Parishes: Plumsted

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

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'Parishes: Plumsted', in The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 2, (Canterbury, 1797) pp. 203-227. British History Online [accessed 19 April 2024]

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LIES the next parish northward from East Wickham, on the banks of the river Thames, which is its northern boundary.

This parish, which contains about two thousand three hundred acres of land, lies so much exposed to the damp and foggy air of the marshes, that it is far from being healthy. The high road to Woolwich passes through it, separating the marshes from the upland; on this road stands the village of Plumsted, having the Plumsted park-house nearly in the center of it, and the court-lodge, church, and parsonage to the eastward, and a little farther the hamlet of Bostall, or Boston, as it is frequently called, and the heath of the same name; southward of the village is Plumsted common. The upland or southern part of the parish is very hilly, and much covered with coppice woods, not less than four hundred acres, reaching up to the high Dover road, and taking into its bounds the whole northern side of Shooter's-hill, an account of which, with the buildings on it, has been already given under the description of the adjoining parish of Eltham. The southern upland in this parish is very poor, being mostly gravel, or a stiff clay. The lower part is more fertile, in which are included ninety acres, used for market gardens, of which fifty are for green peas, and about one hundred acres of orchard, chiefly planted with cherries. The more northern part, being the marsh land, which is bounded northward by the river Thames, contains near a thousand acres, being about a mile and a half across each way; these marshes are very rich and fertile, about one hundred acres of them are annually ploughed up, and bear exceeding great crops of corn. Between Plumsted and Crayford, in a lane leading to the marshes, is found Muscus Palmaris, quatuor gestans in summitate folia ad instar Tormentillœ. (fn. 1)

King Edgar, in the year 960, gave to the monastery of St. Austin, near the city of Canterbury, four plough lands, called Plumstede, which were afterwards taken away by Godwyn, earl of Kent, who gave them to his fourth son Tostan.

King Edward the Consessor restored them again to the monastery; but on his death, in the year 1066, Tostan again took possession of them. He was slain in rebellion against his brother king Harold, who seized on this among the rest of his estates. After the fatal battle of Hastings, in which king Harold lost both his kingdom and his life, the Conqueror gave it, among other vast possessions in this county, to Odo, bishop of Baieux, his half brother, whom he afterwards made earl of Kent; soon after which a moiety of this land, at the intercession of archbishop Lanfrance, and by the interest of Scotland, then abbot of St. Austin's, who was a Norman by birth, and had been presented to this post by the king himself, was restored to that monastery, and by the conqueror's charter confirmed to it. Odo, bishop of Baieux, at the same time quitting his claim to it, and subscribing this donation. Not long after which Odo, by his deed, anno 1074, made a grant to the abbot and convent of the other moiety of this parish of Plumsted, to hold of him as chief lord of the fee. (fn. 2)

Accordingly these moieties are thus separately entered in the survey of Domesday, which was taken about the year 1080.

The former, under the title of the land of the church of St. Augustine, as follows:

In Litelai hundred. The abbot of St. Augustine has 1 manor, named Plumstede, which was taxed at 2 sulings and 1 yoke. The arable land is . . . . In demesne there is 1 carucate and 17 villeins, with 6 cottagers, having 6 carucates, there is wood for the pannage of 5 hogs. In the time of king Edward the Confessor, and afterwards it was worth 10 pounds, now 12 pounds, and yet it pays 14 pounds and 8 shillings and 3 pence.

The latter thus, under the general title of the bishop of Baieux's lands:

The abbot of St. Augustine holds of the bishop of Baieux, Plumsted. It was taxed at 2 sulings and 1 yoke. The arable land is 5 carucates. In demesne there is 1 carucate and 17 villeins, with 3 borderers, hav ing 4 carucates. There is wood for the pannage of 5 hogs. In the time of king Edward the Confessor it was worth 10 pounds, when he received it 8 pounds, and now as much, and yet he who holds it pays 12 pounds. Brixi Cilt held it of king Edward.

Reginald, son of Gervase de Cornhill, who lived about that time, released to the abbot and convent all claim in this manor from David de Cornhill, and Robert his brother, who had rented it of them. In 1273 Nicholas de Spina was elected abbot of this monastery, and the next year there was a general aid paid to him, as for his palfrey, by the several tenants of it, those of Plumsted paying him seven pounds. (fn. 3)

Lora de Ros, lady of Horton, in 1287, quit-claimed to Thomas, abbot, and the convent of St. Augustine, all her right to two carucates of land, and fifty acres of wood, in the manor of Plumsted, in consideration of which, they granted, that she and her heirs should be partakers of the prayers performed in their church, in the same manner as their own brothers and domestics. It seems that Robert, the last abbot but one, had recovered a moiety of this manor against Richard de Ros, her kinsman, whose heir she was; it having been found, by a jury of grand assize, that his ancestors held this land in see farm of the abbot and convent at the rent of twelve pounds per annum. (fn. 4)

