Bulletin 176

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December 2010 Bulletin 176
Amy Shuard – Memories L Trodd
Merton Park Remembrance Society D Haunton
Raynes Park (Railway) Skew Arch L E Green
The Wandle in Literature 7. John Betjeman J A Goodman
Collective Rights and Enclosures in 13th-century England L B Mir/J C L Rasch
and much more

CHAIR: Dr Tony Scott DECEMBER 2010


No.48 Central Road, photographed by Bill in 1969.

The Morgans were there from at least 1934. The building, rather changed, is now a convenience store.

Programme: December – April 2
Amy Shuard – Memories – Lesly Trodd 2
Reports: A Visit to Lord’s Cricket Ground 3 Brompton Cemetery 4

The Foundling Museum 5 ‘Liberty’s at Merton’ 6
Local History Workshops:
23 July: Lionel Green’s research notes and archives; photos from Wimbledon Museum;
a wartime tragedy

17 September: wartime memories; Rutlish Charity records; portrait of Axel Munthe; Turgot,
prior of Durham cathedral

29 October: Merton priory in history; a 1723 map; early chemistry; an aid to ‘Heales’;
a local lace-maker; more WW2 memories 9
Merton Park Remembrance Society – David Haunton 10
Raynes Park (Railway) Skew Arch – Lionel Green 11
The Wandle in Literature – 7. John Betjeman – Judith Goodman 12
Collective Rights and Enclosures in 13th-century England – L B Mir and J C L Rasch 13


Saturday 4 December 2.30pm Raynes Park Library Hall’The Princess and the Brewer: Their Duel for Richmond Park’
An illustrated talk by Max Lankester from the Friends of Richmond Park.

Saturday 8 January 2.30pm Raynes Park Library Hall

‘Spas in Surrey’
An illustrated talk by Judith Goodman about a long-vanished feature of life in the historic
county of Surrey.

Saturday 12 February 2.30pm Raynes Park Library Hall ‘Wimbledon Theatre – Then and Now’

A speaker from New Wimbledon Theatre will give this illustrated talk.
We hope to tour the theatre at a later date.

Thursday 3 March Restaurant in the Park
Annual Lunch

See enclosed booking form

Saturday 12 March 2.30pm Raynes Park Library Hall

‘Here Yesterday – Gone Tomorrow’
A talk by David Roe with photos from the Society’s Photographic Record Project that capture
the historical significance and changing nature of Merton, Morden and Mitcham today.
David is the project’s leader.

Saturday 16 April 2.30pm Raynes Park Library Hall ‘The Croydon Canal ‘A welcome return by Paul Sowan of the Croydon Natural History and Scientific Society.

Raynes Park Library Hall is in Aston Road, off Approach Road, on or close to several busroutes, and near to Raynes Park station. Very limited parking.

Please use the hall entrance in Aston Road.

Visitors are welcome to attend our talks. Entry £2.


Reading Bill Rudd’s contribution about the time capsule for the Willows site
(Bulletin 175 p.4), and seeing the name Amy Shuard, I was reminded of the
time in the 1970s when Amy was a neighbour of mine. I was living, with my
parents, in a flat at Highgate. Amy and her husband Peter lived in a flat across
the gardens, almost opposite us.

Amy had the most wonderful soprano voice; she often practised in the flat, or
sometimes on the balcony, especially in the summer. It was a delight to hear
her. I got to know Amy and Peter quite well. Sometimes they would take me
to the Royal Opera House when Amy was performing; this was a real privilege.

Amy was born in Southwark in July 1924. She studied at the Trinity College of
Music and was one of the finest British dramatic sopranos of the 1960s. She
was also one of the early stalwarts of the Covent Garden Opera Company.

Her untimely death in April 1975 was a great loss to the opera world. I lost touch with Peter after I got
married in September 1975 and moved to south-west London.

I would love to find out more about her early life, and especially when and where she lived in the Morden area.

Lesly Trodd
Bill Rudd reports that Amy lived at 49 Canterbury Road, Morden. She was a year older than Bill’s sister, who
used to come home from school complaining that they had to sit and listen to ‘that girl singing’ yet again!!

from google.co.uk



On 19 July 11 members met at Lord’s Cricket Ground in St John’s Wood, for a guided tour. Lord’s is owned
by Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) and is one of the prime locations for international (Test) matches. It
is also the home ground of Middlesex County Cricket Club. The MCC, which now has about 22000 members,
and numerous teams, are the custodians of the laws of cricket, and play a leading role in the development
of cricket in the UK, and in promoting the spirit of the game.

To our surprise the tour started at the royal tennis court. Such a court has been at Lord’s since 1838. MCC
advised on the first rules for the new game of lawn tennis, but declined to host the game at Lord’s – a shortsighted
decision, as they lost an opportunity to become the home of the championships that later became
established in Wimbledon.

We then moved to the museum. Our guide told the story of the small (10cm high) urn on display, containing
the ‘Ashes’, which are permanently housed at Lord’s but ‘held’ by the winners of the England v Australia
series. In 1882 Australia’s first victory on English soil was followed by a mock obituary for the death of
English cricket in the Sporting Times, which said, ‘The body will be cremated and the ashes taken to
Australia’. When the teams next met in Australia Lady Clarke, wife of the sponsor of the tour, presented
the English captain Ivo Bligh (later Lord Darnley) with a small urn containing the ashes of a bail that had
been burned. Darnley kept the urn at his home, Cobham Hall in Kent, until his death in 1927, when it was
presented to the MCC. Our guide said that recent scientific investigations had supported the story that at
Cobham Hall a maid had knocked over and broken the urn, and the contents were mainly floor sweepings.

The tour then moved on to the visiting team’s dressing-room, with a view from the balcony over the ground.
The changing-room had several honours boards recording the exploits of visiting international batsmen and
bowlers in Test matches against England. A new board had just been added after a Pakistan v Australia
Test that had ended the day before, the first Test match at Lord’s not involving England (it was not played
in Pakistan for security reasons).

