The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 2. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1797.
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LIES the next parish south-eastward from Wilmington, and was once so considerable, as to give name to the whole lath. It was called in Latin, Suthtuna, from its situation south of the town of Dartford, and had the addition of At-Hone, from its lying low in the valley.
THIS PARISH contains about 3100 acres of land, of which 250 are wood. It is pleasantly situated as to the eastern part of it in the vale, through which a branch of the river Darent runs at the eastern boundary of it, near which the turnpike road from Dartford to Farningham, and so on to Sevenoke, leads through it, passing through Hawley and the village of Sutton; near it are most of the gentlemen's seats in it mentioned below, the parsonage, and vicarage. Hence the ground rises westward to the hill, having the church standing at one field's distance from the above road, still higher to Gilton-hill and Swanley, at the western boundary as the parish, at Birchwood corner, adjoining to the high road from Foot's Cray to Farningham. The soil of this parish is in general light, stony, and much inclined to gravel, though there is a good deal of chalk in several different parts of it; and there is some fertile lands in the southern part, adjoining to Horton; the western part, adjoining to the Farningham road, is very poor indeed, and such of it as is not coppice wood is mostly covered with heath and furze, especially about that part called the Warren.
Ocymum sylvestre, or wild basil, found in plenty near St. John's. (fn. 1)
That curious naturalist, Abraham Hill, esq. lord of the manor of St. John's, about the year 1670, planted in an orchard, adjoining to his mansion here, the most curious fruits from Devonshire and Herefordshire, both apples and pears, used in those counties for making cyder and perry, with the intent of introducing them among the orchards of this county, many of which are still remaining here; among which are many trees of that scarce fruit, called the Kentish pippin.
Elen de Saukevile, daughter of Ralph de Dene, gave all her land of Lageham, in Penshurst, to the manor of Sutton. Ralph de Penshurst gave more lands and rents there to this manor. Nicholas, son of Nicholas de Twytham, gave rents, with their appurtenances, in the parish of Sutton; and Gilbert, son of William Helles, gave more lands and rents to it. In the first year of king Edward, the prior of St. John had a confirmation of his liberties for his lands in Sutton-at-Hone, (fn. 2) &c. This manor seems, by the antient rentals of it, to have been formerly accounted but as an appendage to that possessed by the knights in Dartford, which was constantly stiled, Manerium de Derteford cum Sutton-at-Hone; which, besides the parishes of Dartford and Sutton, extended into those of Ash, Penshurst, Edenbridge, Chelsfield, and Nockholt, and into Limpsfield, in Surry.
The manor of Sutton continued part of the possessions of the Knights Hospitallers, who had a commandery established here. This was a convenient mansion, of which they had several on their different estates, in which there was a society of these knights placed, who were to take care of their rents and lands in the neighbourhood of it. They were allowed proper maintenance out of the revenues under their care, and the remainder was accounted for to the grand prior at London; (fn. 3) in which state it remained till their dissolution, in the 32d year of king Henry VIII. when by an act, passed specially for that purpose, all their lands and possessions were given to the king; who, that year, granted the office of receiver-general of the revenues of the late dissolved hospital of St. John of Jerusalem, in England, to Sir Maurice Denys, descended of a good family in Gloucestershire, who bore for his arms, Gules, three leopards heads, or, jessant fleurs de lis azure, over all a bend engrailed of the third; and he, from this grant, and having the grant of several of these possessions afterwards, acquired the addition of St. John's to his name. In like manner all other great estates and possessions, as well of the late monasteries as of attainted persons, were sought after by the courtiers and great men, who first begged the offices of bailiffs and receivers of them, to be more certainly acquainted with their value, and then got the grants of them in fee; after which, in his 35th year, he granted to Sir Maurice Denys St. John's, among other premises, this manor of Sutton-at-Hone, alias St. John's, the chapel of Sutton, and other lands and premises belonging to it, to hold in capite, by knights service.
Anno 4 queen Elizabeth, Sir Maurice Denys levied a fine of this manor, and two years after died possessed of it, as appears by the inquisition taken after his death. Lady Elizabeth Denys, his widow, who had been first the wife of Nicholas Stathan, mercer, of London, by whom she had no issue, then became possessed of it, and died in the 19th year of it; and by her will gave this manor to her only daughter, Elizabeth, the widow of Vincent Randyll, esq. and their two daughters, Catherine and Martha, who, on their mother's death, became possessed of it in undivided moieties. Martha Randyll carried her moiety in marriage to Thomas Cranfield, esq. of London, who bore for his arms, Or, on a pale azure, three fleurs de lis of the first; on whose death it came to their son, Sir Randyll Cranfield, who, in the 7th year of king Charles I. executed a writ of partition of this manor with Sarah countess of Leicester, and her son Sir John Smith, owners of the other moiety of it; and each of them possessing part of the demesnes, as well as part of the services, each moiety became a separate manor.
