The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 6. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1798.
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THE PARISH of Bobbing lies almost the whole of it on the northern side of the high London road, nearly at the 39th mile stone. It is not an unpleasant situation, though at the same time it has not the character of being very healthy. It contains about seven hundred and eighty acres of land, of which forty are wood, the soil is in general poor, much of it on the high ground is either a gravel sand, or a mixture of clay, but in the lower parts, especially in the northern towards Milton, there is some good fertile level land. The high road runs along the southern boundaries of it, excepting at Key-street, where it extends some way up the Detling road; hence the hill rises to high ground, on which, about half a mile from the road, is the church, and close to the church-yard the ruins of Bobbing-court, with the few houses that compose the village on the other side of it. At a small distance from these ruins southward, on the brow of the hill, at the end of the toll of elms leading from the high road, Arthur Gore, esq. of the kingdom of Ireland, built on colonel Tyndale's land a few years ago, a small shooting seat, which has since been further improved by his cousin Sir Booth Gore, bart. of Sligo, in Ireland, being so created on August 30, 1760, and they both pretty constantly reside in it; the house commands the view of the London road, and a fine one southward beyond it; below the descent of the hill, northward from the church, is Bobbing-place, a low situation near the boundaries of this parish next to Milton.
At the south-west corner of the parish, on the London road, is a small hamlet of houses called Key-street, corruptly probably for caii stratum, or Caius's-street, though the ale-house in it, the sign of which seems to have arisen from the name of the street, has raised a notion of the street's taking its name from thence. Here is a large house lately erected by Mr. William Boykett, who resides in it.
About a mile southward from hence on the high road to Detling, there is a gravel pit of an unusual depth and length, the hollowing of which must have been the work of great labour and length of time, insomuch that if I may be allowed the conjecture, I should suppose it was made by the Romans, who took their materials from thence to make their road, which still remains visible from Key-street to Sittingborne, the quantity of gravel with which that way is raised, being only to be supplied from so large a place as this is.
THE PARAMOUNT MANOR of Milton claims over this parish, subordinate to which is the MANOR OF BOBBING, the mansion of which, called Bobbingcourt, was the antient residence of the family of Savage, or Le Sauvage, as they were called in French, who were of eminent account, and possessed good estates in this part of Kent; and Leland, in his Itinerary says, this manor had before belonged to the family of Molynes.
Ralph de Savage, the first owner of this manor, of the name whom I have met with, was present with king Richard I. at the siege of Acon, in Palestine. His descendants Sir John de Savage, Sir Thomas de Savage, of Bobing, and Sir Roger de Savage, were with king Edward I. with many other gentlemen of this county, at the siege of Carlaverock, in Scotland, in the 28th year of his reign, and were all honored there with the degree of knighthood.
Roger le Sauvage possessed this manor in the next reign of king Edward II. and in the 5th year of it obtained free-warren, and other liberties for his lands in Bobbynges, Middelton, Borden, Newenton, and Stokebury.
In the descendants of this family, who bore for their arms, Argent, six lions rampant, sable, three, two and one, which coat is still remaining on the roof of the cloysters of Canterbury cathedral, and in the chapter-house there, men of eminent degree in the times in which they flourished, whose burial place was within the north chancel of this church, this manor continued down to Arnold Savage, esq. who died s. P. in 1420, so that Eleanor his sister, who had been first married to Sir Reginald Cobham, by whom she left no issue, and was then the wife of William Clifford, esq. became his heir, as well in this manor as the rest of his possessions. The family of Clifford was descended from ancestors seated at Clifford-castle, in Herefordshire, as early as the beginning of Henry II.'s reign, several of whom were summoned to parliament, among the barons of this realm. At length Roger de Clifford, who married Matilda, daughter of Thomas de Beauchamp, earl of Warwick, and died anno 13 Richard II. leaving three sons, of whom Thomas was the eldest, from whom descended the Cliffords, earls of Cumberland; the Boyles, lords Clifford, of Lonsborough; Thomas, earl of Thanet, lord Clifford, and his daughter the lady Margaret Tuston, lady Clifford, married to Coke, earl of Leicester.
