West Ham: Manors and estates

A History of the County of Essex: Volume 6. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1973.

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'West Ham: Manors and estates', in A History of the County of Essex: Volume 6, ed. W R Powell( London, 1973), British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/essex/vol6/pp68-74 [accessed 14 July 2024].

'West Ham: Manors and estates', in A History of the County of Essex: Volume 6. Edited by W R Powell( London, 1973), British History Online, accessed July 14, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/essex/vol6/pp68-74.

"West Ham: Manors and estates". A History of the County of Essex: Volume 6. Ed. W R Powell(London, 1973), , British History Online. Web. 14 July 2024. https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/essex/vol6/pp68-74.


In 1066 the manor of Ham, which comprised 8 hides and 30 a. and lay wholly or mainly in West Ham, was held by Alestan. In 1086 it was held jointly by Robert Gernon and Ranulph Peverel. (fn. 1) In 1135 Gernon's successor, William de Montfitchet, founded the abbey of Stratford Langthorne, granting to it all his lordship of Ham, which had been held by Ranulph the priest, 11 a. meadow and two mills there. (fn. 2) This endowment was the nucleus of the manor of WEST HAM, which was increased by later gifts to the abbey. Henry II, by a charter issued between 30 January 1164 and 21 October 1166, confirmed to the monks the grant of 40 solidatae of land in Ham made to them by his brother William (d. 1164). (fn. 3) About 1181 the same king confirmed to them the site of their abbey and the demesne of West Ham, as granted to them by William de Montfitchet and Gilbert his son, also land there given by Luke son of Martin, and the church of West Ham, given by Gilbert de Montfitchet. (fn. 4) A confirmation charter by Richard I in 1189 (fn. 5) mentioned, among other donations to the abbey, Richard de Montfitchet's grange in the forest (Woodgrange) (fn. 6) and land in South marsh from the fee of Walter of Windsor. (fn. 7) During the 12th and earlier 13th centuries the abbey also acquired the manor of Sudbury, in West Ham, which in 1086 had constituted the greater part of Ranulph Peverel's share of Ham. (fn. 8) During the 14th century the abbey further acquired the manors of East Ham, East West Ham, and Plaiz, (fn. 9) all of which had formerly belonged to the Montfitchets.

In 1538, when the abbey was dissolved, its income from lands and rents in West Ham amounted to £316. (fn. 10) Of this £5 represented the farm of the manor of East West Ham, £4 that of Plaiz, and £5 the income from the rectory of West Ham. The farm of lands in West Ham and Stratford produced £223, a sum that presumably included the income from the demesne of the manors of West Ham and Woodgrange. The balance was made up mainly by assize rents. The manor of West Ham remained Crown property until the beginning of the 19th century. During the 15 years following the Dissolution many of the demesne lands were alienated. (fn. 11) Perhaps to compensate for this, the demesne of West Ham was augmented by the addition of Hamfrith wood, c. 100 a., of which a third had belonged to the manor of East Ham, and the remainder had been acquired by Henry VIII from Sir Anthony Hungerford, lord of East Ham Burnells. (fn. 12)

James I granted the manor of West Ham in 1610–11 to his elder son Henry, prince of Wales (d. 1612). (fn. 13) On Henry's death it reverted to the king, who in 1617 granted it to Charles, prince of Wales (later Charles I), on a 99-year lease. (fn. 14) In 1629 Charles I assigned the manor for life to his queen, Henrietta Maria. (fn. 15) During the Interregnum the manor was seized by Parliament and sold to creditors of the government. (fn. 16) The manorial rights were apparently bought by Robert Smyth, who about the same time acquired half of West Ham Burnells and its associated manors: he was holding courts for the manor of West Ham from 1650 to 1659. (fn. 17) The demesne lands were sold to the sitting tenants, and some interest in the manor was also acquired by Humphrey Edwards (d. 1658) the regicide. (fn. 18) In 1660 the manor was restored to Henrietta Maria (d. 1669), and in 1672 it was granted by Charles II to his queen, Catherine of Braganza, for life. (fn. 19) On Catherine's death in 1705 George Booth assumed control of the manor under a 99-year lease running from that date. (fn. 20) In 1720 Booth made a grant which had the effect of splitting the manor into two parts. (fn. 21) He assigned Hamfrith farm (which had been made out of Hamfrith wood), together with most of the manorial rights in Stratford ward, to Sir John Blount, Bt., a director of the South Sea Company, for 69 years, starting in 1733. After the South Sea Bubble Blount's estates, with those of the other officials of the company, were sold. The Stratford and Hamfrith property was bought in 1734 by John Tylney, styled Viscount Castlemaine, later Earl Tylney. (fn. 22) It subsequently descended, until the end of the 18th century, with the neighbouring manor of Wanstead, being sometimes styled the manor of Stratford. (fn. 23)

The lease of the other part of the manor of West Ham was devised by Booth to Mrs. Hester Pinney, who was holding it in 1737. (fn. 24) She conveyed it to Azariah Pinney, who held in 1744. (fn. 25) In 1754 Pinney assigned the lease to Francis Smart, who conveyed it in 1764 to Mr. Brown. It was bought from Brown in the same year by John Henniker (later Lord Henniker), who seems to have retained the lease until its expiration. (fn. 26) Henniker was also lord of East Ham during that period.

Both parts of the manor remained Crown freehold until the end of the 18th century, but the demesne land and the manorial rights were then sold separately. As surveyed in 1787 the whole manor contained 290 a. demesne lands, and a further 54 a. commons, most of which formed part of Wanstead Flats. (fn. 27) The demesne lay mainly in small scattered parcels in the southern marshes, at Plaistow, Stratford, and near Bow Bridge. The only substantial tenement was Hamfrith farm, which comprised 128 a., lying north of the London-Ilford road, on both sides of the boundary between East and West Ham. It was then occupied by John Greenhill. By 1799, when the occupiers were William, John, and Richard Greenhill, Hamfrith comprised 148 a. (fn. 28) In that year William Greenhill bought the freehold of the farm (without manorial rights) from the Crown for £8,642. (fn. 29) In 1824–8 he mortgaged the farm for a total of £9,000. He died in 1832, directing that Hamfrith should be held in trust for his wife for life, and should later be sold. The trustees sold it in 1851 to Samuel Gurney (d. 1856), owner of the neighbouring manor of Woodgrange and of Ham House, for £17,710. Hamfrith then comprised 131 a., bisected by the main line of the Eastern Counties Railway.

