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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This place was so called from the ford in the wood, where Woodford-bridge now is. It lies in the hundred of Becontree, at the distance of about seven miles and a half from Whitechapel church. The parish is bounded by Chigwell, Chingford, Walthamstow, Wanstead, and Barking. It contains about 2000 acres of land, of which the greater part is meadow and pasture. A considerable part of the forest of Waltham (commonly called Epping Forest) is in this parish. The soil is for the most part a strong loam.
The manor of Wodeford (fn. 1) was given by Earl Harold to his monastery of Waltham Holy-cross. It was seized by the crown on the suppression of religious houses (fn. 2), and, in 1546, was granted to John Lyon (fn. 3). The next year there was a grant of this manor to Sir Anthony Browne, and his heirs (fn. 4); which seems not to have been valid; for it appears that Sir John Lyon, Alderman of London, to whom the former grant had been made, gave it to King Edward VI. soon after his accession to the crown, in exchange for other lands (fn. 5). The King immediately granted it to Edward Lord Clinton and Say (fn. 6), who, in 1553, aliened it to Robert Whetstone (fn. 7). His descendant Bernard Whetstone, Esq. in 1640, sold it to William Acton (fn. 8); by whom it was conveyed, the same year, to Sir Thomas Roe (fn. 9). After the death of Dame Eleanor Roe his widow, (which happened in 1675,) it was sold to Sir Benjamin Thorowgood, whose son Richard conveyed it to Sir Richard Child, afterwards Earl Tylney. It is now the property of his great grandson (in the female line) Sir James Tylney Long, Bart. an infant.
The manor-house (which adjoins to the churchyard) was sold by Sir Richard Child to Christopher Crow, Esq. who, in 1727, aliened it to William Hunt, Esq.; it is now the property of his descendant of the same name, and in the occupation of John Goddard, Esq.
William Hickman, Esq. ancestor of the Earl of Plymouth, and of Sir N. H. Hickman, Bart. was lord of the manor of Woodfordhall in Essex, and died at his manor-house there, in 1420 (fn. 10). Whether this was another manor, or whether the Hickmans held under the Abbey of Waltham, I am not certain; but think the latter more probable. Walter Hickman, who died in 1540, directed that his body should be buried at Woodford; he bequeathed to Clement, his son, four of his best ambling mares, his best gown lined with sitches, and his russet gown lined with fox. To the church of Woodford he left 10l. for the purpose of redeeming paschal money at Easter; so that every body in the parish, being free from the payment of the same, when they came to God's board, might say a Pater noster and an Ave for his soul, and all Christian souls (fn. 11).
A house and lands called Buckhurst, alias Monken-hill, in this parish and Chigwell, has been already described (fn. 12).
The manor of Ray-house (fn. 13) was parcel of the possessions of the abbot and convent of Stratford-Langthorne, and was granted, in the year 1541, to Morgan Philips, alias Wolfe (fn. 14); who left it to his son Walter Morgan. By him it was sold, in 1570, to John Pilkington (fn. 15), who aliened it, the same year, to Nicholas Fuller (fn. 16). In 1582, it was conveyed by Fuller to Thomas Pereson (fn. 17); by him, the next year, to Israel Amyce (fn. 18), and by Amyce, in 1586, to Robert Earl of Leicester (fn. 19). The Earl sold it immediately to Sir Horace Palavicini (fn. 20), whose younger son Sir Tobias conveyed it, in 1624, to Sir Charles Montagu (fn. 21). This estate, about the beginning of the present century, was in the family of Cleveland, from which it passed to that of Hannot. It was purchased of Bennet Hannot, Esq. about the year 1770, by Sir James Wright, Bart. the present proprietor (fn. 22).
The parish-church is a brick structure, consisting of a chancel, nave, and two aisles. At the west end is a brick tower, built in 1708. The chancel appears to be of considerable antiquity, and has some narrow pointed windows.
