Parishes: Chesilhurst

The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 2. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1797.

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Edward Hasted, 'Parishes: Chesilhurst', The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 2, (Canterbury, 1797), pp. 2-22. British History Online [accessed 24 June 2024].

Edward Hasted. "Parishes: Chesilhurst", in The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 2, (Canterbury, 1797) 2-22. British History Online, accessed June 24, 2024,

Hasted, Edward. "Parishes: Chesilhurst", The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 2, (Canterbury, 1797). 2-22. British History Online. Web. 24 June 2024,

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LIES the next adjoining parish eastward from Bromley; a small part of it lying near Foot's Cray, is in the hundred of Blackheath. It was called by the Saxons, Ciselhyrst, as appears by the charters of those times in the Textus Roffensis, a name expressive of its situation among the woods.

Chesilhurst is one of the most pleasant and healthy parishes among the many that lie within the environs of the metropolis, and has within its bounds, besides those already described, numbers of elegant villas, with gardens and plantations beautifully disposed. These are dispersed throughout the village, and round the common, and are in general inhabited by persons of fortune and distinction. The village, with the church and parsonage, stand adjoining the south side of the common, which is nearly in the center of the parish. Farther eastward is Place-green, and beyond, Scadbury and the mansion of Frognall; at the southern extremity of the parish is Town-place. The parish, especially towards the west and north, is much covered with coppice wood, to the amount of five hundred acres; the soil is in general thin, and much inclined to gravel.

This place is not mentioned in the general survey of Domesday; perhaps it might be considered in some measure as an appendage to the manor of Dartford, with which it appears early to have been connected, and may therefore be included under the description of that manor in it.

King Edward II. in his 15th year, by consent of parliament, granted to Edmund de Woodstock, earl of Kent, his half brother, the ferm of the royalty of Dartford, with its appurtenances, for life; the fee of which was confirmed to him by king Edward III. in his first year. That the manor of Chesilhurst was included in the above grant, appears by the inquisition taken after the earl's death, in the 4th year of that reign, in which, among the appurtenances of the manor of Dartford, the rents of assize in Chesilhurst are specified. (fn. 1)

His sons, Edmund and John Plantagenet, earls of Kent, dying without issue, Joane, their sister, usually stiled the Fair Maid of Kent, wife of Sir Thomas Holand, became their heir. She afterwards remarried Edward, prince of Wales, commonly called the Black Prince, and died possessed of this estate in the 9th year of king Richard II. as did her son, by her first husband, Thomas Holand, earl of Kent, in the 20th year of that reign, holding it in capite. After which it was possessed successively by his two sons, Thomas, created duke of Surry; and Edmund, earl of Kent; who both died without issue; on the death of the latter, his four sisters were found to be his heirs, and on the partition of his estates, the manor of Dart ford, with the rents of assize in Chesilhurst, were allotted to Joane, his fourth sister, dutchess of York, who appears to have died without issue, in the 12th year of king Henry VI. possessed of it. Upon the partition of her inheritance among her sisters, Margaret, first wife of John earl of Somerset, and afterwards of Thomas duke of Clarence, became entitled to it, and died in the 18th year of that reign possessed of it. John earl of Somerset, her son by her first husband, being her heir. (fn. 2) He was afterwards created duke of Somerset, and died in the 22nd year of that reign, without male issue, possessed of this estate. His brother Edmund, marquis of Dorset, was found to be his next heir male, and as such possessed this estate. He was afterwards advanced to the title of duke of Somerset, and taking part with Henry VI. was slain in the first battle of St. Alban's, anno 33d king Henry VI. His eldest son, Henry duke of Somerset, by Alianor, daughter and coheir of Richard Beauchamp earl of Warwick, fighting on the behalf of king Henry at the battle of Hexam, in Northumberland, was taken prisoner, and beheaded in the 3d year of king Edward IV. and being two years afterwards attainted in parliament, all his possessions came into the hands of the crown; whence the manor of Dartford, with Chesilhurst, was quickly afterwards granted to Richard Nevill, earl of Warwick, commonly called the King Maker, who, after many changes from one side to the other, was slain, endeavouring to replace king Henry on the throne, at the battle of Barnet, in the year 1471. By his wife, Anne, daughter of Richard Beauchamp, earl of Warwick, who survived him, he left only two daughters, who both married into the royal family; Isabel to George duke of Clarence. brother to king Edward IV. and Anne, first to Edward prince of Wales, son of king Henry VI. and, secondly, to Richard duke of Gloucester, afterwards king Richard III.

