A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 7, Acton, Chiswick, Ealing and Brentford, West Twyford, Willesden. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1982.
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A charter purporting to be a confirmation by King Athelstan c. 939 to St. Paul's monastery in London of estates including ten mansae at Neasden with Willesden is generally thought to be spurious. (fn. 1) Nevertheless St. Paul's certainly had estates there before the Conquest. A list attributed to c. 1000 of contributions of men for manning a ship includes, among other places belonging to the church of St. Paul, four men from Neasden and three from 'Forth tune', possibly to be identified with Fortune in Harlesden. (fn. 2) In 1086 the canons of St. Paul's held Willesden, assessed at 15 hides, the manor of Harlesden, assessed at 5 hides, a manor of 2 hides in Twyford held from them by a canon called Gueri, and 2 hides in Twyford said to be held of the king by a canon called Durand. (fn. 3)
The distinction between the lands of the bishop of London and those of the cathedral chapter of St. Paul's was established before the Conquest, and the beginnings of the prebendal system are apparent in the arrangements at Twyford. The system crystallized under bishop Maurice (1085-1107), the lists of prebendaries beginning mostly in the early 12th century. (fn. 4) Gueri's estate developed into the manor and parish of West Twyford. (fn. 5) Willesden parish, which included Durand's estate at Twyford and Harlesden manor, was divided between eight prebends: East Twyford in the south-west, Neasden in the north-west, Oxgate in the northeast, Harlesden in the centre and south, and Chambers, Brondesbury, Bounds, and Mapesbury in the east.
The manor or prebend of BOUNDS or WILLESDEN may have taken the former name from the position of its demesne lands, part in the south-east, on the boundary at Kilburn, and part extending along Willesden Lane to Willesden Green. (fn. 6) The manor belonged to the prebendary of Bounds until it was vested in the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in 1848 under the Act of 1840. (fn. 7) It was sold in 1649 by the parliamentary commissioners to Ezechiel Tanner, a Willesden yeoman, (fn. 8) but reverted at the Restoration. In 1856 the commissioners purchased the leasehold interest in Bounds and Brondesbury, together with 42 a. of adjoining freehold land, from Lady Elizabeth Salusbury. (fn. 9) Apart from land sold to the railways and small sites given for churches and schools, the commissioners retained the freehold until after 1940 when it was sold piecemeal, mostly to the council and tenants of individual houses. (fn. 10)
In 1546 the prebendary leased Bounds for 21 years to Richard Fitzwilliams of Kilburn and his wife Elizabeth. (fn. 11) In 1563 Robert Weston, dean of Arches, obtained the reversion to Fitzwilliams's lease, which he sold to William Bovington of Kilburn, to whom a 50-year lease was made in 1567. (fn. 12) In 1612 the prebend was leased for three lives (fn. 13) to Richard Perrin (d. 1615) and held in 1623 by his widow Sarah and her second husband, Bevis Thewall, in spite of the claim of Perrin's daughter Lucy and her husband, John Anbourne. (fn. 14) Anbourne, to whom the prebend was leased in 1636, was still the lessee in 1649. (fn. 15)
By 1694 the lease was held by John Heath, a London distiller, (fn. 16) from whom it passed to Ann Heath (1711), Thomas Wood of Littleton (1720), John Miles of Hampstead (1721) and Sir John Lade, Bt., the Southwark brewer (1737). (fn. 17) On Lade's death in 1740 the lease, renewed in 1747 and 1778, (fn. 18) passed with his property in Finchley to John Inskip (d. 1759), who took the surname Lade and was created baronet. His son Sir John (d. 1838), a gambler, (fn. 19) sold the lease in 1784 to John Foster, coachmaker of Long Acre. Foster died in or soon after 1785. (fn. 20) In 1788 his trustees sold the lease to the widow of the judge Sir John Salusbury, Sarah (nee Burroughs, d. 1804), who settled the estate in trust for her husband's nephew, the Revd. Lynch Salusbury (later Burroughs) for life. When Burroughs died in 1837 his daughter Elizabeth Mary, who had married her cousin Sir Thomas Robert Salusbury, Bt. (d. 1835), took possession of Bounds together with neighbouring estates inherited under other settlements. In 1839 she bought out the interest of Charles Paulet, marquess of Winchester, who claimed as remainderman under Sarah's will. (fn. 21) In 1856 Lady (Elizabeth) Salusbury sold the leasehold interest to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, who, increasingly from 1859, let the estate on 99-year building leases. (fn. 22)
