The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 6. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1798.
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THE next parish southward from Halstow is Newington, written in Domesday, Newetone, which certainly took its name from its having been raised on the scite of some more antient town, perhaps built in the time of the Romans, of whom there are many vestigia in and about this place. It has the addition of next Sittingborne, to distinguish it from a parish of the same name next Hyth.
THE PARISH of Newington lies for the most part on a flat plain, extending from east to west near two miles, at the edges of which, excepting towards the north, it is surrounded by a range of high hills, most of which are covered with woods, which reach as far eastward within the boundaries of it as the high road leading from Key-street to Detling. The parish is far from being unpleasant, but the unhealthiness of it, occasioned by its being exposed to the noxious vapours arising from the large tract of marshes covered of it, as far as Standgate creek and the Medway, which are blown hither uninterrupted, through the vale, and the unwholesomeness of the water drawn from the wells for culinary uses, throughout it, make it a far from eligible situation to dwell in, and keep it thin of inhabitants, especially of the better sort; in the centre of the above plain, though on a small rise is the village, called Newington-street, containing about fifty houses, most of them antient and ill built, it is encircled by orchards of apples and cherries. In the street almost opposite to the lane leading southward to Stockbury is the old manor house of Lucies, now inhabited by a shopkeeper, and in another part of it is another oldtimbered building, much of it now in a decayed state, belonging to the estate here of Sir Beversham Filmer; bart. formerly of the Troughton's, and before that the residence of the Holbrook's.
Here was, as appears by a presentment made of the customs, &c. of the queen's manor and hundred of Milton, in 1575, a market, held weekly on a Tuesday, but the disuse of it has been beyond memory. At a small distance northward is the vicarage, and a quarter of a mile further on the parsonage and church, and close to the church-yard the manor-house of Tracies. At no great distance north-west from hence there is a spring, which produces a fresh stream, and runs from thence northward, having a small breadth of swampy poor meadow or marshes on each side, till it empties itself into the creek at Halstow, as has already been mentioned in the description of that parish.
The high road from London to Canterbury and Dover, runs across this parish, and through Newington-street, at a small distance southward from which, in the road to Stockbury, is the manor house of Cranbrooke, and about half a mile further, the ground still rising to it, the hamlet of Chesley-street, corruptly so for Checheley-street, as appears by the will of Robert Bereforth, anno 13 Edward IV. who lies buried in this church, and stiles himself of Checheley-street, devising by it his principal tenement called Frognal, and his other called Patreches, in this parish, to his three daughters and coheirs. On a green close to this hamlet there is a handsome sashed house, built not many years ago by Robert Spearman, esq. lessee of the possessions of Merton college, in this parish, in which he resides.
The parish contains about thirteen hundred acres of land, exclusive of about two hundred acres of wood, great part of it, especially in the environs of the street, was formerly planted with orchards of apples, cherries, and other kind of fruit, but these falling to decay, and the high price of hops yielding a more advantageous return, many of them were displanted, and hops raised in their stead, the scite of an old orchard, being particularly adapted for the purpose, which, with the kindliness of the soil for that plant, produced large crops of it, insomuch that there has been one particular instance here of an acre having grown after the rate of thirtyfour hundred weight of hops on it, but these grounds wearing out, and hops not bearing so good a price, tother with other disadvantages to the growers of them, orchards are again beginning to be replanted in Newington, to which these grounds afford a good nursery, till the trees by their increased size are less liable to hurt, though the hop grounds in it are still very considerable.
The soil of this parish on the plain, and towards Chesley, is very rich and fertile, consisting in general of a kindly loam, near and on the hills it is mostly a stiff clay, and to the northward of the street it becomes a sand, where on the hills it becomes poor land, and much covered with broom and furze. This tract of land called from thence Broomdown, belong most of it, as does much other land in this parish, to All Souls college, as part of their manor of Horsham, in Upchurch; in the parts near Chesley-street, at some depth, they come to the chalk, which by means of draw wells is obtained for the manure of their lands. On the continued chain of hills, from the north-east to the south-east boundaries of this parish, there are large tracts of woodland, in which are great plenty of chesnut stubs, no doubt the indigenous growth of them, these join to others of the like sort, reaching for several miles southward, those in this parish and its neighbourhood, being from the great plenty of the above wood in them, commonly known by the name of Chesnut woods, a large tract of them, within the bounds of this and the adjoining parishes, reaching as far as the turnpike road leading from Key-street to Detling, belong to the earl of Aylesford. The rents in general are high, great part of the lands being let from fifteen to twenty shillings per acre and upwards.
THE ROMAN ROAD, having crossed the river Medway at Chatham, is still visible on the top of Chathamhill, the hedge on the north side of the great road from thence to Rainham standing on it, from which place hither it seems to run on the southern side of the road, till within a very small distance of Newington-street, where it falls in with the great road, and does not appear again till it has passed Key-street, a mile and a half beyond it.
The name of Newington, as has already been mentioned, implies its having been built on, or in the lieu of, some more antient town or village; the names of places in and about it, plainly of Roman original, shew that nation to have had frequent dealings hereabouts. Keycol-hill at the 38th mile stone seems to be the same as Caii Collis, or Caius, Julius Cæsar's hill; Keystreet beyond it, Caii Stratum, or Caius's street; and Standard-hill, about half a mile southward of Newington-street, seems to have taken its name from some military standard having been placed on it in those times.
