept
the same side. That is, north side to another north side, or
east side to another east side. They were not centre to Pulpitum
centre, although it resulted in the same measurement. The
mason set out the first line along the axis east to west, Retrochoir
followed by another set out at right angles, corresponding
to the east wall of the transepts.2
In March 1125 Gilbert the sheriff, founder of the priory, step up
laid the first stone of the church. Footings prepared before
the ceremonial laying suggest that building preparations NAVE
began in the previous summer. Unfortunately Gilbert died
only four months later in 1125, and, without the founder’s
support, work was hindered. To some, the project was too
costly and too ambitious, and work was destroyed .except
part of the front and the foundations, where the sheriff had
laid the first stone and the prior had set the second stone..3
The founder would have had a say in the design because
he was providing the resources. Thereafter the canons were Plan of Merton priory
free to build, alter, pull down or rebuild as inclination Twelfth-century layout in squares of
40 Norman feet
prompted and means allowed. This was not unusual.
The first stone church was completed in the early 1130s,
for the record says: .Finally after fifteen years, the monastic
structures were peacefully constructed with the aid of the
faithful at different times according to their will and
It will be noted that foundations exist to the east of the
church, which are within the 40-foot grid. Could this have
been the site of the east front built by Gilbert and the first
This design would have been based on the previous timber
church, with a square-ended termination and a gabled roof,
which was probably covered with wooden shingles.
On both sides of the presbytery was a short aisle which
provided additional side chapels, and assisted with the
Conjectural perspective view of Merton priorychurch from the south-east (1130-1154)
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY . BULLETIN 154 . JUNE 2005 . PAGE 6
Sunday processions around the high altar. The windows were small and admitted little light, but
above the high-
arched crossing was a .lantern tower. which gave additional downward light with a lofty view
the outside it gave rise to a pleasurable feature.
In 1131 archbishop Corbeil, a former Augustinian canon, began to build a new church of St
Martin at a location
outside the town of Dover, intending it to be for the institution of canons regular. It was a
built of creamy-yellow Caen limestone, and Henry I granted Corbeil a quarry at Caen, Normandy,
took the name of St Martin. The stone could be transported by barge from Caen, on the river
Orne, across the
Channel to Dover.
In 1123 archbishop Corbeil requested canons from Merton to assist in the foundation of St
Gregory’s priory at
Canterbury and would have known about Gilbert’s plans at Merton. The archbishop’s new priory at
similar in style, with a square-ended eastern termination, and was set out within a grid of 40
Norman feet. It
differed in that the side chapels contained eastern apses for the altars, and the nave had
aisles. The cloister and
associated buildings were to the north.
By 1135 the .new work. at Dover had been completed, and the archbishop requested canons from
Merton to be
introduced, to follow the rule of St Augustine. They were duly inducted early in 1136, but the
Canterbury protested that the church belonged to his monastery. The bishops who had inducted
the canons then
asked them to return home to Merton, whilst they sought guidance. Dover priory thereafter
The design of a monastic church had to meet
requirements for daily worship, with choir
stalls where the regular canonical .hours.
could be sung, chapels for celebrating mass,
and space for liturgical processions. All
canons were priests, and as masses had to be
said by each priest between the hours of
daybreak and noon, at least ten side altars
would have been required for a community
of about 30 canons.
Processions were a form of worship with
singing of joyful hymns and psalms to show
respect to the Almighty. They also enabled
the canons to have exercise and a change in
routine. They began at the west end of the
nave and the station made at the rood screen.
The brethren processed either side of the nave
altar into the retrochoir, and reunited to enter
the choir under the pulpitum.6 All continued
to the high altar, where each bowed in turn,
and returned to the choir stalls.
Between the high altar and the choir stalls
was the choir altar, which was used for the
morrow mass at about 9.00 am in the summer
months. Space in front of the high altar was
provided for prostrations.
L Green Surrey Archaeological Collections 71 (1977)
The setting-out of the monastic plan would have been
prepared on plaster of Paris (partly dehydrated gypsum)
floors near the workshops. Foundations discovered at
Merton north of the high altar may be of the tracing
M L Colker Studia Monastica 12 (1970) pp.245, 263
Ibid. p.251; A Heales Records of Merton Priory 1898
5 For further information on the Dover episode see L Green Priory of St Mary and St Martin,
Daughter Houses of Merton Priory MHS (2002) pp 24, Built 1131-1135 for canons from Merton
priory but claimed as
26. belonging to the monastery of Canterbury6 The siting of church furniture (choir stalls,
Layout within a grid of 40 Norman feet (11.911 metres)
etc.) in the attached plans are the author’s suppositions.
