A History of the County of Essex: Volume 6. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1973.
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There were two manors in Walthamstow in 1066, Wilcumestou (Walthamstow) and Hecham (Higham). (fn. 1) Both were later subdivided, the manors of Low Hall and the Rectory being formed out of Walthamstow, and Salisbury Hall out of Higham. The origin of the later manor of Mark in Walthamstow and Leyton is obscure.
The manor of WALTHAMSTOW, later called WALTHAMSTOW TONY or HIGH HALL, (fn. 2) the largest in the parish, may originally have comprised most of the area south of Chapel End. Its eventual extent is shown on a map of High Hall manor prepared in 1699. (fn. 3) Then and later the manor included the detached Walthamstow Slip in Leyton. (fn. 4)
Walthamstow was held in 1066 by Waltheof, earl of Huntingdon, as a manor and 10½ hides. (fn. 5) He married Judith, niece of William I, in 1070, (fn. 6) giving her as dower all his lands east of the Trent. (fn. 7) After his execution for conspiracy in 1076 she succeeded him at Walthamstow, which she held in 1086. (fn. 8) She was later deprived of the honor of Huntingdon for refusing to marry Simon de Saint Liz, (fn. 9) who acquired it on his marriage, perhaps as early as 1090, to Maud, Judith's elder daughter by Waltheof. (fn. 10) Simon had the custody of his wife's younger sister, Alice, Waltheof's coheir. On her marriage to Ralph de Tony II in 1103 Simon gave with her 100 librates of land of the honor of Huntingdon, including Walthamstow. (fn. 11)
Ralph de Tony II (d. 1126) was the son of Ralph de Tony I (d. 1102), Domesday lord of the barony of Flamstead (Herts.), with which Walthamstow descended until 1449. (fn. 12) After 1126 it was held in turn by Roger de Tony I (d. between 1157 and 1162), Ralph de Tony III (d. 1162), and Roger de Tony II (d. 1209). (fn. 13) Ralph de Tony IV, who held Walthamstow in 1212 by serjeanty of personally accompanying the king on his expeditions, (fn. 14) died in 1239 on the way to the Holy Land, (fn. 15) after leasing the manor with the king's consent to John de Gisors. (fn. 16) Ralph's widow, Parnel, in 1240 claimed one-third of it from John de Gisors as dower, but the king, who had the wardship of her son, Roger de Tony III, a minor, warranted the full term of the lease and made other provision for her. (fn. 17) After Roger de Tony came of age in 1256 he leased the manor in 1261 for four years to Austin of Hadstock, (fn. 18) a London citizen who was a prominent opponent of Simon de Montfort. (fn. 19) Roger de Tony and Austin both died in 1264, and in the same year the guardian of Roger's heir, Ralph de Tony V, restored the manor to Austin's son, William of Hadstock, for the full term of the lease. (fn. 20) There is some confusion over the custody of the manor in 1265, about the time when the lease ran out and the disturbances of the Barons' War reached their climax at Evesham. (fn. 21) William of Hadstock, however, at some date secured a renewal of the lease, for in 1281 he granted to Adam de Bedyk, the king's tailor, and his wife, Joan, William's daughter, an annuity of £100, of which one-third was paid out of his manor of Walthamstow. (fn. 22) He still held the manor of Ralph de Tony in 1285, when Adam the tailor, who was clearly identical with Adam de Bedyk, held two carucates as his under-tenant. Those two carucates became the separate manor of Walthamstow Bedyk, later called Walthamstow Fraunceys or Low Hall. (fn. 23)
Ralph de Tony V died in France in 1295, whereupon the king ordered the manor to be delivered to an unnamed man to whom Ralph had leased it without licence before going abroad. (fn. 24) Ralph de Tony's heir, Robert de Tony, died childless in 1309, his heir being his sister, Alice. (fn. 25)
Alice's second husband, Guy de Beauchamp, earl of Warwick, (fn. 26) one of the lords ordainers, died in 1315 holding the manor of her inheritance, their son and heir, Thomas de Beauchamp, being one year year old. (fn. 27) Alice's third husband, William de la Zouche of Mortimer, (fn. 28) held the manor for life by the courtesy of England after her death in 1324 until he died in 1337, when the manor reverted to his stepson, Thomas de Beauchamp (d. 1369), earl of Warwick. (fn. 29)
In 1361 the earl of Warwick acquired the reversion of Walthamstow Bedyk. (fn. 30) He was succeeded in 1369 by his son, Thomas de Beauchamp, earl of Warwick, (fn. 31) upon whose forfeiture for treason in 1397 the manors of Walthamstow and Low Hall were granted to William le Scrope, earl of Wiltshire. In 1399, however, on the accession of Henry IV, Warwick was restored to his honours and estates. Low Hall was settled on him and his wife Margaret in 1399, and Walthamstow Tony in 1400. (fn. 32) He died in 1401, holding both manors. (fn. 33) His widow died in 1407. Their son, Richard de Beauchamp, earl of Warwick (d. 1439) succeeded to both manors. (fn. 34) They passed to his son, Henry de Beauchamp, duke of Warwick, who died in 1446, leaving Anne, a minor, his daughter and heir. (fn. 35) In 1447 Anne's mother, Cecily, duchess of Warwick, was granted the manor of Walthamstow Tony in dower. (fn. 36) Anne died in 1449, when her two aunts, the half-sisters Anne and Eleanor, daughters of Richard de Beauchamp, earl of Warwick (d. 1439), became coheirs. Low Hall passed, with Flamstead (Herts.), to the share of Anne, wife of Richard Neville, earl of Warwick. The elder half-sister, Eleanor, inherited Walthamstow Tony in 1450 on the death of Cecily, formerly duchess of Warwick. (fn. 37)
