A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 4, Harmondsworth, Hayes, Norwood With Southall, Hillingdon With Uxbridge, Ickenham, Northolt, Perivale, Ruislip, Edgware, Harrow With Pinner. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1971.
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Agrarian history to 1545.
In 1086 Harrow was assessed at 100 hides, which included land for 70 ploughs, pasture for the cattle of the vill, and woodland for 2,000 pigs. It was worth £60 T.R.E., £20 when Archbishop Lanfranc received it, and £56 in 1086. There were 4 ploughs, and could be 5 more on the 30-hide demesne, and there were 45 ploughs, and could be 16 more, on the land held by the archbishop's tenants, both French (franc') and villeins. The tenants consisted of a priest, who held one hide, three knights, who held 6 hides and had 7 men under them, and villeins on various holdings: 13 each on ½ hide, 25 each on a virgate, 48 each on ½ virgate, and 13 on 4 hides. There were 2 cottars on 13 a. and 2 serfs. Apart from common and woodland, Harrow therefore was divided almost equally between the lord's demesne (30 hides) and the land of all the other holders (29¾ hides and 13 a.), although most of the arable (45 out of 49 ploughs) was held by tenants. (fn. 1)
In 1093–6 Harrow was farmed out, for £54 a year, (fn. 2) and it probably continued to be farmed out, like other archiepiscopal manors, for most of the 12th century. (fn. 3) Direct exploitation of the demesne, however, had started by 1231, (fn. 4) when a reeve is first recorded. The 'grange of Harrow' and the submanor of Woodhall existed by 1236. (fn. 5) In 1273–4 Harrow and Woodhall were grouped with Hayes, Lambeth, Wimbledon, and Croydon under one bailiff. (fn. 6) This grouping was somewhat haphazard until Archbishop Pecham (1279–92) organized his manors into six large bailiwicks, which remained unchanged for the rest of the Middle Ages. Harrow and its later sub-manors formed one of the richest estates in the valuable Middlesex and Surrey bailiwick. (fn. 7)
The 'Harrow' demesne c. 1285 was divided into three arable fields, called Bendenefeld (178 a.), Russalespirifeld (158 a.), and Wytingesbergh (186½ a.), five meadows, called Hempstall and Rylwyneslovehagh (34 a.), Rodlandesdene (12½ a.), Harerashdene (2½ a.) and Wolnothesdene (1½ a.), 'thirteen pastures' in Sevenacre and pasture in Lovenford (33 a.). Harrow or, more properly, Sudbury, manor seems to have been the original demesne manor, (fn. 8) and its arable, 482½ a., probably corresponds to the 4 ploughs in demesne of the Domesday Survey. The sub-manor of Woodhall was in c. 1285 divided into three arable fields, called Oldefeld and Chalvecroft (115½ a.), Middelfeld (73½ a.), and Fernover (90 a.), and five meadows, Langemed (5 a.), Westmed (3 a.), Tan Redding (Tanrudinge) (2¼ a.), Oxenlese (20 a.), and 'in the old pond and behind it' (3¼ a.), Woods were noted at Pinner Park, Weald, and Sudbury. The cultivable demesne had been extended since 1086 by creating Woodhall manor, but the total of the two manors (just over 920 a.) left much land that was still afforested. (fn. 9)
In the two demesne manors a mixed, but predominantly arable, economy was necessitated by the archbishops' continuous travelling. The one concession to the heavy clay soil seems to have been a larger proportion of oats to wheat than on the archbishops' more fertile Kentish manors. (fn. 10) In 1233 £43 8s. 4d. was spent on oats for seed and horse provender, and on wheat for wages at Harrow and Hayes. (fn. 11) Oats were sold and wheat was purchased in 1236–7, when ditches enclosed the wheat at Woodhall. (fn. 12) In 1273–4 the largest crop was oats: 123 qr. were produced by the two manors, 29 qr. were bought, and a small amount was confiscated from a felon, to give a total of 159 qr. 5 bu., of which 122 qr. 1 bu. was used in seeding 244 a. at Sudbury and Woodhall. Of a total of 55½ qr. of wheat, 44 qr. 6 bu. had to be bought and 43 qr. of this was used in seeding 172 a. Most of the maslin, 53 qr. 6½ bu. out of 70 qr. ½ bu., was also bought, but all the peas and beans, 7½ qr., were produced on the home manors. (fn. 13) The year 1273–4, however, seems to have been particularly bad for arable produce. (fn. 14)
In 1236 an ox-house at Harrow grange was mentioned, and 124 cheeses and the hides of a horse and 5 calves which had died from disease were sold. (fn. 15) In 1273–4 there were 15 cows, 17 steers, and 26 heifers; during the year 20 calves were born, 13 steers and 17 heifers were sent to Hayes, one heifer died, one cow and 6 calves were sold, and two calves were paid in tithe. There were 62 goats, of which 49 were she-goats; 21 died during the year and two were sent by the steward to the Earl of Winchester; the dead she-goats and 12 of their kids were sold for hides and four goats and 16 kids were also sold. In 4½ months 21 cows and 24 goats produced 18 gallons of butter, all of which was sold, and 160 cheeses, of which 151 were sold. Draught animals in 1273–4 comprised 3 carthorses, a mare and her foal, 7 stots, and 28 oxen; during the year one carthorse and 4 stots were bought, a stot was acquired as a heriot, and 4 oxen were sent from Canterbury, but the mare and foal and one dead stot were sold. (fn. 16) By 1278 there were 3 carthorses, 16 stots, and 38 oxon. (fn. 17)
In the 14th century wheat and oats continued as the chief crops of a three-field system. An account (fn. 18) made after the death of Archbishop Stratford (d. 23 Aug. 1348) (fn. 19) shows that wheat was sown on 101 a. of fallow land at Sudbury, 84½ a. at Woodhall, and 90 a. at Headstone. Probably never more than one third of the grain, and often considerably less, was sold. (fn. 20) A small amount of maslin at Woodhall was mentioned in 1348, and about 3 qr. of peas and beans on each manor were mixed with grain as payment for the manorial labourers. (fn. 21) All the manors produced a little hay, (fn. 22) and in 1348 the main Sudbury meadows, Hempstall and Ede Wyneloneshagh, were given over to pasture for the draught animals. (fn. 23) The animal stock probably remained much the same as in the 13th century, although the 1327 account lists animals only for Woodhall (fn. 24) and the 1329 account is concerned solely with crops. (fn. 25) The 1348 account mentions draught beasts only: 7 ploughhorses (2 each at Sudbury and Woodhall, 3 at Headstone), 12 stots (4 each at the three manors), and 52 oxen (16 each at Sudbury and Woodhall, 20 at Headstone). (fn. 26) By 1397 there were sheep on the demesne, including 200 weathers at Sudbury and Headstone. The transformation of arable and meadowland into pasture is reflected in stocks of 10 qr. of wheat and 30 qr. of oats at Sudbury and 10 qr. each of wheat, oats, and beans at Headstone, and in the reduction of draught animals to two horses and 8 oxen at each manor. There were 31 cows and a bull at Sudbury, but no cattle at Headstone. (fn. 27) Very little is known about the subsequent agrarian history of Woodhall and Headstone, although a new sheephouse was erected at Sudbury c. 1500. (fn. 28)
In 1273–4 a reeve and a beadle were paid 8s. and 6s. a year respectively; the reeve also received 5½ qr. of wheat, and the reeve of Woodhall, perhaps a separate official, 1 qr. of wheat in autumn; the beadle received 1 qr. of wheat in autumn and 6 bu. of maslin in Lent. The bailiff of all the Middlesex and Surrey estates was paid £5 a year from the Harrow receipts. (fn. 29) Expenses had also to be paid when the archbishop's steward visited Harrow with his clerks. (fn. 30) A carpenter and smith, mentioned in 1273–4, were each paid wages and may have been hired as the occasion demanded. Permanent servants on the demesne included a cowherd, who was paid 3s. a year and 2 qr. 5½ bu. of maslin, a goatherd, paid 2s. 6d. a year and 4 qr. 3 bu. of maslin, an oxherd, paid 1s. 2d. and 3 bu. of maslin in autumn, and two dairy-men or -girls, who were paid 6s. 8d., one of them also receiving a cheese and 2 qr. 6 bu. of maslin. Seasonal workers included a carter and 8 ploughmen, a carter at Woodhall, men who hoed the corn, two men who made cheeses and a boy to scare birds away from the corn. Famuli, who were fed on porridge made from oats and salt, (fn. 31) may have been household servants descended from the Domesday serfs and settled on the demesne, although there is no evidence of any base serjeanties. (fn. 32) Most famuli, however, especially the ploughmen and others whose work was mainly seasonal were probably smallholders, possibly under-tenants, cotmen, or the younger sons of head tenants.
