DEPTFORD, St. NICHOLAS.
The name of this place was anciently written Depeford, signifying the deep ford, where the bridge now is over the Ravensborne.
Division of Deptford into two parishes.
Deptford lies in the hundred of Blackheath, at the distance of
about four miles from London-bridge, near the high road from Canterbury to Dover: by an Act of Parliament, passed in 1730, the
parish was divided into two; distinguished by the names of St.
Nicholas, and St. Paul.
Boundaries of Deptford, St. Nicholas.
The parish of St. Nicholas, which includes the old town, is
bounded by the river Thames, and by the new parish of Deptford,
St. Paul. It is of very small extent; the land not built upon, does
not exceed two or three acres.
The parishes pay jointly the sum of 1649l. 19s. 4d. to the landtax; which is at the rate of 2s. in the pound.
Sir Thomas Wyat at Deptford.
Sir Thomas Wyat lay a night and a day, with his army, at this
place, in 1553 (fn. 1) .
In the year 1671, a great inundation happened at and near Deptford. About 700 sheep, with a great number of oxen, cows, &c.
were destroyed in the marshes; the cables of ships at anchor were
broken, and the water rose to the height of ten feet in the streets near
the river; so that the inhabitants were obliged to retire, in boats, to
the upper town. An account of it is extant, in a small pamphlet published at the time.
Sir Thomas Smith.
Cowley, the poet.
Sir Thomas Smith, who had been farmer of the customs to Queen
Elizabeth, and was sent by James I. as his Ambassador to the court
of Russia, in 1604, had a magnificent house at Deptford, which was
burnt down on the 30th of January 1618. His travels into Russia
are in print; but they are supposed not to have been written by himself (fn. 2) . Cowley, the poet, was for some time an inhabitant of this
place (fn. 3) . The Gun-tavern is said to have been the residence of the
Earl of Nottingham, Queen Elizabeth's Lord Admiral. His arms,
with the order of the Garter, are carved in wood over the chimneypiece of a large dining-room.
The manor of Deptford, West Greenwich, le Strand, or Sayes-court.
The manor of Deptford, alias West Greenwich, was given by
William the Conqueror to Gilbert de Magminot, or Maminot (fn. 4) ;
whose great-grandson, Wakelin de Maminot, dying without issue in
1191, this manor fell to the share of his sister and coheir Alice, the
wife of Geoffrey de Say (fn. 5) , who gave it to the Knights Templars (fn. 6) .
His son Geoffrey recovered it, by giving the Templars the manor of
Saddlescombe in Sussex in exchange (fn. 7) . This Geoffrey having taken
up arms against King John, his estates were seized and given to
Peter de Cron (fn. 8) . They were restored by Henry III. in 1223 (fn. 9) ;
after which this manor continued in the family of Say, till the
latter end of the fourteenth century (fn. 10) . William de Say died feised
of it in 1375 (fn. 11) ; leaving issue a son, who died in his minority, anno
1382 (fn. 12) , and a daughter Elizabeth, who became his heir, and married, 1. John de Fallesley; 2. Sir William Heron, Knight. She
died in 1402 (fn. 13) , when Sir William Clinton, and others, representatives of William de Say, were found to be her heirs. In the year
1414, Sir John Philip, and his wife Alice, held the reversion of
this manor; Sir William Philip, his brother, being his heir (fn. 14) . Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March, died seised of the manor of West
Greenwich, anno 1425 (fn. 15) ; William de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk, in
1449 (fn. 16) . The Duke's grandson, John Earl of Lincoln, who possessed this manor in his father's lifetime, was slain in battle at Stoke,
near Newark upon Trent, anno 1487; and his estates became forfeited to the crown (fn. 17) . King Henry VII. the next year, gave this
manor to Oliver St. John (fn. 18) ; whose son John died seised of it in 1513 (fn. 19) ,
when it was inherited by his eldest son of the same name, then eight
years old. It reverted to the crown before the year 1538, when
Richard Long was appointed steward by the King (fn. 20) . In 1547, Sir
Thomas Speke had a grant of that office for life (fn. 21) . After the death
of Charles I. it was seized by the Parliament. A survey of it was
then taken; and it was sold, in 1650, by the trustees of forfeited
estates, to Thomas Buckner, Esq. on behalf of himself, John Barksted, and others, creditors of the state (fn. 22) . Since the Restoration
this manor has been vested in the crown; and the stewardship of it
has been held with that of Greenwich.
Sayes-court, site of the manor.
Sayes-court, being the mansion-house and site of the manor of
West Greenwich, was, for many years, occupied by the family of
Browne. Sir Richard Browne died there in 1604. Christopher
Browne, Esq. (son of Sir Richard,) succeeded him in the custody
of the said mansion-house and the demesne lands, being above
200 acres. When this estate was sold by the Parliament, they
assigned the site of Sayes-court to the Brownes, with about 60
acres of land, as a compensation for their interest in the whole (fn. 23) .
