A History of the County of Hertford: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1908.
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TRING WITH LONG MARSTON
Until 1894 Tring included the hamlets of Wilstone and Long Marston, and was a large and spreading parish comprising hills, uplands, and low plain, extensive woods and large sheets of water, and monotonous stretches of flat pasture and arable land. It is in the north-west of the county of Hertfordshire, bordering on Buckinghamshire, and lies mainly on the Chilterns and uplands, but to the north-west sends out a narrow peninsula of low land which reaches far into the Aylesbury plain. It is intersected by the Upper and Lower Icknield Ways. The Roman road called Akeman Street runs east and west through the middle of the parish to Aylesbury and Berkhampstead, and it has easy connexion on the north and east with the Grand Junction Canal and the London and North-Western Railway. Tring station is in the parish of Aldbury, and is about two miles east of the town.
Tring parish of the present day is the higher part of the older parish. The southern half is on the Chilterns, and to the north of these the land slopes gradually down to a height of 400 ft. Large woods of beech and fir extend over a great part of the hills, which are intersected east and west by the old earthwork called Grim's Dyke. At the foot of these hills lie Tring Park and the town of Tring. Sub-manors and farm-houses are scattered over the parish. The town of Tring is built along the Akeman Street, which in the town is called High Street.
Small houses are being built towards Miswell hamlet on the north side of the town, but though it is spreading in this direction, the increase is scarcely perceptible, since the older houses, especially in the south, are being rapidly cleared away, and the sites annexed to the two large estates of Tring Park and Pendley manor. The town itself is almost entirely the property of small holders. According to Defoe's Tour, (fn. 1) Tring Park, 'of 300 acres, of which part is on the Chilterns,' with 'a beautiful wood inclosed,' was made by Mr. Gore, when he owned the estate.
The parish was inclosed in 1804–5. (fn. 2) In 1905 it contained 3,120 acres of arable land, 3,310 acres of permanent grass, and 815 acres of woodland. (fn. 3) A large number of the inhabitants are occupied in agriculture and dairy-farming. Trade is not flourishing. A silk-mill was set up in Brook Street in 1824, (fn. 4) and was in possession of Messrs. David Evans & Co. in 1873, (fn. 5) and fifty years ago many of the women and children were employed in silk-throwing, but the mill is no longer worked. Tring was once noted for its canvas and straw plait, but these industries also belong to the past. There is, however, a little brewing.
There is a record of a mill in Tring as early as 1291, (fn. 6) and again in 1414 and 1591 (fn. 7) and 1650. (fn. 8) There are now two windmills in Tring, the Goldfield mill near Miswell, and the Gamnel mill on the Grand Junction Canal. They are used for gristing purposes only. The present mills were both built in the last century, but may be on the sites of older ones. There is also a mill at Hastoe.
The fair at Tring was held in 1650 on St. Peter's Day, (fn. 9) but now it is held on Easter Monday and Old Michaelmas Day. The market is held on Fridays according to a charter of King Charles II, who decreed that straw plait should be sold in the mornings and corn after mid-day. A great deal of business used to be transacted at the markets, but practically no straw work is sold now except a little fancy plait, and the corn market has dwindled to three or four purchasers. The chief corn trade of the town is now done by auction at the fat stock market, which is held on Mondays.
There was a market-house at Tring in 1650, with a court loft over it, in which was held the court baron and leet of the manor. (fn. 10) In 1819 it is described as a mean edifice on wooden pillars, having a pillory and cage beneath. (fn. 11) The present market-house is on the site of the old one, standing in the High Street, and is a good building of timber and rough-cast built over a yard open on two sides to the street, which makes a good shelter and playground, but the house itself is practically never used.
A ruined house called the Church House in Tring, with a garden and some land, was granted in 1613 to John Cooke and James Soroghan at the request of Esme Stuart, Lord Aubigney. (fn. 12) About forty years ago an old building, then used as a private schoolroom, was cleared away, and from the style of this building it is thought it may have been the church house. A police station with vestry hall above was erected on the site. The present church house is a building of red brick erected in Western Road in 1897 by subscription, and is used for concerts and other entertainments. In 1819 an old building called the Pest House was used as a poor-house. (fn. 13)
Among the notable men of Tring three must be specially remembered. Two born in the middle of the seventeenth century were Samuel Collins, doctor and author, and Robert Hill, born at Miswell hamlet, a poor plough boy, who by his own efforts became a learned man. The third, Gerald Massey, born in 1828, was a poet and critic, and is said to have furnished a model for George Eliot's 'Felix Holt, Radical.'
In 1894 Wilstone hamlet was joined to the ecclesiastical parish of Long Marston to form the civil parish of Tring Rural, but ecclesiastically Wilstone is still attached to Tring, and is served by a curate in charge.
Wilstone is part of a plain lying at a height of about 350 ft. above sea-level. The large reservoirs of Wilstone, Startop's End, and Marsworth occupy the south, and break the monotony of the otherwise bare land. These reservoirs were made about one hundred years ago to supply the Grand Junction Canal, a branch of which runs through the north of Wilstone. Wild ducks and other water-fowl find a home among the rushes, and the shooting is leased to Lord Rothschild.
The village of Wilstone runs north and south near the road to Tring, which forks along either side of the village green in the south. Little of the open green remains, as a smithy and school have been erected on it, and the rest is converted into gardens. This village, like others near, is decreasing in population. The cottage property is poor, and belongs chiefly to small holders, and of late years many of the older houses have been bought up and the sites added to the larger estates. One small house with overhanging upper story stands on the west of the road, and the old Paddock Cottage near to it, once an inn, and before that a brewery, suggests a more thriving state of this now somewhat desolate hamlet.
Formerly Wilstone was a chapelry attached to the mother church of Tring, and the Chapel Field near the road at the south of the village is doubtless the site of the old chapel. Behind this field is Chapel Farm-house. This building evidently belongs to two distinct periods. The present kitchen and offices have been formed by partitions out of a single stonefloored room. The open fireplace has been bricked in, leaving a large space behind the modern range. On the right of the fireplace, at a height of about 8 ft. from the floor, there is a wooden door to which there is no approach from the kitchen, and which must have been reached by a ladder. It opens on to a winding staircase leading from the ground floor to three connected rooms under the roof. (fn. 14) This part of the house is tiled, and the other is slated. The whole is of red brick. The slated portion is much larger, and contains good square rooms. It is known that many years ago the vicars of Marsworth, a parish one mile away, used to live in this house, and it is conjectured that when the chapel fell into ruins, there being no need for a priest, the house was let. A few years ago a small house near here was pulled down, and some moulded beams with carved ends are said to have been brought to light; perhaps these were part of the fabric of the chapel.
Long Marston was formed into an ecclesiastical parish in 1867 out of portions of the adjoining parishes of Marsworth, Drayton Beauchamp, and Tring, (fn. 15) and in 1894 Long Marston and Wilstone, then a hamlet of Tring, were joined to form the civil parish of Tring Rural. (fn. 16) The village lies on either side of the road leading north-west from Tring.
There are three hamlets here, Gubblecote to the south-east of the village, and Betlow and Tiscot in the north, and several farms are scattered singly over the parish, which extends two miles northward beyond the village. The parish lies low, forming part of the Aylesbury plain. There are no woods, but there are many trees in the hedgerows. The land is divided equally between arable and good dairy-pasture. Large quantities of milk are sent up to London.
The village is steadily decreasing, and most of the old houses have fallen into decay. A few good redbrick ones have been built, and there is a farm-house of the Elizabethan period with a high red-tiled roof and chimney stack, called Loxley Farm-house, which stands in the middle of the village. It belongs to Mrs. Rowdon, wife of the present vicar, and is said to have been in her family since 1552.
The Aylesbury branch of the London and North-Western Railway runs through the north of this parish, and there is a station on it called Marston Gate, a place which was formerly noted for cock-fights. This spot was chosen apparently because, being on the border of two counties, those taking part could avoid the sheriff of either county by crossing the border.
