The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 4. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1798.
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NORTH-WESTWARD from Linton, on the opposite side of Cocks-heath, and on the southern bank of the river Medway lies the parish of East Farleigh, so called to distinguish it from the adjoining parish of West Farleigh, in Twyford hundred. It is called by Leland, in his Itinerary, Great Farleigh.
In the record of Domesday it is written Ferlaga, and in the Textus Roffensis, FEARNLEGA, and most probably took its name, as well as the parish of West Farleigh, from the passage over the river Medway at one or both of these places, fare in Saxon signifying a journey or passage, and lega, a place, i. e. the place of the way or passage.
THE PARISH of East Farleigh is situated about two miles from Maidstone, it lies on high ground, the soil a loam, covering but very slightly a bed of quarry stone. It is exceeding fertile, especially for fruit trees and the hop-plant, of which, especially about the village, there are many plantations. Its extent is about two miles each way; the river Medway is its northern boundary, over which here is an old gothic stone bridge of five arches, which is repaired at the county charge. The tide, in memory of some now living, flowed up as high as this bridge, but since the locks have been erected on this river to promote the navi gation, it has stopped from flowing higher than that just above Maidstone bridge. From the river the ground rises suddenly and steep southward, forming a beautiful combination of objects to the sight, having the village and church on the height, intersected with large spreading oaks and plantations of fruit, and the luxuriant hop, whilst the river Medway gliding its silver stream below, reflects the varied landscape. The village, through which the road leads from Tovill to West Farleigh, stands on the knole of the hill, about a quarter of a mile from the river, having the church and vicarage in it; eastward lies the hamlet of Danestreet, and further on Pimpes-court, at the extremity of this parish next to Loose, in which part of the lands belonging to it lie. At a small distance westward of the village of East Farleigh, is a genteel house, formerly belonging to a family of the name of Darby, some of whom are mentioned in the parish register as inhabitants of it, as far back as the year 1653. Mr. John Darby, the last of them, died in 1755, and by will gave this house to his widow, (Mary, daughter of Captain Elmstone, of Egerton) who re-married Mr. James Drury, of Maidstone, by whom she had one daughter, Mary. Since his death in 1764, she again became possessed of it, and resides in it; from hence the ground keeps still rising southward to Cocksheath, between which and the village is the manor of Gallants, part of the heath is within this parish, which reaches within a quarter of a mile of the house called Boughton Cock, part of Loose parish intervening, and separating the eastern extremity of it entirely from the rest. In this part of the parish are some quarries of Kentish rag stone, commonly called the Boughton quarries, from their lying mostly in that parish, and on the banks of the Medway there are more of the same fort, wholly in this of Farleigh.
A younger branch of the clerks of Ford, in Wrotham, resided here in the reigns of queen Elizabeth and king James I. as appears by the parish register. Dr. Plot mentions in his natural history of Oxfordshire, some large teeth having been dug up here, one of which was seven inches round, and weighed five ounces and an eighth, but I can gain no further information of them.
THIS PLACE was given by queen Ediva, or as she is called by some Edgiva, the mother of king Edmund and Eadred, in the year 961, to Christ-church, in Canterbury, free from all secular service, excepting the repairing of bridges, and the building of castles; (fn. 1) and it continued in the possession of that church at the time of the taking the general survey of Domesday, in the year 1080, being the 15th of the Conqueror's reign, in which it is thus described, under the general title of Terra Monachorum Archiepi, or lands of Christ-church, in Canterbury.
The archbishop himself holds Ferlaga. It was taxed at six sulings. The arable land is 26 carucates. In demesne there are four, and 35 villeins, with 56 borderers, having 30 carucates. There is a church and three mills of twenty-seven shillings and eight pence. There are 8 servants, and 6 fisheries, of one thousand two hundred eels. There are 12 acres of pasture. Wood for the pannage of 115 hogs.
