Not Trampled But Walked Over

A Study of the Ledgerstones in the Parish Church of St Peter and St Paul, Mitcham

Studies in Merton History 4: by Ray Ninnis

A first for our Society – a volume in our Studies in Merton History series not written by Eric Montague! However, author Ray Ninnis acknowledges the debt that this book owes to Eric’s published and unpublished works. The ledgerstones (inscribed flagstones used to seal graves and vaults) in Mitcham parish church have been concealed under the carpeted floor since 1991. Fortunately Ray had photographed many of them, and had copied the inscriptions, shortly before they were covered, and this book reproduces this material, together with biographical notes. This book is a must for local and family historians.

Review in MHS Bulletin 151 (Sept 2004)


2 D Lysons, The Environs of London, 1 (1792), pp.356-357

3 O Manning and W Bray, The History of Surrey, 2 (1809), pp. 500-503

4 D Lysons, op. cit., quoting J Aubrey’s Antiquities of Surrey, 2 (1718)

5 R Garraway Rice, MS Mitcham Pedigrees, Tate, ff.107-111, Society of Genealogists

6 The armorial descriptions here are given as seen on the ledgerstones, and as found in most cases, under the
relevant family names in Burke’s General Armory (1884 ed.). But, as it is unknown to the present writer if
the individuals commemorated at Mitcham bore the arms ‘differenced’ by means of ‘colour’ (metals, furs
and tinctures), this element has been omitted. Stephen Slater’s The Complete Book of Heraldry (2002) is a
splendidly illustrated guide to the subject, and includes a glossary.

7 E N Montague, unpublished study ‘Three Kings’ (Winter 1988/89), Chapter on ‘The Firs’, p.5. Merton
Local Studies Centre, Morden.

8 C R Humphery-Smith (ed.), General Armory Two (A Morant’s Additions and Corrections to Burke’s General
Armory) (1973), p.140, gives several differenced arms of Shaw.

9 T R Nash, The History and Antiquities of Worcestershire, I (1780), p.417.

10 F R Heath, Methuen Little Guides: Wiltshire (7th ed., revised by R L P Jowitt 1949), pp.88, 89; The Victoria
County History: Wiltshire, vol. X (1975), p.228, gives alternative possibilities.

11 W J Rudd, Morden Hall, Merton Historical Society (1997), p.3.

12 O Manning and W Bray, op. cit., p.501.

13 T Wright, The History and Topography of the County of Essex, 2 (1836), p.222, and personal observation.

14 E N Montague, Mitcham A Pictorial History (1991), illustration 155 shows the smoke-blackened church
interior with some mural tablets apparently cleaned.

15 R Clutterbuck, The History and Antiquities of the County of Hertford, 2 (1821), p. 161.

16 E N Montague, Mitcham Histories 4: Lower Mitcham, Merton Historical Society (2003) pp.72, 73.

17 E N Montague, The Canons, Merton Historical Society (1999), p.20.

18 E N Montague, unpublished study ‘Three Kings’ (Winter 1988/89), chapter on ‘Park Place’, pp.13-15.
Merton Local Studies Centre, Morden.

19 O Manning and W Bray, op. cit., 3 (1814), facing p. 54.

20 J Cornforth, Clandon Park, Surrey (1973), pp.16, 23.

21 E N Montague, Mitcham Histories 2: North Mitcham, Merton Historical Society (2000), pp.65, 66;Mitcham
Workhouse, Merton Historical Society (1972, 2nd reprint 1979), p.2.

22 The metals and tinctures are given in this description of the arms because they are assigned specifically to
‘Smith’ of Mitcham (Burke’s General Armory, 1884 ed., p.940).


Mitcham’s Ledgerstones

Under the headline ‘Church tries to save its trampled treasures’, The Times of Monday 22 July 2002 reported
that, the next day, the Church Monuments Society was to launch a National Ledgerstone Survey. The article
pointed out that ‘Visitors to England’s 14, 000 parish churches trample underfoot a priceless historical asset:
the ledgerstones embedded in the floors of naves and aisles … these flagstones used to seal graves and vaults,
were widely employed to commemorate the lives and deaths of prominent local families from the 14th century
until the Burial Act of 1852 forbade burial inside churches. But now many have been broken, rendered illegible
or just removed.’ Dr Roger Bowdler, of English Heritage said ‘Ledgerstones are the most valuable genealogical
record after parish records, yet they are treated as the ugly ducklings of church memorials. For far too long
they have been walked on and ignored’.

The survey referred to above will involve English Heritage, the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings,
the Georgian Society, the Pilgrim Trust and Church Times, and ‘aims to use volunteers to visit every church in
England and photograph or copy out the details from what could be many thousands of ledgerstones’.

