Wednesday, 30 April 2014

The Foundation of the Colchester Castle Museum and its Links with the Essex Archaeological Society

An extract from an essay written by Andrew Smith: 

A. F. J. Brown claims that it was not the Colchester Corporation which should be credited with the establishment of the town’s museum but the Essex Archaeological Society (now the Essex Society for Archaeology and History): “It was not the Council but the new Essex Archaeological Society that resolved to provide the required accommodation” (Brown, 1980, 45).  This Chapter will explore the contribution of the Society to the growth of the museum on the Castle premises.

In 1845 the Museums Act allowed Councils it raise a ½d rate for the purpose of establishing a museum[1].  Brown says that initially the Corporation was not interested however pressure from John Taylor, proprietor of the Essex Standard newspaper, antiquarian, and Councillor, shortly led to the creation of a small museum within the new Town Hall[2] in September 1846.  “His persistence … opened an accessions book, beginning with the first entry …, “The gift of ‘An Antique Cabinet containing 497 coins (chiefly Roman), collected by Issac Lemyng Rebow, Esq., (grandson of [the aforementioned] Sir Isaac Rebow), who died in 1734’” (Rudsdale, 1947, 1).

This was the age of descendants of those who had been on the grand tours, collecting antiquities.  The impetus for the formation of a countywide society interested in archaeology and history began in Colchester in 1850 when its Literary Institution formed an archaeological group.  These were country gentry or professional gentlemen who were amateur enthusiasts in the field of antiquity.  One of its founders was William Wire, a notably Colcestrian (a watchmaker and dealer in curiosities, but a non-conformist), who was thwarted in an attempt to secure for himself a salary to open a museum by Revd. Henry Jenkins, the rector of Stanway, who has recently (1842) excavated the site at Gosbecks suggested that the existence of a Roman villa[3].  Other leading members were Dr P. Martin Duncan, a physician, whose name is now lent to a gateway in the Colchester Roman wall, and Reverend Edward Lewis Cutts, the curate at Coggeshall, who later (1888) wrote a history of Colchester.  The group took out advertising in local newspapers to attract “gentlemen” to what became the Essex Archaeological Society.  “The prospectus stated that one of its principal objects which it contemplated was to establish a Museum for the collection and preservation of the antiquities of the county” (Benton, 1927, 287[4]).

The inaugural meeting of the Society was held in Colchester on 14 December 1852.  Its first President was John Disney (1779 – 1857), of The Hyde, Ingatestone, who had recently donated a number of sculptures[5] to, and founded the Disney professorship of archaeology at Cambridge University.  Annual membership of the Society was 10s.6d. (half a guinea), which was not increased to 15 shillings until 1946.  Membership was subject to recommendation and election, which remained the case until the 1960s.  (Set in context the subscription was around a week’s wages of an agricultural labourer.[6])

In 1852 the Corporation received a bequest from Alderman Henry Vint.  “This was a series of bronzes, some of Roman date found in Colchester … on condition that a fire-proof museum building was to be provided within three years’ of Mr Vint’s death [otherwise] the bronzes were to go to the British Museum” (Rudsdale, 1947, 7).

Charles Gray Round, the Treasurer of the Essex Archaeological Society, was the owner of Colchester Castle.  He offered the Chapel within the building for the purpose of a museum.  Minutes of the Essex Archaeological Society dated 29 August 1854 record that “The Plan presented by Mr Hayward for fitting up the Chapel & corridor of Colchester Castle as a museum was accepted, so far as relates to the Chapel”[7].

Minutes of the meeting held at Colchester Castle on 16 June 1857 record that “Dr Duncan reported that the Vint Bronzes had been handed over to the possession of the Corporation of Colchester, and that the Corporation have appointed a subcommittee of their body to confer with the Essex Archaeological Society on the subject of an Archaeological Museum”.  In August 1860 “the Museum Committee was empowered to and together with the Corporation in the appointment of a Curator”[8].

The Essex Standard reported in 1860 the opening of the museum, “the first exhibition contained the Vint Bronzes, the Taylor collection of Roman grave groups and the collections of the Essex Archaeological Society.  Shortly after the opening, the celebrated Colchester Sphinx, found at the hospital in 1821, was acquired from the Committee of that institution” (Rudsdale, 1947, 8).  “In 1861 C.G. Round presented the Colchester and Essex sections of William Wire’s collection, which he had bought after Wire’s death” (Powell, 2001, 12).

