Parishes: Offley

A History of the County of Hertford: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1912.

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'Parishes: Offley', A History of the County of Hertford: Volume 3, (London, 1912), pp. 39-44. British History Online [accessed 21 June 2024].

. "Parishes: Offley", in A History of the County of Hertford: Volume 3, (London, 1912) 39-44. British History Online, accessed June 21, 2024,

. "Parishes: Offley", A History of the County of Hertford: Volume 3, (London, 1912). 39-44. British History Online. Web. 21 June 2024,

In this section


Offanleáh, Offanlege (x cent.); Offelei (xi cent.); Offellei, Offelegh (xiii cent.); Offeleg, Doffeleye (xiv cent.); Offeley (xvi cent.).

Offley parish covers 5,569 acres. It lies on the Chilterns, and has an average height of 400 ft. above the ordnance datum, but drops in the east to 224 ft. The Icknield Way separates it on the north from the parish of Pirton. There are two distinct villages, called Great and Little Offley. The latter is about 1¼ miles to the north-west of Great Offley, which is in the centre of the parish. It is on the main road to Hitchin, the nearest town, which lies 3 miles to the east. Wellbury is about 1½ miles to the north of the village.

The church of St. Mary Magdalene and Offley Place lie together off the high road, and they with the houses to the south probably formed the site of the original settlement. The part of the village which has sprung up along the road from Luton to Hitchin is, we may suppose, of a later date. In the village are several timber and plaster cottages with tiled roofs of the 16th and 17th centuries, and also some of brick of the latter date. The Green Man Inn is a 16th-century house of timber covered with rough-cast. It was originally an L-shaped type of house, but has been much altered. Offley Place with its park is the property of Mr. H. G. Salusbury Hughes, J.P. It is a three-storied building of brick. The north wing is of the 17th century, but the remainder of the house was rebuilt about 1770. Great Offley Hall lies to the south and Offley Hoo a little further on.

Westbury Farm, a quarter of a mile from the church, is a plastered timber house, originally of the H type, which seems to have been built in the 16th century. It underwent considerable alteration in the 18th and a wing was added in the 19th century. The hall, with a chamber above, fills the main block; the two wings were occupied by the kitchen and the solar respectively. A 17th-century dove-cote, timber framed with brick nogging, stands near the house.

The house called Little Offley, lying 2 miles to the north-west of the church, is a two-storied brick house of the H type, the main block built early in the 17th century, the wings apparently almost a century later. The date 1695 appears on a rain-water head on the north side. There is a fine carved wooden overmantel in a room on the ground floor. Offley Grange is a mile to the north-east.

The soil is chalk. (fn. 1) There are 3,388 acres of plough-land, 1,126 acres of permanent grass, and woods and plantations cover 600 acres. (fn. 2) The parish was inclosed by an award under an Act of 1807. (fn. 3) The nearest station is at Hitchin, on the Great Northern railway.


The manor of Offley, afterwards known as DELAMERS, was at the time of the Survey of considerable extent, being estimated at 8 hides 8 acres. It had been held before the Conquest by Alestan of Boscumbe; in 1086 it was part of the possessions of William de Ow, and was held under him by William Delamare (de Mara). (fn. 4) William de Ow forfeited under Henry I, and the overlordship then seems to have become attached to the manor of Hitchin (q.v.).

The first record of a tenant after 1086 is in 1198, when Geoffrey Delamare was indicted for making a ditch to the injury of the free tenement of Thomas Delamare. (fn. 5) Robert son of Osbert Delamare, (fn. 6) who held early in the 13th century, forfeited as an ally of Falkes de Breauté in 1224, (fn. 7) but the king ordered the sheriff to restore Offley to Alice his wife for the maintenance of herself and his heirs. (fn. 8) This Robert may be the Robert Delamare who was murdered about 1230. (fn. 9) He was apparently succeeded by his son John, (fn. 10) who died seised of Offley about 1276, his grandson John, aged sixteen, being his heir. (fn. 11) Peter Delamare, son of John (probably the elder John), seems to have been in possession shortly afterwards. (fn. 12) He died seised of the manor in 1292, leaving a son and heir Robert. (fn. 13) Robert died in 1308. The extent of the manor then included a capital messuage, 620 acres of arable land, 30 acres of wood, but no meadow or pasture. (fn. 14) Peter son of Robert received a grant of free warren in 1318. (fn. 15) He held the manor until his death in 1349, (fn. 16) when it descended to his son Robert, who died in 1382–3. (fn. 17) His son Peter, then aged thirteen years, presumably died before his mother Matilda, as he never inherited the property, the manor being held after Matilda's death by her daughter Wilhelmina wife of Sir John Roches. (fn. 18) She left two heirs, her daughter Elizabeth, wife of Walter de Beauchamp, and John Benton, son of another daughter Joan. (fn. 19)

Delamare. Gules two leopards argent.

