The 17th Century
the Early Stuart era
1601 - The Great Poor Law Code of 1601 made the various statutes of the Elizabethan Poor Law ( passed in 1563, 1572 & 1598 ), a permanent feature of English Law for over 200 years. It effected  the people of Leverstock Green as much as the rest of the population, but in some respects had an even greater impact than general, as the Poor Law itself was based upon the parish unit. Until 1849 Leverstock Green was divided between three separate parishes (or four if you include farms such as Palmers and Kettlewells just inside Redbourne's parish boundary.)

Under these various statutes the parish was to " maintain the impotent poor, apprentice pauper children, give work to the unemployed, and chastise and  place in houses of correction those who were idle", and forcibly train them in some work.  In addition the parish had to provide very basic health care and isolation houses ( or pest houses as they were then known).  Justices of the Peace assessed the poor-rate levied on the householders  and appointed Overseers of the Poor to carry out the law.  If you were unfortunate  enough to require poor relief, you were only the responsibility of the parish where you were native.  This meant that they would send you back to your home parish is you were found in a destitute state elsewhere.  With three separate parishes responsible for our neighbourhood, I can envisage that in some instances some unfortunates may well have been shuffled about between them, as each tried to shift the responsibility onto the neighbouring parish. This is particularly likely, as studying many old records as I have done, it has become apparent that many of the labouring (mostly farm workers) local residents would be working for one farmer one year - say at Coxpond within Hemel Hempstead parish - but the following year be employed at the not so distant Carpenters Farm, within Abbots Langley parish. Any children could easily have been born in one parish, whereas their parents later resided in the neighbouring parish. If they then found themselves destitute differing parishes would be technically responsible for the various family members' upkeep etc. Fortunately as the area was generally fairly prosperous this may not have happened too often.

As the population of the Leverstock Green area officially lived in three separate parishes, they were therefore the responsibility of those three parishes as previously mentioned.  Therefore they would be subject to the various provisions made within their own parish, and these may well have been different to that of their neighbours.  e.g. when smallpox vaccination was introduced, children who lived in St. Michael's parish could be vaccinated free of charge at the workhouse in St. Albans, but those children who lived in Abbots Langley or St. Mary's parish had to wait several more years before it came available to them.  [S69, S84]

3rd October 1602 - "Gwen daughter of William Longe of  ...end"  was Baptised at St. Mary's Church Hemel Hempstead.  The script was rather indistinct, but it looked very like an abbreviated form of Bennetts End. [S294]

1603 -  Tile Kiln House ( Tile Kiln Lane) was first mentioned in the Manor Court Roll, as belonging to a farmer called Bessant. It is interesting that  between 1917 until after 1937  a Charles Bessant and his family lived at Tile Kiln.  Therre is no known connection between the two families. The dell in St. Albert the Great School's grounds is probably the remains of  one of the clay pits used for brick and tile working. [S34]  For pictures of the house etc. click here.

20th January 1603 - William Marston and his wife, yeoman farmers from Hill End, sold the copyhold of Stoneshall, the property immediately opposite Hill End, to Walter Marston for £160. The Marston family had been at Hillend Farm since at least 1549, and had held Bromley Crofts since 1479. It is very likely that Bromley Crofts was the name given to the property before it acquired the name Hill End. (Named after John Bromley who held the property in 1429).  Considerably more research is needed into the Marston family  than I have at present had time to undertake. They were important in the area from the 15th century until at least the mid 17th century. [HALS IE1 - IE30]

6 & 8 June 1603 - The Freehold to Lawrence's Farm, off Green Lane, and it's associated lands, was sold to Thomas Kentish, a husbandman from the parish of St. Stephen's in St. Albans. Thomas Kentish was the son of Robert Kentish deceased a yeoman farmer from St. Stephens. The was undertaken at the request of Francis Bacon, who had recently inherited the Manor of Gorhambury. To find our more about Francis Bacon click here.The farm would appear to have previously been the property or in the trusteeship of John King (Appointed Vicar of Abbots Langley in 1623) and two others.

"This Indenture made the sixth day of June in the yeare of the Reigne of our Soveraigne Lord James by the Grace of God of England France and Ireland King Defender of the Faith etc.. The First, And of Scotland the sixth and Twentieth. Between John King Doctor of Divinity, Roger Fenton Batchelor of Divinity and Robert Mitcham of Grayes Inn in the County of Middlesex of the one part and Thomas Kentish of the parish of St. Stephens neereunto the towne of St. Albanes in the County of Hartford husbandman, Sonne of Robert Kentish late of St. Stephens aforesaid Yeoman Deceased of the other part.  Witnesseth that the said John King, Roger Fenton and Robert Mitcham according to hust and Considerence in them in that behalfe by Francis Bacon of Grayes Inn aforesaid egress repossess and at his espeshall instance and request aswell for and in Consideracion of the sume of four hundred and four score and Tenn pounds of Good and Lawfull money of England to the said Francis Bacon by the said Thomas Kentish beforehand well and truely satisfied contented and paid  Have granted enfeoffed bargained and sold, and by these  presents doe grant enfeofe bargaine and sell unto the said Thomas Kentish his heires, & Assignes All that messuage tenemant and farme house with the appertenances commonly called and knowne by the name of Lawrences Farme; or by whatsoever other name or names withall and singular the messuages edifices and Builldings and all other The apertenances thereunto belonging or apperteyning, situate lying and being in the parish of St. Michaells neere unto the towne of St. Albanes aforesaid or elsewhere.  Together with all and singular the Lands, meadowes, Deanes, pastures feedings  services and all other proffits commodities emoluments and hereditaments whatsoever in the parish of St. Michael's aforesaid or elsewhere to the said messuage Tenement or farme house belonginge or in any wae apperteyning or now or at any time or times heretofore accepted, reputed, deemed taken, connived litten used or occupied therewithall by any of the farmers or occupiers thereof as parte or parcell........." [HALS IL C1a]

The Kentish family were to keep the farm until it was sold to Sir Robert Raymond in 1724. 

Probably Lawrence Farm was the same property, or at least on the same site as "the Messuage with outhouses, yardes, and Backsides late Sares, and now the sayd William Ewers in right of his wife without fees"  mentioned in the 1569 survey. (See entry for that year.) The farmhouse itself, together with its various outbuildings, were almost on Green Lane itself, just a little further up the Lane on the right, towards BP House (now Breakspear Place) from Westwick Cross, where the road starts to curve round towards the present Breakspear Place. Its exact location can be seen very clearly in the 1768 Estate map, and the remnants of the foundations etc.. still disturb the ground. Details of the exact holding, which included the stretch of land now occupied by Leverstock Green School, and much of the land between Green Lane and the M1 and beyond, are detailed in the Bill of Sale for the farm given in the entry for 14 August 1835. 

