1761 - George Sage, a labourer from Coxpond; appeared on the Militia List for Hemel Hempstead. (See entry for 1758-1786) [S265]
19th October 1761 - John Puddephat, son of John and Susannah Puddephat of Bennetts End, made his will. Although I have as yet to see the entire document, copies of relevant sections of this will were taken to support claims in 1783 and 17 for Bennetts End and Lockers. The following is taken from HALS document AH168, and relates to the Bennetts End property:
"And it was further presented by the Homage that the said John Puddephat made his Will in writing bearing date 19th October 1761 thereby (inter alia) gave and devised unto his mother Susannah Puddephat Widow & her assignees All his Copyhold Messuage or tenement called Bennetts End in the said parish of Hemel Hempstead wherein the testator His said Mother then dwelt. And also all those several Closes pieces or parcels of Copyhold arable land meadow pasture and wood ground to the said Messuage belonging with the appertenances which Copyhold Testator had surrendered to the use of his Will. To hold to his said mother Sussannah Puddephat & her assignes for life Upon Condition that his said mother should out of the rents of the said premises pay testator's sister Ann Baldwin wife of Joseph Baldwin for life £20 a year.
And after the decease of his said Mother Testator gave and devised the said Messuage called Bennetts End 2 Cottages Closes of land and premises therein before mentioned unto his sister Ann Baldwin her heirs and assignes for ever Upon Condition that the said Ann Baldwin her heirs and assignes should out of the rent of the premises pay testator's sister Christiana the wife of Mr. Elkin of Coxpond for life £20 a year.
But if testators sister Ann Baldwin should die without issue of her body lawfully begotten or to be begotten then testator gave and devised the said Messuage called Bennetts End 2 Cottages Closes of land aforesaid unto his Nephews John Steward and William Steward the two sons of his sister Christiana Elkins and to their heirs and assignes for ever.
Also testator gave unto William son of Mary Partridge of High Street Green aforesaid £200 to be paid to such Child if it should attain 21 out of Bennetts End estate the same to carry interest at 4 per Cent till payable. But if said child should die before 21 the said Legacy should not be paid.
And it was further presented by the Homage that the said Susannah Puddephat the mother was dead since the last Court whereupon there happened three heriots.
And it was further presented by the Homage that the said Ann Baldwin was also dead and that she died in the life time of Sussannah Puddephat without issue.
Which said Christiana wife of the said William Elkins John Steward and William Steward being present in Court were admitted tenants to the said premises.
To Hold to said Christiana wife of said William Elkins for life And after her decease to hold to said John Steward & William Steward their heirs and assignes for ever. Subject to such charges as in said Will and Testament of the Lord Use At their Wills Rent £1.15.9½ Fines £2.13.8½"
The following relates to Lockers and is taken from one of the document contained under the reference D/ELs B400, and which ultimately left £100 to his nephews William Elkins and John Steward. John Steward was known to be a husbandman living in Leverstock Green. (See entry for 6 December 1784 for details.) [HALS D/ELs B400]:
"To the Use of his Wills And from and after the decease of the said Susannah Puddephatt his said Mother he Gave and Devised Two Third Parts of the said Messuage called Lockers and of the land Woodground and Premises and all other his Share right title and Interest therein unto his two sisters Ann Baldwin and Christina Elkins their Heirs and Assignes for ever UPON CONDITION nevertheless that they the said Ann Baldwin and Christina Elkins their Heirs and Assignes did and should thereat within six months next after his Mothers decease well and truly pay or cause to be paid unto his two nephews John Hawkins and George Hawkins and unto his two nieces Susannah Hawkins and Ann Hawkins the sum of One Hundred Pounds a piece of lawful money of Great Britain and unto his two nephews John Steward and William Elkins the two youngest sons of his sister Christina Elkins the like sum of One Hundred Pounds a piece of like Money."
John Puddephat was to die six moths later on May 14th 1762 - see entry for that date.