Of the land of this manor Godefrid held in fee half a suling, and has there two carucates, and seven villeins with 10 borderers having three carucates, and four servants, and one mill of twenty pence, and four acres of meadow, and wood for the pannage of 30 hogs.
The whole manor, in the time of king Edward the Confessor was worth sixteen pounds, and afterwards as much, and now twenty-two pounds. What Abel now holds is worth six pounds, what Godefrid nine pounds, what Richard in his lowy, four pounds.
King Edward II. in his 10th year, confirmed to the prior of Christ-church free warren, in all the demesne lands which he possessed here in the time of his grandfather, or at any time since. (fn. 2) This manor continued part of the possessions of the priory, till its dissolution in the 31st year of king Henry VIII. when it was surrendered into the king's hands, who that year granted it, among other premises, to Sir Thomas Wyatt, and his heirs male, to hold in capite by knight's service, but his son, Sir Thomas Wyatt, having raised a rebellion in the 1st year of queen Mary was attainted, and his estates became forfeited to the crown, and were together with the reversion of them, assured to the queen and her heirs, by an act passed for that purpose. After which, though the queen made a grant of the scite and capital messuage of this manor, to Sir John Baker, as will be further mentioned hereafter, yet the manor itself continued in the crown, and remained so at the death of king Charles I. in 1648. After which the powers then in being, passed an ordinance to vest the royal estates in trustees, in order for sale, to supply the necessities of the state, when on a survey taken of this manor it appeared, that there were quit-rents due to the lord from freeholders, in free socage tenure in this parish, and within the townships of Linton and East Peckham, and from several dens in the Weald; that there were common fines from the borsholders of Stokenburie, in East Peckham, and of Badmonden, Stoberfield and Rocden, the produce of all which yearly, with the fines, profits, &c. of courts, coibus annis, amounted in the total to 56l. 7s. 7½d. That there was a court ba ron and court leet; that the freeholders paid a heriot on demise, or death of the best living thing of any such tenant, or in want of it, 3s. 4d. (fn. 3)
BUT THE SCITE and capital messuage of the manor of East Farleigh, now called the COURT LODGE, with all the demesne lands of the manor, about two hundred acres, in East Farleigh and Linton, was granted, anno 1st and 2d Philip and Mary, to Sir John Baker, one of the queen's privy council, (fn. 4) to hold in capite by knights service. (fn. 5) He died in the 5th and 6th years of that reign, and by will devised it to his second son, Mr. John Baker, of London; whose son, Sir Richard Baker, the chronicler, about the latter end of queen Elizabeth's reign, alienated it to Sir Thomas Fane, of Burston, in Hunton; who died in 1606, without issue, and bequeathed this among the rest of his estates to Sir George Fane, second son of Sir Thomas Fane, of Badsell, by Mary his wife, baroness le Despenser; he was succeeded in 1640, by his eldest son, colonel Thomas Fane, of Burston, who in the reign of king Charles II. alienated it to Mr. John Amhurst, who then resided at the court lodge as tenant under him.
He was the grandson of Nicholas Amerst, for so he spelt his name, who was of East Farleigh, in 1616, to whom William Camden, clarencieux, in 1607, assigned this coat of arms, Gules, three tilting spears, two and one, erected in pale or, headed argent, who dying in 1692, was buried in this church, as were his several descendants. His eldest son, Nicholas Amherst, for so he wrote his name, became his heir, and resided as tenant at the Court lodge, and died in 1679.
John Amhurst, gent. his eldest son, resided at the Court lodge, which he afterwards purchased of Col. Fane above mentioned; he served the office of sheriff in 1699, and kept his shrievalty here; though married, he died in 1711, s. p. and by will gave this estate to his brother, captain Nicholas Amhurst, of Barnjet, who died in 1715.
