A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
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Lyndhurst is a small parish in the heart of the New Forest containing 3,822 acres of land, of which only 3 are covered with water. The village is situated at cross roads 2½ miles from Lyndhurst Road station. It is principally composed of modern villas and somewhat larger houses, having largely extended as a residential district in recent years. There are, however, on the outskirts a number of the typical Hampshire cottages and small farms with deeply thatched roofs sloping sharply from back to front. Two miles from Lyndhurst near the Christchurch Road is the Knightwood Oak, one of the largest in the forest. The Beaulieu or Exe River rises in the north-west of the parish and for a short distance forms its northern boundary before passing into the neighbouring parish of Colbury.
The church, which in the reign of Edward I was referred to as 'the chapel attached to our lodgings at Lyndhurst, (fn. 1) is situated in the centre of the village on what appears to be an artificial mound. Close by the church is the King's House, the official residence of the deputy surveyor of the forest. Adjoining is the Verderer's Hall, within which is the so-called ' Stirrup of Rufus,' the ancient gauge of the dogs allowed to be kept in the forest without expeditation, the ' lawing' being carried out on all ' great dogs' that could not pass through the stirrup. (fn. 2) Also in the same hall is carefully preserved the ancient royal coat of arms which was provided for the last justice seat held in Lyndhurst (1669–70). The court of swainmote is held regularly in the Verderer's Hall.
On the eastern side of Lyndhurst in one of the open spaces characteristic of the New Forest, formerly known as launds, are the golf links and the cricket ground and a mound locally known as Bolton's Bench supposed to be an ancient barrow. To the north of the village is Mount Royal, a hill so named by George III during one of his visits to the King's House. Many of the houses round Lyndhurst have interesting and some historical associations. Foxlease, formerly Coxlease (Cox Leyes), is mentioned as early as 1604 as 'part of the demesne lands of the manor of Lyndhurst containing 120 acres then in the tenure of William Brown by grant of Charles Earl of Devonshire.' (fn. 3) Further mention of it is found in 1667, when Mabel wife of John Cole of Odiham petitioned Charles II for a lease in reversion for her husband of the house and grounds called Coxlease as a reward for her attendance on the late king in his imprisonment in the Isle of Wight. (fn. 4) The present house was built towards the close of the 18th century in imitation of Horace Walpole's villa at Strawberry Hill and is the residence of Mr. Herman Barker-Hahlo. High Coxlease (formerly 'Coxlease wild ground ') is a Crown wood adjoining Foxlease on the south. In it a residence belonging to Mrs. Eustace Smith has been built on a lease from the Crown. In 1784 the house known as Cuffnalls was purchased by and became the residence of George Rose, editor of the Marchmont Papers and friend of George III, who frequently visited him in his Hampshire home. It is now the seat of Mr. Reginald Gervis Hargreaves, J.P. Brooklands belongs to Lieut.-Col. William Martin Powell, J.P.; Wilversley Park with 58 acres is the seat of Mr. Henry Martin Powell, J.P.; Northerwood House of Col. Fenwick Bulmer de Sales La Terriere, J.P.; and Park Hill of Mr. Charles Edward Ridout.
Sir John Colborne, Baron Seaton, who fought at Corunna and Waterloo, was born at Lyndhurst in 1778. Dr. Wise, author of The New Forest, its History and Scenery, died here in 1690. Lyndhurst has given a title to John Singleton Copley, Lord Lyndhurst, Lord Chancellor from 1827 to 1830.