On Keycol-hill above-mentioned, at a small distance northward from the great road, is a field, in which quantities of Roman urns and vessels have continually been turned up by the plough, and otherwise, and the whole of it scattered over with the broken remains of them, from whence it has acquired the name of Crockfield. The soil of it is mostly sandy, excepting towards the north west part of it, where it consists of a wet and stiff clay.
The situation of this field is on an eminence, higher than the surrounding grounds, commanding a most extensive view on every side of it; a little to the southwest of it, in the adjoining field, there is a large mount of earth thrown up, having a very broad and deep foss on the south and west sides of it, from whence there seems to be a breast-work of earth thrown up, which extends in a line westward about forty rods, and thence in like manner again northward, making the south and western boundaries of the two fields next below Crockfield, above-mentioned.
The greatest part of the northern sides of these fields, and the eastern side of Crockfield, are adjoining to the woods, in which there are many remains of trenches and breast-works thrown up; but the coppice is so very thick, that there is no possibility of tracing their extent or form, so as to give any description of them. These vessels have been found lying in all manner of positions, as well sideways as inverted, and frequently without any ashes or bones in them, quite empty; and this has induced many to think this place to have been only a Roman pottery, and not a buryingplace, especially as some of them lay in that part which is a stiff, wet soil, and others in the dry and sandy part of it.
Notwithstanding which, several of our learned antiquarians, among which are Somner, Burton, archbishop Stillingfleet, Battely, and Dr. Thorpe, are inclined to six the Roman station, called in the second iter of Antonine, Durolevum, at or near this place. Indeed most of the copies of Antonine make the distance from the last station Durobrovis, Rochester, to Durolevum xiii or xvi miles, which would place it nearer to Greenstreet, or Judde-hill, a little on the western side of Ospringe; but the Peutingerian tables make it only vii, in which Mr. Somner seems to acquiesce, and it answers tolerably well to this place. If this distance of miles is correct, no doubt but Newington has every circumstance in its favor, to six this station here, if the number of xvi should be preferred, full as much may be said in favor of Judde-hill, or thereabouts; every other place has but mere conjecture, unsupported either by a knowledge of the country, or by any remains of Roman antiquity ever discovered in or near it.
The urns and vessels found here were first taken notice of in print by the learned Meric Casaubon, prebendary of Canterbury, whom Burton stiles incomparable for his virtues and learning, who, in his notes on his translation of the emperor Marcus Antoninus's Meditations, gives an account of the remains found in Newington, which contains many curious particulars relating to the custom of burial, though of too copious a nature to be wholly inserted in this work.
Among other observations he says, that not only the great numbers of these urns, for he does not remember an instance of so many having been found, in so small a compass of ground, was remarkable, but the manner of their lying in the ground; for those who had been present at the digging of them up observed, that where one great urn had been found, several lesser vessels had been likewise, some of them within the great one, and others round about it, each covered either with a proper cover of the like earth as the pots themselves were, or else more coarsely, but very closely, stopped up with other earth. Hence he infers that the custom seems to have been, to appoint one great urn to contain the bones and ashes of all one houshold or kindred, as often therefore as any of them died, so often they had recourse to the common urn, which was as often uncovered for the purpose.
Besides the great and common urn, it is likely that every particular person that died, had some lesser one particularly dedicated to his own memory, and it is not improbable, that there might be still another use of them, and that not an unnecessary one, which was, that by them the common greater urns might be the better known and distinguished one from another, being so much alike in shape and size, in so small a compass of ground, and so near each other; and it seems more likely, as of the many hundreds of the lesser fort which have been taken up, scarce any have been found of one and the same making. What this place has been many would certainly be glad to know; thus much may at least be concluded, that from the multitude of urns, it was once a common burial-place for the Romans, and that from the situation of it, which is upon an ascent, and for some space beyond it hilly, not far from the sea, and near the highway, it may be affirmed with great probability, that this place was once the seat of a Roman station. (fn. 1) Thus far Mr. Casaubon.
The great numbers of urns, and the fragments of them, found at this place from time to time, have been dispersed among the curious throughout the county, many of whom have, through curiosity and a fondness for antiquarian knowledge, dug here for that purpose. The last earl of Winchelsea searched here several times for them with success, and had a numerous collection of them; among others, one of the larger ones, which was dug up here, and held twenty-four pints, came into the hand of Dr. Battely, who says, it was dug up among many urns here, being a vessel not to hold the bones, but to be filled with wine, being pitched on the inside, which was usually done for that purpose. It had four handles, by which it might be plunged into the earth, and raised up again whenever there was oc casion, which was of no use to a sepulchral urn, which there was a religious dread of removing; it being their custom to extinguish the funeral pile with wine, to wash the bones, to sprinkle the sepulchres in their funereal sacrifices, and to pour it out as an offering to the funereal gods.
Another of these urns, which held near a bushel, came into the possession of John Godfry, esq. of Norton-court, and another into the hands of Mr. Filmer Southouse; the figures of each of which may be seen in an engraved plate in the folio edition of this history, vol. ii. p. 562.
