Some Interesting Documents
The Society is often given original documents of local interest which we pass on to the appropriate archive, while retaining a digital copy. Some of these items are being added to our website
There are several 14th-century sheriff’s writs and other documents dealing with disputes over common rights in Sparrowfeld Common, particularly with tenants in neighbouring Cheam.
Tax receipts relating to medieval Morden
There are several tax receipts, for both royal and ecclesiastical taxations, which include valuations of the manor and the parish church. Two examples have been transcribed and translated and the rest have been summarised.
The 1312 Extent
In 1312 a detailed survey was undertaken in the form of a valuation or extent, now in Cambridge University Library. As well as recording the tenants and their dues, the various parcels of demesne land were listed, and a value assigned to them. The labour services were likewise given a monetary value, ‘without deductions’ for the allowances of food and drink provided at the lord of the manor’s expense for those undertaking certain services.
The Custumal c. 1225
Two copies survive of a custumal of c.1225 which lists the tenants of the abbey’s manors, including Morden, and records the rents, in cash and in kind, and the customary services that each owed.
The manor of Morden
Westminster Abbey had owned an estate in Morden (usually spelt Mordon) from before the Norman Conquest. Domesday Book, a survey commissioned by William the Conqueror in 1086, states: ‘The Abbey of Westminster itself holds Morden. TRE [In the time of King Edward] it was assessed at 12 hides; now at 3 hides. There is land [blank]. In demesne are 3 ploughs; and 8 villans and 5 cottars with 4 ploughs. There is 1 slave, and a mill rendering 40s. TRE it was worth £6; now £10, and yet it renders £15.’[1. Ann Williams & G H Martin (eds) Domesday Book: A Complete Translation (1992, 2002) 32b, 6 ]
WW1 Conscription in Mitcham
The passing of the Military Service Act in January 1916 enforced compulsory military service upon British society for the first time in modern history. Single men and widowers without children aged 18 to 41 were now liable to serve in the Army as long as they were not in a reserved occupation. In May 1916 the Act was extended to cover both single and married men and in 1918 was extended in age range up to 51.