Sir William Clifford, the second son, died s.p. and Lewis Clifford, the third son, was a man of note in the military line, as well as in state affairs, and in the 6th year of Richard II. was made a knight of the garter. He died anno 4 Henry IV. leaving one son William, who as before-mentioned, married the sister of Arnold Savage, esq. and in her right became possessed of Bobbing manor, (fn. 1) a younger branch of which family had been settled at Bobbing-place, in this parish, some time before. The Cliffords, of Bobbing, bore for their arms, Chequy, or, and sable, a fess and bordure, gules, on the fess, a crescent argent, for difference, which coat they quartered with that of Savage. These arms of Clifford are on the roof of the cloysters of Canterbury cathedral, and in St. Margaret's church, in Canterbury, impaled with Savage. The first lord Clifford of this family, bore Chequy, or, and azure, a bendlet, gules, which the elder brethren kept as long as they continued; a second son turned the bendlet into a bend, and placed on it three lioneux, passant, or, from whom the Cliffords of Frampton are descended. Roger Clifford, second son of Walter the first lord, for the bendlet took a fess gules, which was borne by the earls of Cumberland, and others of that branch. Those of Kent added the bordure to the fess, and a crescent on it, for difference; and Sir Conyers bore the chequy, or, and sable, as appears by his coat of arms on an original picture of him, painted in 1595.
William Clifford, before-mentioned, was sheriff both in the 4th and 13th years of king Henry VI. and died in the 16th year of that reign, leaving two sons, Lewis, who succeeded him in his estates in this county, and John, who was ancestor to the lords Clifford, of Chudleigh.
Lewis Clifford, the eldest son, resided at Bobbing, court, whose son Alexander Clifford, esq. kept his shrievalty there in the 5th year of king Edward IV. and dying in the 10th year of Henry VII. left six sons, of whom Lewis Clifford, the eldest, succeeded him in this manor, and was sheriff in the 13th year of king Henry VII. He left by his first wife Mildred, daughter of Bartholomew Bourne, esq. of Sharsted, two sons, Nicholas, who was of Sutton Valence, and left a sole daughter and heir, married first to Harpur, and secondly to Moore, (fn. 1) and Richard.
Nicholas Clifford, esq. the eldest son, possessed this manor of Bobbing on his father's death, but removing to Sutton Valence, or Town Sutton, as it is now called. He sold it presently afterwards to Sir Thomas Neville, but Richard Clifford, esq. the younger son, repurchased it of him, and died possessed of it, being succeeded in it by his son George Clifford, esq. who resided at Bobbing-court in the middle of the reign of queen Elizabeth, and left seven sons and three daughter, of whom Henry Clifford, esq. the eldest son, succeeded him in this manor, which he afterwards alienated to his younger brother, Sir Conyers Clifford, and dame Mary his wife, the daughter of Francis Southwell, esq. of Windham-hall, in Norfolk, and had been married first to Thomas Sydney, esq. of this county, and afterwards to Nicholas Gorge, esq. Her third husband was Sir Conyers Clifford, of Bobbingcourt, above mentioned, who was governor of Connaught, in Ireland, and a privy counsellor of that kingdom, by whom she had two sons, Henry and Conyers. She survived him, and afterwards possessed solely this manor, to whom the entitled her fourth husband Sir Anthony St. Leger, master of the rolls in Ireland, and a privy counsellor there, who was third son of Sir Anthony St. Leger, of Ulcomb, lord deputy of Ireland. She had by him, who survived her, one son Anthony, and dying in 1603, æt 37, was buried in St. Patrick's church, Dublin. By her will she devised this manor, in equal shares, to her two sons Henry and Conyers Clifford, and her son Anthony St. Leger, afterwards knighted, and of Wiertonhouse, in Boughton Monchelsea. They quickly afterwards joined in the sale of it to Sir Edward Duke, of Cosington, in Aylesford, who not long afterwards passed it away by sale to Sir Richard Gurney, alderman of London, who was afterwards in 1641 created a baronet, being then lord-mayor, who bore for his arms, Paly of six, per fess, counter changed, or, and azure, (fn. 1) which coat was in allusion to that borne by Hugh Gorney, a Norman, created earl of Gorney by William Rusus, who bore Paly, six, or, and azure. He alienated it to his brother-in-law Henry Sandford, esq. who died possessed of it in 1660, bearing for his arms, Ermine, on a fess, gules, two boars heads couped, or. He left by her four daughters his coheirs, Christian; Angelica, married to Henry Thornhill, esq. Mary; and Frances, the latter of whom carried this manor in marriage to Sir George Moore, bart. who had been so created in 1665, being