Henry Kitchen of Ewell

in succeeding generations, carpenters, builders and architects

Ewell Castle - The seat of Thomas Calverley c1870
Ewell Castle - The seat of Thomas Calverley c1870

On 26 April 1672, Henery Keatchen, son of Henery Keatchen and Elizabeth, was baptised at Walton on the Hill. The father appears to have been a Blacksmith at Walton on the Hill in 1667 named Henry Kitchen: he and his wife Elizabeth, only daughter of John Franke of Walton on the Hill, both died before 1701.

Having married Hester Turney on 3 February 1701 at St Mary Abchurch the younger Henry and Hester brought their own son also called Henry Kitchen (1) to be christened at Ewell on 20 November 1703.

The will of Hester Kitchen, Widow of Ewell, was proved on 30 September 1741 - PROB 11/711.

Henry Kitchen of the first generation in Ewell - 1703 to 1787

On 2 February 1732, Henry Kitchen (1) of Ewell, carpenter, a bachelor aged 28, and Elizabeth Bartlet also of Ewell, spinster 25, gave notice of their intention to marry at Headley. The baptism of Henry Kitchen (2), son of Henry Kitchen and Elizabeth, took place at Ewell, 13 January 1733.

Elizabeth is believed to have died in 1736 before Henry Kitchen (1), yeoman, widower of Ewell, married secondly Mary Slyman or Sleyman, 21, on 8 or 17 December 1739 at Ewell or Walton on the Hill. Mrs Mary Kitchen died around 1762 and Henry (1) appears to have wed thirdly Elizabeth Earle of Ewell, widow, 1 May 1766.

Henry Kitchen of the second generation in Ewell - 1733 to 1804

Henry Kitchen (2) married Mary Johnson, a widow from Ewell, on 22 October 1763. He is believed to be the man variously described as builder, carpenter and bricklayer - probably acting generally as a contractor but particularly for bricklayers work on the Surrey Gaol and Sessions House (see below). He is thought also to have been the submitter of plans for the widening of Leatherhead Bridge in 1775. As Henry Kitchen, junior, he undertook during 1780 to erect a new gallery on the south side of St Mary's church paying for the work but recouping his costs by selling extra pews to Alexander Bridges and four others. This man is also mentioned on page 41 of Charles Abdy's A History of Ewell as providing an estimate for building and furnishing a new wing of the old Pest House in May 1781. Henry Kitchen of Ewell, carpenter, was party to an agreement on 19 May 1782 to purchase about 1,400 standing trees from Sir Nicholas Hackett Carew of Beddington, Bart. Additionally, there is a report that this Henry published a collection of his own house designs in Gothic style around 1786. In relation to Copyhold plot 252, he was described for 1789 as "Henry Kitchen, junior, Timber Merchant". His family home became established in Church Street.

Before 1799, Henry (2) was in possession of copyhold plot 268. Since the premises which became known as Dorset House, Cheam Road, (depicted below) appeared on the Enclosure Map surveyed in 1802 he may be assumed to have built the property, possibly for his own use as a main residence. He lived on, however, only for two more years.

Dorset House Front 1955 Dorset House Rear 1955
Dorset House in 1955
(Front elevation on left, Rear elevation on right)
Reproduced by permission of Surrey History Centre
Copyright of Surrey History Centre

Extract from the 1802 Enclosure Map
Extract from the 1802 Enclosure Map

Extract from the 1932 OS Map showing Dorset House
Extract from the 1932 OS Map showing Dorset House

Mary Kitchen nee Johnson died aged 71 circa 1792 leaving Henry (2) to contract a second marriage with Mary [?]. Henry Kitchen (3)'s birth followed on 14 October 1793 at Church Street, Ewell.

Henry Kitchen of the third generation in Ewell - 1793 to 1822

Henry Kitchen (2) died on 24 September 1804, aged, 71. The Will in which his occupation had been stated as 'Timber Merchant' was proved 10 October 1804, PROB 11/1415. He left a life interest in the residuary estate to his relict Mary after two properties, 6 & 8 Church Street, had been put into trust to provide for his only child Henry (3)'s education.

As a youth Henry Kitchen (3) studied under the architect 'Mr Wyatt' - suggested by some sources as Jeffry/Jeffery Wyatt later Wyattville but confirmed by the address 1 Foley Place to have been James Wyatt, Jeffery's uncle. Having exhibited designs of a bridge for a park & a conservatory at The Royal Academy during 1810, he was back there in 1813 with drawings for buildings at Elwel (sic) - T H Barrett's Dairy and T Calverley's Ewell House. His address is given as 36 St James's Place indicating that he had set up in practice on his own account. [In any case, James Wyatt died in a carriage accident on 4 September 1813.]

