Name and etymology.
The name of this place has undergone a very material change.
From the thirteenth to the sixteenth century, public records
call it Haringee, Haringhee, or Haringey. About Queen Elizabeth's time it was usually called Harnsey, or as some will have it,
says Norden, Hornsey. If any thing is to be gathered relating to
its etymology, it must be sought for in its more ancient appellation.
Har-inge, the meadow of hares, is not very wide of its original
Situation, boundaries, &c.
Hornsey lies in the hundred of Ossulston, about five miles from
Holborn-bars. The parish is bounded by Islington, Stoke Newington, Hackney, Tottenham, Friarn Barnet, Finchley, and Pancras.
It contains about 2200 acres of land; of which about 50 only are
arable, about 120 wood, 150 waste, and the remainder meadow and
pasture. The soil is for the most part clay; about Highgate, a sandy
loam. The parish pays the sum of 957l. 2s. to the land-tax, which
in 1794 was at the rate of 2s. 4d. in the pound; but the proportion
is very variable.
The principal hamlets in this parish are Crouch-end, Muswell-hill,
Stroud-green, (where was formerly a seat of the Stapletons, still called
Stapleton-hall,) and a considerable part of Highgate.
Custom of gavel-kind.
The manor of Hornsey has belonged, from time immemorial, to
the see of London. The bishops had formerly a residence at this
place; but there does not occur in the episcopal registers any act dated
thence later than the year 1306, in Bishop Baldock's time. I think
it not unlikely, that Lodge Hill in Hornsey great park (long since
disparked and converted into tillage) was the site of the ancient palace; "it seemeth (says Norden) by the foundation, that it was rather a castle than a lodge, for the hill is trenched with two deep
ditches, now old and overgrown with bushes; the rubble thereof,
as brick, tile, and Cornish slate, are in heaps yet to be seen, which
ruins are of great antiquity, as may appear by the oaks at this day
standing, above a hundred years growth, upon the very founda"tion of the building. It did belong to the bishop of London, at
which place have been dated divers evidences, some of which remain yet in the bishop's registry, it is said (fn. 1) ." Lodge-hill is at the
eastern extremity of Lord Mansfield's wood, and about a mile to the
north-west of Highgate. The greater part of it is now covered with
a copse, but the remains of a moat or ditch are still to be seen in an
adjoining field. Bishop Aylmer's house at Hornsey, the burning of
which put him to 200 marks expence (fn. 2) , must have been upon another
site. A survey, taken by order of the parliament in 1647, says, that
the manor of Hornsey, which before had been always kept in demesne, was leased in 1645 to —Smith, Esq. for 120l. per ann.
and that there were belonging to it 650 acres of wood and waste (fn. 3) .
When the bishops' lands were sold, the manor of Hornsey came into
the hands of Sir John Wollaston (fn. 4) , who held it till his death in 1658,
after which his widow enjoyed it till the Restoration. Lands in this
manor descend according to the custom of gavel-kind. Hornsey
woods were leased in 1755 to Lord Mansfield, and the site of the
great park to William Strode, Esq. The present Earl of Mansfield
is lessee of the woods, and John Bacon, Esq. of the park.
Historical events relating to Hornsey-park.
Hornsey park is known in history as the place where the Duke of
Gloucester, the Earls of Warwick, Arundel, and other nobles, assembled in a hostile manner, anno 1386, to oppose King Richard,
who had given great disgust by the numerous favours which he lavished on his two favourites, Robert Duke of Ireland and the Earl
of Suffolk (fn. 5) . Their party was so powerful that the king thought it
expedient to abandon his ministers.
In the year 1441, Roger Bolingbroke an astrologer, and Thomas
Southwell a canon of St. Stephen's, were taken up for a conspiracy
against Henry the Sixth; when it was alleged that Bolingbroke endeavoured to consume the king's person by necromantic art, and that
Thomas Southwell said masses in the lodge at Hornsey-park over the
instruments which were to be used for that purpose (fn. 6) . This was
the conspiracy in which Eleanor Duchess of Gloucester was concerned.
When the ill-fated and short-lived Edward the Fifth was brought
to London, after his father's death, the Lord Mayor of London and
500 citizens met him in Hornsey-park, and accompanied him into
the city, on the 4th of May (fn. 7) ; at the same place Henry the Seventh
was met, on his return from a victory in Scotland, and conducted into
the city in like manner (fn. 8) .
Manor of Brownswood.
The manor of Brownswood in Hornsey is the corps of a prebend
in St. Paul's cathedral, and holds a court-leet and court-baron. By
a survey taken in 1649, it appears that this manor had been demised
to John Harrington, in the year 1569, for 99 years; and that by
several mesne assignments it was then the property of Lady Kemp,
the reserved rent being 19l. per annum (fn. 9) . It was sold, together with
the manor of Friarn Barnet, to Richard Utber, for the sum of
3228l. 4s. 10d. (fn. 10) In 1681, Sir Thomas Draper, Bart. was lessee
under the prebendary. John Baber, Esq. who enjoyed the lease
under Dame Mary Draper's will, assigned it in 1750 to John Jennings, Gent. In 1758, Richard Saunders, Jennings's sole executor,
became lessee. His only surviving son Thomas, in 1789, sold the lease
to John Willan, Esq. uncle of Mr. William Willan the present lessee (fn. 11) .
It is scarcely necessary to observe, that the leases have been renewed
from time to time since the expiration of Harrington's term, which
was granted before the restraining act of Queen Elizabeth. The lessee
is lord of the manor, and holds a court-leet and court-baron. This
manor extends over a considerable part of the parish at the East-end.
The demesnes consist of about 400 acres.
Prebendaries of Browns-wood.
Among the most eminent men who have held the prebend of
Brownswood, are Bishop Fox, the founder of Corpus Christi College
at Oxford, and John Barkham (fn. 12) . The present prebendary is John
Sturges, D.D. who is also prebendary of Winchester, and chancellor
of that diocese.
Manor of Toppesfield, or Broad-gates.
The manor of Toppesfield, or Broadgates, at Crouchend, appears
to have been in 1467 the property of John Guybon, to whom it had
been conveyed by Thomas Bryan, Serjeant-at-law (fn. 13) . I find nothing
farther relating to it till the year 1659, when it was aliened by John
George and others (who had married the coheirs of Richard Ive,
Esq. of Hornsey,) to Nicholas Colquitt; who, by his will, bearing
date 1660, devised it to his mother Margaret Fairclough. Mrs. Fairclough in 1662 granted it to her grand-daughter Hester Tyther, afterwards the wife of Sir Edward Graves, Bart. Sir Edward had issue
by her one daughter Margaret; who having married one Edward
Mattison without her parents' consent, before she had attained her
sixteenth year, this estate, by the statute of 4 and 5 Philip and Mary,
became forfeited to the next heir, Anthony Tyther, Esq. (fn. 14) , who
was some time in possession: but it reverted afterwards to Mrs.
