The History of East Hatley
Back to Hatley map
History, Cambs. (1979) pp.43-48 transcribed and annotated by
Bernard O’Connor, Gamlingay, September 2006.
additions welcomed – i.e. the last thirty years
parish of East Hatley lay 19 km. west of Cambridge,
and was of irregular shape, 4 km. long by 2 km. wide, narrowing towards the
northern end. Its boundaries mostly followed old field divisions. It was one
fragment of the scattered settlement established by the late 10th
century and named Hatley from its position in the woods along the
Cambridgeshire-Bedfordshire border. By 1066 Hatley was already divided, perhaps
according to tenurial dependence (who the tenant
was), into three vills (hamlets - small collections
of houses) shared between two counties and three hundreds (Saxon system of land
division) (Hart, Early Charters of E. England, pp.45-6:
V.C.H. Cambs. 394, 415-6; V.C.H. Beds. i, 259,
261). Until the 15th century East Hatley,
so called by 1200 (P.N. Cambs. (E.P.N.S.), 54-5), was usually
grouped with its southern neighbour Clopton for public administration, including
taxation (e.g. Palmer, Hist. Clopton, 57-9; East Anglian,
N.S. viii, 286; xii. 239). It remained, however, a distinct ecclesiastical and
civil parish, covering 1,189 acres (Census, 1891. For the parish see O.S. Maps, 6” Cambs. XLV,
SE; LII. NE (1890-1 and later edns.); O.S.
Maps, 1/25,000, TL 24,34 (1960 edn.)) until 1957 when it was united with its western neighbour
Hatley St George to form the new civil parish of Hatley, covering 692 hectares
(ha.) (2,377 a.) (Census, 1961-71).
Hatley belongs to the West Cambridgeshire
upland, and consists mostly of nearly level ground lying at over 75 metres. The
soil, on heavy boulder clays overlying gault, is
mostly poorly drained, although in the south a watercourse runs down a valley
sloping south-west towards Tadlow. The clays were probably once heavily wooded.
In the late 16th century the manorial estate included woodland in
the south-west corner of the parish (P.R.O. C142/122, no.20; WARD 7/80, no.12). From the 17th
century there were 40 a. of wood just west of the village site, called in 1683
Lordship, Nobles, and Rigsbys woods (Downing Coll, Mun. V 1a, settlement 1683), by 1750 Hatley wood (Ibid. estate maps, 1750
(hereafter cited as Downing maps, 1750); V IE, val.1801), and by 1742 Buff wood (C.U.L., E.D.R., G, tithe award 1842). Ashes and elms
were sold from it in the late 19th century (e.g. C.R.O., 296/SP 104, 133). Those 40 a. of wood were sold in 1947 to Cambridge University
for use for botanical studies (Cambs. Ind. Press, 1st Dec. 1961). The parish was
formerly cultivated in open fields. Inclosure for
pasture (fencing off, hedging or walling field boundaries) began c.1500 and was
completed after 1670, but from 1800 Hatley reverted largely to arable farming.
In 1086 the vill had 21 peasants and 3 servi (? slaves) (V.C.H. Cambs.
v. 415-16). There were probably 19 taxpayers in 1327 (Cambs. Lay Subsidy, 1327, 47) and 23 for the wool levy in 1347 (Palmer, Hist. Clopton, 58-9.
For 1377 population, cf. above, Croydon intro.). By
the 16th century the population had shrunk. There were 10 taxpayers
in 1524 (P.R.O., E
179/81/129, m.2) and 9 households in 1563 (B.L. Harl, MS. 594, f. 198). The
10 or 11 houses of 1662 were reduced to 8 by 1674 (P.R.O. E 179/84/437, rot. 49; E 179/244/23, rot. 47). There
were 50 adults by 1676 (Compton Census), and 75 people in 17 families in 1728 (B.L. Add. MS. 5828, f. 90). Numbers were
probably even lower c.1750 (C.R.O.,
par. Reg. TS). From
1801 to 1841 the population varied around 100, suddenly rising to 146 by 1846 by
1851. from a peak of 155 in 1871 it fell to 124 by
1891, fluctuating thereafter between 70 and 100 until the 1950s (Census, 1801 – 1971).
and 20th century population figures?
medieval village lay around a triangular green, widening slightly from its
south-eastern apex, by which stood the church, parsonage and principal manor
house. The green lay where a track running north-east from Pincote
hamlet in Tadlow divided to lead north-north-east towards Hayley
wood in Little Gransden, and north-east along Long,
or Croydon Old, Lane towards Longstowe. Along the two
longer sides of the green lay many small tofts (Viking word for house with
building and land) within moats often still wet, from which crofts (small
farms) stretched back (R.C.H.M.
149-52). After the final inclosure c. 1670 the
village was largely cleared away (to create sheep pasture). For some time the
only dwellings in the parish were eight farmhouses scattered through the
fields, such as the surviving timber framed Long Lane Farm, and Hatley Wilds
Farm, partly of brick, in the far north, and their dependent cottages (Ibid. 150; all illustrated on Downing maps 1750).By
1750 there survived at the site of the village, then called Town closes, only
the parsonage and a farmhouse at each end of the green, incorporated as Walnut
Tree close into the Downing family estate (Downing maps 1750). The area round
the green was almost equally empty in 1842 (C.U.L.,E.D.R., G, tithe map
1842). Small houses began to be built actually on the old green from the
1850s, and by 1871 the parish contained 6 farmhouses, c. 12 cottages at the
green, and the ‘Palace’, a high, gaunt house at its south-west end, erected for
members of Downing College to occupy while supervising the College estate (P.R.O., RG 10/1577; Cambs. Ind. Press, 1st Dec.
1961). Carter’s, later Holben’s Farm east of the
village was given a large white brick farmhouse in the 1840s, and Parker’s Farm
at the north-east end of the village a tall red brick one in the late 19th
century. In the 1970s c. 14 new houses filled a wide gap between the 19th
century housing at each end of the green (cf. Cambs.
