The Cholmleys of Ewell

Spring House
Spring House
Photographed by L.R. James in November 1968
Image courtesy of Epsom and Ewell Local and Family History Centre © 2014

In a history of Spring House, Ewell, on this website John Cholmley was reported to have taken possession of Spring House during 1799. Further details of the property are provided in a paper by the Epsom and Ewell History and Archaeology Society which mentions that Cholmley purchased 'Catwells house & orchard with 49 rods and two houses since pulled down'.

He came from Austin Friars, London where he operated as a merchant from leasehold premises.

John appears to have been one of at least seven children born from the union of Lewin, senior, and Mary Cholmley of Sutton, Surrey. He seems to have been baptised in Sutton parish church on 25 January 1740 and a brother William on 6 January 1746.

His fathers death is reported to have occurred on 22 December 1753: a faculty for a vault at west end of churchyard of Sutton Parish Church was granted, on 2 March 1754, by Benjamin, Bishop of Winchester, to Mary Cholmley widow and executrix of Lewin Cholmley of Sutton, esq, deceased,[Surrey History Centre 212/90/2].

On 7 April 1761 at St George Hanover Square, John Cholmley, bachelor of the parish, and Anne Hankey of Clapham, spinster, had been married by Rev. Harry Hankey. The bride was the youngest daughter of Sir Thomas Hankey. Anne died, 8 December 1778, and was interred at Sutton, Surrey, in the Cholmley family vault.

In 1799 John Pool Baratty and Edwin Davies sold 1a of meadow land in Lincroft, Ewell; Walnut Tree Pightle, Ewell, 1a 18p; and 1a in the common field called Lower Lincroft to John Cholmley in a public auction at King William Inn, Ewell. For The Enclosure of Ewell in 1803 Jno. Cholmley, Esq., was recorded as holding freehold plots 318 [Spring] House, Offices, Yard & Garden, 322/323 Walnut Tree Pightle, 324 In Lyncroft, and 427 Allotment in the Marsh.

Ewell Enclosure Map of 1802
Plot 318 on the Ewell Enclosure Map of 1802

John's brother William had married Henrietta Ann Sanxay (a daughter of Rev. James and Catherine, nee Firmin from Epsom, of Sutton) and their son Lewin Cholmley was baptised at St Mary Reigate, 24 June 1784. William Cholmley, however, died on 20 July 1785.

It may be inferred from John Cholmley's Will drawn up later in the year of 1785 that as a childless widower he took his late brother Willam's relict and her 5 offspring daughters Henrietta Ann, Mary, Frances Maria, & Jane with infant son Lewin, junior into his London home. The need for a bigger property to accommodate the enlarged family could explain a move to Spring House at Ewell fourteen years later. Certainly the Will of Mrs Henrietta Ann Cholmley, widow, was drawn up in Ewell on 3 June 1804.

Although his father is not named, Alumni Cantabrigienses, ed. John Venn, includes 'CHOLMLEY, LEWIN. Adm. Fell. Com. at Emmanuel, Oct. 20 1802. Matric. Michs. 1804; B.A. 1807'. In 1814 a reference may be found to 'Lewin Cholmley, Esq., M. A., Ewell'.

John Cholmley, Esq., of Austin Friars, died at Ewell in his 70th year; his mortal remains being taken to Sutton for burial in his family vault, in accordance with his Will dated 25 October 1785 'near the remains of his late wife, Anne..', on 10 October 1809.

The main beneficiary of John Cholmley's Will had been his nephew, Lewin, junior, who subsequently appeared in the Land Tax returns for Ewell. By 1825, however, Spring House is shown to have been rented out and Lewin is known to have moved to Gunby Park. His former residence, Spring House, was sold off at auction during 1834 at the King William IV Inn to George Ede, brewer, for £780. Also in 1834 Lewin Cholmley of Gunby Park, Spilsby, conveyed his freehold land in Ewell, including 2a in the Marsh which had been awarded to John Cholmley under the 1803 Inclosure Act, to William Gardener for £455.

On 22 September 1817, Mary Cholmley, Lewin's sister, had married Rev Leonard Elye Towne at South Stoke, Lincolshire.

Lewin's mother, Mrs Henrietta Ann Cholmley, widow, died at Gunby Park, aged 77 interred at Sutton in March 1829 and Will proved 3 September 1829.

Grunby Hall from the West
Grunby Hall from the West
By DeFacto (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Gunby Hall would only have been held by Lewin Cholmley on lease. The estate was owned at the relevant time by Peregrine Langton who had married Elizabeth Mary Anne Massingberd in 1802 and assumed the name of Massingberd in 1803.

Leonard Elye Towne, M A. Rector of Knipton, Leicestershire, died in 1830.

On 23 August 1836 at Holy Trinity Chelsea, the younger Lewin Cholmley married his cousin, Jane Peach, second daughter of Jane Sanxay and the late Rev. Henry Peach, B D, of St John's College and Cheam.

In addition to Gunby Hall they resided at 20 Eaton Square, London.

For the 1841 Census four of Lewin's daughters were enumerated at Worthing House, Worthing - Henrietta Cholmley, 55, Mary Towne, 55, Frances Cholmley , 50, & Jane Cholmley, 50.

For the last year or so of Mr Lewin Cholmley's life he lived with his wife at West End House, near Southampton, Hampshire, until his demise on 22 July 1849.

Miss Jane Cholmley died at Worthing during 1850 and Henrietta Maria Cholmley a year later [reg, Worthing respectively 3/1850 & 3/1851].

Mrs Jane Cholmley moved into 3 Union Place, Worthing, on a 21 year lease from 25 March 1851.

Shown as resident in Worthing House for the 1851 Census were Mary Towne, Head, Widow, aged 71, born in London, and F. M. Cholmley, Sister, Single, aged 69, born Reigate.

The death of Mrs Mary Towne came to be registered in Worthing for the June Quarter, 1857. Her sister Miss Frances Maria Cholmley died at Worthing House 15 February 1861 [reg. Worthing 3/1861].

Jane, widow of Lewin Cholmley, Esq. of West End House, near Southampton, died 13 March 1869 at Worthing [reg. 3/1869].

Memorial inscription at Christ Church, Worthing - on the East Window -

'In memory of Lewin Cholmley who died July XXII, MDCCCXLIK aged LXV years
and
of Jane Cholmley his Wife who died March XIII, MDCCCLXIX aged LXXVII years'.

Their remains were interred in a vault at the church under a stone inscribed - 'They rest from their labours, and their works do follow them'.

Brian Bouchard © March, 2017