A History of the County of Hertford: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1908.
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Sandridge is a parish to the north-east of St. Albans. In 1894 it was divided into two parts, Sandridge Urban and Sandridge Rural, consisting of 45 and 5,708 acres respectively. (fn. 1) Sandridge Urban comprises that part of the parish which lies in the municipal borough of St. Albans, and although not yet incorporated in the borough, practically forms a part of the town of St. Albans. It consists of a number of streets of small houses and villas, which have been erected within about the last ten years to the east of Bernard's Heath upon the property of Earl Spencer. There was formerly an iron chapel served by the vicar of Sandridge, but a red-brick church in thirteenth-century style, begun in 1896, was consecrated on 6 December, 1905, as the parish church of St. Saviour, St. Albans.
There is a park at Marshall's Wick and a large common north of the village called Nomansland Common, which is partly in the parish of Wheathampstead (q.v.), and was in former days a fruitful source of dissension between the abbeys of St. Albans and Westminster. On Bernard's Heath, to the north of the town of St. Albans, formerly known as Barnet Heath or Barnet Wood, the second battle of St. Albans was fought in 1461. Almost the whole of the northern part of the parish lies in the watershed of the Lea. The southern divide occurs at the narrowest part of the parish, the highest point being at Coleman's Green, where the ordnance survey indicates a level of some 380 ft. The River Lea traverses this north-eastern portion of the parish in a main direction slightly south of east, the land sloping from the divide above noted rather sharply, while the northern watershed is a more gradual incline, is well wooded, and is traversed by the road between Wheathampstead and Hitchin. The Luton and Dunstable branch of the Great Northern Railway also crosses the parish on this side of the Lea in a direction east and west.
Coleman's Green is a small hamlet on a branch road which fords the Lea at Waterend, continuing to Ayot station, and joining the main road of the parish, between St. Albans and Wheathampstead, near Sandridge village.
This south-western part of the parish, the larger in area, is in the watershed of the Colne, and contains the highest land in the parish at a point a couple of miles due north of St. Albans, where a level of 400 ft. is reached.
The parish in 1905 comprised 4,096 acres of arable, 881 acres of permanent grass, and 93 acres of woodland. (fn. 2) The soil is mixed clay, sand, and gravel, and the subsoil clay and gravel, producing crops of wheat, barley, oats, and clover.
The village lies along the high road from St. Albans to Wheathampstead. On entering it from the south the old workhouse, now converted into cottages, will be seen on the west, standing back from the road, while farther along on the east side is the church, with Pound Farm, a picturesque seventeenth-century house, on the opposite side of the road.
There are many interesting earthworks in the parish, namely, the Devil's Dyke, which forms part of the boundary between Sandridge and Wheathampstead; a moat running parallel to it called the Slad, and Beechbottom, another entrenchment similar to the Devil's Dyke and parallel to it. On Nomansland Common is a great boulder of the conglomerate known as 'pudding stone,' which marks the boundary between Wheathampstead and Sandridge, and which in former days indicated the division between the lands of St. Albans and Westminster; it also divided the dioceses of Lincoln and London, and the archdeaconries of Huntingdon and St. Albans.
At Coleman's Green there stands an old ivy-covered chimney to which is affixed a tablet stating that John Bunyan is said by tradition to have preached, and occasionally to have lodged, in the cottage of which this chimney was part.
Stephen Gosson, author of The School of Abuse, was vicar of Sandridge from 1586 till 1591, when he resigned the living on his institution to the rectory of Great Wigborough, Essex. (fn. 3)
Charles Boutell, the archaeologist, was at one time curate of Sandridge. He was secretary of the St. Albans Architectural Society, founded in 1845, and was one of the founders in 1855 of the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society.
Laurence Claxton or Clarkson was for a short time in 1646 a Baptist minister at Sandridge. He is remarkable for the number of religious denominations to which at various periods of his life he professed to belong. He was brought up as a member of the Church of England, then became Presbyterian, Independent, Antinomian, and Anabaptist in turn.' He afterwards became a professor of astrology and physic, and even aspired to the art of magic. He then became converted to the doctrines of Muggleton.
