A History of the County of Essex: Volume 4, Ongar Hundred. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1956.
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Before 1066 the owners of land in Stanford were Lewin, who held the main manor, consisting of 9 hides, Brictwin with 20 acres and a certain free man with 40 acres. Little Stanford, consisting of 1 hide and 80 acres, was held by the father of Alvric. After the Conquest all these estates came to Ingelric the priest and later to Eustace of Boulogne. (fn. 1) Together they became a single manor later known as that of STANFORD RIVERS. This descended with Chipping Ongar (q.v.) to Richard de Lucy and subsequently to Maud de Lucy, wife of Richard de Rivers. In the 13th century it was usually said to be held of the king as of the honor of Boulogne. When Maud died (c. 1243) it was stated in the inquisition that the jury did not know whether her heir was her younger son Baldwin de Rivers or the son of her elder son Richard. (fn. 2) The jurors stated that the manor then included 602 acres of land, of which 212 acres were worth £5 6s. a year (at 6d. an acre) and 390 acres were worth £6 10s. (at 4d. an acre), 24 acres of pasture worth 24s. in all, and 24 acres of meadow, of which 18 acres were worth 30s. in all and 6 acres were worth 7s. in all. There is no doubt that Chipping Ongar passed to Maud's grandson John and Stanford Rivers probably did the same. Sir Philip Basset, who had custody of the infant heir to Chipping Ongar after 1243, was also a party to deeds in this period relating to Stanford Rivers. (fn. 3) Baldwin de Rivers seems, however, to have had some land in Stanford. (fn. 4) John de Rivers (d. 1294) was lord of Stanford Rivers as well as Chipping Ongar. (fn. 5) It was stated at his death that Stanford contained 400 acres of land, 23 acres of meadow, 10 acres of pasture, and a park. This park was that later known as Ongar Park in High Ongar (q.v.). In the 13th century this was often referred to as Stanford Park.
In 1294 John son of John de Rivers conveyed to Robert son of Richard of Chigwell his manor of Stanford Park, except the deer, stews, and woods. The grant was for six years, on the occasion of John de Rivers's departure to Gascony in the king's service. (fn. 6) In 1298 de Rivers was granted the king's licence to let Stanford Park to farm to Salamon le Cutiller, citizen of London, for four years after the expiration of the lease granted in 1294. (fn. 7) At the same time John de Rivers was given licence to let to farm for eight years to Fulk of St. Edmunds and John his son, also citizens of London, his manor of 'Stanford without the park'. (fn. 8) In 1300 John de Rivers leased the last-named manor for sixteen years to Fulk of St. Edmunds and James son of Fulk. (fn. 9) On the same day de Rivers granted to Humphrey de Walden for life the manor of Stanford, i.e. Stanford Park. (fn. 10) Stanford Park was known after this as Ongar Park and is treated under High Ongar (q.v.).