Among ancient place-names are Lechewood, Lythtening Bushes, Lyethewood, Packeresende, Pholeshey, Brokforlong, Kepenmulle, Pollett's Croft, Cottnam Meade, Shire Way, Lowsey Ditch, Startuppes End, Round Green, and Hawridge Cross.
Tring Park estate, belonging to Lord Rothschild, comprises the manor of Tring and several sub-manors and other holdings which have been added from time to time. The site of the old manor house is lost. The house which now stands in the park is of red brick with stone facings. Part of it dates from the time of Charles II, but large additions have been made, and the older part to a great extent rebuilt. Kangaroos, emus, and rheas run wild in the park. Nell Gwynne is said to have lived in a house on the edge of the park facing the High Street, now used for the estate offices, and opinions differ as to whether an obelisk in the park without any inscription was put up in memory of her or of her dog.
Near the park at the southern end of Akeman Street is a museum, opened in 1889, containing a splendid natural history collection, the property of the Hon. L. Walter Rothschild. On the opposite side of the street is a row of picturesque almshouses called the Louise Cottages, built of rough-cast and timber. Home Farm is also part of the park estate, and is the residence of Mr. Richardson Carr, agent to Lord Rothschild. Near to Home Farm is a large model dairy, and there are stud-farms on various parts of the estate where Lord Rothschild's celebrated horses are bred.
The manor of TRING or TRINGE MAGNA was held before the Conquest by Engelric, and there were two sokemen, men of Oswulf son of Frane, who held two hides, which they could sell. These sokemen were attached to the manor by Engelric after King William came. One of the men of the abbey of Ramsey held 5 hides of this manor in the same way, but could not sell or alienate them from Ramsey Abbey. He also had been attached to it by Engelric after King William came, and did not belong to it in the time of King Edward. (fn. 17)
At the time of the Domesday Survey, Tring was held by Count Eustace of Boulogne, (fn. 18) whose daughter and heir Maud married Stephen, afterwards king of England. Maud granted the manor to the abbey of St. Saviour's, Faversham, and her gift was confirmed both by Stephen, (fn. 19) the founder of the abbey, (fn. 20) and by Henry II, and by her son William count of Boulogne. (fn. 21) In 1278 Tring was described as having been ancient demesne of the crown. (fn. 22) The abbots claimed extensive rights in Tring, viz. gallows, pillory, tumbril, infangenthef, and amendment of the assize of bread and ale. (fn. 23) The bailiff of the king held a view of frankpledge every year, and received 30s. for the use of the king, the rest of the profits being taken by the abbot. (fn. 24) Free warren was also granted to the abbey in 1296–7, (fn. 25) and in 1315–6 a weekly market on Tuesdays, and a fair on the eve and day of St. Peter and St. Paul, and eight days after. (fn. 26) In 1316 the abbot was distrained for suit at the hundred court of Dacorum for the manor of Tring, said to be held of the king in free alms, (fn. 27) and the sheriff found that suit was due by four men and the reeve twice a year, as well as a yearly rent of 13s. 4d. (fn. 28) In the same year the abbot obtained licence to grant the manor to John de Pelham, the king's clerk, for life, (fn. 29) and in 1340 to grant it in free alms to the archbishop of Canterbury in exchange for certain advowsons. (fn. 30) In the same year a grant of freedom from all kinds of tolls, return of writs, and attachments of pleas of the crown and various other liberties was made to the archbishop, (fn. 31) and in 1367–8 he obtained a grant of free warren in Tring. (fn. 32)
This manor was annexed by the crown in the reign of Henry VIII, and was granted in 1546 to Sir Edward North, (fn. 33) who, together with his wife Alice, conveyed it in the same year to Sir Richard Lee. (fn. 34) Sir Richard, after holding it for about a year, exchanged it with the crown for lands in St. Albans, (fn. 35) having leased it for a term of years to Thomas Skipwith. (fn. 36) In 1547 a grant of certain estates was made to the archbishop of Canterbury in fulfilment of the will of Henry VIII, to recompense him for the manor and advowson of Tring. (fn. 37)
In 1554–5 Tring manor was granted to Henry Peckham and Elizabeth his wife, for their good service in Thomas Wyatt's rebellion. (fn. 38) Henry, however, was attainted in the following year, but his wife was allowed to hold the manor for her life. She afterwards married John Blount of London, and died in 1501–2, having held the manor for about 47 years. (fn. 39) In 1610 the manor was granted to Henry prince of Wales, (fn. 40) who died in 1612, and in 1617 to Charles prince of Wales. (fn. 41) He apparently settled it on his wife Henrietta Maria, for in 1650 a survey was taken of it as her late possession. (fn. 42) The remainder after her death was settled on Catherine wife of Charles II, and in 1680 Charles granted the reversion after the death of the queen consort to Henry Guy, groom of the bedchamber and secretary of the treasury, and his heirs, and at the same time the queen and her trustees conveyed to him their interest. (fn. 43) In the same year a grant was made to him of a weekly market on Fridays, which is held at the present day. (fn. 44) Henry Guy was a great favourite with Charles II, and was employed by him and James II on various secret services. (fn. 45) He built an elegant house at Tring from the designs of Sir Christopher Wren, at which William III dined with him in June, 1690, 'and adorned it with gardens of unusual form and beauty,' the cost of which, according to popular rumour, was borne by his pickings from the treasury. (fn. 46) He conveyed the manor in 1705 to William Gore, (fn. 47) from whom it descended in 1707 (fn. 48) to his son William. In 1709 William married Lady Mary Compton, by whom he had a son Charles. (fn. 49) William left the manor to his son Charles with remainder to his son John, and died in 1739. (fn. 50) Charles married Ellen Wintour, daughter of Sir Orlando Humphries, (fn. 51) and in 1767 he and his wife and their son Charles Orlando conveyed the manor of Tring to Timothy Waldo, probably for the purpose of some settlement. (fn. 52) Charles died in 1768, and was succeeded by Charles Orlando, who sold the manor to Drummond Smith in 1786. (fn. 53) Sir Drummond Smith died without issue, and the manor was sold by his trustees in 1823 to William Kay, (fn. 54) on whose death in 1838 (fn. 55) it came under his will to his son William for life with remainder to his heirs male, and to the testator's nephew and niece, Robert Nixon of Aylesbury, and Anne, only daughter of John Ismay, and wife of Thomas Barnes, jointly. (fn. 56) On the death of Mr. Nixon the reversionary interest of his heirs in half the estate was sold by a decree of the Court of Chancery to Mr. William Kay, who then held the manor for life. (fn. 57) Mr. Kay died in 1865, and devised the half of which he was possessed to his wife Rose Louise Kay, (fn. 58) who in 1872 joined with Mrs. Barnes by order of the Court of Chancery in selling the manor to Baron Lionel Nathan de Rothschild. (fn. 59) He was succeeded in 1879 by Mr. Nathan Mayer de Rothschild, who was created Lord Rothschild of Tring in 1885, (fn. 60) and now holds the manor.
In a survey of the manor taken in 1650 (fn. 61) it was found that there were three kilns standing near Westwood. There were three commons belonging to the manor, viz. Mainewood, the Lightning Shrubs, and Westwood, and several small parcels of waste which contained about 30 acres. Part of the commons called Mainewood and Westwood had in 1650 lately been inclosed, and a lease granted to one Baldwyn; but during the Civil War the inclosure had been broken up and laid waste, and so continued at that time. The common pound and court house were kept in repair by the lord of the manor. The freeholders paid one year's quit-rent by way of relief, and the fines paid by the copyholders were and always had been certain, viz. two years' rent of assize upon every descent or alienation. The customary tenants could freely alienate their land, and grant leases for three years renewable up to twenty-one years, without the licence of the lord. They might also pull down their houses, or suffer them to fall to ruin, and fell trees on their lands. There were certain messuages in the manor called principal messuages, and they were the only ones from which heriots could be demanded, and they alone owed suit at the three-weekly courts. The bounds of the manor are minutely set out in the survey. There are no old manor court rolls, and manor courts have not been held for at any rate the last twenty years.
