The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 3. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1797.
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THE PARISH lies within two jurisdictions, one of which is within that of the justices of the county at large, and the other within that of the bounds of the corporation of the city of Rochester and hundred of the same, the two divisions being known by the names of Stroud Infra and Stroud Extra; the former includes that part of this parish from the High-street of Rochester over the bridge to the mill, called Stroudmill, including the same, and from thence along the High-street, at the right hand side thereof, to the sign of the Angel, and so beyond the church along the high road to the cross way leading from Rochester to Gravesend, and from Cuxton to Frindsbury, and thence up the said way leading to Frindsbury, to a house once called the Ship, including the church of Stroud, and so in circuit about, and including all Littleborough or Littlebury, unto the city of Rochester and Medway again. (fn. 1)
This parish is situated for the most part to the southward of the high London road; the river Medway is its eastern boundary as far as Cookstone, near the banks of which is the manor house of the Temple; whence it rises up the hills till it joins the parish of Cobham, being the greatest part of it a chalky soil. The town of Stroud, through which the high London road leads over Rochester bridge to Dover, is situated at the northern boundary of the parish, almost adjoining to Frindsbury-street, and on the east to the river Medway and Rochester bridge, at the foot of which are wharfs, to which colliers of the largest burthens are brought up, and safely moored. The town consists of one principal street, having the church at the west end of it, near which are some remains of the hospital at Newark. The inhabitants consist in great measure of seasaring men, fishermen, and of oyster dredgers, the latter being conducted by a Company of free Dredgers, established by prescription, but subject to the authority and government of the corporation of Rochester; a further account of which will be given in the next volume, in the description of that city.
The town of Stroud is much improved of late years in the buildings of it, especially by the act of parliament passed in 1769, for new paving, lighting, and watching it; towards the expence of which, though the inhabitants of Rochester, which was joined in the same act, were subjected to the annual rate of one shilling in the pound of their rack rents, those of Stroud, in consideration of their large share of statute work belonging to this parish, were subjected only to ninepence, of which two thirds are paid by the landlords, and one third by the tenants; besides which there is a toll-gate erected in Stroud, the revenue of which is appropriated to this work. A considerable fair is held annually in this town on August 26, by grant, to the priory of Rochester, from king John, in his 7th year. It continues for three days. (fn. 2)
STROUD, alias TEMPLE manor, is situated within the hundred of Shamel, and was given by king Henry II. to the Knights Templars, who had a mansion, great part of which is still remaining, in the southern part of this parish, near the banks of the Medway; which, from their possessing it, has ever since acquired the name of the Temple manor. This gift was confirmed to them by king John and Henry III. but the whole order of them being dissolved in the 6th year of Edward II.'s reign, 1312, pope Clement V. immediately granted their lands and goods to the Knights Hospitallers, and the king afterwards confirmed that grant, and ordered possession to be delivered to them; though he, both before and afterwards, granted several of their manors and estates to laymen and lay uses, which induced pope John XXII. anno 1322, when the confirmed the Templars lands to the Hospitallers, to denounce curses and excommunications against those nobles, knights, and other laymen, and even ecclesiastics, who against right were possessed of them. This bull probably occasioned the act made next year, in which, because the estates of the Templars had been given for godly and pious uses, the king, nobles, and others assembled in parliament, granted that they should be assigned according to the will of the donors, to other men of religion, that they might be charitably disposed of to godly uses, and they were accordingly by it given to the Hospitallers. This manor of Strode, alias Temple, became accordingly part of the possessions of the Knights Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem, the prior of which hospital granted the fee of it to king Edward II. who by his writ to the sheriff, commanded him to take it into his hands, land to account for the profits of it, &c.
King Edward III. in recompence of certain lands and tenements, lately belonging to his dear kinswoman, Mary de St. Paul, countess of Pembroke, which he had taken into his hands, granted to her this manor, with its appurtenances, then held in capite, for her life; and afterwards, in regard of the trouble and expence which she had, and might be at, in relation to his daughter, Joane of Woodstocke, then living with her in her family; he, by other letters patent, in his 12th year, granted this manor and its appurtenances to her and her heirs for ever. She designed to have built a religious house in her manor here, (fn. 3) but altering her mind, she gave it, in the 18th year of that reign, to the monastery she had lately erected at Denny, in Cambridgeshire.
