A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1912.
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A considerable district bore the name of Tooting in the 11th century. (fn. 1) Part of this, which then belonged to the Abbot of Bec, was afterwards known as Tooting Bec or Bec, (fn. 2) and corresponds to the Upper Tooting of the present day. Another district known from 1165 as the vill of Leigham probably included the Balham of Domesday Book until the surrender of Bermondsey Abbey severed the two estates. (fn. 3) A map of the neighbourhood at the close of the 18th century shows Balham Manor lying in the north of the parish, with the Leigham and Howland estates on the east, and the manor of Tooting Bec on the borders of Tooting Graveney. (fn. 4)
'A small scattering village about a mile in length' at the close of the 17th century, (fn. 5) Streatham was already a popular country residence for the gentry and citizens of London, (fn. 6) and seems to have retained much the same mixture of rural and suburban characteristics for more than a century afterwards. (fn. 7) The greater part of the land was then still arable, (fn. 8) and as late as 1831 nearly one-fifth of the families living here were engaged in agriculture. Quite recently there were still 155 acres of arable land besides 421 of permanent grass and 52 of wood in the parish. (fn. 9) Within the last few years Norfolk House and Wood Lodge to the west of the Brighton Road have been pulled down and many roads cut through to Tooting Common. Several estates have also been broken up on the north and south sides of Streatham Common.
The soil is London clay, gravel and sand, the older villages being on the latter. The average altitude above the ordnance datum is 100 ft. in Balham, Upper Tooting and Lower Streatham, 200 ft. at Streatham Common and its immediate neighbourhood, whilst at Leigham Court Road in the Streatham Hill district a height of 300 ft. is reached. At the present day the main road from Brighton runs through the east of the parish where Streatham Common—once, like Tooting Bec Common, the haunt of highwaymen (fn. 10) —lies. About a quarter of a mile north of it is the Streatham Spa Well, discovered in 1660, (fn. 11) and afterwards much frequented for its medicinal waters by the poorer classes in the neighbourhood. (fn. 12) The parish church of St. Leonard with its rectory, built in 1907–8, and the school founded early in the 18th century by Mrs. Howland, (fn. 13) stand in what was once the centre of the village, a short distance east of Tooting Bec Common. The old rectory was pulled down in 1907 after the death of the Rev. John Richard Nicholl, honorary canon of Rochester and rector of Streatham for sixty-one years. It was in this house, then in the occupation of the Rev. Lord Wriothesley Russell, that Lord John Russell drew up the Reform Bill in 1831. (fn. 14) Relics of the old village are to be seen in the village smithy and the village green. Near the green still stands the lodge of the manor-house, which was pulled down about 1883. The River Graveney flows through the south of Streatham, in part of its course separating it from Mitcham. There are four stations in the parish—Streatham in the east on the London, Brighton and South Coast railway, (fn. 15) Streatham Common in the north-east, Streatham Hill in the north, and Balham in the north-west, all three on the London, Brighton and South Coast railway, and an electric tramway runs to the Embankment, Blackfriars Bridge, St. George's Church, Southwark Bridge and Victoria. The terminus of the tramway was formerly at the Public Library founded by Sir Henry Tate in 1890, but the line has now been extended to Norbury and Mitcham.
The Royal Asylum of St. Anne's Society was removed to Streatham Hill in 1829 and enlarged in 1855. (fn. 16) The Magdalen Hospital is in the north of the parish to the south of Leigham Court Road, and the Surrey Female Lunatic Asylum is on the south side of Tooting Bec Common. At the top of Streatham Common is the British Home for Incurables, but this stands actually within the parish of Lambeth.
From 1766 to 1782 Dr. Johnson lived chiefly at Streatham as the guest of Mr. and Mrs. Thrale. (fn. 17) A room was set apart for him in their residence here, a large white house in a park on the south side of the second common, called Streatham Place, (fn. 18) which he described in a letter of 1767 as 'my home.' (fn. 19) A very old tree on the first common is still called Dr. Johnson's tree. Fanny Burney was a frequent visitor here, (fn. 20) and the famous Streatham portraits which hung in the library included one of her father, Dr. Johnson himself, Burke, Goldsmith, Garrick and other distinguished friends of the Southwark brewer and his wife. (fn. 21) After Henry Thrale's death in 1781, however, the circle was broken up. Dr. Johnson left Streatham Place for ever in 1782, (fn. 22) and though Mrs. Thrale, then Mrs. Piozzi, was here again in 1790 (fn. 23), it was not her permanent home after 1795. (fn. 24) The house was pulled down in 1863. (fn. 25) Another name of some note in literature connected with Streatham is that of Sir Arthur Helps, who was born and buried in the parish. (fn. 26) In 1710 Benjamin Hoadly, already well known for his controversial writings against the High Church party, was presented by Mrs. Howland to the rectory of Streatham, which he retained on his promotion to the bishopric of Bangor in 1715 and to Hereford in 1721, but resigned in 1723 on his translation to Salisbury. (fn. 27) Another divine of some eminence who held this living was the Evangelical churchman Henry Blunt, rector of Streatham from 1835 to 1843. (fn. 28) William Dyce, the pre-Raphaelite painter, was buried in 1864 in the parish church of St. Leonard, which had been enlarged from his designs. (fn. 29)
Among place-names in Tooting Bec are Losmede, Grayscroft and Stubyng (xiii cent.); Hethdoune and Berefurlong (xiv cent.); Holewell, Hauldone, Crouchehaghe and Goren (xv cent.); in Streatham, Balchescrofte (xiv cent.); Tubbyngeslond and Boleshagh (xv cent.); Culverhouse Close, Spawne Meade, Rusheden, Bash Leas and Ivyday Grove (xvi cent.); and Brockwell Green (xviii cent.); in Balham, Old and Young Nonsuch, Batchelor's Field and Graveley Field (xix cent.).
