On the west side of Chobham Common is a settlement called Clearmount.  It is not known how the settlement came about but it appears that it was created about 1814.  There are various theories on why it was created. The usual reason at this time for enclosing the common waste was to provide allotments to supplement the incomes of the working poor.  However, in our area this happened sometime between 1830 and 1848: Clearmount appears to be too early for this.  Also the records show that Clearmount was divided into lots for cottages - not usual with allotments. An alternative theory is that Clearmount was created by the Chobham Place Estate in order to house their staff. This theory is supported by the fact that the earliest records for Clearmount come from the Le Marchant family - owners of Chobham Place. On the other hand there is evidence against this theory. For instance the cottages seem to be freehold; surely they would be tied cottages?  Also, John Spooner, an occupier in 1830 applied for allotment land set aside for the working poor p9 - unlikely for an employee of Le Marchant?

In 1825 there was only one cottage, two more were added in 1825, one more between 1831 and 1840, and the last one in 1840.

I am grateful to Adrian Ince, who has a cottage at Clearmount, for making available the following information which he collected from the Surrey History Centre.

Le Marchant Catalogue Collection 372/5/1 and 372/5/2 



Adrian Ince’s summary




“freehold portion of Lot 1 goes back to 1814”




Indenture dated 30/3/1825 leasing from Jeremiah Howard to George Stevens a freehold cottage south of Marley Lake Hill formerly occupied by David Munday but now by Mrs Ann Smith…PLUS 2 newly erected messuages (built lately by Jeremiah Howard) occupied by James Godfrey and John Hursey… including all …ways waters watercourses liberties privileges easements profits…




Appointment & Release dated 31/3/1825 mentioning Jeremiah Howard (Carpenter) George Stevens (Plumber & Glazier) William Stevenson (Bricklayer) David Munday (Labourer) and Richard Lee (Farmer).








Agreement dated 21/12/1830 between George Stevens (Plumber & Glazier) & William Clark (-------) and Daniel Adey (Stationer)   re 1 cottage and garden to the south of Marley Lake Hill occupied by Munday then Mrs Ann Smith but now by Steven Shorter the Elder…PLUS 2 cottages built by Howard lately occupied by James Godfrey (now by John Spooner) and by John Hursey (now by Thomas Tucker).




Appointment and Release dated 22/12/1830 regarding the above 2a.








14/10/1840 Lease from Daniel Adey (of St Mary Newington) (Bookseller & Stationer) and Wm Clark (Linen Draper) .. to Jonathan Thompson (Gentleman) and Richard John Cole (Gentleman).. the house formerly occupied by David Munday and Mrs Ann Smith, then by Stephen Shorter the Elder, and now by Henry Hampton… PLUS 2 other cottages built by Jeremiah Howard in part of the garden, formerly occupied by James Godfrey and John Hursey, then by John Spooner and Thomas Tucker, and now by Thomas Tucker and Henry Smith.




27 & 28/11/1840  Wm Smith selling to James Drew & Richard John Cole.  James Drew bought some land and built a cottage on it .. 12 rods.



372/5/2/1a & 1b

27 &28/11/1840 Conveyance of land with cottage from Wm Smith to James Drew, labourer








 Mortgage by appointment with powers of sale dated 14/10/1842 from Jonathan Thompson to Joseph Hewer (Surgeon)




14/6/1854  James Drew sells to Jonathan Thompson…12 rods bounded on North & South by common, on the East by Wm Smith, and on the west by parish enclosure lately occupied by James Drew but then by Henry Drew.




14/6/54 Conveyance from James Drew to Jonathan Thompson.








Admittance dated 26/11/1859… The Court Baron of Rght Hon Arthur George Earl of Onslow on 20/11/1859 (?) grants to Samuel Thompson a parcel of manorial waste land approx 18 rods at Clearmount. Admitted as Copyhold Tenant by his attorney Jonathan Thompson.

Jonathan Thompson died 6/1/1877 – perhaps this brought about the sale below.



23/5/1865 Jonathan Thompson’s will left 4 properties at Clearmount and 1 at Burrow Hill to Samuel Thompson and Jonathan George Thompson. There is a note in the margin that the Burrow Hill house was not included in the sale to Le Marchant.








Sale notice dated 24/4/1877… 5 freehold cottages and gardens (only 4 are at Clearmount – one is at Burrow Hill occupied by George Drew according to Jonathan Thompson’s will see 372/5/1/8 below)… in the occupancy of Thompson (?the one who has just died? See 372/5/1/7a below), Ottaway, Smith, Taylor, and Drew (Drew’s was at Burrow Hill not Clearmount).




