A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1912.
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Mortelaga and Mortelage (xi cent.); Mortelake and Mortelak (xiv and xv cent.).
Mortlake lies south of the Thames between Barnes and Putney on the east, Richmond on the west and Kingston on the south. It measures roughly 1½ miles east to west and 2½ miles north to south. It contains 1,583 acres. The Beverley Brook divides it from Putney. The whole of the southern part of the parish is in Richmond Park. The main body of buildings extends along the road parallel to the river, and along the road from Putney to Richmond, and is now connected with Barnes on one side and with New Richmond on the other. Mortlake and Kew Bridge railway stations are in the parish. The soil is gravel and sand and Thames alluvium, and the land which is not occupied by houses or included in Richmond Park is mostly garden ground. The current derivation of the name of Mortlake from the French is improbable, if we consider that it was the name for an extensive manor reaching beyond Wimbledon Common in the days immediately after the Norman Conquest, and probably before it. Most of the soil was high and dry, and there has never been a lake except the artificial pond in Wimbledon Park.
The history of Mortlake is for the most part the history of the manor and of the great Tapestry Works. (fn. 1) These were established under James I, and encouraged by King Charles. The products are still highly prized where they exist, as at Loseley in Surrey and Canons Ashby in Northamptonshire. Raphael's cartoons were acquired for the use of this manufacture. The Tapestry House on the river bank opposite the parish church is now much modernized, and divided into small dwellings. It had a tablet upon it, now almost obliterated, stating that: 'In this building was carried on the famous tapestry manufacture which was introduced into England and established here about the year 1619 by Sir Francis Crane, Knight.'
Dr Dee, the celebrated astrologer, lived in Mortlake, and died there in 1608, in a house afterwards given over to the Tapestry Works. There was a house called Cromwell House, which was probably the old manor-house occupied by Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex, and afterwards by Edward Colston, the great benefactor to Bristol. This was pulled down in 1860; a new house bearing the name has been built on or near the site. John Barber, Lord Mayor in 1733, a suspected Jacobite, but M.P. for the City of London on the strength of his opposition to Walpole's excise scheme, was buried here in 1741. He had given land to extend the churchyard. Sir John Barnard, also Lord Mayor in 1737 and M.P., who specially distinguished himself in supporting the credit of the government against the Jacobites in 1745, lived and was buried here in 1764. Sir Henry Taylor, K.C.M.G., the dramatic poet, also lived here.
Mortlake is probably now best known as the end of the Thames championship course. The University boat races used to finish at the 'Ship' at Mortlake, now the end of the course is a little higher up the river.
Mortlake Common Fields existed in 1809, when Stevenson enumerates them with Putney and Barnes as extending over 340 acres; they probably finally disappeared under the inclosure award of 20 October 1856, (fn. 2) when the Barnes Lammas lands were finally inclosed. The inclosure of Richmond Park by Charles I had, however, long before destroyed part of the common land of Mortlake.
The largest existing industry in the parish is the brewery of Messrs. Watney by the banks of the Thames. Malting is also carried on.
