John DE BRITTEWELL, of theGROVE (aka Brightwell, Brutewelle),died after 1294 in the Grove, Hertfordshire.He married SARAH.
In 1294-1295John de Brittewell and Sarah his wife conveyed land and a third part of a mill in La Grava (the Grove) to Albreda de BRITTEWELL ( Feet of F. Herts. anno 1295 (23 Edw. I). No. 327.) and her two sisters Alice and Ellen BRITTEWELL.
Thomas de Harpesfield and Joan his wife were in 1324-1325 holding land in the demesne of St Albans at The Grove in the village of Cassiobury, and the abbot released them from a rent due for it. There is a monumental inscription in Watford church to John Heydon of the Grove, who died in 1400.
John Rayner and Joan his wife conveyed the manor in 1481-1482 to John Fortescue, John Sturgeon, John Forster, and Henry Heydon, to the use of John Fortescue. Owing to proceedings in Chancery the estate passed to JohnMelsam, who died seised of it in 1487, leaving John his son and heir, who in 1503, with his wife Elizabeth, granted it to Reginald Pegge subject to a rent of £10.
One of the earliest references to Brightwells is in 1292 when a John da Brutwelle was involved in a land transaction with the Abbot of St. Albans. This suggests an estate at Brightwells sufficient to give some status. The place-name of Brightwells goes back to the 12th century.
In 1365 (19) a list of properties records "Bruteswelle and Watford 17s 17d rent from divers tenants in the hamlets, held of the heirs of Sir Philip Durdent in free socage by service of 1d yearly and 1lb cummin .... the premises in Rykemers-worth, Caysho, Brutewelle, Crokesle and Watford, …were in the possession of Roger Colyn by demise." Here, in the 14th century, it appears that BRUTEWELLE (i.e. BRIGHTWELLS) had the status of at least a hamlet but possibly of a village ranking alongside the other places mentioned. Incidentally it also suggests equal status for the settlement at Cashio.
(' Hertfordshire's Past and Present, Hertfordshire's Past, Hertfordshire Countryside')
Britwell as a place name is found in Ewelme Hundred in Oxfordshire. I have not discovered a family by that name there, however.
My interest in this data is the HEYDON family. Thanks! Patricia Bishop Obrist