The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 7. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1798.
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THE HUNDRED OF WEST OR LITTLE BARNEFIELD
ALMOST in the midst of this part of Goudhurst is situated that eminent seat, called BEDGEBURY, nearly surrounded by a large tract of woodland, the greatest part of which is now known by the names of Bedgebury-park and the Fryth-woods.
This seat, in times of high antiquity, afforded both seat and surname to the possessors of it, one of them, John de Bedgebury, as appears by an old dateless deed, probably about the time of king Edward II. demised lands to William de Comeden, of Comedenhouse in these parts; his seal fixed to it being a knight on horseback, armed cap-a-peè. His descendant John de Bedgebury, son of John de Bedgebury, who died in 1424, and was buried in this church, dying s. p. in the reign of Henry VI. Agnes his sister, married to John Colepeper, became his heir, and entitled her husband to this seat, with the appendant manors of Bedgebury and Ford. He was the second son of Walter Colepeper, of Goudhurst, descended from those of Bayhali, in this county, where a full account of them may be seen. He was afterwards knighted, and sheriff in the 7th year of king Edward IV. at which time he resided at Bedgebury, where he died in 1480, and was buried near his father in this church, leaving two sons, Alexander, who was of Bedgebury, and Walter, who was ancestor of the Colepepers, of Leedscastle, Hollingborne, and the Charter-house. (fn. 1)
Sir Alexander Colepeper, the son, was of Bedgebury, and sheriff in the 15th and 22d years of king Henry VII. and the 6th of Henry VIII. Thomas Colepeper, esq. his eldest son, of Bedgebury, procured his lands to be disgavelled by the act of the 2d and 3d year of king Edward VI. in the latter of which he was sheriff. His grandson Anthony was of Bedgebury likewise, and was knighted by queen Elizabeth, who in her progress through Kent in 1573, honored this seat with her presence; and it is said in Camden's Remains, to the reputation of this family, that there were twelve knights and baronets alive, of this house of Colepeper, at one time. He had twelve sons and four daughters; of the surviving sons, Henry the third, was of Endford, in Wiltshire, clerk, and Thomas the fifth was of St. Stephen's, near Canterbury. Sir Alexander Colepeper, the eldest son, succeeding his father, resided at Bedgebury in the reign of king James I. He left an only daughter Anne, married to Thomas Snelgrave, esq. so that after his death this seat and estate seems to have descended, by the entail of it, to his next brother William Colepeper, esq. who died about the time of the restoration of Charles II. and his son Thomas Colepeper, esq. alienated Bedgebury, with its appendant manors, to Sir James Hayes, who married Rachel, viscountess Falkland, the daughter of Sir Anthony Hungerford, and widow of Lucius, viscount Falkland, the renowned friend of lord Clarendon. He rebuilt this seat, at a small distance from the antient mansion. He bore for his arms, Argent, three escutcheous, gules.
After his death, and much litigation in the court of chancery, Edward Stephenson, esq. who had a large mortgage on this estate, was put in the possession of it by that court, whose nephew Edward Stephenson, esq. afterwards possessed it, and on his death in 1782, it came to his cousin Capt. Edward Stephenson, who died in the East-Indies, and devised it to Miss Peach, and she sold it soon afterwards to John Cartier, esq. the present possessor of these manors, with the feat and estate of Bedgebury.
In the reign of queen Elizabeth, there was an extensive park adjoining to this seat, but it has been disparked many years. John Cartier, esq. has for some time resided at Bedgebury, where he kept his shrievalty in 1789, and has made great improvements to the house and lands adjoining.
TWYSDEN BOROUGH, antiently called Twysenden, and now usually called Burrs-farm which name is a contraction from the word borough to burgh, and thence to Burr, was once reputed a manor, and lies in the hundred of West Barnefield, at a small distance northward from Bedgebury; a place worthy notice, as having been the antient inheritance of the family of Twysden, who took their name originally from it, being at first called De Twysenden, and in Latin, De Denna Fracta, according to the quaint language of those times.