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY . BULLETIN 154 . JUNE 2005 . PAGE 7
200 YEARS AGO
JUNE TO SEPTEMBER 1805
NELSON AT SEA
In June 1805 Horatio Viscount Nelson, Vice-Admiral of the White, was at sea in the West Indies
on board the
Victory. Since the summer of 1803 he had been occupied in the tedious and frustrating work of
main part of the French fleet at Toulon. Then, in May, he had learned that his opposite number,
the wily French
Admiral Pierre Villeneuve, had not only escaped from Toulon with his ships, through the British
was out in the Atlantic. Nelson and Villeneuve had been adversaries in the Battle of the Nile,
must have been keen to avenge that humiliating defeat, in which he had captained theGuillaume
Tell, one of the
only two French ships to get away from Aboukir Bay.
Villeneuve had been joined by the Spanish fleet under Admiral Dom
Frederico Gravina. Napoleon’s plan was for Villeneuve and Gravina to
sail across the Atlantic to a rendezvous at Martinique with more French
ships under Vice-Admiral Honoré Ganteaume, who was still penned in
at Brest. The combined French-Spanish fleet would then head for the
By the time Nelson had discovered Villeneuve’s movements he was
already a month behind him, and moreover he had only half the enemy’s
strength in ships. Despite this he set off in pursuit, only to spend a
frustrating few weeks chasing report and rumour from anchorage to
anchorage in the Caribbean, without result. Meanwhile, however, all
had not gone well with the French and the Spanish, as Ganteaume had
failed to break out of Brest. Finally Villeneuve heard that Nelson was
following him, and despite Napoleon’s orders dashed back across the
Atlantic, and took refuge at Ferrol, at the north-west tip of Spain, on 31
July, having been only slightly delayed by an indeterminate encounter
with Sir Robert Calder’s blockading squadron.
Nelson, however, had reached Spain before the French ships, heading for Cape St Vincent, in
destination was Cadiz. He set foot in Gibraltar on 20 July, having then been at sea in Victory
only ten days less
than two years . how the ground must have heaved beneath his feet! He then headed for home,
Spithead on 18 August, and anxious about his reception by his countrymen. .It had been
mortifying., he wrote
to Lady Hamilton, .not being able to get at the enemy.. In the event, however, his superiors
conduct of the chase, while deploring his wretched luck, and the British public hailed him with
(Rectangle comment XPMUser
(Rectangle comment XPMUser
from O Warner Trafalgar Pan Books, London 1966 (1st ed. 1959)
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY . BULLETIN 154 . JUNE 2005 . PAGE 8
NELSON AT MERTON
Nelson had at once sent word to his lover Emma Hamilton that he would be with her shortly at
Merton. All the
time at sea he had liked to think of her in that much-loved peaceful setting, with their
daughter Horatia, now
four years old, with her. Unfortunately Emma preferred fun and company to quiet domesticity.
mother Mrs Cadogan looked after affairs at Merton Place, and supervised the decorating and
that Emma enjoyed planning, Emma herself had been having a good time in town, and Horatia was
out most of the time. When she learned that Nelson was back in England, Emma hastily collected
summoned Nelson’s brother and his sister Susannah, with their families, and rushed to Merton,
arriving in the
evening on 19 August. She was just in time. Nelson drove through the night, and reached his
.dear Merton. at
6 o.clock the next morning, the 20th, to a rapturous welcome. He was delighted with his lively
who was already starting to play the piano and could speak a few words of French and Italian.
The days that followed were divided between official business and private occasions. On the
next Sunday, 25
August, the whole party went to St Mary’s church, where the parson was Revd Thomas Lancaster, a
of the Merton Place household. Even little Horatia went to the afternoon service for children.