John Gurney, grandson of Samuel, sold most of Hamfrith in 1872 to the British Land Co., which in 1874 sold it to the Manor Park Cemetery Co. The eastern part was used for the cemetery. The remainder was gradually developed by the Cemetery Co. for building. (fn. 30) It was roughly the area bounded on the north by Godwin Road, west by Woodford Road, south by the railway line between Forest Gate and Manor Park, and east by Manor Park cemetery. Sebert Road, which had been built by 1878, (fn. 31) ran through the centre of the Hamfrith lands. The site of Hamfrith House was on the north side of that road between Avenue Road and Cranmer Road. A farm-house had existed at least since the early 18th century. In the 19th century it became a gentleman's residence, with ornamental gardens. From the 1860s it was known as West Ham Hall. (fn. 32) About 1890 it was acquired by the Tottenham and Forest Gate Railway Co., which was then building its line via Wanstead Park to Woodgrange Park. West Ham Hall was still standing in 1893, when the company put it up for sale with other surplus land. (fn. 33) The house was bought by the West Ham school board, which demolished it. (fn. 34) Shortly before its demolition it is revealed as a substantial brick building of three storeys and five bays, dating from the late 18th or the early 19th century. (fn. 35) It may well have been rebuilt by William Greenhill after he acquired the freehold of Hamfrith. In 1966 the site was a depot belonging to the education department of the London borough of Newham.

The manorial rights over the whole manor of West Ham were sold by the Crown in 1805 to James Humphreys and George Johnstone. (fn. 36) Johnstone's interest, secured by a mortgage, seems to have been that of a sleeping partner. He died in 1813, leaving it to his sister Sophia, who in 1814 married Francis Platamone, Count St. Antonio, later duke of Cannizzaro, a British subject of Sicilian birth. (fn. 37) No demesne lands are mentioned in the conveyances of 1805–14, and it is likely that the demesne, apart from Hamfrith, was sold off separately, and piecemeal. One field of 11 a. had been sold in 1804. (fn. 38) James Humphreys died in 1830, leaving his interest in the manor to his brother Edward, who in 1839 bought out the share of Sophia, duchess of Cannizzaro. Edward (d. 1856) was succeeded by his son Thomas Humphreys, subject to the life interest of Alice (d. 1863) wife of Edward. Thomas (d. 1885) was succeeded by his eldest son Charles J. C. Humphreys (d. 1914). Charles's heir was his brother Brig.-Gen. Gardiner Humphreys (d. 1942). It was stated in 1848 that the tenements on the manor of West Ham descended by custom of gavelkind. (fn. 39)

No ancient manor-house is known to have existed on the manor of West Ham, with the possible exception of the moated building called the Lodge, in the abbey precincts. (fn. 40) In 1848 Edward Humphreys, then lord, was said to have had, in East Ham, 'a large handsome mansion called the Manor House, which was lately sold … to the Eastern Counties Railway for £10,000, but which has since been sold for a much smaller sum to William Storrs Fry'. (fn. 41) This house, from which Manor Park took its name, had been in the E.C.R.'s possession in 1839, with Fry as tenant. (fn. 42) He died in 1844, but his family retained the Manor House until 1866, when it was sold to the Victoria Land Co. (fn. 43) Most of the grounds were built over, but the house itself became part of a Roman Catholic industrial school (1868–1925) and subsequently of the London Co-operative Society's milk depot. (fn. 44) It is a large 3-storey building of the early 19th century in Gladding Road, Manor Park. It seems to have been built between 1799 and 1838, (fn. 45) probably by James Humphreys soon after he bought the manorial rights.

The manor of WEST HAM BURNELLS was always associated with that of EAST HAM BURNELLS. (fn. 46) Some land in the manor was held by gavelkind. (fn. 47)

The manor of BRETTS, which was centred at Plaistow, but included tenements at Upton, Stratford, and elsewhere, seems to have been built up in the 13th century by the Bret family. Part of it was originally held of the honor of Peverel, and part of that of Montfitchet. In 1244 Hugh Wyschard enfeoffed Robert le Bret with 42 a. land in West Ham. (fn. 48) Another conveyance by Wyschard to Bret in 1257, of the same tenement, mentions as part of it 'that messuage … which was formerly of Hugh de Balun'. (fn. 49) Balun, after whose family Balaam Street is named, had held ¼ knight's fee in (West) Ham of the honor of Peverel in 1183. (fn. 50) In 1194–6 his land was in the king's hands, but he had recovered it by 1199. (fn. 51) Robert le Bret had other tenements in West Ham. In 1239 Hugh Wyschard conveyed to him 24 a. land, (fn. 52) and in 1248 Richard de Kemeton and his wife conveyed to Bret possession of 60 a. land, of which 9 a. were granted back by Bret to Kemeton. Richard de Montfitchet put in his claim, presumably as overlord. (fn. 53)

Robert le Bret's estate seems to have descended until the middle of the 14th century in his family, various members of which occur in records. (fn. 54) Thomas le Bret, who in 1336 was holding lands in West Ham marsh, (fn. 55) was still alive in 1364, but died in or before 1367. (fn. 56) His widow Isabel, who later married Nicholas de Maryns, in 1368 released her dower in the estate to Thomas le Bret's heirs: his nephews John Aubrey and Thomas Hanampstede and niece Felice Pentrye. (fn. 57) In the same year Thomas Hanampstede and Felice Pentrye surrendered their shares of the estate to John Aubrey. (fn. 58) Aubrey, a London pepperer, appears to have used the estate as a security in his commercial transactions. He died in 1380 or 1381 leaving it to his widow Maud, who married secondly Sir Alan Buxhall (d. 1381) and thirdly John de Montagu, Earl of Salisbury. (fn. 59) Montagu, an opponent of Henry IV, was executed in 1400 and his lands were seized by the king. Those which he had held in right of his wife, comprising some 270 a. in East Ham, West Ham, and Barking, were restored to her in the same year. (fn. 60)

