The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 7. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1798.
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It lies partly below and partly above the upper range of chalk hills, where there is much woodland. It is a healthy, though not a very pleasant situation, from the nature of the soils in it, all which are but poor; about the town or village, and to the summit of the hill it is chalky; above the hill a red cludgy earth covered with slints, and below the town mostly a sand. At the western boundary, next to Lenham, is Charing heath; it is watered by several small streamlets, which rising near the foot of the hills, direct their course southward into the Stour, which runs towards Ashford just below the boundary of it. The village, or town of Charing, as it is more usually called, stands at the foot of the hill, called from it Charing-hill, over which the high road leads through it from Faversham, through Smarden and Biddenden, and thence to Cranbrooke and Tenterden in the Weald. The high road likewise from Ashford, since the new turnpike has been completed, is made by new cuts to pass through this town and Lenham, instead of its former more southern circuit by Chilson park and Sandway towards Maidstone, shortening its distance considerably. Notwithstanding these roads, there is no great matter of traffic through it, the town is unpaved, and has a clean countryfied look, there is a good house in it, formerly belonging to the Poole's, whose arms were, Azure, a lion rampant, argent, semee, of fleur de lis, or. Afterwards to Dr. Ludwell, who bore for his arms, Gules, on a bend, argent, three eagles, azure, between two castles of the second; and then to the Carter's, one of whom sold it to George Norwood, esq. who resides in it. Not far from it is an antient mansion, which has been modernized formerly, called Peirce-house, now belonging to Mr. James Wakeley, who resides in it; at a small distance from the street eastward is the ruinated palace, the church and the vicarage, a pleasant habitable dwelling.
There are large ruins of the archiepiscopal palace still remaining; the antient great gateway to it is now standing, and much of the sides of the court within it, on the east side of which seems to have been the dining-room, the walls of which remain, and it is converted into a barn. On the opposite side to this are many of the offices, now made into stables. Fronting the great gateway above-mentioned, seems to have been the entrance into the palace itself, part of which, on the east side, is fitted up as a dwelling-house, at the back of which, northward, are the remains of the chapel, the walls of which are standing entire, being built of squared stone, mixed with slints; on the side wall of it are three windows, with pointed arches, and at the east end a much larger one, of the same form. Sir Nicholas Gilborne, hereafter mentioned, as having resided here in king James I.'s reign, was son of William Gilborne, esq. of London, who lies buried in St. Catherine's Creechurch, London, descended from the Gilbornes, of Ereswike, in Yorkshire, and bore for their arms, Azure, on a chevron, or, three roses gules, within a bordure of the second. (fn. 1) Sir Nicholas had two sons and several daughters; one of whom, Anne, married Charles Wheler, esq. of Tottenham, grandfather of Sir George Wheler, D. D. and prebendary of Durham, the purchaser afterwards of this manor and palace, as will be further mentioned.
Several of our antiquaries have supposed the Roman station, mentioned in the 2d iter of Antonine by the name of Durolevum, corruptly for Durolenum, to have been in this neighbourhood; and Dr. Plot mentions his discovery of a Roman way, which seemed to have passed the Medway at Teston, and crossing Cocksheath, pointed towards Lenham hither. Most of those who have contended for this station having been hereabouts, have fixed it at Lenham. Only two of them, Mr. Talbot and Dr. Stukeley, after much hesitation, where to place it, were for its having been here at Charing; the latter founded his opinion on the Roman antiquities, which he says, have been found all about here, which Horsley accounts for, from a supposition of this having been only a notilia way, and indeed there is but little, if any, foundation for any supposition that the station above-mentioned was here at Charing; that it was a notitia way, there is great reason to suppose, as has been already mentioned before, in the description of Lenham, to which may be added, that there is in this parish, about a mile S. S. W. from the town a hamlet called Stone-street, a name, which is a certain indication of its note in former times.
There was a family who took their name from this parish, one of whom, Adam de Cherringes, was excommunicated by archbishop Becket, and, as it should seem, to blot out the heinousness of this offence, afterwards, in the time of archbishop Baldwin, the next successor but one to Becket, founded an hospital for leprous persons, at Romney, in honour of St. Stephen and St. Thomas Becket.
