The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 8. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1799.
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SO called from the several brooks and waterings within the bounds of it, lies the next parish southeastward, mostly within the level of Walland Marsh, and within the jurisdiction of the justices of the county; but there are some lands, which are reputed to be within this parish, containing altogether about 124 acres, which lie in detached pieces at some distance south-eastward from the rest of it, mostly near Ivychurch, some other parishes intervening, which lands are within the level of Romney Marsh, and within the liberty and jurisdiction of the justices of it.
The PARISH of Brookland lies on higher ground than either Snargate or Fairfield last described, and consequently much drier. It is more sheltered with trees, and inclosed with hedges, than any of the neighbouring parishes. The village is neat and rather pleasant, considering the situation, and the houses, as well as inhabitants, of a better sort than are usually seen in the Marsh. The church stands in the middle of it. The lands towards the south are by far the most fertile, for towards Snargate they are very poor and wet, and much covered with rushes and thistles. It consists in general of marsh-land, there not being above thirty acres of land ploughed throughout the parish, which altogether contains about 1730 acres of land.
The MANORS of Fairfield, Apledore, Bilsington, and Court at Wick, extend over this parish, subordinate to which is THE MANOR OF BROOKLAND, which has long since lost even the reputation of having been a manor. It was in early times the patrimony of the family of Passele, or Pashley, as they were afterwards called, whose seat was at Evegate, in Smeeth, (fn. 1) of whom Edward de Passeley is the first that is discovered in public records to have been possessed of this manor, and this appears by the inquisition taken after his death, anno 19 Edward II. Soon after which it was alienated to Reginald de Cobham, a younger branch of the Cobhams, of Cobham, whose descendants were seated at Sterborough castle, in Surry, whence they were called Cobhams, of Sterborough, and they had afterwards summons to parliament among the barons of this realm. At length Sir Thomas Cobham died possessed of it in the 11th year of king Edward IV. leaving an only daughter and sole heir, who carried it in marriage to Sir Edward Borough, of Gainsborough, in Lincolnshire, whose son and heir Thomas was summoned to parliament as lord Burgh, or as it is usually pronounced, Borough, anno 21 king Henry VIII. and left a son and heir Thomas, lord Burgh, whose lands were disgavelled by the act anno 31 Henry VIII. His son William, lord Burgh, about the 12th year of queen Elizabeth's reign, passed it away to Eversfield, of Suffex, from whom it was alienated soon afterwards to Godfrey, of Lid, at which time this estate seems to have lost its name of having been a manor. He, before the end of that reign, sold it to Wood, by whom it was again alienated in the beginning of king James I.'s reign to Mr. John Fagge, of Rye, whose descendant John Fagge, esq. of Wiston, in Suffex, was created a baronet in 1660. He had a numerous issue, of which only three sons and two daughters survived. Of the former, Sir Robert, the eldest, was his successor in title; Charles was ancestor of the present baronet, the Rev. Sir John Fagge, of Chartham; and the third son Thomas Fagge, esq. succeeded by his father's will to this estate at Brookland. His son John Meres Fagge, esq. of Glynely, in Sussex, left surviving an only daughter Elizabeth, who on his death in 1769, entitled her husband Sir John Peachy, bart-of West Dean, in Sussex, to the possession of it. He died s. p. and she surviving him, again became entitled to it in her own right, and is at this time the present owner of it.
The church, which is dedicated to St. Augustine, is a very large handsome building, consisting of three isles and three chancels. The steeple stands on the north side, and at some small distance from it, in which are five bells. The church is kept exceedingly neat and clean. It is cieled throughout, and handsomely pewed. In the high chancel there is a confessionary, and a nich for holy water within the altar-rails. There are several memorials in it, but none of any account worth mentioning. At the west end is a gallery, lately erected at the charge of the parish. The font is very curious, made of cast lead, having on it two ranges of emblematical figures, twenty in each range. The steeple is framed of remarkable large timber. It is built entirely of wood, of an octagon form, perpendicular about five feet from the bottom, and from thence leffening to a spire at top, in which it has three different copartments or stories, the two uppermost larger at the bottom, and projecting over those underneath them. Although there are but five bells in it, yet it has frames for several more. The whole is much out of the perpendicular leaning towards the church. In the church-yard are several tombs and gravestones for the Reads.
