Bulletin 123

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September 1997 – Bulletin 123
Mitcham becomes smaller – E N Montague
The Lock Family of Merton: III – L E Green

and much more

(The original digital version of this Bulletin has not survived, and the attached is scanned from a photocopy. The Search option might reveal errors in Optical Character Recognition.)

VICE PRESIDENTS: Arthur Turner and Lionel Green

Saturday 20th September 2.15 pm – A Morden Walk, led by Bill Rudd.
Meet outside St Lawrence Church, London Road. Come and learn from our own ‘Mr Morden’ more about the church, the village, the suburb and the people.
Buses: 80,93,154,293
Friday 17th October 7.30 pm Evelyn Jowett Memorial Lecture
At Raynes Park Assembly Hall, next to Raynes Park Branch Library. *A Walk Around West Barnes’
by Pat Nicolaysen of Surrey Archaeological Society. The booklet of the same name, by the late John Wallace, provides the inspiration for this lecture by a resident in and enthusiast for the West Barnes district
Buses 57, 131, 152, 163, 200. Close to Raynes Park Station.
Saturday 8th November 2.30 pm At Snuff Mill Environmental Centre Annual General Meeting.
After the business is concluded there will be an illustrated talk on India’s Golden Triangle by Pat and Ray Kilsby.
Saturday 6th December 2.30 pm Snuff Mill Environmental Centre ‘The Spencers of Wimbledon’.
An illustrated talk by Richard Milward of the Wimbledon Society. Mr Milward has made a close study of the Spencer family papers, at Althorp and in the British Library, and has published a book on the Spencers of Wimbledon.

(For the Snuff Mill Centre drivers should park in Morden Hall Garden Centre car-park and take the path across the bridge, go through the gateway and turn right towards Morden Cottage.)
Following a report to the Secretary of State for the Environment by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England on 17th July 1992, the Secretary of State, in exercise of his powers under the Local Government Act 1972, in September 1993 signed an Order entitled the Croydon, Merton and Sutton (London Borough Boundaries) Order 1993, making various relatively minor changes in the boundaries between Merton and the neighbouring Boroughs of Croydon and Sutton. The Order was laid before Parliament in October 3993, and effectively came into force on 1st April 1995.
Apart from five people who found themselves liable to pay Council Tax to Sutton rather than Merton, this was probably of little consequence to the residents of Mitcham, and went largely unnoticed. The main area lost to Sutton. however, some 40 hectares in extent (100 acres, for traditionalists) and lying west of Beddington Lane and to the south of Mitcham Common, had for long been a source of discord between the parishioners of Mitcham and Beddington, and in the past such a loss of land would have been hotly contested. Alas, today most people are unaware of their ‘Glorious ‘eritage’, and have more important things to bother about than a few acres of rough grassland, now rapidly disappearing anyway as the underlying gravel is extracted.
The whole story probably starts in the Bronze Age (if not before), when the vast expanse of heath lying between whatever settlements there may have been in the vicinity of Beddington and Mitcham was a no-man’s land, used as common grazing. What could have been the site of an ancestral burial, marked until early in the 19th century by a mound known as “Maiden Hill”, stood on what is now the corner of the golf course by the traffic lights on the Croydon Road. This might well have acted as a boundary mark between the two communities. Unfortunately all trace, at least above ground, seems to have been removed during the construction of the golf course in the 1890s. There was also a large ditched enclosure to the south of the crossroads, known as the “Sundridge Grounds” (or “separate ground”) which as “the ruins of an ancient hedge, bank and ditch by which the Sundridge Ground was formerly enclosed”, was commented on by the Inclosure Commissioners in 1812. Its original function is a mystery, but the ground within might well have been the site of an early settlement, perhaps used subsequently as a stock enclosure by herdsmen. It too has been largely levelled during either gravel extraction or “landscaping”. It is reasonable to assume that both features were pre-Roman, although it must be admitted that this, and the hypothesis put forward above, has yet to be tested by excavation.
By the Middle Ages the uncertainty as to who was entitled to exercise rights of common pasture was leading to disputes which had to be settled by litigation. Such a case arose in 1239, during the reign of Henry III, when an inquiry was called on complaint being made on behalf of Merton Priory, which held an estate in north Mitcham, against Agnes Huscarle and other owners of land in Beddington, alleging that the prior’s cattle had been driven off the Common and impounded. On June 17th the following year, in what appears to have been a deferred hearing of the dispute, by this time styled “an assize of common pasture”, the case was laid before Stephen de Sequentem and other justices of the King. As before, the plaintiff was the prior of Merton, but now he was joined in the action by other freeholders with land in Mitcham, including the prior and convent ofSt Mary Overie at Southwark. The defendants were William and Agnes Huscarl, who held the manor of Beddington, and others with land in Beddington and Wallington, The jury of “twelve 1awful men” found that the freeholders of Mitcham and the other parishes had, for 20 years past and more, enjoyed grazing on Mitcham Common. The plaintiffs accordingly won their case and were awarded 40 shillings damages.
These hearings are of more than antiquarian interest, for not only do they suggest that friction between the communities of Mitcham and Beddington over their respective rights on the Common had probably been occurring for a very long time, but also because they were the first recorded of numerous occasions, the last being in 1882, when it was felt necessary to have recourse to the courts.
As the Middle Ages progressed, the lords of the manors came increasingly to regard the Common as part of their wider domains, to be disposed of as they deemed fit. The boundaries between the various manors on Mitcham Common were never very clearly defined, but in June 1535 an agreement was reached between Thomas, the prior of Christ Church Canterbury, as lord of the manor of Vauxhall, which included the tithing of Mitcham, and Sir Nicholas Carew, lord of the manor of Beddington and Bandon, for the exchange of the Sundridge Ground, comprising 75 acres (30.35 ha) of “Mitcham Heath”, for an equivalent area of land to the south. The position of the ancient enclosure, detached from Beddington, was obviously anomalous, and the transaction was clearly intended to rationalise Carew’s holding. With the formalities concluded by the signing of an indenture, 12 months later the Sundridge Ground became part of Mitcham Common, and
the land exchanged, thereafter known as the “New Inclosures” or “New Grounds”, was fenced off and added to Beddington Park.
