The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 6. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1798.
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It is situated among the hills, on very high ground, about five miles southward from Faversham, and a little more than a mile south-eastward from Newnham valley, in a healthy but cold and forlorn country, being much exposed to the north-east aspect. The village, with the church and parsonage in it, a near pretty dwelling, stands on the road leading from Otterden to Newnham valley; in it there is a large well-timbered house, called Gregories, formerly of some account, and rebuilt in 1616, it formerly belonged to Hoskins, and then to Parmeter, in which name it still continues.—Though there is some level land in the parish, yet it is mostly steep hill and dale, the soil in gen ral a red cludgy earth, poor, and much covered with flints. It is very woody, especially in the eastern parts of it.
A fair is held in the village on Sept. 14, yearly, for toys and pedlary ware. On Nov. 30, being St. Andrew's, there is yearly a diversion called squirrel bunting, in this and the neighbouring parishes, when the labourers and lower kind of people assembling together, form a lawless rabble, and being accoutred with guns, poles, clubs, and other such weapons, spend the greatest part of the day in parading through the woods and grounds, with loud shoutings, and under the pretence of demolishing the squirrels, some few of which they kill, they destroy numbers of hares, pheasants, partridges, and in short whatever comes in their way, breaking down the hedges, and doing much other mischief, and in the evening betaking themselves to the alehouses, finish their career there in drunkenness, as is usual with such sort of gentry.
THIS PLACE, at the time of the taking of the general survey of Domesday, was part of the extensive possessions of Odo, bishop of Baieux, under the general title of whose lands it is thus entered in that record:
Herbert held of the bishop of Baieux Nordeslinge. The arable land is one carucate. It was taxed at half a suling. There two borderers pay two shillings. In the time of king Edward the Confessor, and afterwards, it was worth twenty shillings, now twenty-five shillings. Turgod held it in the time of king Edward the Confessor.
Roger, son of Ansebitil, held of the bishop, Eslinges. It was taxed at one suling. The arable land is one carucate. There is in demesne . . . . and one borderer has half a carucate. There is a church, and one mill of ten shillings, and two acres of meadow. In the time of king Edward the Confessor it was worth sixty shillings, and afterwards twenty shillings, now forty shillings. Unlot held it of king Edward, and could go where he pleased with his land.
Fulbert held of the bishop, Eslinges. It was taxed at five suling, in the time of king Edward the Confessor, and now for two, and so it did after the bishop gave the manor to Hugh son of Fulbert. The arable land is six carucates. In demesne there are two carucates, and thirty villeins having three carucates. There is a church, and twenty-eight servants, and one mill of ten shilings. Wood for the pannage of thirty bogs In the time of king Edward the Confessor it was worth ten pounds, and when he received it six pounds, now four pounds, and yet the bishop had eight pounds. Sired held it of king Edward.
Fulbert de Dover, mentioned above as tenant to the bishop of Baieux for one of these estates, appears afterwards to have held all three of them of the king in capite by barony, the tenant of them being bound by tenure to maintain a certain number of soldiers from time to time, for the defence of Dover castle, in which there was a tower called Turris dei inimica, which he was bound by his tenure likewise to repair.
Of him and his heirs these estates were held by knight's service, of the honor of Chilham, which they had made the caput baroniæ, or chief of their barony. (fn. 1) That part of the above-mentioned estates, called in Domesday Nordeslinge, was afterwards known by the name of THE MANOR OF EASLING, alias NORTHCOURT, which latter name it had from its situation in respect to the others, being held of the lords paramount by a family of the name of Esling, one of whom, Ralph de Esling, died possessed of it in the 26th year of king Edward I. anno 1297, then holding it by knight's service of the honor of Chilham. He left an only daughter and heir Alice, who carried this manor, with that of Denton, alias Plumford, in marriage to Sir Fulk de Peyforer, who, with Sir William de Peyforer, of Otterden, accompanied king Edward. I. in his 28th year, at the siege of Carlaverock, where, with many other Kentish gentlemen, they were both knighted. They bore for their arms, Argent, six fleurs de lis, azure.
