West Twyford

Pages 605-610

The Environs of London: Volume 3, County of Middlesex. Originally published by T Cadell and W Davies, London, 1795.

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Situation, boundaries, extent, &c.

This parish takes its name from two brooks (of which the Brent is one) which run near or through it. It is called West Twyford, to distinguish it from a hamlet of the same name in the parish of Wilsdon. This parish lies in the hundred of Ossulston, and is bounded by Ealing, Harrow, Wilsdon, Acton, and Hanwell. It contains about 280 acres of land, of which, in 1762 (fn. 1), about 100 were arable, the remainder meadow. Since that time almost the whole of the arable has been laid down to grass. The soil is clay.

The quota of the land-tax is included in that of Wilsdon.

Paddington canal.

The new canal, about to be made from the Colne at Uxbridge to Paddington, will go through this parish.

The manor.

"In Tveverde," says the record of Doomsday, "Gueri, a canon of St. Paul's, holds two hides. The land is one carucate and a half, two thirds of which are cultivated. There are two villans, who have one virgate each; one bordar, who has six acres, three cottars, and wood for 50 hogs." The manor was then valued at 30s., in King Edward's time at 20s. only. It is described as parcel of the ancient demesnes of the canons of St. Paul's. The manor of Tuiferde was leased, in 1114, to Walter de Cranford and his wife Athelais, with all the tithes of corn, sheep, and goats, they paying 5s. per annum to the dean and chapter, and 20s. upon the death of either of them (fn. 2). I find afterwards that Pain, the son of Henry and his wife Aveline, daughter of Morell (who had been joint lessee with his wife Athelais), had a grant of this manor in fee (fn. 3). About the year 1200, Ralph de Diceto, Dean of St. Paul's, confirmed it to Ralph, son of Morell, and his heirs for ever, to be held of the Dean and Chapter by a quit-rent of 10s., and not to be aliened without their consent (fn. 4). Bartholomew de Capella was lord of this manor in 1251 (fn. 5). Sir William Paynell swore fealty for it in 1281 (fn. 6). John de Kirkeby, Bishop of Ely, died seised of it anno 1290 (fn. 7); Sir William de Kirkeby, anno 1302 (fn. 8). It appears that it was vested in Joan, wife of John de Bohim, in 1313 (fn. 9). John Pecche, citizen of London, who died in 1380, was seised of the reversion of the manor of West Twyford, which he had granted for life to Sir Robert de Aston. It appears by that record, that Pecche's right was derived from an enfeoffment made by Thomas Blondell, rector of St. Stephen, Walbrook, to him and his heirs by his wife Helen; in default of which, to his right heirs. Sir William Pecche inherited (fn. 10). John Philpot, citizen of London, died seised of this manor in 1485, leaving John his son and heir, 31 years of age (fn. 11). It appears to have continued a considerable time in that family (fn. 12); for a rent-book at St. Paul's mentions John Henslowe, Esq. anno 1694, as proprietor of the manor of Twyford, late Sir John Philpot's. In 1698 it was the property of Sir Joseph Herne (fn. 13), whose grand-daughter Penelope (daughter and heir of his eldest son Joseph) married John Cholmeley, Esq. of Lincolnshire; whose son and daughter, Mountague Cholmeley, Esq. and Mrs. Penelope Cholmeley, are now joint proprietors. Their estate comprises the whole of the parish, except about twelve acres which belong to Mr. Brett.


The manor-house, which is the only house in the parish, stands near the church, and is surrounded with a moat. It has long been in the occupation of tenants.

Parish church.

Monuments of the Moyles.

Henry Bold, the poet. Fabian Philips.

A survey or visitation of the church of Twyford, anno 1251, mentions an ancient tower with two bells; two altars without the choir with palls, which appeared not to have been consecrated (fn. 14). The present church is a brick structure, of very small dimensions, consisting of a nave and chancel. On the east wall are the monuments of Robert Moyle, Esq. (fn. 15), of the Inner Temple, Prothonotary of the Court of Common Pleas, anno 1638 (with his bust in a black round cap, ruff, and black gown); and Walter Moyle, Esq. (fn. 16). (with his bust), 1660. Within the rails of the communion-table are the tombs of Arthur Moyle (son of Walter), 1681; Susan, wife of Mr. John Millet (daughter of Henry Lott), 1780; and Mr. Henry Lott, 1784. On the north wall are the monuments of William Gifford (fn. 17), 1601; and Henry Bold, the poet (fn. 18), who died in 1683. On the south wall, Fabian, son of Fabian Philipps (fn. 19), 1658; and Andrew Philipps, Esq. (fn. 20) (son of Fabian), 1696. On the floor is the tomb of John Sampson, 1723.

