The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 10. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1800.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
LIES the next parish south-eastward from St. John's, being so called from the dedication of the church of it to St. Peter. This parish is within the liberty and jurisdiction of the cinque ports, and is an antient member of the town and port of Dover, and though united to it ever since king Edward I.'s reign, yet so late as in that of king Henry VI. it became a dispute, whether this parish was not in the county at large; to take away therefore all doubt of it, that king, by his letters patent, united it to Dover, to which place, in like manner as St. John's above-mentioned, it is subsect in all matters of civil jurisdiction. The mayor of Dover here too appoints one of the inhabitants to be his deputy, who is chosen either yearly, or once in two or three years, at the mayor's pleasure; and to the charges of the sessions formerly held at Margate, this parish and Birchington used to contribute their proportion.
THE PARISH OF ST. PETER is as pleasant and healthy a situation as any in this island, the lands open and uninclosed, the soil a dry chalk, with frequent hill and dale interspersed throughout it. At Sowell hill, in the northern part of the parish, the land is reckoned to be the highest in the island. The village stands on a pleasing eminence, surrounded with trees, which is rather uncommon in these parts, having the church on the north-west side of it; at a little distance southward from which, is a small neat chapel, built by the sect of Methodists. Several genteel families reside in this village, situated about the middle of the parish, which is about two miles and a half across each way, and is bounded by the high chalk cliffs on the sea shore towards the north and east. It seems formerly to have been more populous than it is at present, for there were in the year 1563, as appeared by archbishop Parker's return to the orders of the privy council, one hundred and eighty-six housholds within this parish. Besides the village above mentioned, there are several other small hamlets and houses interspersed throughout it, viz. towards the south, Upton, Brompston, which is now the joint property of Henry Jessard, esq. and Mr. John Grey; Dumpton, great part of which extends into St. Laurence, it belongs to the earl of Hardwick; and Norwood. On the north-west side of the parish is Sacket's-hill, so called from its being the estate of an antient yeomanry family of this name, several of whom lie buried in this church, one of whom, John Sackett, as appears by his will, resided here and died possessed of his estate in this parish in 1444; on it there has been lately built a handsome house by Mr. King, for his summer residence, whose children are now possessed of it. In the northern part of the parish is the hamlet of Reading-street, southward of which is a small forstall, and then Sowell-street. In the eastern part of the parish, close to the cliffs, is Hackendon downe, or banks, where several antiquities have been dug up, as will be further mentioned hereafter; and the hamlet of Stone, formerly the residence of the Pawlyns, and then of the Huggets, where a few years ago Sir Charles Raymond, bart. built a small pleasant seat for his summer residence; Sir Harry Harper, bart. is the present owner of it. Not far from hence there formerly stood a beacon, which used to be fired to alarm the country in case of an invasion; a few years since some remains of the timber of it was dug up on the top of the Beacon-hill, about fifty five rods nearer to Stone than the present light-house.
About a mile and an half north-eastward from the church, at the extremity of the chalk cliff, is a point of land called the NORTH FORELAND, (suppofed by most to be the Cantium of Ptolemy) so called to distinguish it from the other Foreland, betwixt Deal and Dover, usually called the South Foreland; it is a promontory, or cape of land, that reaches further into the sea, and is somewhat higher than most of the land herebouts. On the top of it was formerly a house, built of timber, lath, and plaister work, with a large glass lanthorn on the top of it, in which a light was kept to direct ships in the night in their course, that they might keep clear of the Goodwin Sands, which lie off this point, and on which ships are apt to strike before they are aware, on account of their endeavouring to keep clear of this land, which extends so far into the sea. This house being by some accident burnt down in 1683, there was for some time a sort of beacon made use of, on which a light was hoisted; but about the latter end of the last century there was built here a strong house of flint, an octagon, on the top of which was an iron greate, quite open to the air, in which was made a blazing fire of coals. But about the year 1732, the top of this light-house was covered with a sort of lanthorn, with large sash lights, and the fire was kept burning by the help of bellows, which the light-men kept blowing all night. This invention was to save coals, but the sailors complained of it, as being very much to the prejudice of the navigation, many vessels being lost on the Goodwin Sands for want of seeing it, and indeed it was so little seen at sea, that some of the sailors asserted, they had in hazy weather seen the Foreland before they saw the light; whereas, before the lanthorn was placed here, when the fire was kept in the open air, as the wind kept the coals constantly alight, the blaze of it was seen in the air far above the light-house; complaint being made of this, the governors of Greenwich hospital ordered Sir John Thomson to view it, who ordered the lanthorn to be taken away, and the light-house to be made nearly the same as it was before, the light to continue burning all night and till day-light; since which, a few years ago, it was again repaired, and two stories of brick were raised on the former building. The height of it at present, including the small room in which the lights are kept, is somewhat more than one hundred feet; this room, which may be perhaps best described as a done raised on a decagon, is about ten feet in diameter, and twelve feet high; it is coated with copper, as is the gallery round it, to prevent fires. From the gallery there is a very extensive view, of which a conception may be formed from these lights being visible in clear weather at the Nore, which is ten leagues distant; in each of the sides of the decagon, towards the sea, is a patent lamp, kept burning all night, with a reflector and magnifier, the latter being very large. The whole building is white-washed, except the light room on the top; and all the rooms in it are used by the man and his family, who take care of it. (fn. 1) To the repair and maintenance of this light-house, every ship belonging to Great Britain, which sails by this Foreland, is obliged to pay two-pence for each ton; and every foreigner four-pence. It is under the direction of the governors of Greenwich hospital, in whom it is vested. There is a signal house between the North Foreland and Stonehouse, erected in 1795, the establishment of it is a lieutenant and midshipman of the navy, and two men.
