The Bennett Family


Solomon Bennett was a successful butcher exporting pickled tripe to the colonies from Shoreditch. Born in 1743 he married Mary Gaucheron at St. Leonard’s church Shoreditch on the 2nd March 1765. They had 5 children – Solomon 1765 – 1848, Mary 1766-?, Nicholas 1768 – 1848, Samuel 1770-?, Sarah – 1771-?.

Solomon Bennett’s son Nicholas was born in Bethnal Green in 1768.

In 1783 aged 15 Nicholas becomes a butchers apprentice for 7 years. Around 1806 he buys land in Brixton.

The Monthly Magazine, Volume 40 of 1815 reports (p458) Mr Bennett marrying a mrs May, both of Brixton Hill. Their daughter Hezia (Keziah) May Bennett is born at St. Mary, Lambeth in 12th November 1821. This is probably the Nicholas Bennet jun. born 1793. 

the european magazine and review, containing portraits and views; …
Mr. Nicholas Bennett, jun. of Brixton Hill, to Konia, youngest daughter of the late Woi. May, Esq. of Spitaifields.

The 1837 City of London electoral register shows a Nicholas Bennett and Nicholas Bennet jun. of Elm Cottage, Brixton Hill as butchers.
The line above lists Solomon Bennett jun of Bishopsgate Without.

The 1837 electoral register:


1841 census shows Nicholas Bennett (73) living in Elm Cottage (next to Somers Place and near Elm Lodge) living with Sarah Bennett (80, his sister?), (Nicholas Bennett 48 born 1893, Cleric in orders) and Kezia May Bennett (daughter of Nicholas and Hezia May and 18 – born 1823), Reine Henrietta Vanderbosse.


Nicholas Bennett’s will 1848 –
He gives ?? May living with Mr William May of no 4 Broad Street all the profits from his house in St George’s Road Southwark. He gives Nelson Curtis (aka Nelson Bolter) of Elm Place Brixotn £500 and for the rest of his natural life the carpenters shop and premises that he now occupies. He also give Alfred Curtis (aka Alfred Bolter) £500. He gives to his late wife’s niece? Reine Henrietta Vanderbosse the sum of £100 and £20 per annum to be paid by the rent on premises in Brixton Place ??arket?? and also a small cottage now in the ?? of George Barton.
He gives each of the four children (Samuel, Mary, Bliss and Nicholas) of his late nephew Dennis Bennett £100 pounds each when they reach 21.
Ann Bolter gets £30pa from the rent on a house and premises in Brixton Place.
Remains go to his son the Rev. Nicholas Bennett ??.??. of Queen’s College Cambridge.

NickBenett's Will 1848 page 1

NickBenett's Will 1848 page 2

The Reverend Nicholas Bennett

(who owned the land when the houses were built just after 1850)
The Reverend Nicholas Bennett was born 1817 Male St Stephan’s, Cornwall, England.

1838 applies to be admitted as an attorney – The Legal Observer, Or, Journal of Jurisprudence, Volume 15

1848 his father leaves him a house and land on which he builds Archbishops Place.

In 1851 The Reverend Bennett is living with his brother and other family members at South Villa Lower Tulse Hill

31 John E C Benett Head 40 1811 Male St Stephan’s, Cornwall, England – Governement High ??
31 Elizabeth Bennett Wife 40 1811 Female Layerdrisey, Cornwall, England
31 John Bennett Son 16 1835 Male Lambeth, Surrey, England
31 Elizabeth Bennett Daughter 13 1838 Female Lambeth, Surrey, England
31 Helen Bennett Daughter 10 1841 Female Lambeth, Surrey, England
31 Nicholas Bennett Brother 34 1817 Male St Stephan’s, Cornwall, England – Attorney
31 Thomas Smith Servant 22 1829 Male Hesham, Buckinghamshire, England
31 Maria Kemp Servant 32 1819 Female Gillie, Hampshire, England
31 Mary Gretter Servant 31 1820 Female Southwark, Surrey, England

South Villa is lower left of 1862 map below?


The Edwards and the Bennetts may both originate in St. Stephens-By-Saltash, which would mean that Archbishops Place is linked to the Cressingham Estate.

