Parishes: Tilmanstone

Pages 78-87

The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 10. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1800.

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NORTH-eastward from Barson, the parish of Eythorne only intervening, lies that of Tilmanstone, in the survey of Domesday written Tilemanestone; but is now usually pronounced Tilmeston.

There are two boroughs in this parish, viz. Tilmanstone and Craythorne. The borsholder for Tilmanstone borough is chosen at North Court, it comprehends within its bounds the church and all the northern part of the parish, viz. the upper street and the three manor-houses of Dane-court, North-court, and Southcourt. The borsholder for Craythorne borough is chosen at Eastry-court, and comprehends within its bounds the southern part of this parish, viz. Lower street and Barfield farm, in all nine houses, over all which the manor of Eastry claims paramount.

THIS PARISH is pleasantly situated in a vale, adjoining to an open uninclosed country, with which the contiguous parishes abound. The soil, like that of the neighbourhood, is variable; the vallies more fertile than the higher grounds, which are generally thin and light. The northern part of the parish is more fertile than the southern part of it; the whole contains more than 1100 acres of land, 44 houses, and about 240 inhabitants; it is esteemed exceedingly healthy. This appears from the parish register, in which the ages of numbers of persons buried are from 80 to 100 years, on an average, throughout it, and the births exceed the burials full a third part in number.

There are two streets, or villages, called Upper and Lower Street, in the former of which is the church. The parish is long and narrow, being about a mile from east to west, and near two miles the other way. It is rather an unfrequented place, and has nothing further remarkable in it. There is no fair in it.

William Boys, esq. third son of William Boys, esq. of Nonington, by Mary Ringeley, resided in this parish in queen Elizabeth's time, in the 31st year of which reign, he served in parliament for Queenborough, and died s. p.

THIS PLACE was part of the antient possessions of the fee of Canterbury, and at the time of taking the survey of Domesday, in the 15th year of the Conqueror's reign, was held of the archbishop by knight's service, by William Folet, and it is thus accordingly entered in that record, under the general title of Terra Militum Archiepi.

William (Folet) holds of the archbishop Tilemanestone. It was taxed at one suling. In demesne there are two carucates, and five borderers, formerly it was worth twenty shillings, now it is worth thirty shillings.

After the name of Folet was extinct here, this manor appears to have been held in separate moieties, and in king Henry III.'s reign was in the possession of Sir John de Tiddenden, and Sir Roger de Tilmanstone, who held it of the archbishop by knight's service.

THAT PART OF IT, which was held by the former, afterwards descended down to William de Tiddenden, who died possessed of it in the beginning of king Edward III.'s reign. After which it appears to have come into the name of Warden, as will be further mentioned hereafter. THE OTHER PART, on the death of Sir Roger de Tilmanstone, in king Edward I.'s reign, s. p. was carried by Matilda, his sister and coheir, in marriage to John de Sandhurst, (fn. 1) who made a claim of liberties for this manor in king Edward I.'s reign, the 6th year of it; whose son, John de Sandhurst, of Knolton, succeeded him in it, and died possessed of it in the beginning of king Edward III.'s reign.

AFTER WHICH these moieties, from their respective situations, acquired the names of the manors of NORTH and SOUTH COURT; THE FORMER of which was carried by Christian, daughter and heir of John de Sandhurst, in marriage to William Langley, descended out of Warwickshire, whose son William de Langley was afterwards, in her right, of Knolton; and in the 37th year of king Edward III.'s reign had the former liberties granted to this manor confirmed by inspeximus; after which it passed in like manner as Knolton, to the Peytons, in which it continued till Sir Thomas Peyton, bart. alienated it to Sir John Narborough, admiral of the British navy, whose daughter and at length sole surviving heir Elizabeth, married to Sir Thomas D'Aeth, bart. succeeded to this manor among the rest of her inheritance, and their grandson, Sir Narborough D'Aeth, bart. now of Knolton, is the present owner of it. A court leet and court baron is held for this manor.

