The Environs of London: Volume 1, County of Surrey. Originally published by T Cadell and W Davies, London, 1792.
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The name of this parish has experienced little variation; in Doomsday, it is written Beddintone. Bedding, in the Saxon, signifies a bed or lodging: if any thing is to be inferred from this etymology, it must be, that Beddington was the first stage out of London, upon one of the great roads. The Roman road to StaneStreet and Sussex, passed through the parish.
The village of Beddington lies near two miles to the westward of Croydon, at the distance of about eleven miles from Westminsterbridge. The parish is bounded on the east by Croydon, on the north by Mitcham, on the south by Coulsdon and Woodmanstern, and on the west by Carshalton. It contains about 3800 acres, of which not more than a fifteenth part is pasture, the remainder being arable; the soil in general is sandy. In Doomsday, the whole parish is said to contain twenty-three plough lands; it pays the sum of 263 l. 14s. to the land tax, which is at the rate of 1s. 6d. in the pound at Beddington, and 1s. at Wallington.
At the time of the Conqueror's Survey, there were two manors in Beddington, exclusive of Wallington; one of which, in the reign of the Confessor, was held of the king by Azor, and the other by Ulf: fifteen houses in London belonged to the former; and to the latter, thirteen in London, and eight in Southwark.
The records relating to Azor's manor, sometimes called HomeBeddington, are very complete and satisfactory. The Watevils, who held it of Ric. de Tonbridge, in the Conqueror's time, were possessed of it in the reign of Henry II. (fn. 1); the right of the mesne, or intermediate lord, was probably either purchased by, or granted to that family, as their successors held it immediately of the king, by the service of rendering annually a wooden cross-bow, as all the records express. The property of the manor is to be traced regularly through the families of de Es or de Eys (fn. 2), de Laik (fn. 3), Gatelier (fn. 4), and Rogers (fn. 5), to Thomas Corbett (fn. 5), who is called the king's valet, to whom it was granted by Edward I.; from the Corbetts it descended, by purchase, to the Morleys (fn. 6), Braytons (fn. 6), and Willoughbys (fn. 6); these alienations having been made without the king's consent, he seized the manor into his own hands, but regranted it to Richard Willoughby and his wife, upon their paying a fine of one hundred shillings. Richard Willoughby left a daughter and heir, Lucy, who was married (fn. 7), first to Sir Thomas Huscarl, Knt. (the proprietor at that time of the other manor in Beddington, called from his family Huscarl Manor, or Beddington Huscarl); and, secondly, to Nicholas Carew, or de Carru, who afterwards became possessed of both the manors (fn. 8) above-mentioned; the marriage took place towards the latter part of the reign of king Edward III. In the twenty-fifth year of that king's reign, she was living with her first husband.
Of the early proprietors of Huscarl's manor, I find little that is satisfactory. Milo Crespin held it of the Conqueror. In 1305, it was the property of John de Syndlesham (fn. 9); and in 1321, was in the possession of his widow, then Beatrice Huscarl (fn. 10), tthe first wife probably of Sir Thomas (fn. 11), whose relict, Lucy, was married to Nicholas de Carru.
This Nicholas was keeper of the privy-seal (fn. 12), and was one of king Edward the Third's executors (fn. 13). He died in 1390, 14 Ric. II. In 1387 he made his will (fn. 14), by which he directs his body to be buried in the church of St. Mary, at Beddington, between the grave of his brother John, and the south door of the church. To the rector of the church, he leaves 40s.; to the parish priest, 20s.; towards the building of the church, 20 l.; to the four orders of mendicant friars in London, four marks, to pray for his soul, and all christian souls; to the prior and convent of Tanrige, 40s.; to the master, brethren, and sisters of St. Thomas's hospital, Southwark, ten marks. He wills, that there should be found four fit chaplains, one of whom for ever, and the other for five years, should pray for his soul, and all christian souls in the church of Beddington. To Margaret Turbevyle, his daughter, he bequeaths one hundred marks; to his daughter Lucie, prioress of Roosparre, 10 l.; to Joan Huscarl, a nun, 40 s. He wills, that thirteen torches and five wax tapers, each weighing six pounds at the most, be provided for his funeral; and that they be afterwards distributed at the discretion of his executors; that thirteen poor men be clothed at his funeral, and appointed to bear the torches. The residue of his fortune he bequeaths between his son Nicholas de Carru, and Nicholas de Mockyng. Dated at his manor of Beddington, Oct. 13, 1387. This will was proved at Croydon, Sept. 26, 1390.
