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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Feltham lies to the south of the main road from Hounslow to Staines, which runs just beyond and parallel with the northern boundary of the parish, The country is almost level, with a slight upward trend from south to north, but the highest point reached is only 73 ft. above ordnance datum. (fn. 1) The River Crane forms part of the eastern boundary, and 'the Queen's or Cardinal's River' (v.s. East Bedfont) flows diagonally across the northern part of the parish, passing under the railway near the station, and a few hundred yards farther under the Feltham-Hounslow road, by a bridge which was built about 1800. (fn. 2) Of the 1,789½ acres in Feltham, about two-thirds are composed of arable land, and 371 acres are laid down in permanent grass. (fn. 3) There are only 20 acres of woodland, (fn. 4) and these lie mostly about the private houses in the north-east. The parish was inclosed in 1800 with Hanworth and Sunbury. (fn. 5) Until that date Hounslow Heath extended over the eastern part of the parish, and apparently the only roads which then existed were those from Ashford and from Hanworth. Even what is now the principal road, that which leads from the village to Hounslow, was not constructed till after this date. (fn. 6) The cross-road from Hatton, and the ways leading west from St. Dunstan's Church towards Bedfont and south through Feltham Hill, were also laid out at this time, the two latter following the courses of ancient tracks. (fn. 7)
The village is long and straggling, and extends for over a mile along the road to Hounslow. The older part lies towards the south, about the parish church of St. Dunstan. The houses stand close on to the narrow road, which curves sharply to the right, and then with a right-angled turn to the left proceeds past Feltham Farm to the central portion of the village. It is here known as the High Street, and widens out slightly before reaching the Red Lion Hotel, just beyond which a large pond lies to the right of the road. Northwards again are the more modern houses and shops, which are increasing year by year. Farther to the northwest is Southville, which at present consists of two streets of workmen's houses. The modern buildings lie within easy reach of the station, which is on the Windsor branch of the London and South Western Railway.
The spiritual needs of this growing population have been met by the erection of St. Catherine's Church, which was built in 1880 as a chapel of ease to the parish church, which stands at the upper end of the village. A north porch was added in 1890, and the tower and spire in 1898. There are two large Congregational chapels, one of which was founded in 1805 and rebuilt in 1865, while the second was built in 1905. A Wesleyan chapel was erected in 1870, and a Baptist chapel in the same year. A cemetery, extending over 1½ acres, was formed in 1880 at a cost of about £1,400. It has no mortuary chapels, and is now under the control of the Urban District Council. The convent of SS. Mary and Scholastica, belonging to an Anglican community of nuns living under the rule of St. Benedict, was founded in 1868 by Father Ignatius. (fn. 8) It was supported mainly by the sale of plain needlework and church embroidery worked by the sisters, and there was a small orphanage and day school attached to it. The establishment was broken up and removed in 1873. (fn. 9)
The hamlet of Feltham Hill lies on the southern borders of the parish, and is composed mainly of a few private houses standing in their own grounds. Mr. Alfred William Smith, one of the chief landowners in Feltham, lives at The Park in Feltham Hill. The old Manor House at Feltham is the residence of another landowner, Mr. Robert Smith.
William Wynne Ryland, the well-known engraver, who was the first to use the chalk or dotted line in his art, is buried in the churchyard. He was executed at Tyburn in 1793 for forging bonds of the East India Company. (fn. 10) Mrs. Frances Marie Kelly (Charles Lamb's 'Barbara S-'), actress and founder of the School of Acting in Dean Street, Soho, spent the last years of her life at Ross Cottage, and is buried at Feltham. She died in 1882. (fn. 11)
The parish is known chiefly for the Middlesex Industrial School for Boys, which occupies a large tract of ground in the south-west between the roads to Ashford and to East Bedfont. It was built in 1859 to hold about 1,000 boys, and consists of a large principal building, a chapel, infirmary, workshops, gas factory, residences for officers, and other detached buildings. About 70 acres of land are cultivated by the institution. There are ivory works near the village, and a cartridge factory stands on the banks of the River Crane. Saw mills have been erected near the station, and there is a large gravel pit lying near the railway line. A considerable portion of the parish is cultivated by nursery and market gardeners. The soil is gravel on a subsoil of gravel. The following place-names occur:-Swanne, Fullers and Loom Pit Closes, Mark Corner, the Greth.
