A History of the County of Hertford: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1912.
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WARE (fn. 1)
Waras (xi cent.); Wares (xii cent.); Warre (xiii cent.).
Ware is a large parish now divided into the civil parishes of Ware Urban and Ware Rural, the latter including an area of about 4,208 acres, of which 31 acres are water, whilst Ware Urban comprises the town of Ware and has an area of 628 acres, of which 16 are water. Thus the town occupies but a small part of the ancient parish, being surrounded by open country, but the population is almost entirely massed in the town, except for that part of it scattered in the hamlets of Widbury, a mile to the east, Fanhams Hall, a mile north-east, and Wareside, 2 miles north-east. An inclosure award for Ware Marsh was made in 1861 and one for Ware Wengeo Common in 1854. (fn. 2)
The parish is intersected by the main road from London to Cambridge through Buntingford and Royston, from which the Watton road branches off immediately to the west of the town, whilst the road to Hertford forms the boundary for a little way on the south. The Broxbourne and Hertford branch of the Great Eastern railway has a station in the town, and at Mardocks is a station on the Buntingford branch of the same line. On the west the parish is bounded by the River Rib, which joins the Lea at a point on the south-west of the parish near Ware Park Mill.
The River Lea, which joins the Thames at Blackwall about 20 miles distant, has always played an important part in the history of Ware. It has long formed the principal means of communication between the eastern side of Hertfordshire and London, and it was therefore of great importance for the carriage of corn and other commodities to the capital. The efforts of Hertford to preserve the monopoly of this trade and of Ware to secure it caused an acute rivalry between the two towns. Disputes constantly arose with regard to obstructions in the river at Ware, made in order to block the passage of the Hertford ships. In 1275 the lord of the manor prevented ships from passing up and down by the erection of a weir between Ware and Hertford, (fn. 3) and in 1300 a commission was appointed for removing obstructions caused by mariners and boatmen placing their vessels across it. (fn. 4) Obstruction to navigation was frequently caused by the weirs, mills, pools, stakes and kiddles erected in the river, and after the statute of 25 Edward III commissions were periodically issued for the removal of all those erected later than the reign of Edward I and for preventing tolls being taken from the boats at these weirs, &c. (fn. 5) In 1439 the river seems to have been completely stopped up by these impediments. (fn. 6)
Efforts to improve the navigation of the river were made in the 16th century and later. An Act of Parliament was passed in 1571 for bringing the Lea (or Ware) River to the north of London by means of a new cut to be made by the City. This was to serve for barges and other boats carrying corn, victuals and articles of merchandise between Ware and London and also for 'tytlebotes' and wherries carrying passengers. The part of the river between Ware and this new cut was to be cleansed and made deep enough for the passage of barges. (fn. 7) In 1739 an Act was passed for improving the navigation from Hertford to Ware and from Ware to the new cut, (fn. 8) and a further Act, passed in 1767, for improving the navigation from Hertford to the Thames empowered the trustees to make new cuts between Hertford and Ware at the places where the old channel was stopped up. (fn. 9) Manifold Ditch and Black Ditch, now filled with stagnant water, formed the original channel of the Lea. (fn. 10) The management of the river is vested in thirteen conservators chosen by different representative bodies, including the Corporation of London and the Metropolitan Water Board. The fishing rights are held by the conservators.
Half a mile distant from the town is the head of the New River, which is fed by a spring in the meadow called Chadwell (fn. 11) in this parish and by some deep wells in the parish of Great Amwell, as well as by a cut from the Lea using part of the old Manifold Ditch. The scheme for making this river was proposed by Hugh Middleton, commissioner for the water supply of London in the reign of James I, with the object of supplying fresh water to the north of London. An Act of Parliament empowering the corporation of the city of London to make the trench was passed in 1605. (fn. 12) Middleton had offered to bear all the expense, but long before it was finished he had to petition for a royal grant, and the king in 1612 promised to pay half the expenses. The river was finished in 1613, and in 1619 the shareholders were incorporated. (fn. 13)
Palaeolithic implements and a neolithic celt have been found in Ware. (fn. 14) Ermine Street ran through the parish on the west, and many Roman coins and antiquities have been found in Bury Field, close by Ware lock, whilst excavating for Messrs. Allen & Hanbury's factory in 1899. (fn. 15)
The town is situated on the west side of the parish on the River Lea, a little to the east of the line of Ermine Street. The main road to Buntingford and Royston runs through it, forming the High Street and the continuation of it called Baldock Street (Baldokstrete 1512). (fn. 16) High Street is the chief street of the town, and contains many 17th and 18th-century houses. The detached groups of houses on the north side seem to be encroachments on the market-place, which, now a square space in front of the town hall, may have been originally a triangle in shape with the base at the church. (fn. 17) The market dates back to 1199, and must have been of considerable importance in the development of the town. The oldest houses are probably those on the south of the market-place which have back premises extending down to the river. Later extension of the town has been almost entirely on the north, first between High Street and Musley Lane and then north of Musley Lane.
In the High Street probably the oldest house is no. 65, formerly the Christopher Inn, (fn. 18) but now a house and shop occupied by Mr. Harradence. The main building facing on the road has been much altered in the 18th and 19th centuries. It has a large archway with late 15th-century details opening into a courtyard. The wing running south in the east side of the courtyard seems to have formed part of two 15th-century timber and plaster houses, which had a narrow alley between them running through what is now a coal cellar in the middle of the wing. The upper stories of these houses project and were apparently connected by a bridge from which a gallery ran on the west side of the south house. There are many 15th-century details still remaining in the building. Near this house is a plastered timber and brick house with the date 1624, but altered in the 18th and 19th centuries. It contains some good panelling and two fine overmantels. In an upper room are the initials H/IS and the date 1624. On the north side of the High Street is a 17th-century house of timber and brick with a tiled roof known as the Blue Boot Store. It has been considerably altered to adapt it for a shop, but two interesting plaster ceilings remain, bearing shields of arms (two lions passant between three crosslets). Another 17th-century house on the north side is Gilpin House, called in memory of the famous ride. At Blue Coat Yard, formerly Place House, a little off the High Street, is an 18th-century house which was till 1760 a branch house of the Blue Coat School or Christ's Hospital, London. This house stands in a courtyard which is entered by a brick gateway of the 18th century. Over the gateway is a niche which formerly contained a figure of a blue coat boy now moved to the Blue Coat School at Hertford. On the west side of the courtyard are twelve picturesque cottages of about the middle of the 17th century and on the east some 18th-century buildings formerly belonging to the school. There is a group of 17th-century houses with overhanging stories on the north side of Ware Bridge.
In Baldock Street is a 16th-century house (no. 23), which has been much altered in the 18th and 19th centuries. It has an archway leading to the yard behind the house. On the east side of Wadesmill Road is a 17th-century house now covered with plaster and on the west side a group of red brick maltings of the 17th century, one with a brick mullioned window. In Crib Street are several 17th-century houses including the Green Dragon, the Albion and Red Cow Inns. They are all of timber and plaster with tiled roofs and mostly with overhanging upper stories.
The present iron bridge over the Lea was built in 1845 by G. Stephenson. There was a bridge over the river, probably on the site of the existing bridge, as early as 1191. It is mentioned then as having been broken down by the men of Hertford (fn. 19) who were trying to force all traffic to make the passage of the Lea at Hertford instead of taking the more direct route through Ware. The bailiff of Hertford claimed rights over the bridge as appurtenant to the borough of Hertford, and the early bridge was kept closed to carts by a bar, the keys of this and also of a chain across the adjoining ford being held by the king's bailiff of Hertford. It was not until the Barons' War in the reign of John that the bridge was opened to traffic. (fn. 20) The tolls were then constantly disputed between the bailiff of Hertford and the lord of the manor of Ware. (fn. 21) Finally the borough asserted its right and the tolls were afterwards farmed with the borough, or occasionally leased apart by the king. (fn. 22) In 1258 the townsmen of Hertford again broke down the bridge, dug a channel in the ford and blocked up the London road with a ditch. (fn. 23) But in spite of all their efforts it was impossible permanently to prevent the traffic from taking the more direct route. (fn. 24)
There are still a great number of inns in Ware surviving from the time when the main road brought many travellers through the town. The 'White Hart,' mentioned in 1511, (fn. 25) the 'Saracen's Head' about the same time, the 'Bull' referred to in 1547 (fn. 26) are all in the High Street; the 'George' in Amwell End is mentioned in 1622. (fn. 27) The great bed of Ware was kept at the 'Saracen's Head' before its removal to Rye House (see under Rye House). Other early inns are the 'White Horse,' mentioned in 1626, (fn. 28) the 'Bell' in 1616, (fn. 29) the 'Bear' in 1494, (fn. 30) the 'Crown' in 1603 (fn. 31) and 1725. (fn. 32) In 1681 a certain Thomas Collup was presented before the justices of the peace as owning an inn called the 'King's Head,' worth £100, which he would not sell, or let, or live in, and allowing the house to drop down for want of repair and the timber to be stolen, whilst he begged his bread from door to door and his wife and daughter were chargeable to the parish. (fn. 33) A hostel or inn called the ' Katherine Wheel,' whose site is unknown, belonged in the middle of the 15th century to William Pery, (fn. 34) a maltman of Ware, (fn. 35) and remained in his family for some generations. (fn. 36)
The parish church of St. Mary is at the west end of High Street, on which the churchyard abuts. At the corner close by the church is a smithy. The Priory estate lies between the High Street and the River Lea. The priory was founded as a house of Grey Friars in 1338 by Thomas Lord Wake of Liddell, who granted the friars a messuage and 7 acres of land on which to build an oratory, houses, and other buildings. (fn. 37) After the Dissolution the site was granted to Thomas Birch (see manorial descents). Besides the friary there was an alien house at Ware, founded as a cell to St. Evroul when that monastery was endowed with the church of Ware and land in the parish by Hugh de Grentmesnil. He or one of his successors also gave certain lands for the board of himself and his heirs whenever they stayed at the monastery, and Joan de Bohun, lady of the manor (q.v.), ensured accommodation by building a house for herself in the close of the priory. (fn. 38) On the suppression of alien houses it was granted by Henry V to his new foundation at Sheen. (fn. 39) There are no remains of the priory, but the old rectory (now called the manor-house) may possibly mark the site of the monastic buildings.
