Situation, boundaries, &c.
This place is not mentioned in the Norman survey. In ancient records it is called Fyncheslee. The village lies within
the hundred of Ossulston, about a mile west of the northern road,
and eight miles distant from London. The parish is bounded by
Friarn Barnet, Hendon, and Hornsey in Middlesex; East Barnet,
Chipping Barnet, and Totteridge in Hertfordshire. It contains about
one thousand nine hundred and fifty acres of land, (exclusive of
the common,) of which about an hundred are arable, and an hundred and fifty wood, the remainder grass-land. The soil is various,
but principally a black loam.
Finchley-common (two-thirds of which is within this parish, and
the remainder in Hornsey and Friarn Barnet,) contains one thousand and ten acres of land, which, if cultivated, would be worth,
on an average, about 2l. an acre. General Monk drew up his forces
upon this common, Feb. 3, 1660 (fn. 1) . The Queen's regiment, the Royal
Irish, and the South Hants militia, were encamped there during
the summer of 1780, on account of the dreadful riots in London (fn. 2) .
This parish pays the sum of 6381. 0s. 3½d. to the land-tax, which,
in the year 1793, was at the rate of three shillings in the pound.
Grant of privileges.
King John, in the first year of his reign, granted an exemption
from toll to the Bishop of London and his tenants within the manor
of Finchley; this grant was confirmed by Charles II. (fn. 3)
The manor of Finchley has belonged, from time immemorial, to
the see of London (fn. 4) . A part of the demesne lands, called Bibwell's,
were on lease to the Lady Viscountess Fane anno 1763, and are now
held by Dr. Henry Jerome De Salis.
John de Drokensford, who died anno 1341, was seised of an hundred and twenty acres of land in Finchley, held of the Bishop of
London. He held this estate only for life; the reversion belonged
to Thomas, son of Henry Bydyk (fn. 5) .
Sir William Marche died anno 1398, seised of an estate called the
manor of Finchley, with eighty acres of land in Finchley and Hendon. He held it (jointly with William Brynkley and John Beestchurch,) of Philip Pelytot, by the annual rent of a pound of pepper.
It was granted to the parties above-mentioned (with remainder to the
heirs of Sir William,) by William Cresswyk and John Berveyre.
The estate was valued at forty shillings per annum (fn. 6) .
Richard Danvers, John Langeston, and John Norreys, being
seised of the manor of Finchley, with the advowson of a chantry
there, conveyed it to Sir John Leyndon als. Plomer, Knt. and Margaret his wife, and their heirs. This estate consisted of sixty acres
of land, three hundred of meadow, four hundred of pasture, and
4l. rents of assize. Sir John Leyndon died anno 1480, John Fisher,
grandson of his sister Alice, being his heir (fn. 7) .
Sir William Compton died anno 1529, seised of an estate, called
also the manor of Finchley, and six hundred and thirty-five acres of
land in Finchley and Hendon (fn. 8) . In the year 1577 a licence was
granted to Henry Earl of Huntingdon, Anne Countess of Pembroke (fn. 8) , and Henry Lord Compton, to alien the manor of Finchley,
with its appurtenances, six messuages, six tosts, three hundred acres
of arable land, one hundred and fifty of meadow, three hundred of
pasture, three hundred of wood, and 4l. rents of assize in Finchley
and Hendon, held of the King in capite to trustees for the use of the
Countess of Pembroke for life, with remainder to Thomas, second
son of Lord Compton, and his heirs (fn. 9) .
Manor of Bibsworth.
Sir Thomas Allen, anno 1647, held an estate called the manor of
Bibsworth, which paid a rent resolute of 2l. 2s. per annum to the
Bishop of London (fn. 10) . This manor is still the property of his descendants. I have not been able to procure any farther information
relating to it, or to connect it with any of the estates above-mentioned, as the present proprietor refused to favour me with any communications upon the subject.
