A History of the County of Essex: Volume 7. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1978.
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Cranham lies about 3 miles south-west of Brentwood and 5 miles east of Romford. The ancient parish was bounded by Upminster on the west, Great Warley on the north and east, and North Ockendon on the south. (fn. 1) In the Middle Ages Cranham was more often known as Bishop's Ockendon, since its chief manor was held by the bishop of London, but from the 15th century the parish was usually termed Cranham. The second element in the parish name was originally hoh or ridge. It probably referred to the ridge running E-W on which the church and hall were built. (fn. 2) Cranham became part of Hornchurch urban district in 1934 and of the London borough of Havering in 1965.
Most of Cranham was in the London Clay belt, with poor loam in the north and valley gravel in the SW. towards Upminster. The ancient parish contained 1,879 a. and was about 3 miles long from north to south; narrow at its northern extremity, it gradually widened to over a mile in the south. (fn. 3) From 250 ft. in the north the land fell to below 50 ft. in the south. Until modern changes its road pattern was simple. The road from Brentwood and Great Warley divided just south of Beredens, into Cranham (or Front) Lane and Moor (or Back) Lane further east, both roads being crossed after 1925 by the arterial road to Southend. The two lanes rejoined near the site of Crouches farm and the old Rectory and, as Front Lane, continued south; they crossed St. Mary's Lane from Upminster to Horndon at the 'wants' or cross-roads and ran on southwards, as The Chase, to the church and manor-house. Further east along St. Mary's Lane, Pike Lane led towards North Ockendon.
For transport services Cranham has depended mainly on Upminster and Romford. The railway from Upminster to Southend, opened in 1888, and that from Upminster to Grays (1892) pass through the parish. (fn. 4)
Until the 20th century Cranham was a purely agricultural parish, as it remained in 1974 in the north, east, and south. Its population was small until the 19th century. There were 29 men on the two manors in 1086. (fn. 5) The tax list of 1327 included 13 Cranham names and that of 1523 had 16. (fn. 6) In 1670 there were 24 houses in the parish. (fn. 7) In the 19th century the population increased more rapidly, from 240 in 1801 to 437 in 1871; it then fluctuated for 30 years. In the decade 1901–11 it rose from 397 to 489 and in 1921–31 from 519 to 1,240. (fn. 8) The earlier increase coincided with an attempt to develop Cranham Park on land between Front and Moor (or Back) Lanes. This scheme, which was presented to the public as an extension of Upminster, ran into difficulties, of which the chief was the supply of water, and ended in failure. (fn. 9) In the 1920s and 1930s building fronted mainly on the two lanes. (fn. 10) In 1928–30 residents were worried by the presence of gipsies, squatters, and caravan-dwellers, especially when they were reported to be trying to buy plots north of the railway line. (fn. 11) In 1931 12 council houses, named Oglethorpe cottages, were opened in Moor Lane. (fn. 12) The sale of the Benyon estate in 1937 led to further building in Cranham. North of the railway the area now covered by streets with birds' names represents lot 8; between the railway and St. Mary's Lane the 35 a. of lot 7 was laid out with streets named after bishoprics; south of the Lane F. G. Legg began to develop the 100-acre triangle between St. Mary's Lane, Pike Lane, and the railway to Grays. (fn. 13) The Green Belt Act (1938), the Second World War, and the Town and Country Planning Act (1944) eventually thwarted the development of the whole site, but not before sewage pipes had been laid east of Ashvale Gardens in expectation of its extension to Pike Lane. (fn. 14) There were plans for a railway station in Cranham, and a plot of land was bought between St. Mary's Lane and the railway line. With the cessation of building, the intention was dropped and in 1959 Judith Anne Court was laid out on the site by a private developer. (fn. 15)
Central Cranham became a commuter suburb of London after the Second World War; building took place between Upminster and Cranham in the area bounded on the north by the arterial road and on the south by St. Mary's Lane. In 1971 there were 615 council houses in the parish. (fn. 16)
