The following is taken from a memoir written by Mr Batchelar when he was 86 and living on Brockham Green. Mr Batchelar was born 22 March 1801 Betchworth, the son of John and Ann and he was to die 18 March 1890 aged 89 years.
Now that I have attained to the good old age of 86, my grandchildren seem to have a particular wish for me to note down many little incidents that I can remember through this long life from my boyhood up to the present time. I have not the least objection to do so, to the best of my abilities but I fear I shall not be able to make such a good job of it, I know I shall not be very interesting or amusing and so dark that I can't see the lines, now midday but hope to be excused, being troubled with a nasty complaint called Exsmoore, which seems to take the thoughts of that irritable feeling itching which gets almost like a charm.
I being more at home than at school, I never had much schooling, and the first school that I went to was a Dame School, a Mrs James Harmans. Her husband was called Scotch Harman a labouring man, this I should say was 80 years ago. The next was a very good school kept by a Scotch man and again I was more at home than at school. The school stands now where it stood 80 years since, in Betchworth Common Fields, the only school at the time for Brockham, Leigh, Buckland, Headley and Walton that is a good school, the master's name was John Oliver, and he was Parish Clerk besides. The school has been very much enlarged since and is now a Board school.
All the Gentleman's Head Gardeners were all Scotchmen. I forget all their names,Elmslie, Gill, Button, GibsonandCoshpool.
I believe we found our own books and we paid 8d a week for being taught. This master was Steward toChas Henry BouverieEsq. at Betchworth House but he was an unprofitable servant he proved to be.
Then cameHenry GoulbournEsq. who was father to the present Col. Goulbourn, owner and occupier of Betchworth House.
In order to be able to bring to my memory any matters respecting the affairs of the Inhabitants I shall take the Chief of the Inhabitants as they come along. I shall begin at the top of Brockham Hill.
The name ofSir Benjamin Brodiethe owner and occupier of the estate called Brockham Warren, built by Mackey Brown Esq. who I believe occupied a post in the House of Commons I believe sold it to John Hackblock Esq. who made the present carriage road at the side of the hill from Dorking and Reigate main road, through the fir plantation, that I remember the trees being planted, near 80 years since. Mr Hackblocksold the estate to the first Sir Benjamin Brodie, who I believe was Serjeant Surgeon to the present Queen of England and Empress of India. The second Sir Benjamin Brodie was the Professor of Chemistry at the Oxford University.
I now come to a small cottage now in the occupation ofMartin Burberry. I can remember the family 70 years ago the name ofBlackbirdwho had a most unfortunate daughter, She was very deformed in the feet. She was obliged to walk as it were toes over toes, the feet turning in one over the other. She was in the family way and at last the man agreed to marry her and they were married at Betchworth Church and the next morning a child was born. She squinted and altogether she was quite an object to look at, all this I remember well.
The law in cases like this is now very much altered. If a man refused to marry the girl, he was taken up and sent to jail till the child was born, then she had to swear the child and he the man would be allotted £2 for the lying in to pay and from 2/- to 2/6d per week till the child was 14 years old, and the man set at liberty, with instructions to pay the money up to a certain time and if not paid would be sent to jail again, perhaps if it was a gentleman's child, they would double the amount or make him pay down a lump sum.
I never heard of what became of this Blackbird family, there is none here now, or for many years.
Now I come down the hill passing the two cottages at the side of the Dorking and Reigate main road, the name of Whiting and Sadler. (From the 1881 census, James Whiting, wife Hannah and son George, aged 7)
ToJohn Tate'sat Pudding Hole his house (Pudding Hole in the 1881 census, labourer in the Brick Yard) one half in this Parish and the other in Dorking Parish. 70 years ago was the name of Budd, it's on the south side of the South eastern line and South Side of the Dorking and Reigate Road.
I heard my Oldest Brother and My Uncle speaking of their walking the bounds they had to go through Tate's house and then they had to cross one arm of the River Mole, which caused a little amusement as once the Boat Capsized and Caused them to have a good drenching but none was drowned. The men would catch a Boy and bump his bottom against a tree if they found one on the boundary line to make them Remember the Place again.
The next place that I shall mention is MrDaniel Ockleys, lies on the east side of the road, leading from the hill into Brockham, on the North side of the River Mole, and opposite is now called the Lodge, belonging to a lady the name ofAnningformally called theHodgman'swhen Mr ThomasDodhad it as a farm house 80 years ago. (Notethere is a Dodd's Park off Wheelers Lane - spelt differently)
After him, Captain Morris,the old poet, who now lies buried in a tomb on the east side of Betchworth Church, with a neat iron railing round it. The house formally belonged to the Morris family, Col. and Captain John they were great friends of the Duke of Norfolk. The old poet Captain Morris belonged to the Beefsteak Club, he wore a blue coat with Gilt Buttons with a Gridir on crest on the buttons.
After the Morris's, I think was Templar Esq. Then I think William Bennett Esq. a Quaker who had a pair of emus and hatched some young ones, the first ever hatched in England. This was about in 1849 or 50 I think. Mr Anning purchased the place. Mr Anning died (1881 census, James, aged 48, a Produce Broker.) and left a widow, one son and three or four daughters (1881 census, 6 daughters).
