A History of the County of Hertford: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1912.
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The parish of Eastwick is a narrow strip of land of 840 acres lying between the parishes of Gilston and Hunsdon. On the south it is bounded by the stream called Canons Brook, which here divides Hertfordshire from Essex. The height above sea level is greatest in the north, where it attains about 260 ft. in Eastwick Wood. The village stands about 135 ft. above ordnance datum and from it the land slopes still further to the banks of the Stort Navigation and Canons Brook, a district much liable to floods. In 1905 there were 422¾ acres of arable land, 152½ of permanent grass and 118 of woods and plantations in this parish. (fn. 1) The geological formation is London Clay.
There is no line of railway within the parish. The chief road is a branch road from the main road to Newmarket, which enters the parish at Eastwick village and thence runs westward along the valley of the Stort Navigation, to enter the parish of Hunsdon at its south-eastern corner. The village, which with the church is situated in the south of the parish near the Stort, is very small. The rectory stands close by the church; the manor-house of Eastwick Hall is considerably to the north. A road leads to it from the village and continues under the name of Cockrobin Lane to Eastwick Wood in the extreme north of this parish, and thence into Sawbridgeworth. In Eastwick Wood is the fragment of a homestead moat.
At the time of the Domesday Survey the manor of EASTWICK was held by Geoffrey de Bech, successor to IIbert, the first Norman sheriff of the county. (fn. 2) It is not known who was the heir or successor of Geoffrey de Bech, but in 1138 Baldwin son of Gilbert de Clare gave the church of Eastwick to the abbey of Bourne in Lincolnshire, by his foundation charter to that monastery. (fn. 3) It seems reasonable to suppose that Eastwick Manor was also in his hands at that date, for early in the 13th century it is found forming part of the honour of Bourne (Brunne), (fn. 4) held by the Wakes, the descendants of the founder of Bourne Abbey through the marriage of Baldwin's daughter Emma to Hugh Wake. (fn. 5) Baldwin Wake, lord of Liddell in Cumberland and descendant of this Hugh, (fn. 6) was holding Eastwick in chief of the king at the time of the Testa de Nevill, (fn. 7) and died seised of it in 1282. (fn. 8) The overlordship descended with the barony of Wake (fn. 9) till the death of Edmund Earl of Kent in 1408 without issue, when the rights of overlordship in Eastwick, if not already lapsed, are no longer traceable.
In 1086 the tenant in demesne at Eastwick under Geoffrey de Bech was Rainald, (fn. 10) of whom, however, nothing further is known. In the 12th century it was held by the family of Tany, of whom Ascolf de Tany is found holding land 'in Essex and Herts.' as early as 1131, (fn. 11) and various other members of the Tany family occur frequently with such holdings on the 12th-century Pipe Rolls and in the Red Book of the Exchequer. (fn. 12) The earliest specific mention of a Tany at Eastwick is, however, in 1194, when Richard de Tany, son of Reginald de Tany, (fn. 13) sued the Abbot of Bourne in Lincolnshire for the right of presentation to the church of Eastwick. (fn. 14) Early in the 13th century Richard de Tany held 'two fees in Eastwick and Bengeo of the honour of Bourne,' (fn. 15) and later in the century another Richard son of Peter was holding, (fn. 16) to whom Henry III made grants of free warren, a weekly market on Tuesday and a fair on the vigil, feast and morrow of St. Botolph, in 1253. (fn. 17) This Richard took a prominent part in the Barons' Wars. In 1266 we hear of him 'coming to the King's Court to treat of his peace with him.' (fn. 18) By the close of the year 1270 he had been succeeded by his son Richard, (fn. 19) of whom it was reported in 1274 that he 'held assize of bread and ale and view of frankpledge in Eastwick.' (fn. 20) He is almost certainly identical with the Richard de Tany who in 1295 was holding the manor of Eastwick, value £40, by the service of two knights' fees. (fn. 21) He was succeeded by his son Roger, who died seised of Eastwick Manor in 1301, leaving an infant son Lawrence to succeed him. (fn. 22) Lawrence was only nineteen when he died in 1317, leaving as heir to Eastwick his sister Margaret, then aged sixteen. (fn. 23) She married John de Drokensford, and they in 1329 received a quitclaim of the third of the manor held in dower by Margaret widow of Laurence de Tany, then wife of Thomas de Weston. (fn. 24) Margaret predeceased her husband, who held Eastwick 'by courtesy' until his death in 1341. (fn. 25) His son Thomas de Drokensford, who is styled 'knight' in 1346, in that year granted the manor to Nicholas le Blake of Ware and his wife Margery, to hold for life. (fn. 26)
Thomas de Drokensford died in 1361, leaving an only daughter and heir Anne, then aged four, who subsequently married Thomas Mandeville, son of Walter Mandeville of Black Notley in Essex. (fn. 27) Thomas son and heir of Thomas Mandeville died seised of Eastwick in 1400, (fn. 28) leaving as heirs his two sisters, Joan the wife of John Barry and Alice wife of Helmyngus Leget, both of full age. Eastwick fell to the share of Alice, on whom and her first husband (Leget) the manor was settled in 1408, (fn. 29) and on her and her second husband (Roger Spice) in 1413. (fn. 30) Alice survived her second husband, who seems to have been succeeded in the tenure of Eastwick Manor by Clement Spice, who was holding in 1428, (fn. 31) and after him by Roger Spice. The latter, in Michaelmas 1447, sold the manor of Eastwick to William Oldhall, kt. (fn. 32) William Oldhall purchased the neighbouring manor of Hunsdon either at or about this date, and for nearly two hundred years after this the two manors followed exactly the same descent. (fn. 33) Hunsdon being the larger and more important of the two, the Eastwick tenants attended the Hunsdon courts, the last separate court known to have been held for Eastwick being in 1527. (fn. 34) When Hunsdon Manor in 1532 became Hunsdon Honour, Eastwick formed part of that honour. The two properties are last found in the same hands in 1637, in which year Henry Earl of Dover, lord of Hunsdon, conveyed Eastwick to trustees, (fn. 35) and it was shortly afterwards sold to Sir John Gore of Gilston, kt., (fn. 36) probably in order to raise money for the Royalist cause. It then descended with the manors in Gilston (q.v.) to Mr. A. S. Bowlby, the present lord of the manor.
