The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 9. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1800.
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KINGSTON is situated in the same fine healthy and pleasant country of East Kent, the Bourne valley continues through the centre of it, where it is very narrow, not more than a mile from east to west, but the other way it is more than four in length. The village, having the church and parsonage within it stands on the southern side of Barham downs, just on the rise of the hill, on the opposite side of the valley, through which the Nailbourne runs at times, near which the land is very good and fertile. Just above the village is a neat house, sitted up a few years since by Capt. Chicke, and now occupied by Edwin Humphry Sandys, esq. who married Helen, his only daughter and heir, by whom he has five sons and two daughters; the whole of it, with the woods and hills above, forming a part of that beautiful prospect along this vale, so conspicuous from the downs and the high Dover road over them. Above the village the hills rise pretty high to a poor barren and stony country, covered with woods, among which, on the summit of the hill, is that large tract of them called Covert wood, accounted a manor, and belonging to the archbishop; beyond this the parish extends to Parmsted and Linsey bottom, joining the parishes of Upper Hardres, Stelling, and Eleham. On the other side of the Bourne valley northward, the ground rises to an open uninclosed country, taking within its bounds great part of Barham downs, and Ileden and Dennehill, beyond the opposite side of them, and it extends beyond the latter to the scite of Nethersole-house, which stood partly within it. The soil from the vale towards the downs, and on great part of them, is but poor and barren, being chalk, and covered with flints, but the soil on the upper part of the downs, towards Ileden and thereabouts, inclines to a loam, and is more fertile.
BARHAM DOWNS, a part of this county so well known by name to almost every one, is a most pleasant range of pasture ground, of considerable extent; for though it is not more than half a mile wide on a medium, yet it is in length upwards of four miles. It is in general high ground, especially towards the east end, where it rises to a pretty high hill. It lies sloping to the south, towards which, along the whole of it, there is the most pleasing prospect as above-mentioned, of the adjacent country, interspersed with the several villages and gentlemens seats, with which it abounds on both sides. On these downs are the county races, and the king's plate is annually run for here in the month of August.
On that part of the downs within this parish, there are many remains of Cæfar's works, in his progress through this county, particularly one of his small advanced camps, made square, with the corners a little rounded, and a single agger and vallum on three sides of it, the upper or northern side being left open. It lies on the slope of the hill, facing Kingston-church to the south-west; and from this camp westward there continue several lines of entrenchments, as there do again round and about Dennehill eastward, contiguous to all which there are great numbers of tumulior barrows interspersed over the downs, some of which are of a considerable size, but all of them have been opened, and plundered of their contents. The late Rev. Mr. Faussett, of Heppington, opened upwards of 300 of these tumuli, and greatly enriched his valuable collection of Roman antiquities with the contents of them; among which were discovered several coins of the first and second brass, viz. Claudius, Gallienus-Probus, Carausius, Allectus, and Constantine the Great. He was firmly of opinion, that these tumuli were the graves of the inhabitants of the neighbouring villages, of men and women promiscuously buried in them at different times; and that those with military appearances in them were of those who had at some time been soldiers. A denarius of Tiberius was found among the entrenchments near them.—Twine, in his treatise De Rebus Albionicis, p. 75, says, there was a barrow of an immense size opened on these downs, in king Henry VIII.'s time, by Mr. William Diggs, and that there was dug out of it a very large urn, full of ashes and bones of the largest size, with brass and iron helmets and shields of an unusual bigness, but almost wasted away; yet there was nothing to judge by, either of its time, or whom it belonged to. The Roman military way, or Watling-street, runs, along the lower side of the downs, the whole length of them, in a strait line from Canterbury towards Dover. It is made circular, and composed of the soil of the country, chalk and flints blended together, and is at this time the greatest part of it entire, being made use of as the common high road.
