1666 - John Field and Mary his wife (descendants of Benjamin Field, 1634), sold the manor of Leverlestocke etc.. to Harbottle Grimston. (Sir Samuel Grimston - see 1688 - was his son [S20 ], and they were ancestors of the Earls of Verulam.) It would appear to have been just the manorial rights which were sold to Grimston, not the lands of the manor. However, there is still some confusion as the correct legalities of the situation as Francis Dorrignton, Edward Griffiths heir, is noted as being Lord of the Manor in document HALS IN24. Whatever the strict legalities of the situation, after 1666 the manorial rights of Leverlestocke etc.. generally merged with those of Gorhambury. (See section on The Manor of Market Oak and the entry for July 1671, and previous entries for 1621, February 1645, 20th April 1646,)
Whatever the strict legalities of the situation, Francis Dorrington was obviously known at the very least to the steward working for Harbottle Grimstone, and he held the undisputed freehold rights to land within the manor of Westwick, "nemely 13 acres of freehold land called Bunsgrove by ye eyarly rent of xxiid heretofore the lands of John Feild as Roll 3rd November 11 Car" (i.e. 1660) [HALS IA45; S98; VCH p.400; HALS IN24 - IN26a]
There was yet another major outbreak of plague, which spread outwards from London. [S1 ]
19th May 1666 - The one and a half acres of land known as Harpes was surrendered to Harbottle Grimston for ever. This triangular section of land was still known by this name at the time of the 19th century tithe survey, and still retains it's triangular (harp) shape. It is the piece of land at the Hemel Hempstead Road end of Blackwater Lane, recently developed as a Plymouth Brethren Meeting House, and previously the site of Westwick House. [HALS IK4; S96]
12th June 1667 - A recipt of this date states: “ ****** from Mr. George Lowe the summe of fifteen and ( a half) shillings for a post fine charged upon the ****the Master of the Rolls by John Field by purchase of ye Manor of Markett Oake.” The signature is difficult to decipher – as indeed was the receipt, the cursive script being rather to ocursive! The signature could be Samuela Grimston, it could also be *** Griffith, or indeed neither of them, though the surname does obviously begin with a G and sems more likely to be Griffith, though the first name seems more like a Will. [HALS: IN 256]
12th October 1667 - Sir Harbottle Grimston leased "all that messuage, farme house and scite of the manor of Markett Oake and Westwick alias Levestystocke alias Market Dole, with the barne, stable, outhouses, garden and orchard therunto belonging. to Richard Peacocke for a term of 12 years at an annual rent of £14 14s." The Indenture drawn up for the lease is extremely interesting as it shows what a careful landlord Sir Harbottle Grimston was. Farming practices and exact detail on how to manage the arable land, and the hedges on this small 26 acre farm were included in the Indenture. A full transcript of the document is available at the local libraries. [HALS IN28] (See section on The Manor of Market Oak and the entry for July 1671, and previous entries for 1621, February 1645, 20th April 1646,)
16th October 1667 - Daniel Kelsey and his wife Sarah surrendered Wardes and all their other copyhold lands to Harbottle Grimston. These then became part of the Gorhambury estate. [HALS, 1K 4]
2nd April 1668 - Sir Harbottle Grimston leased the property called Wards, together with about 40 acres of land, to Henry Smyth of Abbots Langley. The contracts mentioned below probably formed part of the same deal. [HALS IK5]
Contracts were also drawn up on that date between, Sir Harbottle Grimston, and two local craftsmen - Thomas Evens, a bricklayer from St. Albans, and Joseph Carter, a carpenter from the parish of St. Michael's. These contract were to repair and the house, barns and well at Wards (Kettlewells). Full transcriptions of the two contracts are held at the local library.
It would appear from the documents that the farmhouse had suffered severe subsidence, and required new foundations and underpinning at one end. A considerable amount of work was to be done on the house, including structural work, redecoration, the installation of a new oven, new cellar windows, renew floors, and weather board the property.
In addition to this considerable work was to be done on the barnes, involving relocating one barn and rebuilding stabling. The well-house was also to be seen to, with new foundations to the well-house, a new curb for the well and a new well wheel. This suggests to me a well-house operated by man or donkey wheel, similar to the one at Carisbrooke Castle on the Isle of Wight.
For the considerable amount of work to be undertaken by the men, Carter was to receive £46 and Evens £44. They were to provide all their own materials, and I presume labour!!
