A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
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Egeham (xi cent.).
Egham is a small town near the Thames, 5 miles from Windsor and 4 miles north-west of Chertsey. The parish is bounded on the north-east by the Thames, on the south-east by Thorpe and Chertsey, on the south-west by Chobham, on the north-west by Berkshire. It measures about 5 miles from southwest to north-east, and about 3 miles from north-west to south-east. It contains 7,624 acres of land and 162 of water. It is divided into four tithings, the Town Tithing in the northern part of the parish, Strode in the southern part, the Hythe in the north-eastern part along the Thames, Englefield, the western part. The soil is Bagshot sand with the gravel and alluvium of the Thames Valley. The Bagshot sand rises into considerable eminences, of which by far the most famous is Coopers Hill, remarkable not for its actual height but for its position above the Thames Valley, affording views from Windsor to London, and celebrated by Sir John Denham, a native of Egham, in his well-known poem, which was written on the spot just before the Civil War and published in 1643.
The old south-western road from London came across Staines Bridge and through Egham parish, and the place was important for inns in coaching days; notorious also for the robberies committed on the road, so that according to Aubrey Egham had paid more in compensation for robberies than any other parish in England.
The Reading and Wokingham branch of the London and South Western Railway, opened in 1856, has stations at Egham and Virginia Water. The line from Woking to Egham was begun in 1881.
The Thames Valley and the less barren stream beds in the Bagshot sand were inhabited in early times. A polished stone celt has been found near Egham, and a bronze spear-head in the Thames near Runnimede. (fn. 1) The great Roman road from the Thames Valley to the south-west crossed the Thames near Staines and ran through Egham parish along the border of the counties of Surrey and Berkshire towards Easthampstead Plain in Berkshire, where it exists as the Devil's Highway. The line of the road was carefully explored about 1840 by Mr. Wyatt Edgell of Milton Place, Egham, and some officers of the Military College, Sandhurst. It ran through Virginia Water, an artificial lake of much later construction, past Englefield Green to the Thames. There is no doubt that the Roman station Ad Pontes, or Pontibus, was near Staines, and from its name appears to have been the passage of the Thames before other bridges were made. The road which comes out of Sussex through Somersbury and Ewhurst (q.v.) would lead here if continued in a nearly straight line. Nevertheless the Roman bridge has disappeared. The earliest record of a bridge at Staines seems to date from the reign of Henry III, 1229, (fn. 2) though the Danes crossed here in 1009, (fn. 3) uniting their forces, which had been on both sides of the river, without the aid of their ships, which were on the coast of Kent. It is not, of course, decisive evidence that the Roman bridge still stood, for they may have used ferry-boats. A new stone bridge was built in 1791–6, but almost at once gave way from insufficient foundations; fortunately the old wooden bridge was still standing. An iron bridge was next built, and opened in 1803. This immediately cracked, and was closed. Another iron bridge was built in 1807, and the old wooden bridge pulled down. This failed in 1829, and the new stone bridge was built by Rennie and opened in 1832. Egham Causeway, leading from the town of Egham to the bridge of Staines, was constructed in the time of Henry III. (fn. 4) It was used both as a highway and also as a dyke, to prevent the inundation of the surrounding country by the River Thames. In 1350 a commission was appointed to find the persons responsible for the repair of the causeway damaged by flood. (fn. 5) As a result of the inquiry it was stated that the causeway had been constructed by a certain Thomas de Oxenford, at his own expense, in the reign of Henry III, for the easement of men crossing by the King's Way at Redewynd (v. Chertsey), which had formerly been the highway, and which had fallen into a bad condition. Thomas de Oxenford had not only built, but had also repaired his causeway, and the commission of 1350 therefore declared that no man was bound to repair the same except of his own free will. (fn. 6) In 1385 the causeway was found to be 'so destroyed and broken that the loss of all the adjacent country is to be feared,' whereupon the Sheriff of Surrey was ordered to make public proclamation 'that all persons, ecclesiastical as well as secular, shall each, according to the extent of his holding, cause the same to be repaired with all haste.' (fn. 7) Frequent attempts were made to shift the burden of this work on to the Abbot and convent of Chertsey, but it was decided that although they frequently undertook the repair 'out of charity, they were in no wise responsible.' (fn. 8) In 1392, however, the abbot declared that, in spite of this decision, he was still charged by the 'procurance and malevolent instigation of his adversaries' with the repair, and prayed for remedy. (fn. 9) In the 15th century the repairs, both for the causeway and for Staines Bridge, were effected by Thomas Stanes, John Edmed, William Mulso and others, to whom grants of 'pontage' for terms of years were made, the proceeds of which were to be applied to this particular purpose. (fn. 10)
Reverting to the history of Egham, Englefield Green in this parish was not the scene of the battle with the Danes in 871; this was fought at Englefield near Reading. Runnimede, however, is in Egham, and one of the greatest events in English history was consummated on Surrey soil. The charter itself is the witness that it was given in Runnimede. Magna Charta Island, as the name of the island in the Thames, is a comparatively late name.
