Landownership: Hungerford estate

Pages 118-121

A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 12, Chelsea. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 2004.

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John Barnard (d. 1537), citizen and mercer, chamberlain of the City of London, and his wife Alice had property in Chelsea, described as 3 messuages, 6 cottages, 100 a. land, 10 a. meadow, and 10 a. pasture, with property in Kent, which they settled in 1528 on themselves for life and then on their son James and his heirs. (fn. 1) Barnard owed 54s. 6½d. quitrent to the manor of Chelsea, (fn. 2) and at least three of the houses which can be traced later had commoning rights, (fn. 3) suggesting that the estate had been built up from a number of medieval freeholdings. James (d. 1540) left his mansion house at Chelsea and all his lands to his widow Ursula for life on condition that if she married again she should support his children until they came of age. The lands were then to pass to his son Richard, (fn. 4) who seems to have died without issue, as James's heir in 1582 was his daughter's son. (fn. 5)

By 1543 Ursula had married Thomas Hungerford (d. 1581), courtier and gentleman pensioner, who in 1544 acknowledged that he held in his wife's right seven cottages and 100 a. freely from the manor for 545. 6½d. rent and suit of court. (fn. 6) He was presented for overstocking on the common with his cattle in 1543, and his property in 1566 included a messuage on the south side of the new parsonage house in Church Lane and land in Eastfield. (fn. 7) He also received 2 messuages and 2 gardens in 1569 from Adam Powell and his wife Alice, William Dabourne and his wife Anne, and William Beane. (fn. 8) Alice, Anne, and William were the children of Thomas Beane (d. 1549): he left his house called the Great Rose next to the church to his son William, two houses to Alice and another to Agnes, (fn. 9) and the property conveyed to Hungerford may have included the Great Rose, which stood on the corner of Church Lane opposite the church, since a house on that site was later said to have belonged to Hungerford. (fn. 10)

Ursula Hungerford died in 1583 leaving her leases to her son Edmund Hungerford, and bequests of 12 pictures, including portraits of all the Tudor sovereigns which hung in the parlour and the great chamber of her house in Chelsea. (fn. 11) The property which had belonged to Hungerford had been divided by 1587: the smaller part passed to Edmund Hungerford, (fn. 12) while the Barnard freeholding, known as Hungerford's farm, was held in 1587 by Thomas Young for 545. 6½d. In 1595 Young conveyed to John Shuckburgh (Shugborow, Shuckborough) of Warwickshire a messuage or farm and land in Chelsea, possibly as a settlement on the marriage of Young's daughter Christian with John's brother Henry; whatever the case, in 1599 Henry Shuckburgh conveyed the property to another brother Francis. (fn. 13) Young seems to have been the man of that name who had a prebendal lease in Willesden, and may have died c.1604: a Thomas Young, Yeoman of the Guard, gave to the each of the parishes of Chelsea, Kensington, and Willesden 20s. a year for use of the poor. (fn. 14) The grant of the Chelsea farm was confirmed to Francis Shuckburgh in 1606 by Henry and his wife and Young's widow Elizabeth, (fn. 15) and in 1607 Francis sold to William Blake for £1,100 the farmhouse, 74 a., and 11 lots of meadow in the tenure of William Wrennall and another acre in West meadow. The land included 32 a. called Sandhills, (fn. 16) which Blake later sold to Sir Lionel Cranfield and which formed part of Chelsea Park. (fn. 17)

Elizabeth Young still held other land once belonging her husband, and in 1607 settled all her property in Kensington, Chelsea, and Fulham for the use of herself for life, then for her daughter Christian Shuckburgh and her issue. The property consisted of a mansion called Brompton Hall in Kensington with its outhouses and grounds, and all the land belonging to it in Kensington, Chelsea, and Fulham; the Catherine Wheel in Kensington; a messuage and buildings in Chelsea in the tenure of William Gawnte; the messuage called the Blackhouse in Chelsea where Elizabeth lived, with outbuildings, dovehouse, grounds, 2½ a. in Eastfield, and two closes lying together next to Chelsea Heath containing 6 a.; a messuage in the tenure of Thomas Creake with one orchard or garden and all buildings belonging to it in Chelsea; houses occupied by 10 tenants; meadow in Fulham; and 4 lots in the western common mead of Chelsea. The conveyance included the right of revocation by Elizabeth, which she exercised in 1611, (fn. 18) just prior to selling the Catherine Wheel in Kensington to Robert Chare, citizen and fietcher of London, and at her instruction Thomas Baldwin sold to Chare two messuages lying together on the east side of Church Lane and south of the parsonage, which were the Hungerford tenement of 1566. (fn. 19)

