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

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'Brentford', in The Environs of London: Volume 2, County of Middlesex, (London, 1795) pp. 39-58. British History Online [accessed 29 February 2024]



Situation, boundaries, extent, soil, &c.

THIS place takes its name from the small river Brent, which rises in the parish of Hendon, and here falls into the Thames. It is a market town, lying in the hundred of Elthorne, and situated upon the great Western road, at the distance of seven miles from Hidepark-corner. The parish is bounded by Ealing, Isleworth, and Hanwell, and by the River Thames. It is of very small extent, containing about 200 acres of land, of which an eighth only is arable; the soil is various, clay, gravel, and loam. The quota paid to the land-tax by this parish is 433l. 18s. 11½d. being at the rate of about 2s. 4½d. in the pound.

Market and fairs.

Edward I. granted a weekly market at Brentford, (on Tuesday,) to the prioress of St. Helen's, and an annual fair on St. Laurence's day, the vigil, and the four days following'. For some time after the dissolution of monasteries, the prosits of the market and fair were held under the crown. James I. in 1610, granted them in fee to James Hawley, Esq. whose family had been lessees under the priory, reserving a rent to the crown of 20 s. per annum (fn. 1). Mr. Hawley, in 1619, sold them for 3350l. to Valentine Saunders of Chiswick, who obtained a fresh patent from the crown which enabled him to hold a weekly market and two fairs annually, viz. on the 6th of May, and on the 1st of September (fn. 2). In 1638 William Saunders, Esq. died seized of the market and fairs; Valentine his brother, 15 years of age, being his heir (fn. 3). Anne Parish, anno 1679, had a grant of a weekly market on Thursday, in the Butts at NewBrentford (fn. 4). The property of the market came afterwards (a second time) into the Hawley family, and was sold (anno 1768) by James Hawley, M.D. to Charles Woodcock, Esq. Robert Wallace Johnson, M. D. and others. Mr. Woodcock purchased the other shares, and sold the whole to Mr. Laurence Le Forest, who is the present proprietor.

County elections.

The elections for the county of Middlesex are held at Brentford, for which reason it is considered as the county-town; but there is no town-hall or other public building. The remembrance of the famous contests in 1768 and 1769, when party ran so high in favour of the popular candidate, is still kept up by the sign of Wilkes's Head, and No. 45.

Earls of Brentford.

Patrick Ruthen, Earl of Forth, a distinguished officer in the royal army, was created Earl of Brentford by King Charles in the year 1644. The title became extinct at his death in 1651, and was revived by King William in 1689, being given to Frederic de Schomberg, who was at the same time made an English Duke. His son, who died in 1719, was the last Earl of Brentford.

Slaughter of the Danes.

Edmund Ironside having obliged the Danes to raise the siege of London in the year 1016, pursued them to Brentford, where he defeated them with great slaughter. In the ardour of the pursuit, a great number of the English soldiers lost their lives in the River (fn. 5). Here the same king afterwards passed the Thames at low water in pursuit of the Danes, who were ravaging the county of Kent (fn. 6).

Six protestants burnt.

On the 14th of July 1558, six protestants suffered at the stake within the town of Brentford (fn. 7).

Battle of Brentford.

