Name. situation, boundaries, extent, &;c.
This parish, in ancient records called Northwude, or Northwode, (that is, the North Wood,) lies in the hundred of
Elthorne, about eleven miles distant from London, between the
Hounslow and Uxbridge roads. It is bounded by Heston, Cranford,
Hayes, Northall, and Greenford, and contains 2360 acres of land;
of which 1354 are arable, 981 meadow (fn. 1) , and 25 waste. The
soil is for the most part gravelly. This parish pays the sum of
3921. 12s. 4¾d. to the land-tax, which is at the rate of 2s. 4¼d.
in the pound. The grand junction canal passes through this parish.
Manor of Norwood.
Among the lands given by Warherdus to the church of Canterbury in 830 was an estate at Northwude in Middlesex, consisting of
120 acres (fn. 2) . The manor of Norwood does not occur in the survey of
Doomsday, being included (I suppose) in the archbishop's manor of
Hayes. The first mention I have found of it upon record is in a
court roll, bearing date 1481; in which year John Peke, master of
the mystery or guild of ironmongers, held his first court for this
manor (fn. 3) . In the year 1484, Thomas Grafton and others held a
court as feoffees. Edward Chefeman, Esq. who died anno 1510,
was seised of the manor of Norwood held under the Archbishop of
Canterbury (fn. 4) . His son Robert, who died in 1547, left a daughter
(Anne) married to Francis Chamberlayne, Esq. (fn. 5) It seems to have
been aliened by Robert Chamberlayne, Esq. to Gregory Fynes
Lord Dacre, about the year 1580 (fn. 6) . After the death of Lady Dacre,
which happened in 1595, the manor of Norwood was sold by her
executors. Francis Awsiter, Esq. held his first court there in 1602;
and the manor continued in his family till 1756, when it was purchased of John Awsiter, Esq. in trust for Mrs. Agatha Child, widow (fn. 7) .
It is now vested in Robert Dent, Esq. and others, as trustees under
the will of the late Robert Child, Esq. This manor was held by the
relief of a Knight's fee (5l.) payable on every death or alienation to
the lord of the manor of Hayes. The release of this payment was
purchased about the year 1783 by Mr. Child.
Manor of Southall.
The manor of Southall (held under the Archbishop of Canterbury)
was in 1395 and in 1440 the property of John Shoredych, Esq. (fn. 8) In
1473 was held the court of Matilda, relict of Richard Willy, then
lady of the manor. In the reign of Henry VII. courts were held
jointly for the manors of Norwood and Southall (fn. 9) ; and they passed
together to the Chesemans, Chamberlaynes, and Dacres. Lady
Dacre disposed of them differently by her will (fn. 10) ; yet the names of
both manors appear in the court rolls when the Awsiters held their
first courts, and have been so continued to the present time; but no
manerial rights (fn. 11) are exercised at Southall, which lies within Mr.
Ascough's manor of Hayes. Mr. Ascough has a weekly market at
Southall, and two annual fairs (on the Wednesday in Easter week,
and the first Wednesday in October); by virtue of a grant from
William the Third to his ancestor Francis Merick, Esq. bearing date
Dorman's Well near Southall, in the parish of Norwood, formerly
the seat of Lord Dacre (fn. 12) , is now the property of George Merick
Ascough, Esq. Norden describes it as surrounded with a park
pale (fn. 13) .
Norwood chapel, a small structure, consists of a nave, chancel, and
north aisle. It exhibits the architecture of various periods. The
north door has a Saxon arch; the windows of the chancel are
lancet-shaped, and very narrow; those in the nave are of a later
Monument of Robert Cheseman.
