ST. MARY CRAY
LIES the next parish northward. It was antiently called South Cray, as being the most southern
of those parishes in this neighbourhood, which take
their name from the river Cray; but so early as king
Edward I.'s reign it was known by its present name
of St. Mary Cray, the church of it being dedicated to
This parish lies in a valley close to the river Cray,
near the western banks of which it has a populous,
handsome village, consisting of a street near three
quarters of a mile in length, with the church on the
eastern side of it. The market was continued to be
kept in the market-house here till it was blown down,
all but the chimney, in the great storm, on Nov. 26,
1703, since which it has been disused, to the no small
detriment of the place.
In the village are two seats worth notice, one of
which belonged to the Haddons, owners of Godyngton, in Chellsfield, in which name it continued till
Alexander Haddon, jun. gent. passed it away to Edmund Hodsoll, third son of William Hodsoll, gent.
of South Ash. He died in 1711, and was buried in
this church, leaving by Elizabeth his wife, only daughter of Thomas Stonehouse of London, four sons and
seven daughters; from him this seat descended to
Mr. Edward Hodfoll, banker, of London, who much
improved it, and resided here. He died possessed of
it in 1794, as did his son about one month afterwards,
unmarried, on which it came to his sister Matilda
Hodsoll, spinster, the present possessor of it.
The other seat was the property and residence of
Benjamin Greenwood, esq. who, by Philadelphia his
wife, daughter of Sir George Mertins of London, left
one son, George, and a daughter, married to William
Cope, esq. George Greenwood, esq. resided here,
and died possessed of this estate in 1775, leaving his
sister above mentioned his sole heir, whose husband,
William Cope, esq. passed it away to Mr. Whitaker
of London; since which it has been purchased by
Gerard Levinge Van Heythuysen, esq. who resides in
it, the present owner of it.
The house in which the Stanhopes are said to have
resided in this parish is called the Mount, and by the
ruins of walls, foundations, &c. round it, appear to
have been a seat of some size and note, but it is now
dwindled down to a mere cottage, being at present the
property of James Chapman, esq. of Paul's Cray hill.
A fair is holden here on September 10, for toys.
This Parish is within the manor of Great
Orpington, to which it is an appendage, which manor is now in the possession of Sir John Dixon Dyke,
bart. of Lullingstone.
The liberty of the duchy of Lancaster claims over
such part of this parish as is not within this manor.
In the 7th year of King Edward I. the prior of
Christ church, Canterbury, claimed before J.de Reygate, and others his associates, Justices Itinerant, the
privilege of a market in the town of Crey weekly, on
a Wednesday throughout the year, and all rights belonging to it. (fn. 1)
St. MARY LYNG OCKMERE is a manor in this
parish, which was formerly two, called the manors of
Ackmere and Sentling.
At the time of taking the survey of Domesday, in
the reign of William the Conqueror, these manors
were part of the possessions of Odo, the great bishop of
Baieux, the King's half brother, under the general
title of whose lands they are thus entered in it, viz.
the former manor by the name of South Cray.
Adam Fitzberbert holds of the bishop (of Baieux) Sud
Crai. It was taxed at 1 suling. The arable land is . . . .
In demesne there are 2 carucates and 14 villeins with 1
borderer having 4 carucates. There are 6 servants, and
10 acres of meadow; wood for the pannage of 10 bogs.
In the time of King Edward the Confessor it was worth 6
pounds, and afterwards 4 pounds, and now 10 pounds.
Toli held it of king Edward.
And the manor of Sentling as follows:
Hugh, grandson of Herbert, holds of the bishop (of
Baieux) Sentlinge. It was taxed at 1 suling and a half.
The arabic land is . . . . . In demesue there are 2 carucates, and 20 villeins with 2 carucates. There is a
church and 9 servants, and 6 acres of meadow, and 20
acres of pasture; wood for the pannage of 8 bogs. In the
time of Edward the Confessor it was worth 8 pounds, and
afterwards 6 pounds, now 8 pounds. Bonde held it of
After the disgrace of the bishop of Baieux, in the
19th year of the Conqueror's reign, these two manors
came into the possession of Jeffry de Peverel, who held
them in capite, by barony, as of the castle of Dover.
