Bulletin 131

Download Bulletin 131

September 1999 – Bulletin 131
The man who loved Irises: W R Dykes – J A Goodman
Local Landlubbers – L E Green
Sir Ambrose Crowley (1658-1713) – E N Montague
Hamnett Pinhey & Rose Cottage Wimbledon – B S Elliott

and much more

VICE PRESIDENTS: Viscountess Hanworth, Arthur Turner, Lionel Green and William Rudd



Saturday 25 September 2.30 pm A Second Mitcham Pub Walk
Dr Tony Scott

Tony Scott’s enjoyable guided tour in Mitcham in September 1996 by no means covered all
Mitcham’s pubs of historical interest, and he has agreed to introduce us to some more. The
afternoon is likely to include sampling!

Meet at the Clocktower, Fair Green, Mitcham. Buses: 118, 152, 200

Friday 8 October 8.00 pm St Peter’s Social Club Hall, Bishopsford Road
.The St Helier Estate and Monastic Britain. by W J Rudd
Evelyn Jowett Memorial Lecture

For many years Bill Rudd has been investigating the .abbey. names of the roads in the St
Helier Estate, where he has lived for most of his life. In this illustrated lecture he will

reveal to
us the fruits of his travels and research.

Buses: 80, 280. Routes 118, 157 and 164 are within reach.

Saturday 6 November 2.30 pm Snuff Mill Environmental Centre
Annual General Meeting
After the business part of the meeting is concluded, Scott McCracken BA FSA MIFA, president

of the Society, has kindly agreed to speak about .The Archaeology of World War I..

Saturday 4 December 2.30 pm Snuff Mill Environmental Centre
.Daughter Houses of Merton Priory. by Lionel Green

Merton Priory in all its aspects has long been a particular interest for Lionel Green, as his
scholarly series of articles in the Bulletin makes clear. In an illustrated talk he will

discuss the
varied, and far-flung, daughter houses of this important Augustinian establishment.

(For the Snuff Mill Centre drivers should park in the Morden Hall Garden Centre car-park and

the path across the bridge; go through the gateway and turn right towards Morden Cottage.
Buses 118, 154, 157, 164)

The Society’s events are open to the general public, unless otherwise stated.

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On Saturday 26 June 25 members paid a visit to the water tower and Carshalton House. Unusually

for a Merton

Historical Society outing it was a beautiful summer’s day.
Our guide for the tour, Andrew Skelton, and two volunteers, had opened up the water tower

especially for us, as
normally they are only open on a Sunday afternoon.

We walked around the lake, now
sadly lacking in water, and up past
the swimming-pool building to the
rear of the main house. The
swimming-pool was built in 1910,
and is still used. It has a pool of 25
yards in length, but as I am not a
swimmer and we did not get access,
I can only assume that this is a fairly
large one.

The house stands on a low mound and
overlooks the lake, hermitage and
parkland. Connected to it is a later,
Victorian, complex of buildings that
tend to overpower the main house.
All are now part of St Philomena’s
Catholic High School for Girls, but
we were allowed access to the main
house, where we viewed the famous
painted room, blue room and library.

From here we walked around to the stables and chapel, where a number of alterations have taken

place to the
buildings, all complementary, with similar style and colour brickwork. One exception is an

aluminium boiler-
house chimney which looks somewhat out of place.

The hermitage was the subject of part of Andrew’s talk that he gave us last December, when he

showed us its

restoration. They have certainly done a splendid job, and it was a lovely retreat on such a hot

Once more we returned to the lakeside, and followed it round back to the water tower, where a

very welcome
tea awaited us.

After tea we had the freedom of the water tower, with its history expertly given by Andrew.

Unfortunately most
of the machinery has gone, and only half the water-wheel remains. Once beams operating pumps

would have
been moving up and down, filling a large tank above, which itself is no longer with us.

Possibly this will one
day be restored with working pumps, and that would certainly be a sight worth seeing.

The water tower also contains an orangery, saloon and a
bath. The bathroom is located on the coldest northern side,
and we were told there was no hot water when it was in
use. It is tiled with Anglo-Dutch tiles, and was possibly
used for some cure for ailments that were thought to
improve with a cold ducking.

From the top of the tower a splendid view is obtained of

the house, parkland and Carshalton village.
All in all, a splendid afternoon out, and so much more
enjoyable with such a knowledgeable guide as Andrew,
who can point out all the history that we would most likely
not have known had we done the tour on our own.

David Luff
The Water Tower is open each Sunday from Easter until 26
September 2.30-5.00 pm. Events are held throughout the year.

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Carshalton Water Tower in 1994 – drawing by John Wallace
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Our party met at St Stephen’s entrance to the Palace of Westminster on 8 July for a tour at

11.30 am, and was
directed through to the base of the clocktower. Here we were able to contemplate a small notice

which informed
us that there 334 steps up to the bell chamber. Our guide does the climb twice a day, though he

is not lightly
built – and he admitted he really felt it after returning from holiday.

When, following the destruction by fire of the old Houses of Parliament in 1834, a Commission

was set up to
arrange a competition for designs for a new building, Charles Barry’s winning design included a

clock tower.
A second competition was held to decide who would design the clock, and the winner,

surprisingly, was an
amateur horologist, the barrister Edmund Beckett Denison QC. The Great Westminster Clock was

made by
Dent’s and was ready before the tower was completed. It is said to be the largest striking,

most powerful and
most accurate public clock in the world.

It is the hour bell, as we know, that is Big Ben, not the clock. The original bell, which, at

16 tonnes, was heavier
than the one that was finally installed, was cast at Stockton-on-Tees and brought to London by

rail and sea.
While still undergoing tests it cracked, and had to be recast at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry.

It was about this
time that it acquired its name, being called after either Sir Benjamin Hall, Chief Commissioner

of Works, or
possibly Benjamin Caunt, a popular boxer of the time. Both men were large.

About a third of the way up the tower is the Prison Room, which now houses a small historical

display. It was
last used for its earlier purpose in 1880 when Charles Bradlaugh, an atheist, sensationally

refused to take the
oath of allegiance to Queen Victoria. Our guide thought that Emmeline Pankhurst had been held

there briefly
during the Suffragette campaign early in the 20th century, but I have been unable to find

confirmation of this

When we reached the level of the clock faces we were able to walk round the tower behind each

face in turn.
They are framed in cast iron, and each is glazed with 312 pieces of opal glass. The glass has

to be both strong
and thin, so that it can flex in high winds. At first German glass was used, but British

technology has caught up
since. The faces are seven metres in diameter – the length of a Routemaster bus, we were told.

Originally lit by
gas, each is now fitted with 28 low-energy long-life electric lamps.

We had heard the three-quarter-hour chimes as we climbed, and our arrival at the belfry just

preceded the midday
chimes and striking of the hour. Almost literally stunning, it was a memorable experience –

actually to
watch, while the chimes we all know so well were played, followed, after that familiar pause,

by the twelve
reverberating strokes of Big Ben. The bell weighs 13.5 tonnes and is 2.7 metres in diameter (it

had to be hoisted
sideways up the tower when installed); the hammer which strikes it weighs 200 kilograms. The

quarter bells
weigh between one and four tonnes.