In 1567 the lessee was given permission to build a dwelling house and by 1649 there was a six-room house. (fn. 23) It is to be identified with Kilburn Manor Farm or House in Edgware Road, which was marked on maps from the mid 18th century. (fn. 24) It survived as a brick farmhouse until engulfed by building in the 1860s. (fn. 25)
The manor or prebend of BRONDESBURY, BRANDS, or BROOMSBURY almost certainly derived its name from Brand (c. 11921215), listed as prebendary of Brownswood in Hornsey, evidently in confusion with Roger Brun (c. 1154), from whom Brownswood presumably took its name, listed as prebendary of Brondesbury. (fn. 26) The estate was held by the prebendaries until it was vested in the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in 1840 under the Act of that year. (fn. 27) In 1649 the parliamentary commissioners sold it to Ralph Marsh (fn. 28) but it reverted at the Restoration. The leasehold interest of Brondesbury was purchased with that of Bounds in 1856 and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners retained the freehold until the 1950s and 1960s. (fn. 29)
Forty-year leases were made of Brondesbury to William Peter, gentleman of London, in 1538 and to Thomas Young, a Willesden yeoman, in reversion in 1566. (fn. 30) In the first decade of the 17th century Young's widow Elizabeth and his daughter Christian lived at Brondesbury. In 1615 Christian's estranged husband, Henry Shugborow, brought an action for possession against the executors of the prebendary, who had re-entered because the rent had not been paid and had sublet to one Marsh, 'an ancient tenant'. (fn. 31) The estate was leased for lives in 1638 to Edward Roberts but Ralph Marsh, who in 1649 bought Brondesbury from the parliamentary commissioners, seems to have occupied the land. (fn. 32) Thomas and Ralph Marsh were described as of Brands in 1679 and 1694 respectively. (fn. 33) Ralph Marsh (d. 1709) was already in occupation in 1708, when he received a lease for lives. (fn. 34) The estate was heavily mortgaged by the Marshes from 1725 and in 1749 Ralph Marsh sold the lease to John Stace, who obtained a new lease in 1757. (fn. 35) Stace sold the lease in 1765 to Joseph Gibson, the undertenant, who obtained a new lease in 1769 (fn. 36) and whose widow Sarah and son Joseph tried to sell the estate in 1778. (fn. 37) In 1788 Lady (Sarah) Salusbury purchased the leasehold, and in 1799 she obtained a new lease for lives. (fn. 38) Brondesbury thereafter passed through the same ownership as Bounds, Lady Salusbury obtaining possession in 1842. (fn. 39)
A moated house existed by 1538. (fn. 40) It was described in 1649, probably with the remnants of the moat, (fn. 41) and was depicted in 1749 as a large, apparently L-shaped building with a central cupola. (fn. 42) It appears to have been rebuilt in the third quarter of the 18th century and by the time of Lady (Sarah) Salusbury was a three-storeyed villa with a central canted entrance bay rising the full height of the north front. A lower wing, presumably an addition, ran southward from the east end. In 1789 Humphry Repton landscaped the grounds of c. 10 a. and William Wilkins supplied drawings for a Gothic seat. In his 'Red Book' Repton commented favourably on the hilltop situation and enhanced the view towards London. (fn. 43) The house and some 23 a., increased by 1834 to 53 a., was occupied successively by Coutts (after 1821 Sir Coutts) Trotter, Bt. (1804-36), Lady Trotter (1836-40), Lady (Elizabeth) Salusbury (1840-3), and Charles Hambro (1843-9). The house was extended westward and a semicircular bay was added to the south front in the early 19th century. (fn. 44) By 1849 the surrounding estate had been reduced to 27 a. and the house, described in 1816 as being commodious although having 'no regularity of architectural character' and in 1822 as an 'elegant seat', (fn. 45) was three-storeyed. (fn. 46) It continued as a gentleman's residence under Mrs. Howard (1850-3), Henry Vallence (1853-6), Mrs. Geach (1856-61), John Coverdale (1862-7), and Thomas Brandon (1867-76), (fn. 47) and in 1877 was offered for sale with 52 a. (fn. 48) After remaining empty it was leased as a school, to Margaret Clark (1882-98) and Lucy Soulsby (1898-1915). In 1891 the school added a classroom and dormitory block on the east and subsequently a chapel beyond that. (fn. 49) The house continued as a school until 1934 when, described as 'shabby-looking', it was bought by C. W. B. Simmonds, a builder, and was pulled down to make way for Manor Drive. (fn. 50)
