Tag Archives: 1847

1879 : Beating the Bounds

From the Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 31 May 1879, via the British Newspaper Archive

PERAMBULATION OF THE PARISH OF MITCHAM.

On Ascension Day, May 22nd, and the day following, was witnessed in the parish of Mitcham the now almost obsolete practice of “Beating the bounds of the parish,” which had not taken place since 1835, although a dispute as to boundary occurred in 1847 which was settled by the now fashionable means of arbitration. The arrangements having been kept somewhat secretly, prevented the assembling of so large a concourse of people as might have been expected, the weather being on the first day all that could be desired. We understand that there bad not been a general invitation to the parishioners to attend, but it extended only to the clergy and parish officers. But before giving any further details of the day’s proceedings it may interest many of our readers to give a short account of perambulations in general, and that of Mitcham in particular.

It is stated in Shaw’s Guide to parish law, published upwards of century ago, that “The boundaries of parishes being now settled by custom care is and ought to be taken to preserve them by annual perambulations, which should be kept up at the usual time, and the boundaries of the parishes so carefully viewed and settled in them as to leave no room for any doubt or contest about them. In the times of Popery these perambulations were performed in the nature of processions, with banners, handbells, lights, staying at crosses, &c., and therefore, though such processions were forbidden by the injunctions of Queen Elizabeth, yet by the same injunctions, the useful and innocent parts of perambulations were and are still retained.”

The earliest account that we can find of a perambulation of the parish of Mitcham is obtained from the oldest volume of Churchwardens’ accounts, which covers a period from 1653 to 1680, for in the accounts for the year 1662, the following item occurs: —“ Pd for our dinner and the boyes att our perambulatinge 7s. 2d.” Whether the boys underwent the bumping and whipping generally understood to take place upon those occasions, to indelibly impress the doubtful and difficult parts of the boundary in the juvenile mind, is not here stated, but in the year 1663 is this entry, “Expended on those who went perambulatinge in the Rogation weeke for victualls and drinke the sum of £1 0s. 4d.” and again under date 1670, “ Expended at the perambulacon on those that went ye bounds of ye Pish, £3 2s. 2d.” In the year 1673 the the description of the fare provided upon these occasions is more fully expressed thus for meat, drinke, and cheese, for those that went the perambulation.” No further mention is found of the matter until 1678, when “Expended at the perambulacon on Holy Thursday £3 0s. 0d. for horse hyre that day, 1s.” These items distinctly prove that perambulations of the parish were much more frequent in the 17th than 19th century. Passing over a few years we find that these gatherings did not always pass off quietly as could be wished, as is shown by the following extract from the minutes of a vestry held 20th June, 1731 :- “It is the opinion or the parishioners now in vestry assembled that the churchwardens, against whom actions are brought by William Farrer, Esq., Henry Downs, clerk, Thomas Green and Osmond King, For going in their perambulations on Ascension Day last thro’ a place called the new grounds formerly taken out of Mitcham Heath, ought to bee indemnified by the parish from all costs and charges that shall arise concerning the same.” The foregoing is followed by resolution passed at a vestry held on Sunday, 27th of same month, that “It is the oppinion of the parishioners that Mr. Peter’s be employed to make a case concerning the perambulatious, &c.” The bounds were also ordered to be walked in 1771 and 1772. With the following two entries from the churchwardens’ accounts we shall close our notice of the ancient perambulations of the parish:- “3 May, 1733, Paid for the dinner, wine, bread, beer, cheese, &c., when Mr. Hatsell and the churchwardens, with a great number of the other inhabitants of Mitcham, went the whole perambulation of the parish of Mitcham, £6 19s. 5d.” The Mr. Hatsell here mentioned was the Rev. William Hatsell, eldest son of Sir Henry Hatsell, Baron of the Exchequer. He was instituted vicar of Mitcham 13th July, 1724, and resigned 13th January, 1733-4. “23 May, 1724, To the Wid Boddison was due to her late husband for drink at the perambulation 3 May, 1733, and left unpaid, 10s. 6d. Paid for the dinner, wine, bread, beer, cheese, &c., when the churchwardens, and great number of the parishioners of Mitcham went again the perambulation on the south side of the parish, taking in all Mitcham Common as usual, together with the 80 acres called new grounds, antiently taken out of Mitcham Heath, £6 10s. 0d.”