IN THE TIME of Edw. the Consessor this place was held of queen Editha, wife of that prince, by one Sidgar, with whom most probably it continued till after the death of king Harold, in 1060, when William, duke of Normandy, afterwards surnamed the Conqueror, having obtained the crown of England, seized on this estate, and then bestowed it on Albert, his chaplain, in whose possession it remained at the time of the taking of the general survey of Domesday, in 1080, in which it is thus entered, under the title Terra Alberti Capellani.
In the half left of Mildetone, in Mildetone hundred, Albert, the (king's chaplain, holds of the king Newetone. Sidgar held it of queen Eddid, and then, and now, it was and is taxed at seven sulings and an half. The arable land is..... The arable land, which was in demesne, is let to ferme for sixty shillings. In the manor itself ten villeins, with forty-eight borderers, have five carucates. There are twelve acres of meadow, and four denns of wood, sufficient for the pannage of thirty hogs. There is one fishery belonging to the Halimote, and two servants. A small coppice for the supporting of the fences.
And there is a custom of the manor of Mildentone paid in Neuuetone, that is, twenty eight weight of cheese; and of twenty-eight sulings belonging to Mildentone in Neuuetone, ten pounds and ten shillings; and of another part of nine sulings belonging to Middeltone in Neuutone, twenty-eight weight of cheese and an half, and fifty-eight shillings of rent from these nine sulings; and of these nine sulings Sigar paid average at Mildetone.
The whole manor, in the time of king Edward the Confessor, was worth forty pounds, and afterwards thirtysix pounds, now thirty-four pounds. The archbishop has from thence six pounds, and the bishop of Baieux has three dennes worth forty shillings.
Some time after the taking of this survey, THE MANOR OF NEWINGTON became part of the possessions of a priory founded here, the nuns of which held it of the king, of his manor of Middleton; but the prioress having been strangled in her bed, the king seized on this manor, and kept it in his own hands, and removed the remaining nuns to the Isle of Shepey. After which king Henry II. by the persuasions of archbishop Thomas Becket, placed in their room here seven priests as secular canons, and gave them the whole of the manor; and as a further increase of their maintenance, twentyeight weight of cheese from his manor of Middleton.
After which, one of these canons having been murdered, four of his brethren were found guilty of the crime, and the two others acquitted. These last, with the king's licence, gave their portions or shares of the manor of Newington to the abbot of St. Augustine's, near Canterbury, who seems to have had possessions here long before, as will be further mentioned hereafter, and the other five parts of it, being seized into the king's hands, remained there till he granted them to Richard de Lucy, his chief justice, by which means this manor became divided; two parts of it remaining with the abbot of St. Augustine, as one manor; and the other five parts with the family of Lucy, as another separate manor, which from their continuing in the possession of it, acquired afterwards the name of Newington Lucies, as will be further mentioned hereafter.
After which, several disputes arising between the abbot and Almerie de Lucy, concerning their respective possessions here; they were afterwards settled, by the award of Sir Stephen de Penchester, who decreed, that the latter should give in exchange to the abbot and convent, among other annual profits, the several rents, reliefs, suits, services, and all other customs of the tenements, and holdings within the hundreds of Middleton, Marden, and Eihorne, to hold in free, pure, and perpetual alms. In consideration of which he decreed, that the abbot and convent should release, in exchange, the two parts of rents and cheese belonging to this manor, (which had been formerly given to them in alms by the king, who had divided them into seven parts) to Almerie de Lucy and his heirs for ever. (fn. 2)
In the iter of H. de Stanton, and his sociates, justices itinerant, anno 7 king Edward II. the abbot of St. Augustine's was summoned by quo warranto to shew why he claimed sundry liberties, therein mentioned, in the manor of Newyngton, among others; and likewise view of frank-pledge, and all belonging to it in this manor, and assize of bread and ale. And the abbot pleaded, that the liberties therein mentioned in this manor, among others, had been granted by king John and the succeeding kings to him and his convent in pure and perpetual alms; by the tenor of which he claimed all of them; and further, that they had all been allowed in the last iter of John de Berewick, and likewise in the 7th year of king Edward II. before Henry de Stanton, and his sociates, justices itinerant, as before-mentioned.
King Edward III. by his charter of inspeximus, in his 36th year, confirmed to the monastery all the manors and possessions given to it by former kings. In this charter there is recited, one granted to the abbot and convent by the Conqueror, of eight prebends in Nyewynton, and the lands belonging to them, witnessed before archbishop Lanfranc, and others, in as ample a manner as their ancestors ever held them. What possessions these were is not now known. Thorn mentions them, and says, king Henry I. confirmed the gift of his father, of the eight prebends of Newenton. By the Conqueror's charter, these prebends appear to have belonged before his time to the monastery, and to have been wrested from it, and again restored at the famous assembly held at Pinenden-heath. What became of them afterwards does not appear, but most probably they were blended with the manor of Newington, after the abbot and convent became possessed of it, especially as by an antient dateless custumal of the manor or church of Newington, as it is there called, transcribed among Dr. Plot's manuscript papers, it appears formerly to have been of a very considerable account, and might well contain these prebends as parcel of it.