stiled of Maids Morton, in Buckinghamshire, bearing for his arms, On a fess, three fleurs de lis, between three mullets. He died possessed of it in 1678, and was buried in the north chancel of this church. He died s. p. leaving his widow surviving, and possessed of this manor, which she the next year carried in marriage to colonel Edw. Diggs, the fifth son of Thomas Diggs, esq. of Chilham-castle, who dying s. p she again married colonel Robert Crayford, governor of the fort of Sheerness, who survived her, and became possessed of this manor, which he afterwards, in the reign of king William, sold to Thomas Tyndale, gent. of North Nibley, in Gloucestershire, who was descended of a family originally settled in Northumberland, whence a descendant of it removed to North Nibley, which estate Thomas Tyndale sold on his purchasing this manor. His son William Tyndale, esq. who pulled down this mansion, and dying in 1748, was buried in the fouth chancel of Bobbing church; leaving no issue, he by will devised this manor in tail male to his collateral kinsman, the Rev. William Tyndale, rector of Coats, in Gloucestershire, whose son Thomas Tyndale, esq. of North Cerney, in that county, died in 1783, having married Elizabeth, third daughter of Charles Coxe, esq. of Gloucestershire, whom he left surviving, and by her one son, lieutenant-colonel William Tyndale, the present possessor of this manor, and a daughter Anne-Catherine. He bears for his arms, Argent, a fess, gules, between three garbs, sable.
The mansion of Bobbing-court, which was situated exceedingly pleasant, having a fine prospect on every side of it, stood almost adjoining to the fouth side of the church-yard. It has been many years since pulled down, but by the foundations remaining, the walls of the garden, and the out-offices belonging to it, which are yet standing, it appears to have been a building of a very considerable size.
BOBBING-PLACE was an antient seat in this parish, situated at the northern extremity of it, adjoining to Milton, which seems to have been the antient residence of the family of Clifford, before they became possessed of the manor and court of Bobbing, as heir to the Savages.
A younger collateral branch of them, in the person of Robert Clifford, esq. of Bobbing, a younger brother of Richard, bishop of Worcester and London, successively, kept his shrievalty in this parish, both in the 1st year of Henry IV. and in the 2d and 3d years of Henry V. in the 8th year of which he was knight of the shire with Arnold Savage. He died in 1422, and was buried in the cathedral of Canterbury.
It afterwards passed into the name of Gorham, and thence into that of Tuston, and in the reign of king Charles I. this seat was the property and residence of Sir Humphry Tuston, the second surviving son of Sir John Tuston, knight and baronet, of Hothfield, and next brother to Nicholas, first earl of Thanet. He resided at times both here and at the Mote, in Maidstone, and in 1641 was created a baronet. He died at Bobbing-place in 1659, and was buried in this church.
Sir John Tuston, knight and baronet, his eldest surviving son, resided entirely at the Mote, and dying in 1685, s. p. was buried in Maidstone church. By his will he devised this seat to trustees, to be sold for the payment of his debts, and they accordingly, in 1687, conveyed it by sale to major Thomas Cooke, of Faversham, who alienated it in 1692 to Mr. Thomas Sole, of Milton, shipbuilder. He married in 1688, Mary Cockin, of that parish, by whom he left Cockin Sole, esq. barrister-at-law and recorder of Queenborough, who resided here, where he died in 1750, leaving one son, and a daughter Catherine, who married first Mr. Nowell, and secondly John Constantine Jennings, esq. He was succeeded in this seat by his only son John Cockin Sole, esq. who kept his shrievalty at it in 1756, bearing for his arms, Argent, a chevron, gules, between three soles hauriant, proper, all within a bordure, engrailed of the second. He continued to reside here till he removed to Norton-court, near Faversham, and afterwards, in 1766, pulled down almost the whole of this seat, leaving of it only sufficient for a mean farm-house. After which he alienated it to Mr. Thomas Colley, who is rebuilding this seat, in which he intends to reside.
THERE is a small manor in this parish called UpPER TOES, which formerly belonged to the family of Bartholomew, of Oxenhoath, from which it has, in like manner as that estate, become the property of Sir William Geary, now of Oxenhoath, the present proprietor of it, and there is another small manor here called NETHER TOES, which formerly was the estate of the Barrows, and was given by the will of Mr. William Barrow, in 1707, among his other estates, for the benefit of the poor of Borden, in the trustees of which charity it is now vested.