The manor of Beddington continued in the Carew family till the reign of Henry VIII.; when, upon the attainder of Sir Nicholas in 1539, his estates were seized into the hands of the crown, and Sir Michael Stanhope was appointed keeper of the manor-house there. In a MS. in the British Museum (fn. 15), is an inventory of the "Guarderobe at the manour of Bedynton in the countie of Surrye, in the charge of Michael Stanhopp, Knt. keeper of the same house." In this inventory, is mentioned a press, made with drawers, full of evidences, court rolls, and other writings, "as well concerning Sir Nicholas Carew, his landes, as other mens landes." The manor of Beddington appears to have been granted afterwards to Walter Gorges (fn. 16), who died in the sixth year of Edward the Sixth, the same year in which the king granted it to Thomas lord Darcy, of Chiche (fn. 17). Of him, Sir Francis Carew, who had procured the reversal of his father's attainder (fn. 18), purchased his ancestor's estate (fn. 19), which has continued in the family to the present time, by lineal descent, though the male branch has twice failed: in both instances the representative in the female line has taken the name and arms of Carew. Sir Nicholas Hacket Carew, Bart. by his will (fn. 20), dated July 1st, 1762, left his estates to his daughter for life; after her decease to the eldest son of John Fountain, dean of York, and his issue male: in default of such, to every other of the dean's sons, in succession. On the failure of issue male, from the dean of York, the estate was entailed upon the eldest son of Richard Gee, Esq. of Orpington, in Kent, who is now the next in the remainder; the dean's only son having died before he attained the age of twenty-five, when he was to inherit. Richard Gee, Esq. pursuant to the will of Sir Nicholas Hacket Carew, Bart. has taken the name and arms of that family. The annexed pedigree of the Carew family, which has been settled at Beddington for twelve generations, will explain the succession more distinctly.
The manor of Bandon (fn. 21) belonged to the Carews, as early as they had any property in Beddington; it took its name probably from Margery de Bandon, or some one of that name, whose property it was; her land is mentioned in an old rental of Reginald Foresters.
The manor of Forester, or Foresters, took its name likewise from its owner. Reginald Forester had a licence for an oratory (fn. 22) in his manor-house, in the parish of Beddington, in 1347. The manor is supposed to have been of very small extent, and appears to have been alienated to the Carews at an early period.
Frere's manor in this parish belonged to the hospital of St. Thomas, in Southwark, and was granted to Nicholas de Careu temp. Ric. II. in exchange for some lands in Lambeth (fn. 23).
I find one record relating to a manor, which by the date (fn. 24) appears to be distinct from any of the above-mentioned; it is a grant from the archbishop of Nazareth (fn. 25), in the reign of Edward III. of his manor of Beddington, to John Burgeys, citizen of London, for thirteen years.
The manor-house at Beddington is situated near the church; it is built of brick, and occupies three sides of a square: the centre consists of a large and losty hall, with a beautiful Gothic roof of wood; the north wing is a mere shell, the inside having been destroyed by fire, soon after the house was rebuilt in its present form, about the year 1709. The great door of the hall has a curious ancient lock, very richly wrought; a shield with the arms of England, moving in a groove, conceals the key-hole.
In the hall is a portrait of a lady, which is falsely shown as queen Elizabeth; her arms are in the corner of the picture, viz. Arg. a fesse Sable, three mullets in chief of the second, which arms are born by Townley. A small room adjoining to the hall retains the ancient pannels with mantled carving; over the chimney is a small portrait of one of the Carews, surrounded by a pedigree. Another room has several portraits of the Hacket family; among which is a good picture of bishop Hacket, said to be done by Sir Peter Lely. In a parlour, at the north end of the hall, are some other family portraits; the most remarkable of which, is that of Sir Nicholas Carew, who was beheaded in the reign of Henry the Eighth, painted on board; a good copy of it, taken some years ago, when the original was in a more perfect state than it is at present, is in the possession of the earl of Orford, at Strawberry-hill, from which the engraving here given was taken.
