A History of the County of Kent: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1926.
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27. THE PRECEPTORY OF SWINGFIELD
Swingfield was occupied by some of the sisters of the order of St. John of Jerusalem before these were collected together and removed to Buckland, in Somerset, in 1180. (fn. 1) After their departure the knights of the order appear to have taken possession, and a preceptory was established here at some time; perhaps when they secured the neighbouring manor of Ewell after the suppression of the Templars.
A full account of the bajulia of Swingfield is given in the report of the possessions of the hospital in England made by Prior Philip de Thame to the Grand Master in 1338. (fn. 2) The manor house, with a garden, was valued at 6s. 8d. yearly, the church at £10, a moiety of the church of Tilmanstone at £8, the confraria or voluntary contribution at £20; and rents and lands at Swingfield, Cocklescombe, and Bonnington brought the total receipts up to £82 4s. 4d. The expenses included £11 6s. for bread, £10 for beer, £11 for flesh, fish, and other necessaries for the kitchen, 69s. 4d. for robes and other necessaries for the preceptor and brother, 20s. for repair of houses, 40s. for the visit of the prior for two days, rents and suits of court, and stipends of three chaplains, an esquire and two clerks collecting the fraria, a chamberlain, a cook, a baker, a porter, a bailiff, a mower, two grooms and a page; and amounted to £52 18s. 4d., leaving 43 marks 12s. 8d. to be paid into the treasury. Ralph Basset, knight, was preceptor, and Alan Mounceux brother.
Pope Urban V in 1364 requested the master of the Hospital to make provision of the priory of Venice to Daniel de Carreto, preceptor of Swingfield and Buckland, (fn. 3) and on learning that it had already been filled he similarly recommended him for the priories of Rome or Pisa. (fn. 4)
In the Valor of 1535 the gross value of the preceptory of Swingfield, including the rectories of Swingfield, Ewell, and Tilmanstone, was £104 0s. 2½d. yearly, and the net value £85 3s. 3½d., the deductions including a pension of 40s. to the prioress of Buckland in Somerset. (fn. 5)
The preceptory and the rectories of Swingfield and Tilmanstone were leased on 16 March, 1541, to John Thorgood and Thomas Horseley for twenty-one years, (fn. 6) and on 20 July the reversion was granted to Anthony Awcher. (fn. 7)