This page was last updated on: April 3, 2015
Wednesday - 18th May 1904 -  The Baptist Chapel's anniversary services and lectures  On Wed of last week anniversary services took place when the Rev Wright Robinson of Hemel Hempstead preached in the afternoon, and in the evening lectured on The Mayflower and the Pilgrim Fathers.  Mr RT Parris presided and the lecture, which was illustrated with pictorial slides, was listened to with evident appreciation.  The attendances at the service and meeting and tea in the interval was very good and included many persons from the Mother Church at Marlowes Baptist at Hemel Hempstead. [Gazette May 28th 1904]

June 9th 1904 - The village school was closed in the afternoon "at the request of the County Surveyor whose Assistant made a survey of the School and School House," [S73]

June 11th 1904  A fuller advert for Tile Kiln farm  appeared in the Gazette , the farm to be sold " by auction at Kings Arms Hotel Hemel Hempstead Thursday June 30th three o'clock."   A further advert also appeared this time featuring Hill Farm: "Mr W Dorrant will sell by auction on Friday June 24th at two at direction of the owner who is leaving the district."  The advert included the auction sale of all furniture and effects.  [Gazette 11th June 1904]

19th July 1904 – Possibly the earliest intimation that all was not well with Matthew Leno Junior of Westwick Farm (see general entry for August 1904), was a letter addressed to Messrs Harding & Sons from A. Tremayne Buller (whom I assume was an agent of the Earl of Verulam – see entry for 31st August 1904).  The letter read as follows:

The London Hippodrome.
November 5th 1904


An interesting ceremony took place at the County police Station, St Albans last week, when PC Henry Newman, who has for 26 been attached in the Herts Constabulary, and has been stationed as special Constable at Childwickbury for 8 years, and PC William Sharpe, who has been a member of the force for 25 years, and has been stationed at Leverstock Green for 6 years attended to draw their last pay both having retired on pension.  The former by reason of is long service and good conduct has become entitled to an annual pension of £52 8s 4d and the latter £47 2s 11d..  

Both constables were presented with silver plated tankard suitably inscribed and silver mounted briar pipes.   
 [Gazette 5th Nov 1904.  ]    

Right: PC William Sharpe.

Saturday 3rd December 1904 – The funeral of Matthew Leno senior took place at Holy Trinity Church. The Gazette recalled: There were manifestations of regret and esteem on all sides, and a large concourse of people assembled.  The body was conveyed to the church by a large number of mourners followed, which together with the villagers, nearly filled the sacred building.  The Rev. a. Durant, vicar of the parish officiated, and the service was choral, a full surpliced choir being present.  The 90th psalm was impressively chanted and the hymn “Now the labourers task is o’er was sung.  As the body was conveyed from the church, the Dead march in Saul was played upon the organ by Mr. W. C. Child the organist.  After the committal portion of the service at the graveside, the choir sang “A few more years shall roll” The service throughout was deeply impressive and many were visibly effected.  The chief mourners were: Mr M Leno (only son) Mrs Leno (widow), Mrs Hoar, Mrs Negus, Mrs King, Mrs Vincent (daughters) and Mr W Leno and Mr. L How (grandsons), Miss Sissie leno, Miss Sybil Leno, Miss Bessie Negus (granddaughters) Mrs M Leno (daughter in law) Mr W Leno (brother) Mrs A Adams (sister) Mrs G Leno (sister-in-law) Mr. A leno (nephew) Mr H How, Mr Hoar, Mr Negus, Mr King, Mr Vincent (sons in law) Mrs Bromfield (widow’s sister.)

Amongst the numerous body of gentlemen present were the mayor of Hemel Hempstead  (Alderman Maitland Thompson) the town clerk of Hemel Hempstead (Mr Lovel Smeathman), Messrs E H Woodman (Woodman & Sons) J K Hart, J Bailey, W Saunders, W H How, W J Williams, C Beamant, T D Cox, R Bowers, G Atwood, A Orchard, W` Parkins, A Seabrook, W Child, W Wright etc.