Mattison (fn. 15) ; who jointly with her husband aliened it in the year
1717 to Charles Eyre, citizen and haberdasher of London. It was
purchased of his executors in 1749 by John Areskine, Esq. who
devised it after the death of his wife to his nieces Elizabeth and
Eleanor Baston; the first of whom married Frederick Henzelman,
and the other John Worgan, Esq. It was aliened by these parties in
1773 to Samuel Ellis, Esq.; of whom it was purchased in 1792 by
Thomas Smith, Esq. of Gray's Inn, the present proprietor, to whom
I am indebted for the account of its descent from the year 1659.
Manor of Farnfields, or Fernefield.
The manor of Farnfields, or Fernefield, in Hornsey, was given by
Sir William Cavendish to King Edward VI. anno 1552, in exchange
for other lands (fn. 16) ; and continued in the crown till 1603, when King
James granted it to John Earl of Mar (fn. 17) . It was valued at 10l. per
annum. I have not been able to procure any farther account of this
estate, or to trace its site.
Manor of Duckett's.
In the year 1388, Joan, relict of William de Brighte, of the
county of Devon, cousin and heir of John de Stonford, released all
right in a messuage, 300 acres of arable land, 15 of meadow, 14
of wood, and 4d. rents in Hornsey and Tottenham, to John Dovet
and Alice his wife (fn. 18) . This I suppose to be the same estate which
Thomas Burgoyne and others, in the year 1460, gave to St. Bartholomew's Hospital in Smithfield (fn. 19) ; for I find that the manor of
Duckett's, or Duckett's farm, (a misnomer perhaps for Dovet's,)
lying in the parishes of Hornsey and Tottenham, and being parcel of
the possessions of the late monastery of St. Bartholomew in Smithfield,
was granted to Sir Robert Cecil in the year 1547 (fn. 20) . The whole
of this estate is now considered as in the parish of Tottenham.
Muswell-hill chapel and manor.
Norden says, that at Muswell-hill, called also Pinsenall-hill, there
was some time a chapel bearing the name of Our Lady of Muswell,
of whom there had been an image, whereunto was a continual resort
in the way of pilgrimage. This arose from a miraculous cure performed (according to a tradition in his time still current) on a king of
Scots, by the waters of a spring (called Mousewell, or Muswell) on
the spot where the chapel stood (fn. 21) . The well still remains; but is not
samed, as I find, for any extraordinary virtues. The chapel, of which
Norden speaks, was an appendage to the priory of Clerkenwell, having been built, as I suppose, upon some lands granted to that convent
by Richard de Beauvois, Bishop of London, about the year 1112 (fn. 22) .
Muswell-farm house, with the site of the chapel, and all quit-rents
and other appurtenances, or, as it is called in other records, the
manor of Muswell (being situated in the parish of St. James, Clerkenwell (fn. 23) ), was aliened in the year 1546, by William Cowper and his
wife Cecily, to Thomas Goldynge (fn. 24) . The same premises were in
1577 aliened by Anne Goodwin and John Wighell to William
Rowe and his heirs (fn. 25) . They continued in the possession of the
Rowe family (fn. 26) till the latter end of the last century. Newcourt
(writing in 1700) says, "Muswell-hill farm was lately sold, as I
"am informed, by Sir Thomas Roe." It came either at that time,
or soon afterwards, into the family of Pulteney; and is now the
property of Lady Bath.
Sir John Musters, who died in 1690, was seised of a house in
Hornsey, called the Tower, or Brick-place (fn. 27) . This house having
suffered great damage by the dreadful storm in 1703, was pulled
down by a licence from the Bishop of London, as lord of the
In this parish, about half-way between Highbury and Hornsey,
there was formerly a wooden aqueduct, 178 yards in length, constructed for the purpose of preserving the level of the New River. It
was destroyed in 1776, and a channel made on a raised bed of clay,
in the same manner as described at Bush Hill. This aqueduct, which
was called the Boarded River, passed over a small stream which runs
to Hackney, and forms the brook there (fn. 28) .
The parish church, which is dedicated to St. Mary, appears to
have been built about the year 1500. The architecture is of that
period, and the arms of Savage and Warham, (two succeeding Bishops
of London) on the tower, fix the date (fn. 29) . The church consists of a
chancel, nave, and south aisle; at the west end is a square embattled
On the north wall of the chancel are the monuments of Francis,
only son of Sir John Musters, Knight (fn. 30) , 1680; the Reverend Dr.
Cartwright, 17 years rector, 1749; and Samuel Towers (fn. 31) , A. M.
1757. Upon a pillar on the south side are those of Robert Harrington (fn. 32) , 50 years rector, 1610 (he was son of Sir John Harrington of Exton); and Thomas Lant (fn. 33) , B. D. 51 years rector, who died
in 1688, aged 86. On the floor are the tombs of Lady Basset, wife
of Sir Francis Basset, and daughter of Sir Jonathan Trelawny, Bart.
ob. 1682; Dame Jane, wife of Sir John Musters, and daughter of
Sir Francis Basset, 16. .; and John Kelly, 1721.
On the north wall of the nave is a monument, in memory of
Colonel Edward James, who was shipwrecked in the Grosvenor East
Indiaman, on the Caffre coast, in 1782, and his sister Elizabeth
Chambers (fn. 34) , who died in 1756, and that of Samuel Buckley, (the
editor of Thuanus,) with the following inscription:
"To the memory of Samuel Buckley, who having not only discharged all the duties of life with ability, industry, and tenderness
to each relation, but offices likewise of state and trust, with prudence, fidelity, and gratitude to his benefactors, concluded his
days in the study of letters, and the enjoyment of honest and honourable friendships, in the 68th year of his age, 1741."
On the floor are the tombs of Charles Salkeld, Gent. 1720; Stephen Barnes, Esq. 1727; Thomas Barnes, Esq. 1762; Robert Jones,
Esq. of Gray's Inn, and of St. John's College, Cambridge, 1730;
Mary, wife of Richard Wooley, Esq. 1767; Mr. Robert Garmeson,
1770; and Sarah, relict of George Bellas, 1784.
In the window of the south aisle is the following coat of arms:
Az. a chevron Or between three besants; the same coat carved in
stone is upon the wall of the vestry, impaled with a saltier charged
with five cinquefoils. A similar coat is borne by the family of
Scorey, the former is borne by Otoft and Jennings.
Monument of Richard Candish.
Against the wall of this aisle is fixed a small obelisk, to the memory of "Master Richard Candish of Suffolk, Esq."
"Candish deriv'd from noble parentage,
Adornde with vertuous and heroicke partes,
Most learned, bountiful, devout, and sage,
Graced with the graces, muses, and the artes.
