A History of the County of Hertford: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1908.
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The parish of King's Langley lies on the western side of the River Gade and the Grand Junction Canal; the land rises from the valley of that river from about 230 ft. above the ordnance datum in the south-east to about 500 ft. on the north-west. It is well wooded, and fine views from it can be obtained over the valley of the Gade to the south-east. The area of this parish is 3,481 acres, and in 1905 comprised 1,932 acres of arable land, 862 acres of permanent grass, and 230 acres of woodland. (fn. 1) The soil is mixed clay, sand, and gravel, and the subsoil chalk.
There is an extensive park at Shendish, the seat of Mr. A. H. Longman, in the northern extremity of the parish, and a smaller one at the manor-house in Chipperfield belonging to Mrs. Robert Blackwell. The River Gade and the Grand Junction Canal pass through the parish on the east, the former being the boundary between King's Langley and Abbots Langley.
King's Langley Station on the London and North-Western Railway, formerly known as the Home Park Station, lies in the parish of Abbots Langley about three-quarters of a mile from the village. The Home Park Paper Mills of Messrs. John Dickinson and Co., near the station, afford occupation to many of the inhabitants of King's Langley. The village lies along the road from Watford to Berkhampstead, which here runs north and south at some little height above the river. At the south end of the village a road runs eastward down the hill, on the south side of which stands the church. In the village the main road broadens out to a considerable width and has a wide footpath on the west side which is divided from the road for the greater part of the way by a few feet of turf. The houses are mostly of brick and slated, and the village is now extending southwards towards the railway station, where villa residences are being built. To the north of the road to Chipperfield, which branches off westward at the vicarage, lies Langley Common, on which is the cricket ground, and a little further along the road on the south side are the ruins of Langley Priory and Langley Palace. Going westward along this road, on the south side is Ballspond Farm, a substantial red-brick house now occupied by Mr. John Arnold Betts. Nearer to Chipperfield is the Whippendell Hill Estate, which is being cut up into building plots, and houses are being erected. Whippendell House is the residence of Miss Brunker.
Chipperfield was formed into a district out of parts of this parish and those of Abbots Langley and Watford in 1838, (fn. 2) and constituted an ecclesiastical parish in 1848. (fn. 3) In 1883 portions of Abbots Langley and Langley Bury were ecclesiastically annexed to King's Langley, and in 1872 parts of the parish were transferred to the consolidated chapelry of St. Mary, Apsley End. (fn. 4)
Chapel Croft is a small hamlet a short distance outside Chipperfield on the same road, and is composed of some modern brick houses of an uninteresting character. Chipperfield lies to the south near to Chipperfield Common, which is an extensive piece of open land covered with furze and heather. There are a few interesting old half-timber houses, particularly that at Pale Farm. Chipperfield manor-house, the residence of Mrs. Robert Blackwell, lies on the north-east side of the common and contains some good panelled rooms. Some paintings were discovered on the walls here in 1850. The church stands on the common and was built by subscription in 1837. It consists of a chancel which was enlarged in 1889, and a nave and transepts of thirteenth-century style. The west window was erected as a memorial to the Rev. Henry Dennis who died in 1863, and the organ was presented by Mrs. Blackwell in memory of her husband Mr. Robert Blackwell. A lichgate was erected to the memory of Capt. Charles Clayton who died of wounds at Hong Kong in 1863. The schools are opposite the church. The Baptist chapel, built of red brick and slated, lies near Dunny Lane on the road from Chesham to Chipperfield. Chipperfield House, the residence of Mr. Sands Clayton, about a quarter of a mile eastward on the same road, is of red brick. Barnes Lodge to the north of King's Langley village is the residence of Mr. Edward HorsmanBailey; other important houses are Manor House, the residence of Mr. Brice Beaton; the Rectory House, in which Mr. Arthur Green lives; Langley Hill House, the residence of Mr. Arthur Hughes; and Priory House, the residence of Mr. Robert F. McClintock.
A palaeolithic implement and Roman remains have been found here. At Little London, in a field to the south between the high road and the village, have been found traces of a mediaeval house. (fn. 5)
Place-names which occur are Whippenden, Newecroft, Wernelond, Petcroft and Winchcroft, Lacheres, Herteslane, Shayles, Brookend, Layhull and Ryhull, le New Chepynge and Chiperville, le Vyneacres, Dedemanesfeld, Bricepol, Maydensbour, Wapendams, and there was a gate or lodge in the park called Little London.