It may be with mixed feelings that some who know the old parish church of Mitcham (St Peter and St Paul,
Church Road) reflect on the fact that since 1991, with the exception of those in the baptistry (numbers 31, 32
and 33 in the following list of inscriptions and sketch plan), all its surviving ledgerstones have been concealed
under the carpeted floor laid so suddenly and rapidly as part of the internal renovation of the church for a BBC
‘Challenge Anneka’ television programme. The false floor was evidently considered necessary to enable
multi-use of the church space, and so ensure the long-term usefulness of the building. Although the old floor
is consequently inaccessible, an enquirer was verbally assured that no damage was done, nor would result
from the imposition of the additional floor (presumably constructed on a wooden frame). It may therefore be
assumed that the ledgerstones are safe, and one day, will be revealed to a future generation.

Meanwhile, it may be of some use to present what available evidence there is of the ledgerstones that could be
seen at Mitcham church in 1991. At that time, an amateur record of the inscribed floor slabs was being made
without any knowledge of the imminent threat to the availability of the physical evidence. Consequently only
rough notes and few photographs had been taken before the new floor was laid. Eric Montague had already
listed all the monumental inscriptions in the church (together with biographical notes on those commemorated)1
and, by comparing these sources with the published work of Lysons2 and Manning and Bray,3 it is possible to
complete or at least attempt a partial reconstruction of some of the inscriptions that were either partially
concealed by the floors of pews, or illegible in 1991.

The present church structure (except the base of the tower) dates only from about 1820 and some memorials,
including the monumental brasses recorded by Aubrey (quoted by Lysons), 4 were evidently lost before or at
that time. The new church, however, closely follows the floor plan of its predecessor, and both the published
sources, although they do not correspond in the case of some memorials, suggest that some ledgerstones still
lie in or near their original positions in the old church. Evidently others do not: Lysons says that the tomb of Lt.
Gen. Harvey (20) was ‘within the rails of the altar’, and those of Myers (7) and Smyth (8) were elsewhere in
the chancel. Manning and Bray place the Heath (11) ledger in the north chancel (the burial place of the owners
of Hall Place) and the associated mural tablet is now to be seen in the present north chancel or chapel. They
also describe the Flitcher (32) stone as part of a memorial then in the churchyard. It is evident that the Cranmers,
as patrons of the living, were interred in the chancel, and the Tates (and the Allcrafts) were interred in the
north aisle of the nave. However, in paving the present church in about 1820, or since, doubtless some of the
more durable and attractive slabs were moved to pave the paths between the pews, resulting in the present
arrangement. By 1991 all inscribed floor slabs were evidently confined to the nave and baptistry (and there is
no record of any others having been discovered when the floored pews were removed).


Most of the stones seem to be complete and, the greater number of the total of 33, measure approximately 36
in. (91.4 cm) wide and 66 in. (167.5 cm) long; a few, evidently incomplete, are fixed in the corners of the
church. All except one, Allcraft (30), are laid east to west and the inscriptions were to be read by viewing from
the east (reflecting the usual orientation of the body of the deceased, with the head towards the west, feet
towards the east).

Most of the stones seem to be complete and, the greater number of the total of 33, measure approximately 36
in. (91.4 cm) wide and 66 in. (167.5 cm) long; a few, evidently incomplete, are fixed in the corners of the
church. All except one, Allcraft (30), are laid east to west and the inscriptions were to be read by viewing from
the east (reflecting the usual orientation of the body of the deceased, with the head towards the west, feet
towards the east).

All the ledgers listed here, dating from the 1680s to the immediate post-Napoleonic Wars period (and immediately
before the rebuilding of the church), are of parishioners who were relatively rich, leaving their heirs enough
money to afford a memorial. Some are the landed ‘Esquires’ and ‘Gentlemen’, others are merely ‘Misters’;
one or two, proud to be recalled as ‘Plaisterer’, ‘Vintner’ or less specifically ‘Merchant’ of London, were
doubtless members of the relevant livery companies in the City. These were possibly as rich as some of the
gentlemen of the parish and include one, Denyer (31) a ‘Whitster’, who evidently prospered in the local
industry of linen bleaching. Wealth was not a perfect defence against frequent domestic tragedy and even the
laconic recital of names, dates and ages can evoke pathos in the reader noting the incidence of infantile and
juvenile death. These inscriptions have little approaching the laudatory nature of the epitaphs on some mural
tablets and, more often, on grander standing monuments. Only in the ledger of Mrs Beatrix Shaw (see Gardner
(22)), with its Biblical allusion (Hebrews, chapter 12, verse1), is there a hint of the (usually more sombre)
versifying to be found on a number of later headstones in the churchyard.

Such slabs in the floor, even where they are still visible, are probably the least noticeable of church memorials
but here as elsewhere, several mural tablets refer to the same individuals, or to relatives interred in the graves
and vaults beneath the church or churchyard. Reference is made to these, some of which have, or had, coloured
versions of the coats of arms on the floor slabs (see Hallett (6)); it may be noted that in some cases small
inconsistencies occur between the inscriptions on the ledgers and those on the mural tablets. There are at least
two armorial ledgers in the churchyard, that on the Tate tomb-chest (see Allcraft, (30)), and a slab now lying
on the ground (see Gardner (22)), both immediately north of the church. In addition to noting these sepulchral
objects, passing reference is made to some structures and sites once occupied by or associated with the lives of
these former parishioners of Mitcham.

