The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 5. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1798.
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That part of this parish lying north-westward of the valley, which is between the church and Hallplace, which includes Otterden-place, that church, and the scite of the dilapidated church of Monketon, is in the division of West Kent; and the remaining or south-east part of it, including Hall-place, the scite of the dilapidated church of Boardfield, and the whole hamlet of it, is in that of East Kent.
THE PARISH of Otterden lies a little more than a mile from the summit of the chalk hills, and being greatly exposed to the north-east, is very bleak and cold. The hills in it are very frequent and steep; the land is in general very poor and barren, consisting of a loose red earth, mixed with such quantities of flints, that in the bottom of the valleys they entirely cover the surface of the ground, notwithstanding which, the most corn grows where they are thus numerous. The parish, especially in the north-east part, is greatly interspersed with coppice wood, which mostly consists of beech, intermixed at places with hazel and birch, and some few ash and willow stubbs. The roads are very narrow, and from the frequency and steepness of the hills, and the quantities of loose flints in them, are very unpleasant and unsafe to travellers.
Nearly in the middle of the parish is Otterdenplace, situated on an eminence, having a most extensive prospect towards the north-east, over the neighbouring country, and the channel beyond it. It is a very large pile of building, the more antient part of it being seemingly of king Henry the VIIIth.'s reign, though some of it has been lately taken down purposely to lessen the size of it; at not more than one hundred yards distance from it is the new church of Otterden, which, from its form, and having no steeple, looks more like some apartment belonging to the mansion than what it really is; about half a mile westward is the parsonage, a modern brick building.
It has a small village of a very few houses, called Otterden-street, the cottages in general standing single and dispersed over different parts of it, and are very meanly built; in short, poverty and health may be truly said to be the characteristic of these parts, as well as of those others, throughout this county, which lie on the northern side of this range of hills, near the summit of them, but extending in breadth only a few miles, in some more, in others less; to which district the whole of the above description may be said to be well adapted, almost in every particular.
The same Adam, son of Hubert, holds of the bishop (of Baieux) Otringedene. It was taxed at half a suling. The arable land is two carucates. In demesne there is one, and two villeins, with four borderers, having half a carucate. There are two servants, and one acre of meadow. Wood for the pannage of five hogs. In the time of king Edward the Confessor, and afterwards, it was worth ten shillings, now thirty shillings. To this manor belong two plats of ground in Canterbury, of twelve pence. Alward held this manor of king Edward.
This manor afterwards came into the possession of a family which took their name from it. Ralph de Ottringden held it of William de Leyborne, as one knight's see, in the reign of Henry III. His grandson Sir Laurence de Ottringden, died possessed of it in the beginning of king Edward II.'s reign, leaving an only daughter and heir, who carried this manor in marriage to Peyforer, from which name it passed into that of Potyn; one of which, Nicholas Potyn, was possessed of it in the reign of Richard II. and left an only daughter Juliana, who carried it in marriage to Thomas St. Leger, (fn. 1) second son of Ralph St. Leger, of Ulcomb, knight of the shire anno 51 Edward III. He afterwards resided at Otterden, where he kept his shrievalty anno 20 Richard II. and dying in the 10th year of Henry IV. was buried under a tomb erected for him in this church, near the high altar. His arms being, Fretty, on a chief, two mullets, impaling semee of sleurs de lis, were on his tomb; which last are said in the Aucher pedigree, to be those of Juliana Potyn his wife; but it must be here remarked, the similarity of this coat to that of Peysorer, which was, Six sleurs de lis, whose daughter and heir Philipott says she was.