Adam de Twysenden, or Twysden, possessed this estate in the reign of Edward I. as did his descendant Roger Twysden, who in the 5th year of Henry IV. sealed with an impression of a cockatrice, in wax, as appears by a deed now in the hands of Sir WilliamJarvis Twysden, bart. of East Peckham, a singular thing in those times, when crests were very unusual, and only began to be customary, when those eminent families, who took part in the two factions of the houses of York and Lancaster, assumed them as marks of distinction of the party they sided with. This crest is still borne by the different branches of this family. (fn. 2)
Roger Twysden, above-mentioned, married Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Thomas Chelmington, esq. of Chelmington, in Great Chart, to which his son Roger Twysden, esq. removed and made it his residence. He was steward of the liberty of the priory of Christ-church, in Canterbury, in the reign of king Henry VI. in the beginning of which reign he sold this estate to Roger Riseden, of Riseden, in this parish, and he immediately afterwards alienated it to Jeffry Allen, who, about the latter end of that reign, settled it by deed on Thomas Windhill. (fn. 3) After which it was, for several descents, possessed by the family of Austen, in which it continued till by Elizabeth, daughter and coheir of William Austen, gent. of Goudhurst, it passed in marriage, about the time of king Charles I. to Anthony Fowle, of Rotherfield, in Sussex, a younger branch of those of Riverhall, in that county, and he on his death devised it to his second son Simon Fowle, esq. of this place, who died possessed of it in 1672, leaving an only daughter, and was buried in this church. He bore for his arms, Gules, a lion passant, guardant, between three roses, or. Soon after which it came into the possession of Bathurst, a younger branch of those of Finchcocks, from which it was sold to Jeffry Gilbert, baron of the exchequer, and after that to John Norris, esq. of Hemsted, in Benenden, eldest son of admiral Sir John Norris, who died in 1767, and was succeeded in it by his son John Norris, esq. whose trustees sold it to John Cartier, esq of Bedgebury, the present owner of it.
ADJOINING to Twysden borough is the BOROUGH OF LILSDEN, the manor of which lately belonged to Springet, and afterwards to Mr. John Noaks, gent. Since which it has been conveyed to John Cartier, esq. of Bedgebury, the present owner of it.
THE BOROUGH OF PATTENDEN, over which the manor of East Farleigh claims, was once reputed a manor, and is situated at the uppermost or northern part of this hundred. It gave both seat and surname to a family who were possessors of it, as appears by original deeds and other records, as early as the reign of Edward I. They continued owners of it at the latter end of the reign of Henry VI. in the 29th year of which, on the commission then issued out to Jervas Clifton, esq. sheriff of this county, to return all those who bore arma antiqua, the name of Pattenden, then possessor of this manor, was returned among them. His descendant alienated it to Sir Maurice Berkeley, standard-bearer to Henry VIII. king Edward VI. and queen Elizabeth. By his will in 1581, he give his manor of Pattenden to Robert, his fourth son, being the eldest by Elizabeth his second wife, daughter of Sir Anthony Sondes, of Throwley, and he, in the same reign, alienated it to Mr. William Beswicke, of Spelmonden, in Horsemonden; after which it passed in like manner as that seat down to Hugh Marriott, esq. who died in 1753, and his daughter Mrs. Anne Marriott is the present owner of it. (fn. 4)
CHINGLEY, now more commonly called Shingley, is a manor and estate, situated in this parish, at the western side of the same hundred. It was, so early as the beginning of the reign of king Edward I. part of the possessions of the Cistertian abbey of Boxley, the abbot of which, in the 33d year of Edward III. obtained a charter of free-warren for his demesne lands in his manor of Chingele, in this parish, which continued part of the possessions of that abbey till the surrendry of it into the hands of Henry VIII. in his 29th year, who in his 36th year granted it, with other premises in Goudhurst and Staplehurst, to Thomas Colepeper, esq. to hold in capite by knight's service. And he, two years afterwards, alienated the manor of Chingley, and Chingley-wood, with their appurtenances, to Thomas Darell, of Scotney, and Stephen Darell, of Horsemonden, sons of Thomas Darell, esq. of Scotney, the former of whom became at length sole possessor of this manor and estate, and in the 17th year of queen Elizabeth, sold one moiety of it to William Campion, barrister-at-law. But the other moiety he still kept possession of, which continued in his name and family down to John Darell, esq. of Scotney, who in 1774 alienated Chingley-wood to Mr. John Hammond, and the moiety of the manor to Mr. John Richards, and he in 1779 sold it to Edward Hussey, esq. of Scotney, the present possessor of it.
