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 place in Doomsday, is called Croindone, and is frequently so spelt in records of a later date: I can find nothing satisfactory with regard to its etymology.
Situation, boundaries, and extent.
Croydon is a market town, situated ten miles south of London. The parish is very extensive; in the Conqueror's Survey, it is said to contain twenty plough lands, and is now supposed to be about thirtysix miles in circumference, being bounded on the north by Stretham and Lambeth; on the east by Beckenham, Addington, Sandersted, and Coulsdon; on the south by Beddington; and on the west by Micham. The arable land exceeds the pasture in a great proportion: a considerable part of Norwood is in this parish. In the Survey of 1646, it is described as being "830 acres, in which the inhabitants of "Croydon have herbage for all manner of cattle, and mastage for swine without stint (fn. 1)." Shirley Heath Common is said, in the same Survey, to contain 300 acres; Croydon Heath 340 acres. The soil, as may be supposed in so extensive a parish, is very various: indeed it is so various, that I am informed, chalk, gravel, sand, clay, and peat, may be found in the same field. About a mile from the town, near the road to Addington, is a large chalk-pit, which produces a great variety of extraneous fossils. Croydon is assessed at the sum of 1584l. 6 s. to the land-tax, which in the year 1791, was at the rate of 2s. in the pound.
There are eight hamlets within this parish; Waddon, which contains several houses, situated to the south of the town; Haling; Croham, and Combe; Benchesham, or Whitehorse; Shirley; Addiscombe; Woodside; and Selsden. The four first have manors which will be treated of hereafter.
Markets and fairs.
The town of Croydon had a market on Wednesdays, as early as the reign of Edward I. procured by archbishop Kilwardby, and a fair which began on the eve of St. Botolph, and lasted nine days (fn. 2). Another market on Thursdays, was granted to archbishop Reynolds, by Edward II. and a fair on the eve and morrow of St. Matthew (fn. 3). A third market upon Saturdays, the only one of the three now continued, was granted by Edward III. to archbishop Stratford, and a fair on the Feast of St. John the Baptist (fn. 4). Of the fairs, the two last only are now held.
Some antiquaries are of opinion, that Croydon was the ancient Noviomagus (fn. 5). The Roman road from Arundel to London, is supposed to have passed through or near the town; it is visible upon Broad Green (fn. 6).
Londoners spoiled at Croydon.
In the year 1264, during the wars between Henry III. and his barons, the Londoners, who had been chased out of the field at the battle of Lewes, retreated to Croydon; a part of the King's army being then at Tunbridge, marched thither, affailed them in their lodgings, slew many, and won a great spoil (fn. 7).
On the 25th of May 1551, Croydon, and some of the neighbouring villages, were terribly shaken with an earthquake (fn. 8).
Fatality at an affizes.
Fuller, after speaking of the fatal assizes at Oxford in 1577, says, "the like chanced about four years since, at Croydon in Surrey, where "a great depopulation happened at the assizes, of persons of quality; and the two judges, Baron Yates and Rigby, died a few days after (fn. 9)."
The summer assizes are now held alternately at Croydon and Guildford.
The small river Wandle, which falls into the Thames at Wandsworth, has its source in this parish, near the church. The whole of its course is not many miles, yet there are few rivers on whose banks a more extensive commerce is carried on.
The manor of Croydon belonged to archbishop Lanfranc, at the time of the Conquest; by what grant I have not been able to discover, as I find no mention of it in the great cartulary of Canterbury, in the Bodleian Library. It has been annexed to that see ever since, except for a short time during the government of the Commonwealth, when, the bishops' lands being sold by parliament, this manor appears to have become the property of Sir William Brereton (fn. 10). It was valued in the reign of Edward the Confessor at 12l. per annum; at the time of the Conquest, at 27l. to the archbishop, and 10l. 10 s. to his men. In 1291 (fn. 11) it was taxed at 20l. only; in archbishop Bourchier's time (temp. Hen. VI.) it was said to be 55l. 3s. 11d. per annum (fn. 12). In the parliamentary Survey of 1646, the annual value is stated to be 274l. 19s. 9½d. exclusive of the timber. Croydon Park, of which the famous Sir William Walworth was keeper, in the reign of Ric. II. (fn. 13) was given by archbishop Cramer to Hen. VIII. in exchange for other lands (fn. 14); but it reverted to the archbishop by another grant in the reign of Edward VI. (fn. 15).
Manor-house, or palace.
Archbishops who have resided there.
The palace or manerial house, which is situated near the church, was for several centuries the occasional residence of the archbishops of Canterbury, of whom there have been few, since we have any records of the see, who have not dated some of their public acts from it (fn. 16). Archbishop Courtney received his pall with great solemnity in his hall at this place, in the presence of a great number of people (fn. 17). His successors, Arundel, Chichele, and Stafford, resided here very frequently. It seems probable, that James I. King of Scotland, then a prisoner in England, was under the custody of archbishop Arundel here; a charter of his being extant, by which he grants the barony of Drumlanrig to Sir William Douglass, dated at Croydon, anno 1412 (fn. 18).
Queen Elizabeth's visits to archbishop Parker.
Archbishop Parker, so eminent for his learning and for his virtues, made this palace one of his principal residences. In the month of July 1573, he entertained Queen Elizabeth and her whole court for seven days, at Croydon (fn. 19). It appears that her majesty honoured him with another visit the ensuing year, or at least that such a visit was in contemplation. The following original memorandum of the arrangements for her majesty's reception, written by Mr. Bowyer, gentleman of the black rod, is bound up with a MS. copy of the History of Croydon, deposited in the Library at Lambeth:
"Lodgings at Croydon, the busshope of Canterburye's house, bestowed as followeth, the 19 of Maye 1574:"
"The Lord Chamberlayne, his olde lodgings.
The Lord Tresurer wher he was.
The Lady Marques, at the nether end of the great chamber.
The Lady of Warwicke, wher she was.
The Erle of Leicester, wher he was.