The soil is loamy, the subsoil gravel. The parish contains 67½ acres of arable land, 574 acres of permanent grass and 835 acres of woodland. (fn. 5)
Field-names met with in the 13th century are:—Grettenhamdune, Wolleyshulle, Coggersbrugge, Addesley, Kerspoule, Mottlesfourde and Pleyinghulle. (fn. 6)
At the time of the Great Survey LYNDHURST, which May in Ambresbury,' belonged to the king. Before the Conquest it had been assessed at 2 hides, but by 1086 it was in the New Forest with the exception ot 1 virgate which was held by Herbert the Forester. (fn. 7)
It is possible that this Herbert may have been the ancestor of the family of Lyndhurst who took their surname from this property. However that may be, in 1165 Herbert Lyndhurst appears as responsible to the Exchequer for 100 marks from his bailiwick of Lyndhurst, (fn. 8) which possibly included the manor. He was succeeded by William Lyndhurst, presumably his son, who was holding the bailiwick in 1202. (fn. 9) From him it apparently passed to Richard Lyndhurst, and in 1251, the latter having forfeited the bailiwick for misconduct, it was granted by royal charter to his son William to hold by the payment of £34 to the Exchequer instead of the £10 rendered by his father. (fn. 10) It is certain that this grant included the manor, as William granted that together with the bailiwick of Lyndhurst to Alan de Plunkenet, nephew and heir of Robert Waleran, in exchange for the manor of Rotherfield, and in 1270 Alan surrendered it to the king in exchange for manors in Somerset and Oxford. (fn. 11) Henry III then granted the manor together with the wardenship of the New Forest, which invariably accompanied the grant, to Eleanor of Castile, wife of Prince Edward. (fn. 12) She died in 1290 and two years later the king granted the custody of the manor to John Fitz Thomas, (fn. 13) who apparently held it till 1299, when it was allotted as dower to Margaret of France on her marriage with Edward I. (fn. 14) This grant was confirmed by Edward II on his accession, (fn. 15) and Margaret held the manor till her death in 1318, (fn. 16) when it was granted by the king in dower to Queen Isabel. (fn. 17) On the death of Mortimer in 1330 the queen was sentenced to imprisonment for life and deprived of all her possessions with the exception of a pension of £3,000, and in the following year the king granted the manor of Lyndhurst to Queen Philippa, (fn. 18) who two years later leased it to Sir Thomas West of Hempston Cantilupe (co. Devon). (fn. 19) He died before 1343, and the queen then granted it to John de Beauchamp, brother of the Earl of Warwick, (fn. 20) who was taking a prominent part in the French wars, and this grant was confirmed by the king in the following year. (fn. 21) The king appears, however, to have taken the manor into his own hands again before 1362, as in that year he granted it to Sir Richard Pembridge, (fn. 22) probably for his services in the French wars, and he apparently held it till 1375, when a grant of it was made to John de Foxle for life. (fn. 23) He appears to have died shortly afterwards, as Richard II on his accession granted it to his half-brother Thomas Holland Earl of Kent, (fn. 24) and on his death in 1397 to another kinsman Edward Duke of York. (fn. 25) However, on the accession of Henry IV the latter was deprived of all lands he had received during the last two years of the reign of Richard II. (fn. 26) Afterwards he was restored to his estates, (fn. 27) and apparently held Lyndhurst till his death in 1415. (fn. 28)
The next grantee of the manor was Edward Courtenay, eldest son of Edward Earl of Devon, (fn. 29) who died without issue in 1418, when Thomas Montagu Earl of Salisbury, who had accompanied the king on his expedition to France and had taken a prominent part in the battle of Agincourt, received the manor in reward for his services. (fn. 30) He apparently held it till his death in 1428, when it appears to have been granted to Humphrey Plantagenet Duke of Gloucester, who died seised of it in 1447. (fn. 31) It then reverted to the king, who kept it in his own hands for the remainder of his reign. Edward IV on his accession made a grant of it for life to William Fiennes Lord Saye and Sele. (fn. 32) This grant was revoked in 1467 in favour of William Fitz Alan Earl of Arundel, (fn. 33) who as a staunch Yorkist had done good service to the king in the late wars. In accordance with the terms of the grant it passed on the death of William to his son Thomas, to whom in February 1490 the king confirmed the office of custodian and guardian of the New Forest in the manor and park of Lyndhurst. (fn. 34) Thomas died in 1524, leaving a son William, who apparently succeeded. Henry Earl of Arundel, son of the latter, died without male issue in 1581, (fn. 35) when the manor returned to the Crown. No further grant of it was made until 1600, when it was transferred to trustees, (fn. 36) who on the accession of James I granted it to Charles Blount, Lord Mountjoy, Earl of Devon. (fn. 37) He died seised of it in April 1606, leaving no legitimate heirs. His estates were inherited by a distant cousin Sir Henry Baker, the great-greatgrandson of his great-great-aunt Constance Mountjoy (Terell). (fn. 38) The next grantee was Henry Wriothesley Earl of Southampton, (fn. 39) who died in 1624, leaving as heir a son Thomas under age, during whose minority the custody of the manor was granted to William Earl of Pembroke. (fn. 40) Thomas apparently held the manor till his death in 1667, when