A History of the County of Hertford: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1908.
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In this section
La Bernete, la Barnette, or la Bernette Abbatis (xiii cent.); Chepyng Barnet (xiv cent.); Cheaping or Chipping Barnet (xvi cent.); Chipping or High Barnet (xviii cent.).
Chipping or High Barnet now includes parts of the parishes of South Mimms and Hadley. New Barnet comprises the ecclesiastical district of Lyonsdown, which was constituted from East and Chipping Barnet in 1869. (fn. 1) Barnet Vale was formed into a civil parish in 1894, and into an ecclesiastical parish from Chipping Barnet in 1899, (fn. 2) and South Mimms Urban parish was constituted in 1894, (fn. 3) and comprises that part of South Mimms which lies in the urban district of Chipping Barnet. Arkley is a civil parish formed in 1894 to the west of Chipping Barnet and contains 830 acres. Arkley village stands at a height of about 440 ft. above the ordnance datum, and extensive views are thence obtained towards London on the south and over Hertfordshire on the north and west.
The old ecclesiastical parish of Chipping Barnet is part of a peninsula of Hertfordshire running east into the county of Middlesex. The north end lies on a ridge of ground 400 ft. above ordnance datum, while in the south the land slopes down considerably to the valley of Dollis Brook. The church, which is in the centre of the town, stands on the brow of the hill. The old North Road entering the town from Hadley Green on the north forms a wide High Street, but in the middle of the town it curves sharply and is very much narrowed, and at this point Wood Street runs off due west, being part of the Barnet and Watford high road. At the angle between these roads stands the parish church, opposite to which was formerly the lock-up house. Until 1890 a block of houses called Middle Row divided them, but this block was demolished in that year, and now the two roads form a wide open space at which is the terminus of the electric tramway which runs to Highgate. These two chief roads of the old coaching days are still the most important streets, but a number of new houses have crowded out many of the older ones, and for the last twenty years new streets have been opened up north and south. South of the church and on the opposite side of Wood Street is an old building, formerly the grammar school, bearing the date 1573. Other buildings have been added, and the old schoolroom serves as the present dining-hall. A little farther from the church on the north side of Wood Street is the 'Jesus Hospital' built and endowed by James Ravenscroft in 1679.
A church-house, just finished, stands at the west of the church.
Of late years many good residences standing in gardens have been built along the western part of Wood Street, and there are some public gardens called the Recreation Ground, well laid out and containing fine trees and a large sheet of water. They were formed from part of Barnet Common and opened in 1883. Formerly the pound stood on part of this ground.
On Barnet Common in Arkley, 135 acres of which were inclosed in 1728–9, (fn. 4) and part in 1731, there is a mineral-water well, which was at one time in high repute for its medicinal properties. Its discovery is noted in 1652, (fn. 5) and Fuller in his Worthies in 1662 says that 'already the catalogue of cures done by this spring amounteth to a great number; insomuch that there is hope in process of time the water rising here will repair the blood shed hard by and save as many lives as were lost in the fatal battle at Barnet.' (fn. 6) Pepys in his diary records under date 11 July, 1664, that he took five glasses of the water, but he adds that 'when he arrived home he was not very well, and so went betimes to bed, and during the night got worse and worse so that he melted almost to water.' (fn. 7) On 11 August, 1667, he went again to Barnet, but remembering his former experience he took only three glasses and then went to the 'Red Lion,' where he says that he 'ate some of the best cheese cakes I ever did eat in my life.' (fn. 8) This inn is the old 'Red Lion' at Underhill near the railway bridge. In 1677 Mr. Owen, an alderman of London, gave 20s. a year to Barnet in trust to be paid by the company of Fishmongers for the repair of the Physic Well, (fn. 9) and in an Act of Parliament of 2 Geo. II for an inclosure of part of Barnet Common a clause was inserted for the due security of the right of the medicinal well to the inhabitants of Barnet for ever. (fn. 10) About 1808 a subscription was raised by the neighbouring gentlemen for arching over the well and erecting a pump, for the house formerly built over it was beginning to fall into decay, and was demolished in 1840. (fn. 11) The well still exists, and is reached from Wood Street by Wellhouse Lane, a road which terminates in a grassy lane.
The battle fought on Easter Day, 1471, which is known as the battle of Barnet, took place on the hill on which the town stands. Sir Jeremy Sambrook of North Mimms erected an obelisk in 1740, about a mile north from Barnet church on a spot which marked the site of Warwick's death after the battle, (fn. 12) but from remains found at Gladsmuir in Monken Hadley, that is believed to be the centre of the actual battle. A British gold coin was found at Barnet.
Barnet was early a place of considerable importance owing to its position on the high road from London to the north. At one time over a hundred and fifty mail and stage coaches, besides post-chaises, private carriages, wagons, &c., passed daily through the town. (fn. 13)
In consequence of the large amount of traffic passing through it there were many inns at Chipping Barnet. Among them were the 'Three Cups,' the 'Bush,' the 'Red Lion,' the 'Man,' the 'Rose and Crown,' the 'Peahen and Swan,' the 'George,' and the 'Antelope,' or the 'Cardynalles Hat.'
