The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 6. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1798.
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The borough of Chetham, in this parish, was given to the abbey of Faversham by Richard de Lucy, and confirmed to it by king Henry II. king John, and king Henry III. (fn. 1) It still continues an appendage to the manor of Faversham, at which a borsholder is chosen yearly for this borough, and extends over Beacon farm on the south side of the London road, at the 45th mile stone in Ospringe and Stone, and very little besides. There is another small borough in this parish, called the borough of Brimstone, for which a borsholder is elected annually at the same manor. It extends over the Red Lion inn, in Ospringe-street, and some land, an house and oast behind the bowling-green, northward of it.
The parish of Ospringe is of large extent, being near five miles from north to south, though it is not much more than two miles in breadth. The village, or town of Ospringe, as it was formerly called, and now usually Ospringe-street, stands on the high London road, between the 46th and 47th mile-stone, but the north side of the street, as well as of that road, from the summit of Judde hill, as far eastward as the 47th mile stone, is within Faversham parish, the liberties of which town begin from the rivulet in Ospringe, and extend eastward, including the late Mr. Lypeatt's new-built house. Thus that parish intervenes, and entirely separates from the rest of it that part of Ospringe parish, at the northern boundaries of it, in which are the storekeeper's house, part of the offices, &c. and some of the royal powder mills, and in the town of Faversham, that parish again intervening, there is a small part of Weststreet within this parish. The grand valley, called Newnham bottom, through which the high road leads to Maidstone, lies at the western boundary of the parish, on the summit of the hill eastward of it is Juddehouse, built after a design of Inigo Jones, a fine situation, having a most beautiful prospect eastward, over a most fertile extent of country, to the Boughton hills, and the channel north eastward of it, but the large tract of woodland, of many hundred acres, which reach up close to the gardens at the back of it, render it rather an unhealthy situation. About a quarter of a mile eastward of Ospringe-street is a good house, called from the antient oratory or chapel formerly adjoining to it, but pulled down within these few years, chapelhouse. This oratory was dedicated to St. Nicholas, and erected for a priest to say mass in it, for the safety and good success of passengers, who left their acknowledgments for his pains in it. It belonged lately to Mr. John Simmons, whose son sold it to Isaac Rutton, esq. and he alienated the house to Mr. Neame, the present owner; but on a part of the land adjoining he built an elegant villa, naming it Ospringe Place, in which he now resides.
In Ospringe-street there is a tolerable inn, and the remains of the Maison Dieu on each side of the high road close to the small rivulet which crosses the street. This stream rises at Westbrook, at a small distance southward of the hamlet of Whitehill, at the back of which it runs, and at about a mile and an half distance, passing by Ospringe church, and the mansion of Queen-court, now a respectable farm-house, it turns a mill, erected some years ago for the manufacturing of madder, though now used for the grinding corn, and having crossed Ospringe-street, it turns a gunpowder mill not far from it, occupied by government, but belonging to St. John's college, in Cambridge, and having supplied the storekeeper's gardens, it afterwards turns a corn-mill, close to the west side of Faversham town, after which it supplies the rest of the government mills and works, and runs from thence into Faversham creek, to which it is a very necessary and beneficial back water. There is a nailbourne, or temporary land spring, such as are not unusual in the parts of this county eastward of Sittingborne, which run but once perhaps in several years, their failing and continuance having no certain periods, the breaking forth of them being held by the common people to be a forerunner of scarcity and dearness of corn and victuals. This at Ospringe, when it breaks out, rises about half a mile southward of Whitehill, near Kennaways, in the road to Stalisfield, and joining the above-mentioned rivulet, which it considerably increases, flows with it into Faversham creek. In February, 1674, it began to run, but stopped before Michaelmas. It broke forth in February, 1712, and run with such violence along the high road, that trenches were cut through the lands adjoining to carry the water off, but it stopped again before Michaelmas. It had continued dry till it broke out afresh in 1753, and continued to run till summer 1778, when it stopped, and has continued dry ever since.
About a mile southward of Ospringe-street is the hamlet of Whitehill, mentioned before, situated in the vale through which the rivulet takes its course. There are two houses of some account in it, formerly owned by the family of Drayton, who had resided in this parish for many years. Robert Drayton resided here anno 7 Edward IV. in which year he died, and was buried in the church-yard of Ospringe, being then possessed, as appears by his will, of a house called Smythes, with its lands and appurtenances, at Whitehill. After this family had become extinct here, one of these houses came into the possession of Ruck, and escheated, for want of lawful heirs, to the lord of the manor, and now as such belongs to the earl of Guildford, but Mr. James Foord resides in it. The other, after the Draytons were become extinct here, came into the name of Wreight, one of whom, Henry Wreight, gent. died possessed of it in 1695, and was buried in Faversham church. His son of the same name resided here, and died in 1773, and his grandson Henry Wreight, gent. of Faversham, sold it to John Montresor of Belmont, esq. who now owns it, but John Smith esq. resides in it. About a mile westward on the hill, near Hanslets Fostall and the parsonage, is a new-erected house, called the Oaks, built not many years since, on the scite of an antient one, called Nicholas, formerly belonging to the Draytons, by Mr. John Toker, who resides in it; the woodgrounds in the upland parts of this parish are very extensive, and contain many hundred acres. The soil of this parish, from its large extent, is various, to the north and north-east of the church the lands are level and very fertile, being a fine rich loam, but as they extend southward to the uplands, the soil becomes more and more barren, much of it chalky, and the rest a cludgy red earth, stiff tillage land, and very stony. A fair is held in Ospringe-street on the 29th of May.
