Situation, and boundaries.
This parish lies in the hundred of Becontree; and is bounded on
the east by Eastham; on the north by Wansted and Leyton;
on the west by the river Lea, which separates it from St. Leonard's
Bromley, Stratford-Bow, and Hackney, in Middlesex; and on the
south by the river Thames. The village, in which the church
is situated, lies a little to the south of the high road, and four miles
from Whitechapel. The populous hamlet of Stratford extends along
the road towards London, as far as Bow-bridge. Plaistow, another
large hamlet, is about a mile east of the church. Upton, another
hamlet, lies nearly a mile north-east.
This parish is divided into three wards, called Church-street,
Stratford-Langthorne, and Plaistow wards; each of which has a
churchwarden and overseer. Church-street ward pays the sum of
529l. 12s. to the land-tax; Stratford-Langthorne ward, 546l. 10s.;
Plaistow ward, 784l. 10s. The proportion in the pound is about
2s. in each ward.
Quantity and nature of land.
The parish of Westham contains 4500 acres of land; of which
about 1970 are arable, and 2530 meadow and marsh-land. About
500 acres of the arable are (on an average) annually cropped with
potatoes, and about 200 with turnips. The soil, except in the
marshes, is for the most part gravel; there is some loam in the
neighbourhood of the forest.
Market and fair.
There was formerly a market at Westham, on Tuesdays, and an
annual fair, which lasted four days; the vigil and festival of St.
Margaret, and the two following days. The charter was procured
by Richard de Montfichet, in 1253 (fn. 1) .
Foundation of Stratford Abbey.
The Abbey of Stratford Langthorne, in this parish, was founded
by William de Montfichet, in the year 1135, for monks of the
Cistercian order: it was dedicated to the Virgin Mary and All
Saints; and endowed by the founder with his manor of Ham,
(i. e. Westham,) and the manor which had belonged to Ranulph the
priest; two mills, his wood of Buckhurst in the forest, and the
tithe of pannage (fn. 2) . "This howse," says Leland, "first sett among
the low marsches, was after, with sore fludes, defacyd, and remevid
to a celle or graunge longynge to it caullyd Burgestede, in
Estsex, a mile or more from Billerica. Thes monks remainid at
Burgstede untyll entrete was made that they might have sum
helpe otherwyse. Then one of the Richards, Kings of England,
toke the ground and Abbay of Stratford into his protection, and
reedifienge it, browght the foresayde monks agayne to Stratford;
where amonge the marsches they reinhabytyd (fn. 3) ."
Surrender of the convent.
Seal and Arms.
The abbot of Stratford Langthorne was summoned to parliament
in 1307. At the suppression of religious houses, the annnal rental
of this monastery amounted to the sum of 652l. 3s. 1¼d. A schedule
of their principal possessions is given in the notes (fn. 4) ; together with
references to all the grants relating to this monastery, which are to
be found in the Calendars at the Tower (fn. 5) . The convent was surrendered to King Henry VIII. by William Huddlestone, the
last abbot, on the 29th of March 1538. The deed of surrender, which remains in the Augmentation-office, is signed by the
abbot, the priest, the sacrist, the chanter, and eleven monks; one of
whom was so illiterate as to be obliged to make his mark, which is
called "the mark of John Wyght, which can not wrytte." The
conventual seal, which is appendant, represents the Virgin Mary
and the Infant Jesus, sitting under a Gothic canopy. The arms of
this Abbey were, G. three chevronels O. over all a crosier in bend
John de Bohun, Earl of Hereford and Essex, High Constable of
England, was buried at Stratford Abbey in 1335.
Grant and alienations of the site.
In the year 1539, King Henry VIII. granted the conventual
church, with Richard's chapel, the site of the monastery, and its appurtenances, to Sir Peter Mewtas, or Meautis (fn. 6) , who had been Ambassador to the Court of France. About this time, Margaret Countess
of Salisbury, who, two years afterwards, was beheaded for hightreason, resided within the precincts of the monastery (fn. 7) . Henry
Meautis, Esq. a descendant of Sir Peter, in the year 1633, sold the
site of the Abbey, with 240 acres of land, the Abbey mills, &c.
to Sir John Nulls (fn. 8) ; whose son, John Nulls, Esq. in 1663, conveyed the site of the Abbey to Thomas Meads, and others; from
whom it passed to Mr. Richard Knight. It remained in his family
till the year 1786, when it was sold, by John Dudlas Knight, Esq.
to Mr. Thomas Holbrook, the present proprietor.
Its present state.
The Abbey stood at the distance of about three furlongs southwest from the parish church; the site of the precincts, which was
moated, contained about 16 acres. The only remain of the buildings
is a part of a chapel, with the doorway, adjoining to the public house
called the Adam and Eve. The foundations of the convent were
dug up and removed by the present proprietor; in doing of which
no antiquities worthy of note were found, except a small onyx seal,
with the impress of a griffin, set in silver, on which is the following
legend: "Nuncio vobis gaudium et salutem;" perhaps the privyseal of one of the abbots. At a little distance from the Adam and
Eve, towards the north, is a brick gateway, which was the entrance
to the conventual precincts.