Ralph Kettell, the third son of John Kettell of King's Langley, (fn. 6) was born in 1563. He was elected president of Trinity College, Oxford, in 1598–9, and was the builder of Kettell Hall, in Broad Street, Oxford. (fn. 7)
William Jenkyn, a Nonconformist divine, who was ejected from the vicarage of Christ Church, Newgate, on the passing of the Conventicle Act in 1664, lived for some time at King's Langley, where he continued to preach every Sunday. (fn. 8)
Colonel Martin Petrie was born at the manor house of King's Langley in 1823. He was attached to the topographical staff of the War Office from 1859 to 1864, and was the author of several works on military subjects. He was an enthusiastic Freemason, and took an active interest in philanthropic and religious work. (fn. 9)
A manor of KING'S LANGLEY was granted to the church of St. Albans by Egelwin le Swarte and Aelfleda his wife in the time of Leofstan, twelfth abbot. (fn. 10) It was lost to the monastery in the disorderly times which preceded and followed the Norman invasion, and Paul, who was abbot from 1077 to 1093, made fruitless efforts to recover it. It may have been acquired, in whole or in part, by Thuri and Seric, two men of Earl Lewin who held in Langley in the time of King Edward the Confessor, (fn. 11) or by those whom they succeeded. William I appears to have gained possession of all the lands of Langley, and he included them in the fee of Mortain and the honour of Berkhampstead which he bestowed on Robert count of Mortain. (fn. 12) A manor in Langley would seem to have been held by Robert in demesne, and thus to have lapsed to the crown with the overlordship of Langley when William of Mortain was dispossessed for rebellion in 1104, (fn. 13) and to have followed the early descent of Great Berkhampstead. This, the capital manor of Langley, was held by Eleanor, queen of Edward I, until her death in 1290, of the earl of Cornwall, and by the service of five knights' fees and two parts of a fee, and of suit at the court of Berkhampstead every three weeks. (fn. 14) The manor returned to the crown in 1300 with the honour, (fn. 15) and was granted to Edward prince of Wales in 1302. (fn. 16) In 1327 Edward III gave it to Queen Isabella for her life, in consideration of the part she had taken in suppressing the rebellion of the Despensers; (fn. 17) and he confirmed her tenure in 1331 (fn. 18) and in 1334. (fn. 19) The issues of 'Childerlangele' were bestowed on the friars preachers who dwelt there in 1343, to be held at the king's will and conditionally on the repair of the houses and buildings of the manor and of Little London. (fn. 20) In 1395–6 the manor is first called Langley Regis in the court rolls. (fn. 21) It formed part of the dowry of Queen Joan of Navarre, (fn. 22) and in 1469 was granted by Edward IV to his mother Cicely, duchess of York, for her life. (fn. 23) Her tenancy was confirmed by Richard III, (fn. 24) and continued until her death in 1495, when the manor was acquired by Elizabeth queen of Henry VII, who had held reversionary rights in it since 1491–2. (fn. 25) Henry VIII conferred King's Langley on three of his queens; on Katherine of Arragon in 1509, (fn. 26) on Anne Boleyn in 1535, (fn. 27) and on Jane Seymour. (fn. 28) On the death of Jane he gave it for life to Sir Edward Nevill. (fn. 29)
In 1558 it was annexed to the duchy of Lancaster. (fn. 30) James I bestowed it on his son Henry, prince of Wales, in 1610, (fn. 31) and in the same year granted a lease of the demesne land of the manor and certain tenements in the outer court to George and Thomas Whitmore for sixty years, and in this grant it is mentioned that the demesne had previously been demised to Sir Charles Morrison. (fn. 32) Prince Henry died in 1612, and in 1616 the manor was granted to Sir Francis Bacon, Sir John Daccombe, Thomas Murray, and others for ninety-nine years, in trust for Charles, prince of Wales. (fn. 33) In 1628 the survivors of these trustees transferred their interest for the rest of the term to William Williams, Robert Michell, Walter Markes, and Robert Marshe. (fn. 34) The reversion after this term was included in 1628–9 in the well-known grant to Edward Ditchfield, John Heighlord, and others, in payment of the king's debts and those of his father to the City of London. The manor was to be held of the king at fee-farm as of his manor of Enfield. (fn. 35) In 1630 these grantees conveyed the manor to Richard Smith, Walter Smith, and Sidenham Lukins, in trust for Thomas Houlker of the Middle Temple. (fn. 36) It passed from Thomas Houlker to his son William, who sold it in 1667 to Henry Smith of Tring. (fn. 37) Henry by his wife Elizabeth had one son Henry, and three daughters, Anne, Elizabeth, and Mary. On the death of Henry the son without issue the manor came to his three sisters, Anne wife of Thomas Hanslapp, Elizabeth who was not married, and Mary wife of Thomas Barker. (fn. 38) In 1732 Thomas Barker and Mary conveyed half the manor to John Thomas, (fn. 39) but this conveyance was probably made for the purpose of some settlement, for John son of Anne Hanslapp succeeded to the whole manor on the death of his aunts Elizabeth and Mary, (fn. 40) and in 1745 he sold it to John Marriott. (fn. 41) On the death of John in 1766 it came to his nephew Thomas Marriott, who devised it to his sister Dorothy, wife of John Parsley, with remainder to her son John. (fn. 42) This last-named John died in 1850, (fn. 43) and by his will the manor passed to his cousin Mr. Robert Blackwell, (fn. 44) and it is now held by his widow Mrs. Mary Blackwell.
In the court rolls and in the surveys of the manor there is evidence of many ancient customs. Certain free tenants held their lands in 1291 for the service of scutage and suit at court every three weeks, and others rendered 8s. 6d. by the year. There were eighteen villeins who held four and a half virgates (four score acres to the virgate), and rendered 10s. a year, besides doing service of ploughing. They also paid a rent of one hen at Christmas called 'Wodehen.' Every virgate in the manor owed the service of mowing for twenty days with four men, and also owed three 'bederipa' with eight men at the food of the lord. The cottars (cotterelli) owed the service called 'Wodehen' and were obliged to raise the lord's hay. (fn. 45)
There were three bridges in the manor which the lord was bound to repair, viz. Longebrygg, Sheffordbrygge, and le Mullebrygge, and he was also responsible for the mill dam at Quenemill. (fn. 46) The duty of repairing three other bridges seems to have fallen upon the lord of the manor of Shendish, namely, Cheynedut brigg, Watkins brugge, and a bridge at Nashmill. (fn. 47) The lord had to provide stocks, gallows, pillory, and 'cokkyngstole' for the punishment of transgressors. (fn. 48) There appears to have been only one tithing in the manor. (fn. 49) We find frequent presentments in the court rolls of hamsoken, breaking the palings and taking the coneys in the park, and trespassing upon the king's fishing rights. Trout seem to have been specially reserved for the king, for in the reign of Henry IV we have a presentment by the bailiff against Thomas Fisshere, farmer of the river with the fishing, held of the friars, for a trespass on the king, because he took certain fish called 'trowghtes' by putting 'lepes' with the stream of the water and not against, as of right he should, because the fish were reserved to the king. (fn. 50) In the reign of Henry VI gold and silver was found in the manor as treasure trove, and fell to the lord. (fn. 51)
At the time of the Domesday Survey there were two mills in the manor worth 16s., (fn. 52) and in the court rolls we have mention of Apsleymill, Quenemyll, 'le Asshmull' or 'Naysshemyle,' now Nashmill. (fn. 53) In a survey of the time of Edward I two water-mills are mentioned, one for corn and the other for fulling cloths. There was also a fishery worth 2s. (fn. 54) Besides Apsley Mills and Nash Mills in the north of the parish there is now a corn-mill in the village on the River Gade.
