The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 6. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1798.
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SOUTHWARD from Buckland, but on the opposite side of the high London road, lies Norton, written in antient records Northtune, that is the north town, a name it took seemingly from its situation northward of Newnham, both places belonging to the bishop of Baieux, and held of him by the same tenant.
IT LIES close to the south side of the high London road, a little beyond the 44th mile-stone, whence the land rises southward to the hilly country, for about two miles and an half, to Stuppington, a little beyond which it joins to Newnham; its width is about a mile and a half, it joins to Ospringe eastwards at Syndal bottom, near which it is mostly woodland. The land in the lower, or northern part of the parish, is very good, but as it extends to the high ground it becomes gradually less so, being both chalky and much covered with flints. The church, with the seat of Norton-court near it, stands at the western edge of the parish, close to Lewson-street in Tenham, a little more than a quarter of a mile from the London road; at the same distance from which, eastward of the church, is Provenders, a low indifferent house, situated close to the woods, though it is open in front, having a good prospect north-westward; at no great distance above it is Rushitt, once part of the demesnes of Norton manor, as such it now pays part of the rent of castle-guard to Rochester castle, it is now the property of Mr. Richard Mount, who resides in it; and still further on the hills are the estates of Loiterton and Stuppington, where the country, as it becomes poor, becomes, by degrees, tolerably healthy. A small part of the parish extends to the opposite side of the London road, where it adjoins to Stone and Buckland.
THE MANOR of Norton, in the reign of the Conqueror, was part of the possessions of Odo, bishop of Baieux, the king's half-brother, accordingly it is thus entered in the survey of Domesday, under the general title of that prelate's lands:
Hugo de Porth holds of the bishop (of Baieux) Nortone. It was taxed at four sulings.The arable land is four carucates. In demesne there are three carucates, and eighteen villeins, with six borderers, having five carucates. There are three churches, and three mills without tallage, and two fisheries of twelve pence. Wood for the pannage of forty hogs. In the time of king Edward the Confessor, it was worth eight pounds, and afterwards six pounds, now twelve pounds. Osuuard held it of king Edward.
Upon which Hugo de Port, who before held this estate of the bishop, became immediate tenant to the king for it, as his supreme lord. His descendant William, son of Adam de Port, assumed the name of St. John, of which family, as lords paramount, it was held by Hugh de Newenham, and afterwards by his son Fulk de Newenham, whose daughter Juliana, in the reign of Henry II. carried this manor of Norton in marriage to Sir Robert de Campania, or Champion, who resided at Champions court, in Newenham, as part of her inheritance. His descendant John de Campania held it at the latter end of king Edward the 1st.'s reign, and in the 31st year of it had a charter of freewarren granted to him for this manor, as did the lady Champion, or de Campania, in the 20th year of king Edward III. at which time there was a rent of thirty shillings paid from it, for ward to Rochester castle. After this family was become extinct here, which was soon afterwards, the Frogenhalls were become possessed of it, one of whom, John de Frogenhall, died possessed of it, as appears by the escheat-rolls in the reign of king Henry IV. from which name it passed by marriage into that of Boteler, whence it was again carried in marriage by Anne, daughter and sole heir of John Boteler, of Graveney, to John Martin, one of the judges of the common pleas, who died possessed of it in 1436, and was buried in that church. One of his descendants sold this manor, in the reign of Henry VII. to Fynche, descended from those of Sewards, in Linsted, whose descendant Nicholas Fynche left a son and heir George Fynche, esq. who resided at Norton-court, and died in 1584, leaving one daughter and heir Mary, who carried this manor in marriage to Sir Michael Sonds, of Throwley, who in the latter end of queen Elizabeth's reign, sold it to Mr. Thomas Milles, who afterwards resided here for some time, till he removed to Davington-hall, but dying without male issue, his only daughter and heir Anne carried it in marriage to John Milles, esq. of Hampshire, who afterwards conveyed it to his brother Dr. Milles, who in the reign of king Charles I. alienated it to his relation Mr. Thomas Milles, of Sussex, and he afterwards, in the next reign of Charles II. sold it to Mr. Baptist Piggott, gent. afterwards of Norton-court, who died in 1677, and was buried in this church. He left Mary, his sole surviving heir, married to Benjamin Godfrey, merchant, of London, who was the twelfth and last surviving son of Thomas Godfrey, esq. of Hodiford, in Sellinge, descended from the Godfreys, of Lyd, whose arms he bore, Sable, a chevron between three pelicans heads, erased, or. He became, in right of his wife, entitled to this manor, and resided at Norton court, and dying in 1704, was buried in this church; he left two sons, John and Baptist surviving, and a daughter Catherine, who married Stephen Lushington, esq. of Sittingborne, who died in 1700, leaving only one son Thomas Godfrey Lushington. Upon the death of Benjamin Godfrey, the fee of it became vested in John Godfrey, esq. the eldest surviving son, who resided here, and was a gentleman of literature, and well versed in antiquities, especially such as related to this county. He died in 1737, s. p. having by his will devised this manor to his nephew Thomas Godfrey Lushington, esq. above-mentioned, who afterwards resided at Canterbury, where he died in 1757, leaving by Dorothy his first wife, daughter of John Gisburne, esq. of Derbyshire, three sons, and one daughter Catherine, then the wife of John Cockin Sole, esq. of Bobbing, on whom he had settled this manor in 1754, on her marriage in his life-time. (fn. 1)
John Cockin Sole, esq. becoming thus possessed of Norton-court, removed hither about the year 1765. He died in 1790, leaving an only surviving daughter by his first wife. Soon after his death this manor and seat were sold under the directions of his will to John Bennett, esq. of Faversham, who now owns it.