The place of rendezvous selected on Thursday was the Goat Inn, situated about half-a-mile from Mitcham Junction, and punctually at eight a.m. the perambulation was commenced. Amongst the company present were the following:- Rev. D. F. Wilson, M. A., vicar, Rev. H. G. Dod, curate, Mr. Churchwarden Nobes, who bore his wand of office, the three overseers, viz., Messrs. W. R. Harwood (who carried a staff inscribed Mitcham Parish,” apparently a relict of long defunct bumbledom), S. Love, and J. Lewis. A few other parishioners and friends joined later on.

The arrangements for the day were principally under the direction of Messrs. E. and R. M. Chart, the latter of whom carried a ribbon map of the boundaries, upwards of 25 feet in length. The proverbial “boys,” six in number, especially told off for the duty, beat the various boundary posts and streams of water, &c., with willow wands. The “State” was represented by two policemen, who apparently enjoyed this somewhat novel form of duty.

Starting from the Goat Inn the party followed the river, leaving McRae’s tannery on the left, a man provided with waterman’s boots defining the boundary down the stream, but it was found advisable to take a punt where the water was particularly deep and muddy. Searl’s and Ashby’s mills were passed in due course, and the various boundary posts having been beaten by the boys after the Vicar had pronounced, whilst the perambulators stood bare-headed, “ Cursed be that removeth his neighbour’s land mark.” Entering the grounds of the late Mr. G. P. Bidder, the stream was followed to Rutter’s snuff mills, then through the grounds of Morden-hall, and past Phipp’s-bridge to Merton Abbey Station. Merton bridge was reached at 12.15 p.m., where a stick was floated under, the waterman being in mid stream ready to receive it as it came out on the other side.

The company then adjourned to the Six Bells for lunch, which was admirably served by Host Giles. The chair was taken by Rev. H. G. Dodd, the Rev. D. F. Wilson having left the party, but rejoined it later on in company with Rev. F. S. Legg, vicar of Christ Church, Singlegate, Mr. Churchwarden Nobes taking the vice chair. After all had done justice to the collation.

The Chairman rose and in a short but pointed speech proposed, “The Queen,” which the company heartily responded to by singing the National Anthem. The Vice-Chairman, in rising, said he had much pleasure in being present on that occasion. It was the first time he had walked the bounds of Mitcham, although he had done so in another parish. He spoke of perambulations being an ancient custom and alluded to Lord Nelson having resided at Merton, upon the verge of which parish the company were then assembled. After complimenting the overseers and Mr. Chart upon their excellent arrangements, he concluded by calling for three cheers for those gentlemen.

Mr. W. R. Harwood, in an appropriate speech, returned thanks for the overseers, and Mr. Chart, whom said they were all indebted.

The perambulations were again commenced, through the garden of the Six Bells, over part of what was once the Wandsworth and Croydon tramway, the boundary here being somewhat intricate, to the back of Child’s flour mill, and Byegrove-mead, where the new sewage works are in course of and up to the wall of Garrett Cemetery. The railway crossed in several places, the axe being used on the various boundary posts to show that none had been passed over. Some little time was spent in defining a small detached part of the parish, which being at last satisfactorily settled, the party made towards Tooting Junction, some of them going through a house that had been built over the parish boundary. Tooting Junction was reached at 4.30 p.m. and after crossing the garden of the house supposed to have been the residence of Daniel de Foe, the company separated, having had a somewhat tiring but agreeable day.