The survey of c. 1285 describes the customary services in full. At Sudbury, 17 cotmen or cotlanders owed one work each a week for 48 weeks and 12 carting services each. Other customary tenants were divided into head and under-tenants. (fn. 33) The head tenants, called hidemen c. 1285, held 29 hides 1 virgate directly from the lord for rent, services, and heriot. The under-tenants held small parcels of land from the head tenant, to whom they paid rent, relief, and heriot. Customary works, calculated according to the one-hide unit, were demanded only from the head tenant, although, increasingly, the actual work was performed by hired under-tenants. Some services were also due from free tenants. Customary services from the head tenants included 655 threshing, 525 harrowing, 202 hoeing, 413 carrying, and 29¼ reaping works. Hempstall meadow was to be mown with 66 scythes. There were certain specialized ploughing and reaping services, including 'caulerth', 'niedbedrip', and 'rithrip'. Each free and customary plough had to plough one acre in winter (niederth) and one in Lent (righterth), for which bread, porridge, ale, and three dishes, were given. Three men were apparently assigned to each plough. Other services included sowing and winnowing. (fn. 34)
There were five boon-works for reaping and mowing. All the reapers within the manor had to attend the great boon-work, for which they were given wheaten bread, ale, and meat. (fn. 35) In 1381 a presentment was made at the Rectory court of a tenant who had not attended 'le heghbedrys'. A note accompanying a later translation of this passage explains that by ancient custom tenants owed 199 days' work at the 'general reap day (sometimes called magna precaria)' and that the bailiff summoned all who had a chimney to send a man. (fn. 36) Drink was also provided at the autumn reaping boon-work called alelove, to which 108 men were summoned. Another boonwork, performed by 70 men, was called meteleselove. The other two boon-works, performed by 149 and 137 men respectively, were 'dry' works, giving a total of over 3,116 works. There are details of the services due on one estate of 3 carucates and 25 a., and 24s. rent, in 1344: righterth, or ploughing one acre at the sowing season and 1½ a. at Lent, the free tenant's boon-work of ploughing with his own plough for one day, nedrip, or reaping one acre of wheat and 1½ a. of whatever other grain there was at Lent, and finding four men to hoe on one day and to reap at the autumn alelove boon-work, ten men to reap at the two autumn dry boon-works, and eight men to reap at the great autumn boon-work. The total value of these works was 4s. (fn. 37)
Alfwin, son of Godmar of Pinner, paid 19s. 7½d. 'de gabulo pro omni consuetudine' for 1½ hide in 1232. (fn. 38) In 1270 £2 16s. 8d. was received from the commutation of works and services, (fn. 39) but in 1273–4 only £1 14s. 1d. was received in lieu of 420 works, about 13 per cent. of the total due. (fn. 40) On the eve of the Black Death out of 828¾ reaping works due from both head tenants and cotmen, 680 had been commuted. (fn. 41) All the 437 threshing works due from head tenants (fn. 42) and 144½ from cotmen (fn. 43) had been sold. Thus about 40.5 per cent. of the original customary services had been commuted. Only niederth was still performed, 6 ploughs ploughing one acre each. There was also no allotment of grain for feeding boon-workers. Customary services, however, were never entirely commuted during the Middle Ages and strenuous efforts were made, especially on Rectory manor, to enforce them on the eve of the Peasants' Revolt. (fn. 44) In 1397 mowing, tedding, weeding, gathering, and stocking services were among the appurtenances of Sudbury manor, although other works had been released for £15. At Woodhall, all the tenants' works had been commuted for £15, but the cotmen's works, worth 10s. a year, had apparently been transferred to the new demesne manor of Headstone. (fn. 45) During most of the 15th and early 16th centuries, however, uncommuted works, especially those of cotmen, again formed part of the appurtenances of Sudbury manor. (fn. 46) In 1432 these were specified as making hay, and the boon-works of reaping and mowing. (fn. 47) In the 16th century autumn works of tenants were leased with Woodhall manor. (fn. 48) By the mid 15th century works were commuted at a rate of £1 a hide, yielding £15 at Harrow and £13 10s. at Woodhall. (fn. 49) This payment, worksilver, was still made in the mid 17th century at the rate of 5s. a virgate. (fn. 50) In 1553 six customary, but not cotland, tenements each paid 1s. 6d. to the farmer of Sudbury Court. (fn. 51) Even after the commutation of most services there were several distraints in the 15th century at both Sudbury Court and Rectory manor for not performing autumn and, occasionally, mowing works. (fn. 52) Autumn works were appurtenances of the Kilburn estate at Wembley as late as 1540–1. (fn. 53)
In 1327–8 the threshing and winnowing was done by hired labourers at piece rates, while the man who supervised the threshing was paid wages. (fn. 54) In the 14th century the permanent officials and manorial servants were paid in money and kind. In 1315 the former reeve of Woodhall was in mercy for not paying the wages of the lord's famuli. (fn. 55) On the three demesne manors in 1348 famuli received wheat, maslin, and beans, and a boy who made their porridge and a ploughman and four plough servants received payment in money and kind. There was also a hayward, paid in money and kind, at Headstone, and a harrower, paid in kind only, at Harrow. The animal-keepers of the 13th century may be comprised in the general category of famuli. Wheat was given to the reeves in charge of Sudbury and Woodhall, and to the serjeant at Headstone. The serjeant and the Sudbury reeve also received money, as did the beadle and the forester. (fn. 56) By 1466–7 the reeve and beadle were paid entirely in money, only the words 'wages and stipend' (vadium et stipendium) recalling the earlier payment in kind. (fn. 57) In the late 15th century skilled craftsmen, carpenters, smiths, tilers, and thatchers, were hired for specific jobs and paid money wages. (fn. 58)
A windmill and a water-mill existed by 1236. (fn. 59) The windmill probably stood close to the site of the later manorial mill, near Flambards, (fn. 60) and in 1353 a mill was mentioned in a fine between Edward Flambard and the Vicar of Harrow. (fn. 61) The water-mill was on the Brent at Alperton and gave its name to a field called Mill Acre. (fn. 62) The water-mill was repaired in 1273–4 and the windmill in 1348, (fn. 63) but the water-mill had disappeared by 1470–1 (fn. 64) and perhaps by 1348. (fn. 65) Milling on the Brent was probably hazardous because of floods. (fn. 66) In 1273–4 apparently both mills were administered directly (fn. 67) but generally they were farmed out. (fn. 68)
In 1270 the northern part of the parish was mainly woodland and a large area called 'southwood' may have covered most of the later Sudbury Common. (fn. 69) There was a forester at least from 1236, (fn. 70) receiving 12s. a year wages and paying 13s. for the farm of the office. (fn. 71) Pinner Park, in existence by 1273–4, (fn. 72) was still part of the bailiwick of the forestership of Harrow in 1358. (fn. 73) In the 13th century the sale of honey from the woods fetched between 10d. and 1s. 8d., and of nuts between 1s. 6d. and 9s. 6d. (fn. 74) In 1086 there was woodland for 2,000 pigs, (fn. 75) and an annual render to the archbishop of 30 pigs from Harrow was mentioned c. 1093–6. (fn. 76) Pigs are recorded only once on the demesne, at Woodhall in 1292–5. (fn. 77) Tenants with more than 10 pigs had to give one to the lord, while those with fewer than 10 had to pay 1d. for each pig. (fn. 78) The sale of pannage realized £2 10s. in 1270 (fn. 79) and over twice as much in 1273–4. (fn. 80) About 1316 it was £3 13s. 4d. (fn. 81) No pannage was listed in 1348 for Harrow (Sudbury), probably because Sudbury Wood had shrunk; (fn. 82) 13s. 4d. was obtained for pannage in Pinner Park and 3s. from Headstone, the latter from allowing pigs to feed on the stubble in autumn. (fn. 83) In 1446 there was no pannage since the woods had been cut down to provide timber for Archbishop Chichele's foundation, All Souls College. (fn. 84) From 1485 'pannage, nothing' recurs in the accounts. (fn. 85)