The manor or prebend of MAPESBURY took its name from Walter Map, prebendary 1173-c. 1192. Except for the short period after 1649 when the parliamentary commissioners sold Mapesbury to George Perior, a London scrivener, it remained in the hands of the prebendaries until 1851, when it was vested in the Ecclesiastical Commissioners under the Act of 1840. (fn. 51) The freehold was sold in the 1950s, mostly to private tenants although the council bought up a block of land at Shoot-up Hill. (fn. 52)
Walter Map made leases in Willesden c. 1187, (fn. 53) and the estate was leased in the mid 15th century to John Dobue. (fn. 54) Sixty-year leases of Mapesbury were made in 1534 to Thomas Broke, merchant tailor of London, and in 1548 to Roger Gibbes, husbandman of Willesden. (fn. 55) Gibbes died in 1581, leaving the lease to trustees for his infant son Roger. (fn. 56)
In 1603 Nicholas Kempe of Finchley took a lease of Mapesbury for lives. (fn. 57) In 1628 the prebendary, John Bancroft, leased it to Richard Bancroft for lives. (fn. 58) A Richard Bancroft was outlawed in 1638 and in 1639 the lease passed to John Redwood, although James Noel, scrivener of London, who occupied the premises in 1649, claimed he did so by virtue of a sale made by Richard Bancroft in 1642. (fn. 59) After the Restoration the prebend was leased for lives to Thomas Willett of Fulham, whose widow Martha renewed the lease in 1675 and 1691. (fn. 60) Martha's daughter Martha, widow of Thomas Wightwick, renewed the lease in 1713 and her son Thomas was in possession by 1717. He had died by 1722 when the lease passed to his sister Martha and her husband, Charles White of the Middle Temple. (fn. 61) Charles renewed the lease in 1727; it was probably his son Charles, described as of Mapesbury, who renewed the lease in 1743. (fn. 62) By will proved 1752 he left the lease to his friend Henry Hyatt for life. Hyatt was described as of Mapesbury in 1754 but was dead by 1774 when the estate was leased to William White, a Lancashire merchant. (fn. 63) He renewed the lease in 1786 but he had already mortgaged it and in 1799 the lease was made to trustees for Charles, son of Thomas White, although William White still lived at Mapesbury. (fn. 64) William White died in 1805 and Charles and Peter White of Mapes House, presumably William's son and grandson, authorized the sale of the lease to Charles White of Manchester. (fn. 65) Charles renewed the lease in 1806 and by will proved 1811 left it to his grandson John White, who lived at Park Hall (Derb.) and renewed the lease in 1834 and 1842. (fn. 66) Capt. Thomas Linney White, described as John White's wife's son, inherited the lease in 1866, when he sold it to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. (fn. 67) Building leases were granted from 1868. (fn. 68)
The mansion house was mentioned in 1534, and in 1548 the prebendary reserved part of it for his own use. (fn. 69) The house was neglected in the later 16th century, and in 1603 the lessee was instructed to rebuild at the prebendary's expense as much of the house as he thought necessary and to fill up the moat on three sides and make a new moat more distant from the house. (fn. 70) A detailed description was made of the house in 1649. (fn. 71) It was rebuilt in brick late in the 17th century and it had a two-storeyed main front of five bays, the central three surmounted by a wooden pediment which enclosed an oval attic window. (fn. 72) It was 'new and well built' in 1725 and 'substantial' in 1784. (fn. 73) There was a small formal garden on the south side in 1746. (fn. 74) Said in 1803 to be pleasantly situated on elevated land with a fine view of Hampstead, (fn. 75) the house became much dilapidated, and William Anderson, the Piccadilly jobmaster who subleased the estate from 1826, made improvements. (fn. 76) Edmund Yates, who lived there in 1863, described the house as a delightful place and made it the setting of his novel Broken to Harness. (fn. 77) Under William and John Anderson (1826-71) and Chester Foulsham (1872-1916) Mapesbury House was a horse-training centre, although the land surrounding it contracted with building; in 1925 the house was demolished. (fn. 78)
