William Young.

The history of Dulwich College, down to the passing of the act of Parliament dissolving the original corporation, 28th August 1857; online

. (page 3 of 71)
Online LibraryWilliam YoungThe history of Dulwich College, down to the passing of the act of Parliament dissolving the original corporation, 28th August 1857; → online text (page 3 of 71)
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No date is given in this paper, which is obviously incomplete, as the
total amounts only to 509 acres, whereas the acreage at the founder's death
was in reality about 1100 acres.

In the year 1611, some doubt appears to have been thrown upon
Alleyn's title to Dulwich manor. He had purchased it from Sir Francis
Calton, relying apparently upon the title disclosed in the documents
quoted above, wherein it was set forth that the estate, havino- been
purchased from King Henry the Eighth, by Thomas Calton and Margaret
his wife, descended at his death to Margaret Calton and William Calton
her eldest son : that these two executed a deed conveying the property

1 6 1 1 .] BILL IN CHANCER Y. 1 5

to Lord Gyles Pawlett and William Chiball, draper, in trust for the use of
Margaret Calton during her life, and at her death to her second son
Nicholas, and that through him it descended to Sir Francis Calton, his
eldest son and heir.

It is plain that unless the above-mentioned deed between Margaret
and William Calton and Lord Gyles Pawlett and Chiball could be pro-
duced and established. Sir Francis, and consequently Alleyn, had not a good
title ; but this deed was not among the " evidences " received by Alleyn at
the time of the purchase, which evidences, as set forth in his memo-
randum book, contained, with the exception of " The mayne patten from
" H y' 8'\" nothing anterior to the time of Nicholas Calton. AUeyn, there-
fore, on the 27th May 1611 preferred

" A bill of complaynt in y° Chawncerie against S' Francis Calton Knight ' to the
" ' right Honourable Thomas Lord Ellesmere Lord High ChanceUour of England,' " in
which, after reciting the title as given above, he proceeds : " And hee the said S'
" Frauncis Calton, being so seized afterwardes, that is to saye in or about the fowerth
" yere of the raigne of our soveraigne Lord the Kinges Ma*" that now ys of England
" France and Ireland, and of Scotland the fortith, for and in consideration of a great
" some of money, unto the said Sir Frauncis Calton in hand paied by your Lordshipp's
" said Orator, did by good and lawful! conveyances in the lawe convey and assure
" the said Manner with thappurtenances and dyvers other landes in the parish of
" Camberwell, in the said Countye of Surrey unto your Lordshipp's said Orator and
" to his heires : by vertue of which said conveyance your Lordshipp's said Orator hath
" byne and stiU is of the said Manner and premisses with thappurtenances lawfully
" seized in his demesne as of fee to him and to his heires."

He then sets forth that although he was entitled to " all and all manner of deedes,
" evidences, wrytinges, escriptes and mynymentes touching or any waies concerninge
" the said Mannor and premisses," yet that " dyvers of the evidences and ancient
" writinges touchinge and concerninge the said Mannor and premisses are of late come
" into the handes, custodie, and possession of the said S' Frauncis Calton, Knight, or
" into the custodie or possession of some other person or persons by his meanes,
" deKverye, consent or privitie, as also some deede or conveyance made by the said
" Margarett, alone or jointlie with the said William Calton, eldest sonne of the said
" Thomas Calton, unto dyvers persons of trust unto the use of the said Margarett
" Calton for the ternie of her owne life and then to the use of the said Nicholas
" Calton, one of the youngest sonnes of the said Thomas Calton and Margarett, which
" said deede or wrytinge, he, the said Sir Francis Calton, havinge in his custodye or
" possession or in the custody and possession of some other, by his deliverie, consent
" or privitie, hath endevoured and still doth endeavor to the uttermost of his power,
" to conceale and suppresse : And well knowinge that there was such a deede made
" by the said Margarett and William Calton, theldest sonne of the said Thomas
" Calton, the purchaser, to the said Lord Pawlett or to some other, and to such uses
" as aforesaid, yet notwithstandinge contrarye to his owne knowledge, hee the said S'
" Frauncis Calton doth conceale and detayne the same from your Lordshipp's said
" Orator, confederatynge and combyninge himselfe together with the heires of the
" said William Calton, the eldest sonne of the said Thomas Calton (to whome the


" inheritance of the said Mannor and premisses was and should have discended, if the
" said deede or conveyance had not beene made and executed) to defeate your Lord-
" shipp's said Orator of the inheritance of the said Mannor and premisses with
" thappurtenances."

