Friern Barnet

Pages 21-26

The Environs of London: Volume 2, County of Middlesex. Originally published by T Cadell and W Davies, London, 1795.

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THE name of Barnet is common to several parishes in England. It was anciently written Bernette or Bergnet, which, Chauncy says, signifies a little hill (fn. 1); the addition of Friarn, denotes that it was monastic property.

Boundaries, situation, soil, &c.

This parish lies within the liberties of Finsbury and Wenlacksbarn, and is bounded by Hornsey, Finchley, Edmonton, and Tottenham, in Middlesex, and East Barnet in Hertfordshire. The village lies near the road, at the distance of about 9 miles from London; the lands are mostly meadow; the proportion of arable is very small; the soil a stiff clay. The parish is rated at 316l. 1s. Id. to the landtax: the proportion in the pound varies from 3s. to 3s. 6d.

Colney Hatch.

The hamlet of Colney Hatch, mentioned in a court-roll 22 Hen. VII. by the name of Colne Hatch, is in this parish. It contains 12 houses. Half of Whetstone, a hamlet situated on the North road, belongs also to Barnet.

Battle of Barnet Field.

The battle of Barnet Field, in which the Earl of Warwick was defeated by Edward IV. is thought by some to have been fought in this parish (fn. 2); but it has generally been appropriated to Barnet in Hertfordshire.

Manor of Whetstone, or Freren Barnet.

The manor of Whetstone, or Freren Barnet, belonged to the priory of St. John of Jerusalem. Sir William Weston, the last prior, held a court there in 1539 (fn. 3). King Henry VIII. after the dissolution of monasteries, granted it to the dean and chapter of St. Paul's (fn. 4), who held a court there I Edw. VI. It has been in the possession of that church ever since, except during the government of the commonwealth, when it was sold (together with the manor of Brownswood in Hornsey) to Richard Utber, for the sum of 3228l. 4s. 10d. (fn. 5) The reserved rent of this manor was 30l. 7s. 2½d. Between the years 1629 and 1635, Hugh Perry, Andrew Perry, and Tindal Pert, were lessees of the manerial estate (fn. 6); in 1694, Edward Jennings, Esq.; in 1753, Mr. Strode; and since the year 1783, the present lessee, John Bacon, Esq.


The manor-house, which is situated near the church, seems to be a very ancient structure; it has undergone many alterations, but a considerable part of the old building still remains, particularly some wooden cloisters, which, though by no means an uncommon appendage to an old house, has occasioned a tradition that this was a cell to the priory, or at least the summer residence of the monks; an arched way (now stopped up) from the house to the end of a terrace in the garden, has given rise to the usual stories of monkish intrigues. It appears by Norden's Survey of Middlesex, that Lord Chief Justice Popham, in his time, resided at Fryarn manor. The present owner has some portraits there of the Bacon family, among which are the Chancellor, the Lord Keeper, and one said to be Roger Bacon. Mr. Bacon has also the original cast of Roubiliac's bust of Handel, over which is placed a portrait of Charles Jennings, Esq. who compiled the words of many of his oratorios.

Manor of Sarnes Barnet,

The Bishop of London is said to have been lord of the manor of Sarnes or Sarners Barnet, in Middlesex, with Finchley and Hornsey, 1 Edw. II. (fn. 7) and in 1316, he is said to have had a fourth part of that manor (fn. 8). I have not seen the name in any other record.

Manor of Haliwick, or Hollick.

The manor of Haliwick, now called Hollick, was given by Walter de Morton to Henry III. who granted it to Henry de Aldithelegh (fn. 9). In the latter end of Edward III.'s reign, it was the property of William Olneye (fn. 10), citizen of London. His wife, Isabell, afterwards married to John Wade, died seized of it 3 Hen. IV. (fn. 11) her son, John Olneye, being her heir. In the reign of Hen. VI. Robert Burley of Iselham, in com. Cantab. appears to have aliened it to John Wetwonge of London, and his wife Alice (fn. 12). In the 11 th year of Charles I. Edmund Underwood obtained the king's pardon, for having purchased, without the royal licence, the manor, messuage, or farm, called Hallywick in Friern Barnet, of John rott (fn. 13). This manor, about the year 1730, became the property of John Nicoll, Esq. of Hendon, whose grandaughter (being the only daughter and heir of his son John Nicoll, Esq.) was the first wife of James the late Duke of Chandos. Haliwick House has been long separated from the rest of the estate, and is now the property of Richard Down, Esq. Norden says (fn. 14), "at Hollick, there are noted the foundations of ancient buildings, affirmed by some aged men, that it hath been a town, but oftentimes "immensa cani spirant mendatia folles."

Various estates.