The manor of Newington remained part of the possessions of the monastery of St. Augustine, till its final dissolution, in the 30th year of king Henry VIII. when this great abbey, with all its revenues, was surrendered up into the king's hands. After which this manor remained part of the royal revenue till the death of king Charles I. in 1648, when the powers then in being, passed an ordinance, to vest them in trustees, in order to their being immediately sold to supply the ne cessities of the state. Soon after which a survey was taken of this manor, by which it appears, that there were quit-rents due to the lords of it from the freeholders within the town or borough of Newington, within the borough of Otham, within the parish of Clapham; within the borough of Bedmanton, in Wormshill; within the borough of Wyarton, in Boughton Monchelsea; within the parish of West Farleigh; within the borough of Minister and Laysdown, in the Isle of Shepey, all severally holding in free socage tenure, and from Mr. Aldersey, of the parish of Bredgate, and Mr. John Allen, of Stockbury, in the like tenure; that there was a court baron and court leet, fines and amerciaments of courts, &c. all which quit rents, together with the profits of the courts coibs annis, worth in total 16l. 18s. 91/2d.
Soon after which this manor was sold by the state to Mr. John Brown, with whom it remained till the restoration of king Charles II. when it again became part of the revenues of the crown, where it seems to have remained till the 9th year of king William III. anno 1697, when the king having raised Sir John Somers, keeper of the great seal, to the office of lord high chancellor, and to the title of lord Somers, baron of Evesham, in Worcestershire, made him a grant, for the support of those honors and dignities, of the fee-farm rents of this manor, among others. In the year 1700 he gave up the seals, but queen Anne, in her 8th year, appointed him president of the council; two years after which, growing infirm in his health, he gradually decayed, till his death on April 26, 1716. Lord Somers bore for his arms, Vert, a fess dancette, ermine. (fn. 3) He died unmarried, leaving the greatest part of his estates by his will to his nephew, James Cocks, esq. of Worcestershire, son and heir of Mary, his eldest sister, (the youngest sister married Sir Joseph Jekyll, master of the rolls) by Charles Cocks, gent. of the city of Worcester; one of whose daughters married Philip, earl of Hardwick, afterwards lord chancellor.
James Cocks, esq. before-mentioned, becoming thus possessed of these fee-farm rents, died in 1750, leaving one son James Cocks, esq. who was slain in the unfortunate expedition against St. Cas, in France, in 1759. He died under age and unmarried, so that these rents, among the rest of his estates, devolved on his father's younger brother, John Cocks, esq. of Castleditch, in Heresordshire, which estate he was possessed of, in right of his wife Mary, only daughter and heir of the Rev. Thomas Cocks, of that place, descended of the elder branch of this family, as he was likewise of Dumbleton, in Gloucestershire, on failure of the issue of Sir Robert Cocks, bart. of Dumbleton, who was of the younger branch of it. He died in 1771.
Charles Cocks, esq. his eldest son, succeeded him both at Castleditch and Dumbleton, and in these feefarm rents of the manor of Newington; of which he is the present possessor. He was created a baronet on Sept. 19, 1772, and by letters patent on May 17, 1784, lord Somers, baron of Evesham. He resides at Bruckmans, near Hatfield, in Hertfordshire, formerly the seat of the lord chancellor Somers. He married first, Elizabeth, third sister of Edward, lord Eliot, by whom he has a son John Somers, who married Margaret, only daughter of Dr. Treadway Nash, the Worcestershire historian, and two daughters; secondly, Anne, sister of Reginald Pole Carew, esq. by whom he has had three sons and one daughter. Lord Somers bears for his arms, Sable, a chevron between three stags, attires, fixed to the scalps, argent, quartered with those of Somers as before-mentioned.
IT HAS BEEN ALREADY mentioned before, in the account of the manor of Newington, that in the reign of Henry II. five parts out of seven of it had escheated to the crown, and were given by the king to Richard de Lucy, his chief justice, and being afterwards accounted a separate manor, acquired from him and his descendants the name of NEWINGTON LUCIES, which it retains at this time.
He was a man much in that prince's esteem, as well for his prudence and just distribution of the laws, as for his piety, being not only chief justice, but the king's lieutenant of the realm during his absence, and constable of the tower of London and castle of Windsor. Among other acts of piety, as they were then esteemed, he founded and liberally endowed the abbey of Lesnes, at Erith, (fn. 4) and having taken upon himself the habit of a religious there, he died in the 26th year of that reign.
After which, according to the account given in the register of St. Augustine's monastery, the manor of Lucies descended to Godsrey de Lucy, bishop of Winchester, and after his death in 1204, it descended in equal moieties to Roesie, or Royce de Dover, and Maud de Lucy, his sisters; the latter of whom gave her part to her son, (by her second husband) Richard de Ripariis, or Rivers, whose descendants afterwards possessed it; and the former gave hers (which seems to have comprehended the manor itself) to her kinsman Geoffry de Lucy, each holding their respective parts of the manor of Milton.
What kindred Geoffry de Lucy was of to Royce de Dover, I cannot find, but it appears that he died possessed of this manor, and was succeeded by his son Amery de Lucy, who was with king Richard I. at the siege of Acon, in Palestine, and in memory of some signal service performed in the holy war, added the cross-croslets to his paternal coat, which before was only three fishes, lucii, or pike-fish, in allusion to their name. These arms of the Lucys were formerly painted in the windows of this church, Gules, semee of croslets, three lucies hauriant, or; and again, Lucy, the same coat, without the seme of cross-croslets, being their original bearing. The former arms are likewise remaining on the roof of the cloisters of Canterbury cathedral, as they were formerly in the windows of Goodnestone church, near Wingham.
