Ancestors of Canon William Chetwynd-Stapylton


picture Canon William Chetwynd-Stapylton

      Sex: M

Individual Information
          Birth: 15 May1825 - Chessington, Surrey
    Christening: in Edwinstowe, Notts.
          Death: 4 Mar 1919 - Tunbridge Wells, Kent
         Burial: in St John the Baptist, Old Malden, Surrey
 Cause of Death: 
           AFN : 


         Father: Major Henry Richard Chetwynd-Stapylton
         Mother: Margaret Hammond

Spouses and Children
1. *Elizabeth Biscoe Tritton
       Marriage: 25 Oct 1852 - St  Nicholas Church, Brighton, Sussex
                1. Granville Brian Chetwynd-Stapylton
                2. Frederick Chetwynd-Stapylton
                3. Edward Chetwynd-Stapylton
                4. Ella Chetwynd-Stapylton

2. Mary Elizabeth Johnston
       Marriage: 21 Apr 1898

Great grandfather and godfather to Granville Alan Gillett.
An Oxford graduate.
Vicor of St John the Baptist church,Old Malden,Surrey for 44 yrs.
We acknowledge with thanks the following link;
Vicor of St John the Baptist,Old Malden,Surrey.
Census 1851 Malden,Vicarage
Census 1861 Malden,Vicarage
Census 1871 Malden,The Rectory
Census 1881 Malden,Vicor of Malden
Census 1891 Malden,Vicarage
Census 1901 Hallaton,Leicestershire
Probate 8 July 1919,London
Residence.21 Ferndale,Tunbridge Wells,Kent,England

History of St. John the Baptist and Old Malden
When, in 1850, the vicar of St. John the Baptist church, George Trevelyan, died the church and parish were in such a bad state that there was difficulty in finding a successor. Eventually a young Fellow of Merton College, William Chetwynd Stapylton, offered to come for two years; in the event he stayed forty-four, and was long remembered as a greatly loved priest of God and a generous benefactor to the parish.
As time went on, intermittent warfare took place between a powerful local property owner, Thomas Weeding, whose enormous mausoleum is in the churchyard, and the churchwardens. But happier days were shortly to come.
In 1850 Henry Chetwynd Stapylton arrived as Vicar. This is how he described what led him here:
'In 1847 I was elected a Fellow of Merton. In 1849 the benefice of Malden cum Chessington fell vacant by the death of Revd. George Trevelyan. There were several of the Fellows in Holy Orders, but they all thought that the parishes were in so neglected and dilapidated a condition that they would not undertake the charge. But I felt strongly that the parish in which the Founder, Walter de Merton, had placed the House of Priests and of scholars, from which Merton arose at Oxford, ought to be supplied if possible by a rector from the College, and I offered to take the benefice for two years, and to do my best to bring the churches into a more creditable position. So I took the living, and held it, not for two years only but for forty-four years, though I had not a few other livings offered to me'.

In his notebook, which still exists, Chetwynd Stapylton vividly recalls his early days in the parish:
'The church a few years before 1850 had been covered in great part with ivy, and the tradition was that a boy was sent up regularly to collect the chickens' eggs from nests in the ivy; and the churchyard path was much covered by brambles. Mr. Weeding made the offer to the Vestry to renovate the church, if he might do it in his own way. He then removed the existing seats, and filled the church with pews, which were mostly allotted to his own tenants. Some open seats were placed in the centre for the poor 'if they wished to come to church'. The services in 1850 were once on each Sunday, alternating morning and evening with Chessington. Holy Communion was celebrated some three times in the year, on Easter Day in alternate years with Chessington; the only hour then thought for the Lord's own service being 11 a.m. Tate and Brady's New Version of the Psalms was sung, and the hymns by the schoolmistress and children in a large pew.

On the first Sunday of my incumbency the number of adults was about seven! The churchwarden living at the Manor Farm told me that he 'liked to go to Church when the service was in the morning, but that several times when he had friends staying with him he did not go, and received a message from the Rector asking him to make up a third member of the congregation!'

After two or three Sundays I called upon Mr. T. Weeding, of Fullbrooks, to complain that hardly any of the parishioners attended Church services, or occupied the pews, that the locks on the pew doors were illegal. He said that he, when he arranged for restoring the Church, had put the locks there. I soon found that it was useless to discuss the matter, so I at once called in a carpenter to remove all the locks from the pews. These I took away to the Rectory, and then returned to Mr. Weeding, and told him that if ever he managed to replace them, off they would come. He was furiously angry, the more so as he saw me only smiling. But it was the only course for me to pursue, as a first step. Churchwardens in those primeval days were unlearned and of little account. After some weeks Mr. Weeding began to come to Church as he had never done before, but it was no easy matter to get the parishioners to come to Church in numbers'.

Weeding's obtrusive monument is there in the middle of the Lady Chapel wall, and you can judge for yourselves the truth of its description, which tells how : 'His benevolent and sweet disposition, elegant mind, neverfailing charity and simple piety endeared him to all classes ....'

Soon after his death the box-pews that he had had put in the church were taken away, and replaced by the pews that are still there now. But it was becoming more and more obvious, as the population expanded, that a larger church would be needed. In 1846 the railway arrived at New Malden, with no less than 7 trains a day, and a few years later at Worcester Park. Suddenly the Surrey village was becoming a London suburb. In the year 1866 a new lean-to aisle was built onto the side of the small church, still at that time no bigger than it had been in the Middle Ages. But the population was expanding much faster than the building, and in 1875 the lean-to aisle was pulled down, and the present nave and chancel of the church was built, soon to be followed by such luxuries as steam heating and gas lighting.

During Stapylton's incumbency the population more than doubled, and the size of the church building more than doubled. But most important, he brought a new commitment to sacramental worship. At the time of his arrival, Communion was celebrated only three times a year. Within a few years it was monthly, and later an early service began to be held for the first time for centuries. And once this new chancel was consecrated in 1875, Communion was celebrated weekly. Care for the people, care for the building and care for its worship had gone hand-in-hand.

With reference to the Revd. Chetwynd-Stapylton's involvement with the promotion of his son's venture in Florida,USA,we refer you to the following:
A pamphlet produced by the company Ford, Rathbone & Co or the American Colonisation Co, encouraging young men to go to the States, Canada and Tasmania, for training in agriculture. Various editions of "Practical suggestions as to Instruction in Farming in Canada and the North West, and the United States of America and Tasmania" were produced and some are available to read on the internet, eg. <>
This link is to the 14th ed. of 1885, and gives an idea of the arrangements which were made for the young lads, and testimonials and an idea of the attitudes of the time. On page 2 of the pamphlet (page 9/77 on the image) The Rev. Canon W Chetwynd-Stapylton of Malden Vicarage, Worcester Park, Surrey and many others are shown as "Gentlemen" known to Ford, Rathbone who will give references.

Table of Contents | Surnames | Name List

This Web Site was Created 26 Sep 2017 with Legacy 7.5 from Millennia