The Road leading from the Hill, Dorking and from Betchworth formerly ran through or between Anning's and Oakley's. Mrs Anning's Grounds entrance, where the Chief entrance is now to the house, it ran in a direct line to the river within three feet of it, then with a sharp turn to the right within about fifty yards of the bridge then turn up over the Bridge into Brockham this Road was Cutting from the entrance of Mrs Anning's premises, I should say the bank on either side was 10 or 12 feet deep to the bed of the river in a direct line with the road, from the side of because my mother said when she was a girl brought up at Brockham she recollected seeing a boy in a flood time cross the river with a sack of flour on his horse's back and the people shouting to the boy to sit fast. I think when he got to the end of this deep cutting the water took the horse off his legs, so that he could not turn him over the bridge, but do the best he could to cross the water to the other side, they could only see the boys head and the horse's at one time.
I should say this was 90 years since I have been down this Old Road many times and turned to the right and over the left onto the bridge into Brockham.
The Duke of Norfolk bought part of Mr Ockley's garden that abutted up to the then Captain Morris's premises and made a straight road to the bridge as it now runs and put a gate to stop the Cattle from straying up into the Common Fields, I remember there was only a Hedge east and West of Morris's premises and the people used frequently to trespass by going over these hedges and go to the side of the river from one bridge to the other, this being the nearest cut to the Boro, or from the Boro to Betchworth instead of going round over the Green. I remember my father having an order from the Duke of Norfolk to put up a palisade fence on each side of the new road on Captain Morrises and Mr Ockleys also I remember having an order to put up a high fence exactly as it is now to enclose the east side of the Captain's premises, once as near as I can recollect it was about 1812 or 13. Father had an order to put up a palisade or two for the Duke to see how it would look, and it happened to be on Betchworth Club Day in the morning about 70 years ago, but here has been a new fence put up since. I remember same sort. The other part of Mill Hill belonged to the estate as far as the Gates on the Hill leading to Betchworth Church.
Now I am over onto the south side of the River Mole on the North side of the Green. In a cottage lived Richard Laker, a gardener to Mrs Anning, where a man the name of Gransby a very fine looking man, a fondling, next Henry Andrews a gardener; Wm. Ayres commonly called Butty Ayres an old Veterinary Surgeon and Blacksmith. The next is a villa in which lived William Rose Esq. the owner and occupier of this Villa, and owner of the two cottages afore mentioned he was the Phleizer at No I Pump Court Temple, London. He died at Brockham 11th February 1845 aged 79 years who now lies buried in Betchworth Church Yard. On the left hand side of the footpath leading to the Church from Brockham. He was Great Grandfather to the children I am now writing my Recollections for.
The next is John Woodman formerly Wm. Felton, next Mrs Alexander, Sawyer; Parfeet now Isaac's, Lesney and others.
Next Mr Wm. Smith a New Built (1886) public House called the Royal Oak, the next was the Old Royal Oak, (From the 1881 census, the Oak was run by Henry Unwin, his wife and daughters, aged 20 and 17) the licence being transferred to the new one now let to Mrs Wait for a Lodging House, formally kept by Mr John Bower nearly a century ago when he built it. The next (the Meadows) Sir Ashley Cohen formerly E. Noy Esq. the next the Methodist Chapel formally under a trusteeship of the Burberry family, and now Thos. Goble and others.
The next is Mrs Robertson (Old Inn Cottage) her husband was for many years in the Custom House in London owner and occupier formerly Mr Thomas an old Shipwright, but before him was Mrs Reynolds a Good old Lady, reckoned to be very charitable leaving a gift of 2/6 yearly to old women.
The next is the old public house, the Duke's Head, lately let to a man the name of Covey formally James Street 70 years ago, with many others since.
Now I commence on the west side of the Green the Chapel Ministers House (River Cottage) Mr Bittle Aubonet. And now next (Providence Cottages) (Providence Place, 1881 census) Mr G. Sherlock, T Risbridger, (1881 census, Thomas, a tailor, aged 60 and his wife and son) T Streeter (1881 census, Edwin, aged 28 a boat maker, employing one person, Mary, 33, and son aged 4 and Mm. Streeter) Wm. Waterer, (1881 census, a labourer on the roads, aged 75, his wife and grand daughter, aged 11 and a lodger, a Blacksmith.) or Taylor, (1881 census, Mary, aged 64, a former beer house keeper) called Bank.
Next Mr Baker (Birch Cottage) formally seventy years since the Revd Chas Smith a Desenting (sic) Minister the Father of Chas. Smith Esq. a Solicitor of Reigate, who was twice elected mayor of Reigate who filled the office with Great Dignity and Honour who I believe is now dead.
The next is the Grove a Mr Orme Esq, a private Gentleman was occupied 70 years since by Mr Fox a farm bailiff to the owners Henry Peters Esq. of Betchworth Castle about 70 years since. He was unfortunate in his management; too many winners and foolish fancies - such as offering to give a load of manure for a load of couch to plough into the land, it was reported that he lost £3000 for the Old Squire and it was said that Fox died in the Croydon Workhouse, of course Mr Peters could not keep him any longer, poor old man. I went to Mr Oliver's school with his daughter. The next (Brooklands) is Mrs Bowman whose Husband (1881 census, Henry, a retired architect) bought the estate of Mr Sherwood of Ludgate Hill, who nearly rebuilt the house and Mr Bowman added Greenhouses, Conservatories and it formally belonged to Mr Richard Noble some 70 years ago.
The next (White Lodge) is Mr (Richard) Reeves formerly Captain Young, built by Mr Ray, the owner.
