EASTWARD from Gravesend lies Milton, on
the southern shore of the river Thames. It is called
in Domesday, and other antient records, Meletune
and Melestun, and takes its name from its middle
distance between the parishes of Gravesend and Chalk.
It is generally written Milton juxta, or near Gravesend, to distinguish it from two other parishes of the
same name in this county, Milton near Sittingborne,
and Milton near Canterbury.
THE PARISH of Milton is but small, being not
more than three quarters of a mile, from east to west,
and a mile and half north to south. The high London
road leads along the southern part of it, close to
which stand the Court-lodge and Paddock-farm. It
contains about eleven hundred acres of land, of which
fifty are marsh. There is much fertile land in it of
a loamy soil, which changes more and more southerly
to an entire sand; the surface of it is a continued series of hill and dale. The eastern part of the town
of Gravesend is within this parish, the liberty of
which corporation extends over the whole of it, and
is therefore incorporated by the name of the mayor,
jurats, and inhabitants of the parishes of Gravesend
and Milton, as has already been related before, in the
description of that parish. One of the bulwarks or platforms, built for the defence of the river, by king
Henry VIII. as there mentioned, is in this parish, for
the purpose of building which, William Burston, in
the 35th year of that reign, conveyed to the king two
pieces of land, called Chapel-field and Le Green. (fn. 1)
This parish, with others in the neighbourhood, was
antiently bound to contribute to the ninth pier of
Rochester bridge. (fn. 2) A fair was granted to Milton, to
be held yearly, on the day of the conversion of St.
Paul, which holds for a week.
MILTON, at the time of taking the great survey of
Domesday, was part of those extensive possessions belonging to Odo, the great bishop of Baieux and earl
of Kent, the Conqueror's half brother, and it is accordingly thus entered under the general title of his
lands in that record, as follows:
Ralph Fitz Turold holds Meletune of the bishop. It
was taxed at one suling and three yoke. The arable land
is four carucates. In demesne there is one, and 21 villeins, with two borderers, having two carucates. There
is a church and one mill of 49 pence, and a hythe of 20
shillings, and three servants. In the time of king Edward the Confessor it was worth four pounds, and afterwards three pounds, now six pounds. Richard holds in
his lowy (what is worth) five shillings in one wood.
Leuuin the earl held it.
And somewhat further, in the same record—
Helto holds Melestun of the bishop. It was taxed at
half a suling, the arable land is one carucate, and there
are also five villeins and one acre of meadow. In the
time of king Edward the Consessor, and afterwards, it
was worth 10 shillings, now 30 shillings. Uluuard held
it of king Edward.
The former of these descriptions seems intended for
the manor of Milton, and the latter for that of Parrock in this parish.
On the disgrace of bishop Odo, in 1083, all his
possessions were consiscated to the king's use, and
these estates as part of them.
After which, the MANOR OF MILTON came into
the family of Montchensie, called in Latin, De Monte
Canisio. (fn. 3) William, son of William de Montchensie,
who died anno 6 king John owned this manor at the
time of his death, in the 15th year of that reign; he
died without issue, upon which Warine de Montchensie, his kinsman, for a fine of two thousand marcs
had livery of his whole inheritance. In the 37th year
of king Henry III. he obtained a charter of free warren for his manor of Milton, and died next year, be
ing then reputed one of the most noble, prudent, and
wealthy men in the kingdom.
After which this manor passed in like manner as
that of Hartley, before described, by the heiress of
this family, to Hugh de Vere, and afterwards to the
families of Valence and Hastings, successively earls of
Pembroke; thence again to Reginald lord Grey, of
Ruthin, for the payment of whose ransom, being taken
prisoner in Wales by Owen Glendower, this manor,
with others, were assigned over to Robert Braybrooke,
bishop of London, and others, his feoffees, to sell
them for that purpose, (fn. 4) as may be seen more at large
in the description of the manor of Hartley, before
mentioned. (fn. 5)
They sold this manor to Sir Reginald Cobham,
who died possessed of it in the 7th year of Henry IV.
leaving the possession of it to Isabel his wife, who carried her interest in it presently after in marriage to
William Clifford, esq. who held it in her right in the
5th year of king Henry V. After her death it returned to the heirs of her former husband, for it appears that John de Cobeham became entitled to it after her death; but in this name it continued but a
short time, for Robert de Poynings died possessed of
this manor in the 25th year of king Henry VI.
In the 5th year of the reign of king Edward IV.
