Bulletin 139

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September 2001 – Bulletin 139
The Huguenot Heritage in Mitcham – E N Montague
St Olave, Mitcham – R Ninnis
Two Mitcham Mysteries – E N Montague

and much more

VICE PRESIDENTS: Viscountess Hanworth, Lionel Green and William Rudd



Thursday 13 September 11.30am Day visit to Addington

Addington was a country home for the Archbishops of Canterbury in the 19th century. Meet at
Church of St Mary the Blessed Virgin, Addington Village – 11th-century in origin, with many
interesting memorials and windows. Pub or picnic lunch. Then Addington Palace at 2.30pm. Travel
by Tramlink, changing to the New Addington line at East Croydon, and alighting at the Addington
Village stop. Numbers are needed for refreshments (£2.00) at the Palace.

Saturday 29 September 2.30pm Martin Boyle Mitcham Common Walk

This is the event originally scheduled 16 June, which was cancelled then, because of heavy

Martin Boyle, Warden of the Common, has kindly agreed to try again! Meet at the Mill House
Ecology Centre, in Windmill Road, Mitcham, next to the Mill House pub. (Close to bus routes 118
and 264, and to the Beddington Lane Tramlink stop.)

Wednesday 17 October 8.00pm ‘singing Nelson’s Praise.

Church of St Mary the Virgin, Church Path, Merton Park
For this year’s Evelyn Jowett Memorial Lecture, Joan Walpole Reilly and Bernard Winter will
present the story of the celebrated tenor and composer John Braham, who sang for Nelson and the
Hamiltons at Merton Place.

(The church is a few minutes walk from Merton Park Tramlink stop, and from bus routes 152,163

and 164.)

Saturday 3 November 2.30pm Snuff Mill Environmental Centre
51st Annual General Meeting (see page 16)
After the business part of the meeting there will be a quiz.

Saturday 1 December 2.30pm Snuff Mill Environmental Centre
.Reigate Priory.
Like Merton Priory the one at Reigate was an Augustinian foundation. Audrey Ward will outline
its history in this illustrated lecture.
(The Snuff Mill Centre, in Morden Hall Park, is on bus routes 93,118,157 and 164.
Drivers use the garden centre car-park. Take the path across the bridge;
go through the gateway and turn right. The Snuff Mill is straight ahead.)

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

ERIC MONTAGUE continues his occasional series, which began with an assessment of the Viking
influence in the area.


The migration of the Huguenots (a term often used to include Calvinists and other Protestants

from France and
the Low Countries seeking refuge from religious intolerance) began in the mid-1530s.

Persecution in France
increased steadily under François I, and culminated with the massacre of more than 2000

Huguenots in Paris on
St Bartholomew’s Day 1572. A period of toleration followed the accession of Henri IV and the

Edict of Nantes,
but with its revocation by Louis XIV in 1685 the flight became a mass exodus.

Of the Huguenots who left France in the late 17th century some 40-50,000 settled in Britain,

mostly in towns of
the south and south-east, where they often formed a significant proportion of the population.

By 1700 it was
estimated that there were some 15,000 refugees in and to the east of the City of London, and a

further 8000 were
said to be living in Westminster and the western suburbs. Industrious and hard-working, many of

them were
professional men or highly skilled artisans, and were soon prospering.

At Wandsworth, where the fast-flowing Wandle powered mills dating to before the Conquest and

water of a special quality, an enticing location awaited the new industrialists of the late

16th and early 17th
centuries. The town soon became famous for the production of scarlet dyes and the manufacture

of copper
goods, for which emigrants of Dutch origin long held the monopoly. Although local people

gradually acquired
the necessary skills, the techniques of bleaching and dyeing, felt and hat making, and of silk

weaving were to
remain very much the speciality of Huguenot refugees and other craftspeople from across the

Channel. The
number of newcomers settling both at the mouth of the Wandle and also further up the valley was

such that a
.French Church., built in the centre of Wandsworth in 1573, required enlargement in 1603.

Whereas freedom
of worship was assured, burials initially had to take place in the parish churchyard. When this

was closed to
further interments in 1680, the Huguenots purchased land on East Hill, where the .French

Churchyard. was
opened in 1687. A French girls. school was also established in Wandsworth, and it is said that

by the early 18th
century up to 20 percent of the population of the parish was of French origin.

Wandsworth was not, of course, the only part of the Wandle valley in which the Huguenots

settled, and the
following is a list of some of the more prominent residents of Mitcham in the 16th, 17th and

18th centuries,
whose names suggest that they were of either Dutch or French origin. There were undoubtedly

many more,
including those whose names became anglicised and are no longer readily identified as


Asprey, William

Of the Huguenot family Asprey whose descendants
founded Asprey & Co Ltd of New Bond Street.
William and his younger brother Edward ran a calico
and silk printing works at Phipps Bridge, Mitcham, in
the late 18th/early 19th centuries.

Blane, Thomas le

Lessee of Eagle House, a large property in Upper
Mitcham, fromc.1756 to 1766. A vestryman, he served
as parish overseer in 1763/4.

Blanke, Thomas

London merchant, member of Haberdashers.
Company. Purchased estate in Lower Mitcham in 1562.
Died c.1563. Local benefactor.

Blanke, Sir Thomas

Son of Thomas, member of Haberdashers. Company.
Lord Mayor of London 1582. Inherited father’s
Mitcham estate. Died 1588 whilst a London alderman.

Blanker, David

Proprietor of a copper mill at Merton Abbey in 1720.

Cammell, John van

A thread .whitster. (bleacher) of Mitcham, died 1718.
Brother-in-law of James Jacob.

Champagne, Lt Gen Forbes

Colonel Commandant of 95th Regiment of Foot.
Fought for the British at Lexington, and at Bunker
Hill in 1775. Retired to Mitcham as the resident owner
of Park Place, and died 1816.

Collande, Adryan

‘stranger. listed in Mitcham Lay Subsidy accounts of
1593-4. May be the same person as

Collant (or Collins), Adrian

Styled as .of Lambeth.. A bleacher, churchwarden of
Mitcham, described as .A Dutchman dwelling a long
tyme in this parish of Mitcham. when he died in

Collande, Garrett

Another ‘stranger. listed in the Lay Subsidy Accounts
of 1593-4.

Du Bois, Charles

Treasurer of East India Co, noted plant collector.
Fellow of the Royal Society. Local benefactor, lived
at Park Place, Mitcham, until his death in 1740. Son
of John Du Bois and, like his father, a Whig.


Du Bois, John Nenyansses, Joyssamyne

Citizen and weaver of the City of London. City Sheriff
in 1662. Involved in dispute with Tories. Owner of
substantial house in Mitcham until his death in 1684.
Descended from Jacques Du Bois of Lille.

Gascoigne, John Cloberry .gent..

Died 1778. A large house owned by his widow
overlooked Fair Green.

Haultain, Theodore

Calico printer, proprietor of Haultain et Cie, employing
40 operatives at his Mitcham works in 1714. Members
of the family are buried at the Huguenot cemetery at
Mount Nod, Wandsworth. The name occurs in England
as early as 1569.