Egham lay in the confines of the forest of Windsor. The dispute about the boundaries of the forest finally left some of the parish and of the county of Surrey within it. The boundary perambulated in 1226 is for some distance the boundary of Berkshire and Surrey, but in its later course, where it runs from Thornhill to Harpesford, and then 'along the water to Inggfield' (Englefield) it followed the stream which runs into Virginia Water. The county boundary, now at all events, lies a little north-west of this. Harpesford Bridge must from the description have been on this stream, most likely where the Roman road crossed it, and would now therefore be covered by Virginia Water. Virginia Water was made by William, Duke of Cumberland, when he was ranger of Windsor Park (appointed 12 July 1746), between his return to England from the Netherlands, 1748, and his taking command in Germany, 1757. The dam confining the water broke down in 1768, and caused a disastrous flood. Thomas Sandby, an architect and surveyor whom the duke had employed in military surveying in Scotland and Flanders, was made by him deputy ranger of the Park, and was really responsible for laying out Virginia Water. He was the first Professor of Architecture at the Royal Academy.
Among the old houses in Egham parish the most notable is Fosters, or Great Fosters, or Foster House. It is said traditionally, and probably untruly, to have been a hunting-lodge of Queen Elizabeth. (fn. 11)
The Place, about a quarter of a mile north-east of Egham church, where Sir John Denham lived, was pulled down about forty years ago.
An Act of 1813–14 inclosed commons and common fields and pastures at Egham and on Runnimede. (fn. 12) The award is dated 12 June 1817. The common fields were at Egham and Hythefield, and are mentioned by Stevenson (fn. 13) as more highly rented than usual. The Act and award specially preserved rights of pasturage for certain people in the great common meadows, Runnimede, Long Mead, and Great Mead, provided always that inclosures should be thrown down to enable the horse-races held there to be continued as usual.
There are a large number of good houses in the neighbourhood. Potnall Park is the residence of the Rev. H. J. F. de Salis, Kenwolde Court of Mr. G. N. Stevens, Wentworth of the Countess de Morella, Markwood of Mr. J. S. Fletcher, Kingswood of Mrs. Eastwood, Alderhurst was the seat of the late Lord Thring.
Coopers Hill College was erected for the training of candidates for the Government service in India in the engineering, telegraphic, and forestry services. It was established in 1871, and was administered by a highly-distinguished staff of scientific men who gave a special character to the society of the neighbourhood. It was closed amid general regrets in October 1906, the Indian Government having adopted other means of supplying their services.
The Royal Holloway College for Women, Egham Hill, was founded by the late Mr. Thomas Holloway in 1879 and opened in 1886 by Her Majesty Queen Victoria. The founder gave £600,000 in the first instance, and by his will left £200,000 more for endowment in 1883. It was intended for the education of women by women. The building, consisting of two quadrangles, is in red-brick in the style of the French Renaissance. It in fact follows generally the model of the Château de Chambord in Touraine. There is a picture gallery 100 ft. long, 30 ft. wide, and 50 ft. high, containing a fine collection of paintings by Turner, Gainsborough, Constable, Crome, Morland, Copley Fielding, Landseer, Creswick, Millais (The Princes in the Tower), Long (The Babylonian Marriage Market), and other distinguished modern artists. The chapel is richly decorated and contains on the apsidal east end a high relief of the Creation of Eve and a ceiling designed and made by the late Signor Fucigno. The government of the college is in the hands of twelve governors, including the trustees of the property. It has not been found possible so far to dispense entirely with male teaching, and the undenominational services in the chapel have resolved themselves into alternate denominations, one Sunday service being usually conducted by a Canon of Windsor.
The same founder established the sanatorium at St. Anne's Heath for mentally afflicted persons of the upper and middle classes. It was opened in 1885. Mr. W. H. Crossland was architect of both buildings.
The Cottage Hospital, Englefield Green, was opened in 1880, and contains sixteen beds.
There are Wesleyan, Congregational, Baptist, and Primitive Methodist chapels in the parish.
The Schools are:—Station Road School, formerly Egham Parish School, built in 1870, taken over by the School Board in 1884, enlarged in 1895; Virginia Water School (National), built 1857; Englefield Green School (National), built in 1864, enlarged in 1885, 1896, and 1899; Hythe School, built in 1886, enlarged in 1890 and in 1900; Bishopsgate Infant School (Church of England), built in 1882; St. Anne's Heath School, built in 1896. The School Board was formed in 1884.
EGHAM was included in the original endowment of Chertsey Abbey in 666–75. (fn. 14) Confirmation of the grant was made in 727 and in 967, and in both cases the property at Egham is referred to as '20 mansae cum porcorum pascuis in pene wold.' (fn. 15) The Domesday Survey records that in the time of King Edward it was assessed for 40 hides, whereas in 1086 it was assessed for 15. Its value, previously £40, was then £30 10s. Of this land Gozelin held 3 hides which were of the abbey's demesne in King Edward's time. (fn. 16)
The manor was included in all subsequent confirmations of the abbey land, and was held with those of Chertsey, Thorpe, and Chobham (q.v.) until the surrender of the abbey in 1537, (fn. 17) since which time the manor of Egham has remained in the Crown. With the Chertsey manors Egham was leased to Sir William Fitz William in 1550 for thirty years, (fn. 18) and after his death the lease was renewed to his widow Joan, (fn. 19) who died in 1574.
