The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 10. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1800.
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STONAR is the last parish to be described in this island; it lies adjoining southward to St. Laurence, on a peninsula, surrounded on the west, south and east, by the waters of the river Stour; and indeed by the new cut lately made at the northern part of it, is now entirely separated from the island of Thanet, and is become, in some measure, an island of itself. This place was written Eastanore and Eastanores, in antient records, which name signifies the eastern border, shore, or coast. Thus that double shore, famous the one for Cymene's, the other for Cerdice's landing there, is, in our elder historians, Ethelwerd and Florence, of Worcester, written Cymenes Oran, and Cerdices Oran. (fn. 1) Some have supposed it to have been so called for distinction sake, from another parish in this county, near Faversham, but westward of it, upon the sea coast, simply called Ore, which formerly belonged likewise to the abbot of St. Augustine, as this Ore did. In the time of king Edward I. the tenants, or inhabitants of Stonar withdrew themselves from the protection of the abbot of St. Augustine, the lord of this place, and united themselves to the port of Sandwich; and it is enumerated among the members of that port, in an ordimance of king Henry III in the year 1229. This occasioned many legal disputes between the abbot and the people of Stonar, and between the abbot and the corporation of Sandwich, the latter of whom undoubtedly did, till very lately, exercise jurisdiction in Stonar, which is mentioned as within the jurisdiction of the cinque ports, and a member of the town of Sandwich, and as having been immemorially so time out of mind in the charters of king James and king Charles II. (fn. 2) and it is mentioned as a member of Sandwich in all the most antient records of the cinque ports in the tower and elsewhere, and it was always accounted so till the year 1771, when the mayor acting as coroner within the parish of Stonar, a motion was made against him in the court of king's bench, at the instigation of lord viscount Dudley, proprietor of the manor of Stonar, and in 1773, at a common assembly held at Sandwich, it was agreed that judgment upon record should be forthwith entered up in the court of king's bench, confesting that Stonar was not within the jurisdiction of Sandwich, but in the county at large, and that 100l. be paid for lord Dudley's costs and expences. (fn. 3) Since which this place has been totally detached from Sandwich and the cinque ports, and is now esteemed to be in the hundred of Ringslow, and within the jurisdiction of the justices of the county at large.
STONAR was in the time of the Saxons of much greater account than it has been at any time since; the increasing prosperity of the opposite port of Sandwich, and the change in the river Wantsume, with some other casual misfortunes, occasioned the early ruin of it. In the time of the Romans, this place, as well as the rest of the flat country adjoining to Richborough, was entirely covered with water and made part of that haven. Camden and Dr. Plot were of opinion, that the Portus Rutupensis was rather at Stonar, having a high ridge of beach lying before it, which was certainly brought thither by the flowing up of the sea, this being then the sea shore and port where ships lay which came ad urbem Rutupiæ, which lay higher up, as Topsham does to Exeter, and Edinburgh does to the port of Leith. (fn. 4)
Most of our antiquaries and historians have, by common consent, joined in placing the Lapis Tituli of Nennius, so noted for Vortimer's intended monument, and for his last encounter with the Saxons, at this place of Stonar; but in this they seem to have been led more by the resemblance of the name, that of Lapis Tituli in Latin, and Stonar in English, founding not much unlike. Nennius, cap. 45 and 46, tells us, there were three battles fought by Vortimer with the Saxons, and says Tertium bellum in campo juxta Lapidem Tituli qui est super ripam Gallici marie statutum; and a little further, Ante mortem suam ad familiam suam animadvertit ut illius sepulchrum in portu ponerent a quo exirent (hostes) super maris ripam. In this description Nennius by no means places it in Thanet, where and at this place of Stonar, had this third battle been fought, the author who mentions those former like encounters in Thanet, would not have gone to a new description of the place in this unwonted new expression without mention made of Thanet at all. (fn. 5) Indeed the seeming agreement of the name falls to the ground, when it is considered that it was constantly written Eastanores, till long after the Norman conquest; and besides, that this place being a low and flat level, but lately covered with water, and still apt to inundations, was surely a very unfit place for erecting an eminent and conspicuous monument, which was intended to be visible to a remote distance; a design which required the advantage of a losty situation.