Haultain, James

James appears to have carried on the family business.
He died in 1753, and was buried at Banstead. His
widow leased a large property, Durham House,
overlooking Fair Green, in mid-18th century.

Hellier (or Hillier), Isaac

Partner in a calico-printing business at Merton Abbey
by 1796. Mitcham vestryman, served as churchwarden,
and surveyor of highways.

Jacob, James

Whitster or bleacher at Merton Abbey. Died 1720.

Jacob, John

Son of James, also a whitster. Active vestryman,
overseer of the poor at Merton in 1740. Buried at
Mitcham 1758.

Keyzer, Haunce

A ‘stranger. listed in Lay Subsidy Accounts of
1593-4. No further record, and may have returned to
the Low Countries after the creation of the independent
United Provinces in 1609.

Marlar, John

London merchant with address in King Street,
Cheapside. Lessee of the Manor House, Lower
Mitcham, from 1782 until his death in 1790. Son of
Thomas Marlar of Wallington, a gentleman of
Huguenot descent who was involved in the calico-
printing industry. He was a citizen and haberdasher of
London, and died 1748.

Mauvillain, Peter

Established the calico-printing industry at Ravensbury,
Mitcham, in 1690. Said to be employing 205
workpeople at his factories in Mitcham and
Wandsworth in 1719. Business carried on by sons
Stephen and George. Family graves and monument in
Morden churchyard.

‘stranger. listed in Lay Subsidy accounts of 1593-4.
No further record, and may have returned to the Low
Countries after creation of the independent United
Provinces in 1609.

Rucker, John Anthony

Wealthy proprietor of calico-printing works at Phipps
Bridge, Mitcham, partner at Merton Abbey works.
Built Wandle Villa (National Trust) 1789.

Thoytts, William

Described as a coppersmith of Whitechapel in an
agreement dated 1743. Operating copper mills on
Mitcham borders with Carshalton in 1740s and at
Merton in late 18th century.

Thunderman, Henrick

‘stranger. listed in Lay Subsidy accounts of 1593-4.
No further record, and may have returned to the Low
Countries after creation of the independent United
Provinces in 1609.

St Eloy, Peter

Probably son of Isaac Gluyquet de St Eloy, born in
Pluny, Brittany, naturalised in 1698. Peter was a lawyer
and member of Doctors Commons. Resident owner of
Colliers Wood House 1739-60. Had interest in calico-
printing. Trustee of Epsom Turnpike.

Savignac, Pillet

Proprietor of a mill manufacturing leather and
parchment at Goat Green from about 1769.

Umfreville, George

In 1737 lessee of The Poplars, a large house
overlooking Figges Marsh, Mitcham.

Van Daly, Magdalen

‘stranger. listed in Lay Subsidy accounts of 1593-4.
No further record, and may have returned to the Low
Countries after creation of independent United
Provinces in 1609.

Van Fleet, Firman

Lessee of large house, The Canons, Lower Mitcham

Van Fleet, Judith

Daughter of Firman, married Hendrick Thesingh
Egbertz, a merchant of Haarlem, at Mitcham in 1733.

Van Hagen, Mr

Lessee of large house, Mitcham Hall, in late 18th

Vannam (or Vanciam?), Alexander

Alderman of the City of London. Leaseholder of large
house in Lower Mitcham from 1660.


Gwynne, R, Huguenot Heritage Routledge & Kegan Paul 1985
Shaw, R A, Gwynn, R D and Thomas, P Huguenots in Wandsworth Wandsworth Libraries & Arts

Division 1985


We are pleased to give over an unusually large proportion of this Bulletin to a fine report

from RAY
NINNIS which he calls:


If it is not a truth universally acknowledged that what a man did an hour ago is history, it

may nevertheless be
admitted that a 70-year-old building with associations going back 1000 years is in a good sense

historical, and
in want of being noted. The church of St Olave, Mitcham, perhaps because it is assumed to be

unhistorical or of
insufficient architectural interest, is not included in the London: South volume of The

Buildings of England
series, nor in a number of other works dealing with the topography and architecture of either

London or Surrey.
Yet visitors might find it an agreeable example of the Byzantine style adapted to the needs of

an Anglican
parish, and it contains, perhaps surprisingly, two examples of truly historical church

furniture. The purpose
here is to give an idea of the building and the circumstances in which it was built and



Articles in recent issues of this Bulletin have discussed the effects of Scandinavian raids and

settlement, and it
is in this connection that even a very brief history of St Olave’s, Mitcham, may be said to

begin: more specifically
in or about the year 1015, and about nine miles to the north, close to the present London


Among the many exploits of the Norwegian Olaf Haraldsen recorded in the Sagas is the help he

gave to
Ethelred II against the Danes. The enemy had a stronghold in Southwark and was using the then

wooden bridge
across the Thames to London to hinder river traffic and menace the latter settlement. It was

Olaf’s idea to attack
the Danes on the bridge from ships on the river, and this scheme eventually succeeded in

demolishing the
bridge, whereupon the surviving Danes fled into their fortress, and this particular threat to

Ethelred’s rule had
passed.1 Subsequently Olaf became king of Norway, but was killed in battle on 29 July 1030, and

buried at
Trondheim. He was soon canonized for his Christian zeal; though he might be seen as essentially

a Norse
pirate, Baring-Gould forestalls such a judgement, saying .the patron saint of Norway must not

be measured by
Christian men of another age or other lands…..2

It seems likely that before the end of the 11th century a church dedicated to St Olave (Olaf)

was founded in
Southwark. It was just downstream from the site of the wooden bridge that he is said to have

demolished, and
only a little further from the present London Bridge.3 During subsequent centuries the street

in which this
church stood took on the name Tooley Street, which, by a characteristic Cockney etymology, is

derived from
the name of the saint.4 In 1736 the later medieval structure partially collapsed, and it was

then entirely rebuilt in
the prevailing Palladian style, to the designs of Henry Flitcroft. This Georgian church

suffered from fire in
1843 and was repaired, but, due mainly to demographic changes, survived only for another 75


The sale of the valuable sites of Anglican churches in the City of London, where the resident

population had
dwindled, proceeded, not without opposition, throughout the later decades of the 19th century.

Even though
successive bishops of London had arranged for the proceeds from such sales to go towards

founding new
churches in the ever-expanding suburbs, voices were raised in theological as well as aesthetic

argument against
the loss of these buildings of both historic and architectural interest. However the practice

extended into the
next century, and spread beyond the City.

South of the Thames, the area had been transferred from the diocese of Winchester to that of

Rochester before
the foundation of the south London diocese of Southwark in 1905. No doubt also because of a

resident population in an area then largely occupied by warehouses close to the river, in 1918

the church of St
Olave, Tooley Street (close to Southwark Cathedral, as well as London Bridge), was declared

redundant. The
proceeds were to be devoted to the Bishop of Southwark’s endowment fund for new churches in the

areas of south London.

