Famous People from The Past



Once Totteridge was wooded and then its residents were probably charcoal burners, but Totteridge has nurtured many more famous sons and daughters since those far off days though those without fame or even a name are recorded. We read of the burial of a poor nameless hay maker, or a number of people who drowned in the streams and ponds - the walk home could be perilous in past centuries before the advent of street lights.













On this page are details of those more famous people associated with St. Andrew's church who are buried in the St Andrew's graveyard, or whose ashes are interred in the Garden of Remembrance.



`Harry Vardon was a famous professional golf player at the South Herts Golf Club. He won the Open Championship six times between 1896 and 1914 as well as the American Open.










He was the first international Golf celebrity, and easily one of the game's most influential players. The grip he popularized is now known as the Vardon Grip; the 'Vardon Flyer' ball may have represented the first equipment deal for a golfer; his instructional books continue, to this day, to influence golfers


David James (Dai) Rees was the golf professional at South Herts Golf Club from 1946 -1983. He won many golf tournaments including four Matchplay Championships and represented Wales several times in the golfing World Cup.














He was a member of nine Ryder Cup teams and Captain on five occasions, including the famous victory of Great Britain and Ireland over the United States in 1957. He was BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 1957 and was awarded the C.B.E. for services to golf.



A number of memorials in the Church refer to the Pepys family. These were descended from the great-uncle of the famous writer of diaries, Samuel Pepys. Sir Lucas Pepys was physician to George III and president of the Royal College of Physicians while his brother, Sir William was one of the Masters of the Court of Chancery.






T.E. Collcut was an architect of importance and designed his own home in Totteridge as well as a number of other important houses in the village.






William Manning was Governor and Director of the Bank of England and Churchwarden at St. Andrew's . He was the father of Henry Manning who was brought up in Totteridge and went to school here, being prepared for confirmation in the Church of England. Henry Manning was involved with the Oxford Movement before converting to the Roman Catholic Church and being made a Cardinal.


Henry Edward Manning 1808-92 Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster


Henry Manning was born in Totteridge in 1808. Educated at Harrow School and Balliol College, Oxford, he had wanted a career in politics and took a position in the Colonial Office. In 1833, however, he was ordained in the Church of England and served his title at Lavinton-with-Graffham in Sussex where he later became Rector. He married Caroline Sargent, but she died only four years later. A devout high churchman, he was appointed Archdeacon of Chichester and in 1842 wrote The Unity of the Church. This was followed by four volumes of his sermons. In 1850, however, following the Gorham Judgment, Manning converted to Roman Catholicism and a year later was re-ordained a catholic priest. In 1865 he was appointed Archbishop of Westminster, and made a cardinal. Manning was responsible for building Westminster Cathedral. He was a close ally of Pope Leo XIII and a passionate supporter of the doctrine of papal infallibility. He had a strong social conscience and one of his stranger contributions was to help settle the London Dock Strike in 1889. Several volumes of his sermons were published along with Rule of Faith, Unity of the Church and The Eternal Priesthood.

















In this sermon Manning speaks of the power of praise


'Ye shall have a song, as in the night when a holy solemnity is kept; and gladness of heart as when one goeth with a pipe to come into the mountain of The Lord, to the mighty One of Israel' (Isaiah 30.29). This sets vividly before us a state of heart, a temper of love and thanksgiving, a filial and almost childlike simplicity of grateful joy; and in this way it brings out, more clearly than any words, what is the full meaning of praise; from what source it springs, and in what ways it is expressed. If we are to define it in words, we may say that praise is thankful, lowly, loving worship of the goodness and majesty of God. And therefore we often find the word 'praise' joined with 'blessing' and 'thanksgiving': but though all three are akin to each other, they are not all alike. They are steps in a gradual scale - a song of degrees. Thanksgiving runs up into blessing, and blessing ascends into praise: for praise comprehends both, and is the highest and most perfect work of all living spirits.


From Sermons IV


O Holy Spirit of God, take me as Thy Disciple.

Guide me, illuminate me, sanctify me.

Bind my hands that they may do no evil.

Cover my eyes that they may see it no more.

Sanctify my heart that evil may not dwell within me.

Be Thou my God. Be Thou my Guide

Whithersoever Thou leanest me I will go.

