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.
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The manor of EDGWARE is first mentioned in 1216. (fn. 1) Edgware does not occur in Domesday Book; either it was omitted by accident or included in Kingsbury or Stanmore. One possibility is that Edgware was reckoned part of Stanmore at the time of the Survey, although later in its history the manor certainly had close connexions with the manor of Kingsbury. (fn. 2) Stanmore was part of the barony of Roger de Rames at the time of Domesday. Roger's son William had two sons, Roger and Robert, between whom the Stanmore property was divided at some time before 1130. Adeliza de Rames, probably the daughter of the younger Roger, married Edward of Salisbury as his second wife, possibly bringing with her part of the Domesday manor 'in Stanmera' east of Watling Street, that is to say the greater part of Edgware. Edward's grandson Patrick, created Earl of Salisbury in 1149, was the first of the Salisbury family definitely known to have owned land at Edgware. (fn. 3) The Rames family continued to own the north-west corner of the parish together with the northern part of Little Stanmore. (fn. 4)
A royal writ of 1216 ordered that Eleanor, Countess of Salisbury, mother of Isabel, should be permitted to hold her manor of Edgware in peace. (fn. 5) Eleanor died in 1232 or 1233 and Ela (or Isabel), Countess of Salisbury, succeeded. (fn. 6) She had married William Longespée (d. 1226) and some time before 1240 she gave the manor to her fourth son Nicholas Longespée, later Bishop of Salisbury, at a quit-rent. (fn. 7) In 1261 Ela died and five years later Nicholas Longespée devised the manor to the money-lender Adam de Stratton, who in 1272 obtained their interests in the manor from Henry de Lacy and his wife Margaret, daughter and coheir of William, eldest son of the Countess Ela. (fn. 8) After the disgrace of Adam in 1290 the manor was forfeit to the king who regranted it to Henry de Lacy. (fn. 9) Henry de Lacy died in 1311 and the manor passed to his daughter Alice, who had married Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, in 1294. (fn. 10) After the death of Thomas in 1322, following the battle of Boroughbridge, the king took the manor into his own hands and regranted it to Alice de Lacy. (fn. 11) Before 10 November 1324 she married Ebulo Lestrange, and in 1325 a licence was granted to them to enfeoff Hugh le Despenser of the manor and for Hugh to regrant it to them for the life of Alice. (fn. 12) In 1328 Isabel and Mortimer, who, in order to consolidate their authority, were attempting to gain the allegiance of the partisans of the late Earl of Lancaster, granted the manor, among other estates, to Ebulo for his life if he survived Alice. (fn. 13) However, in 1330 Ebulo and Alice found it necessary to petition the king and council to consider their case, and eventually they secured a grant of some of their lands on condition that they quitclaimed all the rest. (fn. 14) The agreement was embodied in a charter in 1331 whereby Edgware manor, amongst others, was granted to Ebulo, Alice, and Ebulo's heirs to hold as Henry de Lacy had held it of the king. (fn. 15) This grant was perhaps a recognition of Ebulo's contribution to the overthrow of Isabel and Mortimer. (fn. 16)
On the death of Ebulo Lestrange in 1335 the manor of Edgware with the hamlet of Kingsbury was said to be held in chief, as parcel of the earldom of Salisbury, at half a knight's fee. Roger Lestrange, Lord Strange, son of John Lestrange VI, Lord Strange (d. 1311), the brother of Ebulo, was his heir. (fn. 17) In 1336, however, Sir Hugh de Frene eloped with Alice, now aged 55, and the king, displeased, took their lands into his hands; but by 23 March 1336 they had married and had made peace with the king, receiving back their property, and on 27 September 1336 they had licence to convey Edgware and other lands to themselves for life with remainder to Roger Lestrange. (fn. 18) In 1337 Hugh de Frene died, and Roger granted his interest in the manor to Nicholas de Cantilupe to remain with him for life after the death of Alice, (fn. 19) who by a deed of 25 June 1337, the day before Roger's grant, divested herself of all her castles and goods as a gift to her cousin, Nicholas de Cantilupe, although she probably retained actual possession until her death in 1348. (fn. 20) Nicholas died in 1355 and left Roger Lestrange, Lord Strange (d. 1382), son of the heir of Ebles who had died in 1349, in full possession of the manor. In 1377 he granted it for life to his son Roger, (fn. 21) who still held it in 1412. (fn. 22) In 1413 a grant of the reversion of rent in Edgware was made by Richard, Lord Strange (d. 1449), (fn. 23) and in 1422 he granted the reversion of the manor to Richard Ulverston, Richard Colfox, and John Wythyton, (fn. 24) presumably feoffees, for when Roger Lestrange died in 1426 the manor reverted to Lord Strange. (fn. 25) He held it only until 1430, however, for in that year he granted it to William and Elizabeth Davell. (fn. 26) This grant was supplemented by another in 1431, which gave a rent of 100 marks from Richard's manor of Dunham (Ches.) to Davell and his wife, not to be paid as long as they held the manor of Edgware. (fn. 27) In 1441 the manor was sold by the Davells to Thomas Chichele and other feoffees, (fn. 28) who surrendered it in 1442 to the king; in the same year the king granted it to All Souls College, Oxford, in whose hands it has remained ever since. (fn. 29) In 1475 a manor of Edgware was granted by the king to Queen Elizabeth, the Bishop of Salisbury, and the Dean of Windsor; (fn. 30) in 1483 the Dean and Chapter of Windsor enfeoffed the king of the manor of 'Eggeware', (fn. 31) but there is no indication in either transaction which of the Edgware manors was concerned nor how it came into the possession of the grantor. There is no evidence among the documents at All Souls that the college relinquished and regained the manor at any time during the reign of Edward IV. On the other hand, if the manor concerned was Edgware Boys, it must have returned to the Knights Hospitallers between 1483 and 1535, when it appears among the possessions of the Grand Priory of Clerkenwell. (fn. 32)
