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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This parish lies in the hundred of Caisho. The village is situated at the distance of one mile to the East of the North road, and ten miles from London.
Boundaries, extent, &c.
The parish of East Barnet is bounded by Chipping Barnet, Friarn Barnet, and Enfield. It contains about 900 acres of land, of which about 150 are arable, the remainder pasture. The soil is for the most part cold and spongy, being a mixture of clay and gravel. This parish pays the sum of 350l. to the land-tax, which is at the rate of 2s. 3d. in the pound.
The manor of Barnet, including both Chipping and East Barnet, belonged to the Abbey of St. Alban's; upon the dissolution of which monastery it came into the hands of the crown. Queen Mary granted it, in the year 1554, to Anthony Butler, Esq. whose descendants fold it, in 1619, to Sir John Weld. Frances, relict of Humphrey Weld, conveyed it, in 1645, to William Small and Thomas Urmstone, who, in 1658, granted it to Thomas Monday, Esq. In 1665, it was aliened by Mr. Monday to John Elsome, Gent. and by the latter, the same year, to John Latten, Esq. In 1687, it was purchased by John Nicolls, Esq. of Hendon-Place, who, in 1695, sold it to Sir Thomas Cooke, Alderman of London (fn. 1), who, the next year, mortgaged it to Atwell and others. In 1720, John Cooke, Esq. son of Sir Thomas, joined with the mortgagees in conveying this manor to James Duke of Chandos, whose successor, Henry, the second Duke, sold it, in the month of January 1747–8, to John Thomlinson, Esq. Upon the death of Mr. Thomlinson, which happened in 1767, it became vested, under his will, in his grandaughter and sole heir, Mary, now the wife of Edward Beeston Long, Esq.
At the dissolution of monasteries this manor was valued at 48l. 3s. 6½d. per annum (fn. 2). The ancient site of the manor is supposed to have been near the church at East Barnet. A house, which was purchased by Mr. Thomlinson of the Miss Montagu's, has of late years been considered as the manor-house. It was, in 1724, the seat of Lord Binning, from whom it passed to Mr. Spearman. In 1736 it was purchased by Thomas Trevor, Esq. who gave it to the daughters of Brigadier-general Montagu, brother of the Earl of Halifax (fn. 3). In 1779 this house was in the occupation of Miss Julia Yonge (fn. 4), (now Mrs. Sandford,) author of various essays, and a commentary on the Bible.
Sir Edward Alston's park.
In the year 1660, Sir Edward Alston had the Royal licence to impark 160 acres of land at East Barnet (fn. 5). The fields are particularly described in the grant. The lands adjoining to the Frith-house being there mentioned, denote it to have been the estate on which is the seat of John Kingston, Esq. now called Oak-hill, but formerly Monken Frith-house. This seat was for many years the residence of Lord Chief Justice De Grey. The park has been long ago converted again into tillage.
Grant to Sir Richard Allibon.
In the year 1686, James the Second granted to Sir Richard Allibon, afterwards one of the Justices of the King's Bench, a messuage, then or late in the occupation of Charles Lord Dunbarton, with some lands in Barnet forfeited to the Crown by the attainder of Sir Robert Peyton (fn. 6).
Trevor-park was, in 1732, the seat of the Hon. Thomas Trevor, afterwards Lord Trevor. In 1739, it was the property of William Pritchard Ashurst, Esq. (grandson of Sir William Ashurst, Alderman of London,) who bequeathed it to Dr. Hugh Smith. It is now the property and residence of his widow (fn. 7).
Buckskin Hall, on the borders of the Chace, and partly within the parish of Enfield, was the property of Mrs. Trevor, on whose decease it came to the late Lord Dacre. It is now the property of the dowager Lady Dacre, and in the occupation of the Hon. William Elphinstone.
Remarkable story of a Canada goose and a dog.