Eleanor, who married Thomas de Ros, Lord Ros (d. 1431), and later Edmund Beaufort, earl (later duke) of Somerset (d. 1455), died holding Walthamstow Tony in 1467. (fn. 38) Her heir was her grandson, Edmund de Ros, but he was debarred from the succession by the attainder (1461) and execution (1464) of his father, Thomas de Ros, Lord Ros, so Walthamstow Tony was taken into the king's hands. (fn. 39) By 1483 it was known as the 'lordship of Hye Hall'. (fn. 40)
On the accession of Henry VII the attainder of Thomas, Lord Ros, was reversed, but his heir, Edmund de Ros, Lord Ros, was abroad at the time, and his lands were reserved to the king during his pleasure. (fn. 41) In 1487, when Anne, countess of Warwick, surrendered all her estates to the Crown, (fn. 42) Walthamstow Tony was included with Low Hall (fn. 43) although it was not part of Anne's inheritance. The terms of this grant almost certainly created the doubts about the Walthamstow Tony title which arose later. In 1492 Edmund, Lord Ros, was judged of insufficient discretion 'to guide himself and his livelihood'; his custody, and the farm of his lands for life, were granted to his brother-in-law, Sir Thomas Lovell (d. 1524), with reversion to the Crown. (fn. 44)
Edmund, Lord Ros, died childless in 1508. (fn. 45) The manor was not then restored to his heirs, but, wrongly it seems, was retained by the Crown, which from 1520 leased it. Under such leases it was held successively by Sir John Heron (d. 1521), lord of Aldersbrook in Little Ilford, by Margaret his widow, who seems also to have leased Low Hall, by their son Giles, until his execution for treason in 1540, and by Sir Ralph Sadler. (fn. 46) In 1544 the Crown granted the manor in fee, subject presumably to the lease, to Paul Withypoll and his son Edmund, lords of the manor of Mark. (fn. 47) They alienated it in 1546 to Sadler, who in 1547 surrendered it to the Crown in exchange for other lands. (fn. 48)
The manor was once again kept in hand until 1554 when it was granted to Thomas, son of Giles Heron. (fn. 49) This grant probably never took effect, for in 1555 the manor was restored to the descendant of the Ros family in the person of Henry Manners, earl of Rutland and Lord Ros, who was the grandson of Eleanor, Lady Manners, sister of Edmund, Lord Ros (d. 1508). (fn. 50) Rutland (d. 1563) was succeeded by his son Edward, earl of Rutland. (fn. 51) The Rutlands' title was apparently challenged in 1571 (fn. 52) and in 1583 the Crown actually granted the manor to Theophilus Adams, a 'concealer', from whom, and from Robert Adams, Rutland had to purchase it in the same year. (fn. 53) This was described in 1612 as a purchase on a defective title. (fn. 54)
Edward, earl of Rutland (d. 1587) was succeeded by his daughter Elizabeth, who married William Cecil, son of Thomas Cecil, Lord Burleigh, later earl of Exeter. (fn. 55) She died in 1591 leaving a son, William Cecil, Lord Ros, who came of age in 1611. (fn. 56) He immediately cut the entail on the Walthamstow portion of the Ros inheritance, apparently in order to mortgage it. (fn. 57) In 1616 he married Anne, daughter of Sir Thomas Lake, secretary of state. (fn. 58) In the same year he conveyed Walthamstow Tony to his father-in-law for £800, (fn. 59) and in 1617, for a further £500, to Arthur Lake, bishop of Bath and Wells, his wife's uncle, Arthur Lake, his brother-in-law, and Nicholas Fortescue. (fn. 60) Lady Ros later successfully claimed that the latter conveyance was a settlement in trust for her, (fn. 61) but Ros regarded it as a mortgage, and his grandfather, the earl of Exeter, refused his consent to the alienation of the manor. (fn. 62)
The marriage soon broke up. Lady Ros accused the countess of Exeter, the young wife of her husband's grandfather, of incest with her husband, and of attempting to poison her father and herself, and forged letters to support her charges. Her brother, (Sir) Arthur Lake, assaulted Ros, who fled abroad and died in 1618. (fn. 63) In the same year Lady Ros, her parents, and her brother, were charged with defamation by the countess of Exeter, found guilty in 1619, sentenced to life imprisonment, and heavily fined, while the countess was awarded substantial damages and costs. (fn. 64) Lady Ros was released after confessing her guilt, but by judicial decree the earl and countess of Exeter took possession of the manor in satisfaction of the damages she owed. Their interest was subsequently transferred to Thomas, Lord Wentworth and others. (fn. 65)
In 1623 the manor was restored to Lady Ros when George Rodney, whom she had married, paid the balance of the debt. (fn. 66) In the same year Lady Ros sought to convey to Rodney all her interest in the estate; when the trustees refused to agree, she and her husband sued them. (fn. 67) In 1626 the court ruled that the manor be settled on Lady Ros and her husband for life and then on any children of Anne, with reversion to Anne to dispose of at will, should she die childless. (fn. 68) In 1626 the trustees authorized Rodney to sell demesne lands to the value of £2,400 to settle his wife's debts. (fn. 69) In the following year Lady Ros settled the reversion of the manor on her husband in fee. (fn. 70) When she died in 1630 (fn. 71) her brother, Sir Thomas Lake, claimed it as her heir, (fn. 72) but George Rodney secured possession and in 1639 sold the manor to Charles Maynard (d. 1665), auditor of the Exchequer. (fn. 73)
Charles Maynard's son, William, who was created a baronet in 1682, died in 1685. The manor subsequently descended with the baronetcy, and later viscounty, of Maynard until the death in 1865 of Henry Maynard, Viscount Maynard, when the male line became extinct. The manor then passed to Frances Maynard, granddaughter of the last viscount. In 1881 she married Francis Greville, Lord Brooke, later earl of Warwick. (fn. 74) Lady Warwick died in 1938.