The prefix Chipping was acquired in consequence of the market to be held on Thursdays, which was granted to the abbot of St. Albans by King John in 1199. (fn. 14) The day on which the market was held afterwards became changed to Monday, possibly owing to a re-grant by Queen Elizabeth, and in 1592 a complaint was made by the inhabitants of Leighton Buzzard, whose market was held on Tuesday, that the market at Barnet forestalled their sale of meat in London and elsewhere, and it was decreed that the Barnet market day should be changed to Thursday, as it was originally held. (fn. 15) It would seem, however, that this change was not made, for in 1758 John Thomlinson, then lord of the manor, applied to have the market day altered from Monday to Wednesday, on which day it is still held. (fn. 16) Fairs and a court of piepowder were claimed by John Thomlinson under a grant by Queen Elizabeth to Charles Butler, to be held on the eve, day, and morrow of St. John the Baptist and of St. Luke the Evangelist. The dates of these fairs were changed in 1758 to 8, 9 and 10 April, and 4, 5, and 6 September. (fn. 17) Fairs are now held on 8 April, 4, 5, and 6 September, and 21 November: the first two are cattle and horse fairs, to which animals are sent from all parts of the kingdom, but principally from Scotland and Wales. During the fair week in September there were formerly horse-races held in the field now occupied by the High Barnet station. The races were discontinued when the station was built in 1871, (fn. 18) but the horse fair is still famous, although it has greatly declined during the last few years, and efforts have been made to have it abolished. At one time as many as forty or forty-five thousand head of cattle were brought to it, and on them a toll was due to the lord of the manor.
The electric lighting of the town is supplied by the North Metropolitan Electrical Power Distribution Company, Limited, and the gas and water supply by the Barnet District Gas and Water Company, whose works are at New Barnet. There are barracks in the High Street and also a depot of the seventh battalion King's Royal Rifle Corps. The Police Station is also in the High Street. There are two local newspapers, the Barnet Press and the Barnet Times.
Place-names are Whelmefeeld, Gulletsfield, Chitterlingswell, Southall or Southawewood, Braynte, Hadamslond, and Gannokesland.
John Leifchild, an Independent minister, was born at Barnet in 1780, and was educated at the grammar school there. He wrote many religious treatises, hymns, addresses, and sermons, and helped to edit the Evangelist, a monthly magazine, between 1837 and 1839.
William Grant Broughton, D.D., metropolitan of Australasia, was educated at Barnet Grammar School. He became archdeacon of New South Wales in 1828, and was consecrated bishop of Australia on 14 February, 1836.
Nevil Maskelyne, afterwards astronomer royal, became curate of Barnet in 1755.
Except for a few patches of gravel the soil is nearly all clay, and the subsoil is London clay.
The parish is quite destitute of woodland. In 1905 the parish of Chipping Barnet comprised 13½ acres of arable and 195 acres of permanent grass. South Mimms contained 2 acres of arable and 38½ acres of permanent grass, Barnet Vale 1½ acres of arable land and 181 acres of permanent grass, Arkley 46 acres of arable and 608 acres of permanent grass, and Hadley 1½ acres of arable and 1 acre of permanent grass. (fn. 19) The soil being too cold for cattle, most of the land is given up to hay growing.
There are several factories in Barnet, viz., Elliott & Sons' photographic works, Watson's optical works, Swain & Sons photographic engraving works, and a dental factory. These employ a great number of the inhabitants; many others go daily to London and elsewhere to their work.
The High Barnet branch of the Great Northern Railway has a terminus just outside the town on the east, and there is a station at New Barnet on the main line of the Great Northern Railway. The Great North Road connects the town with London and Hatfield, and the New Road leads to St. Albans.
In 1823 the trustees of the Great North Road were required to undertake the work of raising that part of the road near Pricklers Hill to a higher level, and of reducing the inclination of that part leading to the southern entrance to the town of Barnet. Two plans were suggested by means of which this improvement might be effected. One was to raise an embankment at the lower part of the hill, and the other to cut down the top of Barnet Hill at the entrance to the town. The final plan was a combination of these two, and the work was completed in about four years at a cost of £17,000. (fn. 20)
At the time of Wat Tyler's rebellion the men of Barnet obtained a charter of liberties, including free hunting and fishing and the right of keeping handmills. (fn. 21) This charter was, however, withdrawn on the death of Wat Tyler. (fn. 22) All the nativi of Barnet were obliged to do suit at the abbot's court at Barnet every three weeks, and were not allowed to alienate or let their tenements without licence. On a death the abbot was to have the best beast or movable chattel, and a heriot on surrender. Pleas of tenements, contracts, &c., were only to be determined at the court of the abbot, called 'the Court under the Asshe' at St. Albans. (fn. 23) Certain tenants held their land by the service of carrying fuel from the demesne wood in Barnet to the hospice of the abbot in London when requested to do so by the bailiff. (fn. 24)
In 1423 Barnet was visited by Henry Chicheley archbishop of Canterbury, and the fact that the bells were not rung in his honour gave him great offence. The rector excused himself by saying that ringing the bells was contrary to the custom of his church, but the abbot commanded him to do so in future. (fn. 25) The archbishop again visited Barnet in 1426, and again the bells were not rung. Consequently he sealed the doors of the church, but the seal was removed by John Hatfield the archdeacon. (fn. 26)
The manor of BARNET is not mentioned in the Domesday Survey, nor has any grant of it to St. Albans under this name been found, but it was confirmed to the abbey by Henry II and John together with the woods of Southaw and 'Huzeheog.' (fn. 27) Early in the reign of William I the abbey was deprived of part of its possessions at Barnet, for William, on the pretext of requiring more military retainers, took from the abbey all the demesne which they had from Barnet to London, to the place called Londoneston. (fn. 28)