The next stop was the famous Long Room, with portraits of
MCC dignitaries, England teams and captains lining the walls,
except for one long side where members sit in tall chairs
watching the match. The players pass down the length of the
room on their way to and from the pitch. In a cabinet were
impressive trophies, including the 1999 Waterford Crystal
Ashes Trophy – this, unlike the Ashes urn, is physically held by
the winners of the Ashes series. Here our guide explained more
of the history. In 1786 Thomas Lord, a cricketer and businessman,
was approached by the earl of Winchilsea, to find a ground for
cricket not too far from central London. Lord chose the site of
today’s Dorset Square and founded the MCC there. After a
move to another site in St John’s Wood he finally, in 1814,
settled on the present one. In the early days sheep were used
to keep the grass short. After the MCC acquired the freehold
in 1864 they built the first grandstand and rebuilt the Lord’s
Tavern (replaced in 1967). The MCC colours of red and gold
came from the label on Nicholson’s gin bottles. Mr Nicholson
was a benefactor to the club, and its president in 1879.

Finally we were allowed to take photographs when we went outside, where we saw a statue of W G Grace,
one of the greatest players of all time, who played his last first-class game aged 60 in 1908. We made our
way round the stands, first viewing the fine exterior of the Grade II listed Pavilion by Thomas Verity (1890),
which houses the Long Room, players’ dressing-rooms, other rooms and restaurants for players and
members. The rebuilding of the impressive Mound stand in 1987, with a canopy resembling a row of tents,
was made possible by a £12 million gift from Sir Paul Getty, who became an enthusiast when taken to a
Lord’s match by Mick Jagger. The two stands opposite the Pavilion were left uncovered in 1991, so that
members could still see the trees beyond.

Between them is the Investec Media Centre, the first all-aluminium semi-monocoque building in the world,
by Future Systems Ltd in 1999, who used boat-building technology. The view from inside was stunning,

Thomas Lord, from an old Tavern sign
photo: David Roe


through the glass frontage comprised of a single
pane of glass. It has only one window – installed
in the box for the BBC Test Match Special team,
at the request of commentator Henry Blofield.

through the glass frontage comprised of a single
pane of glass. It has only one window – installed
in the box for the BBC Test Match Special team,
at the request of commentator Henry Blofield.

David Roe

Investec media centre
photo: David Roe


Our August visit was to one of London’s great Victorian cemeteries. Our booked guide had withdrawn at
the last minute but we did not lose by the change. Nick Halbritter, an active Friend of the cemetery, proved
not only fluent and amusing, but apparently omniscient – though he slightly alarmed us when he said his
previous tour had lasted five hours.

It was surprising to learn that Brompton Cemetery is managed by The Royal Parks under contract from the
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, and is the only Crown Cemetery. This circumstance arises
from its history.

The West of London and Westminster Cemetery Company was established in 1836. The promoter and first
chairman was the architect Stephen Geary, founder of both Highgate and Nunhead Cemeteries. He
acquired the site in 1838 – an unprepossessing flat rectangular plot of 39 acres (16ha), treeless and sterile,
previously in use as market gardens and a brickfield. The decision was taken to compete with the arcadian
landscapes of its rivals by means of spectacular architecture. Sir Jeffry Wyatville (a relation of the Wyatts
of Merton), the best-known architect of the time, was called in to head the judges of an architectural
competition – which was won (strangely?) by his own assistant, Benjamin Baud. Geary was forced to
resign. The design, which was reminiscent of others by Wyattville, proved to be his last major project.

The plan was essentially classical, and completely symmetrical. Buildings and paths were laid out in the
shape of an immense basilica, with the Anglican chapel as ‘high altar’, an arcaded ‘nave’, a circle of 300ft
(91m) diameter, based on the Piazza at St Peter’s, Rome, and the 600m ceremonial drive bisecting the entire
plot. Catacombs were built beneath the arcades, but plans for ‘transept’ chapels were never carried out.
The splendid domed chapel and all the other structures were built of honey-coloured Bath stone. Trees, in
avenues and groves, were planted, and there was a vantage point from which to enjoy a picturesque view
of the Kensington canal which ran alongside one boundary. Unfortunately however this would soon be
replaced by a railway line.

The cemetery opened in 1840, with building still going on, but business was slow and many of the
shareholders were becoming anxious. They were not seeing a return from the expensive buildings they had
financed. Finally, in 1852, under a short-lived Act the cemetery was purchased by the Government. It was
the first company anywhere to be nationalised.

There have been more than 200,000 burials at Brompton, and there are estimated to be about 35,000
monuments. Some of the archives are kept in the Chapel building, others are at The National Archives, Kew,
and all have now been computerised. At present seven of the monuments are listed. The cemetery’s Friends
have submitted a list of a further 104 for consideration, but may have to be satisfied with 24 new ones. After
closure for new burials in the late 1950s Brompton reopened in 1996. An important feature of the cemetery
is that it is, and has been from the beginning, open to people of all faiths.

Today the cemetery is a green ‘island’ in busy west London. At least 50 species of tree can be found here,
providing ideal haunts for all kinds of wild life.

As we perambulated with our guide he showed us monuments that were striking in themselves, and
monuments of interesting people, of which the following are only a small selection.


The tomb of Robert Coombes (1808-1860), waterman, and winner in seven consecutive years of Doggett’s
Coat & Badge, bears the figure of Coombes in his Doggett’s regalia, and is surmounted by an upturned skiff.

The tomb of Robert Coombes (1808-1860), waterman, and winner in seven consecutive years of Doggett’s
Coat & Badge, bears the figure of Coombes in his Doggett’s regalia, and is surmounted by an upturned skiff.

The grave of Dr John Snow (1813-1858), discoverer of the cause of cholera, and a pioneer in anaesthesia
has a monument bearing a draped urn (typical Victorian symbol of death).

The massive tomb of ‘Gentleman’ John Jackson (1769-1845), prize-fighter and boxing coach to the nobility
(Lord Byron, the Prince Regent etc), was paid for by public subscription and is surmounted by a lion.

The grave of Frederick Richards
Leyland (1831-1892), a patron of the
pre-Raphaelites, is marked by a
shrine-shaped monument of Carrara
marble with a copper roof and bronze
decoration. It is the only funerary
design by Edward Burne-Jones.

We also saw the graves of singer
Richard Tauber; designer Sir Henry
Cole; John Wisden, cricketer and
publisher; ship-owner Sir Samuel
Cunard; Admiral Robert Fitzroy of
the Beagle; musician Constant
Lambert; and playwright Brandon
(Charley’s Aunt) Thomas.

