A History of the County of Hertford: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1908.
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The parish of Shenley (fn. 1) is situated in the south of the county on the Middlesex border; there is a detached portion of the parish on the west side separated by a long strip of the parish of Ridge. The parish contains 4,075 acres of land and 15 acres of land covered with water, the proportion in 1905 being about 658 acres of arable land, 3,765 acres of permanent grass, and 256 acres of woodland. (fn. 2) The River Colne forms the northern boundary, and the land rises gently southward from the river, which is a little over 200ft. above the ordnance datum, up to the village, which is about 431 ft. above the same datum. The subsoil is clay and chalk, and the upper soil clay, gravel, and sand. At Porters, the residence of Mr. Cecil Frank Raphael, is the only park of any size, but there are considerable pleasure grounds, in some cases almost amounting to parks, at Broad Colney, Shenley Lodge, Shenley Hill, the property of Mr. Frederick Hore, Shenley Grange, the residence of Mr. John Charrington, Wilton House, the residence of Mr. George Lionel Dashwood, J.P., and Shenleybury, the residence of Mr. Ernest R. Walker. High Canons, the residence of Mr. William Walker, is an estate of 800 acres, and contains 29 acres of a garden which is one of the most beautiful in Hertfordshire.
The old main road from London to St. Albans and the Midlands runs through the parish from north to south, and the existing main road to London goes through the northern portion of the parish. There are two or three cross roads connecting these main roads, and others connecting the old London road with Watling Street, which lies to the west. The nearest railway station is at Radlett, on the Midland Railway main line, about two miles from the village of Shenley. The village, from which extensive views can be obtained, is long and straggling, and lies on the old road to London, here pleasantly wide and wooded. At each end of the village is a pond, and immediately beside the northern of these is the cage, or old 'lock up'—a round white-washed building, which was restored in 1893. It has a wooden door of pointed shape, with small apertures on either side, closely guarded by perpendicular iron bars. Above each window is a small stone tablet, with the texts 'Do well; fear not,' on the left, and 'Be sober; be vigilant,' on the right. A rough bench runs round the wall. The cage was at one time flanked by a row of stocks, which have now disappeared. This small penitentiary did duty for the St. Albans and Barnet district, and prisoners awaiting trial in those towns were confined there until the gaols were built, when the Round House fell into disuse. It was last repaired in 1810, as, owing to a lack of occupants, a tree had taken root within it, and finally forced its way through the dome-like roof, splitting the structure. This date is carved over one of the windows. (fn. 3) Stocks were ordered to be set up at London Colney in 1821. (fn. 4)
The houses are mostly of a yellow or light red brick, many of them being plastered and painted white. The hamlets in this parish are the portion of London Colney on the east side of the River Colne, Rowley Green (la Rouwell, xiii cent.) and Green Street lying to the south. The parish is largely composed of small properties occupied by gentlemen engaged in professional or business pursuits in London, and the population is mainly employed by them on their farms and gardens. There are no factories, but brick and tile making seem to have been carried on for a considerable time, for we have mention of le Tylhouse (fn. 5) as early as 1386, and the Brickfield in 1614. (fn. 6)
The right to hold a market on Mondays and a fair on the vigil, feast, and morrow of St. Botolph was granted to Adam de Stratton on 15 May, 1268, (fn. 7) but there is no record of a market or fair ever having been held. Among other place-names, we have mention of the Leaden Cross (1617), a lane called Harepath or Herewey, Pursley, (fn. 8) Costardescroft, Rokokesland, le Brache, Shipcroft Grove, and Somerys Heath. Salmon mentions some earthworks in the parish which, it is stated, extend to Brockley Hill. (fn. 9)
We find from the Domesday Survey that in the time of Edward the Confessor the manor of SHENLEY, (fn. 10) later known as SHENLEYBURY, was held by two socmen, the one a housecarl of the king and the other a vassal of Earl Lewin; at the time of the Survey, however, it was held by Ranulph of the count of Mortain. There can be little doubt that this Ranulph was a member of the Chenduit family (fn. 11) and that his descendant, Ralph, in the twelfth century married Avelina de Somery, (fn. 12) with whom he obtained probably some of the Shenley Hall property. Their son, William Chenduit, granted this manor to Richard Fitz Reiner, (fn. 13) who was sheriff of London in 1187. This grant was confirmed by Roger de Somery, lord of the manor of Shenley Hall, and in 1204 by Miles de Somery, his son, to Henry Fitz Reiner, (fn. 14) brother of Richard. (fn. 15) It was further confirmed, about the same time or a little earlier, by Ralph son of William Chenduit to Henry Fitz Reiner, which last confirmation was witnessed by Henry Fitz Ailwin, first mayor of London. (fn. 16) Henry Fitz Reiner's son, called Saer son of Henry, dealt with lands in Shenley (fn. 17) and probably held the manor. Saer had two sons—John who inherited Shenley, and Henry, a goldsmith of London, who had property at Rotherhithe. (fn. 18) By fine dated 1256 (fn. 19) and deed, dated 1263, (fn. 20) John son of Saer granted this manor to Adam de Stratton, Chief Baron of the Exchequer, which grant was confirmed in 1272 by Stephen Chenduit. (fn. 21) Adam de Stratton had in the manor view of frankpledge, the right of amendment of the assize of bread and ale, gallows, pillory, and tumbril. (fn. 22)
