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Beriah Drew, solicitor from Bermondsey.
The man who developed important areas of the London Borough of Streatham.

Beriah Drew married Elizabeth Prentis. He became closely associated with the Borough of Streatham and was responsible for the development of one of its ancient manors. He moved there in about 1811 and during the 1830s recognised the general trend associated with the Industrial Revolution. Land in the area had, to his mind, 'potential'. He purchased Mount Nod Farm in 1836 from the executors of Lord Thurlow, the late Lord of the Manor of Leigham. This was to the north of the High Road; to the south was Streatham and Tooting Bec Manor held by the Dukes of Bedford.

He laid out Leigham Court Road in 1839. The upper part, near Streatham Common, was known as St Julian's Road until 1902. Beriah Drew and his family occupied the farmhouse and later Leigham Hall. He built Leigham Lodge in 1843 at what is now 22 Leigham Court Road and lived there until 1860. Richard William Drew - his grandson and the architect of St. Peter's Church, further up the road - lived there between 1874 and 1876.The Streatham Society

Grateful thanks are extended to Streatham researchers, John W. Brown and Brian Bloice for providing this information. Their pamphlet under "Local History Publications", titled "A Brief Historical Note on Beriah Drew of Streatham", reads as follows -

"Beriah Drew was one of the most influential and important residents of Streatham. By trade he was a solicitor and amassed a considerable fortune by purchasing land at reduced prices from people who could not afford to keep up their mortgage repayments.

In 1836 he became Lord of the Manor of Leigham [an area within Streatham] when he purchased a large area of land known as Streatham Hill. By opening up Leigham Court Road and developing the estate he added greatly to his wealth.

He had a reputation for being careful with money, as is indicated by the Horse & Groom Pub which was built on his land. The reason why the pub, together with the adjoining properties, stick out onto the pavement is because he refused to give up this small area of land to widen the road as he did not consider that the compensation offered by the Board of Works was large enough.

In the 1860s, St. Leonard's [church] was bursting at the seams as a result of Sreatham's rapidly rising population. The congregation sat in cramped pews in great discomfort and it was therefore decided to extend the church westwards. Almost alone, Beriah Drew firmly opposed the extension, stating that it was objectionable to lengthen the church which would result in the loss of six graves for which valuable considerations had been paid to the Rector. It is no co-incidence that the grave which abuts the northern wall of the 1863 church extension is that of George Drew, Beriah's brother, who died on 22nd October 1862, aged 73.

Beriah reluctantly released his grasp on his earthly treasures on 17th August 1878 when he died, aged 90. He was described as being an old-fashioned man, always dressed in black, with a cadaverous-looking face. He used to live in a large house called "Town's End", which was situated where Lloyds Bank now stands, opposite the Odeon Cinema on the corner of Becmead Avenue, which, in 1838, was the last house in the village of Streatham.

Drewstead Road bears his name, whilst Prentis Road is named after his wife's family, and Angles Road after his daughter, Jane Angles (Drew) Fisher, who is buried alongside Beriah in St. Leonard's churchyard in the Fisher family grave.

On Beriah's death, his vast landholdings in Streatham were [eventually] divided between his two daughters - Maria (Elizabeth) (Drew) Mortimer inheriting the land to the west of Streatham High Road and Jane Angles (Drew) Fisher getting the land on the east side.

His wife and daughters were more generous with their wealth and supported a number of local charities. St. John's Church in Eardley Road was erected in his memory by the Mortimers and his widow donated the land for the Streatham Cricket Club ground and also for the building of Sunnyhill Road School."

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It is not possible at present to establish a link between Beriah Drew and the Drew families of Radnorshire - even supposing any such link exists. It is of interest to note, however, that James (the London hosier) Drew, who came originally from Radnorshire, had a granddaughter (born 1893) Marjorie Jose Drew Smythe who married into a family named Fisher. This may be the same Fisher family as that of the husband of Jane Angles Drew. Additionally, in the census for 1871, there was a cook in one of the Beriah-related Drew households who was named Anne Turner and who was Radnorshire born. This may be co-incidental but it may equally be significant.

David Ward, a descendant of the Radnorshire Drews, writes elsewhere on this site of a devastating legal battle in the Court of Chancery over the estate of "a Drew relative" who died in London during the 1800s leaving a vast fortune - over which his own forebear lost his Radnorshire farm as a result of fees pertaining to losing the battle. The collateral cousin, meanwhile, - James, the hosier, Drew - seems to have achieved some wealth by comparison.

The name, Beriah, suggests possible Quaker connections - the grandmother of both forementioned cousin Drew lines was named Keziah (Beaumont) and was born in about 1757. She married John Drew of Cefynllys, Radnorshire (an area also known as Penybont) and there are many nonconformist connections in that family line - though, it has to be recognised that Beriah (Leigham) Drew may equally have been a member of the Church of England, buried as he was in the churchyard of St. Leonard's.

John Brown and Brian Bloice have researched Beriah Drew's London family background quite extensively and have provided the following information from a variety of sources which included the parish registers of St. Leonard's Church, Streatham. Additional information has since been researched for this site and has been added to their original information.

