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 situated on the lower ridge of hills called the Quarry-hills; the parish is about two miles across, extending itself as far below the hills into the Weald, where the greatest part of it consists of that portion of Pevington allotted to it; as it does northward on the other side, where the river Stour bounds it; as it does again eastward, in which parts are the hamlets of Ford Mill and Proting street. The village and church of Pluckley, which latter is a boundary of the Weald northward, stand on the summit of the hill. Not quite a mile eastward is the mansion and park of Surrenden, finely situated on an eminence, having a most extensive variegated prospect towards the south-east, in a park beautifully cloathed with timber and rich pastures; a situation, says Weaver, so elegant that it compares with most that are, in rich pastures, healthful air, and plenty of both fewel and timber, in a very delicate and various prospect; and what should make it still more highly esteemed by the owner is, that from the time of the grant of it in the Conqueror's reign, by the archbishop, it has never been alienated, but has continued without intermission in the descendants of the same family to the present owner of it. Below the hill, in the Weald, there are several sorstals and hamlets, as Pluckley, Thorn, Dowle-street, &c. Near the latter, at Newland green, is a good house, the property and residence of Mr. Richard Ashbye. Further at the southern boundary of the parish is that branch of the river Medway which rises at Great Chart.
The soil of this parish is much the same as Egerton, Boughton, and other adjoining ones in the like situation on the summit of these hills, where the Quarry stone prevails, and is there very fertile both for corn and hops. Southward in the Weald it is alike a miry deep clay, covered with woods, broad hedge rows, and spreading oaks.
There is a fair held here on Whit Tuesday, for toys, and another on St. Nicholas's feast, Dec. 6, for cattle, but especially for hogs, which are brought hither in great numbers, and the price they bear at it is generally a rule for that of all the neighbouring country round about it.
The archbishop himself holds in demesne, Pluchelei. It was taxed at one suling. The arable land is twelve carucates. In demesne there are two carucates and an half, and sixteen villeins, with seven borderers having eleven carucates. There are eight servants, and twelve acres of meadow and an half. Wood for the pannage of one hundred and forty hogs. In the whole, in the time of king Edward the Confessor, it war worth twelve pounds; when he received it, eight pounds; and now fifteen pounds, and yet it pays twenty pounds.
By which it appears that the archbishop then held this place in demesne, that is, in his own possession; but archbishop Lanfranc soon afterwards granted it to one John de Plukele, who is stiled in the grant Miles Archiepi, that is, one who held this land of the archbishop by knight's service, for it was very customary for the prelates and great men of those times to make such grants, till they were restrained by a statute in the 18th year of king Edward I. This statute is stiled from the first words of it, Quia Emptores Terrarum; from whence it is held, that all manors in being now must have existed from immemorial prescription, at least before the making of this statute, because it is essential to it, that there be tenants to hold of the lord, that in future no subject should enseosse any new tenants to hold of himself. His descendant Osbert de Pluckley died possessed of it in the reign of king John, and bore for his arms, Or, a fleur de lis, sable; after which, from three coheirs of this name and family, this manor became divided into three parts, and became three distinct manors, the principal of which retaining the name of Pluckley, remained in that name till Agnes, daughter and at length one of the coheirs of William de Pluckley, entitled her husband John de Surrenden to the possession of it. He bore for his arms, Argent, a bend gules, between two cotizes, nebulee, the outer sides, sable. His son John de Surrenden, living here in the 44th year of Edward III. and about that time, upon the old scite of this manor-house, erected a new mansion, which Weever, who wrote anno 1631, says, was a fair one in his time, and by the antiquity of it seemed to have been the like, or much fairer, at its first building. To distinguish this manor from the other two before-mentioned, then known, from the owners of them, by the names of Malmains and Shurland; it from this time was called from him THE MANOR OF Surren den, which he was succeeded in by his only daughter and heir Joan, who, in the 20th year of Richard II. was married to John Haut, esq. and he died possessed of this manor about the 9th year of Henry VI. leaving two daughters his coheirs, of whom Christian, the eldest, was married to John Dering, esq. of Westrooke, in Lid.
