A History of the County of Hertford: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1912.
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HATFIELD or BISHOP'S HATFIELD
The parish of Hatfield has an area of 12,884 acres, of which 3,895½ acres are arable land, 4,941¾ permanent grass and 1,668¾ wood. (fn. 1) From the great extent of the parish and from documentary evidences it is clear that Hatfield was originally forest land, of which Hatfield Park is the survival. The greater part of the parish lies at an elevation of between 200 ft. and 300 ft., but rises to 300 ft. in the north, at Handside and Brockett Park. South-east of Hatfield Park, which lies in the centre of the parish, the ground rises considerably, the highest points, 419 ft., being south and east of Woodhill. The River Lea enters the parish at Brockett Park, crosses it diagonally from east to west, passes through the north of the Home Park, and forms a portion of the parish boundary in the direction of Holwell. The Great North Road runs through the centre of the parish, and is crossed by the main road from St. Albans to Hertford.
The town of Hatfield is situated a short distance south of the cross roads. The church of St. Etheldreda lies a little way off the main road, and adjoining it are the remains of old Hatfield House, now used as stables. Between the church and the main road is Fore Street, formerly the principal part of the town, where the market was held. There are here several interesting houses, notably one of the 17th century of timber and plaster with an overhanging story and tiled roof, now converted into two shops, and some late 18th and early 19th-century red brick houses, including the old Salisbury Arms. Park Street branches off to the north, and in it is the Eight Bells Inn, an early 17th-century plastered timber house of one story, with an attic having dormer windows. The town has now extended northward of Fore Street along the main road and around the railway station in the direction of the road to St. Albans.
Facing the station yard immediately outside the park gates of Hatfield House is a bronze statue of Robert third Marquess of Salisbury, designed by Sir George J. Frampton, and erected by subscription by the Marquess's Hertfordshire friends and neighbours in 1906.
In the extreme north of the parish are the hamlet of Handside, Brockett Hall and Park, with Lemsford at its southern extremity. These, with Cromer Hyde, now form the ecclesiastical parish of Lemsford. Brockett Hall was rebuilt by Sir Matthew Lamb in the middle of the 18th century from designs by James Paine. It is a brick house surrounded by a park of 500 acres, in which is a lake. The Prince Regent frequently stayed with the first Lord Melbourne at Brockett, and in 1841 Queen Victoria visited Lord Melbourne there, writing to the King of the Belgians on 3 August in that year that her 'visit to Brockett naturally interested us very much for our excellent Lord Melbourne's sake. The park and grounds are beautiful.' Lord Melbourne died at Brockett in 1848. Lord Palmerston resided for some years at Brockett and died there in 1865. It is now the property of Admiral Lord Walter Kerr, but has been occupied for many years by Lord Mountstephen, who has on several occasions entertained royalty.
The little village of Stanborough lies on the North Road a little further south. To the west are the village of Cromer Hyde, Symondshyde Farm, with Symondshyde Great Wood, and Astwick Manor. To the east is the village of Hatfield Hyde, with Woodhall Farm, Ludwick Hall and Holwell Manor, and Camfield Place (for which see Essendon), the residence of Mr. Frederick Vavasour McConnell. A little distance west of the town of Hatfield are New Town, where is the union workhouse, and Roe Green. Pope's Farm is on the west side of Hatfield Park, and Bush Hall (the residence of Mr. A. L. Stride, J.P.) on the north. Beyond the parks the parish extends to the east in a long narrow strip. Here are situated Woodside, Lower Woodside, Woodhill, the property of Canon Jones, and also Woodside Place, the residence of Sir William S. Church, M.D., and Warrenwood, the residence of Captain Butler. In the extreme east is the village of Newgate Street, with the manor of Tolmers, the residence of Mr. J. H. Johnson, and Ponsbourne Park, the house of which, erected about 1761 and added to later, is now the property of Col. Edward Hildred Carlile, M.P., J.P.
In this part of the parish there are several old claypits and a gravel-pit which is still worked. There is also a large gravel-pit north of the Home Park. In the north-east of the parish are a number of old chalk-pits. The greater part of the parish lies on a subsoil of chalk, but south-east of the town there is a belt of Woolwich and Reading beds, and beyond that a stretch of London Clay.
In the reign of King Edgar HATFIELD was in the possession of 'a certain powerful man' named Oedmaer, whose daughter Æthelflaed was King Edgar's wife. (fn. 2) Oedmaer and his wife Æalde demised the 40 hides of Hatfield to the king, probably for the purposes of a benefaction, and in order that, by passing through the king's hands, it might become 'bocland.' Edgar transferred it to the monks of Ely, being under a promise to endow that abbey, the large quantity of wood it contained making it specially valuable for building purposes. During Edgar's lifetime the monastery enjoyed it without disturbance, but after his death in 975 their claim was disputed. An alderman or earl named Ægelwin and his brothers declared that their father Æthelstan had exchanged his patrimony in Devonshire for the 40 hides of Hatfield, but that King Edgar had by violence deprived him of both lands, ignoring the exchange he had made with him, and that therefore the title of the monks of Ely to Hatfield was invalid. The brothers prevailed, and the monks were obliged to buy back Hatfield, giving them in payment for it 30 hides in Hemingford and land elsewhere, after which their title was made secure. (fn. 3)
The grant of Edgar to the church of Ely was confirmed by Ethelred and Edward the Confessor. (fn. 4) In the Great Survey of 1086, and in the lnquisitio Eliensis taken about the same time, Hatfield was still assessed at 40 hides, of which half was demesne land and a large proportion forest. (fn. 5) It continued in the possession of the abbots until 1109, (fn. 6) when it was transferred to the Bishops of Ely.
HATFIELD HOUSE. The Bishops of Ely, from an early date, had a house at Hatfield, which they frequently visited, (fn. 7) and at which they often entertained royal visitors. King John passed through Hatfield in March 1211, (fn. 8) and Edward I spent a few days there in February 1303. (fn. 9) Edward II visited it in July 1309, (fn. 10) and Edward III was six times there, including the Christmas of 1336. (fn. 11) In 1514, probably on the nomination of Henry VIII, Hannibal Zenzano, the king's farrier, was made lessee of the manor and keeper of the parks, (fn. 12) and from this time the king seems to have made use of Hatfield House almost as if it belonged to him, although it did not really come into his possession until 1538. In 1517 Lady Frances Brandon, daughter of the Duke of Suffolk and mother of Lady Jane Grey, was born and christened there. (fn. 13) Henry VIII visited it in November 1522, (fn. 14) the same month in 1524, (fn. 15) and August 1525. (fn. 16) In June 1528 he removed to Hatfield from Hertford 'because of the sweat.' The Marquess of Exeter and his wife were ill and the master of the horse 'complained of his head; nevertheless,' says Henneage, 'the King is merry and takes no conceit.' (fn. 17) Princess Mary resided at Hatfield with a household suitable to her state as Princess Royal until Henry's divorce from Katherine of Aragon in 1533. In December of that year her household was diminished, and the infant Princess Elizabeth was also conveyed there. (fn. 18) A little later Mary's household was entirely dissolved and she remained at Hatfield as a mere lady-inwaiting to the infant Elizabeth. (fn. 19) In March 1534, when the young Elizabeth was removed from Hatfield to Hunsdon, Mary refused to accompany her, but she was put by force by a certain gentleman into a litter with the queen's aunt and thus compelled to make court to Elizabeth. She afterwards made a public protest. (fn. 20)
In 1538 the manor of Hatfield was conveyed by Thomas Bishop of Ely to Henry VIII, in exchange for the site of the dissolved monastery of Ickleton, the possessions of the dissolved priory of Swaffham Bulbeck, a single parish, and various lands in Essex. (fn. 21)
The Princess Elizabeth and the young Edward seem to have passed much of their childhood at Hatfield, and Elizabeth, although removed from there at the death of her father, had returned there by 1548, when she received the ambitious attentions of Thomas Seymour Lord Sudeley.
In 1549 Edward VI granted the manor of Hatfield to John Earl of Warwick, (fn. 22) but Princess Elizabeth had become so attached to it that she petitioned against its loss, in consequence of which the Earl of Warwick returned it to the king in 1550, (fn. 23) and with the consent of the Privy Council it was conveyed to Elizabeth herself, who gave other lands in exchange to the Earl of Warwick. (fn. 24)
At the accession of Queen Mary Elizabeth left Hatfield, but in 1555 was permitted to return there under the supervision of Sir Thomas Pope, and devoted herself to study. There Elizabeth refused proposals of marriage from Philibert Duke of Savoy and Prince Eric, son of Gustavus Vasa of Sweden. She was there in November 1558 when the news of Mary's death was brought to her; this news she received, according to tradition, seated under an oak tree in the park, which still exists. Her first three councils were held at the house before she quitted it for London. Hatfield was still maintained as a royal palace and Elizabeth paid frequent visits to it. After her death in 1603 it was granted in dower to Anne of Denmark, the queen of James I. (fn. 25) James, however, in the same year visited the Earl of Salisbury at his manor of Theobalds, and was so pleased with it that he entered into negotiations with the earl for the exchange of that manor with Hatfield. (fn. 26) The transfer was effected in 1607, Robert Earl of Salisbury receiving the grant of the lordship and manor of Hatfield, with the three parks, and all appurtenances, to hold in socage. (fn. 27) In 1611 he obtained a licence, for himself and his heirs, to alienate lands and tenements in Hatfield 'notwithstanding the statute of Quia Emptores terrarum, or any other statutes.' (fn. 28) As soon as he had entered upon possession of Hatfield Lord Salisbury appears to have set about pulling down half the old palace and building the present house. (fn. 29) (For description of both see below)
Immediately after Lord Salisbury had settled at Hatfield he initiated a scheme for the relief of the poor there by means of the establishment of a weaving industry, and in December 1608 he made an agreement with one Walter Morrall, by which Morrall was to teach his art to fifty persons to be chosen by the earl in the parish of Hatfield. (fn. 30)
Robert Earl of Salisbury died in 1612, and was succeeded by his son William, who took the side of the Parliament in the Civil War, and subsequently sat in Cromwell's Lower House, though he had received a 'marquessate' by vote. (fn. 31) Charles I, while in the custody of the army, was at Hatfield House at the end of June 1647. (fn. 32) The Earl of Salisbury was, however, reconciled to the king at the Restoration, and was appointed high steward of St. Albans in 1663. (fn. 33) He died at Hatfield in December 1668, leaving as his heir his grandson James, the son of his younger son Charles Viscount Cranborne and Diana daughter and co-heir of James Earl of Dirletoun. (fn. 34) The third Earl of Salisbury died in 1683 and was succeeded by his son and namesake, who became a Roman Catholic and was made high steward of Hertford by James II in 1688. (fn. 35) In the following year he was impeached, but was discharged after two years' imprisonment. He died in 1713, (fn. 36) leaving as his heir his son James, who died in 1728 and was succeeded by his son of the same name, the sixth earl.