FELTHAM is mentioned in a charter of King Edgar as one of the members of Staines which had been given to Westminster Abbey by Offa King of Mercia. (fn. 12) This charter is, however, of doubtful origin, (fn. 13) and though Feltham may have belonged to Westminster at an early date, yet it is not mentioned among the manors belonging to Staines in the confirmatory charter of Edward the Confessor, (fn. 14) the authenticity of which is not questioned.
According to the Domesday Survey there were two manors in Feltham before the Conquest; one consisting of 5 hides was held by a vassal of King Edward, the other, consisting of 7 hides, was held by a vassal of Earl Harold. (fn. 15) Both were given by the Conqueror to Robert Count of Mortain, and were held by him as one manor. (fn. 16) The Mortain lands were forfeited to Henry I after the rebellion of Count Robert's son, William, in 1104. (fn. 17) Feltham seems to have been granted shortly after to the Redvers family, who held it of the king in chief. The grant was probably made to Richard de Redvers, who received many gifts of land in return for his services to Henry I before the latter's accession, (fn. 18) and Richard's son, Baldwin de Redvers, held land in Feltham, while his daughter Hawise de Roumare, Countess of Lincoln, gave the church to St. Giles in the Fields. (fn. 19) The manor apparently descended in the direct male line, and came eventually to William de Vernon, (fn. 20) also known as de Ripariis, or Rivers, the second son of Baldwin de Redvers, who succeeded to the family estates and title of Earl of Devon after the death of his elder brother's sons, the youngest of whom died in 1184. (fn. 21) William de Vernon died in 1216, (fn. 22) and Feltham seems to have passed through the marriage of his daughter Joan (fn. 23) to Hubert de Burgh, (fn. 24) the justiciar of England. In 1228 the latter conveyed all his right in the manor to Henry III, together with his right in Kempton Manor in Sunbury parish, in exchange for the manors of Aylsham in Norfolk and Westhall in Suffolk. (fn. 25) From this time Feltham was closely associated with Kempton, and as part of that manor lay within the jurisdiction of its larger neighbour. (fn. 26) In 1245 Richard de Ponte, by virtue of his office as custodian of Kempton Manor, was granted an exemption from all customs and services due from 2 virgates and 1½ acres of land in Feltham, with a reduction of rent from 11s. 5½d. to 5s. (fn. 27) In 1440 Robert Manfield, then keeper of the manor, and William Pope were granted 12s. a day from the profits of the towns of Feltham and Kempton by reason of their office of bearing the rod before the king and the Knights of the Garter at the Feast of St. George. (fn. 28) The king extended the protection in 1445 to all the men, tenants and residents in his manor of Feltham, with the assurance that their corn, hay, horse and carriages and other goods and chattels should not be seized for the king's use during a term of ten years. (fn. 29)
Feltham was annexed by Henry VIII to the manor of Hampton Court, (fn. 30) and it was held of that manor in 1594 and as late as 1631. In 1594 the 'perquisites and issues of the courts, all franchises, privileges, emoluments, and hereditaments' in Feltham were granted to Sir William Killigrew with a lease of Kempton Manor and park for eighty years. (fn. 31) This grant was possibly made with a view to inclosures. Sir William's son, Sir Robert, obtained a grant in free socage of the same manor and park in 1631, presumably with the same rights over Feltham; for the deed recites the grant to Sir William of the courts and profits of the courts, and other emoluments in Feltham, although in the ensuing confirmation to Sir Robert, Feltham is not mentioned by name. (fn. 32) His son and grandson, Sir William and Robert Killigrew, held manorial rights over Feltham together with the manor of Kempton in 1651, and conveyed them with the latter manor to Sir Brocket Spencer and William Muschamp. (fn. 33) It seems probable that the manorial rights over Feltham died out about the end of the 17th century. There is evidence that courts were held there by the lords of Kempton in 1676 and 1700. (fn. 34) The manorial rights probably died out very soon after.