The manor of SANDRIDGE is said to have been granted by Egfrid son of Offa to St. Albans in 796, (fn. 4) and it remained in the hands of successive abbots till the Dissolution. (fn. 5) The manor and mill of Sandridge were mortgaged for twenty years by Abbot Hugh (1308– 26), (fn. 6) and in 1331 the manor, with a water-mill, fishery, and half the amercements, heriots, &c., was granted by the abbot and convent to Robert Albyn of Hemel Hempstead for life, rent-free for fourteen years, and then for a rent of thirty quarters of wheat and thirty quarters of oats. (fn. 7)
The manor was granted in 1540 to Ralph Rowlatt, senior, (fn. 8) who died seised of it three years later, leaving it to his wife Elizabeth for life, and after her death to his executors for twenty-one years for the payment of his debts, with remainder to his son Sir Ralph Rowlatt and the heirs of his body. (fn. 9) In 1548–9 Sir Ralph settled the remainder in case of his dying without such heirs upon his sister Joan the wife of Thomas Skipwith. (fn. 10) After the death of Elizabeth and Joan, William Skipwith son of Joan surrendered his interest in the manor to Sir Ralph Rowlatt, who was to hold the manor of the queen for a fortieth part of a knight's fee. (fn. 11) Sir Ralph died in 1571 having bequeathed the manor to his nephew, Ralph Jennings, son and heir of Dorothy wife of Ralph Jennings and sister of Sir Ralph Rowlatt. (fn. 12) Ralph Jennings died in the following year leaving his son and heir Thomas a minor, (fn. 13) on whose death in 1595 the manor came to his brother John. (fn. 14) He settled it on his wife Dorothy, and died a lunatic in 1609, leaving as his heir a son John, (fn. 15) who by his wife Alice daughter of Sir Richard Spencer had a son Richard who succeeded him. Richard had three daughters, Barbara, Sarah, and Frances, and the shares of Barbara and Frances in this manor were bought by Sarah's husband, John Churchill, first duke of Marlborough, (fn. 16) and baron Churchill of Sandridge. (fn. 17) Sarah the famous duchess of Marlborough left the manor to her grandson John Spencer, who died in 1746, when he was succeeded by his son John, first Earl Spencer. (fn. 18) The manor of Sandridge has descended with the title of Earl Spencer to John Poyntz the present earl.
At the time of the Domesday Survey there was a mill at Sandridge, probably on the River Lea, worth 10s. (fn. 19) This mill with a fishery is mentioned again early in the fourteenth century, (fn. 20) and in 1331 it was leased with the manor to Robert Albyn of Hemel Hempstead for life. (fn. 21) At the end of the fourteenth century the mill was rebuilt, and at that time it belonged to the offices of cellarer and sub-cellarer. (fn. 22) There seems to be no survival of this mill.
