The name of this place was written Mældune by the Saxons,
being compounded of two words mæl, a cross, and dune, a
hill. In the Conqueror's Survey it is spelt Meldone; in subsequent records it is written Meaudon, Maldon, and Malden.
Malden lies in the hundred of Kingston, in a very retired situation between that town and Cheam. It is nearly 12 miles from
Hyde-park-corner. The parish is bounded by those of Cheam,
Cudington, Mordon, Wimbledon, Kingston, Epsom, and LongDitton. The land is principally arable, and the soil a stiff clay.
The parish is assessed the sum of 167l. 18s. 0d. to the land-tax,
which is at the rate of 3s. 10d. in the pound.
The manor, in the Consessor's time, belonged to Erding; at the
Conquest was held by the Watevilles, of Richard de Tonbridge;
one ploughland was held by William Wateville of the abbey of
Chertsey. In the 13th century it belonged to Walter de Merton (fn. 1) ,
Lord Chancellor of England, who settled it upon the college which
he founded at Oxford (fn. 2) .
It appears to be a mistaken idea that Merton College was first
established at Malden, (as a seminary of education at least,) and afterwards removed; the error seems to have arisen from a misconception of the words "domus scholarium apud Meaudon," in the
founder's charter. By attentively considering the preamble of the
charter, and a deed recorded in the register of Merton Abbey (fn. 3) , it
will be evident that it never was intended for the residence of the
scholars. The founder says, "I give my manors of Meaudon and
"Farleigh to the house of the scholars which I have established in
my said manor of Meaudon; namely, for the support of twenty
scholars residing in the schools at Oxford or elsewhere (fn. 4) ." In the
deed abovementioned, signed by Gilbert, Prior of Merton, the convent quits claim to the house at Malden, and grants the advowson
of the church for the perpetual support of scholars in scholis degentium; and of a warden and priests in ipso domo commorantibus.
It appears therefore, that the original intention of the founder was,
to establish a religious house at Malden, consisting of a warden
and priests, who were to manage the revenues of certain estates
which he gave for that purpose, and apply them to the maintenance
and education of twenty scholars at either of the universities. Afterwards, upon the establishment of Merton College, the warden
and priests were removed to Oxford.
In the year 1578 the members of the college were induced to
alienate this manor to Queen Elizabeth, upon a lease of 5,000
years (fn. 5) . Her majesty wanted it for the Earl of Arundel, of whom
she wished to purchase Nonsuch-house and park; and she immediately ceded to him her estate in it. Upon Lord Arundel's death,
which happened soon afterwards, it passed to Lord Lumley, who
married his daughter. About the year 1583 it was alienated to
the family of Goode. In the year 1621, the members of the college, taking into consideration the illegal act which had been done
by their predecessors in alienating this estate, came to a resolution
to dispute the validity of the lease as contrary to the restraining
act of Queen Elizabeth. The cause was some years in Chancery,
and at last the parties came to the following compromise; that the
advowson of the church should be immediately ceded to the college, but that the present possessors and their heirs should enjoy the
benefits of the lease of the manor for fourscore years from that time.
Under this agreement the family of Goode continued to hold the
manor till the year 1707, when the lease expired; and the estate
was surrendered to the College by Dame Penelope, widow of Sir
Thomas Morley, and heir of —Goode, Esq. The college then
leased it to Richard Willis, afterwards Bishop of Winchester; and
it is still held by his descendants.
The whole of the manor is valued in the Conqueror's Survey at
7l. 12s. 0d. In 1291 the Prior of Merton had an estate in Malden
which was taxed at 12 s. (fn. 6)
A part of Worcester Park, which was formerly called Nonsuch
Great-park, is in the parish of Malden. In 1650 a survey of it
was taken by order of parliament, when the park, with a messuage
called Worcester-house, was valued at 550l. per annum, and was
bought by Col. Pride at six years purchase (fn. 7) . It was granted by
Charles II. to Sir Robert Long, upon a lease of 99 years (fn. 8) , but was
afterwards included in the grant to the Duchess of Cleveland, and
was alienated by the late Duke of Grafton to Sir George Walter (fn. 9) .
