Parishes: Wimbledon

A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1912.

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'Parishes: Wimbledon', in A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 4, ed. H E Malden( London, 1912), British History Online [accessed 23 July 2024].

'Parishes: Wimbledon', in A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 4. Edited by H E Malden( London, 1912), British History Online, accessed July 23, 2024,

"Parishes: Wimbledon". A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 4. Ed. H E Malden(London, 1912), , British History Online. Web. 23 July 2024.

In this section


Wimmeldon, Wymmeldon, Wimbledone, Wymbeldon (xiii cent.); Wimbleton (xiv cent.); Wymelton (xvi cent.).

Wimbledon parish comprises a little over 3,219 acres including the common, which consists of about 1,000 acres, and recreation grounds taking up about 35 acres. The parish lies between the Beverley Brook, which forms its western boundary, and the River Wandle, which skirts its eastern boundary. Both flow northwards into the Thames.

The surface level varies from about 50 ft. to 150 ft. above the ordnance datum. The top soil is gravel on a subsoil of London clay, which comes to the surface in the lower ground. The population of the civil parish was 41,652 in 1901, having increased from 25,777 during the preceding ten years, (fn. 1) and from about 6,000 since 1865. (fn. 2)

The high gravel which caps the London Clay on Wimbledon Common and Putney Heath, and its lower slopes into the marshy bottoms where the Beverley Brook and the Wandle flow on either side of it, have evidently been the home of early man. A few palaeolithic implements have been picked up, but the locality has not been exactly recorded. Probably they were in the drift gravel in the valleys. (fn. 3) Neolithic scrapers, flakes and implements even are fairly common. On Putney Heath or Wimbledon Common there are said to have been twenty-three barrows, some of which were opened in 1786 and pottery found. (fn. 4) They seem to have been both long and round. Some thirty years earlier others had been opened, perhaps by Stukeley. Barrows also existed near the camp and traces of hut-circles are said to have been visible about 1856. (fn. 5) The Ridgeway is probably part of the primitive road from the ford at Kingston along the slopes on the southern side of the Thames Valley. The name and situation, like the road similarly named in Berkshire, indicate a pre-Roman track.

At the south-west corner of the Common there is a nearly circular entrenchment of about 7 acres, which Camden called 'Bensbury,' and Salmon in 1740 says was called the Rounds, and which within the last hundred years has been called Caesar's Camp. It is defended by a single bank and ditch, with a second low bank outside the ditch. (fn. 6) It has been much damaged by a late owner.

The frequently accepted identification of Wimbledon with Wibbandune, where a battle was fought in 568 soon after the accession of Ethelbert, King of Kent, is probably incorrect. (fn. 7)

Wimbledon Common, (fn. 8) with its still wild and lovely scenery, is the chief feature of the parish. It lies to the north-east of the town, and the undulating surface of the ground, together with several thick plantations and the fine views of the surrounding country which are obtained from the open spaces, make it exceedingly picturesque. A sheltered piece of water called Queensmere on the northern border of the common was made about 1887 and covers about 2 acres. The present windmill, not far from the lake, was built in 1817, as appears from the court rolls, though apparently one or more had existed previously on the common. (fn. 9) The common was used for reviews of Volunteers throughout the 19th century, and was inaugurated as a rifle-ground for the National Association in 1860, (fn. 10) but from 1890 the meetings have been held at the new ground at Bisley. The common was a favourite duelling ground, and the last notorious duel in England, between Lord Cardigan and Captain Tuckett, was fought here in 1840. It is now preserved to the public by Act of Parliament of 1871 and is under the control of a board of conservators. Around it are many large houses and recently built modern villas. The New Park was opened in 1907 by H.R.H. the Princess Louise. The most thickly populated part of the parish lies to the south of the common and the park. That part which adjoins Merton, and is south-east of the railway, is called South Wimbledon. The main line of the London and South-Western railway, which connects the parish with London, was opened in 1838, and since that time Wimbledon has grown into a very favourite and accessible suburb. From Wimbledon station on this line there are branch lines to Letherhead, Tulse Hill and Kingston. Wimbledon Park station is on the London and South-Western railway's branch line via Wandsworth to Wimbledon, and is served also by the Wimbledon and Fulham trains of the Metropolitan District railway. The London, Brighton and South Coast railway has a branch from Wimbledon to Mitcham. Electric tram-cars from Tooting to Hampton Court run through the town.

