ADJOINING to the parish of Maidstone southward lies that of Loose, written in antient records,
Hlose and Lose.
It most probably takes its name from the stream
here, losing itself for some space under ground, hlosan
in Saxon, signifying to lose or be lost.
THE PARISH is situated both healthy and pleasant,
the soil of it is in general very fertile, being a loam, covering the quarry rock at no great depth. It is exceedingly kindly for hops and fruit grounds, with both
which it abounds, and there is a general neatness kept
up here in the culture of them, which is particularly
noticed in the green clipped hedges round them,
which gives the whole the appearance of a well cultivated garden ground. Its length, from north to
south, is about two miles; it is but narrow across, being not more than one at its greatest width. The
high road from Maidstone towards the Weald, over
Cocksheath, a small part of which is within this parish,
runs along the eastern boundary of it, as does the
stream, which rises at Langley, along the valley, at the
western boundary of it. This stream, about a mile
from its rise, loses itself at Brishing, under ground,
running through a subterraneous passage for near half
a mile, from which circumstance this parish is supposed to take its name; and here I shall observe, that
there are many instances in this kingdom of rivers losing themselves in this manner, as the Lin, in Devonshire; Mole, in Surry; Deverill, in Wiltshire; Recall,
in Yorkshire; Hamps and Manyfold, in Staffordshire;
and Arien, in Denbigshire; and perhaps several more.
After this river has thus lost itself, it rises again at
the quarries, at the eastern bounds of this parish, and
running above ground, directs its course north west,
to this village, situated on the Maidstone road, about
half a mile from Cocksheath, romantically on the steep
ascent of a hill, at the foot of which is the church in
the middle of it. On the east side, though at a small
distance, is Salt's place, a seat which was formerly
possessed by the family of Bufkin, who owned considerable estates in this county, from whom it came,
as their heir, to John Martin, esq. of Stanmer, in
Sussex, and bore for his arms, Gules, a lion rampant,
and eight cross croslets or; whose son, Denny Martin,
afterwards resided here, having married Frances, one
of the daughters of Thomas lord Fairfax, by whom
he had several sons and daughters; she died possessed
of it in 1791, since which her eldest son, the Rev.
Denny Martin, who has taken the name of Fairfax,
and now of Leeds castle, and D. D. is become the
present owner of it. At the village, the above mentioned stream receives another, which rises on the hill
just above the church, and then having crossed the
road, flows on northward, leaving Loose-court and
Hale-place a little to the right; the neatness and rural
elegance of the grounds belonging to the former greatly contributing to the pleasantness of this place; the
latter, situated on the side of a hill, having a pleasing
view over the country northwestward. It was formerly
called Le Hayle, and by the antient gateway seems to
have been an habitation of some account in past times;
it belonged to the family of Beale for several descents,
and continued so till a female heir carried it in marriage to Mr. William Post, gent. of London; who,
in 1763, new fronted the house, and now resides in
it. After having passed this latter seat, the stream
flows on, and joins the river Medway, between Upper and Lower Tovill, and though, in its course,
through this parish, it does not run but little more
than two miles, yet there are so many mills on it, for
different manufacturers, within sight of each other,
that it may be said to form a chain of them along the
whole of it.
LOOSE was given by king Ethelwolf, son of king
Egbert, about the year 832, to a widow, named Sueta,
and her daughter and they made a donation of it to
the monks of the priory of Christ church, in Canterbury, who allotted it towards the expence of their
cloathing. (fn. 1)
This place is not mentioned in the record of
Domesday; as it adjoined to East Farleigh, and was,
as well as that, part of the possessions of the priory of
Christ-church, (fn. 2) it is most probably included in the
description of that manor. In the reign of king
Edward I. the manor of Lose, with its appurtenances,
was valued at eighteen pounds. (fn. 3) King Edward II. by
his charter, in his 10th year, confirmed to the prior
free warren in all the demesne lands, acquired since
the time of his grandfather; so that they were not
within the bounds of his forest, &c. (fn. 4) This manor
continued part of the possessions of the priory till its
dissolution in the 31st year of king Henry VIII. when
it was surrendered into the king's hands, where it did
not remain long, for he settled it, by his dotation
charter, in the 33d year of his reign, on his new-erected
dean and chapter of Canterbury, part of whose inheritance it now continues.
There is a court leet and court baron held for this
manor, at which are chosen borsholders for the boroughs of Wanshurst, Falksheath, and Pattenden, in
In the 33d year of king Henry VIII. the lessee of
this manor was Stephen Astyn, who was succeeded in
the 30th year of queen Elizabeth by John Smythe. In
the year 1630 Robert Swinock was tenant of it, who
held it till after the death of king Charles. In 1661
the lease of it was granted to Alabaster Fludd, esq. who
in 1675 was succeeded by Benjamin Calamy, D. D.
