A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 3, Shepperton, Staines, Stanwell, Sunbury, Teddington, Heston and Isleworth, Twickenham, Cowley, Cranford, West Drayton, Greenford, Hanwell, Harefield and Harlington. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1962.
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In the 12th century the dean and chapter claimed that ten manse at WEST DRAYTON had been given by Athelstan to the cathedral church of St. Paul, and the date 939 has been given for this grant. (fn. 1) Though both the transcribed grant (fn. 2) and the date are suspect, (fn. 3) St. Paul's appears to have been in possession by about 1000, when West Drayton supplied one of a number of 'shipmen' for a muster drawn from estates in Essex, Middlesex, and Surrey, most of which can be shown to have belonged, then or later, to the Bishop of London or to St. Paul's. (fn. 4) The manor was owned by St. Paul's at the Conquest, and in 1086 was said to comprise 10 hides. (fn. 5) In surveys of 1222 (fn. 6) and 1557 (fn. 7) the total area of demesne and tenants' lands was given as 668 and 769 acres respectively. When allowance is made for common moor and meadow, (fn. 8) the area of the manor thus seems never to have differed substantially from that of the parish, given in 1866 as 878 acres. (fn. 9)
While it belonged to St. Paul's West Drayton was not a prebend, but one of a number of manors farmed for the common benefit of the canons. During the 12th century, however, and before 1181, 1 hide was apparently appropriated to a prebend. (fn. 10) It was described as in scolanda in 1181, and as solanda in 1222, when it was said to be taxable with the rest of the manor only when assessments were made by hides. (fn. 11) There were still 16 acres of scholand in 1297, of which 5½ were held by tenants of the manor. (fn. 12) From the 13th century it was the practice for the farmed manors of St. Paul's to be distributed among the inner group of canons residentiary, or stagiaries, (fn. 13) and this appears to have been true for West Drayton. In 1181 the farmer was William of Northolt, Archdeacon of Gloucester and canon of St. Paul's since 1169, (fn. 14) jointly with his servant, Robert the Simple; (fn. 15) in 1222 it was Roger of Worcester. (fn. 16) In 1320 the farmer was Stephen Segrave, (fn. 17) and the farm was held by other chapter members in 1367 (fn. 18) and 1400. (fn. 19) From 1412 to 1467 an unbroken succession of stagiaries farmed the manor, among them William of Stortford (d. 1416), Archdeacon of Middlesex, who was described as perpetual farmer, Reynold Kentwood, dean from 1422, who held the farm from 1419 until his death in 1441, (fn. 20) and Laurence Bothe, perpetual farmer in 1453. (fn. 21) There is not sufficient evidence to show whether the court was normally reserved or farmed with the manor. At the close of the 15th century and the beginning of the 16th it appears to have been generally retained by the chapter, but in 1501 and 1502 William Lichfeld, a canon residentiary, held court in his own right as farmer. (fn. 22) In 1525 the manor was leased for 30 years to a layman, William Hill of West Drayton, the chapter reserving presentation to the vicarage, escheats, profits of courts and leets, and the watermill. (fn. 23) The lease was acquired in 1537 by William Paget (c. 1506–63), secretary to Jane Seymour. (fn. 24) In 1546 Henry VIII having 'by the diligence and industry' of Paget (fn. 25) acquired the manor with all appurtenances, (fn. 26) granted it to him in fee, (fn. 27) and the interest of the chapter ceased.