In 1412 Walter Beauchamp and Elizabeth his wife made a conveyance of the manor of Delamers to John Ludewyk, chaplain, and others (fn. 20) either for a settlement or alienation. After this date there is no trace of this manor under the name of Delamers until 1740, but it is perhaps the same as the manor of WESTBURUY alias GREAT OFFLEY, (fn. 21) which at the beginning of the 15th century seems to have been in the possession of Roger de Sapurton, as his daughter and heir Elizabeth Venour, widow of William Venour, (fn. 22) was holding it in 1464, (fn. 23) and in 1468–9 settled it on herself and her second husband Robert Worth. (fn. 24) Robert died seised in 1502, leaving a son and heir Humphrey, aged sixteen. (fn. 25) In 1537 the latter made a conveyance to John Sewster and James Randall, probably in trust for John Bowles, (fn. 26) who in 1543 acquired Westbury Wood from George Ackworth, (fn. 27) and in the same year died seised of the manor called Westbury alias Great Offley. (fn. 28) His heir was his grandson Thomas, who conveyed the manor in 1564 to Robert Ivory. (fn. 29) William Ivory was holding in 1618, (fn. 30) and in 1642 John Ivory. (fn. 31) From this date no further record is found of the manor until 1778, when Thomas Hope Byde was holding the manor of Great Offley (fn. 32) and at that date suffered a recovery of it. (fn. 33) In 1785 it appears he was again dealing with it. (fn. 34) Later it was acquired by Dame Sarah Salusbury from John Hope Byde, and descended with the manor of Offley St. Ledgers (fn. 35) (q.v.) to Mr. Herbert George Salusbury Hughes, M.A., J.P., the present owner.

Offley St. Ledgers

The origin of the manor of OFFLEY ST. LEDGERS is somewhat obscure. It was said in the 14th century to be held of the Mortimers of Wigmore, (fn. 36) but this overlordship may only have been assumed at a late date. It seems possible that the manor was originally part of the manor of Delamers. A Geoffrey de St. Ledger had some interest in the church, which was appurtenant to the manor of Delamers (see advowson), and William de St. Ledger, probably his son, (fn. 37) in confirming the title of the Prior of Bradenstoke to the advowson in 1238, calls himself great-grandson and heir of Amice Delamare.

In 1265 Geoffrey de St. Ledger, possibly brother of the William mentioned above, (fn. 38) had a grant of free warren in his demesne lands of Offley. (fn. 39) The annals of Dunstable record that in 1267 the steward of the Earl of Gloucester came to Geoffrey's manor at Offley and burnt it, (fn. 40) but the reason of this animosity does not appear. In 1301 the grant of free warren was confirmed to his son John and Isabel his wife. (fn. 41) John, their son, (fn. 42) succeeded them, and left at his death in 1326 a daughter Isabel, aged seven. (fn. 43) The extent of the manor at this date included a capital messuage, 320 acres of land, of which 96 lay in severalty and 204 in common, pastures called Le Launde and Sonehull, and 41 acres of wood. Two parts of the manor were taken into the king's hands during the minority of the heir, (fn. 44) the other third being dower of the mother. In 1331 the king confirmed a grant by Roger de Mortimer, overlord of the manor, to Richard de St. Ledger, a younger brother of John, of the custody of the manor during his niece Isabel's minority. (fn. 45) Isabel married Thomas de Hoo, who held the estate in right of his wife. (fn. 46) They settled it in 1342 oh their son Thomas, with remainder to his brother William. (fn. 47) Thomas the son died before 1377, when Thomas and Isabel granted the manor to William and his wife Isabel. (fn. 48) In 1398 John de Hoo, a brother of William, conceded to him all his claim in the estate. (fn. 49) William was succeeded by his son Thomas, (fn. 50) and he by his son, also Thomas, who married first Elizabeth Wickingham and secondly Eleanor daughter of Leo Welles, kt., on whom he settled the manor in 1445. (fn. 51) In 1447 he was created Baron of Hoo and Hastings. (fn. 52) He died without male issue in February 1454–5. His brother of the half-blood, Thomas Hoo, succeeded, but died without issue in 1486

St. Ledger. Azure fretty argent with a chief or.

