Parishes: Charlton

Pages 420-441

The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 1. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1797.

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EASTWARD from Greenwich, on the bank of the Thames, lies CHARLTON, antiently written Ceorletone, i. e. the town of husbandmen; ceorl, in Saxon, signifying an husbandman, or churl, as it was termed in old English. It is usually called Charlton near Greenwich, to distinguish it from the other parish of the same name near Dover.

CHARLTON is a pleasant well-built village, having many handsome houses interspersed throughout it. On the edge of the hill, at a small distance from the church, was till lately houses; one of which were in the possession of the late governor Hunter; the other was erected by Robert lord Romney, who married Elizabeth, one of the daughters and coheirs of sir Cloudesly Shovel, knight. One of these houses, near adjoining to the church-yard, belonged to the late Joseph Kirke, esq. and afterwards to James Browne, esq. Since whose death, in 1787, it became the property of Francis Maculloch, James Brown Bonnor, esqrs. and Susannah, the wife of Robert Thompson, on a demise, from whom it became the residence of lord Arden, and afterwards of George James, earl of Cholmondeley, who pulled the house down, and erected another instead of it in the wood further northward, in which he now resides. The other house is the property of sir Thomas Spencer Wilson, bart. but it is at present in the tenure, for the remainder of a lease, of William Henry Lambton, esq. who resides in it. The marshes, at the extremity of which is the Thames, bound the north-west of this parish. The village is on the upland, nearly in the centre of it, having the church at the east end. Just beyond which is the noted coppice, called Hanging-wood, in the road to Woolwich, and at a small distance southward Charlton common, which joins the high London road to Shooter's-hill, on the other side of which, still further southward, is the hamlet of Kidbrook.

The market (granted by king Henry III. to the priory of Bermondsey, to be held here on a Monday weekly) has been discontinued a long time, as well as the fair, which was granted at the same time, as mentioned above. In the room of the latter there is a fair held at this place yearly on St. Luke's-day, October 18, called Horn Fair, and at which there are sold rams-horns, and all sorts of toys made of horn. It consists of a riotous mob, who, after a printed summons dispersed through the several towns and country round about, meet at Cuckold's-point, near Deptford, and march from thence in procession through that town and Greenwich to Charlton, with horns of various kinds upon their heads. This assembly used formerly to be infamous for rudeness and indecency, but it is now much less so, by the endeavours of the constables, who are ordered to attend. Of this fair vulgar tradition gives this origin; that king John, or some other of our kings, being at the palace of Eltham, in this neighbourhood, and having been out a hunting one day, rambled from his company to this place, then a mean hamlet, when entering a cottage, he admired the beauty of the mistress, whom he found alone, and having prevailed over her modesty, the husband suddenly returning, surprised them together, and threatening to kill them both, the king was obliged to discover himself, and to compound for their safety by a purse of gold, and a grant of the land from this place to Cuckold's-point, besides making the husband master of that part of the hamlet. It is added, that in memory of this grant, and the occasion of it, this fair was established for the sale of horns and all sorts of goods made of that material. A sermon is preached at Charlton church on the fair day.

In a field near Greenwich, our herbalist, John Gerarde, found the Pumaria alba latifolia claviculata, white broad-leafed fumitorie; and sumaria tenuisolia, fine-leased fumitorie; and in a lane beyond the village, corciata, croswort. (fn. 1) Here is also found, in Charltonwood, anagallis lutea or flore luteo, the yellow pimpernel, and androsæmum hypericoides hirsutum, hairy tutsan; conferva plin. setis porcinis similis, in the marsh ditches near the Thames. Junceum marinum spicatum, plentifully in the marshy meadows here; and myositis scorpoides latifolia hirsuta, in Charltonwood, and many other woods in this county.

In the reign of king Edward the Confessor, this place was esteemed as two manors, and was granted, after the conquest, by king William to his half brother, Odo bishop of Baieux, under the general title of whose lands it is thus entered in the general survey of Domesday:

William Fitzoger holds of the bishop (of Baieux) Cerletone. It was taxed at one suling. The arable land is 5 carucates. In demesne there is 1 carucate and 13 villeins having 3 carucates. There are 2 servants and 8 acres of meadow. There is wood for the pannage of 5 hogs. In the time of king Edward the Confessor, and af- terwards, it was, and now is, worth 7 pounds. Two brothers, Goduin and Alward, held this land of the king for two manors.