Little Grove was the seat of the late Mr. Justice Willes, who purchased it of Fane William Sharpe, Esq. Mr. Sharpe's father had at this place a Canada goose, which formed an extraordinary affection for a house dog. The story is extremely well attested, and furnishes a very curious anecdote in natural history. It was drawn up by Mr. F. W. Sharpe, and inserted in his copy of Willoughby's Ornithology:
"The following account of a Canada goose is so extraordinary, that I am aware it would with difficulty gain credit, was not a whole parish able to vouch for the truth of it. The Canada geese are not fond of a poultry-yard, but are rather of a rambling disposition; one of these birds was observed, however, to attach itself, in the strongest and most affectionate manner, to the house dog, would never quit the kennel except for the purpose of feeding, when it would return again immediately. It always sat by the dog, but never presumed to go into the kennel, except in rainy weather. Whenever the dog barked, the goose would cackle, and run at the person she supposed the dog barked at, and try to bite him by the heels. Sometimes she would attempt to feed with the dog; but this the dog, who treated his faithful companion rather with indifference, would not suffer. This bird would not go to roost with the others at night, unless driven by main force; and when in the morning she was turned into the field, she would never stir from the yard gate, but sit there the whole day in sight of the dog. At last, orders were given that she should be no longer molested, but suffered to accompany the dog as she liked: being thus left to herself, she ran about the yard with him all night; and what is particularly extraordinary, and can be attested by the whole parish, whenever the dog went out of the yard and ran into the village, the goose always accompanied him, contriving to keep up with him by the assistance of her wings, and in this way of running and flying, followed him all over the parish. This extraordinary affection of the goose towards the dog, which continued till his death, two years after it was first observed, is supposed to have originated from his having accidentally saved her from a fox in the very moment of distress. While the dog was ill, the goose never quitted him day nor night, not even to feed; and it was apprehended that she would have been starved to death, had not orders been given for a pan of corn to be set every day close to the kennel. At this time the goose generally sat in the kennel, and would not suffer any one to approach it, except the person who brought the dog's or her own food. The end of this faithful bird was melancholy; for when the dog died she would still keep possession of the kennel, and a new house-dog being introduced, which in size and colour resembled that lately lost, the poor goose was unhappily deceived, and going into the kennel as usual, the new inhabitant seized her by the throat and killed her." A similar affection was observed between a cat and a pigeon some years ago, at the house of the late Robert James, Esq. of Putney, with this difference that it appeared to be reciprocal. What rendered it more extraordinary was, that they were both found one day on the wall of the garden, and both became domesticated at Mr. James's, where they continued to be inseparable companions.
Bohun Place, the seat of Jacob Baker, Esq. was purchased by the present proprietor in the year 1775, of Robert Udney, Esq. who formed there the valuable collection of pictures, which he afterwards sold to the Empress of Russia.
Mount Pleasant, formerly the residence of the celebrated Elias Ashmole (fn. 8), was, a few years ago, the seat of Sir William Henry Ashurst, one of the Justices of the King's Bench, who made considerable improvements there when Enfield Chace was inclosed. In 1786, he sold it to William Franks, Esq. It is now the property of William Wroughton, Esq.
West Farm, near Enfield Chace, is the residence of Sir William Dolben, Bart. M. P. for the university of Oxford.
The parish church, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, is a small structure, consisting only of a chancel and a nave. At the west end is a low tower.
On the south wall of the chancel is the monument of Lieut. Col. Isaac Eaton, who died in 1789, "after a long period of military "service in several parts of Asia." On the floor are the tombs of Mrs. Isabel Conyers, 1644; William Green, Esq. 1645; Grace, his widow, 1685; Elizabeth, wife of Henry Wickham, D. D. 1659; Richard Baldwin, Esq. 1677; John Keene, Esq. 1770; and Lancelot Andrewes, Esq. 1772. Chauncy mentions also Jane, wife of Matthew Thwaites, Gent. 1650.