In 1290 Adam de Stratton being convicted of forgery and attainted, his lands were forfeited, (fn. 23) and Edward I, on 10 December, 1293, granted this manor to Otto de Grandison for life in exchange for the manor of Turweston in Buckinghamshire, which the king had granted to the abbey of Westminster. (fn. 24) The reversion of the manor was, on 5 June, 1317, granted for life by Edward II to Gerard de Orum, the king's yeoman. (fn. 25) This grant was confirmed by Edward III in 1328, (fn. 26) and in 1331 a further term of two years from the date of the death of Gerard de Orum was granted to his executors in consideration that the said Gerard had then only held the manor for three years. (fn. 27) The reversion in fee of the grant to Gerard de Orum was, on 15 September, 1332, given to John de Pulteney, citizen of London, at a rent of a pair of gilt spurs. (fn. 28) This grant was ratified with the assent of Parliament on 22 September, 1334, (fn. 29) and again on 20 March, 1336. (fn. 30) Sir John Pulteney received a grant of free warren over his lands in Shenley in 1339, (fn. 31) and died seised of the manor in 1349. He was succeeded by his son William, a minor, on whom it had already been settled. (fn. 32) William died without issue in 1367, and the manor went to his cousin Robert Oweine, son of William Oweine, who had married Ellen, sister of Sir John Pulteney. (fn. 33) Robert Oweine took the name of Pulteney and was succeeded apparently by his second son John. (fn. 34)
The manor was settled in 1428 upon Thomas Pulteney, son of the above John, and Margaret, his wife, daughter of Sir Philip Seintclere, (fn. 35) who died apparently without issue, when the manor went to Sir John Pulteney. He died in 1467, leaving Thomas Pulteney his son, (fn. 36) who died in 1507 and left his grandson Thomas, son of his son John, his heir. (fn. 37) At Sir Thomas's death in 1541 the manor passed to his son Francis, (fn. 38) and from him in 1547 it went to his son Michael, (fn. 39) who died without issue in 1567. The manor had been settled upon Katherine, widow of Michael Pulteney, who married Sir Henry Darcy, (fn. 40) and held it till about 1597, when it went to Gabriel Pulteney, brother of Michael, who had settled it in 1596 upon John his son and heir. (fn. 41) Sir John Pulteney died in 1617 and the manor passed to John his son, (fn. 42) who married Margaret, daughter of Sir John Fortescue, upon whom it was settled. Margaret afterwards married Colonel William Eure, and in 1645, as his widow, was stated to be a recusant and to have sold her life interest to Sir Randolph Crewe, who purchased it on behalf of his grandson Randolph, son of Sir Clipsby Crewe and Jane, sister and co-heir of John Pulteney, to whom after the death of his kinsman this manor fell. (fn. 43) At Sir Clipsby Crewe's death the manor went to John, his son, who in 1666 sold it to Joshua Lomax. (fn. 44) The manor remained in the hands of the Lomax family till 1850 when Joshua Lomax sold it to William Joseph Myers of Porters, who was succeeded at his death in 1858 by his son Thomas Borron Myers, at whose death it passed to his son Captain William Joseph Myers of Porters Park, from whom the manor passed with Porters to Michael Paul Grace. He shortly afterwards sold it to Vernon M. Martin, of Shenley Lodge, who now holds it.
The manor of SHENLEY HALL or SALISBURIES was held of the honour of Mandeville, and later it is described as being held of the manor of North Mimms. (fn. 45) In the time of Edward the Confessor it was held by Asgar the Staller and was granted by William I to Geoffrey de Mandeville, in whose hands we find it at the time of the Domesday Survey (A.D. 1086). (fn. 46) The overlordship followed the descent of the honour of Mandeville; the manor however was held from an early date by the family of Somery, lords of North Mimms, and it would appear that towards the close of the twelfth century it was in possession of Roger de Somery, from whom it descended to his son Miles, who died about 1229 and was succeeded by his son Roger, (fn. 47) at whose death in 1235 the property passed to his brother Stephen. (fn. 48) In 1258 Adam son of Stephen de Somery conveyed to Walter de Meriden (or Munden) and Muriel, his wife, and the heirs of Muriel, two and a half carucates of land in Shenley. (fn. 49) Walter de Meriden left a daughter Margaret who died before April, 1289, leaving an heir. (fn. 50) This heir was possibly Thomas de Muskham, who held the manor in 1303 (fn. 51) and whose son Thomas (fn. 52) settled it in 1336 on William son of Martin de Isledon and Alice his wife. (fn. 53) In 1351 Thomas de Muskham conveyed to Andrew Aubrey of London and later to Joan, widow of the same Andrew, lands in Shenley, and eventually the manor. (fn. 54) John son and heir of Andrew and Joan Aubrey, who was sheriff of London in 1373–4, released to his mother Joan in 1361 all his interest in the lands which she held in Shenley. (fn. 55) John Aubrey married Maud, daughter of Adam Francis, mayor of London 1352–4, and he or his mother seems to have given this manor to his wife. Upon his death his widow married, firstly, Sir Alan Buxhill, and later John Montagu, afterwards earl of Salisbury, and the manor of Shenley, with all the land which belonged to John son of Andrew Aubrey in Shenley, Ridge, Parksoken, and Watford, was conveyed in 1388–9 by John Fifhide and others, probably as trustees for John Montagu and his heirs. (fn. 56) This earl was beheaded and attainted in 1400, and in the inquisition taken after his death we find he died seised of this manor, (fn. 57) which being probably settled upon his widow, who held it till her death in 1424, was not forfeited. Thomas son of John Montagu was, it would seem, restored to his father's possessions in 1409 and died in 1428, leaving an only daughter Alice who married Richard Nevill, created earl of Salisbury in 1442. The manor was settled in 1458 on John Nevill, third son of the said Richard and Alice, and Isabel his wife. (fn. 58) This son was created earl of Northumberland in 1464–5, which title he relinquished in 1470 for that of marquis of Montagu. He was slain at the battle of Barnet in 1471, when his lands were forfeited, but the manor being settled upon his widow, who married Sir William Norreys, was held by her till her death in 1476, when we find she held it of Elizabeth queen of Edward IV as of the honour of Mandeville, by the service of a third of three parts of a knight's fee. (fn. 59) George son and heir of the said John and Isabel, afterwards created duke of Bedford, was born in 