The abbey lands are charged with the repair of a bridge and
causey on the great road, near Stratford (fn. 9) .
Manor of Westham.
The manor of Westham, in the reign of Edward the Confessor,
was the property of Alestan, a freeman; when the survey of
Doomsday (fn. 10) was taken, it belonged to Ranulph Peverell and Robert
Gernon. When William de Montfichet founded the Abbey of
Stratford-Langthorne, anno 1135, he endowed it with all his lordships
and demesne lands in Westham (fn. 11) . The manor of Westham seems.
afterwards to have been again in lay-hands: for, in 1446, Thomas.
Bernwell obtained the King's licence to give it to the abbot and
convent of Stratford, in exchange for some lands in Havering (fn. 12) .
It was parcel of the possessions of that monastery, when it was
dissolved in 1539, and then came into the hands of the crown. In
1610, it was settled upon Henry Prince of Wales (fn. 13) . In 1616, it
was granted to Sir Francis Bacon and others for 99 years, in trust
for Charles I. then Prince of Wales; this lease, in 1629, was assigned
to the trustees of Queen Henrietta Maria, as a part of her jointure.
On the sale of the crown lands, during the usurpation, this manor
(with the prison in Stratford and a meadow called Lower Ward)
was purchased for the sum of 3147l. 11s. (being about 32 years'
purchase (fn. 14) ,) by Silas Taylor, on behalf of himself and other creditors
of the Government. At the Restoration, the Queen-mother became
possessed again of this manor; which was afterwards granted to Queen
Catherine (consort of Charles II.) for her life. It was leased by her
(anno 1691) to Sir Richard Sandys, for 14 years and a half from June
1707. In 1702, another lease, for 11 years and a half in reversion,
was granted to the trustee of Mrs. Catherine Bland. In the year
1693, the manor of Westham was granted to George Booth, Esq.
for 99 years, from the decease of Queen Catherine, which happened
in 1705. That part of the manor which lies in Stratford ward
was sold by Mr. Booth, in 1733, (for the remainder of his term,) to
the trustees of Sir John Blount; whose estates being seized by the
South Sea Company, the lease was assigned by them to the Tylney
family; and is now vested in Sir J. Tylney Long, Bart. The other
division of the manor was bequeathed by Mr. Booth, with his other
estates, to Mrs. Hester Pinney, who conveyed it to Azariah Pinney,
Esq. The lease afterwards passed through the hands of ——Smart, Esq. and Mr. Brown; the latter of whom assigned the
remainder of the term to John Henniker, Esq. (now Sir John
Henniker, Bart.) in whom it is still vested.
Manor of East Westham.
The manor of East Westham in this parish was granted to
Sir Roger Cholmeley in the year 1553 (fn. 15) . It has since passed through
the same hands as those of Eastham Burnels, Westham Burnels, and
Playz. Since the account of Eastham Burnels was printed, I have
learned, that, in 1627, one of the moieties of these manors belonged
to Francis Hervey, Esq. the other to Carew Mildmay, Esq. (fn. 16)
They both afterwards became vested in the Mildmays, and were not
again separated till about the year 1720; when Sir John Blount's
estates having been seized by the South Sea Company, they were
sold to the two branches of the Smyth family (fn. 17) . The one is the
property of Sir Robert Smyth, Bart.; the other was sold, about the
year 1755, or 1756, to Stephen Comyn, Esq. (fn. 18) , father of Stephen
Comyn, Esq. the present proprietor.
Manor of Playz.
The manor of Playz took its name from Hugh de Playz, who
married Philippa, sister and coheir of Richard de Montfichet (fn. 19) . Sir
Richard de Playz, in the year 1353, gave it to the abbot and convent
of Stratford-Langthorne (fn. 20) . On the suppression of that monastery it
became vested in the crown, and was granted, anno 1553, to Sir
Roger Cholmeley (fn. 21) . Its history from this period is the same as that
of the manors of East Westham, &c. (fn. 22)
Manor of Westham Burnels.
The history of the manor of Westham Burnels corresponds entirely
with that of Eastham Burnels, which has been already given (fn. 23) .
Manor of Bretts.
The manor of Bretts was the property of John Ferrers, Esq. who
died in 1478 (fn. 24) . The reversion was then vested in Edward Earl of
Warwick, (son of the Duke of Clarence,) who being executed for
high-treason in 1499, his estates became forfeited to the crown: this
manor was settled by Henry VIII. anno 1519, with other lands, on
Catherine of Arragon (fn. 25) . It appears to have been afterwards given
to Margaret, daughter of the Duke of Clarence, who was created
Countess of Salisbury by Henry VIII.: for by her attainder in 1541,
it became again vested in the crown (fn. 26) , and was granted to Sir Peter
Meautis and his wife Jane, for life (fn. 27) . In 1576, Queen Elizabeth
granted it in see to Sir Thomas Heneage (fn. 28) , who, in 1583, aliened
it to Roger Townsend, Esq. (fn. 29) By him it was conveyed, the next
year, to Edward Earl of Oxford (fn. 30) , who died seised of it in 1604.
