NEXT to that of Linsted south-eastward, is the
parish of Doddington, called in the record of Domesday, Dodeham.
THIS PARISH is about two miles across each way, it
lies the greatest part of it on the hills on the northern
side of the high road leading from Faversham through
Newnham valley over Hollingborne hill towards Maidstone. It is a poor but healthy situation, being much
exposed to the cold and bleak winds which blow up
through the valley, on each side of which the hills, which
are near the summit of them, interspersed with coppice
woods, rise pretty high, the soil is mostly chalk, very
barren, and much covered with slint stones. The village stands on the road in the valley, at the east end of it
is a good house, called WHITEMANS, which formerly
belonged to the family of Adye, and afterwards to
that of Eve, of one of whom it was purchased by the
Rev. Francis Dodsworth, who almost rebuilt it, and
now resides in it. Upon the northern hill, just above
the village, is the church, and close to it the vicarage,
a neat modern fashed house; and about a mile eastward almost surrounded with wood, and just above
the village of Newnham, the mansion of Sharsted, a
gloomy retired situation.
Being within the hundred of Tenham, the whole
of this parish is subordinate to that manor.
At the time of taking the above record, which was
anno 1080, this place was part of the possessions of
Odo, the great bishop of Baieux, the king's half brother; accordingly it is thus entered, under the general
title of that prelate's lands:
The same Fulbert holds of the bishop Dodeham. It
was taxed at one suling. The arable land is . . . . . In
demesne there is one carucate and seventeen villeins, with
ten borderers having two carucates. There is a church,
and six servants, and half a fisbery of three hundred small
fish, and in the city of Canterbury five houses of seven shillings and ten pence. In the time of king Edward the
Confessor it was worth ten pounds. The bishop let it to
ferm for ten pounds, when Fulbert received it, six pounds,
and the like now . . . . . Sired held it of king Edward.
Four years after which the bishop of Baieux was
disgraced, and all his effects were consiscated to the
PART OF THE above-mentioned estate was, most
probably, THE MANOR OF SHARSTED, or, as it was
antiently called Sabersted, the seat of which, called
Sharsted-court, is situated on the hill just above the
village of Newnham, though within the bounds of
This manor gave both residence and name to a family who possessed it in very early times, for Sir Simon
de Sharsted died possessed of it in the 25th year of
king Edward I. then holding it of the king, of the
barony of Crevequer, and by the service of part of a
knight's see, and suit to the court of Ledes.
Richard de Sharsted lies buried in this church, in
the chapel belonging to this manor. Robert de Sharsted died possessed of it in the 8th year of king Edward III. leaving an only daughter and heir, married
to John de Bourne, son of John de Bourne, sheriff several years in the reign of king Edward I. whose family had been possessed of lands and resided in this
parish for some generations before. In his descendants
this estate continued down to Bartholomew Bourne,
who possessed it in the reign of Henry VI. in whose
descendants resident at Sharsted, (who many of them
lie buried in this church, and bore for their arms,
Ermine, on a bend azure, three lions passant guardant, or)
this estate continued down to James Bourne, esq.
who in the beginning of king Charles I.'s reign, alienated Sharsted to Mr. Abraham Delaune, merchant,
of London, the son of Gideon Delaune, merchant, of
the Black Friars there, who bore for his arms, Azure,
a cross of Lozenges, or, on a chief gules, a lion passantguardant of the second, holding in his dexter paw a fleur
de lis; which was assigned to him by William Segar,
garter, in 1612, anno 10 James I.
He resided at Sharsted, in which he was succeeded
by his eldest son, Sir William Delaune, who resided
likewise at Sharsted, where he died in 1667, and was
buried in Doddington church. He was twice married; first to Anne, daughter and only heir of Tho.