Sir Fulk de Peyforer, in the 32d year of the above reign, obtained a grant of a market weekly on a Friday, and one fair yearly on the feast of the exaltation of the Holy Cross at Esling, and free-warren for his lands there. Before the end of which reign, the property of these manors was transferred into the family of Leyborne, and it appears by an inquisition taken in the 1st year of Edward III. that Juliana, the widow of William de Leyborne, who died anno 2 Edward II. was possessed of these estates at her death, and that their grand-daughter Juliana, was heir both to her grandfather and father's possessions, from the greatness of which she was usually stiled the Infanta of Kent.
She was then the wife of John de Hastings, as she was afterwards of Sir William de Clinton, created earl of Huntingdon, who paid aid for the manor of Northcourt, alias Easling. She survived him, and afterwards died possessed of this estate in Easling, together with Denton, alias Plymford, in the 41st year of king Edward III. and leaving no issue by either of her husbands, these manors, among the rest of her estates, escheated to the crown, for it appears by the inquisition taken that year, after her death, that there was no one who could make claim to her estates, either by direct or even by collateral alliance.
These manors remained in the crown till the beginning of king Richard the IId.'s reign, when they became vested in John, duke of Lancaster, and other seoffees, in trust for the performance of certain religious bequests in the will of Edward III. in consequence of which, the king Afterwards, in his 22d year, granted them, among other premises, to the dean and canons of St. Stephen's college, in Westminster, for ever. (fn. 2) In which situation they continued till the 1st year of king Edward VI. when, by the act passed that year, they were surrendered into the king's hands.
After which the king, by his letters patent, in his 3d year, granted these manors, among others lately belonging to the above-mentioned college, to Sir Thomas Cheney, privy counsellor and treasurer of his houshold, with all and singular their liberties and privileges whatsoever, in as ample a manner as the dean and canons held them, to hold in capite by knight's service. (fn. 3) whose son Henry, lord Cheney, of Tuddington, had possession granted to him of his inheritance anno 3 Elizabeth, and that year levied a fine of all his lands.
He passed these manors away by sale, in the 8th year of that reign, to Martin James, esq. prothonotary of the court of chancery, and afterwards a justice of the peace for this county, who levied a fine of them anno 17 Elizabeth, and died possessed of them in 1592, being buried in the south chancel of this church, under a monument, on which are the effigies of himself and his wife. He bore for his arms, Quarterly, first and fourth, vert, a dolphin naiant; second and third, Ermine, on a chief gules, three crosses, or. His great-grandson Walter James, esq. was possessed of them at the time of the restoration of king Charles II. whose heirs sold them in the latter end of that reign, to Mr. John Grove, gent. of Tunstall, who died possessed of them in 1678, after which they descended down to Richard Grove, esq. of Cambridge, but afterwards of the Temple, in London, who died unmarried in 1792, and by his will devised them to Mr. William Jemmet, of Ashford, and Mr. William Marshall, of London, who continue at this time the joint possessors of them.
THE MANOR OF HUNTINGFIELD, situated in the eastern part of this parish, was, at the time of the takeing of the general survey of Domesday, part of the possessions of Odo, bishop of Baieux, as has been already taken notice of before, and on his disgrace came, with the rest of his estates, to the crown, about the year 1084.
After which, Fulbert de Dover appears to have held it, with others in this parish, of the king in capite by barony, by the tenure of ward to Dover castle for the defence of it. Of him and his heirs it was held by knight's service, of the honor of Chilham, the head or chief of their barony.
Simon de Chelsfield held it of them, as lords paramount, in the reign of Henry III. but at the latter end of that reign, this manor was come into the possession of that branch of the eminent family of Huntingfield settled in this county, descended from those of Suffolk, in which county and in Norfolk they had large possessions. Hence this manor assumed the name of Huntingfield-court, and it appears by the roll of knights fees, taken at the beginning of the reign of Edward I. that Peter de Huntingfield then held it. He resided at times both here and at West Wickham, of which manor he was likewise possessed, though it seems when he was sheriff in the 11th, 12th, and 13th years of that reign, he kept his shrievalty at Huntingfield-court. In the 9th year of it he obtained a charter of free-warren for his lands at Eslynge and Stalesfeld, and in the 28th year of it attended the king at the siege of Carlaverock, in Scotland, for which service he, with others, received the honor of knighthood. He died in the 7th year of Edward II. anno 1313, leaving by the lady Imayne his wise, who was buried in the church of the Grey Friars, London, Sir Walter de Huntingfield his son and heir, who having obtained several liberties for his manor of Wickham, and liberty to impark his grounds there, (fn. 4) seems to have deserted this place, which in the next reign of Edward III. was sold either by him or by his son, Sir John de Huntingfield, to one of the family of Sawfamere, and in the 20th year of that reign, the lady Sawfamere, Dna' de Sawsamero, as she is written in the book of aid, paid respective aid for it.
