A History of the County of Essex: Volume 4, Ongar Hundred. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1956.
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In 1086 a manor of Roding was held by Aubrey de Vere, ancestor of the earls of Oxford, as tenant of Alan, Count of Brittany. Before the Conquest it had been held by Lewin and Etsi as a manor and as 1½ hide. (fn. 1) Most of this Domesday estate later became known as the manor of BEAUCHAMP RODING alias LONGBARNS. Part of it, however, may have split off to form the manor of Rookwood in Abbess Roding (q.v.).
Beauchamp Roding was apparently still considered as part of the honor of Richmond in the reign of Henry III, when the Earl of Oxford owed guard at Richmond castle in respect of Roding. (fn. 2) By 1358, if not before, the tenancy in chief was held to rest in the then Earl of Oxford. (fn. 3) In 1401 it was stated that the manor had escheated to the Crown in 1389 as a result of the attainder of Robert de Vere, Earl of Oxford, and that the tenant in demesne had subsequently held directly of the Crown. (fn. 4) In 1477 and 1481 Beauchamp Roding was said to be held of the Duke of Gloucester. (fn. 5) In 1558 it was said to be held in chief. (fn. 6) In 1485, however, the tenant in chief had again been stated to be the Earl of Oxford. (fn. 7)
It is probable that Beauchamp Roding was subinfeudated during the 12th century by Aubrey de Vere or one of his successors. About 1190 the manor was referred to as Roding Willelmi filii Gaufridi. (fn. 8) By 1231 it was in the possession of John de Beauchamp of Eaton Socon (Beds.). (fn. 9) This makes it probable that the William Fitz Geoffrey of about 1190 was William Fitz Geoffrey de Mandeville, who married Olive, sister and heir of Roger de Beauchamp of Eaton Socon, for John de Beauchamp was the son of Olive de Beau- champ and her husband. In 1235-6 Beauchamp Roding was held for 1 knight's fee. (fn. 10) It descended along with Eaton Socon until 1291, when Ralph de Beauchamp granted the reversion of it to Adam le Tailleur and Joan his wife. (fn. 11) The manor was then being held for life by Richard de Brumpton, and was said to consist of a messuage, 60 acres of land, 16 acres of meadow, 5 acres of wood, and 6 acres of pasture. In 1292 or 1293 William de Marny and Amice his wife conveyed 28 acres of land and 12d. rent in Beauchamp Roding to Adam de Biddik and Joan his wife. (fn. 12) Adam de Biddik and Adam le Tailleur were probably identical. The manor was certainly in the hands of the Biddiks soon after 1291. Henry de Biddik was lord in 1328 when he presented to the church. (fn. 13) He was dead before 1348 and Beauchamp Roding had been granted in dower to his widow Joan, (fn. 14) who subsequently married Arnald Mounteneye. In 1350 Thomas son of Henry de Biddik granted the reversion of the manor, after Joan's future death, to Thomas de Forde of London. (fn. 15) In the following year Joan and Arnald leased the manor to Simon Fraunceys of London at a rent of 40 marks a year. (fn. 16) Simon Fraunceys died in 1358, (fn. 17) and in 1360 Joan and Arnald conveyed the manor to William atte Welde, draper of London, in return for an annuity of 40 marks during Joan's life. (fn. 18) It is not clear what had happened to Thomas de Forde's interest in the manor: possibly it had been acquired by Joan and Arnald Mounteneye. The grant of 1360 certainly had the effect of vesting the lordship of the manor in the Welde family. Richard de Welde presented to the church in 1387 and 1389. (fn. 19) He was dead by May 1391, when the custody of Elizabeth his daughter and heir was granted to Roger Marshall. (fn. 20) By October 1401 Elizabeth, still under age, had married Lewis Mewes. (fn. 21) Lewis or a successor of the same name presented to the rectory in 1430 and 1447, and Thomas Mewes in 1463. (fn. 22)
Sir Geoffrey Gate (d. 1477) had married Agnes, probably the heir of Thomas Mewes. (fn. 23) After Geoffrey's death Agnes married William Brown. She died in 1481 leaving Beauchamp Roding to her son William Gate. (fn. 24) The latter died in 1485 leaving Geoffrey Gate, an infant, his son and heir. (fn. 25) Geoffrey, later knighted, died in 1526 and was succeeded by his son (Sir) John Gate or Gates (1504 ?-1553) who was executed for his support of Lady Jane Grey. (fn. 26) In 1553, soon after Sir John's death, the Crown granted the site of the manor of Beauchamp Roding to Rowland Scurlocke. (fn. 27) The Crown retained the manorial rights. It undertook to bear the cost of repairs to the houses of the manor in timber and tile, while Scurlocke was to bear those in thatching and daubing and was to have fireboot, ploughboot, harrowboot, and hedgeboot. In 1554 the manor was granted for life to Mary, widow of Sir John Gate. (fn. 28) She was still alive in 1570, when she presented to the rectory. Meanwhile in 1558 Longbarns (or presumably its reversion) was granted by the Crown to (Sir) Richard Weston of Skreens in Roxwell, then Solicitor General and later a justice of Common Pleas. (fn. 29) He died in 1572 and was succeeded by his son (Sir) Jerome (d. 1603). (fn. 30) The manor descended to Jerome's son Sir Richard (1577-1635) who in 1633 was created Earl of Portland. (fn. 31) Sir Richard still held Longbarns in 1624 but he must have sold it soon after, for in 1638 it was sold by Sir John Ramsden and Anne his wife to Sir John North, K.B. (fn. 32) On North's death in 1639 the manor passed to his brother Dudley, Lord North (d. 1666). (fn. 33)
