Greenford Magna

Pages 437-443

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

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Greeneforde, as this place is called, both in Edward the Confessor's Charter of Confirmation, and in Doomsday book, is literally the green ford, so called, perhaps, from a ford over the Brent which runs through the parish.

Situation, boundaries, extent, &c.


Doomsday survey.

The village is situated about a mile to the north of the Uxbridge road, at the distance of about nine miles from Tybourn-turnpike. It lies in the hundred of Elthorne, and the parish is bounded by Harrow, Northall, Hanwell, Norwood, Ealing, and Greenford Parva, or Perivale. It contains about two thousand acres of land exclusive of roads; about one thousand two hundred and fifty acres are inclosed; five hundred and eighty in common fields; ninety-six woodlands inclosed; and about sixty-five waste—the proportion of grass land to the arable is at least as three to one. The soil is clay. This parish pays the sum of 289l. 17s. 4¼d. to the land-tax, which, in the year 1793, was at the rate of 2s. 6d. in the pound. The manor of Greenford, (i. e. Greenford Magna,) containing twelve hides, was given by King Ethelred to Westminster-Abbey (fn. 1). Greneforde, says the survey of Doomsday, is held by the Abbot of St. Peter, for eleven hides and a half. The land is seven carucates. Five hides are in demesne, on which there is one plough, and another might be employed. The villeins have five ploughs. One villein holds a hide and a virgate; and four villeins, half a hide each; four others hold a hide jointly; and seven bordars another hide. A certain foreigner has a hide and a virgate. There are three cottars and six slaves; pannage for three hundred hogs; pasture for the cattle of the village.—The whole valued at 7l.; in the reign of the Confessor, at 10l. This manor, adds the record, was and is parcel of the possessions of the church of St. Peter. Upon the dissolution of monasteries it was seized by the crown, and was made a part of the revenues of the bishopric of Westminster. Thomas Thirlby, the only bishop of that see, surrendered it again to the crown anno 1550 (fn. 2), in which year it was granted to the Bishop of London and his successors (fn. 3). The manor was valued at 10l. per annum, anno 21 Hen. VIII (fn. 4). It was on lease, anno 1646, to Edwin Cason and his assigns, at the annual rent of 81. and thirty quarters of wheat. The Parliamentary Survey describes the demesne-lands (in the parishes of Greenford and Hanwell,) as containing ninety-four acres of meadow, valued at nineteen shillings per acre; seventy-five acres of pasture, valued at twelve shillings; and two hundred and eighty-nine acres of arable, valued at ten shillings (fn. 5). The mansion-house, and site of the manor of Greenford, within the manors of Greenford and Hanwell, were sold anno 1647 by the parliamentary commissioners, for the sum of 3301l. 10s. 11d. to Sir William Masham, Sir Richard Everard, and Cary Hervey Mildmay, Esq (fn. 6). It appears, from other documents, that the demesne lands have from time immemorial been leased in two parts, one of which (containing a hundred and sixty-four acres) was held under Bishop Juxon, by Edward Franklin, Esq.; the lease was renewed from time to time to his descendants, and is now vested in Benjamin Way, Esq. whose father married an heir of that family (fn. 7). The other part (containing four hundred and forty-seven acres) was leased, anno 1640, to Sir Charles Gerrard, Bart. (fn. 8) The lease came afterwards successively to Rupert Browne, Esq. and John Bridger; the latter made it over to Mr. Way, who conveyed it to Richard Lateward, Esq. John Lateward, Esq. is the present lessee.

Manor of Stickleton Greenford.

An estate called the manor of Stickleton Greenford, in this parish, was given by Nicholas de Farnham to the priory of Ankerwyke, previously to Henry the Third's charter of confirmation to that monastery (fn. 9). It was held under the Bohuns Earls of Hereford as superior lords of the fee (fn. 10). The priory of Ankerwyke, with its appurtenances, was granted by Henry VIII. to Bisham Abbey (fn. 11); afterwards, on the dissolution of monasteries, to Andrews, the first Lord Windsor (fn. 12); whose great grandson Henry, the fifth Lord Windsor, sold this manor anno 1587 to Jerom Beale, Esq. (fn. 13); Henry Beale aliened it anno 1632 to William Pennyfather, Esq. (fn. 14); and the latter in 1637 to William Bennet, Esq (fn. 15). In the year 1714 it was conveyed by Edward Bennet, Esq. and his son, to trustees for the use of Frances Arundell, widow, whose daughter Frances married James Rogers, Esq. (fn. 16) It was aliened anno 1737, by Mr. Rogers and his wife to Sir Philip Medows and Vigerus Edwards, in trust for Philip Craig, Esq. and Sarah his wife and their heirs, and is now the property of General Francis Craig, who pays a quit-rent to the heirs of the late Duke of Kingston.

