WESTWARD from Wrotham lies IGHTHAM,
so corruptly called for Eightham, which name it had
from the eight boroughs or hams lying within the
bounds of it, viz. Eightham, Redwell, Ivybatch, Borough-green, St. Cleres, the Moat, Beaulies, and Oldborough. (fn. 1) In the Textus Roffensis it is spelt EHTEHAM.
THE PARISH of Ightham for the most part is in the
vale between the chalk and the sand or quarry hills, tho'
it reaches above the former northward. Near the chalk
hill, and for some distance southward the same soil prevails, thence it is an unsertile deep sand, and at the boundaries towards Shipborne a deep clay and heavy tillage
land; from hence, and its situation, however healthy
it may be, it is by no means a pleasant or a profitable
one. The parish is very narrow, little more than a
mile in width, but from north to south it extends near
five miles, from Kingsdown, above the hills, to Shipborne, its southern boundary. At the foot of the chalk
hill and north-west boundary of this parish, is the mansion of St. Clere, and not far from it Yaldham; about
a mile from which is Ightham-court, and at a little distance further southward is the church and village, situated on the high road from Maidstone to Sevenoke and
Westerham, which here crosses this parish by the hamlet of Borough-green, and the manor of Oldborough,
or Oldbery, as it is now called, with the hill of that
name, belonging to Richard James, esq. of this parish,
in this part, and by Ivy-hatch plain, there is much
rough uninclosed waste ground, the soil a dreary barren
sand, consisting in this and the adjoining parish, of several hundred acres, being in general covered with
heath and furze, with some scrubby wood interspersed
among them. At the southern extremity of the parish, next to Shipborne, and adjoining to the grounds
of Fairlawn, is the seat of the Moat, lowly situated in
a deep and miry soil. A fair is kept yearly in this parish, upon the Wednesday in Whitsun week, which is
vulgarly called Coxcombe fair.
The Roman military way seems to have crossed this
parish from Ofham, and Camps directing its course
westward through it. The names of Oldborough, now
called Oldberry-hill, and Stone-street in it, are certain
marks of its note in former times.
At Oldberry-hill there are the remains of a very
considerable intrenchment, which is without doubt of
Roman origin. It is situated on the top of the hill,
and is now great part of it so overgrown with wood as
to make it very difficult to trace the lines of it. It is
of an oval form, and by a very accurate measurement,
contains within its bounds the space of one hundred
and thirty-seven acres. Just on the brow of the hill is
an entrance into a cave, which has been long filled up
by the sinking of the earth, so as to admit a passage but
a very small way into it, but by antient tradition, it went
much further in, under the hill.
The whole of it seems to have been antiently fortified according to the nature of the ground, that is,
where it is less difficult of access by a much stronger
vallum or bank, than where it is more so. In the middle
of it there are two fine springs of water. The vast size of
this area, which is larger even than that at Keston, in
this county, takes away all probability of its having
been a Roman station, the largest of which, as Dr.
Horsley observes, that he knew of, not being near a
tenth part of this in compass. It seems more like one
of their camps, and might be one of their castra æstiva,
or summer quarters, of which kind they had several in
this county. An intrenchment of like form seems to
have been at Oldbury hill, in Wiltshire, which the
editor of Camden thought might possibly be Danish.
There are remains of a Roman camp at Oldbury, in
Gloucestershire, where the pass of the Romans over
the Severn, mentioned by Antonine, is supposed to
have been by Camden. And at Oldbury, near Manchester, in Warwickshire, are such like remains.
IGHTHAM was held in the reign of king Henry III.
by Hamo de Crevequer, who died possessed of it in
the 47th year of that reign, anno 1262, leaving Robert,
his grandson, his heir. By his wife, Maud de Albrincis, or Averenches, he had also four daughters, Agnes,
wife of John de Sandwich, Isolda, of Nicholas de
Lenham; Elene, of Bertram de Criol; and Isabel, of
Henry de Gaunt.
Robert de Crevequer left one son, William, who
dying without issue, his inheritance devolved on the
children of three of the daughters of Hamon de Crevequer, as above-mentioned, Agnes, Isolda, and Elene,
and on the division of their inheritance, Ightham seems
to have fallen to the share of Nicholas, son of Bertram
de Criol, by his wife Elene, above-mentioned. He
was a man greatly in the king's favour, and was constituted by him warden of the five ports, sheriff of
Kent, and governor of Rochester castle. By Joane his
wife, daughter and sole heir of William de Aubervill,
he had Nicholas de Criol, who had summons to parliament, and died in the 31st year of king Edward the
1st.'s reign, possessed of this manor, which his heirs
alienated to William de Inge, who held it in the first
year of king Edward II. and procured free-warren for
his lands in Eyghtham, (fn. 2) and in the 9th year of it, a
market here, to be held on a Monday weekly, and
one fair on the feast of the apostles, St. Peter and St.