Here were two fairs formerly kept every year, one on June 29, being St. Peter's day; and the other on March 25, being Lady-day; but they have for several years past been changed to the 10th of july, and the 5th of April.
The manor of Minster claims paramount over the greatest part of this parish; the landholders holding of it, by a certain rent called Pennygavel. Subordinate to this manor is that of
DANE-COURT, situated in a valley, at a small distance westward from the church of St. Peter. It was once accounted a manor, and was a gentleman's seat in very early times, giving both seat and surname to a family of this name, who bore for their coat armour, Gules, four fleurs de lis, or. But the custom of gavelkind having divided this estate between two branches, one of them leaving an only daughter and heir Margaret, married to John Exeter about the end of king Henry IV.'s reign, she in her own right, being then a window, held this manor at her death, in the 4th year of king Henry VI.'s reign, as appears by the escheat rolls of that year; after which the see of it became vested in Nicholas Underdowne, who died possessed of it in 1484, anno 2 Richard II. as appears by his will proved that year, leaving by Dionise his wife, two sons, Nicholas and Richard; to the former of whom he devised this manor, which at length one of his descendants in king Henry VIII.'s reign, passed away by sale to Richard Norwood, who afterwards resided here, as did his descendants, who bore for their arms, Ermine, a cross engrailed, gules, in the first quarter, a wolf's head, erased of the second, (fn. 2) down to Richard Norwood, gent. of Dane-court, who possessed it about the beginning of king Charles II.'s reign, and he devised it to his second son Paul Norwood, who about the year 1666 alienated it to Richard Smith; but he dying unmarried, it came by descent to his nephew Robert, (only son of his only brother Robert) Smith, who passed it away by sale in 1686, to John Baker; and he afterwards alienated it to Robert Hammond, who sold it to his brother Thomas Hammond, of Deal, and he left several sons, the survivors of whom seem afterwards to have become his heirs in gavelkind, and they joined in the conveyance of it to Peter Bridger, who left two daughters his coheirs, upon a partition of whose inheritance, this estate of Dane-court was allotted to Sarah the eldest daughter, to be holden in severalty in lieu of her undivided moiety of her father's whole estate, and she marrying Gabriel Neve, attorney-at-law, he enjoyed it in her right, and afterwards sold it to Mr. Richard Sacket, of East Northdowne, who by his will devised it to his grand daughter Sarah, the wife of Robert Tomlin, who is the present possessor of it.
CALEYS GRANGE, commonly called Callis court, is an estate in this parish, which was part of the antient possessions of the abbot and convent of St. Augustine, and was by them appropriated to the use of their sacristy. This estate, which consisted of fifty-nine acres, and two thirds of the great tithes of this parish, continued in the possession of the monastery, till the final dissolution of it, in the 30th year of Henry VIII.'s reign, when it came into the king's hands, where it did not remain long, for the king in his 33d year settled this estate by his donation charter, among other premises, on his new-founded dean and chapter of Christchurch, in Canterbury, where the inheritance of it remains at this time. On the dean and chapter's becoming possessed of this estate, they demised it on a beneficial lease for three lives, which demise they afterwards changed into a term for twenty-one years. The mayor and commonalty of the city of Canterbury are the present lessees of this estate, in trust, for certain charitable uses bequeathed by Mrs. Elizabeth Lovejoy, the former lessee of it.
