The borough of Longport

Pages 228-251

The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 12. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1801.

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IS a district and manor in the eastern suburbs of this city, exempted from the liberties of it, and now esteemed as a borough, lying within the hundred of Westgate, being subordinate to the jurisdiction of the justices of the county of Kent at large, by whom a borsholder is appointed for this district. (fn. 1)

Somner calls the manor of Longport, the antient and first manor of St. Augustine's abbey; the description of it in Domesday, under the general title of the land of the church of St. Augustine, is as follows:

Ipse abb ten m Langport. & ibie. un solin & un jug. & sep qetu fuit & sine Csuetudine. & un jugu jacet in alio bund qd ptin isti m. & 70 burgenses erant in Cantuaria civil buic m ptinent. In hoc m sunt. 2. car. & dim in dnio & 28 villi cu 63 bord hnt. 6. car. Ibi. 17. ac pti. T. R. E. valeb 20 lib post 18. lib. modo. 35. lib. & 4 solid.

Which is: The abbot himself holds the manor of Lanport, and there is one suling and one yoke, and it was always acquitted and without custom, and one yoke lies in another hundred, which belongs to this manor; and seventy burgesses were in Canterbury city, belonging to this manor. In this manor are two carucates and an half in demesne, and twenty-eight villeins with sixty-three borderers, having six carucates. There are seventeen acres of meadow. In the time of king Edward, it was worth twenty pounds, and afterwards eighteen pounds, now thirty five pounds and four shillings.

And a little further in the same survey, under Stowting hundred; Ipse abb ten in Lanport 2 solins & un jugu Tra e 6. car. ibi sunt 9 villi cu 4 bord hntes 6 car. ibi. 10. ac pti & silva. 2. porc. T. R. E. valeb. 6. lib. & post 4 lib. modo 8 lib.

Which is: The abbot himself holds in Lanport, two sulings and one yoke. The arable land is six carucates. There are nine villeins and four borderers, having six carucates. There are ten acres of meadow, and wood for the pannage of two hogs. In the time of king Edward, it was worth six pounds, and afterwards four pounds, now eight pounds.

It appears by the register belonging to the treasurer of this abbey, that in the reign of king Edward I. the demesne lands of the manor of Longport were 475 acres, and one rood; and that it had in demesne, a park, called Langport med, near the park of Trendele; and a certain park near the garden of Bertram the tanner, in Fordwich; and that there were held of this manor the hamlets of Vispole, St. Laurence in St. Paul's, and Wyke.

In the year 1313, anno 7 Edward II. in the iter of Henry de Stanton and his sociates, justices itinerant, the abbot was summoned to shew by quo warranto, why he claimed to have sundry liberties in this manor of Langeport, among others, and the view of frankpledge, and all the belonged to it, and the liberty of weif, &c. and the abbot by his attorney answered, that the same had been granted to his monastery, by the charters of former kings, and had been allowed in the last iter of J de Berewick and his sociates, justices itinerant, in the 21st year of king Edward I. who confirmed the whole of them by his charter, as the then king, Edward II. had done likewise, by his charters dated at Dover, on May 22, in his 6th year; all which were allowed in the above iter to the abbot, who had licence to depart, sine die saving the king's right, &c. (fn. 2) And the jurors in the same iter presented, that the bailiff of the abbot held view of frank pledge twice in the year at la Berton, of his tenants of Langport, Fispole, and the hamlet of St. Laurence, in the suburbs of the city of Canterbury; whereas, he nor his bailiffs ought to hold any such view of those tenants, by reason that those tenants were used to come twice in the year, at the two laghedays, before the bailiffs of the city to the ward of Burgate and Redyngate, until the time when by means of a certain predecessor of the then abbot's, the said bailiff drew the tenants to his said place, to the king's damage, &c. but they knew not quo warranto. Therefore the sheriff was commanded to cause the abbot to appear, &c. who afterwards came and said, that Berton, Langeport, and the suburb of the city of Canterbury, of the tenancy of the abbot were the same; and he said, that he had view of frank-pledge in Langeport, and that his tenants of Fispole, and of the hamlet of St. Laurence in the same suburb, ought to come to the said view, and there to present all things which belonged to the view, and as it was allowed in the last iter, before J. de Berewick, and his sociates, &c. and so it was found in the said iter; and Geoffry de Hertpol, who appeared for the king, said, that all the tenants of the abbot, of Fispole, and the hamlet of St. Laurence, in the suburb of the city, always used to come before the bailiffs of the city at the two views, and there to present all matters, &c. and that before the last iter, and always afterwards for the ten years past, and that the predecessor of the abbot had withdrawn the said tenants to the king's damage, &c. and he demanded, that it should be enquired into, in the king's behalf, and the abbot the same likewise, and the jurors chosen for this purpose said, upon their oaths, that all the tenants of the abbot, of Fispole, and of the hamlet of St. Laurence, in the suburb of the city, never came, nor were used to come before the bailiffs of the city, to present before them, at the said two views, neither before the last iter, nor afterwards; therefore the abbot should depart sine die, as to this matter, saving the king's right, &c. (fn. 3) And the jurors further presented, that the abbot of St. Augustine claimed to hold in his court of Langeport, within the liberty of the city, pleas of the crown, viz. of thieves taken in the fact, in prejudice of the aforesaid city, and they knew not quo warranto; and the abbot appeared and said, that he had in his manor of Langeport, infangenethef; and further, that the aforesaid liberty was allowed in the last iter of J. de Berewick and his sociates, justices, &c. and to this he vouched the records of the said iter, which being searched, it was found in them, that the abbot had the aforesaid liberty of infangenethef in his manor of Langeport, and that it was allowed to him, therefore the abbot as to this, should depart sine die, saving the king's right, &c.

