Tag Archives: Rev Wilson

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.

1880 : The funeral of the cricketer Southerton

FUNERAL OF SOUTHERTON

On Monday afternoon the remains of poor James Southerton, the well-known Surrey bowler, were borne to their last place of rest in Mitcham Churchyard, the funeral attracting a large number of persons, who were well acquainted with the sterling qualities of deceased, to the little village green in front of the inn which Southerton tenanted during his life.

The Surrey County Cricket Club was represented by Messre C. W. Alcock, J. Wood, F. Gale, Dr Parrott, E. Garland, G. Wells, C. A. Stein, T. Mossendew, and others. The only one of the county eleven, as now constituted, present was Richard Humphrey, who acted one the pall-bearers, but there were several old players connected with Surrey to show respect to the memory their former comrade, among them J. Swann, W. Shepherd, and W. Mortlock.

The Mitcham Cricket Club, which Southerton was an active member, sent a strong detachment, including Dr Marshall, the president; Messrs Harbor, Compton, Harvey, and about 30 others; and old cricketers unconnected with Surrey, there were also present Edgar Willshier, K. Thoms, T. Mantle, and many others.

Half-past 4 o’€™clock was the hour appointed for departure of the funeral cortege from the house of the deceased, and very soon after that time the procession made a start. The lane dawn which the coffin passed to the parish church was lined throughout with residents of Mitcham, and the churchyard was already well filled before the service over the body had been completed. There could not have been less than 300 round the grave while the last part of the mournful ceremony was taking place, and doubt whether the pretty little burying-ground has ever held a larger gathering or formed the scene of more impressive picture. The following were told off to act as pall-bearers – €”R. Humphrey, R. Knight, E. Willsher, T. Sewell, R. Thome, F. Gale, T. A. Mantle, and F. Harwood. The service was conducted by vicar of Mitcham, the Rev. D. F. Wilson. M.A., and will be some little time before the village so closely identified with Surrey cricket will forget the imposing ceremonial witnessed on the occasion of Southerton’€™s funeral.

A meeting held subsequently at the King€’s Head, Mitcham, to consider the advisability of establishing some memorial in remembrance of Southerton as a cricketer. Dr Marshall, the President of Mitcham CC, was the chair and there were in all about thirty present. It was resolved that a local committee be formed for the purpose of providing some memorial to the late James Southerton, and that the committee should communicate with the committee of Surrey County Club to ascertain its views of the character of such memorial.

Source: Bell’s Life in London and Sporting Chronicle – Saturday 26 June 1880 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

1945 : Memories of 40 years in signal boxes at Mitcham Junction

From the Mitcham Advertiser, Thursday 11th October, 1945, page 1.

FIFTY YEARS ON RAILWAY

Golden Wedding Memories of Old Mitcham

Fifty years on the Southern Railway, and forty of them spent in signal boxes at and about Mitcham Junction, is the record of Mr. Arthur G. Funnell, of 32a, Mitcham Garden Village.

Yesterday (Wednesday) he and Mrs. Funnell celebrated their golden wedding.
Mr. Funnell reminded “The Advertiser” reporter that he signalled Queen Victoria’s funeral train through Mitcham Junction on its way from Gosport to Victoria. He also signalled the only royal train that ever was on the branch Croydon-Whnbledon line. It had on board the late King Edward (then Prince of Wales) and no less a person than the Kaiser of Germany. They had been to a review of troops on Wimbledon Common and were on their way to the Crystal Palace. The late Mr. W. Martin was stationmaster at Old Mitcham at that time.

“There was a big crowd of people all along the embankment of Mitcham Common when Queen Victoria’s train went through.” Mr. Funnell said, “and not a few to see Kaiser Bill go by.”

