The Environs of London: Volume 1, County of Surrey. Originally published by T Cadell and W Davies, London, 1792.
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KINGSTON UPON THAMES.
This place is so called to distinguish it from Kingston in Yorkshire, and other parishes of the same name. Its etymology is too well known to need much comment. Lambarde says, that it has a claim to the title of regia villa, (i. e. the royal or king's town,) "bothe for that it had been some house for the princes, and "also bycause dyvers kinges had been anoynted theare (fn. 1)." Some writers (fn. 2) assert, that its ancient name was Moreford.
The parish is of large extent, and is bounded by Petersham, Richmond, Putney, Mortlake, Wimbledon, Merton, Malden, Chesington, and Long Ditton. The soil is various, consisting of clay, sand, and gravel, but no chalk; the land is for the most part arable. The parish, exclusive of Ham and Hook, which are rated separately, is assessed the sum of 1449l. 13s. 8d. to the land-tax, which in the year 1791, was at the rate of 2s. 7d. in the pound.
This town sent members to parliament in the fourth, fifth, and sixth years of Edw. II. and the forty-seventh of Edw. III. It ceased to be a borough, in consequence of a petition from the corporation (recorded in the town-clerk's office); the prayer of which was, that they might be relieved from the burden of sending members to parliament (fn. 3).
The town enjoys many valuable privileges and immunities, by royal charter (fn. 4). King John granted the men of Kingston, the manor of the town in fee-farm, paying to the crown the annual rent of 50l (fn. 5). He likewise granted them an exemption from the sheriffs or bailiffs jurisdiction. This charter was confirmed by Henry III., who granted them a return of writs; power to choose a coroner; an annual fair for eight days, to begin on the morrow of All Souls; and many valuable privileges; particularly, that the freemen and their heirs should be a mercatorial gild; that their goods and persons should not be molested, and they should not be obliged to plead out of the town. I find no charters of Edward I. or Edward II.; the latter indeed, upon being furnished with four armed men by the town of Kingston, pledged himself by a covenant, that it should not be construed into a precedent to their disadvantage (fn. 6). Edward III. confirmed the charter of king Henry. Richard II. gave them a shop and eight acres of land, towards paying their fee-farm-rent (fn. 7); and confirmed the charters of his predecessors. Henry IV. and Henry V. did the same; the latter remitted a considerable part of the fee-farm rent. Henry VI. confirmed their privileges, and granted that the freemen should be clerks of the market. Edward IV. gave them a charter of incorporation, by the name of the bailiffs and freemen of Kingston; and confirmed the right of holding a weekly court on Saturdays, which their ancestors had exercised. Henry VII., Henry VIII., and Edward VI. confirmed all the former charters. Queen Mary granted them a fair on St. Mary Magdalen's, and the ensuing day; and a fish wear, in consideration of the charges they had been at in repairing the bridge. Queen Elizabeth, after confirming all the charters of her predecessors, granted the freemen an exemption from paying toll, and being summoned on juries. She also founded a grammar school, as will be mentioned hereafter. James I. granted a weekly market upon Saturdays, with a toll; and empowered the bailiffs and corporation to make bye-laws, and to keep a common gaol. Charles I. granted them a jurisdiction of actions and pleas, within the town and liberty of Kingston, and the hundreds of Elmbridge, Cropthorn, and Effingham; empowered them to hold a court of record and a session, and to erect a prison within the liberties. He granted also, that no market should be held within seven miles of the town (fn. 8), and in consideration of their resigning their right of holding a court leet, and view of franck-pledge within the hamlets of Richmond, Kew, Petersham, and Ham; he granted a leet in the rest of the hundred, and a return of writs in the hundreds of Cropthorn and Effingham. Charles II. granted them a weekly market on Wednesdays. James II. gave them a new charter of incorporation, by the name of the mayor, aldermen, and burgesses of Kingston; with power to hold a court of record, and a court leet. They acted under this charter during his reign only, having ever since been guided by their ancient charters, which were confirmed by Charles II. The corporation consists of about fifty members. The present high steward is the Right Honourable Lord Onslow; the bailiffs, Mr. Joseph Bradshaw and Mr. Richard Westrop; the recorder, Thomas Evance, Esquire; and the town-clerk, Mr. Charles Jemmett.
The market at this place is held on Saturdays only; that on Wednesdays, which was procured at a considerable expence (fn. 9), has declined. There are three annual fairs which are held on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in Whitsun-week; the second, third, and fourth of August; and the thirteenth of November.
That this town was a celebrated place in the early periods of our history, is evident from the record (fn. 10) of a council held there in the year 838, at which Egbert, the first king of all England, his son Athelwolf, and all the bishops and nobles of the land, were present. Ceolnothus, archbishop of Canterbury, presided. This record, in which the town is called "Kyningestun, famosa illa locus," destroys the supposition that it did not receive that appellation till the reign of king Athelstan; and proves, that it was a royal residence, or at least a royal demesne, as early as the union of the Saxon heptarchy.
Kingston was made choice of as the place of their coronation, by some of the succeeding monarchs. "The tounisch men," says Leland, "have certen knowledge of a few kinges crounid there afore "the conqueste (fn. 11)." The following list of them is given on the authority of our ancient historians:—Edward the elder, crowned A. D. 900 (fn. 12); his son Athelstan, in the year 925 (fn. 13); Edmund, in 940 (fn. 14); Eldred or Edred, (who is said to have assumed the title of King of Great Britain,) in 946 (fn. 15); Edwy, or Edwin, in 955 (fn. 16); Edward the Martyr, in 975 (fn. 17); and Ethelred, in 978 (fn. 18); Edgar who succeeded to the throne in 959, is said to have been crowned either at Kingston or at Bath (fn. 19). Edward the elder, Edmund and Edgar, are not mentioned by Aubrey, amongst the figures of the Saxon kings, which formerly existed in St. Mary's chapel. In the inscriptions over these figures, some of the kings were said to have been crowned in the market place, and others in the chapel; but I find no mention of the particular spot in any of the old chronicles above quoted.
In the year 1264, Henry III. then at war with his barons, marched out of London, and took the castle of Kenington, or Kingston, belonging to Gilbert Clare earl of Gloucester (fn. 20); the castle was probably then demolished; its memory, except in this record, is not preserved even by tradition.
In the year 1472, the Bastard Falconbridge, with an army of 17,000 men, went to Kingston in pursuit of Edw. IV., but finding the bridge there broken down, he retired with his army into St. George's Fields (fn. 21).
Catherine of Arragon, on her journey to England, lodged at Kingston the night before she arrived at Kennington palace (fn. 22).
Sir Thomas Wyat, well known for his unsuccessful rebellion against Queen Mary, after the death of Lady Jane Gray, having in vain attempted a passage over London-bridge, came to Kingston, where he found the wooden bridge broken down by order of the council, and the opposite bank of the river defended by 200 men, who upon sight of two pieces of ordnance planted against them, quitted their station, and gave Sir Thomas Wyat and his men an opportunity of repairing the bridge in such a manner with planks and ladders, that his whole army passed safely over (fn. 23). I imagine that it was in consequence of the damage done to the bridge at this time, that the wear was granted to the town by Queen Mary.