John Moresbye died possessed of it; soon after which
it became the property of Robert Brent, whose son,
John Brent, held this manor by knights service at his
death, in the 8th year of king Henry VII. His son,
William Brent, soon after this alienated it to Sir
Henry Wyatt, from whom it descended to his son,
Sir Thomas Wyatt; and he in the 32d year of king
Henry VIII. granted this manor and the advowson
of the church, with their appurtenances, to that king,
for ever, in exchange for other premises.
King Edward VI. in his 5th year, in consideration
of a fine of twenty pounds, granted to Catherine Martin, widow, her messuage, called Milton-place, late
Figges, in this parish, and other parcels of land there,
and the herbage and pasture, called the afterleaze of
the Town marsh in Milton, from the feast of St. Edward to the feast of the purification of the Blessed
Virgin, all which were parcel of the possessions of Sir
Thomas Wyatt, to hold for twenty-one years, at the
yearly rent of twenty pounds. Queen Elizabeth, in
her 15th year, granted the manor of Milton, in see, to
George Tucker, at the yearly rent of 41l. 7s. 2d.
who was the eldest of the three sons of Wm. Tucker,
esq. of Thornley, in Devonshire, and bore for his arms,
Azure, a chevron or between three sea horses argent. (fn. 6) His
grandson, George Tucker, esq. alienated it to Mr. Hamond, of Queenhith, in London, in whose descendants it continued till about thirty years ago, when
Leonard Hamond, esq. of Horton Kirkby, passed
away his interest in it to Mr. Peter Moulson of London, who rebuilt the court lodge, (fn. 7) and greatly improved the grounds round it. He gave this manor,
by will, to his only daughter and heir, married to Mr.
George Vaughan of London, from whom it passed,
by sale, to Michael Bedell, esq. who died in 1795,
and his executor is now entitled to it, but it is occupied by Mr. Weston, who now resides in it.
PADDOCK, alias PARROCK'S, is a manor in this
parish, which had once owners of the same name, as
is evident by an antient record, which testifies that
Robert de Parrock obtained a market weekly on the
Saturday, and a fair at this manor yearly for three
days, viz. on the Vigil, the day of St. Edmund, and
the day after, in the 52d year of king Henry III.
This family bore for their arms, Ermine, a chief quarterly or and gules; in the first quarter a chess rook sable. (fn. 8)
In the next reign of king Edward I. this manor was
in the possession of William de Clovil, who then held
half a knight's fee in Paroke, of Warine de Montecanisio, (fn. 9) after which it came into the possession of the
family of De Gravesend, one of whom, Stephen de
Gravesend, bishop of London, died possessed of it in
the 12th year of king Edward III. His kinsman, Sir
Thomas de Gravesend, held it in the 20th year of that
reign, and died possessed of it in the 49th year of it;
soon after which it was purchased by that king;
who, by his charter, in his 50th year, granted this manor, among others, to feoffees, for the endowing his
newly founded Cistertian abbey, called St. Mary Graces,
near the tower of London. After which it was conveyed for the like term of years as the manor of
Gravesend above mentioned, till king Richard II. in
his 22d year, granted it to the abbot and convent, in
pure and perpetual alms for ever; and it remained part
of the possessions of the above monastery till the dissolution of it, in the 30th year of king Henry VIII.
after which it was, together with the lands and revenues belonging to it, given up to the king for ever,
by the general words of the act, passed in the 31st year
of that reign; after which king Henry VIII. in his
31st year, granted this manor of Parrocke, with all its
rights and appurtenances, and all his lands and tenements, called Spryvers-hache or Spryvers-place, and
lands called Le Arbor, parcel of this manor, and several other lands, in Milton, all parcel of the possessions of the above mentioned late abbey, to Sir Christopher Morys for life, and afterwards to his widow,
dame Elizabeth, for her's likewife; Thomas Asteley,
had afterwards a term in them, granted by king Edward VI. who again, in the 7th year, granted them to
his servant, John Fowler, one of the grooms of his
privy-chamber, and Anne his wife, for their lives.
The fee of this manor afterwards remained in the
crown till the 13th year of king James, when it was
granted to Mr. William Salter, who not many years
after passed it away by sale to Mr. James Crispe, from
whom, partly by purchase and partly by exchange, it
went to Mr. John Child, (fn. 10) whose descendant, Mr.