In the nave are the tombs of Mrs. Ann Chauncy, 1760; Thomas Boehm, of London, merchant, 1770; Thomas Plukenett, Esq. 1772; Hannah, his daughter, wife of Ambrose Nickson, Esq. 1780; and Anna Maria, daughter of George Fawell, who married Letitia Eleonora, another of Thomas Plukenett's daughters.
Tombs in the church-yard.
In the church-yard are the tombs of Katherine, daughter and coheir of Sir John Fitzjames, of Leweston (Dors.) 1712; George Hadley, her husband, 1728; Elizabeth, wife of John Cox, merchant, and daughter of George Hadley, 1720; James Rawlins, Gent. 1715; Robert Tayler, rector of East Barnet 40 years, 1718 (fn. 9); Elizabeth, wife of Charles Mawson, Chester herald, 1718; Elizabeth, wife of George Hill, Gent. daughter and coheir (fn. 10) of John Richardson, Esq. 1718; Sarah, second wife of George Hill, and daughter of Richard Richardson, Esq. serjeant at law, 1728; Catherine, wife of John Richardson, 1731; Mary, wife of John Moore, daughter of the Rev. Isaac Simpson, rector of Laycock, Wilts, 1730; John Moore, her husband, 1746; John Duprie, merchant, 1734; Esther, his sister, wife of John Fuller, 1734; Mrs. Milicent Matthews, her sister, 1771; John Hadley, Esq. 1743; Richard Mawson, Esq. 1745; the Rev. Francis White, canon residentiary of Wells, and rector of Christian Malford, 1755; John Sharpe, Esq. 1756; Fane William Sharpe, Esq. (fn. 11) (his son), 1771; John Brown, Esq. 1767; Samuel Grove, LL. B. rector of East Barnet, 1769; Edward Grove, Esq. of Shippon, Berks, 1775; Samuel Grove, Esq. 1782; William Pritchard Ashurst, Esq. 1773; James Charles Booth, Esq. of Lincoln's Inn, (an eminent conveyancer,) 1778; Aaron Eaton, Esq. 1780; Major General Augustin Prevost (fn. 12), 1786; 1786; Hugh Smith, M. D. 1789; Edward Mounslow, 64 years clerk of the parish, (aged 82,) 1791; Julia, daughter of the Rev. Dr. Dechair, 1793.
East Barnet is a rectory (in the diocese of London, and the deanery of St. Alban's), to which, as has been already observed, the chapel of Chipping Barnet is annexed. The advowson, since the dissolution of the Abbey of St. Alban's, to which it formerly belonged, has been vested in the crown. The commissioners appointed to inquire into the state of ecclesiastical benefices, in 1650, found by their inquest that East Barnet was a rectory, valued at 54l. per annum; that Chipping Barnet was a chapel of ease to it, but had its own officers for church and poor; that the glebe was 32 acres; that John Goodwin, who had been sequestered from both churches, did then officiate at East Barnet; and Mr. Edward Bulstrode at Chipping Barnet (fn. 13). This rectory is rated in the king's books at 22l. 2s. 8½d. per annum. The present parsonage-house was purchased by Sir Robert Berkeley in 1631, and by him appropriated to the use of the rectors, to be held of him and his heirs on a lease of 99 years, renewable from time to time (fn. 14). The old house, which stood near the church, was then in ruins.
Rectors. Edward Grant.
Edward Grant, D. D. instituted to this rectory in 1591, was master of Westminster school during the space of 20 years. He was esteemed a good Latin poet, and one of the best classical scholars of his time. Dr. Grant composed a copious grammar of the Greek language, which was abridged by Camden, to whom he resigned the school in 1592 (fn. 15).
Gilbert Burnet, instituted to the rectory of East Barnet in 1719, was son of Bishop Burnet. He was supposed to have been a contributor to Hibernicus's Letters, and was certainly one of the authors of the Free Thinker: during the Bangorian controversy he proved an able assistant to Bishop Hoadly, in whose defence he wrote three pamphlets. In 1719 he brought out an abridgment of his father's history of the Reformation (fn. 16). Mr. Burnet died in 1726, and lies buried at East Barnet.
