The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 8. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1799.
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THE parish of Folkestone, which gives name to this hundred, was antiently bounded towards the south by the sea, but now by the town and liberty of Folkestone, which has long since been made a corporation, and exempt from the jurisdiction of the hundred. The district of which liberty is a long narrow slip of land, having the town within it, and extending the whole length of the parish, between the sea shore and that part of the parish still within the jurisdiction of the hundred, and county magistrates, which is by far the greatest part of it.
THE PARISH, which is about three miles across each way, is situated exceedingly pleasant and healthy. The high chalk, or down hills uniclosed, and well covered with pasture, cross the northern part of it, and from a sine romantic scene. Northward of these, this part of the parish is from its high situation, called the uphill of Folkestone; in this part is Tirlingham, the antient mansion of which has been some years since pulled down, and a modern farm-house erected in its stead; near it is Hearn forstal, on which is a good house, late belonging to Mr. Nicholas Rolse, but now of Mr. Richard Marsh; over this forstal the high road leads from Folkestone to Canterbury. The centre of the parish is in the beautiful and fertile vale called Folkestone vale, which has downs, meadows, brooks, marshes, arable land, and every thing in small parcels, which is sound in much larger regions; being interspersed with houses and cottages, and well watered by several fresh streams; besides which, at Ford forstall, about a mile northward from the town, there rises a strong chalybeat spring. This part of the parish, by far the greatest part of it, as far as the high road from Dover, through it, towards Hythe, is within the jurisdiction of the hundred of Folkestone, and the justices of the county. The small part on the opposite, or southern side of that road is within the liberty of the town or corporation of Folkestone, where the quarry or sand hills, on the broken side of one of which, the town is situated, are its southern maritime boundaries. These hills begin close under the chalk or down hills, in the eastern part of this parish, close to the sea at Eastware bay, and extend westward along the sea shore almost as far as Sandgate castle, where they stretch inland towards the north, leaving a small space between them and the shore. So that this parish there crossing one of them, extends below it, a small space in the bottom as far as that castle, these quarry, or sand hills, keeping on their course north-west, from the northern boundary of Romney Marsh, and then the southern boundary of the Weald, both which they overlook, extending pretty nearly in a parallel line with the chalk or down hills.
The prospect over this delightful vale of Folkestone from the hill, on the road from Dover as you descend to the town, is very beautiful indeed for the pastures and various fertility of the vale in the centre, beyond it the church and town of Hythe, Romney Marsh, and the high promontory of Beachy head, boldly stretching into the sea. On the right the chain of losty down hills, covered with verdure, and cattle seeding on them; on the lest the town of Folkestone, on the knole of a hill, close to the sea, with its scattered environs, at this distance a pleasing object, and beyond it the azure sea unbounded to the sight, except by the above-mentioned promontory, altogether from as pleasing a prospect as any in this county.
FOLKESTONE was a place of note in the time of the Romans, and afterwards in that of the Saxons, as will be more particularly noticed hereafter, under the description of the town itself. By what name it was called by the Romans, is uncertain; by the Saxons it was written Folcestane, and in the record of Domesday, Fulchestan. In the year 927 king Athelstane, son of king Edward the elder, and grandson of king Alfred, gave Folkstane, situated, as is mentioned in the grant of it, on the sea shore, where there had been a monastery, or abbey of holy virgins, in which St. Eanswith was buried, which had been destroyed by the Danes, to the church of Canterbury, with the privilege of holding it L. S. A. (fn. 1)But it Seems afterwards to have been taken from it, for king Knute, in 1038, is recorded to have restored to that church, the parish of Folkstane, which had been given to it as above-mentioned; but upon condition, that it should never be alienated by the archbishop, without the licence both of the king and the monks. Whether they joined in the alienation of it, or it was taken from them by force, is uncertain; but the church of Canterbury was not in possession of this place at the time of taking the survey of Domesday, in 1080, being the 14th year of the Conqueror's reign, at which time it was part of the possessions of the bishop of Baieux, the conqueror's half-brother, under the general description of whose lands it is thus entered in it:
In Limowart lest, in Fulcbestan hundred, William de Acris holds Fulchestan. In the time of king Edward the Consessor, it was taxed at forty sulings, and now at thirty-nine. The arable land is one hundred and twenty carucates. In demesne there are two hundred and nine villeins, and four times twenty, and three borderes. Among all they have forty-five carcates. There are five churches, from which the archbishop has fifty-five shillings. There are three servants, and seven mills of nine pounds and twelve shillings. There are one hundred acres of meadow. Wood for the pannage of forty bogs. Earl Godwin held this manor.
Of this manor, Hugo, son of William, holds nine sulings of the land of the villeins, and there he has in demesne four carucates and an half, and thirty-eight villeins, with seventeen borderes, who have sixteen carucates. There are three churches, and one mill and an half, of sixteen shillings and five-pence, and one saltpit of thirty pence. Wood for the pannage of six bogs. It is worth twenty pounds.
Bernard de St. Owen, four sulings, and there he has in demesne three carucates, and six villeins, with eleven borderes, having two carucates. There are four servants, and two mills of twenty-four shillings, and twenty acres of meadow. Wood for the pannage of two bogs.
All Fulchestan, in the time of king Edward the Consessor, was worth one hundred and ten pounds, when he received it forty pounds, now what he has in demesne is worth one hundred pounds; what the knights hold abovementioned together, is worth forty-five pounds and ten shillings.