No doubt Henry (3) would have benefited from the fact that those commissioning his designs in Ewell, Thomas Hercey Barritt and Thomas Calverley, were neighbours and family acquaintances. The buildings had been erected by 1814.

T H Barritt's Dairy known as The Turrets, date not known
T H Barritt's Dairy known as The Turrets, date not known
Built in the grounds of Garbrand Hall, next to the Horse pond.
Demolished in 1969

In Pevsner's 'Surrey', the present Nonesuch House was described as stucco Gothic at its most gimcrack and Ewell Castle [rendered with Roman Cement] only slightly better.

By 23 April 1815, Henry Kitchen had gained appointment as Architect and Surveyor of the Norwich Union [Insurance] Company.

Part of a 1815 advertisement for Norwich Union appearing in the Liverpool Mercury
Part of a 1815 advertisement for Norwich Union appearing in the Liverpool Mercury

The widowed Mrs Mary Kitchen died on 13 July 1816; Will proved 6 November 1816, PROB 11/1586.

The two Church Street properties (now called Tabards and Malt End Cottage) had been sold early in 1816 at auction with Henry (3) mentioned as a surveyor, son of Henry Kitchen, carpenter.

The Australian connection

On 14 July 1816, Henry (3) Kitchen sailed from Cork on the Surry bound for Australia, as a free settler, with a letter of introduction to the Governor of the Colony from Lord Bathurst, Downing Street, dated 6 April 1816: -
"Mr. Kitchen having my permission to proceed to the Colony under your Government, I am to desire that you will grant to him an allotment of Land corresponding to the amount of Capital which he is able to satisfy you he has the means of commanding for its Cultivation.

Mr. Kitchen having been regularly educated as a Surveyor and Architect may render himself useful to you if the services of such a Professional Person should be required in the Colony.

I have the honour to be
Unfortunately, Governor Lachlan Macquarie had previously selected one of his convicts, with a record of achievement back in England, to the post of acting civil architect.

Henry advertised his services in the Sydney Gazette as follows:-
"Mr. Kitchen, Architect and Surveyor, a late pupil of James Wyatt, Esq., Surveyor General of His Majesty's Board of Works, begs leave to acquaint Gentlemen and others connected with Building, that he is desirous of Engaging, upon moderate terms, in the superintendency and actual Management of Designs, whether for plain and agreeable Residences, Storehouses, Field and Road Improvements, or any other plans of Rural Oeconomy [Economy], or of Town Improvement.
Mr. Kitchen, who has but recently arrived per the ship Surry, will be happy, previous to entering upon any actual Engagement to render every satisfaction to Gentlemen who may wish to favour him with their instructions, in a private conference, the result of which he has no doubt will be a confidence which will be his entire study to improve. - Apply 49, Philip Street."
Some of the difficulties are explained in Early Australian Architects and their Works, by Herman Morton, - www.sydneyarchitecture.com/HIST-EARLY/Hist-Early009.htm.

Henry had not been well as evidenced by the extract of a letter written in 1821 reproduced in the book. Amongst other tribulations was the theft of his 'foul linen' left out to be washed - [The King against Margaret Roach and Catherine Clarkson]

He died the following year and the following inscription was placed on his headstone in the Sandhills Cemetery, Sydney:-

formerly pupil of the justly celebrated JAMES WYATT, Esqre, deceased
Died April 8th 1822
Aged 29 Years

Subjected almost from the hour of his landing in these colonies to that of his death to a series of the most relentless and unmerciful oppressions, a severe and sudden illness contracted in the too ardent pursuit of his profession snatched him prematurely to the grave. At a time, too, when to render his fate the more to be lamented, a change the most propitious for the Colony, was but just developing his superior talents, and that promised to him many years of much happiness, and ultimately of fame and honour in his scientific labours. By these Colonies he is regretted as a professional loss not easily to be retrieved, by his friends as a friend for whom his misfortunes, gentle manners and cultivated genius had contributed to excite the highest respect and regard"
The epitaph is suspected of having been drafted by Henry Kitchen during his final illness in contemplation of his own demise.

His remains, with many others, were exhumed in 1901 to be re-interred in La Perouse, part of Botany cemetery. The memorial stone mentioned above does not appear to have survived.