His widow sold it, in 1610, to Henry Wollaston, Esq. (fn. 31) , who died
seised of it in 1619 (fn. 32) . In 1624, it was the property of Sir William
Courten (fn. 33) , whose son William sold it, anno 1637, to Jacob Garrard, Esq. for 3100l. Sir Francis Bickley, Bart. who had married
Alithea, daughter and coheir of another Jacob Garrard, son and heir
apparent of Sir Thomas Garrard, Bart. became in her right possessed of this manor, and sold it, in 1711, to Peter Courtney, Esq.;
who, in 1719, bequeathed it to his sister Elizabeth, wife of William
Beauchamp, Esq.; from whom it has descended to Joseph Beauchamp, Esq. the present proprietor.
Manor of Cobhams, or Chobhams.
Sir Adam Francis, who died in 1417, was seised of the manor
of Cobhams, alias Chobhams, in Westham, held under the abbot
and convent of Stratford, and Hugh Burnel (fn. 34) . From this period
till after the grant of Sir William Compton, in 1513, the history of
this manor corresponds with that of Ruckholt in Leyton (fn. 35) . There
was a grant of this manor to Tipper and Dawe in 1589 (fn. 36) . On the
31st of Jan. 1596, it was granted to Thomas Spencer and Robert
Atkinson (fn. 37) , who, a few days afterwards, conveyed it to Robert
Wiseman (fn. 38) . Mr. Wiseman died seised of it in 1618 (fn. 39) . About the
beginning of the present century it was the property of John Hiett,
Esq. In 1782, it was purchased of Mrs. Jane Hiett, or her
executors, by Sir John Henniker, Bart. the present proprietor (fn. 40) .
The manor-house is about a mile north-west from the church, on
the left hand of the road leading from Stratford to Leyton.
Manor of Woodgrange.
The manor of Woodgrange, with a portion of the tithes (fn. 41) ,
parcel of the possessions of the dissolved monastery of Stratford-Langthorne, together with divers privileges and immunities enjoyed
by that convent, was leased, anno 1535, to Morgan Philips, alias
Wolfe, for 60 years. Queen Elizabeth granted a reversionary lease
of it to Robert Earl of Leicester for 70 years, to commence at the
expiration of the former lease (fn. 42) . George Earl of Totness was in
possession of the lease (then valued at 210l. per annum) as early as
the year 1605. In 1627, he procured the reversion of this manor
in fee, subject to a rent of 27l. 2s. per ann. (fn. 43) After the death of
the Countess of Totness, who survived the Earl, Peter Apsley, Esq.
who inherited under his will, as right heir (fn. 44) , after certain remainders, sold it (anno 1637) to Charles Frankland, Esq. who, in 1649,
aliened it to Thomas Cambell, Esq. (afterwards a baronet). Sir Harry
Cambell died without male issue, in 1699, seised of this estate,
leaving a daughter Ann, married to Thomas Price, Esq. whose son
Cambell Price, Esq. sold it, in 1738, to John Pickering, merchant.
Mr. Pickering, by his will, bearing date 1754, left it to his niece
Mrs. Ann Machin, with remainder to her daughter Mary Machin,
who is the present proprietor, and now the wife of Mr. John
Robert Christendom, in the year 1443, bequeathed his manor in
Westham, Stratford-Langthorne, Eastham, Leyton, Barking, and
Dagenham, and all his rents, lands, and services in those parishes, to
be sold and distributed in masses, and gifts to the poor, for the good
of his soul, and the souls of his ancestors (fn. 45) . There was an ancient
mansion (now pulled down) at Plaistow, called Christendom-house.
It was, in the last century, a seat of the Brydges's, and afterwards
belonged to Mrs. Batilhey, who died in 1702 (fn. 46) .
A farm called New Barnes, near Plaistow, being parcel of the
manor of Westham, was assigned, anno 1629, by the Prince's
trustees, to Simon Fanshaw, Esq. for 99 years, at the reserved rent
of 40l. The same year the reversion was granted, in fee, (subject
to the same rent,) (fn. 47) to the trustees of Sir Thomas Fanshaw; from
whose family it passed to Nathaniel Manlove. It was purchased,
in 1706, of Mr. Manlove, by the Coopers' Company (fn. 48) , in trust,
for a hospital at Egham.
St. Thomas's Mill.
A mill, at Stratford, in this parish, called St. Thomas's Mill,
belonged to the hospital of St. Thomas of Acon, and was granted,
with certain lands and tenements, anno 1549, to Gerard Hermans,
goldsmith of London (fn. 49) . It lately belonged to the Grenville family.