The girls' school at the School House, Amwell End (which used to be known as Amwell House, and was the residence of the Quaker poet John Scott), represents the old Ware Side School. This was founded before 1633, when Humphrey Spencer left £100 to the feoffees for teaching four of the poorest children of Ware Upland to read and write. It was built on part of the site of Corpus Christi Barn (fn. 40) in Dead Lane, which by some unknown donor had been devised to the poor of Ware. The school was rebuilt in 1747. It was an elementary school in 1834, but had become by usage a grammar school before 1866. In 1889 it was amalgamated with the Chuck Memorial School, founded by Mrs. Elizabeth Moore Chuck in memory of her husband in 1857. A grammar school was then established under thirteen governors appointed by the Hertford County Council. This was converted into a girls' school in 1906, and Amwell House was bought for its accommodation.
Another early school was Ware Free School, which in 1612 is described as carried on in the Town House. In the 17th century it was called a grammar school. The schoolhouse was a wooden building, and stood in a corner of the churchyard by the old brewery; the lower room was let as a beer cellar. The noise and fumes which reached the school caused its removal before 1872. (fn. 41) In 1889 it was amalgamated with the Wareside and Chuck Memorial School.
The elementary school near the church was built in 1844 (fn. 42) and the one in New Road about 1860. (fn. 43) In the New Road is Christ Church, built and endowed by Robert Hanbury of Poles, (fn. 44) to which an ecclesiastical district, formed from Ware and Great Amwell, was assigned in 1858. (fn. 45)
Malt-houses occupy the greater part of the town to the north of High Street as far as Musley Lane. Further north still, between Musley Hill and High Oak Road, are the buildings of the Union (superseding the old workhouse in Crib Street which was sold in 1841), and on Musley Hill are the waterworks of the Ware Urban District.
Although Ware primarily owed its importance to advantages of situation, its history is closely bound up with the manor, which for a long time was held by powerful lords such as the Earls of Leicester. It was to Robert de Quincy as lord of the manor that the grant of a market was made in 1199 (see manor). The lords of the manor also tried to establish two additional markets for cattle and corn on Wednesday and Friday, the market days of Hertford. These were held for some time before the proceedings under Quo Warranto by Edward I, when they were probably stopped. (fn. 46) As in other market towns, there is early trace of burgage tenure in Ware. The origin of this is perhaps to be found in the charter of Robert Earl of Leicester, (fn. 47) by which he granted to the men of Ware that all who had received or should receive a dwelling from his court at Ware (fn. 48) should hold that dwelling from him and his heirs in free burgage at a rent of 2s. This charter was confirmed by Roger de Quincy and a royal inspeximus was obtained by the men of Ware in 1447. (fn. 49) The area of burgage tenure probably corresponded with the manor of Ware Infra. (fn. 50) No doubt a great impulse to trade was given by the opening of the bridge to traffic at the beginning of the 13th century, when the road through Ware became the normal route to the north. It is said to have been after this date that weavers and dyers of cloth began to settle in the town. (fn. 51) Various local assessments show that from the 13th century Ware has always been the largest place in the hundred, (fn. 52) far outrivalling in importance the neighbouring borough of Hertford, which is spoken of in 1343 as 'Hertford by Ware.' (fn. 53) There is abundant evidence of the trade carried on at that period, chiefly in corn and malt, (fn. 54) the River Lea forming the waterway for the carriage of these to London. The toll (avalagium et karkiam batellorum) from the boats at Ware was granted by the king to the Countess of Leicester, lady of the manor (q.v.), in 1207, but, later, disputes arose between Margaret Countess of Leicester and the bailiffs of Hertford, who claimed the right of providing ships for foreign merchants and others and of taking toll (fretum) from them, and tried to limit the countess's right to providing ships for her own use and that of the men of her manor, merchants or others, the bailiffs taking the toll. A compromise was made by which the tolls from all ships laded at Ware, or at any place where the king or countess was entitled to the customs, were to be divided between the countess and the bailiffs, reserving, however, free carriage to the countess for her corn, hay and similar articles, and to the men of Hertford free passage for their ships laded at Hertford. (fn. 55) About the same date the countess granted to the canons of Holy Trinity, London, free carriage of their corn by ship from Ware to London at the same price as they had paid in the time of her father and mother, viz. 1d. on a quarter of hard corn. (fn. 56) Although the term 'foreign merchants' used above probably only means merchants from other towns, there were a number of aliens (chiefly from the Low Countries) living in Ware in the 15th century, (fn. 57) and possibly some of the malt manufacturers were foreigners. (fn. 58)
The town seems to have been governed by royal bailiffs in addition to the bailiffs of the manor. (fn. 59) Later the constables took over the administrative functions of the bailiffs. (fn. 60) Although often called a borough it never had any charters besides the one mentioned above, neither did it send members to Parliament nor appear before the itinerant justices by jurors separately from the hundred. On the other hand, besides the burgage tenure mentioned above, there is evidence of corporate action on the part of the inhabitants. (fn. 61) Certain feoffees were seised at the beginning of the 16th century of two messuages called the White Hart and the Saracen's Head for meeting the common expenses of the town, such as providing soldiers, paying taxes and tallages, maintaining a beacon beside the Lea and the bridge over it. (fn. 62) These houses had once been the property of the brotherhood of Jesus, so that perhaps this brotherhood (which is treated below) may have had some share in the government of the town.
Ware ceased to be called a borough after about the 16th century. In 1849 it was placed under the control of a Local Board; now by the Local Government Act of 1894 it is governed by an urban district council. Ware Union, formed in 1835, comprises fifteen parishes. The town is also the head of a petty sessional division.
The position of Ware on the road to London brought many travellers to the town. Visits to it were paid by Henry III, Edward I, Edward II, and Edward III, who were probably entertained by the lord of the manor. (fn. 63) In 1238 the king issued a prohibition of the tournament proposed to be held at Ware on Monday after Ascension Day, (fn. 64) but in 1241 a tournament was held there, at which Gilbert Marshal Earl of Pembroke met with injuries of which he died at Hertford Priory on 27 June. (fn. 65) The men of Hertford were summoned to meet the king (Edward III) at Ware in 1337 when war with France was imminent, and Giles de Badlesmere and three others were sent to lay before them the decisions of the council and the king's plans for defence. (fn. 66) Again, in 1339 the Sheriff of Wilts. was directed by Richard II to go to Ware with sixty knights and esquires and 100 archers to join the Duke of York, Lieutenant of England, who was fighting for the king. (fn. 67) The town was a rendezvous for the county in 1569, when the sheriff and justices met there and signed the articles for the uniformity of public worship. (fn. 68) James I came to the town for hawking in 1606, (fn. 69) and later paid it several visits on his way to or from Theobalds. (fn. 70) Of more historical interest is the rising of William Parr Marquess of Northampton (lord of the manor of Waters Place) in the reign of Mary. He assembled 500 men there and proclaimed Lady Jane Grey as Queen of England. He was indicted at Ware, and afterwards sentenced to be drawn from the Tower to Tyburn and there hanged and quartered, but was ultimately pardoned by the queen. (fn. 71) Here too in 1647 Lilburne's mutinous regiment defied the authority of Parliament, and was only reduced by Cromwell and Fairfax seizing fourteen of the mutineers, of whom one was executed. (fn. 72) In the reign of Henry VIII Ware was made one of the post towns, (fn. 73) the postal arrangements being under the control of the postmaster, supported by the constables. (fn. 74)
There is little of importance to record in the later history of the town. Malt-making has always been the principal industry, and Ware one of the chief malt-producing towns in England. In 1788 a riot was caused by the oppressive conduct of the excise officers, who, on the plea of obstructions caused by the inhabitants in the collection of revenue, brought troops into the town and caused a number of persons to be arrested. A petition on behalf of the town was made to Pitt by William Plumer and Lord Grimston, which resulted in the Board of Excise being ordered to remove the objectionable supervisor of excise and the troops being recalled. The inhabitants were let off with a warning to allow the revenue to be peaceably collected. It was then stated that there were thirty-three maltings in the town, in which 1,370 quarters of malt were made every week, seventy men being employed in them. (fn. 75) At the present day many of the maltings are disused owing to the depression in the trade. Brewing and brick-making are carried on in the parish; the brickfields are to the west of the town near the river. Messrs. Allen & Hanbury have a chemical manufactory close by Ware Lock.
The market is now no longer held. About forty years ago an attempt was made to establish a corn market (as successor to one which had been held at Ware but had been discontinued owing to the market at Hertford), and a house was built for a corn exchange. The project failed, however, and the house is now used as the town hall. Fairs held under the charter made to Robert de Quincy in 1254 (see manor) are still kept.