The inhabitants of King's Langley had to repair the road between Nash Mill and George Weedon's Mill (Apsley Mill), which in 1671 was in such a bad state as to be hardly passable without danger. (fn. 55)
In 1649–50 the inhabitants of King's Langley complained that no court leet had been held there for two years. The court used to be held yearly, and the constables were then elected; the want of such court had caused the present officers to 'suffer much' and to perform their offices for two years. (fn. 56)
In 1347 a proclamation was made of a market to be held on Thursdays and a fair on Midsummer Day at the king's town of King's Langley. A market and fair had been held there before that date, but had been discontinued 'by carelessness and negligence, to the king's manifest detriment.' (fn. 57) A fair is now held on 24 and 25 June, and the market has been discontinued.
A royal PALACE and PARK had their site in King's Langley. A very early origin has been ascribed to the former, (fn. 58) but the first authentic evidence of its existence occurs in 1299. (fn. 59) The park was probably made as an appurtenance to the chief manor, possibly about 1282, for in that year an order was given to take a white roe-doe and five white roe-bucks in the chace of Rugleye or Longboys to stock the queen's park of Langley. (fn. 60)
Later evidence discovers the park and the palace as crown possessions, sometimes temporarily granted to individuals. (fn. 61) The palace was often visited by Edward I, Edward II, (fn. 62) Edward III, (fn. 63) and Richard II. (fn. 64) In 1299 Edward I summoned the bishop of Norwich, the abbot of St. Albans, and the count of Savoy, to celebrate the day of All Saints at King's Langley. (fn. 65) The park formed part of the grant to Queen Isabella in 1327. (fn. 66) In 1341 the palace was the birth-place of Prince Edmund, who was called Edmund of Langley and baptized by Abbot Michael of St. Albans; the abbot, and the earls John of Warren and Richard of Arundel, were his sponsors. (fn. 67)
When the plague was devastating London in 1349 the king held his court at Langley Palace. (fn. 68) In 1392 (fn. 69) Richard II kept Christmas there; also in 1396, when he received 'with honour but not with love' the duke of Lancaster, who had been recalled from Aquitaine. (fn. 70) A grant of a fishery and a weir in the royal park was confirmed to the friars preachers of Langley in 1424. (fn. 71) The palace appears to have been granted to Queen Joan with the manor, and repeated evidence of her presence in King's Langley makes it probable that she lived there for several years. In or about the year 1425, on the day of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, she received the duchess of Holland, who, after hearing vespers at St. Albans, rode to Langley with an escort of forty horses. (fn. 72) In 1427 Joan was again at the palace; (fn. 73) and in this year the duke of Gloucester went from King's Langley to St. Albans to make thankofferings on his recovery from an illness. (fn. 74) The queen dowager entertained, in the palace, the cardinal bishop of Winchester, Henry Beaufort, who visited her with much state in 1428. In 1431 the building was injured by a fire. (fn. 75)
The park was bestowed on the duchess of York, with the manor, in 1469. (fn. 76) In 1476 William Wallingford, abbot of St. Albans, made a banquet at the palace for the bishop of Llandaff, from whom he had lately received consecration. (fn. 77) This seems to have been the last occasion on which King's Langley Palace was the scene of stately ceremonies or the dwelling of dignified personages; probably it fell into decay.
The gatehouse and parts of the main building are said to have been standing in 1591. (fn. 78) In his History of Hertfordshire, published in 1728, Salmon says of King's Langley, 'Here the rubbish of royalty exists.' A fragment of the ruined palace is still to be seen.
The park had a longer history. In 1495–6 the office of forester of Langley was granted to Edmund de la Pole, in consideration of his good services, and in spite of the attainder of John earl of Lincoln, his elder brother. (fn. 79)
The park was surveyed in 1556, and it was ascertained to contain 697 acres, of which six belonged to the demesne, while fourteen had been part of the possessions of the late priory. The surveyors considered that it might well be disparked. (fn. 80) A lease for twenty-one years of the agistment and pannage, and of the 'little hunt, called small game, of coneys,' had been granted in 1543 to John Lord Russell. (fn. 81) In the following year he was made keeper of the park. (fn. 82) The park was granted with the manor to Prince Henry in 1610, (fn. 83) and in 1616 to trustees for Prince Charles, on the terms which had determined the lease of the manor. (fn. 84) In 1626 the trustees granted the remainder of their lease to Sir Charles Morrison, (fn. 85) who had already acquired or secured a possession of the rights of herbage and pannage. (fn. 86) The reversion of the lease was given to Sir Baptist Hicks in 1626, (fn. 87) and he in 1628 conveyed his interest to Sir Charles Morrison, with the exception of a fee-farm rent. Elizabeth Morrison, daughter and heiress of Sir Charles, married Arthur Capell, Lord Capell of Hadham, (fn. 88) who forfeited the park for his delinquency in 1645, and was beheaded in 1648–9. It was granted to Robert earl of Essex, captain-general of the Parliamentary forces, (fn. 89) but it was restored to Arthur Capell, son of Lord Capell, who later became earl of Essex, with his other honours on the accession of Charles II. The rent retained by Sir Baptist Hicks was afterwards acquired by the earl of Essex. The park continued in the possession of his family (fn. 90) till the present Lord Essex sold it in 1900 to Mr. E. N. Loyd of Langley Bury.
