A History of the County of Buckingham: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1925.
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Eton is situated on the north bank of the Thames, and is connected with Windsor by a bridge across that river. The land lies low, and nowhere reaches a greater height than 75 ft. above ordnance datum. It is on a bed of gravel deposited in the Thames basin clay which overlies the chalk. Besides the Thames the parish is watered by several small streams, of which the largest, Colenorton Brook, flows through Eton Wick, being there known by the name of the Common Ditch, and finally meets the Thames in the north-east of the parish. Eton, with Eton Wick, has an acreage of 778 acres, of which 259 acres are arable land and 465 permanent grass. (fn. 1) Of this extent the greater part is included in Eton Wick, which since 1894 has formed a separate civil parish. (fn. 2) The remaining 150 acres, which constitute the parish of Eton proper, is almost entirely occupied by the college and the town, and it is here that the historical interest of the parish mainly centres.
The long and narrow High Street round which the town is built formed part of the main road from Windsor to London, and the hamlet of Eton grew up probably for no other reason than to serve the traffic thereon and to keep part of 'the causey' and road to Eton by Windsor in repair. (fn. 3) Already in the 13th century the town had attained its present limits, for the Hundred Rolls of 1275–6 refer to 'the villata of Eton from Baldewin Bridge to Windsor Bridge,' (fn. 4) and these bridges are still landmarks which divide the town from the college on the north and from Windsor on the south. (fn. 5)
About this time there was another and important bridge, probably connecting Eton and Upton across Chalvey Ditch in the north of the parish. This was Beggar's Bridge, also called Spitelbrigge, and in 1302–3 it was declared to be broken down and destroyed to the danger of travellers and to the injury of the adjacent country. Robert Pugeys and Roger de Southcote were assigned to inspect the bridge and to obtain information as to who were responsible for repairing it. A report was then made to the effect that the bridge was half in Eton and half in Upton, and that Walter le Teb of Eton had built the bridge of wood over the rivulet where no previous bridge was some fifty years before, with the aid of voluntary gifts collected in the autumn and at other times of the year from merchants and others. He also maintained it during his life, but there was no obligation on anyone to build or to maintain it. It was further stated that a flood in the Thames had so deepened the stream that in the spring no persons on foot or on horseback could get across it. (fn. 6) This bridge was afterwards superseded by one of stone, and is mentioned in a college grant of 1443 (fn. 7) and also in 1605. (fn. 8)
Until nearly the middle of the 15th century Eton remained a place of small importance, save as a thoroughfare to Windsor, with which royal borough it had, even before the foundation of the college, an appreciable connexion. The constables of Windsor Castle were not infrequently lords of Eton; Crown lands in the latter place were administered from the castle, while John Brocas, surveyor of works in Windsor Castle in the 14th century, (fn. 9) appears to have owned land, still called by his name, in this parish.
In 1440 Henry VI chose Eton as the site of his foundation for 'twenty-five poor and indigent scholars' and with this date a new era in its history opened. The parish became at once a centre of activity, the building of the new college very sensibly affecting the whole neighbourhood. William Lynde was appointed clerk of the works in February, 1441, and brought to Eton 'stone-cutters, carpenters, masons, plumbers, tilers, smiths, plasterers and other workmen,' and set them to work, (fn. 10) and later others were appointed to similar commissions, (fn. 11) William Veysey, for instance, bringing 'masons and layers called brikeleggers.' (fn. 12) Materials such as 'stones, timber, iron, lead, glass, tiles, lathes, shingles, boards, nails, lime and sand' had to be procured, and their carriage to Eton by road or river arranged for. (fn. 13) Timber, during the building of the college, was stored at 'Timbrehaw,' (fn. 14) or 'Tymbrehall,' (fn. 15) and a piece of ground on the high road to Slough still bears the name 'Timbralls.' (fn. 16)
The building of Henry the Sixth's college, therefore, had an immediate and practical effect on the people of Eton; the sudden influx of labourers and artisans, of carriers and their teams, taxed the resources of the parish to the utmost, and the strain was increased by the pilgrims who flocked to Eton in response to the papal bulls of 1441 and 1442 granting indulgence to those visiting the church of Eton at the feast of the Assumption and also at other times. (fn. 17) A record of £2 3s. 11d. paid for the hire of thirty beds for extra confessors and their servants on one of these occasions occurs in the Eton Audit Roll of 1445, (fn. 18) and one of the houses purchased by the king for the college from Thomas Jourdelay, (fn. 19) and still called Jourdelay's Place, was given up to the accommodation of travellers and their horses. (fn. 20)
To provide in some measure for these strangers, the king granted to the provost the right to hold two fairs, one for three days following Ash Wednesday, the other for the six working days following the feast of the Assumption; both were to take place on the land of the college called Mychelmylwardeshay, (fn. 21) probably at the northern end of the playing fields. (fn. 22) In addition to the fairs the king in 1452 granted a weekly market, to be held on Wednesdays, under the authority of the provost, (fn. 23) the grant being the result of a petition which stated that the 'College of Eton and inhabitants in the same town, scholars, artificers and labourers thither resorting have had many times, and still have, great scarcity of bread, ale, and other victuals for default of a market.' (fn. 24) The immediate needs to supply which these markets and fairs were granted ceased to be operative as time passed on, and in consequence both markets and fairs have been discontinued, although traces of the Ash Wednesday fair survived until recent times. (fn. 25)
The building operations continued in the parish for many years, and if they brought employment and prosperity to the inhabitants they doubtless had their disadvantages also. The highway, for instance, appears to have suffered considerably from the heavy and incessant traffic which the work necessitated, and in the 15th and 16th centuries inhabitants of Eton not infrequently made bequests of money to repair the road between Windsor and Slough. (fn. 26) In 1537 the college authorities had labourers repairing the road from Baldwin's Bridge to the Long Bridge for three days before the funeral of Queen Jane Seymour, which, on its way to Windsor, seems to have made a halt at Eton. (fn. 27) It was met here by the Bishops of Lincoln and Carlisle, (fn. 28) and poor men, wearing the queen's badges, stood each side of the street holding torches as the funeral procession passed through. (fn. 29)
From documentary evidence and from place-names still in existence it is possible to do much towards forming an idea of Eton as it was in the 15th and 16th centuries. The old parish church, replaced during this period by the beautiful college chapel, appears to have stood in the north-east of the town. The lands acquired by Henry VI in 1440 for part of the site of the college were said to lie 'between the graveyard of the church on the south and the land formerly of Walter Clay on the north, to reach from the highway to Windsor on the west, to a garden sometime of John Huntercombe on the east.' (fn. 30) This latter garden, known as 'Hundercombesgardyne,' was a curtilage measuring 60 ft. by 30 ft. acquired by the college from Richard Lovell in 1442. (fn. 31) The properties of the above Walter Clay and of Robert Benorthe obtained about this time and 'Rolffeshawe' (fn. 32) were apparently where Weston's yard now stands. (fn. 33) The land called 'le Werde' in 1443 (fn. 34) is identical with part of the playing fields. (fn. 35) Cuckoo Weir, in Eton Wick on a stream joining the Thames, was held by Burnham Abbey before the Dissolution, being then described as 'a meadowe called Cuckowe ware, and a parcel of land making altogether 3 acres.' (fn. 36) The Brocas meadow, bordering the river just above the town, was held in 1548 by Eton College of the king. (fn. 37) Again, in 1569–70 a payment of 12d. was made to 'Philip Wilde for making the 2 waies for the quene's majestie to pass through Brockess.' (fn. 38) Baldwin's Bridge is also called 'Barnes Pool Bridge' at this time, and reference is found to it in an old 16th-century book belonging to one Matthew Day, who writes: 'William Day, my father, in his lifetime compounded with one who had got a patent for concealed lands in Elizabeth's reign, amongst which was the land that belonged to the maintenance of the two bridges in Eton, one whereof was called Barnes Poole Bridge alias Baldwin's Bridge, and a house that belongeth unto the maintenance of the aforesaid two bridges standeth next unto the bridge called Barnes Poole, and the land lyeth in the fields in the parish of Eton, &c., 1592.' A subsequent note in a later hand says that the bridge was 'pluckt upp and new built' in 1658. (fn. 39) It was widened and improved in 1830 and 1840, but superseded in 1884 by an iron structure which is still maintained by a fund called 'Baldwin's Bridge Trust.'