Demolition did not take place for another ten years, and during that time hope was expressed

that perhaps its
tower might be kept as a memorial to the church, or, at least, part of the site of the church

or churchyard might
be retained as a recreational open space. In the event the whole site was used for the erection

of the offices of
the Hays Wharf Company, an Art Deco building (with a figure of St Olave incised in the facing-

stones of the
south-west corner). The only part of the church fabric to have survived seems to be the small

white stone turret
that stood in the centre at the top of the tower, supporting a flagstaff. This is now to be

found about a quarter of
a mile away in the Tanner Street garden, off Bermondsey Street.6

During this time, also, it was decided to establish a new district and parish of St Olave in

Mitcham. It was to be
in that north-eastern portion of the old parish of Mitcham which on maps up till that time had

shown only fields
between Lonesome Farm and Mitcham Wood (Pollards Hill).7 The site of the new church was to be

just north
of the westward course of a lane running through the fields from Manor Road and just east of

its turn northwards


towards the Streatham parish boundary. This lane was soon to be lined by semi-detached and

terraced houses,
and called Rowan Road. Among other roads laid out at this time is Middle Way, which now aligns

on the
(liturgically)8 south transept of St Olave’s church, and Church Walk, leading to the intended

west front.

The minutes of the parochial church council, finance committee and other documents, and parish

record the transactions and events of the new parish, of which the following is a mere

summary.9 The first
.missionary. priest, the Reverend R K Haslam, had been instituted to the new district and

parish on 7 November
1927, though the temporary hall/church, erected on the site of the present parish hall (north

of the present,
permanent, church) was not dedicated until 26 June 1928. A Building Finance Committee was

established in
May 1928, and a month later the grant of £7000 was received from the proceeds of the sale of St

Olave, Tooley
Street. In the following August it was decided that the permanent church was to be built

.parallel to the [then]
existing temporary structure., and in September the bishop of Woolwich (suffragan or assistant

to the bishop of
Southwark) paid two visits to inspect the site. Plans of the new church were discussed between

July and October
1929. The foundation stone of the permanent church, bearing the same dedication and housing the

pulpit, font
and bells of the old St Olave’s in Tooley Street, was laid on 3 May 1930 by the bishop of

Southwark’s mother.
The service was conducted by the bishop himself, Dr C F Garbett (later archbishop of York) who,

as third
bishop of Southwark, 1919-32, .was an indefatigable visitor, became expert on problems of bad

housing and
malnutrition and provided [the] diocese with twenty-five new churches..10

The church was consecrated on 17 January 1931, and payment of the final accounts was made in

June of the
same year. The difficulty of visiting all parishioners due to the increase in the local

population from 3000 to
9000 had been discussed as early as April 1929, and in June 1931 the sale of Norbury and

Tooting Bec Golf
Course was thought likely to increase the population of the parish to 20,000 in five years.

Consequently, in
September 1934 there was an election of a Church Building Committee to undertake the

construction of a
church for the Pollards Hill and Sherwood Park area of the parish, and the new ecclesiastical

district of the
Ascension, Pollards Hill, was created in 1936. (Due to the effects of the 1939-45 war, the

church was not built
until 1952-53.)11

The socio-economic conditions of this new suburban development have been recorded and published

by this
Society, including an incidental tribute to the social work of St Olave’s church, so it can be

seen that these were
days of both great pastoral and social demands on the parish.12 The bishop of Kingston (the

other assistant
bishop in the diocese) came to bless the new vicarage on 24 July 1937, and Queen Mary (consort

of the late
King George V) sent gifts for the St Nicholas Fayre held on Friday 2 and Saturday 3 December

1938. The
bishop of Southwark; the Norwegian minister in London; Alderman A Mizen JP; and Sir Richard

Mellor all
honoured this event by their presence on one or other of these two days.13 While the personal

resources of the
incumbent, parish officers and members of the congregation must have been stretched in these

early .missionary.
days, the permanent buildings were clearly intended to have a dignity that was considered

appropriate to the
worship of the Established Church.

St Olave, Mitcham,
from the south



The church was intended to have a Latin cross plan, i.e. a long nave (with western tower) and

shorter chancel
and transepts, but changing economic conditions can thwart the finest intentions, and the

church building itself
is incomplete. The nave is only half as long as intended, and the western tower and a north

chapel were never
built.14 The absence of a tower means that the church is virtually hidden in side streets.

Church Walk leads
directly from Rowan Road to the existing west porch, but the first-time visitor had best

approach the church by
way of Stamford Way and Middle Road. Here, from the south side, the church presents an

impressive expanse
of fine red/brown brickwork stretching left and right of the transept, and centred on a small

white plastered

The architect was Arthur Campbell Martin (1875-1963). He had started building country houses

and churches
in 1900, so St Olave’s may be seen as a product of his middle period.15 Another church of his,

also in south
London, is St Luke, Pentridge Street, Camberwell. This is a late work, built from 1953 and

finished by others,
but like St Olave’s it is .large, brick [and] neo-Byzantine.. But there is a proper tower over

the crossing, and it
gives the later building a single strong vertical element that is absent at St Olave’s in its

present state.16

Here, at Mitcham, over the crossing is seen what might be thought to be only the lowermost

storey of a massive
tower. But the overall horizontal emphasis is countered by the shadow lines produced by the

regularly spaced
buttress-like thickening of the walls and tall, thin, arched recesses, vertical elements

characteristic of, but not
exclusive to, the Byzantine style. From the point of the springing of the arches of the big

transeptal windows a
brick string-course passes, without much other interruption, round the entire building, and all

walls have a
simply moulded white stone coping. The exterior of this church is an example of how brickwork

can be enlivened
by the simplest architectural treatment.


The interior has to be entered by the west door, and this necessarily reveals a view of the

existing west wall of
the nave of unfaced construction bricks, and the glazed porch of 1975. The exterior may be less

impressive than
originally intended, but the interior may be judged to gain, at least in some respects, by

being just as it is: a
church with a plan approaching that of a Greek cross, with all its arms of (almost) equal

length. As it is, upon
entering, the eye is immediately caught by the curves of a large saucer dome over the crossing,

with its four
pendentives each swooping down to rest on a pair of columns free-standing in front of one of

the junctions of
the nave, chancel and transepts. If the long nave had been built, the impact of this dome from

the west end
would have been considerably reduced. Next, short vistas of arches and barrel- and groined-

vaults will be
noticed, as well as the vast difference in scale between the arches and vaults of the wide nave

and the tiny
archways of its side passages or aisles.

Each group of five windows in the nave and chancel have interior arcades, as have those in the

west wall of
each transept. As well as being picturesque elements, these are means of reducing glare in

views along the
length of the church. There are other subtle aspects to the fenestration: small windows are

placed both high and

St Olave, Mitcham,
the crossing


low, and those in the rather narrower and darker chancel provide an interesting effect of

chiaroscuro. The
relatively low proportions of this interior may evoke the narthex of St Mark’s, Venice, but

instead of dimly lit
golden mosaics, everywhere there is the play of daylight diffused by reflection from smooth

white plaster. Only
the saucer dome itself is a soft, light sand colour, and the narrow moulding at its edge and

those of the four
arches that meet it are gilded. The variegated basket-work capitals of the eight columns of the

crossing are the
only architectural ornamental features.