The exchange, in which the commoners seem to have been allowed no say, was to lie at the heart of a dispute between the people of Mitcham and the manor of Beddington lasting nearly 300 years. Mitcham vestry stubbornly maintained that the land added to Beddington Park remained within their parish, but when its representatives included the “lost” 75 acres whilst beating the bounds they found themselves sued for trespass. The ordinary villagers also strongly resented alterations to ‘”their” common land made without their consent. Local patriotism was no doubt aroused, but the loss of land over which common, rights had been exercised for as long as anyone could remember was reason enough to flout the authority of Beddington. When attempts were made to assert their grazing rights over the New Grounds, however, cattle belonging to Mitcham commoners were distrained because, it was argued, they were grazing on private land.
Beating the bounds, a practice which since time immemorial had been carried out with due ceremony in Ascension week, had the very practical purpose of re-affirming beyond all possible doubt the administrative boundaries of the parish. Accurately surveyed maps were virtually unknown until the mid-19th century, and at a time when parish expenditure was growing, it became increasingly important lo ensure that no rateable property escaped the notice of the officers. The boundary of the ancient parish was of course unaltered by the private arrangement in 1535, and Mitcham officers stoutly maintained their right to continue perambulation of the bounds across the 75 acres enclosed within Beddington Park. During the early 1730s this brought them into contact with the owner of the Beddington estate, Lady (Elizabeth) Carew (then much under the influence of her former steward, whom she had married), and in 1732 the vicar of Mitcham, William Hatsell, and several of his parishioners, having conducted their customary Ascensiontide perambulation, found themselves indicted for trespass. Obviously outraged, Mitcham vestry agreed to indemnify the defendants against all costs and charges incurred in pleading their case at the general quarter sessions at Guildford.
The following May the vestry agreed that James Cranmer and Henry Fenners, the two churchwardens, should employ an attorney to defend what appear to be several fresh actions brought against them for trespass on the New Grounds, presumably following a further perambulation carried out in defiance of the previous indictment. The bounds were beaten again in 1734, after which the vestry expressed thanks to James Cranmer for the stand which he and his fellow churchwarden Robert Constable were taking on the parish’s behalf. The matter was finally resolved in 1735, when the assize court found for the plaintiffs and awarded damages and costs amounting to £93.6s.8d. These being paid by James Cranmer, who appeared for Mitcham, they were duly met by the vestry, and a rate of sixpence in the pound was fixed the following April to recoup the costs. This judgement did not establish a new parish boundary, and did not for long deter the parishioners of Mitcham, who had certainly recommenced beating the bounds by the latter part of the century. No further prosecutions are recorded however, so presumably they either avoided overt trespass on the enclosures, or else reached an amicable arrangement with Nicholas Hacket Carew, who succeeded to the Beddington estate on his coming of age in 1741.
The picture of the vicar and the squire of Mitcham – the latter a gentleman well versed in the ways of the law – being arraigned before the courts is somewhat bizarre, but this little episode illustrates the strength of feelings aroused when ancient boundaries appeared to be in jeopardy.
It was the inability of the various lords of the manors to agree their mutual boundaries which led to the foundering of the Beddington Inclosure Act of 1812, and it was not until 1819, after a series of court hearings, culminating in the Kingston Assizes in 1817, that an Act was passed “for inclosing lands in the Manor of Beddington … to determine the boundary of the Parish of Beddington and the adjoining Parish, upon a certain common called Mitcham Common, Part of whereof is intended to be inclosed under the above Act”. Two hundred acres in all were to be added to Beddington Park, including just over 100 acres (40.4 ha) immediately to the south of Mitcham Common which were to remain within Mitcham parish.
Towards the end of the 19th century the 100 acres became part of theCroydon Rural Sanitary Authority’s Beddington Sewage Farm, but a substantial part of it came to be used for many years as a football ground. However virtually the whole of the original 100 acres remained in Mitcham for another century, passing from the Urban District to the Borough in 1934, and finally, as part of the Beddington Sewage Treatment Works, to the London Borough of Merton in 1965. Another 30 years were to pass before, without, it would seem, so much as a murmur of dissent, this little piece of ancient Mitcham was finally ceded to Beddington’s successor, the London Borough of Sutton.
E N Montague
In a year when drought and water shortages have been in the news, we chose Friday 16th May for a walk around Mill Green under the expert guidance of Eric Montague, ably supported by Tony Scott. Eight members and six visitors braved the threatened rain, and we managed to get from the Goat to the Wandle before the thunderstorm drove us back to the Goat, where the landlord kindly allowed us to use the Restaurant as a meeting room.
Fortunately the weather had been more clement on 16th May 1833 when a larger party of 78 men and boys gathered at the Goat at 8.00am to begin the customary ceremony of ‘beating the bounds’. At a time before detailed maps were available, it was essential that each generation was able to pass on to the next the exact boundaries of the parish in which they lived, not least because they needed to know to whom to pay their rates!
At this time the parish boundary followed the line of an old ditch on the southern side of Mill Green Road, so the whole of Mill Green was then in Mitcham, but by the second half of the 19th century the boundary had been redrawn in front of the Goat, leaving the Green in the parish of Beddington. As part of the broader expanse of Mitcham Common, Mill Green has been under the guardianship of Mitcham Common Conservators since 1891.
The area is mostly sand and gravel from the floodplain of the Wandle, and was attractive to early farming communities. Archaeological evidence of Neolithic and Bronze Age activity has been found to the south of Mitcham Common. At the former Wandle Valley Hospital site above Goat Bridge the evidence points to 3-4,000 years of occupation, 1000 years prior to the Roman period. At nearby Beddington, an Iron Age farmstead was replaced by a Roman Villa until the 3rd/4th century, Romano-British burials and pottery of the same period were found on the Willow Lane factory estate, and an Anglo-Saxon cemetery existed off Beddington Lane. Thus the area has seen a continuity of occupation for several millennia.