And they presented, that William Pecock was taken in the Berton of the abbot within the city for burglary in the granary of the hospital of St. Laurence, in Canterbury, and his corn stolen from thence, and carried away to the value of ij sh. and there, before the bailiffs of St. Augustine and the suitors of the court of Berton, was hung, and because the said bailiffs and the suitors proceeded to pass judgment on the said William Pecock in the court of Berton, concerning the thest committed within the liberty of the city, which was the king's, &c. therefore it was commanded that the sheriff, &c. and afterwards the abbot appeared and said, that the place, in which William Pecock was taken, viz. in Berton, was within the liberty of the abbot, and in like manner the aforesaid hospital of St. Laurence, was within the liberty of the said abbot of Langeport, in which liberty he had infangenethef; which liberty was allowed him in the last iter before J. de Berewick and his sociates, justices, &c. and this was found in the rolls of the same; and the jurors testified, that the said Berton and the hamlet of St. Laurence, were within the liberty of the said abbot of Langeport, and therefore the abbot, as to this, should depart sine die, saving the king's right, &c. (fn. 4) All which liberties above-mentioned were confirmed to the abbot and his successors by king Edward III. in his 36th year, by his letters of inspeximus. (fn. 5)

Somner says, that the bounds of this borough are still the same as are described in the charter of king Ethelbert's foundation of the monastery of St. Augustine, mentioned before. This the reader will judge of, by comparing the present boundaries, which will be found hereafter, with those of that charter. What the western and northern boundaries of it were, as well as the liberties and franchises claimed within it, both by the abbot of St. Augustine's and the citizens of Canterbury, in the reign of king Henry III. may be known by an agreement made between them in the year 1268, and the 42d of that reign, at Westminister, before the king, with his consent; which agreement, at the request of the citizens and bailiffs of Canterbury, was exemplisied by the king's letters patent, dated on May 20, anno 43 Henry III. and inrolled in the court of chancery. This agreement was made on account of certain disputes which had arisen between them, and was to the following purpose: THAT if any thief should be taken in the fact, (fn. 6) so that he should be called infangetheof, i. e. a thief within the boundaries, from the western gate of the cemetery of St. Augustine's, as far as the house of Henry the smith, and from thence to the house of Nicholas de le Berton, and then by the way called Loder's lane, (fn. 7) as far as New-street, (fn. 8) and so from New-street to St. Sepulchre on the right hand, he should remain in future to the citizens and their liberty without any contradiction of the abbot or his successors, or the monastery of St. Augustine, for ever; whether he should be taken of the tenancy of the abbot, or of his liberty within or without.

And if any one should be taken, who should, in like manner be called innfangthef, on the left part of the said bounds and metes, either from St. Sepulchre to Chaldene, (fn. 9) as much as should be of the fee of the abbot on both sides, and in like manner from the house of the aforesaid Henry the smith, by the way which led to Fispole on both sides, as far as Fispole, viz. whatever was of the see of the abbot; and in like manner, if such a thief should be found in the fields of Northome, and by the way which led to the gate of St. Augustine, he should in future remain to the abbot and his successors, and his monastery, forever; so that the officers of the abbot might lawfully take such within the aforesaid metes and bounds, and execute justice on them, according to their charter, and the law and custom of England, without the contradiction of the citizens, or of their heirs, for ever; whether he who should be taken was of the ville, or of the liberty of the city, or otherwise, so that on account of this agreement, no detriment should come to the citizens in relation to their rights, which they had in the tenancy of the abbot, that dwelt within the asore said metes and bounds, which should remain as well to the abbot as to the aforesaid citizens; but that those who should exercise trades, should be in lot and scot and in tallage and in defence of themselves, as they were before, without any contradiction of the abbot or his successors, so that when a tallage should be assessed upon them, it should be collected by the view of the bailiff of the lord abbot, if he chose to be present at it; if that was not convenient, then by the bailiffs of the city.

But that the citizens should, notwithstanding, have within the aforesaid metes and bounds, by their coroner, the view of persons dead and wounded, and presentment, which belonged to the king's crown, before the justices at their coming, as they had before, the attachment and prison of all those on whom the abbot could not execute justice in his court; and if he who should be taken by the abbot, within the aforesaid metes and bounds, should escape from the prison of the abbot, the citizens should not be answerable for that escape before the justices, but that the abbot and his successors should acquit themselves before the same; and it was agreed, that from thenceforward, if any dispute should arise between them on any articles which perhaps the abbot might affirm he had used, or the citizens should affirm, that they had in the fee of the abbot, and could not agree without the bringing of it to some plea; the plaintiff should come into court, and should have the king's writ to the sheriff, that by the oaths of twelve, as well knights as others, free and legal men of the foreign, by whom the truth of the matter might be the better known, or who were not connected by any affinity, either to the abbot or the citizens, he should enquire the truth of the matter of right, and use, so that by them the dispute might be determined; because both parties had agreed, that without any cavil, they would hold themselves satisfied, to which the said jurors should bind both parties by their oaths. (fn. 10)

