Name and etymology.
Norden calls this place Northolt, and derives it from
the German bolt, making it synonymous with Northwood;
but it is not so called in any of the ancient records I have seen
relating to this place (which are very numerous). They almost
all agree in calling it Northall; the etymology of which is too
obvious to need an explanation. In one instance it is written
Northawe (fn. 1) .
Situation, extent, boundaries, &c.
Scarcity of water remedied—See the note.
The parish of Northall lies in the hundred of Elthorne, at the distance of about ten miles west of London, a little to the north of the
Uxbridge road. It is bounded by Harrow, Greenford, Rislip, Ickenham, Hayes, and Norwood. Its extent, according to an account
given in to the deputy lieutenant of the county anno 1670, is 1911
acres. About a third of the land in this parish is arable, the remainder meadow. The soil is a deep clay. This circumstance,
added to the great scarcity of materials for mending the roads, occasions them to be very bad in the winter, although the inhabitants
are at a considerable expence for repairs. This and the want of
spring water (fn. 2) , have been the causes why this parish has been deserted
by the proprietors of land, and left wholly to the cultivators. The
quota paid by Northall to the land-tax is 225l. 6s., which is at the
rate of 2 s. 6d. in the pound.
The manor of Northall (called in Doomsday book Northala (fn. 3) ),
was, during the reign of Edward the Confessor, the property of
Asgar, master of his horse. The Conqueror gave it to Geoffrey de
Mandeville, one of his followers. Joan, one of the sisters and coheirs of Richard Fitzjohn (grandson of Geoffrey Fitzpiers, Earl of
Essex, descended from the Mandevilles), who died in the year 1297,
married Theobald le Boteler (fn. 4) . In 1316, it appears that Peter le
Boteler was lord of the manor of Northall (fn. 5) . In 1339, Stephen le
Boteler aliened it to John Russel and his heirs (fn. 6) . In 1352, Agnes,
relict of John Russel, released all right in this manor to Simon
Francis, mercer and citizen of London (fn. 7) , who died seised of it in
1358, leaving Thomas his son and heir (fn. 8) . Alice, the widow of
Thomas Francis, granted her estate in the manor of Northall, to
Robert Perpoyng and others, they paying her an annuity of 30
marks (fn. 9) . It is probable this was to enable her husband's representatives to sell the manor. In 1374, William Rislip and others
quitted claim to Sir Nicholas Brembre (fn. 10) , who had in that year
a charter of free-warren (fn. 11) . Sir Nicholas, who had been Lord Mayor
of London, and a steady upright magistrate, suffered death about the
year 1386, in consequence of his connection with the favourites
whom the King was then obliged to abandon to the resentment of
the discontented nobles. Brembre's fate was much pitied (fn. 12) . Most
of his property became forfeited to the crown; but it appears by an
inquisition taken anno 1389, that he had only a life interest in this
manor, a fine having been levied in 1385, declaring the right to be
vested in Thomas de Bere, after the death of Sir Nicholas Brembre
and his wife Idonea (fn. 13) . Soon after this, the manor of Northall appears to have been the property of Sir Baldwin Bureford (fn. 14) . In
1396, a patent passed, releasing to Sir Richard Waldgrave and others
all claims which the crown might have upon this manor (fn. 15) . These
persons, it is probable, were feoffees for Richard Lord Scroope, of
Bolton; for about the year 1398 the manor of Northall (then late
the property of Lord Scroope) being vested in the crown, was granted
to Westminister Abbey (fn. 16) . John Thornton, Esq. was lessee under
that monastery in 1493; Henry Turnor in 1502, and Richard
Devenyshe in 1514 (fn. 17) . After the dissolution of monasteries, the manor
of Northall was settled upon the newly created bishopric of Westminster; which being soon after abolished, this manor became again
vested in the crown (fn. 18) , and was granted by Edward VI. in 1550 to
Sir Thomas Wroth (fn. 19) . It continued in his family till 1616, when
John Wroth, Esq. aliened it to Sir John Bennet (fn. 20) . From him it
passed in 1624 to William Pennyfather (fn. 21) , Esq. and from the latter to
John Hulse, Esq. in 1637 (fn. 22) . Mr. Hulse left one daughter, Lettice,
married to John Good, Esq. The manor continued in their descendants till 1701, when it was sold by Charles Good, Esq. to John
Walker, Esq. (fn. 23) After his death it was bought, anno 1716, by the
first Duke of Chandos (then Earl of Carnarvon) for the sum of
9000l. The Earl aliened it in 1722 to William Peere Williams, Esq.
a celebrated lawyer, and father of Sir Hutchins Williams, Bart. who,
in 1756, sold it to Francis Child, Esq. trustee for Mrs. Agatha Child,
widow. It is now vested in Robert Dent, Esq. and others, trustees
under the will of the late Robert Child, Esq, of Osterley.