There was a beautiful collection of floral tributes………………

The funeral arrangements were in the hands of Mr W Fensom Undertaker of Queen Street Hemel Hempstead who satisfactorily carried out the details.   See also entry for 10th December 1904 for biographical details. [Gazette 10th December 1904]

10th December 1904 – The Gazette carried a long obituary of Matthew Leno Senior.  Photographs of the deceased, and details of an additional and more detailed  obituary in The Featherd World can be read here.


As Briefly recorded in our last issue the death took place on Tuesday week of Mr Matthew Leno senior of Leverstock Green, and who for a great many years resided at Cox Pond Farm. The deceased passed away somewhat suddenly but peacefully and he was nearly 75 years of age.  Of late he had been suffering from an acute attack of bronchitis and doubtless to this cause and to the many trials he had had to face of recent years, the ending of an honourable career must be attributed.  To the family, the sympathy of all who knew him will go forth in no small measure.   Mr Leno was a very prominent man in the public life of Hemel Hempstead up to the year 1896 but upon to the approach of incorporation movement he gradually withdrew from active work, not on account of any lack of interest in the town’s affairs, but owing to his state of health and the distance he lived from the town.   Mr Leno was high Bailiff of the Hemel Hempstead from 1886-7, and this honour was the due reward of the inhabitants for his faithful service as a guardian of the poor and a member of other bodies.  In the second year of his office as Bailiff the work of the local town improvement committee was brought to a head and it is recorded that: “The old premises known as the Lamb and some shop property were purchased and pulled down and upon the site was erected a Market square, shambles and three shops..”  The present square and market place buildings will ever stand as a monument to the zeal and work of the late Mr Leno as chairman of the committee who carried out such a notable improvement. one of the most pleasant features of which was the formation of the open in the narrow High Street and the exposing to view of the grand old parish church.

The poultry world will also keenly feel the loss of an expert judge for Mr. Leno was known throughout England as one of the most noted poultry farmers in the country.

A writer in the Feathered World gives the following interesting particulars from personal knowledge:  “Mr Leno was born on June 14th 1830, and lived all his life in Hertfordshire and for many years at Markyate Street, near Dunstable, before he removed to the old house at Cox Pond.  Since he was 8 years old he was always had a feathered pet, and the first birds he ever possessed were a pair of Red Jacobins.  When passing along the New Road, (now Euston Road) by the old stage coach, in company with his father and a friend of the family, he asked the former to buy him a pair of pigeons, but pater familias turned a deaf ear to his entreaty.  The friend however, on his next visit to town purchased the Jacobins, and made the boy happy.  He early imbibed a love for farm poultry and took instinctively to the pursuit to save his mother, owing to a rheumatic affection, going out of doors to feed her turkeys and ducks.  It was in the parish of Hemel Hempstead that he first commenced to keep poultry and pheasants.  He left the parish for Dunstable, where he took up more strongly than ever the Sebright Bantam and light and dark Brahmas, with which he was very successful.  It is fifty-one years since he first showed at the Surrey Gardens three gold and silver Bantams and a trio of silver-spangled Hamburghs. The latter won first prize and were claimed at £5.  The bantams took second.  He then showed at Hitchin some Cochins and silver-bantams that were produced from a silver-spangled Hamburgh cock and gold Sebright Hen.  They were larger than are usually shown, but they were all claimed, and Mr Leno never heard where they went to.  He bred and exhibited silver and gold Sebrights for many years, occasionally showing light and dark Brahams, and with the latter he won a cup at Hitchin. – Mr Horace Linwood then showing.  He also won first and special at Birmingham with La Fieche hens, where they were less known than they are now.  For several years Mr Leno officiated as judge at many of the principle shows, and was one of the jurors at the Paris Exhibition of 1878, and received a bronze medal and a portrait of the Prince of Wales, with autograph, in connection therewith.   He also judged at Antwerp in 1889, and 1890; and at Dublin, Belfast, Palace, Birmingham, the Royal, Edinburgh, Kilmarnock etc.  The first invitation to judge came from Dorking.  Mr leno judged with veterans like Messrs Hewitt, Teebay, Dixon and Tegetmeier.  In pheasant rearing Mr Leno was at one time most successful, and at Westwick Farm had room enough for 600 pheasants, and also went in very extensively for wild ducks, besides a good deal of farm and fancy poultry”   The report then went on to give details of the funeral (See 3rd December 1904) [Gazette 10th 2004]