That which was allotted to Cranfield retained the name of St. John's, alias SUTTON MANOR, and included the antient mansion and chapel of the knightshere; and to this manor was allotted the court leet, usually held for it. Sir Randyll Cranfield, by his will, in 1635, gave this manor of St. John's, alias Sutton, to his son, Vincent Cranfield. esq. who, by deed and fine, laid in 1649, conveyed it to Mr. Thomas Hollis, merchant, of London; and he, with Elizabeth his wife, in 1660, passed it away, by deed and fine levied, to Abraham Hill, esq. merchant of London, who did not get possession of it till the year 1667. He afterwards resided at St. John's, where he died in 1721, and was buried in Sutton church. He was descended of a good family, who had been for some generations seated at Shilston, in Devonshire; one of whom, Robert Hill, esq. was sheriff of that county in the 7th year of king Henry VI. and representative in parliament for it in the 26th of that reign, and bore for his arms, Argent, a chevron between three water bougets, sable. One of his descendants, and fifth son of Robert Hill, esq. of Shilston, seated himself at Truro, in Cornwall, whose son Richard was an alderman of the city of London. He died in 1659, and was bu ried with much pomp in the church of St. Dionis Backchurch, London, leaving by Agnes his wife, a son, Abraham Hill, esq. before mentioned, who was a most ingenious and learned man, one of the first encouragers, and a fellow of the Royal Society, at the first institution of it. By his first wife Anne, daughter of Sir Bulstrode Whitlock, he left a son, Richard, and a daughter, Frances.
Richard Hill, esq. survived his father but a few weeks, and dying without issue, this manor devolved to his sister, Mrs. Frances Hill, who resided here, and died possessed of it, in 1736, unmarried, and lies buried in the south isle of Sutton church, with the rest of her family, having a most remarkable and singular epitaph on her monument and grave stone; she by her will gave it, as well as her other Kentish estates, near Tunbridge, to her kinsman, William Hill, esq. of Carwythinick, in Cornwall, who in the latter end of 1780, sold it to Mr. John Mumford, of Sutton place, who died in 1787, and by his will devised this manor to his eldest son, William Mumford, esq. of this parish, the present owner of it; and the mansion of it to his youngest son John Mumford, esq. who was sheriff in 1796, and now resides in it. Of the mansion the north side only remains, which was formerly the chapel belonging to it: this has long since been converted into the dwelling-house, and was almost rebuilt in the year 1755.
The OTHER MOIETY of the manor of St. John's, alias Sutton-at-Hone, since known by the name of SUTTON MANOR, was carried in marriage, by Catherine, the other daughter of Vincent Randyll, to Robert Wrote, esq. whose son, Francis Wrote, esq. of Gunton, in Suffolk, in the 10th year of king James, conveyed it to Sir William Swan, of Southfleet; and he, in the 14th year of the same reign, passed it away to George Cole, esq. of the Inner Temple, London, who, two years after, sold this moiety, together with the moiety of the chapel of the late priory of St. John's, with all tithes, oblations, &c. belonging to it, and other lands in Sutton and Wilmington, to Sir Thomas Smith, second son of Customer Smith, of Westenhanger, who was a great navigator, and entrusted in many weighty matters relating to the trade of this kingdom. He had been ambassador to the emperor of Russia, and afterwards resided at Brookeplace in this parish, where he died in 1625, as is conjectured, of the plague, which raged greatly here at that time. He bore for his arms, Azure, a chevron engrailed, or, between three lions passant guardant of the second; which he quartered with those of Judde, Chiche, Criol, Creveceur, Averenches, Chichele, and Stafford; having by will left many charitable benefactions to several parishes in this county, and entrusted them to the care of the Skinner's company, who pay them yearly. He lies buried in this church, under a most costly monument, having his effigies at full length recumbent on it. He left by his third wife, Sarah, daughter and heir of William Blount, esq. who was the next year married to Robert Sidney earl of Leicester; a son, John, afterwards knighted, who, together with his mother, Sarah, countess of Leicester, owners of one moiety of the manor of St. John's, executed their writ of partition of it with Sir Randyll Cranfield, owner of the other moiety, in the 7th year of Charles I. as has been already mentioned.
THAT PART, allotted to the countess of Leicester and her son, thus becoming a separate manor, with a court baron appendant to it, acquired the name of the manor of Sutton, and after the countess of Leicester's death, came, with Brook-place, into Sir John Smith's possession. He died possessed of Sutton manor and Brook-place, with much other land in this county, leaving by the lady Isabella, daughter of the earl of Warwick, one son, Robert, and a daughter, Isabella, married to John lord Robartes, of Truro.
