History of High Laver
All Saints Church, High Laver
© Copyright Robin Webster contributor to the Geograph Project and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
History of High Laver >> White's Directory 1848
White's Directory of Essex 1848
LAVER (HIGH) is a parish of scattered houses, 7 miles North East by North of Epping, and 5 miles North by West of Chipping Ongar, near one of the sources of the small river Cripsey. It has 478 souls, and 1994 acres of land, and was anciently called Lagafare, and sometimes Great or King's Lauver.
The soil belongs to G.S. Wallis, Esq., William St.Quintin, Esq., M. Gilbertson, Esq., and several smaller owners; and Messrs, T. and J. Inkersole are joint lords of the manor of Otes.
There are two manors, viz., High Laver, which was held by the Earl of Boulogne, at the Norman survey; and Otes, which was held by a family of its own name, in the reign of Edward II., and was long a seat of the Mashams.
That learned and celebrated philosopher, John Locke, passed a great part of the last ten years of his life at the Otes, with his friends, Sir Francis and Lady Masham. With them he lived with as much ease and freedom as if the house had been his own, and he found a suitable literary companion in Lady Masham, who was inured from infancy to deep speculations in theology, metaphysics, and moral philosophy. He died here in 1704, aged 73, and lies buried under a black marble gravestone in the churchyard. His Essay on the Human Understanding, and some of his other works, were published during his residence at Otes.
The Mashams came from a town of that name in the North Riding of Yorkshire, and in 1711, Sir Samuel was created Baron Masham of Oles, but on the death of his son, in 1776, the title became extinct. They purchased the Otes in the reign of James I., but the ancient mansion has been pulled down, since the death of the last lord, after which the estate passed to the Starkins, of Bishop Stortford.
The Church (All Saints,) is an ancient structure, with a tower, surmounted by a lofty wooden spire. Among its numerous monumental inscriptions, is a lengthy epitaph on Locke, written by himself.
The rectory, valued in K.B. at £14.1s.8d., and in 1831 at £373, is in the patronage and incumbency of the Rev. P. Bodworth, who has an old residence in the Elizabethan style. The tithes were commuted, in 1847, for £520 per annum.
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