Kingston became once more a celebrated place, during the civil wars of the last century. The first armed force we hear of, was said to have been here assembled. It was reported to the House of Commons, in the month of January 1642, that Col. Lunsford was at Kingston upon Thames, where the magazine of that part of the country lay, with a troop of 400 or 500 horse (fn. 24). In consequence of this intelligence, Col. Lunsford was proclaimed a traitor, as having levied war against the parliament, and was apprehended. A reward was offered likewise for apprehending Lord Digby, under a pretence that he had joined Col. Lunsford's party at Kingston; but Lord Clarendon observes, that it was well known that Lord Digby had left the kingdom before the proclamation was issued (fn. 25). After all, such are the contradictory accounts of party historians (fn. 26), that it is difficult to determine whether there was any army or not; and if there was, whether Lord Digby joined them, or came to Kingston accidentally with only his usual retinue.
During the turbulent scenes which ensued, the men of Kingston appear to have shown due gratitude to their royal master, from whom they had experienced such great favours. Their town, however, was frequently visited by the armies of both the contending parties. In the month of October 1642, the Earl of Essex was at Kingston, with an army of 3000 men (fn. 27). "In the beginning of November, Sir "Richard Onslow, one of the knights of the shire, went with the trained bands of Southwark to defend that town; but the inhabitants thereof showing themselves extremely malignant against them, would afford them no entertainment, calling them round-heads, and wished rather that the cavaliers would come among them, whereupon they left them to their malignant humours (fn. 28)."
A few days after, twenty troops of horse were sent to Kingston to secure it till the Earl of Warwick should come with the rest of the army (fn. 29).
On the 13th of November, the day of the battle of Brentford, the king marched with his army to Kingston, where he was received with great joy; he staid there till the 18th (fn. 30).
It appears by the following extracts from the parish register, and from the chamberlains' accounts, that both the king's troops, and those of the parliament, were frequently quartered at Kingston; and that his majesty was often there in person:
"1648. To the ringers at several passages of the King through the town, 2s. (fn. 31)"
On the 10th of August 1647, Fairfax removed his head-quarters from Croydon to Kingston, where he held a council of war the next day, at which it was resolved, "that all protections of exemption "from quartering should be withdrawn, and that all should bear their squares in quartering; but that they should not be obliged to entertain private soldiers, but might provide them quarters elsewhere (fn. 32)." On the 27th of the same month, the general with his troops removed to Putney (fn. 33).
A grand rendezvous of the army was held upon Ham Common, on the 18th of November following (fn. 34).
The last struggle in behalf of the royal cause, was made at Kingston. The Earl of Holland, who had been of all parties, at a time when the king's affairs were in the most desperate situation, and himself a prisoner in the Isle of Wight,formed an ill-concerted plan for rescuing him, and persuaded the Duke of Buckingham, and his brother Lord Francis Villiers, to join him in the attempt. They assembled at Kingston, with a body of about 600 horse (fn. 35); their avowed object being to release the king, and bring him to parliament; to settle peace in the kingdom, and to preserve the laws. A declaration to this effect was sent to the citizens of London, who were invited to join them (fn. 36). The parliament immediately sent some troops of horse from Windsor, under the command of Col. Pritty, who found the royalists but ill-prepared for defence (fn. 37). A skirmish took place near Surbiton Common, in which the Earl of Holland and his party were soon defeated. The Earl himself fled to Harrow, but was soon afterwards taken prisoner. The Duke of Buckingham escaped; but his brother, the beautiful Lord Francis Villiers, was slain in the skirmish. He behaved with signal courage, and after his horse had been killed under him, stood with his back against a tree, desending himself against several assailants, till at length he sunk under his wounds (fn. 38). The next day, the lords who had heard the report of the skirmish, and that Lord Francis Villiers was dangerously wounded, made an order, that chirurgeons might be permitted to go to Kingston, and take care of him, if he were yet alive; but as one of the journalists of that time observes,"it was too late, for he was dead, and stripped, and good "pillage found in his pocket (fn. 39)." His body was conveyed to Yorkhouse, in the Strand, by water, and was buried in Henry VII.'s chapel in Westminster Abbey. The following inscription was put upon his coffin (fn. 40):
"Depositum illustrissimi Domini, Francisci Villiers, ingentis speciei juvenis, silii posthumi Georgii Ducis Buckinghamii; qui, vicesimo ætatis anno, pro Rege Carolo, et patriâ fortiter pugnando novem honestis vulneribus acceptis obiit 7° die Julii, Anno Domini 1648."
The initials of his name were inscribed on the tree under which he was slain, and remained till it was cut down, as Aubrey says (fn. 41), in the year 1680. Some elegies were written upon his death, which are extant.
"1650. Paid for taking down the king's arms in the Hall, 1s. 1d. (fn. 42)
1651. Paid for blotting out the king's arms in the church, 7s. (fn. 43)"
Leland, describing this place, says, "The olde monuments of the "toune of Kingeston, be founde yn the declyving doune from Come Parke towarde the Galoys; and there yn ploughyng and diggid, have very often beene founde fundation of waulles of houses, and diverse coynes of brasse, sylver, and gold, with Romaine inscriptions, and painted yerthen pottes; and yn one yn the Cardinal Wolsey's tyme was found much Romayne mony of sylver and plates of sylver to coyne and masses to bete into plates to coyne, and chaynes of sylver. And yn the old tyme the commune saying ys that the bridge where the commun passage was over the Tamise was lower on the ryver then it is now. And when men "began the new town in the Saxons tymes they toke from the very "clive of Comeparke side to build on the Tamise side; and sette a new bridge hard by the same. In the new towne by the Tamise "side there is a house yet caulled the Bishop's Haulle. But now it is turnid into a commun dwelling house of a tounisch man. It was sumtyme the bishop of Winchester's house, and as far as I can conject sum bishop wery of it did neglect this house and becam to build at Assher nere the Tamise side 2 or 3 miles above Kingeston (fn. 44)." This house has been long since pulled down; the site of it is still called Bishop's Hall. As the bishops of Winchester, before Waynfleet's time, held frequent ordinations in the parish church at Kingston (fn. 45), it is not improbable that they might have a temporary residence here, to which they could resort upon such occasions instead of an inn.
Some of the mantled carving of that age remains in the wainscot, ornamented with the arms of the town (Az. 3 salmons Argent), and a device of the letter K, and a ton. The South end of the Hall appears to have been rebuilt in the reign of James I. most probably about the year 1618, when the painted glass was put up in the windows (fn. 46). In the Hall is a portrait of Queen Anne, whose statue also is fixed on the outside, with an inscription under it, and the date of 1706. The South windows are ornamented with painted glass, consisting chiefly of coats of arms. In one of these windows are the arms of James I. surrounded with small shields, containing the armorial ensigns of "the Romans, the Heathen and "Christian Britons, the Kentish Saxons, the Heathen and Christian "West-Saxons, the East-Saxons, the Latin-Saxon Monarchs, the Norman Kings, the Andegavian Kings, the Kings of France, the "Kings of Scotland, the South-Saxons, the East-Angles, the Mercian Kings, the Kings of Northumberland, the Danish Kings, the Cornish Kings, the early Kings of Wales, the latter Kings of Wales, the Welsh Princes, and the Kings of Ireland." In the same window are the arms and quarterings of Charles Howard Earl of Nottingham, who was high steward of the town; and two other coats (fn. 47).
