Batailles Manor
and the Saunder family of Ewell


A detailed article by Michael L. Walker on this subject may be found in Volume 54 of Surrey Archaeological Collections of which a copy is held at the History Centre in Bourne Hall, Ewell. The following sketch is intended to offer little more than a general introduction.

The subordinate manor within Ewell is reported to have taken its name from an owner in the 12th century called William de Bataille but the title became corrupted to Bottayles/Bottals, Buttall and by the 19th century Botolphs.

Manning and Bray provide an outline of the descent of the manor and the following Pedigree.

Saunders Pedigree - click image to enlarge
Saunders Pedigree - click image to enlarge

There is a hiatus [possibly reflecting the aftermath of the Black Death when Ewell's population is suggested to have declined by a third] after the 13th century until 1408 when Thomas Hayton appears in a list of the tenants of the Manor of Ewell occupying "a free tenement called Botayles fee" (held of the Lord Prior [of Merton]). This is a reference to Bataille's manor house [probably no more than a hall, heated by a central fire, with private rooms for the family at one end and a kitchen at the other] indicated to have been situated on the western side of the much later Glyn House. When Thomas Hayton died in 1432 ownership the property passed to his daughter, Agnes, widow of Thomas Carew, who had married secondly John de Exham or Hexham (according to the Pedigree above) but contracted a third marriage, before 1450, to Thomas Sayer.

Thomas Carew and Agnes had three daughters, Mercy, Joan and Isabel, who married respectively Richard Ford, William Saunder (Sanders) and, possibly, John Collard. On the death of their father in 1430, the girls acquired a shared interest in Batailles as co-heirs. After the demise of Joan (Carew) Saunders, during 1470, her youngest son, Henry, inherited his mother's portion and bought out the remaining two thirds of the real estate that had descended through his aunts, Mercy and Isabel.

It has been speculated that it was Henry who acquired additional areas of land and proceeded, towards the end of the 15th century, to build a mansion [described below] as a residence superior to the old Bataille's manor house that stood in only three roods [three quarters of an acre] of ground.

Henry Saunders "of Ewell" died 1518/9, directing by his will that "my feofees [broadly equivalent to 'trustees'] of the Manor of Botalls and tenements in Ewell Evesham [Epsom] and Chesenden [Chessington] in Surrey to stand possessed of the same to the use of my wife Joan for her life". Eventually the realty passed to Henry's second son, William Saunder, who married the widow Joan Mynne nee Merston of Horton and, after her demise, 28 October 1539, Joan Gittons, relict of Thomas Gittons. William Saunders "of Butailles in Ewel" made a will in October 1570 desiring that he should be buried in the "Chapell nigh my tom[b]e within the parish church of Ewell". Its terms led to the manor being passed down to his eldest son, Nicholas, a lawyer trained at the Inner Temple, who was enjoined to maintain a house in Ewell for his father's widow, Joan (Gittons) Saunders - she survived until 1580.

During this period, Henry, Earl of Arundel, whilst in possession of the Manor of Ewell, took action against Nicholas Saunder, gentleman, in relation to a manor in Ewell, Surrey, "called Bottalts, of which the defendant was seised by descent from his father; defendant says 'as he thinketh, and for anything he knoweth not to the contrary, he hath a manor [so called]'". Evidently the proceedings intended to displace Saunder failed.

Northern Part of Ewell 1577
Northern Part of Ewell 1577

We have a description from a survey conducted in 1577: "Nicholas Saunder holdeth freely the Mannor hawse of Buttalls with a yarde, barne, stable, a garden, an orchard thereunto adjoyninge and also a southe parte of a pightell [small enclosure] of land enclosed with pics abutt' upon the highway leding to kingston [Spring Street] of the west parte and extendeth in length by the said waye unto a twisted tree of elme in the hedge there of the north parte and also abutteth upon the parsonage landes of theste parte and extend in length by the said landes unto a grete elme in the hedge there of the north parte directly over ageinst the forsaid twisted elme." In addition, Nicholas held Ewell parsonage [on the site of Glyn House] freehold as well as about 5 acres of land now forming the grounds of Bourne Hall upon which had been built a fair mansion house with a gatehouse, a forecourt, hall, parlour and other edifices and buildings with two backyards, stables and barns, also a dove house, two gardens and an orchard. In all, Nicholas had become owner of the largest estate in the area being in possession of almost 20% of the land in Ewell.

