Bulletin 196

Download Bulletin 196

December 2015 – Bulletin 196
‘England’s Immigrants – Aliens in Southwark and Surrey 1330–1350’ – Andrea Ruddick
The Locket Family, Coal and Mitcham Brewery – Ruth Sear
The George Inn and the ‘Manor House’ Residential Home – Peter Hopkins
A Royal Opera House Dance Ticket – Peter Brunton
Memories of Two Mitcham Churches – June Smith
Growing Up in Colliers Wood in the 1920s and ’30s – Winifred McAllan
and much more

VICE PRESIDENTS: Eric Montague, Judith Goodman
CHAIR: Keith Penny



Abbey Roads: a modern pilgrimage

The story of Bill Rudd’s visits to all the
religious houses named in the roads of
the St Helier Estate. Review in next issue.

Price £10 (£8 members), available at
meetings or from Publications Secretary.

Programme December 2015–April 2016 2
Visit to Nonsuch Mansion House and garden 3
Visit to Southside House 4
‘England’s Immigrants – Aliens in Southwark and Surrey 1330–1350’ 5
Local History Workshops:
7 August: WW1 conscientious objector; Triang plastic toys; Oakhurst Cottage (NT);
All Saints, Putney; Ravensbury manor holder; ‘Meadholme’ 7
25 September: Priory wall; 1641 will; River Graveney; Mitcham UDC centenary and nuisances 8
The Locket Family, Coal and Mitcham Brewery – Ruth Sear 9
The George Inn and the ‘Manor House’ Residential Home – Peter Hopkins 11
A Royal Opera House Dance Ticket – Peter Brunton 15
From our Postbag – June Smith & Winifred McAllan 15, 16

Saturday 12 December 2.30pm Christ Church Hall, Colliers Wood
‘Persevering with Father Thames’
Illustrated talk by antiquary and collector Bob Wells
Saturday 16 January 2016 2.30pm Christ Church Hall, Colliers Wood
‘Recent Researches’
Illustrated talks by a number of members
Saturday 13 February 2.30pm Christ Church Hall, Colliers Wood
‘Cheam Pottery’
Illustrated talk by archaeologist Clive Orton
Thursday 25 February 12 noon Taste Restaurant, London Road, Morden
Annual Lunch – booking form enclosed
Saturday 12 March 2.30pm Christ Church Hall, Colliers Wood
‘The Syon Abbey Herbal AD 1517 – the last Monastic Herbal in England’
Illustrated talk by John Adams, one of the editors
Saturday 9 April 2.30pm Christ Church Hall, Colliers Wood
‘The Wanborough Hoard’
Illustrated talk by Detective Inspector Alan Bridgman
Visitors are welcome to attend our talks. Entry £2.
Christ Church Hall is next to the church, in Christchurch Road, 250m from Colliers Wood
Underground station. Limited parking at the hall, but plenty in nearby streets or at the Tandem
Centre, 200m south. Buses 152, 200 and 470 pass the door.
Saturday 12 December 2.30pm Christ Church Hall, Colliers Wood
‘Persevering with Father Thames’
Illustrated talk by antiquary and collector Bob Wells
Saturday 16 January 2016 2.30pm Christ Church Hall, Colliers Wood
‘Recent Researches’
Illustrated talks by a number of members
Saturday 13 February 2.30pm Christ Church Hall, Colliers Wood
‘Cheam Pottery’
Illustrated talk by archaeologist Clive Orton
Thursday 25 February 12 noon Taste Restaurant, London Road, Morden
Annual Lunch – booking form enclosed
Saturday 12 March 2.30pm Christ Church Hall, Colliers Wood
‘The Syon Abbey Herbal AD 1517 – the last Monastic Herbal in England’
Illustrated talk by John Adams, one of the editors
Saturday 9 April 2.30pm Christ Church Hall, Colliers Wood
‘The Wanborough Hoard’
Illustrated talk by Detective Inspector Alan Bridgman
Visitors are welcome to attend our talks. Entry £2.
Christ Church Hall is next to the church, in Christchurch Road, 250m from Colliers Wood
Underground station. Limited parking at the hall, but plenty in nearby streets or at the Tandem
Centre, 200m south. Buses 152, 200 and 470 pass the door.

Following my notice in the September Bulletin, I am pleased to announce that member Mrs Janet Holdsworth
promptly volunteered her services as the Independent Examiner for the Society’s accounts. She brings much
relevant experience to the task, and the Committee is very grateful to her for stepping forward.

David Roe, Hon Treasurer


Members are reminded that the Society now offers an information service to email users, including reminders
of Society meetings and visits, and announcements of other events of interest of which notice arrives between
issues of the Bulletin. To use this service, please send an email to info@mertonhistoricalsociety.org.uk. Send
another if you wish to cancel.


Subscriptions for 2015-16 are now overdue. Please note that this will be the last Bulletin to reach you if
we have not received your payment by the time of the next issue.
A membership form was enclosed in the September Bulletin. Current rates are:

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Additional member in same household £3
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Cheques are payable to Merton Historical Society and should be sent with completed forms to our
Membership Secretary 27 Burley Close, LONDON SW16 4QQ.



On 20 August we visited this Grade II* Listed Georgian house, in Nonsuch Park, Ewell. We were shown round
by Sheila Ayliffe and Gerald Smith, assisted by other knowledgeable members of the Friends of Nonsuch. We
must mention the sheer amount of restoration and maintenance work the Friends have done and are doing.

In 1731 the Little Park of the Nonsuch Palace estate was bought by Joseph Thompson, bequeathed by him to
his nephew Joseph Whateley, and eventually sold in 1799 to Samuel Farmer. His family then held it until 1936,
when it was sold to a trust comprising the London and Surrey County Councils and the then local authority

(now Sutton). A short length of a substantial patterned chalk and flint wall is evidence that there was a house

on the site at some point before c.1690. Little else is known of it, though it is possible that some walls of red
brick incorporated in the house are remnants.
We began our tour with a look at the outside of Nonsuch Mansion House; the

ground floor is leased to a company, so visitors cannot now see the formal rooms

inside. Situated about half a mile from the site of Henry VIII’s Palace, the house is
precisely dated: the plans and drawings were signed in 1799 and 1800, and building

was finished by 1806. Samuel Farmer was a wealthy cloth- and dye-merchant whose

architect, Jeffry Wyatt (later Sir Jeffry Wyatville, ‘moderniser’ of Windsor Castle),
designed the house in Tudor Gothic style (‘somewhat dreary’ says the Dictionary
of Art). It was mostly faced in what was known at the time as ‘Roman cement’, of a

dull ochre colour, with pseudo-battlements, fancy window frames and an impressive

entrance doorway. There was a belfry and a separate dairy (also Tudor Gothic) with
a covered passage to the house.

Next we looked at the grounds: a long shallow chalk pit had been landscaped, and open spaces created, by
Thomas Whateley in the 1770s. The formal gardens retain their 1840s layout (now tended by the ‘Nonsuch

Voles’): two free-standing Wistaria are a feature, as is a 200-foot long rose walk, with its restored Victorian

ornamental iron framework. William Francis Gamul Farmer installed long greenhouses, mainly for his orchids
(Dendrobium farmeri is named for him), with two gardeners on site to stoke the heating fires: one wall of their
two-room red-brick bothy (with turrets) survives.

Then we toured the fascinating Service Wing, furnished by the Friends: the Wet Laundry where clothes were
mended and buttons removed before washing; the Dry Laundry for airing and pressing; the Scullery, with

authentic (though modern) muslin teabags; the huge Kitchen with three sets of fires – open with a spit, closed
in a range with hobs and ovens, and small charcoal-fired ones for slow cooking or simmering; the Pastry-cook’s
Room with jelly-moulds and a 1900 refrigerator (using ice from the ice-house in grounds); and a well ventilated

Game Room, where birds were literally hung.