The manor descended to Sir William Boleyn, kt., son of Geoffrey Boleyn and Anne eldest daughter of Lord Hoo and Hastings. (fn. 53) His second son and eventual heir Sir Thomas Boleyn, with Elizabeth his wife, daughter of Thomas Howard Duke of Norfolk, (fn. 54) sold the property in 1518 to Richard Fermour (Farmer). (fn. 55) Fermour forfeited his lands in the next reign under the Statute of Praemunire, but the grant of Offley was confirmed by King Edward VI in 1550, (fn. 56) and again by Queen Mary in 1553, to Richard's son John. (fn. 57) He conveyed the manor in 1554 to Thomas Spencer and Edward Onley (fn. 58) to the use of Sir John Spencer of Althorpe, co. Northants, who died seised of it in 1586. (fn. 59) He left it to his fourth son Richard, who was knighted in 1603. (fn. 60) Sir Richard and his wife Helen, daughter and co-heir of Sir John Brockett, (fn. 61) settled the property on their son John on his marriage with Mary (fn. 62) daughter of Sir Henry Anderson, kt. John and Mary succeeded at Sir Richard's death in 1624. (fn. 63) John was made a baronet in 1627, (fn. 64) and died in 1633, (fn. 65) leaving a daughter Alice, then fifteen years old. The manor having been settled in tailmale passed to his brother Sir Brockett Spencer, (fn. 66) bart. (so created in 1642). He was succeeded by his son Sir Richard Spencer, and Sir Richard by his son Sir John Spencer, who died without issue in 1699. His uncle and heir Sir John Spencer also died without issue in 1712. (fn. 67) The manor then descended to Elizabeth daughter of Sir Humphrey Gore of Gilston, co. Herts., and Elizabeth eldest daughter (and the only one having issue) of Sir Brockett Spencer. She married in 1714 Sir Henry Penrice, (fn. 68) judge of the High Court of Admiralty. Their daughter and heir Anna Maria, wife of Sir Thomas Salusbury, succeeded to their estates. (fn. 69) She died in 1759. Her husband survived her and died in 1773, leaving the property to his second wife Sarah, with remainder to a distant relative, Sir Robert Salusbury, bart., for life. He entered into possession in 1804 on the death of Sarah. Sir Robert and his son Thomas Robert jointly sold the property in 1806 to the trustees of Sarah's will, and they conveyed it to the Rev. Lynch Salusbury, (fn. 70) a younger brother of Sir Robert, who assumed the name of Burroughs. He left an only child Elizabeth Mary, who could not legally inherit, as the property had been left in tailmale by Sarah Salusbury, but acquired the estate by purchase from the heir male Charles thirteenth Marquess of Winchester. Elizabeth Mary married her cousin Sir Thomas Robert Salusbury, second baronet, who died in 1835. Having no children, she adopted as her daughter and heir a cousin Anne Salusbury Steward, who married George Edward Hughes, brother of Thomas Hughes the author, who wrote a biography of George Hughes. Mrs. Hughes entered the manor in 1867 on the death of Dame Elizabeth Mary. (fn. 71) The property is now in the hands of Mr. Herbert George Salusbury Hughes, M.A., J.P., who succeeded his father George Edward in 1872, (fn. 72) and is the present lord of the manor.

Hughes. Sable a fesse cotised between three lions' heads razed argent.


The manor of COCKERNHOE (Qukerno, Cokernhohalle, Cokernho, xiv cent.; Kokernhoo, xv cent.) on the south of the parish is an estate which was held with the manor of Offley by the St. Ledger family. It is mentioned as 'an oxhouse called Qukerno' in an extent of the manor in 1326, (fn. 73) but later documents always call it a manor. Its descent is identical with Offley till 1813 (although it is not always separately mentioned), when, according to Cussans, it was sold to Richard Oakley of Hitchin. (fn. 74)


The manor of WELLES (Welle, xi cent.; Welbery, xiii cent.; Wellys, xiv cent.) was held at the time of the Survey by a sokeman of King William and was then assessed at 1 hide. In the time of Earl Harold it had belonged to Leueva. It was attached by Ilbert the Sheriff to the manor of Lilley, but after Ilbert was deprived of his office of sheriff Peter de Valoines and Ralf Taillebois took this manor from him and attached it to Hitchin, (fn. 75) to which the overlordship henceforth pertained. (fn. 76)

The early history of this estate is difficult to trace. It may, perhaps, be the hide in 'Weelberia' which Henry de Tilly granted in 1200 to his brother William. (fn. 77) In 1309 the manor was in the possession of William de Goldington and Margaret his wife. They in that year conveyed it to William Tuchet and Ellen de Danarston. (fn. 78) William died in February 1327–8, his brother Richard being his heir. (fn. 79) Ellen remained seised for life. Shortly afterwards Isabel widow of Richard de Welles brought an action against Ellen de Danarston for a third of the manor which she claimed in dower and of which she recovered seisin. (fn. 80) As Ellen called to warranty John son of William de Goldington, possibly the inquisition quoted above, which gives William's brother Richard as his heir, is incorrect. The heir, whether Richard or John, apparently conveyed the manor to Giles de Badelesmere, who died seised in 1338, leaving as heirs his four sisters Margery, Maud, Elizabeth and Margaret. (fn. 81) Maud and her husband John de Vere Earl of Oxford took this manor. John de Vere died in January 1359–60 (fn. 82) and his wife about six years later. (fn. 83) Their son Thomas succeeded her. (fn. 84) He died in 1371, leaving as heir his son Robert, (fn. 85) who held the manor till his attainder in February 1387–8. (fn. 86) In 1393 the reversion of this manor, after the death of Maud widow of Thomas, was granted to Thomas Duke of Gloucester, (fn. 87) and two years later he granted it to the master, warden and chaplains of the college which he had founded in the church of Pleshey, co. Essex. (fn. 88) It remained with the college until its dissolution and was then granted in 1546 to Sir John Gates. (fn. 89) He was attainted in the next reign as a follower of the Duke of Northumberland, but a grant of the manor was made to his brother Sir Henry Gates, (fn. 90) who with his wife Lucy in 1557 conveyed it to Richard Spicer (fn. 91) (alias Helder).