PROVENDERS is an antient seat in this parish, situated about half a mile eastward of the church, which was once the residence of a family of that name, one of whom, John de Provender, was possessed of it in the reign of Henry III. as appeared by an old dateless deed of about that time; but they were extinct here before the reign of Edward III. when Lucas de Vienna, or Vienne, was in the possession of it. His descendant Edward de Vienna paid aid for it, together with lands in this parish, called Viend-garden. From this name this seat passed into that of Quadring, who was possessed of it in the beginning of the reign of king Richard II. and thence again about the latter end of that of Henry IV. to the antient family of Goldwell, of Great Chart, and from them to the Drylands, of Cooksditch, one of which name alienated it, in the reign of Henry VIII. to Robert Atwater, esq. a justice of the peace of this county, and he sold it to Sir James Hales, one of the justices of the common pleas, and son of John Hales, of the Dungeon, one of the barons of the exchequer. He died anno 1555, 2 and 3 of Philip and Mary, whose descendant, in the next reign of queen Elizabeth, passed it away by sale to Thomas Sare, who afterwards resided here.
He was the eldest son of Laurence Sare, gent. of Lenham, and married Joane, daughter of John Adye, of Greet, in Doddington, by whom he had one son Adye, and three daughters. Adye Sare, esq the son, likewise resided here, to whom William Camden, clarencieux, in the 10th of James I. confirmed the arms of his ancestors, being Gules, two bars ermine, in chief three martlets or. He had two sons, Thomas and Archdale, and three daughters, Susan, Sarah and Jane, who afterwards became his heirs. (fn. 2)
His heirs seem to have sold this seat to Mr. James Hugessen, merchant adventurer, of Dover, who died possessed of it in 1637, and was buried in Linsted church, in which parish his son Mr. James Hugessen resided, at Sewards, where he kept his shrievalty for this county anno 17 Charles I. He died possessed of Provenders in 1646, and was buried in the chapel on the north side of Linsted church, which has continued the burial place of his descendants ever since. (fn. 3)
In them this seat continued down to William Hugessen, esq. who likewise resided at Provenders, where he died in 1719, having had three sons and three daughters; of the former, William became his heir, and John was of Stodmarsh, and ancestor of William Hugessen, esq. now of Stodmarsh Court.
