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abbots of Waltham realized many forest privileges, and
which they retained until the dissolution of the Abbey.
Edward and Eleanor, celebrated in the history of the
Eleanor Cross, frequently visited the Abbey of Waltham
and the forest during the protracted wars of Scotland.
On the Easter of 1290, the King and Queen spent several
days in Waltham, and as the story goes, the King sought
to be quiet after a long hunt in the forest of Waltham,
but seven of the Queen's ladies unceremoniously invaded
the royal chamber of the King, which was close to the
Abbey Church, and seizing hold of their majestic master
proceeded to "heave him" (an old custom then called
"heaving") in his chair till he was glad to pay a fine
of fourteen pounds, two pounds for each lady, to enable
him to enjoy "his own peace and to be set at liberty
again." On another of these Easter days the King spied the
Queen's laundress, named Matilda, of Waltham, among the
lookers on, in the courtyard, while the hounds were being
coupled and the gallant hunters mounted for Easter Hunt.
The King, being in a merry mood, wagered that Matilda
could not ride with them on a fleet hunter. She accepted
the challenge, mounted the fast steed and rode with such
success that the King was fain to redeem his good horse
for forty shillings.

On February 23, 1608, John Wright received 71 8s. 4d.
for repairs at the lodge in Waltham Forest. August 6,

1610, "a grant was given to Mr. Graham of money found
in Waltham Forest, a good quantity of gold is in the hands
of Sir Gaven Harvey, and is to be seized for the King
who desires further information about it." February 23,

1611, a warrant issued to pay to Edward Lord Denny
23 43. for the erection of bridges in Waltham Abbey.
Also a warrant to pay 40 to Sir Robert Leigh for the
repairing of bridges in Waltham Forest, September 26,
1611. Easter Hunt flourished most in the middle ages,
when Kings and Lord Mayors shared in the sport and
feasted under the " greenwood shade." Stripe writes of
the Londoners, " Riding on horseback and hunting with
my Lord Mayor's hounds when the common hunt goes out.".
In 1827, Tom Hood, the poet; George Cruikshank, the
artist; James Wright, sen., and James Wright, jun., of


Waltham, met at the house of Thomas Rounding, Esq.,
on the forest side, to celebrate the Easter Hunt ; Cruikshank
sketched a portrait of old Squire Rounding, the huntsman,
to which Hood added some humorous lines.

In 1871, a committee was appointed to confer with the
Government, as to how the Corporation of London could
best secure parts of Epping Forest to the liberty of the
public for recreation, &c. And on May 6, 1882, Her
Majesty came to High Beech and declared the forest open
to the public.*


'ALTHAM HOLY CROSS, in the Half Hundred
of Waltham, in Edmonton Union, and in the
diocese of St. Albans,f rural deanery of Chigwell
and Archdeaconry of Essex, is bounded on the north by
Harlow Hundred ; on the east by the Hundreds of Ongar
and Becontree, and is separated on the west from the
county of Herts by the old river Lea. The form of the
parish is almost triangular, and is about six and a half
miles in width from north to south. The parish contains
about 1,000 inhabited houses, an area of 11,870 acres of
land, ratable value .38,897, and a population (1881) of
5,377, being 180 more than in 1871. Waltham is divided
into four wards, viz.: Township, Holyfield, Scwardstone, and
UpsJiire. The TOWNSHIP has an area of 741 acres and a
population of 2,998.

HOLYFIELD is situated between the Lea and Cobbingbrook,
and contains an area of 3.146 acres, which extends three

* On Saturday, May 6th, 1882, Queen Victoria paid a royal visit to
High Beech, and a tree was planted in front of the "Royal Oak" Hotel
in honour of the event.

t Previous to 1854, the parish church was not under episcopal jurisdiction,
and for years the churchwardens were threatened with ecclesiastical
proceedings. The churchwardens had to appear at Doctors' Commons.


miles northward of the town, and includes Galley Hill,
Monkhams Hill, and a portion of the Gunpowder Mills.