The Sydney Gazette of 2 June 1822 contained the advertisement of a sale by auction: -

At his Auction Mart, Macquarie Place, on Tuesday next, the 25th Inst. at 1 I o'Clock in the Forenoon,

The following BOOKS belonging to the late Henry Kitchen, Esq. deceased, viz. Fischer's Architecture, 1 vol. folio; Newton's Vitruvius, 2 vol. folio; Soane's Architecture, 1 vol. folio; Hutton's Mathematics, 3 vol. 8vo; Kirwan's Minerology,2 vol.8 vo; Palazzi de Genoa, 1 vol. folio; Architecture du Vertruve, 1 vol. folio; Kirby's Architecture, 2 vol. folio; Perspective of Architecture, 2 vol. folio; Antiquities of Athens, 1 vol. folio; Andrea Palladio Architetts, 5 vol. folio; Beroa de Math, 1 vol. folio; Suley's Architecture, 1 vol. folio; Ware's Architecture, 1 vol.folio; N. Vovi Disegnidell Architecture, 1 vol. Folio."
Back in Ewell, Henry(3)'s name was added to the family's tomb in St Mary's churchyard as shown by a transcript associated with Plot 32 [Exwood]: -

Table tomb allstone - On South

In Memory of
Mr Henry Kitchen
who departed this life Nov 26 1787
aged 84 years
also Mary Kitchen
wife of Henry Kitchen Junr
who departed this life Feb 28th 1792
aged 71 years

On East

To the Memory of
Mr Henry Kitchen
who departed this life
(at Sydney in
New South Wales)
April 8th 1822
aged 29 years

North Side

To the Memory of
Mr Henry Kitchen Junr
died Septr 24 1804
aged 71 years

West Side

To the Memory of
Mrs Mary Kitchen
who departed this life
July 13th 1816
aged 64 years

Top Slab

In Memory of
Mr Henry Kitchen who
departed this life May 26th 1787
aged 81 years
also Mary Kitchen
wife of Henry Kitchen Junr
who departed this life Febry 28
1790 aged 71 years
Also Mrs Henry Kitchen
Relict of the above
Mr Henry Kitchen
who departed this life
July 13th 1816

Brian Bouchard © 2011
Images courtesy of Surrey Libraries and held in the
Epsom & Ewell Local And Family History Centre Collection

The Surrey Gaol and Session House 1791-1824

Surrey County Goal in Horsemonger Lane
Surrey County Goal in Horsemonger Lane

In 1791 the Surrey Justices purchased 3½ acres of market garden ground in Newington on which to build a new County Gaol and Sessions House. The ground abutted on Horsemonger Lane (afterwards renamed Union Road and now known as Harper Road). The prison, which was designed by George Gwilt the elder, consisted of a quadrangle of three storeys, three sides being used for criminals and the fourth for debtors. Provision was made for over 400 prisoners. (From: 'Southwark Prisons', Survey of London: volume 25: St George's Fields (The parishes of St. George the Martyr Southwark and St. Mary Newington) (1955) - www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=65440)

Notes regarding Henry Kitchen of Ewell who features in the records of the Surrey Gaol and Session House 1791-1824 by Surrey Record Society.

'He successfully tendered for the job of bricklayer for the new session house in competition with 8 others and was the only craftsman from outside London and its suburbs employed by the committee.

The accounts show several letters sent to him:
06 March 1793
Writing to Mr Kitchen Contractor for the Bricklayers work at the new gaol - 1/= (6p).
In 1791, more money had to be borrowed 'though brick deliveries were insufficient until Kitchen made his own'.
On 11 October 1799 Henry Kitchen bricklayer was paid £600/5/0.
The clerk listed him as Henry Kitchen and Co. of Ewell, carpenter and bricklayer.