In 1843 Lord Maynard owned 560 a. in Walthamstow, of which 262 a. were forest waste, most of which became part of Epping Forest. (fn. 75) The estate was breaking up in the 1890s, when the site of Shern Hall was developed. (fn. 76)
The manor included a capital house and garden in 1264 and 1309. (fn. 77) High Hall is mentioned in 1483. (fn. 78) In 1612 the manor house of High Hall was let to Robert Hammond. (fn. 79) It appears to have been sold later separately from the manor, probably by George Rodney in c. 1626–39, either after his wife's trustees in 1626 authorized him to sell some of the demesne, or when he inherited the manor after her death in 1630. (fn. 80) In 1653 Thomas Brooks claimed common of pasture in the forest in respect of High Hall and 40 a. of land. (fn. 81) High Hall, in the angle of Clay Street and Blackhorse Lane, its avenue leading westward to the lane, is shown on a map of 1699 and named on maps of 1742, c. 1760, and 1777. (fn. 82) It was described in 1768 as a handsome brick farm-house. (fn. 83) About that time it was occupied by the Quaker Lewis Weston, whose daughter and heir, Susan, married William Dilwyn, also a Quaker, of Higham Hill Lodge. The two small estates, which adjoined, came to be combined, and High Hall was pulled down between 1822 and 1836. Blackhorse Road board school was later built on the site. (fn. 84)
High Hall was replaced as the manor-house by an unnamed 'chief mansion house' which Charles Maynard bought from George Rodney with other parcels of the demesne in 1636. (fn. 85) From the associated field-names it is clear that it was the house in Shernhall Street called Toni Hall in the 18th century and later Shern Hall, which dated from the 17th century. (fn. 86) It may be the house which features as decoration on the map of 1699, a two-storey house of 10 bays, with an attic story with 8 dormers divided by a central gable with a large oval window. (fn. 87) In the late 19th century it was a brick house of irregular shape and complicated roof pattern, suggesting piecemeal alterations; by then it had been reduced in size and stuccoed. (fn. 88) Dr. (later Cardinal) Wiseman was the tenant for several years from 1849. (fn. 89) After a fire in 1879 which destroyed the original panelling the house was restored, but demolished in 1896. (fn. 90)
The manor of WALTHAMSTOW BEDYK or WALTHAMSTOW FRAUNCEYS, later called LOW HALL, lay in the south-west of the parish, mainly south of Ferry Lane and west of Blackhorse and Markhouse Lanes. (fn. 91) It originated as 2 carucates which Adam de Bedyk (d. 1302), the king's tailor, held in 1285 of William of Hadstock, lessee under the Tonys of the manor of Walthamstow Tony, whose daughter he married. (fn. 92) In 1303 the manor was defined as 1/40 of a knight's fee held of Robert de Tony. (fn. 93) In 1319 Henry de Bedyk (will proved 1335), probably Adam's son, is included in a Walthamstow tax list second to William de la Zouche who held Walthamstow Tony, (fn. 94) and he was lord in 1330. (fn. 95) In 1352 his son, Sir Thomas de Bedyk, (fn. 96) appears to have conveyed all his lands in Essex to Simon Fraunceys, a city merchant who was twice lord mayor. (fn. 97) Fraunceys died in 1358 holding the manor of Bedyks jointly with his wife Maud of the earl of Warwick. (fn. 98) Maud still held the manor in 1361. (fn. 99) She was still living in 1376, (fn. 100) but appears to have died before 1397 when Low Hall was in the hands of Thomas de Beauchamp (d. 1401), earl of Warwick. (fn. 101) After this time there appear to have been no more under-tenants and Low Hall descended with Walthamstow Tony until the partition of 1449, when it passed to Richard Neville, earl of Warwick (d. 1471), 'the kingmaker', in right of his wife Anne. (fn. 102)
After Warwick had been killed at Barnet Anne's lands were seized by Edward IV and divided between her two daughters. The former Beauchamp estates fell to the share of Isabel (d. 1476), wife of George Plantaganet, duke of Clarence (d. 1478). (fn. 103) After Clarence's death Low Hall was administered by the Crown during the minority of his son, Edward, earl of Warwick. (fn. 104) In 1485 John Hugford is said to have died seised of the manor (fn. 105) but the assertion is dubious. In 1487 the possessions of Anne Neville, countess of Warwick, were restored to her, but only so that she might surrender them to the Crown. (fn. 106)
The manor remained with the Crown from 1487 until 1550. In 1488 Sir Thomas Lovell was granted custody for 5 years. (fn. 107) In 1520 Low Hall was leased for 21 years to John Jenyns, (fn. 108) and in 1528 in reversion to John Lynsey, (fn. 109) but about that time the lease appears to have been acquired by Margaret, Lady Heron, who held the lease of Walthamstow Tony. (fn. 110) Both leases subsequently passed to Giles Heron (d. 1540), and then, in 1541, to Ralph Sadler. (fn. 111) In 1550, having previously disposed of his interest in Walthamstow Tony, Sadler was granted Low Hall at a rent of £10, (fn. 112) converted into a fee simple tenure nine years later. (fn. 113) Sadler sold the manor in 1560 to Thomas Argall and his wife Margaret. (fn. 114)
Thomas Argall (d. 1562) settled Low Hall on his wife Margaret and his son Richard (d. 1589) successively. (fn. 115) Margaret married Sir Giles Allington after Argall's death, and they were deemed joint lords in 1582. (fn. 116) Margaret Allington, by then widowed again, made her will in 1592. (fn. 117) Richard's heir, his second son Richard, (fn. 118) probably died between 1593 and 1599, and the manor descended successively to his brothers Thomas (d. 1605) and Sir Reginald (d. 1611). (fn. 119) While Sir Reginald's widow, Anne, Lady Argall (d. 1638), held Low Hall for life in dower, (fn. 120) his heir, a third brother John, of Great Baddow, sold the manor (presumably the reversion) in 1623 to a fourth brother, the adventurer, Sir Samuel Argall (d. 1626), who devised it to his nephew Samuel, then a minor. (fn. 121)
The last-named Samuel was probably identical with Dr. Samuel Argall, physician, who by his will proved 1684 devised Low Hall to his wife Elizabeth for life, (fn. 122) who was still living in 1699. (fn. 123) She was succeeded by her daughter Elizabeth who married Nathaniel Green. They were joint lords from 1701 to 1708, but from 1711 to 1727 courts were held in Nathaniel's name alone. (fn. 124)