The manor of Strode, alias Temple, continued in the possession of the above monastery till the general dissolution of it, in the reign of king Henry VIII. when it was, with the rest of the possessions of it, surrendered into the king's hands, and confirmed to him and his heirs, by the general words of the act of the 32d year of that reign, in which year the king granted the scite of the late monastery of Denny, with the greatest part of its possessions, among which was this manor, with its appurtenances, to Edw. Elrington, to hold in capite; and he, together with Grace his wife, that year, alienated this manor of Stroud Temple, two messuages, two wharss, and five hundred acres of arable, pasture, and wood, and fourteen pounds rent, with their appurtenances, in Stroud Temple, to Sir George Brooke, lord Cobham, and his heirs; whose grandson, Henry Brooke, lord Cobham, being convicted of high treason, in the 1st year of king James I. though he had pardon of his life, yet he forfeited all his estates to the crown, and among them this manor; all which were confirmed to the crown, by an act passed for that purpose in the 3d year of that reign. Soon after which this manor was granted to Sir Robert Cecil, earl of Salisbury (son of William lord Burleigh) who was afterwards lord treasurer of England, K. G. &c. and had married Elizabeth, sister of Henry lord Cobham above mentioned. He died possessed of it in 1612, leaving the possession of this manor to his only son and heir, William earl of Salisbury, who alienated it to Bernard Hyde, esq. of London; and he, upon his decease, gave it to his third son, Mr. John Hyde, who passed it away by sale to James Stuart, duke of Richmond, in the reign of king Charles I. from whom, after some small time, this manor was conveyed to Blague, of Rochester, who bore for his arms, Argent, a chevron between three garbs sable. His son, Isaac Blague, esq. died possessed of it, (fn. 4) leaving Elizabeth his widow, daughter of Richard Round, of Dartford, surviving, and also two daughters infants. His widow was re-married to Mr. John Lamport, who in her right became entitled to the possession of this manor, after whose death it again reverted to the Blagues, one of whom alienated it to Mr. John Whitaker, whose nephew, Thomas Whitaker, esq. of Wateringbury, is the present possessor of it.
The MANOR of GODDINGTON, in this parish, mention of which has already been made under the parish of Frindsbury, in which great part of the demesnes of it lay, was formerly in the possession of Simon Godington, who, as there mentioned, paid aid for it in the 20th year of king Edward III. as half a knight's fee, which Alan de Godyngton before held in Strode, of Jeffry de Scoland, and he of the earl of Leicester. This manor afterwards, the demesnes belonging to it in Frindsbury having been separated from it, came into the possession of the priory of Rochester, with whom it continued till the suppression of it in the reign of king Henry VIII. who, by his dotation charter, in the 33d year of his reign, settled it on his new-founded dean and chapter of Rochester, where it now remains.
BONCAKES, alias NEWARK, is a manor here, which had owners of the name of Boncake as early as the reign of king John, when Elyas, prior of Rochester, put an end to a suit between that convent and Matthew de Bigstrope, for ten marcs sterling, and redeemed the service, which was owing from the sacristy on the six principal festivals, to William Boncake and his heirs, for the land of Pinendence in Strodes, parcel of this manor.
In the 20th year of king Edward III. this manor seems to have been divided among several owners, for at the making the Black Prince a knight that year, the master of the Newark or hospital of Stroud, the heirs of Richard Gromyn, John, the son of William Prior, of Stroud, and the heirs of Simon de Cockeford paid respective aid for one quarter of a knight's fee, which the said master, Robert Frankelyn and Nicholas de Cokesford before held in Stroud of Simon de Chellesfelde, and he of Jeffry de Scoland, and he of the earl of Leicester.
In the 43d year of king Edward III. James Peckham released to Richard Havekyn, of Stroud, the third part of a certain court, called Frankelyne's-court, most probably from the before mentioned Robert Frankelyn, in Stroud, together with all rents, suits of court, services, and appurtenances, arising from certain tenements in Stroud and Frindsbury, which court and rents once belonged to Hamon Baker, of Stroud.