Much has already been said in the former parts of these volumes, of the different opinions of learned men where the Roman station, called in the second iter of Antonine Durolevum, ought to be placed. Most of the copies of Antonine make the distance from the last station Durobrovis, which is allowed by all to be Rochester, to the station of Durolevum, to be xiii or xvi miles, though the Peutongerian tables make it only vii. If the number xvi is right, no place bids so fair for it as Judde-hill, in this parish, which then would have every probable circumstance in favor of it. The Romans undoubtedly had some strong military post on this hill, on the summit of which there are the remains of a very deep and broad ditch, the south and east sides are still entire, as is a small part of the north side at the eastern corners of it, the remaining part of the north side was filled up not many years since. The west side has nothing left of it; close within the southern part of it is a high mount of earth thrown up to a considerable height above the ground round it, the scite of Judde house, and the gardens are contained within it. The form of it seems to have been a square, with the corners rounded, and to have contained between three and four acres of ground within its area, the common people call it king Stephen's castle, but it is certainly of a much older date. At a small distance from it, on the opposite, or north side of the high road, there are several breast works cast up across the field facing the west. At the bottom of the hill, in the next field to this, are the ruins of Stone chapel, in which numbers of Roman bricks are interspersed among the flints, and in the midst of the south wall of it, there is a separate piece of a Roman building, about a rod in length, and near three feet high, composed of two rows of Roman tiles, of about fourteen inches square each, and on them are laid small stones hewed, but of no regular size or shape, for about a foot high, and then tiles again, and so on alternately.
When the new road from the summit of Judde hill westward was dug down, quantities of fragments of Roman culinary ware, and a coin of Vespasian were found intermixed with many parcels of oyster shells and in the gardens of Judde house, at different times, coins of Adrian M. Aurelius, Arcadius, and others, have been discovered. And at about a mile distance north-eastward, on Davington hill, almost adjoining to the town of Faversham, within these few years, a Roman burial place has been discovered, and many Roman coins, urns, and other relics of antiquity dug up there, as there have been at different times at Fa versham, and places adjoining to it, especially along the London high road. (fn. 2)
Besides this, the vicinity of this place to the stream at Ospringe, a is strong argument in its favor, and still more its nearness to Faversham, for Bede notes in several places, that the villæ regiæ of the Saxons were mostly placed on or near where in former ages the Roman stations had been before.
And yet notwithstanding all these circumstances in favor of the Durolevum, having been here, there has been so much urged in favor of Newington likewise, that it will be but candid to leave the preference of either to the reader's option, to place this station at which ever place he thinks proper.
In Favreshant hundred, Hugh, grandson of Herbert, holds of the bishop (of Baieux) Ospringes. It was taxed at seven sulings and an half. The arable land is twenty carucates. In demesne there no two carucates.
There are twenty-nine villeins, with six borderers, having eleven carucates. There is a church, and one mill of eleven shillings and eight pence, and a fishery of tenpence, and a salt-pit of four pence, and thirteen acres of meadow. Wood sufficient for the pannage of twenty hogs.
Richard de Maris holds half a suling of this manor, and has there six villeins, and one borderer, with one ca rucate, and one Thurstan holds one yoke, which pays five shillings. The whole manor in the time of king Edward the Confessor, was worth twenty pounds, when Herbert received it fifteen pounds, now twenty pounds. To this manor there belonged in Canterbury one mansion of thirty pence. The manor held.
Four years after which, on the bishop of Baieux's falling under the king's displeasure, this among the rest of his estates was confiscated to the crown; after which it remained for some time part of the royal demesnes; king Henry II. held it in demesne, in the 14th year of whose reign it paid aid at the marrying of the king's daughter, by the hands of the sheriff, as was certified by the justices itinerant.
King John was at his manor of Ospringe in the month of October, both in his 15th and 17th years; in the former of which master Richard de Marisco, archdeacon of Richmond and Northumberland, delivered the great seal to him there. (fn. 3) But Henry III. in his 9th year, having raised his great favorite Hubert de Burgh to the dignity of earl of Kent, at the same time granted to him and Margaret his wife, in fee, this manor among others; upon his death however, it returned to the crown, and the king, the year being the 19th of his reign, granted it to the trustees of his intended queen Eleanor, daughter of Raymund, earl of Provence, among other estates, by the name of the ville of Ospringe, as a dower, (nomine dotis) for so long time as the queen Isabella his mother should survive him, and at her death the same to return to his heirs, which it had done before the 27th year of Edward I. anno 1299, (fn. 4) when that prince assigned, among other premises, as a dower to his queen Margaret, sister of the king of France, this manor, with its appurtenance, being then of the yearly value of sixty pounds.
From the queens of England continuing in the possession of this manor, it acquired the name of THE MANOR OF OSPRINGE, alias QUEEN-COURT. Queen Margaret surviving the king her husband, died anno 10 Edward II. soon after which this manor and the court-lodge, with other demesnes of it, called Queencourt, seem to have been separated by grants made of them to different persons, and to have become two distinct manors; the former appears to have been that year granted to Sir John Pulteney, to hold of the crown, by the service of a rose, together with the advowsons of all churches which formerly belonged to it, to hold in socage by the former acknowledgment. He was a person of no small account, who was afterwards much in favor with king Edward III. and celebrated by our historians for his piety, riches, and magnificent manner of living, He was four several years lord-mayor of London, and besides this manor was possessed of that of Penshurst, and several others in this county and elsewhere. (fn. 5) He died in the 23d year of Edward III. and by the inquisition taken after his death, he was found to hold for the term of his life the manor of Ospringe of the king, in manner abovementioned, and that William de Pulteney was his son and heir, by Margaret his wife, who was afterwards married to Sir Nicholas Lovaine. (fn. 6)
Sir William Pulteney, the son above-mentioned, died s. p. in the 40th year of that reign, having before vested all his estates in feoffees, and they afterwards, in pursuance of their trust, conveyed the manor of Ospringe, together with all other estates, of which Sir John Pulteney died possessed, to Sir Nicholas Lo vaine and Margaret his wife before-mentioned, and their heirs for ever. He was succeeded in this manor by their son Nicholas Lovaine, who married Margaret, the eldest daughter of John de Vere, earl of Oxford, and widow of Henry, lord Beaumont, by whom he had no issue. She survived him, as she did likewise her third husband Sir John Devereux, and died in the 10th year of Henry IV. being then possessed of this manor, in which she was succeeded by Margaret, sister and heir of her second husband Nicholas Lovaine, who was twice married, first to Richard Chamberlain, esq. of Oxfordshire, and secondly to Sir Philip St. Clere, of Aldham St. Clere, in Ightham, who becoming entitled to it in her right, died possessed of it in the reign of Henry V. as did Margaret his wife anno I Henry VI. upon which Thomas St. Clere, their son, succeeded to it, and died in the 12th year of Edward IV. leaving an only daughter and heir Eleanor, who married Sir John Gage, ancestor of the lord viscount Gage, and Sir Thomas Gage, bart. of Suffolk.