[The original Latin of the record of Domesday has been given in the description of Greenwich, as a specimen of it, but its being read and understood by so very few, and the translation of the several parts of it being continued throughout the course of these volumes, will excuse any farther repetition of it, especially as it would only serve to increase the size of them.] This place afterwards came into the possession of Rob. Bloett, bishop of Lincoln, the king's chancellor, and was given by him, in the 6th year of king William Rufus, under the description of the manor of Charlton, with its appurtenances, to the monastery of St. Saviour of Bermondsey, near Southwark. Henry III. in his 53d year, granted to the prior of Bermondsey a market, to be held at this manor on a Monday weekly, and a fair for three days yearly, on the eve, the day, and the morrow of the Feast of the Trinity. (fn. 2) In which situation it remained till the reign of king Henry VIII. when the abbey of St. Saviour being surrendered into the king's hands, in the 29th year of it, this manor came to the crown, and was confirmed to the king and his heirs by the general words of the act, passed in the 31st year of his reign for that purpose.

Queen Mary, in her 5th year, granted this manor, with its appurtenances, to Thomas White, Roger Martyn, and William Blackwell, to hold with other premises, in capite, by the service of a fortieth part of one knight's see. (fn. 3) It was granted by queen Elizabeth in her 5th year, to lady Anne Parre. King James I. granted it to Sir Adam Newton, bart. (fn. 4) and tutor to prince Henry, his eldest son, who built a noble manor house here, in the Gothic stile. He died in 1629, having married Catherine, daughter of Sir John Puckering, lord-keeper, by whom he left one son, Henry, his successor in title and estate. (fn. 5) He bore for his arms, two coats quarterly, first and fourth, Azure, two ostrich feathers in saltire (being an augmentation, as servant to the prince of Wales) between three boars heads couped argent, langued and tusked or, by the name of Newton; second and third, sable, a bend fusile cotized argent, by the name of Puckering. (fn. 6)

Sir Henry Newton, bart. on the death of his uncle, Sir Thomas Puckering, bart. in 1636, and of Jane, his only daughter, who was, against her will, seized upon in Greenwich-park, and carried over sea to Dunkirk, by one Joseph Welsh, who reported she was married to him, (fn. 7) but died without issue, became by deed of settlement, heir to a good estate in Warwickshire, and elsewhere, he removed to his uncle's seat, the Priory, at Warwick, and took the name of Puckering, being afterwards stiled Sir Henry Puckering, bart. alias Newton. He was a great royalist, and consequently suffered much by sequestration and other oppression, insomuch that he was necessitated to sell this manor to Sir William Ducie, bart. of Tortworth, in Gloucestershire, second son of Sir Robert Ducie, bart. alderman of London.

Sir William Ducie, bart. was one of the knights of the Bath at the coronation of king Charles II. by whom he was created Viscount Downe, of the kingdom of Ireland. (fn. 8) He died without issue at his manor house here, in 1697, and was buried at Torthworth above mentioned. His executors sold this manor to Sir William Langhorn, bart. an East India merchant, who died without issue, in 1714, and lies buried in this church. On his death it came to his nephew and heir, Sir John Conyers, bart. son of Sir Christopher Conyers, bt. by his first wife, Elizabeth, eldest daughter of William Langhorn, of London, and sister of Sir William Langhorn, before mentioned. He bore for his arms, Sable, a cross argent, on a chief of the second, three bugle horns sable, stringed gules.

This family was originally wrote Coigners, and was so called from a place of that name in France. Roger de Coigners came into England towards the end of the reign of William the Conqueror, to whom the bishop of Durham, (William de Kaerlepho,) abbot of St. Vincent's, in Normandy, gave the constableship of Durham.

His grandson, Sir John Conyers, bart. (son of Sir Baldwin) dying without issue male, (fn. 9) the manor of Charlton went by entail, first to William Langhorne Games, who dying likewise without issue male, it came then to the reverend John Marryon, of Essex, who left it by will to his sister, Mrs. Margaretta Maria Marryon, in tail general; she carried it in marriage first to John Badger Weller, esq. of Hornchurch, in Essex, by whom she had an only daughter, Margaretta Elizabeth, on his death she married John Jones, esq. who, in her right, was possessor of it, but since her death, it is now become vested in her daughter, by her first husband, married to Sir Thomas Spencer Wilson, bart. of East Bourne, in Sussex, late one of the knights in parliamen for that county.

The manor house, built by Sir Adam Newton before mentioned, stands at the entrance of the village: it is a long Gothic structure, with four turrets on the top, before the court-yard there is a long row of cypress trees, which seem of great age, and are perhaps the oldest in England; behind the house are large gardens, and beyond these a small park, which joins to Woolwich common.

