The Environs of London: Volume 1, County of Surrey. Originally published by T Cadell and W Davies, London, 1792.
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This place is so called from its situation upon the banks of the small river Wandle, which falls into the Thames in this parish. Worth, in the Saxon language, signifies either a village, or a shore. In Doomsday-book, the name of this place is spelt Wandesorde, and Wendlesorde; in other ancient records, Wandlesworth, and Wendlesworth.
The village is situated on the road to Kingston, about five miles and a half from Westminster-bridge, and lies in the western division of Brixton hundred. The parish is bounded by those of Battersea, Streatham, Merton, Mitcham, Tooting, Wimbledon, and Putney. The land is divided in nearly an equal proportion between arable and pasture. Two hundred and eighteen acres are occupied by the market gardeners. The soil is chiefly a sandy loam upon a bed of gravel. About one half of the common, which takes its name from Wandsworth, is in this parish: it contains about 400 acres, and extends nearly two miles in length towards Streatham. A part of Putney-heath is also in this parish. Wandsworth is assessed the sum of 1042 l. 9s. to the land tax, which, in the year 1791, was at the rate of 2s. in the pound.
Aubrey mentions (fn. 1) a manufacture of brass plates for frying pans, kettles, and other culinary vessels, which was established here by Dutchmen, who kept it as a mystery. The houses where this manufacture was carried on, bore the name of the frying-pan houses. Towards the close of the last century, when great numbers of French protestants fled from the persecution which prevailed in the reign of Lewis XIV. many of them settled at Wandsworth, where they established a French church (fn. 2). Among these refugees was a considerable number of hatters, who introduced their manufacture at this place, and carried it on with great success. Though much diminished in its extent, the manufacture still exists; Mr. Chatting, a grandson of one of the refugees, being now a hatter in Wandsworth. Most of their descendants, who either remain here, or are dispersed into the neighbouring villages, have so Anglicised their names, that the memory of their extraction is almost lost. The art of dying cloth has been practised at this place for more than a century. There are now two dyers here, Mr. Barchard and Mr. Williamson; the former carries on the branch of scarlet dying to a very considerable extent. There is also a manufactory here for bolting cloth; Mr. Henckell's iron mills; Mr. Gardiner's calico-printing manufactory, which is of considerable extent, and employs about 250 hands; another of the same kind, lately established by Messrs. Lawrence and Harris; Mr. Rigby's manufactory for printing kerseymeres; Mr. Dibble's manufactory for whitening and pressing stuffs; Mr. Were's linseed oil and white lead mills; Mr. Shepley's oil mills; Messrs. Gattey's vinegar works, and Messrs. Bush and Co.'s distilleries. These several manufactures, exclusive of Mr. Gardiner's, employ about 250 hands.
The citizens of London, who had been deprived of their privileges by Richard II. sent a deputation of 400 members of their corporation, with the Recorder, to meet the King at Wandsworth, in his road from Sheen, and implore his pardon, which he graciously granted; and upon their earnest intreaty, rode through the city on his return to Westminster, being received with great magnificence (fn. 3).
It appears by the Conqueror's survey, that the manor of Wandsworth, which contained four ploughlands, had been held of Edward the Confessor, by six freemen, who might go where they would; that Ansculf took possession of it when he obtained the sheriffalty, but the men of the hundred reported, that they never saw the King's seal, or the livery. His son William, however, inherited it, and was in possession when the survey was taken. In consequence of this representation, the king probably seized it into his own hands, for it is known that he gave it to the church of Westminster (fn. 4). In 1291, the Abbot of Westminster's estates at Wandsworth were valued at 17 l. (fn. 5)
The manor which bears the name of the village was connected with that of Battersea, and has undergone the same alienations (fn. 6), being now the property of the right honourable George John Earl Spencer.