William Marquis of Lothian, anno 1730, aliened an house in
Finchley, which he had inherited from Wm. Kerr, Esq. to George
Fothergill, Esq. (fn. 11)
The parish church, dedicated to St. Mary, is a stone building, and
consists of a nave, chancel, and north aisle. The architecture is of
that sort of Gothic which prevailed towards the close of the fifteenth century. At the west end is a low embattled tower. The
roof of the nave and chancel is of wood, and ornamented with
In the chancel, within the communion rails, are the tombs of Simon Skudemore, Gent. (fn. 12) (with figures in brass of himself and his
wife)—1609; Thomas Lovel, merchant (fn. 13) (1650); and Mr. Charles
Colmore (fn. 14) (1732). On the south wall of the nave is the monument
of Mary, wife of Henry Pujolas, Bluemantle pursuivant at arms (fn. 15) ,
who died in 1762. On the floor are the tombs of William Pecok,
Esq. (fn. 16) (1623); Lawrence Wilkes of Furnival's-inn(1653); William
Austin, Esq. (1784); the Rev. Thomas Robertson, M.A. (1791);
an inscription on brass, in memory of William Blackwell, and his
son Richard, without date; and a brass figure of a woman in the
dress of the fifteenth century—the inscription gone (fn. 17) .
In the east window of the north aisle is a coat of arms, with
quarterings (fn. 18) . Against the east wall is the monument of Sir Thomas
Allen, Knt. (fn. 19) (1681); in the corner that of Lieut. Col. Searle (fn. 20)
(1682); and against the north wall, those of Thomas White (fn. 21) (with
figures of himself and his three wives, engraved on brass,) (1610);
Alexander King, Esq. one of his Majesty's auditors (fn. 22) (1618); Charles
Brydges, Gent. (fn. 23) (1729); and Thomas Allen, Esq. (fn. 24) (1780). On
the floor are the tombs of Richard Prate, (with small brass figures)
(1487); William Godolphin (fn. 25) , (with initials only, and no date;
Elizabeth, wife of Radcliffe Sidebottom, of the Middle Temple, and
grand-daughter of Bishop Peploe.(1780); and Philip Guibert, Gent.
(1790). On a pillar between the nave and north aisle, is the monument of Thomas Onyon (1729) (fn. 26) .
There is no trace of the monument of Lord Chief Justice Frowick,
mentioned by Norden: "He lyeth, says he, under a marble toombe,
where hath beene his picture and armes in brasse, with circumscription about the toombe, but now defaced; his armes only remaynynge in the chauncell-window (fn. 27) ;" these have been since removed. Norden mentions also another marble tomb, with the picture of a woman, whereon was inscribed," Joan le seme Thomas
de Frowicke gift icy, et le dit Thomas pense de giser aveque luy;"
and that of Henry Aldenham, Esq. furgeon to Henry VI. who died
anno 1431 (fn. 28) .
In the church-yard are the tombs of William Crowe, D.D. chaplain to Bishop Gibson, who died anno 1743; Peter Crouch (1745);
Samuel Marriott, citizen of London (1748); John Hill, Gent.
(1754); Paul Whichcote, Esq.(1760); George Smart, Esq. (1776);
Mr. Richard Norris (1779); and Charles Neate, M.A. (1782). On
the outside of the tower is a tablet to the memory of Mr. William
Onyon, who died anno 1736.
The rectory of Finchley is in the patronage of the Bishop of London, and subject only to his jurisdiction. In 1327 it was rated at
twelve marks (fn. 29) ; in the king's books, at 20l. In 1650 it was valued
at 861. 10s. per annum; the glebe was then computed to be fortythree acres (fn. 30) .
On the deprivation of Sir John Spendlove, anno 1554, John de
Feckenham, the last abbot of Westminster, was collated to the rectory of Finchley, which he resigned within a few months. Sir
John Spendlove was restored anno 1558 (fn. 31) .
William Coton, collated to the rectory anno 1581, resigned it
anno 1598 on being promoted to the bishopric of Exeter (fn. 32) . His
successor at Finchley, Richard Latewar, was chaplain to Charles
Lord Mountjoy, whom he accompanied to Ireland; and being with
his Lordship during an engagement with the rebels near Carlingford
on the 16th July 1601, was mortally wounded, and died the next
day (fn. 33) . A monument was erected to his memory at St. John's-college
Upon the death of Latewar, John Bancroft was collated to this
rectory by his uncle, who was then Bishop of London. He resigned
it anno 1608, and afterwards became Bishop of Oxford (fn. 34) .
