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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 ACC/0903
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1364-1896
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 0.91 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Enfield Parochial Charities


Administrative/Biographical history:

Taken as a whole, this collection builds a picture of Enfield at different times. Leases of the market and the surrounding area in David's and Prounces property show the development of the Market Place. At the beginning of the eighteenth century, for example, there was a market house, a market cross, a gatehouse with a room over it and a staircase, and a little weigh-house. There were a number of wooden stalls of posts and rails for the Saturday market, and a shambles of 24 stalls for butchers. There were also some little shops of not very substantial structure in the middle of the Market Place; in one William Greene sold bread, flour and meal, and there was a blacksmith and a glazier. On the west side there were a number of more permanent shops, probably quite small as some had been divided, while on the east were a few other buildings used as shops. The Greyhound Inn with its stables and outbuildings stood on the east, and near the churchyard was the Kings Head Inn with its garden and bowling green. By the nineteenth century the Kings Head also had a 'skittle-ground' with a pantiled roof. The Free Grammar School and the schoolmasters house was next to the Kings Head. Although they were three distinct charities; the Market Place and the two estates which surrounded it, David's and Prounces, made up the Market Place area and were frequently leased as one unit and were administered by the same trustees.

Property in the rest of Enfield was mostly scattered in strips in various fields, and information is given of early field names and place names too numerous to mention, such as Donnefield (later Dong or Dung field), Lockers Croft, Swetyngs, Folswell field, etc., etc. Early names of roads and lanes appear such as Tokystrete or Tokestrete which in the eighteenth century turned into Turkey Street. Baldwins Lane, Perkyns Lane, Plesance Strete and others are also mentioned. Many of the names seem to be connected with personal names (although it is difficult to say whether a family gave a name to a place or took their name from the place where they lived); for example we find John Toky in 1376, and John White Webb in 1437 and Walter Ponder in 1394. Some of the family names of prominent parishioners occur right through the period, in varying spellings, for example Hunsdon (earlier Honnesdon, Hunnisdon), many of whom were tanners; Cordell (often maltmen), Loft and Curtis.

The deeds do not provide much information about the administration of the charities themselves, such as would occur in early minute or account books if any have survived. The original purpose of the charity is sometimes recited in the appointments of trustees, although the originating deeds or wills have not usually survived. Most were for alms or clothing for the poor or orphans and for the education of children. There are also some early deeds giving property for the support of chantries, discontinued at the Reformation. An interesting example of "insurance" is Mrs Gillett, "a poor auncient woman" who conveyed her cottage to the churchwardens in 1692 in return for her maintenance (see No. ACC/903/142). Peter Hardy described the charities in his Enfield Charities of 1828.


Scope and content/abstract:

This collection comprises the title deeds of various small pieces of land in Enfield (and also Herts, Essex and Whitechapel) which have, at different times in the past, become the property of the parish of Enfield for charitable purposes, together with leases and appointments of trustees. They were kept in the parish chest until the end of the nineteenth century, as is shown by an old label noting that a bundle of deeds was removed from the parish chest in 1903. The deeds have an exceptional interest and value for the history and topography of Enfield.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

ACC/0903/001 to ACC/0903/186.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to these records rests with the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Records deposited in August 1965.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
June to August 2010.

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