The manor of Dunsford belonged to Merton-abbey. It was granted, after the suppression of that monastery, to Charles Brandon Duke of Suffolk (fn. 7), and was by him sold for the sum of 403 l. 6s. 8d. to Thomas Lord Cromwell (fn. 8). It was granted in the year 1564 to Robert Lord Dudley, afterwards Earl of Leicester (fn. 9), and was aliened by him to Sir William Cecil, (afterwards Lord Burleigh (fn. 10)). Within a few years it was again aliened to John Swift, Esq. (fn. 11). and by the latter to Thomas Smith, Esq. (fn. 12), who died seized thereof in 1575 (fn. 13). It was aliened in the year 1664 to the Brodrick family (fn. 14), in whose possession it has continued for several generations, being now the property of George Brodrick Viscount Midleton, of the kingdom of Ireland, who has a seat at Pepperharrow in this county.
The manor of Downe, or Downe-buys, parcel of the possessions of the monastery of Westminster, and situated, partly in this parish, and partly in that of Battersea, appears to have been kept in the hands of the crown till the thirty-third year of Queen Elizabeth's reign, when the fee-simple was purchased by William Cammock, Esq. (fn. 15), for the sum of 191 l. It was aliened the next year to Sir William Cecil (fn. 16), and sold by the heirs of his grandson, Edward Viscount Wimbledon, to Thomas Hewett (fn. 17), Esq. of whom it was purchased in 1698, by Mrs. Elizabeth Howland. It has since descended with the manor of Streatham, to his Grace the Duke of Bedford, who has lately aliened it to the right honourable George John Earl Spencer.
The manor of Allfarthing was also parcel of the possessions of the monastery of Westminster, and was afterward annexed to the honour of Hampton-court (fn. 18). It was granted by Henry VIII. to Thomas Lord Cromwell (fn. 19), and in 1598 was the property of John Bowyer, Esq. (fn. 20) It was among the lands settled upon Charles I. when Prince of Wales, and in the year 1625 was demised, for 99 years, to Sir Henry Hobart and others (fn. 21), under whom Endymion Porter, gentleman of the bedchamber, and one of the favourite attendants of King Charles, took a lease of thirty-one years, to commence in 1646 (fn. 22). He afterwards procured the remainder of this term (fn. 23), and in the year 1628, the fee-simple was granted in reversion to Thomas Porter, Esq. whose descendant, Pierce Patrick Walsh Porter, Esq. (fn. 24) is the present proprietor.
The manor house has been many years a school (fn. 25).
In the Conqueror's survey, mention is made of an estate in this parish, which belonged to the Abbot of Wandregisili, who held it for Ingulphus the monk. It was valued at 20 s. and had been held of King Edward by Swein. It is probable that it was afterwards seized by the crown as the property of an alien priory; and may have been the same estate which, in the reign of Edward III., belonged to John Lord Molins, and for which he had a charter of free warren (fn. 26).
Richard Rook, in the reign of Edward III. granted 200 acres of land in Wandsworth, to Westminster-abbey (fn. 27).
Edward IV. granted certain messuages in this parish to his aunt, Ann Duchess of Buckingham, late wife of Walter Blount Lord Mountjoy (fn. 28).
A part of the estate which was annexed to the see of York, by the Archbishop Lawrence Booth, is in this parish. In Strype's Annals of the Reformation (fn. 29), mention is made of an annuity of 13 l. 6 s. 8 d. paid out of certain lands at Wandsworth, belonging to the Archbishop of York, towards the endowment of a school at Guildford.
The church, which stands nearly in the centre of the village, is dedicated to All Saints. It is a brick structure, and consists of a nave, chancel (fn. 30), and two aisles. At the west end is a square tower, which was built in the year 1630, before which time there was a leaded steeple (fn. 31). The greater part of the church was rebuilt in the year 1780, at the expence of about 3500 l. The inside has been lately painted and ornamented.
Near the pulpit is the tomb of an officer of Henry the Fifth's army, a sharer, probably, in the glory of the battle of Agincourt. He died in 1420. The part of the inscription which contained his name has been torn off, and his figure, which was engraved on brass, much mutilated.