The present Marquis of Buckingham sold it, a few years ago, to
At Plaistow there is an ancient mansion called Hyde-house, (now
in the occupation of Mr. John James,) which is said to have been
inhabited by the monks of Stratford after the dissolution of that
convent. Over a gateway is the date 1579 (fn. 50) ; and, on a wall near
the house, that of 1559. In the windows are several coats of arms,
in stained glass (fn. 51) . I suppose it to have been the same house which,
in 1605, was held by Richard Tailor, doctor of physic; it is described, in an ancient survey of the manor of Westham (fn. 52) , as a
great mansion in Plaistow, with certain lands, among which is mentioned, a parcel of ground called Le Hide. In the last century
it was the seat of Sir Thomas Foot, and afterwards of the Onslows (fn. 53) .
Sir Thomas Lodge, Alderman of London, who died in 1583,
was seised of an estate in Westham (fn. 54) .
The parish church, dedicated to All Saints, is a spacious building,
consisting of a chancel, with two aisles, and a nave of considerable
length, which has also two aisles. At the west end is a square tower,
74 feet in height, with a ring of 10 bells.
Monuments of Sir Thomas Foot;
James Cooper, &c.
On the north wall of the chancel is a handsome monument, with
the effigies of the deceased and his lady (fn. 55) , to the memory of Sir
Thomas Foot, Knt. and Bart. (fn. 56) , who was Lord Mayor of London
in 1650, and died in 1688, aged 96. On the south side is the
monument of Mr. James Cooper (fn. 57) , with his effigies in white
marble, as large as the life, well executed. He is represented
standing, with a book in his hand. On the same wall are the
monuments of John, eldest son of Robert Faldo, Esq. (fn. 58) , 1613;
Francis, his fifth son, 1632; and John Fawcit (fn. 59) , Gent. who
married Jane, his daughter, 1625. On the floor are the tombs of
Elizabeth, daughter of Cornelius Drebbelt, 1621; Elizabeth, wife
of George Seabroke, minister, 1647; Daniel Pratt, citizen of
London, 1666; Jane, his widow, aged 92, 1709; John Pratt,
Gent. (son of Daniel,) 1699; Rebecca, (his daughter,) wife of
William Wickins, rector of Eastling, Kent, 1684; Mr. Richard
Hervey, 1693; John, an infant son of Thomas Sandes, merchant,
by Ann, daughter of Michael Rolls, 1704; Dame Priscilla Rolle,
1708; Sarah, widow of Richard March, merchant, 1716; and
Susannah, relict of Mr. George Marishall, 1747.
In the wall between the vestry and the chancel is an ancient tomb,
with Gothic ornaments. There is no inscription; but on the side
towards the vestry, which is the only part of the tomb now visible,
are some coats of arms (fn. 60) .
In the north aisle is the monument of Robert Rooke (fn. 61) , Esq.
1630; a table tomb in memory of Sir Philip Hall, 1745; Dame
Sarah, his wife, 1742; Henry Hall, 1730; and Stephen Hall, M. D.
1731. There are also the tombs of Sarah, wife of Benjamin Milner,
daughter and coheir of Smart Goodenough, Esq. 1724; Edward
Towne, Esq. 1744; Sarah, his wife, daughter of Benjamin Milner, 1730; Lydia, his second wife, 1750; Mrs. Elizabeth Tollet (fn. 62) ,
1754; Rev. Hugh Wyat, vicar, 1762; William Vere, Esq.
1765; Mrs. Anne Marsh, 1769; Abraham Whitaker, Esq. 1773;
Jane, wife of Charles Jackson, Esq. 1780; and Hugh Smith, M. D.
(eminently distinguished for his professional abilities (fn. 63) ,) 1790.
Sir James Smyth, &c.
Family of Smyth.
In the south aisle of the chancel is a handsome marble monument
to the memory of Sir James Smyth, some time Lord Mayor of
London, 1706; Elizabeth, his first wife, daughter and coheir of
Arthur Shurley, Esq. of Sussex, 1689; Sir James Smyth, Bart. (fn. 64) ,
1716–7; and Mirabella, his wife, daughter of Sir Robert Legard,
1714. On the north wall of the same aisle is a monument of alabaster, with columns of black marble of the Corinthian order, to the
memory of William Fawcet, Gent. (fn. 65) , who died in 1631: over the
tablet is the effigies of the deceased recumbent, and above, those of
his wife and her second husband William Toppesfield (by whom
the monument was erected) kneeling at a desk. In this aisle also is
the monument of Lieut. Col. Scott (fn. 66) , 1737; and another in
memory of the Rev. Nicholas Buckeridge, M. A. some time fellow
of St. John's College, Oxford, and rector of Bradwell juxta Mare,
1727; his son Amhurst Buckeridge, M. A. fellow of St. John's
College, 1710, and others of his family, with the effigies of the
deceased in white marble. On the floor are the tombs of James
Wittewrongle, a Fleming, (ancestor of the Wittewronges, baronets,)
1622; William Tuder, citizen, and merchant-taylor, 1653; Elizabeth Clark, his sister, 1654; Sir Robert Smyth (fn. 67) , Bart. 1669;
Judith, his wife, 1653; Jane, wife of John Pyott, and daughter
of Sir Robert Smyth, Bart. 1684; Sir Robert Smyth, Bart. 1744;
Lady Louisa Carolina Isabella, daughter of John Earl of Bristol, and
wife of Sir Robert Smyth, 1770; Sir Robert Smyth, 1783;
Elizabeth, wife of William Dudley, Esq. 1670; Zachariah Taylor,
mariner, 1711; William King, Esq. 1748; and Jane, wife of
William Talbutt, 1785.
