The Environs of London: Volume 1, County of Surrey. Originally published by T Cadell and W Davies, London, 1792.
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The name of this parish was anciently written Aulton, which signifies Old Town: about the reign of King John it assumed the name of Kersaulton; it was afterwards varied in the records, to Kersalton, Carsalton, Cresalton, and Kresalton: it has now for near two centuries been uniformly written Carshalton. How it acquired its first syllable is matter of conjecture only, as there is no record which mentions any of its early proprietors from whom it could be so denominated.
The parish lies in the hundred of Wallington; it is about eleven miles from Westminster-Bridge, and three to the south of Croydon. It is bounded by Beddington, Banstead, Sutton, and Micham. The arable land exceeds the pasture in a proportion of seven to one. The soil is various; in some parts loam, but chiefly chalk or clay, of which the former predominates. Carshalton pays the sum of 386l. 6s. 8 d. to the land-tax, which is at the rate of 1 s. 7 d. in the pound.
The river Wandle passes through the parish, and being increased by other streams and several springs which rise there, forms a large sheet of remarkably clear water, in the centre of the village, which gives it a singular, and in the summer a very pleasing appearance.
Carshalton is celebrated by Fuller, for trout and walnuts (fn. 1).
On the banks of the Wandle are established several manufactories; the principal of which are, two paper-mills, occupied by Mr. Curtis and Mr. Patch: Mr. Savignac's mills for preparing leather and parchment: Mr. Filby's mills for grinding logwood: Mr. Shipley's oil-mills, which were burnt down in 1785, and rebuilt: Mr. Ansell's snuff-mills, and the bleaching grounds of Mr. Reynolds and Mr. Cookson. At these manufactories an extensive trade is carried on; but their nature is not such as to employ a great number of hands.
Before the Conquest, there were five manors in Carshalton which were held of the Consessor by five freemen, who, as the record expresses it, could go where they pleased; no inconsiderable privilege in the feudal times. They were afterwards united into one manor, which was held by Godfrey de Manneville; but the record of Doomsday suggests, that he was never lawfully seized of it. About the middle of the 12th century the manor belonged to Faramusus de Bolonia, and was the inheritance of his daughter Sibella, who married Ingram de Fiennes. There is a charter of Richard I. (fn. 2) confirming it to her, with power to hold it as her husband did on the day that he took his journey to the Holy-Land: the same charter empowers her to marry whomsoever she will. The manor continued in the possession of the Fiennes's as late as the reign of Henry III. (fn. 3). It afterwards belonged to Sir William Ambesus (fn. 4), and at a later period to Richard Chisbeche (fn. 5). In the reign of Edw. III. it became the property of the Carews (fn. 6). Nicholas de Carru held it of Guy de Bryene, by an annual rent of 10 marks, which was afterwards purchased'. I find that in the reign of Edw. VI. the manor was in the possession of the St. Johns. How it passed from the Carews to that family, does not appear; but I have reason to suppose, that it was by intermarriage. In the reign of Hen. VIII. (fn. 8), the wardship of John, son of Sir John St. John, was granted to Sir Richard Carew (fn. 9), who married him to Margaret, one of his daughters, and probably gave the manor of Carshalton with her as a portion. In the reign of Queen Elizabeth it was divided into two parts (fn. 10). One moiety was alienated to the Burtons, 32 Eliz. Sir Henry Burton, K. B. left it to his brother Charles, who sold it to Dixie Long, 1647. From him it passed by inheritance to the Shorts, and was purchased of that family by Sir Wm. Scawen, Knt. in 1712. James Scawen, Esquire, his great nephew, sold it to George Taylor, Esquire, who is the present proprietor.
The other moiety passed from the St. Johns to the family of Cole; and from them, 18 Jac., to Anne Countess of Arundel and Surrey. By the trustees of Henry Earl of Arundel, who died in 1652, it was sold in 1655 to Edmund Hoskins, afterwards knt. and serjeant at law; his son sold it to Sir William Scawen, who thus became possessed of both the moieties, which have been united ever since.
