The Circuit Walk. Low Leyton.114

The Circuit Walk. Low Leyton.



NORTH from Stratford Langton, about a Mile and an Half, lyeth the Parish of Low Leighton or Leyton. The Manour or Lordship whereof formerly belonged to the Abbot of the said Stratford: As another great Messuage in the Parish, now called The Forest House, once pertained to another great Abbot on the other Side, namely, the Abbot of Waltham. This Parish is washed along the West Side of it by the sweet River of Lee or Ley, (falling into the Thames) which giveth the Village its Name. It lyes all upon a gentle Rising, ascending for two Miles or better, from the said River Eastward to the pleasant Forest of Waltham. On which Side lyeth one Ward of the Parish, called Leyton Stone, pleasantly and healthfully seated. Low Leyton planted on the Side of the Hill, as it is lower, so it standeth more warm, and is guarded from the cold North by the Hills of its Neighbour Town of Walthamstow. Both Parts of this Parish are furnished with divers fair and, some of them, magnificent Houses, inhabited by divers wealthy Citizens, and other Gentlemen: But especially the ancient Manour House, and Seat of Ruckholts, now possess'd by Sir Harry Hicks, Bart. and the Forest House, loftily seated, fronting the Forest, whose present Owner and Inhabitant is Sir Gilbert Heathcote, Kt. Alderman of London, and L. Maior Anno 1711.

To which I add, the magnificent and beautiful Seat and Habitation of Sir Fisher Tench, Bart. of more modern Erection, adorned with large and most delightful Gardens, Plantations, Walks, Groves, Mounts, Summer-Houses, and pleasant Canals, stored with Fish and Fowl, and curious Vistoes for Prospect. As also the fair and pleasantly seated House of David Gansel, Esq; Lord of the Manour of Low Leyton, having a fine Prospect over the Marsh and River towards Hackney.

In this Parish Church, dedicated to St. Mary, there was, in the Popish Times, a Taper of Wax, containing three Pounds, and the Wick to contain half an Ounce, that was burnt before the Image of our Blessed Lady, on her five Holy Days. And a Glass Lamp, and a Gallon of Oyl, to burn in the said Lamp, within the said Church, before the Crucifix or Rood there. As also, one Pound of Frankincense every Year, ad Laudem Dei, & omnium Sanctorum ibidem in eadem Ecclesia in diebus Festivalibus per totum annum thurificand. as the Record mentions it: And that the Abbot of Stratford, Parson of the Church Beatæ Mariæ de Leyton in 35 Year of Henry 6. did sue an Assize, and set forth, ut supra.

Year Book, 35 H. 6.

In this Parish lived sometime the Lady Margaret Brian, and seems here also to be buried: Eminent for having been chief Governess to the Princesses Mary and Elizabeth, and Edward Prince of Wales, Children of King Henry the Eighth, in their Minorities. Whose Will bore Date the 20th of Aug. 1551, and was proved Jun. 21, 1552, which ran in this Form: "I Dame Margaret Brianne, Widow, in the Parish of Leyton, in the County of Essex, &c. make constitute and ordain this my last Will and Testament, in Manner, &c." And after divers Bequests to her Servants, Elizab. Hall, Will. Watson, Tho. Lamplaye, Jo. Watson, Tho. Smyth, Evans, Avys Dyal, Mary Festalf, Eliz. Gray, and others, &c. "And I do most humbly beseech the King's Majesty to be good and gracious to my Servant Eliz. Dudley, &c. And that it may likewise please his most excellent Majesty, towards the Payment of my Debts, and Reward of my Servants, to give unto me, or unto my Executrice, [who was the abovesaid Eliz. Dudley] the Sum of 35l. due unto me at Michaelmas next ensuing, for the Half Years of mine Annuity, graunted unto me by the Virtue of his gracious Letters Patents, for my poor Service, done as well unto his Majesty in his tender Age, as also unto his dearly beloved Sisters, the Lady Mary's Grace, and the Lady Elizabeth's Grace. And in Consideration of my said Service, it may finally please his Majesty, to graunt unto me, or my Executrice, a sufficient Discharge, or Quietus est, for all such Things I had in my Charge or Custody, of his Majesty's, during the Time of my daily Attendance upon his Highness: Having deliver'd the same, and every Part thereof, to the Hands of Sir Geo. Cotton, and Sir Jasper Horsye, Knts. as appears by the several Bills under their Hands and Seals, ready to be shewed."

Lady Brian, Governess to K. Henry 8 his Children.

Regist. Bp of Lond.

J. Worthingt.

In the Parish Church of Low Leyton are these MONUMENTS.


In the upper Chancel, an ancient large Monument against the North Wall, with two Arches of the Doric Order of Architecture. It hath no Inscription, but Coats of Arms under each Arch, impaled Baron and Femme. Sable, a Bend Argent, charged with three Mullets Gules, between six Crosses Croslets of the Second. The other Coat impaled is defaced. The Crest is a Griffin's Head erazed Argent.

Under the other Arch, another Coat impaled: The Coat of the Femme is plain, which is, Gules, a Cheveron Ermine, between three Pelicans Or. Which is the Coat of Stone of Holme in Norfolk. The Crest the same as the other. This, I suppose, was his second Wife.

This is said to be the Monument of Sir William Rither, or Rider, Lord Maior of London, Anno 1600, and dyed An. 1611. And if so, then the Coat of the Baron impaled, which is now not discoverable, was, Azure, three Crescents Or. The Griffin's Head erazed is the Crest of Rither. This Sir William Rider (who was Lord of the Manour of Leyton Grange) was the third Son of Edward Rither of Leyton in Essex, and married Elizabeth Daughter of Richard Stone of Holme in Norfolk. By whom he had two Daughters, Mary and Susan, Coheirs. The latter married to Sir Thomas Cæsar, Kt. and Mary (the elder) married to Sir Thomas Lake, Kt. sometime one of the Principal Secretaries of State. To whom, by that Marriage, the Possession of the Manour of Low Leyton, or Leyton Grange, seems to have come.

But before this Family became Possessors here, Sir Rafe Fitz Warren bought this Manour and Advouson of the Church in the Year 1545, 37 H. 8. He was Sheriff of London 1528, and Maior 1536. His Coat of Arms, as it is in Stow, was, a Cheveron engrailed, charged with three Griffins Heads erazed, between as many Mascles. And therefore, perhaps, the Coat on the abovesaid old Monument in the upper Chancel or Chapel, now scarce visible, were the Griffins Heads, (the Crest being a Griffin's Head) the Warrens Arms. And he the first Erector of that Monument, with the Vault underneath: Built, undoubtedly, in the Popish Times, there being two Words on that Monument, viz. MERCY in one Place of it, and JESU in another, with Glories about each Word. Which stood there of later Times, tho' now conveyed away. And that Part of the Church was, very probably, a Chapel,

Stow's Surv. p. 581.