The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 5. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1798.
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THE next parish southward from Brenchley is Lamberhurst, which probably takes its name from the soft clay on which it is situated, and the woods with which it so plentifully abounds. Lam, in the Saxon language signifying a soft loam, or clay, and burst a wood; which name of Lamburst by the vulgar corruption of it, and the succession of time, has been long changed into its present one of Lamberhurst.
THE STREAM which rises in Waterdown forest, in Sussex, being one of the principal heads of the Medway, runs through this parish, and separates this county from that of Sussex, in which the larger part of this parish lies. That part on the northern side of the stream, in this county, is about two miles across in extent, the surface of it is a continued hill and dale, the soil near the village is a sand, but the most part of it is a very stiff clay, especially in the large tracts of coppice wood, which extend over by far the greatest part of the parish; in these and the adjoining woods there are several furnaces for melting and manufacturing the iron ore, with which they abound, the only one of them in that part of this parish, within this county, is called Lamberhurst, alias Gloucester furnance, being named in honor of the duke of Gloucester, queen Anne's son, who in the year 1698 visited it from Tunbridge-wells. The iron-rails round St.Paul's church-yard, in London, were cast at this furnace. They compose the most magnificent balustrade perhaps in the universe, being of the height of five feet and six inches, in which there are at intervals seven iron gates of beautiful workmanship, which, together with the rails, weigh upwards of two hundred tons; the whole of which amounted to the sum of 11,000l. and upwards.
These woods are mostly oak coppice, sometimes, though but rarely, intermixed with hazel, and interspersed with oak trees, which are much sewer in them than formerly, owing to the great increase of the price of timber, and the consumption made of them for these furnaces.
There are plenty of little springs among them, of a browner colour than is common to ordinary waters, which leave in their passage tinctures of rust. The iron ore is found in great abundance in most parts of these woods, but different in colour, weight, and goodness. That which is not so fit for common use, on account of its being short and brittle when melted, is mingled in due quantity with cinder, being the refuse of the ore after the metal has been extracted from it, which gives in that temper of toughness as makes it fit for use. Great quantities of cannon, as well for the use of government as the merchants, are cast at these furnaces, besides backs for stoves, and such like, as well as bars from the best sort of the ore, after having been worked in the forges for that purpose.
The village, or town of Lamberhurst, as it is sometimes called, is situated about forty miles distance from London, on each side of the stream above-mentioned, over which there is a bridge of three arches, and stands partly in Kent, and partly in Sussex. On the western side of the street, within this county, there is a large welltimbered house, which from its appearance seems to have long been a gentleman's house, it was for several generations in the possession of the family of Thomas; one of them, Alexander Thomas, esq. resided here, and died possessed of it in 1657, in whose descendants it continued down to Richard Thomas, who about the year 1740 sold it to Mr.Bridger, of Sussex, and he again alienated it to Mr.John Foster, in which name it still continues. The two principal roads, the one from London through Tunbridge, and the other from Maidstone through Yalding, having joined just above the village, leads through it into Sussex. At a small distance westward from the spot where these roads meet is the antient mansion of the parsonage, and at a like distance on the opposite side, the Court-lodge, situated with the church near it on the rise of a hill.
About a mile westward, close to the southern side of the stream within Sussex, are the ruins, and the seat of Beyham, great part of which are in the parish of Fant, and on the other side of it within Kent, though at a little further distance, the estate of Hoadley, within that part of this parish called Linderidge quarter, in the upper part of which, near the thirty-seventh mile-stone, on the Tunbridge road, is an estate, formerly called from the antient possessors of it, Dunks, but now Old Farm. It was for some generations afterwards owned by a branch of the Hendleys, of Cranbrooke, of these, Thomas Hendley died possessed of it in 1716, leaving several sons, of whom Peter and Alexander lived at Goudhurst, and were clothiers there a few years ago; Walter, an intermediate son, became on his father's death possessed of this estate, and afterwards sold it to Pattenden, who alienated it to Spence, as he did soon afterwards to Gibbs Crawford, esq. of East Grinsted, the present owner of it.