Holyfield Hall is a fine domestic building of the i6th
century date. The land surrounding it belonged to the
Crown at the dissolution of the Abbey.* Thomas Cromwell,
Chancellor of the Exchequer, temp. Henry VIII., held lands
in Holyfield to the annual value of 20. King Henry VIII.
granted Holyfield Hall and lands to Sir Anthony Denny;
and in 1571, Queen Elizabeth bestowed them to Richard
Hill and William James. In 1664 the Holyfield estate be-
longed to William Collard, in whose family it continued
until 1747, when it passed to Alexander Hamilton, through
the co-heiress of Adey Collard. Members of the Chapman
family have occupied the estate for upwards of a century.
During the residence of old Mr. Chapman, a burglary was
committed at Holyfield Hall. The burglars were caught
and tried at Chelmsford on March 10, 1819, two of the
prisoners Robert Wolfe and Joseph Litchfield were
sentenced to death by Justice Bayley, and hanged at
Chelmsford on the 26th of the same month. Henry
Wollaston, justice of peace, resided at FISHERS' GREEN,
Holyfield, in 1620. Several fisheries, &c., were connected
with Holyfield.

MONKHAM'S HILL is in the locality of Holyfield. The
Hall, on the crown of the hill, called Monkhams or Mong-
hams, is beautifully situated. In early days it was no doubt
the seat of the monks of Waltham, as the name indicates,
Monkhams (the residence of a monk). The first occupier
of this Hall, on record,t temp. Henry VIII., was Richard
Camp, of " Monghams Hill;"J he was succeeded by John
Somner " of Mongames Hill," who was buried August 30,

* Much of the property in this hamlet belonged in the middle ages to
the Abbey, hence the sacred title of " Holy-field." According to the
charter of Richard I., A.D., 1189 1199, the estate belonged to Gilbert
de Hallfield or Holyfield, from which place he derived his name. A
manor called "Hookes" may have been situated in the hamlet of Holy-
field, as "Hooks Marsh" is between the township proper and Holyfield.
"Hooks" or "Hokes" is generally spoken of in conjunction, with
" Pinnacles."

t Add. MSS. 25,289, British Musuem.

\ Richard Camp, of Monghams Hill, held his estate under the Abbot
of Waltham. 12 Hen. VIII. , 1521. See Hunter MSS. 25,289, fol. 92.


1607. The Booth family in later times held this Hall, and
it is now possessed by Richard B. Colvin, Esq.

SEWARDSTONE. This hamlet is situated 2 miles south of
the town, over Quinfin If ill, and on the main road to
Chingford and London. It is supposed to have derived its
name from its early possessor Siwardus, a person of note in
Harold's day. The locality is called in the charter of Hen.
II. (A.D. 1177) Siwardstune. Probably a memorial-stone
of Siwardus was erected in the neighbourhood at some
remote period. Some presume that the manor took its
name from a low water mark, Sea-ward-stone (similar to High
Beech), when the Thames ran up the Lea Valley. The
manor does not appear under that name, either in Edward
the Confessor's Charter, or in that of Harold. It was given
by the Second Henry with other grants to the Abbots of
Waltham. On the list of the revenues of the dioceses of
London, in 1266, the returns for De fcywardestune is
13 os. od. The earls of Oxford possessed the manor at a
very remote period, Robert de Vere, earl of Oxford held
the manor in 1278, in captie.\ Sir Ralph Sadler held the
manor with that of Woodridden, temp. Ed. VI., and after-
wards alienated it by licence to Sir Anthony Denny,
through whom it passed to James Hay, earl of Carlisle, at
whose death, in 1660, it became the property of William,
earl of Bedford, who sold it about the same time to
William Pocock. In 1673 the manor was again sold, and
was purchased by James Sotherby, and by whose descendants
it is still retained. J C. W. Sotherby, Esq., is the present
lord of this manor, whose manor-house is at High Beech.

