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Victorian study of North Mymms

Chapter Five - More Hall and Leggatts

Taken from "The Victoria History of Hertfordshire"
edited by W. Page - 1908.

East View of Gobions
East View of Gobions, J.C.Buckler 1840. Courtesy of HCRO
More Hall

The manor of More Hall (More, Gobions or Gubbins) was held by knight service as of the honour of Gloucester.

Salmon in his history of Hertfordshire states that this manor was held by Sir Richard Gobion in the reign of Stephen, but the first authentic mention we have of it is in 1300, when Roger de Bachesworth, on granting his share of the manor of North Mimms to his brother Richard, retired to a certain manor of the Hospitallers called Morehall, where he died.

In 1390 John More held the manor, and in 1397 one knight’s fee and a half in North Mimms was held by John More of London.

Gaussen. Azure a lamb argent standing on a mount vert and a chief argent with three bees therein.
Gaussen. Azure a lamb argent standing on a mount vert and a chief argent with three bees therein.
In 1500 it was held by Sir John More, father of the famous Sir Thomas More, Lord Chancellor, who is said to have written ‘Utopia’ there. After the trial and execution of Sir Thomas in 1535 the property was confiscated, and was granted in 1546 by Henry VIII for twenty-one years to William Honynges. Edward VI in 1550 granted it to his sister Princess Elizabeth for her life, and she in 1586 granted it to Margaret Knolls for twenty-one years.

Queen Mary in the first year of her reign granted the reversion after the expiration of these leases to Anne More, widow of John More, eldest son of Sir Thomas, and to Thomas son of John, and the heirs of Thomas, to be held as to the honour of Hunsdon for a twentieth part of a knight’s fee.

Thomas More died in 1606, having settled the manor in 1603 upon his son Christopher Cresacre on his marriage with Elizabeth Gage. In 1629 Christopher conveyed the manor to Thomas Rooper, for a settlement on the marriage of his son Thomas with Mary daughter of Sir Basil Brooke.

More. Argent a cheveron angrailed between three moor-cock sable.
More. Argent a cheveron angrailed between three moor-cock sable. translation
Christopher was succeeded by Thomas, and from him it passed to his second son Basil, his eldest son William having died before him without issue. In 1693 Basil and his wife Ann, and his son Christopher Cresacre and Katherine his wife, sold the manor to Sir Edward Des Bouverie, who died in 1695, leaving two sons William and Jacob. They in 1694, in fulfilment of their father’s will, conveyed it to John Williams in trust for Jacob, who afterwards sold it in 1697 to Robert Beachcroft. He sold it to Jeremy Sambrooke, who by will dated 14 May, 1746, left the manor to Judith Sambrooke for life, with remainder to his nephew John Freeman, second son of his sister Susannah wife of John Cook Freeman.

On the death of Mrs. Sambrooke it came to John Freeman, who sold it in 1777 to John Hunter. John by his wife Ann had a daughter Ann, wife of William Hornby, by whom she had a daughter Hannah. Ann Hornby died in 1777, and her father by his will dated 27 February, 1802, left the manor to Thomas Holmes husband of his granddaughter Hannah, who in 1804 settled it upon himself and his son William.

Thomas assumed the name of Hunter, and afterwards sold the manor to Thomas Nash Kemble, who died in 1833. In 1836 the estate was sold by the trustees of his will to Robert William Gaussen of Brookmans Park. Shortly after Mr. Gaussen acquired this estate, he pulled down the house and incorporated the grounds surrounding it with Brookmans Park.

In the time of Thomas Nash Kemble the gardens at Gobions, which had been laid out by Bridgman, were widely celebrated.


Leggats is a small estate in the hamlet of Little Heath, about four miles south-east of the parish church. It was a portion of Gobions, but was not sold with the estate on the death of Mr. Kemble. Mrs. Virginia Kemble his widow held it till her death, which occurred in 1870, when it was sold to William Webb More. In 1881 it was bought by Mr. Samuel Gurney Sheppard, from whom it passed to his sons Samuel Gurney and Gerald. The house is now occupied by the former.


There seems to have been a manor attached to the rectory of North Mimms, of which successive rectors were lords, for in 1306-7 free warren was granted in North Mimms to John de Kirkeby, parson of the church of North Mimms, and in 1366 and 1371 Thomas de Horton, rector of the church, held courts in North Mimms, and William de Kesteven, a former rector, seems to have done so also. There is now a farm known as Parsonage Farm in the north of the parish, which belongs to Mrs. Gaussen, and is occupied by Mr. Herbert Bosanquet.

Useful link
Gobions - The History

Victorian study of North Mymms - Index
Chapter One - Mimmine
Chapter Two - Manors - North Mymms
Chapter Three - Manors - Potterells
Chapter Four - Manors - Brookmans
Chapter Five - Manors - More Hall and Leggatts
Chapter Six - Churches
Chapter Seven - Advowsons
Chapter Eight - Charities

Note: The text above has been taken from "The Victoria History of Hertfordshire", edited by W. Page in 1908. It has been broken down into chapters for ease of reading and download. In all chapters the text is reproduced exactly as it is in the original document. Where words are used which are no longer in common usage, a number appears to the right of the word and a definition is offered. However people using these pages for research might need to have their own dictionary on hand to help understand the text. North Mymms is spelt North Mimms throughout, a difference explained in a feature written by Bill Killick on this site click here.

Heraldry had its own terminology dating from 13C, based on Old French. Its colours are called 'tinctures' of which there are two metals - gold (or) and silver (argent) - and five colours - blue (azure), black (sable), green (vert), purple (purpure), and red (gules). back to text

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