After the earl's death, though his estates were seized by the authority of parliament, yet great part of them were afterwards given to his two daughters, and among others the manor of Dartford, with the rents of assize in Chesilhurst, was given to Isabel, whose husband, George duke of Clarence, in her right, became possessed of them. After which the duke falling under the suspicion of the king, his brother, was in parliament, anno 1477, attainted, being then a prisoner in the tower, and was soon afterwards, with the king's consent, drowned in a butt of malmsey, the duke of Gloucester assisting with his own hands. By Isabel his wife, who died of poison sometime before him, he had issue Edward earl of Warwick, then an infant, who never enjoyed any part of his patrimony.

Soon after the duke's death, this manor being in the king's hands, by reason of his son's nonage, was granted to Thomas lord Stanley for life, and although king Henry VII. in his third year, being desirous of securing to himself the possessions which the great earl of Warwick died possessed of, recalled the old countess of Warwick from her retirement in the north, where she lived in a distressed and mean condition, both her daughters being dead, and by a new act, annulling the former, restored to her all her late husband's possessions, with power for her to alien any part of them, not with the intent that she should enjoy them, but merely that she might transfer them to the king, which she did that year, by a special seossment and a fine, by which she granted the whole, consisting of one hundred and fourteen manors, among which was that of Dartford, with the rents of assize in Chesilhurst, to the king and his heirs male, with remainder to herself and her heirs for ever. (fn. 3) Yet this estate continued in possession of the lord Stanley, who in consideration of his services, and of his near alliance to the king, (having married Margaret, countess of Richmond, the king's mother) had been advanced to the title of earl of Derby. He died in the 19th year of that reign, possessed of this manor, leaving the lady Margaret, countess of Richmond, his second wife, surviving, who, by his will, peaceably enjoyed all the manors, lands, &c. assigned for her jointure, as by the act of parliament passed in the 1st of king Henry VII. Among others she possessed this manor, which from that is frequently called, in the records of that time, Richmond's lands, as will be seen hereafter. She died in the 1st year of Henry VIII. possessed of this estate, the reversion of which being vested in the crown, the king became possessed of it, where it remained till queen Elizabeth, in her 26th year, demised it, by the name of the manor of Dartford, Chesilhurst, &c. with the lands, tenements, &c. belonging to it, called Richmond's lands, (excepting all courts leets, advowsons, rents of assize of the free tenants, &c. to Edmund Walsingham, esq. for a term of twenty-one years; and in the 40th of that reign, Sir Thomas Walsingham had a farther demise of these premises, then called Richmond's lands, for the same term, under the like rent and convenants. (fn. 4)

King James I. in his 8th year, granted to George and Thomas Whitmore, esqrs. of London, the manor of Dartford, Chesilhurst, &c. with their rights and appurtenances, lately demised to Edmund Walsingham, esq. and late parcel of the possessions called Richmond's lands, to hold as of his manor of East Greenwich, by fealty only in free and common focage; and they, in the 9th year of that reign, conveyed these premises to Sir Thomas Walsingham of Scadbury, in this parish, in as full and ample a manner as they themselves then held them.

Sir Thomas Walsingham, two years afterwards, sold all the above premises to Sir Robert Darcy, excepting the manor of Chesilhurst in Chesilhurst, with the appurtenances, profits, and courts belonging to it; since which this manor has continued to this time in the possession of the same owners that Scadbury, in this parish, has, as will be related below; being with that manor, now the property of the right honourable Thomas Townshend, lord viscount Sydney, who resides at Frognall, in this parish.

Scadbury is a manor, which lies on the eastern side of the parish. It was a place of some note in former times, and had owners of the same name, who resided at it; one of whom, John de Scadbury, dying without male issue, about the 20th year of king Edward III. his daughter and sole heir, Anne, carried it in marriage to Osmund de Walsingham, descended from the knightly family of Walsingham, in Norfolk, who, as well as his descendants, bore for their arms, Paly of argent and sable, a fess gules. He seated himself at Scadbury, where his descendants flourished for many generations, in the rank of those gentlemen, who were of the first eminence in this county; and their having been knighted for fix successive descents is no small proof of it; (fn. 5) one of whom, Sir Thomas Walsingham, died in the 7th year of king Edward IV. (fn. 6) His son, Sir James Walsingham, sheriff of this county, in the 12th year of king Henry VII. left two sons, Edmund, afterwards knighted, and William, who married Joyce, daughter of Sir Ed. Denny, by whom he had that famous statesman, Sir Francis Walsingham, secretary of state to queen Elizabeth, who died in 1590, having married, first, Anne, daughter of Sir George Barnes, by whom he had no issue; and secondly Ursula, daughter of John St. Barbe, esq. of Somersetshire, and relict of Richard Worsley, esq. of Hampshire, by whom he left an only daughter, Frances, married first to Sir Philip Sidney, secondly to Robert earl of Essex, and thirdly to Richard earl of Clanrickard and St. Alban's. (fn. 7) Sir Edmund Walsingham above mentioned succeeded his father in this estate of Scadbury, and was lieutenant of the Tower of London twenty-two years. He procured, among others, his lands in this county to be disgavelled, by the act of the 2d and 3d of king Edward VI. and died in 1549; and his grandson, Sir Thomas Walsingham, succeeding at length to this estate, in 1611, purchased the manor of Chesilhurst, as has been already mentioned, but his son, Sir Thomas Walsingham, alienated them both about the time of the restoration, to Sir Rich. Betenson of Layer de la Haye, in Essex, who was created a baronet in 1663, and in the years 1678 and 1679, served the office of sheriff of this county, at the end of which last year he died, having borne for his arms, Argent a fess gules, and in chief a lion passant guardant fable, all within a bordure ingrailed azure.