Finally we admired the Gallery, which holds a collection of restored stained glass and a large and superbly-

detailed model of the Nonsuch Palace of Henry VIII (funded by the Friends), and a display of some of the
evidence (pictures, drawings, archaeology) on which the model is based. DH

Photo copyright Roger Poynter; see it in colour at www.friendsofnonsuch.co.uk



A group of us toured this historic local house on 23 September. We joined a group led by Isabella Bamasik, a

very knowledgeable Polish lady.
The house itself is large, and has grown by addition, rather than remodelling. Beginning as a 16th century
farmhouse, it was extended sideways – giving it two front doors –later provided with a classical façade (1770)
and later still with a Victorian bay window stuck onto one of the fronts. At some point, the second front door
was blocked, providing a niche for a statue. The rear is mostly Georgian, with Victorian extensions. Very little
original decoration survives, the most interesting being a complete frieze of (Spanish) Cordoban leather panels

ornamented with nicely restrained swags of fruit and flowers in one reception room. Nearly two acres of gardens

are laid out in irregular compartments and include an orchard and a small stream.

Apparently Southside was unoccupied and neglected for many
years during the early 20th century, until in 1931 it was bought
by Hilda Pennington Munthe, a rich heiress married to the
charismatic Swedish doctor and author Axel Munthe. Following

the stock-market crash of 1929, she retrenched by selling her

large house in Biarritz (70 servants!) and bought Southside as
‘somewhere to store her paintings’. These comprise two separate
family collections and are a principal attraction of the house.
The Wharton collection began in 1620 and includes a portrait by

van Ravesteyn of the first Lord Wharton, who held office under

Charles I and commissioned several paintings from Van Dyck
and his studio. The Pennington collection is mainly of 19th and
20th century pictures. Portraits on the walls include some Van

Dycks, Angelica Kaufman by Joshua Reynolds, an unusual self-

portrait by Reynolds, Hilda, age 3, by James Sand, and Emma
Hamilton by George Romney (unusual in that she is wearing
normal clothing, unlike many pictures in which she is posing as
some nymph or other) (right, from a postcard).

Below: The Hall (postcard, photo by Ingalill Snitt)

Restoration of the house began in 1946, when Hilda’s sons
Malcolm, a soldier, and Peter, an artist, moved in. Malcolm
was in charge and proceeded imaginatively, cheaply, and

quite unhistorically. The floor above the main hall had

fallen down during the war, and he kept the resulting

two-storey space, which lightens much of the house. He
scavenged much material from bomb-sites around London,

such as the four marble columns in the ‘Greek temple’
in the garden. Wimbledon art students were employed
to make decorations such as a ‘Van Dyck’ bust of King
Charles I, while the Hall sports an austere ’18th-century
stone’ balustraded gallery entirely fabricated of painted
wood, and the Music Room is Georgian in style, again
with wooden columns purporting to be marble, etc, etc.

At present, exploration and further restoration are in
progress, and have recently revealed such items as a
complete Victorian puppet theatre found in the attic, a
blocked up powder room (for your wig), and a room
hidden below a hearthstone where Malcolm had secreted
guns, grenades and much ammunition (dealt with by the
Army after evacuating nearby houses and King’s College

School). An extraordinary place. Isabella was justifiably

congratulated by all for a most enjoyable visit. DH



On 10 October 35 members and visitors had the privilege of exploring this fascinating subject under the expert
guidance of Dr Andrea Ruddick, a medieval scholar who was a Research Associate at the Faculty of History,
University of Cambridge, before she and her husband and children moved to Morden. Andrea’s specialism is late
medieval English political and cultural history, with a particular interest in the development of the concept of
‘English Identity’, so she was an obvious choice for inclusion in a recent research project creating and interpreting
a database from the extensive archival evidence about the names, origins, occupations and households of 64,000

foreigners who made their home in England between the mid-14th and mid-16th centuries.

The medieval kings of England ruled over many other lands and territories, including Wales, Ireland, the
Channel Islands and various French possessions, and there was considerable movement of people between these
dominions. Royal marriages were usually made with foreign princesses, and the queens naturally brought with

them fellow-nationals in their entourages. The church was also a supra-national organisation, and many clergy
came to England from overseas, while international trade flourished in these centuries, bringing merchants
and financiers from across Europe. These were not the only people who settled here, though most others went

unrecorded. However, every so often a change in government policy initiated the gathering of data relating
to these lesser folk, and the resultant records enable us to identify who they were and where they came from.
Andrea warned us that, as always, the surviving evidence is incomplete and unevenly distributed across the
country and across the years, but even so, there is so much we can learn.

Three periods in particular gave rise to substantial archives – 1436, the 1440s and the 1540s.
In 1436, during the Hundred Years War against France, a long-term alliance with the Duchy of Burgundy broke
down under the strain of years of minority rule, which showed little sign of coming to an end now that Henry VI

was a teenager. As a result, migrants from the far-flung Burgundian lands who had settled in England were no

longer considered loyal friends, and were required to take an Oath of Fealty to the young king if they wanted
to remain here. The oath was administered by county and over 1,800 names, mostly from Flanders, Holland and
elsewhere in the Low Countries, are recorded in the patent rolls now stored at The National Archives at Kew.
Not surprisingly, the highest density is in the south and east of the country, nearest to the Continent. Surrey
had the highest concentration after London, with 217 listed, of whom 184 lived in Southwark, though eight
were in Kingston and three in Croydon. All were male and were skilled craftsmen – goldsmiths, cordwainers

(shoemakers), linen-weavers, tailors, haberdashers, embroiderers, skinners, smiths, armourers and barbers.

No doubt there were others in less urban settings who slipped under the radar, but it is to be expected that the
majority would settle in urban centres within easy reach of their customers.

As the decade went on, the war with France continued to drain government finances, and the

natural progression was to impose a tax on foreigners – the Alien Subsidies introduced in 1440
and continuing intermittently until 1487. All resident aliens aged 12 or over were to be assessed,
a higher rate being charged for householders, a lower rate for servants. Although it proved a less

successful revenue-raiser than had been hoped, partly due to the ever-present problem of tax

evasion, partly because it was dependent on the conscientiousness of local assessors, we have
records of some 1,400 aliens in Surrey alone during the 1440s. Some of these are likely to have
been duplicates – how can one be sure which if any of the four men named John Frensshman
in 1440 were the same as the two listed in 1442 or in 1449? – so Andrea decided to focus on

those assessed in the most complete year, 1440. There were 688 in Surrey – the seventh-highest

county after Kent, Sussex, Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Middlesex (including London) and
Northumberland (with many Scots) – of which 445 lived in Southwark, while locally there
were 34 in Brixton Hundred, 33 in Kingston Hundred and 26 in Wallington Hundred. Although

the highly qualified craftsmen were again represented, especially in Southwark, there were 335
servants and 22 labourers – and 132 women, 90 of them foreign-born wives of alien men, while

the unmarried women were mostly in service. During the Middle Ages servanthood was often

an early stage within one’s life-cycle, for men and women, English and alien. This chart gives

details of the occupations of registered aliens in Surrey in 1440.


I was particular interested to learn that one man, Peter Clement, lived in Morden. I had come across the name in
Morden manorial records (twice mentioning that he came from Gascony) between 1389 and 1454 (by which date
he had died), buying and selling cottages and odd acres of land – and brewing ale in 1397 – so I was surprised
to discover that in 1440 he was described as a beggar. If this was the same man, he must have been at least 60
by that date, so perhaps old age had reduced him to penury. (Or had his neighbours decided to exaggerate his
poverty so that he would not be liable for the tax?)