THE MANOR OF SEWARDSTONE from the reign of Henry VI.
to that of James I., taken from the Had. MSS. (3361), viz.,
An abstract of the Rolls of the Right Hon. Edward Lord
Denny for harriotts of copyhold lands harriotable within
the manor

James I. 12 Jac. Isaac Lightfoote admitted to Shotfields.
10 acr. 13 Jac. Agnes Field daughter of Isaac Greene adm.

t Harl. MSS. 391, fol. 29.

% The author is in possession of an inventory of Pentensary House and
other MSS. relating to the forest in this manor.

Hariot custom is the holding of property by paying a hariot or fee
at the time of death to the lord of the manor.


to a cottage. 6 Jac. Edward Dixon adm. to a message
bar. called Warleys. 9 Jac. Edward Floyd adm. to all
that Tenement called Motts and I acre in Mott Streets.
I Jac. John Taylor adm. to a garden lying between
little Warden and the king's highway called Chawntdore
gardens. 3 Jac. Roger Bowyer died seized of lands called

Elizabeth. n, Eliz. Raheim Abraham held an acre of
land in Shotfield. 15 Eliz., 3 acres of land in Sheffield.

11 Eliz. Agnes Stephens held a tenement called Motts.

12 Eliz. Hen. Johnson surr, a garden, half a rod lying in
hedge croft. 5 Eliz. Rich. Ashe dyed seized of a Tenement
called Leopards [Lippets Hill], 4 Eliz. William Bowyer
surr, a tenement called Parks lyeing sevally in a field
called Seward. 3 Eliz. Adam Storke surr, a tenement and
17 ac. land called Repitts or Phillip and 3 Roode in Padn-
Pool, abutt. uppon the head of lorge Dole. 42 Eliz. Andrew
Lowen adm. Tenante lands and Tenements called mayne-
goods. 40 Eliz. Tho. Hale surr. 2 ac. 39 Eliz. Wm.
Peirson dyed seized of a tenement called Warley. 33 Eliz.
Joane Purvey surr. Holdcroft, East lands, &c. Nicholas
Blinco adm. Tenant of lands called Hurlelmtts. 15 Eliz.
Adam Storke surr. one acre called Sextone. 21 Eliz. John
Cooke surr, a Tenement, 9 acres and a cottage with garden
abutt uppon Gillwell. 2 Philip and Mary, Richard Ashe
surr, a croft called Longe croft.

H. 8. 33 Hen. 8, John Crow held a tenement called
Wardleyes one acre, in Sowmtad. 35 et 36 Hen. 8, Robert
Sexton lyeing sicke surr, a Tenement called Leopes. [Leo-
pards or Lippets.]

Hen. 7. 15 Hen. 7, John Abraham surr, 3 tenements,
2 called Pottell. 19 Hen. 7 Rob. Burmeham held a tene-
ment called Oldcrost.

Ed. 4. 2 Ed. 4, John Biiggs surr, lands called haywards.
14 Ed. 4, Richard Potsman surr", a croft of land 4 ac. called

Hen. 6. i Hen. 6, Ann Hooke surr, land called Cameles
fields. i Hen. 6, Rich. Rolfe died seized of the third part
of the moyty of one yard land* called Gillrolfes.

* A yard-land virgata terra, a rod or yard to girt ; in the north, to
gyrd. Hence a yard or close.


33 Hen. 8, Joseph Stoner held certain lands and tene-
ments late coppiehold land by Indenture for terme of yeares
to paye atte every death or alienacon 403. for fine and aos.
for a herriott. 19 Hen. 7. Presented by the homadge that
Margery Scott suffered her houses to decay, having had
warning to repayre them, and that she did cutt down ten
okes whout lisence and sould hem away contrary to the
custome thereof.

The contributors to the first payment of the Queen's
subsidies in 1587: TOWN OF WALTHAM, Henry Standish
xvd, John Tanner xd. UPSHIRE AND HOLYFIELD, William
Hodge, vid., Jane Kirbye widowe xiid., William Simons xiid.
SEWARDSTONE, Thomas Lake xd.* Sir Edward Denny,
Justice of the Peace in 1601.

The inhabitants of Sewardstone have a right to cut wood
from the forest at a certain time of the year.

A Board School was erected in this hamlet in 1874, for
136 children.