After the First World War Cranham formed a May Day committee (later Cranham Peace Society). It was intended to celebrate the peace and commemorate the dead with a festival and parade, and throughout the 1920s the May Queen placed a wreath under the memorial window in the church. The celebration was consciously modelled on the May Days inaugurated by Ruskin in Chelsea in 1881. In 1929, after the May Day festivities, the society disbanded as a result of parish apathy, debts, and, chiefly, the rector's opposition. (fn. 17)
Among the notable people connected with Cranham were the rectors Adam Harsnett (1612–39), a Puritan religious writer, (fn. 18) and George Strahan (1786–1819), the editor of Dr. Samuel Johnson's Prayers and Meditations. (fn. 19) Sir Edward Petre, Bt. (1631–99), Jesuit and confessor to James II, was a son of Sir Francis Petre, Bt., of Cranham. (fn. 20) General James Oglethorpe (1696–1785), founder of the colony of Georgia, married the heiress of Cranham Hall in 1743. (fn. 21)
There were two manors in Cranham in 1086. Ockendon (Wochenduna), comprising 3 hides and 40 acres, was part of the fee of the bishop of London; it had been held in 1066 by Alvric. (fn. 22) Cranham (Craohu), of 1½ hide, was held in chief by Odo, bishop of Bayeux; in 1066 it had belonged to Alwin, a free man. (fn. 23) In both manors the under-tenant in 1086 was named Hugh. After the exile and forfeiture of Odo of Bayeux in 1088 his manors were split up. At several places in Essex where the bishop of London held a neighbouring manor, he seems to have taken over Odo's lands. (fn. 24) This was probably the case in Cranham, where, after 1088, the bishop of London was the only recorded tenant in chief. The bishop continued to receive rent from Cranham at least until the later 16th century. (fn. 25)
The manor of CRANHAM (Crawenho), which occurs in the 13th century, possibly represents the estate formerly held by Odo of Bayeux. John de Beauchamp, of Eaton Socon (Beds.) and Beauchamp Roding, first let the manor at farm to Thomas de Haya, and by 1232 had enfeoffed him with it. (fn. 26) In 1235 Thomas de Haya in turn enfeoffed Thomas of Stortford; the manor then comprised a carucate of land, 40 a. of wood and 4 a. of meadow. (fn. 27) In 1236 Beauchamp's widow Christine claimed dower in the manor. (fn. 28) Thomas of Stortford was the precentor of St. Paul's cathedral, and c. 1240 he assigned for memorial services rents from properties which he had acquired in Cranham and elsewhere. These properties were then held by William of Fleet. (fn. 29) In 1272 William of Cranham acknowledged to the chapter of St. Paul's that he was 5 years in arrear with a yearly rent of 8s. and agreed that they might legally distrain on his manor of Cranham. (fn. 30) No later reference to the manor has been found; in 1317, however, Meliora, daughter of William of Cranham and John son of Reynold the draper of Barking quitclaimed to Nicholas of Ockendon and his wife Joan 42 acres in Cranham. (fn. 31)
The manor of BISHOP'S OCKENDON or CRANHAM (HALL) apparently lay in the north of the parish, and was held from the 12th to the 14th century by the family of Ockendon. To the confusion of historians the family used only the Christian name, William, from 1106 to c. 1274. (fn. 32) In 1166 William of Ockendon headed the list of the bishop of London's tenants with 4½ knight's fees, 1½ of which were in Bishop's Ockendon, (fn. 33) and William of Ockendon still held these fees in 1210–12. (fn. 34) The Sir William of Ockendon of c. 1230 was not apparently the (Sir) William of 1253–74. (fn. 35) Nicholas of Ockendon and his wife Joan held the manor in 1303. (fn. 36) Nicholas died in 1319 or 1320; his wife was still alive in 1332. (fn. 37)
(Sir) Nicholas de Halughton, who is said to have been heir to Nicholas of Ockendon's daughter Joan, was holding the manors of Bishop's Ockendon and Chadwell along with his wife Margery in 1337. (fn. 38) Halughton died in 1338 leaving infant daughters Margaret and Joan. (fn. 39) His widow, who married Sir Roger de Northwode, later Lord Northwode, died in 1340. (fn. 40) In 1346 Northwode was guardian to Halughton's unnamed heir. (fn. 41)
The manor was held in 1363 by Sir Ralph St. Leger and his wife Beatrice with remainder to her heirs. (fn. 42) Sir Ralph was alive in 1391 but had died by 1397. (fn. 43) Beatrice outlived him, and by 1400 had married Sir John Curzon. (fn. 44) Again a widow, she died in 1421, and in 1425 Nicholas Rykhull and his wife Isobel quitclaimed the manor to trustees of (Sir) Lewis John. (fn. 45)
