Tag Archives: 1879

1879 : Beating the Bounds

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


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.

1879 : 14 days in jail for stealing a hayfork


James Nutlay, labourer, of the Causeway, Mitcham, was charged at the Croydon Police-court on Monday with stealing a hayfork, the property of Mr. Woodman, of Mitcham.

— Wm. Burrell, a labourer of Rock Terrace, Mitcham, deposed that on going to work on Saturday morning about 6.30, he missed the hayfork, and being unable to find it, he was about to go to Mr. Woodman to get another, when he saw the prisoner, with whom he had worked a short time ago. Witness went to him and accused him of taking the fork. Prisoner said had taken it to get some food and drink.

The prisoner was ordered to be sent gaol for 14 days.

Source: Croydon Guardian and Surrey County Gazette – Saturday 04 October 1879 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

1879 : Gipsy Life on Mitcham Common

Sketches on Gypsy Life : Inside a tent on Mitcham Common

GIPSY LIFE NEAR LONDON. Another sketch of the wild and squalid habits of life still retained vagrant parties or clans of this singular race of people, often met with the neighbourhood of suburban villages and other places around London, will be found in our Journal. We may again direct the reader’s attention to the account of them which was contributed by Mr. George Smith, of Coalville, Leicester, to the late Social Science Congress at Manchester, and which was reprinted in our last week’s publication. That well-known advocate of social reform and legal protection for the neglected vagrant classes of our population, reckons the total number of gipsies in this country at three four thousand men and women and ten thousand children. He is now seeking to have all movable habitations—i.e., tents, vans, shows, &c. —in which the families live who are earning a living travelling from place to place, registered and numbered, as in the case of canal boats, and the parents compelled to send their children to school at the place wherever they may be temporarily located, it National, British, or Board school. The following is Mr. Smith’s note upon what what was to be seen in the gipsies’ tent on Mitcham-common:-

“ Inside this tent —with no other home—there were two men, their wives, and about fourteen children of all ages : two or three of these were almost men and women. The wife of one of the men had been confined of a baby the day before called —her bed consisting of a layer of straw upon the damp ground. Such was the wretched and miserable condition they were in that I could not do otherwise than help the poor woman, and gave her a little money. But in her feelings of gratitude to me for this simple act of kindness she said she would name the baby anything I would like to choose ; and, knowing that gipsies are fond of outlandish names, I was in a difficulty. After turning the thing over in my mind for a few minutes, I could think of nothing but Deliverance.’ This seemed to please the poor woman very much; and the poor child is named Deliverance G——. Strange to say, the next older child is named Moses.’

Source: Illustrated London News – Saturday 06 December 1879 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

Sibthorp Road

Called Sibthorp (without the ‘e’) in earlier street directories, Sibthorpe Road is currently a short road, almost an alleyway, off of the west side of London Road, north of the Kings Arms pub and opposite the White Lion of Mortimer pub (formerly the Bucks Head). It leads to the public car park, which has entrances in Holborn Way.

It was possibly named after Waldo Sibthorp of The Elms.

On the 1866 OS map there is a strip of land with trees, with two houses on the south side.

1866 OS map

An auction notice of 1879 includes a block of 12 brick and slate houses, one unfinished, with the rest let at 5 shillings per week, which could imply that they had recently been built. The auction also refers to two cottages and a plot of building land opposite.

14th June 1879 Morning Post auction notice (from the British Newspaper Archive)

The 1893 electoral register includes named terraces, listed below. It is not known which terrace was built first.

