A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1912.
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THE HUNDRED OF BRIXTON
CONTAINING THE PARISHES OF
|BATTERSEA WITH PENGE||MERTON||TOOTING GRAVENEY|
|DEPTFORD ST. PAUL||ROTHERHITHE||SOUTHWARK BOROUGH with Christchurch|
The boundaries of Brixton Hundred have probably not changed since 1086, when they included the following places: Battersea, Bermondsey, Camberwell, Hatcham, Lambeth, Walworth, Streatham, Barnes, Merton, Mortlake, Tooting and Wandsworth. (fn. 1) Rotherhithe was then included in Bermondsey, and Wimbledon and Putney in Mortlake. Southwark is not entered in the Survey under the hundred of Brixton (fn. 2) : in later times the borough was a franchise; but the parish of Christchurch was within the jurisdiction of the hundred. (fn. 3)
Brixton has always been a royal hundred. There is mention of its three weeks court in 1258. (fn. 4) The hundred was let to farm under Edward I for 20s. a year. (fn. 5) In 1566 a custom had grown up which compelled high constables of the jurisdiction to retain office for life, an obligation said to have caused some persons to abscond. (fn. 6) The custody of the hundred was granted in 1617 to John Champion, gentleman, and William Weneham, to hold for twenty-one years, with all appurtenances, the offices of steward and of bailiff, and the profits of leets, views of frankpledge and hundred courts. Fines and amercements in any of the king's courts of record or before the justices of assize, the justices of peace and the clerk of the market were reserved; and a yearly rent of 3 6s. 7d. was to be rendered for this hundred and that of Wallington. (fn. 7) In 1651 the hundred was surveyed as a late possession of the king. It appears that its administration had become merged with that of Wallington. A court leet for both hundreds was held at Mitcham in Wallington at the usual times, and its jurisdiction extended over all the townships or tithings which rendered a common fine to the hundred. These, however, included, within Brixton, only Clapham and Hatcham, which paid respectively 3s. and 10d. a year. It is to be concluded that obligation to suit of the hundred court had elsewhere lapsed or otherwise ceased. (fn. 8) Constables and tithingmen were at this date discharged at the court, evidently annual, and their successors sworn; officers were fined for default, and public nuisances were presented and amerced. The three weeks court had evidently been for long discontinued, for the surveyors stated that they could not learn that it had ever taken place, but that they believed the lord of the court leet might hold it if he pleased. The courts were held by the sheriff who received the profits of the hundreds. These, in so far as they were not derived from common fines, amounted to 6 6s. 8d. a year. (fn. 9) The Local Government Act of 1888 circumscribed Brixton Hundred by the annexation of all its parishes, except Barnes, Merton, Mortlake and Wimbledon, to the county of London. (fn. 10)