Evening News, 17th Oct. 1974; 4th Feb. 1977).
1830 East Hatley’s communications were realigned to follow a new road
north-west from Croydon across the north-east end of the green towards
Gamlingay (cf. above Croydon,
intro.) (The old route is thought to have ran
alongside the front of the mansion at Hatley Park.)
The village had no public house in the 19th century or later. At
times it shared the village institute at Hatley St George (C.R.O., P 87/24/3).
MANORS. The 8 sokemen (men who had the privilege of holding court, usually connected with
the feudal rights of lordship) who had held 2 hides (area of land between 120
and 240 acres, 48 to 98 ha.) in 1066 still occupied them in 1086 under Picot
the sheriff, who had obtained the land by exchange (V.C.H. Cambs. i.392-3). His lordship descended the cadet line (?) of Picots
established at Quy (Cambs.), who probably subinfeudated
(in the feudal system, the
leasing of a portion of the land held by a feudal lord's servant vassal
(who owed a service in return) to somebody else who became the servant's servant in
Hatley fee before 1185 (cf. Rot. De. Dom. (Pipe R. Soc. xxxv), 86; Red Bk. Exch. (Rolls Ser.) i.363,370). (Under the system of feudalism,
a fiefdom, fief, feud, feoff, or fee, often consisted of heritable
lands or revenue-producing property granted by a liege
in return for a form of allegiance, originally often to give him the means to
fulfil his military duties when called upon. However anything of value could be
held in fief, such as an office, a right of exploitation (e.g., hunting,
fishing) or a revenue rather than the land it comes
from.) Their overlordship
passed with Quy manor (in south-eastern part of Buff Wood) after 1220 through
two successive heiresses to the Traillys (Farrer, Feud. Cambs. 124-6. There was a Geoffrey de Trailly,
thought to be from Trelly, near Coutenance,
France, mentioned in the Domesday Book for Chellington, near Odell, Bedfordshire and a Nicholas de Trailly in Old Warden in Bedfordshire in 1199), whose
rights over Hatley were still recorded in the 14th century (e.g. P.R.O.
SC 5/Cambs. Tower ser. No. 16. rot. 15;
Cal. Close, 1288-96, 159; Bk. of Fees, ii. 922). In the early 13th
century EAST HATLEY manor had been held of
them (the Traillys) with land at Quy as ½ knight’s
fee. William (fl.1205), son of Geoffrey of Quy (Cur. Reg. R.. ii. 272;
iii. 310), was perhaps the William of
Quy who held ½ hide at Hatley in 1235 and 1242 (Liber de Bernewelle, 246-7; Bk. of Fees, ii. 922; P.R.O., CP
25(1)/24/16, no.22). Sir
William of Quy held land there c.1260 (B.L. Add. Ch. 6293; B.L. Lansd. MS. 863, f.61v). John, son of William of Quy, was tenant of the Traillys between 1267 and 1290, when his land in Hatley was
¼ fee. By 1279 he also held of Beatrice de Andeville (There was a Beatrice de Andeville
b.1245, of Clopton Manor, Stratford upon Avon. She married Sir Robert Hoo
60 a. (Cal. Pat. 1266-72, 149; P.R.O., SC
5/Cambs. Tower ser.
No. 16, rot. 15; Feud. Aids. i. 136; Cal. Inq. p.m. ii, p.483) which the Andevilles had still
held in demesne (land, often in the country, kept for owner’s own use) c. 1235
(cf. R.R.O., CP 25(1)/24/16, no. 22). It probably represented the demesne of 1 ¼ hide at
Hatley held in 1086 of Eudo the steward by Beatrices’s ancestor Humphrey de Andeville,
lord of Clopton, with which it had descended (V.C.H. Cambs. i. 384). (It would be interesting to determine the link
between Clopton, Warwickshire and Clopton, Cambs.) John’s son, John of Quy, was
lord of Hatley between 1302
(Feud. Aids. i. 151, 156) and 1327 (Cambs. Lay Subsidy, 1327, 47), and he or a namesake held the manor in 1346 (Feud. Aids.
i. 172; Palmer, Hist. Clopton, 59; Cal. Pat. 1345-8, 229). The family has not been traced later. A fraction of
the Trailly fee, styled 1/8th fee, acquired in or
before 1300 by Hugh Clopton, passed with his manor of Rowes
in Clopton (Cal. Inq. p.m. iv, p.250; Feud. Aids. i. 151, 172, 190). In 1428 the former ¼ fee of the Quys
was divided equally between John Clopton and John Hoo
(Feud. Aids. i. 190).
Another manor derived from 1 ¾ hide held by Almar of Bourn (In 1086 an Almar
held land in Caldecote, Cambs. from Count Alan.), in
1066 of Eddeva (Eddeva or
Edith the Fair was Harold Godwineon’s wife who is
claimed to have brought his body back from Hastings to be buried at Bishop’s
Stortford. According to the Domesday Book, her land
in Caldecote, Ely, Cambs. and Cheveley, Suffolk and elsewhere, was “taken over” by
Count Alan.) and in 1086 of Count Alan, lord of Richmond, Yorkshire (V.C.H. Cambs. i.
415-16). (After the Norman Conquest,
Count Alan the Red of Brittany, who married King William I’s daughter,
Constance, was rewarded with huge tracts of land in Yorkshire and eleven other
counties, including numerous parishes in Cambridgeshire) Its overlordship descended with the honour of Richmond. In the 16th century a mesne lordship (lord who holds land of a superior, but grants a part of it to
in which case he is a tenant to the superior, but lord or superior to the second grantee, and hence is called the mesne lord) over part of the manor, held in socage
(land tenure by agricultural service or payment of rent; not burdened with military service), was
attached to Sudbury’s manor in Bourn (e.g. P.R.O., E 150/88 no.3; C 142/122, no. 19; WARD 7/80, no.12; cf. V.C.H. Cambs. v.5-6). Lordship
over the ‘7 yardlands’, styled ¼ fee, was claimed for
the Crown from the 1560s when Robert Castell, heir to the manor, alleged that
it was held thus of knight’s service, to escape his stepfather’s claim to wardship in socage (P.R.O., C 142/138, no.12; C 3/35/97; Cal. Pat. 1563-6, p.395).