The part of this parish within Sussex is separated from this county and the parish of Goudhurst by a stream, called the Bewle, across which, over a bridge of the same name, the high road from Lamberhurst passes towards Flimwell, Hawkhurst, and towards Rye in Sussex. About half a mile below Bewle bridge, near the east bank of the stream, is the mansion of Scotney, situated in a deep vale, and so surrounded with woods, as to give it a most gloomy and recluse appearance; it is a handsome stone building, and appears to be only the half of what was first intended to be built. It was moated round, and had, till the late Mr.Darell pulled them down, a stronge stone gate-way, with towers, &c. seemingly intended to guard the approach to it. The river, which here divides the two counties, once ran through the centre of the ground plat, on which the house stands; about a mile below Scotney it joins the Beyham stream, with which it flows on to Yalding, where it meets the main stream of the Medway.
A fair is held in this parish on Old Lady-day yearly, for cattle, &c. the profits of which belong to the owners of the parsonage, and there is another fair held in the village yearly on the 21st of May.
THIS PARISH was antiently part of the possessions of the eminent family of Crevequer, and was a limb of their barony of Leeds in this county; one part of it was held of them by the family of Lenham; one of whom, Nicholas de Lenham, obtained a charter of free warren for his lands here in the reign of king Henry III. they were succeeded by the Chidcrofts, who resided here for some generations, and bore for their arms the same coat as that of the family of Colepeper, viz. a bend engrailed. This was a srequent custom at that time, many using the coat of their superior lord, of whom they held in fee, or in whose service they were, and others procured a grant from them of it, but hardly any were borne without some difference to distinguish one from the other. Thus as the earl of Chester bore garbs or wheatsheaves, many gentlemen of that county bore wheatsheaves likewise. The old earls of Warwick bore Chequy, or and azure, a chevron ermine, from which many of that county bore ermine and chequy. In Leicestershire, many bore cinquefoils, in imitation of the antient earls of that county; and in other counties the same. But to return to this county; the Guises bore the arms of Hugo de Burgh, earl of Kent, with a canton for difference. The Hardres's bore the chevron of the family of Clare, with the addition of the lion rampant debruised. The Everings, the Hougham's, the Criols, and others, did the same, with their respective differences. The Shurlands, Rokesleys, and Kirkbys bore the six lions rampant used by Leyborne, of Leyborne. The Peckhams, Parrocks, and St. Nicholas's bore the arms of the Says, quarterly, or and gules, but placed it, for difference, in chief. Nor was this family of Chidcrost the only one in this county, which bore the arms of Colepeper; for the Haldens, of Halden, and a branch of the Malmains, did the like. Tutsham, of Tutsham, bore the like arms to those of Eastangrave, of Eastangrave, in Eatonbridge; Brenley, of Brenley, in Boughton, to those of Ratling, of Ratling, in Nonington; Perforer, of Eastling to those of Lenham, of Lenham; and lastly, Watringbury, of Watringbury, to those of Savage, of Bobbing. There are many instances of the grants of the coat armour from a lord to his inferior, among others, Humphry, earl of Stafford, in the reign of king Henry VI. granted to Robert Whitgrave the bearing of the chevron gules, in such manner as is expressed in the grant. (fn. 1)
But to return; one of this family, Thomas de Chidcrost, died possessed of this estate in the 1st year of king Edward III. The other part, in which the manor was included, was held of the Crevequers, as half a knight's fee, in the reign of king John, by Nicholas de Kenith, nomine dotis, who gave it to the abbot and convent of Robertsbridge, in Sussex.
Hamo de Crevequer, grandson of Robert, confirmed this gift of the manor of Lambhurst, &c. for which the abbot had paid him thirty-five marcs of silver, of the goods of his church. Soon after the abbot's coming into possession of this manor, there arose great disputes between him and the archbishop concerning it, which were finally settled anno 1266, 51 king Henry III.
In the 21st year of king Edward I. upon a quo warranto, the abbot and convent claimed view of frankpledge, and other liberties, to their manor here, against the king, who laid claim to it. But the abbot producing the king's charter, his claim was allowed before J.de Berewicke and others, justices itinerant, (fn. 2) and in the 8th year of king Edward II. the archbishop had a grant for a market and fair in this parish.