THE FAMILY of Dering, as appears from the family papers and manuscripts in the Surrenden library, and from other evidences, is descended from Norman de Morinis, whose ancestor Vitalis Fitz Osbert lived in the reign of king Henry II. and married Kineburga, daughter of Deringus, descended from Norman FitzDering, sheriff of this county in king Stephen's reign, who married Matilda, sister and heir of William de Ipre, earl of Kent; and at the battle of Lincoln, in which king Stephen was taken prisoner, was slain near the king's person, and being found afterwards with his shield covered with blood, his posterity were allowed to add to their paternal coat of arms, the three torteauxes in chief, in memory of his bravery, being a descendant of that Dering who is mentioned in several parts of the Textus Rossensis, and in the Book of Domesday, as holding lands in Farningham in the time of the Saxons, before the conquest. They had issue Deringus de Morinis, whose son Deringues Fitz-Dering was the first who deserted the name of Morinis. His son Wymund Fitz-Dering was, as well as his father, a good benefactor to the abbey of Boxley, in which they were both buried. He bore for his arms, Or, a fess, sable, in chief, three torteaxes, as his descendants did for some time afterwards, the family de Morinis bearing, Or, a saltire, sable. His son Richard FitzDering, filius Deringi, was of Hayton, and died at the latter end of king Henry III.'s reign. His descendant Sir John Dering, of Westbrooke, in Lyd, died anno 38 Edward III. his arms, A fess, in chief, three roundells, being carved in stone on the roof of the cloysters at Canterbury. He was father of Sir Richard Dering, of Hayton, who was lieutenant of Dover castle in king Richard II.'s reign, whose seal affixed to a deed in the Surrenden library is a shield of his arms, A fess, in chief, three roundells; on each side, A horse, seiant, on a ducal crown, placed on a close helmet, mantled; the legend, Sigillum Ricardi Dering, Militis. He lies buried in Lyd church; his son John Dering, esq. of Westbrooke, who married Christian Haut as before-mentioned, seems to have been the first who assumed the arms of De Morinis, being the saltier, instead of those of Dering, which latter his descendants transferred and afterwards constantly bore in the second quartering of their arms. He lies buried in the south chancel of this church, rebuilt by his eldest son, in which most of his descendants lie buried, where many of their memorials in brass, and monuments of sculptured imagery yet remain. He had two sons, of whom Richard Dering, esq. the eldest, was of Surrenden, and was twice married, first to the daughter and heir of Bertyn; and secondly to Eyton, of Eyton, in Salop. He died in 1481, and was buried in the chapel of the Virgin Mary, in Pluckley church, which chapel he had rebuilt, as appears by his arms at the bottom of the arches. His eldest son Richard Dering, esq. of Surrenden, left by his second wife, John, of Surrenden; Richard, monk and cellarer of Christ-church, Canterbury, and William, who was of Petworth, in Sussex, and ancestor of the Derings, of that place, and of Hampshire, who bore for their arms, the saltier, with a canton, gules, for difference. John Dering, esq. the eldest son, was of Surrenden, which in his time, from their long possession of it, acquired the name of Surrenden-Dering; he was admitted into the Society of Modenden, in this county. The curious admission of him may be seen, vol. v. p. 327. His descendant of the same name resided at Surrenden, and in the reign of Hen. VIII. married Margaret, daughter of J. Brent, esq. by whom he was ancestor of the Derings, of Surrenden, Charing and Egerton, in this county. Richard Dering, esq. the eldest son, succeeded him at Surrenden, whose grandson Sir Edward Dering, in 1623, was made lieutenant of Dover castle, and created a baronet on February 1, 1626, anno 2 Charles I. and in the 16th of that reign one of the knights in parliament for this county. In which parliament, the levity of his disposition, and at the same time his vanity to display his learning, got the better of his good and loyal principles; which, however, he soon repented of, and made his public apology for it. But so much were the republicans offended at both his repentance and apology, that this change soon occasioned his commitment to the Tower, and his being declared a delinquent; and though he escaped himself safe to the king, yet, as his estates were sequestered, and being reduced to extreme poverty, he afterwards retired with his wife and children to one of his farm-houses, where