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Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 9.djvu/130

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122


NOTES AND QUERIES. [9 th s. ix. FEB. 15, 1902.


Isle of Dogs, and the story was probably invented in order to account for the name of the locality. This name does not occur earlier than the time of Elizabeth. The Chapel House was converted into a farmhouse some time in the sixteenth century, and it figures in Norden's map of Middlesex, 1593, as the " Isle of Doges Ferme." When Lysons wrote, the old chapel was the only dwelling-place upon the marsh. It exhibited no remains of antiquity, except in the lower parts of the walls, which were full of small stones and flints. A Gothic window was removed about 1792. When Mr. Cowper wrote in 1853 the condition of the Chapel House was much the same as when Lysons's description was writ- ten. Two or three additional tenements had been erected on the west side of the farm- house, but they were mean and inconvenient. The trees had been nearly all removed. The ground in the vicinity showed traces in every direction of having, at some remote period, been occupied with buildings, &c., but more especially to the south-west, from the Chapel House to the river. On the formation of the Mill wall Dock, in 1867-8, all traces of the Chapel House were swept away, its site being absorbed in the new docks (Walford's 'Greater London,' i. 537).

This chapel, which was dedicated to St. Mary, was thought by Mr. Cowper to have been connected with, or dependent on, the Abbey of St. Mary of Graces, near the Tower of London. I venture to think that it was originally attached to the manor house of Pontefract, of which the foundations are mentioned by Strype and Maitland, and of which traces were visible up to fifty years ago. The Abbey of St. Mary does not seem to have been possessed of any property in Stepney Marsh till the end of the fifteenth century, when the manor of Pontefract appa- rently lapsed to the Crown. On this point, however, the evidence is not satisfactory.

The first owner of the manor of whom we have any knowledge was a certain John de Castello, otherwise known as John Attecastle. In the year 1302, 31 Edward I., the manor was purchased from John de Castello and Joan his wife by John Abel and Margery his wife.* John Abel, although he has not obtained the honour of a niche in Messrs. Stephen and Lee's Valhalla, was a personage of considerable importance in his time. He was a trusted official of King Edward I, and during the reign of that monarch and of his successor his name repeatedly occurs in the Patent Rolls as a Commissioner of Oyer and


AiV J 9 alen< ? ar of Feet of Fines f r London and Middlesex,' ed. Hardy and Page, i. 72.


Ter miner. He was also an escheator south of Trent, and steward to Queen Margaret. On 8 March, 1311/12, 5 Edward II., on the promo- tion of Walter de Norwych to be Chief Baron of the Exchequer, John Abel was appointed a Baron of that Court in his place. In 1317 he was appointed envoy to the King of France ('Cal. Close Rolls, Edward II., 1313-18,' pp.553, 622). He had a son named Walter ($., p. 98), who seems to have died in the lifetime of his father, as on John Abel's death in 1323 it appears from his Inquisition post mortem that he left only three daughters, coheirs. The manor of " Ponf ray t super Thamis'," of which he died seised, consisted of eighty acres of arable, a windmill, &c. (Escheat. 16 Ed- ward II., No. 41). He was also in possession of other manors, including West Tilbury, in Essex. The manor of Pontefract was divided into three portions, one of which was in- herited by each daughter. Of these daughters, Joan married Sir William Vaughan, Margaret married Walter Heryng, and of the third I have no record, unless it were Katherine, the wife of John Chicche, who in 1333,

7 Edward III., levied a fine with William Vaughan and his wife for a third part of this manor.* Sir William Vaughan seems to have been succeeded by his son Sir Thomas Vaughan, who died seised of ** Pomfreyth maner' ut de maner' de Storteford " in 1362 (Escheat. 36 Edward III., part 2, No. 64). Sir Thomas Vaughan left a son Hamon, who died without issue, and after his death and that of Margaret Heryng, who died in 1369, seised of a third part of the manor (Escheat. 43 Edward III., part 1, No. 53), the property seems to have split up into severalties, which were divided among the families of Strange, Molyneux, Mitton, Bokilton, and Falk. We find from the inquisitions that "Ricardus Mutton, chivaler," and Margaret his wife were seised of " sexta pars duarum partium manerii Pountfreit" (Escheat. 8 Henry V., No. 8), and that " Philip' Bokilton, ar'," was seised of exactly the same amount (Escheat.

8 Henry V., No. 48). Katherine, the daughter and heir of Philip Bokilton, married John Falk. Margery, the widow of Sir Baldwin Strange, held at her death, in 1432, a third part of the manor of "Pountfreit in Ste- pheneth Marsh," and was succeeded by her daughter and heir Elizabeth, who at the age of fourteen was already the wife of Robert Molyneux (Escheat. 10 Henry VI., No. 10). From the Feet of Fines it seems that half the manor came into the possession of John Harpur, as in 1422, 1 Henry VI., John Falk


  • ibid., p. 111.