The HOUSE OF THE FRIARS PREACHERS does not appear to have been established in the building whose ruins still exist at King's Langley until the reign of Edward II. (fn. 91) That king, in fulfilment of a vow, built a house for the friars in his park of Langley in 1312, (fn. 92) and granted to them that they might, until it was completed, dwell in Little London, a lodge in the royal park. (fn. 93) In 1428 the friars held one knight's fee of the king in Childerlangley in pure and perpetual alms. (fn. 94)
After the Dissolution the site of the priory was granted, in 1540, to Richard, bishop suffragan of Dover, the grant to be void if the bishop was advanced to ecclesiastical benefices worth £100. (fn. 95) The farm of the priory was granted in 1546 to John Lord Russell, who still held it in 1556. (fn. 96) In 1557 Queen Mary restored this house to nuns of the order of St. Dominic, and granted them certain lands, (fn. 97) but this nunnery was dissolved by Queen Elizabeth in 1558–9, (fn. 98) and the site of the priory was granted in 1573–4 to Edward Grimston, senior, and Edward Grimston, junior. (fn. 99) They transferred their interest to Robert Cresswell, and he in 1574 to Francis earl of Bedford. (fn. 100) In 1580 Francis settled it upon his son Francis and his heirs male, with remainder to his other son William. Both the earl and his son Francis died in 1585, within a day of one another, and Edward son of Francis the son succeeded his grandfather. (fn. 101) In 1607 the site was granted to Edward Newport and John Compton at the petition of William Baron Mounteagle. (fn. 102) At this time it consisted of seven acres, and there had been a church there which was then completely ruined. The site was in tenure of Thomas Ewer and Peter Edlin. (fn. 103) Edward Newport and John Compton granted it to Robert Dixon, from whom it came to his daughter Theodosia wife of Sir Richard Braughin. (fn. 104) After his death she sold it to Joseph Edmonds, who conveyed it to William Houlker, owner of the manor (q.v.). (fn. 105) He granted it to Sir Richard Combe, (fn. 106) who held it in 1678, (fn. 107) but afterwards reconveyed it to William Houlker, who demolished the house and buildings belonging to it. (fn. 108) The conventual church was built shortly before 1312; for in that year John Dalderby bishop of Lincoln granted a commission for the consecration of the 'newly-constructed' church of the friars preachers. (fn. 109) It was the burial-place of Piers Gaveston, (fn. 110) and of Isabella daughter of Pedro the Cruel, king of Castille and Leon, and wife of Edmund of Langley. (fn. 111) Edmund directed in his will, 'Et moun corps a giser a Langelee pres de ma tresame Isabele jadys ma compaigne qe Dieux assoille'; and accordingly he was buried in the church of the friars. (fn. 112) In 1400 the body of Richard II was brought thither after it had been embalmed, and exposed to view in St. Paul's, (fn. 113) but it was removed to Westminster in 1414. (fn. 114) The body of Edmund of Langley was placed in the chancel of the parish church after the destruction of the priory buildings. (fn. 115)
The only building now remaining of the Dominican friary, popularly known as King John's Bakehouse, stands on the hill to the west of the village. It is a long narrow building of flint and stone, and is at present used as a dwelling-house. It stands almost due north and south, and the greater part of it appears to date from the fourteenth century. In its original position it must have stood practically by itself, as there are early doors or windows on all the four sides, though it is evident that a wall abutted on the south side. It measures, externally, 76 ft. 8 in. from north to south, and 18 ft. 1 in. from east to west; and, internally, it is divided into two nearly equal portions by a thick cross wall, on the south side of which are old fireplaces. The north portion, on the ground floor, now used as a store, has three large open arches on the west side, with buttresses between, the arches dying against the sides of the buttresses. The arches have a plain splay on the outside, and both they and the buttresses, which are very much decayed, seem to be fourteenth-century work. At the north end of this store is a narrow doorway, with splayed arch and jambs, belonging to the same period. In the east wall are three small windows, splayed within, and with arched heads and rear-arches on the inner side, with hollow chamfered edges dying against the wall. A modern window has been inserted in this wall. The ceiling of the store is an ordinary lath-and-plaster one. At the south-east corner of the store is a recess, now used as a cupboard, but which must have formerly been a short passage to the kitchen beyond, as it has been lighted by a small window, similar to the others, but now built up. This wall, which separates the present store from the kitchen, is built of flint on the ground story like the external walls. The room south of the store is used as a kitchen, and probably had a similar use in ancient times, as the cross wall contains a large fireplace, 8 ft. wide, with splayed stone jambs and low four-centred arch. The fireplace is lighted by a small window in the west wall. In the east wall is a wide, comparatively modern window, and beside it is a small arched window, now built up, similar to those in the store.
To the south of the kitchen is a modern staircase. The outer doorway in the west wall is modern, but the one opposite to it, in the east wall, is the original one. A circular cutting in the old west wall shows that a newel stair must have existed there at one time.
It is not easy to explain the former use of the small room, now used as a pantry, at the south end of the house. In the old wall between it and the staircase is a late fifteenth-century doorway, now built up, with splayed jambs and flat four-centred arch, and a similar doorway, also built up, in the opposite wall, seems to have led to a walk or perhaps a covered passage outside, part of the walling of which still remains. There is also a small arched window in the south wall, similar to those already described, which seems to show that the old wall outside, stretching south-wards, must have been a boundary wall or a covered passage, and not part of a contiguous building. In the west wall of the pantry is a plain recess with pointed arch of early date which does not appear ever to have been a doorway. The east wall, opposite this recess, projects about a foot beyond the east wall of the main building, and is finished outside with a steep gable. At the south-east angle are the marks where the boundary wall abutted, all the other angles of the building being buttressed.
The upper floor of the building, which was reached by the newel stair, must have been divided into two nearly equal apartments by the central wall. In the north wall of the northern portion is a square-headed doorway with splayed jambs and stops on the outside, evidently part of the old building. It may have been reached by wooden steps on the outside. In the east wall are three small arched windows, and in the west wall a modern doorway made for farm use. There is a doorway of communication between the two ends of the building, exactly over the blocked doorway below. The door frame is of oak, with flat fourcentred arch.
The room over the kitchen has a large fireplace of stone set in the north-west angle, with three-centred arch and splayed edges. It appears to belong to the beginning of the seventeenth century, and as the chimney-breast on the upper floor is of brick it may be assumed that it was partly rebuilt about the above period. There are several old windows in the three external walls of this end of the building similar to those in the northern part.
A very good and substantial roof of oak runs the whole length of the building, and, from its appearance, is probably the original one. The tie-beams, which are placed about 11 ft. apart, are 9 in. wide, with splayed and stopped lower edges. The roof is covered with tiles, and the chimney above is of modern brick.
The building above described seems to have formed part of the western boundary of a large inclosure, of which portions of the walls on the west, north, and south sides still exist. The total width between the north and south walls is about 300 ft., but no trace of any building within this area is now visible. The walling remaining on the west and south sides of the inclosure are mere fragments, but that on the north side has been incorporated into a modern farmhouse, and contains a built-up doorway or gateway, about 8 ft. wide, with three-centred arch and continuous moulding round arch and jambs.