Evidently colour was formerly a much more significant element here, as can be judged from the

comments on the church, in which he .acknowledged that it represented a complete break with the

Gothic tradition in England, and was intended to embody the emerging spirit of science and of

personal witness … the use of reinforced concrete for the vaulted roof, and the liberal use

of soft and rich colour

-blue, primrose, scarlet and purple – thus ensuring that it should be decidedly .modern. and,

to many eyes,
Today the central dome-space, well lit from the largest windows, in the end walls of the

transepts, provides a
suitable setting for the central altar (in fact placed at the eastern end of this space).

Beyond it, in the sanctuary
at the far end of the chancel, can be seen a traditional high altar. Above that, hanging

against the flat east wall,
within a shallow arch (where, perhaps, an apse might be expected), is a Majestas in which,

against the cross, is
a figure of Christ vested as a priest and king. A riddle-posted .English. altar18 stands

against the east wall of
each transept, and there are representations of the Blessed Virgin Mary, St Joseph and St



As in the case of the demolished City churches, their benefices united with that of a

neighbouring parish, the
furniture and fittings of St Olave, Southwark, were scattered, some pieces going to nearby

churches, and others
coming to the new church in Mitcham.19

The font now standing in the north-west corner of the nave may be a composite item. The

freestone pedestal is
square on plan. Each side has acanthus leaves curling up from a moulded base, above which is a

small polished
black stone panel surrounded by tiny strapwork; the top has simple mouldings suggesting a

Tuscan pilaster
capital. The style is similar to that of the more elaborate font of about 1630-40 at St

Katherine Cree in the City.
So this pedestal, at least, probably predates the rebuilding of old St Olave’s in 1736. The

marble bowl is
octagonal and has the plainest of moulded rims, and it may be a replacement of the original. Be

that as it may,
the whole font, together with the octagonal ogee crown-like wooden cover (which probably

originally was
raised and lowered by means of a counter-weighted chain) is well proportioned and quite

imposing. Shortly
before St Olave’s, Tooley Street, was demolished the font stood in the middle of the west end

under the organ
gallery,20 but in 1843 it was said to have been in the vestry (like the table incorporating the

pulpit’s sounding-
board), so it escaped damage from the fire of that year.21 It was evidently first placed in one

of the transepts here
at Mitcham, but it was presumably moved to its present position in 1939.22

The fire of 1843 may not have been as disastrous as some reports suggest, for no signs of fire

damage appear on
the wooden pulpit that stands in the south-east corner of the dome space. Pictures of the

interior of old St
Olave’s both shortly before the fire and shortly after the subsequent repairs, show this pulpit

standing on the
north side at the east end of the nave.23 By that time its sounding-board, or tester, had

already been made into a
table-top in the vestry.24 It did however still have a much higher plinth (and staircase),

necessary to raise it to a
suitable height from which to address a congregation seated in high-sided box pews and

galleries. It may
originally have formed part of a .three-decker. arrangement, but, after 1843 at least, it seems

that the reading-
desk stood on the south side of the nave opposite the pulpit. The body of the pulpit is unusual

in having curved
sides. Most of the surviving 17th- and 18th-century London pulpits have straight sides. The

earlier ones may
have very elaborate profiles, due to boldly projecting mouldings and ornamental carving, but

their sides, as
with most later pulpits, are straight. In other respects this example is a typical product of

the period of the
supremacy of the Palladian style in the mid-18th century. IHS within rays, and geometrical

designs all in
marquetry, fill the panels on each side. The most noticeable ornaments however are the

Vitruvian scroll on the
cornice and the band of finely carved bayleaves on the big torus moulding at the base. Overall

the effect is of an
almost French elegance.

The vestry minutes of old St Olave’s reveal something of the origin of this pulpit. On 2

October 1739 the
trustees for rebuilding and furnishing the new church were to .Contract for the pulpitt Desk

and Altar piece
which according to the best of their Judgement they have agreed with Mr Pultney for performing

the same. But
the Trustees and Mr Pultney both have referred the payment thereof to the Judgement of Mr

Flitcroft..25 Two
months later .Mr Hucks Reports that as Mr Pultney has brought the pulpitt into the Church and

in regard it is a


Costly piece of workmanship he moved that Mr Pultney might be paid £50 amount of the pulpitt

and altarpiece
which was order.d accordingly..26 In May 1740 Mr Pultney was to be paid .his Bill in full of

his Contract as
settled by Mr Flitcroft..27 The altarpiece here referred to was evidently the rather small

composition framing
the Ten Commandments immediately over the communion table, seen in a photograph probably taken

before the demolition of old St Olave’s. The Lord’s Prayer and the Creed appear to have been

framed by plaster
ornament under the niches containing the figures of Moses and Aaron referred to below.28 So it

is likely that the
body of the pulpit here at Mitcham incurred a large proportion of the £50 payable. Some

striking correspondence
can be noted in the furnishings as well as the architecture of St Olave’s Tooley Street and

Flitcroft’s other
London church, St Giles-in-the-Fields (but the pulpit at St Giles is straight-sided).29

The 17th-century communion plate also came from old St Olave’s,30 as did the big tenor bell now

hanging from
an external iron beam across the angle between the nave and north transept. This was one of

three bells cast to
replace those destroyed in the fire of 1843, and inscribed C & G MEARS, FOUNDERS LONDON 1844.31

The organ is on the south side of the chancel. The case looks as if it might date from the

mid-19th century, and
includes very large carvings of roses, thistles and shamrocks, and an uncoloured coat of arms:

a chevron vair
(?) between three lions (or talbots?), and the motto .Audax atque Fidelis. (.Bold and

Faithful.). It is thought to
have come from a house in Essex, but both instrument and case are presumably those purchased

from Rest
Cartwright & Sons in November 1930.32 Consequently it is unlikely that it contains anything

from the organ
installed at Tooley Street after the fire of 1843, which was said to have been the first in

this country to be based
on state-of-the-art German models.33 In 1928 this remarkable instrument was said to have been

sent to St Mary,
Rotherhithe.34 (But was it ever actually used there, where still exists a notable Byfield

instrument of the 18th

It would not necessarily have been appropriate or convenient for other items to have come from

Tooley Street

to Mitcham, but it might be of interest to note them.
St Olave’s was in that part of Southwark which was the City Ward of Bridge Without, and

consequently it had
a City sword-rest or stand for when the Lord Mayor of London attended in state. Unlike most

which are of iron, this is of wood, dated 1674, and bears the arms of the City and the old arms

of Southwark. It
is now to be seen in the north transept of Southwark Cathedral.

The altar table, an unusual iron-framed example, seems to have been supplied by .Mr

[Christopher] Horsenail
the Mason for £16.16.0. in November 1739,35 although a month earlier .Mr Walton the Smith. was

.for the performing the iron work of the Communion Table..36 On the demise of old St Olave’s

this altar table
went to St John, Horsleydown, nearby, and after St John’s was bombed in 1940 the table

eventually went to St
Mary Magdalen, Bermondsey, where it serves as a side altar.37

A description of St Olave, Southwark, in about 1700 includes mention of the .Portraiture of

Moses and Aaron,
each in a Niche. as part of the altarpiece, but it is not clear whether this refers to 3-

dimensional figures or the
more usual flat panel or canvas painting, which the rest of this particular altarpiece seems to

have been.38

St Olave, Mitcham,
looking towards
the chancel


However, in 1924 there were ‘still standing in alcoves in the chancel coloured plaster effigies

of Moses and
Aaron.,39 and the lower parts of these figures appear in a photograph of about the same date.40

The interior
views of the church already referred to in regard to the pulpit also show such figures in the

niches. Whether
these ‘statues. predate the rebuilding of 1736 (as the pedestal of the font seems to have done)

or they are part
of the furnishing of Flitcroft’s church, it is fascinating to speculate on the possibility of

their survival. The
present writer knows of only one other pair of such 3-dimensional representations of Moses and

Aaron in a
London church, those now at St Michael Paternoster Royal in the City (formerly at All Hallows

the Great).