The manor was included in the Crown grants to Prince Henry and Charles Prince of Wales in the reign of James I, and to Queen Henrietta Maria in the reign of Charles I. (fn. 20) During the Commonwealth the manor was sold to Thomas Richardson, (fn. 21) who in 1650 sold it to John Blackwele. (fn. 22) After the Restoration the manor was granted to Queen Catherine of Braganza. (fn. 23) A lease of the manor was granted to John Thynne, which expired about the year 1693. (fn. 24) The reversion was granted to Sir Richard Powle in 1673, but this grant was cancelled, (fn. 25) and in 1674 John Thynne was granted a further lease of forty years. (fn. 26) Aubrey says that this lease was acquired by Adrian Moore, attorney, of Egham. (fn. 27) In 1694, however, a lease of ninety-nine years, to date from the death of Queen Catherine, was granted by the Crown to William Blaythwayt. (fn. 28) The queen died in 1705, in which year, therefore, Blaythwayt's lease began. This lease also became the property of Adrian Moore, a relation of William Blaythwayt. (fn. 29) Adrian Moore held a lease of Milton Place also (q.v.). The lease from the Crown held by this family was finally surrendered about the year 1865, (fn. 30) Richard Wyatt, the heir of Adrian Moore (see under Milton), having in 1804 obtained a renewal of Blaythwayt's lease. (fn. 31)
Queen Elizabeth granted the site of the manor of Egham to William Grene in 1579 for a period of twenty-one years, (fn. 32) but in 1587 he sold all right, title, and interest in the premises to Thomas Stydolf, who then received a further grant of twenty-one years from the Crown. (fn. 33) This grant was extended in 1592 to Thomas Stydolf, Elizabeth his wife, and Francis his son, 'to have and to hold for the term of their natural life for the longest liver.' (fn. 34) In 1607 Thomas Merrye was granted the reversion of this site for a term of forty years, (fn. 35) but he in the same year assigned the capital messuage, site, and all his estate and term of years therein to Francis Stydolf. (fn. 36) The Parliamentary Survey of 1650 records that 'the said Francis Stidolf, now Sir Francis Stidolf, is yet full of life and is 70 and lives at Mickelham,' and that he 'is therefore in possession now, and for his life and for 40 years after.' It also states that the manorhouse and premises were in 'good tenantable repair and very fit to be continued as a farmhouse.' In 1672 the property was granted to Sir Richard Stidolf, bart., the son of Sir Francis, (fn. 37) for a period of seven years dating from 1695. (fn. 38) Sir Richard died in 1677, but in 1675 a fortyyear lease, dating from 1702, was made to Sir Richard Powle. This lease was sold successively to William Cherry, Adam Bellamy, and Francis Bartholomew. (fn. 39) The lease of the manor of Egham, made to William Blaythwayt in 1694, mentions the site of the manor as among the premises to be leased. This is probably a mistake, the grant being made in general terms only.
The Survey of 1650 includes the meadow of Runnimede among the lands appurtenant to the site of the manor. When the lease of the manor was renewed in 1804, ninety-nine years after Catherine of Braganza's death, the manor-house was included and was apparently in Mr. Wyatt's possession.
The Parliamentary Survey of 1650 states that there was a court baron, belonging to the manor of Egham, usually kept at some known place within the same manor, at the will of the lord of the manor, and also a court leet, usually kept for the said manor at Hardwick in Chertsey. It also mentions, as common fields in Egham, Englefield, Hurst Heath, Southbrook Common, Wick Common, Deane Common, and Purche Heath. (fn. 40) At the courts of Queen Henrietta Maria, held both before and after the Commonwealth, tithingmen presented for the tithings of Englefield, Stroud, Lewith or Waryth, and Hicklie. (fn. 41)
In Egham, as in the other riverside lands belonging to the monastery, the abbot and convent had constructed weirs for catching fish. A 14th-century court roll has the following entry: 'To this court came Adam atte le Hale and surrendered into the hands of the abbot and convent a certain weir with a fisherman's house and small island adjacent with appurtenances at la Huche in Egham which he held of them as a tenant at will in villeinage, so that neither the said Adam nor his family nor anyone in his name should enter on the fore-mentioned weir, etc., nor yet sell or make any profit of them in the future. For which surrender the abbot and convent have granted the said Adam, for his whole life, 4 qrs. of corn, wheat and barley, to be received from the granary annually, etc. And if it should happen that the abbot and convent should neglect to furnish the above special corn for a year, then it shall be lawful for said Adam to re-enter said weir, etc., and to keep possession of them in perpetuity, on the same terms as he before held them, without any obstruction from the abbot.' (fn. 42) In 1642 the inhabitants of Egham made a petition (fn. 43) in which they claimed the privilege, lately wrested from them, of depasturing their cattle in Windsor Great Park at very easy rates. The privilege had been granted in consideration of divers services performed by them, such as carrying in hay, sending 'treaders' and the like, and also in respect that a great part of the park had been taken out of the commons belonging to the parish. The terms for which this depasturing was allowed were from 10 May till Lammas and from All Hallows tide until Christmas, and the weekly payment per animal had never exceeded 1½d. until recently. The petition stated, however, that, in view of the fact that 'the prices of land, as of all other commodities, are much increased,' the inhabitants were willing to pay 4d. weekly for a cow or a bullock, 6d. for a horse, mare, or colt. A representative of the inhabitants was ordered to attend the Attorney-General for settling the point.