On Monday the 26th Mr Feldborg, a Danish historian (he wrote as .J A Andersen.), called by
Merton Place to present Nelson with a copy of his account of the Battle of Copenhagen. He found
the house .a
very elegant structure.. Its owner, in .an
uniform, emblazoned with different orders
of knighthood., received him .with the
utmost condescension. and embarrassed
him by insisting on paying him for the book
before showing him the staircase walls
.adorned with prints of his battles.. Emma
was responsible for the improvements to
the house and its decoration. She had
installed two large bay windows in the east
façade, creating a handsome entrance front,
refurnished the bedrooms and added
dressing-rooms. There was even a water-
closet. She had hung the walls of the
principal rooms not only with prints but
with portraits of herself and of Nelson, and
On visits to London, to attend at the Admiralty
or the Colonial Office (Castlereagh, the
Secretary of State for War was also in charge
of the Colonies), Nelson was recognised and
mobbed wherever he went. Crowds would
wait outside government buildings, even
shops, to cheer him and touch the skirt of his
coat as he emerged. At home it was a relief to
play the country gentleman surrounded by
friends and family, to walk about and admire
his estate and to play with his small daughter.
Meanwhile, on 20 August, the French and
Spanish fleets had reached Cadiz. Though
Napoleon would soon abandon his dream of
invading England, he remained determined on
a decisive naval victory.
On 1 September Nelson had an interview with Prime Minister William Pitt. Only a combination of
British squadrons could overcome the enemy’s force. But who should lead them? Nelson expressed
to serve under Collingwood, but Pitt said, .You must take command.. .I am ready now., responded
(Rectangle comment XPMUser
The north front of Merton Place, with an idealised family group, 1804
(Rectangle comment XPMUser
Nelson’s visiting card
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY . BULLETIN 154 . JUNE 2005 . PAGE 9
SOME NOTES ON SIR THOMAS TRESHAM
AND OTHER RECUSANTS IN MITCHAM
Eric Montague in his book on Lower Green West, records that .there were complaints in 1587
presence of seminary priests in Sir Thomas Tresham’s house in Mitcham..1 His source was the
History of Surrey, which gives three references for the information in this paragraph.2 The
first is to the Calendar
of State Papers Domestic Series Elizabeth 1581-90 3 page 393, which notes on 5 March 1587
.Names of such seminary priests as have been at Sir Tho.Tresham’s at Mitcham and with Mr.
since Easter last, as Edmondes the Jesuit, Parry alias Morgan, now prisoner in the Clink, and
The second reference is to Acts of the Privy Council AD 1588-15894 page 393. However the VCH
have erred here (presumably accidentally repeating the page number of the previous reference).
362 was meant, for on that page we learn that on 29 November 1588 the Star Chamber sent
.A letter unto Richard Arkinstall, esquire, Warden of Ealy Castle, that whereas Sir Thomas
knight, had made protestacion of his alleageance and duty to her Majestie, and suite had ben
their Lordships for his enlargement in respecte he was fallen into some sicknes thorough his
libertie, he was required to take bonds of him for his apparence so soone as he should be hable
their Lordships, and thereupon to see hym sett at libertie; the said letter to be his
sufficient discharge in
Tresham, born in 1543, had inherited estates in Northamptonshire at the age of three. He had
conservative in religion, though this did not prevent his appointment as Sheriff of
Northamptonshire in 1573, or
his being knighted by Queen Elizabeth two years later. However in 1580 he was at last received
into the Roman
Catholic church.5 In the same year he received the Jesuit Edmund Campion (1540-81) in a house
of his at
Hoxton.5 Hoxton was then a place where the rich built themselves houses in pleasantly rural
too far from the court . a place not unlike Mitcham, in fact. In 1581 Tresham was taken before
Council and the Star Chamber, after Campion’s capture.5 He refused to give answers under oath
incriminate him, and as a result brought upon himself, for the rest of his life, a succession
of fines and spells of
imprisonment, in the Fleet, or, as we have seen, at Ely Castle. At the very least his movements
from then on. However, he did not cease to conduct his affairs provocatively, for, in August
1584 there was a
.Report of the search made at Hoggesden [Hoxton] by order from Her Majesty and the Council by
Mr.Justice Smith and others, for the apprehension of priests and Papists. Inmates in Sir Thomas
house, popish relics, and papistical books..6
In December 1588 he wrote to Lord Burghley, thanking him for his influence in releasing him and
prisoners from imprisonment at Ely.7
Tresham, though brave and loyal, seems to have been a disputatious
man, and certainly not a cautious one, bringing many unnecessary
problems upon himself. When he died in 1605 he left debts of £11,500,
mainly as a result of settling large portions on his six daughters for
whom he had arranged ambitious marriages.8two remarkable buildings in his home county of
Lyveden New Bield (National Trust), on which work stopped when
he died, remains unfinished, but the extraordinary triangular lodge, at
Rushton nearby, now in the care of English Heritage, was completed
about ten years earlier. Both buildings
are rich in religious symbolism. The
New Bield is cross-shaped, and
ornamented with the chi-ro sign, the
IHS, representations of the
instruments of the passion and a
number of inscriptions relating to
Christ and the Virgin Mary. The
Rushton triangular lodge is a complex
What he also left were
Rushton Triangular Lodge (Illustration from English Heritage Guide)
Basement plan Section A.B
(Rectangle comment XPMUser
(Rectangle comment XPMUser
allegory in stone of the Trinity, its
entire architecture and ornament being
based on the number 3.