From the 13th to the 18th century the manor of Edgware included the greater part of the parish. Throughout this period the manor had appurtenances in Kingsbury parish; the close connexion between the manors of Edgware and Kingsbury, which led to the intermingling of details of the manors in court rolls, rentals, and surveys, makes it impossible to determine the extent of these appurtenances. It would seem, however, that the acreage in Kingsbury belonging to the manor of Edgware was never greater than one-fifth of the total acreage of the manor, (fn. 33) and was for the greater part of the history of the manor under one-twentieth. In the early 17th century two small manors in other parishes were stated to be held as of the manor of Edgware at quit-rents: the manor of Coffers in Kingsbury, (fn. 34) 100 a. held by knight service, and the manor of Tokyngton in Harrow. (fn. 35)
It has been estimated that in 1277 the manor of Edgware contained 453 a. of demesne, 270 a. held by free tenants, and 814 a. held by customary tenants, but this can only be an approximation to the actual extent of the manor. (fn. 36) The rents for the Earlsbury farm in 1436 (fn. 37) suggest that all the demesne was farmed out in one portion; in 1443, a year after the manor was acquired by All Souls College, the 'manor farm' was leased to Richard Kynge of Aldenham (Herts.), husbandman, for ten years at a rent of £8 a year. (fn. 38) An unstated amount of woodland was reserved to the lords, and in 1454 the demesne underwent a further division when the George Inn was leased to Henry Abell for ten years at a rent of £5 6s. 8d. a year, together with 200 oak faggots, on condition that the horse-mill and millstones at the inn were kept in repair. (fn. 39) This seems to have been the beginning of the George farm, which continued to be leased until the 19th century. A lease of 1532 states that the lessees had fire- and plough-bote; they were to keep in good repair the vessels of the brewhouse there and to provide food and drink for the manorial court. (fn. 40) A lease of 1541 included the same terms, but added that no fire-bote was to be expended in the common brewhouse. (fn. 41) In 1548 the rent was increased to £8 (fn. 42) but in 1583 it was reduced to £5 6s. 8d. and the balance made up with 4 qr. of wheat and 5 qr. and 3 bu. of malt. (fn. 43) This rent continued unchanged until at least 1800. From 1554 leases ran for 20 years, although until at least 1625 they were always renewed well before they fell due. Earlsbury, a name which first occurs in 1436 and whose origin seems to have been as a complement to Kingsbury, (fn. 44) remained the chief demesne farm. The next surviving lease after that of 1443 is one dated 1540, when the rent was £6 15s. 4d. (fn. 45) Thereafter the rent rose slightly until in 1584 it stood at £8 a year plus 6 qr. of wheat and 8 qr. of malt, (fn. 46) at which figure it remained until 1826, when it was increased to £25 with 8½ qr. of wheat and 11 qr. of malt. (fn. 47) The fine for entry in 1805 was £367, and by 1826 it had risen to £800. (fn. 48) Other parts of the demesne were leased in the 16th century, notably the so-called 'common wood' let to Robert Strensham of Wilton (Wilts.) in 1575. (fn. 49) The woods were leased to Christopher Hovenden, brother of the warden of the college, at £20 a year in 1580; the almost immediate surrender of the lease did not prevent the queen from citing it as a precedent when in 1587 she asked for a lease of the Middlesex woods of the college in favour of Jane, widow of Sir Robert Stafford. After a long and acrimonious dispute the college maintained its right not to lease the woods unless it wished to do so. (fn. 50)
There was no manor-house as such at Edgware. Edgwarebury always seems to have been the centre of the manor and of Earlsbury Farm, and a condition of the lease of Earlsbury in 1602 was that the lessee should lodge the lords or their representative when they came to the manor on college business, (fn. 51) although the manor court seems to have been held at the 'George'. (fn. 52) The house at Edgwarebury is mentioned in 1548, (fn. 53) and a house and farm buildings are shown on the map of 1597, (fn. 54) north and east of the pond. The existing house on the site, known as Bury Farm, has an older portion which probably dates from the early 17th century; this is partly timberframed with external weather-boarding and a jettied upper story. A projecting brick wing was added on the west side in the 18th century. (fn. 55) Dick Turpin is said to have stolen the silver, raped the daughter of the householder, and poured boiling water over her father. (fn. 56) A second farm-house, which stood to the west of Bury Farm until after the Second World War, was an 18th-century brick building known as Edgwarebury Farm.