In the chancel are the monuments of Henry Smith, Esq. who died in 1627–8 (fn. 32), and Susanna Powell, widow of John Powell, servant to Queen Elizabeth, who died in 1630. Near the communion table is the tomb of Robert Knaresborough, patron of the vicarage, who died in 1611. At the east end of the north aisle is the monument of Sir Thomas Broderick, who died in 1641, and his wife Katherine, who died in 1678. It is adorned with busts, well executed, in white marble. On the same wall, over the gallery, is the monument of John Powell, Esq. who died in 1611. At the west end of the same aisle, are the monuments of Thomas Morley, reader of this parish, who died in 1681; Samuel Palmer, Esq. F. R. S. Surgeon of St. Bartholomew's hospital, who died in 1738; Edward Barker, Esq. Baron of the Exchequer, who was born at Wandsworth in 1678, and died in 1759; and Robert Buck, Gent. of London, who died in 1769. In the nave is the tomb of Mr. Martin Newport, merchant, who died in 1734; at the west end of the church is a tablet to the memory of Joseph Wight, Esq. who died in 1770; and near the vestry-door, one to the memory of Mr. Somerset Draper, who died in 1756.
Aubrey mentions also the tomb of Edmund Snow, Esq. who deceased at the manor of Allfarthing in 1587 (fn. 33), and Strype, in his Continuation of Stow's Survey (fn. 34), takes notice of those of Eliz. Gale, widow, who died in 1545; Richard Breame, Gent. of the county of Suffolk, who died in 1610; and Thomas Tayer, Esq. of Rants, in the county of Northampton, who died in 1653, aged 101.
At the distance of about half a mile from the church, where the roads branch off to Clapham and Vauxhall, is a cemetery, which was walled in and consecrated towards the latter end of the last century. It contains, among others, the tombs of Francis Hunt, citizen of London, who died in 1687; Peter Paggen, Esq. (1720); Nicholas Garrett, Esq. (1726); Dame Isabeau Bories de Montauban en Guyenne, epouse de Jean de Comarque, Ecuyer (1731); James Baudouin, Esq. born at Nismes in France, "who fled from ty"ranny and persecution in 1685," and died in 1739, aged 91; Mr. Melancthon Strong (1750), and others of his family; Samuel John, Esq. (1759); Mr. David Asterley (1761), and others of his family; William Vile, Gent. (1767); James Poumies, Esq. (1769); John Higginson, Esq. (1770); Malachi Hawtayne, Esq. (1772); the Reverend Evan Evans (1772); George Ward, Esq. of the county of York (1777); Matthew Green, Esq. (1785); Samuel Goodman, Esq. (1787); and Jane Betsy, daughter of Capt. James Williamson, who died in 1791.
Aubrey mentions also the tomb of Elizabeth, wife of John Foster, who died in 1688; and "Thomas de Demfrene, Esquier, Sieur "de Garende," who died in 1709 (fn. 35).
The church of Wandsworth is in the diocese of Winchester, and in the deanery of Southwark. The benefice is a vicarage. The rectory was appropriated to Westminster-abbey by Richard Toclivius Bishop of Winchester (fn. 36); and it was ordained by his successor, Godfrey de Lucy, that the monks should receive an annual pension of six marks out of the revenues of this church, leaving the vicar enough to support himself, and to pay the episcopal burdens (fn. 37). After the suppression of monasteries, this rectory was granted to John Whyte Bishop of Winchester (fn. 38). It was afterwards annexed to the honour of Hampton-court (fn. 39). Queen Elizabeth granted it, with the advowson, to Edward Downing and Peter Ashton (fn. 40). The advowson appears afterwards to have been the property of Robert Knaresborough (fn. 41), and the rectory that of Mrs. Susanna Powell, widow (fn. 42). The patronage of the vicarage was vested in the crown about the year 1630 (fn. 43). In the year 1658, both the rectory and advowson belonged to Mr. Thomas Andrews (fn. 44); some time afterwards they came to the Acworths, who were for many years proprietors of both. They alienated the former some time ago to the trustees of Mr. Marshall's charitable donations. The representatives of the late Gabriel Acworth, Esq. are still patrons of the vicarage.