Robert Smythe, esq. was of Bounds, in Bidborough, and of Sutton, and married the lady Dorothy Sidney, relict of Henry earl of Sunderland, by whom he had one son, Robert Smythe, esq. of Sutton-atHone, who was governor of Dover castle, and died in 1695, possessed of this manor and Brook-place, leaving Catherine his wife, daughter of William Stafford, of Blatherwick, in Northamptonshire, surviving, and two sons, Henry and William, (fn. 4) to whom this manor and seat descended, as heirs in gavelkind.
In the 10th year of king William, she, as guardian to her two insant sons, obtained an act of parliament for vesting this manor and seat, among others, in this county, in trustees to sell the same, who accordingly, in 1699, conveyed them to Sir John Le Thieullier, of London.
This family of Le Thieullier appears to have been of good account in France, as well as Germany, for some generations before they settled in England, which is supposed to have been in the reign of queen Elizabeth, when they fled hither, to avoid the persecution in those parts on account of religion. Among the names of such French as fled to Rye, in Suffex, upon the massacre of the Protestants in France, in 1572, are the names of Le Tellier, and Tellier; and in a list of others, in 1576, is that of Gyllam Tulyer. John de Thieullier was a merchant of London, and died at Lewisham, in 1679, leaving by Jane de la Forterie, his wife, eight children; of whom John le Thieullier, the eldest son, was a wealthy merchant of London, and served the office of sheriff there in 1674, when he was knighted. He was the purchaser of this estate, and dying in 1718, was buried in a vault in Greenwich church-yard, over which there is a monument erected to his memory; on which are his arms, Argent, a chevron, gules, (fn. 5) between three parrots heads, couped vert; having, by his will, been a good benefactor both to Christ's and St. Thomas's hospitals. He left by Anne, his wife, daughter of Sir William Hooker, alderman, and afterwards lord mayor of London, two sons, John Lethieullier, esq. of Aldersbrooke, in Essex; and William Lethieullier, esq. of Beckenham and of Sutton-place, and three daughters. William Lethieullier, the second son, possessed Sutton manor; he left by his first wife, Mary, daughter of Nicholas Manning, a Hamburgh merchant, John, afterwards of Sutton-place; Manning, of Lewisham; Mary, who married Thomas Scrimpsour, gent. and William, who was of London, citizen and grocer. His second wife was Mary Sarkeld, of Cumberland, by whom he had one son, Samuel, of Beckenham; and two daughters, Letitia, married to Tho. Clerke, counsellor at Law; and Leonora to Mr. Holden.
John Lethieullier, esq. the eldest son, on his father's death, in 1733, became possessed of this manor and seat. He married twice, but had issue by neither of his wives; and dying in 1760, gave, by his will, all his estates and effects to his wife, Anne, who survived him; and she, after some litigation in chancery, together with Mary Browne, who had contested her right to these manors and estates, but had compromised the same by their deed, in 1766, conveyed them to Nathaniel Webbe, esq. of Taunton, in Somersetshire; who, the next year, parted with Sutton-place, and other lands belonging to these estates, but the manor of Sutton continued some time longer in his possession, and till it was sold to Mr. John Mumford, of Sutton-place, who died in 1787, and by his will bequeathed it, after his wife's death, to his second son, John Mumford, esq. of St. John's, the present owner of it.