On these downs, anno 1213, king John encamped with a mighty army of 60,000 men, to oppose Philip, king of France, who was marching to invade this kingdom; but Pandulph, the pope's legate, who was then at the house of the knights templars in this neighbourhood, sent two of them to persuade the king to come to him there, where the king, in the presence of his principal nobles and the bishops, resigned his crown to the legate, as the pope's representative; (fn. 1) and here, in king Henry III.'s reign, Simon Montfort, earl of Leicester, being declared general of their army by the discontented barons, arrayed a numerous army to oppose the landing of queen Eleanor, whom the king had left behind in France.
THE MANOR OF KINGSTON was part of those lands which were given by the Conqueror to Fulbert de Dover, and made up together the barony of Fulbert, or Fobert, being held in capite by barony; and Chilham being made the chief seat of it, or caput baroniæ, it came afterwards to be called the barony of Chilham. In his descendants, and in the Strabolgie's, earls of Athol, this manor continued, in like manner as Chilham, till it was forfeited by one of them to the crown, whence it was granted by Edward II. in his 5th year, to Bartholomew de Badlesmere, (fn. 2) who in the 9th year obtained the grant of a fair here, on the feast of St. Leonard the abbot, and free-warren within all his demesne lands in this manor; but his son Giles de Badlesmere died s. p. in the 12th year of king Edward the IIId.'s reign, leaving his four sisters his coheirs, (fn. 3) and upon the division of their inheritance, this manor, with the advowson of the church, was assigned to Sir John Tiptoft, in right of his late wife Margaret, one of them. His son Robert Tiptoft dying in the 46th year of it, without male issue, his three daughters became his coheirs, of whom Elizabeth, married to Sir Philip le Despencer, on the partition of his estates, had this manor, with the advowson, inter alia, assigned to her. Sir Philip died possessed of it anno 2 Henry VI. upon which it descended to his daughter Margery, then the wife of Roger Wentworth, esq. whose descendant Thomas, lord Wentworth, of Nettlested, alienated it, in the 35th year of that reign, to Thomas Colepeper, esq. of Bedgbury, who soon afterwards conveyed it to Sir Anthony Aucher, of Bishopsborne, in whose descendants it conti nued down to Sir Anthony Aucher, of Bishopsborne, who in 1647 passed away this manor, with the advowson, to Thomas Gibbon, gent. of Westcliffe, who next year settled it on his second son Richard Gibbon, M. D. whose two daughters and coheirs, Dorothy Gibbon, and Anne, wife of the Rev. John Stoning, whose window, her sister Dorothy being deceased unmarried, then became entitled to the whole of it. She left a sole daughter and heir Elizabeth, then the wife of Peter Peters, M. D. of Canterbury, who died possessed of it in 1697. The family of De la Pierre, or Peters, was originally of Flanders. The first of of them who came into England to reside, was Peter Peters, alias De la Pierre, who two years before the restoration purchased the Blackfriars, in Canterbury, where he and his descendants afterwards resided, and practised as physicians with much reputation there, they bore for their arms, Or, three roses, gules. Upon Dr. Peters's death, the inheritance of it descended to his sole daughter and heir Elizabeth, who in 1722 carried it in marriage to Thomas Barrett, esq. of Lee, whose second wife she was. He died possessed of it in 1757, upon which it descended to his only daughter and heir by her, Elizabeth, who entitled her husband the Rev. William Dejovas Byrche, to this manor, with the advowson appendant of the church of Kingston; his arms, Azure, on a chevron, argent, between three fleurs de lis, or, a cross clechee, gules, on a chief of the last, a portcullis, chained of the second, were granted to him in 1758. He died in 1792, as did his widow in 1798, possessed of it, on which it came to SamuelEgerton Brydges, esq. of Denton, who had married their only daughter Elizabeth, and he is the present owner of it. A court leet and court baron is held for this manor.
