Merton Surrey Family History Guide

Merton is an Ancient Parish in the county of Surrey.

Parish church:

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1559
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1679

Nonconformists include: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Independent/Congregational.

Adjacent Parishes

  • Mitcham St Peter and Paul
  • Surbiton St Mark
  • Malden
  • Robin Hood
  • Wimbledon St Mary
  • Morden

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

MERTON, a village and a parish in Croydon district, Surrey. The village stands on the river Wandle, ½ a Mile S of the junction of the lines of the Southwestern railway toward Guilford and toward Croydon, and 5 E of Kingston-upon-Thames; was known to the Saxons as Merendun and Meretun; is a scattered place, on low ground; carries on industry in a copper mill, several silk printing-works, and an extensive bleachery; has access to railway stations at the junction, Lower Merton, and Merton-Abbey; has a post office under London S, a police station, and two annual fairs; and gives the title of Viscount to Earl Nelson. The parish comprises 1,780 acres. Real property, £9,006. Pop., 1,822. Houses, 353. The property is much subdivided. The manor belonged to the Saxon kings; was probably the death place of Cynewulf of Wessex, murdered in 784 by Ætheling Cyneheard; and was the place where Ætheling himself and 84 of his followers were slain. Merton-place was the residence of Lord Nelson from 1801 till 1803; was bequeathed by him to Lady Hamilton; was sold by her in 1808; and has disappeared. The grounds around it were laid out by Lady Hamilton; were traversed by a streamlet, in artificial windings, called the Nile; and are now covered with small buildings. Lord Nelson used to angle in the Wandle, which is described by Isaac Walton as having "fishful qualities," but has almost wholly lost them through the effects of mills and factories; and he is commemorated by "Nelson-Place ''in the village. An Augustinian abbey was founded at Merton in 1115, by Gilbert le Norman, "Vicecomes" of Surrey; obtained a grant of the manor of Merton from Henry I.; educated Thomas á Becket and Walter de Merton, the founder of Merton College, Oxford; gave sanctuary to Hubert de Burgh in 1232, from the displeasure of Henry III.; was menaced by about 20,000 of the citizens of London, brought down to take De Burgh by force, but eventually restrained by the King; was the meeting-place, in 1236, of the parliament which passed the statues of Merton, and replied to the ecclesiastics who wished to introduce the canon law, "We will not change the laws of England;" had revenues at the dissolution, amounting to £1,039; appears to have been occupied, in the civil wars of Charles I., as a garrison; was advertised to be let in 1680; became a factory for calico printing; and is now represented by only the walls and the E window. Walter de Merton was a native; and, on resolving to found a college, he at first designed to place it at Maldon, in the vicinity of Kingston. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Winchester. Value, £145. Patron, the Rev. S. Dawes. The church is partly Norman, but mainly early English; comprises a narrow nave and chancel, with a low W spire; was enlarged with addition of a N aisle, and generally repaired, in 1866; and contains a painting by Luca Giordano, and some old dilapidated tombs. The churchyard contains the tomb of Francais Nixon, who introduced calico printing to the neighbourhood. There are chapels for Independents and Wesleyans, a national school, an apprenticing endowment of £96 a year, and charities £37.

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

Parish Records


Online Records (Free)

England, Surrey Parish Registers, 1536-1992


Vision of Britain historical maps


County: Surrey
Civil Registration District: Croydon
Probate Court: Court of the Archdeaconry of Surrey
Diocese: Winchester
Rural Deanery: Ewell
Poor Law Union: Croydon
Hundred: Brixton
Province: Canterbury