About the year 1726, Thomas Scawen, Esq. formed a design of building a magnificent house on a rising ground in the park, a little to the south of the church: the materials were prepared at a very great expence, but the building was never begun. James Leoni, who was to have been the architect, published eight plates of the plans and elevations of this intended mansion; they were engraved by Picart, and are annexed to Leoni's edition of Alberti's Architecture (fn. 11).
Richard Kymberle held a manor in Carshalton, in the reign of Edward III. (fn. 12) : this I supposed at first to be the same that is called, in Cole's Escheats, the Manor of Kymersley, of which John Scott died seized, 1 Eliz. (fn. 13); but from the court rolls of the manor of Carshalton it appears, that John Scott held a capital messuage and lordship in Carshalton, formerly Bartholomew Kynardesley's, and late Edward Burton's. After the death of John Scott, it was divided into five severalties, and it continued to be described in the court rolls as the manor of Kynnersley. As it is not now known, it would be scarcely possible to trace the alienations of these severalties. By a court roll of 1642, it appears that some of them were then in the possession of Robert Drewe and Robert Duck; and that Cecilia Sollars, widow, only sister and heir of Henry, son of the above Robert Duck, claimed two fifths of it, as her inheritance (fn. 14).
The manor of Stone-Court, alias Gaynesford's-place, belonged formerly to the family from whom it takes its name, and was in their possession in the reign of Philip and Mary (fn. 15) : of its subsequent owners, the only information I have been able to procure, is, that it belonged, in the last century, to the Cater family. It was sold in 1729 (fn. 16) to Thomas Scawen, Esq. of whose son James it was purchased by the present proprietor William Andrews, Esq.
The manor-house is situated near the sheet of water above described, to the north of the church. It was rebuilt by Mr. Cater about 1710. In the hall is an ancient chimney-piece, said to have been brought from the palace of Nonsuch.
A record in the tower, being a release of the manor of Kersalton by Isabel Greene to John Holt, temp. Hen. VI. (fn. 17), may relate to either of the last-mentioned manors.
Bartholomew Baron Burgherst possessed lands in this parish (fn. 18); and procured a charter of free warren here in the reign of Edward III.
Sir Thomas Copley, Knt. died seized of considerable property in Carshalton, temp. Eliz. (fn. 19).
The church stands on a rising ground near the centre of the village; it consists of a nave, two aisles, and a chancel: the aisles are divided from the nave by ancient pillars of rude workmanship, and not uniform; their capitals are ornamented with feathers and soliage. The aisles were raised about the beginning of the present century, in order to make galleries, principally at the expence of Sir John Fellows and Sir William Scawen. The present church appears to have been built originally of slints; the chancel, the lower part of the aisles, and of the tower, being now composed of those materials: the aisles were raised with brick; the tower, which is low and embattled, is situated between the chancel and nave; the upper part of, it is built of free-stone. A church is mentioned in Doomsday. In the Registry at Winchester, is a commission dated 1324, for reconciling the church of Carshalton, which had been polluted by the death of Thomas Gruton. (fn. 20).
The following circumstance leads one to conjecture that the present structure was erected in the reign of Richard II. Before the alterations above-mentioned were made, there were in the windows of the north aisle (fn. 21), the arms of Burley (fn. 22) and Sarnesfield (fn. 23), with the order of the garter; and those of John Beaufort Earl of Somerset (fn. 24), without that distinction. Simon, Richard, and John Burley, and Nicholas Sarnesfield, were elected knights of the garter in the reign of Richard II.: The Earl of Somerset was afterwards of the same order, but was not elected till the reign of Henry IV. The architecture of the chancel confirms the above conjecture. The columns which separate the nave from the aisles, appear to be of a much more remote age.
At the east end of the south aisle, is a handsome monument supported with Corinthian columns and pilasters, to the memory of Sir William Scawen, who was three times M. P. for the county of Surrey; he died October 17, 1722; the monument is ornamented with his effigies in white marble; he is represented in a loose robe and flowing peruke, reclining on his right hand.
Near the west door of the church is a marble tablet to the memory of Thomas Bradley, a former vicar, who being a non-conformist, resigned his living in the year 1689. He died Oct. 22, 1709, aged fifty-nine.
