THE LEVERSTOCK GREEN CHRONICLE.
1701~1760 - The time of Queen Anne & the Early Georgian Era
1706 – William Long the Younger of Cox Pond was Bailiff for Hemel Hempstead for the second time – the first being in 1679.  [S417]

24th December 1708 - SAMUEL EWER   The funeral of Samuel Ewer, referred to by a contemporary as " a generous worthy man, well beloved and respected by his people" took place.  Ewer had been the Baptist Minister for the "church" in Hemel Hempstead until 1707.  He and his family had lived in WoodLane End House, it had also served as the local Baptist Church.  Mr. John Piggott of London preached the sermon at Ewer's funeral, his address giving us an insight into the character of one of the principle residents of this area in the late 17th century. These are some extracts from that address:
   
" He was justly esteemed by all men of probity and good sense, who had the advantage of his aquaintance: for if we consider the Reverend Mr. Ewer in any relation while living he was very desirable."

"He has distinguyished himself for several years as an exemplary Christian, whose piety towards God, and affability towards men, have recommended him to the esteem and aprobation of all...."

"...he was well qualified with useful learning and ministerial gifts: a man vigilant, sober and of good behaviour; given to hospitality, apt to teach; not given to wine, no striker, nor greedy of filthy lucre, but patient: not a brawler....one that ruled well  his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity.......He coveted no man's gold or silver; he was the farthest in the world from a little mercenary spirit: it was not the prospect of earthly gain, but the love of souls that engaged him in the ministerial work.  He did forego that which he ought have demanded, I mean the maintenance of himself and family.......Yet you be witnesses for your deceased pastor, that he always generously gave his labours; and yet that did not cause him to take less pains in the promoting of your salvation...."

"If the sermons of your deceased pastor had not all the embellishments of  language which some boast of, they had this peculiar advantage, to be full of solid Divinity.........the praise of this useful minister is in all the churches, where the knowledge of him hath reached.  Here, indeed he lived, here he constantly preached; and I believe you will all own that his life was an excellent sermon: for in that you may see the practicalness, and usefulness of relative duties."

"In him you might behold the manly tenderness of a loving husband, the melting compassion of a kind father, the generous freedom of a true friend, and the admirable qualifications of a faithful pastor........"

"As to his particular behaviour during his last sickness, I am told by those who were nigh him, that he did not pass the time of his illness without some violent assaults from Satan: and it pleased the Lord to afford him speedy relief..........his indisposition was but short; he was well and dead within the compass of seven days.  He did not apprehend that he should die of his illness until about two days before his death.  His pain was so great that he feared to discourse but little; and when he drew near his end he was sometimes delirious.  Yet when he had the least interval, he expressed a very great concern for the church under his care...."

Mr. Ewer was survived by his wife and children, and some of his descendants lived in the Hemel Hempstead/Leverstock Green neighbourhood  for many years.  It would appear that Samuel Ewer had been a man of some learning, writing a reply to "The Infant's cause pleaded, cleared, and vindicated." by Edward Hutchin.  The manuscript to this reply was finished just before his death, and was so highly thought of that  it was referred to by Thomas Davye of Leicester in 1788 in his "Treatise of Baptism"; and was also translated into  Welsh and published in that language.

Members of Samuel Ewer's congregation: Thomas Marsom, James Hardinge, John Ward and Matthew Dunn, corroborated the view of Ewer  given by Piggott in his funeral address, finishing their written account with :

    "His name and memory will be deservedly precious in the churches of Christ, not only in this but succeeding ages." [S143, pp. 178 -183; S142, p.208.]

