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Surrey Record Society
Sources for Epsom and Ewell History
The Surrey Record Society edits and publishes documents of interest to local researchers. For a hundred years they have been bringing out editions that shed light on everything from medieval piety to Victorian railway fever. Many of their volumes have references to Epsom and Ewell and these notes are intended to gather all the information into one place, with some suggestions of their use for local historians.
Confused by the numbering system used by Surrey Records Society? - then click here.
Epsom, Ewell and Cuddington in the publications of the Surrey Record Society
Registrum Johannis de Pontissara, ed. Montague Giuseppi (Surrey Record Soc. 1 & 6, 1913-24).
John de Pontoise was bishop of Winchester from 1282 to 1304. The register covers his business in administering the diocese: p18, rebuilding chancel of St. Martin's church, 1285; pp38-9 and 95, the admission of a new rector of Ewell; pp249-50, church officials including Peter de Ewell are beaten up at Carshalton; p607, a list of churches includes Ewell, Epsom and Cuddington.
Court Rolls of the Manor of Carshalton from the reign of Edward the Third to that of Henry the Seventh, ed. Montague Giuseppi, Hilary Jenkinson and Dorothy Powell (Surrey Record Soc. 2, 1916).
Nothing relating to Epsom and Ewell.
Surrey Musters (Taken from the Loseley MSS.), ed. Montague Giuseppi, Hilary Jenkinson and Theodore Craib (Surrey Record Soc. 3, 1914-19).
These transcripts from the Loseley manuscripts list various musters of men to serve as militia in the Tudor period: pp5-6, men mustered in 1569 (but the reference to Ewell on p10 is a mistake); pp149-50, military equipment; pp182-3, 190, 211 and 322, list of men from Copthorne Hundred in 1583, 1584 and 1585 (some from Ewell and Epsom); p287, men from Ewell and Nonsuch listed in 1597.
Surrey Wills: Archdeaconry Court, Herringham Register, ed. Ethel Stokes (Surrey Record Soc. 4, 1915-20).
The register (called Herringman after the first name listed) records Tudor and Stuart wills enrolled by the archdeacon's court: p3/no.11, 5/no.21, 21/no.96, 29/no.133, 30/no.136, 76/no.352, 83/no.375, 105/no.467, 109/no.480, 138/no.599, 156/no.673, 199/no.862, 206/no.896, 222/no.967, 253/no.1105, 257/no.1123, 260/no.1137, 269/no.1177 are the wills of Ewell and Epsom residents, mostly husbandmen or yeomen but with a saddler, a carpenter, a labourer and a few women, from 1595 to 1606.
All of these are rich in family detail and there are occasional sidelights into property, costume (a livery cloak and sandy coloured cloth jerkin) and living arrangements (a daughter shall have three chambers over the kitchen for her lifetime). Also at p27/no.126, 61/no.284, 136/no.590, 247/no.1078 there are some more wills mentioning Ewell and Epsom.
This edition of the Herringman Register has now been incorporated in Cliff Webb's much more extensive publication of Surrey and South London wills.
Surrey Wills: Archdeaconry Court, Spage Register, ed. Charles Lethbridge Kingsford (Surrey Record Soc. 5, 1922).
This contains wills enrolled in the same format as the Herringman Register but of earlier date: p4/no.13, 5/no.17, 28/no.103, 40/no.133, 55/no.186, 64/nos.218, 219 and 220, 66/no.225, 83/no.286, 92/no.321, the wills of Ewell and Epsom (and one Horton) residents 1484-9.
Being pre-Reformation these give insights into late Catholic spirituality; some people request to be buried in the church and there are bequests for mortuaries and tithes forgot as well as gifts (usually measures of malt or barley rather than money) to lights of the saints, or of the Cross, or of the church. Money is left for the repair of a pond in the Kingston Road and among the goods bequeathed are gowns, cauldrons and candlesticks, together with a great deal of livestock including a young bullock and a calf with a white face.
As with the Herringman Register (vol. 4, 1915-20), this edition of the Spage Register now been incorporated in Cliff Webb's much more extensive publication of Surrey and South London wills.
The Pipe Roll for 1295, Surrey Membrane, ed. Margaret H. Mills (Surrey Record Soc. 7, 1924).
Nothing relating to Epsom and Ewell.
The Parish Register of Wimbledon, co. Surrey, ed. Arthur William Hughes Clark (Surrey Record Soc. 8, 1924).
This consists of standard register entries for Wimbledon: p107, two Epsom residents get married here in 1733.
The Parish Registers of Abinger, Wotton, and Oakwood Chapel, co. Surrey, ed. Margaret Eleanor Malden (Surrey Record Soc. 9, 1927).
Again, this consists of standard register entries for three more parishes: pp66, 68 (twice), 72, 179, Epsom and Ewell residents appear being married 1687-1753; and, pp204, 213, being buried 1715-1779; pp260-1, poor boys in Epsom are among the beneficiaries of a charitable will.
Surrey Apprenticeships from the Registers in the Public Record Office, 1711-1731, ed. Hilary Jenkinson (Surrey Record Soc. 10, 1929).
This was extracted from registers of apprentices in the National Archives, with entries for the years 1711-31 rearranged alphabetically by name: nos. 16, 17, 47, 74, 85, 124, 136, 149, 150, 233, 290, 299, 301, 486, 604, 634, 781, 795, 869, 1001, 1064-5, 1114, 1130, 1234, 1456, 1577, 1717, 1797, 1886, 1911, 1952, 1986, 2137, 2138, 2198, 2274, 2326, 2448, 2522, 2551, 2581, 2836, 2887, 2922 record the children of Epsom or Ewell fathers apprenticed out elsewhere, generally to London (and frequently to citizens of the City) but also to the other Surrey towns. Nos. 321, 423, 456, 596, 784, 963, 1296, 1310, 1427, 1505, 1506, 1568, 1613, 1646, 1678, 1976, 2010, 2012, 2222, 2268, 2479, 2726, 2863, 2916 are children apprenticed from other Surrey towns (but not from London) to masters in Epsom or Ewell; and nos. 619, 909, 910, 1028, 1066, 1510, 1511, 1651, 2920 deal with apprenticeship arrangements taking place within Epsom and Ewell.
Since the registers always specify the trade to which the apprentices were bound, and usually also that of their father, they constitute a picture of commercial activity in Epsom and Ewell. The date-range of 1711-31 is particularly valuable here as it covers the last years of Epsom Spa, and there are no comparable sources apart from the details of trades given with property transactions in Lehmann's Copyholds. There is a useful discussion, at national level, of these registers in Keith Snell's Annals of the Labouring Poor (Cambridge UP, 1985) pp291-8. On the evidence of the apprenticeships, Epsom and Ewell had an apothecary, barber, watchmaker, coffeeman, victualler, grocer, butcher, baker, and pastrycook, along with a tallowchandler, saddler, cordwainer, smith, carpenter and bricklayer (for elegant 18th century houses) and thatcher (for something more basic). Most of the apprentices were boys but girls were taken on by a mantua-maker and staymaker; however, staymaking was not an exclusively female job, as we also find a boy being apprenticed to it.
The London trades taking on Epsom and Ewell boys are of a more sophisticated character and include a barber and peruquemaker, gold and silver wire drawer, armourer, leatherseller, wheelwright and coachmaker. The high-ranking status of apothecaries is made clear by the fact that a gentleman's son, and a late rector's son, were among those apprenticed to them. A sum of money was made over the new master as payment for educating the apprentice, and this gives a quantified insight into the value people placed on the different trades. The standard rate started at £5 for a carpenter and went up to £30 for a barber-surgeon, with an exceptional £50 for a citizen and grocer and £300 for a citizen and haberdasher. The unfortunate taken on by an Epsom gentleman for £1 was evidently a domestic servant being hired under the pretext of apprenticeship and some of the other trades, such as framework knitter, may have been hiring boys as factory hands and not as apprentices in any real sense.
