The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 6. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1798.
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LIES the next parish eastward from Borden. It is usually called by the common people Dunstall, a name by which it is not unfrequently described in antient deeds and writings, and which seems very expressive of its situation, dun, or dune, in the Saxon language signifying a hill, and Stealle, a place. Indeed this seems to have been its original name, and the former, by which it is described in Domesday, a mistake of the Norman scribes, who frequently, and perhaps for the purpose, mistook the pronunciation of their Saxon informers.
THE PARISH adjoins to Sittingborne northward, whence towards the south it rises to high ground, among the hills, and to a chalky barren country covered with flints, the southern and eastern boundaries extending among the woods, those in the latter being still called from the former owners, Cromer woods. It is in compass about five miles, and contains near nine hundred acres of land, of which about one hundred and forty are wood. The village, with the church. and parsonage, a small modern house, stands nearly in the centre of the parish, and near them Tunstall-house, which though not large, yet has the look of some respectability. At no great distance from the church stood the unfinished mansion of the Cromer's, erected in the beginning of king James the Ist.'s reign, as mentioned before, the materials of it were not long afterwards purchased by Sir Robert Viner, and used in the building of his house in Lombard-street, now the General Post-office, and nothing was left remaining but the foundations and vaulted cellars, which were afterwards known by the name of the Ruins, and were for many years afterwards the rendezvous of thieves and beggars, who at last became so great a nuisance to the neighbourhood, that these vaults were blown up with gunpowder, and otherwise destroyed, to prevent future resort to them. At the east end of Tunstall-green stands the house built for Sir John Hales's son during his minority, in the latter end of king Charles the Ist.'s reign. He afterwards resided in it, but after the family removed to St. Stephen's, it was left uninhabited for many years, and in the late Sir John Hales's time fell almost to ruins. It has since been repaired, and being but a mean building, is let accordingly. About half a mile southward from hence is Grove-end, the antient habitation of the Cromer's, now only a farm-house, but where the manor-court of Tunstall is still kept; and near a mile south-eastward Mr. Chambers's seat at Pistock, a neat modern built house, situated in a romantic country, almost surrounded by the woods. In the lower part of the parish near Sittingborne, is Gore-court, the house of which has been rebuilt in a costly manner by Mr. Harpur, and not far from it westward Upton manor. Almost the whole of the parish, but especially the lower part of it, must be called unhealthy, both as to air and water, and yet the number of inhabitants in the space of the last two hundred years have been nearly doubled, for in 1557 the number of households here were no more than sixteen, and the parishioners sixty; since which it appears they have so greatly increased, that in 1757 there were households twenty, and parishioners one hundred and seventy.
In 1738 several hundred broad pieces of gold were dug up in a small wood near the ruins mentioned before. They were casually discovered by a boy, but the person who gained possession of them not being able to keep the secret, he was afterwards obliged to refund six hundred and twenty four of these pieces to the crown, though Sir John Hales claimed the whole, not only as lord of the manor, but from their having been hid there by his ancestor during the civil wars, the fact of which was remembered by a person then living, together with a large quantity of jewels, which latter has been sought for, but without any success.
In the time of king Edward the Confessor, Tunstall was in the possession of Osward, a Saxon, who probably continued owner of it till the great change of property made in this kingdom by the Conqueror, who gave it, with other great estates in this county, to his half-brother, the bishop of Baieux, under the general title of whose lands it is thus entered in the survey of Domesday, taken about the 15th year of that reign:
In the half lath of Middeltone, in Mildetone hundred, Hugo de Port holds of the bishop (of Baieux) Tunestelle. It was taxed at three sulings and an half. The arable land is four carucates. In demesne there are two, and nine villeins, with one carucate, and nine servants. Wood for the pannage of ten hogs, and a salt-pit of twelvepence. In the time of king Edward the Confessor, and afterwards, it was worth seven pounds, now eight pounds. Osuuard held it of king Edward.
Four years after which, on the bishop's disgrace, the king seized on all his possessions; upon which Hugo de Port, who before held the manor of Tunstall of the bishop, became immediate tenant to the king for it, as his supreme lord.