No fewer than 13 holders of the
Victoria Cross are buried here, one of
them beneath a most unusual monument. Sub Lieutenant Reginald Alexander John Warneford, in a tiny
monoplane, armed with a pistol and five hand-grenades, brought down and destroyed an enormous and
heavily armed Zeppelin. The encounter is shown in low relief on the front of the monument.

Altogether this was a most absorbing visit, with an excellent guide.

The cemetery is open every day. It is next door to West Brompton station, and is also served by buses along
Old Brompton Road and Fulham Road.

Judith Goodman


In the event it was only a small group who visited the Foundling Museum, in Bloomsbury, on 16 September

– too small to justify a guided tour. So, after coffee in the pleasant little café, we dispersed to explore
The museum tells the story of the Foundling Hospital, London’s first home for abandoned children. It was
established in 1742 by mariner and philanthropist Thomas Coram, and supported by, among others, William
Hogarth and George Frideric Handel. The hospital stood on the site of today’s Coram Fields, and the
museum occupies a restored and refurbished building next door. There are fine interiors and paintings,
including Hogarth’s splendid portrait of Coram himself, as well as fascinating records of the hospital. And
there is a particularly touching display of little mementoes left with the infants by their mothers when parting
with them. There are regular temporary exhibitions as well.

The museum, at 40 Brunswick Square, is open Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm, and Sunday 11am to 5pm.
Closed on Mondays.

Tel: 020 7841 3600. enquiries@foundlingmuseum.org.uk

Admission £7.50/ conc. £5/ children free


Tomb of F. R. LEYLAND designed by Edward Burne-Jones Photo: Desmond Bazley



Around 50 members and visitors attended our Evelyn Jowett Memorial Lecture at Christchurch Hall,
Colliers Wood, on 16 October. Chairman Tony Scott reminded us that Miss Jowett (as she was always
called) was the driving force behind the foundation of Merton & Morden Historical Society in 1951, and
served as its first secretary for many years. Her books and articles on the history of Merton and Morden
are still well known and of great value to the local historian. She encouraged our late President, Lionel Green,
in his early studies and in his membership of the original committee.

Tony pointed out how appropriate that this, the 20th memorial lecture, should be by a long-standing member
of the Society, and an active member of its Committee for over 20 years. David Luff has an encyclopaedic
knowledge of Liberty’s, having worked at the Merton printworks from 1965 until its closure in 1982. David
began his talk by acknowledging his debt to Harry Fairman, who worked there for 50 years, and to his
brother-in-law, David Reeves, who worked there for 20 years. Their recollections, combined with David’s
own vivid memories, formed the basis of the talk, and of David’s book that the Society published in 2002,

Trouble at Mill.

David traced the history back to 1904, when
Liberty’s bought the printworks at Merton Abbey,
established in the early 18th century. They soon
began to replace the old wooden buildings, which
posed a fire risk, with the buildings known and
loved to this day. Three buildings date from
before WWI, including that now known as The
Show House, a name devised in the 1980s. More
buildings were erected in the inter-war years,
including The 1926 Shop, later dubbed the
Apprentice Shop, and The 1929 Shop. The Sports
Ground, to the west of the Wandle, was
established in 1923, the Sports Club remaining
active until WWII. Screen printing was introduced

David Luff (on left) and Terry Amos on Tuesday 27 June 1972

in the 1930s during the recession, and new screen
shops, fabric washing facilities, etc, were planned in 1937, but halted on the outbreak of war in 1939. In 1940
part of the site was used by Parnall Aircraft Components, with new works designed by architect Adrian
Powell, and these buildings were taken over by Liberty’s when Parnall’s moved away after the war.

David also recounted changes in techniques and technologies. The earliest printing screens were etched
onto copper gauze, but from 1946 all patterns were engraved onto nylon screens. This took a few years to
achieve. The pre-cast concrete screen-printing tables were introduced in the 1950s. New printing carriages
were designed, based on sketches made on a visit to factories in Lyon. By 1957 block-printing had ceased,
and in the 1960s a huge flatbed-printing machine was purchased, the Mecanotesselle from Italy, followed
by a Swiss-built Buser, each customised to suit the requirements of Liberty’s. Unfortunately the new
machine shop was not suited to the work, and the air-conditioning system, which sucked out dust as well
as hot air during the summer, blew it all back in during the winter!

The 1960s was also a time of changes in management, leading to a lot of waste, as the print output exceeded
processing capacity. In 1972 Liberty’s decided to sell the works, though they continued to place their orders
with the new purchasers of the works, the Vita Tex group (1972-77), and their successors, Riselime Ltd
(1977-81), and Merton Fabrics Ltd (1981-82). But a suspicious fire in July 1982 brought an end to printing,
David himself completing the very last order.

David brought along several samples of patterns and printed items, together with some small items of
equipment. He finished by showing slides of buildings, equipment, processes, patterns and people for, as
David pointed out, it is the people who make a workplace.

This was a fascinating account by a very knowledgeable speaker, and we are grateful to David, not only
for an excellent talk, but also for assembling such a valuable archive. His published account is available from
57 Templecombe Way, Morden, Surrey SM4 4JF, at £2.40 to members, plus 85p postage, or ring me on 020
8543 8471 to arrange collection.

Peter Hopkins



Friday 23 July 2010 – 5 present – David Haunton in the chair

Judith Goodman reported that a file of Lionel Green’s research papers had been passed to her, as they
contain biographical notes of various people connected with Merton. These include: Emma Hamilton,
members of the inter-related Smith, Wyatt and Cook families, William Baynes (land surveyor of the Customs
in reigns of William III and George I), members of the Meriton, Chitty and Bond families (lay rectors of
Merton), Sir Robert Burnett of Morden Hall, the Dorrell lords of the manor of Merton, fabric printers
Francis Nixon and William Morris, the Wilson and Crisp family, the Villiers family (c.1703), the Ormes of
Dorset Hall (c.1827), John Innes, Canon Jagger (vicar of Merton 1904-36), A N Disney (headmaster of
Rutlish School 1897-1921),William Rutlish, and Thomas Sargent (d.1648, who held several small properties
in Merton and Wimbledon). The file also contained a newspaper article dated 28 June 1985, on the anniversary
of Rutlish School, stating that the school had been ‘founded on compost’, together with Lionel’s letter
correcting this statement!