Primary sources
Largely uncatalogued minutes and papers of the Essex Society for Archaeology and History, held privately.[1]

Secondary sources
Benton, Rev. G. Montagu.  The Early History of The Society and of the Colchester and Essex Museum.  TEAS ‘New Series’. Volume 18.  (“Published by the Society at the Museum in the Castle”, 1927)
Brown, A. F. J.  Colchester 1815-1914 (Essex County Council, 1980)
Powell, W R.  Our Triple Jubilee: the Essex Archaeological Society 1852-2002. Essex Archaeology and History. ‘Third Series’. Volume 32.  (“Published by the Society at the Museum in Colchester Castle”, 2001)
Society at the Museum in the Castle”, 1926)
Rudsdale, Eric[6]Colchester Museum, 1846-1946.  Essex Review. Volume 56 (Benham & Co, 1947)

[1] The Society has begun work to classify, interpret and deposit relevant material at the Essex Record Office.
[2] G.M.B.: Revd. G Montagu Benton.
[3] The booklet does not credit the author but the Colchester Museum Annual Report for 1967/68 and G Mark R Davies’ tribute to David Clarke in the Transactions of the Society identifies his name.  Clarke was museum curator for 1963 to 1988.
[4] Newsletter circulated to members of the Essex Society for Archaeology and History.
[5] H.W. Poulter was Assistant Curator, living and working at Hollytrees, from 1929 until his death in 1962.  His photograph appears on the staircase wall of the museum.
[6] Eric Rudsdale (1910-1951) was a youngster with a passion for local history.  He became a well-known and regular visitor to the museum in his teenage years, being titled ‘Pupil Assistant’ in the annual museum reports before being appointed Assistant Curator near to his 18th birthday in 1928.  He stayed at the museum until 1945.

[1] Until 1990 Councils were funded from a local tax known as General Rates.  Each property in the town was assigned a notional annual rental value against which a Council charged a ‘rate in the pound’. So, for example if a rate in the pound was set at one shilling, this meant a tax to the owner of 5% (one shilling being an equivalent 5 pence in the pound).
[2] On the site of the one presently standing, which was opened in 1902.
[3] It was later confirmed to be a Roman Temple.
[4] Quoting Lord Braybrooke’s report read on the occasion of the opening of the Museum at the Castle on 27 September 1860.
[5] The ‘Disney marbles’, as they are known, form a significant collection within the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. See http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/dept/ant/greeceandrome/collectors/disney.html (accessed 11 May 2013).
[6] If we assume that annual membership of the Society is equivalent to a week’s wages today, it would be around £240 rather than £22.
[7] E.A.S. Minute Book Volume 1, held in the private Librarian’s Office of the Society.
[8] Same source.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Blackmore Area Local History: Blackmore: The Bull - Planning Appeal by Owner

Blackmore Area Local History: Blackmore: The Bull - Planning Appeal by Owner: The Bull - when it was open in 2003 I don't believe it!  Despite opposition from over 1000 residents the owner of The Bull has ap...

Colchester Castle Museum to reopen Friday 2 May 2014

Colchester Castle Museum opens its doors to the public once again on Friday 2 May 2014 after a major refit and reinterpretation of the town’s history.  The exhibition places emphasis on Colchester since the Roman times. 

The Museum’s advertisement, which appears in the April 2014 edition of the BBC History Magazine, says that visitors will have a new interactive experience using cutting edge technology.  You will be able to excavate the Doctor’s grave as well as see newly acquired exhibits including finds from the Roman Circus. 

In any reinterpretation some items will no longer be displayed.  With emphasis on the “most important Romano British collection outside London” the Essex Society for Archaeology and History has learnt that perhaps one of the best Iron Age and Bronze Age collections will not be on show. 

Doctor’s Grave

The “Doctor’s Grave”, as it has become known locally, was excavated at Stanway Hall Farm (TL 9560 2250) in 1996.  It is the site now known as Gosbecks Archaeological Park.  Alison Bennett reported the grave in ‘Archaeology in Essex’ in Volume 28 of the Third Series of the Society’s Transactions:

“Roman sites were well to the fore, with the most interesting discovery from Stanway, where further excavation of the Roman burial enclosures revealed many finds, including a gaming board with the pieces still in position.  This single find captured the imagination of the national and local press”.