With the seventh earl, a fifth James who succeeded his father in 1780, (fn. 37) began a revival of the political traditions of the family. He had been M.P. for Great Bedwyn for six years (1774–80) and was elected for Launceston, when his father's death transferred him to the House of Lords (fn. 38); in the same year he was made treasurer of the household and a privy councillor. He was Lord-Lieutenant of Hertfordshire from 1771 to 1823, (fn. 39) and from 1773 to 1815 Colonel of the county Militia. In this double capacity he entertained King George III on the occasion of a great review in June 1800. (fn. 40) 'Their Majesties in a post-chaise and four, and their Royal Highnesses the Princess Augusta, the Princess Elizabeth and the Princess Mary in a post-coach and four, attended by the Countess of Harrington, arrived at Hatfield at ten minutes before nine' in the morning on 13 June and 'breakfasted in the summer dining-room.' The review was held immediately after breakfast, and 'His Majesty and Their Royal Highnesses passed the highest encomiums on the appearance of the troops.' (fn. 41) Afterwards they 'walked on the lawn, and saw the different corps march into the square where the tables were laid for their reception' and 'then adjourned to the library and waited there until dinner was ready; when "The Roast Beef of Old England" was played as they passed through the gallery.' (fn. 42)
The seventh Earl of Salisbury was created Marquess 24 August 1789 and four years later was elected K.G. (fn. 43) He married in 1773 Mary Emilia Hill, daughter of the Earl of Downshire, a sportswoman whose fame is still remembered. (fn. 44) She played a conspicuous part in the meetings of the Archery Society (fn. 45) and was for many years Master of the Hatfield Hounds, only resigning when, at the age of seventy-eight, she found it wiser to go through gates than to jump them (fn. 46); it is recorded of her that even then she considered herself well able to hunt with the harriers. She survived her husband and perished in the great fire which burned the west wing of Hatfield in 1835. (fn. 47) James Brownlow William second Marquess of Salisbury, who had taken by royal licence the surname of Gascoyne before that of Cecil, on his marriage to Miss Frances Mary Gascoyne of Childwall Hall, Lancashire, in 1821, (fn. 48) succeeded his father in 1823. (fn. 49) He had already been in Parliament ten years, as a member for Weymouth from 1813 to 1817 and for Hertford from 1817 to 1823. (fn. 50) From 1818 to 1827 he was a commissioner for Indian affairs and was elected K.G. in April 1842. (fn. 51) He was visited at Hatfield in 1846 by the Queen and Prince Consort, in honour of whose visit he placed new entrance gates of elaborate French metal work to the park. (fn. 52) He was Lord Privy Seal in 1852 and President of the Council 1858–9. (fn. 53) He died in April 1868 and was buried at Hatfield. (fn. 54)
Robert Arthur Talbot, his younger but eldest surviving son, succeeded him as third marquess. He had already achieved some political distinction, having been M.P. for Stamford in four Parliaments (1853–68) and Secretary of State for India 1866–7, (fn. 55) an office which he resumed on the return of the Conservatives to power in 1874. He was ambassador in 1876 to the Conference at Constantinople and joint ambassador to the Congress at Berlin in 1878; on his return from this mission he received the order of the Garter. In this year also he entered on that distinguished administration of the Foreign Office which will always remain his chief title to fame. In 1885 he became Prime Minister, continuing as Foreign Secretary until 1886, when he became First Lord of the Treasury. In the following year, however, he resumed his work at the Foreign Office, where he remained until the Conservatives lost power in 1892; and on the return of his party in 1895 he again became Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary, continuing in both offices until 1900, when he gave up the latter for the less arduous duties of Lord Privy Seal. During this period Hatfield became the scene of 'great official garden parties with their strange congeries of Eastern statesmen, Indian chiefs and Negro kings; warriors and diplomatists; the great world of London; the little world of the country; Tory members whom it was a duty to invite and Radical members who were delighted to be asked.' (fn. 56) One of the most important of these took place in July 1887, when Queen Victoria and many distinguished foreign visitors, who had come to England for her Jubilee, were present. (fn. 57) The weather on this occasion was beautiful, but the Hatfield garden parties were not always fortunate in this respect, for the first visit of the Prince and Princess of Wales and the Crown Prince and Princess of Germany in 1885 (fn. 58) and that of the Shah of Persia in 1889 were overshadowed by 'sullen and menacing' or 'positively weeping skies.' (fn. 59) The last of these great garden parties was held in the coronation year of King Edward VII, in which year Lord Salisbury resigned. He died 22 August 1903, and was succeeded by his son James Edward Hubert, the present marquess.
HATFIELD HOUSE ARCHITECTURAL DESCRIPTION
In 1292 the house at Hatfield, already clearly of some size, was being enlarged, the Bishop of Ely then being given permission to divert a pathway from the churchyard to a field called Osmundescroft to enlarge his courtyard. (fn. 61) This fixes the site of the enlargement as being the same as that of the present stables, which themselves constitute the only remains of the palace in the form in which it was rebuilt by John de Morton, Bishop of Ely, about 1480. Nothing of earlier date than these stables now remains, but of the palace of which they formed the western wing a complete plan survives, made only a few years before the demolition of the palace. This plan, which is in the possession of the present Marquess of Salisbury, shows an imposing building of quadrangular form, with stair towers in the internal angles of the central court and a principal entrance in the centre of the outer eastern face. The great hall, solar, kitchen and butteries were in the west wing, now surviving. The state apartments were probably in the south wing. It was a building not only of some size, but also of considerable elaborateness, for Morton was a great builder, and when he became Archbishop of Canterbury in 1486 did much building in Canterbury, Maidstone, Lambeth and Croydon, besides rebuilding Wisbech Castle.
In 1538 in a survey of the building, then in the tenancy of Hannibal Zenzano, the king's master of the horse, the palace is described as 'a very goodly and stately manor place . . . constructed alle of brykke, having in the same very stately lodgynges with romes and offices to the same very necessary and expedient, albeit in some places it ys oute of reparaciones.'
There can be no doubt, however, that the necessary 'reparaciones' were made for its royal occupancy, and that when James I handed it over to the Earl of Salisbury it was in good repair. This, however, did not save it from destruction. The fashion of architecture had changed with the great national changes entailed in the coming of the Tudors and the passing of mediaeval life and thought, and accordingly Hatfield Palace gave place to Hatfield House.
The remnant of the old palace consists of one long range, facing east and west, and a gate-house to the north-west. Both are of brick, and the former is roofed with tiles. The position of the destroyed north, south and east wings can be traced in the sunk garden, between the present forecourt and the remaining old west wing. The roof of this west wing, which is of open timber construction, runs in one range over the hall and the great chamber over the kitchen and butteries, but the divisions of the latter have been removed, and between the solar and the kitchen the building is open from floor to roof and is fitted as stables. The kitchen has been divided into harness rooms and a laundry, but at the other end the solar remains, though the rooms beneath it have been subdivided by partitions.
The eastern exterior has suffered much from restoration and alteration. Its two extremities, which were originally interior to the north and south wings, were refaced in the 17th century, when those wings were destroyed. The windows are practically new, and the buttresses, nine in number on this, as on the west, side, are 19th-century additions. The central projecting porch, which forms a small tower of three stages, still retains its original doorway, which is moulded and has a four-centred head, but it is disused, and the floors of the stages have been removed.
The west side is in somewhat better condition, but here also the windows are completely restored, and the elevation of the hall is denuded of the projecting bays of a window and a fireplace shown in the old plan. Straight joints in the wall indicate their exact position. The central porch forms a tower, as on the east side, but here it is more massive. It has thicker walls, bold angle buttresses and a four-centred doorway of two moulded orders. The tower is of three stages and is decorated with patterns of black bricks, a brick corbel-table, and a plain parapet carried on a small arcade of semicircular arches, above which rise octagonal chimney-shafts from the fireplaces in each stage. The rooms are in good preservation and are lighted by small brick window openings with four-centred heads under square labels. In the north-east angle, formed by the tower and the wall of the wing, is a newel-turret showing three sides of an octagon.
The north and south ends of the west side are both gabled. The gable at the kitchen end appears to have been rebuilt, and all the windows are either modern or restored, but at the south, or solar, end little modification has taken place. The gable here is stepped and coped and terminates in a twisted chimney shaft. The ground floor door and windows appear to be a medley of old material reset and altogether new work. The first floor windows are original, though restored, the middle one being a three-light window with pointed heads under a fourcentred main head having two orders and a label, all in moulded brick. This window is flanked by single lights like those of the porch.
The south end wall of the wing is blind. The north end has a stepped gable, and is marked by the small extension through which runs the archway, formerly to the kitchen court. This arch is four-centred, of two moulded orders, and the windows are like those of the rest of the building. The roof ridge is rather lower than that of the main building.
Internally the chief feature of the building is the continuous open timber roof of eleven bays, without variation of detail, which covers that portion of the wing formerly occupied by the hall and great upper chamber. The trusses rest on carved stone corbels, probably early 19th-century imitations of the originals, and have moulded arched braces and short cambered collars, with cross-trussing above them. The wallplates and purlins are moulded, and from them rise short nearly vertical struts to each rafter. Between the trusses are ogee-shaped wind-braces, rising from immediately above the meeting level of the small struts with the rafters.
The gate-house, standing at the north-west of the west front, indicates the position of the north-west angle of the old west forecourt. It now faces into the High Street, and is a rectangular building of brick with an archway running through it near the north end. The porter's small room is to the north of this archway, but to the south of the entrance the gatehouse has been converted into two cottages, which have undergone much repair. On the east side is a long shallow projection containing stairs and offices. A few original windows still exist. They are of two pointed lights, in moulded brick, but many, particularly on the west side, have 17th-century wooden casement frames; some are modern. On the inner side the entrance archway was altered from a four-centred to a three-centred form. On the east side the wood lintel is original. It is cambered, and has carved angle brackets, so that the actual opening is four-centred. Over the archway is a room on the walls of which is a late 16th-century tempera painting, representing a lion hunt.
The present house stands on the west side of the park on a gentle eminence close to the church and to the east of the previous house. It is built of red brick with stone dressings, and the roofs are partly of lead and partly tiled. It is a particularly fine and complete example of early 17th-century domestic architecture, and its proportions, rather those of a palace than a country house, afford scope for the successful use of comparatively severe detail and symmetrical massing to achieve a dignity only toned to homeliness by the warm colouring of the material. Constant care has been exercised to preserve the character of the building, which, as originally erected, presented the same homogeneous aspect as at present. It was begun by the Earl of Salisbury immediately after the exchange of Theobalds with King James I had been effected (see above), and was completed in 1611. Although it has since undergone frequent repairs and some internal alterations, and although in 1835 the west wing from the chapel wall to the south end was completely gutted by fire, the general appearance of the building remains unaltered, and in many cases old material has been re-used in repairs, making it a matter of extreme difficulty to distinguish between old and new. In 1846 the cloister was glazed, and from 1868 to 1869 considerable interior alterations were made in the third stage. The forecourt on the north front was enlarged in the latter year, and the modern walls which surround it are pierced in imitation of the parapet of the house. The present gardens are apparently modern. The great hall was redecorated, and its ceiling painted, in 1878.
Though the design as it now stands is sufficiently imposing, it is not so magnificent as it was originally intended to be. A much more ambitious scheme was originally projected, and the State Papers Domestic of James I contain many detailed references to the saving of expense by the curtailing of ornament. The Earl of Salisbury does not appear to have employed an architect, and probably the design was largely his own. Thomas Wilson, his servant, seems to have made the plans; this Wilson was afterwards knighted and made Keeper of the State Papers. He had the assistance at Hatfield of William Basill, Surveyor of the King's Works. A very large part of the responsibility appears, from the correspondence in the State Papers Domestic, to have fallen on the shoulders of Robert Lemming, who was clerk of the works and who was entrusted with the actual designing of much of the detail. The joiners' work and wainscoting and the designing of the chimney-pieces were in the hands of one Jenever, a Dutchman living in London. Hoocker of St. Martin's Lane, who made the turners' work, would seem from his name to have been of the same nationality. A French engineer devised an elaborate system of water supply, and French gardeners laid out and maintained the gardens.