Abbot Geoffrey (1119–46) gave all the cheeses and gifts (xenia) which were due annually from the manor of Sandridge to the kitchener of the abbey. (fn. 23)
The manor of WATEREND or THEBRIDGHIDE (Thebridge, Bridgehide) was held as of the manor of Sandridge. (fn. 24) It was held in the reigns of Henry II and John by Viel de Thebridge, (fn. 25) a free tenant of the abbot of St. Albans. By an undated charter, Adam son of Walter, parson of Ayot, granted half a virgate in Thebridge to Samson son of Laurence de Thebridge, for which services were due at the great precaria of Robert de Thebridge, (fn. 26) and Robert son of Robert de Thebridge granted homage and service in Thebridge to the abbey of St. Albans. (fn. 27)
In 1248 Alexander son of Roger de Asruge conveyed one carucate of land in 'Thebrugg' to Robert, son of Robert de Thebrugg. (fn. 28) John son of John Fitz Simon died in 1303–4 seised of a messuage and a dove-cote in Thebridge held of the nuns of Sopwell for rent and aid to the abbot of St. Albans, leaving Edward his son and heir, (fn. 29) who died without heirs and was succeeded by his brother Hugh. (fn. 30) In 1331–2 Sir Hugh Fitz Simon granted the reversion of the manor of Thebridge, which John son of Walter le Bercher held for life by lease of Hugh, to John son of Hugh Fitz Simon and Maud his wife. (fn. 31) The manor remained apparently in the family of Fitz Simon and passed to Elizabeth daughter of Edward Fitz Simon, who married William Ashe, and whose daughter Elizabeth brought it by marriage to Thomas Brockett, who was holding in 1437–8. (fn. 32) Elizabeth Brockett outlived her husband, who died in 1477–8, (fn. 33) and died in 1481, having granted the manor to Richard Pigot, Edward Brockett and others. (fn. 34) Her heir was not known, but in 1517 the manor was held by Edward Brockett, brother and heir of Thomas, (fn. 35) and from him it came to his son John, who died seised of it in 1532, and was succeeded by his grandson John Brockett. (fn. 36) It was stated in a lawsuit of 1546 that this manor had been in the Brockett family for 200 years. (fn. 37) Sir John Brockett settled this manor on his son John on his marriage with Ellen daughter and co-heiress of Sir Robert Lytton. John took possession of it during his father's lifetime, (fn. 38) and died in 1598 without male issue, leaving six daughters by his two wives, Ellen or Helen and Elizabeth. (fn. 39) His Hertfordshire manors were divided into five parts and settled upon his five younger daughters, Anne wife of Alexander Cave, Elizabeth wife of George Carleton, who died before her father, leaving a son John, Helen wife of Richard Spencer, Mary wife of Thomas Reade, and Frances Brockett, who afterwards married Dudley, Lord North. Frances and her husband in 1612 conveyed their share of the manor to John Warner and Ralph Bovey. (fn. 40) Between this date and 1621 the descent of this manor is obscure, but in 1621 it was in the possession of Sir John Garrard, (fn. 41) who died seised of it in 1625, having settled it on John his son, who married Elizabeth Barkham (fn. 42) and died in 1637, when the manor came under the above settlement to John his son and heir. (fn. 43) He died in 1685–6, and the manor came to his son, a fourth John, who died without male issue in 1700–1. (fn. 44) He was succeeded by his brother Samuel, from whom the estate came in 1724–5 to his son Sir Samuel. (fn. 45) He died unmarried in 1761, and his brother and heir Sir Benet Garrard also died unmarried in 1767. (fn. 46) The manor appears to have been leased to Jeremiah Sibley from 1750 until after 1780. (fn. 47) Sir Benet was succeeded by Charles Drake Garrard, a descendant of his uncle Sir John through his daughter Jane, wife of Montague Drake, (fn. 48) and from him it came to his son Charles Benet Drake Garrard. (fn. 49) This manor has probably been incorporated in the Lamer estate and its site exists as Waterend Farm at Waterend in the north of the parish.
Waterend House, now used as a farm-house, stands on the bank of the River Lea, about two miles below Wheathampstead. It is said to have been built by Sir John Jennings about the year 1610, a date which agrees with the style of architecture, which is the straight-gabled, mullioned type belonging to the later years of Elizabeth and the beginning of the reign of James I. On one of the rafters in an attic room, however, the date 1549 is cut, but that date appears too early for the existing building.
The house, which is of considerable size, is planned in the form of the letter E, and is built of brick, with mullioned windows of stone. The principal, or west, front has three steep straight gables, and under the centre of each, on the ground and first floors, is a wide, slightly projecting bay window, finished on the top with a tiled offset, very similar to those at Great Nasthyde. Each window is divided into five lights, with a moulded transom about midway between top and bottom. The house has two stories and attics in front, but, owing to the slope of the ground, there is a basement story on the level of the yard behind. Two bold string-courses of moulded brick run round the building, the upper one forming a cornice under the eaves at the north and south ends, where there are only small central gables. On the apex and at the base of each gable is a small moulded stone finial. At the back are three fine groups of brick chimneys, with octagonal shafts and moulded brick caps and bases. There are two doorways in the front, but they are both small and mean.