Henry Child, in the 24th year of king Charles II. conveyed the house, and the greatest part of the demesne
lands in this parish, since called by the name of Lower
Parrock, alias the Paddock-farm, to Mr. John Coosens
and his descendant, Richard Coosens, esq. of Westminster, who died in 1779, leaving one sole daughter
and heir, who continues at this time the possessor of
But THE MANOR itself continued in the name of
Child till William Child, gent. in 1691, passed it away
by sale to Richard Etkins, gent. whose son, George
Etkins, esq. one of the jurats of the corporation of
Gravesend and Milton, in 1695, conveyed it to trustees for the use of that corporation, in which trust it
remains at this time.
The town hall and market yard, the free school, the
wharf or town key, in the town of Gravesend, and the
ferry across the Thames, from thence to Tilbury, in
Essex, are parcel of this manor, and as such are now
in the above mentioned trust, for the use of the corporation; and there are about thirty-three houses, mostly
in the East-street, and the east side of the High-street,
of the town of Gravesend, which are held of this manor. The court baron for it is held in the town hall
BESIDES eight or nine hundred poor persons, travelling by
water, from Gravesend to London, constantly relieved by the
corporation, this parish receives jointly with that parish, the charities of Richard White, Henry Pinnock, David Varchal, and
James Fry, as has been already fully related among the charities
of that parish; and further, the following given to the parish of
MARY LONGWORTH gave by will, in 1699, the sum of 20l.
the yearly profits to be distributed among eight poor widows of
this parish every Christmas eve, vested in trustees, and of the anual produce of 3l. 7s.
ANNE PEARCE gave by will, in 1776, the sum of 50l. the interest to be distributed at Christmas yearly, among such poor
persons of this parish as do not receive alms, vested in trustees.
MILTON is in the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese and deanry of Rochester.
The church, which stands at a small distance from
the east end of the town of Gravesend, and on the east
side of the road leading from thence to Chalk, is dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul. It is a fair handsome building, with a square tower at the west end of
it. (fn. 11) In 1792, it was repaired and beautified at the expence of six hundred and fifty pounds.
Among other monuments and inscriptions in this church—In the chancel, on the south side of the altar is a mural monument
for Thomas Chiffinch, esq. one of king Charles II.'s searchers at
Gravesend, obt. 1681. Within the rails, a memorial for James
How, rector here, obt. Aug. 30, 1766. (fn. 12)
Round the walls of this church are painted the crefts
of the several kings of England, from Edward III. to
king James I.
The church of Milton was appendant to the manor
till Aymer de Valence, earl of Pembroke, lord of it,
anno 15 king Edward I. granted to brother Roger de
Stow, chaplain, master of the chantry and chapel of
Melton, and the brothers of it, the advowson of this
church, with its appurtenances, for ever, in pure and
perpetual alms, for the support of him and his brethren, chaplains in this, for the health of his soul, and
those of his ancestors, for ever; which gift was confirmed by the king that year, by inspeximus. (fn. 13)
Hamo de Hethe, bishop of Rochester, by his instrument, in 1322, reciting that the revenues of this chantry were mean and little for the support of the burthens
of it, appropriated to the master, brothers of the chantry of priests of the chapel of Melton, the parish church
of Melton, of their patronage, with all its rights and
appurtenances, saving a competent portion for the
maintenance of the vicars, to be by him and his successors instituted in it, the unanimous consent of the
chapter of Rochester being first obtained, and the bishop appropriated and granted it to them, to be possessed to their own proper use for ever, saving the episcopal and all other rights to him and his successors, as
well as to the church of Rochester, all which was confirmed by the prior and chapter of Rochester by their
letters of inspeximus that year; but the king's licence
for this appropriation appears not to have been obtained until near three years afterwards. Whether
this appropriation of the church of Milton ever took
place I am not certain, for on the dissolution of the
chantry above mentioned, which happened by its escheating to the crown, it came into the king's hands
as a rectory; soon after which, in 1524, it was granted
to Sir Henry Wyatt, who in the 31st year of king
Henry VIII. exchanged it, among other premises,
with the crown; after which the presentation to it was
confirmed, two turns contiguous to the crown, and the
third to the bishop of Rochester and his successors, in
which state it remains at this time.
In the 15th year of king Edward I. this church of
Melton was valued at sixteen marcs. In the survey of
ecclesiastical livings within this diocese, taken in 1650,
it was returned, that Milton was one parsonage, the
presentation to which was two turns in the king and
one in the bishop of Rochester; that it was worth
ninety pounds per annum, the incumbent of it being
Mr. Thomas Isaac, in the room of Mr. Lee, sequestered. (fn. 14) In the reign of queen Anne the rectory of
Milton was valued at one hundred pounds per annum.