The alphabetical arrangement makes it possible to identify the strategies followed by particular families in putting their children out to apprenticeships. In many cases fathers are recorded as having died, suggesting that putting children out to learn a trade was part of a strategy of survival for the family. The goal was always to move from the family's original employment to another of equal or higher status, preferably in a better location - hence the drift from villages to Epsom, and from Epsom to London. Since many apprentices probably made their home in the places where they had learnt a trade, their choice of somewhere to find a master illustrates patterns of population drift.
Surrey Taxation Returns, Fifteenths and Tenths: Being the 1332 Assessment and Subsequent Assessments to 1623, ed. J.F. Willard and H.C. Johnson (Surrey Record Soc. 11, 1932).
This is a transcript of the 1332 Lay Subsidy assessment, one of the best-recorded medieval taxes, with some details of earlier and later assessments; p.xxxi, list of those fined for concealing tax for Copthorne Hundred in 1290 (some from Ewell, Cuddington and Epsom); pp77, 78, 79, a full list of the taxpayers of Epsom (in three separate tranches), Cuddington, and Ewell in 1332; pp79, 102, 110, 111, the names of the local tax collectors in 1332, 1419, 1545 and 1559 (some from Ewell, Cuddington and Epsom); p.lxviii, tax collected from Ewell, Cuddington and Epsom in 1336; p175, abatements of the tax rating for Cuddington and Ewell in 1435/6; pp151, 152, 162 allowances for the loss of taxation through the enclosure of land in Nonsuch Park after 1545; and pp126-7, a brief comparison of taxation from Cuddington (after 1545 'Cuddington now Nonsuch'), Epsom and Ewell from 1332 to the seventeenth century, also noting changes in the forms of their names.
The 1332 assessment lists all the heads of household by name - excluding those too poor to pay tax, but there don't seem to have been many of these. It therefore gives a cross-section of the village population. It was made when surnames were only a generation or two old - some people are still called after their homes (at Well, at Church) and with the family le Smith we can see an occupational name becoming hereditary.
The recording of assessments for each taxpayer makes it possible to construct a model of wealth distribution in the villages: the same can be done for the 1408 and later manorial surveys at Ewell, but those record only tenure of land, while the 1332 figures are based more realistically on the ability to pay tax on land and goods. Tax payment from Ewell, Cuddington and Epsom can also be benchmarked against that of other Surrey settlements, giving an idea of absolute size - there is little, at this stage, to suggest that Cuddington was in decline - and of differences in the internal distribution of wealth. Similar benchmarking is possible, though on a cruder scale, using the county-wide figures provided for some of the later assessments.
Chertsey Abbey Cartularies, ed Montague Giuseppi and Hilary Jenkinson (Surrey Record Soc. 12, 1915-63).
This was issued in two volumes, reflecting a division between two sections in the original document. The first section dealt with the charters which endowed the Abbey with rights of a general character, followed by a (somewhat awestruck) enumeration of the things achieved by John Rutherwyke during his abbacy, 1307-41. The second section was laid out manor by manor, giving a sequence of the deeds by which the Abbey came to hold land there. The entries themselves are not usually dated, but editorial notes (1 pp.xx-xxix, 2 pp.xc-xciii) provide dates for most of them. The Latin text is given with introductory notes to each entry in English.
Beginning, then, with volume 1: p4/no.6, 11/no.16, 13-18/nos.20-9, 33-8/no.46-53, 46/ no.68, tithes, pensions and other income arising from the appropriation of the churches of Ewell and Epsom; p72/ no.80, the endowment of the vicarage at Epsom; p42/no.61, 80/ no.89, 209/nos.318-9, 242/no.388, 322/no.576, 324/nos.582-3, Ewell and Epsom people in property transactions and witness lists; p122/ no.134, lawsuit over a Ewell property; p281/no.477, 282/no. 480, 292/no.514, 311/no.547, 317/no.560, 318/no.562, 321/nos.572-3, 322/no.575, the achievements of Abbot John Rutherwyke, which include building a new grange at Epsom with dovecots and oxhouse and sheepcote, and planting a wood there.
And volume 2: p373/no.1295, confirmation of the abbey's 12th-century hunting rights and rights to have a park in Epsom; pp358-60/no.1264-6, a grazing dispute in 1326; pp394-9/nos.1324-5, manorial accounts of 1350, including a list of livestock (and tiles for Epsom manor under the Bookham accounts); pp108-9/nos.843-4, 115-8/nos.863-5, 134/no.877, 235-7/no.1083-5, general grants of land including Epsom; pp178-80/nos.950-2, 214/no.1034, 219/no.1050, 207/no.1146, 271/no.1155, Epsom people in property transactions; pp200-7/nos.1004-23, 212-13/nos.1030-2, the main section of 'charters and muniments concerning lands and rents purchased by ancient parties in the manor of Epsom' (and Horton) from the 1240s to the 1340s; pp207-12/nos.1024-9, grants of the sub-manor of Brettgrave within Horton; pp317-27/no.1232, a rental dated 1496; p327/no.1233, a boundary of Epsom; p342/no.1243, the 1490 revision of a tax on villeins, recording only two in Epsom; p347/no.1247, villein taxation again; p224/no.1060, mention of 'the common way that leads from Mertone to Codyngton'.
The manorial accounts are discussed in the introduction, p.xlix and cxxvi-viii; pp.lii-iv compares values with those of the Valor Ecclesiasticus in 1535 and p.lv with those of the View & Survey of the King's Possessions in 1547-50. The View & Survey also covered Ewell (originally published in the Bulletin of the Nonsuch Antiquarian Society) and Epsom - these surveys can be found elsewhere on this website. The recital of the manor boundaries was evidently copied to go with the 1496 rental but seems from the forms given for place-names to be c.1300; it runs clockwise around the parish boundary, starting at the northern tip in Brettgrauesherne, but confining itself to landmarks on the Downs and Common. The grazing dispute, which seems to have arisen from uncertain bounds on the Downs, ended with men from Banstead and Walton impounding 1500 sheep from the Epsom manorial flock, several of which died while the argument was being sorted out; if the figure of 1500 is real and not exaggerated for the purposes of litigation, it suggest a very substantial investment in sheep. The smaller 14th-century transactions are mostly sales though some of them are grants for the sake of religion. The parcels of land are small, consisting of acres (often given by name) here are there in the common fields. The grants are made by leading members of the peasant community and in one case by the vicar, who reserved a quitrent of one root of gillyflower. There is mention of purprestures, a newly built house, 'the ditch of the park' and 'the highway which leads from the Court of Ebbesham towards Kingeston'.
Much more detail of this sort is available in the 1496 rental, which is similar in character to the 1408 Register or Memorial of Ewell, except that the Epsom document is set out in order of tenant and records landholding only as it affects rents paid. The list of people seems to reflect the whole village population but not all the land is listed; some entries record previous holders of lands as well as tenement names, which would reflect the state of things in the 13th century before the land market became more active. Openfield acres, closes, and meadow land are recorded; place-names and some of the tenement names can be compared with the earlier forms found in the 14th-century court rolls (noted below). Crofts or small hedged enclosures, have names and some are the sites of houses; houses are said to be 'next le Smyth Hacch', near Stamford Chapel, 'next the cross of Ebbesham' (this is where the Playstowe was), or At Clay (the later Clay Hill). The roads are Churchstrete, Ebbesham Strett, Allwynlane, Wodecottlane, and 'the highway leading from Ewell to Ebbesham Court'. The Nether Mill in Ewell was reckoned as part of Epsom.
