Tag Archives: Hatfeild

Rock Terrace Recreation Ground

From the minutes of the Mitcham Urban District council
Volume VIII 1922 to 1923
Finance and General Purposes
Page 92

16. Rock Terrace.
Read letter from the Mitcham Municipal League asking the Council to consider the advisability of securing vacant land in the neighbourhood of Rock Terrace for a recreation ground.

Resolved, That the Chairman of the Committee be authorised to approach Mr. Hatfeild thereon.

Minutes of meetings held by the Mitcham Urban District Council are available on request from the Merton Heritage and Local Studies Centre at Morden Library.

Gilliat Hatfeild – Obituary 12th February 1941

Daily Express
12th February, 1941

Man refused £500,000 to live on 5 pounds a week and three texts

Gilliat Edward Hatfeild refused half a million and lived on five pounds a week in a cottage. He didn’t need a half million. He was rich; and he was giving away practically all his income. Gilliat Edward Hatfeild has just died in his cottage. He was 77 years old, and had never married. He spent his life fulfilling three passages from the Scriptures:-

1. It is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts XX, 35)

He received much. His father was head of 180-year-old tobacco and snuff firm James Taddy and Co. in the Minories whose Myrtle Grove Brand used to be a popular smoke before the firm shut down in 1920. From his father, Gilliatt Hatfeild inherited a fortune and Morden Hall at Morden Surrey along with 700 acres.

He set to work to give much.

In 1920 he turned the 60-room hall into a convalescent home for the London Hospital. He lived in his cottage on the estate, and patients from London’s East End lived in the hall, recovering health and strength.
He paid for everything. It must have cost him at least £150 a week

2. Take heed that you do not do your arms before men (Matthew six, one)

That figure of £150 a week is an estimate. Even the secretary of the hospital does not know the real amount. He said yesterday: “Officials at the hospital visited Mr Hatfeild about once a week but he never discussed money with them.”

Gilliat Hatfeild hated anyone knowing about his generosity. He wore inexpensive clothes till they were threadbare, ate simply, drank no alcohol, did not smoke.

When he gave the estate staff Christmas gifts each year he made a little speech to thank them for their loyalty.

3. Whoso shall receive one such a little child in my name receiveth me (Matthew XVIII 5)

Always there with children when the patients at the hall. Every day he played with them – they went to his cottage to fetch him into the sunshine, and hung on arms, laughing and chattering.

His estate was a sanctuary for sick children and a sanctuary the songbirds – both his friends. That was why, when offers totalling half a million came along in the Morden land boom of the 1920s he simply said “No”