Many of those assessed in 1440 can be identified in later assessments, and those who, like Peter Clement, only

appear once might still have been around but managed to avoid detection. And Peter was not the only alien of
the period to have spent many years in England. Andrea had researched an Everard Pollwyke from Guelderland,

a cordwainer in Southwark, assessed in 1440 with his foreign-born wife and five servants. He had taken the Oath

of Fealty in 1436 and was assessed again in 1442, 1443, 1449, 1451 and 1457. In 1449 he had seven servants,
two of whom had been listed in 1440. He was clearly prospering in England, in spite of the climate of suspicion
and even hostility against immigrants. A Commons Petition in 1484, protesting against foreigners taking jobs
from English craftsman, shows that the biggest concern for ordinary Londoners, even during the Wars of the
Roses, was for their own economic interests.

There seems no doubt that alien migrants were a common feature in English towns throughout the medieval
period. Even in rural places, such as Morden, they were not unknown, though unusual – Peter Clement is the
only alien recorded in Morden over these centuries, and 28 other villages in Surrey similarly only have one
alien recorded, including John Moraunt in Mitcham. Most were fully integrated within their communities until,
at a time of crisis, their nationality was remembered and their loyalty questioned.

The third such period of crisis reflected in surviving records was the 1540s when heightened tensions with France
reawakened fears of invasion. Foreigners resident in this period were required to buy Letters of Denization
from the Crown, granting them rights to be treated legally as English subjects. These were not a new idea – they
had begun in the 14th century as grants to foreigners of the right to engage in trade or to pursue debts or to buy

and sell land. But these early examples were restricted to the more wealthy or influential aliens. Again, I was
pleased to see that Andrea had spotted Anthony Toto, the Florentine artist who served as serjeant-painter to Henry

VIII and his successors – the subject of articles in the last two Bulletins. Toto had been granted denization by
letters patent of king Henry in June 1538, a few months before he was granted two cottages and some land in
Mitcham. Andrea suggested that the grant provided Toto with a base while he was working on Nonsuch Palace
just down the road, especially as he had to pay only one red rose annually for the property that the king had
granted him. Interestingly, six Frenchmen who received letters of denization in 1544 are described as ‘workmen
upon the clock at Nonsuch’.

By the 1540s the net had widened to include more humble people. Of the 2,665 aliens receiving denization
recorded in a single document of 1544, 28 lived in Surrey, 19 of them in Southwark. Most were men of French

or Norman extraction and included 6 workmen, 3 servants, 3 ‘cap-thickers’ (a particularly unpleasant job,
Andrea assured us), 2 smiths, 2 armourers, a skinner, a shoemaker, a hat-maker, a cooper, a brewer and a
former apprentice. Thus they differed from the highly-skilled craftsmen of the previous century. Many of the

Southwark aliens had lived there for many years – on average 20 years, but in some cases around 40 years. It
was only when the political climate changed that the government showed any interest in them – and so created
the records that enable us to identify them.

All over the country in the 15th and 16th centuries a substantial alien population was scattered throughout
England, especially in the towns. They occasionally faced hostility from their neighbours who felt threatened by
their presence – and particularly by their economic success – but mostly they blended into their communities.
But, even after decades of residence, the only reason we know of their existence is that they came to the attention
of the government at times of crisis. It was only then that it mattered that they were foreigners.

Andrea encouraged us all to visit www.englandsimmigrants.com and explore the database for ourselves. We

may not find anyone from Merton or Wimbledon, or any more Morden or Mitcham residents, but there are

plenty of interesting stories to discover. (The Morden manorial records which mention Peter Clement can be

found at www.mertonhistoricalsociety.org.uk/projects/!mordenmanorialdocs.)
This was a most informative and enjoyable talk, and we are immensely grateful to Andrea for sharing her expertise
with us. And we are also grateful that she has offered to translate for us the Latin records about the founding of
Merton priory, which we hope to publish in time for the 900th anniversary of the entry of the canons into their
new site by the Wandle on 3 May 1117. Cambridge’s loss is certainly our gain!

Peter Hopkins

The chart on the previous page is from England’s Immigrants 1330 – 1550 (https://www.englandsimmigrants.com/, version 1.0, 13 October 2015)



Friday 7 August 2015: Seven present – David Haunton in the Chair.

Keith Penny had been reading a book Subversive Peacemakers about Anglican conscientious objectors in the
First World War. The book mentioned an absolutist objector, Harold Brewster, from Merton Park. The Brewster
family lived in Watery Lane and attended St Mary’s. The children were baptised there in 1903 and Harold was
later an organist at a so far unidentified local church. At the age of twenty he made out his pacifist case to the

Merton and Morden Tribunal. He was granted exemption from combatant service, but then went before the
appeal tribunal to say that he could not take the military oath. Brewster’s experiences of being sentenced to
death, but reprieved, and of hard labour in British prisons, are well documented. He died in 1958.

David Luff reported that the telephone exchange in Kingston Road was meant to be ‘Merton Abbey’ exchange,
but became ‘Liberty’, perhaps because of the need to avoid a previously used combination of letters. He
brought a 2013 Concise History of Triang Toys and some plastic models, some of which were sold in Marks
and Spencer. Rovex had been developing plastics in the 1940s. Some of Lines Brothers’ tooling was done by
Universal in Tramway Path, Mitcham. In 1946 85 different products were made at Margate, all controlled by
Lines Brothers, Mitcham.
Sheila Harris read two letters from 1937–8 that she had found in her house. She was not yet clear when the
house was built. In 1920 the house was isolated, but the local authority later built council housing nearby. She
thought there had once been a watercourse through the property. David Luff suggested that it had led to the
ditch by the side of Bushey Road.
Sheila had visited Oakhurst Cottage at Hambledon in Surrey, a National Trust property that is an example of a
labourer’s cottage from the sixteenth or seventeenth century. Donated to the Trust in 1954, the cottage remained
almost completely unmodernised into the 1980s and has been kept that way, with privy, barn, beehives and pigsties.

Rosemary Turner had been on a dig in Beddington Park that investigated the supposed site of stables that
were used when royalty came to visit the Carew Family. Some wall footings were revealed.
Cyril Maidment presented a description of All Saints, Putney: designed by G. E. Street, it is a fine example of a
late Victorian Arts and Crafts church, with painted ceilings and stained glass windows. Edward Burne-Jones and
Morris & Co. designed and made the glass, which was installed over a period of 78 years, but to a plan that was

kept to over that period. Street was Morris’s first architectural mentor, and this is Street’s only London church

with Morris stained glass; the glazing scheme is the most extensive by Morris & Co. in any London church.

Peter Hopkins said that Judith Goodman had noticed in the television series Coast a mention of Lionel Lukin,
who patented in 1785 a precursor of the modern lifeboat. Lukin was a friend of the Bennetts who featured in
Judith’s book Coal and Calico.
Peter himself had recently visited the church in Chideock, Dorset, that contains the tomb thought to be that
of the sixth Sir John Arundell, who died in 1473. He inherited an interest in Ravensbury manor through his
maternal grandfather, Sir John Burgherssh, who had purchased the manor of ‘Rasebery’in Mitcham and Morden
in June 1382. In 1472, the year before John’s death, he and Katherine, his second wife, conveyed their interest
in Ravensbury and other Burgherssh estates to trustees on behalf of his cousin, Alice Chaucer’s son John de

la Pole, who became second Duke of Suffolk in 1463. The tomb has an effigy of Sir John in plate armour and

a helmet with raised visor, with his head on a cushion, and his feet resting on a dog.