Surrey Quarter Sessions Records: The Order-Book for 1659-1661, and the Sessions Rolls for Easter and Midsummer, 1661, ed Dorothy Powell and Hilary Jenkinson (Surrey Record Soc. 13, 1934). Surrey Quarter Sessions Records: The Order-Book for 1661-1663, and the Sessions Rolls from Michaelmas, 1661, to Epiphany, 1663, ed Dorothy Powell and Hilary Jenkinson (Surrey Record Soc. 14, 1935). Surrey Quarter Sessions Records: The Order-Books and the Sessions Rolls, Easter, 1663-Epiphany, 1666, ed Dorothy Powell and Hilary Jenkinson (Surrey Record Soc. 16, 1938). Surrey Quarter Sessions Records: Order Book and Sessions Rolls 1666-1668, ed Dorothy Powell (Surrey County Council, 1951).
The publication of Quarter Session records was a joint project shared between the Surrey Record Society and the Records & Ancient Monuments Committee of Surrey County Council. There were three volumes issued concurrently by these two bodies; you can tell who issued which by the title page, and by the size of volume, since SRS copies were issued as a large 8o with a generous margin, 9¼ by 6 inches, while SCC ones were trimmed to a smaller format, 8¼ by 5¼ inches. The letterpress is the same.
The original plan was for three volumes, to be edited by Dorothy Powell and (Mr.) Hilary Jenkinson. Surrey Quarter Sessions 1659-1661 was issued as SRS volume 13 and SCC Record Series volume 6; Surrey Quarter Sessions 1661-3 as SRS 14 and SCC 7; Surrey Quarter Sessions 1663-6 as SRS 15 and SCC 8. Subsequently the SRS pulled out of the joint arrangement but the SCC continued, issuing a fourth volume Surrey Quarter Sessions 1666-8 which was edited by Powell and numbered 9 in their record series. Details of the 1666-8 volume are included below, although strictly speaking it is not in the SRS series. The four books are sometimes cited as if they were volumes 1 to 4 of a single publication but given the complexity of the publishing operation it is best to treat them separately. The series begins with the earliest surviving records of Sessions but they continued well into the nineteenth century so that the published records are only an introduction to the material available.
Quarter Sessions for this period are valuable as a prosopography of the 'middling sort' - the yeomen farmers, tradesmen and small landowners who appear also as manorial tenants and Hearth Tax payers for the same period. Record linkage is made easier by the very high level of involvement in local government that was expected from ordinary property owners at this time: almost everyone would sooner or later serve on some kind of jury or act in court. Note, however, that while the first two volumes of Surrey Quarter Sessions list hundredal jurors, sureties for recognisances and so on in the text, the second two amalgamate these references into a single alphabetical list at the end of the book, from which the reader has to reconstitute the original information. The volume for 1663-6 lists Epsom and Ewell people under the names of Barrett, Belsheere, Billet, Box, Brigland (Allen and John), Evanes, Hoard (Edmond and Thomas), Kinge, Leates, Lewis, Longhurst, Mitchell, North, Palmer, Parkkurst (Charles and William), Reynolds, Rogers, Shere, Shore, Start, and Wilmot. That for 1666-8 has them under the names of Barrett, Basemore, Bayes, Bird, Blake, Blundell, Bourne, Box, Boyce, Burchett, Dingley (Allen and Thomas), Jones, King, Ledwell, Legg, Letts, Lewes, Lewis, Lining, Mitchell (John and Thomas), Parkhurst, Russe, Spurling (Nicholas and Thomas), Steere and Woodman.
The least demanding public duty was to appear as a juror for the hundred of Copthorne, which was usually administered jointly with the half-hundred of Effingham. By 1660 the units that made up the hundred were parishes, not tithings as had once been the case, and there were 11 of these in Copthorne; since they contributed a jury of up to 24 people, the prominence of Epsom and Ewell men in the list of those chosen reflects the relative status of these parishes against the rest. Jurors were not listed by name in 1659-61 but in subsequent years Ewell jurors are named in 1661-3 pp16, 84, 247; 1663-6 p62 (details in text) and pp121, 153 (details in alphabetical list at end); and 1666-8 pp170, 242 (details in alphabetical list at end). Epsom jurors are named in 1661-3 pp84, 247; 1663-6 p62 (details in text) and pp121, 153, 188, 225 (details in alphabetical list at end); and 1666-8 pp98, 170, 242 (details in alphabetical list at end).
The next stage in responsibility was to act as one of the two petty constables keeping the peace in each village. Originally these were appointed by the manorial court; the customs of Epsom as recorded in the survey of 1680 include the annual appointment of 'Two Constables the One for the Towne the other for Woodcott; Two Headboroughs One for the Towne the other for Woodcott and also one Aletaster'. At a later date the parish vestry seems to have assumed the responsibility, since in Ewell, according to Cloudesley Willis (History of Ewell p100) 'the salaried parish officers in 1780 were a Constable, a Headborough, who was a petty constable, and a Beadle'. The appointment of constables for Ewell appears in 1659-61 p29; 1663-6 p80; and 1666-8 p53. The appointment of constables for Epsom appears in 1666-8 pp8, 28.
At a higher level there was the post of High Constable for the hundred of Copthorne, the person responsible for executing decisions made by or passed through the hundred administration. The hundred had two High Constables, so that as with jurors, the frequency with which people were chosen from Epsom and Ewell rather than Banstead or Leatherhead reflects a local ranking of settlements. As with petty constables, a new officer was chosen each alternate year so that he started in the company of a more experienced colleague. High Constables from Ewell appear in 1659-61 p46; 1661-3 pp35, 16/195/233/291; and 1666-8 p7 (details in alphabetical list at end). Those from Epsom appear in 1661-3 p5; 1663-6 pp57; and 1666-8 p27
Quarter Sessions derived some of its funds through fines - in 1659-61 p5, a rate was levied on Epsom (though not Epsom Court or Horton) as restitution for a robbery committed. In 1663-6 pp35-6 we have a plan for allocating costs throughout the county in proportion to ability to pay, which gives some insight into the wealth of Epsom and Ewell relative to other places. It forms a useful benchmark against the Hearth Tax which aimed to do the same thing, and at the same time.
The administration was clearly able to get money out of people, otherwise we wouldn't hear, as we do in 1663-6 p83, of a successful scam by Ewell labourers in which they pretended to have license to take fines from victuallers. There's also a case, 1666-8 p236, in which the sheriff's bailiff took a fine from someone who had made a false arrest and then kept the money for himself; this happened at Epsom although the parties lived elsewhere.
Much of the routine business of Quarter Sessions concerned highway maintenance: see 1659-61 p134; 1661-3 pp107, 264; 1663-6 pp170/218/235, 214; and 1666-8 pp213/249, all from Ewell. There are also presentments from Epsom for maintaining a gate, 1666-8 p101, and fencing a well, 1666-8 p144, beside the highway. Failure to maintain ditches is recorded, 1663-6 p170, as is the diversion of a watercourse, 1666-8 p139, both in Ewell. Under the heading of planning rather than environmental health we have complaints that people in Epsom have built cottages without land attached, 1666-8 p226. From the context it seems that those fined were squatters building their own homes rather than landlords.
Fines on innkeepers and victuallers are a recurrent theme: 1659-61 pp108/137, 1661-3 pp90-1/131/203/236, 1663-6 p101 and 1666-8 p88. Significantly these all come from Ewell, not Epsom, and taken as a whole Surrey Quarter Sessions represents the period 1659-68 in which Epsom was still the less important of the two settlements despite the rise of the Spa.
Quarter Sessions also had power to enforce religious uniformity. 1661-3 pp110/127/171/201/239 contains repeated summonses for the rector of Ewell who was refusing to use the Book of Common Prayer. Sessions' weak powers of enforcement mean that a case might come up repeatedly before them; the same defective innkeepers and unmade roads recur just as often as the foot-dragging minister. In 1666-8 p171 there is a presentment of a conventicle at Epsom, with a list of the London merchants attending. As they were clearly people of some standing, it is unlikely that anyone meant to do anything about this.