John was a successful London merchant and royal official. (fn. 46) At his death in 1442 the manor passed for life to his widow Anne (d. 1457) with reversion to his younger son Edmund. It then contained 461 a., and the demesne was farmed out. (fn. 47) It is doubtful whether Edmund ever received the manor, for in 1464 his eldest brother (Sir) Lewis FitzLewis (John or FitzJohn) was presenting to the rectory of Cranham. (fn. 48) In 1471 (Sir) Lewis was killed at the battle of Barnet. (fn. 49) He was posthumously attainted, and late that year his Essex estates, including Cranham, were granted to the king's brother, Richard, duke of Gloucester. (fn. 50) Nevertheless FitzLewis's son and heir, (Sir) Richard (d. 1528), seems to have recovered Cranham by 1487 when he presented to the rectory. (fn. 51) Sir Richard was survived by his fourth wife, Jane (d. 1535). (fn. 52) Cranham was among the estates assigned to her for life, and with her next husband Sir John Norton, of Milton (Kent), she granted a 40-year lease of the manor from 1531 to Ralph Latham, goldsmith of London. (fn. 53) Sir Richard FitzLewis's son and heir John had died c. 1525, but John's daughter Ele (d. 1543) survived. By 1526 she had married John Mordaunt, later Lord Mordaunt; their son Lewis succeeded to Cranham in 1571 (fn. 54) In 1571, after 8 years of negotiation, most of the FitzLewis inheritance, including Cranham, was sold to the Petres of Ingatestone. (fn. 55) Cranham then included 540 a. of farm lands and at least 40 a. of woods and 200 a. of common. (fn. 56) Sir William Petre died in 1572 and his son (Sir) John, later Lord Petre, succeeded to the family estates. (fn. 57) In 1605 he settled Cranham and other properties on his third son Thomas on marriage. (fn. 58) Thomas (d. 1625) left as heir his younger son (Sir) Francis Petre (Bt.). (fn. 59) Francis sold Cranham for £6,100 in 1647 to Nathan Wright, a London merchant and alderman. (fn. 60) He died in 1658 and was succeeded by his son Benjamin who became a baronet in 1660. (fn. 61) Cranham descended with the baronetcy until the death in 1738 of Sir Samuel Wright. It then passed to Samuel's sister Elizabeth (d. 1787) who in 1743 married General James Oglethorpe (d. 1785), the founder of Georgia (U.S.A.). (fn. 62) By her will Mrs. Oglethorpe devised Cranham to Sir Thomas H. Apreece, Bt., grandson of her half-brother, Sir Nathan Wright. (fn. 63)
Sir Thomas (d. 1833) was succeeded by his son Sir Thomas G. Apreece, Bt. (d. 1842), who left his estates to be sold for the benefit of St. George's hospital, Hyde Park Corner (Lond.). His only surviving sister and heir, Amelia Peacocke, contested the will on the ground of his insanity, but in 1848 agreed to a compromise with the hospital. Cranham manor with an estate of 726 a. was consequently sold in 1852 to Samuel Gurney, of Ham Hall, West Ham, a partner in Overend, Gurney & Co., bankers. (fn. 64)
Gurney (d. 1856) was succeeded by his son Samuel (d. 1882) who enlarged the estate. (fn. 65) Overend, Gurney & Co. failed in 1866, and in 1867 the manor and estate, then 940 a., were offered for sale. The manor, detached from the estate, was then bought by George Rastrick (d. 1905), a solicitor, from whom it passed to his widow Beatrice (d. 1922) and then to his daughter Nora. (fn. 66) The greatest part of the estate, 812 a., was bought in 1867 by Richard Benyon, M.P. (d. 1897), of Englefield (Berks.) and descended with the manor of North Ockendon until 1937, when the Benyon estates in Essex were broken up. (fn. 67) Cranham Hall Farm and Cranham Lodge, with 415 a., were then sold to the Southend-on-Sea Estates Company who were still the owners in 1974. (fn. 68)
In the 18th century Cranham Hall, a brick house which was probably built about 1600, lay near the north-east corner of a walled garden of about 1½ a. Beyond this was a small park on the south and east. Most of the house appears to have been demolished in 1790, (fn. 69) but a small part was retained and incorporated in a new house with a main front of five bays facing east. The interior of this house was remodelled and service rooms were added on the west in the earlier 19th century. Further additions were made in 1904. In recent years the garden walls have fallen into decay; the wrought iron gates in the centre of the south side have been removed, (fn. 70) but the late17th-century piers remain. To the west of the garden is a large planned farm of the later 19th century.