David Haunton mentioned an exhibition on Forgotten Rivers of London (in Literature) at the Museum of
Bath at Work (which may be viewed at www.
trevorturpin.co.uk/news). Most of the quotes on
the Wandle derive from Judy Goodman’s articles
in the Bulletin. David had attended the Wimbledon
Carved in Stone Memories Day and had heard an
interesting talk by Sheila Dunman on the resources
available in the Ephemera collection of Wimbledon
Museum. Lastly, he produced a military fife, still in
its case, issued in Salonika to a great-uncle.

Keith Penny

PS. In the September Bulletin we managed to mis-spell
(twice) the name of H M Ellis’ house in Blenheim
Road. It should have been ‘Meadholme’. The house
still stands, and here is a recent photograph of it, kindly
supplied by Judy Goodman. DH


Friday 25 September2015: five present – Keith Penny in the Chair.

David Luff reported that the stretch of priory wall in Windsor Avenue is now visible from the Pickle, following
garden clearance. He hoped that the appropriate authorities were keeping an eye on the historic wall.
David had been exploring the Merton Memories website and had found some interesting photographs, though

he was disappointed at some misleading captions. David was also disappointed with the recent leaflet on the

Wheelhouse, which sadly not only reproduces old errors but has also introduced some new ones.

Peter Hopkins asked for some help with Latin texts relating to medieval Ravensbury, and was grateful for
some instant responses and promises of further help from Latinists present at the Workshop.
Peter had been intrigued by the 1641 will of Ann Aldersey of Morden, Surrey, who left £2 ‘to the servants of

the house where God shall call me’. She was a lady of influence – a daughter was married to the Lord Keeper of

the Great Seal, and a son had been a leading Puritan and a founder member of the Massachusetts Bay Trading

Co – but she seems to have been ‘of no fixed address’. Were there retirement homes in 17th-century Morden?

David Haunton noted that a letter to William Morris from his daughter May was recently discovered on the
back of a portrait of Morris. Both are now on display at William Morris House, in Wimbledon Broadway.
David was intrigued by changes to the lower course of the River Graveney, after it reaches Colliers Wood High
Street. Eric Montague suggests (Mitcham Histories 9: Colliers Wood) that it originally formed the pre-1903
parish boundary between Mitcham and Tooting, following a serpentine course to the Wandle, which Monty
implies it reached somewhere north of Mead Path, near Haydons Road Station. Monty further suggests that
the river was diverted, some time ‘in the Middle Ages’ and certainly before the 16th century, to run southwards
beside Colliers Wood High Street as far as Bygrove Road. There it turned sharply west under a bridge and
wiggled its way to the Wandle through the grounds of Wandlebank House (now Wandle Park). As the wiggles

defined the parish boundary between Mitcham and Wimbledon, this diversion must have happened a long time

ago. Nowadays, the Graveney, channelled and culverted, runs due west from Colliers Wood High Street, along
the railway line, discharging to the Wandle near Haydons Road Station.

Judith Goodman had been reviewing her researches on Ælfheah, who was granted a 20-hide estate at Merton
in 967. Her offer to write an article for a future Bulletin was welcomed enthusiastically.

Keith Penny recalled that 2015 was the centenary year of the creation of Mitcham Urban District Council,
which came into being on 4 April 1915. Nearly all the twenty-four councillors of 1915 had served on the earlier
Croydon Rural District Council. Women could serve on UDCs, but this did not happen in Mitcham. Keith had
been reading the Minutes of the Council’s first year of work and been impressed by the speed that it got to
work, with a committee structure and active officials. The reports of the Inspector of Nuisances were always
of interest; his work was often aimed at non-resident landlords who did not maintain property to the sanitary
standards demanded. During 1915 the Council was obliged to conduct the nationally-required registration in
connection with recruitment to the Army, an immensely complex bureaucratic task completed by clerks and
officials working up to twelve hours a day—all this on top of the normal tasks of local government. Later on,
the Council had to to deal with more and more national directives in furtherance of the war effort. It was an
impressive performance.
One of the nuisances reported in May 1915 was pollution of the watercourse leading from Lonesome to Figges
Marsh: naphthalene and oil used by the railway company seeped through an embankment, the Lonesome
chemical works discharged a highly coloured liquid, and the Bonecourt Surface Combustion Company had
released a large quantity of crude engine and machine oil. ‘Surface Combustion’? Gas, often a by-product of
industrial processes, was burnt without visible flame on the surface of a catalyst to generate heat for boilers.
Fuel savings of 30% to 50% were claimed. The company raised nearly £250,000 (either side of £100,000,000
now) in share capital after its launch in 1912 and leased premises at Lonesome for production. The 1910 Rating
Survey suggests that the premises were not in good condition, and if any serious work went on there, it did not
last long, because the war made it impossible for the company to raise fresh capital. Perhaps the fact that one
shareholder was German did not help. The assets were realised in 1914–5 (which may mean that the nuisance
was the result of the firm’s departure), and the company went into liquidation in 1919. Surface combustion in
heating did not have a lasting success, though boilers using it were still being made into the late 1940s.

As a by-way from industry, Keith had examined the 1911 Census to see who was resident at the Lonesome

chemical works of Forster and Gregory. Two cousins of Alfred Thomas Forster were living there, both with
‘Blake’ as the third of their names. Keith wondered whether there might be a connection with the possible

‘element of personal conflict’ that Eric Montague suggested existed between the founders of the works and

‘Squire’ Blake (see Bulletins 190 and 192), whose property speculation had been blighted by the proximity of
the chemical and gas works. Further genealogical research would be required. Peter Hopkins
Dates of next Workshops: Fridays 22 January, 4 March, 15 April, 27 May 2.30pm
At Wandle Industrial Museum. All are welcome.


RUTH SEAR has been investigating links between

The Locket family begins with George Locket I. In December 1805 George was a partner in a firm of London
coal merchants with Edward, Thomas and Henry Wood: the firm existed until 1830. According to Elspet Fraser-

Stephen, he owned ‘breweries at Mitcham which had been in his family for many years’. Brewing demanded

a great deal of coal so George had a ready customer.
His son, George Locket II, was born in 1795 in Westminster. In 1839 Welsh coal became popular in the process
of brewing and a George Locket [I or II ?] journeyed to Wales to make enquiries. He stayed at The Angel, Cardiff,

where he was very impressed with the quality of coal on the fire in his room. He brought samples of the Welsh
coal to Mitcham Brewery where it proved very successful as clean fuel. The first order of coal went to Mitcham

Brewery. (In 1853 the Brewery supplied bottled and draught beer to the troops in the Crimea.)
George Locket I owned Jamaica Wharf, a wharf at Camden Town on the Regents Canal. To service this, he
was granted a siding at Camden Town by the North London Railway, known as ‘Locket’s Siding’, and he and
his son were granted life passes on the Railway. George II, a ‘retired coal merchant’, died at 6 Acton Place,

Camden Town, in February 1862, aged 68, still providing a home for five of his seven daughters. The house,
situated beside the canal, was in existence until about 1930. It had beautiful greenhouses and peach-houses.
When his son was a boy he used to walk across the fields to Highbury Ponds to fish.

The Times and various censuses tell us that the only son of George Locket II was George Locket III, born 1828,
who married Mary Cooper on 27 May 1858 at New St Pancras Church. Their son was unsurprisingly named
George Cooper Locket. George Locket III began work as a clerk with his father, inherited the business and
eventually died at 83, a ‘retired colliery proprietor’, on 21 July 1911 at Richmond, Surrey. In 1879 he formed
a company to sink the Mardy Pits in the Rhondda Pace Valley (see photo below, taken c.1917), and formed
Locket’s Merthyr Steam Coal Company.

The Locket connection with the brewing trade lasted until the end of the nineteenth century when the last
brewery was sold, after which the family concentrated on the coal trade.