This place became a second time famous in history for the battle fought here on the 12th of November 1642, between King Charles's troops and some regiments belonging to the parliament. The circumstances of this action have been variously represented by the journalists and historians of the two parties. The following account, which differs in many particulars from any other I have seen, seems entitled to a considerable degree of credit. It is taken from a MS. letter (fn. 8) dated November 15, written, as it appears, by an officer who was in the engagement, merely for the information of a relation, and therefore not likely to contain any wilful misrepresentations. "On Saturday very early, (says the writer,) we marched from Ashford, and at Hounslow Heath all the king's foote met, expecting a battaile, but none offered: on still we went to Hownslow towne, thence to Brainforde, where unexpectedly we were encountered by two or three regiments of their's, who had made some small barricadoes at the end of the first towne called New Brainford. The van of our army being about 1000 musketiers, answered their shot soe bitterly, that within an hour or lesse they forsooke their worke in that place, and fled up to another which they had raised betwixt the two townes, from whence, and a brick house by with two small ordinance, they gave us a hot and long shower of bullets. My Colonel's (Sir Edward Fitton's) regiment was the sixth that was brought to assault, after 5 others had all discharged, whose happy honour it was (assisted by God, and a new piece of canon newly come up) to drive them from that worke too, where it was an heart-breaking object to hear and see the miserable deaths of many goodly men: we flew a lieutenant colonel, 2 serjeant majors, some captains, and other officers and soldiers there, about 30 or 40 of them, and took 400 prisoners. But what was most pitiful was, to see how many poore men ended and lost their lives, striving to save them; for they run into the Thames, and about 200 of them, as we might judge, were there drowned by themselves, and so were guilty of their own deaths; for had they stayed, and yielded up themselves, the king's mercy is so gracious, that he had spared them all. We took there 6 or 8 colours, alsoe their twoe pieces of ordonance, and all this with a very small losse, God be praised; for believe me, I cannot understand that we lost 16 men; whereof, one was a son of Mr. Daniel of Tabley, Mr. Thomas Daniel, a fine young gentleman who was a lieutenant under my Lord Rivers; he and his captain were both slain, and a lieutenant of our regiment, but none of our countrymen. Then we, thinking all had been done for that night, two of our regiments passed up through the old towne to make good the entrance, but they were again encountered by a fresh onset, which scattered like the rest after a short conflict fled away towards Hammersmith, and we were left masters of the townes. That night most lay in the cold fields. Next morning early we were startled a fresh by the loud music of some canon, which proved to be but some 14 barges of theirs, who, with 13 ordinance, and 600 men, attempted very indiscreetly to pass up the river from Kingston on Thames, by the town, where we lay, for London; but being discovered, what from the bancke and from Sion howse, (the Earl of Northumberland's,) where we had placed some four musketeers within two or three howers space, we sunk four or five of their vessels with the canons in them, took the rest, and 8 pieces in them, for our breakfast; after which, within two hours, we could descry a great army marching downe upon us from London, whoe came up within musket shot of us: but the king finding his men wearie, and being satisfied with what he had done before for that tyme, and havinge no convenient place for his horse (which is the greatest pillar of his army) to sight, very wisely drew off his men by degrees, and, unperceived by them, left the towne naked ; some of his horse dragoons keeping them deceived till the foot were all gone, and then they galloped in the rear after; which the enemy perceiving, played on their back with their canon, but with no harm or successe at all, God be praised; foe that night we marched back toward Hampton Court, next day into Kingston, a great towne which they had manned the day before with 6000 men in it, but left it upon our fight at Brainford; foe here we are now very safe, our foot and our horse round about us."

Patrick Ruthen, Earl of Forth in Scotland, was, for his services in this action, created an English peer by the title of Earl of Brentford (fn. 9).

Among the prisoners taken at Brentford was the famous John Lilbourn, who was sent to Oxford, and tried and condemned as a traitor (fn. 10), but was afterwards released. Fuller tells us, that the king dismissed the other prisoners without ranfom (fn. 11). Some of the parliamentary writers say, that they were treated with the greatest cruelty; that the most barbarous outrages were committed in the town, and the inhabitants cruelly plundered. It is certain, that they presented a petition to the Commons, setting forth the great damages they had sustained, and praying for relief. The House taking the matter into consideration, sent an order to the ministers of Middlesex, that they should, upon the fast-day then appointed, read in their churches a relation of their sufferings, and excite the people to compassion ; the contributions in some parishes were very liberal; at Stepney the sum of 30£. was collected (fn. 12).

In 1647, when the army was mustered on Hounslow Heath, the guards were quartered at Brentford ; about that time several skirmishes happened near the town (fn. 13).

Great flood.

In the year 1682, a very violent storm of rain, accompanied with thunder and lightning, caused a sudden flood, which did great damage to the town of Brentford. The whole place was overflown ; boats rowed up and down the streets, and several houses and other buildings were carried away by the force of the waters (fn. 14). In the churchwardens books are the following entries relating to this calamity:

"April 26, 1682, paid the watermen in bread, beer,
and brandy, that brought their boats to save the peo- £ s. d.
ple from the flood this day 0 6 0
"Paid for cleaning water out of the church, mops, &c. 0 9 0

It appears also, that the wall of the church-yard and the pews in the church received considerable damage. Mr. Clitherow of Bostonhouse has a printed copy of the brief granted to the sufferers upon this occasion, by which it appears that their loss was estimated at 7181.

Manor of Burston or Boston.