He married Susannah Evering, by whom he had issue fifteen children; John, who resided at the Court lodge, and died in his life time, whose grandson, John Amhurst, esq. is now of Boxley abbey; and George, the second son, who was twice married, but left issue only by his second wife, Susan, the eldest of whose sons was John Amhurst, esq. late of Rochester. Nicholas, the next son, died in 1736, unmarried. Stephen, another of the sons, was of West Farleigh, and dying in 1760, was buried at West Farleigh, leaving three sons; John Amhurst, esq. now of Barnjet; Edward, who was of Barnjet, and died in 1762, aged 20, and was buried near his father; and Stephen Amhurst, esq. now of West Farleigh, and four daughters. Edward, another son, was of Barnjet, and died in 1756, without issue, and was buried at Barming.
Of the daughters, Susan married Edward Walsingham, of Callis court, in Ryarsh, who left by her two daughters; Susan, married to Sir Edw. Austen, bart. of Boxley abbey; and Mary, married to John Miller. Jane, married to James Allen, by whom she had two sons, James, now deceased; and William, devisees in the will of Sir Edward Austen; and a daughter, married to Nicholas Amhurst, father of John, of Boxley abbey.
George Amhurst, gent. above mentioned, the second but eldest surviving son of Nicholas, by Susan nah Evering, had the Court lodge by his father's will, who having neglected to cut off an entail of it, his three other sons, Nicholas, Stephen, and Edward, claimed their respective shares in it; the entire fee of which, after much dispute, partly by purchase, and partly by agreement, became vested in Edward Amhurst, gent. the youngest son, who died, s. p. in 1756, and devised it by will to his next elder brother, Stephen Amhurst, esq. gent. of West Farleigh; who, at his death, in 1760, gave it to his eldest son, John Amhurst, esq. now of Barnjet, the present possessor of the Court lodge, and the estate belonging to it.
The mansion of the court lodge is situated adjoining to the west side of the church yard; it has not been inhabited but by cottagers for many years; great part of it seems to have been pulled down, and the remains make but a very mean appearance.
GALLANT'S is a manor in this parish, which seems to have been in early times the estate of a branch of the eminent family of Colepeper, whose arms yet remain in the windows of this church, and in which there is an ancient arched tomb, under which one of them was buried.
By inquisition, taken after the death of Walter Colepeper, at Tunbridge, anno 1 Edward III. it was found that he held in gavelkind in fee, certain tenements in East Farleigh, of the prior of Christ church, by service, and making suit at the court of the prior of East Farleigh, that there were there one capital messuage, with lands, and rents in money and in hens, by which it appears to have been a manor, and that his sons, Thomas, Jeffry, and John, were his next heirs. The above premises seem very probably to have been what is now called the manor of Gallant's, which afterwards passed into the family of Roper, who held it for some length of time, this branch of them, who possessed this manor, being created by king James I. barons of Teynham, one of whom, John Roper, the third lord Teynham, died possessed of it in 1627, as appears by the inquisition then taken. His grandson, Christopher lord Teynham, gave it in marriage with his daughter Catharine, to Wm. Sheldon, esq. whose descendant, Richard Sheldon, esq. of Aldington, in Thurnham, gave it by will to his widow, who soon afterwards, in 1738, carried it in marriage to Wm. Jones, M. D. who died in 1780, leaving his two daughters his coheirs; Mary, married to Lock Rollinson, esq. of Oxfordshire, and Anne to Tho. Russel, esq. and they, in right of their wives, are at this time respectively entitled to this manor.
