Parishes: Crayford

Pages 263-285

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

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LIES the next parish south-eastward from Erith, having the river Thames and that parish for its northern boundary. It appears to have been called, soon after the arrival of the Saxons in this island, by the name of Creccan ford; that is, the ford or passage over the water, then called Crecca. now Cray. (fn. 1) In the time of archbishop Dunstan, who came to the see of Canterbury, in 960, it was known by the name of Erbede, or Eard, and at the conquest by that of Eard, alias Crayford; by which it continued to be described in all antient deeds and writings to the time of king Henry VIII.

THIS PARISH is in extent, from north to south, about three miles, and from east to west somewhat less than two. The air is not esteemed in general the most healthy, especially the lower or north-east part of it, near the marshes. The soil of it in the upland parts is much subject to gravel and sand, and the lands are but this and poor, especially towards Northumberland and Bexley heaths, near which are two parcels of coppice wood, the only ones in this parish. The lower parts, nearer the river, and in the marshes, are very fertile, but the latter, being about five hundred acres, are never ploughed. The high London road crosses the southern part of this parish, in which is the village, commonly called Crayfordstreet, where the ground rises to the upland or western part of the parish, and here the roads branch off, one to Bexley-heath, a second to Woolwich, near which is the church, May-place, and Newbery, and another to Erith, near which is the parsonage, and farther on, the two hamlets of Perry-street and Northend; and at about three quarters of a mile distance from the former, eastward, Howbury-farm. The northern parts of the parish, being the marshes, are bounded still further northward by the river Thames.

The high London road passed through Crayfordstreet, but a few years ago it was turned aside from it, a new cut having been made, which avoiding the street, joins the old road again at the east end of the street, close to the bridge, which has been new built&c. for the purpose.

It is a narrow ill-built street, of near half a mile in length. At the east end of it, near the river, stood a large handsome seat, which seemed of the time of queen Elizabeth, and was called in antient deeds the mansion-house in Crayford, and afterwards the old place house. It was formerly part of the estate in this parish belonging to Sir Cloudesley Shovel, whose daughter and coheir, Anne, intitled her husband, John Blackwood, esq. to it, on whose death, in 1777, his son, Shovel Blackwood, succeeded to it, and he owns the scite of it at this time. It was for many years made use of for carrying on the linen manufactory established here; since which it has been let on a long lease to an eminent callico printer and whitster, who pulled it down, and converted the materials into work houses, &c. for his manufactory.

Here is a fair held on September 8.

The river Cray takes its course through the marshes in this parish, nearly north-north east; and after having received into it, on the south side, a small spring, which rises at Wantsum-farm, it branches into two parts, both of which cross the high London road, as does a third small portion of water out of it, granted by the commissioners of sewers in the year 1633, as has been before mentioned.

Two of these streams, having supplied two large manufactories for the printing of calicoes, and having received the third stream again into them, unite about half a mile below, where this river turns an iron mill, antiently made use of for the making of plates for armour; and having supplied the whiting grounds, it makes several small windings, and joins Dartford-creek on the west side of it, about a mile below that town, and then it flows, in one united stream with it, into the river Thames.

In the year 457, Hengift, the first Saxon king of Kent, meeting with the Britons at Crecanford, gave them battle, flew four of their chief commanders and four thousand men, (fn. 2) and gave them such a bloody defeat, that they entirely abandoned this country, and fled with great fear towards London.

There are now to be seen, as well on the heaths near Crayford, as in the fields hereabout, many artificial caves or holes in the earth, some being ten, fifteen, and others twenty fathoms deep. At the mouth, and thence downward, they are narrow, like the tunnel of a chimney, or passage of a well, but at the bottom they are large and of great compass, insomuch that some of them have several rooms or partitions, one within another, strongly vaulted, and supported with pillars of chalk. In the opinion of the neighbouring inhabitants, they were formerly dug, as well for the use of the chalk, towards building, as for the mending of their lands; but it is most probable that some of them were made for a farther use by the Saxons, our ancestors, who used them as secret hiding places for their wives, children, and goods, as well in times of civil wars as of foreign invasions.

For Tacitus, treating of the manners of the old Germans, the ancestors of these Saxons, says, they used to dig certain caves under the ground, that when the enemy came and spoiled all that was abroad, then such things as were thus hidden, either lay unknown, or by this very means deceived him who sought after them. (fn. 3)

If such as these have not been found in other places, it must be imputed to the soil, which in chalk only is suited to this workmanship. Many beasts have tumbled into these pits, and the hunters continually miss their dogs, which have fallen into them; and Mr. Lambarde says, in his time, a then late noble person, in following his hawk, happened, to the great hazard of his life, to fall into one of them, which was at least twelve fathoms deep. (fn. 4)