Paul. In which last year he was constituted one of the
justices of the common pleas. (fn. 3) He bore for his arms,
Or, a chevron vert. On his death, in the 15th year of
that reign, anno 1286, Joane, his daughter, married to
Eudo, or Ivo la Zouch, the son of William, lord
Zouch, of Harringworth, by Maud, daughter of John,
lord Lovel, of Tichmarsh, became entitled to it.
His descendants continued in the possession of this
manor till the reign of king Henry VII. when it was
alienated to Sir Robert Read, serjeant at law, afterwards made chief justice of the common pleas, (fn. 4) who
died in the next reign of king Henry VIII. leaving by
Margaret, one of the daughters and coheirs of John
Alphew, esq. of Chidingstone, one son, Edmund, one
of the justices of the king's bench, who died before
him in 1501, and also four daughters, who became his
coheirs, and on the partition of their inheritance this
manor was allotted to Sir Thomas Willoughby, (fn. 5) in
right of Bridget his wife, the eldest of them. He was in
the 29th year of king Henry VIII. promoted to the
office of chief justice of the common pleas, and in the
31st year of it, he, among others, procured his lands to
be disgavelled by the act then passed for that purpose.
He left Robert his son and heir, who alienated this
manor to William James, third son of Roger James,
of London, who was of Dutch parentage, and coming
into England in the latter end of the reign of king
Henry VIII. was first as being the descendant of Jacob Van Hastrecht, who was antiently seated at Cleve
near Utrecht, called after the Dutch fashion Roger
Jacobs, and afterwards Roger James, alias Hastrecht.
This Roger James, alias Hastrecht, had several sons
and one daughter. Of the former, Roger, the eldest,
was of Upminster, in Essex, whose descendants settled
at Ryegate, in Surry. William, was of Ightham, as
before mentioned; Richard had a son, who was of
Creshell, in Essex; John was of Woodnesborough, in
this county, and George was of Mallendine, in Cliff,
near Rochester. William-James, the third son of
Roger as before-mentioned, resided at Ightham-court,
as did his son William James, esq. who was a man
much trusted in the usurpation under Oliver Cromwell,
as one of the committee members for the sequestration
of the loyalists estates, during which time he was in
five years thrice chosen knight of the shire for Kent.
His son Demetrius was knighted, whose son William
James held his shrievalty for this county here in 1732.
He left by his wife, daughter of Demetrius James,
esq. of Essex, two sons, Richard his heir, and Demetrius, late rector of this parish, and a daughter married
to Mr. Hindman. He died in 1780, and was succeeded by his eldest son Richard James, esq. now of
Ightham-court, and the present possessor of this manor.
He is colonel of the West-Kent regiment of militia,
and is at present unmarried. The original coat of arms
of this family of Haestrecht was, Argent, two bars crenelle, gules, in chief three pheons sable; which arms,
without the pheons, are borne by the several branches of
James, quartered with, Argent, a chevron between three
fer de molins transverse, sable.
ST. CLERES, alias West Aldham, situated in the borough of the latter name, is a manor and seat in the
north-west part of this parish, adjoining to Kemsing,
which was formerly called by the latter name only,
and was possessed by a family of the same denomination, who bore for their arms, Azure, a pile, or.
Sir Thomas de Aldham was owner of it in the reign
of king Richard I. and was with that king at the siege
of Acon, in Palestine. His descendant Sir Thomas de
Aldham, possessed this manor of Aldham in the reign
of king Edward II. and dying without male issue, his
three daughters became his coheirs, the eldest of whom
married Newborough, called in Latin de Novo Burgo,
of Dorsetshire; Margery married Martin Peckham,
and Isolda was the wife of John St. Clere, and on the
division of their inheritance this manor fell to the share
of John St. Clere, who possessed it in his wife's right. (fn. 6)
John de St. Clere, written in Latin deeds De Sancta
Claro, died possessed of it in the beginning of king Edward III. leaving Isolda his wife surviving, on whose
death John St. Clere, their son, succeeded to this manor, which from this family now gained the name of
Aldham St. Cleres, and in process of time came to be
called by the latter name only, and their descendants
continued in possession of this manor till the beginning
of the reign of king Henry VII. when it was alienated
to Henry Lovel, who left two daughters his coheirs;
Agnes, who married John Empson, cousin to Sir Richard Empson, the grand projector; and Elizabeth,
married to Anthony Windsor.