A mill worth 5s. is recorded in the Domesday Survey, but there is no mention again of a mill in Eastwick until 1607, when it may be concluded that of the two mills owned by the lord of Hunsdon and Eastwick one was an Eastwick mill. (fn. 37) Both the mills were acquired by Sir John Gore in 1641, (fn. 38) but only Hunsdon Mill is mentioned in the sale to John Plumer in 1701. (fn. 39)
The church of ST. BOTOLPH was rebuilt, all but the west tower, in 1872, some of the old material being re-used; the stonework of the tower has been renewed. It consists of chancel, north organ chamber, nave with north porch, and west tower; all the walls are faced with flint and have stone dressings; the roofs are tiled.
The original 13th-century chancel arch has been re-erected in the church; it is of two richly-moulded orders, with three detached Purbeck marble shafts in the jambs, with moulded capitals and bases. On the sill of one of the north windows of the chancel is the bowl of a piscina, without sufficient detail to determine its date. The tower is of three stages, unbuttressed, with embattled parapet, but has been re-faced.
Under the tower is the recumbent effigy in stone of a knight with crossed legs; he is clad in chain mail and a long surcoat; on his left arm is a long shield. The plinth below the slab on which the effigy lies is modern. The figure belongs to the middle of the 13th century, and may be of Richard de Tany who died about 1270. It is in a very good state of preservation.
On the tower wall is a brass figure of a lady in Elizabethan costume, a shield and part of an inscription; the figure is that of Joan wife of Robert Lee, whose figure has disappeared. The remaining part of the inscription reads: 'which Robert died ye 23 day of January 1564 and the sayd Joan died the . . . day of . . . ' Salmon also states that the brass is a palimpsest and gives the inscription.
A priest is included among the tenants of Eastwick Manor at the time of the Domesday Survey. (fn. 40) In 1138 Baldwin son of Gilbert de Clare (see the manor) granted the church of Eastwick to Bourne Abbey, Lincolnshire, a house of his own foundation. (fn. 41) In 1194 a dispute arose between the Abbot of Bourne and Richard de Tany, lord of the manor of Eastwick, concerning the right of presentation, Richard de Tany claiming that such right had been exercised by his father Reginald de Tany, whose nominee had been forcibly ousted by the abbot. (fn. 42) The lord of Eastwick must have won his suit, for the advowson is included in an extent of the manor in 1300. (fn. 43) The living is given as a vicarage in 1535, (fn. 44) but seems to have been endowed with the tithes later. The advowson subsequently passed with the manor (fn. 45) until the purchase of the latter by Mr. Hodgson from Mr. Plumer-Ward in 1850, when the presentation to the living was retained by Mr. Plumer-Ward, who presented in 1852 and 1866. The advowson was purchased in 1870 by the incumbent, the Rev. J. R. Pursell, (fn. 46) who apparently sold it to Mr. John Hodgson, who presented in 1874. (fn. 47) It has since descended with the manor.
In 1599 Sir George Carey, K.G., Lord Hunsdon, by his will proved in the P.C.C. 27 September 1603, gave a sum of money, which was afterwards invested in land situate in Great Parndon in Essex, to the poor of Eastwick and Hunsdon. The land was sold in 1906 and the proceeds invested in North-Eastern Railway 4 per cent. Guaranteed Stock in the name of the official trustees, and the parish of Eastwick receives the dividends, £6 12s. 10d. yearly, on a sum of £166, being a moiety of the stock. The charity is distributed to poor widows.