A considerable part of it is now the property of William Taylor, Esq.
who has a franchise of free warren in the park.
Singular punishment of some soldiers.
In 1649 sixteen soldiers, being tried for stealing deer in Worcesterpark, were sentenced to the singular punishment of riding the wooden
horse for an hour in Palace-yard, Westminster, with muskets tied
to their heels; wearing the skin of a deer on their backs, and the
following inscriptions on their breasts:—"For stealing and endea"vouring by force to steal deer (fn. 10) ."
About a mile from Malden is a hamlet called Talworth, in the
parish of Long Ditton. The manor, which is described in all the
ancient records as being in this parish, was granted by Edward II.
to Edmund of Woodstock; by Edward III. to Edmund Earl of
Kent; and from him descended to Henry Earl of Westmorland (fn. 11) ,
who alienated it in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. It is now the
property of the Polhills.
The church, which is dedicated to St. John, consists of a nave
and chancel, which are separated by a wooden screen. At the west
end is a square tower; the north side of the church is entirely overgrown with ivy. In the east window are the arms of Ravis, Bishop
of London (fn. 12) , who was born at Malden (fn. 13) , and contributed to the
rebuilding of the church. In the same window are the arms of
Walter de Merton, Bishop of Rochester (fn. 14) . Two other coats are in
the south window of the chancel, and a north window of the nave (fn. 15) .
The grant of a brief for collecting money to rebuild Malden church
bears date 1585 (fn. 16) ; but it does not appear that the work was undertaken before the year 1610 (fn. 17) . The nave and the tower were
then entirely rebuilt with brick; the chancel was only repaired, and
still retains its old walls of flint and stone.
Tombs in the church and church-yard.
In the church are the tombs of John Goode, Esq. who died in
1627; Sir Thomas Morley, who died in 1692; Jane, wife of
Sebastian Bruskett, Esq. who died in 1613; Mr. John Hamnet,
who died in 1643; Charles Moseley, the late vicar, who died in
1760; and Mr. Francis Bowry, who died in 1772. In the churchyard are the tombs of Catherine Lady Walter, wife of Sir George
Walter, of Worcester-park, Bart. and daughter of Sir William
Boughton, Bart. of Lawford in the county of Warwick, who died
1733; and Thomas Whately, Esq. of Nonsuch-park, who died in
The church of Malden is in the diocese of Winchester, and in the
deanery of Ewell. The benesice is a vicarage. The advowson was
granted to Merton Abbey at an early period by Eudonius de Meldon (fn. 18) ; and was by that convent given to Merton College (fn. 19) . The
vicarage was amply endowed in the year 1279 (fn. 20) . Since the college
has been re-possessed of the advowson as mentioned above, an advantageous lease of such tithes as are not included in that endowment has constantly been granted to the incumbent. The church
of Malden was taxed in 1291 at 12 marks (fn. 21) . The vicarage is valued
in the King's books at 8l. 0s. 5d. per annum. The neighbouring chapel of Chesington is annexed to it. In 1650, the commissioners appointed to inquire into the state of ecclesiastical benefices
made it a distinct parish (fn. 22) , in which state it continued till the restoration.
Edward Hinton, instituted to the vicarage in 1639 (fn. 23) , is mentioned
by Wood as the author of a sermon preached at the suneral of
Mr. John Hamnet (fn. 24) .
Henry Stephens, instituted in 1714, published a few single sermons, and wrote a poem on the air pump, which is printed in the
The present vicar is the Rev. Robert Bean.
The parish register commences in 1678.
Comparative state of population.
||Average of Baptisms.
||Average of Burials.
By the answer of Mr. Stephens, the vicar, to some queries of
the Bishop of Winchester in 1725, (which is inserted in the Register,) it appears that the average of births was then 6, that of burials 4; and the number of inhabitants 110. The present number
of houses is 22.
Mr. Henry Smith left an annual benefaction of 1l., 10 s. od. to
be divided amongst poor housekeepers of this place.