19 February 1708/9 - Joseph Kentish, a yeoman farmer, took out a mortgage  with Edward Shippery, an apothecary from St. Andrew Holborn, for Lawrence Farm off Green Lane. The farm was otherwise known as The Bottome, and the farmlands included fields called Lower Barns, Five Acres Field, a close of 5 acres, Great Field, a close adjoining Great Field, Newlands, Greene Lane leading from Leverstock Green to Lawrence Farm, Hasle-Dell, and Broadfield.  It is the first mention I have come across of the Green Lane being given that name.  The lands associated with the farm were to remain the same, at least until the purchase of the freehold to the farm by the Earl of Verulam in 1835. (See entry for 14 August 1835 for details of the land holdings. [HALS 71655, 71656, IC12]

1709 – John Puddephat the Elder, Yeoman of Bennetts End was Bailiff of Hemel Hempstead [S417]

7th August 1711 – The following Feoffees of Boxmoor Trust known to be from within the Leverstock Green area were appointed.
·John Puddephat the Elder, Yeoman of Bennetts End, Bailiff in 1676 and 1709
·John Puddephat the younger, son of John Puddephat the Elder [S417]

1712 - Under the "Toleration Acts, 1688-1852", Wood Lane End House (farm) was registered as a place of dissenting worship:

         "These are to certify that a congregation of Protestant Discentors called Baptists do intend to meet for religious worship in a house called Wood Lane End House, abbutting on High Street Green on the S.W., and on a lane called Wood Lane on the north, in the parish of Hemel Hempstead; inhabited by Sarah Ewer and John Mills, April 18th, 1712.  Witnesses John Lowther, John Costard, James Yates, John Atkins, John Humphrey, John Mills. Registered April 18th 1712." [ S48 ]

12 December 1712 - Daniel Lea of Northend, died aged 72. [S262]

19 August 1713 - Joseph Kentish and his wife Rebecca took out a further mortgage on Lawrence Farm and the lands as mentioned in 1708/9. This time there were six individuals putting up money with the shared security of the farm, although over the following six years arrangements over the mortgage were frequently altered. [HALS 71658-71666]

22 January 1713/14 - The manor of Chambersbury, alias Abbots Langley ( i.e. presumably the manorial rights), and the capital messuage called Chambersbury alias the Parsonage, with nine score acres of Arable, woods, the Rectory and advowson of Abbots Langley, were sold to Sir Robert Raymond. (He also acquired Langleybury.) [HALS 71561] (N.B. this taken from catalogue - work needs to be done on the document itself.

17 March 1715 - Elizabeth, wife of John How of Bunckers, died, aged 37. [S262]

23rd December 1715 - Joseph, son of John How of Bunkers, died aged 29.  He was presumably Elizabeth's stepson. [S262]

3rd October 1718 - Jeremiah Long agreed to sell to Dr. Richard Hale, a physician from St. Giles' in London, for £870, the estate known as Carpenters Farm. (Leverstock Green Farm).  This included copyhold land on the opposite side of the highway and therefore in the manor of Gorhambury, and the freehold parcel of land called The Heath, as well as the principle copyhold acreage of the farm. It is noticeable that at sometime during the previous 14 years, the fields called Greenhills (within the manor of Gorhambury) had ceased to form part of the estate.  A memo written in Dr. Hale's own  handwriting said:

    "Mem:
That it is agreed this 3rd Oct.: 1718 between Dr. Hale of St. Giles's London, & Mr. Jeremiah Long of Abbotts Langley Hertfordshire that the said Dr. Hale shall give Mr. Long the summe of eight hundred and seventy pounds for an Estate in Abbotts Langley & Gorhambury   called Carpenters of the yearly value of thirty eight Pounds. pr an: the said Mr Long making out a good and clear title to the said estate. This estate to be conveyed on the second Monday in November next.

                             Witness our hands
                                           
                               Rich: Hale.
The rent from Mich: last
to belong to Dr. Hale.                                   
                                Jer: Long
              
                                            [HALS 80751]

November 1718 - February 1718/19 -  There is considerable documentation concerning the conveyance of Carpenters Farm to Dr. Richard Hale dated during this period, much of it of considerable interest. As a result of all these legal manoeuvres Dr. Hale became the freehold owner of the land called The Heath, the copyholder of the land within the manor of Gorhambury, and I think the freeholder of the land which ran along Pease Lane.  In the latter case some of the documents can be rather confusing as the estate is referred to as being copyhold of the manor of Abbots Langley, yet terms used in the various documents imply the eventual transfer of the freehold.