The soil was quickly exhausted, and the area around the Green reverted to heathland, only fit for rough grazing, but the area to the rear of the Goat, now covered by the Willow Lane Industrial estate, was known as Southfyld Meade, the Southlands, or the South Field in the earliest records, implying it was once one of the open common fields of Mitcham. Parts of the South Field nearest to Mill Green were used as whiting or bleaching fields by the early 17th century, and a calico printing factory, flour and colour mills flourished here until the mid-19th century, as well as a skinning mill by Goat Bridge and a tannery in the Watermead Lane area. Thus the present industrial use maintains a long tradition here as elsewhere along the Wandle.
Around the turn of the century Beddington Corner, as the area was known, was a bustling hamlet half-way between Mitcham and Hackbridge. There was open country all round, and the community was very largely self-contained. The sense of identity seems to have been very strong, and there were not only two football teams, the Beddington Corner Football Club and the Mill Green Rovers, but also an impressively uniformed brass band, the Beddington Corrner Brass Band, founded in about 1932. Cricket was played here by at least 1762, for the Daily Advertiser that year announced a cricket match between Young Mitcham Club and Coulsdon, “at the sign of the Goat on Mitcham Common.’*
So although at first glance the area may not seem to offer a great deal, this is far from the truth, and we are grateful to Monty for arranging the walk, securing indoor accommodation in the event of rain, and for opening our eyes to the history all around us. Perhaps we can look forward to a booklet on the area?
Peter Hopkins.
Two new titles have just come out from the Society:
Eric Montague’s The ‘Amery Mills’ of Merton Priory, the Copper Mills and the Board Mills covers the history from 1086 to the 1990s of the site whose principal feature today is Savacentre. Illustrated with photographs and maps. 12 pages.
Bill Rudd’s Morden Hall recounts the history over more than 400 years of the building and the two principal families connected with it. Illustrated with drawings, maps and a family tree. 12 pages.
The booklets are excellent value at 40p (members) and 50p (non-members).
Available from meetings or by post from Peter Harris,
(Please add 40p postage and packing for 1 or 2 titles, £1.00 for 3 or more titles.)
WANDSWORTH MUSEUM VISIT Our visit to the Wandsworth Museum on Saturday 21 June was very poorly patronised, with only seven persons turning up. The weather was not at its best, and as we waited for any latecomers the sky darkened and the rain began to fall.
I would expect that most if not all of you have paid the museum a visit and are therefore familiar with its contents and layout. It tells the story of Wandsworth mainly through photographs. There are a number of displays, such as part of an air raid shelter, which has been realistically laid out, but it is a pity that there is not enough room to be able to walk through and sit down inside.
Before our tour of the museum we were given a short talk on its history, and how it had come from one room in Putney Library to the former courthouse here in Wandsworth village. After a look around the museum we were invited back to the main hall for refreshments, and to meet Margaret Hunt, our guide for the tour of the village.
We were told to forget the present-day urban sprawl and picture a small village with a river running through it, and downs to the east and west. From the museum we walked through a grassed area that resembled a park, but we were informed that it was an old graveyard which still contained the remains of 20,000 persons. It hardly seemed large enough, but it is easy for us today to forget that death often came at an early age not so many years ago.
On down narrow alleyways that I had not noticed before, we were shown many historical buildings all hidden from the main road. Some had been warehouses and other industrial buildings, but had now succumbed into flats. The odd person peered out of windows, and no doubt wondered what we were doing. At the Friends Meeting House we were given a very warm welcome to their special exhibition, and after a guided tour we were once again offered refreshments!
Back out into the town centre, which just like Wimbledon and Mitcham, has been totally destroyed by the endless passing of cars, vans and lorries all travelling at speeds which give the town centre an air of Brands Hatch rather than that of a shopping area. It is not only the traffic that has given this High Street a seedy atmosphere, but the shopping mall. Once the Arndale Centre opened all other shops quickly closed. Personally I find it a pity we cannot mix the two styles of shopping together.
As we walked up West Hill the clouds darkened once more and the rain began to fall again. This did give us a chance to observe the houses here at length. A number have double roofs, and as Bill Rudd was mistaken by our guide for a brick fanatic we entered into a long discussion on the brickwork.
Coming back down the hill we were shown a couple of cottages that Wandsworth Council had been forced to preserve. There had been two more, but these had been knocked down to allow the traffic to take the comer here at a higher speed. The cottages have low window sills and very small doorways, which suggest that the pathway here has been built up at some time in the past.
Most of the Wandle over the route of our walk is hidden from view below the shopping complex and roadways, but it does emerge just to the north alongside the Ram Brewery, with some limited access. Considering the unused land here I find it a pity that Wandsworth cannot find some money to re-create a bit of the Surrey Iron Railway. When you consider the importance that has been attached to this tramway it would be money well spent – or wasted, depending on your personal view. I would expect Wandsworth to be like Merton, and already find plenty of projects to waste money on – so why not the SIR?
By the time we reached the Wandle just to the north of the brewery it was six o’clock and time for us to leave. Margaret had been a fantastic guide for our walk, explaining the history of the village with the enthusiasm of a dedicated historian who loves her subject of her interest – Wandsworth.
David Luff
LAMAS (London & Middlesex Archaeological Society) will hold its 32nd Local History Conference on Saturday 29 November at the Museum of London Lecture Theatre from 10 am to 5 pm. This year the subject is The London of Human Frailty – The Weak, the Wicked and the Well-Meaning.

The latest LAMAS Transactions (Volume 46) has a short article on the inter-war cottage estates including our own St. Helier Estate. A copy can be borrowed from our Librarian, Dr Tony Scott.
Why, we wondered, isn’t Faversham better known? Granted we were lucky with the day (the Sunday streets were peaceful) and the weather (deliriously sunny), but this really was an ideal visit to a most delightful town.
Faversham’s layout, buildings and street names give clues to its long history. Its own name is believed to derive, unusually, from a Latin (Roman) element faber (a smith) – with a Saxon one – ham (a homestead). Past industries include ship-building, gunpowder and oysters. Today one is aware of the aroma(!) and the (handsome) industrial architecture of the brewing industry.
