THE PARISH AND VILLE OF BRASTED.
ADJOINING to Sundridge westward, lies the parish
of Brasted, called in the Textus Roffensis BRADESTEDE,
and in Domesday, BRIESTEDE. It seems to take its
name from the long narrow form of it; brade, in Saxon,
signifying length, and stede, a place. Within this
parish is a district, called, The Ville of Brasted, which
is a jurisdiction separate from any hundred, having a
constable of its own, the remaining part of the parish
being the most northern part of it, called Brasted Upland, is in the hundred of Westerham and Eatonbridge. The church stands within the ville.
THE VILLAGE of Brasted is situated on the high road
to Westerham, which leads through the parish westward, midway between the two ranges of the chalk
and the sand hills, to the former of which this parish
extends, about a mile in length. About a quarter of
a mile southward of the village, the river Darent slows
through the parish eastward, a little southward of which
is the church, and near the foot of the chalk hill, Brasted-court lodge, within the hundred of Westerham
Near the east end of the village is Brasted place,
southward from which is a large parcel of waste, rough,
and woody ground, called Brasted Chart common,
extending for two miles to the sand hill, below which
it extends for some length into the Weald, where it
has the name of Brasted Weald, in like manner as the
other parishes mentioned before; where, at the southern boundary of it, is the estate, called Delaware.
The whole parish, notwithstanding its great length,
at no part of it exceeds a mile in width; the soil of it,
above the hill, excepting near the river, is but very
indifferent, being near the northern hills chalky, and
near the southern hills an unfertile sand; below the
latter it is a stiff clay.
A fair is kept at Brasted on Holy Thursday or Ascension day, for horses, cattle, &c.
THE MANOR of Brasted seems to have been formerly accounted an appendage to the manor of Tunbridge. It was part of the possessions of the see of
Canterbury, before the Norman conquest; accordingly
it is thus entered, in the record of Domesday, under
the general title of the lands held of the archbishop by
Haimo, the sheriff, holds Briestede of the archibishop.
It was taxed at one suling and an half. The arable land
is ten carucates, in demesne there are 2 carucates and 24
villeins, with 16 borderers, having 12 carucates. There
is a church and 15 servants, and two mills of 24 shillings.
There is wood for the pannage of 20 bogs, and as much
herbage as is worth nine shillings and sixpence. In the
whole it was worth, in the time of king Edward the Consessor, 10 pounds, and as much when he received it, and
now 17 pounds. Alnod, the abbot, held this manor of the
archbishop of Canterbury.
Soon after the reign of the Conqueror it came into
the eminent family of Clare, afterwards earls of Gloucester and Hertford, who held it of the archbishop of
Canterbury in grand sergeantry; and there having been
great disputes between the archibishops and these earls,
concerning the customs and services claimed by the
former, on account of these premises, as well as others,
which the earls held of them in Tunbridge, Hadlow,
and other places in this county, the whole was finally
settled in 1264, anno 42 king Henry III. by a composition then entered into between archbishop Boniface and Richard de Clare, earl of Gloucester, in which
it was agreed, that the earl should hold the manor of
Bradested, by the service of being chief butler to the
archbishop and his successors, at their great feast of
inthronization, and that he should do suit for it at their
court of Otford; and the archbishop agreed, that the
earl should receive of him and his successors certain
fees and allowances, as therein mentioned, whenever
he, or his heirs, should perform this office, at such time
as above mentioned. (fn. 1)
Richard earl of Gloucester and Hertford died possessed of this manor, at his house at Eschemerfield,
in this county, in the 46th year of king Henry III.
whose grandson, Gilbert, died possessed of it in the
7th of Edward II. being slain at the battle of Bannocksburne, near Strivelin; (fn. 2) and on the partition of the inheritance of his three sisters and coheirs, this manor,
among other estates in Kent, was allotted to Margaret,
the second sister, then wife of Hugh de Audley, jun.
who not only succeeded to these lands of her inheritance, but was likewise, in the 11th year of king Edward III. created in parliament earl of Gloucester.