The ledgers commemorating members of the Cranmer (Myers (7)) and Tate (Allcraft (30)) families have by far
the greatest number of associated memorials in the church and churchyard and sites beyond, for they were the
most prominent families in the history of Mitcham during a period of almost three centuries. Together, their
activities extended from the 17th to the 20th centuries.

The following annotated list of the inscriptions is given in alphabetical order of the first occurring surname of
those commemorated on each slab, and for ease of reference this is given in bold capitals regardless of the
original form (precise spelling, forms of abbreviation, use of capital letters and line breaks were more carefully
noted in some inscriptions than in others). One or two stones were identified only by the family name and by
reference to an associated mural tablet, or the inscriptions are given as in Manning and Bray (but do not
observe their irrelevant line breaks). The last two ledgerstones listed have inscriptions so illegible that they
could not be assigned to the relevant families. Reference to the parish records might resolve problems arising
from the incomplete transcriptions, and further research would probably be necessary in the case of Gardner
(22). The number appended to each inscription identifies its approximate location on the sketch plan.


In memory of Master Harry ROBINSON, who departed this life Febuary 26th.
1777, in the fifteenth year of his age. (10)

Here lyeth Interr’d the Body of / Mr. John ROBINSON / Mercht. of the Parish of
St. Olave / Southwark obt.7th. Sepr. A D. 1750 / Aetat. 60. (25)

Here Lyes the Body of / George SMYTH . Gent : / Who departed this life, the /
13th. day of October, 1714; / in the 80th. Year of his Age. (8)

Above the inscription, in a sunk roundel, carved in low relief, are the arms: (Argent), on a
chevron engrailed (azure) between three greyhounds’ heads erased (sable), collared (or),
ringed (gules), as many estoiles of the fourth (there appears to be also a crescent at middle
chief point for difference); Crest: A stag’s head erased (gules) attired (argent)22

George Smyth of Mitcham and Wandsworth, owned an estate on the banks of the Wandle,
later known as Mitcham Grove. A member of the family had held office under Elizabeth I.
George Smyth held various local administrative offices following the Restoration (see
Myers (7)).

Here lyeth the Body of / Mr. Joseph TAYLOR of London / Merchant who
Departed this Life / March ye 12th.1722. Aged 70 Years (29).

Above the inscription is a sunk roundel which, in 1991, was all but entirely covered by a
pew floor. Taylor was a tenant in the ‘square part’ of the Rectory, while the owners, the
Cranmers, lived in the principal wing of the house. The site of this is now occupied by the
Wilson Hospital, Cranmer Road.

…P…MAN… / …who died August … / … Aged 78 Years / … Also /
… Mr Samuel … / who died February … Aged 70 Years … (2)

Mrs Mary … / who died … / … Aged … / … Mrs Elizabeth … / who died Oct… /
… Aged 60 years … (33)


Sketch plan of Mitcham Church before installation of a wooden floor in 1991, showing approximate positions of ledgerstones

18 3

Ledgerstone of Beatrix Shaw
(see Gardner, (22))

Ledgerstone of Beatrix Shaw
(see Gardner, (22))


Early in the First World War, William Simpson III’s son and heir was mortally wounded
and he lies in a military cemetery in Belgium, but he is also commemorated here by the
white stone standing cross, on the south side of the churchyard. Following this family
tragedy, William and his wife left Mitcham (although The Canons remained in the family
until 1939)17 and in 1922, the Park Place estate was sold, the transaction marking the end
of nearly three centuries of the Cranmer/Simpson family’s leading social role in Mitcham.18

In Cranmer Road, close to The Canons and to the site of The Rectory (or Cranmers), and
opposite Richard Cranmer’s obelisk, is the Roman Catholic Church of SS Peter and Paul.
In its vestibule is an inscribed tablet commemorating the last lord of the manor and his

Of Your Charity / Pray for the souls of / William Francis Joseph Simpson / Who died on
18th June 1932 / and of Mary his wife / Who died on 17th July 1930 / Benefactors of this
Parish / Fortified by the Rites of Holy Church / R.I.P.

To the Memory of / DenzilONSLOW Esqr . / who departed this Life / November
the 16th. 1765 / Aged 67 Years. (28)

Manning’s pedigree of the Onslow family states that Denzil Onslow married, in 1730,
Ann, daughter of Thomas Middleton, he died 15 [sic] November 1765, had two sons,
Middleton and Richard and two grandsons; the elder grandson, another Denzil, married,
in 1796, Ann Catherine, only daughter of Robert Edward, Lord Petre.19 The Denzil buried
here was the great grandson of Denzil Onslow of Pyrford (d.1721), who was visited by
John Evelyn in 1681, when the latter noted a bird decoy as well as Francis Barlow’s
paintings of birds and fish (which are now to be seen at Clandon Park).20

… Elizabeth Wife of / John OXTOBY who died / August 6th … Aged …Years /
Also one Son and Daughter / who died Infants / Also Mary wife of the said /
John Oxtoby who died / November 28th. 1782. Aged 48 Years. (1)

… OXTOBY… / …lso … ( 3)

There are otherwise only illegible traces of a long inscription.

