Lambeth St Mary, Surrey Genealogy
LAMBETH (St. Mary), a parish, and newly-enfranchised borough, in the E. division of the hundred of Brixton and of the county of Surrey; separated from Westminster by the river Thames, and containing 115,888 inhabitants, of whom 41,377 are in Lambeth Church district. The name of this place, in the earliest records Lambehith, and in Domesday book Lanchei, is variously written by historians, and, according to Camden, implies a muddy station, or harbour; by other antiquaries it is supposed to have been originally Lambs Hithe, and to have denoted a haven belonging to some ancient proprietor named Lamb. Canute, on his invasion of London, in 1026, is said to have cut a trench through the parish, in order to convey his fleet to the west of London-bridge, and Maitland, in his History of London, affirms that he discovered evident traces of the works; but the origin of these trenches is by others attributed, with greater probability, to a temporary diversion of the course of the river, for the erection of London-bridge. The manor was given by Goda, sister of Edward the Confessor, to the see of Rochester, one of whose bishops, Gilbert de Glanville, finding the buildings of his see greatly dilapidated, erected at Lambeth, in 1197, a mansion for himself and his successors, which, being afterwards exchanged for lands elsewhere with Hubert Walter, Archbishop of Canterbury, became the archiepiscopal residence. Archbishop Boniface having obtained from Pope Urban IV. the grant of a fourth part of the offerings at Becket's shrine, and permission to rebuild his house at Lambeth, laid the foundation of the present Palace, which has been at various times enlarged and improved by his successors. Many of the metropolitan councils were held in the chapel of the palace while it belonged to the see of Rochester; in 1100, Archbishop Anselm convened an assembly to take into consideration the propriety of the marriage of Henry I. with Maud, daughter of the King of Scotland, who had taken the veil, though not the vows, as a nun. After the exchange, a council was held here by Archbishop Peckham, at which a subsidy of one-fifteenth was granted by the clergy for three years; and in 1282, the same prelate convoked a synod, at which all the bishops of the realm assisted, to deliberate upon the state of the Church of England, of which complaints had been made at Rome by the Bishop of Hereford. In 1381, the followers of Wat Tyler, after barbarously putting Archbishop Sudbury to death, attacked the palace, burnt the furniture and books, and destroyed all the registers and public papers. Henry VII., for some days previous to his coronation, was sumptuously entertained in the palace by Archbishop Bourchier; and Catherine of Arragon, on her first arrival in England, remained here with her attendants for some days prior to her marriage. The palace was completely furnished by Queen Mary, for the reception of Cardinal Pole, whom she occasionally visited during his primacy; and Queen Elizabeth, during the time of Archbishops Parker and Whitgift, was a frequent guest at Lambeth, where she sometimes remained for several days. Before the Reformation, the archbishops had a prison in the palace, for the confinement of offenders against the ecclesiastical laws. To this prison Elizabeth committed the Roman Catholic bishops Tunstall and Thirlby; the Earl of Essex, previously to his being sent to the Tower; the Earl of Southampton, Lord Stourton, Henry Howard, brother of the Duke of Norfolk, and various other persons. In 1641 Archbishop Laud was attacked by a puritanical mob of 500 persons, who assailed the palace at midnight; but having received intimation of their design, he had so fortified it as to preclude their doing further injury than breaking the windows. After the impeachment of Laud, an ordinance was issued by the house of commons, for removing the arms from Lambeth palace, which was carried into effect by Captain Roydon at the head of 200 infantry and a troop of horse; and in the November following, Captain Brown entered to take possession of the palace for the parliament. It was subsequently converted into a prison by the house of commons, and among the prisoners confined here were the Earls of Chesterfield and Derby; Sir Thomas Armstrong, who was eventually executed at Kennington for having taken part in Monmouth's rebellion; and Sir George Bunkley. The palace being afterwards put up for sale, was purchased by Thomas Scott and Matthew Hardy, the former of whom, secretary to Cromwell, sat in judgment at the trial of Charles I., and was hanged as a regicide at Charing Cross. Upon the Restoration, Lambeth Palace reverted to its rightful owners, and again became the