Dr Hale was in any case the owner of the property and he was eventually, after an initial refusal by William Greenhill, Lord of the Manor, allowed to entail the property. As he had no children of his own, it passed to his sister's son Thomas Tower, ( along with a great deal of other property, some in Essex, and a great deal in the Hemel area, including Gadebridge House and its estate.)

The Carpenters Farm (or Leverstock Green Farm as it was later to become) estate was to remain in the Tower family until sold to John Knox Hart in 1885. [HALS documents 80752 - 80785]

Transcripts of documents relating to this  four month period, i.e. 80755, 80756, & 80759 appear in a separate appendix. Notes from, and  partial transcripts of the other documents relating to that period, also appear in a separate appendix.

10 April 1721 - Yet again Joseph Kentish took out a mortgage on Lawrence Farm, this time with Mary Smith (or Smythe) [HALS 71667-71669]

14 August 1721 - John How senior of Bunkers (spelt Bynkers on the memorial inscription), died, aged 79. [262]

30th December 1721 - Megdells was sold to the trustees of Viscount Grimston.  From then on it became part of the Gorhambury Estate. [HALS IG22a - 22b]

22nd September 1722 -  Henry Smith, a customary tenant of the manor of Leverstock Green alias Market Oak, died leaving his cottage at Leverstock Green to his daughter Ann, wife of Christopher Topham. (See separate appendix for a full translation of the copy of the court roll.) [HALS IJ23]

10 December 1723 - Mary Long, wife of Jeremiah Long died, aged 64. Described on his wife's memorial, originally to be found within St. Lawrence's Church Abbots Langley, as a yeoman, Jeremiah, together with his wife Mary, were known to have been connected with Carpenters Farm (Leverstock Green Farm). [S262, HALS 80740-80748]

27 November 1724 - Widow Rebecca Kentish and her son Joseph finally sold the freehold of Lawrence Farm to Sir Robert Raymond of Langleybury. Beversham Filmer had just over a month previously taken over the mortgage of the farm from Mary Smith, and put it in trust for Sir Robert Raymond. [HALS 71670-71673]

19th March 1724 -  Jeremiah Smith, of Chambersbury died, aged 57.  A memorial to him has been recorded in St. Lawrence's churchyard, Abbots Langley. With a surname as common as Smith it is difficult to know without tracing the family trees, whether or not Jeremiah was related in any way to the Henry Smith mentioned in 1722. As Chambersbury was known to be part of the Langleybury estate, Jeremiah was presumably a tenant at Chambersbury. [S262]

1725 - The earliest date recorded on the deeds of the Leather Bottle. [Josh Price, partner or newly refurbished and renamed Ye Olde Leather Bottle. Jan 2011]

1725 - 1760 -  Sir Robert Raymond ( Kt.) is presumed to have been the owner and "squire" of Chambersbury during these years, as he was also the patron of St. Lawrence's Church Abbots Langley, in whose parish Chambersbury still was at this time. ( See entry for 1663 - 1725 )  He was made Lord Raymond in 1748 and was also the Lord Chief Justice for England [ S88 ].

19th March 1725 - Jeremiah Smith senior, of Chambersbury, died, aged 56. [S262] Although two separate and different entries appear for Jeremiah Smith in the Monumental Inscriptions book for Abbots Langley, - see entry for same date 1724 - it seems likely that this latter entry was inaccurate, especially as it was the entry made by W.B. Gerish an 1910.)