RICHMOND fee, held c.1235 as ¼ fee, was then already, perhaps through division
among coheirs, shared by Walter of Hoo with the same parceners (coheirs to whom an estate of inheritance
jointly, and by whom it is held
as one estate.) as the advowson (Liber de Bernewelle, 247). In 1252 Simon of Bourn, perhaps by purchase from a parcener, held 1/3 of ¼ fee of Walter’s son Walter, lord by
1251 (P.R.O., CP 25(1)/24/25,
no.19; CP 25(1)/24/27, no.11; cf. below, church). In 1305 William de la Hoo
had land at East Hatley (East
Anglian, N.S. viii. 234). The Hoos were not recorded as lords of that manor thereafter;
from 1284 to 1346 it was held by un-named parceners, and in 1428 by Guy Horley and
Richard of Bourn (Feud. Aids. i. 136, 151, 172, 190). In 1275 John of Quy was said to hold yardlands
of the honour of Richmond
(Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), i.
Both manors probably eventually passed largely to the
St Georges (for the family, (V.C.H.
Cambs., Tadlow, Manors). Baldwin St George (fl. 1215) acquired land at East
Hatley from Thomas of Hoo, and Baldwin’s
son William bought other land held of the Hoos (B.L. Lansd. MS. 863, f. 61v). Other land, descending in the Bourn family with the advowson and settled c.1329 by Simon son of John of Bourn
on his son John, was Simon son of John of Bourn on his son John, was acquired
c.1380 from John of Bourn by St Baldwin St George (d.1383), whose father
William already had a manor house at East Hatley in 1346 (Ibid.
f.261; E.D.R. (1892), 790). Sir
Baldwin’s great-grandson Sir William probably acquired the Rowses
manor fraction from Geoffrey Clopton c.1433, and included East Hatley manor in
a settlement of 1455 (B.L. Lands. MS.
863, ff. 58v-59). He had no land there, however, at his death in 1471 (cf. P.R.O.,
C 140/38, no. 50), nor did
his son Richard (d.1485 (cf. Cal. Inq. p.m. Hen.
Robert Castell, established in Cambridgeshire by 1483
R. 1471-85, 267; Cal.
Pat. 1485-94, 240), probably
held the manor by 1490 (cf. Trans. R.H.S. N.S. viii. 304). The 550 a. there settled on him in 1497 (P.R.O., CP
25(1)/30/30/101, no.20) passed,
probably by 1505, to his son Thomas, to whose feoffees
(People to whom land was granted) they and half the manor were released in 1514
R.H.S. N.S. viii. 304; P.R.O., CP 25(2)/4/18, no.22; cf. Cal. Pat. 1494-1509, 403. The family
pedigree gives Robert Castell, father of Robert at East
Hatley in 1480; Visit. Cambs. (Harl.
42-3). Thomas died holding it in 1539 from his son and heir
Thomas (d.1558) (P.R.O., E 150/88, no.3). It descended to that Thomas’s son Robert, until
whose majority (reaching the age of 21) in 1566 it was occupied by his mother
Beatrice and her second husband Leonard Baker (Ibid. C
142/138, no.12; C 3/35/97). Robert
Castell survived until 1630, and his son and heir, Robert, then aged 60, died
soon after, probably before 1636. The latter’s sons Robert (Ibid. WARD
7/80, n.12; CP 25(2)/400/11
Chas. I Hil. No.4; Visit. Cambs. 42-3; cf. Ely
Episc. Rec. ed. Gibbons, 314), a parliamentarian colonel (during the Civil War) (Cf. Hist. Mss. Com. 6, 7th
Rep. pp.550,556; Char. Don. i.87;
and for Edm., D.N.B.), and Dr. Edmund Castell, a Semitic philologist
(knowledgeable about Jewish literature), joined in 1661 in selling East Hatley
manor to the politician and diplomat, Sir George Downing, Bt. (P.R.O., CP
25(2)/632/12-13 Chas II Hil. No.17. For Downing, cf.
J. M. Beresford, Godfather of Downing St.
Downing, who made East Hatley his country seat (J. M.
Beresford, Godfather of Downing St. pp.127,129), left his West Cambridgeshire estate in 1684 to his
son and namesake (d.1711) (P.R.O., PROB 11/377 (P.C.C. 139
Hoare). On the death of the latter’s
son, the third Sir George, in 1749 (G.E.C. Baronetage, iii, 279-80; D.N.B.) the estates passed under his will of 1717 to his
cousin Sir Jacob Garrard Downing. Sir Jacob,
disregarding Sir George’s will, which devised a contingent reversion of his
estates (should there no longer be a male heir) to found a college at Cambridge (S.
(1978), 34-6; P.R.O., PROB 11/770 (P.C.C 179 Lisle), on his death in
1764 all his lands to his wife Margaret. She unlawfully took possession, and at
her death in 1778 devised them to her nephew, Capt. Jacob John Whittington (P.R.O., PROB 11/895 P.C.C. 42 Simpson; French, Hist.
41-8; East Anglian, N.S. x. 328-30). Although
Cambridge University had claimed them in 1764 and obtained a favourable
judgement in 1769, legal delays and stratagems enabled Lady Downing and
Whittington to retain East Hatley and the other estates until 1800, when they
were handed over to the newly founded Downing College (French Hist.
Downing College, 51-81; Ambler, Chancery Cases, 1737-83, 531-5; cf.