It is difficult to say which portion of the old priory buildings the existing building represents, and a survey taken in 1555, though it gives a number of the dimensions of the several buildings, does not help much in identifying this.
The survey mentions a stable, with loft over, on one side of the gateway, and the dimensions nearly correspond to those of the existing building. It was evidently not originally intended for a stable, but may have been used as such in Queen Mary's time. The survey gives no clue to the position of the stable and gateway.
The priory church is said to have stood some eighty yards to the south of the existing remains, which would be just beyond the remains of the old wall forming the southern boundary of the inclosure above referred to. The cloister was probably within the inclosure. Sir Gilbert Scott, who saw the foundations of the church exposed in 1831, describes them as part of a conventual church of the first class. No reliable plan of these foundations, which are now all cleared away, appears to exist.
In 1086 Ralph held of Robert count of Mortain, in Langley, that land which had been in the tenure of Thuri and Seric. (fn. 116) This seems to be the beginning of the history of that manor, which was held of the capital manor of Langley, and called CHENDUITS, PARKER'S PLACE, or SHENDISH. In 1290–1 it was ascertained to contain one carucate of land, and to be held by the service of half a knight's fee, the rent of 7s. 4½d., and suit of court every three weeks. (fn. 117) It was held from at least the beginning of the thirteenth century by the family of Chenduit. A Ralph Chenduit who is mentioned in connexion with Hertfordshire in the twelfth century (fn. 118) may have been an early tenant of the manor, and was possibly descended from the Ralph of the Domesday Survey. Ralph Chenduit held the manor in 1215 and had inherited it from Ralph his father. (fn. 119) The younger Ralph was an adherent of the Dauphin; he forfeited the manor of Chenduits in 1215, and it was granted by King John to Sorekin de Poperod. (fn. 120) In 1217 Ralph Chenduit was taken prisoner at the battle of Lincoln, (fn. 121) but presumably he gave subsequent evidence of loyalty, for his lands were restored to him in this year. (fn. 122) He died about 1229, for in that year his son Ralph paid relief for knights' fees which his father had held of the honour of Berkhampstead. (fn. 123) This third Ralph is distinguished as 'the inexorable and untiring persecutor of the church of St. Albans, and the shameless invader of its liberties for the space of three years'; and his death, which occurred in 1243, was ascribed to the avenging hand of St. Alban. (fn. 124) He had by his first wife a son William; and by his second wife Alice a son Ulian who married Matilda of Ashridge, and a daughter Rose who became the wife of Simon de Frankley. (fn. 125) Ralph or his father had settled certain property in Langley on Alice and her heirs, and of this the share of Rose returned to the lords of Chenduits by force of a judgement given in 1230, apparently on the occasion of her death without heirs. (fn. 126) William Chenduit appears to have succeeded his father in 1243, and to have held the manor in 1246. (fn. 127) His son and heir was Ralph, who may have died before him. In 1249–50 Stephen Chenduit, son of Ralph, was lord of the manor. (fn. 128) His son was another Stephen, knighted before 1279, (fn. 129) probably the Stephen Chenduit who, with his cousin Ulian, the son of Ulian Chenduit and Matilda of Ashridge, (fn. 130) claimed free warren in 'Childeslangele' in 1274–5. (fn. 131)
In 1287–8 and in 1290 the manor was in the possession of William Chenduit who had married Eleanor daughter or stepdaughter of Eustace de Hetche. (fn. 132) Tenements in Langley belonged in 1296–7 and in 1310–11 to Walter Chenduit, who may have been William's heir and successor, and to Christiana his wife. (fn. 133) In 1340 Thomas son of Ralph Chenduit was lord of the manor, and settled some of his possessions outside Langley on William Chenduit, his son or nephew. (fn. 134) There is no evidence that William Chenduit ever held Shendish manor. In 1364 it is said to have been in the possession of William de Chisleden, (fn. 135) a statement probably due to the formalities by which in this year it was settled on Richard Parker and Alice his wife or their heirs. (fn. 136) Such settlement may have been the outcome of the marriage of an heiress of the Chenduits, or of an alienation by a Chenduit. Richard died in or about the year 1394, and the manor passed to his son William, (fn. 137) who in the reign of Henry V was succeeded by a son Edward. In 1427–8 Edward Parker, at the court baron of the manor of King's Langley, claimed to hold the capital messuage and the land which had belonged to his father by the service of one-third of a knight's fee. (fn. 138) At his death without heirs male, in or about the year 1435, the manor was inherited, by virtue of a settlement made in 1393–4, by the son of his uncle John Parker, William who was called 'Ferretour,' and who paid to the lord of King's Langley one bay horse worth 33s. 4d. for a heriot, and a sum of money of like value for a relief. (fn. 139) He was succeeded by his son Nicholas, whose only son John predeceased him and left no heirs male. Hence in 1535, after the death of Nicholas, a dispute arose as to the descent of the manor. The four daughters of John denied the validity of the entail on heirs male (fn. 140) which had been made in 1393–4, (fn. 141) and repeated by their grandfather Nicholas, and again in 1535, when the estate had been settled on John Parker, groom of the robes of the king, with remainder to his brothers Ralph and George. (fn. 142) These claimants were the sons of John and the grandsons of Thomas Parker, who was the brother of William Ferretour. John Parker, groom of the robes, had obtained a grant of warren in the manor of Chenduits or Parkers in 1531 (fn. 143) He successfully defended his claim to ownership of the manor, and settled it on his brother Ralph and his nephew Henry in 1537. (fn. 144) John died in 1537, and his brother Ralph was lord of the manor in 1544 (fn. 145) and in 1556, (fn. 146) and was succeeded by Henry his son, who conveyed it in 1560–1 to John Cheyney of Chesham Bois. (fn. 147) In 1585 it was inherited by John son of the former John, (fn. 148) and passed at his death to a third John his son, (fn. 149) who died childless in 1596. (fn. 150)