The manor or prebend of CHAMBERS, CHAMBERLAYNE WOOD, or WILLESDEN GREEN took its name from Richard de Camera, prebendary c. 1208-1215, and remained in the hands of the prebendaries until vested in the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in 1842 under the Act of 1840. (fn. 79) It was in lay hands for a short period from 1651 when the parliamentary commissioners sold it to Sir William Roberts. (fn. 80) The alternative name, Willesden Green, probably refers to the tenements held from the manor, many of which were at the green. The demesne, which was small, was concentrated in the south, at Kensal Green. The freehold was sold to private tenants mostly in 1958. (fn. 81)
In 1548 William Stacy, a London yeoman, took a lease of 48 a. of demesne for 50 years. (fn. 82) John Walbanck was the farmer in 1569, and in 1570 the whole prebend was leased to Robert Sandwith, another London yeoman, for 80 years. (fn. 83) In 1598, however, the court was held in the name of the prebendary and the demesne was divided between Henry Budder and John Wilde. (fn. 84) A lease for lives of the whole prebend was made in 1627 to Francis Roberts. (fn. 85) Another was made in 1694 and surrendered in 1717 when Thomas Steel, gentleman of Holborn, obtained a lease for lives. His wife Mary renewed the lease in 1731 and his nephew Robert sold his interest in 1753 to his son Thomas, who had sold it to William Godfrey the elder by 1755. (fn. 86) By will proved 1760 Godfrey left the lease to his son, William Godfrey of Paddington, who obtained a new lease in 1761 and died before 1801 when his son, William Godfrey of St. Marylebone, obtained a new lease, renewed in 1817. (fn. 87) Godfrey died c. 1823 and his interest passed to his friend John Harper. Trustees for the Harper family obtained a new lease in 1826, and in 1860 sold the leasehold to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. (fn. 88)
A farmhouse had been built on Kilburn Lane by 1746 (fn. 89) and it was probably the same house which was described in 1847 as of brick and tile and three storeys. (fn. 90) The London and Birmingham Railway, built in 1837, cut the farmhouse off from its lands, but the farm continued. (fn. 91) Building leases were being issued from 1884 but in 1920, when all the farmland had gone, the 18thcentury farmhouse apparently remained. (fn. 92)
The manor or prebend of HARLESDEN was held by the prebendaries of Harlesden until it was vested in the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in 1840 and sold to the lessee in 1847. (fn. 93) It was in lay hands for a short period from 1651, when the parliamentary commissioners sold it to Sir William Roberts. (fn. 94) Before 1215 Gilbert de Plesseto, prebendary of Harlesden, granted all the houses on his prebend next the church and all the land which his predecessor had possessed to Richard de Camera, prebendary of Chambers and rector. (fn. 95) As a result the demesne of Harlesden was reduced to Lords Croft (1a.) and 2 a. in the common fields and marsh. With a small allotment at inclosure in 1823, the total was 4 a. (fn. 96) The value of the manor lay in its lordship of the hamlet of Harlesden and when the manorial perquisites lapsed, as they seem to have done by Elizabeth I's reign, the small demesne was worth little.
The whole manor was leased for 21 years to Edmund Roberts in 1576. (fn. 97) In 1594 Francis Roberts took a lease for lives, (fn. 98) which in 1649 was held by his executor Sir William Roberts. (fn. 99) Sir William retained the lease after the Restoration, renewing it in 1661. (fn. 100) In 1674 Harlesden was leased to George Hill, probably as trustee, for Sir William Roberts, Bt. (fn. 101) The lease presumably formed part of the Harlesden estate which Roberts sold to Richard Taylor, a London vintner, to whom a new lease for lives was made in 1689. (fn. 102) Leases were renewed to Richard's son John in 1717, John's son John in 1729 and 1760, and the second John's son Richard in 1771. (fn. 103) Richard was still alive in 1824 but in 1835 the last of the three lives expired and a new lease for lives was made to John Belemore, gentleman of Harlesden green. (fn. 104) Belemore purchased the freehold at Harlesden green, which was still in the hands of his descendants in 1887, the open-field allotment then being held by the trustees of James Wright. (fn. 105)
A house was built on Lord's Croft at Harlesden green, in the junction between Harrow Road (Craven Park Road) and High Street, probably in the 17th century. (fn. 106) A two-roomed cottage in 1835, it was added to by John Belemore and in 1847 was a cottage of two storeys. (fn. 107) It was surrounded by building in 1887 (fn. 108) and probably disappeared soon afterwards.
