In the name of God Amen; this eleventh day of January AD 1624 I EDWARD SERLE of the Parish of Eppinge [Epping] in the County of Essex yeoman being of whole mind and in good and perfect remembrance for which I give and render most humble praise and thanks unto Almighty God do make and ordain this my last will and testament as well covering the disposition and settling of my lands tenements and hereditaments whatsoever in the said County of Essex as also of all my goods chattels and debts in manner and form following. But first I do humbly freely and willingly render and yield up my life and soul into the hands of Almighty God trusting in His merit and steadfastly believing to be saved by the merits death and passion of His Son Jesus Christ my Lord and Saviour and so by Him and thereby to be made an inheritor of the Kingdom of Heaven; and as for my body I leave it unto the earth from whence it came to be decently and in Christian manner buried where it shall please God to call me at the discretion of my executors hereafter named. ITEM; I give unto the poor of the Parish of Epping the sum of forty shillings to be distributed amongst them upon the day of my burial at the discretion of my executors hereafter named. ITEM; I will and my free mind and true meaning is that JOANE my well-beloved wife shall quietly and peaceably have hold and enjoy unto herself for and during her natural life or so long as she shall continue and live sole and unmarried for her dwelling and other necessaries all those rooms in my now dwelling house called Chambers in Epping (that is to say all that end where the parlour is and all the rooms over and above the same from the hall) and the free use and occupation of all my brew house and back house to brew and bake in together with my son JOHN SEARLE and that she shall have sufficient fuel and firewood together with my said son for her necessary uses to be had and taken yearly during her natural life to be taken of and upon my manor of Chambers[i] so long as she shall keep herself sole and unmarried as aforesaid; and if it shall so happen that my said wife shall take any dislike to live and continue at Chambers aforesaid and have a desire to live elsewhere then my will and meaning is that my said son John shall pay unto her for every year which she shall so discontinue the sum of ten pounds beside her thirds [part of the estate] and in so doing my said son John shall have and enjoy all the brewing vessels as copper and other things necessarily belonging to [Bramgo]. ITEM; further I will and bequeath unto my said wife over and above the third part of all my freehold lands tenements and hereditaments whatsoever the sum of thirty pounds in ready money and all such household stuff and implements of household and such like things as I shall have at the time of my decease which her mother gave her or which she brought with her at the time of our marriage. ITEM; I give unto Joan my wife my damask table cloth and 6 napkins of the same; 3 good table cloths; 3 dozen of napkins of the best and second sort; 6 pairs of sheets and 6 cupboard clothes; 6 silver spoons and my best silver bowl together with a little silver cup and one bedstead and a feather bed in the chamber over the hall with the bolsters pillows blankets coverlets valance and curtains furnished as now it is and she to take her choice of either of them the bedstead and bed with the furniture thereof in the chamber over the kitchen where I now lie and also a bedstead and bed as now it stands in the chamber over the little buttery my best great kettle my best [possnett] one lesser kettle the second brass pot one dripping pan and two spits one pair of hand irons and two pairs of brand irons now in the chamber over the parlour one court cupboard now standing in the chamber over the parlour with a carpet belonging to the same one great chest in the chamber over the kitchen and two other chests in the same chamber; 3 needlework cushions the best; the best chair in the chamber over the parlour and 2 little stools in the same chamber of wrought stuff and fringed; one dozen of pewter which I bought of Mrs Herne and two dozen of other pewter of all sorts; one pewter basin and ewer; one pewter charger and six plate trenchers two pie plates of the best and 6 dozen of trenchers one stone jug covered with silver and gilt; one other stone jug of the best; one little drawing table standing in the hall; Also I will and devise unto John Searle my eldest son all that my Manor of Chambers in Epping aforesaid wherein I now dwell with all rights members and appurtenances thereof and all the lands meadows pastures woods underwoods rents and reversions services and hereditaments whatsoever called or known by the name