Mrs. Elizabeth Lovejoy, widow of the Rev. Geo. Lovejoy, master of the king's school, in Canterbury, by her will proved in 1694, gave the term of years, of which she was possessed by lease from the dean and chapter of Canterbury of certain tithes at Callis grange, in St. Peter's parish, to the mayor and commonalty of the city of Canterbury, in trust, after several special restrictions therein mentioned, to repair the chancel of the church of St. Peter, and her husband's and her monument in it; to pay the clerk twenty shillings yearly; to pay the vicar of this parish forty pounds per annum, clear of all deductions; to pay a schoolmaster twenty pounds clear yearly sum, to teach twenty poor children of this parish to read, write, and cast accounts; and if such be wanting, the number to be made up from the parish of St. John; to pay certain yearly sums to the several hospitals of Jesus, Kings-bridge, Cogan, Harbledowne, and Manwood, in and near Canterbury. The overplus of the clear remaining profits to be disposed of by them in pious and charitable uses, as is therein mentioned, according as they in their discretion should think fit. (fn. 3) On a return made in 1649, this estate was valued at 203l. 6s. 8d. In the year 1777, the rack rent of this estate was 450l. In 1790, it was 630l. per annum. It consists of a glebe of thirty-nine acres of land, with the tithes of 1670 acres, in this parish. Mr. John Gibbon is the present lessee of it.
BESIDES the hamlets before-mentioned, there are two larger villes in this parish, viz. King's-gate and Broadstairs, or Bradstow; the former of which,
KING'S-GATE, is situated in a little valley, close to the northern shore of the sea, leading to which there is a breach in the cliff made for the conveniency of the fishery in king Charles II.'s reign, and formerly called by the inhabitants Bartholomew's-gate, from a tradition that it was finished upon the festival of that saint. It is now denominated King's-gate, which name, the inhabitants say, was given to it on account of that king's landing here with the duke of York, on June 30, 1683, in his way by water from London to Dover; on which change of name, the following Latin distich was made on the occasion, by the proprietor of the land, and is now affixed in brass letters on the gate:
Olim Porta sui Patroni Bartholomæ,
Nunc, Regis Jussu Regia Porta vocor.
Hic exscenderunt Car. II. R.
Et Ja. dux Ebor. 30 Junii 1683.
Antiently the land here reached much farther into the sea than it does at present, a great deal of it having been lost within the memory of man, and the sea still continues to encroach on it. This pleasant little ville formerly consisted mostly of fishermen's houses, who got their living here by that craft, going off to ships in distress, or carrying them fresh provisions, beer, &c. when they passed this way in their return from a voyage, which they called by the name of foying; but it has been long since deserted of these people. It continued a place of but poor account, till the late Henry, lord Holland, was induced, from the precarious state of his health, to try the air of this place, for which purpose he built a delightful seat here, under the direction and model made by Sir. Thomas Wynne, bart. (since created lord Newborough) to represent Tully's Formian villa, on the coast of Baiæ. On the front of the house, towards the sea, is a noble portico of the Doric-order; the wings are faced with squared flints of curious workmanship. The back front consists of several buildings, exactly answering to each other, upon the opposite sides of the garden, the whole being connected with much desireable convenience. In the house were a great number of antique marble columns, statues, busts, and vases, purchased in Italy at a very considerable expence, all which have been lately removed. In the garden, at the upper end of the long walk, is a beautiful column of black Kilkenny marble, erected to the memory of the late countess of Hillsborough, and called Countess Pillar, with an inscription to the amiability of that excellent lady, who died in 1767 at Naples. The house itself has a pleasing singularity in it; (fn. 4) but the objects round it create a disgust in the childish taste displayed in a number of fantastic gothic ruins, built thick together over the adjoining grounds. The most considerable of these buildings are the Bead-house, having the appearance of a Roman chapel, with gothic windows and a cross at the summit, now used as an inn and house of entertainment. The temple of Neptune, Arx Ruochim, a small castle on king Henry VIII.'s plan of Deal, Sandown, &c. castles. Harley tower, built in compliment to Thomas Harley, esq. lord-mayor in 1768. Whitfield tower, in compliment to Robert Whitfield, esq. formerly owner of this estate. The convent, representing an antient monastery, containing the remains of a chapel and five cells, which afford a comfortable asylum for five poor families; there is a cloyster before it, and at the east end is a grand gateway and porter's lodge, containing some good apartments. Nearer the sea cliff is a singular building of the rude gothic kind, erected on the larger of the two tumuli, called Hackendon banks, which are conjectured to particularize the spot where, in a sharp contest between the Danes and Saxons, many on both sides were slain, and were buried here, of which a more ample account will be given hereafter. Countess fort, quite in ruins, designed for an ice-house, but never finished; and lastly, the castle, by far the largest of all the outworks, made on the plan of those erected by king Edward I. It was intended originally for stables, coach houses, &c. and served for that purpose till very lately, when the northwest side was converted into a dwelling for the proprietor of it. Most of these are hastening fast to ruin, to which the materials with which they are built, being mostly chalk cut into squares, with some few flints, greatly contribute; and the small garden behind the house, in which the beautiful column above-mentioned is erected, was till lately overspread with filth and rubbish. Lord Holland purchased this estate of Robert Whitfield, esq. and at his death in 1774, it passed by his will to his second son, the hon. Charles-James Fox, (fn. 5) and he conveyed his interest in it to John Powell, esq. who dying without issue, his sister, then the wife of William Roberts, esq. became his heir and entitled to this estate, and he is the present possessor of it. This seat is at present occupied as a common lodging house.