Kilburne and Lewis tells us, that antiently this town was not within the island of Thanet, but one entirely of itself, being encompassed all round by the sea and the æstuary called the Wantsume; and that the mouth of the Richborough port was, after the waters of it had contracted themselves into narrower bounds between this place of Stonar and Ebbsfleete, northward of it, where the Wantsume ran into the sea, till by the sands this channel was choaked up.
At which time, to inn the lands, says Lewis, and the better to secure them from being overflown by the sea at spring tides, walls were cast up here which are still visible, and are now the road-way from Cliffend and Ebbsfleet to Sandwich; but these walls are no proof of this, but seem to have been thrown up not on account of this supposed channel, but to secure the lands northward of them from the spring tides and casual inundations from them. However, to preserve them, it was ordered, so late as anno 1283, in a composition between the abbot of St. Augustine and the prior of Christchurch, that no one of the community of Stonore or Sandwich, should for the future gather or carry away any stone or sea beach, in the walls between Stonore and Clyvesende, nor should take up ballast for their ships, but in the sea in the common floods betwixt the highest and lowest water.
From the advantage of its situation, after the waters had deserted Hepesflete, now called Ebbsfleet, for some time the common landing-place in the island of Thanet, situated northward from Stonar, this place succeeded to it, and became a town and port likewise of considerable note. At this port, St. Augustine and his followers are said to have landed in the year 597, and to have remained till sent for by king Ethelbert; though by others, and with much more probability, at Ebbsfleet, as has been mentioned before. Here Turkill, the Dane, is said to have landed in the year 1009, and to have fought the English, and afterwards to have burnt the town; and the author of the life of queen Emma says, that being arrived in the port of Sandwich, he drew up his army in order of battle against the English, at a place called Scoraston; but what else, says Dr. Battely, in his Antiq. Rutupiæ, is Scoraston, than by transposition Eastanscore; and Eastanscore and Estanore, those skilful in the Saxon language know to be the same. The town was, however, not long afterwards rebuilt, and notwithstanding the increasing prosperity of its opposite rival, remained a port sometime after the Norman conquest, as appears by Thorn's Chronicle, who says, that in the year 1090, the Londoners claimed the lordship, or seignory, of Stonar, as a sea port subject to that city, against the abbot of St. Augustine, his men and homagers.
In the last year of king John, anno 1216, Lewis, the dauphin of France, landed here, where having refreshed his army he marched to Sandwich, where he was joined by the rebellious barons of his party, (fn. 6)
In the reign of king Edward I. there was a great inundation of the sea here, to enquire into the cause of which, and to prevent the like in future, there was a so lemn inquisition taken at this place, by commissioners appointed by the king for that purpose. There was a John de Stonore, who was appointed in the 14th year of king Edward II. one of the justices of the common pleas, in the room of John Bacun; and another of the same name, who was one of the friars preachers, and an eminent divine in the year above-mentioned, and had, together with Robert de Brayorock, and Robert de Hattcombe, brothers likewise of the same order, the king's safe conduct, on their intentions to go and preach the gospel to the Saracens.
King Edward III. on Oct. II, in his 33d year, anno 1359, lodged here at Stonar, in a house formerly Robert Goviere's, and was attended by many of his nobles and great men, then waiting to embark at Sandwich for foreign parts; on which day the chancellor in the king's chamber delivered up the great seal, and had another delivered to him to use during the king's absence. He staid here till the 28th, when he embarked before sun-rise, and with his nobility and other attendants set sail for Calais. In the 39th year of the same reign, there happened hereabouts another terrible inundation of the sea for the space of above three miles in length, from Clivesend to Stonore; insomuch that the town of Stonore was almost destroyed by it; and it was feared that unless some speedy assistance could be had, all the low lands or marshes in the hundreds of Ryngesloe, Wyngham, Preston, and Downhamford; that is, all the levels from the sea to Wyngham, Canterbury, &c. would be overflowed. Wherefore the king commissioned Sir Ralph Spigurnel, constable of Dover castle, and others, to enquire into the true state of this matter, and to endeavour to secure the houses, lands, &c.