The manor of PENDLEY (Penley, Pendele, or Pentlai) was held as of the honour of Berkhampstead for a knight's fee. (fn. 62) In the time of King Edward the Confessor it was held of Engelric by Eddeva a nun, and she could not give it away. After the Conquest it was given to the count of Mortain, and included the seven hides which the count took out of Tring. (fn. 63) The manor was held at the beginning of the thirteenth century by William de Bocland, to whom it may have come through his marriage with Maud daughter of William de Say. William died leaving as his heirs three daughters, Maud wife of William de Averenges, Hawisia wife of John de Bovill, and Joan wife of Robert de Ferrers. On a partition of his manors in 1218–9 the manor of Pendley was assigned to John de Bovill and Hawisia. (fn. 64)
Towards the middle of the thirteenth century this manor apparently had come into the possession of Roger son of John de Messeworthe, who before 1290 had alienated it to Adam Aignel. (fn. 65) From John son of Adam Aignel the manor descended to his great-grandson John son of William Aignel, who died in 1361, leaving a son John an infant. (fn. 66) His widow Katherine afterwards married Andrew de Bures, and she and her husband occupied the manor during the minority of the heir. While still a minor John married the daughter of Sir John de la Hay. (fn. 67) John Aignel held the manor in 1378, (fn. 68) and granted a rent from it in 1385–6 to Thomas Peyure. (fn. 69) Chauncy states that Sir John de la Hay held a court for this manor in 1375–6, and that he probably left as his heirs two daughters, Alice wife of Robert Whittingham, and Joan wife of Walter Pain, for a court was held for the manor in their names in 1401–2. (fn. 70) Joan afterwards seems to have married John Impey, for in 1405 John Impey and Joan his wife settled half the manor on themselves and their daughter Joan and her heirs, with remainder in default to Richard Pain and his sisters Isabel and Eleanor, doubtless children of Joan by her first husband. (fn. 71) A further conveyance was made by them in 1414 to Walter Salford and others. (fn. 72) In consequence of these conveyances an action was brought against John and Joan by Robert Whittingham, who claimed the whole manor. (fn. 73) The result of the plea is not given, but it would seem that Robert made good his claim, for Robert son of Robert and Alice held courts for the manor in the reigns of Henry V and Henry VI. (fn. 74) In 1440 Robert Whittingham and Agnes his wife had a grant of free warren in their manor of Pendley, and licence to inclose 200 acres in the parish for a free park. (fn. 75) Sir Robert Whittingham was attainted on the accession of Edward IV for adhering to Henry VI, (fn. 76) and Pendley was granted in 1462 to George, bishop of Exeter, the king's kinsman, for life. (fn. 77) In the same year it was granted for life to Thomas Montgomery, (fn. 78) but in 1467 the fee apparently was granted to Henry Bourchier, Lord Cromwell, and his heirs male. (fn. 79) In 1469, however, it was granted to George, archbishop of York, and his heirs and assigns. (fn. 80)
The king in 1472, in consideration of the good services of Ralph Verney, removed the attainder upon Sir Robert Whittingham, whose daughter and heir Margaret had married Ralph Verney's son John, whereupon Margaret succeeded to Pendley, subject to the lifeinterest of Thomas Montgomery. (fn. 81) John Verney died seised of the manor in right of Margaret, who survived him, in 1505, (fn. 82) and was succeeded by his son Ralph Verney, who was subsequently knighted. Sir Ralph died in 1525, leaving his son Ralph a minor. (fn. 83) He died in 1546, and the manor came to his son Edmund, a minor at the time of his father's death. (fn. 84) The wardship and marriage of Edmund and an annuity from the manor were granted in 1547 to Sir Edmund Peckham. (fn. 85) Edmund Verney seems to have fallen into disgrace under Queen Mary, and was in 1553 ordered to keep to his house during the queen's pleasure. (fn. 86) He died in 1558, without leaving issue, and the manor came to his third brother, Edmund Verney, jun., (fn. 87) who died seised of it in 1600, leaving his son Francis a minor. (fn. 88) Edmund's second wife Mary survived him, and having persuaded her husband before his death to divide the inheritance between her son Edmund and her stepson Francis, an Act of Parliament was obtained to ratify this, and on the attainment of his majority Sir Francis tried to obtain a reversal of it. He failed to do so, however, and after selling his inheritance he went abroad, and dissipated it. He was an associate of Richard Giffard, captain of a pirate fleet, and died at the Hospital of St. Mary of Pity at Messina in 1615. The manor of Pendley had been sold in 1606–7 by Mary Verney and Sir Francis and Ursula his wife to Richard Anderson, (fn. 89) from whom the manor descended in the same way as that of Wigginton (q.v.).
The estate of Pendley was bought by Mr. Williams, father of the present owner, in 1864, from the Harcourt family. The old manor house stood partly in Tring and partly in Aldbury parish a little to the east of the present house, which is a fine gabled building of red brick faced with stone. In Defoe's Tour Pendley Lodge is spoken of as 'a delightful retirement to a man who wants to deceive life in an habitation which has all the charms nature can give, with a large common rounded by a wood behind it.'
In 1506 it was stated that about eighty years before, Pendley was 'a great town, whereof part lay in the parish of Tring and part in the parish of Aldbury. The part in the parish of Tring was held of the archbishop of Canterbury as of his manor of Tring and the part in the parish of Aldbury of the manor of Aldbury. At that time there was no great mansionhouse there, but there were in the town above thirteen plows besides divers handicraft men, as tailors, shoemakers and cardmakers with divers others. The town was afterwards cast down and laid to pasture by Sir Robert Whittingham, who built the said place at the west end there as the town sometimes stood, for the town was in the east and south part of the same place.' From further proceedings it seems that Sir Robert Whittingham also ploughed up a common way, and in 1491–2 vestiges of the hedges still remained. (fn. 90)
The manor of BUNSTREUX and RICHARDYNS (Boustrewys, Bunstrux and Richardynys) was held of the king as of the honour of Berkhampstead. (fn. 91) Chauncy states that this manor was parcel of the revenue of the abbey of Faversham, and was granted by the abbey to Robert Whittingham. (fn. 92) In 1462 it was granted to Thomas Montgomery for life, as part of the possessions of Sir Robert Whittingham attainted. (fn. 93) In 1472 it was settled on Thomas for life, with remainder to Henry Danvers and others. (fn. 94) It was settled in 1485 on Catherine widow of Robert Whittingham, (fn. 95) and on her death it passed to her daughter Margaret and her husband John Verney. (fn. 96) From this point it descended with the manor of Pendley (q.v.) until 1868, when it was bought by Thomas Barnes, on whose death it came to his daughter, Mrs. Mary Dunne. (fn. 97) It is now the property of Mr. Lawson, of High Street, Tring.