The only manor in this parish is that of Bordeston (fn. 15) or Burston, commonly called Boston, which was part of the possessions of the prioress of St. Helen's near Bishopsgate, under whom Jerome Hawley was lessee when that monastery was dissolved. Edward VI. in 1547, granted it to Edward Duke of Somerset (fn. 16), on whose attainder it reverted to the crown. Queen Elizabeth, in 1572, gave it to Robert Earl of Leicester, who sold it the same year to Sir Thomas Gresham. After Lady Gresham's death, which happened in 1598, it was inherited by Sir William Reade, (her son by a former husband,) who obtained a new patent from the crown in 1610. Sir William dying in 1621, bequeathed this manor for life to his widow, with remainder to his grand-children the three daughters of Sir Michael Stanhope; viz. Jane, married to Lord Fitzwalter, and afterwards to Sir William Withepole; Elizabeth, to George Lord Berkley; and Bridget, to George Fielding Earl of Desmond. Lady Reade married to her second husband Sir Edward Spencer, Knt. of the Sunderland family, who possessed this manor many years in right of his wife, making it the place of his residence. One of James Howell's letters, dated February 20, 1647, is addressed to him "at his house near "Braineford, Middlesex." Lady Spencer having outlived her second husband, died in 1658, in which year Leicester Viscount Hereford, who had married Elizabeth daughter of Sir William Withepole by Jane Stanhope, aliened a third part of the reversion of the manor to John Gouldsmith, Esq.; the perpetuity of the other two parts had been before aliened by the Berkley and Desmond families to Lady Spencer, who devised them to her kinsman John Gouldsmith above mentioned. After his death, which happened in 1670, the manor was sold by trustees according to the tenor of his will, and purchased by James Clitherow (fn. 17), Esq. whose descendant James Clitherow, Esq. is the present proprietor.

Manor house.

The manor-house is pleasantly situated on a rising ground about three quarters of a mile to the north of the town. It was built partly in the year 1622 by Lady Reade, and partly in 1671 by James Clitherow, Esq. as appears by dates on the pipes, cielings, &c.

Jerome Hawley, Esq. held freehold lands in the parish in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, valued at 20l. per annum (fn. 18).

Brentford chapel.

The chapel, dedicated to St. Lawrence, stands near the centre of the town: it is uncertain at what time it was originally built, or whether any existed there before that, to which, as Dugdale says (fn. 19), Maurice de Berkley was a special benefactor. This Maurice died in 1189, and, according to Dugdale, was buried in this chapel. An escutcheon, with the Berkley arms (fn. 20) cut in stone, which stood over the porch of the old church, was preserved at the last rebuilding of the chapel; and being properly blazoned, is now placed in the church against the west wall, surrounded with a gothic frame.


The whole of the chapel, except the tower, was rebuilt with brick in 1764, at the expence of about 2450l. of which 1155l. was raised by voluntary subscriptions, and 3001. was a legacy bequeathed by Mr. Gee. The building forms an oblong square, on three sides of which are galleries; the communion table is in a small recess at the east end. The tower, which appears to have been built about the reign of Henry VII. is of soft stone mixed with flint: the font is gothic. In the chancel are the monuments of James Clitherow, Esq. who died in 1682 (fn. 21); Christopher Clitherow, Esq. who died in 1727 (fn. 22); and James Clitherow, Esq. who died in 1752 (fn. 23). At the east end of the church are the tombs of Mary, relict of Sir Edward Spencer, and daughter of John Gouldsmith, Esq. who died in 1658; Elizabeth wife of Thomas Allen (1685); Richard Chadd, Esq. (1774); John Smith, Captain of Marines (1778); and John Ragsdale, Esq. (1790). In the nave are the tombs of Mr. James Bethune, (surgeon at Brentford for 50 years,) who died in 1767; Mr. John Horne of St. Anne's, Westminster (the date is effaced); Elizabeth wife of Robert Wallace Johnson, M. D. (1769); Henry Gifford, Esq. (1772); and Mary wife of John Sanderson, Esq. of New Brentford Butts (1785). At the east end, over the south gallery, is the monument of John Midleton, Esq. student of Lincoln's-inn, who died in 1624 (fn. 24) : over the north gallery those of James Hawley, Esq. who died in 1667 (fn. 25); Alice, his wife, who died in 1678; Henry Hawley, Esq.(1706 (fn. 26) ); Mrs. Curtis Cullum, wife of Thomas Cullum (fn. 27), and daughter of Henry Hawley, Esq. (1700 (fn. 28) ). In the north aisle, under the gallery, is a tablet to the memory of Benjamin Lucas, Esq. who died in 1788. At the west end of the church are the tombs of Mr. Thomas Halsey, who died in 1759, and Henry Kitchen, Esq. of the county of Cumberland, who died in 1758. Against the wall is a brass plate in memory of Henry Redman, chief master mason of the king's works, who died in 1528.