Dr. Plot says, there was a marble chimney-piece in the dining room of this house, so exquisitely polished, that the lord of Downe could see in it a robbery committed on Shooter's-hill, whereupon, sending out his servants, the thieves were taken. Thus in a chimney-piece, at Beauvoir-castle, he says, might be seen the city and cathedral of Lincoln, and in another, at Wilton, the city and cathedral of Salisbury.

WRICKLESMARSH lies adjoining to the southern side of Blackheath, and in early times was of some account, as appears by the survey of Domesday, in which it is mentioned, as having been, in the time of king Edward the Confessor, in the possession of one Anschil. At the taking it, in the time of the Conqueror, anno 1080, it was part of the possessions of Odo, the great bishop of Baieux, under the general title of whose lands it is thus described in that record:

The son of Turald of Rochester holds of the bishop Witenemers. It was taxed at 1 suling. The arable land is 4 carucates. In demesne there is 1 carucate and 11 villeins, with 2 cottagers, having 2 carucates. There are 4 acres of meadow, and wood for the pannage of 15 hogs. In the time of king Edward the Confessor it was worth 100 shillings, when he received it 4 pounds, and now 100 shillings. Anschil held it of king Edward.

After this, for a long interval of time, I find no mention of it, but that it came at length into the family of Vere, earls of Oxford, one of whom, Robert Vere, third son of John earl of Oxford, died at his house at Wricklesmarsh in 1598, and was buried in this church; after his death it came into the possession of Sir William Garway, of London, who conveyed it to his son in law, Edward Blount, esq. of the Middle Temple, London, who died possessed of it in 1617, and was buried in this church. His pedigree is in the heraldic visitation of Kent, taken in 1619, in which he is said to be descended from Shropshire.

At the latter end of the last century it was in the possession of Sir John Morden, bart. the founder of Morden-college, near it, who dying in 1708, was buried in the chapel of his own college. By his will, he left his mansion-house, called Wricklesmarsh, with its appurtenances, and as many acres of land next adjoining to it as amounted to the yearly value of one hundred pounds, to his wife, dame Susan Morden, for life, and afterwards according to the disposition of it in his will. Accordingly, soon after lady Morden's death, in 1721, it was sold to Sir Gregory Page, bart. of Greenwich, who erected here a noble and magnificent edifice of stone, in the modern taste, being one of the finest seats in England, belonging to a private gentleman, and much admired for its fine situation and excellent air. It stood in the midst of the park, with a large piece of water before it, on a beautiful rise, at about a quarter of a mile distance from the heath, which from the pales of the park rises again up to the London road, which runs parallel to it at the like distance.

Sir Gregory Page was the son of Sir Gregory Page, bart, of Greenwich, who was advanced to that title December 3, anno 1 George I. Sir Gregory Page, the father, married Mary, daughter of Mr. Tho. Trotman, of London, and died in 1720, leaving two sons, Sir Gregory Page, his successor in title, before mentioned, and Thomas Page, esq. of Battesden, in Bedfordshire, who left no issue; and two daughters, the eldest of whom, Mary, married Sir Edw. Turner, bart. of Ambrosden, in Oxfordshire, by whom she had one son, Edward, and the youngest, Sophia, was the first wife of Lewis Way, esq. of Richmond, by whom she had Benjamin Way, esq. of Denham, in Buckinghamshire. Lady Page died in 1729, and was interred in a vault in Bunhill-fields.

Sir Gregory Page, the son, married Martha, third daughter of Robert Kenward, of Yalding, esq. who died 1767, without issue, as did Sir Gregory in 1775, and was buried, according to his will, in his family vault at East Greenwich; to the poor of which parish he left a large benefaction, as well as other considerable sums in charities elsewhere. He bore for his arms— Azure a fess indented between three martlets or. He by his will devised this seat, as well as the rest of his estates in this county, to his great nephew, Sir Gregory Turner, of Ambrosden, in Oxfordshire, bart. in tail male, who has since taken the name of Page. (fn. 10)

This family of Turner came out of Leicestershire; one of whom, Edward Turner, esq. was made a baronet on August 24, anno 7 king George II. leaving by Mary, one of the sisters of the late Sir Gregory Page as above-mentioned, one son, Edward, who succeeded him in title and estate, and two daughters, Elizabeth, now dowager viscountess Say and Sele, and Cassandra, married to Edward lord Hawke. Sir Edward, the son, married Cassandra, daughter of William Leigh, of Addlestrop, in Gloucestershire, esq. by whom he had the present Sir Gregory Turner Page, bart. two other sons and two daughters. This estate having thus passed into the possession of Sir Gregory Turner Page, bart. he obtained an act of parliament in 1781 for the sale of the estates of Sir Gregory Page, bart. In consequence of which in 1783 this mansion, with the park and inclosures adjoining, was sold for twenty-two thousand five hundred and fifty pounds to John Cator, of Beckenham, esq. who has since so far pulled down the mansion, that the bare walls only remain of it. He has likewise disparked the park, and sold several parts of it to different persons, who have built a number of genteel houses on the north-west verge of it, near the road going down towards Lee and Eltham.