Francis Cheyney, his brother and heir, died in 1619, but was apparently not in possession of the manor at that time. (fn. 151) However, his nephew Francis, son of his brother John, who was his heir, held the manor, and in 1639–40 settled it upon his eldest son William on his marriage with Lucy daughter of Sir Thomas Barrington. (fn. 152) William died in the lifetime of his father, who died seised of the manor in 1644, leaving his son Charles his heir. (fn. 153) He in 1655 conveyed it to Humphrey Butler in trust for the purposes of an indenture of the same date between Charles Cheney and Charles Cavendish Viscount Mansfield and others. (fn. 154) This was no doubt a settlement on the marriage of Charles Cheney with Jane daughter of William Cavendish first duke of Newcastle, and sister of Charles Viscount Mansfield, which took place in or before 1656. Charles Cheney was created Viscount Newhaven in 1680, and died in 1698, (fn. 155) leaving a son William. (fn. 156) Charles seems to have disposed of the manor before his death to John Beale, for Beale sold it in 1690 to Dame Lucy Tyrrill. (fn. 157) From her it came to Sir Thomas Tyrrill, who conveyed it in 1700–1 to John Waller. (fn. 158) In 1739 Francis Fuller and Christiana his wife conveyed it by fine to Thomas Rowley and James Revett. (fn. 159) Nelly Clay, widow, conveyed half the manor in 1812 to Thomas Edward Fanning, (fn. 160) and in 1813 William Williams and Anne his wife conveyed it to James Bethune Bostock. (fn. 161) It afterwards came into the possession of Charles Longman, who died in 1873, when he was succeeded by his only son Mr. Arthur Hampton Longman, the present owner. (fn. 162)
BULSTRODES, a tenement on the western border of the parish, consisted of a carucate of land held of the manor of King's Langley by the service of a quarter of a knight's fee and suit of court, (fn. 163) and was in the tenure of Thomas de Bolestrode in 1291. (fn. 164) In 1337–8 Edmund de Bolestrode and Maud his wife conveyed to Payn de Mohun a messuage and 160 acres of land in Childerlangley, (fn. 165) but this may have been a settlement, for in 1349–50 Thomas Bulstrode died seised of the tenement, leaving a son Nicholas his heir. (fn. 166) It would appear that Nicholas shortly after the death of his father sold this tenement to Master Walter Shaldeborne, who held it in the early years of the reign of Richard II. (fn. 167) After the death of Walter, about 1394, the tenement seems to have come to coheirs, one being Thomas Shaldeborne, whose relationship to Walter is not known, and the other being Elizabeth wife of Henry Cook, who had previously married Thomas Parker, son of Richard and Alice Parker. The tenement was apparently held by Elizabeth Cook, whose husband Henry was distrained at several consecutive courts for heriot and relief. (fn. 168) Elizabeth's death was presented at the court baron in 1408–9, and she was succeeded by Thomas her son by her first husband, Thomas Parker. (fn. 169) Thomas died about 1411–12, (fn. 170) and was succeeded by his sister Alice wife of Richard Sibile, who died seised of the tenement in 1412. (fn. 171) After her death her husband held it by courtesy, (fn. 172) and in 1416 sold it to John Sankey, one of the grooms of the king's household. (fn. 173) Thomas Shaldeborne sold to the same John Sankey lands called Bolestrodeslandys, which had descended to him from his kinsman, Master Walter Shaldeborne. (fn. 174) John Sankey died in 1436 and was succeeded by his son John, then an infant of two years, (fn. 175) during whose minority the tenement was held by Agnes Sankey, probably the widow of John. In 1551 Edward Sankey died seised of this tenement, leaving a son and heir Thomas under age. (fn. 176) Thomas Sankey and Alice his wife in 1595–6 conveyed a messuage and land in King's Langley to John Knight, Edmund Baldwin, and others, and the heirs of John Knight; (fn. 177) and in 1632 John Knight died seised of the manor called Bulstrodes, (fn. 178) and was succeeded by his son William, on whose death without heirs in 1644 (fn. 179) the manor passed to his brother John.
In 1699 the capital messuage or farm called Bulstrodes was conveyed to George Randall by Henry Gould, (fn. 180) who was called to the degree of serjeant at law in 1692. (fn. 181) Bulstrodes was held in 1902 by Mr. Arthur Selwyn Harrison, who had a boys' school there, and it is now the residence of Mr. William Clark.
The walls of the chancel are of thirteenth-century date, and the nave probably retains the plan of a yet earlier aisleless building. The north aisle of the nave probably dates from the first half of the fourteenth century, but the north arcade of this or earlier date has given place to one of the early part of the fifteenth century. The south arcade of the nave and that of the south chapel are of the same date, and there was evidently a practical rebuilding of the nave and south side of the church at this time. (fn. 182) The west tower and north chapel belong to a later date in the same century; it is, however, possible that the tower contains older work. In 1877 the church was repaired and the eastern extension of the north chapel built to hold the tomb of Edmund de Langley, removed from the north wall of the chancel. The south vestry was built in 1894, and in 1899 the clearstory of the nave and part of the tower were rebuilt. The north porch and the chancel arch, with the arches which abut it across the east ends of the aisles, are also modern.
The east window of the chancel is modern, of fifteenth-century style, dating from 1877, and it was at this time that in removing the then existing east window traces of a triplet of thirteenth-century lancets were found in the wall. On the north of the chancel two fifteenth-century four-centred arches, with engaged shafts in the piers, open to the north chapel, and on the south are two arches of somewhat earlier date in the same century, with octagonal shafts, opening to the south chapel. East of them is a double piscina of thirteenth-century date, with wooden shelves in both openings, but a drain only in the eastern opening; above is the east jamb of a blocked thirteenth-century lancet.
