A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 2, General; Ashford, East Bedfont With Hatton, Feltham, Hampton With Hampton Wick, Hanworth, Laleham, Littleton. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
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EAST BEDFONT WITH HATTON
East Bedfont lies in the level country to the east of Staines. The parish stretches along the great main road from London to the south-west of England, narrowing about the village, to the east of which it spreads southward towards Ashford, while westward and northward a long tongue of land includes the hamlet of Hatton and reaches as far as Cranford on the Bath road. The land for the most part is laid out in fields and is but sparsely wooded. The village lies on the broad London to Staines road, the houses standing well back from the highway, leaving ample space for a green with fine trees, which lies before the church. In front of the south porch are two very curiously cut yew trees, of the most fantastic shape; the date 1704 forms part of their ornament. In coaching days East Bedfont stood midway in the second stage out of London, between Hounslow and Staines. The inns were described in 1826 as 'respectable and yielding good accommodation.' (fn. 1) The Black Dog Inn, about 1¼ miles along the London road, was then the receiving house for letters. A public hall, to seat 300 persons, was built in 1884 by the Bedfont Public Hall Co., Ltd. There is a Baptist chapel, which was erected in 1903. The Windsor line of the London and South Western Railway runs through the southern part of the parish. East Bedfont has no station, the nearest being that at Feltham, 1½ miles away. Besides the main highway from London to the south-west, roads from Hatton and Cranford, from Stanwell, and from Feltham converge on the village. 'The Duke of Northumberland's River' cuts in a straight line across the parish from west to east. It is a branch of the Colne, which leaves that river near Longford, and running in an artificial channel falls into the Thames near the Duke of Northumberland's house at Syon. It is said to have been made by the convent of Syon in the time of Henry V. (fn. 2) The more wandering course of the 'Queen's or Cardinal's River' enters the parish at almost the same point, and passes out to the south towards Feltham. It supplies water for Hanworth and Bushey Parks and for Hampton Court, (fn. 3) and is said to have been made by Cardinal Wolsey's orders. The latter river is crossed by the London road at White Bridge, and the road to Hatton is carried over both rivers within a few score yards of one another by the Two Bridges. The River Crane forms the most easterly boundary of the parish, and near its junction with the Duke of Northumberland's River are the Bedfont Powder Mills, which are now disused. There is a gravel pit by the road to Ashford.
The hamlet of Hatton lies 2 miles to the northeast of East Bedfont. It forms a junction for the many byways which radiate north and south towards the Bath and the Staines roads, and for this reason it is said to have been a favourite haunt of highwaymen in days gone by. It then stood on the borders of Hounslow Heath, and either road was easily accessible from the old inn, the 'Green Man' where the hiding-hole behind the chimney is still shown.
Two fairs, held respectively about 7 May at Bedford and 14 June at Hatton, were abolished by the Home Secretary on the representation of the Justices of the Peace in April 1881. (fn. 4) It does not appear how long it had been the custom to hold the fairs.
The soil and subsoil are gravel; the crops consist mainly of garden produce. There are 1,926½ acres in the parish, of which five-sixths are under cultivation, the remainder being grass, with about 4 acres of woodland (fn. 5) and 18 acres water. The parish was inclosed under an Act of 1813. (fn. 6) A mill is mentioned in the taxation returns of 1291 as belonging to the abbey of Westminster. (fn. 7)
Most of the principal landowners of the parish are resident. Mrs. Reed lives at St. Mary's, and Mr. Henry Barnfield at Oakdene on the Ashford Road. Temple Hatton, once occupied by Lady Pollock, is now the St. Antony's Home for Boys. Mr. Alfred Barnfield lives at Pates Manor.