Wimbledon adopted the Local Government Act of 1858 in 1866, and then was under the control of an urban district council from 1894 till 1905, when it was incorporated, a charter being granted 24 July 1905. The borough is now governed by a mayor, six aldermen and eighteen councillors. By a Local Government Board Order, which came into operation in 1898, part of the civil parish of Merton was added to the civil parish and urban district of Wimbledon. (fn. 11) The town hall is in the Broadway. A free library in Hill Road was erected in 1886–7 and enlarged in 1902. Wimbledon House was situated at the entrance of High Street, about half a mile west of the parish church. It was probably built about the middle of the 18th century, and became the residence of Sir Henry Bankes, kt., who died in 1774, and afterwards of Benjamin Bond Hopkins, the heir to the enormous fortune accumulated by the money-lender pilloried by Pope as 'Vulture Hopkins.' In 1791 the house is said to have been sold to Monsieur de Calonne, then a refugee in England, and by him in 1792 to the Marquess of Stafford, from whom it passed to Sir Stephen Lushington. During the 19th century it was the home of Louis Joseph de Bourbon, Prince of Condé, Mr. Joseph Marryat, and Mr. (afterwards Sir) H. W. Peek, J.P. It was demolished about ten or twelve years ago, and the estate passed into the hands of a building syndicate.

Among many other famous inhabitants of Wimbledon were Lord Rockingham, the celebrated Whig minister of George III, William Wilberforce (who was often visited here by Pitt), Lord Grenville, Charles James Fox, John Horne Tooke, and the novelist Captain Frederick Marryat, R.N. (fn. 12)

The most interesting house now existing in Wimbledon is Eagle House, at the top of the High Street, the property of Mr. T. G. Jackson, R.A., &c. It was built about 1613 by Robert Bell, who was born in 1564, of a Wimbledon family, and who was a member of the Girdlers' Company and an original member of the East India Company. His initials with those of Alice Colston his wife are still on the house. The house was of an unusual plan, for England, with a large room reaching from the front to the back of the house on each of the three floors, with smaller rooms and a staircase on each side of them. It is gabled, with ten gables, built of brick with stone quoins and much oak timber in the upper part. One of the staircases has been replaced, and some slight alterations have been made, chiefly owing to the addition of a wing. There are four remarkably fine fretwork ceilings of Bell's time; one of these is the same in pattern as a ceiling at Audley End. Robert Bell died childless in 1640. After his wife's death the house was sold in 1647 to Sir Richard Betenson, bart. His son Richard married Albinia Wray, granddaughter of Viscount Wimbledon. (fn. 13) Their son Edward sold the house in 1700 to Richard Ivatt, alderman of London, in whose tenure or in that of his family the Georgian door-cases and chimney-pieces were put in and a wing added. Mr. Ivatt's grandson sold to Mr. George Bond in 1766, and the Rt. Hon. William Grenville, the statesman, was a tenant in 1787. In 1789 it was sold for a school to Mr. Lancaster. During its existence as a school, when as 'Brackenbury's' it was very famous, it acquired the name Eagle House from the former home of one of the owners, who placed the eagle on the front gable. Mr. Thomas Graham Jackson bought it in 1887, and removed some of the school additions to the house and restored it as far as possible to its condition under the Ivatt family. (fn. 14)

The parsonage-house purchased by Dr. Goodwin in 1651 (fn. 15) was perhaps the house known as the Old Rectory House, which stands just north of the churchyard, or this may be the house called Harphams in the survey of 1649, which then contained a hall, a kitchen and a buttery and two entries below stairs, and five chambers above, tenanted by Richard Gregory. The Old Rectory House is an old brick house, much restored and enlarged, having been nearly ruinous fifty years ago. But the plan of a great hall, with a newel staircase at each end of it—the stairs composed of solid baulks of oak—can be recovered. A doorway and fireplace in the upper story appear to date from about 1500. There was a moat round the house, the remains of which were only filled up by the present owner, Mr. Samuel Willson. As there seems to be some doubt whether the name Old Rectory House is not applied to this house only because it stands next to the churchyard, the probability is that the house is really identical with Harphams, which seems to answer to the description and was in this direction, to the south-west of the park.