In the 18th century, members of the Oxtoby family owned property near the Upper Green
and elsewhere in the village. They ran a sizeable building firm and were probably
responsible for the Georgian building at Renshaw’s Corner, at the junction of Streatham
Road and Locks Lane. An Oxtoby also designed the parish workhouse, the site of which is
included in the industrial plot at the corner of Commonside East and Windmill Road.21

…rr’d the Body of / ………rles PARRY / …who Departed this Life / … December
1748 in / …Year of His Age / … Interr’d the Body of / …ne Brayley / …mas
Brayley who / …fe the 7th. Day of April / …ged 31 Years. / …n her Son Died
Aged / … Months / … Interr’d the Body of / …nnah Parry / …o Departed this
Life / …1752 Aged 62 Years. (21)

This is a well preserved stone but in 1991 the left-hand side was concealed under a pew
floor. ‘Parry’ may be a variant of Perry, for a Charles Perry was the proprietor of a
copper mill on the Wandle above Mitcham Bridge in the 1730s and early 1740s.


Yet other inscriptions draw attention to the last Cranmers and their sucessors in Mitcham,
the Simpsons. At the east end of the chancel, on the north side of the altar, is an inscribed
foundation stone, and just to the west, a small brass plate is fixed at the base of a pier.
Both commemorate ‘Mrs Esther Maria Cranmer, late patroness of the vicarage church
of Mitcham … and with whom the rebuilding of this sacred edifice originated’. The
stone and the brass plate were both placed ‘In token of respect and gratitude, and
affection’ by the Reverend Richard Cranmer. His mother, the daughter of the younger
James Cranmer (died 1801) had succeeded to her father’s estate upon the death of her
step-mother, Rebecca, and Richard succeeded his mother only a few months before laying
the stone on 27Yet other inscriptions draw attention to the last Cranmers and their sucessors in Mitcham,
the Simpsons. At the east end of the chancel, on the north side of the altar, is an inscribed
foundation stone, and just to the west, a small brass plate is fixed at the base of a pier.
Both commemorate ‘Mrs Esther Maria Cranmer, late patroness of the vicarage church
of Mitcham … and with whom the rebuilding of this sacred edifice originated’. The
stone and the brass plate were both placed ‘In token of respect and gratitude, and
affection’ by the Reverend Richard Cranmer. His mother, the daughter of the younger
James Cranmer (died 1801) had succeeded to her father’s estate upon the death of her
step-mother, Rebecca, and Richard succeeded his mother only a few months before laying
the stone on 27 August 1819. He had been an ordained minister of the Church of England
for some years, and he was responsible for the erection of the obelisk that stands at the
junction of Cricket Green and Madeira Road. This is dated 1822 and commemorates
what was regarded, in a time of draught, as a providential emergence of a spring of pure

Upon the death of his second cousin, the Reverend Streynsham Derbyshire Myers, Richard
was instituted vicar of Mitcham. Upon his own death in 1828, the Cranmer estates
passed to his sister Emily Cranmer, who had married William Simpson (I) of Lichfield,
but who was involved in the calico printing industry on the River Wandle. For some
years, the couple lived in Church House, a few metres east of the church.

In 1844, Emily and William Simpson’s second son, Richard, was to marry his cousin,
Elizabeth Mary, elder daughter of the late Reverend Richard Cranmer. Having been
ordained and evidently having convinced his parents of the innocuous nature of his
Oxford-grown Tractarianism, he was presented to the living of Mitcham. Alas for his
mother, who cherished her family’s claim to descent from Archbishop Cranmer, within
two years, his deepening convictions lead to his resignation and, as with Newman about
this time, to his being received into the Roman Catholic Church. Graves of some of
these Cranmers and Simpsons are on the narrow, south side of the churchyard, close to
Church Road. Just opposite is the vicarage, a ‘Regency’ villa that replaced the old
parsonage in about 1826, in time for the Reverend Richard Cranmer to live there (but
for only two years), as did his successors in the living until 2002.

The Reverend Richard Simpson’s siblings all converted to Roman Catholicism. The eldest
brother William Simpson (II), as lord of the manor and patron of the living of the
(Anglican) parish church, had an active role in local affairs and, together with his
youngest brother Robert, a Catholic priest, did much to help the Catholic mission
(established 1853) and school in the village. William and his family lived at Elm Lodge
(on the north side of the Cricket Green) and, later, at Manor House16 (the site of which
is on the east side of London Road, north of Baron Grove).

William Simpson (II)’s son, William Francis Joseph inherited the Cranmer/Simpson estates
and, like his father, he continued to exercise his rights and responsibilities as lord of the
manor and patron of the parish church, and also supported the Roman Catholic church in
Mitcham. He and his wife lived at No. 3 Cranmer Villas, Lower Green West, and at Park
Place. William Simpson (III) granted most of his rights regarding Mitcham Common to,
and subsequently served on, the Board of Conservators, which still exercises control over
the Common.


