The Grove, By Any Other Name, it's First

Owners and Occupiers.

Stanmore: Pre-Roman - Domesday 1086

Stanmore: From Domesday To The Dissolution of the Monastories 1536

Stanmore 1537-1680 Including The Parish Boundary of Great Stanmore

The Grove, Joseph Gillott 1853-1872.

The Grove, 1872-1906 Eliza Brightwen

The Grove, 1906 - The Mountbatten Connection

The Grove, 1923 - The Cunard Connection.

The Grove or land that became part of The Grove estate has had many names in the past. To establish evidence for the names of The Grove and that of its owners and occupiers we leap briefly in time. In a series of articles named Our Historical Sketches The Homes of Stanmore, The Edgware Reporter on the 7th and 14th of March 1891 wrote a story on The Grove on that we will cover in much greater depth in another chapter. In the article they state: `The bulky title deeds of The Grove show a long series of tenants, dating back to the time when Fierville was a tenant.' The articles  mention Aaron Capadoce as an owner from a reference made in a very old magazine called the Ambulator and two of The Grove's former names as being The Moat and The Plantation. Another reference to what was a name for The Grove or part of the estate is made in the last paragraph of the first weeks story: `We are also informed that a pretty old hermitage existed in the grounds for a long time.' Indeed The Grove or part of the estate was called The Hermitage and to see this we can now leap back into the 1700s, not to the earliest document, but one that names former owners and names for the estate.

In an important land registry document dated 1790, which is an Indenture of lease and release between Alexander Van Mayersbach and John Samuel Torrians we find: ``ffields or pieces or parcels of lands, formerly called The Thrifts but afterwards called or known by the name of Mon Plaisir, lately called The Plantation, and now called or intended to be called The hermitage..'' This document also gives reference to former owners and the lands bordering the estate..all lands said premises were therefore in the possession of Jacob Pierira, deceased, great part thereof converted by him into a plantation or pleasure grounds, were since his death in the posession of Ester Pierira, his widow, afterwards Aaron Capadose abuting last upon lands in the possession of William Sharpe Esq, partly on the lands heretofore in the occupation of Grubb, North on other lands in the occupation of the said Grubb, West South on Stanmore Common 6 feet on the outside beyond the wood pales the whole length of the said West South sides. All which said lands premises were by virtue of an Act of Parliment in the 19th year of the reign of his late Majesty granted by ffrancis Capper and John Howell the then Duke of Chandos to the said Jacob Pierira.

This document gives us the evidence of the estates names and that of its owners, mentioned in the Edgware Reporter. The document also makes reference to William Sharpe Esq, mentioned earlier as being the land steward to the Duke of Chandos responsible for erecting an obelisk on land which bordered The Grove and reference to land in the occupation of - Grubb, the first word on the document is unreadable, if we look back at the Parish boundary of 1680, we see: `And from thence by the inward Hedge of the ffeildes of the widow Grubb abutting North vpon Aldenham Comon.'

It would seem that The Grubb family were still holding the land one hundred years later. The first name for The Grove as The Thrifts mentioned in the land registry could be due to the names of four of the fields named in the document as The Upper Thrifts, The Lower Thrifts, The Little Thrift and The further Thrift. Again if we turn to the Parish boundary of 1680 we see: `ffrom thence by the insides of the ffrith groundes along by the Parke Pales.' We will return to this document later for a full transcript.

We now know that, in 1747, land was sold to Jacob Pierira by the Duke of Chandos. 
Jacob Pierira was a Merchant of London also known, according to his last will and testament, as Jacob Pereira de Paiva, he had been left in trust by his late father Aaron Pereira otherwise known as ffrancis Pereira in 1738 the sum of £1730 cash and £3500 in fflemish Capitol Stock of the East India Company of the United Provinces in the city of Amsterdam. He was, I believe, of Portuguese Jewish extraction as can be seem in his Will dated 22nd June 1759:

Jacob Pierira otherwise Jacob Perira de Paiva In the name of God Amen.