Sir Nicholas Carew, at an early age, was introduced to the court of Henry the Eighth, where he soon became a favourite, and was made one of the gentlemen of the privy chamber. Having been employed upon some public business in France, he became, as many other young men have been, so enamoured of French fashions and amusements, that, when he returned to his own country, he was continually making invidious comparisons to the disadvantage of the English court (fn. 26). His majesty, who was too much of a Briton not to be disgusted at this behaviour, removed him from his person, and sentenced him to an honourable banishment, appointing him governor of Ruysbank, in Picardy; to which government he was forthwith commanded to repair, much against his inclination. This little offence, however, was soon past over, and we find him again employed by the king, and for several years (fn. 27) his constant companion, and a partaker with him in all the justs (fn. 28), tournaments, masques, and other diversions of the same kind, with which that reign abounded, and which are described very much at large in Hall's Chronicle (fn. 29); and as a more substantial mark of his favour, the king appointed him master of the horse, an office of great honour, being reckoned the third in rank about the king's household (fn. 30), and afterwards created him knight of the garter (fn. 31). His promotion may probably be attributed in some measure to the interest of Anne Bulleyn, to whom he was related through their common ancestor, lord Hoo. His good fortune was not of long continuance; for in the year 1539, he engaged in a conspiracy, as we are told by our historians (fn. 32), with the marquis of Exeter, the lord Montacute, and Sir Edward Neville; the object of whicl: was, to set Cardinal Pole upon the throne; the accuser was Sir Geffrey Poole, lord Montacute's brother: the trial was summary, and the conspirators were all executed. Sir Nicholas Carew was beheaded on Tower-Hill, the 3d of March 1539; when he made, says Holinshed, "a godly confession, both of his fault and superstitious faith." The old countess of Salisbury was beheaded some time afterwards, upon a charge of being privy to this conspiracy. Fuller (fn. 33) mentions a tradition of a quarrel which happened at bowls between the king and Sir Nicholas Carew, to which he ascribes his majesty's displeasure, and Sir Nicholas's death. The monarch's known caprice, his hatred of the papists, to whom Sir Nicholas was zealously attached, the absurdity of the plot, and the improbability of its success, might incline us to hearken to Fuller's story, if Sir Nicholas alone had suffered; but as he had so many partners in his punishment, with whom it is not pretended that the king had any quarrel, it will be more safe perhaps to rely upon the account given by our annalists. Sir Nicholas Carew was buried in the church of St. Botolph, Aldersgate, in the same tomb with Thomas lord Darcy, and others of his family. A small monument to their memory, supported by Corinthian columns, was preserved when the church was rebuilt, and is placed against the west wall of the porch. The inscription merely enumerates the persons interred there, amongst whom are Sir Nicholas Carew, K. G. his wife Elizabeth, his daughter Mary, and her husband Sir Arthur Darcy. The arms and quarterings of the Darcys and Carews are almost obliterated with white paint, which has disfigured the whole monument.
When Sir Francis Carew became possessed of the inheritance of his ancestors, which had been forfeited by his father's attainder, he rebuilt the mansion-house (fn. 34) in a very magnificent manner, and laid out the gardens, which he planted with choice fruit trees; in the cultivation of which he took great delight, and spared no expence in procuring them from foreign countries. The first orange trees seen in England, are said to have been planted by him. Aubrey says they were brought from Italy by Sir Francis Carew; but the editors of the Biographia (fn. 35), speaking from a tradition preserved in the family, tell us, they were raised by Sir Francis Carew from the seeds of the first oranges which were imported into England by Sir Walter Ralegh, who had married his niece, the daughter of Sir Nicholas Throckmorton:—the trees were planted in the open ground, and were preserved in the winter by a moveable shed; they flourished for about a century and a half, being destroyed by the hard frost in 1739–40. In the garden was a pleasure-house, on the top of which was painted the Spanish invasion. In the month of August 1599, Queen Elizabeth paid a visit to Sir Francis Carew at Beddington, for three days, and again in the same month, the ensuing year (fn. 36); the queen's oak, and her favourite walk, are still pointed out.