The later manor of TOOTING BEC consisted originally of two separate estates, described in the Domesday Survey as in Tooting and Streatham, and held, one by Estarcher, the other by Erding, of Edward the Confessor. (fn. 30) Both came afterwards to Richard de Tonbridge, lord of Clare, by whom they had been granted before 1086 to the abbey of Bec Hellouin in Normandy. (fn. 31) They were held of his heir and direct lineal descendant the last Gilbert de Clare in 1314, (fn. 32) when they came on the partition of his estates to his eldest sister Eleanor and her husband, the younger Hugh le Despenser. (fn. 33) Hugh le Despenser, their son and heir, was overlord at his death without issue in 1349. (fn. 34) The overlordship of Tooting Bec then apparently came to the descendants of the second of Earl Gilbert's sisters. Margaret wife of Hugh Audley, (fn. 35) for in 1436 the manor was said to be held of her great-great-grandson Humphrey Earl of Stafford. (fn. 36) No later mention occurs of his descendants' rights here, which must have been forfeited, if they had not already expired, on the attainder in 1521 of Edward Duke of Buckingham. In 1548 and 1599 Tooting Bec was said to be held of the Crown. (fn. 37)
The lands granted by the first Lord of Clare to the abbey of Bec Hellouin (fn. 38) were held for the abbot by a body of monks who seem at one time to have formed a distinct alien priory. (fn. 39) There was a Prior of Tooting in 1251, (fn. 40) and one of his successors described as the Prior of Tooting Bec claimed certain liberties in his manor there more than seventy years later. (fn. 41) From the close of the 13th century, however, the Bec Abbey estate in Tooting and Streatham, for which the abbot had in person demanded a perambulation in 1228, apparently to settle the boundaries disputed by a certain William who held in Mitcham, (fn. 42) was generally regarded as a manor of the priory of Ogbourne, the abbey's chief cell in England, (fn. 43) whose head was now and again described as the abbot's proctor. (fn. 44) The temporalities of the alien priory of Ogbourne in Streatham, rated in 1291 at £3 8s. 8d., (fn. 45) are probably identical with the knight's fee in Tooting and Streatham returned as held by the prior in 1314 (fn. 46) and 1349, (fn. 47) which, though described at the earlier date as two manors, seems at this time to have been co-extensive with the single manor of Tooting Bec. About the middle of the 14th century two leases of it granted by the Prior of Ogbourne are recorded, (fn. 48) and in or shortly before 1394 one of his successors demised it with all its appurtenances to the Prior of Merton, (fn. 49) who already held some land in this parish. (fn. 50) He seems to have appropriated it to the office of the cellarer, of whom frequent mention is made in the records of the courts during the Merton tenure. (fn. 51) At this date the manor extended from the vill known as Tooting, Tooting Bec or Bec (fn. 52) into Streatham, though the very much smaller payment made by the tithingman of Streatham as borghsilver shows that the more important part of it lay in the district then known as Tooting. (fn. 53) The lease to Merton Priory expired or was surrendered towards the close of 1422, (fn. 54) about eighteen years after John of Lancaster, Duke of Bedford, had received a grant from his father King Henry IV of the alien priory of Ogbourne with all its rectories and manors. (fn. 55) The duke was confirmed in the possession of Tooting Bec by his elder brother Henry V (fn. 56) when he finally took all the alien priories into his hands, and was holding it when he died in 1435. (fn. 57) The manor as parcel of the alien priory of Ogbourne then descended to the duke's nephew Henry VI (fn. 58) and was leased by him to John Arderne for ten years in 1439. (fn. 59) Three years later the rent due from John Arderne with the reversion of the custody of the manor of Tooting Bec was bestowed on Eton College. (fn. 60) A life grant of the manor itself made in 1462 to Laurence Bishop of Durham (fn. 61) was resumed in 1464, (fn. 62) and in the following year Tooting Bec was granted to John Tiptoft Earl of Worcester, then master of the gild of St. Mary in the chapel of St. Mary in Allhallows Church Barking, for the sustenance of two chaplains to celebrate divine service there for the welfare of the king, his mother and brothers, and their souls after death and for the souls of his father and brother and all the faithful departed, especially those who shed their blood for his right. (fn. 63) The chantry thus established and re-founded as the royal chantry of St. Mary Barking in 1468, when the priory or manor of Tooting Bec was granted in franklmoigs to the two chaplains then nominated, (fn. 64) was secured in the possession of this estate against Acts of Resumption in 1473 and 1485. (fn. 65) A life grant of the office of bailiff in 'the lordship of Tooting Bec and Streatham' was made by Edward IV in 1478 to one of the grooms of his chamber, John Sygemond, (fn. 66) who some years later was engaged in unsuccessful litigation touching land in Streatham and elsewhere against Joan widow of John Fairfield, whose kinsman and heir he was. (fn. 67)
Tooting Bec remained in the possession of the gild of St. Mary in the parish of Allhallows Barking until 1548, when it came to the Crown on the confiscation of gild property and was sold by Edward VI to John Dudley Earl of Warwick for twenty-two years' purchase. (fn. 68) The carl was probably acting on behalf of Robert Pakenham and his wife, to whom he seems to have transferred his interest shortly afterwards. (fn. 69) Robert was seised of the manor at his death in 1552, when it descended to his son and heir, another Robert Pakenham, (fn. 70) who died in 1595, having conveyed Tooting Bec a few months before to William Walton and Francis Aunger, (fn. 71) possibly mortgagees, for rights in the manor seem to have been retained by Robert's son and heir Henry, (fn. 72) who in conjunction with the said William and Francis obtained licence in 1599 to alienate it to Giles Howland. (fn. 73) Sir Giles was lord of Tooting Bec at his death in 1608, when it descended to his son and heir John. (fn. 74) By Sir John Howland, who added Leigham Court to his father's Streatham estate (fn. 75) and suffered a recovery of Tooting Bec with his wife Cecilia in 1627, (fn. 76) the manor was sold in 1648 to his younger brother Geoffrey. (fn. 77) Seven years later Geoffrey Howland made a settlement on himself and his heirs of his manor of Tooting Bec, (fn. 78) which afterwards descended through his son John to John's daughter and sole heir Elizabeth. (fn. 79) She in 1695 became the wife of Wriothesley, only son of William Lord