[HALS AH168, D/ELs B400; S263]
February 1762 - George Hall, a labourer from Bennetts End; appeared on the Militia List for Hemel Hempstead. Others appearing on the militia list for this date are: Samuel Knowles, a servant from Buncefield; George Sage, a labourer from Coxpond; (See entry for 1758-1786) [S265]
14th May 1762 - John Puddephat, son of John and Susannah Puddephat of Bennetts End, died aged 35. His death, without issue at a relatively early age meant firstly that the direct line of the Puddephatt family of Bennetts End was broken, after over 200 years at least. It was also later to lead to a considerable amount of work for Hemel Hempstead Lawyer William Ginger, in sorting out the various complications arising as a result of the terms of his will made in October 1761. (See entry for 19th October.) As a direct result of his death and bequests there was to be a long drawn out legal debate about the right to inherit Lockers Park, in addition to the various bequests made concerning his Copyhold Bennetts End Estate. This later bequest also caused considerable local gossip and family acrimony in 1783 when it became necessary to sell off some of the estate to pay the legacy left to a William, son of Mary Partridge when he attained his 21st birthday. (See entry for December 13th 1783.)
Hertfordshire Record Office Document AH168 contains a summary of his will insofar as it concerns the Bennetts End Estate and is quoted under the entry for 19th October 1761.
July 1762 - Samuel Knowles, a servant from Buncefield appeared on the Militia List for Hemel Hempstead; Others appearing on the militia list for this date are: (See entry for 1758-1786) [S265]
4th September 1762 Letters of administration were issued to Mary Fellows, widow of Robert Fellows deceased at the sign of the Leather Bottle. An inventory was later drawn up and dated 2nd April 1763 (see entry for that date.) [S387 & S388] 1762 is the earliest date so far we have for the Leather Bottle, though it obviously predates the death of Robert Fellows.
2nd April 1763 An Inventory and Appraisement of the goods at Chattels of the Late Mr Robert Fellow Deceased at the sign of the Leather Bottle was drawn up. The full text of the document has been transcribed and details can be read by clicking here. This document is wonderful to read in that it contains a list of all the possessions Robert Fellows had at the Leather bottle from everyday groceries, furniture and bed-linen, and including such items as a warming pan and a longcase clock, to less usual items such as "graves" presumably Mr. Fellows acted as an undertaker. The details also show that beer was brewed on the premises as malt and hops. [S387 & S388] 17th May 1763 - Mary Fellows widow, married James Pope, a widower of Chesham, Bucks. Although the link has yet to be fully traced, it seems likely that it is this marriage which led to James, and later Jeremiah Pope ( see entry for 1786) taking over the license of the Leather Bottle from the Fellows family. [S387 & S388]
25th July 1764 - The holding called Blushes Croft ( see 20th May 1746), was granted to John Bradney, the son of the previous tenant, who had left his interest in the holding to him. [ HALS I B 51 ]
1765 - George Sage, a labourer from Coxpond; appeared on the Militia List for Hemel Hempstead. (See entry for 1758-1786) [S265]
1766 - Dury and Andrews Topographical map of Hartfordshire was published this year in nine separate sheets. It was the first large scale map of the county and the first to show parish boundaries. Using eighteen different symbols or shadings it gives an indication of land use at the time. Relief is shown by shading, a system adopted by the Ordnance Survey about 50 years later in their first edition O.S. maps.
Copies of a complete reproduction of this county map are available for a small cost through the district libraries or direct from Hertfordshire Publications at a modest cost. A photocopy of the relevant section of the map covering the Leverstock Green area is reproduced here with the kind permission of Hertfordshire Publications.
February 1st 1766 - Paul Vaillant, (a London merchant or business man living in the Strand) having bought the copyhold of Coxpond from John Neville, the son and heir of the previous owner, (now deceased) Ann Neville, was admitted to the property at a Court Baron for Hemel Hempstead. The yearly quit-rent for Coxpond was set at £3 15s 3d, and Vaillant had to pay a fine of £1 17s 7½d to be legally accepted as the copyholder. At the time of this transaction Joseph Baldwin was said to "inhabit and dwell" the property, and we can therefore assume he held the farm-let. (A full transcript of the document recording the Court proceedings [AH165] has been made and can be seen at the local libraries. This document is particularly useful as it lists all the fields, woods etc.. which were part and parcel of the farm, together with their approximate acreage, which I shall summarise in the table below. From the catalogue at the record office, and from elimination when compared to AH166, the farmhouse would appear to be Great Coxpond Farmhouse. However when comparing field names to later map and the tithe record, some of the fields would more naturally go with Little Cox pond Farmhouse, and vice versa. (See tables below.)