King's College School, founded in 1829, was transferred from Somerset House to Wimbledon in 1897. The Girls' Public Day Schools Company's school was opened in 1880. The South Wimbledon Technical School for Girls was opened in 1897 by the Surrey County Council, and the Technical Institute and School of Art, under the Wimbledon Corporation, in 1904. The National school, on the Common, represents a charity school founded in 1758. (fn. 16)

The Merton flour mills, on the Wandle (in this parish), are now owned and occupied by Messrs. Bristow & Son, millers. There was formerly also a copper mill on the Wandle, which is now used as a skin and chamois leather factory. In 1865 there was a flour mill on the site of a former manufactory of japan-ware. This was possibly one of the Merton flour mills. Carpet weaving and tapestry making are other industries of the parish. (fn. 17) The survey of the manor in 1649 and a conveyance in 1650 mention ironplate mills, to which a lane led from the town and bounded Wimbledon Hall on the south. (fn. 18)


No mention of WIMBLEDON occurs in the Domesday Survey, and it was evidently assessed under the extensive manor of Mortlake (q.v.) which had been demesne of the see of Canterbury before the Conquest. It was seized by Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, but was recovered with other property by Lanfranc, who brought a suit against him which was heard before the barons assembled at Pennenden Heath near Maidstone in 1070, (fn. 19) and in 1086 it was rated among the lands of the archbishop. There is some doubt as to when Wimbledon became a separate manor, for, although it is called the archbishop's manor of Wimbledon in 1280, (fn. 20) a few years later it was said to be a grange belonging to Mortlake. (fn. 21) From 1328 it regularly appears as the manor of Wimbledon. (fn. 22) In 1364 the Archbishop of Canterbury conceded the demesne lands to the Prior of Merton for thirteen years. (fn. 23) Wimbledon (at that time said to be a member of Croydon, which belonged to Canterbury) was among the possessions of the see forfeited by Thomas Arundel, Archbishop of Canterbury, in 1397, (fn. 24) but on the accession of Henry IV he was restored, (fn. 25) and the archbishops continued to hold the manor of Wimbledon (fn. 26) until 1536, when Thomas Cranmer, then archbishop, exchanged the manor and advowson with the king, who thereupon granted them to Thomas Cromwell, (fn. 27) a native of Putney (q.v.). In 1540 Wimbledon was re-purchased from Cromwell and annexed to the honour of Hampton Court. (fn. 28) The king granted it to his queen, Katherine Parr, in February 1543–4. (fn. 29) After her death in 1548 (fn. 30) the manor remained in the Crown until 1556, when Mary granted it to Cardinal Pole. (fn. 31) Elizabeth con-ferred it in February 1589–90 upon Sir Thomas Cecil, afterwards Earl of Exeter, and his heirs. He settled it on his third son Sir Edward Cecil, who was created Lord Patney and Viscount Wimbledon in 1625. (fn. 32) The latter took part in the wars in the Netherlands from 1596, and was colonel of the English horse at the battle of Newport in Flanders in 1600. He commanded the unfortunate expedi-tion against Cadiz in 1625, and after his return was made 'Member of the Permanent Council of War,' joint Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey, and Captain and Governor of Portsmouth. He died in 1638, leaving as co-heiresses four daughters, (fn. 33) who sold the manor of Wimbledon to trustees on behalf of Queen Henrietta Maria in 1639. (fn. 34) A very complete survey of the manor was taken in 1649 preparatory to its sale by order of the Parliament. (fn. 35) It was purchased in the following year by Adam Baynes, (fn. 36) who probably sold it to General Lambert in or before 1653, (fn. 37) and it was in his house here that Lambert lived in retirement after his disagreement with Cromwell in 1657. (fn. 38) The manor was restored to Queen Henrietta Maria in 1660, (fn. 39) but she sold it in 1661 to George Digby Earl of Bristol. The earl, writing to his son, described Wimbledon as the noblest place in England and the one dearest to the queen, and said that he was giving her a table diamond, valued at £500, for her bounty in letting him have it at £4,000 less than was offered from others. (fn. 40) After the death of the Earl of Bristol the manor was acquired in 1678 from the Dowager Countess of Bristol, to whom it had been demised, by Thomas Earl of Danby, (fn. 41) afterwards Marquess of Carmarthen and subsequently Duke of Leeds. He died in 1712, (fn. 42) and left the manor in the hands of trustees for his grandson Peregrine Hyde Marquess of Carmarthen. They were Montagu Earl of Abingdon, Philip Bishop of Hereford, and Ralph Freeman, jun., who were described as lords of the manor in 1713, and in 1717 sold it, on behalf of the marquess, to Sir Theodore Janssen, bart., (fn. 43) a director of the South Sea Company. He was involved in the collapse of the company, and in 1723 the manor of Wimbledon was put up for sale by the trustees for raising money on the estates of the directors, and was purchased by Sarah Duchess of Marlborough. (fn. 44) She left it to her grandson the Hon. John Spencer, to whom it passed on her death in 1744. (fn. 45) John Spencer died two years later, and was succeeded by his son John, who was created Baron and Viscount Spencer of Althorp in 1761 and Earl Spencer in 1765. (fn. 46) The manor has since descended with this family, (fn. 47) and is now in the possession of the present Earl Spencer.