A County Council school was built in 1906. The National school built in 1869 and the infants school built in 1890 represent a charitable foundation. (fn. 3)
The manor of MORTLAKE was in the hands of the Archbishops of Canterbury before the Conquest, but no record exists of the date at which they first obtained it. At the time of the Domesday Survey it was very extensive, consisting of land for 35 ploughs. (fn. 4) It included the manor of Barnes, which was held as 8 hides by the canons of St. Paul's, and seventeen houses in London and four in Southwark were attached to it. It had two mills and took 20s. toll from Putney, probably for a market or ferry there. (fn. 5) It also included Wimbledon, which is not mentioned in the Domesday Survey, and as late as 1291 is described as a grange attached to Mortlake. (fn. 6) During the time that Mortlake belonged to the see of Canterbury the archbishops frequently resided there. Anselm celebrated Whitsuntide there in 1099. (fn. 7) Archbishop John Peckham dated letters from there in 1281. (fn. 8) In 1314 the archbishop complained that his trees had been felled at Mortlake, (fn. 9) and in the same year the archbishop (Walter Reynolds) died here. (fn. 10) While under sentence of excommunication issued in 1330 Archbishop Mepham resided here, (fn. 11) and Archbishop Courtenay in 1385 obtained exemption from the onerous demands of the king's purveyor for himself and his tenants at Mortlake. (fn. 12) Archbishop Arundel forfeited all his lands, including Mortlake, in 1397 on account of his share in procuring a council of regency in 1386. (fn. 13) He recovered them on the accession of Henry IV. Archbishop Morton was staying at Mortlake in 1494–5 when the corporation of Canterbury consulted him about the king's demands for money or men to fight against the King of the Scots. (fn. 14) Archbishop Warham dated one charter only from Mortlake. (fn. 15) In 1533, while Cranmer was archbishop, it is recorded that certain surplices and other ornaments were stolen from the church of Mortlake. (fn. 16)
During this period many royal visits were paid to the archbishop's palace at Mortlake. Henry III was often there in the early part of his reign. (fn. 17) Edward I was there in 1270 before he was king, (fn. 18) and again after his accession, in 1292. (fn. 19) Edward II dated letters from Mortlake in 1309 and 1318. (fn. 20) Edward III paid frequent visits to Mortlake. (fn. 21) While he was there in 1337 he granted the custody of the Rolls to Sir John de St. Paul, clerk, and Sir John took his oath there in the presence of the archbishop and the great officials of the State. (fn. 22) Queen Philippa visited Mortlake in 1342. Henry VI was here in 1441, (fn. 23) and Edward IV in 1480. (fn. 24) Henry VII is said to have hunted here. (fn. 25)
Cranmer was the last archbishop who held Mortlake. In 1535–6 he exchanged this manor and Wimbledon with the king for other lands. (fn. 26)
In 1536 Henry VIII granted the manors of Wimbledon and Mortlake to Thomas Cromwell, Secretary of State, (fn. 27) who carried on extensive building there. In 1536 he received a letter from Richard Tomyow dated 'Mortlake, where Cromwell's servants are in health and his building ariseth fair.' (fn. 28) He stayed frequently at Mortlake until 1539. (fn. 29) In 1540 he sold the manor with that of Wimbledon to the king, who attached it to the honour of Hampton Court. (fn. 30) In the sale Mortlake is described as a member of Wimbledon, which by this date had become the head manor. Henry appears to have resided at Mortlake, (fn. 31) for he pulled down the old church in 1543 and built one on a new site. (fn. 32) In February 1543–4 he granted the manors of Wimbledon and Mortlake to his queen-consort Katherine Parr, (fn. 33) and preparations were made for her arrival at Mortlake in September of that year. (fn. 34) She retained the man ion-house of Mortlake with the manorial rights in her own hands, (fn. 35) but leased the demesne lands to Robert Tyrwhitt. (fn. 36) Katherine died in 1548. From this date no further mention is made of the manor of Mortlake, which was merged in that of Wimbledon, though separate leases were made of part of the demesne lands. In 1551–2 Edward VI granted Sir William Cecil a twenty-one years' lease of the demesne lands of Mortlake to date from 1567, when Robert Tyrwhitt's lease should expire. (fn. 37) These lands are described as 'all that parcel of demesne land between le Highwaye' leading from Mortlake to Richmond and other boundaries, a pasture called 'Brone Close' and a meadow called 'Watermeade.' Queen Mary granted the reversion of the