Finally, and to return to the fabric of the church itself, if for some it does not evoke even

the faintest suggestion
of St Mark’s in Venice, its style might still be thought appropriate. While St Olaf was

fighting battles in western
Europe, firstly in the name of Odin, and later in the name of Christ, churches somewhat like

this were being
erected in Byzantium. That Eastern Empire never abandoned the round arch of Roman antiquity,

but combined
it with other elements to produce a distinctive style in which the dome, as in the interior

here, is most prominent.
Less whimsically, for some, the exterior brickwork may hint at a relationship to other, more

massive, structures
of the 1930s: cinemas and power stations.


While some details of Olaf’s help to Ethelred may be confined to the Sagas, his presence in

England in 1014-15 is accepted, for instance, by F M
Stenton Anglo-Saxon England 3rd ed. (repr.1988) p.402
S Baring-Gould The Lives of the Saints under 29 July gives extensive details; shorter accounts

are in The Book of Saints compiled by the Benedictine
Monks of St Augustine’s Abbey, Ramsgate and in D Attwater The Penguin Dictionary of Saints.
F Bond Dedications of English Churches 1914 states that there were in England 13 churches

dedicated to St Olaf (p.127) and describes representations
of the saint (p.129).
G Cobb London City Churches 1977 p.23
Southwark Local Studies Library holds three files of press-cuttings (not always precisely

identifiable), photographs, photocopies of watercolours,
prints etc covering the later history of St Olave’s, Tooley Street. This source is identified

as SLS in subsequent notes.
Personal observation
E N Montague Pollards Hill and Lonesome (including Commonside East) revised Spring 1998. I am

indebted to Mr Montague for allowing me to
study his soon-to-be-published history. This has extensive details of all aspects of the area,

including the ecclesiastical. St Olave’s parish was taken
out of that of St Mark, which had been taken from the ancient parish of St Peter and St Paul,

Mitcham, in 1905 (p.45).
The church is in fact aligned NE/SW.
Surrey History Centre, Parish Records of St Olave, Mitcham (2051)
10. The Concise Dictionary of National Biography Vol 2, 1992, p.1100
11. E N Montague op.cit. p.46
12. C Munday The Story of the Long Thornton and District Improvement Association Merton

Historical Society, Local History Notes 10, 1995, p.10
Church Magazine November and December 1938, January 1939, copies at Merton Local Studies

Centre; Norwegian interest in another London
church, St Olave, Hart Street in the City, is memorialised by the large dedication stone to be

seen there at the entrance to the sanctuary. It was laid
by King Haakon of Norway upon the commencement of the post-war restoration of the church in

14. I am grateful to the Reverend Paul Ensor for showing me an original drawing, at the church,

inscribed: ST OLAVES CHURCH NORBURY [sic].
Plan and Elevations Shewing the Church as it will be when it is Completed. Arthur C.Martin

F.R.I.B.A., 9 New Square, London W.C.2.
15. Who Was Who, 1961-1970 1972, p.755

Personal observation. St Luke, Pentridge Street, is noted in London 2: South, The Buildings of

England reprinted 1984, p.615 (as St Luke,
Farnborough Way).
17. E N Montague op.cit. p.45
18. This form of altar, with riddle posts and curtains, is discussed by P Anson Fashions in

Church Furnishings 1965 ed., pp.310-314.
R H Harrison .The Dispersion of Furniture and Fittings Formerly Belonging to the Churches of

the City of London. Transactions of the Ancient
Monuments Society new series Vol.8, 1960, pp.53-74
20. Photograph by Sturdie, PB 1523 (SLS)
21. Illustrated London News date evidently soon after the fire in 1843 (SLS)
22. Church Magazine October 1939, copy at Merton Local Studies Centre
Photograph of watercolour by .G.Hawkins Jnr. 1834, Gardner Collection. PB 169 (SLS); and W E

Brayley History of Surrey ed. E.Walford, Vol.4,
line engraving facing p.375
24. As in Note 21
25. St Olave, Southwark, Vestry Book 1725-1808 (SLS) f.106r
26. ibid.f.107v
27. ibid.f.113r
28. Photograph by Sturdie (SLS)
29. Personal observation
30. As in Note 9
31. A short notice by A Cowland (SLS)
32. As in Note 9
33. Press cutting (The Times?) May 1844, notice signed .Britannia. (SLS); A E Daniell London

Riverside Churches 1897, p.233
34. Press cutting dated 18 November 1923 .A Silent Organ. (SLS)
35. As in Note 25, f.107v
36. ibid. f.106r
37. Bermondsey (St Mary Magdalen) Parish News Christmas 1974 (SLS)
38. E Hatton A New View of London 1708 Vol.2, p.450
39. Notes and Queries 19 July 1924 p.41 (SLS)
40. Photograph by Sturdie (SLS)
The photographs of St Olave were taken by the author in June 2000


ERIC MONTAGUE throws out a challenge in:

Tidying my files over the Christmas holidays, I came across a note written some years ago in

which I set down
all I had been able to discover (which did not amount to much) in my efforts to solve two

separate Mitcham
.mysteries. from the 17th century. If any readers can offer explanations or, better still, feel

inspired to conduct
a little research on their own, we might yet learn something of the murky past of the village!

The first .mystery. comes from a brief comment in Tom
Francis’s lantern slide lecture notes, now in Merton Local
Studies Centre. Referring to Vine House, a mid-17th century
building which stood on the site of Beadle Court, Lower Green
West, he recalled that a man’s skeleton had once been uncovered
in the back garden, and that it was believed to be that of a
Parliamentary (ie Cromwellian) officer. Unless Tom was quoting
folklore, the discovery could have been made at any time within
his own memory, between perhaps 1880 and 1951. Tantalisingly,
he gave no indication of the date, or the ground for ascribing it
to the Civil War or Commonwealth periods.

Vine House was allowed to decay and fall into ruin in the early
1930s, and I believe was demolished before the 1939/45 War.
The compilers of the Victoria County History considered it to
be the oldest house in the village, and surviving illustrations
suggest that it could have dated to around 1650. Who the
deceased was, and how he came to be buried in the garden of a
private house, are questions still to be answered. Could it have
been that, as a radical in the extreme Puritan mould, he spurned
burial on consecrated ground, preferring his own back garden?
Or was he .done away with. by a Royalist supporter, and his
body disposed of secretly? Also, how was he identified as a
.Parliamentary officer.? Was he buried in his uniform?