But before the end of that reign, it had passed into the name of Halden, for it appears by the escheat-rolls that William de Halden died in the 50th year of it, possessed of Easling manor, called Huntingfield, held of the castle of Chilham; soon after which it became the property of Sir Simon de Burleigh, who being attainted in the 12th year of Richard II. this manor, among the rest of his possessions, came to the crown. After which, anno 2 Henry IV. John, son and heir of Sir John de Burley, cousin and heir of Sir Simon de Burley, was, upon his petition, restored in blood, and the judgment against Sir Simon was revoked, and three years afterwards the king, with the assent of the lords, wholly restored him to all his hereditaments, except as to those excepted by him. (fn. 5) How long this manor remained in this name I have not found, but in the reign of Henry VI. it was in the possession of Sir James Fienes, who anno 25 of that reign, by reason of his mother's descent, was created Lord Say and Sele, and was afterwards made lord treasurer, but becoming unpopular, from his being so great a favorite, he was seized on in the insurrection raised by Jack Cade, and beheaded in the 29th year of that reign. He was at his death possessed of this manor, which by his will be devised to his son Sir William Fienes, who became likewise lord Say and Sele, but the unhappy contention which then subsisted between the houses of York and Lancaster, in which he risked not only his person, but his whole fortune, brought him soon afterwards into great distresses, and necessitated him to mortgage and sell the greatest part of his lands. How this manor was disposed of I have not found, but within a very few years afterwards it appears to have been in the hands of the crown, for king Richard III. in his first year, granted to John Water, alias Yorke Heraulde, an annuity out of the revenues of his lordship of Huntingfield, and afterwards by his writ, in the same year, on the resignation of John, garter, principal king at arms, and Thomas, clarencieux, king at arms, he committed to Richard Champeney, alias called Gloucestre, king of arms, the custody of this manor.
But the see of it seems to have remained in the crown till king Henry VIII. in his 35th year, granted it to John Guldford and Alured Randall, esqrs. to hold in capite by knight's service. John Guildford was the next year become the sole proprietor of it, and then alienated it to Sir Thomas Moyle; he sold it, in the 7th year of Edward VI. to John Wild, esq. of St. Martin's hill, Canterbury, with its members and appurtenances in Esling, Sheldwich, Whitstaple, Reculver, and Ulcombe. However, it appears that he was not possessed of the entire see of it at his death in 1554, for he by his will devised his two thirds of this manor, (besides the third part due to the queen, after his wife's death) to his son Thomas Wild, then an infant, whose son John Wild, esq. of St. Martin's hill, alienated his share, or two thirds of it, which included the courts, sines, amerciaments, and other privileges belonging to it, to Martin James, esq. prothonotary of the court of chancery, owner of the manor of North-court, alias Easling, as above-mentioned, whose great-grandson, Walter James, esq. possessed it at the restoration of Charles II. at the latter end of which reign his heirs sold it to Mr. John Grove, gent. of Tunstall, who died possessed of it in 1678, and his great-grandson Richard Grove, esq. of London, proprietor likewise of North-court above-described, died in 1792, having by his will devised these manors (which having been for many years united in the same owners, are now consolidated, one court being held for both, the stile of which is, the manor of Easling, alias North court, with that of Huntingfield annexed, in Easling, Ulcomb, and Sheldwich) among the rest of his estates, to Wm. Jemmet, gent. of Ashford, and William Marshall, of London, and they continue at this time the joint possessors of these manors.