Deer to his prince, in English court admir'd,
Beloved of great and honourable peeres,
Of all esteem'd, embraced, and desired;
Till death cut off his well employed yeeres.
Within this earth, his earth entombed lies,
Whose heavenly part surmounted hath the skies."
"Promised and made by Margaret, Countess of Coberland (fn. 35) ,
This Richard Candish was chosen one of the burgesses for Denbigh,
anno 1572, in opposition to the inclination, and even the threats
of Queen Elizabeth's great favourite, the Earl of Leicester (fn. 36) . It
seems, by his epitaph, that he was afterwards in the court interest.
In the wall of the same (south) aisle is a large slab, (placed upright,) on which are engraved the figures of a man, his two wives
and son, in the dress of Queen Elizabeth's or King James's time.
It was put up in memory of George Rey of Highgate, Gent.; the
date is concealed by a pew. Against a pillar on the north side of
this aisle is the monument of John Carter, goldsmith, 1776. On
the floor are the tombs of John Barnes, 1675; Charles Eyre, Esq.
1748; the Reverend Matthew Mapletoft, 1751; William Newland,
Esq. of Writtle park, in Essex, 1755; Robert Wilson of Liverpool,
Gent. 1759; Buriage Angier, Esq. 1792; and a small brass plate
with the figure of an infant, underneath which is the following inscription:
"Jsu Criste Mary is son—have merci on the soule of John Skevington (fn. 37) ."
Tombs in the church-yard.
In the church-yard are the tombs of Edmund Lawson, 1708;
Joseph Eamonson, apothecary, 1741; John Areskine, Esq. 1758;
Richard Holland, Esq. (fn. 38) 1760; John Bailey, surgeon, 1761; Mr.
Richard Smith, 1769; William Umfreville, Gent. 1770; Hannah,
daughter of William King, 1772; Mrs. Rebecca Chetwood, 1773;
Samuel Mead, Esq. captain in the navy, and commissioner of the
customs, 1776; Mary, wife of Mr. William Randall, 1777; James
Moffat, Esq. surgeon, 1777; Mr. John Crane, 1778; Ann, wife of
Captain Robert Linzee, 1781; Mr. John Patignon, 1781; Martin
Hounshill, (a catholic priest,) chaplain to the late Duke of Norfolk,
1783; John Westneys, Gent. 1784; Henry Laughton, merchant,
1784; Barbara, wife of Arthur Edie, Esq. 1788; Thomas Carnan,
bookseller in St. Paul's church-yard, 1788; Mr. John Thomas, 1789;
and Albertina, wife of Mr. Henry Wilmot, 1789. On the outside
of the chancel, at the east end, is the monument of Francis Waller,
The church of Hornsey is a rectory, under the immediate jurisdiction of the Bishop of London, to whom the advowson belongs.
It was rated at eight marks in 1327 (fn. 39) , in the King's books at 22l.;
in 1659, it was said to be worth 92l. per annum (fn. 40) . There are belonging to it about 40 acres of glebe.
Rectors. Thomas Westfield.
Thomas Westfield, who resigned the rectory of Hornsey in 1637,
was afterwards made Bishop of Bristol. His biographer, speaking of
his manner of preaching, says, "he made not that wearisome which
should be welcome, never keeping his glass, except upon extraordinary occasions, more than a quarter of an hour; he made not that
common which should be precious, either by the coarseness or cursoriness of his matter. He never, though almost fifty years a preacher,
went up into the pulpit but he trembled, and never preached before
the King but once, and then he fainted (fn. 41) ." A volume of his sermons
is extant. He was held in such esteem by all parties, that on the
13th day of May 1643, the committee for sequestering delinquents
estates, being informed that his tenants refused to pay him his rents
as Bishop of Bristol, it was ordered that all the profits of his bishopric
should be restored him, and that he should have a grant of safe-conduct, to remove with his family to Bristol, being a man far advanced
in years, and of great learning and merit (fn. 42) . His successor at Hornsey, Thomas Lant, was cruelly used by the puritans, who turned
him out of doors, with his wife and family, not allowing him time
even to procure a place of retirement (fn. 43) . John Dalton was presented
to the rectory by Sir John Wollaston, in 1654 (fn. 44) , and Samuel Bendy,
by Dame Rebecca Wollaston, in 1659. Bendy soon after his admission, presented a petition to the committee, setting forth, that
the rectory was only 92l. per annum, out of which he was obliged
to pay 16l. to the wife and children of the late incumbent (fn. 45) ; he
prayed therefore, that a like sum might be granted him out of other
rectories, which was complied with (fn. 45) .
Dr. Lewis Atterbury, who was collated to the rectory of Hornsey
in 1719, had resided several years at Highgate, where he was elected
preacher at the chapel in 1695. He was brother to the celebrated
Bishop Atterbury, and himself a man of considerable note. Several
of his sermons are in print, some published by himself and others
after his death. He was author also of some theological tracts (fn. 46) .
William Cole, F. A. S. who died in 1782, and bequeathed his
large collection of MSS. consisting of parochial surveys, historical
anecdotes, &c. to the British Museum, with an injunction, that they
should not be opened till 20 years after his decease, was collated to
the rectory of Hornsey in the month of November 1749, and held it
about twelve months. The present rector is Charles Sheppard, M.A.
who succeeded Francis Haultain in 1780.
The earliest date of the parish register is 1653. Some leaves are
lost about the latter end of the last century, which prevented me
from taking a regular average of baptisms and burials for the period
Comparative state of population.
||Average of baptisms.
||Average of burials.
In considering the population of this parish, a great part of the
baptisms and some of the burials at Highgate-chapel must be brought
into the account. About 40 houses have been built in the parish of
Hornsey within the last fifteen years. The present number is about
420, of which 90 are in the village of Hornsey, 264 in the hamlet
of Highgate, 23 at Crouch-end, and 20 at Muswell Hill. In 1665,
forty-three persons, out of fifty-three interred that year, died of the
Extracts from the Parish Register.
"A young man that died at the Countess of Huntingdon's, at
"Highgate, buried April 1663."
"Francis, son of Sir John Musters and Lady Jane his wife, was
"baptized the 18th of May, 1664." He was buried April 17, 1680.
"Sir Richard Spencer and Mrs. Mary Musters, married July 23,
"Sir Thomas Davis and Mrs. Elizabeth Ridge, married Feb. 3,
"The old Lady Basset was buried July 17, 1682."
Reginald, Earl of Kent.
Reginald Grey of Ruthen, Earl of Kent, died at Hornsey March 17,
1573, and was buried in the church of St. Giles, Cripplegate (fn. 47) .
John Lightfoot, the learned commentator and Hebraist, went to
reside at Hornsey in the year 1628, for the purpose of being near
London, where he might have access to the library at Sion College (fn. 48) .