The manor of Stanford Rivers alias Stanford 'without the park' continued to be held as of the honor of Boulogne. This manor was granted by John de Rivers in 1308 to Richer de Refham, citizen and alderman of London, to hold for life 'and for two years after'. (fn. 11) In the following year the grant was converted into a tenancy in fee. (fn. 12) In 1313 Richer de Refham granted the manor to his son John. (fn. 13) In 1314 John de Refham granted it to John de Gras and Pauline his wife. (fn. 14) In 1334 John son of John de Rivers released to Pauline, widow of Sir John de Gras, all his right in the manor. (fn. 15)
Pauline de Gras granted the manor in 1348 to Ralph, Baron Stafford, later 1st Earl of Stafford. (fn. 16) It was thus reunited with the manor of Chipping Ongar (q.v.) and had the same descent until the death in 1460 of Humphrey Stafford, 1st Duke of Buckingham, when by virtue of a previous settlement Stanford Rivers passed to John Stafford, 3rd son of the duke, who was created Earl of Wiltshire in 1470 and died in 1473. (fn. 17) After the earl's death Stanford Rivers was held in dower by his widow Constance until she died in 1475. (fn. 18) Edward Stafford, Earl of Wiltshire, died childless in 1499 and Stanford Rivers was again reunited with Chipping Ongar in the hands of Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham. (fn. 19) In 1524 the manor of Stanford Rivers was granted by the king to William Cary, squire of the body, and Mary his wife. (fn. 20) Mary was holding a court for the manor in 1534, but soon after this the manor reverted to the Crown, which was appointing stewards in 1544-7. (fn. 21)
In 1548 Stanford Rivers was given to Princess (later Queen) Mary. (fn. 22) In 1557 it was annexed by letters patent to the Duchy of Lancaster. (fn. 23) The manor remained part of the duchy until 1613, when James I sold it to Richard Cartwright and Thomas Cowley of London. (fn. 24) A fee-farm rent on the manor was apparently retained by the Crown. The descent of this rent is given below. In 1614 Cartwright and Cowley conveyed the manor to Henry Spiller and Alexander Williams, who in 1619 sold it to Sir Thomas Elliott, Kt. (fn. 25) In 1623 Elliot sold the manor to William, Baron Petre. (fn. 26) Lord Petre settled it in 1628 upon his 3rd, but 2nd surviving, son William as a jointure for William's wife Lucy. (fn. 27) The Petres at this time acquired all the other manors in the parish except Littlebury. Their estate in Stanford Rivers became known as Bellhouse, from the name of their capital mansion. It comprised about 1,600 acres in the 17th century.
In 1645 Stanford Rivers was granted by Parliament to the Earl of Essex, on account of William Petre's adherence to Charles I. (fn. 28) The earl died in 1646. It was presumably after this that John Mann was granted a lease of part of the estate-apparently two-thirds. By December 1650 Mann had become a member of the Essex County Committee for administering the estates of delinquents. Since it was contrary to parliamentary ordinance for any committee to lease land to one of its own members, the Essex committee appealed to the central Committee for Compounding to allow the law to be waived in Mann's favour, 'he having spent much in repairs while he was a tenant at £100 before he became a commissioner'. (fn. 29) The central committee refused the application (1651) and ordered that another tenant should be found. (fn. 30) Early in 1652 negotiations were taking place between the central committee, the local committee, and various prospective lessees of the estate. (fn. 31) From the details of these negotiations it appears that William Petre still occupied the mansion house and one-third of the estate. Eventually he regained possession of the other two-thirds and in January 1653, 'begging allowance of two-thirds of the expense of rebuilding the outhouses, burnt down by lightning', was granted £40 by the central committee. (fn. 32) He had never apparently lost control of the manor court: in the court rolls for 1647-60 he is invariably entered as lord of the manor. (fn. 33)
William Petre died in 1677 and was succeeded by his eldest son William. (fn. 34) On the death of the later in 1688 another William Petre succeeded his father as lord of the manor. He raised substantial mortgages to endow his daughters, at least five of whom became nuns. (fn. 35) This outlay was, however, more than balanced by the marriage portion of £4,000 brought into the estate by Lady Mary Radcliffe, only daughter of Edward, Earl of Derwentwater (d. 1705), who in 1722 married William Petre the younger, heir of his father, and brother of the girls to whom the above portions were given. (fn. 36)