Russeli and his wife Rachel, and heir-apparent, after his father's execution in 1683, of his grandfather William Russell, Earl, and, from 1694, Duke of Bedford, (fn. 80) On the marriage of his grandson, then only in his fifteenth year, the duke received the additional title of Baron Howland of Streatham, with remainder to the heirs male of Wriothesley and Elizabeth. (fn. 81) A settlement of the manor of Tooting Bec was made by Elizabeth Howland, than Dowager Duchess of Bedford, in 1711, (fn. 82) the year of her husband's death. (fn. 83) It came eventually to her fourth son John, who succeeded his elder brother in the family title and estates in 1732, (fn. 84) and with them of the manor of Tooting Bec. (fn. 85) After his death in 1771 (fn. 86) his widow seems to have held it until the majority of their grandson and heir Francis Duke of Bedford, (fn. 87) lord in 1787, (fn. 88) who in 1802 sold the manor to Thomas Graham (fn. 89) of Cumberland, who had married Elizabeth Davenport of Clapham, from whom it probably came into the Borradaile family (connected with Lloyds, the bankers). Richardson Borradaile acquired the manor-house with some land from Lord William Russell in 1816, (fn. 90) and was lord of the manor in conjunction with Maximilian Richard Kymer in 1822. (fn. 91) Twenty-one years later Maximilian was holding with William and George Borradaile, but had been succeeded in 1847 by his widow Mary Anne Kymer and Robert Hudson. The latter owned the manor with William Borradaile and Henry Willis in 1864. Nine years later, when all the estates, with the exception of an acre of trust land belonging to the poor of Streatham, were enfranchised, Tooting Bec was acquired by the Metropolitan Board of Works, and in 1889 came into the possession of the London County Council. (fn. 92)
The gallows set up by the Abbot of Bec in Tooting in or shortly before 1258 (fn. 93) remained amongst his liberties in the next reign. (fn. 94) View of frankpledge, then also claimed by him, (fn. 95) is mentioned as appurtenant to this manor as late as the latter part of the 18th century. (fn. 96) In 1468 the returns of writs and executions within the manor of Tooting Bec were included with court leet in the grant to the chaplains of the royal chantry in the chapel of St. Mary Barking. (fn. 97) There was woodland worth ten hogs on the land of Bec Abbey in 1086, (fn. 98) possibly the wood of 6 acres called le Beke in 1436, (fn. 99) and in the 13th century the rights of the lord to the trees surrounding the messuages of his tenants were jealously guarded. (fn. 100)
The manor-house of the Howlands was still known in 1655 as Colbrands, (fn. 101) after one William Colbrand, who in 1394 had undertaken to build a new house on his holding. (fn. 102) This had been rebuilt before it was bought in 1550 by Sir Richard Sackville, whose widow, as Marchioness of Winchester, sold it twenty-seven years later to Dr. Robert Forth. (fn. 103) After a second rebuilding it came to Sir Giles Howland, (fn. 104) whose arms were upon it, and afterwards to the Dukes of Bedford, when it was described as 'a fair old Brick Mansion House.' (fn. 105) It was, it is said, given by Francis Duke of Bedford to his brother Lord William Russell about 1789, and taken down by Lord Deerhurst, afterwards Earl of Coventry, who bought it of him and built a villa in its place. (fn. 106) Bedford Park and Coventry Park building estates are on the site.
It is strange that there is no trace of the existence of freeholders at Tooting Bec. Within the manor the custom of Borough English, or the inheritance of the youngest son where there was neither will nor surrender of the copyhold estate, prevailed. (fn. 107) Certain tenants held by a tenure known as 'fine and leaf,' others 'by rod and leaf.' (fn. 108)
With the Clare manor of Tooting Bec seems to have been associated a hide of land in Balham which belonged to the manor of Clapham held by the Mandevilles. (fn. 109) This came to Geoffrey a son of Count Eustace of Boulogne through his marriage with a daughter of Geoffrey de Mandeville and was granted by him and his son William to the abbey of Bec. (fn. 110) Their gift was afterwards confirmed by William's son Faramus of Boulogne. (fn. 111) As no later mention of this estate occurs it seems possible that it was absorbed in the other Streatham lands of Bec Abbey, and may be represented by the lands and messuages in Balham which the Duke of Bedford held in 1802 with Tooting Bec Manor. (fn. 112)
The manor called later LEIGHAM COURT seems to have consisted of the hamlet of Balham (q.v.) and a considerable part of Streatham, of which the early history is somewhat obscure. It may possibly have been the estate which a certain Edwin had held in the reign of Edward the Confessor with the liberty of choosing his lord. (fn. 113) This, which at the Domesday Survey was found amongst the lands of the Bishop of Bayeux, being held of him by Ansgot, (fn. 114) and presumably fell to the Crown on his forfeiture, may have come into the possession of the Mandeville lords of Clapham and Balham and have been the holding in Streatham granted to Bermondsey Priory by Ralph de Mandeville, probably in the first half of the 12th century. (fn. 115) Towards the close of the 13th century, however, the jurors for Brixton Hundred described Leigham with the two once royal manors of Bermondsey and Dulwich as of the ancient demesne of the Crown, (fn. 116) an assertion to some extent corroborated by its association in 1165 with the hide of Southwark and Waddon, both like Dulwich granted to the monks of Bermondsey by Henry I. (fn. 117) Another reference to this estate may be traced in a list of the appurtenances of the manor of Bermondsey in which Reyham, following upon the hide of Southwark, Dulwich and Waddon, is possibly an error for Leigham. (fn. 118) All are described as held of the manor of Bermondsey and, like it, part of the king's lands granted to the monks. (fn. 119) No record of a royal gift of land in Streatham is preserved, but it may have been included (as Rotherhithe was) in the grant of Bermondsey, and a later record certainly shows that the prior held 2 hides in Leigham of the king in chief. (fn. 120)