It plainly appears that this entry in Domesday does not only relate to the lands within this parish, but to those in the adjoining parishes within the hundred, the whole of which, most probably, were held of the bishop of Baieux, but to which of them each part refers in particular, is at this time impossible to point out. About four years after the taking of the above survey, the bishop was disgraced, and all his possessions consiscated to the crown. After which, Nigell de Muneville, a descendant of William de Arcis, mentioned before in Domesday, appears to have become possessed of the lordship of Folkestone, and as such in 1095, being the 9th year of king William Rusus, removed the priory of Folkestone from the bail of the castle to the place where it afterwards continued. His son William dying in his life-time s. p, Matilda his sole daughter and heir was given in marriage with the whole of her inheritance, by king Henry I. to Ruallanus de Albrincis, or Averenches, whose descendant Sir William de Albrincis, was become possessed of this lordship at the latter end of that reign; and in the 3d year of the next reign of king Stephen, he confirmed the gifts of his ancestors above-mentioned to the priory here. He appears to have been one of those knights, who had each a portion of lands, which they held for the de sence of Dover castle, being bound by the tenure of those lands to provide a certain number of soldiers, who should continually perform watch and ward within it, according to their particular allotment of time; but such portions of these lands as were not actually in their own possession were granted out by them to others, to hold by knight's service, and they were to be ready for the like service at command, upon any necessity whatever, and they were bound likewife, each knight to desend a certain tower in the castle; that desended by Sir William de Albrincis being called from him, Averenches tower, and afterwards Clinton tower, from the future owners of those lands. (fn. 2) Among those lands held by Sir William de Albrincis for this purpose was Folkestone, and he held them of the king in capitle by barony. These lands together made up the barony of Averenches, or Folkestone, as it was afterwards called, from this place being made the chief of the barony, caput baroniæ, as it was stiled in Latin; thus The Manor of Folkestone, frequently called in after times An Honor, (fn. 3)and the mansion of it the castle, from its becoming the chief seat or residence of the lords paramount of this barony, continued to be so held by his descendants, whose names were in Latin records frequently speit Albrincis, but in French Avereng and Averenches, and in after times in English ones, Evering; in them it continued till Matilda, daughter and heir of William de Albrincis, carried it in marriage to Hamo de Crevequer, who, in the 20th year of that reign, had possession given him of her inheritance. He died in the 47th year of that reign, possessed of the manor of Folkestone, held in capite, and by rent for the liberty of the hundred, and ward of Dover castle. Robert his grandson, dying s. p. his four sisters became his heirs, and upon the division of their inheritance, and partition of this barony, John de Sandwich, in right of his wife Agnes, the eldest sister, became entitled to this manor and lordship of Folkestone, being the chief seat of the barony, a preference given to her by law, by reason of her eldership; and from this he has been by some called Baron of Folkestone, as has his son Sir John de Sandwich, who left an only daughter and heir Julian, who carried this manor in marriage to Sir John de Segrave, who bore for his arms, Sable, three garbs, argent. He died in the 17th year of Edward III. who, as well as his son, of the same name, received summons to parliament, though whether as barons of Folkestone, as they are both by some called, I know not. Sir John de Segrave, the son, died possessed of this manor anno 23 Edward III. soon after which it appears to have passed into the family of Clinton, for William de Clinton, earl of Huntingdon, who bore for his arms, Argent, crusulee, situchee, sable, upon a chief, azure, two mullets, or, pierced gules; which coat differed from that of his elder brother's only in the croslets, which were not borne by any other of this family till long afterwards, (fn. 4)died possessed of it in the 28th year of that reign, at which time the mansion of this manor bore the name of the castle. He died s. p. leaving his nephew Sir John de Clinton, son of John de Clinton, of Maxtoke, in Warwickshire, his heir, who was afterwards summoned to parliament anno 42 Edward III. and was a man of great bravery and wisdom, and much employed in state affairs. He died possessed of this manor, with the view of frank-pledge, a moiety of the hundred of Folkestone, and THE MANOR OF WALTON, which, though now first mentioned, appears to have had the same owners as the manor of Folkestone, from the earliest account of it. He married Idonea, eldest daughter of Jeffry, lord Say, and at length the eldest coheir of that family, and was succeeded in these manors by his grandson William, lord Clinton, who, anno 6 Henry IV. had possession granted of his share of the lands of William de Say, as coheir to him in right of his grandmother Idonea, upon which he bore the title of lord Clinton and Saye, which latter however he afterwards relinquished, though he still bore for his arms, Qnarterly, Clinton and Saye, with two greybounds for his supporters. After which the manor of Folkestone, otherwise called Folkestone Clinton, and Walton, continued to be held in capite by knight's service, by his descendants lords Clinton, till Edward, lord Clinton and Saye, which title he then bore, together with Elizabeth his wife, in the 30th year of Henry VIII. conveyed these manors, with other premises in this parish, to Thomas Cromwell lord Cromwell, afterwards created earl of Essex, on whose attainder two years afterwards they reverted again to the crown, at which time the lordship of Folkestone was stiled an honor; whence they were granted in the fourth year of Edward VI. to the former possessor of them, Edward, lord Clinton and Saye, to hold in capite, for the meritorious services he had performed. In which year, then bearing the title of lord Clinton and Saye, he was declared lord high admiral, and of the privy council, besides other favours conferred on him; and among other lands, he had a grant of these manors, as abovementioned, which he next year, anno 5 Edward VI. reconveyed back to the crown, in exchange for other premises. (fn. 5)He was afterwards installed knight of the garter, by the title of Earl of Lincoln and Baron of Clinton and Saye; and in the last year of that reign, constable of the tower of London. Though in the 1st year of queen Mary he lost all his great offices for a small time, yet he had in recompence of his integrity and former services, a grant from her that year, of several manors and estates in this parish, as well as elsewhere, and among others, of these manors of Folkestone and Walton, together with the castle and park of Folkestone, to hold in capite; all which he, the next year, passed away by sale to Mr. Henry Herdson, citizen and alderman of London, who lest several sons, of whom Thomas succeeded him in this estate, in whose time the antient park of Folkestone seems to have been disparked. His son Mr. Francis Herdson alienated his interst in these manors and premises to his uncle Mr. John Herdson, who resided at the manor of Tyrlingham, in this parish, and dying in 1622, was buried in the chancel of Hawking church, where his monument remains; and there is another sumptuous one besides erected for him in the south isle of Folkestone church. They bore for their arms, Argent, a cross sable, between four fleurs de lis, gules. He died s. p. and by will devised these manors, with his other estates in this parish and neighbourhood, to his nephew Basill, second son of his sister Abigail, by Charles Dixwell, esq. Basill Dixwell, esq. afterwards resided at Tyrlingham, a part of the estate devised to him by his uncle, where, in the 3d year of king Charles I. he kept his shrievalty, with great honor and hospitality; after which he was knighted, and in 1627, anno 3 Charles I. created a baronet; but having rebuilt the mansion of Brome, in Barham, he removed thither before his death. On his decease unmarried, the title of baronet became extinct; but he devised these manors, with the rest of his estates, to his nephew Mark Dixwell, son of his elder brother William Dixwell, of Coton, in Warwickshire, who afterwards resided at Brome. He married Elizabeth, sister and heir of William Read, esq. of Folkestone, by whom he had Basill Dixwell, esq. of Brome, who in 1660, anno 12 Charles II. was created a baronet. His son Sir Basill Dixwell, bart. of Brome, about the year 1697, alientated these manors, with the park-house and grounds, and other estates in this parish and neighbourhood, to Jacob Desbouverie, esq. of LondonHe was descended from Laurence de Bouverie, de la Bouverie, or