Soon after which it was alienated to William Hungate, who, as appears by the escheat rolls of that year, died anno 3 Henry VII. possessed of the manor of Ospringe, alias Queen-court, held of the king in capite, by the service of one rose yearly, if it should be demanded. Not long after which it was become the property of William Cheney, esq. of Shurland, younger brother of Sir John Cheney, of Shurland, sheriff in the 17th year of Edward IV. and again in the first year of Henry VII. whose son Thomas, by his second wife, became at length heir both to his father and uncle above-mentioned, and was afterwards knighted.
Sir Thomas Cheney, who was of Shurland, and possessor of this manor, was a man of great account in his time, being, among other honors and preferments, knight of the garter, lord warden of the five ports, and treasurer of the houshold to Henry VIII. and after wards, in the reign of Edward VI. a privy counsellor, (fn. 7) in the 3d year of whose reign he obtained the manor and mansion of QUEEN-COURT, for it seems to have been esteemed a manor from the time of its being separated from that of Ospringe above-described in the reign of Edward II. with the demesne lands belonging to it in Ospringe and the adjoining parishes, which in the above-mentioned reign of Edward II. had been granted to Fulk Peyforer, from which name it soon afterwards was transferred into the family of Leyborne; and in the 20th year of the next reign of Edward III. Sir William de Clinton, earl of Huntingdon, husband of Juliana de Leyborne, paid aid for it. His widow Juliana surviving, died possessed of it in the 41st year of the same reign, and leaving no issue, this estate, among the rest of her demesnes, 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.
After which this manor of Queen-court seems to have remained in the hands of the crown till the beginning of the next reign of Richard II. when it was purchased by the feoffees in trust, for the performance of the last will of Edward III. towards the endowment of St. Stephen's chapel, in Westminster, which was afterwards, anno 22 Richard II. completed and made collegiate, for a dean, canons, and other ministers, at which time Nicholas Potin was lessee of Queen-court, and resided here, the year before which he was sheriff of this county, and kept his shrievalty at it. Part of the possessions of this foundation of Queencourt remained till the 1st year of Edward VI. when by the act passed that year, this collegiate chapel and its revenues were surrendered up into the king's hands.
After which the king, in his 3d year, granted Queen-court, with its appurtenances, to Sir Thomas Cheney as before-mentioned, to hold in capite by knight's service, with all and singular their liberties and privileges whatsoever, in as ample a manner as the dean and canons before held it, so that he then became possessed of the entire fee of both these manors, which from that time became consolidated as one manor, with the mansion of Queen-court, and the whole of the demesne lands and other appurtenances belonging at any time to either of them. His son Sir Henry Cheney, of Tuddington, afterwards lord Cheney, sold this manor of Ospringe, alias Queen-court, with the mansion and lands belonging to it, in the 14th year or queen Elizabeth's reign, to Richard Thornhill, citizen of London, for which purpose a fine was then levied of it, and the lord Cheney afterwards granted and made over to him all liberties, franchises, royalties, &c. within it, which he had ever possessed or had in any shape a right to; and they were claimed by Richard Thornhill, esq. and judgment was given for them in his behalf by the barons of the exchequer, on a trial had in the 17th year of that reign, (fn. 8) whose descendant of the same name sold it, in the reign of king Charles II. to Henry Mellish, of London, turkey merchant, afterwards of Sandersted, in Surry, esq. who died possessed of this manor about the year 1697, leaving Elizabeth his widow surviving, who enjoyed it till her death, which happened in 1707, when it descended to their only daughter and heir Mary, then the wife of Sir John Stonehouse, bart. of Radley, in Berkshire, who in her right became entitled to it, and in 1712 alienated it to Sir Robert Furnese, bart. who died possessed of it in 1733, leaving by his second wife Arabella Watson, one of the daughters of Lewis, lord, afterwards earl of Rockingham, one son Henry, his successor in titles and estates, and a daughter Catherine, afterwards married to her first cousin Lewis, earl of Rockingham.
Sir Henry Furnese, bart. survived his father but a short time, for he died abroad, under age and unmarried, in 1735; upon which he was succeeded in this manor by Catherine, countess of Rockingham, his sister, whose husband the earl died in 1745, s. p. and she afterwards remarried with Francis, earl of Guildford, by whom she likewise had no issue, and dying in 1766, gave this manor, among the rest of her estates, to her husband, whose grandson the right hon. George-Augustus, earl of Guildford, is the present possessor of it.
This manor extends into Ospringe, Graveney, Goodnestone, Cosmus Blean, Shottenton, in Chilham, Selling, Staplehurst, Frittenden, the dens of Blackingley and Hockeridge, in Cranbrooke, and the den of Hamwold, in Woodnesborough. A reeve is annually chosen at this manor.