Land at Pernehrs in Egham, described as 'half a hide of land and 5 acres, with appurtenances,' now known as ANKERWICK PARNISH, was confirmed to the priory of Ankerwick in Buckinghamshire by Henry III in 1252, (fn. 44) when it was stated to have been given to the priory by Hugh, Abbot of Chertsey. This Hugh must be the one to whom the charter of Stephen to Chertsey is addressed. (fn. 45) He is called Hugh the abbot, nepos meus, and if the charter is genuine must be Hugh de Puiset, Stephen's nephew, who became Bishop of Durham in 1153. The date of the grant to Ankerwick thus seems to be fixed as previous to that year. (fn. 46) The possessions of the priory in Egham included also 1 acre of land of the gift of Grunwin de Trottesworth, land which Almerus held of the gift of Godfrey de Middleton, 13 acres of land of the gift of Robert de Middleton, and a croft called Tutescroft of the gift of Henry son of Henry de Middleton. (fn. 47) Waste lands in Egham were granted to the prioress in 1280, (fn. 48) her possessions there in 1291 being taxed at 10s. (fn. 49) The prioress seems, by degrees, to have acquired all the land called Pernehrs or Parnish, giving the abbot in return other pieces of land which she possessed in Egham. In 1319 John, Abbot of Chertsey, confirmed to the prioress half an acre called Guldenhalfacre at Loderlake in Egham, in a certain field called Ermehrs between the land of Stephen de Purnehrs on the west and the land which had belonged to John de Walyngford on the east, in exchange for all that land which the prioress had in Egham in the field called Bokelnfrude. (fn. 50) Assart land called Patteshill next Pernehrs was also granted her in exchange for a croft called Litelcroft. (fn. 51) An annual rent of 28s. 6d. which the prioress paid the abbot was reduced in 1319 to 24s. 6d. At the survey of the priory's possessions in 1535 the manor of Parnish in Surrey was valued at £5 2s. 6d. (fn. 52) The estates of the priory, which were soon afterwards surrendered, were granted in 1537 to the monks of Chertsey in the new foundation at Bisham, (fn. 53) but reverted to the Crown at the final suppression of this monastery in 1538. Henry VIII granted the manor of Parnish to Andrew Lord Windsor in 1539 for life, with remainder to his sons William, Edmund, and Thomas. (fn. 54) William Lord Windsor sold this manor and others to the king for £1,000 in 1544. (fn. 55) Edward VI granted it in 1550 to Sir Thomas Smith, (fn. 56) a settlement on the latter's heirs being made in 1577. (fn. 57) The manor remained in this family until 1652, when it was sold by Thomas Smith, the nephew of the original grantee, to John Lee, (fn. 58) from whom it passed to his son John. (fn. 59) Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of this son, married Sir Philip Harcourt, she being his second wife. Their son was John Harcourt of Ankerwick, and the manor has remained in this family since that time. (fn. 60) The present lord of the manor in the fifth generation from John Harcourt is Mr. George S. C. Harcourt.