Against the north wall of the chancel, near the communion table, is an altar tomb of Purbeck marble; over it is fixed in the wall a large slab of the same materials, on which are upright figures of Nicholas Gaynesford, and his family, as represented in the annexed plate. These figures have been gilded and enamelled; the enamel, in which the drapery of the wife has been painted, still remains, which is a circumstance rarely to be met with in tombs of this kind. Her head-dress, remarkable for its extraordinary size, corresponds with other specimens of the same date; her robe, which has close sleeves, is of red, edged with gold; of the four sons, it may be observed, that the eldest appears in armour as the esquire, the second is habited as a priest, and the third and fourth as merchants; Gaynesford himself appears in armour, kneeling on one knee; his gauntlet and sword are at his feet.
This Nicholas was of the family of Gaynesford, of Crowhurst in Surrey. He attended Elizabeth the queen of Henry the VII. in her procession from the Tower to Westminster, previously to her coronation. He, and the other esquire of honour,—Verney, rode in the procession with the Lord Mayor of London, (as they are described in a MSS. in the Cottonian Library,) "welle horsede in gownes of "cremesyne velvett, having mantells of ermyne, and on ther hedes hatts of rede clothe of golde ermyne, the beher forward (fn. 25)." The office of esquire of the body, was of a very honourable nature. It is thus described in the household book of Edward the Fourth, Esquiers for the body, four, noble of condition, whereof always two be attendaunt upon the king's person to array and unarray hym, to watche day and nyght to dress hym in his clothes, and they be callers to the chaumberlayn if any thing lak for his person, or "plesaunce; theyre busines is in many secrets, some sitting in the king's chaumber, some in the hall with persones of like service, which is called knyghts service, taking every of them for his lyvery, at night, a chete loffe, one quart wyne, &c." Their fee was 7½d. a day while in waiting (fn. 26).
Margaret Gaynesford was the daughter of—Sydney, of the county of Sussex; she is mentioned by Leland, as being present at the coronation of Henry VII.'s queen (fn. 27). On the tomb, are the arms of Gaynesford and Sydney, and some other coats (fn. 28); from the blank spaces in the inscription, it appears that the monument was erected in Gaynesford's life-time.
In Vincent's Visitation of Surrey, are preserved some inscriptions from brass plates, to the memory of the following persons, some of which are now lost or much mutilated: viz. Thomas Ellynbridge, gentleman porter to Cardinal Morton, who died in 1497; (the canopy on this tomb remains with part of the inscription;) Walter Gaynesford, chaplain, who died in 1493; (this tomb remains with the figure of a priest; and the inscription, though much worn, is legible;) Joan wife of John Gaynesford, who died in 1474; John Percebridge, vicar, who died in 1474; and John son of Thomas Fromound of Cheam, who died in 1580.
Against the south wall of the chancel, is the following singular inscription, to the memory of William Quelch, a former vicar of this
"Under the middle stone that guards the ashes of a certain Fryer, somtimes vicar of this place, is raked up the dust of William Quelch, B. D. who ministerd in the same since the reformacion.
"His lott was, through God's mercy, to burn Incence here about 30 years, and ended his course April the 10, An. Dom. 1654, being aged 64 years."
Within the rails of the communion table, is a gravestone to the memory of Charles Burton, Esq. who died in 1661, the last of the Burtons of Carshalton. Of this family was Sir Henry Burton, Knight of the Bath. They came to this parish by the intermarriage of one of their ancestors, with Joan, daughter and heir of John Ellinbridge: she died in 1523, and was buried in the north aisle, where there is an inscription on a brass plate to her memory.
On the north wall of the chancel is the monument of Dixey Longe, Esq. who died in 1664; against the south wall, that of Henry Herringman, and his wife Alice, who lived together fifty-eight years, and died within six weeks of each other in the seventy-sixth year of their age, an. 1703.
The register of this parish begins in 1538; it is comprised in two books, the more ancient of which, with a very commendable zeal for its preservation, has been handsomely bound in Russian leather. It appears in general to have been kept with accuracy, excepting the entire omission of any entries from 1644 to 1651, for which the then vicar makes the following quaint apology:
"For though these vacant yeares may seeme to make me guilty of thy censure, neither will I symply excuse myselfe from all blemishe; yet if thou do but cast thine eie upon the former pages and see with what care I have kept the annals of mine owne time, and certified errors of former times, then thou wilt begin to think there is some reason why he that began to build so well should not be able to make an ende.
