The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 5. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1798.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
THE PARISH of Hadlow is of large extent, joining to West Peckham northward, and to the river Medway, its boundary southward; to the west it extends to the Northfrith woods and the parish of Tunbridge. It is far from being a pleasant situation, being a flat low country, much covered with large and spreading oaks, and broad hedge rows; the soil is in general a stiff clay, much of which is very swampy and wet; towards the upper part of the parish it is but poor, being very panny, and in some places inclining to gravel; lower down it is much more fertile, and bears good corn, and is kindly for hops, of which there are many plantations, which have much increased of late years. Near the river the grass lands are very rich, and capable of fatting beasts of a large size. The rivulet called the Sheet, which flows from Plaxtool by Oxenhoath, crosses this parish, joining the river Medway, a little above Brandt bridge, near which at Hartlake bridge, at the east end of this parish, is what is here called a flowing bolt, being an ingenious contrivance to pen up the water to a certain height, by which means it is capable of being let out in dry seasons, to flow over and moisten the adjoining meadows, which is at that time of the greatest advantage to them. The high road from Maidstone through Mereworth to Tunbridge, crosses this parish over Hadlow common, at the northern boundary of it, whence it goes through the town or village of Hadlow, between which and the river is Fish-hall and Hadlow-place, and more eastward the small hamlets of Goldwell-green, Barnes, and Mill-street.
IT APPEARS from the survey of Domesday, that this place was part of those vast possessions with which William the Conqueror enriched his half-brother Odo, bishop of Baieux, whom he afterwards made earl of Kent, under the title of whose lands it is thus entered there.
Richard de Tonebridge holds of the bishop (of Baieux) Hastow. It was taxed at six sulings. The arable land is twelve carucates. In demesne there are three, and forty-seven villeins, with fifteen borderers, having fifteen carucates. There is a church and ten servants, and two mills of eleven shillings, and twelve fisheries of seven shillings and six-pence, and twelve acres of meadow, Wood for the pannage of sixty hogs. In the time of king Edward the Consessor, and afterwards, and now, it was and is worth thirty pounds. Eddeva held it of king Edward.
In the reign of king Henry III. the seignory of this manor was claimed by the archbishop of Canter dury, and an agreement was entered into in the 42d year of it, between archbishop Boniface and Richard de Clare, earl of Gloucester and Hertford, concerning the customs and services which the archbishop required of the earl, on account of the tenements which the latter held of him in Tunebregge, Hanlo, &c. that is, the manors of Tunebregge and Hanlo, together with the whole lowy of Tonebregge, whence the archbishop required of the earl that he should do him homage, the service of four knights fees, and suit to his court at Canterbury, and that he should be the high steward of him and his successors, at their great feast, whenever it should happen that the archbishop should be inthroned.
The above-mentioned Richard de Clare, earl of Gloucester and Hertford, dying at Eschemerfield, in this county, in the 46th year of the reign of king Henry III. anno 1261. Gilbert, earl of Gloucester and Hertford, his son, succeeded him in this manor, and whose son of the same name, earl of Gloucester and Hertford, dying in the 7th year of Edward II. anno 1313, without surviving issue, his three sisters became his coheirs. (fn. 1) Upon which the manor of Hadlow, with the adjoining manor and castle of Tunbridge, and others in these parts, seem to have been allotted to the share of Margaret, the second sister, wife of Hugh de Audley, who in her right became possessed of this manor, and in the 11th year of king Edward III. was, in respect of this marriage, in parliament created earl of Gloucester.
Margaret, countess of Cornwall and Gloucester, died in the 16th year of that reign, and her husband, earl Hugh, outliving her about five years, died then possessed of this manor by courtesy of the realm, and leaving by her an only daughter and heir Margaret, then the wife of Ralph Stafford, lord Stafford. He before the end of that year obtained a special possession of all the lands of her inheritance, and among them of this manor, and in his descendants, earls of Stafford, and afterwards, by creation, dukes of Buckingham, of high estimation for the great offices of state which they held in the different reigns in which they lived. This manor continued down to Edward, duke of Buckingham, who in the 13th year of Henry VIII. being accused of conspiring the king's death, was found guilty, and beheaded that year; and although there was an act passed for his attainder, yet another act passed likewise for the restitution in blood of Henry his eldest son, but not to his honors and lands, which remained forfeited to the crown, and the king in his 16th year, granted the manors of Hadlow and Northfrith, aud several messuages, tenements, parks, &c. in the parishes of Hadlow, Shipborne, and Tunbridge, late belonging to Edward, duke of Buckingham, attainted, to Sir Henry Guildford, comptroller of his household, to hold by knight's service.