Over 300 years later, in 1982 the farmhouse was put on the market, and eventually sold, carefully demolished and rebuilt at Bricket Wood. The photograph which appeared in the paper showed a weather-boarded house. I imagine the boarding was that undertaken by Carter in 1668. [HALS IK5a & IK5B; MAIL 10.12.82; S105]
16th October 1668 - Robert Lazeby and his wife Katherine sold to Peter Bennett for £450 their messuage and lands in Westwick. This referred to Westwick Row Farm and the various lands attached to it at that time. [HALS 1M40 & 1M44]
16th December 1668 - Peter Bennett sold Westwick Row Farm and its lands to Sir Harbottle Grimston for £450. This then became part of the Gorhambury Estate. [HALS 1M43- 1M44]
21st December 1668 - Thomas Kentish and his wife Frances sold to Harbottle Grimston for £283, various lands and woods, which had formed part of Wards or Kettlewells This then also became part of the Gorhambury Estate. [HALS IK6]
27th March 1669 - Wards, or Kettlewells, was leased to John Field by Sir Harbottle Grimston for an annual rent of £45. [HALS IK7]
8th April 1669 - The schedule for the Gorhambury estate records notes that "Thomas Carpenter and Alice his wife conveyed on 8th April Breakspears, 3 acres, a pightle called Notbeech alias Snottbeach alias Edbeach, 5 acres, 2 closes called Broadfield, 5 acres, Blakefield,3 acres, and 5 acres in Furroughs field, Deareings 6 acres, Pondfield hill 4 acres, Pondcroft 2 acres, and a pightle next N. Field formerly part of Pondfield, to Harbottle Grimston and his heirs for ever." [GORHAM] Translating part of the original document ( HALS ref. II F7 ) it would seem that this included stables and gardens, and that Furroughs was near to or next to Bunslane ( Bunce Lane) [S50]
The survey of Samuel Grimston's Estate undertaken in 1696 confirms the position of Breakspears (which is still standing today) and its adjoining farmland. [S9] Initially I considered Buns Lane to be that which we now call Bunsfield Lane. However, the position of the above fields, together with the fact that a document relating to Megdell in the 16th century [HALS IG2] refers to Megdel as being "at Bunes Lane "suggest differently. Looking at the later detailed map of Dury and Andrews [S7], it would appear that a Lane ran at right angles to the present day Bunsfield Lane, beginning at the kink in the road where the small hamlet of Bunsfield used to be situated, crossing Green Lane and on to Megdells. This may have been called Bunes Lane, or else it was just considered a long cart track from the present Bunsfield Lane.
8th June 1669 - The lease between Sir Harbottle Grimston and Thomas Trott for Westwick Row Farm refers to the house as Westwick Manor. At the very least this implies that the farm house was considered of the first importance amongst the various dwellings and farmhouses to be found along Westwick Row at the time, and possibly that at some time in the past it had been considered the most important individual property within the manor as a whole. [HALS 1M45]
6th October 1669 - A small estate, much of which was to become known later in the century as Carpenters Farm, and by the late 19th century as Leverstock Green Farm, was sold for £1060. The estate was approximately 100 acres in extent and although this particular document didn't give precise details of its location, a reference in document 80756 allows us to place it with certainty. (See entry for 3rd December 1718)
The farm estate was "late in the tenure of or occupacon of William Morris and now or late in the tenure and occupacon of John Hawkins." The sale was between: "James Marston Citizen and Milliner of London, son & heir of Henry Marston deceased late of Abbots Langley and Dorothy Marston Widow relict of Henry Marston; and Richard Long Mealman of Abbots Langley."
The estate was "to be held directly of the King as of his manor of East Greenwich in free and comon Sovage." It seems likely that this was the case due to the fact that much of the manor of Abbotts Langley had become part of the lordship of Henry Prince of Wales (eldest son of James Il) in 1610. It was leased to Francis Bacon (of Gorhambury) in trust for Prince Charles (Charles I), but by 1641 had passed into the hands of Frances Combe of Hemel Hempstead - though exactly how and when is uncertain. (See also entry for 21 May 1641.) It is possible that part at least of the manorial rights had been retained by Charles I, and later by his son. However, later records show it to have been part of the Manor of Abbots Langley proper, with no reference yet discovered as to how the lands in question were returned to their original manorial title.
The Marstons and Richard Long had to go "before the Kings Majestyes Justices of the Court of Common Pleas att Westmister or some other thereunto lawfully authorised one or more Fine or Fines"
From this date onwards there is a very clearly documented record of the various owners and several of the tenants of the estate until the present day, it being only broken into smaller sections earlier this century. It would, however, have appeared not to have included the wasteland abutting on to the main highway and upon which Blacksmiths Cottages were later built. This was instead part of the manor of Abbots Langley throughout. [HALS 80740 (and 80741-80785; S176 - S183 and S262]
1670 - Inventory Post Mortem of Thomas Edmonds of Bennetts End. He died heavily in debt, but the inventory shows that he made both bricks and tiles, and that he used wood (probably charcoal)
for fuel in the kilns. [ S1 - p.67 ]
2nd May 1670 - "Kathrin, the daughter of John Puddephat of Bennetts End" was Baptised at St. Mary's Church Hemel Hempstead.[S294]
22nd July 1671 - Francis Dorrington, the Grandchild of Edward Griffiths, sold the Manor of Market Oak to John Husser for "fifty pounds of lawful English money". A full transcript of the conveyance document is to be found in the local libraries. [S99] See also entry for 1666, and previous entries mentioned therein.