Of this family, as lords paramount, it was held in the reign of king Henry II. by Manasser Arsic, who, in the 12th year of it, held one knight's fee, of the old feoffment, of John, grandson of Hugh de Port before-mentioned. His grandson John Arsic, married Margaret, daughter of Richard de Vernun, and died s. p. about the 7th year of king John's reign, leaving Robert de Arsic, his brother, his heir, who alienated this manor to Hubert de Burgh, earl of Kent, and chief justice of England, a man as eminent as he was unfortunate, who tasted the vicissitudes of fortune oftener than any other person perhaps within the compass of our English annals. During his continuance in the king's favor, in the 12th year of Henry III.'s reign, he obtained that king's confirmation of this manor, among others which he had purchased, to himself and Margaret his wife, the king of Scotland's sister. After which, having, for upwards of sixteen years, gone through a variety of sufferings, and being wholly worn out with troubles, he was permitted at last to enjoy those possessions in peace, which the king had left him. But he survived this calm only a few years, and died at Bansted, in Surry, in the 27th year of that reign, anno 1240; and was buried in the church of the Friars Preachers, commonly called the Black Friars, in Holborne, to which convent he had been a munificent benefactor. (fn. 1)
He left two sons, John and Hubert, and two daughters, one of whom Margaret married Richard de Clare, earl of Gloucester. After his death, Margaret his widow possessed this manor in dower. She died in the 44th year of king Henry III. when, as appears by inquisition, her eldest son John de Burgo became entitled to it, who afterwards obtained a charter of free-warren for this manor, among others.
He did not enjoy the title of earl of Kent, which seems to have disgusted him so much, that he attached himself to the confederated barons; for which he was pardoned by the general pacification at Kenelworth. When he died, I find no mention made, but that he left John his son and heir, who became possessed of this manor, and died in the 8th year of king Edward I. anno 1279, leaving three daughters his coheirs, of whom Margerie married to Stephen de Penchester, entitled her husband to it, whose second wife she was. (fn. 2)
He was then warden of the cinque ports, and constable of Dover castle, and the same year that he came into the possession of the manor of Tunstall, he claimed, and was allowed, all the usual privileges of a manor for it. He resided both at Allington and Penshurst, and dying soon after the 31st year of that reign, left his wife Margerie surviving, who died in the 2d year of king Edward II. having been remarried to Robert de Orreby, by whom she had a son, John de Orreby, clerk. By the inquistion taken after her death, at Dunstall that year, she was found to hold this manor for her life of John de St. John, by knight's service, and that Joane, the wife of Henry de Cobeham, of Rundale, and Alice, of John de Columbers, were her daughters and coheirs, by Sir Stephen de Penchester, her husband.
Alice de Columbers died about the 7th year of king Edward III.'s reign, possessed of one moiety of this manor, and leaving two sons, Sir Philip de Columbers, and Stephen de Columbers, clerk; but she seems, sometime before her death, to have passed away her moiety to Sir Henry de Cobeham, possessor of the other moiety, who then became possessed of the entire fee of it. He died in the beginning of the reign of king Edward II. leaving one son Stephen de Cobham, of Rundale, who was knighted anno 34 Edward I. (fn. 3) In the 7th year of king Edward III. Stephen de Cobeham, of Dunstalle, claimed in his manor of Tunstalle, tumbrell, assize of bread and ale, and free-warren in all his demesne lands within it, as appears by the pleas of the crown of that year.
His son John seems to have alienated it to Sir Walter Manny, who in the 20th year of Edward III. paid aid for it, as one knight's fee. Sir Walter Manny was an alien born, and was lord of the town of that name in the diocese of Cambray, and rose to great honor and preferments by his military atchievements. He bore for his arms, Or, three chevronels, sable, as they were painted in one of the windows of this church. He died in the 46th year of that reign, and was buried in the monastery of the Carthusians, of which he had laid the foundation that year. His death was much lamented by the king and the nation in general, so that his obsequies were performed with great solemnity, king Edward and all his children, with the great prelates and barons of the realm, being present at them.