SUTTON-PLACE, formerly called Brook-place, was, in the reign of king Henry VIII. the inheritance of Nicholas Statham, gent. after whose death Elizabeth, his widow, carried it in marriage to Sir Maurice Denys, on whose death, in the 6th year of queen Elizabeth, it came to his brother and heir at law, Sir Walter Denys, of Durham's, in Gloucestershire; who, with Richard Denys, esq. his son, in the 7th year of that reign, sold it to Rowland Hayward, alderman of London, and he passed it away to Martin Bowes, esq. who, in the 13th year of that reign, conveyed it to Anne Haddon, widow of Walter Haddon, esq. principal master of the Queen's court of requests, who afterwards married Sir Henry Brook, alias Cobham, fifth son of George lord Cobham. She sold it to George Cole, esq. of the Inner Temple; who, in the 20th of king James I. sold it by the name of Sutton-place, alias Brook-place, heretofore in the possession of Sir Henry Cobham, and late in the tenure of the countess, widow of George, late earl of Cumberland, together with the moiety of the manor of St. John's, and other lands and premises, to Sir Thomas Smith, who much improved and augmented this magnificent pile of building, which had been first erected by Sir Maurice Denys. The mansion remained in Sir Thomas Smith's descendants, as has been already mentioned, till Catharine, widow of Robert Smythe, esq. and Henry Smythe, their son, in 1699, conveyed it to Sir John le Thieullier, who being informed (for he never saw it) that this mansion was, from its size, too great an incumbrance to the estate belonging to it, ordered part of it to be pulled down, which was done most injudiciously, insomuch that the magnificence and beauty of it was, in great measure, destroyed. From Sir John le Thieullier it passed, in like manner, with Sutton manor, to Anne, widow of his grandson, John Lethieullier, esq. who, with Mary Browne above mentioned, sold it in 1766, to Nathaniel Webb, esq. and he, next year, conveyed Sutton-place, with other lands in Sutton, Darent, &c. to Mr. John Mumford, who having pulled down part of it, modernized the rest, covering it with white stucco; and having thus improved the house, as well as the gardens and grounds belonging to it, he afterwards resided in it. He died in 1787, leaving two sons and three daughters; William, now of Sutton place, who married a daughter of Mr. Fleet, of Woolwich, by whom he has no issue; and John, of St. John's, in this parish, sheriff of this county in 1796; who married first the daughter of Dr. Nash, of Sevenoke; and secondly, Elizabeth, daughter of the late Mr. Sergeant Leigh, by neither of whom he has had issue. Of the daughters, Mary married to Duncan Campbell, esq. of London; Anne died unmarried; and Elizabeth married Richard Leigh, esq. of Wilmington.
HAWLEY is an hamlet, situated in the northern extremity of this parish, adjoining to Wilmington. It was antiently called Hagelei, and was esteemed as part of the manor of Dartford, the king's antient demesne; but before the taking the survey of Domesday, it had been separated from it, as appears from the description of the manor of Dartford in that record, as follows:
The tenants of the hundred likewise affirm, that Hagelei is taken away from this manor (of Dartford). It was taxed at half a suling. The sheriff held this land, and when he quitted the shrievalty, it remained in the king's occupation; so it remained also after the death of king Edward; now Hugh de Port holds it, with 54 acres of land more. The whole of this is worth 15 pounds.
In the lath of Sudtone, in Achestan hundred, Hugh de Port holds of the bishop of Baieux Hagelei. It was taxed at half a suling. The arable land is . . . . . . In demesne there are 2 carucates, and 14 villeins, with 3 borderers having 4 carucates. There are 3 servants, and 12 acres of meadow, and 1 mill of 20 shillings, and 1 den of wood sufficient for the pannage of 5 bogs. The whole manor is worth now 15 pounds, of 20 pence in an ore.—In this manor one tenant holds 20 acres of arable land, worth 5 shillings per ann. He is called Uluret. He neither belongs to this manor, nor can he have any other lord but the king.
This place, on the disgrace of the bishop of Baieux, about four years after taking this survey, most probably reverted to the crown. After which it seems to have come into the possession of Henry de Port, for he, in the year 1108, being the 8th year of king Henry II. with the consent of Hawis his wife, and Hugh his son, gave in perpetual alms, to the church of Rochester, all his tithes of Hagelei, of which that church possessed one moiety before of his gift. (fn. 6) After which it appears to have been owned by the family of Basing; one of whom, Robert Basing, in the reign of king John, gave the manor of Sutton, and this manor of Halgell, (fn. 7) to the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, commonly called the Knights Hospitallers, with whom it continued till their dissolution, in the 32d year of king Henry VIII. It has long since been merged in the manor of Sutton-at-Hone, now possessed by John Mumford, esq.