After the Restoration, John Evelyn, Esquire, who had married
Mary, the only daughter and heir of Sir Richard Browne the
younger, obtained (anno 1663) a lease of Sayes-court and the
demesne lands for 99 years (fn. 24) . In 1726, the said estate was granted
in fee to Francis Earl of Godolphin and others, in trust for Sir John
Evelyn, Bart. (fn. 25) ; whose grandson, Sir Frederic Evelyn, Bart. is the
Sir Richard Browne, at Sayes-court.
John Evelyn; his famous gardens.
Peter, Czar of Muscovy, at Sayes-court.
Frost of 1682–3.
Present state of Sayes-court.
Sayes-court was the residence of Sir Richard Browne the elder
and younger (fn. 26) , and afterwards of Mr. Evelyn, son-in-law of the
latter; a gentleman celebrated for his general knowledge and various
accomplishments. He was particularly skilled in gardening, painting, engraving, architecture, and the science of medals; on all
which, as well as on other subjects, he published treatises (fn. 27) . Sir
Richard Browne, being absent at the court of France, gave up
Sayes-court to his son-in-law, who came to reside there in 1651.
Being no friend to the then ruling powers (fn. 28) , he spent his time in re
tirement at this his favourite spot, studying the practical part of gardening, the culture of trees, and the propagation of timber; which
he has treated of at large in his Sylva. His gardens at this place are
said to have been the wonder and admiration of the greatest and
most judicious men of his time; in the life of Lord Keeper Guildford, they are described as "most boscaresque, being, as it were,
an examplar of his book of forest trees." What he most prided
himself upon was a hedge of holly, which he thus describes, with
a great degree of enthusiasm, in one of the later editions of his
Sylva, published by himself, in 1704: "Is there under heaven
a more glorious and refreshing object of the kind, than an impregnable hedge of about four hundred feet in length, nine feet
high, and five in diameter; which I can shew in my now ruined
garden at Sayes-court, (thanks to the Czar of Muscovy,) at any
time of the year, glittering with its armed and varnished leaves;
the taller standards, at orderly distances, blushing with their
natural coral? It mocks the rudest assaults of the weather, beasts,
or hedge-breakers—Et illum nemo impune lacessit
(fn. 29) ." It is said that
Peter the Great, Czar of Muscovy, to whom Mr. Evelyn lent his
place at Sayes-court whilst he was studying naval architecture in the
adjoining dockyard, in 1698, used to amuse himself with being
wheeled through this hedge in a wheelbarrow. Though the Royal
tenant paid very little respect either to his landlord's trees or hedges,
I think, by Mr. Evelyn's description of his holly, and the exulting
manner in which he speaks of its being proof against the rudest
hedge-breakers, that the Czar rather chose any other hedge than
this for his amusement. In the Philosophical Transactions of the
year 1683, there is a letter from Mr. Evelyn, giving an account, by
desire of the Royal Society, of the damage done in his garden by
the frost the preceding winter; but as his letter is dated the 14th of
April, little is to be gathered from it, as it is most probable that the
cork trees, and many others which he mentions as looking very
suspiciously, recovered. He laments the damage done to his beautiful holly-hedge; but from the manner in which he speaks of it in
1704, it is evident that it was not materially injured. A tortoise,
which had lived in his garden many winters, would, it is probable,
have escaped, but was found dead, having been obstructed by a vine
root from burying himself to his usual depth (fn. 30) . There is not the
least trace now, either of the house or gardens at Sayes-court; some
of the garden walls only, with some brick piers, are remaining.
The house was pulled down in 1728 or 1729, and the workhouse
built on its site (fn. 31) .
Several repairs, and rebuilding.
The old church of St. Nicholas consists of a chancel, nave, and
two aisles. In the year 1630, this church was repaired and considerably enlarged; to which work the East-India Company, and Sir
William Russel, were principal benefactors (fn. 32) . In 1697, on account
of the great increase of inhabitants, the whole church was pulled
down, except the tower, (an ancient structure of flint and stone,
which is still standing,) and rebuilt upon a larger scale. Isaac
Loader, Esq. contributed 901l. towards the rebuilding and the
ornaments. The architect performed his work so ill, that the church
was obliged to undergo a thorough repair in 1716, at the expence
of about 400l.; as is recorded on a tablet placed against the south
wall, on the outside.
Monuments. Edward Fenton.
Sir Richard Browne.
On the north wall of the chancel, within the recess for the altar,
are the monuments of Edward Fenton, Esq. (fn. 33) , 1603; the Hon.
Henry Roger Boyle, eldest son of Richard Earl of Corke, (who died
at a school in Deptford,) 1615; and George Shelvocke, Esq. (fn. 34) , 1760.