But what is said to have been the entire ruin of this town, was the firing of it by the French, in the 9th year of king Richard II. anno 1385, who being invited over by the treachery of Sir Simon de Burley, constable of Dover castle and lord warden of the cinque ports, to invade the kingdom, first plundered, and afterwards set this town on fire and burnt it Of this attempt it seems the abbot of St. Augustine had intelligence, and accordingly got his tenants together at Northbourne, and marched with them armed to the relief of his other tenants in this island. But coming to Sandwich, he was by the lord warden's order refused a free passage into the island, and so was forced to march round by Fordwich and Sturry, and come into the island at Sarre. This taking up a good deal of time, gave opportunity to the enemy to execute their design; but no sooner had they an account of the abbot's coming against them but they retired to their ships, and left the rest of the island untouched. (fn. 7) Some of the foundations of the buildings destroyed as above-mentioned, were remaining not many years ago, and the traces of them are still visible among the corn.
After this the town of Stonar never recovered its former state, and the waters having forsook this place, it remained no longer a port, but became insignificant and almost desolated, the remaining inhabitants consisting of a few fishermen, and lookers after the cattle and husbandry business of it.
Leland, in his Itinerary, vol. vii. p. 127, gives this account of it in king Henry VIII.'s time: "Stonard," says he, "ys yn Thanet, sumtyme a prety town not far from Sandwich. Now appereth alonly the ruine of the chirch. Sum ignorant people cawle yt Old Sandwiche."
At present there are three houses in it, only one of which is situated where the town of Stonar antiently stood; about twenty rods from which, near the road, on a little rising bank, stood the church, of which there are now no remains left above ground. Some salt works have been lately carried on here, of a curious construction. The process for the making of the salt is thus: the sea water is drawn, during the summer months, into broad shallow pans of great extent, where having continued until its watery particles have been exhaled by the sun, it is conveyed into large boilers and chrystalized in the usual manner by evaporation. The salt thus prepared, is found to partake of the qualities of bay salt, and to answer all its purposes; having this advantage, that being perfectly transparent, it excels it in the beauty of its appearance.
This parish is very small, being about two miles from north to south, and about one mile at the broadest from east to west. It is encircled on three sides by the river Stour; and on the north by a cut across the land, in length about a quarter of a mile, from one part of the river Stour to the opposite one, having proper flood gates across it, to be worked at certain times only, according to the direction of the act of parliament, passed in 1775, for the purpose of draining more effectually those levels adjoining the river Stour, usually called the General Vallies, and for other purposes. The passing of this act was opposed strenuously by the mayor, jurats, and people of Sandwich, at a very great expence, on a supposition that the new made cut would in process of time be a means of diverting the channel of the river Stour entirely from the town of Sandwich, and so become the total ruin of it, an event far from being improbable.
At the south end of this parish was a ferry over the river Stour, which belonged to St. Bartholomew's hospital; in lieu of which, a bridge was built in 1755, by an act passed for that purpose; a full account of which has already been given under Sandwich.
The high road from Sandwich over this bridge, crosses this parish northward. The appearance of the whole of it is very inhospitable and dreary; the middle of it is covered with sea-beach. It is nearly a flat, without a tree to shelter it, and consists, almost all of it, of a continued level of marshes, much of which is bounded by the ouze of the sea adjoining to it, and consequently it is much subject to intermittent severs, and is a very unhealthy situation.
THE MANOR OF STONAR, which was part of the antient possessions of the abbot and convent of St. Augustine, and was given to it by king Cnute, some little time before he gave Sandwich to the priory of Christchurch; and this grant was afterwards confirmed by king William Rufus, who granted to St. Augustine and abbot Wido, that they should in future enjoy all their rights and customs at Eastanores. (fn. 8)
In the year 1090, being the fourth of the above reign, there was a great dispute between the citizens of London, and the abbot and his tenants of Stonore, the former claiming the seignory of this place as a sea port, subject to that city; but the king favouring the abbot, it was adjudged by the justices, that no one in future should claim any thing here, but that abbot Wido and his convent should possess this land and the whole shore to the middle of the water, freely and quietly, without any dispute whatsoever; and that the abbot should freely posses all rights and customs belonging to this manor, and upon this judgment there were duplicate charters of the same king; (fn. 9) and it was confirmed afterwards by the several charters of king Henry I. king Stephen, king John, (fn. 10) and king Henry III. which charter of king William Rufus first before-mentioned, granting that the abbot should hold firmly and honorably all his rights and customs at Eastanores, as well in the water as the land, was confirmed by Edward III. in his 36th year, by his letters of inspeximus.