The Roman road is plainly visible on Bexley heath, directing its course south-south east, and so on towards Crayford, which adds some strength to the conjectures of those who place the first station on it from London, antiently called Noviomagus, at or about Crayford. Among these are Somner, Burton, bishop Stillingfleet, and of later times Dr. Thorpe. (fn. 5) And although there never have been hitherto any foundations, tiles, urns, or other marks of antiquity, found about this place to confirm its having been a Roman station, yet it has one corroborating circumstance of no small force in the similitude of its present name. The manor of Crayford being at this day called Crayford, alias Newbery, which last signifies in English exactly the same as Noviomagus in Latin, viz. the new fortress or station. However, in placing this station here there have been made by some two principal objections: first, the improbability of the marshes at and about Deptford, being easily passable in the time of the Romans, which, if they were not, would direct the course of the road more to the southward towards Keston. And secondly, that the Watling-street road, on which this station is supposed to have been, passed through the middle of this county, whereas this, by Crayford on to Rochester, and so on to Canterbury, directs its course near the northern boundary of it; to obviate this, Mr. Robert Talbot, who wrote a comment on the Itinerary of Antonine, tells us, that the Romans had two sorts of highways; the one, farthest about indeed, but through places better inhabited, more level, and altogether more fit for the conducting of the army; the other more direct and compendious, of which latter sort most probably was this Roman road through Crayford. (fn. 6)

THIS PLACE, in the time of the Saxons, was possessed by one Elfege, a powerful man, who by his will, made in the presence of archbishop Dunstan, about the year 970, gave a third part of his estates in Erhede, and elsewhere, to Christ church, in Canterbury; notwithstanding which, Leofsune, who had married his nephew's widow, entered on them; but they were recovered from him, in a solemn trial, held here by the archbishop for this purpose. After which, on the division, Erhede seems to have been part of the share which was allotted to Christ church, (fn. 7) and it remained in the hands of the archbishop of Canterbury, at the time the general survey of Domesday was taken, in which it is thus entered:

In Litelai hundred the archbishop himself holds Erhede. It was taxed at 4 sulings. The arable land is 8 carucates. In demesne there are two, and 27 villeins, with two borderers having 8 carucates. There is a church, and three mills, of, 50 shillings and sixpence. There are 5 servants, and 10 acres of meadow; wood for the pannage of 40 hogs. In the whole, in the reign of king Edward the Confessor it was worth 12 pounds, and as much when be received it, now 6 pounds, and yet it pays 21 pounds.

At the latter end of king Richard I.'s, and in king John's reigns, the MANOR of EARDE, alias CRAYFORD, was held of the archbishop by Adam de Port, the great-grandson of Hugh de Port, a great baron in the reign of William the Conqueror, who was possessed of Basing, in Hampshire, which he made the head of his barony. (fn. 8)

Adam de Port married Mabell, grandchild and heir to Roger de St. John. After which, his descendants, quitting the surname of Port, assumed that of St. John. John de St. John, of Basing, his great grandson, a man much employed and entrusted by king Edward I. died in the 30th year of that reign, being then possessed of the manor of Eard.

John, his son and heir, was summoned to parliament in the 28th of king Edward I. his father then living, by the name of John de St. John, junior, and was in that, and the next reign, much employed in the Scottish wars. He died in the 12th year of king Edward II. leaving by Isabel his wife, daughter of Hugh de Courtney, a son named Hugh, being then possessed of this manor, with the advowson of the church of Earde. Hugh de St. John, died in the 11th year of king Edward III. being then possessed of sixteen knights fees in Kent, among which was included this manor and advowson.

In the Book of Aid, in the 20th year of the above reign, his descendant, Robert de St. John, answered for one knight's fee in Earde, held of the archbishop, about which time this manor acquired the name of the manor of Earde, alias Newbery, the latter being the name of the mansion belonging to it.

Most probably he was guardian, and some near relation to Edmund, son of Hugh above mentioned, who died in his minority next year; (fn. 9) upon which Margaret, the wife of John de St. Philibert, and Isabel, the wife of Henry de Burshersh, his sisters, became his heirs; and on a partition of the lands of their inheritance, Isabel had for her share, among other premises, ten pounds yearly rent, issuing out of this manor, (fn. 10) and the reversion of it, with the advowson of the church of Earde, after the death of Elizabeth, wife of Edmund, who then held the same in dowry, and was remarried to Gerard de l'Isle. (fn. 11)

This Isabel, after the decease of Henry de Burshersh, married Lucas de Poynings, a younger brother of Michael lord Poynings, eldest son to the first Thomas lord Poynings, by which he became possessed of the lands of her inheritance, and by the death of her sister Margaret, and of John her son without issue, in the 35th year of king Edward III. to her part of it also; and the said Lucas de Poynings, having issue by his wife, had possession granted of her whole inheritance, and among it of this manor. (fn. 12)