William Petre the elder died in 1728. (fn. 37) In 1737 his son William handed over the administration of the Stanford Rivers estate to his kinsman Robert, Baron Petre (d. 1742). (fn. 38) An account book for the years 1738-44 shows that the estate (which also included the manors of Stanford Hall, Traceys, and Bellhouse, for which see below) had a rent roll of slightly over £1,000 a year, out of which William Petre was allowed £350 tax free. (fn. 39) William died in 1745. (fn. 40) His heir was John Petre, son of his brother Edward. Shortly before William's death John, who was under age, had been given into William's care by his grandfather and previous guardian William Keep. After William Petre's death John was sent by his aunt, Lady Mary Petre, to Douai to be educated as a Roman Catholic. William Keep thereupon started an action in Chancery to regain custody of the boy. An order was made to this effect but was defied by Lady Mary. In 1747 a receiver was appointed in Chancery to administer the Stanford Rivers estate. (fn. 41) John Petre probably assumed control soon after this, for he was said to have been eighteen years old in 1745. (fn. 42)
John Petre died in 1762. In 1759, on his marriage to Frances Man by, he had provided that if he had no sons his estates should pass to Robert, Baron Petre (d. 1801), in trust for Lord Petre's second son, if one should be born to him. (fn. 43) Provision was made for any daughters left by John Petre. In the event he left only one, Catherine, who became entitled on his death to a jointure of £4,000 from his estate. (fn. 44)
From 1762 to 1775 the Stanford Rivers estate was administered by a steward acting for John Tempest, executor of John Petre's will. The estate accounts for this period show that the rent roll was still about £1,000 a year. (fn. 45) Most of the income, and in some years all of it, was taken up by expenses and the payment of annuities. Catherine Petre, whose jointure of £4,000 remained in the estate, received interest at the rate of £160 a year. Susan Petre, sister of John, similarly received £120 a year as interest on a jointure of £3,000, and John Petre's widow drew £300 a year from the estate. By 1774 there was £905 in hand on the running of the estate, but most of this was accounted for by the fact that the annuities had for some reason not been paid in 1772. During the period covered by the accounts the whole estate was leased to various farmers and smallholders. (fn. 46)
In 1775 John Tempest conveyed the estate to Lord Petre as guardian of his second son George William Petre. (fn. 47) In 1791 the estate was found to be encumbered to the extent of £9,750: in addition to the jointures of Catherine and Susan Petre a mortgage of £2,750 had been raised from a William Plumer. (fn. 48) In 1793 a further mortgage of £10,000 was raised from Thomas Heron of Chilham Castle, Kent. (fn. 49) In 1796 part of the estate (evidently Stanford Hall, for which see below) was sold to Charles Smith of Suttons in Stapleford Tawney (q.v.) for £7,650. (fn. 50) George William Petre died in 1797, leaving George Petre his son and heir. (fn. 51)
In 1819 the remainder of the Stanford Rivers estate, including the manorial rights, was bought from George Petre for £25,280 by Judith Smith of Stratford, Essex, who was probably sister of the above mentioned Charles Smith of Suttons. (fn. 52) Judith was lady of the manor up to 1830; in and after 1833 the lordship (and presumably the estate) had passed to Charles Joshua Smith, Bt. (d. 1831), son and heir of Charles Smith of Suttons. (fn. 53) The subsequent descent was the same as that of Suttons. (fn. 54)
When Judith Smith bought the estate she found it encumbered with a fee-farm rent of £45. Inquiries into the title showed that this rent had been granted by Charles II in 1672 to Sir John Banks, 1st (and only) Bt. of Aylesford, Kent. From this it seems probable that the rent had been reserved when the estate was granted by James I to Cartwright and Cowley in 1613. (fn. 55) The rent passed on the death of Banks in 1699 to his daughter Mary, wife of Sir John Savile. Elizabeth (d. 1767), daughter and heir of Mary, married John Finch and the rent passed to her son Savile Finch (d. 1788) and subsequently to Judith, widow of Savile. By her will (1802) Judith Finch left the rent to her brother Weston Fullerton, who by his will (proved 1819) left it to his nephew John Fullerton. In 1826 Judith Smith bought the rent. (fn. 56)