Geoffry de Lucy had a grant of free-warren for his lands in Newington, among others in different counties, in the 6th year of Edward III. in the 20th year of which reign he died. Sir Walter de Lucy had a confirmation of that charter in the 27th year of king Henry VI. in which year he died possessed of it, leaving one son William, and two daughters, Alianote, married to Thomas Hopton, and Maud, to Thomas Vaux, esq. of Northamptonshire. (fn. 5)
Sir William Lucy, the son, possessed this manor on his father's death, and died s. p. upon which this manor became divided into moieties, one of which became vested in Elizabeth, widow of Sir Robert Corbet, of Shropshire, only daughter, and at length sole heir of Alianore, wife of Thomas Hopton, esq. before-mentioned. The other moiety became vested in Sir William Vaux, son and heir of Thomas Vaux, esq. by Maud, the other sister and coheir of Sir William Lucy abovementioned.
Lady Elizabeth Corbet, in the 8th year of king Edward IV. married John Tiptost, earl of Worcester, who being a firm friend to the house of York, was, on the restoration of king Henry VI. in the 31st year of that reign, beheaded on Tower-hill. He left a son by her, who was afterwards restored in blood by king Edward IV. but died s.p. anno 3 Richard III. Elizabeth, his mother, widow of John, earl of Worcester, after his death re-married with Sir William Stanley, of Holt-castle, knight of the garter, second son of Thomas, lord Stanley, who, though he was, as well as his elder brother, instrumental in setting the crown on the head of Henry VII. yet on pretence of his having engaged in the conspiracy of Perkin Warbeck, he was beheaded in the 10th year of that reign, leaving Elizabeth his widow surviving, by whom he had no issue. She died in the 14th year of that reign, as appears by the inquisition then taken, and possessed of a moiety of the manor of Newington Lucies, held of the king by knight's service.
Upon her death without issue, her moiety of this manor came to Sir Nicholas Vaux, the grandson of Thomas Vaux, by Maud, the other daughter and coheir of Sir William Lucy, who being owner of the other moiety before, became now as her heir and next of kin possessed of the entire manor of Newington Lucies. He bore for his arms, Chequy, argent and gules, on a chevron, azure, three roses, vert.
Having been a great assertor of the cause of the house of Lancaster, he received many marks of favor from Henry VII. and was by Henry VIII. in his 15th year, created lord Vaux, baron of Harrowden, in Northamptonshire. His eldest son Thomas, lord Vaux, about the 27th year of that reign, conveyed this manor to trustees, who passed it away by sale to Sir Roger Cholmeley, serjeant-at law, and recorder of London afterwards, chief justice of the king's bench, (fn. 6) soon after which he died, leaving two daughters his coheirs, Elizabeth, first married to Leonard Beckwith, of Selby, in Yorkshire, by whom she had a son Roger, and two daughters, Elizabeth, married to William Vavasor, and Frances, to George Hervey; secondly, to Sir Christopher Kenn, of Somersetshire; the other daughter and coheir was married to Sir Thomas Russell, of Worcestershire.
Sir Christopher Kenn became possessed of this manor in his wife's right, and with her, in the 22d year of queen Elizabeth, levied a fine of it; soon after which, they passed it away to Sead, from which name it was sold, in the reign of king James I. to Osborne, and thence again to James Pagitt, esq. of Northamptonshire, whose grandson Justinian Pagitt, esq. of GraysInn, married Catherine, one of the daughters of Dr, Lewin, and sister of Sir Justinian Lewin, of Otterden, and bore for his arms, Sable, a cross engrailed, argent, in the dexter quarter, an escallop of the second; he together with Thomas Bedford, gent, of Doctors Commons, in the 32d year of king Charles II. anno 1680, alienated it, by the name of the manor of Newington, alias Newington Lucies, with its rights and appurtenances in this and other parishes, to Roger Jacson, of St. Martin'sin the-Fields, gent. He died in 1691, and left it by his will to his brother George Jacson, M.D. of Derby, who devised it in like manner to his son George Jacson, of Saffron Walden, in Essex, and he alienated it in 1712 to Mr. Edward Pemberton, of London, whose two sons, Mr. John Pemberton, of London, and Henry Pemberton, M.D. fellow of the Royal Society, and prosessor of physic in Gresham college, became successively entitled to it, but both dying unmarried, and the latter of them in 1791, he by will devised it to Mr. Henry Mills, of Rotherhithe, who had married his niece and heir at law, and he is now entitled to this manor. He bears for his arms, Ermine, a mill rind, sable, on a chief, azure, two marlions wings, or.
FROGNAL, or more properly Frogenhall, is an estate in this parish, lying about a mile south-eastward from the manor of Lucies last-described, of which it was probably once accounted a part, and seems to have been given by Richard de Lucy, the owner of that manor, about the reign of king Henry III. to William de Frogenhall, whose ancestors were seated at Frogenhall, in Tenham.