In the east window of the chancel is a coat of arms in stained
glass (fn. 14) . On the north wall is a monument with an obtuse Gothic
arch, ornamented with foliage and quatrefoils, to the memory of
Robert Cheseman, Esq. who died in 1547. It has no inscription,
but may be ascertained by the arms (fn. 15) . On the same wall is a handsome monument (with the effigies of the deceased, as large as the
life, in white marble, recumbent on a sarcophagus) to the memory
of John Merick, Esq. (fn. 16) of Norcutt, 1749; and those of Susanna,
wife of Robert Kidwell (fn. 17) , 1694; and George Charles Blacke, late
minister of the chapel, 1775. On the east wall is the monument of
Isabel, wife of Thomas Nelson (fn. 18) of Chadleworth, Berks, and daughter
of Francis Merick, Esq. 1769, and that of Francis Ascough (fn. 19) , Esq.
(with his bust in white marble) 1788. On the south wall is a stone
with the following inscription: "Here lyved sometimes in this
parish, to the glory of God, and this Commonwealth's good,
Christopher Merik (fn. 20) , Esq. with Agnes his loving and loyal wife,
by whom he had issue four sonnes: he departed this life on the
blessed birth-day of our Saviour Christ, in the year from thence
1614, and lieth buried in the Temple church, London." On the
same wall is a memorial of Sarah Horsnell, daughter of John Huxley,
Esq. of Wyer Hall, in Edmonton, and Elizabeth Ascough, daughter
of Francis Merick, Esq. On the chancel floor are the tombs of Matthew Hunsley, Gent. (with a brass plate) 1618; Francis Awsiter,
Esq. 1624; John Awsiter, Esq. (fn. 21) 1787; John Allanson (fn. 22) , Gent.
1628; John Merick, Esq. 1663; Isabel, his wife, daughter of Sir
Thomas Burdett, Bart. 1696; Anne, wife of Francis Ascough, Esq.
(within the rails of the communion-table), 1763; and Mr. Hopeful
Hayward, 1773. On the south wall of the nave is the monument
of Francis Merick, Esq. (fn. 23) 1702; and on a pillar of the north aisle,
that of Joseph Biscoe, Esq. (fn. 24) deputy-chorographer of the court of
Common Pleas, 1750. In this aisle are the tombs of Joseph Alsop
Biscoe (son of the above), aged 22, 1740; and Ralph Hodson, Esq.
barrister at law, 1774. In the nave, those of Nathan Wright, Esq. son
of Sir Nathan Wright (Keeper of the Great Seal from 1700 to 1705),
1736; Anne, wife of Thomas Child, Esq. 1759; William Child, Esq.
1763; George Child, Esq. 1765; and Robert Forster, 1770. In
the chapel-yard are no tombs of note.
Minister of the chapel.
Though Norwood is considered in other respects as a separate
parish or precinct, yet the chapel is only an appendage of Hayes,
the vicar of which place is collated to his benefice with the chapel of
Norwood annexed. He appoints the minister, who has a stipend paid
out of the great tithes, which has been augmented by Queen Anne's
bounty. The commissioners appointed to inquire into the state of ecclesiastical benefices in 1650, reported, that the chapel of Norwood belonged to Hayes; that James Chibbald, the minister, was presented by
Thomas Jenings (lessee of the rectory), who allowed him out of the
tithes of Norwood 481. per annum. These tithes were then valued
at 200l. per annum. The commissioners suggested, that it would be
convenient to make Norwood a parish church (fn. 25) . Hayes and Norwood are in the peculiar jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The present minister of Norwood is the Rev. Anthony Hinton, M. A.
who succeeded Mr. Blacke in 1775.
The earliest date of the register at Norwood is 1654.
Comparative state of population.
||Average of Baptisms.
||Average of Burials.
The present number of houses in this parish, or precinct, is 129;
of which 40 are in the village of Norwood, 33 in the hamlet of
Southall-green, and 56 in that of Norcott, aliasSouthall, which
lies upon the Uxbridge road, about a mile from Norwood chapel.
In 1665 there were only 12 burials; two children (of the same
family) died of the plague.
Extracts from the Register.
"Susanna Damaris, the daughter of Sir Samuel Morland (fn. 26) , Knt.
and Bart. was baptized Feb. 28, 1666."
"John Lee and Johanna Maynard (daughter of Serjeant Maynard (fn. 27) ), married Aug. 2, 1666."
May Fair marriages.