He died possessed of the manor of Bradsted, in the
21st year of that reign, (fn. 3) leaving an only daughter and
heir, Margaret, then the wife of Ralph Stafford, who
in her right became possessed of it.
He was so greatly esteemed by king Edward III.
that, among other marks of his regard, he chose him
one of the knights of the order of the Garter, at the first
institution of it; and soon afterwards, in his 24th year,
advanced him to the title of earl of Stafford. He died
possessed of this manor in the 46th year of this reign,
and from him it descended to his great grandson,
Humphry Stafford, who was created duke of Buckingham, anno 23 king Henry VI. and was afterwards
slain in the battle of Northampton, fighting valiantly
there on the king's part. From him it at length de
scended to his great grandson, Edward, duke of Buckingham, who, in the 13th year of king Henry VIII.
being accused of conspiring the king's death, was
brought to his trial, and being found guilty, was beheaded on Tower-hill that year.
In the parliament, begun in the 14th year, though
there passed an act for his attainder, yet there was
likewise an act for the restitution in blood of Henry
his eldest son, but not to his honours or lands, (fn. 4) so that
this manor, among his other estates, became forfeited
to the crown, at which time there appears to have been
a park here, though as I find no mention of one after
this, it is likely it was disparked soon afterwards.
This manor seems to have remained in the hands of
the crown till that king, in his 31st year, granted it to
Sir Henry Isley, and his heirs, by the name of the manor, ville, and park of Brasted, to hold in capite by the
service of the twentieth part of a knights fee, and the
yearly rent of 5l. 2s. 3d. per annum, in exchange for
the manors of Bradborne and Tymberden; (fn. 5) which exchange was confirmed by the king's letters patent, under his great seal the year after.
By the act of the 2d and 3d year of Edward VI. the
the lands of Sir Henry Isley were disgavelled, but being concerned in the rebellion, raised by Sir Thomas
Wyatt, in the 1st year of queen Mary, he was attainted
and executed at Sevenoke, and his estates were consiscated to the crown; after which the queen, by her letters patent, anno 1st and 2d Philip and Mary, for the
consideration therein mentioned, to be paid by William
Isley, eldest son of Sir Henry, granted and restored
unto him and his heirs, the manor of Brasted, and the
rents of assize there, and all other lands, tenements, &c.
which had come into her hands, by reason of the
attainder, in as ample a manner as Sir Henry held
them, paying to the queen yearly, at her manor of
Otford, 102s. 3d. for this manor; (fn. 6) which Wm. Isley
remained possessed of till the 18th year of the reign
of queen Elizabeth, when becoming greatly indebted
to the crown, in 3644l. and upwards, and others, an
act of parliament passed for selling so much of his lands
as would pay his debts, and by it the lord treasurer
and others were appointed commissioners for that purpose, who next year conveyed the manor of Brasted,
and all lands and tenements belonging to it, to Sampson
and Samuel Lennard, against whom, notwithstanding
the above act of parliament, the attorney-general, in
the 21st year of that reign, brought an information in
the court of exchequer for seizing this manor, with the
lands belonging to it, in Brasted, into the queen's hands,
under pretence of their having purchased them without licence first had from the crown, they being held
at that time of the queen in capite; to which the Lennards pleaded the statute of the 18th queen Elizabeth,
before mentioned, which they alledged was sufficient in
law for the lord treasurer and others to sell the same,
without any other or further licence obtained of her,
and they had judgment against the crown on this plea.
In the 22d year of that reign, Samuel Lennard released all his right in this manor and premises, to
Sampson Lennard, who married Margaret, daughter
of Thomas, and sister and heir of Gregory Fynes, lord
Dacre of the South; (fn. 7) who, on her brother's death,
Sept. 25, anno 36 queen Elizabeth, without issue, became entitled to the barony of Dacre, which was adjudged to her in the 2d year of king James I. in as full
and ample a manner as any of her ancestors had enjoyed
the same; and her descendants, lords Dacre: this ma
nor continued in like manner as has been already more
fully related under Chevening, down to Thomas Lennard, created by king Charles II. earl of Sussex, against
whom the same claim was made by the daughters and
heirs of his youngest brother, Henry, deceased, to this
manor, as being of the nature of Gavelkind, but the
earl of Sussex proved, that the manor and lands in
Brasted were part of the possessions of Sir Henry Isley,
at the time of the disgavelling act of the 2d and 3d of
king Edward VI. and consequently entirely free from
the custom of gavelkind from that time, in a trial
held at the Queen-bench bar, in Michaelmas term,
anno 1709, on full evidence, this estate to have been
disgavelled by the above act, and had thereupon a ful
verdict in his favour.