Several entries deal with variations on crime and anti-social behaviour. In 1666-8 p126 an Epsom labourer is reported as a common drunkard. In 1659-61 pp154/156 and1661-3 p94, there are summons for the inhabitants of Ewell to appear touching trespasses. In 1661-3 p190 and 1666-8 p21, Ewell men are bound to be of good behaviour, and the same at Epsom in 1663-6 p259 (with his sureties in alphabetical list at end). In 1663-6 pp185 and 252, two Ewell men stand surety for good behaviour (named in alphabetical list at end). In 1663-6 pp73/259, a recognisance is taken against a Ewell man for fathering a bastard (sureties in alphabetical list at end) and in 1663-6 p161, the same at Epsom. Both the subjects and sureties of recognisances have their trades recorded alongside their names, and this can be correlated with what we know from manorial and apprenticeship documents about trades and their social ranking in the community.
Cases of violence are not common although in 1666-8 p121 Ewell men appear to have mugged a gentleman at Banstead. In 1661-3 pp32/189/281 and 1661-3 pp60/251/281, Ewell men are charged with theft. There is a curious run of references in 1666-8 pp25/40/133/153/201 to Ewell men (but one reference calls one 'of Croydon') who are indicted, first for carrying off 60 elms from Carew Manor and then for stealing 'wood, pales, quicksets etc.' from Nonsuch. Other Ewell men (named in alphabetical list at end) stand surety for their good behaviour. Sixty trees is hardly petty theft and one wonders whether this is not some kind of small claims case against a nurseryman who had defaulted on planting out the two parks.
In 1663-6 pp10-11/41/47 we have a dispute between Malden and Ewell over the settlement of a servant girl who had fallen sick while employed in Worcester Park, on the claim that Worcester Park (then, of course, in Nonsuch) was extra-parochial; the case was decided for Ewell. In 1661-3 p70 and in 1663-6 pp15, 72, arrangements are made for pensions for maimed soldiers including men in Epsom and Ewell, evidently Civil War veterans.
In their later volumes, Surrey Quarter Sessions offer some sidelights on the rise of Epsom Spa. 1663-6 pp70-1 records the shutting of Epsom Wells at the time of the Great Plague; in p76, Ewell is rebated from its share of costs for supporting sufferers from the plague in Southwark, as it had itself suffered. 1666-8 p17 notes that Epsom had failed to pay its share of costs for supporting Southwark, perhaps for the same reason. Then in 1666-8 pp54/225-6/238 comes a riot involving several Epsom men and women, clearly linked by marriage; the women had publicly spoken scandalosi verbi about Richard Evelyn viz 'he cheates the Poore paupers', and their husbands and in-laws had then smashed up the conduit head for Epsom Wells. Everyone is bound to be of good behaviour, with some more Epsom men (named in alphabetical list at end) standing surety, and things return to their usual calm.
Surrey Manorial Accounts. A Catalogue and Index of the Earliest Surviving Rolls
down to the Year 1300, ed. Helen M. Briggs (Surrey Record Soc. 15, 1935)
This briefly mentions land at Cuddington (p.xxxii, 58) and the activities of Walter de Cuddington, probably to be identified with the Walter de Portsmouth who was rector of Cuddington in the thirteenth century (p.xxx, xlix).
Surrey Hearth Tax 1664, ed Cecil A.F. Meekings (Surrey Record Soc. 17, 1940)
The Hearth Tax was raised by counting the number of fireplaces in each house and levying an annual assessment on their occupants. From 1662 to 1664 it was managed through the machinery of local government, which kept a full record of properties and occupants (including the poorer properties which were exempt from payment). The tax returns are therefore equivalent to a census of householders, and since the number of hearths is a rough measure of the size of houses, it gives an index to the distribution of wealth which is particularly valuable because it can be collated with matching contemporary figures across the country. For more analysis of the local Hearth Tax returns, see the page elsewhere on this website.
The Surrey records of the 1663 tax were tabulated twice, once as a roll, and once as returns. Epsom and Ewell appear in both of these, more or less identically (p.ciii, cxxiii) except that the roll lists Horton separately from Epsom and the return amalgamates them. The two sources differ over the names of the two Ewell constables responsible for collecting the money, but agree on the two from Epsom and the single constable for Horton.
In editing the Hearth Tax, Cecil Meekings took the curious decision not to print the document as it existed, but to turn it into its own index by rearranging the returns for all of Surrey's parishes into a single alphabetical list of people, with no geographical index. It is therefore necessary to read the whole book to reconstitute the residents of a single place.
The Epsom entries are under the names of Adison, Adkins, Amos, Andrews, Barnes, Barrat, Bartlet, Bartlett, Borne, Box, Boyce, Brigstocke, Robert Burd Junior and Senior, Butcher, Challiner, Charlwood, Chasmore, Clayton, Cooper, Henry Day, Thomas Day, Dewlay, Ellyott, Evelyn, Fenn, Fowke, Foxe, Franke, Grout, Grove, Howard, Humphrey, Ireland, Jones, Emanuell King Junior and Senior, John King, Widdow King, Lankashere, Legg, Letts, Lewis, Lin, Robert Maynard Junior and Senior, Merret, Michill, Morris, North, Pallmer, John Parker, Nicholas Parker, Ralph Parker, Thomas Parker, William Parker, William Parkes and John Rogers, Parnell, Parsons, Pike, Ramsey, Richbell, Robert, Roger Rogers, Thomas Rogers, William Rogers, Sanders, Shore, Christopher Sims, John Sims, Start, Steevens, Sterre, Ward, Wheeler, and Woodman.
The Horton entries are under the names of Arnoll, Bartlett, Bird, Cowheele, Eastford, Ledwell, Michell, Parker, Sander, Spurlin, Sta-, and Wood.
The Ewell entries are under the names of Adams, Alder, Allingham, Anderson, Bagnall, Nicholas Baker, Ballard, Bancks, Peter Basmore, Widdow Basmore, Bauldin, Bayes, Blake, Boorne, Briglan, Brigland, Broadwater, Burd, Calante, Caleway, George Chasmor, John Chasmor, John Chelsum, Thomas Chelsum, Childe, Chyld, Ralph Cooper, Widdow Cooper, Cuddington, John Cudington, Widdow Cudington, Cutler, Dowce, Downing, Ellyott, Evans, Fendall, Fowle, Fowler, Fox, Franck, Fuler, Furnis, Gittins, Robert Gunn, William Gunn, John Hawkins, Samuel Hawkins, Thomas Hawkins, Heyhurst, Hoard, Hodgkins, Edmund Hoord, Thomas Hoord, Hulme, Isted, Knap, Loveday, Lucock, Michell, Matthew Myls, Widdow Myls, Mynors, Newman, Niblett, Nickolls, Parish, Parkhurst, William Parkis the Maltman, William Parkis the Smith Peirce, Pingh, Renolls, John Rogers, Robert Rogers, Widdow Rogers, Sands, Saunders, Skeete, Start, Surpland, John Tayler, Peter Tayler, Widdow Taylor, Teg, Widdow Tegg, William Tegg, Terrill, Umphry, James Waterer, John Waterer Junior, John Waterer Senior, Wells, White, Wilkins, Willmott, and Woodman. John Baker, who should be entry 89 for Ewell, was omitted by Meekings.
Lambeth Churchwardens' Accounts, 1504-1645, and Vestry Book, 1610, ed. Charles Drew (Surrey Record Soc. 18 & 20, 1941-50).
In 1569/70 the curate and churchwardens attend on the Bishop at Ewell (p103). As Ewell was the nominal seat of a Deanery, it seems to have been chosen as a venue for visitations and the like.
Abstracts of Surrey Feet of Fines, 1509-1558, ed. Cecil A.F. Meekings (Surrey Record Soc. 19, 1946).