The next (North View) is a small cottage occupier Widow John Harman. (1881 census, a retired farmer, aged 83, wife, aged 57) formerly the Ditch ran in front of the house, then occupied by the name of Harry Lee had to cross the ditch on a board.
Next is Mr James Bowyer (1881 census, wife Rebecca, nephew, Cuthbert, aged 17, daughters Harriet, aged 3 and Annie, aged 1 and three servants) formally Mr John Harman Baker, Tailor and Grocer. He was father and grandfather to the late two John Harmans.
Next is Mr Mark Elson (Rose Cottage1881 census, aged 64, employing two men and one boy, wife Ellen) wheelwright, formally Miss Niblet of Dorking who married Mr Thomas a Shipwright.
Next Mr Stephen Powell, formally his uncle Wm. Powell, both shoemakers 50 years ago next was Mr Parker, adjoining tenants. (Rickstones was once two houses)
The next is Mr John Belchambers, (1881 census, age 39, wife Mary Ann and son John, aged 6, three grocery assistants, one clerk, and one servant) dealer in Provisions, Grocer, Tea Dealer, Pork Butcher, Baker occupier and owner. The Post Office formally Mr Peter Hoare, same trade 80 years ago. He was called Donkey Hoare by the Vulgar.
The next is four cottages, (Church Cottages, demolished in 1968) the names now is Mrs Richard (1881 census, Elizabeth) Bishop, Mrs Joseph (1881 census, Sarah, aged 59, a charwoman) Lindsey, John Fuller, plumber and painter, formerly Richard Wood, J Boltwood, John Smith and Dame Wright.
Next Widow John Worsfold, (The Chemist Shop, 1881 census, Hannah, a widow, aged 51 and two daughters, Eliza, aged 25, and Lavinia, age 23.) schoolmasters.
Next is Arthur Batchelar, (1881 census, farmer of 103 acres, employing six men and one boy. Age 50, wife Katherine and daughter Grace, age 19) formerly George Tickner
Next is Widow Gray (1881 census, Maria, age 56) (Hope House) next Mrs Maskell (Denmark House), then used to be Rumbsy a shoemaker next Martin Ellis and Thos. Burberry, (1881 census, Brewhouse farm, Gardner, Domestic Servant, age43, wife, Maria, aged 33, daughter, Kate, age 7) next the Farm Yard, A Batchelars,
The next Johnson Batchelar, (1881 census, a retired tailor and grandson Arthur, aged 16) self, owner and occupier the next Thos. Risbridger, Shop and Tailor
The next is the Yew Tree Cottage was occupied by Mrs Elson (White House) who has just left thorough getting married to a builder the name of Laughton living at Eden Grove, Holloway, now Alfred Sasetus Mackrell (1887 and 8).
The next is Mr Balchin the Butcher new built house on purpose for him, opposite the pond, south end of the Green.
The next is a double cottage Mrs White, a widow and next Richard Humphrey, sexton and clerk. (1881 census, a tailor, wife Mary and grand daughter age 9, born in the East Indies), then some cottages (Brookside Cottages) belonging to Mr Sherlock on the other side of the road, same side as the Smith's and Wheelers Shop.
Mr Sherlocks House (Whiteways 1881 census, George, The Smithers, employing three men and two boys. Grace his wife and four daughters, Jessie, Florence, Lilian and Alice) then Dakers Park then Mr Henry Dods (1881 census, a retired farmer, son aged 44, housekeeper, Kezia - his step daughter, aged 53 and one servant) who rents the Park and House, once the residence (Brockham House) of the Revd. John Miller, the first Clergyman that came to preach in the new church 1845 at Brockham. Miss Joyce next, formerly Mrs Daniel Ferrard next George Parfeet formerly Roberts a Blacksmith 70 years ago or more.
Richard Worsfold or John, worker for 60 years at Pondtail Farm, then came his son Richard a labourer, next George Rose, Daniel Dolly, John Stilwell, (Dells Cottage).
Now on the opposite (Wheelers Lane) Kensett Esq. formerly Mr. Wm. and James Skilton wheelwrights and Mr Thos. Skelton a carpenter. I can remember his great grandfather living there a Wheelwright (Wheelwrights Cottage).
Next Lady Way who erected a Girls Orphan School. Next Mr Pullen a Blacksmith, formerly Thos. Haybittle, since dead, February 1888.
The next is a newly built Board School for Girls and Boys the master Mr Owen a good master and organist at the Church.
The next is the Vicarage. This was built for the Revd. Frances Cameron who married his servant Hannah Dale, who went to live at Crowerts near Hastings and Battle
The next is the Revd A.B. Cheales gardener. On the east side of the Green (Vicarage Cottage), Isaac Bishop, formerly Mr Edward Worley, a Corn Dealer 60 or 70 years ago, he was killed by a boar on the Green. The boar bit him trough the top part of the thigh and he soon bled to death. The boar belonged to Mr Howard at Court Lodge Farm, it was killed immediately.
The next is a new villa built by Mrs Ada Hope, (North and South Lodge), occupied by the celebrated perfumeries Masters Gosnell of Piccadilly. This villa stands nearly on the site of a very old house and noted for its architecture. It has been sketched by every artist in England, often two or three at a time.