Manor of Donne, or Downe-barnes.
The manor of Donne, Downe, or Downe-barnes, consisting of
300 acres of arable land (valued at 2d. an acre), five acres of mea
dow, and 20 of wood, was purchased of Ralph Basset of Drayton,
by John Bohun, Earl of Hereford, who died seised of it in 1336 (fn. 24) .
Simon Francis died seised of it anno 1358 (fn. 25) . From this time till
1617, it passed through the same hands as that of Northall, except
that Robert Colle was lessee of this manor under the church of Westminster in 1502 (fn. 26) . In the year 1659, the manor of Downe-barnes
was in the possession of Samuel Carlton, Esq. in whose family it continued till 1717, when it was aliened to Andrew Hawes, Esq. of
Chatham, and John Harvey, Esq. of Ickwell Bury, in the county of
Bedford. It is now the property of their representatives, John
Harvey, Esq. of Ickwell Bury; Mrs. Elizabeth Hawes, of Hayes in
Middlefex, and William Storey, Esq. of Chatham (fn. 27) .
A messuage, called Frere-place in Northall, and some lands in
Northall, Greenford, and Harrow, described as late parcel of the
possessions of the monastery of St. Thomas de Acon, were granted in
the year 1540, to Leonard Chamberlain and Richard Andrews (fn. 28) .
The same premises were aliened, anno 1564, by Thomas Partridge
to William Gerrard (fn. 29) .
Monument of Sir George Probert.
The parish church, dedicated to St. Mary, is a small Gothic
structure of slints and stone, consisting of a nave and chancel. At
the west end is a small wooden tower, with a shingled turret. On
the east wall of the chancel is a brass plate, in memory of Isaiah
Bures (fn. 30) , M. A. of Baliol College, Oxford, vicar of Northall, who
died in 1610, and the monument of Sir George Probert (fn. 31) , with the
following inscription: "Memoriæ facrum D. Georgii Probert Militis
qui perantiquæ familiæ de Pantglase in agro Monumethensi tum
rerum tum virtutum præclarus, hæres, prorumpente nupero bello
civili, ante retró omnia funestissimo, sub piissimi regis Caroli Primi
signis strenue militabat ab eoque ad equestrem ordinem circa annum 1644 evocatus est. Demum a perduellibus per tria regna
truculentissimé grassantibus multa diraque per 12 annos intemeratâ
side infractoque animo perpessus, reduce augustissimo Carolo Secundo, Monmothiæ Burgensis remuneratus; toti honoratissimæ interioris domus Parliamenti senatui desideratissimus; patriæ, propinquis & universim singulis (quibus innotuit qu´m plurimis) charissimus; Londini febre correptus, constitutâ, re familiari, sumpto S.
Synaxeos viatico & pace eeclesiæ acceptâ, integris ad extremum
spiritum sensibus, piam efflavit animam Jan. 6. Anno Ætatis 60mo Salutis 1676–7. Ejus quod reliquum est propter summum amorem
erga Gulielmum Brabourn, S.S. T.D. hujus loci vicarium (qui ei
40 circiter annorum continuâ inviolatâque amicitiâ mœrens et
uti par est gratus se profitetur astrictum) in hâc ecclesiâ inhumatum supremis votis reliquit; ubi jacet coram altare sub lapide
Gyffordiano. Mœstissima conjux Magdalena inclytissimi D. Carol.
Williams de castro vocato Langybby in Com. Monmouth (a rebellibus in defectione nuperâ demolito) eq. aur. filia devotionis
necnon gratitudinis ergo posuit."
Epitaph of Bishop Lisle.
On the north wall of the chancel is the monument of Frances,
wife of James Rogers (a daughter and heir of Thomas Arundell),
1716; and on the south wall that of Samuel Nicholls, LL.D. master
of the Temple, and vicar of Northall, who died anno 1763. On
the floor within the rails of the communion-table is a brass plate, to
the memory of Susan, wife of John Gyfforde, who died in childbed of her twelfth child, at the age of 30, 1560; the tomb of Thomas Arundell, Gent. 1697; his son Thomas, 1706; and that of
Samuel Lisle, Bishop of Norwich (fn. 32) , with the following inscription:
"Sub hoc marmore quiescunt reliquiæ reverendi admodum præfulis
Samuelis Lisle, S.T.P. hujus ecclefiæ per viginti annos vicarii,
qui and amplissimos honores in academiâ et in ecclefiâ evectus, Col"legii Wadhamensis apud Oxonienses custos, Archidiaconus Cantua"rensis, domus inferioris convocationis prolocutor, Episcopus primó
Asaphensis, dein Norvicensis. Singula hæc dignitatis munera
summâ cum fide, diligentiâ, gravitate explevit. Obiit tertio die
Octobris 1749, Ætat. 67."