In the 7th year of king Edward II. the abbot was summoned before Hervy de Stanton, and his societies, Justices itinerant in this county, to shew by what right he claimed sundry liberties, as well on the land as the water, in his manor of Plumstede, and others by them specified; and free warren in all his demesne lands in this manor and others, and a market weekly in his manor of Plumsted on a Wednesday, and a fair yearly in it for three days, on the Eve day, and morrow of St. Nicholas; and view of frank pledge, and whatsoever belonged to it in this manor among others; and wais and wreck of the sea, together with year and waste, and all cattle, called weif, in this manor among others; to which the abbot pleaded, that king Edward I. by his charter, granted to St. Augustine, and the convent there, the liberty of soke and sake, &c. as abovementioned, which charter he then produced. And further, that the then king (Edward II.)—having inspected the charter of confirmation of the late king Henry his grandfather, (fn. 5) in which was contained that of the late king John his father, by which the latter granted and confirmed to the church of St. Augustine, and the abbot and monks there, in free, pure, and perpetual alms, for ever, their fake and foke, and breach of the peace, and other privileges, and their toll upon the land and the water, and the custom called theomas, upon all their tenants in see simple, which they had had given them, &c.—had confirmed those grants and confirmations of king John and king Henry, to the then abbot and convent. By reason of all which he claimed the above liberties, and he further said, that the liberties in the aforesaid charter of king Edward were allowed in the last iter of John de Berewick, and others his sociates, justices itinerant in this county. And as to free warren, market, fair, (fn. 6) view of frank pledge, and wreck of the sea, together with all liberties and free customs, year and waste, and cattle called waifs in the manors of Plumstede, &c. that all these liberties were allowed in the said last iter. And that the king had confirmed the said grant and confirmation of king Edward his father, to the then abbot and convent, and their successors, as by his charter more plainly appeared.

And further the abbot pleaded, that the then king, having inspected the record of John de Berewick, and his sociates, justices itinerant of the late king Edward, in the 21st year of his reign, to hold the common pleas in this county, concerning the liberties claimed and allowed in it; for some of which the abbot and convent had not as yet had any charter from any of the king's progenitors; therefore, being willing to provide for the security of the abbot and convent, and their successors, and to do them a further favor, the king granted and confirmed to them by his charter, that they should have for ever, in their manors, all the liberties contained in the record, &c. granting likewise to them, that although neither they nor their predecessors had as yet used any of these liberties, yet that they should, by virtue of the said charter, fully use and enjoy them, and every part thereof, for ever, without any hindrance or impediment from the king or his officers, &c. which charter was dated at Dover, in the 6th year of king Edward II. (fn. 7) upon which the whole of these liberties was allowed to the abbot and convent by the justices itinerant.

King Edward III. in his 5th year, exempted the men and tenants of the manor of Plumsted from their attendance at the turne of the sheriff, heretofore made by the borsholder, with four men of each borough within it, and directed his writ to Roger de Reynham, then sheriff of Kent, commanding, that for the future they should be allowed to perform it with one man only, and by his charter of inspeximus, in his 36th year, he confirmed to the monastery all the manors and possessions given to it by former kings, among which is that of William the Conqueror granting back this manor of Plumsted to the abbot and convent, with the testimony of bishop Odo to it, releasing all claim he might have to it. At the same time king Edward confirmed to them, by his like charter, the several grants of liberties and confirmations made by the kings his predecessors, among which are those which have been mentioned before.

By a taxation of the temporalities of this monastery, in the reign of king Richard II. those at Plumsted were valued at 69l. 10s. 6d. (fn. 8) King Henry VI. confirmed the several liberties formerly granted to this monastery. (fn. 9)

This manor, together with the church of Plumsted and the chapel of Wickham annexed to it, remained part of the possessions of the monastery till its final dissolution, in the 30th year of king Henry VIII. when this noble abbey, with all its revenues, was surrendered into the king's hands by John Essex, then abbot, and thirty more members of it. (fn. 10)

The manor and church of Plumsted becoming thus vested in the crown, died not long remain there; for on January 20th following, the king, by deed inrolled in the Augmentation-office, (fn. 11) granted, in exchange for other estates, to Sir Edward Boughton, of Burwashcourt, in this parish, this manor, and the parsonage late belonging to St. Augustine's monastery; and all tythes of corn and grain, and other things belonging to the same, within the parishes and villages of Plumsted, Bostall, Wickham, Welling, Woolwich, Bexley, Leseness, Erith, and Yard, alias Crayford, and the advowson of the vicarage of Plumsted, and of the chapel of Wickham thereunto annexed, at the yearly rent of four pounds, and next year Sir Edward Boughton, among others, procured his lands and possessions to be disgavelled by act of parliament; being called in the act, Sir Edward Bowton, as his name was then pronounced. He bore for his arms, Gules, on a fess argent, three fleurs de lis azure, between three goats heads erased of the third, attired, or.