THE MANOR OF SOUTH COURT, being the other moiety of the manor of Tilmanstone, which as abovementioned was held by the Tiddendens, and afterwards came into the name of Warden, was at length afterwards alienated to White, and John White, merchant of the staple, at Canterbury, afterwards knighted, held it in king Henry VI.'s reign; one of whose descendants sold it to Cox, whose arms were Sable, on a chevron, argent, a mullet, sable, for difference, between three attires of a stag, pinned to the scalps, argent; and Michael Cox, in the 8th year of king Henry VII did homage to archbishop Moreton for it, when it was found by inquisition that he held it of the archbishop, ut de palatio suo de Cantuar, whose successor, Thomas Cox, esq. was customer of Sandwich, at the latter end of king Henry VIII.'s reign; and he passed it away by sale to Richard Fogge, esq. afterwards of Dane-court, in this parish, who died possessed of it in 1598; his descendant not long afterwards alienated it to Peyton, of Knolton, since which this manor has continued down in the same title of ownership, that the manor of South Court last described has, to Sir Narborough D'Aeth, bart. of Knolton, the present possessor of both these manors. A court baron is held for this manor.

North and South Court are strongly connected as to their manerial rights and jurisdiction, as appears by the warrants delivered to the bailiff to summon the tenants, all of whom are summoned to both courts, two in each only excepted. Their claim is over the greater part of Tilmanstone borough and some lands contiguous in Eastry. The manor house of the latter is at present a neat cottage, situated close to the church-yard; some stone walls of the antient mansion and the ruins of the barn still remain; the demesne lands are laid to the farm of North Court, which is a good farm-house.

DANE-COURT is a manor and seat in this parish, which had antiently the same owners as North court above-mentioned, and as such passed from the Tilmanstones to the Sandhursts, and thence in like manner, by marriage to Langley, from which name it passed, by sale, to Fennel, who sold it to Cox, and his descendant Thomas Cox, the customer, died possessed of it in 1559, being the 2d year of queen Elizabeth. His heirs in the same reign alienated it to Richard Fogge, the eldest son of George Fogge, esq. of Braborne, and grandson of Sir John Fogge, of Repton. He was afterwards of Dane-court, esq. and in his descendants it continued down to his great-great grandson Richard Fogge, mariner; who sold it about the year 1724, to Major Richard Harvey, then of Elmington, who rebuilt this seat and afterwards removed hither. His grandson, the Rev. Richard Harvey, vicar of Eastry, alienated it in 1763 to Gervas Hayward, gent. of Sandwich, who bore for his arms, Argent, on a pale, sable, three crescents of the field. He in 1765 passed it away by sale to Michael Hatton, esq. a commissary of the army, who afterwards resided here, and greatly improved this seat with additional buildings. He died possessed of it in 1776, s. p. leaving Alice his wife surviving, who resided here till her death in 1791; upon which it came, by the directions of Mr. Hatton's will, to her niece Mrs. Hannah Lilly, who in 1795 carried it in marriage to Rawson Aislabye, esq. and he is the present owner of it. A court baron is held for this manor.

It appears that Dane-court was once held of the manor of Knolton, but this has not been acknowledged for some time past.

