Monken Hadley: Church

Pages 267-269

A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 5, Hendon, Kingsbury, Great Stanmore, Little Stanmore, Edmonton Enfield, Monken Hadley, South Mimms, Tottenham. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1976.

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Brothers living according to rule at Hadley were mentioned by Geoffrey de Mandeville, earl of Essex (d. 1144). (fn. 1) He also granted a hermitage in the park of Hadley to Walden abbey (Essex) c. 1136. (fn. 2) When the bishop of London confirmed Walden in its ecclesiastical possessions c. 1175 Hadley was listed among the parochial churches. (fn. 3) No vicarage was constituted at Monken Hadley, where the curacy was described as a donative in the earl 18th century (fn. 4) but later apparently became presentative. In 1777, with the inclosure of Enfield Chase, the parish was made subject to the jurisdiction of the bishop, except for induction, institution, and the payment of visitation fees. (fn. 5)

Medieval incumbents were presumably appointed by the abbots of Walden. (fn. 6) The church was not mentioned in the earliest grants of the manor after the Dissolution but it was conveyed, with the manor, by Francis Goodere to William Stanford in 1545 (fn. 7) and descended with the manor until 1786, when the advowson was purchased by William Baker. (fn. 8) Incumbents apparently were appointed by the lords, although the bishop of London collated in 1565 and the Committee for Plundered Ministers in 1644. (fn. 9) William Baker (d. 1824) devised the advowson in trust for his son William Robert Baker, an infant, but in 1827 it was conveyed to the incumbent J. R. Thackeray (d. 1831), who left it to his son R. W. Thackeray, rector of Hunsdon (Herts.). It was sold in 1846 to the Revd. George Proctor and in 1857 to Frederick Cass of Little Grove, East Barnet (Herts.). In 1861 Cass left the advowson to his son and namesake, who, as incumbent, was styled rector in 1880. (fn. 10) In 1908 the living was in the gift of F. C. G. Cass, (fn. 11) rector 1891-1900, (fn. 12) and in 1927 of Miss Cass-Tewart; in 1928, however, it belonged to F. N. Dove, in 1930 to W. W. Dove, (fn. 13) and in 1970 to A. N. Dove. (fn. 14)

The benefice was valued at 40s. in the mid 13th century (fn. 15) and at 4 marks in 1291 (fn. 16) but it was excluded from later taxations and its value was not subsequently recorded until 1649, when it was estimated at around £30 a year. (fn. 17) In 1690 it was worth more than £40 a year. (fn. 18) Tithes are not mentioned before 1580, when the incumbent was expected to pay the lord of the manor 26s. 8d. and receive back 6s. 8d. for his tithes. (fn. 19) When Enfield Chase was inclosed in 1779, 50 a. of Hadley's allotment lying north of Camlet Way, later called Glebe farm, was assigned to the incumbent in place of tithes in Hadley, although Hadley Common and Glebe farm, which had formed part of Enfield Chase, continued to pay great tithes to Trinity College, Cambridge, which held Enfield rectory, and small tithes to the vicar of Enfield. (fn. 20) Part of Glebe farm was sold in 1799 to redeem land tax (fn. 21) and in 1835 the income of the benefice was £199 net, derived solely from the profits of Glebe farm. (fn. 22) In 1848 the tithes of the land which had been part of Enfield Chase were commuted, the great tithes for £8 and the small tithes for £11. (fn. 23)