BUT THE REMAINING THIRD PART of the manor of Hunting field, in the hands of the crown in the reign of Philip and Mary, as before-mentioned, in which was included the mansion of Huntingfield court, with the demesne lands adjoining to it, continued there till it was granted, in the beginning of the next reign of queen Elizabeth, to Mr. Robert Greenstreet, who died possessed of it in the 14th year of that reign, holding it in capite by knight's service. His descendant Mr. Mathew Greenstreet, of Preston, leaving an only daughter Anne, she carried this estate in marriage to Mr. Richard Tassell, of Linsted, and he alienated it in 1733 to Edward Hasted, esq. barrister-at law, of Hawley, near Dartford, whose father Mr. Joseph Hasted, gent. of Chatham, was before possessed of a small part of the adjoining demesne lands of Huntingfield manor, which had been in queen Elizabeth's reign become the property of Mr. Josias Clynch.
The family of Hasted, or as they were antiently written, both Halsted and Hausted, was of eminent note in very early times, as well from the offices they bore, as their several possessions in different counties, and bore for their arms, Gules, a chief chequy, or, and azure. William Hausted was keeper of the king's exchange, in London, in the 5th year of Edward II. from whom these of Kent hold themselves to be descended, one of whom, John Hausted, clerk, or as his descendants wrote themselves, Hasted, born in Hampshire, is recorded to have been chaplain to queen Elizabeth, and a person much in favor with her, whom he so far displeased by entering into the state of marriage, which he did with a daughter of George Clifford, esq. of Bobbing, and sister of Sir Coniers Clifford, governor of Connaught, in Ireland, that he retired to the Isle of Wight, where he was beneficed, and dying there about the year 1596, was buried in the church of Newport. His great grandson Joseph Hasted, gent. was of Chatham, and dying in 1732, was buried in Newington church, as was his only son Edward, who was of Hawley, esq. the purchaser of Huntingfield court as before-mentioned. He died in 1740, leaving by his wife Anne, who was descended from the antient and respectable family of the Dingleys, of Wolverton, in the isle of Wight, one son, Edward Hasted, esq. late of Canterbury, who has several children, of whom the eldest, the Rev. Edward Hasted, late of Oriel college, in Oxford, is now vicar of Hollingborne. He bears for his arms the antient coat of the family of Halsted, or Hausted, as mentioned before, with the addition in the field, of an eagle displayed,ermine,beaked and legged, or, with which he quarters those of Dingley, Argent, a fess azure, in chief, two mullets of the second between two burts, which colours Charles, the third son of Sir John Dingley, of Wolverton, in James the 1st.'s reign, changed from those borne by his ancestors and elder brothers, i.e. from sable to azure.
Edward Hasted, esq. of Canterbury, above-mentioned, succeeded his father in this estate, which he, at length, in 1787, alienated to John Montresor, esq. of Throwley, who continues the possessor of it.
The foundations of slint and stone, which have continually been dug up near this house, shew it to have been formerly much larger that it is at present. There was once a chapel and a mill belonging to it, the fields where they stood being still known by the name of chapel-field and mill-field, which answers the description of this estate given in Domesday.
DIVEN is A MANOR, situated almost adjoining to the church of Easting, which is so corruptly called for Dive-court, its more antient and proper name. This estate was likewise one of those described before in Domesday, as being part of the possessions of the bishop of Baieux, on whose disgrace it was, among, the rest of his estates, forfeited to the crown; after which, Fulbert de Dover appears to have held it, with others in this parish therein-mentioned, of the king in capite by barony, by the tenure of ward to Dover cattle, and of him and his heirs it was held, as half a knight's fee, of the honor of Chilham, the caput barouiæ, or head of their barony.
In the reign of Henry III. John Dive held this estate as before-mentioned, of that honor; and his descendant Andrew Dive, in the 20th year of king Edward III. paid aid for it as half a knight's fee, held of the above barony, when it paid ward annually to Dover castle. In this name the manor of Diven continued till the beginning of the next reign of king Richard II. when it was alienated to Sharp, of Ninplace, in Great Chart, in which it remained till the latter end of Henry VII. when it was conveyed to Thurston, of Challock, from which, some year after, it was passed by sale to John Wild, esq. who, before the reign of queen Elizabeth, sold it to Gates, and he alienated it to Norden, who conveyed it to Bunce, where it remained after the death of king Charles I. in 1648; soon after which this manor was sold to John Adye, esq of Down court, in Doddington, who died possessed of it in 1660, and his two sons, Edward and Nicholas, seem afterwards to have possessed it in undivided moieties.