After coffee in the Chimney Boy pub, we visited the admirable Fleur de Lys Heritage, Centre and Museum in Preston Street (open 10-4 every day April-Sept; closed Sundays Oct-March). Most of us then set off on the town trail. We found a stunning variety of attractive buildings, especially in Preston, Court and Abbey Streets – some from the 16th and 17th centuries (including the one where ‘Arden of Faversham’ was murdered);
some whose Georgian facades mask something much earlier; and many from the 18th and 19th centuries. In Market Place stands the old Guildhall on pillars. Quay Lane leads down to the Creek, an inlet off the Swale, where medieval warehouses survive – a reminder that Faversham is still a Limb of the Cinque Ports.
There was a Benedictine Abbey; there is an extraordinary church, within whose incongruous flint coating from the 1870s (Sir G G Scott) is an elegant Classic revival nave by George Dance Senior grafted onto the fine medieval transepts and chancel. The very pretty tower and steeple of 1799 were inspired by Wren’s at St Dunstan-in-the-East.
Next stop, a few miles further down the Thames estuary, was All Saints church, Birchington. Here a local volunteer gave us a brief talk about the mainly 13th and 14th-century building. In the private Quex chapel, which belongs to the owners of Quex Park, are some imposing monuments from the 16th century onwards. In the nave is a 2-light window in memory of poet and painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-82), illustrating the Holy Family gathering herbs for the Passover, and Jesus healing the blind man. The former was based on a painting by Rossetti and both windows were designed by Frederic Shields, artist and life-long friend of Rossetti, who later (1895-1911) lived at Long Lodge, Merton Park. Rossetti died in Birchington; though the house has been demolished a road near the station bears his name. His grave, in the churchyard, is marked by a handsome Celtic cross decorated with low-relief carving. This was designed by his friend and fellow-painter Ford Madox Brown at the request of Rossetti’s poet sister Christina.
At Quex Park, a few minutes away, we found gardens and woodland surrounding the Regency Quex House (the Isle of Thanet’s only stately home!) and the Powell-Cotton Museum. The museum, mainly the collection of one man, has galleries devoted to Indian and African fauna and arts, as well as porcelain, and local archaeology. Four or five rooms in the house are open to the public – including an almost overpowering oriental drawing room!
The once famous gardens are now managed on a more modest scale, mainly with grass and trees. We saw much recent planting, an attractive walled garden, and one particularly striking tree, trained over an enormous domed cage, which we discovered was a Sophorajaponica or Japanese Pagoda Tree.
Altogether this was an excellent, well-planned and varied day.
Judy Goodman
Although this Bulletin has been expanded to 16 pages to fit in all the reports and articles that have been provided, even that has not proved sufficient, and one article has had to be carried over until the next issue! David Luff, our Hon. Treasurer, has written on the close of the Wimbledon to West Croydon railway line, which is to be changed to a tramway by the end of 1999. We look forward to reading David’s article in December, and apologise that it couldn’t be fitted into this issue.
Many thanks to all who have contributed to make this the biggest issue to date.
The Editor
A visit to a magical place, sandwiched between two horrendous journeys. Certainly the M25 is no place to be on a Friday morning or evening!
Kelmscott is actually a farmhouse, and not “the Manor”. It used to be called Lower Farm. The Turner family lived there for 300 years, and it has been called ‘the Manor” since the 18th century.
In 1870 the owners moved out, and when William Morris leased the house it was surrounded by the working farm. He used it as his summer home. It certainly had many disadvantages in winter. It was damp, got flooded frequently, and was cold, with no “mod cons” at all!
In 1913 Jane, Morris’s widow, bought the house. Their daughter May inherited it on Jane’s death in 1914 and lived there until her death in 1938, when she left it to Oxford University. When she took over there was very little furniture in the house, but many things from the London house were brought there. Academics at the University showed little interest in living there, and by 1962 it was derelict. The Society of Antiquaries then undertook to restore it, and providentially a large donation to them provided the finance. It took four years to complete the work.
The house was then rented to tenants, who were obliged to open it six days a year. There were not many visitors at first, but things changed at the end of the 1970s, when many more people began to visit – but with little supervision. Now there are resident custodians (who came in 1990), and 15,000 visitors a year.
There are four collections in the house:
1. The few bits of furniture left by the Turners when Morris lived here
2. Things which came from London, made or collected by Morris
3. More recent additions
4. Things brought into the house by Morris’s joint tenant, Rossetti
Jane lived at Kelmscott with Rossetti while Morris was in Iceland, and he used the Tapestry Room as his studio. The house is beautifully light, with double-aspect windows in many rooms, giving views of the lovely gardens all round. The walls are often white painted, showing off many hangings of Morris designs. This must have been quite a shock to Victorian taste. There are delights in every room – Philip Webb furniture, hand embroideries, pictures and tiles; and the attics are delightful and spacious, with examples of green-painted furniture “suitable for artisans’ houses”, and, incidentally, an almost vertical staircase for ascent!
William Morris’s bed was a 17th-century oak four-poster, with beautiful hangings embroidered by May Morris, derived from the famous rose trellis design. The bedcover, embroidered with flowers, was worked by Jane.
A truly beautiful 16th-century honey-coloured stonehouse, with an overpowering sense of calm and serenity, A “magical” place indeed, in its lovely garden. . J-
We then travelled to Burford for a late lunch, and the sun came out! Some followed the town trail – at a gallop – and others just sauntered among the attractive streets of old houses and felt we must return again to explore, when there was more time.
Lorna Cowell

Drawing of Kelmscott Manor and Gardens by E. H. New -1899
Despite the change m the political climate members of the Society were able to visit the Houses of Parliament on Thursday 10 July. Near the entrance to St Stephen’s Tower we met Lucy Watson who had made the arrangements. She introduced us to our guide, Michael Brown, at the entrance to the Victoria Tower.