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY . BULLETIN 154 . JUNE 2005 . PAGE 10
Only three months after Tresham’s death his erratic son and heir Francis was executed for his
in the Gunpowder Plot.
Where Tresham’s Mitcham house was we do not know, nor why he owned one here. Nor is there any
evidence that he used it personally. But it is interesting to know that such a picturesque
character had a
As it happens the standard biography, for many years, of Edmund Campion, Jesuit and martyr, was
in 1867 by Richard Simpson, one-time vicar of Mitcham, who resigned his living in 1846 to enter
Roman Catholic church.9
The VCH paragraph quoted above states that both Mitcham and Cheam were Roman Catholic centres
the 16th century (the third reference is untraceable as it stands). There must be a lot more to
this. The Fromonds of Cheam, who also held Hall Place, Mitcham, are quoted as being on the list
recusants, and the VCH also mentions a John Talbot (probably the .Mr Talbott. bracketed with
above) and a John Leedes in connection with Mitcham. The references I have found are the
On 3 June 1587
.. by the commaundement of the Lord Chancelour and Mr. Secretarie Wallsingham, it is here
recorded that whereas John Talbot, of Grafton in countie Wigorn. [Worcestershire], esquire,
bounde in vcl i to her Majestie to abide at the house of one Henrie Whitney of Mycham in the
countie of Surrie, and not to departe or goe out of two miles circuite or distaunce of the
house of the
said Whitney; now for certain good respectes from henceforth it shalbe lawfull,
the abovesaid bande, for the said John Talbotte, over and besides the libertie of the place and
abovesaid, to keepe, abide, or frequent in or aboute the Citie or surburbes of London without
impeachment or any danger, and to goe and passe betwixt th’abovesaid places at his will and
and moreover that it shalbe lawfull for the saide John Talbot to take his journey into the
sett in order his thinges, so that he returne againe at or before the tenth of September next
the date hereof; provided allwaies that the said John Talbot after his returne out of the
the said tenth day of September shalbe forthcomminge at Whitney’s house abovesaid or at …
.. house in London, whensoever it shall please the Lordes to call for him.
.And it is further ordred by th’aucthoritie abovesaid that the said bande of vcli shalbe
made voide, and an other made in lieu thereof in the like summe, with the condicions sett downe
the order next above written..10
Henry Whitney, who was entrusted with the supervision of Talbot’s movements, was lord of the
Biggin and Tamworth,11 and no doubt regarded as trustworthy. According to the Catholic
Talbot, whose dates are given as 1535(?)-1607(?), was imprisoned or confined a number of times
recusant. As with Tresham, he found himself at Ely for a time. Talbot was the second son of Sir
Talbot of Grafton in Worcestershire. One of his own sons became a Catholic priest and the ninth
On 7 July 1589 the Privy Council ordered that
.. humble suite having ben made to their Lordships by John Leedes of the countie of Sussex,
esquire, that he might have libertie to repaire from the towne of Micham into the cuntry for a
certaine time to dispose of his affaires, which were by reason of his absence greatly
their Lordships having graunted him licence to reside in the cuntry for the better dispatch of
business untill the xvth daie of the next Michaellmas Tearme, he is therefore required to take
of him to her Majestie’s use to returne againe to the said towne of Micham the said xvth daie
said Terme, and then not to exceede the circuite of six miles from the saide towne, and to
behave himselfe dutifullie and obedientlie towardes her Majestie, her estate and presente
gouvernmente at all times hereafter, according to the tennour and true meaning of his late
signed with his owne hand.. 12
These restrictions were headed .A bond relaxed..
It may be that John Leedes, as the VCH suggests, had at least a property in Mitcham, even if he
was .of the
countie of Sussex.. It would be interesting to know more of him.
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY . BULLETIN 154 . JUNE 2005 . PAGE 11
On 7 July 1589 the Privy Council dispatched, under the heading .A Recusant released on bail.