December 10th 1904 - This is the first indication in the Hemel Hempstead Gazette or any other source, of a desire by the populous of Leverstock Green to raise funds for a Parish or Village Hall.  It was to take a further 15 years and a World War before their dreams were to be realised. (See entries for 19th April & 31st December 1920.)         


ENTERTAINMENT - The first of a series of entertainments was given with success in the Schoolroom on Friday evening.  The Rev. Durrant acting as Chairman the platform was prettily decorated with flowers and foliage.  All taking part in the concert, with the exception of Miss Ellworthy were residents of Leverstock Green.  Some refreshments were kindly given by Miss Bailey were much appreciated for the moderate prices charged.  Mrs.. Wright and Mrs. Dell who dispensed them, being kept very busy.  The profits amounted to £1 4s 7 ½d exclusive of £2 collected by Mrs.. Bailey.  It is proposed to hold the next concert on December 31st, the proceeds to be devoted to a Parish Room Fund, a subscription list for which is to be opened shortly.

Piano selection: "The Rustle of Spring" : Miss Hart
Comic song: : "And His Days work was Done": Mr. Dell
Song:: "A Lesson with a Fan": Miss Bailey
Comic Song: "Capital O" : Mr. Seabrook
Duet (violin & mandolin): "March in G" : Mrs. Sears & Mr. Dell
encore: "Adante in G"
Song: "Little Sweethearts": Miss Ford

Piano selection: Miss Ellworthy
Recitation: "Kissing Cup Race": Mr. Wright
Song:: ""I was born on a Friday": Mr. Seabrook
Song : "Ha Ha Ha Ha He He" : Mr. W. Seabrook
Song : "Isn't That Like a Man": Mrs.. Ford
song : "The Wild Man of Poplar" : Mr. Dell
Song : "Bluebell": Mr Dell
[Gazette 10th December 1904]

31st December 1904  - The Gazette featured the following report on a concert given at the village school:

The 2nd concert of the season took place at Leverstock Green School on New Years Eve.  The schoolroom was filled, every available seat being occupied, and many having to stand.    An excellent program was gone through, Mrs... Durrant's violin selections being much appreciated, as also were Mr.. Hanfield's comic songs,  Miss Horton's pianforte playing and Mr.. Cripps and his son's cornet duet.  The refreshments again sold very well and the concert resulted in a profit of £3. 5s. The program read as follows: 

Pianoforte selection
Song: Miss Bailey
Song: Rev. A. Durrant
Song: Miss Cox
Cornet duet: Mr.. & Master Cripps
Comic song: Mr.. Barker
Mandolin solo: Miss Fenson
Song: Mr.. Rootham
Comic song: Mr.. C. Ingham
Song: Mrs... Ford
Pianoforte selection
Song; Mr.. W. Seabrook
Song: Miss Barker
Recitation: Mr.. Wright
Comic song: Miss. M. Fenson
Cornet solo: Mr.. C. Cripps
Song: Miss Sears
Comic Song: Mr.. Barnfield
Song: Miss H. Dell
Song: Miss Cole
Duet: Miss Leno & Mr. Dell