In 1274–5 the convent obtained a rent of two marks in Barnet from land which formerly belonged to Ralph de Querendon, and which the abbot had bought of Eustace de la Rokele and Beatrice his wife, and Geoffrey son of Ralph de Querendon. (fn. 29) At about the same time the abbot acquired a foss at Barnet from Humphrey de Bohun earl of Hereford and Essex, and a grove there from the prior of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem. (fn. 30) In the reign of Edward I a dissension arose between the abbot and the king, who demanded toll in the vill of Barnet. It was decided in 1295 in favour of the abbot, and the mistake seems to have arisen in consequence of the fact that the custodian of Hertford Castle took toll in Hertford, Hatfield, North Mimms, and other adjoining towns, and therefore thought that toll was also due from Barnet. (fn. 31) In 1344 William atte Penne of Barnet forged deeds by which he claimed to hold his copyhold land freely by charter, with the right to alienate it, and the abbot, foreseeing that if William made good his claim all the other copyholders of Barnet might do the like, determined to proceed against him in a trial by assize. The trial was decided in favour of the abbot, and in 1347 he granted to William and Ellen his wife a lease of the tenement for life, with remainder to their sons John, William, and Thomas, at a fixed rent and service, and suit at the court of Barnet twice a year. (fn. 32)
The manor of Barnet extended into the parish of South Mimms, and from this cause trouble arose between the abbot and Sir Roger de Leukenor, lord of South Mimms, who wished to make the abbot's tenants come to his view of frankpledge at South Mimms. In 1347 an agreement was made by which the tenants of the abbot in that part of Barnet which lay in South Mimms were to come to the abbot's view at East Barnet once a year. (fn. 33)
The manor remained in the possession of the abbey until the Dissolution, (fn. 34) when it came to the crown, and was granted in 1553 to John Goodwin and John Maynard and the heirs of the latter, to be held by the service of a twentieth part of a knight's fee. (fn. 35) These grantees conveyed it in the following year to Anthony Butler, (fn. 36) who died seised of it in 1570, having bequeathed it to his wife Margaret for her life. (fn. 37) Margaret afterwards married Sir Charles Dymock, and outlived her son Charles, who died in 1602. (fn. 38) She died in 1609, and was succeeded by her grandson William Butler, son of Charles, (fn. 39) who died a minor in 1613, when the manor came to his brother Anthony. (fn. 40) He sold it in 1619 to Sir John Weld, (fn. 41) who died in 1623, leaving his son and heir Humphrey a minor. (fn. 42) Humphrey conveyed the manor to Laurence Meyer and Elizabeth his wife as trustees, and they conveyed it in 1657–8 to Thomas Mundy for ninety-nine years at a rent of one peppercorn. (fn. 43) At the same time John Farewell and Anne his wife, who had some interest in the manor, conveyed their interest for the same term to Thomas Mundy. (fn. 44) In 1664 Thomas conveyed the remainder of his lease to John Elsome, (fn. 45) and twenty years later John Farewell, son of John and Anne, and John Elsome sold the manor to John Latton. (fn. 46) He and his wife Lettice sold it in 1687 to John Nicoll and Anne Searle, who were to hold it jointly. (fn. 47) In 1689 John Nicoll petitioned for the liberty of free warren on Barnet Common, which liberty he said was contained in the title deeds of the manor. He stated that the common was formerly a wood, but had been of recent years laid waste, and used as a common. (fn. 48) Anne Searle afterwards married Sir William Hedges, and she and her husband, with John Nicoll and Sarah his wife, conveyed the manor in 1692 to Sir Thomas Cooke, (fn. 49) who shortly afterwards mortgaged it. (fn. 50) Thomas was succeeded by his son John, and in 1721 the manor was conveyed by Edward Sayer, Sir Biby Lake, and William Hamond, probably trustees for John Cooke, to James duke of Chandos. (fn. 51) It was settled in 1734 upon James's son Henry and Mary his wife, and in 1746 the entail was barred. (fn. 52) In 1747 Henry duke of Chandos sold the manor to John Thomlinson, (fn. 53) who died in 1767, (fn. 54) when the manor came to his granddaughter Mary, only daughter of his son John. (fn. 55) She married Edward Beeston Long, and conveyances of the manor were made in 1786 and 1787, (fn. 56) probably for the purpose of settlements. Mary died in 1818, (fn. 57) and her husband in 1825, (fn. 58) leaving Henry Lawes Long his heir. (fn. 59) Henry sold the manor in 1834 to Sir William Henry Richardson of Chessel House, (fn. 60) on whose death in 1848 the manor came to his son William Henry. He died in 1906, and the manor passed to his brother Charles Garner Richardson, the present owner. Manor courts, at which constables were elected, were held on Easter Tuesday, until the establishment of a local police force made their continuance unnecessary. (fn. 61)
There was a manor in Barnet known as KECHYNERS manor, which belonged to the kitchener of the monastery of St. Albans. (fn. 62) At the Dissolution it passed, with the rest of the possessions of the abbey, to the crown, and was granted to Sir Richard Lee in 1547, when it was occupied by the rector of Barnet. (fn. 63) It apparently afterwards became annexed to Barnet manor, for in 1554, when John Goodwin and John Maynard sold the manors of Barnet and East Barnet to Anthony Butler, Kitcheners manor was reserved from the sale, and was said to be held by the parson of Barnet. (fn. 64) The later descent of this manor is not known, but its site may perhaps be traced in the close called Kitchinfield, which afterwards became part of the property known as Trevor Park in East Barnet (q.v.).
A tenement called PEKFITHELES in Barnet was held in the early fifteenth century by Simon Peke-fythelle, from whom it descended to his son John. He surrendered the tenement in 1430 to John of Wheathampstead, abbot of St. Albans, (fn. 65) by whom a rent from it was assigned to the office of master of the works. (fn. 66) Nothing further is known of this tenement, which in all probability subsequently became merged in the manor of Barnet.