He left one daughter and heir Joane, and his widow Juliana, surviving, who died possessed of this manor in the 5th year of Henry V. on which, Joan their daughter, then the wife of Henry Aucher, esq. of Losenham, in Newenden, entitled her husband to the possession of it. He was son of Henry, the eldest son of Nicholas Aucher, of Losenham, and married first Isabella At-Towne, of Throwleigh, by whom he had two sons, Thomas, of Losenham, and Robert, ancestor to the Auchers of Westwell. His second wife was Joan, daughter and heir of Thomas St. Leger, as above-mentioned, by whom he had an only son Henry, who succeeded to this manor of Otterden, and resided here. This branch of the family of Aucher bore for their arms four coats quarterly; first, Aucher, ermine, on a chief, azure, three lions rampant, or; second, St. Leger, fretty, azure and argent, on a chief, or, two mullets, gules; third, Potyn, or Petevin, argent, semee of fleurs de lis, azure; fourth, Ottringden, ermine, a cross voided, gules. He died in 1502, and was buried in the north chapel of this church. His son, James Aucher, died in 1508, and lies buried at his father's seet. On his grave-stone was his effigies in brass, and at the upper corner of the stone, two shields of arms, one of the coat of Aucher; the other two coats, per fess, the upper one, Otterden; the lower one, St. Leger; at the lower part of the stone, in the centre, was the first of those shields impaling the second. His eldest son, Sir Anthony Aucher, married Affra, daughter of William Cornwallis, by whom he left three sons, John, who was of Otterden, Edward, who was of Bishopsbourne, whose descendants were baronets, and remained there till within these few years, and William, who was afterwards of Nonington.
John Aucher, esq. of Otterden-place, the eldest son, left an only daughter and heir Joan, who in the reign of queen Elizabeth marrying with Sir Humphry Gilbert, entitled him to this manor and seat. He bore for his arms, Argent, on a chevron, sable, three roses of the second, pierced, or. He passed them away in that reign to William Lewin, LL. D. descended from John Lewin, gent. of Hertfordshire. They bore for their arms, Lewin, party per pale, gules and azure, three stags heads, couped, or. (fn. 2) He afterwards resided here, and dying in 1598, was buried in the church of St. Leonard Shoreditch. He was a master in chancery, judge of the Prerogative-court of Canterbury, chancellor of Rochester, commissary of the faculties, and dean of the peculiars, &c. He designed in his life-time to have been buried in Otterden church, and there is a superb monument erected in the north chancel of this church, a cenotaph, to his memory.
Sir Justinian Lewin, his eldest son, succeeded him in this manor, and resided here, where he died in 1620, and was buried in this church, where there is a costly monument erected to his memory. He left an only daughter and heir Elizabeth, who carried this estate in marriage to Richard Rogers, esq. of Brianston, in Somersetshire, who dying likewise without male issue, his daughter Elizabeth carried it in marriage, first to Charles Cavendish, lord Mansfield, eldest son and heir of William Cavendish, duke of Newcastle, who died s. p. by her; and secondly, to Charles Stuart, duke of Richmond and Lenox, (fn. 3) who by fine and recovery in 1661, sold this manor and seat to George Curteis, esq. afterwards knighted.
Sir Geo. Curteis resided at Otterden-place, where he died in 1702, and was buried in the north chancel of this church, bearing for his arms, Argent, a chevron between three bulls heads, caboshed, sable. He left one son and heir George Curteis, esq. who succeeded his father in this estate, and died in 1710, leaving an only daughter Anne, who carried it in marriage to Thomas Wheler, esq. eldest son of Sir George Wheler, D. D. prebendary of the church of Durham, the son of colonel Charles Wheler, of Charing, the son of Thomas Wheler, esq. of Tottenham, in Middlesex, by Anne, daughter of Sir Nicholas Gilbourne, of Charing. Sir George Wheler had been a great traveller into several parts of Asia, of which he published an account, as well as several other learned treatises. He was a good benefactor to Wye school, under which a further account may be seen of him. They bore for their arms, Vert, on a sess, or, three lions rampant of the first. Mr. Wheler died in 1716, s. p. and she surviving him, carried this estate again, within a few months afterwards, in marriage to Humphry Walcot, esq. of Worcestershire, who in 1725, in which she joined, passed it away by sale to Granville Wheler, esq. her first husband's next surviving brother, who afterwards resided at Otterden-place. He afterwards took holy orders, and became prebendary of Southwell, and rector of Lake, in Nottinghamshire. He was a gentleman who made early discoveries in the science of electricity, and was in other points of natural philosophy an ingenious and learned member of the Royal Society. Among other private, as well as public benefactions, he made an addition to that of his father, to Wye school, and was a good benefactor himself to this parish. He died at Otterden place in 1770, and was buried in the vault under the new church, which he had rebuilt, having been twice married; first, to Catherine, daughter of Theophilus Hastings, earl of Hunringdon, and secondly, to Mary, daughter of John Dove, esq. by whom he had no issue, but by his former lady he had two sons and four daughters. Theophilus, the eldest son, died unmarried. Granville, the second, became his father's heir. ElizabethAnne, the eldest daughter, married Thomas Medhurst, esq. of Kippax, in Yorkshire; Frances died unmarried; Selina-Margaretta married the Rev. Mr. Wills; and Catherine-Maria married the Rev. Mr. Stewart Monteith, of Barrowby, in Lincolnshire. Granville Wheler, esq. the only surviving son, succeeded to this manor, with the seat of Otterden-place, where he for some time resided, but going abroad, he died at Dunkirk, in Flanders, in 1786, and being brought to England was buried in this church, leaving Sybilla-Christiana, his wife, second daughter of Robert Haswell, esq. of London, surviving, and by her, one son, Granville Hastings, an instant. She married secondly, the Rev. John Tattersall, chaplain in ordinary to his majesty, and he, with his wife, as tes tamentary guardians of her son before-mentioned, are as such at present in the possession of this manor and estate.
