The Environs of London: Volume 4, Counties of Herts, Essex and Kent. Originally published by T Cadell and W Davies, London, 1796.

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'Chingford', in The Environs of London: Volume 4, Counties of Herts, Essex and Kent, (London, 1796) pp. 130-137. British History Online [accessed 13 April 2024]





Quantity of land.


The name of this place was anciently written Cingeford (fn. 1), which signifies the King's Ford. It lies in the hundred of Waltham, at the distance of nine miles from Shoreditch church, and nine miles seven surlongs from Whitechapel. The parish is bounded by Loughton and Chigwell on the east; Woodford on the south-east; Waltham Abbey on the north; and on the west, south-west, and north-west, by the river Lee, which separates it from Enfield, Edmonton, and Tottenham in Middlesex. It contains about 2100 acres of land, of which about 550 are arable; 1330 grass (fn. 2); and about 220 wood. The soil is for the most part a strong clay.


This parish pays the sum of 384l. 16s. to the land-tax, which, in the year 1795, was at the rate of about 2s. 6d. in the pound.

Manors. Chingford-St. Paul's.

From the earliest times there have been two manors in this parish, one of which belonged to the church of St. Paul's, before the Norman Conquest (fn. 3). The dean and chapter surrendered it to Henry VIII. in 1544 (fn. 4). In 1551, King Edward VI. granted this manor to Sir Thomas Darcy (fn. 5), who surrendered it to the crown again the next year (fn. 6). In 1553, it was granted to Susan, widow of Thomas Tonge, Clarencieux King of Arms (fn. 7). Her nephew Humphrey White sold it, in 1566, to Joan Lee or Leigh, widow (fn. 8), whose descendant Edward Leigh, Esq. in 1709, aliened it to Robert Snell, Esq. (fn. 9), barrister at law, whose nephew John Snell, Esq. of Brill in Buckinghamshire is the present proprietor. This manor enjoys exemption from the forest laws, and all the privileges granted to the dean and chapter of St. Paul's (fn. 10).


Chingford-hall, the manor-house, is situated south-west of the church, on the borders of the marsh. It is now in the occupation of John Temple, Esq. a lieutenant in the navy.

Manor of Chingford Comitis.

The manor of Chingford Comitis was, when the survey of Doomsday was taken (fn. 11), held by Orgar the thane under Robert Gernon. About the year 1188, it was the property of Fulbert de Dover. In the reign of Henry II. Roese, only daughter and heir of Richard de Dover (fn. 12), (great grandson of Fulbert,) married Richard, the natural son of King John, by whom she had two daughters, coheirs. Isabel the second brought this estate, in marriage, to David Strathbolgi, Earl of Athol, whose son and successor John was executed for his adherence to Robert de Brus. His estates being forfeited to the crown, this manor was granted to Ralph de Monthermer, Earl of Gloucester. The Earl of Athol's son David compounded with the Earl of Gloucester for this estate, and had a son of his own name, who presented to the living of Chingford in 1325 (fn. 13). Giles de Badlesmere died seised of this manor in the year 1338 (fn. 14). Margery his eldest sister and coheir brought it in marriage to William Lord Roos (fn. 15). On the attainder of Thomas Lord Roos in 1461, King Edward IV. gave the manor of Chingford to Thomas Colte and his heirs male (fn. 16); afterwards in fee to Henry Bourchier, Earl of Essex, who died seised of it in 1483 (fn. 17). Before the year 1490, it was restored to the Roos family (fn. 18), in which it continued till the year 1542, when Thomas Earl of Rutland gave it to King Henry VIII. in exchange for other lands (fn. 19). It was granted, in 1553, to Susan Tonge, widow (fn. 20), whose nephew, in 1571, aliened it to William Jeffreyson (fn. 21) : by him it was conveyed to John Branch, who died seised of it in 1588 (fn. 22). Mary, one of his sisters and coheirs, brought this estate in marriage to William Udall, whose son Henry sold it to Lancelot Bathurst (fn. 23). It was purchased of the Bathursts, in or about the year 1666, by Thomas Boothby, Esq. (fn. 24), in whose family it continued till the death of Robert Boothby, Esq. in 1774, when it was inherited, under his will, by his sister of the half-blood, Lydia daughter of Benjamin Moyer, Esq. and wife of the late John Heathcote, Esq. M. P. for the county of Rutland, who is the present proprietor, and lady of the manor.

Friday Hill.

An old mansion called Friday Hill (fn. 25), about a mile east from the church, has long been the manerial residence, and for many years the seat of the Boothbys. It is now in the occupation of Charles Hughes, Esq. a captain in the navy. It is probable that the ancient site of the manor was at the house, where the courts are held, in the forest. It is called Queen Elizabeth's Lodge, for no better reason, perhaps, than many others in the neighbourhood of London.