The adjoining villas look north and south on the village green, occupied by H. R. Kempe Esq., the new church warden. The road leads to Court Lodge Farm, part of Mr Kemp's garden is on where formerly stood the old Butchers Shop, (1881 census, Balchins, Richard, wife Jane and eight children) close to the Pound formerly occupied by Mr Richard Burberry in the last century and great part of 1886. I ought to mention the names of the last tenants who lived in the ancient building who were Joseph Budd and his sister Susan, George Barns, Mrs James White Hilton and family George Waterer, Richard Dolly and family.
(According to J.B. James, Skilton was the Wheelwright in Wheelwrights Cottage when Sherlocks were at the Smithers.
Miss Joyce's house included a Blacksmith's. Where the (Surgery, now Builders) was a Blacksmiths called Pullen. On the far side of the Duke's Head was yet another Smithy)
Mr Balchin having left his old shop, I have penned a few lines of Friendly Welcome to him and his family on his coming to reside near me on Brockham Green:
Johnson Batchelar (sic)
If you view this beautiful Green around
You will find the Butchers old Shop is now pulled down
Where now this business over 100 years has been carried on
And the last Old tenant is gone to reside near the pond
In a well built house a Good Situation
Expressly built to suit his own occupation
On the 7th of March he made a Start
And I wish him success with all my Heart
His house and his shop so clean and so neat
And airy with all, it's bound to be Sweet
His Weights and Scales are just and true
So honour to Richard Balchin to whom all Honour is due
Death Rate in the Daily News June 20 1888. The Death rate in London again declined last week and was only 14.2 per thousand or lower rate than in any week since Sept 1885.
Same date. Between the 1st April and the 10th instant the Exchequer Receipts amounted to 17,288,943 as compared with 17,902,626 in the corresponding period of the last financial year and the expenditure of 17,309,570 as against 16,229,321£ on Saturday last the treasury balances stood at 4,012.170£ and on the same date last year at 4.619,649£
Now I come to the Church. This Church was built and endowed by Henry Goulbourn Esq. the eldest son of the Right Honble. Henry Goulbourn of Betchworth House, Chancellor of the Exchequer at his own expense, and endowed it with £40 a year. There was a great deal said about it before it was built such as where is the congregation to come from, even the Baptist minister said the Cattle ought to blow it down for robbing them of there (sic) pasture.
I as frequent attendant at Betchworth Church I often counted the number that used to attend the Church from Brockham on a Sunday to Church and it averaged about from 60 to 70 children and all. After the Church was built Henry Thos. Hope Esq. from the Deepdene came across to the church where he was taling (sic) that is Mr G Tickner and I. Mr Hope said he had a three quarter clock that he would give to the church if the inhabitants would like to accept of it, and he would I think he said give 10 or £20 toward putting it up and however he gave £30 in all for it. Cleaning and repairing it, but he said you have no stairs to get into the tower to wind it up, and Mr Tickner said we would soon find someone who would not mind being pulled up in a basket to do that. Mr Batchelar here would do that, I said oh yes if we can get the clock. Mr Freshfield made us a present of a bell a much larger one than the original one, and took away the old one. I cant (sic) recollect who put up the Stairs outside the tower to get into it. I mean who paid for it, however, we got the Clock the large Bell and an entrance into the tower from the outside. I think the Church could not of been built in a better situation for me. It did not obstruct my view in any way, I said to Mr Daniel Ferrard, something about the church, as she (sic) says you are like all the rest, you are too late you lock the door now the Horse is stolen, it could not be a better place according to my idea, but she did not know what I was going to say, so I said nothing, further she expected that I was against the Church being built where it is, because it took away the view of the Hill from her house and premises. She was altogether against the Church. I know the first Sunday that it was opened for Service the 12th day of January 1847 when the bell began to toll for Morning Service, I opened the front door, and saw the Revd. John Miller walk down the middle of the Green straight to Mr Rowerth the Churchwarden with his Black silk gown on. I thought what a fine sight it was to see with the bell tolling, it gave me such a thrilling sensation that it quite moved me to tears. I could not help myself. There seemed to be something Grand about it for Brockham, and that dawned on her, good for the rising generation I can't possibly describe my feelings at the time, after Mr Millar then the Revd. Frances Cameron then the Revd. Berryman. Alan Cheales succeeded the Revd Frances Cameron who is now the present Vicar who is a good man out of the church as well as in. He is a Great Rose grower and successful prize taker.
The next is Court Lodge House, the Residence of Mr Hatch what is termed a gentleman Farmer Formerly Mr Wm Tickner and a dozen before him. Since my memory and while my Father was building this house, I can remember the Mrs Constables from Horley, Millers attempted to Row in a small open boat into London, by the River Mole when it was over flown being a Great Deal of Rain when they came to the bridge opposite they were obliged to get out of the Boat and Drag it Round at the end of the Bridge, the arches being full, they had a young gentleman in the boat with them; a large Newfoundland Dog with a net covering, I should think this was for anyone to lay hold of if he went to the rescue if anyone fell overboard. However in going along under Box Hill the boat capsized when the poor young man floated under a stump of a tree growing out of the bank he was sent their (sic) that is to Messrs. Constables to get an insight of the milling trade. His father was a city merchant.
I think of those houses as I walk along they have a tale of their own to tell, there was the old Coutrt Lodge House my Father pulled down. I once remembered well and the old tenant Mr Unwins as he gazed on the ruins, he heaved some deep sighs and groans, he thought of the haunted old house when he saw the human bones, they were dug from under the stairs, and I make no doubt whoever it was, they were buried without funeral rights or prayers, Mr Unwins thought of his predecessory, and the mysterious tales that were told that he was not only a farmer but a daring highwayman bold. His high bred riders he kept in the dark and never to see the light the better to train them for their desperate deeps when seeking there (sic) pray (sic) at night, and whatever became of him I have never heard him named.
