Friday, 29 May 2009

Stock: Revd. A. Suckling. Memorials (1845)

The following is taken from Revd. Alfred Suckling’s book, ‘Memorials of the antiquities and architecture, family history and heraldry of the County of Essex’ (John Weale, London, 1845).

By considering the present name of this village as a corruption of the Saxon word Stoke, I think we shall be nearer the true derivation than Mr. Morant, who fancies it has obtained this appellation from a log of wood, which, I confess, conveys to me no distinctive or peculiar signification. My own derivation seems confirmed by the circumstance that soon after the Norman Conquest this village was called in modern language, the place of the steward. I have not learnt, however, whose steward resided here, though it was probably the officer of some of the great barons who had obtained large grants of lands in this part of the kingdom. The church at Stock stands on an elevated site, commanding very beautiful and extensive views, and is conveniently situated for the parishioners, whose houses form a long and continued street at no great distance. It comprises a nave with a north aisle, and a chancel, much modernized, but kept in very neat condition. The octangular pillars, which support the pointed arches of the nave and aisle, are remarkably short in proportion to the height of the arches themselves, and have assumed a fearful inclination to the northward. The only window deserving notice for its tracery is that at the east end of the aisle, but even this is stopped with masonry.

Mr. Morant informs us, that a tradition exists amongst the inhabitants that their steeple has been destroyed by fire. If this calamity really occurred, it must have been at a very distant period, for the present tower, which is of timber, and framed with exquisite skill, like that at Margareting [Margaretting], bears very evident marks of considerable age. Its ornaments, and the shape and tracery of its windows, which are all carved in oak, point out the fashion of the latter portion of the fifteenth century: the upper part is plain and more modern, and sustains a spire of wood. On a bracket, inserted into the north side of the tower, are the letters R R. and E H. with the date of 1683.

Attached to the south wall of the nave, in the interior of the church, is a shield of arms, on which the following bearings present an instance of false heraldry, viz.: Sable, three greyhounds current argent, paleways; within a bordure gules.


1. The monument to the memory of Twedge, mentioned by Morant, has disappeared: on it was recorded a donation of twelve pence weekly for the maintenance of four poor aged men for ever - two to be inhabitants of Stock, and two of Boreham.

2. Zephaniah Peirse, A.M., hujus parochiae Rector, ob. 22 Jul .A.D. 1703, aetat, 60. Elizabetha uxor ejus ob. 26 Nov. AD, 1727, aetat 72.

3. In memory of Mr. John Cox, who departed this life the 17th of May, 1801, aged 81 years. Also of Mrs. Elizabeth Foster, who died 12th Dec. 1803, aged 84 years.

4. Here lieth the body of Elizabeth, the wife of John Mason, and daughter of Mr. Thomas Angier, who departed this life Mar 25th, 1741, in the 26th year of her age. To whom God grant rest. Amen.

The font is placed near the west pillar of the aisle, and though plain is very ancient.

There was lately residing at Stock, a boy, named Hills, the son of an industrious labourer, who had five grandfathers living. This extraordinary fact is thus explained: Farrow, who had a father living, married a young woman named Waldon, whose father was alive also, they had a daughter who married Hills, the father of the boy, who had a father and a grandfather living, thus Hills, sen., Hills, jun.; Farrow, sen., Farrow, jun., and Waldon, make the five, Their united ages amount to 332 years. I do not know whether the boy was favoured with a like supply of grandmothers.

This village has been celebrated by the Poet Cowper in one of his humorous pieces, entitled “The yearly Distress, or Tithing-time at Stock in Essex; - Verses addressed to a Country Clergyman, complaining of the disagreeableness of the Day annually appointed for receiving the Dues at the Parsonage.”

The piece is too long for insertion here, containing seventeen stanzas; but the lovers of merriment will not be disappointed who trouble themselves to search for it in Cowper’s printed works. Stock is, moreover, entitled to notice as having been the preferment of the Rev. Charles Hoole, whose life will be found in Wood’s Athena Oxon.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Buttsbury: Revd. A. Suckling. Memorials (1845)

The following is taken from Revd. Alfred Suckling’s book, ‘Memorials of the antiquities and architecture, family history and heraldry of the County of Essex’ (John Weale, London, 1845).

The name of this village, which has at different periods been written Botulnesbury, Buttesbury, and Butsbury, is derived by Mr. Morant from Botolph’s Burgh, the fortified place of Botolph, but who this Botolph was, he does not inform us. As the church is dedicated to Saint Mary, and was anciently appropriated to the nuns of Saint Leonard’s, at Stratford-le-bow, there does not appear to be any thing beyond mere conjecture in this derivation.