In the church-yard are the tombs of Mr. John Bradshaw, 1742; Mrs. Abigail Hutchins, 1772; Mr. Henry Lott, 1785; Mr. John Marsh, 1786; and Mr. Benjamin Dowdeswell, 1787.


The church of this place, in a visitation anno 1181, is called a chapel, but said not to be dependent on any church (fn. 21). There was at that time no cemetery. Children were baptized in the chapel by permission of the dean and chapter. Persons who died in the parish were buried at any of the neighbouring churches belonging to the dean and chapter, but not at those which were under the Bishop's jurisdiction (fn. 22). It was provided that this should not operate to the prejudice of the chapel of Twyford, if it should ever have a cemetery of its own. About the time that the manor of Twyford was granted in fee to Pain, son of Henry and Aveline his wife, they presented Gilbert de Cranford to the chapel, who was instituted by the dean and chapter to the benefice, with all tithes and other profits (fn. 23). The survey or visitation of 1251 states, that the chaplain had 10 acres of arable land, a dwelling-house, and three cottages; that the lord of the manor presented him as a perpetual rector to the dean and chapter, but that the benefice was not sufficient for his support (fn. 24). In the inquisition taken after Bishop Kirkeby's death the chapel is valued at 13s. 4d. per annum (fn. 25). In the next inquisition, the advowson is said to be of no value, except the service of the chaplain (fn. 26). The commissioners appointed to inquire into the state of ecclesiastical benefices reported, that there was in the parish of Wilsdon, or reputed in that parish, a chapel, a mile and an half from the church; but that Mr. Christopher Clapham, owner of the adjoining house, maintained that it was a parish of itself, there being no other congregation but his house to repair thither. The incumbent was then ——Taylor, put out for scandal at Hempsted in Hertfordshire (fn. 27). He had for his salary at Twyford 10 l. The salary now paid by the lord of the manor is 6l. per annum. The present incumbent is the Rev. George Nicholas, LL.D. who succeeded Richard Shury in 1785. There is only monthly duty.

Decrease of population to one house only.

In the year 1251 there were ten inhabited houses in this parish besides the manor-house. When it became depopulated I do not know; but in the reign of Queen Elizabeth there remained only the manor-house (then the seat of John Lyon, Gent.), which has continued to be equally solitary ever since (fn. 28). The farmer who occupies it is, of course, perpetual churchwarden. Overseer of the poor is an office not necessary; for, by submitting to the inconvenience of hiring his servants for a term short of twelve months, the tenant escapes that of being burdened by paupers. Twyford-house has at present ten inhabitants.

Parish register.

There is no parish register extant of more ancient date than 1722. From that time to the present there have been 13 baptisms and 25 burials; of which four only have been parishioners.


