The Environs of London: Volume 1, County of Surrey. Originally published by T Cadell and W Davies, London, 1792.
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The parish of Barnes lies in the hundred of Brixton; it is situated near the Thames, at the distance of six miles from Hyde Park Corner; and is bounded on the north by the river; on the west, by the parish of Mortlake; and on the east and south, by that of Putney. In the Conqueror's Survey, it is called Berne; (which, in the Saxon language, signifies a barn;) and it is said to contain six carucates of land. The parish now contains about nine hundred acres, of which nearly two-thirds are arable, including garden ground. The common adjoining to the parish of Putney, is supposed to contain about one hundred and fifty acres; near the river is some very rich meadow land; the soil of the common is gravel. The amount of the land tax for this parish, is 317 l. 5 s. 10 d. which is supposed to be at the rate of two shillings in the pound.
The manor of Barnes, or Barn-elms, was given to the canons of St. Paul's, by king Athelstan (fn. 1); and except the temporary alienation of their property, during the government of the commonwealth, it has continued in their possession ever since. It was valued in the time of Edward the Consessor, at 6l. In the Conqueror's time, at 7l. In 1291 (fn. 2), it was taxed at 12 l. The manor was formerly let by the dean and chapter, upon long leases. In 1467, Sir John Saye and others (fn. 3) were joint lessees; in 1480, it was in the tenure of Thomas Thwayte (fn. 4), chancellor of the exchequer; after which, it was held for half a century by the Wyats (fn. 5). Thomas Smyth (fn. 6), Esq. bought the remainder of Sir Henry Wyat's lease; he was in possession of it in 1567, soon after which, Sir Francis Walsingham came to live at Barn-elms, having chosen it for a place of retirement from the fatigues of state; he probably purchased Smyth's interest in the lease. His daughter Mary was buried at Barnes, in 1579.
In 1589, Sir Francis Walsingham entertained queen Elizabeth at Barn-elms, and, as was usual in all her majesty's visits, her whole court. Lord Talbot, in a letter to his father, the Earl of Shrewsbury, says, "This daye her matie goethe to Barn-ellmes, "where she is purposed to tary all day, to-morrow being Tewsday, "and on Wednesday, to return to Whytehall agayne. I am ap"poynted among the rest to attende her matie to Barn-ellmes. I "pray God my diligent attendance there, may procure me a gra"cious aunswere in my suite at her return; for whilst she is ther, no"thinge may be moved but matter of delyghte, and to content her; "which is the only cause of her going thither (fn. 7)."—May 26, 1589.
Previously to this visit, the queen had taken a lease of the manor of Barn-elms, which was to commence after the expiration of Sir Henry Wyat's, in 1600. Her interest in this lease she granted by letters patent (fn. 8), bearing date the twenty-first year of her reign, to Sir Francis Walsingham and his heirs.
Sir Francis Walsingham died in 1590, at his house in Seethinglane (fn. 9), so poor, it is said (fn. 10), that his friends were obliged to bury him late at night, in the most private manner; in consirmation of which fact, no certificate of his funeral appears to have been entered at the Heralds'-college, as was usual when any person of consequence was interred in a manner suitable to his rank.
Sir Francis's only surviving daughter had the singular good fortune of being wife to three of the most accomplished men of the age, Sir Philip Sydney, the Earl of Essex, and the Earl of Clanrickard: her second husband, so well known and so much pitied for his misfortunes, resided frequently at Barn-elms; which, after the death of Sir Francis Walsingham, was called one of his houses. "Some think," says Rowland White, writing to Sir Robert Sydney (fn. 11), "that the Earl of Essex shall have the liberty of his houses at "London and Barnelmes, and that he shall have his friends come to "him." June 11, 1600.
Lady Walsingham (fn. 12) died at Barn-elms, June 19th, 1602, and was buried the next night privately, near her husband, in St. Paul's cathedral; according to Stow's account in his Annals.