The church is a donative, with cure of souls, in the gift of Lord Petre, who is also possessed of the great tithes. Its certified value is £14 per annum, and the service, which, till very lately, was only once a month, is now performed every other Sunday. It is a very humble fabric, by no means improved by modern alterations, and comprises a nave with north and south aisles, and a chancel: at the west end a small tower contains one bell. In the nave are rather highly pointed arches sustaining the roof, with this peculiarity, that a portion of the surface of the wall runs down in a narrow strip to the floor, thus dividing the column, and allowing pilasters only to support the mouldings of the arches. The east window, which was large and full of tracery, is closed with masonry.

The following memorials are engraved on floor-stones in the body of the church:-

1. Here lyeth the body of Edward Francklin, Gent., aged 63 yeares, obiit 15 Aug. 1680.

2. Here lyeth interred ye body of Ann, late wife of John Lockey, Gent., of Albrehaeh, and third daughter to Edward Francklin, Gent., of Burchbury in Essex, who dyed ye 10th day of June, 1688.

The font is square and plain: in the chancel stand two old chests of oak.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Stondon Massey: Rogationtide 1909

Today is Rogation Sunday. It is also exactly 100 years since Reve. Reeve led a rogation walk round the parish boundary of Stondon Massey.

Five weeks after Easter is the ancient celebration of Rogationtide when the fields are blessed within the parish boundary in the hope of a good harvest.

At that time of year the Annual Perambulation (or ‘beating the bounds’) was held. It marked the area of the parish and declared the territory which was subject to tithing to the Rector. This custom continued until about 1834 when it was superseded by the Tithe-Rent-Charge Map. The payment of tithes ceased in 1936.

In May 1909 Revd. Reeve, the Rector of Stondon Massey and a keen local historian, decided to re-enact this event using the perambulation of 1828. “I myself was still in good health”, he wrote, “and in possession of perhaps an unusual store of minute and local information: our new lord of the manor, Mr Herman J Meyer, has just succeeded to his responsibilities and was anxious to see what he could of the Parish, and a number of Parishioners were willing to give up the day to accompany us”.

The party assembled at Stondon Place at 10am. “The round was, of course, taken at a leisurely pace, as we wanted if possible to identify all the old land marks. We did not think it necessary, as no legal issues were involved, to beat literally every corner and to crawl along brambly ditches or brave the Roding’s flood; but we took care to go so near to every boundary as to satisfy ourselves of it. We probably walked about seven miles in accomplishing the round.

“The Ancient Religious aspect of the Perambulation was observed in a short service of a few special Prayers and Collects held before luncheon at Woolmonger’s Farm”.

Reeve tells of the capital luncheon provided by Mr Brace and the loyal toasts given to the lord of the Manor and himself.

“It was many times remarked that a suitable time was this of Rogationtide for a Perambulation, the country was looking at its best, and yet the crops not being sufficiently advanced to impede progress”.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Margaretting: Revd. A. Suckling. Memorials (1845)

The following is taken from Revd. Alfred Suckling’s book, ‘Memorials of the antiquities and architecture, family history and heraldry of the County of Essex’ (John Weale, London, 1845). The author, a Suffolk man by origin, became Stipendiary Curate of Margaretting in 1834 so the length of the item is unsurprising.

Had this little village received a translation instead of an inversion of its Saxon impounds, its appellation at the present day might have sounded less harshly to our ears. Ging Margaret (as it is written in Domesday Book) signifying literally the Meadow of Margaret. As the church is dedicated to a female saint of that name, and the greater part of the parish lies on the banks of the little river which flows onwards towards Chelmsford, no derivation can be more accurately defined, or more justly applied, yet St. Margaret’s Meadow must be allowed to be a more euphonical, as well as a more intelligible appellation, than that which it at present bears of Margareting. It is a straggling village, extending along and in great part bisected by the London and Chelmsford road, for above three miles; while breadth, which varies much, is in no part of a similar magnitude. The soil may certainly be considered fertile, though of a deep and clayey quality, and its surface is agreeably diversified by gentle swells and undulations. The purity of its air may he demonstrated from the age and rigour of it inhabitants, many of whom are at this day (Jan. 1834) verging fast towards ninety years and in the enjoyment of their mental and corporeal faculties in a degree very unusual at such an advanced period of life. That Margareting was possessed of more then ordinary village importance in the Saxon era, may be fairly premised from the existence of a church at that period, but whether that structure occupied the site of the present edifice, or stood more in the centre of the parish, is a question which cannot now be determined. The acquirement of this comparative consequence originated probably in some military transactions which appear to have taken place here in days still more remote: what were the objects of contending parties, or whether victory united herself to the cause of the injured or the aggressions of the invaders, have hitherto eluded my researches; but a very large tumulus, near the eastern extremity of the parish, would probably dispel some portion of this uncertainty, were its interior submitted to the examination of the antiquary.

This tumulus is situated close to the road leading towards Chelmsford, and from its elevated site and great extent was chosen about a century since as a good situation for a windmill; hut this disfigurement has long been removed, and its original character restored.