By Anne, eldest daughter of Sir William Monins of Waldershare, bart. he left two sons, Richard and Edward, the former of whom having married Albinia, daughter of Sir Christopher Wray, of Lincolnshire, died in his father's life time, in 1677, leaving a son, Edward, and four daughters. Edward, the son, on his grandfather's death, succeeded him in title and estate, and resided at Scadbury. He died unmarried in 1733, on which these manors descended to his three surviving sisters and coheirs; and the title of baronet, for want of issue male, went to his cousin Edward, son of Edward, second son of Sir Richard Betenson, the first baronet, and father to Sir Richard Betenson, bart. late of Bradborne, in Sevenoke.

Albinia, the eldest sister of Sir Edward Betenson, by her husband, major-general Selwyn, left a son, John Selwyn, esq. who partly in right of his mother and partly by purchase from lady Hewet, another of the sisters and coheirs, became possessed of these manors, and a considerable part of the estaters, and having married Mary, daughter of Thomas Farrington, esq. (by Theodosia, his wife, the other sister and coheir of Sir Edward Betenson above mentioned) had by her two sons; and a daughter, Albinia, married to the honourable Thomas Townshend, to whom he soon afterwards sold the entire see of those manors of Chesilhurst and Scadbury.

The family of Townshend is said to be descended from Lodowick, a noble Norman, who came into England in the reign of king Henry I. and assumed the surname of Townshend. His direct descendant, through a long series of illustrious ancestors, who from the earliest time settled in Norfolk, was Roger Townshend (son of Sir John Townshend of Rainham, in that county) who was created a baronet in the 15th year of king James I. His second son, Sir Horatio Townshend, bart. was advanced to the dignity of baron Townshend of Lynn Regis, in Norfolk, in 1661, and in 1682, to the title of Viscount Townshend of Rainham, in the same county. He died in 1687, and left by his second wife, Mary, daughter of Sir Joseph Ashe, bt. three sons, Charles, his successor, Roger, and Horatio. Which Charles viscount Townshend, by his first wife, Elizabeth, only surviving daughter of Thomas lord Pelham, by his first wife, Elizabeth, had four sons, Charles his successor, Thomas, William, and Roger, and one daughter, and died in 1738. (fn. 8)

The honourable Thomas Townshend, the second son, married, in 1730, Albinia, daughter of John Selwyn, esq. and became possessed of these manors, as has been already related. He resided at Frognall, in this parish, and died in 1780, having had by his lady above mentioned, three sons and two daughters; of the former, Thomas the eldest son was created lord viscount Sydney, of whom hereafter; Charles now resides in this parish, and Henry died unmarried in 1760. Before his death, Mr. Townshend made over these manors, in 1760, to his eldest son, the honourable Thomas Townshend, since created lord viscount Sydney as above mentioned, who is the present possessors of them, and of whom farther mention will be made below.

The antient mansion of Scadbury has been many years in ruins, and there remains now only a farm house, built out of part of them.

The manor of Chesilhurst, with Scadbury, has a court leet and court baron. At the leet two constables are appointed, one for the upper, and the other for the lower borough of this parish.

Sir Nicholas Bacon, that great statesman, lordkeeper of the great-seal, in the reign of queen Elizabeth, was born in this parish, and most probably in this seat of Scadbury.

FROGNALL is a seat in this parish, the antient and proper name of which is Frogpool, though it is now commonly called Frognall. In the reign of king Henry III. this place was owned by a family of the name of Barbur; one of whom, Thomas le Barbur, obtained a charter of free-warren for his lands in Chesilhurst in the 38th year of that reign, but this family was extinct here before the latter end of Edward II.'s reign, and then it came into the possession of the Cressels. John de Cressel is recorded, in an old survey of Rochester, to have been a liberal benefactor to the church of Chesilhurst in the reign of Edward III. on which account, most probably, his arms, Sable, a fess argent, between three chaplets or, were put up in the windows of it; and hence a descendant of his, of the same name, in the 7th year of king Henry V. is registered among those, Qui portabant arma antiqua, i.e. who bore an antient family coat of arms.