The church of Brookland was part of the antient possessions of the monastery of St. Augustine, to which it was appropriated by pope Clement V. at the request of Ralph Bourne, the abbot of it, in king Edward II.'s reign, but the abbot declined putting the bull for this purpose in force, till a more favourable opportunity. At length John, abbot of St. Augustine, in 1347, obtained another bull from pope Clement VI for the appropriation of it, and having three years afterwards obtained the king's licence for this purpose, (fn. 2) the same was confirmed by archbishop Islip in 1359, who next year endowed the vicarage of this church by his decree, by which he assigned, with the consent of the abbot and convent, and of the vicar, of the rents and profits of the church, to John de Hoghton, priest, then admitted perpetual vicar to the vicarage of it, and canonically instituted, and to his successors in future in it, a fit portion from which they might be fitly maintained and support the undermentioned burthens. In the first place he decreed and ordained, that the religious should build on the soil of the endowment of the church, at their own costs and expences, a competent mansion, with a sufficient close and garden, for the vicar and his successors, free from all rent and secular service, to be repaired and maintained from that time by the vicar for the time being; who on the presentation of the religious to be admitted and instituted by him or his successors, into the vicarage, should likewise have the great tithes of the lands lying on the other side of le Re, towards Dover, viz. beyond the bridge called Brynsete, and towards the parish churches of Brynsete, Snaves, and Ivercherche, belonging to the church of Brokelande, and likewise the tithes arising from the sheaves of gardens or orchards dug with the foot, and also all oblations made in the church or parish, and all tithes of hay, calves, chicken, lambs, pigs, geese, hens, eggs, ducks, pidgeons, bees, honey, wax, swans, wool, milkmeats, pasture, flax, hemp, garden-herbs, apples, vetches, merchandizes, fishings, fowlings, and all manner of small tithes arising from all things whatsoever. And he taxed and estimated the said portion at the annual value of eight marcs sterling, at which sum he decreed the vicar ought to contribute in future, to the payment of the tenth and all other impositions happening, of whatsoever sort. Not intending that the vicar of this church should be entitled to, or take of the issues and rents of it, any thing further than is expressed before, but that he should undergo the burthen of officiating in the same, either by himself or some other sit priest, in divine offices, and in the finding of lights in the chancel, and of bread and wine for the celebration of masses, the washing of vestments, and the reparation of the books of the church, and should nevertheless pay the procuration due to the archbishop, on his visitation. But the rest of the burthens incumbent on the church, and no ways here expressed, should belong to the abbot and convent, &c. (fn. 3) After this, the church and advowson of the vicarage of Brookland remained part of the possessions of the above monastery till the final dissolution of it, anno 30 Henry VIII. when it was, with all its revenues, surrendered into the king's hands, where this rectory and advowson staid but a short time, for the king, by his dotation charter, settled them on his newerected dean and chapter of Canterbury, part of whose possessions they continue at this time.
On the abolition of deans and chapters, after the death of king Charles I. this parsonage was surveyed in 1650, when it appeared that it consisted of a close of land of one acre, on which stood the parsonage barne, and other outhouses, with the tithe of corn and other profits belonging to it, estimated coibs annis at twenty four pounds, all which were by indenture, in 1635, demised for twenty-one years, at the yearly rent of eight pounds, but were worth, over and above the said rent, sixteen pounds per annum, and that the lessee was to repair the premises, and the chancel of the parish church.
In 1384 this church or rectory appropriate was valued at 13l. 6s. 8d. but anno 31 Henry VIII. it was demised to ferme at only 8l. 3s. 4d. It is now demised on a beneficial lease by the dean and chapter, at the yearly rent of eight pounds to Mrs. Woodman, the present lessee of it. The vicarage of this church is valued in the king's books at 17l. 12s. 8½d. and the yearly tenths at 1l. 15s. 3¼d. In 1587 it was valued at sixty pounds, communicants one hundred and sixtysix, and in 1640 the same, and it is now of about the same value.
There is a modus of one shilling per acre on all the grass-lands in this parish. The vicar is entitled to all the small tithes, subject to this modus, throughout the parish, and to the tithes of corn of those lands, being one hundred and twenty-four acres, which lie in detached pieces beyond Brenset bridge, in Romney Marsh, as mentioned before, in the endowment of this vicarage.
Church of Brookland.
|Or by whom presented.|
|William, anno 29 Edward I. (fn. 4)|
|Bartholomew de Ferentino, in 1249. (fn. 5)|
|Dean and Chapter of Canterbury|
|Richard Birde, S. T. B. Dec. 27, 1597, obt. 1609.|
|Richard Martyn, A. M. July 8, 1609.|
|George Guild, A. M. March 20, 1660, obt. 1661.|
|Thomas Russell, A. M. Dec. 2, 1661.|
|Thomas Johnson, A. M. Dec. 11, 1677, obt. Nov. 6, 1727. (fn. 6)|
|John Le Hunt, A. M. Jan. 12, 1727, obt. April 1731.|
|Simon Devereux, A. M. inducted August 16, 1731, obt. July 6, 1733. (fn. 7)|
|Thomas Buttonshaw, A. M. Dec. 13, 1733, resigned 1737. (fn. 8)|
|Robert Jenkins, A. M. April, 1737, resigned Jan. 1743. (fn. 9)|
|William Broderip, A. M. inducted Oct. 10, 1743, obt. April 1764.|
|William Taswell, A. B. August 28, 1764, resig. June 1772. (fn. 10)|
|Joshua Dix, A. M. inducted August 21, 1772, resigned February 1788. (fn. 11)|
|Richard Sharpe, 1788, the present vicar.|