"The Lord Admyral, at the nether end of the great chamber.
The Lady Howard, wher she was.
The Lord Honsdone, wher he was.
Mr. Secretary Walsingham, wher Mr. Smyth was.
The Lady Stafford, wher she was.
Mr. Henedge, wher he was.
Mr. Drewry, wher the Lady Sydney was.
Ladies and Gentilwomen of the privie chamber, ther olde.
Mrs. Abbington her olde, and another small rome addid for "the table.
"The maydes of honour, wher they were.
Sir George Howard, wher he was.
The Capten of the gard, wher my Lord of Oxforde was.
The Grooms of the privye chamber, ther olde.
The Esquyers for the body, ther olde.
The Gentelmen Hussers, ther olde.
The Physycyons, two chambers.
The Queens robes, wher they were.
The Grome Porter, wher he was.
The Clerke of the kitchen, wher he was.
The wardrobe of beds.
"For the Queen's wayghters, I cannot as yet synde any convenient romes to place them in, but I will do the best that I can to place them elsewhere; but yf it plese you Sir that I doo remove them, the gromes of the privye chamber, nor Mr. Drewrye, have no other waye to their chambers, but to pass throw that waye. Agayne, if my Lady of Oxford should come, I cannot then tell wher to place Mr. Hatton, and for my Lady Carewe, here is no place with a chimney for her, but she must lay abrode by Mrs. Apparry, and the rest of the privye chamber; for Mrs. Skelton, here is no rome with chimneys. I shall staye one chamber without for her. Here is as mytche as I have any wayes able to doo "in this house. From Croydon, this present Wensday mornynge, your honour's alwayes most bounden,
Archbishop Whitgift, a great benefactor to the town, resided here frequently, and more than once entertained the Queen at his palace. In 1587, upon the archbishop's refusal of that high office, Sir Christopher Hatton was at this place made Lord High Chancellor (fn. 20). It appears by a letter of Rowland White's, that the Queen dined at the archbishop's at Croydon in 1600 (fn. 21).
His successor Abbot was frequently here.—"Being at Croydon, when the proclamation for permitting sports and pastimes upon the Lord's-day was ordered to be read in the churches, he "peremptorily forbad its being read there (fn. 22)."
Sir William Brereton.
During the civil wars, the parliament seized on the possessions of the see of Canterbury, and leased the palace here to the Earl of Nottingham (fn. 23). After archbishop Laud's death, it came into the hands of Sir William Brereton, "a notable man," says a pamphlet writer of that day, "at a thanksgiving dinner, having terrible long teeth, and a prodigious stomach, to turn the archbishop's chapel at Croydon into a kitchen; also to swallow up that palace and lands at a morsel (fn. 24)."
Archbishop Juxon repaired and sitted up the palace, restoring it to its former state. He and his successors resided here occasionally, till archbishop Secker's time (fn. 25).
Architecture of the palace.
In Ducarel's History of Croydon (fn. 26), are various conjectures, both by himself, Mr. Rowe Mores, and Dr. Milles, concerning the dates of the building of the palace; from all which it may be collected, that the whole was erected since the middle of the fourteenth century, before which time it appears to have been built of wood (fn. 27). Of the present structure, I think, it seems sufficiently evident, that the guard chamber was built by archbishop Arundel, whose arms are placed there, and the hall by archbishop Stafford, the coats of arms (fn. 28) with which it is ornamented, and its style of architecture, each adding support to the conjecture. There seems to be no satisfactory evidence to show when the chapel was built; it appears to have been repaired and ornamented by the archbishops Laud and Juxon. Several large sums of money have been expended on the palace by the succeeding prelates, particularly by archbishop Wake, who built the great gallery (fn. 29), and archbishop Herring, by whom the whole was completely fitted up and repaired (fn. 30). The materials in the Survey of 1646, were valued at 1200l. In the year 1780, the palace not having been inhabited above 20 years, was become much out of repair; in consequence of which an act of parliament was obtained for disposing of it by sale, and vesting the produce in the funds towards the building a new palace upon Park Hill, about half a mile from the town; it was sold under this act, October 10th, 1780, to Sir Abraham Pitches, Knight (fn. 31), for 2520l. It is now let to tenants, who carry on the calico printing manufactory upon the spot; the garden is used as a bleaching ground.
The inhabitants of Croydon have obtained the use of the chapel for their Sunday school.
Manor of Waddon.
The manor of Waddon was granted by Hen. I. to the monks of Bermondsey, in exchange for other lands (fn. 32); and was by them exchanged with the archbishop of Canterbury, for the advowson of the church of Croydon (fn. 33). It still belongs to that see. In archbishop Bourchier's time, it was valued at 8l. 12s. (fn. 34); in archbishop Parker's time, at 22l. 6s. 8d. (fn. 35)
Manor of Benchesham, or White-horse.
Peter Chaceport had a charter of free warren in the manor of Benchesham, in the reign of Henry III. (fn. 36); Richard Gravesend, bishop of London, had a grant of the same nature, temp. Edw. I. (fn. 37) Stephen Gravesend, bishop of London, died seized of it in the reign of Edw. III. (fn. 38) I find it afterwards in the possession of the Cherburys (fn. 39) and Chiritons, the latter of whom alienated it to Walter Whithorse, the king's shield-bearer (fn. 40), from whom it derived its second name. It afterwards belonged to the families of Holker (fn. 41), and Brudenell (fn. 42). In 1566, it was the property of William Morton, Esq. (fn. 43) whose grandson Thomas, dying in 1678, left five daughters, amongst whom this manor was divided. Four of the severalties were purchased by John Barrett, about the year 1712; the fifth was bought by his grandson, in 1787, who sold the whole to John Cator, Esq. M. P. about twelve months since.
Manor of Croham.