Garfield Terrace
1, William WHITFIELD
2, George BETTS
3, George BUTLER
5, Henry GREEN
8, Arthur BASSON
9, Robert DIXON
10, Henry SEARLE
12, Robinson AMBROSE

Garibaldi Terrace
1, William WILKES
3, William LUKER
5, Edward BALL
6, John SALLIS
7, John GODDEN
10, John PARSONS
11, George STANLEY

Mayfield Cottages
1, ALfred Wilks
2, George BURTON
3, Thomas GOULD
6, Amy HIGGS
7, William KENT

Occupants listed in Sibthorp Road in 1893:

1, Walter WATSON
2, Aaron WARE
3, Charles HARVEY
4, William SUGDEN
5, William TOWNSEND
7, Caroline BATCHELOR
8, Noah BLAKE
9, John RAPER
13, Henry CHANDLER
14, Thomas RUSSELL
15, Henry FORSTER
16, Thomas ISAAC
17, William VARNHAM
19, Arthur HOOKINS
25A, George SALES
26, Albert WARD
27, George CORNISH
27A, Albert BOWMAN
28, Joseph WOOLMER
28A, Josiah SMITH
31, Thomas NEWSOM
32, Edward BRYANT
34, Thomas CLARKE

1921 aerial view of Sibthorp Road

2015. View from public car park. White Lion of Mortimer pub can be seen at far end.

2015. View from public car park. White Lion of Mortimer pub can be seen at far end.

1910 OS map

1910 OS map

1952 OS map

1952 OS map


MITCHAM ROBT. N. FULLER, MOON & FULLER Will Sell by Auction, at the Greyhound Hotel, Croydon, on THURSDAY, JANUARY 26th, at Six o’clock, NOS. 2 to 24 (even Nos.), SIBTHORP ROAD, consisting of twelve desirable leasehold COTTAGES, producing together £202 16s. per annum. Printed particulars with conditions of Sale may be had of the Vendor’s Solicitors, Messrs. Woodcock, Ryland and Parker, 15, Bloomsbury-square, W.C. ; of Messrs. Chart, Son and Reading, Architects and Surveyors, Vestry Hall, Mitcham, and at the Auctioneers’ Offices, 83, High-street, Croydon, and at Purley, Coulsdon, Reigate, and Epsom

Source: Croydon Chronicle and East Surrey Advertiser – Saturday 24 December 1910 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

Occupants in 1911 included William Kent, blacksmith.

1911 Census for the family of Private George James Howe.

Private Charles Henry Hussey lived here in the 1930s.

Matilda Baker and Emma Gregory lived here and both worked as Firework Artists, according to the 1881 list of workers at James Pain’s firework factory.

Gardener at the Tamworth Farm recreation ground, George Finch, lived here in 1952.

World War 1 Connections

Corporal T G Bates

Private George James Howe

Private Edward Henry Roles

Private George James Schofield

Private Walter John Wells

From the Surrey Recruitment Registers:

R BARRON of 36 Sibthorpe Road, aged 17 Years 9 Months, Firework Maker. Conscripted on 13 September 1916 to the 22nd Training Reserve Batn.

E H BOLES of 68 Sibthorpe Road, aged 18 Years, Factory Hand. Conscripted on 2 September 1916 to the 26th Training Reserve Batn.

Thos BUTCHER of 90 Sibthorpe Road, aged 18 Years 11 Months, Carman. Joined on 17 May 1915 to the Royal West Surrey Regiment.

C H COOK of 21 Sibthorpe Road, aged 38 Years, Butcher. Volunteered with the Derby Scheme on 7 June 1916 to the Middlesex Regiment (29th Batn).

W FOSSETT of 14 Sibthorpe Road Mitcham, aged 18 Years 8 Months, Carman. Joined on 19 June 1916 to the Royal Fusiliers.

C GAUNTLET of 62 Sibthorp Road, aged 26 Years 9 Months, Labourer. Volunteered on 20 October 1915 to the East Surrey Regiment (11th Batn).

S HARPER of 50 Sibthorpe Road, aged 39 Years 4 Months, Fitter. Volunteered on 27 May 1915 to the Royal Engineers.

A D JOHNSON of 48 Sibthorpe Road, aged 37 Years 11 Months, Wheelwright. Volunteered on 1 February 1915 to the Army Service Corps.

