The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 6. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1798.
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THIS PARISH is about two miles across each way, it lies the greatest part of it on the hills on the northern side of the high road leading from Faversham through Newnham valley over Hollingborne hill towards Maidstone. It is a poor but healthy situation, being much exposed to the cold and bleak winds which blow up through the valley, on each side of which the hills, which are near the summit of them, interspersed with coppice woods, rise pretty high, the soil is mostly chalk, very barren, and much covered with slint stones. The village stands on the road in the valley, at the east end of it is a good house, called WHITEMANS, which formerly belonged to the family of Adye, and afterwards to that of Eve, of one of whom it was purchased by the Rev. Francis Dodsworth, who almost rebuilt it, and now resides in it. Upon the northern hill, just above the village, is the church, and close to it the vicarage, a neat modern fashed house; and about a mile eastward almost surrounded with wood, and just above the village of Newnham, the mansion of Sharsted, a gloomy retired situation.
At the time of taking the above record, which was anno 1080, this place was part of the possessions of Odo, the great bishop of Baieux, the king's half brother; accordingly it is thus entered, under the general title of that prelate's lands:
The same Fulbert holds of the bishop Dodeham. It was taxed at one suling. The arable land is . . . . . In demesne there is one carucate and seventeen villeins, with ten borderers having two carucates. There is a church, and six servants, and half a fisbery of three hundred small fish, and in the city of Canterbury five houses of seven shillings and ten pence. In the time of king Edward the Confessor it was worth ten pounds. The bishop let it to ferm for ten pounds, when Fulbert received it, six pounds, and the like now . . . . . Sired held it of king Edward.
PART OF THE above-mentioned estate was, most probably, THE MANOR OF SHARSTED, or, as it was antiently called Sabersted, the seat of which, called Sharsted-court, is situated on the hill just above the village of Newnham, though within the bounds of this parish.
This manor gave both residence and name to a family who possessed it in very early times, for Sir Simon de Sharsted died possessed of it in the 25th year of king Edward I. then holding it of the king, of the barony of Crevequer, and by the service of part of a knight's see, and suit to the court of Ledes.
Richard de Sharsted lies buried in this church, in the chapel belonging to this manor. Robert de Sharsted died possessed of it in the 8th year of king Edward III. leaving an only daughter and heir, married to John de Bourne, son of John de Bourne, sheriff several years in the reign of king Edward I. whose family had been possessed of lands and resided in this parish for some generations before. In his descendants this estate continued down to Bartholomew Bourne, who possessed it in the reign of Henry VI. in whose descendants resident at Sharsted, (who many of them lie buried in this church, and bore for their arms, Ermine, on a bend azure, three lions passant guardant, or) this estate continued down to James Bourne, esq. who in the beginning of king Charles I.'s reign, alienated Sharsted to Mr. Abraham Delaune, merchant, of London, the son of Gideon Delaune, merchant, of the Black Friars there, who bore for his arms, Azure, a cross of Lozenges, or, on a chief gules, a lion passantguardant of the second, holding in his dexter paw a fleur de lis; which was assigned to him by William Segar, garter, in 1612, anno 10 James I.
He resided at Sharsted, in which he was succeeded by his eldest son, Sir William Delaune, who resided likewise at Sharsted, where he died in 1667, and was buried in Doddington church. He was twice married; first to Anne, daughter and only heir of Tho. Haward, esq. of Gillingham, by whom he had an only daughter Anne, heir to her mother's inheritance. His second wife was Dorcas, daughter of Sir Robert Barkham, of Tottenham High Cross, (remarried to Sir Edward Dering) by whom he had a son William, and a daughter Mary, married to colonel Edward Thornicroft, of Westminster.
William Delaune, esq. the son, succeeded to this estate, and was knight of the shire for this county. He died in 1739, s.p having married Anne, the widow of Arthur Swift, esq. upon which it passed by the entail in his will to his nephew Gideon Thornicroft, son of his sister Mary, widow of Edward Thornicroft, esq. by whom she had likewise three daughters, Dorcas, Elizabeth, and Anne. This branch of the family of Thornicroft was situated at Milcomb, in Oxfordshire, and was a younger branch of those of Thornicroft, in Cheshire. John Thornicroft, esq. of London, barrister-at-law, was younger brother of Edward Thornicroft, esq. of Cheshire, and father of John, for their arms, Vert, a mascle, or, between four crasscreated a baronet of August 12, 1701, and of colonel Edward Thornicroft above-mentioned. They bore for their arms, Vert, a mascle, or, between four crosscroslets, argent. Lieutenant-colonel Thornicroft was governor of Alicant, when that fortress was besieged in 1709, and perished there, by the explosion of a mine. (fn. 1)
Gideon Thornicroft, esq. possessed this estate but a small time, and dying in 1742, s.p. and being the last in the entail above-mentioned, he devised it by his will to his mother, Mrs.Mary Thornicroft, who dying in 1744, by her will devised to her two maiden daughters, Dorcas and Anne, this manor and seat, as well as all the rest of her estates, excepting Churchill farm in Doddington, which she gave to her second daughter Elizabeth, who had married George Nevill, lord Abergavenny, who dieds.p. and lady Abergavenny, in her life-time, made a deed of gift of this farm, to her son Alured Pinke, esq. who now owns it.