21st November 1671 - Richard Long sold the freehold of :
"All that close of arable land known by the name of the Heath conteyning by estimacon seaven acres more or lesse now in the tenure and occupacon of the sayd Thomas Carpenter or his Assignes lyeing and being in Abbotts Langley aforesayd heretofore the lands of Henry Marston Deceased adjoining to a lane called Pease Lane north the land of Daniel Lea South and the land of the sayd Thomas Carpenter west or howsoever otherwise the same is abutted or bounded with all wayes passages profitts Comodityes and appertenances theretofore belonging"
This 7 acre plot was roughly where Hobbs Hill Wood School is today and stretched as far towards Nash Mills slightly beyond the end of where the present Peascroft Road joins Barnacres and Leys Road. ( See map of Carpenters Farm estate.) The Pease Lane referred to and which formed the principle boundary to much of the farm was the original lane following the medieval field boundary from which the present Malmes Croft and Peascroft Road were formed. Pease Lane bounded the estate and turned north where Peascroft Road now meets Barnacres and Leys Road. The modern road which joins Leys Road called Long John is named after one of the fields named in the estate - also Long John. The main part of this small estate was formed out of one of the old medieval furlong strips.
A full transcript of the above mentioned document can be found at Leverstock Green and Hemel Libraries. It would appear that Thomas Carpenter had to take out a mortgage to help pay for the property as documents dated 18th January 1671/2 and 27th March 1673 refer to this. [HALS 80741; 80743 and 80744 A full transcript of this latter document can also be found at the local libraries.]
Although no such individual documentation appears to have survived, it seems probable that at the same time that Thomas Carpenter bought The Heath he also purchased the copyhold to the rest of the estate, and this was documented separately, as they were in 1718. [HALS 80755-6] The reason for the separate documentation was the fact that The Heath was freehold, whereas the rest of the estate was copyhold, as is shown quite clearly from HALS documents 80799 & 80800.
18th January 1671/2 - Thomas Carpenter took out a mortgage on the area known as The Heath for £35 7s with Thomas Draper, a clerk from Redbourn. [HALS 80745; 80748]
1672 - Nonconformists were now permitted to register their places of worship, and there are several instances to be found where such places were registered in and around Leverstock Green. In addition, John King, the ousted Vicar of Abbots Langley, registered his own home in Abbots Langley as a place of worship, and he continued to preach there until his death in 1679. Despite being a Nonconformist, King was still regarded by many of his parishioners as the real Vicar of Abbots Langley. [S255]
27th March 1673 - Thomas Carpenter again took out a short-term mortgage on The Heath for a further £35. The total amount Thomas Carpenter had to pay to redeem the mortgage by 28th March 1674 (a gap of a year) was £37 2s. This interest of two guineas being exactly 6% which makes an interesting comparison with the base rate of 6.5% in July 1995. A full transcript of the mortgage agreement is held at Leverstock Green and Hemel Hempstead Libraries. [HALS 80744]
15th October 1673 - John Feild had his lease of Wards renewed, but for an annual sum of £25. A reduction of £20. [HALS IK10]
13th November 1674 -" Sarah, daughter of William Longe of Coxpond", was Baptised at St. Mary's Church Hemel Hempstead. [S294]
1676 - John Seller's map of Hertfordshire was published. Seller was in business as an instrument maker and chart and map seller in London from about 1660 until 1697 when he died. Hertfordshire was the first of his county maps to be published in collaboration with John Oliver and Richard Palmer. Compared to earlier maps by Saxton ( 1577) and John Norden ( 1598), this map was definitely a new survey.
If you look carefully at the map it appears at a quick glance as if the road from St. Albans to Hemel ( via High Street Green ) ran along Westwick Row. A careful look at the map, and a comparison with later maps, show that this was not the case, but that it followed more or less its present course. (See also entry for 1696) The group of buildings shown as Westwick Row are in fact Corner Farm at the end of Westwick Row, with Westwick (i.e. the present day Westwick Row Farm) being shown in its correct position relatively and a small track leading off in that direction. In addition Black Queen (otherwise known as Black water) is shown with the beginning of what is now Blackwater Lane.
27th December 1676 - From a copy of a court roll dated 2nd March 1676/7 we know that Thomas Carpenter surrendered the lands which had become known as Carpenter's Farm, back to Richard Long the freeholder. This document proves that there should indeed have been an additional document for the copyhold sale of the property, probably in 1671 at the same time as he bought the freehold to The Heath. A full translation of the document can be found at the local library, but as can be seen from the extract below a very detailed account of the various fields making up the property and their exact location in relation to one another and their neighbours is given.