MORDEN COLLEGE stands adjoining to Blackheath, a little to the eastward of Sir Gregory Turner's late park, and was so named from its founder, Sir John Morden, of Wricklesmarsh before-mentioned, a Turkey merchant, who brought home a good fortune with him from Aleppo. Several years before his death, taking pattern by the bishop of Rochester's college at Bromley in this neighbourhood, he erected this building, in form of a college, not far from his own habitation, for the support of poor, honest, decayed merchants; for whose relief, among all the charitable foundations in and about London for distressed people, there had been none erected before: and this college may now, from its situation and ample endowment, be said to be one of the most comfortable retreats for the aged and unfortunate, that charity affords in this kingdom. The college consists of a large brick building, with two small wings, strengthened at the corners with stone rustic; having an inward square surrounded with piazzas, and a chapel and buryingplace adjoining, for the members of the college. The founder, according to his will, was buried in a vault within this chapel, under the altar.

Sir John Morden died in 1708; and by his will, in 1702, and a codicil afterwards, endowed this college, after his lady's decease, with a considerable real, copyhold, and personal estate, to the value of about thirteen hundred pounds per annum.

The founder of this noble charity placed in it twelve decayed Turkey merchants in his life-time; but after his decease, lady Morden, finding that the share allotted her by her husband's will, was insufficient for her decent support, some parts of the estate not answering so well as was expected, she was obliged to reduce the number to four. Upon her death in 1721, the whole estate coming to the college, the number was again increased, and there have been, at times, thirty poor gentlemen in it, though now there are not so many; but the number not being limited, it is intended to be increased as the estate will afford; for the building will conveniently hold forty.

Sir John Morden appointed by his will, lady Morden his executrix, and three others, Turkey merchants, to be trustees of his estate settled for this purpose, and sole managers and visitors of this college, as they should see occasion. The first trustees, upon the decease of any of them, are to choose and nominate others, to the number of seven; all to be Turkey merchants; the survivors of them to choose others of the same company, from time to time, to fill up the number. Or, if at any time hereafter, there should be a failure in the Turkey Company, then the election to be made out of the East-India Company, of which the founder was also a member. (fn. 11)

Seven Turkey merchants have accordingly now the direction of this college, and the nomination of the persons admitted into it.

The pensioners have each twenty pounds a year, and at first wore gowns, with the founder's badge; but this has not been for some years. They have a common table to eat and drink together at meals; and each has a convenient apartment, with a cellar. The treasurer, chaplain, and pensioners, are obliged to reside in the college, and no pensioner can be admitted who cannot bring a certificate, to prove his being upwards of fifty years of age.

In 1771 an act passed to compromise the disputes between the king and the trustees of this college, concerning the property of Maidenstone-hill, in Greenwich, claimed by them, but given up as belonging to the royal manor of Greenwich. In which act there is a clause to increase the salaries of the treasurer and chaplain of the hospital, not exceeding fifty pounds per annum; and the pension of each poor merchant, not exceeding forty pounds per annum; notwithstanding Sir John Morden's will limited the treasurer's salary to forty pounds; the chaplain's to thirty pounds, and each poor merchant's to twenty pounds, which, left by a codicil, was reduced to fifteen pounds per annum.

Sir Gregory Page, who died in 1775, devised, by his will, three hundred pounds towards the repairing or ornamenting the chapel of this college.

The marshes in this parish, called Charlton-level, contain one hundred and forty-five ares; of which the whole belonged to Sir Henry Puckering, bart. excepting twenty-two acres, which belonged to the dean and chapter of Westminster, and Henry Gilbourne, esq. the whole being within that commission of sewers which extends from Lumbard's-wall down to Gravesendbridge, in this county.


There are four alms-houses belonging to this parish, but it is not known when, or by whom given, but they were rebuilt by Sir Richard Raynes.

Sir WILLIAM LANGHORN, bart. by will in 1714, gave for the use of such poor people as should be placed in the alms-houses belonging to this parish, 100l. in money, in the hands of the accomptant-general of the court of chancery, being of the annual produce of 2l. 17s. 8d. and for the use of a charity school, directed by his will to be kept at Charlton, 300l. in the same accomptant's hands, being of the annual produce of 8l. 15s. 2d. He, in his life-time, built a school-room over the vestry in the church-yard, for teaching the poor children of this parish.

