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Havering atte Bower 1848 Whites Directory
History of Havering atte Bower
Havering Atte Bower Liberty
Romford & Hornchurch]
Comprises only the three parishes of Romford, Hornchurch,
and Havering atte Bower, which contain about 16,000 acres of fertile land, and
8,143 inhabitants; and were assessed to the Property Tax in 1843, at the annual
value of about £35,000. It is a
separate jurisdiction, with its own magistrates, clerk of the peace, coroner,
gaol, quarter and petty sessions, court of record, etc.
It is in Romford Union; and a branch of the County Court is now held
here. In the election of
parliamentary representatives, it forms part of Romford Polling District, in the
South Division of Essex.
Ecclesiastically, it is now in the Deanery of Barking, Archdeaconry of Essex,
and Diocese of Rochford, but was till lately exempt from episcopal jurisdiction.
It is about 9 miles in length from north to south, and for about half
that distance it is about 4 miles broad; but from Hornchurch to the river
Thames, it decreases from 2½ to about one mile in breadth.
The centre is crossed by the Eastern Counties Railway, which has a
station at Romford,-a thriving market town, where the liberty courts are held,
and where the gaol is situated. The
small Ingerbourn river flows along its eastern boundary, southward to the
Thames, as the Bourn brook or little river Rom, does on the west.
Above Romford, the latter intersects the liberty, but below that town it
forms the western boundary. The
adjoining Hundreds are - Becontree, on the west; Chafford, on the east; and
Ongar, on the north.
Havering Liberty formed part of the demesnes of the Saxon
kings, and was anciently part of Becontree Hundred, as appears from Domesday
book; but having a royal palace, it was constituted an independent liberty, with
a separate civil and ecclesiastical jurisdiction, extending even to cases of
life and death, but the custom is to send offenders to the Assizes and House of
Correction at Chelmsford, where the liberty has to pay double fees for such
accommodation. The limits of the
liberty were well defined at the time of the Municipal Inquiry, in 1833, when
one of the Commissioners found that various charters, from the 5th of Edward IV.
to the 16th of Charles II, had been granted to the lord of this liberty and his
tenants; and that the chief governing charters were those of Edward IV and
Elizabeth. By that of the 30th of
Elizabeth, the tenants and inhabitants were incorporated,
but none of the charters have been in the possession of the corporation for many
years. In practice, the high
steward, appointed by the lord of the manor; with the deputy steward, appointed
by the high steward; and a justice of the peace, have been elected by the
tenants and inhabitants as their head officers.
They do not appear, from the charters, to have formed part of the
corporation in these capacities, but were merely empowered to act as justices of
the peace; and thus, in strictness, they, and the clerk of the peace, coroner,
bailiff, two constables, and nine petty constables, are not corporate officers,
but officers of the lord of the manor or liberty.
The charter of Edward IV confirmed the prescriptive right to hold a court
of ancient demesne for the liberty, every three weeks, and granted to the
tenants and inhabitants that they should not be bound to answer before any
justices, judges, or commissioners, in any other court, in actions connected
with the lands and tenements held of the manor.
From 30 to 40 actions had been annually brought in this court, at the
time of the municipal inquiry. The
charter appointed a court of pie-poudre, and a court of quarter sessions; but
the former fell into disuse many years ago.
The court leet of the manor is held yearly, on Whit Tuesday, and petty
sessions once a fortnight, at the Court House, in Romford.
The expenses of the courts, gaol, etc., are defrayed by a liberty rate,
in the nature of a county rate, levied twice a year, and averaging about £550
per annum, or 3½d. per pound, on the assessed rental.
The municipal commissioner, Henry Roscoe, Esq, after finishing his
inquiry, in 1833, considered that no useful end was served by the existence of
the municipal constitution of this liberty, while there appeared to be an
impropriety in a private individual (the lord of the manor), having the power of
creating justices of the peace;- none of the three magistrates being appointed
by the Crown. David
Mackintosh, Esq, is lord of the manorial liberty; but a great part of the soil
belongs to various freeholders, as noticed in the succeeding account of the
three parishes. On the death of
Edward the Confessor, this liberty became the royal possession of his successor,
Harold, from whom it passed to the Conqueror; and it was afterwards granted out
in numerous parcels to various freeholders.
THE Magistrates of the Liberty
are -Thos. Mashiter, Esq, high steward; Edw
Ind., Esq, deputy steward; and Octavius Mashiter, Esq.
Two of the (T & O M) are also county magistrates.
Alfred Ward, Esq, is clerk of the peace; W. H. Clifton, Esq, coroner and
clerk to the magistrates; Mr Edw Willis, chief constable; and Mr. Samuel Southey,
bailiff and gaoler.