Weever mentions the tombs of William Clavel, who died in 1496; Christopher Carill, Norroy King at Arms, (1510); Richard Parker, servant in the buttery to Hen. VIII. (1545); and his wife Margaret, "servant to the Lady Mary's Grace" (fn. 29).

William Noy.

William Noy, attorney-general to King Charles I. lies buried in the chancel at Brentford, which was the place of his residence (fn. 30). A brass plate with an inscription was placed over his tomb, but soon defaced (fn. 31). Noy was an able and learned lawyer, but morose and unpopular. James Howell, in one of his letters (fn. 32), says, "our greatest news is, that we have a new attorney-general, which is news indeed, considering the humor of the man. He has lately found out among the records in the Tower, a precedent for a tax called shipmoney, when the kingdom is in danger." The writ for this obnoxious tax, which thus owed its origin to Noy, was drawn and prepared with his own hand. He died at Brentford Aug. 9, 1634. By his will he left 100 marks per annum to his son Humphrey, and the remainder of his fortune to his elder son Edward, "to be by him squandered, as he hoped no better from him (fn. 33)." This Edward, about two years afterwards, was killed in a duel in France (fn. 34).


In the church-yard are the tombs of Catherine, wife of George Scott of Uxbridge, who died in 1695; several of the family of Kinder and of Boddicott; Elizabeth, wife of Alexander Harding, surgeon, who died in 1771, and John Willet, Esq. 1782.


The chapel of Brentford has been from time immemorial an appendage to the church of Hanwell, whose rector is always instituted to both (fn. 35), and has the appointment of a curate at this place. It was presented by the jury to the commissioners appointed in 1650 to inquire into the state of ecclesiastical benefices, that Brentford was a chapel of ease to Hanwell, two miles distant; that Mr. Bennet, the minister settled there by the committee of plundered ministers, piously officiated the cure, and performed all the commands of parliament; that he received the tithes within the limits of Brentford, valued at 12 1. 10 s. per annum; that he was entitled to an annual rent of 3 1. issuing out of the George-inn; and that he had likewise 60 1. per annum granted to him by the committee out of the impropriated rectory of Ashwell in Hertfordshire (fn. 36). In 1654, it was ordered by the Protector and council, that this augmentation, which had hitherto been paid in corn, should be paid in money to Robert Goddin, then minister (fn. 37) : the Protector afterwards recommended that it should be advanced to 1001. per annum (fn. 38). Abiel Borfett, who succeeded as minister in 1657, appears to have had a double appointment; viz. from the Protector (fn. 39), and from Rowland Stedman, rector of Hanwell (fn. 40). The same augmentation charged upon various rectories was continued to him (fn. 41); but it appears by the frequent petitions for the payment of arrears entered in the minute-books of the committee for plundered ministers (fn. 42), that neither he nor his predecessors received much profit from it. The rent arising from the George-inn originated from the will of Henry Redman (fn. 43), who died in 1528, and bequeathed that messuage and other premises in Brentford to the parish for charitable uses; the sum of 3 £. 6 s. 8 d. is expressly appropriated towards the increase of the parish priest's wages. Joan Redman, widow of Henry abovementioned, by her deed of enfeoffment (fn. 44) dated 1529, confirmed his will. In this deed she recites, "that the sum of sixteen pence was gathered weekly among the householders at West Brentford, towards the stipend and salary of a priest to minister the sacrament and sacramentals in the church at West Brentford, which is, and evermore shall be commodious, right, easy, and pleasant to all the inhabitants and tenants at West Brentford; whereas, if they should repair and go to their parish church of Hanwell, distant from West Brentford two miles, or near upon it, it should be greatly to their peynes and travails, by reason whereof many of them for age, sickness, or other reasonable causes, should very rarely go or labour to the said church of Hanwell, by occasion whereof they should not so often hear mass and other divine service as now they may in the said church of West Brentford." It is recorded in the chantry-roll, deposited in the Augmentation-office, that "John Redman gave to the churche of Braynforde, towardes the salary of a priest to mynester the sacrament, and for an obite yerely to be kepte, lands and tenements in West Braynforde to the yerely value of 4£. 17 s. 4 d." The said Joan Redman also gave to the said church "for to kepe a crendell of wax to burne before the altar, one cowe, which was sold to one Henry Davyes of the said towne for 20 shillings then unpayde." It appears that the premises abovementioned having been seized by the crown among other chantry lands, were granted by Edward VI. to John Keyme (fn. 45). In the 19th year of Queen Elizabeth, John Bennett of Brentford, and Robert Vincent of Acton, who, it is probable, held the same premises under Keyme's grant, by their indenture of that date (fn. 46) settled upon certain trustees a rent of 61. per annum issuing out of the same, half of which was to be appropriated to the minister, and the other half to such charitable uses as should seem most consonant to the intent of Joan Redman abovementioned. The whole of this rent has generally been, and now is, appropriated to the minister. The small tithes within the chapelry, said in the parliamentary survey to belong to the curate, were usually received by him, but not as an acknowledged right, till an agreement to that effect properly ratified took place between the Rev. Daniel Burnaby, rector of Hanwell, and Dr. Chilcott, curate of Brentford, by which the small tithes above-mentioned, and the hay tithes of certain lands at the east end of the parish, were confirmed to the curate. Queen Anne's bounty has been twice obtained for this curacy; viz. in 1721 and 1747, when lands were purchased with the money in the parish of Heston, and in Leigh near Ryegate. The church-house, which was rebuilt by subscription in 1696, has been ever since appropriated by the parish for the residence of the curate.