Thomas earl of Sussex died possessed of this manor
and the estate belonging to it, in 1615, leaving two
daughters, Barbara and Anne, his coheirs, the former
of whom married Charles Skelton, lieutenant general
in the French service, and the latter married Richard
Barrett Lennard, esq. of Belhouse. They, in 1717,
joined in the sale of Brasted manor, with the rest of
their estates in this parish, to major general James Stanhope, who that year, being then minister of state, was
created viscount and baron Stanhope, and next year,
earl Stanhope. He died possessed of this manor, in
1721, and his grandson, the Right Hon. Charles earl
Stanhope is the present possessor of it. (fn. 8)
This manor is now charged with a yearly fee farm
of 5l. 2s. 3d. to the crown.
BRASTED-PLACE is an estate here, which was once
accounted a manor, and was heretofore called Crowplace, from the residence of that family at it, as it was
before that called Stocket's, for the like reason.
Walter de Stocket, sometimes written in records
and old deeds Stoks, held this estate of the earl of
Gloucester as the fourth part of a knight's fee, in the
reign of king Edward I. whose family bore for their
arms, Per pale gules and azure, a lion rampant argent,
pellettee. (fn. 9)
Simon Stocket possessed this estate in the next reign
of king Edward II. and built a chancel in the church
of Brasted, as appears by a deed of that time.
His daughter Lora carried this estate in marriage
to Richard Boare, who bore for his arms, Gules, a
boar passant argent, and was succeeded here by his son
John, as he again was by Nicholas Boare, his son, who
leaving an only daughter and heir, Joane, she carried
this house and estate, called Stocket's, together with
the chancel above mentioned, and certain land, called
Boare's, to Thomas Crow the younger, son of Thomas
Crow, of an antient family of Suffolk, who had before
purchased lands in Brasted, in the reign of Edward IV.
From this family, who bore for their arms, Gules, a
chevron or, between three cocks argent, (fn. 10) which coat was
afterwards allowed to Giles Crow, of Brasted, by Robert Cooke, clarencieux, anno 1586, it acquired the
name of Crow-place, and continued in the descendants
of it till the latter end of the reign of king James I.
when Mr. William Crow alienated it to Robert Heath,
esq. afterwards Sir Robert Heath, then of Mitcham,
in Surry, and successively chief justice of the commonpleas and King's-bench, who was, though born in the
adjoining parish of Eatonbridge, descended out of Surry from John Heath, who was of Limpsfield, in that
county. Sir Robert bore for his arms, Argent, a cross
engrailed, between twelve billets gules, being his paternal coat. In one of the south windows of the Inner
Temple hall, his arms, as chief justice of the commonpleas, depicted anno 1631, are a shield of four coats;
1st, Heath; 2d, on a bend, between two cotizes inden
ted, three mullets; 3d as the 2d; 4th as the 1st; over
all an escutcheon of pretence, ermine, a fess between three
foxes heads erased. (fn. 11)
He was a great sufferer for his loyalty to Charles I.
for which, being obliged to fly in foreign parts, he died
at Calais in 1649, and his body was brought over and
buried in this church, where there is a stately monument erected for him and his wife. Margaret, daughter and heir of John Miller, gent. by Mary, daughter
of Henry Crow, gent. by whom he had several sons
and daughters who survived him. After his death
this estate continued sequestred by the powers then in
being till the restoration of king Charles II. when Edward Heath, esq. his eldest son, took possession of it,
in whose family it continued till Sir John Heath, leaving by Margaret, daughter of Sir John Mennes, knight
of the Bath, an only daughter and heir, Margaret,
she carried it in marriage to George Verney lord
Willoughby, D.D. afterwards dean of Windsor, who
was descended of the family of Verney, seated, in the
reign of king Henry VI. at Compton Murdock, in
Warwickshire, where Richard de Verney, the possessor
of it, then built a noble manor house, the present seat
of the family; (fn. 12) who bear for their arms, Three crosses
recercele or, a chief vaire ermine and ermines.