He left by Margaret Marshal, countess of Norfolk and lady of Segrave, as she then stiled herself, who survived him, an only daughter Anne, the wife of John de Hastings, earl of Pembroke, son of Lawrence, earl of Pembroke, who became possessed of this manor in his wife's right, and having before gained great reputation for his valour in France, was afterwards made lieutenant of Aquitaine; but being unfortunately taken prisoner by the Spaniards, at the siege of Rochel, he was kept a prisoner in Spain for some years, where he is supposed to have been poisoned, for on his release he fell sick in his way home, before he could reach Calais, and dying anno 49 Edward III. and being brought over was buried in the choir of the Friars Preachers, at Hereford. He was the first subject who bore for his arms two coats quarterly, viz. first, Hastings, and secondly, Valence. His son bore four coats quarterly, viz. first, Brotherton; second, Hastings; third, Valence; fourth, as the first. (fn. 4)
He was succeeded in this manor by John his only son, who was afterwards killed at a tournament at Woodstock, anno 13 Richard II. in the 17th year of his age, being a youth of a noble and most liberal disposition, which made his death to be much lamented. He had, some years before, though so very young, married Philippa, daughter of Edmund Mortimer, earl of March, by whom he left no issue, upon which Reginald, lord Grey of Ruthin, was found by inquisition to be his cousin and next heir of the whole blood, and as such, at the coronation of king Henry IV. he carried the great golden spurs; after which, being taken prisoner in Wales, by Owen Glendowrwy, he was forced to obtain the king's licence for the sale of several of his manors and lands, to pay his ransom, which being settled for that purpose in feoffees, they soon afterwards conveyed this manor to John Drue, rector of Harpley, and John Seymour, citizen of London, and they seem soon afterwards to have conveyed it by sale to Sir William Cromer, or Crowmer, for his name was frequently spelt both ways, citizen and draper of London, and lord mayor in the years 1413 and 1423, who bore for his arms, Argent, a chevron engrailed, between three crows, sable.
He was son of John Cromer, of Aldenham, in Hert fordshire, in which county there was a manor of this name; but whether these Cromers had any connection with it, I find no mention. He married Margaret, one of the daughters and coheirs of Thomas Squerie, of Squeries-court, in Westerham, and dying in 1433, was buried on the south side of the church of St. Martin, in London, in a chapel he had built there. (fn. 5) His widow afterwards married Robert, lord Poyning.
He was succeeded in this manor by his son and heir William Cromer, esq. of Tunstall, sheriff in the 23d year of that reign; but five years afterwards he was put to death by the rebel Jack Cade, and his followers, being beheaded as well for his opposition to them, as on account of his marriage with Elizabeth, the daughter of the lord Say and Seal, whom they massacred likewise in Cheapside, and their heads were fixed by them on London bridge. Elizabeth his wife surviving him, afterwards married Alexander Iden, esq. of Westwell, sheriff in the 35th year of that reign, who slew the rebel Cade, the murderer of her former husband. In whose descendants, resident at Tunstall, this manor continued down to William Cromer, esq. of Tunstall, who being afterwards, in the 1st year of queen Mary, concerned with Sir T. Wyatt's rebellion, he was that year attainted, and this manor, among the rest of his estates, became forfeited to the crown, where it remained till he was restored in blood, as well as in his possessions, by act of parliament anno 5 queen Elizabeth. After which he served the office of sheriff in the 9th and 27th years of that reign, and was a justice of the peace, and knighted.
Sir William Cromer died in 1598, and was buried among his ancestors in this church. By his second wife Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John Guldeford, he left one son, Sir James Cromer, of Tunstall, sheriff in the 2d year of king James I. He neglected the antient seat of the Cromers, at Grove-end, in this parish, and began building another, about a mile eastward from it; but undertaking it but just before his death, it was never finished, and even of what was, there has been nothing remaining for many years. He died in 1613, and was buried on the south side of the chancel of this church, where there is a costly monument erected to his and his second wife's memory, with their figures, and those of his four daughters. He was twice married; first to Frances, daughter and heir of John Somers, esq. by whom he had one only daughter Frances, afterwards married to Sir Mathew Carew, jun. secondly to the daughter of Sir Mathew Carew, senior, by whom he had three daughters.