The present curate of Brentford is the Reverend John Francis Randall, A. M. who, in 1773, succeeded the Reverend John Horne, so well known since in the political world, by the name of John Horne Tooke.

Comparative state of population.

The earliest date of the parish register is 1653.

Average of baptisms. Average of burials.
1680–1689 27 3/10 36 1/5;
1730–1739 27 3/10 34 3/10
1780–1784 39 47 1/5;
1784–1789 47 4/5; 46 4/5;
1790 63 50
1791 45 41
1792 58 56

In the period 1780–1789, 179 infants were buried; in 1790 and 1791, 39.

In 1764 there were 237 houses in this parish; the present number is about 270. It must be observed that the greater part of the town, comprising the whole of that district which goes by the name of Old Brentford, lies within the parish of Ealing.

In 1665, being the great year of the plague, there were 103 burials.

Extracts from the Register.

Instances of longevity.

"William Anflow, surgeon, aged 102 years, was buried September 20, 1717."

"Qerviah Bew, widow, buried January 31, 1763." The plate on this woman's coffin described her as an hundred years of age.

Luke Sparks.

"Luke Sparks, buried January 3, 1769." A comedian belonging to the theatre royal, Covent Garden. He was a native of Ireland, in which kingdom he commenced his theatrical career about the year 1733. In 1745 he came to England, and made his first appearance at the theatre royal in Drury-Lane on the 24th of September, in the character of Heartwell in the Old Bachelor. From this period he remained in London, chiefly at Covent-Garden theatre, where he succeeded Quin in many of his characters. He seldom rose above mediocrity; Manley, in the Provok'd Husband, was thought one of his best parts. A few years before his death he retired from the stage, and resided at Brentford. On his tomb is the following inscription: "Beneath this stone lie the remains of Luke Sparks, Esq. late of this parish. He died Dec. 28, 1768, aged 57 years."

"Henry Giffard buried October 25, 1772."

"Anna Marcella Giffard, widow, buried January 23, 1777."

Henry Giffard.

Mrs. Giffard.

Henry Giffard was the youngest son of William Giffard, Esq. of the county of Bucks; he was born in the year 1699, and at sixteen years of age was placed as a clerk in the South-Sea-house; but having a great propensity to the stage, he joined a company of comedians at Bath, and made his first appearance there in the year 1719 (fn. 47). He was afterwards taken into Mr. Rich's company, and then went to Ireland, where he had a share in the Dublin Theatre (fn. 48). In 1730, he returned to London; and in 1733, became sole proprietor of the theatre in Goodman's Fields, where Garrick first appeared as one of his company in 1741. At that time the Goodman's-Field house was called the late Theatre; and to avoid the penalties of the act passed in 1737, was opened with musical entertainments, the play being given gratis. In 1742 and 1743, Giffard and Cibber occupied the vacant theatre in Lincoln's-inn-fields. In 1744, Giffard was engaged at Drury-Lane, where Garrick and he played the principal characters in tragedy and genteel comedy. Mrs. Giffard, who was sister to his first wife, and daughter of Mr. Lydal, an actor in Dublin (fn. 49), was born in the year 1717: she supported the characters of the fine lady in comedy, and the heroine in tragedy, with considerable applause. In the year 1744 she played Belvidera and Isabella to Garrick's Pierre and Biron. Both Mr. and Mrs. Giffard had retired from the stage many years before they died. On their tomb is the following inscription:

"Beneath this stone lie the remains of Henry Giffard, Esq. late of this parish, who died October 20, 1772, aged 78 years: also here lieth the body of Anna Marcella Giffard, wife of the abovementioned Henry Giffard, Esq. who departed this life January 21, 1777, aged 70 years."