A perambulation of the parish of Eton made in 1605 can be traced by the marks still existing. The surveyors stated that 'beginning at the church we go to Windsor Bridge, and taking the lane by the house of Robert Payne we go along by the Thames side up as far as Tyllstone gate and to a farm of the king's Majesty now in occupation of Matthew Bell from where we go to another in le Wick, in occupation of Henry Bell, and so going into the Little Common so far as the elm tree called Dragon's Elme, we come along the Northfield and Chalvey Ditch till we come to a bridge near the college called Stonebridge. Then compassing the college land called the Shooting field, the Wharfeclose, the Playing Fields and also the College, we come to the Church where we first began.' (fn. 40)
Bell's Farm here mentioned still exists in Eton Wick in the west of the parish. Built about 1375, It is an excellent example of a small mediaeval halftimbered house. In spite of later alterations and additions, the original plan, consisting of a central hall of two bays with a solar wing on the west and an office wing on the east, is still clearly traceable. The house underwent considerable alterations in the latter part of the 16th century, when the hall was divided into two floors and various small additions were made. Some of the panelling inserted at this period remains. Again in the 19th century there was much restoration and alteration, particularly to the exterior. In 1605 it was said to contain a house, two gardens, stable, 'hey house' and orchard, and included about 82 acres of land, of which a pasture of 5 acres was called Cony close. Complaints were made against Henry Bell that he had inclosed in his own land several pieces of the king's waste, that he had built an outlet to his barn on to the land of the king in the tenure of Matthew Bell, his brother, and that he had suffered the 'kitchin' belonging to the farm-house and measuring 23 ft. by 16 ft. to fall down. (fn. 41)
Saddock's Farm in Eton Wick takes its name from a family of that name. (fn. 42) In the 17th century it is described as 'all that farmhouse situate in the Wicke in the parish of Eaton built with timber and earthen walls and covered with tiles, consisting of one hall, one kitchen, one buttery and over the same three chambers. Also one other range of buildings built as aforesaid and consisting as aforesaid and also one woodhouse of two bay near adjoining also one consisting of four large bay double and trellised round, covered with thatch, also one carthouse of four bay standing on hovell posts and one other barn of five bay now used part for a stable and part for a barn also one orchard meanly planted, the ground whereon the said houses stand together with yard, orchards and backsides containing by estimation three roods.' (fn. 43)
Crown Farm lies on the south side of Eton Great Common. It is an early 17th-century house, but was much altered about 1700 and later. A farm-house to the east of Crown Farm is also of 17th-century origin but, like it, has been much altered.
The town of Eton contains, principally in the High Street, a number of houses of the 17th century, which have all been considerably altered or added to in later times. They are mostly of brick, but a few are of timber with brick filling. The Turk's Head Inn, the Crown and Cushion Hotel and the Three Lilies Inn are all of the 17th century. A house now divided into two (nos. 107 and 108) retains remains of a mediaeval hall and some 17th-century fittings. The Christopher Inn, which stood in Eton until well into the 19th century and of which the name is still preserved in the modern hotel in the High Street, dated certainly from the 16th century, the earliest mentions of it being found in 1546 (fn. 44) and 1548. (fn. 45) A survey of 1650 states that it was built part with brick and part with timber and Flemish walls, consisting of one hall, a parlour half wainscoted and floored with deal boards, one milk-house, one tailor's shop and under the same one cellar and behind the same one kitchen, one small buttery; also three stables whereof one stable is lofted over and fitted with four lodging chambers and the other two stables lofted over and over the other rooms, a gatehouse, eight lodging chambers and at the back end of the aforesaid stables one long 'shead standing cross and mounded,' the courtyard used for the strawhouse, and near unto these adjoining one barn, strongly built with timber and covered with tiles and thereunto belonging one shed now used as a woodhouse, the ground whereon the said houses stand, together with the courtyard, ground and backsides containing by estimation one acre and worth £10 per annum. (fn. 46)
The 'ever memorable' John Hales lodged next to the 'Christopher' in 1656, (fn. 47) and among the celebrities who visited the inn was Horace Walpole, who writes from there in August 1746, 'Lord ! how great I used to think anybody just landed at the "Christopher !" ' (fn. 48)
The inn was frequently leased to the college, but in 1845, after it had been finally acquired from the Crown by the college authorities, Dr. Hawtrey, then head master, strongly urged that no lease of it should be made, inasmuch as the inn was the cause of much evil and temptation among the boys. It was given up to one of the masters, the condition being made that the tenant must accommodate a certain number of king's scholars in the event of plague breaking out in the college. (fn. 49) Traces of the old building are still to be seen.
The history of the Christopher Inn is, to some extent, an illustration of the manner in which the fortunes of the town and college are bound together. The uniformly prosperous development of the town owes much to the foundation in its midst of the college whose influence has become national. The near neighbourhood of Windsor made it easy for Henry VI and succeeding sovereigns to take a personal interest in the college, and the frequent visits of royalty to Eton (fn. 50) undoubtedly brought a certain amount of notoriety and prosperity to the town.
The fact that at the present day the town is almost entirely commercial and non-residential is probably to a large extent due to the character of the college. Day boys find no place in its system, for there is no freehold land for building residences owing to Lammas rights which extend over the grass lands of Brocas, South Meadow and Eton Common. On the other hand, the needs of the large numbers in residence in the college render the commercial instincts of the town predominant.
The parish itself, Eton Wick, and the lands in the neighbourhood of the town reflect no less the influence of the college. The road from Slough descending to the Thames passes through meadows acquired by the school; these, with the other open lands forming its grounds, protect the parish from any encroachment from the suburban outskirts of the rapidly increasing town of Slough on the north. The neighbourhood of the river, too, which has given a peculiar, almost unique, advantage to this school over all others, has long preserved its rural aspect. The bathing-places used by the Eton boys, Athens and Cuckoo Weir, the riverside meadows and the Thames itself, the scene of so much that is characteristic in Eton life, are all typical of the way in which the parish is, as it were, dominated by the college.