The manor of BEREDENS or BERDENS, which lay in the north of the parish, extending into Great Warley, originated as a free tenement, held of the manor of Cranham Hall. (fn. 71) In 1357 and 1362 two daughters of Peter of Ockendon conveyed to John de Berden all their rights in Cranham. (fn. 72) In 1363 Berden bought from Sir Ralph St. Leger a house and 52 a. in the parish. (fn. 73) A later John Berden of Cranham was living in 1431. (fn. 74)
In 1453 Stephen Wylot and his wife Joan sold to John Rand of Barking an estate of 334 a., undoubtedly Beredens, in Cranham and Great Warley. (fn. 75) In 1455 Rand also bought Whybridge in Hornchurch. (fn. 76) Both manors descended to William Rand, who in 1523 sold them to (Sir) William Roche; Beredens then comprised 213 a. (fn. 77) In 1531 Rand's sister and heir, Thomasine, with her husband Ralph Byllopp (Belepe or Belupp) sold a further 49 a. in Cranham and Great Warley to Roche, now an alderman of London. (fn. 78) Roche bought more land in Cranham in 1535, and in 1538, with his wife Elizabeth, settled Beredens on their daughter Elizabeth on her marriage with Ralph Latham. (fn. 79) Beredens thereafter descended in the Latham family along with the neighbouring manor of Upminster Hall. (fn. 80) In 1614 it comprised 272 a. (fn. 81) Ralph Latham sold Beredens in 1641 to Stephen Beale (d. 1667), leatherseller of London, who was succeeded by his son Joshua Beale of Tottenham (Mdx.). (fn. 82) In 1710, after Joshua's death, his estates were divided, and Beredens passed to his nephew Stephen Jermyn, salter of London. Jermyn (d. 1724) was succeeded by his grandson, another Stephen Jermyn, who was declared a lunatic in 1747. On the latter's death in 1795 Beredens passed to George F. Tyson, whose grandmother Martha had been a daughter of Stephen Jermyn the elder. In 1801 Tyson sold the estate, then of 460 a., for £8,230 to Ralph Nicholson of Tottenham (Mdx.). The greater part of the estate was leased to William Rumney, (fn. 83) who was succeeded in 1822 by Henry J. Hance. Hance, described in 1858 as the surviving trustee of Ralph Nicholson, was by 1839 both owner and occupier of Beredens. (fn. 84) He died in 1863 or 1864. (fn. 85)
An agreement of 1865 suggests a family partition of the estate; it divided the lands in Cranham (338 a.), half to the use of Francis Stone and his wife Mary, half to that of trustees for unspecified beneficiaries. (fn. 86) Stone farmed Beredens until c. 1882. (fn. 87) R. T. Stoneham, a London solicitor, appears to have bought Beredens in 1879, and to have lived there from the mid 1880s until about 1910 when he was succeeded by his grandson, R. T. D. Stoneham. (fn. 88) In 1918 the Beredens estate of 248 a. was offered for sale in five lots, but only three then found buyers. (fn. 89) Over the next 40 years the estate was reconstituted as part of the larger Goldings estate in Great Warley. (fn. 90) It was again dispersed, in eight lots, at the Goldings sale of 1971. (fn. 91)
In 1886 Beredens was described as an old restored manor-house. (fn. 92) In 1920 it was occupied by Ethelreda (Audrey) Petre, Lady Petre. (fn. 93) It was destroyed in the Second World War, (fn. 94) and in 1945 Lady Petre sold the site with about 36 a. to Mrs. M. E. de Rougemont. (fn. 95) In 1971 the G.L.C. bought the site, farm buildings, and 13 a. (fn. 96)
The Domesday figures show Cranham as small and heavily wooded. (fn. 97) The manor of (Bishop's) Ockendon had woodland for 500 swine, and that of Cranham (Craohu) for 100 swine. According to J. H. Round's density formula this represents a figure of about 31½ per 100 a. of the whole village. (fn. 98) The two manors were both small and poor, but there were considerable differences between them. In 1066 and 1086 the manor of Bishop's Ockendon had the same number of plough-teams (3 on the demesne and 4 belonging to the tenants) but during that period the recorded population increased from 17 (6 villeins, 5 bordars, and 6 serfs) to 27 (8 villeins, 15 bordars, and 4 serfs), and the value of the manor rose from £4 to £6. In 1066 the smaller manor of Cranham had 1 villein, 1 bordar, and 1 plough, and was worth 50s. Its recorded population was unchanged in 1086, but there was then only ½ plough, and the value had fallen to 20s. The most significent of these figures seem to be those relating to the growth of the population, and especially of bordars, in Bishop's Ockendon. This was probably associated with forest clearance. (fn. 99)
