Perivale: Local government

Page 125

A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 4, Harmondsworth, Hayes, Norwood With Southall, Hillingdon With Uxbridge, Ickenham, Northolt, Perivale, Ruislip, Edgware, Harrow With Pinner. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1971.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.



At all periods local government machinery in Perivale appears to have been wholly neglected or of no practical importance. By 1461, and presumably earlier, the tenants of the manor of Perivale attended view of frankpledge at the Northolt manor court. This obligation was probably of little significance since the headboroughs, appointed at the Northolt court, and the tenants were invariably in default for non-attendance. In 1501-2 there were said to be no Perivale residents; but whether these entries indicate that there were during this period no tenants living at Perivale or that they were again in default is not certain. (fn. 1) Nothing is known of the courts held by medieval lords of the manor. A dispute c. 1538 between Sir Humphrey Browne, lord of the manor, and John Lyon, one of his tenants, suggests that the lord's right to hold courts baron was normally not exercised. Lyon alleged that at the court baron convened by Browne he was the only person present. (fn. 2) After 1547 returns for Perivale cease to appear in the Northolt rolls, and there is no further evidence to suggest that courts of any description were held in Perivale.

There appears to have been no vestry at Perivale until 1812. Throughout its existence the vestry seldom met more than once a year, and in some years no meetings were held. Until the 1880s there were never more than five ratepayers resident in the parish, and the rector frequently conducted the vestry meeting alone. A salary was voted to the parish clerk in 1812, and a salaried constable first appointed in 1820. The offices of churchwarden and overseer of the poor were frequently united in one person, who occasionally also acted as constable. A surveyor of highways was first appointed in 1817. Parish offices, particularly that of highways surveyor, were frequently unfilled or elections made from persons resident in Ealing. The vestry was almost wholly concerned with the appointment of officers and the raising of church- and poor-rates. (fn. 3)

Until the practice was discontinued after a petty sessional order of 1675, the inhabitants of Perivale appear to have contributed towards the upkeep of the poor of Greenford parish. (fn. 4) By 1776 the Perivale poor-rate yielded £11, of which £9 was spent on the poor. (fn. 5) In 1803 the rate yielded £88. During the year four parishioners received permanent relief, and three other persons were given occasional relief. (fn. 6) The poor-rate fluctuated between 1s. and 3s. in the £ during the early 19th century, but there were seldom any paupers in the parish. (fn. 7) In 1836 Perivale became part of the Brentford Poor Law Union. (fn. 8)

In 1894 Perivale became part of the new Greenford U.D. Subsequently the vestry met only once each year, and was wholly concerned with the election of parish officers. (fn. 9) When the urban district was dissolved in 1926, the civil parish of Perivale was incorporated in the municipal borough and civil parish of Ealing. The more recent history of local administration in Perivale therefore forms part of the history of the municipal borough of Ealing (fn. 10) and, since 1965, of that of the London Borough of Ealing. (fn. 11)


  • 1. W.A.M., N. 1-4; see pp. 117-18.
  • 2. Sta. Cha. 2/23/64; 2/6/200.
  • 3. Vestry Mins. quoted in Brown, Chronicles, 74, 125-30. There were no 19th-cent. vestry mins. in the parish in 1963.
  • 4. Cal. Brentford Petty Sessions, 77.
  • 5. Rep. Sel. Cttee. on Rets. by Overseers, 1776, Ser. 1, ix, p. 396.
  • 6. Rets. on Expense and Maintenance of Poor, H.C. 175, p. 294 (1803-4), xiii.
  • 7. Digest Rets. on Educ. of Poor, H.C. 224 (1819), ix(1).
  • 8. 2nd Rep. Poor Law Com. H.C. 595 (1836), xxix(1).
  • 9. Par. Recs., Vestry Min. Bk. 1906-24.
  • 10. Reserved for treatment as part of Ossulstone hundred.
  • 11. 80 London Govt. Act, 1963, c. 33.