There was a subordinate manor in Hawley, formerly known by the name of HAW SAWTERS, alias SAPTERS, which, in the reign of king Edward III. was in the possession of the noble family of Hastings. Laurence de Hastings, earl of Pembroke, died possessed of it in the 22d year of king Edward III. (fn. 8) whose grandson, John de Hastings, was unfortunately killed at a tournament at Woodstock, anno 13 king Richard II. and dying without issue, left Philippa his wife, daughter of Edmund Mortimer, earl of March, surviving; who, having re-married Richard Fitzalan, earl of Arundel, he had this manor in dowry with her. She survived her last husband some years, and on her death, anno 2 king Henry IV. this manor, by virtue of an entail made by John Hastings, earl of Pembroke, in the 43d year of king Edward III. in case he died without issue, devolved to his cousin, William de Beauchamp, baron of Bergavenny, younger son of Thomas earl of Warwick, by Catharine Mortimer, sister of Agnes his mother. He died in the 12th year of king Henry IV. (fn. 9) and was succeeded by Richard Beauchamp, his son and heir, who, in the 8th year of king Henry V. was made earl of Worcester; soon after which he was slain in France, leaving by Isabel his wife, sister and heir of Richard le Despencer, one sole daughter and heir, Elizabeth, afterwards married to Edward Nevill, a younger son of Ralph, earl of Westmoreland, who had possession granted of the lands of her inheritance, and was afterwards, in the 29th year of king Henry VI. summoned to parliament by the title of lord Bergavenny. He survived his wife, and died anno 16 Edward IV. possessed of this manor of Sawters. How long it continued in this family I do not find; but in the 1st of of king Henry VIII. John Poulter was in possession of it; descended of a family originally of Loughborough, in Leicestershire, in the time of king Henry II. and afterwards settled at Hitchin, in Hertfordshire, who bore for his arms, Argent, two bendlets sable, in chief a Cornish chough proper. (fn. 10) His daughter, Anne, carried it in marriage to Thomas Mayo; and his eldest son, Thomas Mayo, was possessed of Hawly with Sawters, in the beginning of queen Elizabeth's reign. From him it descended to his son, Dionise Mayo, whose heirs, in the beginning of king James's reign, sold Hawley-house, with the reputed manor of Sawters, to Edmund Hunt, esq. (fn. 11) and he died possessed of it in 1609. After which it came into the possession of Mr. William Hewson, who died in 1637, and lies buried with his wife in Sutton church. His son, of the same name, soon after the death of king Charles I. transmitted Hawley-house, with the estate belonging to it, for the manor of Sawters, was now quite obliterated, to Edward Badby, esq. son of Benjamin Badby, of London, gent. sixth son of John Badby, gent. of St. Edmund's Bury, in Suffolk. (fn. 12) He died in 1682, and his heirs sold it to the hon. John Stafford Howard, whose estate becoming forfeited for his adherence to king James II. king William, in 1695, granted this seat, with the estate belonging to it, to Sir Francis Leigh, of Tring, in Hertfordshire, who removed hither, and was knight of the shire for this county, in the first parliament of queen Anne. After which, Hawley-house descended at length to his grandson, Francis Leigh, esq. who died possessed of it in 1774, without issue, and by his will bequeathed it, with the lands belonging to it in Hawley, to his fourth and surviving wife, for her life, who now resides in it; but the inheritance of it he gave to his nephew and heir at law, Richard, only son of his brother, Richard Leigh, esq. serjeant-at-law, deceased, who married Elizabeth, daughter of Mr. John Mumford, of Sutton-place, by whom he has two sons and one daughter. They bear for their arms, Or, on a chevron sable, three lions rampant argent, with the coats of Olyffe, Lovel, and Gifford, quartered with them. (fn. 13)
There are two other houses in Hawley of some account, the one nearer Dartford, built by Mr. Holland, whose daughter Hester brought it in marriage to Edward Fowke, esq who died in 1789, s. p. and devised it to his brother, Mr. Francis Fowke, who now owns it, but Mr. Adam Callow resides in it.
The other seat is nearer Sutton, and was rebuilt by Samuel Percival, esq. on whose decease it become the property of rear-admiral Robert Robinson, esq. of Eltham, who married his only surviving daughter and heir; after which it was sold to Thomas Frazer, esq. who now owns it, but Hussey Fleet, esq. resides in it.
Anselm de Gyse had a charter of free-warren, granted to him and his heirs, for his lands in Wilmington and Sutton, in the 22d year of king Edward I. (fn. 14) and died the next year. His great grandson, in the 8th year of king Edward II. sold it to Simon Franceys, a wealthy citizen of London, and he died possessed of it in the 32d of king Edward III. as appears by the escheat-rolls of that year.
How to find the intermediate owners I know not; but in the reign of king Henry VIII. it was in the possession of Sir Thomas Moyle, who gave it in marriage with his youngest daughter and coheir, Amy, to Sir Thomas Kempe, of Ollantigh, on whose decease it came to his eldest son, Sir Thomas Kempe, and he conveyed this manor to his brother, Mr. Reginald Kempe, (fn. 15) who sold it in the latter end of queen Elizabeth's reign, to Lancelot Bathurst, alderman of London, and of Franks in this neighbourhood, in whose descendants it continued to Francis Bathurst, esq. of Franks, who died possessed of it in 1738, leaving an only daughter and heir, Beronice, married to Mr. Joseph Fletcher, of London; and their only daughter and heir, Susan, carried it in marriage to John Tasker, esq. who surviving his wife before mentioned, sold it, in 1766, to John Calcraft, of Ingries, esq. on whose death in 1772, it became by his will, the inheritance of his son, John Calcraft, esq. who sold it to John Mumford, esq. of this parish, the present owner of it.