One of his works is dated from his study at Hornsey.
Apprenticing and clothing children.
It appears by the chantry roll (fn. 49) , (dated the first year of Edward VI.)
that there was a close of five acres, then valued at 13s. 4d. belonging
to the church and poor, the gift of an unknown benefactor. In the
table of benefactions which hangs in the church, a meadow called
Church-field is said to have been given to the parish by a Bishop of
London. It is let now at 14l. 14s. per annum. A close let at 10s. was
given also by an unknown benefactor. The sum of 3s. 10d. per ann.
was formerly paid out of an acre of land at Muswell Hill to the use
of the poor (fn. 50) . Mr. Roger Draper gave a close at Islington (let on a
building lease at 20 l. per annum) for apprenticing poor children.
Anne, widow of John Smith, Esq. in 1662, gave a rent-charge of
20 l. per annum, for the same purpose. Mr. Daniel Midwinter, in
1756, gave the sum of 1000 l. to the Stationers' company, out of
the interest of which, 14 l. is appropriated to the apprenticing and
clothing two poor children of this parish. Thomas Coventry, Esq.
in 1636, gave an annuity of 5 l. for fuel. William Priestley, Esq.
in 1620, gave the sum of 250 l. to the Merchant-taylors company,
out of which four nobles was to be divided annually among the same
number of poor persons of this parish. William Platt, Esq. in 1637,
gave 6l. per annum to the poor, charged on his estates. John Smith,
Esq. by his will, bearing date 1644, and proved in 1655, gave a rentcharge of 10l. per annum (fn. 51) . Mrs. Elizabeth Joiner, in 1738, gave 4l.
per annum to buy bread for the poor; Mrs. Susannah Chambers, anno
1640, 2 l. 12 s.; Richard Holland, Esq. in 1757, 6 l. per annum;
and Samuel Ellis, Esq. in 1792, the sum of 300 l. for the same purpose. The parish have a few cottages in which poor families are
placed rent free.
The populous hamlet of Highgate is situated in the parishes of
Hornsey and Pancras. The chapel and two-thirds of the village being in Hornsey, I shall treat of it here.
Name and etymology.
Highgate is said to have taken its name from the high gate, or the
gate upon the hill, a derivation which seems sufficiently satisfactory,
supported as it is by facts, the toll-gate belonging to the Bishop of
London having stood from time immemorial on the summit of the
hill. Norden says, that "the ancient road to Barnet was through
a lane on the east of Pancras church, whence leaving Highgate
Hill on the left, it passed through Tallingdon-lane to Crouch-end,
and thence through Hornsey-park to Colney Hatch, Friarn"Barnet, and Whetstone. This road was in the winter so deep
and miry, that it was almost impassable; on which account it was
agreed between the Bishop of London and the country, that a new
way should be laid forth through the park, beginning at" (what is
now called) "Highgate Hill, and leading directly to Whetstone;
for which convenience all persons, carriages, &c. passing that way
should pay a toll to the Bishop of London, and his successors;
and for that purpose was the gate erected on the hill (fn. 52) ." In
Norden's time the toll was farmed at 40l., now at 150l. The
Bishop's reserved rent is 16l. 10s. Mrs. Sarah Gregg is the present
lessee, under the Bishop; the farmer of the toll is her tenant. I can
find no record to ascertain the time when the agreement which
Norden speaks of, took place. The old road through Tallingdonlane, and by way of Crouch-end, &c. to Whetstone, has within a
few years been converted, from green lanes almost impassable in
winter, into a very good public highway.
Sir Thomas Cornwallis.
"Upon this hill, says Norden, speaking of Highgate, is most plea"sant dwelling, yet not so pleasant as healthful; for the expert in"habitants there report, that divers who have been long visited with
sickness, not curable by physicke, have in a short time repayred
their health, by that sweete salutarie aire. At this place —Cornwalleys, Esquire, hath a very faire house, from which he
may with great delight beholde the stately citie of London, West"minster, Greenwich, the famous river of Thamyse, and the coun"trey towards the south, verie farre (fn. 53) ." This Cornwallis was son,
I suppose, of Sir Thomas Cornwallis, a man of considerable eminence
in the reigns of Edward VI. and Queen Mary. He led a retired
life during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and died at a very ad
vanced age, in 1604 (fn. 54) . I have seen a letter of Sir Thomas Cornwallis, dated from Highgate, in 1587 (fn. 55) .
Sir Richard Baker.
Lord Chancellor Bacon.
John Lord Russel, son of Francis Earl of Bedford, died at Highgate in 1584 (fn. 56) . Sir Richard Baker, author of the Chronicle, resided there about the year 1603 (fn. 57) . The great Lord Chancellor Bacon
died at the Earl of Arundel's house, at Highgate, on the 19th of
April, 1626 (fn. 58) . Dr. Sacheverell, to whose name the violence of
party has given more than a temporary celebrity, died at his house
there on the 5th of June, 1724 (fn. 59) .
During the commotions raised by the commons of Kent in 1461,
Thomas Thorpe, Baron of the Exchequer, was beheaded by the insurgents at Highgate (fn. 60) .
Ineffectual escape of Arabella Struart from Highgate.