Laws of Charity, 1532-1827, 108-19). The college retained all of East
Hatley until c.1920 when it sold two farms, c.472 a., in the north to the Briscoes of Longstowe, and in
1947 sold the other two farms, c. 740 a., mostly to the tenants (C.R.O., R54/1/4; 515/SP 1154; French, Hist. Downing College, 134; Camb. Ind. Press, 1st
The Richmond manor house
perhaps stood within a moat, 60 by 30 metres, by the village green just south
of the old church (R.C.H.M. Cambs.
i.150). The Castell’s house, recorded from 1559, (P.R.O., C 142/122, no.19), was said in 1660
to be an ancient timber framed building (C.U.L., Doc.1445). Sir George
Downing (d. 1684) probably remodelled it as a residence, but c. 1712 his grandson
mostly demolished it, using the materials for his new house at Gamlingay Park (French, Hist.
Downing College, 16; Lysons, Cambs. 109). The
site is occupied by Manor Farm, externally 19th century but
containing 16th or 17th century woodwork, perhaps derived
from the manor house. Another trapezoid moat further southwest possibly
represents the site of Quys ‘ manor
house (R.C.H.M. Cambs. i.. 149-150).
ECONOMIC HISTORY. In 1086 the 7 plough-lands were being cultivated with
6 ½ ploughteams, of which, two manors had one each,
while two villani (members of the settlement who held a fixed share of its resources,
including a changing pattern of strips within the fields, and owed labour services
to the lord of the manor's demesne) had probably 3, but the eight sokemen (men who had the privilege of holding court, usually connected with
the feudal rights of lordship) only 1 ½ between them, and eleven boarders (who held less land but owed more services to the lord) only
one. The yield of the manors had fallen since 1066 from £7 10s. to £5 (V.C.H.
Cambs. i. .415-16).
In 1279 John of Quy held in demesne c. 140 a.
of arable; another 4 yardlands had probably been
detached from his estate as dower (money or property brought by a woman to her husband at marriage). Of the other
land recorded c. 125 a. were held freely, including tenements of 25 and 20 a.;
one 30 a. freehold, dependent on manors in other parishes, included
under-tenants. Four cottars (peasant farmers) were recorded on the Trailly fee (P.R.O., SC 5/Cambs. Tower ser. No. 16, rot 15 lower
13th century to the early 17th the arable lay in open
fields, whose number is uncertain. Some furlongs (a unit of length equal to 220
yards) were recorded in 1235 (Ibid.
CP/25(1)/24/16, no. 22), and a north field in 1559 (Ibid. C 142/122, no. 20). The glebe (land
belonging to the church, often farmed by a tenant, with the rent going to the
priest) was still dispersed among more than 7 furlongs in 1615 (C.U.L., E.D.R., H 1/3(1615). South and east
of the village the shapes of the modern fields (Description based on Downing
maps 1750), mostly lying cross-wise to the length of the parish probably
reflect those of furlongs that they succeeded. In the far north around Hatley
Wilds a more angular field pattern suggests inclosure
of common pasture (land all villagers were allowed to graze their animals on),
perhaps the ‘Wolds’
mentioned c. 1307 (B.L. Lansd. MS. 863, f. 62; cf. P.N. Cambs. (E.P.N.S.), 55). A few
furlong names, such as Hollow Dole and Redland, survived as field names in
1750. The village also had c. 60 a. of meadow along the water-course in the southern
valley, which probably separated two double rows of furlongs.
manor had 196 sheep in 1086 (V.C.H.
Cambs.. i. .415). In 1347 the village probably produced 18 ½ stone (569.8 kg.)
of wool, 2 ¼ stone (69.3 kg.) from John of Quy’s
demesne flock, and c. 9 stone (277.2 kg.) from seven others rendering 1 – 2
stone each (30.8 to 61.6 kg.) (Palmer,
Hist. Clopton, 59). In
the 16th century the peasantry, still growing mainly wheat and
barley, kept small flocks of 20 – 30 sheep and milking cattle (e.g. East Anglian,
N.S. x, 309-11). In 1524 six substantial yeomen (local farmers) had
over £41 of the £45 6s. 8d. assessed in the village; the wealthiest of them,
taxed on 17 marks, probably occupied the manor farm (P.R.O., E 179/81/129, m. 2).
Inclosure began in the 15th century. About 1490
Robert Castell inclosed c. 40 a. of arable for
(sheep) pasture. His son Thomas c. 1512 annexed and inclosed
100 a. once used as common pasture (Trans. R.H.S. N.S. viii, 304), probably those
105 a. closes (enclosed plots) said in 1683 to have once been part of the
common (Downing Coll. Mun. V 1A, settlement 1683;
cf. P.R.O., C 142/122, no. 20). After 1500 the Castell’s estate usually had 200 –
240 a. of arable, but over 300 a. of pasture. Some of their closes around the
village were kept as leys (grassland for pasture)(e.g.
P.R.O., CP 25(1)/30/101, no. 20; C 142/122, no. 20; WARD 7/80, no. 12). By
1615 they apparently owned the whole parish, except for the glebe (C.U.L.,
E.D.R., H 1/3(1615). Some open field land nominally survived c. 1640 but the final inclosure had been accomplished by 1661. the
1,728 a. of the manor were then largely shared between ten farms, consisting
mostly of pasture. Besides 158 a. farmed from the manor house, there were three
of 140 – 150 a., two of 127 – 132 a., three of 80 a., and one of 48 a. The
rector, Richard Kennitt, then occupied 94 a., and
soon after had a lease of 236 a., including the manor farm. The extensive
closes, such as Great close, 100 a. were probably intended for sheep farming.
Other large ones had in 1683 only recently been subdivided (C.U.L.