On the south wall (within the same recess) is that of Jane Edisbury (fn. 35) ,
mother of Kenrick Edisbury, paymaster under Sir William Russell,
Treasurer of the Navy, 1618. On the east wall of the chancel, to
the north of the recess, are the monuments of Peter Pett, Esq. (fn. 36) ,
1652; Jonas Shish, Esq. (fn. 38) , master shipwright to Charles II. 1680.
John, his eldest son, master shipwright, 1686; Thomas, his third
son, master shipwright at Woolwich, 1685; William Boulter (fn. 39) ,
Esq. 1714; and Richard Wilkinson, his grandson, 1725. On the
east wall, to the south of the recess, are the monuments of Sir
Richard Browne, Knt. 1604, and others of his family (fn. 40) ; some
children of John Evelyn (fn. 41) , Esq.; Robert Castell (fn. 42) , Gent. (a benefactor to the rebuilding of the church), 1698; and Thomas South,
Esq. (fn. 43) , 1732.
On the north wall of the chancel (the lower part) are the monuments of Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Wilshaw, Esq. 1709;
Judith, daughter of Peter Fiot, Gent. of Guernsey, 1713; and Fisher
Harding (fn. 44) , master shipwright at Harwich. On the south wall, over
the gallery, that of John Turner (fn. 45) , Esq. captain of the York man of
war, ("qui in utroque bello Batavico et contra prædones Algerinos
strenuam navavarat operam,") ob. 1672; beneath the gallery are
those of John Hughes (fn. 46) , M. A. 1710, and Mrs. Mary Gransden,
1719. On the floor are the tombs of Mr. Thomas Loving, 1722;
Capt. George Pomeroy, 1724; Capt. George Pomeroy, of the yacht
Catherine, 1735; Sarah, his daughter (fn. 47) , wife of Nicholas Roope,
Gent. 1741; Mr. Robert Reynolds, 1742; William Reynolds, Esq.
1775; Capt. Thomas Willyams, of the Royal Navy (no date); Anne
his wife, daughter of Capt. John Fox, 1742; Rachel, wife of John
Rule, Esq. 1757; Mr. Roger Gastril, 1783; and Elizabeth, widow
of Mr. Martin Ware, master shipwright of his Majesty's dock, 1795.
Upon a pillar on the south side of the chancel is the monument of
Catherine, wife of Captain Francis Wivell, and daughter of Captain
Christopher Gunman (fn. 48) , 1713.
On the south wall of the south aisle, over the gallery, is the monument of Sir Richard Hughes, Bart. Commissioner of the Navy, 1779;
underneath are the arms of the Trinity-house, and a monument to
the memory of James Wall (fn. 49) , Esq. 1759; Isaac Wall, Esq. 1796, &c.
On the floor are the tombs of Richard Gibson, surgeon of the yard
at Deptford, 1726; Mrs. Susanna Touril, 1727, and her daughter
Mary, wife of James Wall, Esq. 1725. In one of the windows of
this aisle are some coats of arms in stained glass (fn. 50) . On the wall of
the north aisle are monuments in memory of Mrs. Hannah Shish,
widow, 1726; Francis Gasker, her son, 1743; William Hales (fn. 51) ,
1779; and Elizabeth, his wife, 1761. On the floor are the tombs
of Capt. John Guy, 1696; and Mr. John Benbow (fn. 52) (son of John
Benbow, Admiral of the White), 1708.
On a pillar of the nave is a tablet which commemorates the particulars of the benefaction of Isaac Loader, Esq. (fn. 53) , High Sheriff of the
county, who gave the sum of 901l. towards rebuilding and ornamenting the church.
Strype mentions memorials in this church for William Hawkins,
Esq. (brother of Sir John Hawkins, Commissioner of the Navy),
1589; Thomas Wilshaw, 1672; Jane, relict of Capt. Robert Callis,
and wife of Capt. Blake, 1677; Elizabeth, widow of Thomas
Jekyl, 1678 (fn. 54) ; and Anthony Young, merchant, 1693.
Tomb of Capt. Shelvocke.
Sir Richard Browne.
Other tombs in the churchyard.
Against the east wall of the chancel, on the outside, is a tablet in
memory of Susanna, wife of Capt. George Shelvocke, 1711; near it
is the tomb of her husband (fn. 55) , who died in 1742. Against the north
wall is the monument of John Addey, one of the King's master
shipwrights, 1606. In the churchyard are the tombs of Sir Richard
Browne, Bart. (fn. 56) , 1683; Mary, daughter of Richard Basnett of Bangor, wife of Thomas Crumpe of Lidney (Glouc.), Gent.