William de Raleigh Bishop of Winchester, about the year 1249, endowed the vicarage with the great tithes of Heyford and Dunsford, and all the lands of William Fawkner and William Fitzharvey (fn. 45). The rectory was taxed at thirty marks in the year 1291; the vicarage at ten marks. In 1646, the sum of 50 l. per annum, out of the manors of Walworth and Lambeth, was voted for the augmentation of the vicarage of Wandsworth. In 1650 the rectory was said to be 50 l. 10 s. 8 d. clear yearly value; the vicarage 40 l. In the King's books the latter is valued at 15 l. 5 s. 5 d.
In the year 1540 Griffith Clerke, vicar of Wandsworth, with his chaplain, servant, and Friar Waire, were all hanged and quartered at St. Thomas Watering, most probably for denying the King's supremacy; though Stow, who mentions the fact (fn. 46), professes himself ignorant of the cause of their execution.
Anthony Wood makes mention (fn. 47) of John Field, a famous preacher and minister of Wandsworth, who died in 1586. He published several sermons and religious tracts, among which was a pamphlet called "God's Judgment at a Bear-baiting at Paris Garden."
Nathan Resbury, instituted to this vicarage in 1674, was author of several sermons and tracts against popery (fn. 48).
|Average of Baptisms.||Average of Burials.|
The early part of the register appears to have been accurately kept, as it does during the greater part of the present century; but the intermediate period is too defective to admit of forming any average of burials, nor is that of baptisms by any means satisfactory. The population of this place appears to have increased in a proportion of nearly four to one since the beginning of the last century. The great numbers of children who are brought into this parish to be nursed, many of whom die and are buried here, will account for the average of burials exceeding that of baptisms. The present number of houses, exclusive of the workhouse of this parish, and that of St. Mary le Strand, is 689. Of these 26 are empty, 11 of them being newly built. The inhabitants having been accurately numbered by Mr. Spencer, master of the charity-school, in the month of July 1792, were found to amount to 4,554. In this number are included 367 children at the various boarding-schools, and 46 poor belonging to the parish of St. Mary le Strand, and lodged in their workhouse. In that of Wandsworth are at present 91 poor. Mr. Spencer has remarked, in his list of the inhabitants, that the number of lodgers amounted to 843; that of servants to 460. There are about 20 families of the people called Quakers in this place, and two schools for children of that persuasion. They have a meeting-house here also attended by a numerous congregation; adjoining which is a small burial-ground, given by Joan Stringer in the year 1697. Very few persons are buried there annually, perhaps not more than five on an average. The meeting-house was rebuilt in the year 1787.
Mention is made of a few persons who died of the plague in the years 1636, 1641, 1643, 1644, 1645, 1647, and 1648. It seems, by the following entries in the churchwardens' accounts, that this distemper was very fatal in the year 1643:
|"For burying divers persons who died of the plague||0||14||4|
|"For strong waters for the sick at several times||0||5||1|
|"For signing the assessment for the visited poor."|
Among the persons who died of the plague in 1665 are "the Ladie Henderson, buried Aug. 19," and "Mr. Richard Bowden, "(Dr. of physick) buried Oct. 10." Several of those who fell victims to this fatal malady in 1665 and 1666 were buried at the pest-house and in the fields adjoining.
Mr. Smith, whose name is well known on account of his various
benefactions to the poor, died at his house in Silver-street on the
30th of January, and his funeral "was worshipfully solemnized at
"Wandsworth, it being his desire to be there buried, because it
was the place of his nativity (fn. 49)." He was once married, but his
wife dying many years before him without issue (fn. 50), he made over his
estate real and personal, in the year 1620, to trustees for charitable purposes, reserving out of the profits there of 500 l. per annum for his
own maintenance. By his last will, bearing date Apr. 24, 1627, he
bequeathed legacies to various persons to the amount of nearly
1,000 l. among which was 200 l. to the Countess of Dorset, and 100 l.
to Lady Delaware; 1,000 l. to his nephew, Henry Jackson; 1,000 l.
