The overlays that highlight 17th century London features are approximate and derived from Wenceslaus Hollar’s maps:

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6 Annotations

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Leatherhead and its neighbouring villages of Great and Little Bookham, Fetcham, and Ashtead lie at the top of the North Downs in the Surrey Hills. They share the River Mole with the town of Dorking and other villages to the south, together forming the Mole Valley District.

The Leatherhead & District Local History Society provides an essential point of contact for anyone fascinated by the way this little part of England has changed.

The Society owns the Leatherhead Museum of Local History, produces a quarterly newsletter and publications, and has a library and a large archive collection of research sources.
FROM https://www.leatherheadhistory.or…


In 1872, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Leatherhead:
LEATHERHEAD, a small town, a parish, and a subdistrict, in Epsom district, Surrey. The town stands on the river Mole, at a 14-arched bridge across the stream ... , 4 miles SW by S of Epsom; was known to the Saxons as Leodre, Ledret, and Leadride; appears to have been long a place of importance; was the seat of the sheriff county court prior to the end of Henry III's reign; was also a market town; ...
One of the inns has a spacious apartment for balls, concerts, and public meetings.
A small inn, a timber built house recently much altered, close to the bridge, is said to be the hostel of "Dame Eleanor Rummyng," celebrated by Skelton, the laureate of Henry VIII.
The church stands above the Mickleham road; is a cruciform edifice of the 13th century; was given, about the middle of the 14th century, to the priory of Leeds in Kent; has a tower with octagon staircase at the NE corner, and strong double buttresses at each of the other corners; contains carved screens at the division between the nave and the transepts; contains also, in its E window, stained glass brought from Rouen by the Rev. J. Dallaway, at the time when he was publishing his history of West Sussex; and contains likewise a beautiful monument to Mrs. Dickson, and many ancient marble tablets.
A fair is held on 10 October; and malting, brewing, and tanning are carried on.
The parish contains also the hamlet of Pattersham, and comprises 3, 507 acres.
Pop., 2,079. Houses, 384.
The manor, with Randall Park, belongs to R. Henderson, Esq.
Leatherhead House was the seat of the Gores, and of Judge Jeffreys.
Thorncroft is the seat of A. Colvin, Esq.;
and Gibbons Grove, of D. Fletcher, Esq.
Bricks and tiles are made.
An extensive common was enclosed in 1862.
The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Winchester.
Patrons, the Dean and Chapter of Rochester.
FROM GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Leatherhead, in Mole Valley and Surrey | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Letherhead is a small town or large village 4 miles south-west of Epsom and 5 miles north of Dorking. The parish measures 4 miles from north-west to south-east, from 2 to 1-½ miles across, and contains 3,481 acres.
It lies across the Mole valley, and is traversed by the river in its southern part.
The south-eastern part is on the chalk downs; the village is at the foot of the Chalk and partly on the Thanet and Woolwich Beds, and the parish extends northwards on to the London Clay.
The immediate valley of the river is alluvium. The clay rises at the northern extremity of the parish into an open common, with some wood on it, called Letherhead Common. The open grass-land on the downs has been partly inclosed, but there is still some on Letherhead Downs.
The yew grows thickly on the chalk downs about Cherkley Court.

The village consisted originally of a long street, with a cross-street running down to the bridge over the Mole, ... There are a brewery and brick and tile works; the parish is otherwise agricultural.
The main road from London to Horsham, through Epsom and Dorking, traverses the main street. ...

Neolithic flints and British coins have been found on Letherhead Downs. The Anglo-Saxon remains found at Fetcham lay close to Letherhead parish.
Near Pachevesham, not far from the Mole, in a wood by the side of a small stream is a rectangular inclosure of a single bank and ditch measuring about 80 yds. by 75 yds.
At the nearest point of the Mole to this work there is a ford, by the side of Randall's Park.
Fragments of Roman tile are common in that and the adjoining field, and Pachevesham, now a farm-house, gave its name to the Domesday manor, indicating that the chief settlement of the neighborhood had been here by the road leading to the ford.

Part of the south-east of the parish is traversed by the Roman or British track across the Downs, described under Mickleham, and near it on Letherhead Downs are 2 barrows, of which one to the west of the road is in good condition. The other has been opened.
The ordnance map marks 3 tumuli east of the road.

Historically, Letherhead has claimed to be the old county town, but it is doubtful whether the County Court was ever held there continuously. In 1259 a complaint was made that the County Court was held at Guildford instead of at Letherhead, 'Comitatus qui semper solebat teneri apud Leddrede.' But the medieval semper is a loose term, and it is certain that in 1195 the king's justices sat at Guildford, not Letherhead, and in 1202 Guildford Castle was the county gaol.