Mr. Funnell served under seven stationmasters at Mitcham Junction. “We had plenty of celebrated people round us in those days.” he sold. “The golf course on the Common, then in its prime, attracted everybody who was anybody in London. Including five Prime Ministers, Mr. Asquith, Mr. Balfour, Mr. Lloyd George, Mr. Ramsay Macdonald and Mr. Winston Churchill, who, however, came before he rose to that high rank. Sir Harry Mallaby-Deeley was as good a player as any of them, and better than most. It was said.”

All sorts of queer things happened at Mitcham Junction, or thereabouts, during Mr. Funnell’s reign as signalman. A big barrel of red powder belonging to a local paint firm rolled off the platform one day in front or a non-stop train, which smashed it literally to dust. The engine, the driver and fireman, most of the passengers, a good length of the train and half the station were painted red and for half an hour a red mist hung about over a wide area, like a sunset reluctant to come to an end.

Mr. Funnell’s initiative led to the capture of several wrongdoers. From his lighthouse early one morning he saw several men being chased across the railway and the Common. He promptly telephoned the station staff, who bagged one.

On another occasion, going off night duty, he saw two sacks partly hidden near the station. He informed the police. Officers dressed as porters got into the brake van when the first train rolled into the Junction, and were not surprised to see two men soon follow them with the sacks. But the men were surprised when the “porters” grabbed them.

Mr. and Mrs. Funnell’s own home in Love Lane was broken into. They lived in it for forty years, till they were bombed out. The garden there was one of the sights of the village, for Mr. Funnell is a good gardener, with a passion for flowers. He has cultivated an allotment on the railway embankment at Mitcham Junction for over fifty years. The housebreaker in Love Lane was captured by Mr. Funnell himself, after a chase into Western Road. He happened to reach home as the intruder was leaving, with two watches and other articles.

“I began my railway life on the old London, Brighton and South Coast Railway,” Mr. Funnell said. He was born at Littlehampton and is now 74. Mrs. Funnell. who is 75, is a native of Mitcham. She was born in Church Road, and remembers the village when it was mainly a vast garden, glowing in the Summertime with all the colours of the rainbow.

Like all good Mitchamers, the whole family are interested in cricket. Mr. Funnell played regularly in the railway men’s team. His younger son, Bombardier George Funnell, is an excellent bat in the Mitcham first eleven. Mrs. Funnell still helps with the teas in the pavilion.

Lance-Corporal Arthur Ernest Funnell, of the Military Police, is their other son, and a married daughter lives at Worthing.

After being bombed from Love Lane, Mr. and Mrs. Funnell were bombed from the Garden Village for a time. The Garden Villagers were naturally among the first to congratulate them on their golden wedding day.

“We were married at Mitcham Parish Church by the late Canon Wilson.” said Mrs. Funnell.“ on the same day that Tom Richardson, the great fast bowler, was married at Beddington. In fact, we used the same carriage.”

Mr. Funnell retired from the railway eleven years ago. He looks back on his past at the Junction as the most colourful patch in his history. They were happy and pleasant days to him. When “The Advertiser” reporter left the house Mrs Funnell was making the golden wedding cake.

“Sometimes I still fancy I can hear old George Sawyer calling out the names of the stations.” said Mr. Funnell. George had a voice like Stentor himself. The late Sir Cato Worsfold declared that at The Hall Place, a mile away, he could hear George calling so plainly that every word was distinct.

Durham House

Built c. 1722 and demolished 1971/2.

Eric Montague, in his book Mitcham Histories : 7 The Upper or Fair Green, Mitcham, chapter 7 says that the building was used by the Conservative Club from 1890 up to its demolition.

1970 Image courtesy of Collage – The London Picture Library - http://collage.cityoflondon.gov.uk

1970 Image courtesy of Collage – The London Picture Library – http://collage.cityoflondon.gov.uk

Two concrete block buildings were built on the site. Currently (2016) the Iceland supermarket occupies the site of the original Durham House next to Fair Green Court, and a second concrete block, next to Raleigh Gardens, is occupied by the Mitcham Conservative Club. In 2018, the bar and function room were refurbished as the General Giles Social Club.