In 1412 the manor of STANFORD HALL, worth £20, was held by Nicholas Bradshagh. (fn. 57) It is likely that this manor was the demesne of the manor of Stanford Rivers, and that Bradshagh was merely the life tenant of the Earl of Stafford. In the later court rolls of the Stanford Rivers estate there is no mention of a manor of Stanford Hall, whereas Traceys and Bellhouse (see below) were both described as manors. Bradshagh died in 1415. (fn. 58) There is no other mention of him or his family in connexion with Stanford Rivers, and it is probably significant that he had held a Northamptonshire manor for life of the Earl of Stafford. (fn. 59)
There is no further mention of Stanford Hall until 1543, when the king granted to William Grene of London 'the manor and farm of Stanford Hall, parcel of the manor of Stanford Rivers . . . in the tenure of Thomas Grene', to hold for 21 years at a rent of £26 13s. 4d. (fn. 60) In 1548 Stanford Hall, along with the other manors formerly included in the Duke of Buckingham's estate, was in the possession of Princess Mary. (fn. 61) In 1557 it was merged as part of the estate in the Duchy of Lancaster. (fn. 62) After this its descent was the same as that of the manor of Stanford Rivers until 1796 when it was sold to Charles Smith of Suttons. (fn. 63) If it was reunited with the main estate after the death of Judith Smith it had again been severed from it by 1842 when it was owned by Thomas Wilson and occupied by Maria King and Hannah Andrews. (fn. 64)
In 1613 the tenant of the 'manor or farm' of Stanford Hall was Thomas Lake. (fn. 65) In 1672 this section of the estate was burdened with a fee-farm rent of £26 13s. 4d., the exact amount paid by William Grene after 1543. (fn. 66) The tenant of Stanford Hall farm in and immediately after 1745 was William Keep, whose daughter Sarah married Edward Petre and was the mother of John Petre (d. 1762). (fn. 67) In 1768-73 Stanford Hall farm, with Crumpscroft and Fresholts, consisted of 298 acres and was leased to Matthew Playle for £160 a year gross. Land-tax and the cost of repairs were deducted from the rent and in 1768 Playle paid £129 to his landlord. (fn. 68) Stanford Hall farm was purchased in 1945 by the London Co-operative Society Ltd. It now includes Little Colemans and contains in all 579 acres. Mixed arable and dairy farming is carried on. (fn. 69)
The present farm-house of Stanford Hall dates from the early 19th century. It is a square two-story building of red brick with sash windows and a pedimented doorcase. A two-story splayed bay, now cement rendered, on the east side may be of somewhat earlier date.
The manor of BARWICKS (the modern Berwick Farm) probably originated in a free tenement which in 1257 was held by Richard de Berewyk of Roger de Saumford and Joan his wife. In that year Richard undertook to pay Roger and Joan an annual rent of 2s. and acknowledged the service of 1/6 knight's fee. Roger and Joan in return gave up their claim that Richard should do suit at their court at Shenley (Herts.). (fn. 70) About 30 years later Alan de Berewyk and Joan his wife acquired from William de Sutton 2 messuages, 80 acres of land, 10 acres of meadow, 6 acres of pasture, 3 acres of wood, 13s. 4d. rent, and the rent of 9 lb. wax in Stanford Rivers and elsewhere. (fn. 71) In 1411 William Skrene senior, John Skrene, and John Adkyn acquired from Thomas Berewyk and Alice his wife 1 messuage, 400 acres of land, 12 acres of meadow, 30 acres of wood, 20s. rent, and the rent of 9 lb. wax in Stanford Rivers and elsewhere. (fn. 72) Shortly before this, in 1398, a certain John Chartesey had acquired from Richard Spyce and Isabel his wife 2 messuages, 2 carucates of land, 20 acres of wood, and 20 acres of pasture, and 40s. rent in Stanford Rivers (fn. 73) and in 1408 John Chartesey had conveyed to William Skrene the elder all his lands in the parish. (fn. 74) In 1419 John Skrene made a charter of feoffment of all his lands in Stanford Rivers and elsewhere to William Skrene the younger and Alice his wife and the heirs of William. (fn. 75) William Skrene the younger died in 1431, leaving to his son John messuages in Stanford Rivers called Berwyke and Cawnes. (fn. 76) John Skrene was succeeded in 1452 by his son John. (fn. 77) It was not then known of whom Barwicks was held.