William I forbade anyone to hunt on the archbishop's manor at Harrow. (fn. 86) Five roe-deer were sent to stock the Prior of Ruislip's park in 1270. (fn. 87) At Pinner Park one of the chief tasks of the keeper, first mentioned in 1348, or of the parker, first mentioned in 1443, was to maintain the deer. (fn. 88) In the late 15th century stock fluctuated between 97 and 120 beasts of which only about 6 or 7 were disposed of in a year. (fn. 89) Timber for fuel and charcoal, (fn. 90) and even for the chancel of Harrow church, (fn. 91) was granted by the king during vacancies in the archbishopric in the 13th century. The sale of wood and logs fetched £11 12s. 6d. in 1270 (fn. 92) and £14 3s. 8d. in 1273–4. (fn. 93) The felling of trees by tenants without permission was an offence. (fn. 94)
There were fishponds at Harrow and Pinner, (fn. 95) and a dovecote at Headstone. (fn. 96) Gardens are recorded at Harrow and Woodhall in 1236, (fn. 97) and in 1270 profit from them was 2s. (fn. 98) The garden at Woodhall was mentioned in 1348, (fn. 99) that at Sudbury in 1397, (fn. 100) and at Headstone fruit was grown on the slopes of the moat in the 15th century. (fn. 101) Herbage was sold for £3 6s. 8d. in 1270 (fn. 102) and £3 14s. 0½d. in 1273–4, (fn. 103) when it was almost equally divided between Sudbury, Pinner Park, and assarts. Only winter pasture was recorded in 1348. (fn. 104) At Sudbury a large common replaced the wood and in the north, in Pinner and Harrow Weald, 'ridings' were cleared, sometimes for crops (fn. 105) but usually for pasture. (fn. 106) Throughout the 15th and early 16th centuries herbage was one of the appurtenances leased with Pinner Park and Headstone. (fn. 107)
The total of fixed or assessed rents (rentata assisa), (fn. 108) payable at five terms (fn. 109) and rising only slightly as increments were added, ranged from £53 in 1270 (fn. 110) to £64 throughout the 15th century. (fn. 111) By 1525–6 fixed rents were £64 5s., new rents 5d., and increments 10s. (fn. 112) Rents in kind were usually entered as customary or movable rents (consuetudines or redditus mobiles). Cotlanders owed hens at Christmas at a rate of 4 hens from a married man or 2 hens from a single man or widow. (fn. 113) In 1270 £1 1s. 4d. was received in lieu of 121 hens (fn. 114) but only 107 were rendered in 1273–4, (fn. 115) when a statement that the lord's poulterers were 24 free men probably meant that he had no more need for a render in kind. At the end of the 14th century the render, still 4 or 2 hens (commuted at 2d. each) from each cotlander, was divided between Sudbury and Headstone in the proportion of 120 and 33 respectively. (fn. 116) From 1485 and probably earlier, the number crystallized at 122, commuted at 3d. a hen, (fn. 117) and although a rent of hens from cotlanders was listed as an appurtenance of Sudbury manor in 1432, (fn. 118) there is no evidence that it was paid. By 1553 payment was exacted from all customary head tenants, usually at a rate of 4½d. for a virgate, 6d. for ½-hide, and 9d. for a hide, each hen being commuted for 3d. (fn. 119) Another rent in kind was 11 ploughshares, payable at Michaelmas, which had been commuted at 6d. each in 1270, (fn. 120) 8d. each in 1348, (fn. 121) and 1s. each by 1485. (fn. 122) By 1553 payment was being made for nine ploughshares, assessed mostly on free tenants in Sudbury and Roxeth. (fn. 123)
Other feudal dues included gersenese, perhaps merchet, which in 1273–4 produced seven pigs and a piglet, sold for 15s. 6d., (fn. 124) and in 1348 £3 8s. 6d. (fn. 125) Merchet was being paid in cash in 1385. (fn. 126) As heriot, free tenants owed a horse, customary head tenants their best cloven-hoofed beast, and cotlanders one black sheep. If a tenant had no beast, 3s. 6d. was accepted for a cloven-hoofed animal and 10d. or 11d. for a sheep. (fn. 127) Although heriot was still sometimes paid in kind as late as 1553, (fn. 128) there were money payments by 1315–16 (fn. 129) and, on the excuse that there was no beast, money payments became usual even for estates which almost certainly had suitable animals. (fn. 130) Perquisites of court usually yielded between £10 and £12 a year from the 13th to the 16th centuries. (fn. 131) They comprised fines and amercements, and heriots and reliefs, which were paid by the heir before entering a head tenement and which were calculated as one year's rent. (fn. 132) Entry fines were paid when a tenement passed to someone who was not the heir.
By the end of the 14th century the archbishops no longer needed directly to exploit their demesne manors and feudal services. (fn. 133) Throughout the 15th and 16th centuries the only mansion-house in the area which was maintained to receive the archbishop was Headstone manor, (fn. 134) where the lessee had also to provide for the archbishop's officials. Pinner Park, usually combined with timber rights, was reserved in the archbishop's hands until 1539, under a keeper or parker who was appointed for life. He was paid 3d. a day and allowed to appoint a deputy, so that the office was often a reward for service elsewhere. (fn. 135) The archbishop also reserved fixed rents and feudal dues, especially in the 16th century. Payments in commutation of customary services continued to be made to the manorial officials, even though the services were formally leased with the demesne manors. (fn. 136) With these exceptions, all the demesne lands and manorial rights within Harrow were leased out. A receiver was appointed to collect the lessees' rents and the rents which tenants paid to the reeves and collectors. (fn. 137) The earliest extant lease is for Headstone, leased in 1383 for 20 years at £12 a year. Woodhall and Sudbury had both been leased out, at £23 13s. 4d. and £25 a year respectively, by 1397. (fn. 138) Roxeth, which had escheated to the archbishop, was leased in 1430 for 50 years at £1 13s. 4d. a year. (fn. 139) A slight rise in the annual rent issuing from the demesne manors during the late 15th and 16th centuries reflects the growing attraction of areas near London, and of the practice of leasing. (fn. 140) The estates of Kilburn Priory in Wembley, (fn. 141) of Uxendon manor, (fn. 142) and of Bentley Priory in the Weald (fn. 143) were also leased out. In 1539 Pinner Park was leased for 50 years at £20 a year and a payment of £66 13s. 4d. for all wood within the park. In 1541 Weald Wood was leased for 80 years at £3 6s. 8d. a year, and shortly after the acquisition of the Harrow estate by Sir Edward North, Pinner Wood was leased for 99 years at £10 a years. (fn. 144) By 1545 the archbishop was receiving £92 7s. 8d. annually in rent from his Harrow demesne. (fn. 145) His expenses were few: fixed items, like wages, totalling £3 11s. 8d., and other items varying from nothing to an exceptional £44 12s. but usually costing less than £10 a year. Feudal receipts gradually rose from £89 in 1485 to £114 1s. in 1553. In 1535 the annual value of the archbishop's Harrow property was £166 10s. (fn. 146) and by 1545 he could expect a clear annual profit of about £180. (fn. 147)
Cranmer used various devices, including refusal of ratification by the Canterbury Chapter, and long leases, to try to retain control of Harrow before its surrender in 1545. (fn. 148) He and his predecessors consistently granted leases to local men: fallow land was to be manured, enclosures, hedgerows, and wood were to be preserved, and the lessee was to repair any damages committed by him or his animals, although all the other repairs were the responsibility of the archbishop. Sub-letting was restricted to sons or brothers, and leases, since they were often made jointly to a father and son, tended to become hereditary. (fn. 149) Headstone was leased to the Readings in 1397 (fn. 150) and from 1458 to 1569 and probably later. (fn. 151) Sudbury manor came into the hands of William Page between 1432 (fn. 152) and 1458 (fn. 153) and remained with his family until 1698. (fn. 154) From c. 1485 until 1503 Woodhall was leased by the Streets, and from 1520 by the Edlins. (fn. 155) Roxeth was held by the Webbs in 1523 and remained with them until the end of the 16th century. (fn. 156) The Bird family provided deputies for the parkers and keepers of Pinner Park from 1482–3; (fn. 157) one of the first lessees of the park was John Bird, whose descendants relinquished it between 1555 and 1559. (fn. 158) The Pages, Streets, Edlins, Readings, and Birds all sprang from the head tenants, the most important of the three classes of customary tenant recognized by the manor court, namely cotmen or cotlanders, head tenants, and under tenants or under-setters. Whereas there were two cottars in 1086, (fn. 159) by the 13th century there were 17 cotlanders, each holding a cottage and 5 a. (fn. 160) All the cotlanders were at Sudbury, where they appear to have had an especially close relationship with the original demesne manor. Elsewhere the size and distribution of the head tenements can be reconstructed, as in the table below, from payments of worksilver, calculated at £1 a hide, and of hens, of which 1½ were due from each virgate, 2 from each ½-hide, and 3 from each hide.
