In the most ancient record which I have seen relating to this
parish, its name is spelt Chieham; it has since been varied to
Ceiham, Chayham, and Cheyham, and has now, for about two centuries past, been uniformly written Cheam. As there is no word in
the Saxon language nearly similar to the first syllable of the ancient
appellation, I suppose it to have been a proper name; Ham is well
known to mean a dwelling.
Extent and soil.
I should suspect that Aubrey never was at this village, for he describes it as "lying very low, in a bottom (fn. 1) ;" whereas it stands upon
the highest ground in the neighbourhood, and commands an extensive prospect. The parish lies in the hundred of Wallington, and is
bounded by Malden on the north; on the south, by Banstead; on
the east, by Sutton; and on the west, by Cudington. It contains
about 1400 acres of land, of which only 120 are pasture. In
Doomsday it is said to contain fourteen plough-lands. The soil on
the north side of the parish is a strong clay, and produces fine crops
of wheat and beans; on the south side, towards Bansted Downs, it
is chalky. This parish pays the sum of 190l. 16s. to the land-tax,
which at present is at the rate of two shillings in the pound.
The manor was granted by King Athelstan in the year 1018, to
the monks of Canterbury (fn. 2) . He exempted it at the same time from
the payment of all taxes, except for the repairing of bridges and fortresses, and defraying the expence of the king's expeditions. The grant
concludes with the usual uncharitable anathema against any person who
should presume to insringe it: "Excommunicatus cum diabolo socie"tur;" that is, in plain English, "May he go to the devil." In Doomsday, the manor of Ceiham is said to be held by Archbishop Lanfranc for the support of the monks. It afterwards appears to have
been divided; one moiety being called West Cheyham, and held by
the prior and convent of Canterbury; the other, East Cheyham, with
the advowson of the church, being the property of the archbishop.
The manor was valued in the Confessor's time at 8l.; at the time of
the Survey, at 15l. In 1291 (fn. 3) , the moiety belonging to the archbishop
was taxed at 10l; that belonging to the convent, at 6l. 13 s. 4d.
Manor of East Cheam.
The manor of East Cheam continued in the possession of the see of
Canterbury till the year 1540, when it was alienated by Archbishop
Cranmer to King Henry VIII. in exchange for Chislet park in
Kent (fn. 4) . It remained in the crown till the reign of Queen Mary,
who granted it to Anthony Lord Montague (fn. 5) : of him it was purchased about twenty years afterwards by Henry Earl of Arundel (fn. 6) ;
from whom it passed to John Lord Lumley, who married his daughter and coheir. Lord Lumley dying without issue, this manor was
inherited by the descendants of his sister Barbara, who married
Humphrey Lloyd of the country of Denbigh; and being the property
of the Rev. Robert Lumley Lloyd who died in 1729, he left it by
will to the late Duke of Bedford: the duke sold it to Mr. Northey,
father of William Northey, Esq. of Epsom, who is the present proprietor.
Manor of West-Cheam.
The manor of West Cheam continued in the hands of the crown
some time after the suppression of monasteries. The reversion of
the site thereof was granted by Queen Elizabeth to John Lord Lumley (fn. 7) ; and it appears, that he purchased the manor itself of Henry
Beacher (fn. 8) , 25 Eliz. It has since undergone the same alienations
as that of East Cheam.
The manor-house at East Cheam, which is situated about half a
mile from the village towards Sutton, is an ancient structure, built,
as I imagine, by Thomas Fromound, who married the daughter and
heir of John Yerde, lessee of the manor under Archbishop Cranmer.
In the hall window are the arms of Yerde, impaled by Ellinbridge.
Fromound, whose mother was an heiress of that family, bears on his
tomb the arms of Ellinbridge quartered with his own. The hall remains in its original form, the upper part being surrounded by an
open wooden gallery: adjoining the hall, are the buttery and cellar
with ancient doors: in the parlour is some rich mantled carving.
The chapel is converted into a billiard-room. This house and premises, called the Site of the Manor of East Cheam, were held under
the crown by the Fromounds (fn. 9) , after the manor itself was granted to
Lord Montague. They continued in possession of it till the middle of
the last century. Bartholomew Fromound, who was fined the sum of
240l. by James I. as a recusant, died in 1641, and was the last of
that family settled at Cheam. The premises afterwards became the
property of the Petres, and were sold a few years ago by Lord Petre
to Philip Antrobus, Esq. the present proprietor.