The manor of Boncakes, together with the manor of HAWKINS in this parish, afterwards became part of the possessions of the hospital of Stroud, frequently styled Newark, whence the former acquired the addition of that name to its antient one of Boncakes. They continued with the hospital till it was, together with all its lands and revenues, surrendered, with the king's licence, in the 31st year of king Henry VIII. to the prior and convent of Rochester, where these manors staid but a few months; for next year that priory was also dissolved and surrendered, with the possessions belonging to it, into the king's hands; all which were confirmed to him, and his heirs, by the act of that year; after which the king, by his dotation charter, in his 33d year, settled, among other premises, the late hospital of Stroud, and all the lands and possessions late belonging to it, among which were these manors of Boncakes, alias Newark, and of Hawkins, on his newerected dean and chapter of Rochester, where they now remain.
The manor of Hawkins was lately held, by lease from the dean and chapter, by Francis Barrell, esq. on whose death, without male issue, his interest in it descended to his two daughters and coheirs; Anne, married to the Rev. Francis Dodsworth; and Catherine, since married to the Rev. Frederick Dodsworth, brother of the former; both of whom are now, in right of their wives, entitled to it. There is no court held for this manor.
The dean and chapter of Rochester are possessed of several small tenements and premises in this parish, parcel of the priory of Rochester, given to it at times by different persons; an account of many of which the reader will find in the Registrum Roffense. (fn. 5)
The YOKE, alias NORTH YOKE, is a small manor in Stroud, which lately belonged to Mrs. Mary Thornton, daughter of the Rev. Mr. Stephen Thornton, of Luddesdon, and she died possessed of it in 1779; and her trustee, the Rev. Samuel Denne, is now in the possession of it.
GILBERT DE GLANVILL, bishop of Rochester, at the very beginning of the reign of king Richard I. founded an HOSPITAL in this parish, not far distant from the east end of the church, which was afterwards called the NEWARK or STROUD HOSPITAL. It was erected by him to the honour of God and the Virgin Mary, for the health of his soul and those of his predecessors; successors, and benefactors; and also for the reformation of Christianity in the Holy Land, and for the redemption of king Richard I. and also for the receiving and cherishing therein the poor, weak, infirm, and impotent, as well neighbouring inhabitants as travellers from distant places, who should be suitably provided with beds, victuals, and drink, until their departure from thence, when others of the like fort should be sustained there in like sort for ever. And he appointed a master over it, to be nominated in future by himself and his successors, who should, with the advice of the bishop, have the care of the hospital, who being a regular himself, should have with him as many regulars as might enable him to perform the divine services there in a proper manner; and at the same time, with the consent of the prior and convent of Rochester, as well as of his archdeacon, he endowed it as is therein mentioned. He likewise exempted the scite and precincts of the hospital from all archdiaconal and decanal jurisdiction, so that the same should be subject solely to the authority of the pope, (fn. 6) the archbishop of Canterbury, and the bishop of Rochester. And lastly, he or dained, that after a sufficient allowance for the support of himself, the priests, and servants of it, all the residue should be applied in relieving the poor, who should be increased according to the improvement of their revenues.
In the 33d year of king Edward I. the bailiffs of Rochester distrained the goods of the master of this hospital, for the nonpayment of their part of the tallage assessed on the hundred of Rochester; but the master proving the hospital to be within the manor of Frindsbury, and the hundred of Shamel, and that he had neither land nor tenement there, a replevin was granted for them. The next year the master made complaint to the king on this account, who directed his writ to the bailiffs of Rochester, to desist in future, or to appear before him, to shew why they had not obeyed the same; after which the master remained quiet from any further claims on this account.
From the first establishment of the hospital, a perpetual jealousy subsisted between the monks of St. Andrew's and the members of it: the former could never forget its having been founded out of their revenues, of which they thought they had been arbitrarily dispoiled by bishop Glanvill. Differences and altercations were therefore, no doubt, very frequent, and once in particular, the dispute was not terminated without blows. This affray, occasioned by the monks passing in procession through the orchard of the hospital, has been already related under the parish of Frindsbury; for the brethren opposing them, a smart rencounter enfued, which wrought so far on the monks, that they never attempted to pass in procession that way any more.