Here lies the Body of / Martha ALLCRAFT / who died September ye 3rd. 1757,
Aged 72 Years / Also the body of Dulcibella Tate daughter of / Benjamin Tate
Esqr. / Aged 3 Years and 10 Months / Also / Mrs Martha Tate wife of / Benjamin
Tate Esqr. / Daughter of the above / Mrs Martha Allcraft / who Departed this
life December the 21st. / 1762, Aged 47 Years / Also the Body of / Susan Tate /
who Died May 20th. 1770 / Aged 14 Years. (30)

This slab commemorates three generations: Martha Garbrand and Thomas Allcraft, cutler,
were married at the church of St. Mary Woolnoth, in the City of London, in 1708. She was
buried at Mitcham, 10 September 1757, as ‘Martha Allcraft in ye Church between Mr.
W’m Tate’s pue and Mr. Dubois’5 (is it possible that this grave-slab has retained its original
orientation, if not its exact position?). Thomas and Martha’s daughter, another Martha,
and Benjamin Tate, ‘both of this parish’ were married at Mitcham on 24 February 1742 / 43.
She was buried here 29 December 1762. Dulcibella and Susan were the youngest of
Benjamin and Martha Tate’s children, and several of their kindred are commemorated by
tablets on the north wall of the nave and north chapel. Their older, and longer-lived,
siblings erected the tablet to their uncle, Henry Allcraft, which is now on the south wall of
the nave. Another uncle, their father’s elder brother, William Tate, has a family vault and
chest-tomb in the churchyard, just outside the north wall of the nave.

Both William and Benjamin Tate were active in Vestry affairs throughout the latter part of
the 18th century, serving in various parish offices, including Overseer of the Poor. Benjamin
was on a special workhouse committee established in 1778 concerned with the building of
a new parish workhouse on Mitcham Common. The family home was a large late 17thcentury
house on the site of the Tate almshouses, overlooking the Cricket Green. In due
course Benjamin remarried, his second wife being a cousin Mary Butler, whose memorial
tablet (with a lozenge on which, no doubt, were formerly painted the Tate arms) is on the
west wall of the nave.

The eldest of Benjamin’s surviving sons, George, eventual heir to both his father’s and his
uncle William’s estates, was also interred in his uncle’s vault. It may be noted, also, that it
was George Tate’s daughter and sole heiress, Mary, who endowed the almshouses (on the
site of the Tate’s Mitcham house) which, after modernisation, still form a useful as well as
an historical feature of Mitcham’s Cricket Green. This lady inherited the Tate estates at
Burleigh Park, Loughborough, Leicestershire, and Langdown, Hampshire, and a town
residence in Gloucester Place.

Sacred / to the Memory of / Lieut. General Forbes CHAMPAGNE / who died on
October 22nd. 1816 / aged 58 Years. (19)

The General was resident owner of Park Place between Commonside West and The Canons
for about a year before his death. He served for many years in North America, seeing
action during the American War of Independence and subsequently with the 80th Foot in
the Napoleonic Wars, and as a staff officer in the East Indies. In 1816 Forbes Champagne
became Colonel of the 70th Foot, the fore-runner of the East Surrey Regiment.



Here lie the remains of Anne, wife of Skinner MYERS, youngest son of William
and Mary Myers, late of this parish; obiit May 18, 1774, aet. 39. Skinner Myers
arm. obiit August 2. 1794, aet.66. (18)

Skinner Myers, like his father (whose memorial is in the south-east corner of the nave)
was an attorney, and of the parish of St. Lawrence Jewry in the City of London (see below).

Here lieth the Body of / Mrs. Elizabeth MYERS / Wife of / William Myers Esqr.
of this Parish / and Daughter of / The late James Cranmer Esqr. / who departed
this Life / May 5th. 1765 / Aged 44. (7)

Above the inscription within a sunk roundel, carved in low relief, are the arms: An
impalement, dexter: Quarterly, 1 and 4, a fess ermine between three water-bougets (Myers),
2 and 3, on a chevron engrailed, between three greyhounds’ heads erased, three estoiles
(Smyth);sinister: on a chevron, between three pelicans billing their breasts, three cinquefoils
(Cranmer).This is an example of the heraldic practice of depicting a lady’s arms, not on a
shield, but on a roundel (or lozenge). In this case a roundel perfectly suits the available
space. The quartering of the arms indicates that an earlier Myers had married a Smyth
heiress. That the lady was not only an heraldic heiress, but carried her father’s estates to
her husband, is evident from the fact that the Myers succeeded to the Smyths’ Mitcham
Grove estate. This was later the property of Henry Hoare, the banker (for whom there is
an inscription on the south side of the chancel arch). The present Watermeads housing
estate includes the site of the mansion.