EAST BEDFONT was assessed at 10 hides in the time of Edward the Confessor. (fn. 8) Eight and a half of these were held by Azor, and lay within the jurisdiction of his manor in Stanwell. The remaining 1½ hides were divided equally between three sokemen, vassals respectively of Edward the Confessor, of Earl Lewin, and of Azor. The whole 10 hides were granted as a manor by William I to Walter Fitz Other, castellan of Windsor. (fn. 9) His descendants took the name of de Windsor, by virtue of their hereditary office as keeper of the castle. (fn. 10) East Bedfont owed the service of one knight's fee in the honour of Windsor in 1212, (fn. 11) and still continued to owe service to that honour in the 15th century. (fn. 12) It was probably included in the surrender to the Crown of the Windsor lands in Middlesex in 1542, and from that time it was held in chief. (fn. 13)
In 1086 the tenant of East Bedfont was one Richard. (fn. 14) It seems to have then given name to a family of under-tenants, for Walter de Bedfont held a knight's fee under Windsor in 1166, (fn. 15) and Henry de Bedfont held one in Bedfont under him in 1198. (fn. 16) The manor was held of the Windsors in the year 1212 by Nicholas de Aune, (fn. 17) the king's clerk and possibly also clerk to Richard Earl of Cornwall. (fn. 18) It is not clear how it came to John de Nevill who held it early in the reign of Edward II. (fn. 19) He was probably one of the Nevills of Essex, and was a distant connexion of the Windsors, through the marriage of his ancestor Hugh de Nevill with the heiress of Henry de Cornhill, (fn. 20) who himself had married the descendant and heiress of Robert Lord of Little Easton, the second son of Walter Fitz Other. (fn. 21) John de Nevill conveyed his right in the manor of East Bedfont to the Trinitarian Priory at Hounslow. (fn. 22) It was confirmed to the master and brethren by Edward II in 1313, (fn. 23) and remained in their hands until the suppression of the monastery in 1530. (fn. 24)
In the reign of Elizabeth it was leased to Robert Sownes (fn. 25) but was granted in 1599 to Sir Michael Stanhope (fn. 26) of Sudbury, Suffolk, who in 1609 protested against the king's order for the erection of gunpowder mills and workmen's houses on the manor. (fn. 27) Sir Michael died in 1621, having settled the reversion of the manor six years previously on his second daughter Elizabeth, on the occasion of her marriage with George Lord Berkeley. (fn. 28) It was inherited by the latter's son George, (fn. 29) who conveyed it in 1656 to Algernon, Earl of Northumberland. (fn. 30) It has since descended with that title, (fn. 31) the representative of which was created Duke of Northumberland in 1766. (fn. 32)
At the time of the Domesday Survey the Count of Mortain held 2 hides in Bedfont, which lay in his manor of Feltham. (fn. 33) As there is no further mention of this land, it probably became merged in the parish of Feltham, which adjoins East Bedfont.
The so-called manor of PATES (Patys, Paytes, Patts, xvi cent.) was held of the manor of East Bedfont. (fn. 34) John Pate and Juliane his wife held land in Bedfont in 1403-4. (fn. 35) It was presumably the estate which was known later as the manor of Pates. The manor is said to have been held in 1498 by John Naylor and Clemence his wife, (fn. 36) whose daughter and heiress married Thomas West, leaving an only son Edmund West. (fn. 37) The latter left two daughters-Elizabeth who married John Bekenham, and Margaret, and these conveyed the manor in 1549 to Roland Page. (fn. 38) From them it passed in 1561 to Thomas Brend, (fn. 39) who conveyed it in 1575 to George Britteridge. (fn. 40) The latter died seised of the manor in January 1580-1, leaving it to his son and heir Edward, then ten years old. (fn. 41) Edward had seisin of his inheritance in 1594, (fn. 42) but Thomas Page, possibly a relation of Roland, seems to have had possession of the estate even during the minority of the heir, for in 1589 he conveyed two-thirds of the manor to John Draper. (fn. 43) The latter apparently left the same to his wife Barbara, and she with her second husband, Edward Pigeon, conveyed them in 1614 to Edward Hewlett. (fn. 44) The remaining third is said to have been sold in 1593 by Thomas Page to Philip Gerrard, who sold it in the following year to Henry Bell. (fn. 45) Henry and William Bell conveyed it in 1621 to Edward Hewlett, (fn. 46) who in 1623 gave the whole manor to Christ's Hospital. (fn. 47) The hospital still holds this property. (fn. 48)
The so-called manor of FAWNES was held of the manor of East Bedfont. It seems to have been conveyed to the Crown with the Windsor lands in Middlesex in 1542, (fn. 49) and from that date to have been held in chief. (fn. 50)
Richard Foun held land in East Bedfont by gift of Ralph de Bromland and Alice his wife, belonging to the latter, as early as the reign of Edward I, (fn. 51) and Alan Foun or Fawne held land there in the succeeding reign. (fn. 52) Robert Fawne, who was probably their descendant, and who is described as a citizen and skinner of London, held premises in the parish in 1428. (fn. 53) Ten years later a messuage and lands called Fawnes were pledged by William Edy, a draper, to John Derham of Windsor, for debt. (fn. 54) Fawnes is first mentioned as a manor in 1531, when it was in the possession of John Kempe. (fn. 55) The history of the manor is somewhat obscure. It was held by Anthony Walker as early as 1583 and at his death in 1590, (fn. 56) and was inherited by his son Thomas, (fn. 57) who still held it in 1603. (fn. 58) In 1618, however, it came into the hands of Felix Wilson, (fn. 59) in whose family it remained until 1654, (fn. 60) when it passed to Thomas Darling. Edward Darling held it in 1668, (fn. 61) after which date there is no trace of the manor until 1739, when Thomas Manning held it. (fn. 62) He seems to have been still in possession ten years later, (fn. 63) but by 1792 it was in the hands of Aubrey (Beauclerk), Baron Vere, (fn. 64) who succeeded to the dukedom of St. Albans (fn. 65) in 1787, and who held Fawnes in 1802. (fn. 66) It is now the property of Mr. William Sherborn. (fn. 67) Fawnes stands on the south side of the village.