GILDEN-HILL, now called Gilton-hill, lies westward of Sutton-street, and seems formerly to have been accounted a manor, great part of it belonged to the priory of Dartford, and, at the dissolution of it in king Henry VIIIth's reign, came into the hands of the crown. After which, that king, in his 32d year, granted to Sir Percival Hart, among other premises, all the manors and lands formerly in the tenure of Henry Humphry, and afterwards of John Waller, in Gilden-hill and Swanley, in Sutton, to hold in capite by knights service; (fn. 16) on whose death, in the 22d year of queen Elizabeth, they descended to George Hart, esq. his son and heir. In the next year of king James I. Sir Oliver Boteler, of Teston, possessed this farm and lands of Gilden-hill, and his descendant, Sir Philip Boteler, of Teston, bart. died possessed of them in 1772, and by his will devised one moiety of his estates to Mrs. Elizabeth Bouverie, of Chart Sutton, and the other moiety to Elizabeth, viscountess dowager Folke stone, and William Bouverie, earl of Radnor; and on their partition of these estates, this farm and lands at Gilden-hill fell to the share of the lady viscountess dowager Folkestone, who died in 1782, and was succeeded in them by her only son, the Hon. Philip Bouverie, who has since taken the name of Pusey, and he is the present owner of them.
Roger Rothele, of Dartford, died possessed of this seat in the 11th year of king Edward IV. (fn. 17) Sir John Wiltshire possessed it in the beginning of the reign of king Henry VIII. (fn. 18) It was afterwards owned by the Killingworths, from whom it went, with Elizabeth, sole daughter and heir of George Killingworth, in marriage, to Christopher Eglesfield, gent. about the end of the reign of queen Elizabeth, one of his descendants, Francis Eglesfield, of London, gent. descended from a family who bore for their arms, Or, three eagles displayed gules. (fn. 19) He passed it away by sale soon after the death of king Charles I. to Mr. Christopher Searle, whose descendant of the same name conveyed it, about 1733, to Mr. Charles Egerton, of London; on whose death, in 1747, this seat and estate came to his eldest son, John Egerton, esq. of Hadleigh, whose widow is the present owner of it, but Dr. David Pitcairn now resides in it.
Mrs. KATHERINE WROTE built, and gave to the use of this parish, an alms-house, containing 4 rooms on a floor, with separate gardens. On the front of these houses is this inscription: These alms houses were erected by Kath. Wrote, widow, late wife of Robt. Wrote, esq. A. D. 1597. And these two coats of arms: Three piles azure, on a chief of the 2d, a griffin passant; and, on a saltier azure, 5 swans impaling on a bend 3 birds. And she left by will a house, barn and garden, adjoining the north end of the above houses, for the repair of them, now of the annual produce of 3l. 10s.
SIR THOMAS SMITH gave by will in 1625, the yearly sum of 5l. 10s. for six loaves of good bread, of 4d. each, to be given every Sunday to fix of the poorest and most honest inhabiting householders of this parish, to be paid by the Skinners Company.
ABRAHAM HILL, esq. and his heirs, as lords of the manor of St. John's, on the ground of which the alms-houses before-mentioned were built, have the right of nominating a poor person to the southernmost of them; he having, in 1720, built two more houses on the garden-ground of that house. His daughter, Mrs. Frances Hill, allotted a small field adjoining, for gardens and other uses of those houses.
SUTTON-AT-HONE is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the deanry of Dartford, and diocese of Rochester. The church is a handsome building, consisting of two isles and a chancel, with a towersteeple at the west end, containing three bells. It is dedicated to St. John Baptist.
It was, on April 27, 1615, burnt down, by a person's firing off a gun in the church at a bird, that had taken shelter in it. From which time till April 21, 1617, all baptisms were solemnized at Darent.
