Morden Manorial Leases
From 1359 the abbey’s demesne at Morden was leased to tenant ‘farmers’. Unfortunately the early manorial leases have not survived, but the abbey’s Registers or Lease-Books, dating from 1485, contain copies of the last three leases of the demesne at Morden. The final lease of 1511 included the rectorial tithes of the parish, and the right to hold manorial courts, in addition to the lease of the demesne lands of the manor. It was for 60 years, and was subsequently assigned to other lessees. Surrey History Centre has two assignments of this lease, as well as sub-leases of the tithe corn.
Henry VIII declared himself Head of the English Church, and closed down the monasteries. Although Westminster Abbey was used for Coronations, it was surrendered to the Crown in January 1540.
A Rental of the demesne from 1547-50 survives at The National Archives.
The manor of Morden remained Crown property until 30 June 1553, when Edward VI sold it to Edward Whitchurch, a London haberdasher, and Lionel Ducket, a mercer, together with property in Nottinghamshire and Staffordshire, for £699 18s 1d.
As the manor was still at lease, Whitchurch rebuilt a copyhold property called Growtes, while Ducket occupied a Ravensbury copyhold.
Edward VI died a week after the sale, to be succeeded by Mary, an ardent Roman Catholic.
Whitchurch was a prominent Protestant, and had been involved in the printing of Miles Coverdale’s ‘Great Bible’. He was also the official printer of both Prayer Books of Edward VI. On Mary’s accession he went into hiding, selling the Morden estate to Richard Garth on 7 March 1554. The bargain and sale, which includes a room by room inventory of furniture and fittings of Growtes, survives at Surrey History Centre, and we are grateful to them for allowing us to reproduce images and transcripts of these documents on the page relating to Tudor Morden.
Click on the links below to download the transcripts without images.
- WAM Register Book 1, fo. 108-108b: indenture of John Atwell: 1498/9
- WAM Register Book 1, fo. 141b-142: indenture of William Prat: 1503
- WAM Register Book II, fo. 212: indenture William Porter: 1511
- TNA LR2/190 fo.238: Rental of the demesne, held at farm by Anthony Porter:1547-50
- SHC K85/2/9: 17-year lease of tithe corn by John Welshe, lessee of the manor and rectory of Morden, to Robert Bust, vicar of Morden: July 1554
- SHC K85/2/7: assignment of 1511 lease by Mathewe Porter to John Welche: October 1555
- SHC K85/2/10: Surrender of sub-lease of tithe corn by Robert Bust, late vicar of Morden, to Richard Garth, lord of manor of Morden: 1556
- SHC K85/2/8: Surrender of remainder of term of 1511 lease by Thomas Welshe to Richard Garth, lord of manor of Morden: 1568
Or click on the thumbnails below to download the transcripts with images.
The translations are by Peter Hopkins and have been checked and corrected by Dr Mark Page.