2009 photo.

2009 photo.

undated photo of the Fair Green shows Durham House on the left

undated photo of the Fair Green shows Durham House on the left

1921 aerial photo shows Durham House bottom left

1921 aerial photo shows Durham House bottom left

An advertisement to let of 1872 describes the house as a:

capital FAMILY RESIDENCE, in substantial and good decorative repair … containing six bed-rooms, two dressing-rooms, dining and drawing rooms ; water and gas laid on; large garden, walled in, perfectly private

News Articles

1891 funeral of William Garraway tells of when his father bought Durham House.

MITCHAM.

Funeral of Mr. William Garraway.

— On Monday last the funeral of Mr. William Garraway, of Kennington, Surrey, who died, as announced in our obituary column of last week, on the 11th inst. from bronchitis, in his 80th year, took place at Mitcham. The deceased gentleman was interred in the old part of the churchyard between the grave of his brother, Mr. George Garraway, and that of his father and mother. The coffin was of polished oak with brass furniture, and the plate bore the following inscription in capitals : William Garraway, second son of Abel and Amelia Garraway, of Mitcham, Surrey, and grandson of Daniel and Elizabeth Garraway, of Croydon, Surrey. Born Reigate, August 6th, 1811 ; died at Kennington, March 11th, 1891.”

The burial service was read by the Vicar (the Rev. D. F. Wilson), and a muffled peal was rung both before and after the service. The mourners were Mr. R. Garraway Rice, F.B.A, barrister-at-law, Mr. John Forsey, Mr. John Rogers, end Mr. J. D. Bartlett. Mr. William Garraway in early life studied for the medical profession at St. Thomas’s Hospital, but relinquished it without qualifying.

His father, Mr. Abel Garraway, who was for many years resident owner of Durham-house, Upper Mitcham, now the Conservative Club House (which his father, Mr. Daniel Garraway, had purchased of Lieut.-General Giles Hibbert about the year 1808), will be well remembered by the older inhabitants as a gentleman of literary tastes, who took considerable interest in parochial matters. Mr. Abel Garraway was quite one of the old school, always wearing a frilled shirt front and dress coat, and he usually carried silver knobbed cane. He left Hackney to reside at Durham-house, Mitcham, in the year 1841, but died at Glebe Lands in the latter parish in his 79th year on the 11th of January, 1860, having removed there some few years previously.

Source: Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 21 March 1891 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

Note that Montague says the surname was Stibbart, not Hibbart.

Harriet Slater worked as a servant to Abel Garraway when he lived at Glebelands House.


Merton Memories
c. 1850 engraving
undated drawing

clip from Merton Memories photo 30928

clip from Merton Memories photo 30928 copyright London Borough of Merton

A stone with the inscription A.G. 1809 is now on display behind the bar at the General Giles Club. It had been in the Conservative Club office.

photo taken 8th October 2018

The initials are likely to be Abel Garraway, whose father Daniel bought the house from General Giles Hibbert in 1808, as referred to above in the news item on the 1891 funeral of Abel’s son William.

1877 Police Gathering

MITCHAM.

Police Gathering.

– On Friday the members of the police force stationed at Mitcham were, thanks to the energies of the Vicar and Mrs. Wilson, entertained at tea in the school room, Killick-lane. The policemen were accompanied by their wives and friends, and the gathering, which we understand is to be made an annual one, passed off to the satisfaction of all present.

The postmen, we are told, are to be similarly treated shortly.

