The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 2. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1797.
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This parish, which is but little known or frequented, contains about twelve hundred acres, part of which is a large wood, called Hartley-wood, containing one hundred and fifty acres, at the northern boundary of it; the soil of it is chalky, light, and much covered with flints. The church stands on the hill, round which there is no village, though here, and at Hartley-green, about a quarter of a mile northward from it, there are several stragling houses. The western part of this parish lies in the valley, called Hartley-bottom, along which the road leads to Wrotham and Trosley.
This place, at the taking the survey of Domesday, was part of the vast possessions of Odo, the great bishop of Baieux, and half-brother to the Conqueror; under the general title of whose lands it is thus described there.
Ralph Fitz Turald holds Erclei of the bishop (of Baieux.) It was taxed at one suling. The arable land is . . . . . In demesne there are 2 carucates and 9 villeins, with 6 cottagers, having 3 carucates. There are 3 servants, and wood for the pannage of 10 bogs. The whole manor was worth 3 pounds, and now 100 shillings; a certain woman held it.
Ralph Fitz Turald bolds Erclei of the bishop (of Baieux.) It was taxed at 1 suling. The arable land is half a carucate, and there are now 30 acres of arable. In demesne there is 1 carucate and 6 villeins, having half a carucate. There are 12 acres of meadow. In the time of king Edward the Confessor and afterwards, it was 40 shillings, now 4 pounds. Hunef, held it of earl Harold.
THE MANOR OF HARTLEY, soon after the Conqueror's reign, became part of the possessions of the noble family of Montchensie, (fn. 1) one of whom, Warine de Montchensie, was owner of it in the reign of king John. In the 37th year of king Henry III. he ob tained a charter of free-warren for this manor, and died next year, being then reputed one of the most valiant, prudent, and wealthy men in this kingdom. He left a son and heir William, and a daughter Joane, who had married William de Valence, the king's half brother. William de Montchensie, two years after, had possession granted of all his father's lands; not long after which, he took part with the discontented barons; and when the king was made prisoner at the battle of Lewes, in the 48th year of his reign, and the barons had summoned a parliament in his name, he was one of the chief of those that sat therein. (fn. 2) Notwithstanding, he was afterwards taken at Kenilworth, a little before the battle of Evesham, and his lands seized, yet he had soon after such favor shewn him, for his sister's sake, that they were freely restored to him again; and in the 6th year of king Edward I. he obtained full pardon, with other favors afterwards, among which was that of the view of frank-pledge, and the courts belonging to it in all his lands. He was killed at the siege of Drosselan-castle, in Wales, in the 17th year of that reign, leaving one daughter and sole heir, Dionisia, who was shortly afterwards married, through the king's means, to Hugh de Vere, third son of Robert, earl of Oxford, who in the 17th year of it had possession granted of the lands of her inheritance. In the 1st year of king Edward II. he was summoned to the king's coronation, as was Dionisia his wife, by whom it seems he had no issue; for on her death, in the 7th year of that reign, it was found that she died possessed of this manor of Hartley, among others, holding it of the king in capite, and that Adomar de Valence, earl of Pembroke, son of Joane and William de Valence before-mentioned, was her next heir. (fn. 3)
Aymer, earl of Pembroke, was greatly favored and employed both by king Edward I. and II. but in the 17th year of the reign of the latter, attending the queen into France, he was murdered there, in revenge, for the death of the earl of Lancaster, this earl being one of those who had passed sentence of death upon him at Pontefract two years before. (fn. 4) He left no issue, though he had three wives. Upon which John, son of John de Hastings, by Isabel his wife, the earl's sister, and John, son of John Comyn, of Badenagh, by Joane his other sister, were found to be his coheirs and next of kin, but Mary de St. Paul, his widow, surviving him, had next year for her dowry an assignation of this manor, among others. She died possessed of it in the 51st year of king Edward III. (fn. 5) Upon which it came to John de Hastings, great grandson of John de Hastings before-mentioned, who was found to be coheir, and next of kin to Aymer de Valence, earl of Pembroke.
John de Hastings before-mentioned, was then an insant, and at the coronation of king Richard II. being not quite five years old, claimed to carry the great golden spurs; and shewing sufficient evidence of his right to do that service, it was adjudged to him, and a deputy allowed him for that purpose, by reason of his non-age. He was afterwards unfortunately killed at a tournament at Woodstock, anno 13 king Richard II. (fn. 6) having married Philippa, daughter of Edmund Mortimer, earl of March, by whom he left no issue. Upon his death Reginald, lord Grey, of Ruthyn, was found to be his cousin, and next heir of the whole blood, as descended from John de Hastings and Isabel his wife, one of the sisters and heirs of Aymer de Valence, earl of Pembroke.