Margareting possesses many very respectable houses and an increasing population, as appears from the several returns made at the various periods of the latest enquiries. These returns are as follow:-

“The total of the population of Margaretting in the year 1811 was 399; males, 184 ; females, 215; inhabited house 86; inhabited by 87 families. No house was building in that year, 1811; one house was uninhabited; families, agricultural, 74; families, handicraft or trading, 17; other families, 5.

“Population, &c., of Margaretting, according to the census of 1821, males 237; females, 242; inhabited houses, 91; inhabited by 94 families; no house building or uninhabited; agricultural families, 59; trading or handicraft families, 21; other occupations, 14; total 479.

“Population, &c., of Margaretting, according to the census of 1831, males, 282; females, 263; inhabited houses, 106 ; inhabited by 106 families; no house building or uninhabited; agricultural families, 67; trade or handicraft families, 16; other families, 22; total of population, 545.”

From these statements it will evidently appear that the population of this village very nearly one third during the last twenty years.

The parish contains two thousand acres, of which about one fourth only is grass land; the rates and tithe of these are fixed for the present year (1834) on the following scale:-

Poor rate, including the county rate, at 4s. in the pound; the amount of county rate in the above is about £40 yearly.

Churchwarden’s rate, 6d. in the pound.

Highway rate, about 2d. in the pound, and work half statute duty.

Rectorial tithe £500; vicarial tithe, £155; drawn tithe, £30.

Land tax exonerated, £128 10s. 8d.; ditto, not exonerated £88 13s. 4d.

The great tithes having been appropriated by the neighbouring Priory of Blackmore, were obtained in 1525 by Cardinal Wolsey, who settled them on his colleges of Christ’s Church at Oxford, and at Ipswich. After the Cardinal’s disgrace, they reverted of course to the crown, and were then granted to the Abbey of Waltham Holy Cross. Falling into the hands of the king a second time, in consequence of the general dissolution of monastic institutions, they were bestowed by Henry the Eighth, in 1540, upon a Mrs. Elizabeth Hill, and are at present the property of a Mr. Baker, who resides in the parish, at a house called the parsonage. As this place is surrounded with very extensive offices of red brick, bearing the most decided evidence of the architecture of the fifteenth century, it is more than probable that the monks possessed a grange here for the collection of their tithes, which were always at that period taken in kind, a practice pursued by the present impropriator.

The patronage of the vicarage is enjoyed in alternate succession by two families; the present vicar, the Rev. William Jesse, having been appointed by the latter possessor. To the liberality of the last vicar, the Rev. Charles Frederick Bond, the present and future incumbents must owe much gratitude, that truly good and active minister having erected the vicarage house, in 1822, at his own charge and cost. He is said to have expended in its building a sum amounting to the aggregate of what he had received in payment for tithes during the whole period of his incumbency. The old house, of which I have copied a sketch from a pencil drawing made just before its demolition, was highly inconvenient, and in a most wretched state of dilapidation. Mr. Bond did not long enjoy the comforts of his munificence, dying in the year 1827, at the age of 62 years, twenty-six of which had been spent in the faithful discharge of his pastoral duties. The parish of Margareting is still further indebted to Mr. Bond for the bequest of £8 per annum for ever, to be expended in charitable purposes, the particulars of which donation will be specified when we come to speak of the church and its monuments.

There are three manors in this parish, namely, Margareting, Copisfold-deale, alias Cold Hall, and Shenfield, now called Killegrews but for the latter no court is kept.

In Saxon times, the chief estate here was in the hands of Siward, Edwin, Grut, Selva, Top, and Anschill; but when Domesday was compiled, Robert Gernon and Matthew Mauritaniensis were the principal proprietors. In the twelfth of Henry the Second, the manor of Margareting was held by John de Sandford, under the name of Ginge. Alice, his daughter, married Robert de Vere, Earl of Oxford, and thus conveyed this property to that noble family. It has subsequently passed in succession through those of De Warren, Arundel, Scot, Berdfield, Reade and Daniel jointly, and Petre, where it is yet vested.

By some persons, the Prior and Convent at Blackmore are said to have held this manor; but this is erroneous. They had indeed at their suppression a good estate in this parish, but possessed no manorial rights. The property comprised a messuage, probably on the site of the present parsonage, a hundred acres of arable land, the like quantity of pasture, thirty acres of meadow, twenty of woodland, and the great tithes and advowson of the church.

The manor house or Old Hall is a respectable dwelling, adjoining the church, but does not possess a very high antiquity; it is the property of Lord Petre, and has been rented these last fifty years by Mr. John Tabrum, now in his eighty-second year, - a worthy man, from whom the writer has experienced many acts of kindness and attention, and which he thus acknowledges with gratitude and pleasure.