Upon the partition of the estates of Sir James Cromer among his two surviving daughters and coheirs, (of whom Elizabeth the eldest, married Sir John Stede, of Stede-hill) the manor of Tunstall was, among others, allotted to Christian, the youngest daughter, who carried it in marriage to John Hales, esq. the eldest son of Sir Edward Hales, knight and baronet, of Tenterden. The family of Hales was originally seated at Hales-place, in Halden, whence they were usually called at-Hale. Nicholas at-Hale, or Hales, lived there at the latter end of the reign of Edward III. and left two sons, Sir Robert Hales, prior of the hospital of St. John of Jerusalem, and lord treasurer; and Sir Nicholas de Hales, who succeeded to his father's estates in this county. His son Thomas de Hales, of Halesplace, left three sons, the eldest of whom, John, was ancestor of the Hales's, of this county, and from the second son, descended those of Coventry, in Warwickshire, and those of Shitterfield, and Newland, likewise in that county, which two latter are both extinct, and from the third son those of Essex. John Hales abovementioned, the eldest son, was of Hales-place, whose son Henry married Julian, daughter and heir of Richard Capel, of Tenterden, by whom he had two sons, John and Thomas, the latter of whom was A. M. and father of Sir Christopher Hales, attorney-general, and master of the rolls, in the reign of king Henry VIII. who left three daughters and coheirs. John Hales, the eldest son, was one of the barons of the exchequer, and was seated at the manor of the Dungeon, in Canterbury, and married Isabella, daughter and coheir of Stephen Harvy, by whom he had four sons, of whom Sir James Hales, the eldest, succeeded him at the Dungeon; which branch ended in a female, who died s. p. in the reign of king Charles II. Thomas, the second son, was of Thanington, whose descendant Robert was created a baronet in 1660, and was ancestor of the present Sir Philip Hales, bart. Edward, the third son, was of Tenterden; and William, the fourth son, was of Reculver and Nackington, and ended in a daughter and heir Margaret, married to Roger Manwood.
Edward Hales, the third son, of Tenterden, left two sons; John, the eldest, was of Tenterden, esq. and married Mary, daughter and coheir of Robert Horne, bishop of Winchester, but died s. p. Edward was of Tenterden, and his brother's heir; and William the third son, was of Chilham, which Edward Hales, esq. of Tenterden, the second son, was the father of Sir Edward Hales, created a baronet in 1611. He was twice married; first to Deborah, only daughter and heir of Martin Herlackenden, esq. of Woodchurch, by whom he had four sons, of whom John the eldest, married Christian, one of the daughters and coheirs of Sir James Cromer, as before-mentioned, and in her right became possessed of the manor of Tunstall, and other large estates, and Samuel the youngest, married Martha, daughter of Stephen Heronden, remarried to William Kenewick, and left an only son Edward Hales, esq. of Chilston.
Sir Edward Hales, bart. removed his seat from Tenterden to Woodchurch, in which parish he possessed the antient seat of the Herlackendens, in right of his wife, after whose death he married Martha, daughter of Sir Mathew Carew the elder, and relict of Sir James Cromer, by whom he had no issue, and dying in 1654, was buried in this church, where there is a handsome monument erected to his memory, with his effigies in white marble lying at length on it. (fn. 6)
John Hales, esq. the eldest son of Sir Edward as before-mentioned, was afterwards knighted, but died in his father's life-time in 1639, and was buried in Tunstall church, leaving a son Edward, then about thirteen years of age, for whom, during his nonage, there was afterwards built a house in this parish, at the east end of Tunstall-green, in which he afterwards resided. He succeeded his grandfather in title and estate in 1654, but being most zealously attached to the royal cause, he risqued his fortune as well as his person, in the support of it; by which means he ruined the former, and was obliged on that account to abandon his native country, to which he never afterwards returned, but died in France soon after the restoration of king Charles II. He married Anne, the yougest of the four daughters and coheirs of Thomas, lord Wotton, who died in 1654, by whom he had four sons, the eldest, Sir Edward Hales, bart. in the reign of Charles II. purchased the mansion and estate of St. Stephens, near Canterbury, where his descendants have ever since resided.