Before the Conquest Queen Edith held ETON as a manor. (fn. 51) At the time of the Domesday Survey it was held in chief by Walter son of Other, assessed at 12 hides and valued at £6, its appurtenances including two mills worth 20s. and fisheries for 1,000 eels. Walter was the ancestor of the family of Windsor, (fn. 52) to whose barony of Windsor this manor was attached. (fn. 53) He held the offices of warden of the forests in Berkshire and castellan of Windsor Castle, (fn. 54) and on account of the latter dignity, which was afterwards held by other members of this family, the surname of Windsor was assumed by them. (fn. 55) Walter's son, William de Windsor, inherited his father's lands (fn. 56) and was in turn succeeded by his son, also called William, who in 1165–6 certified that he held in Buckinghamshire fifteen fees of the old feoffment and three of the new (fn. 57); for these in 1167–8 he paid £12 2s. 2d. scutage. (fn. 58) He and his wife Hawisia are mentioned in 1175–6, (fn. 59) but in 1185 Eton was in the custody of Hawisia, then a widow, their son William being then aged eighteen. (fn. 60) His brother Walter (fn. 61) in 1194–5 paid scutage for part of the lands which William de Windsor his father had formerly held. (fn. 62) In 1198 Walter and William de Windsor made partition of their father's possessions, Eton Manor passing to Walter, (fn. 63) who died in or before 1204, in which year his widow Guinda was the wife of William de Biskel. (fn. 64) Walter de Windsor appears to have left two daughters and co-heirs, as in 1206 Ralph de Hodeng, or Hosdeng, and Duncan de Lascelles with Christina his wife paid a fine for the livery of the lands as heirs of Walter de Windsor. (fn. 65)
Of the two moieties into which Eton was thus divided, that which passed to the Hodeng family may be treated as the main manor. Ralph de Hodeng still held his share of Walter de Windsor's barony in 1210–12 (fn. 66) and died about 1222. (fn. 67) His heir was Hugh de Hodeng, whose name occurs in 1229 (fn. 68) and 1235 (fn. 69) and who held lands and rents in Burnham and Eton at his death in 1242. (fn. 70) In that year Alice, his widow, claimed custody of the lands which he had lately held, (fn. 71) and the king after wards granted her the custody of their son and heir Ralph. (fn. 72) Ralph de Hodeng is later recorded as holding half the vill of Eton by service of ward at Windsor Castle. (fn. 73) His death appears to have taken place about 1247, (fn. 74) in which year Thomas de Lascelles was granted the custody of his lands and heirs. (fn. 75) His daughter and heir Joan de Hodeng, in the custody of William de Huntercombe in 1259, (fn. 76) seems to have died without issue. The lands apparently then passed to the sister of Ralph, Alice daughter of Hugh de Hodeng, and to the family of Huntercombe, into which she had married. (fn. 77)
Thomas de Huntercombe is mentioned as the heir of Alice de Hodeng in 1271, (fn. 78) and held Eton in 1316, (fn. 79) being apparently also known as Thomas de Hodeng by reason of his inheritance from the Hodeng family. He was appointed constable of Windsor Castle in 1326–7, (fn. 80) and died shortly afterwards, (fn. 81) leaving a son John, who died seised of Eton Manor in 1349 and was succeeded by his son John. (fn. 82) The latter, who was afterwards knighted, died before 1368, in which year Margaret, his widow, received a third of Eton in dower, (fn. 83) the right to which passed to their son John at her death in 1377. (fn. 84) He received livery of his lands on attaining his majority in 1381 (fn. 85) and died in the following year. His son, a minor, also called John, (fn. 86) died some eight years later, while still under age. His heir was his father's sister Elizabeth, (fn. 87) who married Robert de Cherlton, justice of the King's Bench. (fn. 88) On her death without issue in 1391 (fn. 89) the inheritance went back yet another generation, her co-heirs being her three aunts, sisters of Sir John de Huntercombe, Elizabeth wife of Sir Thomas Bekeryng, Agnes wife of Philip Skydmore, and Margaret wife of Richard Lyle. (fn. 90) These parties had only been ten weeks in possession of their lands when Giles French and other malefactors disseised them by force. (fn. 91) Giles French claimed Eton on the grounds that he was the husband of Maud sister of Elizabeth Cherlton, and a more immediate heir, therefore, than her aunts. (fn. 92) The latter petitioned to have the manor restored to them, and at an inquiry held in 1393 said that Maud was a nun in Burnham Abbey and had been so for many years before her sister's death. They also stated that Maud had been at Braynford Inn when Giles French carried her off and forced her to marry him and forthwith claimed her lands. He in his defence urged that she was secular and not a nun. The Bishop of Lincoln, as diocesan of Eton and Burnham, was ordered to obtain the true facts of the case, and after a few days he was able to certify that Maud was certainly a nun, that she had been of a sufficient and proper age on entering Burnham Abbey and that she was still a member of that house. Judgement was therefore given against Giles French and Maud was ordered to be restored to her position in the abbey. (fn. 93)
Trouble now arose among the three sisters and their husbands, the Bekeryngs being accused in 1395 of hindering the partition. (fn. 94) However, the manor was finally divided into three parts, and John Rous, son of Elizabeth Bekeryng by another marriage, received one-third on the death of his mother in 1402, (fn. 95) George son of Agnes Skydmore acquiring his mother's portion in 1419. (fn. 96) About this time Richard Lovell, representing his mother Margaret, the third co-heir, (fn. 97) appears to have obtained the whole of the property, which is henceforward in the possession of his descendants. He granted land to Eton College in 1440 (fn. 98) and in 1442, (fn. 99) and on his death before 1449 (fn. 100) was succeeded by his son Thomas Lovell, dead by 1463, (fn. 101) whose son Richard (fn. 102) died seised in 1479. (fn. 103) His heirs were his daughters, then aged nine and seven, who made proof of age and received their lands in 1493–4 under the names of Agatha wife of John Wayte and Joan wife of George Rotherham. (fn. 104) Eton Manor passed to Joan Rotherham, (fn. 105) whose daughter and heir Margaret brought it in dower to John Crispe or Cripse. (fn. 106) Settlements of the manor were made by John Crispe and Margaret in 1526, (fn. 107) and appear to have been preliminary to an alienation which took place between this date and 1547, when Eton is found as the property of William Lord Windsor. (fn. 108) It was afterwards held by his son Edward Lord Windsor. (fn. 109) Henry son of Edward Lord Windsor (fn. 110) seems to have conveyed Eton to his brother Andrew Windsor, (fn. 111) who in 1610 made a settlement of the manor on Tobias Wood and John Hilton in trusteeship. (fn. 112) This conveyance was made without licence, and the manor was therefore taken into the king's hands, but was afterwards restored. (fn. 113) Andrew Windsor died in 1621, and Eton passed to his brother Peter. (fn. 114) Thomas son and heir of Peter made a settlement of it in 1628 on the marriage of Andrew his son with Mary Hatton. (fn. 115) Thomas Windsor died in 1631 (fn. 116) and Andrew in the following year. (fn. 117) Robert son and heir of Andrew, then aged four months, survived his father by less than a year, dying in April 1633, when Eton passed to his uncle, Richard Windsor, a younger brother of Andrew. (fn. 118) It may be remarked that thus during the twelve years from 1621 to 1633 Eton Manor had had no less than six lords, representing four generations.
In 1668 the manor finally passed from this family, being sold by Richard Windsor to John Crawford. (fn. 119) Ann Crawford, who was probably the daughter and heir of John, married Leonard Wessell, (fn. 120) and in 1689 their son Abraham held Eton. (fn. 121) Ann widow of Abraham Wessell married Christopher Buckle of Burgh. (fn. 122) Ann Buckle, her only child, married Robert Crowe of Kilpin, and in 1793 they joined with other members of the Wessell family in selling Eton Manor to John Penn of Stoke Poges, (fn. 123) grandson of the founder of Pennsylvania. John died unmarried in 1834, and his brother Granville Penn was afterwards lord of the manor. (fn. 124) This family or their trustees held as late as 1883. (fn. 125) By 1887 the manor had come into the possession of Colonel William Stewart, who at present holds it.
