Another in the occasional series on “Far-Flung Lost London” …
Ilford was first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Ilefort, meaning “ford over the River Hyle” (an early name for the section of the Roding below Ongar).
Little Ilford, on the west bank, was first distinguished as Yleford parva in 1272. It was a small village for most of its history (with a population of only 85 in the first census of 1801), but began to become built up in the 1860s. It is now administratively part of the London Borough of Newham.
Church of St Mary
The tiny aisle-less church of St Mary was originally built here in the twelfth century, partially rebuilt and extended in the eighteenth, in 1724, and restored in the twentieth, in 1982. Much of the stone-work survives from the Medieval period.
There are also some surviving post-Medieval memorials: to Thomas Heron (d. 1517), son of Sir John Heron of Aldersbrook, shown as a schoolboy carrying a pen and ink; William Hyde (d. 1614) and Anne Hyde (d. 1630), son and daughter of Bernard Hyde, Lord of the Manor of Little Ilford;
and William Waldegrave (d. 1610), his wife Elizabeth (d. 1589), and their seven children.
The most colourful Rector of Little Ilford was Thomas Newton (1542-1607), also a physician and a poet, who in 1585 found himself branded a “great drunkard” and added to a list of non-preaching clergy by the Puritans. He was succeeded in his post by a number of avowed Puritans, including John Morse (Rector from 1607-15), Daniel Cawdrey (Rector from 1617-25) and Henry Osbaldeston (Rector from 1655-1669). Interestingly, Osbadeston was only allowed to stay in his post in Little Ilford after agreeing to conform to the requirements of the Act of Uniformity in 1662 (and Cawdrey was removed from his then-post in Great Billing in Northamptonshire for refusing so to conform).