HENHAM is a pleasant village, on an eminence, about 2 miles North East of Elsenham Railway Station, and 5 miles West South West of Thaxted. It is sometimes called Henham on the Hill, and its parish contains 855 souls, and 2958 acres of land, of which 162 souls, and 1190 acres, are in PLEDGDON hamlet, which is in Clavering Hundred, and distant 1½ mile North East of the church. The grounds of the whole parish are generally high, fertile, and well wooded; and on the north side of it is Little Henham, near the chief source of the river Granta, or Cam. At Domesday Survey, the parish was held by Ralph Baynard, Eado Dapifer, and Geofrey de Mandeville, and here are still three manors. Peter Stewart Feake Martin, Esq., of Halstead, is lord of the manors of Henham Hall and the Parsonage, or Rectory; and W.C. Smith, Esq., of Newport, is lord of the manor of Pledgdon, or Plechedon Hall. An estate called The Broom, was formerly held by the Watts, Blount, and Fell families. Several small copyholders have estates here, subject to arbitrary fines.
The Church is a large Gothic structure, with a massive tower, containing five bells, and crowned by a lofty spire. The nave and aisles are separated from the chancel by a screen; and the arches of the aisles are supported by massive clustered pillars. Richard Fitzgislebert, gave two parts of the manor of Henham to Little Dunmow Priory; and his son Walter, appropriated the rectory to the same monastery. At the dissolution, the rectory and advowson were granted to Robert Ratcliffe, Earl of Sussex, and they have since passed to the successive owners of Henham Hall; P.S.F. Martin, Esq., being the present impropriator, and also patron of the vicarage, valued in K.B. at £17, and in 1831 at £350, and now enjoyed by the Rev. Bradford Denne Hawkins. M.A., of Rivenhall. A farm of 62A.3R. was bequeathed some years ago, for the benefit of succeeding vicars. The tithes were commuted in 1840, the rectorial for £510, and the vicverdana for £331 per annum. The Vicarage House is a slated lath and plaster building. Here is an Independent Chapel belonging to a congregation formed in 1806
For clothing and apprentice fees, the poor of Henham have about £25 yearly from Smith’s Charity. In 1835, the Rev. George Henry Glynn gave a cottage and garden, in trust, that the vicar and children should
distribute the rent in fuel to the poor attending the church; and having redeemed the land tax charged on the tithes of the hamlet of Pledgdon, to the amount of £6 a year, he gave the annual amount towards the support of the Sunday school. For distribution in bread at Christmas, the poor parishioners have the dividends of £130.18s.7d. three per cent. Consoles, purchased with £100 left by by Susan Dorothy Dixon, in 1832. For clothing poor old maids and bachelors of Henham and Debden, John Measant, in 1644, gave a cottage, barn, and 6 acres of land, at Debden, now let for £12 a year, which is divided between the two parishes. The National School is an old lath and plaster building
White’s Directory of Essex 1848 – list of inhabitants
Note: the directory lists the names in the following order: Surname, First Name. It also abbreviates names.
These have been reversed and typed in full to assist research.
Mark Adams, victualler, Cock
Richard Awcock, gentleman
Mrs. M. Barnard, Mill House
John Barnard, corn miller, home Harlow
Adam Brown, shopkeeper
Charles Brown, victualler, Crown
Mary Chapman, wheelwright
John Glassock, carpenter and builder
Thomas Clayton Glyn, Esq., Dorrington House
James Hitchin, blacksmith
Rev. Thomas Littlehales M.A., rector
William Mead, shopkeeper
William Patmore, shoemaker
Abigail Press, schoolmistress
John Rattee, butcher
Hannah Young, shoemaker
Francis Tanner, shopkeeper