The unfortunate Arabella Stuart, whose only crime was marrying the man she loved, in defiance of a court to which she was allied,
having been for some time confined at Sir Thomas Parry's, at Lambeth, was removed to Mr. Coniers's house near Highgate, whence
she made her escape in the following manner: "Having induced
her keepers into securitie by the fayre shew of conformity and
willingness to goe on her journey towards Durham, (whither she
was to be conducted by Sr James Crofts,) and in the mean tyme
disguising her selfe, by drawing a pair of great French fashioned
hose over her petticotes, putting on a man's doublet, a man-lyke
perruque, with long locks over her hair, a blacke hat, blacke cloake,
russet bootes with red tops, and a rapier by her syde, walked forth
between three and four of the clock with Mr. Markham. After
they had gone on foot a myle and halfe to a sorry inne, where
Crompton attended with their horses, she grew very sicke and
fainte, so as the ostler that held the styrrop said, that gentleman
would hardly hold out to London. Yet, being set on a good
gelding astryde in an unwonted fashion, the stirring of the horse
brought blood into her face, and so she rid on towards Blackwall,
where, arryving about 6 o'clock, finding there in a readiness two
men, a gentlewoman and a chambermaid, with one boate full of
Mr. Seimour's and her trunks, and another boate for their persons, they hasted from thence towards Woolwich. Being come
so farre, they bade the watermen row on to Gravesend; there the
watermen were desirous to land, but for a double fraight were
contented to go on to Lee; yet being almost tyred by the way,
they were faine to lye still at Tilbury, whilst the oares went
a-land to refreshe themselves. Then they proceeded to Lee, and
by that tyme the day appeared, and they discovered a shippe at
anchor a myle beyond them, which was the French Barque that
waited for them. Here the lady would have lyen at anchor, expecting Mr. Seimour, but through the importunity of her followers, they forthwith hoisted saile to sea-wards. In the meane
while, Mr. Seimour, with a perruque and beard of blacke hair,
and in a tauny cloth-suit, walked alone without suspition from
his lodging, out at the great weste doore of the Tower, following
a cart that had brought him billets. From thence he walked along
by the Tower-wharfe, by the warders of the south gate, and so
to the iron gate, where Rodney was ready with oares to receive
him. When they came to Lee, and found that the French ship
was gon, the billows rising very high, they hired a fisherman for
twenty shillings, to set them aboard a certain ship that they saw
under saile. That ship they found not to be it they looked for,
so they made forwards to the next under sail, which was a shippe
of Newcastle. This with much ado they hyred for 40 l. to carry
them to Calais; but whether the collier did perform his bargain
or no, is not as yet known. On Tuesday in the afternoon, my
Lord Treasurer being advertized, that the Lady Arabella had
made an escape, sent forthwith to the Lieutenant of the Tower to
set straight guard over Mr. Seimour; which he, after his yare
manner, would throughly do, that he would: but coming to the
prisoner's lodgings, he found, to his great amazement, that he
was gonne from thence one whole day before. Now the Kyng
and the Lords being much disturbed at this unexpected accident,
my Lord Treasurer sent orders to a pinnace that lay at the Downes,
to put presently to sea, first to Calais roade, and then to scoure up
the coaste towards Dunkerke. This pinnace spying the aforesaid
French Barke, which lay lingering for Mr. Seimour, made to her,
which thereupon offered to fly towards Calais, and endured thirteen shot of the pinnace before she would stryke. In this barke
is the lady taken prisoner, with her followers, and brought back
towards the Tower, not so sorrye for her owne restraynt, as she
would be glad if Mr. Seimour might escape, whose welfare she
protesteth to affect much more than her owne (fn. 61) ." This unfortunate lady ended her days a prisoner in the Tower, on the 27th of
Sept. 1615, four years after her commitment. Mr. Seymour, her
husband, afterwards Marquis of Hertford, effected his escape.
To return to the account of Highgate.—There was formerly a
chapel or hermitage upon the hill, standing, according to Norden,
on the same spot where the school now is. One of the hermits is
said (though it seems not to have been the work of a poor infirm
hermit (fn. 62) ,) to have made the causeway between Highgate and Islington, of gravel taken from the hill where is now the pool (fn. 63) . In the
year 1386, Bishop Braybroke committed the custody of his chapel
at Highgate near the park, (which chapel had been in time past
committed to the care of other poor hermits,) to William Litchfield,
a poor infirm hermit, for his support (fn. 64) . No other presentation to
this hermitage appears in the registry till 1531, when Bishop
Stokesley presented William Forte to the house and chapel, with the
garden, and all the appurtenances, tithes, profits, &c. thereunto belonging (fn. 65) . This man, it is probable, was the last hermit.
In a court-roll of the Bishop of London's manor of Hornsey,
dated 1688, mention is made of a small piece of ground at Highgate, lying within certain fortifications, called the Bulwarks.
In the year 1562, Sir Roger Cholmeley, Knight, Chief Justice of
the Queen's Bench, who held, it is probable, the site of the hermitage above-mentioned by a grant from the Crown, "did institute
and erect, at his own charges, a publique and free grammar
schoole, and procured the same to be established and confirmed
by the letters patent of Queen Elizabeth, he endowing the same
with yearlye maintenance (fn. 66) ." The patent here mentioned gives
licence to Sir Roger Cholmeley to found a grammar school for the
education of poor boys living in Highgate, and the neighbouring
parts; and to provide a fund for the relief of certain poor persons in
the village or hamlet of Highgate. For carrying this into effect, Sir
William Hewet, and Richard Martin, Esq. aldermen of the city of
London, Roger Carew, Esq. Richard Heywood, Esq. Richard
Hodges, Esq. and Jasper Cholmeley, Esq. were constituted governors, and made a body-corporate, with licence to possess lands
in mortmain, to use a common seal, &c. On a vacancy among
the governors by death or resignation, the remaining governors
were to elect a new one. Sir Roger Cholmeley was to nominate
the master during his life, to fix his stipend, and to make such sta
tutes as he should think fit for the regulation of the school. After
his death the governors were to elect the master, whose place must
be always supplied within a month after a vacancy, otherwise the
appointment lapses to the Bishop of London. The governors
are empowered to make any regulations relating to the school or
the master's salary, provided they are not contrary to the founder's statutes (fn. 66) . By an ancient order of the governors the number of scholars is limited to 40, to be chosen from Highgate,
Holloway, Hornsey, Finchley, and Kentish-town, if there shall be
so many in those places; otherwise they are to be elected elsewhere,
at the discretion of the governors for the time being (fn. 67) . The present
governors are the Earl of Mansfield, Lord Southampton, Wilbraham
Bootle, Esq. M. P. Alexander Anderson, Esq. Thomas Saunders, Esq.
and Charles Causton, Esq. Sir Roger Cholmeley's endowment produces at present an income of 1661. per annum. The governors
allow the master a salary of 100l. per annum; which they are enabled to do, as well as to pay the preacher a certain salary, and to keep
the buildings in repair, with the profits of Cholmeley's estates, some
subsequent benefactions (fn. 68) , and the rent of the pews (fn. 69) .
The chapel adjoining to the school is said, in an inscription, (put
up against the west end in 1682,) to have been built by Edwin
Sandys, Bishop of London, in 1565, as a chapel of ease for the
inhabitants of Highgate. Here is certainly a mistake. Grindall was
Bishop of London in 1565; and his arms (fn. 70) are in one of the windows, with those of Sir Roger Cholmeley (fn. 71) and another coat (fn. 72) .
The chapel, which consists of a small chancel, a nave, and a south
aisle, has been enlarged since its first erection, by sundry benefactions. It was repaired in 1772, with a donation of 500l. from Mr.
Pauncefort, aided by other contributions.
Monument of William Platt.