Peter Hopkins brought along a number of items from Lionel’s
archives, and asked advice as to the best place for them to be
deposited. It was suggested that a photocopy of an 1867 plan of
Merton Abbey Station, from the Chief Engineer’s Office at Waterloo,
should be offered to Surrey History Centre; an 1897 edition of
Wimbledon & Putney Post to Wimbledon Museum; and the rest to
Merton Heritage and Local Studies Centre, including: a local section
from an ‘official railway map of London and Environs’ published at
the Railway Clearing House in 1915 (which omits all roads and
buildings and, apart from railway lines and stations, only shows contour
hatchings and outlines of parks and commons!); a large plan of Merton
priory drawn by Bill Rudd in 1976; an aerial photo of the priory site
in 1988; and Col. Bidder’s report on his excavations at the priory in
1927, published by the Society of Antiquaries in 1927.

Peter also reported an email from Paul Sedgwick with an aerial map
of Morden Park, on which he had marked the results of his dowsing
survey last year along the line of Stane Street.

Cyril Maidment brought photos of items in Wimbledon Museum’s collections, including Abbey Gate House,
the nearby mosque (originally built as a billiard hall, and later used as a clothing factory), and a 1913 photo,
labelled ‘Nelson’s Nile’, of a bridge in High Path, Merton, over a stream leading from three fishponds
opposite Abbey Road. He also reported that the museum has recently obtained building plans of the
underground toilets outside Wimbledon Town Hall, Pelham Road School, and other sites in Wimbledon. He
also brought photos contrasting the original balustrade around the elliptical light well in Wimbledon Civic
Hall in 1931 (below left) and its far less attractive replacement in Centre Court (below right).

David Haunton reported on an email from Mavis Priestley about Blue House Cottages in Church Road,
Mitcham (see her article in Bulletin 175 pp.15-16). He also recounted the sad tale of Terry Rosewell, aged
14, of Graham Road, Wimbledon, who, returning home from accompanying vistors to the bus stop when the
siren went, was killed while running back to his house.
Peter Hopkins


Friday 17 September 2010 – 5 present – Peter Hopkins in the chair

After mentioning the ‘River and Cloth’ exhibition at Merton
Abbey Mills, Bill Rudd produced an envelope of wartime
papers, relating to his appointment as a Civil Defence
messenger (‘must have own bike’), and some Civil Defence
post layouts, together with a letter requesting volunteers for
service in the mines (‘if you do not reply within four days,
I shall assume you do NOT wish to volunteer…’). We hope
Bill will publish this collection. Bill also showed us his
genuine 1940 bike pump, some authentic ‘shrapnel’, and an
ARP pin.

Cyril Maidment brought a photo of a wartime defence pill-box, appropriately disguised as a half-
timbered addition to the half-timbered ‘Tudor’ villa at 93 Toynbee Road, Wimbledon, and a note of the
‘horrible murder’ at 54 Parkside in 1917, when Captain Edward Tighe was killed by a burglar who stole
two silver watches and a mackintosh. Cyril has been trying to reconstruct the layout of West Barnes
Farm onto a modern OS map, as given in John Harding’s map of 1723, but has encountered some
geographical oddities, notably on the eastern boundaries. He has also been looking at maps of the area
round Nelson’s house at Merton Place, and has concluded that the sales particulars include a real
measured map, and that High Path is not an old street.

Judy Goodman regaled us with highlights from a Ledger Book of the Rutlish Charity, happily recently
re-acquired by the Rutlish Trustees. This lists the income (from rents) and disbursements etc for 17531840
and is full of fascinating items, mentioning many familiar Merton names. The Charity was mostly
concerned with the placement of boys as apprentices, overwhelmingly as shoemakers or cordwainers,
though tallow maker, jack maker, sawyer, barbers, calico printer and copper plate engraver (in Tooting)
are all mentioned. The few girls have fewer possibilities – mostly mantua maker (dressmaker) or bed
quilter. Apprentices are mainly placed locally, but Clapham, Croydon and Fenchurch Street appear.

David Haunton has found a reproduction of a pastel portrait of Axel
Munthe, the Swedish physician who built Villa San Michele on Capri and
who later lived in Wimbledon. This is by Countess Feodora Gleichen
(1861-1922), a half grand-niece of Queen Victoria. She was an
acknowledged sculptor of portrait busts, with a studio in St James’s
Palace, but is not known for her drawing. She was the first woman elected
to the Royal British Society of Sculptors – alas, just posthumously. David
has also found a very early lithograph
by Vincent Lines (see Bulletins 167171),
drawn in 1927, the year he turned

18. Mavis Priestley has clarified for
David that the Blue Cottages in Church
Road, Mitcham, where her
grandparents lived, were the four northernmost ones (immediately
opposite the Box Factory) on the plan included with her article in
Bulletin 175. Bert Sweet tells David he has been looking into the
Balham Tunnel deep shelter mentioned in Wimbledon Time and
Leisure, (article forthcoming). He has found a photo of a steam-
powered traction engine delivering a new Underground carriage to
the new Morden Depot in 1925. The engine was built by Taskers of
Andoverc.1890, and registered in Kent (KT6702), the first county to
issue number-plates to vehicles following the Motor Car Act of 1903.
Peter Hopkins has been looking at Lionel Green’s papers on Turgot, the prior of Durham Cathedral.
Lionel’s family would like these to be published, so Peter has undertaken the considerable labour of
sorting and arranging the notes. This will eventually give us Building Durham Cathedral – the Life and
Times of Turgot, Prior of Durham (1087-1109), Bishop of St Andrews (1109-1115).

David Haunton


Friday 29 October 2010 – seven present – David Haunton in the chair

Claire Tracey, from the Acacia Intergenerational Centre at Mitcham Eastfields, was looking for help
in recording how different generations have contributed to local history – in particular transport, family
history and travellers’ history, from 1920 to 2010. Initially there will be a six-week project, starting at
the Acacia IGC on 11 November from 3.30 to 4.30. David Haunton kindly agreed to contribute to the
first meeting.