Spencer, Earl Spencer. Quarterly argent and gules fretty or and over all a bend sable with three scallops argent thereon.

Wimbledon Park House, now in the occupation of Mr. William Austin Horn, stands a short distance to the east of the church overlooking Wimbledon Park, and marks the approximate site of the original manor-house, which became the chief residence in the neighbourhood after the destruction of the Archbishop of Canterbury's house in Mortlake (q.v.) about the middle of the 16th century. (fn. 48) When the manor came into the possession of Queen Katherine Parr she leased the manor-house for twenty-one years to Robert Tyrwhitt in 1545. Edward VI granted a lease of it, dating from the expiration of that time, to Sir William Cecil for twenty-one years, and Philip and Mary granted the reversion of it for life with the manor (q.v.) to Cardinal Pole. Elizabeth gave it to Sir Christopher Hatton in 1576, (fn. 49) but he sold it in the same year to Sir Thomas Cecil, (fn. 50) who rebuilt the house with great magnificence in 1588. (fn. 51) In the survey taken in 1649 a minute description of the interior of the manor-house concludes, 'The whole house is of excellent good brick, the angles, corners and window stanchions and jawmes all of ashlers of free stone and all the roomes of the house except the kitchin and some few of the roomes under staires are all covered with lead in the roofes, and battaled with free stone, in every spire whereof is a pike of iron, these leads and battlements are a very greate ornament to the whole house; the east leads lying over the oringe garden are layd levell for a walke.' Adjoining the east end of the house was the garden called the Orange Garden 'severed from the Phesant garden with a high brick wall upon the east and north sides thereof and from the upper or greate garden with an open pale on the south side thereof conteyning upon admeasurement one rood and twenty perches of ground.' (fn. 52) After the death of Viscount Wimbledon in 1638 the house had been sold with the manor (q.v.) to Queen Henrietta Maria, but on the distribution of the Crown lands during the Commonwealth it passed to Adam Baynes and subsequently to General Lambert. At the Restoration it came to the Earl of Bristol in the same way as the manor, and he sold the house about 1673 to the Earl of Danby, who afterwards acquired the manor and lived at Wimbledon in considerable state. (fn. 53) The house was pulled down by Sir Theodore Janssen, who began to build another, but it was not completed before his estates were seized. The Duchess of Marlborough pulled down his unfinished structure and began a new one, but becoming dissatisfied with the situation she chose one near it and built a mansion which was destroyed by fire in 1785. The present house was begun about 1798 (fn. 54) and finished in 1801. (fn. 55) It was purchased from the Spencer family in 1846 by Mr. Beaumont, who took up his residence there in 1860. From 1827 until that date it had been in the occupation of the Dukes of Somerset. (fn. 56) In 1798 a well, now disused, was sunk in the grounds to the depth of 563 ft. by Lord Spencer to obtain a better water supply than was available near the surface.

The park belonging to the house is said to have contained 377a. 2 r. 11 p. in 1649, to be wooded with 6,363 trees and stocked with ten deer. In the west part of the park was 'one little house or cottage wherein the warrener when there was a coney warren in the said parke used to live, and in the east parte of the said parke and neare unto the said cappitall messuage, or mannor-house, there is one Dutch barne.' (fn. 57) The park must have been afterwards considerably enlarged, as in the 18th century, when it was laid out by 'Capability Brown,' it comprised 1,200 acres. (fn. 58) It contained a fine lake of nearly 40 acres. By the middle of the 19th century, however, a large part of the park had been sold for building. (fn. 59) The district is now covered with residences, the only inclosed space being the land leased to the Wimbledon Park Sports Club, and used by them for the purposes of golf, cricket, lawn tennis, polo and hockey, including the lake, in which there is coarse fishing, (fn. 60) and carefully managed ice in frosty weather under the direction of the Wimbledon Skating Club.