Des Bouveries, of an antient and honorable extraction in Flanders, (fn. 6)who renouncing the tenets of the Romish religion came into England in the year 1567, anno 10 Elizabeth, and seems to have settled first at Canterbury. He was a younger son of Le Sieur des Bouveries, of the chateau de Bouverie, near Lisle, in Flanders, where the eldest branch of this family did not long since possess a considerable estate, bearing for their arms, Gules, a bend, vaire. Edward, his eldest son, was an eminet Turkey merchant, was knighted by king James II. and died at his seat at Cheshunt, in Hertfordshire, in 1694. He had seven sons and four daughters; of the former, William, the eldest, was likewife an eminent Turkey merchant, and was, anno 12 queen Anne, created a baronet, and died in 1717. Jacob, the third son, was purchaser of these manors; and Christopher, the seventh son, was knighted, and seated at Chart Sutton, in this county, under which a further account of him may be seen; (fn. 7)and Anne, the second daughter, married Sir Philip Boteler, bart. Jacob Desbouverie afterwards resided at Tyrlingham, and dying unmarried in 1722, by his will devised these manors, with his other estates here, to his nephew Sir Edward Desbouverie, bart. the eldest brother son of Sir William Desbouverie, bart. his elder brother, who died possessed of them in 1736, s. p. on which his title, with these and all his other estates, came to his next surviving brother and heir Sir Jacob Desbouverie, bart. who anno 10 George II. procured an act to enable himself and his descendants to use the name of Bouverie only, and was by patent, on June 29, 1747, created baron of Longford, in Wiltshire, and viscount Folkestone, of Folkestone. He was twice married; first to Mary, daughter and sole heir of Bartholomew Clarke, esq. of Hardingstone, in Northamptonshire, by whom he had several sons and daughters, of whom William, the eldest son, succeeded him in titles and estates; Edward is now of Delapre abbey, near Northamptonshire; Anne married George, a younger son of the lord chancellor Talbot; Charlotte; Mary married Anthony, earl of Shastesbury; and Harriot married Sir James Tilney Long, bart. of Wiltshire. By Elizabeth his second wife, daughter of Robert, lord Romney, he had Philip, who has taken the name of Pusey, and possesses, as heir to his mother Elizabeth, dowager viscountess Folkestone, who died in 1782, several manors and estates in the western part of this county. He died in 1761, and was buried in the family vault at Britford, near Salisbury, being succeeded in title and estates by his eldest son by his first wife, William, viscount Folkestone, who was on Sept. 28, anno 5 king George III. created Earl of Radnor, and Baron Pleydell Bouverie, of Coleshill, in Berkshire. He died in 1776, having been three times married; first, to Harriot, only daughter and heir of Sir Mark Stuart Pleydell, bart. of Colefhill, in Berkshire. By her, who died in 1750, and was buried at Britford, though there is an elegant monument erected for her at Coleshill, he had Hacob, his successor in titles and estates, born in 1750. He married secondly, Rebecca, daughter of John Alleyne, esq. of Barbadoes, by whom he had four sons; William-Henry, who married Bridget, daughter of James, earl of Morton; Bartholomew, who married MaryWyndham, daughter of James Everard Arundell, third son of Henry, lord Arundell, of Wardour; and Edward, who married first Catherine Murray, eldest daughter of John, earl of Dunmore; and secondly, Arabella, daughter of admiral Sir Chaloner Ogle. His third wife was Anne, relict of Anthony Duncombe, lord Faversham, and daughter of Sir Thomas Hales, bart. of Bekesborne, by whom he had two daughters, who both died young. He was succeeded in titles and estates by his eldest son, the right hon. Jacob Pleydell Bouverie, earl of Radnor, who is the present possessor of these manors of Folkestone and Walton, with the park-house and disparked grounds adjacent to it, formerly the antient park of Folkestone, the warren, and other manors and estates in this parish and neighbourhood.
Courts baron are regularly held for the manors of Folkestone, free and copyhold, for there is much land and many house held of it by copy of court-roll, and the manor of Walton; and a court-leet is held regularly for the hundred of Folkestone.
The earl of Radnor is lord-lieutenant and custos rotulorum, and colonel of the Berkshire militia, recorder of New Sarum, and F. R. S. He married in 1777 Anne, youngest daughter and coheir of Anthony Duncombe, lord Faversham, above mentioned, by whom he has four sons, William, viscount Folkestone, Duncombe, Laurence, and Frederick; and three daughters, Mary-Anne, and Harriet, who died infants, and Barbara. He bears for his arms, Parted per sess, or, and argent, an imperial eagle, sable, thereon an escutcheon, gules, charged with a bend, vaire; the first being those of Bouverie by English grant, and the escutcheon the original arms of Bouverie; with which arms he quarters those of Pleydell, being Argent, a bend, gules, guttee de larmes, between two Cornish dawes, proper, a chief chequy, or, and sable. For his crest, On a wreath, a demi eagle displayed, with two heads, sable, beaked and ducally gorged, or, and charged on the breast with a cross-croslet, argent. For his supporters, on each side,An eagle regardant, sable, gorged with a ducal coronet, or, and charged on the breast with a crosscroslet, argent.
THE MANOR OF TIRLINGHAM, with ACKHANGER, the former of which is situated in the northern or uphill part of this parish, was antiently of very eminent account. In the reign of the Conqueror it seems, with its appendage of Ackhanger, situated in the adjoining parish of Cheriton, to have been held by Nigell de Muneville, and to have passed from him in like manner as has been mentioned before, to the family of Albrincis, or Averenches, and to have made up together the barony of Averenches, or Folkestone, as it was afterwards called, of which barony the manor of Tirlingham, with Ackhanger, was a principal limb; and as such it afterwards passes, in like manner as above-described, from William de Albrincis, and his descendants, to the Crevequers, which family ending in king Henry III.'s reign in four daughters and coheirs, of whom Agnes, the eldest, married to John de Sandwich; and Eleanor, to Bertram de Crioll, entitled their respective husbands, the former as being the eldest, to the manors of Folkestone and Walton, with a moiety of the hundred, and likewife to the castle of Folkestone, as the caput baroniæ, or chief seat of the barony, and the latter to these manors of Tirlingham and Ackhanger, the next principal part of it, with the other moiety of the hundred; the other two sisters most probably sharing other parts of the inheritance, which lay at a distance elsewhere. Bertram de Crioll died possessed of these manors, and the moiety of the hundred, in the 23d year of king Edward I. Joane, his daughter, on the death of her brothers s.p. became heir to their inheritance, which she carried in marriage to Sir Richard de Rokesle, who lest two daughters his coheirs; (fn. 8)each of whom seem to have entitled their respective husbands to these manores, in undivided moieties; but at length the whole of them became vested in Michael, son of Thomas de Poynings, by Agnes his wife, the eldest of them. He died in the 43d year of king Edward III. possessed of this manor, and a moiety of the hundred, held in capite, and by the service of reparing and maintaining a moiety of a hall and campel in Dover castle, at his own expence, and of paying to the great and small wards of the castle, and to the aid of the sheriff of Kent yearly, for the ferme of the said moiety of the hundred; and he held in like manner the manor of Newington Bertram, as parcel of the manor of Tirligham. In his descendants they continued down to Robert de Poynings, who died possessed of them anno 25 Henry VI. On which the inheritance of them devolved to Alice, daughter of Richard his eldest son, who died in his life-time, wife of Henry, lord Percy, afterwards on his father's death earl of Northumberland; in whose descendants they continued down to Henry, earl of Northumberland, who died in the 29th year of king Henry VIII. s. p. having the year before, by deed inrolled in the Augmentationoffice, granted all his estates to the king, in case he died without male issue. These manors thus coming into the hands of the crown, were granted thence soon afterwards to Thomas, lord Cromwell, earl of Essex; on whose attainder in the 32d of that reign they reverted again to the crown, whence they were afterwards granted to Edward, lord Clinton and Saye, together with the manors of Folkestone, Walton, Woolverton, and Halton, the hundred of Folkestone, and several other manors and estates in this and the adjoining parishes; all which he next year passes away by sale to Mr. Henry Herdson; since which they have passed, in manner as has been already more particulary mentioned, and are now together in the possession of the right honorable Jacob Pleydell Bouverie, earl of Radnor.