1693; Frances, wife of John Richardson, surgeon, 1707; Mary,
wife of Capt. Thomas Meads, daughter of Peter Garnett, 1709;
Richard Thomas (fn. 57) , Esq. 1715; Ursula, relict of Lieut. Thomas
Brown, 1715; Edward Popley, master builder, 1728; Edward
Ward, his grandson, commander in the East India Company's service, 1762; Richard Naish, Gent. 1733; Lieut. Thomas Russel,
1739; Capt. Abraham Mitchell, commander of a trading vessel, who
died in 1745, in consequence of losing his leg in an engagement with
a French privateer of considerable force (he defended his ship, which
was richly laden, with such bravery and resolution, that the enemy
was obliged to sheer off); Mr. Peter Bronsdon, 1745; Anne, his
wife, daughter of Henry Shiffner, Esq. 1757; William Mills, Esq.
1753; Mary Eccles, widow, aged 90, 1762; Thomas Anguish,
M. A. vicar, 1763; George Bowler, of Clifford's Inn, Gent. 1763;
George Browne, Esq. 1783; Thomas Snell, Esq. clerk of the check
to the dock-yard at Portsmouth, 1786; John Christopher Franck,
surgeon, 1788; Edward Wood, Esq. surveyor of the dock-yard,
1790; Benjamin Hunter, Esq. master attendant in the dock-yard,
1791; Lieut. Joseph Clapp, of the Royal Navy, 1792; Roger Sturkey, surgeon, 1792; Benjamin Barnsley, Esq. 1792; Mr. Edward
Currey, attorney, 1795; William Butler, Gent. 1796; John Wells,
Esq. master of the wet dock at Rotherhithe; and Richard Brooke,
bookseller, of London (the dates worn).
The rectory of St. Nicholas at West Greenwich, alias Deptford, was
given by Juliana Countess of Norfolk (fn. 58) to the monks of Begham in
Sussex (fn. 59) , who had removed thither from Brockley in Deptford. In 1183,
it was appropriated to the abbot and convent of Begham (fn. 60) , since the
dissolution of which house it has passed through the same hands as
Brockley farm in the parish of Deptford, St. Paul (fn. 61) , being now vested
in John Drake, LL. D. and Thomas Drake Tirwhit, Esq. in right
of their wives, who were daughters of the late William Wickham,
Esq. of Garsington in the county of Oxford. They are also patrons
of the vicarage. The rectory was rated at 15 marks in the year
1287 (fn. 62) . It comprehends the great tithes of this parish, and that
of St. Paul, except the manor of Hatcham, which belongs to the
Camberwell impropriation (fn. 63) .
The vicarage was rated, in 1287, at six marks and a half; in the
King's books it is valued at 12l. 17s. 3½d.: in 1650, the vicarage
(with the house and glebe) was valued at 60l. per annum (fn. 64) . The
vicarial tithes of the new parish were reserved to the vicar of St. Nicholas, under the act of parliament passed in 1730.
The patronage continued in the crown from the dissolution of monasteries till after the year 1630. In 1659, the advowson was vested
in John Cutler, Esq. (fn. 65) , who was created a baronet the next year; it
has since passed through the same hands as the manor of Brockley
and the great tithes.
Vicars. Samuel Page.
Samuel Page, D. D. instituted to this vicarage about the year 1603,
published some sermons and tracts in divinity (fn. 66) ; he was buried at
Deptford, August 8, 1630. Thomas Mallory, who was appointed
minister in 1644, and resigned in 1659, had the living of St. Michael,
Crooked-lane, from which he was ejected by the Bartholomew Act.
He published some sermons (fn. 67) . Richard Holden, vicar from 1692
to 1700, published a sermon preached before the Trinity-house.
The learned George Stanhope, D. D. dean of Canterbury, was vicar
of this parish from the year 1700 till his death in 1728 (fn. 68) . Thomas
Anguish, vicar from 1737 to 1762, published three sermons; on the
accession, on the rebellion of 1745, and on the earthquake. The
present vicar is John Drake, LL. D. who succeeded William Worcester Wilson, D. D. in 1791.
The earliest date of the parish register is 1563.
Comparative state of population.
||Average of Baptisms.
||Average of Burials.
||574/5 (fn. 69)
To obtain a fair view of the increase of population, the baptisms
and burials in both parishes, since the division in 1730, should be
added together, and then the latter averages will stand thus:
||Average of Baptisms.
||Average of Burials.
Great increase of buildings.
It appears that the population of this place has increased within
two centuries, in a proportion of twenty to one, and it is observable
that a considerable increase is to be noticed at a very early period;
which is to be attributed to this cause, that in the statutes and proclamations against the erecting new buildings within a certain distance from London; market towns, and places used for building of
ships, were excepted. It should be noticed that the burials are at
some periods much increased by the number of persons who die on
board the ships. The present number of houses in the parish of
St. Nicholas, is about 1150, those in St. Paul about 2300; making together about 3450.
Burials during the plague years.