The present boundaries of the Borough of Longport are as follows:

Beginning at Mr. Goldfinch's house, take half the road on the left hand side through Love-lane, then turn the corner and take half the road all the way through Ivy-lane to the corner of Mr. Bunce's garden-wall, from thence take half the road on the left hand side so far as three houses near Oaten hill; the two first houses are in the borough, and the third is in the city; then from the back part of the second house proceed across two orchards caterwise, until you come to an ash pollard in the hedge by the Bridge road side near the late sign of Canterbury, where mark; from thence take half the road until you come about half way between the stile which leads you to the foot-way to Nackington and the gate that goes into St. Laurence field, in the hedge of which field did lately stand a crab-tree, where the said borough used to mark, then to a stone about two or three rods from the hedge behind St. Laurence-house, from thence as straight as you well can go to an oak pollard near the lone-barn in Nackington-lane, which oak pollard is lately cut down, but did stand on the left hand side as you go to Nackington; from thence striaght through the upper part of Barnsfield until you come to the end of the Heathen-land, where mark upon an elm, then down by the side of a dike against William Hatcher's land unto a stile and mark, then into Bridge road, taking one half of the road, still keeping the left hand side until you come to about the middle of Gutteridge bottom, where mark upon a black-thorn, then cater the corner (below Mr. Andrews's house) of a field belonging to Nutt and Walker, and mark upon an ash tiller; from thence keep straight along the hedge for something more than half a mile until you come to land called Hompits, in the occupation of Mr. Collard, of Little Barton farm, and about forty rods before you come to the corner of the field, where mark upon an ash tiller; then cater up into a little wood at the lower side of Lieudown, and mark upon the stool of an oak, then straight until you come into the Beaksbourn road at the bottom of Paternoster-hill; from thence climb the bank into a wood belonging to Sir Philip Hales, bart. and mark upon an oak near the wood side; from thence through the wood, taking in all the Hoath land, until you come to a drill of running water, keeping the water close upon your right hand until you come to Fishpool-bottom, to a bridge, which bridge is repaired part by the parish of Littlebourn, and part by the borough of Longport; from this bridge to a pollard oak in a meadow belonging to the right hon. earl Cowper, about three or four rods from the remains of the old dog-kennel, then as straight as you well can go through about the middle of the cherry orchard, leaving the Moat-house upon your right hand, until you come to the wall against the road that leads to Fordwich and Stodmarsh, and mark against the wall at the road side about twelve rods from the corner of the wall against the Littlebourn road, then cross the road and mark upon an oak pollard, upon land belonging to Sir Edward Hales, in the occupation of Mrs. Austen; from thence down to a spot of land called the Bogs, and mark upon an ash pollard standing in the hedge, from thence as straight as you well can go to the third gate coming from earl Cowper's wall towards Canterbury, belonging to Mrs. Austen's land and opposite Mr. Hammond's hop-ground, then take half the road of that side next Hammond's land until you come within about eight rods of a small piece of pasture land belonging to the said Mr. Hammond at the top of St. Martin's hill, and mark upon an elm tree, then cater down the hill into land belonging to Mrs. Austen, where stands a stone with a mark upon it, then straight through the said Mrs. Austen's hop ground to a gate leading out of the said hop ground into a small passage leading to the sign of Sandwich, and is between the said hop-ground and said Austen's garden, where mark upon a post in the paling of the said garden; then cater the said garden and so to a doorway, (taking in a small barn now converted into a stable, for the use of Mr. John Austen), and so to a walnut-tree standing opposite to the east end of the hospital founded by John Smith, esq. near St. Martin's hill, and come up to the turn water over against the monastery wall in the front of the hospital, which is repaired by this borough of Longport, from thence proceed to a large door-way through the monastery wall into a garden, now in the occupation of Daniel Hayward, gardener, and so on quite through the monastery grounds until you come to a housé in thé street, commonly called Broad street, now in the occupation of William Booth, taylor, from thence to an ale-house called the Chequers, leading into lady Wotton's green; then cater the gardens behind the Chequer ale-house until you come to a certain house, lying and being at the corner of Church-street, and near the parish church of St. Paul, now in the several occupations of John Wildish and Ann Barton, spinster, and from thence to Mr. Goldsinch's house, where we first began. (fn. 11)

The Manor of Barton, alias Longport.