In which situation this manor continued till the suppression of the abbey of Robertsbridge, in the reign of king Henry VIII. when the abbey, together with all its possessions, (this manor being then devised by the abbot and convent at the yearly rent of fourteen pounds) came into the king's hands, and was confirmed to him and his heirs, by the general words of the act, passed in the 31st of that reign for this purpose.
After which, the king, by several indentures and letters patent, in his 30th, 32d, and 33d years granted the abbey, with this manor and the rest of its possessions, to Sir William Sydney and Anne his wife, and their heirs male, to hold in capite by knights service, all which he surrendered up. In consideration of which, and a sum of money paid upon a new agreement, the king, in his 33d year, sold to Sir William Sydney and his heirs, the manor of Lamberhurst, together with all lands and possessions belonging to the monastery in Lamberhurst, and elsewhere, the scite of the late abbey, and all other possessions belonging to it, to hold by the suit of one whole knight's fee, and the annual rent of 26l. 12s. 4d. His grandson, Sir Robert Sidney, who was created earl of Leicester, obtained new letters patent of this manor, anno 5 James I. to hold it of the king as of his manor of East Greenwich, in free socage tenure, by fealty only in lieu of all other rents and services, (fn. 3) and then alienated it to John Porter, esq. who rebuilt the courtlodge, where he afterwards resided. He was son of Richard Porter, of Begeham, in this parish, descended from Wm. Porter, of Markham, in Nottinghamshire, of whose sons, John, the eldest surviving, succeeded his father at Markham, and was ancestor of the branch settled at Belton, in Lincolnshire; Stephen was ancestor of those of Begeham and Lamberhurst, of whom was John Porter, the purchaser of this manor, and Robert was dean of Lincoln. They bore for their arms, Sable, three bells argent, a canton ermine. John Porter, esq. above-mentioned, in the 3d year of king Charles I. obtained a confirmation of free-warren made to Nicholas de Lenham as abovementioned, within all the demesne lands of this manor, not being within the bounds of the king's forests. His two grandsons, John and Richard, dying s.p. his daughter Elizabeth, married Sir John Hanby, of Lincolnshire, became their heir, and he in her right became possessed of this manor, and died without male issue, leaving an only daughter Elizabeth, who carried it in marriage to John Chaplin, esq. of the same county, whose grandson, John Chaplin, esq. left three daughters his coheirs, of whom Elizabeth, married to Edward Ayscoughe, esq. entitled her husband to the possession of it, and then joining with him alienated it to William Morland, esq. who resided at the court-lodge. He was descended from ancestors seated at Morland, in Westmoreland, and bore for his arms, Azure, a griffin rampant, or. He married Ellen, daughter of Sir Thomas Johnson, of Liverpool, by whom he had Thomas Morland, esq. of the court-lodge, which he much improved, and dying in 1784, was brought hither and buried in this church. By Anne, daughter and coheir of William Matson, esq. of Lancashire, he left several children, of whom the eldest son, William Alexander Morland, esq. succeeded him in this manor, and is the present owner of it.
HODLEIGH is a reputed manor, situated at the western part of this parish, which antiently belonged to the college of St Peter, at Lingfield, in Surry, which seems to have been suppressed in the reign of king Henry VIII. for that king in his 38th year, granted this manor among other premises belonging to the college, to hold in capite by knights service, to Thomas Cawarden, or Cardan, as he was sometimes called for shortness, (fn. 4) one of whose descendants, in the reign of queen Elizabeth, passed it away by sale to Edward Filmer, esq. afterwards knighted by that queen, and of East Sutton, in this county, and from him this manor at length descended down to Sir John Filmer, bart. of East Sutton, who died s.p. in 1797, being then the possessor of it.
IN THAT PART of this parish which lies in the county of Sussex, there are two capital places, which though not strictly within the description of this county, must not be omitted in it. The first of them is Begeham, usually called Bayham abbey, situated about three quarters of a mile distant south-westward from Hodleigh, and close on the opposite side of the stream which separates the two counties. It was founded at a place here called Beaulieu, about the year 1200, by Robert, nephew of Michael de Turnham, for monks of the Præmonstratensian order; some of whom he removed from Brockley, in Deptford, hither for that purpose.