Sarah Jennings, afterwards the celebrated duchess of Marlborough, is said to have been born in this house, but this is probably an error, as it appears that she first saw the light at Holywell House, St. Albans. (fn. 50)
The manor of BRIDEHALL (Bridall, Brydells) was held as of the manor of Sandridge. (fn. 51) Thurfleda, a certain pious matron, gave 'Bridela' to St. Albans, (fn. 52) and 'Bridelle' was confirmed to the monastery by Henry II and John. (fn. 53) If this was the manor of Bridall in Sandridge it seems to have been subinfeudated by the abbot to members of the Brydell family who held freehold lands in the manor of Wheathampstead in 1362 and 1417. (fn. 54) The monastery retained the tithes from 'Bridelhide,' which they leased in 1539 to John Byg. (fn. 55) These tithes subsequently came to Ralph Rowlatt and were called Brydell tithe in 1543. (fn. 56) 'Brydylhide' afterwards came into the possession of William Veysey, from whom it passed at the end of the fifteenth century or early in the sixteenth to John Lawdy. (fn. 57) From him it seems to have passed in the same manner as Lamer in Wheathampstead to Brian Roche and Elizabeth his wife, and from them to the Botelers. (fn. 58) Its subsequent descent is the same as that of Lamer, with which it has been incorporated. The manor house is probably Bride Hall Farm, which lies in the north of the parish of Sandridge.
In 1439 the issues from a messuage called HILLS in Sandridge were given by the abbot of St. Albans to the singing clerks, (fn. 59) and in 1506–7 Martin de Hyllende paid rent to St. Albans for the farm of Hillend. (fn. 60) The tenement afterwards appears to have passed to the Marston family, for John Marston of Hillend died about 1551, (fn. 61) and in 1636–7 John Marston conveyed Hillend Farm to Sir Elias Hicks. (fn. 62) Hillend was held from about 1686 to 1716 by Roger Ballard, senior, and from 1740 till 1755 Thomas Smith paid tithes for it. Anne Smith was the tenant in 1774 and 1780. (fn. 63) The farm, which lies to the north of Sandridge village, is now the residence of Mr. J. A. Halford.
MARSHALL'S WICK is an estate lying midway between Sandridge village and St. Albans. John and William Marschal held land in Sandridge in the reigns of Edward I, Edward II, and Edward III, (fn. 64) and in 1445–6 Robert Belamys held a meadow next Barnet Heath, formerly of John Marschal. (fn. 65) At the same time a grant was made to John Attewelle and Joan his wife of a croft and land lying next the Red Cross without St. Albans, formerly belonging to John Marschal, and before to Helen Deye. John Attewelle was afterwards convicted of murder, and his land was seized as an escheat and granted to Robert Lannesdale and Agnes his wife. (fn. 66) Marshall's Wick was held in 1629 by William Roberts and Henry Watts, (fn. 67) and Richard Thrale held it in 1718. (fn. 68) In the churchwardens' accounts of Sandridge, Mr. Farwell of Marshall's Wick is mentioned in 1740. In 1746 Richard Sears of Marshall's Wick appears, and in 1749 it was held by John Southcote, whose name occurs again in the accounts of 1750, and in 1756 the estate appears to have passed to William Baldock. In 1765 Major Richardson and William Baldock each held part of Marshall's Wick, and in 1770 Richardson's portion had been bought by Mr. Samuel Martin, (fn. 69) who afterwards apparently acquired the whole estate, to which he added in 1786 a considerable portion of the adjoining land belonging to George John second Earl Spencer, which was sold under the provisions of a private Act of Parliament passed in 1772 to deal with the estates of John his father, as stated in the will of Sarah duchess of Marlborough. (fn. 70) Mr. Martin died in 1788, and in accordance with his will Marshall's Wick was sold to Charles Bourchier, a member of the council of Bombay, who changed the name of the house to Sandridge Lodge. (fn. 71) He sold it in 1802 to Mr. Strode, who resold it in the following year to George Sullivan Marten, who, dying in 1826, was succeeded by his son George Robert, (fn. 72) at whose death in 1876 the estate came to his brother Thomas Powney Marten. (fn. 73) Thomas died in 1889, and Marshall's Wick, which had resumed its old name under George Robert Marten, passed to his son Mr. George Nisbet Marten. (fn. 74) He died in 1905, leaving Mr. George Ernest Marten his son and heir. (fn. 75) Mrs. Marten, widow of Mr. George Nisbet, now resides at Marshall's Wick.