Archbishop Courtney, in the 20th year of king Richard II. procured the grant of a market for this manor, to be held on a Tuesday; and a fair on the vigil, the day of our Lady's nativity, and four days after. (fn. 13)

Lucas de Poynings had summons to parliament in the 42d and 47th years of king Edward III. (fn. 14) His son, Sir Thomas de Poynings, succeeded him in this estate, and bore the title of lord St. John; and in the beginning of king Henry VI.'s reign, sold this manor to John Kingston, whose descendant, Thomas Kingston, died in the 21st year of king Henry VII. possessed of the manor of Newbery, otherwise called Crayford, held of the archbishop by knights service, as it was then found by inquisition, and that John Kingston was his kinsman and next heir. (fn. 15)

From this family it went, in the reign of king Henry VIII. to Sir Thomas Lisley, and from him again to William Gorsyn, esq. who, in the 35th year of that reign, sold to the king, in consideration of lands in Berkshire, Suffex, and Southampton, among other premises, his manor of Newbery, with the advowson of the parish church of Earde, alias Crayford, with all tenements, royalties, &c. in Newbery, and Earde, alias Crayford, of the yearly value of 38l. 10d. excepting the next avoidance of the church, and eight shillings payable out of the manor to the lord of the manor of Otford; which indenture was inrolled next year in the court of augmentation. (fn. 16)

This manor seems to have continued in the crown till the reign of king Philip and queen Mary; who, in their 5th and 6th year, granted it to Thomas and John White, and others, to hold in capite by knights service. (fn. 17) Queen Elizabeth, in her 7th year, granted it to Henry Partich, who, in the same reign, conveyed it to Henry Apylton, of Marshal's court, in this parish, where this family had been long resident.

These Apyltons, or Appletons, as their name was afterwards spelt, are supposed to be descended from a family of that name, seated at Waddingfield Magna, in Norfolk, where many of them lie buried.

Roger Appleton lived in the reigns of Henry V. and VI. and was auditor to both those kings. He lies buried in this church, as does Agnes his wife; Elizabeth their daughter married Henry Elham, esq. of Elham, in this parish, who was likewise one of the above auditors, and lies buried with her husband here. From him descended, in a direct line, Henry, the eldest son of Sir Roger Appleton, who succeeded his father in his estates in this neighbourhood, and at South Bemfleet, in Essex, and purchased this manor as before mentioned; and William, the second son, who was ancestor of the family of this name, settled at Kettlebaston, in Suffolk. (fn. 18) He died in the 4th year of James I. and Roger his son, who succeeded him in it, and was of South Bemfleet; he was knighted, and afterwards, in 1611, created a baronet. He died in the 13th year of that reign, leaving by Anne his wife, daughter of Sir Thomas Mildmay, of Moulsham, in Essex, knt. one son, Henry, who succeeded him in title; and two daughters; Frances, married to Francis Goldsmith, gent. and Mary to Thomas Stanley, esq. and dying in 1609, lies buried in St. Dionis Backchurch, London. (fn. 19) He gave both the manor of Newbery and Marshal's -court, in this parish, in dowry with his daughter Frances before mentioned, to Francis Goldsmith, gent. who conveyed the former by sale (Marshal's-court being sold by him elsewhere) in the reign of James I. to Robert Draper, esq. of May-place, owner also of Howbery manor and Ellam, and other estates here; on whose death these manors and estates descended to William Draper, esq. his son, who resided at May-place before mentioned. He married Mary, the fourth and youngest daughter of Richard Cresheld, sergeant at law, and one of the justices of the common-pleas, in the reign of Charles I. by whom he had one son, Cresheld, and two daughters. He died in 1650, possessed of these manors and estates, and lies buried in this church. His son, Colonel Cresheld Draper, succeeded to them, on his father's death, being then in his minority; after whose death, about the year 1694, they were sold by his heirs to Sir Cloudesley Shovel, together with the capital mansion of May-place.

Sir Cloudesley Shovel was born in Suffolk, in 1651, and entered into the service of the royal navy, in which he gradually rose to the command of the Edgar man of war, in which he so ably distinguished himself in the engagement in Bantry-bay, (fn. 20) that he had, for his services there the honour of knighthood confirmed on him, in 1689, and was soon after advanced to the post of a flag officer, and then to the chief command of the English confederate fleet; in all which he shewed himself one of the greatest sea commanders of that or any other age.

Having the command of a fleet of the royal navy, he was unfortunately shipwrecked on the rocks of Scilly, with several others of his squadron, in his voyage from Toulon, on October 22, 1707; and his body being flung on shore, and buried with others in the sand, was soon after taken up, and being carried to London, was interred in Westminster abbey, under a monument erected to his memory by queen Anne.