I cannot learn that this manor enjoys any peculiar privileges, or possesses any remarkable customs.

The manor of Coptfold, Copisfold-deale, or Cold Hall, was held in 1250 by Ralph de Gings, and afterwards by John Lamborne; it has passed in rapid succession through the families of Chene, Clovile, Tanfield, Burgess, Gatton, Hoy, Bishop, Benyon, Holden, Vachell, and Stone. The Tanfields appear to have obtained it by marriage, as William Tanfield is said by Morant to have married Elizabeth Cloville.

The third manor in Margareting is that of Shenfield or Killegrew; the former designation is most probably derived from the Saxon words [meaning] pleasant field, while the latter appellation is said to have been obtained from the name of a favourite mistress of Henry the Eighth, whose residence it was. What truth there is in this tradition I know not, but the architecture of the turrets at the inner angles of the moat correspond well enough to the period of the alleged intrigue. A modern farm-house has risen within these last few years on the site of the older mansion; though the moat, with its facings of brick, is still entire, no traces of the former house are discoverable in the present building, but one room is fitted up with the ancient wainscot; this is divided into small square compartments, totally divested of ornament; except a portion over the fireplace, and this is scarce deserving of notice either for workmanship or design.

I have before observed, that no court is held for this manor.

The church now alone remains to be noticed. This building is most inconveniently situated, being placed at the western extremity of the parish, and at a considerable distance from every house except the hall and vicarage. With regard to the architecture of this sacred edifice, although at first sight it appears an humble fabric, it is entitled to considerable attention. In its general form, it comprises a nave, south aisle and chancel, with a square tower of timber, supporting a spire of the same material. The interior of this tower demands more than common notice; it is composed of noble balks of oak, darkened by age, yet undecayed; these are arranged in of Gothic arches of the highly pointed style, with angular braces, and external of flying buttresses: this composes the belfry on the ground floor. A second series of timber frame work supports the bells, and on this rises the spire. The whole may be regarded as a piece of very superior geometrical carpentry.

The south aisle is divided from the nave by slender clustered columns, probably of the age of the latter part of Henry the Third’s time, or early in the succeeding reign of our first Edward; the arches, however, resting on these, are remarkably flattened for that period. Standing near the font, the eye looks up the aisle and glances obliquelv across the nave; the form of one of the north windows is clearly developed, and the general features of the interior displayed. The church is entered, both from the north and south side, through wooden porches of elegant construction; the tracery work is much injured.

But the principal boast of Margaretting church is the very beautiful window of stained glass which ornaments the nave. The three compartments of this window are entirely filled with this splendid ornament, except a small portion of the lower end of the eastern light. This has suffered considerable damage, but the window is protected from further mischief by a verv close grating of wire placed on its exterior. Each light is divided into several compartments, and each of these contains two figures of the personages most celebrated in the Old Testament. A scroll attached to each figure explains the character and name of the person pourtrayed, as “Ecce radix Jesse, Rex David,” &c. It is impossible to conceive an idea of more splendid colouring than some of the draperies of these figures display. My attempts to do lineate this elegant window have hitherto been defeated by the difficulty of the subject.

The first erection of this church was evidently in the middle of the thirteenth century, as a lancet window and some other details prove. A very considerable alteration, however, took place in the form of these lights during the reign of Henry the Seventh, and a careful examination of the chancel seems to indicate that that portion of the edifice was rebuilt at the same period, for the north wall is formed of squared stones placed indiscriminately and without order, amidst round pebbles, lumps of old mortar, and red bricks: the east end, too, presents very nearly the same appearance. Here the old materials seem to have been expended, for the south side is entirely built of brick, as is also a small chapel, projecting like a transept, and belonging to the same era; this chapel now forms a small but convenient vestry. The entire edifice is covered with tile, supported by a fine roof of oak, the principals of which rest on corbels of stone, carved in imitation of couchant animals.

The lower portion of the ancient screen is remaining in its original situation, where it serves as a partition between the pews: it is not distinguished by any remarkable carving.


John Tanfield, of Coptfold Hall, Esq., by his will, dated April 30th, 1625, bequeathed to the poor of this parish, ten dozen of bread to be annually for ever distributed by the owner of the manor of Coptfold Hall for the time being, twenty penny loaves to be given away every Sunday in Lent, and he charged the payment thereof on his two crofts within the said manor, called Spooner’s and Broom croft.

Charles Frederick Bond, Vicar of Margareting, by his will, dated January 30th, 1827, directed his executors to vest in the names of the vicar and churchwardens for the time being, £100 bank stock, and that the proceeds thereof should he annually expended by them in maintaining a Sunday school in this parish; and also in purchasing prayer books and religious tracts, testaments, &c., to be by them distributed among the poor parishioners.


The first which claims our notice is a very ancient floor-stone, lying just without rails, around which has been inlaid a circumscription with brass letters in the Longobardic characters. The violence used in removing these has broken the matrices so much, that but few of the letters can be decyphered.