The grant of jurisdiction in Feltham and Kempton to Sir William Killigrew in 1594 did not of course affect the king's possession of his lands in Feltham (vide supra). In 1631 Francis Lord Cottington received a grant through his trustees, Sir Henry Browne and John Cliffe, of these lands under the title of 'all lands, tenements, and hereditaments known as the manor of Feltham,' together with certain specified tenements. (fn. 35) A great fire broke out in 1634, which destroyed Lord Cottington's manorhouse, together with thirteen dwelling-houses and sixteen barns, causing a loss of nearly £5,000. (fn. 36) Lord Cottington was on the king's side in the Civil War, and was amongst those excepted by Parliament from indemnity or composition. (fn. 37) His estates were confiscated, and were assigned in 1649 to John Bradshaw the regicide, (fn. 38) but they were recovered at the Restoration by his nephew and heir, Charles Cottington. (fn. 39) The latter sold Feltham in 1670 to Sir Thomas Chambers. (fn. 40) He died in 1692, and was succeeded by his son Thomas, who left two daughters. (fn. 41) By the marriage of the elder, Mary, Feltham came to Lord Vere Beauclerk. (fn. 42) It was inherited by their son, Aubrey (Beauclerk) Baron Vere, who succeeded his cousin in 1787 as Duke of St. Albans. (fn. 43) He still held the manor in 1802, (fn. 44) but it was sold probably after his death in 1803 to a Mr. Fish, who himself died before 1816. (fn. 45) It came before 1874 to Thomas and Edward Barnet, and Peregrine Birch, by whom with others it is still held.
By an order stated in the court roll for 1676 no person was allowed 'to bring or receive into the parish of Feltham or to entertain there any foreigner or stranger as an inhabitant' without the consent of the majority of the parish, and without giving security to the churchwardens or overseers of the poor for the care of any such 'foreigner.' (fn. 46) Any one transgressing in this manner was liable to a fine of 11d. to be paid to the lord of Kempton manor. The parish not being inclosed at that time there was a great expanse of common pasture for pigs, and consequently two 'hogg-drivers' were appointed for the year in the manor court. (fn. 47) One of their duties was to give warning to the owners of every 'un-ringed' hog or pig which they found in the commons or fields, and if after two days the warning was still disregarded, they were entitled to 4d. for each hog and 2d. for each pig over and above the amount of the fine paid by the owner to the lord of the manor. (fn. 48)
(Reye, Ray, Raye, xvi and xvii cents.) was held of the lords of Feltham. William de Vernon gave land in Feltham to the convent of Cheshunt, (fn. 49) and the gift was confirmed by Hubert de Burgh as lord of the manor of Feltham before 1229. (fn. 50) Land was held of the convent by Agnes de la Rye, who was probably the daughter or the widow of Richard de la Rye. (fn. 51) Whether he took his name from the land or the land was named after him, it seems to have been known as the Rye from that time. At the instance of Dionysia, Prioress of Cheshunt, and as the result of a lawsuit which was perhaps collusive, Agnes conveyed her land in 1257 to John the Warrener of Kempton, to hold at a yearly rent of 7s. from the convent. (fn. 52) In 1311 Alice de Somery, who was then prioress, released all the convent's right in the land to John, (fn. 53) who seems to have added to it to a considerable extent; this sub-tenancy is here lost sight of. (fn. 54) The Rye, having passed as part of the manor to the Crown in 1228, (fn. 55) was granted by Henry VIII to the Hospital of St. Giles in 1524, in return for other lands in Feltham which Henry VII had taken for the enlargement of Hanworth Park, and for which no recompense had been made. (fn. 56) The Rye then consisted of a barn and toft, a croft, a close, and 30 acres of land. (fn. 57) After the lands of St. Giles had been ceded to the Crown in 1537, the Rye was granted to John Welbeck in 1543, on a lease of twenty-one years. (fn. 58)
It was included in the grant of the manor to the trustees of Lord Cottington in 1631, (fn. 59) and was at that time, as it had been in 1543, divided into two parts-the Great Rye, containing a barn, two closes and 4 acres of pasture and woods; and the Little Rye, which consisted of 3 acres. (fn. 60) Both were included in the manor in 1670. (fn. 61) Rye Close was still known in 1800. (fn. 62) It lay on the southern borders of the parish to the east of Feltham Hill.