A 'vicarage house' was leased in 1573 (fn. 24) but William Kympton, lord of the manor, built a new house for the incumbent about five years later. (fn. 25) It had apparently been alienated by 1627, since it was then in the possession of Francis Atkinson, a layman, (fn. 26) and in 1657, when it was conveyed to Justinian Pagitt, it was divided into two tenements, neither of them occupied by the incumbent. (fn. 27) In 1666 William Tompson, curate of Hadley, was living in a house belonging to Edward Nicholl (fn. 28) and in 1678 (fn. 29) Justinian Pagitt conveyed the old 'vicarage house' to trustees as residences for the incumbent, for alms-people, and for the parish clerk. (fn. 30) The rectory house, as it was then called, was enlarged c. 1788 by joining two of the alms-houses to it; (fn. 31) it was rebuilt in 1824, again enlarged after 1846, (fn. 32) and conveyed to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in 1901. (fn. 33) The parish clerk's house, a small stuccoed building later called Gate House, was built in the early 19th century and afterwards given Gothic windows and barge-boarded gables. In 1958 the house became part of the endowment of the new Pagitt ecclesiastical charity. (fn. 34)

Bernard Carrier, appointed to the benefice in 1580, was described in 1588 by the lord of the manor as an honest and learned preacher. (fn. 35) Ely Turner, his successor, was ejected in 1644 (fn. 36) and had not been replaced by 1649. (fn. 37) Most subsequent incumbents until the early 19th century were pluralists but all seem to have been resident. Robert Taylor, curate 1673-94 and 1695-1717, from 1681 held the livings of East Barnet and Chipping Barnet (Herts.); (fn. 38) in 1689 he had a dispute with the vestry over the appointment of the churchwarden (fn. 39) and in 1694 he resigned. Mary Turnor, who held a life-interest in the manor, then appointed her own nominee (fn. 40) but Taylor was reinstated in 1695. John Pennant, curate 1732-70, was rector of Compton Martin (Som.) and chaplain to Princess Augusta, George III's mother. (fn. 41) His successor John Burrows, curate until his death in 1786, was from 1773 rector of St. Clement Danes; he belonged to the literary coterie of Hester Chapone, who praised his preaching. (fn. 42) In 1782 Burrows appointed as assistant curate his relative Charles Jeffryes Cottrell, (fn. 43) later of Hadley Lodge, who succeeded him and held Monken Hadley with a succession of other livings until his own death in 1819. (fn. 44) Frederick Charles Cass, who became rector in 1860, published scholarly local histories.

Two obits were being observed in 1547, one instituted by Thomas Hall and the other by John Turner, who gave 5s. a year out of a tenement in the parish for the purpose. (fn. 45) In 1784 a beadle was appointed by the vestry, after church services had been repeatedly interrupted by children. (fn. 46) A Sunday school for boys was instituted in 1787 and was endowed with £333 stock in 1796 by David Garrow, curate, who specified that pupils should be taught psalm-singing and church music; there was a paid superintendent and numbers were limited to 20. (fn. 47) In 1810 two Sunday services were held, with prayers twice weekly during Lent; the sacrament was administered four times a year, when there were between 50 and 60 communicants. (fn. 48) In 1851 morning congregations averaged 200 and afternoon congregations 250. (fn. 49)

The church of ST. MARY THE VIRGIN, said in 1504 to be dedicated to St. Mary and St. James, (fn. 50) was rebuilt c. 1494, (fn. 51) presumably on the site of an older building whose nave may be preserved in the later plan. It occupies a prominent position on the edge of Hadley Common and is a cruciform building in the Perpendicular style with aisled nave, chancel, transepts, north vestry, western tower, and south porch, and is of brown flint with stone dressings. The late-15th-century rebuilding probably began with the chancel and transeptal chapels, dedicated to St. Anne and St. Catherine, (fn. 52) followed by the tower. The aisles, which are connected to the nave by two-bay arcades and flank the tower, were probably not added until the 16th century. If there was formerly a chancel arch it had been removed by that time. Thomas Emerson (d. 1624), lord of the manor, completely refurnished the interior and plastered the ceilings. (fn. 53) In 1680 Henry Coventry, later Lord Coventry, built a gallery in the north aisle (fn. 54) and in 1725 another one was built by Percival Chandler, for which purpose the north aisle wall was raised. In 1729 the south aisle wall was heightened and two new windows were inserted (fn. 55) and in 1757 a roundheaded window was built in the north aisle. Another gallery was erected in 1776 by the curate David Garrow to accommodate the poor. (fn. 56) Another gallery and more pews were built in 1810. (fn. 57)