PLUMFORD and PAINTERS are two estates in this parish, which were both formerly accounted manors, and belonged, like that of Queen-court last-described to the free chapel or college of St. Stephen, Westminster, on the suppression of which in the first year of the reign of Edward VI. the former of these manors was granted, among other premises, to Sir Anthony Aucher, who sold it to Thomas Colepeper, esq. and he soon afterwards alienated it to John Greenstreet, of Claxfield, in Linsted, who in the 8th year of queen Elizabeth, purchased of Sir Henry Cheney, the manor of Painters, which had been granted by Edward VI. in his 3d year, to his father Sir Thomas Cheney, two years after the suppression of St. Stephen's chapel as before-mentioned, to hold in capite by knight's service. (fn. 9). He died possessed of both these manors about the 21st year of queen Elizabeth; his son Peter Greenstreet died in the 28th year of that reign, leaving two sons, John and Simon; to the former of whom, he by his will that year, gave his manor of Plumford, and lands mentioned in it; and to the latter his manor of Paynters, alias Bayefield. Several of this family lie buried in this church, they bore for their arms, Barruly of eight pieces, argent, and azure, on a canton of the second, an eagle displayed with two necks, or; which coat was confirmed to Peter Greenstreet, of Ospringe, with the charge on the canton altered from a martlet, by Sir John Borough, garter, in 1642. The manor of Plumford and the other premises, at length descended down to Mr. Peter Greenstreet, gent. in whom the manor of Painters had likewise by descent become vested, and he alienated them both, with several other lands in this and the adjoining parishes, to Sir Henry Furnese, bart. of Waldershare, who died possessed of them in 1712, whose son Sir Robert Furnese, bart. died possessed of them in 1733, and was succeeded by his only son Sir Henry Furnese, bart. who survived his father but a short time, for he died abroad in 1735, under age and unmarried, and these manors among other estates, became vested in his three sisters and coheirs, and afterwards by a decree of chancery, at their instance, anno 9 George II. a writ of partition was agreed to, in which these manors of Plumford and Painters, with other lands adjoining were allotted to Katherine, countess of Rockingham, Sir Henry's whole sister, by Sir Robert's second wife Arabella, daughter of Lewis Watson, earl of Rockingham, and then the wife of her first cousin Lewis, earl of Rockingham, on whom, by the settlement on her marriage in 1736, all her undivided third part had been limited, should she survive her husband without issue, which partition was confirmed by act of parliament passed the next year. The earl of Rockingham died in 1745 s. p. leaving his lady surviving, who then again became possessed of these manors in her own right; she afterwards married Francis, earl of Guildford, by whom she had no issue, and dying in 1766 gave them, among the rest of her estates, to her husband, whose grandson the right hon. George-Augustus, earl of Guildford, is the present owner of them (fn. 10)
A PART of the above-mentioned estate of Painters, alias Bayfield, usually called BAVELL, situated near Bavells sostal, was alienated from the name of Greenstreet to that of Pordage, in which it continued some time, and until it was sold to Mr. Whatman, of London, whose heir sold it to Knowler, as he did to Dewy, of Surry, from thence by a daughter it went in marriage to Parker, the heirs of whose descendant John Dewy Parker, of Surry, are the present possessors of it.
BROGDALE, or Brokedale, is an antient seat situated in the eastern part of this parish, near Whitehill, which in early times gave name to a family who resided at it, one of whom, John de Brokedale, is mentioned as such by Southouse, in his Monasticon Favershamiense. After this name was extinct here, this seat came into the possession of the Clerks; John Clerk, of Brokedale, resided here anno 7 Richard II. 1383, as appears by a release given by Robert, abbot of Faversham, to him, in which he is so named, and is stiled Bedellus noster de Upland in Hund. de Faversham. How it passed afterwards, I have not found; but in the reign of James I. it was become the property of Head and Clive, who in that reign sold it to Mr. John Knowler, of Faversham, who was mayor of that town in 1734, having married Mary, the eldest daughter of Francis Pordage, esq. of Rodmersham, by whom he had several children, and in his descendants, who resided at Brogdale, it continued down to Mr. John Knowler, gent. who died in 1676, and devised it by his will to his grandson Mr. John Knowler, son of Robert his son, who most probably died before him, and left besides a daughter Mary, married to Mr. Robert Luckyn, of Ospringe, by whom she had Mr. Robert Lukyn, late of Faversham. Mr. John Knowler, gent. the grandson, resided at Brogdale, and died in 1700, leaving one son John Knowler, esq. of Canterbury, barrister-at-law, recorder of that city, and steward of the town of Faversham, who died possessed of Brogdale, then converted into a farm-house, in 1763, leaving Mary his wife, daughter and heir of Mr. John Russell, of Hawkhurst, surviving, who died in the year 1781. They were both buried in Faversham church, as were most of his ancestors and relations above-mentioned, several of whom were from time to time mayors of Faversham, and bore for their arms, Argent, on a bend, between two cotizes, sable, a lion passant guardant, crowned, or. He left two daughters his coheirs, of whom Anne, the eldest, married Henry Penton, esq. M. P. for Winchester, and Mary, the youngest, Henry Digby, lord Digby, and they some few years since joined in the sale of it to John Bax, esq. of Prestonhouse, who is the present possessor of it.
BROOK, alias WESTBROOK, now usually called Brook-farm, is an estate in this parish, lying at Brookforstal, near Whitehill, which was so called from its nearness to the brook or stream which runs near it, on which there was a mill, which was given to the abbey of Faversham as early as the reign of Henry II. by William, that prince's younger brother, and the same was confirmed to it, among other estates, by that king, but whether it continued with the abbey till its dissolution, I have not found.
In the reign of queen Elizabeth, this estate was come into the possession of the family of Drayton, in which it continued down to Wm. Drayton, gent. of Ospringe, who died in 1686, and lies buried in this church, having been by his will a benefactor to the poor of this parish, who bore for his arms, Guttee, a flying horse. By his will he settled this estate upon his kinsman, Drayton Roberts, the grandson of Joseph Roberts, gent. of St. Dunstans, by Elizabeth his first wife, daughter of Mr. Rich. Drayton, gent. and he alienated this estate in 1709 to Mr. Laurence Ruck, gent. of Whitehill, who bore for his arms, Sable, a cross, argent, between four fleurs de lis, or. He by his will in 1714 gave it to his kinsman Adam Ruck, of Folkestone, whose three grandsons and coheirs in gavelkind, Laurence, George, and Thomas Ruck, passed it away by sale to Mr. Thomas Buck, gent. of Faversham, who died in 1779, and his four daughters, Martha, Susanna, Mary, wife of Mr. John Toker, gent. of this parish, and Gracey, are now jointly entitled to this estate.
ELVYLAND, corruptly so called for Elverland, is a manor situated on the hills in the south-west part of this parish. It seems in early times to have been part of the possessions of the eminent family of Criol, for John, a younger son of Bertram de Criol, was owner of it in the beginning of the reign of Henry III. Nicholas de Criol was possessed of lands in Ospringe, so late as 21 king Edward I. and was then allowed to have freewarren in his lands there; and Elizabeth, daughter of Wm. Nowell, held lands there of the king that year, by the sergeancy of paying every year a pair of gilt spurs, as appears by the pleas of the crown, before the justices itinerant of that year. This estate of Elverland afterwards became part of the possessions of the hospital or Maison Dieu founded in that reign in this parish, at Ospringe-street, of which a further account will be given below.