The house consists of a north main wing with east and west wings projecting southwards and inclosing a courtyard, and may be described as E shaped, the serif of the E being represented only by the very slight projection of the central south entrance. Its principal interior features are the great hall, in the north wing, with its screen and gallery, the grand staircase immediately to the east of the hall, and the long gallery on the first floor of the north wing and running the whole length of its south side. Below it the cloisters now form a second inclosed gallery on the ground floor.
The north wing is exactly regular, having a central entrance porch of three stages, of slight projection on the north or exterior face, which opens to the screens. The doorway is of stone, much restored, and has a semicircular head; it is flanked by pairs of stone columns with a complete Doric order, and above it a curvilinear pierced cresting of stone. The screens continue through the building to the cloisters, into which they open exactly opposite the central entrance on the courtyard side. On either side of the north entrance are three windows of three lights, those to the east being the windows of the hall. Flanking them to east and west are two bay windows, the eastern being the last window of the hall and the western that of the steward's room. The east and west extremities of the north face are the plain butts of the east and west wings, each with a central projecting bay with lights of four stories, containing stairs, and a six-light window carried up to the full height next the central portion of the north side. The east and west wings are irregular in plan on both their sides, but almost exactly correspond to one another. On the east face the summer drawing room, occupying the north-east angle, has two bay windows, one of three and the other of five sides, this latter being answered by a flat six-light window in the west wing and constituting almost the only external difference between the two wings. The yew room, with a single oriel, balances the northern of the two drawing room windows. The face of the wing is then set back somewhat, and in the recess rises the oriel of the morning room. The study, with an external door in its out-set north wall, has a square projecting window in the east face, and at the corner of the room beyond it to the south stands a turret rising above the parapet—one of four finishing the southern extremities of the east and west wings. In the west wing the upper part of the kitchen answers the drawing room of the east wing, the maple room corresponds to the yew room and the chapel to the morning room. On each inner face of these wings is a central doorway from the courtyard, with flat pilasters supporting a complete Doric order over an archway, flanked on either side by a bay window rising to the full height of the first two stages. Above this the third stage is set back behind a flat cornice and is crested with a pierced parapet concealing the roof and stopped at the ends by the third stage of the north-east and north-west blocks and by the angle turrets at the south.
The most ornate portion of the exterior is the south face of the centre wing. It is of two principal stages of stone with an open parapet, and behind it a third stage, set back with four stepped and curved gables, masking the stacks of the north side of the wing and connected by a second pierced parapet. These gables are set in pairs on either side of the third stage of the central compartment containing the principal south entrance-porch. This third stage is blind and forms a screen for the display of the full achievement of the Earl of Salisbury. Behind this screen rises a wooden clock-tower of three stages, the first two with pairs of columns at the angles on each face supporting an entablature; the lowest order is Doric, with arches between. In the second stage is the clock face, between Ionic columns, and above the second entablature the third stage rises, from a square balustrade with figures at the angles, in the form of an octagonal rusticated arcade surmounted by a cornice and cupola with a vane.
The ground stage of the south front is occupied wholly by the arcade of the cloister and the central porch, the whole consisting of nine bays. The arcade has semicircular arches, four on each side of the porch, forming part of a Doric arcade, with flat pilasters enriched with arabesques and fluted, (fn. 62) between the responds, and elaborate carving in the spandrels. The metopes of the frieze are set with ox-skulls alternating with carbuncles. Above the frieze a deep cornice, mitred and broken out over the pilasters, forms the basis of the second stage (the exterior of the long gallery), which has eight rectangular windows of two lights with a transom, four on each side of the central bay, and separated by flat Ionic pilasters on flat plinths to the sill level, the plinths being sculptured with trophies of arms, including both classical and later forms, even firearms. The continuous frieze is of flowers, fruit and grotesques. Above the cornice of this stage is the openwork parapet, the strapwork piercing being interrupted above the pilasters of the lower stages and at midway intervals between those points by flat balusters, from which, above the coping, rise figures.
The central bay, containing the porch, resembles the rest, but projects some 5 ft. from the wall face. On either side of the entrance archway are pairs of round Doric columns, over which the entablature breaks out. Similarly on the first stage pairs of Ionic columns flank the central three-light rectangular window with two transoms of the long gallery, and the Cecil achievement in the third stage (mentioned above) has on either side of it a pair of slender coupled Corinthian columns, with a frieze like that of the second stage. Above the cornice of this stage is a solid parapet with the date 1611 in large raised figures, and on it above the coupled columns are four lions carrying shields. The centre of the parapet is surmounted by the Cecil crest in open stonework.
The screens, entered from the north porch, have on the west side a stone arcading of three Doric bays, either wholly modern or much restored. On the south a doorway with pilasters and a pediment opens to the cloister, and has over it the Cecil arms and quarterings in painted wood, with the date 1575, possibly brought from Theobalds. On the east side is the oak screen of the hall in five bays. On the screens side the posts form a plain Doric arcade, the arches filled with large moulded panels and pierced lunettes. The frieze is of pierced strapwork, which appears to be modern. The central bay contains the doorway to the hall. On the side facing the hall this screen is elaborately carved and decorated. The posts are carved as grotesque caryatides, and the panels, four in each bay, are filled with large oval cartouches and scroll-work. The lunettes above are carved as shells, and above them are bold carved brackets with grotesque work and heads supporting the upper stage, which overhangs and may originally have been an open balcony. It is divided into five bays by flat carved pilasters rising from breaks in the cornice above the brackets, with blind-pierced designs between in the side bays, and in the centre two panels containing scrolled cartouches of the Cecil arms with quarterings. Above these panels, and divided by grotesque pilasters with heads below the capitals, is an arcade with carved spandrels and flatly ornamented panels, obviously a later addition, in the four side bays, while the centre bay contains two small arched sight-holes with carved spandrels between, and over them a panel with two putti supporting the Cecil crest and an earl's coronet of the Caroline form, which must therefore necessarily be of later date than the original building. (fn. 63) It is set in an arch like that of the rest of this arcade. The sight-holes open into the ante-room of the winter dining room on the first floor. At the east end of the hall is a gallery of similar design to that of the screen, supported on grotesque brackets. The coved soffit is plastered, and was painted in 1878. The front forms an open arcade of twelve bays, with grotesque pilasters and a cornice and a balustrade of pierced strapwork. In the centre at the top is an achievement of the Cecil arms. The screen and the gallery have both undergone much restoration, but the constructional parts, with their decoration, are all original. The panelling of the hall, divided into bays by Doric pilasters, is either modern or very much restored. The fireplace and mantel on the south are modern. The south wall above the panelling is covered with 17th-century tapestry.
Below the gallery are two doorways with round heads and square stone architraves; one of them has one of the few original doors in the house; it has small oblong and oval panels and moulded styles and rails.
The hall ceiling is plastered and decorated with bands of ornament in low relief, these bands inclosing flat panels, which were filled with paintings in 1878; the ceiling is coved, and is divided into four bays by moulded principals with pendants, and decorated with scroll work. These descend to carved lions holding shields, and resting on the moulded wall-plate. The lunette spaces inclosed in the line of the coved ceiling at each end of the hall have a low-relief filling of flat arabesques. There was no dais in the original construction of the floor, which is in squares of black and white marble. Among the furniture are two long tables of early 17th-century date, (fn. 64) with pierced square baluster legs.
The cloister, entered from the south end of the screens, is altered in character by the filling of the arcade with pierced stonework containing glazing, of a monotonous honeycomb pattern, converting it from an exterior to an interior feature. It is now paved with squares of black and white marble, and has on the north wall four 17th-century panels of tapestry, and on both sides are stands of armour, mostly of the late 16th century, but a good deal restored, and including some pieces of doubtful antiquity. At each end of the cloister three steps lead up to the wings. The ceiling is modern, plastered with an arabesque design in low relief.
The grand staircase, at the east end of the hall, is of open newel construction, and has quarterlandings at every six steps. The moulded balusters are square-raked, are herm-shaped with Ionic capitals in the place of heads, and have between them arches with carved spandrels, and the balusters and newels are carved in high relief with trophies and grotesque designs. The newels rise to some height above the moulded rail in herm shape, and are surmounted by nude amorini holding various objects, and lions supporting shields. The soffits and string are ornamented with strapwork and pendants. Against the wall is a similar balustrade with newels and figures, and on the first landing is a pair of carved doggates.
At the foot of this stair is the doorway to the summer drawing room, with the original stone architrave and semicircular head. The moulded abaci and stopped jambs are semi-classical in type. The summer drawing room retains its original panelling, which is elaborately mitred, and divided into bays by fluted Doric pilasters, supporting a heavy cornice and a frieze of a small order of Ionic pilasters. The panels contain inlaid and 'planted' arabesque work. The mantelpiece is a marble copy of the oak original, which is now in King James's bedroom. The ceiling is either completely restored or modern.
In the morning room is a large mantelpiece of 17th-century date, of various coloured marbles with caryatides and herms on either side, and some carvings of figure subjects in high relief brought from elsewhere. The remaining five rooms in the wing are modern, but have mantelpieces made up of pieces of 16th and 17th-century carving, probably Dutch. The Poplar staircase is modern.
In the west wing the Adam and Eve staircase, which takes its name from a picture hanging on its wall, is either wholly remodelled or so restored as to present scarcely any original feature. It has turned balusters and a moulded rail. At the head of the stairs is a doorway leading to the west ante-room of the long gallery, with two wooden Corinthian columns attached to pilasters on either side, of early 18th-century work. The walls of the staircase are panelled with made-up old material. In the chapel the bay window on to the court forms the sanctuary, and is glazed with 17th-century glass with Biblical subjects; this glass seems to be of French, Flemish and Dutch workmanship. (fn. 65) It was certainly made expressly for these windows. The walls are covered to the soffit of the gallery with panelling, original but much restored; the front of the gallery has a carved arcade with closed panels below; the openings are roundheaded, the pilasters between them are carved, and the cornice is moulded. The ceiling is coved, and is set with carved grotesque brackets of late 16th-century date, which were brought here from Hoddesdon, where they formed part of the old Market House. The ceiling and gallery have been painted in modern times. The old seating (fn. 66) has been replaced by modern, and the west screen is also modern. The floor is paved with marble. (fn. 67)
The long gallery, running the whole length of the north wing above the cloister, has its walls covered with panelling divided into bays by fluted Ionic pilasters. For these pilasters square columns are substituted at either end, where the gallery opens to the ante-rooms. The cornice has a considerable projection, and is much enriched, and above it is a small Corinthian order with detached columns and a dentil cornice. The upper part of the panelling in the bays of the lower arcade consists of rusticated arcading, with arabesque decoration, all worked in thin applied planking. The panels of the upper order and the lower part of the bays of the lower order are filled with extremely elaborate mitred and moulded panels, of the fitted L and square type. This panelling is of the original design, and contains a large proportion of original material, though it is said to have been entirely renewed early in the 19th century. The ceiling is original though much restored, and is flat, richly decorated with pendants and a flat arabesque pattern. (fn. 68) The mantelpieces are not original. The ante-rooms at each end, and that of the winter dining-room, have modern decoration copied from that of the gallery. The door on the north side of the west ante-room of the gallery opens on to the Adam and Eve staircase through the Corinthian portico described with the staircase.
In the library, which also opens off this ante-room, is no decoration of original date except the mantel piece, which is of large size in black and white marble. It is of two orders, Doric and Ionic, with detached circular columns. In a central panel is a mosaic portrait of Sir Robert Cecil, 1608.