He fixed his name on it, and transmitted the possession of it to his descendants, one of whom Richard Frogenhall, died possessed of this estate about the 34th year of Edward III. from whom it descended down to Thomas Frogenhall, who died in the reign of king Henry IV. without male issue, from him it passed by Elizabeth, one of his two daughters and coheirs, in marriage to John Northwood, of Northwood, in this county, which family ending in two daughters and coheirs, Joane, the youngest of them, carried this estate in marriage to Sir John Norton, who about the beginning of king Henry VIII.'s reign, conveyed it to Thomas Lynacre, priest, and physician to that king, who was one of the most learned of that prosession in England, or perhaps in Europe, and esteemed the most accomplished scholar of his age, especially for his knowledge of the two learned languages. He was born in the city of Canterbury, in 1460, and descended from the Lynacres, of Lynacre-hall, in Derbyshire. He died possessed of it in 1524, and was buried in St. Paul's cathedral, before the rood of the north door, where a monument was several years afterwards erected to his memory by Dr. Caius. By his will he devised it, with other estates, to the founding and endowing of three physical lectures, to be called Lynacre's lectures, two of which were to be in the university of Oxford, and one in that of Cambridge. Those in the former were, after some years, limited to Merton college there, by the survivor of his trustees, (Dr. Tunstall, the deprived bishop of Durham) and Frognal, as well as Tracies, another estate in this parish, which will be mentioned hereafter, were both settled in 1549 on that college, for the support and maintenance of them; for the performance of which trust, the warden and fellows of it still continue to own the inheritance of these estates.
John Trafford, gent. was lessee of Frognals and Tracies in 1649, and sold his interest in them to Nicholas Hurlestone, gent. of Redriff, who died in 1665, the rent to the college amounting coibs annis to about twenty eight pounds per annum.
LEVENOKE was formerly accounted a manor, though even the name of it has long since fallen into oblivion. It was, however, certainly situated within the bounds of this parish, and is mentioned as such in several antient deeds.
This manor, as appeared by an old court-roll, in the reigns of king Edward III. and Richard II. was in the possession of the family of Beaufitz, who were likewise possessed of estates in the neighbouring parish of Gillingham, in which it continued down to John Beaufitz, who died in the 12th year of Henry VI. by one of whose daughters and coheirs, Joane, it went in marriage to Robert Arnold, of Sussex, whose descendant William Arnold, of Rochester, in the reign of king Henry VIII. seems to have passed it away by sale to Thomas Knight, whose son of the same name was proprietor of it at the latter end of the reign of queen Elizabeth. His descendant alienated it in the reign of king James I. to Goldsmith, as he did to Barrow, whose descendant having mortgaged it to Mr. Alston, of London, he, about the death of king Charles I. anno 1648, conveyed his interest in it to Mr. Lisle, of London. He afterwards gained possession of it under that title, and his heirs, though interrupted by several suits at law, still continued to enjoy the rents and profits of it; but the transfer of their interests in it has been, from time to time, so secretly managed, and the very name of this estate is so carefully concealed from every enquiry, that I have not, with the most industrious endeavours, been able to find out either the situation of this obsolete manor, or the owners of it, since those mentioned before.
TRACIES is an estate in this parish, situated almost adjoining to the south-west corner of the church-yard. It was formerly accounted a manor, though it has had for many years only the reputation left of having been one.
It was in very early times in the possession of owners of the name of Tracy, who settled their name on it; but whether they were of any, or what kindred to the family of Tracy, seated in Devonshire and Gloucestershire. I cannot find, though the coat of arms borne by these of Newington had a near affinity to those borne by the Tracys, of Gloucestershire. For Philipott says, that the Tracys of Newington bore for their arms, Argent, two bends, between nine escallops, gules, which has certainly an allusion to those borne by the Tracys, of Gloucestershire, viz. Or, two bars, gules, in the chief point an escallop, sable; the difference of the colours and the number of escallops being only a distinction. for this perhaps younger branch of the family. The above mentioned arms of Tracy were originally those of the elder branch of it, barons of Sudeley, who bore, Or, two bends, gules, to which William, the younger brother of Ralph, lord Sudeley, surnamed Tracy, as above-mentioned, added the escallop, as a distinction.
John de Tracy was possessed of Tracies, in Newington, in the reigns of king Henry III and king Edward I. and in the 26th year of the latter, Margery, late wife of John de Tracy, recovered against Sir John de Northwood, the elder, certain lands and rents in this parish, among which these of Tracys were in all likelihood included, to which he had made claim.
In the 28th year of Edward III. Thomas, son of James Tracy, died possessed of this manor, with its appurtenances, in Newington, by the service of finding together with the manor of Lucy, one man and one horse, with a sack and a pack, viz. each by the moiety of the said service, for the carrying of the king's kitchen utensils, (squillariam regis; which I take to mean the furniture of the king's scullery,) as far as Wales, for his war there, as often as it should happen. Soon after which it seems this family became extinct here, though it seems to have remained elsewhere in this county, for the name of Tress, of Tresse, still remaining in it, is, with great probability supposed to be a corruption by length of time from that of Tracy. If so, it is not unlikely but that the Tresses, settled for many years at Town Malling and Ofham, might be a branch of the Tracys, of Tracies, in Newington, before-mentioned; and the same coat of arms having been confirmed by Sir William Segar, garter, to Mr. Francis Tresse, gent. of Town-Malling, seems in some measure a confirmation of it.
This manor after this came into the possession of the family of Savage, for it appears by the escheat-rolls, that Sir Arnold Savage, of Bobbing, in this county, died possessed of it in the 49th year of Edward III. holding it by the like service.