Leaving the town by Frogmore Street there may be seen, on the top of the high bank on the left, an old dilapidated brick and timber house. It is approached by a flight of stone steps. Of late years it has been used as two cottages, but was originally the manor house of Bunstreux. On one end of this little house, which is faced with rough plaster, there is a Latin cross some 3 ft. long by 1 ft. across, and raised about an inch from the surface of the wall. It is remembered that about seventy years ago Mr. Harcourt, then lord of the manor, used to sit at the door of his house collecting his manor dues. (fn. 98)
The manor of MISWELL (Mascewelle, Messewelle). In the Domesday Survey there are two entries for this hamlet which seem to show that Oswulf, son of Frane, the predecessor of Robert de Tony, held the manor of Miswell before the Conquest, and that Wiga, one of his men, held a half hide of Oswulf, which he was at liberty to sell. After the Conquest the manor came to Robert de Tony, of whom it was held by Ralph, but the half hide formerly held by Wiga came to the count of Mortain, of whom it was held by the same Ralph. (fn. 99) In the reign of Henry II the hamlet was in the hands of Robert de Betun, advocate of Arras, and he granted it at a fee-farm of £10 yearly to the abbot and convent of Faversham, for the salvation of the souls of him and his wife Alice and his ancestors, with the consent of his sons Robert, William, Baldwin, John, and Conon. (fn. 100) This grant was confirmed by King John in 1215. (fn. 101) In 1229 this rent of £10 from the manor was granted by the king to Thurgisius de Illegh, reeve of Dover, (fn. 102) and in 1231 to Philip le Sauser. (fn. 103) In an inquisition taken in the reign of Henry III it is stated that the hamlet of Miswell was held by the abbot of Faversham of the earl of Gisnes and the advocate of Bethune, (fn. 104) and the said advocate held two carucates there by the service of one knight. (fn. 105) Nothing further is definitely known of the descent of this manor, but it probably became merged with that of Tring (q.v.), and passed with it from the abbot of Faversham to the archbishop of Canterbury, and so to the present owner, Lord Rothschild.
The manor of HASTOE (Halstowe or Halstoe) was conveyed in 1275 by Thomas de Northwode and Isabella to Ralph le Clerk of Tring. (fn. 106) At the beginning of the fourteenth century it had come into the possession of the family of Verney, (fn. 107) and from that time became annexed to the manor of Bunstreux and Richardyns (q.v.). A house at one time known as Hastoe House has now been converted into two cottages, and is part of the Tring Park estate.
DUNSLEY (Daneslai or Deneslai) was held by Engelric in the time of King Edward, and was part of the 7 hides which the count of Mortain took from Tring. At the time of the Domesday Survey a widow held one-third of a half-hide of the count, and Maino the Breton held a third part of 1 hide. (fn. 108)
Dunsley was annexed to Pendley in the fifteenth century. (fn. 109) It now forms part of the Tring Park estate, and is called Upper Dunsley. The manor house has quite gone, and was replaced by a farmhouse about thirty years ago. Behind the farm are a few old cottages. A small group of dwellings called Lower Dunsley used to stand where Tring Park gardens now are.
There was a manor of the RECTORY of TRING, which appears to have been held by the rector, and was in the possession of Christ Church, Oxford, in 1650. (fn. 110) A rent from the rectory was paid to the bailiff of the court of the rectory, and to the steward. (fn. 111) The manor house has gone. It used to stand to the east of the High Street, a little way back from the road, and opposite the present post office.
The manor of WILSTONE (Willsthorn or Wyvelisthorne) was held as of the manor of Tring in socage. (fn. 112) In 1232–3 Gilbert de Grenville acquired land in Wilstone from Stephen de Wivelstorne and Hugh Frankelein, (fn. 113) and in 1244–5 Henry de Stodham conveyed land there to the same Gilbert, (fn. 114) who is returned in the Testa de Nevill as holding a carucate there worth £5 a year. (fn. 115) The first mention of Wilstone as a manor occurs in 1277, when it was settled by John de Engayne upon his eldest daughter Joyce on her marriage with Roger, eldest son of William de Huntingfield. (fn. 116) The manor was the inheritance of Lady Joan de Engayne, wife of John and daughter of Henry Gray. (fn. 117) By 1331 it had come to Sir Ralph Bassett of Weldon, who settled it upon his son Richard on his marriage with Nicole, daughter of Sir Robert Arderne. (fn. 118) In 1367 it was held by Ralph Bassett of Weldon, probably a brother of Richard. (fn. 119) Ralph became a canon regular in the priory of La Laund in that year. He had a son Ralph, (fn. 120) on whom, jointly with his wife Eleanor, the manor was settled in 1383. (fn. 121) Ralph died before his wife, in 1384–5, leaving a son and heir, Richard, a minor, (fn. 122) against whom, in 1398, Sir John de Aylesbury and John Knyvet, kinsmen and heirs of Ralph Bassett, unsuccessfully claimed the manor. (fn. 123) However, when Richard died childless in 1400 they became his heirs, (fn. 124) and Wilstone passed to Sir John Aylesbury, who in 1409 died seised of the manor, leaving Thomas his son and heir. (fn. 125) Thomas granted this manor in 1416 to Sir Thomas Chaworth, husband of his daughter Isabel, (fn. 126) probably on their marriage. In 1426 the manor was again settled on Sir Thomas Chaworth and Isabel (fn. 127) and the heirs of Isabel, and Thomas died seised of it in 1459, leaving William his son and heir. (fn. 128) William was afterwards knighted, and died in 1467, leaving his son Thomas a minor, (fn. 129) who died without issue. (fn. 130) His sister Joan, wife of John Ormond, was his heir, (fn. 131) and in 1502 the manor was settled on her and her husband for life, with remainders in thirds to her daughters Joan wife of Thomas Dynham, Anne wife of William Meryng, and Elizabeth wife of Anthony Babington. (fn. 132) Joan Ormond died in 1507, leaving her two daughters Joan Dynham and Anne Meryng, and her grandson Thomas son of Elizabeth Babington, her heirs. (fn. 133) Her eldest daughter Joan, after the death of her first husband Thomas Dynham, married Sir William FitzWilliam, (fn. 134) and, as Lady Joan FitzWilliam, widow, held a court for the manor in 1536, and sold her third in 1539 to her younger son Thomas Dynham. (fn. 135) Anne Meryng died without issue, and half of her third came to her nephew George Dynham, eldest son of Joan Fitz William, who conveyed it in 1543 to his brother Thomas, (fn. 136) who thus became possessed of half the manor. This he conveyed in 1544 to Thomas Babington in exchange for parts of other manors. (fn. 137) The other half of Anne Meryng's share of this manor descended to Thomas Babington as her second nephew and heir, and Thomas by the above conveyance became possessed of the whole manor, which he sold in 1544 to John Hyde, separate conveyances being made for the two moieties. (fn. 138) Thomas the son of John Hyde sold the manor in 1546 to William Sedley, (fn. 139) and in 1556 Thomas Hyde and Frances his wife and John Sedley sold it to John Cheney, (fn. 140) who died seised of it in 1585, having settled it in 1574 upon his son Francis on his marriage with Mary Powle. (fn. 141) Francis died seised of the manor in 1620 without heirs, and he was succeeded by Francis Cheney, son of his brother John, (fn. 142) on whose death, in 1644, it came to his son Charles. (fn. 143) It was conveyed by Charles in 1655 to Humphrey Butler, (fn. 144) probably as a settlement on his marriage with Jane, daughter of William Cavendish, first duke of Newcastle. (fn. 145)
From the family of Cheney, Wilstone passed to General Manners, and subsequently to Lady Robert and Miss Lucy Manners. (fn. 146) In 1825 Lady Robert Manners and George Manners conveyed the manor to William Martin Forster, (fn. 147) doubtless for the purpose of a settlement, for on the death of Miss Lucy Manners in 1835 it came under her will to her cousin Caroline Frances, only daughter and heiress of Major Archibald Stewart. (fn. 148) Caroline married William Jenney, and on her death in 1861 she was succeeded by her son Stewart William Jenney, (fn. 149) the present possessor of Drayton Beauchamp manor, to which the manor of Wilstone has long been annexed. (fn. 150) The manor farm belongs to a Mrs. Scott, resident in Dover, and is leased to Lord Rothschild.