BOARDFIELD, alias BORESFIELD, is a hamlet in the southern part of this parish, and esteemed to lie within the limits of the hundred of Faversham. It was once a parish of itself, having a church of its own. The manor of it was for many descents the property of that branch of the family of Cobham, which from their possession of Sterborough-castle, in Surry, were usually stiled of that place.
Reginald, son of John de Cobham, of Cobham, in this county, by his second wife, possessed this manor in the reigns of king Edward II. and III. in whose descendants of the same name it continued down to Reginald de Cobham, who died possessed of this manor in the 24th year of Henry VI. being succeeded in it by his eldest surviving son Sir Thomas Cobham, who died in the 11th year of Edward IV. leaving an only daughter and sole heir Anne, who carried it in marriage to Sir Edward Borough, of Gainsborough, in Lincolnshire, (fn. 4) whose descendant, William, lord Burgh, in the 12th year of queen Elizabeth, alienated it to John Pakenham, who passed it away by sale within a few years afterwards to William Lewin, LL. D. after which this estate passed, in like manner as Otterden manor and place, in the same chain of ownership, down to Granville Wheler, esq. whose only son Granville Hastings Wheler, now an insant, is intitled to the inheritance of it, but it is now in like manner in the possession of his mother, and her second husband, the Rev. John Tattersal, as his testamentary guardians.
After the dissolution of that nunnery, and before many years had elapsed, this church most probably sell to ruin, for even when Philipott wrote his Villare, in the reign of king Charles I. there was hardly one stone of it left upon another; however, the bounds of the church-yard are yet visible, which lies at the corner of a field, and being converted into tillage, the plough in its progress over it frequently turns up large stones, part of this antient dilapidated church. The land which surrounds the spot where the church stood, belongs to a farm called Waterditch, which belongs to the same owners as now possess the manor of West-Shelve, in Lenham.
It was formerly a rectory of itself, but is now esteemed as a chapel united to the parish church of Otterden, the patronage of which was in possession of the family of Lewin, and passed from them, in like manner as the manor of Boardfield and Otterden, to Granville Wheler, esq. who in 1778 alienated the advowson of the church of Otterden, with the chapels of Boardfield and Monkton annexed, to Edward Brydges, esq. of Wotton-court, who died in 1781, and his eldest son, the Rev. Edw. Timewell Brydges, rector of this parish, is the present possessor of it.
MONKETON is another hamlet, situated at the north-west extremity of this parish, which was formerly likewise accounted a parish of itself. The manor of it, which extends into the parish of Newnham, seems to have been given by Ralph Picot, to the abbey of Faversham, at or soon after the foundation of it, and this gift was confirmed to it by Henry II. in his 11th year.
It has for many years had the same owners, as the manor of Sharsted, in Doddington, and passing in like manner from the family of Delaune, to that of Thornicrost, and from thence, since the death of Mrs. Anne Thornicroft in 1791, it came to her nephew, Alured Pinke, esq. now of Sharsted, the present possessor of it. A court baron is held for this manor.