J LAWRENCE of 7 Sibthorpe Villas Mitcham, aged 28 Years 6 Months, Cook. Volunteered with the Derby Scheme on 5 June 1916 to the East Kent Regiment (3rd Batn).

A G MANN of 78 Sibthorpe Road, aged 40 Years, Fitter. Volunteered on 31 May 1915 to the Army Veterinary Corps.

A A MILES of 76 Sibthorpe Road, aged 40 Years, Labourer. Volunteered on 31 May 1915 to the Army Veterinary Corps.

G MORRIS of 84 Sibthorpe Road, aged 26 Years, Plumber. Volunteered with the Derby Scheme on 12 December 1915 to the Royal Engineers.

C NIGHTINGALE of 42 Sibthorp Road, aged 39 Years 3 Months, Bricklayer. Conscripted on 12 December 1915 to the Royal Engineers.

William ROFFE of Fred Roffe 20 Sibthorpe Road, aged 19 Years 7 Months, Carman. Joined on 16 December 1913 to the East Surrey Regiment (4th Batn).

R T SCHOFIELD of 34 Sibthorp Road, aged 17 Years 9 Months, Porter. Conscripted on 14 April 1917 to the 27th Training Reserve Batn.

H J J SCOBELL of 20 Sibthorp Road Surrey, aged 18 Years 10 Months, Baker. Joined on 14 June 1915 to the Army Service Corps (supply).

J TAYLOR of 66 Sibthorpe Road, aged 23 Years 2 Months, Box Sorter. Volunteered on 18 January 1915 to the Army Service Corps.

H J WELLS of 19 Sibthorpe Road, aged 38 Years, Bricklayer. Volunteered on 27 January 1915 to the East Surrey Regiment.

W J WELLS of 19 Sibthorp Road, aged 17 Years 9 Months, Gardener. Conscripted on 17 March 1917 to the 27th Training Reserve Batn.

S WHEELER of 22 Sibthorpe Rd, aged 22 Years, Gardener. Volunteered with the Derby Scheme on 22 November 1915 to the Royal West Kent Regiment (3rd Batn).

H A WILDE of 70 Sibthorp Road, aged 17 Years 9 Months, Porter. Conscripted on 31 March 1917 to the 27th Training Reserve Batn.

News Articles
Mitcham & Tooting Mercury, 12th January 1917, page 3

Compulsory Education

A Mitcham mother had to answer in dock at Croydon on Saturday for having failed to send her child to school regularly. The prisoner, who had been arrested by a warrant officer, was Edith Amelia Hinckley (31), married, of Sibthorp Road. She had been before the court six times on summonses, and had failed to obey the last one. After the last fine, on October 7th, her girl made only 12 attendances out of a possible 103.

Prisoner said the child was delicate, and having 6 youngsters to keep on a separation allowance of 29 shillings weekly, could not properly clothe her for going out in all weathers.

A fine of 10 shillings was imposed.

Maps are reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland.

1879 Wanted to fight PC after being removed from Buck’s Head


William Finch, described as a labourer, living at Upper Mitcham, was charged with being drunk and disorderly in the London-road, in the parish of Mitcham on the 6th inst. P.-c. 290 W stated that on Saturday evening he removed the prisoner from the Buck’s Head, where he had been creating a disturbance.

After he had got him into the road prisoner took off his coat and wanted to fight him.

Prisoner, who admitted the offence, was fined 5s. and costs 9s.

Source: Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 12 April 1879 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

The Cedars

House that stood on Commonside East that Eric Montague thought dated to the 18th century.