The public is not allowed above the belfry, but we could see above us the lantern of the Ayrton

Light, which
since 1885 is lit whenever Parliament is sitting after dark. Seen from the belfry: an aerial

view of the muchcriticised
Portcullis House across Bridge Street; the
Millennium ferris wheel propped up on its side above the river
in front of County Hall; and, eastwards in the distance, the

We then entered the clock room to see the mechanism, which
weighs about five tonnes. The pendulum, which beats every
two seconds, is adjusted by adding or removing small weights,
including old pennies. There is a small shelf for this purpose
on the rod. The clock is wound and tested for accuracy three
times a week. When, in 1976, a metal shaft broke and the
mechanism was torn apart, the extensive repairs included a
stronger replacement shaft, and a fail-safe device to limit
damage if something similar happened again.

Having safely accomplished the descent, we thanked our guide
for a fascinating tour. Our gratitude is also due to Siobhain
McDonagh MP and to our Secretary, Sheila Harris, for
arranging the visit.


Behind one of the clock faces in the days of gas-lighting

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17 members joined Richard Milward at St Mary’s Wimbledon on 3 August. The rain had stopped, so

we were able
to walk around the outside of the church. Richard took us to the east end, among the graves

(and brambles) to remind
us that, first and foremost, the church is a part of the ongoing spiritual life of the

community. For 1000 years people
have come here to worship week by week. Generations have been baptised, married, and buried.

More than 10,000
burials have taken place. Though mortality rates were high, many lived to 70 and beyond.

The east end is the best place to observe the various stages of the building. The original

Saxon church has vanished
without trace, but the chancel of its medieval successor remains. Beyond this can be seen the

brickwork of the
Georgian church, now mostly concealed by the rebuilding of 1843. In fact only the west end was

demolished, the
remaining Georgian walls being faced with flint and the round headed windows replaced by the

newly resurgent
Gothic. The architect was the, as yet, little known George Gilbert Scott.

Why was the church built half a mile from the village, especially as in early medieval times

Wimbledon was part of
the Archbishop of Canterbury’s manor of Mortlake? Richard suggested that the church was located

on the hilltop to
be visible from Croydon, another Canterbury possession, and an old Saxon minster church.

Walking through the churchyard, Richard pointed out the Bazalgette vault (see In Brief p.11),

and the unusual
pyramid tomb of Gerard de Visme, a Huguenot merchant who lived in Wimbledon Lodge in Southside.

Richard is on
record as saying that the tomb was probably inspired by Napoleon’s conquest of Egypt in 1798,

but now realises that
this was the year after de Visme’s death, and the details of his tomb had been set out in his

will! It is encouraging to
know that even an historian of Richard’s calibre can make mistakes, and admit to them!

Moving into the church, we heard of the consecration service on 20 March 1843, of which a

seating plan survives.
Richard told us about many of the people present, and also of earlier parishioners who have

memorials there.
Various items of interest were pointed out including the roof of the chancel, uncovered in

1860, as was an old
window opening, erroneously interpreted as a leper window. Richard suggested it was either for

ventilation or to
enable the parish clerk to ring an external bell at the moment of Consecration during the Mass.

Some ancient stained
glass, possibly of the 13th century, depicting St George, has been repositioned in the Cecil

Chapel, a mortuary
chapel of 1620. The adjoining Warrior Chapel is a memorial to the dead of World War I.

This brief report cannot do justice to an enlightening evening led by a well-informed guide.

Thank you Richard.

Peter Hopkins


[This article is a slightly expanded version of one written for the John Innes Society

Newsletter No.123 (April 1994). It appears with permission.]
William Rickatson Dykes (1877-1925), who lived in Merton Park between 1920 and 1924, was an

unorthodox but
distinguished figure in the world of horticulture. Born in Bayswater as the son of a bootmaker,

he was educated at
the City of London School, followed by Wadham College, Oxford, where he read classics, and then

the University
of Paris. He then became a master at Charterhouse School, where he was noted for disciplining

unruly pupils by

making them wheel loads of earth up his steep garden, and where he went by the strange nickname

of .Sweaty
It was at Charterhouse, where he taught for 16 years, that a lasting passion for irises was

born in Dykes. He wrote

later, .The first flowers of my first reticulatas proved so fascinating that, once I had seen

them open in my garden, I
was eager to go on growing all obtainable irises, raising seedlings of them and hybrids between

them.. He published
three books and many articles about his favourite genus, and extended his enthusiasm to include

tulips and crocuses.

Dykes’s first marriage was not a success. The couple finally parted, and his wife died in 1920

– of actinomycosis, a
fungus-induced disease, which her family is said to have claimed she caught from her husband’s

irises! In 1918 he
met Katherine Kohnlein, with whom he lived for several years before they married, under family

pressure, in 1924.
She illustrated many of his articles.

When Dykes was, perhaps surprisingly, appointed Secretary of the Royal Horticultural Society in

1920, he had to
look for a London home. Most of his huge plant collection was sold, but William Bateson, whom

he already knew,
and who was Director of the John Innes Horticultural Institution in Merton Park, offered to

accommodate those
irises and tulips which Dykes wished to keep. Dykes and Katherine moved into the nearest house

available, which
proved to be 1 Manor Road, Merton Park. This could not have been much closer to the

Institution, which occupied
what are now the grounds of Rutlish School. It is one of a number of houses in that immediate

area built in the
Edwardian period by Henry Coombs, who himself lived at Broadwater House, which stood between

Bakers End and
Kingston Road, off Cannon Hill Lane.


However, during the whole of his residence in Merton Park, Dykes
continued to look for a home elsewhere. Not only was his garden small,
but the local soil was not what he would have chosen for his precious
irises. Over and over again, houses which Katherine liked he rejected
unseen, on account of the soil. When at last what is said to have been
an ugly and inconvenient house, hated at sight by Katherine, proved to
have the ideal soil, the couple left Merton Park and took with them
their plant collection from the Institution. The new house was
Bobbingcourt, Pyle Hill, at Sutton Green, near Worplesdon.

Though he was described by Bateson’s wife Beatrice as .having no
scientific mental equipment., relations between Dykes and the
Institution seem to have been cordial. He gave some lectures there,
and from 1911 onwards presented them with many plants and seeds,
including not only irises, but crocuses, tulips, and specimens of canna,
nerine, agapanthus and other exotic genera. During his residence at
Merton Park he was also an intermittent voluntary worker at the
Institution. Correspondence survives which records a wariness, shared
with Professor Bateson, at the prospect of Ministry interference in the
testing of vegetable seeds.