BREDMER, usually called Broadmead, is another manor, near the western bounds of this parish, adjoining to Cheriton, in which it is partly situated. It was most probably, in early times, in the possession of a family of its own name; for in the antient deeds and courtrolls of Valoigns, who were owners of Cheriton in king Edward II. and III.'s reign, there is frequent mention of several of this name, who held lands of the Valoigns family; but before the latter end of king Edward III.'s reign, it was come into the possession of William de Brockhull, of Saltwood, whose second son Thomas Brockhull leaving an only daughter and heir Elizabeth, she carried it in marriage to Richard Selling, in whose descendants it remained till Henry VIII.'s reign, when it was passed away to Edmund Inmith, a retainer to Thomas, lord Clinton, and he gave it to his second son Edmund Inmith, who leaving two daughters and coheirs, one of whom married Rayner, and the other Baker, the latter of them, in right of his wife, shared this manor as part of her inheritance, and in king James I.'s reign alienated it to Beane, in which name it continued some length of time, and till it was sold to Worger, and thence again to Bayley, in which name it remained till Mrs. Elizabeth Bailey and other conveyed it to William Bouverie, earl of Radnor, whose son the right hon. Jacob, earl of Radnor, is the present owner of it. A court baron is held for this manor.
MOREHALL is a small manor near Cheriton, which was antiently held of the barony of Folkestone by knight's service, by William de Valentia, who in the 27th year of king Henry III. obtained a charter of privileges for it. William de Detling held it in king Edward II.'s reign; after which it passed into the possession of a family who took their name from it. When this family was extinct here, which was about king Henry IV.'s reign, the Bakers, of Caldham, became possessed of it. At length John Baker, of Cald ham, dying anno 17 Henry VI. Joane, one of his daughters and coheirs, entitled her husband Robert Brandred to it; and their son Robert, about the latter end of that reign, passed is away to Sir Tho. Browne, of Beechworth-castle, whose descendant Sir Matthew Browne, at the very latter end of queen Elizabeth's reign, alienated it to Thomas Godman, of London; (fn. 9) from which name it was sold, anno 3 Charles I. to John Eldred, esq. one of whose descendants, anno 34 Charles II. passed it away to John Michel, esq. and from him, anno 5 queen Anne, it was alienated to Jacob Desbouverie, esq. in whose family it has continued in the same manner as the rest of his estates in this parish, to the right hon. Jacob, earl of Radnor, the present possessor of it. A court baron is regularly held for this manor.
HOPE-HOUSE, usually called Hope-farm, is an estate in the northern part of this parish, near Combe, which antiently belonged to the knightly family of Hougham. Robert de Hougham died possessed of it in the 41st year of king Henry III. and his grandson, of the same name, died anno 29 Edward I. without male issue, leaving two daughters his coheirs, married to Shelving and Valoigns. Soon after which, that is, in king Edward II.'s reign, it appears to have been in the possession of the Clintons, and William de Clinton, earl of Huntingdon, died possessed of it anno 28 king Edward III.S.p. on which it came to his nephew and heir Sir John de Clinton, son of his elder brother John de Clinton, of Maxtoke, in Warwickshire, who was afterwards summoned to parliament; in whose descendants it continued down to John, lord Clinton, who, about the beginning of king Henry VII.'s reign sold it to Davis, from which family, partly by marriage of a female heir, and partly by purchase, it passed into the possession of Lessington, and he, about the end of queen Elizabeth's reign, alienated it to Hopday, in whose descendants it continued for some time, till at length by a daughter and coheir of that name, it was carried in marriage to Mr. Richard Thomas, of Alkham, whose son Mr. John Thomas, of that place, continues owner of it,
FOLKESTONE appears to have been known to the Romans, from several of their coins and bricks having been from time to time sound in it; but what name it had then is uncertain. It had in it a strong castle or fort, which was probably, says Camden, one of those towers which the Romans under Theodosius the younger, as Gildas tells us, built upon the south coast of Britain, at certain distances, to guard it against the Saxons, to whose depredations, from its situation on the sea shore, it was much exposed; and though its situation was eminent, yet there does not appear by the Notitia, to have been any settled garrison here. This Roman fort, or watch tower, was built more than a mile and an half distant from the sea shore, on a very high hill, to discover the approach of those pirates; and it was surrounded with a strong entrenchment, to repel their invasions, the remains of which are very visible at this day; and it is supposed, that this watch tower, with its surrounding fort, was situated on the summit of that high eminence called Castle-hill, about a mile and an half northward from the present church of Folkestone. By the remains of the entrenchments it appears, that the inner or upper part of the work was small, and of an oval shape, and the outer works below of much the same form; the whole containing about two acres of ground. On the south-east side, where the hill is very steep, it is encompassed but with one single ditch, but on the east with a double one, and on the north and west with a triple one. At the bottom of it there is a fine spring of water. The whole surface of the hill is entirely convered with green swerd, nor it there a stone, or any appearance whatever of a building having ever been erected on it. After the departure of the Romans it was taken possession of by the Britons first, and by the Saxons afterwards, on their settlement in this country, by whom Lambarde says, it was called Folcestane, id est, populi lapis, which signisies a rocke coaffe, or slaw of stone, being a name purely of Saxon etymology; and Mr. Baxter interprets Folcston, lemurum five larium lapis. During their contests in 456, in the early time of the heptarchy, a bloody battle was fought near this place, between Folkestone and Hythe, between the Britons under king Vortimer, and the Saxons, who were retreating hither before him, after the conslict he had with them on the banks of the Darent, in the western part of this county. Nennius and others write, that it was fought in a field on the shore of the Gallic sea. This place certainly suits best with the description of it, on the shore of the Gallic sea; and what adds strength to it, are the two vast heaps of sculls and human bones, piled up in two vaults under the churches of Folkestone and Hythe, which, from the quantity of them, could not but be from some battle; and, from their whiteness, appear to have been all bleached by lying for some time probably on the sea shore; and many of the sculls have deep cuts in them, as made by some heavy weapon. Probably those at Hythe were of the Britons, and those at Folkestone of the Saxons, who were pursued hither by them. Vortimer, the British king, died soon after this battle, and, as historians tell us, on his death-bed desired to be buried near the place where the Saxons used to land, that his bones might deter them from any future attempts; and it is generally afferted, that he was buried here at Folkestone, though some say it was elsewhere. (fn. 10)After which this fort was made use of by the several princes of it, to keep the distressed Britons in subjection, and king Ethelbert is reported to have rebuilt it; but his son and sucessor, Eadbald, seems to have totally neglected it, and in lieu of it to have built a castle (with a nunnery within the precinct of it) on the high cliff, close to the sea shore, at no great distance southward from the present church of Folkestone, where it had an extensive command, especially to wards the sea; but this being afterwards, partly by the fury of the Danes, and partly by earl Godwin, when he ravaged this coast in the year 1052, reduced to a heap of ruins, continued in that state till William de Albrincis, or Averenches, on his becoming lord of this place after the Norman conquest, rebuilt the castle, near, if not wholly on the foundations of the former one, and made it the chief seat of his barony, which it continued to be to his successors, lords of it, for several ages afterwards, and till at length, by degrees, it was wholly destroyed, with the cliff on which it stood, by the incroachments of the sea; insomuch, that all which has remained belonging to it for a great length of time, is a small part of the bail or precinct, still called the bailie, or castle-yard, with some small length of the antient wall on the eastern side of it, near the church.