TABLE SHOWING NAMES AND SIZES OF FIELD CONNECTED TO COXPOND, 1766
Name of Field UseApproximate acreage Abells & Barncroft Arable8 Little Barncroft Arable1½ Sawyers Fields (3 fields together)Arable 10 Knowles Dell Woodpart of above 10
The Grass Plot,
or Hoppers Croft Meadow 1
Great New Park &
Little New Park (2 fields) Arable 15 Ship Crofts (2 fields) Arable 20 Hawfields (2 fields) Arable 20 Longfield Arable "residue thereof"
In addition to the above mentioned farmhouse and property, Paul Vaillent was also admitted to Little Cox Pond farmhouse, Balcony House, several cottages and other land at the same Court Baron. At the same time he also surrendered the various properties to the use of his Will, so it could be passed on to his heirs. In this case as well, the owner of the land etc.. was John Neville who had inherited it from his mother Ann Neville. The farmhouse itself was said to be in the tenure or occupation of William Elkins, having previously been occupied by John Bedford. Some of the land next to the farmhouse belonged to Joseph Camfield. Balcony House ( near to where the Plough is today) which had previously been called Gunstones' House, together with 5 cottages or tenements adjoining it, was in the tenure or occupations of Thomas Hill, John Partridge, Richard Ball the elder, and Thomas Foster. David Gravestock was said to inhabit a cottage or tenement in a field called Lid croft near Bennetts End Lane. Assuming this to be the field later called Lead Croft, then this was probably the half timbered house still standing ther
Lid Croft (near Bennetts End Lane) 9 Pear Tree Croft & Earls Wood 13 Tontis plus adjoining orchard 3
Newmans Crofts (2 fields)
otherwise Hither Greenfield & Further Greenfield 9
Dells, otherwise Dell field3 Homefield otherwise Robins Croft 3 Lower Readings, otherwise Newfield 5 Balcony Pightle (lately 2 fields) 2 ½ Meadow adjoining Marklis 2
August 6th 1766 - James Radwell was appointed as gamekeeper to the Manor of Chambersbury. The Lord of the Manor was John Filmore, who was also Lord of the Manor of Langleybury. [S60, following the Michaelmas Session for 1763, and being a list of the names of gamekeepers appointed by the Lords of the various manors within the Liberty.]
1768 - A survey, both cartographic and written was undertaken of the estate of James Lord Viscount Grimston. The map of the estate, [HALS D/EV/P.2], on the large scale of 20" to 1 mile, is coloured and measures 102" x 140". The associated reference book to go with the map [HALS D/EV.M39], lists all the individual field units with names, former names, land use, and acreage. [S167, p.131]
As this map was drawn only 2 years after the Dury and Andrews map, there is virtually no difference in the layout of lanes, roads and principle properties where they correspond. However this map is to a far greater scale, and so a wealth of extra detail can be shown; not least of which, if used in conjunction with the Survey, is the name of the owner and occupier/tenant farmer of each main farm or dwelling house. For full details, including photographs and transcripts, please click here.
The map itself is very beautiful, and for anyone with the time to spare it is well worth going to see at the County Record Office in Hertford. It is not, however, in perfect condition, due largely to the fact that it was constructed out of many small sections, which over time have begun to separate from one another. It is, however, perfectly clear and legible. All the field names are inscribed on the map, and colour codes as well as reference numbers are used so that individual farm holdings within the estate can easily be understood. For example all the fields forming part of what we now call Westwick Row Farm, and what on the map was just called Westwick, are prefixed with the number XV.
Several pages could be written on the various conclusions drawn from the map, but I will merely outline the most important here. The reader seeking further information should view the map and its attendant reference book at the Records Office. Some caution should be taken over looking at the map, however, as the reference book was not made into a leather volume until 1800 or later, and the end of the book quotes the farms which have been bought by Viscount Grimston since the original survey. As at the same time as new entries were made the map was also updated, it is easy to gain the wrong impression from the map unless comparing it to the Survey book. Bottom House Farm off Green Lane, for example, was the copyhold property of the Filmers of Langleybury at the time of the original survey, but was part of the Gorhambury estate by 1800 and as such it's fields were later marked onto the map.