Dykes proved an energetic, though sometimes controversial, Secretary of the RHS, at a period

when its
membership was increasing dramatically. When the British Iris Society was founded in 1924 he

also became its
first Secretary, and first editor of its Bulletin. In the same year he was awarded the Veitch

Memorial Medal, a
great distinction. A year later he was nominated for the Victoria Medal of Honour for

Horticulture. However he
did not live to receive it, for in late November 1925 he and Katherine were involved in a car

accident. In snowy
conditions near Woking they collided with a lorry, and, though Katherine survived with nothing

more than
bruises, Dykes, who was horribly injured, losing an ear and an arm, died on 1 December, aged

just 48. A
memorial service was held at St Stephen’s, Rochester Row, close to the RHS Old Hall.

Katherine, described as .vigorous, charming and with great ability with plants., was made an

Honorary Life
Member of the RHS. She ran the garden at Sutton Green as a nursery, made botanical drawings for

the Society,
and edited and illustrated some of Dykes’s research for publication. But she too was to die a

violent death, at
only 44. On 25 May 1933, returning home after conducting King George V and Queen Mary round the

Flower Show, she was one of five passengers killed in a rail crash outside Raynes Park station.

The engine and
first carriages of her train, the 3.10 from Waterloo to Alton, were derailed, probably because

of slack sleepers,
and were hit at 3.23 by the delayed 12.11 Southampton to London train. Katherine was believed

to have died
.almost instantaneously.. The injured were taken to the Nelson Hospital. Both inquiry (at

Waterloo station)
and inquest (at St George’s Hall, Wimbledon) were held promptly, and Katherine’s funeral,

attended by many
great names in horticulture, was held at Woking Crematorium on 31 May.

Dykes’s most important work, particularly remarkable for a self-taught botanist, was the

massive The Genus
Iris, published in 1913. No-one before this date had written a single monograph dealing with an

entire genus. It
is not clear that he did much travelling himself, but he was in touch with collectors in many

parts of the world,
or at least the northern hemisphere – apparently the Iris does not grow south of the Equator.

There were two
other books which dealt with the Iris. Of one he wrote breezily: .It was rather a rapid survey

of Irises as garden
plants and the fact that it was written in the space of a long week-end at the time of the

Coronation of 1911 is
evidence that it was never intended to be exhaustive.. In 1924 he published A Handbook of

Garden Irises,
which was also meant for gardeners rather than botanists, but included botanical and

distribution information.
He was a regular contributor of general horticultural articles to The Times.

He is believed to have introduced 37 irises into commercial cultivation – most notably perhaps

the one named
after him posthumously. .W R Dykes. was the first large yellow iris, and, though it is no

longer much grown, its
strengths have been bred into new irises. His introduction ‘Douglasiana Merton’ received an

Award of Merit in
1923. The Dykes Medal was instituted by the British Iris Society in his memory.


W R Dykes A Handbook of Garden Irises London 1924 The Garden August 1992 pp 357-9
Nature 19 December 1925 p 908 Journal Royal Horticultural Society vol LI pt ii 1926
The Gardeners. Chronicle 5 December 1925 Wimbledon Borough News 26 May and 2 June 1933
The Times, 3 and 5 December 1925; 26,27,30 and 31 May, and 1 June 1933 Documents at John Innes

Centre, Norwich

Judith Goodman

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W R Dykes



Merton is famous, not only for its sea captains, but for those close to them who never went to

sea. Pride of place
must go to Emma Hamilton and her association with Nelson. Then there was Elizabeth Cook who

came to live
in Merton after her husband, Captain James Cook, and all her six children had died. She lived

at Abbey Gatehouse
with her cousin, another sailor, Rear Admiral Isaac Smith.

Even earlier, in Elizabethan times, the district had connections with the sea. Richard Hakluyt

collected narratives
of all the early English voyages, which reveal other local landlubbers. In the 1589 edition of

hisDivers Voyages
(divers = sundry) the preface makes reference to a Morden resident:

.And whereas in the course of this history, often mention is made of … strange curiosities,

which wise
men take great pleasure to read of, but much more content to see. Herein I myself, to my

singular delight
have been, as it were, ravished in beholding all the premises gathered together with no small

cost and
preserved with no little diligence, in the excellent cabinets of … Mr Richard Garth one of

the clerks of
the petty Bags….

So here is evidence of an early antiquarian living in Morden in the late 16th century. Did he

travel much?
A Dutchman, John Huighen van Linschoten, recorded the early voyages to the East and West

Indies, and
Hakluyt arranged for a translation from Dutch into English, and published the accounts in 1598.

The dedication
of the book was to a Mitcham man, Julius Caesar, Master of the Court of Requests1. It was

through Caesar’s
marriage to Alice Dent in 1595 that he acquired his Mitcham property. Richard Hakluyt and

Julius Caesar were
contemporaries at Magdalen College, Oxford 1573-8. Caesar was a Member of Parliament from 1588


1622. In September 1598, the year of the book dedication, Queen Elizabeth spent a night at

Mitcham with
Julius before going on to Nonsuch Palace after lunch the next day.
In 1612 Hakluyt published Peter Martyr’s Historie of the New World, which was also dedicated to

Sir Julius

Caesar, who had been knighted in 16032.
Among Hakluyt’s acquaintances was Michael Lok, a younger son of William, who acquired property

in Merton
and Wimbledon. Michael had been a successful trader travelling to France, Flanders, Spain,

Portugal and the

Levant. He possessed scientific tastes and interested himself in navigation, purchasing books,

charts and
instruments costing £500.
In 1572 he married the widow of Caesar Adelmare, and thus became the stepfather of Julius

Caesar. Lok

supported Frobisher in his attempts to discover a northwest passage to China, and set about

raising funds from

other merchant adventurers.
A royal grant was issued in 1576 incorporating the Cathay Company, and in March of the

following year Lok
was appointed Governor. Frobisher never found a northwest passage, but did discover iron ore,

which an Italian
goldsmith in London maintained contained gold. A second voyage secured 200 tons of ore, but

assayers concluded
that their furnace was not powerful enough, and larger furnaces had to be constructed.

Meanwhile Frobisher
was off on his third sailing in May 1578 with 15 ships, and returned with a further 1200 tons

of ore. To support
these journeys Lok spent £7,500 of his own money.

When it was shown that the iron ore was pyrites (fool’s gold), all turned on Lok, including

Frobisher. Backers
refused to pay their subscriptions, whilst ship owners required payment for their ships. One

sued Lok, and Lok
was imprisoned for debt in the Fleet prison in 1581.

When Hakluyt first published his Divers Voyages in 1582, he asked Lok to provide a map of the

northern lands
depicting the latest discoveries. As can be seen on the map, Lok used his name for some of the

land3. To avoid
possible further litigation, Lok had to go into virtual exile. His wife died, and we find him

living in Ireland,
Turkey and Venice, supported by his numerous sons, including his stepson Julius Caesar. In

Turkey and Venice
he lived with his son Benjamin. In 1598 Hakluyt published Decades of the New World, part of

which Lok
translated into English. Finally, Lok returned to England at Christmas 1602. As late as 1614/5

the Cathay
Company was still pursuing him for debt, when he was aged 83.