In the chancel are the monuments of Robert Wynch (fn. 23), Gent. 1590; Rowland Elrington (fn. 24), Gent. 1595; Jane, wife of Robert Mab, daughter and sole heir of Thomas Wadnall (fn. 25), 1616; Elizabeth, wife of Jeffrey Elwes (fn. 26), Alderman of London, 1625; Anne, wife of Thomas Holbech, S. T. P. daughter of Patrick Melvill, 1666; Richard Bayly, Esq. (fn. 27), 1694; Lady Charlotte, daughter of Edward Earl of Litchfield, (wife, first of Benedict Leonard Lord Baltimore, and afterwards of Christopher Crow (fn. 28), Esq.) 1720. On the floor are the tombs of John, son of Sir Cæsar Child, Bart. 1701; Mary, daughter of Peter Cartwright, Esq. by Mary, daughter of Robert Dennett, Esq. 1745; Richard Salwey, Esq. 1775; and Mary, widow of Theophilus Salwey, and mother of Mary Cartwright, 1783.
On the east wall of the north aisle is the monument of David Bosanquet, Esq. (fn. 29), 1741: on the floor are the tombs of Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Horde, Esq. of Oxfordshire, (by Barbara Trinder,) married, first to John Reynell, draper, afterwards to Richard Dawson, Esq., ob. 1736; Robert Chase, 1774; Frances, his wife, (daughter of John Lingard, Esq.) 1767; Anne, daughter and coheir of John Lingard, 1794; and Elizabeth Meynell, 1777.
In the nave are the tombs of Bridget, relict of Alexander Staples, Esq. eldest daughter of Sir John Ernle, Chancellor of the Exchequer to Charles II. and James II. 1715; and Rowland Beresford, Esq. of Lincoln's Inn, 1719.
In the south aisle are the monuments of Drigue Olmius (fn. 30), Esq. 1753; and Charles Foulis, Esq. 1783: on the floor is the tomb of John Sherman, citizen of London, 1728.
When Mr. Holman took his notes in 1719, he found the following tombs, the inscriptions of which have been since either removed or defaced:—Anne, wife of Daniel Thelwall, 1638; Elizabeth, wife of Samuel Eaton, 1710; and Susanna, relict of William Master, rector of Woodford, and niece of Dr. Holbech.
In the churchyard is a yew-tree of remarkable growth. Its girth, at three feet from the ground, is eleven feet nine inches; at four feet and a half from the ground, fourteen feet three inches. The spread of its boughs forms a circumference of about 180 feet.
At the south-west corner of the churchyard, near the rectory-wall, is a lofty column of veined marble of the Corinthian order, to the memory "of the antient and knightly family of Godfrey, which flourished many years in the county of Kent (fn. 31)." It particularly records Peter Godfrey, Esq. M. P. for the city of London, who died in 1724. He married, first Catherine, daughter of Thomas Goddard, Esq. by whom he had seven children, who all died unmarried: Michael, in 1712; Cæfar, in 1727; Elizabeth, 1763; Edmund and Joseph, 1765; Peter, 1769; and Thomas, 1772. Mrs. Godfrey died in 1706. Mr. Godfrey's second wife was Catherine, daughter of Sir Thomas Pennyman, Bart.; she died in 1725, without issue. In the churchyard are the tombs also of Peter Shelly, rector, 1703; Sir Thomas St. George, Principal Garter King of Arms (fn. 32), 1703; Daniel Colwall, Esq. (son of Arnold Colwall, by Susan, only daughter of Thomas Anlaby, Esq. of Etton in Yorkshire) 1707; John Butland, Gent. 1707; Foot Onslow, Esq. (who married Mrs. Susan Colwall) ob. 1710; Edward Digges, Esq. son of the Hon. Dudley Digges of Virginia, 1711; James Jackson, 1732; Christopher Hill, Gent. 1736; John Gould, 1736; John Harling, Gent. 1743; Thomas North, Esq. 1747; John North, Esq. 1766; Thomas Braddyl, Esq. 1747; Dodding Braddyl, Esq. 1748; Mary, his widow, only daughter of Samuel Hyde, Esq. 1771; Martha, relict of Samuel Braddyl, Esq. 1757; John Holmes, Esq. 1758; William Hunt, Esq. 1767; Deputy Francis Ellis, 1772; Richard Maitland, Esq. 1775; Richard Warner, Esq. 1775; Robert Young, surgeon, 1777; William Loney, Esq. 1778; Edward Keepe, Esq. 1781; George Keepe, Esq. 1782; Richard Church, Esq. 1787; John Shepard, rector, 1789; Mary his wife, daughter of Matthews Beachcroft, Esq. 1762; Christopher Puller, Esq. 1789; William Davy, Esq. 1789; Edward Archer, M. D. (sole physician, during the space of 42 years, to the Small-pox and Inoculation Hospitals); Hannah, wife of the Rev. Thomas Maurice (fn. 33), 1790; and Mrs Patience Parker, 1795.
