In Doomsday-Book written Cheniston: So called, probably, from some Owner, as
most Towns of that Termination, in this County, generally are. Two Manors in it
at that Time were made the Fee of Hugh, Earl of Chester, (fn. 1) which before the
Conquest Leuvin and Richard had, and paid for them to the public Geld, as three Bov.
and an Half. The Land of them being then ten Bov. there under Earl Hugh, one
Sochm. had Half a Carucat, and nine Acres of Meadow. This in the Time of Edward the Consessor, was 30s. Value, then but 10s.
Here were also several Manors of the Land of the Taynes, one Algar had before the
Norman Invasion, which paid for three Bov. The Land was two Car. This afterwards
was held by Sauvinus of King William, and he had there two Vill. with one Plow
(or Carucat) and the Seat of a Mill, and ten Acres of Meadow. This, in the Confessor's Time, was 20s. Value, in the Conqueor's 10s. Another Manor of the
Taynland Ulchet had, and paid the Assessment to the Geld for it, as one Bov. and an
Half. The Land was one Carucat. This, when the Conqueror's Survey was made,
(fn. 2) Godric held: But the Men of the Country knew not by whom, nor how. There
was one Vill. and fix Acres of Meadow. In King Edward's Time, this was valued
at 20s. then at 3s. Of the Taynland also in Chineston, was there Soc to Radeclive, as
much as paid for one Carucat to the Tax. The Land was two Carucats. There eight
Sochm. three Villans, had three Carucats or Plows.
This Town was commonly esteemed a Member of Radcliff-upon-Sore; and the Tythes
went to the Priory of Norton, accordingly.
(fn. 3) Peter Picot, Son of Peter Picot, Lord of Ratcliff-on-Sore, gave to God and the
Church of the blessed Mary, and St. Hardulf of Bredon, in Frank Almes, two Virgats
of Land in Kingston.
(fn. 4) Half a Carucat of Land here held of Thomas Picott, 41 H. 3. was taken into
the King's Hand for a Year and a Day, being held before by one out-lawed for
(fn. 5) There was a Trial, 10 E. 1. between Peter Picot, Plaintiff, and William
Hafard, and Hawisia, his Wife, Adam le Tailour, and Robert le Irot (Jort) and their
Wives for Service of Land in Ratcliff and Kinston: But the Judgment was for the Defendants that they ought none.
(fn. 6) Thomas Hafard, aged twenty-eight Years was, 27 E. 1. found Heir of William
Hasard, who had a House and some little Land here, held of the King for 3s. 8d. (fn. 7)
Philip Hasard, aged twenty-seven Years, 2 E. 3. was certified Heir of Thomas.
William Seman, 3 E. 2. is certified to be Son and Heir of Richard. Semen, (fn. 8) who
held a Mess. and two Virgats here of the King for 14s. per Annum, and doing Homage
and Fealty to Sir Peter Picot, and the Service of 7s. per Annum, and a Pair of gilt
(fn. 9) John de Leyk is certified, 17 E. 2. to have held besides a certain Manor in Leyk,
&c. here in Kynston eight Virgats of Land, four of the Prior of St. Cuthbert's of
Durham, by the Service of 12d. and four of John de Langeton for 4s. per Annum.—
John de Leyk, his Son and Heir, being then above fifteen Years of Age.
(fn. 10) Nicholas, the Son of Adam le Taylour, was also certified, 17 E. 2. to have
held here, and in Ratcliff, the third Part of two Mess. and two Virgats of Land, of
the King in Capitc, paying 3s. 8d. yearly, by the Hands of the Sheriff. Alice, the
Daughter and Heir of the said Nicholas being then above twenty Years of Age.
(fn. 11) The Jury, 16 E. 2. said that Agnes who had been Wife of Reginald Jort, held
likewise the third Part of two Mess. and of two Virgats of Land, &c. as before,
Reginald le Jort being her Son and Heir. The Jury, the same Year, found it not to
the King's Loss, if Reginald le Jort, (fn. 12) had License to keep to himself and his Heirs,
the third Part of two Mess. and of two Virgats of Land, which he had of Alice, the
Daughter of Nicholas le Taylour, held of the King as the Manor of Ratcliff then was,
by keeping the King's Ostery (or Place for Hawks) and paying yearly 3s. 8d.
(fn. 13) Henry le Hauker, 10 E. 3. was found to have held one Mess. sixty Acres of Land
in Kinston of the King in Capite, by the Service of carrying a Falcon (Hoster, or Goshawk) before him in Winter; John le Ward, of Kinston, was then his Cousin and
Heir. This Hauker, when he died, held one Mess. four Bov. in Kinston, of Sir Peter
Pygot, then Lord of Radclyve-on-Sore; (fn. 14) but the Jury found that his Cousin and Heir,
the said Ward, held them then, viz. 12 E. 3. of Raph Basset, of Drayton.
(fn. 15) The Jury, 20 E. 3. found it not to the King's Loss, if he granted Robert, the
Son of Reginald le Jort, to hold one Mess. and one Virgat (or Yard-land) and two
Parts of another Mess. and Virgat of Land, in Kinston and Radclive-on-Sore, for finding
one to appear at the King's great Turne of Riscliss twice in the Year.
