The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 3. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1797.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
THE PARISH of Shorne is about three miles in extent each way. The high road from London to Rochester runs thro it, westward of which are the hamlets of Lower Shorne and Shorne-green, where the ground is low and flat; southward of the road it rises up to the village of Shorne, through orchards and small inclosures of elm trees; the church stands in the midst of it, and at a quarter of a miles' distance northward, a good house, which was for some generations the property and residence of the family of Maplesden, several of whom lie buried in this church; they bore for their arms, Sable, a cross fermee, fitchee, as appears by the visitation of this county, in 1619, in which there is a pedigree of this family, settled at different times here and at Rochester, Maidstone, and Horsemonden. The last of them, Jarvis Maplesden, esq. died here about fourteen years ago, leaving his widow surviving, and four daughters, one of whom married Mr. Thomas Pemble, of Cobham; and the other, Mr. Thomas Hartridge, of Leeds. Mrs. Mapleden afterwards possessed this estate, and resided in it; there is too in the village another house, lately built by Mrs. Jane Ayerst, widow of Dr. William Ayerst, prebendary of Canterbury, who died in 1777, and by her will gave it, with her other estates in this parish, to her only surviving son, the Rev. Robert Gunsley Ayerst, the present owner of it. Westward of the village, are the hamlets of Shorne Isield and Thong, between which there is much rough ground or health; and a little distance southward, the manor of Randall. About half a mile eastward from the church is the hamlet of Shorne Ridgway, north-eastward from which there is much hilly ground and coppice wood, which reaches to both sides of the London road, and there are still larger ones of the southern side of this parish, quite to the bounds of it, adjoining the old Roman road, leading from Shinglewell, by Cobhampark pales, to Rochester. The soil of this parish is in general a loam, rather fertile, which is still more so as it extends northward nearer to the marshes, where it is mostly a smooth plain surface; the air of this parish is not reckoned the most healthy, owing to its exposure and nearness to the large tract of marshes adjoining to the Thames. In 1796, a battery, mounting four twenty-four pounders, was erected in this parish, adjoining to the sea wall, for the better protection of his river.
IN THE 14th year of king Henry II. part of this parish was the king's demesne, for which, on the aid then collected, the sheriff paid into the exchequer the sum of 36s. 8d. and in the 33d year of that reign, four pounds was assessed on it in gross for tallage. At the latter end of that reign, Jordanus de Nevile (fn. 1) held one knight's see in Sornes, of Walter Fitzhelt, who held the same again of the king in capite. John de Nevile succeeded him in the possession of this place, and by his deed, now remaining in the Surrenden library, released and granted to Henry Cobeham, for homage and service, eighteen shillings rent, in the meadow of Boleham, which he held of him and his ancestors, as belonging to his manor of Sornes, to which deed there is the seal of John Neville appendant, being shield with a chief indented. He passed away Shorne manor by deed of gift to Roger de Northwood, who was possessed of it in the 30th year of king Henry III. as appears by the Pipe roll of that year; he died possessed of it in the 13th year of king Edward I. holding it of the king in capite by the service of one knight's see. His son, Sir John de Northwood, in the 21st year of that reign, claimed, and was allowed, free warren, and the usual privileges of a manor here; at which time the king brought a writ of right, and claimed this manor, but the jury gave it against him. After this, he claimed of Sir John, four marcs, and four pence annual rent, but the jury gave that likewise against him, finding that the rent belonged to the manor.
This Sir John de Northwood changed the tenure of his lands from gavelkind to knight's service, and afterwards, together with his son and grandson, accompanied that king in his victorious expedition into Scotland, and was sheriff of this county several times, and having been summoned to parliment among the barons of this realm, (fn. 2) he died shortly after possessed of this manor.
He was succeeded by his grandson, Roger de Northwood, who having been summoned to parliment in the 34th year of king Edward III. but no more, died next year, being then possessed of this manor, held of the king in capite by the service of carrying, together with others the king's tenants, a certain white standard towards Scotland, in the king's wars for forty days at his own expence.