I Jacob Pierira otherwise Jacob Perira de Paiva of London, Merchant, being of sound and disposing Mind and Memory do make and publish this my last Will and Testiment in manner and form following that is to say

I recommend my soul to the Great God praying forgiveness of my sins and my body I commit to the earth to be interned into the Burial Ground of Portuguese Jews and for such Worldy Estate as it has pleased God to bestow upon me or which I have a Power to dispose of I give bequeath and dispose of the same in manner following that is to say

Imprimis I give and bequeath to the Elders of Portuguese Jews Synagogue of this City the sum of one hundred pounds. ***

Item I give and bequeath to the Elders of the Portuguese Synagogue of Amsterdam the sum of fifty Pounds

Item I give and bequearth to and amongst my Cousins the Sons and Daughters of David de Moses Persira late of Amsterdam the Annuity or yearly Sum of ffifteen Pounds equally to be divided and paid to them and the Survivor of them half yearly during the time of their respective natural lives

Item I give to Aaron Capadose the sum of ffifty Pounds as a legacy for Mourning

Item I give and bequeath to David de Crasts Twenty Pounds as a Legacy for Mourning and Whereas my late ffather Aaron Pereira otherwise known as ffrancis Pereira in and by his last Will and Testiment in Writing being dated the twenty third Day of ffebuary in the year of our Lord one Thousand seven hundred and thirty eight and now remaining in the Registry of the Provogative Court of Canterbury did amongst other things give and bequeath three thousand five hundred Pounds fflemish Capitol Stock of The East India Company of the United Provinces in the Chamber of Amsterdam to his Executors therein named Upon Trust to remain in his name in the said Chamber of Amsterdam and to permit we the said Jacob Pierira otherwise Jacob Perira de Paiva his son for and during the term of my natural life to receive and take the neat Dividends thereof after all Taxes and other payments and after my decease In Trust for all and every my Child and Children by my then wife Rebecca Perira da Costa in such shares and proportions as I should by any Decol or Writing or by my last Will and Testament to be by one duly executed in the presence of two or more credible Witnesses order direct limit or appoint as in and by the said Will of my late ffather.

***The Synagogue that Jacob Pierira refers to `of this City' would have been Bevis Marks in London.

According to the archivist for the Spanish & Portuguese Jews' Congregation, that was founded in 1657, Jacob Pierira was buried in the cemetery on 4 Adar 5520, which equates to the date of 21st Febuary 1760.

Jacob Pierira names Aaron Capadose in his Will `Item I give to Aaron Capadose the sum of ffifty Pounds as a legacy for Mourning'. The land was not sold directly on to Aaron Capadose, as it was advertised in The Times in 1762 in April or July.

At His House in Great Piazze, Covent-Garden, on Friday the 30th instant, 
THE Large and Curious PLANTATION, 
PLEASURE-GARDENS and LANDS thereunto adjoining, being Freehold, late the Estate of Jacob PEREIRA,Esq, deceased, situated on Stanmore-Common near Edgware, in the county of Middlesex. The said Plantation and Gardens are laid out in a Talle peculiarly elegant; they are divided into Lawns, Gravel Walks, Avenues, Wildernesses, and Vistos; and the Mounts, Slopes, amphitheatres, are so pleasingly interspersed, and so richly decorated with Exotic Trees, Shubs and flowers, as to exhibit a scene of infinite beauty and Variety.

Printed Particulars of which, with conditions of Sale, may be had gratis at Mr. Langford's aforesaid, and at Mr. Snoxall's the Queen's Head at Stanmore; and all Ladies and Gentlemen who are desirous of viewing the same, may be supplied with Tickets for the purpose, by sending to Mrs. Pereira at Stanmore, or Mr. Langford in the Great Piazza.

We can only assume that the land was sold to Aaron Capadose in 1762, as can be seen from the advert, there is no mention of a house on the land, and it is not known if Aaron Capadose had land ajoining that of the late Jacob Pereira.