The first mention of LYONSDOWN occurs in 1553–4, when it was agreed between the inhabitants of East and Chipping Barnet that Lyonsdown should be part of the latter town. (fn. 67) In 1604 some land and a wood called the Downs, lying to the north of Pricklers, were held by John Dymelby. (fn. 68) Lyonsdown is found some six years later in the possession of Matthew Thwaites, in whose family it remained till 1655, when Richard Thwaites and Hester his wife surrendered it to Robert Peniston of Kingston-on-Thames. (fn. 69) Robert Frampton was admitted in 1699 to part of the Lyonsdown estate, and his daughter Sarah, wife of Thomas Gill, succeeded him in 1716. The estate was acquired two years later by Sir Peter Meyer. He died in 1728, and Peter Meyer, his eldest son, was admitted in 1730. (fn. 70) He died in 1756, leaving the messuage called Lyonsdown in Chipping and East Barnet to his wife Sarah. (fn. 71) Francis Creuze acquired the estate in 1781, and Andrew Reid in 1792. (fn. 72) Andrew died at Lyonsdown in 1841, when he was succeeded by his son William, who sold the property to John Cattley, a Russia merchant. He sold it in 1849 to the Great Northern Railway Company, and the estate now forms part of New Barnet. (fn. 73)
The church of ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST stands at the junction of the two roads which unite to form the High Street of Barnet, and consists of a chancel of two bays with north vestry and organ chamber and south chapel, nave 79 ft. by 23 ft., with two aisles on the north and one on the south, and west tower. The building assumed its present form in 1875, having been before that date of much smaller dimensions. The old nave is the north aisle of the present nave, still preserving its own north aisle, while the present organ chamber stands on the site and preserves the plan of the old chancel. At the west end of the old nave was a tower, overlapped on north and south by the aisles, which was for the most part taken down in 1875, when the present tower was built. As a result of these transformations, due to Mr. Butterfield, the architectural history of the church cannot be carried back very far. A plan is fortunately preserved in the library of the Society of Antiquaries of London, which shows that its dimensions were, chancel 16 ft. by 19 ft. wide, nave about 60 ft. long and 19 ft. wide at the east, narrowing regularly to 16 ft. at the west. The width between the aisle walls was, however, at west as at east, 49 ft. 3 in., so that the aisles were wider at the west than at the east. Remains of fourteenth-century work are said to have existed in the north wall of the north aisle, and it is clear that the aisle walls were the earliest existing parts of the building. (fn. 74) The tower was built early in the fifteenth century, and at the time of its building there must have existed north and south arcades to the nave, with a nave of about 16 ft. span. The chancel was rebuilt probably about 1450, being considerably wider than the former chancel, and doubtless built round it in the usual way. Several steps in the development of the east end of the nave have no doubt been lost, but the final stage was the rebuilding of the arcades and clearstory of the nave by John Beauchamp, who died in 1453. The builders preserved the old width of 16 ft. at the west end, but at the east made the nave of the full span of the new chancel, 19 ft., causing the curious irregularity already noted. The arcades are of five bays, with moulded arches of two orders, and slender clustered columns having attached round shafts and moulded half-octagonal capitals. The clearstory has three-light windows with cinquefoiled lights, all the tracery having been renewed, and the glass removed from those on the south, which now open to the modern nave. In the spandrel between the third and fourth bays of the south arcade is a contemporary tablet inscribed 'Ora [te pro anima] Joh[anni]s beuchamp fūdatoris hui' operis.' The roof is of flat pitch and modern, but rests on old stone corbels with shields, bearing the arms of the see of Canterbury, St. Albans, France, and England quarterly, and a cheveron between three roses.
The old chancel, now an organ chamber, contains nothing ancient except a doorway in its east wall opening to the vestry, which was formerly the south doorway of the chancel, and opened to a vestry now destroyed. It is of fifteenth-century date with an embattled string over it, and retains a good oak door with fifteenth-century tracery in the panels. Below the east window of the vestry to which it opens is the cinquefoiled head of a fifteenth-century piscina, built in.
The old north aisle has an east window of two cinquefoiled lights with tracery, and in the north wall two square-headed windows of three cinquefoiled lights, all being modern. The altar in this aisle was probably the Trinity altar, at which a gild of the Trinity maintained a priest; (fn. 75) in the south-east angle is part of a piscina, contemporary with the nave arcades, but having lost its drain. The north doorway is in the west bay of the aisle, and is modern. Before 1819 the church had brick north and south porches, (fn. 76) pulled down in that year, and it seems that doorways in the normal position—one bay from the west ends of the aisles—existed till this time, being then replaced by doorways in the position of those now existing. Of the old west tower only part of the side walls is left, with arches opening north and south, of good masonry with hollow-chamfered orders. The masons' marks are unusually conspicuous for work of this date. The church was repewed and its arrangements considerably altered in 1838–9.
The modern nave and chancel are of a good scale and dignified, the chancel having a five-light east window with geometrical tracery. The chapel on its south side is treated externally as a transept, and contains the dilapidated colours of the West Middle-sex Militia, which went for service in Spain in 1814, though too late to see any fighting, as peace was declared as soon as they landed. The colours were placed here in 1875. On the east of the chapel is a small chapel built to contain the monuments of the Ravenscroft family, moved from their place in the old chancel. The chief is that of Thomas Ravenscroft, ob. 1630. The tomb was set up in 1632, and is an altar tomb with a canopy carried by grey marble pillars, and having two cusped semicircular arches in front. Over the canopy is a shield with Ravenscroft quartering Holland, Skevington, Brickhill, and Swettenham. The effigy of Thomas Ravenscroft, in ruff and gown, lies on the tomb, and at the back are the arms of his two wives, Smith and Powell, impaled with his own. On the front of the tomb are six scrolls bearing the names of children, with their marriage impalements. The church is more than usually rich in modern oak fittings, which include pulpit with canopy, chancel seats, and nave pews. All the bench ends in the church are elaborately carved; those in the old north aisle having reference to diocesan and local church history, and to the apostles and other saints; those in the old nave to Old Testament subjects; those in the new nave to New Testament subjects; and those in the south aisle to the offices of the Church and Christian symbols. This work was begun in 1888.