By the 15th century the process of forest clearance was far advanced. In 1442 the demesne of Sir Lewis John's manor of Cranham included 264 a. arable and 164 a. pasture out of a total of 461 a. (fn. 100) There was a similar pattern of mixed farming, with arable predominating, in the 19th century. In 1808 the parish contained 1,260 a. arable and 298 a. pasture, and in 1839 there were 1,024 a. arable and 556 a. meadow. (fn. 101) The pastures were mainly on the northern slopes of the parish: in 1918 Beredens, which lay there, contained 177 a. meadow and pasture out of a total of 247 a. (fn. 102) In that part of Cranham, as in neighbouring parishes, livery stables and riding schools have since the Second World War replaced sheep and dairy farming.
By the 19th century only about 80 a. woodland remained in the parish, most of it in the north. (fn. 103) There is no evidence of open field farming. About 1565 there were 200 a. common waste, but by 1839 there were only 30 a., lying in the north, at Coombe Green. (fn. 104) In the later 18th and early 19th centuries there were some 10 or 12 farms and small holdings, but only 4 of these were over 100 a. (fn. 105) The largest were Cranham Hall and Beredens, which in 1839 were 474 a. and 337 a. respectively. (fn. 106)
There was a windmill on the manor of Cranham in 1442. (fn. 107) It was out of repair in 1463–4 (fn. 108) and no later reference to it has been found. It was probably in the north-east of the parish: Millfield Hill was said in 1594 to adjoin Cranham Wood, and in 1614 Millfield was part of Beredens. (fn. 109)
Cranham, like the neighbouring parishes, possessed brick-earth. In 1839 Brick Field Hollow was one of the Beredens enclosures in the north-east of the parish. (fn. 110) The Cranham Brick and Tile Co. had opened a kiln c. 1900 west of Franks Wood and north of the railway; it closed in 1920. (fn. 111)
In 1273–4 the bishop of London claimed the right of gallows in his manor of Cranham. (fn. 112) Draft records of the manor's court baron survive for the period 1577–1622, and three court books for 1705–1929. (fn. 113)
Parish records include vestry and select vestry minutes (1643–1800, 1818–23, 1825–9); overseers' accounts (1747–1817), rates (1747–95), and bills (1794–1818); a workhouse order book (1829–36); and surveyors' accounts and rates (1796–1836). (fn. 114)
The vestry minutes, up to 1796, recorded only meetings at which parish officers were named or accounts tendered. Signatures were recorded in the minutes between 1669 and 1747 and again in the 1790s. In those periods 3–5 parishioners usually signed. From 1669, when Edward Herbert became rector, the minutes were normally in the handwriting of the incumbent, but from 1731 to 1740 Herbert Tryst, who married Abigail (d. 1741) the widow of Sir Nathan Wright, Bt. (d. 1727), of Cranham Hall, kept the minutes. Thomas Talbot, who was also the vestry clerk of Upminster, was vestry clerk at Cranham from 1795 to 1829 or later. (fn. 115)
There were two churchwardens until 1657 but only one between 1659 and 1795. From 1795 there were again two. In 1703, 1704, 1706, 1744, 1760–6, and 1772 the rector chose the warden; in 1796–1800 and 1826–8 he also nominated one. A single overseer was nominated in the period 1646–1764; thereafter there were normally two. In 1778 and 1782 the nominations of voluntary substitutes as overseers were recorded. Between 1791 and 1796 each overseer received two guineas a year. In 1828 a paid assistant overseer was appointed. The appointment, however, was challenged, and it is not known whether it endured. (fn. 116) Cranham had two constables in the period 1646–60, one or two between 1660 and 1688, and only one thereafter, until 1800. There seem always to have been two surveyors of highways.