In the 17th century the field called Bury Field or Berry Close, near the river, was used by the inhabitants of Ware as a shooting ground and any 'musterynge or trayninge of the country' generally took place there. (fn. 76)
The highways of the parish were under the control of three surveyors, two for the town (Ware Infra) and one for the upland (Ware Extra). The upland surveyor was responsible for the repair of 3 miles of highway from Ware Town's End to Widford Mill (fn. 77) and other cross roads, and the town surveyors for the highways leading to Wadesmill and Westmill. Great difficulty was experienced by these surveyors from the refusal of the inhabitants to do their share in mending the roads. (fn. 78) The road from Ware to London was proverbially bad, (fn. 79) owing to the clay soil and to the heavy loads of malt carried along it. In 1631 the justices of the peace for Hertfordshire reported that the repair of the highway would be of little use unless the king ordered that wagoners between Royston and London should use carts with two wheels and not more than five horses with one cart, and that malt should be brought on horseback from Royston to Ware between Michaelmas and May. (fn. 80) This order was carried out, but the maltsters did their best to evade it. (fn. 81)
Among the inhabitants of Ware may be mentioned William Warre, Guaro, or Varon, S.T.P. (fl. c. 1300), who was born in this parish, from which he took his name. He spent most of his life in Paris, where he is said to have taught Duns Scotus, who mentions him twice in his works. (fn. 82) William Vallans, poet and friend of Camden, was born in the neighbourhood in 1578. His poem 'A Tale of Two Swannes' (1590), one of the earliest examples of blank verse outside the drama, is chiefly descriptive of the towns of Hertfordshire. (fn. 83) The musician Simon Ive was also born at Ware, and baptized in the church 20 July 1660. (fn. 84) In the parish registers are many entries relating to the Fanshawe family, and the most famous member of it, Sir Richard Fanshawe, diplomatist and author, is buried in St. Mary's chapel in Ware Church, to which his body was removed by Lady Fanshawe, who bought a site there for the purpose. Lady Fanshawe, well known by her Memoir, (fn. 85) was buried beside her husband, and their son Richard, second baronet, was also buried there in 1694. (fn. 86) Several of the incumbents of Ware have been men of some note. Charles Chauncy (1592–1672), a distinguished Oriental and classical scholar and professor of Greek at Trinity College, Cambridge, was presented to the vicarage in 1627. As an opponent of Laud, he was accused of making a schism in Ware and was imprisoned by the high commission in 1634. (fn. 87) He submitted, but afterwards wrote a retractation before sailing for America in 1637. During the Commonwealth he was invited home by his old parishioners at Ware, but was persuaded by the overseers of Harvard College to become their second president, a post which he held until 1672. He was married at Ware to Catherine Eyre in 1630, and his eldest son Isaac, afterwards a Nonconformist minister, was baptized there in 1632. (fn. 88) William Webster, a voluminous writer, was instituted to the vicarage in 1740, and held the living until his death in 1758. (fn. 89) Another Greek professor at Cambridge, Thomas Francklin, became vicar in 1759. He was a popular preacher, and in 1767 was made a royal chaplain. He was also a friend of Dr. Johnson and Sir Joshua Reynolds, and through their influence was made chaplain to the Royal Academy. He vacated Ware on being appointed rector of Brasted in 1777. (fn. 90) Joseph W. Blakesley, a distinguished scholar and tutor at Trinity College, Cambridge, was vicar from 1845 to 1872. He was well known as the 'Hertfordshire Incumbent' from his letters to the Times on social and political subjects; he was appointed Dean of Lincoln in 1872. John Trusler (1735–1820), a man of most eccentric genius, was curate at Ware in the early part of his life. Among many wild schemes projected by him was one of sending circulars to every parish in England and Ireland proposing to print in script type 150 sermons at the price of 1s. each, in order to save the clergy both study and the trouble of copying. This plan is said to have met with considerable success. (fn. 91) From 1778–9 William Godwin, author of Political Justice, was a minister at Ware. Alexander Cruden, compiler of the famous Concordance, was a tutor there in his youth. The antiquary John Nickolls, son of a Quaker miller in the parish, was born at Ware in 1710 or 1711. He acquired the letters formerly in the possession of John Milton, which he published as Original letters and papers of state addressed to Oliver Cromwell 1649–58. His collection of 2,000 prints of heads at his house at Queenhithe, collected from the bookstalls about Moorfields, furnished the material for Joseph Ames's Catalogue of English Heads. (fn. 92)
The hamlet of Wareside on the east of the parish, which is served by Mardocks railway station, was formed into a consolidated chapelry in 1844, (fn. 93) the church of Holy Trinity having been built in 1840. The National infants' school was built in 1895 and the mixed school in 1872. To the west of Wareside is Reeves Green, to the north-east of it are two other greens, Babb's Green and Helham Green, joined by Hogtrough Lane, while to the north-west of it is Newhall Green. Fanhams Hall on the main road about half a mile west of Newhall Green is a brick house covered with rough-cast with stone dressings. The roofs are tiled. The principal rooms are panelled and some of them have elaborate plaster ceilings. (fn. 94) From Newhall Green Long Lane runs south to Bulters Green, passing Morley Ponds. Morley House, close by, has a moat. There was also a moat (now not much more than a vallum) at Prior's Wood Farm to the west of Waters Place.
At the time of the Domesday Survey WARE was a large and important manor rated at 24 hides and valued at £45, whilst under King Edward it had been worth the exceptionally large sum of £50. (fn. 95) Before the Conquest it had been held by Anschil of Ware, and was evidently his seat. (fn. 96) In 1086 it was held by Hugh de Grentmesnil, who probably acquired it in exchange for land in Bedfordshire of Ralph Taillebois, (fn. 97) who elsewhere appears as the grantee of Anschil's lands. (fn. 98) At the time of the Survey there was land for thirtyeight ploughs, meadow sufficient for twenty ploughteams, woodland to feed 400 swine, two mills worth 24s. and 375 eels, an inclosure for beasts of the chase and 4 arpents of vineyard newly planted. (fn. 99) The last two appurtenances of the estate point to a residence there of Hugh de Grentmesnil. (fn. 100) The chief estates of this powerful lord were in Leicestershire, and there is an early connexion between his family and that of the Beamonts, Counts of Meulan and afterwards Earls of Leicester. According to Ordericus Vitalis, Ivo son of Hugh de Grentmesnil was one of the four lords of the town of Leicester, and, being in disgrace at court, he pledged his share (apparently the largest one) to Robert Count of Meulan, who about 1107 received a grant of the county of Leicester and is generally considered the first Earl of Leicester. According to the chronicler, Robert never made any restoration to Ivo's son and heir. It is possible that this son was Hugh de Grentmesnil, and that he was the father of Parnel de Grentmesnil, who in 1168 married Robert Earl of Leicester, grandson of the above-mentioned Robert, who thus acquired the vast estates of the Grentmesnils, (fn. 101) and among them the manor of Ware. (fn. 102)
Earl Robert, Steward of England, died on a voyage to Jerusalem in 1190, when he was succeeded by his second son Robert, called Fitz Parnel, who in 1199 received the grant of a weekly market on Tuesdays at Ware. (fn. 103) This grant was made shortly after he had acted as steward at the coronation of King John. He died without issue in 1204; his mother, Parnel Countess of Leicester, survived him, and apparently held the manor of Ware in dower, for in 1207 the king granted her avalagium et karkiam batellorum and a market and bridge at Ware for her life as Earl Roger had them. (fn. 104) Parnel evidently died before 1212, when seisin of the manor of Ware was allowed to Saer de Quincy Earl of Winchester, (fn. 105) who between 1168 and 1173 had married Margaret the younger sister and co-heir of Robert Earl of Leicester. (fn. 106) The Earl of Winchester was Justiciar of England from 1211 to 1214. He was one of the twenty-five barons who were guardians of Magna Carta, and took an active share in bringing over Prince Louis in January 1215–16, to whom he adhered even after the accession of Henry III, being joint commander of the barons' army April-May 1217. Two years later he joined the Crusade during the siege of Damietta, and died abroad on 3 November 1219. He was buried at Acre. (fn. 107) Whilst still in favour with John, in 1205–6, he had obtained a grant that he and all lands and fees of the honour of Leicester should be quit of shires and hundreds and sheriff's aids. (fn. 108) A view of frankpledge was therefore held by the lords of Ware, (fn. 109) and the area of their jurisdiction is called a liberty. His son and heir Roger Earl of Winchester granted the manor of Ware in 1253 to his brother Robert de Quincy, (fn. 110) to hold of him and his heirs at the yearly rent of half a mark and by service of a knight's fee. (fn. 111) The Earls of Winchester held it of the king by three parts of a knight's fee. (fn. 112) The overlordship remained with the earl and his descendants. Roger died without male issue in 1264, leaving three daughters, Margaret wife of William Ferrers, fifth Earl of Derby (her stepmother's father), Elizabeth or Isabel, who married Alexander Comyn Earl of Buchan, and Helen or Ela, who married Sir Alan la Zouche of Ashby-de-la Zouch. (fn. 113) Ware was for a time held of all the heirs jointly, (fn. 114) but ultimately became vested in the Ferrers. Margaret had as part of her inheritance the manor of Groby, co. Leicester, to which Ware was appurtenant, and this she settled on her second son William. (fn. 115) William, son of William, was summoned as a baron, Lord Ferrers, to Parliament in 1300, and was the ancestor of the Lords Ferrers de Groby, (fn. 116) with whom the overlordship of Ware descended. (fn. 117)
In 1254 the king by a charter dated at Bordeaux granted to Robert de Quincy, the tenant, a yearly fair at his manor of Ware on the eve and day of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary and the three days following. (fn. 118) Robert died in 1257, leaving two daughters, Joan and Hawise. (fn. 119) Joan, who married Humphrey de Bohun, died seised of Ware in 1284, (fn. 120) when it passed to Hawise widow of Baldwin Wake of Liddell, co. Cumberland. The custody of John Wake, son and heir of Hawise, and of the manor of Ware was granted to Queen Eleanor in 1285. (fn. 121) John Wake did homage for his lands in 1290, and was summoned to Parliament as Lord Wake in 1295. (fn. 122) In 1297 he granted Ware to the king, who regranted it to him and his wife Joan in fee-tail, with reversion to the king. (fn. 123) John Lord Wake died in 1300. During the minority of his son Thomas the king assigned the custody of the manor and town to William Trente for three years, in discharge of a debt due to him for wine purchased from him by the king's butler, Henry de Say, and for money advanced by him on the king's behalf to Gilbert de Clare Earl of Gloucester. (fn. 124) Later the custody was granted to Queen Isabella. (fn. 125)