Sir Cloudesley Shovel, who bore for his arms, Gules, a chevron, ermine, between three crescents, argent, and a fleur de lis in the base, married Elizabeth, daughter of John Hill, esq. commissioner of the navy, who was widow of Sir John Narborough, admiral and commander of the English navy, by whom she had one daughter, Elizabeth, married to Sir Thomas D'Aeth, bart. and two sons, both of whom were lost with their brave father-in-law. By her Sir Cloudesley left two daughters, Elizabeth and Anne; the former of whom married first Sir Robert Marsham, bart. afterwards created lord Romney; and secondly, John lord Carmichael, afterwards earl of Hindford. Anne, the second daughter, married first Robert Mansel, eldest son of Thomas lord Mansel; and afterwards, in 1726, John Blackwood, of Charlton, esq. in this county.

On the death of the admiral, lady Shovel, his widow, resided at May-place, and possessed that seat, and the manors of Newbery and Howbery, with marshal's-court, Ellam, and other estates in this parish. She died possessed of them in 1732, and was buried in this church; on which these manors and estates became vested in Elizabeth, then widow of Robert lord Romney, who afterwards married John lord Carmichael, and Anne, the wife of John Blackwood, esq. in undivided moieties, as coheirs of their father, the late Sir Cloudesley Shovel. Soon after which, on a division of their inheritance, the manor of Newbery, the mansion of May-place, and Ellam, were alloted to John lord Carmichael and Elizabeth his wife; and Howbery, Marshal's-place, the iron mills, a farm, called Wantsum, and other lands, were allotted to John Blackwood, esq. and Anne his wife, as their respective shares of the same.

John lord Carmichael was descended of an antient family so called, from the lands of Carmichael, in the county of Lanerk, in Scotland, where they still have their chief seat. One of his ancestors, James Carmichael of Hindford, was created a baronet of Scotland by king Charles I. and being of great service to him in the civil wars, he was, in 1647, created baron of Carmichael, in the county of Lanerk.

John, his grandson, the second baron, being one of the Scots peers, who joined most early in the revolution, was recompensed with several honourable posts; and in 1701, was created by king William, earl of Hyndford in the same county; whose grandson was John lord Carmichael above mentioned, who married Elizabeth, eldest daughter and coheir of Sir Cloudesley Shovel, widow of Robert lord Romney. He was, in 1742, made knight of the Thistle, and went envoy extraordinary to the king of Prussia, and then to the empress of Russia. He bore for his arms, Argent, a fess wreatby, azure and gules. (fn. 21)

In 1737, he succeeded his father as earl of Hyndford. Soon after which he joined with his lady in the sale of this manor of Newbery, the mansion of Mayplace and Ellam, to Nathaniel Elwick, esq. who reserving to himself a life estate, settled them on his only daughter and heir, Elizabeth, on her marriage in 1745, with Miles Barne, esq. of Sotterly, in Suffolk. She died in 1747, in her father's life time, leaving one son, Miles, and a daughter, Elizabeth Elwick Barne.

Nathaniel Elwick, esq. died in 1750, and lies bu ried in a vault in this church, with his daughter before-mentioned. On his death this manor, with Mayplace and Ellam, by virtue of the before-mentioned settlement, came to Miles Barne, esq. of Sotterly, whose grandson Miles Barne, esq. of that place, and member of parliament in the last parliament for Dunwich, (the father of Snowden Barne, esq. now member for that borough) is the present possessor of this estate.

The manor house of Newbery has some years ago been modernized, and fitted up as a gentleman's seat, and is now occupied by John Symes, esq.

The mansion of May-place seems built about the time of king James the First. It has a very venerable and majestic appearance, which has however been much lessened by an injudicious attempt made within these few years to modernize it. Lady Fermanagh now resides in it.

A court baron is held for the manor of Newbery, which extends over the upper or western part of this parish.