" .... one messuage and tenement situated at Leverstock greene with the house stables edifices yards orchards gardens and all and singular the pastures to be considered one close of land called Ivons croft containing by estimation 5 acres more or less abbutting onto the lands of Daniel Lea in part to the south and situated on Pea Lane and partly to the north by one close of land called Farther feild with a coppice adjoining containing 3 acres more or less abbutting partly on the land of Elland Settle and partly westwards on Pea Lane and east and south and four acres more or less of brushwood called Hobbs Gill and to the west one close called Hither Hobs Gills containing four acres more or less next to a copse bounded on the west by one close called Upper Thornes Close containing 3 acres more or less adjoining a close called Hither Hobs Gill and to the west one close called Johns Thornes Close alias Long Johns now divided in two containing six acres more or less abutting on to Pea Lane and to the east and south the land of Sara Long widow and Elland Settle and to the north and west one close of land called Middle Thornes Close containing three acres more or less and at the end to the north and west one close called Hither Long Johns containing three acres more or less and next to that one called Middle Thornes Close above and to the west one close called Hither Thornes Close containing seven acres more or less and adjoining a close called Long Johns above and to the west one close called Thornes Croftes containing two acres more or less and joining a close to the west. And all the statutory tithes growing renewing and increasing...."
It is interesting to note that some of the woods and fields were known as Hobs Gill. Right up until earlier this century they were known as Hobs Gill Wood or occasionally Hob Jo Wood. I believe they only became to be called Hobbs Hill when incorrectly transcribed by a clerk from one document to another. This mistake has now been perpetuated in the name of the Primary School opposite to the original wood. The school itself being built in part on land which was originally part of Carpenter's Farm, i.e. The Heath. [HALS 80745]
11th June 1677 - Henry Smith of St. Michael's leased Wards for £43.15s. This was later renewed in 1697 (see entry for that year) for the same amount. [HALS IK11; IK13]
17th September 1677 - According to the Gorhambury Catalogue at the Herts Record Office, document no.IB28 is an "Agreement between Sir Harbottle Grimston and Henry Smith, Yeoman. Smith shall have the fell of old planted underwood in Kentish Springs and Carpenters Springs (7 acres) and a grove. (This woodland area is to be found just inside our area of study near to the Gorhambury estate.) Smith to pay £5 per acre, and to clean, ditch and fence the lands." [GORHAM]
12th April 1678 - Sir Harbottle Grimston let "All that peece of ground taken out of the waste or Common called Leverstocke Green belonging to the said manor with the Barne therupon built consisting of two Bay of building and a Portch". The lease was to run for forty years at an annual rent of six old pence. (6d) A full transcript of the Indenture can be read at Leverstock Green or Hemel Libraries. I would imagine that the barn would have had a central porch or roof, rather like a huge car port, with a bay of walled wooden slatted barn on either side. This would have been similar, though smaller, to the 17th century barn which can be clearly seen from the Hemel Hempstead Road at Prae Wood Farm. [HALS IN 29]
3 & 4 October 1678 - Sir Harbottle Grimston purchased the freehold of Blackwater Pond House from Richard Feild for £1,200. Along with the house and farm outbuildings etc. were various lands given as follows: 4 pightles 15 acres, Blackwater Grove 6 acres, Colles 5 acres, Colles 8 acres, Further Market Lands 7 acres, Hither Marketts 7 acres, and also Bullshott 13 acres, the brach 5 acres, Ninnings 9 acres, 2 closes called Hilton 20 acres, Rose Close 4 acres, 3 closes called Pondfields 20 acres. [HALS IN31,31a,31b,31c]
This would appear to imply that the Manor of Market Oak as contested by Francis Dorrington may have been separate to the above lands, which had undoubtedly been part of the Manorial lands of Market Oak. Comparing the field names given above with those shown on the Gorhambury Estate map drawn up 90 years later in 1768, if the original site of the manor was NOT included in the list given above, then as they can all easily be accounted for, it is possible that the original site, which has caused so much confusion, was actually further in towards the centre of today's village than previously thought. The 1768 map shows an area to the north-west of the two fields Great and Little Coles as being excluded from the Gorhambury Estate and belonging to a Chad Ragdale. This stretched from todays Church Road to the two fields previously mentioned and would have included the area of land, later incorporated into the Gorhambury Estate and given to Holy Trinity Church. However, this still does not address the anomaly of Sir Samuel Grimstone letting the Manor of Market Oak to Richard Peacock in 1667! (See section on the Manor of Market Oak and the entry for July 1671, and previous entries for 1621, February 1645, 20th April 1646,)
1679 - Some Baptists from the parish of Kensworth1 , near St. Albans, moved into Hemel Hempstead with the Rev. Samuel Ewer as their first minister. Ewer is considered to be the founder of the Baptist Church in Hemel Hempstead, and as the records of the Abingdon Association show Hemel Hempstead to have joined them in 1656, it would seem likely that Ewer had already taken up residence in the area, when the group from Kensworth joined him in 1679.( see also entries for 1656 and 1657) It is thought this group met in Wood Lane End House (later known as Wood Lane End Farm) where Samuel Ewer lived until his death in 1708 (See entry for that date). These premises were certified for use in 1712 - see the entry for that year, and belonged to his widow Sarah. [ S1 p.255; S142, p.208;S143 p.178 ]
1679 – William Long the Younger of Cox Pond was Bailiff of Hemel Hempstead, later returning to the same office in 1706. [S417]
16 September 1679 - John King, the controversial Vicar of Abbots Langley, who had been evicted from his ministry in 1662, died. The inscription on his gravestone still to be found at St. Lawrence's Church reads:
The Bodies of Reverend Mr. John King, minister of this parish near 53 years, who departed this life September 16th 1679, aged 89; and of Elizabeth his wife, who departed this life May 22nd 1672, aged 66 years.
