XXIX.—Nos. 16 And 18 UPPER MALL
Ground landlord, leaseholder, etc.
The freehold is vested in the executors of the late Mrs. Cutler; the
No. 16, Robert William Lewis, Esq.
No. 18, Miss Wills.
General description and date of structure.
These two brick cottages with tiled roofs date from about 1725, and
are little altered from their original form. They are of two storeys and an
attic, with sash-windows having practically flush frames. The front (south)
wall is carried up above the former line of the eaves, to include window
openings (the centre two being blocked) with sashes that take the place of
dormers. This gives the front the appearance of being three storeys in
height. The garden front is whitewashed up to the sills of the first-floor
Condition of repair.
In the conveyance to Samuel Naylor of the freehold of Sussex House in 1837, the western
boundary is given as "land formerly of John George whereon two houses were built, theretofore in the possession of Jonas Durand and then of Middleton and Mr. Mitchell." In the
admission of Samuel Naylor at the same time to the copyhold garden (to the north of 16 and 18
Upper Mall) the southern boundary reads: "premises formerly in the possession of Mr.
Sawyer, then of Middleton and Mr. Mitchell." The property described in both these references is that of Nos. 16 and 18, and the specific reference to the two houses having been built
occurs first in a deed relating to Sussex House, dated 1726; the actual history, however, of the prcperty cannot be traced back in the Court Rolls to an earlier date than 1767. In that year Thomas
and Tabitha Dickenson surrendered it to John Brown. He was in occupation of both houses,
and surrendered them in 1797 to Lucretia Gynne, youngest daughter of Charles Ellis, while she
in the following year surrendered to Sarah Raitt "of the Mall." In the rate-books for 1795–1798
the name of Sarah Raitt occurs as an occupant of a house rated at £36, and probably to be
identified as No. 22 Upper Mall (q.v.), but in this year (1798) Nos. 16 and 18 are stated as
occupied, the one by George Pane (or Payne) and the other by herself. She may have changed
her place of residence at this time. At their enfranchisement the houses were described as
"formerly the estate of Lucretia Gynne now known as 16 and 18 Upper Mall." (fn. 1) From
1795–1799 the rate-books give the name of George Payne as residing at No. 16.
From the above it seems that the cottages were built about 1725, and we may conjecture
that they stood on a slip of land which originally reached to the banks of the river, and was
at one time in the possession of John George. From the Court Rolls we learn, indeed, that
in 1678 John George was admitted to two cottages by the waterside. He surrendered them to
Richard Medley of Battersea in 1700, and in 1718 they were purchased by Jonas Durand, who
is mentioned above. If the copyhold property were all one strip it is probable that Durand
divided it, leaving the cottages by the waterside (presumably the original Doves Inn and The
Seasons), and built Nos. 16 and 18 Upper Mall on the northern part. The fact that the
riverside cottages are mentioned as having 3 roods of grass orchard, when Durand purchased
them, confirms this view. Moreover, in the sale of the freehold land on which Sussex House
now stands, in 1628 (when it also no doubt reached the river) the western boundary is
described as "the new dwelling house of John Bennett," and it is curious that in 1700 the tenants
of John George are stated to have been John Hilliatt and — Bennett.
In the Council's ms. collection are:
View of south front (photograph).
(fn. 2) View of north (garden) front (photograph).