1465, and being a minor at the death of his father and mother his lands came into the custody of the king. He died under age in 1483, when this manor passed to his four sisters and co-heirs, viz. Elizabeth the wife of Thomas, Lord Scrope of Masham; Margaret, who married Sir John Mortimer and later Charles Brandon, afterwards duke of Suffolk; Lucy the wife of Sir Thomas FitzWilliam and secondly of Sir Anthony Browne; Isabel the wife of Sir William Huddleston; and John Stonor, son and heir of Anne, another sister. (fn. 60) In 1507 two parts of the manor belonging to the sisters Lucy, then widow of Sir Anthony Browne, and Margaret, then the wife of Charles Brandon, were conveyed to Sir John Cuttes, probably upon the marriage of his son John with Lucy, daughter of the above mentioned Lucy Browne. (fn. 61) Sir John Cuttes appears to have obtained the other two parts of the manor and died seised of the whole in 1521, when he was succeeded by his son John Cuttes, a minor. (fn. 62) The manor was settled as dower in 1513 upon Lucy the wife of John Cuttes the younger, and after his death it was held by his widow, who married Sir Thomas Clifford. (fn. 63) John, son of John Cuttes and Lucy, sold the manor in 1600 to Henry Hull, (fn. 64) who in the following year sold it to William Ewer. (fn. 65) It was, however, afterwards re-conveyed by Ewer to Henry Hull, (fn. 66) whose son sold it to Richard Cole in 1616. (fn. 67) Richard Cole died in 1653 leaving William his son and heir, who sold it to James Hoare in 1668. (fn. 68) In the following year Hoare sold it to William Snell and John Snell as trustees for their relative Sir Jeremiah Snow, (fn. 69) who held it till his death in 1702, when it passed to the Snells, with whom it remained till 1831, when it was sold to Hamylton Gyll, who in 1842 sold it to William Robert Phillimore and Anna Phillimore. (fn. 70) It passed in 1879 to Thomas H. Woods, and in 1884 to Charles Walter Martin, who died in 1889 leaving Salisbury Hall and manor to his son Walter Edward Martin, and Shenley Lodge and Pinks Farm to his son Vernon Moritz Martin, the present possessors. (fn. 71)
Salisbury Hall is situated on the low ground about 1½ miles north of Shenley. It is completely surrounded by a moat, still filled with water, about 36 ft. wide. The front of the house is approached by a bridge, and is some 100 ft. back from the moat. It is said by Leland that Sir John Cuttes built a house here early in the fifteenth century. Sir Jeremiah Snow, however, who resided here from about 1669 until his death in 1702, appears to have entirely rebuilt the house, and a considerable portion of his work still exists. Charles II was entertained here on several occasions, with great hospitality, by Sir Jeremiah. It is said that the king used some of the secret chambers in the hall as hiding-places. These chambers are not now visible. The Crown Chamber, where Charles was entertained, was pulled down in 1819, when a large part of the old house was demolished. Considerable additions were made to the house in 1884, chiefly at the back.
The house, as seen from the front, which faces the north, is of brick, and is nearly all the work of Sir Jeremiah Snow. It is of two stories, with attics, lighted by dormer windows in the tiled roof. At the west are two large chimney stacks with square chimneys, placed diagonally, on the top. The back elevation has twin gables. In the centre of the front is a brick projecting porch, carried up with rooms over it on the first floor, and attics. The entrance to the porch is of stone, with pilasters and moulded archivolt, having a moulded cornice and broken pediment above, in which is set a shield with the arms of Snow, roughly coloured. The porch has brick recesses with seats inside, and on the outside are brick piers or buttresses which carry the superstructure, the rooms above being wider than the porch itself.
On entering the house, the principal rooms are on the right; the kitchen offices, also old, but containing nothing of interest, are on the left, and in the rear are the modern additions. A passage leads from the front door to the rooms at the back, but this was originally part of the old hall, on the right of the passage. It is now used as the dining-room. The floor of this apartment is flagged, and the walls up to a height of 7 ft. are lined with old oak panelling, now painted, with moulded styles and rails, and a moulded cornice at the top. Above the panelling, set in the wide frieze round the hall, are the famous medallions which were purchased by Sir John Cuttes, the builder of the first house, from the nunnery of Sopwell, at St. Albans. They are supposed to be of fifteenth-century work, but it is not known by whom they were executed. They are circular medallions, of plaster apparently, about 3 ft. in diameter, with moulded rims, and each, with two exceptions, bears a large head, in low relief, of a Roman emperor, with the name, in Roman character, round the rim. They are evidently copies of old coins. There are said to have originally been twelve of these medallions, and the number of those existing varies in different accounts. At present there are six whole medallions and three half-ones visible, the other halves being presumably built into the walls. The whole ones represent Vespasian, Constantine the Great, Julius Caesar, Marcus Aurelius, Augustus, and Trajan; and the half-ones, Marcus Antonius, Zenobia, and Cleopatra. On one side of the hall is a wide stone fireplace with moulded jambs and lintel.
At the south-west corner of the hall is a doorway leading into a small modern passage, carved out of the drawing-room, which is on the right, to the front of the house, the morning-room being on the left. These two rooms form the western termination of the old house, and against their walls, outside, are the two chimney-stacks previously mentioned. These rooms contain no panelling, but in the drawing-room is a good stone chimney-piece, carved with fruit and foliage.
The main staircase is entered from the south side of the hall, close to the drawing-room door, and the stair is carried up to the attic floor. It is of oak, with massive square newels, crowned with vases, heavy moulded hand-rail, and moulded and twisted balusters.