In the year 1104, anno 11 Henry I. the abbot obtained the grant of a fair, to be held yearly within his manor of Stonar, for five days together, before and after the feast of the translation of St. Augustine, which was on May 26; and king John in his 5th year granted to the abbot and his successors the privileges of a market at Stanores, with all customs, forfeitures, and pleas belonging to it; which king Richard I. in his 5th year likewise confirmed. About which time and afterwards there subsisted continual quarrels between the abbot and convent of St. Augustine, and the prior and convent of the Holy Trinity, afterwards Christ-church, in Canterbury, respecting their possession, maritime customs, and various other rights at Stonar, Sandwich, and other neighbouring places; to compromise and put an end to which, they entered into a composition in 1242, anno 27 Henry III. by which the abbot and monks, and the prior and chapter of Canterbury, agreed, inter alia, that the prior, &c. should have all their maritime customs in the haven of Sandwich, on both sides of the river agreeable to the tenor of their charters, as they used to have; allowing, however, to the abbot, &c. their accustomed rule and usages in Stanores, and their lands there; and all their usual maritime customs appendant, granted by charters to their possessions beyond Hennebrigge, towards Clivesende, Ramesgate, Margate, Westgate, and other places in Thanet; and the prior and chapter permitted the abbot and convent, with their proper domestics, to pass free of expence in the ferry boat over the river; but that this privilege should not extend to their tenants. (fn. 11)
The abbot of St. Augustine had a court here, wherein he claimed a right of judging and punishing in cases of life and death; but the exercise of this jurisdiction was not, it seems, at all pleasing to the men of Stonar; they therefore refused to hold their lands and tenements in Stonar, of the barony of the abbot, and the better to defend themselves against him, they had united themselves to the port of Sandwich; but the king then took the abbot's part and gave the cause for him, from which time they were Intendentes Abbati, though it seems very unwillingly; for in the year 1266, the men of Stonore and Sandwich, through malice to the abbot, burnt two water-mills belonging to him, one at Stonore and the other at Hepesfleete.
A Fleming having been murdered by some of his country men upon the sea shore at Stonar, above highwater mark, in 1270, the abbot's bailiff there made pursuit after the murderers, and finding the brother of the deceased and four of his friends with the body in the ville of Stonar, he apprehended them and committed them to prison; three days after there was a court held here, by the abbot's steward, before whom they were arraigned of the murder, and pleading not guilty, they put themselves for trial upon the ville of Stonore; upon which Simon Wigbert, the mayor of Sandwich, with many others of that place, came into court and demanded the prisoners for trial at the hundred court of Sandwich, alledging that the abbot neither had, nor ought to have any such count or privilege of trying offenders, and that whatever he did of that sort must be to the prejudice of the prior of Christ-church, and of the community of Sandwich. To whom it was replied, that the abbot could do no injury to the prior in this business, because, before the prior had any right in Sandwich, the abbot of St. Augustine had Stonar, with all its liberties, by gift and grant of sundry kings of England, and by confirmation of the then king, to hold it as freely as any king had held it heretofore; and it was further set forth, that it had been already settled between the two churches by composition, that the land above high water mark towards Stonar was to belong to the abbot; and the community was told that the abbot did not wish to do any thing contrary to the liberty of Sandwich, being himself a com-baron of that place, and their peer; and it was requested of them, not to obstruct or disturb him in the exercise of those privileges which he had been used of right to enjoy in Stonar. Upon this the clamour abated, and the men of Stonar were charged to make diligent enquiry, and to bring in a true verdict, who acquitted the prisoners; and the steward made proclamation accordingly. (fn. 12)
In the 8th year of king Edward I. the abbot made complaint that the Stonore men had united themselves to the port of Sandwich; and on a dispute concerning the pasturage of certain sheep in the abbot's marsh, had abused his servants, who had attempted to impound them; upon complaint of which, the king directed his writ to Stephen de Pencestre and John de Lovetot, to enquire into the premises by a jury of knights, &c. to be impannelled by the sheriff; who gave it for the abbot, viz. that the town of Stonore was of the foreign, and no member of the cinque ports, and gildable to the king; they likewise set a fine of forty shillings upon the men for their assault and bat tery; and forty shillings more for default of suit and service to the abbot; not long after which king Edward granting a new charter to Sandwich, Stonore claimed again to be a member of that port, and offered to maintain one of the five vessels allotted to be found by that port at their own proper charges, whenever Sandwich should be summoned to man out their ships; but this it seems was not then granted.