Each of the 71 ancient head tenements consisted of a messuage within a close, usually on the edge of a village green, and several selions in the surrounding open fields. An 18th-century custumal (fn. 161) stated that each hide contained 100 a., selions, or lands, each selion being about 3 roads. Head tenements may once have approximated to a hide or a simple fraction of it, since 16th-century rentals sometimes refer to 50-acre head tenements instead of ½-hides, (fn. 162) but the custumal recognized that the hide and similar terms were variable. If there was no male heir the eldest female inherited the whole. (fn. 163) The custom that allowed widows to keep the whole of their husbands' inheritance for life was changed under Elias of Dereham (c. 1197–1240) to allow them one third, the rest passing to the heir at 22, and was later modified to allow them merely 'a reasonable value in money'. (fn. 164) By the 16th century, however, undersetting often had permanently alienated part of a head tenement, while the combination of free and cutomary holdings made it difficult to distinguish head tenements. Thus the rentals, dating from 1553, do not always correspond to the data in the table. They show 69 head tenements, made up of 9 hides, 30 ½-hides, 24 virgates, and 6 irregular units. (fn. 165) Despite the changing amounts of open-field land belonging to head tenements, there seems to have been an attempt to preserve the site of the original messuage, to which the rights and duties of the tenement were attached. Frequently the name of the holding, which was often derived from a 14thcentury tenant, became attached to the messuage and, if that decayed, to the surrounding close. (fn. 166)
Under-tenants, who do not appear in rentals, were naturally more numerous than head tenants. The only evidence, dating from 1724, gives 103 under-setters, compared with 34 head tenants. (fn. 167) There is little sign of a permanent class of poor peasants, distinct from the other customary tenants. There were bond-tenants in the 14th century on all the Harrow manors, including Wembley, where there was a bond-tenant of Kilburn Priory as late as 1400, (fn. 168) and on the Canterbury estate they are perhaps to be identified with the famuli. In 1337 three bond-tenants were summoned to Sudbury court for giving their daughters in marriage to freemen without the lord's consent, (fn. 169) and in 1384 the goods of a bond-tenant of the Rectory estate were seized because he sent his son 'into remote parts to learn the liberal arts'. (fn. 170) Although the peasants withdrew their rents and services in 1381, when there were trespasses in Harrow and Pinner Park, (fn. 171) discontent cannot be assigned to any one class. One of the bondtenants of 1337, John Swetman, gave his name to a head tenement in Pinner. (fn. 172) Many head tenants were themselves under-setters, and younger sons frequently held under-set lands from a father or brother. Although the head tenement could not be subdivided, a younger son often had his own house and lived on a small estate leased or under-set from the head tenement. (fn. 173) With the growth of population, however, there arose a class of landless labourers. Of the 224 people assessed for the subsidy of 1522–3, 26 were described as labourers, assessed on 20s. a year wages; 68 others, similarly assessed, probably were also labourers. Many names, Edlin, Rede, Bird, Hatch, and Street, are found among those landless men and in a rising class of prosperous yeomen. Most of the sixteen people who were assessed in 1522–3 on goods worth over £100 were descendants of Harrow peasantry. They included the lessees of the demesne manors, but also people like John Greenhill, John Lyon, and the Page family, whose wealth came from an accumulation of tenements, especially head tenements. (fn. 174) By 1553 the 71 head tenements were in the hands of 52 tenants, who also held free and under-set land. (fn. 175)
Harrow from early times had attracted London merchants and courtiers. (fn. 176) Some, like Sir Nicholas Brembre (d. 1388), (fn. 177) owned considerable estates. Most held leases and rents in freehold, and, occasionally, copyhold property. Landholders included Edward III's mistress, Alice Perrers, (fn. 178) and many tradesmen in the 14th, 15th, and early 16th centuries. (fn. 179)
As on the demesne, agriculture elsewhere was mixed but mainly arable. Each hamlet, except Harrow-on-the-Hill and Sudbury, was surrounded by open fields, mostly of wheat and oats. By the early 16th century wheat seems to have been grown more widely than oats in all parts of the parish. Animals tended to be kept nearer the home, on the common or in closes around the house. Pannage paid c. 1316 on Sudbury manor shows that 980 pigs were kept by 204 tenants. (fn. 180) In 1368 18 tenants of Rectory manor paid pannage for 68 pigs. (fn. 181) A few cattle were kept in all areas and draught animals included horses and oxen, even in the 16th century. (fn. 182) The mixed agriculture of Roxeth is shown in 1388: Sir Nicholas Brembre had a plough, 40 a. sown with wheat, 10 qr. each of wheat, oats, and peas, 20 qr. of beans and peas, 3 cartloads of hay, 3 horses, 11 oxen, a bull, 24 cows, a boar, sow, and 9 piglets, a gander and two geese. (fn. 183)
Brembre himself had no sheep, although there were some in Roxeth, Pinner, Wembley, and Kenton, (fn. 184) and more in Harrow-on-the-Hill and Sudbury. Sheep were the animals most often presented for straying and trespass, especially in the lord's meadows and pasture at Sudbury. (fn. 185) In 1336 four men were presented, including Simon Francis (Fraunceys), a landowner in four counties, (fn. 186) who was presented for offences involving 100, 200, and 100 sheep. (fn. 187) In 1362 flocks of 50 and 80 sheep were recorded, (fn. 188) and Thomas Page had 80 sheep at Sudbury in 1512. (fn. 189) In 1380 four out of eight trespasses at Rectory manor were by sheep. (fn. 190) The fact that a black sheep was the customary heriot exacted from cotlanders at Sudbury suggests that sheep were numerous even before the clearing of Sudbury Wood increased the amount of common pasture available. (fn. 191)
A weekly market, on Mondays, and an annual fair on the vigil, feast, and morrow of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary (7–9 Sept.) were granted to the archbishop's tenants at Harrow in 1261. (fn. 192) From 1314 the market was held on Wednesdays and the fair was restricted to 7–8 Sept. (fn. 193) In 1336 Pinner was granted a weekly market and an annual fair on the vigil, feast, and morrow of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist (23–25 June). (fn. 194) In 1441 Archbishop Chichele remitted all market tolls, making his tenants free in other markets from toll, stallage, murage, pedage, and pontage. (fn. 195) The Harrow market still existed in Henry VIII's reign but it had apparently lapsed by the end of the 16th century. (fn. 196)
Agrarian history from 1545.
The inhabitants were little affected by the transfer of the lordship and ownership of most of Harrow from ecclesiastical to lay hands. The demesne manors continued to be leased to the same men as before, (fn. 197) and in the southeast former lessees became the owners of the Wembley and Tokyngton estates. Lord North was apparently satisfied with profits from leasing, without speculating in reversions. In 1569 the year's profits were £205; (fn. 198) in 1604 £204. (fn. 199) In the late 16th century, however, Pinner Park, with its hunting and timber rights, was a rich prize, attracting influential people like the Bacon family. (fn. 200) Outsiders, (fn. 201) however, by no means displaced the local families, many of whom achieved their greatest prosperity during this period. Sixty-five people were assessed on goods worth £10 and upwards in 1550–1. (fn. 202) Of these, twelve were assessed on goods worth from £20 to £30 and nine on goods worth more than £30. Only two out of 21 of the wealthiest people in Harrow were born outside the parish: Hugh Wright, gentleman, assessed on £60 in Sudbury, was a Londoner; (fn. 203) William Layton, assessed on £60 in Harrow, was the brother of the rector. (fn. 204) Only one other man, William Bellamy, assessed on £70 in Harrow and Uxendon, described himself as a gentleman. All the others, including the most highly assessed (on goods worth £100), (fn. 205) were local yeomen. (fn. 206)
Long-established families which accumulated land during the 16th and 17th centuries included the Greenhills of Greenhill and Roxeth, the Finches of Greenhill and Weald, the Edlins of Pinner and Weald, the Osmonds of Roxeth, the Bugbeards and Warrens of Weald, the Lyons of Preston, the Streets, Readings, and Birds of Pinner, and the Pages. (fn. 207) The most remarkable was the Page family, members of which held land in the neighbouring parishes of Edgware, Little Stanmore, Hendon, and Kingsbury in the 14th century. (fn. 208) The earliest recorded connexion with Harrow is of 1383, (fn. 209) and during the 15th century they began to accumulate property, mostly in Uxendon and Wembley but also in Sudbury and Roxeth. (fn. 210) From the mid 15th century Pages leased Sudbury manor, (fn. 211) before another branch acquired the Kilburn estate at Wembley. (fn. 212) Thomas Page, the lessee of Sudbury in 1537, had interests in Buckinghamshire almost equal in value to those which he had in Middlesex. (fn. 213) By 1553 at least seven Pages had land in Harrow parish: Richard leased Sudbury manor and held one ½-hide and one virgate in Roxeth; John held a ½-hide and one virgate in Wembley and one virgate and other lands in Uxendon; Thomas, who lived on Roxeth Common, held one carucate (Wembley manor) in Wembley and 1½ hide and several parcels of waste and tenements in Alperton; another Thomas, of Northall, had three selions in Roxeth; William, who lived at Sudbury where he held two cotlands and 20 a., also held land in Alperton and Wembley; Henry had property at Kenton; and Agnes had one cotland in Sudbury. (fn. 214) In 1544 Richard Page had acquired an interest in Uxendon and Tokyngton manor through the marriage of his daughter to William Bellamy. When another Richard bought Uxendon manor and the 80-acre estate at Preston, (fn. 215) the family interests became concentrated in the south-east corner of the parish, particularly after the expiry of the Sudbury lease and the purchase of Harrow manor by George Pitt. John Page of Wembley, who died in 1623, was said to have lived to see 75 children and grandchildren. (fn. 216) There were 18 Page households in the 1660s: two in Harrow, one in Sudbury, one in Roxeth, three in Pinner, two in Weald, four in Kenton, Preston, and Uxendon, three in Wembley, and two in Alperton. (fn. 217) Some members were little more than cottagers; others, especially the main Wembley and Uxendon branches, ranked as gentry. William Page (d. 1642), Baron of the Exchequer, and Richard Page of Uxendon, knighted in 1645, were Royalists. Other Pages included two Roman Catholic martyrs (fn. 218) and Dr. William Page (1590–1663), who wrote a treatise justifying bowing at the name of Jesus. Two Pages were among the original six governors of Harrow School, and the connexion was maintained until the early 19th century. (fn. 219) Thomas Page in 1672 described himself as lord of many manors, (fn. 220) and the Pages of Wembley and Uxendon were among the first three or four landowners in Harrow throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. (fn. 221) Their importance declined after the death of Richard Page of Wembley in 1803. There were still Pages in the parish during the 19th century, but they were craftsmen. (fn. 222)