This tenure was customary not only in England but elsewhere; for Selden, in his Titles of Honor, observes, out of Prelucius' Discourses upon the State of Poland, that in 1530, Albert, marquis of Brandenburg, received his investiture by the delivery of a banner, from the hands of Sigismund, king of Poland; and his brother George, at his being instated in that signory, by this ceremony, in his own and his brother's name to place his hands upon the banner; and when the above-mentioned banner was delivered to an heir, whose title was not free from controversy, he was only admitted, to touch the extreme parts of it. (fn. 3)
He left by his wife Julian, daughter and coheir of Sir Geoffry de Saye, Sir John Northwood, his son and heir, but he never came into the possession of this manor, for Julian his mother, held it in dowry, and sur vived him. On her death Roger de Northwood succeeded to this manor, of which he died possessed, leaving Agnes, his wife, surviving, who had it assigned to her as part of her dowry. She afterwards married Christopher Shuckbrooke, and died possessed of it in the 6th year of king Henry IV. (fn. 4)
After her death, the property of it came by sale to Sir Arnold Savage, of Bobbing, who had been sheriff of this county in the 5th and 9th years of king Richard II. and speaker of the house of commons in the 5th year of king Henry IV. and a privy counsellor. He died in the 12th year of the latter reign, possessed of this manor, which he held by the like service of carrying a standard, as above-mentioned. His son, Arnold Savage, died without issue, leaving Eleanor, his sister, his sole heir, who had been first married to Sir Reginald Cobham, by whom she had no issue, then the wife of William Clifford, esq. who in her right became entitled to the possession of this manor.
He was son of Sir Lewis Clifford, K. G. descended from the Cliffords, of Clifford's-castle, in Herefordshire, and served the office of sheriff of this county in the 13th of king Henry VI. His great grandson, Lewis Clifford, esq. passed it away by sale to Sir George Nevill, lord Abergavenny, (fn. 5) who alienated it to George Brooke, lord Cobham, in the reign of Henry VIII. and his grandson, Henry, lord Cobham, being found guilty of treason in the 1st year of king James I. had judgement of death, but his execution was, through the king's clemency, superseded, though his estates became forseited to the crown.
King James granted this manor to Sir Robert Cecil, earl of Salisbury, (son of that eminent statesman, William, lord Burleigh, by his second wife Mildred, daughter of Sir Anthony Cooke) who alienated it to Sir John Leveson, of Whorne's-place, whose eldest son dying without issue male, was succeded in this and his other estates by his brother, Sir Richard Leveson, K. B. of Trentham, in Staffordshire, and he, in the reign of king Charles I. sold the manor of Shorne, as he did all the rest of his possessions in this county to different persons, to Mr. alderman George Woodyer, of Satis, in Rochester, who bore for his arms, Sable, three leopards heads in fess between nine fleurs de lis argent; whose descendant, William Woodyer, esq. of Shorne, died possessed of it in 1732, and by his will devised it to Mr. John Taylor, his sister's son, who bore the same arms as those of Maidstone and Shadoxhurst, and he conveyed it by sale in 1752 to Thomas Gordon, esq. of Rochester, whose sole daughter and heir carried it in marriage to her first cousin, William Gordon, esq. of Bully-hill, late member of parliament for that city, and sheriff of this county in 1763. He died possessed of this manor in 1776, leaving an only daughter and heir, and his widow, Mrs. Elizabeth Gordon, surviving, who is the present possessor of it.
RANDALL, formerly called Roundall and Rundale, is a manor in this parish, which, thought at present of little repute, was anciently of some note as being one of the seats of the noble family of Cobham, where they are said by some to have resided before they removed to Cobham-hall.
John de Cobham, lord of Cobham, possessed this manor in the reign of king Henry III. He left by his first wife two sons, John, who was ancestor of the Cobhams, of Cobham, and of Beluncle, and Henry, to whom he gave this manor of Rundale, (fn. 6) who was com monly called le Uncle, to distinguish him from Henry de Cobham, of Cobham, son of his elder brother John.
He was several times sheriff of this county, and in the reign of king Edward I. was, with three others of his family, attendant on that king in his victorious expedition into Scotland. He died in the beginning of the reign of king Edward II. and lies buried in this church, where his figure still remains on his tomb, armed in mail and cross-legged. He married Joane, the eldest of the two daughters and coheirs of Stephen de Pencestre, by whom he had a son, Stephen de Cobham, who was of Rundale, and in the 34th year of king Edward I. when prince Edward was knighted, with bathing and other sacred ceremonies, received, with many others, the like honor.
Upon the death of Joane his mother, in the 18th year of king Edward II. performing his sealty, he shared in the lands of her inheritance; and having been summoned to parliament among the barons of this realm, he died in the 6th year of king Edward III. possessed of this manor, with another, called Okington, in this parish, leaving John his son, and Avice his wife surviving, who held them for her life, and died in the 14th year of that reign, upon which John, their son, before-mentioned, became possessed of the manor of Roundale, with that of Okington, and dying in the 36th year of the same reign, was succeded in them by Thomas de Cobham, his son, in whose descendants they remained till they were alienated to Wyatt, in which name they continued till Sir Thomas Wyatt, of Alyngton, in the 32d year of king Henry VIII. sold, by way of exchange, to that king, among other premises, the manors of Randall and Okington, with their rights, members, and appurtenances. (fn. 7)
King Henry VIII. in his 37th year, in consideration of other premises, granted the manor of Randall, to George lord Cobham, who had purchased of Sir Anthony St. Leger, in the 7th year of king Edward VI. the manor of Okington, to whom it had been granted by that king in his 4th year, to hold in captite by knights service. His grandson, Henry Brooke, lord Cobham, being found guilty of high treason in the 1st year of king James I. these, among his other estates; became forseited to the crown, and were confirmed to it by an act passed in the 3d year of that reign, as has been already mentioned before.