he died in 1644, and was buried in the family chancel in this church. During his continuance with the king, his whole estate was sequestered, his newly furnished house was four several times plundered by the parliament's soldiers, his goods and stock were all seized and took away, his farmhouses and fences ruined and destroyed, his woods and timber felled, and all his rents abated; so that few suffered more than he died, for his inconsistent conduct. He published a volume of his speeches in parliament, a manuscript copy of which is in the British Museum, among the Harleian MSS. He was the founder of the library at Surrenden, for which he collected a great number of books, charters, and curious manuscripts, and caused others to be transcribed with great labour and expence; among which were, the registers and chartularies of several of the dissolved monasteries in this county, and a series of deeds and muniments relating not only to the family of Dering, but to others connected at different times with it; but most of these valuable manuscripts have been unwarily, not many years since, dispersed into other hands. (fn. 1) His eldest son Sir Edward Dering, bart. succeeded him in title and estate, and married Mary, daughter of Daniel Harvey, esq. of Combe, in Surry; of which marriage I had the following anecdote from a late respectable clergyman in this county, lately deceased: That Daniel Harvey, her father, an eminent citizen of London, and great loyalist at the death of king Charles I. had this Mary, his only daughter and heir to all his wealth; at the same time he had an apprentice in the house, his first-cousin, who found an opportunity of marrying the daughter clandestinely, and had bedded with here twelve months before the marriage was discovered, which was occasioned by her father's intention of marrying her to Sir Edward Dering; on which he found means to get the marriage dissolved, and obtained testimonials for it, not only from bishop Juxon, but from the most eminent civilians of that time. Two of their opinions were: One, that the young man's father was greatuncle to her, and he being dead, his son represented him, and consequently was great-uncle to her; the other, that it was so notorious a breach of honesty in him, that no state should suffer so bad an example to be countenanced. Some years ago, the late Mr. Eliab Harvey, king's council, found this relation, with the above-mentioned opinions, in a black box, among his families papers. In his descendants, baronets of Surrenden, who constantly represented this county in parliament, it continued down to Sir Edward Dering, bart. who represented this county in the four first parliaments of king George II.'s reign. He greatly improved the mansion of Surrenden, making great additions to it, and inclosing the park with a brick wall; he resided at it with much liberal hospitality, and died in London, greatly lamented by the county in general, for his many amiable good qualities, in 1762, and was brought hither and buried among his ancestors, in the south chancel. He married first, Elizabeth, daughter and at length coheir of Edward Henshaw, esq. of Eltham, by whom he had two sons, Edward and Daniel; secondly, Mary, daughter of Charles Fotherby, esq. of Barham, and widow of Henry Monpesson, esq. by whom he had Charles Dering, esq. of Barham, who married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Thomas Farnaby, bart. Thomas Dering, esq. of London, and Mary, married to Robert Hilyard, now Sir Robert Hilyard, bart. His eldest son by his first wife, now Sir Edward Dering, bart. succeeded him in title and estates, and represented the town and port of New Romney in several parliaments. He married first Selina, daughter and coheir of Sir Robert Furnese, bart. by whom he had a son Edward Dering, esq. who married Anne, fourth daughter of William Hale, esq. of King's Walden, in Hertfordshire, and a daughter Selina. He married secondly, Deborah, daughter of John Winchester, esq. of Nethersole, by whom he has several children; he is the present owner of this manor, with the mansion of Surrenden-Dering, the park and demesnes adjoining to it. The family of Dering bear for their arms, Or, a saltier, sable, being that of de Morinis; and in the second quartering those of Dering, being Argent, a fess, sable, in chief, three torteauxes. For crest, A ducal coronet, or, within the coronet a crimson cap, on it, a horse passant, sable, maned, or. For supporters, Two horses, sable, maned, or; which supporters were granted by Sir William Segar to Sir Edward Dering, the first baronet of this family.
