The Environs of London: Volume 3, County of Middlesex. Originally published by T Cadell and W Davies, London, 1795.
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This parish takes its name from two brooks (of which the Brent is one) which run near or through it. It is called West Twyford, to distinguish it from a hamlet of the same name in the parish of Wilsdon. This parish lies in the hundred of Ossulston, and is bounded by Ealing, Harrow, Wilsdon, Acton, and Hanwell. It contains about 280 acres of land, of which, in 1762 (fn. 1), about 100 were arable, the remainder meadow. Since that time almost the whole of the arable has been laid down to grass. The soil is clay.
"In Tveverde," says the record of Doomsday, "Gueri, a canon of St. Paul's, holds two hides. The land is one carucate and a half, two thirds of which are cultivated. There are two villans, who have one virgate each; one bordar, who has six acres, three cottars, and wood for 50 hogs." The manor was then valued at 30s., in King Edward's time at 20s. only. It is described as parcel of the ancient demesnes of the canons of St. Paul's. The manor of Tuiferde was leased, in 1114, to Walter de Cranford and his wife Athelais, with all the tithes of corn, sheep, and goats, they paying 5s. per annum to the dean and chapter, and 20s. upon the death of either of them (fn. 2). I find afterwards that Pain, the son of Henry and his wife Aveline, daughter of Morell (who had been joint lessee with his wife Athelais), had a grant of this manor in fee (fn. 3). About the year 1200, Ralph de Diceto, Dean of St. Paul's, confirmed it to Ralph, son of Morell, and his heirs for ever, to be held of the Dean and Chapter by a quit-rent of 10s., and not to be aliened without their consent (fn. 4). Bartholomew de Capella was lord of this manor in 1251 (fn. 5). Sir William Paynell swore fealty for it in 1281 (fn. 6). John de Kirkeby, Bishop of Ely, died seised of it anno 1290 (fn. 7); Sir William de Kirkeby, anno 1302 (fn. 8). It appears that it was vested in Joan, wife of John de Bohim, in 1313 (fn. 9). John Pecche, citizen of London, who died in 1380, was seised of the reversion of the manor of West Twyford, which he had granted for life to Sir Robert de Aston. It appears by that record, that Pecche's right was derived from an enfeoffment made by Thomas Blondell, rector of St. Stephen, Walbrook, to him and his heirs by his wife Helen; in default of which, to his right heirs. Sir William Pecche inherited (fn. 10). John Philpot, citizen of London, died seised of this manor in 1485, leaving John his son and heir, 31 years of age (fn. 11). It appears to have continued a considerable time in that family (fn. 12); for a rent-book at St. Paul's mentions John Henslowe, Esq. anno 1694, as proprietor of the manor of Twyford, late Sir John Philpot's. In 1698 it was the property of Sir Joseph Herne (fn. 13), whose grand-daughter Penelope (daughter and heir of his eldest son Joseph) married John Cholmeley, Esq. of Lincolnshire; whose son and daughter, Mountague Cholmeley, Esq. and Mrs. Penelope Cholmeley, are now joint proprietors. Their estate comprises the whole of the parish, except about twelve acres which belong to Mr. Brett.
A survey or visitation of the church of Twyford, anno 1251, mentions an ancient tower with two bells; two altars without the choir with palls, which appeared not to have been consecrated (fn. 14). The present church is a brick structure, of very small dimensions, consisting of a nave and chancel. On the east wall are the monuments of Robert Moyle, Esq. (fn. 15), of the Inner Temple, Prothonotary of the Court of Common Pleas, anno 1638 (with his bust in a black round cap, ruff, and black gown); and Walter Moyle, Esq. (fn. 16). (with his bust), 1660. Within the rails of the communion-table are the tombs of Arthur Moyle (son of Walter), 1681; Susan, wife of Mr. John Millet (daughter of Henry Lott), 1780; and Mr. Henry Lott, 1784. On the north wall are the monuments of William Gifford (fn. 17), 1601; and Henry Bold, the poet (fn. 18), who died in 1683. On the south wall, Fabian, son of Fabian Philipps (fn. 19), 1658; and Andrew Philipps, Esq. (fn. 20) (son of Fabian), 1696. On the floor is the tomb of John Sampson, 1723.
The church of this place, in a visitation anno 1181, is called a chapel, but said not to be dependent on any church (fn. 21). There was at that time no cemetery. Children were baptized in the chapel by permission of the dean and chapter. Persons who died in the parish were buried at any of the neighbouring churches belonging to the dean and chapter, but not at those which were under the Bishop's jurisdiction (fn. 22). It was provided that this should not operate to the prejudice of the chapel of Twyford, if it should ever have a cemetery of its own. About the time that the manor of Twyford was granted in fee to Pain, son of Henry and Aveline his wife, they presented Gilbert de Cranford to the chapel, who was instituted by the dean and chapter to the benefice, with all tithes and other profits (fn. 23). The survey or visitation of 1251 states, that the chaplain had 10 acres of arable land, a dwelling-house, and three cottages; that the lord of the manor presented him as a perpetual rector to the dean and chapter, but that the benefice was not sufficient for his support (fn. 24). In the inquisition taken after Bishop Kirkeby's death the chapel is valued at 13s. 4d. per annum (fn. 25). In the next inquisition, the advowson is said to be of no value, except the service of the chaplain (fn. 26). The commissioners appointed to inquire into the state of ecclesiastical benefices reported, that there was in the parish of Wilsdon, or reputed in that parish, a chapel, a mile and an half from the church; but that Mr. Christopher Clapham, owner of the adjoining house, maintained that it was a parish of itself, there being no other congregation but his house to repair thither. The incumbent was then ——Taylor, put out for scandal at Hempsted in Hertfordshire (fn. 27). He had for his salary at Twyford 10 l. The salary now paid by the lord of the manor is 6l. per annum. The present incumbent is the Rev. George Nicholas, LL.D. who succeeded Richard Shury in 1785. There is only monthly duty.
In the year 1251 there were ten inhabited houses in this parish besides the manor-house. When it became depopulated I do not know; but in the reign of Queen Elizabeth there remained only the manor-house (then the seat of John Lyon, Gent.), which has continued to be equally solitary ever since (fn. 28). The farmer who occupies it is, of course, perpetual churchwarden. Overseer of the poor is an office not necessary; for, by submitting to the inconvenience of hiring his servants for a term short of twelve months, the tenant escapes that of being burdened by paupers. Twyford-house has at present ten inhabitants.