Under Queen Elizabeth, the Saunders of Ewell retained their Catholic faith and became one of the leading recusant [not complying with and conforming to Church of England] families in Surrey. Nicholas spent some time during 1578 in the Fleet prison on account of his beliefs. Nicholas Saunder also "suffered a recovery" [lost possession of by judgement of a court] of Batailles Manor in 1581 but this may have been manoeuvre to provide for his second wife Margaret nee Bostock because his will of 1587 indicated that the widow, Margaret, was to receive Batailles as part of her dower. She then lived on for at least another 10 years before the manor passed down to her stepson, Nicholas, junior, born circa 1563.

The younger Nicholas Saunder, also a trained lawyer, had married Elizabeth Blunt before1585 when he was included on the list of certified recusants of Ewell. However, to become a Member of Parliament he needed to conform and by January 1591/2 he had become a member of the Surrey Commission for the detection and suppression of the Jesuits. He was knighted on 11 May 1603 at Charterhouse.

It is recorded that: - "Sir Nicholas was descended from a younger branch of the Saunders of Charlwood, and, through the frequent intermarriages of heireses with his family, he lineally represented several illustrious houses, whose arms he thereby quartered with his own, viz. Salaman, Collenden, Carew of Bedington, Peverell of Ermington, Willoughby, Dalamere, Marston, Carew of Bedington (a younger branch), Fitzstephen, De Courcy, Twyte, Digon, Stuteville, Mohun, Fleminge, Brewer, Hoo, D'Andeville, St. Leger, St. Omer, Malmaines, Wells, Engayne de Grainsby, Waterton, Corbet, Byran, Blunt, Bostock"

Before 1624, Sir Nicholas Saunder seems to have taken up residence in a house, that came to be shared with his daughter, Frances, and son in law Edward Warham, in Nonsuch Park.

Sir Nicholas was one of the promoters of a scheme, involving a lottery, introduced in 1628 for supplying London with water carried in a conduit from springs near Hoddesdon, Herts. He "like many other adventurers, sunk all his fortune." It is presumed that a need to cover losses from the water venture led to the sale of his mansion at Ewell during 1638.

On 9 February 1649, Sir Nicholas died, intestate, at the house in Nonsuch Park before burial 'by torch lights' beside his wife at Ewell. A son, Henry, was granted administration of the estate and he seems to have taken Batailles a part of his portion, selling it 10 years later as a messuage with garden, orchard and 40 acres of land.

Henry Saunder (b. November 1604) is reported to have married Frances Watson on 28 November 1636. They are not known to have had any children and Henry appears to have died before 1679.

The purchaser of Batailles had been Thomas Turgis, a wealthy grocer from London who built up extensive land-holdings in Surrey, notably at Gatton, a 'rotten Borough' that he came to represent in Parliament. Because Turgis' son, an only child, pre-deceased him, Thomas' will devised his estates to a kinsman, William Newland.

Thomas Turgis died on 9 June 1704 to be buried in the 'Middle Isle of St Dionys, Backchurch, in Fenchurch Street, London' [a church finally demolished 1878].

William Newland, who in turn became a Representative of the Borough of Gatton, died on 4 May 1738. Batailles descended to his three daughters as co-heirs but it was three grandchildren, Rebecca, wife of Daniel Murphy, Elizabeth, wife of Dennis Sullivan, and Christian, wife of Sir Edward Swinburn, Bart., who sold the manor to Anthony Chamier of Epsom in 1765. [An article about the latter may also be accessed in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography via the Surrey Libraries website]

Chamier died in Savile Row, London, on 12 October 1780. He was buried at St James, Piccadilly having left his property and estates in trust for his wife during her lifetime and then to a nephew, John des Champs, on condition that this beneficiary took the name and arms of the Chamier family.

Consequently, the London Gazette for 20 October 1780 shows that John des Champs had assumed by royal licence and authority his maternal uncle's name and armorial bearings. By 1784, the devisees of Anthony Chamier had joined in a sale of Batailles to Thomas Calverley - Mrs Dorothy Chamier nee Wilson survived until 1799 but John Ezechial (des Camps) Chamier was resident in India up to 1805.