Cyril Maidment had prepared an article for the Wimbledon Society’s quarterly Newsletter about
Merton priory and its consideration as a World Heritage Site. It had been included in a total of 39 sites,
of which ten will eventually be proposed by the United Kingdom. The priory has a strong case for
consideration as an ‘intangible event’. In 1215 King John signed the Magna Carta, and fundamental
freedoms for all subjects were agreed, but written parliamentary law had to wait for Parliament, the
bishops and the barons to meet at Merton priory from 10 to 27 January 1236, to agree the very first
statute, the Statute of Merton. This remained on the statute book for over 700 years, until it was finally
repealed in 1948. With respect to the freedom of the individual it is said to have proved significant to
half the world’s population.

Cyril said he was continuing to prepare a legible version of the John Harding (1723) West Barnes map.
Peter Hopkins had brought along a copy (illegible), and two other Harding maps: Rolles Farm, Shere
(1723) and Sutton Place Farm (1724).

Judy Goodman spoke about the notebook used by Mitcham’s Revd Herbert Randolph in 1837/8, which
is in Merton Heritage and Local Studies collection. It had been used by someone else, much earlier, to
record ‘lectures’ on chemistry, and included symbols for some ‘elements’.

Peter Hopkins had been excited to discover that hundreds of rare out-of-copyright volumes can be
accessed and downloaded from Internet Archive (www.archive.org), including two copies of Heales’s
Records of Merton Priory (1898). Whilst many errors can be found in Heales it is an incredible
compilation of the history of the priory. Peter has added links on the priory page of our website, and
would like to add an index that he made some years ago, Heales’s index being rather sparse.

He had had an enquiry about a recently-discovered badge thought to have been awarded at a Sunday
school in Morden between 1915 and 1920. He is planning an article for the next Bulletin.

Rosemary Turner had been tracing a lace-maker,
Hilda Blanche Goad, with local connections.

Rosemary also showed us photographs of some of
her own attractive watercolour drawings of local
scenes, including this view of the priory arch
reconstructed in St Mary’s churchyard, Merton

Bill Rudd had brought in some of his invaluable
photographs of Morden taken decades ago,
including houses, schools and shops (see page 1).

David Haunton provided more WW2 memories –
someone who was in his Anderson shelter in
Rutlish Road (Station Road then) on 11 July 1944,
when many houses were damaged and the Rutlish
School science building was destroyed. David said
that by mid-January 1941 about 500 houses in
Merton and Morden had been destroyed, and
about two thirds damaged in total.

Cyril Maidment

Next Workshops: Fridays 14 January and 25 March at 2.30pm at Wandle Industrial Museum



This new Society was formed in July 2009 with the following objectives:

To promote activities consistent with the purpose of Remembrance
Sunday within Merton Park
To take care of the War Memorial on the North East corner of the
To raise money to help fund repairs and to liaise with other
organisations in arranging for the necessary work to be carried out
To raise awareness of the Official War Graves contained within
the churchyard and seek to ensure they are maintained to a proper
5. To promote an understanding of the history of the individuals
buried in the War Graves within the local community.
Annual subscription is £5 a year, payable by standing order.
Application forms may be downloaded from the Society’s website
at www.mertonparkremembers.org.uk or obtained from Peter
Smith, Hon Treasurer, phone 020 8879 0076. The 26 graves in the
churchyard hold the servicemen listed below.

From the First World War:

John C ATTEWELL, Lieutenant, Royal Air Force, d.1918, age 19
G COLLINGS, Colour Serjeant, Royal Marine Light Infantry, d.1914,
age 66
G A COX, Sapper, Royal Engineers, d.1918, age 36
Arthur W ELEY, Private, Royal Army Service Corps, d.1919, age 42
E J HOPPER, Able Seaman, Royal Navy (HMS Vivid), d.1919, age
Samuel A KING, Able Seaman, Royal Navy, d.1918, age 31
J C PEGLEY, Private, Royal Army Service Corps, d.1919, age 30
Lewis J POTTER, AC2, Royal Flying Corps, d.1917, age 41
A E ROSE, Private, East Surrey Regiment, d.1915, age 19
Henry E SIMMONS, QM Serjeant, Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), d.1916, age 34
William J SMITH, Private, East Surrey Regiment, d.1918, age 37
A W SPENCER, Serjeant, East Surrey Regiment, d.1917, age unknown
Alfred R STEEL, Private, Labour Corps, d.1918, age 32
Walter H TUBB, Private, Royal Sussex Regiment, d.1918, age 18
Harry A S WHITE, Engineer, Mercantile Marine Reserve, d.1917, age 29

From the Second World War:

Charles A BLACKWELL, Sergeant Pilot, Royal Air Force V R, d.1942, age 25
Geoffrey DAVENPORT, Corporal, Royal Corps of Signals, d.1942, age 28
Richard J FULLER, Sergeant (WO/AG), Royal Air Force V R, d.1944, age 21
Leonard C HALES, Gunner, Royal Artillery, d.1940, age 20
Sidney LANCASTER, Signalman, Royal Corps of Signals, d.1941, age 23
Dennis B O’BRIEN, Private, East Surrey Regiment, d.1940, age 24
Raymond D ORCHARD, Sapper, Royal Engineers, d.1940, age 18
James W PENDERGREST, Lance Bombardier, Royal Artillery, d.1940, age 25
Michael H PRATT, Private, Somerset Light Infantry, d.1945, age 19
William B WEBB, Petty Officer, Royal Navy, d.1942, age 56
Thomas A WILLIAMS, Corporal, Royal Fusiliers, d.1942, age 24

Very little is known at present of their individual histories. If you are a relative or were a friend of any of
them, or know of any such, please contact me on 020 8542 7079 or at 11 Melrose Road, Merton Park, SW19

David Haunton

Merton War Memorial by H.P.BURKEDOWNING, the architect


In our last issue we included an account by Geoffrey Wilson of the station arch at Raynes Park.
It is a pleasure to follow it by an article that was found among the papers of our late president,
LIONEL GREEN. He called it

In our last issue we included an account by Geoffrey Wilson of the station arch at Raynes Park.
It is a pleasure to follow it by an article that was found among the papers of our late president,
LIONEL GREEN. He called it

The original railway consisted of two
railway lines, and the building of a
brick skew arch with an access width
of 18 feet presented no construction
problem. In 1859 it was found necessary
to provide two additional tracks to serve
the Epsom line, and this involved
doubling the length of the connecting
arches. The extension of the skew
arch gave opportunity to increase the
headroom, but the rounded
configuration of the original arch meant
that vehicles went to the middle of the
road, often with dire consequences to
oncoming traffic. Foot passengers had
no footpath.