The last-named John Skrene died in 1474. (fn. 78) His widow Elizabeth later married Richard Harper, and Barwicks seems to have passed through her to Richard (d. 1492), his son Richard Harper (d. 1507), and to George Harper, son of Richard Harper junior. (fn. 79) The next reference to Barwick is in 1594, when the manor was in the possession of Richard Elliott and Elizabeth his wife. (fn. 80) Thomas Elliott held the manor in 1612. (fn. 81) He was knighted in 1615 (fn. 82) and in 1619 bought the manor of Stanford Rivers (see above). From this time onwards Barwicks was merged in the Stanford Rivers estate. In the court rolls of the estate for the 17th century it is referred to as a manor. (fn. 83)
In 1768 'Barwicks and Wallers', part of the Bellhouse estate, were leased to a Mr. Watkinson for £160 gross. There were so many repairs in that year that Watkinson actually paid only £73. (fn. 84) In 1842 the farm contained 252 acres. (fn. 85)
The present farm-house is partly of timber framing and partly of brick. It appears to have been rebuilt or largely altered in the late 18th or early 19th century. The front, which may formerly have had a parapet, has pointed casements in the 'gothick' style. The detail of the present gables is mid or late 19th century. The fine ilex tree in front of the house may have been planted at the time of the alterations. It is said that at one time most of the farms belonging to the Suttons estate had these ilex trees. (fn. 86)
The manor of BELLHOUSE was held as of that of Stanford Rivers. In 1453 Thomas Thorp quitclaimed to Thomas Burgoyn and John Croke a piece of ground in Stanford Rivers called the 'Belhous' and all other lands which Thorp and Burgoyn held by feoffment of Robert Fonteyns. (fn. 87)
Elizabeth wife of Sir Thomas Coke, Kt., died in 1484 holding the manor of 'Belhows' in Stanford Rivers as the heir of her father Philip Malpas, citizen and draper of London. (fn. 88) Bellhouse passed by settlement to John Coke, a younger son of Elizabeth, who died in 1486. (fn. 89)
Thomas Grene, yeoman, was evidently owner of Bellhouse in 1534, when he devised a rent from the manor for the support of a stipendiary priest. (fn. 90) Grene's will was proved in 1537. (fn. 91) The next reference to Bellhouse is in 1562, when it was held by Richard Elliott. (fn. 92) This was possibly the same Richard Elliott who held it and the manor of Barwicks in 1594. (fn. 93) Bellhouse subsequently descended with Barwicks and in 1623 was merged in the Petre estate of Stanford Rivers. The Petres themselves lived at Bellhouse and evidently had a small demesne farm there. After the death of John Petre in 1762 the house and farm, covering 103 acres, were let to William Colegrave at a gross rent of £85. In 1768 Colegrave paid £71 after deductions for land-tax. (fn. 94) In 1777 Bellhouse was a small mansion with an avenue of trees running from it to the main road and another avenue running south to Murrells. (fn. 95)
After Judith Smith bought the Bellhouse estate she had the house repaired, but there is no evidence that she herself lived there. (fn. 96) In 1839-42 the farm was let to John Gingell and consisted of 106 acres. (fn. 97) The house is shown on the tithe map but the avenues of trees no longer existed. (fn. 98) The house was probably pulled down soon after this, for it is not shown on the 1 in. Ordnance Survey map of 1843. A few planted trees, including a cedar, now mark the site of the garden and some depressions in the field may indicate the line of a moat. There are also two large rectangular ponds near the site.
The manor or manors of BRIDGES and PIGGSLAND, alias BRIDGES, PIGGSLAND, and BOTELERS, was held as part of the manor of Stanford Rivers. Bridges was probably the home of John atte Brigge (1326) (fn. 99) and William atte Bregge (1398). (fn. 100) As late as 1843 it was marked on the map as Bridge House Farm. (fn. 101) Modern maps show it as Wash Farm but the earlier name Bridge Farm is still used locally. Piggsland was probably the tenement of Walter Pig (1381). (fn. 102) Its name survives in Pig Mead. Botelers has not been identified on the modern map.