Hakluyt published Peter Martyr’s Historie of the New World in 1612, with its dedication to Sir

Julius Caesar,
and the title page informs the reader that it was translated from the Latin into English by

Michael Lok2. This
may have been a son, a contemporary of Julius Caesar, and in fact his step brother.


Reprinted in Hakluyt Soc. Publications 1885 70, 71
Reprinted in Hakluyt’s Collection of the Early Voyages Vol.V 1812. A retranslation of the

Historie was published by F A McNutt
1912, 2 vols.
Reprinted in Hakluyt Soc. Publications 1850 7

Map of North America, by Michael Lok. From Hakluyt’s Divers voyages touching the discouerie of

America, London 1582

[In seems worth pointing out that Emma Hamilton did make one adventurous voyage. In late

December 1798
she helped Nelson in the Vanguard to evacuate the King and Queen of the Two Sicilies, with

their huge household,
from Naples to Palermo. In appalling storms Emma proved herself brave and capable – and

seemingly impervious
to seasickness! JG]


Surrey History is the annual publication of Surrey Local History Council, normally sold at

£3.95 but
available to members of Merton Historical Society, as a member society, at £2.65. The latest

edition Vol
V No 5 – is on order, and will be available at meetings or by post. Articles include:

Surrey Elections and M.P’s from the Reform Act to the Present Day

by David Robinson, Surrey’s County Archivist

A Brief History of Cuddington by Charles Abdy of Nonsuch Antiquarian Society

New Facilities for Surrey Historians by David Robinson, Surrey’s County Archivist
We have a few copies of earlier editions in stock, which we are offering to members at just £1!
Among a range of topics, they each have an article relating to our area:Vol.
IV No. 2 – Les Belges à Wimbledon – A Curiosity of 1867 Michael Robbins
Vol. IV No. 5 – William Harland and the Paint & Varnish Industry in Mitcham Eric Montague
Vol. V No. 1 – The Paper Mills of Surrey III (including Merton, Morden & Wallington) Alan

Contact Peter Hopkins 0181 543 8471 to order a bargain. Stocks are limited. (Postage 40p each).


ERIC MONTAGUE traces the Mitcham connections of SIR AMBROSE CROWLEY (1658-1713)

At a meeting of the Society some years ago I asked if anyone would care to undertake research

which might
throw light on how it came about that Mitcham parish church should contain a memorial to Sir

Ambrose Crowley,
the 18th-century industrialist, who, as far as I knew at the time, had neither lived in Mitcham

nor had any
connections with the parish.

Our late member, Jack Bailey, responded, and it is largely through his genealogical researches

that an account of
the Crowley family, and a plausible explanation for their monument’s presence in Mitcham

church, can now be

By the late 15th century, when it was the last resting-place of Alice, the wife of Ralph

Illingworth of Hall Place,
the north chancel of Mitcham parish church had become popular as the burial place of several

families prominent
in the life of the parish1. Successive owners of the Hall Place estate retained a proprietorial

interest in the north
chancel until the early 19th century, and in Manning and Bray one can find described monuments

to the memory
of a number of Mitcham’s leading parishioners interred here in the 18th

century when, with the house, the chancel was held on lease by William
Heath and subsequently his son Thomas2.
One of the families whose members were buried here was that of a

remarkable character, Sir Ambrose Crowley, a wealthy iron
manufacturer, whose large marble memorial can now be seen in the
baptistry. Quite apart from seeking to demonstrate a relationship between
the Crowleys and either the owners or lessees of the north chancel, it is
the natural instinct of the local historian to attempt to locate their
residence in the village. Frustratingly, so far the quest has not borne
fruit, and there is in fact very little evidence to associate Sir Ambrose
with any particular house in Mitcham, and his will makes no reference
at all to his being in possession of property in the village. There are
however several entries in the burial register to associate him, his wife
and two of his sons with Mitcham, the volume for the latter part of the
17th century recording the burial in April 1696 and April 1698
respectively of Ambrose and Owen, young sons of .Mr Ambrose
Crowley.. In 1713 we find recorded the interment of .Sir Ambrose
Crowley Kt. Alderman of London. himself, and finally .Dame Mary Crowley, relict of Sir Ambrose

who was buried beside her husband in 17273.

The Crowley grave was marked by a ledger slab set in the floor of the north aisle, its

inscription drawing
attention to the monument to their memory, affixed to the north wall of the chancel nearby.

This, one of the most
impressive memorials to be seen in the old church, was executed by John Michael Rysbrack, one

of the best
sculptors of the 18th century. It bears the profile portraits of Sir Ambrose and Dame Mary

Crowley in a medallion,
and was fortunately preserved for re-erection in the new church, when the medieval building was

demolished in
1819. For over half a century the memorial was a conspicuous feature to be seen in the west

porch as one entered
the church, but when the present baptistry was formed in 1875 the monument was relocated. The


Near this place are deposited the Remains of Sir Ambrose Crowley Knight, Citizen and Alderman

London, whose numerous Family and great estate were the present rewards of an Indefatigable

and Application to Business, an unblemished probity, and a sincere belief and practice of true

and particularly a boundless Liberality towards the Poor, many Hundreds of whom he constantly

Near him lies ye Body of Dame Mary his wife, ye daughter of Charles Owen Esq, a Younger Son of

Family of Condor. She buried seven Children Infants, and saw one Son, John Crowley Esq, and

Daughters married. John was married to Theodosia Gascoign of Enfield; Mary to James Hallett Esq

Essex; Lettice to Sir John Hind Cotton of Cambridgeshire Bart; Sarah to Humphrey Parsons Esq of
Surrey; Anna to Richard Fleming Esq of Hants; and Elizabeth to the Right Hon.Lord St John of

Sir Ambrose died Oct.11 1713, aged 54 years; His Lady in the 63rd year of her age, 1727.

Provision for the erection of this memorial had been made by Mary Crowley in her will, £300

being left for the
monument to be erected in Mitcham church. For much of his life Sir Ambrose seems to have lived

in the City (he
was living in Thames Street when he married Mary at the church of St Bartholomew the Less) and

his children

Sir Ambrose & Lady CrowleyMonument in Mitcham parishchurch


were baptised either at St Giles, Cripplegate, or in the parish of All Hallows the Less in

Thames Street, where
he held various parochial offices from 1690 until 1695. In 1704 the family moved to Greenwich,

where Sir
Ambrose died in October 17134. The reason for his burial at Mitcham can best be explained by

the ruinous state
of Greenwich church, which had collapsed in 1710 after years of neglect, his wife’s family

connections with
Mitcham through her father Charles Owen, and the fact that two of the Crowley children were

already buried

All five Crowley daughters evidently secured wealthy husbands, two at least of whom were to be

well-known. Sir John Hind Cotton became a prominent Tory politician, whilst Humphrey Parsons

was Lord
Mayor of London in 1730-1 and again in 17406. It is possible that it was Parsons, and not Sir

Ambrose, as stated
by Lysons7, who was characterised in The Tatler No.73 as .Sir Humphrey Greenhat.8. A Mrs

Frances Parsons,
who died in 1742 aged 43 and is commemorated by an oval memorial tablet now in the north

vestibule of
Mitcham church (in the old building it was on the wall of the north chancel, near the memorial

to the Heath
family) was almost certainly a relative.