The station arch to the west was never intended for two lanes of traffic, and Approach Road (completed
by 1913)1 was built along the south side of the railway to serve this access, and the original arch restricted
to foot passengers. Gates remained for special use. This was the access from Kingston Road (Coombe
Lane) to what is now Grand Drive.

When Sir Richard Garth wished to develop Rayne’s farm in the 1860s he requested a passenger station from
the LSWR. In 1864 the Junction Tavern2 was built, but it was not until 1871 that a station was provided,
with platforms serving the Kingston and Epsom trains. In 1884 a new ‘island’ platform was built on the north
side for up ‘local’ trains, including the Epsom and Kingston services. When Worple Road, Wimbledon, was
extended to Raynes Park in 1891 it gave great relief to the Kingston Road bottleneck at the skew arch.

In 1896 the local authorities (both Wimbledon and Merton) asked the Croydon Rural District Council to
provide better pedestrian protection. There was still no footpath, and a separate subway was proposed, at
an estimated cost of about £2000. This cost was considered out of proportion to the benefit, and the RDC
considered that provision of a widened arch was the responsibility of the railway company.

A narrow footpath was provided on the south-west side of the arch, which did nothing to improve the traffic
flow, and it was not until 19731 that a new cut was made under the railway line between the two archways,
and Wimbledon and Merton were connected with an adequate road. The skew arch is now restricted to foot

Lionel left these dates blank. They have been filled in by consulting E M Jowett Raynes Park: a social history (1987) Merton Historical
Society. [JG]
At present, and it is hoped temporarily, renamed The Funktion [JG]
An Edwardian postcard (courtesy JG)


THE WANDLE IN LITERATURE – an occasional series

7. John Betjeman
It came as a surprise to me to learn that the River Wandle was known to John Betjeman (1906-1984). Born in
Highgate, he was educated at Marlborough, and at Oxford, which he left without a degree, and began to make
his way in poetry and journalism. He became the best-loved poet of his generation, won the Queen’s Gold Medal
for Poetry in 1960, was knighted in 1969, and in 1972 succeeded Cecil Day Lewis as Poet Laureate (‘Lucky old
England to have him’ wrote Philip Larkin). The tone of most of his very approachable verse was bittersweet,
affectionately mocking or elegiac, but he always found it hard to produce poems for great occasions. His
enthusiasms included churches, railways and life in suburbia.

South London Sketch, 1944 is a mournful little poem (there was also a ‘prequel’, called South London
Sketch, 1844), mainly in fact about churches. Copyright rules prevent me from reproducing more than 12 lines,
but here are the beginning, the middle and the end from the three stanzas:

From Bermondsey to Wandsworth
So many churches are,

Oh, in among the houses,
The viaduct below,
Stood the Coffee Essence Factory
Of Robinson and Co.
Burnt and brown and tumbled down
And done with years ago

Where the waters of the Wandle do
Lugubriously flow.

The Nonconformist spirelets
And the Church of England spires.*

So, whereabouts on the Wandle did Betjeman glimpse the
lugubrious flow? I hoped to find Robinson & Co, coffee essence
manufacturers, in the old trade directories, but though I went right
back from the 1940s to the 1880s, and though there were coffee
essence businesses in plenty, there were none in Wandsworth, or
anywhere in south-west London. I was driven to conclude that
this picturesque and plausible enterprise was entirely a fiction of
the poetic imagination.

* From John Betjeman’s Collected Poems (1979 edition) pp148-9, copyright the estate of John Betjeman, reproduced
by permission of John Murray (Publishers)
Judith Goodman


Good news! The new Wandsworth Museum was formally opened on 1 September. It is housed in the
attractive ex-library building at 38 West Hill SW18 1RZ. Tel: 020 8870 6060

When the much-loved council-run museum in the old Court House was axed by Wandsworth council it was
not long before an enthusiastic and energetic Friends of Wandsworth Museum was set up. A generous grant
from the Hintze family, who are Wandsworth residents, has enabled the new museum to get off the ground.
Its director is David Barbour, a respected professional, and there is a dedicated team of volunteers. The
displays are excellent.

The museum is open 10am – 5pm Tuesday – Sunday. Admission £3 for a single visit, £8 for one year.
Concessions available. Buses stop outside, and it is a short walk from Wandsworth High Street.

The bronze sculpture of Sir John Betjeman at St Pancras station. Martin Jennings 2007Photo:JG


We have been pleased and very interested to receive a contribution from overseas.

We have been pleased and very interested to receive a contribution from overseas.

JUAN CRUZ LÓPEZ RASCH is an advanced student of history at the National University of La
Pampa for academic tasks in Medieval History, ‘Programa de Apoyo Económico Especial para la
Comunidad Universitaria’, financed and supported by Santander Río Bank and the National
University of La Pampa (2008-2009 and 2009-2010).

The authors have surveyed, and here comment on, the literature about the Statute of Merton.

an interpretative approach around the Statute of Merton (1236)

The Statute of Merton (1236) reflects political and economic trends that were inseparable from
the social system. Thus, to study this problem is to understand processes of transformation of
crucial importance to feudal England.

The 13th century was, in Western Europe, the period of full stabilisation of feudal structures and, to a large
extent, the crowning point of a process of economic growth that was not going to come to a halt until 12701280.
A phenomenon of widespread reach, the feudal expansion adopted peculiar features according to the
different regions in which its dynamic continuity flowed. In England’s case, the economic development and
its social consequences were accompanied by certain imbalances, some of which reflected the rise of
change factors in society.

Within this context, we notice the importance of the Statute of Merton (1236) in England. Such a statute
would represent a legal-political expression of the early presence of enclosures. Indeed, this document
reports on an authorisation mechanism to create spaces for collective use, anticipating the long privatisation
process of its use and control.1

The problem offers fertile territory for studying the approach in depth whenever a specialist in agricultural
history rejects the influence of the Assembly of Merton, and maintains only that enclosures achieved limited
progress in the English countryside during the 15th century. 2 This perception of the concentration process
is endemic in thinkers as renowned as Weber,3 for whom the communal fence phenomenon is identified with
that century.