The manor or prebend of OXGATE belonged in theory to the prebendaries until it was vested in the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in 1843 under the Act of 1840. (fn. 109) In practice the prebendary's control may have been lost long before Oxgate was sold by the parliamentary commissioners to Sir William Roberts in 1651. (fn. 110) In 1691 the prebendary attempted to recover the manor, which he described as 300 a. in Willesden and Hendon, but Roberts successfully claimed that the Oxgate lands were small and impossible to distinguish from his own. (fn. 111) No prebendal leases are recorded but the prebendary of Oxgate's lordship was acknowledged at inclosure in 1823, when 1 r. 27 p. at Edgware Road was allotted to him. (fn. 112) The Ecclesiastical Commissioners sold it to the Buckingham estate in 1860. (fn. 113)
The Willesden family had emerged as holders of Oxgate by 1425 and possibly earlier and although it is possible that they paid rent and acknowledged the overlordship of the prebendary, their title was treated as hereditary. Oxgate passed from Thomas Willesden (fl. 1389- 1425) (fn. 114) to Bartholomew Willesden (fl. 1457-81) (fn. 115) and his son Thomas, who by will proved 1494 left his estate for his wife Joan for life and subsequent sale. (fn. 116) In 1495 Sir Thomas Frowyk sued the feoffees concerning Willesden's lands and in 1506 died seised of Oxgate manor. (fn. 117) Frowyk left the manor to his widow Elizabeth for life with remainder to his daughter Frideswide (d. 1528), wife of Sir Thomas Cheyney (d. 1559); through one of their three daughters, Anne (d. 1553) wife of Sir John Parrott, the manor seems to have been inherited by her son Thomas Parrott. (fn. 118) In 1587 he sold the manor to Francis Roberts, who in 1608 obtained from the prebendary a 21-year lease of the manorial perquisites and quitrents. (fn. 119) Oxgate thus became part of the extensive Roberts estates. (fn. 120)
The manor or prebend of NEASDEN belonged to the prebendaries until it was vested in the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in 1845 under the Act of 1840. (fn. 123) The prebendary was allotted ½ a. at inclosure in 1823, which was sold to the lessee Henry Hall in 1860. (fn. 124) A 30-year lease made in 1544 to Ursula, widow of Michael Roberts, referred to lands, rents, and courts, (fn. 125) and a 21year lease to Francis Roberts in 1624 listed lands, tenements, and woods, but there is no evidence that there was any demesne. On inquiry in 1649 'the said lands were not yet discovered', and there was no claim for demesne when Sir William Roberts purchased the manor from the parliamentary commissioners in 1651. (fn. 126) Sir William Roberts, Bt., obtained a 15-year lease in 1690. (fn. 127) Manorial rights had probably lapsed by that date and there were no further leases.
The manor or prebend of EAST TWYFORD belonged in theory to the prebendaries from the time of the earliest, Durand, a canon who held 2 hides there in 1086. (fn. 128) In 1523 the manor was said to be held in socage of the prebend of Twyford, (fn. 129) but in 1620 it was not known of whom it was held (fn. 130) and there was no further evidence of any connexion with the prebendary.
From an early date the manor seems to have been in the hands of powerful laymen who established a hereditary title and treated it as an independent lay estate. The Cornhills, of whom William was described in 1305 as of East Twyford, were dealing in land there in 1294. (fn. 131) Richard of Cornhill acquired a messuage, land, and rent in 1306 from William de Kele, (fn. 132) which he settled in 1325. (fn. 133) Richard was succeeded by his son John (fl. 1351-9) and granddaughter Alice, who married successively Henry Frowyk and Thomas Charlton. (fn. 134) In 1412 Alice, then a widow for the second time, was taxed at £5 in Willesden, the highest assessment in the parish. (fn. 135) By 1454 her son Henry Frowyk held property described as formerly Thomas Charlton's and previously William de Kele's. (fn. 136) If the estate was at least partly in East Twyford, it had passed by 1474 to Sir John Elrington who was then described as lord of the place of Twyford. (fn. 137) In 1479 he acquired a house and land from Richard Heyward and his wife Isabel, heir of John Twyford. (fn. 138) The manor descended in the direct male line from Sir John Elrington (d. 1488) to Simon (d. 1500), Thomas (d. 1523), Thomas (d. 1566), and Edward. (fn. 139) In 1579 Edward sold the manor to Richard Paramour, merchant tailor, and his wife Mary. (fn. 140) Paramour sold it in 1585 to Richard Payne (d. 1605) and his wife Margery, and in 1599 Payne sold it to Sir Robert Lee. (fn. 141) Hugh Lee died seised of the manor in 1620 (fn. 