The firm of Locket eventually became part of the Charrington empire, the largest firm of coal merchants in the

London area; interestingly the Charrington family also once had connections with the brewing trade. The Locket
connection with the Charringtons can be traced as follows: Locket & Judkins was established in 1865 with

George Locket III as a partner. Frank Locket (1872- 1949), son of George Locket II, joined the firm in 1896.

Locket & Judkins amalgamated with Gardner, Tomlin & Co, and Hinton and Horne in 1903, becoming Gardner,

Locket & Hinton. The firm was managed by George Cooper Locket, Frank Locket and Lionel Gardner Locket.

In 1910 a Royal Warrant was granted for services to Their Majesties George III, George IV, Victoria, Edward
VII and George V. In 1918 the chairman was still George Cooper Locket.

However, in 1922 the firm became Charrington Gardner Locket & Co Ltd, later supplying coal to Edward VIII

and George VI. The Locket connection continued with Frank Barton Locket (b 1907), who was a director in the
1930s. In the 1950s the company traded in London as Charrington Gardner Locket (London) Ltd and in 1952
was known as Charrington Gardner Locket & Co Ltd. It was eventually taken over by CPL (Coal Products
Ltd) in 1997.


Mitcham Brewery

Mitcham Brewery existed from 1767. Various owners and/or occupiers are known in the early 19th century.

In 1851 the owners were Holden & Co, brewers of Lower Mitcham, Surrey, in which George Locket II was a
partner, but on 20 May the Sussex Advertiser announced that the partnership was dissolved.
The Gazette gave further details on 1 August 1854: ‘The partnership between Thomas Wood, Henry Wood,

George Locket, William Milnes, under the firm Thomas Wood & Co as coal merchants at Northumberland
Wharf, Strand, Little Abingdon Street, Westminster, Kentish Town, and Cardiff, and under the firm of William
Milnes & Co as coal factors at the Coal Exchange and under the firm of Holden & Co as brewers at Mitcham

was dissolved on 31 December 1854.’ Presumably at this point the brewery was taken over by Attlees.

Express Delivery c.1875? The last buildings of the Brewery (ENM) 1975

An announcement in The Times on 28 August 1885 stated the Mitcham Brewery was for sale: ‘Old established,
close to Mitcham station. The decease of a late partner (Arthur Cureton Jones, brewer, died February 1885) is

cause of sale. Estate included leasehold public houses, beer-houses, brewery stores, private houses and other

properties.’ These included The Prince of Wales, Borough Market, The Castle, Borough Road, The Foresters
Arms, Islington, The Britannia, Stepney, The Prince Leopold, Hoxton, The Fox and Hounds, Chelsea, The Old
Black Dog, Chelsea, The Rose and Crown, Drury Lane, The Lads of the Village, Kensal Green and The Hope,
City Road. (This is an impressive list – there is at least one establishment in each of north, south, east, west
and central London.) There was a mortgage on The Bricklayers Arms, Woolwich, a profit rental on The Earl
Grey, Chelsea, and The Castle Brewery Stores, as well as four premises at Lower George Street, Chelsea, and
premises formerly The Artilleryman, Battersea.

In 1886 Mitcham Brewery was bought by Thunder & Little (owned by Edward Armstrong Little) and became
famous for Mitcham Ales. In 1898 it was taken over by The Mitcham & Cheam Brewery Co Ltd; that company
was dissolved at some point between 1933 and 1948.

R S Brown Digging for History: in the Coal Merchants’ Archives (1988, Society of Coal Merchants)
Elspet Fraser-Stephen Two Centuries in the Coal Trade: the Story of Charringtons (1955, private publication)
Raymond Smith Sea Coal for London (1961, Coal Factors’ Society)
Websites: www.ancestry.co.uk


(For further information on the Brewery see also E N Montague Mitcham Histories 6, Mitcham Bridge, the Watermeads
and the Wandle Mills (2005, Merton Historical Society) pp.75-78, and the article by Rosemary Turner in Bulletin 191
(September 2014) p.12.)

Editorial Note: Ruth Sear is a local historian who has contributed many articles to Local History Records, the
quarterly journal of the Bourne Society, and to national and other local magazines, particularly in Northumberland and
Nottinghamshire. She has most recently been studying the history of Charringtons coal company in her area, and her
article on this was published in the Bourne Society’s Local History Records no.84, August 2015.


Bill Rudd’s Post Office sorting frame and ‘mis-sorts basket’ were gratefully collected by a member of the British

Postal Museum and Archive, who said that the frame is in much better condition than the one they already own.

These items will be used for hands-on educational classes for children.
We were approached by a City firm about an 1843 map of Beddington Park Estate found in their attic. We

alerted CADHAS (Carshalton), and they have transported it to Sutton Library, where it awaits conservation.


PETER HOPKINS has discovered documentary evidence about

The earliest part of the present George inn in Epsom Road,
Morden, (photographed, right, in 2011) stands on a plot
enclosed from roadside waste in the 1290s. Henry le Hose,
who appears in manorial court rolls in 1298 and 1299, is listed
as tenant of a ‘curtilage’ paying ½d as annual rent increment
in an Extent or valuation of the manor in 1312.1 The manorial
accounts report that Hose’s property was vacant by 1322, the
year in which Walter Edward began to pay an additional 1d
rent increment, the rent increasing each time the property changed hands.2 According to marginal additions to the
Extent Ralph Edward later held the curtilage formerly held by Henry le Hose,3 and on 24 November 1380 Ralph

surrendered ‘a cottage and garden formerly Hose’ to his daughter and son-in-law, Alice and Richard Foghelere
or Fowler who, in 1388, were to take over a 10-acre customary holding in Lower Morden which had a detached
1-acre croft next to St Lawrence church.4 In 1387 Robert Berneger or Berenger was occupying Hose’s former
property, though he had failed to pay the rent,5 but by 1 May 1409, Alice Edward, now married to Robert Attemere,
surrendered ‘Hose’s cottage and garden late Fouler’ to John and Margery Bedewynd.6 Nothing more is heard of this
property until 30 May 1471, when John Downton surrendered ‘Edwardys cottage and garden adjoining’ to John
Bordall, but as Bordall or Bordale immediately surrendered it to John Kyrkeby, it seems likely that Downton’s
surrender was somewhat belated, and that Bordale had been in occupation for some time. He had been regularly
presented at manorial courts for brewing ‘against the assize’ since 1462, and on 3 May 1468 as a ‘regrater’ of bread
and ale (one who bought local produce for resale), probably indicating that he kept an alehouse.7 He also frequently
served as chief pledge of the manor, another term for head tithingman, between 1462 and 1471.8 His successor,
John Kyrkeby, also served as chief pledge between 1475 and 1499, though he was never presented for brewing.9

However, on 26 April 1512 it was presented at the manorial court ‘that John Kyrkeby, without the lord’s licence,
leased to Richard Cosyn his tenement for a term of ten years, and the same John is in arrears of quit rent and service
for the space of eight years. And also the aforesaid tenement for not being repaired is nearly decayed. Therefore the
order is given to the bailiff to seize the tenement aforesaid into the lord’s hand and to answer the lord for issues of
the same. At this comes Richard Cosyn and takes from the lord’s hand by the rod, according to the custom of the
manor, part of one house [domus] standing against the cemetery of the church of Morden, namely all that part of
the same house standing and built upon the king’s highway there, to hold to himself and his heirs at the lord’s will
according to the custom of the manor, rendering in respect thereof yearly at the customary feasts 2d, suit of court
and other services according to the custom of the manor. And he is admitted tenant thereof.’10

Cosyn was frequently presented at manorial courts between 1515 and 1529 for being an aleseller and for using
unauthorised measures for his ale.11His widow Elizabeth did fealty for their part of the property on 31 May 1529.12
By 14 March 1537 Thomas Hunte, a brewer and baker, and his wife Margaret, an aleseller, seem to have been in

occupation – Thomas was ordered to fill in his sawpit in the king’s highway by the church gate on 22 April 1539.13