In 1412 'Birts' (i.e. Bretts) was held by William de Ferrers, Lord Ferrers de Groby, who had married, as his second wife, Margaret de Montagu, daughter of the above Earl of Salisbury and his wife Maud. (fn. 61) The manor apparently passed in the Ferrers family until the death in 1479 of John de Ferrers, subject to a reversionary interest held by the descendants of Maud de Montagu through her eldest son Thomas de Montagu, Earl of Salisbury. Maud herself died in or before 1424 and Thomas in 1428. (fn. 62) In 1429 the lands in East Ham, West Ham, and Stratford, formerly of John Aubrey, were settled upon Thomas's daughter and heir Alice, wife of Richard Nevill (d. 1460), Earl of Salisbury. (fn. 63) The reversion was later held by Isabel (d. 1476), Duchess of Clarence, daughter and coheir of Richard Nevill (d. 1471), Earl of Salisbury. After her death it passed by courtesy of England to her husband George, Duke of Clarence (d. 1478). (fn. 64)

When John de Ferrers died in 1479, the reversionary interest became effective, and Ferrers was thus succeeded by Clarence's son, Edward, Earl of Warwick, then an infant in the king's wardship. (fn. 65) During Warwick's minority Edward IV granted the custody of Bretts successively to Thomas Rede (1479), to Robert Nycholl and John Jenyns (1480), and to Robert Litton, John Clerk, and John Coton (1482). (fn. 66) Henry VII granted it in 1485 to Nicholas Harpesfeld, and in 1487 to his queen, Elizabeth. (fn. 67) On Warwick's execution in 1499 the manor was forfeited to the Crown. (fn. 68) In 1509 it was granted in jointure to Katharine of Aragon, queen of Henry VIII. (fn. 69) In 1512 it was granted to Warwick's sister, Margaret Pole, later Countess of Salisbury, (fn. 70) but on her attainder in 1539 again reverted to the Crown. In 1540 Bretts contained some 188 a. demesne, leased to 21 tenants, and 31 a. held by 10 copyholders, while the 17 free tenants of the manor held between them 66 a. (fn. 71) The demesne, which was widely scattered, included parcels in the marshes, near the Three Mills, and in Upton Lane, as well as at Plaistow. Some of the free and copyhold tenements lay in Balaam Street and in New Barn Street, Plaistow.

In 1540 Bretts was granted for life to (Sir) Peter Meautis or Mewtas and Joan (or Jane) his wife, who had previously acquired a large estate in West Ham at the dissolution of Stratford Abbey. (fn. 72) Lady Mewtas, who survived her husband, was still holding Bretts in 1567. (fn. 73) In 1576 Elizabeth I granted the manor to (Sir) Thomas Heneage, who conveyed it in 1583 to Roger Townsend. (fn. 74) Townsend conveyed it in the following year to Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, who died holding it in 1604. (fn. 75) In 1610 the earl's widow sold Bretts to Henry Wollaston. (fn. 76) Wollaston (d. 1619) left a son and heir of the same name. (fn. 77) About 1624 the manor was acquired by Sir William Courten, whose son William sold it in 1637 to Jacob Garrard. (fn. 78) It descended in the Garrard family until 1711, when Sir Francis Bickley, Bt., and his wife Alethia, coheir of another Jacob Garrard, sold it to Peter Courtney. Courtney (d. 1719) left Bretts to his sister Elizabeth, wife of William Beauchamp, from whom it descended to Joseph Beauchamp, the owner about 1814. (fn. 79) The manor was subsequently acquired by Henry Hinde Pelly (d. 1818), lord of East and West Ham Burnells, and was sold by his grandson for building about the middle of the 19th century. (fn. 80)

Bretts manor-house, depicted on an estate map of unknown date as a gatehouse called Bretts Bower, was on the site of the present St. Mary's church, Plaistow. (fn. 81) An earlier site is suggested by a reference, in 1540, to a tenement, within the manor, called Oldbretts. (fn. 82) The house was last occupied by Sir Thomas Garrard, who left in 1683. It was demolished about 1696. (fn. 83)

The manor of CHOBHAMS, the name of which survives in Chobham Road, lay in the north-west corner of the parish. It was formed in 1329–31 by John de Preston, citizen and corder of London, who bought several tenements, of which the largest, comprising about 100 a., had belonged to Walter of Yarmouth. (fn. 84) In 1335 Preston sold the estate to John de Sutton of Wivenhoe, from whom it was bought in 1343 by Thomas de Chobham. Chobham, though he gave his name to the manor, held it only until 1356, when he sold it to Adam Fraunceys, a London merchant who also acquired Ruckholt in Leyton, and who recorded all the above details in his register. (fn. 85) Fraunceys's son, Sir Adam, died in 1417, holding Chobhams of Hugh Burnell, Lord Burnell, and the Abbot of Stratford, who were the lords of the larger manors of Burnells and West Ham. (fn. 86) Chobhams subsequently descended with Ruckholt until the end of the 16th century. (fn. 87) In 1597, shortly after selling Ruckholt, William Compton, Lord Compton, conveyed Chobhams to Richard Wiseman. (fn. 88) Wiseman, a London goldsmith, also held Battles Hall in Stapleford Abbots, (fn. 89) with which Chobhams descended until 1642, when Sir Richard Wiseman, younger son of the purchaser, conveyed it to Sir Thomas Hewett. (fn. 90) Hewett conveyed Chobhams in 1648 to Matthew and Thomas Young. (fn. 91) The manor remained in the Young family until 1705, when the executors of Thomas Young, recently deceased, sold it to John Hyett, distiller of London, subject to the discharge of mortgages raised by Young. (fn. 92) John Hyett (d. 1719) was succeeded by his grandson of the same name, whose daughter and heir, Elizabeth, married John Crewe. (fn. 93) Elizabeth and John, who were still holding the manor in 1777, (fn. 94) sold it about then to Allen, a calico printer, from whom it was bought in 1782 by Sir John Henniker, Bt., later Lord Henniker (d. 1803). (fn. 95) Chobhams descended to John Henniker-Major (d. 1821), the second Lord Henniker. (fn. 96) It was conveyed in 1824 to his nephew, Sir Frederick Henniker, Bt. (d. 1825). (fn. 97) Sir Frederick's brother and heir, Sir Augustus Henniker, Bt. (d. 1849), was holding it in 1845, (fn. 98) and the latter's son, Sir Brydges Henniker, Bt., in 1855. (fn. 99) In 1853 the estate comprised about 80 a. (fn. 100) Soon after this much of it was acquired by the Great Eastern Railway for the extension of their works and sidings. (fn. 101) The remainder seems to have been built over a little later, as Henniker, Chobham, and Major Roads. (fn. 102) Chobhams house, which was at the west end of the present Chobham Road, still existed in the 1860s. (fn. 103) The Hennikers, during their ownership of Chobhams, lived at Stratford House, the Grove. (fn. 104)

