Tag Archives: Robert Masters Chart

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.

St. Mark’s Church building

St Marks Church and church room

1910 OS map

According to Eric Montague, in his Mitcham Histories: 7 The Upper or Fair Green, page 111:

the church was designed by Robert Masters Chart in a style of approximately 13th century … built by Stewart and Sons of Croydon

Dates (also from Montague)
February 1898 – foundation stone laid
1899 – nave and aisles finished
January 1901 – consecrated
1910 – chancel, north transept and south chapel added

The district of St Mark, which covered most of the electoral east ward, was previously part of the parish of SS Peter & Paul, Church Road. It became its own parish in 1905.

It is part of the diocese of Southwark, whose website says:

The church is built of soft red brick with Bath stone dressings and red/orange machine-made, plain clay tiles. There is a copper covered fleche with bell.

The copper at the base of the pointed spire (or ‘fleche’) has become green due to weathering.

Rumbold Villas

Houses from north to south, between Aspen Gardens and Arneys Lane, off the west side of Carshalton Road, south of Mitcham Junction.

They were built in 1923/4, possibly by Joseph Owen. The houses south of Arneys Lane to the junction with Goat Road, were originally called Tramway Terrace, and were built earlier than 1894.

1894 OS map

1894 OS map

1932 OS map

1932 OS map

R.M. Chart valued the completed houses and loans were made by the Mitcham Urban District Council to purchasers under the Small Dwellings Acquisition Act, 1899.

No. Borrower Property Value £ Loan £
2 J. JORDON 750 675
3 P. PERRYMAN 730 500
4 G. MARLOW 730 655
5 F. ALLEN 725 650
6 L. BURKILL 725 600
7 K.T. TODD 730 655
8 J.B. ROWAN 900 800
10 H.L. GOFF 790 710
13 A.F. FERGUS 725 600
14 S.A. STOLLS 725 600
16 V.H. BARMBY 725 650
17 J.R. GASK 740 665
18 E.H. GRUBB 740 615
19 S.K. BUTTON 725 650
20 A. CRIPPEN 725 575
21 R.G. WILKINS 725 600
22 E.H. JENNER 725 650

Source: Volume IX, Mitcham UDC Minutes, Finance and General Purposes Committee, 1924.

Note that JORDON may be a typo, and probably should be JORDAN.

The name possibly came from the nearby Rumbold Farm, as shown on this 1866 OS map.

1866 OS map

1866 OS map

The 1924 electoral registers gives occupants for numbers 12 to 22.

12, Agnes HALE and Thomas Hargrave YATES
13, Alexander Forrester and Caroline Sophia FERGUS
14, Sidney Arthur and Lily STOLLS
15, Sidney Randolph and Grace Kathleen SELF
16, Victor BARNBY
17, John Reginald GASK

19, Sidney Kenneth BUTTON

22, Edmond Frank and Kate JENNER

In the 1925 electoral register, the names Rumbold Villas and Tramway Terrace have been dropped.


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


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.

Private Geoffrey Chart

DEATH OF PTE. CHART.

—Mr. R. M. Chart. C.A., is so well-known for many years’ work as surveyor to the old Rural District Council and as County Alderman, that the sympathy will be wide for the loss he has sustained in the death at the front of his son, Pte. Geoffrey Chart, who joined up on the outbreak of the Boer War, and after the campaign was over started in business in Cape Town. When this war commenced he again joined the Highlanders, and last spring came back for a few days to his old home. He was wounded in action on Sept. 21st, and hopeful news was sent as to his recovery, but he died Sept. 23rd. He was 36, and leaves a wife and two children. Alderman Chart has three other sons serving.

Source: Surrey Mirror – Friday 12 October 1917 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

ALD. CHART’S BEREAVEMENT.

Pte. Geoffrey Chart, South African Contingent, whose death on Sept. 23rd from wounds received on the 21st is reported, was the fourth son of Mr. Robert M. Chart, St. Mary’s, Mitcham, Alderman of the Surrey County Council, and chairman of the Small Holdings and Allotments Committee.

Source: Surrey Advertiser – Saturday 06 October 1917 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

From the Commonwealth War Graves Commission:

Rank: Private
Service No: 10196
Date of Death: 23/09/1917
Age: 36
Regiment/Service: South African Infantry, 4th Regiment
Grave Reference: I. E. 6.
Cemetery: Nine Elms British Cemetery, Poperinge, Belgium.
Additional Information: Son of Robert and Florence Chart, of St. Mary’s, Mitcham, Surrey, England; husband of Margaret Chart, of Limebrook Cottage, Bingham Street, Bangor, Co. Down, Ireland.