In 1669 Abraham Campion, D. D. was the lessee;
but in 1724 William Barrowby, M. D. held it, and
soon afterwards parted with his interest in it to John
Hayes, as he did to Thomas Crispe, commonly called,
as well as his descendants, Cripps, to whom the lease
of it was granted in 1734; in which name it continued
down to Mr. Thomas Crispe, gent. who resided here,
and by his continual improvements to the grounds and
waters of it, rendered this place as delightful and pleasant a spot, as a ferme ornee, as any this part of Kent
can boast of. His only son, John Crispe, succeeded
him here, and died s. p. in 1792, upon which it came
to his sister Elizabeth, whose husband, Mr. John Pensold, of Maidstone, became in her right entitled to the
possession of the lease of this manor, where he now
There seems to have been another manor in this parish, stiled likewise THE MANOR OF LOOSE, which was
once the inheritance of the noted family of Fremingham, who from their being stiled of Lose, most probably had some mansion for their residence in this parish, and the owners of Pimp's-court, though it is
situated in the adjoining parish of East Farleigh, having
at this time a seat in this church, in some measure corroborates it, though that might perhaps be granted in
regard to their contiguity to this church, and great
distance from the other. John, son of Sir Ralph de
Fremingham, of Lose, died in the 12th year of king
Henry IV. possessed of this manor of Lose, and leaving
no issue, he by will devised it to feoffees, who next
year assigned it over accordingly, to John, son of Reginald de Pimpe, of Pimpe's court, in East-Farleigh,
and his heirs male, with remainder to Roger Isle, as
being the nearest of blood to him. After which this
manor, by unity of possession, became blended with
that estate, and remains so at this time, as may be seen
in the description of it below, under that of the parish
of East Farleigh.
There are no parochial charities.
LOOSE is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese of Canterbury, and deanry of
The church is dedicated to All Saints, and is a small
building with a pointed steeple. It was antiently
esteemed but a chapel of ease to the church of Maidstone, which was of the patronage of the see of Canterbury.
The rectory of the church of Maidstone, with the
chapels of Loose and Detling annexed, was appropriated by archbishop Courtney, in the 19th year of
king Richard II. to his new-founded college of All
Saints, in Maidstone; but the patronage of the advowson of the church and chapels annexed, the archbishop reserved to himself and successors. In which
state they remained till archbishop Cranmer, in the
29th year of king Henry VIII. exchanged the advowson and patronage of that church and the chapels annexed to it, with the king. (fn. 5) Upon the dissolution of
the college, in the 1st year of king Edward VI. the
rectory, as well as the advowson of the church and chapels before-mentioned, became vested in the crown;
after which the church of Maidstone was left, through
the king's favor, to the inhabitants of that town and
parish, and that, as well as the chapels of Loose and
Detling, were served by curates nominated by the king,
whose stipends were paid by the king's lessee of the
great tithes of these parishes. At which time the barn,
tenths, and glebe of the parish of Loose were valued
at 5l. 13s. 4d. per annum; and the stipend paid to the
curate of this church by the archbishop's lessee was
2l. 13s. 4d.
Queen Elizabeth, in her 6th year, granted the reversion of the rectory of the several parishes of Maidstone, Loose, and Detling, then in lease to Christopher
Roper, esq. to Mathew, archbishop of Canterbury, in
exchange; since which it has continued part of the
possessions of the see of Canterbury to the present time.
This church still continues under the denomination
of a perpetual curacy, presented to by the archbishop,
and is exempt from the archdeacon of Canterbury.
In 1640 the curacy was valued at thirty-six pounds
per annum. In 1643 the sequestrators of archbishop
Laud's revenue craved the allowance of 2l. 13s. 4d.
being the yearly pension paid by the archbishop to the
vicar of Loose, and in bishop Williams's map it is likewise noted as a vicarage. Archbishop Juxon, in 1661,
in consequence of the king's letters mandatory, augmented the stipend of this curacy with the annual sum
of 5l. 13s. 4d.
Mr. Richard Beale, a Hamburgh merchant, formerly a native of this parish, at his death in 1702, left
five hundred pounds for an augmentation to this curacy; with which a farm in Smarden, of twenty pounds
per annum, was purchased and appropriated to that use.
It is not in charge in the king's books.
CHURCH OF LOOSE.
Or by whom presented.
Chambers, obt. 1625. (fn. 6)
Archbishops of Canterbury
John Aymes, sequestered April
18, 1643. (fn. 7)
Lock, ejected 1662. (fn. 8)
Henry Walter, 1666.
Henry Briggs, D. D. 1712. (fn. 9)
Thomas Frank, A. M. 1722, obt.
1784. (fn. 10)
Denny Martin Fairfax, D. D.
1784, the present curate.