The vulgar tradition, that Charing cross, in Westminster, was so called from a cross, which once stood on the summit of the hill here, which being taken from hence, was carried and set up there, is entirely without foundation; for the cross, which stood where the figure of king Charles on horseback now is at Charing-cross, in the centre of the three highways, as was then usual, was made and erected there in the year 1292, anno 21 Edward I. in that village which long before had been called Cheringes, and Charing, but which afterwards was universally called, from thence, Charing-cross. (fn. 2)
CHARING was part of the most antient possessions of the church of Canterbury, and was taken from it by Ossa, king of Mercia, who began his reign in 757, and given by him to some of his countries; but king Cenewls, his almost immediate successor, at the request of archbiship Atherland, restored in again in the year 799, with the consent of his bishops and nobles, free from all secular service and regaltribute. In which state it remained till archbishop Lanfranc succeeded to the see of Canterbury in 1070, when, on the division of the revenues of his church between himself and his convent of Christ-church, this manor was allotted to the archbishop and his successors; accordingly it is thus entered in the record of Domesday:
In Cale Helle hundred, the archbishop himself holds in demesne Cheringes. It was taxed at eight sulings. The arable land is forty carucates. In demesne there is one suling, and there is four carucates and an half. There are twenty six villeins, with twenty seven borderers having twenty-seven carucates. There are twelve servants, with one mill of the value of forty pence. There are twenty-five acres of meadow. Wood for the pannage of twenty-six hogs. In its whole value, in the time of king Edward the Confessor, it was worth twenty-four pounds, when he received it as much; it is now valued at thirtyfour pounds, and yet it yields sixty pounds.
On the scite of this manor, close on the north-west side of the church-yard, the archbishops had a palace, most probably long before the conquest, for it was then stiled proprium manerium Archiepiscopi, from its having been kept by them, long before that period, in their own hands, and it continued a palace, at which they occasionally resided, as long as they remained possessors of this manor. Archbishop Stratford, in the 22d year of king Henry VI. procured a grant of two fairs in this parish, on the eve, day, and morrow of St. George and St. Luke; and that great and eminent prelate archbishop Moreton, who came to the see in the beginning of king Henry VII.'s reign, in great part re-edisied this palace, as he did most of those belonging to it; and so ample was the building of it, that both king Henry VII. and VIII. in their royal progress, with all their attendants, were at different times lodged under the roof of it. King Henry VII. was here on March 24, 1507, and king Henry VIII. in his way to the interview with the French king, Francis I. between Guisnes and Ardres, in 1520. The king removed from his palace at Greenwich, on May 21, that year, on his way towards the sea; the first day he went to Otford, then to Leeds-castle, then to Charing, and from thence on the 25th to Canterbury; all which were at that time archiepiscopal palaces, and sufficiently point out the grandeur and magnificence attached to the see of Canterbury. But the costliness of these palaces proved in the end their ruin; for archbishop Cranmer, in the reign of Henry VIII. perceiving the envy of the courtiers drawn on him from his possessing them, was obliged to give up most of them to the king; accordingly, in the 37th year of that reign, he conveyed to the king, this manor and palace, with the rectory and advowson of the vicarage, and all his estates in this parish. (fn. 3) After which the manor and palace remained in the crown, and the latter seems to have been kept up in a goodly state; for I find Sir Nicholas Gilborne kept his shrievalty in it, in the 9th year of James I. At length king Charles I. in his 5th year, granted them in fee to William White and others, to hold in free socage, in trust for Sir Allen Apslie, who that year, by deed inrolled in chancery, passed them away to Stephen Alcocke, and he, in the 11th year of that reign, by like deed, conveyed them to Sir Robert Honywood, of Pett, whose grandson, of the same name, being in the service of the Dutch, and not returning home on proclamation, forfeited this manor and estate to the crown. After which king Charles II. in his 26th year, granted them in trust to Walter Vane and Sir Philip Honywood, Sir Robert's brother, for the benefit of his wife and children. After which, Walter Honywood, their only surviving child, in 1686, being then of St. Stephen's, devised them by will to trustees, who in 1692, together with Robert Honywood, cousin and heir of Walter before-mentioned, conveyed this manor, with the palace and the demesnes of it, to Sir George Wheler, afterwards D. D. and prebendary of Durham, who died possessed of them in 1724, in whose descendants it has continued down to Granville Hastings Wheler, now an instant, who is at this time entitled to the inheritance of this royal manor of Charing, with the ruins of the antient archiepscopal palace, and the lands and appurtenances belonging to it. (fn. 4)
The custumals of this manor may be seen mentioned in Somner's Gavelkind, and the custom of pannage and danger, or les-silver, from the dennes in the Weald, belonging to it in Somner's Roman Ports. In an account-roll of this manor, anno 1230, this last custom is there explained, that the tenants of the wealdish dennes might plough and sow in the time of pannage, without damage to the archbishop. By this and other accounts it appears, that such tenants could not plough and sow their land in pannage time, without the lord's leave, whence it was otherwise termed lissilver, for fear of endangering the lord in his pannage; or if they did, they were liable to recompence it. And the dennes, it seems, being set out for the agistment and feeding of hogs and other droves of cattle, were thence called drove dennes, and it appears by a manuscript in the Lambeth library, that there was copyhold land in Charing, held of the archbishop, as of his manor here; and there was a grant made of some of the same by the archbishop, in 1478, ad voluntatem Domini secundam consuetudinem manerii.
