Pages 517-526

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

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Extent, nature of land, &c.


This place is so called from its elevated situation, Head-leagh signifying in the Saxon a high place. It is situated on the east side of the great northern road, about eleven miles from London, and adjoining to the town of Chipping-Barnet. The parish, which was formerly a hamlet to Edmonton (fn. 1), lies in the hundred to which that village gives name, and is bounded by Enfield on the east, South Mims on the west and north, and by East Barnet on the south. Before the enclosure of Enfield Chase, the parish of Hadley contained about 340 acres, of which above 300 were meadow or pasture land; it is now enlarged by the addition of 240 acres, being parcel of the Chase allotted to this parish in lieu of its right of common (fn. 2). Fifty acres of this allotment being the Rector's glebe, is cultivated, and for the most part arable, the remainder is still waste. The soil at Hadley is chiefly clay, mixed with gravel. The quota charged to the land-tax is 180l. 13s. 9d. which, in the year 1794, was at the rate of 2s. 4d. in the pound.


The manor of Hadley belonged formerly to the Mandevilles, and I suppose it to have been included in the grant which Geoffrey de Mandeville Earl of Essex made to the Abbey of Walden, by the name of the Hermitage of Hadley, and all its appurtenances (fn. 3), together with right of common pasture in the Chase, within which the Hermitage was situated. At the dissolution, this manor, being parcel of the possessions of that monastery, was granted, anno 1540, to Thomas Lord Audley (fn. 4), who, four years afterwards, surrendered it again to the King (fn. 5). Queen Mary, anno 1557, granted it to Sir Thomas Pope (fn. 6). In the year 1574, it was aliened by Robert Staunford, or Stamford, to William Kympton (fn. 7); and by the latter, anno 1582, to Ralph Woodcock and Simon Hayes (fn. 8). It continued in the family of Hayes till the year 1684, when it was aliened to the Honourable Vere Booth (fn. 9), who died in 1717, having bequeathed this manor to her brother George. He died in the year 1726, having demised all his estates to Hester Pinney, who soon afterwards conveyed the manor of Hadley to Azariah Pinney, Esq. and it continued in the same family till the year 1791, when it was aliened by John Pinney, Esq. to Peter More, Esq. the present proprietor.

Manor of Ludgraves.

The manor, or manor-farm, of Ludgraves in this parish, probably derives its name from William Lyghtgrave; who, in the year 1423, conveyed to William Somercotes, Thomas Frowyke, and others, a messuage, 120 acres of land, 80 of meadow, and 80 of wood, in Hadley (fn. 10). John Marsh, in the year 1543, gave Ludgrave-farm to the King, in exchange for other lands (fn. 11). Edward VI. in the year 1553, granted it to William Herbert Earl of Pembroke (fn. 12). At the time of this grant the auditor reported, that the circumstance of its lying within the Chase, had been an impediment to its sale. Norden describes Ludgraves as "a very faire house, scytuate in a valley neere Enfeyld Chase (fn. 13)," but does not mention its owner. In the year 1609, Cornelius Fyshe and others aliened the manor of Ludgraves, and 20 acres of land, 40 of meadow, 90 of pasture, and 10 of wood, in Hadley and Edmonton, to Sir Roger Wilbraham and his heirs (fn. 14). I have not been able to learn any thing farther relating to this estate, than that it is now called the Blue-house-farm; that it was purchased by the late Admiral West, and descended to his son Lieut. Col. West, whose widow is the present proprietor.

Parish church.



The parish-church, dedicated to St. Mary, consists of a chancel, nave, two aisles, and two transepts. The aisles are separated from the nave by depressed arches, and clustered columns. At the west end is a square tower of flint, with stone coins; on the front is this date, [1494] (fn. 15), accompanied with the device of a rose and a wing, the cognizance, it is probable, either of the Abbey or one of the Priors of Walden. At the top of the tower is an iron beacon, which was blown down by the high wind on the first of January 1779, when it was repaired and replaced. On the east wall of the chancel is the monument of Henry, son of Roger Carew, Esq. (fn. 16), (by his wife Alice, relict of Sir William Staunford, Justice of the Common Pleas,) who died anno 1626, aged 61. There is a good portrait of him painted on board. He is represented in a black dress, with slashed sleeves, the cuffs ornamented with lace. On the same wall is the monument of Elizabeth, wife of Mutton Davies (fn. 17), of the county of Flint, and daughter of Thomas Wilbraham, Esq. of Cheshire (1678). On the south wall is the monument of Sir Roger Wilbraham, Knt. (fn. 18) (Solicitor-general in Ireland during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and Master of the Requests to James I.) who died anno 1616. This monument, which is of veined marble, supported by columns of the Corinthian order, and ornamented with good busts of Sir Roger Wilbraham and his Lady, was the work of Nicholas Stone, and cost 80l. (fn. 19) On the south wall is the monument of Richard Poston, 1742. On a wall underneath the stairs leading to the gallery, is a brass plate to the memory of Philip son of Walter Grene, Esq. and Elizabeth his wife, Margaret, sister of Philip Grene, and Margaret Somercotes, who all died on the 16th of September 1442. On the floor are the tombs of ——Barber (a brass plate partly concealed by a pew); William Gale (fn. 20), M. A. of Oxford (a brass plate with figures) 1614; Margery, wife of John Gale, 1652; Thomas Hall, merchant, 1654, and William Venables, Esq. 1687.