Full transcripts of all the details of field names and sizes, along with the names of tenants, and the tythes paid on those farms not owned by the Grimstons, but within their Lordship, can be seen in the local libraries.
Although the buildings of the farms belonging to the estate were shown in plan, other buildings which the cartographer considered of importance, which were not part of the Gorhambury estate were shown as small sketches of houses. Thus the map showed us that The Red Lion pub - actually named on the map - was there, together with the small cottage known as Frogs Island. The Leather Bottle was also shown, though this was not named on the map (though curiously enough it was named in the estate book). Similarly Chambersbury was shown and named. Another property drawn on the map quite clearly, was shown just the village side of Green Lane. This was in all probability the property known as originally as Stonards, or a later building on the same site.
Another property shown, but to which a magnifying glass was needed, was a small tenement shown in a very small piece of ground - no more than a garden really - near to the house now known as Westwick Warren. This small island of ground was coloured in red and inscribed as belonging to William Howe , as was the square field in the corner next to Bury Lane. As the square filled in the corner was undoubtedly the Meads, it seems possible that the house thus shown was the tenement known as the Meads. Possibly this particularly small plot of ground was the meadow named as the Little Meads in HALS document IL3 "conteyninge by estimation one acre." Other properties shown on the map, but with no references to them were in Thomas Robinson's field, just off Westwick Row, (between W. Row and the Hemel Hempstead Road), towards Corner Farm; the house Beechtree, which is now derelict by the M1 was also shown, although unnamed. Church Cottages, in the centre of the village, and on what at that time was still all part of the common or green of Leverstock Green, were not shown. As they didn't appear either on the Dury and Andrews map of 1766, I can conclude that they were not built until after 1768. Another pictorial entry on the map showed an oak tree - actually drawn in the middle of the road on the map - along the Bedmond Road and exactly in line with the boundary between the fields known as Great Coles and Further Market Lands on the St. Michaels side of the road, and exactly in line with the boundary between the land owned by Messers Chad and Ragsdale (Known to be part of the land attached to Chambersbury according to the survey book.) and that owned by William Field on the Abbots Langley side of the road. This tree was labelled as Market Oak. No property was shown near to this tree however, so the exact location of the farm or manor house of Market Oak could not be inferred from it. It does seem likely, however, that it would have been near to the tree. It is also highly probable that this was the Market Oak tree to which Miss Purvis, the teacher at Leverstock Green School in Bedmond Road, took her pupils for a run in the 19th century, and the tree under which straw trading was carried out earlier on this century. Sidney Dollimore also showed a specific oak tree called Market Oak, in the same spot in the 1930's. [SILL, S73, S113]
Where the parcels of land shown on the map did not belong to the Gorhambury estate by 1800, the name of the owner of that area was shown. Also the owners of land on the Abbots Langley side of the Bedmond Road were also named. We know therefore, that working towards Pimlico from Chambersbury, Messers Chad and Ragsdale owned the orchards next to Chambersbury, then William Field held the field up to Bunkers Lane. James Greenhill had the land the other side of Bunkers Lane, with William Howe having the area just beyond the entrance to Well Farm. Thomas Tower, whom from other documents we know owned Leverstock Green Farm at this time [ HALS 80798-80800, 80821 & 80825] owned much of the land between Pancake Lane and Green Lane, and Samuel Ewer owned substantial areas around Westwick Row. A Mr. Lovett, Samuel Davis and Thomas Kentish owned land which is now part of the Industrial estate or Buncefield Depot. Other individual holding were held by William Howe, Richard Readings, and Thomas Richardson.
It was interesting to see that Pancake Lane was still called Twitchy Lane at this time. ( Previous documents showed it as Twitchel Lane in 1569 and Twitchy Lane in 1698.) The field names as shown on this map, were to change little by the time of the Tithe survey in 1840, and the entry for that year should be referred to for a resume of many of the names. To me the most charming field name was that of Grandmothers Pightle, being a field on the other side of Hedges Lane to Westwick Row Farm. I shall attempt to reproduce from my tracing a map showing some of the area bounded by Westwick Row , Blackwater Lane and the Bedmond Road, so that the pattern of the fields and their names can be seen. I have also taken many photographs in close up from the map, and reproductions of these are in the files in Leverstock Green Library/Hemel Libraries.