Doc. 144-5; Downing Coll. Mun. V
1A, settlement 1683. Possibly Kennitt had
renounced the glebe at enclosure).
there were eight farms, ranging from two of 100 a. to one of 213 a., the rest
being of 130 – 160 a. One 158 a. farm in the south was entirely under grass and
used for dairying. In all there were 846 a. of pasture. Of
only 300 a. of arable 130 a. lay in the south-east by Croydon. Some 20
a. south of the former green had formerly been used for apple, pear, and cherry
orchards (Downing maps 1750). By
1801, when there were six farmers, all but one with over 200 a., the arable
area had recovered to c. 690 a., mainly under a triennial rotation (changed the
crops every three-year). Some 193 a. were equally distributed between wheat and
barley, 214 a. were sown with oats, and 28 a. with
beans and peas, while 221 a. lay fallow (uncropped to
allow the soil’s nutrients to build up) and 21 ½ a. grew clover and vetches. By
1807, however, on the 273 a. of Hatley Wilds farm there were 99 a. of clover
and trefoil, and the farmer hired out 78 a., mostly grass seeds, to be fed off
with sheep before a corn crop, suggesting a four-course rotation. Of the 450 a.
of grass in 1801 only 138 a. were regularly mown for hay (Downing Coll. Mun., V. 1E,
val. 1801; P.R.O., HO 67/9; Cambs. Chron. 27th
June, 1867). The farms had been much neglected since the 1760s
(when Downing had moved to Gamlingay). In 1817 Downing College
was advised to dismantle most of the farmsteads and convert any reparable
farmhouses to cottages (Downing
Coll. Mun., V. 1E, val. 1817). In 1816 much of
the arable was said to be out of cultivation (Agric. State of Kingdom, 1816, 34).
a four-course rotation was generally observed. There were then six farms, two
containing 265 a. and 230 a., the rest 155 – 175 a.. some 180 a. had been brought back under the plough, giving
865 a. of arable and 251 a. of grass (P.R.O., IR 18/13585; C.U.L., E.D.R., G, tithe award 1842). By the
1870s only four farms remained. To the south-east lay Carter’s, later Holben’s farm, c. 335 a., to the south-west Manor farm, 210
a. including 90 a. in Tadlow. To Parker’s farm, 230 a., just north of the
village, was added Long Lane farm to the north 230a. from
the 1860s. Hatley Wilds farm, 278 a. of poor, heavy land, beyond the latter,
was from 1840 let to a Tadlow farmer (Rep. Com. Univ. Income, 503-4; P.R.O. HO 107/1758; RG 10/1577). The
late 19th century (Agricultural Depression late-1870s – 90s) saw a
rapid turnover of tenants. Some farms were thrown into the college’s hands and
run by its bursar (Kelly’s
Dir. Cambs. (1869-1922);
C.R.O. 296/SP 317). From
the 1860s the area of permanent grass trebled to 455 a. by 1905, when of c. 510
a. of arable only half was cropped. The number of sheep kept declined, however,
from over 700 in the 1860s to under 300 by 1905, and
sheep farming ceased after the 1920s. the main crop
remained wheat, followed by barley. In the 1950s almost 100 a. of vegetables
were grown. (P.R.O. MAF 68/7-8, 2113, 3232, 4489).
Quy owned a (wind) mill in 1279 (Ibid. SC 5/Cambs. Tower ser. No. 16 rot.15). a
glover was recorded in 1682 (Ibid.
PROB 11/370 (P.C.C. 57 Cottle, will of John Headin)). In the 19th century almost the only employment
was on the farms. The labour force grew little from 1830, when the farmers
employed all the 21 adult labourers available (Census, 1831; Rep. H. L. Cttee. on Poor Laws,
316-17). Between 1851 and 1871 there were c. 23 resident adult labourers, and the farmers had work for 25 men and 9 boys (P.R.O., HO 107/1758; RG 10/1577). By
1925 only 16 men, and by 1955 only 8, were regularly employed (Ibid. MAF 68/3232, 4489). Almost the only
craftsmen were the successive village blacksmiths recorded from the 1860s (Ibid. RG 10/1577; Kelly’s Dir. Cambs.
(1879-1916). The forge was disused by
1945 (C.R.O., 515/SP 1154).
LOCAL GOVERNMENT. In the 1270s and 1330s tenants of the Richmond fee owed suit
(had to attend) to the local tourns (Sherrif’s Court) held for that honour. (Rot. Hund. (Rec.
Com.), i. 51; P.R.O., SC 6/155/71), whose
leet (court sitting) jurisdiction perhaps inhibited
the growth of manorial courts (held by the local lord of the manor); no court
rolls (rolled up legal documents) have been traced. From the 1660s the
churchwardens and constables managed a parish stock (punishment where feet
locked between two planks) of £4 (C.R.O., P 87/1/2, at front). The cost of poor relief (tax on
local businesses used to help widows, orphans, needy etc.), after rising from
£19 in 1776 to almost £30 by 1785, more than doubled to £69 by 1803, when five
adults received regular outside relief (Poor Law Abstract, 1804, 34-5). About 1815 six were thus supported,
but the total cost of poor relief was £20 less than in 1813 because the number
on temporary assistance had been halved to five (Ibid. 1818, 28-9). From 1816 poor
relief cost on average £75 a year, and was c.£65 from
1827 to 1833 (Poor Rate Returns, 1816 – 21, 10; 1822-4, 38; 1825-9, 15; 1830-4, 15). About
1830 allowances were given to large families and coal was sold cheaply to the
poor (Rep. H.L. Cttee. On Poor Laws, 316-7). East Hatley belonged to the Caxton
and Arrington poor law union from 1835 (Poor
Law Com. 1st Rep. 248), to the South Cambridgeshire R.D.
(Rural District) from 1934 (Census, 1931), and from 1974 in the South
church, recorded by 1217 (Val. Of Norwich, ed. Lunt, 537),
probably belonged originally to the Richmond
fee. In 1235 the advowson (right to nominate the
rector) was shared by Walter of Hoo, Giles de Feugeres and Felise, daughter of
Matthew. Walter refused to accept a clerk nominated by his coparceners
(coheirs), holding him unfit (Cur.
