Hatch, Match and Dispatch

Text writer and editor

Hatch case text

In the early 1930’s the Wright family moved into a new house on Tudor Close, Cheam. It was in Cheam’s  St. Dunstan’s Church that David William Robert Wright was baptised on the 31st March 1935. Baptisms were usually performed soon after birth, however, according to public records, David was born the year before in November 1934. As birth certificates are important identification records, they are not made available to the public until 100 years have passed after their birth. This is why we are not able to display David’s birth certificate.

Alternative records, such as a souvenir prayer sheet, are another way of documenting the special events surrounding a birth. While the date of birth is missing, the prayer sheet displayed above includes the dates when David was baptised, confirmed and his first communion.

Not limited to documents, objects can also reveal more information about an event or person. The white christening gown and matinee jacket embroidered with delicate blue flowers were handmade by Mrs. Wright. Long after his baptism, David kindly donated all of the items seen in this case to the London Borough of Sutton museum collection.

‘Hatch’ display case
Match case text

On the 27th July 1912, Emily Clara Brougham married Robert Henry Pentleton at Holy Trinity Church, Wallington. As a church wedding, their union would have been recorded both in the parish registers and the civil registration records.

Their marriage certificate describes Robert as a surveyor and Emily as having no profession however, her savings bank book states her occupation as a scholar living in Wallington. It was not uncommon for only the grooms profession to be stated.

While the marriage certificate provides names and addresses, the accompanying documents and objects paint a more personal account of the day. Their wedding invitation from London Borough of Sutton museum collection tells us that their wedding took place at 2.00pm, a fashionable time to have a wedding during the 1900s.

Emily’s wedding garments together with the bodice, skirt and shoes offer more personal details of the marriage and fashion at the time. The bride’s style of dress, materials used and level of skilled involved all form a snapshot into the past.

‘Match’ display case
Dispatch case text

Members of the Killick family lived at Whitehall from the 18th Century until 1963 when the house was bought by the former Sutton and Cheam Borough Council. The death certificates for both Eliza and Emily Killick,  displayed here, reveal they died from an outbreak of tuberculosis peritonitis at a young age. Notice the age recorded on their death cards does not match these certificates. Discrepancies such as this are common in early documentation that relied heavily on the informants knowledge of the deceased which varied.

Death cards were a popular means of remembering the deceased. During the Victorian period mourning clothes and accessories also served this purpose. This was very much influenced by Queen Victoria, who wore black for the rest of her life after Prince Albert died in 1861. Black hats, parasols and armbands were worn to symbolise that the wearer was in mourning or wished to commemorate a loved one.

‘Dispatch’ display case

© Sophia Marion Patel