THE TOWN OF FOLKESTONE is very antient, and most probably had its origin soon after the building of the castle and nunnery, as before-mentioned, by king Eadbald, on the cliff, close to the sea shore; and it increased so rapidly, that in the time of king Edward the Consessor it seems to have become a town of some note; and notwithstanding it was afterwards in that reign spoiled by earl Godwin, then owner of it, who having been banished, returned with a large force, and in revenge ravaged the coast, and this town in particular; yet at the time of taking the survey of Domesday, in the 14th year of the Conqueror's reign, it is supposed by some to have had five churches in it; though I doubt much if the five churches, mentioned in Domesday, were all in the town of Folke stone, as I find no notice whatever of any, either in records or otherwise, but that of St. Peter and St. Paul, in the precinct of the old castle, and the present one of St. Mary and St. Eanswith, built after that was in ruins. I should rather conjecture, the above five churches, with the three mentioned in the next article in Domesday, to have been intended for the eight churches of the present eight parishes within the hundred of Folkestone, and subordinate to the paramount manor of it. After which, by the further wasting of it by the sea, and other misfortunes, it was so impoverished, that in some measure to preserve its consequence, it was united before the reign of king Henry I. as a member to the town and port of Dover, one of the cinque ports, by the name of the barons of the town of Folkestone; and it is held that king Edward III. incorporated it, by the name of the mayor, jurats, and commonalty of the rown of Folkestone. The year after whose death, anno, 1378, the greater part of it was burnt by the united forces of the Scotch and French; which, with the continual incroachments made on it by the sea, reduced it to a very low and inconsiderable state. Leland gives the following description of this place, as it was in king Henry VIII.'s time, in his Itin. vol. vii. p. 141.
The cliffes from Dover welle toward Folkestone be al of chalk and after of chalk and after up to Limne hil of stone that is very hard and sum ys a v miles fro Dover and be al gesse stondeth very directly apon Boleyn. There cummeth to the towne a pretty small ryvelet that ryseth yn Folchstan parche longing to the lord Clynton or not far be yownd yt. The towne shore be al lykelihod is mervelusly sore wasted with the violens of the se; yn so much that there they say that one paroche chyrch be of a depe blew of our Lady and a nother of St. colour. Paule ys clene destroyed and etin by the se. Hard apon the shore yn a place cawled the Castle yarde, the which on the one side ys dyked, and ther yn be greate ruines of a solemen old nunnery, yn the walles whereose yn divers places apere great and long Briton brikes; and on the right hond of the quier a grave trunce of squared stone. The castel yard hath bene a place of great burial; yn so much as wher the se hath woren on the banke bones apere half stykyng owt. The paroch church is therby, made also of sum newer worker of an abbay. Ther is St. Eanswide buried and a late therby was a visage of a priory. Toward a quarter of a myle owt of the towner is a chapel of S. Botulse on a likelyhod of father building sumtyme. Yn the towne ther is a maire; and this lord Clyntons grant father had there of a poore man a boote almost ful of antiquities of pure gold and sylver.
By the return of the survey, made by order of queen Elizabeth, in her 8th year, of the several maritime places in this county; it appears that there were then in this town only one hundred and twenty house inhabited, one hundred and twenty men, of which seventy were fishermen, and ships and boats of all sorts, only for fishing, twenty-five; from which low state it was not, till after some length of time, relieved by the industry of the inhabitants, who, first by establishing a fishery, and afterwards by a lucrative trade with France, have made it of late years to thrive exceedingly, and it is become again both an opulent and well peopled town, and there are now in it about four hundred and fifty houses, and about two thousand inhabitants, and there are three meeting-houses in it for the Baptists, Quakers, and Methodists. The town in built on the extremity of the quarry hills, which here overhang the sea, nearly opposite to Bullein, in France, and reaches on the broKen declivity of one of them down to the sea shore, on which vessels of a considerable size are continually built, and where it forms a kind of harbour for the safety of them and the fishing crast. The streets are steep and narrow, and were till lately very ill paved, but this has been in some measure remedied by an act which passed in 1796, for the better paving and cleansing of the town; the buildings of them very irregular, being inhabited in general by inferior tradesmen or fishermen; but this is only in the middle of the town; for in the out skirts of it there are numbers of handsome buildings lately erected, which are pleasantly situated, and many of them inhabited by persons of a genteel condition in life. The church stands at the west or upper end of the town, on the height of the cliff, at a very small distance from the edge of it, which, from the yearly depredations the sea makes on it, will, not withstanding the precautions which have been taken to prevent it, very soon occasion its ruin.
Below the cliff, on the shore, for some length towards the sea, is a long ridge of sunken rocks, occasioned by the fallen cliffs at different times. One of these rocks, surrounded by many others, and called the mooring rock, is a most noted one, being known by that name time out of mind. At this vessels used to be mcored, whilst they were loading with other rocks, which they took from hence for the piers of Dover and other places, and a very great quantity of them was shipped in the time of Oliver's usurpation and carried to Dunkirk. for the service of that harbour. It is the universal opinion of the inhabitants of this town and neighbourhood, that the hills here close above these rocks, slip or press forward from time to time towards the sea, and there are some remaining near it, which, to all appearance, have so done at a small distance from the higher and yet firmer cliff. These cliffs consist of large rugged stones, mixed with sand, till near three feet, or at some places more, of the bottom, where they consist of what is here called a slipe, i.e. a slippery sort of clay, which is always wet. Upon this slipe at the bottom, it is thought, the heavy pressure of the land and stones above causes the whole to slide forwards, as a ship upon a launch of tallowed plants, towards the sea. (fn. 11)
Anno 26 George III. an act passed for the more easy and speedy recovery of small debts, within the town and port of Folkestone, and the parish of Folkestone, and other neighbouring once mentioned in it.
It is well watered by two different rivulets, one of which rises about three miles north-west from the town, near Pean farm, under the hills, and descends by Bredmer through the midst of the town of Folkestone into the sea; the other, called St. Eanswith's water, is very remarkable: it rises about half a mile west of Castle hill, and empties itself into the bail pond, within eight or ten rods of the top of the cliffs. This stream is partly natural and partly artificial, which St. Eanswith is said to have conveyed to her monastery here, diverting the water great part of the way, that is from Bredmer wood, by means of a brick aqueduct across the low grounds into the bail pond, or reservoir above-mentioned. It is the current, though erroneous opinion of the people here, that this water actually ascends in its course from the spring into the bail pond, into which it empties itself. But the principle of hydrostatics, will not admit the possibility of such an ascent, as there is no mill or engine to force it up.