In the nave are the monuments of Baynbridge Buckeridge, Esq. (fn. 68) ,
1732; and William Ravenscroft (fn. 69) , merchant, 1718. On the floor
are the tombs of William Wight, 1683; John, his son, 1704;
Richard Wight, 1713; Major John Wicks, 1728; Peter Hartopp,
Esq. 1742; and John Pickering, Esq. 1755.
Singular mortality in a family in one day.
In the north aisle of the church are the tombs of William Millington, who with Joan his wife, Henry his son, and Susan his
daughter, all died on the 20th of August, 1683; Catherine, his
daughter, wife of Daniel Ingole, 1689; Daniel Ingole, 1691; Capt.
John Ely, 1701; Thomas Haynes, attorney at law, 1715; Edmund Mountague, Esq. Deputy Governor of Fort St. David's in the
East Indies, 1730; Thomas Hewlett, Gent. 1775; and Thomas
Garner, Esq. 1781.
In the south aisle is an altar tomb in memory of Nicholas Avenant,
merchant-taylor, (a benefactor to this parish,) 1599; and the
monuments of Henry Colchester, Esq. (fn. 70) , 1701; Esther, wife of
John L'Archevesque, 1723; Martha, his second wife, 1749;
Charles Spearman (fn. 71) , 1725; Anne, relict of John Mighells, Admiral of the Blue, (who was buried at Lowestoffe, the place of his
nativity, in 1733,) 1741; Mary Anne, wife of Rear Admiral John
Gascoigne (fn. 72) , 1748; the Rev. John Finch, LL. B. 1748; and the
Rev. Jonathan Reeves (fn. 73) , 1787. On the floor are the tombs of
Thomas Cooke (fn. 74) , 1701; Thomas Reynell, Gent. 1705; Richard
Blackmore, Gent. 1721; Alexander Ward, 1729; Jeremiah Dummer (fn. 75) , 1739; Edward Flower, 1747; Mrs. Jane Lodge, daughter
of John Lodge, merchant, 1752; Benjamin Rutland, Esq. 1768;
Susannah-Newell, wife of Richard Keys, Esq. 1787; Major William
Butler, 1790; and Mr. Thomas Shirley, 1793.
At the west end of the church, under the belsry, are the tombs of
Capt. William Hill, 1703; John Hiett, Esq. 1719; Mr. Thomas
Selby, 1745; Mark Macarty, merchant, 1738; and Peter Jones,
Another remarkable instance of sudden mortality in a family.
Weever, in his Funeral Monuments (fn. 76) , records several tombs in
this church, of which no traces are now to be discovered: John
Eglesfield, 1504; Henry Kettleby, servant of Prince Henry, 1508;
Margaret, wife of John Kettleby; John Hammerton, Esq. serjeant
at arms to Henry VIII. who, with Edith his wife, Richard
Hammerton of Fedston in Yorkshire, with John and Richard his
sons, all fell sick in an hour, and died in an hour (fn. 77) , A. D. 1512;
Walter Froste, Esq. sewer to Henry VIII.; his wife Anne, daughter of Richard Caley, Esq. merchant of the Staple at Calais, 1527;
and Valentine Clerke, 1533. Strype, in the Circuit Walk annexed
to Stow's Survey, mentions the tombs of Henry Amcot, 1583;
John Shipman, 1583; Thomas Rookes, Esq. 1630; and Henry
Fallowfield, merchant, 1656. The inscriptions on these tombs have
been either defaced, removed, or covered by pews, as well as on
those of the following persons, of which Mr. Holman took notes in
1719:—Thomas Staples, 1592; Johan Caspoel de Lovanio, 1622;
Thomas Wilmer, Gent. (fn. 78) ; George Wilmer, Esq. (fn. 79) , 1626; Thomas
Salter, citizen, and mercer (fn. 80) , 1640; Robert Ratcliffe, 1672;
Elizabeth, wife of Robert Knight, 1678; William Brookes, 1679;
William Davies, 1681; Sherwin Clarke, 1683; William Wright,
1683; John, his son, 1704; Susan, wife of John Hudson, 1685;
Mr. Thomas Hawkes, 1689; Richard Hodgkin, 1693: Elizabeth,
his daughter, wife of Thomas Butler, 1701; Mrs. Mary Batilhey,
alias Shirley, 1702; Mr. Henry Francis, 1704; Thomas Farnalls,
Gent. 1711; and Capt. William Pinckett, 1713 (fn. 81) .
