The Environs of London: Volume 4, Counties of Herts, Essex and Kent. Originally published by T Cadell and W Davies, London, 1796.
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The name of this place was anciently written Cingeford (fn. 1), which signifies the King's Ford. It lies in the hundred of Waltham, at the distance of nine miles from Shoreditch church, and nine miles seven surlongs from Whitechapel. The parish is bounded by Loughton and Chigwell on the east; Woodford on the south-east; Waltham Abbey on the north; and on the west, south-west, and north-west, by the river Lee, which separates it from Enfield, Edmonton, and Tottenham in Middlesex. It contains about 2100 acres of land, of which about 550 are arable; 1330 grass (fn. 2); and about 220 wood. The soil is for the most part a strong clay.
From the earliest times there have been two manors in this parish, one of which belonged to the church of St. Paul's, before the Norman Conquest (fn. 3). The dean and chapter surrendered it to Henry VIII. in 1544 (fn. 4). In 1551, King Edward VI. granted this manor to Sir Thomas Darcy (fn. 5), who surrendered it to the crown again the next year (fn. 6). In 1553, it was granted to Susan, widow of Thomas Tonge, Clarencieux King of Arms (fn. 7). Her nephew Humphrey White sold it, in 1566, to Joan Lee or Leigh, widow (fn. 8), whose descendant Edward Leigh, Esq. in 1709, aliened it to Robert Snell, Esq. (fn. 9), barrister at law, whose nephew John Snell, Esq. of Brill in Buckinghamshire is the present proprietor. This manor enjoys exemption from the forest laws, and all the privileges granted to the dean and chapter of St. Paul's (fn. 10).
The manor of Chingford Comitis was, when the survey of Doomsday was taken (fn. 11), held by Orgar the thane under Robert Gernon. About the year 1188, it was the property of Fulbert de Dover. In the reign of Henry II. Roese, only daughter and heir of Richard de Dover (fn. 12), (great grandson of Fulbert,) married Richard, the natural son of King John, by whom she had two daughters, coheirs. Isabel the second brought this estate, in marriage, to David Strathbolgi, Earl of Athol, whose son and successor John was executed for his adherence to Robert de Brus. His estates being forfeited to the crown, this manor was granted to Ralph de Monthermer, Earl of Gloucester. The Earl of Athol's son David compounded with the Earl of Gloucester for this estate, and had a son of his own name, who presented to the living of Chingford in 1325 (fn. 13). Giles de Badlesmere died seised of this manor in the year 1338 (fn. 14). Margery his eldest sister and coheir brought it in marriage to William Lord Roos (fn. 15). On the attainder of Thomas Lord Roos in 1461, King Edward IV. gave the manor of Chingford to Thomas Colte and his heirs male (fn. 16); afterwards in fee to Henry Bourchier, Earl of Essex, who died seised of it in 1483 (fn. 17). Before the year 1490, it was restored to the Roos family (fn. 18), in which it continued till the year 1542, when Thomas Earl of Rutland gave it to King Henry VIII. in exchange for other lands (fn. 19). It was granted, in 1553, to Susan Tonge, widow (fn. 20), whose nephew, in 1571, aliened it to William Jeffreyson (fn. 21) : by him it was conveyed to John Branch, who died seised of it in 1588 (fn. 22). Mary, one of his sisters and coheirs, brought this estate in marriage to William Udall, whose son Henry sold it to Lancelot Bathurst (fn. 23). It was purchased of the Bathursts, in or about the year 1666, by Thomas Boothby, Esq. (fn. 24), in whose family it continued till the death of Robert Boothby, Esq. in 1774, when it was inherited, under his will, by his sister of the half-blood, Lydia daughter of Benjamin Moyer, Esq. and wife of the late John Heathcote, Esq. M. P. for the county of Rutland, who is the present proprietor, and lady of the manor.
An old mansion called Friday Hill (fn. 25), about a mile east from the church, has long been the manerial residence, and for many years the seat of the Boothbys. It is now in the occupation of Charles Hughes, Esq. a captain in the navy. It is probable that the ancient site of the manor was at the house, where the courts are held, in the forest. It is called Queen Elizabeth's Lodge, for no better reason, perhaps, than many others in the neighbourhood of London.
The manor-farm of Gowers and Buckerels, now called Pimps, is supposed by Morant to have been the property of Alexander Bayloll, who, in the reign of Edward I. held lands in Chingford (fn. 26). Henry VIII. in the year 1544, granted the manor and capital messuage of Gowers and Buckerels, late parcel of the possessions of George Monox, (with about 180 acres of land,) to Gilfred or Geffrey Lukyn (fn. 27). He immediately conveyed it to Roland Rampston (fn. 28), whose grandson of the same name sold it, anno 1593, to John Hare (fn. 29). In 1598, Nicholas Hare, son of the last purchaser, conveyed it to Nicholas Barnsley (fn. 30), whose daughter and coheir Susan married George Nodes, and had this manor as a part of her portion. In the year 1631, Nodes sold it to Thomas Gundrey, Esq. whose descendant of the same name conveyed it, anno 1729, to Israel Hammond, Esq. It is now the property of Joseph Venour, Esq. who married the only surviving daughter and heir (since deceased) of James Hammond, Esq. son of Israel above-mentioned (fn. 31).
