Survey of London Monograph 10, Morden College, Blackheath. Originally published by Guild & School of Handicraft, London, 1916.
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WITH the issue of the present volume, the Committee resumes its series of monographs on individual buildings within the area of Greater London; a series which has been interrupted, since the publication of "Crosby Place" in 1908, by the more insistent claims of the parish volumes.
It is, however, the intention of the Committee, when sufficient funds are forthcoming, to produce one or more of these monographs side by side with the annual (fn. 1) parish "Register," and the growing support of the public gives good ground for hoping that this ideal may be realised in the near future.
My survey of Morden College was made some considerable time ago, and the work has been ready for publication, and, indeed, promised to the Committee's subscribers, for several years. The interval has, however, been usefully employed in adding to the historical information concerning the Foundation and in supplementing the pictorial records. I had hoped also to enlarge the scope of the work by the addition of some historical notes upon the properties with which the College is endowed, and further to investigate the records of the Turkey and East India Companies from which the Trustees were, until comparatively recently, chosen. A more detailed biography of the Founder and some historical details of his adjoining residential estate, "Wricklemarsh," were also planned for inclusion with a view to providing a more exhaustive account than is here presented to the reader. Substantial progress had, in fact, been made in this direction but the pressure of professional duties has set a limit to my researches, and the increased cost of book production, at the present moment, has made it very necessary to compress the text within a moderate compass. In this connection I must record my grateful thanks to Mr. Walter H. Godfrey, the Acting Secretary of the Committee, without whose expert assistance and ungrudging expenditure of time it would have been impossible to achieve the condensation, selection, and consequent re-writing necessary to eliminate matter strictly extraneous to the history of the College itself. The drawings and other illustrations, with the essential records of the College, as here set forth, will, however, be found to be complete in themselves and to carry out the Committee's aim of providing an authentic survey of the building and its fittings.
The work of compilation and research has been further lightened by the cordial help of many friends, and I would acknowledge my debt to those members of the Survey Committee who have taken photographs (and whose names appear in the list of illustrations), and also to my brother, Mr. Percy Green, for those which bear his name. My thanks are due to Mr. Percy E. Lain, who materially assisted by measuring a considerable part of the interior work in the chapel, as will be seen from the plates to which his name is appended. The College authorities and officials have always been very willing to assist the Committee in every way, and I must especially mention the present treasurer, Mr. Charles F. Monckton, who has kindly placed at my disposal such records which it has been requisite to examine, has furnished information on vital points connected with the Charity, and has further been good enough to read through the proofs of this work.
Dr. Henry Lansdell, the chaplain at the date of my first acquaintance with the College, has ever since evinced the liveliest interest in this proposed publication and has continually provided me with useful material and references. His work upon the Foundation (entitled "Princess Ælfrida's Charity"), which has been published since my manuscript was first written, has also proved an invaluable check upon information obtained from other sources, and has given me much that is new, which I have acknowledged in the text. Amongst others who have been good enough to assist me to material which has proved useful I would mention the Rev. Packenham West, Vicar of Edwardstone, Suffolk, who has given me extracts from his parish records in connection with Lady Morden's family; Mr. Everard Green, Rouge Dragon poursuivant, who has assisted my researches at the College of Arms; Sir Walter Prideaux, clerk to the Goldsmiths' Company, who has kindly sought for information in the Company's archives; Mr. W. Foster, C.I.E., of the India Office, whose knowledge of the records of the East India Company has been freely placed at my service; and also Mr. Sydney F. Eden, who has contributed a detailed note on the glass in the east window of the chapel.
Mr. George Clinch has checked and augmented the bibliography, which forms an important feature of these volumes, and my thanks are tendered to him for this. Various members of the College, the librarian, Mr. Collyer; the late clerk, Mr. Soyer, and the present clerk have also in varying degrees contributed to the final result which is now presented to subscribers in the hope that it will convey to them some of the pleasure and profit which its preparation has given to the author.
T. FRANK GREEN.