Thomas Lord Wake was one of the barons who took part with the queen against Edward II, and was by her made justice of all forests south of the Trent and Constable of the Tower of London. In the reign of Edward III he was made Governor of Hertford Castle and also of the Channel Islands. He took part with Edward Balliol in his claim to the crown of Scotland in 1329. (fn. 126) Later, in 1342, he served in the French wars. His wife was Blanche second daughter of Henry Earl of Lancaster, who after his death in 1349 (fn. 127) held the manor in dower (fn. 128) and granted 4 acres from it to the Friars Minor of Ware. (fn. 129) The extent of the manor at this date was 576 acres of arable land, 48 acres of meadow, 40 acres of meadow in the park, 36 acres of wood, a watermill and a fulling-mill, perquisites of court worth £5 (an exceptionally large sum), a fishery from 'Stretende' to 'Newemededych' and half a fishery from 'Stretende' to 'Bemsford.' Thomas Lord Wake had no issue and his heir was his sister Margaret, widow of Edmund Earl of Kent, the youngest son of Edward I. She died in 1349, and was succeeded by her second son and heir John Earl of Kent, who also died before Blanche, in 1352. (fn. 130) His heir Joan Lady Wake married Thomas de Holand Earl of Kent, and after his death in 1360 she married Edward Prince of Wales and was the mother of Richard II. Her son and heir by her first husband, Thomas de Holand Earl of Kent, succeeded to her estates in 1385. (fn. 131) He died seised of Ware in 1397, and it then descended to his son Thomas Earl of Kent (fn. 132) (created Duke of Surrey in 1397), who two years later was taken prisoner and beheaded by the populace at Cirencester during the contest with Henry IV. His lands were forfeited, and Henry IV granted Ware, the manor, town and lordship, to his son John. These were valued at £120 a year. (fn. 133) Later the manor was restored to Edmund Earl of Kent, brother and heir of Thomas, who died without issue in 1408. (fn. 134) His heirs were his sisters, of whom Eleanor, the wife of Thomas de Montagu Earl of Salisbury, inherited Ware. The extent of the manor taken on the death of the earl, who survived his wife, included a capital messuage, 70 acres of arable land, 80 acres of meadow, 30 acres of pasture, a water-mill let for 100s., rents of free tenants amounting to £30, perquisites of court worth 6s. 8d., and the park worth nothing beyond the fee of the parker and the keeping of the deer. (fn. 135)
Alice, only daughter and heir of the Earl of Salisbury and Eleanor, married Sir Richard Nevill, afterwards Earl of Salisbury. Their son Richard succeeded on his marriage to the Warwick estates, and was confirmed as Earl of Warwick in 1449. He was the 'Kingmaker' of the Wars of the Roses, and was slain at Barnet in 1471, leaving no male issue. His daughter Anne married first Edward Prince of Wales, who was killed after the battle of Tewkesbury, and secondly, about a year afterwards, Richard Duke of Gloucester, who became King Richard III in 1483. (fn. 136) The king in 1485 granted an annuity of £10 from the issues of Ware to William Porter, a yeoman of the Crown. (fn. 137) Sir Robert Brackenbury, Constable of the Tower, was appointed steward of the manor. (fn. 138) Queen Anne died in 1485; her heir was Edward Earl of Warwick, son of Isabel, sister of Anne and co-heir of Richard Earl of Warwick, who, having spent all his life in prison, (fn. 139) was condemned for conspiring high treason with Perkin Warbeck, a fellow prisoner, and was executed on Tower Hill in 1499, aged twentyfour. He, however, never held Ware, (fn. 140) for after the death of Richard III King Henry VII granted it to his mother, Margaret Countess of Richmond (who had already received a grant of the nomination of officers within the lordship), for life. (fn. 141) After her death in 1509 it came into the hands of the king, who in the same year appointed Sir Thomas Lovell, treasurer of the household, steward of the manor. (fn. 142) The next year William Compton, groom of the stole, was made bailiff of the town and manor, keeper of the park, meadows, fishery, and two mills. (fn. 143)
In 1513 Lady Margaret Pole, sister and heir of Edward Plantagenet Earl of Warwick, was reinstated as Countess of Salisbury. (fn. 144) Two inquisitions were taken on the manor of Ware, (fn. 145) after which it was restored to her. Accounts for the manor about this date show that the fishery called the truncage was leased with the park for £8 13s. 4d., the mill for £26 13s. 4d. During the year 1515 four views of frankpledge and four other 'little courts' were held, the perquisites amounting to £2 9s. 3d., whilst the perquisites of the court of pie-powder amounted to 14s. 2d. for that year. The extent included the site of the manor called Le Bury, a capital messuage with a grange called Kydeswell, and a wood called Wolkechyn, all leased out at farm. (fn. 146) As the last remaining member of the old royal house of England, the Countess of Salisbury aroused the jealousy of the king and was attainted in 1539 and beheaded in 1541, two years after her eldest son Henry Pole Lord Montagu had suffered the same fate. (fn. 147) The manor thus came again into the hands of Henry VIII, who in 1539 granted the fishery and 'custom called troncage' in the water at Ware to John Noode, a yeoman of the guard. (fn. 148) In 1542 Thomas Wrothe was appointed bailiff of the manor and keeper of the park in reversion after Oliver Frankeleyn, who held these offices by grant from the Countess of Salisbury. (fn. 149) Leases of 'the stable within the close called Le Bury,' of the meadows called Chaldewell and Berymede, of Newnney Wood, and the field called Newnney or Woodfield were made by the king at different times, (fn. 150) and in 1544 he leased the two corn-mills to Thomas Lennard of Ware for forty years. (fn. 151)
In 1548 the manor and park were granted by King Edward VI to his sister, the Lady Mary, for life. (fn. 152) On her accession as queen, Mary granted them to Francis Earl of Huntingdon and his wife Katherine, (fn. 153) who was daughter of Henry Pole, son of the Countess of Salisbury, and who with her sister and co-heir Winifred was restored in blood and honours by Act of Parliament in 1554–5. (fn. 154) Katherine received a confirmation of Ware from Queen Elizabeth in 1570, with the exception of the park, mills, and fishery (fn. 155); the park and fishery were, however, granted to her son Henry Earl of Huntingdon two years afterwards. (fn. 156) Later the countess sold the manor to Thomas Fanshawe of Fanshawe Gate, co. Derby, reserving to herself a yearly rent of £80. In 1575 he acquired the park and piece of ground where the disused fish weir had been from the earl, (fn. 157) who in 1581 sold him also the reserved rent, (fn. 158) and in 1587 he bought the two water-mills and a fulling-mill from Robert Lennard. (fn. 159)
Fanshawe was Remembrancer of the Exchequer, was M.P. for Rye in 1571, in the five succeeding Parliaments for Arundel, and in 1597 for Much Wenlock in Shropshire. He died in 1601 at his house in Warwick Lane, London. (fn. 160) His son Henry Fanshawe, M.P. for Westbury, co. Wilts., in 1588, and for Boroughbridge, co. Yorks., in 1597, succeeded him as Remembrancer of the Exchequer. He was a friend of Prince Henry, and was knighted in 1603. (fn. 161) His garden at Ware became famous for its fruit, flowers, and herbs, (fn. 162) and many of the trees in the park were planted by him. He was also a collector of pictures, prints, drawings, medals, and stones, which he placed first in his house at Warwick Lane, but by his will of 1600 bequeathed to Ware Park, to be placed in the gallery or other fit place and not to be dispersed. (fn. 163) He died at Ware, and was buried in the church, March 1615–16, (fn. 164) when the manor descended to his eldest son Thomas, who also held the office of Remembrancer of the Exchequer. He was made a Knight of the Bath at the coronation of Charles I in February 1625–6, (fn. 165) and was M.P. for the county of Hertford in 1661. During the Civil War he fought on the king's side, and his property was sequestrated by Parliament. He was allowed to compound for Ware upon the Articles of Barnstaple, having resided in the town and garrison within seven months of the surrender of the garrison. (fn. 166) Charles II shortly after his accession raised him to the peerage as Viscount Fanshawe of Dromore in Ireland, (fn. 167) but the sequestration of his property had nearly ruined him, and in 1668 he sold the manor to Sir Thomas Byde, (fn. 168) M.P. for Hertford in 1672. Skinner Byde, the eldest son of Thomas, died in 1684–5 during his father's lifetime. Thomas son of Skinner succeeded to the manor; he married Katherine daughter of John Plumer of Blakesware. (fn. 169) His son, Thomas Plumer Byde, suffered a recovery of the manor in 1749. (fn. 170) The latter's sons, Thomas Hope Byde and John Hope Byde, did the same in 1774. (fn. 171) Thomas Hope Byde built the present manor-house on the site of the older one. (fn. 172) John Hope Byde, who succeeded him, by will of 1829 devised the manor to trustees for sale; a decree in Chancery was obtained for this purpose, but it was not until 1846 that Ware was bought by James Cudden of Norwich. He sold the manor in 1853 to Daniel de Castro, who died in 1867. Two years later it is said by Cussans to have been conveyed by his trustees to George Rastwick of Woking, (fn. 173) but it is doubtful whether this is correct. Mr. William Parker was owner in 1858 or earlier, and was succeeded by his son Mr. J. H. E. Parker. His son, Mr. W. F. Parker, is the present lord of the manor. (fn. 174)
The manor-house, an 18th-century building, stood in Ware Park, which lies on high ground and contains very fine avenues of elms and limes. The house was destroyed by fire in 1911 and is now being rebuilt. The estate is skirted by the mill stream, the mill being situated at the junction of this stream with the Lea and Rib.
A full list of the liberties belonging to the lord of the manor appears upon a quo warranto brought against Thomas Fanshawe in 1585, when he claimed inter alia market, court of pie-powder, view of frankpledge, assize of bread, wine, ale, and other victuals, election and nomination of constables and other officers in the court leet, waif and stray, pillory and tumbrel, park, free warren, goods and chattels of felons, deodands, treasure trove, return of writs of the Exchequer and of the Pleas of the Crown.
A book containing copies of the court rolls of Ware from 1665 to 1706 is among the additional manuscripts at the British Museum. (fn. 175) Separate courts were held (on the same day) for Ware Infra and Ware Extra. Possibly the former was originally held for the burgage tenants. At the view of frankpledge held for Ware Extra, the tithings of Ware Extra, Thundridge, and Ware Upland presented; a constable and headborough were chosen for each of these tithings. At the view held for Ware Infra a constable and headborough were chosen, also two aleconners. A custom of the manor was for tenants to grant customary lands from three years to three years up to nine years. It was also customary for tenants to cut down and carry away trees growing on their lands without leave from the lord. There are still two manors of Ware Infra and Ware Extra, but no courts have been held of late years.
All the manors described below were held of the manor of Ware.
