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WIMBLEDON, a municipal borough and western residential suburb of London, in the Wimbledon parliamentary division of Surrey, England, adjoining the metropolitan borough of Wandsworth, 8 m. S.W. of Charing Cross. Pop. (1891), 25,777; (1901) 41,652. Wimbledon Common, to the north-west of the district, forms a continuation of Putney Heath and a pleasant recreation ground. It was the meeting-place of the Rifle Association from its foundation in 1860 till 1888. The parish church of St Mary is supposed to date from Saxon times; but, after "t had undergone various restorations and reconstructions, t was rebuilt in 1833 in the Perpendicular style. There are various other churches and chapels, all modern. A free library was established in 1887.- Benevolent institutions are numerous. The corporation consists of a mayor, 6 aldermen, and 18 councillors. Area, 3221 acres.

Wimbledon (Wibbandune) is supposed to have been the scene of battle in 568 between Ceawlin, king of Wessex, and yEthelberht, king of Kent, in which ^Ethelberht was defeated, and an earthwork which existed on the Common may have marked the site. At Coombe's Hill and elsewhere British relics have been found. At Domesday Wimbledon formed part of the manor of Mortlake, held by the archbishops of Canterbury. Afterwards the name was sometimes used interchangeably with Mortlake, and in 1327 it is described as a grange or farm belonging to Mortlake. On the impeachment of Arundel, archbishop of Canterbury, in 1398, it was confiscated. In the reign of Henry VIII. Cromwell, earl of Essex, held the manor of Wimbledon, with Bristow Park as an appendage. On the confiscation of Cromwell's estates in 1540 it again fell to the crown, and by Henry VIII. it was settled on Catherine Parr for life. By Queen Mary it was granted to Cardinal Pole. In 1574 Elizabeth bestowed the manor-house, while retaining the manor, on Sir Christopher Hatton, who sold it the same year to Sir Thomas Cecil. In 1 588 Elizabeth transferred the manor to his son Sir Edward Cecil, in exchange for an estate in Lincolnshire. At the time of the Civil War the manor was sold to Adam Baynes, a Yorkshireman, who shortly afterwards sold it to General Lambert; and at the Restoration it was granted to the queen dowager, Henrietta Maria, who sold it in 1 66 1 to George Digby, earl of Bristol. On his death in 1676 it was sold by his widow to the lord-treasurer Danby. Some years after Danby's death it was purchased by Sarah, duchess of Marlborough, who bequeathed it to her grandson, John Spencer. It was sold by the fifth Earl Spencer in 1877. Wimbledon House, built by Sir Thomas Cecil in 1588, was replaced by another building in 1735 by the duchess of Marlborough; this was destroyed by fire in 1785, and a new house, called Wimbledon Park House, was erected about 1801. Wimbledon was incorporated in 1905.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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