Extracts from the chapel wardens accounts.

The chapel wardens account-books contain several curious entries, of which the following are copies:

£. s. d.
"1620, Paid for 6 boules 0 0 8
"—for 6 tynn tokens 0 0 6
"—for a pair of pigeon holes 0 1 6
"1621, paid to her that was Lady at Whitsontide by consent 0 5 0
"—Goodwife Ansell for the pigeon holes 0 1 6
"—paid for the games 1 1 0
"1623, received for the maypole 1 4 0
"1628, paid for a drumbe, stickes, and case 0 16 0
"— for 2 heads for the drumbe 0 2 8
"1629, received of Robert Bicklye for the use of our games 0 2 0
"—of the said R. B. for a silver bar which was lost at Elyng 0 3 6
"1634, paid for the silver games 0 11 8
1643, paid to Thomas Powell for pigeon holes 0 2 0

Among other articles in the hands of the chapelwardens in 1653, was one little collar, a bell, one little bowl, and a pin of silver. It appears that the parish rates at this period were chiefly raised by profits accruing from the celebration of public sports and diversions at stated times of the year, particularly at Whitsuntide. At a vestry held at Brentford in 1621, several articles were agreed upon with regard to the management of the parish stock by the chapelwardens. The preamble states, "that the inhabitants had for many years been accustomed to have meetings at Whitsontide, in their church-house and other places there, in friendly manner, to eat and drink together, and liberally to spend their monies, to the end neighbourly society might be maintained; and also a common stock raised for the repairs of the church, maintaining of orphans, placing poor children in service, and defraying other charges;" which stock not having been properly applied it was ordered, that a particular account should be given from year to year of their gains at those times, and the manner of the expenditure. It may be observed, that these games are of a later date, and differ materially from those noticed in the parish of Kingston-upon-Thames. In the accoumpts for the Whitsonstide ale, 1624," the gains are thus disriminated:

£ s. d.
"Imprimis, clear'd by the pigeon holes 4 19 0
"—by hocking 7 3 7
"—by riffeling 2 0 0
"—by victualling 8 0 2
22 2 9

The hocking occurs almost every year till 1640, when it appears to have been dropt. It was collected at Whitsuntide.

The other games were continued two years later. Riffeling is synonymous with raffling.

Other singular entries.

£ s. d.
"1621, Paid for a beast for the parish use 2 6 8
"—given to the French chapel by consent 1 0 0
"1625, for a coffin to draw the infected corpses 0 8 8
"1633, given to a knts. son in Devonshire, being out of meanes 0 0 6
"paid for a book of sporting allowed on Sundaies 0 0 6
"1634, paid Rob (fn. 50) Warden, the constable, which he disbursed for conveying away the witches 0 11 0
"1688, paid for a declaration of liberty of con-science 0 1 0
—"for a form of prayer for the Dutch not landing 0 1 0
—"for a thanksgiving for deliverance from popery 0 1 0

The two last entries immediately follow each other.


John Midleton, Esq. in 1624, left 5£. per annum, payable out of houses in Southwark, to be distributed to the poor on St. Thomas'sday. Mary, relict of Sir Edward Spencer, who died in 1658, gave 61. per annum, being a rent-charge, now paid out of the Butts Close, to apprentice a poor boy. John Lord Ossulston, in 1692, gave the interest of 100£. for the same purpose. James Townsend, in 1741, gave the interest of 100£. to be distributed in coals.


A charity-school was instituted at Brentford, by subscription, in the year 1703, and a school-house built on the Butts Common, the freehold of which is vested in feoffees. Lady Capell, by her will dated 1719, endowed it with the twelfth part of the rent of an estate near Feversham in Kent, (now amounting to 11£. per annum,) which, by the tenor of her will, must be received by a person properly appointed for that purpose on the 12th of May, in Kew Chapel. Besides this endowment, the parish have a fund of 800£. in the Stocks belonging to the school, and its revenues are augmented by an annual sermon, and a subscription of the inhabitants. Twentyone boys and twelve girls are clothed and educated, which number is about to be increased in consequence of a legacy of 500£. in the 3 per cents. lately left by Mr. James Parker, formerly landlord of the Red Lion Inn. Forty shillings is given as a fee with every child who is bound apprentice.