He also accuses Sir Francis Calton of having " made and contryved dyvers secret
" estates of and in the said Mannor and premisses, or of some part thereof, to dyvers
" persons " " thereby unconscionablie intending hereafter to defraude your said Orator
" and his heires of the said Mannor and premisses " and prays that Sir Prancis Calton
may be compelled " to shew fourth the said deede and other the writinges and evi-
" dences touchinge the said Mannor and premisses and the same cause to delyver unto
" your said Orator for the preservation of his lawfull inheritance in and to the said
" Mannor and premisses."

And also forasmuch as he " knoweth not the certaine dates or nomber of the said
" evidences or writinges, and other the secret conveyances made by the said S'
'' Frauncis Calton or anie other touchinge the said Mannor and premisses, nor whether
" the same be in bagge, chest or box, sealed, locked or unlocked, or in whose handes
" the same be," he prays that a writ of subpena may be directed to Sir Francis
Calton, commanding him to appear before the Court and " then and there upon his
" corporal oath, truelie, plainhe, and directlye to answeare to all and sundxie the
" premisses " and " to answear uppon his oath, whether there were not such a deede
" or conveyance made by the said Margarett and William Calton to such uses as
" aforesaid, or to what uses it was made. And to shewe in whose handes the same is
" and remayneth and what tlie estates are conteyned in the said deede."

The answer of Sir Francis Calton to this bill (MSS. iv. 76) was practi-
cally an admission of all the facts and a denial of all the allegations
contained in it. It commences —

" The said defendant saieth that the said Bill of Complaint is exhibited into this
" honorable Court against him this defendant w^out anie just cause or occasion geven
" or offered by him to the said complaynant. And bee is therebye put to needles and
" vnecessarie charges, expences, vexacon and trouble."

He then proceeds to admit the correctness of the statement of title given in the
bill and the sale of the manor by him to Alleyn, adding, " And the said Complaynant
" or his assignees doe peacablie and quietlie possesse and enioye the said mannor and
" premisses w"'out anie the Interrupcon or clayme of this Deft or anie person or
" persons clayminge from by or vnder him. And the said defendant doth disclaime
" to haue anie right title or interest in or to the said mannor or premisses or anie part
" thereof. And this defendant further saieth that hee hath delivered vnto the com-
" playnaut All the deedes evidences and writinges in his custodie touchinge and
" concerninge the said mannor and premisses and this def thincketh that there was
" such a deede made by the said Margarett and William of the said Mannor and
" premisses to those psons nomynated in the said Bill of Complaint contaynin"e the
" same vses in the said BiU alleadged w* deede and vses were tbund by office as this
" defendant thincketh after the death of the said Thomas Calton. But where and in
" whose possession the same deede is or certeintie that there is such a deede this
" defendant knoweth not therefore this defendant traversetli and denieth wt^out that
« that the said deede made by the said Margaret and William or either of them or
" that anie of the evidences and auncient writinges concerning the said mannor and


" premisses are come into the handos custodie or possession of anie other pson or
" psons by his meanes deKuerie consent or privitie or that hee this defendant hath
" indeavored or still doth indeavor to the vtmost of his power or otherwise to con-
" ceale the said deede or wiitinge or other the evidences tonchinge the same manner
" and premisses or that this defendant knoweth in whose liandes and possession the
" said deedes he or concealeth or deteyneth the same or anie of them from the com-
" playnant as in the said Bill is alleadged." He also absolutely denies that he " hath
" made or contryved anie secret estates of the premisses or anie part thereof or that
" hee doth intend to defraud the complayn' thereof as in the Bill is vntruelie sur-
" mised. And without that that hee this defendant doth knowe of anie secret or
" former estates to be made of the premisses or anie part thereof whereby hee was
" not and should not be able to convey the same to the complaynant accordinge to
" the true meaninge of the said sale, as in and by the said bill is likewise untrulie
" surmised." And finally " humblie praieth to be distnissed out of the same w"* hi3
" reasonable costes and charges in this behalf wrongfuliie sustayned."

Besides the bill against Sir Francis Calton, AUeyn also preferred one
against Thomas Wightman, who had married Joa,n, the widow of Nicholas
Calton, and mother of Sir Francis, who also answered on the 5th October
1611, enumerating the deeds and other documents in his possession
relating to Dulwich Manor.