After this mansion had continued for many descents in this family, it was, about the latter end of king Henry VIII.'s reign, conveyed by sale to Dyneley, whose descendant, Sir John Dyneley, in the reign of king James I. passed away his interest in it to Mr. William Watkins, who improved this antient mansion with additional buildings, and then, in the latter part of Charles I.'s reign, alienated it to Philip Warwick, esq. (afterwards knighted) clerk of the signet to king Charles I. who was secretary to the king at the treaty in the isle of Wight, and was a faithful servant to that prince in his troubles. (fn. 9) He was descended from the Warwicks, or Warthwykes, of Warwick, in Cumberland; and married Joan, widow of Sir William Boteler, bart. daughter of Sir Henry Fanshaw of Ware-park, in Hertfordshire, (fn. 10) by whom he had an only son, Philip, and dying in 1682, was buried near his wife in this church. He was succeeded in this seat by his only son and heir, Philip Warwick, esq. envoy extraordinary to the king of Sweden, who died without issue on the 12th of March following. He married Elizabeth, second daughter and coheir of John lord Frechevile (afterwards the fourth wife of Conyers lord Darcy, son of Conyers earl of Holderness) and died in his bed of an apoplexy, as he was returning post from thence, to take a last farwel of his father, and was buried near him in this church. Their arms were, Vert, three lions rampant argent.

After which this estate passed by sale to the Tryons, a family who bore for their arms, Azure, a fess embattled gules, between three estoils of the second, Rowland Tryon, esq. died possessed of it in 1720, without issue, on which William, his brother, became his heir; after the death of whose son, Thomas Tryon, esq. this estate went into the court of chancery, under a decree of which it was sold to the honourable Thomas Townshend, owner of Chesilhurst and Scadbury manors, as before mentioned, who afterwards resided here, and died possessed of it in 1780.

He was succeeded by his eldest son, the right honourable Thomas Townshend, the present possessor of it, then one of his majesty's privy council, who, in 1760, had married Elizabeth, daughter and coheir of Richard Powys, esq. of Suffolk. On March 6, 1783, he was advanced, by letters patent, to the title of Baron Sydney of Chesilhurst, to him and his heirs male; and farther, on June 9, 1789, to that of Viscount Sydney of St. Leonard's, in Gloucestershire. By his lady before mentioned he has several children, of whom John Thomas, the eldest son, married in 1790, Sophia, third daughter of Edward lord de Clifford, who died in Novemb. 1795, in childbed of her only son, John Charles Southwell, who likewife died within a year afterwards; by this lady, whose person, temper, and accomplishments, rendered her the delight of all who knew her, and who, at her death, was equally beloved and regretted, he has two surviving daughters, Sophia Mary and Mary Elizabeth.

His lordship's other surviving sons are, William Augustus, Horatio, and George Powis; his daughters are, Georgina; Mary Elizabeth, married to the earl of Chatham, Frances to Lord Dynevor, and Harriet Catherine to the earl of Dalkeith, eldest son of the duke of Buccleugh.

He bears for his arms, Quarterly, first and fourth, Townshend, Azure a chevron ermine between three es callop shells argent; second and third, Vere, In the center a crescent, for difference; Crest on a wreath, a buck tripping sable attired proper, and charged on the shoulder with a crescent or; supporters on the dexter side, a lion or, collared, chained, and charged on the shoulder with a pheon's head azure. On the sinister, a buck sable attired, collared and chained or, and charged on the shoulder with an escallop shell argent.

CAMDEN-PLACE is a seat, which stands on the west side of Chesilhurst-common, being made famous by two of its illustrious owners, its late lord, who took his title from it, and its former owner, from whom it takes its name, the great and learned William Camden, one of the most learned writers, diligent antiquaries, and impartial historians, that his own age, or this conntry, has produced. He was descended, on the mother's side, from the antient family of the Curwens, of Wirkington, in Cumberland, who were descended from Gospatrick, earl of Northumberland, as he himself informs us in his Britannia. He was second and then chief master of Westminster-school, and in 1597 was created Clarencieux, king at arms.