Sir Henry Guildford had greatly signalized himself by his valour against the Moors in Spain, and being first knighted, afterwards created a knight banneret, and made master of the horse. In the 17th year of king Henry VIII. he was made one of the chamberlains of the exchequer, and next year was elected a knight of the garter, being only thirty-nine years of age at the time of his election. (fn. 2)
On his death in the 23d year of king Henry VIII. this manor seems to have reverted to the crown, where it remained till king Edward VI. in his 4th year, granted the manor and park of Hadlow to John Dudley, earl of Warwick, who was afterwards created duke of Northumberland, and he by indenture, in the 7th year of that reign, inrolled in the Augmentation-office, sold this manor, among other premises, to the king, in exchange for lands in several other counties. (fn. 3)
The manor of Hadlow remained in the crown till the accession of queen Elizabeth, who in her 1st year granted it, together with the park called Northfryth, to her kinsman, Henry Carey, lord Hunsdon, to hold in capite; and he seems to have given it before his death to his eldest son, Sir George Carey, who possessed it.
in the 25th year of that reign, and on his father's death in the 38th year of it, succeeded to the title of lord Hunsdon. He died in the 1st year of king James I. without male issue, upon which this manor came to his next brother John, who succeeded him likewise as lord Hunsdon, and died in the 15th year of James I. and his eldest son Henry, lord Hunsdon, soon afterwards conveyed this manor by sale to James Faircloth, M. D. of London, who alienated it to George Rivers, esq. of this parish, second son of Sir George Rivers, of Chafford, in this county, whose son Edward Rivers, esq. was of Fishall, in this parish, and dying possessed of this manor in 1660, was buried near his father in this church. His successor alienated it in the reign of king Charles II. to Jeffry Amherst, gent. and he in the year 1699 sold it to Mr. John France, who dying without male issue, his two daughters, Mary and Elizabeth, became his coheirs; the eldest of whom married Walter Barton, gent. and the youngest George Swayne, gent. On his death, the former by settlement succeeded to this manor, as did his son Mr. John Barton, (by the entail in the same settlement, on his father's decease) and his son Walter who has since taken the name of May, is the present proprietor of it.
This manor holds a court leet and court baron, which seems to be entirely independent of the court leet of the manor of Tunbridge, for in 1759 a constable of Tunbridge was chosen at the court leet of that manor, and as such claimed jurisdiction over the parish of Hadlow; but on a trial had on a suit concerning it, at the Lent assizes for this county in 1761, it was proved, that the courts leet of Tunbridge and Hadlow had no connection with each other, and a verdict was found accordingly.
John de Hadloe, a descendant of Nicholas de Hadloe, was among those gentlemen of this county, who attended king Edward I. in his expedition into Scotland, in the 28th year of his reign, and for his remarkable service there, at the siege of Carlaverock, was made knight banneret by that prince. The Hadlows bore for their arms, three crescents, to which was afterwards added, seven cross-croslets, in token of some exploit or expedition against the Saracens in the holly land; a usual mark of honor in those times. This addition was most likely granted to Nicholas de Hadloe, who is in the list of those Kentish gentlemen, who were with king Richard I. at the siege of Acon, in Palestine.