PENTENSARY estate in the hamlet of Sewardstone, is very
old; the house (near the Pound) in connection with it is
rapidly decaying. These premises were published many
years ago for sale by auction by the late C. Pryor.

GILWELL HOUSE, Sewardstone, is a large and picturesque
building, formerly the residence of the Chinnery family,
also of Gilbert Goss, Esq., and now of William Gibbs,
Esq., a poet of high repute and the inventor of the Hay
Drying Machine. Gillwell estate is mentioned in Had.
MSS. 3361 temp Elizabeth.f The Silk Mills in the valley
were once the property of Carr and Dobson, of Cheapside,
and in later years were occupied by W. Connell and Co.,
Dyers and Scourers. These Mills, which were probably
built on the foundations of an ancient Fulling Mill, were
demolished in 1885. Some antiquarians have asserted that
an old church once stood in the hamlet of Sewardstone. I
have not found anything to authenticate such a statement.
An old iron chapel (served by the curates of Waltham) stood
for many years in a field on the left hand side of the road

* Lands. MS. 52, fol. 161.

' t Old Gillwell House, in the reign of Hen. VIII., was used as a royal
hunting lodge ; and possessed by Sir Anthony Denny.


opposite the " Luther's " estate, which building, however,
has long since disappeared. This hamlet includes High
Beech, Lippets Hill, and Sewardstone Green. Sewardstone
possesses an area of 3,022 acres.

HIGH BEECH, south-east of the town is 759 feet above
the level of the sea (some say only 350 feet). In 1837 it
was formed into an ecclesiastical parish out of the hamlets of
Sewardstone and Upshire, and is situated on the border of
Epping Forest. The church of St. Paul's, now a com-
plete ruin in disuse, is a plain brick building with bell
turret, and cost about <goo. Holy Innocents Church
(on the highest part of the forest) opened in 1873, is
a gothic stone building, consisting of chancel, nave,
transept, and spire, with a peal of 13 bells which are played
by machinery. The register dates from the year 1837.
The living is a vicarage, yearly value of 90 in the gift
of the Bishop, and held by the Rev. Josiah Norton, M.A.,
of St. John's Coll., Cambs. The land taken out of the
forest near the church has been recently appropriated as
a burial ground. A School has been erected by Thomas
Charles Baring, Esq., which will hold 100 children. Area
1,500 acres. It is said that Henry VIII. came to High
Beech before the execution of his unfortunate Queen Anne
Boleyn, in order that he might be at a distance, and still
have the satisfaction of hearing the Tower guns fired as a
signal of that awful tragedy being ended.

UPSHIRE hamlet,* eastward from the town, contains in
area 4107 acres ; and extends to the forest, and along the
south side of Cobbing Brook, including Warlies Park,
Sergeant's Green, Broomstick Hall Common and Honey
Lane Common. In the year 1868, the locality *of Honey

' The customary tenants of Upshire claimed in the wastes of the
Forest Common of Pasture all the year for all their commonable cattle,
except in the forbidden months, and common of wood cutting by pre-
scriptions in the Woods called Otehawes, Redding-hills, Woodriddens,
Harth-hills, Longrunning, Bttrnet-heath, Leadyng Queatie, High-Beech'
green, and Amersbury (near the road to Epping). The Lord of the Manor
of Holyfield claimed to hold a capital messuage and 100 acres in the
hamlet of Upshire, and to have free liberty to cut trees grooving upon his
man ground for repairs of hedge botc and fire bate (vide Moranfs Hist,
Essex) .


Lane having severely suffered from drought, Sir Fowell
Buxton caused a large tank to be constructed near the four-
want-way, into which water is conveyed by means of a great
length of piping from a spring in the Waltham Forest. A
smaller tank is also provided for the benefit of cattle.
Upshire Manor, together with Holyfield, remained in the
possession of the crown till the reign of Queen Elizabeth.
With this hamlet were included 91 acres of arable land
with a portion of the forest, also two parcels of land in
Queen's Mead, the parsonage in the Churchyard, and many
other tenements. Upshire Hall is a fine old building some
distance east of the town. WARLIES PARK, occupied by
Sir T. F. Buxton, Bart., is a beautiful country seat,
situated about two miles north-east of the Church, and near
Copthall. This was once the residence of Samuel Foxe, son
of John Foxe, the martyrologist.