to his poor relations; 10,000 l. to buy impropriations for godly
preachers; 150 l. to found a fellowship in Cambridge for his own
kindred; 1,000 l. to redeem poor captives taken by Turkish pirates;
500 l. to the parish of Wandsworth; 1,000 l. to Richmond; and 1,000 l.
to Reigate to buy lands of inheritance for the use of the poor; the
residue of his estates real and personal he bequeathed to his executors
to be allotted to the poor of various parishes according to their discretion. In this distribution the county of Surrey has been principally regarded. It may be observed, that whenever it has been asserted
that Mr. Smith left a sum of money to any of the parishes here mentioned, (though they have recorded it as a specific bequest in their respective tables of benefactions,) it is erroneous, and would have been
more accurately stated if it had been said that they received it as an allotment out of Mr. Smith's charity. It may be collected from his will and
declaration of uses, that his object was to set such poor people to work as
were able; to relieve the impotent with clothes and provisions; to educate
children, and to bind them apprentices. A schedule of the present amount
of the allotment to each parish mentioned in this volume, as paid in the
year 1791, (obligingly communicated by William Bray, Esq. of Great
Russel-street, the treasurer,) is given in the note (fn. 51), with the names
of the estates out of which they issue. The story of Smith's having
been a beggar rests upon a very vague tradition: its fallacy, as far
as relates to his excluding Mitcham from the benefits of his charity
because he was whipped out of that parish, may be deduced from
the foregoing account. It appears, nevertheless, that he was a person of very humble extraction, from his leaving money to his poor
kindred, viz. such as were aged, impotent, and unable to help
themselves. Upon being asked, which of his poor kindred he meant?
he said, the poorest of his sisters' children, and their children successively (fn. 52). Mr. Smith was buried in the chancel; on his tomb is
the following inscription:
"Depositum Henr. Smith, Senatoris Londinensis.
"Mole sub hac quæris quis conditur, optime lector,
"Cujus et qualis, quantus in orbe fuit.
"A dextris muri, statuam tu cernere possis
"Oranti similem, marmore de Pario;
"Subter quam statuam cernatur tabula sculpta
"Auratis verbis quæ tibi cuncta notant."
"Here lyeth the body of Henry Smith, Esq. sometime citizen and alderman of London, who departed this life the 30th day of January Ao Dom. 1627, being then neere the age of 79 yeares, whome while he lived gave unto these several townes in Surrey following:—One thousand pounds apeece to buy lands for perpetuity for the reliefe and setting poore people on worke in the said townes, viz. to the towne of Croydon, one thousand pounds; to the towne of Kingston, one thousand pounds; to the towne of Guildford, one thousand pounds; to the towne of Darking, "one thousand pounds; to the towne of Farnham, one thousand pounds; and by his last will and testament did farther give and devise, to buy lands for perpetuity and setting the poore a-worke, unto the towne of Reigate, one thousand pounds; to the towne of Richmond, one especialtye or debt of a thousand pounds; and unto this towne of Wandsworth, wherein he was borne, the sum of five hundred pounds, for the same use as before; and did further will and bequeath one thousand pounds to buy lands for perpetuity, to redeem poore captives and prisoners from the Turkish tyranny; and not here stinting his charity and bounty, did also give and bequeath the most part of his estate, being to a great value, for the purchasing lands of inheritance for ever for the relief of the poor and setting them a-worke: a patterne worthy the imitation of those whom God has blessed with the abundance of the goods of this life to follow him therein."
It is probable that this was the celebrated Puritan, commonly called "Praise God Barbone," a distinguished member of the parliament which took its name from him. He was a leather-seller in Fleetstreet (fn. 53).
Several others, of the Brodrick family have been interred at Wandsworth:—Sir Allan Brodrick, Knt. who died Nov. 25, and was buried here Dec. 3, 1680, was surveyor-general of the kingdom of Ireland. Anthony Wood says, that he was endowed with a poetical wit, of which several specimens were extant (fn. 54). His burial is not entered in the register.