In the roll of knights fees, taken in the next reign of king Edward I. the master of this hospital is charged with the fortieth part of a knight's fee in Everland, held of Nicholas de Girunde, and he paid aid for it accordingly, in the 20th year of Edward III. This manor continued part of the possessions of this hospital till the reign of Edward IV. in the 20th year of which it escheated to the crown, having become desolate, there being no members left in it. After which the king, by his letters patent, granted the custody or guardianship of it and its revenues to secular persons, in which state it continued till the reign of Henry VIII. when Fisher, bishop of Rochester, obtained the hospital, and the whole of its revenues in this parish and elsewhere, for the better endowment of St. John's college, in Cambridge, the letters patent for this purpose bearing date in the 11th year of that reign, which were confirmed by the archbishop, the archdeacon, and the prior and convent of Christ-church, in Canterbury. (fn. 11)
The Wraytles were for years tenants of this manor, afterwards the Questeds, by a daughter of which name it went to Allen, since which the lease has been sold to Mr. Kemp, who now owns it. A court baron is held for this manor.
AT A SMALL DISTANCE north-west from the above manor is an estate called HANSLETTS, which gives name to an adjoining green, usually called Hansells, or Hansletts forstal. This estate was antiently part of the possessions of the family of Greenstreet, owners of much land in this and the several adjoining parishes, one of whom, Thomas Greenstreet, gent. of Ospringe, was owner of it in the reign of king James I. as appears by the will of John Brewster, of Tenham, in 1620, who devised an annuity out of this estate of Thomas Greenstreet, gent. of Ospringe, called Hansletts, to his son Thomas, from this name it passed by sale to Arthur Whatman, esq. who in 1671 gave it by will to Ward and Sissill, and they joined in the sale of it in 1677 to Thomas Pierce, of Challock, whose descendant Thomas Peirce devised it to Thomas and Henry his sons, the latter of whom bought his brother's part, and then in 1744 left it by will to his sister Frances, wife of Mr. William Nethersole, for life, and afterwards to her children, Thomas, Richard, William, Frances, and Susanna; the eldest of whom, Mr. Thomas Nethersole, in 1763, purchased the other shares of it, and afterwards, in 1776, alienated the entire fee of it to Mr. John Hope, of Ore, the present owner of it.
CADES is a manor in this parish, situated on the hill, about a mile southward from Ospringe church, which was formerly called Lorendens, from the family of Lorenden, in Challock, who were once the possessors of it; after which it came into the name of Cade, and it appears by the Testa de Nevill, that Arnold Cade possessed it in the reign of Henry III. whence it acquired the addition of that name to it, being called Lorenden, alias Cades, by which it continued to be known so late as 1630. In the 10th year of queen Elizabeth this manor was in the possession of Thomas Wood, of Ospringe, who then alienated it by the above name to Mr. John Greenstreet, of Ospringe, who sold it in the 12th year of king James I. 1613, to Mr. John Platt. Arthur Whatman, esq. died possessed of it in 1674, and lies buried in this church, having by his will left a benefaction yearly from his two farms in Ospringe, called Cades and Cokes, to be paid for ever to the poor of Boughton Blean parish; after which it became the property of Richard Penner, and then of John Buller, esq. whose daughter carried it in marriage to John Dintry, of Wye, and he in 1685 alienated it to Thomas Turner, esq. of London, who in 1704 settled it on his eldest daughter Mary, in marriage with William Hammond, esq. of St. Albans, in Nonington; after which it descended down to William Hammond, esq. of Canterbury, who dying intestate, it came to his sister Elizabeth Beake, widow, who in 1750 sold it to Mr. Thomas Mantell, surgeon, of Chatham, and he in 1757 alienated it to Edward Jacob, esq. of Faversham, who died in 1788, leaving his widow Mrs. Jacob surviving, and she is the present possessor of it. (fn. 12)
PUTWOOD is an estate lying in this parish, which was once accounted a manor, though it consists at present only of a tenement and some woodland, being situated on the east side of the road leading through Sindalvalley to Hollingborne. It antiently belonged to a family who assumed their name from Vienne, in Dauphine, in the kingdom of France, one of whom, William de Vienne, or Vienna, held this manor by knight's service in the reign of king Edward I. His descendant Lucas de Vienna died about the 17th year of Edward III. and his widow paid aid for this estate in the 20th year of that reign, which she then held of the king at Putwood, in Ospringe; but in the 30th year of it John de Porkelswode, as appears by a release of that date, was become proprietor of it, and he, with Robert de East Dane, a place likewise in this parish, are recited as witnesses to another deed, of about the same age; however, in the next reign of Richard II. the Quadrings were become possessed of it; from whence it went by sale, about the latter end of king Henry IV.'s reign, to the antient family of Goldwell, of Great Chart, one of whom, James Goldwell, who was consecrated bishop of Norwich in 1472, anno II Edward IV. becoming possessed of it, settled this manor on a chantry, which he then obtained licence to found in the south chancel of Great Chart church, in which he lies buried, though in the writ and inquisition mentioned hereafter, it is there said to be founded by Nicholas Goldwell, clerk.
