The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 7. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1798.
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IT IS MOSTLY situated on the height of the range of the lower or quarry hills, whence there is a most beautiful prospect over the Weald. The village, with the church, stands on the summit of the hill, the tower is a conspicuous object to the country round it, and is esteemed the boundary of the Weald; at the southern foot of these hills, one of the heads of the river Medway rises exactly in the same manner as the Stour does, at a small distance northward from them, under the down hills, each flowing in different contrary directions. The soil on the hill is both dry and healthy, where the quarry stone abouads pretty near the surface, being thinly covered with a loans, very fertile like the adjoining parishes, in a similar situation for corn, fruit and hops, of which latter there are several plantations, which thrive very kindly. It stretches below the hill southward into the Weald, where it is a deep miry clay country, overspread with thick hedge rows and towering oaks; in this part there are two greens, called Friggs sorstall and Newland green, with hamlets round them; on the latter was a mansion called Newland, which in king Henry the VIIIth.'s reign was the residence of the Peirs's, it now belongs to Filmer Honywood, esq. about the same time the Burwash's were of Elmhurst, in this parish and Smarden, which afterwards became the property of the Barlings; and the Bachelors, in king Edward the VI.th's reign possessed a mansion here, called after them, (fn. 1) now the Rev. Francis Dodsworth's; just below the village, on the other or northern side of the hill, is a spring of water which petrisies. About half a mile westward is a house called Goodale, formerly the residence of a branch of the family of Dering. John Dering, gent. fourth son of John Dering, of Surrenden, by Margaret Brent his wife, resided here in queen Elizabeth's reign, and bore for his arms the same coat as those of Surrenden, with a chief, gules, for difference, after which it descended down to his great-grandson of the same name, whose only daughter Jane carried this seat in marriage to George Hussey, esq. of Cuckfield, in whose descendants resident here it continued till within memory, when it was sold to Galdfridus Mann, esq. whose son Sir Horace Mann, bart. now possesses it. Lower down, still further northward, is the hamlet of Stonebridge-green, and beyond it at the boundary of the parish, the branch of the Stour, which rises at Streetwell, in Lenham.
There is a fair held here on August 5, for toys, pedlary, &c. There are three boroughs in it, Greenhill, part of which extends into Pluckley; Sidney, which has within it the further side of the street, and Edgeley, which has in it that side of the street next the church.
THE MANOR of Charing claims paramount over this parish, subordinate to which are THE MANORS OF WARDEN, alias EGERTON, and BRUSCOMBE; the former of which was once the property of a family of the name of Warden, who fixed their name on it; one of whom, John Warden, was possessed of it in the reign of Richard II. The latter was the property likewise of a family who gave name to it; one of which, Adam de Broxcombe, sometimes written Brestcombe. possessed it about the latter end of the reign of Edward I. but in the next of king Edward II. (fn. 2) it had passed from one of his descendants to the Chidcrosts, usually called Chitcrost, a name of some antiquity both here and at Lamberhurst; and Agnes, the wife of Richard Chitcrost, held it at her death in the 18th year of the latter reign. After they were extinct here, the Beaumonts, or de Bellamonts, were possessed of it, and John de Beaumont died possessed of the manor of Bruscombe in the 20th year of king Richard II. leaving Henry his son and heir, who did not keep possession of it long; for it soon afterwards was become the property of Baron, a family originally extracted out of the West of England; and John Baron died possessed of Bruscombe in the 3d year of Henry V. They were succeeded about the latter end of king Henry VI. by the Wottons, and Nicholas Wotton, esq. of Boughton Malherb, died possessed of both the manors of Wardens and Bruscombe in the 7th year of king Henry VII. as did his grandson Sir Edward Wotton, in the 5th year of Edward VI. together with the manor of Fylther, alias Fill, now called Field farm, lying in this parish, about a mile northward from the church, in a borough of its own name, holding this manor, with that of Wardens, in capite, by knight's service, as was then found by inquisition, whose lands had been disgavelled by the act of the 2d and 3d of king Edward VI. His grandson Sir Edward Wotton was, in the 1st year of king James I. created lord Wotton, in whose descendants these three manors continued down in like manner as the adjoining manor of Boughton Malherb, heretofore described, and the rest of the Wotton estates in this county, to Philip Dormer Stanhope, earl of Chesterfield, who in 1750 sold them to Galsridus Mann, esq. and his only son Sir Horace Mann, bart. is the present possessor of them. (fn. 3)
BARLINGS is a manor in this parish, the farm of which, called Barling's hole, is situated about half a mile south-east from the church, has had from the earliest times possessors of the same name, who have constantly resided at it. At length, after they had remained here for so many generations, Richard Barling, gent. leaving an only daughter and heir, she carried it in marriage to William Sharpe, of this parish, whose son Barling Sharpe sold it to Mr. John Ashbee, of Little Chart, the present owner of it. A court baron is held for this manor.