Family tree for Edwards, Thomas Bennet

Edwards, Thomas Bennett

Is this the same Dr Thomas Edwards who married Mercy Cressingham?

Dr. Thomas Edwards (1775?–1845), a legal writer who married Mercy Cressingham, probably in 1811.

South Villa was part of the Cressingham Estate

The heiress Miss Cressingham did not remain a spinster for long. Her husband Dr Thomas Edwards, took the initiative in buying extra land to make an access from Brixton Hill in 1814 and laying out two new roads Lower Tulse Hill Road (now known simply as Tulse Hill) and Upper Tulse Hill Road (now Upper Tulse Hill) before 1821.

Tulse Hill History at

The Edwards’ estate was, however, exclusively for the well-to-do. The land fronting the roads was divided up into plots of varying sizes, and was let on long leases of up to 99 years. Some of the lessees took several adjacent plots and assigned their interest immediately after the houses were completed; but the plots were more often leased singly, most of the houses on the estate being detached. All the leases contained safeguards for the preservation of the exclusive character which the estate was intended to provide. No house costing less than a certain figure (usually £700) was to be built, a minimum distance from the road was prescribed for each house, and no school, shop, trade or manufactory was to be established without permission; in some cases the lessee had to undertake to pay a reasonable share of the cost of making such drains and sewers as might be needed in the future.

The Reverend Nicholas’ estate is only worth £300 on his death in 1875.



The development of Tulse Hill was largely the work of Dr. Thomas Edwards (1775?–1845), a legal writer who married Mercy Cressingham, probably in 1811. Edwards studied at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, and took the degrees of LL.B. and LL.D. in 1800 and 1805 respectively. He later became a Fellow of his College and was admitted advocate at Doctors’ Commons. He was a member of the Lambeth Church Building Committee which supervised the erection of the four “Waterloo” churches in the parish, and as a Justice of the Peace for Surrey he interested himself in social questions. He died at The Grove, Carshalton, on October 29, 1845. (fn. 21)

Not sure that this as it suggest Elm Cottage was built after 1841 and we know the Bennett’s were living there before that from the 1837 electoral register.

Upper Tulse Hill

In 1829 Thomas and Mercy Edwards leased a plot of land on the west side of the road to Sophia Pearce, widow, together with a house lately erected thereon. This house has since been demolished, but in 1840 and 1841 Mrs. Pearce mortgaged her property and Nos. 54 and 56, formerly Elm Cottage and Scotia Cottage, were probably erected shortly afterwards; (fn. 27)they were certainly standing in 1843. (fn. 28)


Pigot’s Direcotry of Cornwall, 1830 (page 164) lists amongst the “Nobility Gentry & Clergy” of St Germains, Saltash and neighbourhoods “Bennett John Gent Ward House, Saltash” and “Bennett, Nicholas Esq Saltash”. Also “Bennett William, Gent, Pill”

1823 – The Tourist’s Companion; Being a Guide to the Towns of Plymouth, Plymouth Dock … and Their Vicinities, Etc

The walks round St Stephen’s afford a variety of beautiful views but one of the finest in the whole neigbouring district is that obtained from Ward House the seat of Henry Harrison Esq This mansion which is a modern structure with piazzas in front and uniform wings is placed in a singularly beautiful situation on a woody elevation at the confluence of the Tamar and Lynher and enjoys an uninterrupted prospect of the inte resting scenery which so richly adorns the shores of those rivers It has been justly remarked that this spot commands perhaps the greatest variety of interesting combinations that can be found in England

It will be perhaps a surprise to many persons to be informed that the ancient fabric which is very generally supposed to be the _ . , parish church of Saltash has not been such until within the last few years, being in fact only a private chapel within the parish of St. Stephens-by-Saltash. The chapel, which is dedicated to St. Nicholas, was originally a cell belonging to the Priory of St. Germans, and its services were performed by the monks of that house.
“We will now turn to the Registers themselves, the entries in which, from the cause already stated — St. Nicholas being a non- parochial chapel within the parish of St. Stephen — are very few.