In the year 1603, there were 235 burials, the average of that
period (not including that year) being about 38. In 1624, there
were 125 burials; in 1625, 342; the average of that period
(deducting those years) being 60. In 1636, there were 147
burials (65 persons dying of the plague). The next year eleven
persons died of the plague, the number of burials was 109. In 1665,
374 persons died of the plague, the whole number of burials was
548. The next year (a circumstance which I have observed only in
this parish and in Greenwich) was more fatal, 522 persons dying of
the plague; the total number of burials was 715. The average
number of burials of the period 1680–9, above ten years afterwards,
was only 252.
Extracts from the Register.
"Phineas, son of Peter Pett, baptized Nov. 8, 1570." The family
of Pett were eminent shipbuilders for several generations. Peter Pett
(here mentioned) was master shipwright to Queen Mary and Queen
Elizabeth (fn. 70) . Phineas, whose baptism is here recorded, having been servant to the Lord Admiral, was taken into the service of Prince Henry in
1603 (fn. 71) , as appears by the MS. of his own life, extracts from which have
lately been published in the Archæologia. In 1606, he succeeded his
brother Joseph as one of the master shipwrights in the navy (fn. 72) . In
1609, there appears to have been a combination among his brother
shipwrights to ruin him, by accusations of insufficiency and dishonesty, shewn in the building of a great ship then on the stocks.
This matter came to a final hearing at Woolwich (where the ship
was building), on the 8th of May that year, before the King in person, accompanied by the Prince of Wales, and the Lords of the
Council, Mr. Pett during the whole trial attending on his knees (fn. 72) .
The event was much to his credit, and to the disgrace of his enemies. He was ever after honoured with the favour of the King, and
of his successor Charles I. who, with various branches of the Royal
Family, frequently honoured him with visits when they went to see
the shipping at Woolwich. Among other marks of the Royal favour
it appears that he had the disposal of two baronets' patents, one of
which he sold for 700l. (fn. 74) Mr. Pett was employed to fit out the fleet
which carried over the Princess Elizabeth after her marriage to the
Palsgrave, in 1613, and accompanied the Lord Admiral in that
voyage (fn. 75) . In 1623, he went with Prince Charles to Spain; for his
attendance on this voyage he was presented with a gold chain, valued
at 104l. (fn. 76) In 1625, he fitted out the fleet which brought over Henrietta Maria, and attended the voyage (fn. 77) . In 1637, he was employed
to build a great ship at Woolwich, for the Navy. This ship, which
was called the Sovereign of the Seas, was the largest which had been
built in England (fn. 78) . She was launched on the 14th of October (fn. 79) .
On the 6th of June following, the King and Queen, the Duchess of
Chevreuse, the Duke and Duchess of Lenox, and several other Lords
and Ladies, dined on board her at Greenhithe (fn. 80) . Mr. Pett was the
first master of the Shipwrights' Company, after their new charter of
incorporation in 1612 (fn. 81) ; he is supposed to have died in 1647 (fn. 82) .
Sir Peter Pett.
"Mr. Peter Pett, one of the master shipwrights, buried Aug. 5,
"1652." This Peter Pett I suppose to be the nephew of Phineas,
who, though but slightly mentioned in his uncle's memoirs, appears
to have been no less eminent in his profession, being the first inventor (as we learn from his epitaph (fn. 83) ) of that useful ship of war,
a frigate. His son Peter, baptized at Deptford, Oct. 31, 1630, was
Advocate General for Charles II. in Ireland, and member of the
House of Commons in that kingdom. He was knighted by the
Duke of Ormond, the Lord Lieutenant. Sir Peter Pett published
several political tracts, particularly, "A Discourse of the Growth of
England in Trade and Populousness since the Reformation;"—On the Clerical Revenue; and the same asserted to be reasonable
and necessary;"—Of the Number of the People of England,
founded on the Poll Books and Bishops' Surveys;"—On the
Necessity of future Public Taxes for the Support of Government
and our Religion," &c. &c. (fn. 84)
"Edward Fenton, Armiger, post decennem ægritudinem sepelitur,
Aug. 31, 1603." Capt. Edward Fenton, whose burial is here
recorded, accompanied Sir Martin Frobisher on his second and third
voyages. He had afterwards himself the command of an expedition for the discovery of the North-west Passage. Though he
failed in the object of his voyage, he signalized his valour by defeating a Spanish squadron, and sinking the Vice Admiral's ship. He
distinguished himself also in the celebrated action with the Armada,
in which he was captain of the Admiral's ship. He spent the latter
part of his life at Deptford (fn. 85) , and lies buried in St. Nicholas's
church; where there is a monument to his memory, with an inscription, which has been already given (fn. 86) .
"Richard, son of Sr James Sandalen, Knt, baptized July 20,
John Wells, and Benjamin Wells.
