Croydon: Borough, manors, churches and charities

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

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'Croydon: Borough, manors, churches and charities', A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 4, (London, 1912), pp. 217-228. British History Online [accessed 15 June 2024].

. "Croydon: Borough, manors, churches and charities", in A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 4, (London, 1912) 217-228. British History Online, accessed June 15, 2024,

. "Croydon: Borough, manors, churches and charities", A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 4, (London, 1912). 217-228. British History Online. Web. 15 June 2024,

In this section


Croydon became a market town by royal grant in the 13th century. In 1276 Archbishop Kilwardby obtained a grant of market to be kept every Friday and a fair to be held for nine days beginning on the vigil of St. Botolph the abbot (17 June). (fn. 1) In 1314 Archbishop Reynolds obtained a grant of a market to be held on Thursday and a fair on the vigil, day and morrow of St. Matthew, 20, 21 and 22 September. (fn. 2) A further grant of a market to be kept there on Saturday and a fair on the feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist (24 June) was made to Archbishop Stratford in 1343. (fn. 3) On the occasion of the first fair held under this grant the archbishop's bailiffs and ministers deputed to receive the tolls and other profits were assaulted by Walter de Huntingfield and others, who prevented them from carrying out their office. (fn. 4) The Saturday market was a corn market and seems to have been the only one held until recent times. (fn. 5) The old market-house was built by Mr. Tirrell, citizen and grocer, in 1566. It was extensively repaired in 1781, but was pulled down in 1807. After 1809, when the town hall was built, the market was for some time held on the ground floor of that building. While some alterations were being made there at some date previous to 1889 a room in the King's Arms Hotel was offered by the proprietor, Mr. Robinson, and the market has since been held in the hotel. It is said to have been ruined by the change of place and the change of the day from Saturday to Thursday. (fn. 6) The trade carried on by a number of costermongers in Surrey Street and Westow Street, Upper Norwood, on Saturday afternoon and evening, which has been established for a great many years, may be considered a general market, although no tolls are taken or revenue derived. There are also a few stalls in Surrey Street erected on the part belonging to the corporation, for which a rent is paid to that body. (fn. 7) There is also a cattle market in private hands, which is held once a week, on Thursdays. (fn. 8) In the Act of Incorporation of 1883 power was given to the borough to establish markets, but no proper regulations have been made for them and they are managed merely as part of the streets, whilst there are no market accounts. (fn. 9)

The fairs in September and June are mentioned in 1647 and were still held in 1841. That held at Michaelmas was chiefly for horses. (fn. 10) At the present day only one cattle fair is held on 2 October in a private field at the back of an old public-house in the Brighton road, which has been purchased by the corporation for a public recreation ground. The pleasure fairs were abolished some forty years ago, having become a public nuisance. (fn. 11)

Although a market town of some importance, Croydon was not incorporated until the 19th century. The portmote belonging to the archbishops, of which mention occurs in the 14th and 16th centuries, (fn. 12) may, however, possibly point to burgage tenure. In 1690 the inhabitants of Croydon petitioned William III for a charter of incorporation, on 4 December of the same year the king ordered a charter to be prepared. Certain persons put in a memorial against the granting of the charter, and the original petition of the inhabitants and the counter-memorial were referred to Sir George Trewby, attorney-general, for his opinion. He drew up an opinion, dated 6 March 1690–1, which was submitted to Queen Mary in Council 21 May 1691, King William being absent on the Continent. The opinion of the attorney-general was that the most material allegations of the counter-memorial were founded upon misinformation. The memorial sets forth that the whole town of Croydon was held by rents and services of the archiepiscopal see and that the streets, wastes and public places were the soil of the archbishopric. The attorney-general found, however, that a great part of the town of Croydon lay within the manors of Haling, Norbury and Bermondsey, and that the lord of one of these manors was among the petitioners for the charter and that the other two lords had consented. The memorial alleges that the inhabitants were farmers or inn-keepers, with some very small shop-keepers. The petitioners, on the contrary, had produced a list of over two hundred tradesmen, some having a considerable business, and showed that there were few inn-keepers and no farmers. The attorney-general, fortified by an opinion of the justices of the county and of the members for the county and the boroughs in Surrey, concluded that the incorporation with the grant of a monthly market for cattle would be of benefit to the town and to the whole county, and that it would be proper for the queen to grant the charter. He said, however, that a clause should be added saving the rights, privileges, franchises and immunities belonging to the archiepiscopal see of Canterbury. 'Her Majesty in Council was pleased to approve of the said Report, and to order, as it is hereby ordered, that the Rt. Honble. the Earl of Nottingham, Principal Secretary of State, do prepare a Warrant for Her Majesty's royal signature empowering Mr. Attorney General to prepare a Bill to pass the great Seal of England for incorporating of the Towne of Croydon in the county of Surrey, &c., &c.' (fn. 13) For a time, however, there was no result. On 5 February 1706–7 a petition was drawn up for presentation to Queen Anne setting forth the facts narrated, and adding that 'the Secretary of State being quickly after removed did not prepare a Warrant according to Her Majesty's Royal Order,' and praying that Her Majesty Queen Anne would renew and confirm Her late Majesty's order. The petition was signed by 148 persons, including Sir Nicholas Carew, lord of the manor of Norbury. (fn. 14) This, however, is the last that is known of the affair. The statement that the removal of the Secretary of State was the cause of the non-preparation of the warrant is doubtful, for the Earl of Nottingham was secretary for about two years and six months after May 1691. Judging from the first allegation of the counter-memorial and the saving clause recommended by the attorney-general, we must conclude that Archbishop Tillotson and Archbishop Tenison, or their legal advisers, may have been instrumental in hindering the incorporation of Croydon at that time. The archbishop was not present at the Council of 21 May 1691.

The town therefore remained unincorporated until 1883; it then received a royal charter of incorporation, the corporate body to consist of a mayor, twelve aldermen and thirty-six councillors. The borough, which includes the whole of Croydon parish except Croydon Crook, is divided into six wards. It received a commission of the peace on 24 March 1885 and a separate court of quarter sessions in June 1889. Under the Redistribution of Seats Act, 1885, (fn. 15) Croydon was made a parliamentary borough returning one member, and by the Local Government Act of 1888 it was declared a county borough. (fn. 16)


It is unknown at what date the manor of CROYDON was granted to the see of Canterbury, but it must have been at some date previous to the end of the 9th century, for the archbishop had lands in Croydon about 871. (fn. 17) In the Domesday Survey it is entered among the archbishop's lands held in demesne, and was then assessed for 16 hides and 1 virgate, as compared with 80 hides in the time of Edward the Confessor. (fn. 18) In 1291 the archbishop's Croydon estates were taxed at £20. (fn. 19) The Valor Ecclesiasticus of 1535 gives the value as over £80, of which £31 0s. 1d. was rent of assize, £17 0s. 10d. the farm of the demesne lands, £3 the farm of meadow land, £6 was from the sale of wood, £5 from the portmote court (fn. 20) and £6 2s. 4d. from the perquisites of the manorial court. (fn. 21) In 1647 the manor was sold by the trustees for the sale of church lands to Sir William Brereton of Handforth, co. Chester, for a sum of £7,959 13s. 6d. The extent included £53 6s. 2d. from quit-rents, the site and capital messuage near the churchyard, the house called Park House in Croydon Park, a market for corn, flesh and other provisions held on Saturday and fairs on the feasts of St. Matthew (21 September) and the Nativity of St. John the Baptist (24 June), courts leet and baron, fishing rights, &c. (fn. 22) At the Restoration the manor was restored to the see. In 1862 it was taken over by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners on the vacation of the see caused by the death of Archbishop John Bird Sumner. The commissioners are the present lords and hold yearly courts for the manor at the 'Greyhound.' (fn. 23) The manor includes the tithings of Croydon Town, Coombe and Croham, Selsdon, Woodside, Addiscombe (formerly called Edgecombe), Shirley and Bensham, Lingfield and Tatsfield. (fn. 24) Two constables, four headboroughs, two ale-conners, two leathersellers and two flesh-tasters were elected at the court leet for Croydon Town and a headborough for each of the other tithings. The common fine for Croydon Town was 10s. 11½d., for Addiscombe 3s. 4d. and for the others 1s. 9d. At the court baron the reeve, beadle and herdsman were chosen. There were formerly eight reevewick and eight beadlewick lands in the manor. Borough English prevails, the copyholds descending to the youngest son and in default to the youngest daughter. The copyhold estates within a square which used to be marked by four crosses are exempt from heriots. (fn. 25) The fine on entrance into a copyhold is uncertain if it is purchased by a stranger, but on descent to an heir one year's quit-rent is payable. On the death of a freeholder the incoming tenant pays likewise one year's quit-rent; upon alienation 1d. is payable for fealty, but nothing for relief. The tenants of the manor had common of pasture on Shirley Heath, containing 300 acres; Croydon Heath, containing 340 acres; Thornton Heath and Broad Green, containing 20 acres. (fn. 26)

See of Canterbury. Azure an archbishop's cross surmounted by the pall of a metropolitan, all in their proper colours.