The font at the west end of the nave is modern, with a tall oak cover, superseding a plain octagonal font. The ancient font, probably made in 1452, (fn. 77) is now in the mission church of St. Stephen, having been found a few years ago in a garden, much mutilated.
In the tower are eight bells by Mears and Stainbank (1892), replacing a treble and tenor by John Warner of Cripplegate, 1874, and six others by Thomas Mears of Whitechapel, 1811.
The plate consists of a silver cup of 1706, the gift of Mrs. Ann Hassell, and a paten of the same date; a small cup of 1679, inscribed 'Chipping Barnet'; a paten of 1806; two modern chalices and patens given in 1894; and a modern flagon and bread knife.
The first book of the registers contains baptisms 1705–65, burials 1678–1763, and marriages 1678–1756; the second, baptisms in duplicate 1724–65, and continued to 1812, and burials in a like manner; the third, marriages 1755–1800; and the fourth the same from 1801 to 1823. There are also preserved a few entries of burials from 1657.
There are five books of churchwardens' accounts, beginning respectively 1656, 1761, 1838, 1858, and 1867.
In the St. Albans wills mentions of the altars of Our Lady, St. John Baptist, Holy Trinity, and the Rood are found, and of the images for these altars, and also of St. John Baptist and St. Eligius. The Lady altar was probably in the south aisle.
The church of Chipping Barnet belonged to the abbey of St. Albans before the Dissolution. It was apparently a chapel belonging to East Barnet. (fn. 78) In 1455 there was a decree as to the services to be held in the parish church of East Barnet and in the chapel of John the Baptist of Chipping Barnet extending the rights of the latter, (fn. 79) and in 1500 Chipping Barnet is described as a parish church. (fn. 80) The date when the chapel became parochial appears to be fixed by the mention of the making of a font in 1452. (fn. 81) In 1455 (fn. 82) the 'church or chapel' of St. John Baptist is named, in 1470 it is called the chapel of St. John Baptist, and in 1471 and 1472 (fn. 83) a church. The first mention of the chapel of St. John the Baptist is found in 1361, when John Botiller bequeathed 10s. to the chapel of St. John at 'le Barnet.' (fn. 84) The two churches were served by one incumbent, and it would seem that the double duties were not very satisfactorily carried out, for in 1471 a composition was made between the parishioners of the two parishes and the parish priest, by the mediation of the abbot of St. Albans, by which it was agreed that from thenceforth the parson 'shall sing and say every Sunday and holiday in his own person or by deputy, mattins, mass, and evensong in the church of St. John the Baptist in Cheping Barnett, and there minister to the parishioners of Cheping Barnett in his own person or by his deputy, sacraments and sacramentals. And in his own person, mattins, mass, and evensong in the church of East Barnet.' (fn. 85) After the Dissolution the advowson came to the crown, in which it is still vested. High Barnet remained a chapelry annexed to East Barnet (fn. 86) until 1866, when it was constituted a rectory. (fn. 87) A new churchyard was consecrated in 1895 by the bishop of St. Albans.
In 1579 it is reported of Chipping Barnet, 'when our parson, Edward Undern, is absent, one Mr. Mursett, our schoolmaster, doth expound the catechism on the Sabbath Day. Also one Harvey Samson, our clarke, doth say the daily service for the day, but not administers the sacraments.' (fn. 88)
Christ Church, in the urban part of South Mimms, was built in 1845 principally at the cost of Captain John Trotter of South Mimms, and was consecrated in 1852. The living is a vicarage in the gift of the present vicar, Rev. H. Trotter. The church of St. Peter, Arkley, was erected by Enoch Durant of High Canons in 1840 as a private chapel. The advowson was subsequently transferred by his representatives to the rector of Barnet. The chapel was consecrated, and an ecclesiastical parish was formed in 1905. It is now a perpetual curacy, the patronage having been transferred by the rector to the bishop of St. Albans. The church of Holy Trinity, New Barnet, was built in 1864. The living is a perpetual curacy in the gift of trustees. St. James's is a mission church in the parish of Holy Trinity. There is also a mission chapel erected in 1897 dedicated to the honour of St. Stephen in connexion with the parish church of Barnet, at Bell's Hill. The church of St. Mark, Barnet Vale, was built in 1902. The living is a perpetual curacy in the gift of the bishop of St. Albans, the patronage having been transferred to him by the present rector.
There was a gild or brotherhood at Barnet founded in a chapel of 'easement in the thorowefare' town of Barnet, and distant two miles from the parish church. Its revenues consisted of the farm of tenements called the Brotherhood House, and the 'Brotherhedd Prest Chamber,' and a close called 'Catall Close' near Potters Bar. Thomas Broke was the brotherhood priest in 1547–8 and received a salary of £6 13s. 4d. The sum of 10s. was paid yearly to the poor at obits. (fn. 89) The Brotherhood house was granted in 1548 to William Chester and others. (fn. 90)
There were traces of Lollardy at Barnet in the fifteenth century, and in 1427 William Redhed, maltman of Barnet, was brought before the abbot of St. Albans for having in his possession a little book in the vulgar tongue 'condemning the adoration of images and the mass.' (fn. 91) In 1555 William Hale, a heretic of Thorpe in Essex, was burnt at Barnet, perhaps as a warning to other heretics there. (fn. 92) A conventicle was held at Chipping Barnet in 1669 in a great chamber hired by John Faldoe, and in 1672 the house of John Faldoe was licensed as a meeting house, and he obtained a licence to be a Presbyterian preacher. (fn. 93) A meeting-house was built in Wood Street in 1709 for the members of the Union of Presbyterians and Independents formed in 1690. This chapel was closed in 1760 and was not reopened till 1797. It was rebuilt in 1824 and a burial ground shortly afterwards added. (fn. 94)
There was an Anabaptist meeting-house in Barnet in 1715 with a congregation of fifty people. The Baptists have now a large and handsome chapel here, formerly a meeting-house of the Wesleyans, and another at New Barnet. There are also Wesleyan chapels at Barnet and New Barnet, a Presbyterian church in Somerset Road, New Barnet, built in 1874, and a Brethren's Chapel in East Barnet Road, (fn. 95) New Barnet. The Roman Catholic Church dedicated to the honour of Mary the Immaculate and St. Gregory the Great, in Union Street, was built in 1850.