or names of Chambers in Epping aforesaid or to the said Manor in any wise belonging or appertaining or therewith held occupied demised leased or enjoyed as part parcel or member of the same except those several pieces and parcels of land meadow and pasture hereafter named and held as parcel of the said Manor that is to say Woodfield, Woodfield Crofts, Almestead Meade, Almestead with the woods and hedgerows and Ammon land with the woods and hedgerows about the same; to have and to hold the said Manor of Chambers with the appurtenances and all other the premises (except before excepted) unto him the said John Searle my eldest son and to his heirs for ever. ITEM; I will devise and bequeath unto the said John Searle my eldest son and to his heirs for ever all those foresaid excepted and preserved pieces or parcels of land meadow pasture and woods called Woodfield, Woodfield Crofts, Almestead Mead, Almestead, Ammon land and the woods and underwoods to them belonging upon this condition that he my said son John his heirs or assigns do pay or cause to be paid unto JANE SEARLE my daughter her executors or assigns within one year next after my decease the sum of three hundred pounds of good and lawful money of England; and if the said John Searle my son his heirs or assigns do not pay unto the said Jane my daughter her executors or assigns the full sum of three hundred pounds of lawful English money within the time before limited and expressed the I give and devise the said lands meadow pasture and woods called Woodfield, Woodfield Crofts, Almestead Mead, Almestead, Ammon land and the woods and hedgerows about them or either of them with their and every of their ways easements profits and appurtenances unto her the said Jane Searle my daughter to have and to hold to her the said Jane her executors and assigns immediately from and after the expiration of the first year after my decease unto the full end term and for the term of eight and twenty years from thence next ensuing without impeachment of waste and without rendering or paying anything for the same. ITEM; I devise unto the said John Searle my eldest son the other bedstead and feather bed bolster pillows and blankets whether the furniture as it is now furnished standing and being in the chamber over the hall the long table and joined stools and court cupboard in the parlour and all the wainscot there a pair of brand irons with a back of iron in the chimney there one brass pot the copper [lead] in the brew house and all the brewing vessel therein both fixed and unfixed. ITEM; I give and devise unto ANDREW SEARLE my son all that my Manor Lordship or Capital Messuage called HAYLES alias Hales with all the houses outhouses and buildings dove house yards orchards and gardens thereto belonging and all such the lands meadow pasture wood and wood ground thereto belonging or appertaining only as lies within the Forest of Waltham that is to say Homefields Eastfields East Croft Back Croft Brickyard Thistle Croft Speeres Posterine Fields Water Mead Swallow Mead all Long Mead Stocking and Hailes Grove containing in all together by estimation eight-score acres more or less with all the royalties privileges jurisdictions rents reversions services and hereditaments whatsoever thereunto belonging to have and to hold the said Manor Lordship or Capital messuage called Hailies and all other the above devised and bequeathed premises to him the said Andrew Searle and his heirs for ever upon condition that he the said Andrew Searle my son his heirs or assigns do pay cause to be delivered satisfied and paid unto my overseers hereafter to be named within two years next after my decease the sum of one hundred pounds of lawful English money for and towards the payment of my debts and performance of this my last will and testament which my hope and trust is he will do and perform. ITEM; I give unto Andrew Searle my son the new standing bedstead with a feather bed and other furniture thereunto belonging standing in the chamber over the parlour at Hailies the table in the said parlour with the forms and joined stools thereto belonging and all my brewing vessels there both fixed and unfixed one barred chair court cupboards painted clothes hanging and all my household stuff and implement of household there within my said house of Hailies saving one court cupboard there which I give unto my son NICHOLAS SEARLE. Also I give unto my said son Andrew Searle my best horse gelding or colt at his choice. ITEM; I will and devise unto my son Nicholas Searle all the parcels and pieces of land meadow and pasture with their appurtenances hereafter following that is to say one close or parcel of ground called Pritwell containing by estimation twenty-eight acres