Parish church.

Monuments, &c.

The parish church, which is dedicated to the Holy Cross, is a small structure, and consists only of a nave and chancel; it is built principally of flints, and covered with red tiles; the windows all gothic: at the west end is a low wooden spire. The chancel windows are ornamented with ancient painted glass collected, and placed there by Mr. Betham, the late rector. On the north wall is a brass plate in remarkably good preservation (with the figure of a priest,) to the memory of Thomas Symons, rector of the parish (fn. 17). It was found in the year 1783 upon repairing the church; and having been inlaid in a marble tablet, was affixed to the wall by Mr. Betham. In the south-west corner of the chancel hangs a small wooden tablet to the memory of Ann, daughter of Edward Terry, rector of the parish, who died anno 1634, and James his eldest son, who died in 1643. Their characters are recorded in two long inscriptions in English verse, which are printed on paper and nailed to the board. On the same wall hangs another wooden tablet to the memory of Ann, daughter of Thomas Waterhouse (fn. 18), of Hertfordshire, who died in 164…In the chancel are the monuments also of Michael Gardiner (fn. 19), rector, 1630; Nathaniel White, 1638, and others of his family; John Castell (fn. 20), S. T. P. 1686; Sibyl, wife of Rupert Browne, Esq. and daughter of Humphry Wyrley, of Hampstead-hall in Staffordshire (fn. 21), 1711; and on the floor the tombs of Edward Bennet, Esq. 1657; Margaret, wife of Edward Bennet, and heir of Walter Moyle, 1710; William Millet, 1663; William Terry, citizen of London, 1672; Henry, eldest son of Dr. John Castell, 1715; and William Campbell, rector, 1769. On the south wall of the nave is a tablet to the memory of Arthur Marlam and his family, (no date;) on the same wall is a tablet with a very long inscription in Latin verse, written by Simon Cofton (fn. 22), in memory of his wife Bridget, who died anno 1637. Her monument is in the south-east corner of the nave. She is represented kneeling at a faldstool; her husband in the dress and attitude of a mourner. On the floor of the nave is the figure of a priest—(the inscription gone,) and a brass plate to the memory of Richard Thorneton, who died in 1544.


On the outside of the chancel on the north wall, is the monument of Edward Betham the late rector, who died in 1783; on the east wall, that of Mr. Nathaniel Ravenor, 1792. In the church-yard are the tombs of John Franklin, Gent. (fn. 23) 1644; Elinor, his second wife, daughter of ——Pumpheret, 1654; Ann, his daughter, wife of William Smith, Gent. of Nuneaton in the county of Warwick, 1668; William Marnham, senior, 1771; George Wright, Esq. (commissarygeneral of horse to James Duke of Chandos, and William Earl of Harrington, during the rebellion,) 1749; and Thomas Wotton, Esq. 1766.


The rectory with the advowson of Greenford, which had belonged to Westminster-abbey, was granted by Henry VIII. after the dissolution of that monastery, to Sir Thomas Wroth, of Durance (fn. 24). It continued some time in that family; and after passing through several hands (fn. 25), was purchased, previously to the year 1731 (fn. 26), by King'scollege in Cambridge, to which society it still belongs. In the year 1327 the rectory was rated at nine marks (fn. 27); in the reign of Henry VIII. at 20l. (fn. 28) In 1650 the tithes and glebe were valued at 160l. per annum. The patronage was said to be vested at that time in Edward Terry the incumbent (fn. 29).

Rectors. John de Feckenham.

John de Feckenham, abbot of Westminster, being the last mitred abbot who sat in the house of peers, was presented to the rectory of Greenford in 1554, and held it two years (fn. 30). His memory is to be honoured for the humanity with which he treated the persecuted Protestants during the reign of the bigotted Mary (fn. 31).

Edward Terry.

Edward Terry, who was presented to the rectory in 1629, accompanied Sir Thomas Roe in his embassy to the Great Mogul in the reign of James I. An account of his voyage was published, which abounds with curious and interesting observations. He wrote also a character of Charles II. and was author of several sermons and religious tracts (fn. 32). Terry died at the age of seventy, and was buried at Greenford in October 1660.

The present rector is the Reverend William Paddon, who was instituted in 1784.

Parish register.

The parish register begins in 1539.

Comparative state of population.

Average of Baptisms. Average of Burials.
1539–1548 3 7/10 4
1580–1589 4 7/10 2 3/10
1630–1639 8 1/10 5 9/10
1680–1689 54/5 73/5
1730–1739 93/5 11
1780–1789 13 7/10 10 3/10
1790 12 7
1791 15 7
1792 9 8

The present number of houses is sixty-nine.


In the year 1603 this retired village was visited by the plague; the whole number of burials that year nevertheless was only eight, five of whom were of the family of Barnard, and two children of "Mr. Smith, verbi prædicatoris."