It is the marriage of John Crowley to Theodosia Gascoign(e) that provides the second major link

between the
Crowleys and Mitcham, for the Gascoigne family retained a connection with the parish throughout

the 18th
century. In the mid-1780s a substantial house on the south-western side of the Upper Green,

described by
Edwards as being used as a girls. school under the proprietorship of Mrs Fowkes9, was listed in

the Land Tax
records as belonging to Mrs Elizabeth Gascoigne10. The name is not common in the parish, and it

seems likely
that she was the widow of .James Cloberry Gascoigne gent.., who died in June 1796 and was

in the parish church by a small white marble tablet against the wall of the chancel11. James

Gascoigne, who
owned land to the south of the Green in 176212, appears to have been related to Sarah Chandler

Selby), widow of George Chandler, a merchant of Mile End, for we are told that on her death in

1789 she gave
several pecuniary legacies and all her freehold land and copyhold estates in Britain (including

Hall Place,
Mitcham) and all her plantations in Jamaica, to a George Gascoigne, on condition that he

changed his name to

With these links, imperfectly understood, it must be admitted, we have found a connection

between the Crowleys
and Mitcham, although the actual location of the Crowleys. residence in the 1690s, when two of

their young
sons were buried in the parish church has yet to be established with any certainty. There is

however circumstantial
evidence to support the belief that the house might have occupied a site to the south-west of

the Upper Green.

Ambrose Crowley was born in 1658, the son of Ambrose Crowley, a blacksmith and ‘nailer’ of

Worcestershire, who prospered as a wholesale dealer in iron goods, and of Mary Hall of

Bromsgrove, his wife14.
Young Ambrose began his career in commerce in 1671, when he was apprenticed to Clement

Plumstead of the
Drapers. Company. His marriage to Mary Owen (whose mother’s family, the Knights, are understood

to have
been long domiciled in Mitcham5) took place in 1681 at St Bartholomew the Less. Crowley seems

by this time
to have set himself up in business as an ‘ironmonger’ in London, for in 1682 he was in dispute

with his suppliers
in the Midlands, and by 1684 he had established a nail manufactory at Sunderland.

Before long he had become the
owner of slitting mills (in which
iron bars or plates are slit into nail-
rods etc) and steel furnaces at
Winlaton, near Newcastle upon
Tyne, and of foundries and forges
at Swalwell, where he made
anchors, chains and other heavy
goods15. As his interests expanded
he acquired large warehouses in
London and at Greenwich, and
smaller depots at Blackwell, Ware,
Wolverhampton, Walsall and
Stourbridge. Transport was vital to
the successful conduct of the
enterprise, and Crowley owned a
small fleet of vessels plying
between the Tyne and the Thames.

(Rectangle comment XPMUser
24/05/2017 18:45:35
An 18th-century slitting mill


Ambrose had had a Quaker upbringing. He applied his immense natural energy unsparingly to his

business interests,
and expected his employees to do the same. It is said, for instance, that in the early years of

the 18th century he
required his men to labour for 13½ hours a day, for six days a week16.

The Crowley family was at 151 Thames Street in 1686/7, and from 1690 to 1695 Ambrose held

various offices in
the parish of All Hallows the Less. His sons John and Ambrose (the second son to bear the name)

and daughters
Lettice, Ann and Elizabeth appear in the baptism registers of All Hallows the Less in 1688 and

1701, and 1692,
1698 and 1702 respectively. In 1792 the Crowleys moved to Greenwich4.

Abraham Crowley received a
knighthood from Queen Anne in
January 1707 whilst holding office as
Sheriff for the City of London17.
Although he had risen so far in the
society of his time, he seems never to
have attempted to disguise his origins,
and is said to have kept his north country
accent throughout his life. A member
of the Drapers. Company, of which he
was Master in 1708/9, his political
career had begun with election to the
Court of Common Council in 1697,
representing the Dowgate Ward of the
City. He was sworn as an Alderman for
Dowgate in May 1711, the same year
that he became a director of the South Sea Company, of which he was a major shareholder18. In

1712/13 he was
deputy governor of the Company, and, at the height of his career, was returned Member of

Parliament for Andover
in 1713, ready to take advantage of the position in which he would have found himself under the

Tory government
of Harley and St John. Fate however determined otherwise, for on 11 October 1713 Sir Ambrose

Crowley died at
Greenwich, aged 54.

In Crowley’s will19, where he is described as of East Greenwich, his son John is the principal

beneficiary, receiving
all his father’s houses, lands, and other premises in Durham, Worcestershire and Kent. John

Crowley (who was
satirised by Addison in The Spectator [No.299] as .Sir John Anvil.) was also a member of the

Drapers. Company6.
He too was elected as Alderman for the Dowgate Ward, in 1727, after serving six years in the

Court of Common
Council. He was MP for Okehampton from 1722 until 1727, and for Queenborough in Kent from 1727

until his
death the following year20.

Sir Ambrose Crowley, one of Britain’s first industrial entrepreneurs, owed his financial

success to sheer hardheadedness,
business acumen and organising ability. He built up a highly articulated structure; he

appointed managers
and supervisors to each of his establishments, drew up an elaborate code of company .laws., and

exercised direction
not only of policy, but also of day-to-day operations through a continuous flow of

correspondence from London. In
1728, after the death of John, the estate was valued at nearly £250,00014. This did not consist

wholly of industrial
assets, but it is clear that by this time the business organisation Sir Ambrose had founded had

grown to an incredible

After John’s death the works were run by Sir Ambrose’s grandsons Ambrose (d.1754) and John

(d.1755), and
thereafter by their mother Theodosia, who was a widow for 54 years. The head office, principal

warehouse and
family residence were firstly at Thames Street, and after 1704 at Greenwich. The business,

which collapsed in about
1863, was considered to be the most extensive in the country, and at one time controlled the

largest ironworks in

As we have seen, Dame Mary Crowley, daughter of Charles Owen Esq. of Mitcham, survived her

husband for
nearly 14 years, and was laid to rest beside him in Mitcham church on 5 July 1727 at the age of

62. In addition to the
money set aside for the memorial to Sir Ambrose and herself, she also left £50 for the poor of

the parish. Her mother
was the sister and sole heir of John Knight of Mitcham22, and her grandfather was probably the

Francis Knight Esq.
whose name appears in the Hearth Tax records of 1664, paying tax on what, with its eight

hearths, was one of the
larger houses in the parish23. There was also a connection with the Cranmer family through the

marriage to a
member of the Owens by Anne Cranmer, sister of Robert Cranmer the East India merchant, who

purchased a large
estate in Mitcham and lordship of the manor during the Commonwealth24. More work on the parish

registers of
Mitcham and the various wills is needed before the precise relationships of these interesting

families can be clarified.