By 1181 the terms of the farm of Drayton manor included the payment of both a food-rent and a moneyrent. The food-rent comprised then (fn. 28) and in 1297 (fn. 29) two firme of grain. By the assessment used in 1283 this meant a yearly contribution of 32 qr. of bread corn, 32 qr. oats, and 6 qr. barley. (fn. 30) The amounts were subject to slight variation from year to year. (fn. 31) The farmer also paid a sum towards the costs of the brewhouse. (fn. 32) In 1283 this amounted to 7s. 8d. (fn. 33) and about 1300 to 21s., comprising 13s. 4d. for wood and 7s. 8d. for wages. (fn. 34) By the lease of 1525 the lessee delivered yearly 32 qr. of corn to St. Paul's bakehouse, (fn. 35) and this contribution was valued in 1535 at £10 13s. 4d. (fn. 36) It was extinguished by 1540. (fn. 37) The money-rent paid to the chapter chamber increased from £4 in 1181 (fn. 38) to £6 14s. 6d. in 1297. (fn. 39) In 1525 it was fixed at £27, (fn. 40) and in 1540, after the extinction of the food-rent, at £39 13s. 4d. (fn. 41)
From 1546 to 1786 the manor descended with the other Paget honors and estates, apart from a brief period at the end of the 16th century. (fn. 42) Thomas, Lord Paget (c. 1544–90), was attainted as a papist in 1587, and his lands, including West Drayton, were confiscated by the Crown. (fn. 43) In the same year West Drayton was leased to Sir Christopher Hatton for life. (fn. 44) On Hatton's death the manor was leased in 1592 to George Cary, later Baron Hunsdon, for 21 years. (fn. 45) Hunsdon died in 1603, (fn. 46) but his widow, Elizabeth, Lady Hunsdon, was still living at West Drayton in 1610, (fn. 47) and it seems likely that the lease was allowed to run its term. In 1597, however, William Paget (1572–1628), son of Thomas, Lord Paget, obtained a grant of his estates in fee-farm, (fn. 48) and in 1604 he was restored to his honors and estates in fee. (fn. 49) He is said to have regained possession of West Drayton in 1610. (fn. 50) During the Civil War William, Lord Paget (1609–78), sided at different times with Parliament and with the royalists. In 1655 a special dispensation allowed him, while a suspect royalist, to stay at his house at West Drayton, though it was only 15 miles from London, (fn. 51) after he had paid a heavy fine on his estates. His son, Thomas Paget, compounded for West Drayton with £80. (fn. 52)
In 1786 Henry Paget (1744–1812), 1st Earl of Uxbridge, sold the manor and estate to Fysh Coppinger, a London merchant, who assumed his wife's name de Burgh. His widow, Easter de Burgh, owned the manor in 1800. (fn. 53) She died in 1823 (fn. 54) and it passed to her grandson Hubert de Burgh, who died in 1872. (fn. 55) The next heir, Francis (d. 1874), devised it jointly to his daughters, Minna Edith Elizabeth, wife of R. O. Leycester of Toft Hall (Ches.), (fn. 56) and Eva Elizabeth, who was sole owner when she died unmarried in 1939. (fn. 57)
There is little evidence for the existence of a manor-house at West Drayton while it was owned by St. Paul's. In 1297 the chapter had a house and grounds there worth 6s. 8d. a year, (fn. 58) but in 1538 the lessee of the manor, William Paget, dated a letter from his 'cottage' at West Drayton. (fn. 59) After his acquisition of the manor Paget built a house between the church and the village. This was completed by 1549, together with stables, a dovecote, and other outbuildings. (fn. 60) It was built of red brick, and, in the 18th century, had a hall floored with black and white marble. (fn. 61) In 1664 its owner was assessed for 47 hearths. (fn. 62) Members of the Paget family were frequently in residence here throughout the 200 years they were associated with the manor. In 1593, when the manor was out of the hands of the Pagets, the buildings were shared by Edmund Kedermister of Langley Marish (Bucks.) and Sir William Hatton, of Holdenby (Northants.), Kedermister reserving to himself the use of 'a barn, half another barn, the kitchen, bakehouse, hall, and three chambers over the kitchen and larder'. (fn. 63) Lord Hunsdon, then lord chamberlain, entertained Elizabeth I at the house in 1602. (fn. 64) At about this time it stood in 5 acres of ground, including the church, churchyard, and former graveyard, which were enclosed by a brick wall. (fn. 65) The ornamental grounds and the house were supplied with water by a conduit leading from Pield Heath in Hillingdon. (fn. 66) Entrance to the grounds was by two large gatehouses, (fn. 67) probably approached by the elm avenues which were still in existence in 1849. (fn. 68) The southernmost avenue survived in 1959. The gatehouse beside the church at the north end of this avenue probably represents the lower part of that built in the mid-16th century. It is of red brick and has been much restored, but retains its finely moulded four-centred arch and original oak gates. The flanking turrets, which are semi-octagonal, have 19th-century windows, chimneys, and embattled parapets. At the beginning of the 20th century the gatehouse was occupied by the vicar. (fn. 69) It was acquired by the county council shortly before 1937. (fn. 70) The manor-house itself was pulled down before 1774, when, with the outbuildings and 19 acres, the site was in the freehold possession of T. Marshall. (fn. 71) Many of the massive outbuildings were still standing a century later. (fn. 72) In 1958 the site was occupied by the Gate House Nurseries.