The property itself was demolished some time between 1840 and 1897. [HALS IC1a/1b. IC10a-d; IC12, IC13-13d; 71671-4; X12]

18th April 1604 - St. Lawrence's parish register recorded that "Buried was Mr. Benjimin Ibgrave Esquire." Presumably Bejimin was the son of the William Ibgrave, the current owner of Chambersbury and a descendant of the William Ibgrave to whom Henry VIII had sold the estate at the dissolution. As well as the manor of Chambersbury the Ibgraves held the Manor of Hyde and it is uncertain in which manor house they resided. [S299]

20th 1604 - "Agneis the daughter of William Longe of Cockpond baptised at Redbourne" This was a special entry made in the St. Mary's ( Hemel Hempstead )  register by the parish clerk. [S294]

20th January 1604/5 - "Anne daughter of William Longe of Coxpond baptised at Redbourne." [S294]

24th January 1605/06 - William Ibgrave (grandson of the  first William who was the King's embroiderer ) was buried in St. Lawrence's Church Abbots Langley. With his death his property of the manor of Chambersbury reverted to the crown.  The King (James I), then granted Chambersbury to Edward, Lord Bruce of Kinloss. (See entry for Feb. 27th) [ S299; VCH vol.2 p.326 ]

10th February 1605/6  - St. Lawrence's parish register recorded that "Married was Henry Dolling and Ales Feilde." As a Henry Dolling was known to be connected with property in the Manor of Market Oake  (Leverstock Green ) it is reasonable to assume this was the same man. [S299] (See entry for 16th March 1618/19)

February 27th 1605/06 - Edward Lord Bruce of Kinlos, Master of the Rolls, was granted the manor Chamberbury.

"The King by Letters patent did give & grant unto Edward Lord Bruce then Master of the Rolls:

All that the Manor & Rectory of Langley otherwise Chambersbury in Lees Langley otherwise Abbotts Langley And all that Capital Messuage called Jordans with the Outhouses Gardens and Orchards etc.. And the Mill called Nashe Mill & the Mill House and 3 acres of Land occupied therewith & all those feilds called Thomas Field Dudwellfeild otherwise.........And also two Messuages & 6 acres of land & 2 Acres of land in Westwick in these county and one messuage in the Backside of the house late of William Ibgrave called Lucas Another messuage called Cranes." [HALS 71528 (S209)]

An Act of Parliament took place in 1606 in relation to the above - : William Ibgrave's estate: confirmation of an agreement between Lord Bruce and Michael Doyley and others.  [  ]
5th February 1606/07 - "William sonne of William Longe of Coxpond" was Baptised at St. Mary's Church Hemel Hempstead. [S294]

January -  February 1610/1611 - In the Calendar of Assize Records of Hertfordshire Indictments for James I, it states that "on February 1st 1610, Nathaniel Nicholson of St. Albans, a labourer, was indicted for grand larceny, for stealing a purse (1d) containing 20s in money, from William Finch, a yeoman of St. Michael's." It went on to add that William Fynche ( same man, different spelling) , along with another, gave evidence against Nicholson, at the St. Albans sessions on January 11th.  Nicholson was still at large!.  As the Finch family  (the head of which was often given the name William) was known to have been connected with property along Westwick Row from the previous century, and in later centuries came to farm Corner farm, it is highly probably this was a member of the same family. [ S68; GORHAM - Vol 1 pp 99-103]

27th January 1610/11 - "Robert sonne of William Longe of Coxpond" was Baptised at St. Mary's Church Hemel Hempstead. [S294]

June 23rd 1611 - "Sarah the daughter of Roger Partridge of the Tile Kill," i.e. Tile Kiln Farm, was Baptised at St. Mary's Church Hemel Hempstead. [S294]

1611 -    Lord Bruce of Kinloss, owner of Chambersbury died.  The manor had previously been settled to his wife for the remainder of her life, and entailed to his second son Thomas. ( Entailed property passes down through the male heirs from one generation to the next.) It is reasonable to assume that Dame Magdalen Bruce resided at Chambersbury at least from then on, as she was married in St. Lawrence's Church in 1616. (See entry for 9th April 1616.)  [VCH vol.2 p.326; S299 ]

May 10th 1611 -  Two of the yeoman farming families with the greatest interest in the lands around Westwick Row were the Lasbyes and the Fynches.  Various parcels of land were leased jointly to Robert Lasbye senior and Thomas Fynche in 1599 by Anthony Bacon (son of Nicholas Bacon, and elder brother of Francis.).  These were additional lands which went with the demesne farm to the Gorhambury Estate. They had been in the tenure of Henry Knight in the 1569 survey. Robert Lasbye and Thomas Fynche each therefore each had a moiety of the following:
" messuage or tenement with diverse barnes stable, orchardes gardens outhouses, edifices and byldings sittuate in Westwick aforesayd late in the tenure of Henry Knightye...And also one close called Homefield conteyninge by estimacon Tenne acres more or lesse Two closes called Deanefield contayninge by estimacon Twelve acres more or lesse,  One pightell called Hodges Wicke conteyning by estimacon one acre and one rode more or lesse, One close called Wellfeilde conteyninge fyve acres more or lesse, One closease called Blackwater Crofte contayninge by estimacon Three acres more or lesse, One cloase called Shrowefeild conteyninge fower acres more or less one Springe lyinge neere the Messuage aforesayd conteyneinge foewer acres more or lesse."

By May 1611 they had agreed between themselves and " the mediation of freends" to divide the holding so that they each had their own share rather than a half share each in the whole. The Indenture of May 10th 1611 was to  put this separation on a legal footing.

Robert Lasbye was to get "all that messuage above specified with all the howses edifices and buylding orchards and gardens thereunto belonginge, and all that part of Homefeild next adjoyninge to the messuage it is now severed from the rest of the sayd Cloase.."   Lasbye was also to get the two fields called Deane field, Hodges Wick and the small slip of land  next to it which they had staked out. In addition he was to get half the wooded area near to the farmhouse, he and Thomas Fynch having already staked out the
dividing line.

Thomas Finche was to get "All and singular that parte or halfe of Homefeilde aforesaid which is next to the Messuage of the said Thomas Fynche as the same is now divyded and severed from the rest of the sayde Close  And also the two pightells aforesayde next the house of the sayd Thomas Fynche,  And also the Cloase aforesayd called Longfeild as it is now severed from the little parcell of the rest of the sayde Close,  And also ther close aforesyad called Wellfeild lyeing nere the howse of the sayd Thomas,  And also all that Cloase called Blackwater Crofte and also halfe that parte of the Springe aforesayde as it is now severed form the rest of the sayde Springe and lyes at the West End next the higheway leadinge from St. Albans to Hemelhemsted together with Chalke and libtie to fetch Chalke as aforesayd."

The chalk referred to was the right of Thomas Fynche " his heires and assignes" to dig and fetch chalk from the chalk pit in Deane feild.  This chalk would then have been used to lime the land as a fertilizer.

Robert Lasbye and Thomas Fynche then agreed to share the cost of any rents and services due to the Lord of the Manor equally between them.  A full transcript of this Indenture is included in a separate appendix. [HALS IM18]

June 2nd 1611 - From an Indenture of this date it would appear that there was some disagreement as to the ownership of a hedge between the two fields called Harpes and Blackwater Croft. As a result of the division of lands between Robert Lasbye and Thomas Fynch in the previous month, John Greene was claiming that the hedge between these two fields was his, because he had previously bought Harpes from Robert Lasbye.  As Blackwater Crofte had been settled on Thomas Fynch, he was of the opinion that the hedge was his!  What the outcome of this disagreement was to be, I am not sure, not yet having found any further documents relating to the incident, but the Lasbyes promised to pay half of any legal fees incurred in settling the argument, and also to pay Thomas Fynch compensation for the loss of the hedge, should the case go against him.