A select vestry was established in 1819. It met twice a month under the chairmanship of the rector. Meetings were held in the church until 1829, and then in the vestry room of the new parish workhouse.
Separate rates were granted to the churchwardens and to the surveyors. The constable also received a separate rate until c. 1740, after which he was reimbursed by the churchwardens. From 1761 the highway surveyors received, as well as their rate, allowances or compositions in lieu of statute duty and fines.
In the earlier 18th century Cranham appears to have supported its poor by paying rents and giving doles. From 1770 payments can also be found for various parishioners' club contributions, sometimes as gifts, sometimes as loans. In 1660–1, 1710–11, and 1797, payments were made to those taking apprentices.
A 'parish house' was first mentioned in 1782, when 8s. was paid for providing a loom for it. During the following years the vestry alternated between maintaining its own workhouse or poorhouse and sending paupers to workhouses in neighbouring parishes. Between 1786 and 1788 three of Cranham's paupers were in Great Warley workhouse. From 1789 to 1797 Cranham was renting a poorhouse at 1s. a week. Between 1797 and 1816 paupers, up to 5 in number, were being sent to Upminster workhouse. From 1817 there was again a Cranham poorhouse with a resident master.
In 1825 Cranham arranged to farm out its poor to South Ockendon, (fn. 117) but the arrangement was terminated in 1827 when the vestry decided to build its own workhouse, and meanwhile rented two rooms in a farm-house near the junction of Front and St. Mary's Lanes. The workhouse, completed in 1829, was on the south side of St. Mary's Lane between The Chase and Pike Lane. It had three rooms on the ground floor, one of which was the vestry room. Between 1829 and 1836 there were usually about 12 inmates.
Out-relief continued to be given in some cases, but in 1822 the vestry resolved that such relief should be given to the able poor living in the parish in bread rather than money. Other food was to be earned by labour.
Until 1783 the vestry paid for the medical treatment of paupers on a casual basis. From 1783 regular contracts were made with a succession of local doctors. These contracts usually provided, after 1811, that the doctor should attend the Cranham poor in neighbouring parishes as well as in Cranham itself.
In the later 17th century a 1d. rate produced about £3, and the cost of poor-relief averaged about £9. In the period 1698–1700 expenditure was exceptionally high, at over £30 a year, but that level was not again reached until 1719–20. Between 1719 and 1761 expenditure averaged about £36, in 1761–82 over £89, in 1782–95 over £142, and in 1796–1818 almost £336. The product of a 1d. rate increased, after revaluation in 1795, to £7.