The manor or estate of COVELEE'S comprised some 50 a. in the marshes, a pasture called the Hope, and 'Covelee's Wall', which formed part of the riverside defences against flooding, probably near the confluence of the Thames and the Lea. It was originally held in fee of the Montfitchets. (fn. 105) John de Covelee, who held it during the reign of Henry III, enfeoffed Robert le Ku with the Hope and the wall, and made similar grants of the remaining lands in small parcels to a number of tenants. Later, in or about 1248, he alienated his rights of lordship, consisting only of rents, which after further conveyances were acquired by the priory of Stratford Bow. In 1336–9 and again in 1351 the priory was involved in litigation with the tenants of the fee concerning their respective degrees of responsibility for the repair of 'Prioress Wall' (formerly Covelee's Wall). (fn. 106) Shortly before the Dissolution the priory's property in West Ham included 'one hope called Warwall, near the Four Mills', (fn. 107) which may have been identical with the Hope and the wall of John Covelee.

The manor of EAST WEST HAM was first mentioned by that name in 1538, as being among the former lands of Stratford Abbey, and was then at farm for £5. (fn. 108) Its earlier history is not certainly known, but East West Ham may have been part of the lands acquired by the abbey from John de Lancaster early in the 14th century. (fn. 109) In addition to the manor of East Ham John de Lancaster had inherited from his mother lands in East and West Ham representing her original share of the lands of Richard de Montfitchet, through her grandmother Margery de Bolbec. In 1346 the Abbot of Stratford was said to hold ¼ and 1/8 of the knight's fee in East and West Ham formerly held by John de Lancaster and his partners. (fn. 110) It is possible that the smaller fraction represents the former Lancaster lands outside the manor of East Ham, and that this was identical with East West Ham.

In 1553 East West Ham and Plaiz were granted by the Crown to Sir Roger Cholmley. (fn. 111) Both subsequently descended along with East Ham Burnells and West Ham Burnells. (fn. 112) The demesne of East West Ham, which probably did not remain distinct after 1553, has not been identified. The tenements under the jurisdiction of the manor court were not, as the manor's name suggests, concentrated in the east of the parish, but lay at Stratford, Plaistow, West Ham village, and in the marshes and elsewhere. (fn. 113)

The HAM HOUSE estate, now in public use as West Ham Park, appears to have originated as a small tenement called Grove House, or The Grove, later Rookes Hall. William Rooke, son of William, succeeded to a small estate in West Ham on his father's death in 1559. (fn. 114) He apparently enlarged it, and died in 1597 holding Grove House and 28 a. land at Upton, with other small properties in West Ham. (fn. 115) Grove House had previously been settled for life upon his wife Anne. Under William's will it reverted, after Anne's death, to his kinsman Robert, son of Samuel Rooke. Robert Rooke (d. 1630) was succeeded by his son Robert. (fn. 116) The estate is said to have been bought from the Rookes in 1666 by Sir Robert Smyth, Bt. (d. 1669). (fn. 117) It became the Smyths' family seat, and descended with their half of the manors of East and West Burnells until about 1760, when it was sold to Admiral Elliot. (fn. 118) In 1762 it was bought by Dr. John Fothergill (d. 1780), who created there what was regarded by contemporaries as one of the finest botanical gardens in Europe. In 1786 or 1787 Ham House was acquired by James Sheppard (d. 1812), from whose executors it was bought by his son-in-law Samuel Gurney. (fn. 119) Sheppard's will refers to the house as 'Rookes Hall, since Ham House'. Gurney, who also acquired the manor of Woodgrange and Hamfrith farm, (fn. 120) died in 1856, and his son John later in the same year. In 1874 John's son John Gurney the younger sold the Ham House estate, then comprising 77 a., for use as a public park, to be controlled by the Corporation of the City of London.

Ham House mansion, demolished in 1872, was a large two-storey building with an 18th-century exterior. The half-H shaped plan suggests that it may have been of earlier origin. (fn. 121) Its site is marked by a cairn of stones in the park.

The manor of PLAIZ was the third part of the lands in East and West Ham inherited in 1268 by Richard de Montfitchet's nephew, Richard de Plaiz, from whose family the manor took its name. (fn. 122) Richard de Plaiz (d. 1269) was succeeded in turn by his sons Ralph (d. 1283) and Giles (d. 1302). Giles's son Richard (d. 1327) was succeeded by his own son Giles (d. 1334). (fn. 123) Richard de Plaiz, brother of the last Giles, was his heir, and the last of his family to hold the manor. In 1353 he granted all his lordship in East and West Ham to Stratford Abbey. (fn. 124) It was then said to comprise 10 a. wood, 12 a. heath at Hamfrith, and £8 3s. 4d. assize rents.