1867 OS map

Auctioned in 1857:-

20th October 1857 South Eastern Gazette

20th October 1857 South Eastern Gazette

Text of ad:


ROBT. W. FULLER HAS received instructions from the proprietor (who is leaving the neighbourhood,) to SELL by AUCTION, at “The CEDARS,” Mitcham-common, on This Day and To-morrow, OCTOBER 20th and 21st, at Twelve for One o’clock each day part of the excellent well-made HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE, comprising mahogany and japanned four-post and French bedsteads and hangings, goose feather beds and bedding, marble top and other washstands and fittings dressing tables and glasses, carpets, chests of drawers the usual chamber appendages, mahogany and rosewood dining, loo, card, and occasional tables, cheffoniers, sets of chairs, easy chairs, window curtains, chimney glasses, Brussels and Kidderminster floor and stairs carpets, steel fenders and fire-irons, fine-toned pianoforte in rosewood ease, kitchen items, garden tools, greenhouse plants, dairy utensils, Oxford dog cart, harness, etc.

The Live and Dead Farming Stock, Implements of Agriculture, etc., comprise two useful cart horses, 26 well-bred sows and pigs, 100 head of poultry, carts, ploughs, harrows, patent chaff and turnip cutters, hey-making, winnowing, and corn crushing machines, land roller, home hoe, liquid manure and shop pumps, deals, battens, feather-edged and other boards, 9 stacks of, hay, stack of barley and pea draw, stack of oats, and ditto, about 60 bushels of potatoes, and miscellaneous effects.

The Furniture, etc., will be sold on the first day.

May be viewed, and catalogues obtained at Garraway’s Coffee-house, Change-alley, Cornhill; the inns in the neighbourhood ; and at the Auctioneer’s office, 101, High-street, Croydon.

See photo on Merton Memories.

The Surrey History Centre has this deed of covenant dated 30th September 1879

Deed of covenant for production of title deeds

1) Alfred Essex and George Thrupp both of London
2) Richard Henry Stainbank of Sussex.

Recites that 1) are mortgagees of a mansion house called The Cedars, Mitcham Common on the north side of the Mitcham/Croydon road lately occupied by Mrs Martha Urmson. Stainbank is the owner of The Cedars and Cedars Cottages (two) occupied by Mrs Bullock and Edward Satchell. He also owns Cedars Lodge or The Hut, Mitcham Common late occupied by William Hooper. The deeds of The Cedars relate to part of the site of Cedars Cottage and to Cedars Lodge.


Conveyance, covenant to surrender and mortgage, 29 Jan 1853

1) Robert Stafford
2) Stainbank
3) Edward Ellerton, William and Thomas Essex.

Steward’s copy of surrender of Richard Stafford, 13 Jul 1853, and admission of Stainbank, 24 Jan 1855.
17 July 1879, as in -/7/1.
27 Sep 1879, reconveyance of mortgage of 1853.

[A covering wrapper, now destroyed, recorded that the portions enfranchised relate as follows No. 1 to Lots 1 (The Cedars), 2 Tamworth Lane. Fields sold to Mr Paxton, 3 Gardens of Cedars Cottages 4 Cedars Lodge 5 Outlying piece, sold to Mr Paxton No. 2 to Lots 3 & 4]

1879 Rock Terrace Coffee and Club Room

Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 12 April 1879

Rock-Terrace Coffee and Club Room.

— A successful entertainment was given in the Mission Room connected with the above on Friday evening, April 4th, by the Band of Hope branch of the Church of England Temperance Society. A. Maclaclan, Esq., took the chair. The choir sang several pieces during the evening.

The recitations were excellent, and the following are deserving of special notice :

“They didn’t think;” by Alfred Bale;
“A dinner and a kiss,” Alice Boxall;
“The blind men and the elephant,” William Goodge;
“The twins’ mishaps,” George Bale;
“Christmas in the bush,” Louisa Singleton;
“Cruel play,” Alfred Gardiner;
“Billy’s rose” (from the Dagonet ballads), Ruth Smith;
“The little boy’s speech,” Frank Boxall;
“My first doll,” Rose Greenaway;
“Paddy and the jug,” Emily Boxall;
“The newsboy’s debt,” Lillian Service.

A hearty vote of thanks was given at the close to Mr. W. Service and Mr. J. R. Chart, the secretaries, also to Miss Glanister, who presided at the harmonium, and all who had taken part.