  • 1. From a map bearing that date.
  • 2. Records belonging to the Dean and Chapter, Lib. L. f. 34. b.
  • 3. See Records of the Dean and Chapter, Lib. B. f. 26. and Lib. Pilos. f. 25.
  • 4. Ibid. Lib. Pil. f. 17.
  • 5. Ibid. Lib. L. f. 137.
  • 6. Ibid. Lib. Pil. f. 17.
  • 7. The inquisition after his death describes the estate as consisting of a messuage, valued at 3s.; 100 acres of arable, at 2½d. an acre; three of meadow at 2s.; five of wood, at 6d.—all held under the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's, by a quit rent of 10s.—20 acres of arable, at 3d. held by a quit-rent of 5s. of the treasurer of St. Paul's; 42½ acres of arable, valuedat 2d. an acre, held under the Archishop of Canterbury; two freeholders paid 4s. per annum, and owed suit of court; one other freeholder, 8d.; seven copyholders paid rents amounting to 15s. 8½d.; besides which, they were bound to mow one day for the lord of the manor, eating at his cost, which work was valued a 10½d.; to carry hay one day in like manner, valued at 3½d.; to mow three other days, valued at 21d.; William Spileman to mow two other days living at his own cost, valued at 4d. Esch. 18 Edw. I. No 37.
  • 8. Esch. 30 Edw. I. No 31.
  • 9. Inq. ad q. d. 6 Edw. II. No 6.
  • 10. Esch. 3 Rich. II. No 54. The value of the manor was then 10 l. per annum. This record speaks of it as held of the Dean and Chapter by the render of a red rose on St. John Baptist's Day: forty acres in a place called Woodfield were then held of the Archbishop of Canterbury, as of his manor of Southbery or Sudbury (now Sir John Rushout's).
  • 11. Esch. 2 Ric. III. No 26.
  • 12. Norden calls the manor-house at Twyford the seat of John Lyon, Gent. In 1650 it was in the occupation of Mr. Christopher Clapham (Parliamentary Surveys). In 1660, Walter Moyle is described of Twyford. (See his epitaph.) Perhaps all these might be tenants.
  • 13. From the information of William Welby, Esq.
  • 14. Records at St. Paul's, Lib. L. f. 137.
  • 15. Arms—G. a mule passant Argent, impaling O. on a pile V. three garbs of the field.—Oldfield.
  • 16. Inscription—"M. S. Gualteri Moyle de West Twiford in agro Medio Saxonum armigeri, qui flore ætatis sue marcescens (Roberto filio suo charissimo extincto) spe beatudinis æternæ et immarcessibilis inter odores sidelitatis suæ erga suum regem, et boni no "minis et æslimationis, fato et mortalitati succubuit 24° die Maii, anno falutis humanæ 1660, cum annos 31 numerasset, duos filios Gualterum et Arthurum et Margarettam siliam unicam ex Mariâ filiâ Roberti Stapleton de Wihill, in comitatu Eborum armigeri, superstites relinquens quæ fletibus et lachrymis velata, omnique mundano guadio viduata marmoreum hoc flebile marito suo amantissimo poni curavit." Arms—G. a mule passant Argent, impaling Arg. a lion ramp. Sab.—Stapleton; who quarters, 1. G. fretty Or—Bella-aqua. 2. Arg. a saltier and a chief Gules.—Bruce. 3. Checky O. & Az. a border G. and a canton Ermine.—Earls of Britanny and Richmond. 4. Ermine, a crescent Or. 5. Barry of eight O. & G.—Fitzalan, of Bedall. 6. Arg. three bends Azure.—St. Philibert. 7. Arg. on a fesse Az. three fl. de lis Or.—Ufflete. 8. Arg. a bend between six martlets Gules.—Furnival. 9. Arg. a chevron Vert between three buglehorns Sable.—Forster. 10. G. on a bend O. three martlets Sable (it should be Arg. on a bend cottised S. three martlets Or),—another coat of Forster.
  • 17. Arms—Arg. ten torteaux, 4, 3, 2, 1.—Gifford, impaling, Az. on a fesse O. between three paltes, each charged with a griffin's head erased Sab. a lion passant between two cinquesoils Gules—Lyon. He married a daughter of Richard Lyon.
  • 18. Arms—G. two chevrons Or, impaling Lyon. The inscription is gone. Henry Bold was fourth son of William Bold, of Newstead in Hampshire, born about the year 1627. He published a volume of poems; consisting of Scarrondes, or Virgil Travestie, and other poem, lyric, macaronic, and heroic. After his death, a second volume (in which were translations into Latin verse of Chevy Chace and other ballads) was published by his brother Captain Bold.
  • 19. Arms—Quarterly of eight: 1. Az. a fesse between three salcons Argent—granted to Fabian Philipps. 2. O. on a chevron G. three falcons' heads erased Argent.—Philipps, of Chelmick, Salop. 3. Erm. on a bend G. three eagles displayed Or.—Bagehot, alias Badger. 4. Or, a fesse between two chevrons G.—Fitzwalter. 5. Az. three eagles displayed O. a canton Ermine.—Fitzsimon. 6. O. two bars indented between six pellets, and in chief three flintstones Sable. 7. Az. two bars G. on each three besants—Martin. 8. Philipps as in 1. Fabian Philipps, the father, who died Nov. 7, 1690, and lies buried at Twyford, was born at Prestbury, in Gloucestershire, in 1601. He attached himself very zealously to the King's party during the civil war. Two days before the execution of the unfortunate monarch he wrote a protest against it, which he caused to be printed, and stuck up in every part of London. He was well versed in the history and antiquities of England, as appears by his writings, and remarkably tenacious of old usages. He published a work on the necessity of preserving ancient tenures. Speaker Lenthall returned him thanks for his writing against taking away the Court of Chancery during the commonwealth. He was author of some other professional works, and several political tracts in defence of the Royal prerogative. Wood says, that he wrote his own epitaph in Latin. There is no memorial to him at Twyford.
  • 20. Arms—Philipps, impaling Oldfield, as before.
  • 21. Records at St. Paul's Lib. B. f. 26.
  • 22. Ibid. and Cart Antiq.
  • 23. See Newcourt; who has confounded this parish with the hamlet of East Twyford; all the records he has quoted belong to West Twyford. Repertorium, vol. i. p. 759.
  • 24. Records at St. Paul's, Lib. L. f. 137.
  • 25. See p. 606.
  • 26. See note 7. p. 606.
  • 27. Parliamentary Surveys, Lamb. MS. Lib.
  • 28. See note 22.