MARSHAL'S-COURT is a place in this parish, which, though now almost unknown, was of some note, being in early times the seat of a family, who gave name to it; one of whom, John Marshal, was a good benefactor to the fabric of this church, as he was by his will to the poor of this parish. In the reign of queen Elizabeth it was the property of Henry Apylton, the residence of whose ancestors it had been for some time before. (fn. 22) His descendant, Sir Roger Apylton, bart. gave Marshal's-court, together with the manor of Newbery, in dower with his daughter Frances, to Francis Goldsmith, gent. whose grandfather, Francis Goldsmith, was of this parish, and by Joan, daughter of Clement Newry, of Hadham, in Hertfordshire, had four sons, of whom Francis, the eldest son, was knighted, and having married Catherine, daughter of Edward Oundley, esq. of Catsby, in Northamptonshire, left by her two sons and three daughters. He lies buried in this church. Of these, Francis, the eldest son, possessed this estate as before-mentioned, and died in 1634, leaving a son of the same name, who left an only daughter, Catherine, married to Sir Henry Dacre, of Hertsfordshire. (fn. 23) They bore for their arms, Gules, a chevron between three birds argent, on a chief or, a lion passant gules. (fn. 24) But before his death Francis Goldsmith (who had married Frances Appleton as before-mentioned) passed away Marshal's-court, with other lands in this and the adjoining parish of Bexley, by sale, in the 12th year of king James I. to Richard Pix, gent. a younger son of William Pix, of Hawkhurst, in this county, who bore for his arms, Azure, a fess or, between three cross-croslets fitchee argent. (fn. 25) He resided at Marshal'scourt, which, at his death, descended to Edward Pix, his eldest son, who married Dorothy, daughter of Sir Leventhorpe Frank, of Albury-hall, in Essex. He sold these estates to Mrs. Mary Towse, of London, daughter of Charles Hoskins, of Surry, and widow of John Towse, of London, grocer, fourth son of Brian Towse, of Barton, in Yorkshire, who bore for his arms, within a bordure argent, two swords in saltier, or, their points downwards, a mullet in chief for difference. (fn. 26) She settled them in marriage on her daughter Mary, with colonel Wood, of Kingston, upon Thames; who conveyed them by sale to Sir Cloudesley Shovel, on whose unfortunate death, they came into the possession of his widow, the lady Elizabeth Shovel; and on her decease, they became vested in her two daughters and coheirs, in undivided moieties. Soon after which, on a division of their inheritance, Marshal's-court, with other estates as before-mentioned in this parish and Bexley, were allotted to Anne, the youngest daughter, married to John Blackwood, esq. as her share of it, and he in her right became entitled to them for his life. He died in 1777, possessed of Marshal's-court, and was succeeded by his son Shovel Blackwood, esq. who continues the present possessor of the scite of this antient seat, which has been some years since pulled down.

HOWBERY is a manor in the north-west part of this parish, near the marshes, the mansion of which has a moat yet remaining round it. This manor is described in antient deeds by the name of Hoobery, alias Little Hoo. In the reign of William the Conqueror it was in the possession of Odo, bishop of Baieux, under the general title of whose lands it is recorded in the survey of Domesday as follows:

Ansgotus holds Hou of the bishop (of Baieux) which was taxed at one juling. The arable land is . . . . In demesne there is 1 carucate, and 5 villeins with carucate and an half, and 1 mill of 10 shillings. There are 2 cottagers and 1 servant, and 12 acres of meadow. Wood for the pannage of 3 bags. In the time of king Edward the Confessor, it was worth 60 shillings, as much when be received it, and now 4 pounds. Anschil held it of king Edward.

After this it became part of the possessions of the family of Auberville. William de Auberville owned this manor in king Henry III's reign; at the latter end of which, and in the beginning of the next of king Edward I. it was, as appears by antient court-rolls, and other evidences, the patriomony of the antient family of Northwood; one of whom died possessed of it in the 13th year of king Edward I. (fn. 27) His descendant, Sir John Northwood, paid aid for it in the 20th year of king Edward III. as one quarter of a knight's fee, which Henry Northwood held in Littlehoo, as a member of the manor of Stockbery, held in capite, to which this of Hoobery, alias Littlehoo, was afterwards annexed and esteemed but as one entire manor. It continued in the descendants of Sir John Norwood in the reign of king Richard II. but in that of Henry IV. it was become the possession of Nicholas Carew, of Surry, and John Cornwallis, of London, who joined, in the 5th year of king Henry V. in the sale of it to Richard Bryan; and he, in the 1st year of Henry VI. passed it away to Roger Arpylton, one of the auditors to that prince, as he had been to his father, king Henry V. and Agnes his wife, widow of Thomas Covele, commonly called Cowley, and the reversion in see to her son, Thomas Covele; to whom, after her decease, this place accordingly descended. His grandson John, son of William Cowley, for so he then wrote himself, conveyed Howbery, in the 19th year of king Henry VIII. to John Judde; whose widow, Elizabeth, was in possession of this place at the latter end of queen Elizabeth's reign, particularly in the 35th, as appears by several records and court rolls. Her daughter, Mabilla, carried it into the family of Fane, from whence it was passed by sale, in the 22nd year of king James I. to Robert Draper, esq. (fn. 28) after the death of whose grandson, Col. Cresheld Draper, about the year 1694, this manor, with other lands in this parish, was sold by his heirs to Sir Cloudesly Shovel, whose youngest daughter Anne, carried it in marriage to her second husband, John Blackwood, esq. as has been already related, under Newbery and Marshal's-court, whose son, Shovel Blackwood, esq. on his father's death in 1777, succeeded to it, and having next year procured an act of parliament for this purpose, alienated it with the Iron-Mills farm in this parish, to Harman Berens, esq. of Kevington, whose son Joseph Berens, esq. of that place, is the present owner of both these estates.

It appears by the antient court rolls, that many lands in Crayford were held of this manor, the court baron of which was formerly regularly kept, though it has been a long time disused. The mansion of the manor is now made use of only as a farm house.