In 1836 Cranham became part of Romford poorlaw union. The parish workhouse was sold in the same year to George Rowe of Upminster. (fn. 118)
The earliest reference to a church in Cranham occurs in 1254. (fn. 119) The advowson of Cranham rectory passed with lordship of the manor of Cranham Hall until the 18th century. Three times in the 16th century presentations were granted away. (fn. 120) In 1735 Herbert Tryst and his wife Abigail, the widow of Sir Nathan Wright, Bt. (d. 1727), presented John Woodrooffe. (fn. 121) Woodrooffe died in 1786, and his successor, George Strahan, presented himself. (fn. 122) Strahan sold the advowson in 1818 to Thomas Ludbey (d. 1819), whose son and namesake became rector in the same year. (fn. 123) In 1830 the elder Ludbey's widow, Jane, sold the advowson to St. John's College, Oxford, with whom it has since remained. (fn. 124)
The value of the rectory was 15 marks in 1254, £8 in 1291, and £13 13s. 4d. in 1535. (fn. 125) In the 18th century the augmented value was £130. (fn. 126) The tithes were commuted in 1839 for £560. (fn. 127) The glebe, comprising some 40 a., lay on both sides of Front Lane south of its junction with Moor (Back) Lane. (fn. 128) There too was the rectory house, mentioned in 1610. (fn. 129) It was rebuilt on the same site in 1790, incorporating material from the recently demolished Cranham Hall, and was a brick building of two storeys and attics, with 7 bays to the front. (fn. 130) The house and glebe were sold for development in 1924, and a new rectory was built half a mile south, near the church. (fn. 131)
Since Cranham was a small, thinly populated parish, the rectors before the Civil War were often non-resident or pluralist or both. (fn. 132) Ignatius Jordan, who became rector in 1639, was sequestrated in 1643. His successor, Robert Watson, was appointed in the same year, (fn. 133) and was succeeded c. 1652 by John Yardley. (fn. 134) In 1660 Jordan petitioned for restoration, but then apparently exercised his right to confirm Yardley as incumbent, for it was not until 1662 that Yardley was ejected for nonconformity. (fn. 135) Between the Restoration and 1818 the non-resident and pluralist traditions of Cranham's rectors were revived, (fn. 136) but Thomas Ludbey, rector 1818–59, was, like the incumbents of the Interregnum and John Woodrooffe (1735–86), resident in Cranham. There had been no resident landowner since the deaths of General and Mrs. Oglethorpe, and Ludbey was clearly the leader in parish life. (fn. 137) It was, however, in the time of his successor Charles Rew (1859–84) that the church was rebuilt. (fn. 138)
The names of assistant curates are recorded from 1577. (fn. 139) One of the most notable was Ralph Josselin, who was at Cranham briefly in 1640. His income was £44: £24 provided by the rector, £10 by the parish, and £10 in diet by his uncle and namesake, the tenant of Cranham Hall, with whom he lodged. (fn. 140)
The church of ALL SAINTS, the Chase, was built in 1873–5 on the site of its predecessor, which had the same dedication. The old church, which apparently dated from the 13th century, comprised nave, chancel, south porch, and short weatherboarded west tower. (fn. 141) There were three narrow lancets on each side of the chancel, the easternmost window on the south wall being shorter to make room for a round-headed doorway. The east window was of a later date. The nave had a large window with 4 round-headed lights on the north side and another on the south. The timber porch stood on a brick foundation, with weatherboarding below and lattice-work above. The west wall of the nave contained three lancet windows, two below and one above in the gable. These were blocked, apparently in the 15th century, by the west tower. (fn. 142) The tower had a semi-octagonal brick base with a tiled pentroof from which rose a weatherboarded bell-chamber with a low pyramidal slate roof. (fn. 143)
In 1638 the high pew was ordered to be removed from the chancel and the altar to be set against the east wall. The latter order was repeated in 1685, when it was added that the altar should be railed. (fn. 144) In 1702–3 the north side of the church was 'ripped up and new piled'. (fn. 145) No further major repairs have been noted, and in 1871 the church was said to be in a miserable state of dirt and dilapidation. (fn. 146)
The present church of All Saints, designed by Richard Armstrong, cost £5,114, most of which was given by Richard Benyon owner of Cranham Hall. It is built of stone in the Early English style and consists of chancel, nave, south porch and north tower. (fn. 147)
Of the monuments retained from the old church, the marble tablet to General Oglethorpe (d. 1785) was replaced on the south chancel wall; in the chancel floor were set a brass inscription to Nathan Wright (d. 1658) and a floor-slab to his daughter Susannah (d. 1664), successively the wife of Charles Potts and Francis Drake.