This manor continued the estate for the support of this chantry till the dissolution of it in the 1st year of king Edward VI. by the act passed for the general suppression of all such foundations; but this manor, notwithstanding, never came into the hands of the crown, but was concealed by the possessors of it, upon which queen Elizabeth, in her 10th year, issued her writ to William Cromer, esq. the sheriff of this county, to cause enquiry to be made by inquisition concerning it; by which it appears, that the manor of Putwood, with its appurtenances, and eighty acres of land in Ospringe and the adjoining parishes, belonged to the chantry, in the church of Great Chart, called Gold wells chantry, founded by Nicholas Goldwell, clerk, and that it was worth in the whole beyond reprises 4l. 6s. 8d. and that the same then belonged to the queen, and had been unjustly with-held from her from the time of the dissolution of the chantry, but by whom they were wholly ignorant. (fn. 13)
What proceedings were afterwards had in relation to it, I have not found, but the crown seems to have taken possession of it, for the queen, in her 12th year, granted it to Hugh Townsell and Ralph Pistor, to hold by the like services, by which it was held before. It had been for some time before in the possession of the Hales's, as tenants of it, but at the latter end of queen Elizabeth's reign, it appears to have been alienated to Mr. Thomas Sare, of Provenders, in Norton, whose heirs sold it to Mr. James Hugessen, of Dover, who died in 1637, and by will gave this manor to his second son, whose descendant Mrs. Jane Hugessen entitled her husband Mr. John Roberts, son of Sir John Roberts, of Canterbury, to it, but on his death S. P. the property of it, by the intail made of it, became vested in that branch of her family seated at Provenders, in Norton; after which it descended, in like manner as that seat, to William Western Hugessen, esq. of Provenders, since whose death in 1764 it has descended in like manner as that seat to his two surviving daughters and coheirs, Sarah and Dorothy, since married to Sir Joseph Banks, and Sir Edward Knatchbull, barts. who in right of their wives now possess it in undivided moieties. (fn. 14)
The church or priory of Rochester was in very antient times possessed of lands in this parish, and king John, in his 2d year, granted to Gilbert, bishop of Rochester, five acres of his demesne wood in Ospringe, to hold in free, pure, and perpetual alms; after which, Henry de Sandford, bishop of Rochester, in the reign of king Henry III. granted to Nicholas, son of Gervas de Osprenge, and Dulcia his wife, his land, with the wood he had in Ospringe, which was within that manor, and five acres of wood, which king John gave as above-mentioned to his predecessor bishop Gilbert, to hold to them and their heirs by hereditary right for ever.
The prior and convent of Rochester afterwards became possessed of land in Ospringe, which seem exactly to answer those above-described, but whether the same, I am not certain; however that be, they were possessed of lands here soon after the above time, and continued so at the time of the suppression of the priory in the 32d year of Henry VIII. when it was, with all the lands and revenues of it, surrendered into the king's hands, who next year settled them on his new-founded dean and chapter of Rochester, with whom the inheritance of these lands still continue.
On the abolition of deans and chapters, soon after the death of king Charles I. and their lands being sold, this estate at Ospringe came into the possession of one Daniel Judde, a busy committee-man and sequestrator of the royalists estates during those unhappy times, who imagining his possession would continue firm to him and his heirs, built for his residence, about the year 1652, the present elegant seat; but the dean and chapter being re-established on the restoration of king Charles II. this man was ousted from this estate, which from thence acquired the name of Judde's folly. In later times it was held in lease, under the dean and chapter, by Clayton Milbourne, esq. M. P. in 1708, for the town of Monmouth, who bore for his arms, Argent, a cross-moline pierced, sable. They were originally of Frampton, in Gloucestershire. He died in 1726, leaving two sons and one daughter, and Elizabeth his widow surviving, who afterwards possessed it, and about the year 1765 sold her interest in it to James Flint, esq. high sheriff in 1772, who bore for his arms, Vert, three flint stones, proper. He died in 1790, leaving a wife and several children surviving. Mrs. Flint, his widow, now resides here, and is the present lessee of it.
SYNDAL is a house and estate, situated about half a mile westward from Judde-house, in the valley called Newnham, alias Syndal, but corruptly for Syndanevalley, on the road leading from Ospringe over Hollingborne-hill to Maidstone, and at one field's distance from the high London road.
This estate, as well as others situated in Syndal valley, takes its name from thence. It was formerly the property of the Uptons, of Faversham, one of whom, Mr. John Upton, owned it in the 12th year of king James I. after which it became the estate of Mrs. Anne Hayward, who carried it in marriage to Mr. John Wood, who devised it to his only daughter Zutphania, and she entitled her husband Robert Owre, gent. to the possession of it. She survived him, and in 1662 alienated it to Onesephorus Rood, gent. of Ospringe, who left issue two sons, Onesephorus, who died unmarried in his life-time, and Emery, who became his heir, and died possessed of this estate in 1727; his sons successively possessed it afterwards, of whom Onesephorus, the eldest, dying unmarried, his younger brother Emery became his heir, and in 1753 devised it to his eldest son Mr. Emery Rood, who resided here, and sold this estate in 1781 to John Montresor, esq. of Belmont, the present owner of it.
THERE WAS AN HOSPITAL, or MAISON DIEU here, the principal house of which, as well as the church of it, was situated close to the stream on the north side of Ospringe-street, though there were two buildings or chambers belonging to it on each side of the stream, almost opposite.
This hospital was founded by king Henry III. about the year 1235, and dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It consisted of a master and three regular brethren, of the order of the Holy Cross, and two secular clerks, whose office was to celebrate mass for the soul of the founder, and the souls of his royal predecessors and successors, and also to be hospitable, and give entertainment to the poor and needy passengers and pilgrims; and there was a chamber in it, wherein the king used to repose himself when he passed this way, which from thence was called Camera Regis, or the king's chamber, and they were especially to relieve poor lepers, a distemper at that time, from the continued feeding on fish, exceedingly common among the lower people, and especially among the religious; for which purpose, and to prevent infection, there were apartments provided in ano ther house, built on the other side of the lane over against the hospital. (fn. 15).
In the year 1245, Robert, abbot of St. Augustine's, Canterbury, granted to the brethren of this hospital wearing the habit, and the diseased who happened to die in it, but to none else, the right of burial, so that all emoluments on that account should be paid to the church of Faversham, and that no prejudice should arise from it in any shape to the vicar there, especially in relation to the resort to the mother church of Faversham, on the chief festivals yearly; for which privilege they were to pay yearly to the abbot there, twelve-pence free rent at Easter, and one wax taper of two pounds to the church of Faversham on the day of the Assumption. Notwithstanding the above restriction, I find that Alexander Roger, of Ospringe, by his will in 1474, directed to be buried in this church of St. Mary the Virgin of Mesyndew, and devised to the brothers of it, for the burying of his body in the nave of it 6s. 8d.