On the wall of the south aisle is the monument of Sarah, daughter of David Pennant (fn. 21), Esq. of Downing, (and sister of Thomas Pennant, Esq.) who died anno 1780. On the floor are the tombs of Edward Savage, Gent. (1733); George Barcley, merchant (1756); William Chapman, Gent. (1758); the Reverend John Pennant, (son of Peter Pennant, Esq. of Bychton in the county of Flint, by Catherine, daughter of Owen Wynne, Esq.) Rector of Hadley, and of Compton Martin in the county of Somerset, chaplain to the Princess-dowager of Wales; he died anno 1770, having resided at Hadley almost forty years; Thomas Nuthall, Esq. (Soli citor to the Treasury and the East India Company,) (1775); and Thomas Chapman, Esq. (1789).

Cognizance of the Gooderes.

In the windows of the north transept are some remains of painted glass, among which is a punning cognizance adopted by the family of Goodere, who flourished at Hadley for several generations previously to the year 1600. It represents a young partridge, with a large ear of wheat in its bill; to which, left the allusion should not be understood, is annexed a scroll with the word Gooder. The same device occurs on a pillar near the south transept, very well executed in also relievo. Round the window above mentioned is a border of large ears of wheat, each of which has a scroll inscribed Gooder. It is most probable that one of the Goodere family was a principal benefactor towards rebuilding the church. Weever mentions the tomb of John Goodere, Esq. who died anno 1504. There is still in the north transept a brass plate to the memory of Anne Walkeden, of the Goodere family, who died in 1575. In the same transept is the monument of Cecile, wife of John Walker, Esq. (1736); and on the floor the tomb of Mr. Edward Benskin (1731).

In the north aisle are the monuments of Piggot Ince, Esq. (fn. 22) (1765,) and James Berkeley, Esq. (fn. 23) (1767). On the floor are the tombs of Mrs. Jezabelah Webster (1733); Mr. Thomas Shewell (1734); and Mrs. Margaret Mattison, daughter of Sir Edward Graves of Stead Hill in Kent (1749). In the nave are the tombs of Anne, wife of Admiral James Steuart (1741); John Chandler, citizen of London (1780); and John Burrows, LL. D. Rector of Hadley, and of St. Clements (in the Strand) (1786). At the west end of the church are the monuments of Anne, daughter of Henry Hitch, Esq. (fn. 24), of Leathley in the county of York, wife of Sir Richard Wynne, Serjeant at Law (1720); and Margaret, wife of Francis Barroneau, Esq. (1793). The font is of Gothic architecture, ornamented with quatrefoils.

Tombs in the church-yard.

In the church-yard are the tombs of Elizabeth, relict of Valentine Warter (1723); Robert Stebbing, citizen of London (1726); Thomas Robinson, Gent. (1727); William Brudenell, Gent. sworn clerk of Chancery (1734); Joseph Lord Viscount Micklethwaite (1734); Mr. Edward Wadeson (1738); Mrs. Elizabeth, daughter of John Coke, Esq. of the county of Derby, by Mary, daughter of Sir Thomas Leventhorp (1739); Andrew Hopegood, merchant (1742); Sarah his wife, aged 90 (1774); Nicholas Cotterell of Furnival's Inn, Gent. (1742); Charles Egerton, Esq. (1747); Sandford Nevile, Procurator General to the Earl Marshal, &c. 16th child of Gervas Nevile of Holbech near Leeds (1748); George Hailes, Gent. (1754); Miss Sarah Reed (1781); Miss Charlotte Monro (1783); John Egerton, Esq. (1789); Bristowe Burnell, Esq. (1789); John Monro, M. D. (1791); and Mrs. Jane Musgrave, aged 100 (1793).