A park was attached to the archbishop's manor, but the date of its inclosure is not known. Archbishop Reynolds (1313–27) conferred the keepership of the park of Croydon on Le Barber. (fn. 27) In 1381 Thomas Messager, member of the king's household, was granted the office of parker of Croydon Park as long as the temporalities of the archbishopric of Canterbury were in the king's hands. (fn. 28) Sir William Walworth, Mayor of London in 1374–5 and 1380–1 (his famous quarrel with Wat Tyler taking place during the latter mayoralty), was appointed keeper by Archbishop Courtenay in 1382. (fn. 29) The park remained the property of the archbishop until 1540, when it was conveyed by Cranmer to Henry VIII with a wood called Okestubble, containing 70 acres. (fn. 30) The next year Robert Bouchier was appointed keeper of Croydon Park with herbage and pannage and profits of coneys there, and also keeper of the outer woods of Norwood, Rigewood, Okestubble and Les Firses, as the office had been held by Nicholas Carew (attainted in 1539) and his son Francis. (fn. 31) In 1547 Edward VI restored the park to the archbishop with free warren and free chase. (fn. 32)

A grant in October 1626 by Charles I to Philip Earl of Montgomery and Lady Susanna his wife for life (fn. 33) must have been owing to the temporary disgrace of Archbishop Abbot, who was sequestrated in the following year. (fn. 34) It probably reverted to the see when he was restored to favour at the end of 1628. In 1688 William Sancroft, Archbishop of Canterbury, granted to Jacob Hampson of Mitcham his lodge or Park House in the parish of Croydon and other lands, to hold the same for twenty-one years at an annual rent of £110. (fn. 35)

Croydon Park is now represented in part by Park Hall, a large part of which has been leased out and built over.

According to the cartulary of Bermondsey Abbey, the manor of WADDON formed part of the ancient demesne of the Crown as a member of the royal manor of Bermondsey. (fn. 36) In 1127 it was given by Henry I to the monks of Bermondsey, with whom it remained until 1390–1, when they transferred it in exchange for the advowson of the church to Archbishop Courtenay, who received licence from the pope to appropriate it to the use of his table. (fn. 37) By the agreement made between them the manor was to be exempted from all tithes payable to the rector.

In 1535 the farm of the manor of Waddon was returned as £22 6s. 8d., the farm of meadowland as £41, the farm of the mill as £10 13s. 4d. and the perquisites of court as £1 10s. (fn. 38)

A survey of the manor was taken in 1646 after the death of Archbishop Laud. There was 'a fair old timber built manor-house with two tiled barns, two stables, a garden, orchard, and two yards containing 3 acres.' The survey mentions that all the tenants of the manor had free common of pasture on Waddon Marsh according to the proportion of their copyholds. The farmer of the manor had pasturage of twelve milch kine or six horses in the Marsh from 10 May till All Saints and as many sheep as he pleased from All Saints until 10 March. The copyholders had all the furze, broom and other bushes on the common. The manor abutted on the manor of Beddington on the west, on the manor of Haling on the east, on the highway from Croydon to Reigate on the south, and on Mitcham Common and Waddon Marsh on the north. At the time of the survey the manor was held on a lease for twenty-one years, dating from 1639, by Sir William Cowper of Ratling Court, co. Kent, who also held at farm the site of the mill, two pastures called Milne Closes by the millpond, the right of fishing being reserved, the trout and other fish to be taken by the archbishop's officers. (fn. 39) In 1648 the manor, with the manor or farm-house of Waddon and the water mill 'on the stream flowing from Croydon towards Beddington,' were sold by the trustees for the sale of church lands to Sir William Brereton, the purchaser of Croydon, for a sum of £1,612 11s. 8d. (fn. 40) After the Restoration the manor remained the property of the Archbishops of Canterbury until 1862, when it was taken over with Croydon by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. A view of frankpledge as well as court baron was formerly held for this manor. A common fine of 10s. was payable by the two tithingmen. (fn. 41) No courts are now held.

The manor of BENCHAM or BENCHESHAM alias WHITEHORSE was held of the archbishop by the service of 21s. per annum and suit of court at Croydon. (fn. 42)

The first mention of the manor appears to be in 1229, when it was conveyed by Peter de Bedenges to John de Kemsing and Idonia his wife, (fn. 43) who in 1230 sold it to Geoffrey de Frowik. (fn. 44) In 1258 it was evidently held by Walter de Frowik, who in that year granted 12 marks rent in Benchesham to Adam de Basings and his wife Joan. (fn. 45) It seems to have been acquired before 1299 by Richard de Gravesend, Bishop of London, who then received a grant of free warren in his demesne lands of Benchesham. (fn. 46) He died in 1303, (fn. 47) when the manor descended to his nephew Stephen de Gravesend, also Bishop of London. On his death in 1338 he was found seised of the manor held for life with reversion to Hugh de Nevill. (fn. 48) The latter probably conveyed it to John de Chirburg, as he received a grant of free warren in 1355. (fn. 49) In 1367 it was in the possession of Walter Whitehorse (Whithors), the king's esquire, to whom Walter de Cheriton quitclaimed all right in that year. (fn. 50) Whitehorse received yet another grant of free warren made in 1369. (fn. 51) Among other offices held by him was that of usher in the chapel in Windsor Castle, with a house in the castle for residence. (fn. 52) He died in 1386 or 1387. (fn. 53) Ralph Whitehorse, who succeeded him, alienated Benchesham in 1399 to William Coventre, (fn. 54) who enfeoffed Arnold Hulker and others, apparently Hulker's trustees. (fn. 55) Hulker received an exemplification of the grant of free warren made to Whitehorse in 1406. (fn. 56) After his death (before 1420) the manor seems to have been taken into the king's hands and granted for a term of years to John Dannigforth. (fn. 57) Dower in it was assigned to Lucy, Arnold's widow, in 1421. (fn. 58) Later a restoration to Hulker's heirs must have been made, for in 1438 John Deys, citizen and mercer of London, Elizabeth his wife, and John Maldon, citizen and grocer of London, conveyed the manor to John Savage, a vintner of London, Richard Browene, a chandler, and Thomas Maldon and to the heirs of Thomas, with warranty against the heirs of Elizabeth. (fn. 59) Apparently this was for a settlement, for about two years afterwards John Maldon with two co-feoffees obtained an exemplification of the Letters Patent of 1406 mentioned above. (fn. 60)

In 1466 the manor was held by John Selling and his wife Margaret (fn. 61) in Margaret's right. They in that year conveyed it to Thomas Goldwell. In 1493 Richard Pole and his wife Elizabeth, one of the daughters and heirs of John Goldwell, and Henry Wadlose and Emma his wife, the other heiress, quitclaimed their right to Thomas Morton, nephew to Archbishop and Cardinal Morton. (fn. 62)

The manor remained in this family for a considerable time. In 1588 William Morton, grandson to Thomas, died seised of the manor, leaving a grandson and heir William, (fn. 63) who died in 1629. (fn. 64) His son Thomas succeeded him and died in 1678, leaving five daughters, amongst whom the manor was divided. (fn. 65) Four of these shares were bought by John Barrett in 1712. (fn. 66) His grandson Thomas purchased the fifth share in 1787, and sold the whole eventually to John Cator of Beckenham, (fn. 67) who died in 1806. His nephew John was the owner in 1809 (fn. 68); he afterwards sold it to John Davidson Smith, (fn. 69) who was the last lord. After his death the land was sold in small plots for building.

Manning mentions that no courts were held for this manor in his time.

On the south gable of Bencham House the date 1604 was formed in the brickwork. (fn. 70)

PALMERS or PASMER alias TYLEHOST.—There does not seem to be any mention of this manor before the middle of the 16th century, when it was in the possession of Nicolas Burton and Eleanor his wife, who in 1551 conveyed it to Henry Becher. (fn. 71) In 1580 Bartholomew Becher and William Becher joined in a conveyance to Robert Forth, (fn. 72) who died seised of it in 1595 (when it was said to be held of the Archbishop of Canterbury) and left a son Thomas. (fn. 73)

In 1716 Ronatus Palmer and Simon Bratley with their wives Mary and Elizabeth, possibly co-heiresses of the Forth family, sold this manor to William Newland. (fn. 74) He died without male issue in 1738, leaving three daughters, Martha, Rebecca and Elizabeth, his co-heirs. Elizabeth died without issue, and the estate was divided between the other two daughters. (fn. 75) Martha married Robert Dillon and had one daughter Christian, who married Edward Swinburn. Rebecca, who married Philip Cantelow, had a daughter Rebecca, who married Daniel Murphy. They sold their share in the estate in 1769 to Robert Bulkeley, from whom it was acquired by Samuel Cotes. (fn. 76)

At the time of the inclosure Mrs. Cotes claimed and had an allotment for Palmers as a farm. (fn. 77)

The manor of NORBURY (Northbury, xv cent.) first appears in the possession of Nicholas Carew of Beddington, who received a grant of free warren in his lands at Croydon in 1375. (fn. 78) It was held of the Archbishop of Canterbury as of his manor of Croydon by fealty and 20s. yearly rent. (fn. 79) The descent of this manor follows that of Beddington, the seat of the Carews (q.v.). After the passing of the Carew Estate Act in 1857 the property was sold in 1859 in separate portions.