In the meantime the rest of this property, described on 6 May 1522 as ‘one toft lately built late John Kyrkbye
containing by estimation one rood of land lying between the king’s highway at the same place on the south and
land of John Holt on the east, north and west’, had come into the possession of John Goodfeld, who on that day
surrendered this and several other copyhold properties to George and Alice Lord.14 Their youngest son, Henry, a
minor aged 13, inherited it and the family’s other copyhold properties, and Edward Lord, his brother and guardian,
was admitted on Henry’s behalf on 29 March 1540.15

The adjoining land held in 1522 by John Holt included ‘one croft containing 2 acres, upon which was lately built one
barn’, free land that he had obtained from Thomas Brewse, together with 5 acres of meadow, probably in Central
Road.16 Brewse had bought the property in 1513 from William Barker,17 who had inherited it from his brother,
Thomas Barker, in 1507.18 In 1515 Peter Goodfild, who had obtained several of Barker’s copyhold properties in
Morden, claimed these 2 acres of Barker’s free land from Brewse, but without success.19

Brewse’s croft is probably the 2 acres purchased from Richard Pynget or Springet by John Spyk, for which
John did fealty on 5 July 1400,20 though it is possible that he had bought it some time before. As this croft was
freehold it had probably been a detached croft belonging to the freehold tenement in Lower Morden known as
Wynteworthes, though there was another freehold property in Central Road. We know that Spyk and Holt held a

property near the church, noted as adjoining the detached 1-acre croft formerly held by the Fowlers, but known
since 1444 as Bexwells, after a tenant John Bexwell.21 Spyk’s elder son John inherited the 2-acre croft in 1420,22
paying 12d rent to the manor according to a rental of 1448-50, while his younger son Thomas inherited his many

copyhold properties.23


Eight of the ancient tenements in Lower Morden had detached 1-acre or 2-acre crofts along the Epsom–London

road. It is tempting to see these crofts as the earlier habitation sites before the reorganisation of the manor with the
formation of the Lower Morden settlement sometime before 1225, especially as eight villein families are recorded
in Domesday Book in 1086. These detached crofts may have originally fronted Stane Street, which ran to the

north-west of the present roads, across the present Morden Park.

Holt’s freehold properties were left to his nephew, Richard Holt, in 1537,24 but in 1541 the order was given to take
the properties into the lord’s hand as the manorial rents had not been paid.25 At some period they came into the
possession of the Smith family, who held both freehold and copyhold premises in Morden and in Merton. John

Smith surrendered the adjoining 1-acre Bexwells copyhold croft and a 7-acre croft called Garmans to Richard

Garth, lord of the manor of Morden, in May 1587, as part of a deal to convert his other copyhold properties in
Central Road into a 2000-year leasehold.26 By 1598, the name Boxwells, a corruption of Bexwells, had also been
applied to the adjoining 2-acre freehold close, when, on 10 November, Henry Smith of Morden bargained and

sold to Gregory Carpenter of Merton (who held the West Barnes estate):27

All that Messuage or Tenemente with all and singuler the Chambers, Sellers, Romes, Kytchen, Barnes, Stables,

outhouses, cowhouses, buildinges, yardes, gardens, orchardes, voyde groundes, waies, passages, emolumentes and

appertenances whatsoever to the saide Messuage or Tenemente belonging or apperteyning, or to or with the same

now or heretofore accepted, reputed, taken, knowen, used, occupyed or enioyed as parte, parcell or member thereof.

And also all those two acres of arrable land and pasture bee they more or les, with th’appertenances, lying in a close

called Boxwells adioyning and lying on the north side of the foresaid Messuage or Tenemente.

Which said Messuage or Tenemente and two acres of ground are now in the tenures or occupacons of Nicholas

Mathew and William Shorter or th’one of them, and are scituate, lying and being in the parishe of Mooredon

aforesaide, (viz) The saide Tenemente is scituate and being beetwene the Quenes highway on the South and East

partes, the land of Robarte Gat [ie Garth] Esquier on the west parte, and the saide two acres on the north parte.

And the saide two acres are lying and being beetwene the sayd Quenes highway on the East parte, the land of

Robarte Gat on the west and north partes, and the saide Messuage or Tenement on the south parte.
However, it was not until 25 October 1604 that the sale was presented at the manorial court and Carpenter was

ordered to pay his entry fine or ‘relief’.28 The rent due to the manorial lord was 18d rent a year. Nicholas Mathewe
was still in occupation, though William Surman had replaced Shorter.
It is not stated whether the premises were still occupied as an alehouse. In June 1613 ‘A noate what number of

Alehowses are allowed within the hundreth of Wallington within the severall parishes there the second daye of
June 1613 by Sir Nicholas Carew and Sir Thomas Muschamp knights, two of his majesties Justices of the peace
within the county of Surrey’ recorded just one licensed alehouse in Morden, occupied by Roger Tomlins, and none
unlicensed. However, in 1631, when Gregory Carpenter died, leaving to his son Robert ‘all that other messuage

or tenement with all edifices, buildings, barns, stables, orchards, gardens, outhouses and two acres of land with

their appurtenances situate, being and lying in Upper Morden in the said county of Surrey’ they were ‘now in the
occupation of one Will. Steevens or of his assignees’.29 It had been presented at the manorial court on 4 April 1621
‘that William Stevens keeps a domum cervisium, commonly called in English ‘an alehouse’, within the precinct of
this leet, and sells various drinks of beer to subjects of the lord king now at the same place in measures not sealed,
against the form of the statute in respect thereof recently enacted and provided. Therefore he is in mercy 12d’.30 He
was presented again on 6 October 1624 – ‘Likewise the jury say upon their oath aforesaid that William Stephens
has kept a domum cervicie or tiplicationis commonly called in English ‘an alehouse’ within the precinct of this

lete and after Christmas last and during the time he has kept the ale-house aforesaid sold various drinks of beer to

subjects of the lord king then at the same place in measures [poculis] not sealed and illegal measures [mensuris],

against the form of the statute recently enacted and provided. Therefore he is in mercy 5s’.31
In May 1658 Robert Carpenter sold the property, then in the occupation of Thomas Downe of Morden, ‘taylor’,32
to Stephen Symonds, a Putney butcher, though the sale was not registered at the manorial court until 1661.33
Symonds’ widow, Hesther, paid relief on behalf of her infant son Stephen on 20 October 1664,34 though it was
Richard Simonds of Camberwell, butcher, who leased it for 21years to Peter Baughan of Morden, husbandman,
on 24 December 1673.35 Baughan was still in occupation in July 1675, when Richard, described as ‘son and heir
of Stephen Simmons, late of Putney, butcher, deceased’, sold to William Lord of St Olave in Southwark, butcher,36
and in May 1677, when Lord sold to William Quarrington of Morden, husbandman,37 though it wasn’t until May
1678 that Quarrington sought admittance to ‘one messuage and two acres of land recently held of the lord of this
manor by John [sic] Lord under an annual rent of nineteen pence’.38 Quarrington had been a tenant of the manor
since at least 1655.39

