Stock History
By Charles Phillips
The question of a possible manor of Lilystone arose from a visit to Stock Parish Council by Lord Petre in December 2006 and a subsequent meeting between the author of this article and Lord Petre in February 2007.
According to records in Ingatestone Hall there is no manor for the area of Stock south of the junction of Mill Road and Well Lane. Lord Petre wondered if there was a manor of Lilystone.
What follows is the results of my investigations.
According to the London Eyre of 1244 one Otto fitz William held the manor of Lilystone in Essex for the king by serjeanty of engraving the die of the king's money in the City of London From information supplied to me by the Royal Mint I have learned that the office of the engraver of dies of the king's money was an hereditary office. It seems that Otto fitzWilliam was the descendent of Otto the Goldsmith who was one of the holders of Gestingthorpe in the Domesday.
Other information that I have found about Otto fitz William is that he held rent of assize in the City of London of either 40s 6d or 45s
However in 1294 it was found that Otto fitzWilliam held of the king the manor of Lilleston in Middlesex in capite by serjeanty of engraving the die of the kings money: but that the master of the Knights Templars then held the manor.
Now a problem arises.- The spelling of Lilystone used in the original document of 1244 is Lillestone. Equally the original name of Lisson Grove in Middlesex was Lilestone. According to the Domesday Book Lisson Grove was described as land given in alms. Further from an investigation of Philip Morant's History of the Antiquities of the County of Essex there are no Lilystones in Gestingthorpe.
There is no mention of a manor of Lilystone by Morant or of any manors peculiar to Stock.
It is worth mentioning that there is no mention of the City of London in the Domesday Book, so by logic if Lilystone was a detached part of the City of London there would be no mention of it. Detached manors were quite common. An extreme example was a large part of Ingatestone High Street being in Fryerning. And of course there was Orsett hamlet in Stock. Also if Lilystone was the king's land it should be mentioned that a large part of Margaretting was held by the king at the time of the Domesday Book.
Also only Fristling and Buttsbury are mentioned in the Domesday Book. Ramsey Tyrells, White Tyrells, Imphey and Crondon did not appear until later.
Now several possibilities arise.
Firstly is the possibility that in the 1244 London Eyre Essex was written by mistake instead of Middlesex. On the other hand this cannot be proved. As an aside mistakes can made. No less an authority than the 1937 edition Baedeker's Guide to Great Britain got the entry for Billericay wrong saying that the Chantry House had been shipped to America.
Secondly, as this does sound fantastic, that there was for a time a manor Lilystone and that it got absorbed into another manor and the papers on the manor of Lilystone got destroyed somehow, except for the mention in the London Eyre of 1244.
Apart from the reference in 1244 the earliest reference that can be found for Lilystone is from the Manor Roll for 1554. To quote in full
Gyn Joybard Landry Harford Stock in the parish of Buttsbury in the County of Essex.
Turn with view of frank pledge on Wednesday the tenth day of April in the first year of the reign of Mary (1554).
The tenant of the land of lynyngstones was required to make up his ditch from "le Conyborowe" up to the pit close by his entrance and there to throw it 'a le whowe.' so that the water may have it s course, before the next Turn under penalty of 16d.
This information was taken from the Rectors of Two Essex Parishes and Their Times by the Rev F W Austen (1943).
Lynyngstones is recorded by the Rev Austen as one of the variants of the word Lilystone. The full list being Lilestone(s), Lillestone(s), Lilystones, Lyllystones, Lyllingston(e)s, Lilystons, Lollyngstones, Lyllyn(g)stones and Lynyngstones.
Le Conyborowe was the rabbit warren and le whowe was a covered outlet for water under a path.
The Essex Records Office say that the earliest reference that they can find in their records is to a deed of dwelling house called Lilystones in 1694 which is listed under Miscellaneous Essex Deeds. The Records Office also adamantly say that there was never a manor of Lilystone.
The conclusion we are left with is the Scottish verdict of 'Not Proven'. Now some people might say that as it is 'Not Proven' it is 'Not Disproven'. Well this depends on who you are. The best way of looking at this that unless further information comes to confirm that a manor of Lilystone did exist one should give the benefit of the doubt against it existing, but accept that it may have existed, but that this is not certain. Or any land within the area for which no manor is shown on the manorial is not proved to be manorial land (or manorial waste if you like).
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