John Barkham, collated by Bishop Bancroft on the resignation of
his nephew, was a man of considerable learning, and published several anonymous works. The Display of Heraldry, which goes under
Guillim's name, is attributed to him. He wrote also a book on
coins, which was never published (fn. 35) .
I suppose William Crowe, D.D. who was collated to this rectory
in 1731, to be the same, who, about that time, published several occasional sermons. A collection of sermons, by William Crowe, D.D.
were published in 1744 (fn. 36) , the year after the rector of Finchley
died. The present rector is the Rev. Ralph Worsley, M.A. collated
anno 1794, on the death of Samuel Carr, D.D.
In the fourteenth century a chantry was founded in Finchleychurch, by William de Hadstock (fn. 37) .
The register of baptisms at Finchley begins in 1560; that of burials in 1558.
||Average of baptisms.
||Average of burials.
Comparative state of population.
By this table, it appears, that the population of this parish has increased, though not in so great a proportion as in villages nearer to
the metropolis. The register of burials, during the period 1680–9, is
imperfect. The present number of houses is about two hundred and
In 1603, there were fifty-one burials, of which, says a note in
the register, "in tempore pestilentæ 38." In 1665 there were only
thirty-eight burials. It appears, by the following records, that the
dysentery was attended, at various times, with effects as fatal as the
plague. " 1596. Hoc anno moriebantur de dysenteriâ 19." The
whole number of burials was twenty-eight. The next year twentythree, out of forty-eight persons interred at this place, fell victims
to the same disorder. In the year 1780, during the months of August, September, and October, the dysentery was again very fatal (fn. 38) .
The number of burials that year was one hundred and two, which
was more than double the average of that period. It must be observed, however, that several persons were buried from the camp,
formed that year upon Finchley-common.
Several certificates, for persons afflicted with the evil, dated at various times from 1684 to 1688, occur at the beginning of one of
Extracts from the Registers.
"William, son of Sr Richard Therkeston, baptized Mar. 1603."
"Anne fil. Georgii Rainolds militis bap. Nov. 18, 1613."
"A son of Sr Edward Fishe buried Sept. 10, 1639."
"The Honble John Hedges, Esq. treasurer to the Prince of Wales,
buried June 28, 1737." He was son of Sir Charles Hedges, secretary of state to Queen Anne.
"Charles Lilly, perfumer from London, buried July 6, 1746."
The Spectator's Correspondent, see No. XVI. and No. CCCLVIII.
"Henry Whichcote, Esq. aged 97, buried Oct. 6, 1749. Mr.
Whichcote was the younger brother of Sir Paul Whichcote of Quoi
in the county of Cambridge. He was an intimate friend of the celebrated William Whiston, who spent much of his time at Finchley.
Whiston, in the memoirs of his own life, speaks of Mr. Whichcote
as being 96 years of age in 1739, and says, that, "bating his deafness and blindness, he was strong and hearty (fn. 39) ."
"Ann Maynard, buried Sept. 10, 1756." She is said to have
been 112 years of age (fn. 40) .
Robert Warren, Esq. by an indenture bearing date 1485, gave
certain lands for an obit, and various charitable purposes. Thomas
Sanney, by his deed-poll, dated 1507, gave lands also to the same uses,
which he confirmed by his will, anno 1509 (fn. 41) . These lands, anno
1561, were vested in twelve seossees, to whom the discretionary disposal of the rents was entrusted. New seossees were to be elected to
make up the said number, whenever they were reduced to six. These
estates, anno 1790, produced 122l. 10s. per annum.
An alms-house, for six poor persons, has been erected by the
seossees of the above-mentioned charities, and is maintained out of
Thomas Cleave, anno 1636, left the sum of 50l. to buy bread
for the poor; with this sum was purchased an annuity of 2l. 16s.
being a rent-charge on lands.
This parish is entitled to the benefits of the free-school at Highgate.
Some other small benefactions are mentioned upon an old table
in the church; but those above-mentioned are all which are now
enjoyed by the parish.