In the 13th of King John, they were in the possession of John de Mares, who held them by the like
service, and was descended from Thomas de Mares,
who accompanied king Richard I. to the Holy Land,
and was with him at the siege of Acon there, (fn. 2) in whose
name they continued in the beginning of Edward I.'s
reign, when they passed to Gregory de Rokesle, who
in the 9th year of it, obtained the confirmation of a
market weekly on a Wednesday, and a grant of a fair
on the assumption of the Virgin Mary, in his manor
of Sentling. (fn. 3) Gregory de Rokesle died possessed of
these manors in the 20th year of king Edward I. Reginald de Rokesle held them at the time of his death,
in the 11th year of king Edward III. as appears by
the inquisition then taken, in capite, by the service of
one knight's see, and paying besides to the ward of
Dover-castle, 16s. 4d. for each week in which he
ought to perform ward there, and paying to the manor of Ospringe one pair of gilt spurs, and suit to the
king's court of Osprings; and it was then sound that
his grandson Richard, son of William de Rokesle, was
his heir. In the 20th year of that reign, John de
Rokesle, parson of the church of Chellesfield, paid
respective aid for them, by the names of the manors
of Seintlyng and Okemore, alias St. Mary Cray, as
one fee, which Roger de Rokesle before held of the
king in Seintlying and Okemore, the tenants of them
always paying to the ward of Dover-castle.
They continued in the possession of this family till
the latter end of king Edward III.'s reign, in the 46th
year of which Reginald de Rokesle died possessed of
them, (fn. 4) soon after which they became the property of
Sir Robert Belknap, chief justice of the common
pleas, who was attainted and banished into Ireland, in
the 11th year of king Richard II. not withstanding
which, his wife Juliana continued in possession of
them by grant of parliament, and died possessed of
them in the 2d year of king Henry V. leaving Sir
Hamon Belknap her son and heir; who, on his petition to parliament, was enabled to succeed to these
manors, of which he died possessed in the 7th of king
Henry VI. as did his grandson Sir Edward Belknap,
in the 12th year of king Henry VIII. On his death
without issue, his four sisters became his coheirs; and
on a partition of his estates among them, these manors sell to the share of Anne, married to Sir Robert
Wotton of Bocton Malherb, who, in her right, became possessed of them. By the inquisition taken
after the death of his son, Sir Edward Wotton, in the
6th year of king Edward VI it appears that these manors were then held in capite; they afterwards descended to his grandson, Sir Edward Wotton, of
Bocton Malherb, who in the 1st year of James I. was
created lord Wotton, baron of Marley in this county. (fn. 5)
He was succeeded by Thomas lord Wotton, his son
and heir, who died in the 6th year of king, Charles I.
without male issue, on which his four daughters became his coheirs; of whom Catharine, the eldest, carried this manor (for both Sentling and Ockmere seem
now to have been esteemed but as one) in marriage to
Henry lord Stanhope, son and heir to Philip earl of
Chesterfield, (fn. 6) who died in his father's life time, leaving one son, Philip, and two daughters surviving.
Catharine, lady Stanhope, on her husband's death,
became again possessed of this manor in her own right,
and carried it in marriage to her second husband, John
Poliander Kirkhoven, lord of Hemsleet, in Holland.
She was afterwards created countess of Chesterfield
for her natural life, and married, thirdly, Daniel
O'Neale, and died in 1667. By her second husband
she had one son, Charles Henry, who succeeded his
father in this estate, and was afterwards, on account
of his mother's descent, created lord Wotton in Kent,
baron Wotton of Boughton, anno 2 Charles II. and
in 1660, was naturalised by parliament. He was likewife created earl of Bellamont in the kingdom of Ireland,
and dying without issue, (fn. 7) was buried in the cathedral church of Canterbury, in 1683. He died
possessed of this manor of St. Mary Cray, alias St.
Mary Okemore, which he devised by his will to his
nephew, Charles Stanhope, second son of his brother
Philip before mentioned, then earl of Chesterfield,
with several limitations and remainders in it.
