Quantity of land.
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.
This parish pays the sum of 374l. 12s. to the land-tax, which is
at the rate of about one shilling in the pound.
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.
The custom of this manor is Borough-English, by which the
younger son inherits.
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) .
Buckhurst, in Chigwell and Woodford.
A house and lands called Buckhurst, alias Monken-hill, in this
parish and Chigwell, has been already described (fn. 12) .
Manor of Ray-house.
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
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, rector.
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) .
The present rector is the Rev. William Boldero, M. A. instituted
The earliest date of the register of baptisms, burials, and marriages is 1638.
Comparative state of population.
||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.
In 1665, there were 33 burials.
Extracts from the Register.
Sir Thomas Rowe.
"Ann, daughter of Sr William Martin, buried Apl 10, 1638."
"John and Ann, son and daughter of Sr Thomas Stepney (fn. 36) , baptized Nov. 22, 1638; Dudley, his son, buried Novr 20, 1639."
"Pelethia, daughter of Sr Toby Cage, baptized Mar. 14, 1638–9."
Sir Thomas Rowe.
"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.
"Rowland, son of Sr Rowland Berkley, buried July 6, 1646;
another Rowland, baptized July 2, 1647."
"Mrs Cordelia, daughter of the Rt Hon. Warwick Ld Mohun,
baptized July 9, 1650."
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
"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."
"Wm Maynard, Esq. son of the Rt Hon. William Ld Maynard,
and Susanna Evans of Stratford-Bow, married July 17, 1677."
"Benjamin, son of Sr Benjamin and Mary Thorowgood, born
Feb. 20, 1687–8; Elizabeth, July 10, 1690; Simon, Nov. 2,
1692; Sr Benjamin Thorowgood, buried at St Peter's, Cornhill,
Apl 1, 1694."
"Lady Forrester, wife of Sr Andrew, buried in London, Oct. 6,
Remarkable fall of snow on the 3d of May 1698.
"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."
"Lucretia, daughter of Madam Susanna, and the Hon. Foot
Onslow, baptized Jan. 21, 1699–1700; Foot, their son, buried
Aug. 3, 1706."
"Mr John Cowland, (hanged for the murder of Sr Andrew
Slaning, Bart,) buried Dec. 20, 1700."
"Sr Robert Long of Draycot, Wilts, and Lady Emma Child,
married May 29, 1735."
"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. 42) .
"Sr Simeon Stuart, Bart, and Frances Mary Olmius of Boreham
in Essex, married May 20, 1789."
The following instances of longevity occur:
"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. 43) ; Robert Kilmowensis (fn. 44) ; B. Sarum (fn. 45) ; 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,
Demetrius Christopherus, a poor Greek, who had suffered losses by sea to the amount
of 1000l. and upwards, anno 1643; (collected 8s. 5d.).
The town of Douglas in the Isle of Man, burnt by Turkish pirates, 1644; (collected
1l. 7s. 6d.).
Dr. Nathaniel Dasserius, an aged and reverend divine, a preacher of God's word to
the Greeks, in the city of Sancta Manera, in the county of Peloponesus, 1644; (collected 9s.).
Thomas Francis, his wife and children, who were robbed by the rebels in Ireland,
three of their children having been starved to death (fn. 46) , 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.).
Poor Protestants, driven out of Ireland, 1647; (collected on the thanksgiving-day for
God's great blessing upon the Parliament's forces in Munster, under Lord Inchiquin; 5s.).
Bridgenorth, upper town, burnt down, (1648,) with the college, church, and almshouses, damage 90,000l.; (collected 8s. 11d.) (fn. 47) .
Fire at Farringdon and Westbrook, 1649, damages 56,000l. (collected 11s. 5d.).
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.).
Michael Ben Alexander, a Christian, born near Jerusalem, who had met with a loss at
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.).
For two churches at York, and one at Pontefract, demolished in the late civil wars by
the violence of cannon-shot, 1661.
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. 48) . George Herbert, author of
the "Divine Poems," resided in this parish (fn. 49) ; 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. 50) .
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.
Nature, and present Value.
||1l. per annum,
||Mrs. Elizabeth Elwes,
||5l. per annum,
||Sir Henry Lee,
||2l. per annum,
||Interest of 50l.
||Richard Warner, Esq.
||Interest of 50l.
||Robert Moxon, Esq.
||Interest of 50l.
Near the nine-mile-stone, in the forest, is a mineral spring,
called Woodford-wells, the water of which was formerly used for
medicinal purposes; but is now in no estimation.
Sir James Wright's artificial slate manufactory.
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. 51) . The buildings, where the manufactory is carried on, are of this slate, and were erected about twenty