At the beginning of the 13th century CROHAM must have been in the possession of William de Eynesford, (fn. 80) for, although there is no contemporary evidence of his holding it, it afterwards appears divided between his heirs. These were Nicholas Criel and William Heringaud, who presumably married William de Eynesford's daughters. Both Nicholas and William were dead before 1273. (fn. 81) Nicholas left a son Nicholas and William Heringaud had a daughter Christine, who married William de Kirkby. (fn. 82) In 1281 a conveyance of half the manor of Croham was made to Nicholas Criel by Roger de Northwode, (fn. 83) but whether Roger had any right in it or this was only a settlement is uncertain. The next year Agnes daughter of Robert de la Leye of Eynsford remitted all right in this half to Nicholas. (fn. 84) Her title is also uncertain, but the same transaction occurs with regard to half the manor of Eynsford in Kent. At the same time she quitclaimed the other half to William de Kirkby and his wife Christine. (fn. 85) Apparently both halves of the manor came into the same hands later, for in 1342 Nicholas de Chynham conveyed the 'manor of Croham' to Walter le Gras, chivaler. (fn. 86) It seems to have come shortly after into the possession of Walter de Cheriton (see Benchesham). In 1367 Thomas son and heir of Walter, the latter being still alive, quitclaimed all right in lands and tenements in Croham to John de Bergh, John de Hamuldon and John Oliver. (fn. 87) Afterwards the manor with other possessions of Walter de Cheriton was taken into the king's hands on account of his debts to the Crown, (fn. 88) and the custody was granted in 1399 to William Oliver and John Southcote at a rent of 50s., (fn. 89) which Henry IV granted in 1408 to John de Wesenham, (fn. 90) who seems to have been a creditor of Walter de Cheriton. Later in the century Croham became the property of the Ellingbridge family. (fn. 91) John Ellingbridge, who died in 1473 and who married Anne relict of Ralph St. Leger, was seised of the manor, from whom it descended to Thomas Ellingbridge the son of his son Thomas, who predeceased him. (fn. 92) Anne survived him and married Sir William Peche. She held courts at Croham in the reign of Henry VII. (fn. 93) Thomas died in 1507 and his posthumous son John in the same year. The manor then descended to his daughter Anne, (fn. 94) who carried it in marriage to her husband John Dannett, knighted in 1529. (fn. 95) He sold it in 1593 to Sir Oliph Leigh of Addington, (fn. 96) who conveyed it in 1601 to John Whitgift, Archbishop of Canterbury, (fn. 97) and the latter gave it as part of the endowment to the Hospital of Holy Trinity, founded by him. Courts were occasionally held for this manor as late as 1841. (fn. 98)

HALING—In 1202 two carucates of land and a mill in Waddon were the subject of a fine levied between Ralph de Haling and the Prior of Bermondsey. (fn. 99) This may be the holding which at the end of the 15th century is called the manor of Haling and was in the possession of the Warham family. It was held apparently by Thomas Warham, described as a citizen and carpenter of London, whose will dated 1478 mentions the mansion-house in which he dwelt at Croydon. He bequeathed his body to be buried in the chapel of St. Nicholas in the parish church of St. John the Baptist, and made a bequest for finding a priest to pray for his soul and the souls of his father and mother and John Stafford, late Archbishop of Canterbury, at the altar of St. Nicholas for two years after his death. (fn. 100) William Warham of Malshanger, co. Hants, in whose time a rental of the manor of Haling was drawn up, was probably brother of Thomas, who apparently had no issue. (fn. 101) This rental shows that the quit-rents payable by the free tenants amounted to 12s. 8d., whilst the copyholds in Croydon and Waddon were worth to the lord 47s. The sum total of the manor was £39 11s. 1d. Sir Nicholas Carew, kt., had a lease of the manor place and John Glover of land called Little Dubbers Hill with the warren and game of coneys and land in the common fields. The farm of Selhurst was let at a rent of £12. The manor paid a rent of 21s. 0½d. to the Archbishop of Canterbury. (fn. 102) William Warham was the father of William Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury, Nicholas Warham of Malshanger, co. Hants, and Hugh Warham, who succeeded him here. (fn. 103) In 1536 Hugh joined with his son William in conveying the manor to the king, after which it remained for some time in the Crown. (fn. 104)

The site and demesne lands were held in the reign of Edward VI by Robert Curteys and in 1554 were granted by Philip and Mary to John Thomas for twenty-one years at a rent of £13. (fn. 105) In February of the next year the reversion of the site of the manor was granted by the king and queen to Sir John Gage of Firle, co. Sussex, also all the lordship and manor of Haling with its appurtenances in Surrey and Kent, to be held by the fortieth part of a knight's fee.

Sir John Gage held many important offices during the reign of Henry VIII, and being a zealous Roman Catholic was high in favour with Mary. (fn. 106) At his death his son Robert became possessed of the manor and died seised in 1587, (fn. 107) when his son John succeeded. The latter's brother Robert had been executed in 1586 for his complicity in Babington's plot, and he himself was arrested in January 1590 and imprisoned in the Tower until his trial in July. He was sentenced to death and his lands were forfeited to the Crown. The death sentence was, however, commuted for imprisonment. (fn. 108)

In 1592 Elizabeth leased the manor to Charles Lord Howard for twenty-one years (fn. 109) and in 1611 as Earl of Nottingham he obtained a renewal of the lease for the same period. He died at Haling House on 14 December 1624. (fn. 110) Apparently Gage had been released from prison before 1597, for in that year his son Henry was born, who was afterwards famous for his relief of Basing House and many other exploits on the Royalist side. A panegyric written on him called Alter Britanniae Heros relates that to relieve his father's needs when the latter had outlived his own means of subsistence and the annuities which his friends had settled on him he gave up the reversion of the manor of Haling to him, quitclaiming all the right of himself and his heirs. (fn. 111) In 1626 father and son joined in a conveyance to Christopher Gardiner, who instituted a suit in the Exchequer Court to obtain the reversion of the manor after John Gage's death freed from the unexpired term of the lease granted to the Earl of Nottingham. (fn. 112) Judgement was given for him and after John Gage's death he entered into possession. He was an amateur chemist and astrologer, and some letters of his to his brother Sir John Heydon dated from Haling, describing the progress of his experiments, are among the State Papers of 1637 and 1638. (fn. 113) Haling remained in this family until 1707, when it was conveyed to Edward Stringer. He died in 1710 without issue. From his widow Elizabeth, who married William Parker, it descended to their son William Parker, whose widow carried it into the family of her second husband William Hamond, and it was held successively by their son William Parker Hamond who died in 1812, and his son and grandson of the same name. (fn. 114) In the time of the latter the estate, except part of Haling Park, was sold for building.

Various references occur to lands in the outlying part of Croydon called SELSDON. The Knights' Templars held land there for which they owed suit at the archbishop's court at Croydon in the 13th century. In 1285 property consisting of four messuages, 100 acres of land, 7 acres of wood and 11s. 11d. rent in Sanderstead and Selsdon was settled on Robert de Wallington and his wife Isabel. In 1676 Selsdon Park was in the possession of Christopher Bowyer, who was buried in Sanderstead churchyard. (fn. 115) Aubrey describes him as 'a generous, hospitable person.' (fn. 116) Mr. Henry Bowyer of Selsdon, his son, died in 1765, aged ninety. (fn. 117)

In February 1554–5 a manor of ESTHAM (Escheham) was granted to Anthony Browne, Viscount Montagu. This may possibly represent the holding of Estreham in Wallington Hundred mentioned in the Domesday Survey (but see Streatham) (fn. 118). When Manning and Bray wrote this belonged to Lord Gwydir by inheritance from his grandfather Peter Bussell of Beckenham, co. Kent. (fn. 119)

A RECTORY MANOR was attached to the rectory of Croydon. After the dissolution of the monastery of Bermondsey, which held the advowson and rectory, the rectory and rectory manor came in 1538 into the king's hands (fn. 120) and were afterwards granted by Edward VI to Thomas Walsingham, son and heir of Sir Edmund Walsingham of Chislehurst, with lands, rents, tithes and courts, to hold to himself and his heirs. (fn. 121) He died in 1584 and his son Edward Walsingham in 1589, the latter without issue.