John Empson conveyed his moiety of it, in the 8th
year of king Henry VIII. to Sir Thomas Bulleyn, afterwards created earl of Wiltshire and Ormond, and
father of the lady Anne Bulleyn, wife to Henry VIII. (fn. 7)
and Anthony Windsor, in the 10th year of that reign,
passed his moiety away by sale to Richard Farmer, who
that year purchased of Sir Thomas Bulleyn the other
part, and so became possessed of the whole of this manor of St. Cleres. In the 28th year of that reign, Richard Farmer conveyed it to George Multon, esq. of
Hadlow who removed hither. He bore for his arms,
Or, three bars vert; being the same arms as those
borne by Sir John Multon, lord Egremond, whose heir
general married the lord Fitzwalter, excepting in the
difference of the colours, the latter bearing it, Argent,
three bars, gules. His grandson Robert Multon, esq.
was of St. Cleres, and lies buried with his ancestors in
this church. He alienated this manor and estate, in the
reign of Charles I. to Sir John Sidley, knight and baronet, a younger branch of those of Southfleet and
Aylesford, in this county, who erected here a mansion
for his residence, which is now remaining. He was
descended from William Sedley, esq. of Southfleet,
who lived in the reign of king Edward VI. and left
three sons, of whom John was ancestor of the Sedleys,
of Southfleet and Aylesford; Robert was the second
son, and Nicholas the third son, by Jane, daughter and
coheir of Edward Isaac, esq. of Bekesborne, afterwards
married to Sir Henry Palmer, left one son, Isaac Sidley, who was of Great Chart, created a baronet in 1621,
and sheriff of this county in the 2d year of Charles I.
whose son Sir John Sidley, knight and baronet, purchased St. Cleres, as above-mentioned. (fn. 8) He left two
sons, Isaac and John, who both succeeded to the title
of baronet. The eldest son, Sir Isaac Sidley, bart.
succeeded his father in this estate, and was of St.
Cleres, as was his son, Sir Charles Sidley, bart. who
dying without issue in 1702, was buried in Ightham
church. By his will he devised this manor, with the
seat and his estates in this parish, to his uncle John,
who succeeded him in the title of baronet, for his life,
with remainder to George Sedley, his eldest son, in
tale male. But Sir Charles having been for some time
before his death, and at the time of his making his will
of weak understanding, and under undue influence, Sir
John Sedley contested the validity of it, and it was set
aside by the sentence in the prerogative court of Canterbury.
Soon after which Sir John, and his son George Sedley above-mentioned, entered into an agreement, by
which Sir John Sedley waved his right as heir at law,
and his further right to contest the will. In consequence of which an act of parliament was obtained for
the settling in trustees the manor of West Aldham,
alias St. Cleres, with its appurtenances, and the capital
messuage called St. Cleres, in Ightham, and other messuages and lands in Ightham, Wrotham, Kemsing, Seal,
&c. that they might be sold for the purposes of the
agreement, which the whole of them were soon afterwards to William Evelyn, esq. the fifth son of George
Evelyn, esq. of Nutfield, in Surry, who afterwards resided here, and in 1723 was sheriff of this county.
He married first the daughter and heir of William
Glanvill, esq. and in the 5th year of king George I.
obtained an act of parliament to use the surname and
arms of Glanvill only, the latter being Argent, a chief
indented azure, pursuant to the will of William Glanvill, esq. above-mentioned. By her he had an only
daughter Frances, married to the hon. Edward Boscawen, next brother to Hugh, viscount Falmouth,
and admiral of the British fleet. His second wife was
daughter of Jones Raymond, esq. who died in 1761,
by whom he had William Glanvill Evelyn, esq. who
on his father's decease in 1766, succeeded to St. Cleres
and the rest of his estates in this county. In 1757 he
kept his shrievalty at St. Cleres, where he resides at
present, and is one of the representatives in parliament
for Hythe, in this county.