Perhaps like Jerry Abershaw died an ignominious death without remorse or shame. Miss Priscilla Wakefield writes in the new London, speaks of Wimbledon Common, as a spacious track of land on which highwaymen used formerly to perpetrate their midnight depredations hence. She add like house or Heath, on the opposite side of the River it was once deformed by a hideous range of Gibbets the reproach and disgrace of a civilised country from those body was here suspended on the ignominious tree as unworthy of heaven and of earth was one Abershaw who by his depraved deeds have been the terror of the metropolis and its vicinity. Jerry Abershaw was executed in August 1795 on Kennington Common the daring spirit which he manifested on his way to the gallows was the subject of general conversation near his gibbet was a caricature of Pitt and his duel with George Finlay the latter levelling his pistol at the spare form of the Premier was represented as exclaiming its as well to fire at a darning needle. Wimbledon as we have seen was Pitts favourite suburban walk. The Joke is that he chose it out of sympathy for that Jerry took purses with his pistols and Pitt with his parliaments, the one instrument being not much better then the other, but the highwayman did not confine themselves to midnight depredations.
Of course I can well remember their (sic) being so much talk about Jerry Abershaw being hung in chains on Wimbledon Common and we was that alarmed that they was troubled to make us go by ourselves and at the same time it was thought the Farmer was a highwayman at the court Lodge. We used to often heard of foot pads being taken up for Highway Robbery by stopping people and their carriages on the high road in a most daring manner with their pistols in hands.
I Johnson Bachelar having got so far in my road to my last home, I think I can't do better than sit down and commit to memory what I have seen as well as I a can, it may be amusing to some of the rising generation for it has been a wonderful eventful period, during the 86 years that I have lived, and had my being such a time that not many can boast in my general health and now I can say that I am now as well as ever, I have been in my life, thank God, and for all his Great Goodness.
I think I can't do better than write down my journey to London when I was I imagine 10 years old on a visit to my Uncle Thos. Batchelar who was a celebrated printer in Long Alley Moorfields London say 76 years ago the printing was carried on in quite the Old Style, they used large Balls inkt (sic) to daub the type with which I thought by the size of it that it was heavy to lift and caught it up, and it came against my face. That I lookt (sic) like a sweep, my Uncle was one who used to print the last dying speeches and confessions of the poor culprits that were hangd(sic) They used to supply the little grocers and village shops with the halfpenny and penny book penny sheets of songs he little Hornsey?? Books and such like prints. I have often seen some of the old men come through Betchworth past our House at Betchworth when I lived at home and dome of them got to know that the printer was my Father's brother and they did not forget to call and tell my father that they see my Uncle and the family was all quite well they used to have a placard in their hats of the Dying Speech and Confession of Poor Culprits that were Hang, Sometimes it so happened that the culprit received a respite and I fancy the last dying speech was sold all the same. I remember Moorfields being a dirty looking place with a lot of posts and rails and deep drains cut in and about the open spaces to let the water of forming little gutters an scattered with oyster shells broken earthenware dead dogs and cats like I remember Kennington Common was the same, covered with refuse of every description. Dead dogs and cats, and earthenware of every description
I can remember coming through Kennington Common and I thought how vulgar it lookt (sic) to see as I thought water closets spanning the wide ditch on the commonside (sic) but I soon began to learn better from Mr Richard Briggs, the carrier who sometimes went to London twice a week I suppose we rode all day for 1/6 to 2/6. This was the only swift and sure way to get to London when I was a boy to go to Reigate or Regut as it was often called was to (sic) expensive but only the gentlefolk could afford to travel like that. I remember Thos. Dibden living at a villa called Snower Hill Betchworth and he would often go to London and he had a boy a servant, used to go to Reigate to meet his master to carry his bag or parcels, and I have gone with him, since times to help him. I remember him Mr Thos. Dibden quite well. He used to walk with a sort of a spring with one foot and I recollect his brother Chas. Very well, they never kept any horse or carriage that I can remember. Our carrier was very handy at that time of day we had to pay 7 ½ to 8d a letter I can't remember how long it would take to go or come from London took nearly the whole day I believe it was the means for many to get a service for a girl and a means for the carrier to convey the messages from the parents as letters were very expensive by post. It was cheaper to send by carrier than by post, beside it was a profitable thing to go and deliver a message direct from the mother, as many could not write, and if she had a good service there would be many a little good thing pass hands to help pay for a parcel going or coming, if by letter and there was no time to deliver the letter could slip it into the 2 penny post for Walker to take, you was not obliged to prepay then as we are now a days, I know one old carrier would go almost any distance to deliver a letter himself in hopes of seeing Mary Jane or sally to make sure of a cup of tea glass of beer and a nice cake laid up over the clock. This remembrance of a Servant that lived in this neighbourhood shows how those careful mistresses are to be deceived by their servants when there is a sweetheart comes a courting, when a joint of meat is taken from the masters of course they expect to find it as the master or mistress leaves it after dinner, this Cook used to cut off a nice slice while hot and lay it in the gravy and when brought to table the next day, this nice slice was taken away for Joseph, so that it did not look as if it had been touched. Since it was taken from the table perhaps not known to their fellow servants, but however clever she was found out, and lost her place through it. The woman a fellow servant who told the mistress of the scheme she had to give her sweetheart a nice piece of meat of in the evening when he came a courting I suppose that was not all he had.