ABOUT TWO MILES from King's-gate southward, adjoining to the sea, lies THE VILLE OF BROADSTAIRS, usually called by the inhabitants Bradstow, and so named from the Saxon words Bradsteow, i. e. a broad place. This ville is of late become so considerable as to form a small town; many new buildings have been erected within these few years here, for the residence and other accommodation of families in the summer season, who with to have the benefit of sea-bathing, and yet be retired from the inconveniency arising from so public a place as Margate, one of the houses in it is now the residence for the summer season of Sir John Henniker, bart. At the upper end of the village, next St. Peter's, is a small meeting-house, belonging to the General Baptists. In the way leading to the pier, are the ruins of a stone arch, or portal, walled on each side with flints, to which were formerly fixed strong gates and a portcullis, to prevent any incursions being made here by privateers, &c. to plunder the inhabitants. These gates were long since either taken away, or worn out by great length of time, and the stone work is fast running to decay, there being no care taken to repair it. (fn. 6) At a small distance above the gate, there was antiently a chapel, dedicated, as tradition goes, to the Virgin Mary, under the appellation of our Lady of Pity, though more usually our Lady of Bradstow; in this chapel was her image, which was held in such veneration, that the ships, as they failed by this place, used to lower their topsails to falute it. At a small distance north-eastward, is the little pier of Broadstairs, when, or by whom first made, is not known. It is built of timber, to make a harbour here, to lay up the fishing boats, which go from hence to the north sea, and other small crast.
For the support and maintenance of this pier, the inhabitants of this parish had decrees authorized by the lord wardens of the cinque ports, by which they were impowered to chuse every year two officers, called by the name of pier-wardens, to look after the repairs, and collect the droits and duties payable to it; the last of these decrees was in 1616, in the title of which it is said, that the rates here mentioned had been time out of mind.
It appears by an indenture, dated in 1564 and 1586, that this pier and the way leading to it, was the fee estate of the family of Culmer, of this place; and that leave and privilege of using the way was granted and confirmed by them to the inhabitants and parishioners, on condition of their paying half a man's share of every boat appertaining to the parish, of all such profits, &c. which should happen to them by wrecks of the sea, or by any other casualty, or means, saved or taken up there, or near adjoining, by any of them. And in consideration of ten pounds, they had granted to them the pier of Bradstow, with all their right in it, to hold for ever for the good of the whole commonwealth with them, on their paying to the wardens of the pier for the maintenance of it, such dues as had been accustomed; that the inhabitants should have room on Culmer's land to frame timber, &c. for the repair of the pier. That a rule of government should be kept up for ever on the feast of Christmas, and St. John Evangelist in the afternoon, in the parish church of St. Peter, and there be chosen two wardens, one at least to be a fisherman, who should gather up the duties for the maintenance of the pier, and if any damage should happen, to repair it on notice given, within two years at farthest, on pain of voiding the agreement; and lastly, that the great gates entering in at the pier, made and placed there by the Culmers, should not be spoiled or hurt by the fishermen.