Letherhead was possibly the meeting-place of the Hundred Court of Copthorne. It is also geographically near the center of the county, and a convenient place for the meetings of influential people in Surrey, as in 1642 on the eve of the Civil Wars, and in 1685 for a county election, although John Evelyn complained of the election being held at an obscure place.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


A character famous in literary history lived at Letherhead: Eleanor Rummyng, celebrated by Skelton, poet-laureate to Henry VIII, in the poem called "The Tunnyng of Elynour Rummynge". Her traditionary inn is now called 'The Running Horse,' and is near the bridge. Part of the fabric is as old as the 16th century, and there is no reason to doubt that the brewster was a real woman. [IS THIS WHERE PEPYS HAD LUNCH?]
The name Rumming occurs in the Lay Subsidy assessments in the neighborhood, and is in the parish registers as late as 1669.

Letherhead Bridge is carried on 14 arches, with stone piers and brick parapets, over a wide part of the Mole, where formerly there was a ford. According to a common practice, the bridge used to be closed by a bar except in flood time, when the ford was dangerous.
In 1362 a licence was granted to collect money for the repair of a bridge. An unknown benefactor left land in Fetcham for its repair, but in 1782 an Act passed making it a county bridge, providing for its widening, and for the sale of the land given for its maintenance. ...

Letherhead had a large common on the downs, common fields on the slope of the chalk, a common meadow by the river, a common called Letherhead Common, which still exists, and a common on the manor of Thorncroft. Under an Act of 1859 the common fields were inclosed: ... The common fields were among the last extensive common fields in Surrey.

... The earliest mention of Letherhead occurs in the will of King Alfred, who bequeathed land at 'Leodrian' to his son Edward, but it is uncertain with which part of the Letherhead land mentioned in Domesday this is connected.

The Bishop of Bayeux was overlord of the manor of PACHESHAM, later called MAGNA PACHEVESHAM, in Letherhead, at the time of the Domesday Survey. ...

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


The lane called 'Bygnallane,' the regia via from Great Bockham to Kingston, appears to have formed a boundary.
This is the road that runs from Bookham, over Hawks Hill, through Letherhead, and on to Kingston. Probably the Letherhead part of the road was 'Bygnallane.'
Following the same boundaries that divided the parishes of Letherhead and Stoke d'Abernon, the manor stretched to places named 'Page Grene,' 'Charlewood Corner,' 'Hornshyll,' and 'Ravennest,' and so to where the ditch divided Pachevesham Common from the common of Chessington.
It crossed the old highway from Dorking to Kingston, reaching Ashtead Common and 'Asshested Crosse,' and so on to the ditch which severed Pachevesham Common from that of Thorncroft, another Letherhead manor.
Thence it stretched to a bridge named 'Woodbrydge,' and so by copses to 'Bygnallane' again. By this it seems that the manor comprised all the northern part of Letherhead parish, but did not extend south of the village.

... The descent of Pachevesham Magna then is identical with that of Mickleham and Norbury, the neighbouring manors of the Stydolf family.
In the reign of Queen Anne it was the property of Sir Richard Stydolf's grandson, James Tryon, who devised the manor to his nephew Charles Tryon.

PARVA PACHEVESHAM or RANDALLS. — The origin of the estate called Randalls seems to be found in the hide and virgate which Randulf held of Bishop Odo in 1086. ...
According to Manning and Bray he alienated it to Robert Sandes, but according to the inquisition taken at his death he died in possession of it. However, alienated it evidently was at some time, for John son of Robert Sandes held the whole manor, which included the capital messuage called Randalls in Letherhead. The manor descended to his son and grandson, Thomas and John Sandes, the latter of whom, with his wife Elizabeth, conveyed the manor of Parva Pachevesham or Randalls by fine in 1700 to Arthur Moore, whose widow Theophila and son William sold to the Hon. Thomas Pagett in 1736. ...

THORNCROFT, a manor in Letherhead, formed part of the lands of Richard de Tonbridge, lord of Clare. Of the honour of Clare the manor was continuously held. Jordan son of Amfred held half a virgate in Letherhead in the reign of Henry III. ... the Testa de Nevill ... alienated all his Letherhead property to Sir Philip Basset and the Lady Ela his wife, Countess of Warwick. The countess and Sir Philip in 1267 granted two carucates of land in Letherhead to Walter de Merton for the support of the house of his scholars at Oxford. Merton College, Oxford, still holds the manor. ...