ILEDEN, or Ilding, as it was antiently written, is a seat in this parish, situated below the hill, on the opposite or northern side of Barham downs, which was antiently part of the possessions of the family of Garwinton, of Garwinton, not far distant from it; in which name it continued down to William Garwinton, who dying s. p. Joane his kinswoman, married to Richard Haut, was, anno 11 king Henry IV. found to be his heir, and their son Richard Haut having an only daughter and heir Margery, she carried it in marriage to William Isaac, esq. of Patrixborne, whose descendant James Isaac, about the middle of king Henry VII.'s reign, alienated this seat, which had now lost all reputation of being a manor, to Diggs, of Diggs-court, in Barham, in which it staid till the reign of queen Elizabeth, when it was at length sold to Sir Thomas Wilsford, who afterwards rebuilt this seat, and resided at it. He was only son of Thomas Wilsford, of Hartridge, in Cranbrook, and married Mary, daughter and heir of Edward Poynings, by whom he had Sir Thomas Wilsford, of Ileden, and other children. Sir Thomas married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Edwin Sandys, of Norborne, by whom he had James and three other sons; of whom, Edward, the third, was captain of a troop of horse, and in holy orders, which was somewhat remarkable; but being a faithful royalist, he was present at the famous battle of Worcester, and among those who courageously fought at one gate of that city, where he was dangerously wounded in the shoulder, whilst the king made his escape at another part of the city; and the university of Oxford soon afterwards, in compliment to the king, conferred on him the degree of D. D. and the king gave him in recompence the vicarage of Lid, where he died, and lies buried in that church. They bore for their arms, Gules, a chevron, ingrailed, between three leopard's faces, or; which coat, impaled with Sandys, is in several of the windows at Ileden; and in the hall of it is the coat of Wilsford, quartering those of Corney, Poynings, Fitzpain, Bryan, Rokesley, Criol, Crevequer, and Averenches. In whose de scendants it continued down to his great-grandson Sir James Wilsford, of Ileden, who in 1668 sold this seat to Sir Robert Faunce, of Maidstone, who afterwards resided here. He was first of St. Margaret's, Rochester, and resided afterwards at different times at Cosington, in Aylesford, Ileden, the Precincts in Canterbury, Bekesborne, Betshanger, and Maidstone, and lies buried at Aylesford. He bore for his arms, Argent, three lions rampant, sable, collared, or. In 1679 he alienated this seat to John Cason, esq. afterwards of Ileden, and he about the year 1690 passed it away to Thomas Turner, esq. of London, descended from William Turner, of Sutton Valence, of the houshold to king Henry VII. being the son of William Turner, alderman of Canterbury. He was clerk of the drapers company. and was a benefactor to the poor of this parish. He had a daughter Elizabeth, married to Sir Thomas Lombe, of London. He died possessed of it in 1715, whose grandson Thomas Turner, esq. changed his name to Payler, for which an act passed, and resided at Ileden, and died possessed of it in 1771. He left one son Thomas, and a daughter Margaret, married to the Rev. Edward Taylor, of Bifrons. Thomas-Watkinson Payler, the son, married Charlotte, one of the daughters of William Hammond, esq. late of St. Albans, by whom he has seven sons and one daughter. They bear for their arms, Turner, per fess, ermine and sable, a pale counterchanged, three fer de molines, two and one, or, quartering Payler, gules, on a bend, or between three lions, passant-guardant, argent, three mullets of six points, pierced, sable. He was succeeded in it by his son Thomas-Watkinson Payler, esq. now of Ileden, the present owner of it.
