Charity Land, Sandridge, 1653


Old Herts



The following article records a dispute over the payment of money to a charity by the Lord of the Manor, Richard Jennings, of Water End, Sandridge. He was the father of Sarah Jennings, who married John Churchill, and lived in Holywell House, St Albans, before moving to Blenheim Palace when her husband became Duke of Marlborough

SANDRIDGE. - Inquisition taken at Watford, October 20th, 1653. The jury say that in Easter Term, 19 Henry VIII. [A.D. 1527-28], "in the time of Thomas [Wolsey], Lord Cardinal Archbishop of York, and Perpetual Commendator of the Monastery of St. Albans" and lord of the manor of Sandridge, at a court held for the manor, the lord granted out of his hands to William Weathered and John Finch, then guardians of the parish church of Sandridge, one messuage, situate upon the church green, near the vicarage, and six acres of land, three acres of which were late the lands of Roger Bellamy, and the other three were the lands of John Smith; which said six acres lie together in a field called Over Whitley. To have and to hold the said premises to the said Weathered and Finch, and other churchwardens their successors, of the lord, at the will of the lord, by rendering the services therefor due; viz., for the messuage 6d., and for the six acres of land 6d.

The jury further present that the said six acres of land have been from time to time in the possession of several persons for the use aforesaid, and are now in the possession of Richard Jennings, Esq., who has let the same to one Thomas Manfeild or his assigns, amongst other lands, from whom the said Richard Jennings has received the yearly profits of the said lands. Mr. Jennings had detained the yearly profits of the said lands from the churchwardens of Sandridge for three years past ending at Michaelmas last, so that it could not be employed according to the intent of the said donor.

The order states that the said six acres of land are worth yearly, above reprises, 30s., and that the 6d. reserved for them yearly by the lord had been constantly paid by the churchwardens for the time being; and the said Mr. Jennings, being summoned before the Commissioners, appeared by his attorney, who could not produce "any evidence to the contrary of the premises." It was therefore ordered that the said six acres of land, with the possession, rents, and profits thereof, should belong to William Lyons and Daniel Walcott, churchwardens of the parish church of Sandridge for the time being, and their successors for ever, to be employed to the charitable use for which the same were first granted. It was further ordered that Richard Jennings, or his under-tenants or assigns by his procurement, should deliver up to the said William Lyons and Daniel Walcott peaceable and quiet possession of the six acres aforesaid, and also the said Richard Jennings should pay to William Lyons and Daniel Walcott the sum of 4 10s. for the three years' rent of the premises. (Petty Bag Charity Inquisition, Bundle 22, No. 6.)

Home Counties Magazine Volume 3, pages 126-7, 1901