"The truthe is, that besyde the great miseries and distractions of those pretermitted years, which it may be God in his own wisdome would "not suffer to be kept upon record, the special grounds of that pretermission ought to be imputed to Richard Finch, the parish clerk, whose office it was by long prescription to gather the ephemerie, or dyary of the dayly passages, and to exhibit them once a year to be transcribed into this registrey; and though I often called upon him agayne and agayne to remember his charge, and he always tould me that he had the accompts lying by him, yet at last I . . . . . his excuses, and resolved upon suspicion of his worde, to put him to "a full tryal. I found to my great grief that all his accompt was written in sand, and his words committed to the empty winde. God is witness to the truth of this apologie, and that I made it "known at some parish meetings before his own face, who could not deny, neither do I write it to blemishe him, but to cleere mine own integrity as far as I may, and to give accompt of this miscarryage to after ages, by superscription of my own hand."
The more modern Register Book, which begins in 1703, and is continued to the present time, appears to have been kept with great accuracy. Since the year 1708, the birth as well as the baptism of each child is particularized. It is much to be wished that this plan was universally adopted; as in many cases, especially where any considerable time has elapsed between the birth and the baptism of children, it may be of very material consequence to them at some future period, to have the date of their birth so well authenticated.
In the year 1625, only eight persons died at Carshalton; in the ensuing year there were thirty-six burials. Mr. Quelch observes in a note, that "it was a year of very great mortalitie, but that not one died of the plague, but a disease somewhat akin to it;" and he refers for a similar circumstance to the year 1543, in which I find entries of thirty-one burials. In 1665, there were fifteen burials; in 1666, twenty-three; neither of the numbers much exceeding the average of each period.
In the earlier part of the Register are many entries of the Gaynesford and Muschamp families; the former were the descendants of Nicholas Gaynesford, whose tomb has been described; the latter were of the family of Muschamp of Peckham; of whom one was baron of the exchequer, and was buried at Carshalton, June 4, 1579.
This was the celebrated statesman who had an occasional residence
at Carshalton (fn. 29). Sir Nicholas was one of the most eminent men of
his time (fn. 30), being esteemed a good soldier, and an able politician. He
had a command at Musselborough-field, and brought the news of the
victory, for which he was knighted. In the beginning of Queen
Mary's reign he narrowly escaped with his life, being accused as an
accomplice in Wyat's conspiracy; he owed his safety to his own ingenious defence, and to the integrity of his jury, for which they
were fined and persecuted. Sir Nicholas was afterwards received into
her majesty's favour. Queen Elizabeth bestowed on him several places
of profit and honour; though he was once in disgrace with her, on suspicion of his promoting the Duke of Norfolk's intended marriage with
the Queen of Scots. He was afterwards employed in several embassies;
and grew so much in favour at court, that the Earl of Leicester
looked upon him as a formidable rival; and it was suspected that he
hastened his death by poison, as he died suddenly at the earl's house
near Temple Bar, after eating a hearty supper. There is a life of Sir
Nicholas Throkmorton in verse, in the Harleian Collection of MSS. (fn. 30)
which appears to have been written soon after his decease. Speaking
of his reconciliation with the Earl of Leicester, the writer says,
"Whoso believes a foe late reconcil'd,
"Is for the most part spitefully beguil'd."
A short specimen of the poetry will suffice: the following passage
intimates that the queen sent physicians to his assistance, but that he
died before they arrived:
"Was ever man so bound to sovereign
As I to mine, who in extremity
Did send both doctors for to ease my pain,
A comfort great to cure my conscience;
But physic came in vain when I was kill'd,
Too late to keele when all the milk is spill'd."
The author making Sir Nicholas himself the speaker, probably occasioned the report that he wrote his own life in verse. Sir Nicholas Throkmorton married the daughter of Sir Nicholas Carew, of Beddington, by whom he left a large family: he died as above-mentioned on the twelfth of February, and was buried on the twenty-first at St. Catharine Cree church (fn. 32), where there is a monument to his memory. The custom of celebrating the funeral of eminent persons, some time after their interment, in the church of the parish where they had a residence, and which continued many years after the reformation, accounts for the above entry in the Register.