In 1639, the dean and chapter leased the manerial estate for twentyone years, to John Cartwright. When the church lands were exposed to sale by parliament, the estate was purchased by Mr. Cartwright (fn. 13), and the manor by Richard Shute, Esq. of London; the restoration put the dean and chapter in possession of their property again, and the Cartwrights continued to be lessees till the middle of the present century; when the estate was purchased by Richard Hoare, Esq. father of the late Sir Richard Hoare, Bart. whose widow now holds it under the dean and chapter. The dean and chapter of St. Paul's formerly paid a sparrow-hawk yearly; or in lieu thereof, two shillings to the archbishop of Canterbury, as lord of the manor of Wimbledon, to be exempted from serving the office of reeve or provost within that manor (fn. 14).
Before Mr. Hoare purchased the estate, Heydegger, master of the revels, was for some time the tenant of the house, of whom the following story is told:—The late king gave him notice, that he would sup with him one evening, and that he should come from Richmond by water. It was Heydegger's profession to invent novel amusements; and he was resolved to surprise his majesty with a specimen of his art. The king's attendants, who were in the secret, contrived that he should not arrive at Barn-elms before night, and it was with some difficulty, that he found his way up the avenue which led to the house. When he came to the door, all was dark; and he began to be very angry, that Heydegger, to whom he had given notice of his intended visit, should be so ill prepared for his reception. Heydegger suffered his majesty to vent his anger, and affected to make some awkward apologies, when, in an instant, the house and avenues were in a blaze of light, a great number of lamps having been so disposed, as to communicate with each other, and to be lit at the same instant. The king laughed heartily at the device, and went away much pleased with his entertainment.
The manor house (fn. 15) is pleasantly situated in a paddock, at a small distance from the Thames. It was modernized and considerably enlarged by the late Sir Richard Hoare, Bart. in the year 1771. The wings were then added. In the dining parlour and drawing room are some good pictures, particularly two large landscapes, by Gaspar Poussin, which are much admired. The pleasure grounds have all the advantages of retirement, without being necessarily immured within losty walls. They were laid out with much taste, when the house was improved. Barn-elms is now the residence of lady Hoare, relict of the late Sir Richard. Adjoining to the mansion, is a house which belonged to Tonson the bookseller, at the time that he was Secretary to the Kit-Kat Club. Here he built a room for their reception, and here they held their meetings. The room was ornamented with portraits of the members, painted by Sir Godfrey Kneller, which have been engraved in mezzotinto.
I cannot quit the subject of Barn-elms, without mentioning, that it was the temporary residence of Cowley the poet. The author of his life attributes to it a character, which it does not at present appear to deserve, and ascribes to the unhealthiness of the situation, the disorder which brought him to his grave. "Out of haste," says he, "to be gone out of the tumult and noise of the city, he had not prepared so heathful a situation as he might have done, if he had made a more leisurable choice: of this he soon began to find the inconvenience at Barn-elms, where he was afflicted with a dangerous and lingering fever (fn. 16)." He afterwards removed to Chertsey, where he died.
The church of Barnes is about half a mile from the river; it is dedicated to St. Mary, and is one of the most ancient structures in the neighbourhood of the metropolis. About the time of Richard the First, an hospital was founded (fn. 17) within the liberties of St. Paul's cathedral, by Henry de Northampton, one of the canons of that cathedral: to this hospital the dean and chapter gave the church of Barnes, with the glebe and tythes. As there is no mention of a church in the Conqueror's Survey, it is probable that it was first built about this time. The windows in the north wall of the chancel, are of the architecture of that period, narrow and pointed. The windows in the south wall, and in the nave, are of a later date. The walls are built chiefly of stone and flint; there is no window at the east end, but on the outside are very evident marks of three narrow windows, which have been stopped up. The tower is square, with buttresses; it is built of brick, and has a stair-case and turret at the south-east corner. The quoins are of a soft stone, much crumbled; the windows are square and plain. It was erected probably about the latter end of the fifteenth century, if not much later. The church was considerably enlarged on the north side in the years 1786 and 1787.
