History of Aveley
St Michael's Church, Aveley.
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History of Aveley >> White's Directory 1848
White's Directory of Essex 1848
AVELEY is a long pleasant village, on a bold acclivity, about 2 miles North of the river Thames and Purfleet, 8 miles South South East of Romford, and 15 miles East of London.
Its parish contains 2852 acres including 162 acres of wood; and had 849 inhabitants in 1841, but 113 of them were labourers, only temporarily resident, when the census was taken.
Aveley had anciently a market, and has still a fair on Whit-Monday.
It is conjectured to be of Roman origin, and the manor was held by Gilbert de Tani, in the reign of Henry II. In 1505, it was granted by the Crown to the Hospital of the Savoy, in London.
After the dissolution, Edward VI. granted it to St. Thomas's Hosptal, London, to which it still belongs; but a great part of the parish belongs to other proprietors, the largest of whom is Sir Thomas Barrett Lennard, Bart., who has a handsome seat here called Belhus, or Belhouse, from the knightly family of Belhus, who were seated here in the reigns of King John and Henry III.
The present large and stately mansion was built in the reign of Henry VIII., but has since been considerably enlarged and beautified, and is surrounded by an extensive park, containing some fine deer, and an abundance of large forest trees.
It is a noble specimen of the Tudor style of architecture, and several parts of the park command extensive views over the Thames into Kent.
The estate passed from the Barringtons to the Barretts who held it more than two centuries, and were greatly distinguished by their noble alliances, and by the posts of honour they enjoyed under government.
One of them married Lady Ann Lennard, Baroness Dacre, and his son succeeded as Lord Dacre, in 1755, but dying without issue, the title left the family. The present Sir T.B. Lennard was born in 1761, and was created a baronet in 1801.
His eldest son, Thomas Barrett Lennard, Esq., is now M.P. for Maldon, and sat for that borough from 1826 to 1837.
Estates called Bumstead and Bretts are in this parish; and the latter has an ancient moated house, now occupied by a farmer, but anciently the seat of the Le Bret family.
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The Church (St. Michael,) is an ancient structure, with a nave and aisles, a chancel, and a square tower of flint and stone, containing five bells, and crowned with a small wooden spire, erected in lieu of a lofty one, that was blown down in 1703. In the chancel are a few old brasses, and several neat monuments.
The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in K.B. at £14.10s.5½d., and in 1831 at £272. The Bishop of London is patron, and the Rev. R.M. White, M.A., is the incumbent, and has a good residence and 9A. of glebe. The Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's are appropriators of the rectory, which has 30A.3R.2P. of glebe, and was given to the monastery of St. Stephen, at Gravesend, in 1330, by the then Bishop of London; and at the dissolution to Cardinal Wolsey, at whose fall it was given to St. Paul's. The tithes were commuted in 1841, the rectorial for £461.5s., and the vicarial for £330.7s.
A large National School was built here in 1844, at the cost of £600, on an acre of land given by the lords of the manor: and in the village is an Independent Chapel, with a school, erected about twenty years ago.
The Poor-houses are three old tenements, occupied by poor persons, nominated by Sir Thomas B. Lennard, but the donor is unknown.
For distribution of bread every Sunday, the poor have 52s. yearly, out of Tunney Mead and Capon Hills, left by John Lewty, in 1639.
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