About 1569 John Spicer conveyed the manor to William Crawley, (fn. 92) and he died seised of it in 1595, having granted the estate to his son Richard and grandson William. (fn. 93) From this time no record appears of this manor until 1704, when Henry Bolderne the elder and Anne his wife (fn. 94) and Henry Bolderne their son (all holding in Anne's right) levied a fine of it. (fn. 95) In 1713 Henry Bolderne the younger seems to have conveyed it to Thomas Ansell. (fn. 96) According to Cussans it was acquired later by Samuel Burroughs, whose daughter and heir Sarah married Sir Thomas Salusbury. With St. Ledgers it descended to the Marquess of Winchester, from whom it was bought in 1840 by Ann Burroughs, second wife of the Rev. Lynch Salusbury, and on her death in 1856 came to her sister Maria, wife of James Newbury of Clapham Rise. (fn. 97) It was sold in 1872 to Mr. Francis Gosling, (fn. 98) and is now the seat of Mrs. Gosling.

Hirsthall or Hallebury

The reputed manor known as HIRSTHALL or HALLEBURY was held in 1625 by Edward House, (fn. 99) and in 1658 belonged to John Dermer, (fn. 100) in whose family it was still vested in 1698. (fn. 101)


A capital messuage called BULLERS was in the 15th century in the possession of John Sholfold, who alienated it to the gild of Holy Trinity of Luton. (fn. 102) In the reign of Elizabeth it was the subject of a suit in the Court of Requests between Robert Ivory the lessee and Gregory Warren widower of a certain Alice who held it for life. (fn. 103) Sir John Spencer acquired this messuage before his death in 1587, and it then descended with the manor of St. Ledgers.


The manor of PUTTERIDGE (Potherugge, Poterugg, Pothruge, Pottryggebury, xiv cent.; Podriggebury, xv cent.; Poderiche, xvi cent.) was a mesne manor formed from the manor of Delamers. It was possibly the carucate of land in Putteridge which John de Nevill granted in 1240 to Nicholas de Putteridge for life, (fn. 104) but nothing is known of the descendants of Nicholas de Putteridge. By 1303 it had passed into the hands of Hugh le Blunt, who held it of Robert Delamare for half a knight's fee. (fn. 105) He had a grant of free warren in 1305, (fn. 106) and died seised in 1361. (fn. 107) In 1346 the manor was held by Nicholas Peyvre, (fn. 108) but apparently only during the minority of John son and heir of Hugh le Blunt, since he was in possession in 1363. (fn. 109) Thomas le Blunt, who seems to have succeeded John, (fn. 110) may perhaps have left heiresses, as in 1391 John Herwe and Christine his wife and John Maps and Joyce his wife conveyed the manor to three feoffees, (fn. 111) from whom it was recovered in 1407, after the expiration of a life interest held by Agnes de Havering, by Thomas and Elizabeth Chelrey. (fn. 112) After Thomas Chelrey's death Elizabeth married Thomas de la Pole, and died in 1411, leaving as co-heirs her two daughters, Elizabeth wife of John Kyngeston, and Sybil Chelrey, and her granddaughter, Elizabeth Calston. (fn. 113) The manor seems to have passed to the latter, who married William Darrell, (fn. 114) and joined with him in 1428 in making a settlement of the manor on themselves in tail, with remainder to William's brother John. (fn. 115)

On the death of Elizabeth Darrell in 1464 (fn. 116) it passed to her son George, who died in 1474, (fn. 117) when the manor was delivered to Thomas Cardinal Archbishop of Canterbury, (fn. 118) apparently during the minority of Edward Darrell, who was only four years old at his father's death. (fn. 119) Edward settled the manor on himself and his wife and his heirs in 1503, (fn. 120) and in 1520 he sold it to Richard Lyster, (fn. 121) the king's solicitor, who conveyed it in 1525 to John Docwra. (fn. 122) He was succeeded by his son Thomas Docwra, (fn. 123) who in 1556 bought the manor of Lilley (q.v.), since which date the two estates have descended together.

Docwra of Putteridge. Sable a cheveron engrailed argent between three roundels argent with a pale gules on each roundel.

The first record of the so-called manor of HOCKWELL alias HOCKWELLBURY (Hokewelle, Hokewellebury, xv cent.) is of the year 1411, at which date the estate was held by Elizabeth widow of Thomas de la Pole, (fn. 124) who was then holding the manor of Putteridge. The two manors descended together until 1788, after which Hockwell seems to have been amalgamated with Putteridge.


St. Mary Magdalene

The parish church of ST. MARY MAGDALENE, situated about half a mile south-east of the village, is built for the most part of flint and stone. The chancel is faced with Portland stone and the north aisle with cement. The tower is built of brick and the roofs are of lead, except that of the north porch, which is of tiles.

