Elizabeth I was the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. She became the Queen in 1558 and reigned for 44 years. She was the last of the Tudors, having entertained many marriage proposals but she never married or had children.
At the town of Chertsey’s request, Elizabeth gave approximately one acre of wasteland on the north side of the town for a market house to be built. A Market Charter was drawn up in Latin dated 8 February 1599 authorising a weekly market. In it the Queen stated that:
‘it would be very convenient and useful to my village of Chertsey in Surrey and a great relief to my tenants and other inhabitants of the said village, if a market on Wednesdays every week and a fair and market (over and above the ancient fairs held in the said village)…for the relief of the poor inhabitants of Chertsey’.
The original 1599 building in front of St Peter’s Church was taken down in 1809 as it impeded traffic. Another was built in 1819, which was again replaced in 1851 in a new location. A weekly market continued to be held at there until at least 1870. The building survives and is known as the Old Town Hall. The Feoffees of Chertsey Market finally sold the building in 1999.
Market day has since changed to Saturday and from the proceeds the Feoffees distribute blankets each year to the needy inhabitants, rather than bread as had been Elizabeth I’s original aim.
Elizabeth I often visited Oatlands Palace near Weybridge. Whilst there she enjoyed hunting and is said to have once picnicked under the Crouch Oak tree at Addlestone.