A full transcription of all the farms, their field names, size and owner/occupiers along with any other relevant information, has been made, and copies of this can be seen in the Libraries. However, the names of the owners/occupiers of different properties can be seen in the table below, along with the overall size of the various holdings. The only property within the St. Michael's parish boundaries not included in this survey was that land held totally Freehold by someone other than the Viscount Grimston. This included the land surrounding what today we call Westwick Cottage, and The Red Lion PH together with the small 17th century cottage at Frog's Island, and a house marked clearly on the map just back from the junction of Green Lane and the Leverstock Green Road.
SUMMARY OF LAND IN LEVERSTOCK GREEN BELONGING TO THE GORHAMBURY ESTATE, 1768.
(Copyhold if not Lord of Manor)Tenant Farmer/OccupierOverall Size
alias Bottom House Viscount GrimstonIn Hand143a 3r 19p Blackwater Farm Viscount Grimston Isaac Nicholls139a 3r 22p Hill End Farm Viscount GrimstonJohn & George Holmes 271a 1r 21p
alias Bottom House Viscount Grimston Edward Basil 335a 3r 19p
House & Land at Westwick
(i.e. today's Dell Cottage) Viscount Grimston Richard Hannell9 acres
(i.e. today's Westwick Row Farm) Viscount Grimston Richard Reading 146a 1r 04p Breakspears Farm Viscount Grimston George Astlin 67a 0r 17p Megdells Farm Viscount Grimston William Fellows 101a 01r 24p
Three Cherry Trees Farm
alias Palmers Viscount Grimston Samuel Redding 122a 2r 35p
otherwise Bottom House (off Green Lane)Sir John Filmer Thomas Orchard 87a 2r 13p
Two pieces of land:
Hither & Further Downer Fields.
Today these fields would be cut off from the village by the motorway, corresponding with field No. 308 on the tithe map. Jacob WeldoneJohn Sanders 8a 2r 16p Farm at Westwick - Although not named, a comparison of field names with those in the Tithe apportionment of 1840, suggests the quite extensive lands marked on the Estate map as belonging to Samuel Ewer, (Presumably the owner in 1800.) i.e. land on either side of Pancake Lane, (including today's Westwick Farm), and between Blakes and Whites Lane, just back from Westwick Row, and leading up to Hogg End Lane. John Goulds John Sanders 95a 0r 32p The Leather BottleThomas Kentish James Donner 3a 0r 27p Part of Leverstock Green Fm. Thomas Towers William Finch 10a 2r 06p
House & Orchard
(King Charles II Cottage) Richard Redding Richard Redding 1 acre
House & Land at Westwick -
This was an "L" shaped piece of land stretching from Westwick Row to the main road. Where it bordered the main road, it was opposite the field known as The Harp, a little up the hill from the present-day lay-by. ?Thomas Robinson 3a 2r 37p
Field at Leverstock Green,
part of Chambersbury Farm. Richard Chadd & John Ragsdale John Ensom 2a 1r 17p
Four small pieces of land near Westwick Corner.