Charles Stanhope, esq. above mentioned, changed
his name to Wotton, and possessed this manor, but
died in 1703, without issue, on which it came, by the
above entail, to Philip lord Stanhope, his elder brother, who, on his father's death, in 1713, succeeded
as earl of Chesterfield, and died in 1726, being succeeded in titles and estate by his eldest son, Philip
Dormer Stanhope, earl of Chesterfield, who passed
away this manor of St. Mary Lyng Ockmore to Thomas Borrett, esq. of Shoreham, in this county, late
prothonotary of the court of common-pleas. He
died possessed of it in the year 1751, leaving two
daughters his coheirs; the eldest of whom, Susannah,
married William Glanvill Evelyn, esq. of Ightham;
and the youngest, Martha, married her kinsman,
Thomas Borrett, esq. of Shoreham, the son of Trevor
Borrett, eldest son of John Borrett, prothonotary, by
Elizabeth Trevor, his second wife; which John Borrett, by Anne Partridge, his first wife, was father of
Thomas Borrett of Shoreham, father of Susannah and
Martha above mentioned. They, in right of their
wives, jointly possessed this manor, in undivided moieties, and afterwards joined in the sale of it to Herman
Berens, esq. of Kevington, who died possessed of it,
in 1794, and his only son, Joseph Berens, esq. is now
owner of it.
KEVINGTON is a manor and seat in this parish,
now vulgarly called Kebingtown. (fn. 8) This estate was,
for some generations, the residence of the Mannings,
a family of good account in this part of Kent, who
took their name from a town so called in Saxony, (fn. 9)
from whence they came very early into this kingdom.
In the reign of king Henry IV. John Manning (fn. 10) was
settled in Cowdham, his son of the same name was
also of that parish, and died anno 14 Henry VI. leaving by Juliana his wife, daughter and heir of Richard
Brockhill, relict of William Wallys, one son, Hugh
Manning, who was of St. Mary Cray, and married the
daughter of Sir William Brandon, kinswoman to
Charles duke of Suffolk, by whom he had two sons,
John, who settled at Downe, from whom descended
the Mannings of Downe, Halsted, and Westerham;
and Richard, who continued at St. Mary Cray, and
had three sons; of whom Richard, son of Thomas,
the eldest, is said, in his epitaph, to have been of
Manning's-hall, the old family seat. He lies buried
in this church with the rest of this family.
The Heraldic Visitation of Kent, taken in the year
1619, gives the arms of Manning, Gules, a cross patonce between four cinquefoils or. Notwithstanding
which it appears by their monuments and grave stones
in this church, which was the burial place of the family for many generations, that the Mannings of this
parish bore the cinquefoils in their coat of arms slipt;
those of Westerham bore, A chevron between three
John Manning, gent. the youngest son of Richard
above mentioned, was of Kevington, and had two
sons, Edward, who was bred to the law, and Richard;
the former of whom succeeded to this manor in 1640.
Edward Manning, great grandson of Edward, the
youngest son of Edward above-mentioned, succeeded
at length to Kevington, and married Anne, only
daughter of Sir Henry Onslow of Drungwick, in Sussex,
by whom he left several children. He died in 1703,
and was buried in this church; on which Richard
Manning, esq. their eldest surviving son, succeeded to
this manor, and resided at Kevington, of which he died
possessed in 1753, without issue, and by his will bequeathed it to his nephew, Denzil Onslow, esq. of
Drungwick, son of Denzil Onslow, esq. of that place,
by Mary his sister; he afterwards resided at Kevington, and married in 1730, the daughter of Thomas
Middleton, esq. Their son, Middleton Onslow, esq.
after some years, passed it away by sale to Hermans
Berens, esq. merchant of the city of London, who resided here. He married the daughter of Mr. Stephen
Riou, merchant of London, and died in 1794, leaving one son, Joseph Berens, esq. of Hextable, and two
daughters unmarried. He was succeeded in this estate
by his son above mentioned, who is a director of the
South Sea and Hudson's Bay companies, and is the
present possessor of this estate.
HOCKENDEN is a manor, which lies partly in this
parish, and partly in Paul's Cray and Sutton at Hone.