Sir Hugh Platt tells an anecdote in his Garden of Eden (fn. 37), relating to one of these visits; which shows the pains Sir Francis took in the management and cultivation of his fruit-trees.
"Here I will conclude, says he, with a conceit of that delicate knight Sir Francis Carew, who, for the better accomplishment of his royal entertainment of our late Queen Elizabeth, of happy memory, at his house at Beddington, led her majesty to a cherry-tree, whose fruit he had of purpose kept back from ripening, at the least, one month after all cherries had taken their farewell of England. This secret he performed by straining a tent, or cover of canvas, over the whole tree, and wetting the same now and then with a scoop or horn as the heat of the weather required; and so by withholding the sun-beams from reflecting upon the berries, they grew both great and were very long before they had gotten their perfect cherry-colour: and when he was assured of her majesty's coming, "he removed the tent, and a few sunny days brought them to their full maturity."
The church of Beddington consists of a nave, two aisles, and a chancel; at the west end is a square tower with buttresses, embattled. The present structure was probably erected in the reign of Richard the second, being built in the style of architecture used at that time; and the clause in Nicholas de Carru's will of that date, who leaves 20 l., then a very considerable sum, towards the building of the church, serves as an additional confirmation of this conjecture. At the west end of the north and south aisles, are some ancient wooden stalls; the font, which is of an early date, is large and square, and supported by four pillars. The pulpit was probably given by Sir Francis Carew, being of mantled carving of the same form with that of the old room in the manor-house. The pillars which separate the nave from the aisles are plain, and of rude workmanship. The altarpiece, the communion-table, the rails, and the pavement of the chancel, were the benefaction of Sir John Leake (fn. 38), in the year 1710.
In the chancel are several brass figures of the Carew family on flat stones; the inscriptions of most of them are gone. The tomb of Nicholas Carew and Isabella his wife, which is quite perfect, is engraved on the opposite page; the figures are of the larger size; the woman's arms are two lions passant (fn. 39). This Nicholas Carew was son to the keeper of the privy seal; he was knight of the shire for Surrey in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and twentieth years of Richard the second, and died in 1432 (fn. 40). His wife Isabella died many years before him; and he afterwards married Mercia, daughter of Stephen Heyme (fn. 41); for his, his second lady, Henry Sever, D. D. by his will, 1471, ordered an obit to be observed for ever in Merton College, Oxford. On the adjoining stone are brass plates with figures of two of the Carew family, of a smaller size; the inscription has been torn off: several others have been either taken away entirely, or much mutilated; and some are concealed by the pews.
At the south east corner of the church is a small aisle, erected either by Sir Richard Carew or his son Sir Nicholas, for the sepulture of the Carew family: Sir Richard was the first who was interred there (anno 1520); and the architecture is of that period. Sir Richard Carew's monument is in the south wall, near the door; under a flat gothic arch is an alter tomb, on the top of which are small brass plates representing Sir Richard Carew and his lady; he is in armour, with a surcoat, on which are the arms of Carew; the inscription round the edge of the tomb is mutilated, but there is enough left to inform us that he died in 1520. His wife Malyn (or Magdalen) was daughter of Sir Robert Oxenbridge, whose arms, gules, a lion rampant arg. within a border az. bezanty, and those of her husband, are upon the tomb.
Sir Richard Carew was made a knight banneret at Blackheath (fn. 42); Henry the seventh appointed him lieutenant of Calais (fn. 43), in which post he was continued by Henry the eighth, with remainder to his son Nicholas. He officiated as fewer at Archbishop Warham's enthronization (fn. 44).