The Berton, (Bertona) or Barton, mentioned before, was the court or mansion of the farm of the abbot's manor of Langeport, now called Longport. It is situated within the bounds of that borough, on the south side of the highway called Longport-street, and is at this time called
which, with the other buildings, consisting of two spacious barns, being the repository of the corn and other increase of their adjoining demesnes, was, with the manor itself of Barton, alias Longport, and the adjoining demesne lands, surrendered up, with the scite of the abbey and other possessions of it, in the 30th year of king Henry VIII. to the use of him and his heirs for ever; (fn. 12) and the fee of it seems to have remained in the hands of the crown, till Edward VI. in his 7th year, granted this manor of Langporte, lately belonging to the above dissolved monastery, and the capital messuage in Langporte, in the parish of St. Paul, in the tenure of Clement Kempe, and the messuages and lands called le old Park, together withsundry other premises, to Sir Thomas Cheney, to hold in capite by knight's service. (fn. 13) He died possessed of this estate in the 1st year of queen Elizabeth, leaving Henry Cheney his son and heir, who had livery of it in the 3d year of that reign, and was afterwards created lord Cheney, of Tuddington; (fn. 14) he dissipated all the great possessions left him by his father, and alienated this manor to Sir Edward Herbert, who, in the 21st year of queen Elizabeth, passed it away by sale to Thomas Smith, by the description of the manor of Langport, alias Sturrey Barton, and twenty-one messuages in Langport, Barton, St. Paul's, &c. and the tithes of grain (granorum), &c. in the parish of St. Paul, St. Laurence, St. Martin and St. George, in the city of Canterbury, (fn. 15) in which name it continued down to John Smith, esq. who died possessed of it about the year 1657, (fn. 16) whose widow afterwards became entitled to it; after which it passed next into the name of Hougham, for Solomon Hougham, esq. descended from those of Weddington, in Ash, near Sandwich, was become possessed of this manor in the reign of king Charles II. he served the office of high sheriff of this county in the year 1696, being then of St. Paul's, in Canterbury; the year after which he died, æt. 73, and was buried in St. Mary's church, in Sandwhich, (fn. 17) leaving no issue; his nephew, Sol. Hougham, merchant, of London, became his heir, and possessed this manor, but dying likewise without issue in 1714, was buried near his uncle, upon which Charles Hougham, his next brother, became his heir in this manor, and was succeeded by his son Mr. Henry Hougham, gent. who died possessed of it in the year 1726, leaving his widow, Sarah, daughter of Mr. William Hunt, surviving, and the inheritance of this manor to his son, then an infant, William Hougham, esq. (fn. 18) who afterwards rebuilt the present mansion of it, and resided in it till of late, when he gave the possession of it up to his only son and heir Wm. Hougham, jun. esq. who now resides in it.

A court leet and court baron is held for this manor.

At a small distance eastward from Barton-house, is Smith's hospital, or alms-houses, so called from their founder John Smith, esq. in 1657, being built on the demesnes of Barton farm, of which, and the manor of it, he was owner, for the dwellings of four poor men and four poor women, who repair their several dwellings, and have each paid to them eight pounds yearly, out of lands which he devised in his will for that purpose.

This hospital is entitled to the sixth part of Mrs. Masters's legacy, in common with the other hospitals in Canterbury; of which, a further account may be seen before, among the charities given to this city.
On the south side of Longport-street, is Chantrylane, formerly called New-street, the former of which names it took from a religious foundation built in it, called
from its having been built by one Hamon Doge, official to the archdeacon of Canterbury, and the last rector of St. Paul's, in the reign of king Henry III. and the year 1264, (fn. 19) who endowed it with this then capital messuage, with its appurtenances, situated in New-street, in the parish of St. Paul, with fifty-seven acres of land, and 4l. 6s. 9d. annual rent; (fn. 20) and he ordained in it two chaplains for ever, of which one should celebrate in the said messuage in the free chantry, and the other at the altar of St. John the Baptist, in the church of St. Paul, for the souls of himself, his parents, and of Roger de Chichester, abbot of St.Augustine, and his successors, for the convent of the same, its benefactors and their successors; and he ordered, that on the constituting of every new chaplain admitted to this chantry, the said chaplain should pay to the abbot and convent of St. Augustine, 13s. 4d. as a relief for all the lands and tenements, which he should hold of them; but he gave and confirmed the right of conferring, instituting, inducting into corporal possession, and of desending the chaplain so inducted to the abbot and convent, &c. (fn. 21) all which he confirmed by his last will, and appointed Martin de Dover chaplain of it. (fn. 22)

After this, the chantry continued in the same state till the general dissolution of these sort of religious foundations, in the reigns of king Henry VIII. and king Edward VI. when it was suppressed, and the house, chantry and lands belonging to it, were surrendered to the king's commissioners, to the use of him and his heirs for ever.

There is some part of the building of it remaining, which is converted into a cottage, and the adjoining land to it into a gardener's ground.

ABOUT a quarter of a mile distance, south-eastward from the above chantry, on the south side of the Watling-street road to Dover, is situated
formerlyan hospital, and being built within the bounds of the borough of Longport, partakes of the same exemption from the city's liberties, and is esteemed within the jurisdiction of the justices of the county of Kent at large.

This hospital, dedicated to St. Laurence the martyr, (fn. 23) was first built and founded, as appears by the private ledger of it, by Hugh, the second of that name, abbot of the monastery of St. Augustine and the convent of it, in the second year of king Stephen, anno 1137, for sixteen brethren and sisters, and for one priest or chaplain, and one clerk officiating in it; (fn. 24) which foundation was confirmed by pope Eugenius, as appears by a manuscript register of the abbey in Trinity college library. (fn. 25)

This hospital was intended for the leprous of the abbey; so that whenever it should happen, that any profest monk of it should be infected with any contagious distemper, but above all with the leprosy, on account of which, he could not live within the precincts of the abbey, without prejudice and scandal to the rest of the fraternity, that then he should be provided for in this hospital, with a convenient chamber, and with meat, drink and appare, in as full a measure, as any one of his brethren living in the monastery; and that when it should happen, that the father, mother, sister, or brother of any monk of this monastery should come to such great want and indigency, so that, to the reproach of any of these brethren, he or she should be forced to ask at the gates, the alms of the fraternity, that then such of them should be provided for in this hospital with sufficient maintenance, according to the ability of the house, by the advice and consideration of the abbot of St. Augustine's, and of the master of this hospital for the time being; as appears by the hospital's private ledger, (fn. 26) and confirmed by many of his successors. (fn. 27)