DENNEHILL is another seat on the same side of Barham downs, at the eastern boundary of them, which took its name from the family of Dene, or Denne, of eminent note in this county, the possessors of it in very early times. One of them, Ralph de Den, held much land in Romney Marsh, and at Buckhurst, in Sussex, in the 20th year of William the Conqueror, as appeared by an old roll in the earl of Dorset's possession, being written in the record, son of Robtus Pincerna, a name probably given him from his being butler or sewer to one of our kings before the conquest. Sir Alured de Den was chief steward of the priory of Christ-church in the 29th year of king Henry III. and was a person so singularly esteemed for his wisdom, that when the laws and ordinances of Romney Marsh were compiled, by that venerable judge Henry de Bath, in the 42d year of that reign, this Sir Alured and Nicholas de Handloe were joined with him for that purpose; and what is remarkable, he at that early time sealed with three leopards faces, the antient paternal coat of this family, which afterwards continued owners of this seat, and resided here with much reputation as justices of the peace and other honourable employments of public concern, down to Michael Denne, esq. who lived here in the reigns of king Edward IV. and king Henry VII. being descended by the marriages of his ancestors from the families of Apulderfield, Earde, Arderne, and Combe, among others, whose posterity spread in several branches resident not only in Canterbury and the several neighbouring parishes, but in West Kent likewise. But after this seat had continued in an uninterrupted descent to him from Sir Alured de Denne above-mentioned, and from him again down to Thomas Denne, esq. who was recorder of Canterbury, and died possessed of it in 1655, it went by Mary, his youngest daughter and coheir, in marriage to Vincent Denne. esq. of Canterbury, sergeant-at-law, descended, as has been above-related, from the same stock of ancestry, but he bore for his arms, Argent, on two flaunches, sable, two leopard's faces, or, being the bearing of this younger branch of this family. The elder branch, of Dennehill, bore Sable, three leopards faces, or. (fn. 4) He died possessed of it in 1693, leaving four daughters his coheirs, viz. Dorothy, married to Mr. Thomas Ginder; Mary, to Mr. Stephen Nethersole; Bridget, to Mr. Robert Beake; and Honywood, to Gilbert Knowler, esq. who the next year vested their several interests in this seat by sale in Mr. Robert Beake before-mentioned, who died possessed of the whole of it in 1701, whose heirs, Thomas, Robert, and William Beake, in 1725 sold it to lady Hester Gray, whose husband Sir James Gray had, in 1707, been created a baronet of Scotland, bearing for his arms, Gules, a lion rampant, within a bordure wavy, argent. She conveyed it to her eldest son Sir James Gray, bart. and K. B. who died in 1775, and was succeeded in it by his brother lieutenant-general Sir George Gray, bart. who dying soon afterwards, it came again to his mother lady Hester Gray, and her daughters, Elizabeth Nicholl, widow, and Carolina Gray, who in 1774 joined in the sale of it to John Morse, esq. of London, merchant, who at no small expence greatly improved this seat, and the adjoining grounds belonging to it, and afterwards in 1777 alienated it to Hardinge Scracey, esq. late on of the clerks of the house of commons, who is the present possessor and resides in it, bearing for his arms, Argent, a cross engrailed, gules, between four eagles displayed, sable.
PARMESTED, usually called Parmsted, is a manor situated obscurely among the woods, on the opposite side of the parish, more than two miles from the church, close to the boundaries of Upper Hardres, in which parish great part of it lies, south-westward from Kingston church. It was, as early as any evidence drawn from record can discover, the inheritance of a family of the same name; for in several old deeds relating to lands contiguous to it, Hugh de Parmested is named among other witnesses, and most probably he was owner of this manor; but before the end of king Edward II.'s reign this name was become extinct here, and the family of Garwinton were proprietors of it, as appears by an old fine levied anno 8 Edward III. by Hugh Garwinton, in which he passed away his estate at Permested, to Thomas Garwinton, whose