FRID-FARM is an estate in this hamlet, being part of a considerable parcel of land here, in Newnham and in Easling, which was the property of Matthew, son of Hamon atte Frith, who in the reign of king Henry III. gave it, by the description of, all that land, with the mill standing on it, and all other its appurtenances, in Monketon, to the nunnery of Davinton, which gift was confirmed by king Henry III. in his 39th year.
After this nunnery had escheated to the crown in the 27th year of Henry VIII. the king granted the scite of it and this estate, among the other possessions of it, in his 35th year, to Sir Thomas Cheney, to hold in capite by knight's service, who in the 1st year of queen Elizabeth died possessed of this estate at Monkton, then known by the name of Fryde-farm, corruptly, no doubt, for Fryth's farm, being so named from the antient owner of it, above-mentioned, and was succeeded in it by his only son Henry, created lord Cheney, who in the 3d year of that reign, having levied a fine of all his lands, (fn. 5) soon afterwards alienated this estate to Godden, from which name it was, not long afterwards, passed away to George Chute, or Choute, esq. of Bethersden, whose descendant, Edw. Chute, esq. of that place, who died in the reign of Charles II. leaving Elizabeth his daughter, and at length sole heir, she entitled her husband Sir James Oxenden, knight and baronet, to the possession of it. In which name and family this estate has continued down to Sir Henry Oxenden, bart. of Broome, in Barham, who is the present possessor of it. (fn. 6)
The rectory of this church belonged to the nunnery of Davington, and after the escheating of it to the crown, was granted, in the 35th year of Henry VIII. to Sir Thomas Cheney, together with Fryde-farm, as before-mentioned, to hold in like manner. His son Henry, lord Cheney, sold it to Godden, who alienated the advowson of this rectory, then esteemed as a chapel to the church of Otterden, with some estate likewise in Monketon, to William Lewin, LL.D. after which it passed, in like manner as Otterden manor and place, in the same chain of ownership, to Granville Wheler, esq. who alienated the advowson of the church of Otterden, with this chapel, and Monketon annexed, to Edward Brydges, esq. of Wotton, whose eldest son, the Rev. Edward Timewell Brydges, rector of this parish, is the present owner of it.
At the time it had tenants and services belonging to it, this manor was the property of Roger Rey, as appears by an antient roll without date, in which mention is made of one Thomas Franklyn, who held some lands of this manor by the yearly rent and service of one red rose.
In the reign of Henry VII. this estate of Hallplace, then no longer reputed a manor, was the property of Cock, and in the 19th year of it, Eugenius Cock sold it to John Bunce, gent. of this parish, the son of Edward Bunce, who left his residence at Malmesbury, and came first into this county. They bore for their arms, Azure, on a fess, argent, three eagles displayed of the first, between three bears of the second. (fn. 7)
His only son James Bunce was of Otterden, where he died in 1606, and was buried in the south chancel of this church, usually called Bunce's chancel, from their burials in it. He left several sons and daughters, of whom Simon, the eldest son, became his heir; James was of London, and ancestor of the Bunces of Otterden and of Kemsing; and Stephen resided at Boughton Malherb, and dying in 1634, was buried at Throwley, to the Bunces of which place he was ancestor. Simon, his eldest son and heir, died possessed of this seat in 1611, and was buried in the chancel above-mentioned, leaving Anne, his only daughter and heir, married to William Brockman, son and heir of Henry Brockman, esq, of Newington, near Hythe.
Soon after which, this seat was alienated to Mr. Paine, who was steward to Charles, lord Mansfield, and afterwards to Charles, duke of Richmond, owners of Otterden manor, the latter of whom made a considerable addition to this seat at his own expence, building a large and costly room to it, as a gift to the owner of it.
In his descendants resident at this seat, who all lie buried in this church, and bore for their arms, A fess, between three leopards heads, it continued down to Charles Paine, esq. who resided at it likewise, and died unmarried in 1741. Having no relations to inherit his estates, he devised this seat, among the rest of them, by his last will, to Christopher Creswell, a youth at that time in his family, and afterwards an officer in the army, who took on him the name of Paine, and died possessed of it, and unmarried, in 1764, and by his will devised this seat among his relations, and they not long afterwards, joined in the sale of it to the Rev. James Stephen Lushington, who resided here for some years, and then alienated it to the Rev. Wanley Sawbridge, second son of John Sawbridge, esq. of Ollantigh, who died possessed of it in 1796, unmarried, and dying intestate, it descended to his nephews, Samuel-Elias and Wanley Sawbridge, esqrs. who are the present possessors of it.