In the chancel is the tomb of Rebecca, wife of Edward Pauncefort, Esq. (fn. 73) , and daughter of Sir Samuel Moyer, Bart. 1719. At
the east end of the south aisle is a monument in memory of the same
lady. On the south wall is the monument of William Platt, Esq.
founder of some fellowships in St. John's College, Cambridge, who
died in 1637. He was son of Sir Hugh Platt of Kirby Castle,
Bethnall-green. The monument is surrounded with a great number
of escutcheons (fn. 74) ; under arches are busts of Mr. Platt and his wife
Mary, who was daughter of Sir John Hungerford of Down-Amney
in Gloucestershire, and afterwards married to Edward Tucker, Esq.
of Madingley in Wilts. On the same wall are the monuments of
Robert Sprignell, Esq. (fn. 75) , 1624; Mr. Peter Pretty, 1678; Mr. John
Bailey, 1712; John Schoppens (fn. 76) , merchant, 1720; Joseph Edwards, Esq. (fn. 77) , 1728, John Edwards, Esq. 1769 (sons of Thomas
Edwards, Esq. of Bristol); Hart Bailey (fn. 78) , D. M. 1740; William
Knatchbull, M. A. of Ch. Ch. Coll. Oxford, preacher at the chapel,
1773; and that of Dr. Lewis Atterbury (fn. 79) ; being a fluted column of
the Corinthian order; on the pedestal of which is the following
inscription: "To the memory of Lewis Atterbury, LL.D. formerly rector of Sywell in the county of Northampton, and one
of the six preachers to her late sacred majesty Queen Anne at
St. James's and Whitehall. He was 36 years preacher of this
chapel, 24 years rector of Sheperton in the county of Middlesex,
and 11 years rector of this parish of Hornsey. He married Pe
nelope, the daughter of John Bedingfield, Esq. by whom he had
4 children; two sons who died young, Bedingfield Atterbury,
M. A. who died soon after he had entered into holy orders, and
Penelope, who was married to George Sweetapple of St. Andrew, Holborn, brewer; by whom she had one daughter, Penelope Sweetapple, now living. He died at Bath, Oct. the 20th,
A. D. 1731, in the 76th year of his age, and lies buried near
this place. Abi, spectator & te brevi moriturum scito."
On the floor of the south aisle are the tombs of Mrs. Frances
Hewet, (daughter of Sir Henry Hobart, Lord Chief Justice of the
Common Pleas,) 1632; Elizabeth, her sister, wife of John Lisle,
Esq. 1633; Christopher Wilkinson, merchant, 1676; John Atkinson, Esq, 1773; and John Cobb, Esq. 1778.
Sir Francis Pemberton.
On the north wall of the nave are the monuments of Sir Edward
Gould, Knt. (fn. 80) , 1728, and Samuel Foster, Esq. (fn. 81) , 1752. At the east
end, that of Sir Francis Pemberton (fn. 82) , with the following inscription:
"M. S. venerabilis admodúm viri D. Francisci Pemberton Eq. aurati,
servientis ad legem, e sociis Interioris Templi, nec non sub serenissimo principe Carolo 2do Banci Regii ac communis capitalis Justiciarii; sacræ majestati a secretioribus consiliis; vir plané egregius,
ad reipublicæ pariter ac suorum dulce decus et præsidium feliciter
natus. Patre Radulpho in agro Hertford Generoso, ex antiquâ
Pembertonorum prosapiâ in Com. Palat. Lancastriæ oriundo. Charissimam sibi adscivit conjugem Annam Domini Jeremiæ Whichcote Baronetti filiam natu maximam ex quâ liberos undecim sus
cepit, quorum septem superstites reliquit: e vivis placidé & pié
excessit 10mo die Junii A° Dom. 1697mo Ætatis suæ 72mo."
On the floor of the nave are the tombs of Elizabeth, widow of
John Jacques, Esq. 1624; Katherine, wife of Richard Chambers,
Esq. Alderman of London, (daughter of Robert Sprignell, Esq.)
1643; Basil Nicolls, a governor of the school, 1648; John Smith,
Esq. 1655; John Smith, Esq. his son, 1662; Nicholas Burwell,
Esq. of Gray's Inn, 1670; Richard Gower, Esq. 1688; William
Ord, Esq. 1719; and Elizabeth, wife of Mr. William Yorke, 1724.
At the west end of the nave is a marble tablet, to the memory of
Mr. John Wilkinson, who died in 1790.
Tombs in the chapel-yard.
In the adjoining cemetery are the tombs of Geoffrey Thomas, Esq.
1681; Robert White, Gent. 1704; Mungo Riddell, surgeon, 1718;
Sir Jeremy Topp, Bart. of Bremore, Hants, 1733; and Capt. Peter
Walker, 1782. Against the chapel wall are the monuments of John
Browne, M.A. chaplain, 1728; Thomas Causton, Esq. 1763; Mrs.
Elizabeth Copland, 1766; the Reverend Edward Yardley, archdeacon of Cardigan, preacher at the chapel from 1731 till his death
1769; James Meredith, rector of English Bicknor, Gloucestershire,
1777; and Thomas Bromwich, Esq. 1787.
Master of the school, reader and preacher.
The master of Highgate school, who is appointed by the governors,
is reader also at the chapel, and afternoon preacher. Mr. Carter,
master of the school and reader at the chapel during the civil war,
was ejected and treated with great cruelty by the Puritans (fn. 83) . Humphrey Vernon, who was put in by the committee, was allowed an
augmentation of 40l. per annum in 1654 (fn. 84) . The present master and
reader is Thomas Bennett, M. A. who succeeded the Reverend
William Porter in 1793. The morning preacher, who is appointed
also by the governors, is the Reverend James Saunders.
William Platt, Esq. in 1637, gave by will 10l. per annum to the
minister of Highgate chapel, and 20s. for a sermon on the immortality of the soul, to be preached upon the anniversary of his burial;
the preacher to be appointed by St. John's College in Cambridge.
John Smith, Esq. by his will proved in 1655, gave 20s. per ann.
for a sermon. Sir John Wollaston, who died in 1658, gave 10l. per
ann. to the preacher at Highgate. Edward Pauncefort, Esq. gave the
sum of 10l. per annum to the reader.
The earliest date of the register of baptisms and burials at Highgate
chapel is 1634.
Comparative state of population.
||Average of baptisms.
||Average of burials.
The children baptized here are chiefly from the parishes of Hornsey, Pancras, and Islington. It appears by the entries during a few
years at different periods, when the parishes have been distinguished,
that those from Hornsey have borne a proportion of nearly fourfifths; those from Islington have been very few. The burials from
Hornsey and Pancras have been in nearly an equal proportion. The
number of baptisms at Highgate has always much exceeded the
burials; the fees for which are considerably higher here than at the
parish church, exclusive of the dues demandable by the rector. In
1665 there were 16 burials at Highgate.
Extracts from the Register.
Sir Henry Hobart.
Sir Nathaniel Hobart, &c.
"Hon. Dna Elizabeth Lisle, uxor Johannis de Insula Armigeri,
"sep. 17, Martii 1633." Daughter of Sir Henry Hobart, Lord Chief
Justice of the Common Pleas, who had a house at Highgate, which
seems to have continued for some time in the family. John Lisle
was son of Sir William Lisle of Wooton, in the Isle of Wight (fn. 85) .