Thomas Powney Marten enlarged the house, built lodges at the east and west entrances, and erected several cottages, which were much needed for the accommodation of workmen on the estate. (fn. 76)
Manor of ROBINSTOWE or ROBINSTOE. According to a rental of Sandridge taken in 1504–5, Robinstowe was held by the heirs of Sir John Barre and had formerly been held by Laurence de Ayot. (fn. 77) In a survey of 1536–7 there is mention of a rent from 'Robinstowne,' late of William Saye, and formerly of Sir John Barre. (fn. 78) It afterwards came to Gertrude Courtenay, marchioness of Exeter, and on her attainder in 1539 it passed to the crown, and was granted in 1543 to John Brocket and others. (fn. 79) It remained in the Brocket family until 1598, (fn. 80) and afterwards passed, probably in the same way as the manor of Waterend, to Sir John Garrard, (fn. 81) descending subsequently in the same way as that manor (q.v.).
SANDRIDGEBURY was the residence of John Clarke, who died in 1820, (fn. 82) and it afterwards came to the Kinder family. (fn. 83) The east window in the church is a memorial to Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Kinder, and John Kinder died in 1860. (fn. 84) In 1899 Sandridgebury was the residence of Mr. John S. Verity, and is now held by Mr. Percival Griffiths.
The church of ST. LEONARD (fn. 85) consists of chancel with north vestry, nave of three bays with north and south aisles and porches, and west tower overlapped by the aisles. It stands on ground rising from west to east, on the east side of the main road through the village, from which it is separated by an open space containing the pump from which the village water supply is drawn.
The church is said to have been given to St. Alban's Abbey by Ecgfrid son of Offa, and there is a record of a consecration of the 'capella de Sandrage' (fn. 86) by Herbert Losinga, bishop of Norwich (1094–1119).
The oldest parts of the existing building are the eastern angles of an aisleless nave, and part of a chancel arch of Roman brick. The angles have brick quoins, the walling being of flint rubble, and what is left of the arch shows it to have been of a single square order, and approximately semicircular. The building to which these features belonged consisted probably of a nave of the same length and breadth as that now existing, with a chancel shorter than at present, but perhaps of the same width. The plain character of the work and the use of Roman material suggest a pre-Conquest date, but may equally well belong to the chapel consecrated by Losinga at the beginning of the twelfth century.
About 1160–70 north and south aisles were added to the nave, and towards the close of the twelfth century a west tower was built. No structural alterations seem to have been made after this date till the end of the fourteenth century, when Abbot John de la Moote, 1396–1401, rebuilt the chancel from the foundations. (fn. 87) In the fifteenth century the south porch and doorway of the nave were built, and the aisles were probably remodelled though not rebuilt.
The west tower fell about 1688, and was not replaced till 1837, when a brick tower of very poor design was set up in its place; this has in its turn given place to a flint and stone tower built in 1886, at which time the church was repaired, a new clearstory and roof being added to the nave, and the upper part of the east wall of the nave taken down and replaced by a pierced wooden framework. The west ends of the aisles also belong to this date.