THE MANOR OF MALMAINES is situated at the foot of the hill between Surrenden and Pluckley church, and was formerly a part of the manor of Pluckley, till it was divided as has been mentioned before; after which it took this name from the family of Malmaines, who were then become owners of it, and who had held lands in this parish as early as the reign of Henry III. in the 56th year of which Henry Malmaines was sheriff, being then stiled both of Pluckley and of Waldershare. Richard Malmaynes, his descendant, died in 1440, and lies buried with his father Henry, in the north isle of this church, leaving John Malmaynes his heir. After which there is no further mention of them, but it appears to have come into the possession of the heirs of Toke, descended by the female side from Henry Malmaines before-named, from one of which name this manor passed by sale to the Derings, of Surrenden, in which it has continued to the present time, Sir Edward Dering, bart. being now owner of it.
THE MANOR of shurland was the remaining third part of the manor of Pluckley, lying south of the way leading through the fields from Surrenden to Pluckley church, which, on the division of it before-mentioned, took the name of Shurland from one of the family of that name, to whom it was allotted. How long they continued in the possession of it, does not appear; but it probably passed from them to the Betenhams, of Betenham, in Cranbrooke, in which it remained for several hundred years. Stephen de Betenham is mentioned in very antient court-rolls of the date of Henry III.'s reign, and was certainly that Stephen de Betenham, mentioned as one of the Recognitores Magnœ Assisœ, or justices of the great assise, an office of great importance in those times, in the pipe-rolls of the reign of king John. From him this place descended to another Stephen de Betenham, who left two sons; the eldest of whom, Thomas, inherited Shurland; and John, the youngest, had Betenham, in Cranbrooke. From Thomas Betenham above-mentioned this estate of Shurland continued down almost to within memory, when it passed by sale from the Betenhams to Sir Edward Dering, bart. whose descendant Sir Edward Dering, bart. is the present proprietor of it.
EVERING ACRE is a manor, lying in this parish and in Bethersden, which, in the 7th year of Edward III. was in the possession of William, son of Eudo de Shillinghelde, who that year conveyed it to John, son of Thomas Chiche, of Canterbury. How it passed afterwards, I have not found; but in the 1st year of king Henry V. it was in the possession of John Dering, esq. of Westbrooke, in whose descendants, seated at Surrenden, it has continued down to Sir Edward Dering, bart. the present owner of it.
WEST KINGSNOTH is a manor here, lying in the borough of its own name, which borough is within the royal manor of Wye, belonging to Mr. Hatton, of Eastwell; but the principal estate in it formerly belonged to the Bakers, of Sissinghurst, with whom it staid till John Baker, esq. in the 37th year of queen Elizabeth, sold it to Richard Dering, esq. of Surrenden, in whose descendants it still continues, the present owner of it being Sir Edward Dering, bart.
PIRIFIELDS, alias OUSDEN, is another manor here, lying upon the denne of Ousden, alias Tuesnoth, at the southern bounds of this parish, which had antiently owners of the name of Pirifield, one of whom, Hamo de Pirifeld, appears to have been possessed of it in the reign of king Richard I. as was his descendant Stephen de Pirifeld, of Pluckley, in the 20th year of king Edward IV. After which it passed into the family of Dering, but when does not appear, only that it has remained in that family down to Sir Edward Dering, bart. who is at this time entitled to it.
ROTING is a manor, lying on the western confines of this parish, near the stream, in a hamlet of its own name, called Roting-street. At the time of taking the survey of Domesday, it was part of the possessions belonging to the monastary of St. Augustine, in Canterbury, and is thus entered in it, under the general title of them:
In Caleheue hundred, the abbot himself holds half a yoke in Rotinge, which in the reign of king Edward the Confessor was taxed at half a suling. There was and is one carucate in demesne. It is and was worth separately fifteen shillings.
