A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 8, Islington and Stoke Newington Parishes. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1985.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
Although not mentioned by name in any extant Anglo-Saxon charter, STOKE NEWINGTON (Neutone) formed part of the demesne of St. Paul's cathedral in 1086, when the canons had 2 hides there, (fn. 23) and may have formed part of the 24 hides 'next the wall of London' which King Athelbert gave St. Paul's. (fn. 24) A prebendary of Stoke Newington was recorded from c. 1104, (fn. 25) and the manor, co-extensive with the parish, remained the property of the prebendary until vested in the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in 1843 under the Act of 1840, (fn. 26) except during the Interregnum when parliamentary commissioners sold it to the lessee. (fn. 27) In 1972 the Church Commissioners refused a request by the Stoke Newington Society to buy the lordship of the manor. (fn. 28)
The lordship, with all its profits, was leased to Thomas Gibbes, mercer, in the 1460s. (fn. 29) John Young, prebendary 1512-16, leased the demesne, the rents of freeholders, and the right to sell wood to Richard Lee. (fn. 30) In 1541 the prebend, without perquisites of court or woods, was leased to George Bysmore, a Londoner, to whom in 1545 a further lease was made, including the perquisites. (fn. 31) Bysmore was still lessee in 1549 (fn. 32) but c. 1552 a lease was made to William Patten, teller of the Exchequer and humanist scholar. Writing in 1572 Patten referred to Newington where he had lived for almost 20 years. (fn. 33) He received a new lease in 1560 (fn. 34) and another in 1565, for 99 years from 1576, of the manor, profits of courts, and woods. (fn. 35) Patten assigned the lease to Sir William Cordell, Master of the Rolls, from whom it had passed by 1569 to John Dudley, a rich brewer (d. 1580). (fn. 36) It passed to trustees for Dudley's young widow Elizabeth (d. 1602), who c. 1582 married the very wealthy Thomas Sutton (d. 1611), original of Ben Jonson's Volpone, and Dudley's daughter Anne. (fn. 37)
Anne's husband Sir Francis Popham (d. 1644) (fn. 38) was succeeded by his second son Alexander, a parliamentary colonel who purchased the manor in 1649 (fn. 39) and obtained a new lease for three lives when the prebendal estates were restored in 1661. (fn. 40) The lease, renewed for lives in 1674, 1695, and 1700, passed in the direct line from Alexander (d. 1669) to Francis (d. 1674) and Alexander, who sold it in 1699 to Thomas Gunston, a merchant who had been buying copyhold in Stoke Newington since 1688. (fn. 41) Gunston (d. 1700) was succeeded by his sister Mary (d. 1750), wife of Sir Thomas Abney (d. 1722), lord mayor of London and a founder of the Bank of England, who obtained a new lease in 1701. (fn. 42) Leases for lives were renewed in 1730, 1732, and 1738. (fn. 43)
Mary Abney was succeeded by her only surviving child, Elizabeth (d. 1782), under whose will the lease of the manor was sold for the benefit of dissenting ministers. The buyer, Jonathan Eade, obtained a new lease in 1783 (fn. 44) and died in 1811, leaving his interest to his two sons, William and Joseph, in common. (fn. 45) They obtained a new lease for lives in 1812, (fn. 46) and an Act in 1814 enabled the prebendary to grant a 99-year lease and the lessees to grant building subleases; the Act also allowed enfranchisement of the copyhold. (fn. 47) The prebendary leased the manor for 99 years to William and Joseph Eade in 1814. (fn. 48) William in 1815 assigned his moiety to Joseph (d. 1828), (fn. 49) who left the manor to trustees to sell on the death of his widow (d. 1862). Robert Henty, Joseph's son-in-law and the sole surviving trustee in 1862, postponed the sale and from 1864, after an action brought by the children of one of Joseph's daughters, the trustees continued to manage the estate under a Chancery Scheme. (fn. 50) Accordingly, a new 99-year lease to run from 1864 was made in 1868 to Henty and the Revd. Edward Eade. (fn. 51) In 1881 they sold the leasehold interest to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, (fn. 52) who leased the manorial demesne piecemeal until the 1950s when they sold most of the freehold. (fn. 53)
The demesne occupied most of the land north of Church Street with the manor house at its southern end, next to the church. (fn. 54) In the 1930s the foundations were uncovered of a medieval building of chalk and Kentish ragstone and of a 16th-century brick house facing the church. (fn. 55) In 1558 the manor house was said to have been badly neglected and to have suffered from being 'utterly destitute of water'. (fn. 56) By 1565 Patten had carried out extensive repairs, especially to the outbuildings. (fn. 57) In 1590 when it was subleased to Sir Roger Townshend (d. 1590) and his wife, the house contained 20 chambers besides two dining chambers, a gallery, a kitchen, and outhouses. (fn. 58) The house in 1649 was of brick, containing a large hall, fair staircase, wainscotting, courtyards, gatehouse, and numerous farm and other outbuildings. Popham was resident in 1649 and possibly in 1664 (fn. 59) but from 1672 to 1692 the house was occupied by John Upton; it was assessed for 25 hearths. (fn. 60) In 1695, alleging that it was too large, the lesses obtained permission from the prebendary to pull it down, and several houses, forming Church Row, were built on the site. (fn. 61) The eastern gate survived as a dilapidated Gothic structure until 1892. (fn. 62) The lessees moved to Abney House, built on their copyhold estate. (fn. 63)