same lands to Cardinal Pole for life, (fn. 38) and in 1575–6 Elizabeth granted some of the same lands to Christopher Hatton. (fn. 39) The manor of Wimbledon, with the exception of Mortlake Park, was granted by Elizabeth in 1589–90 to Sir Thomas Cecil, (fn. 40) and this probably included the rest of Mortlake, as Sir Thomas granted Mortlake House in 1590 to Robert Walter. (fn. 41) In the same year Robert Walter sold it to Elizabeth the widow of Hugh Stukeley. (fn. 42) The ground belonging to it was then described as 4 acres and waste land reaching to the lower water mark of the River Thames. (fn. 43) Sir Thomas Stukeley, son of Elizabeth Stukeley, sold it in 1607 to William Penn. (fn. 44) In 1618 it had come into the possession of Edward Myles, the servant of the young princes Henry and Charles. (fn. 45) He died that year, leaving his estates to his son Ralph, then aged twenty-one. (fn. 46) Mortlake House was standing in 1663, but appears to have been pulled down soon after 1700. (fn. 47) Its site in 1817 was in the possession of Mr. Penley, a market gardener, who said his family had owned it since the Revolution. (fn. 48) The only trace of the old building which then remained was a wall and summer-house, which overlooked the river. (fn. 49)
In the reign of Edward the Confessor there was a fishery in Mortlake, which belonged to Earl Harold. He was said to have set it up by force in Barnes and Kingston. (fn. 50) But in the reign of William I it was held by Archbishop Stigand, who had the manor of Mortlake, and it remained appurtenant to the manor. (fn. 51) At a court baron held in 1640 it was said to be a custom of the manor for the fishermen to give several salmon annually from each fishing room belonging to Mortlake or Putney to the lord of the manor for licence to fish and land their nets on the lord's soil, his interest in it extending to low-water mark. (fn. 52)
The fishery in the Thames from Mortlake to Brentford was granted to Merton Priory by Henry II and Richard I. (fn. 53) In the reign of Henry III the Prior of Merton brought a suit against Robert de Beauchamp and others for fishing there with large nets and taking salmon and other large fish when they were only allowed to fish with small nets called 'flodnettes' and take such small fish as roach and perch. Two of the defendants, however, claimed that their fishery belonged to the tenement which they held of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and that they paid for it to the archbishop two salmon yearly; whilst Robert de Beauchamp claimed his fishery as guardian of Alice daughter and heir of John Belet, who held the neighbouring manor of Richmond. The suit was postponed until the vacant see of Canterbury should be filled. (fn. 54)
The manor of EAST SHEEN (Est Shyne, xv and xvi cent.; Estshene, xiii, xiv, xv and xvi cent.) and WESTHALL (fn. 55) was apparently formed by subinfeudation from the manor of Mortlake, for it appears to have been held of that manor and afterwards of the manor of Wimbledon. (fn. 56) In 1243 Simon de Sywell acquired a messuage and half a carucate of land in East Sheen of William de Arras, (fn. 57) and he sold it in 1257 to Matilda de Burn. (fn. 58) This may be Westhall, which seems to be first mentioned by name in a fine of 1386, by which Robert de Dynely and his wife Margaret acquired a messuage called Westhall, 160 acres of land and 5s. rent from John de Swanton and Margaret his wife. (fn. 59) In 1395–6 Margaret widow of Robert Dynely conveyed all her lands in East Sheen to James Dynely, (fn. 60) and these were sold by Robert Dynely to Thomas Burghill in 1442–3. (fn. 61) The manor was held in 1473 by Michael Gaynsford and Margaret his wife in the right of Margaret. (fn. 62) They sold it in that year to William Welbeck, citizen and haberdasher, of London. (fn. 63) The Welbecks held it until 1587, when William Welbeck and Susan his wife sold it to William Brasbrydge. (fn. 64) In 1594 it was conveyed by Henry Brasbrydge and Alice his wife to Thomas Whitfield. (fn. 65) A dispute arose between them the following year and Thomas Whitfield complained that Brasbrydge had sold separately some of the customary lands which should have been included in the manor. (fn. 66)