Abbot Hugh and his convent, for the purpose of erecting this hospital, had purchased and given in alms nine acres of land, of their demesne, lying contiguous, near the way which led from Canterbury to Dover on the right side of it, within the abbey's lordship of Longport, on which this hospital was afterwards built; and they gave for the maintenance of it, and of the sick and poor people in it, the tithe of all sorts of provisions yearly arising from all that land which they had in demesne, on the right side of the way, and the tithes of wheat and peas of all the land, which lay towards Longport of their demesne of that manor, on the left hand side of the way; to which was added, the blessing of God upon all those, who should be charitable to the poor and sick in this hospital. (fn. 28)

The revenues of it were, in process of time, much improved by the benevolence of many devout people, who became benefactors to it: among whom, one of the first and most liberal, was Richard de Marci, owner of the neighbouring lordship of Dodingdale, who gave the tithes of his land of Dodingdale to this hospital, in perpetual alms, for the health of his soul, &c. and that they might hold his gift in remembrance, he ordered, that they should have them particularly for the purpose of buying linen cloth, on the feast of St. John Baptist. (fn. 29) Afterwards, in the year 1320, Robert de Malling, commissary of Canterbury, gave sentence in favour of this hospital, for the tithes both of the above manor, and also of three hundred acres of land and upwards, of the land of Thomas Chich and his tenants, lying within the limits and bounds of St. Mary Bredin's parish, and this upon the clear evidence of the hospital's right to them, by antient muniments, as well as otherwise. (fn. 30) In the ledger book of this hospital there is this entry relating to these tithes; that the hospital received all the tithes of three hundred acres of land and more, of John Chich's, of which fifty acres lay at Havefeld, and the rest nigh their own court, and in Mellefeld near St. Laurence; and that the said John should receive of the hospital in autumn, for his servants, five loaves of wheaten bread, and two flagons and a half of beer, and half a cheese of the price of four-pence, and that he should receive likewise one pair of doe-skin gloves (fn. 31) for himself, and one pound of wax candles, and for his servants three pair of gloves. (fn. 32)

Waretius de Valoyns, lord of the manor of Swerdling, appears by the ledger of this hospital to have confirmed to it in 1331, the great tithes arising from twelve acres of land in a certain field of that manor, &c. in which ledger there are several more benefactors of small rents, parcels of lands, &c. not of any consequence to mention.

The chief governor of this, as generally of all hospitals, was called the warden or keeper of it, and he was always one of the monks of St. Augustine's abbey.

It appears by the rules and ordinances for the government of this hospital, inserted in their ledger, that the community of it consisted of brothers and sisters, under a keeper or master, and a prioress, who was next in authority under him; that the sisters, on their entrance, took the veil, and that the whole was subordinate in all things, to the abbot of St. Augustine.

In the 30th year of king Henry VIII. a lease was made by the prior and sisters, to Sir Christopher Hales, for nine years, of the scite and all the revenues of this hospital, without paying any rent, but on condition of his finding them with all necessaries during their natural lives; at which time the whole revenues of it were valued at 31l. 7s. 10d. clear, or 39l. 8s. 6d. gross annual revenue. (fn. 33) This being an hospital, seems to have escaped the general dissolution of religious foundations in the above reign, and after the suppression of the monks in St. Augustine's abbey, to have been entirely occupied by a prioress and sisters, the former being the chief or senior of them, and they in the 6th year of king Edward VI. made a feoffment of this hospital, in fee, to one Tipsel; but in the 3d and 4th year of Philip and Mary, the queen, in consideration of a certain sum of money, by her letters patent, under her great seal, granted this hospital in fee, to Sir John Parrot. (fn. 34)

In an ordinary visitation of this hospital, in cardinal archbishop Pole's time, anno 1557, this account was given up to the visitors, of the state of it at that time, by the sisters of it, viz. Jane Francis, prioress, Elizabeth Oliver, sister, and Florence Young, not yet admitted sister, who being examined, said, that Mr. Christopher Hales had a lease of their land, and since his death, from one to another, until it came to one Tipsel, of London, who made all the spoil of the house; and they said, that there should be seven sisters and a prioress, and a priest, found out of the profits of their lands, which they esteemed to be of the value of twenty pounds. (fn. 35) In May, anno 16 Elizabeth, it was found by inquisition before the escheator of Kent, that this hospital was concealed and worth 4l. a year; the return of which was made into the exchequer, and one Honywood took a lease of it for twentyone years, at the rent of 4l. per annum. (fn. 36)

By the above, it should seem, that there was great struggling for the possession of this hospital, some by obtaining grants, and others leases of it at the same time; for by the escheat rolls it appears, that in the 38th year of king Henry VIII. Jacosa Saxey, widow, held this hospital with its appurtenances, of the king in capite, as of his manor of East Greenwich, by the 20th part of one knight's fee, which she had passed to her by fine, made by Francis Trapps, gent. and Anne his wife.