COPTHALL. The estate of Copthall, part of which is in this
parish and part in the parish of Epping, is full of interesting
detail from the time of Richard I. to the present century.
Queen Mary, when Princess, resided for some time at Copt-
hall. Queen Elizabeth and later sovereigns have visited the
old noble hall which then stood within the parish of Waltham
Abbey. The present mansion stands on the borders of
Epping parish. During the residence of the poet, Charles
Sackville, Lord Buckhurst, at Copthall, he was guilty of
notorious riotous acts, as appears by the " State Papers,"
under date March 10, 1662. He was imprisoned in
Newgate with Edward Sackville, Sir Henry Bellasyse, K.B.,
and two others (one of whom being ill with small pox) for
the robbery, with violence, of John Hoppy, at Waltham
Abbey, in February, 1662. Hoppy died in the April follow-
ing, from injuries received by the robbers. Sir H.
Bellasyse and three other prisoners were tried at the Middle-
sex Sessions for manslaughter of the said John Hoppy,
tanner. A warrant for their pardon was then issued and
the prisoners were liberated.

HAROLD'S PARK, situated near Nazing, was so named,
after King Harold, who gave it to his church at Waltham,
and which was confirmed with certain grants by King
Henry II., A.D. 1177.

An ancient manor called " Pynnacles " was probably in


the locality of Copthall, as it eventually fell into the posses-
sion of the Fitz Aucher family.

PARK. The presumptive evidence that this obelisk marks
the spot where the unfortunate Boadicea, Queen of the
Iceni fell, awaits confirmation. Tradition alone points
to Nazing Common as the scene of a celebrated battle in
which 80,000 of the incensed Romans were slain and all
the colonies of ancient Verujum and Camelodonum des-
troyed by the Britons. Amesbury Banks was evidently the
site of an ancient camp ; a similar one having been dis-
covered near Danbury, and one adjoining the north-eastern
roads at Walden in this county. There were trackways
connected with these camps generally which were known
to the Saxons by the name of streets, the principal of which
were the Icknield Street, Ryknield Street, Ermyn Street,
Ikeman Street, the Saltway, the Fossway, and the Wading
Street, several branches of which seem to have passed
through different parts of this county. The situation of
the Amesbury entrenchments being near the boundaries of
the Cassii, the communication which Cassivelaunus must
have established with his allies will account for their being
well acquainted with its position. The banks are con-
sidered by Caesar to be the last stronghold of Cassivalaunus.
The generality of writers have identified the oppidum of
Cassivelaunus with Verulanium, or St. Albans ; but the last
named place was the capital of the Cassii, and the only
cause that led to this supposition appears to be, that no
other answered any better to Caesar's description. Some
writers imagine that the kingdoms of the East Saxons and
the Mercians were separated in the upper part of the county
of Hertford by the Ermyne Street, and in the lower part in
Cheshunt parish, near a bank which in early days reached
from Middlesex through Theobald's Park, across Goffs
Lane to Thunderfield Grove, over Beaumont Green to Nine
Acres Wood. On the north, the same natural boundaries
were most likely preserved which, under the Romans, had
separated this district from the Cassii. If this memorial
pile really marks the spot where Queen Boadicea died, it
must have been erected very many years after the fatal


occurrence took place. Near this obelisk is " Dallance " or
" Ballings" Farm, now occupied by Mr. Bott, farmer.