Within the communion rails lies a large stone with the mutilated figures of a warrior and his lady, carved in brass: the male effigy has lost its head, and one of the groups of children at the feet of the female is also removed. These spoliations are to be lamented, as the faces were probably all profiles, like those which remain, a singularity which I have rarely before met with. As the inscription is lost, unable to appropriate the armorial bearings, the names of the persons thus commemorated must remain, for the present at least, unknown. By the costume, we may refer to the period of their decease to the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and probably about the year 1570.

Against the east wall is a mural tablet of stone, in the wretched taste of the seventeenth century. It represents John Tanfield, Esq., and Catherine his wife, in attitudes before a small altar or faldstool, with several children kneeling behind them. At the lower part of the monument is a large shield with the arms of Tanfield and Clovile, with their respective quarterings: above appears a shield of Tanfield, single, impaling a coat which time and damp have obliterated. It was of Comey of Sussex, as John Tanfield married Catherine, daughter of George Comev, of Chichester, Esq. On one side of the tomb is an escutcheon, with Tanfield impaling Neville with the rosette, and several other similar ornaments seem to have been forcibly removed; indeed, the whole monument is in a highly mutilated state; these injuries are attributed to the late parish clerk, who, tempted by the value of the brass plate on which the inscription was engraved, privately removed and afterwards sold it for the trifle it produced as old metal.

John Tanfleld, Esq., died October the 6th, 1625, leaving by his lady, 1st, Clovile Tanfield, Esq., who married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Edward Ingram, Knt., of Goodneston in Kent, and two other sons and four daughters. This lady and gentleman lived fifty years in wedlock, and had nineteen children. Of these, however, there were but seven remaining at the time of their parents’ decease, viz., three sons and four daughters.

The remaining monuments are more modern.

1. To the memory of Richard Benyon, Esq., of Gidea Hall in this county, who was twice Governor of Fort St. George in the East Indies. He died the 27th September, 1774, etat. 77, having been thrice married. By his last wife, (who survived him, and was the widow of Powlett Wrighte, Esq., of Englefield House in the county of Berks,) he left an only son, Richard.

2. Near this place are deposited the remains of Richard Benyon, Esq., of Gidea Hall and North Ockendon in this county, and of Englefield House in the county of Berks, and Member of Parliament for the city of Peterborough. He departed this life on the 22nd of August, in the year 1796, in the 51st year of his age, esteemed and lamented by all who can value a sound and cultivated understanding, joined with an amiable and honourable mind. His virtues will ever be the pride of his numerous family; and his widow caused this monument to be erected in gratitude for his affection, and to perpetuate his memory.

3. To the memory of Mrs. Hannah Benyon, eldest daughter of Sir Edward Hulse, Bart., and relict of Richard Benyon, Esq., of Gidea Hall in this county. She was born December 17th, 1747, and died April 22nd, 1828, aged 80.
Arms: Benyon imp. Hulse.

4. Here lyeth the bodie of Margaret, late the wife of Peter Whetcombe, Gentleman, daughter and sole heire of John Dodington, Esq., livinge in Writtle Parke. She here died ye xvth daye of August, 1619.
Petre Wheteombe, Gent., above named. lyvinge and dyinge in Writtle Parke, was also here buried the first day of June, 1640, aged 86 yeares.

5. Here lieth the body of Mary Wheteombe, daughter of Janus Whetcombe of Margaretinge, Gent., who died in August, 1640, aged six years.

6. Sacred to the memory of Peter Whetcombe, late of Ingatestone. Esq., and Julian, his wife, marr. 42 yeares. Shee died Jan. 12. an. 66, eatat. 70. - Hee died 9ber 12, an. 67, aetat. 77.
She on this clayen pillow layed her head,
As brides doe use, the first to go to bed;
Hee mist her soon, and yet ten months hee trys
To live apart, but like it not and dy’s.

7. M. S. Under this marble resteth, in hope of a joyful resurrection, ye body of Elizabeth wife of Henry Borrit, of Stradbrooke in ye county of Suffolk, Gent., with ye bodie of Martha, one of their daughters, and lately ye wife of Edmund Tanfield, of Coptfold Hall in this parish, Gent. She died 28 June, 1669, aged 35. - Her mother died ye 19 of July, 1669, aged 58.

When time hath mar’d this marble and defac’d
The kind memorial which on it was trac’d,
‘Twill loose the virtue of the first intent,
No longer ours, but its own monument;
Yet then, when scarce a letter’s left behind,
‘Twill serve as now, posterity to mind
Of their mortality, for suer flesh must,
If solid marble, crumble into dust.