The manor-house of West-Cheam, situated near the church, is a
large brick edifice, which contains nothing particularly deserving of
description: it appears to be in a neglected state, and has not for
some years been the residence of its owners.
The church is dedicated to St. Dunstan. It appears by a note on
a pane of glass taken out of the old palace at Croydon, that "the
"church of Cheme was burnt by lightning in the year 1639."
The injury it received must have been only partial, as the tower
and some parts of the church, which are of a prior date, still remain;
the form of the building, however, in consequence of this accident,
and some subsequent alterations, has been so changed, that no
conjecture can be formed of the date of its structure. The tower,
which is built of slint and stone, is low, square, and embattled.
St. Mary's chapel.
At the south-east corner of the church, is a small chapel dedicated
to St. Mary, which was built before the year 1449, as is evident
from the will of John Yerde, who directs his body to be buried
therein. He bequeaths his estates in Surrey, after the death of his
wife, to his second son John, to whom also he leaves 400 muttons;
20s. to the repair of the church, and 20s. to the high
altar (fn. 10) . His tomb is still to be seen, with an inscription on a
brass plate much worn. There are small figures of himself and
his wife Anne. Her head-dress resembles that of Margaret Gaynesford at Carshalton. Anne Yerde died in 1453.
In this chapel also are the tombs of Thomas Fromound, who
married the daughter and heir of John Yerde the younger, and
died in 1542; of another of the same family much obliterated; and of Bartholomew Fromound, who died in 1579. Jane,
one of the daughters of the latter, married the celebrated Dr.
Against the west wall of the same chapel, is a monument to the
memory of Lord Stourton, a Roman catholic peer, who died in
At the east end of the chancel, from which it is separated by a
skreen of wood, is an aisle built by John Lord Lumley, in 1592,
as a burial place for his family. The roof is enriched with pendant ornaments.
Tomb of John Lord Lumley.
Against the north wall is the monument of Lord Lumley. On a
large tablet supported by Corinthian columns, and surrounded with
coats of arms of the Lumleys, and families allied to them by
marriage (fn. 11) , is the following inscription:
"Deo Opt. Max. et Posteritati Sacrum Johanni Dom. et Baroni
de Lumley, viro nobiliffimo, innocentiâ, integritate, constantiâ,
side, pietate, religione, comitate, rerum difficilium diuturnâ perpeffione, et patientiâ ornatiffimo, feliciter et sancte in terris
mortuo decimo die Aprilis anno Christi Servatoris, millesimo
sexcentesimo nono, ætatis suæ LXXVI. uxor amantissima et
amici acerbo in officio diligentes hoc ei monumentum, non
honoris erga quo abundavit vivus et florescet mortuus, sed
amoris causa quem memoriâ colent, ut debeat, fempiternâ, devotiffime consecrarunt.
"Pio quoque erga nobilissimam Lumleyorum gentem affectu
ducti in honorem ac memoriam ejusdem, primogenitorum illius
"familiæ successiones seriatim hâc in tabulâ sculpi atque describi curârunt:—quorum primus Liulphus nomine nobilis generosusque
minister, ex Anglosaxonum genere vir clarissimus qui latè per
Angliam possessiones multas hæreditario jure possidebat cum tempore Regis Gulielmi Primi Conquisitoris Angliæ, Normanni
ubique sævirent, et quia Cuthbertum Dunelmensem antistitem inter
Divos relatum, multum dilexerat, cum suis ad Dunelmum se contulit, et ibidem Walchero Episcopo adeo devenit charus et acceptabilis, ut absque illius consilio nihil consulte sieri videbatur: multorum dehinc odium sibi conflavit, donec a Gilberto quodam aliisque
sceleratis dicti Episcopi ministris crudeliter tandem occideretur:
in cujus necis vindictam Northumbri Walcherum Præsuleminnocentem apud Gateshed trucidarunt. Anno 1080, Ex Aldgitha conjuge Northumbrorum comitis Aldredi silia Liulphus silium suscepit
Uctredum Patrem de Gulielmi de Lumley ejus nominis primi, a