But the other moiety of this manor and estate, called, for distinction sake, LITTLE CHINGLEY, or Shingley, which was alienated to William Campion, esq. who was of Combwell, in this parish, continues at this time in his lineal descendant William-John Campion, esq. son of Henry Courthope Campion, esq. of Danny, in Sussex.
THE MANOR OF COMBWELL lies in the same hundred, on part of which, at a place then called Henle, Robert de Thurnham, in the reign of king Henry II. founded A PRIORY for canons of the order of St. Augustine, and dedicated it to St. Mary Magdalen, and endowed it with Henle, Cumbewell, and other possessions, in perpetual alms, which gift was confirmed by his son Stephen de Thurnham. together with all its possessions, in free, pure, and perpetual alms, and by king Henry III. by inspeximus, in his 11th year, who at the same time granted to them a fair, to be held here on the feast and morrow of St. Mary Magdalen. In the 8th year of Richard II. the whole revenues of this priory were valued at 66l. 2s. 6d. Tanner says, this was founded an abbey, but on account of the charge of supporting the state of so great a prelate as an abbot, was, by reason of its slender revenues, degraded to a priory. If this was the case, which I find no where else mentioned, this change must have happened very early; for in 1285 it was again become a priory (fn. 5) It was subject to the see of Canterbury, the prior constantly making his profession of obedience to the archbishop. He was installed by the archdeacon, who, as his fees, had liberty of staying at the priory two nights and one day, during which he was to be found in meat and drink at the expence of the society, but was not to take any thing further. In the 27th year of Henry VIII. an act passed for suppressing all such religious houses, whole revenues did not amount to the clear yearly value of two hundred pounds. In consequence of which this priory, whose revenues amounted to no more than 128l. 1s. 9½d. in the whole, and 80l. 17s. 5½d. clear yearly income, was surrendered, with all its lands and possessions, into the king's hands, by Thomas Vincent, the prior of it, who had a pension of ten pounds per annum for his future maintenance.
King Henry VIII. next year, being his 29th, granted the late priory of Combwell, otherwise called Comwell, with the manors of Combwell, Lestherst, alias Loffherst, Hooke, and Coldred, in this county, to Thomas Culpeper, to hold in capite by knight's service. But he did not possess them long, for it appears by the escheat rolls that they were again in the crown, in the 34th year of that reign, in which the king granted them to Sir John Gage, in reward for his services in the expedition made into Scotland that year, to hold by the like service. He was a most distinguished person, both in his military as well as civil capacity, and became one of the most eminent men of the age he lived in; having been, among other offices, made of the privy council, vice chamberlain, comptroller of the household, and chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster. After which he was made constable of the tower of London, and knight of the order of the garter, and lord chamberlain of the household, from whom descended the Gages of Firle, baronets; the present lord viscount Gage, and the Gages, of Suffolk, baronets. He bore for his arms, Gyrony of four, azure, and argent, a saltire, gules. (fn. 6) He seems to have exchanged the manor of Combwell, and the scite of the priory, and other premises belonging to it in Goudhurst, with Thomas Colepeper, or Culpeper, esq. of Bedgebury, for the confirmation of which an act passed next year, being the 35th year of the same reign. His son Sir Alexander Colepeper, in the beginning of queen Elizabeth's reign, alienated them to William Campion, esq. descended of a younger branch of those of Witham, in Essex, who afterwards resided here, where he died in 1615, and was buried in this church. His son, Sir William Campion, was of Combwell; a