Note of sale dated 30/6/1877 by Samuel Thompson and Jonathan George Thompson.. 3 messuages (4 cottages ?) at Clearmount occupied by Jonathan Thompson, Henry Drew, Henry Lee and John Smith… comprising 3 rods and 18 perches… the bit sold is bound on the west by the houses of Thomas Smith, occupied in past by Jonathan Thompson, Henry Lee, and John Smith but now by James Stradwick, James Ottaway, and the said John Smith…PLUS 12 rods bound on the North & South by common, and on the East Thomas Smith and on the West by land enclosed by Chobham Parish, formerly occupied by Henry Drew but now by George Taylor.




dated 30/6/1877.. handwritten version of 7a above.




dated -/-/1877 …(from placement, assumed July 77) Abstract of Title of the Trustees of the will of J’nthn Thompson, dec’d to Lots 1 and 2 (3 messuages) of the sale of 24/6/1877 covering 1842 to 1877 (Cottages 3,4 &5)




dated -/-/1877 (from placement, assumed July 77) Abstract of title for Lot 3 (cottage no. 1) of the sale on 24/6/1877 showing the following:-

27 & 28/11/1840  Wm Smith selling to James Drew & Richard John Cole.  James Drew bought some land and built a cottage on it .. 12 rods.

14/6/1854  James Drew sells to Jonathan Thompson…12 rods (John Daborn?) bounded on North & South by common, on the East by Wm Smith, and on the west by parish enclosure lately occupied by James Drew but then by Henry Drew.

23/5/1865 Jonathan Thompson’s will left 4 properties at Clearmount and 1 at Burrow Hill to Samuel Thompson and Jonathan George Thompson. There is a note in the margin that the Burrow Hill house was not included in the sale to Le Marchant.




Solicitor’s (Wyatt Gibbs) bill to Le Marchant for conveyancing…states three of the cottages occupied by Ottaway, Taylor and Smith – these three to be advised to send their rents in future to ????.   Bill has items dated from 25/5/1877 to 17/10/1877.




Letter from solicitor (Wyatt Gibbs) to Le Marchant that deeds are held by solicitor




ditto re deeds for Lot 2 and the freehold portion of Lot 1 go back to 1814; but that for Lot 3 needs looking into as it goes back only to 1840.




ditto re balance of purchase monies.




ditto re Copyhold




ditto dated 18/2/1877 says Thompson has bought another house and will be able to move out – but the other three will pay rent now to Mr Cutler.








Declaration dated 20/8/1879 of Wm Hillier (Lord Onslow) manor court that Samuel Thompson has sold to Le Marchant (Samuel Thompson had owned since 1859 Admittance of Le Marchant to 18 rods of land at Clearmount

!! perhaps it means he ‘can show title’ going back to 1859 – it was his father who owned the properties then).



Thomas Smith 8/7/1883 leaves his house to George








Conveyance 16/10/1906…George Smith sells 2nd cottage (the one now fallen down) to Le Marchant




George Smith’s declaration of title (1) that he is 65yrs old (on 16/10/1906) and (2) he occupied house on death of father, Thomas Smith, on 1/9/1883




dated 16/10/1906…Wm Aubrey (drugist in Chobham) swearing that Smith, who had no paperwork, really did live there with his father without paying any rent to anybody




17/10/1906.. Le Marchant leases from George Smith








In envelope marked ‘Deeds of cottage at Clearmount G’rge Taylor Lot 3’.


 From census information, Adrian compiled the following sequence of tenants of the cottages:


Cottage 1

Cottage 2

Cottage 3

Cottage 4

Cottage 5

PRE 1825 Le Marchant document 372/5/1/1a dtd 30/3/1825 and 1b dtd 31/3/1825





David Munday


1825 “cotts 3 & 4 recently built by Jeremiah Howard” Le M. doc. 372/5/1/1a & 1b



James Godfrey

John Hursey

Mrs Ann Smith

1830 Le M doc 372/5/1/2a dtd 21/12/1830 & 2b dtd 22/12/1830


John Spooner

Thomas Tucker

Stephen Shorter the elder

1840 Jas. Drew bought land from Wm Smith and built a house on it. Since the 1841 census puts Jas. Drew in cott. 1 and Wm Smith in 2 we assume this is true in 1840. Le M. doc. 372/5/1/9 dtd 1877 & 372/5/2/1a & b dtd 27-28/11/40.  Presumably, cot. 2 arose between 1831 & 1840.  For cotts. 3-5, see Le M. doc 372/5/1/3 dtd 14/10/40.

James Drew

Wm Smith

Thos. Tucker

Henry Smith

Wm. Hampton

1841 Census – Cottage 1 is current No. 1; 2 has gone (plot combined with 1); can’t yet tell which house is 3, which 4 & which 5.