The fishery, since the stop put by the legislature to the contraband trade with France, has within these few years greatly increased; and there are now eight or ten lugger-boats and cutters, employed chiefly in the herring and mackerel fisheries, besides about thirty small boats employed in the same, and in the catching of plaice, soles, whitings, scate, and such kind of fish, in their proper seasons; which altogether do not employ more than between two and three hundred men and boys, who are under no regulation as a company. The fish are conveyed to the London markets, either by boats, or by expeditious land carriage.
There was a singular custom used of long time by the fishermen of this place: They chose eight of the largest and best whitings our of every boat when they came home from that fishery, and sold them apart from the rest, and out of the money arising from them they made a feast, every Christmas-eve, which they called a rumbald. The master of each boat provided this feast for his own company, so that there were as many different entertainments as there were boats. These whitings, which are of a very large size, and are sold all round the country as far as Canterbury, are called rumbald whitings. This custom, which is now lest off, though many of the inhabitants still meet socially on a Christmas-eve, and call it rumbald night, might have been antiently instituted in honor of St. Rumbald, and the fish designed as an offering to him for his protection during the fishery.
In order to preserve the lower part of this town, and the beach, on which the fishermen of it lay up, dry, and repair their boats, nets, and other craft, from the raging of the sea, two large jettee heads, at the east and west end of the town, were made, which were kept in repair by them and other inhabitants, by a voluntary subscription. But these running to decay, and many unsuccessful fishing seasons happening, the fishermen became unable to continue the support of them; and the cliff, on which the church stands, having been very considerably washed away within the space of a few years, they obtained in 1766 an act to enable them to raise a sufficient sum of money for the repairing and supporting the old, and erecting new jettees and other works, for the preservation of both, which was done by a duty on every chaldron of coals, brought into or through any part of this town, and afterwards to be applied to other purposes, as will be mentioned hereafter. These duties are under the management of the mayor, jurats, and commonalty. The earl of Radnor, as lord of the barony or hundred, appoints the collector, and the mayor, &c. a treasurer of these duties.
THE TOWN AND LIBERTY OF FOLKESTONE, which extends two miles and an half from east to west, and little more than a quarter of a mile in breadth from north to south, comprehends the whole district, including the town, which lies between the turnpike road leading from Dover to Hythe and the sea shore, as far as Sandgate castle on the west to the summit of the chalk cliff above the turnpike house on the east. It is a corporation by prescription, and is governed by a mayor, twelve jurats, and twenty four common councilmen, to which is added a recorder, chamberlain, and town-clerk. The mayor, who is coroner by virtue of his office, is chosen yearly on Sept. 8, and together with the jurats, who are justices within this liberty, exclusive of all others, hold a court of general sessions of the peace and goal delivery, together with a court of record, the same as at Dover, and it has other privileges, mostly the same as the other corporations within the liberties of the cinque ports; but it has no mace belonging to it. (fn. 12)The seal of the mayoralty has on it the figure of St. Eanswith, with a coronet on her head, and holding in one hand two fish on a half hoop, and in the other a pastoral staff.
Jeffry Fitz Peter, in the 6th year of king John, procured a market to be held here weekly on a Thursday, which was confirmed by William de Albrincis in the 16th year of that reign, and the same grant was renewed to Sir John de Segrave, with the addition of another market weekly on a Tuesday, anno 22 Edward III. (fn. 13)and Sir John de Clinton obtained a grant from king Richard II. in his 13th year of a market, to be held weekly here on a Wednesday, and a fair yearly on the vigil and day of St. Giles. The markets on the Tuesday and Wednesday do not appear to have been ever used, and that on a Thursday is so little attended, that it may in a manner be said to have been disused for years past. There are two fairs held yearly, one called the Bail fair, on the 28th and 29th of June; and the other, called Cow-street fair, on the Thursday, in Easter week, chiesly for toys and pedlary wares. The earl of Radnor, as lord of the hundred, barony, and royalty of Folkestone, is entitled to all customs, tolls, rights, profits of fairs and markets, and harbour duties, within the jurisdiction of this royalty and manor. There is an establishment of the customs here, under the out-port of Dover, which is under the direction of a supervisor, surveyor, and other officers. On the chalk cliff, at the west end of the town, is a sort, and battery of six cannons.
John Salmon, bishop of Norwich, chancellor of England, and ambassador to France in 1325, falling sick there, and returning thence on that account, died in this town on the 6th of July that year, and was carried to Norwich, and buried in his own cathedral there. (fn. 14)Dr. William Harvey, that eminent physician, who discovered the circulation of the blood, was born in this town in 1578, being the eldest son of Thomas Harvey, gent. of this place from two of whose younger sons were descended those of Combe and of Chigwell, in Essex. Dr. Harvey was educated first at the grammar-school at Canterbury, and was thence removed to Cambridge to study physic; he afterwards travelled to Padua, and having taken his degree of M. D. became afterwards physician to king James and Charles I. warden of Marton college, and president of the college of physicians, to which he was a liberal benefactor. He died s. p. in 1657, and was buried in the family vault at Hemsted, in Essex, where there is his monument, with his bust in marble. (fn. 15) The circumstance of his death, little known I believe beyond his own family, was ascertained to the editor by the late Rev. Mr. Marshall, vicar of Charing, and once curate of Chinwell, who was assured of the fact by the late Eliab Harvey, esq. barrister at-law, a descendant of the doctor's younger brother of that name. This was, that Dr. Harvey was ever afraid of becoming blind, and early one morning, for he always rose early, his housekeeper coming into his chamber to call him, opened the window shutters, and telling him the hour, asked him if he would not rise, upon which he asked if she had opened the shutters, she replied yes; then shut them again, she did so; then open them again, but still the effect was the same to him, for he had awaked stone blind; upon which he ordered her to setch him a bottle, (which she herself had observed on a shelf in the chamber for a long while) out of which he drank a large draught, and it being a strong poison, which it is supposed he had long before prepared, and set there for the purpose, he expired within three hours after.