In 1086 Roger de Montgomery, Earl of Arundel, held 1½ hides in HATTON, which in the reign of King Edward the Confessor had been held by two sokemen, vassals of Albert of Lorraine. (fn. 68) This land belonged to the earl's manor of Colham, in which it probably became merged. A second entry in the Domesday Survey relates to a still smaller estate in Hatton, which was held by Walter Fitz Other, and which had been held formerly by two vassals of Azor. (fn. 69) It is probable that this land became merged in the Windsor Manor of East Bedfont, and was possibly granted to Hounslow Priory with the rest of that property. The priory certainly held land in Hatton in 1382, (fn. 70) and in 1599 it was granted, as land formerly belonging to Hounslow, to Sir Michael Stanhope, (fn. 71) and from that time has always been held with the manor of East Bedfont (q.v.).
Edward III seems to have built a house at Hatton, which was known as Hatton Grange. Richard II held this of the priory of Hounslow at a yearly rent of 50s. (fn. 72)
The church of St. Mary The Virgin consists of chancel 25 ft. 1 in. by 16 ft. 3 in., nave 54 ft. 3 in. by 16 ft. 3 in., north transept 26 ft. by 29 ft. 3 in., and west porch with a tower adjoining it on the west side. The earliest parts are the chancel arch, south doorway, and two small windows -one in the nave, the other in the chancel- which date from c. 1130, when the church consisted of a simple chancel and nave, both of the same width, but considerably shorter than at present. In order to give more light to the chancel two windows were inserted on the south side in the 13th century, but the church appears to have remained very small until the 15th century, when the chancel was lengthened 8 ft. 3 in. eastward, and probably the nave some distance westward; there is nothing to show how much the nave was increased, the western portion having been rebuilt in modern times, nor can any date be ascribed for the addition of a tower, as the present one is also a rebuilding.
The whole of the church except the north transept is built of pudding stone, of dark-brown colour, even to the quoins of the original chancel, but the doors and windows of both early and later work are in hard chalk. The tower is lined with brick, and the upper part is of timber with a projecting clock gable and surmounted by a four-sided shingled spire. The north transept is quite modern, built of yellow stock bricks with stone windowheads. Internally the whole of the church excepting the tower is plastered.
The east window is of the 15th century, with three trefoiled lights under a pointed segmental head and an external moulded label. In the north wall is a small deeply-splayed 12th-century light, and in the walling to the east of it can be seen the pudding-stone quoins of the contemporary north-east angle. In the south wall is a single trefoiled light under a square head, of the same date as that in the east wall, and to the west of it is a small square recess, its head made of the top of a small lancet window; it may have had a flue originally. To the west are a modern pointed doorway and two windows, one of one, the other of two lights, apparently 13th-century work, with double hollow chamfers on the outer face and internal rebates for a frame.
The west end of the nave has been rebuilt; on the north side are two modern two-light windows and an arcade of two bays resting on a round column with a capital and base in 14th-century style, and at the north-east angle of the nave are two pointed recesses, one in the east and one in the north wall, with a modern shaft in the angle. In the east recess is painted a Crucifixion, and in the other our Lord in judgement, and the dead rising, the date of the work being c. 1300. At the south-east of the nave is a 16th-century redbrick projection for a rood stair, lighted by a small four-centred window. To the west of it is a pointed segmental-headed window of the 16th century with three cinquefoiled lights and a moulded label, and to the west again a small original 12th-century window. The south doorway, c. 1130, is round-headed, of two orders with cheveron ornament. The west wall contains a modern pointed doorway in 13th-century style, and above it a circular window filled with plate tracery.
