The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 3. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1797.
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SOUTHWARD from Milton lies the small parish of Ifield, called in antient records, Yelesfelde, and in the Textus Roffensis, Iuelda.
THE PARISH of Ifield contains not quite three hundred acres of land; it is situated about a mile and a half southward from the high London road, and about two and a half from Gravesend. The surface is not hilly; the soil is part poor and chalky, and part fertile, being a sandy hazel mould or clay upon the chalk; the air is very healthy. The church stands alone, near the southern boundary of the parish. It is a parish but little known, and would be less so, was it not for the hamlet of Shinglewell-street, antiently written Shanecemcewell, situated at the western boundary of it, adjoining to Northfleet parish, in which two of the ten houses contained in it are situated. Through this street, the bye road leads to Rochester; Hevercourt is on the north side of it, and not far distant. A good house, which was for some years owned by a family of the name of Parker, who bore for their arms, Ermine, a stag's head caboshed gules, and continued so till, at length, one of them marrying the widow of Broadnax Brandon, esq. he at his death bequeathed this seat and estate to her; she afterwards married Mr. Cox, but leaving no issue by her two last husbands, she gave it by her will to her son Philip, by her first husband, who was the son of Wm. Broadnax Brandon, by Anne, daughter of Sir Wm. Broadnax, of Godmersham. He left by his wife above mentioned one son, Philip, and a daughter, Grace, married first to the Rev. Pierce Dixon, of Rochester, and secondly to Mr. Richard Hull. Mr. Philip Brandon, who some years ago, conveyed it to Mr. Benjamin Hubble, who rsiedes at Hever-court, and he is the present proprietor of it, but it is at present occupied by the Rev. Mr. Tucker, rector of Gravesend, who keeps a seminary for young gentlemen in it.
The antient Roman road appears very visible here, taking its course through this street, from Springhead in Southfleet, in a direct line towards Cobhampark and Rochester.
In the 21st year of king Edward I. some tenants of this village, to avoid their attendance on the sheriff's courts, &c. claimed to be within the lowy of Tunbridge, but on due examination, Richard earl of Gloucester disclaimed them. (fn. 1)
THE MANOR, now called HEVER-COURT, as appears by the inquisitions made in the 12th and 13th years of the reign of king John, of the knights and other services, held of the king in capite, and returned by the several sheriffs to the king's treasurer, was then held by Hugo de Tokington, as one knight's see, of the archbishop of Canterbury. After which it came into the possession of the family of Hever, and was their first residence in this county, though Hever-castle, near Tunbridge, became afterwards their capital mansion. Of this family was William de Hever, a person of note, who attended king Richard I. to the siege of Acon, in Palestine. In the 7th year of king John, Walter de Hever was one of the Recognitores Magnæ Assisæ, or justices of the great assise, and office of no small trust and eminence at that time. Richard de Hever is in the register of those who accompanied king Edward I. in the 19th year of his reign, to Newcastle, where he summoned the claimants to the crown of Scotland to appear, and give an account of their pretensions to it. Thomas de Hever, in the 4th year of king Edward III. obtained a market to be held at Shinglewell, in this parish; and two fairs, (fn. 2) one at Michaelmas for five days, and the other on the feast of St. Laurence for three days. From the family of Hever this manor and seat obtained the name of Hever-court, by which it has been called ever since.