After being known, and admired, by the greatest ornaments of the literary world, for those works which so justly entitled him to the great character he obtained, and still preserves, he retired to this seat in 1609, and finding himself gradually declining with infirmities and old age, he no longer delayed his intention of founding the History Lecture at Oxford, but sent the gift of it to that university in the month of May, 1622. He did not live long after this, but died, after a severe fit of illness, at his house here on November 9, 1623, in the seventy-third year of his age. His body being removed to his house in London, was carried from thence to Westminster-abbey in great pomp, the whole college of heralds attending, in their proper habits, and great numbers of the nobility and persons of the first distinction, accompanying the solemity, where he was buried in the south isle, near the monument of Casaubon, and over against that of Chaucer. He bore for his arms, Or, a fess ingrailed sable, between six cross-croslets fitchee of the second. (fn. 11)

This seat, after Camden's death, was, most probably sold, and passed into the possession of several intermediate owners, of whom I cannot gain the least intelligence; after which it came into the possession of Weston, and afterwards of Harry Spencer, esq. who conveyed it by sale to Morrice, as he did to Charles Pratt, esq. afterwards created baron Camden of this place. He was the son of Sir John Pratt of Wilderness, in Seale, chief justice of the king's bench (and formerly one of the lords commissioners of the great seal) by his second wife, Elizabeth, daughter of the reverend Hugh Wilson, and having applied himself to the law, he was promoted to the office of attorneygeneral, and afterwards to that of chief justice of the common-pleas, and was knighted. Having sat some time in that court, with much popular applause, he was, on July 16, in 1765, advanced to the title of lord Camden, baron of Camden place, in this county, and next year, was made lord high chancellor, which high office he resigned in 1770, and retired to this seat, to which he made great additions and improvements, and to the grounds about it, and afterwards resided in it. On May 13, in 1786, he was farther advanced to the dignity of earl Camden and viscount Bayham, in Sussex; he died in 1794, being at that time president of the council and recorder of Bath, and was buried in the family vault in Seale church. He left by Elizabeth, his wife, daughter of Nicholas Jefferies, esq. (who died before him in 1779) one son, John Jefferies, viscount Bayham, who succeeded him in title and estate, and four daughters, Frances, married to Robert Stuart, esq. Elizabeth; Sarah to Nicholas Price, esq. and Jane to James Walter Head, esq.

John Jefferies earl Camden, so succeeding his father in title and in this seat, was at that time a lord of the treasury and a teller of the exchequer, and was elected recorder of Bath. He married, in 1786, Miss Molesworth, by whom he has issue. He resided at this seat, and was afterwards appointed lord lieutenant of the kingdom of Ireland, in the execution of which office he now resides there.

He bears for his arms, Sable on a fess, between three elephants heads erased argent, as many mullets of the first. His crest, An elephant's head erased argent. His supporters, On the dexter side, a griffin sable, beak and fore legs gules; on the sinister, a lion rampant or; each gorged with a collar argent, charged with three mullets sable.

In the 11th year of king Henry VI. the abbot and convent of Lesnes, in this county, were possessed of Tong Court, in Chesithurst, now called TownCourt Farm, which was then exchanged for a tenement in Plumsted, called Fulham-place. (fn. 12) It appears, by an inquisition in the 19th year of king Edward IV. by virtue of a commission of concealment, that Tho. Walsingham was, at his death, in the 7th year of that reign, possessed of the manor of Tang-court, which was then held of the earl of Warwick, as of his manor of Dartford, by knight's service, and was of the yearly value of six marcs, beyond reprises. Constance, widow of the above Thomas, possessed it after his death. She died anno 16 king Edward IV. and her second husband, John Grene, possessed it during the nonage of James Walsingham, her son. (fn. 13) How it passed from the name of Walsingham, I have not found, but that it afterwards came into the name of Hodsoll, at which time it bore the reputation of a manor, in the descend ant of which it continued down to Edward Hodsoll, esq. of St. Mary Cray, who died possessed of it in 1794, and was succeeded by his son of the same name, who died about a month after him, unmarried, on which it came to his sister, Mary Matilda Hodsoll, the present owner of it.

At some distance westward from Frognall is an OLD SEAT, which was for some generations in the possession of the family of Farrington. Thomas Farrington, esq. resided at it, and dying in 1694, was succeeded by his son, Thomas Farrington, esq. who was a lieutenant general in the army, and married Theodosia, daughter of Richard Betenson, esq. and one of the sisters and coheirs of Sir Edward Betenson, bart. of Scadbury, by whom he had one son, Thomas, and two daughters; Albinia, married to the marquis of Lindsey, afterwards duke of Ancaster; and Mary, married to John Selwyn, esq. He died in 1712, leaving the possession of this seat to his son, Thomas Farrington, esq. who at his death, without issue, in 1758, bequeathed it by will to his sister's son, the honourable lord Robert Bertie, third son of Robert Bertie, first duke of Ancaster, by his second wife, Albinia, daughter of lieutenant general Farrington, as above mentioned. Lord Robert Bertie married, in 1762, Mary, daughter and coheir of Montague, late lord viscount Blundell, in Ireland, and relict of Robert, late lord Raymond, by whom he had no issue, He resided here, and much improved both the house and adjoining grounds; he died, s.p. in 1782, and was buried here; since which it has become, by entail, made by lieutenant general Farrington in his will, the property of Charles Townshend, esq. only surviving brother to lord viscount Sydney, who now resides in it.

