A History of the County of Hertford: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1912.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
The parish of Totteridge is entirely separate from the rest of the hundred, and lies about 10 miles south of Hatfield. It was till 1892 a detached chapelry of Hatfield parish, being an outlying part of the possessions of the Bishops of Ely, lords of the manor of Hatfield. It adjoins the parish of Arkley on the north, and on the south, east and west is surrounded by the neighbouring parishes of Middlesex. The Dollis Brook forms the eastern boundary.
The parish has an area of 1,603 acres, of which 20 acres are arable land, 1,424½ acres permanent grass and 2 acres wood. (fn. 1) The subsoil is London Clay.
The land attains a height of 400 ft. in the centre of the parish, from which it falls towards the north and south to a little under 300 ft., and in the east, towards the Dollis Brook, to about 230 ft. The road from Whetstone to Mill Hill runs through the parish from east to west along the central ridge, and the long and straggling village of Totteridge follows its course. At the eastern end is Totteridge Green, which runs south from the road, towards Laurel Farm. A short distance further up the hill westwards is the church of St. Andrew, on the north side of the road, and Copped Hall, with an extensive park, on the opposite side. Near the hall is a 17th-century timber barn with a tiled roof, and a similar barn is near the church. Further west along the village street are the Grange, the property of Sir Charles Nicholson, and Totteridge Park, on the site of the old manor-house, the residence of Mr. A. Barratt. Poynter's Hall (formerly when in the possession of the Paget family called Poynter's Grove) is the residence of Mrs. Harmsworth; the old house called the Priory that of Miss Foss.
Richard Baxter, the Nonconformist divine and author, lived for a time at Totteridge after his discharge from prison in the reign of Charles II. Rachel Lady Russell also had a house in this parish where she sometimes resided after the execution of Lord Russell.
TOTTERIDGE is not mentioned in the Domesday Survey. The first record of it seems to be in 1248, when Hugh Bishop of Ely received licence 'that during any vacancy of the see four chaplains appointed by the said bishop to celebrate mass daily for the souls of the king and queen, his ancestors and successors, and for the souls of the bishop, his predecessors and successors, shall receive yearly from the issues of the manors of Totteridge and Brumford, which the said bishop bought for that purpose, 20 marks by the hands of the keepers of the said manors, 10 marks at Michaelmas at the Exchequer of Ely and 10 marks at Lady Day.' (fn. 2) It seems probable that the bishop had bought out the under-tenant and that the manor had always been an outlying member of Hatfield, for as parochially Totteridge was a chapelry of Hatfield there must have been some ancient connexion between the two places, and in 1277 it was returned as 'accustomed to return half a knight's fee in the manor of Hatfield.' (fn. 3) In the second half of the 13th century the manor seems to have been held by Laurence de Brok for life, for in 1275 Matilda widow of Laurence claimed a third of the manor in dower from Bishop Hugh and had it duly delivered. (fn. 4) Possibly Laurence de Brok was the tenant who sold the manor to the Bishop of Ely.