The three bells, all of c. 1460, were rehung, for chiming only, in the new church. Two were cast by John Danyell and the third by Henry Jordan. (fn. 148)
The church plate includes an undated silver cup of the period 1696–1729 presented by the rector in 1745; a silver paten of unknown date, and another of 1823 inscribed 'Cranham Essex 1745'. (fn. 149)
The district of ST. LUKE, Cranham Park, was formed in 1957 from Cranham and Upminster, the advowson being vested in the bishop. (fn. 150) Services had been held since 1955 in a builder's hut, also used by the Baptists and the Brethren. (fn. 151) A dual-purpose church was consecrated in 1957, and a church hall built c. 1966. (fn. 152)
From 1571 to 1647 Cranham Hall was held by the Petres, who were prominent recusants. Sir Edward Petre, Bt. (1631–99), confessor to James II, was a member of the Cranham branch of this family. (fn. 153) Cranham (or Crondon) Park, where there was a Roman Catholic congregation in the 18th century, was in Stock parish, not Cranham. (fn. 154) In 1973 Sunday mass, served from Upminster, was being celebrated at the Golden Crane, Avon Road. (fn. 155)
John Yardley, who in 1662 was ejected for nonconformity from the rectory of Cranham, was in 1672 granted a general licence to preach as a Presbyterian. (fn. 156) He was then living at (South) Weald, but may well have preached at Cranham, where the houses of John Petchey and Philip Dixon were licensed for Presbyterian worship. (fn. 157) In 1676 only one nonconformist was reported in the parish. (fn. 158)
In 1835 the house of E. Phillpots at Cranham was registered for worship by Joseph Gray, a Congregational minister at Chelmsford. (fn. 159) A mission hall in Lower Road was registered for Christians in 1895. (fn. 160) Moor Lane chapel was registered by the Brethren in 1955. (fn. 161) Cranham Baptist church, Severn Drive, originated c. 1955 when Upminster Baptist church started services in a builders' hut for members who were moving to the new houses in Cranham. (fn. 162) The church was completed in 1957. (fn. 163) It was extended in 1974. (fn. 164)
The Boyd Church of England school was founded in 1818 by the family of Thomas Boyd (d. 1846) of Cranham Hall. (fn. 165) It was held in a cottage where children under 8 years were taught Bible reading, writing, and needlework. Mrs. Sarah Hunwicks was the schoolmistress from 1818 to 1874. (fn. 166) In 1836 an evening-school was started at Cranham Hall, supported by Miss Sarah Boyd (1801–97); it was affiliated to Grays technical instruction board in 1897 and transferred to Essex county council in 1901. (fn. 167) By 1839 sixteen children were being taught in the day-school. Thomas Boyd, and Thomas Ludbey, rector 1818–59, paid for the teaching of children who could not afford school pence. Good conduct was rewarded by gifts of clothing. (fn. 168) In 1846–7 there were 9 boys and 20 girls at the school. (fn. 169) When the school cottage was pulled down in 1854, the school moved to a wooden building which had been used by the evening and Sunday schools. It was enlarged in 1861. (fn. 170) In 1870 a school for 115 children and a teacher's house were built in St. Mary's Lane as a memorial to the work of Sarah Boyd. Richard Benyon, owner of Cranham Hall, gave the site and paid part of the building costs. (fn. 171) The new school contained rooms for Miss Boyd under whose sole control it remained until she moved to Wanstead in 1889. (fn. 172) She continued to support the school until her death in 1897, when a voluntary rate was raised to maintain it. (fn. 173) It had received an annual government grant since 1890–1. (fn. 174) In 1902 the school was reorganized into two departments for mixed and infant children; the infants department was enlarged in 1912 for 40 children. In 1916 it was described as a bad school, needing regular supervision. (fn. 175) It was reorganized in 1936 for mixed juniors and infants. In 1938 it was taken over by the county council pending the building of a new school. In 1941 the church hall was also being used for temporary accommodation. The school closed in 1950, (fn. 176) but was used temporarily in 1957–8 by children from Oglethorpe primary school. (fn. 177) In 1974 it was the village hall. (fn. 178)
Oglethorpe county primary school, Ashvale Gardens, opened in 1950 for 320 juniors and 200 infants. (fn. 179) Engayne county primary school, Severn Drive, for 320 juniors and 240 infants opened in 1958. (fn. 180) Hall Mead county secondary school, Marlborough Gardens, opened in 1960. It was enlarged in 1968 and 1973. (fn. 181) All Cranham schools passed to the London borough of Havering in 1965. (fn. 182)
CHARITIES FOR THE POOR.
It was stated c. 1727 that Nathan Wright (d. 1657) gave 'alms-houses for two persons in St. Mary's Lane'. (fn. 183) No later references have been found to these alms-houses and they did not exist in 1786. (fn. 184)