Messers Robinson & Mead are favoured with instructions to prepare for sale at an early date the above valuable accommodation farm of about 53 acres.  Vendors Solicitor John Gates Esq. Luton. 
November 29th 1904 - Matthew Leno Senior, from Cox Pond Farm, and one of the long serving village school managers, died.The notice of his death, carried in the following week’s Gazette stated:  “It is with deep regret we have to chronicle the death, which took place on Tuesday, of Mr Matthew Leno, of Leverstock Green." Deceased, who was nearly 75 years of age, was up to a few years ago one of the most prominent public men in Hemel Hempstead, and he had had a long and honourable career in the feathered world as a judge of poultry.  Mr Leno was High Bailiff of Hemel Hempstead in 1886-87; during which time the present market square and shops were built.  [Gazette 3rd December 1904]  
Cox Pond Farm, which for many years had been the home of Matthew Leno Senior.
Obituaries:  Matthew Leno Senior; see also M Leno 1830- 1904 W Davis
1904 -  Westwick Farm, part of the Earl of Verulum’s Estate, was sold.  Harding & Son of St. Albans, Estate Agents, managed the sale. [HALS: D/EV/E83]

March 22nd  1904  There was a well-attended Liberal Party meeting (elections in near future) held on 22nd March. [Gazette 26th March 1904]

April 4th 1904 - The annual Vestry was held in schoolroom on Monday  this was a peaceful meeting with most positions filled by the existing holders. [Gazette 9th April 1904]

April 9th 1904  - There was a printed correction in the Gazette  re the meeting held on March 26th as it appeared Mr Mickelham the prospective candidate had made a mistake over the time and didn't arrive until after the proceedings were finished!!!!!!!!!    Easter services had been well attended. [Gazette 9th April 1904]

April 16th 1904 - William Davis of Well Farm, and one of the Managers of the Village school, died. The children at the school were given the afternoon off on April 22nd, when he was buried. [S73]

April 23rd 1904  The Gazette reported the following: We much regret to announce the death of Mr. W Davis of Well Farm, which took place at his residence on Saturday last about noon.  Deceased was for many years manager of the school with which he had been connected since he first came to LG.  He was also Churchwarden at Holy Trinity for a considerable time.  The villagers have had a true friend in Mr Davis, who will be difficult to replace.[Gazette April 23rd 1904]

April 30th 1904  The Gazette had several reports this week concerning Leverstock Green :

PRESENTATION a few friends gathered at Adey Field for a social gathering and to present to Messrs Frederick and Leonard Seabrook, who are laving the village for Canada, a writing case, and pipe and tobacco respectively.   Both recipients returned thanks for the kindness of their friends, and expressed their great pleasure at being enables to say Goodbye under such favourable circumstances.

FUNERAL  OF MR W DAVIS - The internment of the late Mr. W Davis of Leverstock Green took place in the village churchyard on Friday afternoon last amid many tokens of regret and sympathy.  The funeral cortege was met at the entrance to the churchyard by the Vicar the Rev Durrant and members of the choir; the church being filled by deeply sympathising villagers and friends amongst Abbots Langley Parish Council, and the employees on the farm.  The service was most impressively rendered by the vicar, a favourite hymn of the deceased "A few More Years Shall Roll" being sung at the graveside.  The coffin was of polished oak with brass furniture, the inscription engraved on the plate being William Davis died April 16th 1904 aged 77.(There then followed a list of mourners etc.)

ADVERTS  The following adverts appeared for the first of several weeks:

19th July 1904
Dear Sirs
Westwick Row Farm
   Mr. Leno tenant
Will you please arrange to put in a distress for rent on Friday next.
There are 10 or 12 beasts and some hay.  I fear the growing crops are worthless.

Overleaf you will find a statement of Leno’s account.
Yours faithfully
A Tremayne Buller

Arrears of rent Westwick Row Farm…….£409. 19s 4d
Half year’s rent to Lady Day Last     £153.  0s  0d

Matthew Leno Junior
This was, the equivalent of £41,695.09 in 2006 according to the retail price index.  

A reply to this letter was sent from Hardings stating that they were essentially too busy to deal with the matter, so had put it in the hands of Mr. W. Dorant. They then went on to point out that “you cannot destrain for more than one year’s rent.”  [HALS: D/EV.E83 RE Westwick Farm 1904]

See also Matthew Leno 1830-1904.  Given the problems Matthew Senior was encountering, and the fact that although Matthew Junior was the tenant, holding the farm from, the Earl of Verulam, it is difficult to know from the evidence so far available, whether the son was also in trouble because the father was, or vice-verca.