On June 7, in the 13th year of king Charles I. it was ordered by the commissioners of sewers, that Howbery marsh, Wash marsh, and the Brooks, should be taken into the commission, in which they have continued ever since.

ELLAM is a place in this parish, though now sunk into obscurity, the house itself having been long since pulled down, was once the seat of a family, who took their name from it, and for many descents before they parted with the possession of it, were esteemed in the rank of gentlemen, and bore for their arms, Argent, a sword in bend dexter sable, the point upwards. Henry Ellam died in the reign of king Henry VI. and lies buried in this church, as does his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Roger Apylton. He was one of the king's auditors, as was also John Ellam, who was buried here likewise; whose inscriptions were destroyed by a fire which happened to this church. The last of this name, who was possessed of this place, was John Ellam, who, in the 16th year of king Henry VII. alienated it to Henry Harman, then clerk of the crown, and bore for his arms, Argent, a cbevron between three scalps sable. (fn. 29) He likewise purchased an estate called May-street here, of Cowley and Bulbeck, of Bulbeckstreet in this parish, in the 20th year of Edward IV. from whom it descended to his grandson, Thomas Harman, esq. who among others, procured his lands in this county to be disgavelled, by the act of the 2d and 3d of king Edward VI.

He married Millicent, one of the daughters of Nicholas Leigh, esq. of Addington, in Surry.

His descendant, William Harman, esq. sold both these places, in the reign of king James I. to Robert Draper, esq. from whom they descended to colonel Cresheld Draper, his grandson, on whose decease, about the year 1694, these, with Newbery, Hoobery, the mansion of May-place, and his other estates in this parish, were sold by his heirs to Sir Cloudesly Shovel, whose eldest daughter and coheir, Elizabeth, then the widow of Robert, lord Romney, on the death of Sir Cloudesly and his widow, became possessed of an undivided moiety of both Elham and May-street. She married 2dly, John lord Carmichael; soon after which, on the division of their father's inheritance, these estates, by the allotment then made, became the sole property of John, lord Carmichael, and Elizabeth his Wife.

In 1737 lord Carmichael, succeeded his father as earl of Hindford; soon after which he, with the countess his wife, joined in the sale of both of them to Nathaniel Elwick, esq Since which this manor has descended in like manner as May-place, Newbery, and his other estates in this parish, to Miles Barne, esq. of Sotterly, in Suffolk, as has been already fully mentioned before, and he is the present possessor of them.

There was a family of the name of Marler, who were possessed of a house and lands in this parish, on which they resided for several generations, with the rank of gentlemen, as appears by the heraldic visitation of this country, where their arms are described to have been, Argent a cbevron purpure in the dexter chief, and escallop. (fn. 30). Anthony Marler, gent. was of Crayford in the beginning of queen Elizabeth's reign, as was his eldest son George, who dying s.p. was succeeded in the estate he possessed in this parish, in the reign of king Charles I. by his kinsman, Robert Marler, (fn. 31) who was living here in the year 1633, as appears by an entry in the books of the commissioners of fewers; wherein mention is made, that there being a watercourse through Mrs. Picke's yard, into the lands and houses of Mr.George Marler and Edward Goldsmith, for their respective benefits; the commissioners, by their order that year, allowed them two catsheads on a piece of four inches each, and four augures of one inch each on a piece, to be set up by them for that purpose, who sold them in the year 1636 to Edmund Cotton.


JOHN MARSHALL, owner of a tenement and 13 acres of marsh ground in this parish, built an isle adjoining to the church of Crayford, and afterwards by his will devised 6s. 8d. part of the rent, for the repair of it, (fn. 32) and 10s. yearly to the poor to the distributed in the bread and cheese, and the remainder for an obit for ever in the church; other lands in this parish were likewife given by divers persons for obits, and for the relief of the poor of it. But most probably these donations were seized on by the king's commissioners in king Henry VIIIth or king Edward the VIth's reigns, as having been given to superstitious uses, and the parish by that means has been deprived of any benefit from them.

MARY, wife of WILLIAM DRAPPER, esq. of Crayford, who died in 1652, and was buried in this church, left by will 100l. to the poor of this parish.

CRAYFORD is within the ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION of the diocese of Rochester; it is a peculiar of the archbishop, and as such is within the deanry of Shoreham. The church stands at a small distance north-westward from the village, and is dedicated to St. Paulinus. It is a handsome building, consisting of two isles and a chancel, with a square tower at the west end, in which are five bells. The altar piece in it was given by Sir Cloudesly Shovel.