Despite the technical inaccuracy of the inscription, later incumbents of the parish, recognised the strength of feeling within the parish, and didn't do anything to overset the monument. [S255; S262]
Late 17th Century. - The left hand block of Westwick Row Farmhouse was built at this time. Also King Charles II cottage in Westwick Row was built about this time. Both are listed buildings. [ S32 ] The following is a description from the Court Rolls of Lovetts End, a typical yeoman farmers property elsewhere in Hemel, but it could easily have applied to Westwick Row Farm or any of the other farms in the area. The brick nogging with which the timber frame of the buildings is infilled, is typical of our part of Hemel, and different from the rest of Hertfordshire. This was because of the local availability of brick.
Lovetts End contained:
" a hall, chamber next to the well house, milke house wheate barne, chicken house. long hogges stye, pease barne, thrashynge place, well, kitchen with a place to washe brew and bake and an orchard under the Hall Window." [ S1 p.11 ]
The water supply for the farmsteads and homes in Leverstock Green would either have been shallow wells, or more likely from ponds dug into the soil, and lined with the water-retentive clays elsewhere used for bricks. If the clay were puddled into the side of the depression it would make a very effective liner. These ponds were generally still in use until the modern piped water supplies arrived. One such pond was at Cox Pond in Leverstock Green Road. Even the most recent O.S. map still shows the pond there, yet when driving past, the only evidence now (apart from the name of the old farmhouse, and the general stores) is a darker green hollow by the side of the road. [S1 p.11] Studying the 1:25000 map for St. Albans and Hemel, isolated small ponds also appear in our area of study at the following grid references: 075090 (immediately south of the roundabout at the end of Breakspear Way ),061094 ( by the bend in Blackwater Lane ), 060103 (just south of where the M1 and M10 merge), 068099 and 073097 (both just to the N.E. of the motorway.) It seems probable that these all mark sites of earlier farmsteads, now abandoned.
22nd September 1682 - Richard Hannell (or Hannill), a Balcksmith who lived and worked from either what we now call Westwick Cottage or from today's Dell Cottage in Westwick Row, made his will as he lay on his death-bed:
IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN I RICHARD Hanill of the parish of St.Michaells in the County if Hertford Blacksmith being sicke and Weake of Body But in perfect Sense and memory (Praised be to God for it) Doe ordaine this my last Will and Testament in the manner and forme following First I Commende my Soule into the hands of Almighty God my Maker Trusting for Salvation through Jesus Christ my Saviour and Redeemer My Body I commend to the ground from whence it was taken to be Decently buryed by my Executors hereafter named As for that Worldly Estate which it hath pleased Almighty God to bless me withall I Doe give as followeth I give and bequeath the house which I dwell in To my Sonne Joseph Hanill his Heires and Assignes for ever with the orchard and Three Closes of Land adjoining to the same and the appertenances thereunto belonging I doe give the House which my sonne Joseph now dwelleth in To my Wife for Terme of her naturall life And after her Decease To my sonne Joseph Hannill his Heires and assigns for ever. I Doe give and bequeath To my sonne Jonah Hanill my house at Hemstead Which Francis Smith now liveth in with the appertenances thereunto belonging I Doe give to my daughter Ketherine Hannill my Two Tenements at St. Michael's Street which Joseph Carpenter and Robert Eles now dwell in with the appertenances and forty pounds which Lyeth uppon Surrender of Christopher Babetts House. I give her fourteene and five pounds which Lyeth uppon Henry Welles house in the parish of Abbotts Langley I give her Twenty pounds which Lyeth in John Peases (? spelling) of Studham upon Bond I doe give and bequethe to my Daughter Ann Hannill Fourteene and Ten pounds which lyeth uppon Richard Haring's house and Land in the parish of Kings Langley I give her fifty pounds which Lyeth uppon Bond in Nicholas Ludgates hands in the Parish of St. Peters I give her Twenty pounds which Lyeth in Robert Charkley's Hands in the parish of Totteridge I give her Ten pounds which Lyeth uppon Bond in Mr. John Cokes hands I give her Thirty pounds which Lyeth uppon Bond in the hands of John James Lattemer in the parish of St. Peters I give and bequeathe to my Wife Twenty pounds which Lyeth uppon dede upon Robert Rumford's House in St. Albanes I give her Twenty pound which Lyeth in Thomas Knithe's Hand in the Parish of St. Peters upon Bod I give and bequeath unto Thomas Alin's children the somme of Sixteene pounds To be paid by my Executors after their Mother's decease and the Interest to bee paid to my Daughter soe long as she lives and then to be equally Devided amongst the Children I doe give to my sonne James Hannil a Bond of Tennpound which hee oweth to mee I doe give to my Daughter Bury's Children the sume of Thirty pound to be paid by my Executors after my Daughter's decease to bee equally devided amongst soe many of them as shall be then living and the Interest to be paid to my Daughter Bury soe long as she lives AND ALL THE REST of my Bills Bonds Goods and Chattles unbequeathed I doe give to my sonnes Joseph Hannil and Jonah Hannil And I doe ordaine and appoint Joseph Hannil my Sonne and Jonah Hannil to be my full and hole Executors of this my last Will and Testemant This Two and Twentyeth Day of September in the yearre of Our Lord one Thousand Six Hundred Eighty and Two Witness my hand and seale this 22nd day of September 1682 The mark of Richard Hanill Sealed and delivered to my hand in the presence of Wiliam Howe John Munn John How." [HALS IM48]