Among other monuments and memorials in this church are the following:—In the chancel, a memorial for Thomas Gifford, M. D. obt. 1669, arms, a lion passant guardant on a chief, three stirrups; under the raised part of it, on which the altar stands, is a vault, in which several of the vicars and their families are buried. At the west end of the south isle, near the door, are memorials for the Staceys of Deptford, buried in a vault underneath, arms, on a fess 3 fleurs de lis between 3 birds. Against the south wall, a monument, with the figure of a woman in white marble, half length, in alto relievo, for Mrs. Frances Hill, daughter of Abraham Hill, esq. great grand daughter of William, lord Willoughby, of Parham, obt. unmarried 1736, æt. 78; arms, Hill. In the small south chancel, at the east end, a mural monument for Abraham Hill, esq. of St. John's, in this parish, the son of Richard Hill, esq. descended out of Devonshire; he was twice married, 1st, to Anne, daughter of Sir Bulstrode Whitlock, by Frances, daughter of William, lord Willoughby, of Parham; 2dly, to Elizabeth, daughter of Michael Pratt, esq. by the former he left Frances and Richard. He died 1721, æt. 88; arms, Hill, impaling azure a chevron ingrailed, between 3 falcons, or, and again impaling Pratt. Another monument for Richard Hill, esq. be fore-mentioned. He married Frances Eyres, and died in 1722, s. p. and she re-married in 1723, Francis Bathurst, esq. of Franks, in Horton. On the south side is a most stately monument, on which, under an arch richly ornamented, lies the figure of a man at full length in his robes, his head resting on a cushion, the whole finely executed, and over him an inscription for Sir Thomas Smith, of Sutton-place, in this parish, governor of the EastIndia and other trading companies, treasurer of the Virginian plantation, prime undertaker in 1612, of the discovery of the north-west passage, and some time ambassador to the emperor and great duke of Russia and Muscovy, &c. &c. obt. 1625; at the top, on each side, a celestial and terrestrial globe, and between them a large shield of arms, being Smith, azure a chevron ingrailed between 3 lions passant, guardant, or, quartering 8 other coats. A memorial for Henry Smith, esq. son and heir of Robert Smith, esq. great grandson of Sir Thomas Smith beforementioned. The said Henry left by Elizabeth, only daughter of Dr. John Lloyd, prebendary of Windsor, an only child, Sydney Stafford Smith. He died in 1706, æt. 29, leaving his widow surviving. Above, the arms of Smith impaling Lloyd, at the entrance to this chancel are 2 small antient folding doors of oak carved with gothic work, on the upper part of which are scrolls, and on each door a full face, carved with a tongue, through a buckle hanging out of the mouth, being an allusion to an antient family in this parish of the name of Puckletongue; under the pew in the north isle, belonging to Hawley-house, is a vault, in which lie several of the owners of that seat, especially of the family of Leigh, to the present time. In the church yard is a vault and monument for John Lethieullier, esq. of Sutton-place, and his two wives; he died s. p. in 1760; and on the north side a tomb, and under it a vault for the Percivals, of Hawley, in this parish; and on the south side are vaults for the Saundersons, of Gillingham, and the Searles, of Hackstable. (fn. 20)
King Henry I. granted the church of Sutton, with the chapels of Kingsdown and Wilmington, with the tythes of them in corn, cattle, pannage, mills, and all other things, to the priory of St. Andrew, in Rochester. (fn. 21)
Gundulph, bishop of Rochester, who was elected to this see in the time of the Conqueror, having divided the revenues of his church between himself and his convent, allotted this church, with the chapels belonging to it, to the share of the monks, which was confirmed by king Henry II. and afterwards by Henry, bishop of Rochester. (fn. 22)
Bishop Gilbert de Glanvill, in the reign of king Richard I. on the compromise of the great dispute, which he had with the priory, concerning the gifts which bishop Gundulph, his predecessor, had made to it, granted this church, with the chapel of Wilmington, to the priory, towards the support of their almonry; and ordained, that Gilbert, then rector, should be perpetual vicar of it, paying to the monks, as for the tithes of corn, four marcs yearly; and that, after his decease, or resignation, the perpetual vicar of Sutton should have cure of souls, and in the name of his vicarage, take for his maintenance, all the altarage, as well in small tythes as in oblations, and all obventions belonging to it, except the tythe of corn; and further, that he should possess the alms-land then belonging to it, or which any one might in future give to it, excepting the court-lodge, with the buildings and the meadow belonging to the monks there. And he further ordained, that the cellarer of the priory should sustain all the burthens of it, as well in respect to the bishop as the archdeacon, except synodals, which the vicar himself should pay. It appears by the decrees of archbishop Hubert and Richard, that this appropriation was merely conditional; and it seems never to have taken place; (fn. 23) for in the year 1253, Laurence, bishop of Rochester, appropriated and confirmed to the priory this church, with the chapels of Kingsdown and Wilmington, towards the support of the almonry, in recompence for their giving up their right in the churches of Frindsbury and Dartford, which he got appropriated to his own fee, (fn. 24) provided that the cure of souls in the said church and chapel should be served, and in no wife neglected, by a proper vicar, who should be from time to time provided by the bishop, and his successors, in the church of Sutton; and to proper vicars in the said chapels, to be presented to him and his successors, by the prior and convent. This appropriation was confirmed by John, bishop of Rochester, in 1478. (fn. 25)
In consequence of the above appropriation, the paparishes of Sutton and Wilmington continued one parsonage, with two distinct vicarages; which were, at the general dissolution, surrendered, together with the other possessions of the priory of Rochester, into the hands of the crown, and were two years afterwards, anno 33 king Henry VIII. settled, by that king on the new-erected dean and chapter of Rochester, part of whose possessions they still remain.