The Bishops of Ely continued to hold the manor (fn. 5) until 1561, being allowed to keep it when the manor of Hatfield was sold to the king in 1538. (fn. 6) In 1561, however, Totteridge was acquired by Queen Elizabeth in exchange for a pension to the bishop. (fn. 7) Before this a lease of the manor had been granted by the Bishop of Ely to John Brockett, who sold it some time later to Richard Peacock for £1,100. (fn. 8) In 1579–80 Elizabeth granted the court leet and view of frankpledge and the profits of the manor to John Moore for twenty-one years, (fn. 9) and in 1590 she granted the manor to John Cage, to hold for onetwentieth of a knight's fee, of the honour of Hampton Court. (fn. 10) About 1603 John Cage and Richard Peacock had a prolonged lawsuit for the possession of the manor. (fn. 11) John and Katherine Cage and Richard their son and heir released their right in 1607, (fn. 12) apparently in favour of the Peacocks, for it seems to have descended to another Richard Peacock, who married Rechard Grigge, who was holding the manor in 1678 (fn. 13) and died before 1689. (fn. 14) Rechard had fourteen children, and, surviving her husband and all her sons, sold Totteridge in that year to Sir Francis Pemberton and Isaac Foxcroft. (fn. 15) They apparently conveyed it to Sir Paul Whichcote, who was lord of the manor in 1700. (fn. 16) The latter sold Totteridge in 1720–1 to James Duke of Chandos, (fn. 17) from whom it passed to his son Henry in 1744. (fn. 18) Henry Duke of Chandos conveyed it in 1748 to Sir William Lee, Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench, (fn. 19) who was succeeded by his son William, (fn. 20) and before 1786 by his grandson, also Sir William Lee, who took the additional surname of Antonie. (fn. 21) Sir William Lee Antonie died in 1815, when Totteridge passed to his nephew John, the son of his sister Harriet and John Fiott. This John, who was a scientist and collector of antiquities, assumed the surname of Lee, and was holding the manor in 1821, (fn. 22) Upon his death without children in 1866 Totteridge was inherited by his brother the Rev. Nicholas Fiott, who also took the name of Lee. (fn. 23) Sir Samuel Boulton, bart., is the present lord of the manor. (fn. 24)
Free warren was granted to the Bishop of Ely at Totteridge in 1250–1. (fn. 25) About 1580 the office of keeper of the pheasants and partridges was surrendered by Augustine Sparks and was granted to John Pratt, with a fee of 4d. a day and £1 6s. 8d. for a yearly livery coat. (fn. 26) In 1611 the reversion of this office was granted in survivorship to Alban Coxe and John his son. (fn. 27)
A new windmill is mentioned at Totteridge in 1277. (fn. 28)
Totteridge seems to have had courts of its own separate from the manor of Hatfield, (fn. 29) although view of frankpledge is not mentioned in connexion with it until 1580, when court leet and view of frankpledge were granted by Elizabeth to John Moore for twenty-one years, for a rent of 3s. 4d. (fn. 30) The rights of the Bishops of Ely in Hatfield probably extended to Totteridge as a member of that manor. (fn. 31)
A capital messuage, held of the manor of Totteridge by knight's service, was purchased from the trustees of John Cage at the beginning of the 17th century by Hugh Hare and his brother John, who were jointly seised of it. (fn. 32) John Hare died in 1613, leaving his house in Totteridge to his honest bailiff Richard Hare and his wife for their lives, (fn. 33) after which it seems to have passed to his son Hugh, who in 1625 was created Lord Coleraine. (fn. 34) The latter died and was buried at Totteridge in 1667, and was succeeded by his son Henry, second Lord Coleraine, who died in 1708. At the death of Henry Hare, grandson of the second baron, in 1749 the peerage became extinct. (fn. 35) The house is said to have been afterwards the residence of Sir Robert Atkyns, K.B., Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer, but it was pulled down shortly before 1821 and another house built on its site by John Fiott, (fn. 36) lord of the manor of Totteridge.
COPPED HALL in this parish is perhaps identical with a capital messuage held in the 16th century by one John Copwood, who died seised of it in 1543, leaving a daughter Sophia. (fn. 37) It seems to have passed soon afterwards into the possession of the family of Clyffe. Richard Clyffe held a 'manor or capital messuage' in Totteridge at his death in 1566, leaving it to his illegitimate son William Clyffe or Smyth, with remainder to Richard's brother Geoffrey and his son Richard. (fn. 38) In the following century it was held by Edward Clyffe, who died about 1635, leaving two sons, William, on whom the property was settled, and Edward. (fn. 39) Copped Hall was for some time owned by William Manning, father of Henry Edward, Cardinal Manning, who was born there in 1808. (fn. 40) Since 1875 it has been occupied by Sir Samuel Bagster Boulton, bart., A.I.C.E., F.R.G.S., J.P., D.L., who has enlarged the house.