In the reign of king Edward I. it was in the possession of the family of Stangrave, who were owners
of Eatonbridge in this county.
Sir Robert de Stangrave was owner of the manor
of Hockindenne, in the 24th year of the above reign,
for he then released to the prior and convent of Christ
church, in Canterbury, a piece of land lying hard by
their wood at Hockindenne, in consideration of which
they released him from the custom of fencing round
their wood. his seal, being a cross verry, remained
appendant to the deed. In the 28th year of the same
reign he had a grant of free warren for his manor
here, (fn. 11) and his descendant, Robert de Stangrave, died
possessed of it in the 12th year of king Edward III. (fn. 12)
In later times the family of Feerby, or Ferby,
who resided at Paul's Cray hill, were in possession of
it; one of them, Sir Leonard Feerby, in 1675, conveyed his manor of Hockenden to Mrs. Anne Yeend,
widow, who devised it by will to her grandchild,
Mary, the eldest daughter of Sir Anthony Browne,
by Mary her daughter.
Sir Anthony Browne left four daughters, Mary the
devisee above mentioned, who married John Archer,
but died without issue; Anne, married to Sir John
Tyrril, who likewise died without issue; the third
daughter was lady Rawsterne; and the fourth Elizabeth, who married Robert King, by whom she left
surviving three daughters, her coheirs. On the death
of Mary, the eldest daughter of Sir Anthony Browne,
and devisee of this manor, without issue, Lady Rawsterne, by a decree of Chancery, became entitled to one
moiety or three-sixths of it, which part came afterwards
into the possession of William Wentworth, earl of Strafford, who died possessed of it in 1791; since which it
has passed from his heirs by sale to James Chapman,
esq. of Paul's Cray hill, who is the present owner of it.
The other moiety was divided between the issue of
the fourth daughter Elizabeth, and their husbands.
In consequence of which two-sixths of this manor became at length, by descent and marriage, the property
of Thomas Sergison, esq. who, in the year 1740, conveyed them by sale to Sir Thomas Dyke, bart. of
As to the remaining sixth part of this moiety, it
came at length by descent, as well as will, to Elizabeth, the only daughter and heir of Richard Young;
and she, in 1747, sold her interest in it to Sir Thomas
Dyke, bart. before mentioned, who on this became
possessed of the three sixth parts, or one full and undivided moiety of this manor.
From him it descended to his only surviving son,
Sir John Dixon Dyke, bart. who obtaining an act of
parliament for that purpose, passed it away by sale, in
1767, to James Chapman, esq. of Paul's Cray hill,
who by purchasing the other moiety of the earl of
Stafford's heir, as before mentioned, is now become
the owner of the whole of this manor and estate.
It appears by an inquisition taken at Hockynden,
before the king's escheator, in the 2d year of Edward I.
that Isabella de Monte Alto, held in gavelikende of
the prior of Christchurch in Canterbury, a messuage
and forty-two acres in Hokinden, by the service of
10s. 11d. per annum, and by the service of ploughing, mowing, and carrying the produce of certain
lands of the prior to his grange at Orpington, and
other services, and by, making suit at the court of the
prior there. (fn. 13)
WALDEN'S is a reputed manor in this parish,
which in 1662, was in the possession of Caleb Trenchfield, esq. who lies buried in Eltham church, and
died possessed of this manor; he was the son of Thomas Trenchfield, esq. one of the admirals of the navy
in the reign of king Charles I. and left by Judith,
his wife, daughter of Edmund Poyntell, esq. of Chesilhurst, a son, Caleb Trenchfield, who was a merchant of London. The Trenchfields bore for their
arms, A cbevron between three cinquefoils. He sold
this manor to Ebbutt, whose descendant, Mr. John
Ebbutt, dying a few years since, left it by will to his
nephew of the same name, who is the present owner
of it, and resides here.
Sir George Hart ordered by his will, 40s. to be given in
money to the poor of this parish, who do not receive aims, and
3s. 4d. in bread, and 6s. 8d. in money for a sermon, charged on
an estate, called Wested, now belonging to Sir John Dyke,
vested in the minister and churchwardens, and of the annual produce of 2l. 10s.