The Nine Elms British Cemetery contains 1,556 Commonwealth burials from the First World War.

According to Eric Mobtague, in his Mitcham Histories : 1 The Cricket Green, page 105, St. Mary’s was the home of Robert Masters Chart from 1911 until his death in 1942. The house was near the old Methodist church, on the eastern side of the Cricket Green, and was demolished in the 1950s.

This image, part of a 1903 postcard, shows the old Methodist church and some houses next to it, which may include St Mary’s, where the road Chart Close is today.

c. 1903

c. 1903

Unveiling of the Mitcham War Memorial

From the Mitcham and Tooting Mercury, 26th November, 1920

UNVEILING OF MITCHAM’S WAR MEMORIAL.

The war shrine, situated on the Lower Green, Mitcham, was unveiled last Sunday by Major-General Sir H. E. Watts, K.C.B., C.M.G. (formerly commanding the 7th Division and 19th Corps, B.E.F.). The weather, although very cold, was fine, and about 5,000 people were present at the unveiling.

Alderman R. M. Chart (Chairman of the War Memorial Committee) said that this shrine was to commemorate the self-sacrifice of those who made the supreme sacrifice, and show our undying sorrow felt by those who have lost dear ones in the late war. Two years ago the war terminated, and in February, 1919, a committee was formed for the purpose of raising funds for the war shrine. There was some difficulty as to the most prominent place for the shrine, and on Peace Day, when the temporary memorial was put behind the Vestry Hall, it was proposed that that should be the site for the permanent one. It is also proposed now that a fencing should be placed round the shrine, but with facilities for the public to place flowers on it, which he (Mr. R. M. Chart) was sure they would do from time to time. He also said that every effort had been made to obtain the names of men who had been killed in action or died of wounds, and, at present, there were 557 names inscribed on the shrine, and since then more had come to hand, and would be inscribed in due course. The speaker then said it was his duty and pleasure to introduce Major-General Sir H. E. Watts, K.C.B., C.M.G., who had well served his country in the late war. He was commanding in the first and third Battle of Ypres.

Major-General Sir H. E. Watts, K.C.B., C.M.G., said, after what Mr. Chart had said, there was not much more to say, but there was one incident that he would like to remind them of, and that was the late Earl Kitchener’s appeal of “Your King and Country need you,” at the beginning of the war, in which all men flocked to enlist. “Why !” because they knew that they were going to fight for freedom and endure the hardships of war, which was a fine example of self-sacrifice and unselfishness. All honour was due to them who came forward at the country’s call. The men, women and children were also a great help, for, while we soldiers were fighting, those at home endured many hardships, but without murmuring. He then unveiled the memorial, and the “Last Post” was played by buglers of the East Surrey Regiment.

The hymn, “Nearer my God to Thee,” was sung, and then the invocation and prayers were said by Rev. C. A. Finch, the Vicar of Mitcham, after which Rev. J. F. Cowley, the the Zion Congregational Church, said a few words.

Rev. J. F. Cowley said that, in doing honour to those who laid down their lives for us, there should be no mistake, for if they had not done so, no English home would be intact and safe to-day, but the unspeakable happenings in Belgium would have happened in England, and, perhaps, have been even worse, because it was against England that the Germans were so bitter and revengeful. He said we should thank God and our fallen heroes for such a merciful deliverance, and also think God for such sons, fathers, brothers and sweethearts who so cheerfully laid down their lives to save us from shame and dishonour. They must not forget to honour and thank the mothers who gave the best, they had got; and in the future, when one was in despair, they should just go to the shrine and remember what, Englishmen could and did do for their country, because they thought that, if it was worth living for, it was worth dying for. Those present then proceeded to place their floral tributes on the shrine, during which Mr. Rudyard Kipling’s “Recessional” was sung.

The Jubilee Lodge, R.A.O.B., sent a wreath in memory of fallen “Buffs.” Other lodges also sent wreaths.

The special constables were present under the command of Inspectors Webb and Freeman. Colonel Bidder, D.S.O., was present, and a detachment of ex-Service men lined up round the inside of the ropes. The music for the hymns was played by the Mitcham and Wimbledon Military Band, conducted by Mr. H. Salter.