King Henry VIII. in his 33d year, made a further grant to him of one hundred and twenty acres of marsh land, then covered with water, in this parish, parcel of the manor, adjoining northward to fifty acres of Martin Bowes; and several parcels of wood in Wickham, and other premises in Plumsted, in the possession of Martin Bowes, to hold in capite by knights service. (fn. 12) He died in the 4th year of king Edward VI. possessed of this manor, with the church, and the chapel of East Wickham, four messuages, and eleven hundred acres of arable, marsh, pasture, and wood, in Plumsted, then held as before-mentioned. In all which he was succeeded by his son, Nicholas Boughton, esq. on whose death in the 9th year of queen Elizabeth, his son and heir, Edward Boughton, esq. had possession granted of this estate, then held of the king in the like manner; though among the escheat rolls of the reign of king Henry VIII. and the succeeding ones, there are many entries of the sale of lands, parts of this manor, made by Sir Edward Boughton and his descendants, to different persons. His descendant, Mr. Boughton, was in the possession both of the manor and church of Plumsted, in the year 1656, (fn. 13) whose heirs in 1685 sold them to John Michel, esq. of Richmond, in Surry, whose family had been for many years seated at Old Windsor, where they had a good estate. In the chancel of which church there are many memorials of this family, and in the church-yard, adjoining to the chancel wall, is a vault belonging to them. They bore for their arms, Azure, three leopards heads, or, a chief embattled, ermine. (fn. 14) Humphry Michel, esq. was surveyor of Windsor-castle to queen Elizabeth, and died in 1598, having had two wives; first, Catherine Hobbs, by whom he had one son, Francis; secondly, Frances, daughter and heir of Francis Waller, esq. by whom he had Samuel, and four daughters. Samuel Michel married Anne, daughter and heir to Isaac Rudstone, of Bocton Monchelsey, in Kent, by whom he had two sons, John and Humphry. She afterwards married William Duke, esq, of Richmond. Samuel Michel, esq. died in 1613; John, his eldest son, died in 1661, leaving a son, John; Humphry, the second son, died without issue, in 1696, and left his nephew, John, sole heir male of this family. John Michel, son of John, by Benet, daughter and coheir of Mathew Read, of Folkestone, perfected the endowment begun by him of an alms-house at Richmond, where he resided, and dying unmarried, by his will, in 1736, (fn. 15) devised this manor of Plumsted, with his marsh land in this parish, his manor of Horton-Kirkby, and all his lands and marsh lands in Sandwich and Worde, in this county, and his lands and tenements in Old Windsor, to the provost and scholars of Queen's college, in Oxford, and their successors for ever; to the intent, that out of the revenues of the same, eight master-fellows and four bachelor-scholars might be maintained in the college, with such competent allowances as the income thereof might bear, which, by a moderate computation, would amount to fifty pounds per annum each master, and thirty pounds per annum each bachelor; and it was by his will provided, that after the above payments were satisfied, there would be a competent fund to answer extraordinary occasions; and that all surplusages, which might arise out of the estates by fine, improvement of rents, and sales of timber, &c. should be laid out in the purchasing of advowsons, or presentations to livings, above the value of 120l. per annum, to be annexed for ever to these fellowships, with several other regulations mentioned in the will.

But the provost and scholars of queen's college, not thinking themselves sufficiently empowered to put this will in execution, procured an act of parliament, in the 25th of king George II. for this purpose; and four under graduate exhibitioners were added by another-act, passed in 1769, in which trust the inheritance of this manor is at present vested. The court lodge, which is a neat building, is situated near the church, being inhabited by Mr. John Budgen, who is the lessee of the manor farm and demesnes belonging to it. The manor of Plumsted extends over this parish and part of that of East Wickham. A court leet and court baron is held for it; the quit rents are considerable; all the tenants are freeholders. At the court leet a constable and ale conner are elected for the parish of Plumsted.

The fee farm rent of four pounds, at first payable for this manor, by the grant of king Henry VIII. to Sir Edward Boughton, still continues to be paid for it; though by the several alienations of him and his descendants, it is divided into several proportions, paid by the provost and scholars of Queen's college, Oxon; Matthew Kenrick, esq. the heirs of Sir Francis Leigh; the heirs of John Bennet and Henry Spencer, esq. (in right of their wives, heirs of Sir John Leigh) John Lidgbird, esq. Mr. Matthew Henderup; the heir of Mr. John Denham; Mr. Thomas Murray; and Mrs. Rachel Hoskins; for parts of this manor in their several tenures.

Burwash-Court, now commonly called Burrishplace, is a seat in this parish, lying at the western bounds of it, almost adjoining to the town of Woolwich. It formerly was of some account, from its being the property of the noble family of Burghersh, or, as they were commonly called, Burwash, who settled their name on it.

Bartholomew de Burghersh, a man of great eminence in the time of king Edward III. died in the 29th year of that reign, possessed of this estate, as appears by the inquisition taken after his death; and that it was then esteemed a manor; (fn. 16) whose eldest son and heir, of the same name, was in such high esteem with king Edward III. that, on the institution of the order of the Garter, he was made one of the knights companions of it.