On 28 March 1682 Richard Garth, lord of the manor of Morden, granted a 99-year lease to Quarrington, ‘by way

of exchange’, Quarrington receiving from Garth:40


All that his parcell of land contayning by estimacon halfe an acre be it more or lesse, lying and being in a certayn
close called Boxwels lying contiguous to the churchyard in Mordon aforesaid and abutting to the house of James
Hilton on the east, Mordon church on the north, to the house of John Bishop on the south, and the house of Richard
Weyley on the west, together with all and singuler the trees now standing, groweing and being or which any time
hereafter shall stand, growe or be in and upon the hedgerowes to the east and all others thereunto belonging or in
anywise appertayning, and the same to fell, cut down, grub up and carry away. All which said parcell of land before
menconed to be demised is scytuate, lying and being within the said parish of Moredon in the county aforesaid,
and now in the occupation of the said Richard Weiley …

while Garth received from Quarrington:41
one other halfe acre of land more or lesse, belonging unto the said William Quarrington lying and being in a certayne

close called Garmans abutting to a field called Longhills on the north, to a close called Boxwels on the south, to

the house of the said William Quarrington to the east, and also to a close of John Harisons called Stonebridge on
the west, together with all and singuler the trees now standing, groweing and being or which any time hereafter

shall stand, growe or be in and upon all the hedgerowes of the said field called Garmans and all others thereunto

belonging or in anywise appertayning, and the same to fell, cut down, grub up and carry away. All which said
parcell of land before menconed to be demised is scytuate, lying and being within the said parish of Moredon in
the county aforesaid, and now in the occupation of the said William Quarrington …

John Bishop was probably already occupying the farm on the
opposite side of Epsom Road later known as Hill House, with its
farmhouse on the site of The Sanctuary at the corner with Green
Lane (plot 197 on the 1838 tithe apportionment map, from which
the extract (right) is taken). Stonebridge Close was between the East

Pyl brook and Lower Morden Lane, while Garmans was the field

between the brook and the George. It seems likely that Quarrington
was occupying the farmhouse later known as Church Farm, in the

vicinity of the present early-19th-century Church Cottage (plot

175). Though not otherwise recorded, Hilton probably occupied the
property on the site of Morden Primary School, while Weyley was
probably at the George (plots 177 & 179, shaded). The half-acre in
Boxwells would have been the site of the present residential home

known as Manor House (plot 178), while the half-acre in Garmans

would have been plot 176.
Garth was only to pay Quarrington a peppercorn rent a year ‘if demanded’, while Quarrinton was to pay Garth
19d annual rent, and 3s 2d relief on alienation. Quarrington already paid 19d for the messuage and 2 acres, as had

his predecessors and as did his successors, according to an 18th-century rent book,42 so it seems likely that the rent
for the half acre was included in a single rent of 19d a year for the entire holding.
Under Quarrington’s will, dated 16 May 1689 and proved 30 August 1699, his elder son William was to receive

£5, while his younger son George was to inherit a messuage in London and also ‘a messuage in Morden known as
the Halfe Moone, in the occupation of John Whittinton’. George was to pay bequests to his three sisters out of the

rents and profits of the properties, which he was to sell if necessary. Quarrington’s widow Bethia, joint executor

with George, was to have their household effects, and to ‘see my body decently buried’ in Morden church, which
the parish register records on 15 June 1693.43 In November 1699 George and his mother came to an agreement as
to how they should divide the estate, George’s share including the ‘messuage now known as the George, heretofore
called the Halfe Moone in Moredon’.44 Had the name been changed to mark young George’s succession?

When George was planning to marry Susanna, daughter of Michael Stacey of ‘Lower Cheame’, in November
1700, the George, then in the ‘several’ (or separate) occupations of his mother and a Thomas Ward, together with

the London property he had inherited, were sold to trustees in a marriage settlement, to the use first of George for

life, then to Susanna for life if she survived him, then to any children of the union or, in default, to any children of
George and then, if all else failed, to his elder brother William and his heirs.45 But in July 1702 George and Susanna,
having moved away, sold both properties to one of the trustees, his neighbour John Major, a Morden blacksmith,
the George then occupied by a Robert Field.46 Then in June 1710 he assigned the 99-year lease to Major,47 whose
will dated 18 February 1711 was proved 7 March of that year.48 He had held several properties, including a farm
leased from ‘Mr Dorrell’, lord of the manor of Merton, which was to go to his widow Mary for life, and then to
his young son John; a property in Mitcham and another in Lewisham, to go to two of his daughters respectively;
the Quarrington’s London property, to go to a third daughter; and the George inn, to go to young John, then a
minor. John was presumably ‘John ye son of John Major and of Mary his wife’ baptized at St Lawrence Morden
13 February 1693, the same day that his mother was buried, so who was ‘the Widdow Major’ buried there in


January 1719?49 AWidow Major was alive in 1730 (see below) – presumably John senior’s widow Mary – so the
1719 burial was probably his mother. Meanwhile John junior had married another Susannah before 4 May 1712
when their son John was baptised, their daughter Susannah being baptized 6 June 1714.50 Apart from the baptism
of this younger Susannah’s son, John Martin, in 1734,51 Widow Major’s burial in 1719 is the last entry for the
family in the Morden registers, though John Major is recorded in a rent book in 1728, and ‘Widow Major for the
George Inn’ in 1730,52 the same year that John Major paid 14s 3d for 9 years quit rent due Ladyday 1730. John’s
will was written 21 April 1736 and proved 8 April 1741, leaving the George to his widow Susannah for life or
until remarriage, when it was to pass to Susannah Martin and then to her son William Martin, his brother John
having died in 1735, the year of young William’s birth.53

Susannah senior would have been the ‘Mrs Major’ who, on 5 November 1747, paid £1 7s 8½d rent ‘for 17 years
½ due Michaelmas 1747′, and again on 18 April 1759 17s 5d for ’11 years’ quit rent due Michaelmas 1758′. The
George had passed to young William Martin by 29 December 1776, when he paid 19s for ’12 years due Michaelmas’,
but on 20 October 1777 he paid a further 11s 1d for ‘7 years’ rent due Michaelmas last’ as well as 3s 2d ‘for a
fine’, presumably in connection with the purchase of an additional property.54 He was assessed as owner/occupier
of property valued at £25 in the land tax records between 1780 and 1809, and a land tax redemption certificate of

1792 describes his property as a ‘messuage, garden, orchard and parcel of land containing 2 acres’.55

The 99-year lease of March 1682 having expired, a new deed of exchange was agreed between ‘William Martin

of Morden, victualler, and Joyce his wife’ and Richard Garth in August 1782, by which time a house, the core
of the present care home, had been built on the Boxwells property, described as ‘all that messuage or tenement
with buildings, garden or orchard containing in whole half an acre formerly part of Boxwells contiguous with
the Churchyard’. (The house had been built after 1745, when ‘half an acre in a certain close called Boxwells,
continguous with churchyard in Morden’ was listed among other leasehold properties belonging to the Garth
family.56) The land granted to Garth in exchange was described as ‘all that parcel of land containing half an acre

in a close called Garmans, abutting to a field called Longhills on north part, and to the said closes called Boxwells

on south part, in occupation of John Ewart’. This was presumably another long lease as in 1840, when it was sold
to Garth, it was realised that William had not held ‘in fee’ when he died in June 1808 aged 72, leaving all to his
daughter Harriot.57 Harriot married William Lambert, a bricklayer of Morden and then of Croydon, who died in
1817, leaving his freehold and copyhold and personal property to Harriot for life and then to his children William
Martin Lambert and Augusta Harriot Lambert. In 1838 ‘Sarah Lambert’ is shown as owning plot 178, now the
residential home, then occupied by James Peart.58 Harriot senior died in May 1840 and her daughter in 1837.

Meanwhile, back at the George, an Edward Martin appears in the land tax from 1810 to 1831, probably William’s
nephew, baptised in February 1760. By 1838, when the tithe apportionment schedule was drawn up, John Rolles
was the owner, and Solomon Rowe the occupier, of ‘The George Inn, stable and garden’ of 2 roods 12 perches
(plot 179), a paddock adjoining of 1 acre 38 perches (plot 177) as well as another paddock on the opposite side of
London Road (plot 215) containing 3 acres 1 rood 27 perches.58

‘Historic maps show that up until at least 1916 [the George] had a wide frontage to Epsom Rd, but it had very little
depth extending back from the street. In 1931 the property was considerably extended at the rear, occupying much
the same footprint as the building today. The junction of the extension and the original building cannot however
be observed from sight of the building elevations today’.59 A Travelodge has been built at the rear of the property.