8. Here lies the body of the Rev. Mr. William Harman, who was vicar of this parish near sixty years. He was a sound divine, orthodox in his principles, of a quiet and peaceable disposition, well beloved and esteemed not only by his parishioners, but by all who had the pleasure him; in short, he was an ornament to the sacred function he had to bear. He departed this life December 22nd, 1737, in the 84th year of his age. Here also lies the body of Anne his wife, to whom he was married 54 years, and by whom he had ten children. She was a good Christian, and a virtuous wife. She died Nov. 21, 1730, aged 76. They were both tender and affectionate parents, loving to each other, sincere and constant in their friendship, and contented in every station of life.

9. Dorothy, eldest daughter of Sir Amos Merrydeth, Bt., died 8o 6t 1630.

In the churchyard are the following:-

Charles Frederick Bond, M.A., Vicar of this parish 26 years; died Feb. 20th, 1827, in his 63rd year. Mary Bond, his wife, died on Christmas day, 1825, aged 55 years.

Richard Vachell, Esq., of Coptfold Hall, died in 1828, aged 67 years. Margaret, his wife, died Julv 21st, 1828, aged 70 years.

The earliest registers commence in the month of February, 1627 but the second book, beginning in 1653 during the Commonwealth, is most entitled to notice. On the cover is written in a very strong and good hand these texts of Scripture. “Beati sunt ij qui dormiunt in Domino. Amen, amen, dico vobis, nisi quis renatus sit ex aqua et spiritu non potest introire in regnü coelorum”. And at the head of the first page is this notification:-

“ESSEX. January 27th, 1653.
“Accordinge to the election of the inhabitants of the parish of Margarettinge, I, Peter Whetcombe, Esq., one of the justices of the peace of the said countie, doe nominate and appoynte John Nurse of the said parish, to be the parish register of Margarettinge aforesayd. And he is sworne before me, to the best of his skill and power to execute the office of a parish register within the said parish, accordinge to the Act of Parlmt in that behalfe made, until he shall be then discharged by due order of law.

From the terrier it appears that there are belonging to the vicarage, besides the garden in which the house stands, adjoining the churchyard, four acres of glebe land divided into two small fields, situated on the right of the road leading from the village of Margaretting to Coptfold Hall.

“Item. - All small tithes, and the tithe of woodlands in the parish, the lay impropriator claims a modus, and pays fifteen shillings per annum.
“Item. - Rights of common.
“Item. – No pensions, stipends, or other charges payable out of the living, saving the svnodals.”
Subjoined. - ”The communion plate consists of one chalice and one flagon, of silver gilt, small and neat.
“The church is repaired by the parishioners, who keep up the fences of the churchyard.
“The chancel is repaired by the lay-impropriator.”

In a former page it is stated that the brass plate, bearing the inscription of John Tanfield, Esq., had been stolen from the monument by the late parish clerk. On the upper part, however, of the tablet are the following Latin verses:-
Prosapie nobilis scuta haec lateralia monstrant,
Virtue praeditis nobilitatis honos –
Per testamentum miseris pia bona reliquit,
Donatu letho sydera suma tenent.

The donation therein recorded is settled by a clause in Mr. Tanfield’s will, dated the last day of April, 1625, and now remaining in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury.

“I give and bequeath to the poor people of Margaretting aforesaid, ten dozen of bread, to he yearly distributed amongst them by the churchwards and overseers for the poor of the said parish for ever, in manner and form following: that is to say, twenty penny loaves on every Sunday in Lent, by the appointment of my heirs and assigns, which shall be owners of my manor of Coptfolde Hall, in the said parish.
“ltem. - I further give and bequeath to the poor people of West Hanningfield in countv aforesaid, yearly for ever, ten dozen of bread to be distributed amongst the churchwardens and overseers of the poor of the same parish for ever, or their successors, in this manner following, (that is to say,) on every Sunday in Lent, twenty penny loaves in the said parish church of West Hanningfield, by the appointment of my heirs and assigns, which shall be owners of my mannor of Coptfolde Hall aforesaid; and for the performance of the payment of eighteen dozen of the said bread to the poor as well of Margarettinge aforesaid, as of West Hanningfield, my will and meaning is that my tenement and two crofts of land, late by me purchased, called Spoone and Brome-crofts lying and being within the said parish of Margarettinge and mannor of Coptfolde Hall, now in the tenure of one Christopher Bersted, shall be chargeable therewith; and if the said ten dozen of bread, or any part thereof, be not yearly paid according to the true meaning of this my will, within six days next after lawfully demand thereof made at the said tenement by the said churchwardens or overseers of either of the said parishes, or by their successors for the time being, then my will is that it shall be lawfull for the said churchwardens or overseers and their successors, to enter into the said tenement and two crofts of land, and there to distraine for the same, and the arrerages thereof (if any shall be), and the said distress or distresses to detain until they be satisfied the same; and the other two dozen of bread, my mind and will is shall be provided and paid yearly for ever by the yearly rent of that croft of land called Hammonds, late William Spowlden’s, now Thomas Freemand’s, lying in Margaretting aforesaid, which rent being two shillings per annum, is, by antient right and custome, to be bestowed in bread yearly for the poor of Coptfold Hall in Margarettinge aforesaid, by the lord of the mannor, to be distributed in such manner as aforesaid, and to that purpose I do give the said yearly rent to the churchwardens and overseers for the poor of Margretting aforesaid, to make up the said twenty dozen of bread to the use of the poor there for ever, together with lawfull authority to enter into the same croft of land, and there to distrain for non-payment of the said rent, and the distress or distresses there taken to detain and keep till satisfaction be made in manner and form aforesaid, and to do every other thing for non-payment of the said rent and arrearages thereof (if any shall be), in as large and ample manner as I myself, my heir and assigns, might do, if payment be not made within six days after lawfull demand made at the same croft.