Philip Crummy, for the Colchester Archaeological Trust, added that it “included a gaming board with the pieces in position, a small set of surgical instruments, a copper-alloy strainer bowl, a pottery dinner service, a Spanish amphora, a flagon, and a samian bowl”.  It dates from the AD 50s.

Roman Circus

The discovery of the Roman Circus, and visit to the site owned by the Colchester Archaeological Trust, has been reported elsewhere on ESAH160.  The Third Series of Transactions of the Essex Society for Archaeology and History, Vol. 36 p.152; Vol 37 p.158-9, Vol 38 p.172-3 and Vol 39 p. 178, 179, gave a summary of the excavations.

The following is an extract from an essay submitted for a Certificate in Local History module in spring 2013:

“In 2004 the only Roman Circus so far found in Britain was discovered on the former Garrison site about 500 metres south of the southern wall of the town.  The huge chariot racing track was capable of accommodating 7,000 spectators.  It was 400 metres long and 80 metres wide.  Early in the excavation the starting gates were found in the garden of the Sergeants’ Mess in Le Cateau Road.  Channel 4’s TV programme ‘Time Team’ subsequently located the starting gates, some of the wall, and the spina, the centre wall in the circus which acted as a barrier for chariots racing.  Efforts by the Colchester Archaeological Trust to purchase the Sergeants’ Mess for the purpose of an interpretation centre subsequently failed, but the purchase of the adjacent former Army Education Centre was successful.  The building, named Roman Circus House, opened to the public for the first time over the Heritage Weekend in September 2012.  It is hoped that the Centre will be fully operational by 2014 with the starting gate exposed and glazed over on view.  This is an exciting development in the interpretation of Colchester’s history.  Of course all history books do not mention the Circus, so its discovery illustrates the evolving nature of archaeology.”

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Saturday, 26 April 2014

ESAH160: Chadwell Heath History Fair: Saturday 26 April 201...

ESAH160: Chadwell Heath History Fair: Saturday 26 April 201...: CHADWELL HEATH HISTORICAL SOCIETY 4th CHADWELL HEATH HISTORY FAIR Saturday 26th April 2014 St. Chad’s Church Hall, St. Chad’s Road...

London Archaeologist Prize 2014

The London Archaeological Prize 2014

Now in its tenth year, this biennial publication prize has aimed to promote the highest standards in writing about London’s archaeology. If you’ve read - or indeed written - a great piece of work over the past couple of years, why not enter it for this prestigious award?  £250 + certificate will be awarded to the best publication of 2012 or 2013. A second prize of £100 plus certificate will also be awarded if enough entries of high standard are received. Anyone can make a nomination – whether author, publisher or appreciative reader. Any printed or digital publication related to London can be nominated: entries have included monographs, popular books, conference papers and articles; for audiences from children to academics; by authors from professional and non-professional sectors. A winning entry, as judged by the panel of judges appointed by London Archaeologist, will deliver quality and excellence to its intended readers, and will meet the aims it sets out to achieve.

How to enter 
The full rules and official nomination forms are available from the LA website londonarchaeologist.org.uk or from Al Telfer (details below). Or you can send written nominations to her, giving: details of publication and publisher name and contact details of nominator, reason the publication is worthy of the prize (in 100 words). No copies of the publication should be sent as these will be supplied by publishers of the shortlisted publications.

Request nomination forms from, and return to:
Al Telfer
London Archaeological Prize
Mortimer Wheeler House
46 Eagle Wharf Road
London N1 7ED
Email: atelfer@mola.org.uk


Friday, 25 April 2014

Parklife London

I'm getting in touch on behalf of the City of London Corporation's charity, City Bridge Trust, to tell you about the Wanstead launch of our ground-breaking green-spaces tool, Parklife London. This mobile website geolocates you and allows you to search for all the parks and green spaces in your area and get involved with local projects within them. Originally launched in London's 12 inner city boroughs it had now been relaunched in an additional 20 boroughs of Greater London including Wanstead - allowing residents of Wanstead to tap into all their parks and open spaces at the touch of a button. If you're looking for a good picnic spot for the May bank holiday, or perhaps hoping to spot beautiful spring time bluebells near you, Parklife London will help you find, use and share these parks with others. All this can be found at www.parklifelondon.org.