Jesus Hospital, situated in Wood Street, was founded by James Ravenscroft by deed dated 28 April, 1679, as a hospital or almshouses for six poor and impotent women (widows or maids), one of them to be the governess. The institution was to be a body corporate, and the said James Ravenscroft thereby granted to the governess and sisters the hospital site and buildings erected by him, and adjoining ground, and confirmed to the same corporation a piece of ground in Stepney containing 10 acres 3 roods, and then let at £34 a year. Statutes were made by the founder, providing (inter alia) that the proceeds of a little piece of ground at the end of the hospital should be received by the governess and her successors. The property at Stepney, now known as the Bethnal Green Estate, comprises about 374 houses (including the 'Queen Victoria' public house) under 94 several lessees, expiring at various dates from 1922 to 1925, the aggregate ground rents reserved being £1,050 a year. In 1747 the Old House Farm at Beauchamp Roding, Essex, of about 27 a. was purchased with part of a legacy of £500 by will of Mary Barcock, and is now let at £27 a year. In 1784 Ann Mills directed that the interest of £800 stock should be divided between the almswomen of this hospital and John Garrett's almshouses (see below). In consequence of the large increase in income, considerable accumulations have from time to time arisen, and sums amounting together to £7,500 (including £1,300 applied in 1890 in purchase of the Girls' School premises) have, under the authority of schemes made under the Endowed Schools Acts, been paid to the governors of the Grammar School, and £300 to Allen's School (see below); and in 1891 a loan of £1,000 at 2¾ per cent. was made to the governors for providing additional classrooms to the Girls' School, to be replaced in 30 years by annual instalments of £23, towards repayment of which the official trustees now (1906) hold £392 4s. 11d. consols. The hospital is also possessed of £2,029 14s. consols (including a moiety of Ann Mill's legacy mentioned above) and £1,000 India three per cent. stock. The gross income from endowment is about £1,160 a year. The six sisters receive 15s. a week each, coals, medical attendance and nursing as required, the governess receiving £2 12s. a year in addition for her land; the expenditure under this head is about £290 a year; an annual payment of £400 is made to the Grammar School, and also annual payments of £63 4s. and £82 14s. are respectively made to John Garrett's almshouses and Eleanor Palmer's almshouses, which, allowing for expenses of management, leaves an average surplus income of about £100 a year.
The almshouses known as Palmer's almshouses, situated in Wood Street, were built in 1823, and are maintained in part by two-thirds of the rents of 3 acres of copyhold land known as the Fortess Field Estate in St. Pancras, given, as appears from an in scription on a tablet in the church, by Mrs. Eleanor Palmer, who died on 29 February, 1558, for the use of this town and Kentish Town for ever. The land is let under fourteen separate leases for terms which expire in 1910, 1913, and 1922 respectively, comprising thirty-two houses, the share of the rent due to this charity being about £92. The annual sum of £82 14s. is received from Jesus Hospital (see above). The charity is also entitled to the dividends on a sum of £436 8s. 3d. India 3½ per cent. stock in court in respect of land taken in 1893–4 by the London County Council producing £15 5s. a year; also a sum of £169 6s. 8d. consols, presumably arising from accumulations of income. The almshouses are six in number accommodating six married couples who receive 12s. a week; the survivor is allowed to remain with a grant of 9s. a week. The Barnet portion of the charity is governed by a scheme of the Charity Commissioners, dated 22 May, 1863; an appointment of new trustees was made in 1894.
In 1728 John Garrett by will left £800 to buy land in Wood Street, Barnet, and to build six almshouses for poor old widows, inhabitants in or very near Barnet, and not receiving alms of the parish. The property of the charity consists of the almshouse site and buildings in Wood Street, near Jesus Hospital, and a sum of £3,030 18s. 7d. consols with the official trustees producing £75 15s. 5d. a year; the stock having arisen as to £1,666 13s. 4d., from gifts of John Garrett, Dr. Garrow, Ann Mills (see Jesus Hospital) and others; as to £1,104 19s. 5d. from Elizabeth Williams' gift; and as to £259 5s. 10d. from Edward Hill's gift. An annual sum of £63 is received from Jesus Hospital, making a total income of £140. The six inmates receive 8s. a week each. The site was formerly copyhold, but was enfranchised in 1862, and in 1866 was vested in the official trustee of charity lands. In 1879 new trustees were appointed by the Charity Commissioners.
