This place was so called to distinguish it from Great Ilford, a
hamlet of Barking, which is much more populous. Morant
derives Ilford from the ill ford which was there before the bridge
was built. As the name is written in ancient records Eleford, I
should rather think that the true etymology is Eald-ford, i. e. the
Quantity of land, and how occupied.
Little Ilford lies in the hundred of Becontree, at the distance of
about six miles from London; a little to the south of the great
road. The parish is bounded on the west, south, and north, by
Eastham and Wanstead; and on the east by the river Rodon, which
separates it from Barking. It contains about 670 acres of land, of
which about 480 are arable, the remainder grass; about 120 acres
of the arable are usually cropped with potatoes: about 110 acres of
the grass land are in the marshes. The soil is, for the most part,
a light gravel. This parish pays the sum of 72l. 4s. to the landtax; which, in the year 1795, was at the rate of about 1s. 2d. in
Manor of Ilford Parva.
The manor of Ilford (now called Ilford Parva) was, in the reign
of William the Conqueror, the property of Goscelin Loremar (fn. 1) .
About the year 1213, it belonged to Haluit de Sifrewast (fn. 2) . In
1235, Richard de Grey had a grant of free warren in Ilford; which
had been Reginald Meander's and his wife Yselda's (mother of the
said Richard (fn. 3) ). In 1335, William de la Pole appears to have been
the proprietor (fn. 4) . It was afterwards given (by whom is not known)
to the abbot and convent of Stratford Langthorn; who were in
possession of it about the year 1460 (fn. 5) . After the dissolution of
religious houses, it was granted, anno 1541, (with Beringers in
Barking,) to Morgan Wolf, alias Philips; who left it, by will, to
his eldest son Julinus, or Julian. In the year 1596, Edward Onley,
son of Julian Morgan's widow by her second husband, being seised
of this manor, sold it to Hugh, John, and Nicholas Hare. In
1605, it was purchased of the Hares by Bernard Hyde, Esq. from
whom it descended to Humphrey Hyde; who, in 1701, sold it to
Henry Wight, Esq. (fn. 6) , whose grandson of the same name died in
1793; having devised his estates in the manner already described in
the account of Gayseham's-hall in Barking (fn. 7) .
Manor of Aldersbroke.
The manor of Aldersbroke in this parish was purchased by Lord
Cromwell, of George Monox, Esq. for K. Hen. VIII. (fn. 8) It is probable
that the King soon afterwards granted it to Sir John Heron, treasurer
of his chamber; for it appears that by his will, bearing date 1520,
he left it to his wife Margaret, if she continued single, with remainder to his son Sir Giles. On the attainder of Giles Heron his
grandson, (who married Cecilia, daughter of Sir Thomas More,) it
reverted to the crown; and in 1535, was granted for life to Anthony
Knevett, Esq. (fn. 8) In 1544, it was granted in fee to Catherine
Adington, widow, and her son Thomas (fn. 9) . The latter, in 1553,
conveyed it to John Traves (fn. 10) , whose son and heir of the same name
aliened it, in 1578, to Henry Earl of Pembroke (fn. 11) ; from him it passed,
in 1580, to Nicholas Fuller (fn. 12) ; and soon afterwards from Fuller to
Robert Earl of Leicester (fn. 13) , who left it, by will, to his countess, till
his natural son Robert Dudley should attain the age of twenty years.
Sir Robert Dudley sold it, in 1595, to Edward Bellingham, Esq. (fn. 14) ,
whose son Sir Edward died seised of it in 1636, when it was
inherited by his first cousin Cecily, wife of Thomas West (fn. 15) , whose
son Richard, in 1655, sold it to Henry Osbaston, Esq. (fn. 16) Elizabeth,
widow and executrix of Francis Osbaston, Esq. (fn. 17) , aliened it, in 1694,
to Sir John Lethieullier (fn. 18) . It was many years the property of that
family, who made the manor-house one of their principal places of
residence. In the year 1786, Edward Hulse, Esq. (who married
Mary, daughter and heir of Charles Lethieullier, Esq.) sold it to the
late Sir James Tylney Long, Bart. (fn. 19) It is now vested in his son.
The house was pulled down immediately after Sir J. T. Long's
purchase, and a farm-house built on the site.
The parish-church, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, is a small neat
structure, consisting of a nave and a chancel. At the west end is a
low tower and cupola.
On the north wall of the chancel is a monument (with the effigies
of the deceased in kneeling attitudes) to the memory of William
Waldegrave, Esq. who died in 1610, and of Dorothy his wife, ("of
"the honorable family of the Conyers' of the North",) who died
in 1589. Edward, one of their sons, was agent for King James
to the Elector Palatine, and the consederate princes of Germany.