A fine or final concord was an agreement between two parties over the ownership of land (not the modern sort of fine or sum paid in punishment). In medieval law, there were restrictions on buying and selling freehold land, but from the thirteenth century onwards the fine was used as a device to convey it from seller to purchaser and place a record of the transaction beyond dispute; both parties pretended to an imaginary dispute, this was made up in court by the confirmation of land to the one and payment to the other, and the decision was placed on record. Details were written in triplicate on a sheet which was then divided in three, one side going to each party and the foot to the court archive (hence 'feet of fines').
Earlier feet of fines, from 1195 to 1509, had been abstracted in Pedes Finium, Or Fines Relating to the County of Surrey, ed. Frank B. Lewis (Surrey Archaeological Soc., 1894). Meekings is a bit sniffy about this book, as it fails to note the differences between the various diplomatic forms used for legal business over the centuries, but as a guide to property transactions it is just as useful and covers a wider period of time.
Most of the surrenders in Abstracts of Surrey Feet of Fines relate to land in Ewell (p2/ no.6, 8/ no.54, 8/ no.57, 18/ no.130, 38/ no.281, 41/ no.299, 88/ no.680, 99/ no.757, and 103/ no.785) but there are also some for Epsom (p87/ no.667, 88/ no.680, 109/ no.831, 113/ no.862, and 133/ no. 988) and a few for Cuddington (p18/ no.130, 20/ no.138, and 40/ no.293). Transactions normally take place between husband and wife on both sides, to ensure widow or widower's rights, and this provides some family information. Details of the properties are rare, although on one occasion Fitznells Mill (now the Upper Mill) is named (p8/ no.54). The scale of transactions varies from a single house and garden to parcels of land scattered through several villages, or to the sale of a whole manor such as Ruxley (p88/ no.680). The surrender of Chertsey Abbey lands to Henry VIII, including Epsom, was duly entered as a fine (p133/ no.988), as was the sale of the manor of Cuddington (p40/ no.293). Payments begin at £20 for a single house or smallholding; lands in Epsom, including a dovecot, 140 acres on the Common, and a right to have sheep folded on the lord's land, were sold with a reserved rent of 7d and a red rose (p87/no.667).
Chertsey Abbey Court Rolls Abstract, ed. Elsie Toms (Surrey Record Soc. 21, 1937-54).
Epsom was one of many manors owned by Chertsey Abbey, and the business of its courts appears among those of the rest in the annual summaries made by the monks from 1328/9 to 1347/8, when the Black Death brought an end to record-keeping. Most of this was admissions to tenements, which list family members and are witnessed by the more important villagers. Because surnames had only recently become hereditary, unexpected ones - such as that of Agnes de Redynnge, who marries John le Shephurde of Dorcestre (p91/ no. 921) - give an insight into trades and mobility. The period covered by the court rolls overlaps with the 1332 Lay Subsidy (noted above).
Admission of the heir to a tenement took place after a death, when the abbey would also take property called a heriot. This was the best beast of the family stock, usually a cow; as values are always given for heriots, it is possible to follow livestock prices for cows (usually 6/8d, and about twice as much as for steers or draught-beasts) and for horses (much less common and ranging from 6s to 14s). Bulls, a young ox, a porker and a sow are also mentioned. The heriot was not an actual confiscation of livestock but a payment levied on it, as is clear from payments made for half-animals (p13/ no.135, p32/ no.331, p141/ no.1374). In one case a cow was on the late tenant's land at Clandon (p181/ no.1714). People without livestock were charged on their best possession - a chest worth 6d, a coat or curtepy worth 4d, and a pair of boots (p41/no.421, p41/ no.425, p142/ no.1378). A few times the charge is 'nothing, because he had nothing' (p32/no.331, p53/ no.540, p81/ no.821).
The manorial court was theoretically running the village, and did sometimes step in to take over and re-allocate lands which were not being farmed (p53/ no.541, p128-9/ nos.1253-5, p141/ nos. 1369-70, pp141-2/ nos.1375-7). It could certify an incomer to the village, like John le Smith of Ashtead and his forge, 'a little shop 8 by 8 feet between the church of Epsom and the marlpit' (p165/ no.1572); and it acted as a place of public record, noting that an incoming heir had agreed to maintain his widowed mother or, if she didn't get on in the household, provide her 2 quarters of wheat a year instead (p82/ no.821). Although the court's powers were confined to manorial tenure, it sometimes took notice of freehold purchases by charter, such as a grove (p98/ no. 978 and cf. p182/ no. 1719), and a cottage (p1265/ no.1573). But the more prosperous peasants seem to have the ones who were really in charge, since they held large blocks of land and sublet them to their neighbours, as appears from the special court needed in 1334/5 (pp64-5/ nos. 647-57) to sort out the affairs of the wealthy Robert le Blake. A peasant landlord was liable to distraint for a heriot which his tenant in socage wouldn't or couldn't pay (p97/ no. 976) and there are two long-drawn-out disputes, one involving the manor beadle, over what appear at first to be thefts of a cow (p82/ no.825, p142/ no.1379), but are really confiscations of property in lieu of rent from a subtenant who had hoped to get the manor court to annul his obligations.
Kingston-upon-Thames Bridgewardens' Accounts, 1526-1567, ed. N.J. Williams (Surrey Record Soc. 22, 1955).
Nothing relating to Epsom and Ewell.
Call Book for the Episcopal Visitations of the Diocese of Winchester, 1581 & 1582: Archdeaconry of Surrey, ed. P.A. Penfold (Surrey Record Soc. 23, 1956).
This has entries for the vicar, churchwardens and two representative parishioners of Ewell and Epsom in both 1581 and 1582 (p16). There is an entry for Cuddington (p19) but only to say that it had none of the above.
Guildford Borough Records, 1514-1546, ed. Enid M. Dance (Surrey Record Soc. 24 (1958).
Nothing relating to Epsom and Ewell.
Wimbledon Vestry Minutes, 1736, 1743-1788, ed. F.M. Cowe (Surrey Record Soc. 25, 1965).
In 1747 the Ewell Overseers of the Poor send Wimbledon a bill for looking after someone's daughter (p7). In 1756 Epsom arrests the father of a Wimbledon girl's baby by way of reminding him of his duties (p30).
Fitznells Cartulary: A Calendar of Bodleian Library MS Rawlinson B 430, ed. Cecil A.F. Meekings and Philip Shearman (Surrey Record Soc. 26, 1968).
The text, introduction and notes to Fitznells Cartulary offer a comprehensive history of medieval Ewell and the surrounding settlements, so that it would be impossible to treat this book like other SRS volumes and indicate the relevant passages; everything is relevant. Fitznells Cartulary has acquired a formidable reputation, rather like Lehmann's Copyholds; this is not surprising, since it was written when Meekings and Shearman were at the top of their powers and both of them were writing for their peers, not for non-specialists. Meekings, in particular, had an unequalled grasp of prosopographical sources for the careers of medieval gentry and his introduction presents these in very compressed form. Shearman's contribution on the topography is more accessible in its presentation, but his assertions rest on a background of analysis, much of it honed in debate with Charles Titford, which underlies the final conclusions.