(Rectangle comment XPMUser
24/05/2017 18:45:53
Crowley House & Crowley Wharf, Greenwich,
looking towards the Royal Naval Hospital


Notes and references:

1 Something of the prestige attaching to a grave in the north chancel can be read into the

entry in the parish burial register, which records that on 23
March 1737 Mary, wife of Mr Joseph Baly from Hertfordshire was interred in Mr Heath’s chancel,

.the burial place of the late Sir Ambrose
2 Manning O and Bray W History of Surrey II (1809) 500

Ms. copies in possession of Surrey Archaeological Society (Ref: Cockayne MS. Vol.III) Originals

are at Surrey History Centre

It is for detailed biographical information on the Crowley family that I am indebted greatly to

my late friend and fellow-member of Merton
Historical Society, Jack Bailey.

Flinn M W Men of Iron: The Crowleys in the Early Iron Industry (1962)

Beaven A B The Aldermen of the City of London II (1908) 195

Lysons D The Environs of London I (1792) 356

Gentleman’s Magazine (1803) 1004
Correspondent .Q., referring to Lysons, argues the case convincingly for Humphrey Parsons.

Edwards J Companion from London to Brighthelmston Pt.II 16

Surrey History Centre, Land Tax Records – Mitcham

Manning and Bray II (1809) 501

Deeds of Glebelands, seen in the Chief Executive’s Department, London Borough of Merton, in the


Victoria County History of Surrey II (1905) 372

Le Neve Pedigrees of Knights; Beaven I (1908)

Ashton T S An Economic History of England: The 18th Century (1955) 164-5, quoting Flinn M W

.Sir Ambrose Crowley, Ironmonger, 16581713
. in Explorations in Entrepreneurial History Vol.V No.3 120

Ashton 212

Beaven I 258

Beaven II 122 and I 142

PCC 22 Leeds June 10. Proved 19 October 1713

Beaven II 126

Crowley’s Winlaton Ironworks, where he harnessed the waters of the Derwent for power, was

Europe’s first integrated manufacturing plant, taking
in raw materials and producing the finished articles. The once beautiful valley was still

attractive enough to be painted by Turner in 1817, but it was
desecrated in the late 19th and early 10th centuries by steel mills and the massive

Derwenthaugh Cokeworks. The plant closed in 1985, and in the
early 1990s the valley was reclaimed, and is now parkland. Williams P .Paradise Regained in

Turner’s Rural Idyll., The Times 6 August 1998

Professor M F H Rose, in a personal communication 17 March 1993

Surrey Record Society Surrey Hearth Tax XLI and XLII Vol.XVIII (1964)

Manning and Bray II (1803) 497


On Southwark Diocese Open Day, Saturday 18 September, many churches in the Borough will be open

for special events and displays. These include:
St Mary’s Church, Merton. A chance to see some of the old records usually housed at Surrey
History Centre, Woking

St Martin’s Church, Camborne Road, Morden. An exhibition on the history of the Lower
Morden area – plus free cream teas!

In the run-up to the bicentenary of Trafalgar in 2005 there will be many, perhaps too many, new

books on
Nelson. However, anything by Tom Pocock is welcome. In Nelson’s Women, the author of one of the
best biographies of Nelson deals briskly but perceptively with the hero’s mother, wife,

mistress, niece
and daughter, as well as the delicious Mary Moutray, the simpering Elizabeth Andrews – and the

singer of Leghorn. Published by Andre Deutsch at £20.

Another .local hero. stars in The Great Stink of London (£19.99) by Stephen Halliday, which is

in this
year’s list from Sutton Publishing. The story of Sir Joseph Bazalgette and the construction of

sewers in the 19th century has a foreword by Adam (.Local Heroes.) Hart-Davis. Bazalgette had a

in Morden for many years before moving up the hill to Wimbledon. He is buried in St Mary’s


The Museum of London pays tribute to Alfred the Great: London’s forgotten king in an exhibition
opening on 8 September to mark the 11th centenary of Alfred’s death in 899. Recent excavations

Saxon London have thrown new light on this still mysterious era. Loans on display will include

marvellous Alfred Jewel from the Ashmolean Museum. The exhibition runs till 9 January.

Food and catering in Merton is the theme of the Heritage Centre’s current exhibition, Sugar and

& All Things Nice. Open 10-5 Fridays/Saturdays till 30 October at The Canons, Madeira Road,

Admission Free. It will be followed, from 12 November, by The Peopling of Merton, which,

for the end of the Millennium, will look at how Merton has been shaped by its various

communities over
the centuries.



The early history of Rose Cottage, now 101 Hamilton Road SW19, has been elucidated by DR BRUCE

ELLIOTT of Ottawa, Canada, with considerable help from the late JOHN WALLACE of Merton. Dr
Elliott related the story of the house and its builder in two issues of the Horaceville Herald,

which is the
newsletter of the Pinhey’s Point Foundation, 270 Pinhey’s Point Road, R.R.1, Dunrobin, Ontario,

KOA 1TO. Part of his account, written for Canadian readers, is reproduced here in slightly

form, with kind permission.

When Hamnett Pinhey, a young importer and merchant, decided in 1819 to emigrate to Canada he

described himself as a gentleman of property, and after becoming a colonial he retained

ownership of two small
estates in England. One was a residence called Rose Cottage, situated on eight acres of land in

the parish of
Wimbledon, close to the boundary with Merton. Though much altered Rose Cottage still stands, as

101 Hamilton

The land had been part of the Merton Place
estate of Admiral Nelson. When Nelson
died at Trafalgar in 1805 he left to his
mistress Emma Hamilton 70 acres of the
Merton Place estate of her own choosing.
His unorthodox bequest of Lady Hamilton
herself to the people of England was not
honoured by the government, and mounting
debts forced her to turn to friends for
support. One of her friends was Abraham
Goldsmid, a Jewish financier of Dutch birth
who maintained a residence nearby at
Morden Lodge.

In November 1808 Goldsmid and several friends became trustees of the Merton Place estate and

Lady Hamilton £35001. This sum was soon expended however, and Merton Place was put up for sale.

were no buyers, and in 1809 for £13,000 Abraham Goldsmid and his brother Asher purchased the

freehold to

72.5 acres in Merton and Wimbledon, including Merton Place house, as tenants in common2. The

lands in
Merton parish were sold off in small lots, but those on the Wimbledon side were for the most

part still owned by
the Goldsmids in the 1850s. The coming of the lands onto the market did however present an

opportunity for
rising London merchants and gentlemen to obtain sites for country residences.
Rose Cottage in the 1980s drawn by John Wallace

Hamnett Kirkes Pinhey(Courtesy of Dr Bruce Elliott andPinhey’s Point Foundation)

Enter Hamnett Pinhey, whose Rose Cottage appears to have been the
earliest development on the Merton Place estate3. Pinhey may have had
previous associations with Merton. The curate there was the Rev.Thomas
Lancaster, who also ran a boys. boarding school in Wimbledon.
Hamnett’s aunt Mary Pinhey (born in 1747 at Totnes, Devon, died in
1824 and buried at Stoke Damerel) had married a William Lancaster
(1748-1820). It is possible that Thomas Lancaster was a relative of
Pinhey’s uncle-by-marriage, but this needs further investigation. Pinhey
does seem to have lived in the area while negotiating with the Goldsmids,
for his brother-in-law wrote many years later that while visiting juvenile
haunts of 25 years earlier he had seen .your old lodgings in Morden.,
and a servant of Pinhey was buried at Merton in August 18114. However
the family bible in the Bytown Museum notes that his children were
born at his London residence, 3 New London Street, Crutched Friars.

