The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 9. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1800.
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THIS PARISH is situated adjoining to Upper Deal, from which the upland part of it forms a kind of peninsula westward, which is surrounded on three sides by the wet land and marshes. The high road from Canterbury to Deal passes through the upland of it, over the open arable down, from Howe-bridge, having both Cotmanton and Hull at almost a stone's throw on the lest hand, thence it goes on through a narrow inclosed lane to the village, called Sholdonstreet, and the church; the latter being both on two sides encircled by the highway, at not more than a quarter of a mile's distance from Upper Deal. The street of Sholdon contains about twenty houses, one of which is a farm-house, formerly belonging to the Crayfords, but now to the Rev. James Morrice, clerk, and the hamlet of Sholdon Bank contains about as many. At the west end of the parish is the hamlet of Foulmead. The parish contains about fifteen hundred acres, of which about four hundred being arable, are worth about twenty shillings per acre; the residue is marsh-land in Lydden Valley, great part of which is very wet, and of little value. There is no woodland in it.
THE MANOR OF NORBORNE claims paramount over it; subordinate to which is the MANOR OF HULL, which appears to have been part of the possessions of the abbot and convent of St. Augustine, given to it most probably in 618, by Eadbald, king of Kent, at part of those thirty plough lands, which made up the manor of Northborne, as mentioned in his charter of it, (fn. 1) continued with the monastery, till the suppression of it, in the 30th year of king Henry VIII. (fn. 2) when it came, with the rest of the revenues of the abbot and convent, into the king's hands, whence this manor was granted, by the name of the manor of Hull and Sholden, by the king, in his 34th year, in exchange for other premises, to archbishop Canterbury. Since which it has continued parcel of the possessions of the see of Canterbury to the present time, and is now held on a beneficial lease by Mr. James Wyborn, who resides here, whose father Mr. William Wyborne rebuilt the mansion of this manor. His son James, the present lessee of this manor, married Rebecca Bargrave, by whom he has two sons, Bargrave and James, and three daughters, Frances, married to Mr. John May, gent. of Deal; Eliza, to Captain Dean, of the Berkshire militia; and Rebecca. They bear for their arms, Sable, a fess, or, between three swans, proper.
HULL COURT, alias LONG FARM, is an estate in this parish, which was antiently the property of the family of Retling, of Retling-court, in Nonington. Sir Richard, son of Thomas de Retling, appears to have died possessed of it in the 23d year of king Edward III. whose widow, the lady Sarah Retling, afterwards remarried John de St. Laurence.
By her first husband, she left a sole daughter and heir Joane, who marrying John Spicer, entitled him to it. After which, by Cicely, a daughter and coheir of this name, it passed in marriage to John Isaac, of Bridge, and he alienated it before the 21st of king Henry VI. to John Bresland, who not long afterwards sold it to Fineux, of Swingfield, in which name it remained, till it was again passed away to Monins, whose ancestors had been possessed of lands here for many generations before.
John Monins, of Dover, who lived at the latter end of king Richard II.'s reign, appears by the pedigree of this family to have married the daughter and heir of Sholdon, descended of a family, who from their residence and possessions in this parish, assumed their surname from it, and bore for their arms, Argent,on a bend, gules, three swans, or; one of whom, Lambert de Shoveldon, for so he is written in Thorne's Chronicle, was possessed of lands here in the year 1128, anno 29 Henry I. (fn. 3)
But to return to the possessors of this estate, which after it had continued sometime in the name of Monins, was alienated by one of them to Sir William Crayford, of Mongeham, from whose descendant it passed by sale to Aldworth; and I find that one of this name, Richard Aldworth, repaired the chancel of this church in 1630; in this name it continued, till Charles Aldworth, esq. of Frogmore, in New Windsor, Berkshire, having obtained an act, in the first year of queen Anne, for the purpose, conveyed this estate, together with his interest in the lease of the manor of Hull, and the appendant rectory of Sholdon, to Mr. Daniel Wyborn, whose son, William Wyborn, of Hull, in this parish, leaving four sons his coheirs, on the division of their inheritance, James Wyborn, the youngest son, became entitled to this estate, of which he is at this time the possessor.