On the south side of the nave is the tomb of Henry Rowdell, Esq. (fn. 33)
(with a brass plate and a figure of the deceased in armour), 1452.
The font, which stands upon a square pedestal, is octagonal, and
ornamented with quatrefoils, roses, &c.
Rectory and vicarage.
The church of this place, with the advowson, was given by
Geoffrey de Mandeville to the monastery which he founded at
Walden in Effex (fn. 34) . Upon the arbitration of a controversy between
that convent and the dean and chapter of St. Paul's (in the reign of
Henry III.), relating to this and other churches, it was agreed that
the patronage of Northall should for the future be vested in the
Bishop of London and his successors, and that the vicars should pay
12 marks annually towards the repairs of St. Paul's cathedral (fn. 35) . The
abbot of Walden and the prior of Hurley had small pensions out of
this rectory, and the chapel of Plassey received a third of the great
tithes belonging to the demesnes of Joan de Northall (fn. 36) . The vicarage
has been from time immemorial endowed with the great tithes, paying
an annual acknowledgment of 41. to the Bishop of London, as rector.
This endowment was confirmed by Bishop Fitzjames in 1518, when
some other matters relating to the payment of tenths, procurations, &c.
were adjusted (fn. 37) . The vicarage of Northall, with 48 acres of glebe,
was valued in 1650 at 215l. per annum (fn. 38) . In the King's books it is
rated at 15l. The vicarage house was rebuilt by Charles Alstone,
D. D. about the year 1692 (fn. 39) .
Vicars. William Piers.
George Palmer. Robert Malthus.
William Piers, or Pierse, who was collated to this vicarage in
1611, resigned it in 1632, on being promoted to the Bishopric of
Peterborough. He was afterwards translated to Bath and Wells.
During the civil war he was imprisoned for some time in the Tower;
after his release he led a retired life upon his private estate. He was
restored to his Bishopric in 1660, and died at a very advanced age
in 1670 (fn. 40) . Dr. Pierse's successor at Northall, Mr. Palmer, was sequestered by the Puritans, and his place supplied by Robert Malthus,
who proved so unacceptable to the inhabitants, that they petitioned Cromwell (fn. 41) for his removal, but without effect; for he
was suffered to keep possession of the vicarage till the Restoration,
when Mr. Palmer being dead, Dr. Brabourn was collated by Bishop
Dr. Samuel Lisle.
John Cockburn, D. D. collated to this vicarage in 1714, was born
in 1652, being son of John Cockburn, Esq. of the North of Scotland.
He received his education at Edinburgh and Aberdeen, at which
latter place his maternal uncle, Patrick Scougall, was Bishop. Being
obliged to leave Scotland on account of his inclination towards Episcopacy, he went to France, and thence to Holland, where he established an English church, at which he officiated 20 years. He afterwards came to England, and was collated to Northall by Bishop
Robinson, at the express desire of Queen Anne (fn. 42) . Dr. Cockburn
published a volume of sermons, several single discourses (among
which are one on the storm in 1703, preached at Amsterdam, and
a funeral sermon for Bishop Compton); a work called, "Right
Notions of God and Religion," and other tracts on religious subjects. He died Nov. 20, 1729, and was buried in the chancel at
Northall. His successor Dr. Samuel Lisle, warden of Wadham
College, Oxford, was promoted to the Bishopric of St. Asaph in
1743, and translated to Norwich in 1748, the year before his death.
Bishop Lisle published some sermons, preached upon public occasions. He was succeeded at Northall by Samuel Nicholls, LL.D.
Master of the Temple, author of several single discourses. He
preached Bishop Sherlock's funeral sermon.
Sir John Hotham.
John Hotham, collated to this vicarage on the death of Dr.
Nicholls in 1763, resigned it upon being promoted to the
Bishopric of Ossory in 1779. He is now Sir John Hotham, Bart.
and Bishop of Clogher. The present vicar is the Rev. Stephen
Eaton, M.A. Archdeacon of Middlesex, who succeeded Sir John
The earliest date of the register of baptisms in this parish is 1560,
that of burials 1583.
Comparative state of population.
||Average of baptisms.
||Average of burials.
The number of houses in this parish, anno 1667, was 49, the
present number is 60.
The register of burials is imperfect about the year 1603. In 1625
there were eight burials, in 1665 six only.
Extracts from the Register.
Family of Eyre.
"The Lady Elizabeth Eyre, of this parish, died at Gyfford's
farm, Nov. 13,and was buried at Camberwell in Surrey, Nov. 14,
1674; Christopher, son of Sir Christopher Eyre and the Lady
Anne (Jason) his lady, baptized Sep. 10, 1676; Sr Christopher
Eyre, Knt. died Sep. 11, and was buried at Camberwell, Sep. 13,
Family of Williams.
