Chertsey, Surrey Family History Guide

Chertsey is an Ancient Parish and a market town in the county of Surrey.

Parish church:

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1606
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1693

Nonconformists include: Baptist, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Independent/Congregational, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, and Wesleyan Methodist.

Adjacent Parishes

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

Chertsey, a town, a parish, a sub-district, and a district in Surrey. The town stands on the Thames, at the terminus of a branch of the Southwestern railway, 21½ miles WSW of London. It is the Ceortesige of the Saxons; and was a seat of the Saxon kings. Its site was originally a grassy island; and is now low ground, among rich green meadows. A great monastery was founded at it, in 666, by Earconwald bishop of London, son of Auna, king of the East Saxons; suffered repeated devastation, and eventually destruction by the Norsemen; was re-established, as a Benedictine abbey, in 964, by Edgar; and was given, at the dissolution, first to Bisham priory, and next to Sir William Fitzwilliam. The body of Henry VI., was deposited for a short period in this abbey; and removed afterwards to Windsor.
The lady Anne, as noted by Shakspeare, encountered Richard of Gloucester on her way to Chertsey. The abbey possessed great wealth and consequence, drawing much traffic to the town; but was almost totally demolished soon after the Reformation. The site passed to Dr. Hammond, the physician of James I.; was held by Dr. Hammond’s son, the divine who attended Charles I. at Carisbrooke; went next to Sir Nicholas Carew of Beddlington; passed afterwards through various hands; and was recently purchased by one of the local honorary secretaries of the Surrey Archaeological Society. Only a wall-fragment and a rude gateway of the buildings remain; but excavations, with discovery of very interesting relics; were made in the latter part of 1861.

The town consists chiefly of two long streets, crossing each other in the centre; and is surrounded by villas and country houses. A handsome seven-arched bridge of Purbeck stone, built in 1785, at a cost of £13,000, connects it with Middlesex. The town-hall is a neat structure of red brick, erected in 1851. The parish church was rebuilt in 1808; includes part of the chancel and the tower of a previous edifice; and contains a good bas-relief by Flaxman in memory of Eliza Mawbey, a tablet for Lawrence Thomson, the translator of the English New Testament, and a small tablet for Charles James Fox, who resided in the parish at St. Anne’s Hill. There are chapels for Independents, Baptists, and Methodists, a free school, with £390 a-year, alms-houses, and other charities with £60, and a workhouse. Cowley House, in Guildford-street, was the last residence of the poet Cowley; bore long the name of Porch House, from a picturesque porch removed in 1786; was originally a timber structure, with plaster divisions; underwent restoration, towards the end of last century, by Alderman Clarke, the friend of Dr. Johnson; and still retains some of its original portions, together with souvenirs of Cowley. Chertsey and its neighbourhood are commemorated, in her “Pilgrimage to English Shrines,” by Mrs. C. Hall, who resided in the parish at Addlestone. The town has a head post-office, a railway station, two banking-offices, and two chief inns; and is a seat of petty sessions, and a polling-place. A weekly market is held on Wednesday; and fairs on the first Monday in Lent, 14 May, 6 Aug., and 25 Sept. Manufactures and trade are carried on in silk, coarse thread, iron hoops, brooms, malt, and flour. Pop., 2,910. Houses, 578.

The parish contains also the villages of Addlestone, Botleys, Lyne, and Long Cross, and the fine eminence of St. Anne’s Hill. Acres, 10,229. Real property, £27,498. Pop., 6,589. Houses, 1,274. The property is not much divided. Hardwicke, now a farm-house, was a residence of Henry VI.; and Anningsley was the seat of Day, the author of “Sandford and Merton.” The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Winchester. Value, £203. Patrons, the Haberdashers’ Company. The p. curacies of Addlestone, Long Cross, and Botleys and Lyne are separate benefices.—The sub-district contains also the parishes of Byfleet and Pyrford. Acres, 14,165. Pop., 7,740. Houses, 1,491. The district comprehends likewise the sub-district of Walton, containing the parishes of Walton-on-Thames and Weybridge; and the sub-district of Chobham, containing the parishes of Chobham, Horsell, Windlesham, and Bisley. Acres, 43,541. Poor-rates in 1862, £11,005. Pop. in 1841, 14,928; in 1881, 18,642. Houses, 3,578. Marriages in 1860, 83; births, 538,—of which 34 were illegitimate; deaths, 847,—of which 117 were at ages under 5 years, and 10 at ages above 85 years. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 912; births, 5,107; deaths, 3,135. The places of worship in 1851 were 15 of the Church of England, with 6,144 sittings; 2 of Independents, with 650 a.; 7 of Baptists, with 1,201 s.; 5 of Wesleyan Methodists, with 689 s.; 1 of Bible Christians, with 80 s.; and 1 of Roman Catholics, with 50 s. The schools were 19 public day schools, with l,897 scholars; 24 private day schools, with 488 s.; 22 Sunday schools, with 1,740 s.; and 1 evening school for adults, with 34 s.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

Parish Records

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Online Records (Free)

England, Surrey Parish Registers, 1536-1992

Maps

Vision of Britain historical maps

Administration

County: Surrey
Civil Registration District: Chertsey
Probate Court: Court of the Archdeaconry of Surrey
Diocese: Winchester
Rural Deanery: Stoke
Poor Law Union: Chertsey
Hundred: Godley
Province: Canterbury