In 1618 Sir Thomas Walsingham, who succeeded his brother Edward, received a grant of free warren on his manor and rectory. (fn. 122) He died in 1630, leaving Thomas his son and heir, then aged thirty, on whom he had already made a settlement on the occasion of his marriage with Elizabeth Manwood of Hackington, co. Kent. (fn. 123) At his death in 1669 the manor descended to their eldest son Francis, who died without issue, when it passed to their third son Thomas, who married Anne Howard, fourth daughter of Theophilus Earl of Suffolk. (fn. 124) James Walsingham son of Thomas, who died in 1691, by will dated 1727 devised the rectory and manor to his sister Dame Elizabeth Osborne for life. (fn. 125) He died in 1728, leaving three co-heirs, Elizabeth, Anthony Viscount Montagu, son of his sister Barbara, and Annabella wife of Henry Villiers and daughter of his sister Frances. (fn. 126)

After the death of Annabella, Henry Villiers conveyed his third to Viscount Montagu, after whose death in 1767 these two thirds descended to his son Anthony Joseph Viscount Montagu. Elizabeth Osborne left her part to Henry Boyle, who took the name of Walsingham, from whom it descended to Robert Boyle. He in 1770 sold this undivided third part to Viscount Montagu, who thus acquired the whole manor. (fn. 127) He died 1787, leaving a son George Samuel, who inherited the title. By his will dated 1784 his father had devised his estates to his trustees, (fn. 128) who later conveyed the unsold property to Viscount Montagu. He in 1793 sold the manor with the east and middle chancel of the church to Robert Harris, who died in 1807, and his trustees sold it to Alexander Caldcleugh. (fn. 129) After the fire his representatives sold the chancel (1867) to trustees for the inhabitants of Croydon. (fn. 130) The manor-house is situated at North End. A view of frankpledge was appurtenant to this manor.


The church of ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST was almost entirely destroyed by fire on the midnight of 5 January 1867. With the exception of the tower and the south porch, which were comparatively uninjured, the whole of the ruins were razed to the ground and the present church was erected on the old foundations with slight modifications, after the old design, under the supervision of the late Sir Gilbert Scott, R.A., the rebuilding being completed in 1870. In 1887 the north aisle underwent a restoration, and in 1892–3 the tower was restored.

The church as it stands to-day is a large and lofty, symmetrically-planned building, consisting of a chancel with north and south vestries, to the west of which are aisles in two bays (the easternmost bay of the north aisle accommodating the organ), a nave in six bays, north and south aisles, a west tower and north and south porches.

The church is built in early 15th-century style with ashlar walls faced externally with flint and has good open timber panelled roofs. The chancel is lighted by a large east window and the nave by a clearstory, while in the north and south walls of their respective aisles are large three-light windows, and in the west walls pointed windows of an earlier character. The arches of the nave arcades are pointed and are carried on shafted piers having carved capitals and moulded bases. The chancel arcades are of the same design but in a reddish veined marble; the chancel and tower arches are of a similar type. All the walls have embattled parapets and are buttressed with crocketed and finialled buttresses.

The tower dates from the 15th century, but has been completely restored, all the stonework with the exception of the pinnacles crowning the buttresses at the angles being modern, although both the design and detail appear to have been copied from the original. The tower has an embattled parapet and is divided externally into four stages by moulded strings and has pairs of right angle buttresses at its western angles. These have offsets just above the level of each stage and stop at the level of the bell chamber window, where they are surmounted by octagonal buttresses which are carried up above the level of the main parapet and finish in small battlements out of which rise original crocketed pinnacles, much decayed and in some cases restored. On the north-east angle is an octagonal stair turret surmounted by a crocketed pinnacle. In the west wall is a modern four-centred doorway with a traceried window over, while both the next two stages are lighted by single-light windows. On the south side of and above the tower arch is a small pointed opening, original, but now blocked up. The bell chamber is lighted from each side by a two-light pointed window.

Externally the south porch, which is of the same date as the tower, has been completely restored. Of the entrance archway the segmental rear arch alone is original; the entrance doorway, however, to the south aisle, though much restored, is mainly original. It is of two orders separated by a casement; the outer is carried round in a square, while the inner one is pointed. The porch still retains its original vaulting, with moulded wall and diagonal ribs springing from moulded corbels. At their intersection with the ridges are carved head bosses. The parvise over is reached by a vice entered from the aisle through a modern doorway, with an original rear arch on the west side of the south entrance. It is lighted from the south by a modern two-light window with an original chamfered rear arch, and from the east and west by modern single lights, also with original jambs and rear arches.

Besides several ornaments there are still preserved in the church many fragments of masonry that were taken from the remains of the mediaeval building. Set inside the north and south walls of their respective aisles are the sills and lower parts of the jambs of two of the original windows. To the west of the old sill in the north wall of the north aisle is a late 15th-century tomb recess containing, besides many odd pieces of 14th and 15th-century masonry, two piscina basins, several carved head stops, pieces of a 12th-century door jamb enriched with a leaf ornamentation, and a piece of a 13th-century string. In the wall to the east of the north entrance doorway, set within modern jambs and a cinquefoiled arch, is a 15th-century stoup. The head is panelled in imitation of vaulting, but a modern sill has been substituted in place of the original basin. In the south wall of the south aisle is a small triangular-headed aumbry, with horizontal grooves half-way up its sides for the insertion of a shelf, and having its head and jambs, on which are marks of a lock and hinge, rebated for a door. In the piecing together of this aumbry the basin of a piscina has been set in the wall in place of the sill.

On the east side of the south doorway is a holy water stoup with a trefoiled segmental head, but, as is the case with the stoup in the corresponding position in the north wall, a modern sill has been substituted for the basin.

Under an arched recess in the west end of the south wall are two large 14th-century corbels, one carved with a man's head, the other with a conventional leaf. There are also preserved here three stone shields from an early 17th-century monument, surrounded by strap ornament of a Jacobean character. The first is quarterly (1) a cheveron engrailed between three herons on the cheveron a crescent for difference, for Heron; (2) two bends, in the sinister chief a crosslet; (3) a fesse between three boars' heads cut off; (4) an engrailed cheveron between three stringed hunting horns; the second quarterly (1) and (4) powdered with fleurs de lis a lion, (2) a cheveron between three harts' heads caboshed, (3) three ravens; while the third bears the first coat impaling the second, and is supported by two amorini.

Built against the south wall of the south chancel aisle is an early 16th-century tomb, almost identical in design with the Mompesson monument at Lambeth and the monument to Sir Richard Carew at Beddington. In the panels of the base are three shields. The dexter shield is a fesse between a goat's head in chief and in base three scallops all within a border and a molet on fesse, for Warham; on the sinister shield are two bars cotised; the centre shield bears the first coat quartering the second. In the panelled splays of the four-centred recess above the tomb are small image brackets. Flanking octagonal pilasters and a crested cornice carved with the vine ornament frame the whole monument. The junction of the cornice with the flanking pilasters is masked by shields bearing the same coats as those of the base, while in the centre, above the cornice, the quartered shield is repeated, with a mantled helm from which the crest has disappeared.

To the west of this monument is the elaborate tomb of Archbishop Whitgift, which although badly damaged by the fire has been well restored. The archbishop, in a red robe with a black stole, a ruff, and wearing a black skull-cap, with his hands clasped in prayer across his breast, lies within a semicircular arched recess of a reddish coloured marble, on either side of which are black marble columns with gilded Corinthian capitals supporting an entablature surmounted by three shields set in Jacobean scroll-work. On the centre shield are the arms of the see of Canterbury impaling Argent a flowered cross sable with five bezants thereon, for Whitgift; while on the dexter shield are the arms of the diocese of Worcester impaling Whitgift; and on the sinister those of Christchurch Priory, Canterbury. The whole monument stands on a base, the central part of which supports the recumbent effigy of the archbishop, and has the following inscription:—
'Gratia non miror, si fit divina Joannis
Qui jacet hic, solus credito gratus erat,
Nec magis immerito Whitgiftus dicitur idem,
Candor in eloquio, pectore candor erat,
Candida pauperibus posuit Loca candida Musis;
E terris, moriens, candida dona tulit.'

On the east end of the base below the plinth of the dexter column are the arms of the see of Lincoln, and on the front the arms of Trinity College, Cambridge. In a corresponding position under the sinister column are the arms of Pembroke College, Cambridge, and on the west end of the base those of Peterhouse. Surmounting the columns are obelisks and the spandrels under the main entablature are carved with angels. In the back of the recess immediately over the figure is the following inscription :—
'Magna Senatoris sunt nomina; pondera & aequa
Nominibus quem non vtraq' iuncta premunt ?
Praesulis accedat si summi nomen ad ista
Pondera, quis ferat, aut perferat illa diu ?
Pax vivo grata est; mens recti conscia pacem
Fert animo; haec mortem non metuisse dedit.
Mors requiem membris, animae caelestia donant
Gaudia; sic potuit vincere qui patitur.'