In 1165 Henry II confirmed the monks of Bermondsey in the possession of Leigham, (fn. 121) an estate which has been sometimes wrongly identified with Lagham in Godstone, (fn. 122) but is clearly shown by all later records to be the vill of Leigham in Streatham parish. It was named as one of the Prior of Bermondsey's manors about 1286, (fn. 123) and the temporalities of his house in Leigham were rated at £7 0s. 8½d. in 1291 (fn. 124) and again in 1413 during a vacancy. (fn. 125) From the beginning of the 14th until the 16th century various leases of the whole or part of the manor were made. Thomas Romayn, a citizen of London, and his wife Juliana paid a fine in 1302 that the prior might demise 2 hides in Leigham to them for life. (fn. 126) Other tenants whose names have survived were in the 15th century Piers Swift and Ralph Leigh, Robert Hawkins, farmer of some land in Streatham in 1510, (fn. 127) and Henry Knight, who obtained a lease, apparently of the whole manor, from the abbot in 1534. (fn. 128) Leigham Court was included in the temporalities of Bermondsey Abbey in 1535 and came on its surrender at the beginning of 1538 (fn. 129) to the Crown. In 1544 Henry VIII granted it to Henry Dowes, (fn. 130) who made a fresh lease of one part of the manor to Henry Knight four years later. (fn. 131) At Henry Dowes' death in 1550 Leigham Court passed to his brother William, (fn. 132) then or afterwards vicar of All Hallows Barking. (fn. 133) William, who had obtained licence to alienate some part of the estate to William Gardiner of Bermondsey in 1559, (fn. 134) was empowered two years later to convey the manor itself to John Southcote, (fn. 135) justice of the Queen's Bench, from whom it descended sixteen years later to his son and heir of the same name. (fn. 136) Licence to alienate Leigham Court to Sir John Petre, Charles Waldegrave and others was granted to the younger John Southcote in 1588. (fn. 137) This seems to have been a preliminary to the settlement on his marriage with Magdalen daughter of Sir Edward Waldegrave, which took place the following year, (fn. 138) since Leigham Court remained in his possession until 1607, when, with his son and heir Edward, he sold it to Sir Matthew Carew. (fn. 139) By Sir Matthew it was conveyed in 1610 to John, afterwards Sir John, Howland, (fn. 140) who appears as holding with his wife Cecily in 1636 and 1637. (fn. 141) Their children died in infancy, (fn. 142) and not long before his death in 1649 Sir John is said to have settled the reversion of Leigham Court on Walter second son of his niece Elizabeth by her husband Thomas Roberts. (fn. 143) Walter Roberts, who took the name of Howland, left no son, and the manor came on his death to his nephew Sir Thomas Roberts, bart., (fn. 144) whose son of the same name appears as lord in 1711 and 1727. (fn. 145) He died without issue two years later and Leigham Court passed to his younger brother Walter. (fn. 146) At his death Sir Walter Roberts, bart., left a daughter and heir Jane, who married George Duke of St. Albans in 1752, (fn. 147) when it is supposed that her estate in failure of issue was settled on the duke. (fn. 148) She died in 1778. (fn. 149) The duke and his cousin and heir George Beauclerc made a settlement on themselves and in remainder to George the heir. (fn. 150) In 1785 he appears as lord, (fn. 151) and succeeded to the dukedom in 1786. (fn. 152) Before his death in 1787 (fn. 153) the new duke devised his Streatham property to trustees, and it was sold in 1789 to Lord Thurlow, who had already in 1785 bought Brockwell Green Farm. (fn. 154) It remained in his possession until 1806, (fn. 155) when it came according to the terms of his will to Lord Eldon and others upon a trust for its sale. (fn. 156) As no suitable purchaser was found, an Act was passed in 1809 by which the trustees were empowered to make grants of Lord Thurlow's Streatham estates in fee or lease to persons who would build upon or improve them and to sell the manorial rights of Leigham Court. (fn. 157)
In the reign of Edward I the Prior of Bermondsey claimed view of frankpledge in his Leigham manor, (fn. 158) and court leet was included in the grant of this manor to Henry Dowes in 1544, (fn. 159) and in the licence of alienation to his brother seventeen years later. (fn. 160) In the 15th and 16th centuries a wood on this estate called Leigham Wood seems to have been of considerable value. It was the subject of a suit in Chancery brought between 1467 and 1472 by Ralph Leigh, then tenant, against the Abbot of Bermondsey, (fn. 161) and in 1535 comprised 52 acres valued at 1s. an acre. (fn. 162) The grant to Henry Dowes did not include Leigham Wood, (fn. 163) but it was acquired by the Howland family in 1598. (fn. 164)
A copyhold estate in the detached portion of Streatham in Lambeth parish called KNIGHTS HILL, probably from the tenants there in the 16th century, (fn. 165) was held in 1545 of the lord of Leigham Court by Henry Knight. (fn. 166) In 1558 John Knight leased the capital messuage in Lambeth which he held of the lord of Leigham to Sir Thomas Newnham, who sued him in Chancery in the course of the same year, plaintiff and defendant alike complaining of having been kept out of the house by violent means. (fn. 167) Part of the Knights' estate was held of the manor of Lambeth, (fn. 168) and it was here that Lord Thurlow, owner of Leigham Court, with which Knight's Hill seems to have become amalgamated, built 'a spacious mansion house,' (fn. 169) which was pulled down after the Act of 1809. (fn. 170)
BALHAM, which was held by Anschil of Harold in the reign of Edward the Confessor, had come into the possession of Geoffrey Orlatele before 1086. (fn. 171) It is possible that his tenure, which was based neither on royal gift nor on legal warrant, (fn. 172) was of short duration and that his Surrey estate came afterwards to Geoffrey de Mandeville, lord at the Domesday Survey of the manor of Clapham, (fn. 173) to which some part of Balham belonged in the next century. (fn. 174) The 2 hides which were afterwards united with part of Streatham in the manor of Leigham Court (fn. 175) (q.v.) belonged in 1103 (fn. 176) to Nigel de Mandeville, who, it has been suggested, may be identified with the husband of Emma d'Arques daughter and heir of William d'Arques of Folkestone. (fn. 177) In that year Nigel, with the consent of his wife, gave this estate to the church and monks of Bermondsey, a gift confirmed by Henry I twentyfour years later. (fn. 178) From that time no record of Balham apart from Leigham Court survives until the surrender of Bermondsey Abbey in 1538. (fn. 179) It came then or shortly afterwards, whether by grant or sale does not appear, into the possession of Thomas Cromwell, from whom it had been purchased by the king in or before 1540, when it was annexed to the honour of Hampton Court. (fn. 180) The manorial rights, whatever these may have been, remained in the Crown, but the greater part of, if not all, the lands with which they were associated—200 acres called Balhams and described as lying within the lordship of Leigham in Streatham and Balham, but forming part of the manor of Balham, late of Bermondsey Abbey (fn. 181) —were leased in 1542 to