In 1848 G. E. Street replaced the old interior (fn. 58) with one which is redolent of early Tractarianism. The pulpit, galleries, and plastered ceiling were removed, the stonework was repointed, the aisle walls were moved some 18 inches outwards, (fn. 59) and the chancel floor, which had been below that of the nave, was raised a step above it. (fn. 60) An organ was later installed, together with open pews, a new pulpit, and stained glass in all the windows. In 1855 the south porch was rebuilt, (fn. 61) in 1888 a vestry was added north of the chancel, and in 1958 the south transept was furnished by Barrington Baker as a chapel dedicated, as it had been before the Reformation, to St. Catherine. (fn. 62)

The plain late-15th-century font has a modern cover. At the top of the stair-turret at the southwestern corner of the tower is a copper beacon, replacing one blown down in 1779, which may have served to guide travellers across Enfield Chase. (fn. 63) The windows in the south wall of the chancel and the south transept are by Wailes, those in the transept with coats of arms by Willement, and the memorial windows in the aisles are by Clayton and Bell. (fn. 64) Some glass, including that in the east window, was destroyed in the Second World War. (fn. 65)

The oldest brass, dated 1442, to Philip and Margaret Green and Margaret Somercotes, survives from the earlier building. Others include those to Walter Turner and his wife, (fn. 66) dated 1494, Walter Turner and his family, 1500, Thomas Goodere and his wife, 1518, and William Gale and his family, 1614. A brass to John Goodere (d. 1504) is in the Rectory. (fn. 67) A wall monument to Sir Roger Wilbraham (d. 1616), by the elder Nicholas Stone, (fn. 68) contains notable busts of Wilbraham and his wife, above kneeling effigies of their daughters, and one to Henry Carew (d. 1626) and his mother Alice Stanford (d. 1573) contains a painted portrait of the son within an oval surround. A marble cartouche in the baroque manner, by William Stanton, (fn. 69) commemorates Elizabeth (d. 1678), widow of Mutton Davies and daughter of Sir Thomas Wilbraham. Later memorials include a draped marble slab surmounted by an urn, by Richard Westmacott the younger, (fn. 70) commemorating Catherine Pennant (d. 1797), niece of the curate John Pennant. There are also several monuments to members of the Barroneau, Ince, Moore, Quilter, Cottrell, and Smith families. In the churchyard are monuments of the Monro, Garrow, and Hopegood families. (fn. 71)

There is a small bell, with no inscription, and there are six large bells: (i), (ii), and (v) late-19thcentury; (iii) 1702; (iv) 1711; (vi) 1714, C. W. Waylett. (fn. 72) A notable collection of church plate includes a gilt cup dated 1562, with a paten cover dated 1657; a silver gilt standing cup and cover of coconut-shell shape, the cover surmounted by a female figure, dated 1586; a silver gilt flagon, dated 1609, shaped like a coffee pot and with the spout in the form of a dragon's head; an elaborate silver gilt cup of 1610, with a cover surmounted by a spire, and a similar but larger cup, dated 1615; a paten dated 1618; and two alms-dishes, one dated 1723 and the other 1847. Several of the items were presented by Thomas Emerson. (fn. 73) The registers begin in 1619 but those of births and deaths are complete only from 1732 and there is a gap in the marriage registers from 1746 to 1755.