Adjoining the Hall is a room where the corporation hold their courts of assembly. In the windows are some coats of arms on painted glass (fn. 48). Over it is a small room, in which the records of the town are carefully preserved. Here are deposited the churchwardens' accounts of as early a date as the reign of Henry VII. and the chamberlains' books, which commence in that of Edward VI. To the members of the corporation I am much indebted for the readiness with which they permitted me to inspect these books, which have furnished much curious and interesting matter. Such extracts as are not made use of elsewhere, are here subjoined, and arranged under different heads.
|"30 Hen. 8. Recd. for setting of the torches gyven at the Quynes (fn. 49) buriall from Hampton courte by water||0||0||4|
|"1553. Recd. of the Spanyards (fn. 50) for the hire of the town-hall||0||10||10|
|"1555. Recd. of the Spanyards for the counte hall||0||27||2|
|"1570. Paid to the ryngers at the command of the master baylifs when word was brought that the Earl of Northumberland was taken (fn. 51)||0||0||20|
|"1571. Paid to the ringers at the Queen's going to Horsle||0||0||12|
|"—— when her bott came by||0||0||6|
|"1581. when the Queens Matie came from Hampton courte to course||0||0||8|
|"1585. —— for ringing when the traitors were taken (fn. 52)||0||0||9|
|"1588 —— when Don Pedro (fn. 53) came thro the town||0||2||6|
|"1592. —— when her Majesty was abroad in the wycke||0||0||8|
|"1594. For 5 torches when the Queen came thro the town||0||5||0|
|"To the footmen and coachmen when the Queen came thro the town||0||18||9|
|"1597. To the ringers when the Queen dined in the town||0||5||0|
|"1599. Paid by Mr. Bayliff Yates towards the Queen's officers' fees||6||10||0|
|"1600. Paid to ringers when the Queen was at the lodge||0||5||0|
|"1601. To Thomas Hawarde for to pay for the Queen's gloves||0||40||0|
|—— To Mr. Cockes for the gift to the Queen||4||6||0|
|"—— Paid unto the Queen's officers their ordinarie fees at the time of her Majesties coming through the town in her state,|
|"—— The serjeants at armes for their fees||0||20||0|
|"—— Unto the trumpeters||0||20||0|
|"—— Yeomen ushers||0||6||8|
|"—— Gentlemen ushers|
|"—— The porters||0||10||0|
|"—— Yeomen of the botels||0||6||8|
|"Sum 4l. 10s.|
|"1603. To a trumpeter for founding a proclamation||0||5||0|
|"—— For setting up a booth in the town and for mustering before the coronation||0||2||6|
|"—— For a scarsse and for a box for the late Queen Elizabeth, returned againe to the seller||0||5||9|
|"1610. To the ringers for ringing on the day of the King's preservation from the Gowries conspiracy (fn. 54)||0||2||4|
|"1624. To the ringers for joy of the Prince's return out of Spayne||0||3||4|
|"1665. To the ringers when Prince Rupert lay in the town||0||6||0|
|"When the King came back from Portsmouth."||0||3||8|
The Kyngham appears to have been an annual game, or sport, conducted by the parish officers, who paid the expences attending it, and accounted for the receipts. The clear profits, 15 Hen. VIII. (the last time I find it mentioned), amounted to 9l. 10s. 6d. a very considerable sum. It seems to have been a distinct thing from the May-game, and to have been held later in the summer. Holinshed (fn. 55) says, that the young folks in country towns, in the reign of Edward II. used to choose a summer king and queen to dance about May-poles. The contributions to the celebration of the same game in the neighbouring parishes show, that the Kyngham was not confined to Kingston.
|"23 Hen. 7. To the menstorell upon May-day||0||0||4|
|"—— For paynting of the mores garments and for sarten gret leveres (fn. 56)||0||2||4|
|"23 Hen. 7. For paynting of a bannar for Robin hode||0||0||3|
|"—— For 2 M. & ½ pynnys||0||0||10|
|"—— For 4 plyts and ¼ of laun for the mores garments||0||2||11|
|"—— For orseden (fn. 57) for the same||0||0||10|
|"—— For a goun for the lady||0||0||8|
|"—— For bellys for the dawnfars||0||0||12|
|"24 Hen. 7. For little John's cote||0||8||0|
|"1 Hen. 8. For silver paper for the mores dawnsars||0||0||7|
|"—— For Kendall for Robyn hode's cote||0||1||3|
|"—— For 3 yerds of white for the frere's (fn. 58) cote||0||3||0|
|"—— For 4 yerds of kendall for mayde Marian's (fn. 59) huke (fn. 60)||0||3||4|
|"—— For saten of sypers for the same huke||0||0||6|
|"—— For 2 payre of glovys for Robyn hode and mayde Maryan||0||0||3|
|" 1 Hen. 8. For 6 brode arovys||0||0||6|
|"—— To mayde Marian for her labour for two years||0||2||0|
|—— "To Fygge the taborer||0||6||0|
|"—— Recd for Robyn hood's gaderyng 4 marks (fn. 61)|
|"5 Hen. 8. Recd for Robin hood's gaderyng at Croydon||0||9||4|
|"11 Hen. 8. Paid for three brode yerds of rosett for makyng the frer's cote||0||3||6|
|—— "Shoes for the mores daunsar's, the frere and mayde Maryan at 7d a peyre||0||5||4|
|"13 Hen. 8. Eight yerds of fustyan for the mores daunsar's coats||0||16||0|
|"A dosyn of gold skynnes for the morres (fn. 62)||0||0||10|
|"15 Hen. 8. Hire of hats for Robynhode||0||0||16|
|—— "Paid for the hat that was lost||0||0||10|
|"16 Hen. 8. Recd at the church-ale and Robynhode "all things deducted||3||10||6|
|"—— Paid for 6 yerds ¼ of satyn for Robyn hode's cotys||0||12||6|
|"—— For makyng the same||0||2||0|
|"—— "For 3 ells of locram (fn. 63)||0||1||6|
|"21 Hen. 8. For spunging and brushing Robynhode's cotys||0||0||2|
|"28 Hen. 8. Five hats and 4 porses for the daun-fars||0||0||4½|
|"—— 4 yerds of cloth for the fole's cote||0||2||0|
|"28 Hen. 8. 2 ells of worstede for maide Maryan's kyrtle||0||6||8|
|"—— For 6 payre of double follyd showne||0||4||6|
|"—— To the mynstrele||0||10||8|
|"—— To the fryer and the piper for to go to Croydon||0||0||8|
"29 Hen. 8. Mem. Lefte in the keping of the wardens nowe beinge a fryers cote of russet and a kyrtele of worstede weltyd with "red cloth, a mowren's (fn. 64) cote of buckram, and 4 morres daunfars cotes of whitte fuftian spangelyd and two gryne saten cotes and a dysardd's (fn. 65) cote of cotton and 6 payre of garters with bells."
