The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 5. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1798.
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It is a very obscure and unfrequented place, lying between the parishes of Tunbridge and Capel. The situation and soil is much the same as the latter, lying low, the soil a moist stiff clay, with abundance of large spreading oaks throughout it in the hedge rows, which are broad and thick, the village with the church is near the western boundary of it; at some distance southward is the hamlet of Crookhurst, be yond which this parish stretches along the southern boundary of Capel, where it is crossed by two small rivulets which flow from hence into the Medway, to the edge of this hundred, where the manor and house of Badsell is situated in a very wet and unpleasant country.
THIS PLACE was part of those vast possessions, with which William the Conqueror enriched his halfbrother Odo, the great bishop of Baieux, and earl of Kent, under the general title of whose lands it is thus entered in the survey of Domesday:
In Wachelestan hundred Richard de Tonebridge holds of the bishop (of Baieux) Tivedele. It was taxed at one suling. The arable land is one carucate, and there is . . . . in demesne, and a church, and wood for the pannage of two hogs. It is and was worth fifteen shillings. Eddeva held it of the king.
BADSELL is the principal manor in this parish, lying at the south-east end of it, which formerly gave both residence and surname to a family, who were some time possessors of it. At length, by a daughter and coheir, Marian Badsell, it was carried in marriage to Thomas Stidulf, from whom the family of that name in Surry were descended; he resided at Badsell, and was only son and heir of Robert, and heir likewise of his uncle Henry Stidulf. He died anno 36 Henry VI. and lies buried with his wife in this church. They left an only daughter and heir Agnes, who carried this manor in marriage to Richard Fane, esq. of Tudeley, who died possessed of it in the 32d year of king Henry VIII. and was buried in the chapel of this church, which he himself had caused to be made. His son, George Fane, esq. resided at Badsell, as did his son, Sir Thomas Fane, which last having married lady Mary, daughter and sole heir of Henry Nevill, lord Abergavenny, became possessed of the castle and manor of Mereworth, where afterwards he resided much, as his son, Sir Francis Fane, earl of Westmoreland, did entirely; since which this mansion has been made use of only as a farm house, and in his descendants, earls of Westmoreland, this manor continued to John Fane, earl of Westmoreland, who dying s.p. in 1762, it has now at length by the limitations of his will come, with the rest of his Kentish estates, into the possession of the right hon. Thomas, lord le Despencer, the present owner of it.
The patronage of this church was, about the year 1239, given by Richard de Theudele, Richard de Sardenne, and Alicia, Agnes, and Cecilia, daughters of John Teudeley, patrons of it, to the prior and canons of Tunbridge; which gift was confirmed by the bishop, who soon afterwards granted licence to them, to appropriate it to their own use, on the death or refignation of John, then rector of it, and in the mean time, that they should receive yearly half a marc from it; but the vicarage was not endowed till the year 1398.
The appropriation of it, together with the advowson of the vicarage, remained with the priory of Tunbridge, till its final dissolution, which happened in the 17th year of king Henry VIII. when being one of those smaller monasteries, which cardinal Wolsey had obtained of the king by his letters patent, dated February 8, that year, for the endowment of his colleges, it was surrendered, with all the possessions belonging to it, into the cardinal's hands, and afterwards by the king's letters patent granted to him for the better endowment of his college, called Cardinal's college, in Oxford. (fn. 1)
But this church staid with the college only four years; when the cardinal being cast in a præmunire in 1529, all the estates of it were sorfeited to the king, and became part of the revenue of the crown.
King Edward VI. in his 1st year, granted this parsonage and advowson to Sir Walter Hendley, at the yearly rent of 6s. 3½d. to hold in capite by knights service. He died without male issue, leaving three daughters his coheirs.
On the division of their inheritance, this parsonage and advowson were allotted to the second daughter Helen, who entitled her third husband, Sir Thomas Fane, of Burston, in Hunton, to the possession of them. After which they passed in like manner as Burston to Vere, Thomas and John Fane, three brothers, successively earls of Westmoreland, the last of whom dying s.p. in 1762, they are at length come by the limitations of his will, among the rest of his estates in this county, to the right hon. Thomas, lord le Despencer, the present owner of them.
Church of Tudeley.
|Or by whom presented.|
|Family of Fane||Thomas Tharry, A.M. 1630.|
|William Walleys, about 1643. (fn. 2)|
|Samuel Vanderlure, 1660, obt. Feb. 21, 1699. (fn. 3)|
|Edward Dering, A.M. 1702, obt. Dec. 26, 1715. (fn. 4)|
|Stephen Cowper, A.B. 1726, obt. 15, 1750. (fn. 5)|
|John Hedges, A.M. 1750.|
|Sir Thomas Stapylton, bart||John Loop, A.B. instit. Dec. 29, 1787.|