The survey of the manor taken in 1649 records that there were in the park 'eight severall fish ponds very well imbanked, ordered and fitted for preservation of fish and foule, being a very greate ornament to the said manor house, and might be of very greate profitt to the lord of the said manor if they weare well stored.' (fn. 61) Free fishery in Wimbledon is mentioned in a document of 1647. (fn. 62)

A mill, which was appurtenant to the manor of Wimbledon in 1348–9, (fn. 63) may have been one of those which occur in the Domesday Survey as belonging to Mortlake (q.v.).

The custom of Borough English prevails in the manor. (fn. 64)

A reputed manor of WRENBURY in Wimbledon appears in the 16th century, and in 1561 was in the hands of John Clerke. (fn. 65) In 1607 it was purchased by Thomas Earl of Exeter from Julia Morgan and Letitia Moseley for £300, (fn. 66) but no further mention of it after the death of his son Viscount Wimbledon in 1638 (fn. 67) has been found.


The church of ST. MARY, standing to the north-west of the town, consists of chancel, south chapel and vestry, nave, north and south aisles, west tower and south porch. The south chapel dates from before the middle of the 17th century; all the structural details of the chancel are modern, and the rest of the church was rebuilt in 1843 in the Perpendicular style with stone dressings and flint facing, while the chancel and chapel are faced with rough-cast. The tower is of three stages, surmounted by a tall slate spire.

On the north wall of the chancel there is a marble mural monument with inscription flanked by pilasters resting on corbels and supporting a cornice with arms above to William and Katherine Walter, 1587.

In the centre of the chapel there is a large altartomb of black marble, which has a plain slab on the top with moulded edges and marginal inscription plain sides with inscriptions and moulded bases; this is to Sir Edward Cecil, Baron of Putney and Viscount Wimbledon, third son of Thomas Earl of Exeter. He married first Theodosia Noel, who was buried in Utrecht Cathedral, by whom he had four daughters, and secondly Diana Drury, buried here. On the chapel walls are small rectangular slabs with inscriptions to the four daughters above-mentioned and their husbands, and two others for Sir Edward's wives, with a small square window above each one containing the arms. The first, beginning at the north-east, 'Mr James Fines Son & Heyer of Lo. Vic. Say & his wif francis Cecill,' arms above: Or, fretty azure (Willoughby), impaling Cecil. Second, 'Te. Lo. Francis Willoughby of Parrom & his wife Eliz Cecill,' arms above mutilated. Third,' The first wife who in the tomb is named,' arms: Cecil impaling or fretty gules with a canton ermine (Noel). Fourth, 'His second wife,' arms: Cecil impaling a chief or; the lower part of the shield lost. Fifth, 'Christopher Wraye Knight hyer to the Drurys & His wife Albinill Cecil,' arms mutilated. Sixth, 'Dorothy Cecill unmarried as yet,' arms above blocked. On the east and west walls are pieces of 17th-century plate armour. In the south window of this chapel are two panels of painted glass, probably of 17th-century date; one has a knight in armour and the other is a coat of arms, quarterly of six, of Cecil; and in the north window of the chancel are two other panels of 17th-century arms, the first to the Duke of Leeds and the other to the Cecil family. On the chancel floor are two slabs with arms, one of which is defaced and the other is charged with three bulls.

There is a ring of six bells. The first was presented by James Edward Bowles Wilson, 1876; the second and third are by Mears & Stainbank, 1867; the fourth a 16th-century bell by Robert Mot, inscribed in Lombardic capitals 'Prayse ye the Lorde an° 157–' (fn. 68); the fifth is a pre-Reformation bell by William Culverden (d. 1522), inscribed in black letter 'Sancte Bartholomee'; the tenor is by Richard Phelps, 1715.

The plate consists of cup and cover paten, the hall marks of which have been partly erased, but which were given in 1665 (as far as can now be seen the marks are of 1663), flagon, 1714, a modern cup and cover paten, and two large patens, 1801.

The registers begin from 1538, copied out in 1599: (1) baptisms 1538 to 1679 (from 12 April 1666 to end of year and some previous entries are in Latin), burials 1593 to 1678 (entries 1625 to 1633 missing), and marriages 1684 to 1754; (2) burials 1678 to 1739; (3) baptisms 1679 to 1761; marriages 1684 to 1754, burials 1740 to 1788; (4) baptisms 1761 to 1785; (5) baptisms 1785 to 1812; (6) marriages 1754 to 1777; (7) marriages 1777 to 1812; (8) burials 1789 to 1812.