In 1735 Raphael Courteville and his wife Lucy, daughter of Elizabeth and Nathaniel Green, were joint lords and in 1739 and 1740 Raphael alone. (fn. 125) In 1741 Raphael Courteville and his wife Jane, and Elizabeth and Katharine, daughters of Elizabeth and Nathaniel Green, sold Low Hall to Samuel Bosanquet (d. 1765). (fn. 126) In 1742 the manor comprised 219 a. demesne, 63 a. copyhold, and about ½ a. of small leaseholds. (fn. 127) It subsequently descended in the Bosanquet family. (fn. 128) In 1830 Samuel Bosanquet (d. 1843) settled it on his son and heir, Samuel Richard Bosanquet (d. 1882) on his marriage. (fn. 129) In 1843 the manor-house and demesne farm comprised 225 a., let to Charles Burrell. (fn. 130) They were sold to the local board in 1877. (fn. 131) The manor, however, remained vested in the Bosanquet family, who still held it in 1926. (fn. 132)
Low Hall manor-house was mentioned in 1397. (fn. 133) In 1611 its occupant was Richard Garnett, a moneyer. (fn. 134) The house, which was moated, (fn. 135) stood between Markhouse Lane and the Dagenham brook. It was a 17th-century two-storey timber-framed building, brick-fronted, with a tiled roof, with later additions on the south-east side. (fn. 136) It was destroyed by a flying bomb in 1944. (fn. 137)
The manor of HIGHAM BENSTED lay in the north of the parish. Its south boundary with High Hall or Walthamstow Tony near Chapel End and Hale End was defined in 1699, (fn. 138) but was still disputed in the early 19th century. (fn. 139) Higham's boundaries with Salisbury Hall, which had been taken out of it in the 14th century, were not settled until the 19th century. Their fields intermingled and their tenants held copyholds in both manors, which caused much friction, particularly in the 16th century. (fn. 140) In 1817 their respective lords accepted that neither manor had any jurisdiction over the other, and agreed to abide by a map defining their boundaries, and that irregular transfers of copyholds be rectified and their record transposed to the correct rolls. (fn. 141) Even so, a substantial amendment had to be negotiated in 1825. (fn. 142)
Higham ('high home or inclosure') (fn. 143) was held in 1066 by Haldan, a free man, as a manor and 5 hides; in 1086 it was held in demesne by Peter de Valognes. One of the 5 hides, held before 1066 by 2 free men, was added to the manor after the Conquest and in 1086 was held of Peter by William. (fn. 144) This hide may be identified with the hide of land, 8 a. of meadow, and some woodland in the neighbouring manor of Chingford (St. Paul's) which Peter took away from the chapter of St. Paul's between 1066 and 1086. (fn. 145) It was probably the origin of the detached part of Walthamstow in Chingford, south of Chingford Hall. (fn. 146) The manor descended with the Valognes barony of Benington (Herts.) until the partition of 1235, (fn. 147) when three sisters, Lora (d. between 1265 and 1272), wife of Henry de Balliol, chamberlain of Scotland, Isabel (d. 1253), wife of David Comyn, and Christine (d. between 1291 and 1294), wife of Peter de Maule, (fn. 148) apparently shared it.
Lora and Henry de Balliol (d. c. 1246) were holding a third of the manor of Higham in 1240. (fn. 149) In 1240–1 all three sisters and their husbands were parties to a conveyance of land in Higham to be held of Lora and Henry. (fn. 150) Isabel was holding 'Higham' when she died in 1253, leaving William Comyn, a minor, her son and heir. (fn. 151) The court of Christine and Peter de Maule at Higham is mentioned in 1257. (fn. 152) When Lora's eldest son, Guy de Balliol, Simon de Montfort's standard bearer, was killed at Evesham in 1265, (fn. 153) 'Heyham Baillol' was seized by the King. (fn. 154) As 'Heyham Comyn' was seized too, it seems likely that William Comyn also supported the rebels. (fn. 155) Both estates, however, were restored, for in 1274 Guy de Balliol's younger brother and heir, Alexander, and (Sir) William Comyn (d. 1283) were holding courts at Higham. (fn. 156) Two years earlier, in 1272, the third sister, Christine de Maule, had given Alexander de Balliol all her lands in Higham in exchange for his lands in Dersingham (Norf.). (fn. 157) She appears, however, to have retained some interest in Higham, for in 1274 she too was holding view of frankpledge at Higham, (fn. 158) a right she and Alexander de Balliol still claimed in 1285, when their partner, Sir William Comyn's heir, John Comyn (d. 1290), was a minor holding in chief 40s. rent in Walthamstow. (fn. 159)
In 1303 Alexander de Balliol and William le Plomer held 1/8 knight's fee in Higham, (fn. 160) which was later acquired by Adam of Salisbury and descended as the manor of Salisbury Hall. (fn. 161) It probably included Christine de Maule's share of the Valognes inheritance. In 1305 Alexander de Balliol sold to John de Benstede, clerk, the reversion of a messuage and a carucate of land at Higham held for life by Robert de Graveleye and his wife Beatrice. (fn. 162) That purchase, held in 1339 as 1/6 knight's fee (fn. 163) and later called Waterhall or Higham, probably comprised Higham Balliol, Lora's share, as John de Benstede had already in 1303 bought Lora's manor of Benington. (fn. 164) Beatrice, later the wife of John de Blounville, held the estate until her death in 1337. (fn. 165)
John de Benstede I, who was chancellor of the exchequer in 1305–7, (fn. 166) also bought, in 1306, from Richard, son of William de Betuyne of London, a messuage, 180 a. of land, 8 a. of meadow, 4 a. of wood, and 7s. 5d. rent in Higham, Walthamstow, Chingford, and Sewardstone. (fn. 167) The purchase probably included 140 a. of land and 8 a. of meadow at Higham which were granted to William de Bettyne and his son William by Hugh Oyledebuf and his wife Emme in 1286. (fn. 168) The property was later called Benstedes; its content, and the reference to Chingford, suggest that it included the land which Peter de Valognes took from St. Paul's. (fn. 169) Parcels of meadow and pasture called Wydemade (later Wyemead), which belonged to Benstedes in 1368, still lay detached in Chingford in the 19th century. (fn. 170) As William Comyn in 1274 held the road called 'Amerland' (later Folly Lane), (fn. 171) which led to Wyemead, Benstedes was probably Higham Comyn.