It may be somewhat singular and a little remarkable in my long career that out of the many accidents that I have had, that I have never had to reproach myself of doing anything wrong to cause an accident except getting a small scratch on my shin in climbing on to the Waggonette to see the horses pass the winning post in a Derby Race at Epsom Downs which was only a mere scratch, and soon got well again. This is the only thing I can remember ever happened in all my journeys to or at the many races that I have attended, and I can solemnly swear that I have attended 66 Derby Races beside the Oaks the Ascot Brighton Lewes Croydon and Reigate the whole of them the short time they lasted. I mean the Reigate as they did not last long. I think this may be a pretty good run for one man's pleasure, and looking at the Constant misfortunes that attend some people I may thank my God for all this blessing and I feel that to travel on like this so many years reflects Great Credit on any man for his judgement and care in conducting himself, mid so many careless and reckless go a head poor foolish mortals as well as the wise and sober minded men often of every nature and clime by the thousands that congregate, and as I consider not only to see the Horse Race, but for the benefit of the human race in making work in circulating the money for the benefit of the starving community instead of hoarding it like a dog in a manger, that could not eat the hay himself nor allow another horse to eat it.
There were many other places of amusement that annual took place to call people to attend every little village had its Fair but the most noted was Leatherhead most all the little fairs have died out in the little villages. I remember Leatherhead Fair was celebrated for its Great Stalls of Toyes (sic) where the surrounding Gentry used to come in their carriages with the bulk of all their children it was considered a grand place to resort to by the Gentry.
There was Wombell Gingles Sanders Cooks and many other beside
It was a fair for Hiring men and boys for servants, it was noted for stall to be frying sausages all hot, and eaten there and a great deal of nonsense was spoken about what they were composed of such as cats dogs or donkeys in order to spoil the appetite. I once saw a poor man the name of Brown from Croydon a fish monger he had the good luck to sell all his fish and oysters that he opened on the Ground and retailed to the customers as they passed he when finished laid down in his cart and went to sleep some thief came and picked his pocket of every penny he had taken that day, poor man, that was a bad heartless job I did feel very sorry indeed for him, we used to make it a Rule at times to take tea at the Dukes head when such as my mother and other female acquaintances met. I went into the Dukes Head two Fairs running one year after the other. You may consider I am silly to mention it, but I thought it singular at the time that the man could commence a song the moment that I each year passed the open door, where he was singing I knew him well, an Ashtead man.
The man the fishmonger I just spoke of I remember came to Reigate and set up a Butcher's shop and Horse Dealer, and I believe he was very prosperous in his business. I fancy he had a son rather an extravagant spendthrift. I never heard what became of the family.
I can remember when I was a boy near 80 years since and living at home when a coachman I don't know if he was coachman to the Old Family Chas. Henry Bouverie Esq. of Betchworth House or the Right Hon. H. Goulbourn the present owner one of his horse as he was leading him he turned on him and kicked and bit him and he drove him amongst some box trees under the churchyard wall where he would have killed him his screams brought people with stakes and knocked him off he was very ill a long time I don't think he lived long.
Brockham, April 3rd, 1887
Palm Sunday. I Johnson Batchelar now of Brockham can remember on Palm Sunday I think about the year 1819 or 20 however it was during my apprenticeship putting on a brand new buff cashmere waistcoat my master Mr Weller sent me to Westhumble on the morning of this Palm Sunday and as I was passing through a meadow before crossing the end of Pixholme Lane the footpath used to run in line with the road inside of the field but since then some time the hedge was removed and the path now runs on the outside of the field with the road, it was used by Mr Alloway the butcher who lived at the bottom of the Ram Alley now called Dene Street.
When I was walking through this field a small bird dropped its dirt all down the front of my new waistcoat it being woollen texture I easily cleaned it, it was made for a young Fuller at the Rookery who my master rigged out to take to the Indies with him Indian nankeen trousers white wassets (?) and I suppose I got it cheap. With all that that may be said about Good luck or bad luck about wearing something new on Palm Sunday this was rather a remarkable circumstances that it so happened on the Palm Sunday but it did happen. My Master persuaded me to buy it. The waistcoat
Brockham, November 29th 1887
After my Father's Death John Batchelar Builder Betchworth Surrey which happened or that took place 21st March 1839 aged 68 years
Leaving my mother a widow in the year 1839 she died July 25 1854 aged 86. My two brothers was then working in London in Mr Cubitt's firm, Wm. Came to Betchworth to manage the building business for my Mother and my Brother Henry assisted to carry on the business.
I forget exactly about them but I believe they managed the business between them, when I believed Wm carried on the business for himself by paying my Mother some percentage out of the business. She having a meadow and two or three cows and a cottage or two help her she managed pretty well to live.
My brother had been working at Cubitts some years when he came to London to carry on the business at Betchworth he got a wife and family that he brought with him and lived near my mothers and the business and while he lived there some considerable time there came a church missionary clergyman who had been doing his duty as a missionary place having served his time amongst the Black. He came to settle down as a retired Clergyman the rev. Trew. He took a very nice genteel residence with some meadowland and kept a horse and trap.