Reg. R., xv, pp.295-6). Later
that year Felise released her interest and Walter and
Giles agreed to present (the rector) alternately (P.R.O., CP 25(1)/24/16, nos. 22, 24). In 1251 Walter’s son Walter assured a moiety (agreed a half share)
of the advowson to Simon the chamberlain (Ibid. CP 25(1)/24/25, no.
19). In 1341 the patronage belonged to John Engaine
of Teversham and Joan (or John) of Bourn (E.D.R. 1890), 450; cf. ibid. (1892), 808); the
latter’s family had claimed to have it c. 1329 (Above, manors; cf. B.L. Lansd.
MS. 863, f. 61). John Grantchester (d. 1362), however, presented thrice between
1342 and 1349 (E.D.R. (1890), 450;
(1893), 23). And his widow Joan in 1380 and 1384 (Ibid. (1895), 39; (1896), 14; cf. V.C.H. Cambs. V. 202-3). Two patrons,
probably feoffees (people to whom land was granted), were
named in 1390 and 1394 (E.D.R.
(1897), 154, 236). About 1380, however, the Born’s
interest had been acquired by Baldwin St George (of Hatley St George) (Above, manors). His son Baldwin was patron in 1398
(E.D.R. (1898), 56), and successive heads of that family regularly presented to
the rectory, even after ceasing to own the manor, until 1517 (C.U.L., E.D.R., L 3/1, ff. 7v, 10, 35, 40v, 59; E.D.R.
(1905), 21; (1906), 60; (1910), 217; cf. V.C.H. Cambs. Tadlow, manors). Thomas
St George was still thought to have the advowson at
his death in 1540 (P.R.O., E 150/88,
(Elizabeth I) presented in 1565 (E.D.R.
(1914), 294). Richard Hendry of Worcester, who presented in 1568, required
his candidate in return to lease the rectory to his patron who then sold the
lease. Hendry was alleged to have induced that incumbent (resident rector) to
resign in 1574, in order to void such a sub-lease of the rectory glebe, and
presented again, perhaps repeating his simoniacal
practices (buying or selling religious pardons or appointments in the church),
in 1574 and 1575 (Ibid. 327, 361-2;
P.R.O., REQ 2/141/33). In 1576 John Hacker presented. In 1577 Thomas
Goode, a yeoman of Abington, presented his kinsman (relative) John Goode (E.D.R., (1914), 378), upon whose death
in 1627 Francis Goode, fellow of King’s College, presented Thomas Goode (Lamb. Pal. Reg. Abbot II. f. 300v; cf. Alum. Cantab. To 1751, ii. 225, 233). When Thomas died
in 1655 he left the advowson to his widow, Anne
(P.R.O., PROB 11/249 (P.C.C.
329 Aylett). Marmaduke Goode, clerk,
claimed the patronage in 1662, but Sir George Downing, as lord of the manor,
presented in 1663, buying out Marmaduke’s interest in
1664 (B.L. Add. MS. 5847, f. 15; P.R.O., CP 25(2)/632/14-15 Chas. II Hil. No. 12). Thereafter the advowson
passed with the Downing estates, being exercised in 1799 by J.J. Whittington
(Lady Downing’s nephew?) (e.g. P.R.O., Inst. Bks.
Ser. C, I, f. 442v). From 1800 it belonged to Downing College.
After 1966 presentation was suspended (Crockford, (1896 and later edns.)).
although it always remained a rectory, was not wealthy in the Middle Ages. It was worth only £5 or less in the 13th
century (Val. of Norwich, ed. Lunt, 224, 537, 557; Tax.
Eccl. (Rec. Com.), 266), and £7 16s. 6d. in 1535 (Valor. Eccl. (Rec. Com), iii, 503). By 1650 its value stood at £40 (Lamb. Pal. MS. COMM. XIIa/3, f. 291) and in 1728 at £64 (B.L. Add. MS. 5828, f. 90). The rectorial glebe, 7 a. of closes and 34 a. of arable in 1615
(C.U.L., E.D.R. H 1/3(1615), was
apparently mostly absorbed after inclosure into the
Downing estate. Only 5 a. around the former parsonage remained in 1842 (Ibid. G. tithe ward 1842). The rector’s net
income was £175 c. 1830 (Rep.
Comm. Eccl. Revenues,
348-9), and after all the tithes (10% of residents’ annual revenues) were
commuted (cancelled) for a £210 rent charge in 1842 (C.U.L., E.D.R. G. tithe ward) was £169 in 1851
(P.R.O., HO 129/185, f. 27) and
£156 in 1873 (C.U.L., E.D.R.. C 3/25).
The rectory house
formerly stood within a moat just south of the manor house (Downing maps 1750). In the 1660s it
had 4 hearths (P.R.O., E
179/244/22, f. 31v). it was dilapidated
(falling down) in 1722 (C.R.O.,
P 151/1/2/, at end), and although inhabited by the rector in 1728 and
1775 (B.L. Add. MW 5828, f. 90;
C.U.L., E.D.R., C 1/1), was described in 1807 as a miserable cottage, unfit
for a clergyman’s family (C.U.L.,
E.D.R., C 1/4). It was burnt down in 1821 and not rebuilt (C.R.O., P 152/1/2, at end), the incumbents
thereafter living in Tadlow.
From the 14th
century the parish proved too poor to keep incumbents long. Between 1340 and
1345 there were five rectors; the last was absent in 1347 in his patron’s
services (Cal. Pat. 1340-3, 64; E.D.R. (1890), 428, 450; (1892), 808), in
1349 a fellow of Michaelhouse, Cambridge, held the cure (of souls) (E.D.R. (1893), 73; Emden, Biog.