In the 3d and 4th years of Philip and Mary, Sir John Parot, had a grant, inter alia, of all that scite of the mansion of the late priory of St. Laurence, near Canterbury, to hold of the manor of East Greenwich, by knight's service. (fn. 37) Edward Isaac appears afterwards to have possessed Sir John Parot's interest in these letters patent; next to whom it was granted, anno 12 Elizabeth, to one Senhouse, and then four years afterwards, to Honywood; after which it passed into the name of Lovelace, for in the 25th year of that reign, William Lovelace died possessed of this mansion, with the lands, &c. belonging to it, holding it of the above manor by knight's service, and Wm. Lovelace, his son, had livery of it that year. (fn. 38)

It next came into the possession of the Bests, who resided at it, of whom Mr. Richard Best, gent. died at it in 1633, and was buried in the chancel of St. Paul's church; (fn. 39) his son John Best, esq. alienated this estate, together with the tithery called St Laurence tithery, to William Rooke, esq. of Monkton, (fn. 40) afterwards knighted, and of St. Laurence house, of which he died possessed in 1691, æt. 70, (fn. 41) and was buried in the east chancel of St. Paul's church, in Canterbury. (fn. 42) His eldest son was Sir George Rooke, vice-admiral of England, who succeeded to this seat, and resided here, as did his son George Rooke, esq. who died in 1739, without issue, and devised this estate, with the tithery of St.Laurence, to his widow Frances, daughter of William Warde, esq. who was afterwards in 1763, created viscount Dudley and Warde; on her death in 1770, she devised the whole of it, with her estates at Stonar and elsewhere in this county, to her brother the hon. John Warde, who in 1774 succeeded his father as viscount Dudley and Warde. He at times re. sided here till his father's death, when succeeding to his seat in Staffordshire, he not long afterwards quitted this of St.Laurence, which he sold with its appurtenances, reserving to himself the tythery, to lieutenantcolonel Graham, who resided at it, and died possessed of it on Feb. 11, 1791, leaving his wife surviving, and one son Charles Graham, esq. and several daughters by her, (fn. 43) and she is the present possessor of St. Laurence house, and now resides at it.

The yearly tenths of this hospital are 3l. 2s. 9½d. and are payable to the archbishop.