Most open-field land in Uxendon and Tokyngton and some in Wembley was inclosed during the 16th and 17th centuries by the Pages, and to a lesser extent, by their predecessors, the Bellamys. (fn. 223) Inclosure does not seem to have been an issue, for only 20 a. of converted arable and four persons were included in the returns of 1517. (fn. 224) Even in south-east Harrow inclosures seems to have been intended primarily to consolidate estates. Conversion from arable into meadow and pasture, a process taking centuries to complete, began on the demesne farms and large, inclosed, usually freehold estates. In 1547, of a total demesne of 1,448 a., only 531 a. and 130 selions were arable, mostly concentrated on the smaller farms of Headstone (71 per cent. arable), Pinner Park (64 per cent.), and Roxeth. On the larger and older farms of Woodhall and Sudbury, the proportion, 37 and 19 per cent., was much lower. (fn. 225) There is some evidence of dairy farming and the fattening of livestock (fn. 226) and during the 16th century presentments for overstocking sheep on Sudbury Common became more frequent. In 1585 servants were forbidden to keep sheep there unless they were branded with their masters' signs. (fn. 227) In the rest of the parish, however, and especially in the extensive open fields of Pinner, Roxeth, and Alperton, arable was predominant. Peas, beans, tares, and hay were grown, but cereals, especially wheat, were noted by 16th-century writers. Camden wrote of the rich land south of Harrow-on-the-Hill, (fn. 228) and, according to Norden, a man standing on Harrow hill before harvest-time might see 'such comfortable abundance of all kinds of grain, that it maketh the inhabitants to clap their hands for joy. . .'. He also noted that in wet weather the mud impeded travel ling, and that the soil was very hard in spring, making it difficult for the oxen. (fn. 229) There may even have been a reversion to arable on the demesne farms in the 17th century, for accounts show that at Sudbury Court in 1637 wheat was sold for £99 7s. and oats for £61 6s., compared with only £25 9s. for cattle and sheep. (fn. 230) After the Harrow market had lapsed the capital came to dominate the local economy, and the need to feed London's expanding population brought prosperity to many farmers. (fn. 231)
It was during the 17th century that the greatest strain was placed upon the relationship between lord and tenant. In 1603 the manorial court rolls, the only source of traditional practice, were indexed and a custumal was extracted from them, probably by the steward, since it is slanted in favour of the lord. (fn. 232) In 1618 the homagers presented considerable encroachment and some digging of earth on the waste without the lord's permission. They upheld the right of copyholders to fell timber and erect cart-houses on the waste, declaring that they did not know whether the lord had free warren, and that the erection of cottages 'belongeth not to us to enquire of'. (fn. 233) There is a break in the court rolls from 1618 to 1629, after which the traditional copyhold formula, 'secundum consuetudines manerii', gave way to one favouring the lord, 'ad voluntatem domini secundum consuetudines manerii'. (fn. 234) In the same year orders were made against 22 encroachments on the waste, including the erection of 10 cart-houses. (fn. 235)
Disputes over the waste led to two cases between lord and tenants in the 1630s. The first concerned Weald Wood, about 700 a. of land common to lord and tenants alike, which had become so overgrown that it was useless as pasture. It was agreed that Lord North would inclose about 150 a. and that the tenants were to have the rest. In 1666 the lord of the manor was to claim that the agreement had taken place about 60 years previously (fn. 236) but in 1631 an order of the justices had been necessary, after Lord North claimed the right, under a recent statute, to bound off a quarter of Weald Wood. North seems to have won and c. 1637 his successor, George Pitt, was trying to inclose another third of the wood. He was advised against it but told that he could fell timber on the other three quarters, 'which will raise you a pretty sum of money and give your tenants good content'. (fn. 237) This Pitt did, but in 1666 six tenants threw down the lord's inclosure and claimed all the land as common. The lord won the subsequent lawsuit on the grounds of prescriptive right, (fn. 238) and Weald Wood, originally valued for its timber, (fn. 239) developed into the demesne farm of Weald Copse. (fn. 240)
The other case concerned Sudbury Common, which, in the absence of open fields, was especially precious to the near-by inhabitants. The common in the 1630s was a wooded area of about 300 a. About 1608 Lord North, with the consent of the homagers, had established a rabbit warren there and in 1633 George Pitt obtained their consent to enlarge it and erect a timber hunting lodge. Sir Gilbert Gerard objected that the rabbits ate up all the grass leaving none for the tenants' cattle and, claiming to champion the tenants, sent his servants to pull down the lodge. At the same time Pitt claimed that the Hermitage was wastehold and therefore subject to entry fine, while Gerard claimed that it was copyhold and exempt when inherited. In 1634 Pitt sent armed men, allegedly to turn out Gerard's leasehold tenant from the Hermitage and install one of his own. Gerard protested that they had broken the windows and left the gates open so that cattle from the common had destroyed his fruit trees. In 1637 the parliamentarian Gerard, who was a J.P., revived the feud by committing Pitt's warrener for supplying bowls at Sudbury on Whit Sunday. The warrener died in prison, whereupon his wife was sent by Gerard to the house of correction where ill treatment caused her to miscarry. Pitt and Gerard also quarrelled over rectorial rights, the lopping of trees, and the making of bricks. In 1638 Pitt cut down a row of elms in front of Flambards and Gerard brought an action in Star Chamber, the outcome of which is unknown. Gerard had exploited his position in the county to challenge Pitt, but the rights of common were genuinely in danger. In 1639 Pitt's tenants refused to allow him to inclose a quarter of Sudbury Common in order to fell trees, although he had obtained a similar right in Weald Wood. In 1640, however, the landowners and tenants of Sudbury agreed that his warren was beneficial and consented to the erection of another lodge on the common. (fn. 241)
In 1650 the under-set tenants denied that they owed suit or service to the court baron on the grounds that the head tenant alone was responsible. (fn. 242) There was more trouble over removing earth and wood from the waste in 1675; the homage upheld the tenant's right to plant and cut any ash or elm on the waste before his house. (fn. 243) In 1722 Sir John Rushout brought an action against John Street for lopping trees. Street replied that Rushout was violating the customs of the manor. (fn. 244) Street also brought an action, which was dismissed with costs, alleging that Rushout exacted unjust heriots; he relied on a recently made custumal challenged by Rushout which said that a tenant with more than one holding owed only a single heriot and that a horse could not be taken as heriot. (fn. 245) Until the relatively late written custumals, manorial usage remained 'in the heads of the tenants' (fn. 246) and interpretations therefore differed. In 1724 Rushout demanded any best beast or 40s. for heriot while Street took his stand on the later custumal, but the court rolls prove neither side wholly right. Horses and geldings were sometimes surrendered by freeholders (fn. 247) but usually 3s. 6d. was accepted instead and there may have been a new attempt by the lord to secure animals, and especially horses, as heriots in the mid 17th century. (fn. 248) Although payments of 3s. 6d. generally continued, the case against Rushout was dismissed with costs.
Where both custumals agreed that no entry fine was owed by the legal heir or by a purchaser who was already a tenant, the earlier custumal stressed that any other purchaser had to pay a fine at the will of the lord, where the later one mentioned a fine agreed between lord and tenant. The common law was increasingly insisting upon 'a reasonable fine', which was generally fixed at two years' improved value of the property concerned. (fn. 249) In 1728 Sir John Rushout, against the wishes of several copyholders, unsuccessfully petitioned the House of Lords for a bill to fix a fine not exceeding two years' value, to be settled between the lord and tenant. (fn. 250) In the early 19th century one tenant quoted the general law on copyhold, restricting the entry fine to two years' rent, while Lord Northwick claimed that he could charge any amount, or that both lord and tenants should be controlled and that all should pay an entry fine. (fn. 251) In 1809 Northwick demanded a fine on the admission of trustees, each of whom was already a tenant, but judgement was given against him. (fn. 252) In 1819 a dispute between Lord Northwick and George H. Drummond over timber rights on copyhold was referred to arbitration. (fn. 253) In 1723 Sir John Rushout enfranchised 52 copyhold estates (fn. 254) and 40 more enfranchisements were granted between 1730 and 1770. (fn. 255) By 1817 there were 7,455 a. of freehold, compared with 2,242 a. of copyhold. (fn. 256) Enfranchisements were still being made in the 1880s.