The second mystery concerns the alleged discovery in Mitcham of certain items of the royal

regalia of Charles
I, which were sold by the Parliamentary Commissioners during the Commonwealth. In 1975 my old

James Bass of Millers Mead, Colliers Wood, drew my attention to London Beneath the Pavement,

published by
Peter Davies Ltd in 1971, in which the author Michael Harrison states: ‘some of the treasures

… turned up
again. The Swords of Mercy and Grace were found, sadly rusted, buried in the garden of an old

house in
Mitcham.. Again no date is given, nor any further details.

Correspondence with Mr Harrison proved unproductive, since he could not remember the source of

information, and my enquiry addressed to the librarian at Windsor Castle (at Mr Harrison’s

suggestion) proved
similarly unfruitful, although I did receive a very nice reply from the late Robin Macworth-


There must presumably have been some justification for the story, which of course prompts

speculation as to
the involvement of the householder. Was he a Royalist or a Cromwellian? Or was he just a common

thief? Were
the swords hidden in the hope that the opportunity might come for their return should the

monarchy be restored?
Further research could lead to identification of the house. If we knew the latter, it might be

possible to suggest
from surviving records the name of the occupant at the time the weapons were hidden.

(Rectangle comment XPMUser
24/05/2017 22:43:53
Vine House, Mitcham, from aphotograph by Tom Francis, inthe Local Studies Collection

As announced in our last Bulletin, Eric Montague’s latest book,A History of Mitcham Common, was

on 11 July, price £14.95. This copiously illustrated hardback book is published by Phillimore &

Co Ltd for
Mitcham Common Preservation Society.

Available to Merton Historical Society members at the special price of £12.50, at meetings or

from our
Publications Secretary.



The anniversary quiz on page 9 of Bulletin 138 required
identification of the two tourist attractions of today, which
in times past were owned by Merton Priory.

The church of Oare, Somerset, which was used as
the setting for the fictional shooting in Lorna Doone.
The church attracts thousands of visitors each year to
see the site of the .crime., with no realisation that for
almost 2¾ centuries it was served by the Merton
canons. The rector in 1555 was Richard Merton, and
between 1809 and 1842 the rector was R D
Blackmore’s grandfather.
GR SS 802473

The waterfall, claimed to be the highest in England,
is at Canonteign, Devon, illustrated left. It is situated
on the eastern edge of Dartmoor in the parish of
Christow. The water cascades 230ft (70m) into the
River Teign. The manor was owned by Merton from
1267 to 1538, and the manor house, a Tudor building,
exists close by.
GR SX 835829
Both these sites were acquired after an exchange of
properties with an Augustinian abbey in Normandy in

1267, which will be described in an article in the next
No member was able to identify the locations.

The Canonteign Falls, South Devon Lionel Green

Merton Heritage Centre’s exhibition Poetry & Prose continues until 27 October. The Centre, at

Canons, Madeira Road, Mitcham, is open every day except Monday. Admission free.
Croydon Council, with some outside funding, has set up a .Museum Without Walls. heritage trail,

Tramlink stops. Look out for the information (history and archaeology) boards, and pick up

leaflets at the
Tramlink stop in George Street, Croydon, and Croydon Library. Let’s hope Merton Council follows

I am sure many readers spotted the amazing John Eagle (the .Roman soldier. who gave us an

entertaining demonstration/lecture in 1998) on BBC2’s Timewatch on 8 June. The programme was

Soldiers To Be, and he was the armourer. He was in good form.
The National Monuments Record Centre, Kemble Drive, Swindon, has an exhibition of photographs

of the
work of Morris & Co and other workshops in the Arts and Crafts Movement, from 13 October to 13
January. Tel: 01793 414797 for information. Admission free.
Edwardian London – a New Era? is the title of this year’s LAMAS (London and Middlesex

Society) Local History Conference on Saturday 17 November at the Museum of London. Lecture

will include Theatre, Imperial London, Women’s Suffrage and Transport.
An offer being made by the National Monuments Record (the Public Archive of English Heritage)

to anyone
interested in their local area sounds worth taking up. For £15 they will send three different

aerial photographs
of your chosen locality, plus information on local archaeology and listed buildings. Tel: 01793

414600 for
an order form.



Southwark Cathedral’s peculiar appeal comes perhaps from its situation below the main street

level, its close

embrace by river, road and railway, its modest architecture, and its welcoming air.
On Saturday 26 May a large MHS contingent assembled at the new north courtyard. Here, where a

view nevertheless includes a glimpse of the river, tables and chairs overflow from the new

refectory. The
visitors. entrance leads past the stylish new shop (where, alas, the new guide-book was not

ready, and the old
one out of print) and through the long lobby where the names of the 300 or so parish churches

in the diocese are
inscribed on the stones of the floor (yes, we did finally spot, we think, all our local


Jo and John Brewster, our lecturers from the February meeting, greeted us and gave us a

refresher briefing

before we divided into two groups for our tour.
The medieval church of St Mary Overie became the post-Dissolution parish church of St Saviour,

and in
succeeding centuries saw its site constricted, its fabric neglected and sometimes its very

survival threatened.
Much of what one now sees at Southwark is late 19th-century work, under the direction of Sir

Arthur Blomfield,
and was carried out to .upgrade. it for its new role as cathedral, which began in 1905.

The beautiful retrochoir, however, is mainly 13th-century, though its screens and furnishings

are 20th century,
by Sir Ninian Comper, as is the parish war memorial. One window, of the 1920s, is in memory of

Francis Rider, builder to Blomfield. There is also a fine Elizabethan .Nonsuch. chest here. The

present chapel
of St Andrew was the site of Bishop Gardiner’s consistory court in Queen Mary’s reign, where he

to death seven men convicted of .heresy..

The choir is also Early English, though slightly later than the retrochoir. In its south aisle

is a monument to
Lancelot Andrewes (d.1626), the last Bishop of Winchester to live at neighbouring Winchester

House. He was
admired as theologian, preacher and composer of prayers. A chief cashier of the Bank of England

commemorated with a classical tablet by Sir John Soane, the Bank’s architect. The organ case is

by Blomfield,
and there is a striking window of 1987, given by a Master of the Glaziers. Company.

In the Decorated south transept is a monument to Sir Frederick Wigan (1827-1907), treasurer and

benefactor of
the cathedral. Interestingly, Sir Frederick gave most of the money for building St Saviour’s in

Grand Drive,
Raynes Park, where his daughter was the wife of the first vicar, the Revd W A Birkbeck. I

wonder now if this
connection is the reason for our local St Saviour’s name? Moreover, its architects were also

the firm of Blomfield.

Sir Frederick’s money came from his brewing interests, and brewing was an important industry in

The splendid 3-tiered brass chandelier at the crossing was given by a brewer’s widow in 1680,

and the organ
commemorates one of the Courage dynasty. (Near Sir Frederick’s memorial is a plaque to

Deaconess Isabella
Gilmore, who was head of the Rochester and Southwark Society of Deaconesses. She was a sister

of William
Morris, who once said to her, with admiration, .I preach Socialism. You practise it..)

