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The story of Engleric

by | Apr 17, 2018 | Crawley End, Houses Crawley End and Hertford Lane | 0 comments


We have recently been asked the reason behind the name Engleric and are delighted to re-produce this article written many years ago for the village magazine.  Mrs Irene Cranwell, village historian, wrote articles for many years under the guise of the village pumps.  They were written in Essex dialect as she imagined the pumps would speak if they had a voice.  So here is the Crawley End Pump, appropriately enough, expounding on the history of Engleric:

A “Repeat”

Well – would you believe it?  I have had a special request to repeat a story I told you years ago.  An’ seeing as how I was asked so nicely – well – who could refuse?  I’ll tell ye about a gentleman who lived in Chrishall hundreds o’ years ago.  Ever such an important man he was, name o’ Engleric (pronounced eng-l-ric).  They didn’t hev any surnames in they days ye know, an’ he owned quite a bit o’ land hereabouts.  He was a caution, an’ no mistake.

This here Engleric as a priest, an’ a farmer too – like most priests were then.  He was a great benefactor to the church – oh, did you know that when he was about, the church in Chrishall was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary?  Stood on the same spot as the church we hev now. (You can still see a trace or two of the hold church if you know where to look).  – Well now what was I saying?  Oh yes, about Engleric.  I did hear as how he founded a monastery called St Martin le Grand in 1056.

Engleric was ever so well known in the Eastern shires – that was in the time of King Harold – you know, he who got killed by hevin’ an arrer shot in his eye – but this here Engleric was different to many of his contemporaries, an’ he really did care for his fellow man, an’ by that I mean the poor folk – an’ they really was poor then.  Mind you, it wouldn’t be very wise to pry into some of the ways he got things done.  He was in a position of great power, ye know.  An’ when he decided that a virgate or two here, and a virgate or two there might be of some use to his beloved peasants, well – he just took ‘em.

There wasn’t many as concerned themselves about the poor, but he did – he was a sort of early Robin Hood, ye might say.  ‘Course, he didn’t ought to hev snook land away from owd Lefte – 30 acres it was in Crawley Bury (or Crowley Bury, as it was knowed then).  Cor, that owd Lefte wasn’t half mad.  He went orf an’ lived in Lofts Hall, Elmdon (spelt Helmedene then).  They told me that is how Lofts Hall got its name.

Well, some years arter William conquered the land, he made a sort o’ inventory of all the vills an’ farms, an’ woodlands an’ cattle an’ people (men, that is, women didn’t count then) an’ he even counted the beehives.  It was all writ down in two books a big un an’ a little un. The part all about here was put in the little book. The people called it the Domesday Book, ‘cos they thought it was like the great reckoning of Doomsday.

Well – the King had his hands full trying to subdue the English, and it became his policy not to offend ‘em any more than he could help, so he appointed three men to be his commissioners who the people knew well, an’ who they respected.  They had to take down all the particulars ready for the book.  They were” William the Norman (he was the Bishop of London), Ralf the Staller (he had been a favourite of the gentle owd king folks called Edward the Confessor) and Engleric, the priest, who everybody loved – well, that is all the poor people he helped.  I don’t suppose Lefte loved him very much.

Well – arter quite a time the way Engleric had been going on – annexing bits o’ land all over the place – came out an’ all his land was took away from him an’ the King give it all to Eustace de Bologne. (He lived where Chiswick Hall now is – I’ll tell ye about he another time, if he like).  Naturally Eustace an’ Engleric got to loggerheads, an’ they was enemies for a long time.  But I did hear as how they made it up arterwards, an’ to make it fair, Eustace gave the land in Chrishall which had belonged to Engleric to the Canons of St Martin le Grand, so I count, in a roundabout way, Engleric was satisfied seeing as how it went to a monastery he had founded.

Ah!  There’s been some run owd goings on, I reckon.

Footnote: Sometimes Engleric is spelled Ingleric.  Never mind – same chap.

Postscript to “why?” (August 96 issue)

Why “Engleric” for the houses built in the close in Crawley End?  When the houses were first erected, the Parish Council at that time strongly objected to the name provisionally given by the builds – ‘Plum Tree Court’ – and the Rural District Council, as it was then, invited a list of names that would meet with approval.  Somebody what you know ‘unted through her village records and come up with three (tho’ there are dozens more) – Engleric, Pinkeneys and Penruddock.  As you know, two of these names hev bin used. You now know the story of Engleric (I’ve allus had a soft spot for that owd devil) – I hev mentioned the Pinkeney family – an’ poor old Penruddock ‘ad his head cut off at Exeter.  Very colourful character ‘e was.  P’raps I’ll resurrect his life story one day.  That is – if you’d like me to.

The Crawley End Pump

This fits very nicely with our ‘Through the keyhole’ project which we have going on at the Archive currently.  Do call in and see us to see what more details we have about the village houses and if you have information about your house and/or deeds we could copy please do get in touch.  We look forward to seeing you.

The picture above shows Crawley End before the Engleric houses were built.



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