The first definite reference to the manor of MILTON does not occur until the middle of the 14th century, 1348, when Matilda Gatelyn, or Gacelyn, received licence from the bishop to celebrate divine service in the oratory of her manor of Middleton. (fn. 61) It is, however, possible to trace the history of land, which evidently formed the nucleus of this manor, to an earlier date, as in 1299 Henry de Middleton and Matilda his wife held a messuage, a mill, and lands in Egham and Thorpe. (fn. 62) After the death of Henry, Matilda presumably held the manor for her lifetime, marrying as her second husband John Gatelyn. A record occurs in 1319 showing that John Gatelyn and Matilda, together with Thomas son of Henry de Middleton, disseised the Abbot of Chertsey of various lands, of which, however, he afterwards regained possession. (fn. 63) After the death of Matilda the manor probably reverted to Thomas, her son by her first husband, as in the early 16th century the manor was still in possession of the Middletons. (fn. 64) Certain lands belonging to the manor were sold about this time by Henry de Middleton to Richard Fox, Bishop of Winchester and founder of the college of Corpus Christi, Oxford, and these lands, together with the manor of Middleton or Milton, were granted to the college in 1518, when the Abbot and convent of Chertsey granted permission to William Frost and Ralph Lepton, then seised of the manor, to enfeoff John Cleymond, President, and the fellows of the college of Corpus Christi. (fn. 65) It is probable that Frost and Lepton were acting for the Middletons, as in 1522 John Middleton and Margaret made a confirmatory grant of the manor to John Cleymond and his successors, receiving in return the sum of £340. (fn. 66) The manor thus granted is still held by this college. The Valor of 1535 shows that the college paid a rent of £3 6s. to the Abbot of Chertsey. (fn. 67) It was demised in 1598 to Francis Morley, to hold for nineteen years. (fn. 68) In 1622 Mary More, widow, held the 'manor of Middleton or Mylton Place and other lands in Egham' of the college of Corpus Christi. (fn. 69) The manor appears to have been leased both before and after that date to the family of More, or Moore. (fn. 70) Adrian Moore, senior, who died in 1740, was of Milton, and his son Adrian Moore, who died in 1749, held the estate. (fn. 71) His sister's son was William Edgell, who succeeded to Adrian Moore's property, and his heiress and niece Priscilla married Richard Wyatt in 1766. (fn. 72) Edgell Wyatt their son inherited the estate in 1813, taking the additional surname of Edgell. (fn. 73) His son, Richard Wyatt-Edgell, succeeded him in 1853. (fn. 74) The connexion between this family and the college was severed about 1870, when the unexpired portion of their lease was purchased by Baron de Worms. (fn. 75)
A water-mill known as Trumpes Mill was granted with the manor to the college of Corpus Christi. (fn. 76) Tithes from it to the value of 21s. 4d. remained due to the almoner of Chertsey Abbey until the Dissolution. (fn. 77) In a rental of 1622 Trumpes Mill, the property of Corpus Christi, and in the tenure of Mary More, is stated to be in Thorpe, (fn. 78) a mistake which is doubtless due to the fact that the mill is on a stream which divides the parishes of Egham and Thorpe.
In 1189–90 Nigel le Broc held land called TROTTESWORTH of the Abbot of Chertsey for the fourth part of a knight's fee, (fn. 79) and at some period during the latter half of the 12th century Maurice de Trotteswrth and others held land in Surrey of the abbot for the same service. (fn. 80) During the 13th century Richard Russel held this ¼ knight's fee in Trotsworth or Troccesworth. (fn. 81) In 1252 a dispute arose between Richard Russel of Trottesworth and the Abbot of Chertsey concerning view of frankpledge in the hundred of Godley. It was finally agreed that Richard and his heirs should come to view of frankpledge at Godley Hill every year at the feast of the Epiphany. The abbot in return granted him a certain marsh called Losehall. (fn. 82) In 1428 John Tendale held in Egham ¼ part of a knight's fee which Margaret de Trottesworth formerly held of the Abbot of Chertsey. (fn. 83) The manor afterwards passed to the monastery of Abingdon in Berkshire, though the date of the conveyance is not apparent. At the suppression of this monastery in 1538 the manor of Trottesworth in Thorpe and Egham, with a tenement called le Strande, was valued at £5 3s. 4d. (fn. 84) In 1545 the manor was granted to John Broxholme, John Bellew and others in trust for Anthony Bond. (fn. 85) The next year Anthony Bond leased Trottesworth to William Knight for a term of eighty-one years, dating from 1552. (fn. 86) Bond sold the manor to the Crown shortly afterwards, and in 1555 Anne, Duchess of Somerset, received a life grant of it. (fn. 87) She died in 1587. (fn. 88) William Knight was still in possession of the lease in 1588, when the queen granted the reversion to James Bond for a period of twenty-one years. (fn. 89)
In 1599 the queen granted the manor 'lately in the tenure of James Bond' to George Austeyne and William Minterne and their heirs. (fn. 90) They were presumably trustees, as John Bond was in possession of the manor in 1609, in which year he sold it to John Worsopp. (fn. 91) The latter conveyed it in 1625 to John Machell and Deborah his wife, (fn. 92) and it remained in their family until 1750, (fn. 93) when Lancelot Machell sold it to Charles Simes and Samuel Meredith to the use of Charles Simes and his heirs. (fn. 94) The manor afterwards passed to John Forster, who conveyed it to his son George in 1802, (fn. 95) when the property included, besides the manor, a farm called Trottesworth Farm and closes called Hollymore Field, Knowle Field, Furzey Field, Blackshill Field, Reversfield, Packers Land, Lamsley Hill, Hams Mead, Horse Mead, One Brock, Holly Platt and the Slip.
Trottesworth seems to have ceased to be regarded as a manor about this period. The deed of 1802 refers to it as a 'manor or reputed manor.' Manning states that the property consisted of two farms, which were held in his time, about 1804, by Mr. Forster and Mr. Fournier. (fn. 96) The Countess de Morella held the estate in 1905.
