The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 7. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1798.
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LIES the next parish to Willesborough south-eastward. It is a very small parish, having only eleven houses in it. The church stands on rising ground, overlooking the Weald, which lies in the vale below the hill southward, where the clay is again very deep, and the like country through the woods as that below Great Chart and Bethersden, already described. One of the principal heads of the river Stour, which rises at Postling, flows across the southern part of this parish, and having been joined by some other branches of it goes on to Ashford bridge, having through the course of it acquired the name of the Old Stour, to distinguish it from that branch of this river which rises at Lenham, and flowing through Little and Great Chart runs on towards Ashford bridge.
THE MANOR OF CONINGSBROOK claims paramount over the greatest part of this parish, by the name of THE YOKE OF DEVELAND; subordinate to which is The Manor Of Sevington, which was most probably part of those possessions belonging to the abbot and convent of St. Augustine, taken from them at the Norman conquest by Hugo de Montfort, as mentioned before, but whether included in the description of those lands belonging to him in the general survey of Domesday, inserted before under Hinxhill parish, I dare not ascertain; only that it certainly was part of his possessions, and that on the voluntary exile of his grandson Robert de Montfort in king Henry I.'s reign, this, among the rest of his estates, came into the hands of the crown, of which it was afterwards held, with others of them in this neighbourhood; by the family of Criol, and Maud, widow of Simon de Criol, as was found by inquisition, died anno 52 Henry III. possessed of it, with lands in Essetesforde, Vetersture, and Pakemanston. How it passed afterwards, I do not find; but the next owners that appear are the family of Scott, of Scotts-hall, who held it as of the honor of Dover, by ward to the castle there; in them it continued for many generations, and till at length George Scott, esq. of Scottshall, about the latter end of king George I.'s reign, passed this manor away by sale to Sir Philip Boteler, bart. of Teston, and his son of the same name died possessed of it in 1772, having by will given one moiety of his estates to Mrs. Elizabeth Bouverie, then of Chart Sutton, but late of Teston; and the other moiety to Elizabeth, viscountess dowager Folkestone, and her son-in-law, William Bouverie, earl of Radnor; (fn. 1) and on the partition made by the two latter, of their moiety, this manor of Sevington was, with others, allotted to the latter, who died in 1776, and by will devised this manor, with the rest of the abovementioned estates in this county, to his eldest son by his second wife, the Hon. William-Henry Bouverie, who is the present owner of it, but there is neither house nor demesne lands belonging to it.
THE MOAT is a manor, situated in this parish below the hill, almost adjoining to Willesborough, somewhat more than half a mile westward from the church of Sevington; this mansion was, in very early times, the residence of a family which took their name from hence. Sir John de Sevington, said to be descended from an ancestor of the same name, a Saxon born, who lived in the time of king Edward the Confessor, and in great authority under earl Godwin, was possessed of this manor and resided here in the reign of Henry III. bearing for his arms, Argent, on a fess wavy, sable, three escallops, or, between three trefoils, slipt of the second. He left a sole daughter and heir Maud, who entitled her husband Sir John Barrey, to the possession of it, who afterwards resided here, as did his several descendants down to Richard Barrey, esq. of Sevington, lieutenant of Dover castle in the memorable year 1588, being descended from Sir Audrian Barray, of the district of Barray, in Normandy, and came into England with king Richard I. who placed him in the north country. His descendants were of respectable account at the times in which they lived, as conservators of the peace, knights of the shire, and sheriffs, keeping their several shrievalties at this seat of the Moat; two of them were lieutenants of Dover castle, and their alliances by marriages were with some of the most eminent families in this county, of Haut, Malmaines, St. John, Aucher, and Fogge. They bore for their arms, Argent, a fess, gules, between six fleurs de lis, sable. These arms were in the windows of Milton church, near Sittingborne, and are still on the roof of the cloysters at Canterbury. Weever mentions several of them, whose monuments and inscriptions were remaining in this church in his time. Several of them had their figures on their grave-stones, habited in armour; but they have been all long since gone. Sir John Barrey before-mentioned, left two daughters his coheirs, one of whom, Elizabeth, married Vincent Boys, of Bekesborne, who in her right became afterwards entitled to this manor. He was fourth son of William Boys, of Fredville, by Mary, sister and heir of Sir Edward Ringesley, of Knolton, and bore for his arms, Or, a griffin segreant, sable, within a bordure, gules: being the arms of Boys; and for difference, On the bordure, acorns and crosses, formee fitchee, or, alternatley. His son Edward Boys, of Betshanger, alienated this manor to Mr. John Alcock, who had been steward to the Barrey family, and was afterwards tenant of this estate under Mr. Edward Boys; so that, steward-like, his wealth increased in proportion as that of his respective masters wasted; insomuch, that when they were necessitated to sell, he was enabled to purchase; too frequent an example even in these times; his sole daughter and heir Margaret carried it in marriage back again to the family of Boys, by her union with Thomas Boys, gent. of Willesborough, descended from Thomas Boys, of Bonnington, in Goodnestone, who lived in the reign of Henry VIII. and was a younger son of William Boys, by Isabella, daughter and heir of Phallop, of Nonington. He pulled down this antient seat, which stood in the bottom, just within the western boundary of this parish, where the moat, filled with water, now remains entire, inclosing strictly the scite only of it, and removed the materials of it to rebuild his house at Willesborough. He died possessed of this manor, with the scite of the antient mansion of it in 1659, and was succeeded in it by his son John Boys, gent. of Willesborough, in whose descendants it has continued down to Mr. Edward Boys, gent. now of Willesborough, the present proprietor of it.