Above these, between two draped figures, is a panel inscribed :—
'Whitgifta Eborum Grimsbeia ad Littora nomen
Whitgifta emisit. Foelix hoc nomine Grimsbei.
Hinc Natus: non natus ad hanc mox mittitur hospes
Londinium: Inde novam te Cantabrigia matrem
Insequitur, supraq' fidem, suavi ubere crescit :
Petro fit Socius : Pembro : Triadiq' Magister :
Fitq' Pater matri Cathedraeq' Professor utriq'.
E Cathedra Lincolna suum petit esse Decanum :
Mox Wigorn petit esse suum : fit Episcopus illic
Propraeses patriae, quo nunquam acceptior alter.
Post annos plus sex summum petit Anglia patrem,
Plusquam bis denos fuit Archiepiscopus annos.
Charior Elisae dubium est, an Regi Jacobo;
Consul utriq' fuit. Sis tu Croidonia testis,
Pauperibus quam Charus erat, queis nobile struxit
Hospitium, puerisq' Scholam Dotemq' reliquit.
Coelibis haec vitae soboles quae nata per annos
Septuaginta duos nullo enumerabitur aevo.
Invidia haec cernens moritur Patientia Vincens
Ad Summum evecto aeternum dat lumen honori.'

Standing against the east end of the south wall of the south aisle, inclosed within a modern railing, are the remains of the monument to Archbishop Sheldon, who died in 1677. Only the lower part of the monument remains in anything approaching its original form, and this has been much cracked and mutilated by fire. On a rectangular base of black marble, carved with emblems of death, is the mutilated recumbent effigy of the archbishop, while grouped round the base are fragments of marble cherubs, cartouches and other pieces of masonry which originally formed part of a large canopy rising behind the figure. Within the railing are also preserved two early 17th-century helms.

On the east end of the north wall of the south aisle is a brass to Giles Seymour, who died in 1390. The inscription is as follows : 'Hic jacet Egidius Seymor qui obiit xxij die | decembr' AoMoCCCLXXXX cujus anime propicietur deus.'

On the east end of the north wall of the north aisle is a brass to Elys Davy, who died in 1455. The inscription appears to be a modern restoration.

On the south wall of the chancel is the brass figure of a priest in full ecclesiastical vestments, with the following black letter inscription below :—
'Siluester Gabriel cuius lapis hic tegit ossa
vera sacerdotum gloria nuper crat.
legis nemo sacre divina volumina verbis
Clarius aut vita sanctius explicuit,
Comminus ergo deū modo felix eminus almis
Qev[..]e (sic) pius in scriptis viderat ante videt
Anno d[omini] millesimo vcxiio iiiio die octobr' vita est funct'.

On the south wall of the south aisle is a brass to Thomas Parkinson and his wife Elizabeth, who died in 1605 and 1594 respectively.

On the north wall of the north aisle are two small brass shields, both party palewise of three pieces: (1) three cinquefoils on a cheveron between three herons; (2) two bends in sinister chief a crosslet; (3) quarterly: (1) and (4) a fesse between three boars' heads cut off; (2) and (3) a cheveron.

On the same wall is a tablet to John Singleton Copley, R.A., born 1737, died 1815.

The 15th-century brass lectern still remains. It follows the usual design, the stem being for the greater part of its length circular with bands of boldly projecting mouldings, while the lower part is octagonal with a spreading circular base supported on the backs of three sitting lions. On the top of the stem is a sphere surmounted by an eagle with spread wings of a conventional character, to the tips of which has been screwed a modern book rest. The lectern has been much restored, in particular the stem.

There is a peal of eight bells by John Taylor & Co. of Loughborough, 1869.

The plate consists of a silver-gilt chalice of 1621 inscribed 'The gift of Mr. John Gilpin of Croydon'; a silver-gilt flagon of 1641 inscribed 'The Guift of Adam Forbes to Croydon Church 1641 I. G. W. M. Churchwardens'; a silver-gilt paten of 1681 inscribed 'Ad usam Eccl' de Croidon in Agro Surreiano'; a silver-gilt alms-basin of 1706 engraved with a shield a fesse vair between three hawks; a silver alms-basin of 1740 inscribed 'In usum ecclesiae de Croyden in Com. Surri 1741'; a silver-gilt chalice of 1830; a silver paten of 1868; an 1889 silver chalice; a silver paten of 1890; an 1896 silver paten; and an elaborately worked modern chalice and a paten, both in silver and enamel. There are also an 1805 silver spoon strainer; two silver shells, one of 1867, the other 1871; four early Victorian plated alms-dishes; a larger one of later date; and two glass flagons, one with a silver stopper, but the stopper of the other is only plated.

The registers previous to 1813 are in thirteen volumes: (i) all from 1538 to 1618; (ii) baptisms 1619 to 1653 and 1665 to 1680, marriages 1619 to 1653 and 1667 to 1677 (but there is only one entry between 1643 and 1646), burials 1618 to 1653 and 1665 to 1677; (iii) baptisms and burials 1653 to 1665, marriages 1653 to 1666; (iv) baptisms 1653 to 1681 and 1688 to 1695, marriages 1653 to 1680 and 1691 to 1695–6, burials 1653 to 1680 and 1691 to 1695; (v) baptisms and burials 1682 to 1689; (vi) marriages and burials 1695 to 1703, baptisms 1695 to 1706; (vii) all 1707 to 1742; (viii) baptisms and burials 1743 to 1765, marriages 1743 to 1764; (ix) marriages 1754 to 1780; (x) marriages 1781 to 1808; (xi) marriages 1808 to 1812; (xii) baptisms and burials 1765 to 1800; (xiii) baptisms and burials 1801 to 1812.

The church of ALL SAINTS, Upper Norwood, to which a district chapelry was assigned in 1845, (fn. 131) consists of a chancel with chapels and vestries, a nave with clearstory, north and south aisles, and a western tower surmounted by a brick spire. The whole church is built of grey brick in a poor adaptation of the 14th and 15th-century styles. It dates from the first half of the 19th century. There is a fairly large churchyard which has been used for burials.

CHRIST CHURCH, Broad Green, was built in 1852 in the early 'decorated' style, a district being formed for it in the following year out of Croydon parish. It consists of a chancel, north vestry, north and south transepts, nave and south porch and a small bell-turret over the chancel arch. The walls are faced with flint and the roofs are tiled.

The church of ST. JAMES, Croydon Common, was built in 1827–9, and a parish was formed for it in 1853. It originally consisted of the present nave and west tower with a small chancel recess at the east end. The materials of this portion of the building are stock brick with stone dressings, and the style is best described as 'pointed.' The roof is slated. The 'decorated' chancel, with its vestries, organ chamber and south chapel, was added in 1881. The walls are faced with Kentish rag and the roofs are tiled.

The church of ST. PETER, South End, was erected in 1851, a district being assigned to it in 1853 out of Croydon parish. It is built in the early 'decorated' style, and consists of a chancel with a north organ chamber and vestry and a south aisle, a nave in four bays, north and south aisles, north and south porches and a west tower and spire, the bottom stage of which is pewed and used as one of the main entrances. The walls are faced with flint with stone dressings and the roofs are tiled. The spire is shingled.

The church of ST. ANDREW was erected in 1857, but was subsequently considerably enlarged in 1879 and again in 1891. A district was formed for it in 1861 out of the parishes of St. Peter and St. John. The church consists of a chancel with an organ chamber on the north, south chapel, nave in five bays, north and south aisles, north and south porches, a bell-cote containing one bell, and a low vestry built along the east end of the chancels and south chapel. It is built in the early English style, and the walls are externally faced with flint with stone dressings. The roofs are slated.

An ecclesiastical district formed out of Croydon parish was assigned to the church of ST. MATTHEW in 1866. The church, which was subsequently enlarged in 1877, is of about the same date. The building consists of a chancel with an organ chamber on the north, a south vestry, a nave with aisles and transepts, a west porch and a central flèche. It is built of Kentish rag with stone dressings, and the wall is relieved inside with bands of red brick. The roofs are panelled and covered with tiles.

The church of ST. SAVIOUR was completed in 1867, and an ecclesiastical district formed from the parish of St. James was assigned to it in the same year. It consists of a chancel, north vestry, north transept, in which is placed the organ, south chapel, nave, north and south aisles, north-west baptistery, south-west tower and spire, and porches on the north, south and west. The materials are stock brick, with bands of red brick and occasional stone dressings. The roofs are slated. The design deserves notice for its scale and elaborate nature. The nave is of six bays, with arcades of brick twocentred arches supported by columns of red sandstone. The tower is surmounted by a slated broach spire.

CHRIST CHURCH, Gipsy Hill, Upper Norwood, dates from the latter half of the 19th century. A parish was assigned in 1867. The church consists of a polygonal apse and chancel with vestries to the north, a tower to the south, a nave of five bays with aisles and a north porch. It is built of ragstone, with detail, tracery, &c., in Bath stone, and is poorly designed in the style of the early 14th century. The tower is pinnacled and is of three stages, containing a ring of tubular bells. It stands in a very small churchyard.