  • 1. The borough of Longport is now charged to the county rate, the sum of 3l. 18s. being its settled portion to the county stock.
  • 2. Thorn, col. 2015. This liberty was confirmed to the abbot and his successors, by the king's writ under his great seal, directed to his chancellor, dated at Wyndsore, May 1; and by his writ of supersedeas, directed to the sheriff of Kent, dated at Westminister, May 17, that same year. See Thorn, col. 2022, et seq.
  • 3. See Thorn, col. 2019.
  • 4. Thorn, col. 2020.
  • 5. Ibid. col. 2134.
  • 6. Cum manu. opera.
  • 7. Now called Love-lane.
  • 8. Now Cnantry-lane.
  • 9. Now the lime-kiln field.
  • 10. See this composition, printed in Battely's Somner, append. No. lxvi. and Thorn, col. 1916.
  • 11. The above boundaries were taken in 1788, from the parole evidence of Mr. John Wildish, a respectable inhabitant of this borough.
  • 12. In the Augmentation-office, there is a lease of this manor of Langport, alias Barton, in the parish of St. Paul, granted by the abbot and convent, anno 29 Henry VIII. to Robert Best, yeoman, of Ash, to hold for thirty years, at the yearly rent of forty eight quarters and two bushels of wheat, one hundred and five quarters of barley, and four quarters of green peas, and 53s. 4d. in money, excepting rents of assize, &c. belonging to courts, the advowson of the vicarage of St. Paul, and several lands therein mentioned; which lease came into the hands of Clement Kemp, yeoman, who anno 34 king Henry VIII. surrendered the lease up, and had another for twenty-one years, granted by the king. Bundle of leases in Augtn. off. Kent. 7. The corn rent above-mentioned, so reserved after the suppression of the monastery, was demised by the king, in his 32d year, to Sir Anthony St. Leger, for twenty-one years, at the yearly rent of 34l. 18s. 4d. Inrolm. Augtn. off.
  • 13. Rot. Esch. ejus an. pt. 6.
  • 14. Rot. Esch. ejus an. See an account of the Cheneys under Eastchurch, in Shepey, in the Hist. of Kent.
  • 15. Rot. Esch. ejus an. pt. 5.
  • 16. It appears by the deposition of sundry aldermen and commoners, made in 1582, concerning the breaking up of Babbshill, that Thomas Smythe, esq. who purchased this manor, anno 21 Elizabeth, was he who was customer to queen Elizabeth, and of Westenhanger; his descendant, living in 1657, was Robert Smyth, esq. of Bidborough, nor was there any, then or afterwards, of the name of John. If so, the above John Smith, esq. who founded the alms-houses on this manor in 1657, as appears by the inscription on them, could not be a descendant of the customer, or of the Westenhanger family, and must have been an after purchaser of this manor, of the same name. The deposition mentioned above, concerning the ploughing or breaking up of Babbs hill, being a part of the demesnes of this manor, and the usual place of shooting, was, on account of its having been done by Mr. Smyth's tenant; complaint of this it seems had been made to the lords of the queen's council, by the mayor and commonalty, who had referred them to Mr. Smyth; and on their attending on him at Westenhanger, he had satisfied them that it should not be so again. It appears, that the like had been attempted about thirty-five years before, but was prevented by the interference of the lords of the council at that time.
  • 17. The first of this family of Hougham, which is commonly pronounced and sometimes spelt Hussam, that is mentioned in the Heraldic Visitation of the county of Kent, anno 1619, is William Hougham, who was of Ash, near Sandwich, at the latter end of king Henry VII. and the beginning of king Henry VIII.'s reign. By Elizabeth his wife he left a son Solomon, who lies buried in that church, the effigies on whose tomb has been long since destroyed. His son Stephen was of Ash likewise, who died in 1555; by his will desired to be buried there likewise. By Bennet Brooke his wife, who was of Ash, and died in 1560, and was buried by her husband, he had two sons, and a daughter Elizabeth, married to Stephen Solly.—Richard the second son, was of Eastry, and had a son Thomas, who was of Dover priory, and other children. Michael Hougham, the eldest son of Stephen, was of Weddington, in Ash, and died in 1583, having married Judith, daughter of Austen, of Adisham, by whom he had three sons; Richard, of Weddington; Stephen, of Norborne, who married Joan, daughter of Thomas Beke; and Michael, who married first Elizabeth, daughter of Andrew Joade; and secondly, Jane Brooke, by both of whom he had issue. The three daughters married. Country, Paramor, and Bateman. Richard Hougham, of Weddington, the eldest son, died in 1606, and was buried in Ash church; having had by Elizabeth his wife, daughter of Edward Saunders, of Norborne, (remarried to Tho. Hawks) three sons and a daughter Anne, who died unmarried in 1661, and was buried in Ash church. Of the sons, Michael the eldest, gent. was of Weddington, and lies buried in Ash church, having married Margaret, daughter of William Courthope, of Stodmarsh, whose descendants resided in London till within these few years. Edward, the second son, left by Margaret his wife, an only daughter Anne, married to John Bettenham. Solomon, the third son, was of Sandwich, where he died in 1658, æt. 59, and was buried in St. Mary's church there, leaving by Mary his wife, three sons and a daughter Anne, married to Thomas Harvey. Of the sons, Solomon, the eldest, was a merchant in London, and afterwards having purchased the manor of Longport, alias Barton, was of Barton-house, esq. where the resided and kept his shrievalty there for the county in 1696; the year after which he died without issue, leaving his nephew Solomon his heir and executor. Richard, the second son, was of Sandwich, where he died in 1662; and Henry was the third son, who left issue three sons and a daughter Elizabeth. Of the sons, Solomon was his uncle Solomon's heir and executor, and died without issue in 1714; John died without issue; and Charles Hougham, the third son, became heir to his eldest brother Solomon, and possessed this manor of Longport, alias Barton, which is now in the possession of his great-grandson, William Hougham, jun. esq. They bear for their arms, Argent, five chevronels, sable; quartering Saunders and Brooke; to which Mr. William Hougham, jun. adds the quartering of Corbet, with an escutcheon of pretence, for Robinson; being Vert, a chevion, between three roe bucks, trippant, or.— There are many of their wills in the Prerog. office, in Canterbury, in which the name is seldom spelt Hougham, in general it is Huffam, as now pronounced.