About this time the mayor of Sandwich and others were attached by Robert de Stokho, sheriff of Kent, to answer to a plea of trespass for assaulting the sheriff's bailiff, on an execution of the king's writ within Stonore; some pleaded to the jurisdiction and refused to answer, except in the court of Shipway; but all of them failed in their desence and were committed to gaol. (fn. 13)
In a composition between Nicholas, abbot, and the convent of St. Augustine, and the men of Stonar and Sandwich, in the year 1283, under the mediation of Stephen de Penchester and Roger de Northwood, it was agreed that the men of Stonore should acknowledge to hold all their tenements in Stonore of the abbot and convent, and their successors, paying to them their due services in fealty, rent, relief, suits of court, and other due customs, and that they should be amenable to the abbot's court; and that the abbot and convent should exercise all jurisdiction in Stonore, the same as was granted by the royal charters.
On the other hand, the tenants of Stonore and their heirs, being mariners or merchants, and engaged at sea or elsewhere in traffic, should not be fined for non-attendance at the abbot's court, whilst so engaged, from the date of the summons till the court was ended, unless they themselves pleaded, or were impleaded; provided nevertheless, that the rest of the tenants, when duly summoned, should come to the court at Menstre in person, or by essoiner or attorney of the court; that the tenants of Stonore residing there might feed their own sheep, but not other people's, in the abbot's marsh within Hennebergh, paying annually for the herbage, on the eve of St. John Baptist, at the rate of a farthing a head; but out of Hennebergh they might not claim pasturage. The abbot and convent and their successors might likewise feed their sheep in the same marsh, and erect mills and other buildings at pleasure; and if they should think proper to inclose the marsh or any part of it, the tenants then should have no pasturage in such inclosure; but if the wall of such inclosed ground should be thrown down by the sea, the tenants should have pasturage as before. None of the commonalty, either of Stonore or Sandwich, should hereafter enter upon the abbot's marsh, for the purpose of digging there, or of carrying away the soil from thence without his consent; nor should any of them collect and carry away the beach from the sea-walls between Stonore and Clyvesende; nor take lastage of ships, except in the common stream, between the times of high and low water; nor should any of them thereafter, on any account, presume to obstruct the abbot's bailiffs at Stonore, or prevent the abbot from doing justice upon his tenants at Stonore, and other offenders, and collecting his customs there; that such distresses as the abbot's bailiff should levy in Stonore, and in the marsh within Hennebergh, should remain in the marsh and not be driven away; for which concession of the abbot, the other party should pay one hundred marcs, but by the intercession of the bishop of Wells, he consented to take only ten casks of wine, of the value of thirty marcs. (fn. 14)
Notwithstanding the various verdicts and judgments from time to time given, that this place was within the abbot's barony, and the jurisdiction of the county, yet the men of Stonar, as it appears, chose rather to be subject to that of the mayor of Sandwich, (which Thorne terms a yoke of slavery) thinking it a much easier one than that which the abbots would have had them wear; the usages and several powers claimed by the mayor of Sandwich, are recited at large by the other chronicler.
In a manuscript register of this abbey, now in the possession of the dean and chapter of Canterbury, the tenants of Stonar seem to have been at this time acknowledged by the convent as portsmen; and it appears to have been a custom for every man in Stonore to give the bailiff a bridle upon his marriage, or sixpence in lieu of it.