.A letter to Mr. Bedle, Register to the High Commissioners, to take bondes of William Tirwight
returne to the house of one Mistres Rutland in Micham in the county of Surrey, and to enjoy
libertie of six miles circuite about the said house and not to exceed the said compasse, after
the first daie
of the next Tearme, and for his good demeanure and well cariage of himselfe towardes her
estate and presente gouvernemente, according to the forme and tennour of his late submission
with his owne hand..
.Mistres Rutland. was Dorothy Rutland, the widowed owner of Jenkingranger, Colliers Wood, the
which later became Colliers Wood House.13 Incidentally the VCH mistakenly says that it was John
was required to stay under Dorothy Rutland’s supervision.
As yet we have no further information about John Talbot, John Leedes, or William Tirwight.
Another name in
this connection is that of John Mush [alias Ratcliffe], whose dates were 1552-1612. John Pile
has kindly sent
me a print-out of the entry on Mush from the on-line Oxford DNB. He was a Roman Catholic priest
of the anti-Jesuit faction, and became the confessor of Margaret Clitherow of York, who was
martyred in 1586.
In the following year Mush was said to be in Mitcham.
There is clearly much more to be discovered about recusants and recusancy in Mitcham.
1 E N Montague Mitcham Histories 5: Lower Green West, Mitcham Merton Historical Society, Merton
2 Victoria County History of Surrey IV (1912) p.234
3 Calendar of State Papers Domestic Elizabeth 1581-90 Longman’s, London 1865
4 Published by HMSO 1897
5 Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Vol X p.315. After being tortured, Campion was
executed at Tyburn on 1 December 1581. He was
canonised in 1970.
6 Cal. S.P.Dom.Eliz. 1581-90 p.199; and see Janet Wilson .A Catalogue of the .Unlawful. books
found in John Stow’s study on 21 February 1568/9.
Recusant History Vol 20 (1990-91) p.7
7 ibid. p.568
8 Oxford DNB Vol 10 OUP 2004 p.316
9 See E N Montague Mitcham Histories 1:The Cricket Green Merton Historical Society, Merton 2001
p.71; E N Montague The Canons, Mitcham
Merton Historical Society, Merton 1999 p.18; Tony Scott, .The Influence of the Oxford Movement
in Mitcham. Merton Historical Society Bulletin
152 (Dec.2004); and Oxford DNB Vol 50 OUP 2004 pp.207-8.
10 Acts of the Privy Council of England Vol XV AD 1587-1588 HMSO London 1897 pp.102-3
11 E N Montague Lower Mitcham Merton Historical Society 2003 pp.14,19,89
12 Acts of the Privy Council of England Vol XVII AD 1588-9 HMSO London 1897 pp.348-9
13 Information kindly supplied by Eric Montague
The 27th in our series of Local History Notes is Sporting Memories of Mitcham in the late 1940s
by David Corns. The author’s recollections of a sporting boyhood will strike a chord with many
though few will probably have managed to participate in and/or watch as much sport as Mr Corns.
As a cub and
then a scout, at primary and then grammar school, in informal .gangs. and then in clubs, he
cricket, rounders and Korfball, as well as swimming, running and long-jumping. He watched fine
the Green and world-class athletes at the News of the World ground, and he writes about it all
and total recall. Eight A4 pages, with five photographs and a map. 50p (members 40p) + p&p 25p.
Eric Montague’s sixth volume in his Mitcham Histories series is Mitcham Bridge, The Watermeads
Wandle Mills. Other topics covered are the Wandle Fishery and the Mill Cottages, as well as
Wandle Grove and
Surrey Brewery . both long vanished. Eric has again drawn on his many years of research to give
us a detailed, and
very readable, picture of this small but important corner of Mitcham. pp.120; many
illustrations and five maps.
£5.95 (members £4.80) + p&p 80p.
Eric Montague has also produced two new Studies in Merton History. No.5 Mitcham in the Mid-17th
a Surrey Village under Stress is a revised version of a diploma thesis, in which, using primary
possible, he examines the impact of the Civil War on the semi-rural parish which was Mitcham at
Topics discussed include recruitment, taxation, parish administration, social structure and
even the property
market. pp.40: five pictures and three maps. £2.95 (members £2.40) + p&p 50p.