John Harvey died in 1474, seised of the manor of Wilsthorn, which he held of the archbishop of Canterbury, leaving George his son and heir, and the manor was settled in 1537 upon Gerard Harvey or Gerard, son of Margaret Smarte, and his wife Joan. (fn. 151) In 1553–4 it was settled upon Gerard Harvey and Anne his wife and the heirs of Anne. (fn. 152) In 1565 the manor of HARVEYS was sold by John Harvey to William Lake, (fn. 153) who is called 'of Wilstone.' (fn. 154) It seems probable that Harveys manor is identical with this manor of Wilsthorn, and took its name from the Harvey family. It continued in possession of the Lake family till it was conveyed, in 1710, to William Gore. (fn. 155) From this time the descent of the manor is the same as that of Tring Magna (q.v.), although it appears as a separate manor as late as 1814. (fn. 156)
The manor of LONG MARSTON (Merschtone) consisted of half a knight's fee, (fn. 157) and was held of the honour of Berkhampstead. (fn. 158) In 1428 it is said to be held of the honour of Leicester, (fn. 159) and in the seventeenth century of the manor of Tring. (fn. 160) In the thirteenth century Alice daughter of Adam Bassett and relict of Thomas de Merston granted land in Merston to Euphemia, widow of John Bassett, and one of the witnesses of this conveyance was Ralph, lord of Merston. (fn. 161) In 1337 the manor was granted by John de Merschtone of Tring to John Bisschop of Luton, chaplain, and John Germayn, rector of Drayton. (fn. 162) Robert Stratford, parson, granted the manor to Christian Bardolfe for life in 1370, with remainder to Sir Roger de Puttenham and Margery his wife. (fn. 163) From this point it follows the descent of Puttenham manor (q.v.) until 1628, when Thomas Saunders sold it to Sir Arthur Wilmot of Wilde or Wield in Hampshire. (fn. 164) Sir Arthur died without issue, and was succeeded by his nephew Charles Wilmot, first Viscount Wilmot of Athlone, (fn. 165) from whom it appears to have gone to his son Henry, afterwards earl of Rochester. (fn. 166) It subsequently passed to Thomas Bromley, from whom it descended to his son Nathaniel. (fn. 167) On his death Nathaniel left the manor to his widow for life, and after her death to a trustee to distribute the rent to necessitous ministers in the country. (fn. 168) Mrs. Bromley died about 1729, and the trustee under the will of Mr. Bromley in 1745 being advanced in years, made application to convey the trust to others for the same purpose. This was done, and the produce of the estate has since been distributed according to the will above-mentioned. (fn. 169)
A question arose in 1636 as to whether the inhabitants of Long Marston were bound to contribute to the repair of Tring church. It was proved that Long Marston was a hamlet of Tring, and that therefore they were so bound. (fn. 170)
The manor of GUBBLECOTE (Gobelicote, Goblecott, Cublecote or Bublecote), which is now included in the parish of Long Marston, was held at the time of the Domesday Survey by Fulcold, of the count of Mortain. The land, which was part of the seven hides taken out of Tring by the count of Mortain, had been held by Eddeva, of Engelric, and she could not withdraw it from Tring. (fn. 171) The overlordship followed the descent of the honour of Berkhampstead. (fn. 172)
In 1262–3 Ralph de Gobelicote conveyed land in Gubblecote to Simon le Butiller. (fn. 173) In the fifteenth century the vill was annexed to Cheddington in Buckinghamshire (q.v.). (fn. 174) From a lawsuit of the sixteenth century we find that Robert Aldebury and Isabel his wife, daughter of Geoffrey Abyngton, were seised of tenements in Gubblecote, afterwards called the manor of Gubblecote. (fn. 175) They died leaving issue Margery, who married John Salcok. From them the manor should have descended to Joan Salcok, great-grandchild of their son John, but after the death of Robert Aldebury, Isabel married Thomas Wellys, by whom she had a son William, and after her death William entered by force into the manor, and mortgaged it to George Engleton, whose son married the daughter of Sir Richard Empson, kt. Upon his marriage Sir Richard took possession of the manor, and after his death Dame Joan Bradbury was said by Joan Salcock to have entered into possession. In her answer Joan Bradbury denied that she had any interest in the manor to her own use, and the suit was not continued. (fn. 176)
In 1558 George Tyrrell conveyed the manor of Gubblecote to Roger Harman, (fn. 177) who with his wife Katherine sold it in 1568 to Nicholas West. (fn. 178) From this time the manorial rights seem to have been lost, or merged with those of Marsworth in Buckinghamshire, for on the death of Nicholas West, lord of Marsworth, in 1586, he was said to hold land in Gubblecote of the manor of Tring, but the tenement is not called a manor. (fn. 179) The estate descended to his son Edmund, who died seised of it in 1618, leaving his son Edmund his heir. (fn. 180)
The manor house has disappeared. Some of the property belongs to Mr. J. G. Williams, of Pendley, and part to the dean and canons of Christ Church, Oxford. Gubblecote is noted as being the scene of the last execution for murder of a witch. In 1751 a woman named Ruth Osborne, supposed to have had evil influence over some calves, was drowned in a pond there. The murderer was brought to justice on the same spot, and it is said that thousands of persons came to see him hanged. The crowd was so unruly that numbers of persons were trampled on or suffocated. (fn. 181)
At the time of the Domesday Survey there was a mill at Gubblecote, of which there is no survival at the present day. (fn. 182)
The manor of BETLOW (Bettlelowe, Boteslow, or Betelow) was held of the honour of Berkhampstead. (fn. 183) Robert de Scotho in 1284 held a messuage and land in Betlow of Geoffrey de Lucy for the service of half a knight's fee, of the small fee of Mortain, (fn. 184) and in 1290–1 William de Scotho held land in Betlow, which he conveyed to Ralph le Marshal. (fn. 185) In 1303 Geoffrey de Lucy and Nicholas du Boys held one fee in the vills of Wigginton and Betlow of the queen in chief. (fn. 186) This fee was held in 1428 by Reginald de Lucy of the Prince of Wales, and it had once been held by Geoffrey de Lucy and John Brocas. (fn. 187) The heir of Bernard Brocas owed suit at Aldbury in 1435 for land at Betlow. (fn. 188) In 1561 Francis Carewe conveyed the manor by fine to John Gresham and Robert Moyse and the heirs of Robert, (fn. 189) and in 1600 Robert Allen and Catherine his wife conveyed it to Nicholas Hyde, (fn. 190) who died seised of it in 1625, and it was then held of the manor of Woborne for rent of 6s. (fn. 191) From this point its descent is identical with that of Tiscot (q.v.), which is annexed to it.