August 6th 1904  The following advert appeared in the Gazette concerning Hill Farm Leverstock Green : "Mr W Dorrant will sell by auction on the premises as above on Friday August 19th 1904 at One o'clock, by direction of Mr Leno who is leaving the farm,  the valuable live and dead stock and growing crops" there then  followed a list of growing crops including 23 acres of barley and 23 acres of oats.  [Gazette 6th August 1904] (This was Edgar Leno, grandson of Matthew Leno Senior, and he left Leverstock Green to go to Ontario Canada with his wife and family, taking up the Canadian Governments land scheme.  They were not the only members of the Leverstock Green community to do this. (See entry for April 30th 1904) 
August 1904 -  Westwick Farm, part of the Earl of Verulum’s Estate, was sold.  Harding & Son of St. Albans, Estate Agents, managed the sale both of the lease and the live and dead stock. [HALS: D/EV/E83]  N.B. It is apparent that although the advert in the Gazette  on 6th August claimed that it was the lease  of Hill Farm which was for sale, that in actual fact it was either Westwick Farm or Westwick Row Farm which was for sale. The former being the most probable. This further confusion arose because the various documents concerning the sale of the property, refer to it under both names, rather than just the one.  Matthew Leno, the departing tenant, referring to the farm as Westwick Row Farm,  as did other correspondents, however, the catalogue for sale of live & dead goods referred to Westwick Farm, as did adverts in the Gazette, and Kelley’s Directory for 1902.  The bundle of papers at HALS has a note  which says: to Mr. Leno Jun: but unfortunately no map accompanied them. [HALS: D/EV.E83 RE Westwick Farm 1904]

8th August 1904 -  The following note concerning Westwick Farm was received at the offices of Harding & Son Land Agents, surveyors and Auctioneers of St. Peter’s Street, St. Albans. (See also reference to sale of Westwick Farm, August 1904.) 1904 – 
Edgar Leno
Dear Mr Harding,
 The bearer Mr S Surridge of Primrose Hill Kings Langley applies to take Leno's farm and offers to take crops at valuation etc. I have referred him to you for particulars.
Y since 
W Dorant
[HALS: D/EV.E83 RE Westwick Farm 1904]
August 13th 1904 - There was a legal notice from the executors of the late William Davis' estate advertising for any more claimants upon the estate. [Gazette 13th August 1904]

Friday August 19th 1904  - An auction took place at 1pm at Westwick Farm of all the live and dead stock ”by direction of Mr. Leno who is leaving”.  He sale included Corn bins, a cistern, chaff cutters, turnip cutters, troughs, 6 powerful cart horses, 7 milch cows, 100 head of poultry, numerous other pieces of equipment and machinery, 6 ricks of prime clover and included the growing crops, namely 23 acres of barley and 22 acres of oats. The auctioneer was to be Mr W Dorant, from Victoria Street St. Albans.   Pencilled prices on the catalogue held at HALS suggest they were made by a buyer or bidder. Assuming the figures represent the prices paid, then the cart horses were sold as follows: 
6 year old Cart Mare “Diamond” £39
Gelding “Prince” £23
Mare “Flower” £11
Gelding “Punch” £8 10s 0d
Gelding “Monkey”  £5
Mare “Short” £7.

August 20th 1904  There was an extremely long article in the Gazette headed:



At Watford Crown Court on Tuesday, James Stratford of the Rose & Crown Public House Leverstock Green was summoned for persistent cruelty to his wife Sarah Ann Stratford who applied for a separation order.The complainant was wheeled into court in a bath chair as she is paralysed in the lower limbs..........married in December 1902.........The case was adjourned for a week in order to bring further evidence.  [Gazette 20th August 1904]

August 27th 1904 - a further very long article appeared in the Gazette:


August 27th 1904  in an advert, Mr Sears at the Post Office was noted as being the Leverstock Green agent for the Gazette. [Gazette 27th August 1904]

31st August 1904 -  A letter to Messrs Harding & Son from Tremayne Buller informed them that Lord Verulam had accepted Mr David Walter of Hemel Hempstead as the tenant of Westwick Row Farm (though probably Westwick Farm, unless both property’s leases came up for sale  at the same time.)
[HALS: D/EV.E83 RE Westwick Farm 1904]

September 2nd & 9th 1904 - An article appeared in THE FEATHERED WORLD seeking monetry help for Matthew Leno Senior, who had suffered as a result of the "agricultural depression".  See MATTHEW LENO 1830-1904 for further and full details.