They possessed this estate jointly till the death of Mrs.Dorcas Thornicroft, in 1759, when she by will devised her moiety of it, as well as the rest of her estates, except the Grange in Gillingham, to her sister Mrs. Anne Thornicroft, for her life, remainder in tail to her nephew Alured Pinke, barrister-at-law, son of Elizabeth, lady Abergavenny, her sister by her second husband Alured Pinke. esq. barrister-at-law, who had by her likewise a daughter Jane, married to the Rev. Henry Shove; upon this Mrs.Anne Thornicroft before-mentioned, became the sole possessor of this manor and estate, in which she resided till her death in 1791, æt. 90, upon which it came to her nephew, Alured Pinke, esq. before-mentioned, who married Mary, second daughter of Thomas Faunce, esq. of Sutton-at-Hone, by whom he has one son Thomas. He bears for his arms, Argent, five lozenges in pale, gules, within a bordure, azure, charged with three crosses pattee, fitchee. He resides here, and is the present possessor of this seat and estate. A court baron is held for this manor.
DOWNE-COURT is a manor in this parish, situated on the hill, about half a mile north westward from the church. In the reign of king Edward I. it was in the possession of William de Dodington, who in the 7th year of it did homage to archbishop Peckham for this manor, as part of a knight's fee, held of him by the description of certain lands in Doddington, called Le Downe. His descendant Simon de Dodington, paid aid for it in the 20th year of king Edward III. as appears by the Book of Aid; from him it passed into the family of Bourne, of Bishopsborne, whose ancestors were undoubtedly possessed of lands in this parish, (fn. 2)so early as the reign of Henry III. for archbishop Boniface, who came to the see of Canterbury in the 29th year of it, granted to Henry de Bourne, (fn. 3)one yoke of land, in the parish of Dudingtune, belonging to his manor of Tenham, which land he held in gavelkind, and might hold to him and his heirs, of the archbishop and his successors, by the service of part of a knight's fee, and by rent to the manor of Tenham.
His descendant John de Bourne lived in the reign of king Edward I. in the 17th year of which he obtained a charter offree warrenfor his lands in Bourne, Higham, and Doddington, after which he was sheriff in the 22d and the two following years of it, as he was again in the 5th year of king Edward III. His son John de Bourne married the daughter and sole heir of Robert de Sharsted, by which he became possessed of that manor likewise, as has been already related, and in his descendants Downe-court continued till about the latter end of king Henry VI.'s reign, when it was alienated to Dungate, of Dungate-street, in Kingsdown, the last of which name leaving an only daughter and heir, she carried it in marriage to Killigrew, who about the beginning of Henry VIII. ending likewise in two daughters and coheirs, one of whom married Roydon, and the other Cowland, they, in right of their respective wives, became possessed of it in equal shares. The former, about the latter end of that reign, alienated his part to John Adye, gent. of Greet, in this parish, a seat where his ancestors had been resident ever since the reign of Edward III. for he was descended from John de Greet, of Greet, in this parish, who lived there in the 25th year of that king's reign. His grandson, son of Walter, lived there in the reign of Henry V. and assumed the name of Adye. (fn. 4) This family bore for their arms, Azure, a fess dancette, or, between three cherubins heads, argent, crined of the second; which coat was confirmed by-Sir John Segar, garter, anno 11 James I. to John Adye, esq. of Doddington, son and heir of John Adye, esq. of Sittingborne, and heir of John Adye, the purchaser of the moiety of this manor.
He possessed this moiety of Downe court on his father's death, and was resident at Sittingborne. He died on May 9, 1612, æt. 66, and was buried in Doddington church, leaving issue by Thomasine his wife, daughter and coheir of Rich. Day, gent. of Tring, in Hertsordshire, one son John, and five daughters.