In the north chancel are several antient gravestones of the Savages and Cliffords, many of them entirely robbed of their brasses, and others only with remnants remaining, on one are the figures in brass of a man and woman, the former having the surcoat of Clifford, Chequy, a fess, with a bordure; a memorial for Sir George Moore, in 1678; a monument for Henry Sandford, esq. 1660, and Elizabeth his wife, with their two busts in white marble. In the south chancel, memorials for William Tyndale, esq. obt. 1748, and for Darell, son of Nathaniel Darell, governor of Sheerness in Charles the IId.'s reign In the south isle is a monument, having two busts of white marble on it, for Charles and Humphry Tuston, sons of Sir Humphry Tuston, of Maidstone, the former died 1652, the latter 1657, both unmarried; and memorials for Cobbes, Poole, and others.
The church of Bobbing was given by Henry III. in his 18th year, to the monastery of St. Mary and St. Sexburgh, in the Isle, of Shepey; which gift was confirmed by king Henry IV. in his 1st year, by his letters of inspeximus, (fn. 1) and it continued part of the possessions of it till the general dissolution of religious houses in the reign of king Henry VIII. in the 27th year of which, this nunnery was suppressed, as not being of the clear yearly value of two hundred pounds.
This church becoming thus vested in the crown, the king, in his 35th year, granted the rectory of it, with its appurtenances, to Thomas Green, to hold in capite by knight's service, who had been tenant of it at the dissolution, at the yearly rent of twelve pounds.
He was usually stiled Thomas Norton, alias Green, being the natural son of Sir John Norton, of Northwood, in Milton, and bore for his arms, Gules, a cross potent, ermine, within a bordure, argent, and sable. He died in the 6th year of king Edward VI. leaving two sons, Norton Green, who left an only daughter and heir, married to Sir Mark Ive, of Boxsted, in Essex, and Robert Green, gent. who was of Bobbing.
Norton Green, esq. the eldest son, on his father's death, became possessed of the rectory of Bobbing impropriate, with the advowson of the vicarage; on whose death it became the property of Sir Mark Ive, in right of his wife, and he presented to it in 1607. His son John Ive, esq. died in king Charles the 1st.'s reign, leaving an only daughter Anne, then an insant. In the next reign of king Charles II. Sir George Moore, of Bobbing-court, owner of the manor of Bobbing, was possessed of this rectory, with the advowson of the vicarage. Since which it has remained in the like succession of owners as that manor, down to lieutenantcolonel William Tyndale, of Gloucestershire, the present possessor and patron of it.
In the year 1578, here were communicants one hundred and eighteen. In 1640 the vicarage of it was valued at sixty pounds. Communicants eighty-eight. There is no valuation of this vicarage in the king's books.
In the year 1186, the abbot of St. Augustine's monastery demised to the prioress of St. Sexburgh, in Shepey, the tithes of this parish, which belonged to them in right of their church of Middleton, at ten shillings per annum for ever, as has been more fully mentioned before under that parish.
Church of Bobbing.
|Or by whom presented.|
|Thomas Shawe, obt. 1607.|
|Sir Marcus Ive, of Boxsted.||Francis Reynolds, A. M. May 20, 1607, obt. 1630.|
|The Crown.||John Reader, Sept. 7, 1635. (fn. 1)|
|William Scarlett, in 1663|
|Sir George Moore, of Bobbing-court||Titus Otes, A. B induct. March 13, 1672, resigned. (fn. 2)|
|The Crown, by lapse.||Thomas Conway, inducted Dec. 14, 1689, resigned 1690.|
|Robert Crayford and dame Frances||Robert Philpott, July 9, 1690.|
|Moore his wife.||obt. 1703.|
|William Tyndale, gent.||John Napleton, A. M. Nov. 1703, obt. 1712.|
|John Burman, A. M. Feb. 10, 1712, obt. April 13, 1726. (fn. 3)|
|Richard Fletcher, A. B. induct. 1726.|
|Isaac Priest, inducted Aug. 5. 1753. obt. 1757.|
|William Tyndale, clerk.||Joseph Parry, A. M. Oct. 21, 1757, the present vicar.|