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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MANORS AND OTHER ESTATES.
The tenurial pattern within the ancient parish and the relationships of holdings in Hillingdon with estates in neighbouring parishes is at all periods complex and obscure. The 12 hides at which the manors of Hillingdon and Colham were together assessed in 1086 (fn. 1) apparently bear little relation to the area of the later parish, given in 1801 as 4,944 a. (fn. 2) Whether this apparent discrepancy implies the omission from the Survey of one or more substantial estates, an inaccurate assessment, or the use of an uncommon unit of area measurement (fn. 3) is uncertain. A further possible explanation is that in 1086, as later, some areas of the parish formed appurtenances of manors lying elsewhere in west Middlesex or in Buckinghamshire. By the 15th century the manors of Colham Garden, Denham (Bucks.), Ickenham, Southcote, and Swakeleys all included land said to lie in Colham, Hillingdon, or Uxbridge, (fn. 4) and to these by the early 17th century, if not earlier, had been added holdings of the manors of Cowley Peachey, Harefield, Hayes Park Hall, and Stanwell. (fn. 5) In addition there were in the parish by 1400, and almost certainly earlier, a number of small freehold estates, particularly in and around Uxbridge town, of between 5 and 30 a., and at least one 200-acre holding. (fn. 6) Many of these small parcels of land had already been consolidated with one or more holdings outside the parish to form larger estates, described in subsequent conveyances only as a total acreage comprising property in a number of named parishes. (fn. 7) It is therefore impossible in most cases to assess what proportion of the land lay within Hillingdon parish.
The identity of the lands known throughout the Middle Ages as Tickenham is particularly obscure. The form 'Ticheham' first appears in the Survey of 1086, (fn. 8) and it has been generally assumed that the lands there described formed the medieval manors of Ickenham and Swakeleys, (fn. 9) and that the forms 'Ticheham' or 'Tickenham' and 'Ickenham' were subsequently used synonomously. (fn. 10) It seems almost certain, however, that part of one or more of the three Domesday fees of 'Ticheham' lay in Hillingdon ancient parish and that the name Tickenham was later used to describe an area, lying partly in Hillingdon and partly in Ickenham parish, in which the lords of Colham, Hillingdon, Cowley Hall, Ickenham, and Swakeleys all held land at various periods. (fn. 11) As early as 1235 John de Trumpinton granted a virgate in Tickenham to William Longespée, lord of Colham. (fn. 12) A number of 13th- and early 14th-century conveyances, involving particularly the Brok and Swalcliffe families, (fn. 13) include land described as lying in Tickenham and Ickenham, (fn. 14) suggesting a distinction between the two places, and about 1260 land in Tickenham was clearly stated to lie in Hillingdon parish. (fn. 15) By 1332 the Brok or Brook family held land in Tickenham appurtenant to their manors of Cowley Hall and Hillingdon, (fn. 16) which later in the 14th century passed to the Charlton family, lords of Ickenham manor which also had appurtenances in Tickenham. (fn. 17) Further confusion surrounds a dispute in 1453 between the Rector of Ickenham and the Bishop of Worcester (fn. 18) as to tithes payable on approximately 50 a. in Tickenham. (fn. 19) Although the Rector of Ickenham had latterly received the tithes of this area, the disputed lands were adjudged to be in Hillingdon parish and the tithes due to Hillingdon church. Despite this decision, however, some at least of the fields mentioned were apparently always considered later to be part of Ickenham parish. (fn. 20) The identifiable fields lay east of the Yeading Brook, and the area known as Tickenham probably extended across the stream into the north-east corner of Hillingdon parish. (fn. 21) Lands in Tickenham are not mentioned after 1544, (fn. 22) although forms of the placename survived until the 19th century. (fn. 23)
COLHAM manor was in 1086 assessed at 8 hides, 6 of which were in demesne. Associated with it (jacet in or apposita est in) at Domesday were four other estates held by Earl Roger in Harmondsworth (1 hide), Dawley (3 hides), Hatton (1½ hide), and 'Ticheham' (9½ hides). (fn. 24) The significance of this association is uncertain, although none of these estates had been linked with Colham in King Edward's time. (fn. 25) The value of Colham, including 46s. rents from 2½ mills, was given in 1086 as £8, a drop of £2 from its value in the Confessor's time. Part of the manor lands was probably granted away in the mid-13th century to form the basis of the sub-manor later known as Cowley Hall. (fn. 26) At some time before 1594, however, Hillingdon manor was incorporated in that of Colham. (fn. 27)