HERST is a manor in the west part of this parish, which in the reign of Richard II. was possessed by Richard at Lose, who by his will in the 18th year of that reign, directed it to be sold, which it most probably was, to one of the family of Filmer, who seem to have been resident here soon afterwards, for by an old court-roll of the adjoining manor of Monketon, which by its look seemed to be of that time, though the date of it was not legible, there was mention made of one Robert Filmour, for so the name was then spelt, who was then possessed of land in this parish, held of that manor, and there are at this time several of this name residing in this parish and its neighbourhood, who though now classed among the yeomen-freeholders, are probably descended from those of this name, seated at Herst, as above-mentioned.
The Filmers continued resident at Herst till Robert Filmer, esq. one of the prothonotaries of the common pleas, in the reign of queen Elizabeth, having purchased an estate in East Sutton, by Maidstone, removed thither; but it continued the property of his descendants till Sir Robert Filmer, bart. at the latter end of the reign of king Charles II. parted with it to the Rev. John Rumney, vicar of Sutton Valence, whose widow Amy sold it, in 1702, to Mr. Henry Knowles, whose son Mr. Richard Knowles, in 1763, conveyed it by sale to the Rev. Granville Wheler, esq. of Otterden-place, who with his eldest son, Granville Wheler, esq. next year conveyed it to the Rev. John Lowther, rector of this parish, for the use of him and his successors, rectors of the parish of Otterden, for ever. This estate consists of about one hundred and sixty-eight acres of land, and was sold for 1100l. of which 1000l. was the benefaction of lady Elizabeth Hastings, and the remaining part of the Rev. Granville Wheler, esq. before-mentioned.
BUNCES-COURT, alias POLLARDS, is a seat in this parish, which stands near a mile southward from Otterden-place. It was formerly the property of the family of Bunce, who resided at it for some years, whence it acquired the name of Bunces-court. They had likewise before been possessed of Hall-place, in this parish, in the description of which, an account of them has already been given, down to Simon Bunce, the eldest son of James Bunce, gent. of Otterden, who seems to have devised this seat to his second son James Bunce, who was a merchant of London, which city he represented in parliament. He died possessed of it in 1631, having by his will been a good benefactor to this parish. He was succeeded in this estate by his eldest son James Bunce, esq. sheriff of London anno 19 Charles I. and afterwards an alderman of that city, who being a zealous loyalist, endured much persecution, and was imprisoned in the tower, and his estates declared forfeited for high treason.
After the restoration of king Charles II. he was restored to his place of alderman, and to his estates, and received the honor of knighthood; and as a further consideration of his sufferings for the royal family, he had a warrant for a baronet's patent, which neither he, nor any of his descendants, ever took out. He left by Sarah his wife, daughter of Tho. Gipps, esq. two sons, Sir James Bunce, knt. who succeeded to his father's possessions at Kemsing, in this county, where his descendants still remain; and John, who became by his father's will possessed of this seat of Buncescourt, where he resided from time to time, but afterwards removing to East Greenwich, he alienated this seat to Mr.Roger Paine, of Hall-place, in this parish, who in the beginning of the present century alienated it to Knocke, in which name it continued till Mr. Richard Knocke, about the year 1756, passed it away by sale to Edward Chapman, esq. who made great additions to it, and afterwards resided here. He sold it to Stringer Belcher, esq. eldest son of Edward Belcher, esq. of Ulcomb, who dying a few years ago unmarried, it came to his brother Mr. William Belcher, of Ulcomb, the present owner of it.
THE PRIORY of Rochester was possessed of lands in this parish, called Prior and Goodman's lands, which at the dissolution of it in the reign of Henry VIII. came into the king's hands, and were granted by him in this 33d year, among other premises, to his newfounded dean and chapter of Rochester, who are still entitled to them, the present lessee of them being the heirs of the late Granville Wheler, esq. of Otterdenplace, deceased.