Reg. Univ. Camb. 496). One chaplain
served in 1378 for the sometimes absentee rector (East Anglian, N.S. xiii, 174; E.D.R. (1895), 55).
Another rector was licensed in 1384 to be away for 3 years, to study at Cambridge or attend his
patroness (E.D.R. (1896), 14).
Between 1390 and 1398 three more rectors quitted the parish by exchange (Ibid. (1897), 154, 236; (1896), 56), and
another in 1435 left it for a London chantry (house
where residents chanted prayers for their patron in return for free
accommodation) (C.U.L., E.D.R., L
3/1, f. 10). The St Georges began to present graduates after
1500 (Ibid. ff. 59, 61v, 62). A cottage given for an obit (obituary – written
record of someone after their death) was sold in 1550 and the church house c.
1577 (Cal. Pat. 1549-51, 275; Trans. C.H.A.S. i, 389).
In 1561 the rector,
another absentee, put in charge a servant not licensed to minister. No
homilies, let alone sermons, were read, and no communions celebrated at all (C.U.L., E.D.R., B 2/3, p. 143). By 1564,
however, he had provided a curate (Ibid. B 2/4, p.39). Between 1565 and 1577 there were five rectors,
including the Crown nominee, Thomas Drant, a
translator of Latin poetry (E.D.R.,
(1914), 295, 327, 361-2, 378; Cooper, Athenae Cantab,
i. 384). John Goode, however, from a local
family, retained the living (benefit of income from the glebe and collections)
from 1577 to his death in 1627. in 1579, although he
would not occupy the ruinous parsonage, he attended weekly to perform the
services, even though there was no communion table, and few of the requisite
books (Alum. Cantab. to 1751. ii, 233; C.U.L., E.D.R., D
2/10, f. 194). His kinsman and successor Thomas Goode, although
apparently respected by his parishioners (e.g. East Anglian,
N.S. x, 311-12), was stigmatized by puritans (the most austere
Protestants) as a drunkard and upholder of ceremonies (possibly traditional
Roman Catholic practices). He was sequestrated (removed from office) in 1643.
His third successor (Walker
Revised, ed. Matthews, 80), the
‘able, pious’ Presbyterian Richard Kennitt, himself
in 1650 lately ejected from a Cambridge
fellowship, resigned in 1662 (Calamy Revised, ed. Matthews, 305; B.L. Add. MS. 5820, f. 50).
From 1663 to 1796 East Hatley was, except when briefly occupied by a Hugenot refugee (French Protestant who escaped religious
persecution) 1705-9, held with Tadlow vicarage (Cf. B.L. Add. MS. 58470, f. 15). The living became
from 1689 to 1824 virtually hereditary in the Say family. Francis Say, rector
1689 – 1705, was followed by his elder son, William Cray Say, 1722-51, and he
by Francis Say, probably his nephew, 1753 – 96, who also held Hatley St George
and Whaddon. Lady Downing married him to her niece,
and left him her interest in Downing Street (Whitehall) (Alum. Cantab to 1751, iv. 24-5;
East Anglian, N.S. x. 310, 328-30). Francis’ younger
son Henry Morgan Say succeeded to the rectory in 1799 upon coming of age
(reaching 21) (Alum. Oxon. 1715-1866, 1259; C.U.L.,
E.D.R., C 1/4). From
the 1770s the Says provided their scanty congregation with one service every
Sunday and the sacrament (Communion) thrice a year. About 1807 few children
knew their catechisms (key Christian beliefs all children were expected to
learn off by heart) (C.U.L., E.D.R., C 1/1,
Downing College removed H. M. Say, an unlicensed pluralist (probably
prepared to accept other religious beliefs and practices), in 1824 for not
rebuilding the burnt parsonage. Until the 1960s East
Hatley continued to he held by the same incumbents, drawn from
that college, as Tadlow (C.R.O., P152/1/2; P 87/2/1) In 1825 there were only 3
or 4 communicants. Sunday services continued by custom to be
held alternately morning and evening until the 1850s. Forty-six adults
attended in 1851 (C.U.L., E.D.R. C 1/6; P.R.O., HO 129/185, f. 27) When c.1854 the bishop insisted on two services weekly
a resident curate was employed (C.R.O., P 87/2/3; P.R.O., RG 9/1017) In the 1860s c. 70 adults attended afternoon service
in summer, only 50 in winter, the tracks from outlying cottages being so poor (C.R.O., P 87/1/14). In 1873 of c. 150 inhabitants 145 were claimed as
church people. In the 1870s monthly communions were attended by c. 17 people, a
figure halved by 1885; by then, as until after 1900, the vicar of Hatley St
George was serving as a curate (C.U.L., E.D.R., C3/25,31,39;
E.D.R. (1897), 55; (1922), 146).
The ancient parish church was abandoned in 1961 because of the cost of
repairs. A new one was built and consecrated the same year (Cambs. Ind.
Press, 1st Dec. 1961). East Hatley was not included with Tadlow in the Shingay
group after 1966, but was served from nearby livings (e.g. Gamlingay). In 1979
the rector of Gamlingay provided two services a month (Notice at church).
The old church, named after St DENIS by the 18th century
(maybe as a result of the French Hugenot’s influence)
(Ecton, Thesaurus (1763), 103) was built
of field stones dressed with clunch (white chalk
rock). It had only a short chancel and nave with south porch(Description based on B.L.
Add. MS. 5280, ff. 47v-48; Parker, Eccl. Top.
