St Mary the Virgin's Church, Moreton.© Copyright Robin Webster contributor to the Geograph Project and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
History of Moreton >> White's Directory 1848
MORETON, a village on a pleasant acclivity, on the north side of the vale of the small river Cripsey, 3½ miles North by West of Chipping Ongar, has in its parish 513 souls, and 1435 acres of land.
Held by Sexi, a freeman, in Edward the Confessor's time. It is now in two manors, viz., Nether Hall, belonging to William Hill Algar; and Upper Hall, or Lady Hall, belonging to the Right Hon. J.H. Frere; but part of the soil belongs to E.F. Maitland, Esq., Mr. J. White, and a few smaller owners.
There are now no remains of the ancient mansion of Nether Hall, which belonged to the Bourchier family in the 14th and 15th centuries.
The Church (Virgin Mary,) is a small neat structure, with a brick tower, erected in lieu of the old wooden one, in 1787, at the cost of £150. The tower contains five bells, and is crowned by a shingled spire.
William Scobies gave this church to the monastery of St. Stephen at Caen, Normandy, but it was given by Henry VI. to Eton Gollege, with which it remained till the dissolution.
The rectory, valued in K.B. at £20, and in 1831 at £375, is in the patronage of St. John's College, Cambridge, and incumbency of the Rev. R.B. Tower, M.A., who has an old lath and plaster residence, and 89A. of glebe, of which 21 acres are in Fyfield, and 2A.2R.7P. in. Bobbingworth parish. Dr. Pepys, now Bishop of Worcester, was rector here from 1822 till 1840.
The Rev. Samuel Hoard, who held the rectory from 1626 to 1628, had the courage, when it was accounted a greater crime than treason, to boggle at the doctrine of absolute predestination, and to publish "God's love to mankind manifested, by disproving his absolute decree for their damnation," printed in 1625 in 4to., and in 1673, in 8vo. The tithes were commuted in 1839, for £390 per annum. A house and 6A. of land have been vested from an early period for the reparation of the church.
In 1822, the Rev. William Wilson, a late rector, bequeathed £400 three per cent. Reduced Annuities, and the annual sum of £23.4s. out of the Rectory, to be applied for the support of the Charity School, which was built by subscription in the same year, and has a dwelling-house for the master, whose wife instructs the girls. The annuity paid out of the Reotory is the amount of the land tax, which the donor had redeemed.
All the children of parishoners of Moreton are admitted on the foundation: and the subscribers to the building of the schoolhouse send from their respective parishes a number in proportion to the amount of their subscription.
There are generally 70 children at the school and they each pay 1d. per week to the master, who receives 12s.3½d. per week from the endowment. The rest of the income is expended in books, stationery, and repairs.
The same benefactor also left the dividends of £300 three per cent. Reduced Annuities for yearly distribution among the poor parishioners in clothing. Of the same stock he left £300 for the use of the parish clerk, and £100 for the use of the parish beadle.
In 1699, Jonathan Carver, left for the poor of Moreton, a yearly rent charge of £5, out of a house and 14A. of land. They have also the dividends at £200 three per cent. Consols, left for their use by Mrs. Ann Brecknock, in 1804, except what is necessary for repairing her monument.
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