—Among the possessions of the priory of Broomhall in Berkshire when it became escheat to the Crown in 1522 were certain tenements in Egham and Thorpe, including 32 acres of meadow in Egham, of which the priory had apparently been seised for some time. (fn. 97) The name Broomehall in Egham is as old as the perambulation of the forest boundaries in 1226. (fn. 98) In October 1522 the king granted the site and possessions of the late priory to the Master and Fellows of St. John's College, Cambridge. The deed included a 'manor' in Egham which was undoubtedly the land previously referred to. (fn. 99) In 1544 the college sold to the king a portion of their land in Egham, about 44 acres, called Knowle Grove. (fn. 100) A survey of Egham Manor in 1622 includes land called Broomhall Piece, the property of St. John's, and in the tenure of William Minterne. (fn. 101) The college still holds the manor of Broomhall, in Egham. (fn. 102)
—A tenement and lands in Egham were in the possession of the family of Imworth in 1224, when John de Imworth brought a suit against Henry de Middleton concerning the land. (fn. 103) In 1298 John de Imworth conveyed the reversion of lands in Egham to Robert de Burghton and Sarah his wife, and to the heirs of Sarah, who was probably the daughter of John de Imworth. The latter was to hold it of Robert and Sarah for the remainder of his life for the annual rent of one rose and for the services due to the chief lords of the fee. (fn. 104)
In January 1339 Robert de Imworth received licence for the celebration of divine service in the oratory of his house in Egham. (fn. 105) In 1550 the manor of Inworths alias Fosters belonged to Sir William Warham, (fn. 106) and afterwards went to his heir, who held the manor in 1616. (fn. 107) Fosters apparently became a separate holding, for in 1622, when Sir John Doddridge was holding the messuage and lands called Fosters, Sir John Denham had the site of the manor of Imworth. (fn. 108) In 1638 Imworth passed to his son Sir John Denham the Royalist poet, (fn. 109) whose estates were sequestered, and in 1648 conveyed to John Thynne. (fn. 110) Thynne remained in possession, and his son was resident at Imworth in 1673. (fn. 111) Sir John Denham the elder had rebuilt the house. This is called the Place or Parsonage House by Aubrey, because Denham held the rectory. It has been incorrectly confused with the vicarage house. It is now pulled down. (fn. 112)
The other part of Imworth alias Fosters was perhaps separated at Sir William Warham's death. In 1568 Jasper Palmer and Rose his wife conveyed it to Thomas Burtell. (fn. 113) About this time Chancery proceedings are said to have been taken between Edward Owen and Thomas Burtell. Fosters passed from Owen to Sir Antony Manners, and from him to Sir John Doddridge. (fn. 114) Sir John died in 1628, and the name of Sir Robert Foster the judge, with which the name of the house has been erroneously connected. appears for the first time in connexion with it in 1639. (fn. 115) Sir Robert was youngest son of Sir Thomas Foster, Justice of the Common Pleas 1607, (fn. 116) and was himself a Justice of Common Pleas, 1640–4, when he was removed. In 1660 he was restored and made Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench. He died in 1663. His son Sir Thomas Foster succeeded to the property and died in 1685. (fn. 117) It changed hands several times, and early in the 19th century was a lunatic asylum.
Fosters or Great Fosters is a good early 17th-century house.
The messuage of RUSHAM or RUYSSHAMES in Egham appears to have been in the possession of a family of that name from very early times. Alice Rusham, who inherited the lands in the reign of Henry VI, and who married first Robert Ferly, and secondly John Wolley, was apparently the descendant of a line of Rushams, (fn. 118) and occasional references to Rushams of Egham, occurring as a witness or as owner of land, are found in the Ledger Book of Chertsey Abbey and elsewhere. (fn. 119) Agnes Ferly, granddaughter and heiress of Alice, is said to have married Thomas Day of Egham, (fn. 120) in whose family Rusham remained until 1679. (fn. 121) From the 16th century onwards Rusham is described as a manor, but there is no evidence to show that it was considered as such before that time. An account of the property in the reign of Henry VI describes it as 'a messuage, 160 acres of arable land, 12 acres of meadow, 80 acres of pasture and 20 acres of wood and 24s. rent in Egham in co. Surrey, called Ruysshames.' (fn. 122) A rental of Egham Manor taken in 1622 records that the sum of 20s. 4d. was paid by Richard Day for his manor of Rusham and for his fishing and greyhounds. (fn. 123) After 1679 all trace of the so-called manor is lost. Rusham Hall, formerly the seat of the family of Day, was destroyed before the 19th century, (fn. 124) but Rusham Green and a farm of the same name still exist in Egham.
The PARK OF POTENALL or PORTNALL belonged anciently to the Crown. It is not clear when it was imparked, but in 1485 the office of parker in the king's park of Potenall in the forest of Windsor was given to John Molle. (fn. 125) In 1528 Henry VIII granted the park to Sir William Fitz William and his heirs, 'for the service of one red rose annually.' (fn. 126) It was apparently disparked before 1607, for Norden's Survey of the parks in the forest of Windsor of that year does not include it. (fn. 127) The history of the property during the 17th century is not apparent. (fn. 128) During the latter half of the 18th century it is referred to as a manor held by families named Walker and Day. (fn. 129) The manor so called was conveyed in 1791 to Mr. Lowndes, (fn. 130) whose family owned property in Chertsey and Egham fifty years later. Part of the estate, however, was in the hands of Dr. Jebb, Dean of Londonderry. His son Mr. David Jebb exchanged it in 1804 for other land with the Rev. T. Bisse, whose son, Colonel Bisse Challoner, held it in 1840, and built the present house. (fn. 131) It is now the property of the Rev. H. J. A. Fane de Salis. A park was inclosed by Colonel Bisse Challoner. The site of the original park was probably not exactly where Portnall Park now is, but in Portnall Warren, where Norden's map marks Valley Wood.