The church consists of a chancel, nave and aisles, south porch and west tower.

The nave and aisles belong to the original church of c. 1220, which probably consisted of a chancel, nave and aisles and west tower, and the south porch contains re-used masonry of that date. The windows and doors belong to various dates in the 14th and 15th centuries. In 1777 the chancel was recased, repaired and refitted, and the west tower was entirely rebuilt in the early part of the 19th century. Various minor repairs have also been executed during the 19th century.

The chancel is apsidal in its interior termination but square outside. It is heavily plastered and has a canopy of plaster drapery over the 18th-century east window of one wide pointed light without tracery. Over the apse, which is round-headed, is a plaster moulding carried up to a pointed head inclosing Gothic tracery. The chancel is also lighted by a cupola in the roof. The 18th-century chancel arch is round-headed with niches in the flat jambs and plaster panelling in the soffit of the arch. An ancient stone coffin stands in the chancel.

The nave has arcades of four bays. The arches are of two chamfered orders, with labels running right down to the abaci of the capitals, and with carved stops, some of which are broken off. They are supported by octagonal pillars, which lean outwards considerably, probably owing to the pressure of an earlier roof. The capitals are foliate and the bases are moulded. The 15th-century clearstory has three windows on either side, two of three lights, and one, the westernmost, of two lights, all much restored. The roof has one 15th-century tie, resting on a broken carved corbel of that date, at the eastern end. The north aisle has a modern east window. The three square-headed windows in the north wall are of two lights, of the 15th century, and are much repaired. A small inscription cut on the east jamb of the easternmost of these windows records the consecration, on the feast of St. Sulpicius, of the side altar below the window. In the middle window are some fragments of 14th-century glass. There is no west window. The north door has a two-centred arch of two orders, and was inserted towards the end of the 14th century.

The south aisle has an east window and three south windows, all of two lights. The east window and the western of the two south windows have pointed heads; that at the eastern end of the south wall is square-headed. All have modern tracery, but the inner jambs are probably of the 15th century. At the east end of the south wall is a 15th-century piscina, with a shallow pointed niche over it, in which are two tiles, with the lettering in reverse, probably of the 14th century. The south doorway is also of the 15th century, and has a square head. The roof is of the 15th century. The south porch, of brick covered with cement, has some re-used material of the same date as the nave (c. 1220) in its west window. The entrance arch, which is pointed, is heavily defaced by cement repairs.

The brick tower has a small low spire and an embattled parapet. It is of two stages. The tower arch is plastered.

The font is octagonal, of Totternhoe stone. Each side contains the head of a heavily crocketed ogee with a finial, inclosing tracery of various designs; pinnacles with heavy finials are carved at the angles, and rosettes fill the spaces between them and the finials of the ogees. The bowl rests on a low stem with eight engaged half-octagonal shafts on plinths, with four-leaved flowers between them. The date of the font is the middle of the 14th century. The wooden cover is of the early 17th century.

There is some late 15th-century seating in the nave and aisles westward of the gangway.

On the north wall of the north aisle is a brass of John Samuel, his two wives and one son. Another brass with no inscription is that of a man, his three wives and nine sons; it is plainly by the same engraver as that of John Samuel. On the floor of the aisle are the indents of the brasses in two slabs.

On the west wall of the south aisle is a monument to John Spencer, 1699, with elaborately sculptured figures.

The bells are six: the treble, by Robert Oldfeild, of 1632; the second, of 1618, the fourth of 1619, and the fifth, of 1618, by Thomas Bartlett; while the third is by John Dyer, 1583, and the tenor by John Briant, 1803.

The plate, all presented by Eliza Chamber in 1730, consists of two cups, two patens, flagon and almsdish, of the same date. There is also a large plated shield, bearing the sacred monogram, the origin and purpose of which are unknown.

The registers are contained in six books, the first having all entries from 1653 to 1734, the second baptisms and burials from 1732 to 1812 and marriages from 1732 to 1753, the third, fourth, fifth and sixth marriages from 1754 to 1764, 1764 to 1802, 1802 to 1810, and 1811 to 1812, respectively.


The advowson of the church of Offley was granted probably about the middle of the 12th century by Amice Delamare and her son Geoffrey (see Delamers Manor) to the church of St. Mary, Bradenstoke, co. Wilts. Geoffrey de St. Ledger (see manor of St. Ledgers) also confirmed the grant before 1207, (fn. 125) and in 1237–8 William de St. Ledger, great-grandson of Amice, made a further release of the title to Simon, Prior of Bradenstoke. (fn. 126) At the beginning of the 14th century the convent apparently alienated it, for in 1406 it was held by the executors of the will of Robert Braybrook, Bishop of London, who in that year obtained licence to endow with it a chantry in the church of Chalgrave, co. Bedford, for the souls of Robert Braybrook and Sir Nigel Loreng (for whom see Kimpton). (fn. 127) Licence was also given for the master and chaplains of the chantry to appropriate the church, maintaining the endowment for the vicarage already made. (fn. 128)

