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 1722 the manor of SUNBURY occupied a strip of the parish running north from the village to the common on both sides of Green Street. (fn. 1) The boundaries of the estate are described in a charter of 962, when the manor comprised 10 cassati. (fn. 2) In 1086 it contained only 7 hides, (fn. 3) but it is not easy to see where, if at all, its area had been diminished. The description of the boundaries shows that the manor then had the same river frontage as in 1722 and later, so that Kempton was excluded. Halliford, on the same grounds and on other internal evidence, also seems to be excluded, (fn. 4) while Charlton lay beyond Halliford and could not have been within the boundaries described if Halliford was outside.
The charter of 962 is a grant of Sunbury from King Edgar to his kinsman Earl Ælfheah. A slightly later document shows that it had come to Edgar by a complicated series of events arising from the misdeeds of one Athelstan, whose brother Edward had inherited it from their parents. About six years after Edgar's grant St. Dunstan bought the property from Ælfheah. (fn. 5) According to charters forged at Westminster Abbey about 1100 (fn. 6) he then gave Sunbury to Westminster, and there seems to be no reason to doubt the substantial truth of this story, the earlier stages of which, up to his purchase, are corroborated by contemporary evidence.
Westminster Abbey held Sunbury in Edward the Confessor's reign (fn. 7) and until 1222, when the monks transferred it to the Bishop of London as part of the settlement of a dispute between the abbey, the bishop, and the chapter of St. Paul's. (fn. 8) The manor remained in the hands of the Bishops of London until the mid-16th century. (fn. 9) A lease was granted in 1554 for 41 years. Before it expired the manor had passed to the Crown at a voidance of the see in 1559, under an Act of the previous year. (fn. 10) Subsequently a lease was made by the Crown to Nicasius Yetswiert, (fn. 11) and later his son Charles, secretary of the French Tongue, held a 21-year lease of the manor; this was renewed in 1595 to Jane, widow of Charles, who married Sir Philip Butler. (fn. 12) The Crown retained the manor until 1603 when James I granted it to Robert Stratford. (fn. 13) In the following year Stratford conveyed it to Thomas Lake (d. 1630), and he was succeeded in turn by his sons Thomas (d. 1653) and Lancelot. Lancelot sold the manor to George Bunyan in 1663. (fn. 14) It was later held by Francis Phelips (d. 1674), (fn. 15) and then by his three daughters, Anne, Dorothy, and Elizabeth. (fn. 16) Sir John Tyrwhitt, Bt., who married Elizabeth, is recorded as sole lord in 1693. (fn. 17) In 1698 he sold the manor to Isaac Guiquet St. Eloy, a Huguenot refugee, but St. Eloy does not appear finally to have gained possession until 1703. (fn. 18) He sold Sunbury in 1718 to Roger (later Sir Roger) Hudson, who was succeeded by his son Vansittart, who held it in 1768. Edmund Boehm, who had married Martha, daughter and heir of Sir Roger Hudson, inherited the manor upon Vansittart Hudson's death. Martha survived him and held the lordship in 1781 and 1791. From 1792 until 1803 it was held by her son Roger. (fn. 19) Edmund Boehm was lord from 1803 to 1820. (fn. 20) The court books record Robert Berney as lord in 1821-2 and Edward Fletcher and Thomas Weeding in 1823-4. John Alliston held Sunbury from 1825 until his death in 1852 and it was then sold to John Park (d. 1887). By Park's will it passed from his widow Charlotte to his son C. J. Park and in 1909 to E. G. Chester (d. 1931), J. W. Chester (d. 1946), and F. B. Chester (d. 1951). The manor virtually lapsed after the Law of Property Act, 1925, and the exact ownership was not known by 1957. (fn. 21)
Of the lessees and lords both Nicasius and Charles Yetswiert as well as Isaac St. Eloy are known to have lived at Sunbury and manorial buildings are mentioned in 1663. (fn. 22) The manor-house probably always stood to the east of the church in what is now known as Sunbury Park. It was marked there in the map of 1722, and then and in 1754 (fn. 23) it seems to have had the same general plan as a house which is known to have been built for Sir Roger Hudson in 1712. (fn. 24) According to Lysons, however, this house, which was built before Hudson owned the manor, was Sunbury House, farther upstream. (fn. 25) The manor-house may in any case have been rebuilt by 1809, when it was a house of three rather high stories, with a front of six bays facing the river. (fn. 26) It is said to have been again rebuilt in 1851 and was later known as Sunbury Park House. (fn. 27) It had been demolished by 1959. At the inclosure of 1803 the lord of the manor held about 175 acres of inclosed land and received about 186 acres of allotments. (fn. 28) His old inclosures included fields on which Manor Farm (at the junction of Green Street and Manor Lane) and the house now called the Manor House (farther north; now a convent school) were built before 1865. (fn. 29) The early-19th-century Old Manor Farm, which also belonged to him, is in Church Street.