He was a person much in favor afterwards with king James II. who made him of his privy council, and lieutenant-governor of the Tower when king James left Whitehall in 1688, in hopes of escaping into France, he took with him only three persons, one of whom was Sir Edward Hales; but the vessel, in which they were, being discovered, the king was conducted on shore, with his three attendants, and Sir Edward Hales being well known, was made prisoner, and afterwards conveyed to the Tower. On his release from whence he went immediately to France, and was received with great marks of favor by king James, who created him earl of Tenterden and viscount Tonstall. He died there in 1695, and was buried in the church of St. Sulpice, in Paris, having married Frances, daughter of Sir Francis Windibank, of Oxfordshire, who died before him, by whom he had five sons and seven daughters. Of the sons, Edward, the eldest, was killed at the battle of the Boyne, in Ireland, and was buried here, and John became his heir, the others died s. p.
Sir John Hales, bart. his eldest surviving son, resided at his seat at St. Stepens, near Canterbury, where he died after several years recluse retirement in it, in 1743, having been twice married; first to Helen, daughter of Sir Richard Bealing; secondly to another Helen, daughter of Dudley Bagnall, esq. who died at Luckly, in Berkshire, in 1737.
He left by his first wife, two sons and one daughter Frances, married to George Henry, earl of Litchfield. Of the sons, Edward, the eldest, died at Canterbury, during his life-time, in 1729, and was buried at Tunstall, having married the relict of captain Bulstrode, who survived him, by whom he left a son Edward, who succeeded his grandfather in title and estate; and John, who died s. p. By his second wife he left three sons, James, Alexander, and Philip, who all died s. p,
Sir Edward Hales, bart. succeeded his grandfather in title and estate, and is the present possessor of the manor of Tunstall. He married first Mabella, daughter and heir of Sir John Webb, bart. who died in 1770, by whom he had one son Edward Hales, esq. who married a daughter of Henry Darell, esq. of Calehill, and three daughters, Anne, Elizabeth, and Barbara; and secondly, Mrs. Palmer, of Westminster, widow, by whom he has no issue. He bears for his arms, Gules, three arrows in pale, or, feathered and bearded, argent.
UFTON is a reputed manor, the house of which stands at the northern extremity of this parish, next to Sittingborne. It was antiently the property of the family of Shurland. Sir Robert de Shurland, of Shurland, in Shepey, possessed it in the reign of Edward I. having attended that prince into Scotland, to the siege of Carlaverock, where he was knighted, and in the 29th year of it, he obtained a charter of free warren for his manor of Ufton.
He left an only daughter and heir Margaret, who carried it in marriage to William de Cheney, afterwards of Shurland, who died possessed of it in the 8th year of king Edward III. His descendant Richard Cheney, of Shurland, left issue two sons, William, who was of Shurland, and ancestor of the lords Cheney; (fn. 7) and Simon, who seems to have inherited the manor of Ufton. He married Eleonora, daughter and heir of John Nottingham, of Higham, in Milsted, at which place his descendants resided. The Cheneys bore for their arms, Ermine, on a bend, azure, three martlets, or, and quartered the arms of Shurland, Cralle, and Nottingham. They continued owners of this manor, (during which time William Maries resided here in the reign of king Henry VI. as their tenant; in the 21st year of which reign he was sheriff, and kept his shrievalty here) till John Cheney, esq. of Sittingborne, in the beginning of king Henry VIII.'s reign, gave it in marriage with his daughter Frances to John Astley, esq. of Norfolk, the only son of Thomas Astley, esq. of Hill Morton and Melton Constable, in Norfolk, by his first wife Anne; by whose second wife was de scended Sir John Astley, of Maidstone. (fn. 8) He left by his first wife, Isaac his heir, and several other children, but he gave this manor in marriage with his eldest daughter Bridget, to Walter Herlackenden, descended from those of Woodchurch, and bearing the same arms. He afterwards resided here, and in his descendants resident at Uston, all of whom lie buried in this church, this manor continued down to Silvester Herlackenden, who, about the year 1700, conveyed it by sale to Robert West, gent. who left two daughters his coheirs; of whom, Mary was married to John Hyde, esq. and Elizabeth to Samuel Hyde, esq. and the latter and his wife dying s. p. the whole of this manor became vested in the former, John Hyde, esq. of Blackheath, who had two sons, West and John; the eldest of whom, West Hyde, esq. is now possessed of it.