In which state this hospital continued till the reign of Edward IV. when Robert Darrel, the master of it, dying, and one of the brethren very soon afterwards, the remaining two brethren surmising that their deaths were occasioned by the plague, forsook the house, and took no order to chuse any other in their room; by which means the king became entitled to it by escheat, as was found by inquisition in the 20th year of his reign, after which he committed the custody of it to secular persons; and king Henry VIII. in his 6th year, granted the custody of it to John Underhill, clerk, to hold during his life; but John Fisher, bishop of Rochester, by his interest with the queen, and through cardinal Wolsey's means, obtained in the 7th year of that reign, a grant of it and its possessions, to the master and fellows of St. John's college, in Cambridge, and John Underhill, in consideration of his resignation of it, had forty pounds paid him, and a yearly pension of thirty pounds for life. This grant to St. John's college was afterwards confirmed by the king by other letters patent, in his 11th year, and likewise by the archbishop, the archdeacon, and the prior and convent of Canterbury, and it remains at this time, with all its possessions, part of the revenues of the above-mentioned college.
There are some remains still left of this hospital; the walls of the two chambers on the south side of Ospringe-street, which are the under part of two dwelling-houses; those of the hospital itself, on the opposite side, which now inclose an alehouse; and those of the church adjoining to it, now in ruins, are still remaining, being built of flint, with ashlar stone window and door cases. In a small window-frame of that part, on the south side of the street, were carved two shields, on one of which was a single, and the other a double cross, viz. one upright and two transverse pieces; but these are now so inclosed as hardly to be discovered.
WILLIAM DRAYTON, gent. of this parish, gave by will in 1686, the annual rent of 10s. to the Minister of Ospringe, for a sermon on Palm-Sunday, and 4l. 10s. yearly to the poor, to be distributed on that day, and to be paid out of a farm here called Nicholas, now belonging to Mr. John Toker.
JOHN GREENSTREET, gent. of Canterbury, by will in 1671, gave to the poor 40s. to be yearly paid upon Dec. 1, and to be distributed by his brother, his heirs and assigns, with the advice and assistance of the churchwardens and overseers, at Michaelmas, out of his farm, called Painters, in this parish.
ARTHUR WHATMAN, ESQ. by will in 1671, gave 50s. per annum, payable on Nov. 5, to the church wardens and overseers, out of a farm in Doddington, called Upper-Greet, to be distributed to the poor at their discretion.
MR. JOHN SMITH, cordwainer, by will in 1729, gave 50s. to be yearly paid to such poor persons as took no relief, at Michaelmas, out of a house lying in that part of the parish which was within the town and liberties of Faversham, now the sign of the Queen's Arms, to be distributed by the vicar and churchwardens every Christmas-day.
The church stands within the jurisdiction of the town of Ospringe, about half a mile southward from Ospringe-street. It is dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul. It is an antient building, consisting of three isles and a chancel. The steeple was formerly at the west end, and was built circular of flints, supposed to be Danish, with a shingled spire on it, of upwards of fifty feet high, in which were four bells; but in ringing them on Oct. 11, 1695, on king William's return from Flanders, it suddenly fell to the ground, providentially no one was hurt by it. There are no remains left of any painted glass in the windows of this church, though there was formerly much in most of them; particularly, in the window of the north isle was once the figure of a mitred bishop, on the rack, with a knife on the table by him, and of another person tied to a tree, and wounded with arrows. In another was a label to the memory of Robert Seton, and of a woman kneeling; and there was not many years ago remaining in the east window, at the end of the south isle, forming a kind of chancel, the effigies of a knight in his tabard of arms, with spurs on his heels, in a kneeling posture, looking up to a crucisix, painted just above him, of which there remained only the lower part. The knight's arms, Azure, three harts heads, caboshed, or, were thrown under him, and at a little distance some part of his crest, An hart's head, attired full, or, with a crown about his neck, azure, and underneath, Pray for the soul of Thomas Hart. This Sir Thomas Hart was possessed of an estate in this parish, which he purchased of Norwood. The Greenstreets, of Selling, lately claimed this chancel, and several of them lie buried in it. There was a chapel, dedicated to St. Thomas, in this church.
It appears by the Testa de Nevil, taken in the reign of king Henry III. that the church of Ospringe was in the king's gift, and was afterwards given by king John to John de Burgo, who then held it, and that it was worth forty marcs. After which, in the 8th year of Richard II. anno 1384, it was become appropriated to the abbot of Pontiniac, and was valued at 13l. 6s. 8d. at which time there was a vicarage here of his patronage likewise. It afterwards became part of the possessions of the hospital or Maison Dieu, in Ospringestreet, but by what means, or when, I have not found, and it continued so till the escheat of the hospital anno 20 Edward IV. after which, the parsonage appropriate of this church of Ospringe, together with the advowson of the vicarage, was by means of Fisher, bishop of Rochester, obtained of Henry VIII. in manner as has been already mentioned, for St. John's college, in Cambridge, the master and fellows of which are at this time entitled to them, the parsonage being let by them on a beneficial lease; but the advowson of the vicarage they retain in their own hands.
The lessee of this parsonage, in the reign of queen Elizabeth, was Robert Streynsham, esq. who rebuilt the house and offices belonging to it, and afterwards resided in it. He had been fellow of All Souls college, LL. B. and secretary to the earl of Pembroke. He lies buried in this church, and bore for his arms, Or, a pale dancette, gules. He left two daughters and coheirs, of whom, Audrey, the eldest, carried her interest in it in marriage to Edward Master, esq. eldest son of James Master, esq. of East Langdon, who was first of Sandwich, and afterwards built a seat for himself and his posterity at East Langdon. He was twice married, and had fourteen children; at length worn out with age, he betook himself hither to his eldest son Edward, and dying in 1631, æt. 84, was buried in this church. Edward Master, the son, resided here, and was afterwards knighted, and on his father's death in 1631 removed to that seat, in whose descendants it continued till it was at length alienated to Buller, of Cornwall, whose son sold his interest in to Markham, as he did to Mr. Robert Lyddel, merchant, of London, brother of Sir Henry Lyddel, who in 1751 assigned his interest in it to Ralph Terrey, yeoman, of Knolton, whose son Mr. Michael Terrey, of Ospringe, devised it to his only daughter and heir Olive, who married Nathaniel Marsh, esq. of Boughton Blean, and the heirs of his son Terrey Marsh, esq. late of that parish, are the present lessees of it.