The location of the manor lands before the assimilation of Hillingdon manor is uncertain. (fn. 28) Fourteenth-century surveys of Colham include land in Great Whatworth Field, Hanger Field, and Strode Field, a warren on Uxbridge Common, and woodland at Highseat in the north-west. (fn. 29) This suggests that the bulk of the manor lands lay then, as later, south of the London road and west of the Pinn in the north-west of the old parish. By 1636, however, Colham and Hillingdon manors had been consolidated, so that the lands of Colham then covered approximately two-thirds of Hillingdon parish. (fn. 30) At this date the outer boundaries of Colham appear to have substantially respected those of the parish, (fn. 31) except in the north-east where the manor boundary followed the Pinn southward from Ickenham Bridge to Hercies Lane and then ran south-eastward to rejoin the parish boundary south of Pole Hill Farm. (fn. 32) Insulated within the lands of Colham lay the 'three little manors' of Cowley Hall, Colham Garden, (fn. 33) and Cowley Peachey, (fn. 34) and freehold estates belonging to a number of manors in other parishes, (fn. 35) including Swakeleys in Ickenham. (fn. 36)
In 1086 (fn. 37) Colham manor, which before the Conquest had belonged to Wigot of Wallingford, was in the hands of the Conqueror's cousin, Roger de Montgomery, Earl of Shrewsbury. (fn. 38) On Roger's death in 1094 his fief, including Colham, passed to his son Robert de Bellême who retained the property until 1102 when, following his abortive rebellion, his lands were confiscated by Henry I. Colham was probably then granted to Miles Crispin (d. 1107). (fn. 39) After Crispin's death the manor probably descended to his widow Maud who shortly afterwards married Brian Fitz Count. In or about 1115 (fn. 40) Colham was held jure uxoris by Brian as part of the honor of Wallingford. Brian and Maud had no heir and on their entering a religious community Henry, Duke of the Normans, later Henry II, seized the honor of Wallingford, retaining it after he became king in 1154. (fn. 41) The honor was farmed in 1178–9 by Thomas Basset and afterwards by Gilbert Basset, (fn. 42) who granted trading privileges to the men of Uxbridge. (fn. 43) By 1219 it had passed to William Longespée, a natural son of Henry II, who had married Ela (or Isabel), daughter of William, Earl of Salisbury, and become earl jure uxoris in 1198. (fn. 44) On William's death in 1226 his property passed to a second William Longespée, probably the eldest son of William and Ela (d. 1261). (fn. 45) William Longespée the younger was succeeded by his daughter Margaret (or Margery), wife of Henry de Lacy, Earl of Lincoln. (fn. 46) Henry died in 1311 (fn. 47) and Colham descended to his daughter Alice, who had married Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, in 1294. (fn. 48) After the execution of Thomas in 1322, following the Battle of Boroughbridge, the king took the manor into his own hands and regranted it to Alice de Lacy, with remainder to Hugh le Despenser. (fn. 49) Before 10 November 1324 Alice married Ebulo Lestrange and in 1325 they entered into a new agreement, conveying Colham to Hugh le Despenser subject to Alice's life interest. (fn. 50) In 1328, however, Queen Isabel and Mortimer, who were attempting to win over the partisans of the late Earl of Lancaster, granted Colham, among other estates, to Ebulo for his life if he should survive Alice. (fn. 51) After the execution of Mortimer in 1330 Ebulo and Alice petitioned the king and council to consider their case, and eventually secured a grant of some of their lands on condition that they quit-claimed all the rest. (fn. 52) This agreement was embodied in a charter in 1331 whereby Colham manor, among other lands, was granted to Ebulo, Alice, and their heirs to hold as Henry de Lacy had held it of the king. (fn. 53) On the death of Ebulo Lestrange in 1335 Colham, with the hamlet of Uxbridge, was said to be held of the Earl of Cornwall as parcel of the honor of Wallingford. (fn. 54) Roger, Lord Strange, son of John Lestrange VI, Lord Strange (d. 1311), Ebulo's brother, was his heir. (fn. 55) Early in 1336, however, Alice, Ebulo's elderly widow, eloped with Sir Hugh de Frene, and Edward III, displeased, took her lands into his own hands. By 23 March 