Frances the celebrated Duchess of Richmond, whose legend is to be found at large in Wilson's Life of James I. was an offspring of this marriage (fn. 33). Her first husband was Henry Prannel, the son of a vintner, who dying soon afterwards in affluent circumstances, left her a rich widow (fn. 34). It was not long before she had many suitors; among others Sir George Rodney and the Earl of Hertford. On her preferring the latter, Sir George, with the romantic gallantry of that age, wrote her a letter with his own blood, and immediately ran upon his sword. During the earl's life she was addressed by the Duke of Richmond "as an humble suppliant, sometimes in a blue coat with "a basket-hilted sword, making his addresses in such odd disguises (fn. 35)." Being once more at liberty by the death of the earl, she consented to marry the Duke of Richmond, and thus arrived at the summit of her honours; though it was said, that she was ambitious of soaring yet higher; and that surviving the duke, and finding the king a widower, she vowed that she would never marry a subject, after having been the wife of so great a prince as Richmond: but though she took care that her vow should reach the king's ears, he was determined not to take the hint. She was a woman of the most consummate vanity' which her second husband, the Earl of Hertford, would sometimes take an opportunity of mortifying; and "when he found her in "these exaltations would say, Frank, Frank, how long is it since thou wast married to Prannell (fn. 36) ?" There is a whole length portrait of the duchess in the gallery at Strawberry Hill; two prints of her are extant, both of them very rare.
The church, which is dedicated to All Saints, is in the diocese of Winchester, and in the deanery of Ewell: the benefice is now a rectory, having been endowed with the great tithes about the begining of the present century by Mr. Byne, who was then the lay impropriator: William Hollin, the first rector, was instituted in 1703. The rectory formerly belonged to Merton-Abbey, to which it was given by Faramusus de Bolonia, in the twelfth century (fn. 37). After the dissolution of monasteries, it was granted to William Goringe by Edward VI. (fn. 38); it afterwards belonged to the Fromounds (fn. 39), and came by inheritance to the Bynes, who intermarried with that family. In 1291 (fn. 40) the possessions of Merton-Abbey at Carshalton, including the rectory, were taxed at 12l. 6s. 6d.; the vicarage is rated in the king's books at 11l. 12s. 6d.
In 1646 it was ordered that 15l. per annum, reserved out of the lands belonging to the dean and chapter of Bangor, should be given to Mr. William Quelch as an augmentation of his vicarage at Carshalton, provided that he subscribed the engagement (fn. 41).
Before I close the account of Carshalton, I should mention, that on the premises now belonging to Theodore Broadhead, Esq. a house was built by Dr. Radcliffe, the celebrated physician, and noble benefactor to the University of Oxford; he was no less conspicuous for his great skill, than for the bluntness of his manner, which spared no rank, however exalted. He gave great offence by his rudeness to King William and to the Princess of Denmark; the latter, when she came to the throne, refused to appoint him her physician: such, however, was the opinion of his skill, that he was often called upon for his advice, especially during her last illness. The doctor was then residing at Carshalton, whence he was summoned to attend her majesty; being himself ill with the gout, he refused to obey the summons, which indeed was irregular, as not coming from proper authority. His refusal, however, made him so unpopular, that after the queen's death, he received several threatening letters, which gave him so much uneasiness, that his apprehensions of the revenge of the populace were thought to have hastened his own end. In a letter, dated from Carshalton, August 3, 1714, he mentions the receipt of these letters, and declares his intention of not stirring from home. He died there the first of November following (fn. 42). His house at Carshalton was sold to Sir John Fellows, one of the governors of the South-Sea Company, by whom it was rebuilt; at which time, in levelling the ground to make an avenue, many human bones were found (fn. 43). The house was afterwards the residence of Lord Chancellor Hardwicke.
Mr. Henry Smith bequeathed 2l. per annum to the poor of Carshalton; Mr. Byne left them an annual sum of 7l. to be laid out in coals; Mr. Fellows gave 20l. per annum to apprentice boys, and Mr. Muschamp 10l. to poor widows.