BLAKESWARE (Blakysware, Blacksware, Blakys, Blacks, Blages), an estate lying on the north-east of Ware, took its name from the family of Blake, who belonged to this parish. Stephen le Blake was assessed at Ware in 1307. (fn. 176) John le Blake, sen., John le Blake, jun., and Nicholas le Blake were all of some note locally at the beginning of the 14th century. (fn. 177) Nicholas le Blake had leases of the manor of Newhall (q.v.) from the Abbot of Waltham Holy Cross in 1344 and 1365. He, or his son Nicholas, was alive in 1380, when letters of protection for him were revoked because he had not gone to Calais to join in the defence of that town as he had purposed. (fn. 178) In 1387 'Nicholas Blake the younger' was grantee in a conveyance of lands in Ware. (fn. 179)
The holding of the Blakes came before 1479 into the possession of Thomas Braughing, when it was held by him of the lord of Ware Manor as the 'manor called Blakes.' He in that year made a settlement on his son Thomas and his wife Joan; Thomas the younger died seised of the manor in 1496. (fn. 180) John son of Thomas was holding in 1519 (fn. 181) and Richard Braughing and Elizabeth his wife in 1522. (fn. 182) The latter conveyed it to John Yeolyn and others, probably trustees, for in 1560 Simon Clare and John Clare levied a fine of the manor. (fn. 183) The next year Simon Clare and Agnes his wife conveyed it to Sir Thomas Venables of Kinderton, co. Chester. (fn. 184) After his death Anne Brooks, the mother of his son Thomas, married Ralph Davenport, (fn. 185) and held the manor with reversion to Thomas, who was attainted in 1580. (fn. 186) His lands, however, seem to have been restored to him, for he was carrying on transactions with the Crown concerning the reversion in 1583. (fn. 187) After Anne's death, however, the profits were taken by Thomas Harris, to whom Venables released all right in 1597. (fn. 188) Harris conveyed Blakesware to John Goodman. (fn. 189) Goodman, sen., with John Goodman, jun., levied a fine (Hilary 1616–17) with Katherine Tirrel, widow, (fn. 190) who two years afterwards joined with John Goodman and Grace Goodman, widow, in a conveyance to Moses Tryon. (fn. 191) Tryon with Elizabeth his wife conveyed to George Hanger in 1620–1. (fn. 192) It was acquired from George and John Hanger in 1635 by John King, D.D., canon of Christ Church, Oxford, whose son John King sold it in 1655 to Heneage Featherstone, created a baronet in 1660. By Featherstone it was conveyed in 1664 to Sir Thomas Leventhorpe, who rebuilt the house, and afterwards in 1678 sold the estate to Sir Thomas Clutterbuck, kt., (fn. 193) English consul at Leghorn and afterwards commissioner for victualling the Mediterranean fleet, for which he was knighted. He died in February 1682–3, and was buried in Ware Church. After his death the estate was conveyed to John Plumer, Sheriff of Hertfordshire in 1689, from which date it descended with Gilston (q.v.) to Sir Henry George Ward, who sold it in 1850 to Martin Hadsley Gosselin of Ware Priory. (fn. 194) After his death in 1868 the estate was held by his widow until her death in 1892, when it devolved on her eldest son Sir Martin Le Marchant Hadsley Gosselin, Assistant Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs from 1898–1902 and minister plenipotentiary at Lisbon from 1902 to 1905. He died at Busaco, Portugal, in 1905 and was succeeded by his son Captain Alwyn Gosselin, the present owner.
The manor-house built by Sir Thomas Leventhorpe was pulled down by Mrs. Plumer after William Plumer's death in 1822, Mr. Plumer having some years previous to his death moved to Gilston. (fn. 195) It was a fine brick mansion situated on the south of the Blakesware estate, with a large courtyard and terraced gardens, with the Quarters and the Wilderness to the rear. (fn. 196) Charles Lamb, whose grandmother Mrs. Field was housekeeper in the Plumer family and who used to stay with her at Blakesware during his childhood, describes it in one of his essays under the name of Blakesmoor. There are drawings of the ruins among the Additional Manuscripts at the British Museum. (fn. 197) The present house was built by Mrs. Hadsley Gosselin, grandmother of the present owner, in 1878. The chapel was built by her son Sir Martin Gosselin and was opened by the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster in 1896.
Blakes Bushes and Little Blakesware also preserve the name of Blake.
Widbury alias Grimbolds alias Whiteborough Hill
WIDBURY alias GRIMBOLDS alias WHITEBOROUGH HILL lies on the east of Ware. The name occurs as Witerberwe in 1308 (fn. 198) and survives in Widbury Hill, Widbury Hill Farm and Widbury Wood. The estate took its first name from a family of Grimbold (Grymbaud), who were living at Ware in the 14th century. (fn. 199) In 1353 Juliana Grimbold released a moiety of a messuage situated in Ware to John son of William atte Water. (fn. 200) The Grimbolds' lands in Ware came later, about the end of the 15th century, into the possession of Thomas Rede, a citizen of London. His daughter and co-heir Agnes married Robert Lytton, whose son William died seised of half the manor of Grimbolds in 1517. (fn. 201) Robert his son and heir was aged five; he had livery of seisin in 1533. Another quarter of the manor was held in 1520 by John Smith and his wife Joan, who was perhaps a daughter of Rede's other co-heir. They conveyed it in that year to Richard Hill and others. (fn. 202) Gilbert Hill was in possession in 1579. (fn. 203) He was said to hold a third part of the manor of Grimbolds and a capital messuage called Whitborowe Hill. (fn. 204) There is no further trace of the remaining parts of the manor, so that probably he had the manorial rights. In a rental of his lands a dove-house and pond are mentioned, and he received quit-rents from 'The Bear,' 'The Bull,' 'The Checker,' and from a house against the market-place occupied by John Lennard. (fn. 205)
Gilbert Hill died in 1583, his son Richard being aged four. (fn. 206) During Richard's minority his sisters Philippa wife of Edward Meade and Elizabeth wife of Thomas Calvert held his Ware estate. (fn. 207) After attaining his majority he sold the manor to James Stanley, (fn. 208) who died seised of it in 1611. (fn. 209) His son Thomas apparently sold it to Alexander Weld, who was holding it in 1665. (fn. 210) His son Alexander (fn. 211) possibly left a daughter Sarah, who married Robert Jones; they held it (in Sarah's right) in 1710, (fn. 212) and later Robert Jones joined with George Bruere and Anthony Thompson, the heirs of Alexander Weld, in selling it to Walter Plumer, called of Cavendish Square. (fn. 213)
Widbury House (as it is now called) was burnt down about ten years ago. It was rebuilt by the present owner, Mr. J. H. Buxton of Easneye.
Waters alias Martocks, now Mardocks
The manor of WATERS alias MARTOCKS, now MARDOCKS (Mattocks, Mallocks, Maddoks, Mardocks, Mardox), on the east of the parish, probably took its first name from its situation in a bend of the River Ash. The family of Atte Water held land in Ware in the 14th century and later. There is record of John atte Water in 1331, (fn. 214) of Robert son of William in 1348, (fn. 215) of John son of William in 1353 and 1354, (fn. 216) of William in 1356, 1398 and 1408, (fn. 217) of Richard son of William, who granted the lands settled on him by his father to Thomas Braughing and other feoffees in 1324, (fn. 218) of William atte Water in 1401, 1403 and 1420, (fn. 219) and of Thomas atte Water of Ware, 'gentilman,' in 1427. (fn. 220) The manor of Waters, held of the manor of Ware, first appears by name in the reign of Henry VII, when it was in the possession of Sir Thomas Bourchier, kt., who died seised of it in 1492. His nephew Henry Earl of Essex succeeded him. (fn. 221) He apparently retained the capital messuage called Waters Place (see below), but alienated the manor of Waters, which in 1505 is said to have been in the possession of Hugh Chapman and Agnes his wife. (fn. 222) They seem to have acquired it from Margaret Martok, against whose executors they brought a suit in Chancery for having kept back the title deeds. In this suit it is called the manor of John at Waters. (fn. 223) This accounts for the alternative name of Martocks, which began to be used in the 16th century.
From Hugh Chapman the manor descended to his son Robert, to John son of Robert, to Henry son of John, and then to John, probably son of Henry. (fn. 224) In 1590–1 (Hilary Term) John Chapman conveyed it to Theophilus Adams, (fn. 225) probably in trust for John Watts, (fn. 226) who in 1601 settled it on his son John on his marriage with Mary daughter of Adam Bayninge of Little Bentley, co. Essex. (fn. 227) Sir John Watts (knighted in 1603), (fn. 228) alderman of London, died in 1616. (fn. 229) His son John died before 1652, when Mary Watts, widow, with John Watts, evidently her son, conveyed the manor to John Buck of Hamby Grange in Leverton, co. Lincoln, (fn. 230) created a baronet in 1660. (fn. 231) In 1664 Sir John Buck conveyed it to Sir Cyril Wich and Matthew Pinder, (fn. 232) evidently trustees for Thomas Bird, who was in possession in 1666. (fn. 233) It descended to his nephew and heir Richard, who sold it in 1701 together with the capital messuage called 'Mattox,' the mill, and fields called Bridge Mead, Down Mead, Dickholm Mead, Grimswood Mead and Queach Valley (fn. 234) to Arthur Windus. In 1711 the heirs of Windus joined with mortgagees of the manor and creditors of Windus in conveying it, with the mill belonging, to the trustees of Felix Calvert of Hunsdon, for a settlement on Felix and his wife Elizabeth, with reversion to their eldest son Peter. (fn. 235) He, according to Clutterbuck, sold it in 1767 to Norton Hutchinson, whose eldest son the Rev. Julius Hutchinson succeeded. (fn. 236) The latter conveyed the estate to Ambrose Procter, by whom it was devised to his great-nephew George Procter. (fn. 237)
In 1814 George Procter rebuilt the manor-house near the mill and afterwards (1818) let it to Sir James Mackintosh, who had been appointed professor of law and general politics at Haileybury College and who lived there until 1824, when he resigned the professorship. (fn. 238) In 1826 Procter sold the manor to Dr. Abraham Wilkinson of Forty Hall, Enfield, who lived there for a short time and then let it to William Tugwell Robins, solicitor in the case of Wellesley v. Mornington. He resided there until 1835, after which the house was occupied by Edward Downs of Lincoln's Inn for ten years and subsequently by Captain Moorsom, C.E., of Birmingham. It was then left unoccupied until 1863, when being in a state of decay it was pulled down. The manor was sold in 1865 by Edward Smith Wilkinson to Thomas Fowell Buxton of Easneye in Stanstead Abbots. (fn. 239) Mr. J. H. Buxton is the present owner. Mardocks Mill, now pulled down, was situated on the River Ash.