This manor was afterwards held of the abbot in free socage, by a family which took their name from it; and Celestia, daughter of John Rotyngg, and William Rotyngg, are both mentioned in a deed of the 39th year of king Edward III. concerning lands at this place. After which I find it in the possession of the family of St. Leger, in which it remained till Sir Warham St. Leger, of Leeds, in the 12th year of queen Elizabeth, sold this manor, lying in Pluckley, Little Chart, and Hothfield, to Richard Dering, esq. of Pluckley, in whose descendant it has continued down to Sir Edward Dering, bart. the present owner of it.
PEVINGTON is situated about three quarters of a mile north westward from Pluckley church, on the summit of the hill, nearly midway between it and the church of Egerton. It was formerly a distrinct parish of itself; but the church having been ruinated for some time, this parish was, about the year 1583, united to the parish, of Pluckley, part of which it continues at this time, though there is a tradition here, that Pevington was allotted in three divisions to the parishes of Egerton, Little, Chart, and Pluckley; that the greatest part of it lying below the hill, as well as the scite of the church, was allotted to this parish; and that the rest consisting of two narrow ships of land, adjoining to Little Chart, was allotted to that parish and Egerton; but I can find no further authority for it.
In Caleheve hundred, Ralph de Curbespine holds Piventone of the see of the bishop, and Hugh of him. It was taxed at one suling. The arable land is five carucates. In demesne there is one and an half, and seven villeins, with seven borderers having three carucates and an half. There is a church, and nine servants, and one mill of fifty-five pence, and twenty acres of meadow. Wood for the pannage of sixty hogs. In the time of king Edward the Confessor it was worth eight pounds, and afterwards one hundred shillings, now six pounds. Shern Biga held it of king Edward.
The same Ralph held three dennes, which remained without the division of Hugo de Montfort of Pistinges manor; and there is one yoke of arable land and one road, and there are two villeins. It was and is worth sepaparately fifteen shillings.
After the bishop's disgrace, which happened about the year 1084, and the confiscation of all his possessions to the crown, the chief seignory of this manor was granted, among others, to Gilbert Maminot, and made a part of his barony, being held of the king by barony for the defence of Dover castle. From this family the see of this manor descended to Alice, sister and coheir of Wakelyn Maminot, who carried it in marriage to Geffry de Saye, of one of whose descendants, as chief lord of the see, it was held in the reign of Henry III. by a knightly family, who took their surname from it; one of whom, Sir Ralph de Pevington, held it in the beginning of that reign. At length his descendants John and William Pevington, dying in the reign of king Henry IV. without issue, Amabilia, their sister, became their heir, being then the widow of John Gobion, of Essex, who died possessed of this manor, with the advowson of the church of Pevington in the year 1405, anno 7 Henry IV. and was buried in the church of the White Friars, in Canterbury, to which house she had been a liberal benefactor. (fn. 2) She entailed this manor, with the advowson of the church, on her grandson John, son of John Spelfell, by Joane her eldest daughter, with divers remainders over to her other grand-children. He seems to have died possessed of the see of this estate in the beginning of Henry VI.'s reign, having enseossed his kinsman Hugh Brent, gent. of Charing, together with others, in the possession of it. After which, in the 12th year of Edward IV.'s reign, the rest of the co-seossees released to him all their right in this manor, with the advowson, both which continued in his descendants down to Thomas Brent, esq. of Wickins, in Charing, and afterwards of Wilsborough, who died s.p. in 1612. Upon which it came by his will to his nephew and residuary legatee Richard Dering, esq. of Surrenden, son of John Dering, esq. of Surrenden, by Margaret Brent, his sister and heir. Their grandson Sir Edward Dering, knight and baronet, died possessed of this manor in 1644, and by will gave it to his eldest son, by his third wife, Henry Dering, esq. who was afterwards of Pevington, and was succeeded in it by his eldest son Edward Dering, esq. who died in 1742, and was buried in Pluckley church, having by will given this manor to Sir Edward Dering, bart. whose son of the same name, is the present owner of it.