"Sir John Williams, Knt. (fn. 43) , of Eltham in Kent, and Mary
Powell, daughter of Sr William Powell, of Musto-house in
Fulham, married Dec. 16, 1674; Elizabeth, the daughter of Sr John Williams and Lady Mary his wife, baptized Oct. 16, 1681."
Sir George Probert.
"Jan. 6. Sir George Probert, Knt. of Penalt, in the county of
Monmouth, a most intimate friend of Dr. Brabourne, vicar of this
parish, died at Grey's Inn Lane, in London, and was buried in
the chancel, Jan. 8, 1676–7, by his own direction."
Family of Brydges.
"Mr. Thomas Brydges, son to the Rt Honble James Ld Chandos
and the Lady Elizabeth his wife, buried Feb. 26, 1680; Dorothy,
Sep. 4, 1681."Lord Chandos had by his wife Elizabeth 22 children, most of whom died in their infancy (fn. 44) .
Dorcas Shepherd, widow, aged 90, buried July 5, 1695.
"Oct. 11, 1749, was buried within the rails, close to the south
wall of the chancel, the Right Reverend Dr. Samuel Lisle, Lord
Bishop of Norwich, and vicar of this parish. His Lordship died
at his house in Lisle-street, London, upon Oct. 3, 1749, and was
interred here by the appointment of his executor."
"Jane Welch, from Sunbury, aged 94, buried Nov. 11, 1756."
"Stephen Charles Demainbray, Esq. of Richmond, buried Feb. 27,
1782." Dr. Demainbray was born in the parish of St. Martin's,
London, in the year 1710. His father having flown from France
to Holland, upon the revocation of the edict of Nantes, came over
to England with King William. He died soon after the birth of his
son, who was brought up by his uncle, an officer in the English
service, and page of honour to Queen Mary, who placed him at
Westminster school. Whilst pursuing his studies there, he boarded
in the house of Dr. Desaguliers, who instructed him in the mathematics and natural philosophy. At the age of seventeen, before he
had left school, he married: when, quitting it, he went to Leyden,
and followed his studies in the university at that place. In the year
1740, he began to read lectures in experimental philosophy at Edinburgh, and continued them till he was interrupted by the Rebellion.
He then took up arms for Government, and was a volunteer at the
battle of Preston-pans. In 1746, he resumed his lectures, and published his discovery of the effects of electricity upon the growth of
vegetables (fn. 45) . This discovery was afterwards claimed by Abbe Nollet,
but is very properly assigned to Dr. Demainbray by Priestley, in his
History of Electricity (fn. 46) . In 1749, Dr. Demainbray went to Dublin,
where he read his lectures with much success, as he did afterwards
in several of the French universities, who honoured him with prize
medals, and admitted him into their societies. In 1753, being
then at Paris, he was invited over to England, to read a course of
lectures to his present Majesty (then Prince of Wales) and the Duke
of York. On his return to England he married a second wife, his
first wife having died about the year 1750. In 1755 he read a public
course of lectures in the concert-room in Panton-street. After this
he gave private courses to other branches of the Royal family; and
on the arrival of her present Majesty in England, instructed her in
experimental philosophy and natural history. In 1768 he was appointed aftronomer to his Majesty's new observatory at Richmond,
and adjusted the instruments there in time to observe the transit of
Venus, which happened the ensuing year. Dr. Demainbray died in
1782, and was interred in the church-yard of this place, where he
had purchased a small estate of Dr. Parr. On his tomb is the following inscription: "Stephen Charles Triboudet Demainbray,
LL.D. who departed this life Feb. 20, 1782, on which day he
entered into his seventy-third year."
Instance of a person dying suddenly from intense heat.
"June 24, 1790, buried Anne Wilson, from Newbury in Berkshire, who dropped down dead in the fields, on account of the
excessive heat on the 22d." The heat on this day was not quite
so intense as on one day during the summer of 1793, but the transition from a temperate atmosphere was less gradual. The greatest
height of the thermometer on the 22d, as observed by Mr. Cavendish
at Clapham, was 91. The day preceding, it had not been higher
than 82, and on the 18th, 19th, and 20th, from 70 to 75. On
the 23d it rose no higher than 79½, and within a few days its greatest
height was 64½. On the 16th of July 1793, Mr. Cavendish's thermometer rose as high as 93½ (fn. 47) ; for some days preceding it had been
from 84 to 88.
Other instances were mentioned in the newspapers of that time,
of persons working in the fields, to whom the sudden heat, on the
22d of June 1790, proved fatal.
Thomas Arundell, who died in 1697, left 5l. per annum to poor
housekeepers of this parish.