It would be reasonable to assume that the hedge was of importance to John Greene and Thomas Fynch for the coppiced wood it could provide.  A full transcription of the Indenture is to be found in a separate appendix. [HALS IM19]

10th October 1611 - "William Berchmore from Coxpond" was buried at St. Mary's Church Hemel Hempstead. [S294]

17th February 1611/12 - William Prior surrendered The Great Barn and two acres of land ( these were almost certainly off Westwick Row, opposite to where Westwick Warren is today. HALS D/EV/P1), to John Crosbye and Walter Finch, a moiety ( that is half the property) to each.  The barn remained in the Finch family until 1633 ( see entry for 16th May 1633).  [HALS 1L28] See section under The Middle Ages titled: The Great Barn of Westwick.

1612 - William Longe of Coxpond was one of the Guardians of the parish of Hemel Hempstead, along with William How. [S294]

27th June 1613 - "John the sonne of William Longe of Cockspon", (there was no "d" in the entry!) was Baptised at St. Mary's Church Hemel Hempstead.  It is interesting to note that at the bottom of this page, and many of those which followed, were three names: Thomas Taylor the Vicar, and two other names ( they varied from page to page) of presumably the Church Wardens or Parish Clerkes.  In this instance they were William Longe and William Howe.  The former from Coxpond. The fact that William Longe could obviously write, tells us a good deal about the social standing of the Longe family of Cockspond in an age when few could read or write. [S294]

14th April 1614 - "Thomas Besouth of Benets End" was buried at St. Mary's Church Hemel Hempstead. [S294]

9th July 1614 - "Elizabeth Wright widow from Cockspon" was buried at St. Mary's Church Hemel Hempstead. [S294]

9th April 1616 - According to St. Lawrence's parish register "Married was Sir James Fullerton Knighte and the Right Honorable Dame Magdalen Bruce."  This entry in the parish register is particularly significant as it implies that Dame Magdalen was resident within the parish - presumably at Chambersbury. It also therefore suggests that her husband had also made it his home - perhaps finding it conveniently close to London to suit his court duties as Master of the Rolls, but sufficiently far into the country to escape scourges like the Plague.[S299]

1618 - John Puddephatt from Bennetts End was named as one of the Guardians of the parish of Hemel Hempstead. [S294]

16th March 1618/19 - William Hatch, the Lord of the Manor of Leverstock Green alias Market Oake alias Market Dole, agreed with Henrie Dollinge to an annual rent of 8d for the Copyhold of a 13 acre field known as Market Lands.  This field stretched from the Berkhamstead Way through to the Bedmond Road and was later divided into two fields.  Before the agreement could be ratified at a Court Baron, William Hatch sold the Lordship of the manor to John Field (see entry for 1619). [HALS IN16] (A full transcript of this document is available at the local libraries.)

12th July 1618 - "Elizabeth the daughter of William Longe of Cockspond" was Baptised at St. Mary's Church Hemel Hempstead. [S294]

1619 -  The Manor of Leverlestocke etc.. (see entry at the beginning of the entries for this century) was conveyed by William Hatche and Pleasance his wife to John Field. [VCH  vol.2 p.400, HALS IN11 ]

22 June 1619  - "John the sonne of William Brokett of" was Baptised at St. Mary's Church Hemel Hempstead. The writing was fairly illegible,  but appears to be something like lervicote, possibly therefore Levistock. Other entries later on for children of William Brockett merely state that he was a "gent".[S294]

22nd December 1621 -  John Feild  of the parish of Langley in Hertfordshire made a "Recognizance in the nature of a statute staple....before Sir Henry Hobart, knight Lord Chief Justice of the Common pleas at Westmisnster " obliging him to pay Edward Griffith, Citizen and Draper of London, the sum of "eight hundred pounds of lawful money of England". This debt he failed to honour, which eventually led to the Manor of Market Oak (alias Leverleystock alias Market Dole) being given to Edward Griffith. A copy of the original statute staple, unfortunately which is in Latin, is held at the Herts Record Office, reference no. 78474; reference to it is made in another document dated 1671 (HALS 78478) a transcript of which can be seen at the local library [S99]  ( See also entries dated: 15th century; February 1645; December 1651; July 1671; and 1696)  It is worth remembering that this debt represented a colossal sum at the time, when the annual rent for certain lands within the manor was put as low as 4d by John Feild only two years later ( 20th Jan. 1621/2 - see entry for that date.)

20th January 1621/22 - An indenture of this date confirmed that John Field was Lord of the Manor of Leverstock Green alias Market Oake alias Market Dole, and that he agreed to keep the annual rent of the parcell of land which Robert Lasbye had bought from Henrie Dollinge at 4d, with a further 4d to be paid if the tenancy changed. The field in question was half of the original field called Market Lands which was " lyinge nexte the highe waie Called Berkhamsted waie on the  Northepart..." It would appear from the description to be the field which was later called Bottom Gates. An interesting feature of the Indenture was that Robert Lasbye agreed to pay Two shillings in travel expenses to John Field if it became necessary for him to travel further than St. Albans in order to ensure that Robert Lasbye held the title to the land. A full transcript of the text of the Indenture can be found at the local library [HALS IN16]

19th August 1622  - St. Lawrence's Church register recorded that  "Buried was Nicolls servant to the Right Honarable the Lady Bruce". I take it the Lady Bruce reffered to was in fact Dame Magdalen, now Lady James Fullerton. (See entry for  9th April 1616) It is however, possible that it was the wife of Thomas, Dame Magdalen's son.  In either case, Nicholl was presumably a servant at Chambersbury. [S299]

2nd May 1623 - St. Lawrence's Church register recorded that "Buried was John Longe yeoman."  There were many entries in the parish records for members of the Longe family who were known to be at Northend from the mid 16th century.  This entry propbably reffered to one of the Northend Longes, perhaps the father of Henry who married Sarah in 1626/7. [S299]

10th May 1624 - The Manor of Chambersbury, (along with the Manor of Sarrett) was sold to Thomas and John Child, who were already the owners of the Langleybury estate. Below is a shortened transcript of the very long document confirming the sale. (The full transcript can be read in the local library).  From this can also be seen the fact the manor of Chambersbury - by that I take it to mean the farmhouse of Chambersbury and its  attached lands, were let to a Raphe Elsby, and that other property within the manorial estate of Chambersbury was let to a Richard Hodgkins for seven years at an annual rent of £40. It is difficult to say whether or not these leases were farm lets or copyhold agreements. If any of the relevant court rolls are available and legible, they may clarify the issue.