The summer dining room is lined with panelling, either modern or wholly re-worked, and contains a large marble mantelpiece with figures in high relief and an achievement of the Cecil arms. This mantelpiece is made up of portions of two 17th-century mantelpieces.
King James's bedroom, facing outwards in the middle of the east wing, contains the original oak mantelpiece which was formerly in the summer drawing room. This has square baluster columns, moulded and enriched with carving, supporting a heavy mantelshelf. Above this are three small Ionic columns, and between them moulded panels containing arabesques surmounted by a deep cornice with elaborate enrichment. There is some late 17th-century furniture in this room. It is completely covered with yellow damask, which is glued to the woodwork. The Wellington room, on the opposite side of the same wing, contains some 17th-century tapestry panels.
King James's drawing room, which occupies the whole of the north-east angle of the first stage, contains a massive original mantelpiece of black, white and veined marble. The lower part has in the angles black fluted Doric columns, with architrave and metope. Above is the shelf, supported where it projects in the centre by a fluted bracket flanked by modillions. The upper portion consists of four black Corinthian columns on pilasters with scrolled cartouches, forming part of an order with a heavy modillioned cornice, above which are panels, those at the sides containing circles inclosing profiles in low relief in black marble, and the central one a rectangular black slab. The two side bays between the columns have panels of veined marble, and the central bay contains a semi-domed niche, in which stands a statue of King James I, painted to represent bronze. The ceiling of this room has elaborate arabesques and pendants, which are modern. The walls, of which the lower part is panelled, are covered with portraits.
The Abbots of Ely claimed in Hatfield the comprehensive franchises granted to them by successive royal charters. These included exemption from suit at the shire and hundred courts, and freedom for the abbot's men from toll throughout England. (fn. 69)
In 1251 a grant of free warren was obtained from Henry III. (fn. 70) In 1534 the freedom of the bishop's men from tolls in all markets and fairs in England was again claimed and confirmed. (fn. 71) A fair was granted to the Bishop of Ely in Hatfield in 1226. It was to be held annually for four days, on the vigil and feast of St. John the Baptist and two days following (23–6 June). (fn. 72) In 1318 the date was changed to the vigil and feast of St. Etheldreda the Virgin and two days following (fn. 73) (16–19 October). In 1466 it was restricted to three days, the vigil, feast and morrow of St. Etheldreda. (fn. 74) In 1538 the fairs were held on the feasts of St. Luke the Evangelist (18 October) and St. George (23 April), (fn. 75) but there is no charter recording the alteration until the manor was granted to the Earl of Warwick in 1550. The right to hold a court of pie powder is mentioned in this grant. (fn. 76) The two fairs are still held; that on 18 October is for toys. (fn. 77)
The right of holding a weekly market on Thursday was granted to the bishop in 1226. (fn. 78) The day was altered to Tuesday in 1318, (fn. 79) and to Wednesday in 1466, (fn. 80) but before 1538 was changed back to Thursday, (fn. 81) and was confirmed on that day in 1550. (fn. 82) A market was held in 1792, but was discontinued before 1888. (fn. 83)
Hatfield possessed four mills in 1086, (fn. 84) of which three survive, all on the River Lea: Lemsford Mills at the southern extremity of Brockett Park, Cecil Mill at the north-eastern corner of the Home Park, and the third, which gives its name to Mill Green, a little north of the park. In 1277 the bishop had two mills 'under one roof.' (fn. 85)
The free fishery of the bishop in the River Lea extended in 1277 from Hatfield Mills, which would probably be Cecil Mill, to the bridge of Stanberue (Stanborough), and from there to the mill of Simon Fitz Adam (Lemsford Mill), where the latter had joint rights of fishery with the bishop. Beyond this the bishop's right extended to Stonenbrig (fn. 86) (later Stoken Bridge). (fn. 87) The same extent of fishery is mentioned in 1538. (fn. 88)
In 1391 the Bishop of Lincoln granted to the Bishop of Ely licence to confirm, elect and celebrate orders, prove wills and consecrate oil in his manor of Hatfield. (fn. 89)
In the account of the manor of Hatfield given in the Domesday Survey there is no mention of parks, but the domain is said to possess woods sufficient to feed 2,000 swine, (fn. 90) which indicates a large area of forest. In fact, the manor was given to the monks of Ely by King Edgar in order that they might have wood for their building. (fn. 91) In the 13th century at least two parks had already been inclosed. The Great Park, or Hatfield Wood, had an area of about 1,000 acres, and provided pasture for the horses and cattle and pannage for the swine of the tenants in chief of the bishop, all of whom had rights of common and 'woderight' in it in 1277. (fn. 92) In 1538 all freeholders and copyholders holding within 'Bukamwykehide ' had rights of common feeding in it. Lanes and highways passing through it were common to all inhabitants of the lordship indifferently. (fn. 93) It was in the custody of a bailiff in the 14th century, (fn. 94) who later became keeper or master of the game. This office was held in 1538 and later by Sir Anthony Denny, the king's servant. (fn. 95) At this time the Great Park contained 10,000 oaks and beeches, valued at 8d. each. (fn. 96) It seems to have extended over the southeastern projection of the parish, which lies between Essendon and Northaw, and probably stretched from Woodside eastward to the hamlet of Newgate Street, for in the reign of Henry VIII a house was purchased there to form one of its lodges. (fn. 97) At this time it had a circuit of 7 miles, and extended from 'a place called Fisshes Grove to Hansmeregate.' There were within it eighteen deer of antlers and sixty-two raskells. (fn. 98) The breed of deer kept there was evidently a good one, for in 1621 the king requested the Earl of Salisbury to spare him a brace of bucks from his park to bestow on the men of Northaw, his own stock of deer being 'much wasted.' (fn. 99)
The Middle Park had an extent of 350 acres, and in 1277 was stated to be the private property of the lord of the manor, the tenants having no rights in it. (fn. 100) In 1538 it contained 2,000 oaks and beeches. The pasture was scant but sufficient for the deer, of which there were seventy-three raskells and seven deer of antlers. At that date it is recorded that the little lodge was not thoroughly repaired, (fn. 101) and about this time payments are recorded for building a new house there, with a frame-house and new kitchen. (fn. 102)
It was probably this park which in 1252 was the scene of an outrage by William de Valence, afterwards lord of the manor of Gacelyns. It is recounted by Matthew Paris that William came from his castle of Hertford and violently and against the decree of the king entered the park of the Bishop of Ely near his manor of Hatfield and hunted therein without the licence of anyone, and afterwards he went to the bishop's house, and because they would not give him any drink but ale he broke down the door of the buttery, making a great tumult, swearing and using evil language. He drew out the taps from the casks, spilling a great quantity of choice wine, and when he had drunk enough distributed the same amongst his grooms, as if it had been water or common ale. Having drunk their fill they departed with ribald laughter and derision. When these things were related to the bishop, he said with a serene countenance, 'Ut quid necesse fuit rapere et praedari, quae satis civiliter sponte et abundanter postulantibus distribuuntur? Maledicti igitur tot in uno regno reges, sed tiranni.' (fn. 103)
The Innings Park, a little park of 100 acres, seems to be of later origin than the two former, as it is not mentioned in the register of 1277. There was, however, at that date a grove of oaks of 5 acres, (fn. 104) which was perhaps the nucleus of the 10 acres of great oaks included in the Innings Park in the time of Henry VIII. (fn. 105) This park lay near the manor-house on the north-east, and in 1538 contained five deer of antlers and thirty-five raskells. There were then 8 acres of great timber in two places, which could not be spared for the shadowing of the deer. There was also 'a warren of coneys conveniently stored with game, and most part of the game black.' The pasture was then said to be very bare and mossy, and scarcely enough to feed the deer, (fn. 106) and in 1578 it was found to be so much overgrown with moss that the deer 'had been corrupted and wanted sufficient feeding whereby many had died.' It was recommended that, in order to remedy this, portions of the park should from time to time be inclosed, ploughed and sown with corn, and afterwards thrown open again. But the queen's hunting was not to be impaired nor her walks in the said park, 'wherein she took great pleasure.' (fn. 107) Either the proposed remedy was successful or the Cecils found some other means of providing pasture, for deer were not only kept as late as 1735, but seem to have been in a flourishing condition, as the Earl of Salisbury sent a supply of red deer from his own woods to Windsor Forest in that year. (fn. 108)
Hatfield Park was improved by the first Earl of Salisbury after the manor of Hatfield had been granted to him by James I in exchange for Theobalds. He apparently formed it from part of the Great Wood, for he was designated in a local epitaph
'Not Robin Goodfellow, nor Robin Hood,
But Robin the encloser of Hatfield Wood.' (fn. 109)
In 1611 the cottagers consented to the 'improvement' of Hatfield Wood. (fn. 110) In a letter (fn. 111) of George Garrard describing a house party at Hatfield in July 1636 we read of Lord Salisbury killing a deer in his woods, but Lord Cottington, who had attracted attention on his arrival by 'his white beaver with a studded hatband,' was at first less fortunate. When a bow was placed in his hands he bungled and shot thrice before he killed, all the ladies standing by. (fn. 112)
The Hatfield parks no longer retain the old names. Hatfield Park, which surrounds the house and is of the greatest extent, is very finely timbered, and includes Coombe Wood. This wood is mentioned in the Survey of 1538 as having an extent of 21 acres, and as having been replenished with oak, hornbeam, sallow and hazel, (fn. 113) but is not said to be within a park. North of this is the Home Park, much more thickly wooded, at the edge of which stands the oak under which Queen Elizabeth is said to have been seated when she received the news of her accession. This was the Innings Park and includes the warren, which is separated from it by the River Lea, in this part artificially widened. On either side of the water is a vineyard, which was planted by the first earl, (fn. 114) who, like his father, (fn. 115) took a keen interest in plant cultivation. This vineyard was considered by John Evelyn, who saw it in 1643, 'the most considerable rarity next to the house.' (fn. 116) This was an expert's enthusiasm; his fellow diarist Pepys, who visited Hatfield in 1659, was more delighted by 'the gardens, such as I never saw in all my life; nor so good flowers, nor so great gooseburys, as big as nutmegs.' (fn. 117) Probably 'Mr. Looker my Lord's gardener ' would have found Evelyn a more interesting if less lively visitor; he certainly seems to have been a safer one, for Pepys' second visit is thus recorded: 'At Hatfield we bayted and walked into the great house; and I would fain have stolen a pretty dog that followed me, but could not, which troubled me.' (fn. 118)
South of the main park, and extending from it to the Great North Road, is a large wood, traversed by many paths. This is the old 'Middle Park,' which was later called 'Miller's Park,' (fn. 119) and so became 'Millward's,' by which name it is known at the present day.