NEW HARBOUR, usually called New Arbour, was once a manor and seat of some account here, which in king Henry VII.'s reign was the property of the family of Elys, of Kennington; but it did not continue long with them, for in the next reign of Henry VIII. I find it in the possession of Henry Goulding, who resided here, as did his son Robert Goulding in the reign of queen Elizabeth, bearing for his arms, A cross voided, between four lions passant, gules; which was confirmed by Robert Cooke, clarencieux, in 1572, (fn. 2) but he alienated it to Sir Edward Radcliffe, physician to James I. who afterwards resided at it. He was descended out of Lancashire, where his ancestors were antiently seated, bearing for their arms, Argent, two bendlets ingrailed, sable. (fn. 3) Ralph Radcliffe, a younger brother of the above family, purchased Hitchin priory in the reign of Henry VIII. where his descendants afterwards continued; one of whom was Sir Edward Radcliffe, the purchaser of this estate of New Harbour, in whose descendants it continued down to John Radcliffe, esq. of Hitchin priory, in Hertfordshire, who dying in 1783, s. p. this estate, among others, came to Sir Charles Farnabye, bart. of Sevenoke, in right of his wife Penelope, sister and heir-at-law of the before-mentioned John Radcliffe, and widow of Mr. Charlton, merchant, of London. Sir Charles Farnabye, afterwards named Radcliffe, removed into Hertfordshire, where he died s.p. in October 1798, and his heirs are now entitled to it.
IN THE BOOK OF AID, anno 20 Edward III. for the making of the black prince a knight, mention is made of the manor of Hawkyswell, in this parish, which Isabel de Hawkyswell then held by knight's service, and which Walter de Rokeslye before held in Hawkyswell of the honor of Folkestone. In the 33d year of king Henry VIII. it was found by inquisition, taken after the death of Edward Barrey, that he died possesed of it, holding it by ward to the castle of Dover, so that having the same owners, it most probably merged in the manor of the Moat, and continues so at this time.
MRS. ELIZABETH, MAY, of Sittingborne, by will in 1721, gave 9l. every third year, chargeable on the estate of the Rev. Mr. Lushington, called Bilham-sarm, in Kingsnoth, Mersham, and Sevington, to be paid, clear of deductions, to this parish in turn, for a term of years therein mentioned; twenty years of which were unexpired in 1786; to be applied for the binding out yearly a child an apprentice, of the poorest people in these three parishes, to be approved of from time to time by such persons as should be owners of the estate. This charity did not take place till the year 1784. One girl only has as yet been put out apprentice from this charity by this parish.
HALF AN ACRE of land, called the Church spot, in this parish, was given by persons unknown; the rent of which is expended in the repairs of the church.
The poor constantly relieved are about ten, casually not more than two or three.
SEVINGTON is situated within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese of Canterbury, and deanry of Limne.
The church, which is dedicated to St. Mary, is very small, consisting of two isles, one much larger than the other, and one chancel. At the west end is a spire steeple, shingled, in which are four bells. There are several gravestones in this church, all which have been robbed of their brasses. In the chancel is a memorial for Edward Boys, rector, eldest son of Thomas Boys, gent. of Mersham, obt. 1723. Weever mentions several memorials for the family of Barrey, in his time, and one for John Fynch, esq. obt. 1442; none of which are now remaining.
This church is a rectory, which seems antiently to have been in the patronage of the owners of the Moat manor in this parish, and to have continued so till Mr. Edward Boys, the owner of that manor, about the year 1776, conveyed the patronage of it, by sale to Edward Norwood, gent. of Ashford, the present patron of it.
This rectory is valued in the king's books at 8l. 14s. 0½d. It is now a discharged living, of the clear yearly certified value of thirty-five pounds.
In 1570 it was valued at forty pounds, communicants sixty. In 1640 it had the like number of communicants, and it was valued at fifty-five pounds. It is now of the value of about one hundred and thirty pounds per annum.
Church of Sevington.
|Or by whom presented.|
|Richard Barrey, esq.||James Aucher, Dec. 8, 1584, obt. 1600.|
|Edward and John Boys, gent. of||William Master, A. M. May 9, 1600. (fn. 4)|
|Edward Boys, gent.||Thomas Bargar, alias Bargrave, S.T.B. Jan. 23, 1614, ob. 1621.|
|Ralph Brockhull, clerk.||Thomas Brockhull, A.B. April 23, 1621, resigned the same year.|
|J. Alcock, gent. of Willesborough.||Walter Angell, A.M. Aug. 8, 1621, obt. 1623.|
|William Stacy, A.M. July 5, 1623, resigned 1624.|
|John Whitinge, A. B. May 1, 1624, resigned 1629.|
|Thomas Boys, esq. of Willesborough||Thomas Streater, A. M. June 23, 1629.|
|Simon How, resigned 1668.|
|John Boys, gent,||Edward Sleighton, A. M. Dec. 30, 1668, obt. 1686.|
|William Sale, A. B. March 1, 1686, resigned 1690.|
|Edward Boys, A. M. July 3, 1690, obt. Nov. 21, 1723. (fn. 5)|
|John Jenkinson, resigned 1727.|
|Edward Boys, gent.||James Luck, A. B. Nov. 17, 1727, resigned 1731.|
|Stephen Greenhill, A. B. April 19, 1731, obt. July 1777. (fn. 6)|
|Edward Norwood, gent. of Ashford||Edward Norwood, jun. A. M. 1777, the present rector. (fn. 7)|