"THIS INDENTURE MADE     the Tenth day of May Anno Domini 1624 ............ BETWEENE the Right Honorable Thomas Lord Bruce Baron of Kinlosse and Sir James Fullerton of London Knight and the right Honorable Dame Magdalen Bruce late wife of Edward Lord Bruce Baron of Kinloss deceased and now wife of the sayd Sir James Fullerton of the one part, And Thomas Childe of Langley Burye in the parish of Abbotts Langley in the County of Herts Gentleman, and John Childe of the parish of Sarrett in the sayd County of Hertford Yeoman of the other part WITNESSETH that the sayde Thomas Lord Bruce & James Fullerton Knight and Dame Magdalen his wife for and in Consideration of the somme of Two Thousand and Fower Hundred pounds of lawfull English money............. HAVE GRANTED bargayned sould assured aliened infeoffed and Confirmed, And by theis presents doe fully clerely and absolutely grannt bargayne sell assure aliene infeoffe and Confirme with the sayd Thomas Childe  and John Childe and to the heires and assignes of the saide Thomas Childe .........ALL THAT manor and Lordship  of Chambersbury als Abbotts Langley alias Lees Langley in the sayde County of Hertfordshire th'all the righte members and appurtenances thereof, Together with all meadowes pastures woods and underwoods Tenements and Hereditaments with their and every of their appertenances in Abbotts Langley aforesayd now therewith all used occupyed demysed letten or  emoyed, or accompted taken or ropured as parte parcell or member thereof, and now in the tenure or occupacon of the sayd Thomas Lord Bruce & James Fullerton Knight and Dame Magdalen his wife and Raphe Eljbie (this was as written, but should have read Elsby.), or of their or some or one of their assignes, AND ALL THAT Woodland and Woody groundwith th'appertenances commonly called or knowne by the names of Longwood Littlewood, Hawredding, Welchmands grove and the Parsonage Wood situate and beinge in the sayd parish of Abbotts Langley alias Lees Langley in the County of Hertford contayneinge by estimacon Thirtie acres more or lesse and the grounde and soyle whereupon the sayd woods stande and growe,  AND ALL Tythes  yearely comynge growynge or renewynge of and in the sayd Mannor of Chambersbury alias Abbotts Langley aforesayd.  And of in and upon all lande meadowes parstures woods underwoods Tenements and Hereditament with their appertenances now therewith  all used occupyed letten enjoyed accompted taken or reputed as parte parcell or member thereof and of in and upon all the sayd wood called or knowne by the name or names of Longewood Littlewood Hawredding welchmangrove and the Parsonage Wood and of the grounde and soyle of the sayd wood  AND ALL the Twext of Tythes yearley comeinge growinge or renewinge of and in the demeansed lands of the manor of Abbotts Langley alias Lees Langley commonly called or knowne by the name of Langley Berry AND ALL THAT the Rectorie and Parsonage of Abbotts Langley alias Lees Langley in the sayd County of Hertford Except such Tythes part or belongeinge to the sayd Rectorie and Parsonage  as are formerly granted by them the sayde Thomas Lord Bruce etc........ AND ALL that the advowson free guifte disposicon and right of Patronage of the Viccaridge of the Church of Lees Langley alias Abbots Langley in the sayde Countie of Herts.  ....... And by theis, presents doe fully clearely and absolutely grannt bargayne sell assure alien enfoeffe and confirme unto the sayd Thomas Childe and John Childe and to the heires and assignes of the sayd Thomas Childe All and singular messuages howses buildings orchards gardens lands tenements meadows feeding pastures woods, underwoods, Trees ponds waters streames fishinge wastes and waste grounds comons rents Revercons quits franchises Jurisdicons  Court and Court Leet view of Frank Pledge, and all whatsoever to the bier of Frank Pledge belongeth or appertayneth, profitts of Courts, goods of fellons and fugitives, felons of themselves wayfes estrayes escheats heriotts fines amerciaments, and all and singular other rights profitts  liberties comoityes emoliaments and hereditaments whatsoever to the sayd manor or Lordshipps and other the  premisses or any of then belonginge or in anywise appertaineinge or accepted taken or reputed to be part parcell or member of the sayd mannors or Lordships or other the premises or any of them,.............. TO HAVE AND TO HOULDE  all and singular the sayd mannors of Sarrett and Chamberburie alias Abbotts Langley with the appertenances the sayd Rectory and Parsonage of Abbotts Langley alias Lees Langley the sayde Tythes before menconed, ..........  One Lease made of Chambersbury unto Richard Hodgkins gent not exceedinge the terme of Seaven Years yett to come and whereupon the yearley Rent of fortie pounds  is reserved, which shall become due and payeable alwayes unto the sayd Thomas Childe and John Childe and unto the heires and assignes of the sayde Thomas Childe, and other estats made unto Henry Smythwicke and Robert Smythwicke excepted and foreprysed) AND THE SAYDE Sir James Fullerton for himselfe and his heires (etc..)........   And by theis presents doe make and ordayne their trustie and welbeloved in Christ James Durham gent and Willyam Knowlton their true and lawfull Attornies joyntt and several for them the sayde Thomas Lord Bruce and Sir James Fullerton and in their names to enter into the premysses or into some parte or parcell thereof in the name of the whole and thereof take full possession and seizon..............."

N.B. On the outside of the Indenture were the following endorsements:

"Memorand that the fourth day of September Anno Domini 1624 the within named Willyam Knowlton one of the Attorneys within mencioned  did take full and peaceable possession and seisin of the Mannors and premysses within written but the Capitall house of the Mannor of Chambersbury  in the name of the whole by vertue of the letter of Attorney within menconed  and the same day and yeare did deliver possession and seisin thereof to the within named Thomas Childe to the use of him the said Thomas and John Childe and the heires of the sayd Thomas in the presence of  & whose names are here subscribed"

"Memorand that the same daie and yeare Raphe Elsby present tenant of the manor of Chambersbury did lett wrue and become tenant  unto  the within named Thomas Child and John  by giveinge unto the said Thomas Childe vi shillings of lawfull Englishe money" [HALS 71532]

16th September 1624 - A memo on HALS document 71532 notes that William Knolton, an attorney concerned with the conveyance of Chambersbury, took possession of Chambersbury manor house. By this I take it that the lawyer took legal possession of the estate on behalf of his clients, Thomas and John Child [HALS, 71532]

1625 - There was a widespread outbreak of Plague which had begun the previous year in London and spread outwards from there. It is uncertain if anyone from Leverstock Green was affected, but the possibility would have been quite high. [ S1 ]

1626 - John King was appointed to the living of St. Lawrence, Abbots Langley. Bearing in mind that at the time much of the area of Leverstock Green fell within his cure, this appointment was to be of great importance in the district.  The son of Ralph King of Watford, John King was born in 1590 and later educated at Emanuel College Cambridge, where he gained his MA in 1622. After leaving Cambridge, King joined the household of Robert Brook in Watford, and it was largely through his influence and that of a Dr. Sibbs that he gained his appointment to the living of Abbots Langley.

John King was to become one of the most controversial, if not the most controversial Church of England clergyman to live and work in our area. Although a member of the Church of England clergy when receiving his appointment, King was in reality a Puritan, and one who had a great influence on his local flock. He was obviously a man of great charisma, who was extremely well liked by the members of his parish.  King's name frequently crops up in documents concerning residents of Abbots Langley Parish, often as a signatory or witness. (For example he witnessed the will of Edward Griffith in December 1651 - see entry for that date.)