After this period, I find no entries relating to the above game. It was so much in fashion in the reign of Henry VIII. that the king and his nobles would sometimes appear in disguise as Robinhood and his men, "dressed in Kendal with hoods and hosen (fn. 66)."
|"21 Hen. 7. Mem. That we Adam Backhous and Harry Nycol, amountyd of a play||4||0||0|
|"27 Hen. 7. Paid for packthred on Corpus Christi day (fn. 67)||0||0||1|
|"1 Hen. 8. Recd for the gaderyng at Hoc-tyde||0||14||0|
|"2 Hen. 8. Paid for mete and drink at Hoc-tyde||0||0||12|
|The last time that the celebration of Hock-tyde appears, is in 1578.|
|"Recd of the women upon Hoc-Monday (fn. 68)||0||5||2|
|"5 Hen. 8. For thred for the resurrection||0||0||1|
|"—— For 3 yerds of dornek (fn. 69) for a pleyers cote and the makynge||0||0||15|
|"12 Hen. 8. Paid for a skin of parchment and gunpowder, for the play on Ester-day||0||0||8|
|"—— For brede and ale for them that made the stage and other things belonging to the play||0||1||2|
|"17 Hen. 8. Recd at the church ale||7||15||0|
|"1565. —— Recd of the players of the stage at Easter||1||2||1½|
|"20 Hen. 7. John Rosyer owyth for the wast of six torches at the bereying and the monyth's mynd of his fyrst wyss||0||7||0|
|"Item. That the sayd John Rosyer owith for the wast of four torches at the bereying, and for the monyth's day of Agnes his last wyss||0||3||4|
|"Mem. That Elizabeth Jackson owyth onto the church for hyr bereying afore seynt Barbara||0||6||8|
|"23 Hen. 7. Imprimis, at Ester for any howseholder kepying a brode gate, shall pay to the paroche prests wages 3d. Item, To the paschall ½. To St. Swithin½|
|"Also any howse-holder kepyng one tenement shall pay to the paroche prests wages 2d Item, To the paschall ½. And to St. Swithin ½|
|"Also if he have a wyff and kepe a chamber the same duties: also any journeyman takying wayges shall pay to the paschall ½|
|Mem. That the churchwardens must pay to the vicar at Ester for the paroche prest wayges||0||53||4|
|24 Hen. 7. Paid to maister doctor for the wax of the paschall||0||3||4½|
|1 Hen. 8. For ale upon Palme-Sonday on syngyng of the passion||0||0||1|
|"—— To the scribe for the Peter pence||0||19||6|
|"—— To the bedeman for a whole year||0||3||4|
|"—— Recd of the Abbot of Hyde in reward for the best cope at Eshyre||0||0||12|
|17 Hen. 8. To the peynter for peyntyng of our Lady||0||0||12|
|21 Hen. 8. For brede and ale for the watchers of the sepulture||0||0||4|
|"—— For a purse to bear the sacrament in||0||0||8|
|"—— For two holy water sticks||0||0||2|
|"—— Recd for hire of the best altar cloth||0||2||4|
|"—— For a lantorn to go with the sacrament|
|"28 Hen. 8. To Palmer for iron-work to set up Mary and John||0||0||22|
|"29 Hen. 8. For payntyng the base of our Lady in the rode lofte||0||0||12|
|"30 Hen. 8. For a holy brede baskett||0||0||3|
|"—— For a chrismatory of pewter (fn. 70)||0||0||6|
|"1561. Paid Fawcon for a year's whipping of the dogges out of the church||0||0||8|
|"1625. Recd for idle persons being absent from the church on Sabbath-days||0||3||10|
|"1651. For ringing the curfew bell for one year||1||10||0|
|"1561. For a letter that my Lord of Winchester did write to the Keeper of the Great Seal||0||1||0|
|"1572. The making of the cucking stool (fn. 71)||0||8||0|
|"—— Iron work for the same||0||3||0|
|"—— Timber for the same||0||7||6|
|"—— 3 brasses for the same and 3 wheels||0||4||10|
|"1574. To W. Langlye for carying and recarying the hangyng to Hampton Courte that was used at the Syes||0||2||6|
|"1574. Paid Mr. Nower for his row-barge to carry Mr. Recorder up and down||0||12||0|
|"1576. To Mr. Wever for discharging the town of eating of flesh||0||2||0|
|"1594. Delivered to Th. Howard to give to the players by Mr. Bailiff's commandment||0||10||0|
|"1597. For bringing the town pot from Mr. Evelyn's and scouring the same||0||0||6|
|"1598. To them that wore the town armour two days at 8 d. a daye (fn. 72)||0||7||0|
|"—— To the soldiers towards their wages more than we gathered||0||0||20|
|"1601. To Henge's man for bringing a letter that the armour should not go to Ryegate||0||2||6|
|"1603. To James Allison and four other for carrying the armour at the coronation||0||13||4|
|"—— For armour||4||0||0|
|"1609. For a coat for the whipper and making||0||3||0|
|"1621. Paid by Mr. Bailiff to a company of players because they should not play in the town hall||0||10||0|
|"1623. To the Prince's players by Mr. Bailiff's appointment||0||10||0|
|"1625. To the King's players because they should not play in the town hall nor in the towne for the space of five yeares||0||10||0|
|"1626. To the King's players to forbeare to play in the towne||0||10||0|
|"1634. A vizard and cap for the whipper||0||0||18|
|"1670. Old Chitty the whipper, a quarter's wages||0||3||4|
The manor of Kingston was a royal demesne, both in the reign of the Confessor and William the Conqueror. It was of very large extent, and was valued, at both periods, at 30l. per annum. King John granted it to the freemen of Kingston, in consideration of their paying an annual rent of 50l. to the crown (fn. 73). Richard II. gave them lands towards paying this rent; Henry V. lowered it to 26l. per annum; and queen Mary remitted a farther sum (fn. 74). The manor still belongs to the corporation; the bayliffs, who hold a court baron and court leet, being considered as the lords. The feefarm rent is now about 8l. per annum.
It appears that there were two manors in Combe at the time of the Conqueror's Survey, one of which had been the property of Cole or Cola, and was then held of the King by Ansgot, his interpreter; the other had been held of the Confessor by Alured, who, as the record expresses it, was at liberty to go where he would. In the Conqueror's reign, a woman, whose name is not mentioned, threw herself under the Queen's protection, and surrendered to her the manor of Combe, which she granted to Humphrey the chamberlain. This manor is said, in the Survey, to have been valued, at different periods, at 4l., at 20 s., 5l. The other was valued at 60 s.