In 1619 the manor was conveyed to John Juxon by Thomas Whitfield, John Whitfield and Elizabeth his wife. (fn. 67) John Juxon was a sugar baker and merchant tailor of London. (fn. 68) He died in 1626 and left East Sheen and Westhall to his eldest son John, who was then sixteen years old. He had two other sons, Joseph and Thomas. (fn. 69) In the Parliamentary survey of Wimbledon Manor taken in 1649 the names of Captain Thomas Juxon and Joseph Juxon appear among those who paid rent within the township of Mortlake. (fn. 70) Thomas Juxon was one of the commissioners appointed by Parliament to hold an inquisition into the church lands in Brixton Hundred in 1658. (fn. 71) The Juxons were evidently of the Puritan party, and they had many sympathizers in East Sheen. After the Restoration in 1664 East Sheen was condemned as a place where conventicles were innumerable, (fn. 72) and among the names of thirteen fanatics is recorded that of Nicholas Juxon 'justice in Oliver Cromwell's time.' (fn. 73) This Nicho'as was probably a nephew of the elder John Juxon. (fn. 74) In 1661 the manor of East Sheen and Westhall was held by Thomas Juxon. (fn. 75) It is probable that John and Joseph Juxon died without heirs, and that this was the third son of the elder John Juxon. The name of his wife Elizabeth is mentioned with that of Thomas Juxon as holding the manor in 1665. (fn. 76) Thomas Juxon died before 1708, and in that year the manor was held by Elizabeth Juxon, widow, John Wynne and Elizabeth his wife, (fn. 77) probably the daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Juxon. The descent of the manor here becomes rather uncertain. It seems probable that John Wynne died, and that his widow Elizabeth married Maurice Kay, for in 1722 Maurice Kay held the courts of the manor, while in 1731 they were held by Elizabeth Kay, widow. (fn. 78) This view is supported by the fact that in 1749 the manorial courts were held by Juxon Kay, (fn. 79) a name which suggests relationship. The manor afterwards passed to the Taylor family. (fn. 80) Edward Taylor held courts in East Sheen in 1780. (fn. 81) He died in 1787, (fn. 82) and left part of his estates to his wife for life with remainder to his son Edward, and the other part to his three daughters, Elizabeth, Frances Anne and Leonora. (fn. 83) His son Edward died in 1788. (fn. 84) Courts were held by Mrs. Taylor and her three daughters in 1808. (fn. 85) The estate has since been broken up.
The estate of TEMPLE GROVE, East Sheen, seems to have belonged to Sir Abraham Cullen, created a baronet in 1661, who is described as of East Sheen. He died in 1668, and his son Sir John Cullen in 1677. The latter's son Sir Rushout Cullen seems to have sold the estate shortly afterwards to Sir John Temple, attorney-general of Ireland, brother to Sir William Temple, the well-known diplomatist and author, who has often been erroneously placed at East Sheen, but who was of West Sheen. (fn. 86) The house was named from Sir John's tenure. In 1680 his son Henry was described as of East Sheen, (fn. 87) which dates the acquisition of the place by his father as between 1677 and 1680. It belonged to the Temples till Henry Viscount Palmerston, his descendant, the eminent statesman, sold it soon after coming of age in 1805. It was bought by Sir Thomas Bernard, who rebuilt the Jacobean front of the house. The old front can be so de cribed from a picture of it and from the date 1611 preserved internally. Sir Thomas sold it about 1811 to the Rev. William Pearson for a school for boys. It continued as a well-known preparatory school till 1907, when the school was removed to Eastbourne and the estate given over to builders.
The church of ST. MARY THE VIRGIN consists of a chancel, nave, north and south aisles, north vestries with rooms over, south porch and west tower. The first church was founded in 1348 (fn. 88) and stood to the west of the present building. By the licence given to the Archbishop of Canterbury he was to grant a piece of ground in Berecroft 9 perches square to Adomar parson of Wimbledon and his successors to find a chaplain who should perform divine service in a chapel to be erected on that spot for the ease of the bodies and the health of the souls of the inhabitants of Mortlake and East Sheen who were far distant from the parish church of Wimbledon. In 1543 this church was pulled down and then built on the present site; the only portion of this building now standing is the tower. The vestry, &c., north of the church is mentioned as a new building in the churchwardens' accounts when it was proposed as a residence for the minister, but instead was turned into a school. Galleries were put into the building in 1623 and in 1712, when repairs were also ordered to the church. The church was enlarged in 1725 and again in 1840. In 1885 the present chancel was erected and in 1906 the nave and south aisle were rebuilt, the north wall of the former nave being left standing as the side wall of the north aisle.