142) and his son Robert granted it in 1640 to John Hooker, (fn. 143) apparently by way of mortgage. (fn. 144) John Hooker left the property by will dated 1659 to his daughter Ann (d. 1665) for life with remainder to his brother Sir William (d. 1697), (fn. 145) in whose family it remained until at least 1732. (fn. 146) By 1772 it was in the hands of Charles Brett, who had married the Hooker heiress. Charles (d. 1799) devised it to trustees for his nephew John (d. 1819) and John's son Charles. (fn. 147) At inclosure in 1823 the trustees were allotted ½ a. as lords of East Twyford manor and they exchanged c. 140 a. in the south-west corner of Willesden for an estate in Acton with Thomas Willan of West Twyford. (fn. 148) In 1887 the trustees of George Arthur Brett possessed c. 178 a. The Willan estate followed the descent of West Twyford, c. 134 a. being held by Thomas Willan DouglasWillan in 1887. (fn. 149)
In 1474 Sir John Elrington had a house at Twyford, he and his wife being granted indults for portable altars, (fn. 150) and it may have been at the house that they built the chapel where in 1525 Sir Thomas More's two daughters were married. (fn. 151) The house was described as decayed c. 1523 (fn. 152) and Thomas Elrington was apparently in the middle of rebuilding it when he died in 1566. (fn. 153) Norden referred to the moated house built by the Elringtons but located it at Neasden. (fn. 154) The house was repaired in the 1640s and assessed for 18 hearths in 1664, when it was occupied by William Chute. (fn. 155) It is presumably identifiable with Lower Place Farm, depicted in 1765 beside Barretts green on Acton Lane as a group of buildings surrounded by drainage channels, presumably the remnants of the 16th-century moat, (fn. 156) and renamed Grange Farm in the late 19th century. In 1935 the site was used for a sports ground.
Willesden RECTORY, appropriated to the dean and chapter of St. Paul's, may have come to be regarded as the chief manor of the seven prebendal manors: in 1552 the dean and chapter were presented as chief lords of Willesden Green, (fn. 157) in 1847 the Willesden estate of St. Paul's was described as seven manors within the lordship and parsonage of Willesden, (fn. 158) and in the 19th century the main rectorial farm was called Willesden manor. (fn. 159) In 1181 the dean and chapter farmed the rectory to Germanus the clerk, (fn. 160) referred to as parson of Willesden. (fn. 161) Germanus may have been succeeded by William the clerk, possibly surnamed Pastorel. (fn. 162) Before 1215 Richard de Camera, prebendary of Chambers from 1200, was rector of Willesden, (fn. 163) and in 1217 the dean and chapter leased Willesden church and all its property to the prebendary of Harlesden for life. (fn. 164) In 1248 the bishop confirmed the income from the church to the use of the resident canons (fn. 165) but soon afterwards, c. 1250, the dean and chapter leased it, except for the vicarage, for life to the dean, Henry of Cornhill, (fn. 166) and c. 1275, except for the advowson of the vicarage, during his canonry to Alan of Morton, a minor canon, who enlarged the glebe by purchase. (fn. 167) From before 1313 until 1502 the rectory was leased to members of the chapter, for life or during office. (fn. 168)
By 1504 the Paulet family, in which the lease of the rectory became hereditary, appears to have been in possession. (fn. 169) Thomas Paulet (fl. 1494) was described as rector and John Paulet was farmer in 1536. (fn. 170) In 1549 the dean and chapter made a lease directly to John Paulet, and from 1600 leases for 21 years were granted every seven years to his grandson John Paulet (d. 1630) and the latter's son John (d. 1657), (fn. 171) who bought the freehold from the parliamentary commissioners in 1650. His son John renewed the lease after the Restoration, (fn. 172) and that John or his son John, who died without issue, renewed it again in 1668 and 1677. (fn. 173) In 1685 the lease was renewed to Francis Brende, husband of Elizabeth, sister and heir of the last John Paulet. (fn. 174)
Brende had died by 1706, when the lease was renewed to Richard Lake in whom his estate was vested. (fn. 175) Lake's estate was purchased by Charles Eaton (d. 1735), whence it descended to his daughter Maria (d. 1765), who married General Charles Otway (d. 1764), and her daughters Caroline (wife of John Douglas John St. Leger) and Sophia (wife of William Wynyard). (fn. 176) Both moieties had passed by 1790 to Sophia's daughter, Maria Caroline Wynyard, who continued to renew the lease until 1811. (fn. 177) In 1812 William Coleman, in whom Maria's interest was vested, put the estate up for sale (fn. 178) and in 1818 a new lease was made to Cobbett Derby of the Inner Temple, who renewed it until 1868. (fn. 179) Probably long before then the main rectorial farm was being leased separately: Dr. Thomas Hughes (d. 1833) of Berkshire was in possession by 1814, (fn. 180) the estate passed to his son John, and before 1872 the trustees of Hughes's will purchased the reversion in fee simple. (fn. 181)