How long Hadlow-place remained in the above mentioned family I do not find; but most likely till it was alienated to that of Vane, aliasFane. Henry Fane, the eldest son of John Fane, esq. of Tunbridge, was possessed of it in the reign of king Henry VII. and was sheriff in the 23d year of it. (fn. 4) He died in the 30th year of king Henry VIII. anno 1538, leaving no issue by Alice his wife, sister of John Fisher, gent. of this parish. By his will he gave this manor-place, in which he then dwelt, with all his lands in Hadloe and Capel, to his kinsman Ralph Fane, son of Henry, his father's youngest brother, in tail male, remainder to each of the sons of his youngest brother, John Fane, successively in like tail. (fn. 5)
Ralph Fane was afterwards knighted at the siege of Bulleyn in 1544, and for his gallant behaviour at the battle of Musselborough, in the 1st year of king Edward VI. was made a knight banneret; but in the 6th year of that reign, being found guilty of high treason, he was executed. He died without issue, and Hadlow-place, with the adjoining lands, by virtue of the above entail, came to Henry Fane, the eldest son of John Fane, deceased, the youngest brother of Henry, of Hadlow, before-mentioned, who was of Hadlow-place; being concerned in Sir Thomas Wyatt's insurrection, he was attainted, but the queen pardoned him on account of his youth, and his estates were restored to him; his son Henry, wrote himself, as his ancestors had formerly done, Vane, which his posterity have continued to do ever since. He removed his residence to Raby-castle, in the bishopric of Durham, and was afterwards knighted, from which time he acted a conspicuous part in public affairs, and was greatly favored by king Charles I. (fn. 6) But in the year 1642, the king being offended at his forwardness in the prosecution of the earl of Strafford, he was removed from his place of secretary of state, and from the privy council, and became one of the most malicious of the king's enemies, soon after whose death he alienated this seat, with the estate belonging to it in this parish, to Mr. Thomas Petley, of Filston, in Shoreham, who at his death gave it to his son, Ralph Petley, by his second wife Elizabeth, daughter of Ralph Cam, of London, and he removed from Shoreham to Riverhead, in Sevenoke, where he afterwards resided, and in his descendants resident there this estate continued down in like manner with that seat to Ralph Robert Carter Petley, esq. who died in 1788, leaving his wife, Mrs. Elizabeth Petley surviving, who is the present possessor of this estate. (fn. 7)
Simon Fromond was owner of it in the reign of king Henry III. in the 43d year of which he was chosen one of the twelve jurats on the part of the earl of Gloucester, to determine the bounds of the lowy, in a dispute between him and the archbishop, His successor in it was Peter Fromund, whose house is mentioned in a perambulation of the lowy, taken in the 8th year of king Edward I. being just within the boundary of that district.
In the above-mentioned family this manor continued till Richard Fromond sold it to one of the family of Colepeper, in whose descendants it continued till Richard Colepeper, of Oxenhoath, about the time of king Edward IV. passed it away by sale to John Fromond, a descendant of the before-mentioned Richard Fromund, by one of whose successors it was alienated to Vane, alias Fane, in which family it continued down, in like manner as Hadlow place abovementioned, to Henry Fane, esq. of Hadlow-place, who died in the 22d year of queen Elizabeth, possessed of this manor of Goodins, alias Fromins, then held of the manor of Hadlow by knight's service.
His grandson Sir Henry re-assumed the original name of his family, calling himself Vane, of whom mention has been made under Hadlow-place, on his removing to his seat at Raby-castle, in the north. He alienated this manor, with the rest of his estates in this parish, soon after the death of king Charles I. to Mr. Thomas Petley, of Filston, in Shoreham, from whom it descended, in like manner as Hadlow-place abovedescribed, to Ralph Robert Carter Petley, esq. of Riverhead, who died in 1788, leaving his wife, Mrs. Elizabeth Petley surviving, who is the present possessor of it.
In This place was soon after the conquest in the possession of William, son of William de Horsmundenne, who gave the tenths of it to the monks of St. Andrew's priory, in Rochester, (for which a composition of five shillings a year was agreed to) at which time it was accounted an appurtenance to the manor of Mereworth. (fn. 8) It afterwards came into the possession of the family of that name; John de Mereworth, in the 20th year of king Edward III. paid aid for the manor of Mereworth with Crongebury, held of the earl of Gloucester as one knight's fee.