He passed this estate away, with much other land in this county, in the 43d year of that reign, to Sir Walter de Paveley, K.G. in whose family it remained until the latter end of king Richard II. and then it was conveyed to Vaux, of Northamptonshire; in which name it staid till the latter end of Henry VI.'s reign, when it was alienated to John Grene, esq. whose son, Sir Thomas Grene, was found, jointly with Matilda his wife, to hold this manor and seat of Borowashe at the time of his death, in the 4th year of king Edward IV. Thomas Grene, his son, being then an insant.

In this family it remained till the beginning of king Henry VIII.'s reign, when it was sold to Sir Edward Boughton, who made this place his residence; and one of his descendants, in the reign of Charles I. passed it away by sale to Mr. Rowland Wilson, of London, who, upon his decease, gave it to his daughter, who first married Dr. Crisp, and afterwards Col. Row of Hackney; both of whom, in her right, became possessed of a life estate in it; after which it became vested in the daughter and heir of Sir Rowland Crisp, who married Nathaniel Macey, esq. whose daughter and heir, marrying James Pattison, esq. he became entitled to it. Their son, Mr. Nathaniel Pattison, resided here, and died a few years ago possessed of this seat, leaving two sons and a daughter, who married John Martin, esq. and he now resides in it.

BORSTALL, or as it is commonly called, Bostoll, is a hamlet in the eastern part of this parish, which was always reputed a manor.

In the beginning of the reign of king Henry VII. this manor of Borstal was in the possession of John Cutte, gent. of Essex, who sold it, in the 19th year of that reign, to the abbot and convent of St. Peter in Westminster. By an indenture, in the 19th of king Henry VII. between that king and John Islippe, abbot of Westminster, and the prior and convent of that monastery, the king granted them, on condition of various religious services and charities to be performed in it, during his life as well as afterwards, several advowsons, and the lands, tenements, and possessions of them, and in ready money, 5150l. to purchase other manors, lands, &c. With this money they purchased, among others, this manor of Borstall of John Cutte, with other lands in Plumsted, Lesnes, Borstall, and Erith. (fn. 17) After which the manor of Borstall continued in the possession of this monastery till its final dissolution, in the 31st of king Henry VIII. when it was, with all its possessions, surrendered up into the king's hands by William Benson, the abbot, and seventeen monks, the king placing in their room a dean and prebendaries.

But this establishment was soon again dissolved, for the king next year made it an episcopal fee, and this church of St. Peter a cathedral church, consisting of a bishop, a dean, and twelve prebendaries, and constituted Thomas Thurlby the first bishop of it. (fn. 18) After which, by other letters patent, in the 34th year of his reign, the king granted to the dean and chapter, and their successors, several manors, lands, &c. particularly specified, ordaining, that they should yearly elect and maintain twenty students of divinity at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. Afterwards, on consideration of the king's discharging them of the maintenance of these students, William Benson, then dean of Westminster, and the chapter, in the 36th year of that reign, granted to the king, for ever, among others, the manor of Borstall, with its appurtenances, late in the occupation of John at Deane. (fn. 19) Soon after which the king granted it to Jane Wilkinson, to hold in capite; and she next year alienated it to Thomas Bowes, gent. and the heirs male of Martin Bowes his father, to hold of the king in like manner. (fn. 20) His descendant of the same name sold it to it to Barnes; and in the 17th of queen Elizabeth, George Barnes was possessed of the manors of Borstall, alias Bostall, and Plumsted, alias Acon, held as above mentioned. As to which latter manor, in the 15th year of king Edward III. Thomas, the son and one of the heirs of Edmund Lambyn, of London, granted to Sir John de Pulteneye all his right to those lands, which fell to him after his father's death, in Plumsted and Est Wickham, of which this manor was part. In the 17th year of that reign Sir John de Pulteney granted to Thomas de Columbers an annuity of ten marcs, issuing out of it. He died possessed of it anno 23 Edward III. as appears by the escheat rolls of that year, leaving William de Pulteney his son and heir. In the 4th year of king Henry IV. Reginald de Cobham, senior, died possessed of it. Afterwards it became parcel of the possessions of the hospital of St. Thomas of Acon, in Cheapside, London; whence it became to be called Plumsted, alias Acon; where it continued till the surrendry of that hospital by Laurence Gospeller, the master of it, in the 30th year of king Henry VIII. George Barnes, mentioned above, had afterwards a grant of this manor of Plumsted, alias Acon, held in capite by knights service, and several messuages, with thirteen hundred acres of land, in Plumsted, alias Acon, Borstall, alias Bostall, and Woolwich, held by like tenure.

John Barnes was in the possession of both manors in the 20th year of that reign, when he settled the whole of this estate, in trustees, for the use of himself for life, remainder to Edward Altham, and Elizabeth his wife, who was his daughter. (fn. 21) Soon after which it became vested in the Clothworkers company of the city of London, part of whose revenues it remains at this time. Part of these lands are still called by the name of Westminster, as having formerly belonged to the abbey there. The company's estate here is let out by them in different parcels; one part, which lies near Woolwich, is called Bramblebury, and is occupied by General Sir William Greene, bart. of the corps of engineers.