PIMPE'S-COURT is a manor and antient seat in this parish, the mansion of which is situated at the southern extremity of it next to Loose. It was formerly part of the possessions of the family of Pimpe, being one of the seats of their residence, whence it acquired their name in process of time, among other of their possessions in this neighbourhood and else where in this county. It appears to have been antiently held of the family of Clare, earls of Gloucester; of whom, as chief lords of the fee, it was again held by this eminent family of Pimpe, from whom though it acquired its name of Pimpe'scourt, yet their principal habitation seems to have been in the parish of Nettlested, not far distant. Rich. de Pimpe of Nettlested held it in the reigns of Edward I. and III. as did his descendant, Sir Philip de Pimpe, in the begining of that of Edward I. being at that time a man of great repute. His widow, Joane, married John de Coloigne, who together with her son, Thomas de Pimpe, paid aid for this manor in the 20th year of king Edward III. Philipott says, Margaret de Cobham, wife of Sir William de Pimpe, died in 1337, and was buried in this church. Her tomb is yet remaining, but the inscription, then visible, is gone. Wil liam, son of Thomas de Pimpe, of Nettlested, died in the time of his shrievalty, anno 49 Edward III. and his son, Reginald, who then resided here at East Farleigh, served out the remainder of the year. His descendant of the same name resided here at the time of his shrievalty, in the 10th year of king Henry IV. to whose son, John, two years afterwards, John de Fremingham, of Loose, gave by will his estate there and elsewhere, in this county, in tail mail, remainder to Roger Isle, as being of the nearest blood to him. His descendant, John Pimpe, esq. kept his shrievalty here in the 2d year of king Henry VII. whose only daughter and heir, Winifrid, carried this seat in marriage to Sir John Rainsford, who passed it away to Sir Henry Isley, who by the act of the 2d and 3d of king Edward VI. procured his lands in this county to be disgavelled.
Soon after which he seems to have settled this manor on his son, William Isley, esq. but being both concerned in the rebellion raised by Sir Thomas Wyatt, in the 1st year of queen Mary, they were then attainted, and Sir Henry was executed at Sevenoke, and the lands of both became forfeited to the crown; after which, queen Mary that year granted this manor, by the name of Lose, alias Pimpe's court, with its appurtenances, in Lose, East Farleigh, Linton, &c. to Sir John Baker, her attorney general, to hold in capite by knights service. (fn. 6) In his descendants the manor of Pimpe's court continued till Sir John Baker, bart, about of the end of king Charles I.'s reign, alienated it to Thomas Fsloyd, esq. of Gore court in Otham; one of whose descendants alienated it to Browne, in which name it remained till, by the daughter and heir of Tho. Browne, esq. it went in marriage to Holden; and their son, Richard Holden, of Coptford hall, in Essex, died without issue, in 1772, and by will gave it to his widow, whose maiden name was Anne Blackenbury; and after her decease, to his sister's daughter's son, a minor, by Mr. William Vechell, of Cambridgeshire.
The present house of this manor is a modern building; the ruins of the antient mansion are still to be seen about the present house; the south-west end is still remaining, and by tradition was called the Old chapel. Further towards the north is a room with a very large chimney, and an oven in it, no doubt the old kitchen. The gateway, with a room over it, was taken down within memory; by the remains, it seems as if the house and offices belonging to it, when intire, formed a quadrangle. There is a court baron held for this manor.
THOMAS HARRIS, esq. who died in 1769, left 5l. per ann. for fifty years, to be given to the poor in bread, 2s. every Sunday, excepting Easter and Whitsunday, vested in the executors of John Mumford, esq.
Mr. THOMAS FOSTER, in 1776, gave by will 130l. the interest of it to be laid out in linen and woollen, and to be given to the poor who do not receive alms at Christmas; from which money, 225l. confol. 3 per cent. Bank ann. was bought in the name of trustees, now of the annual produce of 6l. 15s.
The church, which is a handsome building, with a spire steeple at the west end, stands at the east end of the village, and consists of two isles and two chancels; that on the south side belongs to Pimpe's-court. It was repaired in 1704, by Dr. Griffith Hatley, who had married the widow of Mr. Browne, and possessed that estate in her right. The whole was, through the laudable care of the late vicar, Mr. De la Douespe, new pewed and handsomely ornamented.