more or less one other parcel of ground called Pritwell Garden together with parcel of ground thereunto adjoining called Horse Crofts containinig by estimation six acres or thereabouts one other parcel of ground called Horse Lease containing by estimation twenty-three acres or thereabouts an other parcel of land called Rownd Meade containing by estimation one acre and an other parcel of ground called Seaven Acres containing by estimation ten acres more or less with all manner of hedges ditches woods underwoods and hedgerows timber trees commons wastes and other the profits and commodities thereto belonging and appertaining situate lying and being within the parish of Epping and in the half-hundred of Harlowe [Harlow] in the County of Essex to have and to hold the said several parcels of ground with their appurtenances to him the said Nicholas Searle and his heirs for ever upon condition that he the said Nicholas Searle my son his heirs or assigns do pay or cause to be delivered satisfied and paid unto my executors within one year next after my decease the sum of one hundred pounds of lawful English money for and towards the payment of my debts and performance of this my last will and testament. ITEM; I give unto my said son Nicholas Searle all that my advowson novation and next presentation unto the parish church of Bobbinger in the said County of Essex which I have by the grant of Mr John Poole Citizen and Merchant of London. ITEM; I give unto the said Nicholas Searle my son one plain bedstead standing in the maid’s chamber with a feather bed bolster pillows blankets coverlets and other necessaries thereto well furnished with three pairs of sheets six table napkins one table cloth and four silver spoons and one silver beaker one brass pot and a spit of the third sort. Also I give unto my said son Nicholas Searle three planks of elm and three planks of ash lying in the threshold at the new barn end. ITEM; I give unto Jane Searle my daughter over and above the three hundred pounds payable out of Woodfield and other lands parcel of Chambers aforementioned the bedstead and feather bed in the wainscot chamber over the parlour with the valance and curtains bolsters two pillows rug mattress mat blankets and all other the furniture thereto belonging or used thereunto one pair of my best sheets and three pairs of the second sort one diaper table clother of the shorter size and one other table cloth of the best sort two dozen of table napkins one of the best sort and an other of the second sort six pewter platters six pewter dishes six pottingers six saucers four silver spoons one chest standing in the gallery one court cupboard standing in the chamber over the hall and the pair of brand irons standing there and the sum of ten pounds of lawful English money to be paid unto her by my executors within one year after my decease if she be then living. ITEM; I give unto my daughter JOANE now the wife of THOMAS NICHOLSON Clerke the sum of thirty pounds of lawful money to be paid unto her by my executors within four years next after my decease if she be then living and if she chance to be deceased at the time of my decease then my will is that the said sum of thirty pounds shall be equally divided among the children of the said Thomas Nicholson; also I give unto MARY NICHOLSON my grandchild now dwelling with me thirty pounds to be paid unto her at her age of one and twenty years or day of marriage which shall first happen and two pairs of sheets six napkins one table cloth of the second sort 2 platters and two pewter dishes and two saucers. ITEM; I give and bequeath unto all other my sons and daughters children twenty shillings apiece to be paid to them as they shall come to the age of one and twenty years or days of marriage which shall first happen. ITEM; I give unto John Searle my son all that my lease interest and term of years yet to come and unexpired of and in a certain Marsh called Long Marsh with the pond ground and the wall lying in the parish of Barking which I hold of the honourable lady the Lady Wrothe widow to have and to hold to him his executors and assigns for and during the whole term therein to come upon condition that he pay the sum of one h8undred pounds of lawful money within the first year next after my decease and if my said son John Searle his executors or assigns do not pay the said sum of one hundred pounds then I give the same unto Andrew Searle my son paying the said sum of one hundred pounds within the first year he shall enter upon the same. ITEM; I give unto Joan my wife my best looking glass upon condition she shall give the same unto Jane my daughter after her decease. Also I give unto her a box wherein linen doth lie and one [desk] both standing