The manor of TISCOT (Teafersceat, Theisescote, xi cent.) was left by Aelfgifu to Bishop Athelwold, with the request that he would pray for the souls of her mother and herself. (fn. 192) The date of this will is given by Thorpe as 1012, but it was probably earlier. (fn. 193)
Before the Conquest the manor had been held by five sokemen, two of whom, Brictric's men, had one hide and a half, two others, men of Oswulf son of Frane, had one hide and a half, and the fifth, Edmer Atule's man, had one hide. (fn. 194) One of these men bought his land of King William for nine ounces of gold, as the men of the hundred testified, and afterwards put himself for protection under Wigot, the father-in-law of Robert de Oilgi, or d'Ouilly, the holder of Tiscot at the time of the Domesday Survey, though none of the land in Tiscot had ever belonged to Wigot. (fn. 195) It would appear that this commendation of one of the sokemen, which was probably made because Wigot held the neighbouring manor of Marsworth, co. Bucks, furnished Robert d' Ouilly with a claim by which he secured the whole of Tiscot. Robert, who had married Wigot's daughter Algitha or Aldith, (fn. 196) died in 1090–1 leaving a daughter and heir Maud, the wife of Miles Crispin. Maud retired to the monastery of Bec in Normandy, and died without issue, (fn. 197) when the honour of Wallingford, of which this manor was held, (fn. 198) and which had descended to Maud from her grandfather Wigot, was seized by Henry II. (fn. 199) The manor in 1409 was said to be held of Thomas Jarpenville for a service unknown, (fn. 200) and at the beginning of the seventeenth century it was held of the honour of Berkhampstead. (fn. 201)
The tenant of the manor under Robert d' Ouilly at the time of the Domesday Survey was Ralph Bassett. (fn. 202) The next mention of the manor occurs in 1325, when it was settled upon Philip de Aylesbury and Margaret his wife, with remainder to their sons Thomas and John in fee tail. (fn. 203) Philip's son Thomas married Joan daughter of Richard Lord Bassett of Weldon, (fn. 204) and it is possible that through her the manor came to the family of Aylesbury. Thomas and Joan had a son John, and the manor was settled upon him and his wife Isabel in 1359. (fn. 205) From this point it descended with the manor of Wilstone until it came to the three co-heirs of Joan Ormond. Joan Fitzwilliam sold her share to her younger son Thomas Dynham, (fn. 206) and the share of Anne Meryng came on her death without issue to her nephews George Dynham and Thomas Babington. (fn. 207) George and his wife Alice sold their sixth part in 1542–3 to John Hyde, (fn. 208) and in 1544 Thomas Dynham sold his third to Thomas Babington, (fn. 209) who conveyed it to John Hyde in the same year, (fn. 210) and by a separate conveyance of the same term Thomas Babington sold to the same John Hyde the moiety of the manor which he had inherited from his mother and his aunt Anne Meryng. (fn. 211)
Thomas son of John Hyde held courts for the manor between 1544 and 1575, (fn. 212) and in 1576 a court was held by George son of Thomas. (fn. 213) The manor had come in 1581 to Robert brother of George, (fn. 214) who died seised of it in 1607, leaving Nicholas his brother and heir. (fn. 215) Nicholas died seised of this manor in 1625, and was succeeded by his only son Thomas, (fn. 216) who died in 1655, leaving an only daughter Bridget, wife of Peregrine Osborn, duke of Leeds. (fn. 217) From this time the manor remained in the possession of the dukes of Leeds until it was sold in 1758 to Sir Thomas Salusbury. A further conveyance to Sir Thomas's executors took place in 1776, but the duke of Leeds retained some interest in the manor as late as 1869. (fn. 218)
In 1748 the estate consisted of a field containing 101 acres called Great Tiscot, and a tenement and close called Little Tiscot, situated in Betlow. (fn. 219) All traces of a farm-house have now disappeared, and the site is marked by some outbuildings. These are annexed to Boarscroft Farm, (fn. 220) but Tiscot Great Ground is contained in Aldwick Farm. (fn. 221)
ALDWICK (Naldwick, Nayldewicke) appears on the court rolls as a hamlet annexed to Betlow. (fn. 222) The only mention of it as a manor occurs in the eighteenth century in conjunction with the manor of Betlow. (fn. 223)
Until 1748–9 Tiscot, with Betlow and Aldwick, were in the parish of Marsworth, but the hamlets had come down to a homestead or two, and the inhabitants claimed to be 'extra-parochial.' There was a chapel of ease at Tiscot, which was pulled down in 1661, hence probably the claim of the inhabitants. Some of the old tombstones may now be seen used to make a crossing to the little brook at Tiscot. The duke of Leeds backed up their claim to be extra-parochial, and it was confirmed by a friendly suit at Buckingham on 18 July, 1748. They were joined to Tring on condition that they were never to be assessed at more than £500. The duke of Leeds procured a confirmatory Act in favour of this, and thus Marsworth parish lost some 900 acres. This estate is now called the 'Betlow lordship,' and is still assessed at only £500.
The manor or lordship of Betlow is now an estate of 1,000 acres. It contains four farms: the Manor or Betlow Farm, and Aldwick Farm belonging to Mrs. Cox of St. Albans; Broadmead Farm to Lord Rosebery, who purchased it in 1898 from Mrs. Beaumont; and Boarscroft Farm, which was acquired by Lord Rosebery in 1869 from Lady Salusbury's trustees, and now belongs to Mr. Leopold de Rothschild.
It is in effect a fine fifteenth-century building, much repaired, but in point of size has probably grown very little since the thirteenth century. It has a chancel 43 ft. 6 in. long by 19 ft. wide, with north chapel and vestry, a nave 71 ft. by 21 ft., with north aisle 15 ft. 6 in. wide, and south aisle 14 ft. 4 in., a south porch, and a west tower 16 ft. 3 in. square. All measurements are internal. The walls are faced with flint and random blocks of stone, and have embattled parapets masking the flat leaded roofs. There is hardly any ancient ashlar in the windows or other external details.
In the north wall of the chancel is a thirteenth-century lancet, which appears to be in its original position, and shows that the plan of the chancel must be approximately that of the thirteenth-century building; and the south door of the nave is a modern copy of a former thirteenth-century door, the moulded rear arch of which remains. The door is not necessarily in position, as it may have been moved outward with a widening of the aisle in the fourteenth century, the south porch being in part of this time, c. 1330. The west wall of the north aisle contains a much restored window of about the same date, in its original position, as it seems, and the aisle may have been rebuilt about this time. The old arcades, of whatever date they may have been, were entirely removed in the fifteenth century, and replaced by arcades of six bays with a clearstory, and the west tower seems to have been begun in the latter part of the fourteenth century. In the sixteenth century the chancel and north aisle of the nave were partly rebuilt, and the latest additions were the north chapel and the vestry to the east of it, the latter being built in 1825. A general repair was begun in 1861, and not finished till 1882. The nave arcades lost their bases and shafts, which were completely removed as being too weak for the weight they had to carry, and new work was inserted in their place below the old capitals and arches. Some of the dispossessed shafts are now to be seen in the new church at Long Marston.
The chancel has an east window of five lights, inserted in 1851, and on the north side, near the east end, the thirteenth-century lancet already referred to. It is partly blocked by the little north vestry, and has a moulded inner order and a flat sill, below which is a rectangular recess. (fn. 224) In the south wall are three early sixteenth-century windows, each of three cinquefoiled lights, with low, straight-sided, arched heads and poor detail; from evidence found at the late repairs, when the wall was raised, it seems that this wall was rebuilt at the time when the windows were made.
In the north chapel, now an organ chamber and vestry, and opening to the chancel by two modern arches of fifteenth-century style, is another window of this type, set in the north wall, and probably removed from the north wall of the chancel when the chapel was built. The east window of the chapel is of two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in the head, and may also have come from the chancel. It is like the west window of the north aisle of the nave, and its rear arch is of fourteenth-century date, though the tracery is modern. The chancel walls are panelled in oak, set up in 1899, and no traces of sedilia or piscina are now to be seen, though evidence of the former existence of sedilia was found during the progress of the work.
The chancel arch is of the same date and character as the nave arcades, with a deeply-moulded arch of two orders, moulded octagonal capitals, engaged shafts and high moulded bases. The nave arcades, as already noted, are modern below the capitals, but the responds, except that at the north-west, are old. The arches have labels, and at the base of the clearstory runs a string on a level with the tops of the labels. Slender stone shafts divide the bays of the clearstory and the spandrels of the nave arcades, their bases resting on large figures of beasts, &c., set with heads downward, and of very good workmanship. On the north side, beginning from the west, are a winged female sphinx, a wolf-like beast eating a child, a pig, a wild man or woodhouse (modern), an antelope, a talbot, and at the north-east angle, at a higher level on account of the rood-loft doorway which is set in the angle, an angel. On the south side there are a wolf and dragon fighting, a bear chained and muzzled, a wingless dragon, a lion, a griffin devouring an armed man, an ape with a book and a purse, and a fox carrying off a goose. The clearstory windows are of three cinquefoiled lights, the central foils being wider than the others. (fn. 225)
The north aisle has a large fifteenth-century east window of five lights with tracery, now opening to the north chapel, and unglazed; the rood-loft stair adjoins it on the south. The north wall of this aisle has four modern three-light windows with transoms and segmental heads, and between the second and third windows a blocked fifteenth-century doorway at some height from the floor, which may have opened to the upper room of a north porch, now completely destroyed. In the blocking are set some pieces of thirteenth-century detail, notably part of a fine gabled canopy. The west window has a fourteenth-century rear arch, but its tracery, of two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in the head, is modern. The south aisle has an east window like that in the north aisle, save that its tracery is modern. Its sill is cut down for the fitting of a reredos, and the bonding of canopies or brackets remains in either jamb. In the south wall is a trefoiled fourteenth-century piscina, and the wall itself, as has been suggested, is probably of this date, as regards its lower parts. There are four windows in the south wall and one in the west, all of three lights with cinquefoiled heads, the first two from the east being of the same character as those in the chancel, while the western of the four south windows has the wide central foil which occurs in the clearstory. The south door, already noticed, is between the third and fourth windows, and has three marble nook-shafts in each jamb. The south porch has an outer arch of two orders with simple fourteenth-century detail, though most of the masonry has been renewed.
