The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 2. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1797.
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ASH NEAR WROTHAM.
Ash is situated on high ground among the hills. The soil of it is mostly chalk, and the greatest part of it unfertile, and much covered with flints. It contains about three thousand acres of land, of which about six hundred are wood. It has about eighty houses and four hundred inhabitants. There are two hamlets in it, Hodsoll-street and West Yoke. At the north-east boundary of it is Idley farm, belonging to Thomas Coventry, esq. of North Cray. It is shaped very irregularly, and bounds to no less than nine parishes. The church stands by itself, nearly in the centre of the parish, and about a mile southward from it, the manor and hamlet of South Ash. On the eastern side of the parish, on the decline of the hill, towards the valley, it is covered with coppice wood. It is not much frequented, and has nothing farther worth mention in it.
At the time of taking the general survey of Domesday, this place was part of the possessions of Odo, bishop of Baieux, the king's half brother; accord ingly it is thus entered in that record, under the general title of that prelate's lands:
Hugo de Port holds Eisse of the bishop (of Baieux). It was taxed at three sulings. The arable land is . . . . . In demesne there is one carucate, and 12 villeins, with eight borderers, having three carucates. There is a certain knight having eight (carucates) among his servants, and maid servants, and arable land sufficient for one plough.
Besides this, Hugo has two tenants holding half a suling, who could, in the time of king Edward the Confessor, remove wherever they pleased, without leave; one land is called Didele, and the other Soninges. The arable land there is sufficient for one plough, and is rated at 20 shillings. The whole manor was rated at seven pounds, and the like now. What Richard held of (his lowy of) Tunbridge is rated at 40 shillings. The king has from thence two pennes, which are taxed at seven shillings. Godric held it of king Edward.
On the disgrace of bishop Odo, about the year 1084, the king seized on all his lands and possessions, after which this place was granted to Hubert de Burgh, earl of Kent. (fn. 1)
In the reign of king Henry III. this parish seems to have been separated into THREE DIFFERENT MANORS, which is in some measure pointed out in the above description in Domesday, one of which, being the most capital, was called the MANOR OF ASH, alias NORTH ASH, and in that reign was in the possession of Henry Pencombe. In the 20th year of king Edward III. the heirs of Robert Pencombe held it, as the 12th part of a knight's fee, of the heirs of William de Eynsford, and he of the heirs of Ralph Fitzbernard, and he of Mabilia de Torpel, and she of Roger de Moubray, and the heirs of the said Robert Pencombe, then paid aid for it. (fn. 2)
Sir Thomas de Grandison, son of Otho, died possessed of this manor in the 50th year of that reign. In the 22d year of the next reign of king Richard II. it was become the inheritance of Philippa, granddaughter and heir of Sir Guy Brian, and widow of John Devereux, who that year married Sir Henry le Scrope, of Masham. She died in the 8th year of king Henry IV. being then possessed of this manor of Ash, and others in these parts, and leaving Elizabeth, wife of Robert Lovel, her sister and next heir.
James Boteler, earl of Wiltshire, son and heir of James, fourth earl of Ormond, afterwards possessed it. He had been, in consideration of his faithful adherence to the Lancastrians, in the 27th year of king Henry VI. raised to the title of earl of Wiltshire, and afterwards made lord-treasurer and knight of the Garter, being in the battle of Towtonfield, in Yorkshire, fought on Palm Sunday, anno 2 king Edward IV. wherein the Yorkists obtained the victory, he was taken, and afterwards beheaded at Newcastle; and being attainted in parliament that year with Jasper, earl of Pembroke, and others, for procuring foreign princes to invade the realm, he was adjudged to forfeit all his lands, upon which this manor came to the crown, (fn. 3) and was granted from thence, by Edward IV. in his 14th year, together with other estates of the earl of Wiltshire attainted, to Henry viscount Bourchier, earl of Essex, in consideration of his services, to hold to him, and Isabel his wife, the king's aunt, and the heirs of their two bodies lawfully begotten. In the 13th year of king Henry VI. he bore the title of earl of Ewe; and in the 25th year he was summoned to parliament by the title of viscount Bourcheir; and anno 1 king Edward IV. he was created earl of Essex. He died in the 23d year of that reign, being then possessed of this manor, as his widow Isabel was at her decease, anno 2 king Richard III. (fn. 4) He left Henry Bourchier, his grandson, his next heir, who, in the 9th year of king Henry VII. had a special possession granted of all the lands which he was heir to, or which of right descended to him. (fn. 5)
He seems to have passed away this manor to Sir Edward Poynings, a famous soldier in his time, who having been faithful to Henry earl of Richmond, in his distresses, was much caressed by him, after he attained the crown by the title of Henry VII. being made of his privy-council, governor of Dover-castle, knight of the Garter, and lord warden of the five ports. He died possessed of it in the 14th year of king Henry VIII. as appears by the inquisition taken that year after his death, when leaving no legitimate issue, his estates escheated to the crown. (fn. 6) King Henry VIII. granted this manor to Thomas Cromwell, earl of Essex, on whose attainder and execution, in the 32d year of that reign, it reverted again to the crown, where it staid but a short time; for that king, in his 36th year, granted it, among other premises, to Sir Martin Bowes, knt. to hold in capite by fealty only. (fn. 7) His lands were disgavelled by the act of the 2d and 3d of king Edward VI. he died in 1566, and was succeeded by William Bowes, his son and heir, who died without male issue, leaving two daughters and coheirs, of whom Elizabeth married William Buggin, and Anne was the wife of Sir Edmund Fowler, (fn. 8) who, in right of their respective wives, became joint possessors of this manor; but on a parti tion of their inheritance, in 1634, it became the sole property of Sir Edmund Fowler, whose family was of Islington, of whom Sir Thomas Fowler, by Jane Charlet his wife, had two sons; Sir Thomas Fowler, who was, in 1628, created a baronet; which branch is extinct; and Sir Edmund Fowler above mentioned. Several of this family lie buried in Islington church, where are their arms, Azure on a chevron argent, between three fowls or, as many crosses formee gules. He died in 1645, and by his will, devised it to his only son, Nich. Fowler, esq. whose son, Edmund, leaving an only daughter, she, in 1718, carried it in marriage to Multon Lambard, esq. afterwards knighted.
He died in 1758; without issue, leaving his widow surviving, who possessed this manor for her life, and died in 1780; upon which it became vested in Multon Lambard, esq. of Sevenoke, the present owner of it. There is a court baron held for this manor.
The MANOR OF HALYWELL, alias HODSOLL, took the former of those names from the Benedictine nunnery of Halywell, near Shoreditch; and the latter, most probably, from the family of Hodsoll, once lessees of it under the priory. In the 14th year of king Edward II. the prioress of this nunnery had certain liberties granted for this estate in Ash. (fn. 9) On the dissolution of this house, in the reign of king Henry VIII. the estates belonging to it came into the king's hands, who granted this manor to Sir Martin Bowes, since which it has had the same owners as the manor of Ash above mentioned, the present possessor of it being Multon Lambard, esq. of Sevenoke. There is a court leet held for this manor.
The MANOR OF SOUTH ASH, the hamlet of which is situated about a mile southward from Ash church, was formerly held by a family who took their name from it. In the 20th year of king Edward III. John de Southesshe was owner of it, and then paid aid for it, as two parts of a knight's fee, holding it of the manor of Kemsing and Seal, as that was again of the earl of Leicester.
After this family was extinct here, it came into the possession of the Huddysholes. William Huddyshole, alias Hudsoll, possessed it in the reigns of Henry V. and VI. Mr. John Huddyshole was owner of it in the reign of king Henry VII. and was succeeded in it by his son of the same name, as he was by his son, Mr. William Hodsoll, gent. who died in 1585, and lies buried in this church, as do many of his descendants. The Hodsolls bear for their arms, Azure, a fess wavy, betw. three stone sountains or wells argent, which fess was not borne antiently by them. Philipott supposes that the three wells in their arms allude to the name of Halywell, or Holywell; perhaps they might take it from their being tenants to that priory, for their estate of Halywell in this parish. From Mr. William Hodsoll this manor, as well as Hodsoll-street, in this parish, continued in an uninterrupted succession to his descendant, William Hodsoll, gent. of Dartford and South Ash, who died possessed of it in 1776, without issue, and by his will devised them (after his widow's decease) to his cousin, Mr. Charles Hodsoll, of Ash, who is the present possessor of them. (fn. 10)
There was antiently another manor in this parish, called the manor of Ash likewise, and in later times, ASH, alias ST. JOHN'S ASH, from its becoming the property of the knight's of St. John of Jerusalem, who united it as an appendage to their manor of St. John's, in Sutton-at-Hone.
This was once the estate of the family of Latimer; one of whom, William de Latimer, senior, obtained a grant in the 30th year of king Edward I. of a market on a Thursday at this manor of Ash, and a fair on the seast of the apostles Peter and Paul, and free warren within all his demesne lands of it. (fn. 11) He died possessed of it in the 1st year of king Edward III. His grandson, William de Latimer, held it in the 20th year of that reign, and then paid aid for it, as the fourth part of a knight's see, held of Roger de Mowbray, who held it again of the king.
This manor came into the name of Cressel, in the reign of king Richard II. soon after which it was given to the Knights Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem; who, as appears by their rentals, united it as an appendage to their manor of Sutton-at-Hone, in this neigbourhood, after which it seems never to have had a separate court held for it, so that it soon lost all name and distinction of a separate manor. On the dissolution of these knights, in the 32d year of king Henry VIII. their lands and possessions became vested in the crown; since which this estate has had the same succession of owners as the manors of St. John and Sutton, mentioned above; in the partition of which, made in the 7th year of king Charles I. between Sir Randyll Cranfield and Sarah countess of Leicester (which is said to be of the manors of St. John, alias Sutton-at-Hone, and of Ash juxta Kingsdowne) the quit-rents of it in this parish were divided, as is mentioned therein, between the coparceners; and as such they are now become the property of William and John Mumford, esqrs. lords of the separate moieties of that manor.
SCOTGROVE was very antiently the estate of a family named Torpel, and was once accounted a manor. In the reign of king Henry III. William de Faukeham held this estate of Mabilla, widow of John de Torpel, who had granted it to him and his heirs, in frank fee, to hold by the service of the fourth part of a knight's see; which service and grant was afterwards confirmed by that king, under his seal. His son and heir, Jessry de Faukeham held it in like manner by knight's service, and enseoffed Richard de Gatewyk in it, who left three sons; of whom John, the eldest, died before the 6th year of king Edward II.
There was a remarkable suit commenced before the Kentish judges itinerant in the above year, by Richard and William de Gatewyk, sons of John above mentioned, for their reasonable parts of the inheri tance of their father in Ash, against Catherine and her two sisters, upon the plea that no one could change gavelkind (as these lands were before the grant of Mabilla de Torpel) into frankfree, but the king and archbishop of Canterbury; and that only for such lands as were held immediately of them. This suit, from the nicety of the matter, was removed into the common pleas; and, notwithstanding the king directed his writ to the judges, informing them of his prerogative to change the tenure and descent of gavelkind lands, yet there is nothing further appears on the roll, though the continuances were entered for two years or more. However, it is plain, by the time taken to consider of the matter, that the information given by the king's writ, to the court, did by no means satisfy their doubt. Richard de Gatewyk was found to have released his right as to his purparty; upon which judgment was given against him, and the suit was carried on by his brother William, for his share only of the inheritance. (fn. 12)
In the 20th year of king Edward III. William de Warren paid aid for the manor of Scotgrove (as it is called in the book for collecting it) as one fourth part of a knight's fee, which John de Gatewyk held in Ashe, at Scotgrove, of Roger de Moubray, and he of the king. In the reign of king Richard II. the Frankenhams were lords of the fee, who before the end of king Henry V. were extinct here, and it then came into the possession of the Culpepers, in whom it continued till Jocosa, daughter and heir of Nicholas Culpeper, carried this manor, then held of Sir Edward Poynings, as of his manor of Ash, by knights service, in marriage to Walter Lewknor, who was seated at Warbleton, in Sussex, and was the fifth son of Sir Thomas Lewknor, of Goring, in Essex, who bore for his arms, Azure, three chevronels argent. He died possessed of it in the 13th of Henry VIII. and left it to Humphry Lewknor, esq. his son and heir; who conveyed it by sale to Thomas Fane, gent. of London, the third son of John Fane, esq. alias Vane, of Tunbridge, who died in the 24th year of king Henry VIII. and by his will bequeathed his estates in this parish to his son Thomas Fane; from which name it went, after some time, to Walter; (fn. 13) and thence to Lambarde, in which family it still continues, the inheritance of it being now vested in Multon Lambard, esq. of Sevenoke.
There was once a chapel belonging to this estate, the foundations of which are still visible in a wood, called Chapel-wood, in this parish; where there are other foundations of buildings near it, and a well now covered over.
JOHN WALTER, esq. of Fewkham, 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 to each of them yearly, on Christmas-day, for ever; 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.
SAUL ATWOOD, A.M. gave by will, in 1735, a sum of money towards the establishing a free school, for the benefit of the children of the poor of this parish, the same being payable out of land vested in John Frend, of the annual produce of 20l. and for pens, ink, and paper, for the school, a yearly sum, issuing out of land, vested in Richard Gee, and of the annual produce of 1l. and for the entertainment of the trustees, at the annual meeting, a yearly sum, vested in the same, and of the annual product of 10s. and for bread, to be given yearly to the poor on Good Friday, a yearly sum, issuing out of land vested in the same, and of the annual produce of 1l.
THOMAS COMPORT, as antient people affirm, gave a benefaction of 20s. per annum, and the piece of ground, bound for the payment of it, is called Sandy Croft, lying at the upper end of a field, called Whitecroft. It is now vested in the heirs of Joseph Coxe, and land tax deducted, is of the annual produce of 16s.
ASH is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese and deanry of Rochester. The church is dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul. It consists of three isles and three chancels, having a spire steeple at the west end, in which are three bells. The altar piece was erected at the cost of the Rev. Mr. Atwood, formerly rector of this parish.
Among the monuments and inscriptions in it, are the following: In the chancel, a grave stone, with the figure of a man in brass, and inscription, for Richard Galon, rector, ob. Feb. 14, 1465. On the south wall, a monument, and under it a gravestone, and inscription on brass, for Thomas Maxfield, S.T.P. rector of this church and Ridley, obt. Sep. 12, 1605, arms, vert a cross ingrailed ermine; on the north side a stone and like inscription for Joan his wife. In the nave, a stone, and inscription on brass, for Wm. Hodsoll, gent. of South Ash, ob. 1586; arms, three stone fountains; on another, close to it, for Wm. Hodsoll, gent. of South Ash, ob. 1616. In the chancel, belonging to the family of Hodsoll, and lying north of the rector's chancel, among others, a memorial for Wm. Hodsoll, gent. of South Ash; ob. 1663; he married first Hester, daughter of Mr. Henry Sylyard, of Ightham; 2dly, Elizabeth, daughter of Mr. John Grawick, gent. of Sussex; arms, a fess wavy, between three stone fountains, impaling three rundles, each charged with a fret; another for capt. John Hodsoll, of South Ash, ob. 1683; arms, Hodsoll impaling a chevron ermine, between three leopards passant; another for Wm. Hodsoll, esq. of South Ash, son of the above, obt. 1699. A memorial for John Hodsoll, gent. eldest son of Wm. Hodsoll, gent. late of South Ash, obt. 1720. In the Fowler's chancel, south of the rectors, on a south wall, is a marble monument and inscription for lady Anne, second wife of Sir Edward Fowler, of this parish, daughter of Sir Edward Brabison, baron of Ardey, sister of William earl of Estmeath, and widow of Samuel Alymer, esq. of Suffolk, by whom she had three sons and two daughters, of whom Anthony Alymer, the third son, married Anne, the daughter of Sir Edmund Fowler aforesaid. Alice, the second daughter, was then the wife of Nicholas Fowler, esq. the only son and heir of the aforesaid Sir Edmund Fowler, who, as well as the lady Anne his wife, died in 1645. (fn. 14)
The church of Ash, from very early times, belonged to the priory of St. John of Jerusalem, the prior and brethren of which received from it an annual pension of ten marcs sterling. (fn. 15) At the dissolution of the priory, in the 32d of king Henry VIII. this church, with other possessions belonging to it, were given to the king; and he, in the 36th year of his reign, granted it, among other premises, to Sir Martin Bowes; since which it has passed, in the same manner as the manor of Ash, to Multon Lambard, esq. of Sevenoke, who is the present patron of it.
King Henry VIII. in his 36th year, granted to Jane Wilkinson, widow, among other premises, the above mentioned pension of 6l. 13s. 4d. from the rectory of Ash, late belonging to the priory of St. John of Jerusalem, to hold in capite by knights service. In 1650, this pension belonged to the poor of the parish of Barking, in Essex, who are at this time intitled to it.
In the 15th year of king Edward I. this church was valued at twenty marcs. (fn. 16)
By virtue of a commission of enquiry, issuing out of chancery, by order of the state, in 1650, it was returned, that Ash was a parsonage, with a house, and eleven acres of glebe land, all worth 120l. per annum, one master Thomas Morris enjoying it, and paying out of it 6l. 13s. 4d. per annum to the poor of Barking in Essex. The rectory is valued in the king's books, at 9l. 18s. 4d. and the yearly tenths at 19s. 10d. (fn. 17)
Church of Ash.
|Or by whom presented.|
|Gregory, in 1242. (fn. 18)|
|Henry Beausitz, anno 25 Ed. I. (fn. 19)|
|Richard Galon, obt. Feb. 14, 1465. (fn. 20)|
|Thomas Maxfield, D.D. obt. Sep. 12, 1605. (fn. 21)|
|William Baker, A.M. in 1626.|
|Thomas Morris, in 1650. (fn. 22)|
|William Noakes, eject. in 1662. (fn. 23)|
|Edward Christmas, in 1715.|
|Samuel Atwood, A.M. ob. 1701.|
|Samuel Atwood, A.M. instituted March 14, 1701, obt. April 24, 1735. (fn. 24)|
|John Pery, D.D. 1735, obt. 1768. (fn. 25)|
|Lady Lambard||John Pery, M.A. 1768, resigned 1777. (fn. 26)|
|Multon Lambard, esq||William James, ob. Dec. 1779. (fn. 27)|
|Charles Whitehead, A.M. 1780. (fn. 28)|
|Thomas Lambard, A. M. 1784. Present rector.|