Elizabeth Young died between 1611 and 1615 and was succeeded by her daughter Christian, who was estranged from her husband. (fn. 20) In 1626 Christian wife of Henry Shuckburgh was assessed at £2 in lands in the subsidy, (fn. 21) and in 1645, then a widow, was assessed at £200, but in 1646 was successful in getting that reduced to the £35 which she claimed was a fifth of her revenue. (fn. 22) Christian's son John died by 1647, leaving a will in which he devised his land in Chelsea and Brompton to his son Thomas, with payments to his other children, Henry and Frances, and called upon his mother to confirm that she and his grandmother had both promised he should have the land. (fn. 23) In 1648 Christian and her grandson Henry Shuckburgh, both of Chelsea, conveyed to her eldest grandson Thomas for payments under will of Christian's husband, Brompton Hall and 6 acres, the houses once occupied by William Gawnte, Elizabeth Young, and Thomas Creake, and houses occupied by 6 tenants. (fn. 24) She probably occupied her mother's house, the Blackhouse, and was succeeded there by Thomas Shuckburgh, who died in 1670.

Later history of the remaining estate is uncertain. By 1706 the Blackhouse alias the Whitehouse, formerly held by Elizabeth Young, Christian Shuckburgh, and Thomas Shuckburgh, had passed to Edward Harris of Aldenham (Herts.), together with the messuage called the Dog tavern, formerly held by Thomas Creake, with an orchard and garden and all other premises belonging to the two houses; 5 houses purchased from Thomas Crompton by Thomas and Henry Shuckburgh; and 6 cottages built on part of the orchard and ground belonging to the Blackhouse and the Dog. Harris's property was inherited by his daughter Elizabeth, wife of William Grove, and then passed to their daughter Elizabeth and her husband Edward Peacock, goldsmith, who were holding it in 1718. By then the Blackhouse and the Dog had each been divided into two dwellings occupied by tenants, with 6 cottages in Waterman's Court, and 6 houses in or near Church Lane with their outhouses and gardens. (fn. 25) The Blackhouse apparently lay on the west side of the four houses making up Arch House and the White Horse, and the Dog lay on the west side of the Blackhouse. In 1739 the property was conveyed to Grove Peacock of St Martin-in-the-Fields, coachmaker, son of Edward and Elizabeth. (fn. 26) The estate has not been traced further.


In 1587 Edmund Hungerford held freely 2 tenements once Cleybrooke's for 7½d., (fn. 27) possibly the 2 messuages and 2 gardens conveyed to Thomas Hungerford in 1569. (fn. 28) A conveyance in 1584 by Anthony Hungerford to John Wall and John Towgood of a messuage, wharf, garden, and orchard in Chelsea (fn. 29) may be a resettlement or a sale of part of Thomas Hungerford's property.

Edmund Hungerford sold to Michael Forth of Enfield waste ground between a messuage and the river near Danvers House which by 1624 had houses on it when it was sold to Sir John Danvers. (fn. 30) Though Thomas Hungerford is said to have sold property to Richard Fletcher, bishop of London, (fn. 31) it seems more likely that it was sold to the bishop after Hungerford's death. This was a capital messuage and other buildings where the bishop was living by 1592, and formed the basis of the property later known as Arch House. In 1594 Bishop Fletcher married as his second wife Mary the widow of Sir Richard Baker, and died in 1596 leaving large debts to the queen for First Fruits of his various ecclesiastical preferments, and only his house in Chelsea, plate, and some other goods to provide for his children. (fn. 32) His Chelsea house was presumably sold: it was said to have belonged to Robert Cecil, earl of Salisbury, (fn. 33) perhaps on behalf of the Crown, and was probably the messuages, two gardens, and one wharf conveyed in 1610 by Sir William Selby and Talbot Bowes and his wife Agnes to Sir Thomas Baker, Mary Fletcher's stepson. (fn. 34) Sir Thomas died in 1625 leaving his house and garden in Chelsea to his wife Constance for life, with permission to sell it for the benefit of his children. In 1625 Constance conveyed the house and other houses which had been converted into one dwelling, with its barns, stables, wharf, and landing places to Sir Edward Powell, Bt, Master of Requests, and his wife Mary for £600. (fn. 35) In the 1650s it was claimed that Mary Powell's mother Jacoba, widow of Sir Peter Vanlore, had provided the money for the purchase and intended the house to be conveyed to her trustees. Jacoba was said to have lived in the house until her death in 1636 when she left it to Thomas Crompton, her steward, and Lady Powell seems to have lived there from about 1636, when she separated from her husband, until her death in 1651, (fn. 36) The Powells had a substantial mansion there, having incorporated into it another messuage in Church Lane and a little cottage adjoining, and in 1646 Sir Edward bought the freehold of the additional houses from Thomas Fisher for £150. (fn. 37) Sir Edward was listed as owner of rights of common for 'cottages'. (fn. 38)