THOMAS RUSSELL, in 1656, by will, gave an annuity of 2l. 12s. to be laid out weekly in bread, for six poor householders, not known in whom vested, and it has not been paid for several years.

The Rev. WILLIAM CORRY, by will, gave two thirds of a house in Greenwich, for the use of the poor of this parish, now of the annual produce of 3l. 13s. 4d.

The Rev. ABRAHAM COLFE, by will, in 1656, gave to be laid out weekly in two penny loaves of wheaten bread, to be distributed to two poor householders of this parish, a fund vested in the Leather-sellers Company, of the annual produce of 8s. 8d.

THIS PARISH has the right of nominating two persons, out of which one to be chosen by the Draper's Company, to be provided for in the college of William Lambarde, at Greenwich.

Charlton is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese of Rochester, and deanry of Dartford.

The church of Charlton (Cerlentone) was antiently valued at one hundred shillings. (fn. 12)

In the time of king Edward I. an assize was brought to determine what patron, in the time of peace, presented the last parson to this church, then vacant by his death, the advowson of which the prior of Bermondsey claimed, against Thomas, bishop of Rochester; and the bishop allowed the prior his presentation for that turn; reserving to him his right, when at any time he should bring his plea for it. Upon which the prior had his writ directed to the bishop, that, notwithstanding the above, he should, for this turn, institute a fit parson to it. Which plea was inrolled before Thomas de Weyland, and his associates, justices of the King's-bench at Westminster, in the fifteenth year, and the beginning of the sixteenth of king Edward I. (fn. 13)

By the commission of enquiry of the value of church livings, in 1650, out of the court of chancery, it was returned, that Charlton was a parsonage, with a house and glebe land, worth ninety pounds per annum; one master John Pemberton enjoying it. (fn. 14)

The church of Charlton was valued in the king's books at 10l. 7s. 8½d. and the yearly tenths at 1l. 9½d. (fn. 15)

The church is dedicated to St. Luke, and seems to have been surrendered to the crown with the manor of Charlton, and the rest of the possessions of the monastery of St. Saviour's of Bermondsey, at its dissolution, anno 29 king Henry VIII. and to have remained part of the royal demesnes, till king James I. granted it, with the manor, to Sir Adam Newton, who designed to have enlarged and beautified this church; but dying before he could accomplish his intention, he left the care of doing it to his trustees, who most amply discharged that trust; for they new built great part of it, and erected a new steeple from the ground, furnishing it with a good ring of bells, and decorating it so handsomely within and without, that when finished, it surpassed in beauty most churches in the county.

The patronage of it continued in the possessors of the manor of Charlton, till Sir William Langhorn gave it, at his death in 1714, to Robert Warren, D. D. then rector of it; whose son, Langhorn Warren, likewise rector, sold it to Thomas Chamberlaine, A. M. whose son of the same name, who as well as his father, were successively rectors of this church, died possessed of this advowson in 1789, on which it became vested in his widow Mrs. Chamberlain, and Mr. Maule, as his executors, and they are now entitled to it.

In the twelfth year of queen Anne an act passed for the exchange of the parsonage-house and close adjoining, in lieu of another house and lands there.