At the dissolution of chantries in the reign of Edward VI the advowson came to the Crown, and in 1599 Queen Elizabeth granted it to Henry Best and John Hallywell, (fn. 129) probably in trust for Luke Norton, who presented in 1603, 1606, 1608 and 1614. His son Graveley Norton presented in 1661. Luke son of Graveley sold the advowson to William Angell, and his son William conveyed it in 1698 to Richard Spicer aliasHolder, who presented in 1699. (fn. 130) Before this date, however, the Spencers (lords of the manor of St. Ledgers) seem to have had or claimed some interest in the advowson, (fn. 131) and in 1719 Sir Henry Penrice and his wife Elizabeth (see St. Ledgers) presented. From this date the advowson has descended with the manor of St. Ledgers (fn. 132) (q.v.).

The rectory was leased by Queen Elizabeth in 1575 to George Bredyman for twenty-one years. (fn. 133) The fee simple was acquired by George Graveley, who died seised in 1600, leaving as heir his daughter Lettice wife of Luke Norton. (fn. 134) They held it together (fn. 135) till 1630, when Luke died. After Lettice's death it descended to their son Graveley, who married Helen daughter of William Angell of London. (fn. 136) Graveley Norton was succeeded by his son Luke, from whom it passed with the advowson to William Angell, and in 1698 to Richard Holder (see above). After this date there is no further descent of the rectory, but conveyances of tithes with the lands to which they were appurtenant are common in the 18th century. (fn. 137)

Between 1691 and 1831 there were registered in Offley eight places for Protestant Dissenters, one for Anabaptists and one for Quakers. (fn. 138) There is now a Wesleyan chapel in the parish.


Mrs. Alice Pigott in her lifetime directed that a sum of £20 per annum should be paid out of her estate for augmenting the vicarage of Offley and £10 per annum for apprenticing two boys or girls. This intention was carried into effect by Granado Pigott, her son, who by deed 18 July 1724 charged his share of the manor of Symonside in Bishop's Hatfield with the two annuities, which are now paid by the Marquess of Salisbury, and are duly applied.

The Charity School of Dame Sarah Salusbury and the Rev. Lynch Burroughs: Dame Sarah Salusbury, by a codicil to her will dated in 1795, gave £500 for the poor, and by another codicil a further sum of £500, to be at the disposal of the Rev. Lynch Burroughs, then vicar. The school was in 1841 endowed by deed (enrolled) with five cottages and land, producing about £50 a year. It has a further endowment of £2,467 1s. 8d. consols, producing £61 13s. 6d. yearly. The charity is regulated by a scheme of the Court of Chancery, dated 14 June 1858.