Richard Bundy, D. D. instituted to this rectory in 1733, translated Pere Lamy's Biblicus Apparatus, and a Roman History, in six volumes folio. He died in 1739, being then one of the prebendaries of Westminster, and was buried at the Devizes, the place of his nativity (fn. 17). Two volumes of his practical discourses (with lectures on the church catechism) were published in 1740, and two other volumes in 1750. Dr. Bundy's successor at East Barnet was Daniel Beaufort, author of a History of Ireland. He resigned this rectory to Mr. Grove in 1743, and died a few years ago at a very advanced age.
The present rector of East Barnet is Benjamin Underwood, M. A. Prebendary of Ely, who was instituted in 1779, on the death of Mr. Grove.
The earliest date of the register of baptisms at this place is 1553; that of burials, 1568; of marriages, 1582.
Comparative state of population.
|Average of Baptisms.||Average of Burials.|
The present number of houses is about 60.
Extracts from the Register.
Sir Robert Berkeley.
"Thomas, son of Sir Robert Barkeley, and Dame Elizabeth his wife, baptized the 24 day of June 1630; Katherine and Isabel their daughters, August 18, 1631." Sir Robert Berkeley, who resided many years at East Barnet, was made one of the Justices of the King's Bench in 1632. He was arrested by order of the Parliament (while sitting in his court) in the year 1640, and imprisoned in the Tower, for having determined against Hampden on the business of the ship money. He died in the year 1656, aged 72. There is a print of him by Hollar.
"George Brookes alias Cobham, the son of Sr John Brookes alias Cobham, Knt, and Frances his wife, born Oct. 11th, and baptized the 15th of the same, 1636." I suppose this Sr John Brooke to have been the same person to whom the title of Lord Cobham was restored in 1645. He died without surviving issue in 1651.
"Col. William Whichcote and Dame Margaret South married May 21, 1650."
"Thomas the eldest son of Henry Bellasis, heir apparent to his
Grandfather Ld Viscount Falconbridge, and Mildred Saunderson
the only daughter of Ld Castleton, married July 3, 1651."
Thomas Belasyse succeeded to the title of Viscount Fauconberg
on the death of his grandfather in 1652. His wife Mildred
dying, he married Mary, daughter of Oliver Cromwell.
Lady Mary Ingram, buried May 16, 1661."
Remarkable mortality in one family.
"Sr James Hay, Bart, and Anne Laxton, married July 20, 1674."
Six children of Richard Gough were buried within the space of four months in the year 1684.
"The Honble Helen Mary Hamilton, daughter of the Rt Hon. Charles Visct of Binning and Ld of Byres (eldest son of the Rt Hon. the Earl of Haddington) and of Rachael his wife, the Lady Binning and Byres, was born Oct. 8, and baptized Oct. 23, 1724;" Charles was born Oct. 6, 1725; John, Oct. 22, 1726; Charles James, Oct. 3, 1727.—Charles Lord Binning died before his father; his eldest son Thomas was the late Earl of Haddington.
"Trevor Charles Roper (fn. 20), son of Charles and Gertrude, baptized July 1, 1745; Henry, born Oct. 29, 1747; Gertrude, born Mar. 9, 1748–9; buried Mar. 22." Charles Roper their father was eldest son of Lord Teynham by his third wife.
"Spencer Compton Earl of Northampton and Anne Hougham "of East Barnet married May 16, 1769."
Sir Alexander Cuming.