COTMANTON-COURT, formerly accounted a manor, and now usually called Cottington, is situated in the western part of this parish, the house of it dividing the two parishes of Sholdon and Norborne; though great part of the demesnes of it are within the adjoining parishes of Northborne and Walmer. It was in early times, part of those possessions in this county, which enriched the eminent family of Criol. Simon de Criol held it of the abbot of St. Augustine, by Knight's service, in the reign of king Henry III. (fn. 4) After this family was become extinct, I find it in the possession of Salamon Champneis, and again soon after the middle of king Edward the IIId.'s reign, in that of Roger Digge, of Barham; in whose descendants it remained till king Henry VII.'s reign, when John Digge, esq. of Barham, in the 4th year of it, conveyed it to trustees, who sold it to Thomas Barton, descended from the antient family of this name in Lancashire, and he died possessed of it in the 24th year of that reign, holding it as above-mentioned; but his descendant, at the latter end of Henry VIII.'s reign, alienated it to Brown, of London, from which name it passed to Sir Roger Manwood, chief baron of the exchequer. (fn. 5) After which ii became the property of Richardson, from which name, about the middle of king James I.'s reign, it passed by sale to Sir Thomas Smith, of London, whose son, Sir John Smith, succeeded him in the possession of it; after whose death his heirs conveyed it to the governors of the hospital for the cure of lunatics, commonly called Bethlem hospital, in Moorfields, in London, in trust, for the use of that noble charity, and they are at this time possessed of the fee of it. Mr. George Hooper is the present lessee of it.
Almost adjoining to the mansion of Cotmanton eastward, was a chapel, erected for the use of the owners of it and their families, which, like many others of the same sort, by the increase of expence and other alterations of the times, becoming a burthen to the owners, was suffered to run to ruin, and they chose rather to relinquish the privilege of having it, than continue at the expence of repairs and other contingencies arising from it.
The ruins of this chapel remained till within these few years. By the stone walls, which were entire, it appeared to have been a building of some beauty and symmetry of architecture, consisting of a nave and south isle, separated by a row of elegant slight pillars, supporting pointed arches; beyond them was a chancel, circular at the east end, and vaulted over with stone. The whole of it is now pulled down, and the foundations erased, so that the very scite of it is no longer visible.
In the endowment of the vicarage of Norborne, the tithes with which the vicar was endowed within the limits of this chapel, are recited, and that the lords of the manor of Cotmanton were bound to repair this chapel and the chancel of it, and to find the books, vestments, and other ornaments necessary to it; but the vicar was bound at all times either to serve himself, or to find a fit priest to serve in divine offices in this chapel. (fn. 6)
SIR THOMAS SMITH, by will in 1625, gave to six poor men a four-penny loat each, on a Sunday; 2s. to the minister, 2s. to the churchwardens; 2s. to the clerk of the parish; to be paid yearly out of money intrusted to the Skinners Company, in London. But this gift has not been paid since the great fire of London, in 1666.
A PERSON, name unknown, but supposed to be Rickman, gave the sum of 20s. per annum, payable yearly out of the rents of a house, and five or six acres of land in this parish, now in the occupation of Adams, to the industrious poor of it. This money was accordingly thus distributed till within these twenty years past, since which it has been brought into the parish accounts, and for some years past has not been paid.
The church, which is dedicated to St. Nicholas, consists of a nave and a chancel; it is of a good size and well built, having a square tower steeple at the west end, in which are three bells. The church is ceiled, and kept very neat. In the chancel are several modern memorials for the Wyborn family. There are no monuments of antiquity in it, nor any thing worth further notice.
The church of Sholdon was always accounted as a chapel belonging the church of Norborne, the tithes of it, both great and small, being in king Henry III.'s reign, assigned by the abbot of St. Augustine's, to the eleemosinary of almonry of the convent, which tithes the chamberlain of it had before been accustomed to receive. (fn. 7)
The several tithes within the bounds and limits of this chapel, belonging to the church of Norborne, have been recited before in the endowment of the vicarage of that church, but the parsonage of Sholdon still remained with the religious.
After the dissolution of the abbey of St. Augustine, anno 30 king Henry VIII. this chapel, as an appendage to the church of Norborne, passed into the hands of the crown, whence the rectory of it was granted in exchange the next year to the archbishop, as was the advowson of this chapel, anno I king Edward VI. together with that of the church of Norborne, in which state it continues at this time, the archbishop being now possessed of the rectory appropriate of Sholdon, which is entirely distinct from that of Norborne, and he is the present patron of the church of Norborne, with the chapel of Sholdon annexed to it.
The instrument of endowment of the vicarage of Norborne, with this chapel appendant to it, has been already recited in the description of that parish, to which the reader is referred. (fn. 8)
This chapel is not valued separately in the king's books, but is included in the valuation of the church of Norborne; the vicar of which is instituted and inducted to that vicarage, with the chapel of Sholdon annexed to it.