James Drew 30

Ag. Labourer

Wm. Smith 60

Ag. Labourer

Thos Tucker 50

J. Butcher

Henry Smith 50

Ag. Labourer


Ag. Labourer

Jane 25


Lucy 50

Elizabeth 60

Jane 50

James 7


Thos. 20 B. Lab


James 15

Eliza 3


Benj. 15 A. Lab



Stephen 2


Chas. 13





Esther 10





Mary Ridlington 2



1851 Census – only 4 houses listed, “one of the four empty” – was it cottage 1 or 2?

Empty ?


Thos. Smith 41

Ag. Labourer

Henry Smith 63

Ag. Labourer





Sarah 35

Elizabeth 65

Jane 58 Laund.



Arthur 12





George 10





Emma 5





Thomas 2



1854 Le M. docs. 372/5/1/9 dtd 1877 & 372/5/2/1a & b dtd 14/6/1854 says Jas. Drew sold cott. 1 to J’than Thompson and it is now occupied by Henry Drew; and Wm. Smith is next door. We think, at this point, Thompson owns 1 and 3-5 (see 1865)

Henry  Drew

Wm. Smith




1861 Census – agrees with Rydes Map 1864-5; sequence implies Thos. Smith moved

Henry Drew 44

Ag. Labourer

Thos. Smith 50

Ag. Labourer

John Smith 47

Poultry Dealer

Henry Lee 45

Ag. Labourer


68 RA Pens’ner               

Mary 40

Sarah 44

Mary 46

Louise 47

Ann 64 Laund.

James 16

Ag. Labourer

Thomas 12

George 22

Asst’t Poul. Dlr

Fanny 16


Mary A Hawker34dghtr

G’rge12 AgLab

William 7


Dan’l 15 A.Lab

Eliz. Thpson 22

Stephen 9



Martha 9

Mary Hawker 8

William 9



Benjamin 2


Frederick 7





Mary A  4





Elizabeth 1





1865 J’nthn Thompson leaves ownership of cotts. 1 & 3-5 to Samuel & J’nthn George Thompson in his will 23/5/1865 according to Le M. doc 372/5/1/9 --/--/1877


1871 Census – sequence of listing is same as in 1861

Mary Drew 49


Thos. Smith 62

Ag. Labourer

John Smith 53

Poultry Dealer

Henry Lee 57

Ag. Labourer

Jonathan Thomson 77


Henry 27

Ag. Labourer

Sarah 54

Mary 52

Martha Wilson 19 daughter

Ann 74

William 19


George 30

Poultry Dealer


Mary A Hawker42dghtr


Frederick 15

Ag. Labourer




Albert 10


Mary A 13





Elizabeth 11





Henry W Thompson 2 nurse child





Gge Soan 18 lodger Ag. Lab.





1877 Sale of cottages 1 and 3,4, & 5 by Samuel & J’nthn George Thompson by auction.  Bought by Le Marchant. Le M. doc. 372/5/1/6 to 372/5/1/9

George Taylor

1 livg 2 bed, turfhouse, gdn 12 perches


John Smith I lvng 1 bed pntry, turfhs, gdn, smll pddck 33perches

Jas. Ottaway

1 lvng 2 bed pntry, shed, gdn

1 rod 1 perch


Jas. Stradwick

2 sitg 3 bed pntry wshhouse

lge gdn 1r 24p freeh,18p copyh

1881 Census – sequence of listing implies Taylor & Ottaway moved

John  Mepham   59 Ag. Lab’r’r

Thos. Smith 70

Ag, Labourer

John Smith 60

Poultry Dealer

George Taylor 34 Labourer Brickfield

Jas. Ottaway 44

Foreman in Brickfield

Mary Ann 50

Sarah 64

Mary 61

Elizabeth 41

Mary 42

Kate M 15


George 32

John 12

Frederick 17 Carter

John 13



William 11

Mabel 11

Elemmy (?) 8



Roger 9


Rose 8





William 6





1883 Thos. Smith leaves cott. 2 to son George 8/7/1883 and dies 1/9/1883. Le M. docs 372/5/1/18 to 21  dtd 16 & 17/10/1906


George Smith




1891 Census – sequence of listing is odd so continuity is a guess except for G. Smith

Rooms 4

Rooms >=5

Rooms 4

Rooms 7

Rooms 5

Eliz. Ottaway 29

George Smith 50

John Smith 80

Chicken Dealer

Robt. Penny 33

Servant Butler

Jas. Ottaway 53


Frederick 8

Susannah 44

George 50

Alice 32

Mary 53

Sydney 5

Rosina 20


Winifred 9

Mabel 21

Eva 4

Mary Elbury 74 mother


Nellie Alice 5

Clara 18

Burfield 1





1906 George Smith sells cott. 2 to Le Marchant.   Le M. docs. 372/5/1/17 to 21