After passing through a security check we were given the background history to what is more correctly called the New Palace at Westminster. It stands on part of the site and includes elements of the Old Palace, originally established by Edward the Confessor as a royal residence, the meeting place of parliaments and a setting for state ceremonial. Rebuilt and extended over the centuries, in 1834 a fire destroyed most of the Old Palace. A year later a competition for designs for a new building was won by Charles Barry, architect, who in collaboration with Augustus Pugin created the gothic-style building we see today. The results of their work can be seen everywhere.
The Victoria Tower houses some 3,000,000 documents formerly in the 14th century Jewel Tower. Passing busts of former Prime Ministers (all peers) we entered the Queen’s Robing Room, full of pattern and colour: flock papers, mosaics and gilt statuettes; the Chair of State with Queen Victoria’s initials on the back cushion; the ornate fireplace; large portraits of Victoria and Albert; and five frescoes by Dyce representing Hospitality, Mercy, Courtesy, Religion and Generosity, from Arthurian legend.
The Royal Gallery is similarly impressive with full-length portraits of George VI, Queen Elizabeth (now Queen Mother), Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip; Hanoverian portraits; gilt statuettes including Elizabeth I and Henry V; a glass case of historic documents including the death warrant of Charles I; two long frescoes by Maclise of the Death of Nelson at Trafalgar, and the Meeting of Wellington and Blucher at Waterloo.
The Tudor-style Prince’s Chamber has portraits of Henry VIII, his six wives and other leading figures of the time. An unusual statue of Queen Victoria as a young girl is flanked by statues of Justice and Mercy. Two fine tables and a set of lion-headed chairs were designed by Pugin in his grandest manner.
The House of Lords, claimed as Pugin’s tour de force, is a marvel to behold, with superb examples of 19th century craftmanship. The royal throne and canopy is richly carved and gilded. In the niches between the stained glass windows are statuettes of the barons who oversaw the signing of Magna Carta. The peers sit on red leather benches. The Lord Chancellor’s Woolsack does have a backrest! Microphones hang from above on fine lines, and TV cameras are mounted on the lower edge of the gallery. Our guide regaled as with history, details of procedure and anecdotes. One question: How is it possible to cram so many into the chamber during the Opening of Parliament? Answer: With difficulty!
Tall gothic arches lead into the Peers’ Lobby. The lower arch has brass-studded gates with intricate brass tracery. Above and in the surrounds is a splendid display in crimson and gold. On the floor a central panel of a Tudor rose in Derbyshire marbles is surrounded by Minton heraldic tiles.
The Peers’ Corridor, with murals by C.W. Cope, leads into the Central Lobby, a busy meeting-place where people may come to ‘lobby’ their MP. Constituents can send a ‘green card’ from the desk here to contact their member. The mosaic ceiling of 1868-9, by E.M. Barry, includes the English Tudor rose, the Scottish thistle, the Irish shamrock, the Welsh harp, the French fleur-de-lis and the portcullis emblem of Parliament. Over the four archways of the octagon are the four patron saints, St George, St David, St Andrew and St Patrick. There are four marble statues of 19th century statesmen.
Through the Commons Corridor, with frescoes of 1853-68 by E.M. Ward, to the Commons or Members Lobby, with its statue of Winston Churchill. From here the area is reached where the work of Barry and Pugin was destroyed by bombs in the Second World War. The rebuilding is an anticlimax, with the plain style of the Commons a contrast to the gothic Lords in all respects. A fragment of an original arch survives above the entrance.
The House of Commons is, to all intents, purely functional, relieved slightly by decorative panelling. We enter from behind the Speaker’s Chair, where hangs a green cloth bag – for petitions, our guide tells us. When the question is asked/What has become of my petition?’ the answer comes, ‘It’s in the bag”. We pass through the ‘No’ lobby where MPs, in alphabetical groups A-F G-M N-Z, pass to cast their vote. Similarly through the ‘Aye’ lobby. Then back through the Chamber for more stories and anecdotes. The lines marking two sword lengths in the centre. Cut and thrust is more verbal in today’s Parliament. Staff are recruited from ex-servicemen. From the Commonwealth came gifts for rebuilding and furnishing. New Zealand gave the two heavy brass-bound Dispatch Boxes. The Speaker’s chair was built from rare Australian bean tree wood (the plantations are being replanted).
Back to the Central Lobby and into St Stephen’s Hall, which replaced St Stephen’s Chapel of the Old Palace. Lofty with Perpendicular stained glass windows, statues and wall-paintings by many sculptors and artists.
The tour ended with the oldest building, Westminster Hall, the huge hall of the medieval palace, which survived the fire of 1834 largely undamaged. Alterations were made to the south end for the main public entrance, and the large south window was reglazed after bomb damage. Built by William Rufus for his Palace of Westminster in 1097-9, it was remodelled in 1394-9 by Richard II, who embellished it with the north and south windows, and statues of Saxon kings, three of which survive. The hammerbeam roof, with its carved angels is truly magnificent.
Westminster Hall once housed the courts of Common Pleas, the King’s Bench and Chancery. Sir Thomas More in 1535, Guy Fawkes in 1606 and Charles I in 1649 were tried and condemned to death here. It saw the lying in state of Edward VII (1910), George VI (1952), Queen Mary (1953) and Sir Winston Churchill (1955).
There is much to see and read that cannot be put into the Bulletin by reason of space. Doubtless there will be opportunities in the future for other visits. (In April 1969 members went up the clocktower and experienced the vibrations of the quarter chimes and Big Ben striking at noon.) Altogether this was a very instructive and enjoyable visit for which we thank our most knowledgeable guide.
Bill Rudd
The Future of London’s Past – Museum of London – Saturday 6 December 1997 – 9.30-5.00
Speakers include Martin Biddle, Simon Thurley, John Lewis, Dominic Perring, Bob Cowie, Derek Keene, John Schofield, Tim Williams, Martin Welch, Peter Addyman and Mark Hassall.