The church of Pevington, which was dedicated to St. Mary, was always accounted an appendage to the manor, and in the patronage of the lords of it. It was a rectory, and valued in the king's books at 5l. 13s. 4d. and the yearly tenths at 11s. 4d. which tenths are now payable to the crown receiver.
The church becoming ruinated, was by archbishop Whitgist united to Pluckley, in 1583, and in a suit afterwards concerning the tithes of it, Copley, rector of Pluckley, versus Spice, it was agreed to withdraw a juryman, and to refer it to archbishop Abbot, who made his decree concering them in 1618. The church is now converted into a stable. The tradition here is, that on the division of Pevington among the three parishes as before-mentioned, the tithes of it were allotted to each of them accordingly; but what authority there is for it, I have never been able to learn.
John Hinde was presented to this rectory on June 23, 1584. The queen patron, bac vice. And John Craige, A.M. was presented to it on May 20, 1636. Patron the crown, by lapse, (fn. 3) but with what intent does not appear.
THERE IS a school here for the teaching of reading and writing, supported by voluntary subscriptions. It was first begun by archdeacon Head, whilst rector of this parish, and is now principally supported by Sir Edward Dering and the Rev. Dr. Disney, the present rector.
The church, which is dedicated to St. Nicholas, is a handsome building of sand-stone, consisting of two isles and two chancels. The steeple is a spire, in which are five bells. It is shingled, as is good part of the roof of the church, which appears to have been formerly all so. The south chancel of this church, dedicated to the blessed Virgin Mary, belongs to the Dering family; it was rebuilt by Richard Dering, esq. of Surrenden, who died in 1481, in which he lies buried, as do his several descendants, as well as several of the family of Malmains. The monuments, as well as many of the gravestones of the former especially, still remaining with their brasses richly inlaid, on the pavement of it, as well as in the south isle. In the high chancel is a memorial for Nathaniel Collington, rector here sixty-three years, obt. Dec. 12, 1735; and within the rails for Mabella Austin, obt. 1711; on the left hand of the rails for Mabella Bettenham, widow, obt. 1710; and at the foot of them for Major Anthony Nowers, of this parish, obt. 1679.
It is valued in the king's books at 20l. 1s. 51/2d. and the yearly tenths at 2l. 0s. 13/4d. In 1588 here were communicants one hundred and four; in 1640, two hundred and thirty-seven, and it was then valued at one hundred and eighty pounds per annum.
The rector now takes his tithes by composition, which amounts to about three hundred pounds per annum. The glebe land is worth upwards of thirty pounds per annum. There are no tithes in this parish, but what are paid to the rector, nor have been time out of mind.
Archbishop Lansranc, in the time of the Conqueror, gave the tithes of the demesne lands of the lordship of Pluckley, which he had given to William de Pluckley, as has been already mentioned before, to the priory of St. Gregory, in Canterbury, which had been founded by him in 1084. Which gift was confirmed by archbishop Hubert.
Church of Pluckley.
|Or by whom presented.|
|The Archbishop.||Edward Deringe, S.T.P. Nov. 28, 1568.|
|John Pickerde, A. M. Feb. 13, 1570, obt. 1616.|
|John Copley, July 13, 1616. (fn. 4)|
|Edward Simpson, S. T. P. in 1628, resigned 1649. (fn. 5)|
|Ezrael Tongue, S. T. P. in 1649, resigned about 1657. (fn. 6)|
|Thomas Daffe, 1657. (fn. 7)|
|John Bargrave, S. T. P. July 14. 1662, resigned 1676. (fn. 8)|
|Nathaniel Collington, A.M. March 21, 1676, obt. 1735.|
|John Head, S.T.P. Dec. 30, 1735, resigned 1760. (fn. 9)|
|John Frost, A.M. July 11, 1760, obt. April 28, 1765. (fn. 10)|
|William Jones, A.M. July 15, 1765, resigned 1777. (fn. 11)|
|William Disney, S.T.P. August 2, 1777, the present rector.|