In the 17th and 18th centuries occasional record is found of a reputed manor called WICK, or EGHAM WICK, in Egham. In 1618 Edward Anthony and William Willis sold the manor, which included two messuages or farms, to Francis Anthony and his heirs. (fn. 132) In 1768 it was the property of the Rev. William Robert Jones and Elizabeth his wife, and was apparently held in the right of Elizabeth. (fn. 133) They sold it as the 'manor or reputed manor of Egham' in 1782 to John Pitt and his heirs. (fn. 134)
The church of ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST was built in 1817, and is of little architectural interest. It consists of a shallow chancel, a wide nave with galleries on three sides, and a west tower, and has three west doorways, the two side doors admitting to the gallery stairs. The building is in poor classical style, and built of brick with stone dressings. The chancel has north and south vestries, and on each side of the nave are six windows below the gallery, and six above it, some of them filled with stained glass from the chapel at Coopers Hill; the nave has a coved plaster ceiling. There is a large modern wooden pulpit and a white marble font, the latter presented in 1902 by the parish clerk.
A print of the old church shows a large building with a central tower; from it several monuments have been transferred to the present building when the other was taken down.
On the north wall is an alabaster and marble tablet to Richard Kellefet of Egham, 1595, son of George and Margaret Kellefet, and to his wife Cicely. He was 'a most faithful servant to Hir Majestie, chief groome in the removing garderobe of beddes, and yeoman also of her standing garderobe, of Richemount' A shield over the tablet bears, Ermine, a chief azure, and a talbot passant thereon. On the east wall of the south aisle is a mural brass to Anthony Bond, 1576, his wife and two sons. He was a citizen and writer of the court letter of London. The arms above the monument are, Argent, two bends sable with a crosslet sable in the cantle. On the same wall is the very interesting inscription recording the building of the old church in 1327. + HEC: DOMUS: EFFICITUR: BAPTISTE: LAUDE: JOHANNIS: || BISDECA: SEPTENIS TRECNTIS: MILLE: SUB: ANNIS: || Ÿ: QUAM: STATUIT: ABBAS: EX: CURODE: JOHANŹ: || DE: RUTHERWYKA: PER: TERRAS: DICTUS: ET: AMPNES. (fn. 135)
Over the gallery stairs at the north-west angle of the nave is a monument to Lady Cicely Denham, and Eleanor Moor, first and second wives of Sir John Denham. Their half-figures are shown coloured and in high relief in a circular panel about which is a pilastered and pedimented frame of alabaster and marble. One of the women holds an infant in her arms, and the figure of a boy is shown half out of the frame. The design is very good and effective, but the execution is hardly equal to it. Above are the arms of Denham—Gules a fesse indented ermine, impaling Sable a fesse indented with three molets on the fesse. Over the other stairs to the south-west is a monument to Sir John Denham, without any memorial inscription, with a rather more elaborate architectural treatment and a most curious figure composition of very considerable merit. The plinth, on which is inscribed 'Ex ossibus armati,' has a frieze in high relief of skeletons emerging from their shrouds within a tomb whose sides are breaking up in all directions; two of the figures, evidently meant for Sir John Denham and his wife, have reassumed their flesh.
Above this in complete relief is the nude and bearded figure of a man rising from his tomb, obviously a portrait of Sir John; a shroud still partly covers his head and shoulders, and on his coffin is written 'Praeterita sperno.' Above is an entablature carried by Corinthian columns, on which are two angels blowing trumpets, with the words 'Surge a Somnis.' Another 17th-century monument, to Sir Robert Foster, is hidden by the organ. He was Chief Justice of the King's Bench, and died in 1663. His bust is in a circular frame, with shields of arms above and on either side. The upper shield has the arms of Foster—Argent a cheveron between three bugle-horns sable quartered with Argent a bend engrailed sable with three harts' heads cabossed or thereon. The other shields bear (1) Quarterly gules and argent four scallops counterchanged, and (2) Quarterly or and gules a bend vair, which are the arms of Burton and Sackville respectively. In the chancel are several good modern monuments to the family of Gostling.
The tower contains six bells, cast in 1819 by T. Mears.
The church plate consists of a cup of 1618, inscribed in a dotted line as the gift of Adrian Moore and bearing the arms, a fesse, three pierced molets thereon; a standing paten of the same date with similar inscription and heraldry but in an incised line; a cup of 1793, and a very handsome flagon, in a curiously shaped leather case of 1749. There are also two standing patens or salvers of German or Flemish workmanship and 16th-century date, the bowls of which are elaborately engraved with figure subjects, one representing David harping, the other Christ in the house of Martha. The latter is signed H.[?] B.