The two estates, Benstedes and Waterhall or Higham, became the manor of Higham Bensted, so called from 1429. (fn. 172) Benstedes comprised land held variously of the abbot of Waltham, the rector of Chingford, and the manor of Walthamstow, while Higham or Waterhall was held in chief as part of the manor of Benington. (fn. 173)
John de Benstede I died in 1323 holding the estate later called Benstedes. (fn. 174) His son Edmund (d. 1333) (fn. 175) left John de Benstede II his son and heir, a minor. (fn. 176) Edmund had conveyed his 'manor' in Walthamstow to trustees, (fn. 177) who on his death settled it for life on his widow Maud, later wife of John de Caly. (fn. 178) In 1339, however, Maud seems to have been dispossessed by Walter de Mauny, guardian of the heir. (fn. 179) John de Benstede II, who came of age in 1353, (fn. 180) died in 1358 holding Higham and Benstedes. (fn. 181) His son and heir, John de Benstede III (d. 1359 or 1360) was succeeded by his brother (Sir) Edward, who came of age in 1376. (fn. 182)
Sir Edward de Benstede died in 1432, having previously settled Higham Bensted manor on his wife Joan for life. (fn. 183) On her death in 1448, (fn. 184) it passed to Sir Edward's great-grandson, (Sir) John de Benstede IV (d. 1466). (fn. 185) Sir John's son William, who died childless in 1485, had granted the manor for life to his mother Margery. (fn. 186) When Margery de Benstede died in 1488 (fn. 187) the manor passed to Helen de Benstede, sister of Sir John de Benstede IV. (fn. 188)
Helen de Benstede's right was disputed by Henry VII on the grounds of a sale by William de Benstede to Edward IV of the reversion of his manors. (fn. 189) The confusion of the years following (fn. 190) was no doubt aggravated by the vicissitudes in the descents of the other Walthamstow manors, the uncertainty of their physical boundaries, and the loose use of 'Walthamstow' and 'Higham' as manor names.
In 1493 Helen de Benstede conveyed Higham Bensted manor in Walthamstow, Chingford, and Waltham Holy Cross to John Rysshe (or Russhe) and others. (fn. 191) Rysshe apparently took possession of the manor and after his death his widow, Isabel, married Thomas Gray, and together they took the profits and refused to give up possession to the king. (fn. 192) Nevertheless, in 1494 a court was held at Higham by Thomas Lovell, to whom Henry VII had committed the custody of Walthamstow Tony and Low Hall in 1488 and 1492, (fn. 193) and in 1498 and 1499 the courts were held by the Crown. (fn. 194) In 1503, however, Thomas Gray and Isabel conveyed the manor to William Heron, John Heron the elder, and his son John. (fn. 195) Sir John Heron (d. 1521) devised it, as the manor of Higham Hill, to his wife Margaret for life, with reversion to his son Giles. (fn. 196) When Giles was executed in 1540 the manor was forfeit to the Crown.
In 1546 Henry VIII granted Cuthbert Hutton a lease of Higham Bensted for 21 years from the expiration of a lease made by Giles Heron to Sir William Hollys in 1537. (fn. 197) Hutton, who held a court in 1550, (fn. 198) apparently sub-let parts of the manor to Sir Ralph Sadler and others who already held Walthamstow Tony, Low Hall, and Salisbury Hall. The lack of information on the true boundaries of the four manors confused their tenants, and it is possible that about that time the other manors usurped some of Higham Bensted's holdings. (fn. 199)
In 1554 the Crown granted Thomas Heron, son of Giles, the reversion of the manor on the termination of Hutton's lease, together with the annual rent. (fn. 200) Thomas Heron held courts from 1554 to 1564, (fn. 201) and in 1556 he sold Higham Bushes, which formed part of the demesne, to Roger Capstock. (fn. 202)
The Heron family sold the manor in 1566 to (Sir) Thomas Rowe (d. 1570). (fn. 203) It descended in the Rowe family for nearly two hundred years. Thomas was succeeded by his third son William (fn. 204) who settled Higham Bensted on Anne Cheney for life when he married her in 1580. (fn. 205) In 1583 he reunited Higham Bushes with the manor, buying it from Gabriel Colston, who had bought it two years before from Sir Anthony Cooke to whom Roger Capstock sold it in 1560. (fn. 206) Those transactions gave rise later to the claim that Higham Bushes was an independent freehold estate, over which copyholders and forest officers had no rights. (fn. 207)
William Rowe died in 1596. (fn. 208) In 1603 his son and heir, Sir John Rowe, sold the reversion of the manor to (Sir) Reginald Argall, who had married William Rowe's widow, Anne. (fn. 209) After Argall died in 1611 his heir, his brother John Argall, in 1612 sold the reversion of the manor to Sir William Rowe, brother of Sir John. (fn. 210) After Lady Argall died in 1638 the manor descended in the Rowe family until 1758, when William, son of William Rowe (d. 1744), sold it to Richard Newman. (fn. 211)
In 1764 Richard Newman sold the manor to Anthony Bacon, (fn. 212) who in 1782 sold it to John Biggin, one of his principal creditors. (fn. 213) In 1785 Eleanor Biggin, widow, sold it to William Hornby, governor of Bombay, who sold it in 1790 to John Harman (d. 1817), a banker. (fn. 214)