William Hugessen, esq. the eldest son, resided at Provenders, and died there in 1753. He was twice married, first to Martha, daughter of Peter Gott, esq. who died s. p. and secondly to Dorothy, daughter of Francis Tyssen, esq. of Hackney, by whom he left an only son and heir William Western Hugessen, esq who resided at Provenders, where he died in 1764, leaving by Thomasine his wife, second daughter of Sir John Honywood, bart. three daughters his coheirs, Dorothy, Mary, and Sarah. His widow survived him, and possessed this seat till her death, in 1774, on which their three daughters became entitled to the property of it; of whom Sarah, the youngest daughter, died in 1777, æt. 14, unmarried; upon which her two sisters, Dorothy and Mary, became jointly entitled to this seat, among the rest of their inheritance. Dorothy married in 1779, Joseph Banks, esq. of Reavesby-abbey, in Lincolnshire, since elected president of the royal society, and created a baronet, and Mary, married Edward Knatchbull, esq. now Sir Edward Knatchbull, bart. of Mersham, who in right of their wives became jointly entitled to this seat, among the rest of their inheritance, and continue so at this time. Sir Joseph Banks is descended from ancestors who have resided for several generations at Reavesby-abbey, one of them Robert Banks, esq. was a younger son of the Banks's, of Banke Newton, in Yorkshire, who had been seated there ever since the beginning of Edward the IIId.'s reign, when Sir Simon de Banke acquired that estate by marriage with the daughter and heir of Robert de Catherton, the arms of Banks being Sable, a cross between four fleurs de lis, argent, with which the family have since usually quartered the coat of Catherton, A chevron, between three annulets. Sir Joseph Banks was the first man of scientific education who undertook a voyage of discovery, and that the first, which turned out satisfactory to this enlightened age. He was in some measure the first who gave a turn to such voyages, or rather to their commander Capt. Cooke, as guided and directed, as well those which came after, as those in which he was personally concerned, and botany being his favorite science, he has since his last voyage been preparing for the public, with infinite pains and expence, and account of all the new plants discovered in his voyage round the world. In 1779 he was elected, president of the royal society, and on March 24, 1781, created a baronet; since which, in 1797, he has been made a knight of the bath, and a privy consellor.
A further account of Sir Edward Knatchbull, bart. who is M. P. for this county, and at times resides at Provenders, and of his ancestors, may be seen under the description of their family seat at Mersham.
STUPPINGTON, antiently written Stependone, is an estate in this parish on the southern extremity of it, and about half a mile eastward of Lodge-house, which was formerly esteemed a manor, and of such account as to be recorded in the general survey of Domesday, at which time it was part of the possessions of Odo, bishop of Baieux, under the general title of whose estates it is thus entered in it:
Hugo de Porth holds of the bishop of Baieux Stependone. Osuuard held it in the time of Edward the Confessor, and then it was taxed at one suling all but one yoke. The arable land is two carucates. In demesne there is. . . . with one servant and five borderers. It is worth thirty shillings.
Upon which, Hugo, who had before been the bishop's tenant, came to hold it immediately, or in capite, of the king; of his descendants, who had assumed the name of St. John, it was held successively by the Cheneys (fn. 4) and Apulderfields, in which latter it continued, till at length about the end of king Edward the IVth.'s reign, Elizabeth, only daughter of Sir William de Apulderfield, of Badmangore, in Linsted, carried this estate in marriage to Sir John Fineux, chief justice of the king's bench, who died possessed of it in 1525, leaving two daughters his coheirs, of whom Jane, the eldest, carried it in marriage to John Roper, esq. of Eltham, who gave it to his second son Christopher Roper, esq. of Badmangore, whose son Sir John Roper, removed his residence to his new-built seat of Lodge, and was created Lord Teynham, in whose descendants lords Teynham, this estate of Stuppington has continued down to the present right hon. Henry, lord Teynham, the present owner of it.
The church, which is dedicated to St. Mary, consists of one isle and a chancel, having a square tower at the west end, in which there is one bell. In it, in the chancel, there is a monument for Benjamin Godfrey, esq. of Norton-court; and among others, memorials for the Piggots, of the same place, and of the Sares, of Provenders.
The church of Norton was antiently an appendage to the manor, and as such was the property of the family of Newenham. Hugh de Newenham, lord of the manor of Norton, about the latter end of the reign of Henry I. gave, with the consent of his son, to the monks of St. Andrew, in Rochester, this church, with all the land belonging to it, and the half of the tithe of the demesne of the manor, and all other its appurtenances, in perpetual alms; (fn. 5) which gift was made in the presence of archbishop Ralph, who confirmed it to them.
Fulk de Newenham confirmed this church, with its appurtenances, in perpetual alms, and the archbishop granted, that Nicholas his chaplain should pay them yearly, in the name of this church, ten shillings annual pension, and that after his secession the whole church of Norton should pass to the perpetual uses of the monks, which was confirmed by archbishops Theobald and Richard, among the rest of the possessions of that monastery. And there was a final concord made in the king's court of exchequer at Westminster, in the 29th year of Henry II. by which the gift made of the appropriation of this church by him and his heirs afterwards, was acknowledged. After which this church was again confirmed to the church and monks of St. Andrew, by the archbishops Richard and Baldwin.