The church of Woodford is a rectory, in the diocese of London and in the deanery of Barking. It is valued, in the King's books, at 11l. 12s. 1d. The commissioners appointed to inquire into the state of ecclesiastical benefices, in 1650, found, by their inquest, that this rectory was then worth 79l. per annum; and that Richard Isaackson, an able, godly minister, was the incumbent (fn. 34). The patronage has always been vested in the lord of the manor.
William Master, who was instituted to this rectory in the year 1660, was a younger son of Sir William Master of Cirencester in Gloucestershire. He was married on the 18th of May 1665, at Woodford, to Susanna, daughter of the Rev. Job Yate, rector of Rodmarton in the same county. The entry of his marriage is written in Greek, and repeated in Latin. Mr. Master died in 1684, and was buried at Woodford. He published a volume of theological and moral essays, and another of prayers and meditations, under the title of "Drops of Myrrhe." By his last will he left 5l. per annum for two sermons, to be preached before the University of Oxford; the one on Shrove Tuesday, and the other on the last Sunday in June (fn. 35).
|Average of Baptisms.||Average of Burials.|
The report of the King's surveyor of houses and windows, in 1762, states, that there were then 178 houses in this parish; of which 156 were mansions, 22 cottages. The present number of houses is about 250; eighty of which are at Woodford-bridge.
"John and Ann, son and daughter of Sr Thomas Stepney (fn. 36), baptized Nov. 22, 1638; Dudley, his son, buried Novr 20, 1639."
"Sr Thomas Rowe, lord of the manor, was buried in the chancel, Nov. 8, 1644." Sir Thomas Rowe (or, as his name was frequently written, Roe) was born at Leyton, about the year 1580, being son of Robert Rowe, Esquire of the body to Queen Elizabeth. In 1604 he was knighted, and went on a voyage of discovery to the West Indies. In 1614, he was appointed Ambassador to the Great Mogul, from whose court he removed to that of the Grand Signor, where he procured very essential advantages for his countrymen. He was afterwards employed in various negotiations to Poland, Denmark, and Germany. On his return he was made Chancellor of the Garter, and a member of the Privy Council. In 1620, he represented the borough of Cirencester in parliament; and, in 1640, the University of Oxford. His works, published in his lifetime, were, a relation of what happened at Constantinople on the death of the Sultan Osman; letters from the court of the Great Mogul; some small tracts, and several of his speeches in parliament. His negotiations at the Ottoman Porte were published in 1740. Sir Thomas Rowe brought over to this country the celebrated Alexandrian MS. of the Greek Testament, a fac simile of which was published a few years ago by Dr. Woide. He left, by will, 80l. towards building an additional aisle to the church at Woodford, whenever the parishioners should demand it, after a good peace should be settled in church and state. Among the debts due to him was the sum of 6720l. from the King, 3500l. of which was for two pendant diamonds, sold to his Majesty in 1630. Dr. Gerard Langbaine wrote an epitaph for Sir Thomas Rowe, but it was never inscribed on his tomb; nor is there any memorial for him at Woodford (fn. 37). Eleanor, his widow, was buried Dec. 6, 1675.
An intent of marriage between Thomas, son of Sir John Curzon of Water Perry in Oxfordshire, and Elizabeth, daughter of William Burroughes, Esq. of Woodford, was published in August and September 1654.