The Hermitage of Hadley is mentioned among the possessions of Walden Abbey, in an ancient cartulary of that monastery in the British Museum (fn. 25), which states it to have been situated in the parish of Edmonton, and to have been endowed with tithes, offerings, &c. It is to be presumed, that the monastery appointed a chaplain. In 1327, the church of Hadley was rated at 4 marks (fn. 26). The benefice was considered as a rectory and donative, till the act passed for the enclosure of Enfield Chase, by which its nature was in some measure altered, by its being put under the Bishop's jurisdiction, from which it had before been exempt. By the same act, 50 acres, being a part of the Chase allotment, was assigned to the Rector in lieu of all tithes of the old enclosures; the whole of the waste taken out of the Chase, as well as the Rector's glebe, being still subject to tithes, payable to the Vicar of Enfield. When commissioners were appointed to take a survey of ecclesiastical benefices, anno 1650, it was presented, that Hadley was a donative, in the patronage of — Aston, Esq. that the tithes were worth about 30l. per ann. a fifth of which was allowed to the two daughters of Elye Turner, from whom the benefice had been sequestered, and that there was at that time no incumbent (fn. 27). The present Rector is the Rev. Charles Jeffries Cottrell, M. A. who succeeded Dr. Burrows in 1786. Sir Justinian Paget, anno 1678, gave a house for the incumbent, and another for the parish clerk. The patronage of the living was annexed to the manor till the year 1786, when the advowson was purchased by William Baker, Esq.

The earliest date of the parish Register is 1619.

Parish register.

Average of Baptisms. Average of Burials.
1630–9 201/5 16 3/10
1680–9 11 7/10 224/5
1732–41 12 1/10 24 1/10
1770–9 21 7/10 204/5
1780–9 20 9/10 142/5
1790 30 3
1791 22 9
1792 35 9
1793 19 12

Comparative state of population.

This parish appears to have decreased in population about the middle of the last century, and to have risen to somewhat more than its former proportion during the present. That the baptisms have so far exceeded the burials within the last twenty years, is not to be attributed entirely to the increased number of inhabitants, or to the healthiness of the place, (though both have contributed to this effect,) but must in some measure be accounted for from the following circumstance. Several houses in the parishes of South Mims and Enfield being situated near Hadley, and at a considerable distance from their respective parish-churches, it frequently happens that the inhabitants bring their children here to be baptized, but the same does not take place with regard to burials, on account of the fees. The present number of houses in Hadley is 94.

In the year 1625, there were 14 burials at Hadley; in 1665, 26; being in the first instance less, in the other little more than the average of those periods.

Extracts from the Register.

Sir Robert Atkyns.

" The six and twentieth day of August, in the yeare of our Lord one thousand six hundred and forty-seven, Robert, the son of Robert Atkyns, Esq. and Mary his wife, was baptized." Robert Atkyns the father was afterwards created K. B. and became Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer. He was very eminent in his profession, a great promoter of the Revolution, and author of some political tracts, replete with legal knowledge (fn. 28). His first wife was Mary, daughter of Sir George Clerke. Sir Robert Atkyns his son, whose birth is here recorded, is well known as the Historian of Gloucestershire.

"The eleventh day of September, in the year of our Lord 1648, Lewin and Wilcocks (being twins) the sonns of Justinian Pagitt (fn. 29), of this parish, Esq. and of Dorcas his wife, were baptized."

"Sr Richard Treasy, buried Augst the 4th daye, 1666."

"Sr Thomas Beverly, buried March 29, 1675."

Lord Micklethwaite.

"Ld Viscount Micklewait, buried Jan. 26, 1733–4." Joseph Micklethwaite, Esq. was Secretary to Earl Stanhope in Spain, and was taken prisoner with him at Brihuega (fn. 30). He was created baron of Portarlington in 1725, and Viscount Micklethwaite in 1727. These titles became extinct at his death.

John Chandler.

"John Chandler, buried Dec. 22d, 1780." Elder brother of Dr. Samuel Chandler the celebrated dissenting divine. He was an apothecary in Cheapside, F. R. S. and author of a treatise "on the Disease called a Cold."

Dr. Monro.

"John Monro, M. D. buried Jany 4th, 1792." An eminent physician, celebrated for his successful treatment of persons afflicted with insanity. He published some treatises on that malady, and was engaged in a controversy with Dr. Battie.

Sir William Stamford.

Sir William Staunford, or Stamford, a learned lawyer, who became a judge of the Common Pleas, and published a book called the Pleas of the Crown, was born at Hadley in the year 1509 (fn. 31), and dying Aug. 28, 1558, was there buried.

John Booker.

John Booker, an eminent astrologer of the last century, author of the Bloody Irish Almanack, (anno 1630,) and some other works, was a writing-master at Hadley (fn. 32).

Wilbraham's alms-houses.