The other moiety of the Domesday manor, also known as ETON MANOR, was held, as has been said, by Duncan de Lascelles and Christina his wife, co-heir of Walter de Windsor, in the early part of the 13th century. (fn. 126) In 1231 the lands of Thomas son and heir of Duncan de Lascelles were in the hands of his guardian, (fn. 127) but he is shortly afterwards recorded as holding half the vill of Eton. (fn. 128) In 1253 he confirmed a twelve year lease of his lands in Eton to William Blundell, chancellor of the king, (fn. 129) and in 1255 this tenant was said to hold Eton, paying annually 21s. for hidage with Wexham and Hedgerley, 14s. for suit and 10s. for view of frankpledge. (fn. 130) Thomas de Lascelles in the same year made a grant of the manor of Eton to William Blundell, the latter to render annually a pair of gilt spurs or 6d. (fn. 131) William Blundell had to defend his right in the manor in 1260 against Adam de Gesenna and his wife Christina, who claimed that her former husband Thomas de Lascelles had settled it on her in dower. Blundell called to warrant Roger de Mowbray of Scotland, who was ordered to give Christina lands to the value of £11. (fn. 132)
William Blundell had evidently transferred his rights to Roger de Mowbray, for in 1310 these lands were held by John de Mowbray, who demised them in that year to Alexander le Porter on a five-year lease. (fn. 133) The lease was confirmed in that year by the king, who had received a grant of the lands from Roger brother of John de Mowbray. (fn. 134) In the same year the king granted this estate to one of his yeomen, Oliver de Burdeux, or de Burdegala, for life, (fn. 135) and afterwards granted him exemption from livery of the king, his marshals or ministers in respect of any house built there. (fn. 136) In 1312 the life grant was extended to a grant in fee, Oliver de Burdeux and his heirs being bound in return, in addition to other services, to find a man with a lance to serve the king. (fn. 137) He also received a grant of housebote and haybote in Windsor Forest for his houses and gardens in Windsor and Eton, (fn. 138) and was later appointed custodian of Windsor Castle. (fn. 139) In 1326 he enfeoffed Matthew, vicar of Old Windsor, of three messuages, 490 acres of land, pasture, &c., at £14 rent in Eton and Windsor, held in chief, for settlement in tail on William Trussell, son of Maud the wife of Oliver de Burdeux. (fn. 140) In 1358 Sir William Trussell granted his estate in Eton to the king, (fn. 141) who attached it to his manor of Windsor. (fn. 142)
In 1365 an inquisition was taken on the king's manor of Eton which was found to include a capital messuage containing an acre and 3 roods in which were two granges and one granary, with a small cowhouse. (fn. 143) In 1440 Eton College was founded in the parish, but, as will be seen below, the royal manor formed no part of its endowment, although occasional small grants were made to the college. Thus in 1473 the king gave the provost a plot of land formerly of Oliver de Burdeux in which a capital messuage was situated. (fn. 144) A survey of the manor made in 1548 shows that the provost and fellows of the college were among the principal tenants; the demesne lands, demised to Thomas Nicolle and John Rowland, were worth at this time £7 4s. per annum. (fn. 145)
Further surveys were made in 1605 (fn. 146) and in 1650. (fn. 147) In 1651, in accordance with the Act for the sale of Crown lands, this property was sold to Edward Southes and George Bachiler, (fn. 148) but returned to the Crown after the Restoration. In 1672 later Crown leases were made to the college and to private persons of some of the manor lands. (fn. 149) In the late 18th century the Crown still held a considerable amount of land in Eton. (fn. 150)
Richard, King of the Romans and brother of Henry III, held, in addition to Cippenham in Burnham (q.v.), certain tenements in Eton, (fn. 151) to which were attached manorial rights. In 1275–6 it was stated that the tollage of fuel in vessels and all royalties pertaining which had previously been paid here had been withdrawn by Richard and by his son Edmund Earl of Cornwall. (fn. 152) The latter, at his death in 1300, held 37s. 9d. annual rent from free tenants in Eton and Windsor, 4s. from a view of Eton held annually, 13s. 4d. from pleas and perquisites of court, and 10s. from tallage at Eton. (fn. 153) In 1319 the custodian of this manor, then in the king's hands, rendered account of its revenues and also of 55s. 1½d. annual assize rent in Eton and New Windsor, of 10s. from tallage at Eton, and of 10s. 8d. from perquisites of court and view held there. (fn. 154) This manor of Eton descended with Cippenham (fn. 155) (q.v.), and is last mentioned in conjunction with it in 1622. (fn. 156)
The earliest mention of COLENORTON MANOR (Coldnorton, Colnorton, Collenorton) occurs in 1449, when 'a toft called Coldnorton' appears among lands in the parish. (fn. 157) In 1526 the 'manor' of Colenorton was held by the Crispe family, who also held Eton, and it follows the same descent as Eton Manor (fn. 158) (q.v.). It is mentioned in the will of Edward Lord Windsor, bearing date 20 December 1572, as 'my manor of Eton next Windsor alias my manor of Colle Norton'. (fn. 159) Henry Lord Windsor in 1589 conveyed Colenorton to Andrew, a younger brother, (fn. 160) who also obtained Eton. The last mention of Colenorton as a manor occurs in the sale to John Penn in 1793 (vide Eton), but the name still exists in the parish.
STOCKDALES MANOR is first mentioned with Eton and Colenorton in the settlement made of those manors by Andrew Windsor in 1610, (fn. 161) and afterwards follows the same descent. The sale of 1793 contains the last reference to it.
Sir John de Moleyns in 1338 owned lands in Eton, (fn. 162) part of which he alienated in 1339 to the Abbess of Burnham. (fn. 163) The remainder were retained by his family until 1447, when Robert Hungerford Lord Moleyns, who had married the descendant and heiress of Sir John de Moleyns, (fn. 164) transferred them to the Crown, by whom they were bestowed on Eton College. (fn. 165)
Besides the lands mentioned above as acquired from Sir John de Moleyns, Burnham Abbey owned other lands in Eton where William de Stretton in 1367 held a messuage and 1½ acres of land for 17d. rent of the abbey. (fn. 166) Oliver de Burdeux also held of the abbey in the reign of Edward III, (fn. 167) and his tenancy survived in the annual rent of 4s. 4d. which was paid out of the king's manor in Eton from the 14th to the 16th century. (fn. 168) A rental of Burnham Abbey in 1462–3 gives 32s. 4d. as the amount received for the farm of lands in Eton and Cippenham. (fn. 169) In the grant made of Burnham Manor to Sir Charles Harbord in 1630 all its lands in Eton are included. (fn. 170)
In addition to the advowson (q.v.) Henry VI bestowed on Eton College various lands and tenements, of which some account has already been given. The lands which formed the site of the college were mainly those which had belonged to the manor held by the Hodeng and Huntercombe families in Eton, (fn. 171) and this is probably the reason why the king did not grant them the royal manor in the parish, of which the lands appear to have been mainly in Eton Wick. In 1443 the college obtained from Merton Priory property, then part of Upton, which now comprises the grounds known as Upper and Middle Clubs. (fn. 172) It is described as a weir on the Thames called Bullokeslok, and fishery and waters reaching from the east of land called le Werde on the west to the fishery called Cokkeshole on the east, with four islands (heytes), and all those lands, meadows, feeding grounds and 'pastures with torrents,' called Mychelmylwardeshay, Millepond alias Milledam, and Cowepenning lying by Eton between the Thames and the road from Windsor to Slough, and between le Werde on the south and the Spitelbrigge leading to Datchet on the north. (fn. 173)
CHURCHES AND COLLEGE
The buildings of the church and college of ST. MARY THE VIRGIN of Eton are grouped round a large courtyard known as the school yard. The southern range is formed by the church, and the western and northern ranges by the buildings of the upper and lower schools respectively, while on the east the school yard is bounded by the western range of the cloister buildings, which themselves inclose a second and smaller courtyard, having the college hall and kitchen on the south. The buildings are placed at the south-west corner of the site acquired by King Henry VI, which is at the north end of the town, and is bounded on the north by Datchet Lane, on the east and south by the River Thames, and on the west by the Slough road. The church is of stone and the college buildings are mostly of red brick with stone dressings; though faced in part with stone.
The site of the college comprised the parish church, which seems to have stood on the south side of the present church, and was not pulled down till 1475 or later. (fn. 174) The buildings were commenced in 1441, the foundation stone of the new church being laid by the king in person, and there is a record of the purchase of stone from Kent in the following year, when a piece of land was rented at Slough and a brick-kiln built upon it to secure a continuous supply of bricks. (fn. 175) In 1443 Thomas de Bekyngton was consecrated Bishop of Bath and Wells in the old church of St. Mary of Eton, and afterwards celebrated his first mass as a bishop at an altar set up within the walls of the new church, which was not yet half finished. The joinery for ten chambers on the east side of the college, the hall, seven towers, and the cloisters then standing, was contracted for in this year, but the buildings were not completed by 1448. By the end of the latter year the new church appears to have been almost completed, but early in 1449 there was a change in the design of the quire. According to the document known as the Will of King Henry VI, copies of which are preserved at Eton and King's College, Cambridge, the quire was to have been 103 ft. by 32 ft., but it was now ordered that the length should be extended to 150 ft. and the breadth to 40 ft., the windows being at the same time increased in size and number. Before this final design was settled upon, Roger Keys, the master of the works at Eton, had been sent to measure the quires and naves of the cathedrals of Winchester and Salisbury, and the enlarged dimensions were no doubt the outcome of this visit. The quire was thus brought practically into the form in which it now exists, but it necessitated the rebuilding of the part already erected. (fn. 176) The work progressed gradually and the new quire was almost finished by 1458–9, when the deposition of Henry VI in 1460 caused all work to be stopped. At this time the buildings so far erected comprised the cloister, with the provost's and the fellows' lodgings and a hall with offices, the lower school, a two-storied range containing the quarters for scholars and masters, and the unfinished quire of the new church with north vestry and porch.