"The honourable Archibald Stewart, of the parish of St. George Hanover-square, in the county of Middlesex, Esq. (brother of the Earl of Moray,) and Miss Mary Whetham of the same parish, spinster, were married by license July 11, 1747."

Henry Collyn gave lands to this church for the maintenance of five lights to be kept burning constantly before the images of the Trinity and St. Mary.


William Marnham the elder, in 1710 left lands, now let at 5l. 5s. per annum, for the education of children. Edward Betham, the late rector (fn. 33), having previously built a school-house, gave (by his deed inrolled in chancery, and bearing date November 10, 1780) the sum of 1600l. bank stock to this parish, the interest of which he directed to be thus distributed: 30l. per annum to a master and mistress to instruct thirty boys and girls; 30s. coals for the school; the remainder, excepting 10l. allotted to clothe such aged men and women as should frequently attend the sacrament, is appropriated to clothe the children, buy books, and keep the school in repair. The salary of the master and mistress is now increased to 40l. per annum.


George Smith, anno 1649, gave an acre of land, now let at 1l. 15s. per annum, to be distributed in bread three times a year.



William Millet, anno 1663, gave 5l. per annum to buy gowns of frieze for two poor men and two women. Edward Betham (as abovementioned) 10l. per annum to clothe aged persons. Mr. William Marnham the younger, anno 1713, gave lands, now let at 3l. 10 s. per annum, for poor housekeepers not receiving alms.


  • 1. Dart's History of Westminster Abbey, vol. i. p. 12.
  • 2. Record in the Augmentation-office, bearing date 4 Edw. VI.
  • 3. See Pat. 4 Edw. VI. pt. 4. April 12, and Pat. 1 Mar. pt. 4, March 3.
  • 4. Cart. Antiq. West. Abb.
  • 5. Parliament. Surveys, Lamb. MSS. Lib.
  • 6. The original conveyance is among the Bishop of London's papers.
  • 7. Lewis Way, Esq. married Abigail, daughter of Edward Lockey, Esq. whose mother was daughter of John Franklin.
  • 8. From the information of Benjamin Way, Esq.
  • 9. See Cart. 41 Hen. III. No. 3.
  • 10. See Esch. 46 Edw. III. No. 10. & Esch. Hen. IV. No. 50.
  • 11. Dugdale's Monasticon, vol. iii. p. 27.
  • 12. Pat. 31 Hen. VIII. pt. 1. Aug. 4.
  • 13. Pat. 29 Eliz. pt. 3. Dec. 2.
  • 14. Pat. 8 Car. pt. 20. Dec. 1. No. 63.
  • 15. Pat. 13 Car. pt. 45. Mar. 1. No. 30.
  • 16. Title-deeds, communicated through the favour of General Craig.
  • 17. It appears by Newcourt, that he resigned the rectory in 1518. There is no date on the brass, except that of 1500, cut in Roman characters, which could not be the date of his death.
  • 18. Arms—Or, a pile in point engrailed, Sable.
  • 19. Arms—Per pale Or, and Gules, a sesse between 3 does, all counterchanged, quartering Az. 2 bars Arg. in chief a talbot of the second and impaling Or, a chevron engrailed barry of 6 Arg. and Az. between 3 cranes proper, for Browne.
  • 20. Arms—Gules, 3 castles Or, impaling Arg. a chevron between 3 garbs Gules for Sheffield.
  • 21. Arms—Erm. on a sesse counter-embattled Sab. 3 escallop-shells Arg. a martlet for difference, impaling Arg. 3 bugle horns Sab. stringed Vert, for Wyrley.
  • 22. Arms—Arg. a saltier Vert, on a chief Gules a lion passant Arg. for Coston, impaling Gules, on a chevron Arg. 3 etoils Sab. a canton Ermine for Carr.
  • 23. Arms—A dolphin embowed between four annulets, on a chief two Saltiers.
  • 24. Newcourt, vol. i. p. 614.
  • 25. Martin Dawson, and others, presented to it in 1629, and William Christmas in 1660, as patrons only pro hâc vice. George Clerk was the patron in 1661, and Henry Castell, Gent. in 1686 and 1688. Ibid. p. 615.
  • 26. William Campbell was presented in that year by King's-college.
  • 27. Harl. MSS. No. 60.
  • 28. King's books.
  • 29. Parliamentary Surveys.
  • 30. Newcourt.
  • 31. Newcourt, & Ant. Wood.
  • 32. Ant. Wood.
  • 33. Edward Betham gave also during his lifetime the sum of 2000l. to the Botanical garden at Cambridge. By his will he left 600l. to Eton college (where he had received his education) for the purpose of purchasing a statue of their founder Henry the Sixth.