"John Corbet, son of Sr John Corbet of Adderly (Salop), and Theophila, daughter of James Cambell, Esq. married Nov. 28, 1658; John, son of Sr John Corbet, Knt, and Theophila, born Apl 17, 1664, buried July 12, 1669."
"Thomas St George, Esq. son of Sr Thomas St George, Knt, buried Sep. 10, 1670; Lady Clare St George, wife of Sr Thomas, Nov. 14, 1691; Sr Thomas St George, Garter and Principal King at Arms, Mar. 11, 1702–3; Elizabeth, wife of Sr Henry St George, Garter Principal King of Arms, Nov. 8, 1704."
"Mr Henry Dawson, son of Madam Gertrude and Mr Richard Dawson, Gent. was baptized May the 3d: on which evening, before sunset, there was a great frost and snow, which covered the ground and houses; upon which I saw some snow remaining the next day, at noon, though it was a clear sunshining morning.—Peter Shelley, rector, 1698."
"Sr Cæfar Child, Bart, and Madam Hester Evans, both of Claybury, married Dec. 1, 1698; Hester, their daughter, baptized Apl 14, 1700; Cæfar, their son, born Feb. 8, 1701–2; John, buried Feb. 8, 1702–3; Lady Child, buried Mar. 14, 1732–3."
"Richard Warner, aged 62 (fn. 38), buried April 20, 1775." This gentleman was son of John Warner, Esq. a banker, who is mentioned in the Spectator, as having always worn black leathern garters buckled under his knees, a custom, which his son (who, in no other instance, affected singularity) is said to have religiously observed. He resided in an old house at Woodford-row, called Hearts, built anno 1617, by Sir Humphrey Handforth, Master of the Wardrobe to James I. who is said frequently to have dined there, when hunting in the forest. It afterwards came, by marriage, to the Onslows, and was the residence of Foot Onslow, Esq. father of the Speaker (fn. 39). This house is now the property of Jervoise Clark Jervoise, Esq. Here Mr. Warner, whose niece Mr. Jervoise married, planted a botanical garden, and was very successful in the culture of rare exotics. The herborizations of the apothecaries were made once a year in this neighbourhood, and the company dined together, after their morning's walk, at the house of Mr. Warner; who published the result of these annual researches, under the title of Plantæ Woodfordienses. He claims a place also among dramatic writers, having translated several of the comedies of Plautus. He published a letter to David Garrick, Esq. concerning a glossary to the Plays of Shakespeare, and had made large collections for an edition of his works; but desisted from his intention of preparing it for the press, on the appearance of Mr. Stevens's proposals. In his youth he had been remarkably fond of dancing; and it was not without some reluctance, (when he became more advanced in age,) that he turned the largest room in his house into a library. Mr. Warner bequeathed all his valuable books to Wadham College in Oxford, (where he received his education,) and left an exhibition for a botanical lecturer (fn. 40).
"Elizabeth Crane, aged 97, buried Dec. 27, 1766; Jane Rayner, aged 90, Mar. 27, 1767; Anne Taylor, aged 91, Aug. 14, 1768; Mary Jackson, aged 90, Dec. 30, 1770; Elizabeth Piggott, aged 96, May 26, 1773; Rebecca Palmer, aged 94, Nov. 15, 1786; Margaret Bridges, aged 94, April 26, 1789; Catherine Rowe, aged 94, Jan. 18, 1794."