Cambs. no 121; Downing
Coll. Mun., elevation of church. 1857; C.R.O.,
P152/6/2, pp.7-8) (report 1865); cf. above plate facing) The church was probably built mainly late in the 13th
century, although reconsecrated in 1352(E.D.R., (1984), 191). The western part of the nave had on each side a
doorway between two foiled lancets. Near the east end were later inserted two
tall two-light windows of the chancel with their geometrical tracery. The
narrow chancel arch , with ogee-headed (double-curve
with the shape of an elongated S) niches each side, and the north and south
doorways were of the 14th century. Buttresses were built then at
three of the angles, and also on each side of the lancet in the west wall of
the nave to support a bellcot, probably the steeple
which needed repair in 1638 (Cambs. Village Doc., 61). It had fallen by 1748 when the single cracked bell,
the sole survivor of three recorded in 1552 and 1685, hung in the nave (Cambs. Ch. Goods. Temp. Edw. VI, 43; B.L. Add. MS.
39814, f. 142; Add. MS. 5820, f. 48) Sir George Downing rebuilt the south porch in brick in 1673 (Arms and Inscr. over porch). By 1685
the north door was blocked, and the nave choked with large pews. The font, then
consigned to a stable (B.L. Add. MS. 5820, f. 48; C.U.L., E.D.R., C1/4) had been replaced by 1748, when the rood screen
(ornamental wooden structure separating nave from chancel) still survived;
there were no communion rails then or in 1807 (B.L. Add. MS. 5820, f.48; C.U.L., E.D.R., C 1/4). The Castell family monuments included an altar tomb
to Constance (d. 1610), first wife of Robert
Castell (d. 1630) (Mon. Inscr. Cambs. 43).
The church was restored in 1783-4 to designs by William Butterfield. The
chancel was lengthened and largely rebuilt, the arch being widened. The bellcot and south porch were reconstructed, and a new
pulpit, font, and stone reredos (A
decorative screen or facing on the wall at the back of an altar) installed. When the new church, a small plain building
in concrete, was opened, some Victorian woodwork and part of a 15th
century brass were removed to it (C.R.O., P 152/6/2, pp. 2-5, 7-8; R.C.H.M. Cambs.
i. 146). In 1979
the old church was derelict and almost concealed by a thick growth of ivy (Mon. Inscr.
In 1552, as c.1278, there was only one silver chalice (Vetus Liber Arch. Alien. (C.A.S.
8vo ser. xiviii), 104; Cambs. Ch.
Goods temp. Edw. VI, 43). A silver gilt cup and
paten (flat dish for communion wafers) were given in 1684 (R.C.H.M. Cambs. i, 146) No proper register was
being kept in 1579 (C.U.L., E.D.R., D 2/10, f. 194). The
first to survive runs from 1585 to 1617; a continuous series resumes only in
P 87/1-5; par. Reg. TS. There are bishop’s transcripts
to 1643 and from 1661).
NONCONFORMITY. There was one Presbyterian family in 1728 (B.L. Add. MS. 5828, f. 90). No meeting house was ever established in the parish.
In the early 19th century the few dissenters worshipped elsewhere,
and some times came to church. In 1873 there were only four chapel goers (C.U.L., E.D.R., C 1/4, 6; C
EDUCATION. East Hatley had no school before the
19th century (Cf. C.U.L. E.D.R., B 2/11, f. 18v; C 1/4). About 1819 the curate started a Sunday school,
which supported by the incumbent and other subscribers, had c. 10-12 pupils
from the 1830s to the 1850s (Educ. Of Poor Digest, 60; Educ.
Enquiry Abstract, 57; Church
School Inquiry, 1846-7, 4-5; P.R.O., HO 129/185, f. 27) and c. 25-30 in the 1860s and 1870s (C.R.O., P 87/1/14; C.U.L.,
E.D.R., C 3/25) A church day school with
14 pupils, mostly girls, probably closed after 1851 (Church School Inquiry, 1846-7, 4-5; P.R.O. HO 107/1758) In the 1860s a farmer’s daughter taught a small dame
school in her father’s kitchen (C.R.O., P 87/25/5, letter 1922) In 1872 Downing College agreed to help establish a
single National school for East Hatley and Hatley St George. The school and
schoolhouse were built by the main road just on the East
Hatley side of the boundary. It had room for 88 pupils and was
opened in 1874. Most of the yearly rent came from subscriptions (Ibid. Minutes 1872-5;
P.R.O. ED 7/5) Of
the first twelve pupils only one could read or write. The early teachers left
in rapid succession, but one, returning in 1886, gradually tamed the unruly
schoolboys, eventually persuading the older boys to attend the night school
that she kept until after 1900 (C.R.O., P 87/25/5; Schs.
in receipt of Parl. Grants, 1898-9 [C.9454],
p.14, H.C. (1899), lxxiv). Attendance rose from under 20 in the late 1870s (Rep. Educ.
Cttee. of Council, 1879-80 [C. 2562-I], p.557, H.C.
(1880), xxii ) to about 55 from 1885 to
1889-90 [C. 6079-l], p.539, H.C. (1890), xxvii; 1894-5 [C.
7776-l], p. 793, H.C. (1895), xxvii), but fell
again by 1905 to little over 20 (Public Elem. Schs.
1906 [Cd. 3510], p. 27, H.C. (1907), lxiii; cf. E.D.R. (1904), 67, 88). It stood at c. 35 by 1922 (Bd. of Educ.
List 21, 1910, 23; 1922, 15). When
the older children went to Gamlingay. The Hatley school, with c. 15
junior pupils, continued until 1965 when all the children went to Gamlingay (Ibid. 1927, 15; 1938, 19;
Black, Cambs. Educ. Recs. 62).
CHARITIES FOR THE POOR. The 10s. a year given by Col. Robert Castell
before 1660 for the poor on St. Valentine’s Day was paid by the Downings from 1705 but lost after 1733 (Char. Don. I. 87; B.L. Add. MS. 5828, f. 90; 31st
Rep. Com. Char., 31st Rep. Com. Char. 317) In 1920 George Longman left £29 in stock, from which
£1 10s. a year should be given at Christmas to widows
of East Hatley and Hatley St George. (Kelly’s
Dir. Cambs. (1933))
Back to Hatley map