Divers conjectures have been formed about a passage in the record of Doomsday, relating to the manor of Kingston; which states, that Humphrey, the chamberlain, had one of the villains belonging to that manor in his custody, "causâ coadunandi lanam reginæ;" and that he paid 20s. for his relief when his father died. Salmon says, that the word coadunare signifies "to weave;" and he supposes that this man carried on a woollen manufacture, by which he was enabled to pay a relief of 20s. on his father's death. A MS. in the Harleian collection (fn. 75) explains this matter very fully:—We are there informed, that Ralph Postel held one hide of land in Combe, by serjeantry, viz. by the service of collecting (colligendi) the Queen's wool; and that the said hide was given to his ancestors, with this service annexed, by Henry I. In a subsequent record it is said, that Ralph Postel's land, which was worth 20s. per annum, was escheated to the crown; and that it had been held by the service of collecting the Queen's wool, and that if he did not collect it, he was to forfeit 20s. to the crown. By the same MS. it appears, that the above serjeantry was afterwards granted to Peter Rabwin.
Robert Belet, in the reign of Richard I. paid 80l. to be restored to the manor of Combe, which was his inheritance (fn. 76). In the reign of King John, the greater part of the Combe estate appears to have belonged to William de Watteville (fn. 77). Hugh de Combes had half a knight's see there (fn. 78). In the succeeding reign, Maurice de Credon, styling himself a Knight of Anjou, granted his hereditary right in the lordship of Combe, to Sir Robert Burnell and his heirs (fn. 79). Richard Lowayte appears to have been in possession of it in the reign of Edward II. (fn. 80) It afterwards belonged to William Neville, from whom it derived the appellation of Combe Neville; which it still retains. After his death, his property being divided between three daughters, Combe fell to the share of Nichola, who married John Hadresham (fn. 81). William Hadresham died seised of it, 36 Edward III. (fn. 82) It was then held of the manor of Shene, by an annual rent of 20 s. In the reign of Henry VI. a licence was obtained by William Cheyney, John Gaynesford, and others, to give the manor of Combe, which had been John Hadresham's, to Merton Abbey (fn. 83). After the suppression of monasteries, it was annexed to the honour of Hampton Court, and was granted by Edward VI. to the Duke of Somerset (fn. 84). It reverted to the crown after the Duke's attainder, and was granted by Queen Elizabeth, first to Sir William Cecil (fn. 85), and afterwards, by Lord Burleigh's petition, as it is expressed, to Sir Thomas Vincent (fn. 86), who is said to have built the old manor-house, which was pulled down about forty years ago. In 1602, I find that he was honoured with a visit from Queen Elizabeth (fn. 87). This manor came into the hands of the crown again soon afterwards, and was granted by James I. to Sir William Cockayne (fn. 88). It afterwards belonged to Sir Daniel Harvey, and, in Aubrey's time, was held by his heirs (fn. 89). It is now the property of the right honourable George John Earl Spencer.
The manor of Ham is not mentioned in the Conqueror's Survey. King Athelstan granted lands there to his minister Wulfgar (fn. 90). Henry II. made a grant of the manor, which reverted to the crown in the reign of King John, who granted it to Roger de Moubray (fn. 91). It escheated to the crown, and was given to Godfrey de Lucy, Bishop of Winchester; it was then valued at 6l. per annum (fn. 92). Isabella de Croun had a charter of free warren there, in the reign of Henry III. (fn. 93) Maurice de Credon, knight of Anjou, granted the manor to Sir Robert Burnell and his heirs (fn. 94). Philip, nephew of Robert Burnell, Bishop of Bath and Wells, had livery thereof, 21 Edward I. (fn. 95). After this period there is a deficiency of records that can be appropriated to this manor. It had been held by the crown a considerable time, when it was leased by James I. to George Cole, Esq. of Petersham (fn. 96); a reversionary lease was granted to William Murray, Esq. groom of the bedchamber, afterwards Earl of Dysart. At the time of the survey taken by order of the parliament in 1650, the right of these leases was vested in Sir Lionel Tollemache, Knt. who married Catherine, one of the daughters and coheirs of the above William Murray (fn. 97). Charles II. in the year 1672, granted it in fee to the Duke and Duchess of Lauderdale, and to her heirs by her first husband. It has continued in the family ever since, and is now the property of the right honourable Lionel Earl of Dysart. At the time of the survey above mentioned, the manor was valued at 8l. per annum.
The manor-house at Ham, which is situated near the Thames, was built in the year 1610, and was intended, as it is said, for the residence of Henry Prince of Wales. It underwent considerable alterations in the reign of Charles II. when it was completely furnished by the Duke and Duchess of Lauderdale, and it now remains a very curious specimen of a mansion of that age. The cielings are painted by Verrio, and the rooms are ornamented with that massy magnificence of decoration then in fashion. The furniture is very rich; even the bellows and brushes, in some of the apartments, are of solid silver, or of silver fillagree. In the centre of the house is a large hall, surrounded with an open gallery. The balustrades of the grand staircase, which is remarkably spacious and substantial, are of walnut-tree, and ornamented with military trophies. In the North drawing room is a very large and beautiful cabinet of ivory, lined with cedar. On the West side of the house is a gallery ninety-two feet in length, hung with portraits. In the closet adjoining the bedchamber, which was the Duchess of Lauderdale's, still remains the great chair in which she used to sit and read; it has a small desk fixed to it, and her cane hangs by the side. The furniture of the whole room is such, that one might almost fancy her Grace to be still an inhabitant of the house.
Ham-house contains some very sine pictures by the old masters, amongst which the works of Vanderveldt and Woovermans are most conspicuous. There are also many very good portraits; the following are principally to be noticed: the Duke of Lauderdale and the Earl of Hamilton in one piece, by Cornelius Jansen; the Duke and Duchess, by Sir Peter Lely; the Duke in his garter robes, by the same artist; Charles II. who used to visit this place, and sat for his picture for the Duke of Lauderdale; Sir John Maitland, Chancellor of Scotland; Sir Henry Vane; William Murray the first Earl of Dyfart; Catherine his wife, a beautiful picture, in watercolours, by Hoskins; Sir Lionel Tollemache, first husband to the Duchess of Lauderdale; General Tollemache, who was killed at Brest; the Earl of Lauderdale; James Stuort Duke of Richmond, a very fine picture, by Vandyke; and the late Countess of Dysart, by Sir Joshua Reynolds. Many others might be mentioned, which, as well as the above, are well deserving of a more particular description, did the limits of this work allow it.
Ham-house was the birth-place of that great statesman and general John Duke of Argyle, who was grandson to the Duchess of Lauderdale. His brother Archibald, who succeeded him in that title, and was Lord Keeper of Scotland, was likewise born here.
James II. was ordered to retire to this house, on the arrival of the Prince of Orange in London (fn. 98). But thinking himself unsafe so near the metropolis of the kingdom he had abdicated, he fled precipitately to France.