  • 1. Dugdale, Mon. iii. 435.
  • 2. Ibid. iv. 148-9; V.C.H. Mdx. ii. 19.
  • 3. B.M. Harl. MS. 3697, f. 39.
  • 4. Newcourt, Repertorium, i. 621.
  • 5. Act for Dividing Enfield Chase, 17 Geo. III, c. 17. See p. 260.
  • 6. Hennessy, Novum Repertorium, 184. Appointments by the Crown from 1295 and by the abbot of Westminster in 1328 were for Hadleigh (Essex).
  • 7. C.P. 25(2)/27/185 no. 42.
  • 8. Lysons, Environs, ii. 523.
  • 9. Hennessy, Novum Repertorium, 184.
  • 10. Cass, Hadley, 80-1.
  • 11. Kelly's Dir. Herts. (1908).
  • 12. Clergy List (1905).
  • 13. Kelly's Dirs. Barnet (1927, 1928, 1939).
  • 14. Lond. Dioc. Bk. (1970).
  • 15. Val. of Norw., ed. Lunt, 360.
  • 16. Tax. Eccl. (Rec. Com.), 17.
  • 17. Home Cnties. Mag. i. 318.
  • 18. Mdx. Cnty. Recs. Sess. Bks. 1689-1709, 15.
  • 19. Cass, Hadley, 82.
  • 20. Ibid. 18; 17 Geo. III, c. 17.
  • 21. Cass, Hadley, 18.
  • 22. Rep. Com. Eccl. Revenues, 649.
  • 23. M.R.O., TA/M'HAD.
  • 24. C 66/1120 m. 11.
  • 25. Cass, Hadley, 80.
  • 26. C 54/2717 no. 2.
  • 27. Cass, Hadley, 201-2.
  • 28. Vestry min. bk. (1672-1712).
  • 29. 9th Rep. Com. Char. 212.
  • 30. See p. 270.
  • 31. 9th Rep. Com. Char. 213.
  • 32. Cass, Hadley, 80.
  • 33. Char. Com. files.
  • 34. Ibid. A stable east of the church became known as the church ho. in the 19th cent.: Christ Ch. Barnet Review (1928), 265.
  • 35. Cass, Hadley, 80, 82.
  • 36. Walker Revised, ed. Matthews, 262.
  • 37. Home Cnties. Mag. i. 318.
  • 38. Cass, Hadley, 95.
  • 39. See p. 266.
  • 40. Vestry min. bk. (1672-1712).
  • 41. Cass, Hadley, 102.
  • 42. Ibid. 105-6.
  • 43. Ibid. 104.
  • 44. Ibid. 111.
  • 45. Hennessy, Novum Repertorium, 184.
  • 46. Vestry min. bk. (1757-94).
  • 47. M.R.O., D.R.O. 17/B1/1; Cass, Hadley, 183.
  • 48. Guildhall MS. 9558, f. 442. St. James was the dedication of Walden abbey.
  • 49. H.O. 129/136/2/1/1.
  • 50. Prob. 11/14 (P.C.C. 12 Holgrave, will of John Goodere).
  • 51. Date on tower.
  • 52. Prob. 11/14 (P.C.C. 12 Holgrave); Prob. 11 12 (P.C.C. 17 Moone).
  • 53. Cass, Hadley, 60.
  • 54. Vestry min. bk. (1672-1712).
  • 55. Ibid. (1714-31).
  • 56. Ibid. (1757-94).
  • 57. M.R.O., D.R.O. 17/B1/1.
  • 58. A drawing of the interior in the early 19th cent. is in Cass, Hadley, facing p. 116.
  • 59. Cass, Hadley, 117.
  • 60. St. Mary's ch. Guide Bk. (1955).
  • 61. Cass, Hadley, 117.
  • 62. Guide Bk. (1955).
  • 63. Lysons, Environs, ii. 519; Mdx. & Herts. N. & Q. iii. 213.
  • 64. Cass, Hadley, 126-7.
  • 65. Guide Bk. (1955).
  • 66. Prob. 11/10 (P.C.C. 21 Vox).
  • 67. T.L.M.A.S. xx. 179-89.
  • 68. Pevsner, Herts. 168.
  • 69. Gunnis, Dict. of Sculptors, 368.
  • 70. Ibid. 425.
  • 71. Cass, Hadley, 181-6.
  • 72. T.L.M.A.S. xvii. 140.
  • 73. Freshfield, Communion Plate, 20-1.