In 1668 this Lord North's successor sold Longbarns to Sir Michael Heneage (d. 1711). (fn. 34) The manor descended to Michael's son Charles (d. 1738) and subsequently to Charles's daughters Elizabeth (d. 1765) and Cecil (d. 1779) neither of whom married. (fn. 35) By 1770 Longbarns had been acquired by the Harveys of Barringtons in Chigwell (q.v.). It was held in that year by William Harvey (d. 1779). (fn. 36) It passed like Barringtons to Thomas W. Bramston of Skreens. In 1843 Bramston's estate in Beauchamp Roding comprised 629 acres which was made up mainly of the separate farms of Longbarns (some 230 acres), Frayes (see below), and Wood End. (fn. 37) In 1848 it was stated that all the parish was freehold except about 8 acres and that Bramston owned most of the land. (fn. 38) By 1866 Longbarns had probably been acquired by Robert Parris, who lived there from about that date until about 1880 and was described in 1878 as the lord of the manor and principal landowner. (fn. 39) Since 1886 Longbarns has been occupied by a succession of farmers who have probably also been the owners. (fn. 40) In 1933 Mr. John Latham was the farmer and one of the two principal landowners of the parish. (fn. 41) In 1943 the farm was bought by the London Co-operative Society, together with Frayes (see below). The two farms together comprise 417 acres and mixed arable and dairy farming is carried on. (fn. 42)
Longbarns farm-house is timber-framed and plastered and was probably built or rebuilt in the late 16th century. The original part consists of a central block with cross-wings to the east and west. The upper floor of the east wing oversails at its south end. On the north front a two-story porch gives access to the central block. In line with this on the south side is a projecting staircase wing. The house was considerably altered in the 19th century. It has recently been converted into two dwellings for employees of the London Cooperative Society.
The manor of FRAYES may have derived its name from the family of John Fray, to whom a tenement in Beauchamp Roding was conveyed in 1408 by William Sudbury, draper of London, and Cecily his wife, and Peter Wymundham, also draper of London. (fn. 43) In 1477 Frayes was held by the lord of the manor of Beauchamp Roding (see above). (fn. 44) It followed the same descent as that manor until 1611 when Sir Richard Weston sold it to Thomas Younge. (fn. 45) On Younge's death in 1638 Frayes passed by his will to his kinsman John Miller, son of Richard Miller of Great Waltham. (fn. 46) It remained in the Miller family until 1704, when another John Miller sold it to George Pochin. (fn. 47) In 1770 the owner was George Pochin of Ickleton (Cambs.) who was the son or grandson of the previous George. (fn. 48) In 1780 'Captain Putchin' was owner. (fn. 49) He remained in possession until 1810-11, when Frayes was acquired by Admiral Harvey, lord of the manor of Beauchamp Roding. (fn. 50) In 1843 Frayes Farm formed part of T. W. Bramston's Beauchamp Roding estate, and comprised 140 acres. (fn. 51) It was then and subsequently owned and worked as part of Longbarns Farm.
The manor house was probably rebuilt late in the 17th century to the south of the original site. Part of a moat surrounding a square enclosure is still in existence immediately to the north. Morant called Frayes house 'the chiefest in the parish', (fn. 52) but it evidently fell into disrepair at a later date. It is now being restored and modernized by the London Co-operative Society to form two dwellings for farm workers. On the south side of the drive leading to the main road are three pairs of new houses for farm workers. The drive itself has been planted as an avenue.
The manor of HORNERS (the modern Hornets Farm) lay partly in Beauchamp Roding and partly in Willingale Doe. In 1597 it was conveyed by John Collin the elder to Robert Collin. (fn. 53) In the 17th century the manor appears to have been split between coheirs, for in 1649 half of it was conveyed to John Russe by Lazarus Annys and Mary his wife, John Rogers and Elizabeth his wife, and Honora Collin. (fn. 54) In 1652 John and William Russe obtained half the manor (probably the other half) from John Collin the elder, clerk, and John Collin the younger, clerk, and Katherine his wife. (fn. 55) In 1722 Daniel Russe conveyed the manor to Edmund Butler. (fn. 56)
In 1780 Hornets Farm was owned and occupied by Richard Eve. (fn. 57) He was succeeded by Henry Eve, who held the property from about 1801 to 1820. From 1818 to 1820 John Clift was joint owner with Henry Eve. (fn. 58) Clift alone was owner from 1821 to 1832. (fn. 59) By 1843 the ownership had passed to William Bush, who had for many years been tenant of the farm. It then comprised 64 acres. (fn. 60) It was subsequently occupied by various farmers. From about 1909 to 1943 it was owned and occupied by the Mead family. The present (1954) owner is Mr. George Read of Butt Hatch, and a Mr. Mead is the tenant. (fn. 61)
The farm-house was probably built in the 18th century. It is timber-framed and plastered and has a tile roof. A brick wing was added at the back of the house in 1922. (fn. 62) A window with several trefoil-headed lights was inserted in an outhouse to commemorate the passing of the Local Government Act, 1929, by which agricultural land was de-rated. (fn. 63) The window is said to have come from a chapel in Notting Hill, London, (fn. 64) and is probably of the 19th century. Isaac Mead, a former owner, is buried beside his wife in a small patch of consecrated ground near the drive gate, where an inscribed stone marks their grave.