"Benjamin, son of Mr John Wells, Paymaster of his Majesty's
Navy, baptized Aug. 18, 1616." John Wells, who was afterwards Treasurer of the Stores, distinguished himself as a mathematician; and published a treatise on shadows (fn. 87) . He was buried
at Deptford, Dec. 7, 1635. His son Benjamin was an eminent
physician, and published a treatise on the gout (fn. 88) .
"Sr Thomas Sherley, Knt, and Judith Taylor, widow, married
Dec. 2, 1617."
Family of Russell, Bart.
"Anne, daughter of Sr William Russell (fn. 89) , Treasurer of the
Navy, baptized July 5, 1619; Gerrard, his son, June 13, 1620;
Edward, June 8, 1621; Robert, Sep. 10, 1622; John, buried
May 31, 1624.—Mr Edward Lukenor and Mrs Elizabeth Russell,
(daughter of Sr William,) married Novr 1, 1633; Thomas Chichley, Gent, and Mrs Sarah Russell, married Aug. 13, 1635; John
Bodville, Esq. and Mrs Anne Russell, married Sep. 11, 1638."
"William Shewers, and John Finicho, two children which, playing together, shut themselves into a hutch and were smothered,
buried Aug. 26, 1631."
"Mr Ephraim Paget, buried Oct. 27, 1646."—Author of a description of the sundry sorts of Christians not subject to the Pope;
and an account of the heresies of later times (fn. 90) . He was rector of
St. Edmund, Lombard-street.
"John, son of Mr John Evelyn, was baptized Jan. 26, 1654–5."
This son of the celebrated Mr. Evelyn of Sayes-court inherited his
father's literature and love of science. He translated Plutarch's Life
of Alexander, Rapin on Gardens, and the History of the Grand
Visiers: some of his poems are published in Dryden's Miscellanies (fn. 91) .
His son John, whose baptism is thus entered in the register, ("John,
son of John Evelyn, Esq. grandson of John Evelyn, Esq. and greatgrandson of Sr Richard Browne, Bart, baptized Mar. 2, 1681–2,")
was created a Baronet in 1713, and was grandfather of the present
Sir Frederic Evelyn, Bart.—"George, son of Sir George Evelyn,
"Knt, from Kew in Surrey, was buried Sep. 8, 1716."
Officers shot for cowardice.
"Capt. Thomas Pearse, and Lieut. Logan, shot to death for
losing the Saphire cowardly, buried Aug. 26, 1670."
Three children at a birth.
"Rebecca, Sarah, and Rachel, daughters of Edward Rippinton,
baptized Aug. 5, 1688. It appears that these children all lived,
and that the mother recovered. "Richard, Ellis, and Samuel,
children of John Powell, mariner, baptized Nov. 28, 1738." They
were all buried Dec. 14.
"Anne Bland, widow, who was mother of 25 children born of
her body, aged 80, having, at the date hereof, 15 sons in his
Majesty's army, from a cellar in Butt-lane, buried Jan. 9,
"Capt. George Shelvocke, from Lombard-street, London, buried
Dec. 4, 1742." See his epitaph, p. 369. A narrative of his
voyage round the world was published by himself, anno 1726, in
one volume in octavo; there is a later edition published by his son.
Dame Catherine Calder, widow of Sr James Calder, Bart
(fn. 92) , from
Northumberland, Nov. 6, 1776."
In 1652, there is mention of a lamentable fire having happened
Persons touched for the evil.
In the years 1684, 1685, 1686, 1687, and 1688, are lists of
persons who had been touched for the evil. In 1686, the number
amounts to 82.
Instances of Longevity.
"Maudlin Augur, ætatis sue 106, buried Dec. 19, 1632; Katherine Perry, widow, of 110 years old, by her owne report, buried
Dec. 12, 1676; Sarah Mayo, widow, being 102 years of age,
from St Michael, Wood-street, London, buried Aug. 30, 1705.
Elizabeth Wiborn, widow, buried in the hundred and first year
of her age, Dec. 12, 1714. Margaret Browne, widow and pensioner, died in the 94th year of her age, and was buried from
Butt-lane, Feb. 27, 1714–5; Mary Eden, widow, from Kingstreet, aged 98, buried Dec. 18, 1721."
Society of the Trinity-house.