1336, however, they had married, been reconciled with the king, and received back their property. On 27 September 1336 they had licence to convey Colham, Uxbridge, and other lands to themselves for life with remainder to Roger Lestrange. (fn. 56) Hugh de Frene died in 1337 and Roger Lestrange than granted a life interest in Colham to Nicholas de Cantilupe, Alice's cousin, subject to Alice's life interest and with reversion to Roger's heirs. (fn. 57) Although Alice had surrendered all her property to Nicholas de Cantilupe by a deed dated 25 June 1337, the day before Roger's grant, she probably retained actual possession until her death in 1348. (fn. 58) Nicholas de Cantilupe died in 1355 and Colham then reverted to Roger, Lord Strange (d. 1382), son of Roger the heir of Ebulo who died in 1349. The manors of Colham and Uxbridge were then said to be held of the Prince of Wales in chief, as part of the honor of Wallingford, by service of a knight's fee. (fn. 59) Roger Lestrange died in 1382, and his wife Aline two years later. (fn. 60) The manor then passed to their son John, Lord Strange (d. 1397) (fn. 61) and to his son Richard, Lord Strange (d. 1449). (fn. 62) After the death of Richard, his widow Elizabeth married Roger Kynaston. (fn. 63) On Elizabeth's death in 1453 Colham passed to John, Lord Strange, Elizabeth's son by her first marriage, although Kynaston petitioned in Chancery for rents which he claimed were due to him from the property. (fn. 64)
John Lestrange died in 1479 and Colham then descended to his only daughter and heir Joan (or Jane) who had married Sir George Stanley, the eldest son of Thomas Stanley, created Earl of Derby (d. 1504). George Stanley died in 1503 and Colham then passed to his eldest son Thomas (d. 1521), who succeeded his grandfather as Earl of Derby in 1504. (fn. 65) Members of the Stanley family continued to hold the manors of Colham and Uxbridge, as parcel of the honor of Wallingford (later Ewelme), (fn. 66) until 1636 (fn. 67) when Alice, Dowager Countess of Derby, devised the property to her grandson George, Lord Chandos. (fn. 68) He died in 1654 or 1655, leaving his estates in the hands of Jane, his second wife, and trustees. (fn. 69) Jane then married George Pitt, a Hampshire landowner, and in 1669 they alienated Colham to Sir Robert Vyner, lord of Swakeleys manor, (fn. 70) and later Lord Mayor of London. (fn. 71) Colham remained in the Vyner family (fn. 72) until 1700 when Thomas Vyner sold it to Richard Webb and Samuel (later Sir Samuel) Dodd, afterwards Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer. (fn. 73) Webb's interests in the manor were purchased between 1720 and 1740 by representatives of the Dodd family, (fn. 74) but after 1750 the property was frequently mortgaged. (fn. 75) In 1787 John Dodd of Swallowfield (Berks.) sold the whole manor to Fysh de Burgh, lord of the manor of West Drayton. (fn. 76) Fysh de Burgh died in 1800 leaving Colham, subject to the life interest of his widow Easter (d. 1823), in trust for his daughter Catherine (d. 1809), wife of James G. Lill who assumed the name of De Burgh, with remainder to their son Hubert. (fn. 77) The manor passed to Hubert de Burgh in 1832 and he immediately mortgaged the estate. (fn. 78) Hubert retained actual possession of the property, which was seldom if ever during this period unencumbered by mortgages, (fn. 79) until his death in 1872.
Mention in 1245 (fn. 80) of the 'court' of Colham surrounded by a hedge probably implies the existence by this date of a manor-house: such a dwelling was certainly standing in 1311. (fn. 81) Little is known of the medieval building. It was described in 1328 as having an adjoining garden, (fn. 82) but after the Lestrange family acquired the estate the house probably remained unoccupied. By 1386 the buildings on the site were valueless, (fn. 83) and in 1449 the manor-house was said to be beyond repair. (fn. 84) By 1521, however, when Thomas, Earl of Derby, died there, (fn. 85) the house had been rebuilt, probably on or near the site of the earlier building. The manor-house was described in 1547 (fn. 86) as standing east of the Frays River about a mile north of the bridge carrying the LongfordColnbrook road across the Colne. The Tudor dwelling, which probably stood in Patcott (Colham) Field on or near the site of the later Manor Farm, was still standing in 1636. (fn. 87) A large house at Colham is shown on a map of 1742, (fn. 88) but, since the manorhouse was later said to have been demolished in the early 18th century, (fn. 89) it is not certainly identifiable with the Tudor building.