Drayton Hall, at the east end of Church Road, became the manor-house after the old one had been demolished. It was bought by Fysh de Burgh as the manor-house about 1786, and tenants are recorded from 1744, when Sir William Irby, later Lord Boston, was admitted to 'the house formerly occupied by Lady Clarke'. (fn. 73) The present building dates largely from the early 19th century, although the back wing may be slightly older. In the 19th century the house was customarily let furnished, with 25 acres of grounds and, in 1855, a fishing lodge. (fn. 74) The grounds were reduced by 10 acres between 1926 and 1933. (fn. 75) In 1948 the hall was acquired by Yiewsley and West Drayton Urban District Council for use as municipal offices. The stables were demolished and a wing was added to the house before 1955. (fn. 76)
DRAYTON OR COLHAM GARDEN manor is first so described in 1461. It comprised, at that date, an estate of 90 acres in West Drayton parish, 89 acres in Colham manor and 20 acres in Uxbridge, both in Hillingdon parish, and 8 acres in Rudsworth meadow in Stanwell. (fn. 77) In 1494 the manor was said to contain 200 acres of arable, 6 acres of meadow, 10 acres of pasture, and 6 acres of woods. (fn. 78) Its lands lay, throughout its history, almost equally in West Drayton and Hillingdon, and in 1872 there were 59 acres in West Drayton, 55 in Hillingdon, and 4 in Iver (Bucks.). (fn. 79) The Iver portion is first mentioned in 1512. (fn. 80) From the 16th century, at the latest, the lord of the manor owed a yearly quit-rent to Colham and West Drayton manors: to Colham 20s. at all times, (fn. 81) and to West Drayton 14s. 8d. in 1549 (fn. 82) and 20s. 3d. in 1587 (fn. 83) and 1800. (fn. 84)
From the time of the earliest surveys now extant the West Drayton portion of the manor comprised a small area of ancient inclosure adjacent to the manorhouse, a number of other scattered inclosures, and widely distributed strips of arable in the West Drayton open field; there were 62 such strips in 1824. (fn. 85) In 1464 the West Drayton lands consisted of 2 tenements, 80 acres of arable, and 4 acres of pasture, valued at £3 yearly; (fn. 86) in 1549 of 2 closes of 5 acres, and 70 acres arable; (fn. 87) and in 1587 of a total of 80½ acres. (fn. 88) The rental, about 1540, was £5. (fn. 89) In a lease of 1806 the lord's estate in the open field, exclusive of the manor-house and 8 acres of gardens and meadows, was said to contain 86 acres, (fn. 90) but on actual measurement in 1824 the correct figure was found to be nearer 60. (fn. 91) By the West Drayton inclosure award of 1828 the lessee received 45 acres of the open field and approximately 10 acres of moor. By 1935 the area of the West Drayton estate had been reduced to 45 acres. (fn. 92)
The origins of the estate are traceable to the middle of the 14th century, when John atte Brook and John atte Mill gave it to Ralph atte Merk and Agnes, his wife (fl. 1365). (fn. 93) Their daughter and heir, Joan, then wife of Roger Usher, otherwise Sandesfeld or Swansfield, leased it for life in 1401 to Richard Roos (d. 1406), a citizen and mercer of London, at a rent of £7 19s., (fn. 94) with reversion to her heirs. The leased estate comprised a house, 100 acres of arable, 5 acres of meadow, and 20s. rent in West Drayton and Colham. (fn. 95)
In 1407 Roos's widow, Maud, ceded it to John Butler, another mercer, the son and heir of Joan Usher. (fn. 96) In 1411 and 1412 the estate was conveyed to trustees. (fn. 97) In 1460 it was in the possession of William Wandesford, or Waynesford, of London, a 'servant of Queen Margaret'. (fn. 98) Wandesford was the son of Thomas Wandesford, master of the Mercers Company in 1437 and 1446, Alderman of Vintry Ward 1426–46, (fn. 99) and Sheriff of London 1423–4, who became a trustee in 1422, (fn. 100) and was assessed as sole owner of an estate of £100 in West Drayton, Uxbridge, and elsewhere (fn. 101) shortly before his death in 1448. (fn. 102) William Butler, the son of John Butler, had asserted a successful claim for possession of his father's inheritance (fn. 103) when Wandesford was attainted for rebellion in 1461 and his lands were seized by Edward IV. (fn. 104) In 1462 the king granted the 'manor and lordship of Drayton' in fee to Thomas Burgh (d. 1496), then an esquire of the body, (fn. 105) and shortly afterwards Master of the Horse. (fn. 106) By a later confirmation the manor was granted in tail-male, to be held as one knight's fee. (fn. 107) Drayton was among the manors placed in trust by Sir Thomas Burgh before sailing to France with Edward IV in 1475, (fn. 108) and he was still in possession in 1494, (fn. 109) when William Smith, then Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield, and later of Lincoln, with others, bought the interest claimed by Ralph, the son of William Butler. (fn. 110) West Drayton was not mentioned, however, in Burgh's will, made in 1495, when he was resident at Gainsborough (Lincs.). (fn. 111) In 1496 Smith and his associates also acquired the interest of Burgh's successors, John Tichbourne and his wife Margaret, and Thomas Lowthe and his wife Anne, and thus confirmed their title. (fn. 112) In 1501 they ceded the manor to the king's mother, Margaret, Countess of Richmond, (fn. 113) who included it in her extensive gifts to Westminster Abbey in 1506. (fn. 114) Westminster Abbey owned the manor until 1541, when it was granted to the Bishop of Westminster, (fn. 115) from whom it passed, in 1550, to the Bishop of London. (fn. 116) Apart from a brief period during the Interregnum it remained in the possession of the bishops until the 19th century and was subsequently administered by the Ecclesiastical and Church Commissioners. (fn. 117)