The Society of the Trinity-house, founded by Sir Thomas Spert,
Comptroller of the Navy to Henry VIII. was first established at this
place, and incorporated by the name of "The Master, Warden,
and Assistants of the Guild or Fraternity of the Most Glorious and
Undivided Trinity, and of St. Clement, in the Parish of Deptford
Strond, in the County of Kent." This Corporation consists of
a Master, Deputy-master, 31 Elder Brethren, and an unlimited
number of inferior members; out of whom the elder brethern are
elected. Among these are always some of the great officers of
state; the remainder are captains, either in the Royal Navy or of
merchantmen. This Corporation having for its object the increase
and encouragement of navigation, the good government of seamen,
and the security of merchant-ships upon the coasts; is invested with
the powers of examining the mathematical classes in Christ's Hospital; of examining and licensing masters of ships; appointing
pilots, both for the Royal Navy and merchant-ships; settling the
rates of pilotage; erecting, ordering, and maintaining light-houses,
buoys, beacons, and other sea-marks, for the better security of ships;
granting licences to seamen to row on the Thames, in time of peace,
or when past service; licensing aliens to serve on board English
ships; hearing and determining complaints of officers and seamen in
the merchant service, subject to an appeal to the Admiralty. The
revenue of the Corporation, which arises from tonnage, ballastage (fn. 93) ,
beaconage, &c.; and from contingent benefactions, is applied (after
defraying the expences of light-houses, &c.) to the relief of decayed
seamen, their widows and orphans. The members of this corporation enjoy various privileges and immunities. The ancient hall at
Deptford, where their meetings were formerly held, was pulled
down about the year 1787 (fn. 94) , and an elegant building erected for that
purpose in London, near the Tower. The arms of this Corporation
are, Arg. a cross G. between four ships of three masts, in full sail,
There are two hospitals at Deptford belonging to the Corporation
of the Trinity-house. The old hospital, of which there is a view,
engraved by Gribelin, in 1701, was built in the reign of Henry VIII.
It consisted originally of 21 apartments; but, being pulled down and
rebuilt in 1788, the number was increased to 25. This hospital
adjoins to the churchyard. The other, which is in Church-street,
was built about the latter end of the last century. Sir Richard
Browne, in 1672, gave the grouud, after the expiration of a short
term; and Capt. William Maples, in 1680, gave 1300l. towards
the building. This hospital consists of 56 apartments, forming a
spacious quadrangle; in the centre of which is placed a statue of
Capt. Maples. On the east side, opposite the entrance, is a plain
building, which serves both for a chapel and a hall. Here the
Brethren of the Trinity-house meet annually on Trinity Monday,
and afterwards go to St. Nicholas's church, where they hear divine
service and a sermon. The pensioners, in both hospitals, consist of
decayed pilots and masters of ships, or their widows. The single
men and widows receive about 18l. per annum; the married men
There is no alms-house exclusively appropriated to the poor of
Dr. Breton's school.
Dr. Robert Breton, vicar, who died in 1672, left the sum of
400l. to endow a grammar-school in this parish for 24 children;
a considerable part of this benefaction was lost; the remainder produces 6l. 16s. per annum; which is given as a salary to a master,
who teaches six children of this parish, and as many of the parish of
St. Paul, on Deptford Green. This school has no other endowment.
Charity-school for both parishes endowed by Mrs. Gransden, and others.
Mr. Robert Gransden gave the inheritance of a piece of ground
in Butt-lane, for the purpose of building a school-house. His daughter, Mrs. Mary Gransden, who died in 1719, bequeathed 80l.
towards the building. She gave also her farm of Plaistow, (near
Halsted in Essex,) now let at about 40l. per annum, and the
ground-rents of two tenements in London (since sold to the Bank
for the sum of 1300l.), for its support. The school-house was built
with Mrs. Gransden's legacy, and the contributions of other benefactors (fn. 95) , amounting in the whole (including two other legacies (fn. 96) ;
100l. collected at a sermon, preached by Dr. Stanhope, and 100l.
given by a friend who had some charitable legacies to dispose of at
his own discretion) to about 740l. The school was opened May
28, 1723; since which time, some noble benefactions having been
given for the education and apprenticing of children, (as may be seen
in the table on the following page,) the trustees (fn. 97) are enabled to clothe
and educate 50 boys, and the same number of girls; apprenticing them
out as occasion may require. This school is for the joint benefit of
both parishes. The school-house is in that of St. Paul.
Benefactions to the School.
||Dr. George Stanhope,
||150l. increased by benefactions from William Sherwin, William Collins, and William Holt, to 250l. 4 per cents.
||To apprentice children from the school, and to buy books.
||William Hosier, Esq.
||300l. South-Sea annuities,
||To educate four children.
||William Sherwin, and William Collins, by deed,
||gave the sum of 1600l. Old South-Sea annuities,
||To educate and clothe boys, and to put them out apprentice to shipwrights, joiners, or house-carpenters.
||Houses, now let at 27l. 10s.
||To the school.
||300l. 4 per cent. Bank annuities, after the death of his sister (not yet fallen in),
||To apprentice a poor boy from the school; a bricklayer's son to have the preference.
||50l. 3 per cent.
||To the school.
Thomas Fellows, Esq. anno 1752, gave 1000l. 3 per cents. for
educating and clothing five boys and five girls of the parish of St.