The manor of Croham, formerly called Cronham, or Cranham, in the reign of Edw. III. was the property of the Chiritons, who alienated it to Walter Whithorse (fn. 44). In the reign of Hen. IV. it came into the hands of the crown, and the custody thereof was granted to William Oliver (fn. 45). I have not been able to find when or to whom the manor was granted, upon its being alienated from the crown; but it appears that it belonged to Dame Anne Peche, temp. Hen. VII. (fn. 46) Sir John Danet held it in the next reign, in right of his wife, who was daughter and heir of Thomas Elynbridge. It afterwards came into the hands of Sir Oliph Leigh, of whom archbishop Whitgift bought it for the endowment of his hospital, under which it is now held by lease; Samuel Chollet, Esq. being the present lessee. The manor is partly in the parish of Sandersted.
Manor of Haling.
The earliest record that I find relating to the manor of Haling, mentions, that it was given by Hugh Warham to Henry VIII. in exchange for other lands (fn. 47). It continued in the crown till the reign of Queen Mary, when it was granted to Sir John Gage, Knight (fn. 48). By the attainder of John Gage, Esquire, in the next reign, it reverted to the crown, and was leased to Charles Earl of Nottingham (fn. 49), the celebrated Lord Admiral, who frequently made it his residence, and died there in the year 1624 (fn. 50). Soon afterwards the Gage family appear to have been again in possession, for they alienated the manor, in the second year of Charles I. to Christopher Gardiner, Esquire (fn. 51). It continued to be the property of the Gardiners till 1707, when it was conveyed by them to Edward Stringer, Esq. who dying without issue, his widow brought it into the Parker family, and her grandson, William Parker Hamond, Esq. is the present proprietor.
Manor of Norbury.
The manor of Norbury, held of the archbishop of Canterbury, was at an early period the property of the Carews (fn. 52), and has descended in the same manner as Beddington.
Manors of Palmer or Tylecroft, and Chelhurst or Shelhurst.
I have seen only one record relating to either of the two following manors; viz. Palmer, or Tylecroft, of which Richard Forth, L L. D. died seized, 37 Eliz. (fn. 53), and Chelhurst, or Shelhurst, which was granted to the archbishop of Canterbury by Hen. VIII. (fn. 54). They are both now included in the manor of Croydon.
Manor of Ham.
Sir Peter Burrell, Bart. has a manor-farm in this parish, called Ham; it was purchased by his grandfather, and is situated at the extremity of the parish, towards Beckenham. I have not had an opportunity of procuring any information of the more early proprietors.
The church, which is dedicated to St. John the Baptist, is built of stone and flint; it is situated at the bottom of the town, near the source of the Wandle. It consists of a nave, two aisles, and three chancels; at the west end is a handsome square tower, with pinnacles. The nave is separated from the aisles, by light clustered columns, with pointed arches, between which are several grotesque heads and ornaments. The church appears to have been rebuilt in the time of archbishop Chicele, who was a great contributor to the work (fn. 55); his arms (fn. 56) are upon the west door, under the tower. The old font, which stands at the west end of the south aisle, appears to be of the same date.
In the year 1639, the church suffered great damage by a storm of wind (fn. 57). On the 11th of March 1735, "a fire broke out between two and three o'clock in the afternoon, in the roof of the middle chancel; but being soon discovered, it was extinguished in less than two hours, and the damage did not exceed 50l.; it was supposed to have happened from the plummers making a fire on the leads (fn. 58)." The church has within a few years past undergone great repairs, especially on the south side, and is a very spacious and commodious building.
Archbishop Grindall's monument.
In the middle chancel are some ancient wooden stalls.
In the same chancel, on the south side of the altar, is a handsome monument of black marble, supported by Corinthian pillars, to the memory of archbishop Grindall, who is represented lying at full length, dressed in his doctor's robes.
The following verses are upon the tomb in three several compartments:
"Grindallus, doctus, prudens, gravitate verendus,
Justus, munificus, sub cruce fortis erat.
Post crucis ærumnas Christi gregis Anglia fecit,
Signiferum, Christus cælica regna dedit.
"Præsulis eximii ter postquam est auctus honore,
Pervigilique greges rexit moderamine facros
Confectum senio, durisque laboribus, ecce
Transtulit in placidam mors exoptata quietem.
"Mortua marmoreo conduntur membra sepulchro
Sed mens sancta viget, fama perennis erit,
Nam studia et Musæ, quas magnis censibus auxit
Grindalli nomen tempus in omne ferent."
Underneath his effigy is this inscription:
"Edmundus Grindallus, Cumbriensis, Theologiæ Doctor, Eruditione, prudentiâ, et gravitate clarus; constantiâ, justitiâ, et pietate insignis, civibus et peregrinis charus; ab exilio (quod evangelii causâ subiit) reversus, ad summum dignitatis fastigium (quasi decursu honorum) sub R. Elizabethâ evectus, ecclesiam Londinen. "primùm, deinde Eborac. demùm Cantuarien. rexit. Et, cum jam hic nihil restaret, quo altius ascenderet, e corporis vinculis liber ac beatus ad cælum evolavit 6° Julii anno Dni. 1583. Ætatis suæ 63. Hic, præter multa pietatis officia, quæ vivus præstitit; moribundus, maximam bonorum suorum partem piis usibus consecravit. In paroecia Divæ Beghæ (ubi natus est) scholam Grammatic. splendide extrui et opimo censu ditari curavit. Magdalenensi cætui Cantabr. (in quo puer primum Academiæ ubera suxit) discipulum adjecit, Collegio Christi (ubi adultus literis incubuit) gratum Mνημόσυνον reliquit. Aulæ Pembrochianæ (cujus olim socius, postea Præfectus extitit) ærarium et bibliothecam auxit, Græcoque Prælectori, uni socio, ac duobus discipulis, ampla stipendia assignavit. Collegium Reginæ Oxon. (in quod Cumbrienses potissimum cooptantur) nummis, libris, et magnis proventibus locupletavit. Civitati Cantuar. (cui moriens præfuit) centum libras, in hoc, ut pauperes honestis artificiis exercerentur, perpetuo servandas, atque impendendas dedit. Residuum bonorum Pietatis operibus dicavit. Sic vivens moriensque ecclesiæ, patriæ et bonis literis profuit."