John Symonds of Tooting, carpenter, for twenty-one years. (fn. 182) Another lease which was to take effect after the expiration of the former, granted in 1550 to Robert Pakenham for a longer period, was afterwards cancelled. (fn. 183) Meanwhile the so-called manor remained with the Crown until 1556, when Philip and Mary bestowed a life grant of it and the reversion of the lands known as Balhams on the widowed Duchess of Somerset. (fn. 184) The duchess died in April 1587, (fn. 185) and a few days after her death a lease of the lands without the manor was granted to Edward Williams for twenty-one years. (fn. 186) It would seem that this was afterwards withdrawn or surrendered, since another lease of the same estate was given, this time for life, to Peter Symonds and other members of his family before the close of the year. (fn. 187) No fresh grant of the manor itself is recorded until 1609, when, the tenancy of the Symonds family having probably been terminated by death, James I granted the lands they had held and the manor of Balham to George Salter and John Williams. (fn. 188) All seem to have been included in the sale made by these two early in the following year to Bernard Hide of 'all that manor or farm called Balhams containing two hundred acres lying within the lordship of Leigham in the parishes of Streatham and Clapham' and certain lands and liberties, (fn. 189) and to have been known henceforward by the title of the manor of Balham. (fn. 190) When Bernard Hide died in 1631 it was found that his 'manor called Balhams or Cardinal's Leige' had formed part of the settlement made four years before on the marriage of his son and heir Bernard with Hester daughter of John Trott. (fn. 191) The younger Bernard remained in possession until 1650, when he sold his estate to Henry Hunter. (fn. 192) From Henry and his wife Sarah, Balham passed two years later to Henry's brother John Hunter, (fn. 193) whose son, another John Hunter, sold it in 1700 to John Scrimshire. (fn. 194) It is said to have come the next year to the family of Du Cane, (fn. 195) then represented by Peter Du Cane, whose wife Jane, a daughter of Richard Booth, alderman of London, died at her house at Clapham in 1721. (fn. 196) Their great-grandson, another Peter Du Cane, with his wife Phœbe Philips, (fn. 197) owned Balham in 1774, (fn. 198) and were in possession with their son and heir, another Peter, as late as 1805, (fn. 199) and the family are said to have been still holding about 1840. (fn. 200)
The scanty records of Balham mention no liberties associated with this estate. Here as in Leigham Court the woodland seems to have been an appurtenance of some value. (fn. 201)
An estate in Upper Tooting which had been held by Swain under Edward the Confessor as 4 hides came to Earl Waltheof after that king's death. (fn. 202) The earl borrowed money on its security from Alnod, a citizen of London, who granted the land thus forfeited to Westminster Abbey. (fn. 203) This was confirmed by William I and Henry I, (fn. 204) but as no later mention of Tooting occurs amongst the possessions of the abbey it has been supposed that Alnod's gift was afterwards united either to the manor of Tooting Bec or that of Tooting Graveney. (fn. 205) The suggestion of a modern writer that it was included in the Westminster Abbey manor of Battersea and Wandsworth, and now forms that part of Battersea parish which borders on Upper Tooting, (fn. 206) seems, however, a more satisfactory solution of the difficulty of its disappearance, and obtains some confirmation in a 16th-century description of the lands of Lady Anne Brooke which lay in Tooting Bec and were bordered by the lands of the Abbot of Westminster. (fn. 207)
A place called Estreham, assessed in the reign of Edward the Confessor for 5 hides, of which 1½ were held by Harold and were possibly originally part of his manor of Battersea (q.v.), 1½ by the canons of Waltham, and 2 by three sokemen who could seek what lord they pleased, was owned by the Count of Mortain at the Domesday Survey and then reckoned in Wallington Hundred. (fn. 208) Possibly this came to the Crown on the forfeiture of the count's son in 1106 (see also South Lambeth) and was the estate granted nearly a century later by King John as the land of Streatham once of Peter Reald, together with pasture for 100 sheep to William de Redvers Earl of Devon. (fn. 209) This estate was held by the successors of William as a member of South Lambeth and afterwards of Vauxhall, (fn. 210) with which it came to the monks of Christchurch, Canterbury, in 1362. (fn. 211) Some lands belonging to this estate and a capital messuage on it were held by John Croft and his daughter Elizabeth after him in the 17th century. (fn. 212)
The church of ST. LEONARD consists of a chancel with north and south aisles—the former accommodating the organ, while a vestry opens off the latter—a nave, north and south aisles with galleries over, a west tower (the bottom stage of which is used as an entrance vestibule) surmounted by a steeple, a vestibule at the end of the south aisle, and a vestry at the east end of the north aisle, over which the galleries continue. The oldest part of the church is the tower, which appears to date from early in the 16th century; but its whole character was completely lost in the 19th-century rebuilding, when a new west doorway and window were inserted, the aisles brought westward to line with its west wall, and externally, with the exception of a small piece of walling to the ground stage, the whole structure was stuccoed, so that it has now quite the appearance of a modern erection.
Under the body of the building are catacombs. The body of the present church was built in 1831, and in 1863 the chancel with its aisles was added in place of the old apsidal chancel. The present steeple takes the place of one which was struck by lightning in 1841. The whole of the church west of the chancel is built in the nondescript Gothic of the 'thirties, with stuccoed walls, but the additions of 1861 are reminiscent of early French and 'decorated' Gothic, with walls of square quarry-faced rubble with ashlar dressing to the windows and buttresses. The galleries and roof are supported by iron columns, but the chancel arcades are of stone with pointed arches.
The tower arch is pointed and of two moulded orders separated by a shallow casement. The outer order is continued down the jambs, but the inner one is carried by three-quartershafts having capitals and bases.
In the south-east corner of the tower is the original vice, entered through a four-centred doorway in the south wall. The old part of the tower is built of flint and stone rubble, but the spire is of plastered brick.