It appears by the return made to the order of the privy council, for an enquiry into the state of the several maritime places in this county, anno 1565, being the 8th year of queen Elizabeth's reign, that there were then at Broadstayer, under the government of the mayor and jurats of Dover, houses inhabited ninetyeight; boats and other vessels eight, three of two tons, two of eight tons, one of ten tons, and two of twelve tons; and persons appertaining to these boats, only occupied in the trade of fishing, forty.
There are at this time about ninety families now resident in the ville of Broadstairs, who are chiefly employed in the Iceland cod fishery, and who make a considerable trade from the oil drawn from the livers of the fish, which are brought home hither in casks for that purpose; their residence here is on account of this harbour, which has been besides, the common rendezvous of boats and vessels employed in the mackerel and herring fisheries, and it affords shelter to smaller ships in gales of wind, when in distress on the Goodwin Sands, or otherwise, when they cannot receive it from any other harbour on the coast; but about thirty years ago, the harbour having been greatly decayed by length of time and frequent storms, became so much damaged, in particular by one in 1763, and then again by that tremendous one which happened in January 1767, that it was almost entirely demolished and rendered useless, insomuch that the rates, together with the usual contributions of the inhabitants for the repair of it, were far from being sufficient for that purpose; the charge of rebuilding it, according to a moderate estimation, on a survey then taken for this purpose, amounted to upwards of 2000l. This obliged the inhabitants, though some years afterwards, to solicit the contribution of the public towards the rebuilding of the pier, and at length in the 32d year of the present reign, an act of parliament was obtained for rebuilding it, under the management of certain commissioners, with proper powers for the improvement and better maintenance of it, and removing and preventing obstructions and annoyances therein.
Near this place, in 1574, a monstrous fish shot himself on shore on a little sand, now called Fishness, where, for want of water it died the next day; before which his roaring was heard above a mile; his length, says Kilburne, was twenty-two yards; the nether jaw opening twelve feet; one of his eyes was more than a cart and six horses could draw; a man stood upright in the place from whence his eye was taken; the thickness from his back to the top of his belly (which lay upwards) was fourteen feet; his tail of the same breadth; the distance between his eyes was twelve feet; three men stood upright in his mouth; some of his ribs were fourteen feet long; his tongue was fifteen feet long; his liver was two cart loads, and a man might creep into his nostril. (fn. 7) There were four whales, or monstrous large fish, towed ashore by the fishermen on this island a few years ago, one of which had been found floating on the sea dead, and was brought to Broadstairs, and measured about sixty feet long, and thirty-eight feet round the middle; its forked tail was fifteen feet wide, its lower jaw nine feet long; it had two rows of teeth, twenty-two in each row, about two inches long; the upper jaw had no teeth, only holes for the lower ones to shut in. It had only one nostril. It had two gills, and the lower jaw shut in about three feet from the end of the nose. It is said this fish sold at Deal for twenty-two guineas.
MANY BRASS COINS of the Roman emperors have been found near Broadstairs, on a fall of the adjoining cliff, after much rain and frost at different times; but they have been so much worn and defaced, as not to be distinguished what they were.
Near the cliffs, about midway between the lighthouse and Kingsgate, are two large barrows, or banks of earth, called by the country people Hackendon, or Hackingdown banks, already noticed before. The tradition is, that these banks are the graves of those English and Danes, which were killed in a fight here; and that as one bank is greater than the other, the former is the place where the Danes were buried, who are said to have been defeated. It is not improbable that this battle referred to in history, was that fought A. D. 853, when the Danes having invaded this island with a considerable force, were attacked by earl Alcher with the Kentish men, and earl Huda with those of Surry, and an obstinate battle was fought, in which the English at first got some advantage, yet were at last deseated; great numbers were killed, among which were the two English generals; and the battle being fought so near the sea, a great many on both sides were pushed into it and drowned.
One of these barrows was opened in 1743, in the presence of many hundred people; a little below the surface of the ground several graves were discovered, cut out of the solid chalk and covered with flat stones; they were not more than three feet long, in an oblong oval form, and the bodies seem to have been thrust into them almost double; a deep trench was dug in the middle, and the bodies laid on each side of it; two of the skulls were covered with wood-coals and ashes. The skeletons seem to have been of men, women, and children, and by the smallness of the latter, these were conjectured to have been unborn.
Three urns made of very coarse black earth, not half burnt, one of them holding near half a bushel, were found with them, which crambled into dust on being exposed to the air. The bones were rather of a large size, and for the most part perfectly found. In 1765, the smaller barrow was opened, the appearances were similar to the former, but no urns were found. In memory of this battle, lord Holland erected a fantastic house, or monument, with an inscription, on the larger of the two banks.