The bedrooms on the first floor, which extend along the whole of the north front, do not contain much panelling, though a small portion exists in the room over the porch. The doors to the rooms are old and curious, having two large, equally sized, moulded panels on the outside, and plain, with ledges, on the inside. Some of the chimneypieces are old, simply designed in wood, and in the fireplace of the room over the morning-room are some fine old blue and white tiles representing houses, churches, butterflies, and other objects; and another fireplace in the back corridor, which has been formed out of a large room over the hall, has similar tiles, showing various evolutions of a man on horseback.
On the attic floor, there are several cupboards of considerable depth formed in the sloping roof, which are said to have been entrances to secret passages and hiding holes. A passage is also said to exist under the paving in the hall.
Outside the house, opposite the front, are a number of old brick farm buildings, most of them lying on the other side of the moat. Close to the bridge over the moat is an old cast-lead cistern with ornamental panels, in which are the initials R.L. and the date 1757. At that date the manor belonged to the Snell family. There is a very small lead cistern immediately above the larger one, with what appears to be the royal arms upon it, but it is much defaced.
On a small, thickly-wooded island, formed by an artificial moat in the grounds of the property now known as COLNEY CHAPEL or BROAD COLNEY CHAPEL, there formerly stood the chapel of St. John the Baptist. The origin of the chapel is unknown; the earliest information we have about it is that Avelina de Somery, wife of Ralph Chenduit, who lived in the twelfth century, gave to it twenty acres of land. (fn. 72) Her son William Chenduit sold the manor of Shenleybury and the advowson of the chapel to Richard Fitz Reiner, at whose death, in 1191, (fn. 73) the advowson passed to Henry Fitz Reiner, his brother, by agreement between the said Henry and William, another brother. This Henry, with the counsel of William, considerably augmented the revenues of the chapel in accordance with the will of his brother Richard, for the benefit of the souls of Reiner, his father, and Alice his mother, and the soul of the said Richard, and in return for licence to celebrate divine service in Colney chapel, Henry granted to the parson of the mother-church of Shenley all the land which Abel held of him in Shenley, and 1 lb. of cummin to be paid at the feast of St. Botolph. (fn. 74) The father of Reiner was son of Hugh de Bifield, a landowner in Byfield and Charwelton in the county of Northampton. (fn. 75) Richard Fitz Reiner was sheriff of London in 1187, and played an important part in establishing the commune at London in 1191, (fn. 76) in October of which year he entertained the earl of Mortain, afterwards King John, at his house in London. (fn. 77) In 1203 Pope Innocent III made a decree in a dispute between J. de Somery, parson of the church of Shenley, and the chaplain of Colney as to altarages and other matters. (fn. 78)
There appears originally to have been but one chaplain serving at the chapel, but under Henry Fitz Reiner's refoundation charter it was ordained that there should be two chaplains with their ministers. William de Mandeville, Arnold chaplain of Titburst, and others left lands and rents for the maintenance of the chaplains who should pray for their souls. (fn. 79) These chaplains were for a time, at the latter half of the thirteenth and beginning of the fourteenth century, under the rule of a warden. (fn. 80) During the whole course of the existence of the chapel the advowson seems to have followed the descent of the manor of Shenleybury. The chapel appears to have fallen into disuse in the fifteenth century (fn. 81) when it became a ruin, so that in the early part of the following century its existence was only a tradition. (fn. 82) A house called Colney Chapel seems to have been built by the Pulteneys, lords of the manor of Shenleybury, near the site of the chapel, and was leased by them in the sixteenth century to Hugh Barnearde for thirty years, and later to William Downer, who was holding it in 1566. In this year an information was filed in the court of Exchequer against William Downer and Christopher Palmer as to their lands being concealed from the crown, and a commission was awarded and depositions were taken. These depositions suggest that the site of the chapel was upon the island already referred to, that the chapel had not existed within living memory, and that the land on which it stood was copyhold of the manor of Shenleybury. (fn. 83) As a result of this inquiry the lands were adjudged to have been concealed, and on 28 March, in the following year, Colney chapel alias Broad Colney chapel, with the mansion-house adjacent, lately, as it was stated, belonging to the monastery of Waltham Holy Cross, was granted by letters patent from the queen to Nicasius Yetsweirt and Bartholomew Brokesby. (fn. 84) It is not very clear what occurred after this grant, but in 1567 Gabriel Pulteney conveyed the premises to Edward Weldon of East Peckham. (fn. 85) In 1573 Weldon mortgaged them to Humphrey Hawfeld, (fn. 86) who in the following year, upon repayment of the mortgage, re-conveyed the lands to Weldon. (fn. 87) Weldon's title seems afterwards to have returned to the Pulteneys. Yetsweirt's and Brokesby's title was apparently conveyed about 1578 by George Hawes to Sir Nicholas Bacon, the lord keeper, who died possessed of the chapel in 1579, (fn. 88) and Sir Nicholas Bacon, his son and heir, in the same year conveyed it to Anthony Bacon, his brother. (fn. 89) Anthony Bacon sold it to Thomas Humffrey, who in 1602 granted it to Erasmus Cook, vicar of St. Michael's, St. Albans, (fn. 90) and he in 1604 to Roger Marsh. (fn. 91) In 1611, during the minority of Sir John Pulteney, an information was filed against Roger Marsh and others as to their wrongful possession of this property Marsh pleaded the crown title under the grant from Queen Elizabeth to Yetsweirt and Brokesby as concealed lands, probably, as supposed to have belonged to the abbey of Waltham, and which at the dissolution of that house ought to have gone to the crown. A trial was ordered to take place at the King's Bench Bar, where Sir John Pulteney's title was upheld. The defendant, it is said, could 'not prove his title, though he laboured to prove and maintain' the concealed title. It was, therefore, ordered that Sir John Pulteney, his heirs and assigns, should for ever thereafter possess the said lands. (fn. 92) As a consequence, probably, of this decree, Roger Marsh, on 17 January, 1611–12, conveyed Colney chapel to Sir John Pulteney, (fn. 93) who died seised of it in 1617, leaving John his son and heir. (fn. 94) John died in 1637, leaving as his heirs his three sisters Alice wife of John Brownlowe, Mary Pulteney, and Jane wife of Sir Clipsby Crewe, and Thomas Aston son of Sir Thomas Aston, bart., and Magdalen fourth sister of John. (fn. 95) The advowson was apparently assigned to his wife Margaret, who afterwards married William Eure, as dower, with reversion to Jane Crewe. (fn. 96) Jane died seised of the reversion in 1639, leaving her son John her heir. (fn. 97)
