19 August, 2013
Here you can find information on the Fulham and Hammersmith Historical Society, contact info, how to join, and a list of the books that we have published and you can buy. We will also be publishing reports on past events (for forthcoming events, you are encouraged to join and receive the Society’s regular newsletter).
The membership rate is £8 full rate and £5 concessions.
26 November, 2013
The Royal Albert Hall Kensington
14 of us enjoyed a private tour of the front of house with a knowledgeable and amusing guide. Those of us who have been to events there were familiar with the miles of corridors and different levels. However we had never seen the Queen’s private staircase or her Withdrawing Room whose walls were lined with pictures of her relatives past and present.
An unexpected and delightful bonus was being able to sit in a box and listen to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra practicing for the evening’s concert, while on a giant screen was the film of ‘Fantasia’. We marveled at the volcano in ‘The Firebird’ and chuckled at the ostrich and hippo ballerinas in ‘The dance of the hours’. There were no other tours following us so our guide was in no hurry. We actually had an hour and a quarter rather than the 45 minutes we were expecting.
25 November, 2013
A small group of ten society members met up in mid-October , having mostly travelled to Croydon by the convenient tram from Wimbledon to visit Croydon church, dedicated to St John Baptist and now renamed Croydon Minister. Here are buried 6 Archbishops of Canterbury, Archbishop Sheldon, who died in Croydon in 1677 being of particular interest, and Archbishop Warham. Archbishop Grindal,(1576-83) once exiled to Switzerland until Elizabeth I came to the throne of England has a memorial here and there are also brasses, and Clayton & Bell stained glass can be seen.
Following a fire in 1867, which left only the Tower, now housing a ring of 12 bells cast by the Croydon firm of Gillett & Johnston in 1936, the South porch and outer walls remaining, the church, first recorded in the Domesday book, was rebuilt by Sir Gilbert Scott. The minster is in the midst of being restored.
After lunch the group reconvened at the adjacent Croydon Palace ,the home of the Archbishops of Canterbury, until 1824, when they transferred their allegiance to Lambeth and New Addington Palace. The former Palace is now run as a girl’s school under the auspices of the Whitgift Foundation and so consequently the palace can only be visited in holiday times. Having joined some 70 other visitors in the Great Hall, with its massive tie-beams erected by Herring in 1748, and stone corbels with angels holding shields of Bishops’ coats-of-arms, including Laud and Juxon, we were conducted round the buildings which have now been adapted for modern education use, the Guard room being the school library with portrait of Sheldon displayed over the fireplace. Modern requirements of the school means that some of the perhaps more interesting features of the palace, with the exception of staircase balustrades, created by Laud (1633-45)or Juxon (1660-63)had been obscured, although their arms can be seen as bench ends in the chapel pews, whilst Laud’s gallery pew supports arms carved by Laud’s joiner , Adam Brown, who also created these desks and benches. A screen of Morton’s time (1486-1500) has a small barrel or tun carved on it, while stained glass in the chapel donated by the Glaziers company has had unclothed boy figures suitably censored subsequently, and the glass behind the altar (Clayton & Bell)has women of importance designed to inspire young ladies in the school. Further refurbishment of Laud’s work being necessitated by the interregnum when Sir William Brereton changed it into a kitchen. The palace is now undergoing yet further restoration and modification which it has been enduring for many centuries as walls fell down and it expanded to meet the needs and this has resulted in a very complex building with many building styles and unusual extensions. Visit if you can next year when work should be finished.
25 November, 2013
Tomb of Granville Sharp
Despite a wet evening, Jane Bowden-Dan’s illustrated talk drew an audience of about 20 members and visitors to St Clements Church Hall. First, Jane referred to two famous Fulham residents who fought for the abolition of the British Transatlantic Slave Trade – Granville Sharp (1735-1813) who lodged with his sister-in-law at Fulham House (since demolished), and Beilby Porteus (1731-1809), who, as Bishop of London, lived at Fulham Palace.
Then, using business letters from the Lascelles sugar merchants, describing the admission of ‘Negro Sampson’- from St Kitts – to Guy’s Hospital in 1752 under surgeon, Mr Samuel Sharpe, we found three intriguing early links between the Hospital and the West Indies. These were: the original financing of the voluntary Hospital (opened in 1726); sons of West Indian planters as physicians and surgeons; and the treatment of Black people in eighteenth-century London hospitals. Was it self-interest or humanitarian concern that led to the ‘Negro Sampson’ receiving care arranged by the leading surgeon, Mr Samuel Sharpe?
Questions suggested that the Society might investigate how polymath Sir William Cheselden (1688-1752) – surgical mentor to Mr Samuel Sharpe – was involved in the design and construction of the old Fulham Bridge. Also we must not forget that the Act of 1807 only abolished the Slave Trade. Full Emancipation in the Caribbean of nearly a million Africans in British colonies was only won in 1838. The Windrush Foundation is currently presenting an excellent free exhibition (until 21 December 2013) at the Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, marking the 175th anniversary of the 1838 Emancipation.
23 November, 2013
Peterborough House -
‘A mansion in every way calculated for a family of distinction’
So runs the advert when it was sold in 1845 but by 1902 it had gone, buried under the prestigious Peterborough Estate with its ‘Lion’ houses. Sue Pierson has charted its history from medieval times discovering its owners and tenants some of whom were not entirely respectable! Several were buried or have memorials in All Saints’ church, in particular, John, first Viscount Mordaunt, whose larger than life statue looks down on us today. He was the father of Charles, third Earl of Peterborough, who was probably the first Lord to marry a showgirl. The house was in its heyday when he lived there but later residents included John Meyrick who founded the Fulham Volunteers and William Beckford, novelist and builder of very tall towers.
The book is guaranteed to keep you reading to the end and you will learn a lot about Fulham. A must have for those who live on the Peterborough Estate. It costs £6 from Sue who is happy to deliver locally. Contact her on 020 7731 6544 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org for full details. Alternatively £7.50 including postage see Publications Page.