Pinhey first consulted his solicitor about purchasing property from the
Nelson estate in August 1810, and was referred for an abstract of title to
Abraham Goldsmid. Goldsmid, despite his financial acuity and
ostentatious wealth, was renowned for his philanthropy, but Pinhey’s
involvement with him came as the meteoric rise and unparallelled
financial luck of the Goldsmid family took a tragic turn, and the
transaction ended up costing Pinhey much bother and not a little money.


Abraham Goldsmid (1756?-1810) and his brother Benjamin were brokers whose fortunes had risen

since 1792 when they had successfully bid to handle a government loan. In so doing they had

broken the
monopoly of the English banks, which had been extorting high rates of interest from a

government starved for
credit during the French Revolutionary Wars. Following several years of declining fortunes

after the death of
their patron William Pitt in 1806, Abraham was a joint contractor in 1810 with Baring Brothers

for a government
loan of £13.4 million. Market declines and the death of Sir Francis Baring left Goldsmid unable

to meet his
obligations – the press noted a loss of nearly £200,000 on the government loans – and on 28

September 1810 he
shot himself in the grounds of his house at Morden5. (His brother Benjamin had hanged himself

two years

The Crown was the Goldsmid partnership’s principal creditor, in the sum of £466,700. Fearful

that the creditors.
claims would be met at a much reduced level if the estate were disposed of during the immediate

panic ensuing
upon Goldsmid’s suicide, the Treasury agreed that the rights of the Crown would not be enforced

to collect the
debt immediately, and that the royal debt would stand equal with the other claims, so long as

inspectors appointed
under Act of Parliament approved the administration of the Goldsmids. affairs. On 27 November

1810 an
indenture was signed by all parties agreeing to the appointment of four Inspectors6, and an Act

of Parliament on
27 June 1812 confirmed the indenture, and exempted those purchasing from the trustees from any

towards the Crown7. Hamnett Pinhey’s little property transaction had thus become entangled in

the ponderous
intricacies of national finance.

Soon after Abraham Goldsmid’s death a lawyer raised doubts to Pinhey’s solicitor that Jews were

qualified to
own land in England. The question was argued by the lawyers until Asher Goldsmid admitted a

1793 precedent
that appeared to resolve the question in the affirmative.

It was February 1814 before Pinhey was allowed to pay half the purchase money to Asher

Goldsmid’s bankers,
who refused to receive it before reading through the Act of Parliament. A request to have the

deeds drawn up
brought the reply that a meeting of the devisees and Inspectors would be difficult to set up

and that Mr Pinhey’s
solicitor should meet with them individually. Through February and March Mr Saggers made the

rounds of the
counting houses and coffee houses securing signatures from Goldsmid’s heirs and partners and

from the
Parliamentary Inspectors. Then in May the Goldsmids demanded interest on the outstanding half

of the purchase
money, and reimbursement from Pinhey for land tax expended on the property since the signing of

the deeds.
After an attempt at arbitration failed because of a disagreement over the facts of the case,

Pinhey went to see
Asher Goldsmid personally in December and threatened a suit in Chancery. With little principal

involved the
matter was not worth taking to law and it appears to have been settled amicably, with Pinhey

paying an additional
£516.11.7 of the purchase money and agreeing to pay interest at 5 percent on the remainder. On

18 April 1815
Pinhey met with the Goldsmids to complete the purchase and receive the deeds8.

Pinhey may have secured a long-term building lease to his Merton land before he was sure of

purchasing the
freehold, for on 16 July 1813 he signed a construction contract with a builder, Thomas Young of

Water Lane,
Fleet Street. For £1050 Young agreed to complete and finish the building to Pinhey’s

specifications by 12
January following9.

The architect of Rose Cottage was Pinhey’s brother-
in-law Thomas Tasker. Tasker submitted designs for
a pavilion at the Royal Academy of Arts in 1812 and
for the interior of a hall in 181410. He was born in
London late in 1794 and so was not yet 20 in 1813
when he designed Rose Cottage, probably the only
example of his work to see the light of day11. He listed
his address as 7 Idol Lane, Tower Street, the house
in which his father ran a wine shop (later bequeathed
by his sister Lucy to the Pinheys in Canada). We have
no idea what kind of architectural training he may
have had, but it is unlikely that he ever pursued the
business professionally. After his father’s death he
was evidently a partner in the wine business with his
brother William for a few years12. There was a family
of architects named Tasker, the original of whom,
John Tasker (c.1738-1816), was nearing the end of
his career when Thomas Tasker was beginning his.

‘View of a Cottage Building at Merton Surry’
(Courtesy of Dr Bruce Elliott and Pinhey’s PointFoundation)


Sections of Rose Cottage
by John Wallace
Sections of Rose Cottage
by John Wallace
We know little of the family of Pinhey’s wife, but relationship to the better-
known and accomplished John Tasker appears unlikely, for the latter was
a Roman Catholic13.

The original plans for Rose Cottage have not been found, but Mr John
Wallace, a Surrey local historian, and architect, has very kindly prepared
measured drawings based on personal inspection, the specifications in the
contract, and a photograph taken during renovation and loaned by the
current (1987) occupier. The house was of two stories, with central stair
and hall flanked by a dining-room and drawing-room in the front, and by a
kitchen, scullery, and wash-house to the rear, some of the service rooms no
doubt being in the wing. There were bedrooms both front and rear on the
upper floor.

The house was built of grey brick, the front stuccoed with .Parker’s Cement
Jointed and Tinted by a superior hand., and the remaining three sides were
rough cast with .Sharp Sand & Stone lime.. It was roofed with Countess
slating, pointed inside, each slate nailed down with two strong copper nails,
and the eaves were laid with two courses of slates.

The two main chimney stacks were placed centrally on either side, so that
each served fireplaces front and back on both floors. The back hearths
were of Purbeck stone, and the chimneypieces in the dining- and drawing-
rooms were of marble and were to be provided by Pinhey. The framing
was of oak and the woodwork of Baltic fir and deals, the main floors being
of 1.25″ yellow deal. The ceilings and partitions were of fir lath and plaster.
The kitchen, pantry and washhouse were whited, while the rest of the
interior walls were to be painted colours appointed by Pinhey.