The nave, .competent but dull. (Pevsner), is by Blomfield and dates from 1890-7, apart from

vestiges of
Norman work and some 13th-century arcading. In the south aisle is the Shakespeare window

(1954), with
scenes from the comedies and the tragedies, figures from The Tempest, and the seven ages of

man, from As You
Like It. Beneath it the Shakespeare monument (1911) has a brown alabaster figure reclining in

front of relief
carvings of old Southwark. His actor brother Edmund was buried in the church, but the grave is

lost. The central
west window (1903) is a Creation design by Henry Holiday, an artist much influenced by William

Seven windows on the north side, all by C E Kempe’s firm and from the first years of the 20th

commemorate famous people associated in some way with Southwark and the cathedral. They are

Goldsmith, Dr Johnson, Henry Sacheverell (an 18th-century preacher with violent anti-Whig

views), Alexander
Cruden (of Concordance fame), John Bunyan, John Gower and Chaucer. Gower, friend of Chaucer and

also a
poet, has a canopied tomb (1408) close by, on which the effigy’s head rests on three volumes of

his works. A
touching modern monument is the memorial to the 51 victims of the Marchioness tragedy of 1989.

flowers appear here every day.

In the north transept, which is 100 years older than the south one, is what Pevsner calls the

.most rewarding“
monument in the cathedral. It is by Nicholas Stone (1633), and commemorates Lady Clerke, using

the theme of
the parable of the sower. Nearby, the rather absurd effigy of Lionel Lockyer (1672), purveyor

of pills, is propped
on one elbow in front of a verse (by him?) praising both his virtues and his pills. Against the

wall is a wooden
Lord Mayor’s sword-rest of 1674 from St Olave’s church that once stood in Tooley Street (see

Ray Ninnis’s
article in this Bulletin).


John Harvard, who emigrated to Massachusetts in 1637, was baptised in the church in 1607. In

the Harvard
Chapel is a remarkable spired tabernacle by A W N Pugin, moved here in 1971 from St Augustine

Ramsgate. The
baptism window of 1905 is a characteristic work by the American artist John La Farge, in the

same tradition as the
glass of Louis Comfort Tiffany.

The east wall of the sanctuary is filled by an early 16th-century stone reredos, given by

Bishop Fox (d.1528). Its
tiers of canopied niches have been much restored, with lost canopies replaced in the 19th

century, and figures in
the 20th. Edward VII even finds a place among church worthies from history!

This was a thoroughly interesting visit, and we were lucky to have such informed and keen

guides. Unfortunately,
in a brief report it is only possible to pick out a few points for mention, and I have probably

upset every reader by
omitting a personal favourite. I can only say to those who haven’t visited .our. cathedral, do

go, enjoy it, and
decide for yourselves.

Judith Goodman


During the weekend of 2/3 June a conference organised by Surrey Archaeological Society (SyAS)

was held at the
University of Surrey, with the title .Towards a Research Agenda for the 21st Century.. Several

speakers referred
to landscape history, and this report stresses that aspect of archaeology.

David Field of English Heritage reminded us that prehistoric man would not be conscious of

landscape as a view.
The forest was so important in everyday life that he had limited vision, and had no need to

know that over the hill
were other settlements. He knew, however, that he had to respect nature and the spirits. A

barrier could affect this
but he often relied on a ditch to keep out evil spirits. Linear ditches were a feature of the

times, but whether these
were an aid to farming or marking boundaries is open to question. After several thousand years

many still survive,
probably because it was always better to maintain existing boundaries than to create new.

Landscape archaeology
places greater emphasis on landforms within the countryside as a whole, rather than on single

sites. This opens
new challenges to traditional interpretations of some monuments.

Judie English, a vice-president of SyAS, explored the relationship between man and the land.

Many place-names
indicate landscape features or early use of the land. Place-names with the suffix worth

indicate a homestead. On
the Downs the name referred to stock enclosures suggesting secondary settlements. Names ending

in den or fold
also suggest secondary settlements and in south-west Surrey the latter were close to the parent

settlement (average
4.7km), whereas the dens averaged 12.6km. The suffix ersh indicate arable usage (see also page


Marilyn Palmer of the University of Leicester pointed out the effect of industrialisation on

the landscape. Rivers
provided power sources and transport; woodland yielded fuel, building materials, tools;

extractive industry produced
building stone, bricks and chalk; all of which made a mark on the landscape. Man developed

estates, built country
houses, removed villages and enclosed commons. In Roman times leisure was a feature, with

stadia, amphitheatres
and hippodromes, but in later times had little effect, until the advent of racecourses,

football grounds and golfcourses.

Dennis Turner, past president of SyAS, spoke of the .plantation period., when the feudal system

took hold in the
manor, with regulated open-field agriculture. Medieval buildings can give an indication of the

size and wealth of
an estate and the social use to which the messuage had been put.

Phil Andrews of Wessex Archaeology described early Kingston. The topography consisted of gravel

which provided foci for early settlements in the Neolithic and Bronze Ages. Scattered early

Saxon farms were
apparently abandoned by the 9th century, when a royal estate was set up on a central island

with its church and
royal apartments. Kingston was an important crossing-point between Wessex and Mercia, and a

central point of
an area which incorporated Kent and East Anglia. Flooding and land reclamation constantly

changed the landscape.
There were early pottery kilns, and trade flourished, so that by the 12th century Kingston

became an inland port
and market centre. Bridges over the Thames and over the Hogsmill were constructed c1170-90.

John Schofield of the Museum of London described a .zone of special influence. around London.

He concentrated
on the period 1450-1700, but even as early as 1189 grain was being shipped from Henley-on-

Thames to feed
Londoners, and the demand for faggots for fuel affected a wide area before the Black Death. The

Dissolution of
the monasteries led to land being available, and London merchants began building large houses

outside the city.
This increased the demand for stone and timber for the newly designed Tudor buildings. Mass

immigration ensued
from other parts of the country.

From these few reports (out of a total of 16 papers) it will be seen that a wide range of

topics were covered,
revealing many new directions which archaeology has taken in the past 20 years since the

previous conference.

Lionel Green



Friday 18 May 2001: Rosemary Turner in the chair.

!!!!!Sheila Harris reported an enquiry from Wandle Housing
Association about a possible plaque on the Priory Gate
House (Wimbledon Palais / Furnitureland) site to mark the
connection with Elizabeth Cook (widow of Captain
James Cook) and Admiral Isaac Smith.

A manuscript accounts book kept from about 1805 to
1830, rescued from a bonfire at Rutlish School, Merton
Park, around 1961, had been passed to Judith Goodman
by a John Innes Society member. Disappointingly, it
proved not to relate to Merton, but rather to
Northamptonshire, and was the expenditure/income
record of a prosperous farmer in a village near
Northampton itself. With the owner’s agreement, it was
sent to the County Archivist of Northamptonshire, who
was delighted to receive it. Interesting words used in the
entries included sharrog, a ‘shear-hog., or a lamb after

its first shearing; teg, a second-year lamb; poarket, a small
pig; couple, a ewe and her lamb.
E F Clark, descendant and biographer of G P Bidder of Mitcham (the .Calculating Boy. and civil


has handed over some photographs and documents relating to another branch of the family, who

lived in
Worple Road, Wimbledon. They include F W Bidder (1862-1938), also an engineer, who designed

station’s .travelator., and his daughter Joyce, a distinguished sculptor, who died only

recently. It was agreed
that Surrey History Centre would be the best home for the material. The main Bidder archive is

at the
Science Museum.