Agricultural prosperity was reflected in the number of 16th- and 17th-century farm-houses, some of which still exist. (fn. 257) The pattern of landholding did not become settled until the late 17th and early 18th centuries, when several farms of moderate size emerged. This was especially true of Sudbury, which had never had an open-field system, and Wembley, where a large area was in the hands of one family. Most striking was the splitting-up of the demesne lands of Sudbury manor into three farms: Sudbury Court, Sheepcote, and Woodcock Hill, and the development of new demesne farms at Greenhill and Weald Copse. Between 1620 (fn. 258) and 1640 the Sudbury Court or manor estate was split up, for in 1640 the demesne was said to consist of 517 a., divided among six lessees. The largest estates, of 180 a., 130 a., and 100a., were held respectively by John Brittridge, William Page, and Thomas Walter. (fn. 259) These under-estates remained fluid throughout the 17th century. Sheepcote or Shipcot Farm is first recorded in 1661, (fn. 260) while the lands of Woodcock Hill or Ruff Leas Farm, as yet unnamed, were divided between two lessees in the early 1670s. (fn. 261) Sudbury Court Farm had emerged, in approximately its later from, by 1682, (fn. 262) and Sheepcote by 1704. (fn. 263) Woodcock Hill is first named in 1754. (fn. 264) Weald Copse Farm, which emerged in the late 17th or early 18th century, is marked on the map of 1754. (fn. 265) All the demesne farms, except Greenhill, which was a head tenement conveyed to Sir John Rushout in 1763, were recorded in 1759 (fn. 266) and described in 1764. (fn. 267)
In 1700 grain, and especially wheat, was still predominant but the 18th century saw a shift from arable to meadow. By 1764, of 7,702 a. of farming land for which figures are available, (fn. 268) 46 per cent. was meadow, although in the open-field areas of Roxeth and Pinner it formed only 34 per cent. and 37 per cent. The highest proportion of meadow (55 per cent.) was in Wembley and Alperton, partly because of inclosure by the Pages and partly because of the water-meadows along the Brent. Meadow formed 49 per cent. of the demesne farms but only on Sudbury Court Farm did it exceed arable. At that time tithes were calculated at a rate of 2s. for meadow, 1s. 3d. for arable, and 1s. for leys. (fn. 269) By 1800 the position was reversed, for wheat was calculated at 8s. an acre and Lent corn at 6s., compared with 3s. 6d. an acre for inclosed and 3s. for open-field meadow. Since the arable land was fallow every third year, however, its annual value was reduced. In 1797, of 7,020 a. for which figures are available, 4,578 a. (65 per cent.) was meadow, and arable was restricted to the open fields and some inclosures in Pinner and Roxeth. Apart from the commons, pasture was found on the eastern borders of the parish, at Bentley and Uxendon. (fn. 270) The dating of the change varied from farm to farm. It took place in the 17th or early 18th century on the New College estate in Harrow Weald. In 1627 meadow formed 39 per cent. of the home farm and none of the northern block known as Levels, (fn. 271) and about half of the entire estate was exclusively arable. By 1735 arable formed only 35 per cent. and was confined to Levels, although by 1779 it had risen to 43 per cent., 9/10 of it in Levels. (fn. 272) Except at Sudbury Court, an old centre of animal farming, the shift occurred on the demesne farms in the late 18th century. Meadow and pasture comprised 49 per cent. in 1764 and 73 per cent. in 1806. (fn. 273) By this date Lord Northwick owned 302 a. of arable, 746 a. of meadow, and 104 a. of pasture. Meadow predominated on all farms, the amount of arable varying from 36 per cent. at Greenhill to 9 per cent. on Northwick's newly acquired estate at Harrow. Type of soil, the proportion of open-field to inclosed land, and individual preferences could also affect the change. In mid-18th-century Sudbury, which had a soil favourable to grass and no open fields, Sudbury Court, Jackson's, and Weston's farms were mainly meadow, but Sudbury Place and Watson's Farm still had more arable. (fn. 274) In the 1760s and 1770s Weald Copse Farm was already concentrating on stock raising and hay. (fn. 275)
The main reason for the change was London's need for hay and meat. Hay was grown as a crop, stored in large barns (fn. 276) and sold by the load (36 trusses, each of 56–60 lbs.) in London and Westminster. (fn. 277) At the end of the 18th century produce was also sold in markets and fairs at Pinner, Uxbridge, Barnet and Redbourn (Herts.), and Kingston (Surr.). (fn. 278) Cows were kept throughout the year but other cattle and sheep were bought in the spring and fattened on the commons and fallow open fields for sale in November. By this time the sheep provided the additional profit of a 7- or 8-months' growth of wool. (fn. 279) Horses and cattle from London were also agisted, and there was sometimes a danger of the land being over-stocked. The stint in 1654 for landholders of Sudbury manor was three sheep for each fallow, and 5 for each ley land. (fn. 280) In 1720 it was reduced to 2 sheep for each arable plough land (fn. 281) and 3 for each ley land. (fn. 282) Presentments for surcharging the common were made in the leet court, (fn. 283) and some leases forbade the pasturing of any great cattle other than the tenant's own. (fn. 284)
Crops in 1797 included wheat (1091 a.), beans (953 a.), peas (197 a.), oats (37 a.), and tares (85 a.); barley was not sown but clover, extensively grown on the demesne as early as 1753, (fn. 285) covered 81 a. and hay 4,578 a. (fn. 286) Extreme conservatism, which made arable farming less profitable, probably assisted the changeover to meadow. (fn. 287) There was a team of five oxen at Bentley Priory, although horses were the usual draught and plough animals. Leases repeated medieval clauses against conversion to arable, on pain of fines of up to £10 an acre, and traditional methods, notably the three-field system, with its rotation of wheat, broadcast beans, and fallow, were upheld. (fn. 288) Some of the regulations were aimed at conserving fertility, like those forbidding land to be sown with grain more than two years consecutively and directing that fallow must be manured, but the open-field system meant that inadequate water-furrows were cut to drain the heavy soil.
An attempt to inclose the waste and commonfield land in 1796 failed through disagreement on terms. (fn. 289) In 1802 the chief proprietors, led by Richard Page, agreed to support a Bill for inclosure. They were opposed by the lesser proprietors, led by J. Baker Sellon, serjeant-at-law, who formed an association and presented a petition signed by 101 landholders. (fn. 290) Despite the opposition, which was attributed to sinister motives, (fn. 291) an Act was passed in 1803 (fn. 292) and, after many disputes and claims, (fn. 293) the award was made and plan published in 1817. (fn. 294) Allotments in lieu of tithe were made at a rate of 1/9 of waste, 1/5 of arable, and 1/9 of meadow or pasture. Corn-rents, paid by proprietors who did not want to make an allotment, totalled £1,328. Lord Northwick received 10 allotments, totalling 71 a., as compensation for his rights in the commons as lord of the manor. (fn. 295) Seventy-four roads, footways, and watering-places and gravel-pits were allotted to the surveyors of the highways, a proportion was sold to defray the commissioners' expenses, and the rest of the 4,750 a. which were inclosed under the award was divided among the proprietors and commoners. There were 230 proprietors of old inclosures and 41 who held common-field land or had rights of common only. After the award Northwick (1,258 a.), Drummond (1,172 a.), Christ Church, Oxford (912 a.), and the devisees of Richard Page (642 a.) were the largest landholders in the parish. Nine proprietors held between 250 and 400 a., 18 between 100 and 250 a., 18 between 50 and 100 a., 63 between 10 and 50 a., and 118 had less than 10 a., of whom 49 had less than an acre. A few new farms appeared in the former open fields, for example, Tithe Farm in Roxeth and Down's Farm in Pinner.
From 1825 the price of grain fell steadily. (fn. 296) It was not only grain which suffered, for in 1827 almost all the farmers brought back their sheep unsold from Kingston fair. (fn. 297) Heavy rain in the autumn of 1828, the worst year they ever experienced, (fn. 298) left the fine crop of wheat mildewed and spoilt 7/8 of the hay; (fn. 299) most of the sheep, too, were 'quite rotten'. All agricultural prices appear to have dropped and Thomas Trollope claimed that he could make no profit on his sheep. (fn. 300) At the same time popular distress caused an outbreak of terrorism: farmers tried to meet the demands of the labourers, to preserve their stacks from the flames, (fn. 301) and a warning came from 'Captain Swing' that Lord Northwick had 'ground the labouring man too long'. (fn. 302) The farmers could not even pay the rent.