An estate called HAUBERGERS in Feltham was apparently held in chief. John le Hauberger held a considerable estate in Feltham in the reign of Edward II. About 40 acres of land had belonged to Thomas atte Brugge, who held of the king, and these had been acquired by John le Hauberger from Thomas le Spenser in the preceding reign. (fn. 63) As the transaction had been carried out without gaining the consent of the king, the lands were taken into the king's hands. On payment of a fine, however, the offence was pardoned, and John le Hauberger was allowed to enter again into possession in 1326. (fn. 64) He died about 1335, and in common with his wife Margaret he held a certain amount of land in Feltham of the king at a yearly rent of 15s., payable to the manor of Kempton. (fn. 65) He held also a smaller estate of the Hospital of St. Giles, (fn. 66) and both were inherited by his son Edward le Hauberger, who was born and baptized at Feltham. (fn. 67) It was probably these lands which were known later as Haubergers or Lucyes. A farm of this name was bought from Nicholas Townly by Francis Lord Cottington in the 17th century, (fn. 68) and descended with the latter's manor to his nephew Charles Cottington. (fn. 69) The manor was sold to Sir Thomas Chambers in 1670, but Haubergers was specially excepted. (fn. 70) It was the cause of litigation shortly afterwards between Charles Cottington and Francis Philips, who held Kempton Manor, (fn. 71) and the farm was finally sold to the latter in 1674 for the sum of £150, and in consideration of the release of £29 13s. 4d. which Cottington owed him as costs and charges in the foregoing suit. (fn. 72) It was then known as Feltham Farm, (fn. 73) and seems to have descended with the manor of Kempton, for in 1800 it was supposed to form part of the property of Edmund Hill, who had bought Kempton in 1798. (fn. 74) The present Feltham Farm lies on the main road near the older part of the village. (fn. 75)
The RECTORY MANOR, which was also known as the manor of Feltham, was held of the king in chief. The Hospital of St. Giles in the Fields received a grant of land in Feltham at an early date from Earl Baldwin de Redvers. (fn. 76) The gift has been ascribed to the reigns of Richard I and John, (fn. 77) but no member of the family named Baldwin was living at that time, (fn. 78) and it was probably made by the Baldwin de Redvers who was son and heir of Richard de Redvers, and first Earl of Devon, (fn. 79) whose daughter gave the church of Feltham to the hospital. (fn. 80) In this case the grant must have taken place before 1155, the year in which Baldwin died. (fn. 81) It was confirmed to the hospital by Pope Alexander IV in the time of Henry III. (fn. 82)
In the reign of John the master and brethren of St. Giles granted land in Feltham to Robert Simple at a yearly rent of 14s. (fn. 83) When any of the brethren passed through Feltham he was bound by the terms of his lease to receive them in the house (hospicium), and to give them such food as he had. He was also to give to the hospital a tenth of the produce of the land, and a third of all his chattels at his death, in return for which the land was secured to him and his heirs, though he could neither pledge nor alienate it, and the hospital undertook to compel the villeins on the estate to work for him. (fn. 84)
It was perhaps the same house which was mentioned in 1307 as in the custody of Robert Simple. An inquiry was then made as to the advisability of stopping up a way in the village of Feltham which led to the village well through the middle court of the house belonging to St. Giles. (fn. 85) The village seems to have been just within the king's manor of Feltham, (fn. 86) but on condition that the hospital made a new and equally convenient approach to the well they were allowed to stop up the old way. (fn. 87) The alteration really benefited both parties, for not only did the hospital ensure the privacy of their house, but also the new way was considerably shorter and broader than the old. (fn. 88)
The Hospital of St. Giles held the rectory manor until 1537, when, in exchange for the manor of Burton Lazars, it was ceded to the king. (fn. 89) All the land which the hospital had held in Feltham was granted in 1544, after the dissolution of the house, to John Dudley, Viscount Lisle, the son of the Earl of Northumberland. (fn. 90) He sold it in May 1545 to John Welbeck, (fn. 91) who conveyed it during the same month to John Leigh of London, probably in mortgage, (fn. 92) as Welbeck had licence to alienate to Andrew Bury in the following December. (fn. 93) It is uncertain how the rectory came to Edward Bashe or Baeshe, who died seised of it in 1587. (fn. 94) He had settled it the preceding year on his son and heir Ralph, on the latter's marriage with Frances daughter of Edward Cary. (fn. 95) Ralph and Frances conveyed it in 1595 to Walter Gibbes and Elizabeth his wife. (fn. 96) By his will (dated 7 June 1612) Walter settled it on Elizabeth for twentyone years. (fn. 97) She apparently died before May 1620, for Walter Gibbes, eldest son and heir of the elder Walter, came into his inheritance at that time. (fn. 98) He conveyed it in 1626 to William Penfather, from whom it passed to Francis Lord Cottington, (fn. 99) who had a grant of the reputed manor of Feltham in 1631 (q.v.). From that time the rectory and manor have passed through the same hands.