With Spring now upon us, we would love to get you using Parklife and sharing the news of its launch with your Wanstead readership, through a short blog post.

Do take a look at the site to see if your readers would be interested in knowing about this, and don't hesitate to give me a ring on 0203 544 4949 if you have any questions or comments.

Kind regards,


Wednesday, 23 April 2014

The Centenary of the Diocese of Chelmsford

St Mary's Church, Chelmsford, chosen to be Cathedral
Chelmsford Cathedral celebrates its centenary in 2014.  One hundred years ago a new Anglican diocese was formed out of the See of St Albans.  The massive expansion of London during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries had led to a number of reorganisations.  Until 1846 Essex was part of the Diocese of London; for the 31 years which followed, the cathedral church was Rochester for the vast majority of the parishes.  Thomas Legh Claughton, who lived in Essex, transferred as Bishop from Rochester to St Albans in 1877.  This covered the whole of the counties of Essex and Hertfordshire.  By the early twentieth century the Diocese had become unmanageable perhaps contributing, thought Revd Reeve of Stondon Massey, to the untimely death of Bishop Festing who suggested that it “is easier for a Bishop to know his Bradshaw than his Bible”. 

In 1905 a proposal was made to divide the Sees of St Albans, Ely and Norwich into five areas, creating new Dioceses in Essex and Suffolk.  The Suffolk cathedral was to be situated at Bury St Edmunds.  The Essex See was to be coterminous with the historic county boundary. 

Several towns put forward submissions for cathedral city status.  On 5 March 1908 a meeting was held at which 388 out of 461 benefices in the county, representing a population of 1,088,857 (1901 census) submitted their preference for their choice of town for the new cathedral.

“Twenty-eight benefices gave their first votes for Woodford, Barking, Waltham Abbey or Thaxted.

“Chelmsford obtained the votes of 191 benefices, 256 clergy, and 428,375 laity.

“Colchester 101 benefices, 121 clergy, and 120,657 laity.

“West Ham 63 benefices, 119 clergy, and 321,677 laity.

“Much the same result was arrived at by the votes of public meetings – namely, Chelmsford 65, Colchester 40, and West Ham 36.

“It was consequently resolved:

“‘That the church of Essex having in so unmistakable manner expressed its opinion, Chelmsford shall be suggested to the authority as the most suitable seat for the new diocese; that for the present no residence be purchased for the Essex bishop, but that the sum of £10,000 be invested, and the interest thereof be paid over to the bishop until the new see is instituted, for the rent of the house’“[1].

It was probably the central geographic location which clinched the choice of Chelmsford. 

It took a considerable time for the Bill to pass through Parliament, in part due to the poor constitutional relationship between the House of Lords and House of Commons at that time.  A General Enabling Bill was finally passed “at the extreme end of the Parliamentary session in 1913: and, having received the consent of the House of Lords and His most gracious Majesty King George V, passed into Law on August 15th [2].

Dr Watts-Ditchfield was consecrated as the first Bishop of Chelmsford at St Pauls Cathedral in February 1914 and enthroned “in the Church at Chelmsford, now to be known as the Cathedral … on Thursday, April 23rd [3].

St Mary’s Church, Chelmsford, was thus elevated to cathedral status.  Plans to enlarge the building to reflect its new role was made but these did not come to fruition. 

The town of Chelmsford had to wait until 2012 for City status.

Andrew Smith

[1] Cox, Rev J Charles. The Cathedral Church and See of Essex (1908) p17
[2] ERO T/P 188/3 f11
[3] ERO T/P 188/3 f8

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Visiting Chelmsford Cathedral as a Tourist

You know how it is.  We often do not visit the places local to us or, having visited them several years ago, somehow tick them off of the list as done it and seen it.  Although I know Chelmsford Cathedral well, and have attended worship there, I had not taken opportunity to visit as a tourist for more years than I care to mention.