John Adye, esq. the grandson of John, the first purchaser, succeeded at length to this moiety of Downe-court, and resided there, during which time he purchased of the heirs of Allen the other moiety of it, one of which name had become possessed of it by sale from the executors of Cowland, who by his will in 1540, had ordered it to be sold, for the payment of debts and legacies. He died possessed of the whole of this manor and estate, in 1660, and was buried in Nutsted church, of which manor he was owner. He left by his first wife several children, of whom John, the eldest, died s.p. Edward, the second, was of Barham in the reign of king Charles II. under which parish more of him and his descendants may be seen; (fn. 5) and Nicholas was the third son, of whom mention will be made hereafter. By his second wife he had Solomon, who was of East Shelve, in Lenham, and other children.
Nicholas Adye, esq. the third son, succeeded to Downe-court, and married Jane, daughter of Edward Desbouverie, esq. Their eldest son, John Adye, succeeded to this manor, at which he resided till he removed to Beakesborne, at the latter end of Charles II.'s reign, about which time he seems to have alienated it to Creed, of Charing, in which name it continued till it was sold to Bryan Bentham, esq. of Sheerness, who devised it to his eldest son Edward Bentham, esq. of the Navy-office, who bore for his arms, Quarterly, argent and gules, a cross story counterchanged; in the first and fourth quarters, a rose, gules, seeded, or, barbed vert; in the second and third quarters, a sun in its glory, or; being the arms given by queen Elizabeth to Thomas Bentham, D.D. bishop of Litchfield, on his being preferred to that see in 1559, the antient family arms of Bentham, of Yorkshire, being Argent, a bend between two cinquefoils, sable. Since his death this estate has by his will become vested in trustees, to fulfil the purposes of it.
The church, which is dedicated to St. John Baptist, consists of a body and chancel, with a chapel or chantry on the south side of it, belonging to the Sharsted estate. At the west end is a low pointed steeple, in which are six bells. About the year 1650, the steeple of this church was set on fire by lightning, and much damaged. In this church are memorials for the Swalman's, Nicholson's of Homestall, and the Norton's, and in the south, or Sharsted chancel, there is a black marble of an antique form, and on a fillet of brass round the verge of it, in old French capitals, Hic Jacet Ricardus de Saherstada, with other letters now illegible, and memorials for the Bourne's and Delaune's.
The church of Doddington was antiently esteemed as a chapel to the church of Tenham, as appears by the Black Book of the archdencon, and it was given and appropriated with that church and its appendages, in 1227, by archbishop Stephen Langton, to the archdeaconry. It has long since been independent of the church of Tenham, and still continues appropriated to the archdeacon, who is likewise patron of the vicarage of it.
Richard Wethershed, who succeded archbishop Langton in 1229, confirmed the gift of master Girard, who whilst he was rector of the church of Tenham, granted to the chapel of Dudintune, that the tithes of twenty acres of the assart of Pidinge should be taken for the use of this chapel for ever, to be expended by the disposition of the curate, and two or three parishioners of credit, to the repairing of the books, vestments, and ornaments necessary to the chapel. (fn. 6)
It is valued in the king's books at fifteen pounds, and the yearly tenths at 1l. 10s. In the visitation of archdeacon Harpsfield, in 1557, this vicarage was returned to be of the value of twelve pounds; parishioners sixty, housholders thirty-two.
In 1569, at the visitation of archbishop Parker, it was returned, that the chapel of Doddington used to be let to farm for forty pounds, and sometimes for less; that there were here communicants one hundred and thirteen, housholders thirty-five. In 1640 the vicarage was valued at thirty pounds; communicants one hundred and seven.
Archdeacon Parker, at the instance of archbishop Sancrost, by lease, anno 27 Charles II. reserved an additional pension of ten pounds per annum to the vicar. It pays no procurations to the archdeacon. It is now a discharged living in the king's books.
Church of Doddington.
|Or by whom presented.|
|The Archdeacon of Canterbury.||John Baker, A.M. May 7, 1585, obt. March 1, 1615. (fn. 7)|
|Osmund Clutting, A.B. April 19, 1615, resigned 1619.|
|Nathaniel Chambers, A.B. Aug. 30, 1619.|
|William Dunbar, A.M. July 30, 1661.|
|Daniel Somerscales, A.M. June 9, 1694, obt. June 20, 1737. (fn. 8)|
|Henry Shove, A.M. 1737, obt. Dec. 8, 1771. (fn. 9)|
|Henry Shove, A.M. Oct. 31, 1772, obt. June 10, 1773. (fn. 10)|
|Francis Dodsworth, A.M. Dec. 31, 1773, the present vicar. (fn. 11)|