CHESILHURST is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese of Rochester, and deanry of Dartford. The church, which is dedicated to St. Nicholas, consists of two isles and two chancels. It has a spire steeple, which, as well as the roof of the church, is covered with shingles. In the belfry hang four bells.

In this church, among others, are the following monuments and inscriptions:—In the south isle, are memorials for the Golding's, Findall's, Owen's, and Poyntell's; on the south side, a monument for John Rand, who left a benefaction to the poor, obt. 1714; a monument for Sir Philip Warwick, obt. 1682, æt. 74, and his wife, Joan Fanshaw, of Ware-park, first married to Sir Wm. Boteler, bart. and for Philip Warwick, esq. their only son, who died an envoy to Sweden, in 1682. In the great chancel, a memorial for Mrs. Lucy, wife of William Dutton Colt, esq. daughter of Thomas Webb, esq. by Mrs. Eliz. Woodhouse, of Norfolk, and their daughter Eliz. æt. 6 years, obt. 1681; on a stone, before the altar rails, is a brass plate and inscription for Richard Carmarden, esq. supervisor of the customs and subsisidies in the port of London, obt. 1603, æt. 67; another like for Thomas Wigg, esq. husband of Mary, daughter of Richard Carmarden, esq. obt. 1602, æt. 49; another for Alice More, first wife of Richard Carmarden, esq. descended from those of Odiham, obt. 1586, æt. 42; on the south side, a monument for Rowland Tryon of Frognall, esq. and merchant of London, obt. 1720, æt. 53, Wm. being his brother and heir; another for Tho. Farrington, ob. 1712, æt. 48; he left his wife, Theodosia, of the family of Rich. Betenson, esq. surviving, and three children, Thomas his heir, Albinia married to the marquis of Lindsey, and Mary to John Selwyn; another for Thomas Farrington, who left surviving one son, Thomas, and Mary his wife, ob. 1694, æt. 63; and another for Mary Farrington, ob. 1717, æt. 71. Within the other altar rails, a stone with a brass plate, for Eliz. wife of Rob. Hickes, citizen and draper of London, and daughter of Edw. Poyntell, gent. ob. 1655, æt. 31. A memorial for Francis Fox, A. M. ob. 1686, æ43; a monument for the Cunliffe's; on the south side, under an arch, ornamented with Gothic work, an antient altar tomb, without any memorial; under an arch, on the north side, is a stone let into the wall, on which is a brass plate with the effigies of a priest at half length, and inscription in black letter, for Alex. Porter, rector, ob. 1452. In the north isle, a beautiful monument for lord Tho. Bertie, captain in the royal navy, ob. 1749, æt. 29; he was fourth son of Robert duke of Ancaster, by his second wife Albinia, daughter of lieut. gen. Farrington, who died in 1745, æt. 46, and lies buried here; a monument at the entrance and brass plate with the effigy of a woman, and inscription in black letter, for Custume Drylonde, wife of John Greene, esq. daughter of James Drylonde, esq. of Devyngton, ob. 1476; on the north side, under an arch of alabaster, is an altar tomb of Bethersden marble, for Sir Edm. Walsingham, lieut. of the Tower twenty-two years, ob. 1549, leaving three daughters and one son, Thomas, knighted, who erected this monument, and for Sir Tho. Walsingham, knt. the sixth in succession of that order, obt. 1630, æt. 64. Tho. Walsingham his son erected it. On a stone, near the above monument, on which were the effigies in brass of a man and woman, with four sons, now torn off, but there remain seven daughters, and inscription in black letter, for James Walsingham, esq. and Eleanor his wife, he died 1540, she died 15.; many of this family lie buried in a vault underneath. On the east side is an elegant mural monument, with an urn, by Rysbrack, for Roger Townshend, son of Charles viscount Townshend, by his first wife, Eliz. daughter of Thomas lord Pelham of Langton, ob. 1760, unmarried. Tho. Townshend his brother erected it. Near the above, a monument, shewing that in a vault, in this chancel, lies Sir Rich. Betenson, knt. and bart. he married Anne, eldest daughter of Sir Wm. Monyns of Waldershare, knt. and bart. by whom he had eleven children; she died at a great age in 1681, and lies buried here; his eldest son, Richard, married Albinia, daughter of Sir Christopher Wray of Lincolnshire, by whom he had nine children; Richard his son lies buried here; Sir Richard died 1679, æt. 78, being then sheriff of this county. On the north side is a monument with a pyramid and inscription, shewing that in the vault underneath lies Sir Ed. Betenson of Scadbury, bart. son of Rich. Betenson, esq. of Surry, and grandson of Sir Rich. Betenson, bart. of this county, obt. 1733, unmarried, æt. 58; the monument was erected by Albinia Selwyn Theodosia Farrington, and dame Francis Hewitt, his sisters and coheirs; several more of this family of Betenson, as well as the Farrington's, lie buried in a vault underneath. In this church, in the vault of the latter, lies lord Montague Bertie, second son of Robert, second duke of Ancaster, by his second wife; he died in 1753, and lord Rt. Bertie, his next brother, who died in 1782. (fn. 14)