Havering atte Bower parish forms the northern part of the
liberty, and has a pleasant village, nearly 3 miles N of Romford, on an eminence
commanding extensive views of the Kentish and Surrrey hills, and the busy river
Thames, though it is eight miles from the latter. It contains 427
inhabitants, and about 4,300 acres of land, generally having a heavy loamy soil,
and belonging to D Mackintosh, Esq, (Lord of the manor), Rt Field, Esq, and
several smaller freeholders. The name of the parish is supposed to have been
originally Clavering, and a ridiculous legendary tale, related by Morrat, and
other authors, says it was called Have-ring, from a ring, presented here to a
pilgrim, by Edward the Confessor, at the consecration of the church. The
substance of this tradition is, that St John the Evangelist, to whom the church
is dedicated, appeared as a “fair old man”, and asking alms of the King,
received from his majesty, a gold ring, as the only possession he had at the
time to bestow; and which was returned to him, some years afterwards, by two
pilgrims, who had received it when traveling in the Holy Land, from the “same
old man”, together with this injunction, - “Say ye untoe Edwardyour King, that I
grete hym well by the token, that he gaaf to me this ryng with his own handes,
at the hallowing of my chirche; which ryng ye shall deliver hym again, and say
ye to him, that he dispose of his goodes, for within six monthes he shall be in
the joy of heven with me, where he shall have his rewarde for his chastite and
good lyvinge”. The whole story is wrought in basso-relievo, in St Edward’s
Chapel, at Westminster Abbey, where the ring is said to have been deposited,
with other relics, Havering ate Bower, or at the Bower, obtained the latter part
of its name from the ancient Palace, or Bower, which was a favourite retreat of
some of the Saxon Kings, especially
that saintly monarch, Edward the Confessor, who found this woody solitude
congenial to his retired habits and devotional spirit. The park contained about
1,000 acres, and had many shady walks and beautiful groves of trees; but it has
long been divided, and granted out, on lease, from the Crown. Bower House, which
stands near the site of the ancient Palace, is a large stuccoed mansion, with
beautiful grounds, commanding a delightful and extensive view as far as Seven
Oaks, in Kent,
which is distinctly seen, on a clear day, at a distance of 40 miles. It was the
seat of the late Sir John Smith Burges, but is now unoccupied, and is the
property of John Barnes, Esq, who was here a smaller residence, called round
House, near another seat called Bedfords. Some remains of the ancient palace may
still be seen in the homestead of the Bower Farm. Havering Grange was a seat of
the Andersons, and is now the
property of Mrs Delamare, but is occupied by S J Hope, Esq. It is a neat
mansion, with pleasant grounds, and was built in 1842, on the site of the old
one. Pirgo Park, which is well wooded, and has a neat brick mansion on the north
side of the parish, 3 ½ miles N by E of Romford, is the seat and property of
Robt Field Esq, and was long a seat of the Queens of England, where they often
resided, especially during their widowhood, It was enjoyed by Eleanor, Queen of
Edward I, In 1559, it was granted by Elizabeth !, with the grange, to Sit John
Grey, whose descendanr sold it, in 1614, to Sir John Cheke, whose family held it
till 1728, when it passed to the Archers, The present mansion was built in 1770,
on the site of the old one, which had a small chapel, in which Sir John Grey and
his lady were buried. Mr Field is about to erect a larger mansion near the same
site. The ancient royal chapel, now the parish church, is dedicated to St John
the Evangelist, as already noticed. It is a small brick edifice, with a wooden
belfry, and stands near the site of the Palace. The living is a perpetual
curacy, valued in 1831 at only £75, though it was endowed, many years ago, with
£1,000 in benefactions and royal bounty. C H Ellis Esq, is patron, and the Rev R
R Faulkner, BD, is the incumbent. The tithes of the whole liberty belong to
and are about to be commuted for rent charges. (See
Hornchurch). The Charity
School, for ten poor boys and ten poor girls of this parish, was built and
endowed with £10 a year, by Dame Ann Tipping, in 1724; but the school and
master’s house were rebuilt in another part of the village in 1818. The annuity
is charged on the estate of Pirgo
Park, and the present owner adds to it £10 as his own
private donation. The school was rebuilt by subscription, in 1837, and is now
conducted on the national system.
Abrams Jno C, gent, Bedfords
Barnes Johnm Esq, Round House
Bennett James, veterinary surgeon
Cleaver William, wheelwright
Faulkner Rd Rowland, BD, incumbent
Field Robt Esq, Pirgo
Fisher Charlotte, baker
Gardner Saml, brewer, brick and tile maker, and builder
Hall Collinson, Bowers Farm
Hope Stephen John Esq, Grange
McMurray John, farmer
Mills Wm, farmer, Bedfords
Mays Nathaniel, carpenter
Mumford Wm, shoe maker
Neave Sheffield Esq
Newland Jas, schoolmaster & parish clerk
Osborn Wm, grocer, beer seller, and horse letter, Post
Playle Frederick, builder
Playle Thomas, saddler
Pulford Isaac, victualler,
Tomes Francis, surgeon
Willshere John, police officer
Willis Edward, chief constable
Wynn John, coal etc dealer
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And Last updated on: Tuesday, 07-Sep-2010 11:47:44 BST