Mr. Holman mentions a large slab of grey marble in the chancel,
on which was a cross flory, with an inscription in Saxon characters,
much worn: this has been removed.
Tombs in the churchyard.
George Edwards the naturalist.
In the churchyard are inscriptions in memory of William Pragell,
1579; John Pragell sen. 1590; Richard Pragell, 1618; Ursalin, wife
of Capt. John Pragell, Governor of Berwick, and Chief General under
Queen Elizabeth for the North, 1616; John Pragell jun. 1633;
Clement Pragell, 1680; Joan, wife of Thomas Pragell (daughter
of John Hill); Richard Gregory, Gent. 1658; Nathaniel Wickham, M. D. 1727; Mr. Robert Watts, 1730; John Tennant,
merchant, 1737; Mr. Jacob Gouyin, 1738; John Henniker,
merchant, 1749; Dame Anne, wife of Sir John Henniker, Bart.
(buried in Rochester cathedral,) 1792; Mrs. Thomasine Gouge,
widow, 1755; Henry Turner, Esq. ("married 50 odd years,")
1758; Elizabeth, wife of William Vere, Esq. 1759; Middleton
Howard, Gent. 1759; Joseph Ball, Esq. barrister at law, 1760;
Mary, wife of John Rankin, Esq. 1763; John Newe, Esq. 1763;
Theodore Hodshon jun. Esq. 1768; Theodore Hodshon sen. Esq.
1769; John Davy, Esq. 1769; Mary, widow of the Rev. John
Baptist Denis, 1772; George Edwards, F. R. S. (fn. 82) , 1773; Mrs.
Sarah Jennings, aged 95, 1773; John Wall, Esq. 1774; John
Oxenford, Esq. 1780; Edward Waldo, Esq. 1783; William Palmer, Esq. 1786; Miss Priscilla de Hobe, 1791; Robert Harrison,
Esq. 1792; the Rev. Charles Cropley, M. A. fellow of King's
College, Cambridge, 1794; and Anne, widow of Ferdinando
Warner, rector of Barnes (without date).
Portions of tithes.
The church of Westham, which is in the diocese of London and
in the deanery of Barking, was given by Gilbert de Montfichet to
the abbot and convent of Stratford-Langthorne (fn. 83) ; to whom the
great tithes were appropriated, a vicarage being at the same time
endowed. Since the dissolution of monasteries, the tithes have been
divided into two portions; one of which has passed with the manor
of Woodgrange (fn. 84) ; the other, having been for many years vested in
the crown, was granted to the ancestors of the present proprietor
Sir Hervey Smyth, Bart.
In the year 1516, the abbot and convent of Stratford, having
obtained the authority of the church of Rome for so doing, set aside
the endowment of the vicarage, and, in lieu of it, settled upon the
vicar, and his successors, an annual pension of 39l. 13s. 8d. (fn. 85) ;
which, after the rectory became vested in the crown, was paid out
of the Exchequer, and formed nearly the whole income of the
vicarage, till the year 1638; when William Blower, father and
predecessor of Peter Blower, then vicar, having purchased the
existing lease of the vicarial tithes, the latter procured from the
crown a renewal of the old endowment, in lieu of the said pension
of 39l. 13s. 8d., which then ceased (fn. 86) . The commissioners appointed to inquire into the state of ecclesiastical benefices, in 1650,
found, by their inquest, that the vicarage of Westham was then
worth 60l. per annum (the glebe being valued at 24l. the tithes at
36l.). Mr. Yates, the incumbent, was reported to be an able, pious,
honest minister (fn. 87) . The vicarage is now become of considerable value.
The patronage has been vested in the crown since the dissolution
Thomas Rose, vicar.
Thomas Rose, who was instituted to this vicarage in 1551, experienced a great variety of fortune, before the final establishment
of the reformed religion. In 1533, when some persons, out of
their zeal against popery, stole the rood out of a church, Rose was
suspected of being privy to the robbery, having been seen to burn
some of the vestments which were taken away with it. On this
suspicion he was committed to prison, where he lay several days and
nights, with his body on the ground, and his feet in a high pair of
stocks. He was afterwards removed to Lambeth, where he remained
till Cranmer procured his liberty. Edward VI. gave him this vicarage. Queen Mary deprived him of it, and committed him to the
Tower, whence he contrived to make his escape, and to get over to
the continent. Upon Queen Elizabeth's accession he returned, and
took possession again of the vicarage of Westham, which he resigned
in 1563, for the living of Lutenhoo in Bedfordshire, where he died
at a very advanced age (fn. 88) .
The present vicar of Westham is the Rev. William Cropley,
instituted in 1775, on the resignation of the Rev. John Warner.