Sir Edward Powell died in 1653 without heirs, devising his lands to his sister's son, William Hinson, who added the name Powell and was granted a baronetcy in 1661. (fn. 39) In 1679 Sir William was presented at the court leet for encroaching on Church Lane opposite the church by erecting 3 stacks of chimneys each jetting 10 inches. (fn. 40) He died in 1680, devising the rents from the mansion, stables, barns, and coachhouses in Chelsea, then in possession of William Dyer, to his wife Mary for life, and then to his only child Mary (d. 1723), wife of Sir John Williams, Bt, and her issue. (fn. 41) By 1685 the house was standing empty and in need of repair, and was leased by Sir John and Mary Williams to Charles Stanton of London, carpenter. (fn. 42)

Lady Williams's property was inherited by her four daughters as coheirs, and in 1733 they conveyed to Richard Coope of London four houses in Chelsea which had formerly been one, with 4 stables and 3 gardens, one called the White Horse inn, abutting the Thames on the south and Church Lane on the east, purchased from Lady Baker and Thomas Fisher and occupied by tenants, together with pews in the churches of Fulham or Chelsea. (fn. 43) In 1743 a 61-year lease of tofts and parcels of buildings running from 1684 and made by Mary Williams in 1686 to Stanton was assigned to Richard Coope, citizen and salter. (fn. 44) The four houses occupied the site of nos 64-7 Cheyne Walk. No. 67 was Arch House, so-called because it was extended southward to the riverside wharf, leaving an archway over the public highway along the riverside. It is not known when this extension was built, though it is shown in illustrations of Chelsea in the mid 18th century. The southern wing was demolished when the embankment was created c. 1870; nos 64-6, which had been rebuilt in the early 19th century, and no. 67 were then renamed Lombard Terrace. They were all demolished in the 20th century. (fn. 45)


  • 1. PRO, CP 25/2/51/366/19HENVIIIEASTER; C 1/1298/23-6.
  • 2. BL, Lansd. MS 2, f. 11.
  • 3. i.e. Wrennall's farm; Powell; Chare.
  • 4. PRO, PROB 11/28 (PCC 13 Alenger).
  • 5. Index to Remembrancia of City of London, 1579-1664 (1878), 310.
  • 6. PRO, SC 2/205/40.
  • 7. PRO, E 371/433, rot. 107.
  • 8. PRO, CP 25/2/171/11ELIZTRIN.
  • 9. Below, other medieval ests.
  • 10. Below; above, Settlement, to 1680.
  • 11. PRO, PROB 11/66, f. 42.
  • 12. Below.
  • 13. PRO, C 54/2445, no. 1.
  • 14. VCH Middx, VII. 209, 254; Faulkner, Chelsea, II. 105-6, who recorded it as £20.
  • 15. PRO, C 54/2445, no. 1.
  • 16. PRO, CP 43/99, carte rot. 41v.-43v.
  • 17. PRO, C 54/2445, no. 1; below, later ests (Beaufort).
  • 18. PRO, C 54/2095, no. 56.
  • 19. PRO, C 54/2107, nos. 4-5; CL, Ar.4/76/2.
  • 20. PRO, C 8/66/75; VCH Middx, VII. 209.
  • 21. PRO, E 179/142/284.
  • 22. Cal Cttee Money, II. 607.
  • 23. PRO, PROB 11/200, f. 305.
  • 24. CL, Ar.4/76/2.
  • 25. MLR 1718/6/223-5; 1739/2/294.
  • 26. MLR 1739/2/293.
  • 27. BL, Harl. Roll L.26.
  • 28. PRO, CP 25/2/171/11ELIZTRIN; above.
  • 29. PRO, CP 25/2/1/2/26ELIZHIL.
  • 30. CL, deed 2989.
  • 31. PRO, C 54/2634, no. 21.
  • 32. DNB.
  • 33. PRO, C 54/2634, no. 21.
  • 34. PRO, CP 25/2/323/8JASIMIC.
  • 35. PRO, C 142/420/107; C 54/2634, no. 21.
  • 36. PRO, C 7/397/61; C 7/402/135; Cal. SP Dom. 1654, 129-30; HMC, 7th Rep., p. no.
  • 37. PRO, C 54/3340, no. 37.
  • 38. Faulkner, Chelsea, II. 50.
  • 39. GEC, Baronetage, I. 188; III. 154.
  • 40. Quoted by Faulkner, Chelsea, II. 156.
  • 41. Baronetage, III. 154; PRO, C 7/257/56.
  • 42. PRO, C 8/523/14.
  • 43. CL, Ar.4/76/12.
  • 44. Ibid., /15.
  • 45. Survey of London, IV. 3-6; above, Settlement, twentieth cent.; see Fig. 75.