Henry Bourchier Earl of Essex, who apparently retained the capital messuage and some of the lands of the manor of Waters (see above), which henceforth was known as the manor or tenement of WATERS PLACE, died without male issue in March 1539–40. On his death the viscounty of Bourchier became extinct. (fn. 240) His daughter Anne married William Lord Parr, and a settlement of Waters Place was made on them in 1542. (fn. 241) In 1543 Lord Parr was created Earl of Essex, although he had that same year repudiated his wife and obtained an Act of Parliament declaring her children bastards. (fn. 242) He was created Marquess of Northampton in February 1546–7, but was attainted in 1553. Waters Place came to the Crown, where it remained until 1563, when Elizabeth granted it to the marquess for the maintenance of Anne. (fn. 243) After her death without legitimate issue in January 1570–1 the queen granted it to Walter Devereux Viscount Hereford (fn. 244) (great-grandson of John Devereux, husband of Cicely, sister of Henry Bourchier Earl of Essex), who was one of the few peers of the old blood who remained faithful to the queen during the conspiracy of the Duke of Norfolk and who was made Earl of Essex in 1572. (fn. 245) In that year he conveyed Waters Place to William Garnett, (fn. 246) from whom it was acquired in 1573 by Ralph Baesh. (fn. 247) He died in 1598, leaving a son Edward, aged four. (fn. 248) After this, apparently, it was owned by Robert Hellam in 1643 and by John Andrewes in 1652. (fn. 249) Waters Place is now owned with Mardocks by Mr. J. H. Buxton. (fn. 250)
Cosyns or Cousyns
The estate of COSYNS or COUSYNS, sometimes called a manor, was held in the reign of Henry VI by John Hotoft. His widow Joan had it at her death in 1445. (fn. 251) With Waters Place it was settled on Lord Parr and his wife Anne in 1542, (fn. 252) and descended to Ralph Baesh, who died seised of it. In the survey of his lands it is mentioned as the 'farm called Cosyns.' (fn. 253) The house now called Great Cousins, near Fanhams Hall, is the residence of Mr. Henry Page Croft, M.P., J.P.
BRAUGHYNS was the holding of another local family. Thomas Braughing was one of a number of grantees of land from Richard atte Water in 1444. (fn. 254) He or his son Thomas died seised of the 'manor called Braughyns' in 1490, leaving a son Thomas, aged forty. (fn. 255) There is no further trace of this estate as a manor.
In 1326 John de Hengham, clerk, granted all his tenements in the vill of Ware called LE NEWEHALLE, (fn. 256) viz. two messuages, 200 acres of land, 7 acres of meadow, 1½ acres of wood, to the Abbot and convent of Waltham Holy Cross, (fn. 257) to hold of the chief lords of the fee by the customary services. This estate remained in the possession of the convent until the Dissolution. Leases of it were granted to Nicholas le Blake in 1344 and 1365. (fn. 258) After the Dissolution it was granted (in 1543) under the name of the manor and tenement called Newhall, with two woods called Abbottes Gardeyn containing 1½ acres, and Tyle Wood, containing 3 acres, to Richard Andrewes and Nicholas Temple, (fn. 259) probably trustees, as they immediately alienated to John Dodyngton. (fn. 260) He died seised of it in January 1544–5, leaving a son and heir John, aged twenty–two, (fn. 261) who conveyed it in 1548 to Thomas Thorogood. (fn. 262) No further trace of it has been found until 1783, when William Ward and Anna Maria Gardiner, spinster, conveyed it to William Leake. (fn. 263) The estate is now owned by Mrs. Croft of Fanhams Hall. The house and farm buildings are inclosed by a homestead moat, one side of which is now filled up. (fn. 264)
Halfhide or Westmill
The manor of HALFHIDE or WESTMILL is said to have been held by a family of Halfhide, (fn. 265) of whom a pedigree is given by Chauncy, who, moreover, wrongly identifies it with the Westmill held by Ralph de Tany in 1086. (fn. 266) In 1483 this manor was in the possession of Richard Bull and his wife Anne in right of Anne, (fn. 267) and they conveyed in that year to Robert Gobye and Thomas Bacon. In 1651 George Bromley was holding it. (fn. 268) According to Chauncy, George son and heir of George Bromley sold it to Thomas Feltham, and it descended to Ralph Feltham, who was holding in 1722. (fn. 269) In 1743 Ralph Feltham conveyed the manor to Crowley and John Hallet, (fn. 270) trustees, apparently in trust for Thomas Hall, (fn. 271) whose brother and heir Humphrey Hall was holding in 1766. (fn. 272) It is said by Cussans to have been sold in 1770 to John Scott, the Quaker poet, and after the death of his daughter Maria de Horne Scott, who married Joseph Hooper, to have been sold by trustees to Robert Hanbury. (fn. 273) After Robert Hanbury's death in 1884 it descended to his son Mr. R. C. Hanbury, whose son Mr. E. S. Hanbury is the present owner. The manor-house of Westmill was near the Watton Road. (fn. 274)
On the foundation of the GREYFRIARS at Ware their house was endowed with 7 acres of land by Thomas Lord Wake, (fn. 275) and later Blanche Lady Wake granted them an additional 4 acres from the manor of Ware. (fn. 276) Probably other grants were made to them. After the Dissolution the site of the priory with the orchard, gardens, and ponds was farmed by Robert Birch for 20s. The 'osierhope' was farmed for 20d. (fn. 277) In 1544 the site and the 'osierhope' were granted to Thomas Birch, a yeoman of the Crown, (fn. 278) who died seised of these and of a messuage called the Sign of the Bear in 1550. (fn. 279) His grandson Thomas Birch sold the site and osierlands to Job Bradshaw in 1628. (fn. 280) The descent, as given by Cussans, (fn. 281) is that it passed from Bradshaw to Richard Hator, and in 1685 became the property of Robert Hadsley of Great Munden, whose son Robert died without issue, having bequeathed the estate to Jeremiah Rayment, who took the name of Hadsley. On his death in 1778 it passed to his widow for life, then to his daughter Maria Hadsley, on whose death in 1847 it devolved on Martin Hadsley Gosselin, son of Admiral Thomas Le Marchant Gosselin and Sarah daughter of Jeremiah Rayment. After Martin Gosselin's death in 1868 it was sold by his widow to Clement Morgan of St. John's Wood, London. Later it was bought by Mr. J. Gwyn Jeffreys, the conchologist, on his retirement from the practice of law. While he lived there it was a meeting-place for many British and foreign artists. He was J. P. for Hertford and sheriff of the county in 1877. After the death of his wife he moved to Kensington and in 1881 sold the priory to Mr. Robert Walters, J.P., the present owner. (fn. 282)
The house, which is a residence of two floors with attics, lying a little to the south of the church, is constructed out of nearly the whole of the southern range of the cloisters of the Franciscan friary, not quite half of the western range, and the great hall which runs westward at right angles to the western range. A small two-storied wing projects on the south side of the south range. The rubble walls of the house are plastered and have stone dressings; the roofs are tiled. Nothing earlier than late 15th-century work survives. The modern additions are of brick and timber plastered.
In the south-west angle of the cloisters, which were about 8 ft. wide, a modern porch has been erected, which forms, with the two ends of the cloisters, the present entrance hall of the house. The south wall of the southern range, on the ground floor of which is the drawing room, is not original. On the first floor of this range are bedrooms formed out of the ancient frater. The small wing projecting southward contains a smoking room on the ground floor and bedrooms above. The modern staircase is at the western end of the southern range, and beyond it are the kitchens and offices. On the ground floor of the western range is the dining room with bedrooms above. The undercroft of the great hall is now occupied by six rooms and a corridor. The hall over it, measuring 48 ft. by 22 ft., was in four bays with an open timber roof. (fn. 283) Above the rooms now occupying this space are attics formed by the insertion of a floor at the level of the old tie-beams. The north side of the southern range has six of the original cloister windows of three cinquefoiled lights, but these have been much altered, and some of them are blocked. In the northern range only two of the cloister windows remain; one of them, which lights the dining room, has been almost entirely renewed. The end window in this and the southern range having had their tracery removed are now arches between the modern porch and the entrance hall. One other window in this part of the house is old, but it is now blocked. It is on the west side of the kitchen, between it and the modern pantry where its external label shows. In the hall wing are six original windows of detail like those of the cloisters; all have been plastered and restored. One is on each floor on the south side of the wing, three are on the upper floor of the north side; one on this side is so considerably above the ground floor level that it has the appearance of an old stairway window. The rest of the windows of the house are modern, those on the north side of the hall wing being imitations of the original windows. Of the thin ashlar buttresses which divided this wing into four bays four remain, three on the south and one on the north side. The inside of the house has been so greatly altered that little original work is visible. There is, however, a 15th-century doorway in the south-west corner of the cloisters, a little niche survives in the north-east corner of the hall, an old doorway, now blocked, is in the cross wall of the undercroft, and most of the roof timbers about the house appear to be old.
The houses of Holy Trinity, London, St. Paul's, St. Helen's Within Bishopsgate, and Bermondsey, also had lands in the parish. (fn. 284)
The church of ST. MARY stands in the middle of the town. It consists of chancel 40 ft. 6 in. by 23 ft., south chapel 25 ft. by 15 ft. 6 in., vestry and organ chamber on the north, north and south transepts, each 23 ft. by 22 ft., nave 78 ft. by 22 ft., north and south aisles, each 13 ft. wide, west tower 15 ft. square and south porch, all internal dimensions. The walls are of flint with stone dressings, the roofs are lead covered.
The church, consisting of chancel, nave and transepts, was probably erected in the 13th century; the west tower and perhaps the nave aisles were built about the middle of the 14th century; the south chapel dates from the close of the 14th century; the clearstory was added about 1410, and the nave arcades appear to have been rebuilt at the same time, and probably also the south porch and the old vestry, now part of the organ chamber; the rest of the organ chamber occupies a chapel built late in the 15th century between the old vestry and the north transept. During the 19th century the present vestry was partitioned off and the whole of the external stonework renewed and a great deal of stonework internally.