The next occupant of Colney House whose name has been found is Charles Wodehouse, who resided there in 1770. (fn. 98) The estate afterwards came to Charles Bourchier, governor of Madras, who, after his return from India about 1783, rebuilt Colney House at a cost of about £53,000. Charles served as sheriff of Hertfordshire in 1788, and married Anne, daughter of Thomas Foley, M.P. for the county. (fn. 99) He sold Colney House to the margrave of Anspach, who was resident there in 1795, (fn. 100) and after living there for about four years disposed of it to the earl of Kingston, of whom it was bought by George Anderson in 1804. In 1808 the park included about 150 acres, and contained some fine oak and elm timber. (fn. 101)
The house is described as 'a handsome and regular structure with wings and two fronts, the principal of which faces east, and has a semicircular portico at each entrance, surmounted by a half dome. The west front is diversified by a uniform projection on each side the doorway, finished by a balustrade. The chimney-pieces are all of marble, and the offices are connected with the house by an underground passage completely concealed by a plantation of evergreens.' (fn. 102) George Anderson sold Colney Park to Patrick Hadow, high sheriff of the county in 1824. (fn. 103) He sold it in 1832 to Henry Hoyle Oddie, (fn. 104) on whose death in 1847 the estate came to his eldest son, Henry Hoyle Oddie. He died in 1869, (fn. 105) and Colney Park was sold in 1871 to Andrew Lusk, (fn. 106) lord mayor of London in 1873–4, who was created a baronet in that year. He subsequently sold it to a Mr. Kingham, during whose occupation the house was burnt. (fn. 107) It was rebuilt and sold by Mr. Kingham to the community known as the All Saints Sisters.
The house was pulled down and the foundation stone of the conventual buildings laid 27 September, 1899. The community had its origin in 1856, being 'founded by Harriet Brownlow Byron, together with the Rev. W. Upton Richards, first vicar of All Saints' Church, Margaret Street, London—a practical outcome of the life which was flooding the Church through the Oxford Movement. The special work of the sisters is the care of the sick and aged, and the bringing up of orphan children, though they have many other works both at home and abroad. The new convent at Colney chapel is specially intended for the training home of young sisters and a haven of rest for the aged members of the society, as well as a place of refreshment for sisters to come to from the smoky, busy centres of work in our northern towns.' (fn. 108)
The manor of WELD (la Wauz, la Wald, la Weld, alias Weldhall, alias Overweld) in the hamlet of Oakhurst, was early in the thirteenth century held by Geoffrey de Childwyk, who gave the tithe of it to St. Alban's Abbey. (fn. 109) In 1247 it was in the hands of Walter de Weld, (fn. 110) and in 1256 Thomas, son of Walter de Weld, and Joan his wife held it. (fn. 111) The family of Weld (fn. 112) continued to hold land here, but how long they held the manor is uncertain. According to a manuscript printed in Cussans' History of Hertfordshire, (fn. 113) the manor was held by John de Weyland, who died in 1318, when it seems to have fallen to the share of his daughter and one of his co-heirs, Matilda, wife of John Peacock. From Matilda it passed to Edmund Peacock, who left his sister, the wife of John de Somersham, his heir. John de Somersham had two daughters, Margery the wife of William Ashe, and Alice the wife of John Swanborne. At the death of Alice without issue the manor went to William and Margery, who left an only daughter, Elizabeth the wife of Thomas Frowick. Henry Frowick, son of the said Elizabeth and Thomas, was holding the manor in 1476 (fn. 114) and left a son Thomas. This Thomas died in 1485, leaving a son Henry, who married Anne Knolles and died in 1527, (fn. 115) when his daughter Elizabeth, wife of John Coningsby, succeeded to the manor.
In 1544 Elizabeth and her husband levied a fine of this manor together with the manors of Randolphs and Oakhurst, (fn. 116) and again in 1558, after the death of John Coningsby, she and her second husband William Dodds settled the same manors on Henry Coningsby her son. (fn. 117) This Henry in turn appears to have settled it upon his younger son, Sir Ralph Coningsby, who on 3 December, 1614, apportioned it to Thomas his second son. Sir Ralph died in the following year and Thomas succeeded to this manor. (fn. 118) Sir Henry Coningsby son of Thomas Coningsby conveyed it to his daughter Genevieve wife of Thomas Aram. (fn. 119) Genevieve died in 1707, and apparently left the manor to her husband, whose devisees (fn. 120) sold it to the trustees under the marriage settlement of the Hon. Robert Byng. By authority of an Act of Parliament the trustees in 1748 sold it to John Mason. Emily relict of John's son George, with her husband George Jubb, conveyed it in 1772 to Richard, Viscount Howe. (fn. 121) At the death of Lord Howe in 1799 the manor apparently went to his youngest daughter, Louisa Catherine, marchioness of Sligo, who in 1816 sold it to Luke White. At his death the manor went to his fourth son, Henry White, afterwards Baron Annaly, who sold it in 1839 to Samuel Clarke Jervoise, and he in 1859 to William Joseph Myers, father of Thomas Borron Myers, whose son William Joseph sold it to Michael Paul Grace. From him it passed between 1899 and 1902 to Cecil Frank Raphael, the present owner. There was a chapel in Weld House in which a marriage was performed in 1477. (fn. 122) The Weld does not now exist as a separate manor, but became incorporated with Porters' Park when both were in possession of John Mason. Its site may probably be identified with that of Wild Farm on the north-western border of Porters' Park.