The modern east end of the north chapel contains the monument of Edmund of Langley. This was originally set up in the church of the Dominican friars at Langley, and was brought to the parish church in 1575 and placed against the north wall of the chancel. Here it remained till 1877, when it was removed to its present place. It has naturally suffered somewhat in the process, having lost the heraldic decoration of one of its long sides, and the top slab which it now carries is part of a fine altar stone, originally 10 ft. long, but now only 7 ft. by 3 ft. wide, and retaining three of its five crosses. The sides of the tomb are of alabaster, on a plinth of Purbeck marble. As it now stands the shields on its panelled sides are thirteen in number, three at each end and seven on what is now the west side. The corresponding seven on what is now the east side, making twenty as the original number, are lost. The three at the north end are: [Azure] a cross paty between five martlets [or] for St. Edward the Confessor; Old France, [Azure] powdered with fleurs de lis [or] quartered with England, [Gules] three leopards [or], which are the royal arms of King Richard II; and [Azure] three crowns [or] for St. Edmund, king and martyr. The seven on the west side are [Or], an eagle with two heads [sable], the shield of the Empire; the arms of the king of England with the difference of a label [argent] for the Prince of Wales; the royal arms with a label [argent] having a quarter [gules] on each pendant, the shield of Lionel, duke of Clarence; the royal arms with a label [argent] having three roundels [gules] on each pendant, impaled with Castile, [Gules] a castle [or] quartering Leon, [Argent] a lion [purple], which shield is for the marriage of Edmund of Langley, duke of York, with his first wife Isabel, daughter of Pedro, called the Cruel, king of Castile and Leon; the shield of Edmund just described; France and England with a border [argent] for Thomas, duke of Gloucester; and France and England with the difference of a label of five pendants, two being of ermine and the other three [azure] with fleurs de lis [or], a coat borne by Henry of Bolingbroke as earl of Derby.
At the south end of the tomb are three shields: England with a border [argent] for Holand, earl of Kent; England with a border [azure] and thereon fleurs de lis [or], which are the arms of Holand, earl of Huntingdon; and [Gules] a lion [or] for FitzAlan, earl of Arundel.
The presence of the Holand shields and that of Bolingbroke enables us to state with some confidence that the tomb must have been made in Edmund's life-time, after November 1393, the date of his marriage with Joan Holand, and before 16 September 1398, when Henry of Bolingbroke was banished. For it is not credible that, if the tomb had been made after Henry's banishment, the designer of it would have dared to set by the side of the shield of the jealous king the ensigns of one whom Richard had every reason to regard as his bitterest foe. What may be the original coverstone, its dimensions accurately fitting the tomb, leans against the wall of the chapel, and bears the indent of a female figure, which can only be that of Edmund's wife, Isabel of Castile, who died in 1393. Three bodies, one male and two female, were found under the tomb when it was moved.
In the small window at the north of the chapel is a little old glass, formerly at the east end of the north aisle. There are two shields, one bearing Or a fesse indented sable, and the other Argent a bend cotised sable with three leopards or. It is not easy to identify either coat. There is also a scroll with Barnard Dela[mare Esquyer]. (fn. 183) The west part of the north chapel, which is separated from the Langley tomb by a screen, has two square-headed north windows, each of four cinquefoiled lights. The corresponding south chapel contains the organ, and on the south side of it is a modern vestry, in which is a large ironbound chest, and a small four-centred recess in the wall to the west of the doorway by which it opens to the chapel. The chapel has a modern east window of four lights, and a south window also of four lights, which is in part of fifteenth-century date. At the south-east, behind the organ, is a piscina.
The nave is of three bays, the arcades of the same early fifteenth-century detail as those on the south side of the chancel, and over them is a clearstory with two-light windows each side, rebuilt in 1899.
The north wall of the north aisle may be of fourteenth-century date, and contains two square-headed windows with modern tracery of fourteenth-century style, each of three trefoiled lights, and a doorway with continuous mouldings which may be of the same date. The west window of the aisle is of the fourteenth century, c. 1340, with two trefoiled lights and a quatrefoil over. Over the doorway is a modern porch.
In the south aisle there is a plain piscina recess at the east, a south window of three cinquefoiled lights, and a fifteenth-century doorway with continuous mouldings. The west window of the aisle is modern.
The tower is of three stages with an embattled parapet and small leaded spire, the belfry windows being of two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in the head, fifteenth-century work rebuilt. There is a projecting stair at the south-west angle, and in the second stage a single narrow light on the north. The west window of the ground stage is of three cinquefoiled lights with fifteenth-century tracery, having over it the blocked arched head of an older window, and on the north and south sides of this stage are windows of two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil over, also of the fifteenth century. The west doorway was reopened in 1894, and only its rear arch is old, apparently of the fifteenth century. The east arch of the tower is a good piece of fifteenth-century work, of later date than the nave arcades.
The roof timbers of the church are modern throughout, and the only woodwork of much interest is the pulpit, a very pretty specimen of early seventeenth-century work, hexagonal, with a carved and panelled body on a modern stone base. One side of the body is modern, as is the projecting book board, but the brackets carrying it are original. Over the pulpit is its original tester, adding greatly to its effect.
In addition to Edmund of Langley's monument there are several others of interest. In the north chapel two raised tombs are set against the wall, one a late seventeenth-century white marble tomb with black marble slab and no inscription; it is that of Sir William Glasscock, moved from the south side of the chancel, where a mural inscription, dated 1688, still remains.
The second tomb, likewise without inscription, is of clunch, in parts much damaged, and commemorates Sir Ralph Verney and his wife. His effigy, in plate armour with a mail hauberk, bears a tabard of the Verney arms, and round the neck is a chain with a pendent cross. The legs are broken off at the knees, and under the head is a mutilated helm with torse and mantling. His wife wears a mantle ornamented with the Verney arms and an engrailed saltire. The base of the tomb has three lozenge-shaped panels on the south side, and two at the west, containing shields, those at the west being Verney and the saltire engrailed, and those on the south the same coats separately and impaled. This tomb is clearly not in its original position, and may have been brought from the friars' church; it was opened in 1877, and contained part of a holy-water stone, and the eastern panel belonging to its own base, but no body.
In the south chapel two brass figures of women, one of late fifteenth-century date, and one of Elizabeth's time, are fixed on the pillar of the arcade and on the wall respectively. On the west wall are two inscriptions, one to John Cheney, 1597, and the other to William and Alice Carter, 1528; this has lost both ends of the plate, and is a palimpsest, having on the reverse side an inscription to (Joan the wife of) . . . Marsworth, citizen and bowyer of London, 1477.