20 July 1726 - Sir Robert Raymond of Langleybury let Lawrence Farm and its land to Thomas Orchard for a term of 21 years. [HALS 71674]

3rd December 1726 - Sarah, wife of Daniel Lea of Northend, died aged 31.[S262]

10 November 1727 - Mary, daughter of Jeremiah Smith of Chambersbury died, aged 21. (See entry for 19 March 1724) [S262]

1728 -  In an account of the woodland on the Grimston Estate made by  William, Viscount Grimston in his own writing, he noted that:
  " Every farm upon the estate has had considerable reparations and are now in very good order." [HALS ref I B 61 ]

6th September 1728 - William Smith died, aged 14. As his grave is next to those of Jeremiah and Mary Smith from Chambersbury, it is reasonable to assume that he was from the same family, possibly a younger son of Jeremiah. [S262]

13th January 1730 - Megdells was leased to Richard Reading for an annual sum of £63 [HALS IG24]

c. 1740/50 - Map by Robert Morden of Hertfordshire. It had no date on it but predated the canal and railway.  On this map Leverstock Green was shown as Levesden and had a couple of dwellings.  The house by Blackwater Lane was called Black Queen (This is the only reference, other than the Seller's map, to the house having this particular name - all other references are to Blackwater Pond House/Farm or Blackwater House/Farm.)  North End was shown, but seemed too far south to my eyes. ( I find this map generally suspect, probably cribbed from Seller's map of 1676 and not over accurate!) [ S6 ]

20 June 1743 - The will of  William Finch , citizen and leather seller of London, was drawn up and signed.  He was a man with considerable property interests in the Hemel Hempstead area (though I'm not sure if there was any connection with the Finches of Corner Farm, Westwick Row).  Amongst the several legacies he left was a considerable bequest to his cousin Samuel Nicholls on condition that he paid various people £5 p.a. for life. One of the recipients of this annuity was:

"Frances Patyfats, John Patyfats Widow of Bennets End - Hemsted......daughter of my Aunt Broone"

Further bequests were added by the addition of a codicils dated 5 September 1751. (See entry for that date.) [HALS D/ELs B400]

1746 -  Small scale map of Hertfordshire  shows a dwelling at Westwick and a dwelling at what I take to be Blackwater, and dwellings at High Street Green. Leverstock Green was not actually mentioned. [ S5 ]

20th May 1746 -  John Bradney was given the tenancy of Blushes Croft in Hagdell Lane.  Hagdell Lane no longer exists, although it still showed on the 1st edition 1":mile O.S. map dated 1822.  The northern end of this Lane came out in the Hemel Hempstead Road, more or less opposite the entrance into Westwick Row.  It then took a jig-jag course until it finally joined the Bedmond Road.  Blushes Croft, not much more than a small holding of 4 acres, and a field of 2 and a half acres, was therefore just  within the boundary of our study area. [ HALS ref. I B 49 ]

1748 - A Swedish naturalist, Peter Kalm, who spent a great deal of his time at Little Gaddesden with a friend who was a renowned "agricultural improver."  In his diary he wrote:

"Chalk is seen in many places between St. Albans and Hempstead, spread out on a field as manure.  The arable pieces were nearly as white as chalk with it, since it was laid on in tolerable abundance.  They intended now at the first opportunity to plough it down.  The soil on which it was laid was the frequently mentioned course redish-yellow sand mingled with a redish clay and fragments of flint".  [S1 p.10 ]

This description I feel sure applied to, at least in part, the land around Leverstock Green, as the road from St. Albans to Hemel Hempstead is as it is now.

Sir Robert Raymond, owner of Chambersbury, was made Lord Robert Raymond, Lord Chief Justice of England. [S88]

4th May 1748 - Ann Neville purchased the copyhold of property called Coxpond (probably Little Coxpond) from Richard Marks, and Sarah his wife, William Crow and Sarah his wife and Thomas Rolph and Ann his wife. Richard Marks was said to dwell in the farm house at the time. (See entry for 1st February 1766) [HALS AH165]


June 1749 - The freehold of one-third of the Lockers Estate in Hemel Hempstead was transferred to William Finch by Mr.Howe. This was later willed to Francis Puddephat of Bennetts End, Finch's niece. [HALS D/ELsB400]

5 September 1751 - In a codicil added to the will of William Finch (a London Leather seller), the following additional bequest was made:

"Item I give to Francis Wife of John Putifat my Aunts Sarah Brome Dalster and her sone and her Grandson & her Grand dalsters to each of them one hundred pounds sterling."

further codicil was added on page 6 of the will stating that:

"I also give my 2 thirds of the Estate called Lokus lately bought of Mr. How &tc to Cosen Franccis Puttiphat and her heirs...  I also give to my cousin Francis Putifat dalster of my Aunt Broom four hundred pounds and her sone and each of his Children one hundred pounds."
[HALS D/ELsB400; see also entry for 6 Dec. 1784]

It is unclear whether or not this particular William Finch was any connection of the Finch's of Corner Farm, though it is probable that there is some connection, the Finch Family being prosperous Yeoman Farmers, who as there wealth grew, some  members of the family may have branched out into other walks of life and commerce. However, it is through the marriage for Francis Brome to another well to do Yeoman John Puddephat of Bennetts End, that the lands of Bennetts End Farm and Lockers Park at Boxmoor became connected.

The Puddephats were a well known  and well respected local family by the 18th century. Using information gleaned from various sources including the Parish registers, the Militia Lists and other documents, I have drawn up at least a partial family tree of the Puddephat family. (The skeleton of this is in Ami Pro - Puddeph)

7th & 8th June 1757 - John Puddephatt of Bennetts End, only son of Frances Puddephat, was given Lockers by his mother (who had inherited it from her cousin William Finch), and was admitted to the property at a Court Leet of the Manor of Hemel Hempstead. In so doing the two estates were to become linked. [HALS D/ELs B400]

26th November 1757 – The following, known to be from the Leverstock Green area,  were appointed Feoffes of the Boxmoor Trust.
·John Puddephat the younger, Husbandman of Bennetts End.  He had also been Bailiff of Hemel Hempstead in 1756
·John Puddephat the elder, of Bennetts End was reappointed.  He was also noted as having been Bailiff in 1756 [S417]

1758 - 1786 - The Hertfordshire  Family & Population History Society transcripts of the Militia Lists for Hemel Hempstead,  St. Alban's, St. Michael's Ward, and Abbotts Langley, are available covering these years.

After the Militia Act of 1757, each parish constable drew up a list of all able-bodied men, and of those with infirmities between the ages of 18 and 50 who were "liable to serve" in the County Militia.  Men were chosen from this list by ballot to serve for three years, but those drawn could either provide a substitute or pay £10 towards the provision of one. In the case of substitutes, both the substitute himself and the original conscript were both liable for service again after the three year term. This force was not a standing force, but more like a cross between the present day territorial army, and the Home Guard of the 1939-45 war.  Regular army training was to be provided locally, and there was to be an annual camp.

Exemptions from liability of service were given to apprentices and articled clerks, members of the Regular Forces, militia Officers, seamen. members of Universities, clergymen and ministers of religion, and parish officers.  The lists were posted in each parish, and anyone disagreeing with the listings could appeal at a meeting of the Justices at which the ballot was drawn.

Not every year saw a return made, and not all the returns survive. Over the period alterations were made in the regulations governing the forces; for example in 1762 the maximum age was reduced to 45 and poor men with 3 legitimate children were exempted.

There were certain advantages for being called to serve the Militia; namely they were exempt from statute work, they could not  hold a parish office nor be pressed into the King's Service (i.e. press-ganged into the navy).  They received a guinea (a very substantial sum then, representing probably a year's wage) on entering service in the Militia, and if their families were unable to support themselves, the parish was required to provide for them. A real bonus for some was the right of a married man who had served for three  years, was given the right to set up in a trade.

The lists themselves provide valuable and interesting information about a proportion of the population living in the area at that time, especially as occupations were listed.   However, there are also considerable drawbacks.   It cannot always be certain that entries listed under one name over several years refers to the same person, especially as names were often handed down in families.  In other cases where names such as Sear, Seabrook and Ivory are typical to Hertfordshire, you could have two or more men in one district with the same name, even though they weren't necessarily closely related.