cujus loci dominio sui posteri cognomina sunt sortiti: Gulielmum,
istum Uctredi silium Dunelmensis Episcopus Hugo eisdem frui
immunitatibus voluit, quibus cæteri sui Barones in episcopatu
gaudebant et Secundi Henrici Regis cartam inde obtinuit. Tanti
Beneficii non immemor Gulielmus villam suam de Dicton in
Alverton-scira eidem episcopo et successoribus suis liberaliter contulit; a primo Gulielmo oritur secundus, a secundo tertius, qui ex
filiâ Gualteri Daudre equitis Rogerum filium procreavit, maritum
Sybellæ cohæredis inclyti Baronis Hugonis de Morwyco; inde
natus Robertus, qui ex Luciâ forore et hærede Thomæ Baronis de
Thwenge Marmaducum filium genuit, paternorum armorum
desertorem primum sibi suisque retentis maternæ stemmatis insignibus.—Procreat is, ex Margarettâ Holland conjuge fuâ, Radulphum equitem strenuum quem Rex Ricardus Secundus anno
Regiminis octavo ad Baronis Regni dignitatem evexerat; ductâque Aleanorâ primi comitis Westmariæ sorore, Johannem tulit,
"qui ex Feliciâ Uxore Thomam suscepit cui Margaretta conjux
filia Jacobi Harrington equitis, Georgium enixa est maritum
Elizabethæ hæredis Rogeri Thornton armigeri, inde pater
efficitur illius Thomæ qui ex magni Regis Edwardi Quarti filiâ
naturali Ricardum susceperat: is Annam ducens sororem Gulielmi
Baronis Coigners, Johannem reliquit hæredem sponsum Johannæ
filiæ Henrici Le Scrope de Bolton, Baronis eximii, avum Johannis ultimi Baronis de Lumley, hoc conditorio in certam spem
futuræ refurrectionis repositi: quem illi Georgius filius, ex Jana
cohæredi Ricardi Knightley equitis, unicum reliquerit nepotem ac
hæredem; bino conjugio felix ultimus hic Johannes suit, Janæ
scilicet Arundeliæ comitis Henrici filiæ ætate maximæ et cohæredi
necnon et Elizabethæ filiæ Johannis Baronis D'Arcy, fæminæ non
solum prosapia et antiquo stemmate nobili, sed quod magis laudandum virtutibus, pudicitiâ, verecundiæ, et amore conjugali
nobilissimæ—Ex illarum prima nati filii duo Carolus et Thomas,
filiaque unica Maria haud diu superstites adeo ipsa infantiâ mæstissimis fatis sublati."
There is an engraving of this monument in Sandford's Genealogical History of the Kings of England.
Lord Lumley was engaged by his father-in-law, the Earl of
Arundel, in the design of promoting a marriage between Mary Queen
of Scots and the Duke of Norfolk, for which he was imprisoned (fn. 12) ; but escaping without farther punishment, sat afterwards upon
the trial of that Queen (fn. 13) . Camden speaks of him as a man of the
strictest virtue and integrity; and says, that he was, in his old age,
a most complete pattern of true nobility. He was high steward of
the University of Oxford; and having a taste for literature, collected a
fine library of books, in which he was assisted by his brother-in-law,
Humfrey Lloyd (fn. 14) , a celebrated antiquary. After his lordship's
death, which happened in 1609, they were purchased by King
James, and became the foundation of the Royal Library, which now
forms a part of the collection in the British Museum.
A portrait of Lord Lumley, inclosed in a wooden case, still remains
in his chancel at Cheam; he is represented in a high-crowned hat, a
ruff, and a long beard; the picture is almost decayed; but an engraving of it is preserved in the last edition of Sandford (fn. 15) .
Tomb of Jane Lady Lumley.
On the south side of Lumley's chancel, is a stately monument of
marble, to the memory of Jane Lady Lumley: the upper part of it,
which exhibits her own effigies in basso-relievo, is represented in the
annexed plate: beneath, is an altar tomb of very large dimensions:
on the front, which is divided into two compartments, are the figures
of her daughter and two sons, kneeling; and at each end are the arms
and quarterings of Fitz-alan (fn. 16) and Lumley. The tomb is covered
with a slab of black marble, eight feet five inches in length, and four
feet two inches and half in breadth; round the edge is the following
"Vixi dum volui, volui dum Christe volebas,
Christe mihi spes est, vita, corona, salus.