Charles II granted it to Charles Lord St. John of Basing, eldest son of the Marquess of Winchester, (fn. 41) reserving to the Crown a yearly rent of £6, being £3 for herbage and pannage, £1 for turf and heath and £2 for all rents. (fn. 42) The grantee formally asserted his claim to the manor before the judgement seat of 1670 held at Lyndhurst by Vere Earl of Oxford, as justice in eyre, the last held for the New Forest. He also claimed for his customary tenants, known as ' homage tenants,' common of pasture and pannage with full rights of estovers according to their ancient rights 'if sufficient timber and wood for their necessary estovers be not found growing upon their several tenements. (fn. 43) Lord St. John was created Duke of Bolton in 1689 for his share in the settlement of William and Mary as king and queen, and received a renewal of the grant of the manor of Lyndhurst. (fn. 44) He died in 1699 and was followed successively by a son and grandson both named Charles. In 1746 John Duke of Bedford appears on the Court Rolls as lord of the manor of Lyndhurst, on whose death in 1771 it was granted to William Henry Duke of Gloucester, brother of the king. He died in 1805, and the manor was then held by Frederick Duke of York, second son of George III, until his death in 1827. Up to this date the wardenship of the New Forest had always accompanied the grant of the manor, but in 1827 the court baron was held by the steward of George Harrison, lord of the manor (but apparently not Lord Warden), whose last court was held in 1831. At this date the Crown appears to have resumed possession of the manor, and henceforth the courts were held by the successive stewards of the manor. The latter, too, assumed an entirely different character. From this time it was held that the manor was 'not important to be kept'; the larger copyholds therefore became enfranchised, while others fell into the king's hands on the death of the tenants. At the present day one copyholder only is left. The last court was held in 1898. (fn. 45)
In 1359 by the advice of the keeper of the forest the manor was inclosed with a ditch and hedge, (fn. 46) but these have apparently long since disappeared. In 1787 the copyholds of the manor, which included estates in Minstead, Burley, Bartley Regis and Poulner near Kingswood, consisted of 625 acres. Heriots had then been discontinued for many years. (fn. 47) A manor-house probably existed here at a very early date. In the reign of Edward I an order was given for 'twenty oaks to make laths for the use of the queen's manor-house at Lyndhurst.' (fn. 48) This house was probably superseded by the hunting lodge built at Lyndhurst in the 14th century, (fn. 49) and the number of state documents dated from Lyndhurst attest the frequency of the royal visits. Constant references are made in public records to the repair and enlargement of this lodge. (fn. 50) In 1388 a hall was built within the lodge, (fn. 51) known later as the Verderer's Hall. The 'old house' was repaired and enlarged by order of Henry VIII. (fn. 52) By the 17th century, however, the accommodation had become insufficient for the needs of the Stuart kings and in 1635 an order was issued for the sale of 250 loads of timber 'at the highest profit for building lodgings for the king's use and service adjoining the old house of Lyndhurst with outhouses and a stable for forty horses.' (fn. 53)
The work was apparently not carried out immediately, as Secretary Coke writing from Lyndhurst two years later says: ' This morning His Majesty and all that hunted with him in the forest were roundly wet and the weather has continued so extreme that since his return to Lyndhurst scarce a room in his house has held out the rain.' (fn. 54) More attention was given to the King's House in the reign of Charles II when the work of enlarging and restoring it was carried on and apparently finished. In 1669 the repairs cost £500 (fn. 55) and in the following year £1,500 was raised by the sale of 'tops and lops' to be employed in rebuilding the stables. (fn. 56) Again in 1671 £1,750 was paid to the paymaster of the works for repairs at the King's House at Lyndhurst. (fn. 57) Reference is thus made to it by Thomas Baskerville, who visited Lyndhurst in 1679: 'The King's House is well-built with good stables belonging to it. Here at this time happening to be a court kept for the foresters were much good company met together and they had a good feast at a small inn near the King's House.' (fn. 58) In 1789 it is described as 'the possession of the Lord Warden,' who was allowed £70 a year for keeping the house and stables in repair. (fn. 59) It remained in the occupation of the Lord Warden until the death of the Duke of Cambridge in 1848. It was then taken into Crown hands by the Department of Woods and made the residence of the deputy surveyor instead of New Park. (fn. 60)
In 1851 the building was much altered and the hall, which up to this period had preserved its customary form, was altered and the rooms above it destroyed; two bays were also added to the front of the house, and windows with plastered brick mullions inserted throughout the building, replacing the original wood frames. In recent times the building has been restored to very much its original form and rooms built again above the hall. The prisoners' dock, tables and chairs of considerable age are preserved in the hall. The staircase appears to date from Jacobean times. The windows on the south-east side have moulded stone architraves.