John Philipott, Somerset herald, and designed Norroy, was born in this town. He lived in king Charles the Ist's reign, and suffered much for the royal cause. He died in great obscurity in 1645, and was buried within the precincts of Paul's whars, London. He wrote several books, and among others, Villare Cantianum, orKent illustrated and surveyed. (fn. 16)
SOME TIME after Eadbald, king of Kent, had built the castle on the cliff close to the sea-shore here, as had been already taken notice of before; he founded A nunnery after the rule of St. Bennet, within the bail or precinct of it, which Tanner supposes to have been the first founded in England, (fn. 17)of which his daughter Eanswithe afterwards became abbess, she was on her death buried in the church of it, dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul, and on account of the miracles said to be wrought by her was sainted. This nunnery being afterwards reduced to a heap of ruins by the continual ravages of the Danes, lay in that state till after the Norman conquest, when Nigell de Muneville, then lord of Folkestone, in 1095, founded on the scite of the old church and nunnery, a new priory of monks, of the order likewise of St. Bennet, which he made an alien cell, subject to the abbey of Lolley, in Normandy, and gave ample possessions here and in this neighbourhood, in pure and perpetual alms, for the support of it; among which was the patronage of this church, and of all those of his lordship, and belonging to the honor of Folkestone, and certain dues which he possessed in Folkestone, which the abbot of Lolley released to the burgesses of Folkestone, on their making over to him and his monks there the taking tithe of all fish taken there by them, and he gave to it the tithes of his lordship of Folkestone, Terlingham, Walton, Northwode, Alkeham, and Standen, and of his woods, and the third part of his tithes of Flete, and of the villlage mill. But not long after this, the depredations of the sea had so far wasted the cliff on which the priory stood, (being the scite of the antient nunnery which stood but twenty eight perches from the extremity of it next the sea) that it became in great danger of falling with it, which induced Sir William de Albrincis, then lord of Folkestone, to confirm by his charter of inspeximus, the above grant of his ancestor, in which the tithes granted as above are very particularly set forth, and are well worth observation, and at the end is a very remarkable anathema, (though not uncommon at that time) against such as should dare to insringe any part of the above gift. (fn. 18) And he removed the monks, at their petition, to a new church, which he granted to them for that purpose. This chruch stood on the scite of the present church of Folkestone, at a little distance eastward from the castle bail, and about as far north-east from the scite of the old priory. On this ground, close on the south side of the new church, he built a new priory, which with the church was dedicated to St. Mary and Eanswith, and to which the body of St. Eanswith was removed from the old ruinous church, where it then lay. Her stone cossin in the north wall of the south isle, was discovered about the middle of the last century; on opening the coffin, the corps was found lying in its perfect form, and by it on each side an hour glass and several medals, the letters on which were obliterated, and several locks of her hair which were taken away and kept by different persons for the sanctity of it. In this new priory, when finished, the abbot of Lolley established a cell to his own abbey. This priorty being one of that sort which was permitted to chuse its own prior, and was an entire society within itself, receiving its own revenues to its own use, and paying a yearly pension only as an acknowledgment to the foreign house; (fn. 19)and in this situation the priory conti nued till it was freed from all subjection to the abbey of Lolley, and made denizen, so that it escaped the general fate of the alien priories throughout the kingdom, which were all suppressed in the 2nd year of king Henry V. (fn. 20) and thus it continued till king Henry the VIIIth.'s reign, in the 27th year of which, on the general visitation of religious houses, it was so artfully managed by the king's commissioners, that many of the members of them were brought over to desire to leave their possession and habit, and some of them gave up their houses, among which was the prior and convent of Folkestone, who signed their resignation on Nov. 15, that year, 1535, Thomas Bassett, or Barrett, being then prior of it, who had a pension of ten pounds per annum. The original deed of which is now remaining in the Augmentation-office, at which time the revenues of it were valued at 41l. 15s. 10d. per annum clear, and 63l. 0s. 7d. total annual income, which with the scite of the priory were confirmed to the king by the act passed in the March following. After which the king, in his 30th year, granted the scite of the priory, with the manor of it, and other possessions here, to Edward, lord Clinton and Saye, to hold in capite, and he, with Elizabeth his wife, that year passed them away to Thomas, lord Crowell, afterwards earl of Essex, of whom they were afterwards purchased by the crown, whence they were granted anno 4 Edward, VI. to Edward, lord Clinton and Saye, the former possessor of them; (fn. 21) after which they passed in manner as has been already noticed before from him to the Herdsons, and thence again to the Dixwells, who alienated them to Jacob Desbouverie, esq. in whose family they have continued down to the right hon. Jacob, earl of Radnor, the present owner of the scite and manor of this dissolved priory. A court baron is held for this manor.
All that is remaining of this priory, for the king immediately after its being surrendered into his hands ordered great part of it to be pulled down and removed, is a small part of the foundations, and an arch in the wall of it, about three feet from the ground, which is turned with Roman or British bricks, (of which there are several among the ruined foundations) and under that, one more modern, of hewn stone, seemingly for a door way. From these ruins, which are near the south-west corner of the church, where there is much uneven ground, from the rubbish lying about it, there goes a large sewer of stone masonry, which runs under ground south-eastward, large enough for a man easily to creep through, the end of which appears sticking out of the edge of the broken cliff over the shore, the same as is mentioned by Leland. The priory appears to have stood only a few feet distant from the south side of the church, which by some door ways, now filled up in the wall of it, appears to have been the conventual church of the priory, and to have had a communication with it.
About a mile and an half westward of the town, and within the liberty of it, is Sandgate castle, situated at the foot of the hill, and on the sand of the sea shore, whence it takes its name. There appears to have been a castle here in king Richard the IId.'s reign, for that prince, in his 22d year, directed his writ to the captain of his castle of Sandgate, to admit his kinsman Henry de Lancaster, duke of Hereford, with his family, horses, &c. into it, to tarry there for six weeks to refresh himself. The present castle was built by king Henry VIII. as is reported from the ruins of the neighbouring fort on castle hill, about 1539, (fn. 22) at the time that he erected several others of the like sort in this county and in Suffex, for the defence of the kingdom, all which he placed under the government of the lord warden, as may be seen in the statute of the 32d year of that reign; it has like those others, lunettes of arched stone, with several port-holes, and a battery for great guns. In the middle is a round tower, which contains the apartments for the lieutenant, a foss encompasses the whole, and the entrance is by a drawbridge. The captain, lieutenant, storekeeper, and gunners, are appointed by the lord warden. William Evelyn, esq. is the present captain of it. It appears by the escheat rolls of the 7th year of king Edward VI. that the king granted to Edward, lord Clinton and Saye, the castle and fort of Sandgate, to hold in capite by knight's service, but it not long afterwards came again into the hands of the crown, where it has remained ever since.
Charities belonging to the Town and Liberty of Folkestone.
SIR ELIAB HARVEY, the eldest son of Eliab, a younger brother of the Doctor's in 1674 founded A FREE SCHOOL in this town, for twenty poor children to be taught gratis, which he endowed with a farm called Combe's, now let at 50l. per annum in Limne, out of which the master is paid 10l. for two years, and every third year the yearly produce of it. The overplus of the two years, after repairs, and II. paid to the clerk, and 2l. for the trustees dinner, is to be applied to the buying of boats for poor fishermen, freemen, or freemens sons, inhabitants of Folkestone, or to putting out poor children apprentices. A school, and school-house for the master was erected out of a legacy given to the town by Dr. William Harvey, as will be further mentioned hereafter. The mayor and jurats nominate the children, and they, with several others, trustees, have the management of it. The master teaches Latin, English, arithmetic, and writing, his salary is on an average 25l. per annum.
WILLIAM JACOB, late jurat, gave by will in 1569, several pieces of land, containing twelve acres, the rents and profits to be applied to the use of the poor of this town, at the discretion of the mayor and jurats, viz. 30s. 2d. on Christmas Eve, and the same on Good Friday; 6l. to be employed in putting some poor boy or girl of this town apprentice, and the rest to be distributed among the poor.
DR. WILLIAM HARVEY gave to this town, where he was born, 200l. part of which was laid out as before-mentioned, in the purchase of the premises and building of the school, and for a ten-house for tanning the nets of fishermen, inhabitants of the town.