"Jana Henrico Comiti Arundeliæ filia et cohæres, Johannis
Baronis Lumley charissima conjux, præstans pietatis studio, virtutum officiis, et veræ nobilitatis gloria, corpore, sub hoc tumulo
in adventum Domini requiescit."
Tomb of Jane Lady Lumley
Jane Lady Lumley, daughter of Henry Earl of Arundel, was a
very learned woman. She translated the Iphigenia of Euripides, and
some of the orations of Isocrates into English; and one of the latter
into Latin (fn. 18) . The MSS. are in the British Museum (fn. 19) . Lady
Lumley died in 1577, as appears by the parish register.
"Johanne Lumley, sepult. 9 Mar. 1576–7."
Tomb of Elizabeth Lady Lumley.
On the north side of the same chancel is the monument of Lord
Lumley's second wife, daughter of John Lord Darcy of Chiche; her
effigy lies at full length under an arch, the cieling of which is chequered with cinquesoils and popinjays. There is a Latin inscription
without dates. Over the tomb are the arms of Lumley, impaling
Monument of Sir Joseph Yates.
A neat marble tablet, with the following inscription, is affixed to
one of the pillars of the nave:
"Sacred to the Memory
of the Honorable
Sir Joseph Yates, Knight,
of Peel Hall in Lancashire,
successively a Judge of the Courts
of King's Bench and Common Pleas;
whose merit advanced him to the
feat of Justice, which he filled with the most
distinguished abilities and invincible integrity.
He died the 7th day of June 1770,
in the 48th year of his age,
leaving the world to lament the loss
of an honest Man and able Judge,
firm to assert
and strenuous to support
the laws and constitution
of his Country."
Over the inscription are the arms of Yates, Arg. three Gates
Sir Joseph Yates was admitted of the Inner Temple in the year
1738; he practised special pleading for some time below the bar, to
which he was called in 1753. In 1764, he was appointed one of the
Justices of the Court of King's Bench, from whence he removed
to the Common Pleas in 1770, the year in which he died. His
contemporaries agree in giving full testimony to the truth of the
encomiums bestowed on him in his epitaph. Sir Joseph Yates
made Cheam his occasional residence for a few years preceding his
Besides the tombs already mentioned, Aubrey describes those
of the following persons: Michael Denys, who died in 1418;
John Compton, who died in 1450; William Woodward, who died
in 1459; Sir John Virley, parson of Cheam, who died in 1557;
Thomas Usborn, rector, who died in 1686; George Aldrich, who
kept a private school at Cheam during the rebellion, and died in
1685; James Bovey Esquire, who died in 1695; Edmund Barret,
serjeant of the wine-cellar to King Charles, who died in 1631; and
his son Thomas, clerk of the wardrobe, who died in 1652: of these,
the tombs of Mr. Bovey and the Barrets only now remain.
On a tomb of black marble in the church-yard, near the south
door, is an inscription to the memory of Henry Neale, and his wife,
who died 1664; and their daughter Eliza Dutton "who was murthured the 13th of July 1687, by her neighbour, endeavouring
to make peace between him and his wife."
The benesice of Cheam, is a rectory in the peculiar jurisdiction of
the archbishop of Canterbury. The patronage was annexed to the
manor of East Cheam, till it was alienated to St. John's college in
Oxford, towards the latter end of the last century.
It is somewhat singular, that of six successive rectors of Cheam,
five should become bishops, as will appear by the following
Anthony Watson, bishop of Chichester.
Anthony Watson, instituted to this rectory in 1581 (fn. 19) , was promoted to the see of Chichester in 1596, and held Cheam in commendam (fn. 20) till his death, which happened in 1605; at which time he
was almoner to King James. He was buried at Cheam September
19 (fn. 21) , and his funeral was honorably solemnized there on the third
of October following (fn. 22) .
Lancelot Andrews, bishop of Winchester.
Lancelot Andrews, then bishop of Chichester, was instituted in 1609
to the rectory of Cheam (fn. 23) , which he resigned within a few months
upon his promotion to the fee of Ely: he was afterwards translated
to Winchester. Bishop Andrews was a very celebrated preacher, to
which circumstance, and his eminent abilities as a writer, he principally owed his preserment. It was said of him by Fuller (fn. 24) , that
they who stole his sermons could not steal his manner; which was
inimitable. Queen Elizabeth admired him (fn. 25) , and by giving him the
deanery of Westminster, laid the foundation of the promotion to
which he arrived, under the patronage of her successor James. The
bishop had a considerable share in the translation of the Bible (fn. 26) , and
left behind him, in print, a very large collection of sermons, and some
lectures on the Old Testament. He died in 1626, and lies buried in
St. Saviour's church, in Southwark.