greatgrandson William Garwinton, dying s. p. Joane his kinswoman, married to Richard Haut, was anno 11 Henry IV. found to be his next heir, and their son Richard Haut leaving an only daughter and heir Margery, she carried it in marriage to William Isaac, esq. of Patrixborne, whose descendant James Isaac, about the beginning of king Henry VII. alienated it to Edward Knevet, esq. of Stanway, who died in the 16th year of it, leaving an only daughter and heir, married to Sir John Rainsford, but she died s. p. anno 1507, upon which it devolved to her next heir Elizabeth, wife of John Clopton, esq. and only daughter of Margaret, the eldest of the two sisters and coheirs of Edward Knevet, esq. above-mentioned, and they, anno 27 Henry VIII. passed it away by sale to Thomas, lord Cromwell, afterwards earl of Essex, who the next year sold it to Sir Christopher Hales, the king's attorney-general, who died possessed of it anno 33 Henry VIII. and his three daughters and coheirs conveyed it by sale to Thomas Alphew, otherwise Alphy, yeoman, who in the 5th of Elizabeth, alienated it to William Denne. draper, of Maidstone, who again passed it away to Vincent Denne, LL. D. whose grandson Vincent Denne, sergeant-at-law, of Canterbury, died possessed of it in 1693, without male issue, leaving four daughters his coheirs, the youngest of whom Honywood, on the partition of his estates, became entitled to it. She afterwards married Gilbert Knowler, esq. of Herne, whose second wife she was; they afterwards conveyed this manor to Tho. Harris, hopfactor, of Canterbury, who by his last will in 1726, gave it to his grandson Richard Barham, gent. whose son Mr. Richard Harris Barham, of Canterbury, and an alderman of that city, died possessed of it in 1795, and in the trustees of his will the possession of it is now vested.
WILLIAM TURNER, by will in 1746, gave the yearly sum of 6l. 10s. to purchase wheaten bread, to be distributed to the amount of 2s. 6d. weekly, every Sunday after divine service, to the poor; and he charged the same on his estate in St. Martin'slane, in Bedfordbury; and 10s. likewise yearly to the clerk for his trouble in distributing it. Which is now paid by T. W. Payler, esq.
The church consists of one isle and one chancel, having a square tower at the west end, in which are three bells. It is dedicated to St. Giles. This church, though small, is neat. In the chancel is a small monument, with two figures kneeling, and inscription, for John Nethersole, esq. of Nethersole, obt. 1546. A monument for Gilbert Boroughs, A. M. twenty-six years rector of this parish, and master of the king's school, Canterbury, obt. 1718. A memorial within the altar-rails, for Margaret, wife of Thomas Turner, esq. of Ileden, obt. 1698. He died in 1718, and lies in the same vault. A monument within the altarrails, for Vincent Denne, sergeant-at-law, and Mary his wife, daughter of Thomas Denne, esq. deceased. He died in 1693; arms, Three leopards saces, which coat in her hatchment is the first, and argent, on two flaunchee, sable, two leopards faces, or, the second. A memorial for John Haslyn, parson of this parish 26 years, obt. August 24, 1600. A memorial for Robert Denne, obt. 1594. In the south wall is a very antient flat stone, under an arch, the brass gone. The altarpiece was given by Thomas Barrett, esq. patron of this church. In the body is a monument for the Turner's, of Ilden, A stone on the pavement, on which were the figures of a man and woman, and inscription in brass, now gone, which was for Thomas Botiller. Four shields of arms; on one an ox, and on another a sheep, the other two gone.
It is a rectory, and valued in the king's books at sixteen pounds, and the yearly tenths at 1l. 12s. It is now of the yearly certified value of 77l. 3s. In 1588 it was valued at eighty pounds, communicants 123; in 1640 the same. There was formerly a chantry in this church.
Church of Kingston.
|Or by whom presented.|
|Walter Balcanqual, S. T. P. Nov. 28, 1632.|
|The King.||Second induction, Aug. 1, 1635. (fn. 5)|
|Lord of King ston manor.||Nicholas Dingley, obt. 1672.|
|Robert Aucher, A. M. June 20. 1672.|
|John Max. Delangle, D. D. resigned 1692.|
|Gilbert Boroughs, A. M. Jan. 7, 1692, obt. 1718. (fn. 6)|
|Peter Innes, A. M. January 6, 1718, obt. Jan. 12, 1769. (fn. 7)|
|John Nairne, A. M. January 13, 1769, the present rector. (fn. 8)|