There are no monuments of note, but in the chancel on the north wall is a brass with the figures of Matthew Page, 1631, and his mother Isabel, 1629. On the same wall is a 17th-century marble scutcheon with a bend wavy and three lions rampant. In the south-west corner is a painted wooden panel to Thomas Weldish, who died in 1640, with his arms, Vert three running greyhounds argent, on a chief or a fox gules. In the graveyard to the east of the chancel is a slab to Matthew Page, 1678, with the arms, a fesse indented between three martlets; this used to be in the floor of the chancel, but has been replaced by a brass copy.
The plate consists of a small cup inscribed as the gift of I. F., with the date 1719, the hallmarks being illegible, a small standing paten from the same donor with the date-letter of 1719, a larger standing paten with no hall-marks, given by John and Serena Lee, 1756, with their arms, checky a lion rampant, and a cup of 1857.
The registers before 1812 are in four parts:- (i) burials 1678-1778 (with affidavits to 1725), baptisms 1695-1777, marriages 1695-1754; (ii) marriages printed 1754-1812 ; (iii) baptisms 1778-1813 ; (iv) burials 1779-1812.
The advowson was granted to the priory of the Holy Trinity, Hounslow, with the manor, by John de Nevill before 1313, (fn. 73) and a vicarage was ordained and endowed by the Bishop of London in 1316, of which the master and brethren continued to be the patrons until the Dissolution. (fn. 74) After that time the advowson was in the hands of the Crown until it was granted to the Bishop of London, who first presented in 1568. (fn. 75) In 1591 and 1597 John Draper, who held a lease of the rectory, (fn. 76) was allowed to present to the vicarage by favour of the bishop. (fn. 77) The patronage belonged to the see of London until 1880, when it was transferred to the Crown by an exchange. (fn. 78)
The rectory was held by Hounslow Priory until the suppression of the monasteries, (fn. 83) when it was ceded to the Crown. It came to the Bishop of London by exchange for other lands belonging to the see, (fn. 84) probably about the same time as the grant of the advowson. Bishop Aylmer gave it on lease in 1588 to John Draper of 'Luderworth' and his daughters Margaret and Cecilia, together with the tithes, the parsonage barn, and the StraweHouse, but saving the right of the vicar in the close known as the Old Vicar's Close. (fn. 85) It was to be held for the term of their lives at a rent of £8 13s. 4d. The rectory has always belonged to the patron of the living, but the tithes of sheaves and grain were granted to various persons at different times. They were conveyed in 1621 by Sir John Crompton to Edward Hewlett, (fn. 86) who then held the manor of Pates (q.v.), and in 1645 by James and William Hewlett to Francis Page. (fn. 87) Later in the same year a third of the tithes of grain was leased to Thomas Bartlett by William Norbonne for eighty years if the latter's wife Frances should live so long, the rent to be one peppercorn. (fn. 88) In 1691-2 the rectory and tithes were leased by John Clarke to Robert Goodyer. (fn. 89) Four-fifths of the rectory and tithes were conveyed to William Sherborn in 1789 by William Adams and others. (fn. 90) The rectorial tithes are now held by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners.
Hatton has always been ecclesiastically dependent on East Bedfont, though at the Dissolution Hatton Rectory was valued separately (at £4) among the possessions of Hounslow Priory. (fn. 91) It was held by the Crown after the priory was suppressed, and the tithes were leased under Elizabeth to Anthony Rowe, auditor of the Exchequer, and after his death to his three sons. (fn. 92) Probably the rectory was granted with the advowson of East Bedfont to Bishop Aylmer. The tithes are mentioned with those of Bedfont in 1621. (fn. 93) They were held independently in 1726, when they were conveyed by John Page to Richard Burbridge, (fn. 94) and again in 1787, when apparently the co-heiresses of the Burbridge family conveyed them to George Webber. (fn. 95)
In 1631 Matthew Page, as mentioned in the Parliamentary Returns of 1786, bequeathed a legacy for the poor, which is now represented by £83 6s. 2d. consols, held by the official trustees. The dividends, amounting to £2 1s. 8d., are applied in the distribution of money in sums of 2s. or 2s. 6d.