Archbishop Whitgift's monument.
In the south, sometimes called the bishops' chancel, is archbishop Whitgift's monument, supported by Corinthian columns of black marble, between which lies his effigy, in his robes; the following lines written by his chaplain, Dr. Benjamin Charier (fn. 59), are inscribed on three several compartments:
"Post tenebras lucem spero.
Whitgifta Eborum Grimsbeia ad littora nomen
Whitgifta emisit felix hoc nomine Grisbei.
Hinc natus non natus ad hanc mox mittitur hospes,
Londinum; inde novam te, Cantabrigia, matrem
Insequitur, supraque fidem suavi ubere crescit:
Petro fit socius: Pembro, Triadique Magister:
"Fitque pater matri, cathedræque Professor utrique.
"E cathedra Lincolna suum petit esse Decanum,
Mox Wigorn. petit esse suum: fit Episcopus illic;
Propræses patriæ quo nunquam acceptior alter.
Post annos plus sex summum petit Anglia patrem;
Plus quam bis denos fuit Archiepiscopus annos;
Charior Elisæ, dubium est an Regi Jacobo:
Consul utrique fuit: sis tu Croidonia testis
Pauperibus quam charus erat, queis nobile struxit
Hospitium, puerisque scholam, dotemque reliquit.
Cælibis, hæc vitæ soboles quæ nata per annos
Septuaginta duos nullo enuberabitur ævo.
Invidia hæc cernens moritur, patientia vincens,
Ad summum evecto æternum dat lumen honori.
"Magna senatoris sunt nomina, pondera et æqua
Nominibus, quem non utraque juncta premunt;
Præsulis accedat si summum nomen ad ista
Pondera quis ferat, aut perferat illa diu.
Pax vivo grata est; mens recti conscia pacem
Fert animo; hæc mortem non metuisse dedit.
Mors requiem membris, animæ cælestia donant
Gaudia: sic potuit vincere qui patitur.
"Gratia non miror si sit divina Joannes;
Qui jacet hic; solus credito gratus erat.
Nec magis immerito Whitgiftus dicitur idem;
Candor in eloquio, pectore candor erat.
Candida pauperibus posuit loca; candida Musis:
E terris moriens, candida dona tulit."
Archbishop Sheldon's monument.
In the same chancel against the south wall, is a splendid monument to the memory of archbishop Sheldon; the figure of the archbishop, which is of white marble, is a very fine piece of sculpture; and was the performance of Latham the city architect, and Bonne (fn. 60). It has been supposed, that the head was finished by an Italian artist. By the kind assistance of Mr. Lawrence, I have been enabled to give the annexed print, taken from a beautiful drawing made by him, in which the likeness and spirit of the countenance are extremely well preserved.
On the tablet above the statue of the archbishop, is the following
"Fortiter et suaviter.
Antiquâ Sheldoniorum familiâ
In agro Staffordiensi natus, Oxonii
bonis literis enutritus,
S. Sæ. Theologiæ Doctor insignis;
Coll. Omnium Animarum custos prudens et fidelis,
Academiæ Cancellarius munificentissimus,
Regii Oratorii Clericus
Car. Imo Bmo Martyri charissimus,
Sub serenissimo R. Carolo IIdo,
MDCLX, magno illo instaurationis anno,
Sacelli Palatini Decanus,
MDCLXII, in secretioris concilii ordinem
MDCLXII, ad dignitatis Archiepiscopalis apicem
Omnibus negotiis par, omnibus titulis superior,
"In rebus adversis magnus, in prosperis bonus,
Utriusque fortunæ dominus;
De tanto viro
Pauca dicere non expedit; multa non opus est;
Norunt præsentes; posteri vix credent:
Animam piam et cælo maturam
V. id. Novembris,
Against the same wall is an ancient Gothic tomb, not mentioned in Aubrey; under the arch are the vestiges of upright brass plates, with figures of a man and woman, having labels issuing from their mouths; these, as well as the inscriptions, were probably torn away during the civil wars, when one Bleese was hired, at 2s. 6d. a day, to break the windows in this church, which were then of painted glass (fn. 61). The arms upon the tomb show that it belonged to some one of the family of Warham (fn. 62).
In this chancel are also the tombs of the archbishops Wake,
Potter, and Herring, with the following inscriptions upon flat
Qui obiit 24 Januarii, A. D. 1733.
Ætatis suæ 79,
Ethelredæ uxoris ejus
Quæ obiit 15 Aprilis 1731.
Here lieth the Body of
The Most Reverend Dr. Thomas Herring,
Archbishop of Canterbury,
who died Mar. 13.
A. D. 1757.
Here lieth the Body of
The Most Reverend
John Potter, D. D.
Archbishop of Canterbury,
Oct. 10th, 1747.
In the 74th year of his age.
In the middle chancel is the following inscription, in the black letter, on a brass plate; the figure of the person whom it commemorates has been torn off:
"Hic jacet Egidius Seymor, qui obiit 25 die Decembris A. Dni. 1390, cuj. ani[ma]e pro[pi]cietur D[eu]s."
Near the communion table is a stone inlaid with the figure of a priest, dressed in his robes, under which is an inscription to the memory of Sylvester Gabriel, who died in 1511.
Within the rails of the communion table is a gravestone inlaid with brass plates, representing the figures of a man, his wife, and eleven children; the inscription is gone, but the arms are those of Heron; viz. per pale Gules and Az. on a chev. between 3 herons, Arg. as many cinquefoils sable.
In the north chancel is a large tomb of free-stone, with an ascent of three steps, to the memory of Nicholas Heron, Esq. who died in 1568. The figures of Nicholas Heron, his wife, five sons, and eight daughters, are represented on the tomb in alto relievo; over their heads are the initials of their names.
In the same chancel is an altar-tomb, to the memory of Elias Davy, who founded the old alms-house; he died in 1455; his figure, which was on a brass plate, has been torn away.