Purchasing the new Guide Book (January 2014) from the bookstall, Chelmsford Cathedral is a revelation!  The building was designated in 1908 when a Diocese for Essex was decided upon, and although in the early days there were grand schemes to extend the former parish church to huge proportions, this never happened because of other priorities.  There have been modest extensions to the building during the twentieth and early part of the twenty-first century, but the building still has a town, or should I say City, parish church feel. Essentially the structure is fifteenth Century with a rebuilt Nave of 1800-03, after workman had accidently undermined a pillar causing it to collapse.  The rhyme “Chelmsford Church and Writtle steeple fell down one day but killed no people” might be known to some readers.  Inside, though, it is modern but tasteful.  It had a major refurbishment in 1983 when much of the heavy Victorian work including its pews were removed and replaced with chairs which created a flexible space where concerts could be held.  The Chelmsford Cathedral Festival began in 1984, for example, and ran for many years. But it’s the modern art which captures your attention, though not in any sense a vulgar way. 

The decoration of the Cathedral is credited to the inspiration of the recently retired Dean, Peter Judd.  When the Chapter House and Vestry block was extended and new lighting installed in the Cathedral, the Dean commissioned Peter Ball to produce ‘Christus Rex’ (‘Christ in Glory’) to be placed above the chancel arch.  Christ is shown with arms outstretched in welcome.  When the organ was moved from the North Transept – there are incidentally two organs, both modern though you would not know – a blank or blind window was filled with Mark Cazelet’s ‘The Tree of Life’ (2004), painted on 35 oak panels.  It depicts an Essex tree. Judas hangs from one of its branches. Adam and Eve as children run the wheat field. A landfill site shows a contrast of the use and abuse of our land. Peter Judd hoped it would convey the thought of trees renewing themselves every year, which holds something of a Christian message too.  Then in 2010 four panels were filled in the clerestory of the chancel.  These are icons produced by the Orthodox Community at Tolleshunt Knights in Essex.  These are of St Mary the Virgin, St Peter, St Cedd, and Christ.  But there is more to see.  You need the Guide Book. You need to look because cleverly these works of art are not garish but blend with the historic setting.

Chelmsford Cathedral might be a parish church cathedral but it is one not to be missed on any visit to the newly designated City, or church crawl.

Andrew Smith

Chelmsford Cathedral. Guide. 2014, with introduction from the New Dean, Nicholas Henshall.
Tuckwell, Tony.  Coming of Age. The Life and Times of Chelmsford Cathedral 1914-2014 (2013)

Monday, 21 April 2014

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Friday, 18 April 2014

Church Plate of the County of Essex (2): Great Parndon

Great Parndon Church Plate illustrated in 1924: Cup, 1562; Paten c. 1635

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Research: British Newspaper Archive

For immediate release

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You can currently search 7.7 million newspaper pages at The British Newspaper Archive, with thousands more added every week. View a list of the newspapers added in the last 30 days at www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/home/LatestAdditions


Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Colchester: Serious Fire Damages Sergeant's Mess

Sergeant's Mess and Roman Circus starting gates
site photographed Autumn 2013
An historic building adjacent to Colchester's Roman Circus went up in flames in the early hours of 12 April 2014. The Sergeant's Mess has been seriously damaged. For more read the report by the Colchester Archaeologist.  http://www.thecolchesterarchaeologist.co.uk/?p=11039

Meanwhile, replica starting gates have now been completed at the Roman Circus site.

High Country History Group: Essex Place Names Project: 24 April 2014

High Country History Group: Essex Place Names Project: 24 April 2014: A talk on Essex Place Names will be given by Paul Marden at the next meeting of the High Country History Group on Thursday 24 April 2014, ...

Monday, 14 April 2014

Poppies in Ongar

Ongar Town Council and the Ongar Millennium History Group have planted Flanders poppies throughout the town to commemorate the Centenary of the beginning of the First World War: http://www.guardian-series.co.uk/news/efnews/11133029.Event_to_mark_Great_War_centenary/

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Church Plate of the County of Essex (1)

In 1924 members of the Essex Archaeological Society received a final notice to intending subscribers to a volume entitled 'The Church Plate of the County of Essex and the Diocese of Chelmsford, described by the Rev. G. Montague Benton, M.A., F.S.A., the Rev. Canon F. W. Galpin, M.A., F.L.S., and the Rev. W. J. Pressey, M.A., Members of the Council of the Essex Archaeological Society, with an introduction by The Rev. W. J. Pressey, M.A., Vicar of Margaretting, Essex, and numerous illustrations from photographs by the Rev. Canon Galpin.'  The book was published by Messrs Benham and Company Limited of Colchester.  The cost to subscribers would be One Guinea nett, postage 1s. extra. After publication the cost of the volume, which would contain 350 to 370 pages, would increase to 30 shillings. Although £1.50 in today's money, this would nonetheless be a huge outlay. It just goes to prove how the price of publication has dramatically reduced. 