After a day or so the housekeeper came over which was opposite my brothers to enquire about the neighbour hood to know what things could be purchased in the place. She came in and sat down. My brother's wife one side of the fireplace and the housekeeper on the other side. And while they sat talking Mrs Batchelar says I can't help looking at you you do so much remind me of a cousin of mine, well this person says what might her name be. Mrs Batchelar tells her Ann Marks. Well she says that is my name. Well to be sure how singular that we should come together after so many years absence. It seems that Ann Marks Father had been a publican and failed in business and the family went to service and had to do the best they could to get a living. It seems that my brother's wife never seemed to know what became of the family till this old affair turned up. And now I forget what became of this person but however they found out some relatives in Dorking the name of Robertson and here I must leave it.
I believe my brother was very clever and was thought much of by Mr Cubitt, Himself, for he was not quite a common carpenter and joiner. For while he was at home my father had to rebuild a gentleman's house and they had to put up some very fancy staircase and handrails, and my father had to employ a man whose business it was to erect these things so that my father put my brother under him to learn the art of getting out certain lines for drawings and plans and rules of the most difficult shapes that could be imagined, the most critical to overcome.
However he worked for Mr Cubitt for a good while.
He fitted up all the staircases in Eaton Square. He had men to work for him generally young men who he used to teach the art of cutting out and shaping the rails to fit the staircases according to their twisted and circular forms. They used to come in the evening to learn the art of drawing staircases and handrails so that by their practice in assisting to cut out the handrails they soon become good hands at their trade which must have been a difficult one to learn.
I can remember when Sir Benjamin Brodie brought the estate now called Broome Park. My 2 brothers Wm. and Henry was carrying on the business of builders and both of my brothers had been working for Mr Cubitt and they got an order to make great alterations in the house and Lady Brodie rather disputed whether they could make the grand staircase she wanted for the house and referred her to Mr Cubitt for their character as to their abilities.
Mr Cubitt wrote her Lady Brodie a letter and told her that if my brother could not build the sort of staircase she required, there was not a man in London that could. Mr Cubitt sent his head foreman to see her with a letter, and the Foreman gave her to understand that there was the chief employment fitting up hand rails and staircases.
------ I remember we have good cause Lord Wellington's Great Victory on the plains of Waterloo. Its (sic) over 70 years ago still I seem to hear the shouts of joy with which the news was greeted far and near. All England then exulted and in all our towns that night every window Rich and poor there blazed a candle light.
There I must remark I was at this illumination at Dorking at night Joseph Sayers kept the linen drapers shop by the pump at the bottom of the town and being a Quaker did not illuminate consequently had his windows smashed by the people and the people had to replace them
----- Brockham has always been a little dissenting village since I have known it, and they have a very nice neat little church on the green it caused much talk as to where the congregation was coming from.
The foregoing is a little sketch of the ?Comit that can well recollect I should say quite 75 years ago for I entered my 88th year the 2nd February Candlemas Day last. I thought as I could not seem to know how to explain it by writing and for the fist time in my life I would represent it if I could by making a sketch of it according as I could think of its position, I can't find out at present exactly the time it made its appearance or how long it appeared with us but I guess about 1810 or 1812, we used to go up where you see the handpost and look over the gate towards Box Hill where Dr. Parr had his house built in the field, and the people I forget if it was Henry Petty Esq. or if Wm. Kenricks it was about the time I believe the estate changed hands, the gentry and servants used to come out of the gate opposite and cross the road looking over the gate where Dr. Parr had built his house he lived but a short time to enjoy it leaving his widow who now bears an excellent character towards the poor ever ready to keep in the medical business. The house with 2 folding doors was my brother James Batchelars where he lived and carried on his corn trade and malting business and where he kept his entire horse that travelled the country led by John Haylor and John Prescaud, he used Moorplace Farm about that time I think opposite his house was two cottages in one an old shoe maker the name Mills and Seragg, now pulled down many years and as you can see a Stonne wall built the road leading to the Station was made just before I cam into the world it was always called the New Road and will do until the name of the station wears it out, or to the Southeastern Railway line or London and Portsmouth Line, and this leads to Mr Finley's Chalk and Lime Kilns and hartstone pits leads to Pebble Hill, to Epsom Downs by Headley or Walton where I have to my certain knowledge been and seen over 60 Derby Stakes contended for by other as well Oakes without any accident except a little scratch on my shin through my foot slipping of (sic) the steps getting on the waggonette to see the horses coming to the winning post having got down for the moment.
----- I can well remember my two Brothers James Batchelar and Wm. going to work at Lord Templeton at his house called Wonham at Betchworth I should think about 1808 to 11810 they came home all men with a gold 7s piece watch for their weeks work, these pieces were soon called in again -----
-------- I was born on the 2nd of February 1801 Candlemas Day and used to dream about the French when I caught cold and got light headed, and it was a most fearful time. I used to clutch hold of my brothers in bed and pray for them to hold me tight.
I can remember the War going on in France when I was a Boy, my Father used to take the Weekly Dispatch or Bells Life in London, and sit up in the old chimney corner and read it to us all, and how alarmed we used to feel at any reverses that befell our army, it really was a critical time as you may read in the Battle of Waterloo.
I was thinking the other day seeing a lot of foot soldiers comfortably seated in the railway carriage instead of marching by road as they did when I was a boy.
I remember Wm. Kenrick of Bletchingly a Judge buying the Estate that is now called Broom he had it nearly all pulled down and rebuilt I think it was called Tranquil Dale at that time.