Nicholas only: these children are taught in another school.
||Rent-charge of 1l. 11s.
||To buy half a quarter of wheat for bread on Good Friday; a load of rushes for the church at Whitsuntide, and a load of peasstraw at Christmas.
||John Adye, or Addey,
||200l. to purchase lands, with which was purchased the Gravel-pit Rents, now let at upwards of 230l. per. ann.
||Sir John Scampion,
||12s. per ann.
||2l. 12s. per ann.
||1l. 6s. 8d. per ann.
||1l. per ann.
||1l. 6s. per ann.
||8s. 8d. per ann.
||To buy two sweet penny wheaten loaves weekly, for two of the godliest and poorest householders.
||1l. per ann.
||200l. (never paid),
||Interest of 50l.
||Mrs. Eliza. Wilshaw,
||Interest of 120l. (now 5l. 11s. 8d.),
||Mrs. Judith Fiot,
||Interest of 130l. (now 5l. 11s. 6d.),
||To apprentice a child.
||Interest of 100l. 3 per cents.
||Poor (of both parishes).
||Sir John Evelyn, Bart.
||Land, lately let at 11l. 11s. now in the hands of the parish,
||Isaac Wall, Esq.
||Interest of 1000l. 3 per cents.
||Half in bread, and half in coals.
The two parishes have a joint interest in all benefactions prior to
the year 1730.
The Royal Dock, which first gave consequence to Deptford, and
gradually increased the population to its present extent, was first
established by Henry VIII. about the beginning of his reign. The
old store-house, which appears to have consisted originally only of
the building on the north side of the quadrangle, was erected by
him, in the year 1513, as appears by a date in the rigging-loft, on
what was originally the front of the building. Above the date is a
space, where, it is probable, the Royal arms were fixed, beneath a
Gothic canopy of brick work. The initials H. R. in a cypher,
accompany the date, which is in Arabic numerals, with the letters
A. X. for Anno Christi. This store-house now forms a quadrangle,
by the addition of buildings on the east, west, and south sides; a
double front towards the north was added in 1721. There is a
current tradition, for which no authority can be adduced, that
this store-house was erected on the site of a monastery. A spacious
store-house, being parallel to this just mentioned, and of the same
length, having a fail-lost and rigging-loft, is now building, and
There is a long range also of smaller store-houses, built about
the year 1780, under the direction of Sir Charles Middleton. The
whole extent of the yard is about 31 acres. It has two wet docks,
a double and a single one; and three slips; a bason, and two mastponds. It contains also, besides the buildings already mentioned,
a large smith's shop, with about 20 forges for making anchors, &c.;
mast-houses; sheds for timber; a mould-loft, various workshops,
and houses for the officers (fn. 98) .
Ships built at Deptford.
The Cambridge of 80 guns, now a guardship; the Impregnable
of 90 guns, and the Windsor Castle of 98 guns, both now in commission, were built in this yard. The Neptune of 98, is on the
stocks. The number of artificers and labourers of all sorts, now in
the yard, amount to about 1300; the peace-establishment is not
much less. The riggers, &c. (called the ordinary) are about
140. This Dock-yard has no commissioner, but is under the
immediate inspection of the Navy Board. The resident officers are,
a clerk of the checque; storekeeper; master shipwright, and his
assistants; clerk of the survey; master attendant; surgeon, &c.
In the reigns of James I. and Charles I. the Treasurer of the Navy
resided at Deptford.
Queen Elizabeth's visit to Sir Francis Drake's ship.
On the 4th of April 1581, Queen Elizabeth visited Capt. Drake's
ship called the Golden Hind. Her Majesty dined on board; and
after dinner, conferred the honour of knighthood on the Captain.
A prodigious concourse of people assembled on the occasion; and a
wooden bridge, on which were a hundred persons, broke down,
but no lives were lost (fn. 99) . Sir Francis Drake's ship, when it became
unfit for service, was laid up in this yard, where it remained many
years; the cabin being, as it seems, turned into a banqueting-house:
"We'll have our supper (says Sir Petronel Flash, in a comedy
called Eastward-hoe, written by Ben Jonson and others) on
board Sir Francis Drake's ship that hath compassed the world."
It was at length broken up, and a chair made out of it for John
Davis, Esq., who presented it to the University of Oxford (fn. 100) .
The Royal Yacht, in which her present Majesty came to England,
is now laid up in the Dock-yard at Deptford.
A geometrical plan and elevation of the Dock-yard, with part of
the town, was published by T. Milton, in 1753.
There are in this parish also two private docks, occupied by Barnard and Wells.
An extensive manufacture of earthen ware, known by the name
of Deptford-ware, is carried on at this place.
An Act of Parliament, for the better relief and employment of
the poor of Deptford, and for paving and cleansing the streets, was
passed, anno 27 Geo. II.