The result of these bills was that AUeyn practicallj'- obtained what he
required ; for although the actual deed of Margaret and William Calton was
not forthcoming, a note at the end of the evidences in his memorandum
book shows that he received "more wrighting concerning y' Lordshipp of
" DuUwich," amongst which were : —

" Y' copie off a fine dat. Elyz. y« 12*" from Margrett Calton and Willyam Calton
" her sone to giles pawlett «& Willyam Chiball."

" Y' exemplyfication off y' sayd fine " and " An indentur exemplyfied leading to
" y* uses of y' foresayd fine between Margrett & "Willyam Calton k pawlett &
" Chybball dat Januarie y« 24. Elyz y' 12*."

These exemplifications are now Muniments Nos. 344 & 545.

He also received from Thomas Wightman seven documents relating to
Rygates, six of which are now Muniments 324-6, 332-3 & 556.

Strictly speaking, the charges brought against Sir Francis Calton by
Alleyn in his bill had little, if any, real foundation. A much more simple
reason for the withholding of the important deed in question is suggested
by its contents, as shown in the " exemplification," by which it appears
that the deed related not to Dulwich alone, but to the whole provision for
the younger sons of Thomas Calton, which comprised the manor, rectory,
&c., of Goringe, co. Oxon, the manor of Dulwich, with lands &c., in
Dulwich and Camberwell, co. Surrey, lands &c., in Chaddesdon and Derby,
CO. Derby, wood in Lowisham, co. Kent, and the rectory, vicarage, &c., of
VOL. I. c


Willey, CO. Herts. All of these were conveyed to Lord Giles Pawlett and
"William Chyball, in trust for Margaret Calton for her life, and at her
decease to the sons of Thomas Calton, viz. the Willey estate to George and
Henry, the Goringe estate to Kobert, the Dulwich and Lewisham estates to
Nicholas, and the Chaddesdon and Derby estate to George. Thus, as the
document concerned not only the estate of Nicholas, and through him of
Sir Francis Calton, but those also of George, Henry, and Eobert Calton, it
was not likely that the original could be given up to AUeyn. It is curious,
however, that the matter was not sufficiently explained to prevent such a
proceeding as a suit in Chancery.

Whilst he was completing his purchases of lands at Dulwich,
Alleyn, though Lord of that manor since 1606, continued to reside at
the Bankside in Southwark. He was churchwarden of the Liberty of
the Clink in 1610, letters continued to be addressed to him there as
late as 1612, and the probability is that he did not finally settle at
Dulwich until 1613, the same year in which he began the building of
the College.

No precise date can be laid down as that on which Edward Alleyn
determined to found a College at Dulwich, but it is probable that he had
something of the kind in his mind from the time of his first purchase in
1605. The story which is mentioned in some of the older biographies of
Alleyn, that he was led to it by the appearance of a real devil among the
actors personating demons on the stage, must be dismissed as a myth
without any foundation. A similar and equally absurd tradition was
current in later times with respect to an actor at the Pantheon in Oxford

Among the MSS. (v. 48) is a translation of the statutes of the Orphano-
comium and Gerontocomium or " Hospitalles for Orphanes and Olde
ffolkes " at Amsterdam, from the history of Amsterdam, printed by
Pontanus in 1611, and the outward resemblance between Dulwich College
and the Gerontocomium, of which a view is there given, has been
considered as not wholly accidental. It is probable, however, that Alleyn
procured this translation with a view mainly to the hints thereby aff'orded
for the compilation of the statutes for his own college, as he certainly
solicited suggestions from Winchester and Eton (MSS. v. 46 and 47) for
the same purpose.

In any case his mind was made up, and his plans were fully formed by
the 17th May 1613, on which date he entered into the following contract
with John Benson, bricklayer, of Westminster, for the building of the
College. (Mun. 558.)

This Indenture, made the seaventeenth day of May, 1613, and in the yeres of the
raigne of our sovraigne Lorde James, by the grace of God, Kinge of England. Fraunce