In this church are the following monuments and memorials; among others, a monument at the west end of the isle, for John Griffith, esq. brigadier, obt. 1713, he married the widow of Wm. Halton, esq. of Lincolnshire. A small stone near the font for lady Charlotte Percival. In the chancel a monument for Tho. Beardmore, A. M. eldest son of John Beardmore, rector of Whitwell, in Derbyshire, and fifteen years rector of this parish, obt. 1702, æt. 43; and for his wife, daughter of Mr. Robert Maundwell, of Wiltshire, gent. obt. 1707, leaving a son, Thomas, aged five years. On the south-side of the altar is a superb monument, with the figure of a man in armour as large as life, holding a truncheon in his right hand, with trophies, &c. for the hon. brigadier Michael Richards, surveyor general of the ordnance, obt. 1721, æt. 48; this monument was erected by his three nieces, daughters of James Craggs, esq. Near the above monument is a brass plate in the wall for Geo. Segar, gent. obt. 1594. On an antient stone near it, fixed in the wall, are these arms fixed in the centre, party per fess embattled three demi griffins, impaling a chevron charged with an annulet, for difference, between three martlets; over all, on an escutcheon of pretence, a cross moline between four mullets argent; at each corner of the stone are shields of the same arms in small. Over the vestry door a monument for Elizabeth, wife of James Craggs, esq. obi. 1711, æt. 49. Near the small door on the south side is a monument for Robert Veer, esq. third son of John earl of Oxford, obt. 1598. In the north chancel an elegant monument, with the bust of a woman, and an inscription for Elizabeth, daughter of Henry Thompson, of Kerby-hall, in Yorkshire, esq. wife of Robert Dingley, of London, merchant, who left two surviving children, Susanna Cecilia and Robert-Henry, obt. 1759, æt. 50. On a brass plate a monument for Edward Blount, of Middle Temple, London, esq. who married first, Systine, daughter of William Dormer, of London, by whom he had three daughters; secondly, Fortune, daughter of Sir William Garway, by whom he left surviving only four sons, obt. 1617, æt. 48. On the north side a stately monument for lady Catherine Puckeringe, youngest daughter of Sir John Puckeringe, and wife of Sir Adam Newton, bart. who was afterwards buried near it, obt. 1629, leaving a son and four daughters. Adjoining to the above is another stately monument for Grace viscountess Ardmagh, second daughter of John earl of Rutland; who married secondly, Sir Wm. Langhorn, bart. obt. 1700, æt. 60; Sir William Langhorn was buried near it obt. 1714, æt. 85. The several windows are filled with coats of arms, of Puckeringe, Newton, Blount, and their matches. In the east window were the figures at large of Moses and Aaron, with the two tables, but the heads of the figures only are remaining; beneath are the arms of the see of Rochester impaled, first and fourth quarterly, per bend indented argent and sable, two fleurs de lis, or; second and third, vert, a cross ingrailed argent; at the bottom, an inscription that this window was glazed at the charge of James Newton, uncle to Sir Henry Puckeringe Newton, bart. obt. 1639. (fn. 16)

Henry Oldenburgh, a man of some note in the annals of literature, and fellow and secretary of the Royal Society, at its first foundation, died at Charlton in 1678, and was buried in this church; (fn. 17) as was Edw. viscount Coke, son of Thomas, earl of Leicester, who died at Greenwich in 1753.


PATRONS, Or by whom presented. RECTORS.
The Queen Robert Wylye, Oct. 10, 1553' obt. 1636. (fn. 18)
The King John Dennison, A. M. July 13, 1636, obt. 1636. (fn. 19)
John Hume, A. M. presented Nov, 24, 1636, sequestered 1643. (fn. 20)
John Pemberton, in 1650. (fn. 21)
John Wheler, admitted in 1657. (fn. 22)
John Crasty, 1685.
Jonathan Jenner, 1688.
Thomas Beardmore, A. M. 1688, obt. Oct. 26, 1702. (fn. 23)
Robert Warren, D. D. inst. March 28, 1704, resig. 1736. (fn. 24)
Langhorn Warren, instit. Nov. 1736, obt. 1752. (fn. 25)
Thomas Chamberlayne, 1752, obt. 1781.
Thomas Chamberlayne, A. M. 1781, obt. 1789.
Henry Roper, A. M. 1789, the present rector.

The LIBERTY of KIDBROOKE, usually so called, lies adjoining to Charlton, on the south side of the London road, a small distance from Blackheath. It was antiently written Cicebroc, and it was once a parish of itself, though now esteemed as an appendage to that of Charlton, having one overseer of the poor appointed for it.

Cecilia, countess of Hereford (daughter of Pain Fitz-John, and wife of Miles Fitz-Walter, earl of Hereford) gave all her land of Ketebrook, with the advowson of the church of the parish, with all other its appurtenances, to the prior and canons of St. Mary (Overies) of Sudwerc; and this grant was confirmed by king John, in his 8th year, and again by Henry VI. by inspeximus, in his 19th year. (fn. 26)

At the dissolution of this monastery, anno 30th Henry VIII. the manor of Kidbrooke, with the demense lands and premises above-mentioned, became part of the royal revenues, (fn. 27) and was confirmed to that king, and his heirs, by the general words of the act, passed in the 31st year of his reign for that purpose.

Queen Elizabeth granted a lease of the scite of the manor, the rectory, and parcel of the manor woods, (she having granted part of them to Thomas French) to Bryan Annesley, of the adjoining parish of Lee, (fn. 28) (grandson of Bryan, who was second son of William Annesley, esq. of Rodington, in Nottinghamshire, ancestor to the earls of Anglesea and viscount Valentia, by Robert Annesley, his fourth son, a younger brother of Bryan last mentioned); (fn. 29) but the fee of this estate remained in the crown till king James I. who, in the beginning of his reign, granted it to Sir William Garway, of London, by whom it was soon afterwards conveyed to his son-in-law, Edward Blount, esq. of Wricklesmarsh, who sold the fee-simple (the above lease still subsisting) to the above mentioned Bryan Annesley, esq. He left three daughters his coheirs, Christian married to William lord Sandys, of the Vine, Southampton; Grace to Sir John Wildgoose, of Iridge court, in Sussex; and Cordelia, married to Sir William Hervey, who brought her husband this estate as part of her inheritance.