Earlier articles (Bulletins 119 and 121) dealt with William Lok (1480-1550), a successful London merchant in fabrics who secured property in Merton and. Wimbledon, and the exploits of a few of his sons. This contribution recounts the life of one of his daughters. Rose (1526-1613), who lived through five of the momentous reigns in English history, with changes political, religious, economic and personal. A final article will concentrate on generations of Loks, Locks and Lockes, all the progeny of William Lok, and their connections with Wimbledon and Merton over 180 years.
At the time when Rose was born, her father was travelling and trading in Flanders. From his contacts with Germany and Switzerland he was familiar with the ‘new learning’ which was questioning the doctrines and practices of the Church, many of which were considered to have little historical basis. At an early age, Rose was brought into contact with this. She records in her Recollections that “my mother…. came to some light of the gospel by means of some English books sent privately to her by my father’s factors from beyond sea, whereupon she used to call me with my two sisters into her chamber to read to us out of the same good books very privately for fear of trouble because those good books were then accounted heretical. …. Therefore my mother charged us to say nothing of her reading to us for fear of trouble.”1 Amongst the books would have been Tyndale’s translation of the New Testament.2
In 1536 we find the family residing in London at Cheapside and entertaining important clients and, on one occasion, the King. Rose would have met some but later that year a plague hit London and the family evacuated to Merton3, probably Merton Holts. Rose was only ten and in the following year her mother died after delivering a child. Following the burial of her mother, Catherine, at Merton in October 1537, Rose and the others returned to London and soon after, her father remarried.
Mercers relied on apprenticed labour and the Company allowed them to enrol apprentices at the age of 12. They could not open business on their own account without a minimum sum of £100. Two of Lok’s sons, Matthew and Thomas, had been so apprenticed, which brought Rose into contact with other mercers. One was Anthony Hickman but at the time she was barely seventeen and her father felt it necessary to enquire into his circumstances. Rose tells all: “My husband before he did marry me was found to be worth £1000 by his books of account that were examined by my father’s appointment.”4 On 28 November 1543, they were married at the Loks’ parish church close by viz. St. Mary-le-Bow. Anthony Hickman, “being a great dealer in the trade of a Merchant Adventurer was in the same joint partner with my eldest brother (Thomas) and they together had some ships of their own and did make divers voyages into far countries.”4 Thomas married Mary about 1545 and Rose recalls that one ship the men built “at their own charge, they named the Mary Rose being the names of us their wives.”5
The Hickmans continued in prosperity, owning a house in London and in Romford, Essex. But times were changing and Rose informs us “that they had learned not to trust in uncertain riches but in the living Lord who giveth abundantly all things to be enjoyed.”6 “When Queen Mary came to the crown… we did receive into our house in the city of London divers godly and well disposed Christians that were desirous to shelter themselves from the cruel persecution of those times.”7
In March 1554 Mary, through her Government, ordered everybody to receive Communion at Mass. In London, the Protestants met in many places, on ships in the Pool, in taverns and private houses, even in prisons. The Hickmans boarded some of the preachers at these meetings but they were often led by laymen such as Anthony Hickman. Rose informs us that “we did table together in a chamber, keeping the doors close shut for fear of the promoters, as we read in the gospel the disciples of Christ did for fear of the Jews.”8 Rose claimed that they entertained John Hooper, Bishop of Gloucester and Worcester, who was burned at Gloucester in 1555. Also John Foxe, tutor to the children of the Earl of Surrey, and John Knox the Scottish reformer, before he fled to Dieppe in 1553. Another was Michael Renniger a distinguished preacher during Edward VTs reign. He wished to study divinity at Louvain (and leave England) with a contribution of £5 in gold by Hickman. After exile in Zurich he returned on the death of Mary and became one of Elizabeth’s chaplains and Archdeacon of Winchester.
It was not safe to continue meetings and Hickman “used means to convey away the preachers and other good Christians (that were in our house) beyond the sea, giving them money to supply their wants.” Early in 1554 Anthony Hickman and Rose’s brother Thomas Lock were arrested for aiding Protestants to leave the country and imprisoned in the Fleet Prison. Rose comforts herself: “my grief was great … they suffered not for ill doing, but for well doing.”9 After release from prison Hickman went to Antwerp and Rose felt it necessary to leave London. She was expecting a child and travelled to Oxfordshire. In April 1554 Bishops Ridley and Latimer had been sent to prison at Oxford and Rose made contact to ask whether

her child should be baptised in church “after the popish manner”. They replied in the affirmative because the service of baptism was the least corrupted.
In 1556 John Knox advised Rose to flee England because of the ‘idolatry’ practised there.10 So Rose and child went to Antwerp but took no household goods save a large featherbed which she placed at the bottom of the boat and suffered a journey of five days and nights at sea in stormy and tempestuous weather. Her husband Anthony was renting a ‘fair house’ and Rose wishes her readers to know it was costing £40 p.a. Rose gave birth to another child and made plans to return to England following the death of Queen Mary in November 155 8.
Trade suffered in Mary’s reign particularly when she restored the privileges of the Hanseatic League in September 1553 and they shipped quantities of ‘white cloths’ to North German ports. The ships of the Locks and Hickman were not required, which resulted in suffering and starving for the mariners of England. With the crowning of Elizabeth the fortunes of trade improved and about 100 Merchant Adventurers dominated London’s export trade. Rose rejoices to remember that “we were restored to that happiness which we had formerly enjoyed in King Edward’s days.”11
The Recollections of Rose Hickman cease at this joyous point and probably mark a great change in her way of life. By 1560, Rose and Anthony had set up home at Buckden, Hunts.,12 and 4 further sons and 1 daughter were added to the family. Anthony Hickman died intestate in 1573 and whilst Rose remained a member of the Lock family until her dying day she became part of an even more significant family – the Throckmortons. Simon Throckmorton, a lawyer, had been elected MP for Huntingdon in 1554 and again in 1559. He was a nephew of George, a Roman Catholic but whose son, cousin Nicholas, became a sturdy Protestant. Simon owned the manor of Fosters in Brampton, Hunts and became a widower with 3 sons. Rose married him and set up home at Brampton until Simon’s demise in 1585. Sadly we do not know her circumstances after this. However, we do have a glimpse of Rose’s existence in later life. This is from the diary of Arthur Throckmorton (1557-1626) discovered by Dr A L Rowse. Arthur was the son of cousin Nicholas mentioned earlier. When he came of age in 1578 Arthur became the head of this branch of the Throckmorton family. In 1587 his mother died and Arthur wished to rebuild the family mansion at Paulersbury, Northants, where work began in October 1593. Arthur records that in 1609 he was employing seven women servants and 24 men. Of the servants in 1611 the person receiving the most was Rose Throckmorton who was paid £8 per annum. The diary notes that Arthur Throckmorton “had before now had to chide her for her carelessness and cursedness and unthankfulness.” Dr. Rowse comments that she, was probably “a poor relation or an illegitimate sprig of the family as was often the case.”13 Rose Throckmorton died on 21st November 1613. Of the 13 sons of William Lok only Michael reached 60. Rose was exceptional in achieving 87 and she outlived Queen Elizabeth by ten years.