The manor of ASTWICK (Alswyk, Halewyk, xiii cent.; Alstwyk, xvi cent.) was held of the Bishop of Ely as of his manor of Hatfield by military service, (fn. 120) and afterwards of the Earls of Salisbury when Hatfield came into their possession. The lords of the manor had the right of feeding their pigs in the Great Park of Hatfield, belonging to the Bishop of Ely, (fn. 121) as tenants in chief of the bishop. Together with the manor of Woodhall it was assessed at one knight's fee, and was held from an early date by the family of Bassingburn. The first actual mention of the manor occurs in 1274, (fn. 122) but as early as 1198 a John de Bassingburn held Woodhall, (fn. 123) so it is possible that he held Astwick also at that date. In 1274 John de Bassingburn and Agnes his wife made a settlement of the manor on themselves. (fn. 124) John died in 1276. (fn. 125) In 1277 his lands were held by Albreda de Bassingburn. (fn. 126) She was succeeded by Stephen de Bassingburn, (fn. 127) whose son John received a grant of free warren in 1300 (fn. 128) and was holding in 1303. (fn. 129) He was followed by his son Stephen before 1333, Joan his widow keeping a third of Astwick as dower. (fn. 130) Stephen was still holding the manor in 1347 (fn. 131) and was followed by Thomas de Bassingburn, who was Sheriff of Hertfordshire in 1370. (fn. 132) In 1428 Edward Tyrell was returned as holding the half fee of John de Bassingburn (fn. 133) (who succeeded his father Thomas before 1397), (fn. 134) but he was possibly a feoffee, for the inquisition taken at his death in 1442 states that he held no lands in Hertfordshire. (fn. 135) In 1493 the manor was held by Thomas Bassingburn, and according to Clutterbuck had been held by his father John. (fn. 136) Thomas married Katherine, the sister of Sir William Say, and in the year mentioned settled the manors of Astwick and Woodhall to her use for life, with remainder to himself and his heirs, Thomas Earl of Surrey being the trustee. (fn. 137) After her death Astwick came to her son John Bassingburn, (fn. 138) who some years before this had 'entered into her house and wounded her contrary to right, and attacked her servants,' denying his father's settlement and claiming the manor by right of a fine levied to him by his father. (fn. 139) He died in 1535, leaving as his heirs two daughters, Katharine the wife of Nicholas Hare and Anne wife of Thomas Gawdy. (fn. 140) The manor of Astwick was apportioned to Katharine Hare, who held it with her mother Etheldreda Bassingburn. (fn. 141) Nicholas and Katharine Hare both died in 1557. The manor was held by their eldest son Michael Hare (fn. 142) in 1607. (fn. 143) He died without issue, and in 1614 it was conveyed by trustees to Ralph Thrale. (fn. 144) He and Mary his wife, together with a certain William Grimwyne and his wife Elizabeth, joined in 1625 in a conveyance to William Deyes. (fn. 145) In 1656 it was held by John Deyes, (fn. 146) from whom it came to Sir Henry Tulse, (fn. 147) who is said to have married Deyes's daughter. (fn. 148) Sir Henry was Sheriff of London and Middlesex in 1673, (fn. 149) Lord Mayor of London in 1684 and Lieutenant of the City in 1690. (fn. 150) He had a daughter and heir Elizabeth, who brought his lands in marriage to Sir Richard Onslow, created Lord Onslow in 1716. (fn. 151) In 1712 he sold Astwick to Sidney Lord Godolphin (fn. 152) whose son and heir Francis married Henrietta, eldest daughter and co-heir of John Churchill, first Duke of Marlborough. Astwick passed with the other Marlborough lands to her nephew Charles, third Earl of Sunderland, who became in 1733 Duke of Marlborough. (fn. 153) He was succeeded in 1758 by his son George, who died in 1817. (fn. 154) George, the fifth duke, sold Astwick in 1819 to John Lloyd, (fn. 155) from whom it passed to his son John, who died in 1875, then to the latter's son John Lloyd of Abbey Gate, St. Albans. (fn. 156) The manor now belongs to Mr. John Lloyd, J.P.
Brockett Hall, Watership or Durantshide
BROCKETT HALL, WATERSHIP or DURANTSHIDE was held of the manor of Hatfield for the service of half a knight's fee. (fn. 157) It seems to have been formed by the union in the same hands of several tenements. In 1234–5 Adam Fitz William held rent in 'Watershepe' from Robert and Alice de Cranemere, to whom he paid 1d. rent. (fn. 158) In 1413 John Mortimer held Waterships of Philip Asshe and John and Christine Muslee (heirs of the Fitz Simons of Symondshyde and Almshoe), (fn. 159) and in that year granted it to the Bishop of Winchester and others, apparently to the use of his wife Eleanor. (fn. 160) In 1277 Simon Fitz Adam (see Almshoe) held Durantshide of the Bishop of Ely for a rent of 60s., (fn. 161) and in 1477 Thomas Brockett held both Waterships and Durantshide (fn. 162); so we may conclude that the latter descended in the same manner as Symondshyde in the interval. The term ' manor' does not actually occur until 1532. (fn. 163) After 1477 Brockett Hall continued in the family from which it took its name until the death of Sir John Brockett in 1598. (fn. 164) His heirs were his five daughters and a grandson, the child of his sixth daughter. (fn. 165) Ultimately the whole came to the fifth daughter Mary and her husband Sir Thomas Reade before 1637. (fn. 166) The manor since that date has followed the same descent as that of Westingtons (in Ayot St. Peter, q.v.). Brockett Hall passed on the death of the seventh and last Lord Cowper to his sister Lady Amabel Kerr, and at her death to her husband, the late Admiral Lord Walter Kerr.
Sir Thomas Reade obtained a grant of free warren in 1615. (fn. 167)
The manor of BLOUNTS is first mentioned, together with the manor of Hornbeamgate, in 1370, when it was granted by John de Louth to Nicholas and Robert his uncles. (fn. 168) It descended with the latter manor, and with it was granted by Robert Louth to Nicholas Britte and Nicholas Leventhorpe in 1468. (fn. 169) These were apparently trustees for Sir John Say, who was in possession in 1468. (fn. 170) After this there is no further record of the manor. (fn. 171)
CHEWELLS (Chivalls, xvi and xvii cent.) was a small reputed manor situated in Cromerhyde and held of the manor of Hatfield. (fn. 172) It is not called a manor until the 15th century, (fn. 173) but is first mentioned in the reign of Henry III, when Nigel son of Richard de Chewell held land in this district. (fn. 174) In the register of 1277 Nigel de Chewell is entered as holding two parts of a fee. (fn. 175) Shortly afterwards it came into the possession of John de Queye or Coye, who held it in 1303 (fn. 176) and in 1317–18 conveyed it to John Benstede, (fn. 177) lord of the manor of Benington, who died seised of it in 1324. (fn. 178) From this date Chewells follows the descent of the manor of Benington until the end of the 15th century. (fn. 179) Sir John Benstede possessed it at his death in 1471, but his son and heir William evidently sold it, for he died in 1485 seised of Benington only. In the reign of Henry VIII the owner was named Blake, (fn. 180) but by 1555 it had been acquired by John Brockett (fn. 181) of Brockett Hall and Symondshyde, and continued in his family, following the same descent as Symondshyde (fn. 182) (q.v.) and presumably becoming merged in it. The only trace of it now remaining is Benstead's Wood, which lies a little south of the village of Cromerhyde.
CROMERHYDE (Creymore Hyde, xvi cent.) is situated between the estates of Symondshyde and Brockett Hall. There is no early mention of the manor; it first appears in the possession of Sir John Brockett, (fn. 183) lord of both the above manors, who probably acquired it as a connecting link between his two estates. After this date Cromerhyde followed the descent of the manor of Symondshyde (fn. 184) (q.v.).
The manor of GACELYNS (Gastlyn, Gasselyns) was held partly of the manor of Hatfield and partly of the manor of Bayford, (fn. 185) and took its name from Geoffrey Gacelin, who held land in Hatfield in 1255. (fn. 186) In 1268 Geoffrey Gacelin and his wife Joan conveyed it as a messuage and 2 carucates of land to William de Valence Earl of Pembroke, (fn. 187) from whom it passed to his son Aylmer de Valence. (fn. 188) The latter died in 1323 without issue seised of 'a tenement called Gacelines,' his three heirs being John de Hastings, son of his sister Isabel, (fn. 189) and Elizabeth Comyn and Joan, wife of the Earl of Atholl, daughters of his sister Joan. (fn. 190) Gacelyns, under the name of the manor of Bishop's Hatfield, was apportioned to Joan and David de Strathbolgi, (fn. 191) the latter of whom died in 1327. (fn. 192) His son and heir David complained in 1332 that the portion of the lands of Aylmer de Valence assigned to his parents had not been delivered, and procured an order for their proper delivery. (fn. 193) The manor was shortly after granted for a fixed rent of £6, and at the death of this David in 1335 was in the occupation of Ralph de Blithe, a citizen of London. (fn. 194) The rent remained in the king's hands owing to the minority of David's heir, and was granted to Adam de Walton. (fn. 195) Next year, however, the £6 rent from these lands was granted as dower to Katherine, widow of David de Strathbolgi, who gave it back to the king in exchange for lands in Northumberland. (fn. 196) Robert de Blithe possibly alienated the manor to Sir Simon de Lek of Cottam, co. Nottingham, for in 1377 he enfeoffed of it William Batesford, Richard Halle, Roger Assheburnham and Edmund del Clay, who released their right to Walter Frost and others. (fn. 197) In 1387 Walter Frost with other feoffees conveyed the manor to Solomon Fresthorp. (fn. 198) This may possibly have been in trust for Walter Marewe, or Fresthorp may have alienated to Marewe, for in 1429 John Marewe son and heir of Walter remitted his right in the manor to John and Elizabeth Kirkeby. (fn. 199) In 1432–3 John Kirkeby granted back rents in the manor to John Marewe. (fn. 200) Kirkeby, however, seems to have held the manor (through feoffees) at the time of his death in 1441. (fn. 201) He left a daughter Alice, aged four. In 1447–8 a certain Richard Clynt and his wife Elena, whose connexion with the manor is not clear, conveyed it to John Fortescue, (fn. 202) who about five years later obtained a release from Elizabeth wife of John London, daughter and heir of John Marewe. (fn. 203) This is the last record of the manor, and it perhaps became absorbed in the Ponsbourne estate.
The park of Gacelyns is first mentioned in 1300, when Aylmer de Valence complained that while he was in Scotland on the king's service certain persons broke into his park at Hatfield, hunted therein and carried away deer. (fn. 204) Apparently he failed to obtain immediate justice, for in 1312 he again advanced his complaint of this offence, (fn. 205) and in 1313 was at length awarded damages. (fn. 206) In 1323 the extent of the park was 60 acres, the wood being valued at 8s. a year. (fn. 207) Free warren was granted to Aylmer de Valence in his demesne lands at Hatfield in 1309. (fn. 208)
The name of LITTLE HOLEWELL was given to certain tenements in Holewell or Holwell which first appear in the possession of Aylmer de Valence, when they were valued at 23s. 1½d. (fn. 209) They were held of the manor of Symondshyde. (fn. 210) Little Holewell passed in the same manner as Gacelyns to Joan and David de Strathbolgi, the latter of whom died seised of it in 1327, holding it of Hugh Fitz Simon of Symondshyde. (fn. 211) It is still mentioned in connexion with Gacelyns in 1336 (fn. 212) and 1377, (fn. 213) but disappears after this date.
HANDSIDE (Haneshyde, xiii cent.) is now represented by a hamlet in the extreme north of the parish. It was held of the Bishop of Ely by service of a quarter of a knight's fee. (fn. 214) It seems to have had its origin in the lands held by John Polayn in Hatfield in 1324. (fn. 215) John son and heir of John Polayn also held lands in this parish previous to 1351. (fn. 216) Both were lords of the manor of Ayot Montfitchet (Ayot St. Peter, q.v.), which manor passed at the death of the second John to the Fish family. The 'manor of Handside' first appears in the possession of a member of the Fish family in the reign of Henry VIII. (fn. 217) A little later it was held by Thomas Fish. (fn. 218) Elizabeth widow of Thomas Fish married secondly William Perient, and continued to hold Handside. (fn. 219) Some time between 1558 and 1579 Edward Brockett brought an action against her, stating that Edward and George, the sons of Thomas Fish, had granted him the reversion of the manor after her death, and protesting because he had heard that she and her husband intended to cut down the wood on the estate, which was valued at 1,000 marks. (fn. 220) Edward Brockett died seised of Handside in 1599, his heir being his son John. (fn. 221) After this there is no further mention of the manor; probably it became absorbed in the Brockett estates.