William Myers’ father (for whom this younger William erected the memorial in the southeast
corner of the nave), inherited the Mitcham Grove estate in 1725, and died in 1742. In
the following year William married Elizabeth, daughter of James Cranmer (died 1752), by
his first wife Elizabeth, and sister of the younger James Cranmer (died 1801), successive
lords of the manor of Mitcham, lay-rectors and patrons of the living. The manor of Mitcham
Canons had been purchased by Robert Cranmer in the mid-seventeenth century and
included the site of The Canons (now housing Merton Heritage Centre).

William and Elizabeth’s son, the Reverend Streynsham Derbyshire Myers, was appointed
vicar of Mitcham, at the age of 27, by his uncle, James Cranmer; his memorial tablet,
together with those of his sons, is on the north side of the chancel arch.

Elizabeth’s half-sister, and her husband William Webb, are commemorated by a tablet on
the south wall of the chancel, it reads, in part: ‘Anne … daughter of James Cranmer the
Elder, Esqr. by his second wife Dulcibella formerly of this parish. She died the 21st. of July
1819. Aged 73 years.’

One of the largest memorials in the church is to an earlier generation of Cranmers. It is
on the south wall of the chancel and commemorates Elizabeth, daughter of Henry Dunster
of Jenningsbury, Hertfordshire (died 1719), and her husband ‘Joseph Cranmer Esq.,
younger son of Robert Cranmer of this Parish, Merchant’ (died 1722). Their eldest son,
Henry Cranmer, ‘Gentleman’ (died 1737), erected the monument and ‘also lies interred
here’ (Jenningsbury is to the south-east of Hertford, and there are several memorials to
the Dunsters in All Saints’ church, Hertford. In one of these is a passing reference to
Henry Cranmer as the son of Elizabeth).15 Joseph Cranmer’s older brother John (died
1705) was father to the elder James Cranmer (died 1752), and therefore grandfather of
Elizabeth Myers.



Here lyeth Mr. John CLARKE / Vintner and Citizen of London / who departed
this life / July ye first, 1700 / Aged 49 years. (15)

Here lyeth Interred / John CLARKE / nephew to Mr. John Clarke / Citizen and
Vintner of London / who dyed ye 12th. of August 1700 / in ye 7th. Year of his Age.(16)

Here lyeth the body of / John DENYER, Whitster, / who departed this Life / the
26th. Day of October / Anno Dom. 1695 / and in ye 5 (3rd.?) Year of his age. / Here
lyeth also ye body / of Bridget Denyer ye only / wife of John Denyer who /
departed this life ye / 16th. of January 1700 …

Less deeply incised, and now mostly illegible, are several more lines of lettering, including:

Penelope …wife of the above …Woodcock, who died 2(1?) Decr, 1792 in Her 82nd.
Year. (see Heath (11) (31)

John DUBOIS died 21st. June 1767, Aged 73. (12)

Evidently, John Dubois was a member of the family of Huguenot origin, whose house once
stood near the corner of London Road and Langdale Parade, overlooking Mitcham’s Upper
or Fair Green. Its grounds were noted for their botanical specimens and had been
established by Charles Dubois early in the 18th century. Dubois’ house was demolished
c.1788 and was succeeded by the house known as Elmwood and later as The Firs. A badly
damaged tomb-chest of the Dubois family is in the churchyard, just north of the chancel.

In Memory of / … an wife of John DURHAM / … this Parish who departed this
Life / August 8th. 1749, Aged 28 Years / Also Thomas Beswell … and Alice his
wife, who died August 2nd. 1774….. and Edward Beswell, who died December
28th. 1778 … (27)

Here lieth the Body of / Mr. James ELLIS Citizen / and Plaisterer of London /
who departed this life / the 19th. Day of December / in the year of our Lord 1737 /
and in the 69th. Year of / His Age. (13)

Above the inscription are carved the arms of Ellis: On a cross, five crescents; Crest: A
partly draped figure.6 James Ellis was admitted to the tenancy of ‘Blowers’ as copyhold
land within the manor of Ravensbury, from which the footpath Cold Blows derives its
name.7 The site of his house is not known.

Here lyeth inter’d the body / of WilliamFLITCHER, / Gentleman, who departed /
this life the 15th. Day of June / anno Domini 1680, Aged 27 years. (32)


-century inconsistency in spelling allows the possibility of this name being a variant of


Ledgerstone of Charles Parry (21)

Ledgerstone of Charles Parry (21)
Ledgerstone of Joseph Gardner and family. (22)

Beneath this Stone lie the remains of / JohnHYDE of the City of London Merchant /
Born at Luzley in the parish of Ashton / and County of Lancaster the / … June 1740
and died the Eleventh / of January 1810 in the Seventieth / Year of his Age. / And
Frances his Wife / born at Ampthill in the County of Bedford the Tenth day of
March 1746 / died the Eighteenth day of February / … in the Fiftyseventh / Year of
her Age. / and in hope of a Resurrection to / Eternal Life. / …st is in Heaven. (17)