The five-light traceried east window of the chancel is modern. In the north wall is a 15th-century doorway opening into the vestry, with continuous mouldings to arch and jambs, with carved heads inserted at the springing of the arch. The oak door is original, but has been painted; the door had originally three stock locks of oak, one of which is still in position and another is in the vestry cupboard. To the west of the doorway is a coarsely moulded arch of late 15th-century work opening into the organ chamber. In the south wall is a modern three-light window. Adjoining it is a large round-headed arch, subdivided beneath into two lancet arches resting on a central shaft of Purbeck marble; the arches are well moulded and the spandrels of the inner arches are filled with tracery. The central shaft is composed of four grouped shafts separated by hollows; the work is of the late 14th century. Part of a 13th-century window still remains to the east of the arch. The chancel arch is of two moulded orders, the outer one continuous, the inner one carried on grouped shafts with moulded capitals and bases; it appears to have been rebuilt in the early part of the 15th century. The 15th-century clearstory has three windows on each side, of two cinquefoiled lights, much of which is modern stonework. On the south side of the chancel is a 15th-century piscina with moulded jambs and arch under a square head. The chancel roof is modern.
In the east wall of the south chapel is a five-light traceried window, and in the south wall are two three-light windows, all of which are of modern stonework. In the south wall is a late 14th-century cinquefoil-headed piscina, which has been restored. Adjoining it is a sedile with cinquefoiled head; the moulded label forms an ogee arch over piscina and sedile.
The nave has north and south arcades of five bays; those opening into the transepts are wider and loftier than the others. Both the eastern angles of the nave are splayed to receive the doorways to the stairs—of which there are two—to the rood-loft and roof above. Both turrets are carried well above the roof and are finished with embattled parapets. The north turret has still the lower and roof doorways, but that to the rood-loft is blocked; the south turret doorways are blocked. The arches of the arcades are of two moulded orders, the outer being continuous, the inner carried on shafted jambs with moulded capitals and bases. On each side of the nave are four clearstory windows, each of three lights under a segmental arch, but most of the stonework is modern, only the inner jambs and arches being original. The roof belongs to the 15th century, but has been restored; the trusses have traceried spandrels, supported on stone corbels carved with half-figures of saints or apostles. There are some heraldic shields as bosses at the intersection of the timbers.
In the north wall of the north transept is a large five-light traceried window, nearly all of which is of modern stonework; the inner jambs are original and have an early 14th-century wave moulding with stops.
Beneath the window are two recesses; the first is about 3 ft. 6 in. in width, 2 ft. 7 in. to the springing of the arch, and 3 ft. from the floor. The arch is segmental and cinquefoiled with leaf sub-cuspings. Over the arch is an ogee crocketed label with head stops and foliated finial. The jambs are shafted with carved capitals and moulded bases. Part is much decayed. It may possibly have once formed a reredos; over an altar in the east wall. The other recess is 6 ft. 3 in. wide with moulded jambs and segmental arch; this was probably a recess for a tomb. Both recesses are of 15th-century work. An 18th-century arch in the east wall opens into the organ chamber, and opposite is an arch of two chamfered orders opening into the north aisle. The clearstory is modern.
The five-light window in the south wall of the south transept is of modern stonework, all but the inner jambs and rear arch, which have a 15th-century double ogee moulding. A late 14th-century arch with two chamfered orders opens into the south chapel, and on the west side is a plain arch opening into the south aisle. In the south wall is a small piscina with a moulded cinquefoiled arch of the 14th century; there is no bowl, and the mouldings are much decayed. The clearstory is modern.
The three side windows and the west one of each aisle are all of modern stonework, as are also the north doorway and the windows and archway to the south porch; the south doorway is of 14th-century work, repaired. The roofs of aisles and south porch retain many of their original 15th-century timbers.
The west tower is of five stages with buttressed angles, with embattled parapet and small lead-covered spire. The tower arch is of three hollow-chamfered orders, with splayed jambs having moulded capitals and bases; it is of the 14th century. The west doorway is of modern stonework, and above it is a window with two cinquefoiled lights. The third stage has narrow loop-lights on three of its faces; the fourth stage has a window of two trefoiled lights on the north and east faces and clocks on the other two. On each side of the belfry is a window of two cinquefoiled lights with cusped opening in the head.
The font is a fine example of the work of about 1380; the bowl is octagonal, and each side has a sunk and moulded arched panel with crocketed label and contains a figure in high relief. The figures represent the Annunciation (two panels), St. Margaret, St. Christopher, St. George, St. Katherine, St. James and St. John the Baptist; at each angle are half figures of angels, four with emblems of the Passion and four with musical instruments; behind each angle is a crocketed pinnacle. Each face of the stem has a square quatrefoiled panel; the base is moulded and is enriched with a running floral ornament.
The oak pulpit is of the late 17th century; it is hexagonal with raised lozenge-shaped panels flanked by beaded pilasters. The oak screen under the western arch of the chapel is partly modern, but has some good 15th-century tracery. In the south chapel are some carved panelling of the late 17th century and the communion rail (c. 1640) formerly in Benington Church.
On the east wall of the north transept is a brass with the figure of a lady with inscription to Helen daughter of John Cook, 1454, and also to her two husbands William Bramble and Richard Warburton, and her son William Bramble. In the south transept is a brass of William Pyrry (Pery) and his two wives with inscription and portion of date 147–below each wife are five sons and five daughters. On the north transept floor are the brass of a lady without inscription, but c. 1420, a slab with indents of a civilian and his wife under a canopy, c. 1400, and a slab with indent of a floreated cross of the 14th century, said to be from an altar tomb formerly in the north transept. On the east wall of the south transept is a large marble monument to Sir Richard Fanshawe, bart., 1666; he was ambassador to Spain in the reign of Charles II. In the south chapel is a monument to Agnes wife of Sir Richard Fanshawe, 1680.
There are eight bells: the treble by R. Phelps, 1735; the second and sixth by T. Mears, 1826; the third and fifth by J. Briant, 1792; the fourth and seventh by R. Phelps, 1731; the eighth by T. Mears, 1834.
The communion plate consists of a cup, 1618, paten, 1806, small cup, 1806, two modern chalices and patens, a spoon, a Sheffield plate paten, 1755.
The registers are in six books as follows: (i) all entries 1577 to 1653; (ii) all 1653 to 1730; (iib) burials 1678 to 1706; (iii) baptisms and burials 1730 to 1776, marriages 1730 to 1754; (iv) baptisms and burials 1776 to 1812; (v) marriages 1754 to 1764; (vi) marriages 1764 to 1812.
CHRIST CHURCH consists of chancel, nave, north and south aisles, porches and tower with spire, containing one modern bell, and is built of stone in the style of the 13th century. The living is in the hands of trustees.
HOLY TRINITY, Wareside, is a small building of white brick with stone facings, in the 12th-century style, consisting of apsidal chancel and nave, transepts and north tower containing one bell. The advowson belongs to the vicar of Ware.
Hugh de Grentmesnil, who founded the monastery of St. Evroul in Normandy, gave the church of Ware and the chapel of Thundridge with the tithes and 2 carucates of land to the monks there. (fn. 285) This grant was confirmed by Robert Fitz Parnel Earl of Leicester, who granted also the whole tithe from the park, viz. of sales [of wood], pannage, herbage, stud, hunting, and of all crops and profits, and the tithe of food from his kitchen at Ware, the tithe also of all sheep, lamb's wool, cheeses, young of geese, poultry and sheep, and of wine belonging to the earl and countess. (fn. 286) The church was attached to the priory of Ware founded as a cell to St. Evroul. A vicarage was ordained before 1231, when, a dispute having arisen between the parishioners and the Prior of Ware, who had not seen to the proper serving of the church, the matter was referred to the pope, who appointed Roger [Niger] Bishop of London and the Dean of St. Paul's to arbitrate. The prior had to quitclaim a pension of 10 marks which he had been trying to make the vicar pay, whilst it was settled that if this pension were ever again claimed by a prior the vicar was to claim the tithes of all mills in Ware and Thundridge, the tithes of the park, and of sheaves from certain specified portions of arable land. The vicar was to have the small tithes and tithes of wood and the 'priest's messuage' and garden which had been the prior's. (fn. 287)
At the Taxation of 1291 the church was valued at £40 and the vicarage at £2 13s. 4d. (fn. 288) The advowson was often in the king's hands together with the other temporalities of the priory by reason of wars with France. (fn. 289) On the suppression of alien priories it was granted by Henry V to the Carthusian monastery of Sheen. (fn. 290) It was farmed out by the monks for £40. (fn. 291) After the Dissolution the rectory and advowson of the vicarage and all lands belonging were granted by Henry VIII to Trinity College, Cambridge, (fn. 292) with whom they have since remained, Trinity College being now the lord of the rectory manor.
The church is mentioned as a collegiate church in 1504, (fn. 293) but there seems to be no evidence as to when the college was formed. Master Edward Haseley was dean of the college at that date.