The first known Beriah (1) Drew married Jane Angles at Bermondsey in 1782

Their known children - 3 sons and a daughter

Son 1 - Beriah (2) Drew born 1788 died 17 August 1878
married (1) Sarah (b.1788 - d. 4th April 1826) (?dsp)
married Sarah Undershell
at St. Mary Newington Surrey
16 September 1813.

He appears to have been married on the same day as his brother George Drew (qv below)

The witnesses were John Undershell and Mary Jane Undershell and Beriah Drew and June (Jane) Drew – of Bermondsey Surrey.
married (2) Elizabeth Prentis
(b.1806 - d. 28 August 1892)
LDS IGI: Beriah Drew married Elizabeth Prentis 28 August 1841 at St Mary The Virgin, Dover, Kent
(Maria) Elizabeth Prentis Drew b. 1844
married Charles Mortimer
Ernest Mortimer b/bp 1877
Sydney Mortimer b/bp 1878
Reginald Mortimer b/bp 1878
Evelyn Mortimer b/bp 1880
Beriah (3) Drew b. 1848 - died 1865
LDS IGI - Beriah (3) Drew was christened at St. Leonard’s Streatham Surrey 28 August 1849 to parents Beriah Drew and Elizabeth.
Jane Angles Drew b. 1845 married Samuel Trimbrell Fisher
Child: Leslie Drew Fisher
married Sybil Mary Foster
Ruby Sybil Forbes Fisher 1906 - 1906
Sybil Elizabeth Forbes Fisher 1908 - 1908
Son 2 - George Drew born 1789 died 22 October 1862
married Mary (b.1791- 9 January 1864)

George Drew married Mary Harvey 16 September 1813 at St. Mary Magdalene Bermondsey.

He appears to have been married on the same day as his brother Beriah (2) Drew (qv above)

Daughter 1. - Mary Jane Drew
Son 3. - Michael Drew
16 Mar 1818 – George Henry Drew 1821
married Susanna Henrietta ?
George B. H. Drew (b or bp) 1844
Mary Ann? (Agney/Agnes>) Drew (b or bp) 1846
Lancelot Drew (b or bp) 1847
MARY AGNEY DREW  D  U  25       DO
08 Apr 1835 – Richard William Drew
marrried Ann Bletchley
Harvey Richard Drew (b or bp 1869)
John Harvey Drew (b or bp 1875)
Geoffrey Harvey Drew (b or bp 1877)

NB - according to the 1901 census, there was a Richard Drew, aged 74 (born circa 1827) born at Penybont (the immediate area of Cefnllys) in Radnorshire - a Draper at Camberwell, London.

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Children of George Drew and Mary Harvey - this information differs from that of John W. Brown and Brian Bloice. These are probably birth dates. Probable baptism dates (the dates on research document tree JWB/BB) appear to be about two - four/five years later ... or mixed up b/bp ... as usual there is some confusion between LDS and the raw, on-the-spot, research and this information requires further verification!

According to LDS IGI:

Children christened at St. Mary Magdalene Bermondsey.
12 Jan 1816  - Mary Ann Drew 1821
married Francis Fuller
16 Mar 1818 – George Henry Drew 1821
04 Jan 1822 – Emma Elizabeth Drew 1824
15 Dec 1824 – Jane Alice Drew 1828
married Henry A. Gray
13 Oct 1828  - Beriah Harvey Drew - twin ?
13 Oct 1828 – Charles Haslam Drew – twin ?
11 Dec 1829 – Ellen Drew 1830
married .... Bradbury
08 Apr 1835 – Richard William Drew 1833 born ?
marrried Ann Bletchley
08 Apr 1835 – Julia Blanche Drew 1832 born ?
married Charles Dingwall
23 Jul 1836 – Catherine Frances Drew
Beriah Harvey Drew, according to Nottinghamshire Wills and Probate, was married on 02 December 1850 at the age of 21 in Beckingham, Nottinghamshire, to a 21-year-old widow named Maria Lakeland. Beriah Harvey Drew is described as being “of Guildford Co. Surrey”. He may have re-married in 1883 since there is a marriage record – now at Poplar – from the September quarter 1883 - Volume 1c - page 1180  - of his marriage - or perhaps the marriage of a son of his who carried the same name.
Beriah Drew (a different generation) Roos Parish Records, 1678 - "Beriah, son of Susanna Drew, borne in fornication by William Gibson, of Weele, the supposed father, was baptized May the 19th."
"Register for the Parish of All Saints, Roos, Holderness, East Riding of York, Vol. 1.." by Richard Beverley Machell, M. A., published by A. Brown & Sons, Saville Street, Hull, in 1888. Only 100 copies of this publication were printed.

Roos parish is in the East Riding of Yorkshire, approximately 14 miles of Kingston upon Hull (commonly referred to as Hull), the population in 1831 was 430 persons. It appears to have taken the name of the Ros family, the first of whom seems to have been Peter de Ros, who is said to have died c1153. Their mansion, or castle, of which only traces the moat can be found, stood to the south of the church. The tower is said to be 15th century, and 13th century arcades lead to the aisles which were rebuilt c1850. The clerestory is about 550 years old, and the chancel of the 14th - 15th century, and the church has a medieval font. George. H. Crowther.