RICHARD EDYNDEN, of this parish, priest, by will in 152r, devised the residue of all his goods, not before by him bequeathed, to the churchwardens, to the use of this church, and made the churchwardens his executors.
RICHARD SYDAY, of Egerton, by will in 1524, devised to the churchwardens a piece of land called Yoke field, to the intent that they should find every Sunday in the year a pennyworth of white bread, holy bread to be made of; and 26 Sundays in every year, one halfpenny to be delivered in the said church to poor people; and to pay to the parish priest every year, to pray for his soul, &c. 8d. and the residue of the profits of it to the churchwardens, for their labour and attendance.
ELDANOR BAKER, widow, of Egerton, by will in 1602, devised to the poor of this parish a yearly gift of 263. 8d. to be paid to them out of two parcels of land given by her will to John Baker her son, called Snothfields, containing nine acres in Egerton, with power of distress, &c. if not paid annually, within fourteen days after Easter; which land is now vested in Mr. Pomfret.
CHRISTOPHER LAMBE, clothier, of Egerton, by will in 1624, devised to the poorest inhabitants of this parish, one annuity or yearly rent of 26s. 8d. out of his barn, orchard, close, and three pieces of land, meadow and pasture, containing six acres and an half in Egerton, dividedly, to the poorest inhabitants of this parish, on Christmas day and the feast of Easter, to be distributed among them at the discretion of his heirs, and assigns for ever; with power to distrain, if not distributed within fourteen days.
The church, which is exempt from the jurisdiction of the archdeacon, is dedicated to St. James. It is a very handsome building, and standing on the summit of the hill, is seen at a great distance both from the north and south. It is built of the sand stone, and has a square tower, with a beacon turret at the west end. It has two isles and a high chancel. In both isles are memorials for the Husseys. On the outside of the tower is a coat of arms, obliterated by time. It is said that the steeples of this church, Little Chart, and Charing, were built by one man, Sir John Darell, of Calehill, in the reign of Henry VII. He might be a considerable benefactor and promoter of the work; but the wills in the Prerogarive-office, Canterbury, shew, that the continued different benefactions of others were so necessary for the carrying it on, that the building of them went on by flow degrees for many years, for want of a sufficient fund to complete them. This steeple of Egerton seems to have been finished about the year 1476. John at Welle, of Egerton, by will anno 1531, gave five marcs to the buying of a new pair of organs for this church. There are two remarkable fine yew-trees in the churchyard.
The church of Egerton has ever been esteemed as a chapel to the church of Charing, and has always continued in the same proprietors with it, as may be seen before, in the account of that church; the tithes, both great and small, being now, as well as the parsonage of that parish, appropriated to the dean and chapter of St. Paul's, London. The lessees of both parsonages have likewise ever been the same, the present interest in the lease being vested in the heirs of the Rev. Edmund Marshall, deceased, late vicar of Charing.
This church has been for many years a distinct parish church from that of Charing, (fn. 4) and is a perpetual curacy, in the gift of the dean and chapter of St. Paul's. It is endowed with no part of the tithes. The dean and chapter allowed formerly twenty pounds per annum stipend to the curate; but about the year 1675, they augmented it with ten pounds per annum more, and in that year the inhabitants of this parish raised a sum of money among themselves, and bought a little farm in Stalisfield, now rented at five pounds per annum, and settled it in trustees, for the use of the curate and his successors, if appointed with the consent of the churchwardens and the trustees; and for default, or on a vacancy for six months, the rents and profits of the farm during such time to be employed to such public use of the parish as they should think fit. At the same time the churchwardens, by consent of the parish, settled upon the trustees, to the same use, a small house in Egerton street, formerly given by one Nicholas Barling, to maintain lights in this church.
Church of Egerton.
|Or by whom presented.|
|Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's, London.||John Kidd, in 1642. (fn. 5)|
|Walter Palmer, ejected 1662. (fn. 6)|
|Stephen Hassenden, 1680, obt. 1715.|
|William Halford, A.B. April, 1716, obt. Oct. 11, 1730. (fn. 7)|
|Stephen Greenhill, A.B. 1731. (fn. 8)|
|John Appesley, Sept. 1737, resigned July 1743.|
|James Carrington, July 1743, resigned 1746, (fn. 9)|
|Thomas Hare, 1746, resigned 1749.|
|James Tattersall, A.M. 1749, resigned 1755. (fn. 10)|
|Francis Hender Foote, LL.B. 1755, obt. Jan. 27, 1773. (fn. 11)|
|Edmund Marshall, A.M. obt. 1798. (fn. 12)|