HILLINGDON manor, sometimes confused with the Bishop of Worcester's rectory estate or 'manor', (fn. 90) was assessed in 1086 at four hides, two of which were in demesne. (fn. 91) In King Edward's time the estate had belonged to the housecarl Ulf, but before 1086 it had been granted to Roger de Montgomery, Earl of Shrewsbury. For two hundred years after Domesday the history of Hillingdon manor is obscure and no further details of its extent or location have survived. The property may have descended, as parcel of the honor of Wallingford, to Earl Roger's son, and after his forfeiture to Miles Crispin. (fn. 92) By 1305 (fn. 93) Hillingdon, with appurtenances in Colham, was in the hands of the Brook or Brok family which from at least as early as 1259 had been acquiring lands and rents in Uxbridge, Hillingdon, Cowley, and Ickenham. (fn. 94) Between 1332 and 1348 (fn. 95) William, son of Roger del Brok, surrendered his interests in the manors of Hillingdon and Cowley Hall, together with lands in Tickenham, to John Charlton, a London merchant. Charlton obtained further interests in Hillingdon manor in 1345 from John Pain, Rector of Ickenham, who had secured an interest in the property in 1337, (fn. 96) and John de la (or atte) Pole. (fn. 97) The estate almost certainly remained in the possession of the Charlton family (fn. 98) until the attainder of Sir Richard Charlton following his death at Bosworth in 1485. (fn. 99) In 1486 Henry VII granted the reversion on an estate including lands called Great and Little Hillingdon to Sir Thomas Bourchier, subject to the life interest of Elizabeth, Richard Charlton's widow. (fn. 100) In 1510 Bourchier granted his reversionary interest in Great and Little Hillingdon to Sir John Pecche and John Sharpe. (fn. 101) Sharpe died, and in 1521 Pecche transferred his interest to Henry Courtenay, Earl of Devon. (fn. 102) The subsequent history of the manor is uncertain. On his death in 1594 Ferdinando, Earl of Derby, was said to be seised of Hillingdon, Colham, and Uxbridge. (fn. 103) When the Stanley family acquired Hillingdon manor is unknown, but a date before 1522 seems unlikely. (fn. 104) The manor is not mentioned by name after 1594, and it was presumably merged by the Stanleys into their manor of Colham. (fn. 105)
Little is known of the early history of the so-called manor of UXBRIDGE. Neither manor nor hamlet was mentioned in 1086, but 13th-century sources suggest that at some time before 1242 Uxbridge manor may have formed part of the royal demesne. (fn. 106) By 1242 the Crown rights to tallage in the manor had been granted to William Longespée who at this date also held the manor of Colham as part of the honor of Wallingford. (fn. 107) Crown rights in Uxbridge are not mentioned after 1254, and the descent of the manor appears to have followed that of Colham (fn. 108) until 1669 when George Pitt sold Colham to Sir Robert Vyner but reserved the manor of Uxbridge. (fn. 109) In 1695 Pitt's son, also called George, sold the manor and its appurtenances to four trustees representing the inhabitants of the town. (fn. 110) In 1729 the surviving representatives conveyed the manor to seven trustees, known thereafter as the lords of the manor in trust, who were to use the manorial profits as a charitable fund for the benefit of the town. The trust was to be renewed whenever the number of trustees was reduced to three. (fn. 111) In 1963 the manor was still vested in trustees drawn from householders in the town. (fn. 112)
The only extant survey of the boundaries and customs of Uxbridge manor was presented at a court baron held in 1727. (fn. 113) By this date the boundaries of manor and township appear to have been conterminous, and whether they were anciently distinct is not known. Except for a small rectangular area lying across the Oxford road at the west end of the town, the area defined in 1727 lay east of the Frays stream and north of Blind or Woolwind Lane (later Vine Street). East of the Oxford road the boundary ran across open ground, and was, for some if not all of its length, marked by a ditch and bank, repaired, until at least the end of the 18th century, by the lords in trust. (fn. 114)