George Mountain, archbishop of York.
George Mountain, instituted to this rectory on bishop Andrews's
translation to Ely in 1609 (fn. 27) , was promoted to the see of Lichfield
and Coventry, in 1611. He resigned Cheam, upon his translation
to Lincoln, in 1617. He afterwards became successively bishop of
London and Durham, and archbishop of York; and dying in 1628,
at the age of fifty-nine, was buried in the church of Cawood, where
there is an inscription to his memory, written by Hugh Holland (fn. 28) .
Richard Senhouse, bishop of Carlisle.
Richard Senhouse was instituted to the rectory in 1617 (fn. 28) , on the
promotion of bishop Mountain. He resigned it on being made
bishop of Carlisle in 1624. Senhouse preached at the coronation of
King Charles (fn. 29) ; and died in 1628. He left behind him a few sermons in print, and lectures on some of the Psalms in MS. (fn. 30) .
John Hacket, bishop of Lichfield and Coventry.
Upon bishop Senhouse's promotion, John Hacket obtained the
living of Cheam (fn. 31) through the interest of the Lord Keeper Williams (fn. 32) . One of Hacket's earliest patrons was his predecessor at
Cheam, Bishop Andrews, then dean of Westminster, who noticed
him when at school as a promising lad, and gave him money to buy
books (fn. 33) . Whilst he was at the University, he wrote a Latin comedy
called Loiola, acted before King James in 1616 (fn. 34) ; it was afterwards
published. At the breaking out of the civil wars, Hacket was chosen
by the clergy to be their advocate against the bill for taking away the
church government, upon which occasion he pleaded so well, that it
was then thrown out by a considerable majority (fn. 35) . Being afterwards
accused before the committee for plundered ministers, he made no
defence, but retired to Cheam, by the advice of his friend Seldon,
who promised to use his endeavours to prevent his being molested (fn. 36) .
He remained there unnoticed, till the Earl of Effex with his army
passed that way, when he was taken prisoner (fn. 37) . Great offers were
made him at this time, if he would change his principles, but without success. Being dismissed from his consinement, he hastened
again to his retirement at Cheam, where he continued to read the
common prayer, until he was enjoined to forbear by the Surrey
Committee, when he found himself under the necessity of omitting
such parts as were most offensive to the government (fn. 38) . In 1661, he
was promoted to the See of Litchfield and Coventry; and in the
following year he resigned the living of Cheam, after having held it
near forty years. He died in 1670, aged 78 (fn. 39) . There is a print
of him by Faithorne.
Thomas Playfere, Margaret prosessor of divinity at Cambridge, was
the intermediate rector between the above-mentioned bishops, being
instituted after the death of Watson in 1605 (fn. 40) . Fuller says, his
fluency in the Latin tongue seemed a wonder, till Collins so far exceeded him (fn. 41) . Playfere died in 1609, and lies buried in St. Botolph's church, Cambridge; where there is an inscription to his memory, full of the most extravagant praises (fn. 42) . He published a few
John Doughty, instituted to this rectory in 1662 (fn. 43) , published some
sermons and political tracts (fn. 44) : he died Dec. 25th, 1672.
Edward Bernard, the first rector presented by St. John's college,
succeeded Doughty (fn. 45) , and was a most learned aftronomer, linguist,
critic, and chronologist. He resigned his living of Cheam in 1673;
and was the same year appointed Savilian prosessor of astronomy at
Oxford. He died in 1697, and lies buried in the chapel of St. John's
college. Many of his works in various departments of literature are
in print, and he left behind him several MSS. which were purchased
of his widow for the sum of 200l. by the curators of the Bodleian
Library (fn. 46) .
The present rector of Cheam is the Rev. Henry Peach, who was
instituted in 1780.
The parish register commences in 1538.
Comparative state of population.
||Average of Baptisms.
||Average of Burials.
The register of burials being defective towards the latter end of the
sixteenth century, no average could be taken. The increase of population appears to have been less during the last hundred years, than
in the same period preceding. The number of houses is now sixtyone.