His descendant, Sir Richard Verney, flourished in
the reign of queen Elizabeth and king James I. He
married Margaret, daughter of Sir Fulk Grevile, by
Elizabeth his wife, daughter and coheir of Edward
Willoughby, esq. eldest son of Robert lord Willoughby,
of Broke, and at length heir to her brother, Fulk Grevile lord Broke of Beauchamp's-court, in Warwickshire, and dying in 1630, was buried with his wife, at
Compton above mentioned, which from this family
acquired the name of Compton Verney. His younger
son, Richard, of Belston, in Rutlandshire, succeeding to
it at length on the death of his nephew, William, son
of his eldest brother, Sir Grevile, without issue.
After which he resided at Compton, and was knighted
in 1685. In the first parliament of king William and
queen Mary he was chosen in parliament for Warwickshire, and being a descendant, through the female heir
of Grevile, from Robert lord Willoughby of Broke,
as has been already mentioned. he made his claim to
that title in parliament, in 1695, anno 8 William III.
which being allowed, he had summons to parliament
accordingly, and took his seat in the house of lords,
according as the antient barons of Broke were placed
there, who were originally summoned Aug. 12, 1492,
anno 7 king Henry VII. and dying in 1711, was buried at Compton Verney.
He was succeeded by his second, but eldest surving son, George, D. D. afterwards dean of Windsor,
and lord Willoughby de Broke, who married Margaret, daughter and heir of Sir John Heath, and in her
right, as has been already mentioned, became possessed
of this seat in Brasted; which his great grandson, John
Peyto Verney, now lord Willoughby de Broke (who,
in 1761, married lady Louisa North, daughter of
Francis earl of Guildford, by whom he had several
children) alienated some years ago to the Right Hon.
lord Frederick Campbell, as he did not long afterwards
to John Turton, esq. M.D. who is the present owner of it.
DELAWARE is a seat of great antiquity, situated in
the southernmost part of this parish. It was the residence of gentlemen of this name as early as the reign
of king Henry II. (fn. 13) of whom Robert Delaware was the
last, who, about the latter end of king Edward III.'s
reign, died without male issue, so that Dionysia, his
daughter, became his heir, who carried this seat and
estate in marriage to William Paulin, of Paulin's, in
this parish; in whose descendants it continued till the
reign of king Henry VI. when William Paulin, having an only daughter and heir, Elenora, married to
John Seyliard of Seyliard, in Hever, she entitled him
to the possession of both these seats. His descendant,
of the same name, resided at Delaware, and was created a baronet in 1661, who bore for his arms, Azure,
a chief ermine, which was the antient paternal coat of
this family; (fn. 14) and among the Harleian manuscripts in
the British museum, is the pedigree of Seyliard, of De
la Ware, set forth, anno 1578, and continued to 1630.
From him this seat descended to Sir Thomas Seyliard,
bart. who about the year 1700, alienated it to Henry
Streatfield, of Chidingstone, esq. (fn. 15) whose great grandson, Henry Streatfield, esq. of Highstreet-house, in
Chidingstone, is at this time intitled to this estate.
WILLIAM Crow, esq. gave by will, in 1618, to the parish an
alms-house, which was exchanged for the present workhouse,
now vested in the parish.
ELIZABETH SMITH, alias CRANE, gave by will, in 1638, a
house, vested in the parish, of the annual produce of 5l. 13s. 4d.
WILLIAM NEWMAN, gent. gave by will, in 1736, land, for
cloathing the poor, vested in the ministers and churchwardens,
of the annual produce of 12l. 8s.