These religious had been first settled at Ottham, in Sussex, by Ralph de Dene; but finding that place inconvenient for the purpose, they began an establishment at Brockley, where they remained a very small time, before they quitted both those places, and removed hither, with the consent of Ella de Sackvile, the daughter of their founder Ralph de Dene, and of Robert de Turnham above-mentioned. For the above purpose Robert de Turnham had granted with the assent of Richard, earl of Clare, his lord, to these canons all his land of Begeham, with its appurtenances, in pure and perpetual alms, free from all service and secular exaction, to build an abbey here in honor of St. Mary. (fn. 5)
Pope Gregory IX. anno 1266, exempted them de decimis novalium, and likewise from the mills they had built anew, and of the hay of all their lands. In the 15th year of king Edward I. the temporalities of the abbot in Canterbury diocese, amounted to 21l. 6s. 8d. per annum; in which year, the abbot being summoned on a quo warranto, to shew cause why he claimed pleas of the crown, and free-warren, a market, fair, gallows, and waif in Begeham, &c. answered, that he had not, nor claimed to have any of those liberties: but that he had view of frank-pledge, and by reason of that assize of bread and ale, &c. and the jury found for the abbot, for that he and his predecessors had always used the same beyond memory.
This abbey continued much in the same state till the reign of king Henry VIII. when cardinal Wolsey, being desirous of founding two colleges, one at Ipswich, and the other at Oxford; obtained in 1524 the pope's bull for suppressing, with the king's leave, as many small monasteries as were needful to raise a revenue, not exceeding three thousand ducats per annum, upon which the king having granted a commission for this purpose, this monastery was suppressed, with seventeen other small ones in different counties; when it appears that its spiritualities were valued at 27l. 6s. 8d. its temporalities, at 125l. 2s. 8½d. and the whole at 152l. 9s. 4½d. per annum.
Richard Bexley was the last abbot of it, at which time there were ten religious in this monastery. (fn. 6)
From their descent from the founder of this abbey, as well as from their benefactions to it, the family of Sackvile were reputed likewise founders of it: two of them are recorded to have been buried in the church of this abbey, Sir Thomas, son of Sir Andrew Sackville, by Joane Burgese, his second wife, who was sheriff of Sussex and Surry anno 8 king Henry IV. and in the chapel of the Virgin Mary, in this church, Richard Sackvile, esq. who died anno 1524. There is a register of this abbey in the Cottonian library in the British museum, marked Otho A II.
After the suppression of this abbey, the king by his letters patent, in his 17th year, granted the several dissolved monalteries of Begeham, Lesnes, Tunbridge, and Calcote, together with all their lands, manors and possessions, to cardinal Wolsey, for the better endowment of his college above-mentioned in Oxford; which letters were again confirmed by others, that year. But four years afterwards, on the Cardinal's being cast in a præmunire, all the estates of the college, which had not been firmly settled on it, were forfeited to the king, in whose hands the manor of Begeham, together with the scite of the abbey, seems to have remained till queen Elizabeth made a grant of it to Anthony Brown, viscount Montague, who, though a strict Romanist, was held in great esteem by that princess, as a person of experienced loyalty, who was attached to that religion from principles, and not from faction. He died in 1593, and was succeeded by his eldest son, Anthony, viscount Montague, by his first wife Jane, daughter of Robert Ratcliffe, earl of Sussex, who not long afterwards alienated this manor and estate to Benedict Barnham, alderman of London, sheriff of that city in 1592, who died in 1598, leaving four daughters his coheirs; of whom Alice, the second daughter, inherited this manor and the scite of the abbey of Begeham, after the death of her first husband, Sir Francis Bacon, lord Verulam, viscount St. Albans, and lord chancellor, by whom she had no issue, she remarried with Walter Doble, gent. of the county of Sussex, who in her right became possessed of this estate, in whose family it remained at the restoration of king Charles II. anno 1660; after which it passed into the name of Brown, in which it remained in the 12th year of queen Anne, when an act passed to enable Ambrose Brown, esq. and others, to make sale of this manor; in consequence of which it was sold to John Pratt, esq. of Wilderness, serjeant-at-law, and afterwards chief justice of the king's bench. On whose death in 1725, John Pratt, esq of Wilderness, his eldest surviving son by his first wife, succeeded him in this manor, of which he died possessed in 1770, as did his son John Pratt, esq. first of Wilderness, but afterwards of Sevenoke, where he died in 1797, and by his will gave this estate to his half brother Thomas Pratt, esq. (the elder brother of the late Charles, earl Camden) and he is the present possessor of this manor, with the scite of the abbey and the lands belonging to it.