SUFFOLK-PLACE FARM is an estate, situated in the hamlet of Bostall likewife, which took its name from its noble possessor, Charles Brandon, duke of Suffolk, in the reign of king Henry VIII who alienated it in the 27th year of that reign to Sir Martin Bowes, from whose descendant it passed away with the above mentioned manors to Barnes, by the female heir of which name it went, by marriage, with them to Altham, and James (son of Sir Edward Altham, by his second wife Joan, daughter of Sir John Leverthorp, and grandson of Elizabeth Barnes) sold it in 1650, to Sir Robert Joselyn, by whom it was conveyed in 1665, to the company, for the propagation of the gospel at Boston, in New England, in whom it is now vested.

Among the manuscripts of Roger Dodsworth, in the Bodleian library in Oxford, is a charter of William de Ros, concerning the gift of the HERMITAGE here to the canons of St. Mary Overy's, in Southwark. (fn. 22)

In the 11th year of king Henry VI. the abbot and convent of Lesnes exchanged their tenement, called Tang-court, in Chesilhurst, for an estate in this parish, called Fulham's-place. (fn. 23)

There is an estate in this parish, called PLUMSTED PARK FARM, consisting of a good house, situated in the centre of the village of Plumsted, with a large tract of land, called the Park, belonging to it. In 1765, it was the property of Mr. Derbyshire, by whom it was purchased of the heirs of Joshua Lomax; he that year alienated it to Mr. Curtis, merchant, of London, who sold it to William Coleman, esq. as he did to Mr. Richard Bowser, of Southwark, the present possessor of it,

The account of the MARSHES in this parish, and the imbanking of them, and the several accidents which have happened to them, and the other marshes in the neighbouring parishes, adjoining the Thames, may be seen fully described in Dugdale's History of Imbanking. The care and management of them is now united under the Commission of Sewers, extending from Lumbard's-wall, a little below Greenwich, to Gravesendbridge. The first mention that I find made of the inning of the marshes in this parish, is from the annals of St. Augustine's monastery, which report, that in 1279, anno 8 Edward I. the abbot and convent of Lyesnes inclosed a great part of their marsh in Plumsted; and that within twelve years after they inned the rest of it, to their no small benefit.

The first mention that there is of these marshes, which border on this part of the river Thames, having been put under the care of persons, authorised by the king to take the management of them, is in the 8th year of king Edward II. John Abel and John de Hortone being then, by letters patent, constituted commissioners for the viewing and repairing the banks, ditches, &c. and for the safeguard, from the overflowing of the tide, of those marshes which lie between Dartford, Flete, and Greenwich. From which time there were commissions, year after year almost, in the several succeeding reigns, granted to different persons, to view and repair the several breaches made by the tides, and the defaults in the walls and sewers, occasioned by the neglect of the occupiers and owners of the marshes, from London bridge as far as Gravesend, and to hear and determine all matters relating to them, according to the marsh law, and according to the law and custom of the realm, and the custom of Romney marsh. (fn. 24) Yet notwithstanding these continual appointments, and the care of the commissioners in seeing them put into execution, such had been the backwardness of some, that for want of the timely repair of those breaches, which through the violence of the des were made in Plumsted, Lesnes, and Erith, the marshes of Plumsted and Lesnes had not only been suffered to be drowned, but after several taxes had been made for regaining them, and for making a new crofs wall, from the Thames to the Upland, for the inning of Plumsted marsh, and a number of acres in the levels and marshes of Lesnes, defending them from the overflowing water which entered at Erith breach; and for farther maintenance of the old marsh walls by the Thames side, from the New Cross wall, nigh Wolwyche, several that were assessed not paying their proportion, these marshes and the level would have been irrecoverably lost, had not the bailiff of the marsh, and others, by his assignment, laid down the money. Therefore, for the recovery of those assessments, and the better levying of such sums of money, as had been before employed for the inning and defence of those marshes, upon complaint made in parliament in the 22d of king Henry VIII. an act passed for that purpose, as another did in the 37th year of it. (fn. 25) But all this care seems to have been insufficient; for some time after this, it was represented to the parliament, in the 5th year of queen Elizabeth, that there were two thousand acres in the parishes of Erith, Plumsted, and Lesnes, which, in former times, were good pasture grounds and meadows, but by breaches in the walls within thirty years, had been laid waste by the inundation of the Thames; and that one Jacobus Acontyus, an Italian, servant to the queen, had undertaken, at his own charges, their recovery, in consideration of a moiety of them for his charges; but the lords and owners of them were many, and had several kinds of estates in them, so that their confent could not be procured. It was therefore enacted, that he and his assigns should, at their cost and charges, after the 10th of March, 1562, during the term of four years next following inne, fence, and win these grounds or any parcel of them, and that having so done, he, his heirs, executors, or their nominees, in consideration of such recompence, should have one moiety of them, to be parted from the rest within two years after the winning of them, by four or more discreet commissioners, to be appointed by the lord chancellor or lord keeper; after which lots were to be cast for the assigning each proportion to the parties. After which queen Elizabeth issued out a commission, in her 7th year, to inquire whether Acontius, who undertook the innings of these marshes, had accordingly performed it. Upon which they certified, in the beginning of the next year, that six hundred acres were then won and inned, with walls, banks, &c. from the water and flood of the river Thames, according to the tenor of the act; all which was more particularly taken notice of by another act, made in that year, in which it appears, that Jacobus Acontius had won some part of them, which was, by the violence of the floods, shortly after lost; and not being able to recover it, he deputed John Baptista Castilion, one of the grooms of the queen's privychamber, with several others, citizens of London, at their costs and charges, to inne, fence, and win the same, or some convenient portion thereof; in consequence of which they did inne and win a part thereof, containing about six hundred acres, of which a division was made, and the one part, called the East Marsh, was allotted to Acontius and his assigns; and the other, called the West Marsh, to the owners, &c. The East Marsh being assigned by Acontius to John Baptista Castilion and others, as above mentioned, in consideration of their charge, which amounted to five thousand pounds; upon which it was enacted, that Castilion and the rest of the undertakers above mentioned, should have their part to them and their heirs for ever, to be held of the chief lord of the fee, by such services as it was formerly held; and further, that they should have power to inne and win the rest of the surrounded grounds, for the next ensuing eight years, and to enjoy a moiety of what should be so won, to be divided by lots, as in the former act. And in the 14th year of the same reign, another act was made, by which it appears, that the work was not finished; and granting eight years more to Castilion, and the rest of the undertakers, to accomplish their work in, and to have the moiety so won and divided.