The manor of CHARLTON lay around the hamlet of Charlton and had no frontage upon the River Thames. (fn. 30) In 1542 some freehold property of this manor lay in Stanwell, (fn. 31) and a few acres also lay in Shepperton parish. (fn. 32) Two brothers, the one a tenant of Archbishop Stigand and the other a tenant of Earl Leofwine, held the manor in the reign of Edward the Confessor. Roger de Rames held it in chief in 1086. (fn. 33) By 1232 it was held by Denise of Charlton who then granted it to John Vautort at a rent of 4s. (fn. 34) One John Vautort granted it to the Prior of Merton (Surr.) in 1267. (fn. 35) The manor remained the property of the Priors of Merton, who paid over half of the rent to the guest-house, until it was surrendered to the Crown in 1538. (fn. 36) In 1550 the Crown granted the manor to Sir John Mason at a rent of 13s. 4d. The rent had been in arrears for many years in 1872, when it was discharged. (fn. 37) Mason conveyed the manor to Nicholas Thorp of Wanswell Court (Glos.), who married Mason's niece. (fn. 38) Nicholas's son George granted it to Matthew Paleson in 1615 and five years later Paleson conveyed it to George Cole. (fn. 39) One George Cole sold the manor in 1676 to John Grice, in whose family it remained for some time. In 1775 the lord was Thomas Grice (d. by 1792) and his widow, later Mrs. Margaret Edwards, held the manor until at least 1830. (fn. 40) Samuel Dendy held it in 1833 and 1839, followed by Arthur Dendy, who still retained it in 1883. Arthur Dendy's daughter and heir married Sir John Seale, Bt., who held Charlton in 1901 and 1905. In the following year Edith Simpson, J. C. H. Seale, and H. D. Seale were joint lords, and the two former were still in possession in 1933. (fn. 41) A manorhouse and 194 acres of demesne were referred to in 1620-1. (fn. 42) In 1803 the lady of the manor held about 125 acres of inclosed land around Charlton and received some 60 acres of allotments. (fn. 43) Her 'mansion-house' was on the west side of the road, but in 1819 a house on the site of the present Manor Farm, on the east side, was called the manor-house. (fn. 44)
The manor of KEMPTON comprised the eastern part of the parish, adjoining Sunbury manor at a line running approximately along the course of the modern road called the Avenue. (fn. 45) The eastern boundary of Sunbury manor was close to Sunbury village in 962, so that the land to the east may already have belonged to a settlement at Kempton. (fn. 46) Property in Shepperton and Halliford belonged to it in 1604, (fn. 47) while Feltham had been absorbed in Kempton manor by 1229 and continued to be part of it for some purposes until the 17th century. (fn. 48)
Ulward held Kempton manor in 1066 and Robert Count of Mortain held it in 1086. (fn. 49) In 1104 Robert's son William was attainted of treason and his lands, presumably including Kempton, were forfeited to the Crown. By 1206 Kempton had come into the hands of William Rivers, Earl of Devon (d. 1217). He was said to have inherited it from his paternal grandmother, Alice Peverel. (fn. 50) After William's death the manor passed to the Crown, though the exact date and the reasons for this are not clear; it may have been because William's grandson and heir Baldwin (d. 1245) was a minor. In 1228 Hubert de Burgh surrendered his rights in Kempton to the king: these rights possibly arose from a projected marriage between Hubert and Joan, daughter of William, but the marriage did not take place. (fn. 51) The administration of Feltham manor became merged with Kempton during this period, or possibly even earlier. (fn. 52)
The custody of the manor was granted from time to time to various persons, who were usually courtiers; it was reputed to be worth £25 in 1274. (fn. 53) Peter des Rievaulx, appointed in 1232, was the first recorded keeper. (fn. 54) Between 1261 and 1414 the custody of the manor and other offices connected with Kempton were often associated with similar offices at Windsor castle. (fn. 55) Queen Eleanor held the manor in 1272, (fn. 56) and it was granted during pleasure to Mary, Countess of Fife, in 1340. (fn. 57) This grant was followed by one for life to Mary, Countess of Norfolk, in 1344. (fn. 58) Keepers are recorded again from the appointment of William of Wykeham in 1359, (fn. 59) but