In the reign of king Edward III. this manor passed by two female coheirs, Joan and Margaret, in marriage to Reginald Cobham, (a younger son of the Cobhams of Cobham, in this county) and Sir Oliver Brocas, one of whose descendants alienated his share in it to Reginald lord Cobham, of Sterborough above mentioned, who then possessed the entire fee of it. His son, Reginald lord Cobham, (fn. 3) alienated it, about the beginning of the reign of king Henry VI. to Rikkill; and there is a memorial, in Northfleet church, for William, eldest son of Sir William Rikhill, and for Catherine his wife; from which name it passed in marriage with Rose, sole heir of John Rikhill, to John Lymsey, whose descendant, Edmund Lymsey, had possession granted of it in the 2d year of Edward VI. (fn. 4) He alienated it to Sir John Rainsford, from whom it passed by sale, in the 7th year of that reign, to Garth, who, in the 40th year of queen Elizabeth, sold this manor to John Barrow and Nicholas Child, gent. the former of whom, about two years afterwards, gave up his interest in it to the latter, and he died possessed of it in 1638. His descendant, in 1644, conveyed it to dame Frances, widow of Sir Thomas Burton, bart. of Leicestershire, who sold it, in 1656, to Thomas Cripps, esq. and he, two months afterwards, conveyed it to Mrs. Leah de la Fortrye, widow of Peter de la Fortrye, merchant of London, and of Greenwich, in this county. She by her will gave it to her daughter, Susan, married to Mr. Peter Bulteel, merchant, of London; on whose death, in 1692, Leah, one of her daughters, became possessed of one moiety of this manor, which she carried in marriage to Dr. Samuel Mills, of Crutched-friers, London, who bore for his arms, Sable, two pales argent, a fess gules. (fn. 5) He left two daughters and coheirs, one of whom carried this moiety in marriage to John Toke, esq. of Goddington, in this county, whose son and heir, Nicholas Toke, esq. having purchased the other moiety of this manor from Mr. Sish, a descendant of another daughter of Mrs. Susan Bulteel, became possessed of the entire see of Hever-court. He died in 1757, and was succeeded by his eldest son, John Toke, esq. late of Goddington, the present owner of it. (fn. 6)
There are no parochial charities.
IFIELD is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese of Rochester, and being a peculiar of the archbishop, is as such in the deanry of Shoreham. The church, which is the smallest in the diocese, is dedicated to St. Margaret. It consists of an isle and chancel; it was rebuilt in the year 1596, and was again repaired and beautified in 1638.
In this church are the following inscriptions: In the isle, a memorial for Jane, wife of Edward Armstrong, gent. of this parish; obt. 1688. A brass plate for Richard Parker, who was a special assistant in re-edifying this church, in 1596, obt. 1607; and for Mrs. Elizabeth, widow of major Robert Parker, obt. 1702. In the chancel, a memorial for George Lauder, rector of Ifield and Nutted, obt. Ap. 26, 1720, and these not inelegant lines—
Scotia me genuit, docuit, sacraque cathedra,
Et chara ornavit conjuge, prole, lare.
Anglia prostrato miserata, lavavit, et almo
Suscipiens gremio sovit, et ossa tenet.
Within the rails, a memorial for Mr. Nicholas Child, gent. lord of this manor, at whose cost and charge chiefly this church was repaired and beautified, obt. 1638. In the east window are the arms of Garrard, with quarterings, over all a crescent, gules, being those of Sir John Garrard, lord mayor in queen Elizabeth's reign, and they are likewise in the windows of Ifield-court, in Northfleet.
This is a discharged living in the king's books, of the clear yearly certified value of 26l. 10s. the yearly tenths-being 8s. 8d½. It is a rectory, lately in the patronage of Thomas Chiffinch, esq. of Northfleet, who some years ago, alienated it to Mr. Henry Edmeads, gent. the present patron of it. This rectory has been augmented jointly with that of Northfleet.
Church of Ifield.
|Or by whom presented.|
|Thomas Chissinch, esq.||George Kellie, 1687.|
|Nicholas Linzane, 1696.|
|John Gordon, 1704.|
|George Lauder, 1707, obt. Ap. 26, 1720. (fn. 7)|
|Humphrey Tayler, 1720, ob. Dec. 12, 1732. (fn. 8)|
|William Creswell, 1732.|
|John Landon, A.M. ob. 1778. (fn. 9)|
|Henry Edmeads, esq.||Wm. Crakelt, A.M. 1778. Present rector. (fn. 10)|