The manor of Fitznells takes its name from the family of Fitz Neil but in fact by the time it came to them in 1311, most of the property had already been accumulated. Fitznells was considered a sub-manor of Ewell although it also had lands in Cuddington and Epsom; they were held of various lords but Fitznells managed its own tenants and generally acted as an independent territorial unit. It was not a physically discrete block of land, but consisted of strips scattered among the open fields, adding up to between 200 and 350 acres, with about 25 houses and a total of 50 tenants holding land (pp xcvi-viii). The first lord of the manor, if he can be called such, was Robert, rector of Cuddington (pp.l-lv) who acquired land from 1218 onwards. He was succeeded in 1230 by Gilbert fitz Osbert, afterwards called Gilbert of Ewell (pp.lv-lviii, lxxv-lxxix); in 1268 by William of Ewell (pp.lxxix-lxxxviii); in 1311 by Robert II Fitz Neil (pp.xcii-v); in 1331 by Grace Fitz Neil, who had married John de Nowers (pp.xcviii-c); in 1349 by Robert II Fitz Neil, or rather by his trustees, as he was mentally ill (pp.c-cii); in 1359 by a second Grace Fitz Neil, who had married John Griffiths (pp.cii); in 1386 by John de Campeden (pp.cii-iv); in 1408 by Thomas Aylward (pp.ciii-iv); in 1413 by Robert Leversegge (pp.cvi-viii); in 1434 by John Iwardeby I (pp.cviii-xviii); and in 1470 by John Iwardeby II (pp.cxviii-xx). With that the history of the cartulary comes to an end, although Fitznells continued to exist as a block of property into the eighteenth century, by which time it had become part of the Gadesden estate.
In his account of the descent of the estate, Meekings also brings attention to the close relations of Gilbert fitz Osbert, afterwards Gilbert of Ewell, with Walter de Merton, the famous chancellor (pp.lviii-lxxv) and later with Robert of Ewell (pp.lxxxviii-xc). It was thanks to these that the property was successfully built up.
The cartulary reflects the history of the Fitznells estate and has entries built up over three centuries. In date order (which is not the order of the manuscript) it contains, first the deeds for property accumulated between 1218 and 1386, with in some cases earlier deeds tracing the title for these properties (pp3-29, 33-42). Then comes a rental (pp44-9) and a terrier or description of land (pp54-61) both of c.1315 (pp.xcv-vi). There are more deeds for Parkers tenement, 1338-1421 (pp29-33) and a terrier of Wallington fee c.1400 (pp61-6). Finally there is an extent and rental of 1476 (pp49-54). A few entries relate to properties in other parts of the country, and Meekings added an appendix of deeds from other sources which are relevant to the cartulary (pp70-80).
Much of this material was copied from original sources into the cartulary, which was drawn up in the 1420s for Robert Leversegge. He relied on professional copyists to enter the original deeds, the rental and terrier of c.1315, the terrier of Wallington fee, and the deeds for Parkers tenement which he had acquired in 1421. In 1476 John Iwardeby II had the cartulary rebound, adding some notes on properties (pp.cxx-ii) as well as the extent and rental of his own time (pp.cxxii-iii).
In order to elucidate the various lordships from which Fitznells lands were held, Meeekings supplied notes on other manors or sub-manors in the area - in particular those of Cuddington (pp.xviii-xx), of Ewell (pp.xx-xxiv), of Shawford, afterwards Ruxley (pp.xliv-l), and of Battailles (pp.xxiv-xxvi), as well as Wallington fee in the manor of Ewell (xxvi-xxxii). Horton (pp.xxxii-xxxiv) and Brettgrave, which seems to have been within Horton (p.xxxii) also get mention.
Fitznells Cartulary is open to analysis on three levels. First there is the one at which Meekings was an expert - the tenure of property, its passage from one hand to another, and the lives and social roles of the people who held it. Then there is the social history of the people actually working the land. The cartulary, with its terriers and rentals and c.1315 and 1476, makes possible close analysis of a fairly small property on either side of the crisis of the mid-fourteenth century. The impact of the Black Death can be seen (pp.civ-vi) and the Fitznells lands can be collated with the Ewell survey made in 1408, although some discrepancies here suggest that the 1408 survey was not as comprehensive as it seems. Finally there is the possibility, given the level of detail contained in the cartulary's documents, of reconstructing the topography of the area, especially Ewell, but also Cuddington and to some extent Epsom.
This is the line taken by Philip Shearman, whose notes (pp.cxxiv-xl) are essentially a summary of what we know about medieval Ewell and Cuddington, taking the cartulary as a starting-point but drawing on other sources. His primary concern was with roads, but he also gives some idea of field-boundaries and the identification of buildings, especially the mills.
Mitcham Settlement Examinations, 1784-1814, ed. Blanche Berryman (Surrey Record Soc. 27, 1973).
Settlement was the term used under the Old Poor Law when someone had the rights belonging to a lawful inhabitant of a parish, and was therefore entitled to receive poor relief from its overseers. Although everyone began life with a settlement in the parish where they were born, this did not inhibit movement to other places. Under some circumstances they could gain a new settlement there, superseding their old one, and even if they did not it was possible for a man to work, and indeed to marry and raise children, in a parish where he had no settlement. But when someone claimed relief from the parish - Mitcham in this case - the officers would make close enquiries in the hope of establishing that they really had a settlement somewhere else.
The examinations propose - with a greater or lesser degree of certainty according to individual cases - that people living in Mitcham really had settlement in Ewell (pp19, 21-2, 45, 64, 69, 85, 97, 100, 102, 110), in Epsom (pp51, 53, 76) or in two cases in Cuddington (pp88, 89). Some people moving outside their native parish had been granted a certificate to prove that this would remain their settlement. The most common grounds for claiming a settlement were a year's uninterrupted service, although it was also possible to refer back to being born in a parish, and women could cite their marriage to a lawful inhabitant. Sometimes a servant reports the trade of his master - a carpenter in one case but more commonly a farmer. The Spread Eagle is mentioned in one examination (p51) and Ewell Workhouse in another (p64).
Kingston upon Thames Register of Apprentices, 1563-1713, ed. Anne Daly (Surrey Record Soc. 28, 1974).
Like the London apprenticeships noted above, these give an insight into the trades practised in the area as well as the degree of social and, presumably, demographic mobility; some of the apprentices may have gone home after their seven years were up, but others probably made a new life in Kingston or elsewhere. The Kingston register ends just as the London one begins, and it is noticeable that over this spectrum of time (about 1675-1711, leaving out two earlier references) the existence of Epsom Spa had very little influence on local trade. Ewell was still the larger place, providing many more apprentices (pp35, 70, 96, 99, 103, 110, 116, 120, 134, 135, 140, 143) than Epsom (p98, 116, 128, 132); there are also two apprentices from Worcester Park (pp98, 143).
Epsom at this time had much the same range of trades as Ewell, and these were typical of a large village rather than a market town; husbandman or yeomen are most common, with two labourers who must have saved up to give their sons a better start in life. Next come the building trades - carpenters and bricklayers - with a butcher, a shoemaker, and then an innholder, the only representative of service industries. The men from Kingston taking on Epsom and Ewell boys come from a comparable range of industries, although in each case the aim was to get a foothold in a better trade than the one practised by the family; this gives us some insight in the contemporary ranking of how profitable the different trades were. None of the boys wanted to train as a farmer, but some intended to go into the building trades, and others planned to be coopers, tallow chandlers or a butcher or shoemaker. The most popular choice of trade was tailor; in one case (p135) a Kingston tailor apprentices his son to a tailor of Ewell, in another (p131) a tailor is apprenticed to his own father, perhaps to satisfy entry requirements for the freedom of the borough. A widow from Worcester Park (p143) apprentices her son to an oatbrogger, or dealer in wholesale oats, presumably for retail to inns and other places feeding horses. One ambitious lad was going to become a barber surgeon, and there were two mercers, while a solitary gentleman (p120) apprentices his son to an apothecary.
Ashley House (Walton-on-Thames) Building Accounts, 1602-7, ed. M.E. Blackman (Surrey Record Soc. 29, 1977).
Nothing relating to Epsom and Ewell.
The Deposition Book of Richard Wyatt, J.P., 1767-76, ed. E. Silverthorne (Surrey Record Soc. 30, 1978).
Nothing relating to Epsom and Ewell.
The 1235 Surrey Eyre, ed Cecil A.F. Meekings and David Crook (Surrey Record Soc. 31, 32 & 37, 1979-2002).