The parish of HOLY TRINITY, SOUTH WIMBLEDON, was formed in 1872. The church, which is in Merton Road, is a building dating from 1862, of rag and Bath stone, in the style of the 14th century. It has a chancel and nave, both with aisles, vestry, porch, &c. Above the west wall is a wood bell-cote with a pyramidal slate roof.

The church of ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST, Spencer Hill, which is a chapel of ease to the parish church, was begun in 1873, and consists of a chancel, north organ chamber, nave and north aisle of five bays and north porch. The walls are of red brick, the dressings of stone. The arcade has round stone columns and red brick arches. The roofs are tiled. A small shingled bell turret rises to the south of the chancel arch.

ST. MARK'S CHURCH, Alexandra Road, is also a chapel of ease. It has a continuous chancel and nave, north aisle and chapel, the latter being the original church erected in 1880; the nave and chancel were added in 1894. An arcade of six small bays divides the two portions; provision is made for a future south transept. The style is that of the 13th century. A flèche stands above the east end of the nave.

EMMANUEL CHURCH, Ridgeway, was erected in 1888 of red brick and stone in the style of the 13th century, and consists of a chancel, nave with clearstory, south transept, aisles and west porch, and has a small south-west clock turret with one bell. The roofs are covered with slates.

The parish of ALL SAINTS, SOUTH WIMBLEDON, was formed in 1892. The church in Haydon Road is a low building of red brick and Doulting stone in the style of the 14th century, dating from 1892. It consists of a continuous chancel and nave, wide north aisle and chapel divided from them by an arcade of seven bays and north porch. Provision is made for a future south aisle. The roofs are gabled, with panelled ceilings painted white, and are covered with tiles. Over the west wall is a brick bell-cote with three bells. A fine oak screen spans the entrance to the chancel and chapel, and above the former is a rood. Screens also divide the chapel from the chancel. The pulpit is of carved oak and the font is a rich one of marble.

ST. LUKE'S, Farquhar Road, near Wimbledon Park station, which was built in 1908–9 of red brick and Portland stone in the Gothic style from designs by T. G. Jackson, R.A., consists of a chancel, nave, aisle, vestry and tower (which serves also as a porch).

St. Andrew's Church, Graham Road, is now in course of erection as a chapel of ease to Holy Trinity Church, the walling being of red brick and stone.

Christ Church, Copse Hill, and St. Matthew, Cottenham Park, are chapels of ease to St. Mary.

St. Peter, Kohat Road, is a chapel of ease to All Saints.

There is a mission church with a curate in charge in Herbert Road. A Roman Catholic church, Edge Hill, was erected in 1886–7, and there are also Congregational, Wesleyan Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist and Primitive Methodist chapels. A new Wesleyan chapel in the Merton Road was built in 1904.


The church which at the time of the Domesday Survey was said to belong to the manor of Mortlake (q.v.), and must have been the church of 'Murtelac' which was seized by Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, but was restored to Lanfranc in 1070, was undoubtedly Wimbledon Church, as there was no church actually situated in the present parish of Mortlake, then part of Wimbledon, until 1348, (fn. 69) while Wimbledon Church was called the parish church at least as early as 1286. (fn. 70) The advowson followed the descent of the manor of Wimbledon until the latter was settled in 1543–4 upon Queen Katherine Parr by Henry VIII. In 1546 the king granted the advowson of the church and the parsonage of Wimbledon to the Dean and Chapter of Worcester with the intention that it should be appropriated and a vicarage ordained. (fn. 71) Early in January 1547 the king granted them the advowson of the vicarage of Wimbledon, (fn. 72) but he died on 28 January and the grant never took effect. A few months later Edward VI renewed the grant of the advowson of the church and the rectory to the Dean and Chapter of Worcester, with licence to appropriate and to appoint a vicar, but he reserved to himself the advowson of the vicarage whenever it should be ordained. (fn. 73) No vicar was instituted and the living remained a perpetual curacy in the gift of the dean and chapter (fn. 74) until it was styled a vicarage by the Act of 1868. (fn. 75) The patronage still belongs to the Dean and Chapter of Worcester.

During the Commonwealth the parsonage-house was purchased from the trustees for the sale of bishops' lands by Thomas Goodwin, D.D. (fn. 76)

The living of Holy Trinity, South Wimbledon, is in the gift of the vicar of Wimbledon, and those of All Saints and St. Andrew's in the gift of the bishop. The presentation to St. Luke and Emmanuel is in the hands of trustees. St. John the Baptist and St. Mark are chapels of ease to the parish church.