THE MANORS OF GREAT and LITTLE BARVILLE are two estates in the southern part of this parish, the original name of which was Barfield. They seem antiently to have been one and the same estate, which was as early as king Edward IV.'s reign, in the possession of the family of Harvey, and is the first place that I find mentioned of their residence or possessions in this county, from whence the several branches of them distributed themselves throughout it, especially in these eastern parts. The coat of arms assumed by the several branches of this family, are those of their female ancestor Awstyn, or as the name is sometimes spelt Astyn, viz. Argent, on a chevron, gules, three crescents, or, between three lions gambs, erased, sable, armed of the second. Richard Harvey died possessed of Barfield in 1472, anno 13 Edward IV. as did his son John, who was stiled of Barfield, in 1479. He left two sons, Ro bert and Nicholas, who possessed it after their father's deat, in moieties; the former died in 1518, and by his will directed his moiety to be sold; after which there is no further mention of them here, and the pedigree of the family describes Robert Harvey, son of Robert above-mentioned as of Norborne. Most probably this manor was at the time above-mentioned divided, but in what proportions does not appear, between these two brothers, Robert and Nicholas Harvey, and afterwards took the names of Great and Little Barville; by which, however, it should seem, that the former of them was the largest portion of the two. Great Barville soon after the above period became the property of the family of Crayford, of Mongeham, one of whom, in the reign of queen Elizabeth, purchased Little Barvile of the heirs of Pix, or Picks, as they were sometimes spelt, several of whom are mentioned in the register of this parish, but without any distinction as gentlemen; and thus these estates became again united in the possession of one and the same owner.

In the descendants of Crayford this estate, now known by the name of Barfield only, and in one occupation, continued till king Charles II.'s reign, when William Crayford, esq. of Mongeham, dying without issue, (fn. 2) devised it to his wife Ursula, who remarrying with Nordash Rand, esq. entitled him to the possession of it, and he in the year 1720 sold it to Sir Robert Furnese, bart. of Waldershare, in whose descendants it continued down to Catherine, sister and coheir of his son Sir Henry, who carried it in marriage, first to Lewis, earl of Rockingham, and secondly to Francis, earl of Guildford, to whom, on her death in 1766, she devised this estate. He died possessed of it in 1790, and his grandson the right hon. George Augustus, earl of Guildford, is the present possessor of it. The buildings of Little Barville are pulled down; the scite of them is still to be traced, in a rough pasture ground on the north side of the highway, (formerly called St. Margaret's street) leading from Dover to Knolton. Part of the lands of this estate are said in antient records, to be within the district of Stormeston, in this parish; but no such name is known, or has been ever heard of, by the inhabitants of the parish or its neighbourhood.

There are no parochial charities. The poor constantly relieved are about ten, casually thirteen.

THIS PARISH is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese of Canterbury, and deanry of Sandwich.

The church, which is dedicated to St. Andrew, is a small mean building, consisting of a body and chancel, with a square tower at the west end, very low, but formerly higher, having been taken down a few years ago; there is one bell in it. In the chancel, against the east wall, is a brass plate, on it are the figures of a man and woman, on his side one son, on her's three daughters, all kneeling, with the arms of Fogg, with a label of three points, impaling Sackville, with a crescent, for Richard Fogg, esq. and Anne his wife; he died in 1598. A gravestone for Richard Fogg, esq. father of fourteen children, famous for his poetry, and skill in heraldry, obt. 1680. A gravestone for Jane, daughter of the Rev. Strangford Viol, late rector of Upminster, in Essex, and Jane his wife, daughter of Richard Fogg, esq. obt. 1719; she married Edward Jacob, surgeon, of Canterbury, who died in 1756. In the east window are three shields of painted glass; the first, the field gone, On a chief, azure, three lions rampant, or; on the sides in black letter, Sir John Lisle, knt. The field was probably or; second, Gules, a cross, argent; third, azure, a bend cotized, argent, between six martlets of the second, under which was formerly this legend, Orate p aia Wi. Tonge, now obliterated. In the north window are remaining four figures; first, a man in armour with a shield, having a plain cross on it, on his breast, in the attitude of thrusting a lance through the jaws of a beast lying at his feet; probably, by the cross designed for St. George; second, a young man crowned; third, an older man crowned, with a globe and sceptre in his hands, and seemingly weeping; fourth, an antient man kneeling, full bearded, on his shoulder a child holding a globe and sceptre, to which he is looking up. In the south window is the figure of a man bearded, with a palmer's bonnet on, and staff, holding in his right hand a book. In the body of the church, a marble monument against the north wall, near the chancel, and inscription, shewing that in the vault underneath are deposited the remains of Michael Hatton, esq. of Dane-court, obt. 1776; also Mrs. Alice Hatton, his widow, obt. 1791; arms, Azure, a chevron, between three wheat sheaves, or, impaling gules, three lilies, argent, stalked and leaved, vert. A monument against the same wall for Thomas Michael Tierney, late student of Brazen Noze college, Oxford, and son of Thomas Tierney, of London, by Savine his wife, obt. 1770, at Arras, in France, on his return to England, æt. 19. On seven different gravestones are memorials for the Smiths, resident at Thornton, from the year 1632 to 1664. In the windows of this church were formerly much more painted glass, both of figures and coats of arms.