In 1181 the rectory included all tithes, great and small, except those from the demesnes of certain ecclesiastical lords, including the 40 a. of demesne of the nuns of Kilburn. (fn. 182) About 1195 the bishop of London assigned to the mastership of the schools the tithes of 68 a. in Wormholt and Harlesden. (fn. 183) The great tithes were leased separately from the rest of the rectory c. 1245, (fn. 184) but the lease of the rectory c. 1275 to Alan de Morton included the great tithes, (fn. 185) as did later leases of the rectory. A statement in 1694 that some lands in Willesden paid tithes to the rector of Chelsea probably resulted from the fact that the lands belonged to All Souls College, whose estate extended into Chelsea. (fn. 186) In 1805 an agreement was reached for the composition of tithes, (fn. 187) and in 1811 the dean and chapter leased the tithes in 11 separate parcels. (fn. 188) Under the Inclosure Act of 1815 corn rents totalling £1,293 were substituted for rectorial tithes and leases were made in 1825 and every 7 years thereafter of corn rents, on the same basis as the leases of 1811. (fn. 189) In 1887 the corn rents were converted into rent charges of £931. (fn. 190)
The rectory house stood beside the churchyard c. 1249. (fn. 191) About 1275 the lessee was responsible for the repair of the buildings. (fn. 192) The house was assessed for seven hearths in 1664. (fn. 193) With c. 11 a. at Church End it was leased separately from 1804. (fn. 194) The house had apparently been rebuilt by 1868, (fn. 195) and in 1887 was known as the Rookery. (fn. 196) It was demolished in the 1890s to make way for building. (fn. 197)
Malories was a sub-manor, paying quitrent to the prebends of Oxgate, Chambers, Brondesbury, Bounds, and Harlesden and, for lands south of the Willesden border, to the lords of Wormholt and Chelsea. (fn. 198) The name presumably derived from Peter Malorre, who in 1310 sold a messuage, a carucate of arable, 3 a. of meadow, and 3s. 10d. rent in Willesden to John de Westcote. (fn. 199) In 1333 William of Colriche, Richard of Hameldon, Laurence of Papham, John of Fulguardeby, and their wives, respectively Alice, Sibyl, Alice, and Margery, who may have been coheirs, sold a messuage and carucate to Robert of Wodehouse. (fn. 200) In 1344 Wodehouse, who was archdeacon of Richmond and treasurer of the Exchequer, held a messuage, land, and rent in Willesden of the dean and chapter of St. Paul's, a carucate at Kensal Green possibly of the lord of Chelsea, and 30 a. called Forstersland of the bishop of London as of Fulham manor. (fn. 201) Before 1354 William of Northwell, clerk, conveyed apparently the same estate, described as in Willesden, Harlesden, and Chelsea, to Sir Henry de Burghersh whose kinsman Sir Bartholomew de Burghersh conveyed it in 1354 to John Pecche, a Londoner. (fn. 202) Pecche died in 1380 seised of the reversion of Malories manor which he had granted for life to Sir Robert Aston. He was succeeded by his son Sir William, (fn. 203) whose son John leased the estate for life to William and Catherine Constantine in 1410. (fn. 204) In 1411 Pecche granted the reversion of Malories to Ellis Davy, a London mercer, to whom the Costantines conveyed their interest in 1413. (fn. 205) In 1432 Davy conveyed the manor to William Crowmere and other London citizens, (fn. 206) who in 1438 conveyed it to Thomas Chichele and other trustees of All Souls College. (fn. 207)
The demesne lands of Malories consisted of a block of land at Kensal Green, stretching northward in two prongs towards Willesden Green and Harlesden. Cricklewood probably formed part of the estate. (fn. 208)
The grant in 1438 included other estates. Robert Hubbard and others had granted unspecified lands to Thomas Fylkes and Thomas Daunt, London citizens who in 1422 granted them to Sir Thomas Charlton, Thomas and Henry Frowyk, and others, whence, in 1433, they were conveyed to William Crowmere and other trustees. (fn. 209) Other estates had been conveyed in 1432 to the trustees: Robert Algar granted a house and croft at Harlesden and strips in the open fields which had belonged to his father Edward before 1415; (fn. 210) Ellis Davy granted a house and croft at Willesden Green and scattered strips in the open fields and marsh, granted to him in 1415 by Robert Algar's brother John, husband of Agnes, heir of John and Alice Knight; (fn. 211) Laurence Hierde and others granted a house and crofts at Harlesden which they had acquired from John Noreys. (fn. 212)