A park was attached to the manor of Lyndhurst from a very early date. In 1299 it covered an area of 500 acres, the profits from the honey gathered there amounting to 2s. per annum. (fn. 61) In 1313 mention is made of ' the close of Queen Margaret at Lyndhurst.' (fn. 62) Later in the century the Sheriff of Southampton was ordered to provide the necessary transport for the work of inclosing the king's park at Lyndhurst. (fn. 63) In 1358 John de Beauchamp was charged to sell sufficient timber from the park of Lyndhurst to defray the expense of making four lodges and ridings in the forest. (fn. 64) In 1387 and again in 1428 payments were made for the fencing and repairing of the palings of the king's park at Lyndhurst. (fn. 65) At the beginning of the 17th century there is mention of certain arable land and woodland commonly called 'The Old Park of Lyndhurst.' (fn. 66) After this date the references to it are less frequent, but it is always mentioned separately in the grants of the manor.
In 1334 the king granted a yearly fair to last three days, viz. on the eve, the day and the morrow of St. James the Apostle, to Queen Philippa in her manor of Lyndhurst. (fn. 67) This is the only mention found of a fair, and it is probable that it was only granted for life.
The church of ST. MICHAEL consists of a chancel with north organ chamber and vestry, a nave with shallow transepts and aisles, a north-west tower and a south porch. The whole building is modern and is built in brick with stone dressings in a rather free adaptation of 13th-century style. The interior is finished in hard burned brick in bands of various colours and cut and moulded bricks are considerably used. The roof is extremely ornate with nearly lifesized carved figures of angels on the corbels.
The plate consists of a silver chalice and paten cover of 1757, another chalice of 1841, a paten of 1847, a flagon given by ' Mrs. Jone Benet' in 1694, a silver-gilt chalice of 1871, two silver-gilt patens and a flagon of 1885 and a silver-gilt mounted glass flagon.
The registers are as follows: Book (1) beginning in 1737 has baptisms to 1789, burials to 1798 and marriages to 1754; (2) baptisms 1790 to 1812 and burials 1799 to 1812; (3) marriages 1772 to 1812. Some earlier entries are at Minstead.
Emery Down was formed as a district chapelry out of Lyndhurst in 1864. (fn. 68) The living is a vicarage in the alternate gift of Major C. Boultbee of Kenilworth and the Ven. William Bree, D.D., Archdeacon of Coventry.
There are a Roman Catholic chapel of Our Lady of the Assumption and St. Edward, built and endowed by M. Edouard Souberbielle in 1895–6, a Baptist chapel founded in 1700 and a meeting-room for Plymouth Brethren.
Charity of Thomas Brown, founded by will, 1667. (See under Christchurch.)—The yearly sum of £3 is received by the rector, who is entitled to retain 10s. for preaching a sermon on New Year's Day, the residue being applicable in the distribution of clothes or bread.
In 1692 Joan Bennet by will left £20 for the poor. In 1766 a rent-charge of £1 per annum was secured on property adjoining the meeting-house. The annuity is regularly paid and applied with the beforementioned charity.