The registers begin in 1558. Book I contains baptisms, burials, and marriages, from 1558 to 1630. Book II, from 1631 to 1699; and Book III, from 1700 to 1732. Book IV gives baptisms and burials from 1733 to 1812, and marriages from 1733 to 1753. Book V has marriages from 1754 to 1760; and Book VI, marriages from 1760 to 1812. (fn. 184)
The patronage of King's Langley in early times seems to have passed with the manor of Shendish, as in 1215 a grant of the advowson by Alice wife of Ralph Chenduit, and her sons Simon and Hugh, to the prior and convent of St. Oswald, Nostell, was confirmed by King John. (fn. 185) In 1234–5 Ralph Chenduit confirmed the advowson to the prior, (fn. 186) who held it till the beginning of the reign of Edward I, when he granted it to that sovereign, saving for himself and his successors a yearly rent of two marks. (fn. 187) The advowson seems to have become appendant to the chief manor from this time till 1372, when it was granted by Edward III to the prioress and convent of Dartford. This grant was confirmed by the pope. (fn. 188) It would seem that the prioress granted the rectory to the friars of King's Langley, but reserved the advowson to herself and her successors. (fn. 189) At the Dissolution the rectory and advowson again became vested in the crown, and in 1537 Sir Edward Nevill was patron for one turn, as he held the manor by demise of the king. (fn. 190) In 1574 Elizabeth granted the rectory and church to Edward Grimston senior and Edward Grimston junior, (fn. 191) to be held in free socage as of the manor of East Greenwich, and they afterwards conveyed it to Robert Cresswell and he to Francis, earl of Bedford. (fn. 192) The latter settled the rectory and parsonage in tail male on his son Francis, who died one day before his father. (fn. 193) Before his death in 1585 the earl mortgaged the rectory and advowson to the countess of Lincoln for the sum of £500, (fn. 194) and the payment becoming due after his death, litigation arose between Elizabeth, Dowager Lady Russell, widow of John, Lord Russell, the second son of the earl of Bedford, and the countess of Lincoln. The rectory as above mentioned had been settled on Francis, third son of the earl, and should have descended to his son Edward; but Lady Russell, ignoring this settlement, claimed it for her daughters Elizabeth and Anne, who at that time were minors. (fn. 195) Edward earl of Bedford brought a petition before the keeper of the Great Seal, urging his rights since he had paid £500 to the earl and countess of Lincoln, but he does not seem to have made good his claim. (fn. 196) Whilst this dispute was taking place as to the title of the rectory John Kettell, believing that the right lay in the crown, obtained a grant of it in 1591 for twenty-one years, (fn. 197) and subsequently conveyed some of his interest to his brother Christopher. (fn. 198)
In 1595–6 the rectory of King's Langley was granted to Lady Russell, with remainder to her daughters Anne and Elizabeth for their lives, by letters patent; (fn. 199) and a few days later John and Christopher Kettell were commanded by the queen to convey all their right and interest to Lady Russell, who was to pay them £250. (fn. 200) While the rectory was in the hands of the countess of Lincoln she sold it to Hugh Vaughan, who paid her £500 for it, and was about to lay out money on the repair of the priory, which at this time seems to have been appurtenant to the rectory, when he was prevented from doing so by the successful claim of Lady Russell. (fn. 201) In 1600 the rectory and advowson of the vicarage were granted to Martin Heaton bishop of Ely, (fn. 202) in whose successors they remained vested until 4 June, 1852, when the patronage was transferred to the archbishops of Canterbury. (fn. 203)
In a terrier of 1724 we read that there was formerly a silver cup with a silver cover in the church, but the church was broken into and both were stolen and were not then made good. (fn. 204)
The right of presentation to the church at Chipperfield is vested in trustees. It was a perpetual curacy until 1868, when it became a vicarage under the Act whereby all perpetual curacies were virtually extinguished. (fn. 205)
There was a church house at King's Langley which belonged to the abbey of St. Albans, and was granted in 1588–9 to the 'fishing grantees,' William Tipper and Robert Dawe. (fn. 206) A tenement called the 'Scolehouse' is mentioned in 1556. (fn. 207)
At Chipperfield in this parish the Nonconformists have long maintained a footing, the first licence having been granted in 1690. The Baptists date the beginning of their church in Chipperfield from a prayer meeting held early in the nineteenth century at a house near Rose Hall which was said to be haunted. Some years later a Mr. Springwell opened his house at Penman's Green for divine worship, the preachers coming from Chenies. Next, a barn was fitted up, and in 1825 an evangelist named Davies was placed here by the Hertfordshire union. A chapel was built between 1827 and 1838, which has been enlarged three times since its first erection. A house called Stone Wall House, at Chipperfield, was licensed in 1800 for Protestant Dissenters whose denomination is not given, (fn. 208) and there was a Nonconformist chapel at Chipperfield in 1822. (fn. 209) A chapel for Protestant Dissenters was registered at Chipperfield in 1849. (fn. 210) There are now Wesleyan and Baptist chapels at King's Langley.
The several sums of stock are held by the official trustees of charitable funds; and under the scheme above referred to, the income, amounting to about £45 a year, is distributed partly in gifts of bread and coal, and partly in donations to clothing clubs, hospitals, and convalescent homes, so as to enable the trustees to secure the benefits of these institutions to the objects of the charity. The trustees are also empowered to give rewards to children attending the public elementary schools.
By deed dated 29 May, 1905, Mrs. Alma Gertrude Vansittart Harrison gave £180 London Brighton and South Coast Railway 5 per cent. preference stock, the dividends to be applied in paying the rent of a cottage to be used as a residence for a needy and deserving married couple, any surplus income at the end of the year to be given to the occupants of such cottage, the charity to be called the Strettell Memorial Charity.
In 1877 Mrs. Sophia Clutterbuck by her will bequeathed £500 to the minister and churchwardens of the district church of St. Paul's, Chipperfield, to be invested, and income applied towards the support of the school for the education of children of the poorer classes resident in the district. The legacy is represented by £524 18s. 8d. consols with the official trustees.