  • 1. V.C.H. Herts. i, Geol. Map.
  • 2. Statistics from Bd. of Agric. (1905).
  • 3. Private Act, 47 Geo. III, Sess. 2, cap. 25.
  • 4. V.C.H. Herts. i, 328a.
  • 5. Rot. Cur. Reg. (Rec. Com.), i, 157. See also Add. Chart. 35500. This Geoffrey must be the 'G.' son of Amice who gave the advowson (q.v.) to Bradenstoke.
  • 6. See Red Bk. of Exch, (Rolls Ser.), 499.
  • 7. He was one of the 'familia' of Falkes de Breauté who were excommunicated with him, and who after the rebellion accompanied him to Northampton when he was conducted there by the Archbishop of Canterbury to receive absolution (Cal. Pat. 1216–25, p. 461).
  • 8. Rot. Lit. Claus. (Rec. Com.), ii, 3b.
  • 9. Cal. Pat. 1216–25, p. 461.
  • 10. Anct. D. (P.R.O.), A 6251; Excerpta e Rot. Fin. (Rec. Com.), i, 186.
  • 11. Chan. Inq. p.m. file 17, no. 16 (5 Edw. I).
  • 12. Add. Chart. 24062, 24065.
  • 13. Chan. Inq. p.m. 20 Edw. I, no. 39.
  • 14. Ibid. 2 Edw. II, no. 68.
  • 15. Chart. R. 12 Edw. II, no. 70.
  • 16. Feud. Aids, ii, 437; Chan. Inq. p.m. 23 Edw. III, pt. ii, no. 143.
  • 17. Chan. Inq. p.m. 5 Ric. II, no. 40.
  • 18. Ibid. 6 Hen. IV, no. 3.
  • 19. Ibid. 12 Hen. IV, no. 38.
  • 20. Feet of F. Herts. Hil. 13 Hen. IV, no. 98.
  • 21. There must be some continuity in the manors, as Putteridge, which had been held of the Delamares, is said after this date to be held of Westbury.
  • 22. Cal. Pat. 1461–7, p. 512.
  • 23. Chan. Inq. p.m. 4 Edw. IV, no. 13.
  • 24. Feet of F. Div. Co. Hil. 8 Edw. IV, no. 65; Chan. Inq. p.m. 14 Edw. IV, no. 14.
  • 25. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), xvi, 102.
  • 26. Feet of F. Herts. East. 29 Hen. VIII.
  • 27. Ibid. 35 Hen. VIII.
  • 28. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), lxviii, 14.
  • 29. Recov. R. Mich. 1564, rot. 1541.
  • 30. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), cclxxxviii, 144; Feet of F. Herts. Mich. 16 Jas. I.
  • 31. Ct. of Wards, Feod. Surv. no. 17.
  • 32. This manor is at this date confused with Delamers in Great Wymondley.
  • 33. Recov. R. Mich. 19 Geo. III, rot. 436.
  • 34. Ibid. 25 Geo. III, rot. 256; Feet of F. Herts. Trin. 25 Geo. III.
  • 35. Cussans, Hist. of Herts. Hitchin Hund. 100.
  • 36. Feud. Aids, ii, 428; Inq. a.q.d. 20 Edw. II, no. 23; Feud. Aids, ii, 437.
  • 37. See Cal. Pat. 1231–4, pp. 149, 296.
  • 38. Ibid. p. 149.
  • 39. Chart. R. 49 Hen. III, m. 4.
  • 40. Ann. Mon. (Rolls Ser.), iii, 246.
  • 41. Chart. R. 30 Edw. I, no. 50; Cal. Pat. 1388–92, p. 403.
  • 42. Add. Chart. 28728.
  • 43. Chan. Inq. p.m. 20 Edw. II, no. 23.
  • 44. Exch. L.T.R. Enr. Accts. no. 2.
  • 45. Pat. 5 Edw. III, pt. i, m. 23.
  • 46. Chan. Inq. p.m. 9 Edw. III, no. 21.
  • 47. Feet of F. Div. Co. Hil. 16 Edw. III.
  • 48. Add. Chart. 28724; Feet of F. Herts. 1 Ric. II, no. 2.
  • 49. Close, 21 Ric. II, pt. ii, m. 18d.; Add. Chart. 28797.
  • 50. Ibid. 28721; Feet of F. Hil. 6 Hen. V; Feud. Aids, ii, 449.
  • 51. Feet of F. Div. Co. Mich. 24 Hen. VI; L. and P. Hen. VIII, iii (1), 273.
  • 52. G.E.C. Peerage, s.v. Hoo.
  • 53. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), ii, 5; G.E.C. Peerage, loc. cit.
  • 54. Visit. Norfolk (Harl. Soc. xxxii), 52.
  • 55. Feet of F. Herts. Mich. 10 Hen. VIII.
  • 56. Pat. 4 Edw. VI, pt. ix, m. 35.
  • 57. Ibid. 1 Mary, pt. xi, m. 19; Visit. Shrops. (Harl. Soc. xxviii), 183.
  • 58. Feet of F. Herts. Mich. 1 & 2 Phil. and Mary.
  • 59. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), ccxv, 258; see Recov. R. Mich. 30 & 31 Eliz. rot. 77.
  • 60. Shaw, Knights of Engl. ii, 104.
  • 61. Visit. Herts. (Harl. Soc. xxii), 165.
  • 62. Or Sarah as in Visit. of Herts.
  • 63. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), ccccxviii, 95.
  • 64. Cal. S. P. Dom. 1627–8, pp. 89, 91.
  • 65. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), cccclxxiv, 14.
  • 66. See Recov. R. Mich. 15 Chas. I, rot. 56. Alice, however, seems to have had some interest in the manor which she probably released to her uncle (Feet of F. Herts. Trin. 12 Anne).
  • 67. G.E.C. Baronetage, ii, 201.
  • 68. See Feet of F. Herts. Trin. 1 Geo. I.
  • 69. See Feet of F. Div. Co. Trin. 25 & 26 Geo. II.
  • 70. G.E.C. Complete Baronetage.