HERONS was a small reputed manor situated in Cromerhyde, and seems to have been held of Symondshyde. (fn. 222) Its origin is uncertain, but as early as the reign of Henry III one Simon le Heron held land in this district. At this time 4 acres of land granted to Nigel de Chewell are described as lying 'between the land of Simon le Heyrun and the way which leads across Croymer,' (fn. 223) which proves that Simon's land lay in a locality corresponding with the later manor of Herons. In 1293 Geoffrey le Heron received damages from John de Bassingburn and others because they had broken down 10 ft. of his hedge. (fn. 224) In 1315–16 there was a conveyance from Simon Heron to John Benstede of the reversion of a messuage, 240 acres of arable land, rent of money and rent of three clove gillyflowers, one goose, two fowls and five sheep and rights of pasture in Hatfield, (fn. 225) these tenements being probably coincident with the manor. This John de Benstede died in 1359 seised of land in Hatfield called Chewells, some of which was held of the Bishop of Ely and the rest of Hugh Fitz Simon (fn. 226) (of Symondshyde). As Chewells was held of the bishop only, and Herons at a later date is said to be held of Symondshyde, it seems as if 'the rest' here was synonymous with Herons. Edward Benstede was certainly possessed of it at his death in 1432, (fn. 227) so it is probable that it followed the descent of the manor of Benington from an earlier date. After this it is not again separated from Chewells.
Popes or Holbeaches
POPES or HOLBEACHES (Holbeches, Holbeckes, Holbaches) was held of the manor of Hatfield by fealty and free socage. (fn. 228) In 1330 John de Hotham, Bishop of Ely, granted to Robert de Holbeaches and Emma his wife in tail-male a messuage and lands in Hatfield for the rent of one rose yearly at the Nativity of St. John Baptist. (fn. 229) Emma, after the death of Robert de Holbeaches, married John Molyn, the king's envoy, and in 1351 granted these same lands to John de Berland of Prittlewell to hold during her life. (fn. 230) In the reign of Edward III the manor is said to have been held by William Stalworth, (fn. 231) from whom it descended successively to his son John and his grandson William, the latter of whom left two daughters, Elizabeth and Jane, between whom the manor was divided. Elizabeth is said to have married Richard Hall, and her moiety to have descended to two granddaughters, Elizabeth the wife of Laurence Woodhall, who had a son Fulk, and Alice, who married John (James ?) ap Jenkyn. Jane, the second daughter of William Stalworth, is said to have married Charles Blount, and her moiety to have come to her daughter Margaret, who married Thomas Woodhall. (fn. 232)
In 1542 Thomas Woodhall and Margaret his wife conveyed the 'manor of Popes Park,' which was presumably the name given to their moiety, to Fulk Woodhall, (fn. 233) who thus became possessed of threequarters of the original manor, which he held in 1545. (fn. 234) In 1529 James ap Jenkyns and Alice his wife sold a quarter of the manor of Popes to Roger Belamy. (fn. 235) This quarter came to William Belamy, son and heir of Richard Belamy, in 1538, (fn. 236) who sold it in 1548 to William Tooke, (fn. 237) auditor-general of the Court of Wards and Liveries.
Chauncy says that Fulk Woodhall afterwards joined with William Belamy in a conveyance to William Tooke, (fn. 238) who appears in possession of the manor in 1548. (fn. 239) His son Walter died seised of it in 1609, (fn. 240) and was succeeded by his son Ralph, who died unmarried in 1635. (fn. 241) George, his brother, inherited the manor, (fn. 242) but died also without heirs, and the manor came to his brother Thomas. Thomas Tooke sold Holbeaches in 1664 to Stephen Ewer and Joshua Lomax, (fn. 243) who sold it in the following year to Thomas Shatterden, (fn. 244) who possessed it as late as 1696. (fn. 245) Before 1705 it came into the possession of Vice-Admiral Sir David Mitchell, (fn. 246) who died there in 1710, (fn. 247) leaving the manor to his nephew David Cooke, who took the surname of Mitchell. (fn. 248) The latter was succeeded by his son David Mitchell, (fn. 249) who sold Holbeaches in 1744 to William Hulls. (fn. 250) Thence it passed to Rebecca Assheton, daughter of William Hulls, (fn. 251) and to her son William Assheton, (fn. 252) who in 1817 sold it to James Marquess of Salisbury, (fn. 253) and it thus became united to Hatfield.
Holewell alias Holwell Gray
The manor of HOLWELL alias HOLWELL GRAY was held of the Bishop of Ely in chief for half a fee, (fn. 254) and later of the Earls of Salisbury as of the manor of Hatfield, (fn. 255) but a mesne lordship vested in the Peyvre family (of Willian) is mentioned in the 14th century. (fn. 256)
The first sub-tenant mentioned is John de Grey, who held the manor in 1265, for in that year his manor-house there was broken into. (fn. 257) He was succeeded by his son Reginald, (fn. 258) who held the half fee in 1303. (fn. 259) His son John succeeded him in 1308. (fn. 260) In 1309 he complained 'that certain men entered his manor at Holwell, broke into the houses thereof, carried away his goods, felled trees in his wood of Frythewood, and with nets snared rabbits in his free warren.' (fn. 261) John de Grey died about 1324. (fn. 262) He had settled Holwell on his second son Roger, (fn. 263) and the latter obtained a release of the manor from his elder brother Henry in 1328. (fn. 264) He was succeeded by his son Sir Reginald Grey of Ruthyn. Reginald died in 1388 (fn. 265); his widow Eleanor continued to hold the manor until her death in 1396. (fn. 266) Holwell then passed to their son Reginald. (fn. 267) Early in the next century it came into the possession of John Perient, who held it in 1428, (fn. 268) and who also held the manors of Digswell and Ludwick. From this date Holwell followed the descent of Ludwick Manor until 1642, (fn. 269) when it was held by Frances Weld, (fn. 270) but it does not seem to have passed with Ludwick to the Shallcross family, and it is lost sight of until the beginning of the next century.
Some time previous to 1728 Thomas Goddard inherited Holwell from his mother and mortgaged it to Charles Clarke. (fn. 271) Thomas died intestate, and Charles Clarke entered as mortgagee and was in possession in the year mentioned. (fn. 272) In 1743 William Clarke and Mary his wife and Anna Clarke, widow, sold the manor to John Edwards. (fn. 273) Later it was held by Sir Thomas Cave and Sarah his wife, (fn. 274) and passed from them to their daughter Sarah, the wife of Henry Otway, who possessed it as late as 1794. (fn. 275) After this there is no further record of the manor.
HORNBEAMGATE (Hermebemgate, xiv cent.) was a small manor held from an early date by the family of Louth or de Luda. This family held land in Hatfield early in the 14th century, (fn. 276) when Roger de Louth and Joan his wife were living. In 1366 Roger, possibly son of the first-named Roger, and Margery de Louth are mentioned. They possessed a messuage and curtilage in 'Herinbenegatestrat,' which may possibly be the same as Hornbeamgate. (fn. 277)
The first actual mention of the manor of Hornbeamgate is in 1370, when John son and heir of Roger de Louth granted it to Nicholas and Robert, his uncles. (fn. 278) Nicholas died some time before 1392, (fn. 279) and the manor apparently continued to descend in the Louth family. John son of Roger was still living in 1372 (fn. 280); another Robert de Louth appears in 1420. (fn. 281) In 1466 Robert Louth and Edith his wife conveyed the manor of Hornbeamgate to Nicholas Leventhorpe and Nicholas Britte, (fn. 282) apparently in trust for Sir John Say, who was in possession in 1468. (fn. 283) There seems to be no further trace of it.
The manor of LUDWICK (Lodewyk, xiv and xv cent.) was held successively of the Bishops of Ely, the king and the Earls of Salisbury (fn. 284) as of the manor of Hatfield. It seems to have belonged early in the 13th century to a family of the name of Ludwick. The first mentioned is Roger de Ludwick, whose name occurs in a document of 1220. (fn. 285) William de Ludwick is mentioned in 1248 (fn. 286) and Adam de Ludwick in 1284. (fn. 287) In 1294 John de Ludwick conveyed 'the manor of Ludewyk' to William de Melksop, (fn. 288) who held the manor of Digswell. After the death of William de Melksop, however, the manor apparently returned to the Ludwicks, as the family seems to have been settled at Hatfield throughout the 14th century. In 1316 William de Ludwick went 'beyond seas' on the king's service with Aylmer de Valence, (fn. 289) and in 1332 accompanied his neighbour Hugh Fitz Simon on a pilgrimage to Santiago. (fn. 290) In 1342 there is an order for the arrest of William de Ludwick and his brother John, (fn. 291) upon what charge is not stated. He seems, however, to have been a somewhat turbulent neighbour, for in 1348 Stephen de Bassingburn of Woodhall complained that William and his sons John and Thomas 'broke his close and house in Bishop's Hatfield, entered his free warren, carried away his goods and hares, rabbits, pheasants and partridges from the warren, and assaulted his servant.' (fn. 292) John de Ludwick succeeded his father at some date before 1377, and in that year, and for many years up to 1406, was justice of the peace for Hertfordshire. (fn. 293) In 1413 John Ludwick and Alice his wife held Ludwick with John Deram, Philip Thornbury and Nicholas Rys, (fn. 294) and in 1413–14 it was released to John Peryan or Perient of Digswell. (fn. 295) In 1421–2 John Bassingburn and Alice Countess of Oxford and John Mortimer her husband released to him some interest which they had in the estate. (fn. 296) Ludwick descended in the Perient family in the same manner as Digswell (fn. 297) until it came to Thomas Perient, who died in 1545. (fn. 298) His heirs were four daughters, but his brother John, being the nearest male heir, held Ludwick (fn. 299) until his death without male issue, when this manor was apportioned to Anne the third daughter of Thomas Perient and the wife of Anthony Carleton, (fn. 300) who held it in 1566, (fn. 301) and sold it before 1569 to Edward Denton. (fn. 302) Edward and Joyce Denton conveyed it in 1575 to John Lacy. (fn. 303) The latter sold Ludwick in 1588 to Humphrey Weld, (fn. 304) who died possessed of it in 1610 and was succeeded by his son John. (fn. 305) In 1622 it came to his son Humphrey, a minor, (fn. 306) who held the reversion of the manor after the death of his mother Frances, who survived until after 1642. (fn. 307) Some time before 1716 Ludwick came into the possession of Thomas Shallcross, (fn. 308) who held it then, and in 1720 sold it to Jeremy Hale of King's Walden, (fn. 309) who held it in 1728, (fn. 310) and in whose family Ludwick descended (fn. 311) until 1819, when William Hale gave it to the Earl of Salisbury in exchange for Quickswood in the same county, (fn. 312) and it thus became united to the main manor.