John Harman's son Jeremiah held the manor in 1843, when the Harman estate comprised some 477 a. of which 157 a. were open forest waste and 89 a. inclosed forest. (fn. 215) In 1848 Joseph Sands of Liverpool was said to be lord of the manor, and owner of Higham House, which was unoccupied. (fn. 216) In 1849 Edward Warner (d. 1875) bought the manor and Higham House. (fn. 217) The manor descended in turn to Sir Courtenay Warner (d. 1934), Sir Edward Warner (d. 1955), and Sir Henry Warner, lord of the manor in 1970. (fn. 218) From the late 19th century the Warner family progressively sold off or developed the estate. (fn. 219)
Benstedes included a house in 1306. (fn. 220) It was described as a chief messuage in 1368, and may have been near Jack's Farm, where a field was still called Bensteads in the 19th century. (fn. 221)
The Balliol share of Higham included a house in 1305. (fn. 222) By 1368 it was known as Waterhall. (fn. 223) It has been suggested that Waterhall was the moated house later called Moons, (fn. 224) or it may have been the house which was occupied as the manor-house in the late 16th century, which William Rowe 'almost wholly rebuilt' between 1570 and 1596. (fn. 225) Rowe's house, which was called Higham Hill or Higham Hall, stood on the north side of the old junction of Billet Road and Blackhorse Lane (now Sutton Road). (fn. 226) There was a chapel in it, described by Edward Rowe Mores in 1756 as having been large and handsome, with the arms of William Rowe and his wife in the wainscot. (fn. 227) The size of the house was reduced about 1683, and again c. 1730, when the whole east side of it, including the great hall and chapel, was demolished. The east side was refronted, and by 1768 the house had been converted into two dwellings. (fn. 228) It had not been sold with the manor in 1758 (fn. 229) and had ceased to be the manor-house. It was called Essex Hall from the early 19th century, when the Rowe family let it to Revd. Eliezer Cogan, who kept a school there. (fn. 230) In 1861 it was let to the Cooper family, who later bought it from the Rowes; the Misses Cooper used the old schoolrooms as a Sunday school for over fifty years. (fn. 231) After the First World War the house and grounds were acquired by the council for housing, and in 1934 Essex Hall was pulled down. (fn. 232) An old people's home called Essex Hall, completed in 1970, stands on the site.
Essex Hall was a three-storey brick house with tiled and slated roof. All the windows except those on the east had the solid frames, mullions, and transoms of the Elizabethan period. (fn. 233) The reconstructed east front had six sash windows and a Tuscan porch. (fn. 234) Original panelling and a 17thcentury panelled fire-place and overmantel with fluted Ionic pilasters are preserved, built into the old armoury room in the Vestry House museum. (fn. 235)
In 1768 Anthony Bacon built a new brick and stone manor-house designed by William Newton (1735–90) at Higham Bushes on the Woodford boundary. (fn. 236) It was at first called Higham Hill, (fn. 237) but later Higham House, Higham Hall, or Highams. The five-bay central block had two storeys and a semi-basement, fully exposed by the falling ground on the west side, and was flanked by single-storey wings, each terminating in a pedimented feature. The three central bays on the east front were divided by giant pilasters and surmounted by a pediment; the entrance doorway was approached by a double flight of steps. (fn. 238) In 1785–90 William Hornby removed the pediment to add a balustraded third storey and a central cupola. (fn. 239) Thus Humphry Repton, commissioned by John Harman in 1793–4 to improve the property, criticized the house as 'extravagantly lofty'. (fn. 240) To reduce the apparent height of the west front he designed the present continuous iron balcony to the ground floor rooms, supported on stucco arches forming an arcade in front of the basement windows. The lake created by Repton is now part of Highams Park. (fn. 241)
In the 19th century, perhaps when Edward Warner acquired the property in 1849, two extra bays were added at the south end of the west front with a matching extension of Repton's balcony. (fn. 242) The addition contained a new drawing room and had full-height bow windows facing south. (fn. 243) Probably at the same time the ground level at the centre of the east front was raised, the entrance steps were removed, a porch was added, and the basement windows in the flanking wings were altered. (fn. 244) At an earlier period the roof cupola had been replaced by a wider lantern. (fn. 245)
Highams was usually occupied by the lords of the manor until 1902, when it was let. (fn. 246) In 1919 it became Woodford county high school for girls. The building is now stuccoed and has been much extended to the north and south, mainly between 1928 and 1938. (fn. 247)
The manor of MARK in Leyton and Walthamstow lay on both sides of the parish boundary (mearc), between the common marsh and Hoe Street. (fn. 248) One of the boundary posts was at Mark House, by which name the manor was known in the 15th century. (fn. 249) The name survives in Markhouse Road.