Academic research on the agrarian implications of the Statute of Merton does not seem to have received
the systematic attention it deserves. Researcher Abel and other distinguished scholars who have
investigated the rural environment of the Old World, such as Slicher van Bath and Rösener, have made no
room for the aforementioned research in their thorough analyses.4 The same is true of Hilton, who ignores
the Assembly of Merton in his main research on agrarian structures in England.5

Nonetheless, the statute deserves to be considered as regards some specific matters, since the process of
economic change that affected England in the 13th century cannot be separated from the institutional
mechanism that was entailed in the phenomenon of enclosure. This phenomenon involved the total or partial
reduction of open fields and the freeing of individual peasants from communal control.6

From the legal-historical viewpoint, several authors chronicle the relevance of the Statute. Some of them
interpret it as an empowering factor in feudal enclosures in the 13th century;7 others see its influence even
in the enclosure process of the 17th and 18th centuries.8 Likewise, there are those who propose that the
Assembly of Merton was a sign of several social phenomena of the 13th century and of certain political
interactions between royalty and barons.9 These are aspects whose backgrounds recall Magna Carta and
that turn the Statute into the first comprehensive body after it.10

The interpretation of Merton rules acquires greater weight when a fundamental fact is emphasised: if the
lord could prove that peasants had enough pasture and regular access to it, then his enclosing measures
would be protected.11 Powicke took this view, holding that the Statute only allowed the enclosure of
communal pastures where the open space was extensive enough to exercise peasants’ common law.12


As regards studies at the end of the 19As regards studies at the end of the 19 century, Pollock and Maitland13 presented a broader treatment and
agreed that the Statute of Merton established the restriction of communal rights and the use of waste lands
by the lords. Likewise, the Assembly may have confirmed a trend that existed before the approval of the
Statute; this last approach accords with an idea already outlined by Scrutton.14

Similarly, it is necessary to take into account other relevant aspects. First of all, the idea of ‘enough’ pastures
should be understood in relation to the livestock economy at the beginning of the 13th century. Given the
socio-economic level of development, it is possible to conjecture that the pasturing of animals was the
deciding factor from which the land and its uses were assessed. It is worth pointing out that the change
towards sheep rearing was partly underpinned by the expansion of foreign trade,15 with wool exports to
Flanders and Italy playing a significant role in the finances of the monarchy. This fact could explain the
interest on the part of the monarchy in favouring the enclosure process.

Again Neilson and Nabholz take up aspects of this conjecture when they propose that the Statute of Merton
may have given licence to the lords to enclose plots of land and use them for agricultural and livestock
purposes, or cede them to a lessee.16 Their enquiry outlines a significant link with the expanding framework
of feudalism, which is given importance in other publications, though here it benefits from analytical weight.
Indeed, these authors’ proposal links the increase in sheep rearing with foreign trade, the expansion of
pastures and the interest of certain groups in taking advantage of that expansive movement. A similar idea
pervades the work of one of the greatest specialists in agrarian history, Genicot, who pointed out how the
Statute of Merton allowed the lords to enclose plots of land if they showed that peasants had enough
wasteland and space for their cattle.17

It is also interesting to observe Le Goff’s viewpoint as regards the implications of the Statute. He maintains
that the Statute inaugurated the period of enclosed fields, a period that resulted from the ‘economic choice’
of wealthy agricultural producers to turn arable lands into pastures, which is a phenomenon that originated
in the demand for wool.17 The importance of such interpretation is somehow underestimated, because it
comes from an author who is not a specialist in rural history. However, it is strengthened by the overall
importance of his work in historiography.

Similar ideas to those of Le Goff were outlined by Duby. This author held that agreements between lords
and peasants for livestock farming often legalised the construction of permanent fences. This legalisation
reserved the use of land to individual farming, a process that lords encouraged and from which they
benefited. In this respect, Duby asserted that the authorisation to erect fences was also acquired by
considerable numbers of non-noble landowners, the city bourgeoisie or prosperous villagers, with the
purpose of freeing them from joint obligations.18

Moreover, it is important to bear in mind that Duby’s and Le Goff’s formulations are taken up again, from
a different viewpoint, in Coss’s work. This author considers the Statute as the instrument used by lords to
increase their benefits and productivity.19 The fact that a historian from the end of the 20th century endorses
this viewpoint highlights that the hypothesis of the economic influence of Merton on enclosures preserves
its validity.

On the other hand, although Fossier shares the viewpoint that links enclosures with the economic changes
of the time, he claims that it consisted of an order of the English monarch to regulate the seizure of communal
lands executed by feudal lords through arbitrary enclosures. This last idea at some point diverges from what
has been clearly specified by most authors, and entails some reformulation to understand the problem;
according to Fossier the Statute was not just a simple instrument of manorial compulsion but a strategy of
the monarchical power to counterbalance pressure from the nobility on the rights of the peasant

An author who anticipated this viewpoint was Beresford, who considered that the Statute of Merton
represented a petition to set a limit, though modest, to ploughing of pasture areas.21 Subsequently, Birrell
assessed this royal regulation as an instrument through which peasants tried to defend their rights in face
of the lords’ advance.22

It is also interesting to assess the historian Dyer’s contribution; he proposes that it was permitted to fence
plots of wasteland under certain conditions. However, he suggests that communities could recover those
plots of wasteland in exchange for income, or the payment of a fine.23 In subsequent work the author held
that the Statute, besides regulating certain relationships between the monarch and the lords, would not have


made great changes in the enclosure process because, even though it authorised certain actions by the
nobility, it also granted some margin to restrict the concentration of farming plots.
made great changes in the enclosure process because, even though it authorised certain actions by the
nobility, it also granted some margin to restrict the concentration of farming plots.