Among other monuments and inscriptions in this church are the following:—At the west end, are several memorials of the Cooks of Redriff, and of the Brownes. In the north Isle, an elegant mural monument for Mrs. Elizabeth, wife of Miles Barne, esq. of Sotterley, in Suffolk, and only child of Nathaniel Elwick, esq. of May-place, who died in 1750, and is interred within the same vault; she died in 1747, æt. 24. Beneath are these arms, two coats quarterly, 1st and 4th, Barne azure, 3 leopards heads argent, a crescent for difference; second and third, argent, a chevron azure between 3 ravens proper membered gules, impaling Elwick argent on a chevron, 3 fleurs de lis, or. In the great chancel, on the north side, a memorial for Gilbert Crokatt, M.A. minister of this parish 19 years, obt. April 16, 1711, and for William Fownes Crokatt, esq. his eldest son, obt. 1727. Another for Robert Newman, rector of this parish, he died Dec. 9, 1626. On the south side, within the rails, a grave-stone and memorial for Madam Short, wife of Col. James Short, of this parish, obt. 1750, and for Col. James Short, obt. 1752. On the north side a mural monument for Robert Gardener, A.M. descended from Lancashire, rector of Ridley, in this county, obt. Aug. 8, 1688, æt 40; on the same side is an antient mural monument of alabaster, with the effigies of a woman kneeling at a desk, with a book open before her, and inscription for Mrs. Blanche Marler, descended from the antient family of Bury, and married first to John Abell, and afterwards to George Marler. In the north chancel, inclosed within iron railing, is a fine mural monument, on which lie at full length the figures of a man and woman in the dress of the time, at his head is his son kneeling, and at his feet his daughter; beneath and infant in a winding sheet, resting on a pillow; above, on two tablets, an inscription for William Draper, esq. of Crayford, obt. 1650, and of Mary, his wife, 4th and youngest daughter of Richard Cresheld, serjeant at law, and justice of the common pleas; she had an only son, Cresheld, and two daughters, Mary and another still born; she died in 1652, having bequeathead 501. to the poor of Erith, and 100l. to the poor of this parish. Over the first tablet, Draper argent on a fes gules, 3 covered cups, or, between 3 ammulets of the 2d, a file of 3 lambeaux argent for a difference. Over the second tablet, azure, 3 bezants, each charged with 3 squirrels, seiant gules. On the top of the monument a shield, with the arms of Draper, and 9 other quarterings. In the south chancel, a handsome monument, being and obelisk of black marble under a canopy of white, and inscription for dame Elizabeth, widow of Sir Cloudesley Shovel, rear-admiral of England, &c. At the top are these arms in lozenge, two coats per fess, 1st azure a chief argent, and a other gules a chevron ermine, 2 crescents in chief argent, and a fleur de lis, or, in base impaling gules, a chevron ermine between 3 garbs, or; a handsome mural monument adjoining to the above, for Robert Mansel, eldest son and heir of Thomas, lord Mansel. He married Anne, one of the daughters and coheirs of Sir Clou. desley Shovel, by whom he left surviving Thomas, lord Mansel, and died in 1723; on the top of the monument are these arms, two coats quarterly, 1st and 4th, Mansel argent, a chevron sable between 3 maunches of the 2d; 2d and 3d argent, an eagle displayed sable, over it an escutcheon of pretence, gules, a chevron ermine, 2 crescents in chief argent, and one fleur de lis in base. In a window next the pulpit on the north side, is stained in the glass, Abraham offering up Isaac, and above these arms, gules on a chevron, or a crescent of the 1st between 3 hawks proper jessed and belted, on a chief, or a lion passant gules. (fn. 33)

In this church lie buried likewife several of the Abels, Goldsmiths, Ellams, Harmans, and Drapers. The Appletons, Pix's, and others of note in this parish, whose monuments and memorials have been destroyed by a fire which burnt down a part of the fabric.

This advowson of Earde, alias Crayford, seems to have followed the same tract of ownership, as the manor of Earde, alias Newbery, did, till William Gorsyn, esq. in the 35th of king Henry VIII. conveyed in exchange, the above manor and the advowson of this parish church, to that king, excepting out of the grant the next avoydance of the church.

Queen Elizabeth, in recompence to Matthew, archbishop of Canterbury, by letters patent, in her 3d year, granted to him certain rectories and parsonages impropriate, &c. and having taken into her hands several manors, lands, &c. in lieu of them, she certified it to her treasurer and barons of the exchequer two days after, and that she had united and annexed them to the crown, that they should be within the order of the exchequer as the rest of her lands were. In the list of those which were granted in recompence to the archbishop is the patronage of Earde, alias Crayford; but in the letters patent the value of it is not expressed. However, in a roll remaining in the queen's office it is set down of the value of 32l. 2s. and is said to have been in lieu of the parsonage of Penshurst. (fn. 34)

This exchange was a bargain exceedingly prejudicial to the archbishop, who was forced to give up to the queen several manors and lands, to receive in lieu of them rents of assize and such like pecuniary munerations, and the tenths of the archbishopric, of the cathedral church, and of the diocese, which were by no means improveable, chargeable to collect, and often but badly paid.