The upper part of the pulpit, which stands on a modern base and is approached by a stair with twisted balusters, is Jacobean. It is hexagonal with rich carving of classical architectural type. In the centre of the upper panel of the south-west side are the arms, Two bars, and in chief three lions impaling On a cheveron a pheon between two roundels, of Sir John Howland of Streatham and his wife Cecily Suzan. Above the shield are two helms with crests and mantling.
Built against the north wall of the south-west entrance vestibule is part of an elaborate 14th-century tomb recess, with mutilated effigy of an armoured knight, on whose jupon are the arms: On two bars three martlets.
On the wall at the west end of the south aisle is the brass of a priest in full eucharistic vestments with his hands in prayer, with an inscription to William Mowfurth, rector of Streatham and Mickleham, ob. 1513. On the west wall of the south aisle is a brass of Anne Livesay, eldest daughter to Thomas Crompton of Bennington, Herts., and wife to Gabriel Livesay, ob. 1598, aged twenty. There are also other monuments of the Livesay, Hobbes, Howland and Massingberd families, all of the 17th century, and some very elaborate.
On the north wall of the gallery over the north aisle is a mural tablet to Robert Livesay (ob. 21 August 1608, aged eighty-one) and Amy his wife (ob. 21 November 1617, aged seventy-six), their only daughter Martha widow of Sir Edmund Peyton of Cambridge, bart. (ob. 26 October 1613), leaving Amy, John, Edward, Robert and Thomas. On the same wall is a tablet to Susan eldest daughter of Sir Richard Amcotts of Lincoln, first wife of Thomas Hobbes (ob. 2 September 1623), and their infants Amy, Hannah and Susan; and Margarite Lady Chiborne, eldest daughter of Sir George Younge of York, second wife of Thomas Hobbes (ob. 23 February 1628–9), and their son Samuel and her daughter Catherine Chiborne.
On the south wall of the tower is an elaborate mural monument with shields of arms, having figures of a man and woman kneeling at a desk, with Corinthian columns on either side supporting an entablature. Below is an inscription to John Massingberd (ob. 23 November 1653), Cecilia his wife, and Elizabeth wife of George Berkeley, only son of Lord Berkeley, and Mary the wife of Robert Lord Willoughby, eldest son of the Earl of Lindsey, his daughters.
At the west end of the south gallery is a mural tablet to the wife of Robert Goodwin of East Grinstead, daughter of George Lee of Lincolnshire, who died in childbed 24 July 1664, leaving a daughter Mary.
On the south wall of the south gallery is a carved marble tablet to Walter Howland, alias Roberts, of Bristow (Brixton) Causeway in Lambeth, son of Thomas Roberts of Glassenbury, Kent, and grandson of Sir Matthew Howland of Streatham (ob. 6 December 1692, aged fifty-five), and of John Howland his son (ob. 16 July 1674, aged twelve).
On the north wall of the tower is an elaborately carved marble monument to John Howland (ob. 2 September 1686), last surviving son of Jeffrey Howland. He married Elizabeth daughter of Sir Josiah Child of Wandsworth, and had by her Elizabeth his heiress and John, who died 13 May 1684, aged about three months.
There are two small marble tablets in the church with Latin inscriptions by Dr. Johnson. The one is to Henry Thrale, who was born in 1728 and died in 1781, the other to Hester Maria daughter of Sir Thomas Cotton of Combermere, bart., wife of John Salisbury of Flint. She was born in 1707 and died in 1773. Both tablets are in the south aisle; the former on the south wall, the latter on the east wall.
On the east wall of the north aisle is a small tablet with a Latin inscription to Frederic Howard, who was killed at Waterloo. The slab was erected by his father and was designed by Richard Westmacott. Frederic Howard is referred to by Lord Byron in his Childe Harold.
There is a peal of eight bells. The treble and second are by John Warner & Sons, 1906, the third by Wm. Mears, 1785, the fourth recast by Mears & Stainbank in 1894, the fifth, sixth and seventh by Wm. Mears, 1785, and the tenor recast by John Warner in 1906.
The registers are as follows: (i) 1538 to 1640, with fragmentary entries from 1640 to 1664; (ii) 1660 to 1714; (iii) baptisms 1715 to 1754, marriages 1716 to 1753; burials 1714 to 1754; (iv) baptisms and burials 1754 to 1812; (v) marriages 1755 to 1785; (vi) marriages 1785 to 1812.
The parish of CHRIST CHURCH was formed out of the ancient parish in 1844. (fn. 215) The church, built in 1841, is a yellow brick building with coloured brick dressings in the Italian Romanesque style, and consists of a nave with an apsidal east end used as a chancel, north and south aisles with galleries which are also continued over the west end of the nave, a central west porch with staircases on either side leading to the galleries, a north vestry and a southeast campanile. The walls of the chancel apse are covered with mosaics.
The parish of IMMANUEL, Lower Streatham, was formed in 1855. (fn. 216) The church consists of a chancel with chapel and vestries, a large nave with north and south aisles in which are clearstories and a tower. It was built in 1854 and was added to in 1865, 1876 and 1890, and is designed in a poor adaptation of early 14th-century style. It is built of stone and stands on a meagre site. The tower contains a clock and eight bells.
The parish of ST. MARY, Balham, was formed in 1855. (fn. 217) The church, which was built in 1849 and enlarged at the west end in 1882, is a classic building of white and stock brick with stone dressings. It has an apsidal chancel with shallow transepts, wide nave, transepts, west baptistery and porches, a clock and bell-tower with an octagonal lantern and cupola rising above the north-west porch. The chancel has a slightly curved ceiling. The reredos is tall, with Corinthian pilasters, and has a mosaic representation of the Crucifixion, while the wall of the apse is also enriched with mosaic subjects. The nave has segmentalheaded lower and round-headed upper windows. A gallery runs across the west end. The flat plaster ceiling is panelled. The pulpit, which is unusually high, is of marble; the font is of stone, with marble shafts.
The parish of HOLY TRINITY, Upper Tooting, was formed in 1855. (fn. 218) The church, which stands in Trinity Road, Upper Tooting, and was erected in 1855, is a building of rag and Bath stone in late 13th-century style. It consists of a chancel, north chapel, south organ chamber, nave with a low clearstory lighted by small triangular windows, wide aisles, transept off the east end of the north aisle, and a west tower and west porches. Both aisles have gabled roofs, as well as the nave and transept. An arcade of five bays with round columns divides the nave from either aisle.