William de Melksop obtained a grant of free warren in this manor in 1301–2. (fn. 313)
PONSBOURNE (Pomelesborne, Ponnysbourne, xvi cent.) was held of the manor of Hatfield. (fn. 314) There is no early mention of it by name, but as members of the family called Ponsbourne held lands in Hatfield in the 13th and 14th centuries it seems likely that they were the early possessors. The first of these to be mentioned is William de Ponsbourne in 1281. (fn. 315) The name of John de Ponsbourne occurs in 1293, (fn. 316) and of Robert the son of William de Ponsbourne in 1308. (fn. 317) In 1346 the heir of Robert de Ponsbourne is mentioned, (fn. 318) after which there is no further record of the family, but in 1441 John Kirkeby died seised of lands formerly of Robert Ponsbourne. (fn. 319) It probably was acquired with Gacelyns by Sir John Fortescue, the chief justice. He forfeited in 1462, when Lord Wenlock was granted his lands. (fn. 320) John Fortescue, who ultimately succeeded, was sheriff in 1481 and 1485; he died in 1499–1500 and was succeeded by his son John. (fn. 321) This John Fortescue died seised of the manor of Ponsbourne in 1517. (fn. 322) His son and heir Henry Fortescue next held it. He leased Ponsbourne to Sir William Cavendish for eighty years and sold the reversion in 1538 to Sir Thomas Seymour, Lord Admiral of England, who conveyed it to the Crown in exchange for other lands. (fn. 323) In 1553 Ponsbourne was granted by Edward VI to Sir John Cock, (fn. 324) who died in 1558 and was succeeded by his son Henry. (fn. 325) In 1622 the manor was held by Sir Edmund Lucy, the husband of Elizabeth daughter of Henry Cock. (fn. 326) He conveyed it in that year to Edward Sheldon, who in 1630 sold Ponsbourne to Sir John Ferrers, (fn. 327) who died seised of the manor and disparked park called Ponsbourne Park in 1640. (fn. 328) Sir John's eldest son Knighton Ferrers predeceased him, leaving a widow Katharine and an infant daughter of the same name. (fn. 329) In 1649 Ponsbourne was in the possession of Thomas Viscount Fanshawe of Dromore and Katharine his wife, the daughter and heir of Knighton Ferrers, (fn. 330) who in 1655 conveyed the manor to Stephen Ewer. (fn. 331) In 1660 Stephen Ewer repaired the chapel at Ponsbourne, (fn. 332) and in 1672 obtained a licence as a Presbyterian, presumably to hold services in his house. (fn. 333) In 1674 he sold the manor to John Woollaston, (fn. 334) who sold it again to Paris Slaughter, whose son Paris succeeded in 1693. (fn. 335) His daughter and heir married a Mr. Clarke, whose son William Clarke (fn. 336) sold Ponsbourne to Samuel Strode, who was lord of the manor in 1728. (fn. 337) He was succeeded by his son William, who died in 1756, and by his grandson William, who in 1761 conveyed the manor to Lawrence Sullivan. (fn. 338) From Lawrence it passed to his son Stephen, who sold it in 1811 or 1812 to William Busk, (fn. 339) from whom it was purchased in 1819 by his brother Jacob Hans Busk. In 1836 the manor was again sold to Mr. Wynn Ellis, who disposed of it in 1875 to Mr. James William Carlile. (fn. 340) The latter is the present lord of the manor, and resides at Ponsbourne Park. Ponsbourne Manor House is the residence of Colonel Sir E. Hildred Carlile, M.P. for Mid-Herts.
The manor of SYMONDSHYDE was held of the manor of Hatfield for the service of half a knight's fee and suit of court every three weeks. (fn. 341) In the lnquisitio Eliensis, compiled about 1086, Adam is stated to hold 2 hides of the abbot, which may represent Symondshyde. (fn. 342) Adam is the only tenant mentioned as holding as much as 2 hides, which was the quantity held by the Fitz Simons in 1277. (fn. 343) Moreover, Adam Fitz Hubert was the Domesday holder of Almshoe, and this manor and Symondshyde appear later in the hands of the same sub-tenants, the Fitz Simons. At the beginning of the 13th century William Fitz Simon was holding half a knight's fee in Hatfield, and in 1237 Adam Fitz William was a party to a conveyance of land there. (fn. 344) The manor then follows the same descent (fn. 345) as Almshoe (Hitchin Hundred) until 1805, when Symondshyde was sold by Sir Robert Salusbury to John Fordham. (fn. 346) John Fordham was succeeded by his son John Edward Fordham, who in 1852 sold the manor to the Marquess of Salisbury, (fn. 347) after which it became merged in the main manor of Hatfield.
Tolmers or Newgate Street
TOLMERS or NEWGATE STREET was held of the Bishop of Ely and later of the Crown. (fn. 348) Its early history is very obscure; the name Tolmers suggests that it was formerly in the possession of a family of that name. In the register of the lands of Ely, compiled in 1277, a certain Walter de Tolymer was entered as holding land of the bishop in Hatfield, together with the right as a tenant in chief of pasturing his cattle in the Great Park of Hatfield belonging to the bishop. (fn. 349) In 1308 John the son of William Tolymer released the lands in Hatfield which he had acquired from his brother William to John le Hayward. (fn. 350) These lands were probably the manor of Tolmers, but there is no record of their descent for two centuries following. The first actual mention of the manor of Tolmers occurs in 1516, when Edmund Chyvall and Alice his wife, in whose right he held the manor, conveyed it to William Tattorn. (fn. 351) Thirteen years later Sir William Say, the holder of many Hertfordshire manors, died seised of it. (fn. 352)
Tolmers then descended with the manor of Benington (fn. 353) (q.v.), and in 1566 the reversion was granted to Robert Earl of Leicester. (fn. 354) He died without heirs in 1588, and his lands reverted to the Crown. (fn. 355) In 1608 Tolmers was granted to Sir Henry Goodere or Goodyer, to be held of the king as of his manor of East Greenwich by fealty and free socage. (fn. 356) Sir Henry was perpetually in straits for want of money, and was much given to composing flattering poems, perhaps with a view to bettering his fortunes. In 1619 he wrote an ode to the Marquess and Marchioness of Buckingham on the occasion of their marriage, (fn. 357) and in 1623, when Prince Charles made his journey to Spain in search of a bride, he addressed poems to him both on his departure and his return. (fn. 358) In 1626 he petitioned to be admitted a Gentleman Usher of the Queen's Privy Chamber, saying that he 'desired only meat, drink and lodging, with some dignity, in that place where he had spent most of his time and estate.' (fn. 359) It is not recorded whether he was successful, but he died in the following year, and his son-in-law Francis Nethersole was granted £1,000 in consideration of his own and his father-in-law's services. (fn. 360) He left four daughters, Lucy the wife of Francis Nethersole, Elizabeth, Mary and Anne, (fn. 361) but the manor passed to another Sir Henry Goodere and Etheldreda his wife, (fn. 362) who was succeeded by his son Francis before 1638. (fn. 363) In 1649 Francis Goodere sold Tolmers to Robert Shiers of the Inner Temple (fn. 364); he was succeeded by his son George Shiers, (fn. 365) who is said to have died in 1685, and devised his estates to charitable uses. (fn. 366)
In 1714 Hugh Shortridge, S.T.P., was lord of the manor. (fn. 367) In 1715 he conveyed Tolmers to Sir Francis Vincent and other trustees to hold to his own use for life, with remainder to the trustees to carry out his charitable bequests, among which was an annual payment of £220 to Exeter College, Oxford. (fn. 368) In 1802 Sir William Geary and others, who seem to have been the trustees succeeding Sir Francis Vincent and the others, sold Tolmers to Garnet Terry. (fn. 369) In 1827 it was sold by Margaret wife of Charles Mousley, who may have been the daughter of Garnet Terry, to Charles John Dimsdale. (fn. 370) He sold it in 1834 to Samuel Mills, who died in 1847, (fn. 371) and was succeeded by his son Thomas Mills, (fn. 372) from whom it passed to his brother John Remington Mills, who was lord of the manor in 1877. (fn. 373) He died in 1879, (fn. 374) and his eldest son John Remington Mills having predeceased him in 1865, his estates passed to his two granddaughters, who were co-heiresses. (fn. 375) One of them was lady of the manor in 1880. It now belongs to Mr. J. Henry Johnson.
WOODHALL was held of the manor of Hatfield for the service of one knight's fee. (fn. 376) The earliest mention of the manor occurs in 1198, when it was held by John de Bassingburn and Albreda his wife, and leased to Hamelin de Andeville and Alice for her life. (fn. 377) Albreda was still living in 1248. (fn. 378) Woodhall descended in the Bassingburn family in the same way as the manor of Astwick (fn. 379) until the death of John Bassingburn in 1535, when Woodhall passed under a settlement to Thomas Gawdy, the son of Anne, second daughter of John Bassingburn. (fn. 380) In 1564 Thomas Gawdy and Honor his wife conveyed the manor to Sir John Boteler of Watton Woodhall. (fn. 381) Sir John's eldest son Philip sold Hatfield Woodhall to his brother Henry, who died in 1609 seised of it jointly with his son John. (fn. 382) Sir John Boteler the younger died in 1637, (fn. 383) and his two elder sons Henry and Philip having died without issue the manor came to his third son William, an idiot, (fn. 384) who died in 1665. His next heirs were his five sisters, two of whose husbands, Francis Lord Dunmore and Endymion Porter, had been his guardians. The manor, however, was held in tail-male, so that it passed to Francis son of Ralph Boteler, the third of Sir John Boteler's eight half-brothers. (fn. 385) Francis Boteler died in 1690 and was succeeded by his daughter Juliana, the wife of Francis Shallcross. (fn. 386) She died in 1726 and Woodhall passed by will to her sister Isabel, the wife of Charles Hutchinson, (fn. 387) who died in 1728. Their son Julius Hutchinson succeeded (fn. 388) and was followed by his son Thomas, who died in 1774. (fn. 389) Woodhall then passed to his nephew, the Rev. Julius Hutchinson, son of his brother Norton, (fn. 390) and in 1792 was sold to the Earl of Salisbury, and thus became merged in the manor of Hatfield. (fn. 391)
Free warren was granted to the lord of the manor in 1300. (fn. 392)
The parish church of ST. ETHELDREDA, (fn. 393) standing on high ground on the east side of the town, is built for the most part of flint rubble with stone dressings. The roofs are tiled and the tall spire is shingled.
It consists of a chancel, north and south chapels, north and south transepts with western chapels, nave, west tower of four stages with angle buttresses embattled parapet and tall spire and north and south wooden porches.
The original church of the early 13th century appears to have been cruciform with a central tower, of which evidence remains in the thickened east wall of the nave and a flying arch on the north side. The chancel and transepts appear to have formed part of this church, and the north wall of the nave probably stands on the foundations of the nave wall of the 13th century. Late in the same century the small chapels on the west side of the transepts were built and a south chapel was added; this chapel was widened late in the 15th century. In the 15th century also the nave was widened to the south, when the central tower was destroyed and the present west tower built. The north chapel, known as the Salisbury chapel, was added about 1600–10. In the 19th century the walls of the nave were rebuilt, the porches were added, and all the window tracery and most of the external stonework were renewed.
The chancel has a two-centred east window of three lights with tracery above. The shafted inner jambs with foliated capitals are of the 13th century. The north arcade, built about 1610, is of three bays of semicircular arches on Roman Doric columns. The soffits are richly decorated and the arches have modillion-shaped keystones. On the south side are a two-light window and an arcade of two bays of the 15th century. The central pillar and responds are of clustered shafts with ogee rolls between, and there are angels bearing shields in the capitals on the north and south sides. The middle shield on the central pier has the arms of Fortescue, Azure a bend engrailed argent cotised or on the bend in chief a molet sable. The two-centred chancel arch is modern, and has detached shafts with capitals carved with lilies and a label with mask stops. Under the south-east window is a piscina of the 13th century, with a modern arch.