The resulting estate, estimated at 453 a. in 1599 and 491 a. in 1823, (fn. 213) was normally leased except for the woods, which were kept in hand by the college. The estate, called Harlesden and Willesden, was initially leased to two people, probably reflecting its division into two farms. (fn. 214) The farmers from 1471 apparently held both Harlesden and Willesden Green. (fn. 215) A lease was made in 1538 to William Walker, fellow of All Souls, and to successive members of the Shepherd family, possibly as beneficial lessees, from 1543 to 1568. (fn. 216) By 1572 the lease was held by John Franklin, in whose family it remained for almost a century. (fn. 217) John Franklin (d. 1596) of Little Stanmore left the lease of Harlesden to his son John. (fn. 218) The lease passed in a direct line from John (d. c. 1605) to Richard (d. 1615) of Dollis Hill, Sir John (d. 1647), and Sir Richard (d. 1685), who relinquished it c. 1668. (fn. 219) Dr. George Rogers was the lessee in 1669 and 1694; in 1716 his widow Elizabeth and son George sold the lease to a Mr. Peters and in 1747 William Peters conveyed it to William Godfrey. (fn. 220) A William Godfrey continued to lease the whole estate until 1826 and his executor until 1828. (fn. 221) After 1828 leases were made directly to the farmers. From the late 19th century the estates were developed, mainly for housing. The college retained the freehold until most of it was sold to the occupying lessees in the 1960s; some freeholds belonged to the college in 1980. (fn. 222)
The messuage conveyed by Peter Malorre in 1310 (fn. 223) has not been located, and no manor house was mentioned in the conveyances of the following century.
Middletons sub-manor (fn. 224) was built up in the late 13th century by John of Middleton, a London draper, who made a number of purchases, mainly of land held from Neasden and Oxgate prebends. In 1295 he bought a messuage, a mill, 208 a., and 6s. rent in Willesden and Hendon from William of Breadstreet and John and Alice of Buneney (or Boveney), which they had acquired from Simon Goddard, a London citizen. (fn. 225) Middleton's other purchases between 1295 and 1322 were small, usually of open-field strips and quitrents, and were in the northern part of the parish, mostly in Neasden. (fn. 226) By 1335 he had died and at least some of his lands had passed to his son Thomas. There was another John of Middleton at the same time and from 1365 to 1388 the estate was held by William, son and heir of John Middleton. (fn. 227) William Middleton had apparently died by 1396 when the estate, described as a messuage, 500 a. of land, 10 a. of meadow, 30 a. of wood, and £1 6s. 8d. rent in Willesden and Hendon, was divided between Alice and Sarah, daughters and coheirs of William Willesden (fn. 228) and their husbands William Benyngton (or Bedyngton) and Robert Curson or Betele (d. 1409), respectively draper and mercer of London. (fn. 229) Curson purchased Benyngton's moiety.
Robert's son, Robert Curson, clerk, who was one of the largest landowners in Willesden, assessed in 1412 for £3 6s. 8d., continued to consolidate the estate by acquisition and exchange in Neasden. (fn. 230) The estate was probably held by trustees for Curson (fn. 231) and c. 1440 they granted it to John Gloucester or Jones, clerk of the Exchequer, and others, to whom all rights were relinquished in 1448. (fn. 232) Gloucester, who in 1442 was described as lord of many lands in Willesden, settled the estate in 1468 on himself for life with remainder to his daughter Joan and her husband John Staunton. (fn. 233) Staunton and his wife were in possession by 1471; in 1489 Joan and her second husband Thomas Barley had to pay the hitherto lapsed rents and services due to Neasden prebend. Thomas's son Robert was in 1510 in possession of the messuage called Middletons and 300 a. held in socage for which he paid rent to Neasden prebend. (fn. 234) In 1563 Richard Barley sold the estate, consisting of 5 houses, land, and rent in Willesden and Hendon, to Edmund Roberts. (fn. 235) It thereafter merged with the other Roberts estates but was described in 1632 as Middletons manor. (fn. 236)
Robert Curson, clerk, replaced the house bought by John of Middleton in 1295 with a new house, called Bedewell Hall c. 1420. (fn. 237) It was presumably there that in 1442 John Gloucester was granted an indult to have a portable altar. (fn. 238)
Kingsholt (Kensal) manor was a submanor of 240 a. held in the 1270s by Thomas de Basing (d. 1275), a minor, but seized by Sir Robert de Bruce. Its lands probably formed part of Malories. (fn. 239)