RAYWOOD is a pretty large district of land in this parish, extending from the lower end of Charingstreet to Westwell-leacon and Calehill-heath, and is mostly within, if not part of the demesnes of Charing manor. It has been long since in a great measure cleared of the wood which once covered it, and has been converted into farms. It formerly belonged to the hospital of Thanington, most of it is now the property of the Rev. Mr. Sayer and Mr. Darell.
THE MANORS OF PETT'S, and NEWCOURT, are situated in the eastern part of this parish, close at the foot of the range of chalk hills, both of them, had in very early times, that is, about the reigns of king Henry III. and Edward I. owners of their own respective names, as appeared by the private evidences belonging to them; but in the reigns, of Edward II. William ate Newcourt was in the possession of both of them. At length when this family was become extinct here, the Hatch's, written, likewise At-Hatch, became, by purchase, possessed of both Pett's and Newcourt, from whom they passed by sale, about the latter end of king, Henry VII.'s reign, to William Warham, and he, in Henry VIII.'s reign, alienated them again to Robert Atwater, whose youngest daughter and coheir Mary carried them, with other estates at Lenham and elsewhere in this neighbourhood, to Robert Honywood, esq. of Henewood, in Postling, who afterwards resided at Pett's, of which, with Newcourt, he died possessed in 1576. He left issue several children, of whom Robert, the eldest son, succeeded to these manors, and resided at times both here and at Markshall, in Essex, which he had purchased. By his first wife Dorothy, daughter of John Crooke, LL.D. he had a son Robert; and by his second, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Robert Brown, of Beechworth castle, he had several children, to the eldest of whom, Sir Thomas, he gave Markshall and his other estates in Essex. On his death in 1627, he was succeeded in his estates here by Sir Robert Honywood, his only son by his first wife, who resided at Pett's, which continued in his descendants till at length Sir Philip Honywood, one of his younger sons, in king Charles II.'s reign, leaving an only daughter and heir Frances, she carried it in marriage to George Sayer, esq. son of Sir John Sayer, of Bourchiers-hall, in Essex, who afterwards resided here, and dying in 1718, was buried in this church, bearing for his arms, Gules, a chevron, between three martlets, argent, a chief, ermine. He left an only son George Sayer, esq. of Pett's, whose son George Sayer, esq. residing at it kept his shrievalty here in 1755, where he died in 1778, having married Mary Greenhill, of Maidstone, by whom he left two sons and three daughters, George, the eldest son, took holy orders, and was presented to the rectory of Eggliscliffe, in Durham, and married Catherine, the only daughter of Mr. James Wakely, of Charing; John, the second son, was a major in the army, and married Charlotte, daughter of Charles Van, esq. of Monmounthshire. The three daughters were Mary; Catherine, married to the Rev. William Gregory, rector of St. Andrew, in Canterbury, and vicar of Blean, and Frances. He was succeeded in these manors and his seat of Pett's, by his eldest son the Rev. George Sayer, LL.B. who is the present possessor of them, and occasionally resides here.