The manor of SALMONS was held of the manor of Weld. (fn. 123) The family of Salmons is mentioned at an early date, and in 1277 Henry Saleman was a tenant of the manor of Shenley. (fn. 124) It is recorded in 1486 that Richard Salman did suit of court for the lord of the manor of Shenley once a year at Blanche Appleton in London, (fn. 125) and held three-parts of one knight's fee in Shenley. Richard Nunny and Joan his wife, who held this manor in 1498 in right of Joan, conveyed it to John Harvey or Hervey, clerk, Richard Harvey, and others; (fn. 126) and in 1539 Richard Harvey settled the manor together with a messuage called Porters upon himself and his wife Christine for life, with remainder to Robert Harvey and his heirs male, and in default to John the elder, John the younger, and other children. (fn. 127)
John Harvey and Henry, his son, apparently conveyed the manor to Hugh Catford in 1595. (fn. 128) Catford, it would seem, conveyed it to Sir Richard Coxe of Porters, and from him or his brother Alban it passed to Edward Briscoe, who died seised of it in 1638, leaving Edward his son and heir, who inherited this property. (fn. 129) This manor subsequently came into the possession of the family of Nicoll, and in 1759 Robert Nicoll and Anne conveyed it by fine to John Pudsey, (fn. 130) who with his wife Anne sold it in 1773 to George Clarke. (fn. 131) The later descent is not known.
PORTERS or PORTERS' LODGE, in the tithing of Titburst and parcel of the manor of Wheathampstead, is a property which has been considerably increased in size in late years. In 1291 Robert de Kendal conveyed to John de Toky of Aldenham and Agnes his wife a messuage with 69 acres of land, 3 acres of meadow, and the rent of 10d. yearly in Aldenham and Titburst, (fn. 132) and in 1340 John de Thoky or Toky settled this property on himself for life and then on John son of Roger le Porter of Aldenham, from whom the property probably takes its name. (fn. 133) In 1391 we find that Geoffrey Porter of Titburst owed suit at the abbot of Westminster's court at Wheathampstead, (fn. 134) and at the same date we have mention of the tenant of 'Porterlees.' In 1403 John Stevens and Ellen his wife gave a fine for respite of suit at the same court for a tenement formerly Benbales and afterwards Porters in Titburst, (fn. 135) and Ralph Werall in 1487 conveyed the manors and lands called Edmonds, Porters, Bedewells, and Scotts, in the parish of Aldenham, to Humphrey Coningsby. (fn. 136) It passed from the family of Coningsby to that of Harvey, probably through the marriage of Margery daughter of John Coningsby son of Humphrey mentioned above, with John son of Richard Harvey; (fn. 137) and in 1539 it was in the hands of Richard Harvey, who settled it with Salmons on his wife Christine for life, with remainder to Robert Harvey and his heirs male, and in default to John the elder, John the younger, Thomas, Isabella, Margaret, Elizabeth, and Katherine, his children, and their heirs male successively. (fn. 138) From John Harvey and his son Henry it passed to Sir Richard Coxe, who held it early in the seventeenth century. (fn. 139) Richard Coxe died in 1623, (fn. 140) but he seems to have let his brother and successor, Alban Coxe, live here as early as 1610. From Alban Coxe (fn. 141) the property passed to William his second son, whose daughter and coheir Mary married Sir Edmund Anderson and died in 1674, leaving a son Edmund who died in 1685, without surviving issue. The estate was afterwards acquired by John Mason, a distiller of Greenwich and Deptford, who died there in 1750, (fn. 142) and from that date it followed the descent of the manor of Weld in this parish (q.v.). The park is now let to a golf club.
The manor of HOLMES alias CANNONS was in the thirteenth century in the hands of the Somery family, and was granted under the description of lands and rents in Shenley by Adam son of Elias de Somery, and Saer son of Henry, early in that century, to the prior and canons of St. Bartholomew, of West Smithfield, London. (fn. 143) At the time of the dissolution of this monastery in 1539 we find that the manor or farm was in lease to Robert and William Basse. (fn. 144) It was granted on 25 July, 1543, to John Brockett, John Alwey, and Nicholas Bristowe, (fn. 145) and the receipts for the purchase-money given to Nicholas Bristowe are extant. (fn. 146) In 1544 Brockett and Bristowe made over their interest in the manor to John Alwey, and in 1558 William Basse obtained licence to convey his lease to John and Henry Alwey. (fn. 147) John died seised of the manor in 1578, leaving two parts to his wife Mary during the minority of his son and heir John, then aged fourteen years. (fn. 148) Livery of the manor was made to John in 1587, (fn. 149) and he died in 1600 seised of a third of the manor, and of the reversion of two-thirds after the death of his mother, leaving Ralph his brother and heir, (fn. 150) to whom livery of a third of the manor was made in the following year. (fn. 151) Ralph died seised of the manor in 1623, leaving his three daughters, Mary, Anne, and Dorothy, his heirs. (fn. 152) This manor fell to the share of Mary, the eldest daughter, who married Edward Wingate. (fn. 153) In 1656 Edward Wingate and his wife conveyed it to James Gifford, (fn. 154) whose widow, Ann, sold it in 1683 to Edward Noell. (fn. 155) In 1722 the representatives of Edward Noell sold it to Thomas Wotton, (fn. 156) whose only daughter married William Abney, barrister-at-law, and they sold it in 1771 to Robert Cotton Trefusis. The house was rebuilt by Trefusis, and after his death the manor was sold by his trustees to John Harcourt, of George Street, Hanover Square, who in 1778 sold it to Justinian Casamajor of North Mimms. In 1794 Casamajor sold it to Thomas Newt of Gower Street, London, who two years later parted with it to Thomas Fitzherbert of Portsea. Fitzherbert spent a large sum on alterations to the house and grounds, and sold the property in 1802 to John Macqueen, from whom it was purchased by Sir Walter Farquhar, bart. In 1806 Sir Walter sold it to Henry Bonham, M.P. for Leominster, and he in 1812 to Enoch Durant. On the death of Enoch Durant in 1848 it passed by will to his cousin, Richard Durant, who died in 1878, leaving a son Richard. Richard died in 1886, and was succeeded by his four daughters, Mrs. Trotter of Dyrham Park, Mrs. John Trotter, Mrs. Charles Parker, and Hon. Mrs. Herbert Gibbs. The estate was sold in 1888 to Mr. Burdett-Courts, whose property it now is. (fn. 157)
