The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 4. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1798.
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PADLESWORTH NEAR SNODLAND.
THIS PARISH is very small, it lies between Snodland and the foot of the chalk hills, north-westward, on a chalky soil, which is but poor, the court-lodge with the ruins of the church near it, stands near in the centre of the parish, which is very obscure, and but little known to any one. This parish ought antiently to have contributed towards the repair of the ninth pier of Rochester bridge. (fn. 1)
AT THE TIME of taking the survey of Domesday, about the year 1080, this place was part of the vast possessions of Odo, bishop of Baieux, the Conqueror's half-brother, under the general title of whose lands it is thus entered in that record:
Hugo de Port holds of the bishop (of Baieux) Pellesorde. It was taxed at half a suling. The arable land is . . . . In demesne there is one carucate, and one villein, with four borderers, having three oxen. There is a church, and two servants, and five acres of meadow, and one acre of pasture. In the time of king Edward the Confessor it was worth twenty shillings, when he received it thirty shillings, now forty shillings. Godric held it of king Edward.
The greatest part of this manor in the reign of king Henry III. seems to have been in the possession of the family of Chetwode, one of whom, Robert de Chetwode, exchanged it with Hamo de Gatton, of Throw ley, for other lands in Bedfordshire, (fn. 2) and he passed it away in the same reign to Sir Walter de Huntingfield, who was possessed of it in the 7th year of Edward I. (fn. 3)
In the 11th year of king Edward II. he had a demise in ferme from the prior and convent of Bermundesey, of their land of Padlesworth, which Roger de Leyborne had formerly given them, in consideration of eighty marcs. His son, Sir John de Huntingfield, owned it in the next reign of Edward III. when it was certified to have been held at the latter end of the reign of king Henry III. by Ralph de Padlesworth of William de Say, lord of Birling.
There was a remaining part of this manor, being esteemed as one third part of it, held in the reign of king Edward III. by the family of Basing, one of whom held it in the 11th year of that reign, from which name it went quickly after into that of Charles.
Richard Charles died possessed of this third part in the first year of king Richard II. leaving Richard and John, the two sons of his brother Roger Charles his next heirs. Alice, wife of Richard Charles, the elder firstabove-mentioned, at the time of her death, in the 9th year of that reign, held of the inheritance of Richard Charles, his kinsman and heir, this third part of the manor of Padlesworth in dower, excepting certain lands which were of the tenure of gavelkind, of which she was not endowed, of the king in capite by knights service, and by homage and fealty, and by the annual castle guard rent of twenty-four shillings to Rochester castle.
Soon after the above time, the whole of this manor seems to have been vested in the name of Bele, from whence it passed to Bullock, and thence again by sale to Diggs, where after staying a very short time, it was alienated to Peckham, and he sold it to Vineley, who passed it away to William Clifford, esq. of Bobbingcourt, and he conveyed it to John Bamberg, (fn. 4) who bore for his arms, Argent, on a chief, sable, a lion passant of the first. His daughter and heir Elizabeth, carried it in marriage to Nicholas Wotton, esq. and his descendant, Sir Edward Wotton, of Boughton Malherb, was, by king James I. created lord Wotton, of Marley. His son and heir, Thomas, lord Wotton, died in the 6th year of king Charles I. leaving four daughters his coheirs, of whom, Catherine, the eldest, entitled her husband, Henry, lord Stanhope, to the possession of this manor. He died in his father's life-time, in the 10th year of king Charles I. upon which she became again possessed of it in her own right, and afterwards passed it away by sale to John Marsham, esq. of Whornes-place, in Cookstone, afterwards in 1663 created a baronet, and his descendant, the Right Hon. Charles, lord Romney, is the present proprietor of this manor.
This church was antiently esteemed but as a chapel to the adjoining church of Birling. It has been long in ruins; that part of it which is left standing, is built of flint, with ashler quoins, &c. and has been many years made use of as a barn. It stands close to the north side of the farm-yard belonging to the manorhouse. It is valued in the king's books at 3l. 6s. 8d.