III.—THE MANOR HOUSE OF THE UPPER MANOR.
General description and date of structure.
The Manor House attached to the Upper Manor of Bromley, stood on or
about the spot now occupied by the school in Priory-street. It is stated by Lysons
to have been built by Sir John Jacob, the lord of the Upper Manor, in the
reign of Charles I. It was of brickwork, with tiled roof, and somewhat similar
to the Old Palace in general form, with projecting wings at each end.
Views of the building are given by Malcolm (Views of· London, 1836), and
in the extra illustrated copy of Lysons' Environs in the Guildhall Library
are two original drawings in wash, showing its appearance at the end of last
century. Dunstan states that it was pulled down in the early part of the present
century after about only 150 years of existence. In Rocque's Map of London it is
called "Bromley House," and its position and extent of the grounds are shown.
The grounds, with the fishponds, gardens, &c., extended from the river Lea
on the east, to Four Mill street (the present St. Leonard's-street) on the west, and
on the south to Three Mills lane. On the north they were bounded by the churchyard, and the present churchyard wall, with its blocked up gateway, may possibly
be a part of this wall. The grounds remained intact until a period within the
memory of the older inhabitants of the neighbourhood.
In Dunstan's time (1862) the north and south boundary walls yet remained,
and had ornamental gates of brickwork.
Considerable portions of the walls yet remain, principally on the west side
adjoining the towing path of the river, and on the south side in Hancock-road. The
site of the fishponds is now covered with factories, and the gardens by rows of small
Lysons' Environs of London states—"The manor of Bromley belonged to the above-mentioned
convent [that of St. Leonard, Bromley], to which it is said to have been given by Sir Ralph Jossiline. After
the dissolution it was granted, with the site of the priory and advowson of the church, by Henry VIII. to Sir
Ralph Sadler, who granted a lease of the priory, with certain premises adjoining, to Joan Gough, at the
yearly rent of £35 10s. 8d., and in the year 1546 exchanged the manor again with the crown for other lands.
After the expiration of Joan Gough's lease, Queen Elizabeth granted the same premises for 21 years to Sir
Thomas Cotton. The manor, in the year 1583, was the property of Henry Morgan, alias Wolf, who obtained
a licence to alienate the same, with certain tenements and tofts, 30 acres of arable, 15 of meadow, 30 of pasture, 2 of wood, and £3 rents of assize to Thomas Spencer, Esq., and Richard Shute. In 1607 a licence was
obtained by Hugh and John Hare, to alienate the same premises to Arthur Ingram and his heirs. Soon after
this the manor seems to have reverted to the crown. King James granted it in 1609 to Francis Morrice and
Francis Phillips; it was vested in the crown again A.D. 1620, when, being valued at £71 2s. 6d., it was settled
among other manors upon Charles I., then Prince of Wales; this monarch, in the fourth year of his
reign, granted it to Edward Ditchfield and others, trustees for the City of London, who, five years afterwards, sold it to Sir John Jacob. Sir John was a great sufferer in the civil war: his estates having been
sequestrated, this manor appears to have passed into the hands of Abraham Wilmer, Esq., who was allied
to the Jacobs by marriage and who is stiled patron of the church in 1650. Sir John Jacob died in 1666.
The manor afterwards came to the family of Roberts. After the death of Sir John Roberts, Bart., which
happened in 1692, it became the property of Sir William Benson, Knt., who dying in 1712, his son sold it
about the year 1719 to Mr. Lloyd, a merchant of London." After passing through several hands, and
being divided and re-united, the manor was purchased by Mr. William Mann, whose descendant Colonel
Mann, is the present lord of the manor.
Lysons' Environs of London (Middlesex, vol. i., pages 40–41.)
Dunstan Hist. Bromley St. Leonard, pages 156–161.
Brewer Beauties of England and Wales, vol. x., part iv., page 288.
Malcolm (119 views in London and in the vicinity of the Metropolis, 1836), where a view of the house
Rocque Survey of London 1741–45.
Gascoyne (Map of Stepney, 1703), where the house is indicated by a small perspective sketch, and
described, Esqr. Bensons.