WICKINS is a manor in the southern part of this parish, adjoining to Westwell, in which part of the lands of it lie. It was originally the patrimony of the family of Brent, and was their most antient seat, and Weever says, that they were branched out of the antient stock of Brent, in Somersetshire, of whom Sir Robert de Brent was a baron of parliament in the reign of king Edward I. When the church here was burnt in 1590, the windows and gravestones, in which this family was noticed, were mostly desaced; but on the outside of the belfry, the wywern, being the arms of Hugh Brent, esq. of Charing, yet remains; he had four sons, Robert Brent, the first of this name mentioned in their pedigree, lived in the reign of king Edward II. and is stiled of Charing, as were his several descendants afterwards. William Brent, esq. the eldest son, inherited this manor, and resided at it; and Robert, the second, was of Wilsborough, and ancestor of the Brents of that place. John Brent, esq. grandson of William above-mentioned, feasted king Henry VIII. in this house, as he passed this way towards his then intended siege of Bullein; and Weever further says, that the hall-window of this seat was full stored with the badges of Edward IV. in every quarry of glass. His son Thomas Brent, esq. succeeding to this manor, resided at it till the 12th year of queen Elizabeth, when becoming heir to Wilsborough, by the devise of his kinsman, Robert Brent, of that place, who died s.p. he removed thither where he died likewise s.p. in 1612, and was buried there. By his will he gave this manor or tenement called Wickins, with Derice and Caprons, in Charing and Westwell, and all their lands and appurtenances, to his nephew Christopher Dering, of Charing, who then occupied them, (fn. 5) being the fifth and youngest son of John Dering, esq. of Surrenden-Dering, by Margaret, sister of Thomas Brent above-mentioned; which branch of the family of Dering bear for their arms quartely, first those of Dering, or, a saltier, sable, with a chief, azure, to distinguish this branch of Dering, and second, Dering likewise, argent, a fess, azure, in chief; three pellets. His descendants resided at Wickins, which at length came down to Heneage Dering, clerk, S. T. P. dean of Rippon, and archdeacon of the East Riding of Yorkshire, who died possessed of it in 1750, æt. 84, having married Anne, daughter of John Sharpe, archbishop of York, by whom he left two sons and several daughters, of whom John will be men tioned hereafter; Heneage, D. D. is prebendary of Canterbury, and rector of Milton, in Buckinghamshire, now unmarried; Elizabeth married Charles Elsley, of Yorkshire, and Mary married John Sharpe, archdeacon of Northumberland. His eldest son John Dering, A. M. rector of Helgeye, in Norfolk, succeeded him in this manor, of which he died possessed in 1774, leaving one son John Thurloe Dering, esq. of Denver, since deceased, and a daughter Miss Anne Dering, who on her father's death became entitled to this manor, and she continues at this time the owner of it.
STILLEY is another small manor here, lying between Westwell-leacon and Calehill heath, which was formerly the patrimony of John de Frene, who lived in the reign of king Henry III. and is mentioned in the Testa de Nevill, as having paid aid in the 20th year of that reign, at the marriage of the king's sister, for lands which he then held in Charing. His descendant Hugh de Frene had a charter of free-warren granted to him for his lands in this parish, in the 1st year of king Edward III. but before the middle of that reign, this manor was become the property of Sir Thomas, son of Sir William de Brockhull, of Saltwood, whose son Thomas Brockhull, esq. of Calehill, sold it, with Newland before-described, to John Darell, esq. then of Calehill, who by a charter of inspeximus in the 3d year of Henry VI. had the abovementioned charter of free warren within this manor renewed; and in his descendants it has continued down, in like manner, to Henry Darell, esq. of Calehill, the present possessor of it.
NEWLAND is a manor in the southern part of this parish, which once gave name to a family who were owners of it, and whose residence it likewise was. Sir John de Newland lived here in the reign of king Edward I. and sealed with an escallop upon a chevron, for his coat of arms, as was visible in antient registers, and other writings of past times; but before the latter end of king Edward III.'s reign, this manor was become the property of a branch of the family of Brockhull, then seated at Calehill, but it did not remain long with them; for Henry Brockhull sold it in the 12th year of Henry IV. with much other land in this and the adjoining parishes, to John Darell, esq. of Calehill, in whose descendants it has continued down with that seat, to Henry Darell, esq. now of Calehill, who is the present owner of this manor.