The land owned by Aaron Capadose has been named `Mon-Plaisir' (My Pleasure), as can be seen from a report in The Times in 1762:

Whereas the Fishponds, Plantations, and Gardens of Aaron Capadose, Esq; at Stanmore, Near Edgware, in the County of Middlesex, called Mon-Plaisir, have been lately robbed, and great Quanties of Ever-Greens and valuable Plants stolen out of the said Gardens and Plantations: Whoever will discover any Person or Persons concerned in any of the above Offences, so as he or they may be brought to Justice, shall receive Five Pounds Upon Conviction for every such Offence, to be paid by the said Aaron Capadose, Esq; And whereas divers disorderly and unqualified Persons have of late trespassed upon the said Grounds and Plantations, and have destroy the Game there and done great Damage to the said Plantations, this is to give Notice, that whoever shall hereafter be found offending in the Premises, will be prosecuted with the utmost Severlty of the Law; and, the better to prevent the like Offences, Notice is hereby given, that Gins and Gun-Traps, are placed throughout the said Grounds and Plantations.

Again there is no mention of a house on the grounds of Mon-Plaisir, It is believed that both Aaron Capadose and Jacob Pereira lived in London and would travel out to Stanmore to oversee their investment and to spend time in the pleasure gardens. By 1776 Aaron Capadose was living in Stanmore. The Will of Mary Macey dated 26th March 1776, and proved in 1780 starts: By the Permission of Almighty God This is the last Will and Testament of me Mary Macey now living with Aaron Cappadosia of the Parish of Stanmore in the County of Middlesex Esquire.

Aaron Capadose was, like Jacob Pereira before him, an exiled Jew from Holland, He died in the Sepember of 1782. In Walter Druett's book `The Stanmores' he quotes that Aaron Capadose's death is recorded in the Parish registers of Great Stanmore, with a comment, `Supposed to be 105 years of age', but, as a matter of fact, he was 95 when he died. He made his Will on 14th June 1782, Proved on 22nd August 1782 in it he requests that his body be taken back to Holland to be buried:

Beth Haim, The Historic Portuguese-Jewish Cemetery in Ouderkerk-on-AmstelI Aron Capadose of Stanmore in the County of Maiddlesex Esquire being of Sound and disposing Mind Memory and Understanding Do make and declare this my last Will and Testiment in wasever and form following that is to say

ffirst I order and direct that whenever I shall hapen to depart this life my body may be decently interned at Amsterdam in Holland

And I also order and direct that my debts ffuneral Expences and the Expences of proving this my last Will fully paid and satisfied as soon after my decease as conveniently may be.

And after payment thereof I give devise and bequeath all the Rest Residue and Remainder of my Estate and Effects of what nature or kind soever and wheresoever that may be possesed of interested in or intitled unto at the time of my decease unto my Niece Hana de Jacob Capadose of Stanmore aforesaid Spinster her Heirs Executors Administrators and Assigns

Beth HaimAnd I do nominate and appoint the said Hana de Jacob Capadose Excentrix of this my Will herely revoking all former and other Wills by me heretofore made and declaring this alone to be my last Will and Testement

In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my Hand and on this the fourteenth day of June in the Year of our Lord one Thousand seven hundred and Eighty two.

If Aaron Capadose's body was taken back Amsterdam to be buried, it is fairly certain that it would have been taken to the Portuguese Jewish Cemetry known as Beth haim. Located in Ouderkerk-on-Amstel. The cemetery was established in 1614 and contains over 27,500 graves.

The first mention of The Grove, by name, is to be found from a newspaper advert dated 1788: 

At the Rainbow Coffee-house, in Cornhill, on Fri-
day the 29th Instant, at Twelve o'Clock. 
more delightfully situate, on the summit of the Hill at 
Stanmore, in the county of Middlesex, called 
The property and Residence of the Rev. Mr. Chauvel, re-moving to Stanmore Parsonage. 
Consisting of a spacious Entrance, Hall, large Drawing room, 
Eating room and Study, with five neat Chambers over them 
and all requisite attached and detached offices; a Kitchen Garden, walled round; 
Pleasure Ground, and Close of Pasture and Arable land, refreshed by a large Canal, 
and forrounded by a Plantation by a Plantation of lofty Fir Trees, and containing 
altogether about Twelve Acres. 
The Premises are in perfect repair, and situate at an agreeable 
distance from the high road to Watford, and command 
uninterrupted views of the rich and beautiful surrounding country, 
and may be entered upon immediately. 
To be viewed till the sale, and particulars may be had at the House; 
at the White Hart, at Watford, and St. Albans; Red Lion, at Ellestree; 
Queen's Head, at Stanmore; Crane, at Edgeware; King's Head, at Harrow; 
Greyhound, Hendon; and of Mr. Wilcock, surveyor, in Golden-square, London.