When bishop Hamo de Hethe, not long after his promotion to this bishopric, visited the hospital, he found great irregularity had been committed by some of the former masters, who had dissipated a considerable part of its revenues; he therefore, in the year 1330, with the consent of the chapter of Rochester, made some further regulations for the better government of it. He ordained, that on a vacancy, the master set over it by the bishop of Rochester, should be one who had prosessed the antient rule of St Austin, and should be a priest, and should have with him in the hospital four brethren priests, who should wear one uniform regular habit; and further, in memory of their founder, and of the church of Rochester, they should wear on the left side of their cloaks, and on their copes, over their breasts, a white cross of St. Andrew, the patron of that church. He likewise enjoined them to perpetual residence, unless on extraordinary occasions, and gave them rules and orders for their performance of divine worship, times and method of eating, sleeping, and matters of discipline; referring the punishment of greater crimes to the bishop of Rochester, and the lesser ones to the master or the confessor of the hospital; with rules relating to their common seal, the management of their revenues, &c.
The hospital remained in this situation till the reign of king Henry VIII. when John Wyldbore, the master, and the confreers of it, by their instrument, in the 31st year of that reign, surrendered, with the king's licence, their hospital, by the name of the hospital of St. Mary of Stroud, called Newarke, together with the buildings belonging to it, the manor or Hawkins, and all their lands and possessions in Aylesford, Halling, Stroud, Malling, and Snodland, or elsewhere, to Walter, prior, and the convent of Rochester, and their successors for ever, to hold of the king by sealty only, in lieu of all services. The revenues of the hospital, and the estates belonging to it, were at the time of its suppression, valued at 52l. 9s. 10½d. John Wylbore, in the 31st year of king Henry VIII. was the last master of it.
A few months after the dissolution of this hospital, the priory of Rochester itself was likewise, together with all its estates and possessions, surrendered into the king's hands; who, by his dotation charter, in his 33d year, settled the antient scite of the hospital, together with all the revenues belonging to it, among other premises, on his new erected dean and chapter of Rochester, where the inheritance of them still remains.
The hospital was placed on the north side of the High-street, near the church yard; the scite of it still retains the name of Newark, but is so covered with modern buildings, that very little of the antient state of it is to be seen. The present lessee of the scite of it, under the dean and chapter is Mr. Tho. Hulkes, of Stroud; and of the almonry, now a malt house, Mr. Thomas Peene.
BESIDES the share this parish has in Mr. WATT'S charity, of which an account will be given under Rochester, other benefactions have been made to it. In particular, in the year 1632, ANTHONY YOUNG and JACOB PEMBLE, assigned to several pa rithioners of it, in trust for the poor, four pieces of land, one of which lies in Stroud, and the other three in the parishes of Hoo and Frindsbury, and are now let for the yearly rent of 5l.
WILLIAM FURNER, by will, in 1721, charged his three houses, in Cage-lane, in this parish, with the annual payment of 40s. to the minister of Stroud, to be by him distributed in bread to twenty of the most necessitous poor widows in this parish.
SARAH PHILIPS, by will, in 1740, gave 50l. to the minister, churchwardens, and overseers, in trust, to be put out to interest, the profits to be laid out in bread, and distributed on Nov. 8, yearly, in the church, to the most industrious poor, not taking alms.
In 1721, the parishioners appropriated 50l. per annum, which they then received from Mr. Watt's charity for six years, towards erecting a house for the reception of the poor. In 1724, 50l. was allotted towards completing this building out of the 750l. given by Sir Thomas Colby and Sir John Jennings, towards erecting such houses in the parishes of St. Nicholas and St. Margaret, Rochester, and in Stroud. By which means the present handsome and spacious brick building was erected on a piece of land belonging to this parish, near the north side of the High street.
THE PARISH OF STROUD has the right of nomination to two places in the New College of Cobham, for two poor persons, inhabitants of this parish, to be chosen and presented so, and by such, as the ordinances of the said college have power to present and elect for this parish; and if the parish of Cowling should make default in electing in their turn, then the benefit of election devolves to this parish.
The church of Stroud is dedicated to St. Nicholas. It was formerly a chapel to the parish church of Frindsbury, and as such paid sixpence chrism rent to the mother church of the diocese. (fn. 7) It is a spacious building, consisting of a nave and two isles, and the great chancel, with a tower steeple at the west end, in which is a clock and six bells, one of which was added in 1765. On the north side of the chancel is a vestry room, and underneath it an antient charnel house. In the south isle is a small stone chapel, built in 1607, formerly belonging to a family of the name of Moreland, and afterwards to that of Gother, late of this town. There appears to have been formerly in it a chancel dedicated to the Trinity, and another chancel or altar to St. Mary, which last was ordered to be repaired by the parish, in 1512.