RICHARD CULMER, by his will in 1444, gave to the poor, of this parish six acres of land, lying at Brodasteyr Lynch, in two pieces; the rent of which to be distributed yearly, among the most needy in the parish, on Good Friday. This land is now rented at 4l. 2s. 6d. per annum.
The following are the gifts of charitable persons unknown:—
ONE PIECE OF LAND, called the Parish Chalk Land, containing two acres, let at 10s. 8d. per annum.
ONE ACRE OF LAND, called the Wine Acre, let for 5s. 4d. per annum.
HALF AN ACRE, lying at Bradstow, let for 5s. per annum.
ELIZABETH LOVEJOY, relict of George Lovejoy, cl. head master of the king's school, at Canterbury, by her will in 1694, gave 20l. to a schoolmaster to teach twenty poor children of this parish; and if there were not so many here fit to be taught, their number to be made up and supplied out of the neighbouring parish of St. John. (fn. 8)
HANNAH TADDY, by her will in 1726, gave to the poor widows of this parish the yearly interest of 120l. to be laid out in the purchase of lands; and 3l. in money, to be distributed to the poor at the time of her death. (fn. 9)
THERE is paid to the use of the church, in money, 2d. out of land lying at Swillingdown hill.
The DONATION of nine loaves and eighteen herrings yearly, on Midlent Sunday, to six poor persons, and of two yards of blanket yearly, to three poor persons of this parish, from Salmanstone grange, in the parish of St. John, has been already fully taken notice of under that parish.
ROBERT LANSYNBY, vicar of this parish, by his will in 1493, gave to the wardens of this church, or such other persons as the parishioners of the same should chuse, one tenement, with its appurtenances in this parish, at Chirchill, which he lately purchased of John Sackett, for maintaining and upholding the church.
THIS PARISH is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese of Canterbury, and deanry of Westbere.
The church, which is dedicated to St. Peter, stands on a rising ground. It is a small structure which has something pleasing in the appearance of it. It is built, as the rest of the churches are hereabouts, of flints, covered with rough-cast, and the quoins, windows and doors cased with ashlar stone, only the porch has more workmanship used about it; above are stone battlements; the roof is covered with lead, and the portal or door way has a mitred arch of wrought stone. It consists of a nave with a small isle on each side of it, a large middle chancel, and a smaller one on the north side of it, part of which is now made into a vestry. The middle chancel, which is beautiful, is ceiled in compartments, the framing of which is enriched with carved work, as is the cornice round it. The church is elegantly pewed with wainscot, and has a very handsome desk and pulpit. In the middle isle are two handsome brass chandeliers, which were purchased by subscription, and there is a neat gallery at the west end, well contrived for the convenience of the inhabitants, and the whole is kept in excellent order, and more than usual neatness. At the west end of the middle isle, under the gallery, is a handsome font, of white marble, the gift of John Dekewer, esq. as appears by the inscription, erected in 1746; below the inscription are the arms of Dekewer. At the west end of the north isle stands the tower, which is a sea mark. There were antiently five bells in it, which some years ago were cast into six, the great bell being made into two. The high or middle chancel was beautified about the year 1730, at the expence of Mrs. Elizabeth Lovejoy, lessee of Callis grange; who, out of the profits of that estate, ordered this chancel as well as hers and her husband's monuments in it, to be repaired as often as should be needful; and the sum of twenty shillings to be paid yearly to the clerk, on the day of the anniversary of her death, March 29, as an encouragement for him to take due care of the monuments.
At the west end of the south isle is a room taken off for the school house. In this church were antiently, besides the high altar in the middle chancel, three other altars dedicated to St. James the Apostle, St. Mary of Pity, and St. Margaret. Before these altars, on which were the images of these saints, were wax-lights constantly burning, for the maintenance of which there were several fraternities and legacies left. Several antient monuments and inscriptions are in the body and chancels of this church, the principal ones of which are in the middle or high chancel: Among others, a monument for James Shipton, vicar, obt. 1665; another, for George Lovejoy, first school-master at Islington, then of the king's school at Canterbury, obt. 1685. He lies buried within the altar-rails; arms, Azure, three bars, dancette, or, impaling chequy, azure and or, on a fess, three leopards faces of the second. On a marble against the north wall is an account of the charities given by Mrs. Elizabeth Lovejoy, as follows: By her will and testament, to the mayor and commonalty of the city of Canterbury, her lease of Callis grange, upon trust, to pay yearly to the vicar of this parish, forty pounds; to a school master, to teach twenty poor children gratis in the parish, twenty pounds; to Jesus hospital, Canterbury, five pounds; to St. John's hospital, in Canterbury, ten pounds; to Kingsbridge hospital, in Canterbury, five pounds; to Cogan's hospital, in Canterbury, four pounds; to St. Stephens's hospital, five pounds; to Harbledown hospital, five pounds per annum; and she gave by her will to the school and hospital at Islington, 200l. and to the school at Wicomb, in Buckinghamshire, 100l.