  • 18. He married first, Margaret-Hannah-Roberta, one of the daughters and coheirs of John Corbet, esq. of the county of Salop, who died in 1755, and was buried in St. Martin's church; and secondly, Mary, widow of John Brakenbury, gent. who died in 1788, æt. 70, without issue, and was buried in Deal church. By his first wife he had issue Wm. Hougham, esq. now of Barton-house, born in 1752, and a daughter married to Richard Sandys, esq. who afterwards took orders, by whom she left issue; William Hougham, jun. esq. the son married the daughter and heir of Charles Robinson, esq. barrister at law and recorder of Canterbury. The tithes of the lands of this manor being given to the hospital of St. Laurence at its foundation, continued part of the possessions of it at the time of its suppression, and have ever since had the same owners as the scite of the hospital down to John, lord viscount Dudley and Ward, and are usually called the St. Laurence tithery, being wholly within the parish of St. Paul's; and they now belong to his heirs and assigns, of which more may be seen under St. Paul's parish.
  • 19. Battely's Somner, p. 36. He was buried at the altar of St. Katherine, in the monastery of St. Augustine, near Roger de Cirencester, late abbot of it. Thorn, col. 1922.
  • 20. Arising from the heirs of John de Criol, in Nether Hardres, at Cobbisdane. Regist. Abb. Sci Aug. cort. 189.
  • 21. Batt. Somn. app. p. 8, No. ix.c. in the year 1290.
  • 22. The abbot, &c. of St. Augustine's, patrons of this chantry, granted to Sir William de Chertham, chaplain of Coppedoche, this chantry, founded by master Hamon Doge, vacant by the death of Martin de Dovor, chaplain of it. Regist, Abb. Sci Aug. cart. 389.
  • 23. On one of the piers, being that on the west side, built of fint, of the antient gate leading into this hospital, adjoining to the high road, is a stone, on which is carved a figure of St. Laurence on a gridiron, with one man standing at his head and another at his feet.—Now obliterated.
  • 24. Battely's Somner, p. 38. See the charter of endowment, printed ibid. appendix, No. x. Thorn, col. 1810. Tan. Mon. p. 213. In a visitation made by archdeacon Harpsfield, so late as the year 1557, it was returned upon inquisition, that king John was the founder of this hospital, forblind and lame people, and it had been sometimes called the king's hospital; but this inquisition, taken so great a length of time after the foundation of it, upon what grounds is not known, cannot avail against the account given by Thorn in his Chronicle, as mentioned above. Battely, pt. ii. p. 173.
  • 25. In the cathedral library of Canterbury, among the MSS. is the following, marked C. 20, "Fundatio et Statuta Hospit. St. Laurentii juxta Cantuariam, et Registrum chartarum de terris ejusdem." Mr. Todd's Catalogue, p. 285.
  • 26. The orders and regulations for the better government of the brothers and sisters of this hospital, were made by Thomas, abbot of St. Augustine's, in 1294; to which were made some additions by abbot Thomas Colewelle, in his visitation of the hospital in 1356; both which are inserted in the ledger of this hospital.
  • 27. Battely's Somner, p. 38. Weever, Fun. Mon. Thorn, col. 1810, who says further, that abbot Hugh founded this hospital, and gave to it nine acres of land, on which the hospital was situated; and the tithe of the demesne of Langeport; and three load (carucates) of hay, one from Langeport, another from the sacristy, and the third from the chamberlain; but in the recital of the abbot's grant, the land granted to it is seven acres, instead of nine, as above.
  • 28. Ledger of this hospital. Thorn, col. 1810. Batt. Somn. appendix, No. x.
  • 29. Ledger of the hospital. Thorn, col. 1810; and Battely's Somner, appendix, No. xib.
  • 30. Liber pauperum facerdot. Batt. Somn. p. 39.
  • 31. Unum par chirothecarun ferinarum, in orig.
  • 32. Battely's Somner, p. 39, appendix, p. 9. No. xi.
  • 33. See Tan. Mon. p. 213.
  • 34. Battely, pt. ii. p. 173.
  • 35. Battely's Somner, p. 40. See Tan. Mon. p. 213; and Strype's Life of archbishop Parker, p. 113, in which it is said, that anno 1562, Mr. Trapps, of London, enjoyed the lease, that the house was greatly decayed, and had only two sisters in it.
  • 36. Battely, pt. ii. p. 173.
  • 37. Rot. Esch. pt. 3.
  • 38. Viz. of one capital messuage and mansion, and scite of the hospital of St. Laurence, near the walls of the city of Canterbury; and one hundred and eighty acres of land to the said hospital belonging, lying in the parishes of St. Paul, St. Martin, Westbere, Stodmarsh, &c. Rot. Esch. ejus an.
  • 39. He was descended from the Bests, of Bibrooke, in Kennington, of whom there is a pedigree in the Heraldic visitation of the connty of Kent, anno 1619, and appears to have been the eldest son of John of that place, by his first wife Anne Knatchbull. They bore for their arms, Sable, an orle of crosscroslets, sitchee, in the centre a cinquefoil, argent; quartering Barrow, of Hinxhill.
  • 40. In his will, proved 1666, he stiles himself John Best, gent. of the city of Canterbury, and as he had removed from St. Laurence, and mentions nothing of this estate in his will, it is plain he had alienated it before his death; but in it he mentions his contract made with Mr. Rooke, for the sale of this tithery, for 2080l. There are many entries of them in St. Paul's register.
  • 41. His will is in Prerog. office, Canterbury, in which he stiles himself of St. Laurence, in the parish of St. Paul's, near the city of Canterbury, and desires to be buried as above. He gave to dame Jane his wife, the use of his house and garden at St. Laurence, with the furniture in it during her widowhood; and to George Rooke, his eldest son, and his heirs, the fee of his capital mestuage, called St. Laurence, and the farm-house, barns, lands, &c. thereto belonging, with their appurtenances in the parishes of St. Paul, St. Mary Bredin, St. Martin, the manor of Barton, or elsewhere, and the rectory or parsonage of St. Paul, and the tithes, portions of tithes, or tithery, within the said parish of St. Paul, or elsewhere.
  • 42. Sir William Rooke was descended from the family of this name, seated at Horton Monks, in this county, and bore the same arms. He had a sister Mary, who married Thomas Gibbon, gent. Sir George Rooke, his eldest son, being admiral of the British fleets, destroyed those of the enemy at the battle of La Hogue and at Vigo, where he burnt and took many of them, and brought the galleons laden with great treasure home to England. He took Gibraltar, and put the enemy's fleet to flight, which, though much superior to his in force dared not hozard a battle with him. After he had served his country with the greatest bravery and integrity, he retired to St. Laurence, (to which he had given the name of Rook's Nest, which, however, does not seem to have continued after his death), where he died on January 4, 1709, æt. 58, and was buried near his father in St. Paul's church, in Canterbury, though there is a costly mural monument, with his bust on it, in St. Michael's chapel, in the cathedral, and a long inscription to his memory, enumerating his many eminent services to the public; his son George Rook, esq. resided and died here, being buried in St. Paul's church. See more of this family under Stonar, in the History of Kent.
  • 43. One of the daughters married Edward Knatchbull, esq. now Sir Edward Knatchbull, bart. M.P. for the county of Kent; another married Henry, only son and heir of Sir Henry Oxenden, bart. and another married the Rev. Charles Cage, vicar of Bersted.