Haward, esq. of Gillingham, by whom he had an only
daughter Anne, heir to her mother's inheritance. His
second wife was Dorcas, daughter of Sir Robert Barkham, of Tottenham High Cross, (remarried to Sir
Edward Dering) by whom he had a son William, and
a daughter Mary, married to colonel Edward Thornicroft, of Westminster.
William Delaune, esq. the son, succeeded to this
estate, and was knight of the shire for this county.
He died in 1739, s.p having married Anne, the widow of Arthur Swift, esq. upon which it passed by
the entail in his will to his nephew Gideon Thornicroft, son of his sister Mary, widow of Edward Thornicroft, esq. by whom she had likewise three daughters, Dorcas, Elizabeth, and Anne. This branch of
the family of Thornicroft was situated at Milcomb,
in Oxfordshire, and was a younger branch of those of
Thornicroft, in Cheshire. John Thornicroft, esq. of
London, barrister-at-law, was younger brother of Edward Thornicroft, esq. of Cheshire, and father of John,
for their arms, Vert, a mascle, or, between four crasscreated a baronet of August 12, 1701, and of colonel
Edward Thornicroft above-mentioned. They bore
for their arms, Vert, a mascle, or, between four crosscroslets, argent. Lieutenant-colonel Thornicroft was
governor of Alicant, when that fortress was besieged
in 1709, and perished there, by the explosion of a
mine. (fn. 1)
Gideon Thornicroft, esq. possessed this estate but a
small time, and dying in 1742, s.p. and being the last
in the entail above-mentioned, he devised it by his
will to his mother, Mrs.Mary Thornicroft, who dying
in 1744, by her will devised to her two maiden daughters, Dorcas and Anne, this manor and seat, as well as
all the rest of her estates, excepting Churchill farm in
Doddington, which she gave to her second daughter
Elizabeth, who had married George Nevill, lord
Abergavenny, who dieds.p. and lady Abergavenny,
in her life-time, made a deed of gift of this farm, to
her son Alured Pinke, esq. who now owns it.
They possessed this estate jointly till the death of
Mrs.Dorcas Thornicroft, in 1759, when she by will
devised her moiety of it, as well as the rest of her
estates, except the Grange in Gillingham, to her sister
Mrs. Anne Thornicroft, for her life, remainder in tail
to her nephew Alured Pinke, barrister-at-law, son of
Elizabeth, lady Abergavenny, her sister by her second
husband Alured Pinke. esq. barrister-at-law, who had
by her likewise a daughter Jane, married to the Rev.
Henry Shove; upon this Mrs.Anne Thornicroft
before-mentioned, became the sole possessor of this
manor and estate, in which she resided till her death
in 1791, æt. 90, upon which it came to her nephew,
Alured Pinke, esq. before-mentioned, who married
Mary, second daughter of Thomas Faunce, esq. of
Sutton-at-Hone, by whom he has one son Thomas.
He bears for his arms, Argent, five lozenges in pale,
gules, within a bordure, azure, charged with three crosses
pattee, fitchee. He resides here, and is the present
possessor of this seat and estate. A court baron is held
for this manor.
DOWNE-COURT is a manor in this parish, situated
on the hill, about half a mile north westward from
the church. In the reign of king Edward I. it was in
the possession of William de Dodington, who in the
7th year of it did homage to archbishop Peckham for
this manor, as part of a knight's fee, held of him by
the description of certain lands in Doddington, called
Le Downe. His descendant Simon de Dodington,
paid aid for it in the 20th year of king Edward III.
as appears by the Book of Aid; from him it passed
into the family of Bourne, of Bishopsborne, whose ancestors were undoubtedly possessed of lands in this parish, (fn. 2) so early as the reign of Henry III. for archbishop
Boniface, who came to the see of Canterbury in the
29th year of it, granted to Henry de Bourne, (fn. 3) one yoke
of land, in the parish of Dudingtune, belonging to his
manor of Tenham, which land he held in gavelkind,
and might hold to him and his heirs, of the archbishop
and his successors, by the service of part of a knight's
fee, and by rent to the manor of Tenham.