There are great remains of the ruins of this abbey; within the walls of the church. on which the roof was remaining till lord chief justice Pratt had it taken off, for the sake of the materials, there are several flat grave stones, one of which has a crosier on it; and three tombs or coffins of stone, one of which is decorated with the sculpture of a cross pomel pierced, on the top of it. The inside of the church is laid out as a pleasure-garden, with flowers and gravel walks, for the use of the adjoining seat, which was built some years ago by the late proprietor, in the gothic stile, and in which he frequently resided.
SCOTNEY is the other manor in this parish, within the county of Sussex likewise; the mansion of it is situated close on the western side of the stream, called the Bewle, which, as is reputed here, divides the two counties. It was so called from a family, which were proprietors of it in very early times, as they were of another seat of the same name at Lid; one of whom, Walter de Scoteni, held it in the reign of Henry III. and was a person of no small account, for he held fourteen knights fees and a half of Alice, countess of Ewe, in Sussex; but being sound guilty of poisoning Richard, earl of Gloucester, and his brother, William de Clare, he was drawn through Winchester to the gallows, and hanged. Notwithstanding which this estate seems to have continued in the same name and family till about the middle of the reign of king Edward III. when it passed into the possession of the family of Ashburnham, of Ashburnham, in Sussex; one of whom, Roger Ashburnham, was a conservator of the peace in the 1st year of king Richard II. and resided at this mansion, which was then castellated. His successor alienated it in the beginning of king Henry V's reign, to Henry Chicheley, archbishop of Canterbury, who appears to have resided here at times, one of his mandates being dated from Scoteneye, in 1418. The archbishop settled this manor on Florence, his niece, widow of Sir William Peche, and one of the daughters of William Chicheley, his youngest brother, on her marriage with John Darell, esq. third son of William Darell, of Sesay, in Yorkshire, whose second wife she was, from whose first wife Joane, daughter and heir of Valentine Barrett, of Pery-court, descended the Darells, of Calehill. He died in 1478, and was succeeded in this estate by his only son by her, Thomas Darell, esq. of Scotney, whose only son Henry, and grandson Thomas, were both likewise of Scotney, the latter was twice married. Thomas, his eldest son, succeeded him here, and Stephen, his second son, was ancestor of the Darells, of Pageham, Fullsmere, Hampden, and of Middlesex; and Stephen, his third son, was of Spelmonden, and ended in two surviving daughters, who became his coheirs.
In the descendants of Thomas Darell, the eldest son, who succeeded his father at Scotney, and whose lands were disgavelled by the act of the 2d and 3d of king Edward VI. this estate continued down to his great grandson, Arthur Darell, esq. of Scotney, who died possessed of it in 1720 unmarried; on which this estate came by an old family settlement to the second brother of the branch of this family settled at Calehill, in this county, and was accordingly claimed by George, the second son of John Darell, esq. of Calehill, by Olivia his wife, daughter of Philip, viscount Strangford, and next brother to Philip Darell, esq. of that place.
He took possession of it, though not without some suits at law, instituted by the three sisters and heirsat-law of Arthur above-mentioned, in which, how ever, he at last prevailed, and afterward resided here. He was succeeded in it by his eldest son and heir, John Darell, esq. who resided at Scotney, and in 1774 conveyed this manor and seat, with the manor of Chingley and other lands adjoining in the parish of Goudhurst, to Mr. John Richards, of Robertsbridge, who in 1779 again passed away these manors, the mansion of Scotney, and the farm adjoining called Little Scotney, to Edward Hussey, esq. the eldest son of Thomas Hussey, esq. of Burwash, in Sussex, and afterwards of Ashford, in this county, by Anne his wife, daughter of Maurice Berkeley, esq. of London, by whom he had Edward above-mentioned, John, and William, both clerks, and five daughters, of whom Frances was married to Sandiford Streatfeild, merchant; Philadelphia, to Mr. T. Rutton, of London, son of the late Isaac Rutton, of Ashford, M. D.
