THE next parish south-westward is Barson, alias
Barfriston, which latter is its proper and antient name;
being written in the survey of Domesday, Barfrestone,
but for the sake of contraction it has been of late both
called and written by the former name of Barson only.
There is but one borough in this parish, viz. the borough of Barson, which contains the whole parish; the
borsholder for which is chosen at the petty sessions, held
for this division of the lath of St. Augustine.
BARSON lies on the open hilly downs, with which
this neighbourhood much abounds; they are in like
manner for the most part arable, the soil upon the hills
is chalky and not over fertile; in the valleys it is inclined to clay, and of course better land, though still of
a coarse nature. The court-lodge and church are nearly
in the middle of the parish, which has in it, including
the street, only twelve houses, and contains about 470
acres of land. This parish as well as its vicinity is exceedingly healthy, and has been already-noticed under
Coldred. Instances of longevity here are very frequent
and as remarkable, for in 1700 the minister resident
in this parish was buried at the age of 96. The minister who preached the funeral sermon was 82. The
reader of the service was 87. The parish clerk was the
same age, but then absent. The sexton 86, and his
wife about 80, and several of the neighbouring parish
of Coldred, who attended at the funeral, were above
100 years old; and in the year 1722 there were in
this small parish, which consisted only of fifty-eight souls,
nine persons, whose ages made 636 years.
At the southern boundary of the parish are a great
number of Roman tumuli, or barrows, which adjoin
the lines of entrenchments at the end of Eythorne pa
rish, all of which have already been noticed under
Shebbertswell before, in which parish most of them lie.
There is no fair.
There was in king Henry III.'s reign a family resident here, who took their name from it; one of whom,
Amicia de Barfreston, was a benefactor to the priory of
Davington, as appears by the ledger book of it.
AT THE TIME of taking the survey of Domesday,
in the 15th year of the Conqueror's reign, this place
was part of the possessions of Odo, the great bishop of
Baieux, the king's half-brother, under the general title
of whose lands it is thus entered in it:
In Estrea lath. In Estre hundred, Ralph de Curbespine holds of the bishop, one yoke in Barfrestone. There
one very poor woman pays three pence and one farthing.
This yoke is, and was worth separately ten shillings.
Rannulf de Colubels holds there one yoke, which has
been scotted in Hardes and to this time is not scotted to
the king's tax.
On the confiscation of the bishop's estates, which
happened on his disgrace, about four years afterwards,
this at Barfriston appears to be among the lands which
were granted for the defence of Dover castle, to Hugh
de Port, and with other lands, made up together the
barony of Port, being held by barony of that castle,
by the service of performing ward there, for the defence of it.
After which it was held of his descendant, John de
St. John, in king Henry III.'s reign, by a family named
Wyborne; one of whom, John de Wyborne, held it
in king Edward II.'s reign; but before the 20th of
king Edward III. this name was extinct here; for it
appears then to have been alienated from them, and in
the tenure of different persons; one of whom, John
de Monynham, seems to have held that part of Wyborne's estate, which comprehended the manor of Batfriston, which after the heirs of Moningham had deserted their patrimony here, was alienated about the
latter end of king Henry VI.'s reign, to Sir Thomas
Browne, of Beechworth castle, comptroller of the
houshold, and in his descendants the property of it continued down to Sir Thomas Browne, of the same place,
whose lands were disgavelled by the acts of the 1st and
8th of Elizabeth; not long after the latter year of
which he alienated it to Mr. Thomas Boys, of Eythorne, who afterwards removed hither, and dying possessed of it in 1599, was buried in this church. His
eldest son Thomas, was of Hoad, and inherited this
manor, which his eldest son John Boys, gent. of Hoad,
sold at the latter end of king Charles the 1st.'s reign,
to Anthony Percival, of Dover, comptroller of the
customs there, who died in 1646, and lies buried at
Denton, in whose heirs this manor continued, till it was
at length sold to Major Richard Harvey, who was of
Elmington, in Eythorne first, and afterwards of Danecourt; his grandson, Mr. Richard Harvey, gent was
of Barson, and having pulled down the antient mansion
of this manor, handsomely rebuilt it, and afterwards
resided here. He married Elizabeth Nicholls, of Barham, by whom he has had seven sons and six daughters; of the former, Richard the eldest, now of Ramsgate, was vicar of St. Laurence, and is now of Eastry,
and married Judith Matson, by whom he has a son Richard, now vicar of St. Laurence, who married Miss
Wade, by whom he has one only son Richard. Henry
the second son, is an admiral of the royal navy, and of
Walmer, who married Elizabeth, daughter of Wm.
