New Cross History Books

FamLoc displays details of New Cross history books and provides the facility for buying them online

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Welcome to our New Cross History Books page. To help with building a knowledge of the local history of particular towns, we have included pages especially dedicated to displaying the available local history books. Indeed, here at FamLoc, we are in the process of editing out of print local history books and republishing them as print-on demand and eBooks, making them available to all, wherever in the world you might be.

There does not appear to be any dedicated New Cross history books, but New Cross was once part of the Parish of Deptford, and The History of Deptford by Nathan Dews is of special interest to anyone researching New Cross local history.
A Murder in Deptford is a historical novel closely based on events in adjacent Deptford in 1905. It is extremely well researched, and has a wealth of local history information, especially regarding the condition of the working classes in the area during late Victorian and Edwardian periods.

History of Deptford, by Nathan Dews

This book covers the old Parish of Deptford, which also included New Cross and part of Brockley. Originally published in 1884, this FamLoc edition has made changes to format and some punctuation, but the prose has been faithfully retained, other than changes to a handful of typographical errors and the very few instances where clarity was required.
Deptford is steeped in history, and this new edition of Dews’ History of Deptford is invaluable for family historians, local historians, as well as those with Deptford connections who wish to know more about the town and its surrounding area.

Extract from History of Deptford on the Manor of Hatcham:

Most of the area now known as New Cross was previously known as Hatcham. Here is an extract from History of Deptford on the Manor of Hatcham:

In the Domesday Book, compiled by order of William  the Conqueror, 1087, the Manor of Hatcham is noticed in the following terms:
“In Brixton Hundred the Bishop of Lisieux holds of the Bishop of Baieux Hachesham, which Brixi held of King Edward. It was then assessed at three hides, as it now is; the arable land amounts to three caracutes. There are nine villanes and three bordars, with three caracutes; and there are six acres of meadow; the wood yields three swine: from the time of King Edward (the Confessor) it has been valued at forty shillings.”
In the reign of Henry II, Hatcham was the seat of a family of the same name; for we find by a certificate returned into the Exchequer at that time that Gilbert de Hatcham (or Haachesham, as then spelt) accounted for four knights’ fees of the Barony of Wakelin de Maminot. In the next reign, as stated in the “Testa de Nevill,” two knights’ fees in Hatcham and Camberwell were held of Humphrey de Bohun, Earl of Hereford, by William de Say, and the heirs of Richard de Vabadun. Sarah, the daughter and heiress of de Vabadun, married Roger de Bavant, who in the 46th year of the reign of Henry III accounted to the Exchequer for two knights’ fees, pertaining to the above-mentioned barony. A composition was made in 1274 between the Prior of Bermondsey and the Abbot of Begham, of Hatcham, in the parish of West Greenwich, which was let to the abbot for the sum of 13s. 4d. per annum.In the 13th year of the reign of Edward I, 1285, Adam de Bavant, son of Roger, had a grant of free warren, but it appears that he alienated a portion of the estate directly afterwards to Gregory de Rokesley, an eminent citizen of London, who had filled the office of Lord Mayor from A.D. 1275 to 1281; was Keeper of the Royal Exchequer, and essay-master-in-chief of all the English Mints. De Rokesley obtained a faculty from the Abbot and Convent of Begham that same year for his oratory, which he had built for the use of himself and family here, saving to themselves all oblations and other rights. He died in 1292, and Roger Busslep, who may have been his heir, sold or mortgaged the estate to Robert Burnell, Bishop of Bath and Wells; and on his death in October, 1292, an extent was taken both of this and the Manor of Hatcham-Barnes, from which it appears that here was a capital messuage, garden, and fishpond, with lands, and rents of assize, valued together at £6 0s. 2½d. The Bishop’s claim on the estate descended to his nephew Phillip Burnell, who died in the 22nd year of King Edward I’s reign. His son Edward dying without issue in 1316, the inheritance devolved on his daughter Maud, who married first, William, Lord Lovell, and afterwards John de Handlo. The descendants of the latter succeeded to the possession of the Burnell estates under the sanction of a settlement; but on the failure of male heirs of that family the estates reverted to William Lord Lovell, who however, in 1442. transferred Hatcham to Walter, Lord Hungerford of Heytesbury, and his son, Sir Edmund Hungerford, who had married a co-heiress of the Burnell family.The subsequent descent of this estate is uncertain, but it may possibly have passed by the marriage of an heiress, from the Hungerford to the family of Hastings, as there was a building between Camberwell and Stockwell, called Loughborough House, which may have been founded by Edward Hastings, created Baron Loughborough by Queen Elizabeth in 1558, or by Henry Hastings, who obtained the same title from Charles I in I643, but neither of whom left heirs to continue the title. In 1749, Cowper and his wife levied a fine to Gordon of one third of the Manor of Little Hatcham in Peckham and Camberwell, which possibly may have reference to this part of the Burnell estate now under notice.Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke, was found, at his death, to have been possessor of the Manor of Hatcham in Deptford Castle (as it is expressed). This Earl was murdered in France, when in attendance on Queen Isabella, wife of Edward II, the “She-wolf of France.”

History of Deptford contains much more on the history of New Cross.

A Murder in Deptford, by Michael Knieriem

This is a historical novel closely based on events in Deptford, South-East London during March to May 1905. The prose structure allows multi-character viewpoint, consisting of thought as well as dialogue, and resembles that of a play, although it is to be read rather than performed. The reference notes throughout are an integral part of the novel, as are the appendices, giving important social history background information, especially that of the condition of the British working class during the late-Victorian and Edwardian periods.

More New Cross History Books and Maps

We also include maps because they are a valuable source for making sense of New Cross’s location and street names. Of particular interest are the Godfrey Edition maps, which are printed at a large scale, have street names included, and have the bonus of extracts from directories on the reverse, showing the names and proprietors of shops, doctors, etc.

We are always looking to re-publish New Cross history books, and welcome your suggestions.

Click here for our New Cross History and Family History page


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