Edward Adye, esq. was of Barham, and left seven daughters his coheirs, of whom Susanna, married to Ruishe Wentworth, esq. son and heir of Sir George Wentworth, a younger brother to Thomas, the noted but unfortunate earl of Strafford, entitled her husband to the possession of her father's moiety of this manor, with other lands in Doddington, upon the division of his estates among them. He left an only daughter and heir Mary, who married Thomas, lord Howard, of Essingham, who died possessed of this moiety of Diven-court in 1725, and leaving no male issue, he was succeeded in this estate by Francis his brother and heir, who was in 1731 created Earl of Essingham, and died in 1743. His son Thomas, earl of Effingham, afterwards alienated this moiety of Divencourt to Oliver Edwards, esq. of the six clerks office, as will be further mentioned hereafter.
The other moiety of this manor, which, on the death of his father, came into the possession of Nicholas Adye, esq. of Down-Court, in Doddington, was devised by him to his eldest son John Adye, esq. of Down court, who anno 23 Charles II. suffered a recovery of it. (fn. 6)
He left an only daughter and heir Mary, married to Henry Cullum, sergeant-at-law; but before that event, this estate seems to have been passed away by him to Thomas Diggs, esq. of Chilham castle, Whose descendant of the same name, in 1723, conveyed it, with Chilham-castle, and the rest of his estates in this county, to Mr. James Colebrook, citizen and mercer of London, who died possessed of this moiety of Diven-court in the year 1752, after which it passed in like manner with them, till it was at length sold by his descendants, under the same act of parliament, in the year 1775, to Thomas Heron, esq. of Newark upon Trent, afterwards of Chilham-castle, who about the year 1776, joined with Oliver Edwards, esq. the proprietor of the other moiety, as has been mentioned beforce, to Mr. Charles Chapman, of Faversham, who then became possessed of the whole of it, which, at his death in 1782, he devised by his will to his nephews and nieces, of the name of Leeze, two of whom are now entitled to the fee of it.
THE MANOR OF ARNOLDS, which is situated about a mile eastward from the church of Easling, was likewise part of the estates of the bishop of Baieux, mentioned before, and on his disgrace came with the rest of them, to the crown, of which it was held afterwards in capite by barony, by Fulbert de Dover, by the tenure of ward to Dover castle, and of him and his heirs it was again held, as half a knight's fee, as of the honor of Chilham, the head of their barony.
Of them it was held by Arnold de Bononia, whence it acquired the name of Arnolds, alias Esling. His son John Fitzarnold afterwards possessed it in the reign of Edward III. after which Peter de Huntingfield was owner of it, but in the 20th year of Edward III. the lady Champaine, or Champion, and the earl of Oxford paid aid for it, as half a knight's fee, held of the barony above-mentioned. How it passed afterwards I have not seen, but in the next reign of Richard II. it was become part of the endowment of the dean and canons of the collegiate free chapel of St. Stephen's, Westminster, with whom it remained till the suppression of it in the 1st year of Edward VI. when it came into the hands of the crown; after which it became the property of Gates, and after that of Terry, in which it continued several years, and by that acquired the name of Arnolds, alias Terrys, from which name it was sold, in the reign of queen Anne, one part to the Rev. William Wickens, rector of this parish, who bore for his arms, Party, per pale, or, and sable, a chevron coupee, between three trefoils, all counter changed, whose son Mr. William Wickens, succeeded to it on his death in 1718. He died without male issue, and by his will devised it to his two daughters, one of whom marrying Elvy, he bought the other sister's share in it, and his widow surviving him now possesses both of them; another part was sold to Chapman, and a third to Avery. Since which it has become more inconsiderable, by the two parts last-mentioned having been again parcelled out, so that now it is sunk into that obscurity, as hardly to be worthy of notice, but the manerial rights of the manor are claimed by John Wynne and Lydia his wife.