The vicarage is endowed with all vicarial tithes, woad only excepted, and also with those of hay, saintfoin, clover, and coppice woods. There are about twenty-seven acres of glebe-land belonging to it. The vicarage-house is situated in the valley, at a small distance eastward from the church, and the parsonagehouse near a mile southward of that.
The office of rural dean was not unknown to our Saxon ancestors, as appears by the laws of king Edward the Confessor; they were called both Archipresbiteri and Decani Temporarii, to distinguish them from the deans of cathedrals, who were Decani Perpetui. Besides these, there were in the greater monasteries, especially those of the Benedictine order, such officers called deans, and there are deans still remaining in several of the colleges of the universities, who take care of the studies and exercises of the youth, and are a check on the morals and behaviour of such as are members under them.
The antient exercise of jurisdiction in the church seems to have been instituted in conformity to like subordinations in the state. Thus the dioceses within this realm seem to have been divided into archdeaconries and rural deanries, to make them correspond to the like division of the kingdom into counties and hundreds; hence the former, whose courts were to answer those of the county, had the county usually for their district, and took their title from thence, and the names of the latter from the hundred, or chief place of it, wherein they acted; and as in the state every hundred was at first divided into ten tithings or fribourghs, and every tithing was made up of ten families, both which kept their original names, notwithstanding the increase of villages and people; so in the church the name of deanry continued, notwithstanding the increase of persons and churches, and the districts of them were contracted and enlarged from time to time, at the discretion of the bishop, the rural dean of Ospringe having jurisdiction over the whole deanry of it, consisting of twenty-six parishes. He had a seal of office, which being temporary, it had only the name of the office, and not, as other seals of jurisdiction, the name of the person also, engraved on it. The seal belonging to this deanry had on it, the Virgin Mary crowned, with the sceptre in her left hand, and her child, with a glory round his head, in her right, and round the margin, Sigillu Decani Decanatus de Ospreng. He was in antient times called the dean of the bishop, because appointed by him, and had alone the inspection of the lives and manners of the clergy and people within the district under him, and was to report the same to the bishop; to which end, that he might have a thorough knowledge of the state and condition of his respective deanry, he had a power to convene rural chapters, which were made up of the instituted clergy, or their curates as proxies of them, and the dean as president of them, where the clergy brought information of all irregularities committed within their respective parishes. Those upon ordinary occasions were held at first every three weeks, in imitation of the courts of manors, held from three weeks to three weeks, and afterwards each month, and from thence were called Kalendæ, but their more solemn and principal chapters were assembled once a quarter, where maters of greater import were transacted, and a fuller attendance given. They were at first held in any one church within the district, where the minister of the place was to procure and provide entertainment and procurations for the dean and his immediate officers, and they were afterwards held only in the larger or more eminent parishes. The part of their office of inspecting and reporting the manners of the clergy and people, rendered them necessary attendants on the episcopal synod or general visitation, in which they were the standing representatives of the rest of the clergy within their division, and they were there to deliver information of abuses committed within their knowledge, and consult for the reformation of them; for which they were to have their expences, called from hence synodals, allowed them by those whom they represented, according to the time of their attendance. That part of their office, of being convened to provincial and episcopal synods, was transferred to two proctors, or representatives of the parochial clergy in each diocese; and that of information of scandals and offences, has devolved on the churchwardens of the respective parishes. Besides this another principal part of the duty of a rural dean was to execute all processes of the bishop, or of the officers and ministers under his authority; but by the constitution of the pope's legate, Otho, the archdeacon, in the reign of Henry III. was required to be frequently present at them, who being superior to the rural dean, did in effect take the presidency out of his hands; and these chapters were afterwards often held by the archdeacon's officials, from which may be dated the decay of rural deanries, for the rural dean was not only discouraged by this, but the archdeacon and his official, as might naturally be supposed he would, drew the business usually transacted there to his own visitation, or chapter, as it might be termed. By which intersering of the archdeacon and his officials, it happened that in the age next before the reformation, the jurisdiction of rural deans declined almost to nothing, and at the reformation nothing was done for their restoration by the legislative power, so that they became extinct in most deanries, nor did this of Ospringe survive the earliest decline of them. (fn. 16) Where they still continue, they have only the name and shadow left, and what little remains of this dignity and jurisdiction, de pends greatly on the custom of places, and the pleasure of diocesans.
In the 31st year of Edward I. Richard Christian, dean of Ospringe, being sent to execute some citations of the archbishop at Selling, was set upon by the people there, who placed him with his face to his horse's tail, which they made him hold in his hand for a bridle, in which posture they led him through the village, with songs, shouts, and dances, and afterwards having cut off the tail, ears, and lips of the beast, they threw the dean into the dirt, to his great disgrace; for which, the king directed his writ to the sheriff, to make enquiry by inquisition of a jury concerning it.
Church of Ospringe.
|Or by whom presented.|
|Master and Fellows of St. John's college, Cambridge.||Laurence Parkynson, August 4, 1582, obt. 1617.|
|John Snell, S. T. B. June 25, 1617, obt. 1623.|
|Thomas Smith, S. T. B. Jan. 13, 1623, resigned 1625.|
|William Martial, S. T. B. April 24, 1625.|
|Francis Blechenden, S. T. B. January 20, 1638, resigned 1639,|
|Thomas Mason, S. T. B. 1639, resigned 1640.|
|John Willington, S. T. B. Feb. 2, 1640, obt. 1643.|
|Peter Lane, A. M. March 7, 1643.|
|Thomas Cator, A. M. obt. 1678. (fn. 17).|
|Jonathan Barnard, A. B. April 1, 1679, obt. 1714.|
|Charles Bowtell, S. T. B. Nov. 3, 1714, obt. 1718.|
|John White, B. D. Oct. 17, 1718, obt. 1755.|
|Edward Barnard, S. T. P. April 19, 1756, resig. Jan. 1777. (fn. 18)|
|Jercmiah Jackson, A. M. May 24, 1777, the present vicar.|