residence of the archbishops. It has at various times afforded an asylum to learned foreigners, whom the intolerant spirit of their own countrymen compelled to abandon their native land; among these were the early reformers, Martyr and Bucer, and the learned Antonio de Dominis, Archbishop of Spalatro. This venerable pile of building, which has lately undergone a very extensive repair, and to which considerable additions have been made by the present archbishop, Dr. Howley, is situated on the bank of the river Thames, and exhibits in its architecture the style of various ages. The principal entrance, through an arched gateway flanked by two square embattled towers of brick, leads into the outer court, on the right of which is the great hall, rebuilt after the civil war by Archbishop Juxon, and converted into a Library by the present archbishop. It is a structure of brick, strengthened with buttresses, and relieved with cornices and quoins of stone. The interior of the hall is lighted by ranges of lofty windows, and by a double lantern turret rising from the roof, which is finely arched, and ornamented with carved oak; in one of the windows are some heraldic devices in stained glass, and over the fire-places, at each end, are the arms, richly emblazoned, of Archbishop Bancroft, the founder of the library, and of Archbishop Secker, by whom it was augmented. Beyond the library is the Chapel, which is by far the most ancient part of the building; it is in the earliest style of English architecture, lighted by triple lancet-shaped windows on the sides, and by an east window of five lights. The ancient painted glass, containing a series of subjects from the Old and New Testament, the repairing of which was, on his trial, imputed as a crime to Archbishop Laud, was afterwards destroyed by the Parliamentary Commissioners; the roof, which is flat and divided into compartments, is embellished with the arms of that prelate. A massive oak screen, richly carved, separates a portion of the western extremity from that part of the chapel which is fitted up for divine service. Underneath the chapel is a spacious crypt, having a roof finely groined; and to the west of it is the Lollards' Tower, a lofty square embattled structure of stone, similar to that of the chapel, and formerly used as a prison. The guard-room has been taken down, and rebuilt for a Banquet-hall; it is of Bath stone, and in the later English style. The original oak roof, of similar character to that of the library, has been carefully preserved; the hall is lighted by a range of four lofty windows, and parallel with it is a picture gallery of equal length, the whole forming a prominent and interesting feature in the new edifice. From the first court a handsome archway on the right leads into the area in which the additional buildings have been erected. These form a fine range, also in the later English style, with an arched entrance placed between two lofty octagonal embattled turrets, and surmounted by an oriel window, to the right of which is another richly canopied; the front towards the garden is also decorated with embattled turrets and several oriel windows, one of which is of very large dimensions and elegant design. This portion of the building contains the state apartments, lodging-rooms, and the various offices requisite for the household establishment. The gardens and park, comprising thirteen acres, are tastefully laid out, and through the latter is a pleasant carriage-road to the palace. Carlisle House, originally the residence of the bishops of Rochester, and at that time called La Place, was given by Henry VIII. to Aldridge, Bishop of Carlisle: after having been for many years occupied as a private academy, it has almost disappeared in the recent improvements of the parish, and only some portions of the outer walls are remaining. Lambeth, formerly a detached village, is now in fact united with Southwark, and forms a suburb of the metropolis. The great road from London to Portsmouth passes through the parish, by Vauxhall; a new road, leading from Waterloo-bridge to Newington, is connected with the preceding, and with other roads diverging into the counties of Kent, Sussex, and Hampshire. The Southampton railway has its terminus at Nine-Elms, near Vauxhall-bridge, where is a large station on the bank of the Thames, communicating with the steam-boats on the river. An act was passed in 1845 to extend this railway from the Nine-Elms station, through Lambeth, to near the Charing-Cross and Waterloo bridges, on the south bank of the Thames: this extension is two miles long. There are two establishments for supplying Thames water to the district, namely, the Lambeth works, situated in Belvidere-road, and