After this, in the 23d of that reign, by another act it appears, that since the former one, all the parts of the undertaking were come to the hands of John Baptista Castilion, and of Thomas Smith, George Barnes, Richard Young, Thomas Fisher, Ferdinando Pointz, James Guichardine, and Roger James; and as the eight years were fully expired, and the inning thereof having been hindered by floods and tempests, it could not be finished without longer time; it was therefore enacted, that it should be lawful for the parties to inne the same within two years after the end of that session of parliament, and then to enjoy the moiety of such partition, and to take such reed and earth upon the premises as they should find needful. (fn. 26) And in consideration of their maintaining the banks one whole year after winning them, that they should have an half of the eighth part of the other half so won, to be divided as above mentioned; and further, that in consideration of the great charges about the same, the premises should be discharged of all tithes whatsoever for the seven years next after the inning of them; and that all shelves and forelands between the said banks and the river Thames should be kept and maintained at the common charge of the owners and inners, their heirs and assigns; and that no earth or reeds should be taken from them, but for the use and repair of the banks, upon penalty of five pounds for every such ofsence, to the inners or owners, who were authorised to sue for the same in any court of record. In the 27th year of the same reign another act passed for the more effectual inning of Erith and Plumsted Marsh. Three years after which, in 1587, there was an inning of one thousand acres more. The great breach being not then made up, by which about five hundred acres next to Lesnes still continued under water. (fn. 27) In the 4th year of king James, upon a petition exhibited in parliament, for the inning and winning of the marsh grounds, lying in the drowned marshes of Lesnes and Fants, which had been of long time overflowed, it was enacted that William Burrell, gent. of Middlesex (who had covenanted with the owners of those surrounded grounds, by indentures made between them and him, in 1606, for the consideration therein expressed, to do his best endeavour therein) should have power to enter on the work, and to take reed and earth on any part of the drowned marshes, so that he dug not within twenty rods of any wall already made within that marsh. And that immediately after his accomplishment of it, he, his heirs, and assigns, should have one half of all the grounds so inned, according to the purport of the indenture; the other moiety to belong to the owners of the marsh grounds, according to the several proportions of their quantities which they then had in those grounds, to be holden of Edmund Cooke, esq. his heirs and assigns, as of his manor of Lesnes and Fants, in free socage, by fealty and one penny rent for every acre, and not in chief or by knights service; and that, in consideration of the great charges of this work, the inned marshes should be discharged from all tithes and tenths whatsoever, for the term of seven years next after the inning, winning, and fencing of them. (fn. 28)

The above is the last application made to parliament on account of these marshes, from which time they have been subject to the same orders and method of taxation that the rest of the neighbouring marshes have, under the directions of the commissioners of sewers, extending from Lumbarde's-wall to Gravesend-bridge, as before mentioned.


JEFFRY SMITH gave, by will, in 1611, a payment of 40s. per annum to the poor of this parish, out of a field of seven acres in Stratford Bow, the yearly rent of it, in 1718, being 6l. It is now vested in the minister and church wardens, and of the annual produce of 2l.

HANNAH SCOTT, in 1677, gave by will, 100l. for the benefit of the poor, since laid out in the purchase of freehold lands in Bromley, vested in the minister and churchwardens, of the annual produce of 7l.

JOHN GOSSAGE, in 1672, gave for the like purpose, to be given away yearly, in bread, lands in Plumsted, vested in the same, and of the annual produce of 2l. 10s.