In the rector's chancel are several memorials of the family of Amhurst, and within the altar rails two of Goldsmith. On the north side of this chancel is a very antient altar tomb for one of the family of Colepeper, having their shield, a bend engrailed, at one corner of it, most probably for Sir T. Colepeper, who lived in the reign of king Edward III. and is reputed to have been the founder of this church. His arms, quartered with those of Joane Hadrreshull, his mother, Argent, a chevron gules between nine martlets, are still remaining in the east window of the south chancel, called Pimpe's chancel, in which is an antient plain altar tomb, probably for one of either that or of the Pimpe family. There seems once to have been a chapel dependent on this church, called in the Textus Roffensis, Liuituna capella Anfridi.
The patronage of the church of East Farleigh was part of the antient possessions of the crown, and remained so till it was given to the college or hospital for poor travellers, in Maidstone, founded by archbishop Boniface. Archbishop Walter Reynolds, about 1314, appropriated this church to the use and support of the hospital. In the 19th year of king Richard II. archbishop Courtney, on his making the church of Maidstone collegiate, obtained the king's licence to give and assign that hospital and its revenues, among which was the advowson and patronage of the church of Farleigh, among others appropriated to it, and then of the king's patronage, and held of the king in capite, to the master and chaplains of his new collegiate church, to hold in free, pure, and perpetual alms for ever, for their better maintenance; (fn. 7) to which appropriation Adam Mottrum, archdeacon of Canbury, gave his consent.
The collegiate church of Maidstone was dissolved by the act of the 1st of king Edward VI. anno 1546, and was surrendered into the king's hand accordingly with all its lands, possessions, &c. Since which the patronage and advowson of the vicarage of East Farleigh has remained in the hands of the crown; but the parsonage or great tithes was granted to one of the family of Vane, or Fane, in whom it continued down to John Fane, earl of Westmoreland, who at his death, in 1762, gave it by will, among the rest of his Kentish estates, to his nephew, Sir Francis Dashwood, lord Despencer; since which it has passed, in like manner as Mereworth and his other estates in this county, by the entail of the earl of Westmoreland's will, to Thomas Stapleton, lord Despencer, the present owner of it.
In the 15th year of king Edward I. the vicarage was valued at ten marcs; in the year 1589, it was estimated at 16l. 8s. yearly income. In the reign of king Richard II. the church of Ferleghe was valued at 13l. 16s. 8d. This vicarage is valued in the king's books at 6l. 16s. 8d. and the yearly tenths at 13s. 8d.
John, son of Sir Ralph de Fremingham, of Lose, 12 Henry IV. by his will gave certain lands therein mentioned to John Pympe, and his heirs male, to find a chaplain in this church, in the chapel of the Blessed Mary, newly built, to celebrate there, for twenty-four years, for the souls of himself, his wife, &c. and all of whom he then held lands, the said John Pympe, paying to the above chaplain the salary of ten marcs yearly, &c.
The vicar of East Farleigh is endowed with the tithes of corn growing on the lands belonging to the parsonage of East Farleigh, and of certain pieces of land, called garden spots, which lie dispersed in this parish. It is now of the clear yearly value of about one hundred and thirty guineas.
CHURCH OF EAST FARLEIGH.
Or by whom presented.
|Alexander de Munestock, parson of Farleigh, anno 25 Edw. I. (fn. 8)|
|The Crown.||John Holmes, obt. June 1580. (fn. 9)|
|William Holland, present. 1580, resigned. (fn. 10)|
|Thomas Basden, presented Nov. 6, 1589, obt. Aug. 1638. (fn. 11)|
|Robert Bofeler, A.B. August 21, 1638, obt. May 26, 1659. (fn. 12)|
|Francis Greene, 1661, obt. May 1685. (fn. 13)|
|Arthur Harris, ind. May 1685. obt. Sept. 24, 1727. (fn. 14)|
|John Hedges, presented 1727, resigned 1752. (fn. 15)|
|Paul Ezekiel de la Douespe, A.M. Feb. 1752, ob. Jan. 24, 1795. (fn. 16)|
|Henry Friend, present vicar.|