The grandest feature was the portico. Presumably of wood, it was sanded to appear as stone, and

rested on an
eight-inch semi-circular slab of Portland stone. At the end of the narrow central hall a half-

stair rose at the side
to a landing, and then wound up another flight to the chamber floor. The contract specified a

mahogany moulded
handrail, twisting to follow the stairs and landings. The present rail curves round

decoratively at the bottom,
and the stair is entered beneath a hallway arch flanked by fluted pilasters. The arches are

original, but the
present pilasters were removed to convert the house into offices. The high, nearly semi-

circular archway may
have once been echoed in the portico.

The windows consisted of a central sash with double-hung sides. Those in the principal rooms

were to be .of
the very best Newcastle crown glass., while the rest were to be of ‘second Newcastle glass..

The windows had
sliding deal shutters mounted on horizontal brass rollers.

Some of the furnishings were built into the house, as was usual at the time. The dining-room

included cupboards
with folding, locked two-panel doors and a shelf within. The contractor undertook to provide

the kitchen with
a dresser with turned legs, a pot board with shelves above, a spit rack over the chimney, and a

deal ironing-
board clamped under the window with hinges. The washhouse, paved with bricks on edge, was

equipped with
a pump, and had a plate rack over a sink of Purbeck stone. There was a dresser in the pantry,

and a shelf hung in
the centre of the ceiling.

Rose Cottage was a small country house appropriate to the middling position which Pinhey had

achieved in
English society. In Canada he had a grander vision. It is planned to publish a Society booklet

on Pinhey in

England and Canada, his property and his career.
1 Philip Rathbone Paradise Merton London 1973 p12
2 PRO PROB 11/1663 f.585, will of Asher Goldsmid, proved 25
3 Letter from John N Wallace 21 April 1986
4 Archives of Ontario (OA), Pinhey-Christie-Hill Papers MU-7525,
Charles Tasker, Gloucester, to Mary Pinhey, 17 June 1848; Merton
parish register
Ibid p453
OA, Hamnett K Pinhey Papers, Series A-3, no.76, account of J
Saggers, solicitor, with H Pinhey
Ibid Series A-1, no.1
Algernon Graves The Royal Academy of Arts: A Complete Dictionary
of Contributors VII p322
Baptism 12 November 1794 at St Katherine Cree Church, London,
son of Jeremiah Tasker
5 Chaim Bermant The Cousinhood New York 1971 pp21-3; DNB VIII 12 Directories 1827-32
pp80-1; European Magazine 58 (1810) p314; Gentleman’s Magazine
LXXX Pt.2 (1810) pp382-5
52 Geo III c.75 p439
13 Howard Colvin A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects
London 1978 pp807-8; letter from Nicholas Savage, Royal Academy
5 February 1987

(The above text is taken from the Horaceville Herald issues of December 1987 and April 1988)



Friday 25 June 1999 Peter Hopkins in the chair. Five members present.

The opening contributor was Eric Montague, who, on a recent tour of the Canadian Maritime

had been intrigued to find another Morden, in Nova Scotia. Attractively situated on cliffs

overlooking the
Bay of Fundy, this Morden appears to have its origins in a French Acadian fishing settlement of

the early
18th century, but at the moment one can only speculate on how it acquired its name. Monty has

written to
the secretary of the local history society, seeking information, and hopes to be able to report

further at a later

Sheila Harris sought information on a number of copper printing blocks which she had discovered

in a
cupboard. Examination showed these to be relics of the Society’s first venture into

publication, back in the
1960s, when booklets were produced on The Canons and The Elms. Modern methods of printing have
rendered such blocks museum pieces, and they have been placed in the Society’s store at Lower


A chance visit to an antique shop in Kingston enabled Judith Goodman to acquire a late-19th-

glass mineral water bottle embossed CAMWAL – the initials of the company (Chemists. Aerated and
Mineral Water Association Limited) operating from the Ravenspring Works in Western Road,


where an artesian bore once supplied water of high quality. The bottle will be loaned to Sarah

Gould for
display in her forthcoming exhibition on Food and Drink at the Heritage Centre.
Judith had also accidentally stumbled on the location ofWilliam De Morgan’s pottery, usually

assumed to

have been near his friend William Morris’s works at Merton Abbey. He was in fact at Stone

Cottage Pottery,
a short walk away in Colliers Wood. Mitcham directories list the pottery here from 1884 until

1891. The
actual site has yet to be confirmed, but it is believed to have been off Byegrove Road, where,

until the 1960s
there was a cork factory. The name .Stone Cottage. was probably inspired by the small

gatehouse, close by,
built by the Surrey Iron Railway.

Lionel Green, one of our Vice Presidents, produced copies of the Catholic Herald dated 4 June

carrying an excellent article on Merton Priory and the short service held in the Chapter House

on 2 May.
The Priory is one of our major Heritage Sites, and yet remains sadly neglected. Efforts are

being made to
establish a Trust, with the object of making the Priory better known. We wish it success.

Lionel also presented a short paper (a future article in the Bulletin?) on Taunton Priory.

Founded during
the late Saxon period, when it functioned as a minster, Taunton was reformed as an Augustinian

house early
in the 12th century – a process in which one of the outstanding Merton canons, Guy of Merton,

played a
significant role.

Next, Peter Hopkins displayed two draft display panels from a series he is preparing for an

open day at St
Martin’s, Lower Morden, in September. They illustrate various aspects of the history of Lower

and Morden Park, and Peter has been encouraged to consider reproducing them as a booklet for

Drafts were distributed to workshop members for comment, and it was immediately obvious that

work, drawing upon hitherto unpublished primary sources, and using modern computerised

will prove an invaluable aid to understanding the early history of this part of the Borough.

Following an entirely different thread of local history, Peter and Judith had recently met Roy

on Old Rutlishian, to discuss a history of William Rutlish, on which Roy is working. With his

George Pinkney (to whom there are references in Pepys’s diaries), Rutlish was involved in

producing the
elaborately embroidered regalia ordered by Charles II prior to his accession to the throne.

Another .local
hero. about whom far more ought to be common knowledge, Rutlish acquired considerable wealth,

and was
a great benefactor to Merton.
Eric Montague

Next Workshop Dates: Fridays 22 October and 10 December at 7.30 pm at the Wandle Industrial


Everyone is welcome at Workshop meetings. You don’t have to be actively engaged in research
just come along and listen, talk and enquire.


SATURDAY 6 NOVEMBER 1999 at 2.30 pm

1 Apologies for absence
2 Minutes of the 48th AGM held on 7 November 1998
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
At the conclusion of the business part of the Meeting Scott McCracken will speak about .The

Archaeology of
World War I..

NOMINATIONS for Officers and Committee members should reach the Hon. Secretary 14 days before

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


The MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY reminds members that subscriptions are due on 1 October: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, please ignore renewal form.



In memory of Peter Harris, whose death was reported in the previous Bulletin, the Committee has

made a
donation of £50 on behalf of the Society, to the St Helier Association for Kidney Patients



Letters and contributions (of any length) 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