Against the north wall of the chancel, is a small tablet, to the
memory of Sir Thomas Powell, Bart. of Byrkhead, in Cheshire,
who died An. 1647, at the house of his sister Mary, widow of
Richard Cartwright, of Barn-elms. Over the tablet are the arms
of Powell: Sable, three roses Argent, with the arms of Ulster.
On the same wall is a tablet, to the memory of a former rector of
the church; the inscription is singular:
"To the best of husbands, John Squier, the late faithful and "(oh! that for so short a time) painful rector of this parish; "the only son to that most strenuous propugnator of pietie "and loyaltie (both by preaching and suffering), John "Squier, sometime vicar of St. Leonard, Shorditch, near "London. Grace Lynch, who bare unto him one only "daughter, consecrates this (such as it is) small monument of "their mutual affection.
"He was invested with this care, An. 1660, Sept. 2.
"He was divested of all care, An. 1662, Jan.9. Aged 42 years."
Upon a slab, near the communion table, before the chancel was new floored, was a figure in brass of William Millebourn, Esq. who died, An. 1415. He was represented in plated armour, with a close oval helmet, having a dagger on his right, and a long sword on his left side.
Aubrey describes a brass plate on the north side of the altar, with the figure of a priest, and the word Osanna over him, on each side, and underneath him:—there was an inscription under it to the memory of a former rector, Nicholas Clarke, who died March 28th, 1480.
Against the north wall of the church, near lady Hoare's gallery, is a monument of white marble, for the late Sir Richard Hoare, Bart. by Hickey; above the inscribed tablet, is a female figure reclining on an urn, and supporting a medallion of Sir Richard. At the base of the monument, are the arms of Hoare impaling Ackland (fn. 18).
On the outside of the church, in the south wall, is fixed a small tablet of stone between two of the buttresses, to the memory of Edward Rose, citizen of London, who died in July 1653. The space between the buttresses, is inclosed with wooden pales, and some rose trees are planted against the wall on each side of the tablet. This was done in pursuance of the will (fn. 19) of the deceased, who left the sum of 20l. to the poor of the parish of Barnes; which sum was directed to be laid out in the purchase of an acre of land, for the benefit of the said poor; but the churchwardens were enjoined, out of the profits of this acre, to keep the above-mentioned wooden pales in constant repair, to preserve the rose trees; and whenever they should decay, to supply their place with others. This man made an innocent attempt at least to perpetuate his name, and it appears to have been an effectual one, for his will has been punctually complied with; the pales are still in good repair, and the rose trees are healthy and flourishing, the clerk of the parish receiving a small annual salary for taking care of them. It was formerly only an occasional service, as it appears by the parish accounts:
|— 1688, paid for cleaning Mr. Rose's tomb -||0||1||0|
|April 6, 1693, paid for nailing the rose tree —||0||1||0|
|April 1, 1695, paid Cutler for nailing the rose, and bushing the trees||0||2||0|
The acre of land having seen advantageously exchanged, now produces 5l. per annum. Barnes also, in common with the other parishes in Surry, enjoys a benefaction under the will of Mr. Henry Smith, and some other trifling donations.
In 1778, a new workhouse was built on the common, at the extremity of the parish, upon a large scale, at the expence of near a thousand pounds; the money was raised by annuities. The annuitants were five in number; they were all sixty years of age, and are still living.
The church of Barnes, which is dedicated to St. Mary, is one of the archbishop of Canterbury's peculiars. The benefice was originally a vicarage; in archbishop Courtney's time, it was endowed by the dean and chapter of St. Paul's, with the great tithes, An. 1388; and John Lenne, or Lynne, the vicar, was instituted to the new rectory (fn. 20). The presentation has always been in the dean and chapter, except when they leased the advowson with the manor, which they did to the Sayes (fn. 21), to Thwayte (fn. 22), the chancellor of the exchequer, and to the Wyats (fn. 23). Queen Elizabeth (fn. 24) presented to it in 1590, by lapse. Since the expiration of Wyat's lease, the dean and chapter have kept the presentation in their own hands. Walter de Hertilande (fn. 25) is the first vicar upon record; he was presented by the dean and chapter in May 1282.