James Ravenscroft's Charity, or the Chancel Estate, was founded by James Ravenscroft (the founder of Jesus Hospital), who by deed dated 28 April, 1679, granted to trustees 3 a. 3 r. in Stepney upon trust to apply the rents and profits in repairing and maintaining the monument of Thomas Ravenscroft and Thomasine his wife (the donor's father and mother) in the chancel of Chipping Barnet church, in repairing and maintaining the chancel, the vestry, and the fabric and furniture of the church. The property at Stepney, now known as the Barnet Chancel Estate, Bethnal Green, adjoining the property given by the same donor to Jesus Hospital, produced a rental of £41 only, under a lease which expired in 1871, but was then let on a total income of £1,250 a year. In 1873, with the sanction of the Charity Commissioners, the trustees borrowed on the security of the charity estate a sum of £12,000, which was applied towards the restoration of the parish church. The loan was finally discharged in 1892; £1,500 was also contributed towards the cost of a new rectory on a site voluntarily given; and in 1890, £1,024 was applied in the purchase of land at the east end of the parish church. The charity is now governed by a scheme established by order of the Charity Commissioners dated 4 July, 1893. The scheme provides for a body of twelve trustees consisting of five ex officio, viz. the rector and churchwardens, the archdeacon of St. Albans, and the rural dean of Barnet, one representative appointed by the vicar and churchwardens of Holy Trinity, Lyonsdown, and six co-optative. The net income is made applicable for the primary purposes indicated above, and power is given to the trustees to apply any moneys by sale of capital endowment, or by loan (subject to replacement), in the erection in the parish of places of worship of the Church of England, and repair thereof, and of other buildings in connexion with the Church of England, and of new or additional burial grounds, subject to the approval of the Charity Commissioners. At the date of the scheme the charity was possessed of £4,488 7s. 6d. India three per cent. stock with the Official Trustees of Charitable Funds, representing re-investment of proceeds of sales in 1874 and 1876 to the London School Board, and of a sum of £2,100 paid into court by the same board in respect of houses taken by them in 1892 under their compulsory powers. Under orders of the court, out of this fund £475 was applied in 1895 in the purchase of land to enlarge the site of St. Mark's Church, and in 1897 an additional sum of £800 in the purchase of a church room, in Barnet Vale, and the balance of the fund, represented by £792 2s. 10d. consols, was transferred to the official trustees. Under the powers of the scheme, transactions involving the expenditure of £13,000 or thereabouts have with the sanction of the Charity Commissioners been undertaken—7 a. 1 r. 21 p. at Bell's Hill were purchased in 1894, and conveyed to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, and 3 r. 28 p. also at Bell's Hill as a site for a mission room, afterwards built; St. Peter's church has been enlarged; also St. Mark's church has been erected, church rooms acquired, and a parish church-house built. Towards defraying the cost of these and other works the India stock and consols have been realized and the proceeds amounting to £5,687 19s. 4d. have been remitted to the trustees; sums of £3,500 and £2,400 have been borrowed from the Prudential Assurance Company, the capital and interest being repaid by annual instalments; arrangements have been made with the Charity Commissioners for the replacement of £6,950. The property at Bethnal Green now consists of 2 acres of land, and houses erected thereon, including the Royal Oak Public House, Columbia Road, let on a 21 years' lease expiring Michaelmas, 1908, for £200 a year, the Raleigh Works, Ravenscroft Street, let on a lease for 80 years from Michaelmas, 1891, for £155; shops and flats let to the Ravenscroft East End Dwellings Company for 99 years from Michaelmas, 1896, for £425, and a number of houses in Ezra Street, Columbia Road, and in Eyre Street, let on long leases for various terms at rents amounting to £290 a year. £26 a year is also received as rent in respect of St. Mark's Church Room, Potter's Road, Barnet, making a gross income of £1,100, or thereabouts.
The endowments of or attached to the grammar school now consist of two pieces of land adjoining the school purchased in 1876 of Harrow School for £1,180, provided out of the proceeds of the sale of Arkley Field, about 5¾ acres (Hall's gift), in hand; girls' school site and buildings, formerly Russell House, purchased in 1890 for £1,300 provided by Jesus Hospital for purposes of girls' school under scheme of 8 February, 1890, and Ashleigh House adjoining, purchased in 1905; 1 r. 36 p. at Arkley let at £6 a year; an annual payment from the Fishmongers' Company of £9 12s. (Owen's benefaction), and a yearly sum of £400 a year from Jesus Hospital. The Official Trustees of Charitable Funds hold a sum of £72 14s. 2d. consols on remittance account, and a sum of £159 11s. 2d. consols, which is being accumulated to replace £508 5s. 3d. like stock sold in 1894 to provide balance of cost of girls' school buildings. They also hold £26 11s. 4d. consols in respect of the Broughton Prize Fund founded in 1855 and augmented in 1866. A playing field for the boys of 4½ acres in extent in South Mimms was acquired in 1899. The foundation is regulated by a scheme of the Board of Education made on 13 April, 1907, superseding a scheme made under the Endowed Schools Acts on 17 May, 1888, as amended by subsequent schemes under the same Acts, and as altered by a scheme of the Charity Commissioners of 28 April, 1896.
Elizabeth Allen's School, or the national schools.
—In 1725 Elizabeth Allen by will gave all her real estate in Barnet in a certain event to build a free elementary school for the poor children in Barnet. In 1794 Rebecca Thurloe, sole heiress of the testatrix, granted certain closes on the south side of Wood Street to trustees upon the trusts of the will—now known as Spranger's or Allen's land, containing about 15½ acres let for 19½ years from 23 June, 1893, at £77 10s. a year. The foundation is now governed by a scheme made under the Endowed Schools Acts, approved on the 4 August, 1873. Under the same authority the following charities were added to the endowment of this school, namely:—Owen and Knightley's Charity, formerly consisting of 3 p. in Wood Street, sold in 1862, and represented by £150 consols with the official trustees; Pratt's charity consisting of a rent-charge of £2 on land in Wood Street, adjoining the grammar school; and Silverlock's legacy of £20 (apparently lost). Another rent-charge of £1 received in respect of land in Wood Street is understood to be Thomlinson's gift for teaching poor children. The school was also possessed of 1 a. or. 32p. of land at Bell's Hill allotted on the inclosure of the common in 1815, which was sold in 1905 under an order of the Board of Education, and invested in £392 4s. 10d. consols with the official trustees.
The Chandos Inclosure.