The note describes the book to be "A valuable piece of archaeological work, of lasting interest and utility in Essex.  ... Church Plate embodies a good deal of the history of the past, preserves much heraldry and local lore, and is also full of interest and instruction to the artist and the craftsman".

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Upminster is next Essex Society for Archaeology and History visit

Upminster Windmill
On 26 April 2014 members of the Essex Society for Archaeology and History will be visiting Upminster Windmill.

Upminster Windmill is a Grade II* smock windmill with boat shaped cap, maintaining its original machinery. Built in 1803, it was supplemented by steam power in 1812. Cap, fantail and sails are in working order. Heritage Lottery Funding has been applied for to restore the mill to full working order and build a visitor centre. Adjacent archaeological investigations includes the Millers House, Workers Cottage, mill buildings including steam plant, stable block and an array of finds.  

The Old Independent Chapel has been restored and sits opposite the windmill. Built c1800 with money donated by James Nokes, builder of the windmill. 

Monday, 7 April 2014

War Letters

From the Essex Society for Archaeology and History twitter account: 
Based on research for the forthcoming War Letters 1914–1918 series of books, 'War letters.net'  has links to a vast range of freely available online resources about the First World War from  official histories and government reports to  films, memoirs, paintings and much more.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

The Manor of Theydon Mount: Transactions n.s. Volume 12 Part 3

The Manor of Theydon Mount.
BY J. H. Round, M.A., LL.D.

An extract from the Transactions of the Essex Archaeological Society.
‘New Series’ Volume 12 Part 3 (1911) p198-202.

THE rapid publication of rolls and other medieval records by the Public Record Office and that of the early Essex fines by our own Society have, between them, thrown light on points of manorial history which have hitherto remained obscure. We must always remember that Morant wrote at an early date for a county historian, and the wonder is that he knew so much of our public records when they were still in MS. and comparatively inaccessible.

His account of the early history of the manor of Theydon Mount, which was one of some importance, is not satisfactory. There is no question that it gave name to a certain Paulin de ‘Teydene’ who held three knight's fees in Teydene and Little Wakering of ‘the Honour of Rayleigh' - that is to say the fief which had been forfeited by Henry of Essex.[1]  This Paulin de Tayden appears in our Feet of Fines for Essex (p. 74.) as tenant in 1228 of a quarter of the manor of Thorp, that is Southorp in Southchurch.[2]  Paulin had a predecessor, Henry de Thaydene’, who held these three fees of the Honour of Rayleigh.[3]  This was probably in the reign of John, for Henry occurs in our Feet of Fines for Essex (pp. 32, 50, 55) in 1203-1218).

We also meet with Henry de Teyden on the Close Rolls of John in 1213 and 1214.[4]  In 1215 he came seriously to grief in the great struggle between John and the barons, being one of the garrison of Rochester castle who narrowly escaped hanging when it surrendered to the king's forces, after a desperate defence, on November 30. This we learn from the Patent Roll of 1216, which shows us John, on June 18, ordering Henry to be brought to him in custody from prison.[5] A record of the following year proves that Paulin was his son and was in favour with the Crown; for the Crown committed him his father's land (in Gloucestershire).[6]  He was also favoured, 23 September, 1225, by the grant of a weekly market and a Michaelmas fair at Theydon (Mount),[7] and by an order (5 April, 1227) to Richard de Montfichet (as keeper of the forest of Essex) to deliver to him two bucks and  eight does for his park at Theydon.[8]  He also received remission, three months earlier, of the ‘relief’ due from him for three and a half fees held of the Honour of 'Wallingford.[9]  These had been held, as three fees, by his father, Henry de Taydene,' in 1212,[10] and re-appear as three fees in Little Rissington, co. Glouc., under Edward I.[11]  It is remarkable how far apart the holdings of comparatively small landowners sometimes lay. In 1230 Walter de Evermue secured, 50 marcs, the wardship and marriage of Paulin’s daughter in case of his death (si humaniter contingat).[12]