When the patronage of this church was afterwards alienated from the see of Canterbury, I do not find but in the next reign, it was become vested in the family of Fane, from whence it went to Sir Henry Fermor, created a baronet May 4, 1725. He died without lawful issue at Sevenokes in 1734, after which this advowson became vested in the trustees of his will, in pursuance of which it came at length to John Fermor, esq. who sold it not long since to Francis Motley Austen, esq. the present owner of it.

In the 15th year of Edward I. the church of Earde, alias Crayford, was valued at forty marcs. (fn. 35) It is valued in the king's books at 35l. 13s. 4d. and the yearly tenths at 3l. 11s. 4d. (fn. 36)

By virtue of a commission of enquiry in 1650, it was returned, that Crayford was a parsonage, which was presentative with cure of souls, and was worth one hundred and forty pounds per annum, whereof the glebe land was worth thirty pounds per annum, David Claston then incumbent, being put in by the parliament. (fn. 37)

The custom of paying tythes in the marsh land is, when sed; by the head of stock fed on it; but if mowed; by payment of the tenth cock of hay. The glebe land contains about thirty acres of upland, and the like quantity of pasture land.

The parsonage house is a handsome house, with proper conveniences of stabling, coach-house and other offices round it; it is pleasantly situated about a quarter of a mile north westward from the church.

Church Of Crayford

Or by whom presented.
Robert Newman, obt. Dec. 9, 1626. (fn. 38)
Thomas Thorowgood, 1648.
David Claston, in 1650. (fn. 39)
Gilbert Crockatt, A. M. 1691, obt. April 16, 1711. (fn. 40)
Richard Collins, A. B. 1723, obt. Dec. 1737. (fn. 41)
Philip Twysden, presented Dec. 1737, resigned 1747. (fn. 42)
John Fermor, resigned 1758.
Philip Walter, 1758, the present rector.


  • 1. Lamb. Per. p. 484.
  • 2. Camd. Brit. p. 223. Lamb. Peramb. p. 486. Rapin's Hist. of Eng. vol. i. p. 33.
  • 3. Tacitus de Moribus Germ. p. 630. Edit. Not. varior.
  • 4. Lamb. Peramb. p. 488.
  • 5. Burton, p. 175. Somner, p. 13. Reg. Roff. Præf. p.iii.
  • 6. Burt. Anton. p. 177.
  • 7. The famous trial for the recovery of the lands given to the churches of Canterbury and Rochester is related in the Textus Roffensis at large. See Observations on the above, in Hicke's Thes. vol. i. Differtatio Epist. p. 60.
  • 8. Dugd. Bar. p. 463, et seq.
  • 9. Rot. Esch. ejus anni.
  • 10. Dugdale says 40l. per annum. Bar. vol. ii. p. 36.
  • 11. Dugd. Bar. vol. i. p. 465.
  • 12. Dugd. Bar. vol. i. p. 465.
  • 13. Rot. Pat. ejus an. No. 5.
  • 14. Cott. Records, p. 104, 115.
  • 15. Rot. Esch. ejus anni.
  • 16. Aug. off. box D. 23, D. 24.
  • 17. Rot. Esch. ejus anni, pt. 3.
  • 18. Weever, p. 335, 759. Baronetage, 1st edit. vol. i. p. 324. Morant's Essex, vol. i. p. 263. Most of the monuments and inscriptions belonging to this family, in the church of Crayford, were destroyed by a fire which happened to the fabric.
  • 19. Strype's Stow's Survey, book ii. p. 153.
  • 20. See Rapin's Hist. of England, Continuation, vol. iv. p. 29, folio. See his life, Biog. Brit. vol. vi. p. 3687.
  • 21. Scots Compend. p. 359.
  • 22. Philipott, p. 108.
  • 23. Wood's Ath. vol. ii. p. 193.
  • 24. Vistn. co. Kent, 1619.
  • 25. Ibid,
  • 26. Vistn. of London by St. George, 1687.
  • 27. Rot. Esch. ejus anni.
  • 28. Philipott, p. 107.
  • 29. Philipott, p. 108.
  • 30. Vistn. co. Kent, ped. Marler.
  • 31. Books of Com. of Sewers.
  • 32. Memd. in Augtn. off.
  • 33. Fol. Christ Church, MSS.
  • 34. See the monuments and inscriptions at large in Reg. Roff. p. 996.
  • 35. Stev. Mon. vol. i. p. 456.
  • 36. Ect. Thef. p. 386.
  • 37. Parl. Surveys, Lambeth-libr. vol. xix.
  • 38. He lies buried in this church.
  • 39. Parl. Surveys, Lambeth-libr. vol. xix.
  • 40. He lies buried in this church.
  • 41. He was also vicar of Burham.
  • 42. Third son of Sir William Twysden, of East Peckham. In 1747 he was made bishop of Raphoe in Ireland.