Some of the revenues of the college were seized by Edward IV, but in 1469 Bishop William Waynflete recommenced work on the buildings. He entered into a contract for the rood-loft and stalls in 1475, but the original plan of a large nave and aisles had to be abandoned. In 1479 he began the ante-chapel with its north and south porches, which were completed about 1482. After this the work, except for the remarkable series of paintings behind the modern stalls executed between 1478 and 1480, again ceased till Roger Lupton, the provost from 1503 to 1535, recommenced work. In 1507–8 he partly rebuilt the kitchen, and the chapel, bearing his name and built at his expense, was completed in 1515. In the following year the western range of the cloister was partly rebuilt, the original west front, south of the north-west tower, being destroyed. The new range, finished about 1520, comprise the provost's lodge, the Election Hall, originally the library, and the lofty embattled tower of the gate-house. The lower school buildings appear to have been extensively repaired at the same period.
Saville House, which contained Dr. Saville's printing presses, was built in 1603–4 to the north of the lower school buildings, and under Provost Allestree (1665–81) the open western side of the school yard was closed by a western range. This was removed between 1689 and 1691, and in its place the present upper school was built. In 1699, during the provostship of Henry Godolphin, who was himself one of the principal contributors, money was collected for 'beautifying and enlarging the choir.' With this sum the interior of the quire was entirely refitted in the classical manner of the period, an elaborate organ screen being constructed to the east of the arch opening to the ante-chapel, and the side walls wainscoted for their whole length, hiding the entrance to Lupton's chapel. Besides these works, the ceiling was plastered and a reredos was set up which partly blocked the east window. The bronze statue of Henry VI by Francis Bird, which stands in the centre of the school yard, was given by Godolphin at the same period.
Early in the 18th century the brew-house and bake-house were rebuilt, and between 1726 and 1729 the building of the library necessitated the reconstruction of the cloister side of the south range of the cloister buildings. In 1758 the upper floor of the north and east ranges was added. Between 1756 and 1766 a north wing was added to the provost's lodge, and in 1844 a wing, parallel with it, was built for the collegers.
In 1842 the first step was taken in the re-gothicization of the chapel, when the classical reredos was removed and a new altar, rails, and pulpit were set up after the approved Gothic revival manner. In 1847–50 the whole interior of the quire was refitted, the old panelling and seats being cleared away and replaced by the present Gothic stalls and canopies. At the same time the paint and plaster were removed from the roof, and the arched braces of the principals were made to conform with the Gothic ideals of the day by the addition of cusping on an absurdly gigantic scale. In 1852 the ante-chapel, which had been 'beautified' with stucco work in 1769, was dealt with in a similar manner. To the cost of these alterations Mr. John Wilder, a Fellow, had subscribed very largely, and in 1858 the hall was restored in the same spirit, mainly at his expense, the fine classical screen, which had been put up early in the 18th century, being replaced by a Gothic screen, while a 'Perpendicular' window took the place of the 18th-century 'Venetian' window which had formerly occupied the west gable.
The more recent additions to the college include the new schools to the north-west of the college at the junction of Common Lane with the Slough road, which were completed in 1863, and the Queen's schools and Lower chapel in South Meadow Lane, which were completed in 1891 from the designs of the late Sir A. Blomfield. The chapel is designed in the Perpendicular manner, and consists of a buttressed and embattled quire with a vestry at the south-east. The Memorial buildings on the west side of the Slough road, nearly opposite the new schools, were completed in 1908 in memory of Old Etonians who had fallen in the South African war. They are designed in the Renaissance manner and contain a great hall, capable of holding all the boys, a library and a museum.
The church of ST. MARY consists of a quire and presbytery in one range, measuring internally 150 ft. by 40 ft., Lupton's chapel, 11 ft. by 14 ft., a north vestry and porch, and the ante-chapel, 59 ft. by 30 ft., with its north and south porches.
Externally the quire is divided into eight bays by massive buttresses, and the upper part of each bay is occupied by a lofty window. The walls rise from a boldly moulded plinth, and are divided into two stages by a string-course below the sills of the windows. The buttresses have concave gablets with crockets and finials at the springing level of the window heads, and are crowned by restored pinnacles rising above the embattled parapets of the walls. The east window is flanked by similar buttresses, and in the angles which they form with the easternmost of the north and south buttresses are octagonal stair-turrets surmounted by wooden lanterns. Lupton's chapel, the vestry, and the north porch, are placed between the buttresses of the second, third, and fourth bays on the north side, the lower portion of which they partly conceal. All have embattled parapets, and their roofs are placed immediately below the quire windows. The ante-chapel, with its two-storied north and south porches, is placed transeptally across the west end of the quire, the west wall being divided into three bays by pinnacled buttresses. There are also diagonal buttresses at the western angles, and the parapet, like those of the rest of the church, is embattled. The lower courses of the quire walls are of Teynton stone, above which Huddleston stone is employed, while the upper portion of the walling is of Kentish rag. The ante-chapel is built of Headington stone, but the original material is concealed by a modern facing of Bath stone. The lofty proportions of the whole group are enhanced by the placing of the floor some 13 ft. above the level of the school yard.
Internally the bays of the quire are marked by clustered wall shafts, on which the feet of the roof principals rest. The east window has a four-centred head with tracery, and is of nine transomed lights cinquefoiled in both stages, and divided by master mullions into groups of three. The whole work is most elaborately designed, the transom being embattled and the master mullions having small external pinnacled buttresses, while the spandrels of the heads of the lower lights are filled with quatrefoil tracery. The distorted curve of the external label and the outer order of the head is probably due to their being made up with material prepared for a smaller window. The internal jambs are brought down to the floor, and are panelled continuously with the head; the window-back, now covered by a modern reredos, is also panelled, and in the splays of the jambs are doorways to the flanking turrets. The north and south windows have two-centred heads with tracery, and are each of five cinquefoiled lights, divided by an embattled transom and cinquefoiled in both stages. In the four eastern bays both the wall shafts and the window jambs are brought down to the ground, and the window-backs, where unpierced by openings, have panelling like that below the east window. In the western bays the lower part of the wall is brought forward to form a flush surface for the stalling and is crowned by a moulded cornice, while upon the offset thus formed are stopped the jamb-mouldings of the windows and all but the shaft at the apex of each cluster of wall shafts, which is carried by a corbel. The panelling below the north-east window is partly hidden by Provost Murray's monument, while that in the adjoining bay is cut off a little below the sill of the window by a large four-centred archway with continuous mouldings, opening into Lupton's chapel. The lower part of the archway is filled by an elaborately moulded and richly panelled stone screen pierced by a doorway with a four-centred head, to the east of which is a wide opening with a head of similar form, while between this and the doorway is an open cinquefoiled light. In the spandrels of the doorway are carved the initial letter 'R' of Lupton's Christian name and his rebus, the syllable 'Lup' on a tun. The whole is surmounted by a carved cornice and cresting. The partial renewal of the panelling in the third bay suggests that there was originally a doorway here to the vestry. In the fourth bay on the same side is a restored doorway opening into the north porch. The modern organ loft conceals the large western archway opening to the ante-chapel, above which is a window of seven lights with a traceried two-centred head of the same type as the windows in the north and south walls. The roof is substantially original; the principal rafters have wall-posts resting on the wall-shafts, and are trussed by curved braces forming four-centred arches, the spandrels being filled with tracery. The large cusps on the braces, as stated above, were added in the 'forties of the last century, and the canopied stalling in the western half of the quire was made at the same time. On the south side of the quire traces of 15th-century painting remain on the panelled window-backs of the eastern bays, and also behind the canopies of the modern stalling on both sides. The paintings, which had been whitewashed over, were discovered on the removal of the old panelling.