Archbishop Hubert, in the 1st year of king John, admitted and instituted Gilbert, bishop of Rochester, and the prior and convent of St. Andrew there, canonically into the parsonage of this church, so that they should always have a perpetual vicar in it, who should possess it with its appurtenances, and should pay to them yearly twenty shillings only, in the name of an annual pension; and every vicar, in order to his being instituted to it, should be elected and presented by the bishop and monks, and so to be instituted perpetual vicar in it by him and his successors, saving always to the church of Rochester the annual pension above-mentioned.
On bishop Gilbert de Glanville's coming to the see of Rochester anno 31 Henry II. he decreed, that in all such churches as belonged to the church of Rochester, situated out of the bishopric, the bishop should have the election of the person to be instituted, and after that the bishop and monks together should present him to the bishop of the respective diocese, saving the pensions in those churches to be paid to the monks, to the performance of which, the person instituted should take an oath in the chapter-house of Rochester; which pensions, and that of twenty shillings in particular from this church, he afterwards, by a separate instrument, confirmed to them.
It appears by several records, that from the time of the above-mentioned decree, the bishops of Rochester enjoyed the sole right of presentation to this church, exclusive of the prior and convent; and this appears further, among the rights and privileges of the bishopric of Rochester, taken in the year 1360, in which there is an account of those churches which belonged to the joint presentation of the bishop and the chapter, wherein it is said that the chapter had no other right, but only to affix their seal, the bishop nominating and presenting, and the chapter putting their seal; these churches were those of Rotherfield, in the diocese of Chichester, Mixbury and Henle, in the diocese of Lincoln, and Stourmouth and Norton, in the diocese of Canterbury. (fn. 6)
The church of Norton remained, after this, a rectory, of the patronage of the bishops of Rochester, uninterrupted by any claims from the monks of St. Andrew's, and continues so at this time, the right Rev. the bishop of Rochester being the present patron of it.
The annual pension of twenty shillings before-mentioned, decreed to be paid from this church to the monks of St. Andrew's, seems, sometime before the dissolution of their monastery, to have been lessened to ten shillings, the original sum, as may be seen before. After that event, this pension came into the king's hands, among the rest of the revenues of it, and was, next year, settled by his dotation-charter, on his newfounded dean and chapter of Rochester, who are now entitled to it.
One moiety of the tithes of the manor of Norton has been mentioned as having been given, with the church, to the monks of St. Andrew, by the family of Newenham. The other moiety of them seems to have been given by Juliana de Newenham, about the reign of Henry II. to the Benedictine priory of Davington, and were valued anno 17 king Edward III. at sixty shillings.
These tithes remained with the priory at the time of its escheating to the crown, anno 27 Henry VIII. and were afterwards, in the 35th year of that reign, granted to Sir Thomas Cheney, whose son Henry afterwards became possessed of them, among the rest of his inheritance, in the 3d year of queen Elizabeth.
These tithes at that time were compounded for at the yearly sum of 26s. 8d. which was paid to the possessor of Davington priory by the rector of this parish, as appears by a rental of the late revenues of the priory made for that year. How the property of these tithes came to be vested in the rector, or the composition for them annihilated, I cannot find; but the rector of Norton now enjoys the tithes of this whole parish, both great and small, without any exemption, and without any compensation or payment, made to or by him in lieu of any tithes whatsoever, the above pension of ten shillings only excepted.
Church of Norton.
|Or by whom presented.|
|The Crown, hac vice.||Nicholas Goldsborough,A. M. June 1, 1581, obt. Nov. 22, 1610.|
|Bishop of Rochester.||William Laud, S.T.P. Dec.5, 1610, resigned 1617. (fn. 7)|
|Edmund Jackson, S. T. B. Aug. 23, 1617.|
|John Goffe, S. T. P. admitted March 4, 1660, obt. Nov. 20, 1661. (fn. 8)|
|Henry Parkhurst, S. T. P. May 14, 1662, obt. 1669. (fn. 9)|
|Edward Lake, A. M. Feb. 5, 1669, resigned 1683.|
|Richard Simpson, A. M. June 2, 1683, obt. Sept. 1734.|
|Thomas Robinson, LL. B. induct. March 22, 1735, obt. May 23, 1761.|
|Thomas Taylor, A. B. June 6, 1761, obt. 1765.|
|John Derby, A. B. April 11, 1765, resigned 1767. (fn. 10)|
|William Strong, A. M. 1767, the present rector.|