The chancel is built of ashlar and has traceried windows and a moulded chancel arch, all of the style of the 15th century. It is fitted with a reredos of stone tracery filled in with mosaics and carved stone sedilia; a low traceried stone screen spans the mouth of the chancel. The nave has an arcade of six bays on either side, the moulded arches of which die on to the octagonal pillars, which are devoid of capitals. Above is a clearstory of traceried windows. The roof is a low gabled one of oak with traceried spandrels to the trusses. The north aisle is a narrow one lighted by round-headed windows of the 18th century. In the middle of the wall is a doorway to the vestry and north porch. The south aisle is a wide one lighted by traceried windows and with a low lean-to roof. In the south wall are a doorway and porch.
The west doorway of the nave is of the date of the tower; it has moulded jambs and a two-centred arch in a square head with traceried and carved spandrels; in one is a Tudor rose and in the other a square leaf and a crown. The rear arch is towards the tower porch. The tower is of four stages with diagonal buttresses; the lowest stage is a porch and is entered by a modern pointed west doorway. The porch inside is faced with rough ashlar; on its south side is a modern single-light window. On its north side is a stair turret entered by a doorway with a four-centred arch. This vice is for the greater part of the 17th-century red brickwork, but the lower part has been rebuilt with stone and its steps removed; it now contains an iron ladder to the ringing chamber over the porch and serves to carry a flue from the heating boiler which has been put in the base of the turret. The ceiling of the porch (and floor of the ringing chamber) is modernized, but retains a few old beams. On the outside of the turret is a stone with the date 1407. The tower walls in the two lowest stages have modern flint and stone chequer-work facing; the third stage is of squared rubble, the fourth of brick. In the second stage are a three-light traceried west window of modern stonework and a rectangular south light. In the third is an old south window with a four-centred arch in a square head, also a clock face on the north and south sides. In the west face above the doorway is a stone inscribed 'VIVAT R H 81543'; this stone appears to be a modern copy of one now built in the west wall of the south aisle with a similar inscription.
The fourth stage is of brick with round-headed windows, but it is much overgrown with ivy; probably this stage was added in 1694 when the peal of bells was enlarged. Over this is a wood open turret with a cupola. The upper part of the tower and the stair turret are much overrun with ivy.
The north vestry is of brickwork with plain window openings fitted with wood frames.
The altar table is modern, but at the east end of the south aisle is set up the former reredos or altarpiece of oak in a classic design and inclosing a painting of the Entombment of Christ, by Gerhard Seyhers (died 1641), and presented to Mortlake in 1794 by the artist and picture-dealer Vandergutch.
The font dates from the 15th century and was the gift of Archbishop Bourchier. It has an octagonal bowl and stem with traceried sides; on the quatrefoil panels of the bowl are shields with arms and other devices as follows: east, shield with the Bourchier knot; north-east, a square flower in which is a shield of the arms of Bourchier, a cross engrailed between four water-bougets; north, a shield with a device of a crowned T; north-west, a square bird design; west, a paschal lamb; south-west, square flower; south, arms of the see of Canterbury; southwest, a rose. The pulpit is a good modern one of oak on a green marble base.
In the vestry are two ancient chests; the smaller is a square one of iron with a lock covering the whole of the lid, the lock plate being pierced with tracery work. The other is a long oak one covered with leather and bound with iron and having three locks.
In the church is a fine chest of mahogany of foreign workmanship, dating probably from the 16th century; the corners are dovetailed, and at the ends are brackets carved with lions' faces to support the overhanging lid. The inside of the lid is decorated with marquetry work and has hinges and a centre circular piece and stiffener, all very richly pierced with fine filigree work; the metal appears to be pewter with perhaps a slight proportion of silver. The lock plate on the front is square and has four wings or corner crockets, also pierced like the hinges. Below it are four out of five handles and one at each end. The inside is lined with small drawers and pigeon-holes. It is obviously not made for ecclesiastical purposes, and it is not improbable that there is some truth in the story that it was taken from the Spanish Armada and afterwards presented to the church.
There is a large number of 18th and 19th-century mural monuments in the building and a few earlier ones.