1927 The Last Vestry Clerk

MITCHAM VESTRY CLERK.
INTERESTING SURREY RECORD.

Mr. R. M. Chart, of Mitcham, deputy chairman of the Croydon County Bench, has notified the Mitcham Council that on March 31st he will cease to be the vestry clerk for Mitcham, a post which he has held for 39 years all but three days, and which has been held by his direct ancestors for 166 years without a break. Mr. Chart is the last of the Mitcham vestry clerks, the office being abolished under the new Rating and Valuation Act, but the duties will be carried on by his son, Colonel Stephen Chart, who is clerk to the Mitcham Council.

The first vestry clerk for Mitcham was Mr. R. M. Chart’s great-grandfather, who was appointed in 1761 at a salary of £3 a year, and held the post for 44 years. His grandfather, who built the present Mitcham parish church, held it for 41 years, and his father held it for 42 years. All these men held the post until they died, and were parish clerks as well. Mr. R. M. Chart, who is 76 years old, still does the work of more than 12 public appointments, and takes an active interest in most local affairs. He was a member of the Surrey County Council for 25 years, for nine years as alderman.

Source: Surrey Mirror – Friday 04 March 1927 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

1910 Antipodean Visitors to Lower Mitcham School

ANTIPODEAN VISITORS.
MR. AND MRS. WALKER, OF MITCHAM, AUSTRALIA, AT MITCHAM.

Two interesting visitors on Tuesday were Councillor and Mrs. Walker, of Mitcham, in the State of Victoria, Australia, who came to have a look at the day schools and receive a Union Jack and a case of essences, with which they were officially presented on Empire Day. That ceremony was reported in the “Advertiser.” but it may be well to recall the principal facts. On that day the school children gathered at Park-place to welcome Mr. and Mrs. Walker, who came the authorised representatives the State school of Mitcham, Victoria, to present an Australian flag, a sprig of eucalyptus, and photographs to the managers. It was an interesting event, and the visitors were favourably impressed with what they saw. But they had no opportunity then of inspecting the schools with the children at work, and they were invited to return later on.

So it came about that on Tuesday morning they were met at Mitcham Junction Station by Mr. and Mrs. R. M. Chart, with whom they drove to the Lower Mitcham School, after short stay the way at the Roman Catholic School facing the Green. They arrived at lower Mitcham as the scholars were at play, and were able to see them under the most natural conditions. While Mr. Walker expressed himself as delighted with the discipline he could hardly fail to notice the miserable way many of the boys were shod. Several, in fact, were not shod at all, and were running about with bare feet and the most ragged of clothes.

At the end of play time the boys filed into the large hall of their department, where the headmaster, Mr. Clarke, introduced to them Mr. Walker and his wife, mentioning the circumstances under which they paid their previous visit.

Mr. Walker, in the course of a few words to the audience, said he was delighted to be present and to renew his acquaintance with the teachers and scholars. He was glad to find the school in such splendid condition, and the scholars with such a happy and healthy appearance. Particularly was he pleased to see them at play, and to notice the attention they paid to the headmaster’s whistle. As they grew up he hoped they would always be regardful in the same manner of the authority that they might serve. It was a credit to the headmaster to find them so well trained, as it was to the boys themselves. As he looked round he was inclined to think that they had not all equal opportunities, but during his journeys in England he had come to understand that everybody had an equal chance, and it depended upon them as to what they would do with the opportunities that were given to them. He knew what boys’ difficulties were and what they had to do; but now was the greatest opportunity of their lives, and they should make the most it. Then he told them that they belonged to a great Empire, and would have their place in it when they grew up; and, in conclusion, he wished them all happy future and hoped that the district would have reason to be proud to know that some of them had risen to fill high positions in the commercial and political world.

The boys responded to these sentiments with three ringing cheers.

Mr. Clarke declined to take himself all the credit for the discipline the school, which he said was largely due to his assistants. They thanked Mr. Walker very much for coming, and hoped that the boys would bear in mind something of what he had said.

Shortly afterwards the party left for the Singlegate Schools, where the Union Jack in an oak box and the case of distilled essences of lavender, peppermint, and other products of Mitcham, given by Mr. R. A. Bush’s firm, were presented to Mr. Walker. He and Mrs. Walker had lunch with Mr. R. M. Chart, and later in the day returned to London. They expect to leave for Australia next week by way of New York and Vancouver, arriving home at the beginning of December.

Source: Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 17 September 1910 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)