Monument of Sir Francis Carew. memory of Sir Francis Carew; between the columns lies his effigy in complete armour; on a tablet are some Latin verses, which are by no means remarkable; they are in the usual style of panegyric, and record the royal visits with which he was honoured; they are printed in Aubrey. An inscription over his head mentions the circumstance of his adopting Nicholas son of Sir Nicholas Throckmorton, his brother-in-law, to bear his surname, and to inherit his estate. Sir Francis died May 16, 1611, aged 81: in the lower part of the monument, under his effigies, are figures of the aforesaid Sir Nicholas Throckmorton, alias Carew and his wife kneeling, with four sons habited in long cloaks, and two daughters in ruffs and farthingales: the monument is likewise ornamented with the arms and quarterings of Carew (fn. 45).
In the middle aisle are two slabs with brass figures and inscriptions in the black letter; one, in memory of Martha wife of Fabian Crokhorne, who died in 1576; the other, of Catherine, wife of Robert Berecroft, who died in 1507.—The arms are three bears.
"Tho. Greenhill, borne and bredd in the famous university of "Oxon, Batchelor of Artes, and sometymes student in Magdalen "Coll. steward to the noble knight Sir Nicholas Carew of Bedington, who deceased Sept. 17 day, anno 1634."
"Will. Greenhill, master of artes, his brother, and Mary his sister,
"Under thy feete interr'd is heare,
A native borne in Oxfordsheere;
First life and learning Oxford gave,
Surry to him his death and grave;
He once a Hill, was fresh and Greene,
Now withered, is not to be seene;
Earth in earth shovell'd up is shut,
A Hill into a hole is put.
But darksome earth, by power divine,
Bright at last as the sonne may shine.
In the chancel is the monument of Elizabeth wife of William Chapman, who died in 1718; near the altar the tombs of Thomas Pope, rector, who died in 1650, and Richard Reddal, rector, who died in 1707. In the porch is the tomb of John Cox, rector, who died in 1669; and in the church-yard, that of Charles Berriman, alias Brandon, rector, who died in 1671.
The church of Beddington is dedicated to St. Mary; it is in the diocese of Winchester, and in the deanery of Ewell; the benefice is a rectory in the patronage of the Carew family; it formerly belonged to Bermondsey abbey, to which it was given in the year 1159, by Sibella de Wateville, and Ingram de Fountenays (fn. 46). The rectory of Beddington was taxed in 1291 at forty marks; out of which 100 shillings was paid to the prior of Bermondsey. In 1454, there was a commission to inquire into the value of the rectory (fn. 47); in the certificate which was returned to the bishop, was a specific statement of its revenues. As it appears to be a curious record, and is the only one of the kind which occurs in the registry at Winchester, I shall give it at large, with a translation.
After the attainder of Sir Nicholas Carew, the advowson of the rectory was for some time in the possession of the crown. Henry the eighth presented to it in 1542 (fn. 48). Sir Francis Carew (fn. 49) re-possessed it with the rest of his ancestor's property, and it still remains annexed to the estate.
There was likewise in the church of Beddington, a sinecure benefice, called a free portion (fn. 50), the patronage of which was annexed to Huscarl's manor (fn. 51), and went afterwards to the Carews (fn. 52); it was generally called Huscarl's, or Carew's Portion. In 1291, it was valued at fifteen marks, out of which it paid two marks to Bermondsey abbey. In 1473 (fn. 53), there was a commission from the bishop of Winchester, to inquire into the nature and profits of this portion; which, by the certificate, appears to have arisen principally from the tithes of two hundred acres of land, called Huscarl's fewde, on the north of the church; it had likewise annexed to it a house, and twenty acres of land on the south side of the church; the clear profits were then estimated at only forty shillings. In the king's books, it is valued at 8l. 12s. 1d. It is now in lay-hands, and belongs to the Carews. Richard Benese, presented by Henry the eighth in 1540, is the last portionist on record (fn. 54). He was canon of Merton Abbey, and author of a book on Mensuration of Land, of which there was a very early edition printed in St. Thomas's hospital.