Sir Hugh Stafford, Kt., brother of Edmund, Earl of Stafford, died in 1420 holding Piggsland of John Chambir. It comprised 46 acres of land, 5 acres of meadow, and 9 acres of pasture. He also held Botelers, comprising 40 acres of land and meadow, of the Abbot of Waltham. (fn. 103) The property passed on Hugh's death to Humphrey, Earl of Stafford, by virtue of a previous settlement. (fn. 104) In 1446-7 the manors of 'Pigges, Briggesland and Botteless' were together farmed by William Tyng for £6. (fn. 105)
John, Earl of Wiltshire, died in 1473 holding the manors of 'Pyggeslond, Botelles and Brigges'. (fn. 106) John's widow Constance, who died in 1475, was found to have held the manor of Bridges and messuages called Piggsland and Botleys, of the king in chief. (fn. 107)
The manor subsequently descended along with that of Stanford Rivers. In 1543 it was leased, under the name of 'the manor or farm called Brygges and Piggeslande' to John Glascock of Stanford Rivers for 21 years at an annual rent of £6 13s. 4d. (fn. 108) This was the exact amount of the fee-farm rent charged upon the manor as part of the Bellhouse estate in and after the 17th century. (fn. 109)
By 1798 Capel Cure had become the owner of Bridges, which comprised 93 acres and was part of the Blake Hall estate (see Bobbingworth). (fn. 110) It was let to a tenant farmer and between 1798 and 1828 contained 54 acres of arable and 39 acres of pasture. (fn. 111) In 1828 the farmer also occupied 200 acres belonging to another owner. In 1919 Bridge House Farm was put up for sale with other outlying portions of the Blake Hall estate. It then contained 89 acres and was let to Horace Palmer on a yearly tenancy at a rent of £163 for the year ending Michaelmas 1919 and of £172 for the year ending Michaelmas 1920. (fn. 112)
The manor of LITTLEBURY, alias the manors of LITTLEBURY and ROWENHO, first appears under those names in the 13th century. Rowenho has been identified-on somewhat doubtful evidence-with Rocketts cottages. (fn. 113) It is possible that this manor may be identical with Little Stanford, which in 1066 was held by the father of Alvric (see above, Manor).
In 1260 Robert son of Michael de Munteny made a conveyance to John son of Adam of 1 carucate of land, 40s. rent and a mill in Littlebury. (fn. 114)
In 1288 John de Munteny sought to replevy his lands in Littlebury, which had been seized by the king for his default against John Lovel. (fn. 115) In 1318 Richard de Munteny, son of John, granted to John de Chelmersford, clerk, 6 acres of land in two crofts with hedges and ditches which had formerly belonged to Gilbert le Man, and which the donor had of the gift of John de Munteny his father, lying between the demesne lands of Littlebury and the king's highway from Ongar to London. (fn. 116) In 1320 Richer de Refham and his son John were tenants of all the land in Littlebury that had belonged to John de Munteny. The Refhams had acquired the tenancy from Sir John de Bensted, for whose life it was held. The annual rent was £10 and this was the subject of a dispute (also in 1320) between the Refhams and Richard de Gatesbyry, the guardian of John, son and heir of John de Munteny. Richard had been given the wardship by Sir Arnulph de Munteny, 'the chief lord of the fee', and claimed arrears of rent from the Refhams. An agreement was eventually reached by which the arrears were remitted and the rent was reduced to £8 a year. (fn. 117) In 1333 Ralph [sic] de Gatesbery conveyed the manor of 'Littlebury near Ongar' to John son of John de Munteny and Margaret his wife. (fn. 118) It was probably the same John de Munteny who in 1355 granted to Richard de Salyng, citizen of London, all lands which he had in Stanford Rivers. (fn. 119) This grant was repeated by Edmund son of John de Munteny in 1369 and by Thomas son of Richard de Munteny in 1379. (fn. 120)
In 1398 Richard Salyng, the younger, son of John Salyng of Stanford Rivers, granted to Master Richard Salyng, mason and citizen of London, and Lore his wife the manors of Littlebury and Rowenho. The purpose of the grant was apparently to settle the remainder of the manors upon the children, bastard as well as legitimate, of Master Richard. (fn. 121) By 1405 Master Richard had died and his widow had married John Bromhale who held Littlebury and Rowenho in her right. (fn. 122) In that year it was provided that the two manors should be held by John Bromhale and Lore and the heirs of the body of Lore by Richard Salyng, with remainders as to the manor of Littlebury to John son of Richard, Richard Salyng, bastard son of Richard and the heirs male of their bodies, and the right heirs of Lore, and as to the manor of Rowenho to Richard Salyng the bastard and John son of Richard and the heirs male of their bodies and the right heirs of Lore. (fn. 123)