Manor of Gowers and Buckerels, now called Pimps.

The manor-farm of Gowers and Buckerels, now called Pimps, is supposed by Morant to have been the property of Alexander Bayloll, who, in the reign of Edward I. held lands in Chingford (fn. 26). Henry VIII. in the year 1544, granted the manor and capital messuage of Gowers and Buckerels, late parcel of the possessions of George Monox, (with about 180 acres of land,) to Gilfred or Geffrey Lukyn (fn. 27). He immediately conveyed it to Roland Rampston (fn. 28), whose grandson of the same name sold it, anno 1593, to John Hare (fn. 29). In 1598, Nicholas Hare, son of the last purchaser, conveyed it to Nicholas Barnsley (fn. 30), whose daughter and coheir Susan married George Nodes, and had this manor as a part of her portion. In the year 1631, Nodes sold it to Thomas Gundrey, Esq. whose descendant of the same name conveyed it, anno 1729, to Israel Hammond, Esq. It is now the property of Joseph Venour, Esq. who married the only surviving daughter and heir (since deceased) of James Hammond, Esq. son of Israel above-mentioned (fn. 31).

The church.

The parish-church, dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul, is a small building of slint and stone, almost overgrown with ivy on the south and east sides. It consists of a chancel, nave, and south aisle. At the west end is a low square tower.

In the chancel are the monuments of Mary, wife of Robert Leigh, Esq. and daughter of Henry Josselin of Torrells-hall in Essex (fn. 32), 1602; Sir Robert Leigh, her husband, 1612; Margaret, wife of Robert Leigh, and daughter of Milo Branthwaite of Heathfield (fn. 33) (Norf.), 1624; Sir Thomas Boothby, Bart. (fn. 34), 1669; and Mary, widow of Robert Snell, Esq. of Chingford-hall, daughter of Sir Walter Clarges, Bart. 1781. On the floor are the tombs of Ann, daughter of Robert Leigh, Esq. 1640; Margaret Leigh, 1644; Robert Leigh, Esq. 1673; Elizabeth, wife of Edward Leigh, Esq. and daughter of Sir Richard Stone, Knt. 1673; Edward Leigh, Esq. 1691; (he married to his third wife Agnes, daughter of Richard Kirkby, Esq. of Lancashire;) John Moxon, Gent. 1766; and George Clarges, Esq. 1780.

On the north wall of the nave are the monuments of Sarah, wife of Mr. Nicholas Pigot, 1670; and Anne, daughter of the Rev. Christopher Sclater (fn. 35), rector, 1749.

On the floor are the tombs of Jane, wife of Gabriel Gosson, a French refugee, 1729; Henry Pope, Esq. 1729; and John Gibbs, Gent. 1772.

Tomb of Robert Rampston.

In the south aisle (against the wall) is an inscription upon a brass plate, to the memory of Robert Rampston, Yeoman of the Chamber to Edward IV., Queen Mary, and Queen Elizabeth; he left benefactions to this, and some of the neighbouring parishes; and died anno 1585. Underneath is an altar-tomb, covered with a slab of black marble, on which are the effigies, in brass, of the said Robert Rampston, and of Margaret his wife, who died in 1590.

Tombs in the church-yard.

In the church-yard are the tombs of Robert Boothby, Esq. 1733; Thomas Boothby, Esq. 1735; Mr. William Boothby, 1771; George Boothby, Gent. 1774; Robert Boothby, Esq. of Friday Hill, 1774; the Rev. Christopher Sclater, M. A. rector, 1737; and William Knipe, citizen of London, 1747.

The rectory.

John Russel rector.

The church of Chingford is a rectory, in the diocese of London, and deanery of Barking; the advowson has always been annexed to the manor of Chingford Comitis, except for a short time, when it was granted, with the other manor, to Sir Thomas Darcy (fn. 36); but it does not appear that he ever presented. The rectory is valued, in the King's books, at 14l. 5s. 5d. The commissioners appointed to inquire into the state of ecclesiastical benefices, in 1650, reported that the glebe of this rectory was worth 20l. per annum; the tithes 74l. George Byrom, D. D. was then rector (fn. 37), put in by the parliament on the sequestration of John Russel, (author of "the Solemn "League and Covenant discharged,") who was ejected in 1644 (fn. 38). Robert Plumme was presented to this living by Cromwell, in 1655 (fn. 39); and Thomas Witham, in 1657 (fn. 40). At the Restoration, Russel recovered possession of it, and enjoyed it till his death, in 1688 (fn. 41). The present rector is Robert Lewis, M. A. instituted in 1778.