Lupton's chapel is lighted on the north by a large window of six transomed and cinquefoiled lights, with characteristic early 16th-century tracery in a four-centred head. The east wall is formed by the second quire buttress on this side, while on the west is the east window of the adjoining vestry. The chapel is ceiled by a rich fan-vault, with a central pendant bearing the shield of Lupton. In the north wall of the vestry is a transomed window of three trefoiled and subfoliated lights with tracery in a two-centred head. The window which now looks into Lupton's chapel is similar, but below it is an embattled string-course, suggesting the former existence of an altar and reredos in this position. The internal jambs of both windows are panelled, and on the south side is a similarly panelled recess, probably a blocked doorway, answering in position to the renewed panelling on the quire face of the wall, above described. The flat ceiling, which is of original 15th-century date, has moulded ribs with bosses at their intersections. A continuously moulded doorway at the north end of the west wall leads into the north porch, which is lighted on the north and west by three-light windows of the same type as those of the vestry, but having more acutely pointed two-centred heads. The entrance doorway at the north-west has shafted jambs and an inner four-centred head within an outer square order. It is approached from the school yard by stone stairs in two flights.
The arch opening from the ante-chapel to the quire is flanked on the chapel side by panelled buttresses, each bearing an image, one of St. George, while the other may be intended for Edward the Confessor. The bays included between the buttresses and the end walls of the chapel have each an elaborate reredos for an altar, with niches and image brackets. The north and south windows are each of seven transomed and cinquefoiled lights with vertical tracery in a four-centred head, and in the west wall are three five-light windows with traceried heads of the same form. The wall surface below the window is panelled like the eastern bays of the quire, and the chapel is entered from the porches by doorways at the north-west and south-west, each of two well-moulded orders, the outer order of the head being square, while that of the inner order is four-centred. The two-storied north and south porches are lighted by transomed two-light windows. The staircase in the north porch, which is entered from the colonnade beneath the upper school through a doorway like those of the ante-chapel, was reconstructed in 1694–5. It is of wood with massive square newels and turned balusters of Palladian proportions, and is continued to give access to the first floor of the upper school. The stone staircase in the south porch was built in 1624–5. In the west wall is a doorway with shafted jambs and a four-centred head within a square containing order, designed as an entrance for the townspeople.
In the south-west turret of the ante-chapel hang two bells; the first, by Ellis Knight, 1637, is inscribed 'Prayes ye the Lord'; the second, which is a knell bell, is by Thomas Swain, 1777. It is now tolled only at the death of a college dignitary.
In Lupton's chapel are two brasses; the first bears the figure of the founder in a cassock and mantle of St. George, a scroll from the breast and a shield of his arms, while the other brass has an inscription to Elizabeth (Barlow) wife of Provost William Day, 1575. On the floor of the ante-chapel is a brass inlaid with white metal to Provost Henry Bost, 1503, with his figure in cassock, surplice and amess under a triple canopy. On the east wall of the ante-chapel are the following twenty brasses: (1) Dr. Thomas Barker, Vice-Provost of Eton and rector of Petworth, 1489, in a cassock, surplice, amess and cap; (2) Richard Arden, Fellow of Eton, 1509, in mass vestments; (3) an inscription to John Chelde, 1507, and Margaret, Isabel, and Alys, his wives; (4) Henry Bost, provost, 1503, in vestments; (5) a woman in pedimental head-dress and a furtrimmed gown, c. 1520; (6) a much worn inscription, dated 1515, probably to Robert Rede and Mervel his wife; (7) Richard Lord Grey of Codnor, 1521, in plate armour; (8) William 'Boutrodes,' 'late pety canon of Wyndesore,' 1522, in cassock, surplice and amess; (9) — Horman, 1535 (probably William Horman, head master), in mass vestments, holding a chalice and host; (10) Thomas Edgcomb, Vice-Provost of Eton, 1545, a three-quarter figure in cassock and hooded tippet; (11) Elizabeth Stokys, 1560, and her husband Robert Stokys, who died in the same year, with the figure of a woman in a ruff and panier skirts, inscription a palimpsest; (12) a rhyming inscription to Thomas Smith, Fellow of Eton, 1572; (13) Edward Underhill of London, 1606; (14) Edmond Hobart, scholar of Eton, 1607; (15) John Clavering, Fellow and Vice-Provost of Eton, 1612; (16) Phillip Botteler, 1613; (17) Thomas Allen of Worcester, Fellow of Eton, 1636, kneeling and wearing a quilled ruff and cloak; (18) Elizabeth (Franklin) wife of Giles Baker, 1641; (19) Jane daughter of Edmund Woodhall, wife of George Goad, 1657, with shield of arms; (20) [Matthew] Page, Fellow of Eton. In the floor of the antechapel there are also seventeen indents, some of which belong to the brasses which have been described above.
The monument to Thomas Murray, 1623, Provost of Eton, already mentioned, is an elaborate architectural composition, executed in alabaster, with a niche containing a coloured portrait bust, and a carved wood skeleton in a recess in the base. The inscription is in Latin, and upon the monument are three cartouches of arms. In the north porch of the quire are monuments to Richard Allestree, 1680, Provost of Eton, with arms, and to Maria Bateman, 1657, also with arms. In the churchyard is the tomb of John Hales, 1659, and in the ante-chapel a large floor slab to Sir Henry Wotton, 1637, Provost of Eton, with a shield of arms.
The latten lectern in the quire is an elaborate and important piece of 15th-century work. It bears the emblems of the four Evangelists and the arms of the college, the leopard being incorrectly shown rampant instead of passant.
East of the school yard are the four ranges of the cloister buildings surrounding the Green Court, a rectangle of grass of about 90 ft. square. The cloister from which the group of buildings takes its name is continued round the inner side of the ground floor of each range, and forms the principal means of communication to every part. The south range is occupied by the hall and buttery with the 18th-century library, which, with the rebuilt cloister beneath it, encroaches upon the court and hides the north elevation of the hall. The north and east ranges are three stories in height and contain the houses of the head master, bursar, and vice-provost, with part of the provost's lodge. All the rooms on the first floor of these buildings open off a gallery or corridor of communication over the cloister. The principal feature of the west range is formed by Lupton's tower, which is four stories in height and stands at the south-east corner of the Green Court, over the cloister, being designed to occupy the centre of the elevation towards the school yard. The remainder of this range is of two stories, and contains on the ground floor the porter's lodge, the conducts' room, and some offices, while the first floor to the north of the tower contains the Magna Parlura of the provost, and the Election Hall, now used by the provost as a private dining room. The rooms here are placed en suite, only a short portion of the first-floor gallery being left at the north end when the range was rebuilt in the 16th century. In the ground-stage of the tower is the vaulted entrance to the cloister, and on the first floor is the Election Chamber. The north and south ranges are also pierced by passages, that on the north leading to the playing fields. At each internal angle of the court is a square stair turret by which the galleries on the first floor were originally reached from the cloister. The lower portion of the north-west tower was enlarged, probably in 1618, to form a new staircase to the provost's lodge. The external angles of the whole group are marked by rectangular towers, and the north and east ranges have each two smaller towers dividing their external elevations into three bays. The sewer running beneath these towers points to their having been used as garderobes; in the basement of the tower at the south-west was the sluice-house of the original drainage system. With the exception of the hall, all these buildings were originally of red brick with stone dressings, but the third story added to the north and east ranges in 1758, apart from the raising of the stair-turrets, which is carried out in brick, is faced with stone towards the court, and the arcade of the widened cloister beneath the library is also stone-faced.