Morant knew nothing of Paulin de Theydon or of his daughter, who brought the manor in marriage to Robert de Briwes. This we learn from the Close Roll of 1236 where we read:-
Rex cepit homagium Roberti de Briwes de terris et tenementis que tenet de hereditate Berte filie et heredis Pauline (sic) de Teydene, uxoris predicti Roberti, de honore de Raelegh, cujus custodiam Rex dederat Waltero de Evermuth.[13]

The entry is not quite correct for Paulin is here transformed into a woman[14] and the scribe's ‘Berte' must be an error for ‘Beatrice’.  There is, we shall find, abundant proof that the heiress' name was Beatrice.

Robert de Briwes, who thus acquired Theydon Mount (and Little Wakering), bore a name which is usually confused with Brus (or Bruce) on one hand and with ‘Braose' on the other. He is wrongly styled by Morant Robert de 'Brus,' and must be carefully distinguished from his more important contemporary, Sir Robert de Brus, of the famous family, who was lord, in Essex, of Writtle. Robert de Briwes was son of John de Briwes, who held some exchequer office in 1207,[15] and for whose land he did homage in 1229.[16]  This land was at Stapley FitzPaine in Somerset,[17] which the family held of the Honour of Mortain, and where they had been established at least as early as 1172.[18]

In the spring of 1238 our Feet of Fines for Essex (p. 119) shew us Robert de ‘Brywes' and Beatrice his wife parties to a fine with Robert, parson of Theydon, concerning land in Theydon.[19]  On June 23, 1239, they received a grant of a weekly market, on Thursdays at 'Tayden' and of a yearly fair there for three days at Michaelmas.[20]  In our Feet of Fines for Essex (p. 165) we have Robert de ‘Bruys' and Beatrice dealing with land in 'Thorp' in 1248, and at Midsummer of the same year we have (p. 179) the important fine at Clarendon, before the king himself and his justices, by which Robert de ‘Briwes' and Beatrice transferred for 100 marcs (66l. 13s. 4d.) the manor of ‘Tayden’[21], with the advowson, to John de Lessinton, to be held of the heirs of Beatrice, doing service for two knights fees and rendering suit at the court of Honour of Rayleigh for Theydon ‘and for impedient's manor of Wakering’.[22]  We have further a royal confirmation and inspeximus of the charter by which Robert and Beatrice gave the manor to John; but the consideration is given as a thousand marcs, and the object is ‘to acquit their debts’.[23]

About the same time we find Robert de ‘Bruys' dealing with rents ‘in Longetotteslond in Little Wakering' and ‘in the marsh of Barneflet’.[24]  These names are important. The first takes us back to a fine of December 1218,[25] which mentions ‘one marsh called Barnflete, which is of the fee of Henry de Teydene, in the marsh called Fuelnesse' (Foulness), which proves that Henry was then holding Little Wakering with Theydon Mount. The other name takes us back further still ; for on the Pipe Roll of 1181 we read under ‘Terra Henrici de Essex' (i.e. the Honour of Rayleigh) ‘xxxs. de Willelmo de Taidene de terra de Langetot’.[26]  This name seemed to defy identification, but we now see that the ‘terra de Langetot’ was ‘Longetotteslond' in Little Wakering. Consequently we have proof here that William de ‘Taidene' was holding (Theydon Mount and) Little Wakering in 1181.

When Robert parted with his wife's inheritance of Theydon Mount, he retained the other portion of her holding, the knight's fee which lay in Little Wakering and Southorpe (in Southchurch) and in 1252 (May 24) both these holdings are named among the demesne lands on which he was granted free warren.[27]  At his death in 1276 the Inquisition taken is rather puzzling. It deals with lands in counties Norfolk and Lincoln, which he held, ‘by the courtesy', as having married Beatrice, daughter and heiress (or co-heiress') of Walter de Evermue, though their only child (or daughter had died childless), and it also deals with Little Rissington, to which Lettice, daughter of Henry de ‘Teyden' is given as heiress.[28]  But it does not mention the Essex lands,[29] which seem to have passed to his son John. This implies that John's mother was another wife, Beatrice de Teyden.