GORE-COURT is an antient seat in this parish, about half a mile distant eastward from Uston, which gave name to the family who possessed it, called in old writings at-Gore. Henry at-Gore held Gore-court at his death in the 31st year of king Edward III. His descendants continued possessed of it for several generations, till at last James Gore sold it to Thomas Roydon, of East Peckham, whose son sold it to Mr. Christopher Wood, descended from those of Muston manor, in Hollingborne. His son Mathew Wood possessed it on his decease, as did his son Henry, whose son Christopher Wood, of Gore-court, in 1674, alienated it to Charles Seager, of Tunstall, who dying in 1679, left three sons, Charles, Henry, and William, and a daughter Jane, who married Mr. John Nethersole, of Barham, and they shared this estate among them. Of the sons, Henry died unmarried, and William parted with his interest in it to his elder brother Charles Seager, of Borden, who-joining with his sister Jane Nethersole, widow, conveyed the manor of Gore, in 1723, to Edward Mores, clerk, rector of this parish, descended of a good family, of Great Coxwell, in Berkshire. He bore for his arms four coats, Quarterly, first and fourth, Mores, argent, on a fess couped, gules, between three heathcocks, gules, a garb, or; second and third, Rowe, gules, a quaterfoil, or. (fn. 9) He died possessed of it in 1740, and was succeeded in it by his only son Edward Rowe Mores, who was of Low Layton, in Essex, M. A. and F. R. S. and published several tracts of antiquity and other subjects, and left several in MSS. unpublished, among which was, the history of this parish, since published by Mr. Nicholls. He died in 1778. Before his death he alienated this estate to Mr. Charles Stanley, who afterwards resided here. He died in 1791, and his heirs sold it to Gabriel Harper, esq. who rebuilt this seat at a great expence, and served his shrievalty here in 1795, he continues the proprietor of it, and now resides at it.
PITSTOCK, usually called Pistock, is a small manor, situated in the south east part of this parish, adjoining to Rodmersham, which name has been for some years changed to that of Woodstock, by the present owner of it, as being of a more genteel found.
In the reign of king Edward IV. this manor was in the possession of William Robesart, of Minister, in Shepey, who by his will, proved anno 15 Henry VII. devised it to Cicelie his wife, for her life, and afterwards to the Benedictine nunnery of Minster, in Shepey, for the use of a solemn obit, and other like services, and it continued part of the possessions of it till the general dissolution of religious houses in the reign of king Henry VIII. in the 27th year of which this nunnery was suppressed, in consequence of an act passed that year for the suppression of all such houses, whose clear yearly revenue did not amount to two hundred pounds. This manor becoming thus vested in the crown, the king granted it two years afterwards to Sir Thomas Cheney, treasurer of his houshold, to hold in capite by knight's service. His son and heir Henry Cheney, esq. of Todington, in the 13th year of queen Elizabeth, alienated the manor of Pistocke, and those woods, parcel of it, called Mynchyng-wood, to Richard Thornhill, citizen and grocer of London, whose son and heir Samuel Thornhill, upon his death gave it to his second son Sir John Thornhill, of Bromley, and his son and heir Charles Thornhill, esq. in the reign of Charles II. sold it to Mr. James Tong, whose ancestors had been resident here, and were possessed of lands in this parish for some generations before, for his ancestor William Tonge, resided at Pistocke in the beginning of queen Elizabeth's reign, as tenant of it. In the visitation of this county, anno 1619, is the pedigree of Tonge, of Tunstall; their arms, Azure, a bend cotized, or, between six martlets of the second. In which name it continued till at length it was sold to Hayter, and Mr. William Hayter, gent. resided here, who passed it away by sale to Abraham Chambers, esq. of Bicknor, who built a new seat on this manor, at a small distance north-westward from the old house, in which he afterwards resided, till he removed to Totteridge, in Hertfordshire. He died in 1782, leaving four sons, Samuel, Abraham-Henry, James, and William, and one daughter, Anne-Maria-Emely, who married Mr. Foley; since which, on the sale and division of his estates by them, this manor is become the sole property of the eldest son Samuel Chambers, esq. who now resides in it.