from the 15th century the manor was more often leased. (fn. 60) Sir Richard Weston obtained a lease in 1509 and Anne Rochford was granted one in 1532. In 1558 it was leased to Anne, Duchess of Somerset. (fn. 61) It was leased for 80 years with Hanworth in 1594 to William Killigrew (d. 1622), groom of the Privy Chamber, (fn. 62) and in 1631 Killigrew's son Robert (d. 1633) secured the reversion. (fn. 63) In 1640 Carew Raleigh was in occupation, but the manor was conveyed in 1651 by one William Killigrew to John Warburton. (fn. 64) Five years later it passed from Henry Murray and his wife Anne to Thomas Fanshawe. (fn. 65) Francis Phelips (d. 1674), who also held Sunbury manor, was in possession by 1665, (fn. 66) and was succeeded by his son Francis (d.s.p. 1679). It then passed under the will of the elder Francis to his three daugh ters. In 1690 it was sold under a private Act of Parliament to Sir Thomas Grantham. (fn. 67) Grantham settled it almost at once upon Sir Jonathan Andrews who married Grantham's daughter Judith. (fn. 68) Andrews still held it in 1715 and his son Grantham sold Kempton five years later to Sir John Chardin, Bt., whose father, a well-known Eastern traveller, had been a local Huguenot refugee. (fn. 69) Chardin conveyed it in 1746 to his nephew Sir Philip Musgrave, Bt., whose son Sir John Chardin Musgrave sold it in 1798 to Edmund Hill (d. 1809), a gunpowder manufacturer with much property in the neighbourhood. (fn. 70) John Fish, one of Hill's residuary legatees, held the manor next, (fn. 71) and in 1816 it was conveyed by Fish's widow to Fursan Manners. (fn. 72) Manners died in 1835 and his widow and others conveyed the manor to Alexander Raphael. (fn. 73) He was followed about 1850-3 by Edward Raphael, who conveyed Kempton to Thomas Barnett in 1864. (fn. 74) The land was sold in 1876, but the title of lord of the manor seems to have remained in the Barnett family, since in the early 20th century the lord was Canon A. T. Barnett, Vicar of Stoke Poges (Bucks.). (fn. 75)
A spinney was inclosed as a park in 1246 (fn. 76) and in the following year 24 deer were sent to it from Havering (Essex). (fn. 77) Twenty-four acres in Hanworth were added to the park in 1270. (fn. 78) Rabbits were mentioned in 1251 (fn. 79) and in 1276 100 deer were sent to Kempton. (fn. 80) Horses were bred at Kempton in the early 14th century as on other royal manors. (fn. 81) The park was excluded from the lease of the manor in 1340. (fn. 82) Deer were still kept in 1376 (fn. 83) but a grant of the herbage was made in 1384. (fn. 84) Henry VIII enlarged the park by some 150 acres (fn. 85) and in 1538 the stock of deer was ordered to be replenished. (fn. 86) In 1594 the Crown leased the park with the manor and in 1631 the reversion of the freehold was granted with that of the manor. There was a proviso in the lease that 300 deer were to be maintained within the park for the royal enjoyment, (fn. 87) but this was discharged in 1665. (fn. 88) As early as 1692 the whole estate of 458 acres, comprising the manor, house, lands, and park, was described as Kempton Park, and this description became usual in the 19th century. (fn. 89) At the end of the 17th century the estate contained about 460 acres, 105 of which were called the Great Park, while most of the rest was grassland. (fn. 90) In 1803 nearly 300 acres were parkland. (fn. 91) Many fine trees on the estate were felled in the early 19th century, but there were still deer in the park until about 1835. (fn. 92) In 1876 the estate was sold to a company who leased part of it to an associated company as a racecourse. The park was used in the First World War by the army and in the Second as a prisoner of war camp. The estate contained 360 acres in 1957. (fn. 93)
A fish-pond was ordered to be made in the park in 1246 and shortly afterwards was stocked with pike. (fn. 94) Bream were put in the pond in 1253. (fn. 95) A large pond, now (1957) outside the eastern boundary of the park, lay inside it in 1692 and 1803. (fn. 96)
