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 contains about three thousand acres of land, of which four hundred are wood. It extends about two miles eastward up to high grounds on the hills, among which, near the boundaries of it, are the two hamlets of Pinden and Deanbottom. The soil here is much inclined to chalk, and being much covered with flints, is but poor and barren; but lower down, in the valley, near the village, and towards the Darent there are a few fields much more sertile.
The river Darent runs along the eastern side of the parish; on the bank of it stands Horton castle, of which there are large ruins still remaining, and part of it is now sitted up, as the court lodge or farm house of the manor; and near it the church. At about half a mile distance northward lies the hamlet of South Darent, once esteemed as a parish, and of much greater account than it is at present, the parish of Darent being frequently stiled, in antient writings, North Darent, in opposition to it; and in the Textus Roffensis, in the list of the parishes in this diocese, mention is made of South Darent, as paying chrism. rent to the mother church of the diocese.
This hamlet lies partly in Darent and partly in Horton; in the latter there are still remaining the slint walls of an antient building, most probably formerly the church or chapel of South Darent, now made use of as a malt house. Near which is a large corn mill, and a little farther a handsome modern house, almost rebuilt, within these few years, by Mr. Thomas Williams, who now resides in it.
At a small distance northward from the church is the village of Horton, close to the banks of the Da rent, and a little beyond it the venerable mansion of Franks, and the parsonage. At the south end of the village is Kirkby-house; and on the rise of the hill above it Reynold's-place, now principally occupied as a farm house.
THIS PLACE, soon after the conquest, was part of the possessions of Odo, the great bishop of Baieux, the Conqueror's half brother, of whom it was held at the time of taking the survey of Domesday, by Anschitillus de Ros, who held many estates in these parts of the bishop.
Anschitillus (de Ros) holds of the bishop (of Baieux) Hortone. It was taxed at one suling. The arable land is three carucates, and there are four borderers, and one mill of five shillings, and six acres of meadow. There is a church, and wood for the pannage of three bogs. The king has lately given him by the bishop as much wood of this manor as is worth five shillings. The whole manor was worth four pounds, and now six pounds. Godel de Brixi held it, and could turn himself over with his land wherever he would.
The same Anschitillus holds of the bishop in the same manor half a suling. The arable land is one carucate, and there is in demesne . . . . . . and eight villeins, with six borderers, having one carucate. There is one mill of 15 shillings, and nine acres of meadow, wood for the pannage of five bogs. The whole manor was worth 40 shillings, and now 60 shillings. Ording held it of the king (Edward the Confessor).
The same Anchitillus bolds of the bishop in the same manor one suling. The arable land is three carucates. In demesne there is one carucate, and eight villeins, with two carucates. There is one servant and eight acres of meadow, and half a mill of five shillings, wood for the pannage of fifteen bogs. The whole manor was worth four pounds, and now 100 shillings. Award held it of (king) Herald. These four manors are now as one manor.
To which is added, that the king had all forfeitures of Hamsoca, Gribridge, and Foristel, in Hortune, and that Ordine de Hortune had the privileges of sac and soc for his land within the lath of Suttone.
Upon the disgrace of the bishop of Baieux, about the year 1084, the king his brother seized on all his lands and possessions. One knight's fee, part of the bishop's lands in this parish, was afterwards held of the archbishop of Canterbury, and another knight's see and an half, and the fourth part of the fifth of one was held of Simon de Montfort, earl of Leicester, as of the honour of Newberry.
The manor of Horton, notwithstanding the forfeiture of Odo, continued to be held by the family of Ros, called in Latin, Rubitonensis, who bore for their arms, Or, three roses gules, being a different family from those of Hamlake, who bore, Gules, three water bougets argent; one of whom built Horton-castle, the ruins of which remain at this time. A descendant of this family was Alexander de Ros, who was one of the Recognitores Magnoe Assisæ, or justices of the Great Assize, an office of no small eminence at that time. In the first year of king John, William de Ros held one knight's see in Horton and Lullingstone. (fn. 1) One of his descendants, Richard de Ros, in the reign of Henry III. left an only daughter and heir, Lora, who, from her possessions here, was stiled, The Lady of Horton, who carried her interest in this place, in marriage, about the 20th of king Edward I. to Roger de Kirkby, son of Sir John de Kirby, descended of the family of that name, seat at Kirkby-hall, in Lancashire. They were before possessed of a considerable estate in this parish, called after their own name, the manor of Kirkby-court, where they resided.
Roger de Kirkby, at the inthronization of archbishop Robert Winchelsea, in the 23d of Edward I. made claim before Richard de Clare, earl of Gloucester and Hertford, high steward and chief butler to the archbishop, to serve him on that day with the cup at his dinner, and to have the cup, as his fee, by reason of the manor of Horton, by Farningham, which he held of the archbishop, and the earl admitted his claim; but as he was not a knight, as he ought to be, who should perform it, therefore the earl, as steward, nominated Sir Gilbert Owen to serve for him, who, after dinner, had the cup, &c. (fn. 2)
He re-edified Horton-castle, and new-built the mansion of Kirkby court; and so considerable was his property become in this place, from the above mentioned match, that the parish itself had the addition of his name to it, having been ever since called Horton Kirkby, as well in regard to him, as to distinguish it from other parishes of the same name in this county. His son, Gilbert de Kirkby, held this estate in the 20th year of king Edward III. and there is a large grave stone in the south cross of this church, with the portrait of a man in long robes, in brass, the inscription torn off; but at the north corner of it these arms remain, Quarterly, first and fourth, Kirkby; second and third, Ros, which is most probably his grave stone; but at the latter end of the next reign of king Richard II. a female heir of this name carried Horton castle, and these manors, which now by unity of possession were become one, together with Kirkbycourt, in marriage to Thomas Stonar, of Stonar, in Oxfordshire; in consequence of which the Stonars, as descended from the heir general of the Kirkby's, quartered their arms, being Six lions rampant, on a canton a mullet, with their own. (fn. 3) His grandson, Sir Wil liam, son of Sir Thomas Stonar, by Anne, one of the daughters, and at length coheir of John Nevill, marquis-Montacute, (fn. 4) held this manor, and the water-mill belonging to it, in the reign of king Henry VII. He had one son, John, who died without issue, and a daughter, married to Sir Adrian Fortescue, by whom he had one daughter and sole heir, Margaret, married to Thomas lord Wentworth; and, by Anne her mother, was heir to her grandfather, Sir William Stonar, and had a special possession granted of all the lands which by her death descended to her. (fn. 5) He died anno 5 king Edward VI. and was buried in Westminster abbey, leaving Thomas lord Wentworth his eldest son, who succeeded him here, and in the next reign of king Philip and queen Mary, conveyed these premises, by fine and recovery, to Robert Rudston and Thomas Walsingham; which last, in the 5th year of queen Elizabeth, conveyed the whole of his interest in Horton-castle and manor to the former, and had the whole property of Kirkby-court confirmed to himself.
In the reign of king James I. Anne, daughter and sole heir of Isaac Rudstone, (fn. 6) esq. of Boughton Monchelsea, carried the castle and manor of Horton, in marriage, to Samuel Michel, of Old Windsor, who died within a few years, leaving Anne, his wife, surviving, and two sons, John and Humphry. She, after her husband's death, anno 15 king James I. settled this estate on her two sons, successively in tail, and died in 1669, being succeeded in it by her grandson, John, the only son and heir of her eldest son, John Michel, who died in her life time.
He was of Richmond, in Surry; and at his coming of age, in the 35th year of king Charles II. by a fine and recovery, barred the intail created by his grandmother. He died unmarried, and without issue; and, by his last will, in 1736, devised this castle and manor, the manor of Plumsted, and other estates in this county, &c. to the provost and scholars of Queen's college, in Oxford, and their successors for ever, for the purposes therein mentioned, as has already been fully described under the manor of Plumsted; and in them the present possession and inheritance of this castle and manor is now vested.
The MANSION of KIRKBY-COURT passed from Sir Thomas Walsingham in the latter end of the reign of queen Elizabeth, to Cuthbert Hacket, alderman of London, grandson of Tho. Hacket, of Dartford, and afterwards knighted, and lord mayor in 1626, who bore for his arms, Three fleurs de lis, between two bendlets, a crescent for difference. He lies buried in St. James's, Garlick-hith. (fn. 7) His heirs passed away this seat, with the lands belonging to it, to Payne, in which family it continued to John Payne the elder, who, together with Rhodee his wife, settled it on Joel Payne, their son, on his marriage with Alice Alingham; and they, in 1681, conveyed it to John Collett, whose daughter, Elizabeth, in 1698, passed it away by sale to John Arnold; and his son, William Arnold, brewer, of Deptford, in 1730, conveyed this estate to Thomas Polhill, esq. on whose death, in 1732, it descended to his three daughters and coheirs, and their heirs, viz. one-third to Mr. Thomas Baldwin, in right of his mother; one-third to Richard, David, and Thomas Collins, in right of thier mother; and one-third to Elizabeth Polhill, in her own right.
In the year 1738, Richard and Thomas Collins, in whom the sole property of this seat was then vested, conveyed it to Richard Hornsby, esq. sheriff of this county, in 1749, who resided here, and died possessed of it, leaving his widow, Mrs. Elizabeth Hornsby, surviving, and several daughters his coheirs; she afterwards possessed this seat, and died in 1791, the year after which it was sold by her heirs to Mr. Edward Homewood, who now resides in it.
FRANKS is an eminent seat in this parish, situated on the banks of the river Darent, and near the southern bounds of Horton, towards Farningham. In king Henry III.'s time, this seat was in the possession of a family, who came hither out of Yorkshire, and wrote their names, as appears by antient deeds and evidences, Frankish, and bore for their arms, as appears by their seals, A Saltier engrailed.
After this family became extinct here, this seat passed by sale into the family of Martin. John Martin, judge of the common-pleas, died possessed of it in the 15th year of king Henry VI. whose grandson John, by his will, anno 1480, gave it to his second son, William, who was succeeded in it by his only son, Edward, who resided at Franks; and in the beginning of Elizabeth's reign alienated it, with other lands in this neighbourhood, to Lancelot Bathurst, alderman of London, who rebuilt this seat, as it is at present, (fn. 8) on the opposite side of the river to where it stood before, and died in 1594. He was citizen and grocer of London, and lies buried in the church of St. Mary Bothaw; being the grandson of Laurence Bathurst, citizen of Canterbury, who held lands there, and in Cranbrooke, in this county, and left three sons; of whom Edward, the eldest, was of Staplehurst, and left Lancelot above mentioned, whose descendants will be mentioned hereafter. Robert, the second son, was of Horsemonden, whose descendant, John, became possessed of the manor of Letchlade, in Gloucestershire, where his descendants settled, being baronets; which branch, in 1623, procured an alteration in their arms, Azure two bars or, in chief three crosses formee of the second; crest, on a wreath, a bay borse, standing on a mount vert. Paul, the second son, was of Bathurst-street, in Nordiam, and by Elizabeth, daughter and coheir of Edward Horden, became possessed of the manor of Finchcocks, in Goudhurst, where his descendants settled, of whom further mention will be made, under the description of that manor. Robert, above mentioned, by his second wife, left two sons, Timothy and John, from which latter the Bathursts of Richmond, in Yorkshire, are descended.
Lancelot Bathurst, the builder of this feat, had by Judith, his wife, daughter of Bernard Randolph, of London, Iremarried to Edward Kynaston, several sons and daughters. Randolph, the eldest, was of Franks; Edward resided at Hawley; and George, by Elizabeth, his wife, daughter of Edward Villiers of Howthorpe, in Northamptonshire, had twelve sons and four daughters; of whom Sir Benjamin Bathurst, LL.D. was father of Alan earl Bathurst, whose eldest surviving son was Henry earl Bathurst, chancellor of Great Britain; of Peter Bathurst of Clarendon park, in Wiltshire; and of Benjamin Bathurst of Lidney, in Gloucestershire.
Randolph Bathurst, esq. the eldest son of Lancelot, the builder of this feat, before mentioned, was of Franks; and bore for his arms, Quarterly, 1st and 4th, Bathurst; sable, two bars ermine, in chief three crosses patee or; second and third, Randolph, gules on a cross bumette argent, five mullets pierced of the first; and for his crest, on a wreath, a dexter arm in mail, embowed, and holding a club with spikes, all proper; as are now borne by earl Bathurst, and the other descendants of George Bathurst, fourth son of Lancelot be fore mentioned. In his descendants it continued down to Francis Bathurst, esq. who was of Franks, and had four wives, but left issue only by the first of them, Susannah Hubert, of the kingdom of France, one sole daughter, Beronice, who, on her father's death, in 1738, became his sole heir, and carried Franks, with his other estates in this neighbourhood, in marriage, to Mr. Joseph Fletcher, of London; whose only daughter and heir, Susan, carried it in marriage to John Tasker, esq. of Dartford; and he, on her death, in 1757, became sole possesfor of this seat, in which he resided. He married, secondly, Anne, eldest daughter of Thomas Faunce, esq. of Sutton-at-Hone, but had issue by neither of them. He bore for his arms, Per pale argent, and gules, three saltiers counterchanged; and died in 1796, leaving her surviving, who now possesses this seat, and resides in it.
REYNOLD'S-PLACE lies a very small distance eastward from Kirkby-court, and was in antient times the seat of a family of the name of Reynolds, in which it continued down to the reign of Edward IV. when it was passed away by sale to Sir John Browne, lord-mayor of London, in 1480, who bore for his arms, Azure, a chevron or, between three escallops of the second, a bordure engrailed gules.
This Sir John Browne, otherwise called John de Werks, mercer, was son of John Browne of Okeham, in Rutlandshire. He died in 1497, and was buried in St. Margaret's church, in Milk-street, London, (fn. 9) leaving by Anne his wife, daughter of Belwood, of Lincoln's-inn, one son and heir, William, likewise lord-mayor of London, and knighted in 1547. He died in the year of his mayoralty, having, by his will, bequeathed this seat to his second son, John Browne, esq. who was sheriff of this county in the 10th year of queen Elizabeth, and held his shrievalty at this place; and in the windows of this house, among the remains of much painted glass are the arms and crest of Browne very frequent. In his descendants it continued till, at length, it was passed away by sale, in the reign of king Charles I. to Sir John Jacob, who was eldest surviving son of Abraham Jacob, esq. of Gamlingay, in Cambridgeshire, and Bromley, in Middlesex.
Sir John Jacob, continuing firm to the king during the troubles of those times, had this estate sequestered, and was otherwise a great sufferer, insomuch that he was obliged to part with much of his property; (fn. 10) though after the restoration of Charles II. he was, in 1664, advanced to the dignity of a baronet, which his descendant, Sir Hildebrand Jacob, possesses at this time; he bore for his arms, Argent, a chevron gules, between three tigers heads, erased proper. Among other estates, he passed away this seat, with the estate belonging to it, to Sir Harbottle Grimstone, bart. whose father, Sir Harbottle Grimstone of Bradfield, in Effex, descended of a family long seated in Yorkshire, had been created a baronet in 1612. (fn. 11)
King Charles II. had so just a sense of the merits and endeavours of Sir Harbottle Grimstone, the son, to promote the restoration, that at his return to the throne, he made him of his privy-council, and master of the rolls; before which, as one who meant well to the king, he had been elected speaker of the house of commons.
He sold this estate to Sir John Beal of Farningham, who left two daughters, Jane, married to Sir George Hanger, of Drissield, in Gloucestershire; and Elizabeth, married to William Emmerton, esq. of Chipsted; and on the partition of their inheritance, Reynold's-place, fell to the share of the former. He left two sons, William and Gabriel; the former of whom dying without issue, Gabriel his brother succeeded him in it, and in 1761, was created lord Coleraine of the kingdom of Ireland. (fn. 12) He died in 1773, and by his will devised this estate, with others in this neighbourhood, to his second son, the Hon. William Hanger, who, in 1774, having procured an act of parliament for that purpose, conveyed it by sale to Mr. David Powell, of London, the present possessor of it.
This house was built by one of the Browne's of the same model as Franks, but much larger. It was greatly damaged by the violent storm which happened November 26, 1703; after which Sir Geo. Hanger pulled most of it down, and left only sufficient for a farm house.
PINDEN is a hamlet in this parish, situated about a mile and a half southward from Horton church, It was formerly of much greater account than it is at present; and in the general survey of Domesday it is thus described, under the general title of the possessions of Odo, bishop of Baieux.
The same Malgerius (de Rokesle) holds in Pinnedene half a suling of the bishop (of Baieux). The arable land is seven organgs. There is one plough, with six villeins, and six acres of meadow. It was, and is now worth 16 shillings. Aluret held it of king Edward the Confessor, and could turn himself over wherever be would.
This place has long since been separated into many different estates, insomuch that the continuing a series of the owners of them would afford no entertainment to the reader. After bishop Odo's disgrace, in the reign of the Conqueror, the bishop of Rochester seems to have had some property in this estate; for among the lands, contributary towards the repair of Rochester-bridge, the bishop is bound to repair and make the third pier of that bridge, as holding Pinendene, among other lands in these parts. (fn. 13)
ANTHONY ROPER, esq. gave by will, about the year 1594, to the poor of this parish, at the discretion of his trustees, the rents of certain houses and lands in East Greenwich, vested in the same, the average value of which, for twelve years, has been of the annual produce of 6l. 18s.
THOMAS TERRY of Shoreham, gave by will, in 1628, to the poor belonging to this parish, who do not receive the common alms, a house, barn, garden, outlet, and six acres of land, vested in the vicar and churchwardens, and of the annual produce of 6l.
WM. TURNER of Erith, gave by will, in 1729, to be distributed in bread, to such poor as most usually frequent divine service, and do not receive common alms, a rent charge, out of lands in this parish, vested in the heirs of John tasker, esq. of the annual product of 2l.
HORTON KIRBY is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the deanry of Dartford, and diocese of Rochester. The church, which is dedicated to St. Mary, is built in the form of a cross, with a spire steeple in the centre of it, in which hangs a peal of five bells.
Among other monuments and inscriptions, in this church, in the chancel are several for the Bathurst family of Franks, in this parish; among them one for Sir Thomas Bathurst, son of Sir Edward, obt. 1688. In the nave, a memorial, with the figures of a man and woman in brass, and these arms, a chevron between three escallops within a bordure engrailed, impaling Bathurst, for John Brown, esq. ob. 1595, æt. 28; on another these arms, two bars lancette, and a chief, the inscrip. lost. In the high chancel is an arched recess in the wall, ornamented with Gothic carved work, and underneth it a tomb, most probably for one of the Ros's, lords of this place, and patrons of this church; most likely if not the founder, yet a good benefactor to it. On the gallery, under the steeple, are the arms of Bathurst and Browne carved in wood; in the south cross were some remains of painted glass, but on the repairing the windows, some years ago, it was wholly removed. (fn. 14)—In the church yard are values for the Taskers and Lanes.
Sir John de Cobham, with the consent of Simon Sudbury, archbishop of Canterbury, in the 1st year of king Richard II. gave the church of Horton to the master and chaplains of the chantry of Cobham, founded by him, and their successors, (fn. 15) and procured the appropriation of it to them. The bull of pope Gregory XI. for this purpose, bears date that year, in the 6th year of his pontificate; and this was confirmed by Thomas bishop of Rochester, in 1378, who, by his decree, then endowed the vicarage of this church, saving to himself and his successors, the accustomed pension of one marc per annum due from it, as follows:
That the vicar of it, for the time being, should have of the profits of the church, a competent habitation, in the name of a portion, to be assigned by the bishop; viz. that which the vicars there were accustomed of old to inhabit, with all its rights whatsoever; and that he should have all oblations, made in the church or elsewhere, within the parish, and the obventions and offerings that should be made at the altar of the church; and that the tithes of flax, hemp, milk, butter, cheese, cattle, calves, wool, lambs, geese, ducks, pigs, eggs, wax, honey, apples, pears, pidgeons, fisheries of ponds, rivers, lakes, fowling, merchandizing, trade, herbage, pasture and feedings, silva cadua, mills, all the herbage of the church-yard, and all other small tithes whatever, arising within the parish, of whatever sort they be, entirely and wholly, for his, and his vicarage's entire and whole portion for ever, without any deduction or dimunition, all which he then taxed at seven marcs. And that the vicar should sustain the burthens, entirely at his own proper costs and expences, of the procurations of the archdeacon, bread, wine, and the necessary repair of the buildings of his vicarage, and all other burthens, ordinary and extraordinary, whatsoever, which the vicars of the church for the time being had been before that time accustomed to undergo and take upon themselves, and which might happen to the church in future, of what sort soever they might be, excepting the reparation of the chancel, and the parsonage of this church, whenever there should be occasion for the same. (fn. 16)
In this state the church of Horton remained till the 31st year of king Henry VIII. when the college of Cobham was dissolved, by the act then passed for the suppression of all abbies, religious houses, and hospitals, and for giving their lands and possessions to the king; but there was a proviso in it, that nothing contained in it should be prejudicial to George lord Cobham, and his heirs, to whom the king had given licence by his word, to purchase and receive, to him and his heirs for ever, of the late master and brethren of the college or chantry of Cobham, all their hereditaments and possessions. Upon which this church, thus coming into the hands of the lord Cobham, in the 32d year of that reign, he granted to the king the parsonage of Horton, subject to the yearly payments of 13s. 4d. to the bishop of Rochester, and 9s. 6d. to the archdeacon, together with the church and advowson of it. How long it staid in the crown I know not; but in the reign of queen Elizabeth it was part of the possessions of Lancelot Bathurst, esq. of Franks; after which it continued in the same owners as Franks till John Tasker, esq. possessor of the parsonage, sold the advowson of this church some years ago to Mr. Thomas Williams of Dartford, and he is the present owner of it; but Mr. Tasker died possessed of the parsonage in 1796, and his widow is now possessed of it.
In the 15th year of king Edward I. the church of Horton was valued at thirty marcs, and the vicarage at seven marcs. (fn. 17)
By virtue of the Commission of enquiry, taken in 1650, it was returned, that Horton was a vicarage, with a house, and four acres of glebe land, worth twenty pounds per annum, Mr. Weller Collins enjoying it, and preaching there. (fn. 18)
There was a perpetual chantry founded in the parish church of Horton, which was surrendered and given up to the king by the acts of the 37th of king Henry VIII. and the 1st of king Edward VI. By the survey of this chantry, now in the augmentation-office, it appears, that the clear yearly revenues of it were 62s. 8½d. the whole being a yearly annuity of 3l. 6s. 8d. payable from the late monastery of Boxley, which had been paid ever since the dissolution of that house; that there was a rent out of it, payable yearly to the lord of Horton manor, of 3s. 11½d. that the founder of the chantry was not known, but the profits and annuity above mentioned had been employed to find a priest, to celebrate divine service in the parish church of Horton for ever. This rent was sold by Sir Walter Mildmay, one of the general surveyors of the court of augmentation; and Robert Kelway, esq. by virtue of a commission under the great seal, anno 2 king Edward VI. to Thomas Frend. (fn. 19)
Church Of Horton Kirkby.
|Or by whom presented.|
|Baldwin de Caundell, anno 25th Edward I. (fn. 20)|
|John Alchin, in 1589. (fn. 21)|
|John Gerry, in 1557. (fn. 22)|
|Christonher Dale, B. D. Feb. 15, 1627. (fn. 23)|
|Francis Cornwall, February 19, 1627. (fn. 24)|
|Weller Collins, 1650.|
|Thomas Grei, 1690. (fn. 25)|
|John Goheir, 1691. (fn. 26)|
|Francis Bathurst, esq.||William Hopkins, 1698, ob. Oct. 1, 1742 (fn. 27)|
|Lord Bathurst. (fn. 28)||Vincent Hotchkys, induct. April 15, 1743, Obt. Nov. 1763. (fn. 29)|
|John Tasker, esq.||Edmound Faunce, A. M. induct. Mar. 16, 1764, resig. 1770. (fn. 30)|
|Mr. Thomas Williams.||Richard Williams, 1770. Present vicar.|