From the beginning of the 15th century the manorial demesne was invariably leased. In 1512 the Abbot of Westminster leased the 'manor or capital messuage', with all its lands, to William Hester and Roger Urlewin for 20 years, at £10 6s. 8d., (fn. 118) which became the standard rent. Profits of court were included, with the exception of wardship, marriage, and reliefs. A similar lease of 1519 to John Green of Westminster included the provision that the manor should not be let to 'any fraternity or masters of such or churchwardens'. (fn. 119) A third lease, secured by Elizabeth Pope in 1524, was for 30 years. (fn. 120) Twenty shillings of the customary lease-rent was payable to the lord of Colham manor in respect of 5 acres of pasture lying in Colham Mead. (fn. 121) From 1525 until 1565 the manor was in the actual occupation of members of the Partridge family. (fn. 122) In 1564 the Bishop of London leased the demesne estate to Marmaduke Fulnetby for a term of years, (fn. 123) but from 1595 to 1839 leases were invariably for three lives. Courts and other perquisites were reserved by the bishop. Between 1595 and 1636 a number of leases were made to members of the Banister family, in each case called George Banister, (fn. 124) and one George Banister was the occupant in 1653. (fn. 125) At some date between 1653 and 1660 John Biscoe (c. 1613–c. 1672), the parliamentarian soldier, acquired the manor as a result of the sequestration of the bishop's lands, and styled himself lord of the manor. At a court baron held by him at West Drayton in April 1660 the tenants were ordered to stake a boundary between the demesne and their own holdings. (fn. 126) Biscoe married Ann, daughter of William Nicholl, an Uxbridge tanner, and his son and grandson, both called John, were baptized in 1644 and 1672 respectively. (fn. 127) He was still alive in 1666, (fn. 128) when his manor of Drayton was once more in the possession of the bishop. In that year the estate, but not the manor, was leased to three members of the Biscoe and Nicholl families. (fn. 129) John Biscoe 'of London' (1644–87), the son of the parliamentarian, was resident in 1673, (fn. 130) and him self took up a lease in 1676. (fn. 131) By will proved in 1687 he devised his interest in trust for his children. (fn. 132) In 1707 the estate was leased by the bishop to Aaron Kinton (fn. 133) (d. by 1729), whose daughter, Catherine, married James Eckersall, clerk of the kitchen to Queen Anne. (fn. 134) Subsequent leases were made to William Shaw, a devisee of Kinton, in 1729, George Eckersall in 1753, Richard West (formerly Eckersall) in 1755, and Robert Chitter in 1771. (fn. 135) From 1753 until 1785 the estate is said to have been in the actual occupation of John Orme of Long Acre, a coachmaker. (fn. 136) In 1785 Chitter sold his interest in two portions: the manor-house, and 8 acres adjacent, to Earl Ferrers, and the bulk of the lands in West Drayton, Hillingdon, and Iver to William Gill, a London stationer. (fn. 137) The freehold of the manor-house and grounds was sold to Major-General W. J. Arabin in 1799. (fn. 138) The major part of the estate was leased as a unit at first to the executors and then to the descendants of Alderman Gill, at least until 1839, when it was in the possession of Brook Hamilton Gill of Wraysbury (Bucks.). (fn. 139) The West Drayton portion was further subdivided in 1872, when the larger part was leased by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for development as a brickfield. The freehold of a part of the estate was sold at the same time, and that of the remainder in 1935. (fn. 140)
The manor-house, Burroughs, is said to have been so called as a result of its association with Sir Thomas Burgh; (fn. 141) in 1557 it was known as 'Borowes'. (fn. 142) Before its demolition in 1923, (fn. 143) the house, then known as Drayton House, lay immediately west of Swan Road, south of the junction with Station Road. It was an 'old and spacious brick mansion', (fn. 144) apparently of 17th-century construction. A local tradition existed in 1816 that Burroughs was an occasional residence of Oliver Cromwell, and that his body had been reburied beneath the paving of the hall, following a substitution before its supposed exposure on Tyburn in 1660. (fn. 145)