In the case of the Hemel Militia Lists, the address of each entry tends to be fairly specific, and relates to area and large farms in the parish in the late eighteenth century.  Some entries also refer to specific properties such as "Locus" (Lockers Park). A map at the beginning of the HF&PH Soc. booklet of the transcript shows the main areas given.  In the names I have quoted in this Chronicle I have include all those men listed as living at Bennetts End, Cocks Pond, Wood End (Wood Lane End/Woodwells), Buncefield and Leverstock Green.  It should be remembered that those mentioned as living at Leverstock Green didn't live in the village (which was in either St. Michaels or Abbots Langley parishes), but the Hemel side of Green Lane, and to the north of the boundary of Leverstock Green (Carpenters) Farm.  I have been unable to include in this Chronicle many of the entries for St. Michaels parish, as no such useful designation was listed under the addresses, being almost uniformly "St. Michaels."  In some instances it is safe to assume an entry refers to a particular person, where other information is available, and I have included them; but for the most part it is not. [S265, S266]

1758 - Appearing on the militia list for Hemel Hempstead  in this year was George Sage of Coxpond. (See previous entry)

21st October 1758 - " Frances, wife of John Puddephat of Bennetts End died in the 81st year of her age." [S263]

1760      - Beversham Filmer, as patron of St. Lawrence's Church Abbots Langley, is presumed to have been the owner of Chambersbury at this time. (See entry for 1663 - 1725 ) [S88]

1760 - A Copy of the court roll allowing the admission of John Puddephatt to property upon the death of John Puddephatt his late father stated the following:

"At this Court it is presented by the homage that John Puddephatt the Elder late of Bennetts End in the parish of Hemel Hempstead in the County of Hertford Yeoman....."[HALS D/ELs B400]

1760 - Joseph Bates, a servant (farm labourer) from Woodwells, appeared on the Militia List for Hemel Hempstead. Others appearing on the militia list for this year are: William Bliss, a labourer from Woodwells; Thomas Catling, from Woodwells; John Chance, a labourer from Woodwells; Daniel Clark, a farmer from Woodwells; Joseph Clark, a labourer from Bennetts End; John Copperwaite from Woodwells; William Crawley, a labourer from Bennetts End; William Crocket, a servant from Bennetts End; William Crawley, a labourer from Bennetts End; William Crockett, a servant from Bennetts End; Thomas Doggett, a labourer from Bennetts End; Thomas Foster, a labourer from Bennetts End;  George Hall, a labourer from Bennetts End; John and Joseph Hannell, both labourers from Bennetts End; Thomas Harrison, a labourer from Coxpond; Francis Hasell, a servant from Woodwells; Thomas Hearn from  Woodwells; Thomas Hill, a labourer from Coxpond; John How, a labourer from Woodwells;  James Knowles, a labourer from Coxpond;  William London, from Woodwells; Richard Martin, a labourer from Coxpond; John Puddephatt Junior, from Coxpond; George Sage, a labourer from Coxpond; Daniel Saunders, from Coxpond; John Simmons, a labourer from Bennetts End; Thomas Stanbridge, a labourer from Coxpond; John Sturley, a labourer from Bennetts End; John Thornton, a servant from Coxpond;  Joseph Woodward, a labourer from Bennetts  End; (See entry for 1758-1786) [S265]

The above contents of the Hemel Hempstead militia  listed 32 men in 1760 eligible for service in the militia. Remembering that this was JUST for that part of Leverstock Green which fell within the parish of Hemel, the projected population of the area at this date was possibly about half that at the beginning of the 20th century.  In 1902 there were 61 inhabited homes in the Hemel Hempstead section of the then parish of Leverstock Green, with a total population in that area of 248 and a grand total for Leverstock Green as a whole of 649. Assuming each man on the above list to have separate accommodation for himself and his family, and not allowing for those men in the area not included on the list, the probable minimum population for the area of the Leverstock Green Chronicle could have been around 300.

5th May 1760   - Mr. John Puddephat of Bennetts End, husband of Mrs. Susannah Puddephat, died aged 58.[S263]
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