King Henry VI. confirmed to the abbot the former grant of a market at Stonar, by two several charters. (fn. 15)
The manor of Stonar, with its appurtenances, remained part of the possessions of the abbot and convent of St. Augustine, till the general dissolution of it in the 30th year of king Henry VIII. when it came into the hands of the crown, where it staid till the 4th and 5th year of king Philip and queen Mary, when it was granted, together with the appendant advowson of the church, to Nicholas Crispe, esq. for life, with the reversion to his brother John Crispe, in fee, whose only son Sir Henry Crispe, of Quekes, dying s. p. in 1648, it went by his will to his first-cousin Henry Crispe, esq. of Quekes, (son of his uncle Henry). He was usually calledBonjour Crispe, as having, when carried away to France, and kept prisoner there, spoken no other words than those in the French language. (fn. 16) He died possessed of it in 1663, without surviving male issue, when this manor came by the entail made of it, to his nephew Thomas Crispe, (eldest son of his next brother Thomas Crispe, of Goudhurst) afterwards of Quekes, where he died in 1680, leaving four daughters his co heirs, the eldest of whom, Maria-Adriana, married to Richard Breton, esq. of the Elmes, in Hougham, entitled him to her fourth part of this estate; and he afterwards having bought the shares of the other three sisters and coheirs, became possessed of the whole fee of it, which he afterwards alienated to Sir Geo. Rooke, of St. Laurence, near Canterbury, vice-admiral of England, and privy-counsellor. He died possessed of this manor in 1709, leaving by his second wife Mary Lutterel, one son, George Rooke, esq. of St. Laurence, who inherited this estate and married the hon. Frances Ward, eldest daughter of William, lord Dudley, who survived him, and by his will became possessed of this manor, which on her death s.p. in 1770, she devised by her will to her nephew, the hon. John Ward, afterwards on the death of his father, lord viscount Dudley and Ward, and he alienated it in 1787 to Mr. Charles Foreman, of London, who dying s.p. in 1791, gave it by will to his nephew Mr. John Foreman, in tail general; since whose death his heir Mr. Luke Foreman succeeded to it, and he is the present proprietor of this manor, with the advowson of the church of Stonar appendant to it.
To the northward of the scite of the antient town of Stonar, about the place which was antiently called Hennebrigge, and is now known by the name of Littlejoy, is a large tract of sand, which was formerly a warren for rabbits, and granted by that name to the abbot of St. Augustine; but the rabbits have been long since destroyed, on account probably of the damage done by them to the pasture of the adjoining marshes.
Church of Stonar.
|Or by whom presented.|
|Walter, anno 29 Edward I. (fn. 17)|
|Abbot and convent of St. Augustine||Richard Taple, obt. 1486.|
|Andrew Bensted, 1486. (fn. 18)|
|John Allen, Dec. 18, 1528. (fn. 19)|
|John Braborne, 1540. (fn. 20)|
|John Salisbury, 1550.|
|John Crispe, esq.||Robert Harte, March, 1569.|
|Richard Webbe, April 9, 1571.|
|The Crown, hac vice.||Blaze Winter, Aug. 23, 1581, obt. 1617.|
|Henry Crispe, esq.||Thomas Turner, A.M. June 10, 1617, obt. 1630.|
|George Starcombe, A.B.January 9, 1630, obt. August 10, 1647. (fn. 21)|
|Edward Fellows, A.M. obt. 1663.|
|Blaze White, A.M. Aug.15, 1663.|
|The Crown, by lapse.||Thomas Lamprey, A.M. July 6, 1752, obt. Sept. 2, 1760, who was the last that was presented to this rectory.|
After the death of Blaze White above-mentioned, there was not any rector presented to this church in his room; but in 1701, Owen Evans, M. A. rector of St. St. Paul's, Canterbury, and chaplain to Sir George Rooke, the patron, obtained the sequestration of this rectory, and had an allowance made him by the patron of sixteen pounds per annum, as a composition in lieu of all tithes whatsoever, both great and small.—This stipend he received till the year 1734, when George Rooke, esq. the then patron and owner of the manor, resused any other payment, and the rector made no further demand of it, though he lived till the year 1742, after which it continued vacant till the year 1752, when Mr. Lamprey obtained the great seal to the presentation of this rectory, and soon after made a demand on the proprietor of the lands for the tithes then due, and all arrears of tithes likewise; on the refusal of which, an issue was awarded from the court of chancery, which was tried at the Lent assizes for this county, in the year 1756, before Mr. Justice Forster and a special jury; when a verdict was found for the plaintiff, viz. Mr. Lamprey, the rector; and a right to tithes so far as sixteen pounds a year; which not being deemed a proper verdict, a new trial was obtained, which came on at the Lent assizes in 1757, before the lord chief justice Willes and a special jury, when on a full hearing a verdict was given for the defendant, viz. the hon. Mrs. Rooke, then patron and owner of the lands at Stonar; at which the chief jus tice expressed much satisfaction, more than the jury thought decent, as coming from a judge who ought to have behaved more impartially on the occasion.