John Leng (fn. 55), afterwards bishop of Norwich, was instituted to the rectory of Beddington, in the year 1708, which he held till his death. He was a native of Norfolk, and was of Catherine-Hall, Cambridge. In 1695, he published two of the comedies of Aristophanes, with notes; and in 1719, preached the sermons at Boyle's Lectures, which are printed; a set of his Sermons preached at Tunbridge, and a few others upon occasional subjects, are also extant.
He was made bishop of Norwich in 1723, and died at the age of sixty-two, of the small-pox, which he caught at the coronation of George the Second. He lies buried in the church of St. Margaret, Westminster, where is a monument to his memory. Richardson, in his Continuation of Godwin (fn. 56), calls him a man of the firstrate genius and abilities. A miniature portrait of the bishop, representing him as a young man in a gown and band, and with a brown flowing peruke, is in the possession of his grand-daughter, Miss Pettingal.
The hamlet of Wallington, in the parish of Beddington, at the time of the Conqueror's Survey, gave name to the hundred; it was afterwards called Croydon Hundred, but has of late resumed its ori ginal appellation. The hamlet is situated on the banks of the Wandle, and is more populous than the village itself, containing about sixty houses. At this place is a large manufactory for printing of calico, belonging to Mr. Kilbourn, which employs a considerable number of hands.
In a field near the road is an ancient chapel, built of flint and stone. It has been new roofed, and is now used as a cart-house and stable; the stone work of the windows is entire; the east window has been stopped up, on each side of which is a niche of rich Gothic architecture; and in the south-east corner is a third for the holy water. The present proprietor was about to pull down this chapel, but was opposed in his intention by the parishioners. From the total silence of the records, (and perhaps there are more relating to this parish in the registry of Winchester than to any other in the diocese,) I should presume that it was only a private chapel. From the appearance of the windows, and of the niches above-mentioned, it seems to be of considerable antiquity.
The early records relating to the manor of Wallington, are very unsatisfactory; the name of that place being anciently written Waleton, in common with Walton-upon-Thames, and Walton-on-theHill, in the same county, and without any distinction to discriminate them, except when the hundred is mentioned. Salmon (fn. 57), by not attending to this circumstance, has asserted, that two manors are described in Wallington, in Doomsday; the hundreds are there specified, and only one manor is mentioned in Wallington, (in the hundred of that name,) which was held by the king in demesne; the land was of eleven carucates, and was valued, in the time of the Confessor, at 15l. then at 10l. I shall not take notice of any subsequent alienations of the manor of Wallington, except such as I find appropriated to that hundred. Henry the Second granted a certain part thereof to Maurice de Creon (fn. 58), who gave it to Guy de la Val with his daughter: this Guy took part with the barons against king John, who seized upon his property here, and granted it to John Fitz-Lucy, who forfeited it by remaining in Normandy: the king then gave it to Eustache de Curtenay. Katharine Lodelowe (fn. 59) died seized of this manor for term of life, 17 Ric. II. which she held by an enfeoffment made with the king's licence, by Olde Poynand. In Henry the Eighth's time, it was granted to Sir Nicholas Carew (fn. 60); and after his attainder, passed through the hands of Sir Edward Dymock (fn. 61) and Sir James Harrington, the latter of whom alienated it to Sir Francis Carew (fn. 62); it has since descended with the other estates of the Carews.
At Woodcote, in the parish of Beddington, which is now a single farm-house, have been found many remains of antiquity, which tend to prove it to have been a Roman station. Camden and some other learned antiquaries contend, that it was the city of Noviomagus, mentioned by Ptolemy; whilst others are equally positive, that this city must have been in Kent: but as the matter, after all these arguments, ends in conjecture, I conceive it would be but an unsatisfactory entertainment to the generality of my readers, were I to detail them. They who wish to see the argument treated of at length, may consult Aubrey's Surrey (fn. 63), Camden, Dr. Gale's, Mr. Burton's (fn. 64), and Mr. Talbot's Commentaries on Antoninus's Itinerary (fn. 65), and Somner's Description of Canterbury.
Salmon says, that foundations of buildings have been discovered, and urns, spear-heads, and other remnants of antiquity dug up, both at Beddington and Wallington; but I cannot find that any discoveries of that kind have been made of late years.