  • 71. Cussans, Hist. of Herts. Hitchin Hund. 98.
  • 72. V.C.H. Herts. Fam. 14.
  • 73. Chan. Inq. p.m. 20 Edw. II, no. 23.
  • 74. Cussans, Hist. of Herts. Hitchin Hund. 99.
  • 75. V.C.H. Herts. i, 303b.
  • 76. Chan. Inq. p.m. 1 Edw. III (2nd nos.), no. 47; 34 Edw. III, no. 84; 16 Ric. II, pt. ii, no. 34.
  • 77. Chart. Norman. 2 John, no. 33.
  • 78. Feet of F. Herts. Mich. 3 Edw. II, no. 32.
  • 79. Chan. Inq. p.m. 1 Edw. III (2nd nos.), no. 47.
  • 80. De Banco R. 277, m. 187. If the judgement given in this action was right and Richard de Welles held the manor, William de Goldington must have acquired it from him. For deeds of the family of Welles see Duchy of Lanc. Anct. D. (P.R.O.), A 369, 377.
  • 81. Chan. Inq. p.m. 12 Edw. III, no. 54a.
  • 82. Ibid. 34 Edw. III, no. 84.
  • 83. Ibid. 40 Edw. III (1st nos.), no. 38.
  • 84. See Feet of F. Div. Co. 45 Edw. III, no. 80.
  • 85. Chan. Inq. p.m. 45 Edw. III, no. 45.
  • 86. Ibid. 16 Ric. II, pt. ii, no. 34.
  • 87. Cal. Pat. 1391–6, p. 347.
  • 88. Ibid. p. 382; Feet of F. Herts. Mich. 18 Ric. II, no. 157; Duchy of Lanc. Misc. x, 57; Duchy of Lanc. Deed L 751.
  • 89. Pat. 38 Hen. VIII, pt. v; Harl. Soc. Publ. xiv, 574.
  • 90. Pat. 1 & 2 Phil. and Mary, pt. vi.
  • 91. Ibid. 3 & 4 Phil. and Mary, pt. iv, m. 20; Feet of F. Herts. Trin. 3 & 4 Phil. and Mary.
  • 92. Feet of F. Herts. Hil. 12 Eliz. A parcel of the manor, including 300 acres of land, was in 1577 acquired by Richard Spicer, son of the above Richard, from John and Henry Alwey. He died seised in 1611, leaving a son William (Pat. 20 Eliz. pt. viii, m. 23; Chan. Inq. p.m. [Ser. 2], cccxxi, 117).
  • 93. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), cccvii, 92.
  • 94. Feet of F. Herts. Trin. 3 Anne.
  • 95. Ibid.
  • 96. Recov. R. Trin. 13 Anne, rot. 35, 176.
  • 97. Cussans, Hist. of Herts. Hitchin Hund. 102.
  • 98. Ibid.
  • 99. Recov. R. East. 1 Chas. I, rot. 26.
  • 100. Com. Pleas D. Enr. East. 1658, m. 25.
  • 101. Feet of F. Herts. Trin. 10 Will. III.
  • 102. Early Chan. Proc. bdle. 35, no. 74.
  • 103. Ct. of Req. bdle. 3, no. 288.
  • 104. Feet of F. Herts. 24 Hen. III, no. 251.
  • 105. Feud. Aids, ii, 428.
  • 106. Cal. Chart. R. 1300–26, p. 59.
  • 107. Chan. Inq. p.m. file 156, no. 13 (35 Edw. III). The manor is called by the name of 'Huche,' but seems to be this manor.
  • 108. Feud. Aids, ii, 437.
  • 109. Add. Chart. 24067.
  • 110. See Morant, Hist. of Essex, ii, 48.
  • 111. It was held in right of Christine and Joyce (Feet of F. Herts. 15 Ric. II, no. 144).
  • 112. De Banco R. 583, m. 537 d.
  • 113. Chan. Inq. p.m. 13 Hen. IV, no. 34.
  • 114. Ibid. 2 Hen. V, no. 52.
  • 115. Feet of F. Div. Co. Trin. 6 Hen. VI, no. 75. In this year Hugh Blunt was said to be holding the manor (Feud. Aids, ii, 449), but this is probably a transcript of an older entry.
  • 116. Chan. Inq. p.m. 4 Edw. IV, no. 13.
  • 117. Ibid. 14 Edw. IV, no. 14.
  • 118. Anct. D. (P.R.O.), C 2872.
  • 119. Chan. Inq. p.m. 14 Edw. IV, no. 14.
  • 120. Close, 18 Hen. VII, no. 45.
  • 121. Feet of F. Herts. Mich. 12 Hen. VIII.
  • 122. Clutterbuck, Hist. and Antiq. of Herts. iii, 86. See Recov. R. East. 35 Eliz. rot. 44.
  • 123. Clutterbuck, loc. cit.
  • 124. Chan. Inq. p.m. 13 Hen. IV, no. 34.
  • 125. Cal. Rot. Chart. (Rec. Com.), i, 170.
  • 126. Feet of F. Herts. 22 Hen. III, no. 241.
  • 127. Cal. Pat. 1405–8, p. 290; Cal. Papal Letters, vi, 154.
  • 128. Cal. Papal Letters, vi, 154.
  • 129. Pat. 42 Eliz. pt. xxiii, m. 28.
  • 130. Ins. Bks. (P.R.O.); Close, 10 Will. III, pt. viii, no. 4; Cussans, Hist. of Herts. Hitchin Hund. III. Cussans gives the name of the last patron as Robert Holder.
  • 131. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), cccclxxiv, 4; Com. Pleas D. Enr. Trin. 10 Chas. I, m. 5.
  • 132. Inst. Bks. (P.R.O.).
  • 133. Pat. 17 Eliz. pt. xiii, m. 37.
  • 134. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), dvii, 47.
  • 135. Feet of F. Herts. Mich. 43 & 44 Eliz.
  • 136. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), cccclxv, 38; Recov. R. Trin. 14 Chas. I, rot. 49; Inst. Bks.
  • 137. Feet of F. Mich. 13 Geo. I; 10 Geo. III; East. 19 Geo. III; Hil. 21 Geo. III.
  • 138. Urwick, Nonconformity in Herts. 663.