No.6 is called Recruitment to the Armed Forces in Mitcham 1522-1815, and looks at the impact of
the threat of invasion on Mitcham over a period of 300 years, with particular emphasis on
recruitment to the
militia. The text is in four chapters, covering the Tudor period, the Stuarts and the
Commonwealth, the eighteenth
century and, much the longest, the Napoleonic Wars. Eric has used primary sources where they
exist, and the
booklet includes among its many illustrations reproductions of a variety of documents. pp.40.
(Price as No.5.)
Available from Peter Hopkins. JG
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY . BULLETIN 154 . JUNE 2005 . PAGE 12
Look out for Celebrating Age 2005, Merton’s Festival for the Over-Fifties, 9-24 July, with
varied events all
over Merton and beyond, many of which will appeal to history lovers. Brochures widely
available. Tel: 020
8545 4712 for information.
Merton Heritage Centre’s current exhibition is Hearth & Home: Housing in Merton, on until 23
kinds of living accommodation from Roman villas to 20th-century estates. On 9 August an
Nelson will open, as part of the 200th anniversary of the naval hero’s death. The Canons,
Mitcham. Tues/Wed 10.00-4.00, Fri-Sat 10-4.30. Admission free. Tel: 020 8640 9387.
This year’s Wandle Valley Festival takes place on Sunday 12 June. Merton Heritage Centre will
be at the
Chapterhouse, Merton Abbey Mills, all day, and there will be many other activities all along
the river. Tel:
0870 714 0750, or 0870 223 3323, or find out at www.wandlevalleyfestival.org.uk.
There is to be a full programme of events for Wandsworth Heritage Fortnight from 28 May to 12
culminating with the Wandle Valley Festival. Details from Wandsworth Museum, tel: 020 8871
The Wandle Industrial Museum’s special Nelson exhibition formally opens on 11 June. Thereafter
open every Wednesday 1-4pm and the first Sunday of the month 2-5pm. Admission 50p/20p. Vestry
Annexe, London Road, Mitcham.
TheUpper Norwood Athenæum, instituted in 1877, whose aims are .to arrange visits to places of
or historical interest and to promote friendship amongst persons interested in these subjects.,
members. They have an interesting and varied programme.
.Merton & Morden: Past & Present.
Freelance writer, Sara Goodwins, who has been responsible for studies of Sutton and of Cheam in
Britain in Old Photographs, has now been commissioned to produce a volume on Merton and Morden.
looking for original unpublished photographs and would be very pleased to hear from any members
lend her .photographs with a story attached.. Her husband, a photographer, will provide modern
views, but he
will also copy any photographs loaned to her, so they can be returned to their owners very
Publication date is August 2005, so time is short! Peter Hopkins
The Wimbledon Society, with St Mary’s, Merton, and Merton Historical Society has arranged
A SPECIAL EVENT TO MARK THE NELSON BICENTENARY
Date: Monday 12 September
Place: St Mary the Virgin, Church Path, Merton Park SW19
Title of talk: .Nelson in his own Words.
Speaker: Dr Colin White, Director of Trafalgar 200 at the National Maritime Museum and leader
the Nelson Letters Project
Colin White is the editor of the recent book Nelson . the new Letters, which contains more than
1200 letters written
by Nelson that have not been published before. This should be a fascinating lecture, by a real
Tickets, which must be booked in advance, cost £5. Please fill in and detach the section below
and send it with your
cheque, payable to the Wimbledon Society, with a stamped addressed envelope.
(If you do not wish to cut into your Bulletin, please photocopy or write out the application.)
Please send me .. ticket(s) at £5 each for the Colin White lecture on 12 September.
I enclose a cheque for £… payable to the Wimbledon Society.
I enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope.
Tel. No: …………………………
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY . BULLETIN 154 . JUNE 2005 . PAGE 13
.TIME’s WINGÈD CHARIOT.?
BILL RUDD deplores the undignified passing of a local goods vehicle.
What is now called the North-East Surrey Crematorium, in Lower Morden Lane, was originally the
New Cemetery, opened more than 110 years ago. It occupies 28ha (70 acres) of the 49ha (120
by the Metropolitan Battersea Council.
Contiguous with it, on the corner of Lower Morden Lane and Grand Drive was Joseph Evans.
mason’s yard. Examples of his work can be seen in local cemeteries, and in St Lawrence’s
churchyard. At some
point in time it closed down. But one item survived.
We now move forward.
In the early records of our Society there are references to .museum pieces. . looking forwards
to a time when
a local museum might be established. I knew nothing of this when I joined the Society in 1962.
