This place, to which the addition of West is given to distinguish
it from the parish last treated of, and from another of the same
name in the country, lies within the hundred of Ruxley, about four
miles from Bromley, and four from Croydon in Surrey. The principal part of the village is nearly twelve miles from London-bridge:
the church and the manor-house are a mile farther.
Quantity of land, and how occupied.
The parish of West-Wickham is bounded on the west and south
by Addington in Surrey, on the north by Beckenham, and on the
east by Hayes and Keston in Kent. It contains about 2600 acres
of land, chiefly arable: there are about twenty acres of common (fn. 1) .
The soil is various; sand, loam, chalk, and clay. This parish pays
the sum of 62l. 12s. to the land-tax, which is at the rate of 9d. in
Market and fair.
West-Wickham had formerly a market on Mondays, and an
annual fair on the eve and festival of St. Mary Magdalen; both of
which were granted to Sir Walter de Huntingfield, in the year
1318 (fn. 2) . Both are discontinued; but there is an annual fair on Easter
In the reign of Edward the Confessor, the manor of West-Wickham (then only distinguished by the name of Wicheham in the
hundred of Ruxley) was held of the King by Godric. King William the Conqueror granted it to Odo Bishop of Baieux and Earl of
Kent; of whom, when the survey of Doomsday was taken (fn. 2) , it was
held by Adam Fitzhubert. Robert Burnell, Bishop of Bath and
Wells, had a charter of free-warren in this parish, anno 1284 (fn. 3) ;
but whether he had the manor does not appear. Peter de Huntingfield died seised of the manor in 1313 (fn. 4) . John de Huntingfield,
son of William, left two daughters, coheirs, one of whom (Joan)
brought this manor, in marriage, to John Coppledike, who was
possessed of it in 1399 (fn. 5) . The Squeries were in possession of it as
early as the year 1413 (fn. 6) . John Squerie, as appears by his will (fn. 7) ,
bearing date 1449, sold it, with the manors of Keston and SouthCourt, some time before his death, for the sum of 200 marks,
to John Trevelian (fn. 8) ; who, in 1469, aliened it to Richard Scrope (fn. 9) .
It was again aliened to Henry (afterwards Sir Henry) Heydon,
before the year 1477, when John Squerie (son, it is probable, of
John above mentioned) quitted all claim in the premises (fn. 10) . About
the latter end of the sixteenth century, Sir William Heydon sold
the manor of West-Wickham to John Lennard, Esq. (fn. 11) , from whom
it descended to Sir Samuel Lennard, Bart; who dying without lawful issue, in 1727, bequeathed this estate to his natural son Samuel
Lennard, Esq. (fn. 12) ; whose only daughter, Mary, married John
Farnaby, Esq. now, in right of his wife, lord of the manors of
West-Wickham and South-Court.
The manor-house, which stands near the church, was built by
Sir Henry Heydon, in the reign of Henry VII. (fn. 13) It has undergone various alterations and repairs; but a considerable part of the
original structure, with an ancient turret at each corner, still remains.
In the window of the hall are the arms of Sir Henry Heydon (fn. 14) and
his wife Anne, daughter of Sir Geoffrey Bulleyne (fn. 15) , the arms and
quarterings of Huffey (fn. 16) ; and several other coats (fn. 17) . Over the chimney are the arms of Lennard (fn. 18) . This mansion was for some years
in the occupation of the late Samuel Beachcroft, Esq. It is now
inhabited by Mr. Farnaby.
West Wickham Court
The liberty of the Duchy of Lancaster claims a jurisdiction over
this manor, and the lands called Spring-park, Old-park, Frithwood, and Chambers'-grove (fn. 19) .
The parish church, dedicated to St. John the Baptist, was rebuilt
by Sir Henry Heydon, in the reign of Henry VII. It consists of a
chancel, nave, and north aisle: on the south side, at the west end,
is a low square tower.
Figure of a skeleton, and other stained glass, in the north aisle.
On the south wall of the chancel is a tablet to the memory of
John Lang, thirty-seven years rector, 1619: on the floor are brass
plates (with the effigies of the deceased) in memory of William de
Thorpe, rector, 1407, and John Stokton, 1515. In the nave are
the tombs of Elizabeth, wife of William Applebury, and daughter
of Thomas Skevington, 1706; William, son of William Whitaker,
Esq. 1761; Sir Thomas Wilson, Knt. (fn. 20) , 1775; and Elizabeth Lady
Wilson, 1779. In the east window of the north aisle is the representation of a skeleton, in a kneeling posture, with a label issuing from
its mouth (fn. 21) , intended for that of Sir Henry Heydon, founder of the
church, as appears by the helmet and shield, with his arms, lying at
the feet. In the same window are figures of the Virgin Mary, and
St. Anne, with some coats of arms (fn. 22) . In the south windows are the
figures of St. Christopher, St. Catherine, &c.; some coats of arms (fn. 23) ,
and the crest of Hussey, viz. a boot, with a golden spur, over which
are represented two hands holding a human heart, with this inscription, Cor mobile, Cor mobile
(fn. 24) . On the east wall of this aisle is the
monument of Sir Samuel Lennard (fn. 25) , 1618. On the south wall is a
piscina, and the monument of Margaret, wife of Thomas Hobbes (fn. 26) ,
Esq. 1608. On the floor is the mutilated figure of a priest, with an
inscription, in Saxon characters, of which only the letters A D E are
Tombs in the church-yard.