Mr. EDMUND HODSOLL in 1711, gave by his will, the annual
sum of 15s. in money, to be given weekly to the poor, who shall
be aged and importent, and who come to church to hear divine
service and sermons, charged on a farm, called Hutchin's, in St.
Mary Cray, vested in the minister and churchwardens, and of the
above annual produce.
Mr. MANNING gave by will, for three poor people, who do
not receive alms, a sum of money yearly, one-third charged on
the Kevington estate, in St.Mary Cray, the other two thirds on
an estate, called Patten-grove, in Orpington, now vested in the
owner of the former estate.
Mrs. CATHARINE WITHENS, gave by her will, in 1715, for the
education of poor children at school, and towards the support of
poor aged men and women, who do not receive alms of the parish, a sum of money to purchase lands, which were accordingly
purchased near Eatonbridge, now vested in the ministers of Paul's
Cray, St. Mary Cray, and Orpington, and in trustees appointed
by them, and of the annual produce of 40l.
Mr. VALENTINE SPARROW gave by his will, in 1726, to be distributed in bread for the poor weekly, to the minister one guinea
for a sermon on Easter Sunday, and to the clerk half a guinea,
money vested in the public funds, of the annual amount of 205l.
16s. 8d. in the names of trustees, now of the annual produce of
6l. 3s. 6d.
ST. MARY CRAY is within the ECCLESIATICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese of Rochester and deanry
of Dartford. The church is dedicated to St. Mary.
It is a large building, and contains three isles and a
cross isle, a large chancel, and two small ones or chapels; the two latter belonging to the family of Hodsoll, of this parish. At the west end is the steeple,
in which hang five bells. It is esteemed as a chapel
to the church of Orpington, and as such is in the patronage of the rector of that church, the vicar of Orpington being instituted to that vicarage with the
chapel of St. Mary Cray appendant to it.
In this church, among other monuments and inscriptions, are
the following. In the cross isle, at the west end, on a grave stone,
a brass plate with the figure of a woman in her shroud, and inscription in black letter, for Isabell Cossale, and for William
Obson her son; on another, near the former, a brass inscription,
the figure having been torn away, John Morgan, sen. ob. 1479.
In the middle isle, on a grave stone, a memorial for Mr. John Abbot of this parish, ob. 1759, æt. 69. In the south isle, a brass plate
with inscription in black letter, the figure torn off, for Alice Lorde,
ob. 1515. In the great chancel, within the rails of the altar, a mural
monument for one of the Manning family, the arms at the top are
defaced; on the south side, within the rails, an altar tomb, on
which are the figures of a gentleman and lady finely engraved in
brass, and over them an inscription for Richard, son of John
Manning, gent. who married Rachael, one of the daughters and
coheirs of William White of Hempsted, in Middlesex, with whom
he lived thirty-nine years, and died in 1904, æt. 63, S.P. leaving
her surviving; above are the arms of Manning, Gules a cross patoncee between four cinquefoils slipt or, a crescent for difference.
On the north side, within the rails, opposite the above, is an altar
tomb with a brass plate, with an inscription for Richard, son of
Tho. Manning, who dwelt and died at Manning's-hall, the old
homestall of this family, he died in 1605, æt. 72. On a grave
stone, without the rails, a memorial for Edward, son of Edward
Manning, esq. who married the only daughter of Sir Henry Onslow of Drungwick, in Sussex, by whom he had fifteen children,
nine of whom are here buried, and Thomas was then living, ob.
1703, æt. 49; above are these arms, quarterly, 1st, Manning, as
above; 2d, a cross between twelve croslets fitchee impaling a fess
between six rooks. A memorial for Edward, son of Edw. Manning, esq. and Anne his wife, daughter of Geff. Nightingale, esq.
of Newport Pond, in Essex, he died in 1640, æt. 65; she died
in 1659, æt. 79. Richard Manning, esq. died in 1753, æt. 54;
above are these arms, quarterly, 1st and 4th, Manning; 2d, a
bend counterchanged; 3d, a cross between twelve cross croslet.