John Chaumbir of Epping held the manor of Littlebury in 1412, when it was said to be worth £20. (fn. 124) In 1424 Chaumbir remitted to William Beauchamp of London all his right in the manors of Littlebury and Rowenho. (fn. 125) Chaumbir and Beauchamp were probably tenants under the Salyngs, for in 1468-9 John Salyng held the manors (fn. 126) and in 1469-70 Roger Salyng of Merton (Surr.) and his sons John Salyng of Stanford Rivers and John Salyng of Merton made a conveyance of Littlebury and Rowenho. (fn. 127)
Richard Salyng, who died in 1528, was said to hold Littlebury and Rowenho of the queen as of her manor of Ansty (Herts.), parcel of the honor of Clare. (fn. 128) His son and heir Augustine Salyng died in 1546, leaving an infant daughter Alice. (fn. 129) Augustine had mortgaged the manors in 1544 to Sir Richard Rich. (fn. 130) In 1547 the wardship of Alice Salyng was given to William Morris, together with an annuity of £7 6s. 8d. from the issues of Littlebury and Rowenho. (fn. 131) Alice died in 1551 and the manors passed to her aunts, daughters of Richard Salyng: Elizabeth Rolfe and Katherine Johnson. (fn. 132) In 1553 the manors were conveyed by Elizabeth and her husband William Rolfe and Katherine and her husband George Johnson to Robert Geyre and John Poley. (fn. 133) The purpose of this conveyance is not clear, but it may have been part of the procedure necessary for securing Littlebury and Rowenho upon William Atwood, who was the second husband of Alice widow of Augustine Salyng. (fn. 134)
William Atwood died in 1600 holding Littlebury and Rowenho of Sir Henry Cocke as of his manor of Ansty. (fn. 135) In 1594 the manors had been settled upon John Atwood, son of William, on John's marriage to Dorothy daughter of William Walter of Wimbledon. (fn. 136) John Atwood was succeeded by his son William, from whom the estate passed to his son, another William, who was alive at the time of the Essex Visitation of 1664-8. (fn. 137) In 1701 William Atwood, probably the son of the previous William, and Anne Atwood, widow, conveyed Littlebury to John Bull. (fn. 138) A Mrs. Bull held the estate in 1729. (fn. 139)
The Littlebury estate of the Atwoods was subsequently divided. In 1767 a dispute arose between John Tempest, executor of John Petre, and acting lord of the manor of Stanford Rivers, and Timothy Graves of Littlebury, whose wife was the daughter of Mrs. Bull. (fn. 140) The dispute concerned manorial rights in Littlebury, which Graves claimed as his own. The depositions in the case show that the Atwoods' estate had lain along both sides of the main road and that Graves held only the part to the east, the part to the west having become the property of a Mr. Jones. The outcome of the dispute is not clear, but Timothy Graves continued to deny that Littlebury was part of the manor of Stanford Rivers, and a few years later, when Lord Petre was administering the Bellhouse estate, there was another quarrel, over fishing rights, in the course of which Graves pushed one of Lord Petre's servants into the Roding. (fn. 141)
In 1811 Joseph Waylet conveyed to Timothy Phillips the manor of Littlebury, with '6 messuages, 2 mills, 1 dovehouse, 4 barns, 4 stables, 4 orchards, 100 acres of land, 100 acres of meadow, 50 acres of pasture, 50 acres of wood, 20 acres of land covered by water and common of pasture for all cattle.' (fn. 142) In 1842 the owner of Littlebury was J. Kynaston and the tenant E. Phillips. The farm consisted of 113 acres. (fn. 143)
The older part of Littlebury Hall is of late-16thcentury date and is of brick with an upper story of timber framing. It is T-shaped, the long arm of the T having two original windows with moulded brick jambs and hood-moulds, a moulded oak door-frame, and some original glass. The cross-wing to the north was refronted in the late 18th or early 19th century and has a Georgian doorcase flanked by two wide bay windows. Internally there is some 16th-century panelling and moulded woodwork. In the middle of the 19th century it was said of Littlebury Hall that more than 20 rooms had been taken down in living memory. (fn. 144) In 1921 foundations were observed to the east of the house, showing that it was at one time of greater extent. (fn. 145) For Littlebury Mill see above, p. 210.