In the 15th year of king Edward I. the church of Sutton was valued at thirty-five marcs, and the vicarage at one hundred shillings. (fn. 26)
Walter, prior, and the convent of Rochester, in the 29th year of king Henry VIII. demised for the term of eighty-five years, to Nicholas Statham, gent. this parsonage, with the presentation to the vicarage, at the yearly rent of 13l. 6s. 8d. and three bushels of wheat, at Ladytide, to the poor of Sutton and Wilmington; the said Nicholas to repair the premises, and to find straw for thatching the churches of Sutton and Wilmington.
By the survey taken by order of the state in December 1649, of the manor and rectory of Sutton, parcel of the then late dean and chapter of Rochester, it appears, that it then consisted of the scite, containing two large barns, a small granary, and barn-yard of two roods of land; all which were estimated at two pounds per annum, and the tythes belonging to it at seventyeight pounds per annum. All which were let, by the dean and chapter, anno 14 king Charles I. to the trustees of Ambrose Beale, for twenty-one years, at 13l. 11s. 8d. The lessee was bound to repair the chancel, and to make the usual payment to the vicar of Sutton, of twenty bushels of peas annually, and two bushels of wheat; to the vicar of Wilmington, of wheat, rye, barley, peas, one quarter each, and twenty shillings and eight-pence in money; the vicarages of the churches being excepted out of the lease.
By virtue of the commission of enquiry into the value of church livings, in 1650, issuing out of chancery, it was returned, that Sutton at-Hone was a vicarage, worth sixty pounds per annum; master Robert Hazelwood then enjoying it. (fn. 27)
This vicarage was augmented by the dean and chapter, soon after the restoration, with the annual sum of ten pounds, besides which the vicar receives an old pension of four nobles, and four quarters of grain, viz. of wheat, rye, barley, and peas, one quarter of each, out of the parsonage; and two shillings annually from Sir Thomas Smith's charity.
The demesne lands belonging to the manor of St. John's, claim an exemption from tythes when in the owner's occupation, as having part of the revenues of the knights hospitallers, concerning which exemption a decree was made confirming it, anno 10 Elizabeth. (fn. 28)
There are twenty-four acres and a half of glebe land, widely dispersed in small pieces, belonging to this vicarage. It is valued in the king's books at ten pounds, and the yearly tenths at one pound. (fn. 29) The present value of the parsonage is near four hundred pounds per annum, and the yearly out goings about fifty pounds. Thomas Harris, lessee of this parsonage, who died in 1769, built near the yard, on part of the glebe, a small but neat parsonage house, in which Mr. William Mumford, the present lessee of it, till lately resided.
There was an agreement concerning tythes entered into between the monks of Rochester, and the brotherhood of the knights of St. John's, in 1217; after much altercation, and an appeal to the pope, by which it was settled, that the monks should take the tythes of sheaves in the demesne lands, which the brotherhood possessed in Sutton, who were allowed a right to take all other tythes whatsoever arising therefrom. (fn. 30)
Church Of Sutton.
|Or by whom presented.|
|Prior and convent of Rochester.||William de Litchfield, last rector, in 1253. (fn. 31)|
|John at Chapele, Jan. 8, 1326, obt. 1338.|
|John Billock, deprived July 7, 1347. (fn. 32)|
|Robert Warham, alias Bringhandon, refigned 1400. (fn. 33)|
|John Fysher, 1403.|
|Roland Baxter, 1508, resigned 1510.|
|Ralph Smaller, 1510, obt. 1518. (fn. 34)|
|Robert Whittingham, 1518, resigned 1520.|
|William Stathum, 1530, obt. 1536.|
|Maurice Griffith, 1536, resigned 1543. (fn. 35)|
|Dean and Chapter of Rochester.||Robert Styddyl, S. T. P. 1543, resigned 1553.|
|Richard Bee, 1553, obt. 1553.|
|William Fanower, 1559.|
|Nicholas Bennet, 1566, deprived 1570.|
|Ralph Sheers, inducted May 27, 1581, obt. 1610. (fn. 36)|
|William Harris, 1610, obt. 1610.|
|Ralph Hatfield, 1610.|
|Francis Dee, S. T. P. 1620, resigned 1622.|
|Robert Hazlewood, 1622, obt. 1665.|
|William Honkins, 1665, resigned 1665. (fn. 37)|
|George Stradling, S. T. P. 1666, resigned 1670. (fn. 38)|
|William Hopkins, 1670, obt. 1685. (fn. 39)|
|John Chadwick, 1685, obt. 1705. (fn. 40)|
|Edmund Barrell, A. M. 1705, resigned 1762. (fn. 41)|
|Edmund Faunce, A. M. 1762, obt. July 1787. (fn. 42)|
|Robert Fountaine, A. M. Jan. 1787, the present vicar. (fn. 43)|