Within this precinct is the manor of Berwell or Barwell-court, which belonged to the prior and convent of Merton, who had a charter of free warren there, in the reign of Henry III. (fn. 99) In Cardinal Beaufort's time it was valued at 8s. (fn. 100) After the dissolution of monasteries this manor was kept for some time in the hands of the crown. Queen Elizabeth gave it to Thomas Vincent, Esq. in exchange for lands in Northamptonshire (fn. 101). In 1595, he alienated it to Edward Carlton, Esq. from whom it descended to his cousin Dudley Viscount Dorchester, the celebrated statesman, and to his Lordship's nephew, Sir Dudley Carlton, Bart. who, in 1636, obtained from the corporation of Kingston a right of pasture for himself, and the tenants of this estate, on the commons of Surbiton and Claygate, belonging to that town. Sir Dudley was in possession of this manor at the time of the civil wars; soon afterwards it appears to have been the property of James Davidson, Esq. who, in 1695, devised it to his son-in-law, — Edes, Esq. The latter alienated it in 1698 to William Lethieullier, from whom it descended to William Tash, Esq. who married his daughter. In 1771, it was purchased by William Terry, who sold it again in 1774 to Joseph Sales, Esq. It was alienated by him, in 1788, to John Richardson, Esq. and by the latter, in the ensuing year, to Marcus Dixon, Esq. the present proprietor.
The manor of Canonbury, or Canbury, belonged to Merton Abbey (fn. 102). The possessions of that monastery in Kingston and Hache, exclusive of Berwell, were valued, in Cardinal Beausort's time, at 52s. (fn. 103) It was in the hands of the crown during the reign of King James (fn. 104); in 1635 it became the property of William Murray, Esq. afterwards Earl of Dysart. In 1652 it appears to have belonged to Arabella Countess of Kent, and others. In 1664, it was the property of John Ramsey, Esq. who alienated it to Nicholas Hardinge, Esq. in 1671. It has continued in the Hardinge family ever since, being now the property of George Hardinge, Esq. M. P. This manor includes part of the town of Kingston.
There is a single record of a manor, called Harlington, in the parish of Kingston upon Thames, of which George Cole, Esq. of Petersham, died seised, in the year 1624 (fn. 105). It was held of the king, in capite, by the fortieth part of a knight's fee. Harlington being inclosed in the New Park, soon after the date of this record, the manor, most probably, came to the crown, and merged in that of Richmond. The proof of such a place having existed, had considerable weight in determining the right of a public foot-path through the park.
Norbiton is enumerated amongst the lordships granted by Maurice de Credon to Sir Robert Burnell as abovementioned (fn. 106). Norbiton-hall, in the reign of Edward VI. was the property of Richard Taverner, Esq. (fn. 107) a celebrated man, who being a zealous protestant, obtained a licence to preach in any place within the King's dominions, and actually did preach before the university of Oxford when he was high-sheriff for the county, with a sword by his side, and a gold chain about his neck (fn. 108). He retired to his feat at Norbiton, during the reign of Queen Mary, where he was suffered to remain unmolested (fn. 109). Norbiton-hall afterwards came into the possession of the Evelyns, and was described as a manor held of the bailiffs of Kingston (fn. 110). The Evelyns came from Harrow on the Hill, and settled in the parish of Kingston, in the reign of Henry VIII. Some visits of Queen Elizabeth to Mr. Evelyn are recorded in the churchwardens' accounts. The manor of Norbiton does not now exist. An ancient house there, lately the property of Sir John Phillips (fn. 111), now belongs to John Sherer, Esq. but the place at present called Norbiton-hall is a modern-built house, the property of Mr. William Farren of Covent-garden theatre.
The church (fn. 112) of Kingston, which is dedicated to All Saints, consists of a nave, two aisles, and three chancels.
On the south side stood the chapel of St. Mary, in which it is said, that some of the Saxon monarchs were crowned (fn. 113). There is an engraving of it by Vertue. It fell down in the year 1730, and the sexton, his daughter, and another person, were buried under the ruins (fn. 114). The daughter, Hester Hammerton, was dug out alive, and succeeded to her father's office. There is an engraving of her in mezzotinto, with a mattock across her shoulder, and her hand on a scull.
No part of the present structure appears to be older than the reign of Richard II.; the south chancel seems to be about that age (fn. 115); it is separated from the middle chancel by pointed Gothic arches, and light clustered columns. Both these chancels are surrounded by wooden stalls. In the parish accounts, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, mention is made of St. James's-chancel, St. Catherine'schancel, Trinity-chancel, and the High-chancel. The north, now called the Belfrey-chancel, is small; the windows are large, with flat arches, of the kind which came into use in the reign of Henry VII. In the south chancel is a piscina, with a rich Gothic canopy.
The nave is separated from the aisles by Gothic pointed arches, supported by low octangular columns. The aisles were rebuilt with brick, and the inside of the church completely repaired and new cieled in the year 1721. A portico, faced with stone, was added on the south side about thirty years ago.
The tower, which is square and low, is situated between the nave and the chancel. Stow, in his Annals, says, that the steeple of Kingston church in Surrey, was destroyed by lightning in the year 1445, on Candlemas-day. It underwent considerable repairs in the year 1505 (fn. 116); probably Robert Somersby the vicar, who died three years before, left a sum of money towards this work, as his name appears on the tower (fn. 117). Aubrey mentions a leaded steeple (fn. 118); this probably was taken down in the year 1708, when the upper part of the tower was rebuilt with brick, as appears from an inscription on the outside.
Near the communion table is a flat stone inlaid with brass plates,
representing a man and woman in dresses very nearly resembling
those of Nicholas and Isabella Carew at Beddington. Underneath
is the following inscription in the black letter:
"Roberti cista Skerni corpus tenet ista,
Marmorie petre, conjugis atque suæ,
Qui validus, sidus, disertus, lege peritus;
Nobilis, ingenuus, persidiam renuit:
Constans sermone, vitâ, sensu, ratione,
Communiter cuique justitiam voluit.
Regalis juris unicos promovit honores;
Fallere vel falli, res odiosa sibi.
Gaudeat in celis, qui vixit in orbe fidelis;
Nonas Aprilis pridie qui moritur,
Mille quadringentis D[omi]ni trigintaque septem
A[ni]mis ipsius Rex miserere Jesu."
Against the wall of the south chancel is the monument of Sir Anthony Benn, recorder of London, who had been recorder of this borough; he died in 1618. Near the same place is the monument of Col. Anthony Fane, who married his daughter. Anthony Fane was son of Francis Earl of Westmorland. He received a shot in his left cheek, at the siege of Farnham, of which wound he died, Dec. 9, 1642, at his house at Kingston. (fn. 121)
Below Col. Fane's monument is an ancient altar tomb, without any inscription or arms, under a Gothic canopy. On the same wall is the monument of Richard Lant, Esq. who died in 1682; and in the south-west corner, that of William Rimes, LL. D. who died in 1718. Elizabeth the wife of the latter, as it appears by the inscription, left a candlestick to the church, as a memorial of her earnest request, that her ashes should not be disturbed.
On the floor of this chancel are the tombs of John Milner, Esq. consul-general of Portugal, who died in 1712; Thomas Warren, son of Captain Thomas Warren, commander of the squadron which conveyed Sir William Norris, ambassador to the Great Mogul; he died in 1700; William Cleave, Esq. alderman of London, who founded the alms-houses, and died in 1667; and Captain Price of the Ceres East Indiaman, who died in 1789.