The correspondence between Lord Northwick at Northwick Park (Worcs.) and his bailiff, Quilton, at Harrow, is almost entirely concerned with payments by the lessee farmers. Northwick complained of Quilton's supineness and threatened to withhold his salary, (fn. 303) while the bailiff, although generally obsequious, tried to persuade his master to reduce the traditional rents. (fn. 304) One grievance was that Northwick would not repair the farms; in particular James Hill at Sheepcote (fn. 305) and George Hicks at Wembley, (fn. 306) where windows were stopped up with paper, complained about the shocking state of their premises. In 1830 the lessees of Sudbury Court, Ilotts, Greenhill, and Woodcock Hill jointly drew Lord Northwick's attention to the general depression and asked for a reduction in rent. (fn. 307) Thomas Trollope wrote, separately, that in the 17 years during which he had had his farm the produce had never sufficed to pay the rent. (fn. 308) Northwick accused him of being the ringleader of a conspiracy, (fn. 309) and distraint was made on his crops. (fn. 310) The other lessees were also in difficulties. Perry of Greenhill said in 1831 that he had lost £100 each year he had been at the farm, (fn. 311) which he relinquished in 1832. (fn. 312) In the same year Northwick wanted to distrain on Thomas Hodson, the tenant of Woodcock Hill, but he was apparently dissuaded by Quilton. (fn. 313) At the end of 1833 Hicks of Wembley was caught while trying to do a moonlight flit, his goods were distrained, and he himself was ejected. (fn. 314) When Trollope finally left the parish in 1834 he too had his crops distrained. (fn. 315) Northwick, finding it difficult to attract new tenants, (fn. 316) was forced to lower his rents (fn. 317) and repair the premises. Repairs were carried out at Sheepcote in 1832, just after the lessee had surrendered against Northwick's will, (fn. 318) but in 1833 the new tenant complained that vermin had destroyed his beans, which had to be kept in the bed-room for lack of any other place. (fn. 319) Considerable improvements were effected at Greenhill in 1834, a year after it had been leased, (fn. 320) and in 1842 Sudbury Court was said to have been repaired at great expense. (fn. 321) As late as 1846 Lord Northwick claimed a loss of £3,270 on Greenhill Farm and about the same on Sheepcote Farm. (fn. 322)
On other estates the depression proved equally crippling. In 1829 Samuel Greenhill of Roxeth hanged himself and Thomas Foster, a small landowner in Pinner, Roxeth, and Harrow Weald, was 'all to pieces' because his estate had to be sold. (fn. 323) Anthony Trollope described his father's farm in Harrow Weald at about the same time: 'a wretched, tumble-down farm-house. . . one of those farmhouses which seem always to be in danger of falling into the neighbouring horse-pond. As it crept downwards from house to stables, from stables to barns, from barns to cowsheds, and from cowsheds to dung-heaps, one could hardly tell where one began and the other ended!' (fn. 324)
The depression was even worse for the farm labourers, and the warnings of those who had opposed inclosure seemed to have come true. (fn. 325) Lord Northwick mentioned a scheme in Worcestershire, whereby allotments were granted to labourers, (fn. 326) but Quilton replied in 1834 that it had already been tried in Pinner, Roxeth, and neighbouring places, without success. (fn. 327) In 1831 a small committee rented two fields (13 a.), one of them Roxborough Field, and sub-let them as allotments, but the soil was water-logged and the potato crop failed. In 1851 the Harrow Young Men's Society revived the scheme and by 1853 there were 49 allotments. The project was apparently successful until 1861, when the land was sold for building. (fn. 328)
Sometimes, particularly at the beginning of the depression, the poor were relieved in kind with soup or coal. (fn. 329) In the winter of 1819–20 Lord Northwick was thanked for a large distribution of wood and about 23 people benefited from a scheme whereby the poor were given material to make into clothing, which was sold at half-price. (fn. 330) Fifty guineas were also distributed to 30 needy families with more than three children, when a guinea was expected to buy a pair of blankets, a shawl, and a man's shirt. (fn. 331) In 1829 there was an experiment in baking bread at a low price for the poor, (fn. 332) but the increasing difficulties of the farmers curtailed poor-relief. (fn. 333) In 1832 the parish raised enough money to send six adults and three children to Canada, (fn. 334) but most of the poor remained in the parish, usually as paupers. (fn. 335)
Between 52 and 60 per cent. of all the families in Harrow parish depended upon agriculture in the early 19th century. (fn. 336) Even in 1851, after farming had recovered from the depression, (fn. 337) 75 farmers employed few more than 243 out of 530 agricultural labourers. (fn. 338) Since hay-making was seasonal, itinerant labourers were widely employed while many local men remained paupers. In 1841 359 hay-makers, chiefly Irish, were living in barns and sheds at Harrow and 56 at Pinner, and Irishmen were still employed in the 1870s and 1880s. (fn. 339) After inclosure farming remained mixed. Fallowing continued into the 1830s, and into the 1860s leases enjoined leaving ⅓ of the arable fallow. (fn. 340) The Loudons, who leased Woodhall and Kenton Lane farms in the earlier 19th century, complained that Middlesex farms were badly run and the arable wretchedly managed. (fn. 341) The Loudons introduced Scottish farming methods, however, and a reference in Trollope's Orley Farm to new farming practice may indicate the use of guano, introduced into Middlesex in the 1840s by some Harrow farmers. (fn. 342) At Greenhill Farm in 1819 (fn. 343) rye and tares were grown with the more traditional crops, and the equipment included a hay machine, a corn-dressing machine, two swing ploughs, and a drill plough. (fn. 344) There were nurseries in Roxeth and Sudbury during the 19th century, and mushrooms were grown at Alperton in the early 20th century, but market-gardening never became important. (fn. 345) Although there were pig dealers at Alperton from c. 1895, (fn. 346) The main trend of agriculture was the continued conversion to grass-land. Hay fields formed 70 per cent. of Sudbury Court Farm (fn. 347) and 67 per cent. of Weald Copse Farm in 1861 (fn. 348) and 62 per cent. of Sheepcote Farm in 1863. (fn. 349) Outside the demesne the proportion was even higher, ranging from 70 per cent. at Pinner Hill in 1844 (fn. 350) to 85 per cent. on the Rectory estates by 1845, (fn. 351) and 100 per cent. at Uxendon, Forty, and New College farms in 1852 and on small farms in Wembley (1856), (fn. 352) Roxeth (1860), (fn. 353) and Greenhill (1863). (fn. 354) Grass covered 83 per cent. of the agricultural land in Harrow in 1852, (fn. 355) 98 per cent. from 1887 to 1917, and 96 per cent. in 1937. (fn. 356) In 1867 the return of 117 farmers gave a total of 11,378 a. of farming land, of which 10,783 a. were meadow and permanent pasture. A further 152 a. were under clover or artificial grass and 75 a. under mangold-wurzels or turnips and swedes. Cereals accounted for 234 a., mostly oats and wheat, and beans for 37 a. Other vegetables, mostly cabbages and potatoes, occupied 35 a., and 60 a. lay fallow. There were 11,615 sheep, 808 cattle, 596 dairy cows, and 575 pigs. One farm dealt in livestock only, all the others being mixed. In 1887 183 farmers worked 11,448 a., of which 11,272 a. were under grass, 28 a. under clover or artificial grass, and 31 a. under fodder crops. Vegetables covered 40 a. and orchards and fruit 22 a., but there was no fallow and cereals occupied only 64 a. The number of sheep had dropped to 6,113, cows and pigs had remained about the same, and cattle had risen to 1,297. There were 416 horses.
Hay-farming was at its height in the 1880s. The main market was London, although some hay was retained to fatten stock. (fn. 357) Improved communications brought great prosperity to the farmers, (fn. 358) although, led by Lord Northwick, the landowners had opposed the railway in the 1830s, (fn. 359) in the belief that it would benefit farmers from further afield. (fn. 360) The demand for hay began to decline even before the arrival of motor traffic. In 1891 grass-keeping was said to have fallen (fn. 361) and by 1907 only 66 per cent. of grass-land was devoted to meadow as opposed to permanent pasture; from 61 per cent. in 1917 it dropped sharply to 33 per cent. in 1937. The place of hay was taken by livestock, for meat and especially for dairy produce. (fn. 362) Forty Farm in Wembley and Dove House Farm in Hatch End, where Tilbury, who invented the vehicle named after him, was a lessee, were noted for horses. (fn. 363) In the 1870s Parker's Farm in Roxeth was let to Daniel Hawkins, the 'wellknown horse dealer'. (fn. 364) There were also trades dependent upon leather, especially saddlers and shoemakers, of whom there were 55 in 1851. (fn. 365) Wheat was still important in Pinner and, for example, was predominant on Sweetman's Hall Farm in the 1880s. The wheat-straw was used for making straw hats, another local industry. (fn. 366) Dairying flourished with the growth of a suburban population. The Desiccated Milk Co. had been established by Thomas Grimwade, lessee of Sheepcote Farm, as early as 1862 and a model dairy farm was run at Sudbury by George T. Barham, chairman of the Express Dairy Co. from 1913 to 1937. (fn. 367) Pinner Park Farm changed c. 1920 from hay and livestock to dairy farming. (fn. 368)
The dominance of animal farming can be seen in the crop returns for 1907. In spite of a reduction in the meadow and pasture (10,090 a.) and of the total farming area (10,225 a.), the numbers of cows (736), other cattle (1,633), pigs (1,475), and horses (535) had risen over 20 years, although the number of sheep (2,589) had again dropped. Apart from one acre of rye, there were no cereals, and only 30 a. were under vegetables, although fruit and orchards had increased to 48 a. and fodder crops to 81 a. By 1917 the spread of building had left only 8,596 a. of farming land, of which 8,426 a. were meadow and pasture, 20 a. heath, and 23 a. clover or artificial grass. Other fodder crops covered 31 a. The density of animals was still high: 625 cows, 1,019 other cattle, 927 pigs, 475 horses, and 3,604 sheep. There was a slight diversification with 9 a. of autumn wheat and 3 a. of oats, 85 a. of vegetables and 74 a. of fruit. The spread of fruit and vegetables was probably due to the allotments encouraged during the First World War. (fn. 369)
Many farms disappeared with the enormous expansion of suburban building. In 1907 there were 206 farms, of which 66 were in Wembley and 61 in Pinner. Five consisted of more than 300 a., 56 of from 50 to 300 a., 89 of between 5 and 50 a., and 50 less than 5 a.; only 12 per cent. of the farming land was owned by the farmer. By 1937 there were returns for 56 farms, of which only 9 were in Wembley, where 56 farmers had made returns in 1917. Where in 1917 there had been 10 farms of more than 100 a., in 1937 there was only one. Of 2,143 a. of farming land in 1937, (fn. 370) 2,073 a. were under grass; in addition 334 a. of heath-land were used for rough grazing. Fodder crops were reduced to 7¼ a.; there were no cereals but 44 a. of vegetables and 15 a. of fruit.
In 1942, during the Second World War and the 'dig for victory' campaign, there were returns for 53 farms involving 2,505 a. Grass covered 1,863 a. (74 per cent.), while another 320 a. were heath-land. The density of animals was greater than ever (251 cows, 483 cattle, 1,361 sheep, 681 pigs, 158 horses, and 3,961 poultry), and 117 a. of arable land were under fodder crops. For the first time since the early 19th century a considerable area supported cereals: 164 a. of wheat, 83 a. of oats, and 91 a. of mixed cereals. There were 164 a. of vegetables and 5 a. of flax, but only 12 a. under fruit. Many of the vegetables were grown on allotments, of which there were 5,905 plots in Harrow U.D. in 1942. (fn. 371) In 1954 there were still 149 a. of barley, 142 a. of wheat, and 88 a. of oats. Only 1,626 a., 69 per cent. of the total 2,342 a. (fn. 372) of farming land, was under grass, although there were 215 a. of clover and 7 a. of other fodder crops. Pigs (1,948) and poultry (9,955) reached a record number, but the numbers of all the other animals had fallen. There were 57 a. of vegetables and 40 a. of fruit. Heath-land covered 137 a.