in the chamber over the kitchen and also I give unto her my grey mare. ITEM; I give unto my cousin JOHN SEARLE the son of WALTER SEARLE the sum of forty shillings and unto Francis Archer ten shillings. ITEM; I give unto Elizabeth Four the wife of Nicholas Four my late servant twenty shillings and unto Anne Bussie my servant thirteen shillings four pence and unto Abigail my servant ten shillings and to Elizabeth my now servant six shillings eight pence to John Hutchin ten shillings to William Wootton five shillings and to Henry Stileman five shillings or to so many of them as shall be dwelling with me at the time of my decease. ITEM; I give unto all my Godchildren twelve pence apiece to be paid to them upon request within one year next after my decease and all the rest and residue of my goods and chattels whatsoever my debts being paid legacies discharged and funeral charges allowed and my will performed I wholly give and bequeath unto my said sons John Searle and Andrew Searle whom I make and appoint my executors of this my last will and testament hoping they will carefully see to have my debts paid my legacies discharged and this my will in all points performed and I hereby name and entreat my beloved friends my cousin RICHARD SEARLE of Takles and Gawen Wilson of the Parish of Thurdon Garnon to be overseers of this my last will and testament and I do give my said overseers for their for their pains over and above their expenses forty shillings apiece; and I do hereby revoke all former wills and do publish this to be my last will and with all charge and command my children by all the duty and love they have to me to agree to live together with a sincere love and to be contented with their portions by me lovingly left and given them. In witness of this my last will and testament I have unto every sheet thereof subscribed my name and through all of them fixed and set my seal the day and year first above written – Edward Searle – signed sealed and published to be his last will and testament the day and year within written in the presence of us – Gawen Wilson, John Hutchin, Hendry Stilman
Proved 28th January 1625/6 by John Searle and Andrew Searle executors
[i] The manor of EPPING or CAMPIONS lay in the north-west corner of the parish, near the Waltham boundary. The manor house, which was demolished more than a century ago, stood south of Parvills Farm. (fn. 100) The Campion family, from which the manor derived its name, was associated with Epping and Waltham from the 14th century. (fn. 101) Their estate may originally have been connected with Chambers (see below). In 1490 and 1529 John Campion was holding a manor court for Campions. (fn. 102) He was succeeded by Edward Campion, who held his first court in 1539. (fn. 103) In 1544 Edward and his wife Helena conveyed the manor to William Blackwell, (fn. 104) who in 1565 also acquired Chambers. Blackwell still held Campions in 1569. (fn. 105) By 1578 it was held by John Searle, (fn. 106) also Lord of Chambers, and of Takeleys (see below). Edward Searle, son of John, was holding Campions in 1594. (fn. 107) He died in 1625. (fn. 108) His son and heir John seems to have sold Campions to Thomas Wynch, who in 1633 held his court there. (fn. 109) He died in 1653. (fn. 110) In 1655 the manor was held by William Hester and his wife Alice, (fn. 111) who was perhaps the daughter of that name mentioned in Wynch’s will. (fn. 112) In 1693 William Hester conveyed Campions with lands, rents and view of frankpledge, to William Hambly and John Hester. (fn. 113) In 1748 William Hester, a filazer of the Court of Common Pleas, died holding it. (fn. 114) It passed to his cousin, another William Hester, (fn. 115) who left it to his son, also called William. (fn. 116) In 1761 Campions was purchased by John Conyers, and was thus merged in the Copped Hall estate. (fn. 117) About this time it was said to be worth about £80 a year. (fn. 118) Courts baron for Campions were held in 1794–1847. (fn. 119) In 1847 there were still two copyhold tenants, (fn. 120) but by 1873 Campions had ceased to be a manor, as all the copyholds had been enfranchised. (fn. 121) Before 1840 the manorial lands had been detached from the lordship. In that year the lands were owned by Edward Williams and let to William Pegrum. (fn. 122)
Epping Place: Late-17th-Century Staircase