The church of ST. DUNSTAN has a nave and chancel of equal width, built in 1808, with a west tower and wooden spire covered with shingles. North and south aisles, in a feeble Romanesque style, were added in 1853, and to the north of the chancel is a vestry. The whole is built of yellow and purple stock bricks, with round-headed windows, and has no architectural merit; but being set in a thicklyplanted churchyard, with a path shaded by yews leading to its principal doorway in the west wall of the tower, can hardly be said to detract from the simple charms of its surroundings. It retains its high pews, and a western gallery, and has nothing worthy of note beyond a tablet to Sir Thomas Crewe of Steane, Northamptonshire, 1688.
The plate consists of a flagon of 1801, 'the gift of Henry Capel to Feltham 1802,' two chalices of 1787, a paten of 1769, and a credence paten of 1777, all presented in 1802; there is also a large secular Georgian salver of 1769 presented in 1900.
The registers previous to 1634 were burnt in a fire in that year, and the earliest now existing are in two books in which those from 1634 onward are placed in irregular order; a third contains baptisms 1711 to 1806; a fourth marriages from 1754 to 1812 in printed forms, and a fifth burials 1754 and 1812.
The church is first mentioned in a 12th-century grant, when it was given to the Hospital of St. Giles in the Fields by Hawis, the wife of William de Roumare, Earl of Lincoln, (fn. 100) the sister of Earl Baldwin de Redvers who gave other lands (v.s. rectory manor) in Feltham to the same hospital. (fn. 101) The gift of the church was confirmed by Henry II, and about 1221 by Eustace, Bishop of London, and again by Pope Alexander IV, and later by Edward I. (fn. 102) Before 1322 a vicarage was ordained and endowed, to which the warden and brethren continued to present until the Dissolution. (fn. 103)
In 1293, when the brethren of St. Giles were resisting the claim of the Bishop of London to exercise jurisdiction over the hospital and all its possessions, a special exception was made in the case of Feltham, and it was stated that as the church was quite outside London, yet in the diocese of London, the bishops had been wont to make visitation there, and apparently they continued to do so. (fn. 104)
In 1398 Richard II gave the Hospital of St. Giles, with the church of Feltham, to the abbey of St. Mary Graces by the Tower of London. (fn. 105) It is doubtful, however, if the grant took effect, and in either case, the custody of St. Giles was confirmed to the monastery of Burton Lazars by Henry V. (fn. 106)
When the master of Burton ceded the rectory manor of Feltham to the king in 1537 the church was excepted from the grant, (fn. 107) and probably did not come to the Crown until the suppression of the monastery in 1539. (fn. 108) From this time onwards the advowson was held with the rectory manor (q.v.).