Edward Hussey, esq. the eldest son, and purchaser of these estates, married Elizabeth-Sarah, since deceased, only daughter and heir of Robert Bridge, esq. of Bocking, in Essex, by whom he has several children. He resides at Scotney, and is the present owner of these estates.
JOHN ALLEN, of Pullens, in Horsemonden, who was buried in this parish in 1751, left 10s. yearly, for a sermon on charity, on St. Thomas's day, and 25s. to twenty poor persons annually on that day, now vested in William Hook.
The church, which has a spire steeple, stands on a hill at a small distance from the court-lodge. It is dedicated to St. Mary. In the porch of it lies the body of one Lindridge, who was born anno 1566, and lived in an house adjacent. He made an handsome stone causeway here, which from him was called Lindridge causeway. (fn. 7)
John, bishop of Rochester, in 1461, changed the feast of the dedication of this church from the feast of St. Michael, on account of the floods which frequently happened here about that time of the year, and hindered its being celebrated with due solemnity, and transferred it to the Wednesday next following the feast of the sacred relics; to be held yearly on that day.
Robert de Crevequer, the founder of Leeds abbey, about the year 1137, gave to the canons there, in free and perpetual alms, all the churches on his estates, with the advowsons of them, and among them this of Lamberhurst, with two acres of land in this parish. (fn. 8)
Lambert de Scotene confirmed to the church of Leeds whatever his ancestors had granted to it, viz. all the ecclesiastical dues of his tenants, and lands of Curthope, and the oblations and legacies of the vassals of his lordship.
John, bishop of Rochester, at the time of the gift of this church to the priory of Leeds, appropriated the same to it; notwithstanding which, the canons do not seem to have gained possession of it till about ten years afterwards. About which time, by the mandate of Richard, archbishop of Canterbury, an inquisition was taken, by which it was found, that all those the archbishop's tenants, inhabiting the district of Curthope and Ewehurst received all ecclesiastical rights in the church of Lamberhurst, and paid all their tithes beyond the memory of man to that church, and that their ancestors lay buried there; which was attested by Walter, bishop of Rochester; upon which the archbishop confirmed the same to it.
After which the appropriation, as well as the advowson of this church, continued part of the possessions of the priory till the dissolution of it in the reign of king Henry VIII. when it was, with all its revenues, surrendered into the king's hands; after which, the king by his dotation charter, in his 33d year, settled the appropriation and advowson of the vicarage of this church on his new-erected dean and chapter of Rochester, where they both remain at this time.
In 1719 the lessee of this parsonage was William Dewe, esq. who resided in it. He was son of William Dewe, gent. one of the six clerks in the Prerogativeoffice, in London, and bore for his arms, Gules, a chevron argent, between nine bezants. After which the interest in it descended down at length to his grandson Butler Dewe, esq. who dying in 1762, without issue, it came to his sisters; Elizabeth Wilson, widow; Amphillis Whitfield, widow; Mary, Anne, and Catherine Dewe, who are the present lessees of this parsonage.
In 1447, it appeared, on the presentation of William Blackborne to this vicarage, that it was endowed of old time in all tithes, excepting those of sheaves and grain; that it was by estimation, one year with another, of the annual value of ten pounds, and that the vicar had not any written composition, but took his endowment by antient custom.
Church of Lamberhurst.
|Or by whom presented.|
|Prior and convent of Leeds.||William Blackborne, presented in 1447. (fn. 9)|
|Dean and Chapter of Rochester||Mr. Robert Stede, 1627. (fn. 10) Pratt, 1720.|
|Robert Pickering, obt. May 1733.|
|Tobias Swinden, A M. instit. July 11, 1733, obt. March 1754. (fn. 11)|
|Samuel Denne, resigned 1767. (fn. 12)|
|Chardin Musgrave, S. T. P. 1767, obt. March 1768. (fn. 13)|
|John Newcombe, S. T. P. 1768, obt. 1775. (fn. 14)|
|John Clarke, S. T. P. presented Nov. 1775, resigned 1776. (fn. 15)|
|Charles Tarrant, S. T. P. Nov. 1776, resigned 1783. (fn. 16)|
|John Eveleigh, S. T. P. 1784, the present vicar. (fn. 17)|