His descendant John de Bourne lived in the reign
of king Edward I. in the 17th year of which he obtained a charter offree warrenfor his lands in Bourne,
Higham, and Doddington, after which he was sheriff in the 22d and the two following years of it, as he
was again in the 5th year of king Edward III. His
son John de Bourne married the daughter and sole
heir of Robert de Sharsted, by which he became possessed of that manor likewise, as has been already related, and in his descendants Downe-court continued
till about the latter end of king Henry VI.'s reign,
when it was alienated to Dungate, of Dungate-street,
in Kingsdown, the last of which name leaving an only
daughter and heir, she carried it in marriage to Killigrew, who about the beginning of Henry VIII. ending likewise in two daughters and coheirs, one of
whom married Roydon, and the other Cowland, they,
in right of their respective wives, became possessed of
it in equal shares. The former, about the latter end
of that reign, alienated his part to John Adye, gent.
of Greet, in this parish, a seat where his ancestors had
been resident ever since the reign of Edward III. for
he was descended from John de Greet, of Greet, in
this parish, who lived there in the 25th year of that
king's reign. His grandson, son of Walter, lived there
in the reign of Henry V. and assumed the name of
Adye. (fn. 4) This family bore for their arms, Azure, a fess
dancette, or, between three cherubins heads, argent, crined
of the second; which coat was confirmed by-Sir John
Segar, garter, anno 11 James I. to John Adye, esq.
of Doddington, son and heir of John Adye, esq. of
Sittingborne, and heir of John Adye, the purchaser of
the moiety of this manor.
He possessed this moiety of Downe court on his
father's death, and was resident at Sittingborne. He
died on May 9, 1612, æt. 66, and was buried in
Doddington church, leaving issue by Thomasine his
wife, daughter and coheir of Rich. Day, gent. of Tring,
in Hertsordshire, one son John, and five daughters.
John Adye, esq. the grandson of John, the first
purchaser, succeeded at length to this moiety of
Downe-court, and resided there, during which time
he purchased of the heirs of Allen the other moiety
of it, one of which name had become possessed of it
by sale from the executors of Cowland, who by his
will in 1540, had ordered it to be sold, for the payment of debts and legacies. He died possessed of the
whole of this manor and estate, in 1660, and was buried in Nutsted church, of which manor he was owner.
He left by his first wife several children, of whom
John, the eldest, died s.p. Edward, the second, was
of Barham in the reign of king Charles II. under
which parish more of him and his descendants may
be seen; (fn. 5) and Nicholas was the third son, of whom
mention will be made hereafter. By his second wife
he had Solomon, who was of East Shelve, in Lenham,
and other children.
Nicholas Adye, esq. the third son, succeeded to
Downe-court, and married Jane, daughter of Edward
Desbouverie, esq. Their eldest son, John Adye, succeeded to this manor, at which he resided till he removed to Beakesborne, at the latter end of Charles II.'s
reign, about which time he seems to have alienated it
to Creed, of Charing, in which name it continued till
it was sold to Bryan Bentham, esq. of Sheerness, who
devised it to his eldest son Edward Bentham, esq. of
the Navy-office, who bore for his arms, Quarterly, argent and gules, a cross story counterchanged; in the first
and fourth quarters, a rose, gules, seeded, or, barbed vert;
in the second and third quarters, a sun in its glory, or;
being the arms given by queen Elizabeth to Thomas
Bentham, D.D. bishop of Litchfield, on his being
preferred to that see in 1559, the antient family arms
of Bentham, of Yorkshire, being Argent, a bend between two cinquefoils, sable. Since his death this estate
has by his will become vested in trustees, to fulfil the
purposes of it.
JOHN ADYE, ESQ. gave by will in 1660, 40s. to the poor of
this parish, payable yearly out of Capel hill, in Leysdown,
the estate of Samuel-Elias Sawbridge, esq.