and Ireland, defender of the faithe &c tbe eleaventh, and of Scotland the sixe and
fortithe, Betweene Edward Alleyn of Dulwich in the pishe of Camerwell in the
County of Surrey, Esquier, on th'one partye, and John Benson of Westm'' in the
County of Midd, bricklayer, on th'other party. Witnessethe, that it is covenanted,
graunted, concluded, condescended and agreed by and betweene the saide parties to
thies presentes, and the saide John Benson for him selfe covenanteth and graunteth to
and with the saide Edward Alleyn his executors and assignes by these presentes in
manner and forme as hereunder from article to article is expressed, that is to say ;
That he the saide John Benson or his assignes shall and will (for the consideration
here under written and specified) builde erect and sett up, upon a certen pcell of
ground appoynted and layde out for that purpose upon Dulwich Greene in the pishe
of Camerwell aforesaide, the trench for the foundacon to be digged and made fitt by
the saide Edward Alleyn, his executors or assignes, a certaine buildinge of brick,
of aud with such brickes, lyme, sand, or other stuff belonginge to brickworke, as
shalbe provided and delivered to him att the place aforesaide by the saide Edward
Alleyn his executors or assignes, which buildinge slialbe for a Chappell, a Scheie
howse, and twelve Almeshowses, proportionably accordinge to a plott thereof made
and drawen by the saide John Benson and subscribed by the saide pties ; the saide
Chappell and Scholehowse to be in lengthe from east to west fowerskore and fyfteene
foote of assize, and in bredthe from out side to out side twenty and nyne foote of
assize, and in height from the upper pte of the foundation even from the grounde to
the raysinge peece thertye foote of assize, and upon the head or topp of the same
height sixe foote of assize of finishing worke. And in the middle of the forefront of
the said Chappell shall erect and build one faire porche, to conteyne in lengthe
eighteene foote of assize and in bredthe from the other buildinge forward nyne foote
of assize, the same porche to be bewtifyed and finished as hereunder is menconed.
And behinde on the backe pte of the saide buildinge, directly against the saide
porche, shall erect and sett up one Tower of bricke to be eighteene foote of assize
square from out to outside, and in height to be threeskore foote of assize, with decent
and comely fynishinge, and at each corner of the same Tower one pynacle of brick :
And in the midest of the same Chappell and Scholehowse, for a pticon betweene
them, shall make one pticon wall to be in thicknes one brick and a halfe. To sett
out the rome appoynted for the plor of the saide Schole-howse backward by way of
inlargement ten foote of assize, and under the same parlor and rome before the same
appoynted for an entrie and staire case, shall make one cellar of brick to be in bredthe
thirteene foote of assize and in lengthe thirty fower foot of assize, and seven foote of
assize deepe. And in the same Scholehowse shall make and erect sixe chimneyes
sufficiently and substancially to be made and wrought, with arched mantle trees of
brick, and to carry and avoid smok cleane thorough the tonnels of the same
chimneyes ; that is to say, one chimney in the plor, one in the chamber over the
plor, one in the chamber or garrett ov' the same plor chamber, one in the kitchen,
one in the chamber over the kitchen, and one in the chamber over the Scholehowse.
The foundacon of the Chappell walls within the grounde to be in thicknes sixe
brickes, and so racled of untUl at the upp pte of the grounde it be brought to fower
brickes in thicknes : and from the grounde to the watertable to be three brickes and
a halfe in thicknes ; and from the watertable to the raysinge peece the walls to be
three brickes in thicknes. The foundacon of the Tower and the walls thereof to be
of the same thicknes as the Chappell is within the grounde, and the walls from the
grounde uppward to the covering of the same Tower to be three brickes in thicknes,