There is a Quakers' meeting at Plaistow in this parish; a Roman
Catholic chapel at Stratford; and a meeting, with a cemetery, belonging to the Methodists, in Brickfields. There is a meeting-house at
Stratford, which belonged to the Presbyterian diffenters; but it has
been disused for some years.
There is no register of baptisms in this parish of an older date than
1681; that of burials begins in 1679, the marriages in 1684.
Comparative state of population.
||Average of Baptisms.
||Average of Burials.
Present number of houses and inhabitants.
The return of the King's surveyor of houses and windows,
in 1762, states, that there were then 700 houses in this parish; of
which 455 were mansions, 245 cottages. The houses and inhabitants having been numbered in the month of March this year
(1796), it was found, that there were then 1057 houses (fn. 89) , and 5806
inhabitants; the average number of inhabitants to a house being
5 521/1057;, which is very nearly 5½ (fn. 90) .
Extracts from the Parish Register.
"Sr William Humble, buried Jan. 10, 1686–7; Sr William
Humble junr, Feb. 20, 1686–7; Sr George Humble, from London, Mar. 16, 1702–3."
Fatal accident by gun-powder.
April 16, 1690, Peter Paine, and his wife, and his son Peter,
and the parson, and his maid, was blown up all in one day."
Sr Robert Legard and Mary Stone, married Aug. 22, 1691."
Sr William Foster of Bamborough and ——Pert, married
June 29, 1693."
Sr John Lethieullier and Elizabeth Smart, married July 2,
Catherine Hannah, daughter of Sr John and Dame Elizabeth Colleton, baptized May 28, 1719; Hannah Catherine, born
June 16, 1721."
Lady Elizabeth Winchcombe, buried Sep. 21, 1719."
Sr Thomas Stanley, buried July 13, 1721."
Richard, son of Samuel Jebb, M. D. and Jane his wife, baptized Oct. 30, 1729." It appears by this entry, that Dr. Samuel
Jebb resided at Stratford in Essex, and not at Stratford-Bow, (as
stated in vol. iii. of this work (fn. 91) , on the authority of the Anecdotes
of Bowyer,) and that his son Sir Richard Jebb, the late celebrated
physician, was born there.
John Atkins, buried Dec. 12, 1757." Mr. Atkins, who had
been a surgeon in the navy, resided, during the latter part of his life,
at Plaistow, where he died, at the age of 73. He published a book
called "the Navy Surgeon," and "Voyages to Africa and America,"
both which works were very favourably received.
Three children at a birth.
John, Henry, and Sarah, sons and daughter of John and
Esther Flowerday, baptized Dec. 16, 1789."
Instances of longevity.
The following instances of longevity are recorded:—"George
Westwood, aged 102, buried April 19, 1696; Arthur Bradshaw,
aged about 100, Sep. 5, 1703."
Singular entry in the churchwardens' accounts.
The following remarkable entry occurs in the churchwardens'
accounts for the year 1606:
Paid Mr. John Tailor of Stratford, in respect of the composition that he made with the King's Majesty's almoner, for the
redeeming of the bell, —— 33s. 4d.
To two attourneys, their fees touching the redeeming of the
bell, to either of them, 4s. 8d. (in toto) 9s. 4d."
The celebrated poet and dramatic writer Aaron Hill, when he
withdrew himself from public life, in 1738, retired to Plaistow in
this parish; where he devoted himself to study, to the education of
his family, and the culture of his garden. In this solitude he
wrote several of his poems, and adapted to the English stage the
tragedy of Merope, which was the last work that he lived to
complete (fn. 92) .
A charity-school was instituted in this parish as early as the year
1723, at first for 10 boys only, but by degrees it became extended
to 30 boys and 30 girls. The number of girls has been since
reduced to 20, and that of the boys increased to 40. Benefactions,
to the amount of above 3000l. have been left to this school by
various persons (fn. 93) . The children are both taught and clothed, and
the boys, on leaving the school, at the age of 14, receive 5l. each, as
an apprentice-fee. The expences are defrayed with the interest of
the capital, aided by voluntary subscriptions, and the collections at
an annual charity-sermon.
Mrs. Bonnell's school.
Mrs. Sarah Bonnell, by her will, bearing date 1761, gave the
sum of 3000l. in various stocks, for the purpose of building and
endowing a school for poor girls. After Mrs. Bonnell's death,
which happened in 1766, some doubts arose respecting the validity
of some part of this donation, and a suit was instituted in Chancery.
In the month of Dec. 1769, a decree was pronounced, by which
the sums of 1500l. Bank stock, 18l. 5s. 1d. S. S. S. 279l. 10s.
O.S.S.A. and 1701l. 14s. 11d. N.S.S.A. were vested in trustees,
who were directed to pay the dividends to James Bonnell, Esq.
brother of the deceased, during his life, and afterwards (the money
necessary for building a school-house and settling the law expences
having been deducted) to apply the interest as follows:
|To the school-mistress,
|— the writing-master,
|— paper, pens, ink, &c.
|— coals and candles,
|— wearing apparel for the scholars,
The remainder to be appropriated in augmentation of the charity.