This church is valued in the king's books at 16l. 5s.
10d. and the yearly tenths at 1l. 12s. 7d.
AYMER DE VALENCE, earl of Pembroke, founded a
CHANTRY in this parish some time before the 15th
year of king Edward II. in his charter for which, he
gave and confirmed to brother Roger de Stowe, master of the chantry or chapel of Melton, and the brothers there, for ever, for the health of his soul, and
those of his ancestors, the scite or mansion where the
chapel was founded, with the lands, rents, and all other
appurtenances belonging to it; and he granted to them,
in free and perpetual alms, all the lands and tenements
belonging to the chantry, in the hundreds of Berdestaple and Rocheforde, (fn. 15) in Essex. And he directed,
that there should be there one master, a priest, and two
chaplains, bearing the habit prescribed by him; and
he directed in what manner the master and chaplains
should be chosen, from time to time, when any vacancy should happen, by death or otherwise; which
charter was confirmed by king Edward II. by inspexi
mus, in the 15th year of his reign.
Hamo de Hethe, bishop of Rochester, by his instrument, in 1322, ordained, at the instance of Aymer,
earl of Pembroke, patron of this chantry, and of the
secular priests then in it, among others things, that the
priests in it should be for the future regulars, who
should receive and keep the rule and institution of it,
and who celebrating divine rites for the souls of the
family of Montchensie, of the earl, his wife, &c.
should especially commemorate him and the founder
of it. And that the priests, who should be first placed
in it, should be appointed by him, one of whom, adjudged most fit by him, should be appointed as provost or master, whom the rest should obey as their
superior, according to the above rule, and on his death
or removal the rest should choose another priest, who
had prosessed the aforesaid rule of this chantry for one
year, and present him to the earl, as patron, and afterwards to the bishop, to be admitted as provost or
master; and he granted, that they should have an altar
in the chapel of the chantry, and a competent burial
place for themselves, but for no others whatsoever,
and that no one but themselves should administer the
sacraments of the church in it, and that with bells, in
such decent manner as to be no prejudice to the mother church, saving all episcopal right to him and the
church of Rochester, (fn. 16) &c. all which was confirmed by
Aymer, earl of Pembroke.
At the latter end of the reign of king Edward IV.
Richard Martyn was master of this chantry, after
whose death T. Hede, clerk, was presented as master.
John Dygon, master of this chantry, died in 1524,
after which it by some means escheated to the crown,
for king Henry VIII. soon afterwards granted it to Sir
Henry Wyatt, who seems to have had the king's letters patent for his founding another chantry in the
chapel of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Melton. Whether this chantry was ever founded, or if it was, when
it was suppressed I do not find, but the chapel of Milton, with its appurtenances, was, before the 31st year
of king Henry VIII. become a lay see, and was in the
hands of Sir Thomas Wyatt, and it appears at that
time to have consisted of the chapel, called Meltonchapel, together with the hall, pantry, kitchen, storehouse, chambers, &c. with their appurtenances, and
the wharf, orchard, pond, two gardens, and two closes
of land lying on the south and east sides of the chapel,
and a field, called Millers-field, lying at the west side
of the parish church, together with pasture for two
horses in the common marsh of Melton, all which were
of the yearly rent of six pounds eight shillings. (fn. 17)
King Edward II. in his 4th year, granted licence to
Roger Orger, of Melton, to assign for ever, notwithstanding the statute of Mortmain, two messuages, two
oxgangs and an half of land, three acres of arable, and
two acres and a half of meadow, with their appurtenances in Melton, to a chaplain, to celebrate daily in
the church of Melton. (fn. 18)
Church of Milton.
|Or by whom presented.|
|Bishop of Rochester||Edmund Jackson, obt. 1575. (fn. 19) |
|The Crown||John Soan, obt. 1631. (fn. 20) |
|Francis Merlyn, D. D. Nov. 3,
1631, obt. 1639. (fn. 21) |
|George Hume, A.M. Oc. 1, 1639. (fn. 22) |
|William Wall, D.D. ob. Jan.13,
1728. (fn. 23) |
|James How, A. M. inst. Feb. 8,
1728, obt. Aug. 30, 1766. (fn. 24) |
|Joseph Pote, A. M. 1766. Present rector. (fn. 25) |