most valiant and loyal gentleman, who engaged early in the troubles of Charles I. in the service of that prince. Being in Colchester with his regiment, at the time that town was assaulted by the rebels under General Fairfax, on June 13, 1648, in a sally out of it he was slain, and was buried in the chancel of St. Peter's, Colchester, being aged only thirtyfour. He left a son William, esq. who was of Combwell, having married Frances, third daughter of Sir John Glynne, serjeant at-law, by whom he had issue two sons and six daughters. Of the former, the eldest surviving son Henry, succeeded him in this estate, and married the daughter and heir of Peter Courthope, esq. of Danny, in Sussex, whose grandfather, Peter Courthope, esq. was of Cranbrooke, in the time of king Charles I. and removed from thence to Danny, which he purchased of the earl of Norwich, and died in 1657, to which seat Henry Campion, esq. removed, and soon afterwards pulled down the greatest part of this seat of Combwell, leaving only sufficient for a farmhouse. His son and heir Wm. Campion, esq. of Danny, possessed this estate of Combwell on his father's decease, and died in 1778, and his grandson William John Campion, esq. (son of Henry Courthope Campion, esq. of Danny, in Suffex) who married the eldest daughter of Francis Mottley Austen, esq. of Sevenoke, is the present owner of it. The Campions bear for their arms, Argent, on a chief, gules, an eagle displayed, or.
JOHN ROBERTS, of Goudhurst, by will in 1605, gave to the poor of this parish an annuity of 10s. out of his messuage and lands in this parish, wherein he then dwelt, with power for the overseers to distrain, &c.
EDWARD ROBERTS, ESQ. of Goudhurst, by will in 1627, ordered, that his son Thomas, his executor, should purchase lands to the value of 40s. per annum, to remain for ever to the poor of this parish, to be disposed of by the overseers.
RICHARD BISHOP, of Goudhurst, by will in 1630, bequeathed to certain aged poor people of this parish 20s. to be paid to them yearly for ever, out of his house and lands at Risebridge, to be paid to the vicar and churchwardens, and their successors, for ever, to be distributed to ten poor aged and impotent persons of it every half year, with power of distress, &c.
JOHN HORSEMONDEN, of Goudhurst, clothier, by will in 1636, gave 10l to the churchwardens and overseers, to be laid up for a constant stock, to provide wood and faggots for the poor people about the town of Goudhurst, at their discretion.
RICHARD THOMAS, gent. of Goudhurst, by will in 1639, gave to the use of the poor people of this parish for ever, all his right and interest in the three cottages, with their appurtenances, in Goudhurst, at the lower end of Flimwell-street, near to his lands there, called Pound-fields. (fn. 7)
HENRY CAMPION, esq. late of Danny, deceased, in 1753, gave 400l. to be laid out in the purchase of lands in this parish, or within ten miles thereof, for the benefit of the vicar for ever. This money is now vested in the 3 per cent. consolidated Bank Annuities, and the vicar constantly receives the interest of it.
SIR HENRY FERMOR, bart. late of Sevenoke, in this county, gave by will in 1732, one load of best wheat bread-corn, to be delivered yearly on Oct. 10, for ever, to industrious poor people, men and women, who do not receive alms, (which is now given to forty of them) and charged all his estates in Hadlow and Great Peckham with it.
THOMAS BATHURST, esq. late of Finchcocks, by will gave 5l. per annum for ever, for an English school, at Riseden, in this parish, and 20s. to be laid out in good books, and charged his lands in Horsemonden with the payment thereof.
THOMAS PARIS, who died in 1782, gave by will the sum of 400l. vested in the 3 per cent. East-India Annuities, the interest to be applied to purchase forty sixpenny loaves, to be given away to the poor on the first Sunday in every month; and he gave likewise 100l. to be distributed among one hundred poor persons after his death.