The parish of ST. PETER was formed in 1870. The church consists of a chancel, a nave of five bays with north and south aisles and a narthex. It was built in 1870 of stock brick banded with red brick and with stone detail. It is designed in 14thcentury style and stands on a steep site. Advantage has been taken of this to build parish rooms, &c., under the western end.
The church of ST. ANSELM, Coventry Park, a chapel to St. Leonard's, consists of a chancel with chapels and small transepts and unfinished nave and aisles of three bays with temporary western walls. It is built of red brick and stone and dates from 1882.
The parish of the ASCENSION, Balham Hill, was formed in 1884. (fn. 219) The church, which stands in Malwood Road, Balham Hill, was built in 1884 of red brick and stone in the style of the 13th century. It is a large building, consisting of a chancel, with a cross arcade of three bays at the east end concealing a passage, and a mosaic reredos, transepts off the chancel, divided from it by stone screens, wide nave with a wide bay on either side to the future north tower and a shallow transept opposite, and arcades of three bays dividing it from the north and south aisles. The arcades are of stone with pointed segmental arches and traceried panelled haunches above. The pulpit is of stone and marble, and the font of marble, the white bowl being a fine large block. A low iron gilded screen spans the entrance to the chancel.
The parish of ST. ANDREW, Lower Streatham, was formed in 1887. (fn. 220) The church consists of a chancel, a small transept surmounted by a bell-turret containing one bell, a nave with a clearstory and gabled north and south aisles. It is built of red brick and terra-cotta, is designed in 15th-century style, and dates from 1886.
The parish of ST. ALBAN was formed in 1888. (fn. 221) The church, which is in Aldrington Road, Streatham Park, is a Romanesque building of red brick and red sandstone, erected in 1887. It consists of an apsidal chancel, towards the road, flanked by two round porches connected by an ambulatory around the apse and having a vestry between, nave with a tall clearstory, low aisles, south porch, small north-east porch, and about half of a south-east tower. The roofs are tiled.
The church of ST. JOHN, West Streatham, a chapel to Immanuel, built in 1893, consists of a chancel and nave with small bell-cote. It is built of red brick with lancet windows to the chancel and wooden sashes of 16th-century detail to the nave.
The parish of ST. JOHN THE DIVINE, Balham Hill, was formed in 1901. (fn. 222) The church was built in 1883 of red and yellow brick with stone dressings, and consists of a chancel with a north organ chamber, vestry and a south chapel, nave, north and south aisles, an ambulatory at the west end of the nave, and four porches entering the aisles at the east and west ends; at the west end of the nave is a small spire. The style is a free rendering of late 13th-century Gothic.
The parish of ST. MARGARET, Streatham Hill, was formed in 1901. (fn. 223) The church stands at the north-east corner of the crossing of Barcombe Avenue and Faygate Road. It is a large dignified building consisting of a chancel with a northern sacristy, organ gallery and vestries, a south chapel, north and south transepts, nave and aisles, an apsidal baptistery at the west end of the nave, and porches at the west ends of the aisles. The church was built in two parts, five bays of the nave, the aisles and west end of the building being completed in 1900, while the last bay of the nave, the chancel with the sacristy, organ gallery, vestries, south chapel and the transepts were not added until 1906. The church is built in a free style of 13th-century Gothic, and is of red brick with Corsehill stone columns, and has Bath stone copings and weatherings to the buttresses. Flanking the west end of the nave are two octagonal brick turrets with stone roofs, and at the crossing is a small lead flèche containing one bell.
The parish of ST. THOMAS, Telford Park, was formed in 1903. The church is built of red brick in 13th-century style, and consists of central crossing used as the chancel, nave and aisles, apsidal baptistery at the west end of the nave, south porch, and temporary iron vestry occupying the position of a south transept. The chancel and transepts are not yet built, and a temporary brick wall is erected at the east immediately beyond the chancel arch.
The parish of ST. JAMES, West Streatham, was formed in 1905. (fn. 224) The church is now in the course of erection. The foundation stone was laid in 1909, and, although the body of the building is almost completed, nothing is yet built east of the nave with the exception of the foundations. The church will consist of a chancel with a north side chapel and south vestry, a nave, north and south transepts and aisles, a baptistery at the west end of the nave, on either side of which are porches, and a west bell-cote with one bell. It is built in free Decorated Gothic, the walls being faced externally with Crowborough brick with stone dressings.
The church of ALL SAINTS, Sunnyhill Road, consists of a chancel and nave in one range. It is of fairly recent construction, and is built of red brick and terra-cotta. Arcades have been built into the side walls of the church, and filled in with stock brick, in preparation for future aisles.
Other parts of the old parish of Streatham were included in the new Lambeth parishes of St. Peter, 1870 (fn. 225); Holy Trinity, Tulse Hill, 1880 (fn. 226); and All Saints, West Dulwich, 1899 (fn. 227); and a district in Upper Tooting was added to St. Mary, Summers Town, Wandsworth, in 1883. (fn. 228)
During the last century until 1877 Streatham seems to have had only two chapels, described as Independent and Wesleyan Methodist. (fn. 229) In 1725 it had only one family of Nonconformists. A Baptist chapel was built in 1877, (fn. 230) the first of the six of this denomination now within the borders of the ancient parish. There are now also one Reformed Episcopal and three Roman Catholic churches, two Presbyterian churches (one in Pendennis Road and the other at Tooting), two meeting-places for the Brethren, two for the Primitive Methodists and one for the Salvation Army, besides five Wesleyan Methodist chapels, one United Methodist, three Congregational and one Congregational Baptist.