In the year 1603, nine persons died of the plague; the whole
number of burials in that year was thirteen. Four persons died of
the same distemper in 1645, among whom were the curate and his
wife. In 1665, there are entries of nine burials only; a number
not exceeding the average of that period.
The following instance of longevity occurs in the register:
"Johannes Lystney, senex, (viz. 100,) sepult. Jan. 18, 1713–4."
Henry Smith Esquire, bequeathed 4l. per annum to this parish;
and Anne, relict of Samuel Pierson Esquire, left a messuage, barn, and
4½ acres of land for the benefit of such poor persons as shall frequent the church, and receive no alms.
Adjoining the parish of Cheam, is the site of the village of Codinton, or Cudington, which now no longer exists. Of the church,
which formerly belonged to Merton Abbey (fn. 47) , no vestiges remain.
In an old survey (fn. 48) of the manor it is said, that "the scyte standeth
"at the west part of the said manor, nygh and adjoining to the
churche-yard." The old mansion-house and the church were probably pulled down, to make way for Henry VIII.'s new building.
No vicars appear to have been instituted after that time. The tithes
are impropriated to the lord of the manor.
The manor belonged in the time of the Confessor, to Earl Lewen,
and was held by the bishop of Baieux, after the Conquest. In the
last year of the reign of Edward III. it was granted by John Kynwardesle and John Lependen to Ralph de Codinton (fn. 49) . It continued in that family till 18 Hen. VIII., when it came into the possession of that monarch, by an exchange with Richard Codinton (fn. 50) .
Queen Mary granted it to Henry Earl of Arundel (fn. 51) ; since which
time it has undergone the same alienations as the manors of Cheam,
and is now the property of William Northey Esquire. This
manor was united by Henry VIII. to the honor of HamptonCourt.
Henry VIII. admiring the situation of Cudington, rebuilt the
manor-house, and converted it into a palace; called afterwards, from
its splendor and magnificence, Nonsuch.
The palace has been much celebrated both by English and foreign
Camden says, "it is built with so much splendour and elegance, that
it stands a monument of art, and you would think the whole
science of architecture exhausted on this building. It has such a
profusion of animated statues and finished pieces of art, rivalling
the monuments of antient Rome itself, that it justly has and maintains its name from thence, as Leland sings:
"Hanc quia non habent similem laudare Britanni
Sæpe solent nullique parem cognomine dicunt.
Unrivalled in design, the Britons tell
The wondrous praises of this nonpareil."
But perhaps no description of this palace is to be more relied on
than that given by Hentzner, a German, who visited England in the
reign of Queen Elizabeth; and at his return into his own country,
published an account of his travels in Latin, which seems to be
written with great accuracy. What relates to this country, was
printed by the earl of Orford, at Strawberry Hill, in 1757, with a
translation. His account of Nonsuch-palace is as follows:
"Nonesuch, a royal retreat built by Henry VIII., with an excess
of magnificence and elegance even to ostentation; one would
imagine every thing that architecture can perform to have been
employed in this one work: there are every where so many statues
that seem to breath, so many miracles of consummate art, so
many casts, that rival even the perfection of Roman antiquity,
that it may well claim, and justify its name of Nonesuch, being
without an equal: or as the poet sung:
"This which no equal has in art or fame,
Britons deservedly do Nonesuch name."
"The palace itself is so encompassed with parks full of deer, delicious gardens, groves ornamented with trellis work, cabinets of
verdure, and walks so embrowned by trees, that it seems to be a
place pitched upon by pleasure herself to dwell in along with
"In the pleasure and artificial gardens (fn. 53) , are many columns and
pyramids of marble; two fountains, that spout water one round
the other like a pyramid, upon which are perched small birds, that
stream water out of their bills: in the grove of Diana, is a very
agreeable fountain, with Actæon turned into a stag, as he was
sprinkled by the goddess and her nymphs, with inscriptions.
"There is besides another pyramid of marble full of concealed
pipes, which spirt upon all who come within their reach."
In Sebastian Braun's Work, entitled "Civitates Orbis Terrarum,"
there is an engraving of Nonsuch palace by Hoefnagle (fn. 53) , from
which the annexed print was copied. There is also a small engraving of it in the corner of Speed's Map of Surrey.