An eyre was the visit of an itinerant royal justice who held court in one county after another, dealing with the most serious levels of legal dispute. As several years would elapse before another eyre was held in the county, there was usually a backlog of business brought to the court. The system of travelling judges began in the late twelfth century, and was developed into regular county assizes after the end of the thirteenth. Jurors and bailiffs are mentioned; one came from Epsom (pp269, 448-9, 548).
Much of the eyre was concerned not with crime but with disputes over land, usually where inheritance was being questioned, and some of these deal with Epsom and Ewell (pp275-6 & 452-3, 293 & 463, 300-1 & 468, 315-6 & 474-5, 325 & 190, 334 & 489-90, 345 & 494, 458, 479, 480). Sometimes parties went through a fictitious lawsuit so they could come to a final concord before the King's justice, as noted above under feet of fines; Walter de Merton, rector of Cuddington, did this (p43, 482; see p325 for another parson of Cuddington). Among the property under dispute is a mill at Shawford (p200), and the manor of Brettgrave (pp253-5), apparently a sub-manor of Horton although its boundaries have never been clearly defined.
The eyre also dealt with coroner's work, including the drowning of a child at a mill in Ewell; the millwheel, valued at 12d, was forfeited (pp414 & 549).
Criminal offences include complaints of violence against an Epsom man (pp421-2 & 555) the murder of another man from Epsom (p414), larceny in Ewell (pp414-5 & 549), and a co-operative venture of sheepstealing which included Cuddington and Epsom men with others from Leatherhead and Mickleham (p415).
The 1235 Surrey Eyre was the last work that Cecil Meekings edited for the SRS (David Crook saw the volume through the press), and it benefits from his knowledge of the recorded evidence for leading families in the medieval county. The introduction has a biographical section listing everyone involved in legal procedure throughout the thirteenth century in Surrey; brief mentions of Ewell, Cuddington or Epsom appear in the lives of Viel de Burgh (p168), William de Brademer (p171), Thomas Chamberlain (p177), Roger de Chelsham (p179), William Danmartin (p189), Adam Drew (p191), Maurice de Ewekene (p192), Elias de Grapelingham (p203), Philip de Hamme (p203), William Picot (p226) and Robert de Watevill (pp253-5), together with Hamo de Bergh (p471), Nicholas de Hecham (p485), Roger de Kingswood (p485), Alexander de Whitford (p499), Richard de Langley (pp406 & 454), and Robert de Tolworth (pp563-4).
It should be noted that 'Maurice of Ewell' (pp336-7) is an error in the original roll for Maurice of Ewekene, and that Adam, William and Richard de Shalford (pp72, 277-8 & 454) came not from Shawford in Ewell but from Shalford near Guildford.
Minutes of the Board of Directors of the Reading, Guildford and Reigate Railway Company, ed. Edwin Course (Surrey Record Soc. 33, 1988).
Correspondence in 1848 and 1849 (pp146, 229, 232, 237) discusses the combination of the Direct London & Portsmouth Railway with the London Brighton & South Coast Railway to extend their railway line from Epsom to Leatherhead.
Parson and Parish in Eighteenth Century Surrey: Replies to Bishop's Visitations, ed. W. R. Ward (Surrey Record Soc. 34, 1994).
In 1725 the newly-appointed Bishop of Winchester wanted information on the state of church life in his diocese, and distributed a circular of questions to all parishes in advance of a visitation. The returns for the Archdeaconry of Surrey include Epsom (pp25-6) and Ewell (p26). The same exercise was repeated in 1788 and again answered for Epsom (pp109-10) and Ewell (pp110-1).
Both surveys asked for the population of the parish; an annual estimate of births, marriages and deaths; the presence of a curate or lecturer; numbers of Catholics and Dissenters; schools; and charities and hospitals. In addition, the 1725 questionnaire requested a list of local gentry. Most of this information can be found elsewhere, but the questionnaire answers are interesting not just for the facts but as evidence for contemporary concerns. Jonathan Boucher's return for Epsom in 1788 is particularly forthright in his views on dissenters ('of the lowest class') and almshouses ('very tolerable').
The most valuable of these returns are those estimating population; for the first time, these give numbers of people ('souls' to the Bishop) instead of needing to be scaled up from lists of tax-payers or other social categories. As such, they fill in the picture before the 1801 census, although only the Ewell return for 1725 returns an exact figure (583), the others being estimates.
The 1851 Religious Census: Surrey, ed. Cliff Webb and David Robinson (Surrey Record Soc. 35, 1997).
The national record of those who attended church on 30th March 1851 proved so embarrassing - most people had not gone to church, and half of those who did were dissenters - that it was never repeated. So it stands as a one-off record of religious affiliation. The overall statistics have been disputed, since ministers were under a natural tendency to round up the figures, especially as the chosen Sunday was a wet one; total numbers are hard to get at, since there is no telling whether the morning, afternoon and evening services were attended by different people each time or by a core of supporters; but at a local level the returns do illustrate the relative popularity of the denominations. Ewell is represented by St. Mary's (p65) and the Mary Wallis chapel (p66); Epsom by St. Martin's, Christ Church, the chapel at the Workhouse (pp65-6), the Wesleyan, Bugby and Congregational Chapels, and a Catholic gathering (p67). The returns give the date of foundation, attendance at three services, and numbers at the Sunday School. Some ministers also gave the number of sittings, and Sir George Glyn provided financial details of the endowment at St. Mary's.
Figures comparing the attendance at Epsom and Ewell with that in neighbouring parishes are laid out on pp.clxxxi-iv, and there is a general discussion of the results at pp.cviii-x. The introduction also mentions the status of Kingswood (p.xxii), the Catholic gathering at Epsom (p.xliii), and the ratio at Ewell of those attending on census Sunday to those taking Easter communion (pp.lxxiii-iv).
Gunpowder Mills: Documents of the 17th and 18th Centuries, ed. Alan Crocker et al. (Surrey Record Soc. 36, 2000).
Amongst these documents is the letter book of William Tinkler, manager of Chilworth powder mills in 1790-1; he reports (pp126, 163) on the gunpowder made by the Bridges at Ewell ('much inferior to mine') and agrees with them to avoid undercutting on the price per barrel. The introduction to the letter book also mentions the mills at Ewell (pp112, 114).
The 1258-9 Special Eyre of Surrey and Kent, ed. Andrew Hershey (Surrey Record Soc. 38, 2004).
This was the second eyre to be published by the Society, after that of 1235 which had been issued as vol. 31 onwards from 1979. The 1258 eyre was a much shorter business; it records (p77) that Merton Priory had the assize of bread and ale in Ewell and (p78) that they had the view of frankpledge of Buttall's fee. This meant that Merton were responsible for fixing the price of basic commodities to prevent profiteering in years of bad harvest, and that Buttalls came under their control for local government and was not an independent estate.
Surrey Probate Inventories 1558-1603, ed. Marion Herridge (Surrey Record Soc. 39, 2005).
As part of the probate or processing of a will, inventories of the dead person were drawn up for the executors to give a valuation of the estate. Valuers would walk through the house room by room, noting furniture and household stuff, before concluding with a list of livestock, tools and agricultural produce. The neighbours to whom this was entrusted were conscientious about it, including every item down to those worth a few pence, so that their lists make a vivid picture of the material culture of the time.
Inventories are given for Christopher Thorne of Ewell, husbandman, died 1561 (pp34-5); Elizabeth Mitchell of Epsom, widow (p290); and Agnes Tegg of Epsom, widow (p343).
The 1263 Surrey Eyre, ed. Susan Stewart (Surrey Record Soc. 40, 2006).
This was the third eyre to be published by the Society, after the one for 1235 (vol. 31, 1979 et seq.) and that for 1258-9 (vol. 38, 2004).
