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An annual fair is held in this parish, which commences on the 12th of August, and continues three days.
This village is remarkable for its romantic situation; and for having been the residence of Sir Walter Raleigh; Sir Julius Cæsar, who was visited here by queen Elizabeth; Dr. Donne; and Moses Mendez, Esq. a late eminent literary character.
Nearly adjoining to Mitcham and Tooting, is Merton*, vulgarly called MARTIN, a village seven miles from London, in the road to Epsom. It is seated on the river Wandle, and was before the Conquest the property of Harold II. Henry I. gave it to Gilbert Norman, sheriff of Surry, who founded, near the present church, a convent of wood, which he afterwards removed to the present site. In 1227, Hubert de Burgh, minister of Henry III. being disgraced, took shelter in the church of this abbey; whence the king ordered him to be dragged, but recalled his or.. ders, and, in the sequel, restored him to favour. parliament held in this abbey, in 1236, the “ Provisions of Merton," were enacted. In this assembly, upon a motion of the bishops for establishing a constitution of the canon law, by which marriage could legitimate issue previously 'born, the barons gave that celebrated answer, " Nolumus leges Anglia mutari.” “We are unwilling that the laws of England should be changed." Merton is also memorable for the constitutions which the clergy of Eng.
* “ Two early historical facts have been appropriated to this place, viz. The murder of Kenulph, king of the West Saxons, which happened A. D. 784; and a battle between the Saxons and Danes, A. D. 871'; but Lambarde doubts whether either of these events took place at Merton, in Surrey. Upon looking into the old Chronicles, nothing can be found to fix them to this place. In the war between the Danes and Saxons in 871, a battle is said to have happened at Merton, in which the latter were discomfited. The last battle had been at Bazing, in Hampshire. The antient historians all agree that Kenulph was murdered at Merton, but none of them mention the county. That monarch was in: terred at Winchester: Kincard, the murderer, who was slain soon afterwards, was buried at Axminster."--Lysons's Environs, 1. 338.
land made in 1258; which were not only calculated to pto. mote their own grandeur, at the expence of the crown, but were so inimical to the authority of the pope, that, at the king's request, the sovereigo pontiff himself thought proper to abrogate them; although some of the principal articles which they enacted were in favour of points, for which the great champion of the papal authority, the canonized Becket, had suffered assassination. Here, in 1216, was concluded the peace between Henry III. and prince Lewis, of France. During the civil wars between Charles the First and the parliament, this abbey appears to have been used as a garrison. In 1680 it was advertised to be let, and was described as containing several large rooms, and a fine chapel. This chapel was entire in 1733; but at present, there is no other vestige of the abbey, except the east window of the chapel, wbich appears from the style of its ar. chitecture to have been built in the fifteenth century. The walls of flint, surrounding the premises, include about sixty-five acres, and are nearly entire. At the Dissolution this abbey was valued at 9571. On the site a manufactory for printing callicoes was established in 1724. Another callico manufactory was established within the walls in 1572; at the north-west corner of the premises, is a copper mill; and, upon a moderate computation, a thousand persons are now employed in the different manufactories within the walls. The parish CHURCH was built of flints, early in the twelfth century, by the founder of the abbey. From the style of architecture the present church seems the original structure. The inside contains several memorials to Sir Thomas Robinson, bart, who was buried here in 1777, and his family; also a large picture of Christ bearing his cross, supposed to be bv Luca Jordano. The church has been lately neatly plastered on the outside, and otherwise beautified. The bridge over the river, built in 1633, is remarkable for its arch, which is turned with tiles, instead of brick or stone; and is the boundary of the three parishes of Mitcham, Wimbledon, and Merton. MERTON PLACE, the seat of the late lord Nelson, where he meant