It is difficult to decide whether it was Westwick Cottage or Dell Cottage which was Hannell's chief residence, as the entry for 1630 implies a definate freehold property. Westwick Cottage was certainly freehold in 1696, and has remained so ever since. Riuchard Hannell definatly held a freehold property in Westwick in 1659 as well as other property - also Mathew Hannell held copyhold property within Westwick. Dell Cottage on the other hand was known to have been the Copyhold property (within the manor of Gorhambury, Westwick & Prey) of a later Richard Hannell in the 1759 survey. It may simply be that the two properties were linked, as I have previously suggested in the entry for the 1569 survey, and remained as two linked properties until the will quoted above, and went to differnt branches of the Hannell family.
It is interesting to note from this will that Richard Hannell was obviously quite well off, although an artisan -he was a Blacksmith. He owned the freehold of the property in Westwick Row (we know that it was freehold at this time from various other documents), and at least the copyhold of four other properties, i.e. a house in Hemel Hempstead, the house in which his son Joseph was living and two tenements in St. Michael's Street. He was also sufficiently well endowed with surplus cash that he was able to act as banker to many, as witnessed by the various loans/mortgages, and to leave these various bonds, together with the interest they generated to his various children and grandchildren. The total value of the various moneys he specifically bequeathed exceeding £300. In addition to this £300 and the various properties, were the goods and chattels and additional bonds etc... which he left to be divided between two of his sons Joseph and Jonah. It would be interesting to know why his other son, James, whom we know to have been a Grocer in Redbourne, and who according to the documents dated 1668 was Richard's son and heir (i.e. his eldest son), should only have his debt of £10 cleared. [HALS IM48, IM42a,b & c]
It is also interesting to speculate on the possibility of Richard Hannell being a nonconformist. The wording of his testament at the beginning of the document leaves the burial of his body to the discretion of his executors. This form of words often indicated the preference for the person concerned to be buried in a nonconformist graveyard, or at the very least, not specifically in the parish churchyard. The wording prior to this, i.e. "I Commende my Soule into the hands of Almighty God my Maker Trusting for Salvation through Jesus Christ my Saviour and Redeemer." This also implies a reliance on the simpler and more direct forms of worship rather than a request to the Virgin Mary, or others of the saints, to intervene on the person's behest. [Newsletter of the Hertfordshire Record Society, May 1997] For more oinformation on the Hannel family, click here.
1684 - John Maslove was installed as Vicar of St. Lawrence's Church Abbots Langley. Unlike John King he was prepared to,and did, sign the 39 Articles. This led to many multiple baptisms where none had previously taken place, including some relevant to the Leverstock Green district within the parish of Abbots Langley. [S299]
27th November 1684 - St. Lawrence's Church register recorded that: "Baptised were four daughters of William Feilde and Elizabeth his wife. Elizabeth being 8 years old - Anne 4 years - Mary 2 years and Sarah 3 weeks - these were baptised on November 27th." [S299]
11th February 1684/5 - St. Lawrence's Church register recorded that: "Baptised was John the son of John Lewin and his wife of Levist. green" It is interesting to note that a further entry for May 30th 1685 noted the baptism of another John, the son of John Lewin and his wife, but this time of Levesden. Presumably the only reason Leverstock Green was mentioned was in order to distinguish the two families of the same name within the parish. [S299]
3rd September 1686 - This was the first mention I have come across so far of the property called The Meads in Westwick Row. (Although a parcel of land known as Little Meads had been previously mentioned.) On this occasion Ralph Marston and his wife Elizabeth surrendered the copyhold of the property called " le Mead" to Elizabeth's sister Hannah and her husband Joseph Morris.
It included an orchard and 4.5 acres. [HALS 1M68] It is possible, however, that it is the same area of land, but having a property built upon it, that was mentioned as the Mead or Little Meade, in documents relating to Hill End Farm 30 years earlier [HALS 1E 41 & 1E42]
1687 - According to a copy of a court roll dated 1722, Henry Smith was admitted to the copyhold of a property given as a "cottage in Leverstock Green, to the south of the manor", in 1687. [HALS IJ23] This cottage would not have been part of the Grimston estates, but the copyholder did own allegiance to the Grimstons as Lords of the Manor.