From this time it had the like owners as the manor of Bobbing, till it came into the possession of Lewis Clifford, esq. sheriff anno 13 Henry VII. (fn. 7) who passed away this manor by sale, in the beginning of king Henry VIII.'s reign, to Thomas Lynacre, physician to that prince, as mentioned before, who died possessed of it in 1524, and by will devised it, with Frognall, in this parish, an estate which he likewise purchased about the same time, to trustees, towards the founding and endowing of physical lectures in the two universities of Oxford and Cambridge, as has already been more fully mentioned before. Those in the former were after some years limited to Merton college, and both these estates of Tracys and Frognals, are now vested in the wardens and fellows of Merton college, for the above trust. Robert Spearman, esq. of this parish, is the present lessee of these estates.
THE MANOR OF WORNEDALE, alias Borden, lying in the southern part of this parish, and in Stockbury and Borden, had formerly possessors of the name of Wornedale; Richard de Wornedale owned it in the reign of Edward III. and left one son Thomas, and a daughter Maud, who on her brother's death unmarried, became his heir.
In later times it was owned by the family of Eve. Henry Eve, of Edwards, in Linsted, settled it in 1675, on his eldest son Henry, on his marriage with Dorothy, sister of James Ady, esq. of Barham, and their son Henry Eve, clerk, with Elizabeth his wife, sold it to Sir John Banks, bart. of Aylesford, one of whose daughters and coheirs, Elizabeth, marrying Heneage Finch, second son of Henry, earl of Nottingham, he became in her right, on the partition of her father's estates, entitled to it, and he was afterwards created earl of Aylesford. His son Heneage, second earl of Aylesford, becoming possessed of this manor on his father's death, alienated it in 1721, an act having that year passed for this purpose, to his next brother, the hon. John Finch, who married Elizabeth, daughter and heir of John Savile, esq. of Methley-hall, in Yorkshire, and having represented the town of Maidstone in several successive parliaments, died in 1740, possessed of this manor, in which he was succeeded by his only son Savile Finch, esq. who died in 1788, and his heirs are now entitled to it.
It was formerly part of the possessions of Sir William Brooke, knight of the bath, son of George Brooke, third son of William, lord Cobham. (fn. 8) He died about 1668, leaving four daughters his coheirs, of whom, Hill, the eldest, was married to Sir William Boothby, bart. Pembroke to Mathew Tomlinson, esq. Margaret to Sir John Denham, and Frances to Sir Thomas Whitmore, K. B.
After which it was sold to Sir John Fagg, bart. of Wiston, in Sussex, who died possessed of it in 1715, as did his son, of the same name, in 1736, leaving issue by Christian, daughter of Sir Cecil Bishop, bart. of Sussex, one son Robert, and four daughters, one of whom married Gawen Harris Nash, esq. of Petworth, in Sussex, and Elizabeth, another daughters, was the second wife of Sir Charles Mathews Goring, bart. of that county.
Sir Robert Fagg, bart. the son, succeeded his father in the possession of this manor, but dying in 1740 s.p. it became the property of his sisters, of whom, Elizabeth entitled her husband, Sir Charles Mathews Goring, bart. above-mentioned, to the possession of it. He left by her a son Charles Goring, esq. who sold it with the rest of his estates in this parish and Stockbury, to Edw. Austen, esq. of Rolling, the present owner of it.
KEYCOLE is an estate in this parish, lying on the high road about a mile eastward of Newington-street, which house stands at the foot of the hill, close to the edge of the woods, and is become a place, noted for the Roman remains found on it. This estate formerly belonged to Sir John Garrard, knight and baronet, but it has been for many years past in the family of Westbrooke, and is now the property of John Westbrooke, esq. of Forest-hall, in Essex.
A branch of the family of Diggs, of Barham, in this county, was for several generations settled in this parish, to which Odomarus Diggs, younger son of John Diggs, of Barham, by Juliana his wife, sister and heir of James Horne, removed, (fn. 9) being possessed of much land here, and in the neighbouring parishes, and in queen Elizabeth's reign the estate was in the possession of Christopher Diggs, gent. of Barham.
The family of Holbrooke was possessed of lands in Newington, one of whom, George Holbrooke, resided here in the reign of queen Elizabeth. His descendant Francis Holbrooke, lies buried in the south chancel of this church. The visitation of this county, anno 1619, in their pedigree, has their arms, Azure, a cross, or, fretty of the field, between four mullets, pierced of the first. But Edmondson, in his Heraldry, says, they bore a chevron, between ten cross-croslets, which is corroborated by the grave-stone over Francis Holbrooke before-mentioned, on which are the figures in brass of him and his two wives, with ten children behind the first wife, and three behind the second; on one shield of arms, On a chevron, a lion's head erased, between ten cross-croslets; on another, quarterly, first and fourth, the same arms as above-mentioned; second and third, On a fess, three plates, between three bears heads, erased, and muzzled.
John Cobham, alias Brooke, third son of George, lord Cobham, and brother of Sir William Brooke, knight of the garter, and lord Cobham, in the reign of queen Elizabeth, was owner of much land in this parish, and dying in 1594, was buried under a monument in the high chancel of this church. He married Anne, daughter and heir of Cobb, and widow of Sir John Norton, who died in 1580, and lies buried here near her second husband.