The earl was sined for this marriage four hundred marcs to the king, in consideration of which he was pardoned. Some time after which, observing the dangerous tendency of the times, and the implacable hatred that reigned in the king's breast against him, he retired into the country, having obtained a special dispensation from attending the parliament, or any other public employment. Notwithstanding which, the king searing him, soon afterwards got him into his power by fair words, and then sent him to prison, and quickly after brought him to his trial; and though he pleaded the king's promises and charter of pardon, he received a most severe sentence, to be drawn, hanged, quartered, &c. The rigour of which was somewhat softened, for he only lost his head at London, the king himself being a spectator of the execution. After his death his widow Philippa still kept possession of this manor, of which she was possessed at the time of her death, in the 2d year of king Henry IV. she then bearing the title of countess of Pembroke. (fn. 7)
On this, Reginald, lord Grey, of Ruthyn, became entitled to it, as next of kin, and heir of Aymer, earl of Pembroke, and as such at the coronation of king Henry IV. he carried the great golden spurs. Great quarrels arising between this Reginald, who had large possessions in Wales, and Owen Glendower, they had recourse to arms, and in the sequel Reginald was taken prisoner by the latter in Wales, and was obliged to give ten thousand marcs for his ransom; to raise which king Henry IV. in his 4th year granted licence to Robert Braybrooke, bishop of London, and others, then feoffees of several of his lordships, to fell the manor of Hertelegh, among others, towards raising that sum. (fn. 8) They sold it to John Urban, of Southfleet, who died possessed of it in the 8th year of king Henry V. (fn. 9) as did his son John in the 4th year of king Henry VI. (fn. 10) on which it came to his sister Emma Penhale, who died next year, (fn. 11) and left it to her son, and he held it in the 2d year of king Edward IV. as appears by the book of Dover in the exchequer.
In the 13th year of king Henry VII. William Cressel, esq. died possessed of the manor of Hartley, which he held of the king in capite by knight's service. (fn. 12) His son, Richard Cressel, in the beginning of the next reign, sold it to Draper; who passed it away to Ballard; and he conveyed it to William Sedley, esq. of Southfleet, at the latter end of the reign of king Edward VI. (fn. 13) in whose descendants it continued, in the same manner as the manor of Southfleet did, down to Sir Charles Sedley, bart. of Nuthall, in Nottinghamshire, who, in 1770, sold it to William Glanvill Evelyn, esq. of St. Cleres, in Ightham, the present owner of this manor.
JOHN WALKER, esq. of Fawkham, who died in 1625, by his will bequeathed a coat, and a gown of good russet cloth, to two of the poorest men, and two of the poorest widows of this parish; to be delivered on Christmas-day yearly to each. After which they were to attend the service in the church of Fawkham, and then return to his mansion-house there, where they were to have a plentiful dinner. (fn. 14)
HARTLEY is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese and deanry of Rochester. The church is dedicated to All Saints. It is a small building, consisting of one isle and a chancel, having a pointed steeple at the west end, in which are two bells.
Among other inscriptions in this church, on the north side is a memorial for James Burrow, gent. of Kingsdown, obt. 1728, æt. 53; and for Elizabeth, his wife, daughter of John Cox, gent. of Stansted, obt. 1729; above, these arms, azure three fleurs de lis ermine impaling sable a chevron argent, between three attires of a stag fixed to the scalp of the second.
It is a rectory, and was formerly of the patronage of the Talbots, earls of Shrewsbury; to whom it came from their ancestor, Gilbert Talbot, who on the death of Mary de St. Paul, widow of Aymer de Valence, earl of Pembroke, in the 51st year of king Edward III. was found by inquisition to be her heir, and next of kin. It was lately in the patronage of the earl of Plymouth, (fn. 15) afterwards of the reverend Thomas Blomfield, and since of his son, Thomas Blomfield, esq. who sold his interest in it to Richard Forrest, esq. who died in 1796. Since which it has been sold by the trustees appointed by his will, to the reverend Mr. Bradley, rector of this parish, who married Mr. Forrest's daughter, and he is now owner of this advowson.
In the 15th year of king Edward I. this church was valued at twelve marcs. By virtue of the commission of enquiry, issuing out of chancery in 1650, it was returned, that Hartley was a parsonage, with a house, and eight acres of glebe land, all worth sixty pounds per annum; one master Eves enjoying it, and preaching there. (fn. 16) It is valued in the king's books at seven pounds, and the yearly tenths at fourteen shillings. It is now of the value of about two hundred guineas per annum.