Thomas Calverley, senior, reported to have been a chemist, married Miss Margaret Maria Foster: he died at Burwash in Sussex, 11 September 1797.A very close friend from his youth had been William Stevens, Treasurer of Queen Anne's Bounty [see article on Rev. Jonathan Boucher], who was accustomed to spending long weekends at Ewell and "thither he also very much resorted, for the ten years which he himself survived Mr. Calverley; visiting the widow, and afterwards the only son of his departed friend, the heir of his fortune and his virtues". The Calverleys' only child, son also called Thomas Calverley, arranged for Ewell Castle to be built, 1811-1814, on the site of an older family mansion and incorporated land historically associated with Batailles into the 'Ewell Castle Estate'. Thomas, junior, a bachelor, married the widowed Elizabeth Goldwyer Blagrave at St George's, Hanover Square on 1 June 1829 but she survived only until 1833 when her death is recorded at Cheltenham, aged 65. On the death of the widower Thomas at Ewell on 11 February 1842, aged 74, the property passed down to a nephew Hector William Bower Monro of Edmonsham, Dorset.

Monro had little time to enjoy his inheritance, dying at Ewell Castle on 20 March 1842, to be succeeded by his only son, Hector Monro, who had been born 4 October 1827. Educated at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, he served in the 5th Fusiliers, and for some time as Captain in the 57th Regiment of Foot. Presumably, as a serving officer, he had no immediate use for Ewell Castle and so it was leased to James Gadesden from Yorkshire before being sold to the tenant in 1852.

What happened to the principal buildings?

Earlier references to "Batailles" need to be reconsidered in relation to the 15th century mansion, the original manor house, and Ewell Parsonage.

a) The "fair mansion"
Manning and Bray appear to have confused the "new" property with the original hall, Botayles fee, held freehold, because it was the former that had been conveyed in perpetuity to Thomas Turgis during 1638. Presumably this house and land then descended through William Newland to his devisees and they sold to Philip Rowden who employed the architect William Newton to build Bourne Hall/Garbrand Hall circa 1765.

b) Ewell Parsonage
A deed* preserved in the National Archives shows that Henry and Nicholas Saunder agreed to sell the Rectory and Parsonage with one of the mills at Ewell to William Gardiner of Bermondsey in 1594. The conveyance was conditional and in effect it was a means of raising money comparable to borrowing on security. The Saunders, however, failed to make the payments required for recovery and so the property remained in possession of William Gardiner on his death in 1597.

His son William Gardiner of Lagham Manor or Park, near Godstone, then succeeded as "improprietor of the rectory" [lay as opposed to spiritual rector] comprising the rectory and rectorial estate which did not include the advowson [right of presentation to a living] of Ewell. These assets then passed by inheritance to a grandson also called William Gardiner who, in 1691, sold the property to Barton Holiday. Holiday, having acquired the advowson in 1703, re-sold to Sir Richard Bulkeley, Bart., "of the Kingdom of Ireland" and in 1709 the augmented rectorial estate came into the possession of Sir William Lewen. Knt., who held it until his death in 1721/2.

c) Batailles manor house
In a survey made in 1711, during the ownership of William Newland, reference is made to "The manor hous with Barnes, stables, and other outbuildings with orchard and garden, contayning by estimation one acre or be it more or less in the occupation of Samuel Abbot and also seven acres of land lying in the common fields..." Edward Martin is mentioned as a later occupant, with "the orchard and yard containing by estimation Three acres more or less..." Documentation of the disposal the manor house with its grounds has proved elusive but the conveyance before it was incorporated into the Rectory House/Glyn House estate is most likely to have taken place during the administration of the estate after William Newland's demise.


Brian Bouchard © 2009
Member of Leatherhead and District Local History Society


* Close Roll, 35 Eliz. C54/1460 On the 10 March 1594, Henry Saunder of the Inner Temple, gentleman, and Nicholas Saunder of Ewell, esquire, (sons of the late Nicholas Saunder of Surrey, esquire), for £660 agreed to sell to William Gardiner, the younger, of Bermondsey, Surrey, gentleman, and William Waite of the same, yeoman, the Rectory and Parsonage of Ewell, and that water mill called 'the nether mill' with two closes adjoining, in reversion after the death of Margaret Saunder, widow of Nicholas Saunder, deceased. Provided that if the said Margaret should die before 13 March 1595, Gardiner and Waite on request shall re-grant the premises to Nicholas Saunder for £660 to hold until 13 March 1595 at the yearly rent of a peppercorn. Provided always that if the Saunders on 13 March 1595 shall pay to Gardiner and Waite £660 at the elder Gardiner's house in Bermondsey, this indenture shall be void and of none effect.

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