PLUMSTED is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese of Rochester and deanry of Dartford. The church stands at the east end of the village, and is dedicated to St. Nicholas. It formerly consisted of a nave, two side isles, and a chancel, but in the early part of the last century the whole was in so dilapidated a state that the roof fell in, in which condition it laid for near twenty years, when it was at length repaired as to the south isle of it, which now constitutes the whole of this church, forming the nave and chancel of it, by the care and industry of Mr. John Gossage, an inhabitant of this parish, who died in 1672, and lies buried in it. At the west end is the steeple, being a handsome losty tower of brick, embattled at the top, having four bells in it. The south wall of the church seems very ancient, having some narrow lancet windows in it. The ruined wall of the north isle yet remains,

Among other monuments and inscriprions in this church, is a mural monument for Peter Denham, esq. ob. 1736, leaving John his only surviving son, and Elizabeth, wife of John Lidgbird, esq. His ancestor is recorded by a very large benefaction to this church steeple; beneath are his arms, Gules, six lozenges in sess, ermine. Another monument for John Denham, esq. (only son of Peter Denham, esq. ob. 1760, leaving Anne, his only child, and Jane, his widow, daughter of T. Willyams, esq. late of Plaistow, Essex; above, the arms of Denham, impaling argent, a sess chequy, gules and argent, between three eagles heads, erazed proper, gorged with ducal coronets, or. A grave stone for Mr. John Gossage, who caused this church to be repaired, after above twenty years lying waste and ruinous, ob. 1672. Another for Margaret, wife of Thomas Nugent, esq. and daughter of Hugh, eldest son of Sir Henry Parker, bart. of Honington, in Warwickshire, ob. 1748; another for Benj. Barnet, D. D. prebendary of Gloucester, and vicar of Plumsted, ob. 1707, æt. 57. (fn. 29) On the north wall of the nave, an elegant monument for John Lidgbird, esq. of Shooter'shill, ob. 1771. In the church yard are many tombs and memorials, mostly for the officers of the Artillery and their families; among others, for Col. Tho. Ord, in 1777; Col. John Innes, in 1783; General Goodwin, in 1786; Col. Griffith Williams, in 1790; and Col. Williamson, in 1794.— The burials in this parish are greatly increased by the numbers brought hither, to be interred, from other parishes, but principally from Woolwich.

This church was very early appropriated to the monastery of St. Augustine by the bishop of Rochester, with the consent of his chapter, for the use of the almnery, and was confirmed to it afterwards by several popes. (fn. 30)

Laurence, bishop of Rochester, again confirmed this appropriation in 1269, by inspeximus, provided, nevertheless, that a portion should be assigned for the vicar and his successors, serving in this church, out of the profits of it, in like manner as is provided for in the former confirmations of it, sufficient for his competent maintenance, and for the decent support of the incumbent burthens of it. (fn. 31)

Before this appropriation the abbot and convent of St. Austin received an annual pension of ten shillings from the rector of this parish, for the like use of their almnery, which was increased by Richard, bishop of Rochester, in 1236, to ten pounds per annum, or that there should be assigned to it, by the bishop, or his successors, a portion of the great tithes of the same value, to be employed in pious uses for ever; which was confirmed by William Prior and the convent of Rochester, in 1239.

A dispute having arisen between Hamo, prior, and the convent of St. Saviour, Bermondsey, and Sir John Renger, rector of this church of Plumsted, concerning certain tithes arising from the demesne, once belonging to Alexander de Camera in this parish, at last, in the year 1254, it was amicably adjusted, and the prior and convent released those tithes to the rector and church of Plumsted.

The appropriation of this church, together with the advowson of the vicarage, continued among the possessions of the monastery of St. Augustine till its final dissolution, in the 30th year of king Henry VIII. when it was, together with all its lands and revenues, surrendered into the king's hands, where they did not continue long, for they were granted, as has already been mentioned, on the 20th of January following the surrendry of them, to Sir Edward Boughton, of Burwash-court, in whose descendants they continued some time; after which they appear, about the latter end of king Charles I.'s reign, to have been separated, but in 1650, they were again united, being the property of the heirs of one Poole, then lately deceased; since which the parsonage or tithes of corn and grain have become the property of the family of Denham, Peter Denham, esq. of Welling, in this parish, died possessed of them in 1736, as did his son John, in 1760, whose only daughter, Anne, carried his interest in them in marriage to Thomas Cooke, esq. of Worcestershire, since in holy orders, and he is at this time intitled to them.

The advowson of the vicarage passed from the heirs of Poole into the possession of John Michel, esq. in king Charles I.'s reign, by whom it was sold some years before his death, and afterwards became the property of the families of Hodgson and Farr, by a daughter and heir of which last name it passed in marriage to Abbot; she survived her husband, and in 1763, alienated it to Henry Kipling, esq. of the Six Clerks office; since whose death, in 1780, his eldest son, the Rev. Henry Kipling, vicar of this parish, has become the present owner of it.

The endowment of the vicarage, dated anno 1292, is entered in a register book of St. Augustine's monastery, now in the library of Sir John Sebright, bart.