Several sums of money having been given at various times for the purpose of purchasing a stock of coals for the poor, the money was employed in building a gallery, the pews of which the minister is allowed to let, and appropriate the profits to his own use; first deducting a sum for purchasing the said coals equal to the interest of the money with which the gallery was built.


The bridge over the Brent at this place is of considerable antiquity; a toll upon all cattle and merchandize was granted anno 9 Edw. I. in aid of the bridge at "Braynford" for three years: all Jews and Jewesses who passed over it on horseback were to pay 1 d.; on foot, a halfpenny: other passengers were exempted (fn. 51). A toll for the like term was granted 5 Edw. III. (fn. 52) Another for five years 43 Edw. III. (fn. 53).

Grand Junction Canal.

The Braunston or Grand Junction Canal, for the making of which an act of parliament was passed in the year 1793, is intended to incorporate with the Brent, and to render it navigable for the distance of nearly a mile before its junction with the Thames, which will be near the Foot Ferry at Brentford, and within the parish of Ealing.


The only manufactures in this place are, some turpentine works belonging to Mr. Corson, and a mill worked by steam for grinding corn and making starch, which belongs to Robert Wallace Johnson, M.D.


  • 1. Cart. 35 Edw. 1. No. 49.
  • 2. Fee-farm roll, Augmentation-office.
  • 3. Papers in the possession of James Clitherow, Esq.
  • 4. Cole's Abstract of Escheats. Harl. MSS. Brit. Mus. No. 756.
  • 5. Pat. 30 Car. II. pt. 3. No. 20.
  • 6. Chron, Sax. p. 149. Hen. de Huntingdon inter Scriptores post Bedam, p. 363.
  • 7. Chron. Sax. p. 149. Henr. de Huntingdon ut supra, p. 363. & Rog. de Hoveden, p. 435.
  • 8. Burleigh Papers, vol. ii. p. 747. and Fox's Martyrs, edit. 1684. vol. iii. p. 734. 738.
  • 9. Ashmole's MSS. in the Museum at Oxford, No. 830. f. 85. The letter is signed only with initials, M.S.
  • 10. Dugdale's Baronage, vol. ii. p. 472.
  • 11. England's Mem. Accidents, Dec. 1642.
  • 12. Fuller's Worthies, Middlesex.
  • 13. England's Mem. Accid. Nov. 28–Dec. 5.
  • 14. Perfect Diurnal, Aug. 2—9, 1647.
  • 15. Protestant Mercury, April 28, 1682.
  • 16. So called in ancient court-rolls—Borde signifies a boundary.
  • 17. The whole of the account of this manor is deduced from information obligingly communicated by the present proprietor James Clitherow, Esq.
  • 18. This James Clitherow (a merchant of considerable eminence in London) was fourth son of Sir Christopher Clitherow, of Pinner Hill in this county, who was chosen one of the representatives for the city of London in 1627, and was lord mayor in 1634. He was president also of Chrift's Hospital, (where there is a good portrait of him,) and governor of the Eastland Company. His immediate ancestors were citizens of note, who it is presumed were descended from the Clitherows, or Cliderows, of Kent, of whom Richard Cliderow was several times sheriff and knight of the shire in the reigns of Henry IV. and Henry V. and in the year 1405 was appointed admiral of England upon the western station. Sir Christopher Clitherow's right to bear the arms of this family was acknowledged and certified by Henry. St. George, Richmond Herald, in 1634. Sir Christopher married, for his second wife, Mary, daughter of Sir James Campbell, Knt. Lord Mayor of London in 1610. He had several children by both his wives, but all the branches of his family in the male line are become extinct, except the descendants of James Clitherow abovementioned, (his fourth son by Mary Campbell,) whose great-grandson is the present proprietor of Burston-house and manor. Such has been the fluctuating state of property in the county of Middlesex, that this family is to be mentioned as one of a very few who have been resident upon the same estate for more than a century.
  • 19. Harl. MSS. Brit. Mus. No. 366.