Boys, esq. lieutenant-governor of Greenwich hospital,
by whom he has had four sons and one daughter.
John, the third son, was likewise a captain in the royal
navy, and of Heronden, who died in July 1794, at
Portsmouth, of the wounds he received in the glorious
naval fight against the French, on June the 1st preceding, which prevented the king's intention of making
him an admiral, as a reward for his gallant behaviour
in it. He left four sons and four daughters; of the
former, Henry Wife, esq. the eldest, is now of Heronden, and John is a captain in the navy. Of the daughters,
Mary married Wm. Boteler, esq. now of Eastry, and
Fanny married Robert Curling, surgeon, of Sandwich,
Elizabeth died young, and Sarah. Of the younger
sons of Mr. Richard Harvey, of Barson, by Elizabeth
Nicholls, Thomas the fourth son is living, but s. p.
and Samuel, the sixth son, is of Sandwich, brewer.
Of the daughters, Frances, Margaret married to Thomas Freeman, clerk, rector of St. Martin's, and vicar
of St. Paul's, in Canterbury; Elizabeth to William
Wyborn Bradley, brewer, of Sandwich; and Sarah to
John Tucker, clerk, late of Shinglewell, and rector of
Gravesend and Luddenham, in this county. (fn. 1) But to
return to Mr. Richard Harvey, who after residing here
some time, at length in 1792 alienated this estate to
John Plumptre, esq. of Fredville, the present owner
of it. (fn. 2)
HARTANGER, written in Domesday, Hertange, is a
small manor in this parish, which, at the time of taking
that survey, was part of the possessions of the bishop of
of Baieux, under the general title of whose lands it is
thus entered in it:
Radulf, son of Robert, holds of the bishop Hertange.
It was taxed at one suling. The arable land is . . . . . In
demesne there is one carucate, and five villeins, with two
borderers, having two carucates. In the time of king Edward the Confessor, it was worth forty shillings, and afterwards ten shillings, now sixty shillings. Eddid held it
of king Edward.
Four years after taking this survey, the bishop's
estates, on his disgrace, were confiscated; upon which
this manor of Hartangre came into the hands of the
crown; whence it was afterwards granted to Simon
Fitz-Adam, by whom it was held by knight's service,
by barony, of Dover castle, by the service of ward for
the space of fifteen days, for the defence of it.
Of Simon Fitz-Adam and his heir Adam Fitzwilliam, this manor was afterwards held by the Pirots.
Alan Pirot died possessed of it at the latter end of
king Henry I.'s reign, and was succeeded in it by Robert Pirot, whose heir was Ingelram de Fontibus; how
long he and his heirs held it, I do not find; but at the
latter end of king Henry III. or the beginning of king
Edward I.'s reign, William de Hartanger held it.
After him it became the estate of Robert de Hardres,
as may be seen by the book of knight's fees, and he
held it by knight's service of the honor of Clare. In
the 8th year of the next reign of king Edward II. his
next successor in it was Reginald de Tondresley; how
long it continued in that name does not appear; but
at the latter end of king Henry VI.'s reign it was come
into the possession of Sir Thomas Browne, of Beechworth-castle, whose descendant of the same name, in
the beginning of queen Elizabeth's reign, passed it
away to Francis Santon, esq. whose son and heir Francis
Santon alienated it soon afterwards to Edward Merriweather, second son of Edward, of Shebbertswell, who
resided here, and dying possessed of it in 1621, anno
20 James I. was buried in this church, and in his descendants it continued, till at length about the middle
of the last century, it was sold to Pot, and Mr. William
Pot, citizen and apothecary, of London, gave it by his
will in 1691, with other lands in this county, to trustees
and their survivors, in trust, for them to pay two hundred pounds per annum, out of the rents and profits of
them, to Christ's hospital, and the remaining produce
of them to the hospital of Bethlem, in London; in
which trust this manor continues vested at this time. (fn. 3)
It appears by the register of Ledes abbey, that Sibilla de Watemle gave to the priory of Ledes, in free
and perpetual alms, inter alia, the tithe of Hartangre,
which gift was confirmed by archbishop Theobald, in
the reign of king Stephen.