It was presented at the inquisition at Kingston, June 28, 1658, before the commissioners appointed by parliament to inquire into the state of ecclesiastical benefices, that Barnes was a rectory in the gift of Richard Shute, Esq. of London; and that Mr. Robert Lenthall, who was the present minister, came in by the keepers of the liberty of England, and by the authority of parliament (fn. 26).
The church of Barnes was taxed in 1291 (fn. 27), at thirty-one marks and a half; it is rated in the king's books at 9l. 3s. 4d.
Hezekiah Burton was presented to the rectory of Barnes, Oct. 19th, 1680 (fn. 28); he had been chaplain to Sir Orlando Bridgman, the lord keeper, by whose interest he got a canonry of Norwich; he died at Barnes in 1681, of a malignant fever, which carried off several of his family. After his death, archbishop Tillotson published his sermons, in two volumes octavo; to which he prefixed a short biographical preface, wherein he laments that Mr. Burton was taken off in the prime of his life, when he was capable of doing, and likely to do a great deal of good in the world. There is a print of him by White, prefixed to his sermons. He never published any thing in his life-time, except a preface to Dr. Cumberland's book on the Laws of Nature.
Francis Hare, whose name is well known in the learned world, was instituted to the rectory of Barnes, Sept. 3, 1717 (fn. 29), which he held ten years. He was bred at Eton, from whence he removed to King's College, Cambridge, where he was tutor to the marquis of Blandford, son to the great duke of Marlborough (fn. 30). His pupil died at college, and was buried in the chapel, and Hare wrote his epitaph. Dr. Hare became successively dean of Worcester, and bishop of St. Asaph (fn. 31) and of Chichester; he was engaged in conjunction with Dr. Sherlock, Dr. Snape, and bishop Potter, in what was called the Bangorian Controversy, with Hoadly, then bishop of Bangor: besides the pamphlets published in that controversy, he was author of many learned works, which were collected together after his death, and published in four volumes, octavo. The most distinguished of his works are, an edition of Terence; the book of Psalms in Hebrew, put into the original poetical metre, with annotations; and a small tract, entitled, "The Difficulties and Discouragements which attend the Study of the Scriptures." To this last publication his name was not prefixed; it made a great noise at the time, and drew down the censures of the convocation. It was of an ironical nature, and was intended as a defence of Dr. Clarke, and Mr. Whiston. Bishop Hare died in 1740.
The entries during the sixteenth century were too imperfect to enable me to form an average. It appears by the above statement, that the increase of population has not been proportionably great during the last century, notwithstanding several houses have been built on the terrace, which, being pleasantly situated on the banks of the river, is so much resorted to by families who want an occasional summer retreat, that, during that season, it has the appearance of a public watering place.
The present number of houses in the parish of Barnes is 150. The village being at that time very retired, and no thoroughfare, it probably escaped the very fatal plague in 1603; in that year there are only five entries of burials, two of which are the following:
It seems probable, by these entries, that the lady Mary, an infant daughter of James the First, was sent to Barnes to be out of the way of the sickness; but this does not agree with the accounts of our historians, who do not bring her out of Scotland till after this period. Lady Walsingham was sent to Scotland to bring up some of the king's children in 1603, and returned, about the beginning of July, with prince Henry and the princess Elizabeth. (fn. 32). It was then customary for some of the nobility, or great people about the court, (if one may use the expression,) to farm the royal children; that is, they discharged the expences of their board and education by contract. The lady Mary died at lord Knevett's, at Stanwell, in 1607; and the lady Elizabeth was educated at lord Harrington's (fn. 33). Whether the keeper of the register has mistaken the name, or whether the annalists have mistaken it; one of the princesses was most probably under the care of some of the Walsingham family at Barn-elms, in 1603.