The early history and extent of the estate later known as COWLEY HALL manor is uncertain. The manor is not mentioned by name until 1429, (fn. 115) but the fact that it was held, then as later, as a submanor of Colham at a rent of £5 a year (fn. 116) suggests that the estate is perhaps identifiable with property in Colham and Cowley granted by William Longespée in or shortly before 1245 to one Philip, (fn. 117) who was to hold the property of Colham manor at a yearly rent of £4 12s., rendering services of free tenancy and suit of court. Lawrence del Brok, the judge, who had obtained land in Ickenham in 1267, (fn. 118) received in 1271 a further six carucates in Hillingdon, Cowley, Tickenham, Ickenham, and Southall from William del Brok. (fn. 119) In 1327 (fn. 120) Roger del Brok, perhaps Lawrence's grandson, mortgaged to Peter James, a London merchant, an estate described as 'the manor of Colham which is called Cowley'. The manor, almost certainly that later referred to as Cowley Hall, (fn. 121) comprised a capital messuage, rents, a fishery, three mills on the Colne, and 375 a. and was said to be held of the honor of Wallingford. In 1328 Roger del Brok was said to hold 1½ carucate of Colham manor by service of 1/6 knight's fee and an annual rent of 53s. 4d. (fn. 122) Later in the same year Peter James transferred his mortgage interest to John Charlton, another London merchant, (fn. 123) who four years later acquired further interests in what were called the manors of Cowley and Hillingdon from William, Roger del Brok's son. (fn. 124) Also included in the grant were two carucates and 66 a. in Tickenham. An interest in John Charlton's estate was acquired in 1337 by John Pain, Rector of Ickenham, (fn. 125) but he apparently reconveyed this interest to Charlton in 1345, (fn. 126) and Cowley Hall subsequently remained in the possession of the Charlton family. (fn. 127) In 1412 Alice, widow of Sir Thomas Charlton (d. 1410), held land worth £6 13s. 4d. in Colham and Uxbridge, (fn. 128) and in 1429 the estate of Thomas Charlton, possibly a nephew of the first Sir Thomas, included the manors of Cowley Hall and Cowley Peachey together with lands called Elys, (fn. 129) Barwell Field (12 a.), and a meadow (47 a.) called 'le Frays'. (fn. 130) Following the attainder of Sir Richard Charlton in 1486, (fn. 131) Cowley Hall was granted to Sir Thomas Bourchier, subject to the life interest of Richard Charlton's widow. (fn. 132) In 1510 Bourchier granted the reversion on his estate in tail male to John Pecche and John Sharpe. (fn. 133) Sharpe died, and in 1521 Pecche transferred his reversionary interest in Cowley Hall to Henry Courtenay, Earl of Devon. (fn. 134) Courtenay, by now Marquess of Exeter, surrendered his interest at some time after 1530, and by 1546 the property had passed to George Stokes. (fn. 135) The manor changed hands at least once more before 1558 when Robert Hutton conveyed Cowley Hall, with appurtenances in Hillingdon, to Drew Saunders. (fn. 136) By 1582 (fn. 137) the estate appears to have passed to Henry Chapman, Saunders's son-in-law, (fn. 138) who presumably held by right of his wife Sarah. In 1613 the Chapmans conveyed Cowley Hall to Walter Pritchet, (fn. 139) who in turn conveyed in 1639 at least part of his interest to Peter Gosfright. (fn. 140) The property then became the subject of several complicated mortgage settlements involving, among others, the Pritchet, Johnson, and Tower families. (fn. 141) Lancelot Johnson was said to be seised of Cowley Hall in 1669, (fn. 142) and Mary Johnson until about 1742 (fn. 143) when her interest was assumed by Christopher Tower. Although the manor seems seldom to have been free from mortgage debts, (fn. 144) the Tower family retained Cowley Hall until at least as late as 1883, (fn. 145) after which the descent of the property is unknown.