At the east end of the nave, is a monument with a column of white marble, designed by Mr. Glover, the author of Leonidas, to the memory of Philippa, wife of James Bourdieu, Esq. of Combe, in the parish of Croydon, who died in 1780.
Having noticed all the monuments, which appear deserving a particular description, I shall merely enumerate the situation of others with their dates, and the names of the persons they commemorate.
In the middle chancel, are those of Dame Ruth Scudamore, who died in 1649; John Packinton, farmer of the parsonage, who died in 1607; Martha wife of Barnard Burton, Esq. who died in 1668; and Nicholas Hatcher, captain of horse under Charles I., who died in 1673: these are on flat stones. Against the north wall, is the monument of Henry Mill, citizen of London, who died in 1575; and of his wife Elizabeth, who bore him sixteen children; and that of John Pynsent, Prothonotary of the Common Pleas, who died in 1668.
In the bishops' chancel are the tombs of Elizabeth, wife of Samuel Fynch, the vicar, who died in 1589; of Sir Joseph Sheldon, Knight, who died in 1681; Daniel Sheldon, Esq. who died in 1698; Roger Sheldon, Esq. who died in 1710; Judith Sheldon, who died in 1725; Lady Elizabeth, wife of Sir William Gresham, who died in 1632; Mrs. Dorothy Pennyman, widow of Sir James Pennyman, and daughter and co-heir of archbishop Wake, who died in 1754; Peter Champion, Esq. who died in 1758; and Thomas Brigstock, Esq. who died in 1787. Against the east wall, is the monument of Michael Murgatroid, archbishop Whitgift's commissary, who died in 1608.
In the north chancel, is a brass tablet, to the memory of "that precious servant of God, Mr. Samuel Otes, M. A. and minister of the word of God in Croydon, who died in 1645;" the tombs of Marmaduke Wyvell, Esq. of Constable Burton, in the county of York, who died in 1623; and of another Marmaduke, who died in 1678; Elizabeth, daughter of Herbert Price, Esq. and daughter of Thomas Morton, of Whitehorse, who died in 1702; Elizabeth, wife of Francis Butler, Esq. who died in 1626; and Francis her husband, who died in 1648; William Boddington, Esq. who died in 1703; Ralph Smith, Esq. who died in 1639; Benjamin Bowles, Esq. who died in 1766; Mrs. Anne Callant, who died in 1735; and Mrs. Elizabeth Apthorp, who died in 1782.
In the nave of the church, is the tomb of Peter Harrison, Esq. who died in 1785.
In the north aisle, are those of John Parker, Esq. of London, who died in 1710, aged 52; and his wife Bathsheba, who died in 1763, aged 84; the Rev. James Gardner, rector of Slingsby, in the county of York, who died in 1772; Roger Drake, Esq. who died in 1762; and others of the same family.
In the south aisle, those of Mary, wife of John Smith, rector of Weybridge, who died in 1787; John Vade, vicar of Croydon, who died in 1765; James Wilkins, Capt. of Dragoons, who died in 1769; James Douglass, Esq. Major General, who died in 1743; William Welbancke, Esq. who died in 1791; and Richard Peers, Esq. alderman of London, who died in 1765. Against the south wall, is a tablet to the memory of Francis Tirrel, who was a benefactor to the town, and died in 1600.
The inscriptions from the tombs of the following persons, which are now destroyed, are preserved in Aubrey: William Heron, Esq. who died in 1562; Captain George Protheroe, who died in 1745; Thomas Walsh, of Croydon, who died in 1600; Elizabeth, wife of Wymond Bradbury, Esq. and daughter of archbishop Whitgift, who died in 1612.
In the church-yard, are the tombs of Henry Hoare, Physician, who died in 1709; Elizabeth, wife of Samuel Hunton, Esq. of Chelsea, who died in 1779; "Honest Thomas How," who died in 1727, &c. &c.
Rectory and vicarage.
The church of Croydon is in the peculiar jurisdiction of the archbishop of Canterbury. It was formerly both a rectory and a vicarage; among the early rectors, was William de Wyttlesey (fn. 63), afterwards archbishop of Canterbury: the vicarage was then in the patronage of the rector. In 1390, archbishop Courtney gave the advowson of the church to the monks of Bermondsey, in exchange for the manor of Waddon. Since the suppression of monasteries the great tithes have been in lay hands. They were held by Thomas Walsingham, and Robert Moyse, in the reign of Edward VI. (fn. 64), by John Lord St. John, of Bletsoe, 32 Eliz. (fn. 65), and are now the property of the Right Honourable Anthony Viscount Montague. In 1291 (fn. 66) the rectory was rated at 60 marks, the vicarage at 15 marks. In 1534, the latter was valued at 21l. 18s. 11½d. (fn. 67); in the king's books it is reckoned amongst the discharged livings, and is said to be 45l. clear yearly value.
An endowment of the vicarage of Croydon, as settled by archbishop Stratford, is recited among the papers relating to the above exchange; a translation of it may be found in the History of Croydon, and a copy of the original in the Appendix (fn. 70).
Rowland Phillips, collated to this vicarage in 1497 (fn. 71), was canon of St. Paul's, and warden of Merton college Oxford; "he was esteemed" says Holinshed, "a notable preacher." Soon after the introduction of printing, he is said to have foretold, in a sermon preached at St Paul's, that it would be the bane of the Roman catholic religion—"We must "root out printing, (says he,) or printing will root us (fn. 72)." He took an active part in the convocation in 1532, against granting a subsidy to the king (fn. 73). Haying resigned the vicarage of Croydon in 1538, he was allowed a pension of 12l. per annum for his life (fn. 74).
Vicars during the Civil Wars.
