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dle, and, in its ancient state, occupied no less than sixty acres of ground. How far the zeal of the Commissioners was exercised in its demolition at the time of its surrender, or what waste may have been committed by its successive proprietors, cannot be determined. It was probably reduced to its present state, in which, however, considerable remains of the outer walls are standing, by the caution of Parliament in the civil wars under Charles I. when it was judged of importance enough to be referred to a Committee in 1648, with directions for putting it into such a condition that no use might be made of it to the endangering of the peace of the kingdom.* In 1680 Merton priory was advertised to be lett,t and was described as containing several large rooms, and a very fine chapel. Vertae, who visited this place about 1730, mentions this chapel as being then entire, and says, that it resembled the Saxon buildings. At present no other vestige of the edifice is left than the east window of the chapel of crumbling stone, which seems, from the style of its architecture, to have been built in the fifteenth century. The site of this religious establishment is now a scene of active industry, being occupied by three manufactories for printing calicoes, and a copper-mill, which afford employment to a great number of hands.
The parochial church, dedicated to St. Mary, has the appear. ance of great antiquity. From a manuscript in the Herald's College, it appears to have been built by Gilbert Norman, who, after the grant of the manor by King Henry I. for the purpose, erected a church here, and is said to have adorned it with pictures and images. Lysons observes, that from the style of the architecture of the present church, there is little doubt of its being the original structure, and having undergone little alteration.
In Journals of the House of Commons, V. 623. + Domestic Intelligencer, March 5, 1680. Verrue's MSS. in the collection of the Earl of Orford at Strawberry-hill.
An engraving of it is given in Malcolm's Views for illustrating Lysons' Environs.
In the window of the chancel are some remains of painted glass; and against the north wall of the church hangs a large picture of Christ bearing his cross. Though now much damaged, it appears to have been a good painting, and either the work of Laca Jordano, or a copy from that master.
Merton Place, a modern mansion in this parish, was the favorite residence of the late Lord Nelson, who left it, with seventy acres of the grounds, to Lady Hamilton. It is now by purchase the property of Asher Goldsmid, Esq.
WALTER DE MERTON was a native of this parish, and eclucated in the convent here: he was appointed Keeper of the Great Seal in 1258; and 1261 Lord Chancellor of England, which office he held above three years. From a regard to the place in which he had received his birth, and the house where he had imbibed the first rudiments of instruction, he conceived a design of endowing it with considerable revenues for the perpetual support of scholastic divines. With this view he obtained of the Earl of Gloucester, as lord of the fee, his licence, dated 7th of May, 1262, to give and assign the neighboring nanor of Maldon to the priory of Merton, or any other religious establishment for that purpose. Upon farther consideration, however, he founded, in 1261, a separate college at Maldon, intended as a seminary for the larger institution at Oxford, which is still known by his game. But, in 1270, both these societies were united by him into that at Oxford, which he coinpleted in 1274. In the same year also having executed the office of chancellor a third time, he was consecrated Bishop of Rochester. He died 27th October, 1277, and was buried in his own cathedral, under a marble tomb, which was taken down in 1598 by Sir Henry Savile, Warden, and the Fellows of Merton College, who erected an elegant monument in its stead. *
At MORDON is Mordon Park, the property and residence of George Ridge, Esq. The house, a handsome quadrangular building, on a rising ground near the church, was originally
See Beauties, VII. 649.
erected by John Ewart, Esq. The extensive pleasure-grounds are agreeably diversified, and embellished with two fine sheets of water.
In this parish is also Mordon Hall, the mansion of Sir Robert Burnett, and the elegant seat and gardens of the late Abraham Goldsmid, Esq. who here terminated his life in September 1810. · MORTLAKE is the burial-place of several persons of considerable celebrity. In the church are interred Dr. John Dee, a man distinguished for his pretensions to magic and astrology, as well as by the personal friendship of Queen Elizabeth, who died at his house here in 1608, aged eighty-one; Sir John Barnard, whose zeal to promote the interests of his fellow-citizens will be remem. bered as long as his statue shall adorn the Royal Exchange, (ob. 1764); and Sir Brook Watson, who was created a baronet in 1803, and died in 1807.
In the church-yard is the tomb of John Partridge, the well known astrologer and publisher of an almanack, who was bred a shoe-maker, and became sworn physician to Charles II. He was a native of East Sheen, and died in 1715. Here is likewise the monument of John Barber, alderman of London, who died in 1741, aged sixty-five. He was the son of a barber in the metro. polis, and bred a printer, by which profession, and by the South Sea scheme, he acquired an ample fortune. In 1733 he served the office of lord mayor. The monument to Butler in Westmin. ster Abbey was erected by Mr. Barber, on which occasion Pope is said to have written these severe lines, which he proposed should be inscribed on the vacant scroll under Shakspeare's bust:
Thus Britain lov'd me and preserv'd my fame.
During Cromwell's protectorate some of his city friends, as Lord Pack, Lord Tichbourn, and Sir John Ireton, had houses at
Mortlake. From this circumstance probably originated the tradition, that an ancient mansion here, now leased to Miss Aynscomb, was the residence of Cromwell himself. So much is certain, that during the last century the house in question was inhabited by a more amiable, though less celebrated, man, the benevolent Edward Colston, who, in his life-time, expended more than 70001. on charitable institutions, and died here in 1721.
In 1619, a manufacture of fine tapestry was established at Mortlake hy Sir Francis Crane. This undertaking was patronized by the king, who gave 20001. towards it as an encouragement. After the death of the original proprietor, his brother, Sir Richard Crane, sold the concern to Charles I. and during the civil war the premises were seized by the Parliament as the property of the Crown. In the survey taken on this occasion, the Tapestry House is described as containing one room eighty-two feet in length, and twenty in breadth, with twelve looms; another about half as long, with six looms; and a third called the limningroom. After the Restoration, Charles II. intended to rovive the inanufacture, and sent to Verrio to sketch the designs; but his views were never carried into execution.
East Sheen is a hamlet in this parish, seated on a rising ground considerably above the level of the river. Here are several handsome villas, the vicinity to Richmond Park, and the beauty of the surrounding country, rendering it a desirable situation.
Temple Grove, formerly called Shene, or Sheen Grove, was the residence of the celebrated Sir William Temple. Here he indulged his taste for horticultural pursuits, after he had retired from the fatigue and disgust which he had experienced in his different embassies; and the noble trees that have escaped the ravages of the axe, together with the beautiful mount and fishponds that ornament the estate, bear testimony, to this day, of the pains he bestowed on the improvement of his favourite residence. It was here too that he received the visits of the Prince