In 1538 Plaiz, then first mentioned under that name, was among the former possessions of Stratford Abbey, and was then farmed for £4. (fn. 125) It subsequently descended like the manor of East West Ham. No demesne lands can be distinguished after the Dissolution. The tenements under the jurisdiction of the manor court lay mainly at Plaistow, Upton, and in the marshes. (fn. 126)

After the Norman Conquest the king gave a manor in Ham, formerly held by Alestan and comprising 8 hides and 30 a., to Ranulph Peverel and Robert Gernon. (fn. 127) Most of Peverel's moiety became the manor of SUDBURY or ABBEY PLACE. Its exact location is not certain. The name Sudbury ('southern manor house') presumably described its position in relation to the other early manors in West Ham. In Trinity marsh, in the extreme south-east of the parish near Plaistow, there was a Sudbury field, (fn. 128) which suggests that the manorial demesne may have been in that area. Many of the free and customary tenements of the manor were at Plaistow, but there were others at Stratford and elsewhere in the parish. (fn. 129) The alternative name Abbey Place occurs only in a reference of 1545. (fn. 130) In 1086 Peverel's moiety of Ham was held in demesne. Between 1107 and 1130, after the death of William Peverel, Ranulph's successor, all the Peverel lands in the eastern counties escheated to the Crown: they were subsequently known as the honor of Peverel of London or Hatfield Peverel. (fn. 131) 'Hamam', which King Stephen granted in 1141 to Geoffrey de Mandeville, Earl of Essex (d. 1144), in fee and inheritance to the use of the earl's son Ernulf, may have been the Peverel fee in West Ham. (fn. 132) Ernulf de Mandeville was disinherited for supporting his father's revolt of 1143–4. (fn. 133) William de Longespée (d. 1164), brother of Henry II, gave land in (West) Ham, worth 40s. a year, to Stratford Abbey in free alms. The grant was confirmed by Henry II between 1164 and 1166, (fn. 134) and in 1189 by Richard I, whose charter refers to the land of Sudbury, which William his uncle and Adam de Falaise, his man, gave to the abbey. (fn. 135) That land was probably the ½ knight's fee of the honor of Peverel which the abbey was holding in 1190, and on which scutage was remitted by freedom of the king's charter. (fn. 136) The abbey held ½ fee in free alms in West Ham in 1346. (fn. 137)

The remainder of the Peverel fee in West Ham, except for the part that became Bretts, seems to have formed an estate that Richard I confirmed in 1190 to Isaac son of Josce the Rabbi, a prominent Jew. According to Richard's charter this land in (West) Ham had been granted to Isaac and his sons by Henry II. (fn. 138) It may have been temporarily in the king's hands during the anti-Semitic riots at the beginning of Richard's reign, for at Michaelmas 1189 Henry of Cornhill had rendered £7 16s. to the Exchequer from the farm of (West) Ham. (fn. 139) The land of (West) Ham, previously held by Josce the Jew, son of Isaac, was again in the king's hands at Michaelmas 1194, when its keeper rendered £15 as half a year's income. (fn. 140) In 1195, when the manor was being restocked, the income was only £12 6s. 10d., (fn. 141) but in 1196 it rose to £25 2s. 8d. (fn. 142) This manor was probably identical with that of Sudbury in West Ham, worth £32 a year, granted by Richard I in 1198 to Leonard Succuhull' de Venez, along with land in Exning and Westhall (Suff.), for 1 knight's fee. (fn. 143) All those properties were confirmed to Leonard's son John de Venez by royal charter in January 1201. (fn. 144) In the same year John paid scutage on 1 knight's fee of the honor of Peverel of London. (fn. 145) In or before December 1201 he granted Sudbury to Stratford Abbey to hold at fee farm for £31 1s. a year. Venez was still liable for knight service, but if Sudbury reverted to the Crown the abbey was to hold it in chief, paying both the farm and the service due. (fn. 146) Venez continued to pay scutages on this fee at least until 1204, (fn. 147) but about that date the king disseised him of Sudbury and granted it to Peter de Préaux. (fn. 148) Préaux held it only until 1207, when the abbey agreed to pay the king £100 to have full seisin of Sudbury. (fn. 149) In 1211 the monks began to make a direct annual payment to the Exchequer of £31 1s. for the farm of the manor. (fn. 150) In later returns during the 13th century they were said to hold a knight's fee of the honor of Peverel by payment of this sum. (fn. 151)

The abbey retained Sudbury until the Dissolution. Its tenure in chief of the manor was briefly interrupted in 1230 when Henry III granted the honor of Peverel of London to Hubert de Burgh, Earl of Kent, to whom the abbot was ordered to render knight service and fee farm rent from his land in (West) Ham. (fn. 152) The earl was deprived of the honor in 1232. (fn. 153) Before 1230 the abbey had been ordered to pay portions of the annual fee farm of Sudbury direct to servants of the Crown, (fn. 154) and such grants were revived after 1232. (fn. 155) They tended to become hereditary, and eventually the abbey succeeded in buying up about two-thirds of the rent from the heirs of those to whom grants had been made. In 1309 £10 rent was thus acquired from Philip of Beauvais, (fn. 156) and in 1321 a further £10 from Richard le Rous. (fn. 157)

By the 16th century the manor of Sudbury seems to have been so closely linked with that of West Ham that the distinction between them was far from clear. (fn. 158) A rental of Sudbury compiled in 1527 contains a long list of free and customary tenants whose rents totalled some £30. (fn. 159) Several of the customary tenements were then described as part of Gaysham's fee, which may link Sudbury with the manor of Gayshams in Ilford. (fn. 160) In 1538 the abbey's assize rents in 'West Ham and Stratford' were valued at £33. (fn. 161) Neither in 1527 nor in 1538 is there any specific reference to demesne lands of Sudbury. In 1545 the manor of 'Sudbury alias Abbey Place' was in the king's hands. (fn. 162) There are no later references to it. Presumably it was completely merged in that of West Ham.

Nothing is known about the manor-house of Sudbury.

The UPTON 'MANOR' estate extended from Upton Cross south to Plaistow village, and east to Green Street. (fn. 163) It belonged to Henry Hinde, from whom it descended in 1780 to his grandson Henry Hinde Pelly (d. 1818). In 1810 Pelly bought the manorial rights of East and West Ham Burnells, East West Ham, and Plaiz. (fn. 164) He was succeeded by his son (Sir) John Pelly (Bt.) (d. 1852), whose Upton estate comprised about 140 a. including a large house in a park of 40 a. (fn. 165) Soon after 1852 the property began to be developed for building as the Upton 'Manor' estate. The house, which stood at the south-east corner of Upton Cross, was a threestorey brick building, with two-storey wings, probably built or rebuilt in the 18th century. It was demolished about 1865. In the 19th century it was called the Manor House, or Four Manor House. (fn. 166) In 1875 the park was opened as a public tea-garden, called the Shrubberies, but by 1888 it had been laid out for building.