He married about the year 1760, Susan, one of the
two daughters and coheirs of Thomas Borrett, esq. of
Shoreham, late prothonotary of the court of common
pleas, by whom he had a son, William Evelyn, esq.
who died in 1788 at Blandford-lodge, near Woodstock,
by a fall from his horse, æct. 21, and unmarried; and a
daughter Frances, afterwards his sole heir, married in
1782 to Alexander Hume, esq. of Hendley, in Surry,
brother of Sir Abraham Hume, who in 1797 had the
royal licence to take and use the name and arms of Evelyn only, and he now resides at St. Clere.
THE MOAT is another borough in this parish, in
which is the manor and seat of that name, lying at the
southern extremity of it next to Shipborne, which in
the reign of king Henry II. was in the possession of
Ivo de Haut, and his descendant, Sir Henry de Haut,
died possessed of it in the 44th year of Edward III. as
appears by the escheat roll of that year. His son, Sir
Edmund de Haut, died in his life-time, so that his
grandson, Nicholas Haut, became his heir, and succeeded him in the possession of this estate. (fn. 9)
He was sheriff in the 19th year of king Richard II.
and kept his shrievalty at Wadenhall, in this county.
He left two sons, William, who was of Bishopsborne;
and Richard Haut, who succeeded him in this estate,
and was sheriff in the 18th and 22d years of king Edward IV. keeping both his shrievalties at this seat of
themoat; but having engaged, with several others of
the gentry of this county, with the duke of Buckingham, in favor of the Earl of Richmond, he was beheaded at Pontefract, anno 1 Richard III. and afterwards attainted in the 3d year of that reign, and his
estates confiscated. (fn. 10) Quickly after which, this manor
and seat were granted by that king to Robert Brakenbury, lieutenant of the tower of London, and that year
sheriff of this county. He kept possession of the Moat
but a small time, for he lost his life with king Richard
in the fatal battle of Bosworth, fought that year on August 22, and on the Earl of Richmond's attaining the
crown was attainted by an act then passed for the purpose, and though his two daughters were restored in
blood by another act four years afterwards, yet the Moat
was immediately restored to the heirs of its former
owner Richard Haut, whose attainder was likewise reversed, and in their descendants it remained till the latter end of the reign of king Henry VII. when it appears by an old court roll to have been in the possession
of Sir Richard Clement, who kept his shrievalty at the
Moat in the 23d year of king Henry VIII and bore
for his arms, A bend nebulee, in chief three fleurs de lis
within a border, gobinated. He died without any legitimate issue, and was buried in the chancel of this
church. Upon which his brother, John Clement,
and his sister, married to Sir Edward Palmer, of Angmering, in Sussex, became his coheirs, but the former
succeeded to the entire fee of this estate.
John Clement died without male issue, leaving an
only daughter and heir Anne, who carried the Moat
in marriage to Hugh Pakenham, and he, in the reign
of king Edward VI. joining with Sir William Sydney,
who had married Anne, his only daughter and heir
passed it away to Sir John Allen, who had been of
the privy council to king Henry VIII. and lord mayor
of London in the year 1526 and 1536. He was of
the company of mercers, a man of liberal charity.
He gave to the city of London a rich collar of gold,
to be worn by the succeeding lord-mayors: also five
hundred marcs as a stock for sea coal, and the rents
of those lands which he had purchased of the king, to
the poor of London for ever; and during his life he
gave bountifully to the hospitals, prisons, &c. of that
city. He built the mercers chapel in Cheapside, in
which his body was buried, which was afterwards
moved into the body of the hospital church of St.
Thomas, of Acon, and the chapel made into shops
by the mercer's company. He bore for his arms,
In three roundlets, as many talbots passant, on a chief a
lion passant guardant between two anchors. (fn. 11)
He left a son and heir Sir Christopher Allen, whose
son and heir, Charles Allen, esq. succeeded his father
in this estate, and resided at the Moat, which he afterwards sold at the latter end of the reign of queen
Elizabeth to Sir William Selby, younger brother of
Sir John Selby, of Branxton, in Northumberland.
He resided here in the latter part of his life, and died
greatly advanced in years in 1611, unmarried, and was
buried in this church, bearing for his arms, Barry of
twelve pieces, or and azure. He by his will gave this
estate to his nephew, Sir William Selby, who resided
here, and died likewise without issue, and by his will,
for the sake of the name gave the Moat to Mr. George
Selby, of London, who afterwards resided here, and
was sheriff in the 24th year of king Charles I. and
bore for his arms, Barry of eight pieces, or and sable.
He died in 1667, leaving several sons and daughters.