The parish-church, dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul, is a small building of slint and stone, almost overgrown with ivy on the south and east sides. It consists of a chancel, nave, and south aisle. At the west end is a low square tower.
In the chancel are the monuments of Mary, wife of Robert Leigh, Esq. and daughter of Henry Josselin of Torrells-hall in Essex (fn. 32), 1602; Sir Robert Leigh, her husband, 1612; Margaret, wife of Robert Leigh, and daughter of Milo Branthwaite of Heathfield (fn. 33) (Norf.), 1624; Sir Thomas Boothby, Bart. (fn. 34), 1669; and Mary, widow of Robert Snell, Esq. of Chingford-hall, daughter of Sir Walter Clarges, Bart. 1781. On the floor are the tombs of Ann, daughter of Robert Leigh, Esq. 1640; Margaret Leigh, 1644; Robert Leigh, Esq. 1673; Elizabeth, wife of Edward Leigh, Esq. and daughter of Sir Richard Stone, Knt. 1673; Edward Leigh, Esq. 1691; (he married to his third wife Agnes, daughter of Richard Kirkby, Esq. of Lancashire;) John Moxon, Gent. 1766; and George Clarges, Esq. 1780.
On the north wall of the nave are the monuments of Sarah, wife of Mr. Nicholas Pigot, 1670; and Anne, daughter of the Rev. Christopher Sclater (fn. 35), rector, 1749.
In the south aisle (against the wall) is an inscription upon a brass plate, to the memory of Robert Rampston, Yeoman of the Chamber to Edward IV., Queen Mary, and Queen Elizabeth; he left benefactions to this, and some of the neighbouring parishes; and died anno 1585. Underneath is an altar-tomb, covered with a slab of black marble, on which are the effigies, in brass, of the said Robert Rampston, and of Margaret his wife, who died in 1590.
In the church-yard are the tombs of Robert Boothby, Esq. 1733; Thomas Boothby, Esq. 1735; Mr. William Boothby, 1771; George Boothby, Gent. 1774; Robert Boothby, Esq. of Friday Hill, 1774; the Rev. Christopher Sclater, M. A. rector, 1737; and William Knipe, citizen of London, 1747.
The church of Chingford is a rectory, in the diocese of London, and deanery of Barking; the advowson has always been annexed to the manor of Chingford Comitis, except for a short time, when it was granted, with the other manor, to Sir Thomas Darcy (fn. 36); but it does not appear that he ever presented. The rectory is valued, in the King's books, at 14l. 5s. 5d. The commissioners appointed to inquire into the state of ecclesiastical benefices, in 1650, reported that the glebe of this rectory was worth 20l. per annum; the tithes 74l. George Byrom, D. D. was then rector (fn. 37), put in by the parliament on the sequestration of John Russel, (author of "the Solemn "League and Covenant discharged,") who was ejected in 1644 (fn. 38). Robert Plumme was presented to this living by Cromwell, in 1655 (fn. 39); and Thomas Witham, in 1657 (fn. 40). At the Restoration, Russel recovered possession of it, and enjoyed it till his death, in 1688 (fn. 41). The present rector is Robert Lewis, M. A. instituted in 1778.
There is an estate in this parish called Brindwoods, held under the rectory by the following singular tenure: "Upon every alienation, the owner of the estate, with his wife, man-servant, and maidservant, each single on a horse, come to the parsonage, where the owner does his homage and pays his relief, in the following manner. He blows three blasts with his horn, and carries a hawk on his fist, his servant has a greyhound in a slip, both for the use of the rector that day. He receives a chicken for his hawk, a peck of oats for his horse, and a loaf of bread for his greyhound. They all dine; after which, the master blows three blasts with his horn, and they depart (fn. 42)." Morant says, that this estate was then (1768) lately in the possession of Daniel Haddon of Braxted; but I have not been able to learn any thing either of the estate or the custom, by inquiries made for me by the present rector among his parishioners.
|Average of Baptisms.||Average of Burials.|
|1730–9||12 1/5||15 7/10|
|1780–9||15 1/2||16 2/5|
|1790–4||20 3/5||21 1/5|
Robert Rampston, Gent. who died in 1585, gave, by will, 2l. per annum, to the poor of this parish. Thomas Boothby, Esq. gave 3l. per annum, which is distributed weekly in bread. The rent of an acre and a half, (let annually by auction to the best bidder,) now 1l. 10s. is distributed also in bread.