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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 M/95/GRA
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1542-1870
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 0.09 linear metres.
Name of creator(s): Manor of Tooting Graveney


Administrative/Biographical history:

Tooting Graveney Manor was held by the abbey of Chertsey from around 675. The abbots rented out the manor to various tenants, including the de Gravenel family who gave their name to the area. The overlordship of the abbey lasted until 1428. The estates were held by the Dymoke family from 1393 till 1593, when they were sold to James Harrington, who conveyed them to Sir Henry Maynard. In 1692 the manor was conveyed by the Maynards to the Rushouts in a marriage settlement. It subsequently changed ownership several times, coming to William James Thompson in 1861. Thompson transferred the manorial rights to the Metropolitan Board of Works sometime after 1870.

Betts v Thompson was a case between William James Thompson and the tenants of the manor over the right to common land. In 1865 Thompson had initiated legal proceedings against Betts for trespass when he allowed his cattle on the common. At that date an informal agreement had been reached that the lord should give the commoners 26 acres of the common, retaining 37 acres for himself. This portion was to be fenced off, but a question arose whether the commoners should still have the right to walk over the 37 acre portion as they could before, while Thompson wanted to have exclusive use. One night in 1868 the inhabitants of Tooting pulled down 500 of fencing, and Betts filed the complaint against Thompson enforcing his right of recreation on common land. The Master of the Rolls found in favour of Betts favour and Thompson appealed. The Lord Chancellor upheld the earlier decision and confirmed the rights of the freehold tenants of the manor of Tooting.

Historical information from 'Parishes: Tooting Graveney', A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 4 (1912), pp. 102-107 (available online), legal case information from report in The Times, Thursday, Aug 03, 1871; pg. 11; Issue 27132; col A.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Manor of Tooting Graveney, comprising legal documents in the Chancery case of Betts v Thompson, 1870, including copies of court rolls dating back to 1542; and rental, 1769.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

001 - Legal case papers; 002 - Rental.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to this collection rests with the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Records deposited in 1953 and 1976.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Records prepared May to September 2011.

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