The tower opens to the nave by a sharply-pointed arch of four orders, with engaged shafts to the middle and third orders. Above it is a glazed opening with a plain arched head, set within the lines of a highpitched roof which preceded the present fifteenth-century arrangement of the nave. The tower has a stone vault with plain chamfered ribs and a central bellway, probably of the same date as the eastern arch, c. 1380. There is a vice at the south-east angle, and a west doorway, which with the three-light window over it, has been renewed in modern masonry. The tower is of three stages, embattled, with a short leaded spirelet, and the stair at the south-east angle is carried up in a turret to the top of the tower. The belfry windows are of three cinquefoiled lights under a square head, the outer lights only being pierced, and in the second stage are single trefoiled lights on north, south, and west. There are pairs of massive buttresses at the western angles, and a modern plinth of crystalline limestone has been set round the base of the tower.
The chancel has a flat panelled roof, which is modern, as are those of the nave and south aisle, the former being a copy of a fifteenth-century roof, and having small standing figures below the tie-beams, which appear to be ancient. The roof of the north aisle has moulded timbers of fifteenth or sixteenth-century date, with plain tie-beams and braces. There are no remains of ancient glass or wall paintings, but on either side of the west window of the north aisle are two eighteenth-century panel paintings of Moses and Aaron, of more than the average merit of their class. They are probably the gift of Sir Richard Anderson of Pendley, who wainscoted the chancel. Mr. Gore also 'beautified and wainscotted' the church in this century.
The most prominent monument is that to Sir William Gore, 1707, and his wife Elizabeth, 1705, in the north aisle, a black marble sarcophagus on which recline the life-size white marble figures of Sir William and his lady, on either side of a pediment adorned with the arms of the city of London and carrying an urn. Sir William had served his term as lord mayor, and on a black marble panel behind is a trophy of the sword, mace, and beaver hat of the sword-bearer, under a semicircular pediment carried by Corinthian columns, and crowned with weeping cherubs and heraldry. A little to the west is the mural monument of John Gore, 1765, large indeed in size, but with none of the civic splendour of his father's tomb.
In the chancel is a floor slab to Mary Anderson, 1638, whose long Latin epitaph in the north aisle has been admirably translated into English verse, a copy of the translation being placed near the original.
There are eight bells, the treble and second by Gillett & Bland of Croydon, 1882; the third by Ellis Knight of Reading, 1636, inscribed 'on part of this bell was giveen by mani men'; the fourth by Lester & Pack of Whitechapel, 1752; the fifth of 1622, and the sixth and seventh of 1624, by Richard Oldfield; and the tenor by Chandler of Drayton Parslow, 1695.
The plate is all silver-gilt, the oldest piece being a large cup of 1565, with incised ornament on the bowl above and below a raised moulding, and a foot with the usual egg-and-tongue detail. Its appearance is much injured by the gilding, and an engraved I H S of eighteenth-century date on the upper part of the bowl; the maker's mark is a large B reversed. There are two large flagons, a paten, and a breadholder of 1713, the gift of William Gore, and a second bread-holder of 1723, uninscribed.
The first book of the registers is a paper book, 1566–1633, and the second is a parchment copy, 1566–1627. The older paper book was continued in use after the parchment book was full. A few baptisms and burials from 1671 to 1673 are entered at the end of the latter. The third book runs from 1634 to 1694, and the fourth from 1695 to 1714. The fifth contains baptisms 1713–46, burials 1714–45, and marriages 1714–56. The sixth has baptisms and burials 1747–75, and marriages to 1761. The seventh has baptisms and burials to 1812, and the marriages from 1763 to that date are contained in three more books.
There is a rate book for 1759–87, and vestry minute books from 1782 onwards, in three volumes, the churchwardens' accounts being inserted, except in some of the earlier years. There is also a bread book for the Tring workhouse, 1820–22.
The old church of ALL SAINTS, LONG MARSTON, which stood on the west side of the village, was pulled down, except for its tower, in 1883. It was a small building with an aisleless nave and chancel, a south porch, and a west tower, and from the details preserved and incorporated in the new church, probably dated in part from the twelfth century. The tower, which still stands, is small, and of late fifteenth-century date, of two stories with a west window of three cinquefoiled lights in the ground story, and small single lights with uncusped four-centred heads in the belfry. It is finished with brick battlements of no great age, and the head of the east window in the belfry is also of brick. Below the south window is a small square-headed light, and the tower arch, now blocked, is of two chamfered orders. The tower is faced with chequer work of Totternhoe stone and flint, with a low plinth. A stone with two incised sun-dials is built into the north jamb of the tower arch, and must at one time have been in the south wall of the church.
The new church, at some distance north-east of its predecessor, is a building of flint with stone dressings, and consists of a chancel and nave without structural division, and a north aisle, the east end of which is used as a vestry. The west end of the church is a temporary brick wall, the nave not being built to its full length. The foundations on the south have settled badly, and the east wall of the chancel is seriously cracked from top to bottom, the large east window being in danger of falling out. In the south wall of the chancel is set a fourteenth-century piscina with a stone shelf and moulded trefoiled arch, and in the north wall a thirteenth-century recess with a pointed arch having a line of dog-tooth on it. The south doorway of the nave has a plain fourteenth-century arch and moulded label, much pieced with new stone. On the jambs are two incised crosses, which may mark a consecration.
The arcade between the nave and aisle is of five bays, the clustered columns and high moulded bases being fifteenth-century work removed from the nave of Tring church, as being too weak for the weight they there had to carry. The moulded capitals are modern, and the arches of two well-moulded orders.
In the north aisle many details from the old church are preserved, including a fifteenth-century piscina with trefoiled head and stone shelf; a number of fragments, chiefly of twelfth-century date, built into the back of a recess at the north-east of the aisle, the head of which is formed by a segmental arch of two orders of fourteenth-century date; a plain door west of the recess, perhaps of the fourteenth century; a window of two lancet lights, of which only the sills and one head are ancient, c. 1230; a round-headed recess with small engaged shafts, of late twelfth-century date, the head having a roll moulding between two lines of dog-tooth, and the shafts small scalloped capitals and square abaci; (fn. 226) and two good fourteenth-century windows, each of two trefoiled lights, with a flowing quatrefoil in the head. In the east jamb of one of these windows is a small square-headed recess. In the west wall of the aisle is a window of the same description, but smaller and of poorer detail, only a small piece of the tracery being old.
The east end of the aisle is used as a vestry, and is separated from the rest of the aisle by a screen which is in part of fifteenth-century date, having solid lower panels with small traceried piercings near the top, and tall openings above with modern tracery in the head. On the south side of the vestry is the organ, formerly in Tring church.
In the two eastern bays of the roof of the aisle are pairs of curved wind-braces of the fifteenth century, with feathered cusping, and at the west of the chancel is a beam with arched braces of like character and date, and open traceried spandrels.
The pulpit is of early seventeenth-century date, hexagonal with two tiers of carved panels, and stands at the north-west angle of the chancel on a modern base; while some eighteenth-century altar-rails are used to mark the western limit of the chancel.