Above the inscription is a small sunk roundel with a coat of arms carved in low relief :A
chevron between three lozenges. Crest: A raven or crow rising. These arms and crest also
appear on the related mural tablet (now in the chancel but originally in the nave) where
the inscription says Frances died ‘February 18th. 1803, in the Fifty Eighth Year of her


Ledgerstone of John and
Frances Hyde (17)


Here lie the Remains of / JohnHALLETT, Esqr. / Died July 14Here lie the Remains of / JohnHALLETT, Esqr. / Died July 14. 1812 / Aged 68 Years (6)

This Hallett was possibly a member of the family of James Hallett the husband of Mary one of
the daughters of Sir Ambrose Crowley, whose monument (now in the baptistry) is by far the
grandest in the church. There is also a large monument, adjacent to the Hallett family vault at
the church of Little Dunmow, Essex, where James and Mary Hallett are buried.13 The associated
memorial tablet, on the west wall of the nave, here at Mitcham, has a Latin inscription which
adds that, in addition to John, his wife Hanna Hallett, who died 20th August 1830, aged 80, also
lies here. This tablet also retains the ‘ghost’ of a coat of arms which was painted directly onto
the plain surface of the marble at the base. Were these arms scrubbed off as part of an attempt
to clean up, perhaps after the fire which blackened the interior of the church in 1943?14

Here lieth Interred ye Body of Mrs. / Anne HAMPSON ye wife of / Henry
Hampson Esqr. who / departed this Life ye 10th. / of June An Dom.1684 … (24)

Here lyes interred the body of / Mr. Henry HAMPSON, Merchant, son of / Henry
Hampson, Esqr. And Ann his / wife who departed this life the 25th. / of March
1691, aged 48. (23)

Hampson senior was one of the trustees of the estate of Robert Cranmer, lord of the manor
of Mitcham, who died in 1665. He lived in a large house in Lower Mitcham which can be
identified with Mitcham Hall (which once stood on the east side of London Road between
Baron Grove and Mitcham Park) and, acting as patron of the living on behalf of Cranmer’s
eldest son Robert, then a minor, he presented John Berrow MA to the vicarage in 1669.

Here lies the body of his Excellency Lt. Gen. Daniel HARVEY, Governor of the
States of Guernsey, who dyed on the … September 1732, aged 69. (20)

In 1725 the General undertook to ‘use his best endeavours’ to ensure that the costs of
repairing Mitcham bridge, which carried the road from Lower Mitcham to Sutton across
the Wandle, would not fall on the parish of Mitcham but would be accepted by the County.

A ledgerstone (11), now at the east end of the nave, was originally in the north chapel
where it marked the burial place of William HEATH and his family, and where their
mural tablet, still to be seen, is inscribed:

In memory of / William Heath who died 9th. Dec. 1714 / Aged 81 / Also Mary his wife died
24 Nov. 1703 / Aged 71 / Thomas Heath their son died 15 Mar. 1746 / Aged 79 / Also
Penelope his wife died 31. Dec. 1761 / Aged 83 / Also Three of their Children / Penelope
and Thomas / who died in their Infancy. / And William Heath / who died 16 Feb. 1777
Aged 76. / Erected / by Penelope Woodcock Daughter of the / above Thomas and Penelope
Heath. / who died Dec. 21 1792 Aet 82 Years.

The North Chancel of the old church, sometimes referred to as ‘Mr. Heath’s Chancel’ had, since the
early 16th century, been the customary burial place of the owners of Hall Place the site of which is
now occupied by Cricket Green School, Lower Green West. Also on Lower Green West is the former
Sunday School (and later National School) building to which, in 1791, Mrs Penelope Woodcock
presented a clock, with instructions that it ‘be fixed in a plain but neat manner’. She was the widow
of Thomas Woodcock, whitster of Mitcham, who died in 1758 whilst serving as a churchwarden.
She lived in a house, long since demolished, on the site of Crescent Grove, Lower Mitcham. An
inscription on the Denyer (31) ledgerstone suggests this lady may have been interred beneath.
Unfortunately, the published records are silent regarding the earlier position of the Denyer stone.


Here lyes the ( Body of ?) / Joseph GARDNER, (who departed this ?) / World in
the Year … / In the 75th. Year (of his life?) / He neither in Life, nor … / His
Ancestors ma… / Interred at Evesham … / Near His lyes those o… / By whom he
had Issue … (Sons who died?) / Infants and three Da(ughters?) / She was
Deservedly E(steemed?) / and was Daughter to (W…?) / a then known worthy
Ci(tizen …?) / for Loyalty to his King. (22)

Above the inscription are carved the arms of Gardner: a chevron ermine between three
griffins’ heads. This is clearly an instance of the husband’s arms impaling those of his
wife’s family, which are unidentified here because the right hand (sinister) side of the
shield (and that of the inscription) in 1991 was covered by the floor of a pew. Crest: A
griffin or stork. However, a daughter of Joseph Gardner is commemorated by a ledger
slab (either from the floor of the church or from the top of a tomb-chest), now lying in the
churchyard between two buttresses on the north side of the nave (see photograph on page
4). This includes both her mother’s first name and family arms:

Sacred / To the Memory of / Mrs BEATRIX SHAW / Second and last Daughter of / Joseph
Gardner Gent. / and Sarah his Wife and Relict of / John Shaw Gent. She departed / this
Life the 22nd of April 1780 / Well advanced in Age but more in / works of piety and
universal benevolence. / Looking to JESUS She her race hath run / And left her Friends
below in tears to mourn.