From this name it passed into that of Fromund, in which it staid till Thomas Fromund alienated it to John Godwin, one of whose successors sold it to Peckham, and Katherine Peckham died possessed of it in the 7th year of king Henry VII. then holding it of the duke of Buckingham, as did her son, Thomas Peckham, gent. in the 9th year of king Henry VIII. holding it by knight's service, as appears by the inquisitions taken after their respective deaths; his son, Thomas Peckham, soon afterwards passed it away to the family of Vane, alias Fane, in which it continued down, in like manner as Hadlow-place, &c. to Sir Henry Vane, for so he spelt his name, who, as his ancestors had before, became a man of great note in public affairs.
He removed from this parish to his seat of Rabycastle, in the north, and soon after the death of king Charles I. alienated this manor, with the rest of his estate in this parish, to Mr. Thomas Petley, of Filston, in Shoreham, from whom it descended, in like manner as Hadlow-place and Fromunds above described, to Ralph Robert Carter Petley, esq. of Riverhead, who died in 1788, leaving his wife Mrs. Elizabeth Petley surviving, who now possesses it.
CAUSTIONS is a manor in this parish, which had formerly owners of that name. In the 8th year of king Edward II. the heirs of Hugh de Causton and William Franklyn held the eight part of a knight's fee in Hadlow, of the honor of Clare.
This manor continued in the name of Causton, till Hugh Causton alienated it to one of the family of Watton, of Addington, in which it remained till William Watton, esq. of Addington, about the reign of king Edward IV. sold it to Thomas Peckham, owner likewise of the manor of Crombery last described, in whose descendants it continued till Thomas Peckham, in the beginning of the reign of Henry VIII. passed it away, with the rest of his estates in this parish, to the family of Vane, alias Fane, in which at continued down, in like manner as Hadlow-place, &c. to Sir Henry Vane, for so he wrote himself, as all his posterity have done since, who became a man of much eminence in public affairs. Soon after the death of king Charles I. he passed away this manor by sale to Maynard, of Mayfield, in Sussex, in which name it remained in the reign of king Charles II. after which it had some intermediate owners, and was then sold to Mr. John Kipping, in which name and family it still continues. Mr. Thomas Kipping, being at this time the possessor of it.
GOLDWELL, alias COLDWELL, is an estate in this parish, which was antiently in the possession of a family of some rank, named Beald, from whence it passed into that of Fromund, who were considerable owners in this parish, as has been already related, in whom it continued some time, and then John Fromund alienated it to one of the family of Colepeper, (fn. 9) in which it continued till Sir Richard Colepeper, of Oxenhoath, dying in the 2d year of the reign of king Richard III. without male issue, his three daughters became his coheirs, and on the division of their inheritance, this estate of Goldwell was allotted to Margaret the eldest, married to William Cotton, esq. afterwards of Oxenhoath, and his grandson, Robert Cotton, esq. of Hadlow, alienated it to John Chowne, gent. of Fairlane, whose great-grandson, Sir George Chowne, of Fairlane, intending to confine his possessions within Sussex, sold it, after the death of king Charles I. to Mr. Thomas Barton, gent. whose daughter Alice married John Keriel, esq. whose grandson John Keriel, passed it away by sale to Mr. William Heath, on whose death without issue, it came to his sister, Mrs. Elizabeth Burges, of Westerham, whose only son, Robert Burges, esq. of Hall-place, in Lyghe, lately died possessed of it.
John de Peckham, in the 8th year of Edward II. held this manor of the honor of Clare by knight's service, and in his descendants it continued till it was alienated to Colepeper, in which name it staid till the death of Sir Richard Colepeper, without male issue, when on the division of the inheritance of his three daughters and coheirs, this manor was alloted to Margaret the eldest, married to William Cotton, esq. afterwards of Oxenhoath, whose grandson, Robert Cotton, esq. of Hadlow, alienated it to Ferrers. In the 6th year of king Edward VI. dame Constantia Ferrers died possessed of this manor, holding it by knights service, and her son Edward Ferrers alienated it to Leigh, whose descendant Mr. John Leigh passed it away by sale to George Rivers, esq. of this parish, and his grandson, in the reign of king Charles II. sold it to a family of the name of Dalling, one of whom, Mr. John Dalling, of Westerham, died possessed of it about 1750, leaving an only daughter and heir, married to Mr. Jonathan Chilwell, then of Tun bridge, but afterwards of London, who is the present proprietor of this manor.