THERE ARE TWO SCHOOLS in this parish, founded by John Horsemonden, esq. one for teaching grammar and the Latin language, the other English. The former is under the care of the Rev. Mr. Dowthwait, who has a salary of thirty-five pounds per annum; the latter is under the care of a widow woman, who has a salary of five pounds per annum, and is full of poor children.
There is another school at Riseden, in this parish, founded by the will of Thomas Bathurst, esq. of Finchcocks, who devised five pounds per annum for ever, for an English school there; and twenty shillings per annum to be laid out in good books. (fn. 8)
The church is dedicated to the blessed Virgin Mary. It is a large handsome building, consisting of three isles and three chancels. It has a large over-sized low tower at the west end, with a small beacon tower at one corner, on which is a pointed turret, covered with lead, with a vane on the top of it. There is a ring of eight bells in it. There is no painted glass remaining in the windows. In the south chancel, one half of which belongs to the Bedgebury estate, are several monuments and memorials of the Colepeper family; particularly a tomb of Bethersden marble, with figures in brass, of a man and woman, and their six children. Over it is an arch, supposed to be for one of this family; several gravestones, with figures in brass, on one the arms of Colepeper, impaling three harts heads, couped; inscription gone. Against the south wall is a most sumptuous monument of sculpture, composed of many different coloured marbles, having the figures of a man and woman (she being on the right hand, which is unusual) kneeling at two desks; behind him a youth kneeling; underneath are five daughters, eleven sons, and two still born infants besides, lying under the latter, on it an inscription for Thomas Colepeper, esq. of Bedgebury, eldest son of Ould Sir Alexander Colepeper, of the same, obt. 1550; of Sir Alexander Colepeper, son of the said Thomas, obt. 1599; and one mentioning that Sir Anthony Colepeper, son and heir of the same Sir Alexander, made this tomb in 1608, æt. 48, being then living. In the south isle, is a bow window, in the recess of which is a tomb of Bethersden marble, and on it lie, at full length, the figures of a man and woman, most curiously carved in wood, and as curiously habited in the ornaments and dress of their time, having two greyhounds lying at their feet. At the west end of the tomb are the arms of Colepeper. These figures are perhaps the most worthy notice of any within the kingdom; but they are, through neglect, from the wet and weather beating in upon them, likely, in a very few years, to be entirely decayed. Against the east wall is an historical carve-work, in stone, with a relief in miniature, of a man and woman kneeling at a desk; behind them six daughters, and five sons. On the desk or altar, anno 1535, in antient type, in the high chancel, a mural monument, with effigies kneeling, for William Campion, esq. obt. 1615. and Rachell his wife. In the south chancel a monument for William Campion, esq. with his bust in white marble, dressed in a remarkable large and full curled wig, obt. 1702; one half of this chancel belongs to the Combwell estate. In the church-yard are several tomb stones of the Stringers, the inscriptions almost obliterated. There is a remarkable yew-tree in the churchyard, which measures twenty-seven seet in circumference.
There was formerly a tall spire on the tower of this church, which on August 23, 1637, at eleven o'clock at night, was set fire to, by a sudden and dreadful storm of thunder and lightning, which at the same time broke and melted the five great bells in it, and burnt and consumed four lofts, and all the timber and wood work of the steeple, and shook and rent the stone work of it so much, that it was thought right to take it down; and the body of the church and leads were much impaired by the fall of the timbers. In the year following a collection was made by a brief, in this and the neigbouring counties, for the repair of this damage, and a parish tax was made for the purpose; and the foundation of the steeple was begun a-new, of stone, and carried on as high as the roof of the church; but by the dishonesty of the collectors of the money gathered for this use, and the dissentions of the parishioners, the work went no further, only the small turret above-mentioned, was set on the top of the stone work, and one great bell only hung in it, in which state it still remains. It appears by the brief, that the charge of repairing the damage was estimated 2745l. which the parishioners were no ways able to undergo, by reason that the number of poor people there were of late years so much increased, the charge of them within nine or ten years past, being but eighty pounds, and then amounting to three hundred pounds per annum, most of the parishioners and farmers being tenants at rack rents, were totally unable to undergo the charge, above twenty of the chief owners having of late years left their habitations there.