Extracts from minutes of meetings of the acting magistrates:
20 June 1791
Bricklayer Henry Kitchen of Ewell to be contractor for bricklayer's works, his price being the lowest except for Thomas Corpe, who refused to comply with his proposals delivered on 11th June. Kitchen to give security himself in £400, and two sureties for £300 each for due performance of the contract.
02 August 1792
It appeared to the Committee that no blame was imputable to Mr Kitchen for the delay in the building of the Gaol, but that the cause was owing to the great scarcity of bricks. It was ordered that he should forward his part of the work to be done at the new Gaol 'with all possible expedition'.
19 December 1792
To Henry Kitchen the contractor for the bricklayer's work for sums not less than four hundred pounds at each payment, provided that neither of the said payments except the last should amount to the full proportional value of the work that should be completed by the sum of £400.
03 May 1793
Mr Kitchen attended being; being interrogated by the Committee as to the delay 'in his department' in the building of the New Gaol, informed the Committee that he had agreed with Mr Lovell for a large quantity of bricks, but that Mr Lovell had disappointed him in not delivering; being now himself making bricks, he hoped to have a larger supply on the premises than he had ever had yet.
16 April 1794.
It appearing to the Committee that Henry Kitchen the contractor for the bricklayer's work had been delayed in the performance of his part of the works about the New Gaol through the neglect of the masons and from other circumstances; and that he had thereby sustained considerable loss without any blame being imputable to him. The Committee was of the opinion that some compensation ought to be made to him.
It was ordered that a special meeting of the acting Magistrates of the County be called for the purpose of considering what compensation should be made; and that in the meantime Mr Gwilt (County Surveyor) will be directed to prepare an estimate of what losses the said H Kitchen might have sustained for the better information of such meeting; and that the Magistrates be particularly asked to attend.
The above consideration was postponed from 11 June 1794 [AC].
27th March 1799
[The Surveyor reported the whole amounts of the bills for completed contracts and that several duties on stone, bricks and slate imposed by the Government since the contracts were made have been allowed to the workmen and were included in this account]:
Vizt. Bricklayer's work done by H Kitchen £12735/15/0
Several contractors petitioned for compensation due to an increase in costs of materials, freight and labour occasioned by the breaking out of the War since entering into their contracts. Each one is listed and the surveyors report cited.
On Henry Kitchen's petition he reported that the bills for the brickworks done at the New Gaol amounted to the sum of £12735/15/0; that he had no doubt but that Mr Kitchen had been a considerable loser by the job, partly owing to his having undertaken the work at a low price and partly owing to his not being a bricklayer by trade and living at a distance from the work. That on examining the prices which other bricklayers proposed to do the business at when the contract was made it appeared that Mr Kitchen had done the job for 11/- per rod less than the next lowest offer which was made by John Howell and would have amounted to £800 more than it did at Mr Kitchen's price. That the next lowest price was made by John Drew whose proposal was 15/- per rod more than Mr Kitchen whereby the whole would have amounted to about £1000 more than it did at Mr Kitchen's price. That the last mentioned proposal of John Drew was a fair moderate price and as low as any bricklayer could afford to do the work for; consequently Mr Kitchen had done the same for £1000 less than what would have been a fair and reasonable price at the time the contract was made, and the rise in the price of labour and materials had added to his loss.
The minutes finish: 'Resolved unanimously that the sum of £600 was a fair and reasonable compensation to the said Henry Kitchen for the losses he had sustained'

Under Receipts and Payments 1791-2.
21 Sept 1791 To paid Henry Kitchen by Order of the Justices on account of building the New Gaol Workmen £700
21 May 1792 To paid Henry Kitchen on account of work done at the New Gaol Workmen £500
01 Sept 1792 Paid Henry Kitchen for work done at the County Gaol etc. by order of the Justices Workmen £500
  (4th payment)    
01 June 1793 The said Henry Kitchen for work done at The County Gaol etc by order of Justices Workmen £400
  (7th payment)    
22 June The said Henry Kitchen for work done at Do By order Do (7th payment) Workmen £400
13 July To Henry Kitchen bricklayer for work at the County Gaol.(9th payment).   £400
31 October Henry Kitchen (11th Payment)   £400
01 Jan Henry Kitchen (12th payment)   £400
17 May Henry Kitchen (13th payment)   £400
14 July Henry Kitchen (14th payment)   £400
25 August Henry Kitchen (15th payment)   £400
10 October Henry Kitchen (16th payment)   £400
02 Dec. Henry Kitchen (17th payment)   £550
30 April Henry Kitchen (18th payment)   £400
10 June Henry Kitchen (19th payment)   £500
24 August Henry Kitchen (20th payment)   £400
30 Sept Henry Kitchen (21st payment)   £400
19 Dec Henry Kitchen (22nd payment)   £500
07 March Henry Kitchen (23rd payment)   £400
14 June Henry Kitchen (24th payment)   £400
03 Nov Henry Kitchen bricklayer (27th payment)   £500
27 July Henry Kitchen bricklayer balance of account as per contract   £235/15/0
11 October Henry Kitchen bricklayer on account of loss Sustained by his contract   £600

With thanks to Angela Clifford

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