The hamlet and manor of OAKHURST (Ochers, Ockerse, xiii cent.; Okehirst, xiv cent.) extended into the parishes of St. Stephen's and Shenley, and lay on the west side of Watling Street, where the road branches off to Aldenham, a little to the south of Colney Street. (fn. 158) William de Ockersse held a fee by the service of escorting the abbot of St. Albans when he came from visiting the cell of Tynemouth. (fn. 159) We find that lands here, but whether the manor is uncertain, were held in 1248 by John Abel, kinsman of Solomon and Reginald de Ochers, (fn. 160) and later, in the thirteenth century, by the family of Weld, Waud, or Wauz. (fn. 161) In 1319 Walter de Muskham and Joan his wife conveyed two messuages, a carucate, and virgate of land here to Matthew de la Vache. (fn. 162) The first mention we have of the manor of Oakhurst is in 1375, when William de Bury, citizen of London, and others granted it to Joan, widow of John de Whitewell or Withwell. (fn. 163) The manor seems to have been divided at about this time, the one portion, which may possibly have been the same as Netherweld, came into the possession of the families of Frowick and Coningsby (fn. 164) early in the sixteenth century, and from that time followed the descent of the manor of Weld, and now apparently forms part of the Porters Estate. The other part of the manor, in the parish of St. Stephen's, was, we find, held by Thomas Ryden, then by John Plumer, alderman of London, who died in 1479, and in 1505 by William Skipwith, (fn. 165) whose grandson Thomas Skipwith and Joan his wife in 1537 settled it upon their son William. (fn. 166) William Skipwith held the manor in 1561, when he conveyed it to Roger Bansted and Robert Smyth, probably as trustees. (fn. 167) In 1756 Samuel Nicoll and Sarah his wife conveyed it by fine to Edgar Edlyne. (fn. 168) In the latter part of the eighteenth century this manor was held by John Osborn, who, in 1786, settled it on John his son and Dorothy his wife. John the son died in 1809, leaving two sons, who took the name of Jenkins. Dorothy, his widow, died in 1825, when the manor was put up to auction and sold to the trustees of the will of Peter Thellusson. (fn. 169) After this time the manor probably became merged in the Aldenham Abbey estate.
We have mention in the sixteenth century of a messuage and lands called RAWDISH, and a meadow called Southmede, which belonged to St. Alban's Monastery, and was leased to Sir John Cuttes on 16 May, 1517. (fn. 170) On 15 April, 1540, they were granted to Sir Richard Lee, (fn. 171) and confirmed to him on 21 December, 1546. (fn. 172) The later history of this property is not known.
The church of ST. BOTOLPH is situated about three-quarters of a mile to the north of the village, and stands in a large churchyard with some particularly fine yew trees on the west and south sides, and with a modern lychgate on the south-west. From what remains of the church it appears to have been rebuilt in the early part of the fifteenth century, probably about 1424, when we find that Maud, countess of Salisbury, bequeathed money to the fabric. (fn. 173) The exterior of the building is faced with excellent flintwork, almost equal to some of the best examples of this work to be found in the eastern counties. The buttresses and walls, however, are now much patched with modern bricks. At the east end, hanging on a cross beam in the open is the church bell, and on the south wall is a sun-dial. The church appears to have formerly consisted of a chancel, a nave of four bays, a south aisle, and western tower. In 1753 the chancel and tower were demolished, the nave arcade and roof were destroyed, and a flat plastered ceiling substituted, leaving the church in its present miserable barn-like condition. (fn. 174) The east and west windows are modern and in fifteenth-century style. The windows at the sides are original. At the west end is a gallery containing the organ, which is supported on oak pillars, below which are two eighteenth-century square pews. The reredos, altar rails, and pulpit are of modern carved oak, and were erected by subscription in 1878. The font at the west end is externally of plaster. There is a late fifteenth-century indent for a brass of a knight and his lady on the floor on the south side. The church formerly contained lights of the Blessed Mary, the Holy Cross, and St. Katherine. (fn. 175)
The plate consists of a chalice, flagon, and a standing paten inscribed as the gift of Mrs. Catherine Heywood in 1798, but bearing the date 1774 under the foot and hall marked for 1773, a salver with the same inscription but no second date and hall marked for 1775, and a plated cup of late eighteenth-century design.
In the village is a small chapel of ease built in 1841 (fn. 176) of red brick, with a slate roof. It consists of a chancel and nave with a bell turret at the southwest corner, a vestry at the north-east, and a porch at the west end. There is a western gallery, and the windows are square-headed with wooden mullions.