Believing in adult rather than infant Baptism, few infant baptism's appear in the parish registers for his period in office, particularly in the latter years.  During the period of the Civil War and the succeeding Commonwealth, King upheld and reaffirmed his Puritan beliefs, but was eventually to be rejected as Vicar in 1662. (See entry for that year) Despite this, John King remained in the parish, living to the ripe old age of 89, and becoming something of a legend and local hero, still remembered to this day. His memorial stone, set into the fabric of St. Lawrence's Church, is one of the earliest remaining memorials from a church which dates back to the 12th century. (See entire for 1662; 1671; 16th September 16790 [S262; S255; S48, pp254-256; S88, pp56-58.]

1626 - Sir Francis Bacon, Viscount St Alban died as a result of catching a chill conducting an experiment 300 years ahead of Mr. Birdseye "whist stuffing a chicken with snow in order to observe the effect of cold on preservation of the flesh." As the owner of Gorhambury as well as Lord of the Manor of Gorhambury Westwick and Prey, this was to have a profound and lasting effect on the local population, and indeed on my own ability to trace our local history three and a half centuries later!

In December 1625 Bacon had discovered that his wife Alice was having an affair with his gentleman-usher John Underhill. This angered Bacon so much that he cut his wife out of his will. As they had no children, and the Bacon's finances were left in something of a disastrous state, the ensuing, and extremely lengthy, legal proceedings were left largely to his ex-secretary and very old friend Sir Thomas Meawtys to disentangle.

Eventually in 1632, Sir Thomas managed to buy Gorhambury for himself, and it is due to his marriage to Anne Bacon (daughter of a grandson of Sir Nicholas Bacon) After Sir Thomas's subsequent death, his widow got remarried to Sir Harbottle Grimston, and it was through him that the Grimston family became associated with Gorhambury. The present 7th Earl of Verulam is John Grimston.  This continuity over the centuries, together with the fact that Ann Bacon's influence as Sir Thomas Meawtys' wife kept together and intact the many documents concerning the Gorhambury Estate which have enable me to research so deeply into our past. (See entry on the history of the Manor of Gorhambury printed in the July and August 1994 editions of Chambersbury News. [S20]

7th October 1626 -   Hill End passed from the Marston family to Richard Adas of Stevenage [HALS 1E12]

5th February 1626/7   - St. Mary's registers showed that "Henrie Longe" and " Sarah Lovesaye" were married on this day. Henry Long was from Northend . Sarah had been born in 1590, third child of  Thomas Lovesey and Alice Gardner. Sarah's father was to take over as Bailiff of Hemel Hempstead when Roger Partridge died in 1628. Sarah was obviously an active and healthy lady as she was mentioned as owning land belonging to Northend Farm in 1676, when she would have been 86.  S298; [S1,p 74 (which gives the date incorrectly as 1622 not 1626); HALS 80745]

6th June 1627  - St. Lawrence's Church register recorded that: "Buried was Joanne Longe, widdow." It is probable she was the wife of William Longe of Northend. [S299]

2nd October 1627 - St. Lawrence's Church register recorded that: "Buried was Robert Longe junior, yeoman."   He was probably  the brother of Henry Longe of Northend. [S299]

7th March 1627 - St. Lawrence's Church register recorded that : "Baptised was Robert the sonne of Henry Longe and Sarah his wife."  (See entry for 5th Feb. 1626/7) [S299]

1628 – Roger Partidge of Tile Kiln was Bailiff of Hemel Hempstead [Foefees of Boxmoor] [S417]

15th August 1629 - St. Lawrence's Church register recorded that: Baptised was Hannah the daughter of Benjamin Field and Anne his wife." Benjamin was one of the traditional family names given to the Field family who were lords of the manor of Leverstock Green in the 17th century. [S299]

26th September 1629  - St. Lawrence's Church register recorded that: "Baptised was Elizabeth, daughter of William Longe and Margaret his wife." It seems likely that this was the first child born to William and his second wife Margaret of Northend. [S299]

14th July 1630 - Northend was known to have been occupied by William Longe whose family  had probably been there in 1597 ( see entry for that year) [HALS 1M25]

14th July 1630 - St. Lawrence's Church register recorded that: "Married (by license) was John Wingfield and Elizabeth Longe." Elizabeth was probably one of the family from Northend, possibly one of Wiliam's daughters by his first marriage. [S299]

27th September 1630 - St. Lawrence's Church register recorded that: "Married by banns was Henry Field and Brigit Taylor."  Henry was possibly a son of John Field, Lord of the Manor of Leverstock Green. [S299]

21st October 1630   - St. Lawrence's Church register recorded that: "Burried was Hannah the daughter of Benjamin Field."  She would have been  just over two months old.  See entry for 15th August 1630. [S299]

28th March 1631 - Robert Laseby sold for £78 to Richard Hannell, a blacksmith from Bedmond Pond, 2 tenements under one roof and 3 acres of land at Westwick. I suspect that this may have been what is now Westwick Cottage as the map which accompanied the survey for Westwick Row Farm in 1696 showed the patch of land around Westwick Cottage as belonging to someone other than the Grimstone's and Hannell later acquired neighbouring land in the area known as Black Readings. (This was an area of land which stretched between Westwick Row and the Hemel Hempstead Road and which virtually surrounded the area of Westwick Cottage) - see entry for 4th July 1654. This sale was also a freehold rather than a copyhold sale, as indicated by the words "the above bargayne and sold premisses" and Westwick Cottage was known to have been freehold property by the survey undertaken in 1669, also a freehold property was listed as belonging to Richard Hannell in the 1655 rental.

Hannell was the new landlord, the actual tenants living in the cottages at this date being another blacksmith, Thomas Cogdell, and a wheelwright, Mathew Partridge.  Partridge and Cogdell presumably being the wheelwright and smithy for the residents of Westwick Row and the Leverstock Green area. However, by his death in 1682 Richard Hannell was occupying either this property or Dell Cottage himself, with the other property being occupied by another member of his family. The Hannell family were to be associated with Leverstock Green for a long time, for much of that time at least one member of the family was an active blacksmith along Westwick Row. (See family tree on page.........)

