The money to buy The West Hill and Wimbledon Park Estates – Where did John Augustus Beaumont obtain it?- Part II
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[This page is being revised as new information has come to light
The information on this page was derived from ‘The Country Fire Office’ – Commemorative Publication – 1957 – Aubrey Noakes which appears to substantially disagree with the extant original record which substantially survive intact.]
The answer as to where John Augusts Beaumont got the money to buy half of Wimbledon and Wandsworth from was that he had ‘mortgaged’ his lands to The County Fire Office [CFO] in or about 1846. It appears not all the shareholders knew about this or were delighted about it, as Beaumont, who was the Managing Director of CFO, was forced to repay the monies to CFO within six months [this is possibly not correct]. We can see, from various deeds, that there was a hurried program of disposals and that Beaumont then took onboard other mortgagees, to enable the repayments to CFO, from extant deeds [this is almost certainly not correct]. A number of authorities appear to have used the numbers of £43,000 and £92,300 as the values paid for the lands – this is probably not the case, and it was merely the extent of Beaumont’s remortgaging activities.
What this actually appears to mean is that Beaumont reduced the mortgages down to two thirds of the value of the lands rather than repaying them in full. [We have now retrieved the original minuted books and this is erroneous and this will be updated fully once we have digested the mass of detail that we have found].
Beaumont was quite the pamphleteer and rather enjoyed arguing with his accusers.
From extant deeds after 1846 it is quite clear that Beaumont had taken on other co-mortgagees to fund the one third that he needed to repay in a hurry, but couldn’t fund from the relatively leisurely pace of land sales. [We have now retrieved the original minuted books and this is erroneous and this will be updated fully once we have digested the considerable mass of detail that we have found].
The matter finally simmered down in 1859. Noakes states, also incorrectly, in his book [‘The Country Fire Office’ – Commemorative Publication – 1957 – Aubrey Noakes] “when the mortgages on both estates were finally cleared in a report dated 24th February 1859 by the West Hill and Wimbledon Park Estates Committee to the Annual General Meeting of CFO.”
Having checked in the original handwritten minutes, which are still extant in the London Metropolitan Archives. Firstly the date is wrong it was actually it was 18th February 1859. Secondly it doesn’t actually state that the mortgages were cleared but that ‘they were likely to be cleared in two months”.
“To the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the County Fire Office
18th February 1859
For the satisfaction of the Board, we beg to report, that the [illegible] connected with the transfer of the mortgages of the West Hill and Wimbledon Park Estates, is being proceeded with as expeditiously as possible. The Abstract of Title have all been delivered and compared with the Deeds by the agents of the intended transferee, and we have no doubt the mortgages will be paid off and the business completed within 2 months from this time.
We remain Sir
Yours most obediently etc”
Continue reading – Part III – The District Line & Wimbledon Park Estate