The cloister arcades on the east, north, and west have wide four-centred arches of stone with continuously moulded jambs and buttressed piers of the same material; they are now closed by fine wroughtiron railings of the early 18th century. All the buttresses were originally continued to the parapet, but those on the north and east ranges now stop immediately above the string-course which marks the first-floor level. They were probably cut away when the third story was added, as they are shown to their full height in Loggan's print published about 1688. The first floor of the north and east ranges is lighted by square-headed four-light windows spaced with the arches of the cloister arcades. The added upper floor is lighted by sash-windows in rectangular moulded openings with labels designed to harmonise in some sort with the older work, and the walls are crowned by embattled parapets. The external elevations of these ranges have suffered more than the internal elevations, most of the original mullioned windows having had sash-frames inserted in them. The doorway to the passage from the playing fields to the cloister, at the east end of the north range, has a four-centred head with continuously moulded jambs and a label with lozengeshaped stops. The walls have occasional diapering of black brick.
Above the sills of the first floor windows the elevation of the east range towards the court belongs to the reconstruction of 1517–22. The four northern bays over the cloister, and a portion of the fifth bay, are occupied by the Election Hall, and the buttresses between the cloister arches are continued to the embattled parapet. In the second and third bays from the north are pairs of two-light windows with square heads and linked labels; the windows in the first and fourth bays are also arranged in pairs, but only one of each pair is like those of the second and third bays, the northernmost window being a single light of similar type, while the southernmost window, which must originally have been of two lights, now has a pointed head and the mullion has been removed. At the northern end of the fifth bay is another single light, opening into the south end of the Election Hall. The remainder of this and the whole of the next bay are occupied by Lupton's tower, which abuts upon the stair-turret at the south-west angle of the court. The northern of the two cloister arches over which it stands has recently been closed by a wall and buttress designed to strengthen the north-east angle of the tower. The Election Chamber and the room above it are each lighted from the side towards the court by a square-headed transomed window of five cinquefoiled lights; both have labels, that of the window to the Election Chamber being linked to the labels of the windows of the Election Hall. The top stage has a square-headed window of two transomed lights with uncusped pointed heads. The west front of the tower, which forms the chief feature of the elevation of this range towards the school yard, is flanked by octagonal turrets rising above the embattled parapet and crowned by wooden lanterns with cupolas. The ground-stage is occupied by the large four-centred archway to the cloisters; above this is a fine two-storied oriel window, which lights the two intermediate stages. The principal face of the oriel has five transomed and cinquefoiled lights to each stage, and there is one similar light in each return. The wall surfaces between and below are panelled to correspond with the lights, and the whole is crowned by an embattled parapet. In the panelling below the lights of the first floor is a carving of the Assumption, while that below the lights of the stage above has a panel with the royal arms. The top stage contains the clock face. The string-courses dividing the stages on this side are continued round the flanking turrets, which have pointed windows with square outer orders and labels in each stage. To the north of Lupton's tower six two-light windows and a single light, of the same type as those on the east side, light the Election Hall, and the ground floor windows are of similar design. The first floor to the south of Lupton's tower has large transomed windows, the ground floor being lighted by windows like those in the northern portion of this front, and the tower at the south-west angle is treated in the same manner. The walls of the tower and west front have diapering of black brick at intervals, a pot of lilies being represented on one of the turrets flanking the tower.
The 18th-century cloister arcade on the south has semicircular arches with key-stones and moulded archivolts, and is broken forward in the centre with the elevation of the library above, which is lighted by sash-windows with moulded stone architraves. The walls are crowned by a dentil cornice, and the central portion is surmounted by a balustrade. The south elevation of the hall is hidden at the screen end by the passage to the kitchen. The walls are of stone for the greater part of their height, but the upper portion is finished with 18th-century brickwork, crowned by an embattled parapet of the same material. The five buttresses on this side also stop at the point where the brickwork commences, above which they are continued in brick to the parapet. In the three eastern bays, towards the top of the stone portion of the wall, are three windows, each of two cinquefoiled lights. Their heads are now formed by a depressed plastered arch rising into the brickwork, but they appear to have been intended to have an upper tier of lights. In the western bay is the oriel window lighting the dais, which appears to have been similarly truncated, or perhaps never completed to its full height. The original intention seems to have been to arrange the lights in two stages separated by a band of stone panelling, but only the start of the mullions of the upper tier of lights now remains, the top of the oriel being completed in brick like the rest of the wall. In its present state the principal face of the oriel has three cinquefoiled ogee lights with tracery, and the panelling above, which originally divided the stages, continues the lines of the mullions, each bay having three small panels with trefoiled heads. In each return are two similar lights with panelling of the same design. The angles are emphasized by small buttresses with cusped, crocketed, and finialled gablets at the head of the lower stage. To the west of the oriel is a small transomed window of two pointed lights. The irregular joint made by the brickwork of the south end of the west range, with the stone walling at the west end of the hall, shows the commencement of Lupton's rebuilding. The windows in the south wall of the west range are of the same character as those of the elevation to the school yard. The toothing at the east end of the hall suggests that it was intended to build an upper story over the adjoining buttery. The entrance to the passage to the cloister at the east end of this range is now concealed by the later additions.
The hall is entered from the cloister by a flight of steps leading to the screens passage. These stairs were probably made in 1690, when the cellar beneath was vaulted with brick. The shafted jambs of the entrance doorway are original, but the head appears to have been altered when the present stairs were constructed. In the east wall of the hall are two original doorways opening to the buttery, and one which must have originally opened to the pantry. A third doorway in the same wall leading to the library stairs seems to have been reset. A doorway opposite the entrance, at the east end of the south wall, leads to the stairs to the kitchen. The screens themselves are modern. In the north, south, and west walls are fireplaces with four-centred heads and traceried spandrels; they have no flues and were discovered in 1858 behind the 16th-century panelling which lines the lower part of the walls. Above the lights of the oriel is a band of panelling, corresponding to that on the outside and containing quatrefoils with small shields several times repeated. These bear the arms of Edward the Confessor, St. Edmund, France and England quarterly, and Or a cross gules. The wooden head of the opening to the oriel is modern, but the panelled stone jambs with their attached shafts are original. A small doorway at the north end of the west wall leads to a staircase to the upper floor of the west range. The canopied panelling at this end of the hall is modern, as is also the six-light traceried window which fills the west gable. To the west of the oriel is an iron book-rest and upon a panel at the north-east corner of the hall is carved:—'Queen Elizabethe ad nos gave October X 2 loves in a mes 1596.' The roof belongs to the 19th-century restoration, but old views show it to be a copy of its predecessor. The windows and doorway opening from the cloister to the cellar beneath the hall are of original 15th-century date, as are also those of the small cellar adjoining the hall on the east. The buttery has an original two-light window in its south wall. The bread-bin and butler's desk here are of the 17th century.
In the buttery is kept the college plate, which includes two communion cups of 1569, a cocoanut cup presented by John Edmonds, who was elected Fellow in 1491; a gilt chased rose-water dish and ewer of 1610, purchased out of a bequest from Adam Robyns, Fellow, who died in 1613; a salt cellar with arms for napkin, given by Nicholas Hobart in 1656; two rose-water ewers of the Queen Anne period; and a fine tankard of 1777.
The kitchen, a square building of brick raised on arches, lies to the south of the hall, to which it is connected by a passage and stairs. In the north and west walls are the original fireplaces and ovens. Externally the chimney stacks rise from stepped gables and the roof is crowned by a central lantern.
The original doorways leading from the cloister to the ground floor of the north and east ranges are mostly arranged in pairs and are flanked by small two-light windows, many of which have been blocked. Their four-centred heads are inclosed by labels with lozenge-shaped stops and are moulded continuously with the jambs. The nail-studded doors are probably contemporary. The doorways opening from the gallery on the first floor are also original; they have moulded wood posts and heads with carved spandrels and retain the original doors with pierced escutcheons and ring handles. Apart from these features little 15th-century work remains in these ranges. The gallery has 18th-century panelling, and the Audit Room in the north range is lined with good 17th-century panelling. The doorways opening from the cloister to the ground floor of the west range are of the same form as those of the north and east ranges, but their labels are returned without stops. The archway to the cloister, which occupies the ground-stage of Lupton's tower, has an elaborate lierne vault, and doorways open from it to the porter's lodge. On the first floor an original doorway leads from the remaining portion of the gallery to the Magna Parlura of the provost's lodge; flanking it are two small windows with wood frames, each of two pointed lights. The parlour has early 17th-century panelling and at the north end of the Election Hall is a good screen of the same date. The Election Chamber is lined with panelling of the late 17th century.