"Gulielmus Lisle, hinnulus ad matrem, sep. 28 Maii 1636." "Nathanael f. Dni. Nathanielis Hobart, ex Annâ, bap. 27 Sep. 1636."
Sir Nathaniel was a younger son of Sir Henry Hobart, hè was of
Broxholme also in Lincolnshire. His wife was Anne, daughter of
Sir John Leeke of Wyer Hall, in Edmonton (fn. 86) . Mrs. Elizabeth,
daughter of Sir Nathaniel Hobart, was buried April 13, 1667.
Family of Platt.—Sir Hugh Platt, &c.
"Hon. Dna Judith Platt, uxor Hugonis Platt, militis sepult. Jan.
28, 1635." Relict of Sir Hugh Platt, author of "the Garden of
Eden," "the Jewell-house of Art and Nature," and other curious
works. It is probable that Sir Hugh, who died in 1605, was buried here also, but there is no register extant of so early a date.
William Platt, Esq. (whose monument has been described) was buried Nov. 11, 1637. Thomasine, wife of Robert Platt, Esq. (another son of Sir Hugh) Aug. 12, 1656.
"Lucius f. Dni. Thomæ Guillims ex Louisâ Mariâ bap. 4° Maii
Family of Sprignell, Bart.
"Maria Dni Richardi Sprignell, ex Annâ, Sep. 7 Julii 1638."
Sir Richard Sprignell, described as of Coppenthorpe in Yorkshire (fn. 87) ,
was created a Baronet in 1641. He married Anne, daughter of Sir
Michael Livesey (fn. 88) of the Isle of Shepey. Hester, daughter of Sir
Richard Sprignell, was baptized Dec. 1, 1646; Judith, July 23,
1648; Daniel, buried June 11, 1602; Sir Richard was buried Jan.
19, 1658; Sir William Sprignell, Bart. Sep. 8, 1691; Mrs. Judith
Sprignell, spinster, from St. Dunstan's, Stepney, Feb. 8, 1721–2.
"Samuel f. Dni Roberti Blake, ex Mariâ, bap. 21 Novemb. 1639."
Family of Harrington, Bart.
"Henricus f. Dni Jacobi Harrington, Mil. & Bart. ex Dominâ
"Katherinâ, bap. 26 Octob. 1640." Sir James was grandson of
Sir James Harrington, created a Baronet at the first institution of the
order. He married Catherine, daughter and co-heir of Sir Edmund
Wright, Lord Mayor of London. Martha, daughter of Sir James
Harrington, was baptized July 1, 1642.
"Charles Ld De la Warre, and Ann Wild, married Sep. 15, 1642."
Anne Wild was daughter of John Wild, Esq. of Droitwich, serjeant at law.
"William, sonne of Hester Lady Manneringe (Mainwaring) and
of Sr William Manneringe, Knt. baptized Sep. 21, 1645,—buried
July 29, 1646." Sir William Mainwaring, descended from a
very ancient family in Cheshire, distinguished himself by his bravery on the King's side during the civil war. He was slain on the
walls of Chester about a month after the birth of this son.
Family of Paine, Knt.
"Susan, daughter of Sr Robert Paine, Knt. was buried Dec. 20,
1645." William, son of Sir Robert and the Lady Mary Paine, baptized Aug. 18, 1649; the Lady Mary Paine, buried June 26, 1652;
Mary, her daughter, April 8, 1653; Robert, May 19, 1654; Susan,
Aug. 8, 1654; Sir Robert, Sep. 13, 1658. Sir Robert Paine was
eldest son of William Payne, Esq. of Highgate, and was 28 years of
age at his father's death in 1628 (fn. 89) .
Marriage of the Earl of Warwick and Countess of Sussex.
"Robert Earl of Warwick and Ellenor Countesse of Sussex, married Mar. 30, 1646." The Earl of Warwick was admiral for the
long parliament. This marriage is not mentioned by Dugdale, nor
does he speak of any Eleanor Countess of Sussex.
Family of Blount.
"Henry, son of Sr Henry and Hester Lady Blunt (fn. 90) of Holloway,
was buried May 1, 1651." Another Henry, baptized May 18,
1653; buried Aug. 10; Charles, baptized May 10, 1654; Christopher, Dec. 29, 1655.
Sir Henry Blount's family were much distinguished in the annals
of literature; he himself published Travels into Turkey and other
countries, a satire called the Exchange-walk, and an Epistle in praise
of coffee and tobacco; he was editor also of Lilly's comedies. In
the political world he was not unknown: he fought on the royal
side at the battle of Edghill, but quitted afterwards the King's service, and engaged in that of the Commonwealth, rendering himself
very useful to his country. Such at least is the testimony of Wood,
who would not bestow undue praise on a deserter from the royal
cause. He sat on the celebrated trial of Don Pantaleon Saa, the
Portuguese ambassador, and was one of the commissioners for promoting trade and navigation (fn. 91) . Sir Henry Blount married the widow of Sir William Mainwaring, by which means he became possessed of the house at Upper Holloway, where he resided several
years. He died in 1682. His son Thomas Pope, (so called from
his relation Sir Thomas Pope, founder of Trinity college in Oxford,)
was born at Upper Holloway, Sept. 12, 1649 (fn. 92) . He published a
critique in Latin on the most eminent writers of all ages, a work
in considerable esteem; various essays; remarks on poetry; and a
volume on natural history. Sir Thomas Pope Blount (created a Baronet anno 1679) died in 1697. Charles, his younger brother, was
a celebrated Deistical writer; he published also a pamphlet in defence
of Dryden, written when he was only 19 years of age; an introduction
to polite literature; and a treatise on the liberty of the press. Mr.
Blount put an end to his life in a fit of frenzy, occasioned by disappointment in not obtaining the hand of his deceased wife's sister,
who was scrupulous as to the legality of such a marriage: his miscellaneous works were published after his death (fn. 93) .
Sir John Wallaston.
"Sir John Wollaston, buried in the chancel April 1658." He
was alderman of London, treasurer at war, and one of the committee for the sale of church lands (fn. 93) . Rebecca his wife was buried
June 1, 1660.
Marriage of Lord Roos and Lady Ann Pierrepont.
Marquis of Dorchester.
"The Lady Anne Peerpoint, daughter to the honble the Marquis of Dorchester, and John Ld Rosse, sonne of the right
honble the Earle of Rutland, were married, July 15, 1658." The
Marquis of Dorchester, a peer of great learning, who is remarkable
for having been a Bencher of Gray's Inn, and a Fellow of the College of Physicians, had a mansion at Highgate. The marriage here
recorded was dissolved by act of parliament in 1666. The divorce
occasioned a controversy in print between the Marquis of Dorchester
and Lord Roos (fn. 94) .
"Mr. Graham, a servant of the Earle of Lautherdale, buried
Oct. 11, 1669."