On the north wall is a small brass inscription, 'Here lyeth the body of Ann Jeames the daughter of Lewis Jeames gent who departed this life ye first daye of Aprill añ 1608 beinge of the age of 6 yeres.' Another is inscribed, 'In obitum DO: Abigail Rashleygh 5 anñ defunct xxo die July 1616.' A third reads, 'Here lyeth buried ye bodye of Edward Myles servant to Prince Henry and Prince Charles who deceased ye 20th of May AD 1618.' At the east end of the south aisle is a large mural monument to Francis Coventry, second son by a second marriage of Thomas Lord Coventry, who died in 1699. In the tower a small brass inscription runs, 'Here lyeth the body of Anthony Holt, Clark Comptrowler to the Queenes most excellent Matie Queene Elizabeth, who served in the Court for the space of fyve and fortie yeres and deceased the first daye of March in the yere of our Redemption 1602 and the three score and three yere of his age. By thinkinge of Death, he hath obtained Lyfe.'
There are eight bells in the tower; the treble is inscribed 'I to the church the living call, But to the grave the tenour all,' recast 1784, T. Janaway of Chelsea; the second is by Thomas Lester, 1746, given by Theodore Eccleston; the third, fourth, fifth and seventh are by Philip Wightman, 1694; the sixth, recast by Robert Catlin, 1751; the tenor, by Philip Wightman, 1695. There is also a clock bell of 1712.
The communion plate comprises a large silver cup and cover paten of 1660, a paten of about 1680, two flagons of about 1640, a silver alms-basin of 1686, two cups of 1841, a paten of 1834 and an almsbasin of 1874.
The first book of the registers contains baptisms, marriages and burials from 1599 to 1676–7; there is a gap in the burials from 1603 to 1613. The second has baptisms and burials to 1748 and marriages to 1754; the third baptisms and burials 1748 to 1812; the fourth marriages from 1754 to 1777, and the fifth continues them to 1812.
There are also preserved the churchwardens' accounts and vestry minute-book from 1578, the first book continuing to 4 April 1652. The following extracts affecting the fabric and fittings may be quoted:—
In 1623, after warning given in the forenoon, the parishioners met and the churchwardens were ordered to do certain repairs to the church; the gallery to be seated, and a rate to be made for that purpose.
In May 1638 the retiring churchwardens handed
the following things to their successors:—
One service booke for the Communione
Table Kivered with greene leather and gilded
One surplice and hoode
2 carpites of green cloath
2 Tabel cloathes for the Communion's tabell, one of damaske
2 Cushiones, one of crimson wrought velvet and one of greene playne velvet
4 Flaggons pottes of pewter
One booke of Homilies
One booke of Cannones
One great wainskote cheaste with three lockes and keye
One ould cheast and one box with three lockes
The Tenne Commandements in a wooden frame at the upper end of the Chancell
One communione cuppe of silver with a plate
12 leather buckets
One sheete for such as shall do pennance
1 Greate Bible
2 Servis bookes
In 1637 the churchwardens reseated the chancel and church at a cost of £45 10s.
On 25 September 1670 it was resolved that the new building on the north side of the church should be converted into a dwelling-house for the minister, but on 31 October this was rescinded, and the building ordered to be employed as a schoolhouse.
In 1695 it was ordered that a security be given on church lands for £150 to pay for the bells.
In 1703 a minute states that for adding three bells to the church and repairs £180 was expended.
On 12 May 1712 the churchwardens were to build a new gallery.
On 19 May they were to procure an addition of ½ cwt. to the bell for the clock and another hand in the south side of the clock, and to pay for gilding the ball and vane upon the 'cubito' and writing the name of Mr. Deakers in gold letters.
On 5 September 1721 it was resolved to enlarge the church, and in 1724 the vestry consented to the enlargement. In 1725 the watermen's gallery was to be taken down and rebuilt and pews north of the middle aisle to be new built, and the aisle and cross aisle repaired with stone and a door to be made at the north side, and the old font to be removed and new one placed in the aisle.
In 1726 thanks were voted to Lord Palmerston, John Barber and Daniel Prettyward for a present of land adjoining the present wall to enlarge the churchyard, and the old font was to be placed where the churchwardens thought fit.
In 1741 the churchwardens and others named, or and five, were to be at liberty to agree with Robert Catlin or any other person to cast two new trebles and new hang them with the old six bells, and this was to be completed without any rate upon the parish.