A building, which had been erected in 1752, as a school of industry,
was, in 1769, given by the treasurer and trustees of the charityschool, to the trustees of Mrs. Bonnell's school: forty girls are
clothed and educated by Mrs. Bonnell's charity; the school-mistress
and writing-master are chosen annually by the trustees.
On the east side of the churchyard are ten alms-houses for poor
persons, to whom Mrs. Thomasine Gouge, anno 1755, left the sum
of 1000l. 3 per cent. and the residue of her monies unbequeathed,
which amounted to 300l. more in the same stock.
Nature, and present Value.
||Rent-charge of 6l. per an. now only 4l. 10s. 8d.
||Rent-charge of 2l. per ann.
||Margt Lady Throgmorton,
||Rent-charge of 2l. per ann.
||30 poor widows.
||Rent-charge of 1l. per ann.
||Rent-charge of 5l. per ann.
||6 acres and a half of marshland, now 18l. per ann.
||5l. 4s. for bread, the remainder for the vicar.
||Oliver Skinner (fn. 93) ,
||Rent-charge of 2l. per ann.
||An acre of land, now 2l. per ann.
||Rent-charge of 5l.
||Rent-charge of 2l.
||Poor of Plaistow at Christmas.
||Rent-charge of 2l. 10s.
||2l. poor, 10s. a sermon.
||Rent-charge of 2l 12s.
||Coals for 12 poor persons.
||Sir Richard Fenn,
||Two houses, now let at 10l.
||Anne Lady Middelton,
||Rent-charge of 5l.
||3l. to apprentice a child, 2l. for the poor.
||Land, now let at 4l. 5s.
||Half to be given in bread, half in money.
||Sir Jacob Gerrard,
||Lands, now let at 30l. per ann.
||9l. to apprentice children, one of each ward. 1l. for a sermon (fn. 94) . 12s. reader, clerk, and sexton. 13l. 8s. (being the remainder, after deducting a rent-charge of 3l. each to the parishes of Eastham and Gracechurch, London,) in equal shares to the poor of each ward.
||Eliz. Toppesfield (fn. 95) ,
||2l. 10s. per ann.
||Six waistcoats for poor wom.
||4l. per ann.
||Waistcoats for 12 poor wom.
||6l. per ann.
||5l. poor, 1l. repair of tomb.
||Thomas Speight, and Hen. Stores,
||Marsh-land, now 4l. per ann.
||Sir Thomas Foot,
||1l. 10s. 4d. (fn. 96) per ann.
||Rent-charge of 10l.
||Fuel for 10 poor of Stratford ward; 5 of Churchstreet; and 5 of Plaistow.
||Mrs. Mary Batilhey,
||10l. per ann.
||1l. 10s. for a sermon on Good Friday.
1l. repair of vault.
2l. to teach children of Plaistow.
2l to teach children of Stratford.
2l. 10s. 8 poor widows of Plaistow and Church-str.
1l. bread to the poor of Plaistow.
||Sir William Humble,
||60l. laid out in lands, now 2l. 9s. per ann.
||John Hiett, Esq.
||5l. per ann. charged on Cobhams,
||To apprentice a diffenter's child born in Stratford ward; in default of which, any poor protestant child.
||Mrs. Sarah Bonnell (fn. 97) ,
||By deed, the interest of 200l. 3 per cents.
||2l. 5s. gowns for 5 poor widows of Church-str. ward.
10s. 6d. for instructing a poor fatherless boy of the same ward.
2l. 19s. 6d. for coals.
||Interest of 200l. O.S.S.A. (6l.)
Interest of 50l. (2l.)
|Sick poor. Coals.
||Interest of 600l. S. S. A. (18l.)
||5l. poor housekeepers of Plaistow.
9l. coals to alms-houses and poor of Plaistow.
2l. 10s. bread, Plaistow and Westham.
1l. sermon. 10s. clerk.
||Peter Bigot, Esq.
||Rent-charge of 10l. per an.
||Shoes, stockings, and money, for poor women.
||Reversionary legacy of the interest of 300l. reduced ann. not yet dropped, in
||Margt Hodshon (fn. 98) ,
||200l. laid out in 339l. E. I. annuit. the interest 10l.
||To apprentice a boy.
||Land, now 8l. per ann.
||Rent-charge of 1l. 10s.
||Six poor widows.
||Rent-charge of 2l.
||20 poor widows of Stratford.
||The interest of 10l. (fn. 99) ,
||Poor at Christmas.
Westham waterworks, which were established in the year 1745,
supply the villages of Stratford, Bromley and Bow, Stepney,
Bethnal-Green, and the lower part of Whitechapel: the property is
divided into four shares. They are worked by a steam-engine, and
water-engine. The proprietors have a reservoir at Mile-end.
There are two calicoe-printers in this parish, (Mr. Wagner and
Mr. Williams,) who employ about 260 hands. Mr. Foster of
Bromley has lately taken some premises near Angel-lane, for the