The manor of CHAMBERS lay a little to the west of Epping (Upland) parish church. It was held in chief for ¼ knight’s fee, though in the 15th century Waltham Abbey sometimes claimed the overlordship. The name comes from the family which held the manor in the 14th and 15th centuries. The nucleus of the manor was probably an estate held in the 13th century by a family named Graunt or Gaunt. In 1248 the Abbot of Waltham recognized the right of Adam le Graunt to 6 messuages and 40 a. land in Epping. (fn. 123) An Adam le Gaunt was a verderer of Waltham hundred in 1277 and of Ongar regard in 1285 and 1292. (fn. 124) In 1303 John le Graunt the younger was holding ¼ knight’s fee in Epping. (fn. 125) In 1316 Thomas Campion (Cumpaigne) and Agnes his wife, whose family later gave its name to the manor of Campions (see above), conveyed to Gilbert atte Chaumbre the reversion of 44 a. land, 3½ a. meadow, 4 a. pasture, 2½ a. wood, 5s. rent and 1/6 messuage in Epping, which Bartholomew Joye was holding by courtesy of England, of Agnes’s inheritance. (fn. 126) As Agnes’s dower this would represent only ⅓ the value of the manor. Agnes may have been one of the heirs of John le Graunt, for in 1346 Gilbert de la Chaumbre (perhaps the son of the previous Gilbert), the heirs of William de Belde (Welde?) and Hubert de Herlawe were holding ¼ knight’s fee previously held by John le Graunt. (fn. 127) The family of Chaumbre (or Camera) had been prominent in the district since the early 13th century. A Gilbert de Camera acted as the attorney of the Abbot of Waltham in 1239 and 1248. (fn. 128) Elias de Camera occurs in 1274. (fn. 129)
The Gilbert de la Chaumbre of 1346 was probably identical with the man of the same name who occurs, with his wife Joan, in 1355 and 1357. (fn. 130) Joan died in 1375; her son Edmund de la Chaumbre had already succeeded to his father’s lands. (fn. 131) Edmund died in 1400. (fn. 132) The wardship of his son John, a minor, was granted by the king to John Mershe. (fn. 133) John de la Chaumbre came of age in 1411; it was then stated that his tenement in Epping comprised 180 a. land, 12 a. meadow and 10 a. wood, and that it was held of Waltham Abbey for a rent of 12s. 4d. (fn. 134) In the same year he was licensed to enter upon his land, saving the dower of his father’s wife, Margaret. (fn. 135) In 1421 John conveyed all his lands in Epping to John Skrene and others. (fn. 136) In 1422 Thomas atte Chaumbre, uncle of John, confirmed the conveyance to John Skrene, William Skrene the younger, and the other parties named in the previous grant. (fn. 137) In 1427–30 a complicated series of conveyances, involving many trustees, was executed, apparently for the purpose of vesting the manor in Thomas Langley, Bishop of Durham. (fn. 138) Langley himself was not a party to these conveyances but several of the trustees, such as Thomas Lyes, his registrar and later his executor, (fn. 139) were his associates. They must have been acting as his agents for in 1428 the bishop was holding ¼ knight’s fee in Epping, formerly held by John le Graunt. (fn. 140) Langley died in 1437. The nature of his interest in Chambers is not clear, for the Skrene family, to which the manor had been conveyed in 1421–2, retained, or regained control of it. William Skrene the younger died in 1431. Chambers is not mentioned in his inquisition post mortem, (fn. 141) but in 1474 it was stated that he had held the manor and had been succeeded there by his son John. (fn. 142) John certainly held Chambers at his death in 1452, when it comprised 200 a. land, 20 a. meadow, 12 a. wood, and 12 a. pasture. (fn. 143) It then descended with Barwicks in Stanford Rivers in the Skrene and Harper families. (fn. 144) In 1530 George Harper conveyed the manor to John Halmer and others. (fn. 145) Halmer died in 1536 and his wife Agnes in 1541. Henry Halmer, perhaps John’s brother, succeeded to the manor, which had been entailed upon him with remainder to John’s son Thomas. (fn. 146) In 1565 Thomas Halmer conveyed Chambers to William Blackwell. (fn. 147) With Campions (see above) it passed to John Searle, who held a court for Chambers in 1573. (fn. 148) The manor remained in the Searle family, which from 1610 also held Gills, for over two centuries. (fn. 149) From 1576 to the early 18th century they also held Takeleys (see below), but they sold Campions before 1633. Chambers was purchased from the Searles, about 1796, by John Conyers, and was thus merged in the Copped Hall estate. (fn. 150) In 1840 and 1869 Chambers farm comprised 381 a. (fn. 151) In the late 19th century it was stated that the manor of Chambers had a number of copyhold tenants and extended over a wide area, including Epping Long Green. (fn. 152) The manor house, which probably dates from the 17th century, is a timber-framed building, originally L-shaped, much re-faced in brick. (fn. 153) Part of a moat survives.From: ‘Epping: Introduction and manors’, A History of the County of Essex: Volume 5 (1966), pp. 114-127. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=42714 Date accessed: 16 June 2009.
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