Almost nothing is known of the medieval dwelling which probably occupied the site of the later Cowley Hall manor-house. A capital messuage is mentioned in a survey of 1327, (fn. 146) but whether there were buildings on the site at this date is uncertain. The Charlton family was living at a house called 'Couelehalle' in 1429, (fn. 147) although later in the 15th century their principal country residence seems to have been Swakeleys in Ickenham. (fn. 148) About 1465 (fn. 149) the Charltons' smaller house, said to be situated at Uxbridge but possibly identifiable with the manor-house of Cowley Hall, comprised six principal rooms together with a kitchen, larder, and buttery. A map of 1742 shows a large house called Cowley Hall between Cowley Road and the Frays River about ¼ mile south of Cowley village. (fn. 150) Buildings on this site are shown on 19th-century maps: they were still standing as late as 1913, but the manor-house site was acquired by the local authority in 1929 and by 1934 had been obscured by a housing complex centring on Dagnall Crescent. (fn. 151)
The lands of COLHAM GARDEN manor lay, throughout its history, almost equally in West Drayton and Hillingdon, although the manor-house, Burroughs, stood in West Drayton parish. (fn. 152) In 1461, when Colham Garden is first so described, it comprised 89 a. in Colham, 20 a. and two messuages in Uxbridge, 90 a. in West Drayton, and 8 a. in Stanwell. (fn. 153) By 1872 (fn. 154) there remained 55 a. in Hillingdon, 59 a. in West Drayton, and 4 a., first mentioned in 1512, (fn. 155) in Iver (Bucks.). From at least as early as the 16th century the lord of Colham Garden paid a yearly quit-rent of 20s. to Colham manor and one varying between 14s. and 20s. to West Drayton manor. (fn. 156) After 1506, when the manor came into the possession of Westminster Abbey, (fn. 157) the demesne was invariably leased. The Hillingdon portion was usually farmed separately at a yearly rent of £4. (fn. 158)
The origins of the estate later known as HERCIES manor are obscure. The property is first mentioned by name in 1386 when it formed part of the extensive estates of the Charlton family. (fn. 159) The Charltons still held Hercies in 1462, (fn. 160) and subsequently the descent of the manor appears to have followed that of Swakeleys manor in Ickenham. (fn. 161) After the death in 1643 of Sir Edmund Wright, however, Hercies passed to his daughter Elizabeth, wife of Sir John Trott. (fn. 162) The property thereafter passed in the female line to Sir Charles Shuckburgh, whose son John sold Hercies in 1709 to Edward Gibbon. Four years later Gibbon conveyed the manor to Sir Thomas Hardy (d. 1732), who was succeeded by his daughter Constance, wife of George Chamberlain who later adopted the name of Denton. (fn. 163) In 1778 or 1779 (fn. 164) Constance Denton's representatives sold Hercies to the trustees of Thomas Bridges under whose will it descended to Thomas Clarke, Rector of Ickenham and lord of Swakeleys manor. (fn. 165) At the end of the 18th century Hercies or Herres Farm comprised 222 a. lying north of the farm buildings in the rectangular area bounded by Uxbridge Common, the Ickenham boundary, Long Lane, and Sweetcroft Lane. (fn. 166) In 1796 Thomas Clarke died and the property, then described as the site of the manor of Hercies, passed to his son Thomas Truesdale Clarke. (fn. 167) Under the inclosure award of 1825 Thomas Truesdale Clarke was allotted approximately 330 a. in lieu of Hercies and Rye Fields farms. (fn. 168) The property is not mentioned again until 1922 when Hercies Farm was acquired by the local authority. (fn. 169)
At all periods after the 14th century, and probably earlier, there was a number of freeholds in Hillingdon parish. (fn. 170) The location of most of the medieval estates is uncertain: some were certainly situated in and around Uxbridge itself, (fn. 171) others probably lay on the edges of the heaths to the north and east, and may have begun as assarts. By 1636 there were 35 freeholds in Colham manor, (fn. 172) together covering more than 300 a. Many were tenements in Uxbridge or small parcels of open-field land: only three estates exceeded 30 a. From the 17th century onwards a number of houses on Hillingdon Heath were owned by persons of importance: most of these estates deserve notice rather by virtue of their owners or the character of the houses and adjoining pleasure gardens, than for their size. (fn. 173) The largest estate was that attached to Hillingdon House, most of which was acquired by the Cox family after 1810. (fn. 174) When the estate was broken up in 1915 it comprised more than 500 a. in Hillingdon as well as land in Harefield and Ruislip. (fn. 175)