The Reverend Arthur Robinson Chauvel became the rector of St. John The Evangelist in 1788 through to 1846 his address is given in Pigot and Co. Royal National and Commercial Directory and Topography of the Counties of Essex, Herts and Middlesex dated Sepember 1839 as being The Parsonage. You will have noticed that the property was sold leasehold as, I believe, it was part of or adjoining the freehold estate called Mon-plasir, both pleasure grounds being one of the same.

Highway Robbery 

These were dangerous times for honest people, in a newspaper article dated November 1789 I came across the following report: 

Before Baron Perkins. John Williams, alias Millar, and William Williams, alias Croome, for highway robbery upon Stanmore Common, the 19th November, at twelve at noon, and taking from Richard Capper, Esq. Two guineas and a half, thirty-five shillings in silver, and his watch. The Prosecutor and his coachman, William King, swore positively to the prisoner: And Robert Bygrave pursued them from Elstre, and took them at the Queen's Head at Pinner, very much intoxicated. The watch, with three others, was found upon them and a considerable sum of money. These unhappy youths, the oldest not twenty-one, presented a paper, which was read by the clerk of the Arraigns, in which they acknowledged their offences, but that it was very lately they had abandoned themselves to such practices, and hoped, if his Majesty would grant them life, to be able by a life of contrition to expiate their crimes. They stated themselves as being unhackneyed in the ways of vice; and if they were now in mercy spared, hoped to become good members of society - They both wept bitterly, but the facts were too plain to admit doubt. GUILTY, DEATH.

We can now return to the land registry document dated 1790, this is an Indenture of lease and release between Alexander Van Mayersbach, of Red Lion Square, London, `Doctor of Physic' and John Samuel Torrians, late of Bombay in the East Indies, and a Major in the service of the English East India Company. It would seem likely that Alexander Van Mayersbach was the next freehold owner after Aaron Capadose and John Samuel Torrians and his brother Charles Torrians, of Wells Somerset, Captain in H.M. 30th Regiment, being after him.

As mentioned earlier, this document names previous owners and the names of fields or parcels of land. The document also gives reference to buildings and the size of the estate: Whereby Alexandra Van Mayersbach and Sarah his wife, in common of the sum of £3150 of lawful money of Great Britain to them in hand paid by the said John Samuel Torrians, d of 10/- to them paid by the said Charles Torrians and their heirs. All that Capital brick messuage, tenement or dwelling house and the barns, stables, and out offices thereunto ajoining, situate, standing and being in the Parish of Great Stanmore....30 acres and 19 perches, be the same more or less formerly divided into 6 ffields, which were 4 fields and them called or known by the following names:
The Upper Thrifts. Containing 12 acres 1 rood and 13 perches.
The Lower Thrifts. Containing 11 acres 1 rood and 8 perches.
The Little Thrift, Containing 1 acre 3 roods and 8 perches.
The further Thrift. Containing 4 acres 2 roods and 30 perches. 

By July 1795 Charles Torrians had died and we find a land registry document which is an Indenture of Demise made by John Samuel Torrians of the one part and Henry Thompson, of Kirby Hall, in the County of York, Esq, William Croke, the elder, of the parish of St. Andrew Holborn, in the County of Middex, gent, and William Croke, the younger, of the same place, gent. This document still left John Samuel Torrians with the copyhold of the estate until January 1796 when it was leased on a 5000 year lease to Arthur Ormsby, of the Parish of Great Stanmore, and James Ormsby, of Garden Court in Middle Temple. The area of the estate is the same, but the document does mention buildings on the land: Capital messuage or mansion house, farm house and all other buildings there edifices, buildings, barns, stables, yards, gardens, orchards. whatsoever.