Above the inscription, upon a sunk lozenge, the following arms are carved in low relief : A
chevronel between three lozenges erminesfor Shaw;8 on an escutcheon of pretence, Gardner
(as above) impaling Party per pale, three demi-lions rampant. This marshalling seems to
indicate an heraldic heiress to both her parents’ families.

A floor slab and mural memorials of Gardners are recorded at All Saints’ Church, Evesham,
Worcestershire, but the associated coats of arms are not at all like any on the above two
memorials at Mitcham.9

Here are deposited the / Remains of James GARTH, Esqr. / eldest son of / Charles
Garth, Esqr., / late Member of Parliament / for the Devizes, / and one of his
Majesty’s / Commissioners of Excise, / who departed this Life / on the 29th. Day
of February 1812 / Aged 47 Years. (5)

The Devizes was an old form of the Wiltshire town’s name, possibly from ad Devisas,
referring to the bishop of Salisbury’s castle erected at a significant manorial boundary
and around which the town grew.10 The associated mural tablet, erected by Garth’s friend,
the Reverend Streynsham Derbyshire Myers, vicar of Mitcham, is now on the south side of
the chancel arch. The coat of arms and crest on this tablet are the same as those of the
Garth family of Morden, some members of which were sometimes resident in Mitcham.11

Here lyeth interred the body of Richard GIBSON, gent., who was buried January
the 18th. 1721, aged 82 years. Also two of his daughters, viz: Eleanor Smith, widow,
who was buried January the 24th. 1729, aged 61 years. And also Margaret Leg,
widow, who was buried February the 16th. 17… aged 70 years. (4)


Ledgerstone of Bridget Glover, etc. (14)

Ledgerstone of Bridget Glover, etc. (14)

Here lyeth ye Body of / Bridget Wife of Gabriel GLOVER / Esqr. Who Died ye
25th. Day of November 1709 / Aged 37 years / Also Gabriel & Sarah / Son &
Daughter . Also Gabriel Glover Esqr. who / Departed this Life ye 23rd. April /
1723 aged 61 years / and also Mary another daughter / died April ye 11th. 1717,
aged 18 years. (14)

Above the inscription are carved the arms: A fess embattled between three crescents
(Glover), impaling an eagle displayed. Crest: An eagle displayed. The associated memorial
tablet, formerly against a pillar on the North side of the middle aisle of the old church,12
and now on the west wall of the nave, refers directly to this ledger slab: ‘Near this place
under a Black Marble Stone’. Beside those included in the ledger inscription, the tablet
adds ‘Also Ann Glover, who departed this life the first day of June 1751, aged 50 years,
daughter of the above mentioned Gabriel and Bridget Glover’, and gives in smaller lettering,
as if a footnote:’Sarah died on the 29th of July 1703. / Gabriel died on the 25th of November
1706 [or 1709]’. The last digit appears to have been corrected but the filling of the error
has been removed. It would seem that the death of the son and that of his mother, Bridget,
occurred on the same day, or he died exactly three years earlier (Manning and Bray read
it as 1706).

This tablet seems to have the ‘ghost’ of a painted coat of arms on the base. (see Hallett (6))

In Memory of / James GORDON / Son of Charles and / Mary Gordon / of
Jamaica / departed this life / June (9th.?), 1792 / Aged 13 Months. (9)

A white slab (26) in the floor covers the tomb of Nathaniel HAGGATT whose memorial
tablet on the west wall, is inscribed:

To the Memory of / Mr. Nathaniel Haggatt / Eldest Son of Nathaniel Haggatt, Esq. / of the
Island of Barbadoes / who died September 26th. 1748, / Aged 12 years. / This Monument is
Erected / by his highly honoured / and much afflicted Grandmother / Mrs. Susanna Haggatt.

Eric Montague has suggested that young Haggatt might have been one of the students at
The Rectory under the Reverend Evanson. John Evanson, whose mural tablet is now in the
north vestibule, was vicar of Mitcham from 1734-1778, and lived at The Rectory, also
known as Cranmers (on the site of the present Wilson Hospital, Cranmer Road) in the
1750s. From 1740 until 1760, or a little later, he kept a school at Mitcham, tutoring students
in classical studies before they went up to Oxford or Cambridge. From 1742 until 1752 he
paid James Cranmer half a guinea per annum for the use of Cranmer’s pew beneath the
belfry, which was used by his sister and the students boarding with him.

The reference to Barbados suggests that the Haggatt family was possibly engaged in the
sugar trade. The mural tablet may once have had a coat of arms painted on the lower part.
(see Hallett (6))