It is appropriate to conclude that the Statute of Merton and its legal and socio-economic implications depict
a complex and dynamic profile prompting numerous interpretations for historical analysis. Gay’s work was
already oriented towards this direction at the beginning of the 20th century, when he held that the Statute
was part of the plurisecular history of manorial enclosure on wastelands and communal lands, a phenomenon
which did not culminate until the end of the 18th century.25

AUTHORS: Lucio B Mir, Juan Cruz López Rasch

INSTITUTIONAL DIRECTION: Coronel Gil 353, Second floor, School of Human Sciences, National
University of La Pampa (Facultad de Ciencias Humanas, Universidad Nacional de La Pampa), (6300) Santa
Rosa, La Pampa, Argentina.

E-MAIL ADDRESSES: luciomir3@hotmail.com; juanrasch@yahoo.com.ar.

1 The document is cited in Harry Rothwell English Historical Documents 1189-1327, Wiltshire: Routledge, (1975) pp. 351-354.
2 Michael M. Postan. Ensayos sobre agricultura y problemas generales de la economía medieval, Madrid, Siglo XXI, 1981, p. 26.
3 Max Weber Historia económica general, México, Fondo de Cultura Económica [1923] 1956, p. 87
4 Wilhelm Abel La Agricultura: sus crisis y coyunturas. Una historia de la agricultura y la economía alimentaria en Europa Central desde

la Alta Edad Media, México: Fondo de Cultura Económica (1986); Bernard H. Slicher van Bath Historia agraria de Europa Occidental

(500-1850), Barcelona: Península (1978); Werner Rösener Los campesinos en la Edad Media, Barcelona: Crítica (1990)
5 Rodney Hilton Conflicto de clases y crisis del feudalismo, Barcelona: Crítica (1988)
6 Maurice Dobb Estudios sobre el desarrollo del capitalismo, Buenos Aires: Siglo XXI, [1946] 1975 p. 85; Bernard H. Slicher van Bath

(1978) p. 243-244
7 W. H. R. Curtler The enclosure and redistribution of our land, Elibron Classics [1920] 2005, p. 83
8 E.C.K. Gonner ‘The Process of Inclosure during the Seventeenth Century’ in The English Historical Review, Volume 23, N° 91 (Jul. 1908),

pp. 478, 489; Theodore Plucknett Statutes and their interpretations in the first half of the fourteenth century, Clark (New Jersey): The
Lawbook Exchange, [1921-1922] 2005, p. 151
9 Walter Ullmann Principios de gobierno y política en la Edad Media, Madrid: Alianza, [1961] 1985, p. 169; Walter Ullmann Historia del

pensamiento político en la Edad Media, Barcelona: Ariel, [1965] 1983, p. 144
1 0 Maurice Powicke The thirteenth century. 1216-1307. Oxford: Oxford at the Clarendon Press (1962) p. 69
1 1 Thomas Edward Scrutton Commons and commonfields: or; The history and policy of the laws relating…, BiblioBazaar Reproduction

Series, (1887) p. 60
1 2 Maurice Powicke (1962) pp. 69-71
1 3 Frederick Pollock and Frederick W. Maitland. The History of English Law. Before the time of Edward I, London: Cambridge University

Press, [1895/1911] 1968, Volume 1, pp. XII-XIV, 627, 622
1 4 Thomas Edward Scrutton (1887)
1 5 Max Weber, [1923] 1956, p. 183
1 6 Nellie Neilson. ‘7. Inglaterra’ (inside ‘Capítulo VII: La sociedad agraria medieval en su apogeo’). En: J. H. Clapham y Eileen Power

(directores). Historia Económica de Europa. Desde la decadencia del Imperio Romano. La vida agraria en la Edad Media, Madrid:
Editorial Revista de Derecho Romano, Universidad de Cambridge, Tomo 1, pp. 530, 558; Hanz Nabholz. ‘Capítulo VIII: La sociedad agraria
medieval en su período de transición’. En: J. H. Clapham (1940) p. 633

1 7 Jacques Le Goff La baja edad media, Madrid: Siglo XXI Editores (1974) p. 265
1 8 Georges Duby Economía rural y vida campesina en el occidente medieval, Barcelona: Península (1973) p. 215.
1 9 Peter R. Coss Lordship, Knighthood and Locality. A Study in English society c.1180 – c.1280, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

(1991) pp. 105-106
2 0 Robert Fossier La Edad Media 2. El Despertar de Europa, 950-1250, Barcelona: Crítica (1988) pp. 230-231, 496
2 1 M. W. Beresford ‘The Lost Villages of Medieval England’ in The Geographical Journal, Volume 117, N° 2 (Jun. 1951) p. 147
2 2 Jean Birrell ‘Common rights in the medieval forest: disputes and conflicts in the thirteenth century’ in Past and Present, N° 117 (Nov.

1987) pp. 42-43
2 3 Christopher Dyer ‘The English medieval community and its decline’ in The Journal of British Studies, Volume 33, n° 4, Vill, Guild and
Gentry: Forces of Community in Later Medieval England (Oct. 1994) pp. 410-411
2 4 Christopher Dyer ‘Conflict in the landscape: the enclosure movement in England, 1220-1349’ in Landscape History, 29 (2007) pp. 1719
2 5 Edwin F. Gay ‘Inclosures in England in the Sixteenth Century’ in The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Volume 17, N° 4 (1903) p. 597


By the time this Bulletin reaches you, Eric Montague’s next Mitcham History – 11: The Cranmers, The
Canons and Park Place – should be at the printers. At 240 A5 pages with 40 monochrome photos, drawings
and maps, it will retail at £5.95 but is just £4.80 to members, plus £1.00 for postage (cheques payable to
Merton Historical Society). An ideal Christmas present, it can be ordered from our Publications Secretary,
Peter Hopkins, at 57 Templecombe Way, Morden, Surrey SM4 4JF, or ring Peter on 020 8543 8471 to
arrange collection. It will also be on sale at lectures from January.


Bulletin no.175, page 4, paragraph 4: ‘George [Cole]’s first performance before a paying audience
was at the Wesleyan Methodist Hall in Green Lane, Morden’.

Bulletin no.175, page 4, paragraph 4: ‘George [Cole]’s first performance before a paying audience
was at the Wesleyan Methodist Hall in Green Lane, Morden’.
. The views expressed in this Bulletin are those of the contributors concerned and not
necessarily those of the Society or its Officers.

website: www.mertonhistoricalsociety.org.uk email: mhs@mertonhistoricalsociety.org.uk
Printed by Peter Hopkins