Samuel Bernard, collated to the vicarage in 1624, was displaced by the committee for plundered ministers in 1643 (fn. 75). I imagine he was succeeded by Samuel Otes, who lies buried in the north chancel, as it appears he came to Croydon that year and died in 1645. In the year 1646, it was ordered by the committee, that 50l. per annum, should be paid to Francis Peck, out of the impropriated rectory of East Meon, in Hampshire, as an augmentation of the vicarage of Croydon. This money having never been received, the same sum was voted to his successor Mr. Corbett, out of the sequestered rectory of Camberwell (fn. 76). This sequestration having been taken off, it was ordered, that a like sum should be paid out of the great tithes of some other parishes, to Sir William Brereton, for the use of such minister as should be by him appointed to serve the cure of Croydon (fn. 77).
William Clewer, presented to this vicarage by Charles II. on his restoration (fn. 78), deserves only to be recorded as a disgrace to his profession. Having persecuted the royalists during the commonwealth, and having himself enjoyed one of the sequestered livings, upon the first news of the restoration, he repaired immediately to London, and had the art to get himself recommended to the Earl of Clarendon, as a zealous son of the church, and a person deserving of preferment. In consequence of this recommendation he got the living of Croydon. When settled there, he soon became the scourge of the inhabitants, and practised every species of extortion and injustice. His parishioners laid their complaints before the king in council, in the year 1672; but though their cause was frequently heard, and some steps taken towards their relief, yet Clewer contrived to delay the final determination of the business so long, that he kept his living till 1684; in which year he was deprived. It was probably after his deprivation, that he was tried at the Old Bailey, and burnt in the hand, for stealing a silver cup. In Smith's Lives of Highwaymen, where this fact is mentioned (fn. 79), a story is told of his being attacked by O'Bryan, a famous robber; who finding that he had no money, would have taken his gown: Clewer, however, pulling a pack of cards out of his pocket, proposed that they should play a game at all-fours for it. The highwayman accepted his proposal, and won the gown. Dr. Clewer died in 1702 (fn. 80). The papers relating to his dispute with the inhabitants of Croydon, are printed at large in the additions to the history of that place (fn. 81).
The present vicar is the Reverend East Apthorp, D. D. Author of Letters on the Prevalence of Christianity.
A chantry, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, was founded in the church of Croydon, about the year 1400 (fn. 82), by Reginald de Cobham, Lord of Sterbergh, who vested the patronage thereof in twelve of the principal inhabitants of the town of Croydon. The income of this chantry was valued at 14l. 8s. 1½d. in 1534 (fn. 83). Its revenues appear, by the Survey in the Augmentation Office, to have amounted to 16l. 1s. 2d. in the third year of Edward VI.
Another chantry, dedicated to St. Nicholas, was founded by John Stafford, bishop of Bath and Wells, and William Oliver, vicar of Croydon, in the reign of Henry VI. (fn. 84) : it was endowed with sixteen acres of land, and several messuages in the town; the patronage was vested in the Weldon family. At the time of the foundation of this chantry, its revenues were valued at 10 marks; in 1534 (fn. 85), it was estimated at 8l. 10s. 5d.
The parish register commences in the year 1538: the latter part of it has been kept with great neatness and accuracy, particularly during the incumbency of the present vicar.
Comparative state of population.
I found the register so defective during the last century, that it was impossible to obtain an average of ten years together. By taking a number of detached years, it appeared to be nearly as large as it is at present. The following averages are given in the Appendix to the History of Croydon:
It is said, in the same place, that the upper part of the town was formerly a common field, and had only a bridle way through it. The principal increase of population must have been above a hundred years ago. There are now about 800 houses in this parish.
The number of persons who fell victims to the plague in the last century, is thus specified in the register:
|From July 20, 1603, to April 16, 1604||158|
|In the year 1625||76|
|From July 27, 1665, to March 22, 1666||141|
It is recorded in a note, that "from the 11th to the 18th of August 1603, 3054 persons died of the plague in London, and the liberties thereof, and that many died in the highways neare about the citie;" and that, "from the 25th of August to the first of September, 3385 persons died."
Instances of longevity.
The following instances of longevity are recorded in the register:
"Alice Miles, 100 annos nata, was buried Mar. 6, 1633–4."
Margaret Ford, aged 105 years, was buried Feb. 2, 1714–5."
John Baydon, aged 101 years, buried Dec. 12, 1717."
Margaret Burnett, aged 99 years, was buried Dec. 26, 1718."
Elizabeth Giles, widow, aged 100, was buried Aug. 17, 1729."
Elizabeth Wilson, from the Black Horse, aged 101, was buried
Mar. 17, 1771."
Divers other entries, either curious in themselves, or relating to remarkable persons, are here copied, without regard to any other than a chronological arrangement:
"June 10, 1552. Alexander Barkley sepult."
Alexander Barkley, or Barklay, who appears to have been by birth a Scot (fn. 86), studied at Oriel College Oxford, and was afterwards successively a Benedictine monk at Ely, and a Franciscan at Canterbury (fn. 87). He is best known by his celebrated Poem called The Ship of Fools, taken from a work of the same name, written in German by Sebastian Brandt. It is a satire upon the follies of the age. The first edition was printed by Pynson, in 1509. Warton, in his History of English Poetry, says, that the stanzas are verbose and prosaic, but that it is a work deserving of attention, as it exhibits, like other satires, a picture of familiar manners, and popular customs. He adds, that the author's language is more cultivated than that of many of his contemporaries, and that he contributed his share to the improvement of the English phraseology (fn. 88). Barkley frequently mentions Croydon in his eclogues. Warton has quoted two of the passages, by one of which it appears, that this place was his residence in the early part of his life—
"While I in youth in Croidon town did dwell."
Besides his Ship of Fools and his Eclogues, he published also a treatise against Skelton, the poet laureat; the Lives of some of the Saints, and several translations (fn. 89). To one of these (fn. 90) is prefixed a wooden print of the author presenting his book to his patron Sir Giles Alyngton.
"Edmund Grindall, lord archbushop of Canterburie, deceased the 6th day of Julye, and was buried the fyrst day of Auguste, Anno Dni. 1583, anno regni Elizabethæ, 25."