  • 20. Baronage, vol. i. p. 532.
  • 21. Gules, a chevron between 10 crosses pateè, (six above and four below,) Arg. for Berkley; quartering, 1. Gules, three lions passant Or, for Mowbray. 2. Checky Or & Az. for Warren. 3. Gules, a lion rampant Arg. for Fitzalan. N. B. These coats were not quartered by the Berkley family till the reign of Hen. VI. they were therefore improperly inserted here, if the escutcheon was put up in memory of Maurice de Berkley, as benefactor to the chapel.
  • 22. Arms—Arg. on a chevron G. between 3 eagles displayed Sab. 5 annulets Or, for Clitherow, impaling, quarterly 1 & 4. Per chevron engrailed Or & Sab. a lion rampant counterchanged. 2 & 3. Arg. 3 spears in pale and a chief Sab. the spears heads on the chief Arg. for Barker. James Clitherow married the daughter of Thomas Barker, Esq. of Chiswick.
  • 23. Arms—Clitherow, impaling Arg. on a cross Sab. 5 etoils of the field for Paule. Christopher Clitherow married Rachael daughter of James Paule, Esq. of Braywick, Bucks.
  • 24. Arms—Clitherow as above— on an efcutcheon of pretence Az. on a fesse between 3 saltiers Or, 3 lions heads erased of the field, for Gale, quartering Arg. 3 bendlets Gul. on a canton Az. a spur Or, for Knight. James Clitherow, Esq. married Philippa daughter and coheir of Leonard Gale, Esq. co. Sussex.
  • 25. Arms—Arg. a saltier engrailed Sab. charged with a mascle Or, for Midleton, impaling Az. a chevron ermine between 3 pelicans Or, for Philipps. John Midleton married the daughter of Thomas Philipps of Brentford.
  • 26. Arms—Vert. a saltier engrailed Arg. for Hawley.
  • 27. Arms—Hawley impaling, per pale indented Arg. & Azure.
  • 28. Arms—Hawley as above—on an escutcheon of pretence Arg. a chevron Sab. between 3 bulls heads Gules.
  • 29. Az. a chevron erm. between 3 pelicans vulning themselves Or, for Cullum, impaling Hawley.
  • 30. Funeral Monuments, edit. 1631, p. 526.
  • 31. Strafford Letters, vol. i. p. 262.
  • 32. Ant. Wood's Athen. Oxon. vol. i.
  • 33. P. 233. 8vo. edit.
  • 34. Ibid. p. 241.
  • 35. Ant. Wood.
  • 36. John de Thoryngden was instituted to the church of Hanwell, with the chapel of Brentford annexed, in 1335. Vid. Newcourt's Repertorium, vol. i. p. 627. Dart says, (Hist. of Westminster Abbey, vol. i. p. 17.) that Edward the Confessor gave Brentford to the church of Westminster; but I find no mention of it in the Confessor's charter; nor have I seen any authority for supposing that a chapel existed at Brentford before the time of Maurice de Berkley. Edward the Confessor confirms 8 hides in Hanwell to the church of Westminster.
  • 37. Parliamentary Surveys, Lambeth Library.
  • 38. Minutes of the Commissioners' Proceedings, Lambeth MS. Library, vol. i. p. 29, 30.
  • 39. Ibid. vol. xii. p. 98.
  • 40. Ibid. vol. xii. p. 137.
  • 41. Ibid. vol. xxxiv. p. 217.
  • 42. Minutes of the Commissioners Proceedings, Lambeth MS. Library, vol. vii. p. 332. 349.
  • 43. Ibid. vol. xi. p. 547. vol. xxiii. p. 201. vol. lvi. p. 38, &c.
  • 44. A copy of the will is in the parish chest.
  • 45. Deposited in the parish chest.
  • 46. Pat. 2 Edw. VI. pt. 3. Nov. 24.
  • 47. This indenture is in the parish chest, where are also several deeds relating to these premises, executed by Joan Redman's feoffees subsequent to King Edward's grant to Keyme; which renders it probable that the validity of the grant was disputed, the lands in question not having been entirely appropriated to superstitious uses, and therefore not liable to be sold or granted away under the act for the sale of chantry lands; and it seems likely that the parish accepted the rent-charge of 61. per annum from Bennett and Vincent as a compromise.
  • 48. Betterton's Hift. of the Stage, p. 156.
  • 49. Ibid. p. 157.
  • 50. Chetwood's Hist. of the Stage, p. 166.
  • 51. Pat. 9 Edw. I. m. 29.
  • 52. Pat. 5 Edw. III. pt. I. m. 28.
  • 53. Pat. 43 Edw. III. pt. 2. m. 11.