There are no parochial charities. The poor constantly or casually relieved are not more than one or
two at most.
THIS PARISH is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese of Canterbury, and deanry of
The church, which is dedicated to St. Mary, is a
small building of great antiquity; the outside is curiously adorned with carve-work in stone, with circular
arches and windows, especially at the east end; the west
end has a fine circular arch with Saxon ornaments and
zig-zag border; and in the inside is another like arch
between the body and chancel. This church, so well
known to every lover of antiquity, of which so many
engravings have been made, is a most curious specimen
of Anglo Saxon architecture. It consists of a body and
chancel, separated by a circular arch, supported by two
elegant wreathed pillars; a row of singular uncouth
heads are round the cornice; a beautiful circular window is at the east end; at the foot of the wall are two
circular arches, forming recesses, probably for places
of sepulture, and not improbably for the founders of
the church. The grand south entrance, now partly hid
by a modern porch, is most curiously sculptured with
rows of figures of various kinds. Nitches for statues
are all round the building. There is no steeple, a small
wooden turret having been taken down a few years
since. There is only one bell. In the chancel is a mural monument for Thomas Boys, gent. of Barfreston,
of the family of Fredville, obt. 1599; arms, Or, a
griffin segreant, sable, within a bordure, gules. Another
mural monument for Robert Ewell, rector and patron,
one of the six preachers of Canterbury cathedral, obt.
1638. A gravestone for George Smith, forty-one
years rector of this parish, obt. 1752. Several of the
Boy's were buried in this church. In the windows of
it were formerly these arms, viz. Azure, two bendlets,
argent, within a bordure, and the same arms without the
The advowson of this church, which is a rectory,
was antiently appendant to the manor; but in the reign
of king Henry VIII. it was become an advowson in
gross, and was in the possession of John Boys, of Denton, attorney-general to the duchy of Lancaster, who
held it by knight's service of the king, as of his castle
of Dover. His son William Boys, esq. of Denton,
sold this advowson to his kinsman Thomas Boys, of
Aythorne, and in his descendants it continued down
till the reign of king Charles I. when it was alienated
to Ewell, from one of which name it was sold to Sir
Basil Dixwell, who was possessed of it in 1640; since
which it has become part of the possessions of the president and fellows of St. John's college, in Oxford, who
are the present patrons of it.
This rectory is valued in the king's books at 7l. 14s.
it is now a discharged living of the clear yearly value of
about thirty pounds. In 1588 it was valued at sixty
shillings, and here were communicants forty. In 1640
it was valued at fifty shillings, and here were the like
number of communicants.
This rectory has been augmented by the governors
of queen Anne's bounty with 200l. and a like sum
added to it by the president and fellows of St. John's
college, with which the house, barn, and appurtenances
were new built, and a barn, stable and lands were purchased in the parish of Alkham, now of the annual rent
of thirty pounds.
There is a glebe belonging to it of seven acres, of
which one is in Nonington, but in the king's books
there is said to be ten acres of glebe land.
Church of Barson.
|Or by whom presented.|
|President, &c. of St. John's college.||George Smith, A. M. 1732, obt.
May 16, 1752. (fn. 4) |
|John Spier, S. T. P. Oct. 20,
1752, resigned 1758.|
|John Chalmers, A. M. July 15,
1758, resigned 1780.|
|John Luntley, LL. D. June 17,
1780, the present rector.|