"Sr Alexander Comyns, Bart, pensioner in the Charter-house, "buried Aug. 28, 1775." He was son of Alexander Cuming of Coulter, created a baronet in 1695. It appears by his journal (in the possession of Isaac Reed, Esq. of Staple Inn) that he was bred to the law of Scotland, but was induced to quit that profession in consequence of a pension of 300l. per annum being assigned him by government, either, as he intimates, for services done by his family or expected from himself. This pension was withdrawn in 1721, at the instance, as he suggests, of Sir Robert Walpole, who had conceived a pique against his father for opposing him in parliament. It is more probable, that he was found too visionary a schemer to fulfil what was expected from him. In 1729 he was induced, by a dream of Lady Cuming's, to undertake a voyage to America, for the purpose of visiting the Cherokee nations. He left England on the 13th of September, and arrived at Charles-Town on the 5th of December. On the 11th of March following he set out for the Indians Country; on the 3d of April 1730 he was crowned commander and chief ruler of the Cherokee nations in a general meeting of Chiefs at Nequisee among the mountains; he returned to Charles Town the 13th of April with six Indian Chiefs, and on the 5th of June arrived at Dover; on the 18th he presented the Chiefs to George II. at Windsor, where he laid his crown at his Majesty's feet; the Chiefs also did homage, laying four scalps at the King's feet, to shew that they were an overmatch for their enemies, and five eagles' tails as emblems of victory. These circumstances are confirmed by the newspapers of that time, which are full of the proceedings of the Cherokees whilst in England, and speak of them as brought over by Sir Alexander Cuming. Their portraits were engraved on a single sheet. Sir Alexander says in his journal, that whilst he was in America in 1729 he found such injudicious notions of liberty prevail, as were inconsistent with any kind of government, particularly with their dependence on the British nation. This suggested to him the idea of establishing banks in each of the provinces dependent on the British exchequer, and accountable to the British parliament, as the only means of securing the dependency of the colonies. But it was not till 1748 (as it appears) that he laid his plans before the Minister (fn. 21), who treated him as a visionary enthusiast, which his journal indeed most clearly indicates him to have been. He connected this scheme with the restoration of the Jews, for which he supposed the time appointed to be arrived, and that he himself was alluded to in various passages of Scripture as their deliverer. He was not, like a late enthusiast, to conduct them to the Holy Land, but proposed to take them to the Cherokee mountains: wild as his projects were, some of the most learned Jews (among whom was Isaac Netto, formerly Grand Rabbi of the Portuguese synagogue) seem to have given him several patient hearings upon the subject. When the Minister refused to listen to his schemes, he proposed to open a subscription himself for 500,000l. to establish provincial banks in America, and to settle 300,000 Jewish families among the Cherokee mountains. From one wild project he proceeded to another; and, being already desperately involved in debt, he turned his thoughts to alchemy, and began to try experiments on the transmutation of metal. He was supported principally by the contributions of his friends; till at length, in 1766, Archbishop Secker appointed him one of the pensioners in the Charter-house, where he died at a very advanced age.
Sir Alexander Cuming appears to have been a man of learning, and to have possessed talents, which, if they had not been under a wrong bias, might have been beneficial to himself and useful to his country. Lady Cuming was buried at East Barnet, Oct. 22, 1743. His son, who succeeded him in the title, became deranged in his intellects, and died about three years ago, in a state of indigence, in the neighbourhood of Red-Lion-street, Whitechapel. He had been a captain in the army; the title became extinct at his death.
Dr. Hugh Smith.
"Hugh Smith, M. D. of Trevor-park, aged 53, buried July 4, 1789." Dr. Smith was author of "Philosophical Inquiries into the Laws of Animal Life," and a popular work intitled "Letters to Married Women," treating principally of the diseases and management of infants.
Benefaction to the poor.
In the year 1631, Sir Robert Berkeley, holding a small piece of land with a decayed cottage upon it, belonging to the poor of this parish, let formerly at 1 l. 3s. 4d. per annum, but then not worth half so much, did, in lieu of it, charge the site of the parsonage-house at East Barnet with the payment of 1 l. 6s. 8d. per annum for the use of the poor.