"TO ALL THOSE TO WHOSE  this present writings shall come or it shall hear sit or trade I ROBERT LASEBYE of Westwyke in the parishe of St. Michaells in the Countie of Hertford Yeoman sendeth greetinge in the Lord God everlastinge KNOWE WE NOWE that the said Robert Lasbye as well for and in  consideracion of the somme of Threescore and eighteen pounds of good and lawfull money of England to me in hand paid before the Ensealinge and delyverie hereof of Richard Hannell of Bedmond Pond in the parish of Abbotts Langley in the saide Countie of Hertford Blacksmyth whereof and wherewith I the said Robert Lasbye doe acknowledge the Receipt and thereof and of any parte and parcell doth Clearely  aquite release and discharge the saide Richard Hannell his Heires Executors Administrators and assignes and every of them sowever by theis presents As also for dyvers other good Causes and Consideracions herein specially movinge  HAVE given grannted intrusted and by this my present writings Confirmed unto the said Richard Hannell All those my two Tennaments beinge under one roof  nowe in the severall  terms or occupacions of Mathew Partridge wheeler and Thomas Cogdell Blacksmyth situate lyeing and being in Westwick aforesaid Together with the Howsinges, Edifices, buildings, barnes, stables, Orchards, gardens, hagdes and backsides to the same belonginge or in  anywise appertteyninge Together also with a parcell of Land lyinge in the Common feild called Black Reddings conteyninge by estimacion Three acres be it more or less TO HAVE HOLDE AND ENJOYE  the foresaid two tennements with all and singular the aforemencioned premisses with all and singular the Appertenances unto the  sede Richard Hannell his hires and assignes forever. TO THE only and proper use and behoose of the saide Richarde Hannell his heires and assignes forever.  TO BE  holden of the Cheife Lord or Lordes of the fee or fees  by the Rent and services thereso doe and acoustomed.  WHICH said premisses I the saide Robert Lasbye Late had to.....ent my Heires and assignes of the same guifts and grannts of Richarde Lasebye my father Late of Westwick aforesaid Yeoman deceased  As by his  Pacte therof made unto me beoringe date the Eighth and Twentieth daye of October in the fivth yeare of the reign of our Late soveraigne Lord King James  whereunto be had Relacion must let lardge it doth and maye appeaze  AND I THE SAIDE Roberte Lasbye and my heires all and singular the Two Tennements aforesaid and all other the above bargayne and sold premisses with all and singular their Apperenances unto the said Richard Hannell his heires and assignes  againste me and my Heires shall warrannt and forever defende by these present IN WITNES  wherof I the said Robert Lasbye to theis my present writinge Have with my hande and Seale the xxviii daye of Marche 1631 in the Seaventh yere of the reigne of our Soveraigne Lord Charles by the grace of God Kinge of England Scotland France and Ireland defendor of the Faith.

1st May 1631  - - St. Lawrence's Church register recorded that: "Baptised was Thomas, the son of William Field and Joane his wife. [S299]

1631   - There were two separate entries in St. Lawrence's Church register referring to the burial of a "nurse childe" . The parents were given as being  "of London" implying that that the babies were farmed out to a wet nurse within the parish. [S299]

1631 - - St. Lawrence's Church register recorded that: "Baptised was John the son of William Longe junior and Mary his wife." [S299]

1st May 1632 - - St. Lawrence's Church register recorded that: "Baptised was Anne the daugter of Henry Fielde and Bridgett his wife."  [S299]

11th May 1632   - - St. Lawrence's Church register recorded that: "Buried was Thomas the son of William Field and Joanne his wife." [S299]

30th May 1632   -  - St. Lawrence's Church register recorded  the marriage of it's Vacar: "married by Banns was Mr. John King and Miss Elizabeth Throckmorton." [S299]

3rd March 1632/3 - "Lidia, daughter of John Puddefat of Bennetsend"  was baptised at St. Mary's Church Hemel Hempstead. [S294]

24th January 1632/3 - - St. Lawrence's Church register recorded that: "Baptised was Nathaniel the son iof Nathaniel Field and Bennett his wife and buried the day following."  [S299]

5th May 1633 - - St. Lawrence's Church register recorded that: "Baptised was William the on of William Fielde amd Joanne his wife."  [S299]

17th May 1633 -A Court Roll of that date shows that Daniel Finch gave the Lord of the Manor of Westwick etc.. 10/- for license to ruin and pull down a barn at Westwick containing 4 bays.It is believed this was the old medieval Tithe barn.[ HALS 1L31]  (See also entries for 17th February 1612 and the entries for Westwick Hall and Old House in the section on The Location of Principle Properties, as well as the section on  The Great Tithe Barn printed in the edition of Chamebrsbury News.)

1634 - John Field conveyed the manor of Leverlestocke etc.. to his son John.  This son John died the same year, leaving the manor of Leverlestocke to his son Benjamin. [VCH vol.2 p.401 ]

1634/Gorhambury Estate Map. - The first detailed map of Gorhambury was made by Benjamin Hare in this year. [HALS D/EV P/1; and HALS PC646 (photocopy of the above original)]  The map is quite charming to see, ( see photograph) and covers the area of the actual estate belonging to the Grimston's, rather than the entire manor.  This was relatively small compared to the size of the estate by the end of the century.  It gives a great deal of useful information as it is drawn on a large scale and the buildings are shown in elevation.  Nicholas Bacon's Gorhambury is shown to have been a charming Elizabethan mansion of red brick, similar in appearance to Blickling Hall in Norfolk (National Trust).  The only building shown on the map to have been within our study area was the house off Westwick Row which I called "Old House" on my map of the Principle properties in the area. That is almost on the same site as Westwick Warren today, but a little further from the road. The original farm house still appeared in the 1768 estate map and the 1840 tithe map, but had disappeared by the 1877 O.S. map. This map also shows quite clearly "Ye Pightle" opposite the house on the other side of the Row where the tithe barn had stood until the previous year. (See entry for 17th May 1633.) As it was the only building on Westwick Row to have been part of the Gorhambury Estate at this time, then it must have been "The Farme House" referred to in the 1569 survey (see entry for that year), it's name and the position of the barn implying that it was the "home-farm" for the Gorhambury estate.

Hillend and Stones Hall are not shown,  though there was a note on the map to say that some property below Hillend, which I took to mean Maiden Crouch or Potters Crouch, were not shown on the map.

The map also showed arable land edged in pink and meadow land in green.  This showed quite graphically that most of the farmland in our area at this time was indeed Arable. [HALS D/EV/P1]

28 April 1634 - According to the Gorhambury Rental for 1655, "upon the death of the sayd John Greene, a feather bed was seized for a Heriot of the prise of xiii s ii d (13/2d) as appears by the Roll of the 28th April 10 Car 1634."  The property in question for which the feather bed had been paid was "one messuage or tenement lyinge in Westwick and two pightles of land adjoyninge to ye sayd messuage..." [HALS IA45]

15th August 1634 - - St. Lawrence's Church register recorded that: " Buried was Anne the daughter of Benjamin Fielde"  Presumably she was the daughter of the then Lord of the Manor of Leverstock Green. (See entry for 1634 above. [S299]

30th November 1634  - - St. Lawrence's Church register recorded that: "Baptised was Wiiliam the sonne of William Longe and Elizabeth his wife." [S299]

22nd May 1635 - - St. Lawrence's Church register recorded that: "Buried was Mr. John Fielde the Elder." This was presumably the John Field. Lord of the Manor of Leverstock Green who had conveyed the manor to his son John 1634. (See entry for that year.)[S299]

4th October 1635 -  "John, son of John Puddephat of bennetsend" was baptised at St. Mary's Church Hemel Hempstead. [S294]

21st November 1635 - "Hester daughter of William Longe of Coxpond" was baptised at St. Mary's Church Hemel Hempstead.[S294]

18th April 1636  -  - St. Lawrence's Church register recorded that: "Baptised was Benjamin the son of Mr. Benjamin Fielde and Anne his wife." [S299] Benjamin Field was Lord of the Manor of Leverstock Green. [S299]

