Hatfield in 1837
Hatfield is in the half hundred of Harlow, on the road from London by Harlow to Dunmow, 30 miles from town : it is on the Pincey brook, which flows into the Stort. This place was formerly part of the royal demesne, from which circumstance it obtained one of its distinguishing epithets, Hatfield Regis : its other designation of Hatfield Broad Oak it obtained from a large oak supposed to have flourished here in the Saxon times. A portion of this tree (if we may trust the accuracy of Mr. Arthur Youngs statement) was yet remaining in Hatfield Forest, a mile or two north of the town, when that gentleman published his agricultural survey of Essex, in which an engraving of this venerable tree is given. Aubrey de Vere founded, A.D. 1135, a Benedictine priory at Hatfield, supposed to have been at first a cell of the abbey of St. Melanius Redonensis, at Rennes or Redon, in Bretagne, but subsequently rendered independent. The possessions of this priory at the suppression. were estimated at the yearly value of £157, 3 shillings and 2 pence gross, or £122, 13 shillings and 2 pence clear. The parish, which is very large, had in 1831 a population of 1,825, chiefly agricultural. The church has a western tower and a large porch in the Perpendicular style, and other parts are of a character betokening a more ancient date. The Methodists have a place of worship. The living is a vicarage, worth £210 a year, with a glebe-house, in the archdeaconry of Middlesex.