The manor of WOODGRANGE lay in the north of the parish, near Wanstead Flats. Its name and location suggest that it originated as an outlying farm in a forest clearing. It was part of the Montfitchet estate in East and West Ham, and may have formed part of the original endowment of Stratford Abbey by William de Montfitchet. (fn. 167) The first explicit reference to it was in 1189, when Richard I granted protection to the monks against interference with their grange next to 'le Frith' [Hamfrith] which was of the fee of Richard de Montfitchet. (fn. 168) Woodgrange, as part of West Ham manor, remained with the abbey until the Dissolution.

At the Dissolution Woodgrange, with a portion of tithes, was on lease to Morgan Phillips alias Wolfe, for 60 years from 1534. (fn. 169) Phillips, who later acquired Stratford Abbey's manor of Little Ilford and other local monastic property, died in 1552. (fn. 170) During the later 16th century Woodgrange passed through the hands of several lessees or sub-lessees. Depositions made in a tithe dispute in 1574–5 mention the following farmers of the manor: Nokes (about 1550), Ormesby (about 1563), Smith, who married Ormesby's widow and let the manor to William Chester (about 1564–74), and John Blackman (1574–5). (fn. 171) In 1579 Elizabeth I granted a reversionary lease of the manor to Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, to run for 70 years from 1595. (fn. 172) By 1605 the lease, then valued at £210 a year, belonged to George Carew, later Earl of Totness. Richard Wright held Woodgrange in 1608, presumably as a sub-tenant of Carew. (fn. 173) In 1627–8 the Earl bought the freehold of the manor from the Crown, subject to a reserved rent of £27. (fn. 174) After his death in 1629 and that of his widow in 1637 (fn. 175) Woodgrange passed to his grandnephew Peter Apsley (fn. 176) who sold it in the same year to Charles Frankland. In 1649 Frankland sold the manor to (Sir) Thomas Cambell (Bt.), who already held Clay Hall in Ilford. Woodgrange subsequently descended with Clay Hall (fn. 177) until 1738, when Cambell Price sold it to John Pickering, merchant. Pickering left it, by his will dated 1754, to his niece Ann Machin, with remainder to her daughter Mary Machin, later the wife of John Peacock. Mary and John Peacock were holding the manor about 1796. It subsequently passed to John Pickering Peacock, who was the owner about 1814. (fn. 178)

After J. P. Peacock's time Woodgrange is said to have been divided among several owners. (fn. 179) A substantial part of it, however, called Woodgrange farm, was bought from Peacock's executors by Samuel Gurney of Ham House, the banker and philanthropist. Gurney was holding Woodgrange, comprising c. 200 a., in 1853. (fn. 180) In 1855 he sold part of the farm for making the West Ham and the Jews' cemeteries, and for building development which took place gradually in part of the area between those cemeteries and Woodford Road. (fn. 181)

The remainder of Woodgrange descended like Hamfrith farm (fn. 182) to Gurney's son and grandson. It was eventually acquired by Thomas Corbett, and was developed for building in 1877–92 as the Woodgrange estate: this was the area including the present Osborne, Claremont, Windsor, and Hampton Roads.

Woodgrange house is named on Norden's Map of Essex (1594), which shows that it was an important building. It is not known whether this was identical with the large house of the same name which still existed in the 1860s, and was approached by a drive running east from Woodgrange Road roughly on the line of Osborne Road. (fn. 183)


