History of Little Easton

building - exterior
Easton Lodge
Image from 'Views of the Seats of Noblemen and Gentlemen in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Courtesy of British Library on Flickr. NKCR

History of Little Easton >> White's Directory 1848

White's Directory of Essex 1848

EASTON, (LITTLE) a small village on the western side of the vale of the Chelmer, 2 miles North West of Dunmow, has in its parish 343 souls, and 1557 acres of land.

It includes part of Easton Park, about 1200 acres, and the elegant mansion called EASTON LODGE, the seat of Viscount Maynard, the lord of the manor. A great part of this mansion was destroyed by fire on the 31st of Jan., 1847, but it has been repaired at the cost of about £10,000.

It was mostly built in 1595, in the Elizabethan style, with large projecting windows and ornamental gables and chimneys; but it has been improved, enlarged, and altered at various periods. At the east end of the mansion is a handsome chapel, built by Lord Maynard in 1621, and having its eastern window filled with beautiful stained glass, displaying the principal events of the history of our Saviour.

At Domesday Survey, the lordship of Ewston, or Easton, was held by Wm. de Warren and Geoffrey de Mandeville. After passing to several other families, it was granted by Queen Elizabeth in 1589 to Henry Maynard, with whose descendants it has since remained.

The Maynard family is of great antiquity, and was seated at an early period in Kent, Devonshire, and Hertfordshire. Sir Henry, to whom Easton was granted, was secretary to that distinguished minister of Queen Elizabeth, Lord Burleigh, and was one of the representatives of St. Albans, in parliament. He was knighted by James I., and died in 1610.

William, his eldest son, was created a baronet in 1611, and was raised to the Irish peerage in 1620, by the title of Baron Maynard, of Wicklow. In 1628, he was created an English peer, by the title of Baron Maynard, of Estaines ad Turrim, in the county of Essex. In 1766, Charles, the sixth baron, was created Baron Maynard, of Much Easton, and Viscount Maynard, of Easton Lodge.

The Right Hon. Henry Maynard, the present Viscount Maynard, is Lord Lieutenant and Vice Admiral of the County of Essex. He was born in 1786, and succeeded the late Viscount in 1824. He married in 1810, Mary, daughter of R. Rabett, Esq.; and his son and heir, the Hon. Charles Henry Maynard, was born in 1814.

church - exterior
St Mary's Church, Little Easton.
© Copyright John Salmon contributor to the Geograph Project and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The CHURCH stands near the village and the park, and is an ancient structure, in excellent repair, and having a handsome chapel on the south side of the chancel, called Bourchier's chapel, but it has been long used as the burial place of the Maynard family, and contains many splendid marble monuments.

Upon that in memory of Sir Henry, father of the first Lord Maynard, are recumbent effigies of himself and his lady, with smaller figures of their eight sons and two daughters on the north side of it. Among the other monuments is one of very elaborate workmanship, and finely sculptured, erected to commemorate William, Lord Maynard, who died in 1698, and his lady, Its height is upwards of 20 feet, and its width 12.

His lordship is represented by a full length statue standing on a pedestal, and surrounded by various medallions and busts of his relatives that are buried in the vault beneath.

An ancient monument of grey marble, marks the place of interment of Henry Bourchier, first Earl of Essex of that name, and Isabel Plantagenet, his Countess.

The rectory, valued in K.B. at £10, and in 1831 at £310, is in the patronage of Viscount Maynard, and incumbency of the Rev. J. P. H. Chesshyre, M.A., who has a good residence and 58 acres of glebe. the tithes were commuted in 1839 for £330 per annum.

This parish sends six boys to Lord Maynard's School, at Great Easton. The Almshouses, near the church-yard, were built by Banastre Lord Maynard, about 1716, for the residence of four poor widows to be appointed by his heirs. He charged his estate at Magdalen and High Lavers with the repairs of the almshouses, and also with a yearly rent of £20 for equal division among the four almswomen. This bequest was in satisfaction of the will of his grandmother, Lady Margaret Banastre, who, in 1662 left out of her personal estate £20 a year for four poor widows of this parish.

The Parish Clerk occupies a house, left for his use by Charles Lord Maynard, in 1761.

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Little Easton - Cary's New and Correct English Atlas, 1798

Little Easton - First Series Ordnance Survey Map 1805

This work is based on data provided through www.VisionofBritain.org.uk and uses historical material which is copyright of the Great Britain Historical GIS Project and the University of Portsmouth. Licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence BY-SA-4.0

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