In 1625 there are entries of thirty-seven burials, a number much exceeding the average of that period; four persons are mentioned to have died of the plague in 1630. In 1665 and 1666, it was not so fatal here as at some of the neighbouring villages; the number of burials in the former year were twenty-seven; during the two years, nineteen of the burials have a private mark, which I apprehend was intended to point out those who fell a victim to this fatal malady,—a small number when compared with its ravages in the neighbouring villages.
This Beale married the sister of Sir Francis Walsingham's lady, by whose interest he found an easy introduction to court. He was much in the considence of the queen, who frequently employed him in her negotiations with Mary queen of Scots, and made choice (fn. 34) * of him, in conjunction with lord Buckhurst, to make known to her the sentence of the court. Beale was afterwards sent to Fotheringay, with the warrant for beheading that unfortunate queen (fn. 35). He read the fatal instrument upon the scaffold, and was a witness to its execution. He was employed on an embassy to Zealand, with Sir William Winter, in 1576 (fn. 36); and the year before his death, was one of the commissioners at the treaty of Bologne (fn. 37). Several of his letters upon the business of the queen of Scots, are printed in Lodge's Shrewsbury Papers. Mr. Lodge, not aware that Beale died two years before his mistress, supposes that he was discarded by her successor. Camden (fn. 38) calls him a man of a most impetuous and morose disposition. His daughter married Sir Henry Yelverton.
The right name of this man was Abiezer Coppe (fn. 39); he was born at Warwick, in 1619, and was a post-master of Merton college, Oxford. After having been by turns, Presbyterian and Anabaptist, he became one of the wildest enthusiasts of that fanatical age. He published several pamphlets with strange titles, and as strange contents: one of them is dated London, 1648, "two or three days "before the eternal God thundered at Great St. Helens." In 1650, he was committed to Newgate for publishing a book, called "The fiery flying Roll (fn. 40)." A copy of this book, which was burnt by the hangman in London, Westminster, and Coventry, is preserved amongst the collection of pamphlets in the British Museum, and perhaps it would be in vain to look for it elsewhere; it abounds with very extravagant flights, and shocking blasphemies; but the author appears to have been a much better subject for Bedlam than New gate; he had the sense, however, after having remained in prison more than a year, to publish a recantation called "The Wings of the fiery flying Roll clipped; or, Coppe's Return to the Ways of Truth:" which is to be found in the same collection. In Sept. 1650 (fn. 41), he was brought before the House of Commons, but it was some time before he procured his liberty; when, being unwilling to expose himself again to danger, and alarmed probably at the severe punishment of his brother enthusiast, James Naylor, he changed (fn. 42) his name to Higham, and went to reside at Barn-elms, where he practised as a physician till his death, preaching likewise occasionally in some of the neighbouring conventicles.
Ballard (fn. 43), in his Memoirs of learned Ladies, bestows twelve
pages on the character of Anne Baynard; this character is, for the
most part, taken from her funeral sermon (fn. 44) preached at Barnes,
by John Prade, A. M. June 16, 1697. He tells us, that she was
so fond of the study of divinity, that she learned Greek to read
St. Chrysostom in the original; besides which, she had numberless
other accomplishments, on which, as she possessed them in common with many young ladies, both of that and of the present
age, I shall not enlarge: there is not now the least trace of her
monument, which was at the east end of the church-yard.
The inscription is copied from Aubrey:
"Here lies that happy maiden, who often said,
That no man is happy until he is dead;
That the business of life is but playing the fool,
Which hath no relation to saving the soul:
For all the transaction that's under the sun,
Is doing of nothing—if that be not done,
All wisdom and knowledge does lie in this one.
"Anne Baynard obiit
June 12. An. ætat. suæ 25. Christi
"O mortales! quotusquisque vestrum cogitet ex hoc momento pendet æternitas."