My Father and Mr Wallace of Bletchingly had the job to rebuild it again and I had to take the Turret Clock to Mr Edgar's at Bletchingly to have it cleaned and put in order, and when they were ready for it I had to fetch it again and I shall never forget what a job I had with a lot of foot soldiers poor fellows so crippled and worn out by their forced and long marches, I think it seems to me to be almost life and death at that time.
I think it must have been just before the Battle of Waterloo was fought, however these poor fellows would insist in riding in my cart and my pony was the most sluggish and slowest beggar that any man sat behind. However, when I got through Buckland I came to the path that crosses the fields and cuts off a corner and come onto the road again just as you come onto Betchworth. They went down this footpath and I kept to the road of course they got on long before me and when I got rid of them and a good job too for the clock was very heavy so much ironwork.
This is a memorandum taken from my old Bible of which I can swear to has been correct statement of the following deaths at the time they occurred.
James Batchelar Builder Betchworth Surrey Died 24 day of October 1818 aged 82 years
John Batchelar Building son of the above James Batchelar died 21 day of March 1839 aged 68 years
Wm. Rose son of Wm. and Sarah Rose of Brockham died on the sea and buried in New Zealand
Sarah Rose wife of Wm. Rose the Filiger (?) (Sic) of Brockham Died the 19 December 1841 agd. (Sic) 72 years.
Wm. Rose of Brockham the Filizer (?) (Sic) in the Temple Husband of the above Sarah Rose died 11th February 1845 aged 79 years
Henry Rose son of Wm. and Sarah Rose died
Sarah Rose daughter of the above Wm. and Sarah Rose died 21st May 1815 aged 12 years
Ann Batchelar wife of John Batchelar builder died July 25th 1854 aged 86 years.
James Batchelar carpenter at Betchworth House, Son of James Batchelar Builder at Betchworth died April 15 1845 aged 70 years
James Batchelar, Maltser and Farmer at Betchworth, Son of John and Ann Batchelar died 1st March 1857 aged 62 years
Henry Batchelar son of John and Ann Batchelar of Betchworth died in Brockham 13 October 1857 aged 52 years
Jane Batchelar wife of James Batchelar, maltser Died 13 Jan 1849 buried in Walton Churchyard near the south east corner of the Church, near Captain Ecaans tomb.
Wm. Batchelar the son of Thos. Batchelar of Long Alley Moor Fields, the Printer aged 69 years, buried in Sandhurst Dec. 17th 1874 supposed died at Sandhurst Road, Berks. His father was son of James Batchelar builder of Betchworth and I Johnson Batchelar of Brockham knew him well.
Wm. Batchelar Builder of Betchworth died Oct. 5 1876 had he lived till the last day of the year he would have been 80 years of age.
Mrs Margaret Batchelar daughter of Wm. Rose and Sarah, wife of Henry Batchelar of Brockham, died June 13th 1877
Mrs Caroline Ann Batchelar wife of Johnson Batchelar of Brockham and sister of the above Margaret Batchelar died April 26 1878 aged 82 years.
In memory of Katharine Batchelar wife of Arthur Batchelar of Brockham who died 4th August 1882 aged 46 years, and was buried in the Dorking Cemetery near the South West end of the ground.
Also Arthur William Batchelar died at Bangalore India, May 4 1887 aged 21. He was the son of the above Arthur and Katharine Batchelar, buried in the Indies, poor young man had £7 odd, the short time he had been in the army, The Royal Horse Artillery.
Henry Batchelar of Betchworth, Surrey, Builder, son of Wm. Batchelar Builder died -
Colonel Goulbourn, late Grenadier Guards died on the 2nd instant, Betchworth House, Surrey, aged 71 years, Times Nov.1887. The coffin was 86 cwt. The above Colonel was bourn by 16 bearers, Mr Stanford, Arthur Batchelar, Mr Bridges, G Sherlock, Bridges son. Wm. Chandler, W. Napper, J Flint, 3 Constables, 3 servants and others
-------- A bank failure when I was an apprentice at Dorking. It was carried on by Mr. Joseph Peters, a Great lime burner and farmer and I think coal merchant. He kept a very active shrewd man to do all the business he could with his Bank Notes as one Pound Notes was in circulation at that time. He got rid of a great many as well as the larger ones. He rode a very fine horse and looks bigger than his master, and assumed much more importance. His name was John Veal. This Banker employed several hands in his lime works land farming and poor old man worked him for many years and had saved two or three hundred pounds and put it in this bank and lost it all, Peters became a bankrupt this poor old man lost his all.
This poor old man got a large white sheet of paper and had a large flame of fire painted on it and the Banker's feet entering into it and the devil as represented with his long fork or pring (sic) pushing him into the fire. This old man must have stood by that pump 12 months with a clean white round frock on, the Banker Peters married Widow Brown the confectioner near the pump where I think her son now carried on the baking business the poor old man used to stand near the pump between this and the bakers shop. Peters had a house in the lime works land a groom used to fetch her every night with one horse chaise. This I consider it to be near about 70 years ago, as I was an apprentice at that time and was 87 on the 2nd February
Editor: The 1881 census record is added
1881 Census for Johnson Batchelar
Birth Year 1801
Birthplace Betchworth, Surrey, England
Occupation Retired Tailor
Marital Status Widowed
Head of Household Johnson BATCHELAR
Dwelling Box Hill Cottage Taylors Shop
Census Place Betchworth, Surrey, England