Singular tenure of an estate said to be held under the rectory.

There is an estate in this parish called Brindwoods, held under the rectory by the following singular tenure: "Upon every alienation, the owner of the estate, with his wife, man-servant, and maidservant, each single on a horse, come to the parsonage, where the owner does his homage and pays his relief, in the following manner. He blows three blasts with his horn, and carries a hawk on his fist, his servant has a greyhound in a slip, both for the use of the rector that day. He receives a chicken for his hawk, a peck of oats for his horse, and a loaf of bread for his greyhound. They all dine; after which, the master blows three blasts with his horn, and they depart (fn. 42)." Morant says, that this estate was then (1768) lately in the possession of Daniel Haddon of Braxted; but I have not been able to learn any thing either of the estate or the custom, by inquiries made for me by the present rector among his parishioners.

Parish register.

There is no register of baptisms or burials of an earlier date than 1715.

Comparative state of population.

Average of Baptisms. Average of Burials.
1730–9 12 1/5 15 7/10
1780–9 15 1/2 16 2/5
1790–4 20 3/5 21 1/5

The present number of houses in Chingford is about 100.

Sir Charles Jones Wake, Bart. was married in Chingford church to Mary Jackson, June 16, 1753.


Robert Rampston, Gent. who died in 1585, gave, by will, 2l. per annum, to the poor of this parish. Thomas Boothby, Esq. gave 3l. per annum, which is distributed weekly in bread. The rent of an acre and a half, (let annually by auction to the best bidder,) now 1l. 10s. is distributed also in bread.


A Sunday-school, and a day-school, in each of which about 20 children are educated, are supported by the voluntary contributions of the inhabitants.