The manor of TRACEYS seems originally to have been held in chief, but from the middle of the 14th century was treated as being held of the manor of Stanford Rivers.
In 1268 John de Tracy and Margery his wife conveyed to William de Tracy 1 messuage and 1 virgate of land in Stanford Rivers, to hold of John and Margery and the heirs of Margery at a nominal rent. (fn. 146) In 1315 Hugh de Tracy and Agnes his sister conveyed to Margery de Tracy 1 messuage, 1 carucate of land, 25 acres of meadow, 50 acres of wood, 40 acres of pasture, and 50s. rent in Stanford Rivers. (fn. 147) In 1325 a settlement was made securing to Margery de Tracy the life interest in 1 messuage, 360 acres of land, 25 acres of meadow, 50 acres of wood, 40 acres of pasture, and 50s. rent in Stanford Rivers and pasture for 14 cows and 14 heifers in the great park of Ongar. (fn. 148) There was to be remainder to Thomas de Tracy and Mabel his wife and the right heirs of Thomas. By 1335 both Margery and Thomas had evidently died, for in that year the king granted to Mabel Fitzwaryn, damsel of Queen Philippa, custody of the lands in Stanford Rivers belonging to the heir of Thomas de Tracy tenant in chief. (fn. 149) The heir was James de Tracy, who made proof of age in 1348. (fn. 150) It is not unlikely that he died in the Black Death, for in 1353 Thomas de Tracy his son died seised of a tenement in Stanford Rivers called Tracy, said to be held of the Earl of Stafford by the service of a pair of spurs or 6d. and by the rent of 1 lb. pepper yearly at the earl's manor of Stanford Rivers. (fn. 151) The heir of Thomas was his kinsman Hugh de Tracy, chaplain.
Traceys was one of the manors quitclaimed by John son of John de Rivers to the Earl of Stafford in 1359. (fn. 152) There is no mention of any member of the Tracy family after this date and it is probable that their manor escheated to the Earl of Stafford. The manor was held in 1412 by Nicholas Bradshagh (see Stanford Hall, above) and was valued at £20. (fn. 153) In 1420 Traceys (like Piggsland, see above) was among the possessions left by Sir Hugh Stafford at his death. He had held Traceys for life of the Earl of Stafford, to whom it then reverted. It comprised 100 acres of land, 10 acres of meadow, and 16 acres of pasture. (fn. 154)
The manor subsequently followed the descent of that of Stanford Rivers, although it was sometimes leased separately. In 1535 the court of the manor of Traceys was being held in the name of Mary, Lady Cary, widow. (fn. 155) In 1543 a 21-year lease of Traceys was granted to Richard Elliott (see Barwicks, above) at an annual rent of £15. (fn. 156) In 1738 William Petre leased Traceys to John Shuttleworth for 21 years at an annual rent of £156, from which £42 was to be deducted for land tax and £10 for repairs. (fn. 157) In 1768 Shuttleworth was still the tenant, at the same rent. (fn. 158) At the time of the tithe award (1842) John Palmer was the tenant, farming 163 acres. (fn. 159)
In and after the 17th century the manor of Traceys was subject to a fee-farm rent of £15. (fn. 160)
The present farm-house of Traceys appears to date from the late 18th or early 19th century. Traces of the moat remain, both in front of the house and at the north-west corner.