SERLESFIELD, which is mentioned in 1277, (fn. 41) was in the 16th century in the tenure of Richard Snowe, who between 1544 and 1549 conveyed 'land called Serlys' to William Blakewell and Margaret his wife. (fn. 42) It appears at the same time in connexion with 'Beauchampfeld' or 'Beauchampsted,' which was also conveyed by Snowe to William Blakewell. (fn. 43) By 1689 Serlys, then called Searles, had become united with the main manor. (fn. 44) A close or croft called 'Dyngleys' was conveyed by John Snowe, perhaps the son of Richard, to the Blakewells in 1555. (fn. 45)
'Gladwyns lands,' apparently freeholds of the manor, were in the possession of William Gladwyn, husbandman, in the 15th century. (fn. 46) After the death of his son John there was an action in Chancery in 1481–2 between John's widow and executrix Juliana and Joan wife of John Osborne and Agnes Gladwyn, the two daughters of John Gladwyn, (fn. 47) to whom the lands probably descended. In 1548 the estate was conveyed by William Copwood to William and Margaret Blakewell. (fn. 48)
The parish church of ST. ANDREW, which stands on a hill in the middle of the village, consists of a chancel with apsidal termination, north vestries, south organ chamber, nave, and west porch. The material is red brick. The present church dates wholly from the 18th and 19th centuries, but is on the old site, and in the churchyard is a yew tree 27 ft. in circumference. A church is known to have existed here at least from the end of the 13th century.
In 1702 a wooden tower and spire were built to the then existing church, which from an engraving of 1730 would appear to have been not older than the preceding century, and to have had wooden casement windows. In 1790 the present nave was built. The west porch was added in 1845, when the parapets were removed. In 1869 the east wall was taken down and the present chancel built, and at the same time the spire was removed, the smaller vestry and the organ chamber were built, stone windows were inserted, an open timber roof was erected over the nave, and a west gallery was demolished. The larger north vestry was built in 1897.
The registers, beginning in 1570, are in five books as follows: (i) all entries 1570 to 1720; (ii) all entries 1723 to 1746 (fn. 49); (iii) baptisms and burials 1746 to 1812 and marriages 1746 to 1753; (iv) marriages 1747 to 1753; (v) marriages 1754 to 1789. (fn. 50)
The church of St. Andrew at Totteridge has changed its invocation since the 16th century, (fn. 51) when it was dedicated in honour of St. Etheldreda or Audrey, an invocation evidently borrowed from Ely. (fn. 52) It is suggested that St. Andrew is a corruption of St. Audrey. (fn. 53)
Totteridge remained a chapelry of Hatfield, from which it is about 8 miles distant, until 1892, a curate being appointed by the rector of Hatfield (fn. 54) (q.v.). In 1892 it was made a vicarage in the gift of the same rector. (fn. 55)
In 1650 the commissioners recommended that it should be made a separate parish. (fn. 56)
In 1638 and 1693 the curate's house at Totteridge had pertaining to it 'one orchard garden with a litell Backside contayning by estimacon 2 roods,' and 7½ acres of pasture land. (fn. 57)
In 1307 the parson of Hatfield obtained a grant of free warren in the demesne lands of his church in Totteridge. (fn. 58)
In 1471 John Sugden, rector of Hatfield, left a torch to the chapel of Totteridge. (fn. 59)
Various meeting-places for Protestant Dissenters were certified in Totteridge from 1823. In 1827 a chapel was built, which was still in existence in 1884, (fn. 60) but there is now no Nonconformist place of worship in Totteridge.
The several sums of stock are held by the official trustees, producing £62 19s. 8d. in annual dividends, which with the income of Barrett's and Campion's charities are applied in the distribution of fuel.
In 1789 Mrs. Elizabeth Williams by her will bequeathed £400, the interest to be applied—subject to keeping in repair her husband's tomb—towards the support of her Sunday school. The legacy is now represented by £539 8s. 1d. consols with the official trustees, producing £13 9s. 8d. yearly, who also hold a further sum of £234 4s. consols, producing £5 17s. yearly, known as the Louisa Arrowsmith's Education charity.