She wainscotted and adorned this chancel, and gave plate for the communion table in her life time, and two silver flagons by her will, A. D. 1694. She died of an apoplexy before she had sealed or finished her will, so that it took no effect as to her real estate, but after many suits and controversies was adjudged good as to her personal estate; and twenty shillings she left yearly to be paid to this parish clerk to keep both monuments clean. A memorial for Mr. Leonard Rowntree, minister, obt. 1624. In the north chancel, on an altar tomb, an inscription for Manasses Norwoode, of Dane court, and Norwoode, esq. obt. 1636; arms, Ermine, a cross, engrailed, impaling six coats. There are several brass plates and inscriptions for Culmer and Elmstone. In the north isle an altar tomb for Michael Webb, obt. 1587. A brass plate for Philip Smith, obt. 1451. Another for John Sacket, of this parish, obt. 1623. A memorial for Alexander, son of Alexander Nor woode, esq. of Dane-court. A black marble for Cornelius Willes, A. M. nineteen years vicar of this parish, and prebendary of Wells, obt. 1776. A like stone for the Rev. John Deane, A. M. forty-one years vicar, obt. 1757. A memorial for Daniel Pamflet, gent. and Mary his wife. He died 1719. An antient tomb for Mrs Elizabeth Omer, obt. 1709. A mural monument and inscription for the Rev. Roger Huggett, M. A. late vicar of the king's free chapel of St. George, in Windsor, and rector of Hartley Waspaill, in Southampton, eldest son of Roger Huggett, of Stone, in this parish, who was sole heir of the Pawlyns, an antient and respectable family of that place. He died at Hartley, in 1769, where he was buried; on it are inscriptions for others of the same name; arms, Gules, a chevron, between three stags heads, or, impaling parted per pale, sable and gules, a griffin passant, counterchanged. A tomb for Mr. Henry Huggett, gent. sole heir of the Pawlins, of Stone; he died in 1751; and for others of this family. A mural monument, shewing that in a vault underneath, lies Mary, wife of John Dekewer, esq. of Hackney, who died without surviving issue, one son and one daughter lying interred with her, obt. 1748. In the same vault lies the abovementioned John Dekewer, esq. an especial benefactor to this parish, obt. 1762, æt 76; arms, Vert, on a cross, or, five fleurs de lis, sable, between two caltrops, and two lions, rampant, impaling argent, parted per fess, three escallops, two and one, in chief, gules, in base three piles waved, sable. A tomb for John Dekewer, son of the above John, obt. 1740. In the same vault are others of this family. A beautiful mural monument of white marble, on which is the figure of a child sitting, weeping and leaning on an urn, erected to the memory of John-Alexander Dekewer, son of John Dekewer, esq. of Hackney, and Elizabeth his wife, obt. 1778, æt. ten years. A mural monument for the Rev. Tho. Reynolds, obt. 1754. Besides these there are memo rials for Noble, Gray, Read, Witherden, White, Simons, Cooke, Culmer, Wild, Jeken, Tilman, and Kerby. In the middle of the chancel, a memorial for Grace, wife of James White, gent. of Chilham, daugh ter of Gratian Lynch, gent. of Grove, in Staple, obt. 1740, and for Grace her daughter, wife of Thomas Hawkins, obt. 1746. A brass plate in the north isle, for John Sacket, of this parish, obt. 1623, æt. 59. At the end of the north isle is a large white stone, much obliterated, for Michael Pavlen, obt. 1662; Anne his wife, and Anne their daughter. In the church yard are many handsome tombs and grave-stones, of persons of different trades and occupations, residents of this parish. In the tower is a great crack on the east and west sides of it, from the top almost to the bottom, where it opened near an inch, and more than two at the top, so that the tower by it inclines to the northward; and it is wonderful, that when it was so rent it did not fall; the fissure is filled up with stone and mortar. As tradition reports, it was occasioned by the earthquake in queen Elizabeth's reign, in the 22d year of which, Mr. Camden tells us, there was a great one felt in this county.