“Probatum fuit Testüm praed London coram Venbi viro Duo Henrico Marten, vicesimo die Mensis Novembris, 1630.”

In addition to the above remarks, added to the account of Margareting, I am enabled to supply the lost inscription, formerly placed on the tomb of John Tanfield, Esq. I accidentally met with it in a small history of Essex, printed in 8vo, and published anonymously by a gentleman. The tomb itself has been already described, and it will be remembered that the brass plate on which the inscription was engraved had been stolen by the late clerk.

Here lies interred the body of John Tanfield, late of Coptfold Hall, Esqr., son and heir of William Tanfield, late of Northampton, Esqre, and Elizabeth, his wife, sister and heir of James Clovile, Esqre, by Catherine his wife, daughter of George Comey, late of Colchester, Esqre, with whom he lived almost fifty years. He had nineteen children, whereof seven survived him, three Sons and four daughters; Clovile, his eldest son, married to Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Sir Edward Engtham of Goodneston in Kent, Knt.; William and Thomas, unmarried; Dorothy married to Thomas Denns, of Denns, alias Denhill, in Kent, Esqr.; Wilgiford married to William Hurst ; Elizabeth to George Ludlowe, and Mary to Henry Palmer, of London, Gent. He lived virtuously and died religiously, when he had served his prince long as a justice of the peace. He was born Janry 5th, 1547, and died October 5th, 1625.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Fryerning: Revd. A. Suckling. Memorials (1845)

The following is taken from Revd. Alfred Suckling’s book, ‘Memorials of the antiquities and architecture, family history and heraldry of the County of Essex’ (John Weale, London, 1845).

Fryerning, or the Fryars’ Pastures, obtained that appellation from having been appropriated, at a very early period, to the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem. It is a pleasant village in the hundred of Chelmsford, but the greater part of its population is crowded into a long and ill-built street on the London road, and which is generally known to travellers under the name of Ingatestone, although the latter place claims scarcely one third of the dwelling-houses.

The church stands nearly a mile to the northward of this street on a rising ground, which commands an extensive and delightful view in all directions, and is closely planted with firs and venerable yew trees, whose dark foliage casts a sombre shade around the churchyard, highly in unison with the sacred character of the place.

The church, which comprises merely a nave and chancel, without aisles, is an edifice of considerable antiquity, and was probably founded soon after the Norman Conquest; a few of its original windows are remaining with round arches, and placed very high up in the wall, but they are much wider than any I have met with of that period. About the time of Edward the First, considerable alterations were made in this structure, when several windows of more ample dimensions were inserted in the walls; but it was in the reign of Henry the Seventh when Fryerning church received its last and most important restoration, the whole tower, with its cushion-like pinnacles and machicolated battlements – a strangely inappropriate ornament for a sacred structure - was then raised; the chancel was rebuilt, and the very expansive arch between that portion of the building and the nave, was probably executed; these alterations have given a new air to the interior, and the older features of its architecture are most likely to be overlooked by the greater part of those who compose its congregation. Besides these peculiarities in this church, we must not suffer to pass unnoticed the curious staircase leading from the interior to the rood loft, and the ancient square font, the carving on the eastern side of which represents a kind of foliage; on the other sides, which vary, are cut stars, crescents and knots.


On a loose brass, lying in the vestry, is the effigy of a female; but as the inscription and arms are no longer attached, the name of the person intended to have been perpetuated is consigned to oblivion but the most remarkable circumstance connected with this memorial is, that on turning the figure, we perceive that it has been cut out of a larger and more ancient effigy - a cheap, but very exceptionable method of placing a monument to the memory of a departed relative. The female figure, as appears from the costume, belongs to the time of Elizabeth, but the destroyed effigy was of a much more early date, and was a larger and more elegant monument, as is evident from the remains of gilding with which is seems to have been originally covered.
Here lieth the body of’ Mrs. Margaret, the wife of Henry Oates, who departed this life July 21, 1763, aged 35 years.