BROCKTON, alias BROUGHTON, is another manor in this parish, situated on the further part of Charingheath, in the road leading to Egerton, which had once owners likewise of that name. Adam de Broughton, who was sometimes written likewise Brocton, lived in the reign of king Edward I. and his descendants enjoyed the property of it until the latter end of king Richard II. and then it was alienated to Paunsherst, in which it continued till Thomas Pausherst, of Charing, by will in 1503, devised it to his daughter Joane, and in failure of her issue, to his kinsman Thomas Paine, who became accordingly entitled to this manor, and in his descendants it remained till about king James I.'s reign, when it was sold to Withick, in which name it continued till at length by a female heir it went in marriage to Charles Bargrave, gent. of Eastry, (fn. 6) son of dean Bargrave, whose son Isaac Bargrave, gent. likewise of Eastry, sold it to Humphry Punder, esq. of Canterbury, whose daughter, and at length sole heir Catherine carried it in marriage to Thomas Barrett, esq. of Lee, and their only son and heir Thomas Barrett, esq. now of Lee, in luckham, is the present proprietor of it. A court baron is held for this manor.
TREMHATCH is a manor here, situated about half a mile beyond the heath, on the Egerton side, which in the reign of king Edward III. was part of the possessions of Sir Ralph Sansaver, whom I find sometimes written Sawsamere, which I find confirmed by a deed in the Surrenden library, after which it passed into the family of Barham, one of whom, Richard Barham, of Teston, in the 11th year of Henry IV. by fine levied, sold it to John Haut, esq. of Pluckley, who died possessed of Tremhatch in the 8th or 9th year of king Henry VI. and his two daughters and coheirs, by Joane de Surrenden his wife, succeeded him in it, Christiana, then the wife of Reginald Dryland, (whose first husband was John Dering, father of Richard Dering, who in her right, inherited Surrenden, of her mother's inheritance, and was ancestor of the Derings, baronets, of that place) and Alicia, wife of William Goldwell, of Great Chart, who possessed it in undivided shares. At length William Goldwell seems to have become possessed of the whole of this estate, of which he died possessed in 1485, and in his descendants it remained till the 42d year of queen Elizabeth, when it was sold by John Goldwell and Cicely his wife, to Robert Gaunt, gent. of St. Peter's Canterbury, whose son Thomas Gaunt died possessed of it in 1625, and by will gave it first to his brother George Gaunt, and in default of his issue to Thomas Carlel, son of William Carlel, gent. of Barham, by Mary his sister, who accordingly succeeded to it, and soon after the year 1658, alienated it to Edward Taylor, gent. of Hollingborne, who died in 1668, and by his will devised his house and lands called Tremhatch, to his nephew William Reynolds, gent. of Hollingborne, who by will in 1687 devised it to his executors to sell, to fulfil the purposes of his will, and they sold it to John Crispe, who alienated it to George Buckhurst, whose descendant Mr. John Richard Buckhurst is now owner of this manor.
BURLEIGH, or Burley, is a manor, lying in the western side of this parish, next to Lenham, which had antiently owners of that surname; one of whom, John de Burleigh, founded a chantry, afterwards called Burley's chantry, in this church of Charing. At length, after the descendants of that family were become extinct here, this manor came into the possession of the St. Johns, who bore for their arms, Argent, a mullet, fable, on a chief gules three mullets, pierced of the first, and resided at it; at length Avis, daughter of William St. John, esq. of Charing, (fn. 7) carried it in marriage to Humphry Barrey, esq. who afterwards dwelt here, and was from thence usually stiled Barrey, of Charing; but it does not seem to have remained long in this name, for it soon afterwards came into the possession of a family, called Dayngrygge, of eminent note in Hampshire, whose arms were, Argent, a cross engrailed, gules; and Sir Edward Dalyngrygge, by find levied in the 1st year of king Richard II. passed it away to Roger Dalyngrygge and Alice his wife, and they not long afterwards conveyed it by sale to Thomas Brockhull, of Calehill, whose son Henry Brockhull, esq. in the 12th year of king Henry IV. alienated it, together with Calehill, to John Darell, esq. afterwards of that place, in whose descendants it has continued down, in like manner, to Henry Darell, esq. of Calehill, the present possessor of it.
The lands given for the support of the abovementioned chantry were, at the suppression of it in the reign of king Edward VI. granted to Darell, owner of the manor, and his descendant Henry Darell, esq. of Calehill, is now owner of them, as well as the manor of Burleigh, the mansion of which lies near the high footway leading from the upper part of Charingstreet to Lenham, alias Royton-heath.