Source: Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 10 February 1877
from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

1910 Annual Church Parade

CHURCH PARADE

—The annual church parade of the local friendly societies and others was held on Sunday afternoon in cool showery weather. The point of assembly was the Vestry Hall at two o’clock, and an imposing procession was arranged under the direction of Mr. Alfred Mizen, chief marshal, his assistant marshals, Messrs. A. E. Cubison and H. B. Gibb. It consisted of the two Mitcham Fire Brigades, under their chief officers, the first troop of Mitcham Scouts and the first troop of Lower Mitcham Scouts, the St. Mark’s Company of the Church Lads’ Brigade, Oddfellows, Foresters, Sons of the Phoenix, members of the London Carmen’s Trade Union, Good Templars, and the Wimbledon Municipal Employees’ Association. Music was supplied by the Mitcham Salvation Army Band and the St. Marylebone and Kilburn Prize Band, there were also two decorated cars carrying groups representing a hospital ward and “Faith, Hope, and Charity.”

The procession took the following route Mitcham park, Lower Green, Commonside-west, Spencer-road, Grove-road, Lock’s road, Carew-road, Lonsdale road, Western-road, Fountain-road, Sibthorp-road, Graham-road, Graham avenue, Figg’s marsh, Longley-road, Robinson-road, Devonshire-road, High-street, Collier’s Wood, Church-road to the Parish Church, which was reached at five o’clock.

Canon Wilson conducted the service, and gave an appropriate address, and at the end the processionists went to the cricket green and dispersed.

The collection amounted to £20 10s. which was handed over the Croydon Hospital.

Source: http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000945/19100730/096/0005 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

6th May 1899 Mitcham School Board

MITCHAM SCHOOL BOARD

The usual monthly meeting of the School Board for Mitcham was held at the Board-room (Vestry Hall) on Monday evening. The Rev. D.F. Wilson presided, and the other members present were Messrs. F. Tomlin, W. Mears, James Clarke, Jasper Knight, B. Green, J. Brown, and Kemshead.

THE EXAMINATIONS.

From Her Majesty’s Inspector’s report on the recent examination of the Lower Mitcham School it appeared that the boys had passed a very successful examination and that the first standard had passed without single failure. The second was good, and the upper standards just got through. The girls had passed good examination. The arithmetic was less successful, but the grammar, geography, needlework, singing, and musical drill were good, and the tone of the school all that it should be. The infants had also passed a very successful examination. The average attendance at the boys’ school was 197, and the grant earned was £l70 14s. 8d. ; at the girls’ school the average attendance was 57, and the grant earned £59 5s. 6d. ; and at the infants’ school the average attendance was 98, and the grant earned £73 10s.— making total grant of £303 10s. 2d.

In answer to the Chairman the Clerk said the amount of the grant earned at the Lower Mitcham Schools last year was £277 7s. 5d.

The Chairman—Then the examination this year has been very satisfactory.

AN APPLICATION.

Mr. Harber, one of the head-masters, applied for an increase salary. He said his present salary was £145, and considered that his income should be proportionate to the size the school. The letter was referred committee for consideration.

Mr. Hossack, assistant-master at Lower Mitcham Schools, also applied for an increase of salary, and his application was similarly treated.

THE TREASURER’S BALANCE.

The Chairman stated that the balance in the hands of the treasurer was £257 10s. 5d.
The Finance Committee recommended the payment of current accounts amounting £517 Mr. Knight proposed, and Mr. Mears seconded, that the report should adopted.
The Chairman pointed out that they were drawing cheques for £500 and they had only £250 in hand.
The Clerk said the overseers would pay in £250 on Wednesday morning, and that before the week was out the grant on account of the Lower Mitcham Schools would be received.
It was decided to pass the report of the Finance Committee, but to hold over the cheques until there is sufficient cash in the hank to meet them.

ANOTHER LAWYER’S BILL

The Clerk said he had received letter from Messrs. Ward, Mills, and Co., solicitors, enclosing a bill of costs for £37 I3s. 7d. for acting for the trustees on the proposed transfer of the infants’ school at Lower Mitcham. They stated that they were told by Messrs. Gedge to send the bill to the Board. They asked for cheque soon as possible, as the bill had been running for four years. A second letter had been received asking when they might expect the cheque.