The Goodyer family had a large copyhold estate in this parish from the middle of the fifteenth century till the reign of Charles I. when it seems to have been aliened by Sir Henry Goodyer (fn. 15). A family of the name of Sanney possessed a considerable estate here also to make good and sufficient estate of the manor of Halywyk to John Wetwonge, habend. sibi & hered. during the same period. Thomas Cavendish, clerk of the pipe in the Exchequer, and father of William Cavendish, (who wrote the life of Cardinal Wolsey,) aliened a messuage called Sayers in Friern Barnet, to Thomas Rolse, 4 Hen. VIII. (fn. 16) William Pert paid a rent of assize for the hermitage temp. Eliz. Alice, relict of John Doget, in 1507, gave a field called Beldam's Field to a chantry in St. John's, Clerkenwell (fn. 17). Amongst the copyholders in 1679, were Sir Paul Painter, Sir Robert Peyton, Sir Thomas Nevill, Sir John Read, Sir William Royston, and Sir William Whitmore. Sir Richard Allibon, baron of the Exchequer, was admitted in 1687 to the houses and lands late Sir Robert Peyton's, and died the next year (fn. 18).

Parish church.

The church of Friarn Barnet, which is dedicated to St. James, is of very small dimensions, and of Norman architecture, except the chancel window, which is gothic. The arch of the door-case is circular, and has a zig-zag moulding inclosing some ornaments of quatresoils. At the west end is a small wooden turret.

In the east window is a coat of arms; viz. Arg. on a chevron Az. between 3 lions rampant Gules, as many bugle horns Or.


In the church are the tombs of Thomas Jeve, citizen of London, who died in 1699 (fn. 19). Mr. John Aston, 1715; John Cleeve, Esq. 1725 (fn. 20); and two others of the same name, 1748 and 1770. In the church yard are those of Mr. Thomas Bretton, who died in 1714; Sir William Oldesh, gentleman usher of the black rod to Queen Anne and Geo. I. (1718); Richard Johnston, Esq. of Whetstone (1730); and others of the family; Mr. John Osborne (1734); Thomas Buck, Esq. (1751); Thomas Longman, Esq. (1755); George Vincent, Esq. (1757); George Wombwell, Esq. (1763); John Nottingham, Esq. (1763); John Graham, rector of the parish for 47 years (1772); George Lee, Gent. of Furnival's-inn (1787); and Richard Kelsall, Gent. of Clifford's-inn (1787). Against the west wall of the church is an acrostical epitaph to the memory of Sarah Rose, who died in 1668.


The church of Friarn Barnet is a rectory in the peculiar jurisdiction of the dean and chapter of St. Paul's, to whom the advowson belongs. It is not in charge in the king's books, nor is it mentioned in the taxation of 1327.

It was presented at a court held 37 Eliz. that Richard North, rector, held a grove called Priest's Grove, late the property of his father Ralph North, rector, and which had belonged to Anthony and Thomas their predecessors in the rectory. In 1650, the rectory was valued at 77l. 10s. per ann. and had belonging to it a house and two acres of glebe (fn. 21).

The present rector is the Rev. Samuel Brooke, who was collated in the year 1772.

Parish register.

Comparative state of population.

The earliest date of the parish register is 1674.

Average of baptisms. Average of burials.
1680–1689 8 4/10 11 1/10
1730–1739 11 8/10 16 9/10
1780–1789 11 1/10 13 9/10
1790 11 14
1791 11 7

The present number of houses is 78, exclusive of the alms-house. The number of inhabitants is computed at 275.

John Dogget, John Prat, William Long, and Thomas Tyrrey, gave "four kyen" to the church of Barnet for a lamp for ever (fn. 22).


Lawrence Campe, citizen and draper of London, in the year 1612, founded an alms-house in this parish for 12 poor persons; to whom, by an indenture bearing date March 12, he gave 12d. a-piece monthly for ever; 4s. per annum to the churchwardens for their trouble; and 1l. 6s. 8d. to keep the house in repair; the whole of which, being 9l. 6s. 8d., is a rent-charge upon an estate in the parish of Allhallows in the county of Herts.


  • 1. I cannot find this word in the Saxon dictionaries.
  • 2. Dugdale's Baronage, vol. i. p. 197.
  • 3. Court rolls of the manor.
  • 4. Cart. Orig. pen. D. & Cap. S. Pauli.
  • 5. Parliamentary Surveys. Ibid.
  • 6. Rent Books. Ibid.
  • 7. Harl. MSS. Brit. Mus. No. 2195.
  • 8. Ibid. No. 6281.
  • 9. Cart. Antiq. Augmentation-office.
  • 10. Vide Cl. 49. Edw. III. m. 14. d.
  • 11. Esch. 3 Hen. IV. No. 35.
  • 12. Cl. 33 Hen. VI. m. 11. d. Bond of 200l.
  • 13. Pat. 11 Car. pt. 3-5. June 2. No. 96.
  • 14. Speculum Britanniæ, p. 21.
  • 15. Court rolls of the manor.
  • 16. Court rolls of the manor.
  • 17. Ibid.
  • 18. Ibid.
  • 19. Arms—Gules, on a cross flory Arg. 5 etoils; impaling Gules, 3 saltiers Arg.
  • 20. Arms—Arg. on a sesse between 3 foxes heads erased Sab. as many mullets Or, impaling Arg. a bend Gules.
  • 21. Parliamentary Surveys, Lambeth MS. Lib.
  • 22. Chantry Roll,