MR.JAMES BUNCE, gent. citizen and leatherseller of London, son of James Bunce, esq. of this parish, devised by his will in 1630, to the Leathersellers Company, of which he was a member, 350l. in trust, that they should pay 20s. yearly to the poor of this parish, 8l. per annum to the minister of it, for preaching three sermons yearly, one on the day of the deliverance in 1588; one on the 5th day of November, and a third on the 17th of that month, and for catechising the children of this parish, twenty Sundays in each year, and for paying 10l. every tenth year, to the repair of the Bunce's chapel in this church, where his ancestors lay interred, and the repair of the body of the church; and if the same was not demanded of them, then the whole produce of it to go to the support of the poor of the Leathersellers Company.
ROGER PAINE, ESQ by his will in 1701, gave the sum of 20l. to the rector, churchwardens, and overseers of this parish, in trust, for the interest of it to be applied to the relief of such poor housekeepers of it, as most regularly attended divine service, &c. Charles Paine, esq. his son and executor, with this money purchased of Henry Farley the elder, about four acres of land, called Wye-banks, and conveyed them to the rector and parish officers, and their successors for ever, in trust, for the uses above-mentioned.
The antient church was dedicated to St. Laurence, and consisted of two small isles and a chancel, without a steeple, and stood about fifty yards eastward from the corner of Otterden-place; this building being greatly decayed and ruinous, lady Elizabeth Hastings, sister of George, earl of Huntingdon, at the instance of the Rev. Granville Wheler, patron of it, who had married her half-sister lady Catherine, among other acts of charity, devised by her will four hundred pounds towards the rebuilding of it. She died in 1739, and this sum, with the interest of it, before any thing was undertaken for that purpose, amounted to near five hundred pounds, when Mr. Wheler undertook the building of an entire new church here, which was begun in 1753, and completed in about a twelvemonth's time, at the expence of five hundred pounds more out of his own purse, which he liberally gave towards it.
The new church, which is a neat elegant building of brick, ornamented with stone rustic quoins, window-cases, &c. is built, great part of it, on the foundations of the old church, which stood about twenty feet more towards the east, the grave-stones over the two rectors being then within the altar-rails. There was no steeple to the former church, nor is there any to the new one, which, with the modern elegance of the building, takes away all appearance of its being a church, on the outside view of it.
The monuments of the Lewins and Curteis's are preserved in a small recess on the north side of the church, and have been well repaired and beautified, as has been the monument of Mr. Simon Bunce, and his wife, against the south wall of it. There are many of this family buried in this church, the last of whom were, Mr. Thomas Bunce, from Maidstone, in 1706, and Mrs. Anne Bunce, from Throwley, in 1737; but the grave-stones of this family are now covered by the pews of this new church, which are, nevertheless, fastened only with screws, in order to their being removed when occasion requires. There are several of the Paines, of Hall-place, likewise buried in this church. Underneath the church is a vault for the use of the Wheler family.
The patronage of the church of Otterden was ever esteemed as an appendage to the manor, and continued so till Granville Wheler, esq. of Otterden-place, in 1778, conveyed it to Edward Brydges, esq. of Wotton-court, whose eldest son, the Rev. Edward Timewell Brydges, rector of this parish, is the present possessor of it.
It is a rectory, valued in the king's books at 6l. 14s. 2d. and is of the yearly certified value of 62l. 17s. 10d. the yearly tenths being 13s. 5d. (fn. 8)
The rector of Otterden is entitled to the great and small tithes of this parish, including those of the hamlets of Boardfield and Monketon, now within the bounds of it, the dilapidated churches of which, with their appurtenances, are now annexed as chapels to this rectory.
Church of Otterden.
|Or by whom presented.|
|The crown.||William Slayter, D. D. Nov. 12, 1625, obt. February 14, 1646. (fn. 9)|
|George Curteis, esq.||Joseph Heathfield, presented in 1668.|
|S. Pearse, in 1670, resigned 1682.|
|Thomas Robins, 1682.|
|The crown.||John Symonds, A. M. 1701, ob. Feb. 21, 1747. (fn. 10)|
|Rev. Granville Wheler.||Deodatus Bye. B.A. April 1748, resig. 1748.|
|John Lowther, November 1748, obt. Oct. 14. 1779. (fn. 11)|
|Edw. Timewell Brydges, A. M. inllit. March 30, 1780, the present rector. (fn. 12)|