Among other monuments and inscriptions, which are very numerous in this church. are the following: In the chancel, a memorial for the Cæsars; on the south wall, a monument for Samuel Gibson, A. M. vicar of Frindsbury, ob. Feb. 10, 1724: a brass plate, with the figures of a man and his three wives, for Thomas Glover, Agnes, Alicia, and Joane, his wives; he died in 1444. In the south isle, a stone with the figure of a religious person, and round the edge an inscription in capital Saxon letters, for Mariobe and John Creye; over the door of the chapel, south of this isle, is an inscription, that this chapel was bought and repaired by Capt. Richard Wood, in 1705. The raised tombs and head stones in the church yard are very numerous, but being for persons no ways related to this History, the account of them here would be superfluous. (fn. 8)
John, bishop of Rochester, in the reign of king Henry II. gave to the church of St. Andrew, towards the finding lights there, the church of Frindsbury, together with the chapel of Stroud belonging to it, and all lands and tithes belonging to them.
Gilbert, bishop of Rochester, in the reign of king Richard I. with the consent of his archdeacon (who was then rector of Frindsbury, and resigned this chapel into the bishop's hands, with all oblations, obventions, and other things belonging to it, except the tithes of corn) separated this chapel from the church of Frindsbury, and gave it by the name of the church of St. Nicholas of Stroud, in pure and perpetual alms, with all altarages belonging to it, as well of the living as the dead, and all other matters, excepting the tithing of corn, to the brethren of his new founded hospital of St. Mary of Stroud, for their maintenance and support, and he then constituted it a mother church, and assigned to it a cemetery of its own. And he decreed, that the master of the hospital should possess this church entirely, and should convert it to the use of the poor dwelling therein, so that he should provide and present to the bishop his diocesan, either one of his brethren, who should be a priest, or other fit chaplain, who should celebrate divine rites in it; and he willed, that the priests and clerks serving in it should be discharged from all pecuniary exactions, contributions, and payments, as well to the bishop as the archdeacon and dean of the place, and others; excepting only synodals of old accustomed to be paid, In which situation this church continued till the surrendry of the hospital of Stroud with all its possessions, in the 31st year of king Henry VIII. to the prior and convent of Rochester, on the dissolution of which, within a few months afterwards, it came into the king's hands, who granted it, among other premises, by his dotation charter, in his 33d year, to the dean and chapter of Rochester, with whom this church, with the tithes and other appurtenances once belonging to the hospital, now remains.
Since the above grant of this church to the dean and chapter, it has been esteemed as a perpetual curacy, the bishop licensing the curate nominated to it by that body, who constantly demise a lease to him of all the emoluments of this benefice at the annual acknowledgement of one penny.
In the survey of the church livings of this diocese, taken in 1650, it was returned, that Stroud was a donative, in the gift of the dean and chapter, worth 31l. 18s 3d. per annum, Mr. Daniel French, incumbent. It is not valued in the king's books.
King Henry I. gave THE TITHES of the manor of Tempe, i. e. Temple, to the priory of Rochester, which PORTION OF TITHE remained with the prior at the dissolution of it, in the 32d year of king Henry VIII. by whom it was next year settled on his new founded dean and chapter of Rochester, where it continues at this time, the present lessee being Mr. Thomas Hulkes.
Church of Stroud
|Or by whom presented.|
|Master of Stroud Hospital.||Richard Jackson, in 1501. (fn. 9)|
|Dean and Chapter of Rochester.||Robert Chamberlain, about 1630. (fn. 10)|
|John Man, 1642 (fn. 11)|
|Daniel French, ejected 1662. (fn. 12)|
|William Scot, about 1670. (fn. 13)|
|Ferdinand Booth, obt. Feb. 24, 1679. (fn. 14)|
|James Axe, A.M. 1685, 1688. (fn. 15)|
|John Harris, D.D. obt. Sept. 7, 1719. (fn. 16)|
|Charles Parfect, 1720.|
|Richard Chapman, 1732, resig.|
|Caleb Parfect, A.M. resigned.|
|Christopher Beeke, 1736.|
|Richard Husbands, A. M. 1767. (fn. 17)|
|Edward Beedon, D.D. 1755. (fn. 18)|
|John Ward Allen, A.M. 1792. Present curate. (fn. 19)|