After which, the manor of Randall, with many other estates of the lord Cobham in this neighbourhood, was granted by king James, in his 10th year, to his kinsman, Lodowick Stuart, duke of Lenox, afterwards created duke of Richmond. After which this manor descended in like manner as that of Cobham already more fully described before, to James, duke of Richmond, who died at Elsineur, in Denmark, in 1672, without issue, leaving Katherine his only sister his next heir, married first to Henry, lord Obrien, and secondly, to Sir Joseph Williamson. Soon after which last marriage, in 1695, all the estates of Charles, late duke of Richmond, in this county, were sold to pay debts, and for other purposes. At the time of the above sale, Captain Robert Porten purchased this manor, and died possessed of it in 1711, and lies buried in the Randall chancel in this church. He left the manor of Randall by will to Sarah Tanner, whose daughter carried it in marriage to Thomas Judd, and he alienated it to Dunn, who sold it to Stevenson, from whom it passed in like manner to Smith, who resided at Randall, and after some few years died there in 1752, intestate; upon which several claimants appeared, of which Mr. Henry Bennett, of West Smithfield, London, was the principal, who, since the deaths of the others, became the sole owner. He left Elizabeth his wife surviving, after whose death it became the property of Walter Mitchell, esq. who about the year 1793 sold this manor to the right honourable John, earl of Darnley, the present possessor of it.
TWO PLACES in the New College of Cobham are appropriated to two persons, inhabitants of this parish, at the election of each of which, according to the ordinances of the College, two persons are nominated by the parish, out of which two, the baron of Cobham for the time being is to select the one to be admitted and placed there. And if the parish of Cobham make default in electing to the college according to its privilege, then the benefit of it devolves on this parish.
MR. HENRY ADAMS, in 1738, by his will gave this parish, eleven pounds, to be paid yearly by the vicar, churchwardens, and common-councilmen of St. Dunstan in the west, London, to the churchwardens and overseers of this parish to be distributed by them for ever on St. Peter's-day, 10s. to the person, who comes for it for his pains, 10s. for a sermon on the day of his decease, yearly, and the remaining 10l. to be then bestowed at the direction of the churchwardens and overseers of Shorne, among the eldest and poorest of this parish, now of the annual produce of 7l. 15s. 6d.
RICHARD CHEYNE, esq. who died at Hackney, in 1625, gave by his will, to the parson and churchwardens of St. Mary Wolnoth, London, and their successors for ever, his marsh land at Westham, in Essex, then let at 13l. per annum, out of which they were directed by the will, among other legacies of the same kind, to other parishes, to pay 40s. per annum, by quarterly payments, to four poor men or women of this parish, now of the annual produce of 1l. 11s. 6d.
LADY ELEANOR PAGE, who died at Rochester in 1645, by her will directed her executor to bestow 50l. upon land, and cause the same to be conveyed to himself, or four or more substantial freeholders of this parish, and their heirs in trust, that they employed the yearly profits thereof towards the putting out such poor children of this parish, as the churchwardens and overseers of it, or the major part of them for the time being should appoint; and she further directed, that as often as only two of ther seossees should be remaining, that they should then convey the land to six, or more of the most substantial freeholders of this parish, and their heirs in like manner, as the said land was estated to them and others, so that neither he rintention might be frustrated, nor the poor defrauded, now of the annual produce of 6l.
The Dean and Chapter of Rochester, in their lease of the great tythes, bound the lessee to distribute 10s. annually to the poor of this parish, vested in the minister, churchwardens, and overseers. These charities are entered in the register book of this parish, of which the above is an abstract.