ACTON is an estate, lying in the north-west part of this parish, in the borough of its own name, just below the chalk-hills; a place made eminent from its having been the property of the noble and antient family of Beaufitz, who made it their residence before they removed to Twidale, in Gillingham. Robert Beaufitz, as appears by an antient court-roll, held it in king Henry III.'s reign, and from him it descended to his grandchild Robert Beausitz, who, about the 4th year of king Edward III. made that seat his residence; but yet Acton continued in the possession of him and his descendants till the reign of Henry VII. (fn. 8) when John Beaufitz leaving two daugthters his coheirs, one of them, Joane, carried it in marriage to Robert Arnold, of Sussex, whose grandson William, in king Henry VIII.'s reign, alienated it to Sir Anthony Sondes, of Throwley, whose grandson Sir Richard Sondes, in the reign of king James I. conveyed it to Hutchins, and he by his will vested it in Nicholas Nicholson, as his feoffee in trust, for discharging the uses of his will, who sold this estate to Godden, by a female heir of which name it afterwards passed in marriage to Mr. Peter Twyman, of Rushbrooke, in Westbere, who devised it to his three sons, Arthur, Wheler, and John. Arthur, the eldest, died unmarried in 1779, and devised his third part to trustees, to fulfil the uses of his will. Wheler, the second son, was of Rush-brooke, clerk, and dying unmarried in 1779, devised his third part to Hannah Hall, since married to Mr. Peter Harrison, for her life, remainder to Lewis, lord Sondes. John, the third son, left a daughter Phœbe, in whose trustee, and in Mr. Peter Harrison, in right of his wife, the possession of this manor remains, in undivided thirds. A court baron is held for this manor.
EVERSLEY is the last place remaining to be described lying above the hills, within the bounds of this parish and partly in that of Stalisfield, and though now of little note, yet was antiently of some consequence, as being one of the mansions of Bryan de Eversley, a man of much eminence in the reigns of king Henry III. and Edward I. who is mentioned in the ledger-book of Faversham abbey, as having been a benefactor to it. How long it continued in that name, I have not found; but about the beginning of king Edward III.'s reign, it was become the property of Peyforer; from which name it passed into that of Potyn, in which it remained, till at length Juliana, only daughter and heir of Nicholas Potyn, carried it in marriage to Thomas St. Leger, of Otterden, who died possessed, of it in the 10th year of Henry IV. and by will devised it to his only daughter and heir Joane, who entitled her husband Henry Aucher, esq. of Newenden, to it, (fn. 9) in whose descendants this estate continued till about the latter end of queen Elizabeth's reign, when Sir Anthony Aucher, alienated it to Michael Sondes, esq. then of Eastry, but afterwards of Throwley, in whose descendants it continued down to Sir George Sondes, created by Charles II. earl of Faversham, whose youngest daughter and coheir Katherine at length, by her father's entail, entitled her husband Lewis Watson, afterwards earl of Rockingham, to it; but his youngest grandson Edward, earl of Rockingham, dying s.p. devised itamong the rest of his estates, to his kinsman the Hon. Lewis Monson, who afterwards took the name of Watson, and was created lord Sondes, and his eldest son the Right Hon. Lewis-Thomas Watson (now Lord Sondes) is the present possessor of it.
MRS. ELIZABETH LUDWELL, by will in 1761, gave, among many other charities elsewhere, to this parish 2650l. which is vested in the minister and churchwardens; the annual produce of which is 88l. 16s. 3d. to be applied towards the endowment of a free school here, in which there are now educated twentyfive children. The master's salary, who has no house, is 25l. per annum, and more for pens, ink, and books, about 8l. per annum; and likewise 3l. 10s. of the annual produce of it to be given, 30s. among poor persons. in bread, on Christmasday; 20s. to the minister, for a commemoration sermon; 10s. to the clerk of the parish, and 10s. for lighting up the church, the residue of it to be applied to the apprenticing of poor children of this parish. And she likewise, by her will, founded two exhibitions in Oriel college, Oxford, with preference to the candidates from this parish, to be paid out of the rent of a farm in Throwley, devised to that college for this purpose, which is now of the annual produce of 35l.