This church was one of the three chapels belonging to the church of Minister, and very probably was made parochial sometime after the year 1200, when the church of Minster, with its appendages, was appropriated, in the year 1128, to the monastery of St. Augustine; it was at the same time assigned, with the above-mentioned chapels, with all rents, tithes, and other things belonging to that church and those chapels, to the sacristy of the monastery; and it was further granted, that the abbot and convent should present to the archbishop in the above-mentioned chapels, fit perpetual chaplains to the altarages of them; but that the vicar of the mother church of Minister should take and receive in right of his vicarage, the tenths of the small tithes, viz. of lambs and pigs, and the obventions arising from marriages and churchings, which were forbidden at these chapels, and were solemnized, &c. at the mother church only.
As to the chaplains of these chapels, though they were to receive no more than ten marcs of these altarages, yet they were not excluded the enjoyment of the manses and glebes given to these chapels when they were first consecrated, which made some additiou to their income, and enabled them to keep a deacon to assist them on the great and principal festivals. The inhabitants of these three chapelries, preceded by their priests, were accustomed to go in procession to Minster, in token of their subjection to their parochial or mother church. (fn. 10)
After this the appropriation of the church of Minster, with its appendant chapels, and the advowsons of the vicarages of them, continued with the abbot and convent till the dissolution of the monastery in the 30th year of king Henry VIII. when they were surrendered, together with the rest of the possessions of the monastery, into the king's hands.
After the dissolution of the monastery and the change in the service of the churches wrought by the reformation, this parochial chapel of St. Peter became entirely separated from the mother church of Minster, the vicar of this parish having no further subjection to it in any shape whatever; but by the same change he was likewise deprived of several of those emoluments he had before enjoyed in right of his vicarage, and all the great tithes of this parish, being appropriated to Callis and Salmestone granges, formerly belonging to the abbot and convent of St. Augustine, as has been already taken notice of before; the endowment of this vicarage consisted only of the small tithes of this parish, the payment of two bushels of corn yearly at Midsummer, from Salmanstone grange, and a pension of ten pounds to be paid yearly out of Callis grange; besides which he had a vicarage house, orchard, garden, and two parcels of land.
The small tithes of this parish being chiefly arable land, with the other emoluments of the vicarage, by reason of the great increase of every necessary article of life, falling far short of a reasonable maintenance, Mrs. Elizabeth Lovejoy, in the year 1694, further augmented it with the sum of forty pounds per annum, to be paid half yearly out of Callis grange above-mentioned; in consideration of which augmentation, the vicar is obliged, without accepting any dispensation, to be constantly resident on this vicarage, with several other injunctions mentioned in her will.
This vicarage is valued in the king's books at nine pounds, and the yearly tenths at eighteen shillings. In 1588 here were one hundred and forty-six communicants. In 1640 here were three hundred communicants, and it was valued at seventy pounds, but it appears by the return made in 1709, to the enquiry into the clear value of church livings, that this vicarage was worth only thirty pounds clear yearly income, before Mrs. Lovejoy's addition of forty pounds per annum.
The advowson of this vicarage coming into the hands of the crown, on the dissolution of the abbey of St. Augustine, continued there till king Edward VI. in his first year, granted the advowson of the vicarage of Minster, with the three chapels appendant to it, one of which was this church of St. Peter, among other premises, to the archbishop; since which this advowson has continued parcel of the possessions of that see, the archbishop being the present patron of it.
In 1630 the churchwardens and assistants reported, that here were belonging to the vicarage a mansion, with a well house, one orchard, one garden, and one acre of land adjoining to it, and one parcel of land, called the Vicar's Acre, lying within the lands of Capt. Norwood, who paid to the vicar, in consideration of it, five shillings a year; but no care being taken to preserve the bounds of this acre, the place where it lay was forgot, and the rent paid for it disputed, and at length quite discontinued.
Church of St. Peter.
|Or by whom presented.
|James Shipton, A. M. Oct. 1, 1662, obt. 1665 (fn. 11)
|Luke Proctor, A. M. admitted March 19, 1665.
|Nicholas White, A. M. admitted April 16, 1666, obt. 1715. (fn. 12)
|John Deane, A. M. August 15. 1715, obt. 1757. (fn. 13)
|The Crown, hac vice.
|Cornelius Willes, A. M. March 28, 1757, obt. February 23, 1776. (fn. 14)
|John Piggott, A. B. April 10, 1776, the present vicar.