By 1967 most of the land under cereals had reverted to grass, since the soil had proved too wet. At Pinner Park Farm, farmed by Hall & Sons, the entire 230 a. produced grass to support 240 Friesian cows. (fn. 373) The surrounding residential district formed a market for milk produced there and at Kenton Lane Farm. Pigs and cattle (40 Friesian cows and 40 heifers and calves) were kept at Harrow School's farm, horses, cows, sheep, and fowl at Oxhey Lane Farm in north Pinner, and horses and 120 Jersey cows at Pinner Wood Farm. (fn. 374) Of the old demesne farms, only Copse (formerly Weald Copse) Farm (210 a.), which had been sold to the former lessees, the Blackwell family, in 1895, survived. It passed to new management in 1947, and in 1967 it specialized in pigs and sheep for meat, and summer cattle for beef and milk. (fn. 375) No farms remained in Wembley, and the farm-house of Hundred Elms Farm had been absorbed by the United Dairies bottling station. (fn. 376) By 1937 only 123 people were employed in agriculture, a number which rose to 158 in 1942 but had dropped to 136 in 1954.
Charcoal burning (fn. 377) gave rise to two 'Colliers Lanes'. (fn. 378) There was a weaver in Harrow in 1436, (fn. 379) and there were several shoemakers, cordwainers, and weavers by the end of the 17th century, when Harrow boys were often apprenticed in London. (fn. 380) The only other industry recorded before the modern period was brick-making. Although there were no brickearth deposits, Claygate Beds and pebble gravel on the higher areas of Harrow Weald and Harrow-on-the-Hill provided the necessary clay and sand. (fn. 381) Chalk was being dug at Waxwell in the 17th century (fn. 382) and by the 18th century the Pinner lime-kilns were under the same management as the brick-kilns of Harrow Weald and Harrow-on-theHill. (fn. 383) Chalk was still being worked at Pinner in the mid 19th century. (fn. 384) A brick-maker of Harrow-onthe-Hill is recorded in 1589, (fn. 385) and the 'surreptitious getting of a great quantity of sand' to make bricks was an issue between Pitt and Gerard in the 1630s. (fn. 386) Gerard, having clay but no sand at Flambards, took over 100 loads of sand from Pitt's ground to make bricks, underselling Pitt by 6d. in the 1000. The castigation of this action as 'against the custom of the country' suggests that brick-making was already well established.
A brick-clamp in Weald Wood occurs in 1609–10, (fn. 387) when, as ten years later, it was leased to Thomas Tibbald. (fn. 388) By 1685 Matthew Bodymead owned a brick-, tile-, and lime-kiln on land leased to him on Weald Common near Bentley Corner. (fn. 389) Other members of this old Weald family maintained brickworks throughout the 18th century at Harrow Weald, Harrow-on-the-Hill, and Pinner, until at the end of the century their property passed by marriage to the Blackwells. (fn. 390) In 1767 and 1776 building bricks were the main product, but paving bricks and tiles were also made. The Blackwells flourished throughout the 19th century, their prosperity growing with the demand for suburban villas and workmen's cottages. Several fine residences—Hillside, Brookside, and the Cedars—housed members of the family. Charles Blackwell built cottages for his own employees at the City of the Weald. In 1831 these housed 120 people, including the families of 26 brick-making labourers. (fn. 391) Twenty years later there were 52 workers at the Weald works. (fn. 392) In the 19th century the firm specialized in pots, pipes, and tiles. The Blackwells relinquished their interest in Harrow Weald in the 1890s, but brick-making continued at Clamp Hill into the next century.
By 1851 there was a tile-making works at Alperton and bricks were also made at Roxeth and Pinner. Brick-laying employed about 40 people, mostly in Harrow-on-the-Hill and Roxeth. (fn. 393) A brick-field was established by the canal in Alperton about 1848. The tile-works was owned by the Ainslie Tilemaking Co., and chimney and flower-pots were still being made in 1886. It was owned by Woolleys at the end of the 19th century, when the occupier was Henry Haynes, a builder and contractor (fn. 394) who was still there in 1920. (fn. 395) The Harrow Brick & Tile Co., founded in 1884, opened a factory near the station at Wealdstone, although brick-making at Pinner ceased soon after 1886. (fn. 396)
Small factories have been opened within the old parish: a bacon, later a mattress, factory in Bessborough Road, a bicycle works (1887) in Northolt Road, Roxeth, an organ-makers at Courtfield Avenue in Greenhill, and factories for making machinetools and engineering and household equipment in North and South Harrow. (fn. 397) Modern industry, however, is concentrated in Wealdstone, Wembley, and Alperton. The first large industrial premises at Wealdstone were erected in 1890 for the Kodak organization on a site north of Headstone Drive. The premises have been much enlarged since production began in 1891, and by 1965 they comprised over 100 buildings on a 55-acre site. About 5,500 people were then employed in research and producing film, chemicals, and other photographic accessories, but subsequent expansion has been limited by lack of space and has been diverted to new towns like Hemel Hempstead. (fn. 398)
When Wealdstone was growing in the 1890s and 1900s factories were opened by Gogswell & Harrison Ltd., gunsmiths of Ferndale Terrace, who employed 70 men in 1893, (fn. 399) Winsor & Newton Ltd. (1897), manufacturers of artists' materials, and two printing firms, David Allen Ltd., which operated there from 1896 until 1918, and G. Pulman & Sons Ltd., which opened in 1901. (fn. 400) David Allen's works were acquired by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, which in 1969 employed 1,000 people. (fn. 401) A coffin factory, Messrs. Ingall, Parsons, Clive & Co., was opened in 1900 on a site in Mason's Avenue, directly backing upon the railway; it employed 70 men in 1900 and continued to make coffins until the beginning of the Second World War. (fn. 402) The brushmaking firm of Hamilton & Co. Ltd. (established in 1811) occupied manufacturing premises in the modern Rosslyn Crescent in 1898. The company's offices and warehouses were moved to Harrow in 1951 and a further factory for the manufacture of household brooms was opened there in 1960; by 1965 the firm employed approximately 350 persons. (fn. 403) The glassworks of James Powell & Sons (Whitefriars) Ltd. was moved in 1923 from premises in the City of London, which it had occupied since 1680, to a new factory in Tudor Road. Production, which is entirely by hand, is largely of domestic glassware, thermometer tubing, and stained glass; the labour force, which has fluctuated little since 1923, was approximately 250 in 1965. (fn. 404) Bastian & Allen Ltd., electrical and mechanical engineers, began to manufacture electrode boilers in a former wooden toy factory in Ferndale Terrace in 1949; the premises were later extended and in 1965 the company employed 180 persons. (fn. 405)
Large-scale industrial development in Wembley began in the early 20th century and accelerated after the closure of the British Empire Exhibition released the buildings and site. Factories established after 1924 were chiefly for the manufacture of light engineering components and luxury goods. In 1965, 70 firms employed 6,300 people on the former exhibition site and 5 employed 6,600 people in East Lane. (fn. 406) The British Oxygen Co. opened a factory in East Lane in 1918 for the manufacture of gases and welding equipment; the premises were later much enlarged and the labour force, which was 55 in 1918, had increased to 700 by 1965. (fn. 407) The Wrigley Co. Ltd. (established in 1911) began to make chewing gum in East Lane in 1926; the company's Wembley factory employed approximately 300 persons in 1965. (fn. 408) Johnson, Matthey & Co. Ltd., refiners and fabricators of precious metals, opened research laboratories employing 24 people on a 5-acre site at the exhibition grounds in 1938. Manufacturing premises were later added and by 1965 more than 1,100 persons were employed in research and the manufacture of fine wires, electrodes, and electrical contacts in base and precious metals. (fn. 409)
The brick-works and agricultural industries (fn. 410) of Ealing Road, Alperton, had expanded by 1910 (fn. 411) to include rubber and fire-proofing factories. Many factories, mainly concerned with engineering or motor cars, were opened in Ealing Road during the 1920s and 1930s. (fn. 412) By 1965 there were 31 firms employing 3,700 people. (fn. 413) The largest was the Glacier Metal Co. Ltd., which purchased the works of the Wooler Engineering Co. Ltd. in 1923, the former Key Glass Works in 1960, and those of Crosby Value & Engineering Co. Ltd. in 1968. By 1969 it employed 2,100 people in Alperton. (fn. 414) During the 1930s industry spread eastward from Ealing Road along Mount Pleasant and Beresford Avenue. (fn. 415) By 1965 there were 67 firms employing 5,200 people in the Beresford Avenue area. (fn. 416) Several firms which had long been established there, like Celotex Ltd. (opened 1936) and Rizla Cigarette Papers Ltd. (opened 1937), (fn. 417) moved from the area in 1969, when a new industrial estate, Northfield, was being built. (fn. 418)