An iron screen of the 18th century separates the chancel from the north chapel, which has three three-light windows—one at the east and two in the north wall—all of about 1610. On the west two modern arches, supported on responds and a central pillar, open to the north transept. The walls of the chapel are richly decorated with modern coloured mosaics and marble work, and the panelled and painted roof is also modern.
The south chapel has an east window of five lights and two south windows of four lights each, probably of the late 15th century, all with much restored tracery, and a small south doorway under the westernmost of the two south windows. The windows and doors all have four-centred heads. The two-centred arch at the west end, opening into the south transept, is of the 13th century, of three continuous chamfered orders, and immediately to the south of it is a plain narrow doorway of the 15th century, also leading to the south transept, which was inserted when the chapel was widened.
The nave, of which the axial line is about 6 ft. south of that of the chancel, has a 13th-century arch at the north-east and south-east, opening into the chapels west of the transepts. Both bases and capitals of the arch on the south side are modern, but on the north side the bases are old. The responds are half-octagonal, and the arches are two-centred, of three chamfered orders. There are three two-centred modern windows of three lights, with tracery of three quatrefoils, in the north and in the south walls. The north door, which is much repaired, is of the 15th century, and the south doorway is modern. To the north of the chancel arch is a moulded piscina of the late 14th century. In the roof are six small modern dormer lights.
The north transept has a north window of four trefoiled lights with tracery above; it is possibly of the 15th century, but has been wholly restored. Below it is a doorway with a two-centred head. In the west wall is a 15th-century doorway leading to the vestry, which is modern, with a two-light window in the north wall and an exterior doorway and another two-light window in the west wall. To the south of the doorway from the transept is a semi-arch or flying buttress of the 13th century. The chapel, which opens to the transept through the semi-arch, has a modern west window of two lights.
The south transept retains older detail than any other part of the church. In the east wall is a lancet window of the 13th century, now blocked, and to the north of it is a large trefoiled recess of the same period. Both are set high in the wall, and the latter is cut into on the north side by the arch leading to the south chapel. The archway which opens to the chapel west of the transept is a fine example of the work of about 1240, and shows traces of having been rebuilt in the position it now occupies. The arch is of two orders, deeply moulded with richly undercut rolls and hollows. The two innermost rolls have fillets and the rest are plain. The responds have their engaged round shafts with dog-tooth ornament between them, which has been much restored. The capitals are foliated and the bases are modern.
The south window of the transept is wholly renewed, and is of four trefoiled lights with geometrical tracery in a two-centred head. The chapel has modern south and west windows, both of two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil over, in a two-centred head.
The lofty tower arch is of about 1440, and is of three weakly moulded orders. It is two-centred and has a label with return stops. The west doorway has a two-centred arch in a square head, with tracery in the spandrels. Both it and the window above it are original work of the 15th century. thwest angle of the tower a door gives access to a turret stairway leading to the upper stages of the tower, built in the thickness of the wall, and not projecting externally. This turret rises very slightly above the parapet of the tower. The top stage of the tower is lighted by four windows of two cinquefoiled lights, with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head. They are arranged in pairs on the north and south sides.
The oldest monument in the church is now in the north chapel, and consists of a small coffin-lid with the figure in low relief of a knight in armour of about 1160. The body is almost wholly covered by a large heater shield.
Also in the north chapel, to the south of the coffinlid, is the large and elaborate marble altar tomb with the effigy of Robert first Earl of Salisbury, the founder of the chapel, who died in 1612. The altar slab, with the recumbent effigy of the earl wearing an armet with the visor open and the collar of the Garter, and holding a staff in his right hand, is supported by four finely-sculptured kneeling figures holding a sword, vases, broken columns and a skull. Beneath the slab, and between the four figures, is the representation of a skeleton.
In the south chapel is a large monument between the south windows to Dame Elizabeth Saunders, 1612, and Dame Agnes Saunders, 1588. It consists of an altar-tomb with marble panelled sides, with the effigies of the two ladies, half-recumbent, with their heads to the west, lying, one on the tomb itself and the other behind it raised upon a step. Behind them a recess is formed by a semicircular arch resting on modillions, with Renaissance foliation in the flat spandrels. This recess contains the inscription on a rectangular slab. On the cresting of the cornice are two shields and a lozenge in the centre. The left-hand shield bears Moore: Argent a fesse dancetty gobony gules and sable between three molets sable. The right-hand shield has the arms of Saunders: Party cheveronwise sable and argent three elephants' heads razed and countercoloured, and on the lozenge is Moore impaling Barry ermine and gules, for Hussey. There is also in the south chapel a tomb of John Brockett, 1598, with shields of Brockett impaling and quartering other coats.
The plate consists of a silver gilt chalice, paten, flagon and almsdish, each inscribed 'The parish church of Bishop's Hatfield in ye county of Hertford 1685,' two other silver chalices and patens, and another silver flagon.
The registers are in eight books: (i) baptisms 1653 to 1713, burials 1653 to 1690, marriages 1653 to 1740; (ii) burials 1678 to 1713; (iii) burials 1695 to 1750; (iv) baptisms 1713 to 1782, marriages 1741 to 1753; (v) baptisms 1783 to 1812; (vi) burials 1751 to 1812; (vii) marriages 1754 to 1772; (viii) 1772 to 1812.
The chantry at the altar of St. Anne in the parish church of Hatfield was founded in 1330 by Roger de Louth, 'for the good estate of himself and his wife Joan in life, for their souls after death, and for the souls of Thomas de Louth, late treasurer of the Church of St. Mary, Lincoln, John Hayward and Katharine his wife.' (fn. 394) He gave ten messuages, 40 acres of land and 10s. rent in Hatfield to the Prior and convent of Wymondley for a chaplain to celebrate daily service. (fn. 395) In 1392 John de Wendelyngburgh and others, apparently trustees of Nicholas de Louth, added two messuages, 33 acres of land, 2 acres of meadow and 2 acres of wood for the benefit of the soul of Nicholas de Louth (fn. 396) (or Luda). The advowson was held by the Louth family.
In the report made to Edward VI in 1548 the revenue from the tenements was reckoned at £9 8s. 8d. James Shawe, the incumbent, was 'an impotent man of the age of seventy years.' (fn. 397) After its suppression the lands were granted in the same year to Ralph Burgh and Robert Beverley. (fn. 398)
A chapel connected with the lords of the manor of Ponsbourne existed in the parish church of Hatfield, and was situated next to that of the Blessed Mary of Ludwick. (fn. 399) In 1518 John Fortescue left provision for ' an honest clerk' to celebrate mass there annually for the souls of himself and his ancestors. (fn. 400) In 1660 the 'Chapel of Ponsbourne ' adjoining the church was repaired by Stephen Ewer, who had refused to pay the assessment for the repair of the parish church unless his own chapel was also repaired. (fn. 401)
The image of the Blessed Mary of Ludwick in Hatfield Church is mentioned in 1470, (fn. 402) also the images of the Blessed Mary of Pity (de Pete), (fn. 403) St. Anne, St. Etheldreda and the Holy Trinity. (fn. 404)
There are references in the 16th century to a Gild or Fraternity of St. John the Baptist. In 1510 a bequest was made to it by John Lowen (fn. 405) and others, in 1514 by Nicholas Lanam, (fn. 406) and in 1520 by William Clarke. (fn. 407) In 1538 a tenement in Woodside yielding a yearly rent of 4s. belonged to ' a brotherhood,' (fn. 408) and in 1545 a Fraternity is entered as paying 6d. towards a subsidy. (fn. 409) After this it disappears.
Lemsford, in the north of the parish, was formed into a separate ecclesiastical parish in 1858, (fn. 410) and the church of ST. JOHN, LEMSFORD, was erected in that year by the Dowager Countess Cowper of Brockett Hall and her children as a memorial to her husband, the sixth earl.
The advowson of the church of St. Etheldreda at Hatfield (fn. 411) belonged from the earliest times to the Abbots and Bishops of Ely, (fn. 412) and remained in their hands until it was conveyed with the manor to King Henry VIII in 1538. (fn. 413) The church was never appropriated, and the living has always been a rectory. It remained in the hands of the sovereign until I 549, when it was granted to the Earl of Warwick. (fn. 414) It must have been conveyed with the manor to Elizabeth, for she granted it in free socage to Thomas Poyner and William Wolriche in 1563, (fn. 415) from whom it is said to have been purchased in the same year by Richard Onslow. (fn. 416) About 1570 the latter gave the rectory as a lay estate to his brother, for his own and his wife's life. (fn. 417) Richard Onslow was Speaker of the House of Commons and SolicitorGeneral in 1566. (fn. 418) In 1574 the advowson was held by Fulk Onslow, (fn. 419) and in 1604 by Edward Onslow, (fn. 420) who in that year conveyed it to Goddard Pemberton. (fn. 421) The latter is said to have sold it to the Earl of Salisbury in 1607 (fn. 422); it was certainly in the hands of the second earl, (fn. 423) and has remained in the possession of the same family since. (fn. 424) In 1534 a survey of the parsonage was made by command of Thomas Cromwell for purposes of repair. It then consisted of a hall and parlour with chambers over, an entry between the hall and kitchen, a kitchen, bake-house, malt-house, oat barn, ox-house, sheephouse, cart-house and hen-house, (fn. 425) so it must have been a considerable establishment.
In 1307 the parson of Hatfield was granted free warren in the lands belonging to the church. (fn. 426)
In 1538 there was a church-house called the 'common church-house,' which was used for bridal feasts, and was let at other times to provide funds for its maintenance. (fn. 427)
Various meeting-places for Protestant Dissenters were certified in Hatfield from 1694 onwards. (fn. 428) There is a Union chapel in Park Street, built in 1823, and a Wesleyan chapel. The Roman Catholic Church of the Blessed Sacrament was completed in 1910.
In 1678 Sir Francis Boteler and Dame Elizabeth Boteler his wife by deed conveyed to trustees a messuage and farm called Clarke's Farm, situate at Ludwick in this parish, the rents and profits thereof to be applied for such purposes as the said Dame Elizabeth Boteler should direct. The said Dame Elizabeth by her will, dated in 1681, directed that the objects of the bounty should be five widows, four to be chosen from the inhabitants of Bishop's Hatfield and one an inhabitant of the parish of Tewin. The trust property now consists of £2,397 4s. 1d. consols held by the official trustees, arising from sales of land and accumulations of income, and producing £59 18s. 4d. yearly.
In 1667 Thomas Tooke by deed charged his manor of Wormley with an annuity of £3 to be distributed on St. Thomas's Day to the six poorest and most aged men and women, and in 1720 Mrs. Julia Shallcross by a codicil to her will directed £9 a year to be paid out of her estate of Hatfield Woodhall to three widows of the parish for ever. It appears that the payment of these charges is now in abeyance.
Edward Smith's charity, being an annual charge of £2, is received (less tax) from the agent of Earl Cowper, the owner of Place Farm, which lies in the parishes of Wheathampstead (fn. 429) and Sandridge.
In 1733 Ann Countess of Salisbury by deed gave a fee-farm rent of £50 (subject to deduction of £10 for land tax) towards clothing and teaching twenty girls. The fee-farm rent is understood to be vested in the Corporation of Southampton, and is duly paid.
In 1807 Mrs. Mary Ross by her will, proved in the P.C.C. 12 March, charged certain land and hereditaments at Bather Dell with an annuity of £3 to be applied on St. Thomas's Day in clothing for six old and poor widows.