1 Cambridge University Library (CUL) Kk5.29 43r

2 Westminster Abbey Muniments (WAM) 27306

3 CUL Kk5.29 43r

4 British Library (BL) Add Roll 56038 4r & 1r;
56039 4r

5 BL Add Roll 56038 13r

6 BL Add Roll 56040 12v

7 BL 56043 21r, 20r; 19r, 16r

8 BL 56043 21r, 19r, 18r, 22r, 17r, 16r, 15r, 14r, 12r

9 BL Add Roll 56043 9r, 8r, 7r, 6r, 5r, 4r, 3r, 2r, 1r;
56044 1r; 19407 18r, 17r, 16r, 15r, 14r, 13r, 12r,
11r, 10r, 8r, 7r, 6r, 5r

10 BL Add Roll 56045 1r

11 BL Add Roll 56045 2v, 4r, 4v, 5r, 5v, 6r, 7r

12 BL Add Roll 56045 7v

13 BL Add Roll 56046 3v, 2r, 4r, 4v

14 BL Add Roll 56045 5v

15 BL Add Roll 56046 5r

16 BL Add Roll 56046 3v

17 BL Add Roll 56045 2r

18 BL Add Roll 19407 1r

19 BL Add Roll 56045 2v

20 BL Add Roll 56040 1v

21 BLAdd Roll 56042 18r; 56045 2r, 5r; 56042 10r

22 BL Add Roll 56041 10r

23 WAM 27375

24 BL Add Roll 56046 3v

25 BL Add Roll 56046 5r

26 Surrey History Centre (SHC) K85/4/69

27 SHC K77/17/1

28 SHC K85/1/1 4r

29 London Metropolitan Archives DW/PA/7/12
6 (transcript by John Wallace); SHC K147/2

30 SHC K85/1/1 6r

31 SHC K85/1/1 8r

32 SHC K77/17/2

33 SHC K85/1/1 13r

34 SHC K85/1/1 14r

35 SHC K77/17/3

36 SHC K77/17/5

37 SHC K77/17/6

38 SHC K85/1/1 15r

39 SHC K85/1/1 1r

40 SHC K77/17/7

41 SHC K77/17/8

42 SHC K85/8/1 p.47

43 SHC 835/27, F Clayton Registers of Morden
(1901) p.31

44 SHC K77/17/9

45 SHC K77/17/10-11
46 SHC K77/17/12-13

47 SHC K77/17/7v
48 SHC 835/28
49 Clayton ibid p.32
50 Clayton ibid p.41
51 Clayton ibid p.46
52 SHC K85/8/1 p.24 and loose note inside
53 SHC 835/29; Clayton ibid pp.47, 55
54 SHC K85/8/1 p.47
55 SHC K85/2/167

56 SHC 85/2/51-2
57 SHC 85/2/170 – abstract of title 1782-1840;

Clayton ibid p.95

58 Tithe Apportionment Schedule, published by
MHS as Local History Notes 13: Morden in
1838: The Tithe Apportionment Map (1998)

59 London Borough of Merton Upper Morden
Character Assessment (08/2006)



Some time ago, I found a war-time dance ticket in the form of a booklet in my mother’s effects. Titled ‘Royal

Opera House Dances’, it includes a programme of ‘Special Dates’ for February – March 1940 (below) and a set

of house rules, which banned smoking on the dance floor, ‘spinning and grotesque steps’, and alcoholic drinks
(which ‘will be confiscated’), and insisted that ‘Ladies must remove their hats except at tea dances’. The normal

entry price for an afternoon dance lasting three hours was one shilling, for a weekday evening of four hours,

two shillings, while for a Saturday evening of five hours it was two shillings and sixpence.

I was surprised to come across the
ticket, as I knew money had been tight
during the War. I have no recollection
of my mother (Irene Lilian Brunton)
mentioning the ticket or the dances so
I contacted the archive department of
the Royal Opera House (ROH). The
Archivist, Michèle Losse, was very
interested (by implication, she had never
seen one either) and so, after making
a facsimile copy, I sent it to her. She
then wrote a complete article featuring
the ticket for the ROH website, which
states that the outbreak of World War II
brought an end to stage performances at
the Royal Opera House. Mecca rapidly

bought a five-year lease on the building,
raised the stalls floor to the level of the
stage, installed parquet flooring, created
a band-stand behind the proscenium arch,

and on 23 December 1939 reopened the ROH as a dance hall. For the duration of the war it became one of

London’s most enduring entertainment hotspots, officially for up to 1500 ‘jitterbugging dancers’ each night,
but often several hundred more. After the war, the ROH quickly reverted to stage performances, the first being

The Sleeping Beauty ballet on 20 February 1946.
Michèle’s article can be seen at: http://www.roh.org.uk/news/collections-in-focus-dance-card-from-world-war-ii

JUNE SMITH writes from Portsmouth:
I am a member of Merton Historical Society who was brought up in Sherwood Park Road, Pollards Hill, but
who has since married and moved to Portsmouth.
The report of Keith Penny’s talk on changes in Mitcham (June 2015 Bulletin) was very interesting, particularly
the alterations to St. Michael’s Church in Fern Avenue, Mitcham. My husband and I were married there on 21
July 1973. My family church was the Ascension, just over the way in Sherwood Park Road, but because my
husband was a Roman Catholic we married in St. Michael’s. The Vicar from the Ascension also took part in
the Service, though, so it was a joint effort.

The congregation at St. Michael’s do seem to be keen on making changes. When we renewed our vows there 25
years later, we noticed that the small vestry where we had signed the register had been removed to make more
space, and other minor changes had been made. As Keith observed, churches do not seem to change much and
I suppose I had assumed that St. Michael’s would stay the same for ever. I certainly hadn’t expected to see the
entire church turned back to front!

Thinking about the local churches in Pollards Hill and Mitcham, there was quite a lot of inter-communication.
I recall that I was baptised as a teenager in the Ascension on 26 November 1961 and, 6 days later, confirmed at
St. Olave’s. The practice in those days was to alternate the Confirmation Services each year, so that the Bishop

of Kingston would visit the Ascension one year and St. Olave’s the next. Much to the annoyance of my friends
and myself, we hit the St. Olave’s year!
I wonder if any other members have memories of these Churches in the 1960s?

Picture Courtesy Peter Brunton



Winifred McAllan writes from Wisconsin, USA:

I had the pleasure of reading the September Bulletin that my daughter, DeAnn McAllan, gave me. It took my

memory back …
I am 97 years old (98 in December) and I was born at 33 Miller Road, Colliers Wood. My Mum lived there,
and I was one of nine children. I still have many good memories of Colliers Wood. I remember as a child going

swimming in the swimming pool in the Wandle Park. What happened to that? I guess it got filled in … I was

married at Christ Church, not far from Colliers Wood station, and went to a church in Tooting. The last I heard

of the church, it was a Marks & Spencers.
If there is anyone who remembers me or the Braden family (my maiden name) on Miller Road, I’d love to hear
from you by email: d.mcallan@sbcglobal.net


A new map of The Wandle Trail has been published by Wandle Industrial Museum. It includes recent changes
and improvements to the Trail and is available in a variety of different versions. You can download it from
http://www.wandle.org/thewandle/thewandletrail.html or purchase a hard copy for £1.50 from the Museum.

Letters and contributions for the Bulletin should be sent to the Hon. Editor,
Mr David Haunton, by email to editor@mertonhistoricalsociety.org.uk.
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