The upper school building, erected in 1699, consists of a two-storied range of brick with stone dressings. In the middle is an archway giving entrance to the college from the Slough road. The eastern half of the ground floor is occupied by an open colonnade, and at the north-east corner of the range is an original staircase with square newels and turned balusters. On the first floor is the upper school, the interior of which is typical of the period, the walls having a panelled oak dado with large plaster panels above surmounted by a complete entablature; part of the original furniture remains, including the desks constructed for the head master and three ushers. Round the room are placed the busts of famous Etonians, and the panelled dado has many names cut upon it; among those which have become historical are the names of Fox and Shelley. The west elevation is of brick, with a stone cornice and balustrade, and rusticated stone quoins at the angles. The two-light windows have wooden mullions and transoms. The elevation of the upper story of the east front is similar, but the ground stage is occupied by an arcade with coupled Doric columns.
The lower school building is a rectangular range with two square towers on its northern face, a third, set diagonally, at the west end, where are the head master's chambers, and a small east wing projecting northwards. On the ground floor are the head master's chambers and the lower school, to the east of which is the fourth form passage, which pierces the centre of the range; beyond the passage are classrooms, the house of the master in college, and some of the offices of the provost's lodge. At the end of the projecting wing is a vaulted chamber with the old sewer running under it. On the first floor is 'Long Chamber,' formerly a dormitory, but now partly divided into 'stalls.' The wall which now joins the range to the cloister buildings was raised to its present height in the 19th century; originally it was only as high as the ground story. All the windows of the north front have been much altered. The elevation to the school yard is of red brick with an embattled parapet, and is pierced by numerous doorways. The windows, mainly of two lights, are either modern insertions or old work restored. In the lower school the oak window shutters are carved with the names of boys, some being as early as the 16th century. The double row of posts reinforcing the original ceiling beams, with the desks and forms fitted to them, are of about 1630.
The church of ST. JOHN THE EVANGELIST is a building of stone in early 14th-century style, and consists of a chancel with an aisle, a nave with aisles and north and east porches, and a tower at the east end with a spire; it was built in 1854. The east window was inserted as a memorial to the Prince Consort in 1865.
The church of Eton is mentioned in 1198, when it is included with Eton itself among the lands remaining to Walter de Windsor at the partition of his father's possessions. (fn. 177) It followed the same descent as the de Hodengs' manor of Eton (fn. 178) until 1440, when Henry VI obtained, by an exchange with the trustees of Richard Lovell, 1 acre of land in Lyme Crofte in 'le Suthfelde' in Eton with the advowson of the church. (fn. 179) It was then converted into a collegiate church in the hands of the provost and college, (fn. 180) the parishioners of Eton being included in the cure. (fn. 181) In 1443 the provost was directed to pay an annual pension of 22s. 11d. to the archdeacon of Buckingham for exemption from jurisdiction. (fn. 182) The subsequent history of the church is closely connected with that of the college (fn. 183) until the 19th century. In 1875 the Crown gave its consent to a scheme (fn. 184) of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for relieving the provost of the spiritual charge of the parish of Eton, for constituting it a distinct vicarage in the gift of the provost and fellows, and for providing an endowment. The scheme provided that the parish should be served from the college, and that the existing chapel of ease at Eton, dedicated to the honour of St. John the Evangelist, should be the parish church, to which the chapel at Eton Wick was to be a chapel of ease. (fn. 185) The living is still in the presentation of the college. Between 1420 and 1431 the Bishop of Lincoln issued an inhibition from admitting any one to the chantry of the altar of St. Nicholas in the church of St. Mary of Eton pending a suit between Katherine widow of Sir Thomas Aylesbury and Sir Thomas Wauton and others. (fn. 186) The entry seems to refer to this parish, but no other record concerning it is found.
For the college see article on schools. (fn. 187) Porny's charity school was founded by Antoine Pyron du Martré, otherwise Mark Anthony Porny, French master at Eton and afterwards one of the Military Knights of Windsor, who, by his will proved in the P.C.C. 12 May 1802, bequeathed his clear residuary estate to the treasurer of the charity or Sunday school at Eton in 1790 towards carrying on the laudable and useful designs of the institution. The estate was administered in Chancery, and a scheme established by an order of the court of 16 December 1811. The charity is now regulated by a scheme of the Charity Commissioners of 12 March 1895. The trust fund consists of £5,200 11s. 4d. consols with the official trustees, the dividends of which, amounting to £130 yearly, are under the provisions of the scheme applicable in the advancement of technical instruction of children in public elementary schools, in support of evening classes, and in exhibitions and awards to children of such schools.
Baldwin's Bridge estate was acquired originally under Letters Patent granted by Queen Elizabeth, bearing date 13 March 1592, for the repairs of the bridge called Baldwin's otherwise Barnes Pool Bridge, and otherwise for the benefit of the parishioners, and comprised in an indenture of feoffment 10 August 1787. The endowment consists of seven houses in the High Street, adjoining the south end of the bridge, producing a gross annual rental of £472, offices of the gas company let at £15 a year and offices of the urban district council let at £40 a year, and a piece of land called College Land let at £2 5s. a year. This trust, together with Benwell's and Pote's charities next mentioned, is administered under the provisions of a scheme of the Charity Commissioners of 3 December 1886.
In 1909 a sum of £100 was applied in payments of 5s. weekly to eight annuitants, £36 5s. in the distribution of bread and coals, £15 15s. to King Edward VII's Hospital, Windsor, £15 to the Parish Nurses Fund, £10 10s. to the National schools, £8 8s. to Eton Wick schools, £5 5s. to the parish room, a like amount to the Assistant Curates' Fund and £10 to the Eton Wick Horticultural Society.
It appears from several ancient account books of this charity in the custody of the provost and officers of Eton College that at various periods several fellows of the college, including Matthew Page and John Chambers, had given or bequeathed divers small sums of money for the use of the poor of Eton, which were laid out in the purchase of estates for the use of the poor. The trust property now consists of three houses and shops in Thames Street, Windsor, 13 acres of copyhold land awarded under the Langley Marish Inclosure Act, and a house and 2 a. 2 r. of land at Eton Wick, formerly called 'Wheat Butts,' purchased in 1716 with a sum of £100, of which £50 was given by Dr. Henry Godolphin, then Provost of Eton College, and £50 by Dr. Heaver, a fellow of the college.
The several properties bring in a rental of £207 5s. In 1908 £70 was paid to the parish nurse, £86 applied in apprenticing boys, and the available balance in pensions and in rewards and outfits for girls.
Godolphin's Almshouses for ten poor women in Eton Square, were built in 1714 at the sole expense of the said Dr. Godolphin on a site held by lease under the Dean and Canons of Windsor, and are entirely supported by the college.
In 1732 John Bateman, by his will proved in the P.C.C. 19 December, bequeathed £200, and directed the same to be laid out in land for the poor of Eton and Wokingham. A messuage and land in the parish of Hurst, Berks., purchased therewith, was sold in 1855, and one moiety of the proceeds invested in £274 14s. 6d. consols with the official trustees in trust for the poor of Eton, producing £6 17s. 4d. annually, which, together with £2 a year from Matthew Page's charity above mentioned, is applied in pensions of 2s. a week to two persons.
The vicar receives from Eton College for the poor the annual sum of £3 6s. 4d., which includes the sum of 13s. 4d. given in 1477 by Dr. Henry Bost, provost, 10s. given in 1503 by Dr. Roger Lupton, provost, and 10s. given by a Mr. Read, the balance being known as 'Breakfast Money.' These sums are now applied towards a pension for a widow.
The same testator bequeathed £1,000 stock, subsequently sold out and invested in £958 18s. 7d. Midland railway debenture stock, the income of which is applied in pensions of £7 10s. each to two poor men and two poor women.