On the same wall is the monument of Francis Osbaston, Esq. (fn. 20) , who
died while high sheriff for the county, anno 1678. On the south
wall are the monuments of Mrs. Anne Briscoe, 1739; Elizabeth,
wife of Mr. Robert Peck (fn. 21) of London, 1741; and Nathaniel Lambert, Esq. (fn. 22) , gentleman pensioner to Queen Anne, George I., and
George II. 1745. On the floor is a brass plate (with the figure of the
deceased) in memory of Thomas, son and heir of Sir John Heron,
who died at Aldersbroke, anno 1517; and the tombs of Henry Osbaston, Esq. 1669, and Fuller his sixth son, 1660. On the north wall
of the nave is a monument in memory of Thomas Gowland, Esq.
1779; Emma Elizabeth his first wife, (daughter of Edmund Chamberlayne, Esq. of Maugersbury in the county of Gloucester,) 1770;
and Anne his second wife, daughter of John Harriott, Esq. 1778.
On the floor are the tombs of William, son of Bernard Hyde, Esq.
1614; Anne his daughter, 1630; and Mrs. Susan Comyns, 1745.
At the west end of the church is the monument of Robert Doughty,
At the north-west corner of the church is the burial-place of the
Lethieullier family, which, with the room over it, was built by a
faculty in the year 1724. In this room, which is connected with
the church, are several handsome monuments of white and veined
marble, in memory of John Lethieullier, Esq. (eldest son of Sir John
Lethieullier of Lewisham,) 1737; Elizabeth his wife, (daughter of
Sir Joseph Smart of Theydon Bois,) who died in consequence of
being overturned in her coach, 1724; Charles Lethieuller, Esq. (fn. 23) ,
1759; (he married Mary, daughter of William Gore, Esq. of Tring,
by Lady Mary Compton;) Smart Lethieullier, Esq. (fn. 24) , 1760; Margaret his wife, daughter of William Sloper, Esq. of Woodhay,
Berks, 1753; and Benjamin Smart, Esq. bencher of the Middle
The church of this place is a rectory in the diocese of London,
and in the deanery of Barking. It is valued in the King's books at
11l. 13s. 9d. It was reported to the commissioners appointed to
inquire into the state of ecclesiastical benefices, anno 1650, that
Ilford Parva was a rectory worth 55l. per annum, and that Humphrey Richards, an able preaching minister, was the rector (fn. 25) . The
patronage has always been vested in the lord of the manor.
Sir John Heron, who died in 1521, gave five marks per annum
(3l. 6s. 8d.) payable by the Fishmongers' Company to the rector of
this parish and his successors (fn. 26) . The glebe belonging to the rectory
is about 40 acres.
Thomas Newton, rector.
Thomas Newton, instituted to this rectory in 1583, was a native
of Cheshire. After a short residence at Oxford, he removed to
Queen's College in Cambridge, where he finished his education, and
became particularly noted for the excellence of his Latin poetry.
When he first left the university, he practised physic at Macclesfield;
but afterwards kept a school there, which he removed to Ilford upon
his obtaining that benefice. His works are numerous and various:
The History of the Saracens; a book of approved Medicines; "The
Death of Delia, with the Tears of her Funeral, being a poetical
excusive Discourse of our late Queen Elizabeth, 1603; a pleasant
new History, or a fragrant Poesie made of three Flowers, Rose,
Rosalind, and Rosemary:" and several translations, among which is
one of Seneca's Tragedy of Thebais (fn. 27) . He is supposed also to have
been the author of the Herbal of the Bible (fn. 28) . Mr. Newton died in
1607, and was buried in the church of Little Ilford, to which he left
a legacy for ornaments.
The present rector is the Rev. Hugh Price, M. A. instituted in
1787, on the resignation of John Chaunler.
The register of baptisms, burials, &c. begins in the year 1539.
Comparative state of population.
||Average of Baptisms.
||Average of Burials.
Many of the burials of late years have been from other
It was reported to the commissioners appointed to inquire into
the state of ecclesiastical benefices, in 1650, that the parish of Little
Ilford contained only ten or twelve families, part of which were on
the north side of the great road, and very proper to be joined to
Wanstead; the jurors recommended that the church should be pulled
down, and the materials used for building another in the parish of
Barking, in the forest (fn. 29) . This church was built (fn. 30) , but that of
Little Ilford was not pulled down. The present number of houses in
this parish is fifteen.
In 1603, there were four burials, and as they were all out of one
family, it may be presumed that the persons interred died of the
plague. In 1625 there were six burials.
Bernard Hyde, Esq. by a deed bearing date 1630, gave 1l. per
annum to the poor of this parish, which is paid by the Salters'
Mart for cattle.
A great mart for cattle, from Wales, Scotland, and the north of
England, is held annually, from the latter end of February till the
beginning of May, on the flat part of the forest of Waltham, (commonly called Epping Forest,) within the parishes of Ilford, Eastham,
Westham, Leyton, and Wanstead. A great part of the business
between the dealers is transacted at the Rabbits in this parish, on the