The church of ST. PAUL, Upper Norwood, was built in the Early English style in 1865, and a parish was assigned to it in 1867. The greater part of this parish is in Penge (see Battersea).

The church of ST. MARK, South Norwood, was assigned a parish in 1859.

The church of HOLY TRINITY, Selhurst, was made a parish in 1867.

The church of ST. MICHAEL AND ALL ANGELS, to which an ecclesiastical district formed from the parishes of Croydon and Croydon Common was assigned in 1871, consists of an apsidal chancel with aisles and ambulatory, north chapel over which is placed the organ, south chapel, north and south transepts, nave, north and south aisles, and a leadcovered flèche over the crossing. The church was designed by Pearson, and completed in 1871. The materials are brick, with stone dressings, the exterior being faced with red brick and the interior with stock brick. The style is a version of early English. Every part of the church is vaulted, and the vaults have stone ribs and brick shells, the ribs springing from vaulting-shafts throughout. The apsidal termination of the chancel is semicircular, and divided by the vaulting-shafts and ambulatory arcade into seven bays, and is vaulted in eight compartments. West of the apse the chancel is divided from its aisles by arcades of two unequal bays. The south chapel is terminated by an eastern three-sided apse. Above the western bays of the ambulatory rise two square turrets, finished by pyramidal stone roofs. The nave is of five bays and the arcades are of four bays, the westernmost bay being blank. There are clearstories, with lancet windows in each bay.

An ecclesiastical district was assigned to the church of ST. PAUL, Thornton Heath, in 1871. (fn. 132) It consists of a chancel, north organ chamber, south vestry, north and south transepts, nave, north and south aisles, west porch and baptistery. The chancel and transepts were built in the year 1872; the walls are faced with Kentish rag and the roofs are slated. The style is early 'decorated.' The nave and aisles are later additions in the same manner, the walls being faced with squared quarry-faced rubble and the roofs tiled.

The church of ST. LUKE, Woodside, to which a parish was assigned in 1872, consists of a chancel, north transept (containing the organ), south transept in which the vestry is placed, nave, north and south aisles and a bell-cote over the eastern gable. The nave was originally built in the mid-19th century; the chancel of the present church was added to it in 1872, and the nave was rebuilt recently, the west end of the original nave being left standing, pending the addition of a further west bay. The chancel is of brick of two colours. The nave is of red brick banded with stone. The west wall of the old nave is of stock brick with stone dressings.

The church of ST. JOHN THE EV ANGELIST, Upper Norwood, dates from the third quarter of the 19th century, a parish having been assigned to it in 1875. (fn. 133) It consists of a chancel with a south chapel and north vestries, a north transept, a south transeptal tower (still incomplete), a large nave and crossing of five bays, double north and south aisles and a narthex. The whole church is built of brick, with stone detail, and is in 13th-century style, most cleverly adapted to the materials. The whole structure is vaulted in brick, with stone ribs and groins. Externally red brick is used and stock brick internally. The west front is particularly effective in its design, and is flanked by a pair of turrets. The churchyard is of moderate size.

The church of ST. MARY MAGDALENE, Addiscombe, was erected in 1878, a parish being formed for it in the following year. The church is built in the late 'decorated' style, and consists of a chancel, north vestry and transept, south transept, an unfinished nave with north and south aisles, and a tower, also unfinished, at the south-east of the chancel. The walls are faced with Kentish rag and the roofs are tiled.

The church of ST. AUGUSTINE, South Croydon, was completed in 1884, a district being assigned to it in the following year. It is built in the early 'decorated' style, and consists of a chancel, north and south chapels, in the latter of which is placed the organ, central tower, north and south transepts, nave, north and south aisles, south-west baptistery and north-west porch. The walls are faced internally with ashlar and externally with flint, and the roofs are tiled.

EMMANUEL CHURCH, South Croydon, was completed in 1899, a parish being assigned to it in 1896. The design is based on the style of the late 14th century. The church consists of a chancel, north vestry, south transept (in which the organ is placed), nave, north and south aisles, west porch and a small bell-cote over the west gable of the nave. The walls are faced internally with ashlar and externally with flint. The roofs are tiled. The nave floor is sloped upwards from east to west.

The church of ST. PHILIP, Norbury (unfinished), consists at present of a chancel, north transept and vestry, nave and north and south aisles. The foundation stone was laid in the year 1901. The materials are red brick with stone dressings, and the roofs are tiled. The style is early English. The nave in its present state is of three bays only.

The church of ST. MARTIN is a red brick building with stone dressings, erected in 1902 in early 'decorated' style. The building consists of a nave in four bays—the easternmost one temporarily used as a chancel—north and south transepts, north and south aisles, a south porch, a small west baptistery and a flèche over the east end of the nave. The roofs are of pitch pine and are tiled.

The church of ST. STEPHEN, Norbury (unfinished), consists at present of a temporary chancel and north vestry, nave and north and south aisles. The foundation stone was laid in the year 1908. The materials are red and yellow brick with stone dressings and the roofs are tiled. The style is based on that of the 14th century.


A church evidently existed in Croydon in the 10th century, for one of the witnesses to the will of Birtric and Ælfwy, made in 960, was Ælffie the priest of Croydon. (fn. 134) At the time of the Domesday Survey there was a church on the archbishop's manor of Croydon. The advowson belonged to successive archbishops, in whose peculiar jurisdiction the church was.

In 1318 a writ of ad quod damnum was issued to inquire if the Archbishop of Canterbury might give to the Prior and convent of Bermondsey half an acre of land in Croydon and the advowson of the church, in exchange for a hide of land at Witheflete in Southwark and a yearly rent of £28 13s. 11d., and in March 1318 (fn. 135) the Archbishop of Canterbury received licence from the king to grant the advowson to the convent, (fn. 136) but this grant did not take place immediately, as the archbishop continued patron of the rectory until 1391. (fn. 137)

A vicarage had apparently been founded previous to 1292, but no endowment had been made. In 1349, therefore, the archbishop ordained that the rector was to have the tithes of corn, hay, falls of wood and lops of timber, live mortuaries, a moiety of the tithes of lambs per capita and a pension of 8 marks to be paid by the vicar, who was to receive all the other small tithes, mortuaries and the house belonging to the vicarage. (fn. 138)

In 1391 the advowson was granted to Bermondsey in exchange for Waddon, and a bull of Pope Boniface gave licence for the convent to appropriate the church, (fn. 139) the archbishop reserving the collation and patronage of the vicarage, he and his successors naming two proper persons to the abbot and convent, one of whom they should choose to be instituted vicar. (fn. 140)

The advowson of the vicarage has ever since belonged to the archbishop. After the Dissolution the rectory was granted to Thomas Walsingham, and its subsequent descent has been traced under the rectory manor (q.v.). After the death of George Viscount Montagu in 1787 the tithes were sold to a number of different persons, some of whom bought the rectorial tithes of their own estates, which are now tithe free. The tithes of the commons were bought by Mr. Robert Boxall.

There were formerly two chantries in the church of Croydon, that of St. Mary and that of St. Nicholas. (fn. 141) The first was founded in 1402 by Sir Reginald de Cobham of Sterborough, although it is not known what connexion he had with Croydon. The incumbent was to pray for the repose of the soul of the said Sir Reginald and of his wife Joan and of his children. The founder vested the presentation of his chantry priest in twelve of the principal inhabitants of Croydon. (fn. 142) After the dissolution of chantries in the reign of Edward VI the chantry of St. Mary was granted by the king to Thomas Wroth. (fn. 143)

The other chantry in this church was founded in 1440 by John Stafford, Bishop of Bath and Wells and Chancellor of England, subsequently Archbishop of Canterbury. He assigned ten messuages and 16 acres of land in Croydon to a chaplain who should celebrate divine service at the altar of St. Nicholas for the good estate of the king, of the bishop and of William Oliver, vicar of Croydon, whilst alive, and for their souls after death. (fn. 144) The presentation was vested in the Weldon family. (fn. 145) This chantry was granted by Edward VI to William Winton and Richard Feld. (fn. 146)

The vicarage-house was rebuilt by Archbishop Wake in 1730. It was pulled down in 1847 and the ground on which it had stood added to the churchyard. A new vicarage was erected about a mile westward of the church. (fn. 147)

The advowsons of St. James, Croydon Common, St. Matthew, St. Peter, South End, St. Augustine, South Croydon, and All Saints, Upper Norwood, belong to the vicar of Croydon; of Holy Trinity, Selhurst, St. Luke, Woodside, and St. Saviour, to the vicar of St. James; of Christ Church, Broad Green, to Simeon's Trustees; of St. Andrew, St. Michael, St. Mary Magdalene, Addiscombe, and St. John the Evangelist, Norwood, and Christ Church, Gipsy Hill, to trustees; of St. Mark, South Norwood, to the vicar of All Saints, Norwood; of Emmanuel, South Croydon, to the Misses Watney (fn. 148); and of St. Paul, Thornton Heath, to the Crown and archbishop alternately.