The weather on Friday morning looked very threatening, and heavy showers were experienced during the day, but nevertheless at a few minutes after 8 a.m. the Rev. H. G. Dodd, the overseers, and others arrived Tooting Junction, and immediately the perambulation was recommenced under the guidance, as before, of Messrs. E. and R. M. Chart. Following the course of the Graveney, a tributary of the Wandle, to Streatham-lane, where noted the bridge over the stream, called Roe Bridge,” which connects the parishes of Mitcham and Streatham, has a stone let the north side, bearing the Merchant Taylor’s arms, and inscribed, “This bridge was built at the cost of the Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors, 1652.” Still following the river to the railway, which was crossed near Streatham Rifle Butts, the party proceeded to Lonesome, passing over the race course and leaving the stand the left. Here several posts put up by Croydon parish were duly marked with a cross. Passing through the wood to the extreme north east corner of Mitcham Common, which was reached at ll a.m., and at that point, the rain having cleared up for a short time, an enjoyable al fresco lunch supplied by Mr. Marchant, of the Horse and Groom, was partaken of. The common was then skirted to Beddington station, and after going down Beddington-lane for a short distance the fields were entered on the right, and a walk straight across country passing over the railway en route brought the company out of the plantation near Beddington Corner. Mr. Chart informed us that the enclosure of this piece of ground, about 80 acres in extent, was the cause of considerable litigation which was finally settled about 1816 by the Court of King’s Bench. The vicar here joined the party, and skirting the plantation, reached the post opposite the Goat Inn at 1 p.m., and against it “the boys” received the orthodox bumping, although of a mild description, which brought the perambulation to close.

We cannot conclude without commenting upon the orderly manner in which the proceedings were conducted throughout, and which reflected great credit upon all concerned.

The overseers expressed their determination place iron boundary posts at various points decided upon during the perambulation.

1847 Pub Licensing

Saturday. -€” (Before Sir H.. Bridges, Chairman, S. H. Lucas, W. A. Wilkinson, and T. Byron, Esqrs.)

This being the annual licensing day, the court was much crowded, considerable anxiety being felt to the result of the applications for new licenses. The police from the various districts were present, order of the Bench, to afford information as to the manner in which the various public-houses had been conducted during the past year.

The number of public-houses in this district are follows-€”
Parish of Croydon 45,
Carshalton 5,
Coulsdon 3,
Addington 1,
Beddington 1,
Mitcham 14,
Morden 2,
Penge 2,
Wallington 3.

The evidence of the police being of a satisfactory nature, the whole of the old licenses were renewed.

The license of the Windmill, Croydon-common, was transferred from Mr. Hierons to Mr. Jas. Cross; the Jolly Sailor, Norwood, from Mrs. Eaton to Mr. T. Pascall.

Application for Wine and Spirit Licenses.

– €”The first application was from Mr, John Watts, of the Castle, Gibbet-green. Mr. Childs, of the firm of Wire and Childs, solicitors, appeared in support of the application. he said that since he had been in court, he understood that an application for a license for a neighbouring house had been withdrawn, but that this application was to opposed.

Mr. Richards said he appeared on behalf of Mr. Strong, owner of the Red Deer beer-house, to oppose application.

Mr. Childs then stated his case at considerable length. This was the tenth application for license to this house. It was the third time Mr. Watts had applied he had kept the house three years a beer-house without the slightest complaint being alleged against him.

The memorial which had been presented to the magistrates bore the signatures many of the oldest and most respectable inhabitants of the neighbourhood. The premises are well built and commodious, and under all circumstances he prayed that the license might be granted.

Mr. Richards said he was not instructed to oppose this on pecuniary grounds, but Mr. Strong considered the time had not yet arrived when a public-house was required in this neighbourhood, he therefore withdrew his own application. The Castle was well enough for a beer house for wagoners to stop at, but would never attract the custom of respectable persons.

Mr. Childs ridiculed the idea of Mr. Strong being considered the guardian of the public interest in this neighbourhood. It was only two years ago that a license was applied for, for his own property, within quarter of a mile of the Castle. As to the respectability the premises, his clients were not ambitious ; they did not expect the patronage of the nobility and gentry tradesmen and even wagoners would do for them.

Mr. Raper applied for a license for a house at the Beulah Spa, Norwood. Mr. Childs, for the applicant, stated that the house was a boarding-house, and all the license was required for, was to accommodate the persons residing in the house. It was not intended to make it a general public-house.

Mr. Richards opposed it on behalf the inhabitants of Norwood, and presented a strongly signed memorial, which stated that in the opinion of the memorialists no such license was required.