Braun, speaking of Nonsuch, says, that by the contrivance of the
architect, an echo was made at the entrance of the palace, which
repeated the sound distinctly five or six times.
Survey of Nonsuch in 1650.
In the Survey taken by order of the parliament in 1650, the house
at Nonsuch is described, as consisting of "a fayer, stronge, and
large structure, or building of free-stone, of two large stories
high; well wrought and battled with stone, and covered with blue
slate, standing round a court of 150 foote long, and 132 foote
broad, paved with stone, commonly called the outward courte:
a gate-house leading into the outward court aforesaid, being a
building very stronge and gracefull, being three stories high,
leaded over head, battled, and turretted in every of the foure
corners thereof; consisting also of another very faire and curious
structure or building of two stories high, the lower story whereof, is of very good and well wrought freestone; and the higher
of wood; richly adorned and set forth and garnished with variety
of statues (fn. 54) , pictures, and other antick formes, of excellent art
and workmanship, and of no small cost; all which building
lying almost upon a square is covered with blue slate, and incloseth
one faire and large court of 137 foot broad, and 116 foot long,
all paved with free-stone, commonly called the inner court.
Memorandum, That the inner court stands higher than the outward court by an assent of eight steps, leading therefrom through
a gate-house of free-stone, three stories high, leaded and turreted
in the four corners. This last mentioned gate-house, standing between the inward and the outward court, is of most excellent workmanship, and a very special ornament to Nonsuch house. On
the east and west corners of the inner court building, are placed
two large and well built turrets of five stories, each of them containing five rooms, the highest of which roomes, together with
the lanthorns of the same, are covered with lead, and battled
round with frames of wood covered with lead; these turrets
command the prospect and view of both the parks of Nonsuch,
and most of the country round about, and are the chief ornaments of Nonsuch house." Of the inside there is very little description; it is only said in general, that the rooms are fair and large,
and some of them wainscotted and matted. The gardens and
orchards are said to contain 212 fruit-trees, "six lelacks, one juniper-tree, two ewe-trees, and a time-tree." The materials of
the house are valued at 7020 l. This Survey, the original of which is
deposited in the Augmentation Office, is printed in the fifth volume
of the Archæologia (fn. 55) .
Proprietors of Nonsuch.
Nonsuch palace was not less remarkable for its situation and
magnificence, than it has been for its local history, and illustrious
Henry VIII. as before mentioned, purchased its site and began the
Henry Earl of Arundel.
Henry Earl of Arundel, as we are informed in a MS. life of him
in the British Museum (fn. 56) , "perceivinge a sumptous house, called
Nonesuche, to have bene begon, but not finished by his first maister
King Henry the Eighte, and thearfore in Quene Maryes tyme,
thoughte mete rather to have bene pulled downe, and solde by
peacemeale, then to be perfited at her charges; he for the love
and honour he bare to his olde maister, desired to buye the same
house by greate of the Quene, for which he gave faire lands
unto her highnes; and having the same, did not leave till he had
fullye finished it in building, reperations, paviments, and gardens,
in as ample and perfit sorte, as by the first intente and meaninge
of the said king his old maister the same should have been performed; and so it is now evident to be beholden of all strangers and
others for the honour of this realme, as a pearle thereof. The
same he hath left to his posterity, garnished and replenished with
rich furnitures, among the which his lybrarye is righte worthye
In a copy of the first edition of archbishop Parker's Church
History, interleaved with MSS (fn. 57) . is the following curious warrant,
in the Earl of Arundel's own hand-writing, addressed to his gamekeeper:
"To Robert Gavell, keper of the grete park.
"Delyver unto the most reverent father in God, my very good
lord the archebishop of Canterbery, upon his grace's letter, syche
and so many deere of seson, in wynter and somer yerely, as his
grace shall wryght for, and this shall be your sofficyent warrant
therefor; and if hyt shall plese him to hunt at any tyme, I will
ye make him syche game as ye woll doe unto me. Fayl not hereof, as you tender my plesure,—at Nonsuch the 22 of Aug.
"Yr Mr Arundell."
In the life of Lord Arundel above quoted, it is said that he left
Nonsuch to his posterity; in confirmation of which it appears that
Lord Lumley conveyed it to the crown in the year 1591, and received in lieu thereof, lands to the value of 534 l. (fn. 58) .