The church, which is dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul, is a handsome building, consisting of one isle and a transept, a high chancel and one small one on the south side of it. The tower, having a small beacon turret at one corner, is at the west end. There is only one bell in it. This tower was begun to be built of stone (for it was before of wood) at the latter end of king Edward IV.'s reign, as appears by the several legacies to the rebuilding of it, in the wills in the Prerogative-office, Canterbury, from 1479 to 1545, about which time only it seems to have been finished. On the stonework at the outside of it, are the arms of Brent, and a coat, being a star of many points, still remaining. In the year 1590 this church was consumed by fire, to the very stones of the building, which happened from a gun discharged at a pidgeon, then upon the roof of it; by which the windows and gravestones of the family of Brent were desaced. John Brent, sen. of Charing, in 1501, was buried in this church, before the door of the new chapel of the blessed Virgin Mary, where no burial had as yet been; and Amy Brent, of Charing, gentlewoman, by will in 1516, was buried within that chapel of her own edification. This chapel, now called Wickins chancel, was much defaced by the fire as above-mentioned. In the south cross was Burleigh chantry, mentioned before, which being burnt down in 1590, was repaired by John Darell, esq. of Calehill, then proprietor of it, whose arms are on the pews of it, as mentioned below. In king Richard II.'s time, the block on which St. John the Baptist was said to have been beheaded, was brought into England, and kept in this church. In the high chancel is a memorial for Samuel Belcher, gent. of Charing, obt. 1756, æt. 6l. and for his two wives. In the little chancel, now called Wickins chancel, are memorials for the Nethersoles and Derings; in the middle isle, for Peirce, Henman, and Ludwell; in the north cross monuments for Sir Robert Honywood, of Pett, and the Sayer family; in the south cross, memorials for Mushey Teale, M.D. in 1760, and for Mary his wife; his arms, Azure, a cockatrice regardant, sable; in chief, three martlets of the second. The pews in it are of oak, and much ornamented at their ends next the space with carvework, among which are these arms, a coat quarterly, first and sourth, A lion rampant, crowned; second, A fess indented, in chief, three mullets; third, Three bugle-horns stringed, impaling a fess, between three cross-croslets, fitchee. Another, Three bugle-horns stringed. Another, A lion rampant, crowned, or. Another, the crest of a Saracen's head, 1598.
The church of Charing was antiently appendant to the manor, and was part of the possessions of the see of Canterbury, to which it was appropriated before the 8th year of king Richard II. and it remained with it till archbishop Cranmer, anno 37 Henry VIII. granted that manor, and all his estates within this parish, and the advowsons of this rectory and vicarage, to the king; (fn. 10) and these advowsons remained in the crown till Edward VI. granted them, together with the advowson of the chapel of Egerton, and other premises in Essex, in exchange, in his first year, to the dean and chapter of St. Paul's, London. In which state they continue at this time, the dean and chapter of St. Paul's being now proprietors of this rectory appropriate, together with the advowson of the vicarage of this church.
King Henry VIII. in his 38th year, demised this rectory, and the chapel of Egerton, to Leonard Hetherington, gent. for twenty-one years, and the lease of it continued in his descendants till one of them sold his interest in it, in king James I.'s reign. to John Dering, esq. of Egerton, but by some means, long before his death in 1618, it had passed into the possession of Edward, lord Wotton. How long it continued in his family I have not found; but it afterwards was demised to the family of Barrell, of Rochester, with whom the demise of it remained for many years; and in one of their delcendants it remained down to the Rev. Edmund Marthall, vicar of this parish, who died in 1797, possessed of the lease of it.
This vicarage is valued in the king's books at thirteen pounds, and the yearly tenths at 1l. 6s. and is now of the clear yearly certified value of seventy-two pounds. In 1588 it was valued at fifty pounds. Communicants three hundred and twenty-six. In 1640, at eighty pounds. Communicants three hundred and seventy; and in 1700 it was valued at one hundred and ten pounds.
Church of Charing.
|Or by whom presented.|
|Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's.||Robert Elye, A.M. Dec. 1595, and in 1621.|
|John Cliffe, A.B. induct. Sept. 1660.|
|John Shepard, A.M. inducted 1674, obt. 1678.|
|William Sevayne, A.B. inducted Nov. 1679, resigned 1681.|
|Daniel Gardner, A.M. induct. June 1681, obt. 1698.|
|Edward Dering, A.M. induct. June 1698, obt. Sept. 30, 1742. (fn. 11)|
|James Carrington, A.B. Dec. 1742, resigned 1746. (fn. 12)|
|James Tattersall, A.M. Dec. 1746, resigned 1755. (fn. 13)|
|Robert Carr, A.M. Jan. 1755, obt. 1755.|
|William Pinkney, A.M. Nov. 1755, resigned 1765. (fn. 14)|
|Edmund Marshall, A.M. 1765, obt. 1797. (fn. 15)|