FISH-HALL is a seat here, which was formerly the residence of John de Fisher, so called from his being invested by Gilbert de Clare, earl of Gloucester, lord of the lowy of Tunbridge, with the privilege of fishing freely and without controul within his jurisdiction. The name of Fisher continued in his posterity, one of whom, John Fisher, possessed this seat, and resided here in the reign of king Henry VIII. in the 35th year of which, he had a lease from the king, of the scite of the manor of Hadlow, as he had soon afterwards of all the rivers, fisheries, and ponds within it. He alienated this seat to the family of Fane, alias Vane, from one of whom it passed by sale into that of Rivers, of Chafford.
George Rivers, second son of Sir George Rivers, of Chafford, resided at Fish-hall, and was succeeded by his son Edward, who likewise resided here, and possessed it at his death in 1660. His successor alienated it in the reign of king Charles II. to Jeffry Amhurst, gent. and he sold it to John France, who left two daughters, Mary and Elizabeth, his coheirs; the eldest of whom married Walter Barton, gent. and the youngest, George Swayne, gent. to the latter of whom he by his will gave this seat, and his son, Mr. Thomas Swayne, sold it to Mr. John Porter, of this parish, who is the present owner of it.
BARNES-PLACE is a considerable estate in this parish, which lately belonged to Sir John Van Hatton, who in 1768 passed it away by sale to Sarah, lady viscountess Falkland, she died possessed of it in 1776, and by her will devised it for life to her husband, Lucius Carey, viscount Falkland, and the remainder in fee to Francis Motley Austen, esq. now of Sevenoke, who has since purchased lord Falkland's interest in it, and is the present proprietor of it.
The church, which stands on the east side of the town, in Hadlow borough, is dedicated to St. Mary. It is a small building with a low pointed steeple at the west end. There is a monument in it for Sir John Rivers and his lady. It was part of the possessions of the knights of St. John of Jerusalem, commonly called the knights hospitallers, so early as the reign of king John; for in the last year of it, anno 1216, Benedict, bishop of Rochester, at the presentation of the prior and brethren of that hospital, admitted and instituted Adam de Fontibus to this church, saving to the prior and brethren the antient pension of two shillings yearly paid to them from it; and the right likewise of the church of Rochester in all matters, and the right of those who were accustomed to take tithes in this parish, separated from the mother church.
Thomas de Inglethorpe, bishop of Rochester, in 1287, appropriated this church, then vacant, and of the patronage of the prior and brethren, to them and their house, for ever; reserving a competent vicarage in it, which he decreed should consist of all the small tithes, oblations, obventions, and all other matters belonging to the altarage, excepting the tithe of the hay of the parish; and he decreed, that the vicar should have one acre of land, where he might conveniently build a house, and two acres of meadow, fit to be mowed, of the demesne of the church; and that he should sustain the ordinary burthens of the church, viz. the procurations of the archdeacon, and should pay yearly to the rector of the church of Adintone, eighteen pence, which the rector of the church of Hadlo used to pay to it, time out of mind; and that the prior and brethren should pay to the prior and convent of Rochester five shillings yearly, as had been accustomed to be paid to them from this church from antient time.
On the establishment of the preceptory in the adjoining parish of West Peckham by those knights, this church was allotted as an appendage to it; in which state it continued till the general dissolution of their hospital in the 32d year of king Henry VIII. when that order was suppressed by an act specially passed for the purpose, and all their lands and revenues given by it to the king. At which time the parsonage or rectory of Hadlow, appears to have been esteemed a manor.