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


MYNCHIN. — In 1195 Ailric of Leddrede obtained half a hide of land in Letherhead against his brother Baldwin. ... The Apperdele family held land in Letherhead at the end of the reign of Henry III when Henry de Apperdele claimed against William de Apperdele and Maud his wife various parcels of land in Letherhead which he declared he had given to them when he was 'non compos mentis, et extra se et extra mentem suam.'
He also thought that the Prior of Holy Cross, Reigate, ought not to retain the 26 acres in Letherhead which Alexander, Henry's son, had given him, because he (Henry) had given them to Alexander when he was mentally unbalanced, ... The jury, not inclining to the excuse of mental aberration, sent Henry to prison.

Roger de Apperdele in the 14th century founded a chantry in Letherhead Church, and in 1365 granted a messuage to the Prior and convent of Kilburn.
Roger de Apperdele held some of his land of Sir John Argentine as of his manor of Pachevesham and some of Merton Priory.
Part of the land given to the prioress seems to have been rather poor ground: some of the pasture was too stony to be sown, and some lay in so dry a place that it could only be mown in a wet season.
This lay in the north of the parish bordering on Letherhead Common, which is poor land; other Apperdele land was between the river and the Dorking road, now called Aprils.
The property remained with Kilburn until its dissolution, when it was granted under the name of the manor of Minchen to Thomas Stydolf, and then followed the descent of Pachevesham and the other Stydolf property.

The priory of Merton had an estate in Letherhead which in the 16th century is called the manor of PAKENHAM.
In 1579 'the lordship and manor of Pakenham in Letherhead, late part of the possessions of the monastery of Merton,' was granted to Edmund Downing and John Walker and their heirs. There is no further trace of this manor.

The church of ST. NICHOLAS ... There may have been a church here in the 12th century of the same kind of plan as Charlwood, with a tower between nave and chancel, and the thickness of the existing east wall of the nave points in this direction. ...
A general repair was carried out in 1701–2, and in later times a great deal of restoration work to the windows and external stonework, so that the only windows retaining their original external stone are one of the 15th century in the north aisle, and a later one in the porch. ...

The altar-table is modern, and behind it is a modern reredos of stone. An old altar-slab is preserved in the church. The pulpit is a modern one of stone and marble, and the font appears to be of 15th-century date; it is octagonal with a panelled bowl moulded on its upper and lower edges; the stem is plain and the base moulded.
Under the tower is an old chest covered with leather, and bearing in nail-heads the date 1663.
Preserved in cases are a Book of Homilies of 1683 and a Book of Common Prayer of 1669.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


The communion plate comprises a large cup of 1661, large flagon of 1704, ... besides these are f4 pewter plates, two of which are dated 1711.

In the first book of the registers the baptisms begin regularly in 1656, but there are individual entries in the years 1626, 1647, and 1649; they continue to 1793; the marriages date from 1626 to 1753, and the burials 1626 to 1794; the book is of paper. ...

ALL SAINTS' church is a medium-sized, modern building of flint and stone in the style of the 13th century, consisting of a chancel, nave, south chapel and aisle, vestry, and north porch. Over the chancel arch is a wooden bell-turret with one bell; the inside of the building is lined with red brick.

The church of Letherhead, at the time of the Domesday Survey, was appurtenant to the manor of Ewell, and, together with 40 acres of land, was held by Osbern de Ow. It later became the property of the abbey of Colchester, to whom it was granted by Eustace de Broc. ... Henry VIII then gave the rectory and church and advowson of the vicarage of Letherhead to the Dean and Chapter of Rochester, who are the present patrons.

Besides their advowson, the Prior and convent of Leeds owned land in Letherhead. Edward III granted them free warren, which shows they had a considerable estate. The prior held, as glebe land, fields and crofts named Morescroft, Bunteynesland, and Necrofts in Letherhead.

In 1608 John Skeet left £140 to buy land to provide bread for the poor.

In 1642 Charles, Earl of Nottingham, left £50 to the poor. It was not paid till 1679, when the parish added £20 and bought a house for an almshouse. In 1725 it was let for 15s. a year for the use of the poor. ...

In 1692 Edward Hudson left £3 a year to the trustees of Skeet's Charity to provide beef for the poor at Christmas, Easter, and Whitsuntide, and £1 to the vicar and parish clerk for saying evening prayer on the eve of those festivals. ...


Wikipedia tells us:
Notable residents include
Sir Thomas Bloodworth (1620–1682), Lord Mayor of London during the Great Fire of 1666, lived at Thorncroft Manor.…

Yes, Leatherhead probably doesn't deserve so much attention, but my early years were spent nearby, so indulge me! I'm disappointed such an old, wealthy, little town has produced so few famous people and so little historical action - SDS

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.