King Henry I. gave the church of Chesilhurst, with all tithes, rights, and appurtenances, to the church of St. Andrew, and Gundulph, bishop of Rochester; and he afterwards confirmed this gift by another charter. (fn. 15) Bishop Gundulph, when he had separated his own maintenance from that of the monks, assigned them this church, among others, for their support; (fn. 16) and he afterwards granted them the free disposition and presentation of it. (fn. 17)

This church was confirmed to the priory of Rochester by archbishop Anselm and several of his successors, and by Henry II. but bishop Gilbert de Glanvill, about the beginning of king Richard I.'s reign, on pretence that his predecessor, bishop Gundulph, had impoverished his see, by his too large donations to the priory, diverted them of it; however, he reserved to them a pension of half a marc yearly our of the profits of it, which was confirmed to them by Henry bishop of Rochester, in the 11th year of king Henry III. and by several of his successors. Since which the patronage of this church has continued part of the possessions of the bishopric of Rochester, and remains so at this time.

At the dissolution of the priory of Rochester, in 1540, the pension of six shillings and eight-pence from this church came into the king's hands, who next year settled it, among other premises, on his new erected dean and chapter of Rochester, who are now entitled to it.

The church of Chesilhurst, in the 15th year of king Edward I. was valued at ten marcs. (fn. 18). It is valued in the king's books at 16l. 3s. 6½d. and the yearly tenths at 1l. 12s. 4½d. (fn. 19)

By virtue of the commission of enquiry into the value of church livings, in 1650, issuing out of chancery, it was returned, that Chesilhurst was a parsonage, sequestered, with a house and nine acres of glebe land, and two tenements, which were altogether worth 80l. per annum, one master Pearce performing the cure. (fn. 20)

The portion of tithes, which antiently belonged to the priory of Rochester, in the hamlet of Mottingham, which lies partly in this parish, and partly in that of Eltham, has already been taken notice of, in the description of the latter parish. On the dissolution of the priory it was settled by king Henry VIII. in his 32d year, among other premises, on his newerected dean and chapter of Rochester, whose property it now continues.


JOHN CANAN by will, in 1630, gave to this parish 10s. yearly, charged upon his house and land in North Cray, vested in trust, and of the annual produce as above.

SARAH COWELL by will, in 1638, gave the sum of 12l. out of the interest of which she ordered that 16s. should be paid every year on Maundy Thursday, to eight poor widows or poor women, now vested in the parish stock, and of the annual produce of 1l. as will be farther mentioned.

The Rev. ABRAHAM COLFE, by will, in 1659, gave one penny loaf, to be distributed each Sunday to one poor householder after divine service, the money vested in the Leathersellers company, by a commission of charitable uses in 1698, now of the annual produce of 4s. 4d.

THOMAS PHILPOTT by will, in 1680, gave several tenements in Eltham parish, for building six alms-houses in that parish, and for the maintenance of six poor people—to be chosen, four out of Eltham, and two out of Chesilhurst, for ever, vested in trustees, of which more has been already mentioned under Eltham.

Sir PHILIP WARWICK by will, in 1682, gave 100l. the interest of it to be laid out yearly in putting a child of this parish to some sea service, which money is now 150l. 3 per cent. consol. Bank ann. vested in trustees, and now of the annual produce of 4l. 10s.

JOHN RAND by will, in 1705, gave 6s. a year for ever, and two houses and land, about three acres, now in the parish stock, as hereafter mentioned, to be distributed to the poor of it, by the minister and churchwardens, on the first Sunday in November; among the poorest widowers and widows, 3s. to each, and now of the above annual produce. He died in 1714, and lies buried in this church.

MARY FARRINGTON by will, in 1714, gave among such poor people annually, as the minister and churchwardens should see proper, eight lottery tickets, which proved blanks, and afterwards, with many changes and difficulties amounted to 70l. in the 3 per cent. consol. Bank ann. vested in trust, and of the annual produce of 2l. 2s.

Rev. G. WILSON by will, in 1718, gave, to teach the children to sing Psalms, and to buy Bibles, Prayer Books, and books of devotion, for the poor, two houses, now the school-house, adjoining to the poor house, and of the annual produce of 4l.

THOMAS MOORE, esq. in 1733, by will, gave a sum of money to the charity school, to be disposed of as the trustees should see proper, which school being dissolved, and another established in 1757, the money was vested in the 3 per cent. consol. Bank ann. for the use of the new school, in money, now 100l. in the same annuities, and of the annual produce of 3l.