Henry Gillingham applied for a licence. His house is situated on Westow-hill, Norwood. An opposing petition was put by Hugh Bowditch, of the Woodman public-house, Norwood; also one the same effect, from John Ledger, of the White Hart, Norwood. Applicant said it was twenty years since a licence had been granted to that part of Norwood, during which time, the inhabitants had nearly doubled ; he had many applications for spirits, but dare not sell them.

Mr. Wilkinson – €”Then you mean that persons come to your house to enjoy the fine prospect; the view makes them thirsty, and you cannot supply them with drink ? – €”Yes, sir.

Henry Henden applied for license for a beer-house known as the Prince of Wales, Merton-lane. Mr. Childs appeared for the applicant. He said there were several factories in the neighbourhood; the nearest public-house was the Victory, which is 745 yards distant; the next the Nag’€™s Head, 1200 yards. The persons engaged in the factories presented a petition supporting the application. The landlord of the Victory opposed the application. Mr. Wood, the brewer, he said, had built the house in opposition to him. The neighbourhood was anything but improving. Mr. Lowman, the Nag’€™s Head, and Mr. Gale, of the Red Lion, also opposed the application. The printers at the factories had not more than two days’ work a week throughout the winter.

Benjamin Marchant, of Tamworth-lane, in the parish of Mitcham, applied for a license. Mr. Child appeared for the applicant, and Mr. J. Drummond in opposition.

The house is situate in the lane opposite the work-house, at Mitcham-common. The clergyman at Mitcham had signed the petition for the application, which Mr. Childs considered to great and convincing fact.

A plan was put in, and Mr. Chart, of Mitcham, called to prove the signatures to the memorial. In cross-examination, he said many of the witnesses were not rate-payers, also that, the house was not in the high road. Witness afforded much amusement by his apparent determination to make out case, Mr. Drummond remarking that he was a famous hand at evading questions; he only wished he was as good at answering them.

Mr. Watney, in opposition, deposed that most of the signatures the memorial were those of working men.

Mr. Wilkinson – I should apprehend they are persons most likely to require it.

The Three Kings, Mitcham. – €”A case was then gone into, whether a license should be granted to this house. Mr. Hancock, who had kept it for 30 years, applied to have the license renewed in his name. A person named King also applied, saying he was the proper tenant. Hancock had a lease, which expired in December, 1846, but he refused to give up possession, and had been turned out. The Bench refused to grant the license to either party.

The Court was then cleared for the Bench to deliberate. After a quarter of an hour was again opened, when the Chairman announced that license would granted to John Watts, of the Castle, Gibbet-green, as will seen an advertisement in another part of this paper, and that the other applications were refused.

Source: South Eastern Gazette – Tuesday 09 March 1847 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

According to Montague in his book Mitcham Histories : 3 Pollards Hill, Commonside East and Lonesome, page 97, in the 1840s Benjamin Marchant was the occupier of The Phoenix, which was renamed the Horse and Groom in 1855.

1847 Blue Houses Auction

Source : THE DAILY NEWS, WEDNESDAY, MAY 5, 1847

Mitcham, Surrey.

Valuable copyhold estates

MESSRS. BLAKE will SELL by AUCTION, at Garraway’s Coffee-house, Change-alley, on TUESDAY, May 25, at Twelve o’clock, in lots, comprising the OLD NAG’S HEAD INN, with extensive premises in the rear, situate at Upper Mitcham Green, held be Mr. William Loman, under a repairing lease, of which 17 1/4 years will be unexpired at Midsummer next, at the inadequate rent of £90 per annum (a premium having been paid on the granting of the lease), and forming a valuable investment for brewers or wine and spirit merchants; also, NINE HOUSES, with gardens and grounds, situate on Mitcham Common, at the junction of the roads leading to Croydon and Carshalton, known as the “Blue Houses,” in the occupation of various tenants, producing about £118 per annum.

Particulars, with plans, will be issued ten days before the sale, and may be had at the inns in the neighbourhood; at Garraway’s Coffee-house; the Artichoke Inn, Newington Causeway; of Messrs. Everest, White, Hanslip, and Manning, Solicitors, Epsom, and 12, Hatton-garden; of Mr. Robert Russell, Solicitor, 23, Martin’s-lane, Cannon-street and Croydon; and Messrs. Blake, Croydon.

18470505 Nags Head and Blue Houses Auction