TUNSTALL-HOUSE is a seat in this parish, situated at a small distance southward from the church, which was for several generations the property and residence of the family of Grove. It was most probably built by Mr. John Grove, gent. steward to Sir Edward Hales, bart. who resided in it, and died in 1678, as did his grandson John Grove, in 1755, and were both buried in this church, bearing for their arms, Ermine, on a chevron, gules, three escallops, argent. The latter left by Catherine his wife, daughter of Mr. Pearce, of Charing, two sons, Pearce and Richard, and a daughter Anne, married to John Putland, gent. of Stafford, one of the cursitors in chancery. His two sons beforementioned, Pearce Grove and Richard Grove, esqrs. became entitled to this seat, among the rest of their father's estates, as heirs in gavelkind, and some years ago joined in the sale of it to the Rev. Thomas Bland, vicar of Sittingborne, who afterwards resided here, and died possessed of it in 1776. He left by Mary his wife, daughter of Richard Tylden, esq. of Milsted, three sons, Richard, afterwards in holy orders, who married Frances-Clara Kempe; Thomas, and Wm. who married Elizabeth, since deceased, daughter of the Rev. Brian Faussett, of Heppington, and two daughters, Harriet, married to the Rev. Henry Rowe, of Essex, and Elizabeth. His widow survived him, and died possessed of it in 1780, on which it came to their eldest son the Rev. Richard Bland, who died in 1794, but it is now made use of for a ladies boarding-school.
The church, which is dedicated to St. John Baptist, consists of three isles and a chancel, to which has been added a small chapel on the north side of it. It has a tower steeple at the west end, in which there is a peal of five bells. In the windows are several coats of arms of Cromer quartering Squerie, and impaling several matches, but most of them are much broken and defaced. In this church was the burial place of the Cromer's, as it still is of the family of Hales, and there is in it a monument and effigies for Sir James Cromer, and another costly one for Sir Edward Hales, the first baronet, anno 1654; an altar tomb of white alabaster, but without inscription, most probably for one of the Cromers; a monument with effigies for Robert Cheek, D. D. 1647, and a cenotaph with a bust, for Edward Mores, 1740, both rectors; and a monument for John Grove, esq. 1755; and there are, among others, memorials for several of the Cromers, for Margaret Rycil, 1496, and a brass plate for Sir John Guildford, 1595; and another, with his effigies in brass, for Radulf Wulf, rector, 1525.
The rectory of it was formerly an appendage to the manor, and continued so till Hubert, earl of Kent, gave it, in the reign of king Henry III. to Richard, archbishop of Canterbury, which was confirmed by king Henry III. in his 13th year. Since which it has remained, as it does at this time, part of the possessions of the archbishop of Canterbury.
Church of Tunstall.
|Or by whom presented.|
|Christopher Webbe, B. D. obt. Jan. 7, 1610. (fn. 10)|
|Robert Cheke, S. T. P. January 18, 1610, obt. July 5, 1647. (fn. 11)|
|Robert Dixon, A. M. resigned 1676. (fn. 12)|
|Robert Dixon, A. M. Dec. 13, 1676, obt. March 1711. (fn. 13)|
|Edward Mores, collated May 7, inducted 14, 1711, obt. April 8, 1740. (fn. 14)|
|Robert Tyler, A. M. collated May 12, inducted 31, 1740, obt. June 12, 1766. (fn. 15)|
|Thomas Pennington, S. T. P. collated July 14, 1766, the present rector. (fn. 16)|