1651. The Hon. Dorothy Cevil left £25 a year for the poor and for the repair of Viscount Wimbledon's tomb charged on land in Putney; Thomas Hillyard gave 10s. a year for four poor widows.

1797. Mr. Gerard de Visme left £10 a year for bread for the poor.

1798. Mrs. Simon left £200 for the poor.

1802. Mr. W. Gonston left £13 15s. a year for bread.

1837. Mr. James Rose left £5 a year for the poor and for repair of a vault.

1846. Mr. J. Johnson left £1,038 2s. for the poor.

1849. Mr. George Bray left money now amounting to £13 1s. 1d. a year for the poor.

1850. Mrs. Charlotte Marryat left £109 14s. 6d. for the poor.

1854. The Marryat Almshouses were endowed; Lady E. Murray added £220 to the de Visme trust; Mr. Daniel Mason left £300 for bread and clothes; Mr. W. Barker left £300 for clothes.

1870. Mr. H. Smith left £200 for the poor subject to a charge for the repair of a vault.

1874. Mrs. E. Mason left money for coals to poor widows and for the repair of a tomb and vault.

1892. Miss V. S. Forbes left £200 for the poor at the sole discretion of the vicar.

1895. The Rev. Canon Cooke left £130 for the poor subject to the repair of a tomb.

Smith's charity is distributed as in other Surrey parishes.

The Royal Homes for the Widows and Daughters of Naval and Military Officers, established in 1899, were opened in Wimbledon in 1905 by King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra.

Twelve almshouses were founded in 1838 and further endowed in 1854.

The Wimbledon Cottage Hospital in Thurston Road was built in 1869, the South Wimbledon Cottage Hospital in 1900, and the Hospital for Infectious Diseases in 1906.

The Atkinson Morley Convalescent Home, under the management of St. George's Hospital, was endowed by Mr. Atkinson Morley in 1867.

A charity school was founded in 1758. In 1773 Earl Spencer gave the land for the buildings, which were re-erected in 1786. It is now represented by the Wimbledon National School on the common. It was again rebuilt in 1873.