In 1966 I
happened to spot a cart marked .Monumental Sculptor. in the yard of Peacock Farm in Lower
Morden Lane .
and photographed it. Then it disappeared, and I remarked about it to Miss Jowett, who told me
it was preserved
as a museum piece.
I went to see the Borough Parks
department, who had a nursery in Peacock
Farm, and explained the situation. They
said that the cart had been vandalised and
the remains were at one of their depots (I
don’t remember which one). I went along
to see it and was shocked. Full of apologies,
the Parks Department arranged transfer to
the Camp Road School, Wimbledon, where
the remains were deposited under the
school verandah. It was a sorry sight.
The Society had obtained the temporary use
of the school hall after Councillor Mrs Iris
Derrimen had seen our display at the
Merton Borough Show in 1970.
Not long afterwards we had to move to the vacant library department store at Gorringe Park
Road. I took with
us a representative sample of the remains. These comprised the heavy iron tyres, the stock
bonds (the iron
bands round the axle boxes), and a selection of spokes from the two different sizes of wheels.
We still have
them. The photograph shows what we have lost.
VE DAY CELEBRATIONS 1945
Evans. cart April 1966 (photo: Bill Rudd)
Sixty years ago the
residents of Deer Park
victory in Europe.
photo courtesy of
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY . BULLETIN 154 . JUNE 2005 . PAGE 14
A ROAD .VERY FARR OUT OF REPAIER“
In The Bridges and Roads of Mitcham1 Eric Montague noted that the Privy Council of Elizabeth I
required Sir Francis Carew, of Beddington, to see to the repair of the Streatham end of Mitcham
he quoted a passage in Michell’s The Carews of Beddington.2 When looking through the index of
the Privy Council for other purposes I came across Michell’s source, and thought it of enough
reproduce in full. Michell, by the way, took great liberties with the wording! The year was
.A letter to the Lord Lumley [of Cheam], Sir Frauncis Carewe, knight, and others, her Majesty’s
Justices in the countie of Surrey. Forasmoche as wee are crediblie informed that Micham Lane at
the ende neere Stretham ys very farr out of repaier, insomoche as not onlie the towneshippes of
Micham, Casalton, Bedington, Cheme, Bansted, Woodmasterman, Nonesoche and Yowell in theire
ordynary passadges towardes London are very moche letted and anoyed, but also all other
that waies, besides her Majesty’s carryadges, which importeth a speedie conveyaunce, are manie
tymes enforced by that meanes to take further and inconvenyenter waies about. Therefore (uppon
due consideracion thereof) wee have thought yt meet hereby to will and require you that in anie
wyse you take speedie order, chardginge and commaundinge all and every the Surveyours of the
highe waies in the said towneshippes to give you in the names of all the cartes, carryadges and
laborers of every of the same severall towneshippes, and that they cause and see every of the
cartes, carryadges and laborers, observing the time and turne appointed for everie severall
repaier unto the Surveyours of the highe waies at Stretham, and there painefullie and
spend three of the six daies lymytted by the statute for those purposes in repayring of the
decaied lane’s ende neere Stretam. Where wee praie you to have a care and regard and to give a
straight chardge that no faile be made hereof, as they of every of the said towneshippes whoe
make defaulte will answere before us the contrarie. At &c..3
We can see that the .towneshippes. of Merton and Morden were not concerned in the undertaking.
whole their inhabitants would not have needed to use Mitcham Lane. Their route to London for
the present A24, was presumably in better .repaier..
By the highway Act of 1555 the old manorial duty of highway maintenance was transferred to the
and .every parishioner for every ploughland in tillage or pasture that he occupied within the
every person keeping a draught (of horses) or plough in the parish, had to provide for four
days in the year
.one wain or cart furnished after the custom of the country . and also two able men with the
other householder, cottager and labourer, able to labour and being no hired servant by the
year, had either
to put in four days. labour or to send .one sufficient labourer in his stead…4 As the text
from 1591 makes
clear, the statutory days had by then been increased from four to six. This was by an Act of
reference books, such as John Richardson’s Local Historian’s Encyclopaedia, give 1691 as the
the revised figure, but this is incorrect. Six days had been in force for well over a century
important Act of 1691.