"Dr. Tobias Whittaker primarie physician to his Majs houshold, buried May 19, 1666." He wrote upon the small-pox, and was author also of "A Discourse of Waters;" and a treatise on "the "possibility of maintaining human life (without sickness) from infancy to extreme old age, by the use of wine."
The churchwardens accounts in this parish begin in the year 1590. It appears by a minute in these books, that the bridge over the Wandle was built at the expence of Queen Elizabeth, between the 18th and 25th of July 1602 (fn. 55).
William Wickes, by his will bearing date 1710, bequeathed 200 l. towards raising a sum of money for purchasing lands of inheritance of 25 l. yearly value to clothe and educate 25 boys. Various persons having contributed towards the accomplishment of this object, an estate was purchased at Ashurst in Kent, which was vested in trustees, and the school established in the year 1720. Other benefactions having since accrued, there is now 300 l. in the stocks belonging to this charity, with the interest of which, joined to the collection at an annual sermon, the trustees are enabled to increase the number of children to 35. The school-house, in which the master lives rentfree, was leased to the trustees of the charity by Lord Midleton, upon their paying an annual acknowledgment of five shillings.
Mr. Henry Smith left the sum of 500 l. to purchase lands of inheritance for the relief of the poor of this place. Mrs. Elizabeth Blackwell, having left 100 l. for the same purpose, the parish, with these two sums, and 60 l. more added by themselves, bought an estate at Carshalton which formerly let for 40 l. per annum, but now produces 86 l. The parish receives an allotment also from the trustees of Mr. Smith's charities, which is paid out of an estate at Stoughton in Leicestershire; this was formerly 16 l. per annum, now about 28 l. Mrs. Elizabeth Tyroe, in 1625, left a house at Wandsworth to the poor, which in 1705 let at 6 l. 4s. per annum. Mrs. Susanna Powell left an annuity of 20 l. 16 s. issuing out of the profits of the rectory to be distributed thus:—Four-pence in bread, and four-pence in money, to 24 poor widows, 12 on each Sunday alternately. The same person bequeathed 40 s. per annum issuing out of the same rectory to bind a poor child apprentice. Sir Allan Brodrick, about the year 1680, gave to this parish the interest of 360 l.; 5 l. of which he directed to be paid to the minister for reading prayers; 20 s. to the sexton, and six shillings a week to be divided among such of the poor as attended daily prayers. An estate at Willsden which was purchased with this money now produces 39 l. 13 s. 4 d. per annum. Mr. Nicholas Tonnet, in 1680, gave the sum of 200 l. to the poor of Wandsworth. Mr. W. Ford, in 1681, the sum of 100 l. to be laid out in lands for the poor. Some of these legacies have been considerably improved.
Mr. Francis Millington left the profits of an estate to purchase a coat annually, and to distribute portions of 4 l. each to seamen and watermen of this parish of the age of 50 years and upwards. This benefaction was at first distributed among four persons only, but the revenues of the estate being improved, its benefits are now extended to ten.
The parish have some other estates not appropriated to any particular purpose, and they receive 50 l. per annum from the Right Honourable Earl Spencer, for land belonging to the parish, which he has inclosed in his park.
The hamlet of Garrett appears to have been about two centuries ago a single house called "the Garvett (fn. 56)." It now contains about fifty houses, and is well known as the scene of a mock election which took place there for many years upon the meeting of every new parliament; when several well-known characters in low-life appeared as candidates, being furnished with fine clothes and gay equipages for the occasion by the publicans, who made a good harvest of the day's frolic. This piece of burlesque had been some time in the decline, it was wholly dropped at the last general election, and a short time hence perhaps its memory will be preserved only in Foote's diverting comedy of the Mayor of Garrett.
A very handsome villa has been lately built by Mr. Gibson of Hackney, for John Anthony Rucker, Esq. It stands near Lord Spencer's park, on the site of a house which was built for the present Lady Rivers, and lately occupied by Lord Stormont. Its elevated situation renders it a conspicuous object in the neighbourhood, and gives it the advantage of a beautiful prospect.