21st September 1636 - St. Lawrence's Church register recorded that: "Baptised was Mary the daughter of   Henry Dollinge and Anne his wife."  (See entry for 16th March 1618/19) [S299]

28th February 1636/7 - "Mary daughter of John Puddenatt of Bennetts end" was baptised in St. Mary's Hemel Hempstead.  This was undoubtedly should have read Mary Puddephat.[S294]

1637 - There was another widespread outbreak of plague which may well have affected those people living in Leverstock Green. [S1]

Hill End Farm's freehold was sold to Sir Elias Hickes for £1120. (A huge sum of money for the 17th century!)  Later on in the same year, Hicks declared that he bought the property  to hold in trust for Thomas Coningsby. [HALS 1E 19, 1E 21]

14th February 1637/38  - The following was listed in the burial records for St. Mary's Hemel Hempstead: "William Long son of Coxpond // Joane Relict of William Longe - Inquisition Mortem Records at Hitchen." I take this to mean that William Long, son of William and Joane Long, and possibly also his mother Joane, were buried on this date in St. Mary's Churchyard. [S294]

24th February 1637/38 - One hundred and seventeen acres of land,  which was later to become associated with Westwick Hall, was leased to Richard Feild of Westwick for 21 years from the following Michaelmas (i.e. September 29 1638) for £62 per annum, which Richard Feild was to pay:

"att or in the now dwellinge howse of the sayd Thomas Meawtys called Goramburie Att two of the most usual Feasts or termes in the yeare (That is to say) Att the Feast of the Annunciacon of St. Mary the Virgine and St Michaell Tharcganngell by even and equall porcons".

The messuage in question is the farm house occupied by Henry Knight in the 1569 survey (HALS XI2), and shown clearly in the Benjamin Hare estate map of 1634 (HALS D/EV/P1) as being on Westwick Row, Leverstock Green, roughly where the present dwelling Westwick Warren is to be found.  It's exact location, a little further back from Westwick Row can be seen clearly on the map, and is accurately portrayed both in the Hare map of 1634, the Estate map of 1768, ( Map No. XIII 12) and the Tithe Map of 1840. (No. 291 on this map.)  Some time between then and the publication of the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map, the old farmhouse was demolished. It did not refer to Westwick Hall, as this farmhouse was not built until at least  after 1658 when Feild's lease had expired, and the above property had been leased to John Waller with an agreement that the house was to be rebuilt and the grounds re-laid. (HALS IL3)  This lease [ HALS IL1], specified that:

"Thomas Meawtys Thomas Coningsby and Robert Coningsby.....Have demised granted betaken and to farme letten...All that Messuage and tenement howses edifices and buildinge orchards gardens and backsides situate lyeinge and beinge at Westwick aforesayd now in the tenure or occupacon of one Dell widdowe, And all those closes and [parcels of grounde now in the tenure of the sayd       Dell widdowe or of her assignes and which the sayd messuage injoyed used and occupyed, And also all that Close of land comonly called by the name of Colney Dell feild contayneinge by estymacon Twentie and fower acres more or lesse, And also one other close of land with th'appurtenances comonly called by the name of  Bury Hills Contayneinge by estimacon fowerteene acres be it more or less, And also one other close of land comonly called by the name of Selcupp Contayninge by estimacon Seaven  acres and Three Roods bee it more or lesse, And also one other close of land with the appertenances comonly called or known by the name of Evesden wood Contayneinge Thirtie and eight acres more or lesse, And also one other close of land with the appurtenances commonly called or known by the name of Brach feild Contayneinge by estimacon Tenne acres be it more or lesse,  And also one other close of land with the appurtenances commonly called by the name of Brachwood Contayneing by estymacon Seaven acres more or less,  And also One other Close of land with the appurtenances commonly called w w w by the name of Dell Crofte or Marsons Feild Contayneinge by estymacon fyve acres bee it more or lesse,  And also one Close or Feild comonly called or knowne by the name of Lodge Feild or Seyers hill conteyning by estymacon Twelve acres and one Rood bee the same more or lesse lyeinge and being at Westwicke aforesayd in the sayd parish of St. Michaells and now or late in the tenure or occupacion of the sayd     Dell and of one Longe or of heir or some or one of their assignees or assignes."

A full transcript of the lease (over three and a half thousand words long!) can be read at the local Libraries and the Herts. Record Office. As well as specifying the precise property involved, the lease is also of particular interest as it reserved all the rights to the timber on the land for the landlords, and also the  right for them to:

"hawke and hunt in and upon the premysses or any parte therof from tyme to tyme and at all convenyent tymes to goe passe and repasse in upon and through the aforesayd demysed premysses or ant parte thereof which his and their Coaches horses Carriages and servants att his and their free wills and pleasures"

It did, however, ensure that the landlords and their servants could not harm any of the cereal crops growing in the fields in making use of their right to hunt or wander on the land at will.

The lease is of additional interest as it sets out very clearly several farming practices which Richard Feild had to abide by in order to keep his lease. Included in this Feild had to agree not only to maintain all the hedges but also all the farm buildings. It later became common practice for the landlord (and it still is) to be responsible for all buildings.  It is possible that as the farmhouse was to be rebuilt by Sir Harbottle Grimston for the tenant succeeding Richard Feild in 1658, that insufficient attention had been paid to this part of his obligations. (See entry for 20 August 1658.)

Other terms Feild had to agree to abide by included the obligation to:

"bestowe upon the sayd demysed Closes lands and premysses or upon someparte thereof where most wood shalbe, All the dunge and soyle that shall yearly be made"

And to farm the land in a certain way, adhering to strict crop rotation, viz:

"That such and somuch of the above demysed Closes lands and premysses as shall be eared plowed or kept in tillage shall lye fallowe every Third yeare, and not be sowed above Two yeares together att any tyme w dureinge the sayd terme of One and Twentie yeares, And that he the sayd Richard Feild his executors and assignes shall and will dureinge the last Nynetenne yeares of the sayd terme of One and Twentie yeares, keepe the ordynary and usuall seasons in plowinge and sowing the demysed premysses according to the Custome of the Countrie where the premysses lye..."

In addition to the rent of £62 per annum, Richard Feild also had to provide Gorhambury with ten cart loads of wood, but was not allowed to:

"...lopp topp or shredd any of the pollard trees or other tree groweing or to be groweinge upon the premysses dureinge the last Ten yeares of the terme of yeares hereby demysed, And shall not at any tyme dureying the sayd Terme lay above Ten loads of Chalke upon any one acre of the above demysed premysses..."

1638-1639 - Entries for these two years in the St. Lawrence's registers are extremely fint and almost impossible to read - also there are very few of them, presumably  partly because Revd. John King was baptising very few infants, and partly because the tentions which led to civil war in 1642 were beginning to make themselves felt.

