Quantity of land.
This place is so called to distinguish it from Wickham near
Hayes. It lies in the hundred of Little and Lesnes, at the
distance of eleven miles from London, and about a mile to the south
of the high road to Dover. The parish, which is bounded by Bexley, Plumstead, and a very small part of Eltham, contains about
700 acres, principally arable and woodland, there being a very small
quantity of pasture. The soil is chiefly gravel; in some parts,
clay. This parish pays the sum of 77l. to the land-tax, which is
at the rate of about 2s. in the pound.
Robert Burnell, Bishop of Bath and Wells, had a charter of freewarren in this parish, anno 1284 (fn. 1) ; he died seised of three parts of
the manor in 1292 (fn. 2) . From him they descended, with the estates
described in Eastham and Westham, to the families of Handlo and
Lovell (fn. 3) . William Lord Lovell died seised of the manor in 1455 (fn. 4) :
on the death of his son, Francis Viscount Lovell, who was stain in
battle, anno 1488, it was inherited by Henry Lovell, Lord Morley;
and on his decease, in 1490, it escheated to the Crown (fn. 5) . Henry VIII.
granted it, in 1512, to Sir John Petche for 60 years (fn. 5) ; and, in 1514,
gave the reversion to Thomas Duke of Norfolk (fn. 6) , whose great-grandson, in 1562, conveyed it to Richard Carell and John Hutchinson;
who, by his direction, aliened it to John Olyffe, Esq. Alderman of
London (fn. 7) . Mr. Olyffe's daughter and sole heir married John Leigh,
Esq. of Addington in the county of Surrey, in whose family this
manor continued till the death of Sir John Leigh, in 1737; when
a suit in Chancery commenced relative to the inheritance of his
estates, which, in 1742, was determined in favour of Mary, wife
of John Bennett, Esq. and Anne, wife of Henry Spencer, Esq.
daughters of Wooley Leigh, Esq. younger brother of the deceased (fn. 8) .
The decree was confirmed by an Act of Parliament. In 1767, a
division of the estates took place; when this manor was allotted to
the Bennett family (fn. 9) , and is now the property of the Rev. John
Bennett. The old manor-house, which was for some time the residence of the Leighs, has been pulled down.
Welling, a hamlet of East-Wickham.
At Welling, a hamlet on the road to Dover, (partly in this
parish (fn. 10) ,) is a house, which was formerly the seat of the Denhams.
The Rev. Thomas Cookes, who married Anne, only daughter and
heir of John Denham, Esq. sold it to Mr. Benjamin Winkworth (fn. 11) .
In the village of Wickham is the seat of the late Richard Jones, Esq.
now in the occupation of his widow.
The parish church, dedicated to St. Michael, is a small ancient
structure, of slint and stone, consisting of a chancel and nave. At
the west end is a small turret and a wooden spire. The font is
octagonal, ornamented with quatrefoils. On the floor of the chancel is a brass plate (with small half-length figures) in memory of
John de Bradigdone and Maud his wife. Some brass plates in
memory of William Payne, yeoman of the guard, 1568, and his
three wives, Elizabeth, Joan, and Joan (fn. 12) , have lately been covered
with a pew. On the south wall of the nave is a monument in memory of Catherine, daughter of John Barton, serjeant at law, wife,
first of John Leigh, Esq. of Addington; secondly, of William
Walsham, Esq. of the Inner Temple (fn. 12) . She died in 1715, and her
second husband, William Walsham, in 1728.
In the churchyard are the tombs of Henry Kipling, Esq. 1780;
and Mary, daughter and heir of Christopher Skegness, by Mary,
daughter of — Tooley, 1790.
East-Wickham is a chapel of ease to Plumstead, being always held
by the vicar of that place; who is instituted to his vicarage, with
the chapel of East-Wickham annexed. The great tithes of this
parish passed with those of Plumstead till the year 1575, when they
were conveyed by Sir Edward Boughton to John (afterwards Sir
John) Hawkins, who settled them on his hospital for decayed mariners at Chatham (fn. 14) . They are now in the tenure of Mr. Christopher
Register of baptisms, &c.
There is no register of baptisms extant of an earlier date than
1730; nor of burials, than 1715.
Comparative state of population.
||Average of Baptisms.
||Average of Burials.
The present number of houses in this parish is thirty-four.
Instance of longevity.
"Thomas Rickards, aged 90, buried Apl 3, 1780."
School founded by Mr. Foster.
Mr. William Foster of Croydon, in the year 1728, founded a
school at this place, for the education of twenty poor children of
East-Wickham and Welling; endowing it with some lands at Croydon, now worth about 20l. per annum, as a salary for the master.
Some cottages at Welling, (situated within the adjoining parish
of Bexley,) now let at 11l. per annum, were given to the poor of
East-Wickham, by a benefactor now unknown.