Several denominations of Dissenters have chapels and meeting houses at Croydon, Congregationalists, Baptists, Wesleyans, Plymouth Brethren, Presbyterians and Primitive Methodists.

In Wellesley Road is the Roman Catholic church of St. Mary, which has a large school attached to it.


Elys Davy's almshouses were founded by a citizen and mercer of London of that name in 1447. They were for seven poor men or women, six of whom were to receive 10d. a week and the seventh, called the tutor, 12d. They were endowed with land. The vicar, churchwardens and four inhabitants of Croydon were to be governors, the Mercers' Company the visitor. The inmates were bound to attend daily services, to repeat psalms, the Creed and prayers at their founder's tomb, and especially to attend mass on the anniversary of their founder's death. The charity probably escaped suppression in 1547 from the tutor not being in orders. The original statutes are in Archbishop Morton's register and are printed in Steinman's History of Croydon. (fn. 149) They were reformed under Archbishop Parker. The almshouses in Church Street now accommodate twentyfour people, with £1 17s. each monthly, 10s. at Christmas and coals.

Whitgift's Hospital was founded by Archbishop Whitgift as the college of the Holy Trinity in 1596. The buildings were not completed till 1599. The hospital was for the maintenance of twenty-eight poor and infirm men and women, or of as many more under forty as the revenues would permit. The inmates were to be over sixty years of age, of good and pious conversation, chosen from inhabitants of Croydon and Lambeth, with preference for the servants of the archiepiscopal see. Failing these, the parishes in Kent, the revenues of which were annexed to the hospital, were to have a preference. The officers were the warden, schoolmaster, and 'ancientest brother,' who were called the 'clavigers,' as each had a key of the treasure chest. The schoolmaster was to teach the children of Croydon in a schoolroom near the hospital. (fn. 150) The foundation was distinctly a religious college, with a chapel attached, and among the offences for which inmates might be expelled were obstinate heresy, sorcery or any kind of witchcraft. The hospital now accommodates thirtytwo inmates and there are thirteen out-pensioners. Whitgift's Hospital received benefactions from Richard Stockdale of a tenement in Croydon; from Dr. Presthergh in 1619 of £8 6s. 8d. charged on two tenements in Northampton; from Ralph Snow of £40 from a farm in Mitcham in 1720; from —Barker of £6 3s. 4d. a year charged on a tenement in St. Paul's Churchyard; from Archbishop Secker in 1768 of £500 in consols. Whitgift's foundation is important as an influential example in post-Reformation religious and charitable foundations. Whitgift had himself been brought up as a child in a religious house and undoubtedly wished to restore so much of the old system as was compatible with a reformed church and altered social conditions. Abbot's Hospital, Guildford, was directly copied from the college at Croydon in its plan and statutes.

The Little Almshouses evidently existed before 1528, when Joan Price gave £1 per annum for the inmates. They were originally for nine inmates; six more houses for inmates were subsequently added in 1629 by Arnold Goldwell at a cost of £40, but the benefactions before that date were not extended to the inmates of the new houses. They were rebuilt again in 1722 and in 1775 enlarged by the Earl of Bristol for twelve more inmates. In 1898 they were rebuilt on a new site.

In 1594 Richard Kilner, giving effect to a benefaction planned by Archbishop Grindal, gave £5 per annum to the inmates.

In 1615 Lady Anne Alcott left £3 per annum to the inmates.

In 1852 John Blake left £1,000 for the Little Almshouses; in 1857 John Field left £50; in 1869 John Budgen left £1,000; and in 1875 J. W. Ebbute left £50 for the same.

In 1656 a benefaction by Archbishop Laud was made effective, £300 left by him in the hands of trustees being invested in land for the apprenticeship of boys.

In 1614 Edward Croft gave the Hermitage estates, the proceeds of which have been distributed among sometimes as many as 300 poor people once a year generally in small sums of 5s. or 10s. At the time of the Croydon inclosure award an allotment was made to this charity, but the land has been lost.

In 1619 Sir William Walters left land near Thornton Heath to provide gravel to mend the ways. In 1727, the gravel being exhausted, the parish workhouse was built on the land. It continued as the parish and then the union workhouse till 1866. It was then used as an infirmary till 1888, when it was sold and the proceeds applied to general purposes of poor relief.

There were two church tenements in High Street producing £40 per annum and one near Butcher Row let at £2 10s. in 1868 and applied to church expenses.

Wigsell's Bread Money, £1 10s. per annum, is named from a farm in Sanderstead upon which it was charged, but the donor and date are unknown.

In 1762 Joseph Williams left £100 for the poor.

In 1798 the Rev. East Apthorp left £100, the interest of which was to be distributed yearly by two ladies to poor married women.

In 1831 Mary Allan left £100 for bread.

In 1837 John Piggott left £200 for bread and in the same year D. T. Brooke left £100 for the same.

In 1841 Thomas F. Eagles left £200 for the poor, subject to a charge for the repair of a family vault.

In 1844 Miss Elizabeth Sarah Brookes left £300 for the poor of Norwood.

In 1873 William Inkpen left £5,100 for the Little Almshouses, the National School of St. James's Church, the infants' school in Church Road and the General Hospital.

In 1877 John Henry Smith left £1,000 for the poor.

In 1884 Mary Spering left £400 for poor widows.

In 1888 the Rev. Arthur T. Brown left £100 for the poor of Holy Trinity parish, Selhurst.

Henry Smith gave £1,000 to the poor of Croydon in his lifetime, and it is benefited, as other Surrey parishes, under his will.

The Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution, Freemasons' Road, was founded in 1760 for Freemasons and their widows. There are now thirty-two indoor pensioners.

The Croydon General Hospital was established in 1867 and enlarged in 1883, 1893 and 1898.

The Borough Isolation Hospital at Waddon was opened in 1896. There are also a Croydon Dispensary, opened in 1835, a Homoeopathic Dispensary and an Eye, Ear and Throat Dispensary.

In 1714 Archbishop Tenison gave land in Limpsfield, two farms called Chartland and Coulsdon, for a school for ten poor boys and ten poor girls in Croydon.