"George Keith, the son of the Rev. Alexander Keith, buried
Feb. 5, 1739." Mr. Keith (who had four sons buried at this
place) was minister of May-Fair chapel (famous in the annals of
matrimony), where his conduct was such as to subject him to ecclesiastical censures, and he was publicly excommunicated in the
month of October 1742 (fn. 28) ; when he had the impudence to retaliate,
by excommunicating, at his own chapel, Bishop Gibson, Dr.
Andrews, the judge of his court, and Dr. Trebeck, rector of St.
George's, Hanover-square (fn. 29) . When Mr. Keith's wife died in 1749,
he had her corpse embalmed, and kept it unburied for many months.
One of his advertisements during this period, will, no doubt, amuse
the reader: "We are informed, that Mrs. Keith's corpse was removed from her husband's house in May Fair, the middle of
October last, to an apothecary's in South Audley-street, where
the lies in a room hung with mourning, and is to continue there
till Mr. Keith can attend her suneral. The way to Mr. Keith's
chapel is through Piccadilly, by the end of St. James's-street, and
down Clarges-street, and turn on the left hand. The marriages
(together with a licence on a five shilling stamp and certificate)
are carried on for a guinea, as usual, any time till four in the afternoon, by another regular clergyman, at Mr. Keith's little chapel
in May Fair, near Hyde-park-corner, opposite the great chapel,
and within ten yards of it: there is a porch at the door like a
country-church porch (fn. 30) ." A newspaper paragraph (March 26,
1754) states, that on the 24th, being the last Sunday before the
marriage-act took effect, 45 couple were united in the bands of matrimony before eleven o'clock, at May-Fair chapel; that a vast number were then waiting, and that two men were wholly and closely
employed in making out the licences (fn. 31) .
Instances of Longevity.
"Thomas Colston, aged 95 years, buried Aug. 14, 1679; Dorothy Rouse, aged 90, May 2, 1779; Mary Godin, aged 97,
May 10, 1781."
Benefactions for the education and clothing of children:
Francis Courtney, by his will, dated 1706, gave some land and
cottages, now let at 5l. 2 s. per annum, for the education of poor
children of Norwood, Southall, and Norcutt, "till the world's end."
Elisha Biscoe, Esq. by will, anno 1772, gave the sum of 3500 l. for
the purpose of clothing and educating 30 boys and 10 girls, belonging to the parishes of Norwood, Heston, and Hayes. The yearly
income of this fund is 136 l. 10 s.
For the poor.
Robert Cheseman, Esq. who died in 1547, gave a copyhold estate,
called Hill-house, for an obit, expending at the obit and in the chapel,
to be given to 12 poor women, 22 s.; and if the estate should not
produce so much, the deficiency to be made up out of the lands of
Henry Castor (fn. 32) .
William Early, William Komyn, and Edward Hiller, by deed,
anno 1618, gave a house and lands (now let at 9 l. 10s. per annum)
for the poor of Norwood parish, at the discretion of the chapelwardens. Francis Awsiter, Esq. anno 1624, gave by will an annual
rent-charge of 30 s. (deducting 8 s. for a sermon, and 2 s. to the
clerk) to be distributed among poor widows attending the church on
William Millet, by will, 1631, gave a close of land, now let at
8 l. 13 s. 4d. clear, to the parishes and hamlets of Norwood, Norcott,
Heston, and Southall, for the use and maintenance of the poor.
George Finch, yeoman, by will (1633) gave an annual rent-charge
of 2 l. to the poor, to be distributed on the feast of the Purification.
Benefactions of bread.
Robert Hampton, by deed (1651) gave a rent-charge of 2l. per
annum for the purpose of distributing 13 twelvepenny loaves thrice
in the year; the remaining shilling to be given to the clerk. Robert
Merick, Esq. gave by will the sum of 100l. to be laid out in
land, the produce to be appropriated to the purchasing of 2 s.
worth of bread every Sunday in the year, to be distributed among
such of the poor as should attend the public ordinances, and were
not given to the novelties of the times. The land purchased pursuant to his will produces a clear rent of 3 l. 15 s. 2d.