  • 1. See p. 8.
  • 2. V.C.H. Essex, ii. 129b; Dugdale, Mon. Angl. v. 587.
  • 3. Sir C. Hatton's Bk. of Seals, ed. L. C. Loyd and D. M. Stenton, p. 282. See also Sudbury manor, below.
  • 4. Dugdale, Mon. Angl. v. 587–8; R. W. Eyton, Itinerary of Henry II, 244–6.
  • 5. Cal. Chart. R. 1257–1300, 311–13.
  • 6. See below, p. 73.
  • 7. For Windsor see p. 9.
  • 8. See below, p. 72.
  • 9. See pp. 9, 71, 72.
  • 10. Dugdale, Mon. Angl. v. 588.
  • 11. e.g. L. & P. Hen. VIII, xiv (1), p. 162; Cal. Pat. 1547–8, 410–11, 413, 339, 346; ibid. 1550–3, 150–1, 366, 368, 103, 106–7; ibid. 1553, 295, 297, 75–6, 226–7.
  • 12. L. & P. Hen. VIII, xix (1), pp. 373–4; G.L.C., DL/C/207 f. 85; Cal. Pat. 1547–8, 401–2; E.R.O., D/DQs 13. The name Hamfrith ('Ham Wood') goes back to the 13th cent.: P. N. Essex, 95.
  • 13. C 66/1879.
  • 14. E.R.O., D/DQs 13.
  • 15. Ibid.
  • 16. Lysons, London, iv. 251.
  • 17. B.M., Add. Ro. 58414.
  • 18. S. J. Madge, Domesday of Crown Lands under Commonwealth, 261, 371; D.N.B., Humphrey Edwards.
  • 19. E.R.O., D/DQs 13.
  • 20. Ibid. This reversionary lease had been granted to Booth by William III in 1694, for services to the king: Cal. S.P. Dom. 1693, 74.
  • 21. E.R.O., D/DQs 13.
  • 22. Ibid. Tylney (d. 1784) was son and heir of the first Earl Tylney.
  • 23. E.R.O., Q/RSg 3; E.R.O., D/DQs 113/4.
  • 24. Lysons, London, iv. 251; E.R.O., Q/RSg 2.
  • 25. E.R.O., Q/RSg 3.
  • 26. Lysons, London, iv. 652; E.R.O., Q/RSg 3 and 4.
  • 27. E.R.O., T/M 175.
  • 28. Ibid. 171.
  • 29. E.R.O., D/DQs 36. Unless otherwise stated the remainder of this paragraph is based on this source.
  • 30. E. G. Howarth and M. Wilson, West Ham, 39.
  • 31. Kelly's Dir. Essex, 1878, p. 114.
  • 32. White's Dir. Essex, 1863, p. 624; Kelly's Dir. Essex, 1870 f.
  • 33. E.R.O., Sale Cat. A 437.
  • 34. E.R.O., Pictorial Coll., Photograph of W. Ham Hall.
  • 35. Ibid.
  • 36. W.H.L., W. Ham Manor Deeds, on which, unless otherwise stated, the following paragraph is based.
  • 37. Cf. E.R.O., D/DFr T85.
  • 38. E.R.O., D/DC 27/61–2.
  • 39. White's Dir. Essex, 1848, p. 233.
  • 40. See p. 114.
  • 41. White's Dir. Essex, 1848, 230; in 1848 the house was let to Alexander Haldane, a barrister.
  • 42. E.R.O., D/CT 159.
  • 43. P.E.M., Pictorial Survey: note on photo. of Manor Ho.; E.R.O., D/P 156/11/29; Katharine Fry's Bk., ed. J. Vansittart, 144–5.
  • 44. See p. 42.
  • 45. O.S. Map 1" Essex (1805, surveyed 1799–1800); E.R.O., D/CT 159.
  • 46. See p. 10.
  • 47. W.H.L., W. Ham Burnells Manor Recs., Ct. Roll 23 Apr. 1617.
  • 48. Feet of F. Essex, i. 150.
  • 49. Ibid. 221.
  • 50. Pipe R. 1183 (P.R.S. xxxii), 24.
  • 51. Pipe R. 1194 (P.R.S. N.S. v), 24; ibid. 1195 (P.R.S. N.S. vi), 52; Chanc. R. 1196 (P.R.S. N.S. vii), 210; Pipe R. 1199 (P.R.S. N.S. x), 105.
  • 52. Feet of F. Essex, i. 120.
  • 53. Ibid. 168.
  • 54. Ibid. 274; ibid. ii. 39, 61, 145; Cal. Inq. Misc. i. 498.
  • 55. Cal. Pat. 1338–40, 262–3.
  • 56. Cal. Close 1364–8, 92; ibid. 1369–74, 455.
  • 57. Feet of F. Essex, iii. 153, 154.
  • 58. Cal. Close 1364–8, 500; ibid. 1369–74, 456.
  • 59. Ibid. 1374–7, 82–3, 204; ibid. 1385–9, 634–5; Complete Peerage, xi. 392–3.
  • 60. Cal. Fine R. 1399–1405, 12–13; Cal. Close 1399–1402, 152–3.
  • 61. Feud. Aids, vi. 435; Complete Peerage, v. 354–7.
  • 62. Complete Peerage, xi. 392–3.
  • 63. Cal. Close 1429–35, 28.
  • 64. Cal. Inq. p.m. Hen. VII, iii. 374.
  • 65. C 140/67/46.
  • 66. Cal. Fine R. 1471–85, 186, 188, 224.
  • 67. Ibid. 1485–1509, 10; Cal. Pat. 1485–94, 293.
  • 68. Cal. Inq. p. m. Hen. VII, iii, p. 487.
  • 69. L. & P. Hen. VIII, i (1), p. 50.
  • 70. Ibid. iii (1), p. 153–4.
  • 71. Ibid. xv, p. 58.
  • 72. Ibid. p. 473; ibid. xiv (1), pp. 162–3.
  • 73. Cal. Pat. 1563–6, 251; ibid. 1566–9, 2.
  • 74. E.R.O., D/DHt T313/13; Morant, Essex, i. 17; C.P. 25(2)/132/1692.
  • 75. Morant Essex, i. 17–18.
  • 76. Ibid. 18; Cal. S.P. Dom. 1603–10, 617; Lords Jnl. ii. 610; Act for the sale of the manor of Bretts, 7 Jas. I, c. 9 (priv. act).
  • 77. Morant, Essex, i. 18.
  • 78. Lysons, London, iv. 253, on which, unless otherwise stated, the remainder of this paragraph is based. For maps of Bretts in 1624 and 1625 see E.R.O., D/DPe M55 and T/M 19.
  • 79. Ogborne, Essex, 25.
  • 80. Fry, E. and W. Ham, 52.
  • 81. Ibid. 52, 243–4.
  • 82. L. & P. Hen. VIII, xv, p. 58.
  • 83. E.R.O., D/DPe M 55 (item No. 282).
  • 84. Yarmouth's East Ham land was acquired by Stratford Abbey: see p. 9.
  • 85. Hatfield House, Cecil MSS. 291.
  • 86. C 138/29/53; cf. Feet of F. Essex, iii. 124.
  • 87. See p. 194.
  • 88. C.P. 43/57 ro. 29; E. Angl. N.S. v. 235.
  • 89. V.C.H. Essex, iv. 228.
  • 90. C.P. 25(2)/419 Eas. 18 Chas. I.
  • 91. Ibid. Mich. 24 Chas. I.
  • 92. E.R.O., D/DB T992/1 and 2.
  • 93. Lysons, London, iv. 652; cf. V.C.H. Essex, iv. 254.