The church of Tring belonged to the abbot of Faversham in the reign of Edward I, having, perhaps, been granted to the abbey with the manor; but in 1294–5 the abbot granted it to the king, (fn. 227) who ordered the bishop of Lincoln to admit a suitable parson to the church. (fn. 228) The king presented in 1295 (fn. 229) and 1337, (fn. 230) and in 1339 granted the advowson in fee to John de Molyns. (fn. 231) He in the following year, when the manor of Tring was granted to the archbishop of Canterbury, obtained licence to grant the advowson also to the archbishop. (fn. 232) It remained with the archbishop until 1439–40, when licence was obtained to grant it to the warden and college of All Souls, Oxford. (fn. 233) It would seem that this grant was never made, for in 1546, when the advowson of the rectory was granted to Sir Edward North, it is said to have been part of the possessions of the archbishop of Canterbury. (fn. 234) Sir Edward granted it in the same year to Sir Richard Lee, who exchanged it with the crown in the following year. (fn. 235) A few days after this exchange Edward VI granted the advowson to the master and college of St. Mary and All Saints in Fotheringhay in fulfilment of the will of Henry VIII, (fn. 236) and gave the archbishop of Canterbury other manors in exchange. (fn. 237) The college demised the parsonage to Thomas Skipwith for a term of years, and he devised it in 1558 to his son William after certain sums had been raised for his younger children. (fn. 238) In 1554 Mary granted the rectory and church to the dean and chapter of Christ Church, Oxford, (fn. 239) and from this time it became a perpetual curacy, and so remained until 1875, when it became a vicarage. (fn. 240) The rectory and advowson had been previously granted to Sir Thomas Seymour, kt., Lord Seymour of Sudeley, and had returned to the crown on account of his attainder (fn. 241) in 1549, so that the grant to him must have been made shortly after that to the college of Fotheringhay. The advowson remained with the dean and canons of Christ Church until 1876–7, when it was bought by Mr. J. Grout Williams of Pendley manor, the present owner. (fn. 242)
Licence was given to Simon Ace in the early fourteenth century to found a chantry in his manor of Tring. (fn. 245) Rents from various parcels of ground in Tring were given by the wills of different donors for finding a morrow-mass priest for ever. This land was held of the manors of Tring, Wigginton, and Pendley, and was supposed to be held freely for rent, as no suits or heriots were paid. The land belonged to a brotherhood in Tring, and the priest received £6, part of which was paid by the devotion of honest and good people, and the rest made up from the rents of the brotherhood lands. (fn. 246) Money was bequeathed in 1518 to the fraternity of the Blessed Trinity in Tring, which was probably the same as the brotherhood mentioned above. (fn. 247) The possessions of this brotherhood appear to have been granted to Richard Dagnall, who in 1627 held a tenement near the church gate, lately belonging to the gild or fraternity founded in the parish church of Tring. (fn. 248)
Certain lands were given by the will of Thomas Broder for the maintenance of a lamp, and in 1548–9 this land was held by John Herde. (fn. 249)
A house in Tring was registered for Nonconformist worship in 1691, but there were Particular Baptists at New Mill in Tring as early as 1689, when messengers from here were sent to the general assembly of Baptists in London. In the early part of the reign of George III the congregation dwindled to such an extent that the meeting-house was closed. Some time afterwards a new church was formed by Samuel Medley of Liverpool, who came to reside at Watford in 1768. A new meeting-house was erected at New Mill in 1818, after the old building had been several times enlarged, and a chapel was registered there in 1843 for Particular Baptists. (fn. 250) There was also another church of Particular Baptists in Tring, formed at the beginning of the nineteenth century. A place of worship was opened in 1808. (fn. 251)
In 1790 a barn at Wilstone was registered as a meeting-house for Independents. In addition to the Particular Baptist chapel at New Mill, there is a chapel for Baptists in Western Road, founded in 1750, a chapel for Strict Baptists in Akeman Street, and a Primitive Methodist chapel, and a small Baptist chapel at Wilstone, registered in 1883. (fn. 252) The Ebenezer chapel in Chapel Street was registered in 1869. (fn. 253)
Long Marston has long been a stronghold of the Nonconformists, though little is known about their history there. The first recorded registration of a meeting-house took place in 1810, and licences were granted to Baptists and Wesleyans in 1819 and 1829. (fn. 254) There are now Baptist and Wesleyan chapels there, and a Baptist chapel at Frogmore, registered in 1843. (fn. 255)
By a scheme of the Charity Commissioners of 4 April, 1884, the following charities have been placed under one body of trustees, under the title of the Tring Consolidated Charities, namely:—An annual rent-charge of 13s. 4d. on Tring Park estate; an annual rent-charge of £2 on the Longcroft estate in this parish, both of which are paid by Lord Rothschild; an annual rent-charge of £1 6s. 8d. on Bromley's estate, Long Marston, paid by Mr. E. Gregory; (fn. 256) William Smith's annuity of £1 for poor widows, charged on a house and shop in the High Street, paid by Mr. J. E. Lawson; the poor houses, the endowment consisting of allotment gardens in Tring and Long Marston, Vestry Hall, and cottages, producing about £90 a year; £1,894 11s. 6d. consols, (with the official trustees), arising from investment of proceeds of sales of cottages and land, the dividends of which, amounting to £47 7s. a year were, together with the rents, applied in 1905 under the provisions of the scheme above mentioned, in the payment of £20 as subscriptions to the Nursing Home and hospitals; £27 16s. 4d. to various clubs; £26 to the Tring Poor's Land Charity; and £10 to the Pest House Charity (see below).
The Pest House Charity.
—A sum of £455 18s. 1d. consols, arising from the sale in 1873 of an allotment in 1804 of land known as 'the Pest House piece' is also held by the official trustees, the dividends of which amounting to £11 7s. 8d. together with the £10 received from the consolidated charities is applied in the distribution of bread to poor families.
The allotment for Fuel or Poor's Land.
—By the Act of 37 George III, cap. 35 (1797) and by an award of the commissioners thereby appointed, dated 1 November, 1804, 100 acres of land, part of Tring Common, were awarded to the lords of the manors of Great Tring and Pendley, the perpetual curate, churchwardens, and overseers of the parish of Tring upon trust for fuel for the poor. By an order of the Charity Commissioners, dated 25 March, 1881, with the consent of the Secretary of State for the Home Department, the trustees of the charity were in pursuance of the provisions of 'The Tring Poor's Land Sale and Exchange Act, 1879' (42 & 43 Vict. cap. 196) authorized to exchange the 100 acres so awarded for land at Mortimer's Hill, containing 10 acres 1 rood 23 poles or thereabouts, and land at Wilstone, containing 5 acres or thereabouts, belonging to Sir Nathan Mayer de Rothschild, bart., he paying all expenses and transferring to the official trustees of charitable funds by way of equality of exchange the sum of £5,000 consols, the dividends of which, amounting to £125 were together with the rents derived from allotments, &c., and from the subscription received from the consolidated charities (see above) applied in 1905 in distribution of £167 worth of coal among about 850 families.
Poor's Land and Chapel Land.
—In 1767 Michael Nash (according to the Benefaction Table below referred to) gave one acre of arable land in Brook Furlong. The commissioners for the inclosure of the common lands in Tring in 1804 awarded an allotment of land in Long Marston, containing 2 roods 15 poles in lieu of this piece of land.
By the same award the commissioners allotted in lieu of the freehold land belonging to the chapel of Long Marston 2 roods 15 poles of land situate in Hoblins Furlong, Long Marston. The rent is applied, one-half in bread, and the other half in the repairs of the chapel.
In 1862 the Rev. James Gregory by will left £50 to be invested and income applied by the ministers and churchwardens of the hamlet of Long Marston for the benefit of the poor of the hamlet. The legacy was invested in £52 2s. 10d. consols with the official trustees, by whom the dividends are remitted to the administering trustees.
Charity of Thomas Pratt.
—A sum of 10s. is received yearly from this charity in Wingrave, co. Bucks, which, together with the dividends on a sum of £16 2s. 11d. 2½ per cent. annuities, held by the official trustees (arising from accumulations of income), is distributed under a scheme of the Charity Commissioners of 11 December, 1894, for the benefit of deserving poor persons residing or employed in either of the hamlets of Betlow, Naldwick or Aldwick or Long Marston.