There was a chapel on the land of St. Mary of Bec in Streatham in 1086 from which a payment of 8s. was made. (fn. 231) This, which was probably for the use of the monks settled there, may have afterwards become the parish church of which the first mention seems to be that of 1291. (fn. 232) The church was never appropriated by the abbey. The advowson has generally followed the descent of the manor of Tooting Bec, (fn. 233) presentations in the 14th century being made either by the Prior of Ogbourne as the abbot's representative or by the king on account of the war with France. (fn. 234) A grant of the advowson apart from the manor, made in 1463 to George Duke of Clarence, (fn. 235) seems to have been revoked in or before 1465, when both came to the gild of St. Mary Barking. (fn. 236) William Fawkner, who is said to have presented with his wife Elizabeth and in her right in 1553, (fn. 237) may have been the second husband of Robert Pakenham's widow, who appears again sixteen years later as joint patron with another husband, Robert Livesey. (fn. 238) In or before 1632 Sir John Howland seems to have sold the presentation to Charles Tooker of Lincoln's Inn, by whom it was assigned to John Knightsbridge of Staple Inn. (fn. 239) John presented Robert Tooker, Charles's brother, (fn. 240) a lunatic, in 1657, when he was found to be seised for life of the rectory of Streatham, (fn. 241) the church being then served by Richard Knightsbridge. (fn. 242) From Henry Parkhurst, declared to be patron in 1658, (fn. 243) the advowson must have reverted to the Knightsbridge family, Anthony Knightsbridge and John Rushworth presenting in 1660. (fn. 244) By 1675, however, it was again in the possession of the Howlands. (fn. 245) It came with Tooting Bec to the Dukes of Bedford and has remained in their possession to the present day. (fn. 246)
In 1291 the Abbot of Bec received £4, the Abbot of Grestain in Normandy 4s. from the church, and a pension of £1 was paid to an unnamed recipient. (fn. 247) A manse with orchard, garden and 1 acre of land was attached to the rectory in 1535. (fn. 248) Tithes from trees felled in certain woods in the manor of Tooting Bec were due to the rector of Streatham, who was bound to pay for the dressing of the timber which came to his share. (fn. 249)
The patrons of the modern churches in this parish are—of Christ Church the rector of Streatham; of Immanuel the Hamilton family and the rector of Streatham; of St. Mary in Balham the Bishop of Southwark; of Holy Trinity, Upper Tooting, the rector of Streatham; of the Ascension, Balham Hill, the Bishop of Southwark; of St. Andrew trustees; of St. Alban Rev. S. M. Ranson; of St. John the Divine, Bedford Hill, Balham, and St. Margaret, Streatham Hill, the Bishop of Southwark, and of St. James, St. Peter with St. John, and St. Thomas, trustees.
The following charities in the ancient parish of Streatham in the Metropolitan Borough of Wandsworth are regulated by a scheme of the Charity Commissioners, 25 November 1902, as varied by a scheme, 26 October 1904, namely, the charities of
3. Gabriel Livesay, will about 1625, trust funds, £6,800 2½ per cent. annuities, representing proceeds of sale in 1887 of the 'Bell' public-house and two houses adjacent and £325 7s. 5d. consols, the annual dividends amounting to £178 2s. 6d.
4. Henry Smith, by deed, 26 January 1626–7, being three one-hundredths of the income of real estate and stock of the Clay Hall Estate and four two hundred and sixty-fourths of the income of the Longney Farm Estate, averaging annually £16 and £7 17s. respectively.
5. Sir Giles Howland and Sir John Howland's augmentation, will, 1648, being rent-charges of £5 and £5 issuing out of the Coventry Hall Estate, the sum of £1 6s. 8d. part thereof for a sermon on Christmas Day.
6. Dorothy Appleby, will, 1681, endowed with four houses and shops, being 57, 59, 61 and 63 High Street, Tooting, let on leases for twenty-one years from 25 December 1891 at a gross rental of £213 10s. a year, and with £396 0s. 9d. consols representing surplus income producing £9 18s. yearly.
7. Elizabeth Howland, will, 1717, trust fund, £83 12s. 9d. consols, producing £2 1s. 9d. a year, payable to the rector for a sermon on 17 November, being the day of Queen Elizabeth's accession, as prescribed by the testatrix. The stock arises from redemption in 1884 of rent-charge; see under Elizabeth Howland's educational charity below.
10. The Thrale Almshouses, founded by the four daughters of Henry Thrale, comprised in deed, 17 August 1832 (enrolled); endowment consists of £1,480 4s. 1d. consols and £866 13s. 4d. consols, being the benefaction thereto of Thomas Arthur Bertie Mostyn, by deed poll, 5 October 1860, producing together £58 13s. 4d. yearly.
The several sums of stock above mentioned are held by the official trustees, together with a further sum of £176 4s. 3d. consols, arising from surplus income, making the amount of stock held by them £3,538 9s. 10d. consols and 6,800 2½ per cent. annuities, producing in annual dividends £255 9s.
(3) The yearly sum of 13s. 4d. out of Amy Livesay's charity, which are payable to the rector in consideration of preaching a sermon in the parish church on Easter Day, 17 November, and Christmas Day in each year. The scheme further provides that the endowments of the remaining charities be administered under the title of the non-Ecclesiastical Charities by a body of nine trustees, being the rector ex officio, four representative trustees appointed by the Wandsworth Borough Council on the nomination of the councillors appointed for the Streatham and Balham Wards, and four co-optative trustees; that the yearly sum of £5 out of the income of Dorothy Appleby's charity be applied in apprenticing a necessitous boy or girl, and the residue of the income and that of John Wilford's charity for the repair of highways, provided that the local authority shall give to the parish of Streatham a reduction of rates, failing such provision the same to be applied in pensions; that the clear yearly income of the remaining charities be applied, first, in the maintenance of almspeople and pensions, and, secondly, for the general benefit of the poor. That the full number of almspeople shall be four, being poor widows or single women, to receive not less than 5s. or more than 10s. weekly. The minimum number of pensioners to be six but not more than nine, who shall receive at the rate of £15 12s. each, and that such pension may be made to a married couple and continued to the survivor. Also that the income applicable for the general benefit of the poor shall be applied by the trustees in such way as they consider most conducive to the formation of provident habits.
The Educational Charity of Elizabeth Howland consists of £836 7s. 3d. consols held by the official trustees, arising from redemption in 1884 of annuity of £22 (see above under Elizabeth Howland's charity for sermon). The annual dividends, amounting to £20 18s., are applied for educational purposes under scheme of the Board of Education, 4 March 1903.