The chancel has a three-light east window with modern tracery, two segmental-headed windows, each of two cinquefoiled lights, on the north, and two similar windows on the south. Between the two windows on the north is a narrow pointed doorway with a plain chamfer on arch and jambs, now opening to a modern vestry, but formerly external. The sill of the eastern window on the south side is carried down to serve for seats, though rather inconveniently high above the present floor level, and to the east of the window is a cinquefoiled piscina with a quatrefoiled drain, the front of the bowl projecting slightly from the wall face. The projecting part has been cut back and afterwards replaced in modern times. The most interesting feature of the chancel is the stone screen at the west, dividing it from the nave. This has a central doorway flanked on each side by three cinquefoiled lights under square heads, and having over it a two-light opening of like detail, fitted in below the crown of a round-headed arch of Roman bricks, the jambs and springing of which have been cut away by the insertion of the three-light windows. The remaining part of the arch now rests on the heads of these windows, and is also blocked with a masonry wall on either side of the central window. Its span was about 10 ft., the chancel being 17 ft. 6 in. wide, and the effect of the whole alteration was to substitute a pierced screen for a comparatively narrow arch with solid responds, while retaining all the old wall above the arch. The eastern face of the screen is enriched with carved spandrels to the heads of the openings, and paterae in the 'casement' mouldings round both doorway and windows. In the two middle spandrels of the two-light window are shields with the saltire of St. Alban and the cross of St. George, and on either side of the doorway are stone bench-ends having on the sloping arms reclining figures in high relief, their feet resting on animals. The figure on the south is bearded, with a hood and long gown, and holds a pair of beads, while that on the north, also hooded, may be female, but the head is too much damaged to make it possible to decide.
The west side of the screen is quite plain, with simple segmental rear arches, the jambs of the three-light windows being carried down as recesses for nave altars. To light these, small windows have been cut diagonally through the eastern angles of the nave, but that on the north is now built up. The outer jambs of the rear arches were cut away in the process, and the weight of the wall above, and of the mutilated chancel arch, has been a great strain on the flatheaded openings in the screen, and in the late repairs this was relieved by the removal of the whole of the old wall above and on either side of the arch. Its place has been taken by a wooden screen with moulded uprights and transoms, and cusped heads to the openings.
The plain west side of the stone screen was no doubt masked by a wooden rood loft and its supports, and the position of the beam carrying the front of the loft, about 4 ft. west of the screen, was till lately visible. (fn. 88)
The recorded date of rebuilding of the chancel, 1396–1401, would suit very well with the detail of the screen, which is of better and more costly workmanship than the other features of the chancel. Indeed the difference of style is enough to suggest a difference in date, but in the absence of further evidence the record must stand. The width of the chancel goes to show that its western part is built on the lines of the former chancel, and some of the old walling may yet remain, in spite of the record of a rebuilding 'from the foundations.' Some of the timbers of the chancel roof are old, and in the floor are set a large number of fifteenth-century glazed tiles of single or four-tile patterns. The tiles have a red body with impressed patterns inlaid in white slip, over which a yellow glaze is added. The designs are all of common occurrence in the Home Counties.
The nave arcades are of three bays with round arches of two orders, having roll-mouldings on the angles, square capitals, scalloped, with large volutes at the angles, octagonal shafts and moulded bases. The capital of the west respond of the north arcade is more plainly treated than the rest, but the work in all is excellent in design and execution. Above the arcades is a modern clearstory of three round-headed windows a side; traces of a former clearstory are said to have existed before these were built, but the walls had been lowered and the nave was lighted by two large dormer windows projecting above a lowpitched roof which covered nave and aisles. The north aisle has an east window and two north windows of fifteenth-century date each of two cinquefoiled lights under a square head, and some of its roof timbers and a moulded wall-plate are probably contemporary with them. The west end of the aisle, overlapping the tower and used as a baptistery, is modern. The north doorway has a round arch of two orders, the outer order with a roll on the angle and the inner plain, having a plain chamfered string at the springing. The inner order and the springers of the outer order are contemporary with the nave arcades, the rest of the stonework, with the shallow north porch, being modern. The windows of the south aisle are like those of the north, and near the east end of the south wall is an oblong recess, the wall surface above it showing remains of seventeenthcentury texts in black letters. The roof has a few old timbers, and the south doorway is chiefly modern, with a pointed arch of fifteenth-century style, under a porch retaining some masonry which may belong to that century.