1st April 1687 – The lease of Hillend Farm ( part of the Gorhambury Estate and the property of Sir Samuel Grimston, was given to William Russell of the parish of St. Peters, Yeoman, for 12 years from Michelams next for an annual payment of £70. The previous tenant was John Donnvile (? transcript of name not easy to decipher, may be something else.) [HALS: IE48]
20th April 1687 - St. Lawrence's Church register recorded that: "Baptised was Abigail daughter of William Field and his wife." [S299]
11th June 1687 – The tenancy of HillendFarm was transfered to John Edmonds of St. Stephens, Yeoman.[HALS IE48]
1689 - As a direct result of the Accession of William and Mary, in 1689, The Toleration Act was passed which allowed nonconformist congregations to worship in their own way, without interference from the law. Roman Catholics were not included in this Act though in practice they were allowed to hold their own services in peace. This Act had considerable impact over the years in Leverstock Green as the Quakers and Baptists and others already meeting to worship within the area, were now able to do so without fear of prosecution, and there are several instances of groups registering their places of dissenting worship within the area; by the early years of the nineteenth century, a Baptist chapel was built in Bedmond Road. [ S69 ]
Samuel Ewer, pastor of the Baptist congregation, and who lived at Wood Lane End (Farm) House, attended the London Assembly (presumably of Baptists or Nonconformists generally), along with William Aldwin.[S144,p.210; S142,p.208]
10th February 1689 - St. Lawrence's Church register recorded that: "Edward son of John Lewin and his wife" was baptised. Unfortunatly it did not indicate whether this John Lewin lived in Leverstock Green or Levesden. [S299]
22nd August 1689 - St. Lawrence's Church register recorded that: "William son of Wiiliam Fielde and his wife baptised." [S299]
15th November 1690 - St. Lawrence's Church register recorded that: "Joseph son of Joseph Long and his wife." Unfortunatly it did not indicated whether he was Baptised or buried. [S299]
20th October 1691 - St. Lawrence's Church register recorded that: "Zachary Baldwin and Elizabeth Axtel were married." The Baldwins were known to be practicing Blacksmiths in Leverstock Green in 1770; and it seems highly likely from the wording of the documents concerned that the then Zachary Baldwin's ancestors had also been Blacksmiths at both Nash Mills and Leverstock Green. This being the earlest record to date for one of the Zachary Baldwins, it would be reasonable to assume that the smithy might date back to this earlier period. (See entry for 15th October 1770) [S299]
13th July 1692 -St. Lawrence's Church register recorded that: " Elizabeth daughter of Zachary Baldwin and Elizabeth his wife was baptised." This was almost nine months to the day from their marriage the previous year. [S299]
16th June 1694 - St. Lawrence's Church register recorded that: "Zachary son of Zachary Baldwin and Elizabeth his wife was baptised." [S299]
1695 - John Oliver's map of Hertfordshire was published. This followed the previous publication of a map on Hertfordshire in conjunction with John Seller and Richard Palmer in 1676. (See entry for that year.) They had intended to publish a complete Atlas of the various counted of England, but after the publication of five counties, this had proved abortive. Oliver then went his own way and published this map of Hertfordshire - a copy of the relevant section of which is included on page-----.
It seems unlikely that the topographical information was updated, therefore the survey for the map is likely to have been that carried out in about 1675. The section of the map showing the Leverstock Green area being almost identical with that of the Seller map of 1675. It does, however, name Leverstock Green correctly, and shows more accurately the route from St. Albans to the old "Towne" of Hemel Hempstead.
In addition to the map itself, Oliver also included lists of the nobility and gentry, and an "account of all the roads". The list of gentry has little to add to existing knowledge on the area, listing the following: Josias Clerke of Hemel Hempstead M.D. G4; Henry Child of Abbots Langley Esq. H5; John Crawley of Hemel Hempstead, Gent,G4; Thomas Evans of Kings Langley, cleric, H4; William Greenhill of Abbots Langley, Gent, H5; Sir Samuel Grimston of Gorhambury, Bart. G5 ; Thomas How of Abbots Langley, Gent H5; a Mr.Leigh of Abbots Langley, Cleric H5; John Rashley of Corner Hall H4; Charles Seaman of Abbots Langley, cleric H5; and Henry Smith of Kings Langley Gent, H4. The references given referring to simple co-ordinates drawn on the map. Others were listed as coming from either St. Albans or Kings Langley, but those are the only ones mentioned who may have had a tenuous connection with Leverstock Green. e.g... Henry Smith was known to have own some of the land in the area, as was Sir Samuel Grimston. The doctor, Josias Clerke, would in all likelyhood been the one to be called in to patients in the area - if they could afford his fees! The clerks may well have been employed my some of the landowners and copyholders when drawing up documents etc...