On the north wall of the Middle-chancel are the monuments of Capt. Francis Wilkinson, who died in 1681; (he beautified the whole body of the church at his own charge;) of Richard Clutton, Esq. of Cheshire, who died in 1635; and Mark Snelling, Esq. a great benefactor to the town, who died in 1633.
Over the communion table, is the monument of John Heuton, serjeant of the larder to Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, who died in 1584. Within the rails, are the tombs of Samuel Robinson, secretary to the company of merchant adventurers, who died in 1625; Mrs. Alice Bland, who died in 1774, aged 90; and Mrs. Green, wife of James Green, Esquire, of Canbury-house, who died in 1778.
On the floor of the Middle-chancel are the tombs of Mrs. Morton, widow of John Morton, Esq. of East Ware, in Kent; daughter of the celebrated Mrs. Honeywood, who lived to see so numerous a posterity, and mother of Sir Thomas, Sir Robert, and Sir Albert Morton, the latter of whom was principal secretary of state to Charles I. Mrs. Morton died in 1634; (the inscription is nearly obliterated;) Mrs. Anne Snelling, who died in 1725; and Robert Cooper, Esq. who died in 1760.
Dr. Bate was one of the earliest members of the Royal Society, and very eminent in his prosession (fn. 122). He was principal physician to Charles I. to Oliver Cromwell, his son Richard, and to Charles II.; having the art of ingratiating himself with all parties. Cromwell held him in high esteem, though he had written in defence of King Charles; and he sent for him into Scotland, when he lay ill there in 1651 (fn. 123). He is said to have recommended himself to the royal party after the restoration, by a report industriously spread, that he had given Cromwell a dose which hastened his death; but this story appears to be built on a slender foundation (fn. 124). Dr. Bate was an author; his principal work was an account of the commotions in England; a second part of which was published in 1661. In this he is said to have been assisted by Lord Chancellor Clarendon (fn. 125).
In the vicar's burial place, a small building adjoining the south chancel, are the tombs of Mr. Richard Mayo, who died in 1695; Thomas Willis, S. T. P. who died in 1692; and William Comer, M. A. who died in 1766. On the ground is a brass plate, in memory of the ten children of Edmund Staunton, vicar of Kingston in the last century.
In the north aisle of the church are the tombs of John Agar, Esq. commissioner of the navy, who died in 1697; of Thomas Agar, once mayor, and twelve times bailiff of the town, who died in 1703, at the age of ninety-four; Henry Jenkins, Esq. who died in 1760.
Near the north door of the church is a small brass plate fixed in the wall, to the memory of John Hertcombe, who died in 1488; and his wife Catherine, who died in 1477; over it, are their effigies in the same materials. He is represented as a merchant; her headdress somewhat resembles that of Margaret Gaynesford at Carshalton. Aubrey mentions a house in his time, called Hircombe's Place.
Over one of the arches in the nave, hangs the achievement of the unfortunate Captain Pierce, who was lost in the Halswell East Indiaman. He had a residence in this town, and his family have a vault in the church. His funeral sermon was preached here, but his body was never found.
Aubrey has preserved an inscription, which was formerly in the chancel, to the memory of William Becket, a vicar of Kingston, who was confessor of the household to King James and Charles I. and the epitaphs of the following persons, which were destroyed in the ruins of St. Mary's chapel: John Shawys, who died in 1654; Catherine Johnson; John Stint, Esq. who died in 1681; and his wife Elizabeth, who died in 1698; Charles Salter, who died in 1610; Francis Wrote, of Suffolk, who died in 1638; and Anne Hallet, who died in 1702.
In the church-yard are the tombs of William Cayoll, Esq. Captain in the Horse-guards, who died in 1742; Henry Pratt, Esq. who died in 1753; Philip Meadows, Esq. who died in 1781; Thomas Burston, Esq. who died in 1785; and Rebecca, wife of Joseph Bradney, Esq. of Ham, who died in 1790.
By a mandate of the bishop in the registry at Winchester, which forbids ballad-singing, the exhibiting of shows, and other profanations in the church-yard, on pain of excommunication, it seems probable, that the fairs had been held there. (fn. 126)
The church of Kingston is in the diocese of Winchester, and in the deanery of Ewell. Henry II. appropriated it with the chapels of Shene, (now Richmond,) Petersham, Moulsey, and Thames Ditton, annexed, to Merton Abbey (fn. 127). After the suppression of that monastery, the rectory appears to have been granted to Sir Nicholas Carew (fn. 128) and afterwards to have been in the possession of John White, Bishop of Winchester (fn. 129). It was leased by Queen Elizabeth, to Edward Lord Clinton (fn. 130). King James, in the eighth year of his reign, granted it to Francis Morris and John Philips (fn. 131), and afterwards to John Earl of Holderness, and his heirs. (fn. 132) After the Earl's death it escheated to the crown, and was granted to William Murray, Esq. (fn. 133) In 1658, it was presented at the inquisition held at Kingston, by commissioners appointed to inquire into the state of ecclesiastical benefices, that the rectory there belonged to Sir Lionel Tollemache, and that the great tithes were worth 500l. per annum (fn. 134). It afterwards came into the possession of the Hardinge family; the widow of the late Nicholas Hardinge, Esq. being the present proprietor. In Cardinal Beaufort's time, the rectory was valued at 120 marks. (fn. 135).
The vicarage, the endowments of which are recorded in the register of Merton Abbey (fn. 136), and in the registry at Winchester (fn. 137), was valued at the same time at eight marks (fn. 138). In the King's books, it is set down among the discharged livings, and said to be of the annual value of 34l. 17s. 0d. The crown pays 12l. per annum to the vicar, for the agistment of tithe for Richmond Park. (fn. 139)
In the year 1769, an act of parliament was obtained for separating the parish church of Kingston, and its dependant chapels of Richmond, Moulsey, Thames Ditton, Petersham, and Kew; and forming the whole parish into two vicarages, and two perpetual curacies.
John Lovekyn gave a messuage in Kingston to Nicholas de Rythynburgh and his successors, in the reign of Edward III. (fn. 140)
Nicholas West, an eminent statesman, and Bishop of Ely, in the reign of Henry VIII. was instituted to the vicarage of Kingston, in 1502 (fn. 141).
Edmund Staunton, instituted to this vicarage in 1632 (fn. 142), became one of the assembly of divines; and being a zealous writer in behalf of the Puritans, was made president of Corpus Christi college, Oxford. Upon this preferment he quitted Kingston, and was succeeded by his curate, Richard Mayo, who published his life, and was ejected for non-conformity in 1662. (fn. 143).
His successor Thomas Twittie is mentioned by A. Wood, as the author of a few sermons (fn. 144).
Thomas Willis, who was instituted to this vicarage in 1667, had acted with the Presbyterians, and was one of the commissioners for ejecting scandalous and insufficient ministers, but changed his party at the restoration. He published several sermons, and some religious tracts (fn. 145).
The present vicar of Kingston is the Reverend George Savage, M. A. who was instituted in the year 1788. He succeeded William Coxe, M. A. the well-known author of Travels into Russia, Switzerland, and other parts of Europe.