Family of Pettus, Bart.
"Charlotte, daughter of Sr John Pettis, buried May 28, 1678."
Sir John Pettus, Bart. was cupbearer to Charles II. James II. and
William III. His infant son Charles was buried at Highgate, Feb.
19, 1678–9; Anne his daughter, Nov. 4, 1689. Sir John Pettus
published "Fodinæ regales," or a History of the Chief Mines and
Minerals in England, Wales, and Ireland; "Fleta minor," or the Art
of assaying Metals, and a work entitled England's Independency of
the Papal Power, abridged from Sir John Davis and Sir Edward Coke.
"Ralph, son of Sr Francis Pemberton and the Lady Anne his wife,
baptized Aug. 27, 1684. Sr Francis Pemberton, buried June 15,
1699. Dame Anne his relict, Ap1 15, 1731."
Sir Francis Pemberton.
Sir Francis Pemberton was a native of St. Alban's, and received
his education at Emanuel College, Cambridge. He was afterwards
of the Inner Temple, was called to the bar, and became very eminent in his profession. He was made one of the Justices of the
King's Bench in 1679, Chief Justice of that court in 1681, and removed to be Chief Justice of the Common Pleas in 1682. Sir Henry
Chauncy gives a very high character of Sir Francis Pemberton in his
Antiquities of Hertfordshire (fn. 95) . There is an engraved portrait of him
among the counsel for the seven bishops.
"Sr Thomas Rolt and Madam Mary Rolt married July 18, 1685. (fn. 92)
"The Revd John Doughty, minister of St James, Clerkenwell,
buried July 1, 1768." Author of a volume of sermons published
in 1764, and several single discourses. He was elected minister of
Clerkenwell in 1746, after a contest which produced a great deal of
"The Honble Mrs Bridget Bulkeley was buried in the vault,
Nov. 2, 1775."
Sir Roger Cholmeley's benefaction to the poor.
It appears by the letters patent before mentioned, that it was Sir
Roger Cholmeley's intention that the produce of his estates should be
appropriated in part for the maintenance of certain poor inhabitants
of Highgate; meaning, it is supposed, the pensioners in an ancient
hospital, or lazar-house, to whom by his will he bequeathed 40s.
to be distributed after his death. Richard Clowdesly, in 1517, left
6s. 8d. to the poor lazars at Highgate, to remember him in their
Sir John Wollaston's alms-houses.
In the year 1656, Sir John Wollaston founded six alms-houses at
this place, and endowed them with a rent-charge of 15l. per annum.
These houses being decayed, Edward Pauncefort, Esq. in the year
1722, built twelve others on the site at his own expence, and a
school-house in the centre for the charity gins. By his last will he
directed 60l. per annum to be purchased, one moiety of which he
appropriated to the widows in the alms-houses. Samuel Foster, Esq.
who died in 1752, bequeathed the sum of 300l. to the governors of
the free school, to be laid out at their discretion, for increasing the
pensions of the widows in the alms-houses. John Edwards, Esq. in
1769, left the same sum for the like purpose, and 50l. to be distributed after his death, of which 12l. to be given to the alms-women.
Thomas Bromwich, Esq. who died in 1787, left the sum of
100l. 4 per cent. to the alms-women: they now receive 7l. per ann.
each, which arises principally from the benefactions above-mentioned. The pensions of the alms-women will receive a considerable
augmentation upon the death of Mr. Sebastian Gottlob Kleinert, pursuant to the will of Mr. Tobias Kleinert, who died in 1785, and bequeathed the reversion of three houses and some garden-ground, valued at about 100l. per annum, to the governors of the school, for
the purpose of increasing, in an equal proportion, the endowment of
the charity school and alms-houses. Edward Pauncefort, Esq. abovementioned, allotted 20l. out of the lands purchased, pursuant to his
will, as a salary for the mistress of the girls' school; the remainder,
after paying the other annuities appointed by his will, is appropriated to the maintenance of the school, being only 5l. per annum;
yet with the amount of an annual subscription, and the collections
at two charity sermons, 20 children are clothed.
Projected scheme of an establishment called the Ladies' Hospital, or Charity School.
About the year 1685, one William Blake, a woollen-draper in
Maiden-Lane, Covent Garden, set on foot a scheme for establishing
an hospital at Highgate, for the education and maintenance of about
40 fatherless boys and girls (fn. 96) , to be supported by the voluntary subscription of ladies, and to be called the Ladies' Hospital, or Charity
School. The boys to be taught the art of painting, gardening, casting accounts, and navigation, or put forth to some good handicraft
trade, and to wear an uniform of blue lined with yellow. The girls
to be taught to read, write, sew, starch, raise paste, and dress, that
they might be fit for any good service (fn. 97) . The projector, according
to his own account, had himself expended the greater part of his
fortune, viz. 5000l. upon the undertaking, by purchasing Dorchester House, and other premises. He published a book (now
rarely to be met with) called "Silver Drops, or Serious Things,"
being a kind of exhortation to the ladies to encourage the undertaking. Prefixed to this work are several letters of application to
individuals (whose names do not appear) written in the name of the
hospital boys. As a frontispiece to the book, there is a print of Dorchester House, and his own mansion at Highgate; the margins of
the print are full of notes, in which he complains of the want of encouragement, which threatened to defeat his plan; and laments, that
he is treated as a madman. He observes, that if Sir Francis Pemberton, Mr. William Ashurst (fn. 98) , and his own brother F. Blake,
would yet comply, all might be immediately forwarded to the great
advantage of the town of Highgate. Dr. Combe, to whom I am
indebted for the loan of this book, has also a very scarce print, upon
a large scale, of the Ladies' Charity School (fn. 99) , a large building, which
seems to have been altered from Dorchester House, as represented in
the smaller print. A note to the great print informs the public,
that a subscriber of 50l. may send any boy or girl, French or English, into the hospital; and it is recommended as a proper charity,
to send some of the children of the distressed French protestants,
which it is observed would be advantageous in matter of language.
It may be collected from passages in the "Silver Drops," that some
boys had been received into the hospital, and that subscriptions had
been collected, but the undertaking soon dropped.
Gift of bread.
John Baber, Esq. in 1715, gave 12s. per annum, to be distributed
among 12 poor persons of Highgate.
Lady Pritchard, by her last will, gave 50s. per annum, to be distributed by the minister of the chapel among 10 poor old maids
of Highgate, if such could be found, otherwise to be given to
There is a meeting-house of the presbyterian dissenters in this
place, and a chapel for the methodists.
The custom of imposing a burlesque nugatory oath (fn. 100) on all
strangers, upon their first visit to Highgate, is well known: how or
when it originated I have not been able to learn. A pair of horns,
upon which the oath is administered, is kept at every inn, but is
now seldom produced; for the custom, I am informed, has been for
some years on the decline.