Whatsoever Thou forbiddest me I will renounce.

And whatsoever Thou commandest me,

in Thy strength I will do.

Lead me into the fullness of Thy truth. Amen.


Henry Manning


The above taken from Saints & Pilgrims in the Diocese of St Albans by Alan Smith, Bishop of St Albans, published by The Amphibalus Press, St Albans 2013.



Among notable Totteridge residents was the Nicholson family. Sir Charles Nicholson trained as a doctor in Edinburgh and emigrated to his uncle’s property in Australia where he became the Speaker in the New South Wales Assembly and was a founder and first Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sydney. He returned to England in 1875 and bought The Grange. The building burned down on the 22nd February 1899 and the family home was rebuilt by Charles, the architect son of the baronet, on the existing ground plan along lines similar to the eighteenth century design. 

Charles Nicholson (1808-1903), by unknown photographer

State Library of New South Wales, GPO 1 - 12494

Sir Charles was a serious collector of Etruscan, Greek and Roman artefacts and founded a museum at the University of Sydney. When the house burned down in the disastrous fire of 1899 most of the Nicholson’s possessions were destroyed, but a valuable statue of Hermes, a gift to Sir Charles from Sir George Macleay, stood in the duck pond and thus escaped damage. This statue was given by Sir Charles’s three sons to the University of Sydney in 1934 to mark the centenary of his arrival in Australia. The Nicholson Museum recently celebrated its Bicentenary for which we were able to supply some material for the Museum’s special exhibition curated by Michael Turner.


Sir Charles’s eldest son, Sir Charles Nicholson (the second baronet), was a distinguished architect, winning the Tite Prize in 1893 and was consulting architect to seven cathedrals. Among the notable buildings that he designed was the old St. Andrew’s Vicarage. The second son, Sir Sydney Nicholson, was an organist and choir master appointed to Westminster Abbey in 1918 and founded the Royal School of Church Music in 1928.The third son, Archibald Nicholson, was a talented designer and producer of stained glass, including a memorial window for George Mallory, the Everest explorer. Sir Charles Nicholson died in 1903 and was buried in the cemetery of St. Andrew’s Church. His tomb is in the shade of the famous thousand-year-old Yew tree.

Squadron Leader A R H BARTON,


WW2 Hurricane anSpitfire  pilot, commissioned as an RAF Pilot Officer on the 6th July 1940, flying Hurricanes from Biggin Hill for 32 squadron. He was awarded the DFC for his flying skills in the Battle of Britain. He was posted to 126 squadron in Malta in March 1942 as part of the war-torn and heavily bombarded island's air defences, before taking command as Squadron Leader in May the same year. He was given a second DFC in Malta. Back in England by August as a Squadron Leader Instructor, he was tragically killed in a Spitfire whilst attempting to make a forced landing.

Click on this link to read the full document about his involvement in the Malta campaign and go to: http://www.bbm.org.uk/BartonARH.htm for a potted version of his full flying history including pictures of his gravestone in St. Andrew's churchyard.

 SIR THOMAS ALLEYN, 1st Baronet and Lord Mayor of London in 1660, also lived in Totteridge. 


Sir Thomas Allen, 1st Baronet (c. 1633 – 15 December 1690) also spelt Aleyn or Alleyn, was an English politician and grocer.


He was the son of William Aleyn and his wife Elizabeth Compton, daughter of William Compton. Allen was alderman of Cheap Ward from 1652 until 1660 and subsequently of Aldgate Ward until 1679. He then represented Bridge Without until 1683 and again from 1689 until his death a year later. Allen was appointed Sheriff of London in 1654 and Lord Mayor of London in 1659. He is remembered as the Lord Mayor who welcomed King Charles II of England into the City of London on 29 May 1660 after his exile, regarded by many as the pivotal episode in the Restoration of the monarchy. Allen was knighted on the king's visit and two weeks later, on 14 June, he was created a baronet, of London, in the County of Middlesex. In 1673, he was admitted to Gray's Inn and in 1676, he became Master of the Worshipful Company of Grocers.

Around 1684, he married Elizabeth Birch, and had by her a son. Allen died in 1690 and was buried in Totteridge. He was succeeded in the baronetcy by his son Thomas (1648–1730), who married Elizabeth Angell but had no children. On his death the baronetcy became extinct.