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 a very low situation, at the very edge of the marshes, it is consequently but little known or frequented, its vicinity to the marshes, and its low and watry situation, make it very unhealthy, so that it is but very thinly inhabited, but the lands are very rich and fertile, the waters of the Swale are its northern boundaries; on its south it rises up towards Bysing-wood, from which it is distant about a mile. The village is occupied by a few fishermen and oyster dredgers, situated near the middle of the parish on a small ascent, having the church about a quarter of a mile to the north-westward of it, and Ore-court at the like distance, at the edge of the marshes. The creek, which is navigable up to the village, whence it runs north-east, and at a little more than half a mile's distance joins the Faversham creek, and flows with it about the like distance, till it meets the waters of the Swale.
THE MANOR of Ore was part of the vast possessions of Odo, bishop of Baieux, and earl of Kent, the Conqueror's half-brother, under the general title of whose lands it is thus entered in the general survey of Domesday:
In Lest de Wiwarlet. In Favreshant hundered, Adam holds of the bishop (of Baieux) Ore. It was taxed at two sulings. The arable lands are four carucates. In demesne there is one, and ten villeins, with ten borderers, having two carucates. There is half a church, and one mill of twenty-two shillings, and two fisheries without tallage, and one salt-pit of twenty-eight pence. Wood for the pannage of six bogs. In the time of king Edward the Confessor it was worth four pounds, and afterwards sixty shillings, now one hundred shillings. Turgis held it of king Edward.
Adam holds of the bishop one yoke in Ore, and it was taxed at one yoke. The arable land is one carucate. Four villeins now hold this to ferme, and pay twenty shillings, and it was worth so much separately. There is a church. Leunold held it of king Edward.
Upon which the manor of Ore came to be held immediately, or in capite of the king, by the beforementioned. Adam de Port, of whose heirs it was afterwards again held by Arnulf Kade, who gave this manor, with that of Stalishfield, and their appurtenances, to the knights hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem, and it was assigned by them to the jurisdiction of their preceptory, established at Swingfield.
The manor of Ore continued part of the possessions of these knights till the general dissolution of their hospital in the 32d year of Henry VIII. when this order was suppressed by an act then specially passed for that purpose. (fn. 1)
This manor seems to have remained in the hands of the crown till king Edward VI. granted it in his 5th year, to Edward, lord Clinton and Say, who next year re-conveyed it back again to the king. (fn. 2)
How it passed from the crown afterwards I have not found, but that at length it came into the possession of the family of Monins, and thence by sale to that of Short, one of which, Samuel Short, esq. owned it in 1722, and it continued down in his descendants to Philip Short, esq. who was succeeded in it by Mr. Charles Maples Short, who died a few years ago at Jamaica, on which it became vested in Mr. Humphry Munn, gent. in right of Lydia Short his wife. Hence it passed by sale to Mr. Bonnick Lipyeatt, who died in 1789, leaving two daughters his coheirs, who married Mr. Charles Brooke, of London, and Mr. Gosselin, and entitled them respectively to this estate.
This church, which was antiently accounted only as a chapel to that of Stalisfield, belonged to the priory of St. Gregory, in Canterbury, perhaps part of its orignal endowment by archbishop Lanfranc, in the time of the Conqueror, and it was confirmed to it, among its other possessions, by archbishop Hubert, about the reign of king Richard I.
In the 8th year of Richard II. there was a yearly pension paid from the church of Ore, of ten shillings to the priory of Rochester, and another of eight shilling to that of Leeds. (fn. 3)
This church remained part of the possessions of the priory of St. Gregory, till the dissolution of it in the reign of Henry VIII. in the 27th year of which, an act having passed for the suppression of all such religious houses, whose revenues did not amount to the clear yearly value of two hundred pounds, this priory was thereby dissolved, and the scite of it, together with all its lands, possessions, and revenues, surrendered into the king's hands, by John Symkins, prior of it.
The church of Ore remained with the other possessions of the priory in the crown but a small time, for an act passed that year to enable the king and the archbishop of Canterbury to exchange the scite of the late dissolved priory of St. Radigund near Dover, with all its possessions, lately given by the king to the archbishop, for the scite of the late dissolved priory of St. Gregory, and all the possessions belonging to it, excepting the manor of Howfield, in Chartham.
After which the parsonage of this church was demised by the archbishop, as it has been since by his successors, among the rest of the revenues of the priory of St. Gregory, from time to time, in one great lease, (in which all advowsons and nominations to churches and chapels have constantly been excepted) in which state it continues at this time. George Gipps, esq. of Harbledown, M.P. is the present lessee of then to the archbishop, and Mr. John Hope, of Ore, is the present leffee under him for the parsonage of this church, at the yearly rent of thirty-four pounds.
It pays, procurations to the archdecaon five shillings, and to the archbishop at his visitaiton two shillings. When the church of Ore was separated from that of Stalisfield, I have not found, but it has long been an independent church of itself.
It was, long before the dissolution of the priory of St. Gregory, served as a curacy by the religious of it; since which it has been esteemed as a perpetual curacy, of the patronage of the successive archbishops of Canterbury, and continues to at this time. In 1640 the communicants here were forty-seven.
Before the year 1755, it had been augmented by the governors of queen Anne's bounty with the sum of two hundred pounds, and divine service was performed here only once a fortnight; since which it has been augmented with 1000l. more, and it is now performed here once a week. Of the above sum of 1200l. in the year 1764, 260l. were laid out in the purchase of an estate, of a house, buildings, and twenty-two acres of land, in Ospringe; and in 1770, another estate was purchased, consisting of a house, buildings, and thirty-three acres of land, in Boughton under Blean. The remaining 280l. yet remain in the governors hands.