The Chairman said it might simplify matters if he stated that Ward, Mills, and Co. were the solicitors to the late Mr. William Simpson, who was the sole surviving trustee of the schools.

Mr. Tomlin said Ward, Mills, and Co. in their letter stated that Messrs. Gedge and Co. informed them that they should charge their account to the School Board. Could the chairman give any information to that and to who instructed Ward, Mills, and Co. to act for the Board. The simple fact of the matter appeared to be that there was nothing on the minutes authorising Ward, Mills, and Co. to act, and whatever the Board had to with Ward, Mills, and Co. had been through Messrs. Gedge. The whole of the negotiations appeared be conspicuous by the failures. The trustees did not know that the school had not been transferred, and it was not an unfair question to ask who had acted all through the piece? So far as he could understand Mr. Gedge and Mr. Wilson, their chairman, were the only two who had had anything to with it, and under those circumstances thought he was right in asking why Mr. Gedge had been allowed not only to act as trustee and solicitor, but also to give instructions as to the payment of the bill of costs of another solicitor. At the last meeting Mr. Legg told the Board that he was not a trustee, and that was simply appointed a trustee pro forma in order to facilitate the transfer of the schools. But the transfer had never taken place, and no sooner had Gedge’s bill been paid than put the other people on the track of the Board. What business had Gedge to refer Ward, Mills, and Co. to the Board, and to state that the Board were responsible? The whole matter required the serious consideration of the Board, and the bill should most decidedly be repudiated. If the schools had been transferred he could understand the account being paid, but the schools had not been transferred, and the Board had never instructed Ward, Mills, and Co. to act for them. If Messrs. Gedge and Co. had done so they should pay the bill. (Hear, hear.)

Mr. Brown said he would like to see the whole of the correspondence produced in connection with this affair from the earliest part, and they should also obtain from Gedge & Co, such information as they could get from them in the shape of correspondence. He wanted to know more about the matter. (Hear, hear.)

Mr. Tomlin said he really thought that after all the trouble the Board had had over Gedge’s account the trustees should take the initiative and something in this matter. That the trustees should have allowed one gentleman take the entire management of the whole thing showed a very bad state of affairs. The Chairman he said was not a trustee of the schools. Mr. Wm. Simpson was the sole surviving trustee, and the former Board instructed Messrs, Gedge & Co, to obtain a transfer of the infant school at Lower Mitcham from Mr. Wm Simpson to the Board. He had been looking through the correspondence, which was quite open for the Board to see, and he found one letter in which Mr. Simpson said would decline to transfer the schools except the advice Messrs. Ward, Mills & Co., his solicitors. He (the chairman) was simply a trustee with the other six gentlemen in order take possession the school and transfer it to the Board. He knew no more about the matter than the other gentlemen. He had the misfortune to be both member of the Board and a trustee, but he really had no information to give, and if he had would not withhold it for single moment. He had privately spoken to the trustees, and their opinion was that the Board wished the school transferred the initiative should come from the Board by proposing some terms. As to the account before them, he thought they should call upon Gedge & Co. to produce the whole of the correspondence.

Mr. Tomlin — We should also ask Gedge & Co. upon what authority they informed Ward, Mills Co. that we are liable. Mr. Clarke said he thought they should discuss the matter then. No business had been done, and yet two accounts had been sent in and one paid. He would like know what the present account was for. The schools had not been transferred, and when they were transferred the Board would called upon to pay similar set costs. Mr. Brows promised that the matter should be adjourned, and that in the meantime the Clerk should obtain from Gedge & Co. full particulars about the account.
Mr. Clarke — We should take no notice of the bill. What is the bill for?
Mr. Brown — We should write a letter ignoring our liability, but ask for further information without prejudice.
Mr. Clarke — Will someone kindly tell me what the account is for.
The Chairman — That is just the information we are anxious obtain. The motion was then carried.

Source: Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 11 May 1889 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)