MR. SIMON TOMLYN, by will in 1684, gave a barn and three yards of land to the minister, churchwardens, and their successors for ever, for the use of the poor, to buy twelve penny loaves, to be distributed on each Sunday in the year, to such as should be present at divine service, of the annual produce of 5l. 4s.
A PIECE OF LAND, containing near two acres, lying in the Playstool, alias Wellfield, in Halstow, called the clerk's piece, was given by a person unknown to the use of the parish clerk here for ever, vested in the churchwardens, and of the annual produce of 2l. 1s.
The church, which is dedicated to St. Mary, is a handsome building, consisting of three isles and two chancels, with a square beacon tower at the west end. On the north side of the high chancel is the lower part of a square tower, which reaches at present no higher than the roof of the church, where it has a flat covering. There was some good painted glass formerly in the windows of this church, and among others, the arms of Leyborne, Azure, six lions rampant, three, two, and one, argent; of Northwood; of Lucy, as well with the croslets as without; of Burwash; Diggs impaling Monins; Norton impaling Northwood; Beresford; Diggs; Horne; of the cinque ports; of the see of Canterbury; of archbishops Becket and Warham; of Holbrooke, and of Brooke.
The south chancel of this church belongs to the parish, who keep it in repair. In it were, till within these few years, among many others now defaced, memorials of Brian Diggs and his wife, anno 1490; of Thomas Holbrook, gent, anno 1587; of Francis Holbrook, gent. of this parish, in 1581, and a tomb for Sir John Norton. A stone, with the figure of a woman, and an inscription in brass for Mary Brook, alias Cobham, widow of Edward Brook, alias Cobham, esq. obt. 1600.
Against the north wall of this chancel is a monument for Joseph Hasted, gent. of Chatham, obt. 1732, possessed of a good estate in this parish. His remains, with those of his wife Catherine, daughter of Richard Yardley, gent. lie deposited in one coffin, in a vault under this chancel, in which are likewise the remains of their only son and heir Edward Hasted, esq. of Hawley, near Dartford, obt. 1740; of Anne, his only daughter, widow of captain James Archer, and of George Hasted, gent. obt. 1787, adolescens optimæ spei, the third son of the editor of this history.
The church of Newington was given in the 25th year of Henry II. anno 1178, to the abbey of Westwood, alias Lesnes, in Erith, then founded by Richard de Lucy, which gift was confirmed, among other possessions of that monastery, by king John, in his 7th year.
Notwithstanding which the abbot and convent of St. Augustine's, Canterbury, to whom part of the manor of Newington had come in the above-mentioned reign, as has been already related, claimed this church from time to time, as having been given to their monastery by Richard de Lucy above-mentioned. After much dispute, during which Thorne, their chronicler, says, the abbey of St. Augustine kept possession of it, it was at last, by the interposition of their common friends, agreed between them, that the abbot of St. Augustine's should release to the abbot of Lesnes all right to the advowson of this church, for which the latter agreed to make a recompence in other matters, as mentioned in the agreement. (fn. 10) The abbot and convent of Lesnes, having thus gained the firm possession of this church, obtained a confirmation of it from the several succeeding kings, and it remained part of the revenues of their monastery till the final dissolution of it, in the 17th year of Henry VIII. when, being one of those smaller monasteries which cardinal Wolsey obtained of the king that year, for the endowment of his colleges, it was surrendered into the cardinal's hands, to whom the king granted his licence next year, to appropriate and annex this church of Newington, among others, of the cardinal's patronage, to the dean and canons of the college founded by him in the university of Oxford, &c. But this church remained with them only four years, when the cardinal being cast in præmunire, all the estates of the college, which had not as yet been firmly settled on it, were forfeited to the crown.
How long this appropriated church, with the advowson of the vicarage, remained in the crown, I have not found; but at the latter end of queen Elizabeth's reign, it was become part of the possessions of the royal college of Eton, in Buckinghamshire, where it continues at this time.
The glebe land belonging to the vicarage, consists of only one acre, besides the homestall. The annual value of the vicarage is very precarious, owing to the income of it arising much from fruit and hops, the latter of which have of late years much increased the value of it.
Church of Newington.
|Or by whom presented.|
|Provost and fellows of Eton.||Thomas Gathesende, March 14, 1583, obt. 1613.|
|Mathew Donatt, A. M. Jan. 5, 1613.|
|Henry Deering, November 24, 1626, obt. 1666. (fn. 11)|
|Adam Reve, A. B. Sept. 14, 1666, resigned 1684.|
|The Archbishop.||James Stration, A. M. Feb. 27, 1684, obt. 1693.|
|Provost and fellows of Eton.||Thomas Milway, clerk, Feb. 26, 1693.|
|John Goodyer, A. M. Jan. 3, 1708, obt. 1715.|
|John Burman, A. M. May 5, 1715, obt. April 13, 1726. (fn. 12)|
|Robert Tyler, Sept. 19, 1726, resigned 1740. (fn. 13)|
|The crown, by lapse.||Sir Hugh Burdett, bart. Feb. 18, 1742, obt. 1760. (fn. 14)|
|Provost and fellows of Eton.||John Saunders, A. M. Dec. 22, 1760, the present vicar. (fn. 15)|