Against the north wall of the chancel is a large shield containing Disney and his quarterings, impaling Fitche. Members of this family are interred in a vault in the churchyard.

A board against the organ gallery, which was erected in 1736, at the expense of Charles Hornby, Esq., presents us with the following list of benefactions:

“The Reverend Robert D’Oyley, M.A. rector of this parish, bequeathed by will, A.D. 1733, thirty shillings per year, to be expended in the purchase of bread, to be distributed to the poor of this parish at Christmas and Easter for ever.

“Mr. William Bright bequeathed by will, A.D. 1777, one hundred pounds, to be invested in the 3 per cent. Consols, and the interest thereof to be expended in the purchase of bread, to be distributed to the poor of this parish at Christmas and Easter for ever, payable at the Corporation House, £4 10s., Number 2, Bloomsbury Place, London, due at Christmas. The Reverend Mr. D’Oyley’s at the same place.

“Mrs. Rosamond Bonham, of this parish, bequeathed by will, A.D. 1803, one hundred pounds stock in the Three per Cent. Reduced; the interest (£3) thereof to be expended in the purchase of bread, to be distributed to the poor of this parish annually.

“Mr. Robert Sorrell bequeathed by will, A.D. 1825, one hundred pounds stock, in the Three per Cent. and Half Reduced, the interest thereof to be expended in the purchase of bread, to be distributed to the poor of this parish at Christmas and Easter, £3 10s.”

It appears that the organ was erected in 1824, by voluntary contributions, it. R. Michell, D.D., being at that time rector. Too much commendation cannot be passed upon the Rev. George Price, the present incumbent, the churchwardens, and all concerned in the management of this church, for the very neat and reputable manner in which it is kept.

Friday, 1 May 2009


Welcome to this month’s round-up of local history and heritage in and around Blackmore, Essex.

Churches Open To Visitors: Summer 2009

The Priory Church of St Laurence, Blackmore
(From 3 May to 4 October)
Sundays, Wednesdays, Thursdays & Fridays
2.30 – 4.30pm
Teas In The Tower on the 1st Sunday in the month

St Peter & St Paul, Stondon Massey
Sunday 10 May, Sunday 14 June, Sunday 12 July, Sunday 9 August, Sunday 13 September
2.30 – 4.30pm
Teas served

All Saints’, Doddinghurst
Sunday 21 June, Sunday 19 July, Sunday 16 August, Sunday 20 September.
2.30 – 4.30pm
Strawberry Cream Teas on 19 July

Revd. Canon Ivy Crawford leaves Blackmore for pastures new

Revd. Canon Ivy Crawford, Vicar of Blackmore and Rector of Stondon Massey, left the village on 19th April to take up a new role in the Chelmsford Diocese and as priest in charge of five parishes near Little Easton. Canon Ivy was Blackmore’s first women priest – being one of the earliest ordained in the Church of England – and served the parish in a ministry spanning almost 14 years. In a farewell address at a Service before a packed congregation she said, “I have been privileged to share with so many families in their joys and pain. I have been blessed in seeing so many people come closer to God, and grow in their relationship with him.”

Harlow. Sculpture Town

Harlow’s internationally important sculptures in the urban landscape are being promoted in a new tourist campaign from this month with brown signs declaring ‘Harlow. Sculpture Town’.

Brentwood Was Revolting

A new book, ‘A Summer of Blood’ by Daniel Jones, has just been published according to the History Times website.

“The Peasants’ Revolt of the summer of 1381, led by the mysterious Wat Tyler and the visionary preacher John Ball, was one of the bloodiest events in British history. To finance an unyielding war with France, a reckless and oppressive tax was imposed upon the English lower orders. Ravaged by war, plague and tyranny, England’s villagers rose against their masters for the first time in history. Initial resistance in the Essex village of Brentwood swiftly inspired the desire for revenge in other communities. The outcome of their brave and tragic rising changed England forever.”

For more information go to:

Essex Way

Having walked the entire Essex Way over five consecutive days in 1997, I was interested to see Richard Jackson, an artist (and blogger), has begun his own record of the walk from Epping to Harwich via Ongar, Willingale through to Good Easter. For more visit:

Ingatestone Hall gatehouse

An unusual and excellent picture taken of the Tudor gatehouse at Ingatestone Hall and one taken from the Lime Walk of the house, both taken by ‘chris37111’ appears on ‘Flicker’. Follow link: and

Norton Mandeville Church

This month's photo is of All Saints', Norton Mandeville. Barry Slemmings entry on ‘Flicker’ contains a history and photograph of the interior of Norton Mandeville Church. Follow this link: The whole set of pictures can be accessed by following

Suckling’s Memorials of Essex

As promised last month, part of this work (dated 1845) will be serialised on this blog starting next week.


For an extensive list of links to other sites go to: