The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 3. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1797.
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THIS PARISH lies on high ground among the hills. It contains about nine hundred acres of land, of which about eighty are wood. The soil is either chalk or a stiff clay, much covered with flints. The Placehouse, with the church near it, is situated about half a mile westward from the high London road, leading through Farnborough towards Sevenoke, at the distance of about eighteen miles from London, on which is a hamlet called Lock's Bottom. The village of Halsted stands about a mile south-eastward from the church; southward of which the parish is bounded by a large coppice wood, reaching almost as far as Madamscott-hill, the whole of it is rather a lonely unfrequented place, having nothing further worth mentioning in it.
THIS PLACE was, in very early times, owned by a family of the name of Malavil, who held it of the archbishop of Canterbury. They bore for their arms, Gules, a lion passant-guardant or, crowned argent; as the same is now quartered by the family of Dering. Roger de Malvil was one of the Recognitores Magna Assisle, or justices of the great assise, in the 4th and 7th years of king John. Philip de Malvil is mentioned in one of the inquisitions made in the 12th and 13th years of that reign, of knights and other services, held of the king in capite, and returned by the several sheriffs to the king's treasurer, as possessing half a knight's see in Altestede of the archbishop. William de Malevill was in possession of this estate in the reign of king Henry III. as appears by the escheat-rolls; (fn. 1) soon after which it came into the family of Chellesfield. In king Edward III's reign it was owned by Ralph Savage, whose widow, Lora, heir of Reginald de Preston, paid aid for it in the 20th year of that reign, as half a knight's see, which William de Chellesfield before held in Halsted and Preston of the archbishop. (fn. 2)
At the latter end of the above reign, this place was become the property of John, son of William Burys, who, as appears by an old deed, held it in the 4th year of king Richard II. his descendant, William Burys, was sheriff of this county in the 11th year of king Henry VI. and died possessed of Halsted in 1444. (fn. 3)
After which it did not continue long in this name; for in the next reign of king Edward IV. Thomas Bourchier, archbishop of Canterbury, was in possession of it. He died anno 1486, and by his will, that year, devised the manor of Halsted to his kinsman, Sir Thomas Bourchier the younger, whose descendant Alyce Bourchier, carried it in marriage to William, second son of Richard Petley, who bore for his arms, Argent two bends engrailed sable, a canton of the second. (fn. 4)
William Petley died possessed of Halsted in 1528, and lies buried in this church, with Alys his wife, by whom he left two sons; Stephen, of whom hereafter; and Thomas, who was of Vielston, in Shoreham, and was ancestor of the branch of this family settled there, and of those now remaining at Riverhead, in Sevenoke, where further mention will be made of them.
In whose descendants it continued down to Thomas Petley, who possessed this estate, and levied a fine of it in the 17th year of queen Elizabeth, and quickly after passed it away by sale to Sir Thomas Watson, a generous benefactor to this church, who died in 1621, and was buried in it, with Elizabeth his wife, who survived him, leaving an only child and heir, Elizabeth, who carried this manor in marriage to Sir William Pope, of Wilcot, in Oxfordshire, knight of the Bath and baronet, (fn. 5) who was in 1628, anno 4 king Charles I. created baron Pope, of Belturbett, and earl of Downe, in the kingdom of Ireland. (fn. 6)
He had issue two sons, William, who died in his life-time, leaving a son Thomas, heir to his grandfather, and earl of Downe; and a second son, Thomas, afterwards likewise earl of Downe. (fn. 7) Thomas, earl of Downe, succeeded his grandfather here, and afterwards passed away this manor, with the seat called Halsted court-lodge, and the lands belonging to it, to Mr. Edward Ashe, of Heytesbury, in Wiltshire, who bore for his arms, Argent, two chevrons sable. (fn. 8)
Joseph Ashe was of Twickenham, in Middlefex, and was created a baronet in 1660. His descendant, Sir James Ashe, bart. was likewise of Twickenham, and sold this estate to Lansdell, in whose descendants it continued till the year 1738, when John Lansdell, esq. of Halsted, whose arms were, Azure, a chevron counter componée or and sable, cotised argent, between three crosses moline of the same, conveyed this manor, Halsted-court, the park, with sundry farms, messuages, lands, woods, &c. in Halsted, and the adjoining parishes, to trustees for the use of lord Vere Beauclerk, third son of Charles, first duke of St. Albans, by his first wife the lady Diana Vere, eldest daughter and at length sole heir of Aubrey de Vere, the last earl of Oxford of that name, who entering into a maritime life, distinguished himself in several commands, and by gradual promotions, rose to be admiral of the blue squadron of his Majesty's fleet, and in 1750, was created lord Vere, of Hanworth, in Middlesex.
In April, 1736, his lordship married Mary, eldest daughter and coheir of Thomas Chambers, esq. of Hanworth, by whom he has had three sons, of whom Aubrey only is surviving; and a daughter, Mary, married to lord Charles Spencer, next brother to the duke of Marlborough. (fn. 9)
He died in 1781, and was succeeded in title and in this manor (the court-lodge, now called Halstedplace, having been sold off by his father lord Vere, some time before, as will be seen hereafter) by his only surviving son Aubrey lord Vere, who on the death of George, the late duke, succeeded to the dukedom of his grandfather in 1787, and in 1793 alienated this manor to Mr. William Brooks, of this parish, the present possessor of it.
The manor of Halsted extends over part of Chelsfield. Besides the relief paid by the tenants of the quit-rent, there is paid a heriot of the best living beast, or otherwise three shillings and four pence for a dead heriot.
The mansion-house, or court-lodge of the manor, formerly called Halsted-court, but now HALSTEDPLACE, with its appurtenances, and some little quantity of land adjoining to it, being the two walks and roads leading to it both from London and Sevenoke, and two other pieces of land, containing in all about eight acres, were in 1755, sold by lord Vere, and Mary his wife, which sale was confirmed by an act passed next year, to Robert Bagshaw, who some time afterwards passed them away to Robert Ralph Foley, esq. who, in 1767, was created a baronet, being descended of a family of antient standing in Worcestershire; one of whom, Thomas Foley, by Anne his wife, daughter of John Browne, esq. of Spelmonden, in this county, left several sons and daughters; of whom, Thomas, the eldest son, was father of the late Thomas, lord Foley; and Philip, the youngest son, was of Prestwood, in Staffordshire, esq. and left two sons; Paul, who succeeded him at Prestwood; and Robert Foley, whose eldest surviving son, RobertRalph Foley, married Dorothy, daughter of Thomas Hinchcliffe, esq. of Yorkshire, and purchased this seat as before-mentioned. (fn. 10)
He resided at Halsted-place for some years. After which he sold it, with the lands belonging to it, as before-mentioned, to John Sargent, esq. who resided here and died in 1791, after which it was sold to Arnold Arnold, esq. who now possesses it, and resides here.
Sir Thomas Watson, lord of the manor of Halsted, was a great benefactor to this church; in the year 1609, he rebuilt from the ground the fair chapel of free-stone, on the north side of it, and adorned the east end of it, with curious painted glass, richly ornamented, now destroyed; he likewise new-built the steeple with stone from the ground, repaired and newtiled both the church and chancel of it. He built the porch, and gave four new bells, a reading-desk, and pulpit, and made a wall from the north to the west side of the church-yard.
Among other monuments and inscriptions in this church, in the isle, is a grave-stone near the pulpit, with the figure of a man in armour, with a greyhound at his feet, and inscription in brass in black letter, for William Burys, esq. formerly lord of Halsted, obt. 1444, the shield of arms are lost. In the north chancel, two grave-stones, one for Sir Thomas Watson, of Halsted, obt. 1621; the other for Elizabeth his wife, the stone was laid by her grandson, Thomas, earl of Downe; at the east end a mural monument for Sir James Ashe, bart. of Twickenham, whose only surviving daughter Martha married Joseph Windham, esq. obt. 1733. In the high chancel, a monument for Thomas Holt, of London, obt. 1761, arms, argent on a bend engrailed sable, three fleurs de lis of the field. On the south side a gravestone, with the figures of a man and woman in brass, over their heads a dove, and beneath an inscription in black letter for William Petley, and Alys his wife, he died 1528; round the verge of a large gravestone in the middle of the isle, was an inscription in brass, capitals of the 13th century, cut separately into the stone, which are now all picked out, except one letter, so as not to be legible. Philipott supposes this to be the memorial of William de Chellesfield.
It is a rectory in the patronage of the archbishop of Canterbury, being part of the antient possessions of that see. In the 15th year of king Edward I. it was valued at one hundred shillings. (fn. 11)
By virtue of the commission of enquiry in 1650, issuing out of chancery, it was returned, that Halsted was a parsonage, with a house and little barn, and fifty-one acres of land, valued at thirty pounds per annum, master Cottingham being the minister, and master J. Ash the proprietor thereof. (fn. 12)
It is valued in the king's books at 5l. 17s. 11d. and the yearly tenths at eleven shillings and nine-pence halfpenny. (fn. 13)
Church Of Halsted.
|Or by whom presented.|
|Archbishop of Canterbury||Henry Farbrace, A.M. obt. Feb. 21, 1601. (fn. 14)|
|John Hoadley, in 1720. (fn. 15)|
|Walter Foote, in 1734.|
|Caswell Winder, 1742, obt. July 30, 1770. (fn. 16)|
|John Stinton, D.D. 1770, resigned 1771.|
|William Hardy, A. M. 1771, obt. Jan. 1797. (fn. 17)|
|Henry Dymock, A.M. 1797, the present rector.|