The origins of the manor of EDGWARE BOYS or EDGWARE AND BOYS are obscure, (fn. 57) but they may possibly be found in a grant by Henry Bocuinte to the Order of St. John of Jerusalem (Knights Hospitallers) between 1231 and 1238 of land in Edgware. (fn. 58) In 1277 the order held land as free tenants of the manor of Edgware, paying a rent of 7s. 7d., (fn. 59) but the earliest mention of a separate manor of Boys occurs in a terrier of 1397. (fn. 60) In a rental of the manor of Edgware dated 1425-6 and in some later documents belonging to that manor the manor of Boys is said to have been formerly held by the Earl (or Countess) of Lincoln, but there is no other evidence that either Henry de Lacy or his daughter Alice ever had possession of the manor of Boys. (fn. 61) Lysons states (fn. 62) that this was the manor granted by the Dean and Chapter of Windsor to the king in 1483, but there is no evidence for this identification, and the order still held the manor at the Dissolution. (fn. 63) In 1543 it was granted to Sir John Williams and Anthony Stringer at a rent of 20s. a year, (fn. 64) but it was immediately alienated by them to Henry Page of Harrow. (fn. 65) Henry's son John disposed of it to John Scudamore c. 1631, and it was sold to Thomas Coventry, Lord Coventry, in 1637. (fn. 66) It continued in the Coventry family until 1762, when it was sold to William Lee of Totteridge Park, (fn. 67) from whom it descended to his son William, who in pursuance of the terms of the will of Richard Antonie of Colworth (Beds.) took the surname of Antonie. (fn. 68) From Antonie it passed to his nephew John Fiott (son of Harriet, second daughter of William Lee of Totteridge Park), who assumed the name of Lee under the will of William Lee Antonie. (fn. 69) The descent of the estate after the death of John Lee in 1866 is obscure.
A terrier of the manor of Edgware Boys made in 1397 estimates the extent of that manor at 288 a. (fn. 70) About one-sixth of the manor appears to have been in Hendon. It contained one field of 60 a., three fields of 40 a. each, and thirteen smaller fields. No court records seem to be extant. The estate continued to be called a manor until after 1741, (fn. 71) but from the time of its acquisition by William Lee in 1762 it appears to have been known as the Edgware Estate. (fn. 72) In 1764 the estate yielded £180 in rent, which rose to £500 in 1780 and to £570 in 1797. (fn. 73) In 1845 the estate contained 216 a. (fn. 74) John Lee, the owner of the estate, was the impropriator of all tithes of corn, which were worth £25 a year. There does not appear to have been a manor-house at any time.
Part of the north-eastern corner of the parish, around the village of Elstree, belonged to the manor of Titburst and Kendalls in Aldenham (Herts.). (fn. 75) In 1845 the estate in Edgware amounted to 90 a.; the owner, William Phillimore, younger brother of the lawyer Joseph Phillimore, (fn. 76) lived in his mansion at Deacon's Hill, just on the Elstree side of the parish and county boundary. (fn. 77) The house was demolished after the Second World War. By 1175 the Priory of St. Bartholomew's, Smithfield, held a small amount of land in Edgware, (fn. 78) which soon after became part of their manor of Wimborough in Little Stanmore. (fn. 79)