Sir Roger Wilbraham, in the year 1616, founded an alms-house for six decayed housekeepers, and endowed it with a piece of ground adjoining, now let at 3l. per ann. and a ground-rent (now 6l. 6s. per ann.) in St. John's Square, London. Major Delafonte, anno 1762, augmented this endowment with an annuity of 24l. per ann. which expires in the year 1805. To provide against this event, a subscription was set on foot by the present Rector, and a fund is now provided, which, with the accummulating interest, will (it is supposed) establish a permanent income equal to that which is about to expire. It should be mentioned, that the greater part of this fund, (viz. about 500l.) was the donation of a gentleman of the county of Hertford, who has been long intimately connected with the principal inhabitants of Hadley, and is well known for the liberal support which he gives to every scheme of benevolence and public utility.


Thomas Emerson, Esq. and Jane his wife, anno 1626, gave to the poor a cottage and garden, which produces 2l. per ann. Thomas Fletcher, anno 1664, gave a house and close, now let at 4l. per ann. Sir Justinian Paget, on condition of being permitted to make a vault for himself and his family in the church, gave some tenements for the use of decayed housekeepers. These houses have no endowment, and are kept in repair by the parish.

Girls school.

Andrew Hopegood, Esq. in the year 1742, gave 4l. per ann. towards a girls school. Thomas Shewell, Esq. anno 1770, gave the sum of 30l.; John Shewell (anno 1772) 10l.; and Mrs. Judith Shewell, anno 1773, 10l. Old South Sea annuities, to the girls school; the interest of which sums amounts to 2l. 11s. 7d. per ann. With these bequests, and the additional aid of an annual subscription, twelve girls are clothed and educated. A gallery was built for their use in the church, anno 1777, at the expence of the Reverend David Garrow. There is a Sunday-school for 20 boys.



  • 1. Cotton MSS. Brit. Mus. Vespasian, E. VI. 6.
  • 2. The act for inclosing the Chase declares that this allotment shall be deemed in future to be within the parish of Hadley.
  • 3. Dugdale's Monast. vol. i. p. 459.
  • 4. Pat. 30 Hen. VIII. pt. 5. May 14.
  • 5. Record in the Augmentation-office.
  • 6. Pat. 4 and 5 Ph. and Mar. pt. 14. June 29.
  • 7. Pat. 16 Eliz. pt. 13. Nov. 20.
  • 8. Pat. 24. Eliz. pt. 9. Dec. 1.
  • 9. Title-deeds, obligingly communicated by Mr. More.
  • 10. Cl. 1 Hen. VI. m. 15, 16.
  • 11. Record in the Augmentation-office.
  • 12. Ibid.
  • 13. Spec. Brit. p. 36. I suppose it to have been at this time the property of Roger Townsend, who appears to have had lands of greater value than his contemporary William Kympton, who was lord of the manor. See Harl. MSS. No 366.
  • 14. Pat. 7 Jac. pt. 17. Mar. 1.
  • 15. Viz. 1494. The figure of four here used, often occurs in ancient inscriptions.
  • 16. Arms—Or, 3 lions passant in pale, Sable.
  • 17. Arms—Gules on a bend Arg. a lion pass. Sable, impaling Arg. 3 bends wavy Az. for Wilbraham.
  • 18. Arms—Arg. two bars Az. on a canton Sable a wolf's head erased of the field, impaling Arg. on a fesse Gules 3 hawks heads erased of the field, for Baber. Sir R. Wilbraham married Mary, daughter of Edward Baber, Esq. Serjeant at Law.
  • 19. Anecdotes of Painting, vol. ii. p. 29.
  • 20. Arms—on a fesse between three saltiers, as many lions heads, impaling a chevron between 3 bulls passant. Wm. Gale married Mary, daughter of Roger Bragge.
  • 21. Arms—Arg. on a fesse between two barrulets wavy Az. 3 martlets of the field.
  • 22. On a bend cottised three roundles, quartering 3 bows unbent. On an escutcheon of pretence, 3 ounces heads erased on a pile, Johnson of Bedford, with its quarterings not blazoned.
  • 23. Arms—A fesse between 10 crosses patee 6 and 4, impaling Ince.
  • 24. Arms—Or, 3 eagles displayed in fesse Sable for Wynne, impaling Or, a bend vaire between 2 cottises indented Sab. for Hitch.
  • 25. Cotton MSS. Nero, E. VI.—6.
  • 26. Harl. MSS. No 60. This is the earliest mention I have found of Hadley as a parish.
  • 27. Parliamentary Surveys, Lamb. MS. Lib.
  • 28. Biog. Brit.
  • 29. Afterwards Sir Justinian Paget.
  • 30. Irish Compendium, edit. 1755, p. 279.
  • 31. Fuller's Worthies, Middlesex.
  • 32. Lilly's Life, p. 41.