The church is dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul. The font is very curious and antient, of Bethersden marble, it is octangular, the eight compartments round the bason being filled with sculptures of scriptural history. It is very similar to that in Southfleet church, and therefore probably of the same age. (fn. 8)
Among other monuments and memorials in it are the following:—In the chancel, a brass plate for Thomas Ellys, vicar of Shorne, obt. March 18, 1569; another, with the figure of a priest, for Wm. Pepyr, vicar of this church, obt. Jan. 31, 1468; a stone, with brass plates, arms on a bend three birds, a crescent for difference, impaling a fess dancette ermine, for George Page, gent. obt. 1639, he married Elizabeth, daughter of John Somers, of St. Margaret's, Rochester, and had four sons and three daughters; on the north wall a large monument, with the arms argent, on a bend sable, three birds of the field membred gules, and seven other quarterings, for George Page, attorney at law, and Isabella, his wife, the parents of Sir William Page, he died in 1613, she died many years before him, and for Sir William Page, obt. 1625, his wife, Eleanor, daughter of Robert Edoph, esq. survived him, by whom he had no issue, she was a charitable benefactor to this parish as has been mentioned before, their four figures are placed on the monument. In the nave, a brass plate and figure of a man, for John Smyth, obt. 1437; another for Edmund Page, gent. late of Shorne, obt. 1550, leaving by Eleanor his wife, five sons and two daughters; northward of it is the figure of a woman in brass, and inscription for Elynor Allen, only daughter and heir of John Hearnden, gent. of Shorne, married first to Edmund Page, and afterwards to John Allen, gent. she had by her first husband eight sons and five daughters, obt. 1583; another for George Haysden, gent. of Shorne, obt. 1670, leaving two sons and a daughter; a like for Thomas Sharpe, attorney at law, obt. 1493.—In the chancel south of the rectory, formerly belonging to the manor of Roundal, (which, on the attainder of Henry, lord Cobham, devolved to the parish, and has been repaired by them at no small expence ever since) in the north-east corner, on an altar monument, raised about a foot from the ground, is the portraiture of Sir Henry de Cobham le Uncle, armed in mail and cross legged, and on the margin of the stone an inscription in French, in very antient capital letters for Sir Henry de Cobham, lord of Rondale; a brass plate for John Herenden, gent, obt. 1527, whose daughter and heir married Edmund ......... another for Thomas, son of Edmund Page, obt. 1558; eastward of this a stone, with these arms, a tower with three turrets, and on each a fane, impaling on a fess a lion passant guardant, between three cross-croslets fitchee, for Eizad, wife of Captain Robert Porten, of the manor of Randall, obt. 1704, and for Captain Robert Porten, of this parish, mariner, obt. 1711—In the chancel north of the rectory, a brass plate and figure of a man and woman, for John Smith, and Marian his wife, he died in 1457; a grave-stone, arms, a cross formee fitched, for Captain Jarvis Maplesden, obt. 1681; another, the like arms, for Mr. Jarvis Maplesden, obt. 1707; another, like, for Mr. Jarvis Maplesden, obt. 1717. In the church-yard, on the north side of the church, is a large tomb-stone, which covers a vault, in which lie buried the family of Baynard. (fn. 9)
On the west side of the road, opposite Mrs. Maplesden's house, are the ruins of an antient structure, supposed to have been those of a chapel or oratory, from a stone coffin and many human bones having been dug up in making the foundation for the contiguous building, but there is no evidence remaining relating to it, either of what it has been, or by whom founded.
The church of Shorne, with that of Cobham appendant to it, was given by king Henry I. in the 33d year of his reign, to the monastery of St. Saviour of Bermondsey, (fn. 10) which gift was confirmed by Walter, bishop of Rochester, as he had granted to the monks a parsonage in these churches, he granted licence, that the vicars serving yearly in them, who should answer to the bishop and his officials, for the cure of souls in them. Which appropriation was confirmed to them by Laurence bishop Becket, and the priory and convent of Rochester, in 1246 and 1270; in which last year the prior and convent of Bermondesey acknowledged themselves to be bound to pay to the bishop and his successors, yearly for ever, from their churches of Cobham and Schorne four marcs. Afterwards the priory of Bermondsey paid a pension of four pounds yearly to the bishop and his successors, for the above churches, with that of Birling and of Kemsing cum Seale added to them, as appears by the bishop's registers.
By an antient valuation, taken in the 15th year of king Edward I. the church of Shorne was valued at thirty-six marcs, and the vicarage at ten marcs, and in the 20th year of Edward III. at the like sum. (fn. 11)
This church remained with the priory till the dissolution of it, in the 29th year of king Henry VIII. when it was, together with the lands and possessions belonging to it, surrendered into that king's hands; which was confirmed by the general words of the act of the 31st of that reign.
The church of Shorne remained in the hands of the crown till the 36th year of king Henry VIII. when that king by his instrument, under his privy seal, granted this rectory appropriate, and advowson of the vicarage, to the dean and chapter of Rochester, in exchange for the manor of Southfleet, in this county; on which account the original tenth payable by the dean and chapter, on their foundation, which was 115l. was altered, and as Shorne parsonage was esteemed 9l. 6s. per annum more in value than Southfleet manor, that sum was added, and they now pay 125l. 6s.