In 1838 it was resolved to enlarge the church.
In the following year plans for the enlargement were approved and a faculty requested. In 1840 the wardens were empowered to raise by loan £800 for the alterations.
CHRIST CHURCH, East Sheen, a chapel of ease to the parish church, is a building of Bargate stone in the style of the 13th century, built in 1863 and finished in 1887 by the addition of the north aisle. It consists of a chancel, north vestries, nave, north and south aisles and porches, and a south-east tower with a porch at the foot, a tall bell-chamber and a pyramidal roof.
A cemetery was first opened in 1859 and extended in 1876. There is also a cemetery attached to the Roman Catholic church of St. Mary Magdalene, which was built in 1851–2. The Congregational chapel traces its origin to the conventicle licensed under Mr. David Clark on in 1672, but 'the elegant and substantial chapel' built at East Sheen early in the 18th century was claimed as private property by the family of the builder after 1755, and only secured again by the Congregationalists in 1836.
The advowson of the church was originally vested by the grant of 1348 (see above) in the parson of Wimbledon, (fn. 89) but it appears to have come later into the hands of the lord of the manor, for in 1536, when the manors of Wimbledon and Mortlake were granted by Henry VIII to Thomas Cromwell, the grant included advowsons, parsonages, presentations of churches, chapels and chantries. (fn. 90) From this date until 1544 the advowson remained with the lord of the manor, but it does not appear to have been included in the grant of the manor to Katherine Parr in 1544, (fn. 91) but remained in the possession of the Crown until 1547, when Edward VI granted the advowson of the rectory of Wimbledon and of the chapels which were annexed to it to the Dean and Chapter of Worcester in exchange for certain lands. (fn. 92) From that date the advowson has remained with the Dean and Chapter of Worcester. They leased it out with the rectory of Wimbledon, and until the year 1662 there is no record that they presented a curate to Mortlake themselves. (fn. 93) In the reign of Charles I the lessee paid the minister only £8 a year, and he took himself by right of his lease the benefit of burials in the chancel, of the Easter book, and of all other casualties, such as marriages, burials, and christenings. The minister was not even given a house, but had to hire one, although it was said that there was a small cottage belonging to the parsonage which might have been made a residence for him. (fn. 94) The inclosure of lands by Charles I for the formation of Richmond Park reduced the tithes to nearly half their former value. Charles I promised to pay handsomely for them, (fn. 95) but he never paid for the lands he took from Mortlake. (fn. 96) The people of Mortlake had refused to sell any of their lands to him for the park, (fn. 97) and when Charles insisted they showed their feeling by cutting down the bushes and young trees on the land he selected. (fn. 98) The only return they appear to have obtained was an abatement of the assessment of ship money in 1636–7. (fn. 99)
Under the Commonwealth a survey was taken of all church livings, and in consequence in 1658 Mortlake was separated from the church of Wimbledon, both on account of its size and of its distance from the mother-church. (fn. 100) The old condition of affairs, however, was restored in 1660. (fn. 101) The Dean and Chapter of Worcester nominated Robert Anderson curate of Mortlake in 1662, (fn. 102) and they have retained the presentation in their hands ever since. (fn. 103)
The parish, to which the chapel of ease of Christ Church, East Sheen, is subordinated, has now been separated from Wimbledon, and the living is a vicarage. The Rev. A. S. Shutte was the first incumbent instituted as vicar, in place of being licensed as curate, in 1865.
The charities of Mortlake are extremely numerous, under twentyeight separate benefactions, including Henry Smith's as in other Surrey parishes, almshouses given by the Juxon family of East Sheen and by Edward Colston, and a house called the Pest House, given rent free to poor persons. The whole list is minutely given by Manning and Bray. (fn. 104)
A charity school was projected in 1634, and a Mr. John Blackburn gave money towards it. The parish books record that it was not actually set on foot till 1670. It was held in a house next the churchyard. It was further endowed by Mr. Colston, (fn. 105) and benefited by Lady Capell's charity in 1719 and Frank's charity in 1810. It is now represented by the National school built in 1869 and by the infants' school built in 1890.