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 is situated upon the chalk hills, much like that of Hartley last described, and the soil much the same. There is no village, the church stands in the southern part of it, having the court lodge and parsonage near it. It contains about eight hundred acres, of which nearly one hundred are wood; there are about eight houses and forty inhabitants. The high road from Longfield through Hartley-bottom to Berry's Maple, and so on to Wrotham, and Trosley runs along the valley at the western boundary of this parish, which otherwise is but little known or frequented.
This place, at the taking the survey of Domesday, was part of the possessions of Odo, bishop of Baieux, half-brother to William the Conqueror; accordingly it is thus entered under the general title of the bishop's lands:
Adam Fitzbubert holds of the bishop (of Baieux) Redlege. It was taxed at one suling. The arable land is . . . . In demesne there are two carucates, and 6 villeins, with 5 borderers, having 2 carucates. There are 5 servants, and half an acre of meadow, and 1 den of wood, which Richard de Tonebridge holds. The manor was worth 3 pounds, and now 4 pounds and 10 shillings; Siward held it of king Edward the Confessor.
On the disgrace of the bishop of Baieux, about four years after taking the above survey, the king his brothere seized on all his lands and possessions, and among them this manor. How long it continued in the crown, I don't find; but Roger de Leyborne, who flourished in the reign of king John, was in the possession of it. He was lord warden of the cinque ports in the next reign of king Henry III. in the 55th year of which he made a grant of this manor, with its appurtenances, excepting the advowson, to Bartholomew de Watton, to hold of his manor of Leyborne. On what terms this grant was made, does not appear; but William de Leyborne, son and heir of Roger before mentioned, had afterwards some power left over it; for after his father's death, on his founding a chantry in the church of Leyborne, he endowed it, among other rents, with five marcs, to be paid yearly out of this manor, by the hands of Bartholomew de Watton, for the support of one chaplain there, in perpetual alms for ever. (fn. 1) After the family of Watton was extinct here, it came into that of Waleys; Augustine Waleys, who was descended from Henry Wallis, or de Galeis, a capital merchant of the city of London, lord mayor several times in the reign of king Edward IV. and bore for his arms, Five bars, and over them a bend, (fn. 2) paid aid for it in the 20th year of king Edward III. as one knight's fee, late Bartholomew de Watton's. He obtained a charter of free-warren for his manor of Ridley in the 22d year of that reign, and died possessed of it in the 28th year of it, (fn. 3) then holding it in capite, and by suit to the king's hundred of Axstane. (fn. 4)
In the reign of king Richard II. it was become the estate of Sir William Rikhill, a justice of the king's bench. (fn. 5) He died in the reign of king Henry IV. (fn. 6) and by his will devised this manor to his eldest son, William Rikhill, esq. who, about the 16th year of king Henry VI. conveyed it by deed to Thomas Engham, esq. of Engham, in Woodchurch, and he again in the 19th year of the same reign passed it away by fine to Robert Savory; (fn. 7) from which name it was sold not many years after to Fitz; one of whom, Walter Fitz, died possessed of this manor in the 21st year of king Henry VII. holding it of the abbey of Tower-hill, London, as was then found by inquisition. He left his son and heir, John Fitz, a minor; the wardship of whom was granted by the abbot and convent, anno 23 king Henry VII. to Piers Bevil. (fn. 8) He conveyed this manor, in the 27th year of king Henry VIII. to William Sedley, esq. of Southfleet, in whose descendants it continued, in the same manner as Southfleet did, to Sir Charles Sedley, bart. of Nuthall, in Nottinghamshire, who, about the year 1770, sold it to William Glanvill Evelyn, esq. who sold it to Multon Lambard, esq. of Sevenoke, the present possessor of it. A court leet and court baron is held for this manor.
RIDLEY is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese and deanry of Rochester. The church, which stands in the southern part of the parish, is dedicated to St. Peter. It is very small, having only one isle and a chancel, but without either tower or steeple, and much overgrown with ivy.
The patronage of the church of Ridley, as well as the manor, belonged to Roger de Leyborne, who, though he granted away the manor, reserved the advowson to himself, as has been already mentioned. His descendant, Thomas de Leyborne, left an only daughter, Juliana, heir to her grandfather, William de Leyborne, who possessed this advowson among her other inheritance, and not leaving any issue by either of her husbands, her estates, on her death, in the 43d of Edward III. escheated to the crown, there being no one found who could claim them as heir to her. After which this advowson remained in the hands of the crown, till that king, in his 50th year, granted the advowson of this church, with other premises, to the abbey of St. Mary Grace, on Tower-hill, then founded by him; who quickly afterwards demised it to Sir Simon de Burley, for a term of years, which becoming forfeited by his attainder, king Richard II. in his 12th and 22d years, granted and confirmed it to them, in pure and perpetual alms for ever. (fn. 9)
The advowson of the church of Ridley remained with this abbey till the dissolution of it, in the 30th year of king Henry VIII. when it was surrendered into the king's hands, who soon afterwards granted it to the archbishop of Canterbury, with whom it stayed but a short time, for the archbishop regranted it again to the king, in the 37th year of that reign, and the king quickly afterwards granted it to Sir Edward North, and he alienated it to Robert Gosnold, gent. who gave it, in the 3d year of queen Elizabeth, with other premises, held of the queen in capite, to Robert Godden, and he died possessed of it in the 17th year of that reign. (fn. 10) His son and heir Thomas, passed away this advowson by sale to John Sedley, esq. of Southfleet, since which it has passed in the same chain of ownership with the manor, to William Glanvill Evelyn, esq. who sold it to Multon Lambard, esq. the present owner of it.
In the 15th year of king Edward I. this church was valued at nine marcs. (fn. 11) In the return made to the commission of enquiry in 1650, issuing out of chancery, it appeared, that Ridley was a parsonage, with a house and thirty-six acres of glebe land, all worth fifty pounds per annum. (fn. 12) It is valued in the king's books at 3l. 19s. 4½d. and the yearly tenths at 7s. 5¾d. (fn. 13) It is now of the value of about 120l. per annum.
Church of Ridley
|Or by whom presented.|
|Godfrey de Rainham, in 1353. (fn. 14)|
|John Harewold, adm. Mar. 12, 1354.|
|Thomas Maxfield, obt. Sept. 12, 1605. (fn. 15)|
|Family of Sedley||Henry Stacey, A. M. 1627.|
|Robert Gardiner, A. M. ob. Aug. 8, 1688. (fn. 16)|
|John Ratye, 1714.|
|John Lambe, A. M. 1719, obt. April 24, 1740. (fn. 17)|
|David Lambe, A. M. ob. 1771. (fn. 18)|
|William Glanvill Eveylyn, esq.||J. Ward Allen, A. M. 1772. Present rector. (fn. 19)|