The surname of Hervey, or Harvey, antiently written Fitzhervey, is supposed to be derived from Robert Fitzharvey, a younger son of Harvey, duke of Orleans, who is recorded among those commanders, who accompanied William the Conqueror in his expedition into this kingdom in 1066. (fn. 30)

Sir William Hervey, of Kidbrooke above mentioned, (from whose eldest brother, John of Ickworth, were descended the earls of Bristol) was son of Henry, eldest son of Nicholas Hervey. Having first signalised himself in the memorable engagement of the Spanish armada, in 1588, he was knighted, with many other persons of note. After which he eminently distinguished himself on several occasions, and was created a baronet by king James, in his 17th year, and the year following a peer of Ireland, by the title of Baron Hervey, of Ross, in Wexford county, and lastly, on account of his farther eminent services, both at home and abroad, in the 3d year of king Charles I. a baron of this realm, by the title of lord Hervey of Kidbrooke, in Kent. He married first Mary, relict of Henry Wriothesley, earl of Southampton, by whom he had no issue; secondly, Cordelia, daughter and co-heir of Bryan Annesley, as before mentioned, by whom he had three sons, who died before him, without issue, and three daughters, of whom only Elizabeth, the youngest, survived him, and became his sole heir, and married John Hervey of Ickworth, esq. (fn. 31) On the death of William, lord Hervey, in 1642, John Hervey of Ickworth, esq. in right of his wife, became intitled to Kidbrooke, from whom it passed by sale to Edward lord Montague of Boughton, in Northamptonshire, son of Sir Edward Montague, who was created lord Montague, baron of Boughton, by letters patent, anno 19 James I.

The surname of this family was antiently written, in Latin, De Monte-acuto, and in Old English, Montacute, as is evident, not only from Domesday book, but from other antient records.

Drogo de Monteacuto was one of those noble warriors, who came over with William duke of Normandy, in the retinue of Robert earl of Moreton, half brother to the Conqueror, as appears by the possessions he held under that great earl, at the time of the general survey. From him, through a long train of illustrious ancestors paternally, and from the Bruces, kings of Scotland, maternally, was descended Edward, lord Montague, possessor of Kidbrooke, before mentioned, who died in 1683, and was succeeded in title and estate by his second and only surviving son, Ralph lord Montague, who, for his eminent abilities, was created Viscount Monthermer and Earl of Montague, in 1689, and marquis of Monthermer, and duke of Montague, by queen Anne, in her 4th year, anno 1705. The duke bore for his arms those of Montague and Monthermer quarterly. He died in 1709, his only surviving son John succeeded him, and in the year 1717, procured an act of parliament to vest the manor of Kidbrooke, the capital messuage there, and the scite of the manor, with all their appurtenances, and the rectory or parsonage of Kid- brooke, and all the houses, glebe lands, and tithes belonging to it, in trustees, to be sold towards the payment of debts, who soon passed away this manor and rectory, with the rest of the premises as above mentioned, to James Craggs, senior, esq. joint post-master general, on whose death, in 1721, without male issue, his only son, James Craggs, esq. one of the principal secretaries of state, dying before him, this estate descended to his three daughters and coheirs; Anne, first married to John Newsham, by whom she had one son; secondly to John Knight, esq. of Essex; and thirdly, in 1736, to Robert Nugent, of Gosfield-hall, in that county, afterwards created viscount Clare and earl Nugent, of the kingdom of Ireland; Elizabeth, in 1718, married to Edward Eliot, esq. of Cornwall; and Margaret, married first to Samuel Trefusis, esq. of Trefusis, in Cornwall, by whom she had no issue; and secondly to Sir John Hind Cotton, bart. by whom she had only one daughter, who died young. On her decease, in 1734, she left her third part of this estate to her two sisters. The family of the Craggs bore for their arms, Sable, on a bend or, three croslets of the field between three mullets ermine.

In 1756, Anne, wife of Robert Nugent, esq. died, and being a feme covert, by deed of appointment vested her moiety in trustees for different uses, with remainder to the honourable Robert Nugent, her husband, in tail. Mrs. Eliot, on her death, in 1765, bequeathed her interest in it to trustees, to pay divers sums out of the annual profit of it, with remainder, after the death of her nephew, James Newsham, only son of her eldest sister Anne, by John Newsham, esq. who had taken the surname of Craggs, to his issue, remainder to Edward Eliot, esq. her son, and his issue.