  • 1. Pop. Ret. 1901.
  • 2. Bartlett, Wimbledon, 196.
  • 3. Johnson and Wright, Neolithic Man in North-East Surr. 31, 125–7.
  • 4. Douglas, Nenia Britan. 93.
  • 5. Giuseppi, Wimbledon and Merton Annual, 1904.
  • 6. V.C.H. Surr. i, 231, 238.
  • 7. Ibid. 256–7.
  • 8. A large part of the common extends into the parish of Putney.
  • 9. Information from Mr. Giuseppi.
  • 10. Bartlett, op. cit. 194.
  • 11. Bartlett, op. cit. 13, note.
  • 12. Ibid. 144–67.
  • 13. Monument in church.
  • 14. See article by Mr. T. G. Jackson in the Wimbledon and Merton Annual, 1903.
  • 15. See below under 'Advowson.'
  • 16. See under 'Charities.'
  • 17. Information from Mr. Steele Sheldon, the town clerk.
  • 18. Surr. Arch. Coll. (Surr. Arch. Soc.), v, 104; Close, 1650, pt. lxiii, no. 3.
  • 19. Note in Eadmer, Hist. Nov. (ed. Selden), giving account of the suit, pp. 197–200; Dugdale, Mon. Angl. i, 109; Wilkins, Concilia, i, 323.
  • 20. Cal. Close, 1279–88, p. 16.
  • 21. Pope Nich. Tex. (Rec. Com.), 206.
  • 22. Cal. Pat. 1327–30, p. 295; Mins. Accts. 22 Edw. III, bdle. 1128, no. 12; Abbrew. Rot. Orig. (Rec. Com.), ii, 282.
  • 23. Pat. 38 Edw. III, pt. i, m. 34.
  • 24. Chan. Inq. p.m. 21 Ric. II, no. 137, m. 11a.
  • 25. Dugdale, op. cit. i, 86.
  • 26. Rot. Lit. Pat. (Rec. Com.), 255; Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), xiii, 103.
  • 27. Stat. of the Realm, iii, 585, 712 14.
  • 28. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xv, 498 (36).
  • 29. Ct. R. portf. 205, no. 40; L. and P. Hen. VIII, xix (1), g. 1036 (32).
  • 30. Dict. Nat. Biog. ix, 312.
  • 31. Pat. 2 & 3 Phil. and Mary, pt. iii, m. 22; 32 Eliz. pt. xvii, m. 37; G.E.C. Complete Peerage, iii, 299.
  • 32. Recov. R. Surr. East. 21 Jas. I, rot. 16; Feet of F. Surr. Mich. 2 Chas. I; G.E.C. op. cit. viii, 166–7.
  • 33. Cal. S. P. Dow. 1638–9, pp. 106–7.
  • 34. Feet of F. Surr. Hil. 15 Chas. I; Recov. R. Surr. Hil. 15 Chas. I, rot. 54; Cal. S. P. Dom. 1639–40, pp. 157, 342.
  • 35. Surr. Arch. Coll. (Surr. Arch. Soc.), v, 104–42.
  • 36. Close, 1650, pt. lxiii. no. 3.
  • 37. Extracts from the Ct. R. of Wimbledon Manor, 229.
  • 38. Dict. Nat. Biog. xxxii, 14.
  • 39. Cal. S. P. Dom. 1660–1, p. 407.
  • 40. Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. viii, App. 1, 219a; Feet of F. Surr. East. 1661.
  • 41. Feet of F. Surr. Hil. 29 & 30 Chas. II; Extracts from Ct. R. 245; Lysens, Envir. of Lond. i, 522.
  • 42. G.E.C. Complete Pecrage, v, 35.
  • 43. Extracts from Ct. R. 275; Feet of F. Surr. Trin. 3 Geo. I; Close, 13 Geo. I, pt. ii, m. 8.
  • 44. Ibid.; Dict. Nat. Biog. xxix, 240.
  • 45. G.E.C. op. cit. v, 255, and note.
  • 46. Ibid. vii, 202–3.
  • 47. Recov. R. Surr. Mich. 20 Geo. III, rot. 138.
  • 48. Bartlett, Wimbledon, 62.
  • 49. Pat. 18 Eliz. pt. xiii, m. 1.
  • 50. Close, 18 Eliz. pt. v, no. 1.
  • 51. Aubrey, Nat. Hist. and Antiq. of Surr. i, 15. There is a plan of his house in Sir Hans Sloane's museuum.
  • 52. Surr. Arch. Coll. (Surr. Arch. Soc.), v, 112.
  • 53. Dict. Nat. Biog. xlii, 296.
  • 54. Manning and Bray, Hist. and Antiq. Surr. iii, 271.
  • 55. Brayley, Hist. of Surr. iii, 502.
  • 56. Bartlett, op. cit. 70.
  • 57. Surr. Arch. Coll. (Surr. Arch. Soc.), v, 134.
  • 58. Part of the district extends into the parish of Wandsworth.
  • 59. Lysons, op. cit. i, 528; Dict. Nat. Biog. vii, 22; Bartlett, op. cit. 70.
  • 60. Information kindly supplied by Mr. Steele Sheidon, town clerk of Wimbiedon.
  • 61. Surr. Arch. Coll. (Surr. Arch. Soc.), v, 135.
  • 62. Feet of F. Surr. East. 23 Chas. I.
  • 63. Mins. Accts. 22 Edw. III, bdle. 1128, no. 12.
  • 64. Surr. Arch. Coll. (Surr. Arch. Soc.), v, 139.
  • 65. Recov. R. Surr. Trin. 3 Eliz. rot. 409.
  • 66. Feet of F. Surr. Hil. 4 Jas. I; Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), ccccxxlv, 84.
  • 67. Ibid. cccclxxxviii, 123.
  • 68. The last figure is not filled in. A similar bell at Dovercourt, Essex, is dated 1572.
  • 69. Cal. Pat. 1348–50, p. 88.
  • 70. Add. MS. B.M. 6063, fol. 669.
  • 71. D. of Purchase and Exchange, 38 Hen. VIII, box E, no. 88; Particulars for Grants, Hen. VIII, no. 1250, m. 6.
  • 72. D. of Purchase and Exchange, 38 Hen. VIII, box E, no. 93.
  • 73. Pat. 1 Edw. VI, pt. ix, m. 5.
  • 74. Surr. Arch. Coll. (Surr. Arch. Soc.), xvii, 92; Liber Regis (ed. Bacon), 948.
  • 75. Stat. 31 & 32 Vict. cap. 117.
  • 76. Close, 1651, pt. vii, no. 7.