1 E N Montague The Bridges and Roads of Mitcham Merton Historical Society, Merton 2000 p.22
2 R Michell The Carews of Beddington London Borough of Sutton Libraries and Arts Services 1981
3 Acts of the Privy Council Vol 21 (1591) HMSO 1900 pp.77-8
4 W E Tate The Parish Chest (3rd ed.) CUP 1969 (repr. By Phillimore, Chichester 1983) p.243
ADMIRAL SMITH’s TOMB
Much work has already been completed on the tomb at St Mary’s, Merton (see previous Bulletin).
sown buddleia has been removed from it and from its attached neighbour, the Wyatt tomb. Cracks
have been filled and made good, and drainage for surface water has been very much improved. All
visible, but the main problem arose from within and beneath the tomb, where it abuts against
the fabric of the
church, and that is still to be dealt with. Apparently the tomb and its surroundings are now to
be monitored for
a time, in order to assess the nature and scale of seepage.
Donations are still needed and will be much appreciated. Cheques should be made payable to PCC
Mary’s, Merton, and sent with a note to say the money is for the Smith tomb repair.
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY . BULLETIN 154 . JUNE 2005 . PAGE 15
TWO NOTES ON THE LOVELLS OF MERTON ABBEY
1. Sir Gregory Lovell of Merton Abbey held the important post of cofferer, or treasurer, to the
Queen Elizabeth I. As such he would have been expected to conform in matters of religion, and
there is no
reason to think he did not. However, in 1587 the Privy Council directed
.A letter to Mr. Coffrer [Sir Gregory] and Mr. Levesey [not identified], esquires, that
Dorothie Lovell, wife to the said Mr. Coffrer of her Majesties Householde, remaining at this
at her house at Martin in the countie of Surrey, refused to conforme her selfe in matters of
and nevertheless for certaine good consideracions was forborne to be restrained of her libertie
permitted to remaine still at her said house, they are required to have dilligent regard and
that she should not at anie time resorte to the houses of anie other Recusauntes thereabouts,
anie Jesuites, Seminary Preistes, or others of like disposicion to have acces or conference
and that in their Lordships. names they should require her neither to retaine in her house, as
or otherwise, anie personnes not conformable in Relligion, or to weare or use, either openlie
secreatelie, anie tokens or reliques for shewes of her Religion; and if notwithstanding their
advertisement from their Lordships given unto her as aforesaid she should therein offend, then
signifie the same, that their Lordships might take such farther order with her as they should
Presumably an important .certaine good consideracion. that protected Dorothy’s liberty was her
value in the good running of the royal household. At this date he was already about 66 and had
been in his post for a long time. It is likely that Dorothy did indeed behave discreetly
there seem to be no further references to her refusal to .conforme..
Dorothy (née Greene) was Lovell’s second wife. They were married at Merton, and the marriage
five sons. As well as his first wife Joane (or Johanna), who was the mother of one son and
Dorothy is commemorated with Sir Gregory on the Lovell monument in St Mary’s church.
After his death she married at least once more, certainly becoming Dorothy Mastersonn, and
her days as Dorothy Cross. There is a will, at the Family Records Centre of a Dorothy Cross .of
2. In Bulletin No.151 (September 2004) we reported that Eric Montague had spotted an article in
(30 April 2004) about the identification of the sitter in the picture by Holbein which dates
from his stay in
England in 1526-8 and is known as The Lady with a Squirrel and a Starling. According to
it now seems certain that she was Anne Lovell, wife of Francis (later Sir Francis) Lovell, who
estates at East Harling, Norfolk, in 1524. The starling is believed to be a punning reference
to East Harling,
and the squirrel features in the Lovell coat of arms. Eric couldn’t help wondering if there was
with our Sir Gregory.
Well, the inscription on the Lovell monument in St Mary’s tells us that Sir Gregory Lovell
was ‘sECOND SON TO S.R FRANCIS LOVELL OF HARLINGE IN NORF.C.. And
Sir Gregory’s coat of arms at the top of the monument displays, in the first quarter, a
chevron and three squirrels sejant . though I had to use binoculars to see them! Sir
Gregory died aged 75 on 15 March 1597 (presumably 1598 New Style), so would have
been born in 1522 or 1523. All in all, names, dates and places fit, and it seems very likely
that the National Gallery’s Lady with a Squirrel and a Starling was the mother of Sir
A squirrel sejant
Gregory Lovell of Merton Abbey.
1 Acts of the Privy Council Vol XV 1587-1588 HMSO London 1897 p.400
2 Information kindly supplied by Peter Hopkins.
(Rectangle comment XPMUser
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 154 . JUNE 2005 . PAGE 16