Broxbourn (St. Augustine)

BROXBOURN (St. Augustine), a parish, in the union of Ware, hundred and county of Hertford; containing, with the chapelry of Hoddesdon, part of which is in the parish of Great Amwell, 2386 inhabitants. In the time of William the Conqueror, the manor belonged to Adeling, wife of Hugh de Grentemaisnill; it afterwards came to the Knights Templars, and lastly to the prior and brethren of the hospital of St. John of Jerusalem, who occupied the more ancient part of the present mansion of Broxbournbury. James I., on his way from Scotland, was entertained at the manor-house, where he was met by many of the nobility and the officers of state. The parish is situated on the north road, and bounded on the east by the river Lea, which separates it from the county of Essex; the New River, also, flows through it. The scenery is pleasingly diversified, and the views from many parts are extensive, embracing some mansions of great interest and beauty. The sweeps of woodland in different places are strikingly picturesque; and in Broxbournbury Park are some fine specimens of oak, elm, and Spanish chesnut. The parish comprises by admeasurement 4379 acres, whereof 2582 are in the hamlet of Hoddesdon: the soil, which is fertile, lies upon a bed of gravel of very fine quality. The Lea has a wharf about 200 yards from the church: a station of the Eastern Counties railway has been built here, of red brick and quadrangular form, in the Elizabethan style; and a little beyond it, in the valley of the Lea, the line is continued for about two miles on an embankment twelve feet high. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £12. 6. 5½.; patron and appropriator, the Bishop of London. The great tithes have been commuted for £197. 8., and the vicarial for £147. 8.; the appropriate glebe consists of 62½ acres. The church is a large handsome edifice, in the later English style, with a square tower supporting an octagonal spire, and a north and south chapel, the former rich in detail: there are an ancient font and several very fine monuments, of which those to Lady Elizabeth Say, Sir John Say, and Sir Henry Cock, are the most remarkable. A chapel was built in Hoddesdon about 1730; and the Independents and Quakers have each a place of worship. By deed in 1727, the Hon. Letitia Monson gave £1000, since laid out in Bank annuities, for endowing an almshouse for six widows.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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