Archbishop Grindall died at Croydon (fn. 91). A short time before his death, being rendered unable, by his blindness and infirmities, to perform the duties of his high station, he was urged to resign the archbishopric, which he consented to do, requesting only that he might reserve to himself the house and park at Croydon, to which place he retired. No successor however having been appointed till after his death, it is supposed that his resignation never actually took place (fn. 92).
"Elizabeth, daughter of John Kynge, and Clemence, (wyfe of Samuel Fynch, vicar, by the space of seven years,) mother of five children at several byrths, of the age of 21 years; deceased the 17th day of Nov. and was buried the 18th, A. D. 1589."
Licence to eat flesh in Lent.
"Mem. That whereas Samuel Fynche, vicar of Croydon, lycensed Clemence Kinge, the wife of John Kinge, brewer, to eate fleshe in the time of Lente, by reason of her sicknesse, which lycense beareth date the 29th of Feb. and further, that she the saide Clemence, doth as yet continue sicke, and hath not recovered her health; know ye therefore, that the said lycense continueth still in force, and for the more efficacie thereof, ys here registered according to the statute, in the presence Th. Mosar, churchwarden of the said parish of Croydon, the 7th of March, in the 38th year of the Queen's maj's most gracious reign, and for the registering thereof, there is paid unto the curate 4d."
"John Whitgift, archbishop of Canterburie, deceasde at Lambith on Wednesday at 8 of the clocke in the evening, being the last day of Feb. and was brought the day followinge in the evening to Croydon, and was buried the morning followinge by 2 of the clocke, in the chappell where his pore people doe usually sitte; his sunerall was kept at Croydon, the 27th day of Marche followinge, "Anno Dni. 1604, annoque regni dni. nostri Regis Jacobi secundo."
Archbishop Whitgift's suneral was solemnized in a manner suitable to the splendour in which he had lived; Babington, bishop of Worcester, preached the sermon; the Earl of Worcester and Lord Zouch carried the banners of state (fn. 93). It is said, that the archbishop on his first journey into Kent, was attended by a hundred servants, forty of whom wore chains of gold (fn. 94). This splendour was thought to be serviceable at that time to the interests of the church, by reconciling the papists to the reformation (fn. 95). It excited, however, the indignation of the puritans, and exposed the archbishop to the censures of Prynne, who handles him very severely on that account.
"Decr. 1607, the greatest frost began the 9th day of this month, it ended on Candlemas-eve."
"Francis Tyrrell, cytizen and marchant of London, was buried the 1st of Sept. 1609, and his funerall kept at London, the 13th of the same month. He gave 200l. to the parishioners of Croydon, to build a new market-house, and 40l. to repair our church, and 40s. a year to our poore of Croydon, for 18 years, with manie other good and great legacies to the citie of London."
Charles Earl of Nottingham.
"Charles Howard, sonne unto the Righte Honourable Charles Earle of Nottingham, born the 25th daye of December, Anno Dni. 1616, was christened the 23d daye of January followinge."
This was a younger son of the Lord Admiral, by his second wife Margaret, daughter of James Stewart, Earl of Murray; he afterwards became the third Earl of Nottingham, of the Howard family. During the civil wars, he attached himself to the parliament; obtained some of the sequestered lands (fn. 96), and was, as before mentioned, a tenant of Croydon palace. Dugdale (fn. 97), whose accuracy in general may be relied on, has been led into an error with regard to this Earl of Nottingham, whom he represents as grandson of the Lord Admiral, and son of the second earl. His father, who died in 1624, aged 87, being 73 years of age at the time of his birth; and his half-brother, whom he succeeded in 1641, being also named Charles, most probably occasioned this mistake.
"Feb. 12, 1614–5. This was the day of the terrible snow, and the Sonday following a greater."
"George Abbot, lord archbishop of Canterbury, deceased at Croydon, upon the fourth day of Aug. 1633. His funeral was with great solemnity kept in the church here, upon the third day of September following, and the next day his corpse was conveyed to Guildford, and there buried according to his will."
"Gelbert Sheldon, laite archbushop of Canterbury, buryed Nov. 16, 1677."
"A description of a monstrous birth, born of the body of Rose Eastman, wife of John Eastman, being a child with two heads, four arms, four legs, one body, one navel, and distinction of two male children, and was born the 27th of January 1721–2."
"Dr. William Wake, archbishop of Canterbury, died at his palace at Lambeth, Jan. 24, 1736, and was brought to Croydon, and buried Feb. 9; and his lady, which was buried at Lambeth, the . . . of April 1731, was taken up and brought to Croydon the next day, and put in the vault with him."
Archbishop Wake was author of many controversial and theological works, of which no one perhaps is better known than his Exposition of the Church Catechism.
"Dr. John Potter, archbishop of Canterbury, was buried Oct. 27, 1747."
Archbishop Potter was a man of great learning, and particularly conversant in the Greek language. Many of his theological writings are extant; but the work for which he has been most celebrated is the Antiquities of Greece.
"Doctor Thomas Herring, archbishop of Canterbury, died at his palace at Croydon, and was buried Mar. 24, 1757."
Archbishop Herring was buried in a very private manner, according to his own request; which expressly forbad also, that any monument should be erected to his memory (fn. 100).
Sir Richard Gurney.
Sir Richard Gurney, the celebrated lord mayor of London, distinguished for his courage, loyalty, and sufferings, during the civil wars, is said by Lloyd (fn. 101) to have been born at Croydon, in the year 1577; his name, however, does not occur in the register.
Ellis Davy's alms-house.