BRASTED is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese of Rochester, and being a peculiar of the archbishop, is as such within the deanry
of Shoreham. The church, which is situated in the
ville of this parish, is dedicated to St. Martin. It
consists of three isles and two chancels.
Among other monuments and inscriptions in it, are the following: In the north and middle isles, memorials for the Kidders. In
the great chancel, memorials for the Bulls and Newmans; on the
north side of the altar, a monument for Margaret, wife of Tho.
Seyliard, daughter and heir of Francis Rogers, esq. of Otford,
who left six children, obt. 1615; above, the arms of Seyliard,
Azure, a chief ermine in a lozenge, with a number of quarterings;
beneath the above is a beautiful altar tomb for Dorothy, daughter
of William Crowmer, esq. of Tunstall, first married to William
Seyliard, of Brasted, by whom she left four sons and two daughters; 2dly, to Michael Beresford, esq. of Westerham, by whom
she left one son and two daughters, ob. 1613. In the east window is a shield, with the arms of Christ church, Canterbury,
impaling Parker. In the north chancel, a memorial for Margaret,
daughter of the Hon. John and Abigail Verney, ob. 1733, æt. 17;
and for George, eldest son of the Hon. George and Margaret Verney, 1698, æt. 7. A mural monument for Margaret Mennes,
daughter and heir of Sir Matthew Mennes, K. B. and the lady
Margaret Stuart, married, secondly, to Sir John Heath; she left
Margaret, her only daughter, ob. 1676. On the north side, a
stately monument, on which is the figure of a judge, in his robes
and cap, and on his right side his lady, resting on cushions,
erected for Sir Robert Heath, justice of the common pleas, obt.
1649; Margaret his wife, ob. 1647; beneath an inscription,
shewing that he was the son and heir of Robert Heath, esq. by
Anne, daughter and coheir of Nicholas Posier, gent. by whom he
left six sons and one daughter; arms at top, Heath argent billettee gules, a cross ingrailed of the second, with quarterings,
which shield is likewise in coloured glass in a window over the
monument. In the middle of the great chancel is a very antient
grave stone, on which was an inscription in brass capitals of the
13th century, round the verge, now picked out, and illegible.
The church, is a rectory of the antient patronage
of the see of Canterbury, the archbishop being the
present patron of it. By an antient valuation, taken
in the 15th year of king Edward I. this church was
valued at forty marcs. (fn. 16)
By virtue of the commission of enquiry into the value
of church livings, taken by order of the state, in
1650, it was returned, that Brasted was a parsonage,
containing a house, fifty acres of glebe land, and seventy-eight acres of woodland, worth together thirty
pounds per annum, and the tithes of the said parsonage ninety pounds per annum; that it formerly
was in the gift of the archbishop of Canterbury, and
that Mr. John Watte was then incumbent, put in
by the parliament. (fn. 17)
This church is valued, in the king's books, at
22l. 6s. 8d. and the yearly tenths at 2l. 4s. 8d.
There was an inquisition taken concerning the
glebe of this rectory, which had been withheld by
the parishioners, and a decree on it was given by
archbishop Islip, in 1352. (fn. 18)
Church Of Brasted.
|Or by whom presented.|
|Archbishop of Canterbury||Edmund de Mepham, S.T. P. (fn. 19) |
|Andrew Pearson, B. D. about
1560. (fn. 20) |
|Thomas Bailey, about 1634. (fn. 21) |
|John Saltmarsh, resig. 1646. (fn. 22) |
|John Watte, in 1650. (fn. 23) |
|Pinder, S. T. P.|
|Robert Barker, S. T. P.|
|Michael Bull, A. M. in 1723, ob.
Aug. 27, 1763. (fn. 24) |
|George Secker, S. T. P. 1763, ob.
1768. (fn. 25) |
|James Parker, A. M. 1768, ob.
|William Vise, S. T. P. inducted
Jan. 5, 1773, resigned 1777. (fn. 26) |
|Thomas Franklin, S. T. P. 1777,
ob. Mar. 22, 1784. (fn. 27) |
|Wm. Skinner, obt. Mar. 1795.|
|George Moore, A. M. collated June,
1795. Present rector. (fn. 28) |