Besides the chapel of St. John the Baptist at Broad Colney, already referred to, there was in the parish a chapel of the Blessed Mary, which apparently was the same as Titburst Chapel, the patronage of which in the thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries was, it seems, in the hands of the lords of Salisbury Hall. In 1271 Walter de Munden, William de la Lee, and John de Wethamsted presented to this chapel of Titburst in the parish of Shenley, (fn. 177) and early in the fourteenth century Thomas Muskham, Roger Salman, and Matthew de Wethamsted presented to the chapel of the Blessed Mary in Shenley. (fn. 178) In 1436 Thomas Stuckley and Isabella his wife conveyed the advowson of the chapel of Shenley to Richard Leget. (fn. 179) The position of the chapel is unknown, but it seems probable it was in the detached piece of Shenley parish between the detached piece of Ridge and Aldenham parish.
The registers begin in 1657, the first book containing baptisms, burials, and marriages from 1657 to 1749, the second baptisms and burials from 1750 to 1800, and marriages to 1751. Book iii has baptisms and burials from 1801 to 1812; Book iv marriages from 1755 to 1788; and Book v marriages from 1788 to 1812.
The advowson of the church of Shenley, with which passed the advowson of the chapel of St. John the Baptist of Colney, seems originally to have descended with the manor of Shenley Hall, and was claimed both by the Mandevilles, the overlords, and the Somerys as lords of the manor. It would seem that the tithes of Shenley were conferred upon the priory of Hurley, which was founded by Geoffrey de Mandeville in 1136, for in 1218 William, bishop of London, confirmed the tithes of Shenley to the priory as a gift of Geoffrey de Mandeville, but the Mandevilles conveyed their interest in the advowson to the abbot and convent of St. James of Walden in Bedfordshire. (fn. 180) About 1200 a composition was made between Robert, abbot of Walden, and Geoffrey Fitz Piers, earl of Essex, whereby the abbot and his successors were to have the advowson after the decease of Geoffrey, his wife, and son. (fn. 181) It would seem that some part of the interest of the Somerys passed to Ralph Chenduit on his marriage with Avelina de Somery towards the end of the twelfth century. At about the same time Roger de Somery sold the advowson to Richard Fitz Reiner the purchaser of Shenleybury, (fn. 182) and in this charter it is stated that the advowson had been given to Roger by William son of Ralph Chenduit; and William son of Ralph Chenduit a little later granted any right he had to the same Richard, his grant being afterwards confirmed by his son Ralph to Henry, Richard's brother. (fn. 183) In 1205 Ralph Chenduit brought a writ of darrein presentment against the abbot of Walden and Miles de Somery. (fn. 184) The verdict of the jury was that Roger de Somery had last presented his son John, and that Miles de Somery was the heir of the said Roger. It was also shown that Miles had quitclaimed his right to Henry Fitz Reiner. (fn. 185) The tithes seem to have remained with the priors of Hurley, and in 1245 difficulties arose between them and Sir Saer, son of Henry Fitz Reiner, as to payment of tithes. A composition was made between them by which Sir Saer agreed to pay tithes in future and to compensate the prior for damages. (fn. 186) No mention is made in 1291 of any payment to the priory of Hurley from Shenley, so it may be concluded that before this time the priory had lost or sold these tithes.
From this date the descent of the advowson followed the descent of the manor of Shenleybury, (fn. 187) till 1685, when Joshua Lomax sold it to Thomas Launder, who sold it in 1696 to John Clement. In 1697 John Clement sold it to Joseph Speed of Croydon, (fn. 188) and he on 9 April, 1714, to Rev. Peter Newcome, vicar of Hackney, (fn. 189) in whose family it remained till the trustees of the Rev. Thomas Newcome sold it in 1902 to Mrs. D. Gotto, the present patron. Philip Falle, the historian of Jersey, was rector of Shenley from 1709 till his death in 1742, when Peter Newcome succeeded him. Between that date and 1901 the incumbents of Shenley have been members of the Newcome family with the exception of the two periods 1748 to 1752, and 1797 to 1801. Peter Newcome, the author of the History of the Abbey of St. Albans, became rector in 1752.
The Nonconformists were early established in Shenley. A conventicle was held there in 1669, at which about forty attended. The first registration of a meeting-house for Protestant Dissenters occurs in 1690, and of a house for Anabaptists in 1698. There is now a Wesleyan chapel at Shenley, and a Baptist chapel at London Colney.
In 1633 a sum of £50 for the use of the poor, the gift of Sir Richard Coxe, one of the masters of the household of King James I, was laid out in the purchase of a dwelling-house, garden, and orchard in South Mimms. On the inclosure of Enfield Chase, in 1776, a piece of meadow ground containing two acres at Potters Bar was allotted in respect of the above-mentioned premises. In 1875 the dwellinghouse was sold for £155, which was invested in consols, now amounting, with accumulations, to £181 19s. 3d. consols, with the official trustees. The land at Potter's Bar was in 1905 also sold for £450, and invested in £495 17s. 4d. consols in the same names. The dividends on the sums of stock, amounting together to £16 18s. 10d., are distributed by trustees appointed by a scheme of the Charity Commissioners of 15 November, 1904, among poor parishioners in sums of money ranging from 1s. to 3s. 6d. each.
The Rev. George St. Alban Godson, who died in the year 1900, was at the date of his death possessed of a sum of Metropolitan 2½ per cent. stock, and also of an interest in a cottage at Shenley, known as Well Cottage, in which a school had been established by Rev. G. Godson and his wife.
In the result of proceedings instituted in the High Court by the Rev. Arthur Richard Godson, the brother and residuary legatee of the said Rev. G. St. A. Godson, a scheme was established by an order of the court, dated 9 March, 1903, whereby the balance of the stock, amounting, after payment of costs, to £1,451 10s. 1d. 2½ per cent. Metropolitan Stock, was transferred to the official trustees, and the dividends were directed to be applied for the education at Well Cottage of children who are too young to attend another school. The rector and churchwardens were appointed trustees. The cottage is kept in repair out of the trust fund, and £35 a year is paid to the schoolmistress.