Of whom William Selby, esq. the eldest son, succeeded to this estate, and was of the Moat. He married Susan, daughter of Sir John Rainey, bart. of
Wrotham, by whom he had several children, of whom
John Selby, esq. the eldest son, was of the Moat, and
by Mary his wife, one of the three daughters and coheirs of Thomas Gifford, esq. left two sons, William,
who succeeded him in this seat and estate at Ightham,
and John Selby, esq. who was of Pennis, in Fawkham,
and died unmarried.
William Selby resided at the Moat, of which he
died possessed in 1773, leaving his wife Elizabeth,
daughter of Mr. Burroughs, surviving, who afterwards possessed this seat and resided here. She died
in 1788, and her only son, William Selby, esq. of
Pennis, having deceased in 1777, and his only daughter and heir likewise, Elizabeth Borough Selby, by
Elizabeth his wife, one of the daughters of John Weston, esq. of Cranbrook, under age, and unmarried in
1781. This seat, with her other estates in this county,
devolved to John Brown, esq. who has since taken the
name of Selby, and now resides at the Moat, of which
he is the present possessor.
The park, called Ightham park, has been already
mentioned under the parish of Wrotham, to which
the reader is referred.
It appears by the visitation of 1619, that there was
a branch of the Suliards, of Brasted, then residing in
John Gull resided in this parish in the reign of
king Henry VIII. and died here in 1547.
HENRY PEARCE gave by will in 1545, to be distributed to
the poor in bread yearly the annual sum of 6s. 8d. charged on
land now vested in Cozens, and she gave besides to be distributed to the poor in bread at Easter yearly, 40l. now of the annual produce of 2l. and for the providing of books for poor
children to learn the catechism, the sum of 10l. now of the
annual produce of 10s.
HENRY FAIRBRASSE gave by will in 1601, to be distributed in like manner, the annual sum of 1l. to be paid out of
land now vested in William Hacket.
WILLIAM JAMES, ESQ. gave by will in 1627, to be distributed in bread to the poor every Sunday, the annual sum of
2l. 12s. to be paid out of lands now vested in Rich. James, esq.
GEORGE PETLEY gave by will in 1705, to be distributed in
like manner, every Sunday, 2s. the annual sum of 5l. 4s. to be
paid out of land vested in William Evelyn, esq.
ELIZABETH JAMES, gave by will in 1720, for the education
of poor children, the annual sum of 5l. to be paid out of land
now vested in Elizabeth Solley.
IGHTHAM is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese of Rochester, and being a
peculiar of the archbishop, is as such in the deanry of
The church is dedicated to St. Peter. Under an
arch on the north side of it, there is a tomb of free
stone, having on it a very antient figure at full length
of a man in armour, ornamented with a rich belt,
sword and dagger, his head resting on two cushions,
and a lion at his feet, over his whole breast are his
arms, viz. A lion rampant, ermine, double queued. This
is by most supposed to be the tomb of Sir Thomas
Cawne, who married Lora, daughter and heir of Sir
Thomas Morant. He was originally extracted from
Staffordshire: he probably died without issue, and his
widow remarried with James Peckham, esq. of Yaldham. His arms, impaling those of Morant, were in
one of the chancel windows of this church.
The rectory is valued in the king's books at
15l. 16s. 8d. and the yearly tenths at 1l. 11s. 8d. It
is now of the yearly value of about 200l.
The patronage of this rectory seems to have been
always accounted an appendage to the manor of Ightham, as such it is now the property of Richard James,
esq. of Ightham-court.
Church of Ightham.
|Or by whom presented.|
|Lords of the manor of Ightham.||Richard Astall, A. M. ob. Aug
21, 1546. (fn. 12) |
|Henry Farbrace, A. M. obt.
Feb. 21, 1601. (fn. 13) |
|Hart, obt. 1628.|
|Grimes, in 1643. (fn. 14) |
|Alexander, ejected 1662. (fn. 15) |
|John Hickford, in 1690.|
|Ralph Leigh, 1744, obt. May
|Halford, obt. 1763.|
|Samuel Dawason, A. M. inst.
1763, obt. 1769.|
|Temple Henry Croker, A. M. presented 1769, obt. 1773.|
|Demetrius James, 1773, obt.
Feb. 1781. (fn. 16) |
|Peter James, Feb. 1781, obt.
Sept. 1794. (fn. 17) |
|George Bithesea, A. M. Nov.
1791, the present rector.|