It seems possible that the manor originated in two ½ virgates in Leyton held by Herbert of the Mark and Benet of the Mark in 1224, when half-shares in them were claimed by Hugh the tailor and John of Chelmsford in right of their wives. (fn. 250) In 1225 Benet granted them and their wives' heirs 8 a. there in return for a life grant of six loads of corn yearly. (fn. 251) In 1226 the same parties sued Thomas, son of Herbert, and Maud of the Mark his mother for 36 a. in Leyton which they had given at the request of the defendants to Thomas de Muleton together with the 8 a. which they had acquired from Benet. (fn. 252) In 1248 the widow of Thomas at the Mark was concerned in two suits against the prioress of St. Helen's, Bishopsgate, relating to Leyton and Walthamstow. (fn. 253)
St. Helen's priory owned the manor by the late 15th century, (fn. 254) but whether they already owned it in 1248, or acquired it later, perhaps from the Fraunceys family, is not known. Simon Fraunceys died in 1358 holding the adjoining lands of Low Hall, (fn. 255) and his partner in business, Adam Fraunceys, who acquired the manor of Ruckholt in Leyton in 1359, (fn. 256) was a benefactor of St. Helen's. (fn. 257)
In 1523 the priory, which usually farmed the manor, took it into its own hands from the previous farmer, Ralph Furnival. (fn. 258) In 1538 they granted John Rollesley a 99-year lease, but after the priory's dissolution in the same year he exchanged it in 1539 for one of 21 years. (fn. 259)
In 1544 the manor was granted to Paul Withypoll (d. 1547), merchant tailor and M.P. for the City in 1545, and his son (Sir) Edmund (d. 1582). (fn. 260) It passed successively to Edmund's grandsons Paul (d. 1585) and (Sir) Edmund Withypoll, (fn. 261) the second of whom sold it in 1601 to Sir James Altham (d. 1617), later a baron of the exchequer. (fn. 262) From him it passed successively to his son Sir James (d. 1623), to his grandson Sutton Altham (d. 1630), and, as coheirs, to his granddaughters, Elizabeth and Frances Altham. (fn. 263) Elizabeth married Arthur Annesley, son of Francis, Lord Mountnorris, in 1638, and Frances married Richard Vaughan, earl of Carberry, in 1637. (fn. 264) Soon afterwards the estate appears to have been broken up and sold. In 1649 the Mountnorrises and Carberrys sold the reversion of the manor-house to Thomas Rose, a London draper. (fn. 265) The sale included some 60 a. of land, about half the demesne. (fn. 266) Other parcels of land were sold to Nathaniel Sturton, a butcher. (fn. 267) The manor later came into the hands of either David Gansel (d. 1714) or his son David (d. 1753) and was united with the manor of Leyton. (fn. 268) It was purchased by John Pardoe in 1783 from General William Gansel's heirs with the Leyton estate, (fn. 269) with which it descended thereafter. (fn. 270)
The manor-house, often called Mark House, existed in 1524. (fn. 271) Elizabeth Altham, Sir James's widow, had a life interest in it after her husband's death and thus it began to be parted from the manor. As has been said it was separately sold to Thomas Rose in 1649. (fn. 272) In the early 18th century it belonged to Samuel Winder. (fn. 273) It stood astride the boundary on the west side of Markhouse Road, near Markmanor Avenue, (fn. 274) on a field which adjoined the grounds of Hibbert House, Leyton, built in 1803. (fn. 275) In the early 18th century it was a brick farm-house, old and dilapidated. (fn. 276) By 1775 the half of it which stood in Leyton had fallen down. (fn. 277)
The RECTORY manor (fn. 278) originated in ½ virgate and an acre of meadow given to the priory of Holy Trinity, Aldgate, with the church and its tithes by Alice, daughter of Waltheof, early in the 12th century. (fn. 279) It was taken out of the manor of Walthamstow Tony and occupied the highest part of the parish between the present Church Hill and Forest Road, with outlying fields at Chapel End, on Markhouse common, and in the marshes. (fn. 280) Courts are known to have been held for the manor between 1509 and 1855. (fn. 281) The whole estate was estimated at 72 a. in 1690; 22 a. of this were known as the 'parsonage grounds', which included the site of the manorhouse and gardens. (fn. 282)
The manor and great tithes descended with the advowson until the death of Lady Argall in 1638. (fn. 283) In 1613, however, John Argall sold the reversion of the manor to James Darell and his wife Catherine. (fn. 284) The subsequent title to the manor derived from the Darells, although the sequence of descent is obscure. (fn. 285) In 1615 the Darells conveyed their interest in the manor to Lionel Wright, (fn. 286) who leased it in 1620 for 80 years to Matthias Otten (d. c. 1625), brewer. (fn. 287) Otten seems to have bought the reversion of the freehold, which descended to his daughter and coheir Elizabeth, wife of Richard Cooper (d. c. 1688). (fn. 288) Cooper was lord of the manor in 1647 and compounded for the sequestration of the rectory in 1651. (fn. 289) After he died Elizabeth held the manor until her death in 1669, when she was succeeded in turn by her son Richard (d. 1690) and her daughter Elizabeth (d. 1708). (fn. 290) The rectory passed in 1708 to Thomas Fanshawe (d. 1758) of Parsloes in Dagenham, cousin of Richard Cooper the younger. (fn. 291) Fanshawe sold it in 1730 to John Fell, wine merchant, (fn. 292) in whose family it descended until 1783 when John Fell, and Elizabeth his wife conveyed it to William Cooke (d. 1792). (fn. 293) Under Cooke's will it was sold in 1794, and apparently broken up. Stephen Wilson bought the manor, house, and gardens, while John Jackson bought the remaining parsonage grounds. In 1797, after Wilson had become bankrupt, Jackson also bought the manor and parsonage house. (fn. 294)
Jackson sold the manor and parsonage in 1813, (fn. 295) probably to T. W. Hetherington, who held the manor in 1818. (fn. 296) After Hetherington's death in 1825 (fn. 297) it passed to Captain Thomas Haviside of the East India Company, (fn. 298) who held it in 1843 (fn. 299) and died in 1862. (fn. 300) Sir James Vallentin (d. 1870) bought the manor in 1863. (fn. 301) The estate was sold to the British Land Co. in 1897 by his trustees, (fn. 302) in whom the manor was still vested in 1916. (fn. 303)