the South London works at Vauxhall-bridge; and a very extensive reservoir has been constructed on Brixton-hill, for supplying that neighbourhood. Lambeth was formerly celebrated for its medicinal well, the memorial of which is preserved in the name of a public-house called the Fountain; and for its numerous places of public resort, the principal of which were Cupar's-gardens, and Spring-gardens, now Vauxhall. The latter gardens continued to be a place of fashionable amusement until Sept. 1841, when the property was sold by auction for £20,200: a portion of the ground will be laid out in building, but the principal part is still reserved for public gardens, having been re-opened on 7th July, 1842. In the parish are also Astley's amphitheatre, near Westminster-bridge; and the Royal Victoria theatre, in the Waterloo-road. As Lambeth extends for a considerable way on the bank of the river, and is connected with the opposite shore by Waterloo, Westminster, and Vauxhall bridges, it is admirably situated for carrying on extensive works of every kind. In addition to what may be considered the general trade of the place, here are, on the largest scale, lime, coal, and timber wharfs; iron and other foundries; saw-mills; manufactories for axle-trees, carriages, patent buoys, floor-cloth, Morocco and Spanish leather, pins, varnish, saltpetre, soap, starch, whitening, and patent-shot (the lofty towers for which form conspicuous objects on the bank of the river); potteries of stone and earthenware; glass-works, distilleries, ale and beer breweries, vitriol and other chemical-works, gas-works, and vinegar-works. There is also a very extensive establishment for making steamengines, and almost every other kind of machinery; besides artificial stone-works, and other establishments of various kinds. The parish is within the limits of the Police act; and one of the county debt-courts established in 1847, is fixed at Lambeth. By the act of the 2nd of William IV., cap. 45, a district of 5708 acres was constituted a borough, with the privilege of sending two representatives to parliament; the right of election is vested in the £10 householders, and the returning officer is annually appointed by the sheriff for the county. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £32. 15. 7½.; net income, £2277; patron, the Archbishop of Canterbury. The church, adjoining the palace, is a spacious structure, in the early and decorated English styles, with some later insertions, and having a square embattled tower of freestone, with an octagonal turret at one of the angles. The tower may be referred to the latter part of the 14th century; the other portions to the 15th and early part of the 16th centuries. The interior comprises the chapels of the Howard and Leigh families, subsequently erected, and contains numerous ancient and interesting records. In one of the windows of the nave is the figure of a pedler with his dog, painted in glass, supposed to be the rebus of a person named Chapman, who is thought to have given to the parish a piece of land which is called Pedler's Acre, formerly producing two shillings and sixpence per annum, but now more than £200. Among the interments are those of Archbishops Bancroft, Secker, Tenison, Hutton, and Cornwallis; of Tunstall, Bishop of Durham; Thirlby, Bishop of Ely; and other distinguished prelates: also several of the Howards, and other illustrious families. There is a curious monument of Colonel Robert Scott, and one of Elias Ashmole, who presented to the University of Oxford the museum which is distinguished by his name. Of the numerous tombs in the churchyard are those of William Faden, the original printer of the Public Ledger; and John Tradescant, the primary collector of the Ashmolean Museum. The burial-ground in High-street was consecrated in 1705. Four district churches were erected in the parish in 1824, by aid of the Parliamentary Commissioners, who granted one moiety of the cost, and lent the other moiety, to be repaid by a rate on the inhabitants. St. John's, in the Waterloo-road, built at an expense of £15,911, is a handsome structure in the Grecian style, with a tower of two stages, of which the upper is surmounted by a neat spire terminating in a ball and cross; it has a fine portico of six columns of the Doric order, supporting an entablature and pediment. St. Mark's at Kennington, St. Matthew's at Brixton-Causeway, and St. Luke's at Norwood, are described in the accounts of those places. The four livings are all district incumbencies, in the patronage of the Archbishop; net income of St. John's, £483. St. Mary's district church, Lambeth-Butts, erected in 1828, also by a grant from the Parliamentary Commissioners, at an expense of £7634, is a neat edifice in the later English style, with a campanile turret surmounted by a spire: the living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £170; patron, the Rector of Lambeth. An additional district church, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, was erected in 1839, on a site given by the archbishop, by grants from the Diocesan Society and the Metropolis' Churches' Fund, aided by subscriptions; it is of brick, in the early Norman style, with a tower, and contains 1200 sittings, of which 200 are free. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Rector. The church in York-street, Waterloo district, was commenced in May, 1844; it is in the Anglo-Norman style, with a tower and spire, and cost £6400. All Saints' district church, in the New-Cut, was consecrated in June, 1847; it is in the Byzantine style, with a tower standing a little east of the body of the edifice, but connected with it by a corridor, and surmounted by a spire rising 135 feet from the ground. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Incumbent of St. John's. South Lambeth episcopal chapel, Lawn-place, was erected in 1794; it contains a fine-toned organ: the living is a perpetual curacy, in the gift of the Proprietors, and the Rector of Lambeth. Two church districts, named respectively St. Thomas's and St. Andrew's, were formed in 1846, by the Ecclesiastical Commission; each living is in the gift of the Crown and the Bishop of Winchester, alternately. Other incumbencies are noticed under the heads of Brixton, Kennington, and Stockwell. In the Westminster-road is a new Roman Catholic church, St. George's, of which the foundation-stone was laid in April, 1840; it is in the florid English style, from Pugin's designs, and is of yellow brick with stone dressings, and with a tower of Caen stone. This is the largest edifice, devoted to Roman Catholic worship, constructed since the Reformation; its exterior is 250 feet by 84 feet, and it accommodates 5000 persons. The cost of erection of the bare church was £40,000, but £100,000 will be expended altogether in its completion, including embellishments, &c. Adjoining is a convent for the Sisters of Mercy, with other buildings. There are places of worship for Baptists, Wesleyans, Welsh Methodists, Independents, Unitarians, and others. A parochial school for boys is supported by subscription and a fund of nearly £1200 in the three per cents.; a parochial school for girls, established in 1780, is maintained by subscription and a fund of £400. Archbishop Tenison, in 1715, founded a girls' school, of which the endowment, augmented with subsequent benefactions, produces about £350 per annum. St. John's school, in the Waterloo-road, was rebuilt by subscription, at an expense of £2200, towards which George IV. gave £100, and the National Society a similar sum. The Eldon school, on the road to Wandsworth, was instituted in 1830, for the instruction of children, and the training of young men to act as teachers, on the national system; the building was erected in commemoration of Lord Chancellor Eldon, at the expense of Charles Francis, Esq. The Asylum for Female Orphans, and for the reception of deserted females the settlement of whose parents cannot be found, was instituted in 1758, and incorporated in 1800, and is under the patronage of Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge; the buildings occupy three sides of a quadrangle, in the central range of which is a handsome chapel. The General Lying-in Hospital, for the reception of patients from any part of the kingdom, and for the delivery of out-patients at their own habitations in the metropolis and its environs, was instituted in 1765, and incorporated in 1830. The Royal Universal Infirmary for children, in the Waterloo-road, is supported by subscription, under the patronage of Her Majesty. The Benevolent Society of St. Patrick, which has a fund of £25,000, and is also maintained by donations, was instituted in 1784, for the relief of distressed Irish families in London and its environs, and the education of their children; and a handsome and capacious building was erected in Upper Stamford-street, in 1820, at an expense of £8000, comprising two schoolrooms, with a house for the master and the mistress, committeerooms, and other offices. There is a variety of other schools, and the poor have some considerable bequests. In the arrangements under the Poor-Law Amendment act, the parish is not united to any other.
From: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis (1848), pp. 1-6. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=51088 Date accessed: 01 June 2010.
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