Robert de Crevequer, at the time of his founding the priory of Ledes, in the year 1119, gave to it the advowsons of all the churches of his estates, among which was this of Gutherste, with twenty acres of land in this parish, together with all their customs, goods, liberties, and privileges. This gift was confirmed by his descendants from time to time, and by several kings, archbishops of Canterbury, and others. (fn. 9) Daniel de Crevequer, in his confirmation of it, adds--and all tithes of lands, woods, meadows, marshes, mills, orchards, and of flax, colts, calves, lambs, pigs, cheeses, fleeces, and all other matters, of which tithes ought to be paid.
The church of Goudhurst was appropriated to the prior and canons of Leeds in the reign of Edward I. at the latter end of which reign a complaint was made, before archbishop Winchelsea, by Peter, then vicar of it, against the prior and convent, for with-holding from him the tithes of the sheep and cows of the manor of Gutherst; and that they had taken of him eighteenpence of annual rent, for their finding of three flaggons of oil yearly in the church of Gutherst; and the archbishop, having heard the merits of the case, decreed, that the said tithes, then valued at half a marc yearly, should be restored to the vicar, to be in future received yearly by him and his successors. Notwithstanding which, there was no endowment of a vicarage till archbishop Stratford, by his decree, in 1341, endowed one here; which instrument, exemplisied by archbishop Courtney in 1391, is yet remaining. (fn. 10)
The church, and vicarage of this church, remained part of the possessions of the above priory till the dissolution of it in the reign of king Henry VIII. when it came, with the rest of the possessions of that house, into the king's hands, who by his dotation charter, under the great seal, in his 33d year, settled both parsonage and advowson on his new-erected dean and chapter of Rochester, with whom they now remain. The lessee of the parsonage-house, and glebe-land belonging to it, under the dean and chapter, is the Rev. Mr. Richard Bathurst, of Finchcocks; and of the parsonage, and tithes belonging to it, John Cole, esq. of Horsemonden. But the presentation to the vicarage they reserve in their own hands.
In the 8th year of king Richard II. the church of Goudhurst, appropriated to the prior and convent of Leeds, was valued at 13l. 6s. 8d. The vicarage is valued in the king's books at 26l. 19s. 2d. and the yearly tenths at 2l. 13s. 11d. (fn. 11) In 1640 it was valued at one hundred pounds. Communicants nine hundred. It is at present endowed with all manner of tithes, except those of corn and grain. (fn. 12) There are about two acres of glebe-land belonging to it.
Church of Goudhurst.
|Or by whom presented.|
|Dean and Chapter of Rochester||Richard Carter, March 23, 1592, obt 1612.|
|Richard Milborne, S. T. P. April 29, 1612, resigned 1613.|
|Thomas Horsemonden, S. T. B. Oct. 7, 1613, obt. 1625.|
|Walter. Balcanqual, S. T. P. July 16, 1625 (fn. 13)|
|Archbishop, by lapse.||Daniel Horsemonden, S. T. P. 1625, resigned 1640. (fn. 14)|
|Dean and Chapter.||James Wilcocke, A. M. Feb. 23, 1640.|
|Edward Thurman, March 18, 1661, obt. 1676.|
|James Fen, A. M. November 8, 1676, obt. 1709.|
|Samuel Pratt, S. T. P. August 15. 1709, resigned 1713. (fn. 15)|
|John Lidgould, A. M. July 13, 1713, obt. 1727.|
|The same again, presented March 1728|
|Thomas Standen, in 1734.|
|Robert Berisford, obt. Oct. 2, 1736.|
|Isaac Finch, A. M. February 16, 1737, obt. 1756. (fn. 16)|
|John Adey, A. B. January 25, 1757, resigned 1759.|
|Robert Polhill, A. M. July 1759, the present vicar. (fn. 17)|