  • 1. Cal. Chart. R. 1257–1300, p. 202.
  • 2. Chart. R. 8 Edw. II, no. 5.
  • 3. This does not seem to be enrolled on the Charter or Patent Rolls.
  • 4. Cal. Pat. 1343–5, p. 386.
  • 5. See Mins. Accts. bdle. 1011, no. 26; Close, 23 Chas. I, pt. xxi, no. 18.
  • 6. Royal Com. on Market Rts. and Tolls, iv, 142.
  • 7. Ibid.
  • 8. Ibid.
  • 9. Ibid.
  • 10. Brayley, Hist. of Surr. iv, 22.
  • 11. Royal Com. on Market Rts. and Tolls, iv, 143.
  • 12. a Mins. Accts. (Gen. Ser.), bdle. 1011, no. 26; Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), i, 2.
  • 13. Proc. of P.C. held at the court of Whitehall, 21 May 1691.
  • 14. The petition came into private hands. It is believed to have been among the papers of a Mr. Thos. Preston, who was employed in the Privy Council Office.
  • 15. Stat. 48 & 49 Vict. cap. 23.
  • 16. Ibid. 51 & 52 Vict. cap. 41.
  • 17. See Birch, Cart. Sax. ii, 146, no. 529.
  • 18. V.C.H. Surr. i, 299.
  • 19. Pope Nich. Tax. (Rec. Com.), 206.
  • 20. The portmote seems to have been let at farm by the archbishops. See Mins. Accts. (Gen. Ser.), bdle. 1011, no. 26.
  • 21. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), i, 2. The 'bailiwick' of Croydon extended over the archbishop's estates in Surrey, Middlesex and Hertford.
  • 22. Close, 23 Chas. I, pt. xxi, no. 18.
  • 23. Information from Mr. De Bock Porter.
  • 24. These two last appear as tithings in the later Court Rolls. Tatsfield was originally attached to the archbishop's manor of Otford (Chan. Inq. p.m. 43 Edw. III, pt. ii, no. 4).
  • 25. Ct. R., &c., in the possession of the Eccl. Com. The four crosses stood at Burchell's House, the Pound, the Little Alms House near the Church Corner and Dod's Corner over against the 'Catherine Wheel.'
  • 26. Parl. Surv. at Lambeth, printed by Ducarel.
  • 27. Archiepis. Reg. quoted by Ducarel in his 'Hist. of Croydon,' Bibl. Topog. Brit. ii, App. 3.
  • 28. Cal. Pat. 1381–5, p. 18.
  • 29. Ducarel, loc. cit.
  • 30. D. of Purchase and Exchange, H 14.
  • 31. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xvi, 678 (28).
  • 32. Pat. 1 Edw. VI, pt. ii, m. 26.
  • 33. Ibid. 2 Chas. I, pt. iv, no. 1.
  • 34. Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 35. Bodl. Chart. p. 548.
  • 36. Dugdale, Mon. Angl. ii, 100; v, 86, 100.
  • 37. Cal. Pat. 1388–92, p. 366; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. ix, App. i, 110b.
  • 38. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), i, 2.
  • 39. Parl. Surv. in the possession of the Eccl. Com.
  • 40. Close, 24 Chas. I, pt. xx, m. 9.
  • 41. Ct. R. in the possession of the Eccl. Com.
  • 42. Chan. Inq. p.m. 12 Edw. III, no. 34; ibid. (Ser. 2), cccxlii, 118.
  • 43. Feet of F. Surr. East. 13 Hen. III, no. 6.
  • 44. Ibid. Trin. 14 Hen. III, no. 5.
  • 45. Ibid. 42 Hen. III, no. 14.
  • 46. Cal. Chart. R. 1257–1300, p. 480.
  • 47. Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 48. Chan. Inq. p.m. 12 Edw. III, no. 34.
  • 49. Chart. R. 29 Edw. III, m. 3, no. 9.
  • 50. Close, 41 Edw. III, m. 6 d.
  • 51. Chart. R. 43, 44 & 45 Edw. III, m. 6.
  • 52. See Cal. Pat. 1391–6, p. 125.
  • 53. Ibid. 1385–9, pp. 146, 297.
  • 54. Feet of F. Surr. East. 22 Ric. II.
  • 55. Duchy of Lanc. Misc. Bks. xvii, 98 (2).
  • 56. Cal. Pat. 1405–8, p. 167.
  • 57. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. i, no. 4.
  • 58. Duchy of Lanc. Misc. Bks. ut supra.
  • 59. Feet of F. Surr. Mich. 17 Hen. VI.
  • 60. Cal. Pat. 1436–41, p. 569.
  • 61. Feet of F. Surr. Hil. 6 Edw. IV, no. 19.
  • 62. Ibid. East. 8 Hen. VII, no. 19.
  • 63. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), cccxlii, 118.
  • 64. Ibid. ccccxlix, 20.
  • 65. Manning and Bray, Hist. of Surr. ii, 544.
  • 66. Com. Pleas D. Enr. Mich. 11 Anne, m. 4; Feet of F. Div. Co. Trin. 10 Geo. I.
  • 67. Feet of F. Surr. East. 31 Geo. III.
  • 68. Manning and Bray, loc. cit.
  • 69. Brayley, Topog. Hist. of Surr. iv, 9.
  • 70. Steinman, Hist. of Croydon, 1883, Add. et Corrigenda.
  • 71. Feet of F. Surr. East. 5 Edw. VI.
  • 72. Ibid. 22 Eliz.
  • 73. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), ccxlvii, 59.
  • 74. Feet of F. Div. Co. Mich. 3 Geo. I.
  • 75. Manning and Bray, Hist. of Surr. ii, 319.
  • 76. Feet of F. Surr. Mich. 10 Geo. III; Manning and Bray, op. cit. ii, 544.
  • 77. Manning and Bray, loc. cit.
  • 78. Chart. R. 47–51 Edw. III, m. 8.
  • 79. Chan. Inq. p.m. 14 Ric. II, no. 10; 6 Edw. IV, no. 40; Cal. Inq. p.m. Hen. VII, i, 363; Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), xxxv, 52.
  • 80. Eynsford is in Axton Hundred in Kent.
  • 81. Cal. Close, 1272–9, p. 23.
  • 82. Feet of F. Kent, 21 Edw. I, no. 426.
  • 83. Ibid. Div. Co. 9 Edw. I, no. 23.
  • 84. Ibid. 10 Edw. I, no. 42.
  • 85. Ibid. no. 43; see also no. 45.
  • 86. Ibid. Surr. 16 Edw. III, no. 9.
  • 87. Close, 41 Edw. III, m. 6 d.
  • 88. Cal. Pat. 1405–8, p. 462.
  • 89. Fine R. 1 Hen. IV, m. 8, 29.
  • 90. Cal. Pat. 1405–8, p. 462.
  • 91. Cf. Albury in Merstham.
  • 92. Exch. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), file 1066, no. 3.
  • 93. Manning and Bray, op. cit. ii, 543.
  • 94. Exch. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), file 1266, no. 3.
  • 95. Manning and Bray, op. cit. ii, 543; Shaw, Knights of Engl. ii, 47. His name is here spelt Daunet.
  • 96. Feet of F. Surr. Mich. 35 & 36 Eliz.
  • 97. Ibid. Mich. 43 & 44 Eliz.
  • 98. Brayley, Topog. Hist. of Surr. iv, 9.
  • 99. Feet of F. Surr. 4 John, no. 37.
  • 100. Rentals and Surv. (P.R.O.), portf. 23, no. 26.
  • 101. See pedigree in Coll. Topog. et Gen. iii, 6.
  • 102. a Rentals and Surv. ut supra.
  • 103. The pedigree in Coll. Topog. et Gen. makes Robert the father of the archbishop, Nicholas and Hugh, but it seems more probable that William was, as in the pedigree given in Berry, Hants Gen. 252. See also A Perfect Booke of the Hundreds of Evenger, &c. (ed. Money), 34.
  • 104. a D. of Purchase and Exchange, D. 60.
  • 105. Pat. 1 & 2 Phil. and Mary, pt. ii, m. 34.
  • 106. Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 107. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), ccxvi, 98.
  • 108. Coll. Topog. ct Gen. iii, 7.
  • 109. Pat. 34 Eliz. pt. ix, m. 34.
  • 110. G.E.C. Complete Peerage.
  • 111. Walsingham, Alter Brit. Heros or The Life and Death of the most honourable knight Sir Henry Gage, 1645, p. 5.
  • 112. Coll. Topog. et Gen. iii, 14.
  • 113. Cal. S. P. Dom. 1637–8, pp. 9, 29, 597.
  • 114. Lysons, Envir. of Lond. i, 45; Coll. Topog. et Gen. iii, 14.
  • 115. He died apparently in 1711, though the year is omitted in the register.
  • 116. Op. cit. iii, 83.
  • 117. For the present house see under Sanderstead, to which the district of Selsdon is now attached.
  • 118. a Pat. 1 & 2 Phil. and Mary, pt. xv, m. 5.
  • 119. Op. cit. ii, 544.
  • 120. a They were then held at farm by Elizabeth Herne (Misc. Bks. [Ld. Rev. Rec.], cxc, fol. 164).
  • 121. Pat. 3 Edw. VI, pt. ii, m. 18.
  • 122. Ibid. 15 Jas. I, pt. xvii, m. 20.
  • 123. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), cccclx, 71.
  • 124. Manning and Bray, Hist. of Surr. ii, 540.
  • 125. Ibid.
  • 126. Feet of F. Div. Co. Hil. 2 Geo. II; Recov. R. Trin. 4 Geo. III, m. 67.
  • 127. Com. Pleas D. Enr. Trin. 10 Geo. III, m. 141; Feet of F. Surr. 10 Geo. III; Manning and Bray, loc. cit.
  • 128. Feet of F. Surr. Mich. 11 Geo. III.
  • 129. Manning and Bray, op. cit. vi, 541.
  • 130. Anderson, Croydon Old Church, 199; Feet of F. Surr. Trin. 10 Geo. III.
  • 131. Lond. Gaz. 12 Aug. 1845, p. 2412.
  • 132. Lond. Gaz. 22 Aug. 1871, p. 3706.
  • 133. Ibid. 29 Oct. 1875, p. 5104.
  • 134. Birch, Cart. Sax. iii, 373.
  • 135. Cal. Pat. 1317–21, p. 320; Inq. a.q.d. file 129, no. 2.
  • 136. Cal. Pat. 1317–21, p. 323.
  • 137. Bermondsey had ceased to be an alien priory in 1381, and in 1391 was erected into an abbey under an English abbot. The house had been in a bad state until shortly before this. See V.C.H. Surr. ii, 72, 73.
  • 138. Manning and Bray, Hist. of Surr. ii, 546.
  • 139. Cal. Pat. 1388–92, p. 366.
  • 140. Manning and Bray, loc. cit.
  • 141. See Chant. Cert. 48, no. 12.
  • 142. Surr. Arch. Coll. ii, 138, 139.
  • 143. Pat. 5 Edw. VI, pt. vi, m. 5.
  • 144. Cal. Pat. 1436–41, pp. 427–8.
  • 145. Manning and Bray, Hist. of Surr. ii, 546.
  • 146. Pat. 4 Edw. VI, pt. iv, m. 40.
  • 147. Anders n, Croydon Old Church, p. 201.
  • 148. Clergy List.
  • 149. App. viii, p. 267.
  • 150. For history of this school see V.C.H. Surr. ii, 189.