A chantry in honour of the Blessed Virgin and the Body of Christ was founded at Kingston, before the altar of St. James, in the reign of Henry VI. by William Skern; who endowed it with a house for the chaplain, and 10 marks annual rent (fn. 146).
Robert Bardesey, in the reign of Edward IV., founded a fraternity or guild in the church of Kingston, in honour of the Holy Trinity. It consisted of two wardens or guardians, and a certain number of brethren and sisters (fn. 147). I found no presentations, or other records, relating to this chantry and guild, in the registry at Winchester.
The parish register commences in the year 1542. From that time to the present, there is no chasm of a whole year, though I found the earlier part of it too imperfect to enable me to form a satisfactory average in the 16th century.
|Average of Baptisms.||Average of Burials.|
|From September 1, to December 31, 1603||54|
The entries of the year 1665 are very imperfect. From Sept. 9, to Oct. 1, thirty-four persons died of the plague; which proves, that it was more fatal than at either of the foregoing periods. In most places, I have observed the fatality to have been greater in the year 1603.
"Sunday was here two women, mother and daughter, owte of Ireland, to gather upon the dethe of her husband, who was slayne by the Wild Iryshe, he being captain of the gally-glasses (fn. 148)."
These begging licences were then very frequent, and the privilege of granting them appears to have been considerably extensive; but they were generally confined to certain districts. In Archbishop Grindall's registers, are several granted by his commissary Doctor Aubrey, some of which are limited to the peculiars of the Dean of the Arches. Among these, is one to Margaret Crayle, the widow of a preacher (fn. 149); and another to William Blackwell, who had a large family of children, one of whom was a student at the university of Cambridge (fn. 150).
There was formerly an office for granting protections to poor people, who should go about and collect alms, which in 1592 was held by Matthew Stuart (fn. 151). These licences still exist, and are generally called briefs; but they have undergone some regulations, being never granted but by the crown, and for losses of a considerable amount; the money is not collected by the sufferers in person, but by the officers of each respective parish.
"Mem. That the day and year aforesaid, I Thomas Lamyng, clerke, did gyve licence to eate flesh, to Frances Cox, wife unto John Cox of Kyngston, Gent. being weak and sickly, in the time of Lent, and upon other days prohibited; such flesh as might be convenient for the helthe of her body, and to the best liking of her stomach, in as large and ample manner, and for so long time as Thomas Lamyng may, or can grant, by force and virtue of hir majesties lawes and statutes, before William Yonge, one of the churchwardens, and Thomas Haward," &c.
The birth of these children gave occasion to the publication of a pamphlet, entitled, "The Fruitful Wonder, or a strange relation "from Kingston, of a woman who was delivered of four children at a birth, three sons and one daughter, all born alive, lusty children, and perfect in every part; lived twenty-four hours, and then dyed all much about the same time, by J. P. Student in Physic;" who is supposed to have been the celebrated John Partridge (fn. 152).
Mr. Hardinge was clerk of the parliament, and recorder of this town. He was a good scholar, and an intelligent antiquary. It was by his encouragement and advice, that Stuart undertook his journey to Athens, with the view of illustrating the antiquities of that celebrated city. Mr. Hardinge wrote Latin verses with extraordinary facility: a collection of them was printed after his death, by his son George Hardinge, Esq.
Dr. Battie was a native of Devonshire, and was born in the year 1704. He was educated at King's college, Cambridge. After he left the university, he settled as a physician at Uxbridge, but soon returned to London, where he became eminent in his profession, and met with considerable success. In 1749 he took an active part in the disputes with Dr. Schomberg, in consequence of which he was severely handled in a poem entitled, The Battiad. Dr. Battie distinguished himself as a scholar, by his publication of an edition of Isocrates; he published likewise some medical tracts, one of which, a Treatise on Infanity, engaged him in a controversy with Dr. Munro. Dr. Battie died of a paralytic stroke at the age of seventytwo, and was by his own direction buried at Kingston near his wife, without any monument or inscription.
Edward Lovekyn, in the year 1309, built a hospital in Norbiton, adjoining to Kingston; with a chapel dedicated to St. Mary Magdalen, and endowed it with ten acres of land, one acre of meadow, and five marks annual rent (fn. 153). His son John, who was four times lord mayor of London (fn. 154), and who is erroneously called the founder and builder of this hospital by Leland and some later authors (fn. 155), augmented it with considerable endowments (fn. 156). In 1534, it was valued at 34l. 19s. 7d. (fn. 157) At the suppression of monasteries, this was considered as a religious house, and was seised by the crown.
Queen Elizabeth founded a free grammar-school upon the site, and endowed it, with the premises, consisting of St. Mary Magdalen's chapel, and two small chapels adjoining, called St. Anne's and St. Loye's; and some houses and lands which had been leased by the crown to Richard Taverner. The bailiffs of the town were constituted governors, with power to purchase lands to the amount of 30l. per annum (fn. 158). The chapel of St. Mary Magdalen, which, by the style of architecture, appears to have been built in the fourteenth century, is now the school-room.
William Burton, a learned antiquary, who wrote a commentary on Antoninus's Itinerary, a history of the ancient Persic language, and other works, was master of this school in the last century. He died in 1657 (fn. 159).
William Cleave, Esq. alderman of London, who died in 1667, founded an alms-house in this town, for the building of which he left 500l. and endowed it with lands for the support of twelve poor persons. The present income is about 110l. per annum.
Edward Belitha, Esq. left 400l. and John Thomas Tyffyn, 150l. to educate poor children of this parish. William Nichols gave 200l. to be distributed in coals, and Edward Buckland gave the profits of a wharf, which now amount to 30l. per annum, for the same purpose. King Charles I. gave 100l. to the poor; and Henry Smith, Esq., about two years before he died, gave 1000l. upon condition of receiving 10l. per cent. interest during his life (fn. 160).
Kingston bridge is undoubtedly the most ancient on the river Thames, except that of London. It is mentioned in a record of the eighth year of Henry III. (fn. 161) This bridge being almost the only passage over the Thames, was frequently liable to be destroyed, during the time of any intestine commotions, to cut off the communication between Surrey and Middlesex. This is known to have happened in the wars between the houses of York and Lancaster, and in Wyatt's rebellion, when it was broken down by order of the privy council, to prevent his passing into Middlesex. Several records (fn. 162) are extant of a toll being granted for a certain number of years, in consequence of the repairs of the bridge. In the year 1567, Robert Hamond made it a free bridge for ever, and increased its endowments with lands to the amount of 40l. per annum (fn. 163). The year before this endowment, the revenues of the bridge, including the toll, were about 25l. In 1574, they were 53l. 10s. 0d.; in 1605, 61l. 2s. 6d. They are now about 130l. (fn. 164) In 1607, the bridge was broken down by the frost, which was so severe, that the Thames was passable by persons on foot (fn. 165). The length of the bridge is said by Aubrey to be 168 yards. The Middlesex side was considerably widened last year: the management of the revenues is in the hands of two bridge-wardens, who are elected to that office annually.