The site of the medieval manor-house may be represented by the traces of moats west and north of the present Kempton Park House. The first recorded visit of a sovereign to Kempton was that of Henry III in 1220. (fn. 97) Henry came to Kempton often in the next two decades and less frequently in the later part of his reign. (fn. 98) Jousts were held in Kempton field in 1270. (fn. 99) Edward I visited Kempton comparatively rarely and later kings seldom or never went there. (fn. 100) Many apparent references to their visits in the 14th and 15th centuries seem rather to relate to Kennington in Surrey. (fn. 101)
From 1229 there are many references to buildings at Kempton. The king's chamber was mentioned in 1229 and in 1233 there was a chapel attached to it. The queen's chamber was mentioned in 1233 and the queen's wardrobe six years later. An almonry was to be built in 1233 and a hall was referred to in 1235. Two years later the chapel was rebuilt with an upper floor for the queen, and the king's court and chamber were enclosed by a wall. Various other rooms, gardens, and so forth are mentioned. (fn. 102) A list was made in 1331 of repairs that were necessary, (fn. 103) and the house was apparently still there in 1340. (fn. 104) It seems to have been demolished in 1374, when John of Kingston was given permission to sell all the timber and stone of Kempton manor-house. (fn. 105)
A plain-fronted two-storied house stood near the site of the present building in 1692. (fn. 106) The 'fair house' built at Sunbury by Sir Thomas Grantham in 1697 (fn. 107) was probably a replacement of this. In 1711 Grantham was described as of Batavia House, (fn. 108) which stood outside the park near the present Batavia Road and had been demolished by 1806, (fn. 109) but Batavia House seems, to judge from Rocque's map of 1754, to have been less worthy of being called a fair house than was the manor-house in the park. The 18th-century owners of the manor occupied the manor-house, and Sir J. C. Musgrave continued to do so for a while after he sold it in 1798. (fn. 110) In 1802 the Duke of Orleans inspected and rejected it when he was looking for a house in the neighbourhood, and described it as a miserable place. (fn. 111) It was no doubt after this that the owner rebuilt it in a Gothic style which was described in 1816 as gloomy and unattractive. It was then unfinished but parts of the house and outbuildings were being sold for demolition. (fn. 112) A Gothic coach-house still survived in 1959. The house is said to have been blown up by dynamite, (fn. 113) and in 1845 it was described as a ruin. (fn. 114) The present comparatively small house was probably built soon afterwards. East of the house and adjoining the stable-yard used in connexion with the race-course is a large aisled barn of timber and weather-boarding, with a tiled roof, which probably dates from the 16th or early 17th century.
The property held by Thomas of Oxford about 1338 may represent the later OXENFORD estate, (fn. 115) which was described as a manor in 1553. (fn. 116) In 1361, when he had been succeeded by his son Richard, Thomas was said to have held a house and 3 virgates freely of Kempton manor. (fn. 117) The property may afterwards have passed to John Somerton, who is mentioned in Kempton in 1441 and 1450, (fn. 118) for it was alternatively known as SOMERTONS in later times. In the early 16th century it passed to the Savoy Hospital, (fn. 119) and in 1539 the whole estate called Somertons or Oxenford, estimated at some 179 acres, was confirmed to the hospital, which held it of Kempton manor. Some of the property was then to be granted to the Crown, possibly to enlarge Kempton Park. (fn. 120) It presumably passed to the Crown when the hospital was dissolved in 1553, (fn. 121) as in the same year the Crown granted it to the City of London as governor of the London hospitals. In practice the income was enjoyed by St. Thomas's Hospital. In 1604 the city held a freehold house and some 81 acres in Kempton. (fn. 122) Among the lessees were John Phelips, keeper of the game in Hampton Court manor, who was described as 'of Somertons' in 1669, (fn. 123) and Isaac St. Eloy of Sunbury manor in the early 18th century. (fn. 124) The estate was said to comprise 150 acres in 1708 and was sold by St. Thomas's Hospital in 1769 to George, Earl of Pomfret. (fn. 125) In 1692 a rectangular moat lay in the north-west of the present Kempton Park adjoining land then called Oxford Meadow. This may have been the site of the principal house of the estate in the Middle Ages. (fn. 126)