Ellis Davy, citizen and mercer of London, in the reign of Henry VI. (fn. 102), founded an alms-house in Croydon, for seven poor people; six of whom were to receive 10d. per week, and the seventh, who was to be called the tutor, 1s. It was endowed with lands and tenements, which produced the annual sum of 18l. The vicar, churchwarden, and four of the principal inhabitants of Croydon, were appointed governors; the masters and wardens of the mercers' company, overseers. The statutes are to be found at large in archbishop Morton's register (fn. 103), and they are printed in the Appendix to the History of Croydon (fn. 104). The founder charges the members to occupy themselves "in praying and in beding, in hering "honest talk, or in labours with there hands, in some other occupations, to the laws and worship of almighti God, and profit to them and there said alms-hous." They were all bound likewise to attend the services of the church every day, and to chaunt a psalm, and say paternosters, and aves, at the place of his burial, and solemnly to celebrate his year's mind. The statutes enjoin them "to absteyne, as moch as may be, from vayne and evill woords at mete and souper; and yf they will any thinge talke, that it be honest and profitable." It is directed that their clothes should be "darke and browne of colour, and not staring, neither blasing." No leper or madman was to be admitted, and if any member should "become madd, or woode, or be infected with leper, or such other intolerable seekness," he was to be removed out of the house, and have his allowance continued. Any person guilty of being custumably dronkley, glotons, rigours amongs his felawes, or haunting taverns, or being unchast of his body, or walking or gazing in the opyn stretis of the towne," to be expelled upon the third offence. The statutes are dated April 27th, 1447. The reformation having rendered it necessary to make some alterations in them, they were reviewed by archbishop Parker in the year 1566, and established under his public seal (fn. 105). The alms-house was rebuilt some years ago; the revenues are now about 40l. per annum.
Archbishop Whitgift, in the year 1596, began the foundation of the hospital at Croydon, which goes by his name. It was finished the 29th of Sept. 1599 (fn. 106), and endowed with lands for the maintenance of a warden, schoolmaster, and twenty-eight poor brethren and sisters, or a greater number, not to exceed forty, if the revenues should admit of it. The schoolmaster, who is likewise chaplain, is allowed by the statutes 20l. per annum; the warden 11l.; and the other members 5l. each. The nomination of the brethren and sisters was vested by the the founder in his successors in the see of Canterbury, whom he appointed also to be visitors. Whenever that see shall happen to be vacant, the rector of Lambeth, and the vicar of Croydon, are to fill up the places. The persons to be admitted, must be sixty years of age at least; inhabitants of Croydon and Lambeth are to be preferred. Among the crimes to be punished with expulsion, are "obstinate heresye, for"cerye, any kind of charmmynge, or witchcrafte." In the treasury of the hospital, are the letters patent for building the hospital, embellished with a drawing of Queen Elizabeth, on vellum; and the archbishop's deed of foundation, with a drawing of himself highly finished. These drawings are engraved for the History of Croydon, where copies of the instruments themselves, of the statutes of the hospital, and other papers relating thereto, are printed in the Appendix.
The building of the hospital cost the archbishop above 2700l. (fn. 107). The lands with which it was endowed, were of the annual value of 185l. 4s. The estates have been much improved, and the revenues of the hospital farther increased, by various benefactions, to the amount of about 40l. per annum.
The chapel, which was dedicated to the Holy Trinity on the
10th of July 1599 (fn. 108), (by the bishops of London and Chichester,)
is small, but sufficiently commodious. At the west end, is a portrait
of the founder, painted on board, with the following inscription:
"Feci quod potui; potui quod, Christe dedisti:
Improba fac melius, si potes, invidia.
"Has triadi sanctæ primi qui struxerat ædes,
Illius en veram Præsulis effigiem."
In the chapel, there is a portrait also of a lady with a ruff, dated 1616, ætat. 38, probably one of the archbishop's daughters.
In the hall, is a copy of The Dance of Death, with coloured drawings, much damaged. There are also three antique wooden goblets; one of them, which holds about three pints, is inscribed with the following legend: "What, sirrah! holde thy pease; thirste satisfied, cease."
Adjoining the hospital, are the school, and the master's house.
William Crowe, who was appointed schoolmaster here in 1668, published a catalogue of the English writers on the Old and New Testament, which has been frequently printed (fn. 109).
Oldham the poet.
Oldham the poet was for three years an usher under John Shepherd, who was appointed schoolmaster in 1675. Here he wrote his satires upon the Jesuits, and here he was honoured with a visit from the Earls of Rochester and Dorset, Sir Charles Sedley, and other persons of distinction, who had seen some of his works in MS. and wished for a personal acquaintance with him. By a very natural mistake, they were introduced to Shepherd the master, who would willingly have taken the honour of the visit to himself, but was soon convinced, to his mortification, that he had neither wit nor learning enough to make a party in such company (fn. 110).
Henry Mills, who was appointed schoolmaster in 1711, distinguished himself as an opponent to bishop Hoadley, in the most personal and illiberal part of the celebrated Bangorian controversy (fn. 111). The pamphlet which he published on the subject, related to the bishop's receiving into his family as tutor to his children, one Francis de la Pillioniere, a converted Jesuit, who had been usher under him at Croydon. Mills published also "an Essay on Generosity;" a panegyric on public charities.
The present chaplain and schoolmaster is the Rev. James Hodgson, who was appointed in 1783.
There is also an alms-house at Croydon, called the Little Almshouse, where the parish poor are usually placed, towards the rebuilding of which Arnold Goldwell gave 40l. and to which benefactions have been left to the amount of 8l. per annum; 50l. was given by archbishop Grindall. In the years 1775 and 1776, some new buildings, for the reception of twelve poor inhabitants, were added to these alms-houses, with a sum of money given by the late Earl of Bristol, and a voluntary subscription of the principal inhabitants.
Archbishop Laud gave 10l. 10s. per annum, to apprentice poor boys.
Archbishop Tenison gave a school-house, and two farms, the revenues of which amount to 53l. per annum, for educating ten boys, and ten girls.
Mr. Henry Smith left certain lands and houses to this parish, which produce 108l. per annum. Other benefactions have been given by divers persons, amounting in the whole to about 36l. per annum.
In the town of Croydon are meeting-houses for the Quakers and Anabaptists, and one for the Presbyterians, which has been for some years unfrequented.