The manor farm of Plumsted claims an exemption of great tithes on the uplands, but not on the marsh lands. There are three acres of glebe land belonging to the vicarage.

In the 15th year of king Edward I. the church of Plumsted was valued at forty-four marcs, and the vicarage at ten marcs. (fn. 32) The vicarage of Plumsted is valued, in the king's books, at 6l. 18s. 4d. and the yearly tenths at 13s. 10d. (fn. 33)

By virtue of a commission of enquiry, in 1650, issuing out of chancery, it was returned, that Plumsted and East Wickham were a parsonage of impropriation, belonging to the heirs of one Poole deceased, as an inheritance within the parish; that there was a vicarage, consisting of Plumsted, with East Wickham, a chapel, annexed; that the vicarage was presentative with cure of souls, and was worth 140l. per annum, whereof there were two acres of glebe land, and an old house, worth 4l. 10s. per annum, Isaac Sander, then vicar. That the roof of the church of Plumsted was fallen down, and the parishioners inforced to get leave to set in the chancel of it. (fn. 34)

Church Of Plumsted.

Or by whom presented.
Abbot and Convent of St. Augustine. Adam. (fn. 35)
Sir John Renger. (fn. 36)
William Boughton, ind. 1619. (fn. 37)
Edward Boughton, A.M. June, 1632. (fn. 38)
William Clapham, senior William Clapham, ind. 1635. (fn. 39)
Isaac Sander, in 1650. (fn. 40)
John Turner, 1682.
Isaac Sanderson, 1683, 1690.
Benjamin Barnett, D.D. ob. Aug. 1, 1707. (fn. 41)
Charles Jones, A.M. instituted 1707, ob. 1741.
Rev. Mr. R. Williams, as a trustee Jukes Egerton, A.M. inducted May 14, 1741, obt. 1772.
Henry Kipling, gent Henry Kipling, 1772. Present vicar.


  • 1. Merrett's Pinax, p. 81.
  • 2. Regist. Monast. St. August. Cart. 163 and 200. Dec. Script. col. 1779 and 1787.
  • 3. Ibid. Regist. Cart. 247. Decim. Script. col. 1788, 1863. Regist. Mon. St. Aug. Cart. 325. Dec. Script. col. 1921.
  • 4. Dec. Script. col. 1942, 1949. Regist. Mon. St. Aug. Cart. 311 and 370.
  • 5. In the 50th year of his reign. Decim. Script. col. 2271.
  • 6. Ibid. Cart. 54 Hen. III.
  • 7. Dec. Script. col. 2015. Cart. 6 Edw. II. No. 3.
  • 8. Dec. Script. col. 2054, 2123, 2129, 2163.
  • 9. Rot. Cart. de 21 usq. ad 24 anni ejus regni.
  • 10. Dec. Script. col. 2293.
  • 11. Box A. 18. Rolls of Particulars for Fee-farm Rents, temp. Interregni, roll 6–12.
  • 12. Rot. Esch. ejus anni, pt. 8.
  • 13. Philipott, p. 277.
  • 14. Aubrey's Antiq. of Surry, vol. v. p. 341 and seq.
  • 15. See an account of this bequest, Biog. Brit. vol. 6. p. 3740.
  • 16. Rot. Esch. ejus an. and Dagd. Bar. vol. ii. p. 35.
  • 17. See the account of this indenture at large, in Harl. MSS. No. 1498, where the originals are deposited.
  • 18. Newcourt's Rep. vol. i. p. 711.
  • 19. Augm. office, box D. 42. Inrolled before Walter Hendley, esq. on the 10th of that month.
  • 20. Rot. Esch. eor. annor.
  • 21. Rot. Esch. ejus an. pt. 3.
  • 22. Tan. Mon. p. 537.
  • 23. Pat. 11 Hen. VI. pt. 1, m. 13. See Chesilhurst, p. 15.
  • 24. See the several commissions granted, in Dugdale's History of Imbanking, p. 59, et seq. Lamb. Per. p. 482.
  • 25. Dugd. Hist. of Imbanking, p. 62, et seq.
  • 26. Dugd. Hist. of Imbanking, p. 64.
  • 27. Lamb. Per. p. 483.
  • 28. Dugd. Hist, of Imbanking, p. 65.
  • 29. See the monuments and inscriptions at large in Reg. Ross. p. 989.
  • 30. Regist. Mon. Aug. Cart. 108, 150, 151. Reg. Ross. p. 522.
  • 31. Reg. Ross. p. 523, 524.
  • 32. Stev. Mon. vol. i. p. 456.
  • 33. Bacon's Lib. Regis.
  • 34. Parl. Surveys, Lamb. lib. vol. xix.
  • 35. Reg. Ross. p. p. 526.
  • 36. Ibid.
  • 37. Regist. Abbot Lamb. pt. 2. f. 313.
  • 38. By lapse. Rym. Fœd. vol. xix. p. 437.
  • 39. Regist. Laud Lamb. f. 231.
  • 40. Parl. Surveys, Lamb. lib. vol. xix.
  • 41. He was prebendary of Gloucester, and lies buried in this church.