Lionel Green
to be continued….
1 BL Addtl MS 43827 fol 4v. Two ladies (M Cowling & J Shakespeare) have edited part of the ‘Recollections’ ‘in a Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research No. 55 (1982) pp.95-102.
2 William Tyndale had been forced to flee to the continent in 1524. From early in 1526, printed copies of his translation were smuggled into England in large numbers. They were rendered directly from Hebrew and Greek texts and were not mere translations from the Latin Vulgate in which familiar texts were found to be inaccurate or misleading.
3 BL Addtl MS 43827 fol 4v. “Then there was a plague in London, and my father and mother removed 7 miles
off into the country where she was delivered of a child, fell sick and died.”
4 BL Addtl MS 43827 fol 6v.
5 Ibid fol 7. Although the Mary Rose was built in 1556, Queen Elizabeth began to build up the Royal Navy from 1581 and this ship was converted into an armed merchantman with cannons installed amidships. When enrolled to the Queen’s Navy she was assessed at 500 tons – a fairly large ship. The Mary Rose served nobly at the defeat of me Armada in 1588, her action warranting special mention by Howard. Captain Fenton of the Mary Rose struck the topsail ‘very bravely’ during the extrication of Frobisher from an attack by the Spanish flagship San Martin. Later the Mary Rose put a broadside through a galleon. The ship was present at the storming of Cadiz in 1596 and on her return was “stationed against Rochester Bridge” safeguarding the River Medway”. The captain’s orders were to “shoot 3 pieces of ordnance, on which all the country within hearing is to repair to Chatham church and Upnor Castle.”
6 BL Addd MS 43827 fol 7. 7 Ibid fol 9 8 cf John 20:19. 9 BL Addtl MS 45027 fol 4. 10 The Works of Knox (ed. D Laing 1846-64) IV pp. 219-22. 11 BL Addtl MS 45027 fol 7. 12 BLHarley MS 416 foll34, 13 A L Rowse Ralegh and Throckmortons (1962) p.289.
Workshop meeting on 30 May 1997
• Judith Goodman was still pursuing her aim to obtain a full-length portrait of Abraham Goldsmid (1756?-1810), which was referred to in a National Portrait Gallery publication. Regency Portraits. She showed a drawing of Richard Thornton (1776-1865) by Richard Dighton reproduced in the August 1962 edition of History Today. The portrait of Goldsmid was also by a member of the Dighton family. Both Goldsmid and Thornton were city financiers whose importance in their day rivalled that of the Barings and Rothschilds. Both died here, the former committing suicide at Morden Lodge after the failure of a large government loan, whereas Thornton died peacefully at Cannon Hill House. He left a fortune of £2.8m in addition to property in the City.
• Family snapshots from 1968-84 belonging to Isobel Catt, late of Morden, had been received by Judith, to pass on to Morden Library. The backgrounds included views of the station buildings (demolished 3984) of Morden Road (Halt).
• From swanmarks of the Prior, Lionel Green moved this time to Winchester Geese. These were the Bankside whores, so named because the ground rent of the stews went to the Bishops of Winchester. Early kings tried to control the business with strict regulations. Those of 1154 refer to “customarie of long before”. The stew-keepers were not allowed to hang signs to advertise their trade, so names were painted on the walls facing the Thames. One was the Cardinal’s Hat, which is first mentioned in 1361. In 1468 the keeper was paying rent to the Prior of Merton. John Howard, the first Duke of Norfolk, kept his book of expenses, and duly notes his attendance at The Castle and The Cardinal’s Hat. He fought and died at Bosworth in 1485. The stews were finally suppressed in 1546 and the houses became inns but retained their names. An early 17th-century house still exists on Bankside, built on Tudor cellars. The passage which runs alongside the house bears the name Cardinal’s Hat Alley.
Winchester goose! I cry, a rope! a rope!
Now beat them hence: why do you let them stay?
Thou that gives! whores indulgences to sin,’ I’ll canvas thee in thy broad cardinal’s hat, If thou proceed in this thy insolence.
1 Henry VI (Act I Sc iii)
• Few people know that in 1898 Ben Jordan, a boxer from Mitcham, went to New York and won the world featherweight championship. This was revealed in a press cutting which Peter Hopkins received from a Mr Barry Reader. But the piece de resistance which Peter produced for the workshop was a mammoth printout of extracts from the Merton Manorial Court Rolls from 1702 to 1928. He has edited John Wallace’s transcripts and produced this essential tool for the study of Merton’s ‘recent’ history. A copy has been presented to Surrey Record Office.
• Bill Sole was not happy with the way that local authorities were ensuring adequate archaeological examination of development sites. He had been in correspondence with the Council for British Archaeology and the Standing Conference of London Archaeology, suggesting that they could be ‘shirking’ their responsibilities. Further, Bill feels that many parts of Greater London have few records, and the existing “archaeological priority areas” are inadequate, it is good to air the needs and responsibilities involved.