The date of Queen Eleanor’s coronation had been exercising Lionel Green’s thoughts – that is

Eleanor of
Provence, wife of Henry III – not to be confused with Eleanor of Aquitaine (Henry II) or

Eleanor of Castile
(Edward I)! She was crowned at Merton, as he narrated in his article .The Statute of Merton. in

the June

Lionel then led a discussion on how to deal with footnotes and/or references in publications.

Should they all
go at the end, or section by section? with continuous numbering or sub-divided? And should

short notes go
on the page? Opinions varied.

!!!!!Eric Montague reported that he had been contacted by the planning department about a

possible development

in Mitcham.
By coincidence he too had been in touch with Northamptonshire Record Office, who had sent him

details of
the Tait family (once of Mitcham).

At a recent meeting of the Society there had been an enquiry about a 17th-century Act (16/17

Charles II)
concerning navigation on the Wandle. Monty commented on the artificially straight stretches of

the river in
Morden Hall Park. Why did the Garths go to the trouble and expense of such work? The House of

library would have a copy of the Act, and associated documents. Perhaps an interested member

would like
to investigate? Other Acts with local interest would include any relating to tax on printed


He had completed his Birkbeck thesis on .a village under stress. – Mitcham from the 1640s to

the 1660s.
This study had brought home to him the value of a survey of a particular place at a particular


!!!!!Peter Hopkins had an item from Surrey Archaeological Society’s Village Project. Judie

English had been
researching field-names with the element -ersh. These appear to be of very early origin,

perhaps 6th-century,
and there is an apparent correlation with gravel soil. He reported that Merton had two such

fields, on the
Priory’s Merton Grange estates, which stretched from Church Lane to the Wandle. The reference,

1564, is to a grant to John, Earl of Warwick and Henry Sidney and is to closes called Great and

Ottershe. These fields were among those sold to Richard Garth of Morden, to form his farm later

known as
Morden Hall Farm, but their exact location is not as yet clear.

Abbey Gate House, Merton High Street, c.1900


Peter had been looking at some local wills published on microfilm by West Surrey Family History

and he commented on their value for social and domestic information. One very detailed will was

of Richard
Slater, vicar of Mitcham, who died in 1637/8.

!!!!!Don Fleming continues to investigate .wards.. In the City of London they were named after

features, eg Cripplegate, which is derived from cripule, a tunnel. Fortunately many records of

wards survive
in this country, unlike France where most were destroyed in the Revolution. He described how

the old
system of policing by beadles broke down when mass .immigration. from the countryside began.

became responsible instead. Different trades were found in different wards.

!!!!!Bill Rudd had been examining the list of Morden’s rectors and found it surprising that so

many had resigned
(rather than stay on till retirement). He went on to explain his system for cataloguing his

photographs (b/w
and colour) and his slides, so that they can all be cross-referenced.

An elusive 19th-century character in Lord Monson’s Memoirs was Abraham Dusgate of Norfolk.

Turner, who is a family history expert, had tried to locate him when on a recent visit to

Norwich, but
without success. Steve had also received an enquiry about Gorringe Park Parade, which Monty was

able to
help with.
Judith Goodman

Friday 13 July 2001: Bill Rudd in the chair.

!!!!!Sheila Harris reported an enquiry concerning a William Fearnley, who had been a pupil at

“Morden House
Academy” in 1810. This was too early to have been the ‘Academy for Young Gentlemen’ at Morden

Robert Rutter (1745-1815), brother of John Rutter, proprietor of Ravensbury Mill, had a school

in Central
Road, in the house later known as Hazelwood. Bill Rudd offered to investigate further.
Sheila also showed photographs taken on the ‘Millais Walk’ led by Barbara Webb in May.

!!!!!Rosemary and Steve Turner brought along printouts of the 1st edition 6″ Ordnance Survey

maps for the
whole of East Surrey, which are available on the Internet. A huge undertaking, and a very

useful and interesting

!!!!!Don Fleming reported a visit to the Local Studies Fair held at the Croydon Heritage Centre

at the Central
Library in Croydon Clocktower in June. A number of local societies had displays, including

Steve and

Rosemary for East Surrey Family History Society. Don was particularly impressed by the numbers

of children
and young people taking an interest in the event.
Don also commented on the recent programmes on Genealogy on Radio 4, and on an interesting talk

by John

Philipson on Nonsuch Palace at Cheam Library, followed by a walk around the site.

!!!!!Although Judy Goodman was not able to come to the Workshop, she sent further information

about the
farmer’s account book mentioned at the last Workshop. Northamptonshire Record Office had

written to
thank her for arranging for the book to be deposited with them. It has created a lot of

interest, and they have
consulted their Land Tax records and have identified the farmer as a Thomas Marriott.

!!!!!Peter Hopkins brought along some of the medieval accounts of the manor of Morden, which he

is attempting
to translate. Fortunately they all have a similar structure, and entries in one section can be

with other sections. One side of each annual account roll covers cash transactions, while the

other side has
information on stock of various kinds – grain, livestock and the important medieval ‘commodity’

of labour
services owed by the customary tenants to the lord of the manor, Westminster Abbey.

!!!!!Bill Rudd has been pursuing an issue recently raised in the local Guardian newspaper

regarding the numbering
of Lynmouth Avenue, Morden. The house numbers start at 105 (odd numbers) and 146 (even

numbers). A
resident of the adjoining road, Dudley Drive, has shown Bill her deeds, which state that Dudley

Drive was
originally part of Lynmouth Avenue. Dudley was developed by Crouch and Lynmouth by Wates.

the name had been changed before house-building began in 1937, the original plot numbers were

A similar situation seems to have arisen in the case of Rosebery Close, a turning off Garth

Road, which
originally ran from 36a to 46a. Presumably the rest of the planned road was cut off by

Carlingford Avenue,
but Carlingford was completed (1-61, 2-64) by 1938, whereas Rosebery wasn’t started until 1939.

Peter Hopkins
Dates for future workshops: Fridays 19 October and 23 November – 7.30 pm at Wandle Industrial


Bill Rudd points out that, in the third paragraph on page 6 of Bulletin No.138 (June),

Harrington’s furniture
store was in Sutton High Street, not in Wimbledon.

SATURDAY 3 NOVEMBER 2001 at 2.30 pm


Chairman’s welcome. Apologies for absence

Minutes of the 50th AGM held on 4 November 2000

Matters arising from the Minutes

Chairman’s Report

Membership Secretaries. Report

Treasurer’s Report: reception and approval of the financial statement for the year 2000-01,

copies of
which will be available at the meeting

Election of Officers for the coming year

Vice Chairman
Hon. Secretary
Hon. Treasurer
Appointment of Hon. Auditor for the coming year

Election of a Committee for the coming year

Motions of which due notice has been given:

Revised subscription rates 2002-2003
10 Any other business

At the conclusion of the business part of the Meeting there will be a Quiz.

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


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Printed by Peter Hopkins