James Newsham Craggs, esq. married the eldest daughter of Henry lord Teynham, but died without issue, at Lisle, in Flanders, in 1769, on which the manor and rectory of Kidbrooke came, by the virtue of the above entail, to Robert Nugent before mentioned, afterwards earl Nugent, who took the surname of Craggs; and Edward, son of Edward Eliot, esq. by Elizabeth Craggs, his wife who, on January 10, 1784, was created a baron of this realm, by the title of Lord Eliot of Port Eliot, in the county of Cornwall. Earl Nugent died in 1788, on which, by the settlements abovementioned, this estate became wholly vested in Edward lord Eliot, who has since taken the name of Craggs, and is the present possessor of it. Lord Eliot, who is descended from a family long resident in Devonshire and Cornwall, married Catharine, sole daughter and heir of Edward Ellison, esq. of Southweald, in Essex, by whom he has issue Edward James, who married Harriot, sister of the present earl of Chatham, John and William. He bears for his arms, Argent a fess between four cotizes wavy gules.

The CHURCH of Kidbrooke, called, in the Textus Roffensis, the chapel of Chitebroc, was antiently valued at one hundred shillings. The patronage of it was, from the earliest times, annexed to the manor; an account of the possessors of which has been already given. This church being vacant was, upon the petition of the prior and convent of St. Mary of Southwark, appropriated to it by John Langdon, bishop of Rochester, with the king's licence, in the 5th year of king Henry VI. the bishop reserving to himself and his successors, the annual pension of two shillings from it, which was confirmed by John Lowe, bishop of Rochester, in 1459. (fn. 32)

The church has been entirely demolished for many years, for the vicarage not being endowed, it fell into neglect and decay, and the inhabitants not being able to repair it, the building soon became ruinous, and they have for many years resorted to Charlton church, to which it became annexed by composition.

I find only two rectors of this place, viz.

Richard de Wake, exchanged in 1348.
Simon de Barlings, 1348. (fn. 33)


  • 1. Johnson's Gerarde's Herb. p. 1088, 1123. Merr. Pinax. p. 40.
  • 2. Dudg. Mon. vol. i. p. 640. Reg. Ross. p. 206.
  • 3. Rot. Esch. 5 and 6 Phil. and Mary. Rot. 50. ibid. part iii.
  • 4. Philipott, p. 96. Willis's Cath. vol. i. p. 254. Wood's Ath, vol. i. p. 420.
  • 5. Baronetage, Ed. 1720. vol. i. p. 369. vol. ii. p. 141. Chauncy's Herts. p. 370. Dug. Warw. p. 366.
  • 6. Guill. p. 225.
  • 7. Scob. Coll. part ii. p. 421.
  • 8. Collins's Peerage, vol. v. p. 348, 349. Atkin's Glouces. p. 412. Coll. Baronetage, vol. ii. p. 101.
  • 9. They bore for their arms, Azure on a maunch or.
  • 10. He bears for his arms, Argent, a fer de moline pierced sable.
  • 11. Strype's Stow's Survey, book i. p. 219.
  • 12. Stev. Mon. vol. i. p. 456.
  • 13. Reg. Roff. p. 207.
  • 14. Lambeth Surveys.
  • 15. Bacon's Lib. Regis.
  • 16. See the monuments, &c. in this church at large in Reg. Roff. p. 841.
  • 17. Wood's Ath. Ox. v. ii. Fasti, p. 114.
  • 18. Rym. Fœd. vol. xv. p. 347.
  • 19. Ibid. vol. xx. p. 137.
  • 20. Ibid. p. 139.
  • 21. Lambeth Surveys.
  • 22. Walker's Suff. Cler. part ii. p. 183.
  • 23. He lies buried in this church.
  • 24. He retired to Exeter, where he died that year.
  • 25. He had this rectory on the resignation of his father.
  • 26. Dugd. Baron. vol. i. p. 536, 538. Ibid. Mon. vol. ii. p. 86.
  • 27. Strype's Stow's Survey, book iv. p. 9.
  • 28. Aug. Off. Grants and Leases T. Eliz.
  • 29. Irish Peerage, vol. ii. p. 172.
  • 30. Coll. Peer. vol. iii. p. 231. Ibid. last edition, vol iv. p. 343. Philipott, p. 96.
  • 31. Collins's Peerage, last edition, vol. iv. p. 349. Kimb. Bar. vol. ii. p. 130.
  • 32. Reg. Roff. p. 136, 142, 456.
  • 33. He exchanged the vicarage of Harmansworth, in Middlesex, for this church, 23 Edw. I. Newcourt's Rep. vol. i. p. 634.