  • 1. This name has been strangely corrupted in records, and written very variously; viz. Chingefort, Chilgelford, Echingelsford, Schingelford, Shymgylford, Chinkford, &c. &c.
  • 2. About 170 acres of this land are marsh.
  • 3. Edward the Confessor, anno 908, confirmed to the church of St. Paul's, five manses, or farms, in Chingford.— (Records in the Chapter-house at St. Paul's, Lib. L. fol. 9.) The church of St. Paul's, says the record of Doomsday, in the time of Edward the Confessor, held Cinghefort as a manor, consisting of six hides: there were always two ploughs on the demesne lands. In King Edward's time the tenants had three ploughs, now four; there were then seven villans, now eight; then three bor dars, now six; always four slaves; there is pannage for 500 hogs, 50 acres of meadow, two fisheries, nine beasts, two sumpterhorses, 27 hogs, and 100 sheep. It was valued, in King Edward's time, at 4l.; now at 5l. Peter de Valoines has taken from this manor a hide and seven acres of land, and pannage for 50 hogs, which belonged to it in the time of King Edward; and was valued at 10s. Geoffrey de Magnaville has taken from this manor ten acres of meadow. A survey of the manor of Chingford, made about the year 1245, describes the manor as containing five hides; the demesne land consisted of 145 acres of arable, 17 of meadow, 17 of marsh, 200 of wood, besides a grove of two acres. The stock is stated to be 100 sheep, 100 goats, 15 cows and a bull, 10 sows and a boar, a horse and four mares. Robert de Valoines still detained eleven virgates and a half, which belonged to this manor: the manor was then valued at 4l. 5s. 1d. —(Records in the Chapter-house at St. Paul's, Lib. L. f. 78. a, b.) Another survey, made a few years before, states the demesnes at 180 acres of arable, 25 of meadow, 18 of pasture, and a hide of wood; the stock at 10 cows, with their calves, a bull, 100 sheep, with some rams, five sows and a boar, and seven mares, with their soals. The tenants were obliged to till the lord's land, with a good plough, six horses, and two oxen; and to find a horse for harrowing. Gilbert de Ecclesia was obliged, by the tenure of his lands, to find a man to gather nuts for the lord of the manor. In this survey two payments are mentioned, called wodeselver, and averselver (a composition for labour). The hide, in this manor, is defined to be four virgates; the virgate, 30 acres; the acre 40 perches in length, and four in breadth; and the perch 16½ feet. Among the same records is an agreement between the abbot of Waltham and the dean and chapter of St. Paul's, (about the year 1220,) by which the latter are exempted from several payments and services before due to the hundred of Waltham: among these are wardpeni (money paid for watch and ward) and borchal-peny. Lib. Pilos. f. 40. a.
  • 4. Record in the Augmentation-office.
  • 5. Pat. 5 Edw. VI. pt. 4. April 4.
  • 6. Record in the Augmentation-office.
  • 7. Pat. 7 Edw. VI. pt. 2. June 22; and Pat. 1 Mar. pt. 9. Mar. 24.
  • 8. Pat. 9 Eliz. pt. 3. Aug. 14.
  • 9. From the information of William Snell, Esq. of Shenley, communicated by the Rev. Mr. Newcome.
  • 10. See Pat. 7 Edw. II. pt. 2. m. 15.; Pat. 8 Edw. II. pt. 1. m. 15.; and Records in the Chapter-house at St. Paul's.
  • 11. Orgar the thane, says the survey, holds Cingeford for a manor of five hides; a freeman held it in the time of King Edward, and paid 10d. rent at Waltham. There were then two ploughs on the demesne lands, now only one: the tenants had then three ploughs, now only two; there were always seven villans, six bordars, and four slaves. There is pannage for 500 hogs, and 50 acres of meadow. There has always been one mill, and four fisheries: two more ploughs might be employed on the demesne lands; and one more on that of the villans. In King Edward's time there were eleven beasts, now none; then, 30 hogs, now 21. This manor has always been valued at 70s.
  • 12. See Esch. An. incert. Hen. III. N°237.
  • 13. The account of the manor, till the above period, is taken from Morant's History of Essex, p. 55. See also Newcourt's Repertorium, vol. ii.
  • 14. Esch. 12 Edw. III. N°54.
  • 15. Rot. Fin. 12 Edw. III. m. 8. Lord Roos died seised of this manor, anno 1343; his widow, anno 1363. See Esch. 17 Edw. III. N°60.; and 37 Edw. III. N°62. Beatrix, widow of Thomas Lord Roos, died seised of it, anno 1415. Esch. 3 Hen. V. N°44. John Lord Roos, anno 1421. Esch. 9 Hen. V. N°58. Thomas Lord Roos, anno 1431. Esch. 9 Hen. VI. N°18.
  • 16. Pat. 1 Edw. IV. pt. 4. N°121.
  • 17. Esch. 1 Ric. III. N°31.
  • 18. Morant, p. 56.
  • 19. Record in the Augmentation.-office.
  • 20. See note 7.
  • 21. Pat. 6 Eliz. pt. 9. May 8.
  • 22. Morant.
  • 23. Ibid.
  • 24. From information obligingly communicated by George Hardisty, Esq. steward of the manor.
  • 25. The earliest mention I have seen of it is in the inquistition taken after the death of John Branch, Esq. in 1588; he was seised of the manor of Chingford Comitis, a messuage called Friday Hill, &c. See Morant, p. 56.
  • 26. Was it not rather the estate which Peter de Valoines took from the church of St. Paul's ? See note 3.
  • 27. Pat. 36 Hen. VIII. pt. 7. June 6.
  • 28. Morant, p. 57.
  • 29. Ibid.
  • 30. Pat. 40 Eliz. pt. 4. Mar. 2.
  • 31. The descent of this manor was obligingly communicated by the present proprietor.
  • 32. Arms—1. O. three lozenges Arg.—Bagulegh. 2. Az. two bars Arg. a bend S.—Legh. 3. Arg. a fl. de lis S.—Levensholme. 4. Erm. on a chief indented G. three crowns O. Leche, impaling—Az. a wreath Arg. and S. with four hawks' bells appendant at equal distances, O.—Josselin. 2. Az. a fesse O —Chastlin. 3. G. a fesse engrail'd A. between three bulls' heads couped O.—Torrell. 4. G. a Griffin ramp. within a border engrail'd O.—Bataile. 5. G. on a saltier engrail'd O. five roundles, a chief Erm.—Hyde. 6. Arg. a stork S.—Starkey.
  • 33. Arms—Legh of Bagulegh as before, impaling, O. two bends engrail'd, S.—Branthwaite.
  • 34. Arms—A. on a canton S. a lion's jamb erased, in bend, O.
  • 35. Arms—Quarterly, I and 4. Arg. a saltier Az. 2 and 3. G. a fesse between seven billets 4, 3, O.
  • 36. Record in the Augmentation-office.
  • 37. Parliamentary Surveys, Lamb. MS. Library.
  • 38. Walker's Sufferings of the Clergy, p. 342.
  • 39. Proceedings of the Committee of plundered ministers, &c. Lamb. MS. Library, vol. xxxii. p. 368.
  • 40. Ibid. vol. xxxiv. p. 21.
  • 41. Newcourt's Repertorium, vol. ii.
  • 42. Morant's History of Essex, vol. i. p. 57.