As in 1235, the eyre began with disputes over land. Property in Ewell features with at pp.xlv, cxlii, clvi-vii (the Lower Mill); pp1-2/ no.2; p49/ no. 71 (the Upper Mill); p111/ no. 164 with p140/ no. 208 with p.clxxv (rights of way to the West Field and Chamber Mead); and p.130/ no. 194. Property in Epsom appears at p27/ no. 39; and on p67/ no. 94 with pp103-4/ no. 151, p116/ no. 173, p238/ no. 456, p243/ no. 488 and pp.cxv-vi (a lengthy dispute involving a set of co-heiresses claiming their rights through actions brought by their husbands). There are suits for property elsewhere that involve people from Ewell (p228/ no. 308 and p233/ no. 428) and from Epsom (p122/ no. 184).
The records for crime have, as usual, more of the ring of life about them. Amongst those reported on suspicion of larceny were men from Cuddington (pp273-5/ no. 568 and lxxx; pp305-6/ no. 648) and one from Epsom (pp305-6/ no. 648). It's good to know that the Epsom man accused of stealing corn was acquitted (pp292-3/ no. 617) and that the body found dead in Cuddington turned out not to be homicide (p303/ no.642).
The fullest account of crime (pp303-4/ no. 643, p.305/ no. 646 and pp.lxxi, lxxx) is a cautionary tale from Cuddington. Hereward Culling had just got married, and the party evidently went on into the small hours, as two guests had gone to bed while others were still finishing off the drink, after which they started lobbing their pots over a wall. The more sedate guests, unable to get any sleep, came out to remonstrate, there was a drunken brawl, blows were exchanged and Geoffrey Carpenter, finding a dead man at his feet, did a runner.
The tithing of Ewell, like the manor with which it seems to have been coextensive, had detached members further south and was therefore involved in a homicide and an accidental death in Kingswood (pp280-1/ no. 583 and p281/ no. 584) and another accidental death, apparently in Charlwood (p641/ no. 641).
In addition to litigants and defendants, the eyre offers a valuable insight into the class of lower gentry and upper peasants ('yeomen' as they would be in a later age) who came together as the hundredal community for justice and administration. The jury list for Copthorne, beginning with Hugh de la Lane and covering other local figures, is discussed at p351/ no.759 and pp. cxxxviii-ix. The overlap in time with the Fitznells cartulary (vol. 26, 1968, above) helps here, as these men frequently acted as vendors or witnesses in the earliest stratum of Fitznells deeds. Other figures who feature in contemporaneous records are William de Bradmere (p.lvii), Gilbert de Ewell (pp.lv, cxli, cxliii, pp304-5/ no. 645), John de Horton (pp.lv, cxv, cxxxviii-ix, cxliv) and Philip le Juvene (pp.cxv, cxxxviii-ix, cxli, cxlii).
This picture of a functional, if litigious county community is set into relief by the high politics of the period. The 1263 eyre was held a year before Simon de Montfort seized power, at a time when the country was dividing into partisans and opponents of the barons. John de Horton was probably a baronial supporter; Laurence de St. Michael, lord of Cuddington, certainly was; while Walter de Merton, at this time still building up an estate in Ewell and Cuddington for his relatives, was on the side due to lose the next year, and to return triumphantly to power in 1265. Nevertheless, even after the battle of Evesham he was prepared to offer support to de St. Michael and as the editor says (p. cxliv) 'this assistance to the local rebel lord by a staunch royalist clerk high in the king's government illustrates the strength of local community ties'.
Surrey Gaol and Session House, 1791-1824, ed. Christopher Chalklin (Surrey Record Soc. 41, 2009).
In 1789 the building of a new County Gaol was put in the hands of a committee of five JPs, among them Joseph Shaw of Epsom (pp.x, xiii). John Trotter of Horton attended and occasionally chaired meetings from 1801 (p.xxi), and William Northey of Epsom and George Glyn of Ewell were also present (p3 and p.xi). The contract for brickwork went (pp4-5) to Henry Kitchen II, who seems to have built pretty much everything in Ewell that wasn't built by his father Henry I or his son Henry III.
The Register of John de Stratford, Bishop of Winchester, 1323-1333, ed. Roy Martin Haines (Surrey Record Soc. 42-3, 2010-11).
Medieval bishops were kept busy with routine business, much of it occasioned by the conflict between financial and spiritual management in the parishes under their care. Most clergy derived their income from the tithes of a parish, for which they were intended to supply spiritual guidance; but in order to supply an attractive salary for academics and ambitious administrators, it was necessary to incumbents to move around the country, exchanging poorer parishes for richer ones. In addition, monasteries could cream off parish revenue by taking the rectorial tithes and appointing a vicar as a cheaper substitute. Thus we find the bishop overseeing the appropriation of Epsom rectory by Chertsey Abbey (1 p152/ no.471) and making sure there was an adequate portion for the vicar (1 p182/ no.567), and similarly finding the establishment of a vicarage at Cuddington unsatisfactory (1 p171/ no.519, p182/ no. 567).
Both Epsom and Ewell were among the Surrey parishes whose incumbents failed to produce satisfactory title to their benefice (1 p152/ no.470). The admission of a vicar is recorded for Epsom (1 p436/ no.1462) and for Cuddington (1 p315/ no. 1002, pp387-8/ nos.1289-91). At Ewell, after the will of a rector has been proved (1 p83/ no.264) we have the admission of a new incumbent (1 p326/ no.1050), who within the year exchanged benefices with a young man who just happened to be nephew of the Bishop of Bath & Wells, and who wanted the revenue from the parish to support his studies at university (1 p330-1/ nos.1072-4). Next year the benefice was vacant again, and the bishop appointed Thomas de Staunton (1 p353/ no.1148). No doubt he had good reasons for putting this incumbent where he could keep an eye on him; de Stanton had obtained (and neglected) a benefice at Crondall under what seem to have been false pretences, taking advantage of the period between bishops when grants were in the hands of the crown. In any case he only stayed a few years before exchanging with a rector from Norfolk (1 p391/ no.1304-6).
Some documents were issued from Ewell (1 p10/ nos.31-3, 2 p674/ no.1746), so the rectory here was evidently fit to receive a bishop and his retinue.
These volumes are the latest step in the progressive publication of the registers of the bishops of Winchester. The sequence begins in 1282-1304 with that of John de Pontoise (vols. 1 & 6 above, 1913-24) and continues with:
Registrum Henrici Woodlock Diocesis Wintoniensis AD 1305-1316, ed. Arthur Goodman (Canterbury & York Soc. 43-4, 1834-40)
The Registers of John de Sandale and Rigaud de Asserio, Bishops of Winchester, AD 1316-1323, ed F.J. Baigent (Hampshire Record Soc., 1897)
The Register of William Edington, Bishop of Winchester 1346-1366, ed. S.F. Hockey (Hampshire Record Series 7-8, 1986-7)
Wykeham's Register [1365-1404], ed. T.F. Kirby (Hampshire Record Soc., 1896-9)
Registrum Thome Wolsey Cardinalis Ecclesie Wintoniensis Administratoris [1529-30] ed. Herbert Chitty (Canterbury & York Soc. 32, 1926)
Registra Stephani Gardiner et Johannis Poynet, Episcoporum Wintoniensium, ed Herbert Chitty (Canterbury & York Soc. 37, 1930).
Registrum Johannis Whyte, Episcopi Wintoniensis, AD MDLVI-MDLIX, ed. W.H. Frere (Canterbury & York Soc. 16, 1914).
The registers of Adam Orleton, 1333-45, and of Henry Beaufort, 1404-47, William Waynflete, 1447-86, Peter Courtenay, 1487-92, Thomas Langton, 1493-1501, and Richard Foxe, 1501-28, have not yet been published. However, some information from the Orleton and Waynflete registers is provided in George Wignall, Ewell References in the Registers of the Bishops of Winchester AD 1282-1458 (Nonsuch Antiquarian Soc., 1970).
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