fitchee; at the bottom, in a lozenge, the arms of Manning impaling per pale ermine a role. On a hatchment against the screen,
on the north side, are the arms of Manning, a crescent for
difference, and over them an inscription, shewing, that under a
stone in this chancel lies buried Thomas Manning, of the exchequer office, gent. of Clifford's inn, second son of Edw. Manning;
esq. of this parish; he died unmarried in 1704; on the north side
of the altar is a boarded pannel, shewing that the same was
erected by Stephen Parker and Anne his wife, daughter of Sir
Henry Onflow, to the memory of her three children, Edward,
Elizabeth, and Anne Manning, who lie buried in this chancel by
their father, Edward Manning, esq. on the south wall is a hatchment with these arms, Sable, lion rampant, ermine langued,
and armed gules between three crosses pattee fitchee gules, a crescent for difference, and an inscription, shewing them to be the
arms of Henry, son of Robert King, who died in 1659; on the
north side, another hatchment, with the like arms in lozenge, being those of Anne King, youngest daughter of Robert King, gent.
ob. 1615. At the entrance into the chancel, a memorial for Philadelphia Greenwood, eldest daughter of Benjamin Greenwood,
esq. by Philadelphia his wife, ob. 1751, æt. 18; under the above
Inscription, the figure of a woman in brass, and beside it a mark
cut in the stone, as if intended for another figure, and an inscription for Mrs. Philadelphia, wife of Benjamin Greenwood, esq.
of this parish, she was second daughter to the late Sir George
Mertins, of London, she died in 1747, æt. 46 years. On a grave
stone on the north side, before the rails, is a brass, with the effigies of a man and his three wives, and an inscription in black
letter, for Richard Avery, Johne, Agles, and Elinor, his wives,
obt. 1588. In the south chancel, on a mural monument, are the
effigies in stone of a man and his wife, in the dress of the age,
kneeling at a desk, with each a book open, and behind him his
son, and beneath an inscription for Margaret, wife of Robert
Crewes, citizen and grocer of London, who had one son buried
here by her, she died in 1602, and was the daughter of Francis
Haddon, of this parish, gent. beneath are the arms of the Grocers Company, and above these, or, a bend indented quarterly
between 6 escallop shells, or, impaling Haddon, or, a leg couped
at the thigh, azure; on a hatchment, are these arms, Hodsoll quarterly, a fess wavy argent between three stone fountains; of the
second, impaling, argent on a fess fable, a leopard's head between
two mullets, or, between three falcons with their wings displayed
azure, armed, jessed and belled or, and inscription, shewing, that
under a stone near it, lies Edward, third son of William Hodsoll,
of South Ash, gent. he married Elizabeth Stonehouse, only
daughter of Thomas Stonehouse, citizen and apothecary of London, by whom he had eleven children, of whom two sons and
two daughters lie in the church of Stansted, near Wrotham, and
two sons and one daughter in this chancel; he died in 1711, æt.
71. She died in 1725, æt. 77, and were buried in the same
grave. Mr. Hodsoll purchased this estate of Alexander Haddon,
gent. the younger. A memorial for Jane, wife of Samuel Atwood, rector of Ash, near Wrotham, youngest daughter of Edmund Hodsoll, of this parish, gent. obt. 1734, æt. 50; above, a
lion rampant between eight acorns impaling Hodsoll. A memorial
for Mrs. Helena Hodsoll, eldest daughter of Mr. Edmund Hodsoll, late of this parish, ob. 1756, æt. 83. In the north chancel, on a
grave stone, the figure of a woman in brass, and inscription in
black letter, for Elizabeth Cobham, late wife of George Cobham,
brother to the lord Cobham, and her first husband, John Hart,
gent. father and mother to Sir Percival Hart, she died 1543. At the
corners of the stone have been four shields, the two upper ones only
remain, viz. quarterly, first and fourth, Hart; second and third,
Peche. (fn. 14)
By virtue of a commission of enquiry into the value of
church livings, in 1650, issuing out of chancery, it
was returned, that St. Mary Cray was a vicarage, and
chapel of ease to Orpington, and fitly divided already
from it, being worth sixteen pounds per annum; and
that it had neither house or glebe land belonging to
it. (fn. 15) Its valuation in the king's books is included in
that of Orpington.