15th April 1639 - - St. Lawrence's Church register recorded that: "Baptised was John son of Henry Field Junior and Bridget his wife. Members of the Field family, important as Lords of the Manor of Leverstock Green, were amongst the few who saught baptism for their children at this time in the parish of Abbots Langley.[S299]

18th July 1639 - Megdells passed from the Hawgood family, who had held the property for about 100 years, to the Tyler family. It remained the property of their family, (passing to Brune Ryves, grandson of Joseph Tyler), until sold to Viscount Grimston in 1721. [HALS IG10. IG22 - 22b]

9th December 1639 - "John son of John Puddenatt of Bennets ende and Elizabeth his wife" was baptised in St. Mary's Church Hemel Hempstead. [S294]

31st March 1641 -  St. Lawrence's Church register recorded that: "Baptised was John the sonm of Benjamin Field and Anne his wife." [S299]

21st May 1641 -  Frances Combe, a wealthy miller, and member of a prominent and well-to-do family from Hemel Hempstead died. (Combe Street in Hemel is named after the family.) 1 He had been married to Ann Greenhill of Abbots Langley and left Abbots Langley Manor house at Kitters Green, and 142 acres in  Abbots Langley to two principle university colleges: Sidney Sussex, Cambridge & Trinity College, Oxford. This estate was then administered by the Greenhill family.  I am as yet (22/10/96) unsure of the exact extent of the lands within Leverstock Green, but the earliest attributed reference to a Leveleystocke grene was found in documents of Sidney Sussex College dated 1551, and reference to the college was  also to be found in documents dated 1934 concerning compensation payable to the colleges by Joseph Orchard for the extinguishment of the manorial incidents upon the land - formerly waste of the manor of Abbots Langley, upon which Blacksmiths Cottages were built. It would appear from the latter that this waste land which formed part of the green, was included in this bequest of Frances Combe. [S1; S176; S262]

13 October 1641 - John Feild raised a mortgage of £60 on his Manor of Market Oak (otherwise known as Leverstock Green) with Daniel Finch and his wife Susan (nee Doggett) of Westwick. The loan was to last for only a year, for which he had to pay an additional £4 15s interest. That represents an interest rate of just under 8% a high rate of interest no doubt reflecting the unstable times in the prelude to the Civil War. For more generalised information on the importance of this particular document in the somewhat disordered affairs concerning the legal ownership of the manor at this time, see the general section headed The Manor of Market Oak near the beginning of the entries for this century (in the July 1997 edition of Chambersbury News).

The mortgage Indenture itself sheds some interesting light on the exact extent of the Manor at this time, and also on the above mentioned John Feild's understanding of the state of affairs relating to the Manor - assuming that is that he did not deliberately sign the agreement with Daniel Finch and Susan Doggett, knowing that the manor was in effect already forfeit to Edward Griffith. (See section on The Manor of Market Oak mentioned above.)

A full transcription of the mortgage agreement can be read at Leverstock Green and Hemel Libraries, but I have included below a curtailed version which includes the salient points.

"..... Witnesseth  that the sayd John Feild as well for and in Consideracon of the sume of Three score pounds of lawfull money of England to him in hand payd by the sayd Susan the receipt whereof  the sayd John Feild doth acknowledge ......doth devise grant bargaine sell and to farme lett unto the sayd Daniel Finch and Susan Doggett their executors and Assynes, All that hys manor and Lordshipp of Markeat=Oke and Westwicke alias Levesley=Stocke alias Markeatdole which righto m--------appurtenances situate lyeinge and beinge in the parish of St Michaells nere the towne of St. Albanes in the sayd Countie of Hertford withall the rights members and appurtenances And also all that Messuage or Tenement farmehouse and Scite of the Mannor aforesayd nowe withe tenure or occupacon of the sayd John Feild and Stephen Pope or of their of one of their Assignee or assignes And alsoe All Meassuages cottages Lands Tenements meadoes pastures feedinges comons wastes wastground tymber trees woods underwoods rents revercons farmes Courts Court baron perquisits and profitts of Courts Baron and all and whatsoever the sayd Court or Mannor belongeth fines herriots releifs escheates  liberties franchises and other profitts comodities and hereditaments whatsoever of hymself the sayd John Feild of and in and to the sayd Mannor and other the premisses or any of them belonginge or in any wise apperteyninge, or isaccepted reputed or taken as parte parcell or member of the same with th'appertenances, To have and to hould All and singular the sayd Mannor Messuages Lands tenements woods and woodgrounds rents farmes Courts proffits of Courts fynes herriots priviledges and all and singular th'above demised premisses with their and everie if their appertenances unto the sayd Daniel Finch and Susan Doggett their overlord and Assignes from the day of the date of these presents unto the full and terme of fower score and nineteene yeares from thence next ensuinge and fullie to be complete and ended, yeildinge and paieinge therefore yearely and everye yeare duringe the sayde terme unto the sayd John Feild his heires and assignes the yearly rent of one pepper corne upon everie feast day of St John Baptist if the same be lawfully demanded.  Provided  always and on Condicon That if the sayd John Feild...... doe well and truely pay or cause to be payd unto the sayd Daniel Finch and Susan Doggett.........the full sume of Three score and fower pounds and fifteene Shillinges of current English money in and upon the fifteenth day of October which shalbe in the yeare of our Lord One Thousand and six hundred forties and two Att or within the now dwellinge house of the sayd Daniel Finch situate in Westwick aforesayd, That then and after such payment this presents Indenture and the terme of yeares hereby granted to be utterlie voyd ~  frustrate and of none effert, And the sayd John Feild doeth for himselfe...... promisse grant to and with the sayd Daniel Finch and Susan Doggett ......That hee the sayd John Feild the day of the date  thereof is lawfully seized in fee simple of all the sayd Mannor Messuages Lands and premises, and that they act free from all former leases grants charges estates and incumbrances whatsoever........... And also that the sayd Daniel and Susan ...shall and may after default made in the payment of the sayd sume of Three score and fower pounds and sixteen shillinges at the day and place above menconed for the payment thereof peaceablie and quietle have hold accupie possess and enjoye the sayd Mannor Lordshipp Messuage landes --------- and premisses above demised with th'apperenances dureinge the sayde terme of fower score and nineteen hereby devised......... And it is lastly agreed upon by and betweene the sayd parties to these presents, That the sayd John Feild..... shall and may have and take the rented yssues and profitts thereof to his and thence owne express use and behoose until default be made in the payment of the sayd sume of Three score and fower pounds and sixteene shillinges above menconed at the day and place above menconed for the payment therof. In witness whereof the parties first above named to these Indentures interchangeablie have sett their hands and seales the day and yeare first above written. John Field"

Unfortunately for the Feild family, according to HALS document IN27a, default was made on this mortgage. Possibly the reason being the outbreak of Civil War, and the fact that the Battle of Edgehill began on 23 October 1642, only 10 days after the full payment was due. Especially if his allegiance was to the King, he would probably have joined the Royalist forces long before the battle near Warwick took place, all thoughts of mortgage repayments forgotten! If, as the vast majority of the men of standing in this area were, he supported the Roundhead forces, he was probably also involved in preparations for war. In fact it was only a couple of weeks after he had signed the Indenture, that matters at court and in Parliament began to take a serious turn for the worse, with the Grand Remonstrance  of November 1641 and King Charles attempt to arrest five Members of Parliament on January 4th 1642. [HALS IN19, IN27a, S69]

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