(fn. 16) Katherine, who had been Wife of William Sutton, was sound, 10 H. 6. to
have been seized of three Mess. four Score Acres of Land, four of Meadow in Kinston,
Cortlingstok, Bonington, Sutton, and Leek; Half a Mess. ten Acres of Land, and one of
Meadow, were held of the King in Capite, by petty Serjeancy: Thomas Fawkener
being her next Heir.
This Lordship was the Seat of the Babingdons, and a very fair House they had there,
but the first Note of their Interest here, that I have seen (except that on the Tombstone in Radcliff Church) is a Recovery, 1 H. 8. where Henry Sacheverell, Knt. (fn. 17)
Thomas Babington, John Port, and Raph Sacheverell, Claim against Anthony Babington, two Mess. one Hundred and sixty Acres of Land, twenty of Meadow, ten of
Pasture, and 16s. 8d. Rent; with the Appurtenances in Kinston, and Ratcliff-upon-Sore,
who called to Warrant John Bonington.
I have seen a Copy of a Deed, bearing Date the 20th of Feb. 8 Eliz. between John
Lord Darcy, of Aston, in the County of York, and Henry Babington, of Dethick, in
the County of Darby, Esq. in which the said Henry covenants to levy a Fine before the
Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, then next ensuing, to the said Lord
Darcy, and Sir Thomas Metham, of the Manors of Dethick and Leichurch, and his
Lands in Coleaston, Tennesley, Draynefield, Wassington, Workesworth, Radburn, Heige,
Asheover, Plaistowe, Wheatcrost, Pingston, Bredon, and Tongue, and the Moiety of the
Manor of Norton, in the County of Darby, and of the Manor of Kinston, in the County
of Nottingham, and his Lands in Kinston, Goteham, Alsworth, Marneham, Normanton,
Osberton, Bilby, Ranby, and Mattersey, and the Rectory of Marneham, and the Presentment for the third Turn to the Rectory of Gotham, in this County: All which, or most
of them, where thereby intailed on the Heirs Males of him the said Henry Babington
begotten, and to be begotten on the Body of Mary, his then Wife, Sister of the said
This Manor, in the Reign of Queen Elizabeth, by the Attainder of Anthony
Babington, for Treason, and the unthristiness of Francis Babington his Brother, afterwards came to the Hands of Gilbert, late of Earl Shrowsbury, and by his Daughter the
Countess of Kent, was sold to the Lady Hide. The whole Lordship hath been long inclosed, and much depopulated, and was lately Sir Thomas Hide's.
There is a Tomb in the Chapel of some Curiosity of Stone-work, on which are very
many Coats of Arms, but no Inscription, chiefly Babington impaling most other Families, named in the following Pedigree, which therefore is net amiss to be inferted.
THIS Lordship contains 1100 acres of old inclosed land, divided into 3 farms, exclusive of some patches of home ground, attached to some inferior dwellings: It belongs
chiefly to the Duke of Leeds, who is lord of the manor. The soil in the upper part of
the lordship is clayey; but towards the Soar it is of a light sand, and appears good
grazing ground. This lordship has been in the hands of the Osborne family, by marriage, ever since it was in the possession of Sir Thomas Hyde, mentioned by Thoroton.
The village contains about 30 dwellings. To Mr. John Stokes, a reputable inhabitant here, I am under obligations on my visit to this place. Here was formerly a large
manor-house: the fence wall which remains is of considerable substance, and is extensive. A gateway of stone is also remaining. This house was the abode of the Babington's.
The Chapel has two aisles, two bells and a steeple of the most ancient stile of building.
(Plate 6. fig. 10.) The tomb mentioned by Thoroton above is curious, more on
account of the labor of the artist, than for his refined taste. The arch, and the pillars
which support it, are adorned with upwards of 200 small heads. Underneath
the arch there once, doubtless, lay a figure or figures, in full proportion, which
have been long removed by the hand of timé. This part of the church, and chancel
where the tomb was erected, indicates old age; and is now become a dwelling for birds:
They sit near the altar and sing, and scatter their dung so plentifully, that I could
scarcely find a place, on the communion table, to lay my book. The floor, in some
places, is intollerable. Here only is one solitary grave-stone; it is for a female of the
name of Berridge. In the window of the chancel is some old carved work done in the
same stile, and of an age with the tomb; in the centre of which is carved DEUS.
The Babingtons long resided here, in former times; but at the downfall of Mary
Queen of Scots, whose cause they espoused, they fell from opulence by the hand of
power: Anthony Babington, who resided here, taking an active part in the cause of that
unfortunate Queen, was executed for high treason, in the reign of Elizabeth.
The earliest Register begins in 1657. The five first years Bap. 21, buried 18. The
last five years Bap. 18, buried 13. Decreased bap. 3, burials 5.
Patron of the living the Duke of Leeds. Incumbent Rev. Mr. Collier, of Aston, in
Bacon. Certified value 14l. I am informed, by a neighbouring Gentleman, that it
does not amount to more than 18l. per annum; and that Kingston parished to Ratcliff,
prior to the building of the chancel by the Babingtons. There is now a small annual
allowance paid from this place to Ratcliff-upon-Soar.