Queen Elizabeth " Dallance " Farm, in Waltham, was owned
by Henry Denny, as we find in the following note : " To
all faithful in Christ To whom this present writing indented
shall come. Henry Denny, of Dallance, Essex, Esquire,
Greeting in the Lord for ever. Know ye that I, the aforesaid
Henry Denny, in the performance of divers covenants
bearing date 12 March, 12 Elizth, made between me, the
aforesaid Henry Denny on the one part, And the very noble
man Arthur Grey, knt., Lord Grey of Wylton, Walter
Mildmay, knt., one of the Privy Council of the said Lady
the Queen, Thomas Wroth, of Enfield, Middx., knt., John
Brockett, of Brockett Hall, George Horsey, of Dixewell,
and Henry Cocke, of Ponnesborne, in the County of Herts,
Esqres.j of the other part, Have given, granted, and by this
writing confirmed to the aforesaid Lord Grey and others All
those my manners, Lands, and tenements of Waltham Holy
Cross, Sewardston, otherwise Sywardstone Nasinge, Hallyfield,
Woodridden, and Claverhambury in Essex, with their rights,
&c. On the 28th October, 1569, Henry Dennye, of Dallance,
Essex, Esq., gave and conceded to William Potter, of Kyngs
Hatfield, als Busshops Hatfeilde, in Herts, yeoman, in
consideration of good and faithful services, the office or
place of keeper of his park of Beddwell, called Bedwell pke
in Herts, and of deere and greate game, from the date of
the Indenture, for life." Henry Denny died March 24th,
1574; and at an Inquisition taken at Waltham Cross on
the 8th of June in that year, before John Cooke, Esq.,
"escheator," on the oaths of "William ffordeham and others,
who say that the said Henry was seised in his demeasne
as of fee of and in the Manors of Meryden and Parke,
alias Parkeburge, with appurts and other property in Essex
and Herts, being so seised made his will." Henry Denny,
Esq., of Dallance, was buried in Waltham Church, April 8,
1574. The Register gives "Mr. henry denye, esquire, the
funerall the 8 daye Aprill, 1574."



From the death of Harold to that of the Norman
Conqueror, little is known of what occurred either
in the Church or in the town of Waltham, except that the
lands in the parish bestowed on the deans and canons by
'he founder were wrested from them by William I., on pretence
that they were the private property of Harold, and in no way
connected with their church. At the survey they held but half-
a hide ; the remainder of the town was given by the Conqueror
to his favourite bishop Walcher, of Durham* On the death
of Walcher the lands reverted to the Crown, and were afterwards
appropriated to the queens of Henry I., who in due course
returned them to the canons with interest. The following
extract from the Domesday Book gives the survey of Waltham,
as it appeared in the reigns of Edward the Confessor and
William the Conqueror, viz. :

Domesday Survey, relating to Waltham Holy Cross, A.D.
1080 1086. (Translation.) "The lands of the Bishop of
Durham, in Essex. The Half Hundred of Waltham. Waltham
was held by Harold in the time of King Edward for i manor and
xl hides. There have always been Ixxx. villeins,f and xxiv.
bordars.J Then vi. serfs, now vii. Then vii. teams in the

* Walcher afterwards purchased the earldom of Northumberland, where
he behaved himself so insolently that he was torn in pieces by the populace, .
4th May, 1080.

t Villians, Hu:bandmen who held their dwellings at the will of their lord
as part of the property of the manor.

\ Bordars possessed houses of their own on the condition of serving the
table of their lord, and were called "Bord." The same are now called

Serfs, domestic slaves which were bought or sold as other property.


demesne, now vi. Always xxxvii. teams of the homagers.
Wood for M.MCC, swine, Ixxx acres of meadow land, ii horses,
xx beasts, Ixxx. sheep, xii. goats, xl. swine. There is pasture of
the value of xviii shillings. Then i mill, now iii, v fisheries,
and then xx tenants paying rent, now xxxvi. And i team,
might be re-established in the manor. To this manor belong ii.
socmen* who held vi hides in time of King Edward, now v.
And the half of the vi th hide is held by the HOLY CROSS, and
the other part was taken by William of Warren. And there are
moreover vi. Soc-men of ii. hides and half a virgate. And
besides this there belonged to this manor i hide, all but xv acres
which the same William has taken. And Ralph the brother of

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Online LibraryWilliams WintersThe history of the ancient parish of Waltham abbey, or Holy Cross → online text (page 3 of 21)