Among medieval estates which may be separately mentioned (fn. 176) was that which apparently attached in the 15th century to the office of warrener in Colham and Hillingdon manors. The estate in Colham, Cowley, and Hillingdon granted in 1434 by Richard Lestrange, lord of Colham, to John Pury, who paid £4 11s. 3d. for the office of warrener, comprised 8 messuages, a weir, pasture in Old Park, and more than 200 a. in Rye Hill Field, Bedewell Field, Boltons Mede, Jordans Mede, Colham Mede, and Broad Croft. (fn. 177) Three years later Pury's estate, which is not mentioned again, was said to comprise 20 marks in rent and land in Colham, Uxbridge, Hillingdon, and Cowley. (fn. 178)
Rabbs Farm, which until the dissolution of the chantries in 1547 probably formed part of the endowment of Rabb's chantry, (fn. 179) was acquired in 1553, together with other estates formerly belonging to the Savoy Hospital, by St. Thomas's Hospital. (fn. 180) From the late 16th century St. Thomas's Hospital leased the estate for 21-year terms at an annual rent which increased from £10 in 1594 to £105 in 1798. From 1594 until 1714 the estate was farmed by members of the Munsaugh family. (fn. 181) In 1636 Rabbs Farm was described as a freehold estate of 66 a., (fn. 182) but in 1688 (fn. 183) the Hospital estate, described as Rabbs and Austen farms, comprised 94 a., of which 42 a. lay in Hedging Field, Hale Field, Upper Field, and Beadle Field. A quit-rent of 10s. was payable to Colham manor in respect of the house and close called Austen Farm which lay immediately south of Rabbs farm-house. The remaining land lay east of the farm buildings and to the west between Cowley Road and the Colne. The Hospital seems to have augmented its holding during the late 18th century, (fn. 184) and under the inclosure award of 1825 the Governors were allotted 110 a. at Yiewsley in lieu of their estate. (fn. 185) The Hospital acquired small areas of adjoining land during the 19th century, but the sale of plots for factory building and railway construction began in 1905. The remaining 157 a. of the Rabbs Farm estate were sold in 1928 and have since been used for houses and factories. (fn. 186)
About 1631, in answer to a writ of quo warranto, the inhabitants of Uxbridge claimed that the town was an ancient borough and corporation of 73 burgesses. (fn. 187) Judgment was given against them. In a second action, heard in Star Chamber in 1633, when the claims of the townspeople were again rejected, they based their case on a misinterpretation of the 12th-century document, which the town authorities were apparently unable to read, by which Gilbert Basset granted to the 'burgesses' of Uxbridge the right to hold a weekly market in the town. (fn. 188) This instrument also provided that holders of 1 a. in the town should be free from all tolls and customs on payment of 2s. a year, that ½-acre holders should have the same privileges in consideration of 1s. a year, and that both classes of tenant should have the right to alienate their holdings at will. Despite the judgments against them, the 'burgesses' of Uxbridge persevered with their claims and in 1657 petitioned Parliament for a charter of rights. (fn. 189) The matter was referred to a committee and nothing further is recorded. By the end of the 17th century, however, the tenuous claims of landholders in the town had again hardened into a form of customary holding. A rent roll of 1693 lists 86 'burgage' tenants; (fn. 190) in 1727 there were 88 such holdings in the town. (fn. 191) By 1809 there were 86 burgage holdings totalling 91 a. (fn. 192) By the 19th century the rights of pasture on wastes in Colham manor and on Cow Moor in Harefield, which the burgage holders had claimed as an incident of tenure as early as 1593, had also been established. (fn. 193) The King's Bench decision in a test case brought by the lords in trust before the execution of the 1812 Inclosure Act, (fn. 194) however, emphasized that the usage was only customary. The burgage holders were allotted 32 a. in Harefield in lieu of their pasture rights under the Harefield inclosure award of 1813. (fn. 195) In 1855 an Act was passed authorizing the sale by auction of this land (fn. 196) and, despite a petition by the burgage holders, the sale was completed by the lords in trust in 1856. (fn. 197)