EDWARD GRESWOLD, by his will in 1677, gave 20l. for the benefit of the poor not receiving alms, to be laid out in land or otherwise, by his executors, who in 1680 purchased a piece of land, called Pinkes-cross, in Easling, containing two acres, in trust, for this purpose, the rent of it is now 154. per annum, vested in the minister and parish officers.
The church, which is dedicated to St. Mary, consists of three isles and a south chancel, called St. Katherine's. The steeple, which is a low pointed one, stands at the west end; there are six bells in it.
Alicia de Esling, wife of Robert de Eschequer, and lady of the manor of Esling, with the consent of archbishop Theobald, in the reign of king Stephen, granted the church of Elinges, situated on her estate, to the priory of Ledes, in perpetual alms, together with the temporalities, or appropriation of it, to be possessed by them for ever after the death of Gervas then incumbent of it. Which gift was confirmed by archbishop Hubert, in the reign of Richard I.
Notwithstanding which, there was no vicarage endowed here, nor did the canons of Ledes ever enjoy the parsonage of it; but archbishop Stephen Langton, who succeeded archbishop Hubert, with the consent and approbation of William de Eslinges, patron of this church, granted to the canons of Ledes twenty shillings yearly, to be received from it in the name of a benefice; and he ordained, that beyond that sum, they should not claim any thing further from it, but that whenever it should become vacant, the said William de Esling should present to it. But it should seem that after this, they had not given up all pretensions to it, for they obtained, seventy years after this, viz. in 1278, of the prior, and the convent of Christchurch, Canterbury, a confirmation of the archbishops Theobald and Hubert's charters to them, in which this church is particularly mentioned. (fn. 7)How long it continued in the hands of the family of Esling I do not find, or in those of private patronage; but before the 22d year of Edward III. it was become part of the possessions of the college founded by Sir John Poultney, in the church of St. Laurence, Canon-street, London, with which it remained till the suppression of the college, in the reign of Edward VI. when it came, with the rest of the possessions of it, into the hands of the crown.
After which it seems to have been granted to Sir Thomas Moyle, of Eastwell, whose sole daughter and heir Catherine married Sir Thomas Finch, of that place, and afterwards Nicholas St. Leger, esq. who in her right presented to this rectory in 1574; after which Sir Moyle Finch, knight and baronet, the eldest son of Sir Thomas and lady Catherine, succeeded to it, in whose descendants, earl of Winchelsea and Nottingham, this advowson continued down to Daniel, earl of Winchelsea and Nottingham, who died possessed of it in 1769, without male issue, leaving his four daughters his coheirs. He was succeeded in titles by his nephew George Finch, esq. only son of his next brother William; but this advowson, with Eastwell, and the rest of his Kentish estates, he gave by his will to his nephew George Finch Hatton, esq. only son of his third brother the hon. Edward Finch Hatton, (fn. 8)who is the present owner of it.
The pension of twenty shillings payable from this church to the priory of Ledes, at its suppression in the reign of Henry VIII. came into the hands of the crown; after which it was settled, among other premises, by the King, in his 33d year, on his newerected dean and chapter of Rochester, who are now entitled to it.
Church of Easling.
|Or by whom presented.|
|Nicholas St.Leger,esq.||John Walsall, D. D. May 15, 1574, obt. 1617. (fn. 9)|
|Lady Elizabeth Finch,widow.||Edward Simpson, S.T.P. Jan. 2, 1517, obt. 1652. (fn. 10)|
|Samuel Jemmet, obt. 1677. (fn. 11)|
|Heneage,earl of Winchelsea.||William Wickens, A.M. March 8, 1677, obt. Sept. 6, 1718.|
|Richard Bowes, LL.D. Oct. 20, 1718, obt. April, 1745. (fn. 12)|
|Earl of Winchelsea and Nottingham.||Philip Twysden, ind. May 11, 1745, resigned 1745. (fn. 13)|
|Roger Mostyn, A.M. March 11, 1746, resigned 1752. (fn. 14)|
|Maurice Gleyre, May 8, 1752, obt. Dec. 7, 1781. (fn. 15)|
|Edward Finch Hatton,esq.||Anthony Shepperd, D.D. Oct. 1782, obt. June 15, 1796. (fn. 16)|
|Edward Cage, 1796, the present rector.|