On the confiscation of Lord Cottington's estates in 1649 the advowson was assigned with the manor to John Bradshaw. (fn. 109) On receiving the tithes of Feltham he issued an address in 1651 to the inhabitants of the parish, stating that his anxiety 'touching spyrituals' had led him to provide and endow a minister for them without putting them to any charge. (fn. 110) He left a bequest in his will for maintaining a good minister at Feltham, (fn. 111) but all his property was confiscated under the Act of Attainder of May 1660, (fn. 112) and the advowson was restored to Lord Cottington's nephew and heir, Charles Cottington. (fn. 113)
It continued with the manor (q.v.) for over a century, (fn. 114) and thus was held by the Duke of St. Albans in 1802, (fn. 115) but it seems to have been separated from the manor early in the 19th century. The Rev. Joseph Morris held it from about 1816 to 1840, (fn. 116) after which it was held by the Rev. P. P. Bradfield until about 1850. It then came to Charles E. Jemmet, after whose death it was held by his executors. It now belongs to Mr. E. J. Wythes of Copped Hall, Essex, whose father married Catharine Sarah, daughter of Mr. C. E. Jemmet.
The Poor's Stock, which, as appeared from the table of benefaction, formerly consisted of payments made to the overseers of £2 6s., £2, and 12s. annually, and carried to the poor rates, has ceased to be paid.
In 1798 Robert Lowe by his will bequeathed £200 stock, the dividends to be applied in bread. The legacy is now represented by £202 13s. 4d. consols, producing £5 1s. 4d. a year, which, together with certain fixed payments amounting to £1 5s. a year, granted in 1774, is duly applied by the vicar.
In 1804 almshouses for poor and aged inhabitants were erected on a piece of land formerly part of Feltham Common, in pursuance of a resolution of the vestry, and endowed with £202 0s. 6d. consols. They are further maintained out of the income of the Poor's Land. See below.
In 1844 Mrs. Mary Anne Paine (as recorded on a tablet in the church) gave £100 consols to be laid out by the vicar and churchwardens in bread to be distributed among twenty aged poor persons during January, February, and March.
In 1852 William Paine by a codicil to his will bequeathed £179 12s. 2d. consols, one moiety of the dividends to be annually applied for benefit of a clothing club, the other moiety annually in January in purchase of clothes to be distributed amongst ten aged poor persons regularly attending services of the Church of England at the discretion of the vicar and churchwardens. The dividends, amounting to £4 9s. 8d., are duly applied.
In 1867 John Ashford, by will, proved at London 10 April in that year, bequeathed a legacy, represented by £618 9s. 4d. consols, the dividends to be applied at Christmas time in the purchase of fuel, clothes, meat, or bread for distribution among old men and women. The dividends, amounting to £15 9s., are distributed in meat and clothing under the title of the Ashford and Moore Charity.
In 1826 Thomas John Burgoyne by deed dated 9 December (enrolled) assigned to trustees a piece of ground in St. Pancras, with a messuage thereon for the residue of a term of twenty-one years, and subject as therein mentioned to accumulate the rents to form a fund, the income thereof to be applied towards the salary of the organist, repair of organ, and for the encouragement of psalmody, or of the church music. The trust fund consists of a sum of £404 0s. 2d. consols. The sum of stock has by an order of the Charity Commissioners been apportioned equally between this parish and the parish of Potton, Bedfordshire.
The Poor's Land or Fuel Allotment, acqu red by an award made under the Inclosure Act, 40 Geo. III, consists of 30 a. 3 r., known as the 'Gibbet Ground,' awarded to the lord of the manor of Colkennington alias Kempton, and the vicar, churchwardens, and overseers of Feltham for providing fuel for the poor. In 1890 2 acres were purchased for £324, and in 1902 land with greenhouse and buildings erected thereon and five greenhouses at Bedfont were purchased for £425, provided by sale of stock, with the official trustees, leaving in their name a sum of £478 8s. 5d. consols.
The charity is administered under the provisions of a scheme of the Charity Commissioners of 18 July 1890, whereby the net income is applicable primarily in defraying the cost of supplying with coal deserving and necessitous poor residents in the parish, one-twelfth of the residue in defraying the expenses incidental to letting of lands in allotments, and one-twelfth of such residue in maintenance and repair of the almshouses above referred to, and for the benefit of the inmates.