The chantry of Helen Bramble was founded in 1470. Helen Bramble, whose brass is in the north transept of the church, was the daughter of John and Margery Cook and married first William Bramble and secondly Richard Warburton of London. By her will proved 9 September 1454 she desired to be buried in the parish church of Ware next the tomb of Margaret her mother. She left 12d. to the clerk and 12d. to the sub-clerk or sacrist, 5 marks to the fabric of the church, and after several other bequests the rest of her property to works of charity and the repair of altars. (fn. 294) The chantry was founded by Brian Roucliff, baron of the Exchequer, and John Marchall. Mass was to be celebrated at the altar in the chapel of St. Mary for the present and future kings of England, for Brian and John and Master William Graunger, and for the souls of Helen, her two husbands, of William Bramble her son, and of her parents. The chantry was endowed with lands to the value of £10. (fn. 295) Thomas Beal left 3s. 4d. to the repair of the chantry by his will proved in 1506, (fn. 296) and lands were left to its use by Richard Shirley (will proved 1510). (fn. 297) When the chantry was dissolved in the reign of Edward VI it had rents accruing to it from the inns called the 'Cardinal's Hat' in Amwell and the 'Bull's Head,' a tenement in the Myddel Row with a garden in Kybislane, a tenement called Wodehouse in Gardiner Lane and a croft called Sowrecroft, amounting to £9 14s. 8d. and goods and ornaments valued at 7s. 4d. (fn. 298) The chantry priest's chamber was granted in 1549 to Sir John Perient and Thomas Reve. (fn. 299) At this time the serving of the church fell entirely on the chantry priest and the curate hired by the vicar, although the parish contained at least 1,200 inhabitants. (fn. 300) This led to the inhabitants appointing a 'morrow mass priest,' whose wages were collected from among them, some giving 2d., some 4d. and some 8d., according to their devotion; if a sufficient sum was not collected the deficit was made up from the common fund. (fn. 301)
There were at least two gilds or brotherhoods in the church, the brotherhood of Jesus and the brotherhood of Corpus Christi. Bequests to these date from about 1490. (fn. 302) Thomas Ware, whose will was proved in 1505, left a brass pot of four gallons, a brass pan and three spoons of silver to the latter fraternity. (fn. 303) The brotherhood of Jesus had an alderman and four masters; it met every year on the feast of Jesus, when the masters rendered their account to the alderman and brethren, and a new alderman and masters were chosen. This gild was entirely dependent on the voluntary gifts of inhabitants of the town and strangers; these gradually decreased in value, and the gild was dissolved about 1525. Its possessions then included a large brass pot, a little silver cup for wine, twelve silver spoons, and three velvet coats embroidered with gold for the image of Jesus in the church. (fn. 304)
There was also an obit founded by William Kinge (date unknown), which at the Dissolution was maintained by a yearly sum of 10s. paid by Thomas Kinge, of which 6s. was paid to the poor. (fn. 305)
St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church, founded by the late Mr. Constantine Ketterer and served from Hertford, is in Church Street. The registrations by the archdeacon of early Nonconformist meeting-places are lost, but a number of registrations before the magistrates are recorded from 1672 onwards. (fn. 306) There are now two Congregational chapels, one in Church Street, built in 1778, and representing a cause dating from 1662, and the other, in High Street, founded in 1811 and rebuilt in 1859. In the New Road are a Wesleyan (fn. 307) and a Baptist chapel. The Salvation Army have quarters in Baldock Street built in 1907. A place of meeting was certified for Quakers in 1699, (fn. 308) but the Meeting House, which was in Kibes Lane, fell into disuse after the death of Mrs. Hooper (daughter of John Scott), who was its chief supporter. (fn. 309) In the hamlet of Wareside is a Wesleyan Methodist chapel.
The history of the Free School and Wareside School has already been traced. (fn. 310)
The combined charities are regulated by a scheme of the Charity Commissioners dated 26 January 1909. They comprise:
1. Almshouses of Lawrence Armatridinge.—These consist of five tenements in Crib Street inhabited by ten poor women. The date of foundation is unknown, but an old benefaction table in the church dated 5 July 1722 records that Lawrence Armatridinge gave twenty twopenny loaves of bread to twenty widows out of the rent of these five tenements.
2. The Bell Close.—An indenture of feoffment dated 20 March 1612 recites that a donor unknown gave the Bell Close, containing about 4 acres, for the benefit of the poor. This produces £27 10s. yearly.
3. James Birch's Almshouses.—The benefaction table also records that James Birch gave two almshouses near the north gate of the churchyard for the dwelling of two poor widows. The inmates are in receipt of parochial relief.
4. Charity of Ellen Bridge, founded by deed dated in 1628, consists of a garden formerly known as Pope's or Doulton's Pightle situate in Watton Road and producing £10 yearly.
5. John Burr's Charity, founded by will dated in 1814, whereby testator gave £400 3 per cent. Bank annuities, now a like sum of consols, producing £10 yearly, the interest to be distributed to poor widows in sums not exceeding 2s. 6d. each.
6. Corpus Christi Barn.—The indenture of feoffment of 1612 above referred to also recites that a donor unknown gave to the poor a piece of ground whereon formerly stood a barn called Corpus Christi Barn.
7. Hellum or Elm Green Almshouses.—A deed of feoffment dated in 1788 recites that two almshouses were given by a donor unknown. These are inhabited by four widows who receive parochial relief.
8. Paul Hogge's Charity.—The origin of this charity is unknown, but a rent-charge of 6s. 8d. is paid out of a close called Hogg's Close in Great Amwell.
9. Mill Lane Almshouses.—The indenture of 1612 further recites that a donor unknown gave two almshouses in Mill Lane. The property now consists of eight almshouses in Mill Lane with garden ground in the rear let for £2 15s. yearly.
10. Sir William Roberts's Charity.—By a feoffment dated 8 April 1788 it appears that Sir William Roberts gave three almshouses in Mill Lane and pasture land known as Widow's Mead and Mill Mead containing 8 a. 3 r. 3 p. and producing £22 yearly. The rents are divided among the inmates.
11. The 'Saracen's Head.'—The indenture of 1612 further recites that a donor unknown gave a messuage or inn called the 'Saracen's Head' together with a piece of land called the Netherhoe to the poor. The land was sold in 1891 and the proceeds invested in £247 6s. 8d. consols. The stock has since been increased to £276 2s. 10d. by the investment of balance of premium on lease of the 'Saracen's Head.' The 'Saracen's Head' is let for £130 per annum and the stock produces £6 18s. yearly.
12. Charity of Humphrey Spencer, founded by will dated 26 June 1630, consists of a cottage in Kibes Lane producing £9 2s. yearly.
13. The White Hart Estate.—The indenture of 1612 further recites that a donor unknown gave a messuage or inn called the 'White Hart' with appurtenances. The 'White Hart' was pulled down many years ago, and the property now consists of two shops in High Street, Ware, producing £88 yearly and a slaughter-house producing £20 yearly.
14. Charity of Frederick Harrison, founded by will proved in London 8 June 1907.—The property consists of two almshouses erected on a part of the Bell Close called the Harrison Almshouses and £94 13s. 5d. New South Wales 3½ per cent. stock (1924), £400 Great Northern Railway 3 per cent. preference stock, 1898, and £200 London and South Western Railway 3½ per cent. preference stock, producing altogether yearly £22 6s. 2d. and called the Harrison Fund.
It appears there are fourteen almshouses in Crib Street under the control of the trustees of the combined charities, including the almshouses of Lawrence Armatridinge and James Birch.
The scheme directs that the Harrison almspeople shall be two married couples and each couples shall receive a stipend of not less than 7s. 6d. or more than 10s. weekly. In the case of a couple possessing a properly secured income from other sources the trustees may pay a smaller stipend, provided that the total income shall not be less than 7s. 6d. a week.
The remaining income of the charities is directed to be applied in the payment of pensions of not less than 5s. weekly and for the general benefit of the poor, subject, however, to the continuance for ten years after the date of the scheme of certain accustomed payments which have been made for a period of at least three years next before the date of the scheme.
For the year ended 31 March 1911 the widows in the almshouses received £24 13s. 6d., eighty widows received 2s. 6d. each (John Burr's Charity), 211 recipients received £121 amongst them, two pensions at 2s. a week for thirty-five weeks, and £23 5s. was paid in stipends in respect of the Harrison bequest.
In 1619 George Mead, M.D., by his will gave £5 yearly issuing out of the George Inn, Ware, to the poor. This payment is now received out of a house in High Street, Ware, called Riverslea, and there is a sum of £133 16s. 3d. consols, representing accumulations and producing £3 6s. 8d. yearly. The income is distributed to poor housekeepers, £6 10s. being distributed among five recipients in 1908.
In 1622 John Elmer by his will gave a house afterwards called Baldock House for the benefit of the poor of Ware and Stevenage. The property was sold in 1906, and the part of the proceeds applicable to Ware invested in £414 7s. 3d. consols, producing £10 7s. yearly, which is distributed among the poor of St. Mary's parish, Christ Church parish, and Wareside. In 1908 the sums of £5 5s., £3 10s. and £1 15s. were distributed in the respective parishes.
In 1722 Dame Margaret Tufton by her will gave £260, the interest to be applied in coats to six poor men and gowns to six poor women once every two years and in teaching four boys and four girls to read and write and say the catechism.
In 1749 Anne Ball by her will gave £40 to be applied to the same purposes as Dame Margaret Tufton's bequest.
These legacies were invested in £286 8s. 3 per cent. Bank annuities, now a like sum of consols.
Under an Order of the Charity Commissioners dated 26 July 1904 a sum of £160 consols was placed to a separate account to form Tufton and Ball's Educational Foundation. The dividends on this sum, amounting to £4 yearly, are paid to the managers of the Ware National Schools.
The residue of £126 8s. consols forms the endowment of Tufton and Ball's Eleemosynary Charity, and the income, amounting to £3 3s. yearly, is applied every two years in overcoats for six old men and material for dresses to six old women.
In 1739 Mary Evans by her will gave £100, now represented by £110 9s. 11d. consols, producing £215s. yearly, the income to be distributed in sums of 5s. to poor widows.
In 1825 William Murvell by his will gave £300, the dividends arising therefrom to be applied in the upkeep of testator's monument and the residue, together with the interest on £100, in the relief of five poor women of sixty years and upwards. These two sums were invested in consols, and are now represented by £499 12s. 8d. India 3 per cent. stock, producing £14 19s. 8d. yearly.
The same testator gave £666 13s. 4d. consols, the interest arising therefrom to be applied in the relief of six poor men of sixty years and upwards. This stock is now represented by £660 13s. 10d. India 3 per cent. stock, producing £19 16s. 4d. yearly. In 1907 £2 2s. was spent on the monument and £30 5s. 10d. was distributed among six men and five women.
The Parish Clerk's Charity.
—Four acres of land in Wainges Field, Ware, have been appropriated from time immemorial to the use of the parish clerk, being the gift of a donor unknown. The land is let for £13 yearly, which sum is paid to the parish clerk.
The Nursing Fund.
—Frederick Harrison above mentioned likewise bequeathed £200, the interest arising therefrom to be applied in aid of the Ware Parish Church Nursing Fund. The endowment is now represented by £213 15s. 5d. India 3½ per cent stock, producing £7 9s. 8d. yearly in dividends.
In 1857 Charles Brunton, by his will proved in P.C.C. 9 May, bequeathed £100, the interest to be divided equally between and amongst all widows of the Upland division of Ware annually on 1 January. The legacy was invested in £109 17s. 10d. 3 per cent. annuities, now a like sum of consols, producing £2 14s. 8d. yearly.
The several sums of stock above mentioned are held by the official trustees.
The Old Independent Chapel endowment consists of two houses in New Road, Ware, known as Cambridge Villa and Hope Villa, which are stated to have been purchased with bequests of Diminsdell in 1759, Hannah Tew in 1838 and Mrs. Flack. The houses produce £50 yearly, and of this £37 is paid to the minister and the remainder is applied in the upkeep of the houses.