In one of the registers is an account of all the collections for charitable purposes (in the nature of briefs) made at Woodford during a great part of the last century, commencing in 1643. One of the most remarkable is that for the benefit of King Charles's chaplains and domestic servants, collected about twelve months after he was beheaded. Their petition states, that they, the late King's Majesty's domestic servants, to the number of 40, being in present distress, by reason that their sole dependence was upon the late King's Majesty, and that their means from the revenue of his late Majesty were still detained, upon some reasons known to the committee, and could not be paid; they were, therefore, so necessitated, that they could in nowise subsist for the maintenance of themselves, their wives, and families; and they prayed the charity of all good Christians.—Signed, Thomas Bunbury, S. T. D.; John Manby, S. T. D.; Geo. White, S. T. D.; Emanuel Utye, S. T. D.; Matthew Griffith, S. T. D.; Nathaniel Barnard, S. T. D.; Thomas Jones, S. T. D.; Thomas Warmester, S. T. D.; Paul Knell, M. A.; John Cooke; Ja. Armachensis (fn. 41); Robert Kilmowensis (fn. 42); B. Sarum (fn. 43); Edward Spencer, Knt. &c. The sum collected for them at Woodford was 1l. 7s. 0½d. Among other objects of charity, recommended to public notice, the most singular are,
Thomas Francis, his wife and children, who were robbed by the rebels in Ireland, three of their children having been starved to death (fn. 44), 1644; (collected 13s.).
David Hastiville, Knight, late of the city of Roan in Normandy, nobly descended, and late called by the name of Reverend Father Archangel of Hastiville, Abbot and Baron of the vale of Holy Cross; Prior of Beaulieu, General of the order of Friars of St. Renaldus, alias Camaldules, in all France; who hath from thence forsaken all his honours and dignities only for the gospel, 1645; (collected 8s.).
Divers ministers, and other distressed families, driven into the straightened garrison of Pembroke, and several imprisonments, most of them under the Earl of Carbery first, and now at last undergone the loss of all that they had by General Gerrard, only escaping with their lives, 1645; (collected 8s. 10d.).
Poor English Irish Protestants, fled and driven away out of the kingdom of Ireland, by the inhuman and bloody rebels, which have lost their estates and livelihoods, and are now residing in and about the town of Barnstaple in Devonshire, 1647; (collected 17s.).
Bridgenorth, upper town, burnt down, (1648,) with the college, church, and almshouses, damage 90,000l.; (collected 8s. 11d.) (fn. 45).
The county of Lancaster being visited with sword, pestilence, and famine, all at once afflicting that county above other parts of the nation, by means whereof many people, formerly of good fashion and esteem, besides a great number of common beggars, have perished and died, 1649; (collected 15s.).
John Cheynell, late minister of Beedon, Bucks, who had been continually plundered by both armies, "and had lost two sons, gracious young men, cruelly murdered, him"self having been sequestered by false information," 1652; (collected 15s. 8½d.).
Mr. Philip Dandulo, a Turk by nation, by profession a Mahometan; by God's gracious providence and mercy, converted to the Christian faith, by the endeavours of Dr. Wild, Dr. Warmester, Mr. Christopher, and Dr. Gunning, 1661; (collected 5s. 8d.).
Nicholas Lockyer, who succeeded Rous as Provost of Eaton, and was ejected after the Restoration for nonconformity, resided at Woodford; where he died in 1685. He was author of several theological and controversial tracts (fn. 46). George Herbert, author of the "Divine Poems," resided in this parish (fn. 47); James Greenwood, author of a collection of poems, called the Virgin Muse, and some grammatical works, was a school-master at this place; he was afterwards under-master of St. Paul's school (fn. 48).
John Fowlke, Esq. of Glaybury, anno 1686, left certain lands to maintain eight boys in Christ's Hospital; two of whom are to be of this parish. The parish of Woodford has a right also of sending four boys to Archbishop Harsnet's schools. There is a Sundayschool at this place; where most of the children of the poor are taught and clothed by voluntary subscriptions.
Near Woodford-bridge is the patent manufactory of artificial slate, belonging to Sir James Wright, Bart. This slate is used for covering roofs and fronts of houses; for making pendant frames for hay-ricks and stacks of corn; and safeguards to preserve them from vermin. It is used also for water-pipes and gutters. A considerable quantity has been exported to the West Indies. A pamphlet was published a few years ago, explaining the manner of using the slate; its comparative advantages, with prices and estimates. The proprietor has published also (at the beginning of the present year) some observations on the importance of preserving grain from vermin; with an explanation of the manner in which the artificial slate is to answer that purpose (fn. 49). The buildings, where the manufactory is carried on, are of this slate, and were erected about twenty years ago.