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Dagnams before the Neaves

Below a transcipt of letter written by Mr A Kilby published in February 1981 in the Essex Countryside Magazine.

It details the early history before the arrival of the Neave family

In your December issue Mrs C. Curie wanted information on Dagnams Mansion, and its location. She is probably living right on it, depending which end of Bridgewater Road [sic] she lives in. The earliest records show that in 1335 Philip deDover held the manor belonging to William Dakenham at a rent of thirteen shillings a year and his son, Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, held the manors of Dagenham and Cockerells of the then King until his death in 1454; In 1495 Sir William Husee was holding what had now become Dagnames, which was owned by Elizabeth, Queen of King Henry VII as part of her manor of Havering-atte-Bower. In 1517 another change in name tells us that the estate was being held by one Peter Christmas and it was now Daggenham and Cockerells. The original owner was one De Dagenham and the letter "S" on the end of the name indicates a neighbouring parish. Then came William Turk followed by Thomas Legatt who seems to have held nearly all of what is now Noak Hill, South Weald, Kelvedon Hatch and Brook Street and it passed on to his son Thomas in 1555. By the early 1600s the name Dagnams had come to be firmly established and the manors of Dagnams, Wrights Bridge, Cockerells and others were held by Lawrence Wright MD, physician to Oliver Cromwell and the Charterhouse who died in 1657. His son Henry married Anne the daughter of John, first Lord Crewe of Stene and sister of the Bishop of Durham, and was created a baronet a few years before his death in 1664. It was during the next year, the year of the dreadful London plague, that the stately mansion of Dagnams, in which resided Sir Henry Wright's widow and her two children, Henry and Anne, was frequently visited by the famous diarist Samuel Pepys who went there as often as he could to escape the plague, which had spread far beyond London and was even rife in the Romford area. As many as 4,000 are said to have died in one night in London and in Romford there were ninety burials in 1665. One of the servants at Dagnams was smitten with the plague and it was arranged to convey her to the pest house in Collier Row Lane. Going along a narrow country lane the pest coach was met by the coach of Sir Anthony Brown of Weald Hall who was accompanied by his young brother and some friends. The young man, seeing the curtains drawn close and thinking there was some young lady within thrust his head into the carriage and with a shock saw somebody looking very ill and in a "sick dress" and in the words of Samuel Pepys "stunk mightily". Seeing who it was put the young gentleman into a fright and a fear of the plague which nearly cost him his life. As every schoolboy knows the Great Fire of London in 1666 ended this horrible disease. Dagnams passed on to Sir Henry Wright who died in 1681. As he was unmarried it went to his sister Anne. From her it went to Edward Carteret, uncle to the late Earl of Granville, who died in 1739 leaving it to his two daughters, Bridget who was maid of honour to Queen Caroline, and Anne Isabella wife of Admiral Cavendish. They jointly sold the estate to Henry Muilman in 1748. In 1772 he sold Dagnams to a Mr Neave who pulled down the old house and erected a new Dagnams on a different site, so Mrs Curie, if you are not sitting on the Dagnams that was demolished when Harold Hill Estate came into being you could be somewhere near the site of the original one.


Below a 1735 news cutting; Don Tait comments, "Edward Carteret was bequeathed a substantial estate in Essex by a female ‘friend and relation’ in 1732. He spent several years in improving the house and even built a private chapel there, while continuing to reside for the most part ‘at the Post Office in Paul’s churchyard. Sourced from The History of Parliament website which includes a page about Edward Carteret. The "female friend and relation" was Ann Rider, daughter of John and Anne Wright who owned Dagnams and who was present when Philip Carteret married Jemima Montague, daughter of the Earl of Sandwich. Jemima Carteret died in childbirth or shortly afterwards in 1721 when giving birth to Edward Carteret."

Caledonian Mercury 1735 Cartaret .jpg
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