AN UNKNOWN PERSON gave 20s. per annum, payable out
of an estate in Doddington, late belonging to the earl of Essingham, and now to the Rev. Francis Dodsworth.
TEN SHILLINGS are paid yearly at Christmas, to the poor
of this parish, by the lessee of the parsonage by the reservation
in his lease.
THE REV. MR. SOMERCALES, vicar of this parish, by his
will gave an Exchequer annuity of 14l. to be applied to the instructing of poor children in the Christian religion.
FORTY HILLINGS are payable yearly at Michaelmas, out
of a field formerly called Pyding, now St.John Shotts, belonging to Alured Pinke, esq. towards the repair of the church.
A PERSON UNKNOWN gave for the habitation of three poor
persons, a house, now containing three dwellings.
The poor constantly relieved are about forty-five.
DODDINGTON is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the dioceseof Canterbury, and deanry
The church, which is dedicated to St. John Baptist, consists of a body and chancel, with a chapel or
chantry on the south side of it, belonging to the Sharsted estate. At the west end is a low pointed steeple,
in which are six bells. About the year 1650, the
steeple of this church was set on fire by lightning, and
much damaged. In this church are memorials for the
Swalman's, Nicholson's of Homestall, and the Norton's, and in the south, or Sharsted chancel, there is
a black marble of an antique form, and on a fillet of
brass round the verge of it, in old French capitals,
Hic Jacet Ricardus de Saherstada, with other letters
now illegible, and memorials for the Bourne's and
The church of Doddington was antiently esteemed
as a chapel to the church of Tenham, as appears by
the Black Book of the archdencon, and it was given
and appropriated with that church and its appendages, in 1227, by archbishop Stephen Langton, to
the archdeaconry. It has long since been independent of the church of Tenham, and still continues
appropriated to the archdeacon, who is likewise patron
of the vicarage of it.
Richard Wethershed, who succeded archbishop
Langton in 1229, confirmed the gift of master Girard,
who whilst he was rector of the church of Tenham,
granted to the chapel of Dudintune, that the tithes of
twenty acres of the assart of Pidinge should be taken
for the use of this chapel for ever, to be expended by
the disposition of the curate, and two or three parishioners of credit, to the repairing of the books, vestments, and ornaments necessary to the chapel. (fn. 6)
It is valued in the king's books at fifteen pounds,
and the yearly tenths at 1l. 10s. In the visitation of
archdeacon Harpsfield, in 1557, this vicarage was returned to be of the value of twelve pounds; parishioners sixty, housholders thirty-two.
In 1569, at the visitation of archbishop Parker, it
was returned, that the chapel of Doddington used to
be let to farm for forty pounds, and sometimes for
less; that there were here communicants one hundred
and thirteen, housholders thirty-five. In 1640 the
vicarage was valued at thirty pounds; communicants
one hundred and seven.
Archdeacon Parker, at the instance of archbishop
Sancrost, by lease, anno 27 Charles II. reserved an additional pension of ten pounds per annum to the vicar.
It pays no procurations to the archdeacon. It is now
a discharged living in the king's books.
Church of Doddington.
|Or by whom presented.|
|The Archdeacon of Canterbury.||John Baker, A.M. May 7,
1585, obt. March 1, 1615. (fn. 7) |
|Osmund Clutting, A.B. April 19,
1615, resigned 1619.|
|Nathaniel Chambers, A.B. Aug.
|William Dunbar, A.M. July 30,
|Daniel Somerscales, A.M. June
9, 1694, obt. June 20, 1737. (fn. 8) |
|Henry Shove, A.M. 1737, obt.
Dec. 8, 1771. (fn. 9) |
|Henry Shove, A.M. Oct. 31,
1772, obt. June 10, 1773. (fn. 10) |
|Francis Dodsworth, A.M. Dec.
31, 1773, the present vicar. (fn. 11) |