Queen Elizabeth was frequently at Nonsuch, during the life of
the Earl of Arundel; whether as a guest, or tenant, does not appear.
The earl himself was resident there in 1571, and he furnished the
entertainment for her majesty in 1559; though Strype, in the following
account of her visit to Nonsuch, calls it one of her houses:
"Aug. 5. The Queen removed from Eltham to Nonsuch, another
of her houses, of which the noble Earl of Arundel seems to have
been house-keeper; there the queen had great entertainment with
banquets, especially on Sunday night, made by the said earl, together with a mask, and the warlike sound of drums and flutes,
and all kinds of musick, till midnight. On Monday was a great
supper made for her; but before night, she stood at her standing
on the farther park, and saw a course; at night was a play of the
children of Paul's and their master Sebastian: after that, a costly
banquet, accompanied with drums and flutes; the dishes were
extraordinary rich gilt. This entertainment lasted till three in the
morning, and the earl presented her majesty with a cupboard of
plate (fn. 59) ." She left Nonsuch on the 10th. I find she visited it again
in 1567, 1579 (fn. 60) , and 1580 (fn. 61) .
Nonsuch became afterwards the favourite residence (fn. 62) of the queen,
who spent a considerable part of each summer at this palace towards
the latter end of her reign. Here the Earl of Essex first experienced the
frowns of her displeasure. On his return out of Ireland, he rode post
to the court then at Nonsuch; and as Rowland White tells the story,
in a letter to Sir Robert Sydney (fn. 63) , "made all hast up to the presence, and
soe to the privy chamber, and staied not till he came to the queen's
bed-chamber, where he found the queen newly up, the hare about
her face; he kneeled unto her, kissed her hands, and had some
privat speach with her, which seemed to give him great contentment; for coming from her majestie to goe shifte hymself in
his chamber, he was pleasant, and thanked God, though he had
suffered much trouble and storms abroad, he found a sweet calm
at home. Tis much wonderd at here," says White, "that he went
so boldly to her majesties presence, she not being ready, and he
soe full of dirt and mire, that his very face was full of yt." On
a second visit to the queen after dinner, "he found her much changed
in that small tyme, for she began to call hym to question for his
return, and was not satisfied in the manner of his coming away,
and leaving all things at soe great hazard. She apointed the
lords to heare hym, and soe they went to cownsell in the afternoone."
Anne of Denmark.
Queen Henrietta Maria.
Duchess of Cleveland.
Nonsuch was afterwards settled upon Anne, Queen of James I.
Sir Thomas Chaloner, in a letter to Lord Sydney (fn. 64) , says, "that
the queen cannot conveniently keep house at Nonsuch, without
she could procure the great park, of which Lord Lumley had a
lease, and some of his lordship's adjoining lands; without thees
parcells, the fayr house at Nonsuch will be nothing pleasing to the
queene, if shee ly here at her own charge, for shee hath nothinge
here but the bare park." This purchase was afterwards arranged.
In the next reign all the premises at Nonsuch, which had been the
late queen's, were settled on Henrietta Maria. They were seized
as part of her property, after the execution of Charles I. The house
was leased by the trustees for the disposal of crown lands to Algernon
Sydney, at the rent of 150 l. per annum; and afterwards sold by
them in April 1650, to George Smythson, of the county of York,
and others at sixteen years purchase (fn. 66) . The house alone was then
valued at 7020 l. for the materials. After the restoration, it came
again into the hands of the crown. Charles II. granted all the premises which had belonged to Queen Henrietta Maria, to the Duchess
of Cleveland (fn. 67) , who pulled down the old house, and disparked the
land. Her grandson, the late Duke of Grafton, alienated the estate
in 1730, to Joseph Thompson Esquire, uncle to the present proprietor, the Rev. Joseph Whately; who under the grant of Charles II.
has a royal franchise of free warren in Nonsuch park. The mansion
which he now occupies, is at some distance from the site of the old
The park adjoining the palace contained 671 acres; it was disparked, as mentioned before, by the Duchess of Cleveland.
Leland, speaking of Cudington, says, "Crompton of London,
hath a close by Codington in Southerey, wher the king buildith. In
this close is a vaine of fine yerth, to make moldes for goldesmithes
and casters of metale, that a loade of it is sold for a croune of
golde. Like yerth to this is not found in all Englande."