(This known as The Meads, and immediately opposite the sharp bend in Westwick Row)William HoweAndrew Kiff4a 1r 06p
1768 to before 1792 – Today’s No 4 Church Cottages was built at some time between 1768 when the Gorehambury Estate Survey showed just common land on the site of the cottages, and 1791 or earlier. (See entry for 1792) [HALS D/EV/P.2, HALS D/EV.M39 & S406]
1768 - John Barton, a Labourer from Woodwells, appeared on the Militia List for Hemel Hempstead. Others appearing on the militia list for this year were: John Copperwaite, a labourer from Woodwells; William Gibbs, a servant from Woodwells; Samuel Knowles, a labourer from Buncefield; Nathaniel Puttman, a servant from Hill Farm; Jeremiah Yeoman, a labourer from Buncefield; (See entry for 1758 - 1786) [S265]
1769 - Joseph Baldwin, a farmer from Coxpond, appeared on the Hemel Hempstead Militia list. Others appearing on the militia list for this year are: John Copperwaite, a labourer from Woodwells; James Dell, a poor man with 5 children from Buncefield; John Ewer, a servant from Buncefield; Thomas Foster, a servant from Coxpond; Samuel Knoles, a poor man from Buncefield, with 3 children; William Newman, a servant from Buncefield; William Saunders, a servant from Woodwells; John Seabrook, a servant from Coxpond; Jeremiah Yeoman, a poor man from Buncefield with three children; (See entry for 1758-1786) [S265]
7th February 1769 - Thomas Sibley of Kimpton in Herts., leased Megdells from Viscount Grimston for an annual sum of £95. As the lands were said to be the same as those leased to Richard Reading in 1730, this represented an increase of 50% . Inflation is obviously not a modern invention!! [HALS IG26] A Thomas Sibley, farmer, also appeared on the St. Michaels militia list for 1769, 1771, 1773, 1775, and 1778. He was obviously considered a "gentleman" as in the entries for the latter two year he was given the designation "Mr." [S26]
15th October 1770 - Zachary Baldwin the Younger was the Blacksmith for the area around Leverstock Green. At a court Baron held on this date, he was admitted as copyholder to the Blacksmith's premises left him by his father. As this was in Abbots Langley parish, it's very likely to have been the same premises at the end of Blacksmiths Row, still used as a smithy until the 1950's. It is possible that the smithy had been there for some time, with the elder Zachary running the premises. This is further born out by the Abbots Langley parish registers, which records the births and deaths and baptisms of various Zachary and Zacharia Baldwins from 1697, along with the record of monumental inscriptions in the churchyard dated 1778 and 1788. His will read as follows:
" I give & Devise unto my youngest son Zachary Baldwin the Younger and to his heirs and assigns for ever All that my Copyhold Messuage or Tenement wherein Lloyd did lately inhabitt which is now Empty with the Blacksmiths.........And also all that my Copyhold Messuage or tenement wherein the said Zachary Baldwin my son doth now inhabitt with the Blacksmith's shop Orchard Ground and Appertenances thereunto belonging situate and being at Leverstock Green in the parish aforesaid/which Copyhold I have surrendered to this my will."
[HALS D/EB 2185 T1; S262, S299]
1771 - 14s 7d was charged to the parish of St. Mary's Hemel as part of the cost for beating the bounds, at Ascension time. The total cost to the parish of beating the bounds was £9.6s.4d. The entry on the bill was "Paid for Leverstock Green.....14s 7d." Apart for a sum of 4s 5d paid at Corner Hall all the other items refer to costings of food and drink. It would be interesting to know exactly why Leverstock Green needed paying for! [ S1 - p.235 ]
1771 - Thomas Sibley, a farmer (known to have leased Megdells,) appeared on the Militia List for St. Michaels. (See entries for 1758-1786 and 7.2.1769) [S265, S266]
14th August 1771 - John Lea, of Abbots Langley died, aged 31. [S262]
1772 - John Baldwin of Tile Kiln, (no occupation given), appeared on the Militia list for Hemel Hempstead. Also appearing on the militia list for this year were: William Blunt, a servant from Tile Kiln; James Dell, a labourer from Buncefield, with 6 children; William Ewer, a servant from Buncefield; William Gunston, a substitute, from Buncefield; Samuel Knowles, a labourer from Buncefield with 3 children; John Smith, a labourer from Buncefield (noted as being "a labourer at the Hand Post"); Joseph Woodward, a labourer with a lame leg, from Woodwells; Jeremiah Yeoman, a labourer from Buncefield; Thomas Yeoman, a labourer with 4 children from Buncefield. (See entry for 1756-1786.) [S265]
1773 - Thomas Sibley, known to hold the lease of Megdells) was on the St. Michaels Militia List. (See entries for 1758-1786, and 17.2.1769) [S265, S266]
1775 - Thomas Sibley, known to hold the lease of Megdells) was on the St. Michaels Militia List. (See entries for 1758-1786, and 17.2.1769) [S265, S266]