In 1814 the Rev. Scrope Berdmore by will directed his executor to place £200 stock in such a manner that the interest might be received annually by the rector and distributed annually about Christmas among the poor. The sum of £200 consols is held by the official trustees in respect of this legacy.
In 1856 Elizabeth Woodifield, by will proved 5 March in that year, bequeathed £400 consols, the dividends to be applied for educational purposes, subject to the preservation and maintenance in thorough repair of the family vault and of the two marble tablets above the vault of the late Robert Woodifield in the parish church.
In 1881 Jean Baptiste Francois Ernest de Chatelain, by will proved 21 September, bequeathed the sum of £666 13s. 4d. consols, the dividends to be applied for keeping in good repair the tomb of the testator in the churchyard, the surplus to be applied in providing bread for poor to be distributed annually at the end of January.
The three sums of stock are held by the official trustees, by whom the dividends amounting yearly to £35 13s. 4d. are remitted to the rector and churchwardens, of which £8 15s. is applied for educational purposes in respect of Woodifield's charity and the residue in accordance with the respective trusts.
In 1858 3a. 1r. 17p. were conveyed for the purposes of allotments. A sum of £100 left by the will of Sir J. Schoedde, proved 1862, was expended in laying out the ground. The land produces £5 a year, which is paid towards providing a parish nurse.
In 1787 William Phillips, by his will proved in the P.C.C. (inter alia), bequeathed £1,250 stock for the preaching of the word of God at the meetinghouse and for the support of a school, and further directed that certain residuary estates should be settled for charitable purposes. The trust funds of the two branches of the charity now consist of £1,250 consols and £799 11s. 2d. consols held by the official trustees.
The charity is regulated by a scheme of the Charity Commissioners of 24 January 1896, whereby the trustees thereby constituted are directed to pay a moiety of the income of the £1,250 towards the stipend of the officiating minister of the Baptist chapel, who is also to receive the other moiety of the income so long as a Sunday school in connexion with the same chapel is carried on, or failing the fulfilment of this condition for the purposes next mentioned. The income of the £799 11s. 2d. consols is directed to be applied in the purchase of books for a free library, in clothing for poor children, and outfits for poor children leaving a public elementary school.
In 1754 Grace Carpenter conveyed to trustees 5 acres of land, the rents and profits, subject to the payment of £1 to the poor in bread, to be paid to the minister of the Baptist chapel. The land known as 'Barnaby's meadow' is let at £15 a year.
In 1833 William Hinves, by will proved in the P.C.C. on 23 January, bequeathed a legacy for charitable purposes connected with the Baptist chapel. The legacy is represented by £75 15s. 3d. consols, with the official trustees. The yearly income derived from these charities amounts to £69 2s. 4d.
In 1906 Harry Lewis Saltarn, by will proved in the Principal Probate Registry 10 November (among other charitable legacies), bequeathed to the managers of the public elementary schools the sum of £1,500, the income thereof to be applied towards providing an annual treat to the children attending those schools, to be called the 'Saltarn Treat,' and providing prizes, if there be any surplus.
By an Order of the Board of Education, dated 10 June 1908, the body of trustees was constituted, to consist of six representative trustees to be appointed in equal proportions by the Managers of the Lyndhurst School, the Emery Down Church of England School, and St. Mary Roman Catholic School.
Vice-Admiral Frederick M. Boultbee, by will proved 1877, bequeathed 28 Netherland Government 2½ per cent, bonds and 29 shares in the General Steam Navigation Co. to Governors of Queen Anne's Bounty in trust to vary investments at discretion and accumulate income as in the will mentioned and then to pay income to the incumbent, subject to his being resident.
Miss Charlotte Anna Boultbee, by her will proved 1896, devised a house and garden for parsonage (transferred to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners), also bequeathed £10,743 0s. 4d. consols (transferred to the Governors of Queen Anne's Bounty) in trust for augmentation of income of incumbent.
The Emery Down Cottages Endowment Charity consists of £585 19s. 8d. Bank of England stock, with the official trustees, producing yearly £55 10s.4d. which by a declaration of trust 1876 is applicable for repairs of the almshouse and for benefit of inmates.