—By the private Act of 1729 (2 Geo. II, cap. 19) it was enacted (inter alia) that 135 acres, part of Barnet Common, to be inclosed by the duke of Chandos, should be charged with a yearly rent of £50, to be vested in certain trustees upon trust to pay the said yearly sum to the overseers of Chipping Barnet to the use of the poor of the said parish receiving alms from the parish and in aid of the poor rate. By an order of the Charity Commissioners of 25 July, 1899, the overseers of the poor for the time being of Chipping Barnet, Barnet Vale, and Arkley, were appointed to be trustees for the administration of the charity jointly with Mr. George John Widdicombe, the continuing trustee thereof. The yearly rent-charge of £50 is duly paid by the earl of Chester-field, the owner of the property charged, and applied in aid of the poor rate.
Robert George Dawson, who died 19 April, 1893, by his will proved on the 9 May following, devised to the Chipping Barnet Local Board for the relief of local rates certain houses and building land in Salisbury Road and in Carnarvon Road, Barnet. In pursuance of the provisions of the Mortmain and Charitable Uses Act, 1891, the properties were sold, realizing £4,865, and the net proceeds amounting to £4,003 16s. 11d., after payment of succession duty, repairs, and expenses of sale, were invested in £3,831 7s. 7d. India £3 per cent. stock, producing £114 17s. 4d. a year, which is applied in relief of the Barnet Urban District rate.
Henry Smith's Charities, founded 1620–7.
—The parish of Barnet is entitled to 10/264ths of the net income of the Longney Farm Estate, Gloucestershire. In 1904 the share of this parish was £11 6s., which was applied in the distribution of ten coats to poor men and nine cloaks to poor women.
Valentine Poole's Charity.
—The date of foundation of this charity is unknown, but it is stated that a terrier of the parish property compiled about 1656 indicates that a house and land at Southgate was a gift of Valentine Poole to the poor of this parish. The property now consists of the Cherry Tree Inn, Southgate, let on lease for 30 years from June, 1896, at £140; two fields adjoining of about 4½ acres; the London and Provincial Bank premises, and other land and buildings, producing together a gross yearly rental of about £260. The official trustees also hold a sum of £459 3s. 8d. consols, representing the proceeds of sale in 1885 of 3 r. 13 p. allotted to the charity on the inclosure of Enfield Chase. Trustees were appointed in 1903 by an order of the Charity Commissioners. It has been the usage to apply the income in the relief of the rates of the ancient parish of Chipping Barnet.
In 1829 Keene Fitzgerald by his will directed the purchase of £1,000 reduced three per cents., the dividends to be distributed by the rector of East Barnet during the week before Christmas Day among thirty poor inhabitants of the parish of High Barnet not receiving parochial relief. The legacy—less duty and expenses—was invested in £898 12s. 10d. reduced stock, which was transferred to the official trustees in 1864, and is now represented by the like amount of consols in their corporate name, producing £24 14s. a year. Each of the six inmates of Garrett's almshouses receives £1, in accordance with a practice instituted by the founder, who in his lifetime was in the habit of placing his gift under the door of the almshouse. The balance is distributed in doles, usually of 10s.
The Gravel Pit Trust.
—About 1836 a disused gravel pit belonging to the parish was sold to the guardians for £30, which was invested in £32 15s. 6d. consols. The stock was in 1880 transferred to the commissioners for the reduction of the National Debt. In 1888 a re-transfer of the stock was obtained and it was placed in the names of Messrs. W. Osborn Boyes, G. T. Huggins and Gawen Shotter, and the dividends paid to the surveyor of highways for repair of parish highways not included in the Barnet Urban District. In June, 1900, the capital sum was allocated between the Urban District Council and the Arkley Parish Council, and the trust ceased to exist.
The Hyde Institute and Reading Rooms.
—In 1888 Mrs. Julia Hyde by her will, proved on the 23 October, bequeathed £10,000 to the rectors and churchwardens of Monken Hadley and Chipping Barnet to be applied by them in trust to establish a library, institute, and reading rooms for the use of the two parishes, and to furnish the same and provide a library of books for use therein, and to set apart and invest part of the legacy and apply the income in hiring a building or rooms in one of the said parishes for the purposes thereof. The sum of £1,000 was spent in books and furniture, and the balance was invested as to £5,000 in £5,063 5s. 4d. India 3 per cent. stock, and as to £4,000 in £4,107 16s. 1d. consols, the annual income amounting to £264 16s. 8d. The institute was maintained in a house in Barnet held at a rent of £80 a year, until 1904, when a suitable building was erected in Church Passage, by private generosity.
The Protestant Dissenting Chapel in Wood Street comprised in an indenture dated 3 October, 1797, the minister's residence comprised in deeds of lease and release dated 26 and 27 January, 1824, trust property in Wood Street comprised in an indenture dated 20 September, 1878, and the trust property situate on the south side of Union Street comprised in a deed of 1 July, 1880, are governed by a scheme of the Charity Commissioners, dated 15 February, 1881, whereby trustees were appointed and the legal estate in the premises was vested in the Official Trustee of Charity Lands.
Victoria Cottage Hospital is endowed under the will of the late R. G. Dawson, proved in 1893, with £2,275 10s. 7d. 2½ per cent. consols, the 'Percy Dawson' Bequest, and with other bequests, consisting of shares in various undertakings valued at about £5,637.
The poor of the parishes of Chipping and East Barnet are entitled to the benefit of certain lands known as the Poor's Allotments consisting of 5 a. 3 r. 4 p., part of Barnet Common, and two contiguous pieces of land fronting Pricklers Hill, containing 5 acres, which were acquired by exchange for 9 a. 3 r. 4 p. fronting Wellhouse Lane, awarded under the Inclosure Act of 55 Geo. III, cap. 90, Private. The lands are let to various tenants, and the income, amounting to £36 a year or thereabouts, is in pursuance of a scheme of the Charity Commissioners of 25 July, 1905, applied in the purchase of fuel, and distributed in moieties among deserving and necessitous persons, bona fide residents in the ancient parishes of Chipping Barnet and East Barnet respectively.