September 17th 1904   The  Gazette featured an article headed THE TELEGRAPH  in which there was considerable debate as to the route  telegraph wires should take and whether they should be underground or not in order to extend telephone services to Leverstock Green. [Gazette Sept 17th 904]

Westwick Row Farm
Nr Hemel Hempstead 
Sept 28th 04


Enclosed please find statement of cultivations etc.  I was thinking I sent you it last week but suppose I did not.

I am sorry to say I have been very unwell lately

Your obedient servant
Mt Leno Junior

Black Reaches – 13 ½ acres

Seeds sown 12.0.0.
Sowing do.      4.0.
Hill Foot  (81)
Ploughing thee times 12.0.0.
Harrowing                   1.4.0
Drawing  (looks like boats possibly bolts)
5 acres Swedes Turnips  1.0.0.
Bolsting up do. 1.0.0.
*Heavy coat of manure and cartage
seeds sown7.6
Horse hoeing twice 1.4.0
Hand hoeing do 2.0.0

16 acres ploughfield twice 16.00
14 ploughed a third time 7.00
16 acres harrowed twice 1.12.0

Upper part of Hazeldells
Ploughing 3 acres twice 3.0.0.
·heavy coat of manure and cartage

Barn meadows 16a
Blakes 10a
*Quantity of manure  in heap and buildings
*Browsing price of 45 acres Lent corn, straw
( I paid 7/- per acre)
28th September 1904 – Matthew Leno, the departing tenant at Westwick Farm sent this very scrappy  two page letter [R] to Messrs Harding & Sons Land agents.  It was addressed Westwick Row Farm.
N.B. The numerous papers relating to Westwick (Row) farm and its eventual sale in 1904 show M Leno to be somewhat tricky in his dealings, with payments unmade, other demands for more money than certain crops were worth etc.  In one note which referred to Mr Leno leaving, although not saying so directly, the tenor of the note was such as to suggest good riddance!
[HALS: D/EV.E83 RE Westwick Farm 1904]

Oct 1st 1904  A headline in the Gazette read: HARVEST THANKSGIVING LEVERSTOCK GREEN.  Details were given of the three services held at Harvest time at Holy Trinity.   Offertory gifts totalled £3 16s and they were given to West Herts Infirmary. [Gazette 17th 1904]

October 8th 1904  An advert in the Gazette showed that at  Well Farm there would be an auction of furniture and effects to take place Friday 14th at 10  for 11 o'clock. [Gazette 8th Oct 1904]

October 15th  The Gazette reported the following;
·The members of the Mothers Union  attended a special service on Friday evening.

·The  sudden death of Mr Robert Little of Westwick Hall Farm was reported  he had died Friday evening about 7pm.  The funeral was to be held on Tuesday at St Albans cemetery.·
Under the headline GIFT JOURNEYS, the following was given:  The fields at Westwick Farm presented an animated appearance on Monday last when most of the neighbouring farmers had sent teams to plough the land for Mr David Walters, of Piccotts End who entered as tenant of this farm on Sept 29th in succession to Mr M Leno who has retired from farming.
·Holy Trinity  Church choir, vicar churchwardens, sidesmen and other parish helpers went on annual outing to the  Hippodrome London. (Click here  & here  to find out more, and here for a picture of a 1904 programme.)  The choirboys and the vicar returned on the 2pm train while everyone else came back at midnight!!!!!!!  [Gazette Oct 15th 1904]
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