• Bill Rudd had been examining a Merton Teacher’s Pack, ‘A Century of Change’ and noticed an advertisement for Sir Alan Cobham’s Great Air Display, which was to take place on September 12/ 13 1934 at ‘London Road, Morden”. Bill remembered being taken by his mother to see the show (and Lionel Green had also attended with his sisters). Where could this flying display have taken place? An examination of tithe maps etc revealed that the most likely suitable site would have been on gently sloping land on Stonecot Hill, in a field now occupied by Aragon Road. The big attraction (although not referred to in the advertisement) was the ‘Flying Flea’, a small dumpy biplane with a single engine, which regularly took off and landed in the fields. The air display was part of the Charter Celebrations of Sutton and Cheam.
Lionel Green
Workshop meeting on 11 July 1997
• Judith Goodman has now obtained a slide of the portrait of Abraham Goldsmid (see report on last meeting) and brought her projector so that we could all look at one of Morden’s wealthiest occupants.
• She also shared with us the results of her researches into the life of the Saxon Earl Ælfheah who held the manor of Merton. Judy is fairly certain that he was the eldest son of an Ealdorman of Mercia, and related to 3 Saxon kings as well as to Archbishop Dunstan. He held some 84,000 acres of land in 7 different counties, but was never quite as influential as his younger brother, Ælfhere.
• Lionel Green has been following up evidence on a later member of the Lock family, another William (III) who held land in Merton, Wimbledon and Kingston. He inherited the copyhold lands of his father, as the manor of Merton followed the custom of Borough English, whereby the youngest son inherited the property. His elder brother Thomas inherited a substantial freehold estate in Merton,
• The Lock family make many appearances in the Court Rolls of the manor of Merton in the 16th and 17th centuries. Peter Hopkins brought along microfilm printouts of one of these rolls dating from 1538. He is attempting to decipher the rather obscure Latin script and translate it into English!
• Peter Harris took us further back in time to the Roman occupation. In 1956 he was put in charge of the Ministry of Works’ excavations of the Roman amphitheatre at Chester. The site, of half an acre, took 4 seasons to complete, and they had to dig down 20 feet to reach floor level. Peter was assisted by 14 students and 12 prisoners! They seemed to enjoy their digging practice, if the photos are anything to go by. The site has more recently been landscaped by English Heritage and several members commented on recent enjoyable visits.
• Bill Sole showed a printout from the Greater London Sites & Monuments Record on Bunce’s Ditch:-
CriaRefi TQ 26733 69914 E; TQ 26399 69665 E; TQ 26726 69907 E.
Additional Notes: Bunces Ditch is shown clearly on the current OS map. This may be of Roman date, since it respects the edges of the presumed Roman mansione. It is approx. half-a-mile downstream from the true Cl8th Bunces ditch.
[Perhaps Bill can write an article for the next Bulletin on the significance of this entry? – Editor]
Staying on the subject of drainage, Bill also suggested that when the sewers were put in in the 19th century, the redundant cess pits were possibly used as rubbish dumps, such as the one excavated behind Gutteridge’s by MHS members some years back.
• Tony Scott had written to Bill about the installation of sewers in Mitcham, from entries in the official School Log Book of SS Peter & Paul RC School, Cricket Green, Mitcham:-
9th February 1882 School closed today at 12.30 until Wed 15th Feb as manager is
having water laid on and the offices repaired, etc. 21st May 1896 School to be closed for three weeks on account of drainage.
The Manager was the Parish Priest and would today be called the Chair of Governors. The Bull Ditch, which drains from Carshalton Road alongside Cranmer Road to the Cricket Green and subsequently down Church Road to the Pickle Ditch was enclosed in glazed earthenware pipes before 1889 when the present Catholic Church was built.
• Bill Rudd had requests for information about people buried in Morden Churchyard, and had managed to track down where they had lived from Census Information, etc. He also brought along a photograph of the Grove Hotel in Merton, at the South Wimbledon crossroads, when Josh Platt was publican. Various dating clues in the photo include the trams, a fire alarm pillar and the Magnet Laundry.
• Bill also brought along another fragment of pottery from his own garden, which could be Romano- British or medieval. The two metal discs he found in Morden Chuchyard have been identified by the Museum of London as a halfpenny and either a shilling or a silver penny, from the reign of George IV or of Victoria.
• Sheila Harris brought along a letter enquiring about Baron House Academy, a private school in Mitcham. Judy mentioned an illustration of the house in the illustrated edition of Manning & Bray in the British Library. Peter Hopkins
NEXT WORKSHOPS: 12th September and 24th October – 7.30pm at Wandle Industrial Museum.
1 Apologies for absence
2 Minutes of the last AGM held on 9th November 1996
3 Matters arising from the Minutes
4 Chairman’s Report
5 Membership Secretary’s Report
6 Treasurer’s Report; reception and approval of the financial statement for the year, copies of which will be available at the meeting
7 Election of Officers for the coming year:
a Chairman
b Vice Chairman
c Hon. Secretary
d Hon. Treasurer
e Hon. Auditor(s)

8 Election of a Committee for the coming year
9 Motions of which due notice has been given
10 Any other business
NOMINATIONS for Officers and Committee members should reach the Hon. Secretary 14 days before the AGM, though additional nominations may be received at the AGM with the consent of members.
MOTIONS for the AGM must be sent to the Hon. Secretary in writing at least 14 days before the meeting.
The MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY wishes to remind members that subscriptions are due on 1st October 1997:-
Single Member £6
Additional Member in same household £3
Student Member £1
A renewal form is enclosed with this Bulletin. Please return, forms by post, with subscription, to the ^”^ Membership Secretary, Mr C E Sole , or in person at a meeting. Members who pay their subscriptions by Banker’s Standing Order are requested to ignore renewal forms.
Members Pat and Ray Kilsby have kindly agreed to give an illustrated talk on India’s Golden Triangle, after the meeting.

English Heritage officers are anxious to acquire a complete set of the Bulletin for their records. If you have a substantial run of backnumbers of the Bulletin which you no longer want please have a word with the Editor, or any Committee member. Thank you.
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 its Officers.
Printed by Peter Hopkins