In the churchyard are the tombs of Richard Seward, Esq. 1764;
Henry Seward, Esq. 1793; John Martin, Esq. 1777; and Hugh
Knowlings, Esq. 1780.
The church of West-Wickham is a rectory, in the diocese of
Rochester and in the deanery of Dartford. The advowson was
always an appendage of the manor, till Sir Samuel Lennard separated them, anno 1727, by bequeathing the advowson to his younger
son Thomas Lennard, Esq. (fn. 27) It has since been again united to the
manor, and is now the property of John Farnaby, Esq.
This rectory was rated, in 1287, at 25 marks (fn. 28) ; in the King's
books at 11l. 10s. 10d. In 1650, it was valued at 70l.
Christopher Hussey, rector.
Christopher Hussey, D. D. instituted to this rectory in 1720, published four volumes of sermons.
The present rector is the Rev. Joseph Faulder, instituted in 1786,
on the death of Sackville Austen.
The register of baptisms, burials, and marriages, commences in
Comparative state of population.
||Average of Baptisms.
||Average of Burials.
The present number of houses is about 70 (fn. 29) .
Burials in the plague years.
In 1603, one burial only is entered, but the person buried was said
to have died of the plague: four persons died of the plague at Wickham in 1608; two in 1609; one in 1625. That year there were
ten burials; in 1665, only two are entered in the register.
Extracts from the Register.
Family of Lennard.
"Rachel, daughter of Mr Samuel Lennard, baptized May 9, 1602;
Elizabeth, daughter of Sr Samuel, buried Oct. 20, 1605; John,
baptized Oct. 7, 1605; Coovert, Apl 12, 1608; Samuel, baptized
Dec. 5, 1610, buried Mar. 17, 1611–2; Margaret, baptized May
26, 1613; Sr Samuel Lennard, buried Apl 15, 1618; Elizabeth
Lady Lennard, Dec. 21, 1630;—Mr Edward Whichcote and Mrs
Jane Lennard, married Apl 18, 1629; Mr John Courthorpe and
Mrs Margaret Lennard (fn. 30) , married Oct. 8, 1639; John Holmden,
Esq. and Mrs Elizabeth Lennard, married May 15, 1649."
"Samuel, son of Stephen Lennard, Esq. baptized Jan. 20,
1632–3, buried Aug. 11, 1638; Anne, his wife, buried Feb. 26,
1633–4; John, baptized Feb. 23, 1635–6, buried Dec. 7, 1638;
Stephen, baptized Mar. 2, 1636–7; Frances, baptized May 9,
1638, buried Feb. 21, 1638–9; John, baptized July 22, 1639;
Anne, May 10, 1642; Robert, son of Sr Stephen Lennard, Bart,
and Anne, baptized Apl 18, 1643, buried May 13, 1651;
Bridget, baptized Nov. 26, 1644, buried May 8, 1650 ; Christian,
baptized June 29, 1646; Sr Stephen Lennard, Bart, buried Jan.
"Samuel, Son of Sr Stephen and Elizabeth Lennard, born Oct. 2,
1672; Anne, Mar. 7, 1674–5; Thomas, baptized Mar. 7, 1676–7;
Stephen, baptized Dec. 7, 1677, buried Ap 13, 1702; Elizabeth (fn. 31) ,
born Aug. 6, 1680; Dorothy, born Oct. 28, 1684, buried July 4,
1686; Dorothy, born Jan. 19, 1686–7, buried Nov. 18, 1729;
Sr Stephen Lennard, Bart, buried Dec. 23, 1709; Elizabeth Lady
Lennard (fn. 32) , June 14, 1732; Sr Samuel Lennard, Bart
(fn. 33) , (in whom
the title became extinct,) Oct. 25, 1727."
"Christian, daughter of Sr Thomas Stanley, buried June 14,
"Gilbert West, Esq. buried Apl 2, 1756." This amiable writer
was son of the Rev. Dr. West; his mother was sister of Sir Richard
Temple, afterwards Lord Cobham. Mr. West settled at WestWickham (fn. 34) about the year 1729, and there, as his biographer observes, "devoted himself to learning and piety. He was very often
"visited by Lyttelton and Pitt, who, when they were weary of
faction and debates, used to find at Wickham, books and quiet, a
decent table, and literary conversation. There is at Wickham a
walk made by Pitt; and what is of far more importance, at Wickham Lyttelton received that conviction which produced his 'Dis
"sertation on the Conversion and Apostleship of St. Paul (fn. 35) ." Mr.
West was, in 1752, made one of the clerks of the Privy Council.
His principal works are, Thoughts on the Refurrection, for which
the University of Oxford made him LL.D. by diploma; Translations
of Pindar; the Institution of the Garter, and other poems, of which
the most admired are his imitations of Spenser. Mr. West's house
at Wickham is now the property of C. Waller, Esq. and in the occupation of W. Whitmore, Esq.
"Temple West, Esq. buried Aug. 15, 1757." Brother of Gilbert: he distinguished himself as a naval officer, particularly on the
20th of May 1756. He was made a flag officer in 1755, and was
one of the Lords of the Admiralty. There is a monument to the
memory of Admiral West in Westminster Abbey.
Margaret Lady Slanye, in 1612, gave 3l. per annum for apprenticing poor children of this parish. Sir Samuel Lennard, in 1617,
gave 20s. per annum to the minister of West-Wickham, to preach a
sermon on the 5th of November in commemoration of the Gunpowder-plot, and a shilling a-piece to forty poor persons attending
the church on that day, fifteen of them to be inhabitants of WestWickham.