The first book of the registers contains marriages from 1560 to 1666, baptisms from 1560 to 1669, and burials from 1592 to 1651. The second book has all entries from 1653 to 1709 in the case of marriages, and to 1711 for the other entries. The fourth book has all entries from 1711, marriages running to 1751, baptisms and burials to 1771. Marriages are separately continued from 1754 to 1812, and a sixth book has baptisms and burials from 1771 to 1812.
CHRIST CHURCH, Virginia Water, consecrated in 1838, is cruciform, of brick with pointed arches, a tower and stone spire. The chapel of ease of St. Simon and St. Jude, Englefield Green, was built in 1859. It is of stone in 13th-century style, with a west tower. A cemetery adjoins it.
In 1291 the churches of Chertsey, Egham, and Chobham were together valued at £63 6s. 8d., and the vicarage of Egham at £9 6s. 8d. (fn. 136) This appears to be the first reference to the church, which must, however, have existed before this date. It was in the hands of the monks of Chertsey from its foundation until the dissolution of the abbey. The vicarage was formally ordained by the abbot in 1333 : the vicar, Robert de Wanynden, and his successors were to have a mansion well and honestly built, with the adjacent croft called Thorpeshull, containing 15 acres of arable land, a piece of land called Denacre, a small meadow called Thachmede, pasture called Wynclesworth Parva, and various other small parcels of land. Half the tithes coming from 20 acres of land towards Staines, formerly of Richard Barentin, were also granted to him. (fn. 137) Augmentation of the vicarage was made in 1421. (fn. 138) In the survey of the abbey's possessions, taken in 1535, (fn. 139) the rectory of Egham was valued at £17. Both rectory and advowson were surrendered to the king in 1537. (fn. 140) The rectory was granted to the new foundation at Bisham in the same year, (fn. 141) but reverted to the Crown once more on the final suppression of Bisham Monastery in July 1538. Edward VI granted the rectory of Egham to John Poynet, Bishop of Winchester, in 1551, (fn. 142) and John White, who was bishop in 1558, also received a grant of it, together with the advowson of the vicarage, from Queen Mary. (fn. 143) The latter grant, however, was cancelled on the accession of Elizabeth. In 1611 James I granted both rectory and advowson to Francis Morrice and Francis Philipps, (fn. 144) probably trustees, as Maria Moore, (fn. 145) a widow, presented in 1620. (fn. 146) Sir John Dormer owned the rectory and advowson in 1624, (fn. 147) but Sir John Denham had acquired both before 1639. (fn. 148) In 1648 the estate of his son, Sir John Denham the poet, a delinquent, was conveyed to John Thynne, M.P., for a debt of £20. (fn. 149) The rectory and advowson were probably included in this conveyance, as John Thynne presented to the vicarage in 1662. (fn. 150) According to Manning, Thomas Sutton, son-in-law of John Thynne, sold the property to Adrian Moore, who sold it in his turn in 1734 to William Scawen, (fn. 151) whose family was certainly in possession in 1759. (fn. 152) It afterwards passed to John Dawe, whose son sold the rectory to George Gostling in 1788. (fn. 153) The advowson passed at the same time to Mrs. Challoner, who conveyed it to George Gostling in 1797. (fn. 154) He presented to the church in 1811. (fn. 155) The patronage remained in his family until 1879, when it passed to the Rev. W. Trevor Nicholson, who now holds it. (fn. 156)
Christ Church Virginia Water was formed into a parish in 1838. The living is in the gift of three trustees.
Of the older charities the most important is Henry Strode's, left by will in 1703. He left £6,000, of which the Cooper's Company became trustees, for almshouses and a school. Considerable litigation followed owing to alleged misappropriation of funds and to some ambiguity in the will, it being doubtful whether the almspeople need or need not be inhabitants of Egham. It was decided in 1749 that they must be chosen from the parish. The next question was about the schoolhouse, which Mr. Jeans, as master, wished to use as a first-grade school, relegating the teaching of poor children to other hands. This state of affairs is similar to that which occurred at Farnham. (fn. 157)
In 1812 the Court of Chancery decided that the school must be reserved for the poor children of Egham. In 1828 new almshouses were begun and in 1839 completed, on the north side of Egham Street (see inscription in almshouses). The school is now, however, discontinued, and the money formerly devoted to it has gone since 1870 to the Station Road School, formerly called Egham Parish School. There are twelve almshouses and a chapel. Before this, in 1624, Sir John Denham, baron of the Exchequer, father to the poet, founded almshouses for five poor women.
Ann Reid in 1838 founded five almshouses in memory of her husband.
In 1840 Mr. Stewart founded five almshouses.
In 1683 Mr. Richard Barker charged land with £2 10s. per annum, for the benefit of the poor.
In 1705 Mr. Edmund Lee left land producing then £60 per annum for the apprenticing of poor children.
In 1712 Mrs. Mary Barker left £5 per annum charged on land for the teaching of poor children.
Smith's Charity exists as in other Surrey parishes.
Egham parish has a nomination in rotation with thirty other parishes of one poor man to Lucas's Hospital at Wokingham in Berkshire, founded in 1663.