The tower arch is lofty, of two chamfered orders, having nook-shafts in the outer order on the east side with foliate capitals, the shafts themselves being modern. The diagonal tooling of the masonry implies a date of c. 1190–1200 for this work. The present tower, as has been already said, is new, and opens to the aisles on north and south by plain chamfered arches, access to its upper stages being given by a steep wooden stair at its north-east angle.
The font belongs to the second half of the twelfth century, and is circular, with an interlacing arcade of round arches, with scalloped capitals and moulded bases running round the bowl. Above the arches is a line of saw-tooth ornament.
The registers are as follows:—Book i contains baptisms 1559–1670, burials 1558–1657, and marriages 1594–1684; book ii, baptisms 1689–1743, and burials 1689–1707; book iii, baptisms 1744–1808, burials 1744–1810, and marriages 1745–53; book iv, baptisms and burials to 1812; book v, marriages 1753–1812.
The church of Sandridge belonged to the abbey of St. Albans, and was originally a chapel annexed to the church of St. Peter. (fn. 89) It had become a vicarage before 1349, when John Balle was presented to the vicarage of Sandridge. (fn. 90) The small tithes of Sandridge were transferred from the office of almoner to that of infirmarer under Abbot Michael (1335–49), (fn. 91) and the great tithes were also transferred from the almoner to other officers. (fn. 92) In 1539 the abbot granted a lease of the parsonage to John Byg or Bigges and Joan his wife for fifty years, but reserved to himself the right of patronage. (fn. 93) This lease was afterwards renewed by Henry VIII in 1542 for thirty-one years on surrender of the former lease, and Bigges subsequently conveyed it to Thomas Skipwith. (fn. 94)
In the grant of the manor of Sandridge to Sir Ralph Rowlatt, the advowson of the church is not (as is the usual custom) specially mentioned, but with the manor were granted all advowsons and rights of patronage appurtenant to it, (fn. 95) and the advowson from this time has always been attached to the manor, following the same descent.
There was a church-house at Sandridge in the sixteenth century. Roger Bellamy, by will proved in 1527, left money for making a well by the church-house. (fn. 96) Sums of money were left by various donors to the lights of St. Mary, Holy Trinity, St. Thomas, St. Leonard, and others. (fn. 97)
The earliest registration of a Non-conformist place of worship occurs in 1691, and Particular Baptists certified a house in 1800. (fn. 98) There are now no Non-conformist chapels in the parish.
In 1556 George Clerke by his will charged his tithe called Boxbury Tithe, then lately purchased of King Henry VIII, with the annual sum of £6, of which 50s. was given for the poor of Stevenage, 50s. for the poor of Bennington, and 20s. for the poor of Sandridge. The share of this parish is regularly received from the owner of Walkern Place Farm in the parish of Walkern.
Edward Smith's Charity. (fn. 99) —The annual charge of £2 in respect of the share of this parish is received (less land tax) from the agent of Earl Cowper, the owner of the Place Farm, which lies in the contiguous parishes of Wheathampstead and Sandridge and includes the charged land. The incomes of this charity and of George Clerke's charity are applied at Christmas, with money from a local Gifts Fund, in the distribution of coal to all widows in the ancient parish.
By deed enrolled 20 February, 1888, the Right Hon. John Poyntz, Earl Spencer, granted unto trustees a piece of ground in Sandridge, on the west side of the road leading from St. Albans to Wheathampstead, upon which a building intended as a reading-room had been erected at the expense of the Rev. John Griffith, the vicar of Sandridge, such building to be used as a reading-room and for the purpose of tea meetings and religious meetings, and, when needed, for divine service and other purposes at the discretion of the board of managers.
The Cottage Improvement Trust.—In 1888 and 1890 a piece of land on the east side of the road above-mentioned, and three cottages thereon, were conveyed and settled with the rents thereof to improve labourers' cottages, maintain the above-mentioned reading-room, and footpaths to schools, &c.