This church was antiently part of the possessions of the knights hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem, to whom it was appropriated by archbishop Langton, about the end of king John's reign; the archbishop reserving to himself and successors, the nomination and institution of a vicar, and at the same time he endowed the vicarage, decreeing that the vicar should receive the whole altarage, and the moiety of all the tithes belonging to this church, and a certain messuage, &c. belonging to it; (fn. 3) in which state the appropriation and vi carage of this church remained until the dissolution of the above order, in the 32d year of king Henry VIII.'s reign, when they both came into the king's hands, and remained there till the year 1558, being the last of Philip and Mary, when the advowson of the vicarage was granted among others to the archbishop; and the appropriation likewise in the third year of queen Elizabeth, this rectory being then valued at six pounds per annum; since which both the appropriation and advowson have remained part of the possessions of the see of Canterbury, the archbishop being now possessed of them. The vicarage of Tilmanstone is valued in the king's book at 7l. 12s. 6d. It is now a discharged living, and is of the yearly value of forty-five pounds. In 1588 here were one hundred and nine communicants, in 1640 there were the like number of communicants, and it was valued at fifty pounds. In 1740 it was of the value of sixty pounds.

Archbishop Wake, in 1719, on the petition of Nicholas Carter, vicar of this church, gave licence for him to take down the old vicarage-house and to erect a new one. (fn. 4) This vicarage is at present endowed with one half of the great tithes, with a vicarage-house, and garden only, for the vicar's use. The remaining half of the great tithes belongs to the parsonage, with twenty-four acres of glebe land, held on a beneficial lease from the archbishop, by the two sons of the late Mr. John Curling, of Ham. There are fifteen acres of land in this parish allotted as a glebe to Eastry parsonage.

In the parish register (the antient part of it) are the names of Cocks, Fogg, very numerous, Arden, Willford, Billingsley, Bargrave, Pattinson, Burville, Capell, Boys, Picks, and Ower.

Church of Tilmanstone.

Or by whom presented.
The Archbishop. James Burville. A. B. Nov. 9, 1675, obt. 1697.
Thomas Maunder, A. M. July 11, 1697, obt. 1730.
Nicholas Carter, S. T. P. 1730, resigned 1755. (fn. 5)
John Jacob, A. M. Oct. 30, 1735, obt. 1763. (fn. 6)
Egerton Leigh, LL. B. Jan. 26, 1764, obt. April 13, 1788. (fn. 7)
Nehemiah Nisbett, A. M. May 15, 1788, the present vicar. (fn. 8)


  • 1. Chartularie of Knolton manor, in the Surrenden library.
  • 2. See more of the Crayfords, under Mongeham, before.
  • 3. Liber niger Archidiac. Cantuar. 8vo. f. 42.
  • 4. Register Wake, pt. 1, f. 378 a b et seq.
  • 5. Likewise rector of Ham, and resigned this vicarage for that of Woodchurch, which he held with that of Ham by dispensation.
  • 6. And vicar of St. John's, in Thanet, by dispensation.
  • 7. And rector of St. Mary's, in Sandwich, and of Murston, which two rectories, together with this vicarage, he held at the same time, by a tacit permission, till his death.
  • 8. And perpetual curate of Ash.