and even wiili the ridge of the Chappell the same Tower to have a decent watertable,
and from the watertable upward the same Tower to have forward twoe pillasters, and
suche other bewtifyinge and fynishinge as the forfront of the saide porch is to have,
as hereunder is mentioned. And that the forefront of the said Chappell and
ScholehowHe slialbe bewtifyed with sixe Dorick pUlasters with petty stalls,
bases, capitalls and cornishe, to reach from the lowest pte of the ibundacou
within the grounde unto the raysinge peece, and twoe pillasters to bewtifie the same
porche, and the saide sixe foote of fynishinge worke on the hedd or topp before
mehcoued, to rise a,nd be made with a small pillaater on the heade of every greate
pUlaster, with three kinde of tafferells on the forefront ; that is to say, one over the
porche, and on either side of the porch one ; and in the same forefront fower halfe
roundes for the bewtefyinge, and betweene every tafferi'ell and halfe rounde one
piramides. And in the forefront of the same Chappell, Scholehowse and porche shall
make fowerteeue windowes, viz ; in the Chappell sixe, in the Scholehowse sixe, and
over the saide porch twoe, every window to have fower lightes with a transsam, each
hght to be arched or turned over with brick, and every light to be twoe foote wide,
besides the monyon, whicli monion is to lae nyne ynches thick. And att the east end
of the saide Chappell shall make one faire windowe, wherein shalbe ten arched lightes
with a transam in the middle thereof, all the lightes and monyons thereof to be of the
pportion of the saide former windowes, and on the back parte of the saide Chappell, to-
v.'ardes the south, shall make one dore rome and butteres and sixe arched windowes
in the same Chap^eU, proportionable to the windowes in the forefront. The out walls
of tlie Scholehowse, and romes thereunto appoynted as aforesaide, to be in thicknes as
hereafter followeth, viz : from the lowest pte of the foundacon within the grounde to
the watertable twoe brickes and a halfe in thicknes ; from the watertable to the first
story twoe brickes in thicknes, and from the first stoiy to the topp a brick and a halfe
in thicknes, with sufficient windowes in every of the saide romes, as the same romes
and storj'es will conveniently beare and require. And in the kitchen chimney of the
same Scholehowse shall make twoe meete and sufficient ovens; one greater and
th'other lesser. And that sixe of the saide Almeshowses shalbe made and erected
from the east corner of the saide Chappell northwardes, and th'other sixe Almeshowses
from the west coruer of the saide Scholehowse northwardes, as by the said plott is
pscribed and pfigured, every of the same Almeshowses to be twelve foote square within
the walls : and in the same Almeshowses shall make twelve severall chimneyes viz ;
to each Almeshowse one, the mantle trees of the same chimneyes to be arched or
turned over with brick, and to be made to cany and avoid smoke cleane through the
tonnells of the same : and in every of the same Almeshowses shall make one windowe
^v-ith twoe lightes, and under the eves of the same Almeshowses shaU make a slight
cornishe and to each Almeshowse one dore rome to be arched or turned over with
brick. And at the north end of cache of the same rankes of Almeshowses shall erect
one howse of office, to conteyne ten foote one way and twelve foote another, with a
vault to each howse of office of brick, eight foote deepe, w'" a vent out of each howse
of office in the manner of a chimney above the ridge of the same Almeshowses : and
also shall erect one wall of brick thwart from end to end of the saide Almeshowses to
enclose the courte, eight foote high, and in the midest of the same wall one faire gate
rome to be fynished in the best and most decent manner with pillasters, ffreze, cornishe
and puramides : the saide wall to be a brick and a halfe in thicknes. AH the pillasters
freezes, cornishe and windowes and fawmes of the saide buildinge to [be] fairely and'
cleauely fynished white, as is accustomed in buildinges of like nature. And all the


same worke before pscribed, and all other bricklayers work to the same buildinge
appteyniiige, shall Veil, workemanlike and sufficiently worke make and fynishe in all
thinges to the trade of a bricklayer belonginge. And shall and will begin the same
worke on or before the last day of this instant moneth of May, and shall and will
continue at the same worke and fynishe the same with as much convenient speede as
possibly may be, and as the saide Edward Alleyn his executors or assignes shall
require the same, shall provide stuffe for doeinge thereof. For and in consideracon of
which worke and covenantes, in forme aforesaide to be done and pformed, the said
Edward Alleyn, for liiui, his executors and administrators, covenanteth and graunteth
to and with the saide John Benson, his executors and assignes, by these presentes in
manner and forme followinge : that is to say. That he the said Edward Alleyn his
executors or assignes shall finde and allowe sufficient scafolding boardes, cordes and
nails for the buildinge aforesaid. And also upon the fyneshinge of every five rodd
square of the saide buildinge, eveiy rodd conteyninge sixteene foote and a half of
assize, shall pay or cause to be paide to the said John Benson the sume of seaven
poundes ten shillinges of lawfull mony of England, the same to be measured one with
another, and runninge measure, which is thirty shillings for every rodd. And upon
the full fynishinge and endinge of the saide worke and buildinge for every rodd the
same shalbe measured into, one with another after the measure aforesaide ten
shillinges more, which in all is after the rate of forty sliillinges a rodd, without fraud
or covyn. In witnes whereof the said parties to theis present Indentures inter-
changeably have sett their handes and scales. Geaven the day and yeres first above
written JoSN Benson.

Sealed and delivered in presence of me
Thomas Bolton Scr.
Anthony Williams

Servant to the said Tho. Bolton.

Endorsements on Benson's Deed.

Received this IQ'*" of June 1613 of Ed Alleyn in part of payment 20'

John Benson

Beceved more this 14 of august 1613 .... 10"

John Benson

Beceved more this 28"" of august 1613


Pieceved more this 11"" of September 1613
Eeceved more this IS"" of September 1613
Eeceved more this 9"" of October 1613 y* sum off

Online LibraryWilliam YoungThe history of Dulwich College, down to the passing of the act of Parliament dissolving the original corporation, 28th August 1857; → online text (page 3 of 71)