JOHN HARVILL, In 1781, executed a deed, which was inrolled in chancery, and was done in order to fulfil the design of his brother, William Harvill, who had left the same by will, but was void on account of the act of Mortmain, to teach six boys reading, writing, and accounts, a tenement in Chesilhurst, vested in trustees, and of the annual produce of 9l.

Several of the above charities, viz. Cowell's, Warwick's, Rand's, and Wilson's, which had been vested in land or houses before the year 1760, were by act, anno 33 Geo. II. vested in lord Robert Bertie, and other securities of greater value provided in their room, for the benefit of the poor of this parish, as above specified, a poor hosue or workhouse being erected by lord Robert Bertie, on condition that the parish rates should fulfil the design of Cowell's charity, by the annual distribution of 1l. among the poor, and of Rand's, by the distribution of 6l. per annum in November according to his will, the same lord Rob. Bertie building the school house adjoining, the rent of which is appropriated to the use of Mr. Wilson's will, the sum of 100l. being laid out in the purchase of 3 per cent. consol. ann. to fulfil the design of Warwick's will.

Church Of Chesilhurst.

Or by whom presented.
Bishop of Rochester Stephen. (fn. 21)
John de Wilmingtone, 1316. (fn. 22)
Adam de Bromleigh. (fn. 23)
Alex. Porter, died in May, 1452.
Robert Garret, died 1560. (fn. 24)
Ralph Harvie, in 1589. (fn. 25)
A. Topham, D. D. Ap. 6, 1630. (fn. 26)
Richard Chase, A. M. 1636.
Richard Edwards, 1653, 1660.
Geo. Wilson, obt. Oct. 11, 1718. (fn. 27)
Thomas More, A. M. July 25, 1719, obt. July 1769.
Francis Wollaston, L.L.B. 1769. Present rector. (fn. 28)

The BOTANISTS have observed the following SCARCE PLANTS in this parish:

Sparteum Batavicum et Anglicum ceu sparteum nostras parvum Hollandicum capillaceo folio minus, on Chesihurst com. Saxifraga alba petræa, white rock saxifrage, in the woods of this parish.
Oxys alba, white wood serrel. A rare kind of hippuris, or horsetail, which grows up with many little branches, putting forth at each joint many little leaves; the joints towards the tops of the branches thick, the colour of the plant grey, inclining to green.
Trifolium acetosum vulg. variat flore rubro, in Stockwell wood in this parish.
Pinguicula five sanicula Eboracensis, butterwort or Yorksh. sanicle. planted here by Dr. Bowles.
Millegrana minima, dwarf allseed, or rupture grafs, on Chesilhurst common. Herba paris, herb true love, or one berry. (fn. 29)


  • 1. Rot. Esch ejus an. Dugd. Bar. vol. ii. p. 94.
  • 2. Rot. Esch. eor. an. Dugd. Bar. vol. i. p. 306. vol.ii. 124.
  • 3. Hist. Greville, p. 54, et seq.
  • 4. Augment. Off. Leases.
  • 5. Phillpott, p. 114.
  • 6. Rot. Esch. ejus an.
  • 7. See his life in Biog. Brit. vol. vii. p. 4137.
  • 8. Coll. Peer. last edit. vol. vi. p. 239, et seq.
  • 9. His interesting "Memoires of the reigne of king Charles I. with a continuation to the happy Restauration of king Cha. II." were published from the original manuscript, in 1701.
  • 10. See Wood's Ath. vol. i. Fasti, p. 277.
  • 11. Biographia Brit. p. 1119, et seq. vol. ii.
  • 12. Tan. Mon. p. 216.
  • 13. Inquis. ejus an. No. 78.
  • 14. See an account at large of the monuments and memorials in this church, in Reg. Roff. p. 929.
  • 15. Reg. Roff. p. 34.
  • 16. Dugd. Mon. vol. iii. p. 1.
  • 17. Reg. Roff. p. 6. 353.
  • 18. Stev. Mon. vol. I. p. 456.
  • 19. Bacon Lib. Regis.
  • 20. Lambeth Surveys, vol. xiv.
  • 21. Reg. Roff. p. 227.
  • 22. Ibid. p. 228.
  • 23. Ibid. p. 353.
  • 24. Also rector of Hayes, where he lies buried.
  • 25. Custom Roff. p. 38.
  • 26. Presented by the lord keeper. Rymer's Fœdrus, vol. xix. p. 259.
  • 27. He was, by his will, a benefactor to Bromley charity-school, of which parish he was curate.
  • 28. In April 1777, he was made precentor of St. David's.
  • 29. See Merrett's Pinax, p. 58, 90, 94. Johnson's Ger. Herb. 569, 842, 1115, 1201, 1630.