The account of the roads is more relevant as there was a section given over to the journey from St. Albans to Hemel Hempstead, beginning at St. Michael's. The finished journey being 5 miles, 7 furlongs and 30 poles.( There are 16.5 feet to the pole, 40 pole to the furlong; 8 furlongs in a mile.) The table was given as follows:
Cross Watling Street........... 00 3 15 Westwick Row.................. 02 3 13 Pass through Levesden Green 2 04 0 02 High Street (Green)............. 04 2 20 End at London Road Hemelhempstead 05 7 30
1696 - Survey of Samuel Grimston's Estate - Document no. IA 68 held at the Hertfordshire Record Office is the original survey undertaken in that year of Samuel Grimston's Estate. It is an extremely valuable document as it shows in exact detail all the property owned by Sir Samuel Grimston at this time. It is particularly charming because on the reverse of most of the pages giving a breakdown of the fields etc. belonging to each farm on the estate, is a hand drawn map showing the area in question. These ink maps are charmingly reminiscent of primary school childrens' maps, with pictures of the homesteads, and trees, and carefully drawn five-bar gates at the entrance to the fields. For full details of this survey, including scans of the original maps, as it reflects life in Leverstock Green please click here.
28th December 1696 - St. Lawrence's Church register recorded that: "William, son of Zachary Baldwin Junior and his wife was baptised." It is interesting to note that this is the first time "Junior" is mentioned, implying another Zachary of the previous generation. From the evidence it is reasonable to assume it is still reffering to the Zachary who married Elizabeth Axtel in 1691, but it lengthens the known Baldwin family tree. [S299]
27th April 1697 - Joseph Hannel, Westwick Row's Blacksmith, was sick and made his will. The will was proved nearly a year later on 14th March 1698, his wife being formerly admitted to the property on 9th December 1698. It is interesting to note that like his father's will before him, the wording suggests that the family may well be nonconformists. It is also interesting to note that his father Richard, was unable to write, and could only sign his mark, whereas Joseph was obviously able to write.
"IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN I JOSEPH Hannell of the parish of St.Michael's in the County of Hertford Blacksmith being sick and weake in Body but in Sound and perfect Memory I Praise God for the same. Doe make and ordaine this my last will and Testament in manner and forme following I Committ and commend my soul into the hands of Almighty God my maker trusting assuredly for Salvation by the alone merritts of jesus Christ my Saviour and Redeemer And my body I committ to the Earth to be decently Buryed at the discretion of my Executrix hereafter named. And as for that Estate that it hath pleased God to bless me with I give and bequeathe as followeth I haveing formerly Surrendered all my Coppy hold Lands within the Mannor of Gorhambury to the use of my Last Will. I give and bequeathe to my loveing wife Ann Hannell both my houses with the appertenances to them belonging or in any wise appertaineing. And all my Lands both Coppy hold and free to them belonging for and dureing the terme of her naturall Life. And after my saide wife's Decease I doe give and bequeathe my two houses with the appertenances to them belonging with the Orchards and Gardens and three Closes of freehold Land one pightle of Copyhold adjoyneing to the way next the houses to my fower Sonnes Joseph Hannell John Hannell William Hannell and Michael Hannell to be equally devided betweene them And these I doe give to my foure Sonnes and to them and their heires and assignes for Ever. And my Mind is that when it is devided my Sonne Joseph shall have the first Choice And my Mind and will is that if any of my saide Sonnes shall happen to Dye before they shall accomplish the age of one and twenty yeares and that the part or parts to them belonging to be equally devided between the Surviving of them. I give and bequeathe to my foure Daughters Ann Hanell Mary Hanill Sarah Hanell and Elizabeth Hannell two closes of Coppy hold land with a Dell of wood ground to them belonging containing by estimation Eight acres more or Lesse and these I doe give to my foure Daughters and to their heires and assignes for ever to be equally devided betweene them. And my Mind and Will is that if any of my said Daughters shall happen to Dye before they shall accomplish the age of one and twenty yeares That the part or parts to them belonging to be equally devided betweene the survivors of them. And all the Rest of my goods and Chattells and Cattell I doe give to my Loveing wife Ann Hannell Whome I ordaine and appoint to be the full and Sole Executrix of this my Last Will and Testament. In Witness whereof I have here unto Sett my hande and Seale this present twenty seventh day of April in the Yeare of our Lord One Thousand Six Hundred Ninety and Seven 1697. Joseph Hannell. Sealed Subscribed and acknowlwedged to be the Last Will and Testament of the testator in the presence of Henry Proctor John How the marke of William Hodsonn." [HALS IM50]
29th November 1697 - The lease on Wards was renewed for Henry Smith "for the life of Henry Smith and 1 year after his death". The rent was the same as before, £43.15s. Wards remained in the Smith family for many years. [HALS IK13]
10th February 1699/1700 - St. Lawrence's Church register recorded that: "Susanna daughter of Zachary Baldwin and his wife was baptised" [S299] See Baldwin family tree.
21st March 1699/1700 - St. Lawrence's Church register recorded that: "Jeremiah, son of Mr. Jeremiah Long and Mary his wife was baptised." Presumably these were Longs from Northend. [S299]