On the sequestration of the lands and possessions of all deans and chapters, after the death of Charles I. this parsonage was, in 1649, surveyed by order of the state, when it was returned, that the parsonage, with the barn, yard, &c. containing two roods, and all the tithes, were worth of improved rent 110l. per annum, all which premises were let by the late dean and chapter, anno 16 king Charles II. to Edmond Page, for twenty-one years, at the yearly rent of twenty pounds, and five quarters of wheat, and the lessee was bound to pay to the vicar two quarters of wheat and three quarters of barley, valued at 6l. 12s. and to discharge the pension of twenty shillings due to the bishop of Rochester, and his successors, and to discharge the dean and chapter and their successors of ten shillings yearly, to be distributed among the several poor inhabitants of Shorne, and for the finding of green rushes for the church every Easter, so that the rectory was worth, over and above all reprises, the yearly sum of 72l. 18s. out of which lease the vicarage, worth 50l. per annum, was excepted. (fn. 12)
By another survey, taken in 1650, of the vicarage of Shorne, it was returned, that it was presentative by the late dean and chapter, worth sixty pounds per annum, Mr. George Bludworth then incumbent, under the sequestration of Colonel James Temple, Mr. Bludworth receiving the profits of it.
On the restoration of king Charles II. and the reestablishment of the dean and chapter, they again took possession of this parsonage and advowson, the inheritance of which continues vested in them. The Pages were formerly lessees of this parsonage, afterwards the Baynards, of Rochester. The present lessee is Mrs. Jane Baynard, of that city.
William Pepyr, vicar of this church, who died in 1468, left by his will to his successors the house in which he dwelt, on condition that they should not sue his executors for the reparation of the vicarage, and Thomas Page, of this parish, by his will in 1495, invested in the vicar and his trustees, his tenement, called Normans, in Upper Shorne, for a dwelling-house for the vicar and his successors. (fn. 13)
GILBERT DE GLANVIL, bishop of Rochester, in the reign of king Henry II. confirmed to the church of Rochester, the tithes of Rundale and Thuange, (now Thong) which had been given to them by Smalmann, of Shorne.
Henry, of Tuange, likewise confirmed this gift of his grandfather to them, as did several of the succeeding bishops of Rochester, which portion of tithes lying in Shorne, Cobham, and Chalk, in the 15th year of king Edward I. was taxed at seven marcs. It remained in the possession of the priory of Rochester till the dissolution of it, when it was, together with all its lands and possessions, surrendered into the hands of king Henry VIII. in the 32d year of his reign, who presently afterwards, in his 33d year, settled this portion of tithes, by his dotation charter, on his new-founded dean and chapter of Rochester.
On the intended dissolution of deans and chapters, after the death of king Charles I. there was a survey taken of this portion of tithes in 1649, by order of the state, when it was returned, that it consisted of a barn and barn-yard, called Mounken barn, lying at Thong, in this parish, with all portion of tithes of corn and grain, arising in the parishes of Shorne and Chalk, as had been antiently used and accustomed; and also all manner of tithes due out of the manor of Beechingcourt, and of a crost called Idley lands, and certain lands in Cobham, worth twelve pounds per annum, all which premises were let anno 11 king Charles I. by the dean and chapter, to Sir George Fane, for the term of twenty-one years at the rent of four pounds and two good capons, or five shillings yearly.
On the restoration of king Charles II. in the year 1660, the dean and chapter of Rochester repossessed themselves of this portion of tithes, the inheritance of which continues vested in them. The present lessee of it being the right honorable Thomas, lord Le Despencer.
Church of Shorne.
|Or by whom presented.|
|Priory of Rochester.||Sir Thomas, in the reign of king Henry III. (fn. 14)|
|William Pepyr, obt. Jan. 31, 1468.|
|Dean and Chapter of Rochester.||Thomas Ellys, obt. March 18, 1569. (fn. 15)|
|William Franlyn, A. M. in 1630. (fn. 16)|
|Tobias Swinden, A. M. 1724. (fn. 17)|
|Caleb Parfect, A.M. presented in 1733, ob. Sept. 21, 1770. (fn. 18)|
|John Law, A. M. presented in 1770, resigned 1776. (fn. 19)|
|Peter Pinnell, A.M. Nov. 1776, obt. Aug. 16, 1783. (fn. 20)|
|Henry Jones, A. M. Nov. 1783, the present vicar. (fn. 21)|