  • 94. C.P. 25(2)/1308 Mich. 18 Geo. III.
  • 95. Lysons, London, iv. 652; Complete Peerage, vi. 437.
  • 96. Ogborne, Essex, 25.
  • 97. C.P. 25(2)/1530 Hil. 4 & 5 Geo. IV; Burke's Peerage and Baronetage (1913 edn.), pp. 1038–9.
  • 98. W.H.L., W. Ham Vestry Mins. 7 Aug. 1845.
  • 99. Char. Com., W. Ham Char. Rep. (1899), 93.
  • 100. E.R.O., D/CT 160.
  • 101. Fry, E. and W. Ham, 53.
  • 102. O.S. Map 25", London (Surv. 1867) XX; W. Ham L.B. Mins. 27 Oct. 1868.
  • 103. Chapman and André, Map of Essex, 1777, sheet xxi; E.R.O., D/P 256/28/1–3; ibid. T/M 92; W. Ham L.B. Mins. 11 Sept. 1860; O.S. Map 25", London (surv. 1867), XX.
  • 104. See p. 52.
  • 105. This paragraph is based on: Cal. Pat. 1338–40, 261–3; ibid. 1348–50, 116; Public Works in Medieval Law, ed. C. T. Flower, i. 58–60; Feet of F. Essex, i. 160, 164, 169.
  • 106. See p. 94.
  • 107. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), i. 409.
  • 108. Dugdale, Mon. Angl. v. 588 b.
  • 109. See p. 9.
  • 110. Feud. Aids, ii. 176.
  • 111. Cal. Pat. 1553, 38–9.
  • 112. See p. 11.
  • 113. E.R.O., D/DPe M55.
  • 114. C 142/144/130.
  • 115. C 142/273/74; C 142/272/4 and 6.
  • 116. C 142/464/16; Robt. Rooke's mon. in All Saints' ch., West Ham.
  • 117. K. Fry, East and West Ham, 230–7: unless otherwise stated the remainder of this paragraph is based on this source.
  • 118. Probably John Elliot (d. 1808): see D.N.B.
  • 119. Cf. E.R.O., Q/RPl 59 and 60; T/A 243.
  • 120. See pp. 69, 74.
  • 121. Fry, E. and W. Ham, illus. pp. 232, 234; W.H.L., Illus. Coll. (Houses). See plate f. p. 189 below.
  • 122. See p. 9.
  • 123. I. J. Sanders, English Baronies, 83; Cal. Inq. p.m. viii. 356.
  • 124. Cal. Pat. 1350–4, 476; Cal. Close, 1349–54, 601.
  • 125. Dugdale, Mon. Angl. v. 588b.
  • 126. E.R.O., D/DPe M55.
  • 127. V.C.H. Essex, i. 515, 527. See above, pp. 8, 68.
  • 128. S.C. 12/15/20; B.M. Add. Ro. 56384.
  • 129. S.C. 12/15/20.
  • 130. L. & P. Hen. VIII, xx (2), p. 450.
  • 131. I. J. Sanders, English Baronies, 121.
  • 132. J. H. Round, Geoffrey de Mandeville, 140–1.
  • 133. D.N.B., Geof. de Mandeville.
  • 134. Sir Christopher Hatton's Bk. of Seals, ed. L. C. Loyd and D. M. Stenton, pp. 282–3.
  • 135. Cal. Chart. R. 1257–1300, 312.
  • 136. Pipe R. 1190 (P.R.S. N.S. i), 110; Red Bk. Exch. (Rolls Ser.), 732.
  • 137. Feud. Aids, ii. 176.
  • 138. J. Jacobs, Jews of Angevin England, 134–5, 137. For a later member of Isaac's family see below, p. 90.
  • 139. Pipe R. 1189 (Rec. Com.), 10.
  • 140. Ibid. 1194 (P.R.S. N.S. v), 27.
  • 141. Ibid. 1195 (P.R.S. N.S. vi), 53.
  • 142. Chanc. R. 1196 (P.R.S. N.S. vii), 210.
  • 143. Cart. Antiq. (P.R.S. N.S. xvii), 78–9.
  • 144. Ibid.; Pipe R. 1201 (P.R.S. N.S. xiv), 173.
  • 145. Pipe R. 1201, 70.
  • 146. Cart. Antiq. 84, 78; Rot. de Ob. et Fin. (Rec. Com.), 182.
  • 147. Pipe R. 1204 (P.R.S. N.S. xviii), 36.
  • 148. Rot. de Ob. et Fin. 381.
  • 149. Ibid.; Pipe R. 1207 (P.R.S. N.S. xxii), 101.
  • 150. Pipe R. 1211 (P.R.S. N.S. xxviii), 114; ibid. 1212 (P.R.S. N.S. xxx), 52; ibid. 1214 (P.R.S. N.S. xxxv), 2.
  • 151. Red Bk. Exch. (Rolls Ser.), 740–1; Bk. of Fees, 1464.
  • 152. Cal. Chart. R. 1226–57, 108–9; Cal. Pat. 1225–32, 328–9; Close R. 1227–31, 424–5.
  • 153. Complete Peerage, vii. 138–9.
  • 154. Rot. Litt. Claus. (Rec. Com.), i. 196, 217, 348, 359, 413.
  • 155. Cal. Pat. 1232–47, 87.
  • 156. Cal. Chart. R. 1257–1300, 201; Cal. Pat. 1272–81, 172; ibid. 1307–13, 155.
  • 157. Cal. Pat. 1232–47, 330–1; ibid. 1317–21, 566–7.
  • 158. E.A.T. N.S. xiii. 64.
  • 159. S.C. 12/15/20.
  • 160. Cf. V.C.H. Essex, v. 204.
  • 161. Dugdale, Mon. Angl. v. 588.
  • 162. L. & P. Hen. VIII, xx (2), p. 450.
  • 163. Fry, E. and W. Ham, 228–30.
  • 164. See p. 12.
  • 165. E.R.O., D/CT 160.
  • 166. O.S. Map, 25" (London), XXX (surv. 1863–7); Brit. Columbia Hist. Quart. xiii (1949), 23–32.
  • 167. See p. 68.
  • 168. Cal. Chart. R. 1257–1300, 312.
  • 169. S.C. 6/962. Unless otherwise stated this paragraph is based on Lysons, London, iv. 254.
  • 170. V.C.H. Essex, v. 209–10; and see Little Ilford, below, p. 166.
  • 171. G.L.C., DL/C/212.
  • 172. C 66/1178.
  • 173. B.M., Add. MS. 16273, p. 15.
  • 174. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1627–8, 581.
  • 175. Complete Peerage, xii (1), 798–801.
  • 176. Lysons, London, iv. 254, n. 44; cf. D.N.B. George Carew (1555–1629).
  • 177. V.C.H. Essex, v. 196; E.R.O., D/DB T 1135–7; ibid. D/DXb 3; ibid. D/DC 23/408.
  • 178. Ogborne, Essex, 25; cf. C.P. 43/900 ro. 252.
  • 179. Fry, East and West Ham, 145, cf. 212: J. P. Peacock died in 1845.
  • 180. E.R.O., D/CT 160.
  • 181. E.R.O., D/DQs 36; Howarth and Wilson, West Ham, 39; E.R. xxxi 50–1.
  • 182. See p. 69.
  • 183. O.S. Map, 6", Essex (surv. 1863–73), LXXIII