In the early 18th century the manor was said to represent a fifth of the impropriate estate and the great tithes four-fifths. (fn. 304) John Argall did not sell the great tithes with the manor, and died holding them in 1643. (fn. 305) They were settled on Thomas, son of Thomas and Alice Argall, on his marriage in 1662. (fn. 306) In 1663 he sold them to Robert Shipman, who devised them in 1665 to his wife Dorothy. From her they passed in 1667 to John Mascall, the elder, and descended in his family (fn. 307) until they passed to Arthur Asgyll from his sister Anne who had married one of Mascall's descendants in 1733. Asgyll's only daughter, Margaret, who married Alexander Master, devised them about 1785 to Revd. Joseph Cuthbert, their owner in 1796. (fn. 308) Under Cuthbert's will, proved 1799, they passed successively to his grandsons Edward Cuthbert (d. 1803) and Richard Orlebar (d. 1833). (fn. 309) In 1819 Orlebar sold the tithes on 207 a., mostly to the landowners. (fn. 310) He and his son Richard, the main impropriator in 1843, probably sold more, for by then the great tithes on 595 a. were merged with the lands, and those on a further 807 a. were owned by 13 small impropriators. Orlebar's tithes on the remaining 3,034 a. were commuted in 1843 for £402 and those of the small impropriators for a total of £150. (fn. 311) The Orlebar family still owned most of the great tithes in 1916. (fn. 312)
The rectory house, which is mentioned in 1530, (fn. 313) stood on the part of the demesne called Parsonage Hill, not far from the vicarage. It had been pulled down by 1690, though it was still remembered. (fn. 314) A new house was built about 1762 by the tenant, John Watson, as a condition of his lease. (fn. 315) It was a plain two-storey building with angular corner bays at the west end. It was enlarged in 1783 by William Cooke to the design of (Sir) John Soane, who carried out some further work in 1791. (fn. 316) The house was demolished soon after 1897. (fn. 317)
The manor of SALISBURY HALL originated as 1/8 knight's fee in Higham held in 1303 by Alexander de Balliol and William le Plomer. (fn. 318) It lay mainly between Billet Road and the Chingford boundary and its fields on either side of Folly Lane and Chingford Road adjoined those of Higham Bensted. (fn. 319) Alexander died in 1310–11 (fn. 320) and William about 1318. (fn. 321) In 1321 William's widow, Agnes, was granted by Alexander le Plomer, for life, extensive lands in Walthamstow, Woolston (Chigwell), and Barking. (fn. 322) In 1323 the same lands were conveyed by Alexander to a London pepperer, Adam of Salisbury (d. c. 1330), (fn. 323) and from him descended to his son Sir Thomas (d. 1370) and his grandson Paul Salisbury. (fn. 324) By his will (proved 1400) Paul directed his feoffees of the manor of 'Higham' to give an entailed estate in it to his daughter Elizabeth. (fn. 325) Her lands however, were, for unknown reasons, taken into the king's hands. (fn. 326) What became of Elizabeth is not known.
By unascertained stages the manor passed to the Tyrwhitts. Sir William Tyrwhitt, who built Higham chapel in 1442, (fn. 327) is said to have received it from Thomas Ketelby in 1450. (fn. 328) It seems likely that the Tyrwhitts held the manor continuously to 1541. (fn. 329) Sir William Tyrwhitt (d. 1521) was lord in 1509. (fn. 330) His son, Sir Robert, sold the manor to the Crown in 1541. (fn. 331)
The manor remained in the hands of the Crown until 1590, leased from 1543 to 1564 to Richard Johnson, (fn. 332) and from 1564 to Roger Ascham, author of the Scholemaster, by a grant of 1557. (fn. 333) On Ascham's death in 1568 (fn. 334) the remainder of his 40-year lease came to his widow, Margaret, (fn. 335) who married in 1569 Thomas Rampston (d. 1599). (fn. 336) Margaret, whose lease was renewed in advance in 1586, (fn. 337) probably died between 1590 and 1594. (fn. 338) In 1590 Robert Symonds the younger of Whittlesford (Cambs.), who had married Anne, Rampston's daughter, was granted the manor. (fn. 339) He raised mortgages on it in 1593, 1597, and 1601, (fn. 340) perhaps to rebuild the manor-house. A mortgage of 1619 to Edward Atkyns (fn. 341) was still outstanding when Robert Symonds died in 1623. (fn. 342) His son, Thomas Symonds, redeemed it in 1626, (fn. 343) but mortgaged the manor again in 1647 to Thomas Marsh the elder of Hackney (Mdx.). (fn. 344) In 1649 Marsh foreclosed and, with Symonds's consent, sold the manor to Richard Westley of Hempstead. (fn. 345)
Westley's administrator sold the manor in 1657 to Richard Edge of Stoke Newington (Mdx.) (fn. 346) who was succeeded by his sons Thomas, and James (d. 1715 or 1716). (fn. 347) James devised the manor to his kinsman, Richard Sheldon, (fn. 348) who died childless in 1736. Sheldon's property was apparently entailed on James and Rice Fellow. Judging from the evidence of court rolls Rice Fellow was sole lord from 1737 to 1761 and was succeeded by his cousin George Dickerdine, who assumed the name of Rice Fellow and sold the manor in 1778 to William Cooke (d. 1787). (fn. 349) The manor passed to Cooke's brother Richard (d. 1787), who devised it to John Relph. Relph, believing that he received it only in trust, assigned it to Hannah Cooke, William Cooke's sister, who was lady until 1807. (fn. 350) She is said to have devised the manor to Mrs. Rebecca Relph (fn. 351) who was lady until 1817, when she conveyed the manor for life to William Vale, (fn. 352) who was still living in 1826. The manor continued in the Vale family until 1856. In 1843 it comprised 228 a. (fn. 353) From 1856 to 1870 Thomas Oliver was lord. The manor continued in the Oliver family, Edmund Ward Oliver, the last lord, dying in 1917. The estate was broken up in 1904 when Salisbury Hall was sold with 141 a. of land for development. (fn. 354)
Salisbury Hall is mentioned in 1499. (fn. 355) It stood south of the Ching on the west side of Chingford Road. (fn. 356) A new manor-house was built on the same site in the late 16th century, perhaps by Robert Symonds. It was timber-framed and of two storeys, with two-storey projecting gabled porches and tiled roof in two ridges. (fn. 357) In 1768 it was described as old and mean, (fn. 358) in 1817 as a commodious farm-house, and in 1904 as a comfortable residence. (fn. 359) After its demolition in 1952 excavation revealed the medieval foundations. (fn. 360)