King Edward VI. July 16, in his first year, granted the rectory and advowson of Hadlow, to Sir Ralph Fane, and lady Elizabeth Fane his wife, to hold in capite by knights service. (fn. 10) On Sir Ralph Fane's death, lady Elizabeth Fane, his widow, became possessed of it, and soon afterwards alienated one part of it, by the description of the manor of the rectory of Hadlow, together with all houses, glebes, tithes, and other appurtenances, lying in Hadlow-ward in this parish, to Thomas Roydon, esq. of East Peckham, whose daughter and coheir Elizabeth, married William Twysden, of Chelmington, who became in her right possessed of this manor and rectory; and his descendant, Sir William Jarvis Twysden, bart. lately sold it to Mr. Walter Barton, who is the present pos sessor of this tithery, with the manor and appurtenances belonging to it.
The other two parts of the rectory of Hadlow, consisting of the tithes of this parish, in the tithe wards of Goldwell, alias Coldweld and Stair, as well as the advowson, remained (after the above-mentioned alienation to Roydon) in the possession of lady Eliz. Fane, who in the 1st and 2nd year of king Philip and queen Mary, alienated the remainder of the parsonage of Hadlow to Henry Fisher, and he, in the first year of queen Elizabeth passed it away to Richard Smithe, who next year alienated it to John Rivers; his son, Sir George Rivers, possessed this parsonage, as well as the advowson of the church, which seems to have passed with it from lady Fane, and his eldest son, John Rivers, esq. was created a baronet, and in the 21st year of king James I. procured an act of parliament to disgavel as well his lands as those of Sir George Rivers, his father, and to settle the inheritance of them upon himself and his heirs by dame Dorothy his wife, daughter of Thomas Potter, esq. of Westerham. His grandson and heir, Sir Thomas Rivers, bart. son of James Rivers, esq. who died in his life time, in 1657 conveyed that part of this parsonage, which consisted of the tithes arising within the ward of Stayer, to Edward Rivers, esq. son of George Rivers, esq. of this parish, next brother to Sir John Rivers, created a baronet as above-mentioned, and he died possessed of it in 1660, and was buried in this church. His son, George Rivers, esq. possessed it near seventy years, and then dying, by will gave it to his god-son, George Rivers, esq. of the Inner Temple, who in 1737, reserving to himself a life estate in this tithery, sold the reversion of it to Stephen Hervey, esq. of London, and he soon after Mr. Rivers's death, in 1777, conveyed the fee of it to Mr. Robert Simmons, of Hadlow, who gave it by will to his nephew Mr. William Simmons, the present possessor of this part of the parsonage of Hadlow.
The remaining part of the parsonage of Hadlow, consisting of the tithe within Goldwell, commonly called Colweld-ward, passed afterwards into the possession of Wm. Lea, gent. of Hadlow, whose granddaughter, Mrs. Eliz. Leavens, of Hadlow, in 1701, conveyed it to Mr. John Weekley, of Town Malling, who in 1738 gave it by will to his brother, Mr. George Weekley, late of Ware, in Hertfordshire, on whose death in 1777 it descended to his only daughter and heir, Miss Jane Weekley, since whose death this tithery has been sold by her devisees to Mr. Thomas Swayne, of Tunbridge, the present possessor of it.
THE ADVOWSON of the vicarage of Hadlow seems to have continued in the Rivers family, till the death of Sir George Rivers, in 1734, when, on disputes arising concerning the devise of his estates, they were put into chancery, and after several decrees and process at law, this advowson, among his other estates, was in 1743 ordered by the court to be sold, (fn. 11) and it was accordingly conveyed to the Rev. Arthur Spender, vicar of this parish, who died in 1750, and his son Arthur, dying unmarried, it came to his brother, Mr. John Spender, of Northamptonshire, who sold it not long since to Mr. Monypenny, who is the present patron of it.
Church of Hadlow.
|Or by whom presented.|
|Prior and brethren of the hospital of St. John of Jerusalem.||Adam de Fontibus, anno 1216. (fn. 12)|
|John Stobe. (fn. 13)|
|John Starkey, A. M. 1596. (fn. 14)|
|Grimes, 1642. (fn. 15)|
|Rany, obt. 1696.|
|George Oliver, obt. 1718.|
|Arthur Spender, A. M. 1750.|
|Mr. James Berdmere.||William Fitzherbert, obt. 1797. (fn. 16)|