DANIEL HARVEY, and his brother, gave 100l. with which a perpetual annuity of 5l. 10s. per annum, was purchased, to be laid out in good wheaten bread, two shillings worth of which to be given every Sunday in the year for ever, to twelve poor householders, inhabitants of Folkestone, at the discretion of the mayor and jurats.
MRS. WARD and MRS. BENNET MITCHELL gave 60l. with which in 1691 three pieces of land, called Sandgate land, containing six acres, were purchased, the rents to be applied by the mayor and jurats for providing waistcoats. (now gowns) every Christmas Eve, to twelve poor women, inhabitants of the town, twenty-four of which are at this time given away yearly.
Charities belonging to the Parish, within the Jurisdiction of the County.
WILLIAM LEACH, of Dover, by will in 1623, devised all his tenement in Folkestone, together with all his lands, arable and pasture, with their appurtenances in the parish, containing three acres, to the use of the poorest inhabitants within it, not dwelling within the liberty of the town, to be let out and employed to the most profit and benefit of the said poor people which should inhabit in the parish, and not dwelling within the liberty.
The church, which is dedicated to St. Mary and St. Eanswith, consists of three isles and three chancels, having a square tower, with a beacon turret in the middle of it, in which there is a clock, and a peal of eight bells, put up in it in 1779. This church is built of sand-stone; the high chancel, which has been lately ceiled, seems by far the most antient part of it. Under an arch in the north wall is a tomb, with the effigies of a man, having a dog at his feet, very an tient, probably for one of the family of Fienes, constables of Dover castle and wardens of the five ports; and among many other monuments and inscriptions, within the altar-rails, are monuments for the Reades, of Folkestone, arms, Azure, a griffin, or, quartering gules, a pheon between three leopards faces, or; for William Langhorne, A.M. minister, obt. 1772. In the south chancel is a most elegant monument, having the effigies of two men kneeling at two desks, and an inscription for J. Herdson, esq. who lies buried in Hawkinge church, obt. 1622. In the south isle a tomb for J. Pragels, esq. obt. 1676, arms, A castle triple towered, between two portcullises; on a chief, a sinister hand gauntled, between two stirrups. In the middle isle a brass plate for Joane, wife of Thomas Harvey, mother of seven sons (one of which was the physician) and two daughters. In the north wall of the south isle were deposited the remains of St. Eanswith, in a stone coffin; and under that isle is a large charnelhouse, in which are deposited the great quantity of bones already taken notice of before. Philipott, p. 96, says, the Bakers, of Caldham, had a peculiar chancel belonging to them in this church, near the vestrydoor, over the charnel-house, which seems to have been that building mentioned by John Baker, of Folkestone, who by his will in 1464, ordered, that his executors should make a new work, called an isle, with a window in it, with the parishioners advice; which work should be built between the vestry there and the great window. John Tong, of Folkestone, who was buried in this church, by will in 1534, ordered that certain men of the parish should be enfeoffed in six acres of land, called Mervyle, to the use of the mass of Jhesu, in this church.
On Dec. 19, 1705, the west end of this church, for the length of two arches out of the five, was blown down by the violence of the wind; upon which the curate and parishioners petitioned archbishop Tillot son, for leave to shorten the church, by rebuilding only one of the fallen arches, which was granted. But by this, the church, which was before insufficient to contain the parishioners, is rendered much more inconvenient to them for that purpose. By the act passed anno 6 George III. for the preservation of the town and church from the ravages of the sea as already noticed before. After such works are finished, &c. the rates are to be applied towards their repair, and to the keeping in repair, and the support and preservation of this church.
This church was first built by Nigell de Muneville, lord of Folkestone at the latter end of king Henry I. or the beginning of king Stephen's reign, when he removed the priory from the precinct of the castle to it in 1137, and he gave this new church and the patronage of it to the monks of Lolley, in Normandy, for their establishing a cell, or alien priory here, as has been already mentioned, to which this new church afterwards served as the conventual church of it. The profits of it were very early appropriated to the use of this priory, that is, before the 8th of king Richard II. anno 1384, the duty of it being served by a vicar, whose portion was settled in 1448, at the yearly pension of 10l. 0s. 2½d. to be paid by the prior, in lieu of all other profits whatsoever. In which state this appropriation and vicarage remained till the surrendry of the priory, in the 27th year of king Henry VIII. when they came, with the rest of the possessions of it, into the king's hands, who in his 31st year demised the vicarage and parish church of Folkestone, with all its rights, profits, and emoluments, for a term of years, to Thomas, lord Cromwell, who assigned his interest in it to Anthony Allcher, esq. but the fee of both remained in the crown till the 4th year of king Edward VI. when they were granted, with the manor, priory, and other premises here, to Edward, lord Clinton and Saye, to hold in capite; who the next year conveyed them back again to the crown, in exchange for other premises, (fn. 23) where the patronage of the vicarage did not remain long; for in 1558, anno 6 queen Mary, the queen granted it, among several others, to the archbishop. But the church or parsonage appropriate of Folkestone remained longer in the crown, and till queen Elizabeth, in her 3d year, granted it in exchange, among other premises, to archbishop Parker, being then in lease to lord Clinton, at the rent of 57l. 2s. 11d. at which rate it was valued to the archbishop, in which manner it has continued to be leased out ever since, and it now, with the patronage of the vicarage, remains parcel of the possessions of the see of Canterbury; the family of Breams were formerly lessees of it, from whom the interest of the lease came to the Taylors, of Bifrons, and was sold by the late Rev. Edward Taylor, of Bisrons, to the right hon. Jacob, earl of Radnor, the present lessee of it.
The vicarage is valued in the king's books at 10l. 0s. 2½d. and the yearly tenths at 1l. 0s. 0¼d. being the portion paid to the vicar as before-mentioned, in lieu of all profits whatsoever; this was increased to twenty pounds by archbishop Whitgift, who, on the renewal of the lease of the parsonage, bound the tenant to pay that additional sum. It was still further augmented by archbishop Juxon, (which was confirmed by archbishop Sheldon, in the 26th and 28th years of king Charles II.) with a further annual pension of sixty pounds, to be paid by the tenant out of the parsonage. It seems to have been for many years esteemed as a perpetual curacy, and is as such nominated to by the archbishop.
Church of Folkestone.
|PATRONS,||VICARS AND CURATES.|
|Or by whom presented.|
|Prior of Folkestone.||James Casthill, in 1601.|
|Gerard Pattinson, in 1605.|
|Alexander Udney, in 1631.|
|Peter Rogers, in 1638 and 1643.|
|Samuel Wells, about 1636. (fn. 24)|
|Baker, ejected 1662. (fn. 25)|
|Nicholas Brett, in 1662.|
|Miles Barnes, in 1666.|
|Samuel Wells, in 1669.|
|Samuel Wells, in 1687. (fn. 26)|
|Gervas Needham, 1689.|
|The Archbishop.||John Bradock, A. M. in 1691, resigned 1699. (fn. 27)|
|John Sacket, A.M. curate 1699, obt. 1753. (fn. 28)|
|William Langhorne, A.M. minister 1753, obt. Feb. 1772. (fn. 29)|
|John Times, A. M. May 2, 1772, the present curate. (fn. 30)|