(Sou)thorpe was sub-enfeoffed, being held of John in 1281 by John de Nevill as one knight's fee. Little Wakering also was held of John de Brews by John de Nevill, at a nominal rent.[30]  It is at this point that Morant begins his history of that manor, on which he was, therefore in error. He cites the fine of 1281 (9 Edward I.) relating to 19l. of rent in Little Wakering and South Bemfleet belonging to John de Brews, but, owing to his one singular failing – the confusion of mesne tenancies - he thought the Nevills were the early owners and had no idea that the Theydons held the manor.

Meanwhile, Theydon Mount being acquired as above by John do Lessinton (alias Lexington), he was duly returned, at his death, in 1257, as holding two knight's fees in ‘Theydon ad montem' of Sir Robert de Brywes.[31]  His brother and heir, the bishop of Lincoln, died a year or two later and was succeeded by two nephews, William de Sutton and Richard de Markham, who divided the inheritance between them. A very lengthy fine[32] records this division, and in it we find "Tayden' falling to Sutton's share.[33] From this point the descent of the manor presents no difficulty. To recapitulate, the two manors of Theydon Mount and Little Wakering (with part, at least, of Southorp) were held of the Honour of Rayleigh, in the twelfth century, by the Theydon family, with whose heiress they passed to that of Briwes, under whom, in strictness, Theydon Mount was held by the Lexintons and their heirs the Suttons, while Little Wakering (with Southorpe) was similarly held of them by the Nevills ‘of Essex’. It is a striking illustration of the laxity of the feudal system in practice that Hugh de Nevill, who was holding thus low down in the scale, was returned in 1303 as holding Little Wakering ‘by barony' (per baroniam).[34]

[1] Red Book of the Exchequer, p. 739. This return is vaguely dated by its editor 'Temp. Henry III.’
[2] This should be added to our identifications in the Index (p. 355) Morant knew nothing of this tenure.
[3] Red Book, p. 595.
[4] Rot. Litt. Claus., I., 165, 201.
[5] Rot. Litt. Pal., I., 189.
[6] Sciatis quod commisimus dilecto et fideli nostro Paulin' de Teyden terrain Henrici patris sui.’  Litt. Claus., I., 320 (to sheriff of Glouc.).
[7]  Ibid, II., 62.
[8] Ibid, p. 180.
[9] Ibid, p. 164.
[10] Testa de Nevill, p. 116.
[11] Cal, of Inq. II., p. 102 (No 160}
[12] Fine Roll, 14 Henry III, m. 6. dors.
[13] Close Rolls, 1234-7, p.279
[14] On p.333 of the same volume is an allusion to his widow Nichola’s claim to dower in Little Rissington (co. Glouc.)
[15] Rot. de Fin., p.417
[16] Excerpt, c. rot fin., I., 184
[17] Testa. de Nevill, pp. 163, 169.
[18] Pipe Roll, 18 Henry II, p.77
[19] This should be identified in the Index as Theydon Mount
[20] Cal of Chartered Rolls, I., p.244
[21] This should be identified as Theydon Mount in our Index.
[22] This should be, similarly, identified as Little Wakering.
[23] Cal. of Charter Rolls, I., p. 346. To this charter there are Essex witnesses, Peter and Richard de Tany, Richard son of Aucher, and Richard de Witsand. As the name of the place has vanished from the roll, it does not appear in the Index.
[24] Feet of Fines for Essex, p. 176. He was to receive a pair of white gloves or 6d. at Easter.
[25] Ibid., p.51
[26] Pipe Roll 27 Henry II, p.108
[27] Cal of Charter Rolls, I., 391. Both places need identifying in the Index.
[28] Lettiee de' Teyden ' was concerned in a line of 1281 (9 Edward I.) with John de Briwes concerning lands in Little Wakering and South Bemfleet.
[29] See Cal of Inq., II., No 160
[30] Inq. p.m. 10 Edward I
[31] Cal of Inq., I., 103.
[32] Of Easter term 1259 (Feet of Fines for Essex., p.233)
[33] It requires identifying in our Index as Theydon Mount.
[34] Feudal Aids, II,, 137.